Tips for Creating a Great Play Room for a Child

If you are lucky enough to have some extra space in your home to dedicate to a play area for your child, we have some suggestions for you on how to make it great! The early years of a child’s life include a significant amount of brain development, so you want to make sure they are using their imaginations and have an enjoyable environment to develop their talents. Making sure they have a safe place to do this is essential. Here is how to get started:

You Must Be This Tall to Play

No matter the size of the room, there is something you can do to improve it for your child’s use. The most important thing to think about when the child enters the room is ease of use. Smaller chairs and tables, as well as fun colors and decor, will help set the stage and let them know that this is a space made for fun. Keep shelves lower and storage easily accessible, so whatever they take out can also be placed back there by them. This teaches them their first chores and responsibilities while simultaneously helping you out with clean up!

Let Creativity Flow

If your child has a particular hobby or interest, be sure to supply them with what they need to develop it. Whether it is art, photography, or books, be sure to create a little area for them to spend time creating and reading about new things. Provide books, a desk area, and arts and crafts supplies so they can let their imaginations run wild. Use a wall for displaying their work and create a safe spot for them to pause their progress until the next day. Knowing when to clean up items and leave them alone will not only show your child that you trust them, but it will let them know that you respect their space as well.

Sharing Is Caring

Finally, keep in mind that although they may spend a lot of time using this area as their own personal space, there are going to be times when they are going to want to share in it with others. This may include you, other family members, or friends. Be sure there is sufficient space not only for your child to play independently but for them to share the space and play well with others.

Have you created a play space before in your home? What do you feel are crucial elements of it? Let us know below in the comment section.

The Best Fabric for Family Room Furniture

Are you currently in the market for purchasing new living room furniture or reupholstering your current furniture? If you are currently in the market for investing in a sofa/chair, it should be treated as a big decision that requires some research. We have compiled a short list of “to-dos” for determining the correct color and fabric for your pieces. Let’s take a look!

Color

If hiring an interior designer is not in the budget, we have listed some questions that will guide you in the right direction for the perfect fabric color:

  • Who Will Be Using the Pieces? If children, pets, or teenagers are in the answer, darker colors are the best for hiding stains and spills. For neutral options, grays are popular and will be around for quite some time. Do not overlook blues and greens and treat them as bold neutrals. View the carpet, flooring, and all accessories to make sure they blend with the new fabric. 
  • Formal or Informal? If you are placing the furniture in a formal living room, the color may differ from the color choice you would choose for an informal living room. For example, you may opt for lighter colors in a formal area since it will be used less and only for special occasions.
  • Are Patterns Relevant? While we do not see that many patterned sofas anymore, we do see sofas brought to life by patterned pillows and blankets. Incorporating patterns through pillows and blankets can help hide additional stains, which is ideal for households with children and pets.

Fabric

Natural fibers like cotton, linen, silk, and wool are very soft to the touch but are not very durable. When you combine them with a synthetic fiber like polyester, viscose, and acrylics, the softness remains, but the added synthetic fibers strengthen the natural fibers. All of the children and pet-friendly fibers are synthetic and also stand up to spills and stains. Heavier or thicker fabric weaves are less smooth but more textured. These fibers are perfect for a family or great room pieces.

Cleaning Code 

Have you ever noticed the tag on upholstered furniture? It will include a letter code. Sofas with a “W” must be cleaned with a water-based cleaner only/distilled, or bottled water is recommended. An “S” means the upholstery must be cleaned with a professional-grade cleaning solvent and will not react well if water is used. “S/W” means that dry cleaning solvents and water can be used. 

Rub-Count

This is the best way to determine the durability of the fabric. The rub count is determined by a machine that rubs back and forth until the fabric is worn down. 20,000 and higher rubs are perfect for residential upholstery.

We hope that you are now aware of what to look for when purchasing or reupholstering your family/great room furniture. If you follow these tips, you will make sure that you have done your due diligence in fabric research!

