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Home Maintenance

Helpful Tips to Help You Decorate Your Home

Aren’t those homes that look like they come straight from a magazine enviable? There is no need to wish your house could be decorated nicely. You too can have a beautifully decorated home. You just need the right guidance. Keep reading to find helpful advice on redecorating your home to look like the magazines.

Aim to create a unique mood for each and every room in your home. Try to have a certain mood set out when choosing the items that will go inside that particular room. For instance, if you want to achieve a calm mood, then you should select soft and warm colors.

As you lay out your design plan, make color scheme a top priority. Provide the room with a tasteful, well-balanced appearance by understanding which colors are complementary and which ones clash. Do not use a lot of bright colors together.

Use versatile furniture in small rooms. For example, instead of using chairs or sofas, use ottomans. The ottoman can be used for seating or table space, thus making the most out of your limited space. Anything that you can find that can be used for more than one thing can make your room worthy of many purposes.

Seriously think about your financial situation and what your budget is for interior design before you spend the money. If you do not maintain the finances for your new design, you will hit a lot of road blocks. This will help you to reduce stress and anxiety while designing.

Tap into your creative side when you are redesigning the kitchen. There is always the popular granite to consider, but also think about using non traditional materials such as cork, concrete or wood. These alternatives can be cheaper, and they can provide your kitchen with a custom look that reflects your taste.

Be creative with your hanging picture frames. They are also part of the room’s design. You shouldn’t just simply hang photos in a straight line. Try hanging them in carefully planned patterns or angles. Making use of surrounding white space can create some interesting effects and even change the mood of a room.

Even though you are trying to stick to a budget you should not skimp on paint. Quality paint will last longer, has better coverage and will save you time and money. Try getting a good brand so that your design will last.

It is a good idea to use popular elements in your design. This will make a dull room modern. It is smart to limit these trendy accents to small items. It is simple to replace them when the fashion changes and you want something new. A sofa with zebra print isn’t as easy to change.

Beautifully decorated home interiors do not have to cause you envy any more. These tips can teach you how to make your home into a place that you want to show off. Don’t allow interior design to scare you. Redesign your home by using these helpful tips.…

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Home Renovation

Learn All about How Pest Control Works

There is no quick-fix solution that solves every pest control problem. Thus, you need to acquire a great deal of knowledge to get the right solution. The following article contains a wealth of information that will get you started.

Always have new homes inspected by a trained professional. There are some signs of pests that are easy to see. Others do not become apparent until you spend some uninterrupted time at home.

Don’t be gullible when it comes to thinking you’re past a bedbug infestation. Bedbugs can go upwards of a year without any food. Because of this, you should seal off any and all access points in your home. Then they won’t have a hiding spot.

Seal food that isn’t being used. If there’s one thing for which pests will make a beeline, it is food, so you don’t want to tempt them. You should also take out your garbage as soon as it is full. Trash is yet another source of alluring smells for the pests and should be avoided at all costs.

Is your home swarming with ants? A simple way to rid yourself of them is to mix up some borax and sugar. The ants will be attracted to the sweet scent from the sugar, and they will be killed by the borax. Just mix a single cup of sugar and one of borax. Put holes in your lid, and then sprinkle it along your home’s foundation.

Keep water from pooling and standing stagnant around your home. This can attract many pests, including mosquitoes. Search for leaky pipes and make sure your plants’ trays are clean. Most pests require standing water to survive; therefore, it is important to remove any standing water.

Pest repellents that are electronic prove very effective. They can be plugged in each room and let off a noise that repels rodents. Although they are audible to humans, they are not harmful to humans or pets in anyway. Rodents hate the noise, keeping them away.

As soon as you notice fallen trees in your yard, eliminate them. Cut the trunk and the branches for firewood. You can sell it, use it, or give it away. However, remember to deal with the stump too. This dead wood will also attract termites.

Pests really like to live in drains. Liquid cleaner or a snake monthly on your drains is always a great idea. Debris can cause mold growth, which provides pests with an excellent living area.

