Category Archives: home
Everyone’s life is busy. Whether you are a working single person or a working parent, or just don’t like cleaning, hiring a cleaning service either regularly or upon occasion is something you should consider.
Many people look at paying someone to clean their house as a luxury because it costs money and it is something that they can do themselves. However, it really depends on your reason, budget, and personal lifestyle that will help you decide if this is a good decision for you.
Parents need to learn how to balance many aspects of their lives, especially if they work. The days start out with getting everyone out of bed and ready for school or work, shopping, making sure homework is completed, paying bills, preparing meals, running errands, and then getting children off to bed at the right time to be ready to wake up and start the process all over again.
It is often difficult for parents to keep up with the daily challenges of everyday life including keeping their house clean. Hiring a professional cleaning service, even once a month for the big cleaning, can be very helpful in alleviating some of the pressures of working parents.
You don’t want to hire just any company to come into your home. It is important that you find a company that is licensed, bonded, insured, and certified. According to Amazon Cleaning, providing experienced and highly-trained personnel who have gone through extensive background checks will guarantee that customers are not only satisfied but will also enjoy a spotless home.
Once you make the decision to hire a cleaning company, you want to have the confidence that your personal and property interests are protected while knowing that you have hired reputable and reliable professionals.
Yes, you can actually save money by hiring a professional cleaning company. As most homeowners know, they have to maintain a supply of various cleaning materials for different rooms in their house and for different surfaces. Most cleaning services not only provide their own supplies but also their own equipment. Not only are you saving money on supplies, you are also extending the life of your vacuum cleaner as it won’t be used as often. Good vacuum cleaners can be very expensive. Also, don’t forget that time is money and your time is valuable
Life can be stressful. Many people are overextended and have more to do than there are hours in a day. Some find it difficult to juggle the time and energy needed to get everything done. Keeping your house clean and in order can take a toll on one’s family, marriage, work, and even health. Some people might feel guilty when cleaning their house because it is taking time away from friends and loved ones. Others might feel guilty if they don’t take the time to clean and have a messy house. Hiring someone else to clean your house can go a long way in reducing the stress in your life. Think about how nice it would be to come home from a hard day’s work and walk into your newly cleaned home.
You Hate Housework
Yes, it’s true that most of us have to do some things in our lives that we just don’t like to do. In some cases, cleaning is one of those things. Hiring a professional cleaner does not mean you are avoiding your responsibility, living extravagantly, or that you are lazy. If you are able to, why not focus your time and energy on aspects of your life that you enjoy and where you are proficient?
Some people also never learned how to clean everything in the most efficient and effective manner. There are trick and tips that professional cleaners learn with time and experience.
A Possible Compromise
For those people who can’t decide whether or not to hire a professional cleaner, or who do not have enough money to hire one every week or even those who feel guilty for paying someone to do something they can do themselves, how about bringing in a professional cleaning service once a month? Or even once every 2-3 months?
This way, you can take care of the general day-to-day cleaning and leave it to the professionals to do the occasional larger-scale deep cleaning.
Many websites such as focuswinecellars.com sell wine cabinets or coolers. If you’ve never purchased a wine cooler before, though, you may be lost about what to look for. Which features should you consider to get a wine cooler that meets your needs? Below are some tips that can make the process easier.
Consider the Size of the Cooler
The first and most important thing to consider is the cooler size. How many bottles of wine do you hope to store inside your cabinet? Also, think about how much space you have and your spending limit.
In general, most coolers are large enough to store 12 bottles of wine. This is a pretty standard size. If you have the space, however, choose a size that can fit an extra four or five bottles of wine. For example, a chiller that holds 15 to 18 bottles gives you plenty of storage with a little room to grow. However, they make wine cabinets that are much bigger. Some are large enough to store more than 50 bottles.
Get the Temperature Just Right
Another big factor to consider is the temperature. Any wine enthusiast knows that wines need to be chilled and stored at certain temperatures to preserve the taste. Most red and white wines are stored at two separate temperatures.
For example, red wine is usually stored at between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit, while white wine needs to be a bit cooler at 49 to 56 degrees. Unless you like drinking only one type of wine, it may be beneficial to buy two small coolers instead of one large cooler. However, you could consider getting a cooler that has dual climate control.
