You probably spend more time in your living room than most rooms in your home on a daily basis—especially now—so why not give this space some extra attention and revamp it? Here are simple ways to do it on a budget.
Something that requires no spending at all is simply rearranging the furniture you already have in this space. It’ll give the room a whole new look with minimal effort, and it may help you decide what, if any, items need to be replaced or added. Apps like magicplan and Home Design make it easy to do this virtually.
Paint an accent wall
If you want to add a new color to the living room without having to redo every wall, choose one as a focal point. This will give the space a revamped look while keeping a tight budget in mind. An accent wall could just be a pop of color, or experiment with a wall texture or temporary wallpaper.
Thrift for accessories
Thrifting is a great way to add fresh accessories to a room without breaking the bank. You might even stumble upon items you would never find in a home store! It’ll give the space a look that’s completely unique to your home.
To make your living room more dynamic, consider adding a few plants. There are many places to find inexpensive plants—this blog details options for online perusing.
Create a gallery wall
One home trend that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon is the gallery wall. Make use of old photos you have lying around and frame them in a fun layout on your wall!
Revamping a room on a budget doesn’t mean there’s no room to splurge when necessary, just make sure those pieces will last you for years to come (and are ones you really love!)
Summer is known for its abundance of sunshine. However, as the temperature rises during these months, your electric bill often does, too. But not to fear! There are multiple ways to offset the high costs that accompany the much-needed cool air. Use these tricks to thoroughly enjoy the warm weather—without having to fret about your bills.
Let your AC breathe
Clogged, dirty air conditioning filters will disrupt air flow and reduce efficiency. Make sure to replace and clean filters every month or two during peak season to keep your home cool while using less energy.
Change your light bulbs
Unlike traditional light bulbs, LED lights emit very little heat, making them an energy efficient choice to help keep your home cool. In addition, they can last more than 25 times longer than traditional light bulbs.
Make room for your vents
Furniture can easily hide vents. From your favorite love seat to your kitchen table, they may look good, but they could be blocking airflow. Make sure you’re aware of their locations, and move pieces if necessary.
Work with Mother Nature
There’s no denying that Mother Nature is a strong force—be sure to obey her. When the sun is up, keep the blinds shut. Although it might be darker than usual, it’ll help keep your space cool.
Change your cooking methods
A hot meal from the oven is great, but during the summer? Not so much. Because the oven can add more heat to the room, consider grilling outside more frequently during the summer.
While real estate agents have a great deal of practical experience to offer in the finance realm, they are not mortgage lenders. That means that they are unable to give you advice about which mortgage to choose or how you should finance your home purchase.
However, real estate agents are great connectors and they can put you in touch with a number of professionals who can help you through the process. In the meantime, they can help you better understand and evaluate your options and come up with decisions all along the way that work for you and your family.
Since the financing of a home purchase is generally the most complex element of the transaction, it is important that you discuss your finances and financial needs with your real estate agent upfront. What follows are ten questions you might want to ask your real estate professional—along with some insight into their possible answers.
Do you have any lender referrals for me?
Your real estate agent or broker probably knows practically everybody in your market, including a variety of excellent lenders and mortgage brokers. He or she will be able to refer you to several. You will probably want to compare three different lenders in order to get a sense of what your options are and what products they offer.
How should I choose the right lender?
Your personal financial situation will go a long way in determining which lender is right for you. There are lenders who specialize in working with first-time home buyers, buyers with poor credit, self-employed buyers, and more. Talk to your agent about your specific needs, and find out which lender is best able to help.
How early should I start preparing for the mortgage approval process?
The answer will probably be “yesterday” since it’s never too early to start thinking ahead to your mortgage application and approval process. You will almost certainly want to check your credit reports, pay down debt, and improve your credit score as needed. However, you will not want to actually apply months ahead of time, since rates will change and different options will become available.
How do I find out how much house I can afford?
At this point, you will probably want to settle on a lender and undergo a pre-qualification or pre-approval process, depending on how ready you are to begin your home search in earnest. What’s the difference?
Pre-qualification is based on information you provide to the lender and can give you a quick idea of your home search budget.
