Houseplants for a Busy Life

Depending on the hustle and bustle involved in your schedule, it may be difficult for you to invest in high-maintenance plants. Would not it be great if our plants could just water themselves so we would not feel as guilty when we forget about them? Good news, there are certain plants that do not demand as much time and care. 

 

Houseplants for a Busy Life

Cactus & Succulents. These plants are extremely popular with busy homeowners because they look nice, but do not require a lot of maintenance. 

How to care for them:

If your cacti/succulent is in “the growing period,” they should be watered at least once a week. When you water them, make sure the soil is pretty soaked and excess water should run through the draining holes. Their “resting period” tends to begin when the weather gets colder and the days become shorter. You will want to water the plants less during this time and let the soil become dry between waterings. There will be exceptions to this rule if your cacti grow in the winter-time. To be absolutely certain, consult with your local nursery upon purchasing. 

Aloe Vera Plant. Your first thought is probably that Aloe Vera helps cuts and burns, but this plant can also add an aesthetic beauty to your household. 

How to care for them:

The rule of thumb for this plant is that it needs to be watered when the soil dries. It is important to notice when the soil is drying because late reactions can cause shriveling or wilting of the plant. Soil tends to dry completely within two-three weeks.

Snake Plant/Sansevieria. This thick plant takes on a cool, wavy texture that will add interest to a room. 

How to care for them:

These plants tend to prefer to be drier in the winter months. Experts say to water these plants about every two-three weeks. 

Dwarf Umbrella Tree. This plant will be a classic addition to any room by adding a touch of greenery and delicacy. Also, these plants have the added benefit of being an air filter. 

How to care for them:

These plants can be watered a couple times a month and are perfect for your home office. 

‘Campfire’ Crassula. This plant immediately demands attention with its dramatic colors and beauty. 

How to care for them:

This plant can be watered weekly, but if it is experiencing extremely hot temperatures consider watering it more frequently. 

 

Plants truly are the perfect decorative pieces for our homes. They bring a colorful allure to any space and ultimately make a home more inviting. Consider investing in one of these various plants that do not make you sacrifice valuable time. 


Repot Your Plants

Spring cleaning does not just involve cleaning your home, but it requires crucial maintenance for your plants. When springtime rolls around, it is important to take a look at your plants’ health. Plants should be transferred to larger pots to help their growth. The larger pot will assist your plants in getting its key nutrients and bring back any color it may have lost. You will need to take a look at your plant’s health and decide if it needs repotting. Some plants can go a couple years without repotting, but others may need more attention and up-keeping. 

 

Your Supply List: 

  • A plant
  • Large Pot (should be approximately 2 inches larger than your original pot)
  • Soil 
  • Water 

 

How to repot your plant:

  1. Consider your work environment. 

Repotting a plant can get messy quickly, consider taking your plant outdoors to work on repotting it. 

  • ONLY take your plant outside if it is warm enough because indoor plants can go into “shock” if exposed to low temperatures. 
  • Never place your indoor plants outdoors during cold months. 

2.  Remove your plant. 

In order to properly remove your plant, you will need to flip the pot upside and lightly take hold the plant’s stem. Once you have the plant’s stem in your hand, pull the plant out by its stem. 

3. Begin to add soil to the new pot. 

Cover the bottom of your larger pot with potting soil, but leave room for your plant.

4. Place your plant in the larger pot. 

5. Sprinkle more soil into the pot.

6. Water your repotted plant often.

7. Keep an eye on your plant for about a week. 

Your plant just changed homes, let it recuperate. Keep an eye out to make sure it handles the move well. 

 

Ultimately, repotting your plants is great for the plant as well as you. Dull plants can be a bit of an eyesore. Always keep an eye on your plants to see how they are growing in their new home. Your newly repotted plants should avoid direct sunlight for about a week and a half. 


