Monthly Archives: May 2011

Keep Your Home Secure

Great home style is only good if you have a home and things to come home to. That is why keeping your home secure is very important and finding a good local security company is always a good idea. The internet is full of great information for this and searching for phrases such as “home security lincolnton NC” may just help you find something close to your own home.

You of course could also check out http://www.localtv-satellite.com/ a website that will help you find local ADT security for you home. I personally love ADT because everyone I know who has used them or their products has had a very good experience with them.

Think about how horrible it would be to put all of your hard decorating work into your home only to have someone come in and take off with it all. Having home security is a must and you need to keep your home save so it stays inviting and beautiful.

Disclosure: I have been compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.

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Keeping Your Home Cool This Summer

Summer brings heat and high electric bills as we try to cool our homes and keep away from the summer heat. Did you know that if you run your air conditioner and run fans in your home you can actually save on your electric bill? There is of course a few tricks to this and I’m going to share these with you.

First is you must turn your air conditioning temperature up, yes up. That is how you cut the electric bill, if you don’t do this you probably will not save much or any money. The next thing you want to do is run fans, now if you have ceiling fans run those, but if you don’t you may want to look into a box fan or two that you can set up in the rooms you are in. If you don’t like the look of a box fan you can also try other types of cooling fans to help keep the heat at bay.

Of course if you don’t have an air conditioner you may want to invest in a few window fans to keep your home cool. Window fans are great because you can bring in fresh air and at least feel a little cooler during hot summer days and a good window fan can save you a lot of time and money, just be sure to keep the curtains away from the fan when it’s running.

How do you keep cool in the summer?

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Keep Your Home Safe with Safety Signs

Sometimes all you need is a sign to keep people away from your home and your items safe. Using safety signs is a great way to do this and they are very inexpensive and easy to put up. Where I live something that is very common to see are no hunting signs, I think everyone I know either hunts or has a very close relative that hunts and people tend to just walk around wherever they want to to do their hunting. A few people I know have put up signs because they either don’t like hunting or they just don’t want a bunch of people on their property. Another common type of safety sign is an animal control sign like beware of dog signs. this can help to keep people off your property also. I love using security signs to keep thieves away, it works even if you don’t have a security system.

Of course these types of signs are also great for businesses and if you own a business and don’t have a no trespassing, exit or other type of signage you may want to take a look at www.safetysign.com where you can find many types of signs that will help you stay up to code and make sure people know what you expect of them when they are on your property. The best part is all the signs are in one place so you just have to place one order and you don’t have to worry about it anymore.

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Guest Room Design

Having a guest room can be a great addition to any home. It makes people feel welcome and they will want to come visit you more often. Of course this does mean that you will have guest in your home a lot, but if that’s your end goal then you want a well designed guest room.

First I would recommend a double bed, a double bed mattress is not too expensive and the size of the bed is perfect for singles and couples. It also doesn’t take up too much space so you can fit a small dresser in the room as well. You also want to make sure you have a night stand with a lamp for reading. You could also have a scent warmer or candle in the room to create a wonderful smelling space.

Space for your guest room should be a good size, do not use a closet or a room close to the size of a closet, this will not make your guest feel welcome. People like bigger spaces, but if you don’t have a good enough space you may want to think about skipping on the guest room.

Paint color is also something you want to really want to go easy on, no bright colors in your guest room, you want neutral and calming colors. Blues, greens, grey and beige are perfect for any guest room since most people are okay with these colors and they won’t feel like there in some strange place.

How have you decorated your guest room? What colors and furnishings did you use?

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Go Green with Pull Out Shelves: Made in America

One great part of a well designed kitchen is having shelves that pull out, not only does it save you time because you don’t have to crawl around on your floor, but you now will actually use all of your shelve space and have room for everything. Yes, even I have fallen victim to the empty back of the shelve problem.

If your one of the people who want to buy made in America products you will be happy to know that there is a company in Nevada that makes pull out shelves and are very environmentally conscious. Shelves That Slide has redone their design process so that it’s more sustainable and better for the environment. They have cut their waste by saving packing materials and donating them to a local school for craft projects. I love this idea because it keeps art in schools and maybe may just inspire a child or two to become an interior designer! The company also works with another company to share Styrofoam. Shelves That Slide reuses their partners Styrofoam to ship their products in.

Shelves that Slide also carries Lazy Susans, drawer organizers, blind corner storage systems, and custom fitted tip-out trays. Check them out and find something American made for your home.

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Save Some Space in Your Bedrooms

With everyone downsizing their homes and moving into smaller spaces the once dominate king and queen size bed is starting to go away. Now more and more people are looking at double beds to fill their master bedroom so that it still feels big and you actually have room to move around a little. It can be a good thing, I know a few people who have sad that the double bed has improved their relationship because now they have to sleep closer and they found that bedding for a double is a lot cheaper then for a king or queen bed.

