Your Home is Your Symphony

“Dr. Carl Sagan once wrote, “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” Although Dr. Sagan was commenting on the wonders to be found in the vastness of outer space, there are also incredible design possibilities just waiting to be discovered right in your own home. In fact, your home’s overall design represents a symphony, and the individual design details are the musical notes you use to compose the melody and harmony for the symphony of your living space.

Your home should always bolster feelings of happiness, serenity, and comfort, and once you’re aware of a few simple rules, composing a home symphony that supports positive emotions and encourages joyful living is easy.

Begin composing your symphony by choosing the color of your walls. All of your home’s colors should harmonize, both inside and out. Once you’ve chosen your exterior colors, bring subtle shades of those same colors inside, using them as accents throughout your home. Harmonize your colors with ones you see in the natural world surrounding your house. Use colors that blend with the lighting from the natural environment and support a feeling of serenity and cheerfulness.

Next, add carefully-crafted lighting, which is an important factor in all residential design. Well-designed lighting is both a science and an art, and when used in conjunction with color, sets the emotional atmosphere for the home. Too little light in a room can cause people to feel depressed, while rooms that are too bright can cause uneasy feelings.

Like the color of your walls, your lighting choices should also harmonize with the natural light that surrounds your home. The amount of light should vary, just as it does in nature, to give rooms a more natural feel and to evoke a note of harmony and peace.

The next movement in your symphony involves the textures you choose to employ throughout your home. Studies have shown that emotionally pleasing patterns based on nature encourage feelings of happiness and contentment. Undulating patterns, combined with gentle swags, lend an upbeat, natural feeling to a room, while rooms with no patterns feel boring because people are accustomed to the multitude of patterns displayed by Mother Nature.

Many other design details in your home also come into play when creating your home symphony, such as sounds, furnishings, and furniture arrangement. But regardless of which movement of your symphony you’re working on, always keep in mind that balance is the key. And just like the combined elements of a symphony, your home must have some sections that promote quiet and rest–remember, it’s the vacant spaces between the notes that make the music.

If you look at decorating your home as if you were creating a symphony, in all of its complexity and harmony, you’ll be able to make design decisions that are always in concert with your overall concept. If you continue to bear the complete work in mind, you’ll choose design elements that resonate in harmony with each other, and your home will make joyful music for all who enter.

11 Tips for Stripping Wallpaper: How to Get Rid of Ugly Wallpaper

I broke my promise to myself and stripped wallpaper again. The only reason I did this is for $100,000 profit. My family and I did not have time to wait for professional help. We sold our investment property before finishing the work and needed the home ready for appraisal.

While stripping the wallpaper, I realized that many homemakers get wrong advice for this horrendous task. After years of experience on over 30 houses, I offer my tried and best tips:

1. Use a clothes steamer or rent a professional steamer

2. Soak a large section of the wall

3. Run a “Paper Tiger” scoring tool across the damp section

4. Steam the section again

5. Spray the section with fabric softener and hot water

6. Score the section with the paper tiger again

7. Steam again

8. Remove any curling edges (sometimes large areas peel off)

9. Scrape with a six inch sheetrock blade

10. Repeat the above steps on the section until most scrapes off easily

11. Scrub with hot water, TSP, and a sponge with a scratchy surface

Cautions: Use the Paper Tiger gingerly so you don’t scratch or gouge the walls. Use gloves with the harsh chemical TSP.

Don’t live with ugly wallpaper any longer!

P. S. Please email me if you have any additional tips on stripping wallpaper that would help others!

6 Tips to Help You Choose a Good Rubbish Removal Company

If your windshield is chipped, make sure you get it fixed as soon as you can. The chip can turn into a serious problem if not fixed. The primary layer may cause further damage with time. As a result, you may have to pay for the costly replacement. Given below are the steps you can follow to repair your car windshield yourself.

#1: Get the Tools and Supplies

Given below are the tools and supplies you need for the job:

  • A mirror
  • An injector and bridge
  • Razor blades
  • plastic curing tab
  • Windshield pit filler
  • repair resin
  • A Dremel tool

#2: Prep the Windshield

Your first move is to get the chip and windshield ready for the repair. You can use an alcohol pad for cleaning and scribing out the loose glass particles from the chipped area.

Now, fix the mirror on the internal area of the windshield so you can monitor the chip from different angles.

