Dressing Up Your Home For Autumn

Dressing Up Your Home For Autumn

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If you’re getting bored of your current home, there are so many ways you can take advantage of awesome opportunities to get your home winter ready and they don’t have to break the bank, either! It can be a bit overwhelming at times to come up with the best way to do up a room or the whole house without blowing your budget, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some easy and inexpensive ways to inject some new life into a tired, old room.

Find That Statement Piece

Head out on a hunt for that one great piece – an antique chest or sideboard. Something that really catches the eye of everyone in the room as soon as they walk in. It doesn’t have to be overly elaborate or expensive – quite often something like a colourful antique footstool, table, statue or more can add a serious conversation starter to  a room. Antique stores are a great place to find all manner of interesting thing to add to a space – especially front rooms and living or entertaining spaces.

Second hand or charity shops as well are great places to find gently used and sometimes brand new pieces of furniture that just ended up not being needed in a space and often for seriously discounted prices than buying brand new from a furniture shop. But what about delivery? Not many of these types of places offer delivery of their furniture or other items. Luckily with websites like Shiply though you can arrange pick up and delivery of your item by comparing costs and services right on their website, saving you tons of time and money by being able to find a number of quotes in one place.

Feature Walls

Feature walls have become one of the best and most enjoyable ways to do up a space mainly because they can be done in as little as a day and for a low price, depending on what you’re after. Feature walls can be done as big or as small as you like – from highlighting an area around a fireplace to doing an entire side of a room in the same theme or colour. Many feature walls are one solid colour which act as a stark contrast to more subdued hues in the rest of the room. Wallpaper can likewise be employed to create a fantastic feature wall and can come in a variety of shades, styles, patterns and colours. Regardless of which way you create a feature wall, the result is the same – a stunning eye catching point in any room you want! So check out your local home hardware department for colours and styles that suit your needs!

So there you have two easy ways to start doing up your spaces, especially before the Christmas season gets into full swing. If you’re planning to host visitors over the holidays, now is a great time to inject some new life into your home. From cushions to walls to all new furniture, the world is your oyster when sprucing up your home.

JAC Interiors: Modern Eclectic Interior Design

JAC Interiors: Modern Eclectic Interior Design

Are you looking for a new style for your home? Are you tired of the traditional design methods that everyone else is using? If so, you may appreciate modern eclectic style for your next redecoration. Not only will it make your interior much more vibrant and noticeable, but it will make your house feel more like a home. Enlisting los angeles interior designers can also help bring your new, modern look to life.

What is Modern Eclectic?

One of the defining characteristics of this interior design style is the inclusion of a variety of different pieces. Rather than creating a single, homogenous appearance for your home, modern eclectic utilizes various colors, textures, and motifs to create something more unique.

Core Components of the Style

To better understand how this all comes together, it’s important to know what the core concepts are for modern eclectic. At first glance, it may seem like you’re just throwing a bunch of stuff together, but it’s so much more than that.

Curation

To really get into this type of design, you have to be able to bring elements that compliment each other instead of clashing. Also, everything should be part of the homeowner’s persona, so it’s a bit like combining different parts of a person’s personality. Curation is the key to making it work, which means that you can’t just go with anything.

Focus

One thing that can happen easily with modern eclectic is that the interior can feel cluttered or overwhelming. As such, it’s very important to create focal points in each room and have the additional pieces flow outward from it. This will ensure that the result is more refined and appealing.

Ergonomics

While decoration can enhance the feeling of a room, you don’t want to have an abundance of items for show purposes only. Instead, try to incorporate pieces that are both functional and aesthetic so that you get the best of both worlds.

Balance

Finally, the tricky thing about modern eclectic is that you need to have an overarching premise for everything. Randomness is not a design element, so it’s critical that you have a balance of eclectic and classical motifs.

If you’re interested in having the modern eclectic design for your home or business, contact interior design firms in Beverly Hills. We specialize in making this style blend seamlessly into your space.

