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How to properly protect your home from the unpredictable weather

How to properly protect your home from the unpredictable weather

If you live in an area that is prone to devastating storms, you might want to take a good look at the integrity of your home. Our homes were built to protect us from the weather, but sometimes nature can find ways to outdo itself. Not every home is equipped to deal with a severe storm, which is why it’s good to tack on some additional protection.

1.      Check your insurance

For some areas, unpredictable weather doesn’t just cause a leak or two. It can be quite devastating for a home and its occupants. A high category storm could cause a lot of damage to your home’s exterior.

If you live in an area that is prone to harsh storms or blizzards, it would be smart to review your insurance policy. Make sure you’re covered for any losses that might occur due to unpredictable weather. Keep in mind that floods and hurricanes aren’t covered by regular homeowner’s insurance, which is why you have to purchase a specific policy.

Take video evidence and make lists of all the things you own in order to provide adequate documentation for insurance companies.

2.      Clean the gutters

Storms don’t just bring low temperatures and rain with them; they also knock down and carry a lot of leaves. These leaves often get caught up in gutters and prevent the drainage of water. This can be a huge problem for your roof. If the water can’t be properly drained, it will accumulate on your roof and cause leaks and water damage.

Funnels also need to be angled properly. Water shouldn’t run down the side and pool at the base of your home. Instead, it should be funneled through the drainage system down the downspout in order to avoid contact with your roof and walls.

3.      Maintain the exterior finish

Sometimes, you will see water damage that doesn’t have an apparent source. You might see signs of mould, peeling paint, and discoloration on the walls without any apparent damage. This could be due to tiny holes in the exterior finish of the wall. If it isn’t properly maintained, the wall will slowly succumb to moisture and mould.

Try to inspect your exterior walls every once in a while. If you catch some of the signs early enough, you might be able to make minimum repairs without having to replace large portions of the wall. The most common exterior siding includes materials like stucco, aluminum, and wood. They should be painted over with a quality finish that will prevent moisture from seeping through.

4.      Don’t forget about the roof

The roof is more than just a fancy wall on top of your home. It shields you from the elements and low temperatures. It often takes the most damage during storms and blizzards, which is why you need to show extra care to your roof. Make sure all the shingles are in place and intact or else you might get some water damage through the affected areas.

A good roof should last you quite a while. The average roof can stand for about thirty years before needing to be replaced. If your roof is showing any signs of leakage or mould, you might want to consider some proper roof restoration before the next rainy season hits.


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5.      Seal windows and doors

Regular windows might not be well-suited for areas that are prone to storms. The wind that funnels through tiny cracks can cause an increase in pressure and lead to subtle roof damage. This can accumulate to the point that your roof would deteriorate quite rapidly during a storm. While you’re getting a sealant for your windows, remember to also install storm shutters to cover them. These will protect them from additional storm damage.

Don’t neglect the doors, either. They might not be as numerous as windows, but they are also prone to wind leakage after a while.


There are lots of ways to make your home stormproof. It’s always a good idea to start with general repairs before you get into the modifications. If you find that your roof is in need of serious repairs, you should probably contact professionals that can help you bring it up to par.


5 Ways To Make Your New Home Eco-Friendly

5 Ways To Make Your New Home Eco-Friendly

Photo Provided By The Good Trade

After going through the long process of finding and purchasing a new house, it’s finally time to move in! Considering eco-friendly options can and should start as you sign the papers and plan your move. Getting started on the right foot can set the tone and habits you want to kick off your move and environmentally conscious choices you’d like for your new house.

During the Move In

One of the larger-scale changes you can make is to look into moving companies that offer reusable packing crates, rather than cardboard boxes. You can also combine items to invent creative packing solutions and reduce the number of boxes you need. For example, instead of buying tons of filler paper or bubble wrap, use towels when you can as well to protect your loose items and save you from needing to pack your towels separately. Less boxes to move and parse through (plus the incentive to unpack faster to get to your towels!) creates less chaos and waste for you to deal with while trying to set up your new home.

Watch What You Bring In With You

Setting up and decorating a new house is a time where lots of new items and activity are making its way into your house, from painting to new furniture. Indoor air is notably more polluted than outdoor air and keeping an eye on what products and items you’re bringing into your house is one way to address this. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are present in a variety of items that off-gas and emit fumes and greatly contribute to indoor air pollution. Large furniture items are often major offenders since they often contain flame retardants. Look for healthier options like VOC-free mattresses and check if your desired paint color comes in a low-VOC option as well. With a little extra work and research beforehand, you can make selections to safeguard your home air quality.

Consider Your Energy Use

Invest in efficient sources if you’re replacing appliances to lower your energy bills and help improve your footprint on the environment. Switches could include solar options for all outdoor lighting, a tankless water heater or starting small by using power strips you can turn on and off for energy-blasting items like phone chargers when not in use. Energy-efficient large appliances are also becoming more the norm, improving the selection of items like refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers. Making them more accessible and easier to find for homeowners in a variety of price points and styles.

Sustainable Landscaping

In addition to solar lights for your outdoor fixtures, another way you can make exterior eco-friendly choices is through your landscaping. Select plants native to your area, or ones that serve a purpose like a rock or rain garden for areas that often collect runoff water. Seed hardy grass that doesn’t need to be watered or mowed often. Or even get creative with your design and include more trees, mulched areas and banks of flowers to further cut down on lawn square footage that needs fertilizing and constant care to stay pristine.

Keep At It

Stay active in finding ways to swap in eco-conscious choices, the process doesn’t stop once you move in! Find natural cleaning products that work for your needs, ways to conserve water or creative ways to recycle unwanted items rather than tossing them. You can always continue to find ways, big and small, to save money and keep improving your home health through eco-friendly decisions while decreasing your impact on the environment.

5 Home Security Features to Make Your Home More Attractive

Image provided by Integrated Home

Potential homebuyers value few things more than the security of the house, and that’s why thoughtful upgrades that bolster home security can not only increase the value of your home but potentially make it sell faster. Proper security and privacy can help negate the effects of nosy neighbors and less-than-ideal neighborhood conditions. People with children looking to buy a new home almost certainly want a home that feels safe and secure.

