How to Add Some Personality to Your Home

How to Add Some Personality to Your Home

We all know that our home is a reflection of who we are, and is one of the biggest investments we’ll ever make. If you consider how much time and money we spend transforming our homes, we should take the time to make sure what’s reflected back is a place we want to call “home.”

Let’s start with the areas that mean the most to us and where we spend the most time whether our living room, kitchen, or in our own backyard. Here’s how to get started adding more meaning and personality to your home.

Bring the nightlife home

Instead of meeting up with friends and family at the movies, pub or nightclub, bring the nightlife home. Transform an entire area of your home that caters to nightlife and entertainment. Set up a tiki bar outside under the stars or in your basement and add everything you need to make it your favorite hang out, like beer glasses, a dart board and surround-sound speakers. You can also get innovative and set up a popcorn machine and an outdoor projector for an evening movie. For something more spirited, create an area to dance all night under a disco ball.

Show off your hobbies

Instead of tucking away your artwork or hoarding your travel photos on your smartphone, show them off in style. Create sacred space, whether on a wall or on a dedicated table in your den, to showcase your favorite hobbies. You can also add colorful frames and embellishments to give your hobbies balance with the decor of your home. For example, if your hobby is collecting sea glass or growing beautiful flowers, show it off in a stunning bud vase or dish and add colorful pebbles to tie into the aesthetics of your home.

Get creative

If you want to set your home apart from the rest, add more creativity to your favorite spaces. Paint a wall of your den matte black or cobalt blue to show off your favorite style. If you love to entertain at home, purchase a ping-pong table that doubles as a dining room table with the help of a quick cover. You can also store board games in an ottoman that doubles as storage space and hang plenty of unique artwork to show-off your creative eye.

Keep it cozy

A home full of warmth and personality needs a cozy touch to transform it into a place you love. Add impossibly plush throw pillows and blankets around your home so you can warm up whether you’re relaxing in a living room or den. And remember, you can transform your fireplace for year-round warmth. Just add pillar candles to a non-working fireplace to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. During winter months, move the pillar candles to the mantle and dim the lights to showcase a roaring fire with a magical glow.

Make it personal

At the end of the day, a home with personality requires a personal touch. Fire up your smartphone and print out those photos of family and friends, find your grandmother’s old quilts to add to your bedding rotation and show off your keepsakes on end tables and shadow box frames. The more you can bring yourself into your home, the more personality you’ll see.

Your home is an extension of yourself and should be celebrated and honored. Get to work showing off your signature style and personal touches from a new entertainment area to your personal keepsakes. The concept of “home is where your heart is” will take on a whole new meaning.

Ideas for Scandinavian Bathroom Design

Ideas for Scandinavian Bathroom Design

While it isn’t necessary to pick a style or a theme in order to make your bathroom dazzling, novices at interior design stand a much better shot at making a harmonious bathroom. One of the trends that were popularized as of late was the so-called Scandinavian design. While this particular style can be applied in every corner of your home, one must notice how this trend is particularly appealing when it comes to your bathroom. The cold efficiency, pragmatism, simplistic layout and easy maintenance that comes from bright monochromatic surfaces are ideal for the most functional room in your home. Here are some other ideas.

1. Reflective surface

The first thing you need to understand is that in a Scandinavian bathroom, functionality always comes first. Therefore, you need a vanity, yet, not a standard vanity since it’s for the best if you can avoid the frame. Sure, a simple frame can fit perfectly into a Scandinavian design, however, by picking the mirror without any kind of frame, you can make it seamlessly blend into the wall behind it. This is particularly useful if you have a bold concrete or bare brick wall in your bathroom (even though the latter goes better with industrial design than it does with Scandinavian style).

2. Nordic minimalism

Another thing often associated with Scandinavian designs is the so-called Nordic minimalism. Seeing as how the bathroom tends to be the smallest room in the house, this is also a pragmatic trend. First of all, it gives you an opportunity to work around several fixtures and keep the rest of the bathroom completely empty. This will give you some room to maneuver and make your floor-walls composition into a canvas, with fixtures as figures on it. Needless to say, this opens up the room for various storage options, yet, pushing this too far might upset the minimalist aspect of your bathroom.