Getting the Most Out of Your Central Heating

Getting the Most Out of Your Central Heating

We all like to be comfortable in our homes; unfortunately, constantly running heat and air conditioning can put a significant dent in our wallets. Many people think heating or cooling a house is an all-or-nothing game, but there are actually plenty of ways to make sure your house stays at a comfortable temperature without spending hundreds on your monthly heating bill.

Part of the process requires consistent maintenance of your heating system, but the other part is far easier—it involves simple choices you can make to save on your heating bill.

Routine Maintenance

Whether you’re talking about a car, a computer, or an HVAC system, nearly everything works better with consistent maintenance. There are plenty of steps you can take to maintain your central heating system, and many of them can save you money on your heating bill.

The first thing you should do is make sure you have a good air filter. The higher the MERV rating on your air filter, the more contaminants it’s trapping. This is essential to maintaining indoor air quality and a comfortable temperature.

Speaking of air filters, you should make sure you replace yours every 90 days. As more and more air passes through an air filter, contaminants get trapped and impede airflow. Keeping your filter clean not only allows for more air to pass through, it also keeps the air you breathe free of harmful irritants.

You should also make sure your outdoor units have space to breathe. Keep leaves, pollen and grass away from your outdoor units, and make sure they have a few feet of space around them for airflow. As the winter months approach and it’s time to shut off the A/C, you should replace the furnace humidifier filter and turn the water (which you should have turned off in the summer) back on.

Inspecting the condensate drain and clearing it every now and then will help prolong the life of your heating and cooling unit. Lastly, you should occasionally make sure your HVAC unit is on level ground to promote proper drainage. Although these tasks relate more to the A/C, they’re an important part of prolonging the life of your system in general. If you aren’t comfortable performing this maintenance yourself, get help from a trusted HVAC company.

Be Vigilant

One of the easiest ways to save big on your heating bill is to become more vigilant about when and how you heat your home. This includes letting the temperature drop a bit when you’re away from home and promoting proper airflow when the heater is on.

When you’re not at home, you don’t need to keep your house at a cozy 70 degrees F. Each morning before you leave for work, turn your thermostat down a few degrees for the duration of the day. When you get home, you can turn it back up to your desired temperature and relax. A smart thermostat that connects to your smartphone allows you to change the temperature when you’re not at home, which means you can set it to your desired temperature and let it heat up as you drive home. If you don’t mind bundling up, choosing a sweater over those extra few degrees of heat can provide significant savings, too.

Fans are one of the most overlooked money-saving tools when it comes to heating your home. Fans simply promote airflow—nothing more, nothing less. By turning a ceiling fan on (set to the winter setting), you can spread heat throughout your home and save on your heating bill. Heating a home is always going to cost you, but it doesn’t have to be a fortune. Follow these simple tips and you can significantly lower your heating bill.

Things to consider when doing DIY

Things to consider when doing DIY

For some people, a DIY attitude comes naturally to them. They see a crack in their wall, or even their neighbours and they don’t hesitate to get their equipment ready and fix it themselves. If there is no problem then, they will come up with a new job to occupy themselves such as making a small vegetable garden or planning an extension to the house. A lot of the time these can become long, uncompleted tasks and simply turn into hobbies rather than necessary jobs, but for others they work out incredibly well. It is when you see these completed tasks that you become a little disappointed that you didn’t do it yourself. You lack the motivation, the know how or the time. There are many benefits to DIY, in either short or long projects and we are going to look at some of those here to give you that added motivation.

You are not alone:

When you start out on your project, remember you are not alone. Everyone started somewhere especially in fields they hadn’t a clue about. Plan, make sure the project isn’t too big and gather some equipment and knowledge online. You will learn what you are capable of and what you are not and then you can bring this into future projects.

Do a little research:

Before you carry out an DIY projects ensure you do a little research. On larger projects, especially around your property you must ensure that you can carry out the work that you want to and that it can be down in a safe manner. Possibly there are building restrictions in your area which means you can’t carry out work. There might be cables or pipes within your work area that could affect your project.