 From smart technology to old-school security systems and low-budget solutions like strategic landscaping, here are some ways to make your for-sale home more attractive.


Smart Total Home Security System

 When it comes to boosting the value of your home with security upgrades, bigger and more comprehensive is often better. Total home security systems have come a long way in the past couple of decades, and the best new smart varieties not only provide 24/7 monitoring and alarm capabilities, but they also allow you to arm and disarm and view live (and recorded) video directly from your mobile device. Many home security systems even allow you to link them to other smart home devices such as light bulbs and garage locks.


Locks, Lights, and Cameras

 You can choose to secure your home with modern tech or the old-fashioned way. Both could make your home more attractive to potential buyers, but smart lock features may help a little more. The best smart locks offer a variety of entry methods and feature codes, biometrics, or Bluetooth functions that can be configured remotely on the fly. Smart lighting and cameras are also good, but if you want to save money, some simple outdoor floodlights (there are budget-friendly lights for less than $10) will do the trick.


Plant-Based Security

 Not every piece of home security has to be smart — in fact, it doesn’t even have to be electronic. While home security elements can boost the value of your home and possibly make it sell faster, something else may be even better at that: landscaping. Combine the two and you have a real winner. Privacy or security hedging — adding shrubs, trees, or bigger plants around the perimeter of your home — is a solid idea. The cost to hire landscapers for your yard or garden in Scottsdale is $2,141 – $6,429. This means that this security feature could be even more cost-effective than smart tech.


A Good Old-Fashioned Gate

 Here’s something that may come as a surprise: “Adding a gate to the front of your property is about more than mere aesthetics — believe it or not, simply adding a gate can boost your home’s value by as much as $50,000 or more,” according to Realty Times.

 Gates add curb appeal, privacy, a layer of safety for kids and pets, and yes — mega home security. If you’re looking to make your home really appealing, install a gate that has an automatic function. While manual gates are okay, they won’t add as much value to your home.


Some Timer-Related Trickery

 Every homeowner wants to appear to be at home when they’re away. It’s one of the best deterrents to burglars and other potential miscreants. It’s pretty easy to use modern light timers to create this illusion, and it ends up being a fairly inexpensive way to add just one more layer of extra security to your property.

 Being able to tout upgraded security measures in a home listing can draw more eyes to your home. Depending on the added security features, they may even be able to make up for some drawbacks. Even if there are no real security concerns in your neighborhood, having new security features in your home will signal to any potential homebuyer that they are buying a modern, updated home that the previous owners (you) truly cared about.

How to Design a Minimalist Home Office

How to Design a Minimalist Home Office

Every good entrepreneur will tell you that the best way to turn your investment into profit is not to waste money on side projects but to focus on the main goals defined in the business plan. If focus is the keyword in the world of business, then design, and office design in particular, is no different. You need a home office that is designed, decorated, and furnished in such a manner that all the details scream out: work atmosphere! This will act as a counterweight to the dormant and torpid atmosphere inside the home

The best design solution for a home office is minimalism. Its main postulate guarantees that the office will feature only items that are necessary for work and important for you personally, as everything else, including clutter, will have to leave the space of the home office. By being able to focus on the tasks ahead, you will be able to increase productivity over time, so (re)designing a minimalist home office might be the best thing you lately did to improve your business operations.

Clearing the walls

The biggest surfaces inside your house are by far the walls. All that empty space seems alluring to hang different things from them, ranging from diplomas all the way to pictures of your family. We are not stating that these objects do not belong in a home office, quite the contrary, as an image of the loved ones can be a great motivator. However, they do not belong on the wall, as this area is probably already full of post-it notes related to work that are disrupting the homely ambient.

Such vertical chaos, to put it like that, has no place in a home office, so the first step in ushering in minimalist design is to clear the walls. Personal images will have to be placed on the desk or in another room in the house, while everything related to work that needs to be on display should be put on a notice board.

A paperless office space

It should be clear to everyone by now how detrimental for the environment overuse of paper is. This means that you should immediately stop printing e-mails and other documents that already exist in the electronic form. You can even organize a digitalization of old files that can all be scanned, thus becoming easily searchable. In essence, the less paper you have lying around the desk, the better. Since it is only possible to decrease their numbers but not get rid of the paper format altogether, we recommend placing an inbox on the desk and practicing tidiness so no sheet of paper ends up outside the designated area. Any old filing cabinets should be moved downstairs to the basement or to some other location, like storage depo, where they will not get into the way.

A coffee machine for your pleasure

If you thought that a minimalist design only meant throwing stuff out, you were wrong. In minimalism, functionality is the most important goal to achieve but that does not mean that you cannot afford something luxurious here and there. Investing in yourself is extremely important since a smile on your face is priceless early in the morning when you see a hot cup of coffee on the desk. In terms of design, “watering holes,” such as water coolers and coffee machines, act as social hubs in large companies but you can turn your coffee machine into a private oasis of relaxation. In other words, there is no way that Italian designed office coffee machines could not find its way into your kitchen, just a few steps away from the home office. Their sexy outlines and the colors black and silver go well with any design and complement the machines’ main function of making coffee to help you get through another day of working around the clock.

Decluttering the desk

Like we stated in the introduction, decluttering the home office and the entire house is an integral part of minimalist design suited for home office space. However, one area in particular is prone to clutter, so you should start combating this pesky piling up of stuff at the core of the problem. The immediate desk area is highly susceptible to clutter. The desktop is usually full of things you don’t need, so try to understand that a computer monitor, a family picture, and an inbox are more than enough for this location. Everything else should go in drawers which main function is exactly that: keeping possible clutter out of sight. It is, therefore, useful to keep one drawer, possibly the bottom one, empty at all times, so you can chuck all the clutter in it at the end of a long day spent working since you probably lack the time for a proper clean-up.

As you have seen from these guidelines, minimalism will improve both the design of the home office as well as boost your level of satisfaction. If you are organized, focused, and generally happy with your home office, you can do more work for a shorter amount of time.

Simple Ways to Make Your Living Room Look Glamorous

Simple Ways to Make Your Living Room Look Glamorous


Our home is not only our sanctuary it is our statement as well. Thru the decoration of our home, we make a statement about how we feel about the world that surrounds us and our role in it. It is a showcase of our personality and our taste. Glamour in our home can be a display of great taste, courage to follow our dreams, beauty we want to be surrounded with and comfort we want to be pampered in.


