The Ultimate Houseplant Cheat Sheet

The quality of the air we breathe every day is so important to our overall health. This infographic from Capital Garden Services takes you through the health implications of indoor air pollution and takes you through the best plants for each room. Research has shown that indoor air pollution can increase our risk of stroke by 34% so it really is worth taking the time to read through the infographic and finding the perfect plants for your home.

Sometimes, people buy plants and are a bit unsure of how to take care of them. They might put them in the wrong room or water them too much or too little. For example, many plants, such as the Chinese evergreen and the English ivy, require much less water in winter so it’s important to keep things like this in mind.

Also, some plants need less sun than others. For example, the Snake Plant is a great addition to the bedroom and it needs minimal direct sunlight. Find out more in the infographic.

The-Ultimate-Houseplant-Cheat-Sheet-Infographic

Simple Tips for Organizing Your Entire House

Decluttering your home doesn’t have to be a nightmare. You may feel anxious and discouraged when you see all those stuff scattered everywhere, but with some planning, you can get on top of that and restore your house. Try to picture your home clutter-free, where every single item has its place. This is not hard to achieve and the tips below will surely get you going. So stop procrastinating and start reorganizing your living space.

There’s no success without a plan

Before you start decluttering, you should sit down and make a comprehensive to-do list. Try to think of every single activity that has to be done daily in order to avoid making your home messy again. Make sure to hold onto that list, since it will come in handy for the next cleaning occasion.

Think of priorities
Simple Tips for Organizing Your Entire House

The best place to start reorganizing is where the most clutter is. That’s probably your living room. Go ahead and throw out piled mail, magazines, and papers laying around the room. After you’re done with the living room, you should continue with kitchen and bathroom. With those three rooms done, you’ll already feel some relief.

Prevent yourself from shopping excessively

One of the main reasons you found yourself in a cluttered house is because you have too much stuff. Make sure to think twice before you bring another item in your crowded home. You should look around and see which items you use on regular basis. Everything else is just collecting dust and should be removed.

Routines are good sometimes

Decluttering your home just once won’t be sufficient in the long run. If you’re not doing it constantly, you’ll have a new mess in no time. Make sure to develop a few healthy habits and stick to them in the future. Try to do simple stuff on daily basis. Hang your jacket the moment you enter the house, wash the dishes right after finishing the meal etc.

Share responsibilities

In case you’re sharing your home with other people, try to include them when the time for cleaning comes. Instruct them about their responsibilities on daily basis, and watch how your home is getting cleaner and decluttered in no time.

Get rid of unused stuff
organizing your house

Make sure to permanently dispose of all items that you’re not using anymore. There are few ways you can do this. In the first place, you may drop that stuff to a charity organization, and bring happiness to those in need. Another way is by organizing a yard sale. That will be a fun event, and you’ll make some extra cash instantly.

Avoid disturbance

You want to make sure you’re not disturbed while cleaning. If someone calls while cleaning, you can lose a lot of time before continuing. You should turn off your phone and other devices which can steal your attention. Put up your sleeves and concentrate on the work.

Everything should have its place
Everything should have its place

Try to avoid piling your mail and other stuff on every free surface in your house. Instead, you may try to make a system which you’ll follow in the future. Think of a specific place for every item and stick to that. A good way of achieving that is to use high shelves and closets. In case you lack space, you should consider renting an affordable self storage unit in your area.

Cut it with the excuses

The best way to get in the way of making excuses is to pick up the big black bag and start tossing stuff in it. After just ten minutes of doing that, you’ll see some changes, and that should keep you motivated to go through the rest of the house.

You can’t do it alone

Don’t hesitate to call friends or family members to help you with reorganizing your home. With all these people, you’ll be able to get the job done very fast. You can use the spare time to make a tasty dinner for your helpers. At the end of the day, you’ll have a clean house and a fun evening with your loved ones.

Final thoughts

The tips mentioned above should do the trick, and you’ll get your home decluttered for good. Just stick to your plan and newly acquired habits, and you won’t find yourself in the bad spot again. Don’t forget to give a favor back to everybody who helped you with reorganizing your home. Now you can relax and enjoy your spacious and clutter-free home once again.

Chloe Smith is a cycling enthusiast, business consultant and a part-time writer always willing to share tidbits of advice. She believes that passion, courage and, above all, knowledge breed success.

Common Interior Design Mistakes To Avoid

Common Interior Design Mistakes To Avoid

Let’s face it: Designing the interior of our homes can be challenging. And scary too, because we could commit mistakes and interior design mistakes tend to be on the costly side of things. Still, somebody has to do it. We all just need a little confidence. Hopefully, the following tips about common interior design mistakes to avoid would leave you a bit more confident about designing your place.

