Enhancing the Appeal of Your Home with LED Light Strips

LED light strips

We’ve all seen the glimpse of Tron and similar futuristic films that feature these cool, colourful light strips. The LEDs have advanced quite a bit over the years, and they now stand out even more from the competition with the traits like flexibility and thin body.

They can be inserted at a variety of spots you’ve never considered before (beds, shelves, etc.). Their purpose is not purely decorative, as they also discreetly illuminate the small area around them. Here’s a selection of tried-out spots where LED strips can be placed to get you inspired for your own project.

Glam effect

Fixing bathroom mirrors and vanities with starlets or powerful make-up-room bulbs is nothing new, but it may be too harsh for a hallway mirror. If you’re seeking to accomplish a subtle, more delicate effect and not cover a large portion of the mirror frame, LED strips are just the perfect solution.

Another way to add glam into your interior décor is to set up some LEDs to your open riser staircase, if you have these in your home. This will not only allow you to make an impressive entrance every time you go down the stairs, but they will make the nightly trips safer and more economic (you won’t have to turn on the overhead lights). Also, they can be programmed to turn automatically as you tread on them.

Lounge area

You can change the atmosphere in your living or bedroom area by adding a faint strip of light underneath the couches, sofas or beds. Some hip furniture stores even sell pieces with LEDs already installed, but these could strain the budget quite a bit. Instead, create a special ambience with LED lights of your choice, and you’ll stop losing stuff under your bed.

If you have a piano in your living area, you can make the lights sync with the notes you’re playing, and you can select the colour of your liking for this project, say the experts at Industralight.

LED lighting


How many times have we wished we had a flashlight when trying to find something on the shelf or in our drawers? Installing old-fashioned lights can pose as a fire hazard as it gets heated up easily, so LEDs seem like the obvious alternative. They don’t give off much heat and their light is soft but effective.

Open shelving with colour coded LED strips can cut down the time you spend searching for a certain item, and even plain whites can make the display undoubtedly beautiful. Our junk drawers and other miscellaneous storage nooks would be less of a frustration if we inserted a line of LEDs that can help us find what we want much faster.

Kitchen zone

Food can sometimes get mouldy or spoilt because it got lost and forgotten at the back of the fridge’s main compartment or in the ice box. Some old models may not have proper or functional illumination, but you don’t have to replace it with a high-end device right away. This issue can be easily prevented by enhancing the existing light with extra strips and a handy motion sensor system.

Similarly, you can instill a practical and awesome element to your new bar island and incorporate some LED strips to your cabinets and under-the-counter area. You can even opt for a colour-changing mode that’s bound to make your house parties unforgettable.

Outdoor options

Outdoor LED lights

For starters, your deck or a patio could use an additional layer or ambiance light for the dusky and night-time occasions. You don’t even have to outfit the entire deck, but only focus on the table area, for instance.

By adding a properly positioned line of LED strips to your outdoor pool, you will feel as if you’re staying in one of the most expensive hotels while chilling in your backyard. Since you’ll need to install electrical wires near water, make sure to call the professionals for this project.

You can give your home an undeniable touch of class by introducing some carefully selected LED strips. These were just some ideas for the storage and lounge areas you can easily install on your own.

5 Questions About Home Renovations You Always Wanted Answered

Male Contractor in Hard Hat Discussing Plans with Woman in Room.

You’re thinking about doing a home renovation, but something is holding you back. A reno is a big job that requires a lot of time and money. You want to get it right. A mistake could be costly.

Maybe you’re hesitating because you feel uninformed. Want some help? Here are answers to common renovation questions that’ll help you make the right decision.

  1. Which home renovations pay back the investment?

If you decide to sell your house, you hope that you’ll get a decent return on investment — ROI — for your home improvements. However, not all renovations are created equal. Some are more attractive to homebuyers, so sellers recoup more of those expenses. This isn’t the only reason to do a renovation, but it’s good information to have. Check out the 2016 renovation jobs that have the highest ROI, based on the national average:

  • Insulating the attic with fiberglass: almost 117 percent return
  • Replacing the bottom third of siding with manufactured stone veneer: almost 93 percent
  • Doing a minor kitchen remodel: about 83 percent
  • Replacing siding: 77 percent
  • Adding a wood deck: 75 percent

Prepare yourself. Some popular renovations don’t earn back as much on your investment:

  • Adding a bathroom: about 56 percent
  • Adding a master suite: just over 64 percent
  • Completing a major kitchen remodel: almost 65 percent
  • Doing a bathroom remodel: almost 66 percent
  • Adding a family room: almost 68 percent
  1. If I have limited funds for a kitchen renovation, where can I cut back?