Block Those UV Rays
Did you know that ultraviolet lights are harmful to wine? The more UV rays that wine is exposed to, the more that it changes the original flavor. One way around this is to look for wine coolers that block UV rays. They typically come with special filters for the glass doors. The filters allow you to still peer into the cabinets, but they prevent UV light from passing through. This feature typically doesn’t cost much and will do your wine a world of good.
Finding the right wine cooler can help you store your bottles properly for a long time to come. If you love drinking wine, you don’t want to be without at least one wine cooler that can keep it at the correct temperature. Considering the above factors will ensure that you never waste a perfectly good bottle of wine again.
Home design trends are integral to the work of an architect; clients will always be influenced by the homes they see on interior design blogs, so it’s important to stay aware of the latest movements. This year, layouts, features, and systems are evolving to suit the growing needs of the modern day homeowner, relying on both technological advances and ancient building practices to transform the architectural landscape.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the building sector consumes nearly half of all the energy we produce in the United States, so the lean toward sustainable design comes as no surprise. Whichever way you look at it, the future of architecture is going to be spectacular. Here are four innovative trends to watch out for this year.
Perhaps one of the most notable design trends for 2018 is the move toward earthen living. Over the years, home design has become increasingly energy efficient, but environmentalists think we can do better. Cue the development of organic architecture: a reliance on ancient building techniques and biodegradable, earthly materials that take us back to our roots. Despite having been built from dirt and stone, today’s “earth houses” are far from primitive, with structures proving comfortable, strong and beautiful. It is estimated that 50% of the world’s population lives in earthen architecture – and this is something Western countries are starting to pay attention to.
Flexible Floor Plans
On the other end of the spectrum, the world continues to move toward a more seamless, technology-driven existence. This means our homes are becoming more adaptable to our needs, paving the way for sliding partition walls and flexible floor plans. Adaptable design will allow rooms to transform into other rooms and living spaces to change along with our changing lifestyles. A large home office could, for instance, be divided into two rooms to accommodate a nursery; or else a dining room could flow seamlessly into the kitchen for family mealtimes, but become a smaller, more intimate space for dinner parties.
Adaptable “Bonus” Rooms
Dedicated living and dining rooms could also be replaced by large, adaptable multi-purpose spaces. While this trend accommodates our growing need for flexibility, it also remains conscious of the environmental and societal impact of larger homes. The trend towards minimalism and the Tiny House Movement of 2017 means many people are thinking of ways they can downsize or make the most of their existing spaces. Some modern homes also include private “bonus” rooms that can be adapted to suit a variety of needs.
This year will also see a trend towards the great outdoors, with many homeowners designing their backyards to accommodate everyday living. We’ve already seen outdoor lighting and garden decor soar in popularity over the past couple of years, but 2018 is set to take the design trend one step further. Expect to see bigger and bolder porch ceiling lights in modern homes, like the statement pendants and outdoor chandeliers available from YLighting, as well as sofas that look like they belong inside, wooden nesting tables and even tapestry rugs.
All in all, 2018 is set to be a dichotomous year for home design. While we continue to rely on technology to adapt our homes to our changing needs, there is also an increased sensitivity toward the environment and a need to return to more primitive times.
Having a garden is one thing, but transforming it into an idyllic piece of land is another. You need to take pride in your outdoor space, especially if you love to host parties and events. Having a garden that’s so-so, lacking in color and vibrancy, as well as full of weeds and dying plants isn’t going to cut it. Instead, you need to find ways to make it stand out and improve its attractiveness.
Learn about the impact landscape architecture has on an area like this one, and how paying attention to this concept will elevate the charm of your space. Take your garden to another level by investing time and money into making it look nice. Pay attention to the details and see what other people are doing to get a feel for what you like before you get started.
Plants & Greenery
Take care of your landscaping and hire a professional to help make your vision a reality. Include a lot of unique and attractive plants and trees, and add elements of surprise like a fountain or sculpture. Make people forget where they are when they enter your garden and create a lush environment to enjoy. A green scene has a way of putting you in a good mood and makes you appreciate nature and all its beauty.