3. Metals and geometric tiles

The next step towards getting the most out of your Scandinavian bathroom is to look towards metals, precious metals in particular. Copper tub and fixtures can be quite appealing, even though not a lot of people would associate them with Scandinavian design right away. Apart from this, you might want to look towards neutral geometric tiles on both walls and the floor. Depending on the layout and the scheme of the tiles, this can make your bathroom appear both larger or smaller, depending on what your aims are.

4. Natural materials

The main thing about Scandinavian design lies in the fact that the material you use needs to appear as natural as possible, which is why we hinted at the bold concrete several sections earlier. Natural materials like wood and stone can be just as popular. Matte hardwood floor and luxurious stone bathtub are just two examples of the way in which this works. Stools made from reclaimed wood, teak storage, woolen rugs and mats are other options that you have available. Look through all of your options in order to look into the plan that suits you the most.

5. Farmhouse bathroom

Not every Scandinavian design has to be covered in marble and concrete. Why not abandon the idea of an urban Scandinavian bathroom and make a Scandinavian farmhouse bathroom instead? This theme can be perfectly matched with retro and rustic, thus making a perfect hybrid of three daring bathroom styles. In a way, this can transform your bathroom from a place where you take a bath into a perfect reading nook. Light a couple of candles, get yourself a nice book or a water-proof Kindle reader and enjoy your bathtub.

6. Teak open shelves

Earlier on, we mentioned teak as one of the materials you want to turn to when it comes to the natural Scandinavian look, but the texture and material aren’t everything. Accessibility also plays a pivotal role, which is why picking teak open shelves for your bathroom may seem like an option that gives you everything you’re looking for. Open shelves are simply more flexible, give you more space to fill (thus maximizing storage space) and it’s super convenient for maintenance. Think about it, wood and moisture aren’t an ideal combination (even though the right finish and maintenance can do a lot). At least open shelves have much better air circulation.

Conclusion

Of course, there are ways to make a Scandinavian bathroom without including any of the above-listed trends, however, they are definitely used for a reason. They’re pragmatic, easy for maintenance, beautiful and allow you to enhance your bathroom with a minimal investment. All in all, this might at least give you some idea about where you should start planning the layout of your bathroom.

Creating a Productive Workspace in Your New Home

Creating a Productive Workspace in Your New Home

Now that more people are starting businesses at home and working remotely, home office space is something many buyers are looking for. Working remotely offers many advantages, including reduced overhead costs, lack of commute and more hours in the working day. However, before you set up your workspace, there are several things you need to consider. How much space do you need, for example, and what will you be using it for?

Whether you’re moving house to accommodate a new business idea or you’ve grown tired of working from your couch, here are three tips to help you create the ideal workspace for your new home. 

Lighting Is Everything

According to studies from the International Well Building Institute, the lighting in your workspace could mean the difference between productivity and procrastination at work. First things first, you should always maximize the natural light to improve your performance and health, so try to face your desk near a window or patio door. Relying on natural light will also help to reduce energy costs. When you’re looking for a home, opt for spaces with glass partitions, reflective surfaces and skylights to increase sunlight exposure.

If you’re not able to increase the natural night in your workspace, you can work with a good desk lamp to keep you focused instead. You’re more likely to feel sleepy and unproductive in dark spaces, so always keep your desk well lit – especially if you’re going to be working at night. YLighting offers a stunning collection, which includes a modern desk lamp to brighten your space, as well as various floor lamps and overhead features from notable designers Koncept Lighting and Anglepoise.

Knowing Your Space

You’ll need to know the square footage of your home office before you’re able to buy furniture, so hold off until you’ve finalized your move, and be sure to measure up. There will obviously be limits on what you can fit into your office according to the space you have available. If you’re planning on working with an employee or business partner, you will need a desk that can accommodate two people or separate workstations. There are numerous space-saving desk options on the market, just be sure you’re not compromising on workspace when you make your purchase – remember that computers, files and other office essentials will take up most of your surface space.

