Author: Douglas Woods

Top Things To Be Careful About Prior To Home Purchasing

Buying a house is supposed to be a fun and exciting time. The problem, however, is that because we want to buy a home so badly, we sometimes don’t see the flaws the property has. Although we do sometimes fall in love with a property, we should never purchase it without running a few necessary checks. Let’s review a number of these red flags.

First and foremost, think hard before you buy a “fixer up.” These properties are often very cheap, which makes them very attractive. Most of us think that the things that do need to get fixed up are things we can mostly do ourselves. In reality, however, they are often things that must be done by qualified professionals. Qualified professionals are incredibly expensive and you may not have sufficient budget for that. You should also be wary of properties that have had DIY fixes. Although a DIY job can look great on the surface, it is likely that it actually has a whole lot of problems.

Next, make sure you know if the property has been foreclosed on or is going through a short sale. Of course, these properties are the cheapest, but they are also often in a bad condition and could be a sign of the community.

The bottom line is that you should never purchase a property without having it professionally inspected. The information above, therefore, is not designed to help you decide whether or not you want to buy, but rather whether or not you want to have it inspected. If any problems are present, you can choose to walk away from the property, or you can request a huge discount on the purchase price so you can arrange the necessary repairs. Do also make sure you listen to professional inspectors’ advice. Their goal is to make sure you get a good deal on a property.

How to Choose Your Outdoor Lighting Fixtures. It Can Be Complicated, But it Doesn’t Have to Be

How to Select the Best Outdoor Lighting Fixtures For Your Home

Outdoor lighting can highlight your home’s architecture and landscape, and it also provides safety by deterring intruders and making paths navigable at night. Below will inform you of the most common types of outdoor lighting, so that you can enhance your outdoor space.

Wall lanterns and sconces enhance a homes curb appeal and landscaping by providing a source of indirect uplighting and downlighting. Try using dimmable LED-powered wall sconces in pairs over an outdoor seating area, on either side of the garage door, patio door or exterior windows. Also consider installing a single wall lantern on the front of the house to illuminate the street address. 

Landscape lighting showcases plants, trees, shrubs, and flowers. Small spotlights and well lights (which require digging a hole so that the light will sit flush with the ground) are common for landscape lighting as they do not compete with plants for attention. Landscape lights can also be used to highlight architectural features like columns. Most landscape lights can be used in both capacities.

Pendants or hanging lanterns are usually used to illuminate the front door and enhance curb appeal or a porch. Pendant lights add an interesting design element and provide task lighting as well. They are available in a wide variety of materials, colors, and styles to add a dose of charm to an outdoor living space or front entry.

To make a dramatic statement, place post lights close to the street or at the end of a driveway to enhance street-side visibility. Post lights are also commonly found around pools, patios, and in backyards that are used for entertaining. 

Ceiling lights also known as outdoor flush mount fixtures work well in an entryway, porch, patio or overhang. Usually hung above a door or patio dining table, ceiling lights come in the form of pendants, which offer a dramatic look, and flush-mounts, which are best for low ceilings.

Deck or step lights illuminate walkways, sidewalks, driveways, and pool edges. Installed low to the ground, path lights literally light the way for safety and security. Ideally you should choose a path light that is covered on the top so that the light will spread evenly along the ground, rather than create a glare. 

Offering maximum safety and security, flood lights cast light across a wide area, discouraging intruders and making the yard well-lit for nighttime outdoor fun. Place flood lights about 9 feet high so that they cannot be easily accessed. Mounting flood lights up high also assures a wide field of light.

These festive outdoor lighting elements can add a wow element to your yard. Consider an open flame torch for a romantic vibe or go with a flameless LED variety for a safe family-friendly option.

The Most Frequently Asked Interior Design Question, How to Choose Bedroom Furniture, Answered

Redecorating can be a great deal of fun, but there are a lot of important decisions to be made, especially when putting together a bedroom. A bedroom is one of the most important rooms to decorate, since it is such a personal room and homeowners spend a lot of time there. An uncomfortable bedroom means unrestful sleep and even a general feeling of disharmony. Some people prefer a bedroom with a traditional look, but others desire a more modern feel.

One way to instantly set a modern tone in a bedroom is by purchasing a modern bedroom set because it includes all the major furniture pieces required in a bedroom. These large pieces catch the eye quickly and communicate the modern style the homeowner desires. In order to purchase a modern bedroom set, buyers must understand what is typically included in a bedroom set and how to select one that is “modern.”

