Friday, June 30, 2017

Getting The Most Bang For Your Buck With A Smaller Home!

This post is provided by Katherine Smith.

If the home within your price range has a lot less square footage than what you are used to, you will need to find ways to improvise. While you can always decide to downsize, you do not have to completely. Learn ways in which you can utilize every square foot of space and take advantage of using empty space to find a comfortable place to live. Here are just a few ways to get the most out of your overall budget with a smaller home.

Adding Cabinets

One way to take advantage of your smaller space is to create more room within a room. Built-in cabinetry is one way to do this. Take a look at your kitchen area. Do you still have a lot of room from the top of your cabinets to the ceiling? If so, you may want to see about having new cabinets installed. Cabinets today take advantage of every square inch of space. You can also customize cabinets to fit your needs. Some add-ons include:

*Drawer organizers
*Double cutlery dividers
*Lift up units for more counter space
*Drawers within drawers
*Canned good storage additions
*Walled spice racks
*Built-in appliances
*Drawer peg systems for better organizing
*Built-in layered pull out drawers to utilize corner cabinet space
*Cabinet pullout spaces

Do not let a small kitchen in a nice home, defer you from making a purchase offer. Ask the professionals at Berkshire Hathaway to help you find the exact Santa Monica Real Estate property that you are looking for. In addition, sit down with a kitchen or home designer to go over space and budget options that will help make your kitchen a more workable area and less cluttered.

Building Up

With many prime real estate locations, lot size can be a big issue. You may have found your dream home property, but still need more square footage in order to make the land work for you. In some cases, you may be able to build up. Depending on your overall budget, consider placing an addition onto your new home by utilizing attic space or adding on from an upstairs area. You will have to talk with your contractor to see if it is a possibility and also check with the city to see about ordinances and building code approval.

How Decor Can Make A Room Look Bigger

When you have a small space to work with and have utilized every square foot for a living area, try altering the appearance of a room. Here are a few suggestions:

*Pull furniture away from walls to give of an appearance of more space.
*Make your ceiling a darker color.
*Apply crown molding half way up the wall to separate two differently painted wall spaces.
*Place shelving units near the top of the ceiling.
*Use striped furniture or rugs to create an elongated look within a room.
*Utilize mirrors and glass to decorate rooms with smaller square footage.
*Use textured wallpaper on the ceiling for a more elevated appearance.
*Paint walls a very light color and follow up with light carpeting or flooring.

Stick to larger items for decorative pieces such as plants or vases. Avoid a lot of small furniture items and knickknacks that may overcrowd your small space.

Converting Garage And Outbuilding Space

Do you have an attached garage to your home? Consider using this space as an extra living area. Depending on the size, you could easy add another bedroom and bathroom to this particular section. If you have a large garden shed or sunroom, take advantage of these areas for workable living spaces. An outbuilding can be turned into a small den or home office if there is heat and electrical access. 

Making use of every small space in your home is important. Utilizing a few methods and tweaking your budget can turn your home into a comfortable living area that you will love!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

What to look for in a good mattress!

This article is provided by James G. M.

Choosing the right mattress can seem like a daunting task with so many different types of materials to choose from as well as firmness and brand. It can be even harder if you are someone who is suffering from bad back pain, neck pain, sore muscles or fatigue.

Here is a guide that will help you choose the perfect mattress suited for your needs.


Talking to a physical therapist or a chiropractor is a good place to start before going any further with your search. They can give you a proper insight into what is best for body, especially if you are asking a chiropractor. If you are someone with chronic back pain you would not want to increase your discomfort by making a wrong decision.

Keep in mind that these people can only give you good pointers and are not mattress experts.

Watch out for gimmicks

Many mattress companies will market their mattresses as “medically approved” or “orthopedic” even though there is no such organization that would officially certify a mattress as such. 

Types of mattresses

There are plenty of mattresses to choose from, here are the kinds that you can pick from and a few details that will help you make a decision.

