Making Your Yard Beautiful and Functional

During the holidays we tend to focus on decorating, but now is a good time to begin thinking about more extensive home improvement projects. Starting now gives you plenty of time to daydream, research and plan. When spring rolls around you will want to get out and use your yard as much as possible so focus on developing the outdoors as much as improving the indoors. Yard improvement projects should be affordable, beautiful and customizable. Here are a few more considerations.

Entertainment

One of the best ways to enjoy a backyard is to entertain. People gather over food, so install an outdoor kitchen complete with a barbecue, dining table and bar. People also like to gather around a fire, but go beyond the traditional firepit by installing a custom fireball California feature sure to be a distinctive conversation piece. For interesting juxtaposition, place the fire feature near a pool, water fountain or pond.

Fun

You want to use your yard for your own pleasure and recreation rather than join the latest fad. Before installing anything, consider how you and your family use the yard and what you like to do. In hot climates, backyard pools seem like a great idea but if you don’t like to swim they are a waste of space. The same is true for any item you can add to your yard. Treehouses are trendy but will not get much use of you are afraid of heights. Flower gardens can be lovely but they require constant attention; if you hate weeding they may not be for you.

Sustainability

A wide expanse of lush lawn can keep the yard and house cooler during the hot summer months but it may use too much water if your area is subject to drought. Planting trees is always a good idea no matter where you live. Well-placed trees can save you money cooling the house during summer and heating it during winter. Trees also provide oxygen, combat pollution and reduce erosion while adding to the value and beauty of your property.…

Easy Ways to Save on Your Energy Bill

One of the worst things for a home owner is to waste money around the home, especially if it could be prevented. If you’re a homeowner who’s tired of seeing your energy bill increase every month, it may be time to assess your energy usage around the home and look for ways to cut costs. Luckily, there are several small things you can do around the home that doesn’t require much work but could result in major savings.

Automate Your Thermostat

Are you still manually setting your thermostat each day out of habit? If you are, you may find that sometimes you forget to change the settings, resulting in your home being inefficiently heated or cooled. It’s time to invest in a programmable thermostat, which takes the guesswork out of managing your home’s heating and cooling settings. You can set it up to automatically work only when you’re home which can result in major energy savings.

Check Your Windows

Take a look at your windows and think about when they were last replaced. If it’s been several years since they’ve been evaluated or replaced, you could be losing energy simply by having poorly-insulated windows throughout your home. To save money on your bills and prevent energy loss, hire window contractors lake county il to install a better solution that will last.

Replace Bulbs

Think about the light bulbs you’re using throughout your home. Are you using energy-efficient solutions that are designed to last or still using the same traditional bulbs you’ve been using for years? If you’re still using traditional bulbs you could be wasting money just by having the lights on in your home. While your initial investment in newer bulbs can be costly, it can quickly pay off in more efficient usage resulting in lower electricity bills each month.

Follow these helpful tips and you should begin to see major energy savings throughout your home.…

Attractive Security Features for Your Home

Homeownership is a joy but it comes with many burdens and it can keep you up at night. On a practical level, a house is a major investment, and you want to make sure it’s secure and not losing value. On another level, however, your house is a lot more than just a pile of money. It’s the place where you and your family sleeps. You want to make sure it’s secure as possible.

Lights

If you’re looking for safety features that will add value and security without detracting from the aesthetic appeal of your home, consider adding external lighting. It’s a small thing, but lights can be a detriment to predators and pests alike, and they add visual interest to your home and landscaping. Look for exterior lighting Overland Park or your area to see if there’s a lighting solution that’s right for you.

Door

One of the features that is almost universally known to add value to a property is a better, stronger door. If you don’t already have one, there are a plethora of options available, whatever your needs. A plain old wooden door just isn’t going to be as durable as a steel one, for example.

Smart Tech

If you’re already thinking of upgrades, remember that new security technology is being invented all the time. Cameras are smaller and better than ever before, and they can sync directly to your phone. With some smart home options, you can check everything from the front door to whether you left the oven on all from the phone already in your pocket. Be smart about this, though: remember that cyber criminals aren’t going to be kicking down your door.

