A home’s interior says a lot about the personality of the people who live in the house. It gives visitors a glimpse of the lifestyle, traits, and preferences of the owners which is reflected in the type of furnishings used, space utilization, care in its design, and the showcase of memories that go with each item within its walls. The overall look, using curtains or window blinds, using wood or concrete for floors, choosing the right colors are things homeowners should consider. Continue reading Interior Design Elements that Can Bring Out the Best in Your Home
It has taken a while for people to start taking environmental issues seriously. But now that there are plenty of practical options for green living, it becomes a lot easier to get into an eco-friendly lifestyle. Most modern homes already have green technology features that allow them to save on energy costs and help save the environment as well. An eco-friendly blueprint may include solar powered lights and appliance, use of non-toxic and biodegradable paint, and polished concrete flooring. The last item often requires the services of a contractor and would therefore need some careful thought before having any work done. Here are some points that can be considered in getting a polished concrete floor.
Concrete floors have lower cost on materials compared to other flooring. Modern homes are already built using concrete. Thus, no additional materials are required for the flooring. However, it does have a high labor cost because it requires special equipment and skilled workers to accomplish. Search for contractors with competitive rates to make the most out of your green investment.
The cost of labor for polished concrete may be higher that its counterparts, but one can save on costs in the long run because these floors are low maintenance and durable. One can save on cleansers or fancy polishers as it can look good with a once a week cleaning from a mop with warm soapy water. Its durability ensures that you won’t have to repair or replace your flooring frequently. This type of flooring is also considered as a more affordable way to add class to your home because one can have it designed with stains, dyes, or aggregates like granite, seashells, glass chips, or river stone.
The hard and smooth surface of concrete can make residents vulnerable to accidental slips or fall. It can also cause fatigue when one has to stand for long periods of time. As such, this type of flooring is not recommended for children’s bedroom or playroom and kitchen. In general, these floors are considered safe and can be made less slippery by the contractors.
That all being said, for those who have allergies, polished flooring would contribute to having less of attacks…it is known to not harbor mildew, dust mites mold and other allergens compared to other materials.
The popularity of DIY or do-it-yourself projects has grown over the years. That’s mainly because people are trying to cut down on costs and save some money. DIY success stories, easy access to DIY tools, merchandise and instructions, as well as home improvement reality TV shows, also encourage people to venture into these types of projects.
Most DIY ventures are simple and easy enough to be accomplished by just about anybody. But, there are also projects that are better off in the hands of experts. Amateurs should be careful in taking on tasks that may compromise safety when it poorly done or those that can ruin the appearance of valuable assets in one misstep, otherwise they may end up losing more money or placing themselves in an accident prone situation. Here are some examples of projects that require certain levels of expertise.
Remodeling of House Structures
Home renovation projects that require you to tear down a wall or put up a new one require both wits and muscles. One wrong move in its demolition can bring the whole house down on top of your head, and the same thing can happen when one ends up with poorly built walls or posts. Knowledge about the building code requirements of the state is also needed or one may find himself rebuilding everything from scratch when the structures fail to meet the standards upon inspection of the proper authorities.
Electrical Installations and Repairs
The building code also has provisions for electrical wiring installation and repair standards. There are even States that have explicit requirements of having these jobs strictly done by professionals only. But even without any prompting from the law, people should leave these tasks to experts. The consequences of improper wiring can range from short circuits, electrocution and even fire.
Tasks that require Technical Know-How
The consequences of poorly repaired electrical appliances is the same as that of faulty electrical wiring. Thus, it is practical to leave this job to trained electricians. Pest control and other activities that entail the handling of harmful chemicals or hazardous elements is another risky DIY undertaking. Any error in the formula mixture or an accidental spill may cause irreparable damage to one’s health or property.
Restoration, Repair or Maintenance of Valuable Assets
Jewelries, family heirlooms, or any property that has sentimental value can be ruined. They could also be badly damaged when one lacks the expertise in handling it. Prized possessions are worth the care and attention of well trained hands.
Projects that are not within your level of expertise
The success of a DIY project largely depends on one’s skill level. Knowing your capabilities and choosing tasks that are within the scope of your skills is one way to ensure the project’s accomplishment.
Taking on a DIY project is a great way to save on labor costs with the additional reward of self-accomplishment. But, it shouldn’t be done when safety and craftsmanship is at stake or when there are serious consequences involved. DIY is the best option when you know how to choose the right projects fitting your skills.
Keeping the house clean is a painstaking job that falls upon the shoulders of homemakers raising a family. The presence of children running around the house is a guarantee that there is a mess somewhere around the house that needs cleaning up. There may be some areas in the house where mess and dirt can be tolerated, but not in the kitchen.
Keeping the kitchen area clean and dirt-free is essential in protecting the health of the family because this is where the food is stored and prepared. Disease causing germs can breed in ill-kept kitchens which can be passed on to family members during food preparation. Here are some tips on how to keep a clean and sparkling kitchen worthy of showing off to your visitors.
Adopt a “Clean as You Go” Habit
This simple routine is hardly observed in most households. A lot of people are set on prioritizing cooking or oven tasks in the kitchen and tend to tackle clean-up tasks until the meals are fully prepared. The result is often a huge mess and a sink piled with dishes and cutlery that can be quite intimidating. Cleaning-up the kitchen clutter as you work can make the job easy by because it allows you to tackle the mess before they build-up and ensure that you have enough room to work comfortably.
