9 Tips For Creating A Family Friendly Home That Marry Form And Function

Having a kid and trying to make sure you don’t lose your sense of style as the home gets overrun by bouncy chairs and toys? Maybe you’ve been in kidland for several years and are looking to reclaim some of your style. It can be challenging.

“As tricky as it may be to live comfortably in a small one-bedroom or studio, decorating a big family home has its hurdles, too,” said MY DOMAINE. “There are so many questions to ask: What fabrics are kid- and pet-friendly? Which coffee tables won’t take my toddler’s eye out? How can I give myself a little privacy? Once you figure out what works best for your brood, the next big thing to consider is how to do it all in style.”

Here are some tips to help you navigate the space between form and function.

Fight against dirty walls

“There’s no getting around it: Walls take a beating with young ones around,” said HGTV. “Cleats are casually tossed against white baseboards. Bedroom doors become backboards for basketball practice. A fresh expanse of drywall morphs into a blank canvas for that new set of crayons. Sticky fingers trail along hallway walls.”

But that doesn’t mean you can’t have beautiful color. Just make sure you choose paint that is washable and wipeable. Some family-friendly favorites can be found here.

Watch those corners

Sharp corners are the bane of a new parent’s existence. You can mitigate them by using pool noodles or edge guards, but they’re not so stylish. A round coffee table instead of one that’s squared off can be a great addition to your living room, both from a functional and style perspective.


Rustica Hardware
Bring in a little fun

Adding in fun touches keeps your home lively. This chalkboard barn door does the trick, and it comes in a variety of different finishes and textures to match your unique style.

You can have the white couch

We always chuckle when we see home design shows that give a growing family a big white couch. That’s not happening in our house, where materials are chosen expressly for their ability to resist spills and dog hair, and colors chosen to best disguise dirty fingers and puppy stains. But, white can be done. You just need some washable slipcovers, a little diligence, and a good washing machine.


Wayfair
You don’t need a glider chair

It’s one of the first things new parents-to-be think about when preparing for their first child. And a glider chair is a great place to hold, rock, and nurse a baby. But, unless you’re planning on having several children in a row or see the chair melding into your décor beyond the baby stage (especially if you’re intending to put it in the middle of your living room), you might be able to do without – especially if you’re on a budget.

There’s a lot of back and forth about how much of a necessity (or not) a glider is, but if you’re on the fence, don’t want to spend the money, or would rather focus on something that better matches your style and long-term décor needs, you’re justified.

You don’t need duckies and bunnies or baseballs and mitts in the baby’s room

Nor do you need a gender-specific color. Check out the chic HGTV star Jillian Harris created for new baby, Leo.


Jillian Harris
Don’t go with a cheap rug

You might be worried about wear and tear and stains with kids, but a quality rug may be a better option than something cheap. “Invest in a wool rug,” said The Chriselle Factor. “Wool rugs generally come at a higher price point, but for the family-friendly home, they’re worth every penny. They’re soft underfoot, help break the tumbles and falls of the newly-walking, and they’re much more durable against foot traffic – so more often than not, you’ll be saving in the long run.”

Get creative with storage

Whether your kids are brand-new or heading into their teens, you always need more places to put stuff, and you want them to be as nice to look at as they are useful. If you’re in the market for a new kitchen table, consider a banquet with a lift-top bench or slide-out drawers. They make great places to store kitchen or dining items, bibs and towels, and kids’ art supplies.


Stylishoms
Coffee tables with drawers or ottomans you can slide under desks or taller tables are key for families and also make great options for extra seating in a pinch. But when it comes to toy storage, they can start to overrun your house.

One of the keys to a good design scheme is mixing it up with interesting shapes, colors, and textures, so consider this tip from Huffington Post: “Think outside of the box with your storage! Who says toys need to be stored in ugly plastic bins? There are so many gorgeous baskets (or even an unexpected roomy tote) at a range of price points. Storage that doubles as décor also makes cleanup a cinch.”


Huffington Post
Keep the big picture in mind

There are several great tips in this chic living room: Ottomans keep it cushy and can be moved out of the way for floor play. Bookcases stuffed with games and toys put everything your little one wants at arm’s reach and are easy to put back for a tidy space. The concrete table is “perfect for kids’ crafts,” said MY DOMAINE. And bright pops of color and a ship chandelier keep it all interesting.


MY DOMAINE

Written by Jaymi Naciri on Sunday, 30 October 2016
Source: http://realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/homeownersadvice1/item/48360-20161031-9-tips-for-creating-a-family-friendly-home-that-marry-form-and-function

November 1, 2016   No Comments

How to Make Your Home Halloween-Friendly For Kids

Most kids will tell you that Halloween is one of their favorite holidays. Of course, the truth is that many adults love decorating and getting their homes into the spirit as well. With the following tips, you can make your home a Halloween-friendly setting that brims with seasonal charm.