Pre-approval is more detailed and involves submitting your application and documentation to your lender in order to begin the underwriting process. This is an important step as you will want to submit your pre-approval letter with your offer on a home.
What should I be careful about during underwriting?
You’ll want to make sure that your financial history is as clean as possible, so avoid insufficient funds in your checking account and don’t open new credit accounts. If you are contemplating any major changes to your job or financial picture, talk to your real estate agent first and find out whether they could affect your purchase.
What options are available if I need to sell a house then buy? I don’t have enough for the down payment without the sale.
Your real estate agent can connect you with a lender who specializes in bridge loans, designed for exactly this eventuality. Alternatively, he or she may be able to help you navigate a 1031 Exchange or other alternative option. Be sure you talk with your agent about the funds you’ll require as you price your current home, and what your true bottom line will be.
As you continue through the process, you may want to discuss rentbacks or other options to help your timelines sync up and smooth the transition between homes.
Can I get help with closing costs?
If you know that you will need help with closing costs, talk to your real estate agent about how you can structure your offer in order to ask for seller help at closing. This will often involve offering a higher sale price to make up some or all of the difference.
Are there grants or programs to provide down payment assistance or help with closing costs?
Your real estate agent should have a good understanding of ways to obtain assistance. These may be specific to a particular neighborhood, they may be part of a builder’s offer, or they may be based on your place of employment, financial history, or other factors.
Can you explain any contingencies related to the finance process?
When you make the offer, your real estate agent will discuss with you the various contingencies that you can attach to the transaction, including a financing contingency and an appraisal contingency. There will be various options available so it is important for you to ask your agent how these will affect both the strength of your offer and your own protection during the process.
Are there any alternatives to a traditional mortgage loan?
If you are looking for an alternative financing option like seller financing, rent-to-own, or an exchange scenario, be sure to discuss this with your real estate professional early in the process. This will allow him or her to connect with colleagues and investors in your area to help you find the property that fits your needs and your pocketbook.
Remember, your real estate agent or broker has a fiduciary duty to protect your financial information. You do not need to share bank statements, credit score, or other information, but whatever information you choose to share about your circumstances will be held in strict confidence. Take advantage of the perspective and insight that they are able to provide so that you can better understand the process and make more informed decisions.
One of the unexpected changes coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic is the potential it holds for changing the face of the US workforce. While work-from-home (WFH) initiatives were first put in place as a temporary measure to keep companies running during the first days of quarantine restrictions, they are now becoming the permanent policy for many businesses moving forward.
At the same time, many school systems are wrestling with their own COVID-related responses. As the school year ends, superintendents and school boards are looking ahead to the fall and determining whether or not to hold in-person classes. While some schools plan to go back to business-as-usual, others are talking about reducing the number of hours in the school day, splitting time between in-school and at-home work, or offering an option for virtual schools.
While a home office has long-been a wish list item for families, the last few months have seen homes with two parents and multiple children on simultaneous Zoom calls, spending hours on office and schoolwork, and often sharing the same desk or dining room table. This leads to frustration and a less-than-ideal setup for both kids and parents. In many homes, it’s time to find a way to create multiple workspaces to accommodate the increasing need for privacy and focus.
Optimizing Your Existing Spaces for Multiple Home Offices
You may have a variety of options already available in your current home. It just takes some ingenuity to reimagine or reconfigure your current space.
Formal Living Spaces
Though many people live and decorate more casually today, many older homes are still broken up into multiple living spaces. Some of these end up being used less than others, becoming formal living rooms, sitting rooms, or keeping rooms. In addition, while you may eat in the formal dining room on Thanksgiving and over the winter holiday season, you may find that it sits empty for much of the rest of the year.
Look at the underutilized spaces in your home and determine whether one of them would make a likely home office for you, your spouse, or your children. Want to retain the room’s current use while adding functionality? Think vintage with a roll-top desk, armoire desk, or escritoire for an elegant workspace that can be hidden away when not in use. Similarly, you can turn a little-used coat closet into a hideaway desk by installing a work surface and some vertical shelves.