Not having a plan and a budget

Impulse buying is exciting, but that piece of furniture or mirror may not work with your overall interior design the way you thought it would. You could also be spending more than what is sensible, and you could end up with an interior design project that’s more expensive than the house itself. To avoid buyer’s remorse and an interior design fail, you should have a plan and a well-established budget before buying anything.

Buying furniture without measuring anything

Sometimes, homeowners get so excited about a large and lovely couch they saw in the store that they never give any thought about whether or not it will fit through the door in the first place. Oversized furniture is fine. Just make sure your place has enough space to accommodate it. Large furniture in small areas will make the room even smaller, and that’s one big interior design mistake.

Choosing paint before fabrics and textiles

Finding fabrics and textiles before deciding on a paint scheme is so much easier than doing it the other way around. If you do paint first, good luck finding rugs, curtains, pillows, and upholstery that you love that will perfectly match the color of your walls.

Common Interior Design Mistakes To Avoid

Inadequate lighting

It’s true that lighting often takes a backseat to other interior design elements, and that is a mistake. Any home should have adequate lighting, and a set of overhead lights are simply not enough. Lighting should always be layered within any given space. With multiple light sources, you’ll be able to add depth and dimension to your home.

You should also let plenty of natural light into your home. Place curtains and accessories smartly, and install mirrors directly across your natural light source so all that beneficial sunlight can bounce around the room.

Not letting go of heirlooms

So your grandmother left you this grandfather clock. It’s been in your living room for years and still works fine. You are, however, about to embark on a redecorating project and your family heirloom doesn’t have a place in it. But because of its sentimental value, you keep it, and it ends up sticking out like a sore thumb. It’s hard to get rid of heirlooms, but if they don’t fit the style of your home, you should have enough resolve to let them go.

Not asking for interior design advice

Sometimes, we get too close to our work that we fail to notice our mistakes. This applies to our attempts at interior design, especially when we have already spent so much time on the project. If we can ask somebody to take a look at our work and spot any mistakes, then we should go ahead and ask for that person’s opinion. A friend can tell you honestly if there’s something off with your choice of fabrics or colors.

The best source of opinion about interior design, of course, is a real interior designer. If you can’t hire one full-time, you can consult one who charges by the hour. With the many design tricks up their sleeve, interior designers can effectively transform your home the way you want it.

Bio: Karen Ashworth is a freelance writer and blogger who enjoys staying on top of trends in architecture and interior design.

 

6 Tips on How to Make Your Garden Stand Out

Everyone enjoys having their own piece of heaven, a place where they can relax, think, create… For most, nature is the inspiring one and this is why we all strive to have a garden, regardless of the size of the plot given, it could be a balcony, a rooftop or a proper backyard. The goal is to create an eye-catcher for the people passing by and a favorite place for your friends to hang out.

Start with a clean-up

Just the same as you do with your house, make your garden look as if everything is there because you intended it to be. Begin by removing all furniture, old clutter, trimming the bushes and the trees and of course mowing the lawn if you have one and clean paving stones.  If you enjoy having what in the words of Jane Austin is described as ‘a prettyish kind of a little wilderness’ you can keep your garden, or parts of it looking untouched. Please be careful with these, you still want it to look safe and inviting without having to worry if you will step on something or if something will fall from a tree.

Choose the flowers

Choose the flowers

The main role in your garden is played by the color-pattern. You can have a theme and combine purple and yellow, orange and red, blue, white and purple etc. or have all colors intertwining. You can have this done by planting flowers. You can plant them in the pots or in the ground directly. It is a good idea to choose perennials as when the season comes, they surprise you with a blossom. If you are not too keen on growing flowers, you can simply buy plants in bloom in little containers every season and put them in your colorful pots. Now all you need to do is to remember to water them.

Furniture

The style of your furniture may vary. Give your old furniture a new glow by painting them or looking up some of the new makeover ideas. You can even use this trick and make your furniture fluorescent. Make sure the size of your furniture fits the size of your garden. Also, in the untamed, wild-looking parts of your garden, you may want to have furniture that reassembles old park benches.

Garden art

Use garden art

You can buy these items in a store, or even better you can use your old clutter and transform it into beautiful garden pieces. Used car tires can be beautiful flower pots, an old wagon wheel, a bicycle or a lantern can make it seem like there is a story behind your garden. Even practical things like colorful hose reels can add to the beauty of your sanctuary. By adding pebbles, you can make your flower beds a little more interesting and make it a little harder for weed to grow.

Light it up

As a final touch, you may want to add some lights for when the night falls. There’s nothing prettier than pretty Christmas lights. Use them on your gazebo, a rose bush or simply hang them from the branches of the trees around your garden and you will spark a fairy tale. Find suitable lanterns or torches. You can even make your own lanterns if you feel creative.

