Ways to Make Cleaning More Fun

No matter what age you are, cleaning is not the most fun activity. It takes time, patience, and sacrifice to clean up an area that has become messy and we are supposed to lead by example right? But what if cleaning is down-right boring and a waste of time in a child’s minds. We get it, they would rather be playing than spending their time cleaning. We want to help you make cleaning more fun for your kids with these four easy tips. 

 

4 Ways to Make Cleaning More Fun

  1. Color Coordination. 

Color coordination is an excellent method for storage plus it can help younger children practice their colors. Use color coordination to store toys, crafts, etc. 

Pro-Tip: Legos are fun, creative game for children, but they can create a mess. Plus, they can be a hazard if left out and stepped on by a family member. Store legos by their color in color containers to help your clean-up process go smoothly. 

  1. Stickers Galore. 

Stickers are a fun way to label boxes. Moms suggest encouraging your child to clean up by rewarding them with a sticker after they put away their toys. Have your kid put the sticker on the box that matches the item represented on the sticker. For example: If you have a toy train, give your child a sticker of a train to place on the box after he/she cleans up. The box will soon be decorated by all of their cleaning accomplishments. 

  1. Just “Doh” It. 

PlayDoh is only fun until it dries out. To prevent over-drying, collect old mason jars and lids for storing your child’s PlayDoh. This can create a clean look for your home while cleaning up the PlayDoh. Plus, your kids will have a blast molding the doh into the shape of the glass for clean-up time! 

4.    Get Jammin’. 

Nothing motivates more than music! Turn on some of your child’s favorite jams to get the cleaning party started. Encourage equal parts dancing and cleaning to get them up and moving. 

 

Hopefully, you can utilize these tips and see a difference in your kid’s attitude towards cleaning. Let us know how you keep your children motivated to clean in the comment section. We love to hear back from our readers. 


How to Keep Your Plants Alive & Well

Some homeowners have the magic touch when it comes to growing plants indoors. Other homeowners may struggle a little bit with letting plants flourish and grow to their full potential. We have three tips and tricks on how to keep your plants alive and well this fall! Let us get started:

 

Tip No. One: Water only when needed (not necessarily when you think): Watering plants can be one of the most tricky things for homeowners to get right. Homeowners tend to lean towards overwatering their plants rather than under watering the soil. If you want an easy trick for watering, stick your finger into the plant’s soil. You will typically want to place it near the edge of the pot to get a good read on its dryness. If the soil is dry, you can water your plant! Experts recommend doing this until you understand your plant’s watering schedule. When you water your plants, lift up the leaves and, using a watering can dampen the soil. You can have a little bit of water underneath your plant, but clean up any excess water that may have occurred. 

Tip No. Two: Use something to help with drainage: From pebbles to gravel, there are solutions for you to help your plant with its draining system. The key to proper drainage is to keep water from your plant’s roots. The excess amount of water can lead to rotting and that means bye-bye plant. If the pot for your current plant does not have holes, you will want to replant in a pot with holes to avoid rotting.

Tip No. Three: Understand what your plant likes: Whether you bought it from a local florist or at a grocery store, you will want the rundown on your plant. You will want to research your plant to the best of your ability to learn things like: does it prefer direct sunlight? Once you understand its lighting and eating preferences, you will be set up for greater success. Say that you do not know what type of plant you own, you can always take it into your local nursery and ask them. They may even give you some tips and tricks that are personalized to your plant type. 

 

We hope you enjoyed these three easy tricks. Make sure to check back weekly for more blogs and updates. 


Sprucing Up a Gray Room

Starting off with a gray palette, whether it be on the walls or from the furniture, may seem a little dull but with the right imagination, you can take it to the next level. It just takes a little extra thought and effort. 

 

Mixing things up depends on how subtle or dramatic you want your surroundings to be. While pops of color like yellow, green, pink and orange will draw the eye, not everyone is looking for such a striking contrast. If you want to inject some color, try these shades in a softer tone and use them sparingly in the room. That way you won’t have to worry about one or two pieces taking over the whole arrangement. Without having to use dramatic colors, you can still bring some excitement to the room. Gray pairs well with black, white, cream and beige. You can still enjoy all the neutral colors you love while having a little bit of distinction sprinkled throughout the room. However, if you are a fan of dramatic contrasts, feel free to display this through a brightly patterned rug, wall art, throw pillows and decorative flowers.