Maintain Germ-Free Surfaces
Counter tops and other kitchen surfaces can build-up germs quite easily. Wiping it with a disinfectant or anti-bacterial spray on a daily basis can prevent build-up and kill any germs and bacteria that may be present. Ideally, cleanliness of kitchen surfaces needs to be checked every morning before starting work in the kitchen and every night before turning in. This should be enough to keep a sparkly clean kitchen at all times.
Go for FIFO arrangements
FIFO or “first –in, first-out” arrangements is a tool that one can use to ensure that food stocks are consumed before their expiration dates and minimize incidents of rotting food in the storage. Place perishable items in front or in visible areas and use them while they are still fresh. Throw them away at the first signs of spoilage and don’t wait until they rot or you might find yourself with a bad smelling kitchen that attracts flies. Arrange canned or boxed foods like cereals, cookies, corned beef, etc., in such a way that the first ones to expire are placed in front and recent purchases stay at the back.
Don’t Get Caught with a Dirty Sink
One of the things that people often look for in the kitchen is the sink. Leaving a dirty dish on the sink can create a negative impression on visitors more so if the sink itself has accumulated dirt in it. To avoid this situation, refer to tip number one and never procrastinate.
Keep Clear to Look Good
Kitchen clutter is a definite turn-off for house guests. Make sure that counter tops, stovetops, and sink remain clear or mess free. Draining boards should also be kept tidy and well organized so that dishes don’t get piled up at any time.
Owning a house as a result of one’s hard work is already something to be proud of. But maintaining a well-kept home fit for entertaining guests is a feather on the homemaker’s cap. More so if their home has a kitchen that is always in tip top shape.
Space management is a skill that modern people have to learn. The high value of real estate properties in urban areas make it essential to maximize every little space available that having small bedrooms is common in condominium, apartment units or modern home designs. Such bedrooms pose a challenge for people who would like to have ample space to fit a comfortable bed and store their important items. Fortunately, this space concern can easily be solved by making use of platform beds with open areas underneath.
One can easily buy a platform bed for their small bedrooms in local furniture shops or even online stores. However, there are some things that homeowners need to consider before rushing off with their purchases. Those who would like to leave some breathing room for movements or those who are avoiding a cramped look in their rooms should first check the bedroom dimensions in order to come up with the ideal bed size for the room. This can be done accurately with the use of a tape measure or a meter tape. Other furnishings or items that will be placed inside the bedroom should also be taken into consideration so that owners can visualize how their bedroom will look. There may be a need to make adjustments in the size or number of room furnishings to ensure that there will be enough room to move around. This is one way to ensure that the room is fit for relaxation and do not appear cluttered.
A platform bed is an ideal solution for small bedrooms that require some storage space. The available area underneath these beds may be used for keeping important items without eating up any additional floor space. These areas can be compartmentalized by simply using boxes and storing them under the bed. Those who prefer a more secure and better looking solution may install drawers styled with wood or aluminum panels. Both options can be done by the homeowners themselves. Installing the drawers should be easy for those who are equipped with basic carpentry skills. Do-it-yourself instructions can easily be accessed through the internet or bought from local bookstores.
The bottom line in furnishing the bedroom is to create a space where one can rest and relax anytime of the day. This can be achieved, even with small bedrooms, by means of maximizing the available space. And when it comes to space saving, platform beds are the best allies. There are different bed models that can fit the needs and preferences of different individuals. Buyers can simply surf the net for the best models for their room or seek the advice of bed experts that can fully explain the features and benefits of these products.
Dirt and clutter is a homemaker’s nemesis especially during the wet season when kids often come home with mud soiled shoes. Maintaining a clean and organized home can be made easier by having a mudroom or a well structured entry hall in the house. A mudroom is usually a small space or room near the entrance of the house that can help homemakers limit the mud, dirt, and other outside elements from getting inside their homes. It is common for houses built in farms and snow-prone areas to have mudrooms built beside the kitchen or house entry, but some modern homes and apartments also have this pocket space incorporated in their designs and they’ve all enjoyed its benefits.
Cleanliness is obviously the primary benefit of having a mudroom at home. There is no need to follow the kids around with mop in tow whenever they come into the house on a rainy day or after a wet soccer game. Dirty shoes, clothing and equipment can be contained in the mudroom where it can be tackled in your own terms. The same goes for dirt, dust or mold coming from the outside during the rest of the year. Having a clean home enables you to protect your family against harmful bacteria or disease causing germs. Aside from cleanliness, homemakers can also benefit from the additional storage that a mudroom can provide. The simple installation of wire racks, shelves, cabinets or pegs can give you ample space to keep shoes, coats and jackets, umbrellas, sports gear and other things that are usually left cluttered around the house.
Mudroom designs can range from Spartan rooms with a coat stand, mat, and umbrella bin, up to well equipped ones with built-in storage units, tiled floors and drain. Determining the type of mudroom that you will build in your home should be based on the family needs. People who live in rural areas or families with kids who are active in outdoor sports usually encounter a lot of dust and mud from the outside while those who live in condominiums and apartments in highly urbanized areas normally deal with little dust or mud in their homes. Homemakers that deal with a lot of outside elements in cleaning the house should consider investing in a well-equipped mudroom made with durable, easy to clean, and moisture proof materials.
Fighting dirt and tackling day to day clutter can be made easier by designating a mudroom in the house. Containing dirt and mess in one area is an efficient way to manage cleanliness in the house and give homemakers more room in their schedules for other tasks.Space for shoes under the seat. (by Crystal Kitchen Center)