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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Decorating your home with chandelier lighting and other accessories



If you are planning on making some decorative changes around the home this year, there are many lighting accessories that you can choose from. From installing elegant and regal chandeliers to simple table lamps and everything in between, finding the right pieces for the best price is easy once you know where to look and what to look for. There are many sites online that offer an amazing array of products that can light up the mood in any home, but not all are created equal.



Before you are ready to shop, consider how you want your home to look once your design ideas have come to life. The last thing you need is to have a chandelier that does not fit well in the space you intended for it to go. Taking measurements, deciding on style, color and effect are all part of the planning process when it comes to finding the right lighting accessories for your home, but it is especially important to do with chandeliers.



Of course, not every lighting remodeling project is limited to chandeliers, but can include a wide range of other options to consider as well. Table lamps, wall lights and standing floor lamps all work to add their own effect in the space they are going to be used. While light is simply light, how it is reflected in the house depends on anything from the color of the lampshade to the tint of chandelier crystals. You can change one crystal to red, and end up having a red lighting effect on the entire room.



This is just one example of things to consider when deciding how to develop a lighting scheme for the home. It is not just brightness, but effect, mood, comfort and feel as well. Lighting accessories can do wonders when it comes to the way in which light beams throughout the home as well as the mood it creates.



With table lamps, the process isn't as involved and it is pretty easy to decide what will look good and what will not. Taking a picture of some of the table lamps that interest you can help to pick the right one for your particular layout and the effect you want to create. Consider color and shade as well as the impact it has on the lighting of the entire room.



So, from easy to involved, the type of lighting you choose for your home will determine the amount of planning and visualizing that it will require. While the process is not that complicated or time consuming, skipping the preparation and research phase of any remodeling project can lead to unsatisfactory results. Making the effort now will save a lot of trouble down the line as well as ensure that you are happy with the look that you created for your home.



There are many sources online to find the best lighting accessories for your needs as well as for your budget. A good retailer will not only have a wide range of fixtures and other items available for sale, but they should also include a section for tips, suggestions and product information that will help you to make the best decision. They should also have a solid return policy as well as product guarantee in case you are unsatisfied with your purchase.



That being said, there are limitless options available online for anything from chandeliers to table lamps or red chandelier crystals, and it is easier than ever to order and have them delivered to your house. Keep in mind that you will need to wait a little while for the items to be shipped to your home, but that can be a benefit in and of itself because you can do the work necessary to prepare for installation. Whether you are ordering lighting accessories for the first time, or are a seasoned decorator, you will be amazed at the quality, selection and prices of a wide range of products found at an online chandelier store today.



by: Kathryn Dawson

http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_6896.shtml



How to think like a buyer when getting your property ready to sell



The house is finally done after a whole lot of "blood, sweat and tears", and now it's time to get your wholesale flip "retail buyer ready". Real estate investors all have the same question at this point; how can I make my house stand out from the other homes for sale in the neighborhood? The answer is quite simple. Your home has to make a better first impression than your competition. Your potential buyer has to want to come inside from the moment they drive up to the house. So how do you do that?



Learn to think like a buyer!



Curb Appeal Is Everything!



Pay special attention to the landscaping and keep the grass cut and trimmed while your house is for sale. If you are selling during the summer months, extra watering may be needed to keep the lawn in tip top shape.



Give your yard a manicured look. It will really pay off to spend a few dollars to have the plants neatly trimmed, the planting beds weeded, and fresh mulch put down. A great touch is to put brightly colored flowers near the front of the house. You might even want to add a couple of pots of flowers at or near the front door well give it an extra touch. Be sure to pick plants that don't need daily watering.



All your windows should be sparkling clean on the exterior as well as the interior.



Take a good look at your front door. Does it need a fresh coat of paint or maybe just a good cleaning?



Spend a few dollars and replace your old mailbox, then add some attractive house numbers. These simple things will give your house a polished look.



Make sure your deck or patio in the back yard is neat and inviting. You want your buyers to be able to imagine entertaining or just relaxing in this space at the end of the day. A power washer can be rented for about $40-$50 dollars if heavy duty cleaning is needed. Go ahead and power-wash any siding on your house at the same time.



Store all garden equipment and trash containers out of sight.



Look at the interior of the house through "buyer's eyes"



Have a professional do a thorough house cleaning when the house is finished, paying special attention to the kitchen and the bathrooms. Remember these are the rooms that sell houses!



Make sure all floors have been cleaned and are in good condition. This also applies to any carpet that hasn't been replaced.



Give the house the "sniff test". Does it smell good?



Buyers don't want to have to paint before moving in, so be sure the house is painted in neutral colors. Painting the trim a crisp white makes the home look modern and inviting.



Home staging always pays big dividends! Consider doing some simple home staging so that prospective buyers can imagine what the home will look like with furniture in it.



Does the basement have a "musty" smell? Figure out what the problem is and correct it.



