Thursday, September 19, 2019

Five Crucial Protections To Take During Home Improvement Projects!


This post is provided by Boris Dzhingarov.

In most cases of major construction or home improvement projects, it pays to hire a professional. While the costs can seem staggering, the guarantee of quality, elimination of any personal risk and the time saved are all valuable factors to consider. Some individuals do decide to embark on major home projects alone, while many others embrace more minor projects with ease.

Nevertheless, those not inherently familiar with these procedures are prone to making innocent but potentially disastrous mistakes. Safeguarding both yourself and your home from any unintended DIY side-effects should be a top priority.

As such, let us look at five crucial protections you should take when performing various home improvement projects.

Put Down A Dropcloth

So many home improvement and construction projects in the home can create an utter mess. For these kinds of projects, putting down dropcloths in the work area before beginning is imperative. Whether you are painting, sanding or spackling, materials and debris can easily fall onto the floor. Protecting your floors – whether they are carpet, hardwood or laminate – from these messes by using dropcloths is well worth the effort, so invest in a one or more of these protective accessories.

Shut Off Utilities

Many construction projects may involve structural elements of the home, such as electrical wires and water pipes. Before working on any socket, installing any fixture or cutting into any wall, it is vital that you turn off the utilities to prevent damage and harm. Not only can one wrong move cause a flood within the home or an electrical fire, but it could also potentially cost you your life. Do not be lazy, and take the extra time needed to shut off utilities before working on vulnerable areas of the home.

Protect Your Eyes, Ears, Hands And Feet

It can be all too easy to feel comfortable when working on projects in and around the home. Unfortunately, luck does not care where you are: one wrong move, and you could suffer serious injuries. As such, any home improvement or construction project should always be centered around wearing proper protection, which includes eyewear, ear protection, gloves and proper footwear (depending on the exact project).

Ensure Proper Ventilation

A variety of construction and home improvement projects ideally need specific ventilation conditions to avoid any damage to your lungs and other organs. For example, ensuring open windows and box fans are present in a room when painting is ideal, but closing off any airflow when cutting through drywall or installing insulation helps prevent tiny particles from circulating throughout the room and being inhaled. Always consider whether your project could generate small forms of debris that are harmful if ingested and make the proper accommodations.

Secure the Ladder

One of the most common household accidents is falling, and a large chunk of these accidents involve ladders. If you are conducting home improvement projects inside or outside of the home, be sure to place your ladder on a firm, even surface and secure it to the wall, tree or other nearby sturdy structure for additional support. Whether you are putting up new gutters or cleaning the chandelier, one slip could cost you thousands of dollars in medical bills – or even worse, your life. 

Many home improvement projects can be made safer and less prone to mishaps by adopting these five tips. While not everyone will be relevant for every occasion, keep this list in mind when embarking on your next construction or DIY project around the house.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Top Interior Design Styles For 2019!


This post is provided by Clayton Richard.

Your home should be an extension of you and your personality. Whether you are simple and organized or eclectic and colorful, your home should reflect that. You have to live in your home almost every day of the year, so it should be a place that brings you happiness and peace. It can also be changed around as frequently as you would like as your taste develops and your needs change. It is fun to keep up with new trends in interior design, and pick and choose what new styles speak to you and work for your overall vision. Give your home a fresh, modern twist with some of these popular design styles of 2019.

Statement walls and ceilings

One of the most popular trends right now is an accent wall that makes a real statement, particularly a single black wall. Take this trend further by using an interesting wallpaper in a deep, sharp color scheme or use press-and-stick subway tiles to add even more texture to the room. You can also make a statement with a textured or wallpapered ceiling. One of the hottest trends right now is a textured wooden ceiling or a dark wallpaper that pulls together the pieces of the room. Get some inspo for this “fifth wall” trend and think about what colors and designs might help add some pizzazz to your home.