Bedroom furniture is often sold as a set, or the pieces can be acquired separately. An overview of what pieces make up a bedroom set and what modern style actually means should provide a good foundation for choosing the appropriate bedroom set when it comes time to buy.

A modern style consists of clean, polished lines which still look fresh. Modern decor features a neutral color palette ranging from whites through creams, beiges, greys, and rich browns and black. Designs are simple, unadorned, and bold. Chrome, stainless steel, and dark, lacquered woods add important accents to furniture. Some pieces feature accent lighting. Rooms are united visually by an economy of form and balanced by contrasting colors. The names of styles vary somewhat, so furniture that is labeled modern can vary considerably from one manufacturer to another, with some manufacturers using more or fewer types and subtypes to describe their wares.

Bedroom sets traditionally include a bed frame, a nightstand, a dresser with a mirror, and a chest of drawers. Some sets include fewer pieces, and some beds are designed with nightstands or several drawers included. Mattresses and box springs are usually sold separately from bed frames but are obviously required for sleeping.

The sizes of mattresses, box springs, beds, and headboards are all standardized so that a queen-size mattress fits a queen-size bed frame, although there may be some variation in which sizes different manufacturers offer. Other decorative pieces, such as rugs, window treatments, and light fixtures are also sold separately but must be coordinated with the bedroom set for a unified look.

Although bedroom furniture is often sold as a set, it makes sense to think about the different pieces separately as well. Choosing a set means not only choosing a
certain color and style, but also choosing the relative size of each of the pieces and how the different pieces relate to each other. Once the buyer has some idea of what kinds of individual pieces are needed, he or she can go on to pick a set that has all the right pieces.

Choosing a bed is the first step in choosing a bedroom set, because the bed is the one piece of furniture that a buyer is least able to compromise on. The bed must be comfortable, and it must be big enough to accommodate all of the sleepers who share it; a couple who sleep with three golden retrievers and an occasional child with a nightmare cannot choose a small bed even if their bedroom is small. If the buyer already has a mattress in mind, the size and style of the bed must accommodate the mattress.

Choose the bed first, and then plan the rest of the bedroom around it. Use the mattress or put lines of tape on the floor to mark how big the bed is and then figure out the size and placement of the other pieces given the size and shape of the bedroom. When planning the room, remember the height of the bed as well as its width and length. Bed frames vary in their height, and mattresses and box springs vary in their thickness. Not all beds are designed to have box springs.

How to Design Your Child’s Playroom On a Budget..Yes, it Can Be Done!

You can make a beautiful, functional playroom for your children on a budget; it is not something you have to spend a fortune on, and that is a common misconception. Whether you have an entire room or just a dedicated corner, there are a number of ways to make an affordable play space using some creativity, smart shopping, and items you already have around the house.

Idea #1 Create a Wall-Chalkboard

A nice touch in any child’s play area is a chalkboard. Save the money on fancy easel displays or a full-blown hanging board and just paint a wall area with chalkboard paint. This type of paint is now available in any color and transforms your wall into an actual, erasable chalkboard for a fraction of the cost. There are so many options for chalkboard paints, as well as some excellent ideas on how to use these paints beyond the walls, which you can find easily; search magazines and the internet for inspiration.

Idea #2 Be Creative With Storage

Storage containers are a necessity to hide the abundance of toys that your children have accumulated over the years. A great and attractive way to do this on the cheap is to decorate large, sturdy shipping boxes or extra-large diaper boxes. You can try ideas like covering the boxes in brown packaging paper and letting the kids paint or scribble on them. Or, if you are going for a more sophisticated look in a common area, find fabric you really like and cover the boxes using glue. 

Idea #3 Scour Around For Cheap Pieces

If you are handy sewing, then by all means making a square floor cushion for the kids to lounge on is easy and economical. However, if you are less than jazzed to fire up a sewing machine, there are still some cheap options. Check out affordable floor pillows; while it might seem tough, it isn’t that hard to find very economical ones. Don’t forget to stay on top of sales; subscribe to children store websites.

Idea #4 Decorate The Walls With Drawings

Even if your kids are not artists, there has to be something they have made in school or at home that can easily get framed and hung on the wall. Find a discount frame, and you have instant wall decor. Personalizing the space with such creations can add flair to a designated kid’s corner or playroom and also make the artist proud. 