Choosing Furniture

When it comes to choosing office seating, there are certain mistakes you want to avoid. For a start, you should always opt for seating with proper back support and armrests; the best chairs will also offer adjustable lumbar support for your lower back. This feature is important for preventing back strain that can worsen and become sciatica, a debilitating condition that affects many office workers in the U.S.

You should also make sure you’re able to keep your feet flat on the floor when you’re working, and that your elbows can easily bend at a 90-degree angle when using your computer. The trendy chairs you see on Pinterest may look great, but they won’t necessarily support your posture after a few hours at your desk.

Important Considerations Before You Buy Your Next Home

Important Considerations Before You Buy Your Next Home

Buying a new home is a very exciting milestone in your life. It’s a huge decision that requires a lot of your time and energy. You have to do your homework to find the right property for you and your family, and hope that what you’re moving forward with is the right choice for everyone involved. Before you uproot your entire life, though, you need to first ask yourself a series of important questions. Not only can this fill you with confidence, but can also bring excitement to a new chapter in your life.

Can You Envision Your Style?

Before you purchase any furniture, you need to determine your new home’s overall theme. If you like everything vintage, then see if your house matches that style. However, if you prefer a more timeless and classical approach that matches any house’s interior or exterior, then looking for a seller that deals in contemporary furniture is ideal. Start with each room and picture what furniture you’d like to include. If you want a modern bedroom, then stylish modern beds from Lumens can be the centerpiece of your bedroom. If you want a contemporary living room, then hang statement lights that act as art but are also functional.

How Much Work Will You Need to Put in?

Take a look around and understand the condition your potential property is in as it stands. Read through the inspection papers and make sure you’re clear on what needs fixing and what can wait. Talk with your spouse and agree on what projects you’re willing to do yourself and which ones will require you to hire a contractor. Remember that it’s not only money, but also your time and energy that’s going to be spent in redecorating or renovating this house.

Do you like the Neighborhood?

Although you like the house, consider if the neighborhood is a good fit for you and your family. Walk around, go to the stores and drive through the areas outside of your specific neighborhood. Talk to people you see on the street and do research into how the schools are rated. You have to immerse yourself in the scene to get a true feeling for what you’re getting yourselves into. Don’t let your love for the house sway your decision one way or another. You have to evaluate the neighborhood on its own and decide if it’s a good fit.

Is there Space to Grow?

You might love the way the house you want to buy looks and feels. However, determine if it’s going to meet your needs as your family grows and matures over the years. Think about whether you want to have any more kids and how much stuff you’ll need to store as the kids grow older. It may not be a smart move to purchase a place that barely fits you and your family if you’re looking to expand.

Conclusion

When it comes to buying a house, whether it’s your first or fourth, you need to think clearly and carefully about the property in question. Rather than rush into such a move, consider the questions listed above and make a logical decision with your whole family in mind.

Small Changes that Will Make Cleaning a Breeze

Small Changes that Will Make Cleaning a Breeze

Cleaning is a chore that no one really likes, but we need to do it to keep our homes clean and habitable. You don’t exactly have to lose an entire day tidying up your house; by making some small changes here and there, you can easily turn cleaning from a dreary, painstaking process to a faster and easier one. To help you, here are a few tips that will make cleaning a breeze.