Dorm Room Decor Ideas

Starting college can be stressful and intimidating at first. Since your dorm room is where you will be spending a good sum of your time, you can ease into the transition of college by making your dorm room feel more like home. College probably means you do not have a large budget, so designing your dorm room can be a bit challenging. If you are going to spend money, make sure you put it in the right places. Here are three ideas worth investing in to upgrade your dorm room:

Pictures 

Pictures can express yourself and give meaning to your room. Most dorm rooms will come in a very neutral color palleted walls and flooring. You probably cannot paint your walls, but you can add pictures! Add life with colorful and meaningful images. You can make a gallery wall above your bed or invest in one impactful photo. You can even have some of your favorite photos of your friends and family printed out onto canvases and hung in your dorm. Pictures are a great way to transform a boring space and tailor it to you. 

Rug 

Add warmth and comfort to your space by investing in a rug. You do not need to spend an arm and leg on a nice area rug. Find one that can help add comfort to your space. Remember, rugs can stain, so you will want to be cognitive on what you and your roommate do in your room after the investment (i.e., eating on the rug).

Comforter 

Your dorm is probably shared with a roommate. You both are perhaps putting elements into your space to make it more welcoming. Your bed is your personal space. Investing in a comforter that expresses you can make your dorm feel more personal. While you both may hang pictures or put décor around the atmosphere, your bed is directly and personally tied to you. Make a statement with some fun sheets, pillows, and comforter. 

These three investments are simple ways to help make your dorm room feel like home. Do not wait to personalize your room; find areas you want to improve and add a splash of you. You will not regret it.

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.

Tips for Decorating a Teen’s Bedroom

Do you remember your childhood bedroom? Perhaps the design scheme consisted of pop star posters taped all over the walls and lots of funky colors. No matter how crazy your room looked, the best part about it was that it was your sanctuary. No doubt, as a parent, you want your teen to have that same feeling. How can you create a bedroom that your child will love? Well, no need to wonder because we have you covered with the following tips and tricks:

Select a Color Scheme

Of course, the first step in designing any space is deciding what color scheme you want. For personalization, use your teen’s favorite color. For instance, if red is their favorite color, be sure to use this hue in your design. You can also use a neutral color with bold palettes to help balance out the design.

Pick Furniture

No room is complete without the proper furnishing; however, the most important piece of furniture in your teen’s room is nothing other than their bed. You can add some interest in the room by selecting a lovely headboard and well-designed bedding. Be sure to incorporate other furniture in the room, such as a desk and chair so that they can have a place to complete their homework. Avoid crowding out the room with lots of furniture because as we all know, teenagers do not need any additional help creating clutter.

Accessories

Accessories or little things to complement the room is crucial for creating a room that your teen will love. Selecting the appropriate accessories will depend on your child’s personal likes. For example, if your teenage daughter is an ‘upcoming beauty guru,” you may want to incorporate an oversized mirror with lighting around it. Beanbag seats and Christmas tree lights are also some trendy accents you can use to add spice to a teen’s bedroom.

Lighting

Many people tend to overlook lighting, but this aspect is essential to the entire design of the room. In addition to overhead lighting, you may want to include task lighting in your teen’s room so that they can perhaps browse a magazine or read a book at bedtime.

Self-Expression

Self-expression is everything to teenagers; therefore, you will want to allow them to express their own unique interests and desire through their room’s design. Let their creativity go wild and help them to gather their ideas into a gorgeous concept.

For more expert tips and tricks, be sure to visit our blog hub at Fulton Homes. Thanks for reading!

Arizona Summer Heat Warning

Arizona has many of the sunniest cities in the United States. Yuma, Phoenix, Tucson, even Flagstaff all rank in the sunniest places to live. While blue skies and sunshine may sound like paradise, the heat can be extremely dangerous during the summer months. When in the Valley, temperatures can reach around 100-110 degrees or hotter during June, July, and August. Some locals may scoff at these numbers and act like they are no concern; however, this serious of heat should not be taken lightly. To help our community stay safe, we created this helpful guide for surviving the summer heat:

Hydrate

Dehydration can lead to a severe health risk. Remember to stay hydrated throughout the whole day. Early symptoms can consist of merely being thirsty, dizzy, nauseated, muscle cramps, or a headache. While it is easy to ignore, the desert heat can be relentless. There is no magic number to say how much water you will need. Continue to drink water throughout your day. Also, pay attention to lethargic behaviors, rapid pulse, or panting in animals. This heat can take a toll on not only you but your pets as well.