Many homes have small office spaces in the kitchen that are primarily used for looking up recipes, paying bills, or writing notes to the teacher. If your kitchen currently has an office space, this might make a great full-service home office. Convert nearby cabinetry and drawers into specialized storage for your computer and office supplies. Add task lighting to reduce the glare from overhead lights and reduce eyestrain.
We all have them—a space under the stairs, a small nook, a stair landing, a bench seat under a window. These awkward, dead spaces normally get filled with a basket of blankets or a storage bin, but they can make a great option for a tucked-away home office. Add shelving and a worksurface to create plenty of room for your supplies, or consider a foldaway desk design if you want to keep things neatly out of sight.
Do you have a little-used storage space? A potential apartment over the garage? A would-be man-cave or a she-shed? It may take just a few days and a little ingenuity to convert an under-utilized existing space into a private and functional office. If you’ll be working from home long-term, you will realize solid return on your investment through increased productivity and concentration.
Workspaces for the Kids
If you’re transitioning your children to homeschool or virtual school, you’ll want to create a well-designed space that is just right for students. Consider the following guidelines as you set up your children’s long-term home learning environment.
Differentiate Work/Play Spaces
The most convenient place for a desk may be in an existing playroom or bedroom. However, this means more distractions from toys and games. Consider separating the spaces with a screen, or choose a cubicle desk or study carrel. This visual interruption may help your child focus more on schoolwork so that they can stay in the study zone.
Keep It Fun
A desk space doesn’t have to be boring. Consider one of the following additions:
A brightly colored or fluffy office chair
An exercise ball in place of a desk chair
A DIY painted desk with design details chosen by your child
A fun poster or other artwork
A reading nook with a comfortable beanbag chair and bookshelf
A themed space with matching desk accessories
Make It Special
Want to keep your children motivated when it’s time for schoolwork? Talk to them to find out what would make them happy. Some kids love office supplies, so they’re sure to enjoy a small filing cabinet with grown-up folders to organize their space. Some outdoor types might do well with an office set up on a covered porch or patio. Still, others may get excited about a new computer monitor or laptop. Rather than focus on the way you like to work, adjust your child’s home office to his or her learning style and personal aesthetic to keep them inspired and tuned-in.
Make It Affordable
You don’t have to spend a fortune to create a winning look for your child’s desk space. Sometimes a new coat of paint is enough to give a boring cast-off chair or work surface a fresh look. Maybe a new lamp or lighting fixture would provide additional illumination while making the space feel more defined. Need some fun artwork? Let your child create a collage or a nameplate for the wall or desktop. The more they make the space their own, the happier they’ll be to sit down to complete schoolwork.
There was a time that retirement meant, for many people, sitting in the sun in a southern retirement community along with a host of fellow retirees. However, today retirement means many different things to different people. Why settle for a cookie-cutter retirement plan when you can use this time to live the life of your dreams?
Whether you’re planning to start a long-delayed new business, go back to school, or perfect your golf swing, there is a retirement option out there for you. There are truly no limits to the places you can go as you begin this new phase of your life.
This is the option most people think of when they are considering retirement. Whether you choose a sprawling retirement community or one closer to home, you’ll find a variety of services and amenities designed with you in mind. These range from resort-style amenities like swim and tennis to a country club atmosphere with golf on-site.
Many retirement communities offer a variety of home styles including single-family homes and condominiums. In addition, there are usually on-site services like a shuttle service, maid service, and activities director to help with everyday tasks and needs. Clubs and on-site organizations allow you to get to know your new neighbors and feel right at home more quickly than you ever thought possible.
Retire in Place
While we often think of retirement as involving downsizing and a big move, more and more retirees are choosing to stay put upon retirement. For those who are active in community organizations, churches, and family life, retirement in place offers the option to continue their current work and maintain their relationships.
For those with large families, downsizing may not be an option, though they may choose to trade their multi-level home for a one-story ranch-style. Others may want to trade the yard work of a single-family home for a condo or townhome in the same neighborhood or city.
What would you have studied in college if given the opportunity? Art history? Horticulture? Physics? Perhaps you never finished college or were unable to go to the college of your choice. The good news for retirees across the country is that there are many colleges and universities that offer free or reduced tuition and welcome senior adults into their hallowed halls of learning.