#3: Create a Seal

Make sure your center the bridge or any other tool on the chip. Basically, your goal is to make a seal over the chip area that has no glass.

#4: Drop Resin

Once you have made a seal over the area, your next move is to drop a few drops of the resin ( 3 to 8 drops are enough) into the area.

#5: Inject the Chip

You can push the resin into the windshield chip with the injector. Look into the mirror to see how it goes. Keep monitoring it while you release air and re-inject as needed. Let it sit for around 10 minutes.

If the area is exposed to direct sunlight, don’t forget to keep it covered. The resin should not be cured prematurely. After a few minutes, you can take off the bridge.

#6: Fill in The Missing Glass

Your job is almost over. However, you still need to fill in the missing glass of the chip. To identify the area, make sure you look for the spot that has no glass. Following this step is important if you want the glass to look smooth once again.

Grab the pit filer and fill in the impact point. Dropping a few drops of filler will be enough. Get a plastic curing and put it on the area. For proper curing, make sure you let it be exposed to direct sunlight for a few minutes.

#7: Scrape the Filler

Get a razor blade and scrape off all the extra pit filler. Don’t touch the impacted area as the razor will cause damage to it. If you want even better results, you can apply some polish to the impacted area.

This type of windshield repair can stand the test of time. However, many variables can have an impact on the life of the repair, such as the temperature, location, dirt, moisture, and age. However, as far as the structure is concerned, the glass will be back in shape.

So, you can follow these 7 steps if you want to repair your windshield without the help of a professional.

Tips For Cutting Your House Cleaning Time In Half

What if you learn new ways to clean your home in half the time as you used to? You’d get to finish all your household chores without having to block off a whole bunch. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Have A System

If you want to reduce the time you spend cleaning your house, the first thing you have to do is create a system. That means you need to clean your home in the exact same order every time. You have to work with a specific room first, begin and end at the exact same place in every room so that there is no need for you to waste your precious time running from one area to another. The whole premise of having a system is to be consistent. You have to do the same thing every time you clean. This will become your routine, which is a good way of cleaning because the speed is due to the method being employed instead of doing things in a hurry. This is not a gimmick. You can really clean your home in half the time.

Top To Bottom Cleaning

You must not start cleaning any room by wiping the table and then the blinds. You will just see the dust that came from the blinds drop to your newly cleaned table. You have to start at the very top of any area such as the ceiling fan and then work your way down to the floor to avoid doing the cleaning all over again. Also, you have to start cleaning from the left and then move to the right instead of moving from one place and then to another.

Window Cleaning

Are you having problems getting that shine on your windows when you use paper towels and Windex? Maybe because you are using the wrong tools! You need to use an expert grade window squeegee to get this job done. Add a drop of dish soap to one gallon of water. Wipe it on the window using a cloth and then remove it using a squeegee. Be sure to start at the top and once you are at the bottom, don’t forget to wipe the blade before repeating the process. Once you are done, you will get a window that is streak free. In case a squeegee is not your favorite, you can use a glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth. Use horizontal strokes when wiping the window with a cloth. Don’t use circular motions because they can leave streaks. Don’t use paper towels or newspapers because they can also leave residue.

Prepare Your Tools

When cleaning your house, you have to make sure that all the cleaning tools and solutions you need are within arm’s reach. Doing so will prevent you from going back and forth. You can place your tools and solutions in the apron you are wearing or maybe in a bucket. If you are worried about the huge bottles, you always pour the cleaning solutions into smaller spray bottles, which you can carry easily.

Be Proactive

The first rule when it comes to keeping your home clean is to prevent problems before they even begin. For instance, prevent scum and grime buildup in your shower by using a shower cleaner.

Remove The Kitchen Grease

Grease will eventually wind up on your kitchen cabinets, especially those located next to or above the range. You can wipe off the grease using a cleaner. Just make sure that the solution contains orange oil. You can also go for a regular grease-cutting dishwashing solution, which is effective at getting rid of the grease. In case you are dealing with a tough stain that just won’t come off even if you are already using a strong detergent, you should consider a homemade cleaner. Combine water and baking soda. Scrub the solution on the problem spot using a cloth.