Idea #5 Create Shelves

If you are looking to add some shelves or small bookcases, many inexpensive options are available to accomplish the task. Some options, such as storage cubes and crates, only cost a few dollars. Single wall shelves that you can install yourself, like those from Ikea, are also great options often found for under $50. Or, make a corner useful and look for some budget-friendly, free-standing or wall-installed corner shelves sold at many big box stores. For the more adventurous DIY types, consider other affordable solutions, like making your own bookshelves. The possibilities are endless.

Idea #6 Buy Adult Furniture, And Transform It Into Children’s

Often, children’s furniture has a huge markup compared to non-kid items. With a little creativity, however, you don’t need to buy super expensive kid’s furniture to make your playroom complete. Look for cheap coffee tables, other low-height tables, stools, or ottomans that can do double duty as children’s tables or seating. 

Idea #7 Create An Art Station

For kids that like to draw or make crafts, consider designating one of your table finds as an art center. You can easily use your table to keep art supplies lined up in containers and within easy reach. Clean and reuse small jars, such as old jam or salsa jars, to hold pencils, markers, and paintbrushes. You can also paint or wrap ribbon around these holders for a decorative touch.

Idea #8 Put Down Replaceable Floors

Kids like to play on the floor. This means that any flooring can get worn or messy. Find a cheap carpet that works in your play space to not only create a comfy place to sit, but also limit the damage to your area rug or hardwood. Carpet tiles are a cheap way to accomplish the task and can be re-arranged and cleaned easily as compared to a rug.

Idea #9 Monogram It Up

Kids love stuff with their names on it. Using monograms on the wall or as labels in a play space is a nice way to decorate and stay organized. You can do cheap stencils on the wall for a just a few dollars by investing in some paint and a craft shop stencil. Or you can find affordable papier mache or large cardboard alphabet letters at craft stores, which can be painted and mounted on the wall or just placed on a shelf. 

Idea #10 Make Your Own Bulletin Boards

You can easily add a bulletin board or dry erase board to the wall of any play area for well under $10. Dollar stores sell small dry erase boards that you can line up in a row for kids to scribble on or play games.



How to Create a Serene Seating Arrangement in Your Master Bedroom Suite

Your master bedroom should be a relaxing area that you enjoy at any and all times of the day. If you are fortunate enough to have a bedroom large enough to accommodate seating, you should do so. Seating in this room should be considered carefully, or the bed becomes the place for seating and sleeping, which isn’t always relaxing. The size of your master bedroom, seating preference, and decorative style will be a couple of the factors when choosing the right seating. Determine if you will use your seating for reading, relaxing, or for decoration. Whatever your preference, here are tips to help you choose the seating perfect for you.

Assess your space. While most of us would love to have a couch, chaise loungers, and a full seating area in our master bedrooms, this isn’t always possible. One thing you should never do, is force is. If you don’t have the room, accept it. Don’t try to fit seating where there is no room to do so, or your room will look cluttered. Determine how much space you have to work within your room. A bay window or area adjacent to the main master bedroom area is ideal. If you don’t have this, a chair in a corner may suit your needs as well. For extra tight master bedrooms, consider doing away with one nightstand and replacing with a comfortable chair. 

Be practical about the function. How will you use your bedroom? In many master bedrooms, there is plenty of room for a seating area. If you have plenty of room, consider oversized reading chairs with ottomans or chaise lounges that allow you to relax and spread out. Create a conversation area with two or more chairs and a small table between them. A cushioned chair with a table lamp and a throw blanket will do the trick. 

Have your seating compliment the bed. In the master bedroom, the bed should absolutely be the focal point. Choose seating that compliments it in color, form, materials, or all of the above. A small bench or seat at the end of the bed makes for a perfect place to put clothes, jacket, or your purse on, without messing up the made bed. Create a pulled together look with a custom headboard and matching upholstery fabric on your chairs.

Multiple seating areas. To create more than one seating area, determine your lifestyle for your master bedroom. If you regularly have your kids come in the morning to watch television, your seating should accommodate this. A love seat couch, and separate desk chairs, and conversation areas can be created to make your bedroom serve as a “living master bedroom” area. Your seating should reflect your lifestyle and too many or too little seating should only be defined by you. 

Your master bedroom seating should be a room that you are proud to wake up in. Determine your needs, space, and what types of seating you enjoy. For space saving ideas, consider buying storage ottomans that can open for storage of books and magazines. If your bed sits high off the floor, consider movable seating that can roll under the bed, and be pulled out when needed. Don’t let space be a deterrent of why you can’t have beautiful seating in your master bedroom.