Even if you’re not interested in taking classes, college towns are a great place to live, especially for retirees. Many offer low- or no-cost activities all year round, including sporting events, theater, concerts, and museums. Many campuses have lovely gardens and walking paths and state-of-the-art fitness facilities where you can obtain a membership.
In addition, many college towns are located in secondary markets that offer greater affordability while still providing an array of dining, shopping, and entertainment options. If you enjoy the energy and vitality of a youth-oriented area, a college town may be right for you.
Imagine streets that are cleared of snow quickly and neighborhoods that offer excellent walkability and a variety of transportation options. You’re close to great culture, world-class medical care, and enviable shopping. Instead of moving to a retirement haven, you may want to opt for the hustle and bustle of the big city.
While you’ll pay more to live in an in-town high-rise or townhome, you’ll enjoy a wealth of options for the way you want to spend your retirement. Here you’ll find opportunities for volunteer work, and can even make the connections that might just lead you to a second career.
In addition, you’ll never lack for excitement when you’re living in a downtown setting. With the world at your fingertips and theater, music, and historical sites all around you, retirement will be anything but quiet.
Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and South Dakota topped a recent list of best places to retire. Why? Because they offer low crime rates, excellent affordability, and top rankings for wellness.
While the weather can’t compare to Hawaii, if you’ve always dreamed of that cute little farm with a few chickens and a cow or two, rural retirement might offer the opportunity you’ve been looking for. You don’t have to buy a large-scale operation to enjoy the charms of the countryside, and the nearest small town will offer friendly neighbors who are happy to help out a newcomer.Home Advice, Home Advice , Home Buying, Real Estate, Real Estate Agent, Refinancing , Home Loan, Finance, Financial Advice, Home Improvement, Retirement
After working at several museums, Annie Elliott realized that a hands-on approach to designing spaces was her true passion, and so began her second career as an interior designer. The DC-area designer’s inclination toward color and layering makes her work undeniably her own—a style well-represented in a recent home renovation in Potomac, Maryland.
You have a rather unconventional background for an interior designer. Tell us about it:
I acted as a child, played the flute very seriously all through college, and, eventually, developed a passion for art history. I worked at the Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia right after completing my undergraduate degree in English and art history at the University of Pennsylvania.
I ended up pursuing a graduate degree in art history, believing that would be my path to becoming a museum director. After I got my master’s degree, I worked at the Smithsonian in administration, but I found myself being pulled further away from the art and people’s experiences with it. My interest in art is aesthetic. I love beautiful things, but I’m also very interested in how people relate to art. So I started taking interior design graduate classes at what was then called the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, DC. Then I got pregnant with twins, and my path sort of shifted.
It seems that your career began very organically. How did you first start acquiring clients?
It wasn’t as though I said, “I’m going to start a business. What licenses do I need? How do I register with the city?” I did none of that. I thought I would tell my friends I was thinking about doing this and see what happens. So I did. Anytime someone moved, they would ask me to help with paint colors and other design choices.
Then, one night, we had some friends over for dinner. I had just renovated our kitchen. It was really small, but I maximized every inch. Our friends loved it and asked if I could be a point person for the renovation they were doing on their home. That was my hands-on education—working on that project—and that’s when I realized what I was capable of. I started attracting clients little by little.
Where did the name Bossy Color (the name of your blog and previous name of your business) come from?
My brother actually came up with the name, and I thought it was too funny not to use. It was also helpful for me in getting press early on. I think people saw the name of the company and knew they would get something different from me. I love to write, and the blog was helpful for me to clarify my positions on things and to show people my design perspective. I only decided to change the name of my company last year to Annie Elliott Design because I think it’s a better representation of where my business is now.
How did the process for your recent Potomac project begin?
The clients were referred to me by a friend, and what made this project different and challenging was that they had a lot of Arts and Crafts furniture. It’s a lot of heavy woodwork, and they weren’t interested in painting the pieces. So the challenge was: how do I keep this furniture and also lighten up the house, make it current, make it friendly, and make it fun? Arts and Crafts, to me, is not fun. Luckily, the clients love color.
What was your inspiration for the family room in this project? Was there a focal point you built the design around?