If you don’t have a background in the field there are plenty of online resources and books which you can use as guides. Ensure they are from reputable sources and this will make your project easier to organise and carry out in a much faster manner.

There is always professional help:

There is always a possibly that you won’t have the skills to carry out the project to its completion or the time. It is then always important to remember that you can call on professionals to help. Companies such as Gordon powers can come in at any time and help with your electrical issues and then you can continue with you project. If you don’t feel up to it any more then there are a host of other that you can hire in to do the job.

Carrying out your own personal DIY project is always a great way to stay motivated and keep yourself busy when you are at home or in an otherwise boring situation. You get to learn some new skills, have the satisfaction of completing the job your side and you won’t be able to blame anybody else for the failures. Remember to always, research carry it out in a safe manner and call on the professionals when necessary.

Easy home improvements for DIY novices

Easy home improvements for DIY novices

Home refurbishments are a great way to give your home a new lease on life, but the expense of hiring decorators can be a huge turn-off. For many, the idea of DIY as an alternative is just as unappealing.

Thankfully, there is a way to get the best of both worlds. Following these simple guidelines, you can transform your home at minimal expense with some DIY that even the biggest novice will find easy and enjoyable: 

Mood lighting

Adding a couple of free-standing lighting fixtures can help turn any room into a new space or at least one that looks new.

Budget versions of stylish floor uplighters and lamps can be picked up from “big box” home decor stores. The best part is, there is absolutely zero effort or electrical knowledge required to install them. Simply unbox, assemble and plug into the wall.

These simple and affordable lighting fixtures can be a great addition to a room that doesn’t get much natural light. They can also be moved around the room to ensure that they have the optimal desired effect with no electrician’s bill in sight. 

Repainting

There’s no end to the benefits that a new coat of paint can bring to a room. While professional painters will surely disagree, it’s a job that can be done well by simply following a few simple guidelines, so there really isn’t any excuse for putting up with drab or worn-out paint jobs.

The key to selecting an appropriate color is to go for a neutral shade. While it may be tempting to add in a feature wall, you may regret this at a later date if fashions change or you decide to change your furniture. So, opt for a gray, off-white or perhaps a “fashion-neutral” navy (be sure to only use dark neutrals such as charcoal and navy in rooms with plenty of natural light).

Hanging pictures

Does your home look like you live in it, or does it just look like somebody lives in it? The key to making any space your own is to include plenty of personal photos of loved ones or artwork that means something to you.

Hanging photos of friends, family and places that you’ve traveled to is a simple and cheap way to bring a room to life. The best part is, it requires no DIY skills whatsoever.

Choose some sentimental photographs from Facebook and print them out on high-quality black-and-white photographic paper. This can be done cheaply at any copy shop and at many “big box” department stores. Because black and white are neutral colors, your photos will have a classic look that complements any room.

The frames are an easy win, too. Just look out for the correct-sized frames at yard sales and charity stores. Remember to stick with frames that are neutral in color and simple in design.

Ladder shelving units

Ladder shelving units are on-trend at the moment. This is why you’ll see them in stylish city cafes and restaurants and in virtually every home décor store.

If you want to get in on the trend, then consider adding a set of ladder shelves to your bedroom, living room or dining room. Assembly is as simple as putting up a normal ladder, which virtually anyone can do, and you can include ornaments on the shelves themselves to suit any room.

The DIY versions of shelving ladder units require a little more assembly but will spare you the inflated fees that boutique stores often charge for very similar items.

Be aware that these units will have their own shelf life, so may start to look a little dated in a few years’ time.

Window shutters

Shutters may not be the first thing that come to mind when thinking of easy DIY projects. but there are DIY shutters available that won’t break the bank. They also look great and take no time to install.

Most importantly, a new set of window shutters will give any room in your home a fresh new exotic feel. On a practical level, they’re ideal for keeping out the summer sun.

