How to Make Your Home Feel a Little More Luxurious

Everyone wants their home to feel a little more luxurious, but how exactly can you go about doing that? On the one hand, you could try to just spend as much money as possible to make your house feel like it’s more expensive than it really is, but that’s not really a sustainable way of living. Instead, making smart purchases that add value to the home can oftentimes make it feel more luxurious than it really is, and it doesn’t have to involve you going bankrupt in the process. With that in mind, here’s a look at a few tips to improve the overall quality of your home, without making you break your entire budget.

Get a Wine Cooler

If you’re a wine enthusiast, then a wine cooler is a great way of displaying your collection to guests without remodeling your entire home to include a wine cellar. Plus, wine coolers have the added benefit of effectively maintaining themselves. Of course, if your wine cooler shuts down for some reason, then you can always contact a sub zero wine cooler repair service to take care of it and set you back on track. A wine cooler may not completely transform the feel of your house, but it can definitely help to make it feel like it has more history than just having a boring old refrigerator would.

Hang Your Television

It may sound strange, but it’s actually an incredibly simple touch that can transform a relatively innocuous appliance into something exciting. When you suspend your entertainment system from the ceiling, it has the added benefit of also being easily hidden when you’re not using it. If you’re someone who likes to make your home appear minimalistic, then this can be a great way to accomplish two goals at once. For everyone else though, suspending your television from the ceiling can be just a fun way to make your house feel different from all of the other ones on the block. And it could be argued that that is the central principle of being luxurious.

Everyone wants to feel like their home is their personal castle, and hopefully these tips will recreate that feeling in you. Regardless of whether you follow all of them, or just a couple of minor details, the point is to make your home feel like it’s yours. With the right commitment, and a positive attitude, you can transform your home into whatever you want it to be.

Tips for Creating an Impressive Front Entrance

When the home improvement urge hits you, a good place to begin updating your home is your front entrance. It’s the first thing visitors and people just driving by will notice. A beautiful entrance is also an uplifting sight to come home to.

Walkways and steps

Many people are adding more hardscaping features to their yard to complement the landscape and enhance the curb appeal of their home. An attractive walkway to your front door is a wonderful way to welcome visitors. As part of your updating project, you may want to select a different patterning of steps leading to your front door.

Porches

Porches add beauty to a home and can provide some outdoor living space. As part of an updating project, you may want to add a porch or extend the size of your current porch. Adding a porch rail that complements the exterior style of your home will help unify the exterior design elements.

Front Door

Your front door can be the statement feature of your exterior décor. The style of the door and the hardware on the door should complement the architectural details of your home. Decorative door knockers are an excellent way to add a personal touch to your front entrance.

Lights

Lighting is just as important to your exterior décor as it is to the interior of your home. LanternMasters.com has an extensive selection of lighting styles that will complement a variety of decors. A pendant light, wall light or ceiling light are some possible options for your front porch. You might also want to include Pilaster and post mount lighting as part of your updating project.

Attention to detail

It’s easy to focus on the larger aspects of an updating project and neglect to give attention to the small details. It’s often the small details that bring completeness to the overall design. The mailbox is a good example of a décor feature that often gets overlooked. You can replace your mundane, ordinary-looking mailbox with a copper, stainless steel or antique brass mailbox. Decorative house numbers are another small detail that can enhance your front entrance.

When you update your front entrance, your home can immediately look more impressive. With the many decorative design options and exterior accessories available, you can create an entrance that exemplifies your style and personality.

4 Unconventional Ways to Make More Out of Your Home’s Square Footage

If you’ve ever looked at a floorplan of an apartment or home, it’s easy to tell that in most cases the entire space is just a basic shape that has been cordoned off into separate rooms and living areas. It’s apparent that the appeal and design of any home is primarily influenced by the arrangement of its walls, fixtures, furniture, and appliances. Thus, the best way to completely redesign and renovate any home would be to consider an adjustment of those components. With that said, let’s take a look at four out-of-the-box techniques you can use to maximize the comfort and convenience of your home’s square footage:

Square Footage
Royalty free photo

1. Consider Vaulted Ceilings and a Loft

Many homes are wasting vertical space on boring rafters, attics, and an excessive amount of insulation. Why not convert that space into a room with vaulted ceilings and maybe even install a loft and spiral staircase? Some people use this method to convert a one-story home into a two-story dwelling. After clearing out ceiling space for a loft, it would also be easy to install skylights for enhanced natural lighting.