Another great way to save space in a room is to use bunk beds for kids or a daybed with a bed under it for guest. It’s fun for kids to have these items because of the wow factor, bunk beds now have more then just two bed, they have desk, game areas and even castles attached for kids to play in. They are a lot more fun and stylish then they use to be and are still a great way to save space.

Of course your last option for space saving in the bedroom is to get rid of stuff. If you have a closet buy an organizer and get rid of your dresser. Buy a nightstand that doubles as storage for your socks and other unmentionables. The biggest space saver of all though is cleaning, make sure your bedroom is clean and it will feel a lot bigger.

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Save Money on Your Home Without Buying Cheap

We all do it, we walk into a store look at something like cheap double mattress and if that’s what we are looking for we buy it, but sometimes when you do things like that you really end up losing in the long run. Buying a cheap mattress is not the issue, but buying cheaply made products is and it could end up costing you a lot in the long run.

So what is okay to buy cheap, anything that you only plan on using for about six months then throwing away. If you want it to be around forever you need to do research and buy well made products and find the best deals on them. People do this all the time with food, but when it comes to home decor we don’t always buy smart. Instead we look at the style magazines and decide that we must have that. We go out and buy the local discounts stores replica and hope it will last for a few years, most of the time it’s in the trash before we can get our money’s worth.

When I shop for anything for my home I look at the following:

  1. Price
  2. How it is made
  3. Where it is made
  4. Who makes it
  5. What the product is and how long I plan to use it
  6. Price again
  7. Warranty

If you remember when shopping for your home decor to look at all of these items you not only will find some extra money eventually, but you will have great looking items that will last or at least could get replaced for free if there is an issue.

Have you ever bought anything you thought was a great deal for you home only to find out it wasn’t?

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Turn Your Office Into a Guest Room

Or you can turn your guest room into an office, whichever one fits what you need now. You may have seen on many TV shows that “you should always have one purpose for each room in your home” but with today’s economy people are downsizing and that means rooms will start to have more then one function again.

If this describes you at all I have some great interior design tips that will make it easier for you to compact your space but still have room to move. One way to do this is to combine your guest room and office. If your mostly looking for an extra room when the kids or grand kids come to visit then this is a great way to save space.

Here are a few tips to help you design your new office/guest room

  • Use Divan Beds or day beds instead of an actual bed
  • Use a small desk and an all-in-one computer or laptop to save space
  • Store office supplies on one side of the closet and leave the other for guest
  • Make sure to have candles and extra towels on hand to make guest feel welcome
  • Buy a lot of organizational devices to keep the room looking neat at all time.

These are just a few tips I have to share with you. Mostly you want to keep the room as clean as possible for those surprise guest you may get.

Do you have any tips for combining an office and guest room?

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Entice Birds to Your Yard

If your like me and love to watch birds then you may be interested in how many different products are out there that will not only enhance your yard, but will also bring in the birds for you to enjoy. One major item of course is a bird feeder and I love this copper bird feeder. it’s stylish and would go with so many different styles. I also love that it’s expandable perches allow you to adjust it to attract the birds you want to see. My personally I would probably have both the bird feeder and a hummingbird feeder in my yard as I love to watch humming birds as well.

Now we all know that birds love to bath, and what is a yard without a bird bath but a yard that still needs something. To me a well designed yard has style and class and a few water features to help you relax while your outside and a bird bath can do just that. They not only come in great styles and materials like stone, copper, glass and more, but they also help to bring birds into your yard.

Another great item to have in your yard if you want to attract birds is a bird house, they want somewhere warm to stay right? The only downside I have seen to a bird house is that other insects like to use them to build nest so you have to be careful about that.  If your worried about this problem coat the inside of the bird house with plastic wrap or soap to keep the bee’s and wasp next from sticking to the structure.

These accessories should not only bring in the birds, but help create a stylish yard that you love to spend time in.

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Shopping for Home Steam Cleaners & Steam Mops

Most people want to make sure there home is as clean and tidy as it can be. That is why it is very important to know how to buy your cleaning products, especially steam cleaners and mops.  You may think that all you need is an expensive one with all the attachments but really you need something that will work for what you are going to use it for.

If your in the market for a steam cleaner, you may have noticed that most of the steam cleaners out there are for carpeting only. I’m not sure why that is, but that the truth of it. The reality is if you have more then one floor surface then you want to get a steam cleaner that will work on all of them, they are out there and almost all companies make them you just have to fin a store that sells them.