Sunblock

While we are not directly on the equator, the UV and sun exposure are very harsh. Find a sunblock with an SPF or Sun Protection Factor of at least 15. Each skin type is different, and SPF 30 is the most common. Find which sunblock or sunscreen works best for you and your skin. Just remember that sunblock will not last all day so you will want to reapply sunscreen if you go swimming or after the recommended time.

Stay Inside

Unless the day demands outdoor activities, stay inside. This is the perfect opportunity to appreciate your beautiful home. Enjoy your pristine air conditioning and beautiful indoor oasis. Find indoor summer activities for you and the family until the sun goes down when it is okay to hang out outdoors.

The summer heat can get brutal but do not let that deter you from enjoying Arizona. There is still much to do during the summer. If you do plan on going out or hiking, be smart! Make sure you have enough water for you and your pets as well! For more insight on Fulton Homes and the wonders of Arizona, make sure to subscribe.

How to Stay Protected Against the Arizona Sun

Arizona days can be incredibly hot, and while outdoor activities are in full force, you may be looking for a little extra protection from the sun. Whether you plan on going to the lake, family picnics or playing sports outside, all too often, we have seen how intense the sun can actually be. When you are exposed to too much heat, your body may experience dehydration, which can lead to heat cramps, exhaustion, and even a sunstroke/heat stroke. So that you and your family are healthy all summer long we have listed some helpful tips for staying protected:

Light Colored Clothing

Depending on how you dress, light colors can really help you stay comfortable when outside in the heat. Think about wearing white or soft neutral/pastel colored clothes made from natural fibers like cotton and linen. Since dark clothing absorbs heat and tight-fitting clothes are not made to let you sweat, you can get overheated during the summer. Your body’s natural cooling system is to sweat and evaporate; therefore, do not wear clothes that will prevent this natural cooling system from doing its thing!

Hats & Sunglasses

Buy a wide-brimmed straw or fabric hat that prevents UV (ultraviolet) rays from getting to your face and neck. Your skin will appreciate this as you age and so will you, compared to people who chose not to cover their face in the sun. Make sure you purchase sunglasses that prevent UV rays from damaging your eyes. Choose sunglasses that block ninety to one hundred percent of UV rays to stay safe.

Lip Balm & Sunscreen

Lip balm protects your lips, which are very thin and sunburn easily. Make sure you purchase a balm that has SPF (sun protection factor) of at least a fifteen. When you are outdoors who wants to ruin the fun by getting a nasty sunburn? No one does, but if you do not purchase a sunscreen with at least a fifteen SPF, you will probably be sitting on the sidelines with that nasty sunburn. If you are swimming or playing sports and sweating, be sure to purchase a waterproof sunscreen.

For children, do not forget to protect the tender areas like the tops of ears, eyelids, nose, shoulders, the head and back of the neck. We would also recommend a lip balm that is for chapped lips with an SPF of at least a fifteen to put under eyebrows and on eyelids to prevent a nasty burn. The chapped lip balm’s thick consistency will prevent the balm from running into the eyes.

Enjoy your summer, and stay healthy!

Tips for Organizing a Kid’s Bedroom

Are you tired of always getting on your kid to clean up their room? A child’s room can quickly become cluttered with clothes, crafts, and toys. If this is an issue that you are currently experiencing, it may be time to start implementing some new organization strategies. A well-organized room will allow kids to locate their favorite toys faster as well as help keep things neat. Here are some tips to help organize your child’s room:

No Longer in Use

If you are still storing those clothes that your child can no longer fit, it is time to find them a new home. Ask your child to help you separate items that they no longer use or can fit, so you can both donate them to other children in need. Children are more likely to part with the toys that they no longer play with when they find out that they will be helping another child in need.

Cute and Practical

Your storage solutions should be fun while being ideal for the needs of your kid. You can try using colorful storage bins with wheels that enable them to be easily moved. In addition, if you are feeling artsy, you can make it a crafts project with the kids to create fun storage options for their toys.

Get Kids Involved

Have your children help you organize their room. Be sure to make it fun by turning it into a game–this will help them develop a more upbeat attitude towards tidying up their room thus motivating them to do so on their own.

Separate “Like” Items

Try storing “like” items together. Help them sort through their clothes and toys so that you can see exactly what they have. Use storage bins, shelves, or crates to place items so that you will be able to keep track of what they have.

