Bringing the Bed & Breakfast to Your Home

Duncan’s Cove Bedroom

Who doesn’t love a getaway? When guests come stay at your home, making your guest room feel like a bed and breakfast is easier than you think! Bringing the bed and breakfast feel to your home doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

Here are simple and affordable ways you can get started.

  1. One of the best parts of a bed and breakfast is getting to relax in a fresh and clean room that’s free of clutter. So the first order of business is to declutter and declutter some more. That means all those old magazines in the corner and the storage bins filled with old clothes taking up space needs to go. There’s nothing that will kill the experience and relaxation faster than junk. You’ll want to make sure the room is cleaned every day and that the bed is made up.
  2. Quality bedding is a must-have to simulate the feel of a bed and breakfast. There’s no way your guests will feel totally relaxed on cheap scratchy sheets. Therefore, you’ll want to invest in quality sheets and comforters or duvets with a high thread count. Purchase pretty sheets with a nice pattern that you will love to look at, and will bring your guests joy.
  3. Don’t forget the layers of warmth which will include the fluffy decorator pillows and a blanket or quilt folded at the end of the bed. There’s nothing like sinking into a bunch of comfy pillows at the end of the night. Having a blanket or quilt at the end of the bed will not only add texture, but your guests will appreciate not having to look or ask for additional bedding if they are cold natured. Set the mood by setting up candles, investing up to a faux fireplace or purchasing glowing lampshades.
  4. You’ll want the bedroom to smell really good. Try using a linen spray to freshen up the sheets and the air in the room. Candles can also contribute to a nice smelling guest room. Also, give some thought to the colors that you use to decorate the space because colors can contribute to the mood.
  5. Create a basket filled with essentials your guests may have forgotten at home. This can include toiletries like toothpaste, deodorant, floss and tissue. Think of those things that are too bulky for your guests to travel with, but would be convenient to have during their stay.
  6. Add a decorative tray to the guest bedroom that includes flowers, a bottle of wine and two glasses or whatever treat you’d like to welcome your guests with.

Having a nice guest room will make your guests have a more enjoyable time while visiting. Any personalized touches you choose to add will only make the guest experience even better! That means you’ll want to be surrounded by beauty, peace and quiet.

Breakfast in Bed

We live in a world where items can be purchased online or in person and be enjoyed immediately, so this doesn’t leave a lot of room when it comes to gift giving. What do you do for a special person in your life, whether it’s your parents, spouse or a friend coming to visit? Consider a kind gesture instead. The act of giving of one’s self without the need for something in return is something the person you do it for will not soon forget.

One of the ways you can do something kind for someone, especially if they are in your home with you permanently or temporarily is to make them breakfast in bed. This shows you care for them and their needs while they are with you, and you want them to be as comfortable and feel as welcome as possible. You can make it a surprise or you can tell them in advance that they need not leave their room for breakfast time since it will be coming to them. Breakfast delivered can be as simple as a black coffee, orange juice and bowl of oatmeal or as fancy as a cappuccino, chocolate crepes and fresh fruit assortment-this is all about making the recipient feel valued.

Once they have placed their order, ask them what time would be best for them to receive their at-home room service and start gathering your supplies. To really make it special, use a large wooden serving tray with placemat covering and fabric napkin. Include a morning newspaper if they so desire and plate their food on a washable plate with silverware-no plastic forks or paper plates! For the final touch, add a handwritten note mentioning how much you appreciate them and the role they play in your life. At the end of their morning meal, they will hopefully be energized, ready for the day and grateful to have a wonderful person like you in their life. Never underestimate the impact of a kind gesture.

Feng Shui Home Design Principals – Color

When using Feng Shui principles to design the interior of your home you’ll also to give thought to what type of colors you’re going to paint each room. Yes, using colors based on how they mesh with your energy is crucial to creating a home that promotes well being and balanced energy. Just think. If you were to use all fiery colors within one space it would no doubt be draining and overwhelming.

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

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

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

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

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

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

We could all use some balance and well being in our lives today so we hope you find this tips helpful and useful!

Furniture Shopping Tips You Should Know

In the process of furnishing your home? Whether you’re starting from scratch or simply looking for a few new pieces to update your home, shopping for furniture can be overwhelming. Picking the right pieces are essential because everyone knows that the decor can make or break a home’s design. Whether you’ve decided to take the hunt online or you’re shopping at your local furniture store here are some tips you should take into consideration.