Eco-friendly pieces

It is no secret that the society cares much about the environment than we ever have. We understand the importance of keeping the planet clean and safe for future generations. This mentality is more than a trend, it should be a way of life. For the sake of our environment, think about buying “green” when you are decorating your home. Some popular sustainable fabrics right now are hemp fiber and organic cotton. You will feel even better about your next purchase when you know it is not contributing to polluting our Earth.

Minimalism

When it comes to designing a home in 2019, simplicity is everything. It is all about living a stress-free life, and it is hard to be at peace in a house that is too busy. While some may believe minimalist styles can be cold, harsh, and empty. However, this can not be further from the truth. The key is to choose pieces that are sharp, attractive, simple, and multi-functional. Minimalism is also an inexpensive choice for decor, since you will be investing in only what you need and can not get excessive. Practice this less-is-more attitude in your home for a modern look that is always in style.

Rustic Touches

A popular look right now is wood combined with stone and metal, creating a natural, rustic feeling. A rustic home often includes weathered furniture and fabrics, so you will have an easy time finding pieces for your space at thrift shops and yard sales. Add some natural touches to your home combined with modern pieces to create a unique and timeless feel. If rustic is your style, keep an eye out for Birmingham houses for sale that have these touches already built in, such as exposed brick walls, old stone fireplaces, and gorgeous wooden beams on the ceiling.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Pros And Cons To Consider When Moving To Tampa!


This post is provided by Super Groups.

Known as "Cigar City" or "The Big Guava" Tampa, Florida is an exciting and historic place to live. As the second largest metropolitan area in Florida next to Miami, Tampa offers lots of reasons for you to call it home. Here are some of the pros and cons to consider if you are thinking about moving to Tampa.

1. Cost Of Living

Although wages in Tampa are not quite as high as other areas of the country with the median household income in 2019 at $49,000, there is no state tax in Florida, which helps with the cost of living. Housing is a bit more affordable with the average home value at about $222,000 in 2019. The fact that Tampa is part of a large metropolitan area also helps with the costs of food, clothing, and gasoline.

Many residents have moved to the Tampa area more for the lifestyle, preferring it over higher paying job opportunities in other locations. Tampa has a large Spanish community and is a city with lots of diversity.

2. Activities And Entertainment

When it comes to things to do in the Tampa area, there are plenty of activities and entertainment for you to enjoy. There is a wide selection of restaurants for you to try, ranging from Mexican Food and Barbecue to Steakhouses and Italian, Chinese, and more. When you are ready for some excitement, Tampa has lots of museums, nightclubs, sports activities, theme parks, and aquariums.

Tampa is also just a short drive to communities like Orlando with lots of theme parks, as well as ocean side communities like Jacksonville with plenty of east coast beaches.

3. Local Neighborhoods

The city of Tampa is made up of lots of different neighborhoods ranging from poor and middle class to larger luxury homes. There are also neighborhoods like Spanishtown, Palmetto Beach, and Seminole Heights, giving you the opportunity to find just the right place to call home. A few of the more popular neighborhoods include Hyde Park, the more historic section of town; Forest Hills, a more rural part of town; Courier City, the more urban environment; and Lincoln Gardens, one of the more upscale neighborhoods in Tampa.

There are many planned communities that include HomeOwner Associations as well as rural communities for those who want a bit more space. There are also communities like Riverview that are designed to be safe, family-friendly neighborhoods with entertainment and dining establishments nearby.

4. Employment Opportunities

When it comes to employment opportunities, Tampa has a wide variety of options for those looking for specific job industries. The city includes job opportunities in healthcare, finance, customer service, management, food services, hospitality and a whole lot more.

A few of Tampa's largest employers include companies like Publix Supermarket, JP Morgan Chase, University of South Florida, BayCare Health System, and Verizon. Companies among the top 100 places to work in Tampa include, the Progressive Group, GTE Financial, and SandPearl Resort.

