Thursday, November 30, 2017

12 Exterior Home Projects That Increase Home Safety And Look Great!

This post is provided by Jesse Hughes.

There are many home renovation projects that can easily keep home owners busy for every single weekend of the entire year. When you think about everything you could do or everything you should do, it quickly becomes overwhelming. But, when you combine home safety and aesthetics, the possibilities dwindle. We have compiled a list of the twelve most interesting exterior projects that will increase your home safety and look great.

1. Fence: Installing a new fence on the periphery of your property enhances the look, gives it style and provides privacy; especially if your house is located in an urban area.

2. Front gate: Your estate might be big enough to justify installing a gate at the end of the laneway. Elegant and safe, you can make this item a decorative theme for your curb appeal. This feature also allows you to restrict access to your property to only your guests.

3. Driveway: If your driveway is older, chances are it is cracked or uneven. Both conditions may lead to trips and falls that would be avoided with a new driveway finish. 

4. Lighting: Aside from providing a beautiful look to your sidewalk or soffits, lighting the way to your front door ensures that your guests see where they walk, especially if there have to climb steps to reach your front door.

5. Dog house: even if you do not own a dog, building a dog house on your lawn provides a beautiful ornament that also serves as a deterrent to future thieves. They will think twice before breaking into your house if they believe a large dog lives on the premises. Designing the dog house in the style of your home makes the final product fit in and be a charming addition to the lawn.

6. Front door: A new front door offers a cachet to the façade. It also saves energy in heating and cooling. Did you know that different color front doors mean different things? A red door indicates that the house is paid for. A brown door tells visitors that the owners are welcoming people. 

7. Windows: new windows are magnificent and prevent heat loss during winter. 

8. Gutters: new gutters are charming and help divert water from the roof to the ground safely.

9. Stairs and railings: whether it is at the front steps or on the back deck, ensuring that stairs and railings are up to code and secured properly will ensure your house inhabitants’ safety.

10. New paint: deck and stairs need new paint from time to time. Do not wait until you get splinters before you give a fresh coat of paint to your patio. 

11. BBQ: If you have not changed your BBQ in a decade, you might want to do so. Aside from looking stunning, the new BBQ will also be safer to operate. 

12. Building envelope: when making changes to the façade of your house, whether you are adding an accessibility ramp or solar panels, consult the expert who will help you make the most out of your investment.

Hopefully we found enough activities to keep you busy for a few weeks.     

Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Right Design For A Bathroom!

Just like the most famous and the best restaurants tend to leave a bad impression with unmaintained bathrooms, you could have a good or bad experience in your home’s bathroom as well. However, you could make those private moments pleasant with the right design and pieces. The best design starts with a goal, and for a bathroom, the first goal for you is to keep it spacious. The second goal is to have enough cabinets and drawers that you can store all the necessary items in them. For a contemporary bathroom, it is better to go to with a spa-like feel which could be created with silvery and aqua-like colors.

Most bathrooms are adorned with natural and soothing colors, but you can always create a contrast with bold colored cabinets. Dark wood cabinets go perfectly with light bathroom tiles. Large mirror over the faucet is in fashion these days. To give a more modern look to the bathroom, try the uniquely designed sink bowls that could be placed on counters like a big bowl. Another new way of making the bathroom modern is by having a flat tub in the ground that looks like a mini-sized swimming pool. Natural or white light is the best for bathrooms.

Another style you should consider is designing your bathroom using a spa theme. The first thing that you need to do is paint the walls with very soothing colors, and no colors could be more soothing than bluish whites, light blues, and greens. Do not spend too much on expensive tiles.

Now you need to create the right effects in the bathroom, and these effects are acquired with the right lighting. Use pillar candles to accentuate the corners or floating ones if you have a bathtub in the bathroom. If you do not like the idea of having candles in the bathroom, go for recessed lighting. Place a rug on the floor and buy one that is thick and soft. Use plush towels and if color choice bothers you, simply go for the white ones. A little greenery would be great and for the best looks, go for a wooden bathtub.

However, you could make your bathroom an outright luxurious and modern one with the new wooden bathroom tubs. Though you can find ones with the old and traditional styles, there are some amazing modern looking wooden bathtubs on the market too. Imagine any style and design and you will find that in the market. 

The great thing about these wooden tubs is their size. You can find them in almost any size and with any desired depth. There are ones with enough depth to let you soak into the water to your chin level. Combining these wooden bathroom bathtubs with the modern faucets is one of the best ways of isolating your bathroom from all that you would have seen anywhere. 