Your home is your castle, after all. It only makes sense to check the proverbial moat every once in a while and make sure it doesn’t need repairs.…

Best Bedroom Upgrades

When it comes to home upgrades, many people focus on the kitchen and bathroom. While these rooms are important, it’s easy to forget about one of the more private areas of the home, your bedroom. You might not spend as much time in your bedroom as you do in the other areas of your home, but its appearance still matters. Here are three of the best bedroom upgrades for your home.

Lighting

Just because you sleep in your bedroom doesn’t mean your lighting doesn’t matter. A new light fixture can instantly add style to the space. Change dull, boring ceiling fixtures for something a little bolder. Modern table lamps can have a significant impact as well.

Don’t forget about natural lighting. Allowing natural light into your bedroom can have major benefits, but that doesn’t mean you should leave your windows bare. Instead, look at installing blinds or curtains that match the rest of your décor.

Flooring

Carpeting is soft underfoot, but it can be a lot to maintain. Instead of carpet, why not consider hardwood floors san leandro ca? Hardwood adds a touch of natural beauty and they’re much easier to care for. If you want to have a little softness underfoot, you can lay down an area rug. There are several options to choose from, so you’re sure to find a hardwood solution that fits your tastes and style.

Bed and Mattress

Your bed is the most important piece of furniture in your bedroom. A comfortable mattress is a must for a good night’s sleep. A great mattress deserves an incredible bedframe. There are countless options for your new bed, enabling you to select the style that best suits you. To top it all off, stylish new bedding can help to tie the whole look together.

With the right bedroom upgrades, you can turn your sleeping space from dull and drab to an inviting, relaxing oasis.…

When You Need A New Hobby You Need Some Advice

Hobbies are activities that you love to do, but may not have the ability to become a professional in. In fact, it was proven scientifically that some hobbies can relieve depression and anxiety. If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from either, all the more reason to keep reading these great hobby related tips.

Reading is a fun hobby that anyone can take up. It is an inexpensive hobby too, because you can visit your local library and borrow books for free. You can also purchase books at discounted prices at yard sales and book swaps. A fun way to share your love of books is to join or start a book club.

Turning your kids onto hobbies at an early age can help them in a number of ways, and studies suggest it can also keep them on the straight and narrow. Children who engage in extra-curricular sports, art activities, and different clubs available tend to do better in school as well. Introduce them to many hobbies, and let them choose their favorite!

If you don’t have a hobby yet that you enjoy doing, it’s time to find one. The first step to take in finding the perfect hobby for you is to consider whether you want to do it alone or with a group. Either option has its benefits and its pitfalls.

If you are looking for an intellectual hobby, but don’t have a lot of money to spare, try reading and writing. Books can be obtained very cheaply at yard sales or thrift shops, and writing requires little more than paper and pen. Both keep you busy, teach you things, and will expend your creative energies in positive ways!

If you’re itching for a new hobby, but don’t know what to do with yourself, consider learning a new language. There are many free resources, such as online or at your local library, and utilizing them is fun and easy. Also, you won’t just be keeping yourself busy, you’ll be learning a marketable skill!

Only do hobbies you enjoy. It can be really easy to be talked into something by someone close to you, only to find out that you really don’t enjoy the hobby at all. If this happens to you, find a kind way to bow out. Life is too short to spend hours doing something you don’t really like.

A fun hobby that some people might enjoy is celebrity gossip. Celebrities always seem to getting into love quarrels and spats and we just eat it all up. There are magazines dedicated to this and even blogs and websites too. So you can make your obsession into a full blown hobby if you want to.

As you can see, there are many things that you may not have known about hobbies. People all over the world enjoy dancing, drawing, crafting and a good deal more activities that can all become fun hobbies. Use the tips from this article to your advantage, and you will find that your life is better with a hobby.…

Getting The Most From A Vibrant Organic Garden

Gardening has its ups and downs. Being in the midst of a thriving garden, refreshes many people, while the stresses involved in maintaining the garden, bother them to no end. This article serves to lessen those stresses, with some straightforward pieces of advice to help your gardening experience.