5. Education

If you are looking to further your education, the city of Tampa offers a number of higher education opportunities. Institutions like the University of Tampa, the University of South Florida, and Strayer University allow local residents the chance to gain a college degree close to home.

Tampa also includes technical and occupational education programs like ITT Technical Institute, the Paul Mitchell School, the International Academy of Design & Technology, and the College of Public Health to name a few. Tampa offers the 8th largest school district in the country for younger students in grades K-12. The Hillsborough County School District gives students the opportunity to access a wide variety of activities and resources.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Summer Is Here: How To Keep Pests From Ruining Your Backyard BBQ!


This post is provided by Super Groups.

Before you look to kickoff the summer with a backyard BBQ, you should prioritize some summer lawn pest control. Basically, look over your yard and see if you can find any telltale signs of pests or pest activity. Below, you will find a rogue's gallery of the usual suspects when it comes to pests that tend to show up in the summer. You will also see what tends to grab those pests' interests and how to make them stop being a problem.

Armadillos

Armadillos are pests for two reasons.

-They can burrow into the ground, causing your back yard to become uneven and filled with holes.

-They carry several diseases that can be transmitted to humans.

The good news with armadillos is they are easy to deal with; they are insectivores that only eat bugs they find while burrowing. One of the easiest solutions to an armadillo problem is to fence in your yard with materials that penetrate at least one foot beneath the soil. This will deter the armadillo and have it going elsewhere.

If you notice your armadillo is a recurring problem, watch for any patterns in its behavior, you may luck out and notice a path that it likes to follow. In this scenario, consider laying down a cage trap and it may just do the trick.

(Fire) Ants

While ants will travel wherever they can find food, often in packs, their mounds are usually easy to find. Look for any holes in the dirt, ideally with ants moving in and out of them. If you happen to find ants, there is no shortage to the number of ways in which they can be dispatched.

-Granules are an option that takes time to work but can end most colonies within a week. One upside to granules is that they do all of the work, you just need to plant them down the hole.

-Sprays require you to actually see the ants you want to kill. This means that they can be of limited use against large colonies and there is also a risk of harming any pets you may keep outside.

If you want to prevent ants from being a major problem, limit how often you keep food served outside. You should also do your best to keep your yard clean before and after a party, the whiff of sugars from a nearly-empty soda or beer can is like a signal flare for ant activity.

Moles

Moles are like a less problematic version of armadillos in that they do not transmit diseases to humans but their burrowing habits can weaken the root systems of your plants and leave holes in your yard. The best way of dealing with moles is to stomp around their holes for activity and keep your yard fenced in.

Mosquitoes

These flying nuisances not only make an annoying sound and cause you to itch after they stealthily snack on your blood, they can also make excellent vectors for a wide variety of diseases. Mosquitoes sense prey by "chemoreception," they can sense chemicals and use that awareness to find blood. The best way to get rid of a mosquito problem is to make sure that you have no pools of standing water on your property.

Even as little as half an inch of water is sufficient for mosquitoes to lay their eggs and produce another generation. If you know mosquitoes are a problem of the neighborhood, use bug spray with an active ingredient like DEET or oil of lemon-eucalyptus is ideal; you can also purchase yard torches that produce this chemical as their fires burn.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

The Delicate Nature Of Design: Why It Is Always Good To Have A Home Warranty!


This post is provided by Kristina Marshall.

When you move into a new home, it is always a good idea to invest in a home warranty. Although it may feel as though you already have a lot of expenses and fees to think about with the move, opting to purchase a home warranty can help you to save money later. 

What is a Home Warranty?

It is important not to confuse home warranties with home insurance coverage as the two products cover different aspects of your household. Home insurance plans tend to deal with the house itself, its structuring, and any events such as natural problems (i.e. falling trees) and break-ins. Home warranties typically focus their protection on large electrical appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines and boilers. 

6 Reasons Why A Home Warranty Is A Good Idea 

There are various advantages to having a home warranty as summarized below. 