About the Author: Carol James is an EssayLab psychology department writer and senior editor. She has MA degree in social sciences and is an excellent specialist in this field. Carol worked with numerous materials on the subject and is eager to share her knowledge with our readers.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

How Home Design Can Create Danger!

This post is provided by Katherine Smith.

When we build or renovate a home, one of the highest priorities is often to make it uniquely ours. We want to include features that make it stand apart from every other house on the street. And thanks to greater availability of tools, training, and materials to the DIY renovator, it is easier than ever to take on the work yourself.

Unfortunately, that is where problems can emerge. It is not a big deal to paint or to change floor coverings, but the minute you start penetrating walls and floors, you are on some very risky ground that can quickly lead to expensive and dangerous structural mistakes.

Interfering With Utilities

We think of walls as hollow structures that do nothing but divide spaces. But that is certainly not true. It is very easy to cut into sheetrock or paneling and to get into electrical, water, gas, or sewer lines. Sometimes the problem is immediate, such as a tripped breaker that reveals a mistake. Other times, damage like a pinhole leak in a water line may go unnoticed until years of accumulated hidden damage comes into the open.

Even just adding demand to your utilities can cause trouble. Your home has a finite ability to supply energy and water. High water requirements will lower pressure and decrease functionality. Excessive demand for electricity can trip breakers and damage equipment. Situations like this are a big part of the business for Electrical Safety services, which performs inspections and upgrades to residential electrical systems.

Weakening The Structure

Again with those pesky walls. Sometimes we assume they are randomly placed inside a self-supporting shell, but the reality is that they are not. Some walls, known as partition walls, have no role in holding the house up. But load-bearing or structural walls certainly do, and any changes made to them can cause the house to begin settling, creating cracks in walls, leaks in ceilings, and countless other problems that may not show up for years.

While there are some rules of thumb for determining which type of wall is which, the best guideline is to leave wall changes to a professional or, at the very least, to assume all walls are structural and to treat them accordingly.

Dangerous Features

Form follows function, and if we neglect the latter, we can get in real trouble. Many of the things we like to include in our homes can be beautiful but dangerous as well. The danger is increased when we do things ourselves, because not only do we not know safety codes as thoroughly as professionals, we also may not have their skill level in construction and installation.

Staircases are a perfect example. They are parts of the home that perform a function, but that we also want to make into a showpiece for the home. We think of great cinematic entrances on staircases and want to make the same experience possible in our own homes, but a fabulous staircase is not all it is cracked up to be. Incorrectly-spaced balusters, slick walking surfaces, and unreliable mounting can make a beautiful staircase dangerous

As a rule, any deviation from the original design and use of a home represents an opportunity for something dangerous to happen. We must let our heads have an equal vote with our hearts in choosing what to do in our homes as well as who we allow to do it. 

The money saved by doing work ourselves can very quickly be lost when our lack of skill causes us to do something dangerous, unreliable, or nonfunctional, so we should always think of these criteria when considering whether to hire a professional or to carry out the work ourselves.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Three Important Factors For Kitchen Renovations!

This post is provided by Katherine Smith.

One of the best ways to improve your home’s value is by remodeling your kitchen. A minor kitchen renovation in 2017 can return roughly 80.2%  percent on your initial investment on a national average. Remember, however, that before you move one appliance, you need to have an end vision in mind. Whether you go with a simple sketch to remind yourself of your overall vision or a professional redesign, such as you might get from this kitchen remodeling & design company located in San Francisco, knowing what your end result will be will help prevent costly mistakes. When designing your new cookery there are some things to keep in mind to help you get the most out of it.

Trends And Classics

When you are looking at design options for your new kitchen, it is easy to get caught up in the hype of this year’s trends. That new off-pink and canary yellow combination may be all the rage this season, but what do you think of avocado green now that the 70s have come and gone? It is better to pick something classic that you know you will love now and that you will still love in five years. Additionally, if you are doing a renovation to increase your home’s resale value, a trendy look may count against you.

On the other hand, you are the one who will be spending the most time there, so you should really go with what you love. Just be careful, because, with the money that you will be putting into your kitchen, it would be disastrous if it turns out to be something you do not like at all.

The Golden Triangle

If you are going for a complete remodel and rearranging where your appliances go, remember the golden triangle for kitchens. This is a standard where your refrigerator, your sink, and your stove are all located at the tips of a triangle. The thought is that those three places are where you are going to spend the most time, so making it easy to move between them is important. As a rule of thumb, these three appliances should all be spaced between 4-feet and 9-feet away from each other. The total distance should be between 13-feet and 26-feet. There also should not be anything that blocks the path between the three points, like an island or tall cabinet.

