Category : Home Improvement

6 Great Home Decorating Apps

 

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Unleash Your Inner Interior Decorating Alter-Ego

Red or green; what color should you paint the dining room? What will that bedroom furniture look like in the bedroom? How much flooring should you order? Making decorating decisions at times can be daunting. The good news is there are several home decorating apps that can help you plan, measure, renovate and decorate. Here are 6 great home decorating apps that we found to help you with your decorating and styling needs.

kuler-icon-220x218Adobe Kuler – This is a free app for Apple users. Adobe Kuler app is an exciting and easy way to capture all things that inspire you to create color combinations to use and share. Just point your iPad or iPhone camera at something that appeals to you and Kuler will instantly create a color palette. Especially useful when your looking at model homes and you find a room color palette that you would like to implement. Once you have created your assortment of color palettes, save, sync and share your themes for assimilation in your projects. Rating ★★★★★

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SwatchMatic-logo _200SwatchMatic – This is Android color palette app works in a similar way to the Adobe Kuler app and is also free to download. Snap an image of an inspiring room, flower, artist painting or anything that strikes your fancy. Mix and share with friends and family. Rating ★★★★☆

 

Magicplan_iconMagicPlan – A free app available on both Apple and Android. Take pictures of different rooms and this app will measure your rooms and draw your floor plans. In addition, you can add objects, annotations, and attributes to create an interior diagram of your home. Rating ★★★★☆

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Homestyler_Logo copyHomestyler Interior Design – A fantastic free app for both Apple and Android. Let your imagination run wild with this app and create dramatic decorating design projects. This app also allows you to gather tips, share your ideas and learn about popular decorating trends. With Homestyler, you simply take a snapshot of your space and then you can place 3D elements into tho photo. Move the elements around and rearrange your room without lifting any heavy furniture. Rating ★★★★☆

Handy_Man_DIYHandy Man DIY – This app cost just a few bucks, $1.99 to be exact and is for Apple users. Take the guess work out of measurements and materials needed with this great app that calculates everything you need. You can also create shopping lists, estimate costs and create tasks for your project. Rating ★★★★☆

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Houzz_iconHouzz Interior Design Ideas – Last, but certainly not least is the incredible Houzz app. This free app is available for Apple, Android and on Amazon. This is like having a library of interior design magazines and books at your fingertips. Houzz app gives you thae capability to browse images by different categories such as style or room. Find the images you like and save them to your personal virtual ideabook. Share your favorites or network with others to get tips and suggestions.

These 6 great home decorating apps can be a great help to you on your next decorating project. Send us a comment with pictures and let us see your decorator style. We would love to here from you!

Celebrate Summer

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Summer is Here!

Summer officially starts today Saturday, June 21. As we venture into the hot summer months, you will want to prepare your home for the heat. Several items on this summer ready list are obvious; however, there may be a few things you may not have thought about. Celebrate summer and check out these tips to get your home ready for the summer season.

Save Money

Deposit Into Piggy Bank Savings Account

A great way to save money on your energy bills during the summer months, when usage is high, is to switch off the lights and unplug electronics and appliances when you aren’t using them. Also, don’t  make your AC unit work so hard. If you have direct sunlight beaming through your windows, applying a reflective film, or using sun-protected curtains or shades will help keep the heat out. Installing and/or using ceiling fans, over the high cost of running your home’s AC, will save you cash.

Screening Your Screens

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Opening the windows to enjoy the cool summer evenings and fresh air of the outdoors is great. Pets, children and sheer wear and tear can create rips and holes in your window and door screens. If some of your screens need  replacing or repair, now is a great time to do so, plus you’ll want to keep the six legged pests outside and not buzzing around the house.

Filter Fundamentals

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It is recommended that your HVAC system filters should be replaced twice a year, once just before the summer heat rises and then once again before the cold winter arrives. Replacing old and dirty filters helps protect you, your family and your home from toxic air particles. Also, if your filters are clogged from long use, your HVAC blower has to work harder to get air to pass through and that adds up to higher energy costs.