Choosing Low Voltage Outdoor Lighting

Here are some things to consider when putting together your low voltage outdoor lighting plan:

The first thing to consider is whether to choose low-voltage, LED or go with solar lights. Do you want to try using solar path lights in your garden or landscaping project? Solar path lighting options can be simple to set up and do not require much upkeep. They also don’t require an outlet. Solar lights have also become much more inexpensive over the last decade. These lights can can be a solution but there are some drawbacks. Solar lights do not work in shade or during cloudy weather and, although lighting technology is getting better, the light may be dimmer depending on the amount of sun the panel received that day. One thing to consider is to use solar light fixtures for accents or to mark the edge of a driveway or path, where you don’t expect them to light something critical to navigating the area.

Metal lighting. Low-voltage landscape lighting consists of a transformer, sometimes called a power pack, a cable and light fixtures. The transformer is used to reduce house current to a safe 12 volts and to control the lights. The cable is typically strung along the ground or can be buried. The cable connects the light fixtures to the transformer. The light fixtures are usually staked into the ground and attached to the cable with a clamp that makes the electrical connection. Kits with 50 feet of cable and six metal fixtures – enough for about 40 feet of path can cost between $120 to $200. Expect good-quality metal lights to last several years.

Plan ahead. Installing your first outdoor path lighting system can take as little as 90 minutes including unpacking, reading and understanding the instructions, measuring cable and doing the math to make sure everything is put together properly. On a dark night, use several flashlights to work out a plan before shopping for a system. Make sure your transformer and cable have enough capacity for all the fixtures you buy.

Lay out the cable first. The initial fixture should be 10 feet from the transformer and you must allow a foot of cable at the end. Install the transformer first then lay out the cable on the ground before marking the positions of the fixtures along the length that is available. It’s very important to measure these out and not just eyeball it. Lights look much better at night if they are spaced evenly and poles are vertical. Once you are thoroughly satisfied, connect the lights to the cable and cover the cable with mulch or bury them about an inch under ground.

Be safe. There are some things to be aware of when installing a low-voltage lighting system. In addition to the transformer, you will need an outdoor ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet, one that automatically cuts off if there is an anomaly in the electrical flow or a surge. If necessary, find an electrician to install one. It is important to run low voltage landscape lights from an outlet and not from an extension cord – and be sure not to overload the outlet. If you plan on running cable across a path please be sure to bury the cable rather than running a cable across a path where it can be tripped over.

The Best 5 Types of Desks for You to Nail Work-From-Home

Desks are needed everywhere, be it home, office, schools or even a hospital. There are a huge number of people who opt for work-from-home as working hours are flexible. They also benefit people who do not have a regular job, as they use it for performing their daily home duties, working on budgets and much more. Finding the right desk for your needs is very important. Here are some of the few types of desks.

WRITING DESK

The writing desk is the simplest one available in the market. It is a flat surface that permits you to sit at the desk, on the chair of your choice. You get maximum working space as there are no drawers or other details which the other types of desks have. Be it working on your bills or writing a novel, this desk will provide you the comfort to do your job. These come in different styles and designs, and you can choose the one which suits your needs.

FLOATING DESK

A floating desk is fixed or built into a wall of the room which allows the floor space to be open. This means that, the floor will be unoccupied by the bulky legs of the desk or other details which can cram the room. This is the best one for a small home office and will look great if the room has a window with a beautiful view. This is for someone who loves simplicity, and the look of clean lines. This also provides great space for you to move your legs around while you work.

COMPUTER DESK

A computer desk is also a desk, which shouts simplicity just like a writing desk, but, it provides a large space for you to keep all the devices which you require. There will be ample amount of space to house your monitor, CPU, and other cables and connectors. Most of the computer desks come with a keyboard tray which can be slid out when they keyboard is in use and slid in when it is not required. Some also come with small drawers and a shelving unit to keep all your office supplies.

CORNER DESK

A corner desk is well suited for a home office, which does not have much foot space. The desk sits perfectly in one of the four corners of a room which allows the main part of the room to be unoccupied for other activities. There are many variations of the corner desk, from small, simple setups, to large, spacious desk tops with shelving units.

STANDING DESK

A standing desk is suitable if the kind of work you do from home does not take a lot of time or if you like to stand and work. A standing desk is taller than the other types which helps the monitor’s screen to be at your standing level. Height adjustment is available in most of the standing desks. The look and design is simple and can completely change the way you work.

5 Most Reasons to Waterproof Your Basement

Basements serve a lot of purposes other than helping you store your unwanted stuff. As a matter of fact, it’s the base of your house. In other words, if your basement is not safe, your house is at risk. Therefore, it’s important that you waterproof your basement. In this article, we are going to read about 5 reasons why you should waterproof your basement.

