Browsing Tag

“clean home”

Bree's Blog

How To Prepare Your Home Before Going On Vacation

Bree here, from Home Zone Furniture.

Are you heading out of town this summer? No matter where your travel plans may take you, be sure to prepare your home before you take off. From common-sense pointers to some lesser-known tips, this checklist will help you save money, reduce mess and eliminate disaster risk while you’re away.

7088156 - smiling happy family and a family car


Electronics not in use continue to pull energy and cost you money. Save a few extra bucks while you’re away by unplugging everything from the coffee pot to the television. Aside from cutting down on energy consumption, unplugging electronics will also help prevent possible small fires caused by a power surge.

Good timing

A quiet, inactive house can be a target for crime. Create the illusion that someone’s home by arranging for your lights to go on and off at various times throughout the day. If you hire a house sitter, have them turn on a different set of lights before they leave so the house appears tended to. If a house sitter isn’t an option, consider putting your lights on timers so they change accordingly. Keep in mind that just as keeping all lights off signifies that no one is home, keeping all lights on can send the same message!

Clean up

Before you leave, clean the house, take out the trash and wash your dishes. As you go room to room cleaning up, don’t forget to clean out the fridge and throw away any produce that might be ripening on your countertop. No one wants to come home to a gallon of spoiled milk or a bowl of rotting fruit! If you’ll be gone for more than three days, I suggest throwing away anything with an expiration date.

Temperature control

Save money while you’re out of town by adjusting the thermostat. Before you leave on summer vacation, bump the temperature of your empty house up to 80 or 85 degrees if you’re going to be gone for three or more days. Sure, it might be a little toasty when you come back, but you’ll be amazed at how much energy you’ll save with this temporary change.

Enlist a neighbor

Sometimes the easiest way to deal with simple home tasks while you’re away is to ask a neighbor to lend a hand. A trusted neighbor can help pick up the mail, put your trash cans out on trash day, and park in your driveway occasionally to show that someone is home. Even if you don’t want to ask someone to perform these housesitting duties, it’s a good idea to let a neighbor know that you’ll be away. If you’ll be gone for longer than a week, consider pausing your mail delivery, and hire a lawn service to mow your yard. A uncharacteristically overgrown yard could signify to thieves you’re away from home.

Lock up

Last but not least, don’t forget to lock all doors and windows before heading out. This may seem like common sense, but it can’t hurt to do a thorough check before you leave. Always remove any lurking hidden keys, too. You might think your hiding place is clever, but the plastic rock near the porch won’t fool everyone.

Once you’ve got the doors locked, the thermometer set and a neighbor alerted, it’s officially vacation time. Bon voyage!


Bree's Blog

Entertainment Sets That Balance Technology and Style

Bree here, from Home Zone Furniture.

In this day and age, technology in the home makes our lives easier in myriad ways. From smart thermostats to tablets that hold all our favorite recipes, home technology increases efficiency and saves time.

That being said, one of my biggest pet peeves is when home decor falls victim to the necessities of the modern day. A television takes the place of a well-styled mantel, or unsightly cords clutter up an otherwise spotless room. While these are common conundrums everyone faces today, the Home Zone Furniture collection offers a selection of entertainment sets sure to make your home both stylish and functional.


For the empty zone behind the sofa, try the Zanders sofa table. This thin table fits comfortably into a variety of spaces and is unassuming yet beautiful, with rich birch veneer and natural slate mosaic inlay. Use the shelf underneath to keep the remote and extra cords out of view, yet easily accessible. Leave the top surface empty to hold the drinks and snacks that are sure to make an appearance once the TV comes on!


Stay organized with the Bonnie Black TV console. This sturdy black console offers a number of shelves to store extra DVDs, CDs and accompanying hardware. By closing the doors, you’ll keep the interior neat, tidy and under control, but you’ll still be able to see the contents from afar. With its clean lines and simple hardware, the Bonnie Console is an ideal addition to the contemporary home.


Update a traditional bedroom with the Condor TV stand. The Condor has the look and feel of traditional furniture with its rich wood finish and classic structure, but it’s built with a modern sensibility. Use the power port to charge everything from your smartphone to your iPad, and the drawers to tuck away remotes, disks or even extra clothing you’ve run out of room for. You’ll love not only the slick metallic drawer pulls, but also how easily and quietly the drawers open and close.


Complement a rustic home with the Seattle TV stand. This weathered-looking stand is nicely crafted from ash veneers and pine wood solids, ensuring both strength and style. Store gadget and non-gadget items inside the drawers, which open and close easily with ball bearing glides. One of my favorite aspects of the Seattle TV stand is the built-in power port, which allows you to keep all of your electronics together and eliminates the appearance of cords. The Seattle TV stand would work nicely in a bedroom, but could also be placed in a small-scale living room as well.


Create the ultimate home entertainment center with the Clyde Merlot TV console. This impressive structure offers a series of cabinets for all of your TV-watching needs, and leaves sufficient space overhead to add personal styled vignettes. By taking advantage of the overhead nooks, you’ll find that the Clyde Merlot Console can be incorporated into a wide variety of home styles, from contemporary to traditional. In my experience, incorporating other objects aside from TV-related items into the shelves of the Console disguises the technological presence and maintains the style of your home.

How do you balance design and electronics in your home?



