Category Archives: home

5 Must Have Bedroom Accessories to Help You Sleep

A bedroom should be a place of rest, where we can come to at the end of a hard day’s work to relax and unwind. It is one of the few places in the house we can truly call our own, so it makes sense to want to personalize it. Here are some ways in which you can do just that with the added benefit of helping you to get a good night’s sleep.

Wall Art

Whilst you may like to line your bedroom walls with photos of family and friends to keep the area more personal to you, it may surprise you to know that having photos near to your bed can stir up emotions and memories that make it harder to fall asleep. Keep family portraits in the living room or hallway and hang some large canvas art depicting green spaces, seascapes, or pictures with repeating patterns. These have all been proven to relax the mind.

Plants

If you are looking for something decorative yet practical, plants can actually be extremely beneficial in more ways than one. Plants purify the air we breathe by helping to remove odors and mold spores. As these spores can affect our breathing, it can cause us to have a restless night, so a plant in your bedroom can help you get better quality sleep. In addition, there are some plants that have been proven to have a calming effect, helping to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Add some plants such as lavender and jasmine to your bedroom if you struggle to fall asleep at night.

Organic Bedding

Following on from the notion that purer air can help you sleep better, you can also help to remove allergens from the air by investing in new bed sheets. Conventional cotton bed sheets use cotton that has been grown using insecticides, pesticides, and other harmful chemicals. Organic cotton sheets, however, are made without the use of chemicals so anyone with allergies, especially skin allergies, should consider making the switch to organic bedding.

Storage

When your bedroom is filled with clutter, it can have a direct impact on the quality of sleep you have. Going to bed in a disorganized room will cause your brain, consciously or subconsciously, to register that there is a job to do – a room to tidy – and this causes feelings of stress and guilt that manifest themselves whilst you sleep. As we sleep, our body and mind start to refresh, but this process is hindered when there are more sources of stress in our lives. Invest in some quality storage that can keep your belongings hidden from view, such as under bed boxes, over door hangers, or an ottoman.

A Quality Mattress

This one may seem obvious, but there are so many people that have slept on the same mattress for years that they probably don’t even know that it is the root cause of their sleeping problems. Mattresses should be replaced every eight to ten years, as like any furniture or appliance in your home, they will eventually become worn down. A lack of sleep due to an ill -supporting mattress can lead to irritability, weight gain, and poor overall health. If you have been sleeping on the same mattress for years, it makes sense to invest in a new one.

If you are looking to revamp your bedroom, make sure to look into accessories that not only look great, but can be beneficial to a good night’s sleep too.

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3 Easy Ways to Make Your Home More Welcoming

You want your home setting to be as welcoming and comfortable as possible for you, your family and your guests. With a few simple changes, you’ll be able to create the inviting atmosphere that you desire. Here are three easy ways to make your home more welcoming.

Improve the Lighting

If the lighting is just right, anyone who walks into your home will feel more at ease right away. The bulbs for your light fixtures should emit soft light that still makes it easy to see without being too strenuous on the eyes. Using lanterns or floating candles to generate some of your light can also be more appealing. You can also try putting up some white string lights around your doors and windows.

Add Some Appealing Aromas

Certain aromas can also make a home setting more welcoming. Essential oils or air fresheners with scents like vanilla, lemon and lavender are great for enhancing the atmosphere. You can also try cooking some of your favorite foods with grill seasoning sets and letting the tantalizing smells linger for a while. Another simple trick is to heat a little bit of cinnamon in a pan.

Enhance the Entranceway

Anyone who enters your setting will immediately feel more at home if your entranceway is enhanced just right. A welcoming mat placed on your doorstep along with a long rug that sits inside the entranceway can make people feel as though they’re receiving the red-carpet treatment. Placing some mirrors, pictures or artwork just inside the entranceway can also help give a warm welcoming.

These are just a few of the simplest ways to create a living space that makes everyone feel like they’re wanted in your home. With a little imagination and creativity, you’ll likely be able to find additional ways to make your home more welcoming.

Top Benefits of Having an Electric Fireplace in Your Home

The warmth of the fireplace not only looks enchanting but gives the heart a warm and comfortable feeling.

Traditionally, people used to use real wood for a fireplace. This process involves money, work and may prove to be dangerous if not done properly. You can buy an electric fireplace instead. It provides a beautiful visual of an actual fireplace. It will give your home a very rich, unique and classy look, and will also provide the desired coziness during winter months. The flames of the electric fireplace look as realistic as a real fireplace without the harmful fumes of a real fire. Here are the top benefits of having an electric fireplace at your home.