Try using plastic storage for storing dry foods. Many dry foods come in bags and boxes, and insects can very easily get inside of them. Make sure that any food is emptied into your sealed containers right away. Using containers made from plastic can keep pests under control and extend the freshness of foods.

You can now better conquer your pest issues with this information. Identify what kind of pest you are dealing with and use an appropriate solution. You will be so thrilled to get the critters out of your home.…

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Room Additions

Common Kitchen Renovation Mistakes to Watch Out For

You might have purchased the most beautiful-looking cabinets only to discover that the in-built storage space is not enough to accommodate your utensils! Think again before investing every single penny and make sure it’s worth what you get in return. A beautiful looking kitchen will soon turn into a nightmare if it doesn’t offer ease of practical usage. Here are other common renovation problems people have when renovating their kitchen…

Take time to layout a kitchen renovation plan and stick to it. It’s definitely your prerogative, but the more last minute changes you make, the more money will flow from your pocket. Additionally, you’ll delay the entire project.

Do not commit the mistake of replacing everything in sight in your kitchen. Instead think intelligently, and try to add a new look to all the useful existing stuff. That cooking range that you are just about to pay half of your monthly earnings for is too power-packed for your use. Just because it’s latest, doesn’t mean you have to own it!

Kitchen renovation requires you to consider a lot of diverse aspects. From lighting and flooring to countertops, sinks and cabinets; each facet needs to be assigned a perfect place and a perfect look. Avoid this common kitchen renovation mistake by deciding not to handle it all by yourself, and not ending up squandering a larger amount during the entire process.

Resist purchasing materials without a plan. Well, if you love those funky orange cabinets and get an intense urge to buy those, hold your horses! The new layout of your kitchen might not have enough space for their width! What happens to the staggering $4000 spent then? Make sure you have a perfect kitchen renovation design handy when you start making purchases. List out what you want to buy and stick to it.

You definitely don’t want to walk in your kitchen early in the morning and discover that it still smells of that Sushi from last night! Make sure your kitchen renovation design has enough room for good air circulation and make sure to place an exhaust fan at a strategic location.

Sink, refrigerator and cooking area, need to be space coordinated in such a manner that you experience a smooth work flow at all times. Placing the refrigerator or installing the sink far away from the cooking area can be a great hassle to tackle!

Be watchful and make sure you avoid these common kitchen renovation mistakes, so that your dream kitchen turns out to be a wonderful blend of beauty with brains.…

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Home Repair

Kitchen Renovation at Affordable Cost

It is necessary to be aware of the different basic steps that are usually involved while undertaking kitchen renovation task. It is essential to determine the goal of the cook house before undertaking affordable kitchen redesigning job. It is imperative to perform research work at an early stage. The type of materials that one desires to use for the countertops should be appropriately confirmed. It is also necessary to hold a clear idea about the exact appliances that need to be replaced in order to perform cook house redesigning job. The different kitchen accessories such as sink, stove and refrigerator should form the shape of a triangle. It is always desirable to add extra walking and eating space.
It is mandatory to hold a vivid idea about the exact location of the outlets. By having a clear idea about the location of the outlets, one can arrange the appliances in an effective and orderly manner. In order to perform kitchen renovation at an affordable rate it is mandatory for the sketches to include dimensions. Accurate dimensions will help to make an effective planning. One can always seek the help of kitchen designers who are known to provide additional renovation ideas. The measurements should be extremely accurate, otherwise performing kitchen remodeling job can be extremely difficult. The measurements should be taken by expert professionals.
Affordable kitchen renovation includes replacing different accessories such as door handles, cupboards and worktops. The above mentioned accessories are considered as true aesthetic additions. The additions play a major role in enticing buyers. Affordable renovation job involves replacing the cupboard items and worktops. It is possible to impart a true sense of style and chic by replacing the above mentioned household elements. Individuals who cannot undertake the burden involved in the replacement of worktops and cupboards can sand back cupboard doors and impart a paint covering. The above mentioned step is simple and can help to transform the entire outlook of the kitchen.…