Get back to nature

Greenery is always in fashion. So, why not add some to your home? Aside from the mental and physical health benefits that plants can bring to a home, they can also change the look and feel of a room entirely. They can also be picked up from a garden store relatively inexpensively and require no DIY skills at all.

6 Top Landscaping and Lawn Care Tips

6 Top Landscaping and Lawn Care Tips

One thing that True Green understands is beautiful lawns and landscapes. You may have read some the TruGreen reviews and seen how focused they are on helping people have a beautiful home while helping the environment at the same time. Was this review useful to you? If so, True Green would love to hear your comment!

In the meantime, the company has listened to what each customer has mentioned, one of which is to help increase their knowledge about how to properly look after their lawn. Hence, they have developed six key lawn care tips to follow.

  1. Assess Your Space

Before you do any landscaping, you need to consider the space available to you. Find out where the sun and shade is, where you would like to have plants, and what your local environment is like. This is important so that you can properly look after your lawn as well. Proper planning prevents poor performance, as they say,

  1. Think about Your Features and Plants

Now that you know what space you have available, you can create a plan of what you would want to see in it. You may want just one law, with plants surrounding it. Or perhaps you would prefer multiple lawns, with paths between them. You have to think about your plants and your accessories, which you can use as focal points or to section off different parts. Do consider how much work it will require to maintain as well, and make sure you choose plants appropriate to the level of light and the environment.

  1. Think about Your Time

Having a garden can be a lot of work. You could consider hiring a regular lawn service to help you maintain it, or you might want to do it yourself. If you opt the service, don’t forget to review it so that others know how good they are. If you don’t want to hire a lawn service, then make sure you can actually manage it by yourself.

  1. Fertilize

Fertilizing is important for your edibles and flowers, but also for your lawn. If you want it to be beautiful, you need to make sure that you feed it properly. One way to do that is to leave grass clippings after mowing, but you may have to use an actual fertilizer sometimes as well.

  1. Seal and Secure

It is important that you properly seal and secure any features in your garden, such as decking or fencing. This ensures that it will last a life time. Your lawn also has to be properly protected, as do all your other plants.

  1. Call in the Experts

Companies like True Green are there to make sure you can look after your lawn and garden properly. They can give you all the necessary tips on care and maintenance, as well as the products you require. Don’t be afraid to ask for help whenever you need it, that is what companies like TruGreen are there for.

Key Components For a House Extension

Key Components For a House Extension

If you have decided that the time is right to look for more space within your home then a home extension is the course of action which I would recommend. This was a dilemma that I was faced with some years ago and the idea of moving home for more space just seemed too much work, too problematic and, with a volatile housing market, potentially too expensive.

I decided therefore that I would extend my home so that we could gain the additional space that we were looking for and if you are considering doing the same thing, I wanted to use my experience to give you an idea of the things that you are going to need to work out.

Budget

Your budget is key to the speed and quality of the extension and whilst you should of course make it as large as possible, don’t forget that you will not money in reserve. These things always run over budget and there is always something that you will have to pay extra for. An example of this was the additional money I had to pay for the brickwork for the house, the original bricks had been discontinued and the guys down at David Montoya stonemakers were able to custom make them for me, an expense which I had not considered. Rsememrb that you’ll also need money for decorations and furnishings once the job is complete so do not go all in.

Planning Permission

Until you are sure that you have the planning permission for your project, the only person that you should have contracted is an architect. The architect will need to be there to plot the design and to tweak and change it so that it is granted permission from the local government. Without this you cannot build so make sure that you invest a lot of time and energy in gaining your permission.

Construction Firm

You should spend a lot of time when making the decision as to which construction firm you will use to carry out the project. Essentially what you are looking for here is a company with an excellent track record for speed an quality, a leader who will regularly inform of you of what is going on and who is always available and a construction firm which charge a fair price for their work. Use reviews from others, personal recommendations and meetings to decipher which is the best.

