Category: Home

5 Ways to Add Year-Round Color to Your Garden

Is your garden looking a bit dull and unloved? If so, it’s probably time for you to sort out your garden and add a splash of color. A garden can do miracles for your overall well-being, as it has been scientifically proven that being in nature has a healing and calming effect on people. Spending some quality time in your garden will help alleviate stress and offer you a healthy way to relax after a hard day of work. Here are five steps you can take to add more color to your garden:

Clean Up your Garden Thoroughly

The first step you should consider is a good cleaning. Take out all the old leaves and plants, pull out the weeds and throw out any junk you don’t use. This will give you a far better idea of what your garden needs and thus make it easier to restructure and landscape your outside space.

Divide the Garden in Sectors

You can use all sorts of materials for this purpose, from old fashioned stone walls to colorful picket fences. Dividing your garden will give you more of an overview, plus it will make it easier for you to attend to plants and flowers since they will be easily reachable. A neatly arranged garden will make you feel more calm, in a similar manner to a Japanese rock garden.

Add Lots of Flowers

Flowers are the obvious choice, since gardens are mostly known for the plethora of greens that grow in them. You have access to so many specimens online and at your local nursery, that you can literally make your own tiny rainforest if you want to. Or maybe you prefer a traditional rose garden? Flowers will brighten up any day, so make the most of them in the space you have.

Consider Building a Cozy Porch or Veranda

There’s nothing better than having an afternoon cup of tea after sunset on your own porch. You can paint the porch in bright colors, which will make the garden more colorful instantly. Try to choose sustainable materials such as recycled wood, the environment will thank you.

Add Some Colorful Lighting

If you want to make the nights just as colorful as the days, add some special lighting sources. A few unique lamps or lanterns here and there will make your garden a heavenly place for late night chill sessions or a barbecue with friends. During Christmas you will reap the benefits, as you will have less work putting up colorful lights.

It is easy to add year-round color to your garden. The color can come from a wide variety of sources: outdoor furniture, paint, pots, tile, and of course plants.


5 Key Elements for a Family Bathroom

Certain factors should be taken into account the family bathroom space to be used as efficiently as possible. Here are some tips to get started and to make the most out of a family bathroom.

Choose the Right Amount of Space

The size of the family is basically the first thing you should take into account when choosing the size for a bathroom. A couple with one kid can generally suffice with a small bathroom, while a large family will obviously need a larger amount of space. This is something you should definitely discuss with the family before looking at houses, or before starting construction work if remodeling.

Bathtub, Shower, or Both

Some people like showers, others like to have a hot bath after a long day at work. If you want to use the available space as efficiently as possible, a combination of both is often the right choice. If you have plenty of space available, a walk-in shower and a separate bathtub will be perfect.

Think about the Placement of the Bathroom in the House

If you have a large family, it is wise to place a bathroom in a central location in the house. This way the bathroom is easily accessible for all family members. Imagine the fights with one of two teens always gets to the bathroom first. A central location can actually relieve some stress during the chaotic morning rush.

Storage Space is Essential

In general, you can already guess that the more family members there are, the more storage space you will need. Everyone has their own favorite bath and shower products. Being able to put these away in cabinets or drawers will make the bathroom look a lot more neat, and calm.

A Big Mirror can Help Save Time

Last but not least, a huge mirror can save the family a lot of time. Since multiple people will be able to brush teeth and get ready at the same moment, mornings can be pretty hectic for large families.

Follow these five tips to ensure your family bathroom is meeting the needs of all family members.


Five Reasons to Buy a Home in the Fall

Autumn is known to be the season of cooling-off right between the blazing hot summer and the cold winter. But you can also call it a “cooling-off” for the real estate market. Many people believe the spring to be the best time for buying a home. But in our research, we have found the fall is the best time to buy a home. Here are a few reasons why fall is the best season to purchase a home:

Less Competition

It is widely known that in fall, there is much less competition from other buyers. Since the spring and summer are the most popular periods for the purchase of properties, those who are looking to buy a new home face little competition from other buyers and can more easily buy their dream home.

More Attention from Real Estate Agents

During the spring, real state agents, lenders, and property insurance agents are extremely busy and may not be able to give your questions adequate time or attention. When the market cools down in the fall, they can better focus on you and have ample time to guide you and help you get the best deals in the market.