While natural lighting is ideal, it’s not going to get you through all hours of the day. If you have a roof of some kind, then hanging lights from it can be a wonderful and quirky way to make a statement while providing a means of seeing during nighttime. If you want to create a funky yet elegant design, then installing a unique Sputnik Chandelier can create such an atmosphere; such futuristic lighting can create a truly remarkable environment for all to enjoy. When lighting your space, think big and bold. After all, you want to design something out of the world and truly unique, and lanterns and fairy lights are nothing when compared to daring alternatives.
Make sure there’s plenty of seating in your garden. Think large, comfortable couches, benches or crates flipped upside down and covered with a boho cushion. This is your chance to shop around for modern solutions that offer a striking element to your garden. Think of how seat cushions can add a pop of color to the space too.
Bar & Refreshment Area
Build a bar and offer drinks and snacks in your garden and patio area. This way you don’t have to go inside when someone’s hungry or thirsty. Build the bar that’s facing the entertainment area, and where everyone will be sat socializing; stock it with many refreshments to limit trips inside. This is another area you should take time to decorate. Consider adding lighting under the countertop and reflective mirrors behind the bar. Have plenty of modern stools placed along the bar too.
Add greenery and modern décor to your garden and watch how quickly it transforms into a masterpiece. Make sure you attend to the details and take your time. Use this project as a way to improve your design and decorating skills. When it’s all done be sure to enjoy it and appreciate all your hard work.
Buying a house is a huge investment both financially and emotionally. Choosing where to live is no easy decision, you must consider a number of factors and mark each one against your lifestyle. You want your chosen neighborhood to have good transport links to be accessible for work, have an abundance of amenities, good schools, public spaces, and so the list continues. Once you have narrowed down your options, and selected areas on which to focus your search, you can then begin to look for a property that satisfies your needs.
It can be easy to be put off properties by their current condition, but to find a home that you can add real value to, you need to look beyond the cosmetic condition. As long as the property is structurally sound, and ticks your accommodation requirements, you have an opportunity to grow your investment while putting your own design style on it. Here are the top 3 ways to add value to your home.
Kitchens are no longer just a functional necessity for the home. Kitchens are now multi-use spaces that families spend a lot of time in. If the property you are considering has a kitchen that needs attention, do not despair! While you are viewing it, try and establish whether the walls of the room are loadbearing; if they are not, they can easily be removed to make the room bigger. When it comes to the design for your new kitchen, choose durable flooring that will be easy to maintain, and adequate storage solutions so that counters can be kept clutter free to maximize the feeling of space.
Bathrooms are the one room in the house that can provide a solitary sanctuary from the stresses of everyday life. Updating your bathroom will allow you to create an environment that you can relax and unwind in. While the bathroom furniture you select needs to be functional, this does not have to be at the expense of style. While trends come and go, a safe yet stylish option would be to incorporate contemporary bathroom products into your design. For example, the Duravit collection of bathroom furniture will give a contemporary update to your bathroom with its earthenware pieces. Even the smallest of bathrooms can be given a luxurious upgrade, just remember to choose furniture that retains visibility of the floor space to create the illusion of space.
The Curb Appeal
People often concentrate on the interiors of their home to add value, but is important to pay attention to the curb appeal of your property. Your outside space provides the backdrop to your home, and is an opportunity for you to show your design flair too. If gardening isn’t your thing, choose low maintenance options for the garden’s design. Remember, that you look out of your windows into this space, so you want it to be optimized for your enjoyment from inside, just as much as when you are outside.
You will hopefully have many happy years in your new home, and while cosmetic updates do cost money to fulfill, by choosing wisely this money will be returned to you when you come to sell the house. You don’t have to do all the updates at once, make a list of what you would like to change, and prioritize the rooms as you see fit.
Let’s face it. The duties of being a parent are never-ending.
Our day-to-day consists of getting everyone ready for school, paying the bills, checking items off our to-do list, having dinner ready for all at night, and ensuring that everyone is ready for bed to start preparing for the next day.
Our days spent as parents can often be described as cyclical since they tend to occur in the same fashion each and every day.
Think about your day as a parent. Besides the cycle just mentioned, what other variables can get thrown at you during the day?
Some deal with work, socialization, and other outside factors as well.
