Decluttering Your Child’s Toys

Trying to clean a child’s bedroom can sometimes feel like a fool’s errand. The second you put something away, your child seems to zero in on it and remove it from its rightful place. This is not the only issue you end up dealing with though. Sometimes there are just too many toys and not enough spaces for them. It’s a wonderful thing to know that your child has these items to play with, but deep down you know that they’ve outgrown some of them and it’s time to get them out of your way and into the hands of another child who will love them just as much as your child originally did. You’re only a few steps away from getting your child’s room back in order. Read on to learn how to make their room manageable again.

 

Sort

Start the process by taking out all the items you want to organize so you can see them. This may not be too tough as children tend to leave things right where they are and move on to the next. It may be fun to ask them to help you with the messy part. They’ll love it!

 

Organize

We suggest color-coded bins to keep track of your organizational process. Designate one color for the Keep section, another for the Donate pile and a final color for Storage. Go through each item and decide if it’s going to stay in the room, be donated to a worthy organization or placed in storage as it is a seasonal item or may be used for a future child. Once separated, take the Donate pile to your designated charity and transfer your Storage items to an accessible space outside of your child’s room.

 

Implementation

Before putting everything from your Keep pile back in the room, take stock of what you were using to store all these items to begin with. Is there something that can be improved? Add a toy box or create more shelving if necessary so you can give yourself a little more time before you need to cleanse again. Providing the proper space for all your child’s items will make it easier to keep their room tidy daily as well.

 

As they grow, you will be repeating this process repeatedly.  Keeping it as organized as possible will help reduce the stress of decluttering and you’ll be a pro the next time you go through it. 

Distressing Your Dresser

Quality furniture can and should last you a lifetime. Your furniture is extremely versatile in looks. The entire look of a chair can change just by being reupholstered. Old mirrors can become art pieces. Dressers can become something you never thought you could own. Let us add character to that old dresser that you have always hated. The one that you cannot seem to find a spot for, yeah that one. Distressing the piece will make your dresser a chic, timeless piece.

 

Supply List:

  • An old dresser
  • Sandpaper
  • Tack Cloth
  • Paint Base Coat
  • Polyurethane (Finishing Coat)
  • Paint Brush 

 

1.  Prepare your workspace.

Distressing your dresser involves sanding and painting so consider moving the dresser to an area that can get a bit messy (your garage, backyard, etc).


2.   Begin sanding 

Grab your sandpaper and begin gently sanding the dresser. 


3.   Wipe down your piece

After you have sanded the dresser, take your “tack cloth” and wipe down the dresser.

  • Tack Cloth is a cloth that has been processed with a sticky adhesive in order to pick up any leftover particles, dust, etc. (This can be purchased at any home improvement store).


4. Apply the base coat

You will begin to paint your entire dresser with the base coat paint. You can choose whatever color you would like for this step. 

  • Make sure to buy a satin latex paint for your base coat.


5. Let the furniture dry


6. Grab your sandpaper

Once the dresser is completely dry, you can begin sanding areas that you would like to look distressed. 

  • Note: Distressed dressers are meant to look like they naturally became that way. Think about the places that would have become distressed over time and begin sanding those areas.


7. Wipe it down

Grab your tack cloth again and wipe down your dresser to get rid of the leftover particles. 


8. Apply a paint finish

You can use Polyurethane to finish off your dresser.


You have now created a timeless piece of furniture from an item you once hated. Remember, you can distress a wide variety of your furniture items and we hope you love your “new” old dresser.

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.

Your Personal Indoor Garden

No matter where you live, growing a garden outside is not an option for you. Personal gardens can have several health benefits. You will always know where your food is coming from and that they are always 100% organic. It is important for us to take health seriously, because there are many unknowns in our food nowadays. Let us eliminate those unknowns with your personal herb garden. 

 

How to plant an indoor herb garden: 

  1. Choose a space that gets at least six hours of sunlight. 

It is important to place your herbs in a spot that gets at least six hour of sunlight. The sunlight will ultimately increase the taste of your herbs and it helps your herbs to make their necessary oils. 

  1. Pick out your container. 

You will need to consider separating your herbs. Certain herbs will prefer dry soil whereas some will want a lot of water. You can place your herbs into different containers or pots and label them with a chalkboard sign. The chalkboard signs will help you to distinguish which herb is which. 

3.    Decide what herbs you want. 

Grow herbs that you know you will use. A lot of popular herbs are less expensive to grow than uncommon ones. Make sure to do research before deciding which herbs you want to plant. You may decide to plant some herbs during different seasons, because of sunlight restrictions. 

