Four Feng Shui Tips To Make Your Home Cozy For Winter

Four Feng Shui tips to make your home cozy for winter

People who’ve heard of feng shui know that it has something to do with the flow of energy around a home and how that flow can be helped or hindered by the way items are placed around a room. But feng shui also responds to the different seasons. Here are four things to do to keep the energy flowing even on the cold days of winter:

Use Warm Colors

Because winter is yin, which means it has the qualities of coldness and darkness, it is balanced by colors that are warm, if not fiery, such as red or orange. These colors are considered yang. Neutral colored pillows, draperies, slip covers and bedclothes should be swapped out for accessories that have these warmer colors and can be bought from places such as Modern Home 2 Go. Fruits and vegetables with warmer hues, such as tomatoes and pumpkins, should be eaten. Even artwork with cool colors like blue or green can be exchanged for artwork with warmer hues, at least for the season.

warm colors

Plug up Drafts

Drafts coming in from leaky windows need to be corrected and the windows themselves covered with warm drapes in bright, warm colors and made of heavy fabrics such as velvet and flannel. Air conditioning units need to be either removed or covered up while they are not in use.

However, on days when it’s sunny and not bitterly cold, move the draperies aside, and let in natural light for a few hours.

Add More Light

Winter is the time to change lightbulbs. This is especially important now because the inefficient, incandescent light bulbs are being phased out. Homeowners should screw in at least one lightbulb that gives full spectrum light that mimics a sunny day, and use halogen, LED or compact fluorescent or CFL lightbulbs. These lightbulbs are more efficient than incandescent bulbs, and LED and CFLs are cooler. Halogen bulbs, however, are hotter, so make sure they are kept well away from anything flammable, including those heavy draperies over the windows.

Candles not only provide light, but can be the focus of calming rituals. Simply light a candle, sit before it, and breathe in and out.

clutter

Declutter

Donate old clothes and other items to charities. This is not only a good thing to do for others but decluttering a home frees up good energy, or chi. Decluttering makes room not only for new items but new ideas.

Following the principles of feng shui saves winter from being the part of the year that just has to be endured. These tips make winter cozy, comfortable and even quietly invigorating.

Beautify Your Winter Wonderland With These 5 Plants

Beautify Your Winter Wonderland With These 5 Plants

Winter is a beautiful and enchanting time of year. With pure white snowfalls and the smell of chimney smoke in the air, it is a time for wonder and awe. While there are many upsides to winter, there are also quite a few drawbacks. One in particular is the frigid temperatures. If your green-thumb is forced to hibernate all winter long, consider some cold hardy plants to spruce up your winter landscape. It will be able to lift the spirits of everyone who walks by right in time for the holidays. Take a look at these five excellent examples of plants that have no problem with a little chill.

Winterberry Holly

Starting off with the most obvious of selections, the Winterberry Holly Bush has become a staple of Christmas. It has beautiful glossy green leaves adorned with the trademark red berries it is known for. This plant should be planted in the spring in order for the roots to take hold and survive the winter. Over the warmer months white flowers will add a decorative touch and will turn to berries when the air grows colder. Once planted this bush will last all year round making sure you never have to worry about a bare yard again.

holly

Winter Glow Pigsqueak

You may want something a bit more subtle than red berries in your yard. If this is the case, consider the Winter Glow Pigsqueak. This shrub has gorgeous bright green leaves that look amazing in contrast with the snow. The only time it may change color is during the fall where it could take on a bronze tone. Aside from the color, this plant is also perfect for the winter because it requires very little upkeep. It grows best in the shade so just make sure you have some trees in your yard as well.

Jacaranda

Some people can never get enough flowers. After the first frost hits, it is often time to say goodbye to the soft petals and sweet fragrances. There is, however, a few types of flowers that may be able to bring some color to your home. Jacaranda trees are able to overlook the winter frost and bloom as if it were springtime. The blueish-purple flowers form in clusters making it truly eye catching. Moon Valley Nursery offers a few different varieties of this tree to make sure you can find the perfect fit for your home.