When we want to add glamour in our living room, we should start by choosing the right colours. You can’t go wrong here. Any combination of colours is allowed, it depends on your boldness and preferences. One thing is important to remember, and that is that a combination of three colours should be applied in a 60-30-10% ratio. 60 % is the colour that will take over the role of main colour, and two of the other colours are there to stress out the glam of the main colour. Try to combine colours on the paper first, just to see how good they will go together. Main colour should be calm, natural colour like beige, light pink, cream, so it will not distract attention from details that will glam up your room, especially ones that will go to your walls. Second and third colour must be complementary with the first colour and make a bold statement in coloured details, such as window trim and niche. Remember your walls a stage for other items and details that will glam up your room.

2. Furniture

Choosing the right furniture is what it is all about. Consoled tables, sculptured furniture, sofas, chairs, commodes, they are all important parts of glam up your living room. Sculptured furniture like peacock chairs or a nailed trim, rolled arms, rich fabric sofa are a must have. You can also go for bold but exquisite furniture like Relax For Life massage chairs that will not only add to glam of your living room but will also help you feel wonderful after using it. Mirror consoled tables are also a must-have. This can be a piece of furniture with a mirror surface that will both catch the light and add to the sparkle of your room. Don’t forget that glam style is all about sparkle, layers and balance, so try not to overdo it.

3. Decorations

Decorations are key to a successful glamorizing. Decorations are what make more statement than anything else. A woven thing that hangs from your wall (dream catcher, macramé hanging or luxurious rug hanging) is essential. It will stress out the colour of your walls and will be an important eye-catcher in your room. Mercury glass candles, vintage table lamps, glamorous chandeliers as a source of light that will reflect in mirrored furniture. Piles and piles of colourful pillows that sit on sofas and chairs, bring colour and glam to the room. Vases filled with fresh and colourful flowers sitting on coffee tables and lamp stands. Interesting shaped wall mirrors decorated with crystals and golden details. You can never go wrong with such details. These details can stress the furniture they are on or can be an eye catcher detail for something else you want to stress out.

4. Fabrics

Not only the look but the quality of fabrics is what matters. Glamorous materials like silk, plush, velvet are what should be used for details and furniture as well. Faux fur is very usable to glam up the room if it is placed on sofas and chairs as addition to pillows. Animal print is also desirable, whether it is zebra, leopard or tiger pattern. Some pieces of furniture can be coated with animal print materials, but it is better to have a pillow or blanket with that pattern. Metal is a material that is a must-have here.  Metal sculptures, table surfaces, commodes, bar tables, all that can be made from metal and reflect light and sparkle around the room. Try to get items with history, as that will add to glam for sure.

5. Rugs

Rugs are often forgotten as items that can add to the glam. Choosing the right rug or carpet can bring that extra something to everything else. If you opted for calm and neutral colours with just a few stressed items, a rug in some bold pattern or bright colour can be the right decision. If you decided to make details like eye-catching items, then a rug with calming effects pattern or neutral, calming colour can be the right choice. You can match it to the colour of your walls or with the colour of a piece of furniture. There is a lot you can do with it.

Adding glam to your living room may turn out to be a fun and pleasant experience. You can let your imagination run free and be as bold as you wish. This style can handle it.

Interpreting Your Credit Score

Interpreting Your Credit Score

Image Provided By Credit.com

A credit repair company in dallas says, Knowing where you stand financially is key when making future credit based decisions. If your credit score is low, you’ll need to start making necessary repairs before you try to apply for any future credit. If your credit score is in good standing, you’ll need to keep best practices in mind to keep your score in top shape.

 So what makes a good credit score? Often that depends on the type of credit line you’re looking to obtain in the future. Generally speaking, however, the higher your score, the lower your interest rate, and the better the terms of any future loan will be no matter if you’re borrowing for a house, an automobile, or a revolving line of credit.

 The lower your credit rating sinks, the higher the interest rate will be for any future loans. And, if your credit score plummets, getting qualified for any loan at all may be very difficult to do. Knowing your credit score and taking all possible steps you can to help it climb is the best medicine for faltering credit.


Ratings Explained

There are two kinds of rating systems: FICO and VantageScore. For all intents and purposes, the two systems are very similar in their scoring algorithm. All scores fall within a range of 300 to 850. Any score above 750 is considered EXCELLENT. Scores between 680 and 749 are labeled GOOD. Interest rates start to climb with any score that falls below the GOOD threshold. If your score is 620 to 679 your score is considered FAIR. And 580 to 619 is BAD. Believe it or not there is a label for anything under 580: POOR.

750 to 850       EXCELLENT

680 to 749       GOOD

620 to 679       FAIR

580 to 619       BAD

300 to 580       POOR


Looking For A Mortgage?

Interest rates for home mortgages are highly dependent on the current state of the housing market and the prime interest rate set by the federal reserve. Generally speaking though, if you have a credit score of 720 or higher you should qualify for an interest rate of around 4% or lower for a 30 year fixed mortgage. Which is always good to improve your credit score any chance you get.


Looking For An Auto Loan?

Auto loan interest rates can fluctuate widely depending on the deal of the day and your credit score. Before you shop for cars, take a good look at your credit score, and shop around for auto loan financing through your bank or other banks before walking into the dealership. New car loans tend to fetch lower interest rates than used car loans for people in good credit standing.


Looking For A Business Loan?

If you’re starting a new business, a lending institution will assess your personal credit rating to determine if you qualify, and assess terms of a potential business loan. For some kinds of business loans, such as equipment loans, qualifying may be a little easier since there is collateral involved.

For established businesses, institutions use a business based algorithm to assign you a business credit score of somewhere between 0 to 100 for future lending decisions.

The Most Commonly Desired Amenities For Homebuyers

The Most Commonly Desired Amenities For Homebuyers

Photo Provided By: home-design.com


When you start your search for a new home, it’s likely you have an idea of the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you need. You probably have a whole list of other amenities that you would like to have, such as a front porch or back patio. Today, we’re going to look at some of the most common amenities that homebuyers look for in a potential home purchase.