Now if your like me and want an easy way to clean your carpet and hardwood flooring you may want to look at a steam mop instead. These are usually light weight and very simple to use, they work on all flooring and use steam to clean your floor. This is great for people who live in apartments with little air flow. Your floor dries quicker and you can get more done in less time.

Next time your looking at doing some spring cleaning make sure to shop around for that steam cleaner that way you get what works for you and not what the sales person does.

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Interior Design Style Differences

I have noticed that so many people don’t know what style they like. They think they like modren only to find out they like traditional, country or Asian. What is the difference you ask, well here I will tell you.

Traditional

Think big wooden bed frames and Double Mattress along with pieces that are either antique or made to look like there from a long time ago. Rich colors and fabrics also dominate traditional design.

Country/Woods

A lot like traditional, but may incorporate rough wood logs and lighter colors. Earth tones are also very common in these styles

Modern

Almost no color or if there is color it’s pops of color. Metal, glass, plastic and leather are all common in this style. White is a major color when painting or choosing furniture.

Asian

Not to be confused with modren as many people see classic  Asian furniture and believe that means modren. Asian design brings nature in. Works with the philosophy of fung shui and uses Asian design influences.

Eclectic

Most people fall into this category as many people like more then one style and use more then one style in their home. Eclectic combines any of these styles into one. You could combine modren and Asian, something that is done often. You may want both modren and traditional style. Not done as often but still easy to do.

So which design style(s) fits you?

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Help Your Home Save Energy & Money

Summer may mean that you no longer have to worry about a heating bill, but what about that air conditioning bill? You know the one that actually can cost more then your heat sometimes. Well there are a few great ways to help save some money on your home cooling bill and other things around your home during the summer that will give you a little more extra money to play with, things like home insulation that help both during the summer and winter months so it’s worth doing, but did you know that you also need to insulate your garage, home insulation is something that is often overlooked but it can also save you a lot on heating and cooling cost especially if the garage is attached to your home. Heat and cold build up quickly in an uninsulated garage, so if it’s attached to your home your air or furnace is going to be working harder to keep that side of the home warm, if you also heat the garage then there is even more energy wasted.

There are also a few other things you can do if you want to improve the energy use in your home, use solar outdoor lighting to light your outside areas and never worry about it adding to your electric bill. You can also make sure to add water pressure devices to your outside as well as inside faucets and of course close curtains and blinds in the summer to help keep your home cool.

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Bedroom Design Done Right

I know many of you out there want a king size bed and Double Mattresses to go with it, but sometimes designing your bedroom right means that you can not get that king size bed or that mattress because you just don’t have enough room. Recently I had a reader contact me with a question about their bedroom. They told me what was in it and what size it was. I realized that they had a king size bed in a standard size room. It just does not work. I told them to get rid of the bed and buy a queen or double. Not only do most people not need a king size bed but sleeping closer can make your closer as a couple so there’s more then just space to consider.

The “King Size” mentality does not always stop at the bed, so many people think bigger is better, a huge dresser, TV or closet is a must for many people but having a TV in the bedroom can cause problems with sleep and communication and that huge closet just makes you buy more clothing that you don’t need. Now I love clothing as much as the next girl, but you need to think about what you actually wear and how much space you really need. That huge dresser also could be brought down to size by looking again at what you really wear and what you can get rid of.

The couple I corresponded with was grateful for my advice and tips. They informed me that they were able to create the space they needed to feel comfortable in their room and have found they sleep so much better now. That my readers is how great interior design can change your life.

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Update Your Home With A Western Theme

I have a friend of mine who loves western decor and she has now decided to decorate her new home in a western theme. She lives in Colorado so it’s actually fitting and would work well in that area. She of course asked my opinion about a few things going into her home. So far I love what she has chosen and I have added some suggestions as well.

One thing I thought she would love is having Leather Beds in her home. She has a great twin wood bed that fits her theme, but I told her for her master bedroom she wants something softer and a brown leather bed would be perfect. I also suggested she check out some yard sales and thrift stores to find great western decor without having to spend a lot of money. They have after all just bought a new house and they need to watch what they spend.

I also suggested since they have a ranch home to bring the western theme outside a little with fences, cactus and more. I know your thinking cactus in Colorado? It’s there and if we can grow Texas cactus in Michigan she can have it in Colorado.

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Go Green With Your Garden

This week I have been watching a lot of TV shows about going green or green design and that is why both yesterday and today’s post are about going green. After watching a show about green gardening I called a friend of mine who loves to garden and who is now trying to go green and talked to her about ways that she could go green in her garden.

