Thursday, October 27, 2016

How to give your home some personality!

This post is provided by Katherine Smith.

It is that time of year again, when the heat of summer has faded and we stand in our homes, hands on our hips, and try to come to terms with spending the next few (or many) months indoors. We love our homes, sure, but they do not feel enough like us to make the prospect of spending fall and winter sequestered in them seem like a fun adventure. Here are a few tips that you can use to help you add some personality to your home.

Go Slowly

Do not try to take on your entire home at once. This makes the project way too overwhelming and will make it cost way too much. Instead, go through your home one room at a time and look for changes you can make on a smaller scale to make the room feel more “you.” To encourage this approach, we are going to use it with the rest of this post. 

The Kitchen

There are a lot of small changes you can make in a kitchen to add some personality. Hanging a new piece of art, buying new floor mats to place in front of the sink and the oven, heck, even putting some new funky magnets on the fridge can accomplish this goal. 

If you are looking to make a larger statement, however, you should focus on the cabinetry. Like the DeWils Custom Cabinets website points out: “You know it all happens in the kitchen. So why not give the heart and soul of your home the beauty, style and quality it deserves?” New or refurbished cabinetry can make your kitchen feel like an entirely new room, even if you change nothing else about it.

The Bedroom

If you share your bedroom with a partner, work together with them to figure out which elements can or should be changed. The room, after all, will need to reflect both of you. Pick out a new bedspread, switch from quilts to duvets, add a chair or switch out a current chair for a new model. Consider a new coat of paint. Maybe put up new curtains or blinds.

If you do not share the bedroom with anybody you can go a little further. One option is to buy a new bed and replace your headboard with something that feels more in tune with who you are now and what you need. Put up new art. Refinish your bureau. Clean out your closet (sometimes this is all it takes to make the room feel fresh and new). You get the idea.

If you have kids, know that if you are changing your room they are going to want to change theirs as well. Again, simple changes like new paint and bed linens can go a long way toward turning up a room’s personality.

The Living Room

Ah, the living room. It is the one room that is shared by everybody. It is, after the kitchen, the most highly trafficked room in your home. This is where you host guests and get togethers, play games, curl up on the couch with a book or your Netflix subscription, etc.

With this room, one of the best things you can do is clear everything out of it. Seriously. Empty the room entirely and then slowly start putting items back in. Start with the big stuff: the couch, the entertainment center, etc. Try rearranging them to focus the attention on a different angle of the room. Then slowly put back in the art and decorative items. Rearrange the books on the bookcase.

If you have “left over parts” do not be surprised. A lot of people find that their living rooms feel done before they have replaced every item they took out. You might not need anything new, you might simply have needed to clear away debris that detracted from the personality that was already there!

If this does not work, try putting a new cover on your couch, introducing a different coffee table, some new throw pillows and blankets. If you have carpeting, give it a thorough cleaning. If you have hardwoods, try a new rug.


If you have been using a coat rack, try switching it out for wall hooks. If there is space, put a small table or a bench. Hang a piece of art that you love so you will feel happy every time you walk through the door.

The Yard

Change your current porch light out for a different model. Solar lights have gotten much more affordable. Put something outside that you love looking at so that, even when the weather keeps you inside, you can look out at the yard and feel happy. 

These are just some of the ideas we have come up with. What are some of the things you do to make a home better match your personality?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

How to Avoid Online Furniture Shopping Mistakes!