 

In addition to color, another way to make a gray room pop is through decoration. An arrangement of black and white photographs above the sofa or playing up the gray with antique finished furniture are both great ways to add visual interest. A clear glass coffee table that provides a view of the area rug below is an easy way to add a bit of style. To add warmth, use some items that contain earth tones to creating an inviting environment you’ll want to linger in. This can be as interesting as adding a sliding barn door to your entryway or as simple as showcasing your hardwood floors. Whatever style your home favors, grays and browns can work well together in it.

Additional ideas for sprucing up the room would be through texture. A good example of this would be the incorporation of an upholstered chair or richly toned floor length drapery for the windows. From fluffy throw pillows to a large oil painting, there are plenty of ways to add texture and bring a soft touch to a cool, gray room.

            

Feng Shui Home Design Principles – Color

When incorporating Feng Shui principles in the design of the interior of your home you need to give thought to what type of colors you’re going to paint each room. Yes, using colors, based on how they mesh with your energy, is crucial to creating a home that promotes well-being and balanced energy. 

 

The key to effectively using colors that harmonize with Feng Shui principles is to balance out the color scheme. Too much of a dominant color will have your energy in disarray. Here is a guide to finding the right Feng Shui colors for your home!

 

Yellow: In Feng Shui, yellow is associated with sunlight and energy from the Earth. It infuses energy, hope and it increases mental clarity. By using yellow as part of your color scheme you create a sense of stability. Try using yellow in an area of the home such as the office area, living room, or your bedroom.

 

Red: Red is a fiery color which is associated with fire. This color has the power to increase the heart rate and blood pressure. Red also helps alleviate depressions and stimulates activity. You can use this color in areas of the home such as the living room and bedroom.

 

White: White is a pure color that’s often associated with serenity. White and metallic colors are also associated with metal which is one of the five elements of Feng Shui. White can be used in any area of the home.

 

Green: In Feng Shui, green falls under the element of wood. It is a color that promotes growth or action and inspires internal change. Use this color in rooms where the whole family gathers to promote positive energy.

 

Black and Blue: Black and blue represent the element of water. Black can increase mental activity and inspire creativity. On the other hand, blue is good for the body because it decreases accelerated heart and breathing rates while lowering the blood pressure. These colors are ideal for private areas in the home where you retreat to for privacy and solace. 

By using these ideas in your home, the Feng Shui of your space should be more harmonious!

Feng Shui Home Design Principles – The Five Elements

Using ancient Feng Shui can do more than just improve the flow of energy in your home but it will also enhance your quality of life.

 

Five Elements of Feng Shui

Water, wood, earth, fire, and metal are the five elements of Feng Shui. You should try to incorporate at least one of these Feng Shui elements into each room in your home.  Plants or ceramic accessories can represent earth while candles or lamps can stand in for the fire.  Each of these elements will inspire a different mood.  Here are some additional tips for incorporating each element into your decor:

 

Wood –  Wood harnesses creativity. Traits like strength, birth, flexibility, and growth are a representation of wood. Too much wood in a design scheme will make a room feel rigid. Too little shows a lack of creativity. When using wood in your decor be sure to include some of the following.

  • Plants
  • Natural fabrics
  • Wood furnishing
  • Hardwood flooring

 

Fire – Fire increases enthusiasm. It also encourages leadership and expressiveness. Using too much of this element will come off as aggressive and shows irritability. To expand fire elements in a space try the suggestions below.

  • Add candles or allowing more sunlight to flow into your room
  • Accent with animal prints
  • Use shades of red, purple and pink

 

Earth – Earth invokes physical strength while generating an overall sense of stability. Too much of this element in a room will give off sensations of sluggishness and boredom. On the other hand, not enough can make you feel disorganized and unfocused. You can incorporate elements of the earth in several ways.

  • Use earth tones such as brown, green and sandy colors
  • Hang paintings of landscapes or nature scenes
  • Add potted trees and green plants
  • Incorporate flat surfaces

 

Metal – Metal encourages mental clarity and logic. When this element is used within a space it produces characteristics such as organization and righteousness. When used generously in a room it can be perceived as over critical. You can enhance a space with metal used judiciously.  

  • Use iron, gold, or silver fixtures
  • Include rocks and stone
  • Decorate with colors such as white, silver, gray, and light pastel colors

 

Water – Water is the final element in Feng Shui. Water brings inspiration, wisdom and it balances emotions. You can incorporate it into your design scheme through the use of water-like items.

  • Use deep and dark tones
  • Incorporate objects with reflective surfaces such as mirrors
  • Find items that are irregularly shaped
By using these design tips, you can incorporate a Feng Shui design into your home!

Feng Shui Home Design Principles – Furniture Placement

Create a home that both balances energy and promotes overall well-being by implementing Feng Shui home design principles. In interior design, Feng Shui is based on the beliefs that our homes should be a reflection of our what’s inside us. Yes, the purpose of Feng Shui is to align our environment with our inner energy. How can this be done?