Accessibility is Key

When organizing your kid’s room, it is essential that you make everything easily accessible for your child that way, they will be able to find and put away items. If you have small children, consider placing nooks at a convenient height. In addition, you can lower rods in the closet so that they will be able to hang up their own clothes.

How do you stay organized? We would love to hear your personal tips and tricks below in the comment section. Thanks for reading!

Creating a Gender-Neutral Nursery

Did you just receive the wonderful news and now you are an expecting parent? We know this is an exciting time, but we also know this can be a stressful time. You immediately start thinking of a million things to do. Many expecting parents today are choosing the option of creating a gender-neutral nursery while staying away from the traditional blue and pink palettes. This can be a perfect solution for parents waiting to find out the gender of their child at birth. If you are interested in a gender-neutral nursery, we have some suggestions that will steer you in the right direction for creating the perfect nursery. Let’s take a look!

Color Schemes & Themes

Begin by choosing your corresponding color scheme and theme to pull the room together. You do not necessarily have to pick white or beige colored walls, but selecting a neutral wall color allows you to bring in other colors, patterns, and designs wherever you see fit. Think of the walls as a blank canvas, and what you add is the actual art.

Murals & Wall Decals

You do not have to be a talented artist to create a mural that corresponds with your theme. Painter’s tape is a wonderful tool to mark off various shapes, or tape off horizontal, chevron or vertical stripes. Simply paint the taped-off design with coordinating paint colors. If you do not have the time or patience to create and paint a design, research the hundreds of peel and stick decals that are on the market. Choose themed decals like jungle scenes, nature scenes, alphabets, or numbers to liven up the room. Believe us; you will have no problem finding decals to match your theme.

Furniture

If your walls are a neutral color, and your style is traditional, white or off-white is a safe choice for furniture. You can introduce a contrasting color with your mural and decals. If you are more adventurous, choose a darker color for the walls like navy or gray that will contrast with white trim and white furniture.

Accessories

Depending on your theme and color palette, choosing accessories is always the fun part of the project. Accessories including area rugs, lamps/light fixtures, window coverings, bedding, floor pillows, and stuffed animals can be functional yet stylish pieces that add to the overall design. Introducing contrasting colors to the nursery is easily achieved with the accessories you choose.

We hope you all the best and have fun creating the perfect sanctuary for your little one! Please let us know the outcome of this very special project.

Memorial Day BBQ Side Dish Ideas

You may consider Memorial Day the official marker of summertime. It is a time that we honor and remember those who served our country, and you may have decided to host a barbecue and invite a few veterans over to your home. If you are nervous about finding the perfect side dishes to match your BBQ, fear not because here are seven BBQ side dish ideas that you can use for your Memorial Day party:

Roasted Sweet Potato

Looking for something sweet to complement your protein choice? Roasting sweet potatoes is an extremely easy and tasty idea for homeowners. Plus, it is really simple! Just chop them up and drizzle them with olive oil before placing them in the oven!

CrockPot Mac N’ Cheese

Mac n’ cheese is a classic when it comes to barbecues. The best part is you can easily make it in the crockpot for a portable, fast recipe.

Fresh Fruit Salad

Nothing says fresh on a warm day like fruit salad. Plus, fruit salad is an easy, last minute idea that you can throw together. Try adding in your favorite summer fruits for customization.

Brown Sugar Grilled Pineapple

Looking for a dessert that will not show on the scale the next day? Brown sugar pineapples are easy and delicious options for your Labor Day barbecue. Bonus: there are only three ingredients (pineapples, brown sugar, and canola oil)!

Jalapeño Cornbread

If you love spice, you will love this savory side dish! You can add jalapeños into a box mix of cornbread or make them from scratch. Either way, the plate will be cleared off with this delicious side dish.

Baked Garlic Parmesan Fries

Everyone loves a flavorful french fry and adding a garlic parmesan seasoning turns your fries into the talk of the party. All you need is garlic, parsley, salt, olive oil, parmesan, and fresh potatoes to make this snack come true.

Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad

Running short on time? You can quickly throw together this 5-ingredient salad in no time! All you need is fresh, seedless watermelon, mint, olive oil, feta cheese, and salt for a new BBQ favorite.

We hope you enjoy your Memorial Day party and that your side dishes are a hit!