2. Tear Down a Wall, or Two

Oftentimes, simply tearing down the wall dividing one room and the next can create a much larger space. This is commonly done between living rooms and dining rooms to create a den, or between two bedrooms to create a larger master bedroom. This kind of project is typically an affordable renovation when accounting for the costs of demolition, materials, and labor. However, brick homes or those with concrete construction may need the assistance of a concrete cutting service like www.allstatesconcretecutting.com.

3. Convert the Attic into a Bedroom

While there may be some building codes to contend with, in many cases you can safely convert at least part of your attic space into a bedroom. Of course, a few factors you might want to consider include electrical, plumbing, and HVAC components. Fortunately, converting an attic space into a bedroom is usually a job that fits within the capabilities of a do-it-yourselfer, so a decent handyman should be able to handle the bulk of the labor independently.

4. Install Built-in Seating and Tables

Let’s face it, tables and chairs take up square footage, even when they’re not in use. Why not install a fold-out table, switch to a bar and stool setting, or add built-in foldable benches to the wall? You could also have a platform table slide out of the wall or fold downwards. Keep looking for additional ways to clear space by eliminating unnecessary pieces of furniture.

Add an Outside Area or Basement

As a bonus tip, why not add a sub-level to the home by installing a basement, or add more space outside with the addition of a deck, porch, or patio? Anything you can do to increase the amount of livable square footage is a good thing when it comes to getting the most out of the space your home has to offer.

Toilet Won’t Stop Running? Call An Expert

The constant hissing of a running toilet can be very annoying, especially when it’s late at night and you’re trying to get some sleep; but you ignore it because you’re not sure how to fix it. While the sound of it might cause you to lose a goodnight’s rest, the fallout of a toilet left to run can cause you to lose significant savings. A running toilet can lead to a shockingly high water bill, which you’ll have to pay. In order to avoid getting slapped with a bill that you can’t afford, don’t ignore a running toilet; be sure to contact a professional plumber.

toilet

You need a professional on your side because, like most problems in life, you running toilet won’t fix itself. Not only can ignoring a running toilet cause frustration over a costly utility bill, it can lead to leaks and other damages to your home.

There are a number of reasons why a flush toilet runs. One could be that the tank or bowl portion of your toilet has a small leak. Just because you don’t see excess water now, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. The water that’s escaping from your tank or bowl could be accumulated in an area that is not easily visible. This water exposure can damage your flooring over time. Water that accumulates and sit in a particular area over an extended amount of time can cause the floor to weaken. Too much weight on a weakened floor can cause it to cave in. In addition to possibly weakening your floor boards, water that leaks from your toilet can cause mold and mildew to develop. These contaminants can cause your family to become sick, as mould and mild can provoke either an asthma attack or an allergic reaction.

Instead of losing sleep and money or putting your family in harm’s way be sure to contact a professional plumber. A professional plumber has the knowledge and equipment needed to properly repair your toilet running issue. To find a local plumber with the expertise to fix your running toilet, check out HY-PRO Plumbing & Drain Cleaning website. With a few clicks of a button, you can read reviews of their service, learn about their areas of expertise, and get in touch with a representative. And since their local, you don’t have to wait (while the water runs) for them to show. So don’t delay and call your local professional plumber to get your toilet sorted. You won’t spend another night listening to it drain, and you’re next utility bill will be back to normal.

Make Your Dream Home A Reality With Custom Home Renovations

Custom Home Renovations

Your dream home might not be as difficult to attain as you think. When you hire a design-build team for custom renovations, you’re hiring a team of experienced professionals with many successful builds under their belts and expertise in the latest design trends. As well, when you hire a professional design team you’re getting their expertise in every other area of the process, such as hiring subcontractors, which will save you time and money in the long run. While there might be reasons why you would consider renovating your home on your own, here are a number of reasons why hiring a professional design-build team for custom home renovations is a better idea.

The number one thing that professional design-build teams bring to the table is experience, which can’t be overestimated. Design-build teams, like the one you’ll find at Georgianreno.com, have more collective experience than one person, or most homeowners, can ever hope to have on their own. Georgian Custom Renovations has been successfully designing and renovating homes for over 50 years. That’s an unbeatable amount of expertise that will then be brought to bear on your home renovations. Imagine the possibilities and the results the experience Georgian Custom Renovations has can achieve for you!