Eventually our conversation ended up with us talking about reusing household items in your garden, now I’m not talking about composting your food and all of that, but my friend used old Metal Beds she found at a scrap yard and on the side of the road to make something for some of her plants to grow on. She says it was the best thing she has ever done and all she did was use a rust free paint on them so that they could be put outside. She promised me pictures, but not until some of the plants are up and growing.

I have also seen people use egg cartons to start their plants, and a friend of mine even said she would be using a laundry soap container to start making her own compost! I personally love this idea and I’m waiting impatiently for our laundry soap to run out.

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Go Green With Your Home Decor

I love finding things at places like second hand stores, yard sales and estate sales. Most of the time the deals you find there just can’t be beat and buying things like antique bed frames is just not possible at your local furniture store. One of my favorite things to do on a day I have time is to go thrift store shopping, most of the time I’m looking for clothing, but a lot of the time I’m looking for great items to add to my living room, dinning room or bedroom.

One time I went thrift store shop0ping I actually found a bench that I had been wanting for a long time. It was there the first day I went and two days later when I went back. It was only $25 and at most stores the same bench would have cost $150, but I didn’t buy it and I am still kicking my self about it today. It would have worked so well with my design scheme in my living room area and it even had storage so I could have put some things in there. Not only did I want it for seating, but I wanted to use it as a coffee table when I didn’t need the extra seating. I have now learned my lesson and will just pick up the items I find at thrift stores from now on.

What about you do you love to thrift store or antique store shop? Have you found any hidden treasures?

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5 Great Tips for Buying Mattresses

There are many reasons you may want to buy a new mattress, maybe you are moving out of your parents home and need a new bigger bed, maybe your bed and mattress is old and you just need a new one or maybe you have health issues that need to be addressed with a new mattress.

If one of those situations describes you then I have some great tips for you when it comes to buying and checking out mattresses.

Shop at a store you know

If you have never heard of the store you are in, you may want to get out of there quick. Since most people have the internet you need to really research the store you are shopping at before you get in there.

Don’t buy a mattress that has been returned or a second hand mattress

It is illegal in most places to sell these and stores should never take back a mattress that has been sold. Some stores do this as many people don’t know that this is something that retailers are not suppose to do.

Try out the mattress

You know what works for you and if you don’t try it out, you can’t know if your mattress will work. Lay on it for a while, at least 30 minutes. If the store says you can’t, leave and don’t go back.

Check the Pillow Top

If you want a pillow top mattress you want to make sure the pillow tip zips off and can attach to the other side. You want to be able to flip your mattress every 6 months to keep it in top shape so you want to be able to move that pillow top to the other side.

Don’t buy just because the sales person recommends it.

Yes, the sales person does have knowledge you don’t, but remember they are also working on commission and are trying to sell the high priced mattresses.

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Give The Gift of A Well Designed Home

If you have ever done a DIY project on your home you know how hard it can be to get everything done and either figure out how to do something yourself or find someone who does, that is why this Mothers Day a great gift may just be for a mom you have never met, a mom who needs a home.

Habitat for Humanity has had a place in my heart since I was 11 years old and I saw the homes they built for two very needy families. They took great care to make sure the homes were perfect for them even with the limited space and budget. Habitat for Humanity has grown alot in the last seventeen years and they have touched so many lives. You can help too by donating to Habitat for Humanity and helping a mom get one of the best gifts she could ask for, a home for her and her family. All you have to do is visit the Habitat for Humanity website to donate. The donation is Tax deductible so there really is not a reason to at least check into donating.

You can give this donation as a Mothers Day gift, Graduation gift or any other type of gift.

“What better way to show our moms how much we love and appreciate them than to invest in the dreams of mothers around the world,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “A Mother’s Day Gift from the Heart is a beautiful way to say ‘I love you.’”

Of course another great thing you could do as an experienced DIY person is to donate your time as well as your funds to a great cause. I myself plan on donating my time as soon as I have a working vehicle so I can get to a job site.

About Habitat for Humanity International

Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 400,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 2 million people. For more information, or to donate or volunteer, visit Habitat.org.

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Real Estate Business

Guest post from: Bruno Smith

My partner and I decided to branch off and start our own real estate firm a few years ago. We’d grown weary of working for someone else and we both felt like our town had so much untapped potential that was just waiting to be explored, so we were excited to get our company off the ground.

The first thing I did was contact a lawyer and have paperwork drawn up to make sure our assets were protected in the case of a catastrophic failure. It was also important to divide everything equally since we’d be 50/50 business partners. After that was taken care of I went to http://www.domainnames.com and other registrars to research domain names for our website. The ! available names helped us nail down an actual business name! We’ve been open for just over two years now and I couldn’t be happier. We both love being our own bosses and business is really booming, even in this down housing market. The message here is to follow your heart and your dreams!

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