4.    Plant your herbs. 

Gather your pots, soil and chalkboard signs. As you begin to plant your herbs, be aware that herbs need room in your pot. Sprinkle soil at the bottom of your pot/container then put in your herb. After the herb is in place, fill the rest of the container with soil. Depending on your herb, water it as soon as you plant it. 

 

Note: Gifting your herbs can be an extremely thoughtful gift. Start the planting process for your family/friend then gift them with a beautiful potted herb. 

 

You can enjoy your new indoor herb garden by trying out some new food recipes! Invite family and friends over for a delicious meal that was seasoned with food grown by you. 


Avocado Plant

Avocados have become a recent trend in many people’s diets. This fruit has an immense amount of health benefits while tasting extra delicious (yes, we said fruit). This delectable superfood can be planted in your home. The avocado is known to produce a tree-like plant that currently decorates many homes across America. Most homeowners just enjoy to use tree produced by this fruit for decoration, but there is potential that one day the tree may bear fruit. Depending on your region, you may be able to plant this tree outside if you live in an area that does not have temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. 

 

How to plant an avocado tree

Supplies

  • 1 Avocado 
  • 4 Toothpicks 
  • 1 Glass for water
  • 1 Pot 
  • 1 Small bag soil 

 

How to plant an avocado tree

Step One. Take your avocado and cut it in half. You want to cut the avocado in the direction that the stem goes down.

Fun Fact: You can tell if an avocado is ripe from their stem. Press down on the stem with your finger and if the avocado gives in with little resistance than it is ripe! 

Step Two. Remove the pit. 

Step Three. Take your pit and rinse it off. Make sure it is completely cleaned off from any avocado residue. 

Step Four. Place your four toothpicks throughout the wide part of the pit. You want the pointed part of the seed to be facing upwards. Now, adjust the toothpicks to be positioned on top of the glass of water. The toothpicks should ideally hold the avocado’s pit up. Make sure only one inch of your seed is in the water and you should place it in a warm temperature area of your home. 

Step Five. You will need to keep the water at that level consistently. 

Step Six. Wait for the stem to grow from your avocado seed.  Once it grows about six inches, you will need to cut the stem in half. 

Step Seven. Give your seed time to grow leaves again. After the leaves grow, you will need to move the seed to a pot. 

Step Eight. Prepare your pot with loose, sand-like soil. You will fill some of the pot with soil then place your avocado pit inside of the pot. Cover the roots with soil and leave the leafy stems exposed. 

Step Nine. Care for your plant often. Place the avocado plant in an area that gets a lot of sun light and make sure to lightly water this plant. 

 

Always keep an eye out on your tree’s growth and do proper trimmings when necessary. We hope you thoroughly enjoy your avocado tree this spring! 


Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds have been a longtime favorite to many homeowners. They are quick, little beauties that show up around your yard seeking satisfaction from sweet nectar. Hummingbirds do not exclusively love the sweet nectar you provide in your feeder, but they enjoy an array of “nectar producing flowers.” Surprisingly, hummingbirds eat small insects as well. If you are ever struggling with bugs entering your hummingbird feeder, experts encourage you to leave them as a nice snack with their meal. 

 

Preparing your hummingbird feeder is quite simple. Just always remember the ratio 4 to 1 (sugar to water). You will need to heat your water until the sugar combines with the water, but be careful not to overheat your sweet nectar. You can store your nectar in the refrigerator for two weeks without complications. 

 

Note: The nectar you are providing the hummingbirds is a “supplement” to the birds. Experts say not to invest in sugars that have extra additives and vitamins. 

 

If you are looking to attract more hummingbirds to your yard, buy plants that produce a natural nectar and are the color red. In fact that is why the feeders are red, hummingbirds are attracted to this hue. You may have heard of putting red food coloring in your nectar to attract the birds. We encourage you not to use red dye, because it can be potentially dangerous to the hummingbirds. 

 

Cleaning your hummingbird feeder is essential to keep the birds happy. Hummingbirds are extremely picky with the cleanliness of homeowners’ feeders. Some say that the birds would rather not eat than consume your spoiled nectar. 

  • Never use soap when cleaning out your feeder.  Studies have shown that the birds do not like the taste and will choose not to eat your nectar. 
  • Completely remove any uneaten nectar from the feeder. Take into account how much you are throwing out between each cleaning. If the birds are not eating all the nectar you have provided, decrease the amount of nectar you put into the feeder. 
  • Your feeder will need a deep cleaning at last once a month with bleach. Make sure to fully rinse out all bleach before using. 

 

We want to make hummingbirds happy, because they tend to make us happy when they are around our yard. We encourage you to follow these tips provided. Have you had success with any different ideas than the ones listed above? If so, we encourage you to share below in the comment section. 