You Have Access To A Range Of Qualified Technicians 

If your dishwasher was to spontaneously break down and start leaking dirty water, no doubt it would be an unexpected annoyance. However, a  lot of the stress and irritation is mitigated when you have a home warranty. Instead of having to panic and trawl through your local phone directory looking for a reputable repairman, you can simply call the service center for your home warranty coverage. Within a matter of minutes, you will likely have an appointment for a technician to come out to you. Most companies that offer home warranties have call centers that are open 24/7. 

Home Warranties Protect Against Unexpected Breakdowns 

You never know what is around the corner, and the same is true when it comes to your electrical appliances. Even if you invest in premium brands and take care of the items in your household, you are not immune to breakages. Replacement parts, repair work, and services can be expensive if you are not covered. 

Rather than having to shell out hundreds of dollars to fix something that has broken, a home warranty means that you are covered if something should break. You will have peace of mind that a repair technician will come out to inspect the issue quickly, no questions asked. 

A Home Warranty Reassures You About Items Inherited In House Move

Often when people move houses, they acquire several appliances and household items in the move. Large ovens and water heaters may have been built into the infrastructure and could not be removed, or white goods such as dishwashers and refrigerators may have been left behind if the previous owner felt that it was not worthwhile to take them with him. 

In an ideal world, the previous house owner would be able to hand you all of the manuals and warranty papers for each of the appliances, and you would have an idea of when each machine was purchased and how well it functions. In reality, this may not be possible. Water heaters and boilers are just one example of items that can be very costly to replace or repair. A water heater found in a newly purchased home may work perfectly, or it may need extensive repairs after three months. In any case, a home warranty will cover you. 

Home Warranties Fit Into A Frugal Budget 

Home warranties are a good protection option if you are trying to adhere to a tight budget. This way, you can set aside a few dollars every month for your home warranty coverage as opposed to spending hundreds of dollars at once if something goes wrong. 

You Can Purchase A Plan That Suits You 

There are numerous home warranty coverage plans available. You can select a plan that is tailored to your specific needs based on your property size and the types of household items that you want to have covered. Due to the various options available, you can feel assured that you are never paying out for a package that is more than what you need.  

It Is An Insurance Option You Are Likely To Use 

A home warranty is an example of an insurance option that you are bound to get some use out of eventually. As unfortunate as it may be, everything breaks or encounters operational issues at  some point or another. With that considered, when you have a home warranty plan, you know that you are paying into a policy that you are going to make use out of. 

Before You Invest In A Home Warranty 

On the whole, opting to purchase a home warranty provides you with a lot of peace of mind about your property and the items within it. It is nice to be able to rest in the notion that everything is taken care of, and that you do not even have to think about what will happen if something breaks. That said, there are a few things to consider before committing to a plan. 

Always assess the various  plans available from your home warranty provider so that you can ensure that you choose the one most suited to you. Read the small print so that you know precisely what is covered and what is not. 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Five Tips That Will Enhance Your Logo Design Skills!


This post is provided by Daniil Balabushkin.

Nowadays, most enterprises highly depend on effectively communicating with their clientele. Marketers formulate strategies that ensure people can engage with businesses in several ways. For this reason, business owners invest many resources on the creation of visual tools aimed at engaging people and interacting with them. Today, a logo is not just a mere business symbol used in identifying a company and its services or products. It aids in creating a strong brand identity. 

Logos serve a variety of functions in the modern business world. Your logo can send the correct message to your target clients. If professionally designed, a logo has the potential to convert someone into a loyal customer. There are numerous ways a properly designed logo can serve the company. The article summarizes five tips that can help you design a professional logo.

It should reflect what your business entails.

You need to design your logo in a manner that makes it fully able to represent your business. All images and colors used in your design must align with the business as well as the services or products it delivers. A logo can only create a brand identity if it properly aligns with the business objectives. 