Choosing and Using Area Rugs

When choosing an area rug there are several factors to consider such as the shape, size, and design. 18

 The type of room you are decorating will help determine the shape and size of the area rug you want to choose. Round rugs work well in wide rooms; they are often placed under hanging light fixtures. Long rectangular rugs work great in hallways, and rectangular or square rugs work best for dividing spaces in large rooms.

The design and type of rug are also important features. For the environmentally conscious, a natural fiber rug is a good option. Not only are they environmentally and budget friendly, they are also incredibly versatile. There are many different fibers to choose from such as bamboo, hemp, seagrass, jute and sisal.  If your decorating style is more exotic, consider Turkish, Morrocan, Oriental, or Persian rugs. Each have their own unique styles and options. Do you prefer a classic style? Consider a French Aubusson rug. For a plush and luxurious rug, there are many options of textured wools and hide rugs. If durability is important, the Indian Dhurrie rug might be the one for you.

Knowing how to use your rug to accentuate your space is important. Here are a few tips.

In a room with multiple area rugs use matching colors. This creates harmony in the space when there are multiple area rugs. Another option is to choose different shapes or patterned area rugs that share the same color palette. This strategy helps to distinguish between different areas of a large open space such as a dining room, and a living room. There is still harmony, but the space is distinguished by the different rugs.

 It is easier to combine differing solid colors than patterned rugs. It is also easier when one of the colors is neutral. Rugs impact the way a space is viewed. In an open room, a “floating space” can be anchored down by a rectangular area rug. In smaller spaces or rooms, buy a rug that exceeds the furniture to make the space appear larger.

These are a few strategies and ideas as you embark on the journey of finding the best area rug for your home. Please contact us with any questions.

House Warming Party

At last, you have finished your house and it turned out to be everything you could have ever imagined. You decide to celebrate the accomplishment with a house warming dinner party. If you enjoy cooking, dinner parties are a great opportunity to show off your culinary skills while showing off your new place. 

 

Here is how to throw a killer dinner party:

 

Send out your invites.

Pick a date and a time for your housewarming party. After you have decided, send out your invitations at least two-three weeks in advance. The early, the better. Make sure to have a date to RSVP by because you will need the amount of people coming for grocery list. 

Properly set your table. 

Charger Plates: For a formal dinner table setting, you will place your dinner plate & soup/salad bowl on top of the “charger.” Your charger plate acts a base for your setting and will remain during the duration of the main meal. You will take away your guests’ charger plates once the dessert is served. 

Dessert: Bring the dessert fork and plate come out with the dessert. 

Cups: The coffee cups will sit in the right corner above the silverware. Your wine glasses and water glasses will sit to the left of the coffee cups. 

Forks: The forks will sit to the left of your dinner plate. The dinner fork will be placed on the inside, closest to the dinner plate and the dessert fork will be placed on the outside left hand side. 

Spoons: Place the soup spoon on the far right. Your beverage spoons will lay in between the soup spoon and your dinner knife.

Knife: The knife will be on the righthand side closest to the dinner plate. 

Personalize the table. 

Name cards: Place a name card on each of your guests place. This will help your guests find their seats and feel special. Also, this gives you a chance to have certain people sit next to one another. 

Menu: You can provide a menu of the food you will be serving that night. Adding a menu adds a touch of class to your dinner table. 

Dec(orate) to impress.

Engage your guests’ eyes with a gorgeous centerpiece. You could put out an arrangement of flowers, candles, vases, etc. 

Delight their taste buds. 

Be aware of any allergies or restrictions your guests may have towards food. It is important to be respectful of their restrictions without overcompensating the rest of your guests’ meals. You can always provide an alternative main course option for guests with allergies (keep it simple).  Guests will appreciate the thoughtfulness you showed when preparing your meal with them in mind. 

 

We hope you thoroughly enjoy your house warming party and that all of your friends love your new place! 


Don’t Waste an Entire Day Cleaning the House!

