How to Pick out the Right Lamp Shade

You have finally found the perfect lamp for your end tables or the bedside table. But you probably have not given much thought to the type of shade you are going to use on the lamp. What many people do not realize is that the right lampshade can completely transform an average base into something quite beautiful. 

Selecting the right lampshade is crucial because purchasing one that is not proportionate to the lamp or that does not match with the decor of the room can make even a beautiful antique lamp look terrible. To help, here are some tips you can use to choose the right lampshade:

Height and Width 

As a general rule of thumb, the height of the lampshade should be two thirds the height of the lamp base. This ensures that the lamp looks evenly proportioned and is not too bottom or top-heavy. Sticking to this proportion also guarantees that you do not see any of the lamp hardware such as the wireframe around the bulb, which can look tacky when exposed. You may need to measure the lamp so that you get a shade that matches it perfectly.  

The lampshade should be at least a half-inch wider than the base of the lamp on each side. It is acceptable for the shade to be wider than the lamp itself, but you do not want it to extend as wide as the table. Depending on the location of the lamp, you do not want a lampshade that is too wide because you do not want to bump into it constantly.  

Getting the Right Shape 

The shape of the lampshade should match the body of the lamp for visual synergy. If the base of the lamp is tall and cylindrical, you might want to look for a tall drum shade. On the other hand, if the lamp has a round body and square base, the lampshade should be round with some roundness at the top. With a basic lamp, you can play around with different shaped shades.  

Color 

From burlap, silk, and paper, lampshades are available in a variety of colors and textures. You can take the opportunity to accent a particular color used within the space by opting for a lampshade that features that specific hue. Softer colors and textures blend in well in traditional settings while smooth colors express contemporary elegance.  

How do you pick out lampshades? We would love to hear your thoughts below in the comment section.

Why Arizona Is Right for You 

Many individuals have recently chosen to pack up their belongings and move to Arizona. The population has seen a significant increase over the last decade, but what makes this area such an attraction? Arizona not only offers excellent weather all year round, but it is a very versatile place to live. From scenic landscapes to blue skies, this paradise is extremely inviting for all ages. Whether you are new to Arizona or about to experience this desert oasis, here are the top five reason Arizona has become so popular. 

Cost of Living 

Arizona’s cost of living is currently very competitive. While it is beginning to increase, this is still the time to buy! Arizona offers many of the amenities you would consider in one of the most expensive states like California for a fraction of the price.

Annual Climate 

Throughout the United States, many individuals dislike the harsh winters of the North. The constant shoveling of driveways and scraping ice off your windshield can quickly get old. However, you do not need to shovel sunshine! Arizona is always a perfect temperature all year round with winters being in the 70s! 

Artsy Atmosphere 

If you travel into any major city like Scottsdale or Phoenix, you will quickly recognize the passion for art used throughout the city. From beautiful architecture to extravagant landscapes, Arizona offers a very sophisticated art scene. 

Scenic Landscapes 

Arizona’s desert landscape is one of the most beautiful spectacles. From mountains to valleys, this landscape never gets old. Within a few several hour drives, you can see beautiful National Parks, canyons, craters, waterfalls, mountains, and much more! 

Arizona has many great attractions, museums, and landscapes. Many tourist and homeowners cherish having the privilege to explore the beloved state. What are your favorite features of Arizona? Let us know below in the comment section! 

DIY House Planter Ideas

Gardening can be relaxing, great hobby to add to your lifestyle. If you are looking to incorporate flowers and plants to the exterior of your home, there are several great DIY projects to consider.  First, not all gardens are alike. You may want flowers, produce, or shrubs.  The way you display your plants can be just another way of giving more character to your garden. Whether this is your first garden, or you are just looking for some new creative ideas, we gather our top three DIY projects to consider doing.   

Hypertufa 

You can buy planters or create your own beautiful, aesthetically-pleasing ones with hypertufa. These can be created with some simple compounds.  First, find a bucket or a mold in the desired sizes you would like to make your planters.  Create a homogenous blend of Portland cement, peat moss, and vermiculite. Mix the minerals together until you have an even blended powder. Pour water into the mixture to make a mucky consistency. Add a nonstick spray to your mold and cake on your cement. You can add another mold in the middle to create the hollow center. Allow these to dry for 24 hours and enjoy your new planters. You can even add some color grout to give some unique coloring to the planters or just paint them when they are done. 

Elevated Garden Box 

Maybe you would love a garden, but your home does not offer an exterior that has enough space. Whatever the reason may be, elevated garden beds are great for planting your flowers and herbs. Look for a wood option that will not rot over time. Cut four 4×4 wood pieces to create the legs to the height you want your bed to sit. Create your box, making sure that it is leveled during the process. Add some supporting cross boards to help distribute the weight for longer beds.  When you are done creating your box, give it swift sand and add your stain of choice. Remember, not all woods take stain the same, so be consistent on the woods you choose. 