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Renovation Costs

Top Foreclosed Condos Kitchen Renovation Tips

Since a foreclosed property may need a few touch ups here and there, you may be in for an instant home project. Some repairs are part- or section-specific, and if you are wondering which part of a pre-owned home that’s usually in need of a repair or renovation, that would most likely be the kitchen. Because apart from the bathroom, the kitchen is the part of the house that’s over used.
Now, if you have recently purchased or are renting out a foreclosed condo unit and you noticed that the kitchen is in dire need of a makeover, it doesn’t mean that you have to jump up and down and start pulling your hair out of frustration. Why? Because contrary to popular belief, kitchen renovations need not be expensive and time consuming. There are several ways to help give your kitchen a new look. Now to do this, deal with the project part-by-part, which means every part of your kitchen should be treated with utmost care and should be given enough attention.
1. Walls. Choose nice, clean and calm colors when painting the walls in your kitchen. Try bright colors such as sunshine or pastel yellow, light green and baby blue. The light color will create an illusion and will give your kitchen new and larger dimension. Aside from that the cool colors will give you the impression that the place is cool enough even if you are slaving away in front of the stove.
2. Floor. You really don’t need to install new tiles or floors, especially if the flooring is still in good shape. This will help you save more money since tiles, wood paneling and boards can be a bit expensive. But if the kitchen floor is a mess, you can contact suppliers that offer low priced, but high quality, materials for the repairs.
3. Use light colored drapes and blinds for your windows. But if you have a windowless kitchen, ask a trusted interior designer where you can install the appropriate lighting system to make your kitchen look bigger and brighter. Lighting fixtures installed under cabinets will work best for this type of kitchen. You may also arrange scented candles or odor eliminating candles on your kitchen counter to add light and make your condo kitchen look chic.
4. Paint your cabinets white. There are those that give off a glossy shine, this will help the light bounce back and around the room, without the need to install high powered light bulbs that consume a huge amount of electricity. Stainless steel cabinet handles creates a mirror effect as well.
5. Decorating your kitchen walls is also easy. If you have very limited space in your kitchen, you do not need bulky furniture – since those will only take up too much space. So to make sure that you have enough room to move around, install small shelves on your wall. The shelves will serve as decorations or wall accents and at the same time as storage area for some of your spices, cups and saucers.
These tips can surely help you transform a small condo kitchen into a room that looks spacious, elegant and up to date at the same time.…

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General Article

5 Essential Garden Design Elements

5 Essential Garden Design Elements

As a garden designer you need to have a broad knowledge of plants, construction techniques and materials. Every garden I design is different but I have a handful of plants and materials I use on a regular basis that always proves to be a good starting point when meeting clients. Of course there are many factors to consider during the design process but I thought I would share my top 5 garden design elements with you.

1. Paving

Any garden can benefit from having a paved area. This is generally the starting point as it is where clients will spend most of their time. It could serve as an outdoor dining area with a table and chairs, a barbeque or possibly some nice modern furniture for a more contemporary solution. Whether you choose a more upmarket stone like travertine or sawn sandstone or a cheaper solution like indian sandstone or imitation cement slabs, this area is always my starting point.

2. Decking

Decking has always been a popular choice but has become even more so in recent times. Timber is great to work with and it is fairly easy to construct a good looking deck. A decked area really ties in nicely to a stone patio or can be built on differing levels without too much of a headache. Where paving needs an area that is already level, a deck can be constructed on a timber frame eliminating the need for labour intensive site preparation. Hardwood decking is more expensive than it’s softwood alternative but the benefits are considerable. Hardwood lasts much longer and provided that you maintain it annually with oils or wood treatment it will look great for many years to come.