Because of this experience, you’ll be avoiding all sorts of pitfalls and nightmares that come with DIY home renovation projects, some of which you might not be aware of. Many of the pitfalls of DIY home projects will result in delays and costs that will put you way over budget. If you give a professional design-build team your budget and the results you want to see achieved, the team will then take those parameters and make them work, or let you know how or where you may need to make adjustments. From there, the experience should be stress-free for you and all the prices and time parameters will be upfront with no surprises. The team will handle everything else, while communicating clearly, effectively, and often with you, the homeowner.

Another often overlooked pitfall that could be disastrous, if you’re doing everything yourself, is that you’ll inevitably need to hire subcontractors, people who specialize in one of the crucial elements of your custom home renovation. There are many reliable subcontractors but there are also many who are willing to charge too much and not do a good job. One thing that an experienced design team will immediately be able to do is hire subcontractors they have worked with in the past. Hiring a professional design build team for your custom home renovation will ensure that you get the best price and the best quality work and that it will be done in a timely manner.

6 Features of the Perfect Family Home

6 Features of the Perfect Family Home

Creating the ideal home can be a lifelong project for many people. Families have a lot more to consider when it comes to their home. The space not only needs to be beautiful to their tastes, but it also needs to be secure and functional to ensure every day in the house is comfortable.

Even though it can seem difficult and time-consuming, there are a lot of ways to ensure that everyone in the family will be comfortable, safe and happy in their home. Here are six features of the perfect family home that everyone can replicate where they live.

A cushioned and soft surface to walk on

Though hardwood floors may be the preferred look of many home owners, they are simply not practical for many families. People instead want to have a surface that is soft and warm to keep the entire house cozy and comfortable. Every family can find discount carpet in Utah that will please every member of the family.

A location in a safe neighborhood

Safety is one of the most important factors to consider for a family home. Before changing anything about the home itself, families need to make sure the location of their home is in a safe and secure neighborhood. Looking at crime rates in the area can easily confirm this for parents and allow anyone to find the safest area for their family home.

An easy to maintain décor scheme

Most families will agree that they often do not have the time or money to create a new look for their home every season. This means that they should instead try to create a décor scheme that can work well in any season with little maintenance and upkeep. Anyone can start with neutral colors and add on small pops of color to match the current trends.

A basement

A lot of homes built today do not have basements. Most people would ignore this fact, but a basement can be a very valuable space for a family. Not only can an unfinished basement be made into the perfect game room for the kids, a finished basement can function as an entertainment room or additional living space. Every family can find the option that they like best to efficiently use the bonus space.

A separate laundry room

Laundry can pile up pretty quickly for a busy family. Though this may be a nuisance, it is even more bothersome if the mess is out in the open for everyone to see. Having a laundry room that is separated away from the rest of the home can cover up the eyesore of dirty laundry and make the weekly process much easier.

A finished outdoor living space

Every family can find something fun do to outside in their backyard. There are so many activities that families love to do outside that it essential for them to have a finished backyard space they can use. All most families need is a section of grass and a grill for the perfect outdoor area.

Image: http://pixabay.com/en/family-home-backyard-house-700225/

Safe Talk: Security Tips for Home Owners

Long-gone are the carefree days when families could leave their homes for the day or the week without locking their doors. Burglaries have become so common that some families keep their doors locked all day long, even when they are home. Every year, there are approximately 2 million burglaries in the United States, which equates to nearly one burglary every 15 seconds! With those troubling numbers, it is easy to see why so many homeowners are concerned about protecting their homes. One of the best ways to protect your home is by purchasing a firearm and keeping it in a floor safe. Here are some additional ways to keep your home safe.

safe home

Keep Valuables Locked Up

Burglary is a crime of opportunity. If a criminal sees a well-lit and protected home, they will most likely pass by it in favor of a home that does not have any visible security measures. Additionally, if criminals do make it into your home, they are more likely to quickly leave if they cannot find anything worth taking. By keeping your valuables locked up, you reduce your chances of having them pilfered by a thief. A high-quality safe is a good choice for keeping your valuables safe.

If you purchase a safe, you must be aware that there are many different types of safes. You could also buy a wall safe and lock up your precious valuables.

Purchase Insurance

 

If you want to keep yourself financially protected, you must always have a good home insurance policy. You should also keep track of your most valuable belongings by photographing them and writing their details down. That way you can fill out an accurate insurance claim if your belongings are ever stolen.

