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Home Hacks

Bree's Blog, INTERIOR DESIGN

Summery Ways to Adorn Your End Table or Coffee Table

Bree here, from Home Zone Furniture.

Has your home décor been feeling a little monotonous lately? One of the quickest ways to make a room feel refreshed and up to date is with a thoughtful arrangement of seasonal accessories on your end table or coffee table.

Go beyond the expected lamp next to the couch and challenge yourself to curate a combination of accessories that reflects the season and enhances your rooms.

Don’t know where to start? Get inspired with a few of our  go-to accessories!

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Bree's Blog

Tips for keeping your home cozy in the winter

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Bree here, from Home Zone Furniture.

There are many things to love about the wintertime — and then there are some not-so-loveable things. The weather is cold, the days are short and a large amount of time is spent indoors.

This year, before the inevitable cabin fever strikes, take the opportunity to decorate your home in a way that will celebrate the season and lift your mood. These are my five tips for creating a cozy home you’ll be happy to hibernate in until spring.

Add color

Combat the winter blues by adding a healthy dose of color to your interior. Just because it’s dull and dreary outside doesn’t mean the inside of your house has to be. If you’re bold enough to commit to it, paint a central wall in your home a cheery color, such as royal blue, kelly green or even a pastel pink. For a temporary trick, simply add a slip cover to your couch, fun throw pillows to your bed or a colorful piece of art over the mantel.

Let there be light

It’s important to maximize the amount of light in your home to keep spirits high amidst short days and long nights. The first order of business is adding a few extra mirrors to double the amount of light your room recieves. Not only will a mirror amplify the light source, but it will also create the illusion of space. After the sun sets, you’ll want to have a nice selection of lamps and light fixtures to rely on. Remember: Not all lightbulbs are created equal! Choose soft, white lightbulbs to create a nice ambiance.

Functional fabrics

Stay warm throughout the winter with a smart mix of seasonally appropriate fabrics. Whether you’re adding curtains to the windows, slip covers to the dining room chairs or a throw blanket at the end of your bed, choose thick fabrics with an inviting, cozy texture. Some of my favorite fabrics for winter include velvet, flannel and knit. Wool is another great choice — not only is it warm, but it comes in a number of manufactured variations from chenille to cashmere.

Face the fireplace

During the winter, the fireplace becomes the center of attention. If the hearth in your home is a subtle architectural detail for most of the year, allow it to be functional and stylish this season. Begin by rearranging your furniture so that nothing is blocking the fireplace and you can safely use it. Place your couch or chairs so that they are angled toward the warmth. Next, top the mantel with plants, porcelain or collections of any kind, then decorate the fireplace with a grate and screen that complements your home’s style.

Layer up

Winter layers don’t apply just to clothing — they apply to home decor, too! Keep your feet warm as the temperature drops by layering rugs on top of hardwood, tile or even carpet. For a rustic, bohemian look, layer rugs in a patchwork pattern, and don’t be afraid to experiment with mixing color and texture. If your style is more traditional or contemporary, layer a smaller, neutral rug directly on top of a larger, colorful rug. To avoid a tripping hazard, rugs with a higher pile should be the top layer.

How do you make your home a cozy winter hideaway?

Bree

Bree's Blog

Tips for keeping your home neat for holiday guests

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Bree here, from Home Zone Furniture.

Are you entertaining guests in your home this holiday season? Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned pro, hosting guests always comes with a bit of stress. To me, one of the most important hostess duties if getting your home clean before guests arrive and keeping it that way through their stay. A clean home will not only make guests feel welcome, but it will also give you a sense of order and calm, even when your house is bursting at the seams with family and friends.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and the whole house needs to be cleaned, begin with the guest bedroom and bathroom. Start by decluttering the shelves and surfaces as much as you possibly can. Temporarily take away any personal knick knacks to create an inviting hotel vibe and give guests the room to set their things down.

Throw all of the guest room linens and towels into the laundry. If you need to buy new bed linens, towels and washrags for the occasion, go for white because you can always bleach them. Once the linens have been cleaned and the bed is remade, be sure to put out a variety of pillows and extra blankets.

Once you’ve decluttered and completed the laundry, it’s time to clean the guest bedroom and bathroom. Work from the top down wiping surfaces, dusting thoroughly and vacuuming the area. Now’s the time to also clean the ceiling fan and clean under the bed, too.