  • Upgrade your cleaning tools.Software and gadgets are far from the only things that have undergone a lot of technological changes in the past few years; even cleaning tools these days are more advanced and efficient. While there’s nothing wrong with cleaning your home using the same kind of tools that your parents or even grandparents have used, you should still check out improved tools and formulas that make cleaning a faster and easier affair. Trade in your old cleaning rag for a high-quality microfiber cloth, or swap out the bulky vacuum cleaner for a later and more powerful model, one that’s probably going to be easier to lug around the house. By using new tools, you’ll find that your cleaning tasks will be much more streamlined and take less time.
  • Make it a family habit. The responsibility of cleaning and tidying up a house with multiple occupants shouldn’t rest on one person alone. If you live with other people, you should work together and divide chores that will help keep your house a more habitable space. If you have kids, teach them how to do simple chores and have them help you out. You can even make it more fun by turning it into a game where the best or fastest cleaner gets an award, or by rewarding the entire family with a special snack or meal once the task has been completed. Getting your entire family involved not only allows you to clean your house faster, but it also teaches your kids important habits and life skills.
  • Stick to a schedule. One of the best things to do with cleaning tasks that take up a lot of time and effort – such as washing the car or doing the laundry – is to schedule them properly and stick to that schedule. This way, these chores will become a habit and you’ll have an easier time avoiding procrastination. Scheduling cleaning chores also helps you find more free time to spend with your family and loved ones.
  • Clean as you go.Letting the dirty stuff— be it dishes, laundry, or dust— pile up is a common mistake that makes cleaning more difficult than it should be. Resist every temptation to let the dirty dishes stay untouched in the sink for too long, and if you see something out of place, put it back where it belongs, especially if doing so won’t take you more than 2 minutes. By taking care of the small stuff right away, you’re giving yourself more time to focus on the bigger, more complicated tasks during your weekly cleaning.
  • Start from top to bottom. No matter what room you’re cleaning, it’s always a good idea to start at the top before working your way down. This is because the dust and detritus that will come flying down from your top shelves will eventually settle on lower surfaces, such as your tables and floor. By cleaning your home from top to bottom, you ensure that the flying dust and debris will be taken care of in one go.

Through these small changes, you’re making it easier to clean your home and bond with your family in one go. Just don’t forget to reward yourselves after a job well done!

Sandy Petrocelli: Call a Professional Electrician for These Electrical Issues

Sandy Petrocelli: Call a Professional Electrician for These Electrical Issues

Your home’s electrical system is like the body’s circulatory system. It has a controller that sits at the heart of the system all an electrical panel, it has wires instead of veins and arteries running through the entire length of your home, and although it does not have blood, it has electricity that runs through those wires feeding every part of your home.

Although electricity is not as vital to you as blood, in terms of keeping your house running, electricity is probably the most important thing. Nearly every Appliance in every home in the United States depends on electricity therefore having a fully functioning electrical system in your home is very important.

The do-it-yourself craze has taken over the country and gotten homeowners to take on many jobs around their home that were previously done by professionals. Everything from small redecorating and remodeling jobs, to building a backyard deck, and even installing a new sink and vanity are now more likely to be done by the homeowner then a licensed professional. This DIY approach as also filtered into electrical areas of the home. Homeowners are now putting in new light fixtures, and even adding electrical boxes in rooms throughout their homes.

DIY Projects

The goal is simple, do it yourself and save money. It is definitely true that doing your own minor electrical fixes and upgrades can save you lots of money. A license electrician will charge anywhere from $75 to $150 an hour for even the smallest job. But homeowners must be cautious about what they take on and what they actually call The Professional to handle.

This is because electricity is dangerous and there is always a chance that the homeowner being a novice, might get injured. With this being said there are some jobs the homeowner can definitely do. But electrical contractors like Sandy Petrocelli on New York, NY ward that there are some jobs that the homeowner should never undertake and instead should call a professional electrician immediately.

Here’s a list of some of the electrical issues that may occur in the home where homeowners should immediately call a licensed electrician

Electric Surges or Power Loss

The electricity flowing through your home should be continuous and steady. You should never have surges when you notice lights and other appliances are fed more and then less electricity.  If this happens it could be a number of issues that are causing it. If it’s occurring throughout your home it could be a major problem in the wiring or with your electric panel.  Either problem can turn into a fire without notice. So don’t delay, get an electrician out to your home and have him check both to determine where the problem is coming from.

Circuit Breakers Will Not Stay Engaged

Which part of your home has a circuit breaker install that will trip and immediately cut electricity, if there’s a problem somewhere along that circuit. The circuit breaker will trip for many reasons some of which are benign while others are dangerous.  Benign reasons include if there is an electrical surge, or you plug-in add electrical and appliance that has a short.