Don’t clutter up

There is no such thing as good clutter. Don’t make your garden look too busy as it won’t allow you to relax. Organize your flowers into clusters. Don’t get every piece of furniture you may want to have as it might not fit the space. Same goes for garden art. If you discover you enjoy making garden art, don’t keep it all give some away, it will make a unique present. If you lack space for all the plants you would like to have in your garden, you can use suspended flowerpots, that way you will make room on the floor, and gain a sense of greater space.

A beautiful garden can help you endure the lack of time you have in your every-day life. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get to take your child to a park if your own backyard can give a sense of an outdoor heaven.

A Simple Guide to Successfully Inspecting Your Own Home

A Simple Guide to Successfully Inspecting Your Own Home

Being proactive is a good policy in general. It’s especially important in home maintenance. Performing regular maintenance and catching minor repairs before they become major can keep your home and its systems in optimum condition.

How often should inspections be done? Most home repair experts suggest every six months. A Spring inspection can catch any damage done by cold and winter storms. An early Fall inspection can make sure that heat or open doors and windows haven’t done any damage. In addition, of course, frequent inspection causes any normal wear and tear that needs to be addressed.

Here’s a simple guide to home inspection.

      1.  Heating and Cooling Systems

Your heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) systems can be checked by careful examination of components.

First, look at the air filters. They should be cleaned or replaced regularly. If they are dusty and dirty, they definitely need to be replaced. Your system will not run at peak performance if the filters are dirty.

Second, look at your air ducts. Do you see any duct tape? Is it in good condition, or peeling and drooping? Replace it if so. Any dirt or dents can indicate problems. Look for any torn or collapsing sections if you have flexible ducts.

Third, turn on your furnace and eyeball the flames. It should be a steady blue. If you see yellow or orange flames that flicker, there may be issues with its combustion. Call a professional to resolve.

Fourth, thermostats need to be cleaned. Take the outer covering off and clean any dirt and dust with cloths or Q-tips.

If your air conditioner compressors are outside, check to see that shrubs or vines (or trees!) haven’t grown over them. If they have, they need to be cut off or they can severely impair the life and function of the unit. Make sure shrubs, vines and trees are pruned. If this looks as if it will be a chronic problem, it’s a good idea to move the landscaping to a different place.

     2.  The Water System

Check every water faucet for signs of leaks and signs of rust. Leakage can cost you in lost water, but they also lead to bigger leaks. Have them fixed at the first sign of leakage.

If you have rust or signs of rust from leaking water, such as reddish stains, have a professional inspect the pipes.

Basement converted to a gym, White Plains, NY

     3.  Attics and Basements

Attics and basements can both be subject to water damage, either from minor flooding or saturated ground in basements or roof leakage in attics. Most of this inspection can be done by carefully eyeballing your attic and basement. Do you see any sign of water damage to stored boxes, for example? Check any wood for signs of rot or water by poking with a screwdriver. Look for signs of mildew. If you see any signs that water leakage is a problem, call a professional who can find and fix the source.

Check your basement and attic for signs of pests as well. Mice, termites, ants and other pests can enter your home by crawling in from the ground through areas in the basement, or from the roof to the attic. Termites leave termite tubes, ants leave trails and mice will chew almost anything. If your insulation or stored camping food has been chewed, you may have mice.

    4.  Roofs

Roofs can lose shingles due to age or winter weather. Other materials can degrade due to the same factors. You also want to make sure that, whatever the composition of your roof, you don’t have birds or other animals nesting on it. They can cause damage that will cost you plenty to repair if the creatures aren’t proactively removed.

Inspect your roof carefully for signs of wear and tear. Roofs in the natural course of events will need to be replaced every 20 to 30 years, so be sure to keep them well maintained to ensure maximum long life.

     5.  Foundations

Look at the foundation for signs of cracks. Hairline cracks are normal, but if they become larger, it’s wise to keep an eye on them. Keep a notebook and note the size of any cracks. If they become noticeably larger at the next inspection period, call a professional for a thorough inspection.

decks and patios

     6.  Decks and Patios

Examine your deck or patio for any sign of wear and tear. Harsh weather may cause damage to either. Both decks and patios, of course, will require maintenance as time goes on. Do you need to remove any vegetation growing around or through cracks in the patio? Does your patio or deck need power washing or a sealant to look its best? Both should be part of regular maintenance. If they have not been, it may be time to institute them every six months.

     7.  Paint

The exterior of a home will need to be painted roughly every ten years. While not strictly speaking a repair, faded or peeling paint can expose your home’s materials to the elements more than if the paint were in good repair. Look at your home’s exterior with a stranger’s eye. Does it look fresh and appealing? If not, it’s time for a new paint job.

Maintaining your home well ensures that minor repairs remain minor, both in cost and in effort needed to fix them. Routine home inspections will ensure that you find any repairs that need to be made.

Author Bio:

Kacey MyaKacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. 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 and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.

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