Outdoor Living

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Summer is the time to get outdoors. Having your morning breakfast or evening dinner on the back patio, and of course barbecues and get togethers are a part of the outdoor living experience during the season. However, those pesky crawling and flying critters are annoying. Get a bug free zone in your backyard by spraying kid and pet friendly bug repellent and lighting citronella candles. Placing the candles a few feet away from the area where people sit is best for them to be effective. Citronella oil is an all natural misquote repellent.

It is the season for friends, family and fun, celebrate summer!  

Staging Your Home to Sell

Appeal to Prospective Buyers

Put away the dirty sneakers by the door. Hang the jackets and coats in the closet and freshen the air with potpourri. Staging your home to sell is important if you want it to leave a lasting positive image in potential buyer’s minds. You want to emphasize your home’s strengths and underscore its weaknesses. With a few easy staging strategies, you will appeal to a greater amount of prospective buyers and leave many thinking, “Wow, this is a beautiful home!”

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Captivating Curb Appeal

House hunters looking in particular neighborhoods, often drive up down the streets looking for sale signs or even open houses. If your home has poor curb appeal, looky-loos will likely  keep on driving straight pass your address. First impressions are key! Make sure your home is dressed to sell.

  • Power wash siding and walkways
  • Hang easy-to-read house numbers
  • Plant blooming flowers for a pop of color
  • Mow lawn, and reseed or add fresh sod as needed
  • Wash front windows and screens
  • Repaint or stain the porch and rails as needed

Sparkle and Shine

When meeting someone for the first time,  you have seven seconds to make a great first impression. Same holds true for your home. The easiest and the least expensive way to make sure your home passes the seven second rule is to clean and make each surface shine. Scrub grout, clean baseboards, touch up scuffs on walls, and don’t forget to clean window tracks. Put your best foot forward by making your home sparkle.

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Contain the Clutter

Nothing is less appealing than seeing clutter. Getting your house ready to sell is a great opportunity to purge all that you may have been hoarding. Clutter can include stacks of mail, receipts, lists and phone messages. However, look even beyond the little stuff. Put away unnecessary kitchen appliances and even the coffee mug tree. Too much furniture is also a sign of clutter, so if you don’t absolutely need it, then think about storing it. Put away or pack all the family photos on the sofa table, mantle or walls. Clean and cleared off surfaces equates to more space in the eyes and minds of prospective buyers.

Stash Your Style

Your home may currently reflect your eclectic, vintage, or flower power style, but in order to appeal to the greatest amount of potential buyers, you may want to pull back your style a bit.  Make your home look sophisticated by using a more neutral color palette. This is only temporary, so don’t be too disappointed. You can bring back your homes personality in your new place!

Reposition Your Furniture

Rooms with symmetrical furniture groupings are appealing to the eye. Even more importantly, pulling your furniture away from the walls and floating it centrally in the room will open the space and make the room appear bigger. Rearrange sofas, chairs and tables into cozy conversational arrangements and create obvious traffic flow in the room.

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 Purpose Your Spaces and Rooms

Do you have a catch all room or an awkward space that is used for storage? Re-purpose these areas and make sense of the space. Stage your extra room as a guest room, home office or den. In order for prospective buyers to realize your home’s potential, clearly define each room and odd space. Small spaces, like those under stairs, a small nook or alcove can become unique areas that are useful. Transforming these spaces into work stations, a mail center or a quite reading area will make for a great selling feature.

Fresh, Fruity and Floral

Don’t ignore the bathrooms, make an effort to make them look spa like. No dirty soap trays, no hair ties, brushes or bobby-pins. Add fresh decorative soap to your soap dish, and hang fresh clean bath and hand towels. Also, be sure the garbage pail is always empty and clean. For other fresh accents throughout the house, leave a bowl of lemons and limes or red and green apples out on the kitchen island. Fresh flowers in an attractive glass vase in the dining room, entry way or family room is also eye catching and most often creates a nice fragrance.