Does everything in the house function properly? Make sure all the light bulbs are working, and all of the cabinet handles and doorknobs are securely attached. Walk through the house and give it the same scrutiny that a buyer will, double checking the smallest details in the home.



Be sure to change your filters. If the furnace or AC filter hasn't been replaced during the rehab, clean or replace it.



Author: Sharon Vornholt



Sharon's Website: http://LouisvilleGalsRealEstateBlog.com



Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Upgrading your kitchen from 'blah' to 'bling' for less



From cooking to entertaining, the kitchen - always the heart of the home - now takes center stage as the 21st century hub of the home. As families spend more time in their homes, today's command central kitchen needs to be multi-functional and high-definition with easy-to-maintain surfaces dedicated to cooking, working, Web surfing and blogging, paying bills and doing homework, as well as creating a comfortable environment to entertain with family and friends.



To design a kitchen that meets the multiple needs of today's modern family, including standing up to its daily wear and tear without breaking the bank, homeowners can transform their kitchens with a few tips and tricks from interior design experts and companies that have created more durable and affordable yet equally beautiful products.



Small steps can create better spaces



Begin redesigning your kitchen to address multi-functional needs with some smart planning, and consider remodeling in phases rather than all at once. Begin with the easiest area: replace aging countertops with materials that are beautiful yet durable and versatile. Counter space for food preparation can be optimized for laptops and other electronics while you keep an eye on dinner and the kids. Design at the appropriate height and allow space for your legs under the counter so that the same space can be converted to an ad-hoc desk when you aren't cooking.



Incorporate a distinct play and work area for kids to do homework or create a crafting or game area for school and art projects, and family activities that can be tucked into a corner when not in use. Include flat-panel screens in a back splash or a separate lounge area adjacent to the workspace to entertain family and friends.



Counter life's madness with beautiful surfaces



Making the most of the countertop requires the right material for aesthetics and functionality. While there are numerous options, today's laminate countertops feature beautiful designs that mirror granite and other natural stones at a fraction of the cost, and with scratch-resistant finishes that are not only easy to clean but also resist common stains like peanut butter, permanent marker and red wine. Because laminates are made from recycled content and are easy to install and maintain, they make an eco- and budget-friendly choice for consumers.



Everyone loves the look of natural stones but they don't realize how much maintenance they can require, while, today's high-quality laminate mirrors that look and withstands daily wear and tear, says interior designer and HGTV's Design on a Dime host, Summer Baltzer. I love the fact that there are now new countertop collections, like the Wilsonart HD line, that offer great design options that complement both traditional and modern spaces, but also offer great features like integrated sinks and decorative edges, to make it a simple one-stop remodeling project. Consumers can give a room new life just by replacing a countertop with laminate at significant savings compared to other materials.



Get inspired and create a space to live in high definition



Before embarking on a renovation project, talk with the family to determine what the ideal kitchen will look like. Read home improvement magazines, watch remodeling shows for inspiration, and ask experts for tips and tricks at your home improvement store. Look at online tools such as the visualizer on www.WilsonartHD.com to see how you can upgrade your kitchen from blah to bling for less.



Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Give your home a quick refresh with these budget-friendly tips



(BPT) - Whether you are buying, selling or simply remodeling, you are looking to invest in updates that will increase the value and appeal of your home. It's natural to want it all, but before you over-personalize or break the bank, there are many simple, budget-friendly changes that can increase the value of your home without the risk.



Cassandra LaValle, interior designer and editor of the acclaimed lifestyle and design site, Coco+Kelley, offers these tried and true tips for upping your home value without overdoing it.
  • Refresh with paint: You may not be able to replace large appliances or countertops, but in the kitchen adding a fresh coat of neutral paint to outdated cabinets and swapping out hardware can go a long way in making the space feel refreshed.
  • Little luxuries in the bathroom: Replace your current shower head with a rain shower. Completely budget-friendly and easy to install - it takes less than five minutes - this showerhead can make a huge difference in an everyday routine - giving a spa-like experience with multiple high-performance spray settings.


The same goes for lighting - brightening up this space in particular can be a big selling point.
  • Don't forget about the outside: Every home needs curb appeal. If you can't afford major landscaping, focus on the entrance to the home. Again, updating with paint and hardware on the front door will be a welcoming touch, while a couple of really great potted plants at the entryway add to that focal point.
  • It's in the details: Consider adding small details to rooms that will elevate the style. Framing out windows, or adding baseboards, molding or wainscoting to a space will leave it feeling a bit more polished.


No matter how big or small your projects, remember it doesn't take a lot of money to make a big impact to any space.



House Painting: Tips to choose the best house painting colors



House painting is like getting a makeover that adorns your home. You need it timely according to the changing trends of taste for color and design. It's bit tough to know where to get started.



