Monthly Archives: June 2010

Moving, Moving Boxes and Your Home

Most people hate moving and I don’t blame them at all. I have moved many many times in my life and I hate doing it, but it gives me a great chance to check out a new place, meet some new people and of course redecorate my home.

The worst part for me about moving is packing everything up. It’s time consuming and sometimes can just be difficult. Maybe you don’t have the right size moving boxes or maybe you ran out of newspaper and it’s only Monday! Either way sometimes moving can just be hard, but if your smart when you move it really should be painless.

My top 5 moving tips:

  1. Gather boxes ahead of time or plan to buy Moving boxes
  2. Ask everyone you know for their newspapers, this is really helpful if you have a lot of glass or other fragile things.
  3. If you can clean and paint in your new home before moving anything in.
  4. Get references from moving companies or talk with friends about who they have used.
  5. Have insurance kept on both residences. You never know what could happen while your moving into your new home and out of the old one. I had a friend who was robbed while she moved.

Of course there are many other things you can do when you move that will make the experience helpful. I always try to drive around the area a few times before I actually move there so that I learn where things are, you just never know what you may need when you are moving or what may not get turned on in time, you know things like the gas and electric. It’s not fun moving to a new place only to find you can’t cook or shower!

Do you have any great moving tips to share with us?

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Add Flair to Your Summer With Candles

Shaved Ice Cream Candle in Glass Candles - BlueI love using candles to decorate, it’s fun and sometimes you can some up with some really interesting candles. Take these Shaved Ice Cream Candle for instance, they are perfect for your summer decor and look good enough to eat. They could just end up being the talk of your next party!

Using candles like these can help to create a theme with just a little time and money, you don’t have to go crazy trying to figure out how to buy a ton of decorations, just set a few candles out and add a few more accessories and your good to go. Personally I would check out the dollar store, grab some cheap ice cream scoops and some banana leafs and make a great centerpiece with these candles.

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Your Dream Garden

Sometimes I dream of a beautiful garden complete with waterfall and towering Palm Trees all surrounded by a bright blue sky and a ocean front. Unfortunately I live in Michigan so I can’t have that, but I do know a few people who recently I have helped to find local plants though a California Wholesale Nursery. That of course means I have been daydreaming of my perfect garden and wishing that it could be my reality.

Now some people may look at something and go ahead and buy it, but as my friends found out San Diego Plant Pricing is not much fun as many things were out of their budget. They didn’t have much to began with so it was difficult, but with some research they found what they wanted in some plants they would never have thought of.

Think about your perfect garden space, do you already have it or are you still looking at a very bare back yard with a vision of an oasis in your head? How about some pine trees and a cooling stream for the northern located people. Maybe you live in the south west and your picturing a pool surrounded by lush desert foliage and cactus. Whatever it is your looking for, share it with us, maybe someone reading this post can help you realize your dream.

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How Old Are Your Pillows?

If your like most Americans, you have pillows from your childhood. Yep, some people just can’t let things go, but really you should. When it comes to your pillows and mattresses you really need to just get rid of them. Pillows should be replace at least once a year, though I recoomend more for anyone with alergyes.

Your mattress, yes that thing you sleep on that you spend $2000 on, needs to be replaced every 5-10 years, depending on the type and how often it’s slept on. Mattresses in guest rooms can probably go 7-12 years while your bed may just make it to five. Yes, this can be expencive, but if you look at what is in your matress you may start to think you need a new one.

  • Live Dust mites- They are everywhere and they eat your dead skin cells. Most dust mites multiply rapidly in your mattress and pillows.
  • Skin cells- just like snakes we shed our skin, that ends up in your mattress and eventually lunch for that local dust mite
  • Dead Dust mites- I don’t know whats worse, dead ones or the ones that still move. Yuck!
  • Pet dander- Your beloved pet sheds too and all that fir and dander could end up in your mattress and pillows.

Those are just a few things that are in that mattress of yours, so you thinking about getting a new one yet?

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Expand Your Kitchen With New Cabinetry

My last post was about changing the look of your kitchen with Retro appliances, this time I’m going to talk to you a little about how the right type of Kitchen cabinets can help you get the space you need in a kitchen no matter how small. I’m also going to focus on local materials as this is very important when you are trying to save money with your remodel.

Take a look at the images I have here in this post, these cabinets are from Bardon Cabinetry and I have used them to demonstrate a point. Special order cabinets can be expensive, but when it comes to saving space you can not beat them. Now if you were to look up San Diego Kitchen Cabinets you would finds some great places to buy cabinets, if you live near San Diego you may find that you can save by picking up these cabinets yourself, thus offsetting the cost. This is where buying local comes into play, yes you could go and buy online from someone in another country, but that wouldn’t be helping the US economy now would it.