Stay or Go

Finally you need to consider whether you will stay at home whilst the work is being undertaken or go to a hotel or a family member’s home during this time. There are benefits and disadvantages to both options and it will vary from job to job. My recommendation would be to move out if it is possible, the job will get done quicker and you won’t have to live on a construction site for the duration of the job. The choice is your but decide as early as possible to cause as little upheaval as you can.

Necessary Materials for Your Next Roofing Project

Necessary Materials for Your Next Roofing Project

Usually, it is quite easy to complete a residential roofing product, so long as you have everything properly prepared. If, for instance, you want to complete roofing projects with copper nails, you need to have your nails, your hammer or nail gun, and all your other materials ready, as well as your plan of action. Let’s take a closer look.

Your Materials

First of all, not any material will do. The right one for your needs depends on where you house is located. Of course, your own personal preference is also an important factor, but it should not overrule the recommendations of official contractors and certainly not those of your local building codes. Make sure you check those out before you get started, in other words. Usually, you will be able to use ceramic, concrete, asphalt, wood ,or metal sheeting.

Metal sheeting is almost always permitted, not in the least because it is so versatile. Plus, thanks to modern technology, it can mimic the look of various other materials, including tiles and shingles. Communities the world over have used this to create their roofs because it is also very durable. So long as you choose high quality metal sheets, they can last for as much as 70 years with little maintenance. Even the lower quality ones can last about four decades if looked after properly. Thanks to modern tools and technology, the chance of enlargement through nail holes and because of the environment has been all but eliminated. Plus, the metal sheeting is usually already painted for you as well.

An alternative would be wood, which is commonly found in residential roofing. While beautiful, you do have to invest heavily in maintenance, as it is very easy for wood to rot. Furthermore, there are other things to consider as well. Wood is susceptible to insects and other animals. Some wood is more rain and sun resistant than other types of wood, and some kind can even resist certain animals and insects. This is obviously very important for homeowners.

Then, there is asphalt, which is popular because it is often locally manufactured. Furthermore, it is versatile and can be customized to your specific needs. Asphalt, for instance, can be made to look like wood or slate, or any other material that you like. It is quick to put up asphalt and it is very easy to maintain it, particularly when compared to an organic roof. They also last a lot longer.

Last but not least, there are ceramic materials and concrete, which have been popular roofing materials for a long time. These are somewhat heavier materials compared to other roof products, and this weight is something that you need to think about, since your foundations and load-bearing walls do have to be able to hold them. Concrete and ceramic is also a very good insulator and will last even when exposed to the elements. However, they can’t be too heavy or bulky for obvious reasons.

DIY Bathroom Improvements to Consider

DIY Bathroom Improvements to Consider

The real estate market has a steep learning curve, and lacking the knowledge, experience, and foresight necessary could leave you open to costly mistakes. But practice makes perfect. Taking on a few home improvement projects is an excellent way to start.

Aside from improving functionality and comfort, updating your bathrooms adds value to your home. Unfortunately, determining the most suitable bathroom improvement project is not always an easy task. To help you get started, here are some fairly inexpensive but highly effective ideas.

Replace your bathroom floor

DIY floor replacements are a great way to upgrade and modernize your bathroom space. Tile stands out from the various flooring options available for use in bathrooms. Aside from being simple, hard-wearing, and long-lasting, tile comes in different shapes, colors, and designs, and can, therefore, be used to complement just about any style.

As seen in this picture, you can use tile to expresses your personality by creating a signature look and feel. Tile offers endless options. For instance, you can give your bathroom floor an elegantly unique look by installing a large medallion at the center or accentuating the borders with small intoned tiles.

While you’re at it, you might as well enhance the bathroom’s appearance and feel by refinishing the bathtub. You just need to remove the old caulk, thoroughly clean the tub, apply a two-part epoxy to fill any surface chip, sand the rough spots until they are smooth, and spray at least two new coats of paint onto the bathtub.

Improve the lighting setup

It’s unfortunate that some people don’t know the importance of properly installed bathroom lights. Although adequate lighting is essential to the many functions of a bathroom, unflattering shadows are a common concern.