In today’s world, there aren’t enough hours in the day to complete our tasks. Who wants to spend an entire day cleaning the house, especially when time is a precious commodity? If you have an unexpected guest coming over, or you just procrastinate cleaning the house, we have some basic tips for cleaning the house fast!

  • Concentration and Focus – The first tip is lay down your phone! You must stay hyper focused on the task at hand, and not get distracted by other tasks. Clean one room at a time.
  • Start at the Top – Always start at the top and clean down. This way dirt and dust falls to the lower uncleaned surface. Dust ceiling fans first, then dust the furniture top to bottom.
  • Bedrooms – Strip bed linens and remake bed. Clear all visible clutter by placing in a basket to organize later. Dust ceiling fans and light fixtures. Dust window sills. Dust all furniture top to bottom with dusting spray and microfiber cloth.
  • Bathrooms – Cleaning all bathrooms at one time is key. Dust light fixtures and window sills. Clear counters and spray down counters, tubs and toilet with cleaner. Allow the cleaner to sit while you go to the next bathroom to clear and spray down. Go back to bathroom and clean counters, tub and toilets, then clean the mirrors. Come back and clean bathroom baseboards and floors after you have cleaned the kitchen floor.
  • Living & Dining Room –  Clear all clutter first. Start dusting in one corner of the room and work clockwise. Clean ceiling fans, light fixtures, dust window sills, and dust all furniture top to bottom. Use your vacuum cleaner’s attachment on upholstered furniture.
  • Kitchen – First, load dishwasher. Fill the sink with hot soapy water and a small amount of cleaner. If your stove has burner frames, remove and put in soapy water. Dust ceiling fans, light fixtures and window sills. Clear all counter tops and table/desk tops. Dip cleaning sponge in soapy water and wipe down cabinets and counters, top to bottom. Be sure to rinse sponge in hot water and you’ll be amazed at how much dirt rinses out. Wipe down all kitchen appliances, top to bottom. Wiping down appliances will help to eliminate finger prints.
  • Floors – Clean all hardwood floors at one time, clean tile floors together, and so on. When vacuuming carpeted floors, work your way backwards out of the room and try not to overlap with vacuum. Vacuum hardwood floors using the attachment for corners and baseboards. This eliminates dust in the air and settling again.
  • Steam Mop – Steam mops make cleaning floors much faster than using a basic mop. Plus, you are using water to steam away dirt and germs, instead of cleaners. Invest in a steam mop!

 We look forward to hearing your feedback and comments, and don’t forget to let us know your tips and tricks!

The Influence of Dark and Light in Design

When formulating a design strategy for your home, it is important to consider how light and dark will influence your choices in flooring, furniture and wall color.  Keep in mind what direction your home faces, which rooms are cooler or warmer, and which areas of the house have minimal natural light available.  These are all pieces of useful information you will need to bring out the best parts of your home’s traits.  It will also help you provide solutions to some of its disadvantages.

 

Rooms that receive a lot of natural light can afford to be decorated with darker furniture and flooring.  The rich colors will come to life when the sun shines through.  Using a lighter but vivid wall color with your decor will also keep the focus on the room’s darker aspects and keep the design looking dramatic. If the light coming from the windows is insufficient in the next room on your list, try using a lighter color palette to help make the room appear larger and less dingy.   Bright earth tones will give the room a crisp, refreshing look. Pair it with glass decor and mirrors for artificial light sources to reflect in order to counteract the darkness.

 

Proper lighting coverage in each room of your home will help provide the best contrast from dark to light when transitioning from day to night. No matter how well some rooms may receive the sunshine, they will all be needing artificial sources of light by day’s end.  Do not underestimate the usefulness of a light dimmer. This will allow you to stage each room with the proper amount of light needed depending on the time of day, room design or even to please your houseguests.  Bedrooms can use softer yellow bulbs while high traffic areas can use a sharper white light to keep things bright and active.

 

Finally, consider how the use of cooler and warmer colors can be beneficial to the appearance of each room to help accentuate the light and dark to its best advantage.   Each space needs to feel comfortable and inviting. Mixing colors, textures and lines as your baseline in design will allow you to come up with the most flattering contrasts in your home.