Stainless Steel Appliances

One of the first rooms that you really look at while doing a showing is the kitchen. If you’ve ever heard a person say the phrase ‘a kitchen sells a home’, the person knows what they’re talking about. Since you’ll likely be preparing many of your meals in the kitchen, you want one that is clean and easy to use. Stainless steel appliances are a great asset to any kitchen as they go with any style design. Whether it’s modern or rustic, stainless steel just fits in. Most homeowners at least want a stainless steel fridge and stove. A stainless steel microwave and dishwasher just put the icing on the cake.


Spacious Bathroom

In many older styles homes, the bathroom is that cramped room at the end of the hallway that you can barely fit one person in, let alone two. Having a spacious bathroom with room to breath is on the top of many homebuyer’s must-haves. A larger-sized bathtub, split vanity, and oversized mirrors can help sell any home. Add in some brushed nickel faucets and showerheads and you could sell any home. Again, the nickel in the bathroom provides a feeling of cleanliness which we all want to have.


Outside Landscaping

There’s been a growing trend in the outdoor landscaping sector with homeowners. They like to illuminate their homes in the evening hours with accented lighting and greenery that looks inviting. Most homebuyers want a landscape that is already perfected to make a home look spectacular. It’s called curb appeal and it really does sell homes. It’s important to pay attention as a homebuyer to the types of flowers and shrubs that are planted on the property. Different plants require different levels of maintenance. If you aren’t really a green thumb, homes that have plants that require minimal landscaping may be best for you.


High-Tech Gadgets

As we have our smartphones getting smarter, we want our homes to be getting techier. Smart homes are the newest craze for many homebuyers due to the convenience that they offer. Having tech like an automatic door opener that syncs with your smartphone can make getting locked out of your home no longer a problem. Having voice recognition to change the thermostat or dim the lights is a must for new-aged homebuyers. There are endless gadgets that can be included in new smart homes. Making a list of what you particularly want in a home can help to make your next purchase easier to find.


Outdoor Space

More and more homeowners are making their buying decisions based on the outdoor areas of homes than ever before. Homebuyers want a spacious area that is surrounded by nature and provides the perfect space for some outdoor living activities. Whether it’s inviting neighbors over for some backyard barbeque or putting in a hobby shed for crafting, having outdoor space is a must. Homebuyers with kids or ones planning on having kids in the near future are more likely to want a large yard as well.


Back Patio or Porch  

As you’ve just learned, outdoor space is a must. Part of that outdoor space is a porch or patio that allows for a sectioned off portion of your yard for entertaining purposes. Those small side porches won’t do any longer for the homebuyers of today. Rather, they want to have larger porches or patios that allow for excess room. Porches that have built-in outdoor kitchens and bars are always a desired amenity.


Home Gym

As the world gets busier, we find it harder to meet our commitments. Traveling to the gym each day can start to go to the wayside when it comes to keeping up with your other priorities. Having a home gym can make life so much easier. You can cut the travel costs and time to your local gym. Plus, you’ll never have to wait to use the equipment. Homebuyers are finding it more and more convenient to have a home gym and are actively searching for homes that have them.


A Garage

Yep, that’s right. Homebuyers are still looking for that convenient thing called a garage where they can store their car in the wintertime. In most cases, they end up storing items but the idea is what sells the home. Having a garage or carport can do wonders for the sale value of a home. As a homebuyer, you should look for homes that have this amenity as it cannot only help to keep your car out of the elements, but it can provide great excess storage room for your items.


As you can see, there are many amenities that are topping the must-have list of potential homebuyers. As a homebuyer, it’s a good idea to include items from this list that you like to your search criteria. As a home seller, this can give you some great insight into what upgrades to do to your home before putting it on the market to ensure you get the highest price possible in your local area.

8 Simple and Affordable Steps to Improve the Appearance of Your Kitchen

8 Simple and Affordable Steps to Improve the Appearance of Your Kitchen

Like many people, you may be interested in improving the look and feel of your kitchen. Despite your desire you may not have a tremendous amount of money of much time to enhance the appearance of your kitchen. With that in mind there are eight relatively simple and affordable steps you can to markedly improve the look of your kitchen.

Paint the Cabinets

The cabinets in your kitchen are a focal point of the room, if not the focal point. If you are looking for an affordable and efficient way in which you can enhance the look of your kitchen you can paint the cabinets. The main concern associated with painting the cabinets is color choice. The one point to bear in mind is that you select a paint color for the cabinets that harmonizes with other major features in the room, specifically the appliances, countertops, and flooring.

Replace the Hardware

Another very easy and affordable step you can take to enhance the appearance of your kitchen to change out the hardware on your cabinets and drawers. In this day and age, you will be able to find a truly extensive selection of hardware options when it comes to drawer pulls and cabinet handles. In addition to a great many style options you will be able to find kitchen hardware in a wide range or prices. In other words, you not only will be able to find kitchen hardware that meet your taste but also that fit your budget.

Remove Dated Cabinet Doors

If you are concerned that painting your cabinet doors may not be enough of an improvement, if your doors are particularly dated or worn, consider removing and replacing them all together. If removing and replacing appears to make the most sense, consider glass doors for your new look. There are a multitude of style options available to you when it comes to glass cabinet doors. You even have options when it comes to the glass itself. For example, you can go the clear or frosted glass route, depending on your desires. You might also want to consider leaving one, two, or several of the cabinets door-less for a more open look in your kitchen.

Go Bold with Wall Accents

If your kitchen is like that of most people it has a relatively neutral color scheme. Neutral colors has been somewhat the order of the day when it comes to kitchens in recent years. A strategy you can employ to significantly enhance the look of your kitchen is to more boldly accent at least none of the walls in the room. You can accomplish going bold by selecting more vibrant paint floor for the wall. You can also make a splash with an accent wall by selecting bolder decorations to hang on the wall.

Create a Tech Center

Another step you should consider to not only up the look of your kitchen but make it more functional is to create a tech center in it. Perhaps you can carve out a nook in the kitchen at which you can place a stylish, smaller desk or table. You can situate different tech devices and products at the center. Because a kitchen typically is one of the most widely used spaces in a residence, a tech center of this nature will we a welcome addition to family members and visitors alike. The kitchen will become an even more versatile space with the addition of a tech center.