You imagine your dream kitchen… but it’s way out of your price range. Don’t be discouraged. You can cut costs and still create a functioning, beautiful kitchen. Just don’t go all-out on certain areas:

  • Kitchen cabinets: These are a major expense because they take up so much wall space. Custom-made cabinets cost tens of thousands of dollars. Sure, they’re beautiful, but standard cabinets are very attractive and much, much, much less expensive.

You also don’t need cabinets with fancy accessories. Purchase inserts, pullouts and organizers separately and install them. Skip the soft-close drawers and cabinets. If you’re looking to trim costs, the coolness factor doesn’t justify the outlay.

  • Sink: A standard stainless steel sink basin is all you really need… but get the faucet you really want. Its usefulness and appearance do make a difference. 
  • Appliances: Most kitchens don’t require the best-of-the-best. Unless cooking is your profession — or passion — a mid-range refrigerator, stove and dishwasher will meet your needs.
  • Floor: Engineered cork and real linoleum tile are both reasonably priced and environmentally friendly. They’re also easy on the feet if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
  1. What’s the best material for water pipes?

The most common residential pipe materials are steel, copper, PVC and PEX. If you’re doing renovations that require replacement, your best choices are:

  • PVC: This is suitable for drainpipes and toilets. It doesn’t rust, and it lasts 25 to 40 years. You can’t use PVC for sinks and tubs, though, because it can’t handle high temperatures.
  • PEX: This material is durable and heat-tolerant, which makes it a great option for incoming water lines. And bonus! It’s often color-coordinated: cold water pipes are blue, and hot are red.

If you weren’t planning on replacing piping but are taking out drywall, check on pipes anyway. You may discover something needs fixing. Repairs will be cheaper while the walls are already open.

  1. Do I need a permit for my renovation?

The answer is an unqualified “maybe.” It all depends upon your local building codes, which are designed to ensure that work has been done safely. Professional contractors typically take care of the permit process, which involves filing paperwork, paying fees and allowing inspections. Check your contract to be sure permits are covered.

If you’re doing structural work yourself, contact the permit office of your municipality. Even if it’s a relatively small job, such as putting in a window or replacing a shower, you’ll need a permit. If you don’t get one, you might discover later that substandard work caused problems. When you try to sell the home, a prospective buyer probably won’t be able to get a loan. If you do manage to sell but problems crop up, you could be hit with a lawsuit.

  1. What’s the first thing I should do after I’ve decided to do a renovation?

Ok, you’ve committed to remodeling the basement, redoing the kitchen, adding a bathroom… whatever. The first step: determine exactly what you want to accomplish with the project. Don’t contact a contractor while you’re still vague about the details. Check websites, go to showrooms, talk to friends, read remodeling magazines… gather a lot of information.

You probably already have a rough budget and timeline, or you wouldn’t be moving forward with the project. Decide what ideas you like best for your space. You can even make lists for changes that are “must-haves” and those that would just be really nice. This step also helps you refine your budget, so you’ll have a sense of what you can afford.

Renovations come with lots of questions. You might be asking them of contractors, workers, suppliers and loan officers. These five got you started. Now add to the list.

Author Bio:

Kacey HeadshotKacey is a lifestyle blogger for “The Drifter Collective.”  Throughout her life, she has found excitement in the world around her.  Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations, cultures, and styles, while communicating these endeavors through her passion for writing and expression. Her love for the world around her is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.

The Drifter Collective: An eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us.






5 Bathroom DIY Ideas for People Who Are Always on the Go


Upgrading your bathroom doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t even have to take too much time. In fact, with the right ideas and the right materials, you can quickly come up with your very own DIY projects for your bathroom.

If you’re a very busy person and can’t spend an entire day crafting things, you can still get creative with your bathroom makeover with these 5 easy DIY ideas.