Pumpkins and Gourds

You don’t have to be a crafty do-it-yourselfer to ramp up the Halloween charm of your home’s exterior. Add pumpkins and gourds of various shapes and sizes to your front steps in order to improve your house’s seasonal curb appeal. If you don’t enjoy carving pumpkins, you can simply paint your pumpkins to reflect spooky faces. Use glow-in-the-dark paint to create eerie eyes and add other simple accents to your pumpkins with odds and ends from around your home.

Front Door Wreath

A seasonal wreath is a simple accent, but it’s one that brims with warmth and festive charm. A wreath will greet trick-or-treaters as they come to your door, but it will also make for an inviting focal point for potential buyers if you’re planning to list your home on the market this autumn. If you really want to wow the kids, replace your fall wreath with a spooky witch or ghost as it gets closer to Halloween.

Spooky Trees

To rev up the visual appeal of your outdoor setting for Halloween, consider bringing your trees into your design plan. With a bit of fishing line and outdoor-friendly fabric, you can create a troop of ghosts that hang from the low branches of trees on your property. You can also hang other decorations like spider webs, bats and flying witches.

Front Lawn Focal Point

If you’re planning to sell your home in the fall, try to avoid installing decor that might take away from the beauty of your setting. But you can still create a Halloween focal point that blends well with your home and landscape. For instance, if you have a birdbath, you might consider replacing it with a cauldron encircled by the silhouettes of witches. The key is to create a sophisticated display that is attractive to both children and potential house buyers.

Eerie Living Room

You can create a haunted living room scene that can also tie the look of this room together. Rather than investing in expensive slipcovers or new furnishings, simply deck your furniture out with clean white sheets to create an eerie setting. Add some flickering, battery-operated candles and cobwebs to create an inviting Halloween setting that will work for you even if you’re selling your house.

Garage Door

Don’t ignore the blank slate of your garage door when decorating your exterior setting for Halloween. Vinyl clings can help you create a wonderful seasonal display. Consider a bevy of bats or a row of eye-catching jack-o-lanterns to adorn your garage door. Even if you intend to sell your home in the fall, a decorated garage can help you improve your home’s curb appeal.

Decorated Windows

Decorating your windows with Halloween decorations can enhance your décor both inside and out. You can add spooky silhouettes to the windows along with some black crepe to create an eye-catching arrangement. If you do have electrical décor, make sure to keep a fire extinguisher close by, just incase.

Halloween Props

Finally, don’t forget to add some fun Halloween props to your interior to get into the spirit of the Halloween season. Add some spooky potion bottles to your mantel or shelf, black candles to your candleholders, black flowers to vases and hang fake spiders or ghosts from lighting fixtures. You can also replace your wall hangings with Halloween-inspired pictures that bring a touch of eerie charm to your setting.

Conclusion

Whether you choose to purchase your Halloween decorations or make them yourself, you can enhance the look of your home when you decorate for Halloween. The kids in your neighborhood are sure to appreciate your outdoor décor just as much as your neighbors and potential buyers.

Written by Andrea Davis on Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Source: http://realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/homeownersadvice1/item/48278-20161026-how-to-make-your-home-halloween-friendly-for-kids

October 28, 2016   No Comments

Renovations To Think About Now If You Want A Holiday-Ready Home

Extended family descending on your house this year? Don’t panic. If you start now, you can have a holiday-ready home by the time Aunt Brenda and her brood shows up.

“We say it every year – the holidays will be here before we know it,” said Prime Lending. “For many people, that means hosting parties, welcoming overnight guests and opening your home to unexpected drop-in visitors. You may be thinking it would be great to spruce things up around your house before the holiday hustle and bustle begins. Now is a great time to dive into your home makeover and wrap it up before the holidays arrive.”

Here are the areas you might want to focus on first.

Get your kitchen looking cheftastic

Chances are, your kitchen is going to be one of the places where people are congregating during the holidays, and not just while cooking. If it’s seen better days, or if it just doesn’t reflect your style – or any style from this century – get started. You can select, order, and have new countertops installed in a matter of a few weeks. If you don’t want to touch the countertops, think about painting your cabinets and adding new hardware. A new backsplash can bring it all together, and is something you can do yourself.