Winter Jasmine

While the plant itself will last all year round, the flowers will open up in late January. Winter Jasmine gives the bleak winter scenery a pop of bright yellow. It is a climbing plant which make it excellent for decorating a fence or trellis. Being an immensely resilient plant, it will survive through heat and frost, as well as dry or wet soil. Though it will not take much work on your part to keep this plant happy, it will always make it a point to keep a smile on your face.

jasmin

Lemon Tree

Adding a few more trees to your yard is never a bad idea. They provide shade and picturesque scenery that can always be appreciated. Purchasing a lemon tree has these same advantages and more. If you live in a warmer climate you can have lemons any time you want. Even in cooler weather you will be able to look at your perfect landscape and wait for spring for your fruit. Either way, this is a tree that will always have a way to give back.

Winter does not always mean you have to put away your gardening gloves. Though cold hardy plants usually do not require all that much maintenance, plants always grow better with proper attention. For advice about seasonal plants as well as a wide selection of their own, enlist the help of a professional in your area.

7 Ways to Get Your Home Ready for the Chilly Winter Season

winter-home

The tell-tale signs of winter are here: you’re late to work because you can’t bring yourself to get out of the warm bed and your car has trouble starting because of the below-freezing temperatures.

As the cold weather moves in, you may be tempted to flee to a warmer climate. But for most of us, jobs, family and other responsibilities prevent us from becoming expats in the Caribbean.

Instead, it would be wise to focus on how we can make our lives more comfortable and warm with manageable home improvements. Let’s explore seven ways to prep your home for the chilly weather that winter inevitably brings.

Clean Your Chimney and Gather Firewood

There is nothing more quintessentially winter than curling up next to the fireplace. But a poorly maintained fireplace can cause damage to your home and your health. Hire a chimney sweep to clean and inspect your chimney, and ask him or her how to clean it yourself.

Check your chimney flue and cap to ensure they are operating correctly. A missing or loose cap could create water damage or encourage little critters to nest near the warmth of the fire. Store your firewood in a dry place and ready your shovel and poker so that you don’t have to touch the hot surfaces directly.

Check Windows and Doors for Leaks           

You might remember your grandparents carrying on about drafts, but they were on to something. Check out the weather stripping around exterior doors, and install storm doors as an extra layer of protection if you’ve got them. Caulk around windows when you see gaps to keep cold air where it belongs.

Insulate Your Garage Door

Most people think to check windows and doors, but your garage door should also get some love. Consider an insulated garage door, which will keep energy costs down and cut down on noise pollution.

There is an added benefit to updating your garage door: since it is one of the largest exterior surfaces of your home, you can add a lot of curb appeal by updating its style. So this move makes sense economically and aesthetically in addition to warming you up this winter.

Inspect Your Furnace and Boiler

Many of us just assume our heating and hot water will come on when we want it to, no questions asked. If pressed, you might not even be able to say where your furnace and boiler are, or how they function.

The system of pipes and heating varies from home to home, but the one consistent is that they should be inspected every winter. If it is time to replace older systems, expect to gain some energy efficiency and lower your bills.

Purchase a Generator

Lots of people who lived through Snowmaggedon or the Polar Vortex remember living without power for days on end. At first the candlelight was charming, but that wore off quickly.

A generator would provide a backup power source should you lose power in your home. If you want a generator for convenience or for safety – say, if a family member needs refrigerated medication or an electric medical device – there are several factors to consider. Among them are installation, sound and cost. But if an alternate power source is a must for you, then purchasing a generator is an important part of getting your home ready for winter.

Drain the Outdoor Plumbing, Ready for Frozen Pipes

One of the most common winter mistakes first time homebuyers make is not draining the water from faucets and hoses that sit outside the home. Frozen pipes can burst and cause immense damage to the home. Disconnect hoses and store them inside to prevent freezing and cracking.

Once you’ve got the outdoor plumbing taken care of, be on the looking for indoor plumbing that might freeze, like pipes that sit against exterior walls. If your faucet produces just a drip of water, it’s a sign of a frozen pipe. Leave the faucet on, and apply heat using a hair dryer, towels soaked in hot water or an electric heating pad. As the pipe thaws, water will drip out of the open faucet. Continue until your regular water pressure is restored.

Prepare Your Pantry

The kitchen is probably the hub of activity in your home, and for that reason it should get a little winter preparation as well.

Stock the pantry with chicken broth, canned beans and crushed tomatoes so that you can pull together a quick chili in a pinch. Grab cocoa and marshmallow for the requisite hot chocolates.  And update your recipe box with some popular winter recipes, so that you can keep your family warm inside and out.