1. Magnetic Makeup

In case you have a lot of cosmetics in your vanity and you’re struggling to fit them inside your drawers, creating a magnetic cosmetics board is your best solution. It doesn’t require a lot of time or even materials. You only need a shallow stainless steel metal pan, a fabric and a couple of magnets. This board can’t only help you save some space; it can also make it easier for you to grab your favorite makeup before heading out for work.

2. Cake Stand

Keeping your most used items in a cake stand is a good way of making sure you don’t knock all of the products in your vanity area when you’re in a rush. Aside from your skin and hair products, you can also use a cake stand to hold your pieces of jewelry and other small accessories. It’s also a good place to keep your scented candles.

You can repaint or add a few embellishments to the stand to match it with your bathroom’s theme. In case you don’t have a spare cake stand at home, you can easily make one by using two plates and a candlestick.

3. Get a shower upgrade

Low water pressure isn’t only a problem when you’re running late. It can also cause some serious damage in your plumbing, particularly if it comes with episodes of very high water pressure. As a solution, you can invest in a good electric shower. There’s actually a wide range of choices and if you can only take the time to read the best electric shower reviews, you can easily find one that’s fit for your bathroom. Electric showers are economical and can save you both time and energy when it comes to heating water.

4. Sink Skirt

If you have a pedestal sink in your bathroom, then you probably have a good idea of how unsightly it can be. Although it can fit small bathrooms, this type of sink often reveals too much, especially the plumbing and the small cleaning items you tuck underneath it.

Instead of doing a major bathroom renovation to solve these issues, you can sew a sink skirt. This DIY idea is relatively easy and quick to do. You just need a good fabric and some basic sewing skills. In choosing your fabric, make sure that it matches the tone of your bathroom. It’s also a good idea to use a fabric that doesn’t get wet easily. Aside from concealing your exposed plumbing and clutter, a sink skirt can also give your bathroom an added style and design.

5. Magazine Rack

Repurposing a magazine rack for your hair tools can save you some serious space in your bathroom. It’s also helpful in making sure you don’t burn yourself. Aside from your hair tools, you can also use your spare magazine racks to hold your towels and tissue paper rolls. You can hang them on your wall or line them down on the floor. Another good idea is to attach them to the side of your vanity cabinet. This way, you can quickly pull out the tools you need.

Author’s Bio:

Simon Barker knows a lot when it comes to easy and affordable home renovation ideas. Aside from his passion for sharing his best remodeling tips and tricks, he also wrote an electric shower guide which is a definite must-read.

A Few New Tools All Real Estate Investors Should Know About

real estate investor tools

Successful real estate investors know it’s a numbers game. Being able to analyze statistics, evaluating them and then reacting to your analysis can separate the good real estate investor from the not so good.

Emotions play a part when one selects a home to live in. But when buying or selling property strictly as an investment function, leave the emotions at the door. As Sergeant Friday used to say on the old Dragnet television show, “just the facts, ma’am,” facts are what you need to base your investment decision on.

There are a number of new technology tools available to help investors separate facts from blue-sky fiction and over enthusiastic promoters.

Here is a list of some of the best:

1.Mortgage Calculator & Mortgage Rate Apps

Zillow has one of the best mortgage calculators apps around. Whether you’re looking to calculate payments on a possible property purchase or prepare a financial deal or refinance an existing mortgage, this app is both fast and easy to use.

A quick glance at the Zillow app on your iPhone or tablet when you are evaluating real estate projects to determine if the deal fits into your plans saves not only time but the danger of making snap decisions without knowing the numbers.

2.Real Estate by Trulia

This app is a very effective and user-friendly adaptation of the original Trulia Website. Always known for its investor-friendly tools, Trulia’s Real Estate app helps you find listings on properties and surrounding comparables in any area of the country. Coupled with an incredible interactive mapping feature, this is one app every serious real investor should have in their arsenal of tools.

Another similar site is the flat fee MLS listing site, Fizber. One of the biggest killers of margins is closing costs and realtor costs. Fizber allows you to get your property listed on the MLS for a small fee, giving you access to nearly 80% of US homebuyers.


If you’re not using Skype in your real estate investing business, you’d be wise to get on board and add it to your tool box.

Skype was a pioneer in free internet voice and video chat. They continue to dominate the market as one of the cheapest phone service providers around. Their face-to-face conference call function brings clients and buyers and sellers together from anywhere in the world. Once thought of as only science fiction, Skype has given us the incredible ability to converse in live pictures from a mobile device at any time of the day and anywhere around the globe.