Planter Hanger 

Find a small planter you would like to hang. This can be a succulent, small flower, or even herbs. Find rope or macramé and cut four equal length ropes to double the distance you want your planter to hang.  Fold all four ropes in half and tie them together to make your hanging end. Next, you can tie patterns together throughout the ropes. At the bottom, connect all the ropes together in which your planter can rest. It creates a beautiful finished product. Plus, this quick project can take less than 10 minutes! 

These three simple projects can be done over the weekend with a little patience. You may need to give them some time for the staining or concrete to cure; however, they are worth the wait. 

Monsoon and Dust Storm Precautions 

Arizona does not have blizzards or hurricanes and very rarely experiences tornadoes or earthquakes; however, this desert terrain has its own unique natural catastrophes.  Typically, monsoons and dust storms are not life-threatening; however, being aware of them and how to handle them is key to remaining safe. Monsoon season is during the summer months, and dust storms can happen very quickly at any time. Here are several tips to staying safe if you ever catch yourself in the midst of either situation:

Dust Storms/ Dust Devils 

Dust storms can occur very suddenly as well as stop just as abruptly. These storms are typically smaller than sandstorms and are created by a gust of winds picking up dust particles. These rolling winds are rarely life-threatening but can cause visual impairment while driving. If you see a dust storm while driving, acknowledge your surroundings before pulling over. Just because you stop does not mean the traffic behind you is aware. Begin to slow down and pull off the road safely. These dust barriers will typically pass rather quickly. If you are on foot, close your eyes and place your shirt over your nasal passage to help filter nuisance dust. Air quality is extremely poor inside these storms and can cause be bad on the respiratory system. 

Monsoon/ Flash Floods 

Typically, your daily weather station can alert you when monsoons or flash floods may occur. Avoid driving through the flood areas and prepare to evacuate if one is coming. Stay on high ground. While driving, if you see barricades, never drive around them onto closed roads. While they may seem safe at the time, flash floods are very aggressive and can come at any given moment. Never attempt to drive through moving water. The littlest stream can move a heavy vehicle. Make sure to stay out of camping areas in valleys or low ground areas during monsoon season as well. 

Being cognitive of these disasters can help keep you safe. While they may seem less threatening than hurricanes or tornados, do not jeopardize driving through either. Safety is key! For more information on Arizona, make sure to subscribe

How to Organize Your Garage

Unfortunately, our garages do not always get the attention they deserve. They quickly become the melting pot for storage items. Well, it is time to grab the bull by the horns and organize that garage space. Knowing where and when to start may seem daunting at first, but with some simple organization tricks and tips, you will have your garage looking pristine in no time. To help, here are our top ways to clean and organize your garage.

Start with a Clean Space 

Pull everything out of your garage. You will want to have a clean, open space available to assess. Broom the area and wash your garage floor. You may want to sweep corners and windows for spiderwebs or dust, as well. While everything is out of your garage, group them together into categories. You may have categories like 

  • Household Tools 
  • Gardening and Yard Tools 
  • Seasonal Items 
  • Car Maintenance 
  • Sporting and Recreational Equipment 
  • Storage 

Organization Tricks 

Once you make your piles, it is time to put them back into your garage in an organized manner. While just putting them back may be your tactic, a couple of small investment may help. We suggest you consider investing in some of the following if you do not already own them. 

  • Cabinet 
  • Peg Board 
  • Bins 
  • Wall Hangers 
  • Shelving 
  • Toolbox 

While none of these are essential, they can make the organization process flow much smoother. Try to keep your piles organized and easy to find when returning them to your garage space. 

Configuring Your Space 

Most garage spaces are limited. Try to get your tools and storage items off the ground. Being able to hang bikes, rakes, ladders, and tools can go a very long way. If you run out of wall space, consider mounting storage to your ceiling. Be cognitive that this does not impede with your garage from opening all the way prior to your installation. This is a perfect spot to tuck away seasonal goods that are not frequently accessed. 

Organizing your garage can be very rewarding. Take your chaotic space and make it a functional storage area because facilitating this space can be very helpful to homeowners.  Just make sure it stays organized for quick and easy access. For more organization tips and tricks, make sure to subscribe

Timeless Decorating Tips

When it comes to style, some of us can have short attention spans. Current trends in design easily catch our eye, and we cannot wait to mimic them; however, we understand that trends come and go. The key is finding the right balance by creating a timeless design with decor. Timeless decor never goes out of style, and best of all, it provides a classic look that will still look beautiful years from now! 