Never Fall Into a Predictable Pattern

Thieves will often stake out a house and monitor the habits of its inhabitants before deciding when and where to strike. If you fall into a predictable pattern, thieves will have a very easy time determining the best time of the day or week to rob your home. To throw thieves off, simply change up your daily routine by parking your car in different places every evening and installing light timers that will cause your home lights to turn on and off at random intervals. This will make it much more difficult for thieves to tell if you are home or not.

If you want to keep your home and belongings safe, purchase a gun, keep your valuables locked up, purchase insurance, and avoid being predictable.

Add a Sophisticated Touch to Any Room with Leather Furniture

Nothing makes as big an impact on a home as the furniture within it. High-quality, beautiful furniture adds finesse, sophistication and class to any residence the instant it enters the home. A leather living room set is perhaps the most elegant of them all. From deep, warm tones to light and minimalistic touches, there is a kind and nuance of leather that matches any design style.

Leather Furniture

Because leather furniture comes almost exclusively from high quality modern furniture dealers it tends to be very comfortable and built to last as well as beautiful. This is because these types of stores put a great amount of effort into everything that goes into the furniture, be it a sofa, love seat or ottoman, and not just the finished look. Springs, support and minute details such as the angle of the back or foot rest all play a great part in providing comfort. Sleek designs and focus on detail often means that these types of stores have the best looking furniture as well. It is a good idea to buy from furniture stores that have been in business for a long time, to ensure they truly know their craft and are reliable. Some of these modern furniture stores are even choosing to go green by recycling their materials and using natural seed based oils to reduce the use of fossil fuel. Imagine knowing that you are not only obtaining some amazing furniture, you are helping the environment as well.

Leather has long been preferred by many connoisseurs of home decoration and furniture. It has a timeless look and is appropriate for all age groups but perhaps most importantly, it is long lasting. Unlike linen or vinyl furniture, quality leather home furnishings can last a lifetime if it is cared for properly. It also keeps quite a bit of its market value through aging, making the investment well worthwhile. In fact, vintage looking leather really is the only way to go when purchasing modern leather furniture.

From a more practical point of view, leather furniture tends to be fairly easy to clean as long as it is treated right. Homes with kids and pets might often feel as if great-looking furniture is not obtainable do to the lifestyle exhibited in the home and unfortunately this is true in many cases. Pet hair sticks to most fabrics with a vengeance, nails and claws wreak havoc and messy kids can cause some serious stains. With only two sides to a couch cushion, this can quickly result in some tired looking furniture. The advantage of leather furniture is that it is much more durable than fabric and is more resistant to stains (with proper pre-treatment). Should it suffer serious damage or tears it can be repaired by professionals and look as good as new in no time.

There is no doubt that modern furniture, particularly leather furniture, will bring style and sophistication to any home. Easy to clean and long lasting, it is a purchase that is well worth making. Look for the company with the best sofa selection in Toronto. You won’t regret it!

Don't Let Damaged Property Become A Disaster—Use A Restoration Company

It’s no secret that real estate can be a lifetime investment. However, we live in an unpredictable world, and one can never anticipate a major disaster or accident. Fire, flood and water damage are the main risk factors that influence property devaluation, and so should be considered carefully when protecting your home or workplace. If the unthinkable happens to you, a sound investment in professional building restoration and cleanup is the best way to reclaim the losses and re-invest in the future.

fire-damage

The remnants of a property after a disaster are still an investment. Sometimes, restoration seems near impossible to undertake by yourself, or without proper consultation. A good restoration company offers safe, environmentally friendly solutions to clean and restore damaged premises. Today these environmental forerunners are easy to locate—the best companies in the business have established a click-to-call storefront in cyberspace. Today it’s not difficult to find a consulting firm that adheres to IICRC standards when handling emergency disaster cleanup in the home or at a commercial complex.

A restoration specialist assumes different roles for business and residential projects. Clients should opt to commission a specialist whose background includes an extensive range of skills. Common services include kitchen/window cleaning, floor care, upholstery, janitorial services and construction cleanups. A kitchen cleanup project is a daunting task. It is space that should feature a safe, hygienic environment that complies with current health standards. Moreover, a commercial kitchen space is a bit chaotic at times; the atmosphere alone is a health hazard. Proper care and maintenance are essential to those who work or eat from the kitchen. When airborne grease, steam and carbon have nowhere to exit, they make their way into the ventilation system. When this happens, airflow is reduced, fires are started, strong ours are produced, and bacteria begin to build. A restoration company specialist can undertake a thorough inspection to assess the risk of fire and properly clean the ventilation system.