 

Implementing Feng Shui home design principles involves giving some thought to what type of accessories you bring into a room as well as furniture placement. According to Feng Shui principles, everything holds energy including inanimate objects. Such principles will help you bring in good vibes and enable the flow of energy.

 

Furniture Placement

One basic concept of Feng Shui you should apply when arranging the furniture of your home is to “command the position.” Commanding the position involves feeling more secure in the room that you’re in and taking charge of the room.

 

If you have a home office, you may be tempted to place your desk in a position that allows you to look out the window and take advantage of the view outside. However, according to Feng Shui concept “commanding the position” you should place your desk in a position that allows you to see most of the room including the doorway Therefore, your workstation should be set up with the window behind it. Remember, the primary function of this room is to get work done and you don’t want to send creative energy out of the window. This would be a more efficient layout.  If you’re set on getting a glimpse of your beautiful view you can angle the desk sideways so that you can still view the entire room while enjoying the view.

 

Living Room

What about the living room area? Ideally, you’ll want to place the sofa against the wall and away from the entryway. However, be sure to leave a few inches between the couch and the wall. One of the biggest Feng Shui mistake that homeowners make when designing the layout of their living room is creating an awkward seating plan that prevents the flow of conversation.

 

Often, in the living room, the television becomes the focal point of the room. Since the living room is the place where the family gathers you should set the television up in a less central spot. According to Feng Shui, you want to avoid letting electronic devices dominate the room.

 

Bedroom

The bedroom should be balanced especially if you’re in a relationship. When designing the layout of the bedroom apply the same concept of “commanding the position”. Your bed should be placed in view of the door but not directly in front of the entryway because this is considered unlucky. Be sure to include bedside tables on each side of the bed. This will represent equality in the relationship. 

5 Tips Towards Reducing Clutter

Clutter can overtake our lives. Sometimes, we grow so accustomed to it that we do not feel like we do need to do anything about it. It is a scary thought to think that we are okay with the clutter-filled lives that we live. Let us be honest, we are not minimalists and we are not saying you need to be one. But reducing clutter can lead to a happier lifestyle, a healthier home, and reduced stress.

 

Before you jump into reducing clutter on your own, we have five tips that we think will be useful for you: 

 

Tip One: Make a Difference. Getting rid of stuff can be difficult, especially when you get in your head. Thoughts like “what if I will need this for ___ one day” or “I have always wanted to use this, but I just have not gotten around to it.” There will always be an excuse or a reason to keep something. A good way to look at it is that you will be making a difference through donations. Donating can help the less-fortunate find items they truly need. While going through your belongings, think of the families in need that you will be helping. You can make a difference right from your own messy garage. 

Tip Two: Only One. The rule of “only one” will help you in rooms like your kitchen, bathroom, and living room. You only need ONE of each thing. For example, you only need one spaghetti strainer or one bottle of bubble bath or one television remote. Once you have reached one, donate the others. 

Tip Three: It Needs a Place to Call Home. A great way to reduce clutter is to only keep items that have a place to be stored. No more storing a massive load of untouched boxes in your garage. Go through all of the items and if you do not have a place to store it, pitch it or donate it. There will definitely be exceptions like if you are housing something for someone else, the items are seasonal decorations, etc. 

Tip Four: Tackle The Untackled. Typically, we avoid sorting and cleaning out areas of our home that are unorganized and messy. That ends today. You want to take a good look at the areas you are ignoring and avoiding and start with those areas. There may be a ton of stuff that you did not even realize you owned! It is a great time to get a fresh start and donate these unused items. 

Tip Five: It Will Not Happen Overnight. A lot of homeowners get stressed and overwhelmed during this process. To reduce stress, give yourself breaks. Whether you go out for a walk or watch a television show, you want to be able to walk away from the project and come back at a later time. Do not over-frustrate yourself. It will get done. It just takes time. 

 

Getting rid of items that you own can be difficult and we understand that. As a reward, you should treat yourself with something special. You worked hard! Go on, you deserve it. 


How to Dress up Your Home’s Outdoors for Fall

Your front porch makes quite the impression; you want to make sure it is a good one! While trick or treaters are roaming the neighborhood, you can wow them with your amazing fall curb appeal. All you have to do is following our 5 tips for dressing up your home’s outdoors this fall: 

 

Tip One: Make It Last. Halloween is quickly approaching and the next thing you will know, it will be over! Be sure to decorate the outside of your home for fall, not just Halloween. By doing this, you can save yourself time and money!