Test the Measurements
There’s nothing worse than purchasing the perfect piece of furniture only to discover down the line that it doesn’t fit into the space. That’s why you should always check the measurements of an item before you swipe your credit card. The piece of furniture may look one way in a picture or in the store but the scale of it is totally different once it’s in your home. You can use blue tape to measure furniture in the store. Use blue tape to measure the width and length of the allotted space and see if it will be proportionate based on the dimensions of the item online.

Everything Doesn’t Have to Match
Although, you want your furniture pieces to harmonize with each other everything doesn’t have to exactly match. While it’s the safest decision it can be way too much and create a bland look. It’s all about finding a balance that works for your space. Since opposites attract you can mix styles. For instance, if you’ve opted for a traditional sofa you can mix things up with an eclectic recliner or a chic coffee table.

Sample Swatches
Don’t sleep on the sample swatches. The texture of a material can be completely different from what you thought it looked like in a showroom or on the computer screen. Get samples of fabric swatches just to see how the material would look in your space.

Impulse Buys
Avoid making the final decision on impulse. Just because you love the item at the moment doesn’t mean you’ll like it later. Buying furniture is a big decision so take a day to think it over. See what kind of pieces are out there before you make your final decision.

We hope you find these shopping tips useful!

Have You Organized Your Refrigerator?

Still have last month leftovers stocked on your refrigerator shelves? The refrigerator should be cleaned out and sanitized frequently for health reasons. If you’re ready to take on the daunting task of organizing and cleaning your refrigerator, we’re going to show you how you can do so effectively. It’s time to throw out expired condiments, old food and clean the gunk from the corners.

How To Clean Out the Refrigerator

Perhaps the easiest way to clean out the fridge is to empty out the contents. You can do this section by section, or all at once. Setting everything outside the refrigerator allows you to determine what needs to be thrown away and what food items can be kept. Of course items that need to be discarded should be thrown in a trash bag, while the others can be kept to the side so that you can load them back into the fridge.

More than likely, the interior of the fridge is less than pristine. Before you load the contents back in you should take a wet, soapy cloth and wipe off the crumbs and food remnants that are stuck on the shelves. For areas with gunk that’s tough to remove you can use a solution of vinegar of water. Make sure you dry wipe the fridge dry. Don’t forget the drawers and the fridge doors.

Arrange The Refrigerator Like A Professional

When loading the refrigerator back after thoroughly cleaning it you should organize it like the professionals do. Restaurants organize their refrigerators based on food safety. Professional kitchens organize food in the fridge based on the temperature it requires to be cooked. Prepared foods and leftovers that don’t require a high cooking temperature are usually stored on the top shelf in the fridge. Chicken, uncooked meats, and other raw foods are placed on the bottom shelf. When foods are organized this way you won’t have to worry about cross-contamination.

Here’s a guide you can follow for loading the refrigerator:


Door
– The door is the warmest section of the refrigerator. Therefore, you should store condiments in this area.
Drawers – The drawers are meant to hold produce which is your fruits and vegetables.
Upper Shelves – The upper shelves should be used to store ready-made foods like yogurt, cheese, leftovers, and drinks.
Lower shelves – Raw foods

Thanks for reading and hopefully this helps you with the task of cleaning out your refrigerator, and makes it a little easier!

Ideas to Dress up Your Hallways

In a lot of homes, hallways are just a connection to other rooms, and homeowners often overlook their decorative potential. With hallways often being narrow and short, homeowners may throw up a picture or two and call it a day, but we believe hallways can be so much more.

7 Ideas to Dress Up Your Hallways

1. Blended

When working with the design in your hallway, you want to be sure that it continues the current design onto the next room. Your hall can be a subtle preview of what guests should expect when they enter your home’s next room. The design flow should never stop in the hallway because that tends to make the transition feel awkward. Instead, you want to make sure that each room blends well into the hall and leaves seamless transitions. 

2. The Main Event

Just like in any other room, you will want to create a “focal point” that becomes the center of attention in the hallway. This item can be anywhere from a gorgeous light fixture to an extravagant mirror. It will depend on what you want to do with the space and what decor pieces you plan on incorporating. 

3. A Perfect Runway

As flooring experts, we understand that no room is complete without the perfect touch of flooring. For hallways, we recommend purchasing a “runner” for the floor. This simple addition can instantly make your hardwood floors feel more cozy and chic.

4. Chic Shelving

In hallways, you want to keep the decor light and simple. Since there is not a lot of space to work with, a simple, chic shelving piece can do just the trick.

5. The Gallery.

Gallery walls are a trendy, inexpensive way to decorate any room, but they work exceptionally well in hallways. When creating your hallway’s gallery wall, you want to be sure that you keep it simple. Depending on the size of your wall, you will most likely want to use fewer items than you would typically in another area of your home. Try and keep it simple and light to create a refreshing look.