Make the Backslash Pop

Time and again people who are interested in improving the appearance of their kitchens overlook the backsplash. A backsplash typically is installed around the sink, the stovetop, as well as surrounding areas in a kitchen. Even though a backsplash is overlooked oftentimes, it truly has the potential to be a masterful focal point in your kitchen. There are almost no limitations as to what you can do to restyle the backsplash. For example, you can redo your backsplash with traditional types of tile or you can take a fresher approach using something like a glass tile option.

Change the Window Treatments

Another easy and affordable approach you can take to enhancing the appearance of your kitchen is simply changing out the window treatments. As with some of the other suggestions presented, you have significant budgetary options when it comes to window treatments. You can select them in a variety of different price ranges. In addition, there literally are no real limitations when seeking and selecting window treatments for your kitchen.

Install New Faucets

Another prime focal point in your kitchen is your sink. Yet another easy to undertake and budget-conscious approach you can take is to new faucets and sink hardware in your kitchen. With this one easy alteration you really can change the look of your kitchen in a fairly significant manner. Faucet and sink hardware comes in a myriad of styles and a broad price range. In basic terms, there really is something for everyone when it comes to making this type of alteration to your kitchen sink.

The suggestions presented to you here are all alterations that can be undertaken as do-it-yourself projects. These are projects that do not require a significant amount of experience in home improvement endeavors. In the alternative, if you don’t feel comfortable going the do-it-yourself route, you can hire a professional to undertake these improvement projects without breaking the bank in the process.

Gorgeous Kitchen Trends to Consider for 2019

Gorgeous Kitchen Trends to Consider for 2019

There will be no shortage of intriguing kitchen design trends in 2019. Top interior kitchen designers are using a number of ideas from unique concealed appliances and cabinetry, pops of vivid color into an otherwise light or neutral space, vintage statements merged with industrial modern designs and new ways with absolutely stunning natural raw materials such as nature inspired stone, sensational authentic woods and artsy textured rattan, jute and wicker.

 Look for interesting pendant lighting, more contrast textured layers and exciting new backsplash options. Brass and pewter faucets, open airy shelving and creative color patterns in unexpected places are all hot designer trends for kitchens this year.


Upgrading All White Kitchen Ideas

Last year’s all white kitchen decor is old news. Designers everywhere are taking this contemporary and minimalist style to new heights by incorporating some depth with strategic layering updates. Think glorious mirrored taller backsplashes, lovely grey-blue marble counter surfaces, pops of bright color on bar stools or kitchen chairs, jeweled hued pendant drop lighting fixtures and open shelves with accent textures, colors and other clever visual tones.


Merge Vintage Features with Modern Contemporary Design Themes

The purpose of this fantastic new kitchen design trend is to incorporate the timeless look and feel of vintage textures and style with sleeker modern kitchen designs. Consider beautifully handcrafted natural-hued rattan wrapped bar or island chairs, thicker slabs of gorgeous natural stone surfaces and eclectic vintage lighting fixtures paired with increased natural lighting effects from skylights, interesting window shapes and layered lighting techniques.

This look is far from the messy and busyness of vintage styles in years past. The trend is all about flavoring an otherwise monochrome color look with depth generating vintage pieces, old-fashioned yet still relevant textures and bursts of eclectic throw-back focal accents that will instantly update a modern space perfectly.


Refreshed Design Tips for Everything Including the Kitchen Sink

Along with vintage inspired kitchen design trends, there are some wonderful refreshed design picks that focus on the kitchen sink area that all homeowners should seriously consider. Try installing an impressive farm-styled island sink fashioned from lustrous and durable pewter and gunmetal materials. This style is not as dramatic and overdone like matte sink and appliance finishes, and this trend is ideal for any kitchen design that needs just a hint of added texture and depth.

For the bolder homeowners among us, shiny brass fixtures and facets are all the rage. This opulent look is perfect for adding a bit of sass into an otherwise stately or high-end interior design style. Island sinks continue to be a statement focal point that will likely remain relevant for a long time.

Before investing in a better grade kitchen sink, homeowners should consult with a qualified plumber before installing a sensational easy-to-clean-and-maintain island or traditional placed sink selection like the practical Lustertone Iconix sink or other model. This can help ensure that your kitchen plumbing is up to standards before adding a sink, faucet or other water feature.


Reasons to Use More Authentic Wood Materials in Your New Kitchen Design

Nature-inspired interior design styles will never go out of style. This is a timeless trend that gives any interior space a peaceful atmosphere that is also incredibly beautiful and stylish. More interior designers are still using a lot of authentic wood materials even in the kitchen and dining spaces this season.

Look for lighter hued wood cabinets, layered wooden surfaces with natural stone and copper or brass accents. Designers are also embracing fabulous natural hardwood flooring options to open up the space giving it an open and spacious feel that still feels warm and comfortable.


New Color Choices for Brightening Up Your Kitchen Spaces

Adding a trendy color into your kitchen design is one of the easiest and fastest ways to brighten up your dark or gloomy kitchen spaces without costing a fortune. The new hues this season are vivid colored cabinets like deep royal blue, somewhat muted green or blue tones or washed gray-blue shades.

Also very popular this year, hunter green is a color that kitchen designers are fully embracing in 2019. This shade looks phenomenal with wooden and copper or brass fixtures and white creamy counter surfaces or displayed china.

Pair these mood brightening colors with attractive tiled or marbled look backsplashes with muted metallic tones of gold, brass or silver pewter depending on whether the kitchen has cool or warm tones.


What’s New in Kitchen Appliances This Year?

There are some great new appliance trends hot on the market that includes whimsical blue and white Scandinavian patterns for ranges, bold brick-red appliances, matte black kitchen appliance and feature finishes and other luxe color and finish selections.

It is increasingly popular to display custom built or designed kitchen appliances like espresso makers that turn on with Wifi, brilliant wine fridges and cafe styled stocked bar nooks. This year, kitchen design trends with appliances is either showcased high-end luxury appliances or totally hidden-from-sight appliances that are seamlessly integrated into the whole kitchen design.