The family room was used constantly, but not happily. The clients had already been renovating the kitchen next door, and they wanted a space that opened into the family room. We wanted the room to be more cohesive and warm. There is a beautiful stone fireplace that inspired me to work with really natural materials. The first step was adding grass cloth to the walls in a neutral color so it wouldn’t be scary. But I thought if we left the ceiling white, it would have been boring—it’s really easy for the ceiling to get overlooked. The ceiling wallpaper we went with is a warm, light brown but with a little bit of sparkle from the silver star pattern, which keeps it fun.
One of the kickers for this room was the drapes. There are hills I’ll die on and hills I won’t die on—but these drapes were my hill. The drapes just struck the right tone: they are the perfect color, and they aren’t overly formal. I’m really happy they ended up going with them.
Wallpaper is incorporated a lot in this project. How do you go about selecting patterns that make a statement without looking overly busy with other elements in the room?
I usually start a project with whatever is going to make the biggest statement. The dining room has blue grass cloth, floral drapes, and a patterned rug, but I think we prevented it from going over the top by limiting the multicolored pattern to one element—the drapes. And if you vary the scale by balancing the size of the patterned elements in a room, it lets the eyes rest.
Is there a room or an element in this project you were especially excited about?
While the mudroom was just a small piece of the project, it was a fun one because the clients totally thought it was a throwaway space. I came across a multicolored dog wallpaper and thought, “I wonder,” because the clients have a dog they adore, and I also love dogs. I put this wallpaper against a red tile floor, which made it an unexpectedly fun space.
I’m also really proud of the family room. We custom-built a very large media cabinet, and it’s beautiful and practical. We really decorated that room. Every surface has something on it, and it all works together. It was a room I knew we could do from start to finish.
Is this increased use of patterns and layers something you’ve seen a shift toward recently?
I’m not one for trends, but I am one for being current and modern. It seems that people are embracing a maximalist direction, and by that I mean pattern on pattern or color on color—maybe a little less breathing room than we’ve seen in the past. The trend is toward more rather than paring down.
Do you find that clients in the DC area have a specific style they like to stick to? Is the style exclusive to this part of the country?
I think DC is unique in that its residents are from all over the world. Most of my clients have lived
in other countries and picked up things on their travels. That informs my clients’ style, perhaps more than geography.
What is your primary emotion when you finish a project?
It’s unusual for us to have a project day where we say, “Yes, we’re done.” It’s a gradual phasing-out process. On installation day, which is really the first step toward being finished, I feel so proud of the work my team and I have done. And I’m usually very confident in thinking that no other designer in DC would have produced the same design. But, most of all, it’s amazing when the client loves it. Someone once asked me why I design, and I said, “I just want to help people love their houses, be happy every day, and be excited to show their friends.” I truly believe that when you love your home and it projects who you are to the world, you’re invincible.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, long commutes were business as usual for many professionals. However, not only did quarantines lead to new work-from-home (WFH) policies in the short-term, many businesses say they will permanently allow WFH, either full-time or part-time, for their employees.
How might this change the face of the US residential landscape? The past few decades have seen a mass-exodus from rural and suburban areas to in-town and exurban markets. Many ambitious creative and tech types felt they had to live in a major city in order to pursue their professional goals. Now, it seems, some of the country’s best and brightest will be able to work for their company of choice without regard to their zip code.
What Type of Market Is Right For You?
Why do you live where you live? Did you move there for a specific job or for proximity to a specialized industry? Do you live there because you want to be close to family? Are you in your neighborhood because of the great local schools or because of the year-round beautiful weather?
People choose different neighborhoods for a variety of reasons. If you could work from anywhere (you can) and if your kids could go to a great school no matter where you live (they can) which type of market would you choose?
Do you love the hustle and bustle of the city? Close proximity to top-notch medical care? Are you interested in the arts and culture? Do you want the opportunity to see your favorite sports teams in person? Any of these interests may make you a prime candidate for an in-town neighborhood.
Here, space is at a premium, so you will probably be looking at a condo, co-op, or townhome. Your living space will probably be quite small and scaling up or finding a home with outdoor space will be very expensive. Walkability is a major factor in the decision to live in a large metropolitan area, since traffic tends to be tight and parking is often pricey and hard to find.