If this is the case, by unplugging electrical Appliance and giving the system a minute, the circuit will no longer trip. It can also be tripped if there’s a wiring problem in the system. This is a dangerous problem because it can lead to a fire. A quick examination of that circuit and testing it a few times will tell you if it is a benign issue or dangerous one. If it is dangerous you should call a licensed electrician immediately.

5 Eye-Catching Centerpieces You Need for Your Living Room

5 Eye-Catching Centerpieces You Need for Your Living Room

Spicing up your living room can be quite a conundrum to figure out, especially if you’re not someone well-versed in the complicated art of interior design. However, anyone can improve the appearance and feel of their living room with a few simple touches, one of which is by installing a strong and striking centerpiece into the room. By doing so, not only will your living room have a strong and visual focal point – one that ties its many disparate elements together – but you also get a great conversation starter with your visitors and guests.

With that said, here are some ideas for centerpieces that are guaranteed to catch the eye of the company you’re having over.

  1. An indoor water fountain. One of the latest trends in interior design is adding an indoor water fountain into your living room. It sounds excessive, but it really isn’t, as there are now many miniature and downsized models that can be installed no matter how tight your space constraints or budget is. There are also models that can be integrated into a living room wall (i.e. a wall fountain) to save even more space. Having a water fountain as your centerpiece gives your living room not just a calming effect, but it also freshens up the air inside due to the flowing water’s air purifying and humidifying qualities.
  2. A fireplace. If you’ve got a fireplace in your living room or you’re planning to have one installed very soon, then it can definitely serve as a very captivating centerpiece. Fire not only gives you a great way to naturally illuminate your living room, but it also helps keep things feel more cozy especially in cold winter nights due to its ability to give off heat. Just make sure that it’s properly cleaned and maintained, as you don’t want a filthy fireplace to be the thing your guests can focus on when they’re over.
  3. A sofa. Sofas are one of the modern living room’s staples, and chances are you already have one installed. Why not make it the centerpiece? If you’re willing to replace what you have now, then opt for a bigger and more brightly-colored couch. You can also pair it with a glass center table with some heavy but tasteful ornaments such as a vase or a stone statue bust. If you’re not willing to part with your original sofa, then simply draping a richly-colored blanket over it can suffice.
  4. Something personal. Another great idea for a living room centerpiece is to feature something that’s a part of your personality or family. It’s your own living room, after all, so you want to make sure it has your own personal touch. If you’re a collector, you can feature one of your prized collectibles as a centerpiece, like perhaps a model or a poster or even a painting. If you’d rather make it a bit more family-oriented, have properly-framed family pictures be the centerpiece. Whatever you choose, it’ll make your living room feel a bit more lived-in and personable, which is always a good thing.
  5. Who doesn’t like flowers? They add a splash of color in any room as well as give off a light and appealing scent, so having a bunch of artfully arranged flowers would make for a great centerpiece. Just be sure to replace them regularly, as wilting or dead flowers will definitely be an eyesore. If you’re not up for that kind of expense, however, then imitation flowers or even flower sculptures will suffice.

An eye-catching centerpiece can really tie a living room together, and you don’t even have to spend all that much to get that very same effect. Just be sure to pick something that not only fits your budget and space constraints, but also something that you yourself can show off and display with pride.

7 Remodels You Always See on HGTV (and Why)

7 Remodels You Always See on HGTV (and Why)

Source

The home improvement revolution is here, and so it the desire to do things yourself, flip houses, and more. Entire television networks are dedicated to home improvement and beautification, and we watch religiously both to share in the success of others and to get ideas of our own.

To gather those ideas, here are seven of the most common remodels you see on HGTV and why.

Minor Bathroom Remodel

One of the primary reasons you often see a bathroom remodel on HGTV is the return you see on your investment. On average you recoup 103% of the cost of a bathroom remodel at the time of sale, and even if you are not selling, you see an great increase in livability.