Some Final Thoughts On Current Kitchen Designer Trends

This year, everyone can find examples of their favorite kitchen styles that are trending today with top interior designers. Look for timeless and effortless style options that will remain relevant through the years. All of the kitchen looks this season are clutter free, and yet these design themes still retain that welcoming and warm homey charm that most individuals are searching for.

There are some remarkable new flooring options that are being used in kitchen and dining room spaces that also help to integrate a more open floor plan.

The installment of statement lighting fixtures is one of the key pieces in incorporating different design styles, and homeowners will find a wealth of simply stunning lighting options.

The kitchen is truly the heartbeat of the entire home, and choosing an appropriate design for this space is likely the most important for homeowner and family satisfaction.

What’s the Best Time of Year to Move into a New Condo

What's the Best Time of Year to Move into a New Condo

Photo of Kierland Optima which has both lease options and for sale opportunities available.


Long distance moving companies are saying, when you embark on the condo hunting process, there’s bound to be a whirlwind of thoughts and questions racing through your mind – from your budget and locations you find preferable to furnishings, amenities, and the general layout of the condo. What you’re probably not thinking about, is the best and worst times of the year for making the big move. Believe it or not, incorporating seasonal factors into the equation is incredibly important, as the housing market can fluctuate anywhere between 2% to 5% over the course of the year.


The Best Time to Move in

Believe it or not, the best time to move into your condo is during the colder months of the year. You wouldn’t think that and of course, frigid temperatures certainly aren’t a source of motivation for going through the physical process of moving. But, by searching during the winter, you are giving yourself the chance of nabbing a place with a lower monthly price tag.

You’ll be moving during a time when a majority of people are preoccupied with school-related responsibilities or are consumed by holiday fever, which translates into fewer people looking for a new place during this time of year. Realtors often expect and account for the slower season during winter months and will lower prices to attract renters to their properties.

Of course, there are downsides to this strategy. You will be searching during a time when the marketplace is a fraction of its normal size, meaning fewer options to consider when conducting your condo search. You also have to take into account that if you are moving to a densely populated area, such as Manhattan, NY, people are moving year-round, so you may be unlikely to get as much of a deal as you would outside of a place like New York City. Which, kudos if you can afford a place there!


The Worst Time to Move In

As you may have already figured out, if winter is the best time of year to score a new pad, that means summer wins the prize for being the worst time of year to make your move. Let’s start off by saying, who wants to, in the middle of pool parties and barbeques, go through the stress of condo hunting and then have to deal with the physical ordeal of actually moving in? All around, it doesn’t sound like a good time to move out of your current living situation.

Still, many people look to move during the summer, due to nicer weather and for many, having an easier schedule now that their children are out of school for the summer. So, there’s going to be a lot more people out there wanting to do the same thing you are, which means realtors can jack up their prices as there’s less pressure surrounding turnover.

Now, the advantage to condo hunting during the summer, as opposed to the winter, is that you will have a larger number of places to look for. Which, is good. People like variety. They want a choice. So, if you’re budgeting correctly and possibly taking advantage of the new new fha condo financing rules, it’s possible to get a good deal even when you’re shopping during the summer. Just be mindful and plan accordingly and compare the markets.

There are pluses and minuses to moving at any time of year. And let’s be honest: moving is stressful. But there are plenty of resources at your disposal to help make your move as seamless as possible when the time does arrive.

Recommended Tips for Selling Your Home that Can Increase Asking Price Possibilities

Recommended Tips for Selling Your Home that Can Increase Asking Price Possibilities 

When selling a home, the homeowner will want to sell it at a profitable price. Many inexperienced homeowners attempting their first home sale often make some common mistakes that could cost in the way of lowered buyer offers. If the person truly needs to sell their home by a certain date, this could force the owner to accept far less for their home than they should have if only they had followed some simple pre-sale recommendations. These are expert tips from top real estate agents knowledgeable about residential home sales and all of that process.


Clean the Home Thoroughly from Top to Bottom & More

 Trying to sell a home that is obviously dirty and un-cared for can dramatically lower buyer interest right from the start. The golden rule when selling a home is to present a clean and tidy environment that is free from clutter or overly slanted towards a particular design style. If your current wallpaper in the dining room is exceptionally busy or too bold, consider replacing with a more neutral pattern and color scheme.

 Before even planning your first open house, take the time to ensure that the home is thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom and then some. Gather the entire family to help with this typically huge task, or consider hiring a professional house cleaning service to perform some of the hard work. These experts will have the manpower, proper cleaning equipment and supplies and can likely get the job done far faster than going it alone.


Repair Obviously Broken or Older Home Eyesores

 If you have long desired to fix that cracked window in your kitchen, or yearn to replace that ancient and problematic plumbing system, now would be the ideal time to finally get it done. Even if these eyesores are routinely small and don’t really bother the family very much, a prospective buyer will be looking at these undesirable spots with their antennas up regarding the condition of the overall house. Homeowners should repair broken fences and fix the broken garage door to better their chances of a serious buyer offer.


Try to Remove as Much Personal Junk & Extra Possessions Before Open House

 Having to stumble over kids toys, teens sports equipment or your man’s tools can make anyone feel less interested in really seeing the rest of the home. Most people will have a hard time envisioning what your home’s interior spaces could be for their family when they are bombarded with your family’s personal style selections. Most real estate experts recommend presenting a more neutral design tone and color palette. Painting walls, finishing the floor, completing the basement room and installing new kitchen cabinets are all things to do that could raise the selling potential of your home substantially.


Learn How to Properly Stage a Home for Successful Sales

 Most of us have probably seen how television professional home experts stage a home to show the prospective buyers. While a very obvious personal style displayed could negatively impact someone’s first impressions, so too do too cold and impersonal indoor spaces. It is important to learn how to properly stage a home for a successful sale.

 Another option is to get in touch with a local company that offers these services. While this could be a little expensive, the end results could more than make up those initial pre-sale costs. These professional real estate home staging professionals will have the necessary accent touches that can seal a successful open house buyer offer. Taking the time to get your home into its best shape and condition possible should be every homeowner’s goal to improve the odds of a profitable sale.

6 Health and Safety Tips for Your Home, Kids and You

6 Health and Safety Tips for Your Home, Kids and You

A home is a family’s personal retreat. It’s a comfortable space where you can relax after a hard day’s work. And aside from that, it should be a haven where you feel utterly safe and harm-free. After all, this is where your life’s limelight resides – your children.