Innerspring mattresses

These fall under the category of a traditional mattress. They are most widely made and used. These kinds of mattresses have several layers of metal coils that create the support of the mattress. The metal coils are generally encased to prolong the quality and longevity of the mattress and provide comfort. 

Coil count varies but generally speaking the higher the count the more even support and pressure relief. These types of mattresses are safe go-to because they provide even support and a good bounce which can be a helpful thing if you’re someone that might have issues getting up from the bed

Memory foam mattress

Over the last decade or so, memory foam has become a very popular choice and rightfully so. These adaptable mattresses offer great support and are usually recommended for people suffering from bad lower back pain. Since the memory foam is heat sensitive, it will contour and mold to your body relieving pressure points and give your body even support no matter if you are a side sleeper or someone that prefers to sleep on their stomach or back.

The only drawback is low breathability and heat-trapping. This can be a problem for someone that might be sensitive to changes in temperature during sleep but it can also be a major plus for people with bad circulation.

Memory foam has minimal bounce meaning that if you are sleeping next to someone you would not notice much movement should they toss and turn at night. 

Latex foam mattresses

Latex mattresses are, in many ways, similar in to memory foam ones but with a minor difference. They are more breathable and do not hold any heat. They offer great support and a relaxing, cooling effect. Latex is also, generally, firmer and, since it is a natural and scarce material, more expensive.

Hybrid mattresses 

Just as the name suggests, hybrid mattresses are a blend of two types, usually a mix of latex and memory foam. Combined to bring great comfort and cooling effect of the latex foam with the support and pressure relief of memory foam.

Another common hybrid is a combo of latex/memory foam and springs. These hybrids will be the choice of people who do not like the feeling of “sinking in”.

Adjustable beds

These high-end mattresses are sleeping luxury-embodied, with the best known brand being the Sleep NumberThey are designed to allow you to change the elevation, position, shape, and the best of them, even the temperature of the sleeping surface. This kind of versatility allows you to create your own optimal sleeping conditions for better breathing, blood flow and reduced back pain.

They are combination of ultra tough and practically indestructible air chambers, enclosed into layers of latex and memory foam. It is the air chambers that allow them to be “adjustable”.

Air mattresses 

Airbed or inflatable mattresses use air chambers that are similar to the metal coils of an innerspring mattress. Long gone are the times when and “air mattress” would be a synonym for a lilo that you would take to a beach or pool. Over the last two decades, they have evolved into mattresses that many people use as their main beds.

The best of the air mattresses can provide just as much support as a regular mattress. Keep in mind that air beds vary in quality and not every brand or make will offer the same results.

It is possible to find anything from an inexpensive air mattress to a high end model that is close to a traditional mattress. 

The great benefit of an inflatable mattress is that it is very easy to customize and adjust to your needs and the needs of the person sleeping next to you since both sides are adjustable.

If you are someone that suffers from bad back pain this is a good choice of blow up bed since you will be able to adjust the firmness. Some nights it might feel better to have a firmer mattress and other nights a more “cushiony”, softer bed. Another good thing to keep in mind is that these types of mattresses are usually in the lower price range so they are a good option if you are looking for a new bed but also have a limited budget.

Test run

When picking out a mattress in the store see if you can lay down on it for at least 10 to 15 minutes and if you are shopping with a partner have them lay down as well and compare opinions. Since this is a big purchase it is best to have a feel for the mattress and see how your body responds to it before making the final decision.

Final tips

Ask your retailers about the guarantee before you buy the mattress and make sure you fully understand all the terms and conditions such as whether you are paying for transportation, if you can get your money back or an exchange should you not feel completely happy with the mattress. 

All of these things are very important and should be taken into consideration when you are ready to make a final decision. 

Keep your mattress protected from stains as this will void your warranty. A good quality mattress should have a minimum 10 year warranty which gives you plenty of years of carefree sleep. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

How to add some life to your windows!

This article is provided by Cyril.