3. Water Features

Water features have so many benefits. They are usually a focal point in the garden. They promote insect and bird life in your garden and even aquatic life if you choose to grow water plants. The sound of flowing water is very relaxing and can add a great mood to your garden. Water features can be made of stone or concrete, glass or aluminium and a good lighting scheme will really add beauty to your water feature.

4. Lawn

Whether you have a family or live alone, a good lawn is always a welcome addition to any garden. While it requires regular mowing and care the rewards of having a lawn are really clear. A space for the kids to kick a ball around, a green area for Mum to catch a tan, or just as a cost effective way to brighten up the garden. A useful tip is to always buy a good mower. A petrol mower with a roller is always best as it bruises the lawn and force it to spread, giving you a full and luscious lawn.

5. Plants

You don’t have to consider yourself a keen gardener to enjoy the plants in your garden. While the above mentioned elements all make for good garden design, lets face it, a garden isn’t complete without a variety of shrubs, perennials, annuals and trees. I personally like a more minimal planting scheme using plants like buxus, bay and olive to create architectural shapes and green ‘structures’. There is however no denying the beauty of flowering plants and shrubs that add colour to your garden and brighten up your outdoor space. Small trees such as acer can really add a splash of interest to your garden and their fiery red foliage nicely offset the greens and blues of regular plants and trees.

Most importantly – BE CREATIVE! Love your garden and keep working at it. You’ll be glad you did when spring and summer come around. Happy gardening:)…

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Kitchen Renovation

A Smart Buy Within Reach – New Homes and the Benefits of Ownership

If you thought that your dreams of buying a new home were out of reach, think again. Today with the values of homes at historic lows and with a wealth of inventory on the market it is a buyer’s market and there is not a better time to buy than now. The best part? In this market you have the opportunity to buy brand new homes for the same price as their older counterparts and for a fraction of what it cost just a few years ago.
Buying a new home has countless advantages. A new home is like a blank canvas, a place where no one else but you has called it home. Plus a new home offers hassle free living that buying an older home does not allow. New homes are virtually maintenance free. When you buy a new home you buy a home that is technologically up to date with features like new appliances, new cabinetry, new roofing, and new plumbing. When you buy new you save countless bills purchasing a home that is more energy efficient, up to date with the most recent safety codes, and often times more green than its older inefficient counterparts.
Imagine not having to spend any money for years fixing anything! When you buy an older home you run the risk of purchasing the home and then having to make countless fixes that add thousands of dollars to your bottom line. When you buy new, what you see is what you get.
What else do new homes offer? Incentives. Sellers want to move their inventory and are offering incentives everywhere. Today you can get extra incentives like upgrades to high end products and materials, new appliances, and even furnishings for your new home. Free incentives mean extra savings for you and your family.
Another feature of new homes is the community they offer. When you buy a new home you are buying into a planned community. New homes often offer planned recreation parks and play areas for your kids, sidewalks for walking, lush landscaped areas, and paths for jogging.
But don’t wait long. If waiting for the market to bottom out is your plan you may miss your opportunity to buy new. No one knows where the bottom is and experts are speculating that we may very well be there.
So what are you waiting for? Take a look at a new home today and start adding up all of the ways that you will save for you and your family.…

