Helpful home tips for when you’re away on vacation

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

Summer isn’t over yet, and I’m sure many of you are still preparing for your family vacation. Before you take off and enjoy a week of relaxation and sightseeing, follow these tips to keep your home safe and ready for your return.

1. Suspend your mail and newspaper

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Unless you’ve made a habit of not bringing in the mail everyday, a stuffed mailbox will tell others that you’re out of town and might not be back for a while. Put your mail and newspaper services on hold until you get back.

2. Invest in timers

Once again, you don’t want to make it obvious that you’re on vacation, and people might notice if your lights are off all week. Consider investing in a timer that you can program to turn the lights on and off during your absence.

3. Keep your plants watered

You’ve worked hard to keep your plants alive and thriving. Don’t let them start wilting now! Ask a trusted friend or neighbor to stop by your house and water your plants throughout the week.

4. Unplug appliances

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

You’re not going to be home all week, so you might as well save some energy. Unplug all of your appliances before you take off. This will also ensure that you don’t leave anything on while you’re away.

5. Clean the house before you go

Vacations are relaxing, but they can also be exhausting. When you get back, you’re not going to want to come home to a messy house. Take some time to ensure everything is in order and cleaned before you go. There’s nothing better than coming home to a clean house after a fun-filled, but tiring week!

By Wendy Weinert

5 ways to boost energy in the home

Feeling drained? I bet I’m not the only one who could use a little more energy to get through the day. The good news is that there are many techniques we can use to boost energy, starting with our home’s interior setup. With a few changes in the home, you may not even need that afternoon cup of coffee anymore! Here are a few strategies you can try:

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1. Design your room to encourage sleep

There are people who say they can function just fine on four hours of sleep, but I believe in the power of a good night’s sleep. If you’re tossing and turning at night or having trouble falling into a deep sleep, consider which factors could be keeping you awake. Is it an uncomfortable mattress? Electronics? I know it’s relaxing to watch TV in bed, but in reality it could be diminishing your quality of sleep!

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2. Add a stimulating color

Some rooms can provide energy just by being painted a certain color. If you have a home gym, consider painting it a shade of red or orange to feel energized. Other rooms may benefit from just a pop of color, such as the living room.

3. Let as much natural light in as possible

I always feel more energized when outside on a nice day. Why? Well, the natural light is one reason. Wherever you can, let the natural light inside your home. In rooms that don’t have large windows, be sure to install an adequate amount of lighting.

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4. Improve your home’s air quality

Don’t you just love breathing in fresh air? When the weather is nice, open your windows to let the fresh air inside. You can also purify the air by changing air filters regularly and by decorating with green houseplants.

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KidKraft Espresso Wall Storage Unit

5. Stay organized

I find it hard to feel energized when my house is a mess. Get rid of the clutter and work to stay organized so you can feel relaxed and full of energy in your home.

We need all the energy we can get. Try some of these ideas in your home and see if they work for you!

By Wendy Weinert

What your home says about you

What your home says about you

You may not realize it, but your home says a lot about who you are as a person. So, does your home reflect the true you? When family, friends or neighbors stop by for a visit, here are just a few of the things they might learn about you simply by walking through your home:

What your home says about you

Interests

Do you love to travel? Is music your biggest passion? Share your interests through your home’s decorations and accessories. Display as decor the souvenirs you’ve acquired on your different trips. If your large music collection is stuffed in storage boxes, set up a shelves where you can feature it instead. Meaningful decor will not only display your passions with others, but it will also help you design a home that allows you to feel happy in your surroundings.

What your home says about you

Values

Take some time to think about your personal values and the things in life most important to you. If you value your relationships with family and friends, consider displaying pictures or handmade gifts to highlight those relationships. Values like leading a simple lifestyle can also be shown by designing an open, uncluttered space.

What your home says about you

Organization

Some people can’t stand clutter while others feel a little clutter here and there is actually more comfortable. Guests will typically pick up on the level of organization you prefer based on your home’s decorating style. For example, the eclectic style would come off as much more laidback than an ultra-sleek modern environment.