How do you get even more return on your investment? Do the work yourself, reglaze or refinish your old tub, and use spray on texture to cover old wall damage before you paint.

A minor bathroom remodel is quite common and can quite simply transform your home.

Landscaping

Curb appeal is everything when it comes to selling your home, and even just making it look great from the outside. At the time of sale, most owners recoup 100% or more of their investment in landscaping, and are more likely to get full-price offers and sell quickly if they have great landscaping.

This can be as simple as hiring a lawn service and adding flowers, plants, and a few trees or trimming the bushes and trees you have now, weeding the flower beds and putting down fresh mulch, and fertilizing and aerating your lawn. Either way, landscaping is a common remodel that truly pays off.

Minor Kitchen Remodel

Fairly often, the only thing your kitchen really needs is a simple cosmetic refresh, not a drastic change to the floor plan. This type of remodel makes it easy to recoup the cost. What is involved in this type of remodel?

  • Counter Tops: Old counters can easily be replaced with more modern ones that are also more sanitary and better for your health.
  • Door and drawer fronts: These are also easily replaced, and refreshing the knobs and hardware often changes the look of your kitchen entirely.
  • Appliances and fixtures: replace that fridge from 1995, or that range with a much better gas one, and you will easily recoup the cost if you are selling, and have a much more comfortable home if you are staying.

This type of remodel can be done at a fairly low cost, and will totally change the way you look at your cooking space.

Exterior Improvements

There are a ton of improvements you can do to the exterior of your home to update the look. On many home improvement shows, they kick in the old door, and take it out. A new door is the first step to a more inviting entry. The second is to dress up the porch with plants or add a pergola.

Painting, new siding, and new shutters and trim also add a value you can easily get back out of the home if you sell it. Removing old awnings and other outdated items works well also. The more you upgrade siding or paint, the more likely you will get the best return for the home improvements you make.

Deck, Patio, or Porch Additions

If your back yard is not an appealing space, you may have more trouble selling your home, and it may just be a less comfortable place to live. Adding on a porch, deck or patio can transform that space from a useless one to a place you can use all the time.

This may mean adding a grill, a bar, and exploring creative seating options. This is one of the most common remodels you see on HGTV.

Replacement Windows

While there might be some debate about how much energy replacement windows will really save you, there is no doubt they add value to your home. The average homeowner gets all of the money they invested in the windows back at sale.

This project can be as simple as replacing the old windows with new ones of the same style or replacing a small window and wall with a patio sliding door or even a bay window. This is also a common remodel project on HGTV because it pays off and it is one of the easiest ways to transform your home with natural light.

Living Room Décor Updates

While it is easy to say you should not live in the past, there is a certain nostalgia associated with certain furniture, rugs, or décor.

Almost every time you see a show on HGTV, they work on changing the décor of the home. It is most often outdated or does not fit with the new look the homeowner is going for. This not only pays off when you are selling your home (a part of staging) but it can make your home feel fresh and new.

You see a ton of different remodels on HGTV, but these are seven of the most common, simply because they pay off and are affordable compared to major home restructures.

Tips to Ensure a Successful DIY Remodel

Tips to Ensure a Successful DIY Remodel

(Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

When a homeowner decides to tackle a remodeling project, it’s understandable that he or she wants to start right away. However, failing to plan for the entire project often means disappointing results and spending much more than anticipated. Proper planning requires homeowners to create the following types of documentation:

  • Budget
  • Drawings
  • Materials list
  • Price quotes from several contractors
  • Proposed schedule

The next step is to ensure the availability of all items he or she wishes to use. It’s important to order them as soon as possible to prevent delays later if the items are no longer available. Homeowners should also plan to inspect all materials when they arrive.

Consider Getting a Professional Opinion

Even homeowners who intend to complete the project themselves can benefit from the expertise of a professional designer or home inspector. A design consultant can point out potential issues with the homeowner’s plan while a home inspector can uncover safety issues that he or she might have overlooked.