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Remodel Kitchen

Home Maintenance Management: Skills Homeowners Can Learn Fast

It became apparent in the aftermath of the home-market crash that there would be winners and losers; rich parents and poor parents, buyers at wholesale and sellers at loss, savvy homeowners and homeowners-no-more.
Homeowners that are known to be savvy, by friends and neighbors, are known as the ones who “did their homework” prior to signing on major purchases. To our surprise it was not major purchases they excelled at, but the many minor ones in fact. Major purchases are usually covered by consumer and government reports. Neighbors talk about major purchases because they can hide behind its many variations. Major purchases are well covered, while minor ones rarely make the news.
Some of you might describe mechanical repairs (air conditioning, heating, appliance repair) as a major expense. Let us be frank, it is minor compared to building a pool or replacing a roof or re-doing the bathroom. Studies have shown that most homeowners are not candid to others about repair technicians working at their homes, so true even when neighbors inquire about it. It is for that reason that knowing who and how to call a contractor for your home mechanical repairs is important. This is a Home Maintenance Management skill, probably the most important one of them. It requires savviness as no one will help you do it. Sad, but I will tell you this “IT CAN BE LEARNED”.
One of the best things I have done in college was take a series of classes on interviewing skills. In fact I ended up graduating with a degree in Communication alongside my intended degree in Engineering. A skilled homeowner knows how to ask the right questions. There are open-ended questions and closed-ended questions (with many variations). When you call a local contractor, you learn few things from the way they answer your call. At first you may ask the dispatcher a series of typical short closed questions; cost of service call, extended warranty, how soon they can come out, etc. That makes them know that you mean business. After a dispatcher spends one or two minutes talking to you, you may then casually ask your open-ended questions. Listen carefully to how they answer them. Only a good contractor will have time and good demeanor to answer yet another one or two deliberate open-ended questions. Examples of deliberate open-ended question are: What happens if the cost was above my budget; What causes appliances to break down all at once? Tell me about your experience in repairing central air conditioners; Tell me your experience in appliance repair.
I hope that explains my idea.
In a future article, I will shed some light on communicating with a repair technician at your home, smartly, and for good results.…

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General Article

Garden Design Simplified

Garden Design Simplified

The sports ad says “Just Do It”. That is exactly the attitude you need to succeed at garden designing. Remember, these ideas or designs you come up with are not set in stone. You can always move plants around your gardens and, as your ideas and taste change, your gardens can grow with you.

There are some simple elements of garden design to keep in mind. When you are designing your garden you are doing so with ‘living art’. Think as creatively as you can. Maybe you are inspired by a garden you have seen on a garden tour (great idea, by the way) or in a magazine or two. Don’t be afraid to borrow.

Remember you are free to try whatever suits your taste. There are no limitations to your own creativity. You answer to the critic within. Have no anxiety about comparison nor fear of failure. To be sure, to be good at gardening requires learning certain skills, but when all is said and done a garden’s beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. Just go for it and let your gardens be the expression of you.

Garden design and its principles used may be called by different names. Still, there are three basic concepts when combined together that will bring about good garden design. Please remember, however, and at the risk of repetition, in the final analysis, your gardens’ design is up to you and should reflect your own personality and flare.

Order, balance and proportion are the basic elements of the garden.

Order is created through symmetry through the technique of repeating plants or colors. Bold or bright additions bring balance as well as adding some texture. Texture is a very important ingredient. Gardens come to life with different textures or as the French say “Viva la difference.” The contrast of adjacent textures can be very exciting.

Think of all your different plants and how they flow together. Think of how bringing them together, through unity and harmony, creates comfort and peace.

When all of the parts of your garden are flowing together, it is captivating and the viewers’ spirit is caught up in the beauty.

By using a limited color pattern, repetition of plants and a clear focal point will create this environment. I’m sure you’ve noticed how theme gardens are very soothing: all one color, or how butterfly gardens can keep you flowing in the visual unity.

Having a focal point is a big benefit for every garden. With no focal point, the eye starts to this way and that without every getting a sense of a main feature. This, of course, will not create the harmony you desire. You also will not any curb appeal and the economic benefits derived from that. Beginning gardeners seem bent on picking the same flowers or foliage over and over again. You can seen them, flat after flat, at box stores and groceries. Aside from color, they really don’t offer much in the way visual interest. Planting an architectural, bold leafed plant, can instantly restore this visual interest and shatter the monotony of likeness.

Last, but not least, we come to color in your gardens. Experimenting with your favorite colors is a good way to see what works best for you. The best advice I know of, and one hard to heed, is to start out with two or three colors and their various shades and keep the artist’s palette limited. New colors can be added as you go as you see what is working or not. This way, you keep the living painting flowing in the harmony you wish to create. You will then have a peaceful retreat that you have created and that you can share that intimate part of you reflected in your garden.…