Target customers shall also receive the message you are sending if your design also reflects the business attributes or values. Therefore, whether it is a brand new design or a redesign of an existing logo, consider these tips for establishing your brand in a competitive business environment. 

Make an impression.

The logo design you select needs to make a lasting impression upon the customers as well as the market. A simple look at your logo should be enough to enthrall whoever views it. One important function of a logo is to entice customers to continuously purchase a company’s goods or services once they get a good impression of your design.

To create a lasting impression, ensure that the logo is unique. This means that it should have a new design concept to enable it to stand out from most generic logos within the market. You must design a logo more attractive than that of your competition.

This concept is somewhat similar to composing a narrative essay. When telling your story, you need to give your audience a lasting impression. This is the only way you can make your composition memorable. Otherwise, if you do not know how to create an impression, you can hire essay writers.

Use colors in an organized manner.

Colors have a critical role in the determination of your brand’s message. For instance, if red is used as the primary color within a logo, it sends out a message that the particular brand is aggressive, energetic, and passionate. Therefore, your brand targets a youthful customer base. In case you choose blue as the main color, it will stimulate feelings of oneness and intelligence.

For this reason, most social networks, the likes of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn have blue logos. So if you are designing a logo for a social media website, consider using blue as the primary color. Use bold and bright colors to attract the most attention. However, ensure that the colors also communicate the brand personality. 

Choose fonts wisely.

Typefaces also communicate a message about a brand’s personality. For instance, typefaces for toy companies are likely to be handwritten to be child-friendly. In case it is a rock music band, use bold colors to demonstrate a strong personality. Lastly, avoid the use of gimmicky fonts. You would rather create your unique fonts specifically for your logo.

Get acquainted with the brand.

Before beginning the logo design process, ensure that you have some basic knowledge about the brand or business. Bear in mind that this logo must reach the target market and attract customers. Therefore, note down what the brand, business, and market entails. Find out the ideology behind the brand as well as its future inspirations. 

You also need knowledge of the brand at a personal level. Try to determine whether it is a tough brand or a softer one in terms of the tone. A designer also needs to know how the brand intends to project itself to customers and the general market. All these details must be available before the design process starts. This information acts as a guide to assist you in picking the appropriate logo elements. 

In conclusion, ensure you understand the brand inside out and keep the design unique and simple. This is one of the primary keys to a powerful logo. Also, make it scalable and versatile.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Happy 4th of July!


To commemorate July 4th, United State's Independence Day, I have included a few gorgeous interiors in red, white and blue. Check this out!



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Photo credit: Mallory Mathison



Whether your 4th of July celebration involves fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts or family reunions, I hope you have a wonderful time with your family and friends! Stay safe and have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

A gorgeous beachfront home in California!


This gorgeous beachfront home in California is designed by Ohara Davies-Gaetano for two brothers (and their families) as a getaway. The homeowners wanted a beach house that feels open and comfortable yet indestructible by the salty sea air and kids. The results? A relaxed, family-friendly abode with a sense of refinement. Let's check it out, shall we?








Photo credit: Victoria Pearson

Wow! What a stunning abode! Thanks to a soothing neutral palette, hints of blues, organic elements and minimal architectural details, this home exudes a sense of comfort and timelessness. Don't forget to check out the rest of the house here

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

A lighting designer's chic and beautiful New Orleans home!


Check out lighting designer, Julie Neill historic New Orleans home!










Photo courtesy of: Julie Neill

Such a well-appointed residence! A combination of gorgeous chandeliers, pretty textiles, brass pieces, classic furniture and wood elements creates a charming and timeless Parisian feel to this lovely home. Fresh, chic and beautifully layered, there are so many inspirations to take away from this elegant abode, don't you think? What are your thoughts?

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Happy Father's Day!








Photo credit: Country Living

Happy Father's Day to all great dads who made huge sacrifices for their families! Wishing all dads a marvelous day filled with lots of love, smiles and happiness!