This article will show you how to choose house paint colors that will effectively add beauty to your home's design and style. It highlights the important points of choosing the appropriate colors for various areas of the house. Your home reflects your personality, your way of living and thus by contrasting colors you can give the illusion of your royalty, taste, and your likes. It's also important to know the difference between exterior house paint and interior house paint, considering differences between both types. It's also good to know the color effects and contrasting that your point choices will create. You can explore various colors and select according to your taste through virtual online sources and paint websites.



The whole idea of selecting suitable colors for exterior or interior house paint is a little confusing, but we'll help to explain it here. First is selecting the color type for interior and exterior paint, like latex based paint or oil based paint, a glossy finish or flat finish etc. Painting contractors will help to give you the best options that suit your needs according to your home, type of wall and different areas of the house. Although the idea of painting yourself is tempting, one should understand that painting is a long term addition to your home. You cannot keep changing it every now and then.



If you are going for exterior house paint, than the paint you choose should suit the weather of your area. No doubt painting contractors will surely take care of this and make suggestions. Factors like external moisture, heat, constant rain and other unfavorable weather conditions cause problems like peeling, chalking, fading etc. While choosing interior house paint you should be concerned about easy removal of stains and washable paint, which keeps it looking alive and fresh.



Even if all these provisions are cared by a professional painter, we are still left with one basic question. Which color to select? The color of the paint is a big part of decorating your home. While choosing colors for interior house painting you should consider the following points.



If your house is comparatively small, pastel shades will make it look spacious because they reflect more light. Pastel paints are suitable if there is a limited source of light, such as a basement or the staircase. Also, basic shades of white or light colors will be fine if you already have a color contrast running through your furniture, curtains, and interior decorations. You may go for diverse colors for different areas like the main hall, reading room, guest room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom, living area and so on.



For color lovers there is a wide range of bright color schemes waiting to be explored. Oranges and yellows are known for representing energy and enthusiasm. You can use these bright colors in your children's room to create an energetic environment. These ideas really work in making of their room look cool. One can also add some creative designs like wall prints or wallpapers to make the rooms more attractive, especially in a hall or spacious bedroom.



If you have a garden then lighter shades of green or brown can be used around your gardening area. Even if you have a few planters or bushes, it will appear to be an abundant garden. For a royal look you can paint your house with very light tint of camel brown color and add maroon interior to highlight the furniture.



If you are going for exterior house paint then again try sticking to basic neutral pastel shades of white, pale yellow etc. Or try going with bold colors and use pastel shades for painting windows, and again a dark shade for the roof top. You should try to blend your house in your surroundings. Get more ideas from vast resources available online.



by: Nick Taylor

http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_7104.shtml



Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Four ways to be more green at home



It doesn't take much effort to run your household in a more eco-friendly way. You might even be surprised by how much money you can save.



"A small change can make a big difference," says Charles Valinotti, senior vice president of an insurance company which recently implemented a series of small environmental changes and the savings are adding up. "These are changes anyone could make in their own home. We just did it on a larger scale."



Here are four simple green changes inspired by the company that could benefit any homeowner:



1. Recycle - and not just the obvious stuff.

Chances are, you're already recycling glass bottles and aluminum cans. But why stop there? Consider recycling before you throw anything away. You might also consider collecting aluminum cans and bringing them to your local recycling facility where you may get some cash for your efforts.



One business recycles electrical wire, cabinets, shelving, scrap metals and light fixtures. In two years, not only did the company collect $4,000 for non-traditional recyclables, it also avoided fees for disposing of them.



2. Switch to high-efficiency lighting.

For years we've heard that high-efficiency lighting is the way to go. But did you know the magnitude of difference this one change could make? Experts report that each compact florescent light bulb can save up to $40 in energy costs over its lifetime.



Another company's site converted from halogen to fluorescent light fixtures in its parking garage. This one change is saving 378,554 kilowatt hours per year in electrical usage, totaling $26,575 in annual utility expense.



3. When it's not in use, turn it off.

Moms all over the world can be heard reminding their brood, "Turn the lights off!" While there's no doubt it makes sense to turn off lights, some may question when and if a computer should be turned off since it takes a bit more energy to power up than to leave it running.



The experts report that for energy savings and convenience, consider turning off your monitor if you aren't going to use your computer for more than 20 minutes. Turn off your computer if you're not going to use it in the next two hours.



A lot of people don't always shut down their computers at the end of the day. Last year, the company began automatic shutdowns at 9 p.m. local time - saving about $55,000 in energy costs each year. The system gives a prompt 60 minutes prior to the automatic shutdown, allowing employees who are actively working to bypass the shut-off.



4. Paper - who needs it?

Valinotti suggests that taking baby steps toward a paperless existence can be natural and painless. For example, many homeowners already do their banking online - so why not also switch to paperless bank statements? Many utilities, credit card companies and municipalities also offer online billing.



By just moving a portion of its monthly reports online, the company saves 2.5 reams of paper and $11 per day, totaling $2,000 in savings last year.



As you can see, just a few small changes can help you go green - and help you build financial strength as well.