However, there is one common that all parents also handle, which is making certain that the house stays organized and clean on a daily basis. It can be hard to make time for this to happen! With all the other commitments and obligations we have as parents, sometimes, this step can fall through the cracks, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
There are ways to keep up with your day-to-day and also keep up with the upkeep of housework, too.
How can you make it happen? Here are a few tips on how to make it easier on yourself when you clean your home.
- Think small. If you stop and think that you have the entire house to clean, it can be overwhelming. Start small, and break it up into floors or sections. Instead of saying that you need to clean the entire house, start by saying that today you are going to focus on only the bathrooms in your home. Making it sound smaller or more of a simple to-do task also makes it feel more manageable and doable.
- Involve the kids. Who says that parents should be the only ones that are required to clean? Everyone in your family lives in the house, so why not have everyone in the family help to keep that house clean? Have a weekly chore list assigned to each child in the home (Pinterest has some nice ones you can print out). Giving tasks such as cleaning their room, sweeping and vacuuming the common areas and washing, drying and putting away the dishes are great chores that kids can help do. It also helps to relieve some of those items that you have to do on your to-do list!
- Set a cleaning schedule. Take out the work of thinking about what needs to be cleaned each and every day, and set a schedule so you automatically know what to clean based on whatever day of the week it is. Have Monday be laundry day, Tuesday is the day to clean up the living room, Wednesday can be bathroom day…and on and on. Leave a bit of extra time in case there happen to be areas that need some extra attention or a surprising mess that needs to be quickly cleaned, but overall, planning your days to clean certain areas will also help with your time management skills.
- Invest in good cleaning products. While cleaning products may be expensive to buy, it is also good to have products that aid in the efficiency of how you are able to use them. This goes for detergents, brooms, vacuum cleaners, and even your own iRobot robotic cleaner if you can afford it (Parenting Pod has a good summary of the different models available).
- Remove items that don’t belong in rooms. In homes with children, toys are more than likely scattered from room to room. Start removing items in each room that don’t belong there. Once you have those items in hand, immediately take them to the space or room where they should be. By doing this, it instantly helps to clear up clutter and make the room appear less-crowded and more manageable. Most messes start with a foundation of clutter, so by lessening that from the beginning, the cleaning factor may also feel less daunting as well.
As a parent, cleaning is one of the chores that tops our list. While it can be hard at times to be motivated to stay on top of cleaning up the house and all the messes that show up on a daily basis, it doesn’t have to be.
Try the suggestions listed above to see if they can help you make that cleaning a tad bit easier. Before you know it, your home may have such a great cleaning routine going on that the upkeep that goes along with it may take minimal time out of your daily schedule!
Buying a home is a big step. There is a lot that goes into it, and with so many things going on at once, some items might get overlooked. However before you make your purchase, it’s important that you go over some key details to ensure you know what you are getting into. To help you out, here are 6 things you’ll want to look at and consider before you sign any papers.
There’s a saying in the business world – “Location, location, location.” Essentially this means that no matter what your business is, the location is the most important factor. This is also true for your home. The location of the home will play a large role in not only the price, but how much you enjoy it. How far are you from the local stores? What school district are you in? Are there fun things to do nearby? What’s the weather like in this area? These are all important things to consider before you buy your home. You don’t want to make a purchase, only to discover it’s a long drive to get groceries, or that your area is prone to get bad hurricanes.
Looking a little closer to home, you’ll want to get a read on your potential neighbors if you can. Do they take care of their property? Do they have young kids? Are there any complaints within the neighborhood? Imagine moving you and your family in, only to discover the house next door is a home for a college fraternity. Problems with your neighbors could put a damper on the fun you experience from buying a home, so find out what you can before you move in.
Moving in closer, we have the landscape surrounding your home. What sort of privacy do you have in your yard? Is there a lot of work that needs to be done? Do certain areas flood after a heavy rainstorm? Changing the landscape of a yard is usually expensive, and you’ll want to think about this before you make any decisions. While you can certainly change things after you buy the home, it’s better if you don’t have to do too much work in order to get your yard the way you want it.
Moving inside the home, you’ll want to examine any major appliances and hardware that are coming with the home. Things like the furnace, washer and dryer, central air conditioning, and dish washer are all expensive pieces, and you need to know what kind of shape they are in. The cost of your home is likely impacted by the inclusion of these pieces, but if they are in bad shape or need repairs, you don’t want to pay extra for them. Examine each carefully and make sure they work, and even consider having an expert come into the home and inspect them for you. Here is a list of the appliances you should check before including them in the sale of the home.