Clean These Things!

Spring! The weather has already begun to change and moods have begun to be lifted. But, there is one thing you do not want to bring into your spring: germs. Spring cleaning is the ideal time to clean out your house from unwanted items and messes. This spring, focus on cleaning the places that attract unwanted germs. 

 

Where to clean:


The Remote. There are some truly horrifying statistics about how dirty our remotes are and the reason why they are extremely dirty: everyone touches it! No matter how clean or hygienic you may be, you cannot guarantee others are just as clean and hygienic. You and your family should clean the remote regularly, but especially this spring to avoid transferring germs from winter into your springtime. 

Materials: Alcohol-based wipe. 

What to do: Clean the remote thoroughly with your wipe. 


Toothbrushes. We will spare you the specific details on how dirty your toothbrushes are, but the reason why they become so dirty: your toilet. When you flush, the bacteria enters the air and remains in it for approximately two hours. It is important to keep your toothbrush in a closed space away from the toilet, but also allow it to dry. 

  • Replace your family’s toothbrushes every two-three months. 
  • Always remember to close the toilet’s lid before flushing. 
 

Handles & Door Knobs. Think about it, they are touched constantly without us even realizing it. Even when someone is sick, they still need to touch a door knob. Clean off all door knobs and handles leading to anything. This can get tedious, but so can your family members getting ill. 

Materials: Alcohol-based wipes or preferred cleaning product with a cloth. 

  • Note: Do not forget light switches. 
 

Dishwasher. They contain leftover food and residue, enough said. Cleaning your dishwasher can be done in three easy steps: 

1. Clean out the dishwasher’s drain. This is located beneath your bottom dish rack and may contain unwanted food and residue. 

2. Begin a vinegar wash with 1 cup of white vinegar. You will place the vinegar in a dishwasher safe cup and keep it there during the duration of the cycle. 

3. Lastly, you will complete a baking soda rinse. You will sprinkle one cup of baking soda on the bottom of your dishwasher

  • Complete these rinses on “hot-water cycles.”
 

Fans. Think of all the dust it leaves in your room. Cleaning off your fans will help with allergies from dust. 

Materials: Extendable duster or a cloth and a ladder. 

 

We hope you and your family stay happy and healthy with these simple tips and that your spring cleaning is efficient and effective this season!


Mulching 101

Spring is quickly approaching us and so are all the responsibilities that come along with it. Mulching your garden beds is important to do in mid-to-late spring. It is never too early to start preparing to take care of your gardens. 

 

Mulching your garden:

Prepare. You have the option to mulch your garden with either organic or inorganic mulch. There are benefits and disadvantages to the different types of mulches and ultimately, it will be your opinion on which you prefer. Keep in mind that the reason we mulch is to keep moisture in our soil!

Organic mulch: decomposes the materials they are made up of overtime. 

  • This type of mulch will add nutrients to your soil but is messier than inorganic mulch. 
  • Bark, manure, wood chips, straw, shells, and leaf mold are all categorized under organic mulch. 

Inorganic mulch: works to eliminate the growth of moss. 

  • This type of mulch is great if you need to keep the leaves of your plant dry because the mulch will not splash onto the leaves.
  • Gravel, stones, and pebbles are considered to be inorganic mulch.

Organic mulch is known to be more of a “functional” mulch and inorganic mulch is known to be there more for the beauty aspect. After you decided on your mulch’s purpose, you will need to pick up your mulch. The amount of mulch you need depends on how big your garden is.

Pull the weeds. Before you begin mulching, you will need to remove all the weeds from the ground. 

Landscaping fabric. This is an optional step, but if you choose to use any landscaping fabric, it goes underneath the mulch. 

Place the mulch. Remember that the more, the merrier! You will need approximately 2-4 inches of mulch. Since its main purpose is to help retain the moisture in our soil, we need a lot of mulch to have a happy garden. 