Painted Cabinets Make Kitchen Light and Bright

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When you’re designing your new Fulton Kitchen, it’s worth considering painted cabinets. They add a light and inviting look to your food preparation space, and keep everything feeling light and bright. With lighter countertops and under-cabinet lighting like this kitchen in the Caravan model in Central Vermont at Cooley Station, the entire room is designed to create a supportive mood that makes it easy to spend time in this kitchen.

There are still a few darker elements for contrast, like the oven and microwave and the comfortable stools at the pull-up eating area on the island. Accessories also add nice pops of color. But the overall mood is light and easy on the eyes.kitchen-1w

Notice how the accent wall, shown at the back of this photo going into the dining area, provides another contrasting element. At the same time the white dining chairs connects this space with the kitchen.

This is a smart connection between the two spaces, linking them both while still providing a source of much-appreciated contrast. The darker wall also supports a cozy ambiance which is appreciated in a dining space. Notice also the colorful tablescape where the accessories link it to the island. These choices make a home look more like a designed space rather than creating a more scattered feeling. kitchen-6w

Don’t be afraid to mix dark and painted wood. You can see how well it works with this dining table and chair set. The shabby-chic effect on the painted chairs keeps them from seeming too matchy-matchy with the cabinets while still creating a link. While the painted chairs bring the painted kitchen cabinet feel into the space, the dark stained wood echoes other pieces used in the rest of the home. This type of mixing allows you to add just a few new pieces without having to discard the bulk of your furniture if you choose to go in a different style or color direction with your new home.

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Take a look at another way this kitchen provides contrast without going dark. The addition of one glass-fronted cabinet in the corner adds a welcome and interesting break in the line of top cabinets. Both the height difference and the contrast of the glass add a welcome change in the design. And limiting the glass front to only one cabinet is also a smart budget strategy, because window doors are more expensive. They also require you to maintain tidier cabinets, which can be a nuisance.

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In another opportunity to add an interesting contrast, the island is a soft grey/taupe rather than white. This color works well with the chosen countertops and the flooring, yet it helps the island feel like something special. Choosing a different cabinet color for your island is daring, yet as you can see it can work well.

One reason this color choice works is because the same taupe is echoed in the kitchen’s backsplash. If you notice, the mid-range tone is a close match for the island cabinet color. When you can find ways to make those kinds of connections, you will end up with a kitchen that feels integrated and well thought out.kitchen-3wIt’s interesting to realize that there are actually three fairly strong patterns present in this kitchen: the flooring, the countertops and the backsplash. You can see all three in the photo above. This could easily feel like too much if the contrast within or among the patterns was stronger. Imagine these same patterns in vivid reds and oranges! But because they are all gentle and light in color, the number of patterns isn’t overwhelming. In fact, you almost need these patterns to keep the kitchen interesting. In a way, the patterns take the place of a stronger light/dark contrast you would see in some other kitchens.

Here’s the final interesting design decision with this light bright kitchen. The rest of the open floorplan was designed to focus your eyes in that direction. The diagonal flooring draws the eye toward the kitchen, and the brightness of the space contrasts with the mid-range colors of the dining and family room to draw you toward the light just like a sunflower turning to face the sun. kitchen-7w

The rest of the home is warm and welcoming, with other white elements that mimic the light kitchen such as the sofas in the family room as you can see above. But linking it all, the heart of this home, is the light and bright kitchen, made for a family to live in, eat in, and spend time together in, and above all, enjoy. And that’s the best use you can make of a kitchen, isn’t it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

De-Cluttering Your Garage

One of the most neglected areas of the house for organization is the garage. Our focus usually ends up being concentrated on the sections of the home that will be viewed by visitors the most while the garage ends up playing the role of storage area for the items that don’t necessarily have a proper place indoors. It may not be the first thing on your mind when trying to declutter your home, but making sure that it’s items are easy to access can help your day run much more smoothly.

 

If possible, clear as many items out of the room as you can. Once they’ve been removed, take an inventory of everything. Of all the pieces that you’ve pulled out, how many are necessary in this space? Is some of it just junk you haven’t had time to dispose of? Do some items belong in a different storage area that you didn’t have time to place them in?  Well, here’s your chance to make it right!

 

Items you no longer need, organize them into either waste or recycling bins. If you are dealing with hazardous material, check your local waste disposal laws for proper handling. Next, return all misplaced items to their proper storage areas, whether it is an attic, an outdoor shed or even a borrowed item from a neighbor. Now that you’ve pared everything down to essential items only, think about the best way to keep them organized and accessible for future use.