So lets apply this to something else, say a bathroom again look up san diego bathroom remodeling and again you may just find a few places to do business. I suggest you pick one and stick to one if you have more then one project as sometimes having two projects going though the same company can help keep down cost, your only dealing with one designer, one company and probably the same people over and over, that makes communication better and helps with your bottom line. Any questions?

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Kitchens Going Retro?

Yes, this is a trend that may just stick around for a long time. Retro kitchens are the new it thing in kitchen design. People like the funky yet classic look a retro kitchen can have, also in some homes it actually works with the rest of the architectural style as the kitchen is now doing a 180 back to when the home was built.

Retro kitchens of course do not mean losing all of the modern conveniences.  As you can see from the images I have selected it’s not hard to keep our dishwasher, top of the line refrigerator and stove but still have that retro look. Personally I love the green stove, it’s fun, funky and makes a statement. I would choose a dark wood and maybe a darker finish to help make this stove stand out in your kitchen. What do you think of the retro look?

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Buy Local for Your Home Decor

I know many people who believe that in order to get great home decor you need to order it from an exotic place or from new york. Thats not the case at all as sometimes you can find great items in your own area, lets say you live right outside of San Degio. If you get online and you look up San Diego Bedspreads you will find many local places to buy them, you will also find a few places that custom make the spreads. These are the places I would look as most of the time they are made in house and that means all of your money stays in the local economy.

Maybe your not looking for a bedspread but for a window shade, search for San Diego Window Shades and again you will find many local places that sell shades. The best part about ordering local is that you don’t have to pay shipping. Lets say you want granite counters, but if you order them from across the country your going to pay huge amounts in shipping, now if you again look up san diego granite you may just find a good deal on granite that you can go pick up yourself.

Now, I’m sure not everyone lives near this city, this is just an example. I used a city close to me as I live in the country, I found a few smaller bedding shops that I thought would be a great place to start my bedding search. How about you? Do you shop local?

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Turquoise The Color of Summer and 2010

I love turquoise, it’s a very pretty color that works for both men and women. It’s also the hottest summer color and of course a great color for summer. Most people use it in their clothing and jewelry, but have you thought about adding it to your decor? I have found a few pictures from across the web that show a great use of the stone and color turquoise in home decor. I hope they will inspire you to try it out.

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Keep Cool With New Windows

It’s summer and during summer we tend to forget that we need to think about saving energy. Usually its the end of summer before we think “wait I need new windows, doors or a furnace!”

Well I’m here to remind you now. One of the best ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home is by getting new windows. New windows can not only make your home look better and provide better light, but they can help to insulate your home and protect it during the summer and winter. Penguin Windows are a good window to check out, if you don’t like that brand find one you do and see how they can help you improve your home heating and cooling cost.

Windows are made in a way now that they have an insulating property that will allow them to do so much with windows. They can soundproof homes making noises like planes and expressways nonexistent when you are in your home along with increasing energy efficiency.

New windows can also improve the value of your home making it easier to sell down the road. I wouldn’t recommend adding them if your selling now unless it’s asked of you as really it’s not going to up the price of your home that much.

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All Purpose Cleaner Giveaway Winner

The winner of the bottle of  Tropical Traditions All Purpose cleaner and their comment is:

susan smoaks : i’d like to test this product on our bathroom

Congratulations.

Didn’t win this time? Check back for more great home decor and home item giveaways!

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Why You Should Get an Undermount Sink

Yes, I’m going to tell you why you should get an undermount kitchen sink if you don’t have one already, and I hope it will make you really think about getting one. Really it’s just one tiny little reason to invest in such a product, just one little thing, it will make cleaning much easier.

Yes, it could cut your kitchen cleaning time a lot! undermount kitchen sinks don’t have a lip on them so all you have to do is wipe everything right into the sink, nothing will get stuck in the lip and you can wipe and go! The other great reason to invest in an undermount sink is that they have great buyer appeal, people look for these and there a must for most kitchen remodels. They are easy to install and trust me you will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner, so have I talked you into it yet?

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Find Lost Treasures for Your Home

Do you yard sale? Well if you don’t you should start. My town is having a town wide sale and I have to say I have found some great things while I was broseing around. There were some nice tables, chairs and even a sofa. Now, you do have to watch out for scams and so on as some people mark things up too much and say they are something they are not. Most of the time though you are okay.

The top 5 things you want to look for at a yard sale that will increase in value.

  1. Antique or close to antique items
  2. Collectible items. If they are selling them at a reasonable price.
  3. Towels, you can always use them
  4. Wooden furniture that is made well
  5. Drinking glasses, we all use them and most of the time they can be sold again and again. I personally own a set that is 50 years old, but looks new.

What items do you look for at a yard sale?

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Make Your Cheap Apartment A Home

Sometimes we can not always have exactly what we want, but that doesn’t mean that we have to give up good living and stylish design. With a little work you can take even the most horrible HUD Apartments and turn them into a home to be proud of.