As seen in this picture, sconce lighting fixtures can provide evenly distributed light when installed at the vanity. You can also prevent the occurrence of shadows by installing eye-level lighting solutions. On the other hand, having dimmers and dimmable light bulbs improves the ambience. While dim lighting works well for relaxing baths, you’ll want a brightly lit bathroom for your cosmetic functions. If you have a small bathroom, adding more overall lights is bound to open up space.

Enhance the ventilation

When it comes to the bathroom’s functionality, humidity is one of the biggest concerns. Aside from the fact that mold needs moisture to grow, wet walls are a danger to the structural integrity of your home. Moisture could, therefore, make quick work of any renovation. In most cases, the unsightly spots commonly associated with mold and mildew will develop in the bathroom first, mainly because it is often the wettest room.

To keep mold and mildew from growing, you need to allow proper air circulation. After you’ve showered, leaving the bathroom door or window open could be a great first step, especially since such actions can help ventilate the room. But if you want to draw out moisture and ensure proper ventilation, installing a vent fan might be the best solution. In fact, many would agree that vent fans are a must-have. In addition to being a lot quieter, currently available models come in elegant and stylish designs.

Clean grout

If you don’t seal your grout lines after a tile job, you’ll probably notice variable color patterns before long. Thankfully, superior grout cleaning products are currently available on the market. Although these improved products can help you achieve desirable results, it’s unfortunate that most of them are noxious, making it important to take the necessary precautions. Alternatively, you can use a steam spot cleaner plus a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Either way, you will need elbow grease and heavy-duty brushes. Remember to allow adequate drying time before you seal the grout.

Jessica Kane is a writer for OSHA Campus Online, a provider of affordable online OSHA training courses that are accepted nationwide!

Things to keep in mind during a home inspection

Things to keep in mind during a home inspection

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Want to get into your local real estate market? With prices surging across America, it’s time to get in before they start to spike.

Many choose to do this by looking for an older starter home, but they lack the foresight to be diligent on whether the owner has been keeping up with maintenance.

They don’t know what to watch out for when strolling around a property they are considering; before you know it, they buy a house which has tens of thousands of dollars worth of defects.

Lloyd Claycomb shakes his head when he hears these stories. As a leader in the Denver area construction industry for more than a generation, he knows what a sturdy home looks like.

When he buys properties to fix up, there is a long checklist he follows to be sure he isn’t throwing wads of his own cash into a flaming pit.

Below, we’ll share what goes through the head of a seasoned home buyer when they are inspecting a property.

There are crucial areas you’ll need to check, so be sure to pay attention to the following points.

1) Look for signs of water leakage

One of the biggest problems you’ll find during a home inspection involves past or present water leaks.

Often taking on the appearance of rusty brown splotches, these signs of spilled water from breached pipes or from a compromised roof may be the first sign of more serious structural damage.

As this compromises the stability of your home, the costs to fix this damage can be expensive depending on the extent of the leaks. If there are signs of these leaks everywhere, you may want to move on to another property.

2) Search for mold

Weakened walls aren’t the only problem water can cause in a home. Its presence or persistent dampness can create the ideal environment for mold.

This fungi is known for the toxic effects it can have on people exposed to this pathogen over many weeks and months.

If the problem is small, you might be able to tackle it on your own, but if it is extensive, the services of an environmental remediation company may be required, which is an expense that will add to your final bill substantially.

3) Inspect the roof

Next, get a ladder so you can assess the roof’s condition. Check the supports to see if they are straight and assess whether the shingles have aged to the point where they have begun to peel or warp.

Either of these problems mean water could find its way into the house if it hasn’t already, causing the issues described earlier in this article.

Next, see if the gutters properly channel water away from the foundation. If it flows toward the property when it rains, your basement could flood in record time during the next torrential downpour.

Use a bucket to put this system to the test. If the present gutters fail, you may have to shift the terminus location of the outlet pipes, or re-grade the land around the property to improve drainage.