When it comes to buying furniture online, your initial response might be that it simply can not or at least should not, be done. Furniture after all, needs to be touched and tested in-person to make sure that it is going to be the right fit doesn't it?
While that last sentence may hold some truth, there are more compelling reasons than ever to purchase furniture online, not least of all having access to a much broader selection than what might be available in your area. While there are many tools available to help those shopping online to make the right buying decision, there are nonetheless a great many pitfalls that still threaten the unprepared buyer. The question is then, how to avoid online furniture shopping mistakes?
Do Your Research Before You Buy
It is easy to fall victim to a “good deal”; particularly if you have got a limited amount of time to make a buying decision. Because there are so many online furniture stores, many of them rely on unbelievable pricing models to win customers over. Granted, given the opportunity most people would opt to spend less rather than spending more for something they want, but buying decisions should never be made based on price alone. With that in mind...
Read All the Small Print, Take Your Time
The lure of 0% financing is tantamount to a siren’s call, but are you getting all the details when you get the receipt at checkout? It might seem as though 0% financing is a good deal- and it can be- but ensure there are no hidden conditions so you get no surprises. The best part of purchasing online is very likely the price is what you see; or better yet, you have a chance to see those details without a sales associate rushing you through the contract. Buying online means you can take your time and be informed.
Solution: Avoid impulse buys. Compare the price point of the piece of furniture that is offered at 0% to similar items from competitors that are made of the same materials.
Stick to Your Budget
Furnishings can be expensive and it is easy to get carried away especially if all the costs are not properly displayed on a company’s website. The item you purchased may fall handsomely within your budget, but delivery, customization, fitting, and taxes can all put you over your budget in no time. Before you click “Purchase”, make sure you have been able to review a breakdown of all the costs.
Solution: Set a budget and stick to it at all costs. If it is not clear whether or not any additional fees apply to your purchase, contact the company directly through their website or their social media page and request more information.
Comparison Shop; You Are Online After All
There is more to comparison-shopping than simply putting one price against another. You will want to read plenty of reviews both about the piece of furniture you are looking to buy and about the company itself. You can learn a lot about a company by reading customer reviews, especially with regards to the following:
Their commitment to customer service
*Post purchase service
*Delivery costs
*Whether or not there were any issues with delivery
*Return policy and flexibility
*Item quality or lack thereof
That last item is especially important because you can not possibly assess an item’s quality by examining a photo on your screen. Be sure to keep in mind that just about every company out there will have a bad review written about them. If the positive reviews significantly outweigh the bad, odds are that you have found a company worth dealing with.
Take Your Measurements
Of course, taking measurements is key for anyone buying furniture. Make sure that anything you purchase falls within those dimensions because if it does not, you might be looking at a hefty fee for returning the item. You might also want to confirm that the item’s dimensions displayed on the website are correct as it is not uncommon for measurement figures to be erroneous. If the furniture’s dimensions are displayed in units you are not familiar with (imperial vs metric) convert them using an online conversion tool and double check your results before you buy.
Do Not Miss Out on a Deal!
Once you have selected a piece of furniture that falls within your budget, will fit in the allotted space, and it is from a reputable company there is just one last thing that is left: check for a coupon code! Just about every online retailer uses coupon codes at one time or another, so there is no harm in doing a quick Google search to see if there are any active coupon codes for the online furniture store you are buying from.
While it is true that shopping online is fraught with perils, it is nonetheless one of the most effective ways to purchase items for your home. Making sure your online buying experience is a successful one you need only be prepared and arm yourself with the knowledge that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Inside Scoop- Furniture Store (Arhaus) in Schaumburg, Illinois.

Furniture window shopping is one of my favorite weekend activity. I love to check out what's new in the market and see how the design experts style their goods! 

Speaking of furniture window shopping, I never fail to visit Arhaus, a furniture store conveniently located inside the mall when I am out shopping. Arhaus always strikes me as a furniture store that offers the best of both worlds; think upscale, polished industrial furnishings from Restoration Hardware and glamorous, unique Z Gallerie pieces combined together!

While I was at Arhaus recently, I managed to take some pictures of their wonderful offerings. Check this out!

What do you think about this store? Is there anything that catches your eye?

I love that they offer furnishings in a variety of styles to suit different tastes. There is so much to love about their store, their beautiful lighting being one of my favorites! I also love that they offer customization for your sofas, chairs, bed, etc in the fabrics and materials you want. Visiting their store is always a fun and inspirational experience. You should check them out if you are in the area.

Here is their store address:

Woodfield Mall
N120 Woodfield Mall
Schaumburg Illinois.

If you are not near my area, fret not! The good news is they have a total of 65 stores across the states so there's a high chance you will find a store in a location near you.

If you are interested to learn more about their products, please visit their website. I hope you enjoyed this feature because I am planning to cover more furniture stores in the near future!

Disclaimer: I did not receive any monetary payment or compensation associated with this particular post.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

How To Keep Your Garden Pest-Free- Naturally!

This post is provided by CroppMetcalfe.

With all of the time, money, and work you put into keeping your garden green, blooming and healthy year-round, it is frustrating how quickly bugs, slugs and even four-legged critters can damage your plants. And while nurseries and stores are full of chemicals you can spray and spread into your soil, that is hardly ideal for you, your pets, or the environment. The good news? You can keep your garden pest-free and pesticide free, with just a little bit of planning.

A Pinch A Day Keeps The Bugs Away

The first, easiest thing you can do is inspect your garden plants as frequently as possible for discoloration, holes, or other damage. Remove, deadhead or pinch off any diseased areas. Healthy plants can more easily fight off pests.

A Clean Garden Is A Happy Garden

Weeds, grass clippings, leaves and other debris, especially when wet, are attractive to slugs and insects. If you do not give them a place to hide and breed, they will be less likely to stay.