After the appliances, you’ll want to check on the floors within the home. Are they in good shape? Are you going to need to replace the carpeting? Do you notice any signs of water damage? Replacing the floor of a room can be costly, especially if it’s a larger room, so the less you have to do the better. Don’t be afraid to get down close and really examine the floors if need be to ensure they are in good shape.
Finally, after looking down at the floors, look up towards the ceilings and the roof. If the roof is in bad shape, you could be in for some costly repairs. Take a look on the outside and see if you notice any damage. On the inside, you’ll want to look for signs of water damage within the ceilings – or signs that water damage was covered up. You can hire an expert to come in and examine the roof for you, or you can try to do it yourself. Either way, just be sure the roof is in good condition before you buy anything.
Doing Your Due Diligence
When buying a home, you need to check over every nook and cranny. There are some parts of the home you’ll want to give extra attention to however, as they could lead to costly jobs down the road. If you’re set on a home, consider hiring local professionals to examine it one last time before you complete the sale.
For instance, if you’re looking at homes for sale in Woodinville, WA, you could work with your local realtor, or check online listings, for professionals in that area. Experts in the area will know best what to look for in those types of homes, and will be able to give you a solid assessment. No matter how you go about it, as long as you are thorough, and examine the items mentioned above, you should find yourself pleased with your new home.
In Louisiana, the main weather event we have to be prepared for every year is hurricane season. This lasts from June to November. But, due to the nature of the weather we have been having all across the nation, I thought it would be a good idea to write about how to put together an emergency preparedness kit that will help you in a variety of situations. I should note that this is based on my experiences from the last time we had a severe tropical storm that cut our power out for several days. The list I am writing will help get you started but it’s highly open to customization. For another option, you can purchase ready made kits from companies such as My Patriot Supply.
- Bottled water, at least 2 gallons. Add more if you will need it to make formula for infants.
- Canned food that will be in date for the next 2-3 years
- A manual can opener
- Matches or lighter
- A radio for hearing weather updates. A weather radio is recommended since sometimes signals for broadcast radio stations can go down in strong winds. A weather radio will ensure you can hear what’s going on at all times since it doesn’t use those broadcast stations.
- A lantern
- Candles, although I don’t recommend them if you will have toddlers around
- Supplies for an infant–choose items that will keep for several months in the kit. You can usually get formula with an expiration date of at least 6 months ahead. Purchase diapers perhaps a size bigger than the one your child wears. Wipes will keep for a long time and I would add plenty, because chances are they will be used by more than just the baby in your household.
- On that note, if you have children, add something for them to do that does not require power. I can tell you that my child is definitely one of this digital age, and he’ll get bored quickly. A coloring book, a board game, cards, and small art set are all good ideas to add to your kit. Try to put something in that your kids haven’t seen yet or in a while so it will be new to them.
- Batteries for the things that need them, such as flashlights, lanterns, kids games, etc.
- A first aid kit
- Hand sanitizer
- Pet food if you have the need
Be sure to check your kit at the beginning of each season to make sure your supplies inside are still good and to see if anything needs to be added or replaced based on the needs of your family. Getting kits from a survival supplier such as My Patriot Supply will ensure the items in your kit are exactly right to have you and your family prepared for your emergency situation.
Installing carpeting throughout an entire home is costly, but there are ways for you to save in upgrading your flooring. How exactly do you go about doing this? What is the best way to install quality-carpeting, not compromise on the look you want, and save? Consider these tips.
You can purchase the carpeting from a “bulk” or mass-retailer. Warehouses which sell to commercial companies , may also sell to homeowners as well. Not only is carpeting cheaper, you can also find commercial-grade, and industrial-grade (berber-type finish), which is durable, and will last for years to come.
Consider having the company you buy the carpet from do the installation work as well. There are often deals which include “free installation” with whole-home purchase, or discounts on flooring if you buy for an entire home. So, rather than hire two companies (one to buy carpeting from and another installation company), do it all with one specialist. Check out Yourjobcost.co.uk to get an idea of how much carpet fitting costs.