Suffice to say, children are too naïve to even tell the difference between safe play and unsafe play. So without further ado, keep your loved ones safe by ensuring these 6 health and safety home tips to keep everybody safe.


  1. Child-Proof the Entire House

Children sometimes don’t know the limits to play. And your role as a parent is to constantly monitor your little rascals at home. There have been thousands of children-choking instances due to parent negligence or kids injuring themselves due to falling. Go through these child-proofing ways you can do to your home:

  • Install corner bumpers to prevent your children from hitting their heads in stiff and sharp areas.
  • Install safety gates in the pathways, doorways, and stairs to keep them from hazardous areas. If you have a pool, make sure to block doorway entry as well.
  • Avoid cords that can possibly strangle your children.
  • Use covers, protectors or safety caps on electrical outlets.
  • Don’t plug too many cords on electrical outlets.
  • Unplug your electrical roller and hair dryers from outlets especially in the bathroom to avoid electrocution.
  • Store medicines in their appropriate bottles and label them correspondingly if necessary. This is extremely helpful for seniors.
  • Put safety latches on cabinet drawers to prevent curious children from getting their hands on hazardous products like mothballs.
  • When showering your child, ensure that you set the thermostat to 120 degrees only. Anything higher than that will burn your kids in a matter of seconds.
  • Do not leave small objects scattered on the floor or where they’re accessible to children.


  1. Install Fire Safety Measures

Unfortunately, children under five years old are the usual casualties in a residential fire. Although your kids’ school involves them in fire drills from time to time, keeping your children educated in case of fires at home will potentially save their lives in the future. Here are ways on how to fire-proof your home for your kids and everybody in it:

  • Install smoke detectors in every part of your home including the basement if necessary.
  • If you’re living with elderly people with hearing impairments in your home, invest in special smoke alarm systems to keep them safe at all times.
  • Check your alarm system twice a year. Replace the batteries if need be.
  • Replace old alarm systems.
  • Stick the local emergency numbers like the nearest fire station or police station in a conspicuous place.
  • Plan a fire escape route with your children and teach them the “stop, drop, and roll” method in case their clothes get caught with fire.
  • Practice fire drills with your children when they’re ready. Do it when they’re still half asleep.


  1. Prevent Allergens and Irritants

Children are more susceptible to indoor allergens and irritants than adults. Some examples of allergens are dust and dust mites, pet dander, mold, dirty rugs, carpets or pollen. Some examples of irritants are pesticides, cleaning product chemicals, paint fumes, outdoor air pollution, kerosene or indoor burning fuel, asbestos, radon, and carbon monoxide. Make sure your home is well ventilated by installing exhaust systems, air filtration systems, and humidifiers.


  1. Clean Regularly

And speaking of allergens and irritants, make sure that you avoid these by cleaning regularly. Processed wood products use formaldehyde which can cause watery and burning eyes, burning throats or even asthma attacks. In addition, carpets also hold harmful chemicals like VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Here’s how to keep the house free from environmental pollutants:

  • Avoid clutter to avoid dust particles.
  • Wash bed sheets, rugs, and carpets in hot water frequently.
  • Keep your furry pets well-groomed.
  • Regularly mop floors.
  • Replace your air filters regularly.
  • Use natural cleaning products as much as possible.


  1. Keep Hazardous Things Away

There are everyday things you use at home that can potentially harm you or your children. As you know, children can put anything they can grab into their mouths and it can cause serious choking and illnesses. Here are some of the daily hazardous things you must keep away from your little ones:

  • Pesticides
  • Mothballs
  • Lead paint
  • Air fresheners
  • Cleaning solutions
  • Cosmetic phthalates
  • Batteries


  1. Don’t Smoke Indoors

Second-hand smoke causes cancer. Hence, don’t ever smoke inside the house or near your children and other people. You’re not only damaging your lungs from chronic smoking but you’re also putting other people’s lives at risk. Set up a designated smoking area at home and make sure it’s outdoors and as far away from house doors and windows as possible.


A Safe Home for Your Family

A safe and clean home means a trusting and loving environment for your kids. Remember that their health and personal development start at home; so ensure that you foster positive ways as early as now to have a healthier and happier family.


Author Bio: Kerry Brooks, driven by the passion for blogging, writes about health, beauty, fashion, food, travel and more. She loves to spend her time travelling. She also blogs at KemperMedical, one of the leading national and global distributor of premium medical products including radiation protection products and radiology/ medical imaging supplies.

6 Strategies to Save Money on Your Home Office

6 Strategies to Save Money on Your Home Office

Like a growing and significant portion of the U.S. workforce, you may work from home all or part of the time. Consequently, you may have a home office. If that is the case, there are six strategies you will want to consider employing to save money on your home office.

 Stock Up During Sales

 As is the case with any worksite, whether it be a home office or a one located in a building somewhere else, you need supplies and materials to keep your office up and running. One important way in which you can save money on the operation of your home office to stock up on all manner of supplies when sales occur. Indeed, as part of setting up a home office at home, you should allocate a generous amount of closet space or part of your basement in which you can stow larger purchases of items obtained during sales. You can also make purchases in bulk from big box and membership stores as a means of saving money as well.

 Buy Pre-Owned Items

 You can also save money on the creation and operation of your home office by purchasing pre-owned or used items of all types. For example, you can conserve a good amount of money if you purchase pre-owned furnishings and even some equipment items for your home office.

 Take Advantage of Free Software Programs

 Many people who work from home end up spending a considerable amount of money every year on software applications of different types. Some specific types of software may be an absolute must depending on the business you are in. However, there are other types of applications that don’t require such specificity. When it comes to types of software for which you do have flexibility, consider taking advantage of free software programs and offerings when they are available as a means of trimming your overall home office budget.

 Keep Your Home Office Organized

 Efficiency is important in any work environment. Unlike an office in a building or other “communal” setting, at a home office there is no one else who may be concerned about keeping order in your workspace. With that said, by maintaining a strong sense of order in your home office, you necessarily increase efficiency. By increasing efficiency, you save money and increase your bottom line during the course of a year.