Mary Evelyn

Replace or repair appliances

Thinking about the function of your kitchen – not just how you’ll use it over the holidays, but all year round – is key to making good choices when renovating. “If you are hosting Thanksgiving, a double oven and a new refrigerator may be your top priority,” said Prime Lending.

Maybe your dishwasher has seen better days or your washer and dryer have been hanging on for a while. Knowing that they’ll be put to good use with a house full of people might inspire you to make some upgrades now.

Consider the stuff you serve with and eat on, too

While you’re in the kitchen, you may want to think about upgrading your cookware, cooking utensils, glassware, silverware, and anything else that will be helping you prepare, serve, or eat food during the holidays. How old are those dishes, anyway?

Living room redo

If you have clunky built-ins or a large armoire housing your outdated TV, it might be time to make some changes. Turn the built-ins into bookcases or a sleek desk with some streamlined shelving above, which can provide both function and a fashionable upgrade. Turn a fireplace into a focal point by retiling or simply painting old brick white and hang a flat screen above. Voila. Your hangout space is updated and holiday-ready.

If you’re not super tech-savvy and have never installed a flat screen before, it’s smart to hire someone who is and who has. “If a new flat panel television, home theatre system, or other electronic devices are bound for your household this gift-giving season, consider seeking installation quotes from a trained professional,” said Better Homes and Gardens. “Proper installation can maximize your enjoyment of new electronics for a fraction of their purchase price, and the stress of following a multi-page instruction manual may bring out the Scrooge in many DIYers.”


Better Homes and Gardens
Add new bedding

You can make the guests rooms (or the guest couches, if your family converging on one house for the holidays looks anything like ours) hospitable and improve the look at the same time by changing out the bedding. Buying new sheets and a comforter is easy and inexpensive – and don’t forget new pillows, too. Choose a neutral color for the comforter and add some patterned pillow for some zip. Or, choose a graphic pattern to give the bed a modern feel. A fresh coat of paint in a color that is neutral and that gives the rooms a calming nature will help transform them into something that feels resort-like.

Address the back yard

If you live in a climate that allows outdoor enjoyment throughout the year – or if you know the kids will be playing outside regardless of the temperature – making some changes in your yard might be in order. The fall is a great time to buy patio furniture, since it’s typically on sale after summer ends. A firepit can be an inviting addition to your outdoor area, and one that will allow your guests to gather in front of a crackling fire while bundled up with a tasty, holiday beverage.

Update the guest bathrooms

One thing you can count on is that your guests will be spending time in the bathrooms. If yours are in need of some attention, now’s the time to pay some. If you don’t want to do a complete overhaul, you can make simple, inexpensive edits by changing out the showerhead, faucets, lighting, and slathering on a fresh coat of paint. A new paint color and some new hardware can also liven up older cabinets. Add a fresh set of towels and bath mats, and you’re all set.

Do a complete audit of everything else

Do a complete walkthrough of your house. Turn on all the baths, sinks, and showers, and all the lights and TVs. Sit on the beds, couches, and chairs. Open closets. Search the walls, doors, and baseboards for nicks and scratches. This will give you a head start on anything that needs to be fixed or replaced before family starts knocking on the door.

Written by Jaymi Naciri on Sunday, 09 October 2016

Source: http://realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/homeownersadvice1/item/47925-20161010-renovations-to-think-about-now-if-you-want-a-holiday-ready-home

October 12, 2016   No Comments

Lawn Care For The Fall: Essential Tips to Follow

All summer you’ve been watering, cutting, trimming and feeding your yard in the hopes of having the greenest plot of land in the neighborhood. So what should you do to get your lawn in shape for the cool breezes of autumn? These six steps will help you get a head start on the colder weather.

Aeration and Overseeding

If you live in a climate with cool-season grass, fall is the perfect time to aerate your lawn because the air is cool and the soil is still warm from the heat of summer. The earlier you can do this, the better the results will be for your yard. Depending on where you live, September or early October is the best time to tackle this project. You’ll pay around $120 for lawn aeration.

Aeration removes small plugs of soil from your lawn, allowing greater amounts of air, nutrients and water to reach the root system of your grass. It also reduces soil compaction in the process. Following aeration, you might want to overseed your yard. Overseeding makes it easier for seeds to germinate while the soil is loose.

Feed Your Yard

Fall is the prime season of the year to fertilize cool-season grasses. Unlike warm-season grasses, which often go dormant in the fall and winter, cool-season grasses can actually hit their peak growth rates during the fall. This means they need a full dosage of nitrogen to help boost the health of the soil and your grass. Most importantly, this will help prevent the growth of weeds, which choke out the grass over time.