Hassle-free installation
If you have a real fireplace then it will require you to collect wood and then burn it. This is not possible if you are living in a rented home. Moreover, an electric fireplace will not require you to damage your home by breaking a wall. These fireplaces come with a stand that can be placed anywhere. This also ensures portability which means you can place it in any room in your house. Some fireplaces can be hung up against a wall.

Provides warmth without danger
Electric fireplaces do not give out smoke and they do not have any gas burning, hence they are absolutely safe. Moreover, they provide more warmth, and unlike actual wood fireplaces, they do not give out smoke from the chimney. All the warmth is preserved in the room and so it heats up the room fast and gives a feeling of coziness.

A great decoration piece
You can impress your friends with your electric fireplace. It is a great decoration piece for your home. It comes in a variety of designs. You can check out some of the stylish designs from Hvacify.Com and give your house a makeover at affordable prices.

Zero or less maintenance
If you are using a real fireplace then you have to clean up the chimney, the ash, and soot. Electric fireplaces are plug and go devices so you do not need to take extensive care. You can use it when you want and just get servicing done once a year to maintain it.

Energy efficient
Electric fireplaces do not consume a lot of electricity since they heat only a particular room at a time and not the entire home. This will help in managing your electric bills and will not burn a hole in your pocket, unlike your electric heaters.

Natural look and feel and longevity
Electric fireplaces are less prone to erosion and rust. They last longer than electric heaters. It will bring a part of nature inside your home and make your home feel warm and cozy.

Are you willing to enjoy the warmth and coziness of a real fireplace without facing any safety hazards or the difficulty of maintenance? Then get your electric fireplace today! It is more efficient, cost-effective and easier to maintain and will give your home a grand look.

COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO BACKYARD GARDENING

What do you do when you are urban dweller with a passion for farming but you have limited space? Start a backyard garden. You don’t have to live in the ranches found at the countryside to put your farming skills into use. A backyard garden is also one of the ways of landscaping your home.

A backyard garden, if tended to well, can produce enough yields to meet your family’s need for fresh organic products like vegetables and fruits. Additionally, it will save you the money you would have otherwise spent at the grocery store.

Here’s everything you need to know to start your backyard garden.

Choose the right crop

Different crops thrive under different conditions and their maturity periods also differs from one to another.

Find out the types of crops that grow best in your particular locality. The best is to start with fast-maturing crops like kales and spinach but this depends on the needs of your family.

Tomato, pepper and onions also make for good backyard garden plants since you won’t wait for long before harvesting.

Crop rotation

Crop rotation is important in allowing the soil time to replenish its nutrients and regain its fertility.

Different crops consume different soil nutrients and you don’t have leave your backyard fallow to give the soil time to regenerate its nutrients. Simply rotate your crops appropriately. Expert gardeners are those who know how to rotate their crops in order to always get the maximum yields from their gardens.

The idea is to know the different plant families and the nutrients they need. For example, potatoes and tomatoes belong to the same family and use the same nutrients, therefore you should not replace one with the other since it will use the very same nutrients like the other.

Rotate your tomatoes with leguminous plants like beans which have nitrogenous nodules that improve the fertility levels of your backyard garden.

Improving fertility

Add compost and manure in your garden to increase fertility and improve yields. However, be careful not to put too much manure since it can alter the soil pH values and make your crops to die. Moderation is key.

If you must add fertilizers, use suitable organic fertilizers and get the right timing of adding farm inputs to your crops. There other Gardening Tips And Reviews that can help you get better yields.

Watering

Rain-fed agriculture is possible during the wet season but you must regularly water your plants during the dry seasons.

Your watering schedule is determined by the types of crops in your garden. Some require a lot of water, others do not. Leafy vegetables, for instance, require more water than potatoes and onions which are usually damaged by too much water. Yellowing of the leaves usually indicate too much watering.

Using the correct watering techniques prevents the rotting of leaves and the spread of diseases.

Weeding and pest control

Minimize the amount of herbicides you use in your garden by get rid of weeds when they are still small and can be pulled by hand. Most herbicides contain harmful chemicals that pose a danger to your health when inhaled or ingested.

If the weeds are grown, use a hoe to dig them up.

Mulching and spacing your crops well helps ward off weeds and pests from your garden.

 

Hiring a Professional Cleaning Service for All the Right Reasons

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.

Save Money

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

Reduce Stress

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.

What to Look for When Buying a Wine Cooler

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.

4 Innovative Home Design Trends to Watch Out For in 2018

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.

Organic Architecture

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.

Outdoor Living

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.

 

How To Take Your Garden To The Next Level

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.

Lighting

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.

Seating

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.

Conclusion

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.

3 Ways to Add Value to Your Home

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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.
The Kitchen
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.
The Bathroom
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.

How to Make Cleaning your House Easier When you are a Parent

 

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). Looking for a steamcleaner? You can find more information on steamclean.reviews.
  • 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!