Small Touches Equal Big Results

Do not forget that you do not have to go big on the renovations. Simple things like changing the finish on the cabinets will go a long way toward making your kitchen feel fresh again. A change of wall covering and the cabinets will make the room shine, especially when paired with new drawer pulls and other hardware.

Another area that often gets overlooked is lighting. You do not have to rip out the old lights, but installing new directional lighting above the sink is a great way to add some pop. There is also a great opportunity to install track LED lights underneath hanging cabinets to illuminate counters. LEDs give you bright lighting without heat generation, so you do not have to worry about your hands getting overheated while working or that your produce will wilt.

From a new coat of paint on the walls, all the way to taking the room down to the studs, a kitchen update creates a fresh environment for your culinary endeavors. It may not make you a Gordon Ramsey, but it might inspire you to try.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Book review- Life At The Top: New York's Most Exceptional Apartment Buildings!

Today, I am sharing another exciting new publication from Vendome Press with you. Thanks to Meghan Philips for sending me Life At The Top: New York's Most Exceptional Apartment Buildings, another beautiful design book. In this volume, authors Kirk Henckels and Anne Walker, real estate and architectural insiders, chronicle the fortunes and features of fifteen outstanding New York apartment houses, bringing them to life with evocative vintage photos of exterior and interior architectural details.

Without further ado, let's check out some of the stunning images you will find inside this fabulous book!

Photo credit: Michel Arnaud

Such a gorgeous book! In this publication, you will be mesmerized by an abundance of swoon-worthy interiors, thanks to the work of some of the best talents in the design industry such as Bunny Williams, Delphine Krakoff, Katie Ridder, Tom Scheere, Robert Couturier, Michael S. Smith, Piet Boon, Henri Samuel and others. I love a variety of interiors featured in this book ranging from the traditionally layered to the modern minimalist.

A giant volume illustrated with hundreds of high quality photos of incredibly chic, layered and breathtaking interiors, these elegant and luxurious spaces are beyond inspirational. Engaging and fascinating, this delightful book shouldn't be missed especially if you are a fan of interior design! 

I am so thrilled to add this fabulous design book to my collection, I know you will too! Truly a gem and highly recommended! 

Get your own copy here!

*I received  this book to review for free but the views and opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Secret To A Clean And Organized Home!

Nothing feels more calming and relaxing than finding refuge to a clean home after a long day. Not only is clutter an eyesore, but we know very well that living in filth is never good for anyone, especially children. 

Keeping your house clean will promote good health and sanitation while extending the life of your home’s materials, preventing pest infestations, and making your abode aesthetically more pleasing for family members and guests.

However, with so many things to deal with-from making breakfast to getting the kids’ homework done-it is easy to just go about your day and think about doing the cleaning the next day, which becomes a vicious cycle of procrastination and aimless planning every day. 

Not to worry, you do not have to spend long hours on polishing your home, you just need to be smarter in maintaining it! Here, we reveal the ultimate secrets to keeping your house so clean and organized you would want to host more dinner parties on weeknights.

Make the bed every morning.

The first step to a tidy home is to wake up practicing a good habit of making the bed every morning. Encourage all the family members to lay the blanket, tuck the sheets, and arrange the pillows before they hit the shower. It would not be so hard once you get used to it.

Change and wash the beddings regularly.

Bed sheets can rack up dead skin and all types of body fluids like sweat, oil, and saliva. Pillows can be breeding ground for bugs and mites! To avoid infection, make sure to change your bed sheet weekly, wash your pillows every three months, and steam your mattresses every six months.

Clean the floor.

Keep your floor’s luster by cleaning it regularly and correctly. For ceramic-tile floor, sweep and vacuum to remove loose soil or grit and then clean with warm water. Wooden floors may need more TLC so be sure you get the right mop for wood floors. The cleanliness of the floor will radiate in the entire house.

Clean the kitchen every day.

Do not wait for dirty plates and pots to pile up! The kitchen is one of the places that is regularly used and can therefore easily accumulate dirt and disorder. Wash your dishes every after meal. If you can only take care of the dishes at night, you can load and run the dishwasher. Just make sure you also empty it at once. 

Familiarize yourself with what microfiber is as you will need this type of cloth when cleaning the counter to make sure you effectively remove crumbs, prints, and water rings. Also, take out the trash every night. Do not give bacteria a chance to sit overnight in your home.

Assign designated places of objects in the house.

This is hard to oblige when everyone is rushing. But always remind everyone to never leave anything on the floor, pick up any mess, and put everything in its rightful place. This will not only make your house more organized but it will truly prevent losing important things like keys, umbrellas, and even school books. You do not want to lose precious time looking for missing items!