6. Look Up

If you are looking for a creative way to make your hallway unique, you could try painting your ceiling a fun color. Once you have decided on a color, you can incorporate it into your hallway’s design. This will help tie together everything. 

7. Captivating Wallpaper

Graphic wallpaper is a current trend everyone loves. It is especially perfect for hallways because it will help bring them to life. We recommend trying to use vertical graphic patterns in your hallways. This will help make the room look more substantial than it actually is.  

Organizing an Overpacked Home

Is your home overflowing with unnecessary items? Do you feel too overwhelmed to even begin working on your house? Are you tired of not knowing where to put all of your things? If you answered “absolutely” to any of these questions above, know you’re not alone and we would love to help you. Ideally, you will find yourself reorganizing your home at least once a year. Every year we see ourselves buying more miscellaneous items and belongings to fill our homes to their brink. To help you achieve maximum organization and function, we have created a guide for organizing an overpacked home. Let’s take a look! 

How to Organize an Overpacked Home:

Search for Storage. Storing your items is the only way you will get them out of sight and out of mind. Decorative pieces can be left out, but things that do not serve a daily purpose should be stored away.

Clean out Your Cabinets, Closets, and Drawers. You can find a lot of unnecessary items tucked away in your cupboards. A best practice in organizing is clearing out your built-in storage containers before adding more items. After you have cleaned out your available storage, take advantage of these spaces that are provided by your house. You can then begin to put things back into your drawers and closets.

Buy Storage Containers. There is an array of home furnishing items that add style while providing storage to your home. Pieces that optimize storage and style are:

  • Bookcases
  • Benches
  • Baskets/Bins
  • Coffee Tables
  • Desks
  • Dressers
  • Vanities

Organize in Style. Organizing your home does not necessarily mean marking each item with a label and placing it into a clear container. Organizing your home can allow you to add more to spaces than you previously had. Things to consider:

  • Home offices hold a lot of storage potential. Having an office in your house will also help keep your home organized. You really only need a desk to make a space your home office. Once you have a desk, consider everything you have the potential to store in it:
      • Mail and letters
      • Notebooks
      • Office supplies (pens, pencils, paper, scissors, tape, etc.)
      • Books
      • Computer/Laptop
  • Pets tend to have a lot of their own belongings. Make a section in your home designated for their items. You can install a shelf or a cabinet to hold all their belongings. Storing the items up high is mutually beneficial; it guarantees your pet cannot get into something they should not, and you can decorate the piece to your liking.
  • Pet items can easily be stored in places like the garage or basement to help you maximize the use of your high-traffic areas.
  • Kids’ toys can be everywhere sometimes. Chests/bins are a stylish piece of furniture that can store your little one’s toys and activities.

Ultimately, the key to organization is cleaning. You must clean out your home before you can begin to organize it. Now is the perfect time to get started on cleaning out your house. Keep in mind, you do not need to throw everything away! Let us know how your organizing project turn out!

How to Host a Quarantined Easter

Easter is a time of the year that brings the whole family together. It is fun with egg hunts, kid-friendly activities, and quality time with loved ones. However, with the pandemic at hand, this is going to be a very different Easter than usual. Churches are closer, social gatherings are dwindling, and home lockdowns are going into full effect. So how do you celebrate this time with others when you are forced to stay at home by yourself?

Sunday Service

If you go to church on Easter Sunday, consider that plan to be canceled. However, many services are still live-streaming or creating pre-recorded sessions. You can now enjoy your Sunday Easter Service in the comfort of your own home.

Family Time

These new times demand innovative gathering solutions. Many families are staying connected through Facetime, Zoom, and other virtual calling apps like HouseParty. You can facilitate these plans with your own family for Easter. Make something unique where you can have a family game night or an activity to partake in while video chatting. This activity is a great way to have family time still, even when you cannot all be together.

Easter Dinner

Just because your friends and family cannot join you, does not mean you cannot dine like a king or queen. You can still have some of your favorite holiday, traditional meals this season. You may need to have your groceries delivered, yet a half ham or turkey will go great with other mini Easter dishes as well. Simply create your own mini feast for the ones in your home. If you live alone, still enjoy your dinner yourself!

It can be challenging to celebrate a holiday alone or without your typical holiday plans. However, do not hope in this uncertain time. The holiday is still here, and it is an opportunity to celebrate it in a new way. Make sure you still enjoy this day by making it special. It can be hard to get everyone excited in the house for the new, changed celebration, yet the opportunity to enjoy the day is still there! Do not lose sight of the holiday.