After a disaster, or as a safety measure, a restoration technician can use advanced tools and equipment to clean and deodorize floors. If there’s any water pooled in sections of the building, they can remove it without causing any health hazards. Different contaminants lurk around the premises after a fire or flood. The many quality fire restoration services in Toronto can make the place whole again and eliminate all airborne bacteria and microbes. Such technicians offer different floor cleaning solutions to restore the construction. Most specialty companies offer floor care solutions for vinyl, hardwood and tile construction. Furniture damages are another common concern when the premises undergo a disaster. Few property owners opt to restore their furniture when such a misfortune happens due to the costs involved, but a restoration company specialist can use cutting-edge technology and cleaning agents to restore upholstery to its former condition, if not better! They offer different cleaning methods based on their inspection of the construction and material. The result is a flawless piece of furniture to improve the reputation of the premises.

A restoration specialist offers daily, weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly cleaning for commercial facilities. With antibacterial agents, high-powered equipment, and a team of trained cleaning specialists, companies can limit cross-contamination. A janitor uses specialized techniques to capture and remove internal and external pollutants, improving air quality and eliminating pollutants. The best companies use deep cleaning, eco-friendly agents, tools, and equipment. For windows, the leading organizations use cutting-edge tools to clean the interior and exteriors. They use meticulous screen cleaning techniques to clean the tracks and sills of the windows. If there’s any adhesive, paint, hard-water deposits, or stickers attached to the screen, they will remove them and give the window a radically improved appearance. They also serve commercial and residential spaces with a full-service remodeling plan, which includes home remodeling, repairs, and restorations to damaged buildings. When buying restoration services from a consulting firm, a sound investment is to hire a green-seal certified company. They’re knowledgeable and always use environmentally friendly products.

Countless residential and commercial real estate owners have used these services to boost their property net value or recoup losses from natural disasters. All future investors should consider a professional, environmentally friendly service to save time, money, and to give peace of mind. A properly qualified and technologically advanced company can turn a major mess or disaster into new—or better than new—in no time at all, so why wait? Book a professional cleaning service now!

Houses of Straw

Leonard Leslie Brooke illustration
Leonard Leslie Brooke illustration
Sure, we all remember the children’s story about three pigs and a big, bad wolf, who could huff and puff and blow the house down (unless it was made of bricks). The stick house held up a little bit better, but the straw house didn’t provide much in the way of protection at all. But these days, houses made of straw and stucco are getting quite sophisticated. Even looking sturdy enough to stand up to a good, stiff breeze, whether it comes from a wolf or a hurricane.

Bales of straw (usually wheat straw) as building material isn’t exactly new, though perhaps not as old as the Three Little Pigs tale. late 19th century homesteaders out on the Nebraska plains are credited with building the first straw bale and mud-wattle houses, much as Oklahoma homesteaders pioneered stone and earth-sheltered homes with sod roofs. These early examples of hardy home-building with whatever’s handy largely escaped modern notice until the early 1970s, when the hippie “back to the land” movement took off. Most straw bale houses built over the following couple of decades were non-code off-the-grid shelters, but the benefits of bale construction have gained new fans.

Featured in this New York Times article is a rather spectacular example in the Catskills hand-crafted with loving care over a period of years by Clark Sanders. For the new revival in homesteading pioneers for the 21st century, there are a number of outfits and websites offering education in straw bale building techniques, helpful hints, and contacts for associated material like stuccos and plasters, wall lattice, etc. Some of the most interesting and useful are listed below. There are even some very nice straw bale house plans that can be built as offered or altered to your own site’s needs and combined with other green technologies such as earth sheltering, etc.

A relatively small straw bale shelter could be built fairly quickly and cheaply by new homesteaders on their land as a place to live while developing the various water and energy systems that will support something more permanent at a later date. If sited well and built sturdily, such a shelter built into a berm or hillside could later serve as a well-insulated root cellar for food storage, or a cool shelter barn for ruminant livestock. Just be sure your plastering job keeps up with the normal wear and tear of time, or the livestock just might eat their own barn!

Check out some of the listed sites and their offerings, see if straw bale construction might serve you well in some application. All told, the recurring benefit theme of this construction method is low cost. Which is always something modern homesteaders need to consider.

Links:

Straw Bale Construction
StrawBale dot Com
Bale Watch: 50 House Plans
A House of Straw