 

Your garage became cluttered for a reason! New organizational units may be the key to fixing the issue. There are great products available today for every garage size to keep your items organized.   If you don’t have a lot of floor space, hanging overhead shelves can help provide some much-needed storage. Hanging wall units equipped with hooks can help keep gardening and automotive tools at arm’s length for your next project. Hang hooks up high to store bicycles vertically as well as other various sports equipment. If you have a few feet of room available, there are different varieties of metal and wooden shelving and cabinetry for storing miscellaneous workshop items.

 

Customize these units to your convenience. The easier things are to store after use, the more likely you are to not have to do a major closet clean like this any time soon! 

Ideas for Decorating a Vaulted Room

Decorating a vaulted room can be an exciting undertaking. A few key things to consider when decorating spaces with vaulted ceilings are artwork, curtains and lighting. Here are a few tips for each category.

First, hanging artwork is a great way to decorate a room with vaulted ceilings. There are a few tricks for hanging artwork in a room with an arched ceiling. First, it is important to mimic the ceiling line to complement it. Also, keep wall art around eye level. Finally, vertical rather than horizontal artwork works better with a vaulted ceiling.

Next, curtains are excellent for rooms with vaulted ceilings. There are many options for how to hang them from covering the whole wall or framing windows. There are also many choices when selecting curtains like color, fabric style, and length. Fabric styles vary and have various benefits. For example, polyester is affordable, sturdy and long lasting. Cotton curtains are another option; they drape well, and go well with a modern décor. You can choose sheer cotton for an airy feel or a tightly woven cotton for more privacy. Silk curtains also drape well, and are heavier than cotton. Silk curtains can be damaged by too much sun exposure, so it is important to protect them; they also require dry cleaning, which is something to consider. Linen curtains are also dry clean only, and drape nicely. Natural light easily seeps through the fabric, as it is sheer. Velvet curtains are always a classic choice. They look elegant, and insulate well. Velvet is a heavy fabric, and is a good option for drafty rooms. Finally, lace is another option. Because of the sheer nature of the fabric, lace curtains provide an airy light feel to a room.

Finally, lighting a room with vaulted ceilings is another key feature to make the space look its best. There are several options to choose from, and it is recommended that one layers the lighting by choosing several options. For starters, pendant lights work well. They are often suspended by chains or rods. There are a wide variety of sizes and shapes from which to choose. Another option is track lighting; track lighting is often used with a sloped ceiling. This option allows for greater control over the direction of the light source. The lights situated on the track can be manipulated to face multiple directions at one time. Recessed lighting is also a good choice. Recessed lighting is an excellent choice for adding ambiance to an environment. It can be used to spotlight artwork, or a specific area of the room. Finally, wall lighting is also effective. Wall sconces are an excellent choice in a room with a vaulted ceiling as they can direct light in multiple directions highlighting the height and depth of a room with a vaulted ceiling.

These are a few ideas to help you decorate a room with vaulted ceilings. Please contact us if you have any questions!

How to Hang Mason Jars

Have you ever desired more storage in your kitchen, but do not necessarily have the room to add more cabinets? Your solution is here. Hanging mason jars underneath your cabinets add style and function to any space. Plus, it is super simple to do! 

 

Supplies

  • Mason Jar 
  • Piece of Wood
  • Hammer 
  • Nail
  • Screw
  • Screw Driver

 

Depending on the amount of space you have available under your cabinets, you can choose the amount of mason jars you will use for this project. 

*You will need one screw and one nail per one mason jar you use. 

 

Want to add color? You can even paint the mason jars if you would like to add a pop of color. Remember to paint your mason jar prior to attaching them to your cabinets. If you want a distressed mason jar look, paint the mason jar with color chalkboard paint. After it is finished drying, you can run sandpaper over the areas you want to look distressed. 

 

Step One. Take the lid off of your mason jar. 

Note: Mason jar lids have two parts associated with them. You will have the physical “rim” and “the flat top.”

Step Two. Grab your piece of wood and set your lid onto of it. Have the lid facing up in a bowl-like resemblance. 

Step Three. Take your hammer and nail and create one small hole in your lid. 

Step Four. Remove the nail and lid from the piece of wood. 

Step Five. Take your lid over to the cabinet that you wish to hang it underneath. 

Step Six. Place your screw inside the hole you just created. Screw it into the bottom of your cabinet. 

Note: It is essential that you make sure your lid is on tight, because your jar will be hanging from the lid. 

 

Was not that easy? It is a quick and simple way to add style and function to your kitchen or any room in your house. Try this hack anywhere in your home to add extra storage to your space. Just remember to always make sure your lid is screwed into your cabinet tight!