Disperse the mulch. We now want to disperse the mulch into an even layer. You can use a rake or tool of your preference to complete this step. 

 

Remember to mulch this spring because, mulching is important for a successful, happy garden. 


10 Items That Will Improve your Porch

Creating an outdoor living space is easier than one may think. The key is to decorate in the same manner as you would an interior. Think furniture with accent pillows, floors (rugs), lighting and accessories. It is important to cover all of the layering basics.

We have a list of things you can place in this area to improve any outdoor living space!

  1. Provide separate seating for relaxing and dining. Many people serve meals outdoors during the spring and summer. It is more comfortable to have a separate place to sit and relax, rather than only having chairs around an outdoor dining table. Do not do this if the available space will not accommodate two seating areas. When space is limited, decide which type of seating you would use more, dining or relaxing. Adding accent tables and a coffee table can serve as a way to accommodate beverages and snacks.
  2. Lighting is important in this area. Hang some string lights to add a romantic outdoor glow to your space.
  3. An outdoor rug with an exciting pop of color or pattern.
  4. A portable fire pit. These are perfect if you do not have one that has been custom built. They can be used to make smores or simply cuddle up by on cool evenings!
  5. Planting flowers and herbs that naturally repel mosquitos are a great way to naturally protect you and guests. Not to mention they look and smell nice. Basil and lemon grass are a few of many mosquito repelling plants.
  6. Music is a perfect way to set the mood. Grab some blue tooth speakers that can easily be transported to and from the porch.
  7. A drink station is very inviting. It can be interchanged with lemonade, tea or even hot cocoa for cool nights.
  8. Hang drapery or add a decorative screen.
  9. Add vintage, glass lanterns with candles inside. This creates glittering accent lighting and adds the finishing touch of accessories.
  10. Decorative solar lights are another way to add a free source of lighting that will enhance landscaping. Plus they never need to be plugged in!

Cleaning Your House Quickly & Efficiently

You are in a rush. You have guests coming over, but do not have time to scrub down your entire home. You have decided to focus on the main elements of your house. You are officially ready to start cleaning, but where do you start? No need to worry because we have the perfect list of what to clean when you have a limited amount of time. 

 

Quick & Efficient Cleaning: 

  • Beds: If you are having overnight guests, cleaning the mattresses can be extremely important. Strip the beds and wash all the linens. While the bed is stripped, vacuum the mattress to remove dirt and dust mites. Now sprinkle the mattress with baking soda and lavender essential oils. Move on to other parts of the home before you vacuum off the baking soda. Lastly, redress the bed with your freshly washed sheets and bedding. 
    • Note: use the scent of lavender since it can encourage a healthy night’s rest. 
  • Dust: To dust your furniture off quickly, place an old sock on your hand. You can run your hand across your furniture to gather any dust particles. Take a duster to clean off your ceiling fans and a dryer sheet to dust off baseboards. 
  • Vacuum: Swiftly run a vacuum through your main rooms and guest bedroom. If you have hardwood floors, you can use a dust mop to collect any left behind dirt and dust. 
  • Windows: Windows can become extremely dirty over time, make sure to wipe down your windows with a glass cleaner to free them of smudges and fingerprints. 
  • Bathrooms: Take a disinfecting wipe to clean off bathroom counters and the toilet seat. Clean out the toilet bowl with toilet bowl cleaner and wipe down any fixtures with disinfecting wipes. If time allows, clean out your bathtub and shower with bathroom cleaner.  
  • Countertops: Wipe down all of your counters with a sponge, dish rag, or disinfecting wipe. Since you may have just vacuumed, make sure to let crumbs and dirt fall into your hands when wiping down the counter. 
  • Mirrors: You can finish up by cleaning off the mirrors in bathrooms and bedrooms with glass cleaner. 

 

Now, your home is clean and ready for guests! Nothing can stop you from having a great night with your family or friends tonight. Enjoy!