What your home says about you

Personality

The colors, patterns, textures and styles you choose can say a lot about your personality. If you consider yourself a bold, adventurous person, you might share that with others by choosing brighter colors and louder designs. If you are someone who likes to be practical, you might prefer to design a space that has a more timeless look.

Consider what others might learn about you by touring your home and determine whether it paints an accurate picture. A home that reflects who you are as a person is a space where you will feel more comfortable living.

By Wendy Weinert

 

5 Different Decorating Styles: How to Find Yours

5 Different Decorating Styles: How to Find Yours

Choosing a decorating style is not something to rush or consider lightly. Every purchase you make while selecting furniture and décor has to reflect the style you choose, and you don’t want to start questioning your decision halfway through the decorating process. Before you start furnishing your home, use our guide to narrow down your unique decorating style and feel confident in your final decision.

5 Different Decorating Styles: How to Find Yours

Photo credit: Domaine

Your style is Rustic if…

You’d rather live outdoors if you could and you tend to choose natural colors and materials over others. The simpler things in life make you the happiest, and you’ve never once been accused of being to be too “over the top.”

5 Different Decorating Styles: How to Find Yours

Your style is Eclectic if…

Your goal in life is to have as many interesting experiences as possible. Breaking the rules has never been an issue, and you prefer buying clothes at yard sales or thrift shops where you can find unique items. Most importantly, you hate being too matchy-matchy.

5 Different Decorating Styles: How to Find Yours

Photo credit: Allen Saunders

Your style is Coastal if…

A simple and clean space makes you feel the most relaxed. You love the color white, and an ideal vacation is obviously somewhere near the ocean. The good news is: even if you don’t live anywhere near the water, you can still create a coastal-style home.

5 Different Decorating Styles: How to Find Yours

Your style is Transitional if…

You’re never one extreme or the other and you prefer to be somewhere always in the middle. The transitional style is a mixture of contemporary and traditional that allows you to enjoy a home that is never neither too fussy nor too bold. For you, the transitional look is just right.

5 Different Decorating Styles: How to Find Yours

Photo credit: welk.nl

Your style is Contemporary if…

Frills and clutter are the absolute worst. You like abstract works of art or bright, bold graphics. If you like open spaces and to always keep things simple, the contemporary style is perfect for you.

So what’s your decorating style? Let your personality help you decide.

By Wendy Weinert

 

How to decorate a space with white walls

How to decorate a space with white walls

Photo credit: Vosgesparis

When it comes to interior design, white walls are often misunderstood. People tend to think of them as dull, when really they can be used to create an elegant or lively space. The key to designing such a space is knowing how to work with your white walls effectively. Whether you’re stuck with white walls as a renter or you’re simply ready to try something new, these three decorating ideas will help you design a space you’ll love.

How to decorate a space with white walls

Photo credit: My Scandinavian Home

Contrast white walls with bright colors

White walls don’t have to be boring if you incorporate bright colors throughout the room. Instead of relying on your walls to create a colorful space, decorate using bold colors with high contrast and make the room pop. How you choose to add color is up to you. Furniture, rugs, curtains, light fixtures, wall art and pillows can all make an impact.

Decorate an all-white space

Use white walls to your advantage and take the look even further by creating an all-white room. When done correctly, all-white spaces are elegant and refreshing. To keep your all-white room from looking flat, use various shades of white throughout the room and rely heavily on texture to create depth. After a stressful or hectic day, an all-white room will feel soothing and help you to relax.

How to decorate a space with white walls

Bellacor Number: 545681

Use white walls as backdrop for artwork

If you love art or often create your own, use a white wall as a backdrop for your favorite pieces and create a gallery in your space. A white gallery wall is perfect because you have more flexibility when choosing artwork to hang. With a white backdrop, you don’t have to worry about colors clashing or overwhelming the room with too many.

White walls should be embraced, not dreaded. Try working with your white walls by using one of these decorating ideas, and you might find you actually prefer them.

By Wendy Weinert

How to clean and care for your chandelier

How to clean and care for your chandelier

Chandeliers can be a stunning addition to your space, but without regular cleaning they can quickly become dull and dirty. When guests come over, you want them to notice the beautiful crystals and elegant design of your chandelier, not that it has collected numerous cobwebs and a lot of dust. Learn how to properly clean your chandelier and allow its beauty to shine.