After you’ve cleaned the bathroom, outfit it with the essentials so your guests don’t have to ask. Leave a stack of towels, a washrag, extra toilet paper, cotton balls and ear swabs. If you really want to go the extra mile, include a small basket of travel-sized toiletries.

Help your guests keep their room clean by making space in the closet for their clothes and opening a folding stand for their luggage to sit on. If your guest is staying for more than a few days, put out a laundry basket for them and offer to run a load for them.

Once the guest room is in good condition, it’s time to tackle the common areas. After you’ve decluttered and cleaned, launder any upholstered furniture and blankets your guests might use.

Ensure the common areas of your home stay clean by organizing before guests arrive. Consider a basket for blankets, a magazine rack, and a charging station to keep all cords and plugs contained. At the end of every night, after your guests go to bed, take an extra five minutes to put everything from the remote control to the pillows back in their designated places so your guests wake up to a clean home.

How do you keep your home neat while entertaining guests?

Bree

Bree's Blog

5 Areas to Accent When Boosting Home Value

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If you’re considering putting your home on the market, the first thing you want to know is how much you can ask. When your realtor gives you an estimate, your next thought is likely going to be “How can I increase that number?” Fortunately, boosting your home’s value does not have to mean renovating the bathroom or adding a home theater.

Helping your home attract more buyers, and higher bids can actually be done on the cheap with DIY projects. As some areas of your house are more valuable than others, here are the five areas you should be accenting with your home improvements.

The Kitchen is Top Priority

The kitchen is what sets the tone for your buyer’s opinion of the home. A nice, modern kitchen is worth far more than a home with spacious bedrooms but a shabby kitchen. To accent your kitchen, create some form of accent wall above the counters. This could mean tiling, mosaics, sponge painting, or simply adding a coat of accent paint. Consult your realtor, an interior designer, or even magazines for an idea of which would work best in your space.

Elegant Bathrooms Spell Luxury

Plain, basic bathrooms tell a buyer that the home is not updated or that it lacks the modern, sophisticated feel that they’re looking for. But when you add a little paint, frame your mirrors, and attach matching metal hardware, suddenly that same bathroom makes your home look great.

Your priority for the bathroom is ensuring all the fixtures match and the mirrors have frames. These two simple, affordable upgrades can make a big difference in the perceived value of your home to prospective buyers, despite the fact that they cost you little to implement.

Bedrooms are Still Important

Even if the bathroom is beautiful and the kitchen is lovely, small, plain bedrooms can easily put a dent in your sale. Of course, making small bedrooms bigger is not an option, but paint can work wonders to create an optical illusion. Lighter wall colors tend to make spaces feel larger, while painting molding the same color can help eliminate the appearance of a border. When a room is small, you don’t want a molding highlighting the size.

Even if your bedrooms aren’t small, you should still consider a fresh coat of paint. New paint looks clean and can help eliminate signs of wear and tear on your walls. If your walls are an outdated color, repainting becomes critical. Many buyers today want modern, and the wrong shade of paint can negatively impact your chances of a good sale.

The Front Yard is the First Impression

A stellar first impression is crucial when selling a home. Whether you have a front yard or just a front porch, you need to be sure the buyer is happy as they enter the property. For yards, you should be sure your grass is healthy and trimmed with neat, easy-care landscaping where applicable. Plant hardy shrubs and flowers to add color while adding the simple yard care selling point. You might also want to plant a shade tree as trees can actually cut energy costs for future homeowners.

The main goal is to make the yard or porch look lively, inviting, and well-kept while boasting ease of care to potential buyers.

Increasing home value does not need to be hard. Even the bare minimum can help boost your profits. A new coat of paint in a few high-profile areas that buyers pay the most attention to can work miracles, while swapping out mismatched hardware can instantly make a home seem more cared-for and up-to-date. As long as you focus on the most important areas of the home, you should be all set to start increasing your home’s value.

Paul Denikin began learning about DIY home repair projects after his daughter, Maggie, was born with special needs. He has learned a lot through trial and error as he has worked to make his family’s home safe and accessible for her. Today, he shares his DIY knowledge on DadKnowsDIY.com, a website that offers home improvement project how-tos and other accessibility information.

Image via Pixabay by sferrario1968