The great thing about curating a timeless design is that it serves as the perfect background, allowing you to implement other types of styles. Here are some few tips to help you achieve a timeless look while throwing in some trendier pieces:

Stylish Yet Functional

Large furniture pieces like your sofa, you no doubt plan on having it for many, many years to come. Therefore, you will want to select well-constructed, quality pieces. Since you will have this furniture for a while, you also want to make sure it is super comfortable. Additionally, be sure that the style of the furniture is not too trendy but also not dull. Search for items that are classically beautiful but will provide that timeless look that will transcend time.  

Keep the Colors Neutral 

Neutral color tones are the epitome of timelessness. In fact, neutral shades can work with just about any color or style. Such color palettes will give off a fresh feel that looks up-to-date no matter what is currently in style. Off-whites, beiges, and grays are some neutral colors that have stayed powerful. Trendy colors can be used in spurts as a featured piece. In fact, they look great against traditional neutral shades.  

Steer Clear

Since a timeless design is also classic, you will want to avoid over-decorating. Do not invest in pieces with busy patterns, shapes, and that are too oversized. If you are set on spicing things up, you can incorporate such bold colors and patterns in accent pieces and accessories.  

Mix Things up 

Timeless does not mean boring. Try mixing up the elements in your home. Combine decor items from different eras to keep things interesting.  

Creating a timeless look in your decor does not have to be complicated. Remember, to keep your furnishing functional, utilize neutral colors with clean lines, and add trendy colors as accents. In the end, it is all about personality and what you love best.

Five Places to Hang Your Dish Towel

From drying the dishes to wiping down the counters, dish towels are essential tools in kitchens. While you use the dishtowel every day, you may run across the issue of storing it. Finding a spot to hang the dishtowel sounds relatively simple, but if you want to make sure it is nearby at a moment’s notice, here are some of your options:

Hanging It on the Sink’s Edge

Perhaps the most common place you will see a dishtowel is hanging on the sink’s edge. However, this only works if you have a double sink with one section having the faucet pointed at it and the other side being a washing basin. Hanging the dishtowel on a regular sink can be a bit impractical because it will get wet up every time you turn on the faucet; therefore, this solution is best for double sink kitchens.

Wall Rack

An excellent way to store your dishtowels is by using a wall rack. It provides the perfect opportunity to showcase your dish towels, even the ones that are not currently in rotation and keep them organized so you will always know where to reach when you need it. You can purchase a quality rack with decorative elements from your local home goods outlets or at the thrift store. Make sure the wall has a moisture-proof finish so that the water from the cloth does not cause the painting in that spot to erode.

Towel Bar

If you have a sink that is equipped with a towel bar, it can be the ideal spot to hang your dish towel once you are finished using it. If not, you can easily install one nearby to have your towels handy.

Dishwasher or Range Handle

You will find that most dishwashers and stoves have handles that make for the handiest spots to hang a light towel. Usually, the dishwasher is located right next to the sink, which means you can just reach down to grab it when you are drying dishes. The range handle is an ideal spot as well because we have all used a dish towel to take out hot pots from the oven.

Towel Hook or Bar

Consider installing a towel hook or bar right above the sink. Or you can get creative and install a wooden or metal bar on the side of the island. The options are truly endless!

Do you have any creative ways to hang your dish towels? We would love to hear your thoughts below in the comment section.

New to Arizona? Here Is What You Need to Know!

The Grand Canyon State is the hottest state in the United States. It offers a beautiful, desert landscape with some of the bluest skies in America. However, this state is full of unique features that locals have gotten used to over the years. While the state has seen a dramatic increase in population in the last fifteen years, it is definitely the hot spot (no pun intended) for travelers and families alike. Here are some of the unique Arizonan features that you will want to understand before you settle into your new home:

Sunrise/Sunset

Arizona has an early sunrise as well as an early sunset. Typically, the sun can rise around 5:00 AM, which will allow many individuals to get an early start on their mornings. Likewise, the sunset is earlier than other, more northern states. You can expect the sun to set around 7:30 PM in the longest days of the year.

Heat

The sunrise and sunset can also affect the peak heat coming into the afternoon. Arizona has little cloud coverage, and the desert will get cooler at night; however, do not expect chilly evenings during the summer. During the summer, the nights can stay in the 90s. Expect extreme heat and a lot of direct sunlight throughout the day. If you are easily burnt, you will want to put on sunscreen daily and avoid spending long periods of time outside during the afternoon. Additionally, you will notice that playgrounds get busy after the sun has set because it allows the kids to play freely without the worry of heat exhaustion from the sun. If you plan summer activities outdoors, you may want to wait until the sun has set to enjoy the beautiful weather without the intense heat. Also, remember to encourage your little ones to stay hydrated.