Invite Unwelcome Guests

A great way to keep pests away is to attract or introduce their natural predators to your garden. Depending on the type of pest you are dealing with, you can bring in ladybugs to eat aphids or make your property hospitable to the toads and lizards that eat slugs. Talk to the specialists at your local nursery, who can tell you what creatures should be invited into your garden. 

Put Out A Nice Spread

Creeping pests like slugs, snails and caterpillars move along the ground to get to your plants, so make the approach unpleasant. Sprinkle crushed eggshells or diatomaceous earth beneath your plants to make your garden a sharp, dangerous and unpleasant place for these pests.

But what if your problems are larger? What if voles, woodchucks, gophers, rabbits, moles, or even deer are the pests wreaking havoc in your gardens? 

Shut Them Out

You can make your property less attractive to wildlife by eliminating brush piles and tall grass, where they can hide or nest. Seal off access to spaces underneath your porch, deck, shed or garage. 

Take Their Treats Away

Keep your compost pile covered or sealed to discourage raccoons and clean up (or eliminate) birdseed to discourage squirrels. If you use Milky Spore or beneficial nematodes on your grass to reduce or eliminate grubs, moles and skunks will look elsewhere for food.

Attack Their Senses

You can make your property repellent to four-legged friends by using bad smells, bitter tastes, noises, and scary sights. Put out garlic clips or spray castor oil, predator urine, or other organic compounds that will make your plants seem unappetizing, either by smell or taste. Ultrasonic repellers, motion-activated water sprayers and noise makers will frighten most animals, and visual devices like reflective tape and faux predators also help- just change up these tactics over time pests would not become familiar with them and ignore them.

If none of these techniques work, it is time to consider calling in the professionals.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Book review: A House In The Country!

Recently, I have received a lovely design book, A House In The Country from The Vendome Press, authored by Anne Walker and photographed by Eric Piasecki, thanks to Meghan Phillips. 

Here is a sneak peek of some of the gorgeous photos you will find inside this fabulous book!

A House In The Country is truly a visual delight! In this book, renowned architect Peter Pennoyer and his wife, highly sought-after interior designer Katie Ridder tell the story of the conception, design, decoration, and landscaping of their dream home. Besides offering a fascinating insight behind two highly creative individuals, this book is also filled with pages and pages of beautifully illustrated photos, interesting architecture, vibrant interiors and detailed documentation of their collaborative work. Trust me, this book will leave you feeling inspired! 

A highly recommended book for all architecture lovers, design aficionados and gardening enthusiasts! Get your copy here!

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

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Bedroom hacks: Six ways to organize your bedroom!

This post is provided by Nicholas Wong.

Being organized is not always something that we can all say we pride ourselves on and many of us can do a lot more to be better organized, from sorting out more storage inside our homes through to creating routines for everything from cleaning to exercising. 

It is easy to get a bit messy inside the privacy of a bedroom but with a few strategically placed wardrobes, it is easy to create a better organized space. Good quality wardrobes in Perth and any other major city around the world can be found online but before buying any piece of furniture, it is vital to measure the space to see what will fit where. 

Let us take a look at the top six things that can be done to better organize a bedroom:

Buy A Laundry Basket 

Do not just throw the dirty laundry in a pile in the corner of the bedroom or put it into random plastic bags when it is easy to invest in a proper laundry basket. This helps to keep laundry out of the way and can help to keep the floor clear of clutter. 

Separate Shoes And Clothes 

Buy a wardrobe that makes it easy to separate everything, including the following:

High heels

This makes it easier to decide on an outfit, as everything is clearly laid out. 

Invest In Storage Space

Buy some good quality wardrobe solutions in Perth, London or indeed in any city in the world and get rid of the clutter by storing it away. This can be for anything from magazines to makeup and clothing, and wardrobes come in a variety of styles, including:

Sliding door

Items can be hung, folded or put into drawers and specialist built in wardrobes are perfect for small spaces. 

Create Zones

Set out zones for different items, with one set area for magazines and books, another for makeup and another for perfumes and never allow them to cross over.

Buy Racks And Shelves 

Store things in racks and on shelves, as this will help to keep them off the floor. If clutter has to be on show, then make sure it is in or on something, rather than just strewn on the floor and companies like Lifestyle Wardrobes provide wardrobes in Perth that can be used for things like clothes storage to ensure things are kept out of the view. 

Clear The Clutter

Forget spring cleaning and have a good clear out of clutter at least thrice a year and get rid of everything from clothes that are never worn to old magazines to clear some space. 

If storage space inside the home is an issue, then it is important to ensure that there are enough cupboards and wardrobes in rooms such as the bedrooms, as this will help to keep things like clothes off of the floor and out of sight.