Cut Down on Mowing

Throughout the summer, you’ve gotten into the habit of mowing weekly. But if you have cool-season grass, it’s time to start cutting back on the number of mowing events each month. Generally speaking, every other week should be your maximum. If you have too much leaf coverage on your yard, you can mulch those up, but remember to leave your cutting deck high so you aren’t cutting off too much of your grass in the process.

The professional recommendation is not to cut off more than one-third of the total blade of grass each time you mow. Doing so can result in scalping the lawn, which stunts the growth of your grass. If you live in a warmer climate with warm-season grass, you can likely skip mowing altogether because your grass is going into its dormancy cycle.

Leaf Removal

There are two approaches you can take when dealing with falling leaves. At a bare minimum, you should remove any fallen foliage within seven to 10 days because it blocks sunlight from reaching your grass. But, if you get a relatively light leaf fall each autumn and you own a strong mulching mower, you can turn fallen leaves into a composting gold mine. If you mulch your leaf fall on a regular basis — at least once a week — you are recycling the nutrients back into the soil. If your leaf pile is too big, consider hiring a pro. You can expect to pay about $310 for professional leaf removal services.

Sow and Reseed

Believe it or not, but fall is a great time to reseed the bare patches of your yard and sow new sections of lawn for cool-season grasses. Applying fresh soil and some new seed to barren patches of your yard can help prepare your lawn to bounce back in the fall. As mentioned earlier, this time of year is often the strongest for cool-season yard growth, so take advantage.

Winterize Your Sprinkler System

If you have an underground sprinkler system to help you keep your yard green all summer, it could be the biggest threat to your utility bill and soil during the winter months. If you fail to blow out your underground system, the water left in the pipes could freeze, expand and burst the pipes. This could lead to a water leak in your yard that could compromise the integrity of the soil and cause serious damage. If you live in a cooler climate, it’s important to winterize your sprinkler system immediately.

Conclusion

With one weekend of work, you can accomplish most of these tasks and have a yard that looks great for the coming fall months.

 

Written by: Andrea Davis on Thursday, 29 September

Source: http://realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/homeownersadvice1/item/47755-20160930-lawn-care-for-the-fall-essential-tips-to-follow

 

October 7, 2016   No Comments

5 Steps to Find Perfect Furniture for Your New Home

Congratulations on your new home! This is an opportunity to think holistically about the interior design and decoration of your home. Have you ever been in a house where nothing seems to go with anything else? A house with stylistic clashes in its furniture and decor can feel like a conversation in which no one is listening to anyone else. Follow these steps for a smooth decorating transition to your new home.

1. Planning

The first step is to survey the territory. Start by listing any furniture or decorative element (a rug or framed art) you are keeping from your prior home. Also consider design aspects such as wall color, textures and lighting. Some of these you can choose and others you will need to take into consideration as you plan.

Do you have a family heirloom piece of furniture that is coming with you to the new house? Your subsequent purchases will need to work well with the heirloom. Always take a moment and ask yourself why you are keeping a piece. If you don’t love it, there’s no shame in letting it go to a home where it will be loved.

2. Preparing

The perfect time to paint is before the furniture goes in. Don’t make your paint purchases without thinking about the rest of the interior. For example, have you always wanted a bright red sofa? If you are going to pick a bold color for a major item of furniture, think neutral for the walls.

Another common preparation is refinishing wood floors. Take into consideration the color of the floors and moldings and how they will interact visually with the rest of your interior.

3. Prioritizing

You may be able to acquire all of your furniture before you move in. But that isn’t always possible. Prioritize your furniture purchases around your family’s needs. Especially if you have children, your first wish may be a dining or kitchen table and chairs. The table is a gathering place for the whole family, and being able to eat together will make the house feel like home quickly. Make sure the kids have a say in what their rooms will look like — seeking their input can help ease their moving blues.

If you are a couple without children, you might find it an adventure to picnic on the floor for the first few weeks, and the bedroom might be the first room you want to furnish.

4. Purchasing

Consider buying all the major pieces in each room from one furniture line. These pieces are designed to go together, and once you find a piece you really love, see what else is available from that designer.

Celebrity brand lines of furniture are not mere gimmicks to capitalize on the star’s name recognition. Rather, such brands are designed to evoke the mood and emotion most associated with that celebrity. A lot of work goes into the line to create a cohesive and evocative style. Check the designer lines from Cindy Crawford and Sofia Vergara at Rooms To Go.

5. Getting Help

You don’t need to hire an interior decorator. However, if you need some help, you can find many online tutorials on interior decorating and design, some of which are free.

Written by Realty Times Staff on Thursday, 02 June 2016

 

July 6, 2016   No Comments