Estimate Time to Complete the Home Improvement Project

While it can be challenging to know exactly how long each part of the project will take, creating a rough estimate is essential. Most homeowners, especially those with little or no experience with home improvement projects, tend to underestimate project length. A good rule is to add 20 percent to his or her best estimate. It’s also a good idea to add 20 percent to the budget. The danger of a project taking much longer than expected is that the homeowner may give up on it halfway through.

Don’t Forget About Safety

Some homeowners get so excited about tackling the project that they forget to invest in safety gear. This should include steel-toed boots, a hard hat, goggles, and work gloves at a minimum. Additionally, it’s important to avoid wearing baggy clothes that could become stuck in moving parts or tools and to make sure the work area remains free of clutter.

Avoid Fines for Building Violations

Homeowners sometimes feel tempted to skip applying for permits to save money and because they figure no one will know about their home improvement project. While it might seem like unnecessary bureaucracy and expense, safety is the real reason behind the permit requirements. A city building inspector will make sure the project meets compliance and that the homeowner and his or her family remain safe. Here are three common violations that anyone considering a do-it-yourself project should avoid:

  • Incorrect venting in the bathroom: Building codes require bathroom fans to vent humid air outside through a vent pipe four inches in diameter. Failing to follow this code results in rotting wood and mold in the attic.
  • Handrails at the wrong degree: When installing a wall-side handrail, it must create a 90-degree turn and a dead-end leading to a wall. This helps to prevent purses and clothing from snagging on the handrail and causing a fall.
  • Out-of-code junction boxes: All junction boxes for electrical outlets must be accessible and visible with a minimum wire length of six inches inside of the box. The wires entering a box must be clamped to prevent it from moving.

Additionally, taking care of construction debris removal on a regular basis will help prevent unwanted attention from neighbors. An unsightly pile of old drywall and/or appliances in the front yard is a sure-fire way to generate calls to the local building department.

As long as homeowners take the time to plan their project and learn local building codes, everything should go just fine.

Picking Out Your Christmas Cards

Picking Out Your Christmas Cards

When it comes to Christmas, one of the best ways to connect with people is through Christmas cards. However, finding the type that you want and ensuring that they bring joy into the lives of those you send them to can be more than a little complicated. Here are a few tips to pick out the best possible Christmas cards and to ensure that everyone who receives one feels loved and cared for.

1. Consider Photo Cards

Photo cards can be a great way to show people that you care and to keep them updated on your life as well. If you are sending out a large number, you can opt to get them specially printed. However, if you are only sending out a few, you might think about cards where you can put in your own photos. These also allow you to decorate and embellish the photos, personalising them for each person that you send them to. This is a great gift for your best friends or for your children to give to their friends.

2. Think About Classic Christmas Cheer

Things such as the lyrics to carols, Christmas villages, images of Santa, and so many other options evoke the idea of Christmas. If you want to go with a more classic and refined option, these are some of the best choices. If you are getting multiple packs of different cards, you might consider getting some of these for the people you work with or for older people you interact with on a regular basis.

3. Think About Sending Messages of Peace

While the season is often associated with cheer, it is also a time for peace and reflection. Consider sending cards with messages relating to peace, health, and other positive attributes. This can be a great way to show friends that you care about them and their lives.

4. Think about Cute Animals

Some of the best cards have cute animals on them. This can be anything from cute dogs to chubby birds on trees to sheep out in a field all wearing silly hats. There really is no limit to how silly these cards can be and they are sure to put a smile on the face of anyone who receives one. If you have a pet or know that your friends do, you can even match the card to the pet in question.

5. Think About Supporting A Charity

A number of different charities put out card sets during this time of the year. These cards help support the charities throughout the coming years and are usually cheaper than you would think. Give two gifts at once when you purchase charity cards.

6. Think about Making Your Own

There are a number of kits available to make your own cards and give them to friends. This is a great craft to do with your children once they are out of school.

There are so many different ways that you can personalise the Christmas cards that you send. Choosing great cards can bring a smile to your friends’faces and show people you know that you are thinking of them during the holiday season.