Snowbirds

Traffic into downtown can be very dense. Consider leaving your home early whenever traveling into the city. However, you will notice that traffic lightens up significantly during the summer. Many individuals are considered “snowbirds” and only live in Arizona during the winter months. When summer hits, they fly back to other states where they may reside – this will help traffic move much smoother during summer months. If you move to the Valley during the summer, anticipate thicker traffic to arrive towards the end of autumn.

Air Quality

Remember that Arizona is a desert oasis. Dust storms may occur and can often affect the air quality in the Valley. To avoid getting sick or the Valley Fever, pay attention to the air quality in your city. While this may not bother you, some individuals can be susceptible to reduced air quality. Simple apps on your phone or the news will help give you insight on the air quality in your area and help you stay healthy.

Arizona is a melting pot of culture, opportunity, and beautiful. There is so much this state has to offer. With all the beauty, it can be easy to ignore some minor inconveniences and unique quirks this state offers. However, being aware of them can help keep you safe and smart at all times.

Helpful Tips for First-Time Dorm Students

Wow, summer flew by, and you have three or four weeks before you enter college as a freshman! We know this can be a daunting task and one that can make you unsure, especially if you never lived away from home. We are here to help make the transition easier and give you some valuable tips for moving into a dorm.

You are about to enter the next phase of your life. These days will be some of the best in your life. Enjoy, go with the flow, try not to be shy and make sure to go to class! Below, you will find ideas about what to buy, styles, and decor choices with organizational options for your dorm. Let’s take a look!

Accent Color

Your dorm room will be freshly painted a neutral color like white, cream, or light beige. Most likely the woodwork and doors will also be painted the same color of the walls in a gloss or semi-gloss paint for easy cleanup. If you have a roommate or not, we recommend choosing an accent color and sticking with that one color. Regarding the psychology of color, think about using blues, greens, or soft yellows as your accent color. These three colors are calming, happy, remind us of nature, and put us in a great mood!

Area Rug

If you have been paying attention to design style for the last couple of years, you have noticed that many dormers have chosen faux fur and shag area rugs. These types of area rugs have a really cool look but are challenging to clean and are not as durable as other types of rugs. We recommend purchasing a braided rug or a traditional woven rug in a neutral color. If the rug is a neutral color, the room will look larger and will not show dirt like a light or darker colored area rug.

Utilize Wall Space

Do not forget that your wall space is not the entire room, your roommate has half of the space. Usually, the ceiling height is taller than the standard height of an average bedroom. Think about purchasing a lightweight cotton/rayon tapestry that is made with stunning colors and designs. These tapestries come in various sizes and are often inexpensive, but do the job of covering an ample empty space on the wall. Here is where you can bring pops of color in the space with your chosen accent color. Also, with all the new organizational trends, there are many different ways to organize your busy life like putting up a bulletin board that tracks and reminds you of important dates, to-dos, birthdates of family and friends, library notices, etc.

We wish you the best of luck on your new adventure! May the next four years be filled with good friends and great memories.

Protect Your Pups from Arizona Heat

While living in the Valley feels like paradise, it does not take very long for locals to recognize that Arizona’s heat is no joke. The Valley is quickly growing in population, and more pet owners are becoming unaware of the dangers this heat can have on their animals’ welfare. During the hot summer months, your pet needs to be in a well-shaded area and provided with plenty of water. The heat is brutal and can take a toll on your furry friends very quickly. To prevent some of these dangers, here are several guidelines to consider:

Indoors

While you may be accustomed to outdoor pets, Arizona may have you reconsider. Not all dogs can handle Arizona’s desert sun. If your property does not offer adequate shade, you may need to bring your animal inside. Do not just leave your dog in a closed garage! Though shade is provided, this can quickly turn into a hot box and severely dehydrate your animal.

Water

Hydration is critical! During the summer, the temperature can stay as hot as 90 degrees even during the coolest parts of the night. Because of this, even when the sun goes down, dehydration can still become a concern. Always provide an outdoor water dish for your animal. Remember to keep it filled and check it daily.

Paws

Have you ever walked on blacktop pavement or even concrete in the sun barefoot? Then, you probably know how hot it can get. While dogs and cats paws are tougher than our feet, they can still get burnt. There are several companies which manufacture footsies for animals. Consider buying these for your pets to protect their feet from the scorching pavement. This little investment can make a significant impact on your dog’s well-being.

Keep your pets safe this summer and remember to keep them hydrated. Panting can be the first sign of dehydration. Pay attention if your dog becomes lethargic as well. Your animals need your help to stay safe.