Cleaning vs. Sanitizing vs. Disinfecting

Let’s be honest; we all love having a clean, spick-and-span environment. In fact, this reason is why we continually clean our homes to help take pride in our properties and to reduce the spread of bacteria and germs. Yet, cleaning your home is a generic term we often misuse. In fact, you will find that cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting all have distinct definitions. For instance, the level of cleanliness differs. How clean a dish is after washing it with soap and water is very different from how clean a scalpel is before a surgeon performs surgery. To further explain, here are the differences between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting:

Cleaning

To clean something is to remove any visible dirt or debris physically. We do this all the time in our homes, from washing dishes, vacuuming, sweeping, and dusting. Additionally, cleaning will also facilitate the use of water and detergent, sometimes like wiping down your countertops with soap and water. However, water and soap do not kill germs. Adding water to the cleaning process is more or less to dilute the number of germs on a given surface.

Sanitizing

To be more thorough, the method will be sanitizing. This process kills 99.99% of germs and bacteria that can be health hazards. It is more used for things that may enter our bodies, such as food. You can sanitize an area or surface with strong chemicals, as well as extreme heats reaching over 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Hence why dishwashers use intense heat to help reduce the number of unwanted fungi and bacteria.

Disinfecting

Lastly, disinfecting is the most thorough of the processes. Disinfecting something kills the germs, fungi, and bacteria completely. This process is done with powerful chemicals, UV-C germicidal short wavelengths, ultraviolet lights, and other machinery. This process is not typically done in our homes. It is a process used for hospitals prior to surgeries.

Knowing these three methods can help you prioritize them. Try to clean your home and remove visible debris and dirt frequently. It is a great habit to achieve daily. For instance, you can sanitize your home during the weekends or, when needed, in high-bacteria areas or food prep areas. Lastly, you will only try to disinfect your home if you know sickness is afoot in your home. Go the extra steps when you have someone extremely sick to help prevent the spread.

Building a Home Gym on a Budget

We are living through an uncertain time where the coronavirus pandemic has closed many businesses temporarily to prevent the spread of the virus. In a society where social distancing and home quarantine is becoming the norm, it can be very challenging to reach some of your fitness goals. In fact, many gym-goers have no had to create their own personal at-home workouts to help stay proactive and healthy during these challenging times. If the gym has been part of your structured lifestyle, you probably have been brainstorming ways to stay healthy at home. This factor is why many homeowners have decided to create their own home gyms. However, it will not take long for you to realize that creating your dream home gym is not always very budget-friendly. This factor is where proper planning comes into play. If you are planning on building a home gym, here is everything you need to consider:

Budget

The one variable that can be the most limiting is your budget. It is essential to create a realistic budget before tackling this project. As you explore the realm of home gym equipment, you can start to gather an idea of what the prices are for gym equipment. Going into any project without a plan can wreak havoc on your wallet, so before you buy, start to round up some prices of what you may want. You also want to consider, not everyone loves training at home. Gyms will eventually reopen. Do not blow your budget on something you may only facilitate for a month and never again use.

Space

Once you have determined your budget, you can begin to purchase your equipment. While equipment may fit your budget, it may not fit your home. Gym equipment can be bulky and need extra space to keep safety at the forefront. Maybe some equipment dimensions fit your space; however, do you have adequate space to perform exercises safely and properly in those dimensions as well? This factor is why it is good to consider multi-purpose equipment. Your home may not fit a squat rack, bench, and cable machine. Yet, Power Racks or other options can have multiple functions. Likewise, it may not be practical to invest in a whole dumbbell set. This is great for commercial gyms yet not always ideal for home gyms. You may want to go a more practical route and buy adjustable dumbbells or a couple of different pairs you will use.

Personal Goals

Lastly, determine your personal goals. Home gyms can take a little creativity. What did you do when you went to the gym? Consider your workouts. If you did Pilates or yoga, do not invest in a powerlifting home gym. Likewise, if you prefer free weights, do not invest in machines you will never use. This can be a big mistake! It may be wise to buy just enough to get started. Decide if you like the setup and can workout at home. After a week, you may decide the environment is too challenging for you, or you need to invest more. These tactics can help save you money.

Home gyms are great to have, whether gyms are closed or not! This investment is a great way to convert an unused garage or basement to a more facilitated room in your home. Remember to stick to your budget and consider your space. These are tactics that will help you buy once and enjoy reaching your personal goals.