 Control Energy Use and Cost

 Pay attention to heat and cooling settings associated with your home office. For example, as would be the case in an office outside your home, when your home office is not in use, make sure that you adjust the heating or cooling associated with the space accordingly. Over the course of a year, being conscious of heating and cooling use, and regulating it appropriately, can save you a decent amount of money on the overall operation of your residential workspace.

 Use Available Tax Deductions

 Finally, you can save money on your home office by being certain to take advantage of all available tax deductions. These include deductions for all business expenses associated with working from home, including the costs associated with stocking up on work supplies as discussed previously.

 You also need to take advantage of the tax deduction that may be available for your home office itself. Provided you’ve designated a specific space in your home for your workspace only, you likely will be able to deduct that portion of your rent or mortgage payment associated with the space in your home dedicated to your office.


Taking advantage of most or all of these strategies can prove beneficial. By doing so, you can end up with a significant overall savings on the operation of your home office every year.

Get Ready for the Waste Management Phoenix Open

Get Ready for the Waste Management Phoenix Open

Whether you live in Scottsdale full-time or are just a snowbird, one of the biggest local events of the year is the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The People’s Open is the most popular and well-attended golf tournament in the world and is a popular attraction along the PGA Tour. This year’s event will be the 84th annual open, making it one of the five oldest stops on the PGA Tour.

Tickets for the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open, which is scheduled for January 28 to February 3 at TPC Scottsdale, are on sale now. General admissions prices range from

  • $45 on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
  • $60 on Saturday and Sunday

The Kadima Ventures Pro-Am will be free on Monday due to a sponsorship from Desert Ford Dealers, and Tuesday’s practice rounds are free due to Ford Free Days.

There are also various hospitality packages available for those looking to spice up their visit, with different viewing options and perks per package.

The Member’s Club package provides four members badges that offer access to the Members Club tents, a parking pass, and free lunch, beer, wine, and snacks. It’s $150 per person for Monday through Sunday and $175 per person for Thursday through Sunday.

The Greenskeeper package is another package capped at four badges with a valet parking pass and access to complimentary breakfast and lunch buffet, snacks, and open bar. You can also add on a reserved table in the Greenskeeper venue or upgrade to the Greenskeeper Cabana package, which provides access for 12 people with two valet parking passes and a cabana that has a patio with lounge seating. It’s $250 per person for Monday through Sunday and $350 per person for Thursday through Sunday.

The Clubhouse package offers either a four-pack or six-pack option, which offers access to the Clubhouse with a complimentary continental breakfast, lunch buffet, and an open bar and two valet parking passes. The additional Clubhouse credentials package is $350 per person, with a limit of four, for Wednesday through Sunday, and the single person Clubhouse credentials package is $450 per person, with a minimum of four, for Wednesday through Sunday.

The Chairman’s Club package offers one ticket to go to nine different venues as you choose and see whatever you’d like to see, when you’d like to see it. It costs $6,500 per badge.

Don’t forget to also check out the Birds Nest Concert series, which is available Wednesday through Saturday. The Coors Light Birds Nest tent offers the festival, which is part of what makes this stop on the PGA Tour so memorable and unique. Four nights of getting down and dancing with friends will make this event something you remember fondly. Wednesday’s set will feature Old Dominion, Midland, and Brandon Lay; Thursday’s set will feature Jake Owen, Lee Brice, and Michael Ray; Friday’s set will feature The Chainsmokers, Snoop Dogg, and Kelley James; and Saturday’s set will feature Martin Garrix, DJ Vice, and Justin Mylo. Currently Thursday and Friday are sold out.

When heading out to the event, plan to carpool with your friends or take an Uber or Lyft if you’re thinking of drinking. Arizona takes pride in it’s tough DUI laws, and sets up a number of checkpoints to keep drivers and pedestrians safe.

Free public parking available in Lot at Loop 101 and Hayden Road. There will be free shuttles available from the lots to the tournament gates from:

  • 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday
  • 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Wednesday through Saturday
  • 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Sunday

From Wednesday through Saturday, you can find additional free parking at WestWorld in Lot W at 94th Street and Bell Road. From Lot W, you’ll find free shuttles from:

  • 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Wednesday through Saturday
  • 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Sunday.


11 Things To Change Over Before You Move

11 Things To Change Over Before You Move

Different office movers say, if you’re planning on moving to a new city, you might be wondering about the things that you need to switch over before the move. Throughout this article, you’ll learn more about what you need to change and who you should contact to do just that.


 Change Your Address

To notify the post office, you can either fill out the needed paperwork at your local post office or make the change online through the USPS website. In order to make sure that you get your mail, experts recommend that you fill out the paperwork at least 30 days before you move out.



As you move to a new city, transferring your utilities is extremely important. This includes electricity, water, gas, cable/internet, and trash removal. Arrange to have those services turned off by the end of the day on the day that you move out.



Before you move, have a chat with your current doctor and see if they can refer you to another physician in your new town. After you’ve picked a new physician, ask them to transfer your medical records over to ensure a smooth transition.



Consider moving your funds and accounts to a local bank, just in case you ever need to make use of the local branch.


 Credit Card Companies

Notifying your credit card companies of your address change is very important, and can often be done online.



Give your employer at least a month’s notice that you’re moving, so they have enough time to fill your position. Also, your boss is going to need your new address in order to mail your tax information.


Insurance Companies

Contact your providers for health insurance, life insurance, car insurance, and homeowners insurance in order to switch the addresses. You may even have to get new insurances, depending on the company.



If you’re unsure when to notify your landlord, go over your lease agreement well in advance in order to adhere to the time period stated. Be sure to notify them in writing and include the day that you’re moving out. Just in case, document the condition of the apartment so you can have the best chance of getting your security deposit back.



At least 10-30 days before you move, contact your local DMV so you can transfer your driver’s license and update your vehicle’s registration and insurance.



The IRS needs your new address so they can send you essential tax documents and to so they can have it on file for tax refunds. Notifying them can usually be done online.



Churches can often help you find a new church in your new location. Also, they can recommend groups for you to get involved in so you can successfully transition into a new congregation.


Whether you’re moving across town or a long distance move, moving is stressful. But, if you plan accordingly, you’ll experience less stress along the way. Soon enough, you’ll be able to get on with your new life in your new town without any worries weighing on your mind.