Most of us look forward to the holidays, more time spent before the fire and cozy scarves and mittens. But the reality of a cold, harsh winter is anything but romantic. So prepare your home for winter weather before the snow men show up in your front yard.

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.

https://twitter.com/kacey_mya

https://www.pinterest.com/kaceymya/

https://www.instagram.com/thedriftercollective/

The Most Important Winterization Projects For Your Home

The Most Important Winterization Projects For Your Home

Winterizing your home is extremely important because it cuts energy use and costs and can help you and your family stay safe and warm during the long, cold months of winter. However, many homeowners don’t know where to start, or have trouble figuring out which projects to tackle first. The most important projects are those that will save you money while keeping your home safe from winter’s ravaging winds and temperatures, and many of them are easy to do.

Here are a few of the best ways to winterize your home and save money.

Ceiling fans

When the winter months come knocking, check your ceiling fans. Most of them come equipped with a switch that will allow you to change the airflow direction, meaning running it in reverse will pull warm air down from the ceiling. This can cut your heating costs by about ten percent, making it a quick, easy project that will show real results.

Clean those filters

Air filters can get dirty fast, especially in the furnace. Check and replace them often in winter months to keep airflow steady and to keep your furnace from kicking on needlessly and running at a high demand.

Replace windows and doors

If you can feel a cold breeze coming through the cracks around your windows and doors, it might be time to consider replacing them. Storm windows will help seal in warm air, keeping you from paying outrageous heating bills during winter months. Storm doors can also help save you money and will give you the extra benefit of allowing light and solar heat into your home.

Consider smart technology

Setting the thermostat at a lower temperature can help save you quite a bit of money during colder months, especially when you’re not home. It may be a little cooler when you return, but it will be worth it in the long run. Consider installing a “smart” thermostat that allows you to program the temperature from anywhere with a remote.

Clean the gutters

Making sure the gutters on your home are free of debris and leaves will ensure that water can flow freely rather than pool up and freeze, which can cause myriad problems in winter months.

Check your water heater

Before the coldest months hit, flush your water heater to remove any sediment that might hinder the heater’s ability to work up to its potential. Then, lower the temperature to make sure it won’t heat the water too much. 120 degrees is just about perfect, and will keep your heater from working overtime.

Don’t Forget the Pool

To get your pool ready for the winter, start by closing it and adjusting the pH to the appropriate level, adjusting water hardness to the proper level of calcium, adjusting alkalinity and chlorine, and then cleaning and storing equipment. Don’t forget to clean the pool filtration system.

 

 

 

 

New Home Owner? 5 Ways to Winterize Your Home

The winter season is known as a time when harsh weather arrives in most locations. From high winds to heavy snowfall, the weather can wreak havoc on a residential building. To winterize your property and keep it safe, there are a few important steps to take.

New Home Owner? 5 Ways to Winterize Your Home

Ventilate Your Home’s Attic

Add fans in the attic and install a vent to allow cool air to circulate in the space, which will prevent ice dams from forming on the roof. The attic influences the temperature of the roofing materials and will reduce the risk of damage if it’s kept at a moderate temperature.

Cut Tree Branches

Raccoons, squirrels, and small critters often look for shelter on residential properties during the winter season. Prevent the animals from making a home on your roof by cutting back tree branches that provide access to the building. This will also protect the home from damage when heavy storms arrive, which can cause the branches to have contact with the roof.

5 Ways to Winterize Your Home

Seal Drafts on the Walls

Drafts can cause cool air to come into the home and will also allow heat to escape due to holes that have formed in the siding or walls of the building. Caulk the drafts to seal the cracks or holes to reduce your energy usage and keep your home comfortable.

Repair Your HVAC System

It’s important to ensure that your HVAC system is working well to ensure that it will heat your home during the winter months. Hire a professional like Doctor Fix-It to inspect the system and make any repairs that may be necessary. This will reduce the risk of the unit breaking in the middle of the night or during a snowstorm when you’re in need of heat.

Replace Missing Shingles or Tiles

One of the most common problems during the winter season are leaks that can develop in the wet climate. You can prevent water damage by replacing missing shingles or tiles on the roof. Hire a professional to inspect the structure and secure new materials with roofing cement that is applied onto the roof deck.

When you want to winterize your home and prepare it for the cold season ahead, there are several ways to get your property ready. By taking the right steps, you can feel comfortable spending plenty of time indoors and reduce the risk of damage to your home.