When uprooting a perennial plant, you should start digging at its drip line. Dig a trench around the plant, and cut any roots that extend beyond that trench. You can tie stems together to avoid damaging the plant during the process. Once all the roots are severed lift the plant carefully by its main stem.

If this is your first time planting a garden, you should purchase seeds and plant them in seed trays to allow them to grow some before planting them outside. By doing this, your plant will be stronger and much more likely to survive once you plant it in the soil outside.

To save money, consider making your own garden fertilizer. For instance, broken eggshells make a great fertilizer for small gardens, indoor plants and container plants. Mix the eggshells throughout the soil to get the best effect. Eggshells even have the added benefit that they aerate the garden soil as well.

To make birds stay away from the produce you’re growing in your garden, tie mylar balloons near your plants. These will scare away the birds and keep your fruit and veggies safe until you’re ready to pick them. Silver balloons or balloons that sparkle in the sun make especially effective bird repellents.

Go green and try to conserve as much water as possible in your garden. One way to do this is to take the water from steaming or boiling vegetables and water your plants with it. The enriched water also has the benefit of acting as a fertilizer and will give your plants a boost.

Have a good stretch before starting gardening work. A good five to ten minute stretch will help loosen the muscles and get the heart rate up. The bodies’ muscles work better and are less prone to injuries when properly warmed up. Walk around the garden a few times and do a few simple stretches and the time in the garden will be a more enjoyable experience.

When you are planning where to put your garden, choose a location that allows it to get plenty of sun. If you place it in the shade, you will be restricting the types of plants that you are able to grow. For example, tomatoes need a lot of sunshine to thrive and a shaded area just won’t work for them.

To get rid of weeds and household junk at the same time, use shredded junk mail as a fertilizer. Take the shredded pieces of mail, wet them, and lay them in your garden. This will prevent weeds from growing on the places where they are laid, and will also help your plants to fight off diseases.

The tips provided in this article can make your gardening experience a far more enjoyable and less stressful one. The positive aspects of gardening are many and maintaining a garden can be far simpler than one might think. Should you encounter issues during your gardening, give a look at the advice from this article and try some out.…

Simple Interior Design Tips Any Homeowner Can Use

It is no secret that interior design is a subject that intimidates countless individuals. All too often, the only thing standing between you and a beautiful home is a bit of knowledge and appreciation of design techniques. Apply the ideas in this piece to your own living space and you will soon have a home that impresses friends and family alike with its glamor.

In a family room, try to arrange your furniture into centers. Have a center devoted to watching television, a center devoted to reading and a center devoted to conversation with family and friends. This is a great way to break up your furniture, give the room visual appeal and make the space user friendly too.

A great interior design tip is to start going to more yard sales and thrift stores. You’d be amazed at some of the unique things that you can find at these avenues versus the typical places like Ikea. You might come across a great end table or beautifully decorated vase.

Use brightly colored fabrics to add a bit of life to a drab room. A few toss pillows or a throw in a brightly colored fabric can add instant appeal to an otherwise boring room. Continue the theme with a piece of artwork or a vase of flowers featuring the same color, tying the room together.

A great interior design tip is to learn the art of subtlety. Some people prefer gaudy styles and that’s perfectly fine. But a lot of people just end up with tacky decorating because they’re overzealous and just don’t know when to stop themselves. All you have to remember is the saying “more is less”.

If you are planning on having a baby, try to set aside a room near the master bedroom to hold your child. This is important as you do not want to have to walk a long way to get to your baby in the middle of the night when he or she is crying.

Replacing your kitchen cabinets can be a cost effective and easy way to drastically change the look of your kitchen. Glass fronted doors are an excellent option, and they help to open your space up and bring in light. You can place a few accent pieces in those cabinets to further add to the visual appeal of your space.

Avoid catering to any design trends that are currently popular. These trends are often expensive, and they’ll be out of style fairly quickly. Go with something timeless that you think looks good. Don’t let what current trends say are good influence how you want your place to look. Follow your heart, not a trendy magazine.

Interior design may seem like something of which it is impossible to gain mastery. The truth is, however, that education is the key to solving any design conundrum you face. Take advantage of the information in the article above and you will never again question what to do with the many rooms in your home.…