Bree's Blog

Why now is the time to start spring cleaning

Untitled design (48)

Bree here, from Home Zone Furniture.

Why is it that we wait until the most beautiful time of year to stay inside and clean house? Beats me! This year, instead of putting off major spring cleaning for that perfect, sunny day in April, tackle the project now! If you’re not convinced, here are a few reasons to start your spring cleaning today, plus some helpful hints on cleaning strategically.

Everyone is sick

With changing weather comes allergies and all kinds of viruses. If your family has recently been sick, now is the perfect time to completely disinfect your home and make sure no one else catches the bug. Disinfecting everything from countertops to doorknobs will help raise the quality of the air and ward off sickness. Even if your family has been well up to this point, a good home cleaning will help ensure they stay healthy.

The weather

It’s safe to say that there are beautiful spring days ahead. If you’d like to be gardening on these days rather than organizing closets, plan ahead and get all of the dirty work done while the weather is less than desirable. Especially on rainy days where you’re stuck inside, take advantage and check some things off your spring cleaning list!

Spring fashions

From bed linens to footwear, a change in season means a change in fashions. Spring cleaning means more than scrubbing and polishing — it means digging through all of that stuff in the back of closets and drawers, too. Pull out all of your spring items — warm-weather clothing, Easter decor, lightweight blankets — to make sure you don’t go out and accidentally buy duplicates.

Okay, so we’ve convinced you to get your spring cleaning done now. But where to start? Here are some tips for tackling your spring cleaning with a strategy.

Make lists

Another reason many of us are guilty of putting off spring cleaning is because there’s just so much to do. As in any stressful situation, begin by making a master list. Break down your list by room, and then list each task for each room. While it’s tempting to just write “vacuuming” once at the top of your list, be sure to write down the task under each room’s list so you stay focused.

Start with the closets

But where on the room’s list to start? In each room, begin by organizing the closet. This is likely where the majority of your items have been left and forgotten. By eliminating items from the closet and putting what’s left in order, you’ll be more mindful about the other things you end up putting in the closet as you continue cleaning.

Set a timer

Spring cleaning is a big project, but it doesn’t need to consume you! I suggest you don’t try to tackle spring cleaning in one day. Instead, break it up into sections. Give yourself an hour to complete each room. Especially when you’re working on eliminating and organizing, sometimes it feels like there’s no end in sight. However, if you give yourself a set amount of time to complete the task, you’re more likely to get it done quickly and move on rather than linger and doubt what you’re getting rid of.

With these strategies up your sleeve, spring cleaning this year will be easier than ever.


Bree's Blog

Things you shouldn’t forget to clean

things you shouldn't forget to clean

Bree here, from Home Zone Furniture.

Cleaning your home is a big task. From the daily touch-ups to the monthly clean-outs, you have a lot of rooms, appliances and pieces of furniture to get to. That being said, even the most dutiful housekeeper is bound to miss a spot or two. To go the extra mile when cleaning your house, don’t forget these oft-overlooked items!


Cleaning your bedding every week is easy, but cleaning the mattress is a production! Like your sheets, your mattress collects dust, sweat, dead skin and a host of other microbes. To clean it, simply sprinkle baking soda on the mattress surface and then vacuum it after 30 minutes to an hour. Once a year, flip the mattress to extend its life.

Bed skirt

There are multiple reasons to have a bed skirt, and one of them is to catch dust before it gets under your bed. If your bed skirt is doing its job, it’s most likely getting very dirty! Once a month, throw the bed skirt in the wash. Iron it before putting it back on the bed for a clean, crisp look.

Pillows and comforter

Pillows and comforters don’t need to be cleaned as often as their covers, but washing them at least once a month will keep your bedding feeling fresh. Check the care label on your pillows and comforters before you put them in the washing machine to make sure you don’t damage the filling. When you put the comforter in the dryer, put a tennis ball or two in with it. This little trick ensures that the comforter filling doesn’t clump up while drying!

Garbage disposal

Eliminate odor in your kitchen by cleaning the garbage disposal. Once a week, combine one cup of vinegar and two tablespoons of baking soda and pour it down the disposal with the water running. This will clear the connected waterways and cut that lingering dingy smell. The vinegar will have a strong aroma at first, but it will fade.


For clean dishes, you need a clean dishwasher. Once a week, run the dishwasher while empty with a half cup of vinegar and hot water. This will help remove any hidden food bits, eliminate odor and flush out the plumbing.

Washing machine

To extend the life of your appliance and have cleaner clothes, don’t forget to tend to the washing machine. After you finish a load, wipe the rubber gusset to clear out dirt and moisture. Always clean out the detergent compartment before putting more in, too. When the load is finished, I suggest leaving the door to the washing machine ajar so it can air out. No one likes clothes that smell like mildew!

Window screens

If you apply glass cleaner religiously and your windows still look dirty, it’s time to wash your window screens. At the beginning of each season, slide your window screens out and clean them by spraying them with a hose. Use a towel to wipe off excess dirt. When the screens are dry, slide them back into place for an improved view.

Buttons on electronics

Electronics you use regularly are bound to be dirty. During your weekly home cleaning, wipe down your remote controls, keyboards and home phone. Clean your cell phone surfaces even more often to cut down on potential germs and viruses.

Did I miss anything?