1. Protection from the damage caused by Flooding

One of the main reasons why basements get damaged is flash floods. According to the reports released by the National Insurance Program (NFIP), floods cause billions of dollars damage each year. In fact, it’s one of the most dangerous natural phenomena. If you take the steps to waterproof your basement, you can protect your property from water damage. After all, you don’t want to ruin your valuables.

2. Prevention of Mold and Mildew

Even if you don’t have the risk of flood in your area, you may still have to deal with the problem of mold and mildew, especially during the rainy season. The growth of mold and mildew can create a lot of health problems, such as asthma, allergies, skin irritation, and cough, just to name a few.

3. Prevention of Cracks

Moisture is another problem that may have an impact on the health of your basement. Due to temperature fluctuations, cracks may appear on the basement foundation, which may pose a serious threat to the structure of your house. Therefore, waterproofing is the best technique to fix the leaks and cracks.

4. Reduced Utility bills

In summer, the humidity level goes up in your home, which will make it more expensive to keep your house cool. On the other hand, in winter, the heat will escape through the cracks in the foundation making it more expensive to keep your house warm. Waterproofing insulates all of your house reducing your utility bills significantly.

5. Increased Value

Actually, a basement that is waterproof increases the value of your property. Moreover, it can also make your house more secure. You will also enjoy a better return on your investment.

6. Protection of the structural integrity of your property

Moist soil can cause water seepage in the foundation, which may damage the edges and joints. Since the edges and joints are not open, they may suffer from a lot of damage, such as foundation cracks, and bowed walls. So, this is an important reason why it’s important to waterproof your house basement.

7. Insurance Claims

Two out of 10 insurance claims are made by people who have damaged property. The reasons vary, such as damaged wooden beams and foundation cracks, to name a few. And the claims are expensive. Homeowners don’t know that the damage may happen due to a minor trickle as well. Therefore, it’s a good idea to spend a small amount of money to protect the basement of your house, and waterproofing is the best technique.

How to build an energy-efficient home

There are just a few important things to know and to remember, when building an energy-efficient home. These are; insulation, air intrusion, thermal mass, and that windows and holes in the wall of the house lose about the same amount of energy.

Insulation is a means of capturing dead air and causing it to slow the exchange of hot energy toward a cold space. Most builders use fiberglass insulation. Personally, I prefer to use blown cellulose insulation. In America, we major the value of insulation, by giving it an R-factor. The R-factor of insulation is a reference for the ability of the insulation to slow heat transfer and to the R stands for resistance factor. The R-factor is only part of the story. Insulation can have a high R factor, but if air moves through it is almost useless. One of the things we do recently, in home construction, is to use Tyvek, a thin, breathable plastic membrane that stops the wind. In modern construction; we customarily have from the outside killing in; siding, Tyvek, insulation, and drywall. Customarily this results in what we call and R-30 wall.

In other countries they talk about a U-factor. The U stands for use factor. And this use factor is merely a combination of an R factor, and an ability to withstand air intrusion. Therefore, the use factor is actually more useful than strictly the R factor. For instance, a concrete wall, has a low R factor and a high U factor if the logs are made to fit tightly together. A concrete home has a low resistance factor, because concrete transmits thermal energy easily. To properly insulate a concrete wall, one should insulate the outside of the wall. And this brings us to thermal mass.Windows are a great energy waster. Each pane of glass has a resistance factor of less than one. A thermopane window has a resistance factor of about two or three including the airspace. The more windows a home has the more expensive it is to heat. Triple pane windows have a resistance factor of about five. A drapery fully covering a window will increase the resistance factor to about 20. Therefore drawn draperies will greatly increase the insulating ability of a home.

Thermal mass is simply the amount of weight that reaches a certain temperature and wants to stay at that temperature. For instance, I home with a brick floor, and lots of books and heavy furniture, has a lots of thermal mass. Once a home with lots of thermal mass reaches a comfortable temperature it tends to stay that temperature for a long time, even after they heat or air-conditioning stops. Offices tend to have high thermal mass. It takes a lot of energy to change the temperature of thermal mass. Thus, one should leave the thermostat at the same temperature and not move it up and down. Turning down the thermostat at night and turning it back up during the day wastes energy.