Imagine what a house without windows would be like? Well, it would be nothing more than a dark box without any light or air. Windows are important because they provide ventilation to your home. They also add a spark in the beauty of the home nowadays as there are different types of designs available for them. A well-designed window adds some glamour and beauty to your house but you could up the ante a bit more by choosing the right curtain for your windows.

Curtains add glamour to the windows

A curtain can be of many types; generally it is a piece of cloth that is used to cover doors and windows to block the view or obscure light. Curtains often come in various colors and with different types of designs like vintage floral curtains, solid color curtains etc and they really are an essential part of the home decor. They not only add beauty but also provide comfort by blocking extra light and sunrays. Colorful and stylish curtains have always been held in high regard. They were meant to flaunt the taste of the home owner. Curtains always added extra beauty and glamour to a home and over the years, that role has not changed.

Old is the new trend

Trends keep changing regularly and trends of today become obsolete tomorrow. But with wide range of designs in the category of vintage floral curtains, you would definitely agree that old can sometimes make a comeback and become a classic. It takes the beauty of your house to a new level. In addition to the curtains, in order to decorate your house completely you would also need proper furniture, a trendy wall-clock and other knick knacks, but not to worry, thanks to the internet, you can have all your decor items delivered to your doorstep in no time. Most of these websites even have very attractive return and refund policies, so even if a piece of furniture looks out of place, you can always have it replaced.

Some tips for better decoration

The most important thing about decoration is synchronicity, even if you are opting for contrast, there needs to be a method to it so choose a few pieces of decor as your focal point and decorate around it. If everything in a room is eye-catching, then the room will be chaotic. A simple design tip is getting a few attractive pieces and making sure the rest is subtle and neutral.

Highendcurtain is a good choice if you are interested in more vintage floral curtains or other unique curtains.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Six Ways To Beautify Your Yard!

This post is provided by Alyssa.

If you are longing for a beautiful backyard, but do not have the means to hire a professional landscaper to do the work, that is ok. Upgrading your patio or deck, adding landscaping in the yard are actually quite simple if you are willing to put in a little sweat and some time. Take a look at these six tips to beautify and improve your backyard. 

Hang a hammock

There is nothing more relaxing than a gently swinging hammock in the backyard- plus sleeping in a hammock is good for your health. Sleeping in a hammock provides a healthier nights sleep and is used in the treatment of acid reflux, sleep apnea, arthritis, autism and for stress reduction. If you do not have trees to hang the hammock, a pergola or other two-post stand will work perfectly. Get ready to enjoy your new favorite place to relax!

Add a deck

Decks will not only boost outdoor living space, they also act as an asset when you sell your home at a fraction of the cost of adding a fully enclosed living area. Make your yard more beautiful and transform it into the perfect place to host barbecues with a well-built deck. Whether you plan to do it yourself or search for deck contractors in Rochester NY or wherever you live, it is vital to choose the best decking material for your lifestyle, budget and climate. 

Plant a flowerbed

A wonderful alternative to grass is planting beautiful flowerbeds in your yard. Bright, lush flowers can act as gorgeous centerpieces that add charm to any yard instantly. Consider low maintenance perennials so you do not have to plant new flowers every year. Some good options include daylily, coral-bells and black-eyed Susan.

Add seating areas

Furniture can be an investment for the backyard, but the right seating can transform your yard from ho-hum to fabulous. From porch swings to build-in seating solutions to benches to chaise lounges, having a variety of seating options will make your back yard beautiful and cozy- and provide plenty of places for guests to sit next time you invite everyone over for hamburgers. 

Protect your plants

Mulch not only reduces weeds around plants and shrub, it also can polish your home’s exterior. Make a blah backyard look bolder by using mulch as an accent. Not only does mulch make your lawn healthier, the right color of mulch also complements your homes exterior. Dark colored mulch can contrast with flowers and enhance the theme of your landscape. Do not forget to mulch around your trees too.