Create Closet Envy

Every potential buyer will open your closet to see if it is spacious. Don’t let them down by stuffing it full or having it be completely chaotic. Organize your closets by packing away unseasonal clothes, shoes and accessories. Clear off or at least organize the top shelf by investing in a few inexpensive decorative boxes or baskets to store items that are just laying about. Strive to have 20 to 30 percent open space in each closet to give the impression of large closet areas.

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Outdoor Living in Style

Everyone enjoys fresh air and outdoor living. Create an outdoor space that invites potential buyers to imagine hosting family and friend gatherings. Be certain that any features like a pool or fire pit are clean and free of debris and toys. Consider seasonal embellishments by adding out door ambiance. Fresh lemonade in an attractive pitcher with clean glasses laid out on the patio table during the summer or a cozy fire roaring in your fire pit during the winter will add that little extra appeal. If your a condo owner with a tiny outdoor balcony or patio, dress it up with a café or bistro set. Add a cheerful table setting, a service tray with a teapot and tea cups or fresh juice and glasses will inspire your prospective buyers. They won’t be thinking, “oh what a small space.” They will instead imagine this quant space as being a perfect spot for a relaxed breakfast.

Staging your home to sell with these tips will excite your prospective buyers and help them to see the full potential your home has to offer.

Thinking About Remodeling?

 6 Guidelines to Consider When Thinking About Remodeling

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Whether your home is new or older, the likelihood that you will want to make changes to fit your lifestyle or personal taste will eventually creep into your mind. When thinking about remodeling, there are several things to consider. Most people start with, should I remodel or move? Will a remodel be cost effective? Should I do the work myself, or hire a contractor? All great questions to think about. Here are some guidelines to help when thinking about remodeling for the first time.

Planning Can Save Time and Money

Start gathering pictures of styles that appeal to you,  fixtures you like and color palettes that you favor. Be sure to match your tastes to your budget. This will help you stay on track and keep the momentum moving forward.

DYI or Contractor

If you are confident in your abilities as a handyman/woman, then certainly you can save a great deal of money tackling small remodeling projects on your own. However, large jobs like basements, kitchens and master baths, can be challenging if you are a first timer. Hiring a good contractor takes some diligence. Find one with good references. Check to make sure they are a member with NARI – National Association of the Remodeling Industry  http://www.nari.org/. Checking that they have a good standing with the BBB is also smart.

Visit Current Work

Pictures don’t always tell the whole truth. Ask the contractor’s you are considering if you can visit a current work site to see firsthand how they operate. You will gain valuable insight about how the contractor maintains cleanliness, organization and safety on the job.

Get It In Writing

The best laid plans are worthless without having a solid contract. A detailed contract will help everyone involved keep within budget and stay on time for completion. Be sure the contract includes the right address, start date, completion date, and a detail of what is and is not going to be done.

The Scout Law of “Being Prepared”

Know in advance that living in a construction zone comes with a variety of complexities. Living without major appliances, like those in your kitchen, can be a challenge at meal times.  You will minimize inconvenience by establishing  a make shift kitchen away from the construction zone. Include a refrigerator and microwave oven, so you can continue to make light meals at home.

Protect Your Precious Possessions

Remodeling will effect most every room in the house no matter how hard you or your contractor try to contain the mess that goes with construction. Put away pictures and artwork, store and pack away valuables before work starts. Cover items that can’t be removed; for example, chandeliers, pianos and electronics. This will save these items from the dust ball that is inherent with remodeling or even possible damage.

Beginning with these guidelines, when thinking about remodeling, will help you stay on budget and hopefully minimize the stress level.

Home Decorating | Create a Color Palette

Home Decorating | Create a Color Palette

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When it comes to picking paint colors for your home, it can be at the very least, a bit daunting. There are many color palette help sites, but my favorite is the one I found at letschipit.com. Chip It! by Sherwin-Williams is a completely user-friendly color pallet creator. You simply upload an image or URL and click Chip It! You are presented with a color palette taken directly from the image you just uploaded. It is easy to edit the colors and mix and match your favorites. There is also a share button so you can show others your creations if you like. If you decide to make an account, the site will save all the palettes you create to look at whenever you login. Choose a favorite vacation shot, something you like on the web or any other image and Chip It!

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