Motivated Sellers

In the fall, sellers are more anxious as their homes were not sold over the summer, chances are better that sellers will be more motivated to make a deal. With a good negotiation, you may be able to get a better price for your home than in the spring.

Best Weather to Move In

It’s not easy to move somewhere in the scorching heat of summer or in the ice or snow of winter. Fall is the best time to move because of the moderate temperatures. Moreover, there are also usually sales on laundry machines, air conditioners, and kitchen appliances in the autumn which  may make it less expensive to equip and furnish your home.

Low Prices and a Tax Advantage in Fall

The same house you saw in the spring could be 5% to 10% less expensive in the fall. Moreover, at the end of the year, you can take advantage of tax breaks. Thus buying a house in fall, could save you a large amount of money.

Don’t put off your home search until next year. Fall is a great time to find your next home, and you may even save more.


3 Great Plants for Your Home

If you are looking for a way to freshen up a room in your home, adding indoor plants can help boost air quality and even reduce stress. The calm and green outlook of a room can make a huge difference in your home. Green is a color that refreshes and soothes your eyes. If you need positive and rejuvenating vibes in your home, consider decorating your home with a couple of new plants.

Below is a list of indoor plants to consider buying:

African Violet

If you want to add some color in your home’s interior, African violets are a great option. The best thing about them is they can bloom in low light and produce a cluster of flowers in white, blue, or purple, depending on the variety. There are hundreds of varieties and hybrids of violets. Not only do they vary in color, but also in size. There is a miniature which is less than 8 inches across, a standard 8 to 16 inches across, and a large more than 16 inches across. In terms of watering the plants, soil should be moist to dry. Make sure the soil around the roots dries out before watering again.  Water the plant from the bottom with room temperature water for no more than 30 minutes. You may also need to fertilize them with a high phosphorous plant food, but only during the spring and summer.

Varigated Snake Plant

If there was a prize for the most tolerant plant, the snake plant would certainly be in the top ten. Their care is very straightforward, they can even be neglected for a few weeks and their leaves and shape will still look fresh. Also, they can survive in low light, drought, and have few insect problems. NASA put the plant on its list of “Top Ten Household Air Cleaning Plants.” The Varigated Snake Plant can help remove toxins from the air such as: trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene. There are about 70 different species of snake plant, all native to tropical and subtropical regions of Europe, Africa, and Asia. They can grow anywhere from 8 inches to 12 feet. The most common variety and the one studied by NASA is the sansevieria trifasciata.

Peace Lily

The peace lily is an adaptable and low maintenance houseplant. Peace lilies are not true lilies, but rather a member of the Araceae family. There are a wide variety of sizes and types of peace lilies. Most serve as floor plants, as  they can reach three feet tall. NASA has also put the peace lily on its list of “Top Ten Household Air Cleaning Plants.” This tropical shade-loving plant helps cleanse the air we breathe. While we all appreciate cleaner air, it’s also their easy care, resiliency, and forgiving nature that makes them such popular houseplants.

If you are new to gardening, the worst thing you can do is start with a plant that is difficult to take care of. It is easy to get discouraged when your plant wilts or turns yellows and starts dropping leaves. But have no fear, it’s unlikely to happen when you pick plants that are easy to care for, such as the ones we listed. Add a couple of plants to your home this season to liven up and increase the positive vibes in your space.


When is the Best Time to Prune Trees and Shrubs

How many times have you paused to admire beautiful gardens nearby? The trees and shrubs complete the picture of a perfect home. In well-managed gardens, you will notice how the trees and shrubs look like a work of art. Breathtakingly beautiful, this is because they are well maintained and pruned.

Pruning is all about removing unwanted parts of the tree to improve its growth. When removing dead or overgrown branches and parts of the trees or shrubs that may have been affected by a disease a more favorable growing environment is being cultivated. Pruning trees and shrubs improves growth and beauty, and increases the tree’s lifespan. However, doing it at the wrong time can have negative consequences. 