Put up some lattice

Lattice provides privacy and it will create a hidden sanctuary in your backyard. Some crisscross lattice is an attractive way to hide any unsightly areas of your yard. Use it to hide air conditioners, trash bins or anything else you want out of plain sight.

It does not have to be tough or time-consuming to beautify your yard. Use these simple ideas and tips to help you love and enjoy your yard more, bump up its value and become the perfect yard for hosting friends and family. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

5 Ways To Manage Your Home At Work!

This post is provided by Ryan Tyson.

Do you ever wish you could magically turn off the light you accidentally left on before heading to work or check to make sure that the door is locked? Well, you may not have the magic to do those things, but with smart technology, you can “magically” do it from your smartphone. In fact, there are lots of things you can now do to manage your home while at work. Here are the top five.

Smart Lights

Everyone has left a light on accidentally and wished he or she could turn it off, and with smart lights, you can. Smart lights, like many other smart technologies, come in varying formats. You can find systems that allow you to control single switches, a set of plugs, or even an entire home. It depends on how much of your home lighting you want to control when you are away. For whole home systems, look at Hue by Philips; this system allows you to control everything from color to brightness, and it lets you switch the lights on and off. 

Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats are ideal for programming and keeping you cool and warm at different times of day, and you control them from your smartphone. But did you know that they also work hard to keep your HVAC system running smoothly? When you use a manual thermostat, you tend to adjust the temperature more often and thus make your furnace work harder. But with a smart thermostat, you maintain a more constant temperature and thus do not create problems for your HVAC unit.

Smart Water

One of the worst things that can happen to you as a homeowner is to be away from home when a pipe bursts or someone has accidentally left a faucet running. Within a short time of being gone, you can flood a room- or, worse, even your entire house. But with smart water systems such as Flo, you are immediately notified of water running, and you can turn the water off to your home while sitting at work.

Security Cameras

If you are away from home often, you might want to consider a security camera system to help you monitor your house. These systems come in a variety of styles, from wireless to wired, and they allow you to monitor one location or every room in your home. They are easy to install, and newer models have coordinating apps that allow you to check and view cameras from your smartphone. 

Remote Locks

Many manufacturers are producing house locks that are remotely controlled via smartphones. They allow you to lock and unlock your door with a touch of a button on your phone. Some, such as Kwikset, take that a step further by syncing with your security alarm systems, notifying you when kids come and go, and allowing people such as housekeepers access during a particular window on a certain day. Once you get these five magical smart technologies working in your home, you will wonder why you have not had them all along- they are that great!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Top Tips When Designing Your Perfect Kitchen!

This post is provided by Thomas.

Anyone with an iota of interior design knowledge will tell you that the kitchen is one of the most important areas of the home. It is no longer simply where the spoons and pan reside. Since this area of the home has taken a more important role in the scheme of things, then it needs to look like it. You need to take some time to appreciate this and think about designing your kitchen impeccably. If you are unsure about what type of style kitchen you would like then I would recommend hiring a professional kitchen specialist who can guide you.

Here are a few tips that will give you the kitchen you have always craved.

Think about function

While the aesthetics of a kitchen are hugely important, so are the functional aspects. It beats logic to build a sprawling kitchen that does not serve its purpose. You are always advised to brainstorm plans and isolate the ones that fit into a functional as well as the aesthetic kitchen.

Always have a place for space

The kitchen hates clutter. When you are moving around hot pans and electricity connection, the last thing you want is to trip and upset the balance. While this could create a mess, the biggest risk is to the lives of those around. To avoid clutter, create room in places such as the area below the ceiling and on the walls. Fill up these places with deep cabinets that allow for lots of storage.

Lighting is crucial

The kitchen packs quite a bit of stuff, so it is expected that there will be a level of darkness in there. It therefore, follows that your overhead lighting needs to suffice. You can get creative with this, ensuring that there is some taste to what the people see. A good idea would be to install under-cabinet lights as they will always add a functional as well as aesthetic edge to things.