One of the first things I would do would be before you even got your apartment, check out an Apartment Market Overview for the area you are looking to live in, then find the apartment with the most potential. Add window treatments, paint and if you are allowed put down carpet tiles to help make the rooms more cozy. If you don’t like the existing carpet buy a large rug at a discount store or yard sale.

Most of all you should keep your apartment clean, that is what will make it feel stylish, fun and like something out of a magazine, that’s really the secret to those amazing pictures after all!

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Landscape for Shade and Fun

Its summer we are spending more and more time outside and wondering what we can do to make that time more enjoyable. Well, one way is to landscape. I currently live in a home that does not have much landscaping and I feel that is why we don’t spend much time outside. As a teen I lived in a home with a lot of landscaping and we were always outside doing something.

People love pretty spaces, if they didn’t I would not have majored in interior design. There would be no HGTV and everything would be bland. It seems though that when it comes to the outdoors there is little that people do to make it just as great as the inside. Now I’m not saying add a huge outdoor kitchen if you don’t want to, but adding a deck, a nice walkway to a secret or open garden or maybe just a few flowerbeds can make a huge difference in how you feel about your home.

If you could add anything you wanted to your outdoor space what would you add?

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Tropical Traditions All Purpose Cleaner Review and Giveaway

This product was provided to me from Tropical Traditions. All thoughts and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.

Household cleaning can be a chore, but when you get products that actually work well you can get it done quickly and with much less hassle. That is why I love the products I have gotten from Tropical Traditions. They work well and I continue to use them all the time.

This month I got to check out the Tropical Traditions All purpose Cleaner, this cleaner can be used in Kitchens, Bathrooms, Laundry and Autos. Yes, this really is an ALL purpose cleaner. I got a chance to use it the other day for general cleaning and I was very impressed at what it can do. All I had to do was spray it on and watch it get to work. It cleaned up the soap scum in my shower, got rid of the dried on food that my brother loves to leave around the counter and even managed to get grease out of my clothing. I’m really very impressed with this cleaner.

I also love that you can buy it in a spray bottle, though I think I’m going to have to buy a refill as I’m using it for everything. Its great that a natural cleaning product actually works as well as it says it does. My next test of this product will be on my car to get the bugs off of it. It’s raining today so I can’t do it yet.

Giveaway:

What would you really like to test this cleaner out on?

Bonus Entries:

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Tweet this and leave a link to your status update: (You may tweet this once per day. Please leave a comment for each tweet.) Win a bottle of All purpose nontoxic cleaner http://bit.ly/a3rqIA  @homestyletips

Giveaway ends on June 15 at 11:59 EST. Winners will be announced June 16th

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Novica Glassware Review

This product was provided to me from Novica. All thoughts and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.

A great way to complete any interior design project involves placing accessories and when you find something that not only fits your theme but is unique in its own right you have a great design. That is what the products at Novica are, unique items that will complement your home decor in a way that people will notice.

I enjoyed picking out my items from the Novica website. I choose a pitcher and margarita glasses because they match my existing table wear but are at the same time different. I love blue and that is the theme of my kitchen. All of my table ware is blue glass or at least has blue in it. The pitcher and glasses have a blue spiral and since they are handmade in Mexico I can feel good about supporting someone who works hard for their money.

The margarita glasses themselves are a heaver glass and one I feel comfortable using on a pretty regular basis. I don’t feel like I’m going to break them with use and the pitcher is a very large one that will come in handy for hosting barbecues and other summer parties.

The website itself is so easy to navigate and the products offered are sure to impress even the most distinguished person. I had no problems with my order and really enjoyed the shopping experience.  My only problem was deciding what to buy. I really would love to tell you some sort of downside to this company, but so far I have yet to see one.  If you have experience with Novica, good or bad, please feel free to share it with us.

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Add Some Charm With Leather Sofas

I love how a leather sofa can just add something to a room. It’s a classic piece that is not only timeless but seems to appeal to most people. Leather sofas are usually a very good investment because they can almost go with anything, of course I would not recommend leather if you have cats or small children, but if you don’t have those to worry about leather may just be a good choice for you.

I love leather sectionals as they really give you the seating you need without to much of a bulky feeling. When I see leather I think that the person who lives in the home is well traveled, has good taste and maybe even likes a little luxury. Adding some wonderful throw pillows or blankets can help make the room look cozy and not so formal. If you do want the formal look add tall lamps and some books to make the room feel like a great place to read or talk about different topics.

Leather is also a great way to accessorize a room. Add pillows, leather table cloths or even lamp shades to bring some leather into an otherwise leather less room. You also could find artwork with leather accents or maybe even a leather coffee table. Personally that is what I am on the lookout for.

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