The pruning process requires some time and effort. Here are some helpful tips you can use when deciding when you should prune trees and shrubs:

Pruning trees before Spring

Generally, early spring is a great time for pruning. Winter is a horrific time for trees and shrubs, as they are exposed to harsh weather elements, and some trees may not survive. Inspect your garden after winter to identify trees that need to be pruned in early spring. The main indicators to decide which trees will be pruned are the presence of dead or broken branches or trees that show signs of early bloom. Pruning trees just before the flowers bloom removes the parts of the trees that can hinder its bloom, if this happens, you may not witness the tree in all its beauty that year.

Trees that have shed their leaves

Some trees shed all their leaves in autumn. When all the leaves have fallen off, and the branches are exposed, it is time to do some pruning. It would be best if you made quick plans to prune before the winter season starts. The exposed branches make it easy to see which are crossed or dying. Also, if you need the tree to have a particular shape, you can prune branches to achieve the appearance you desire.

Windy seasons

If you live in an area prone to strong windy seasons, it will be best to prune trees in your garden before the winds begin. In this case, your goal is to prune thick branches that can be broken during strong winds. Broken branches can fall on your home or car cause other damage.

Trees with stunted growth

If some of your favorite trees in the garden show signs of stunted growth, you should prune some of the branches. These are probably trees that thrive on regrowth after cutting off branches that may be preventing the tree from thriving.

It is also necessary to identify your reason for pruning. Do you want the tree to grow bigger or control its size or shape? Your decision will help you plan the pruning process accordingly.

Pruning at any moment may not lead to your desired results. In fact, you may make the situation worse, and your tree or shrub may not survive. Alternatively, pruning at the perfect time will create a favorable growing environment for your tree or shrub to flourish. Following just a few simple rules or guidelines, can help immensely when trying to produce a thriving garden.


5 Ideas for an Outstanding Spring Garden

Would you like to be the proud owner of a luscious garden? You may have noticed you have neglected your outside space for a while, and some flowerbeds may have perished this past year. In any case there are many simple and steps you can take to spruce up your outside garden and space. 

Make a design plan

All successful projects start with solid planning. Creating your perfect garden can be a bit tricky, and knowing where to begin can be confusing, mostly because there are simply so many options to choose from. Do you desire a perfectly maintained lawn, or maybe a rose bush or two? Or a terrace with an outdoor kitchen to hang out with friends? Put your thoughts on paper before you drive to the nearest garden center, as you may end up coming home with a bag full of unnecessary supplies.

Know your greens

After the planning phase, make sure you know how to take care of potential flowers and/or plants. Are flowers your thing? Or do you want to add some trees or other large plants? Maybe you favor an easy open space to play baseball with the kid too? Make decisions about the growing objects in your garden, since these will stay for quite a while. You will also need to do research on maintenance; otherwise, your spring garden will soon become quite lifeless.

Know how to position flowers and plants

Not all plants can grow next to each other; same goes for flowers. All green specimens have their own preferences and thus they can have a negative impact on some other green brethren placed nearby. If you want your garden to flourish; spend some time reading about the specifics of a plant and determining its proximity to the other plants and flowers. That way you’ll be sure to create a lasting piece of natural art.

Create comfy places to sit down and relax

The best way to enjoy a spring garden is literally to sit in it and relax. Create a welcoming space by including seating, some chairs or maybe a hammock. Spending time out in nature has many benefits including providing a sense of tranquility, and giving  you time to enjoy your beautiful creation.

Ways to divide an outside space

If you are planning on creating several sectors, like a flowerbed next to a lawn or terrace; try to divide the sectors with your own unique edging. Edging made of natural stone usually works best, as it integrates well with the green environment. It will also make it easier to maintain the garden, as the separate plants and flowers will not likely pollinate each other and create chaos after a while. 

Rejuvenating your outside space will not only beautify your views, but also expand your useful square footage, and connect you with nature.


Natural Ways to Meet Your Neighbors

Meeting your new neighbors might not be at the top of your to-do list on any given day, but it is something you will likely need to do at some point. Instead of creating an uncomfortable situation for them and yourself, here are some easy suggestions to consider implementing for this social experience.

1) Offer a Friendly Greeting

A simple smile with a hello is often all that is necessary to meet people. Trying to juggle the chore of moving and all of the other issues that come with this task is enough of a challenge; offering a quick greeting can set up another meeting later.