How to clean and care for your chandelier

There are many chandelier cleaning products that people can buy, but these special formulas are actually harmful to your chandelier’s frame and can cause your crystals to become cloudy. When cleaning your light fixture, all you need are white cotton gloves and possibly some warm water. Using products that contain chemicals, such as glass cleaners or even soap, can tarnish the metallic coatings and defeat the purpose of cleaning your chandelier in the first place.

Before cleaning, make sure to turn the light off. Then you can dust the chandelier and remove any cobwebs that have formed using your cotton glove. A cotton cloth also works, but be sure not to touch the crystals with your hands, as they could leave fingerprints. If the crystals are extremely dirty and dusting with cotton gloves doesn’t do the trick, remove the crystals from the frame and use warm water. After wiping with a damp cloth, be sure to dry the crystals immediately.

How often you need to clean your chandelier will depend on the room and the fixture. Pay attention to the way your chandelier looks right after it has been cleaned so that you’re more likely to notice when it’s dirty. A quick clean now and then will keep your chandelier shining bright and your overall space looking great.

By Wendy Weinert

4 tips for designing a home that you will continue to love for years

4 tips for designing a home that you will continue to love for years

Setting up a living space is no easy feat, so it’s better to create a space that you’ll love for a long time as opposed to redecorating frequently. When decorating your home, keep these four tips in mind to create a space that stands the test of time:

1. Seek out quality furniture

Everyone wants to save money, but buying low-quality, cheap furniture will actually cost you more money in the long run. Higher-quality products last longer, which means you can enjoy their great style and functionality for years.

4 tips for designing a home that you will continue to love for years

2. Don’t overspend on trendy products

The trendy accessories that you love might be in style now, but what about a year from now? It’s okay to keep up with the trends and incorporate what’s “in” at the moment into your home’s design, but be careful of overspending on products that you will only use for a short period of time. Save your money for a beautiful piece of wall art or a stunning light fixture instead.

4 tips for designing a home that you will continue to love for years

3. Tell your story with design

Take a page out of interior designer Diego Rincon’s book and fill your home with meaningful items that share your story and personality. For example, you can display souvenirs or decorative items that you’ve acquired while traveling. Antique items that have been passed down in the family can also make great décor for your home.

4 tips for designing a home that you will continue to love for years

Photo credit: Amanda Nisbet Design

4. Find ways to make easy, temporary changes

No matter how much you love the look of your space, there may come a time when you feel ready for a change. Instead of redecorating an entire room, however, you can make simple changes that will save you time, money and stress. When you’re craving color, hang up bright wallpaper on one or more of your walls. When the seasons change, switch out your smaller accessories like accent pillows and curtains for items that are more suitable. Small changes can have a big impact on the overall look and feel of a room.

People should feel happy in their home environment. Create space that you can love for years with these four tips in mind.

By Wendy Weinert

Spring cleaning challenge: 3 steps for decluttering your space

Spring cleaning challenge: 3 steps for decluttering your space

If you’ve been vigorously cleaning your home this past week, you’re not alone. Many homeowners do an annual spring cleaning to refresh their space and get ready for the new season. While spring cleaning usually involves dusting off all those hard to reach surfaces that one tends to skip over, it’s also about getting organized. Over the years, we tend to collect more and more stuff, but rarely do we throw anything out. Well, now is the perfect time to declutter your space and get rid of the junk that’s been causing you stress. Here’s what to do.

Spring cleaning challenge: 3 steps for decluttering your space

Photo credit: Hi Sugarplum!

1. Identify common clutter zones

Where do you keep your clutter? Common places include closets, drawers and cupboards, but you might identify other areas specific to your home. Go room to room and determine which areas that can be sorted and organized. For example, if you haven’t gotten rid of any clothes in years, you should sort through all of the closets and drawers that hold your wardrobe. In the kitchen, it’s a good idea to organize the refrigerator and kitchen pantry.