4.Genius Scan

Going paperless, a goal of most innovative real estate investors, is made easier with the Genius Scan app. You no longer need a computer of a fax machine to forward documents to clients or banks. The Genius Scan turns any image into a pdf document in only seconds that has the finished look of a high-quality regular scanned document. And being that this quality app is FREE, it’s a tool you need to look at right away.

5.PlanEASe Software

This software program helps you analyze commercial property for financial and cash flow projections. It offers the investor a comprehensive management tool to deal with multi-unit residential and office properties. The base unit has extensions that include graphics, reporting, with the ability to combine files for portfolio analysis.

6.REO Wise Software

With his program, you can take commercial real estate analysis into the cloud. With a paid cloud subscription, it’s PowerBroker suite includes investment, leasing, financial modeling and marketing tools. It also features a transaction platform for real estate investors with a virtual deal room and document center.

7.Property Fixer App

If you’re an investor who flips properties for a fast gain, the Property Fixer is the tool for you. Using your smartphone, you can analyze property in five minutes and study the figures for holding it from 0 to 12 months in order to determine maximum profitability. Using the Property Fixer app, you can then email the resulting figures directly your clients under you company brand name with your logo.

8.Easy Kilowatt Hour Calculator

Commercial property investors can use this app as a watt hour meter to help determine the energy usage and cost of a possible acquisition.

To keep up in the competitive real estate investing game, where facts and current information are critical, it’s important to keep up with what’s new in the field of technology tools. Subscribing to a couple of commercial real estate newsletters and keeping current with real estate web sites that promote technological advances could be the key to keeping you successful.


Bathroom Faucet Finishes Explained

Bathroom Faucet Finishes Explained

Together with other accessories, a faucet determines the level of attractiveness of your bathroom. With this in mind, buying a faucet finish can be a pretty challenging and confusing job. The safest option is to purchase all the fixtures and accessories from the same company to ensure they match. Nevertheless, if you’re in a process of remodeling your bathroom and you feel like experimenting a little bit, mixing different styles can produce outstanding results.

Whether you are installing or redecorating, make sure you take into account all the pros and cons of different faucet finishes. Also, consulting a pro will help you make a final decision relating to price, durability and appearance of the faucets. Bruzzese Home Improvements is the company that offers a full home improvement services and can be a helping hand when it comes to bathroom remodeling.

There are many different designs of faucet finishes, some of which include chrome, oil-rubbed bronze, copper, stainless, dark and light, brushed and polished options, and even faucets with texture. Whichever you pick, there are a few things you should bear in mind.

Attractive Styles and Designs

Bathroom Faucet Finishes

  • Chrome is one of the most versatile finishes at the moment and it works well with almost every style. This is a great option if you’re on the budget, as it can easily match any other type of bathroom accessories.
  • Oil-rubbed bronze is another excellent choice and can be used instead of chrome. It’s quite easy to maintain, durable and doesn’t show water posts or fingerprints. Choose this type of faucet finish if you want your bathroom to give Mediterranean/Tuscan impression.
  • Copper faucet finishes are easy to find, but difficult to match with other bathroom accessories. If it’s mixed with marble, it gives a really impressive rich feel. Copper has some antibacterial properties, but the shiny finish requires more maintenance than chrome or oil-bronze.
  • The cool thing about polished nickel is that it appears to change its color under different lighting. This material is smooth, shiny and very easy to maintain. It can be mixed with a wide range of bathroom accessories and still look as good as new, due to the fact that it’s one of the most durable finishes. Try not to combine it with stainless steel because it won’t be able to stand out.

Important Pieces of Advice

Bathroom Faucet

If you like your bathroom shiny and neat at all times, go for a brushed finish. This material hides fingerprints and water spots and it’s not reflective as, for instance, polished finishes.

If you’re into latest technology, consider purchasing the faucet that features PVD, physical vapor deposition. The finish that includes PVD is slowly but surely becoming an integral part of the faucet. Ozzy plumbing suggests you try this out since it’s one of the best options against scratches, corrosion and water scale.

While choosing the ideal finish, think about the style of the whole space, including the shape of the sink, door, window, edges on the counters, and even lighting. It’s also possible to go for multiple finishes if you think it won’t disturb the harmony of the room.