2) Ask to Help

Instead of asking, “Is there some way I can help?” be specific with your request. If you can see that they have some heavy furniture to move, telling them that you can help with those items will often be greeted with gratitude.

3) Host a Welcome Party

Have a party at your place at a time that would generally work for most people. A casual get-together on a weekend afternoon for a couple of hours can put folks at ease while offering the chance at a good time. You might not get everyone there, but it is an opportunity to see a few new faces.

4) Drop Off a Gift

If you aren’t in the mood to meet someone new, offering a gift with a kind note works just as well as a smile and a hello.

5) Go Online

If you are anxious about meeting your neighbors in person, there may be on-line resources that would help. Many neighborhoods have a group page on websites like Nextdoor or Facebook. On these apps you can share news, events, and buy and sell items.

6) Let the pets break the ice

Strangers are more likely to initiate a conversion with someone out walking there dog, especially if they are a pet owner themselves. If you see a neighbor walking their pet or a pet in their yard with the owner you can use this as an opportunity to chat.

You could also start taking walks in your neighborhood, spend more time in your yard or common area, or begin a conversation by asking where the best place to eat in the community happens to be. That will make this process much more natural and you might even make a new friend.


5 Tips for Being a Good Neighbor and Homeowner

No matter where you live, you are likely to be surrounded by neighbors. The goal is to ensure your street lives in harmony without drama or complaints. This will lead to an overall more positive and pleasant neighborhood.

Here are five surprisingly simple tips for being a good neighbor and homeowner:

  1. Know what you are getting into before you buy

 You can avoid a lot of potential problems by knowing your neighborhood and neighbors before purchasing a home. When out shopping for homes, spend a little time on the street or in the general area. Feel free to introduce yourself to anyone you spot, and ask them about the neighborhood. Asking questions like whether they feel the neighborhood is safe, what they like or dislike about the neighborhood, and about the homeowners association, if there is one.

  1. Keep the noise down

The expectation isn’t to maintain total silence, but instead to ensure a reasonable noise level, respectful of the time of day or night. For example, if you have kids don’t let them run around the house screaming until the crack of dawn. If you are throwing a house party, don’t keep the music blaring late into the night. The general guideline is to avoid unnecessary noise between 9pm and 9am.

  1. Maintain your home’s frontage 

It’s important to take care of your front yard. Keep the grass trimmed, the hedges and/or plants tidy, and the driveway clear of clutter. The value of homes is influenced by the quality of the street and neighborhood. You don’t want to be the one dragging down the appeal of your area. General maintenance should be enough to keep it looking good.

  1. Welcome new neighbors 

If someone new moves next door or opposite you on your street, whether they’ve purchased the property or are leasing, it’s a great idea to welcome them into their new home. Help the new family feel welcome by introducing yourself and letting them know you’re there to help them settle in if needed. It’s a much-appreciated gesture that won’t go unnoticed. 

  1. Lead by example, be a good neighbor yourself 

In addition to being conscious of your noise levels and properly maintaining your home, you should also mind your pets. If you have a dog, pick up after it, and depending on your dog’s level of training, you may need to keep it on a leash while walking it. Also be considerate when parking. Make sure you don’t block your neighbor’s driveway or take up more space than needed, when parking on the street.

If you follow these points of common courtesy and etiquette, you will be a good neighbor and homeowner. You will help contribute to a happier, more welcoming street that people will enjoy living on.

 


8 Home Design Trends that Will Rule 2019

Want to know how to improve your personal space with the latest design trends? Interior design has become a large influence on our lives. After all, who would even dare to invite friends over for a dinner party when the venue is not up to par. If you want your house to be the life of the party, read on for the latest design trends for the upcoming year.

Craftsmanship

Choosing well-crafted furniture is fashionable again, as opposed to stockpiling Ikea items just because they’re cheap. Go out and find a local atelier or a neighborhood carpenter, so you can have a craftsman design your own unique piece. It will surely give your interior a personal touch.

Metal makes a comeback

Metal is back from…well, it never really left. Iron, copper, stainless steel and aluminum are all popular in 2019. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer a classical or modern interior; a touch of metal will guarantee to provide you with an edge that will make your interior shine.