The Secret to Your Home’s Interior Design

The secret to your home’s interior design is Love.

If you love yourself, you create a home for your happiness.

If you love your family and friends, you create a home for their happiness.

The next step of love is to be grateful for your home. Gratitude lays the foundation for creating glorious spaces to share your love.

The final aspect of love is joy. Homes designed for joyful living are not decorated for prestige and show; homes designed for gracious living are decorated for happiness and the joy of life!

Interior Design Psychology Tips for Decorating Your Home with Love

1. Don’t clutter your home with too much decorating. The important accessory in your home is you and your family or friends. Select quality furnishings for comfort, beauty, function, and emotional support.

2. Create spaces that support your emotional well-being and productivity. Determine the activity of a space and choose design details that support this use. For instance, soft gray walls in home offices give support for creative writing while slate blue striped walls offer organized tranquility.

3. Give tribute to your family heritage. Honor your ancestors by using design details that tie to your sense of tradition.

4. Bring Mother Nature indoors. Green foliage represents life and growth. People have an innate sense of feeling connected to the earth. As a bonus, houseplants help keep the air fresh.

5. Add your personal touch and creativity. Design a stencil from a loved object or make a stained glass window. Feel connected to your home through physical work and your daydreams of the next improvement.

Interior Design For New Homes

When decorating or making decorating decisions for new homes, it is important to remember that your major decisions could affect decorating choices for quite a long period of time. Commitment to bold or unusual color treatments before you have actually had the opportunity to consider how such changes will coordinate with your furniture placement is not very advisable in this type of situation. In any case, the best advice you could receive while planning interior design for new homes is to make mediocre, undramatic design choices to begin that you can alter at a later time if you choose to do so.

This may seem like very unusual advice concerning interior design for new homes especially coming from someone who is working within the design industry–but there is good explanation for this reasoning. A large, open space without viewing or visualizing any furniture content within that space is quite easy to get a little carried away with while making structural changes. Also, keep in mind that by using very bold or dramatic designer interior colors on the walls you might be closing off your future alternative color choices to those that will cover the bright color therefore eliminating any possibility of using neutral colors without major restructuring of wall surfaces.

Wallpaper is another such choice that you might reconsider using while building interior design for new homes. Again, removing wallpaper and resurfacing the surface is often times quite a headache that can be avoided by using other alternatives for creative wall finishing. A great alternative for wallpaper that adds a great texture to the wall surfaces would be a finishing technique such as faux finishing, sponging, or stenciling. These choices (and many more like them) offer you a variety of substitutes that are equally appealing and much easier to change then more permanent solutions such as wallpaper. If you absolutely must have wallpaper in any of the rooms, try using a border to achieve the look you’re going for instead of covering the entire wall surface.

When painting walls, if you apply a few well known interior design tips and tricks to your method, you will be pleasantly surprised in the overall effects when complete. For example, brighten up small or dark rooms with light wall colors. Add character and direction to larger areas by defining them with contrasting colors and textures. Bold or stark color panels can also provide a defining feature to an area that you can showcase wall pieces on when you are ready to accessorize.

Once the walls have been treated in your new home, the next item on the agenda while planning interior design for new homes would be dynamic placement of your hanging accessories such as mirrors, pictures, and art. Do not over clutter walls. Make good choices and place such items in key places by establishing focal points or presentation areas that will flatter the rest of your design.

Interior design for new homes can be a tricky process. There is a good possibility that the area pertained in your new home will be slightly larger or smaller then the space in your previous home. It is this reason that planning placement and theme of each space in your new home is so vitally important to successful interior design of new homes. Be sure to measure widths of furniture and doorways before moving day comes in order to avoid hassle while getting the furniture into your new living space. Take careful notice of any moving activity that occurs into and around your new home. Careless moving errors can disfigure floors and walls and create flaws in your new house before you have even begun living there.

Placement of furniture in new homes is one of the key aspects of unique interior design for new homes. The old philosophy of creating larger spaces (this is seen especially in living areas and rec rooms) by lining the furniture along the walls is true at times although at other times (again, especially in recreational-type rooms), dividing the room into two separate spaces by positioning furniture towards separate focal points therefore adding space and versatility to the area as well as enlarging it.

The most important matter of concern when designing or planning interior design for new homes is to build an environment that caters to the individuals living there. Creating a space that is accommodating to each person’s lifestyles is the general principle of new home design.