Tip Two: Playoff Your Color Scheme. A lot of homeowners will make the mistake of using too many random colors and hues. A professional tip to keep in mind is to always play off of your current color scheme. When you try to add in new hues and colors, be sure to coordinate with your current color selection. Also, you want to make sure you do not use too many colors. Just stick to three to four new colors when decorating. 

    • Pro-Tip: While deciding on your new colors, be sure to add seasonal hues!

Tip Three: Swap out Simple Items. If you are planning on reusing your decorations each year, it may be easier to swap out your simpler items. Items like potted plants, doormats, front door wreaths, and hanging lights can be simple additions. Plus, these items can make your house look instantly festive without breaking the bank! 

Tip Four: Add a Touch of Something Special. The outside of your home is a special glimpse of the inside of your home. Try and get creative with your outdoors just as you would indoors. If you family just carved pumpkins, be sure to display them! Little touches of creativity can make your home stand out from the rest. 

Tip Five: Power Wash. Before you spend hours decorating, give your home a good power washing. This is the perfect time of year to spruce up your home before your family arrives for the holidays. For professional tips and tricks on power washings, be sure to read our blog: How to Power Wash Your Home

 

We truly hope that you and your loved ones enjoy a safe and fun Halloween!

Color Palette – Teal

For many, the thought of teal color scheme is intimidating. Surprisingly, such a bold color can be really versatile when implemented in a home’s decor. From walls, furnishing and accessories teal can be just the color to add some interest in your design scheme. In this article, we’re going to show you how you can pull of this hue in a way that complements your home’s interior.

 

First, off, teal is a mixture of blue and green. To make it lighter and vivid it’s mixed with white. At its brightest, it’s filled with yellow undertones. Warmer shades of teal have undertones of charcoal which make it darker. At its darkest, it looks similar to slate green.

 

From traditional to contemporary, teal can be incorporated in any style.  Here are some ways you use teal in your interior.

 

All Teal Couch

Can you imagine a teal couch in your formal living room? A teal sofa makes for a great statement piece.  The question is will it blend with your accessories and other pieces of furniture? Although, a bold color in many instances teal acts a neutral.  It complements warm colors such as burgundy, black, and gold.

 

Teal and Navy

Create a soft contrast by combining navy and teal. Such a pairing gives birth to elegance. For instance, you can use navy blue as your wall paint and lots of teal accessories in the space. If you’re feeling especially bold you can incorporate teal furniture to complete the look.

 

Teal and White Dining Room

Do something different with your dining area by using teal and white in this space. Drench the walls in a muted teal with gray undertones. Leave the trim and crown molding crisp white to really make the teal pop. You can even keep it traditional with your choice of dining table and chairs with this design scheme.

 

Teal and Gray

You can ease yourself into a teal decor scheme by using teals with charcoal undertones. By pairing muted teal accessories with gray furnishings, you create a look that is easy on the eyes but still charming.

 

You can also pair teal with different shades of green and blue. 

Color Palette – Yellow

Yellow is a light and airy hue that can take on many different personalities of it’s on. Depending on the shade it can bring the warmth of the sun into a home or the spirit of renewal that occurs in when Spring’s first flowers bloom. According to Feng Shui principles, yellow inspires creativity and promotes communication.  As one of the most vivid colors on the color wheel, using this hue in your home’s decor may seem a bit scary. It doesn’t have to be, the solution is to find the right shade of yellow that works best for your space.

 

There are many different shades of yellow with undertone variations that can completely make a room unique. Here are some of the different variations:

 

Lemon

Lemon-yellow is super bright and cheery.  Such a shade works best in the kitchen because it instantly makes the space more inviting. When working with an intense shade of yellow you can balance the scheme by introducing a dark color such as black. Black and yellow is a stylish color combination.

 

Orange Yellow

If you desire something more unique an orange-yellow is a bit unordinary. This hue has honey orange undertones that are similar to a melon.

 

Medium Yellow

Looking to incorporate a yellow that doesn’t make the room feel too warm? Then you may want to go with a medium yellow which provides the perfect balance. To further add some coolness to your space you can use a complementary color like green or brown.

 

Sunny Yellow

Sun-kissed yellow has some orange undertones and it mimics natural sunlight. Using this variation in a room will make it appear larger and adds tons of lighting.

 

Dandelion

Love dandelion flowers? This shade of yellow is very bright and best suited for the bedroom especially for a kid’s room. Use vibrant accent colors to make the space even more exciting.

 

Buttery Yellow

Yes, buttery yellow like the shade in the picture above is a muted hue. This shade will add such a warm glow to the room that will make your space feel serene and cozy that you’ll never want to the leave your room.