Nature as a guiding force

With the trend of valuing natural items, going back to our roots seems plausible. Which is why natural elements like wood and plants is so popular. People want to feel like they can breathe in your home, so crank up that photosynthesis and invest in some green additions or at least a wooden table. You won’t regret it.

Flowers are timeless

Flowers never fall out of fashion. The petals might fall out in due time though, so remember to refresh your flower arrangements from time to time.

Concrete is still happening

Concrete seems like a boring and cold material, but it sure has its benefits. It’s extremely resistant to all sorts of moisture damage and it has an overall sleek look and feel. If you want to create a downtown atmosphere that is reminiscent of a Brooklyn loft, invest in some concrete accents. Success guaranteed.

Vintage accents to counter Minimalism

Last but not least; don’t forget the value of nostalgia. If you want a pleasant atmosphere in your house, invest in some classic items. And to create that authentic feel, don’t forget the vintage pieces like a collector’s Hermes scarf on the coat rack. These historical gems will make any lifeless place come to life in the blink of an eye.

Pattern

Designers aren’t just going bold with color: geometric patterns, abstract prints and nature-inspired motifs like florals, which were emerging trends last year, will continue to be popular in 2019.

A Resort in Your Backyard

Homeowners want luxury hotel amenities in their backyards. They want all the amenities and the look of a luxury hotel and even go a bit further with outdoor home theaters, poolside televisions and pizza ovens from Italy. Another popular feature is artificial turf because it always looks perfect. It can be used in shady areas and does not require water and chemicals to keep it healthy.


8 Ways to Make Your Home Look Welcoming in Winter

Everyone loves that cozy winter feeling.  It’s a great time to snuggle up on the couch while watching the snow fall outside or while watching your favorite Christmas movie on TV.  Preferably while eating some nice nourishing food. If  you want your house to feel warm and welcoming this winter. Below are some very easy tips and tricks to achieve this feeling without much effort. Here is a list of 8 ways to make your house look like Santa’s haven on the North Pole, but be warned you might get so comfortable that you will not want to leave your house anymore this season.

1. Change your Lighting

Lighting can change any space in an instant. If you want your living room to look more comfy for example, consider changing some lamps and strategically positioning them to create a nice effect. An inexpensive option is to simply buy a new set of bulbs with a lower wattage than your current ones.

2. Buy some New Colorful Cushions

Everyone loves changing their interior from time to time and one of the most efficient ways to do this, is by investing in some new textiles. Go to your local store and look around for warm colors. Think in terms of red, orange, emerald green, and golden accessories. These can make an otherwise chilly atmosphere multiple degrees warmer in a heartbeat.

3. Splash a new Coat of Paint on your Wall

If you have some spare time, you might like to change the color of your wall to something warmer. Especially if your walls are all white, this can make a huge difference. If you’re not sure which color will suit you, pick up a few paint samples and compare these to your interior.

4. Adding Tablecloths can make any Kitchen Welcoming

It might seem a bit old-fashioned and something that your grandmother would invest in. But this can actually brighten up your kitchen or dining room. Nowadays there are vast arrays of designs and materials available, ranging from minimal to modern to colorful. It will definitely make your table more inviting and your house as well.

5. Behold the Magic of Fire 

There is almost nothing nicer than coming home to warm fire in the fireplace on a cold winter day. If you have the luxury of having one that is a big plus. If your house doesn’t have a chimney you can still get the same benefits from a gas fireplace.

6. Invest in some Paintings

If you really want to create that warm Christmas feeling, try going to an art market and art gallery and look for some winter paintings. Maybe a still life of some fruit or a wintery landscape? It might sound cheesy but once it’s on your wall, you will definitely feel like cozying up with some friends and family.

7. Buy solid Wood Furniture and Accessories

For that authentic winter cottage feel, invest in some wooden accessories. Maybe a new table or bench, or smaller options like bowls, vases, and shelves. Wood has the capacity to transform the ambiance of a space, plus it also looks authentic and you can personalize wood to a great extent.

8. Put Food on the Table

Something that will always radiate warmth and comfort is food. It’s no coincidence that someone invented the phrase ‘comfort food’.  A plate of cookies or a bowl of tasty winter fruit and your home  will look comfy and welcoming. And any visitors will most certainly agree.

 


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