Spring cleaning challenge: 3 steps for decluttering your space

Photo credit: BHG

2. Sort out what should be kept, thrown out, donated or sold

Sometimes it’s obvious what you should throw out – like that expired ketchup bottle in the fridge. Other times you’ll have to spend time considering what the best option is. If you’re struggling to part with an item, such as a board game or a blender, ask yourself, “When is the last time I actually used this?” Can’t remember? Then it might be time to get rid of it. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of selling your things, then donating is always a good option. Unless of course you’re dealing with broken items – then just throw them out.

3. Just get rid of it!

Don’t let piles of bags accumulate in your home. That defeats the purpose of decluttering! Take action right away, because the sooner you get all of your stuff donated, sold or thrown out, the sooner you can finally live and relax in an organized and clutter-free zone.

By Wendy Weinert

Give a room new life with an accent wall

Give a room new life with an accent wall

Is your space starting to look a little blah lately? Do you feel like the room just needs a change? Then you may want to consider painting an accent wall. Accent walls offer an easy and inexpensive way to liven up a dull room and make it pop. All you have to do is choose which wall you want to accent and the right color for your space.

Give a room new life with an accent wall

Choosing an accent wall

The wall you decide to accent will largely be determined by the existing features in a room and how you plan to set up your space. Accent walls are meant to be dramatic, so it’s best not to paint a wall that is mostly covered with furniture or décor accessories. Otherwise the color will lose its impact and your room won’t pop as much as it could. That being said, you also don’t want your accent wall to be completely bare, which could cause the wall to overpower the rest of the room! When it comes to accent walls, balance is key, so choose a wall that maybe has a few hanging accessories, but avoid one that is mostly blocked with by a tall dresser or something similar.

Give a room new life with an accent wall

Photo credit: Home Stores

Choosing the right color

When you’re painting all four walls in a room, your color choice is generally limited. A bright or dramatic color often overwhelms when it surrounds the entire room. That’s why it can be a lot of fun to do an accent wall in your space. Because you are painting only one wall an accent color and leaving the rest neutral, you can go as bold or bright as you’d like! If you really want to make a statement in your space, consider using wallpaper that features a fun pattern or design instead. Wallpaper is just as effective as paint, and can be easily replaced when you’re ready for a change.

If you’re sick of looking at white walls, then using paint or wallpaper to create an accent wall is a perfect solution. Don’t be afraid to go bold and make a statement with an eye-catching color like red or bright blue!

By Wendy Weinert

Light your home like a pro with these 3 easy steps

Light your home like a pro with these 3 easy steps

Creating a lighting plan for a room is a lot different than simply replacing a light fixture or adding a new light source. When making a lighting plan, you are starting from scratch, which makes it that much more important to carefully consider the best way to get good lighting for your space. Make sure each room is properly lit by following these three steps.

Light your home like a pro with these 3 easy steps

1. Draw out a plan of your room

The setup of a room will largely influence where you will need the most light. Even if you don’t have the room furnished, map out where you intend to place furniture and accent décor. Then, pinpoint the areas where specific tasks will take place and pieces or architectural elements that you want to feature. This will not only give you an idea of where to place light fixtures, but also what type of light source is best suited for your needs. Be sure to take note of existing sockets in the room, which may influence where you can place lamps.

Light your home like a pro with these 3 easy steps

2. Consider connecting rooms/spaces

Even though every room requires a unique lighting plan, it’s important to factor the transition from room to room. You want to ease people into a space. A softly-lit room that connects to a bright hallway creates a harsh transition that neither you nor guests will appreciate.

 

Light your home like a pro with these 3 easy steps

3. Determine the style you hope to achieve

The light fixtures you choose should be functional, but that doesn’t mean they can’t also be stylish. A pendant light or sconce can have a huge impact on a room’s overall look, so consider what you want a fixture to do for your space and the style you hope to achieve. This will narrow down your list of options and make the shopping process easier.

Now that you know the style and type of light fixtures you need, you can finally start shopping! Give yourself plenty of time to browse different options so you can find the perfect light fixtures to match your room’s style and functional needs.

By Wendy Weinert