Believe it or not, you can order carpeting online. And, you can compare several mass-retailers which offer free shipping, online deals, and installation. So, you will find various qualities, material-finishes, colours, and varieties, all for an affordable price. And, you can have it shipped and installed same (or next-day) with most of these companies.
There’s no way around it. With any consumer purchase, you have to shop to save. And, the same goes with your home’s flooring. So, before you buy new carpeting, compare, get a few quotes, and consider all specialists.
You have options when it comes to new flooring for your home. Make sure you know all of them before you buy. When purchasing and installing new carpeting for your entire home, these are a few simple tips to save, and ensure you get the quality you desire.
You’re wasting your backyard if you don’t want to spend time in it. Your backyard should be a place where you go to relax or to have fun. But for many people, their backyards are simply part of their property, and they don’t spend any time in them because they’re not fixed up. If this sounds like your home, here are a few ideas on how to fix up your yard, and turn it into a place in which you actually want to spend time.
Do Some Landscaping
First up, think about if your backyard needs some landscaping. Consider adding in some bushes, trees, a garden, or grass. You want your backyard to look alive, and adding colorful flowers or healthy plants is a great way to achieve this. You can do smaller projects on your own, but for larger work consider hiring a professional landscaper.
Add a Patio
Next, you’re going to want a place to sit within your backyard. Lawns are often uneven, so installing a patio is the best way to go. A patio gives you a flat space for things like chairs, tables, benches, and more. When done right, a patio is an excellent addition to any yard, and makes it more likely that you’ll spend time out there.
Set Up a Fire Pit or Fireplace
On chilly nights there’s nothing better than gathering around a fire. You can’t just set fire to whatever is nearby though. Digging a fire pit within the yard is one option, or you can purchase a fireplace for outdoors. Either option gives you a way to warm up on cold nights, and something to gather around. Now you can spend time outside at night as well as during the day.
Install A Water Feature
Another great add to any patio or backyard space is a water feature. One option is to install a pond, with a built-in fountain or waterfall. Ponds look great in almost any yard, and if you add a fountain or waterfall, the relaxing sounds add to the atmosphere. Another option is to use a pond-less waterfall. These are typically smaller in size, but still provide you with the relaxing sound of falling water. In fact, according to Paradise Ponds, a Colorado Springs based landscaping company, pond-less waterfalls are one of the hottest trends. Consider any of these options if you want a water feature in your yard.
Play Some Music
If you don’t want to listen to just water running, then add in some of your favorite music. With a portable Bluetooth speaker you can connect directly to your favorite device, and play whatever music you’d like. Speakers come in all shapes and sizes – some even look like rocks to blend in – so you’re sure to find something that works for your needs and budget.
Make it Comfortable
All of these additions to your backyard go to waste if you are unable to enjoy them. For that, you need some comfortable seating in the area. This could be as simple as adding some comfy chairs around a table, or you could install a swinging chair, or even a hammock. Lounge chairs are also another option if you want the ability to lay down. Whatever you choose, just make sure it’s comfortable so that you are likely to spend even more time outside.
Keep Pests Away
Imagine you’ve done some of the suggestions above – such as adding in a relaxing waterfall on your patio, along with some comfortable lounge chairs. You’re outside enjoying your new space, when suddenly mosquitoes start to bite. This will quickly put an end to your relaxing time. When you’re working on your yard, take steps to keep pests away from the area. Candles can sometimes help, as can a fan. Also remove any sources of standing water nearby. For larger pests – such as mice – think about installing a fake owl to scare them away. If you want to know more, here are some suggestions for keeping pets away from your yard.
Give Yourself Some Privacy
Finally, if you’re going to be spending more time outside, either by yourself or with company, you’ll want some privacy. Unless you have a lot of space between you and your neighbors, you’ll likely want to put something up to block their view. One option is to install a fence, or you could plant some large bushes or trees. No one likes the feeling that someone is watching them, so give yourself the privacy you deserve while building up your backyard.
Don’t Let Your Yard go to Waste
If you’re lucky enough to have a yard at your home, you don’t want it to go to waste. By following a few of the simple suggestions mentioned above, you can turn your yard into a place you love to spend time. There are plenty of ways to transform a backyard, and once you get started, you’ll love the difference they make.