Do you enjoy plenty of greenspace and a host of organized activities for kids? Are you looking for some of the amenities of the city without actually living there? A suburban area might be right for you.
Despite their cookie cutter reputation, many suburban neighborhoods offer variety and diversity. Life tends to center around schools and kids sports, with high-performing school districts drawing plenty of wealthy local residents. Want to optimize the value of your home investment here? Buy the smallest home in the best neighborhood you can afford and watch your equity grow.
If you’re focused on affordability and bang for your buck, a home in a rural area may be just right for you and your family. Home prices here tend to be lower, while homes tend to be larger. In addition, many homes will come with large lots or even several acres of land.
Living outside of a rural town or smaller city will give you close-by access to the basics—groceries, gas, and shopping and dining options. In addition, many small towns pride themselves on their history and culture, so you may be able to get involved with a local choir, little theater group, museum, or historical society.
What Your $100,000 Buys
Home affordability, especially in metropolitan areas, has long been a struggle for US buyers, and the COVID-19 crisis (with its economic and employment implications) has only made this more pronounced. However, the option to WFH long-term may make more affordable housing a reality as lower-priced suburban and rural markets open up for well-paid professional workers who can now telecommute.
With a relatively low $100,000 budget, how much home can you afford? Surprisingly, you have a fair number of options in all three residential categories. As an example, here are three areas in and around Atlanta, a fast-growing metropolitan area in northern Georgia. Although these three spaces have similar fixtures and finishes, the difference lies in the space you’ll find both indoors and out.
Looking for an iconic Atlanta view? For $97,000 you can buy a sophisticated studio loft condo with an amazing sunset view of Mercedes Benz Stadium and 442 square feet of interior space. Here you’ll find 10’ ceilings, new HVAC and appliances, and a host of building amenities. This concierge building is walking distance to great Atlanta shops and restaurants and only half a block to one of Atlanta’s MARTA subway stations.
Suburb: Forest Park
Priced at $94,900, the South Atlanta suburb of Forest Park offers a charming ranch-style, single-family home. There are three bedrooms and one and a half baths with 925 square feet of open concept design featuring upgraded finishes like granite kitchen countertops plus hardwood and laminate flooring. Here you’ll have ⅓ acre of land nestled on a lovely wooded lot.
Rural: Rome, GA
Outside of Atlanta’s neighbor to the north and priced at $99,000, you’ll find a beautifully updated home situated on a two-acre lot and boasting a covered porch and plenty of interior updates. Here you’ll find a large family room with fireplace, new flooring, and an owner’s suite with a clawfoot tub and separate shower. A vaulted ceiling and a host of updates throughout make this an incredible buy for its under-$100K price point.
We all love our pets, but we don’t want to give them free reign to destroy our homes. We also want to make sure that pets are safe in our homes. There are countless easy ways to make sure your home is pet-proof to keep your furry friend healthy—and out of trouble.
Kitchens and eating areas
There are many foods that are safe for humans to eat but that are unsafe for pets to eat. If you want to keep your pet from getting into cabinets and potentially ingesting something harmful, put childproof latches on your cabinets. Also, store foods, medications, and cleaners in places where your pets can’t reach.
Many pets love to explore around the living room, possibly hopping up onto couches and running across table tops. Because of this, you’ll want to make sure that none of the wires for TVs, lamps, or phones are dangling within your pet’s reach. Also, if you have a game closet, make sure you always put everything away so that your pet can’t choke on any small pieces that come with the games. Put covers over heating and air vents so that your pet can’t accidentally step on them and burn themselves. Also, make sure potentially harmful plants and valuables your pet could knock over are out of reach.
As with other rooms, hide chemicals and potentially harmful tools in securely locked cabinets or move them to shelves that your pet cannot reach. Make sure to always clean antifreeze from the ground because it can be lethal to your pet. During the winter, always bang on your car hood to make sure your cat isn’t hiding in the engine to stay warm.
Keep all chemicals and products on high shelves or in child-locked closets or cabinets. Most importantly, check your dryer before you turn it on. Sometimes, smaller pets hide here when it’s cold outside and they’re looking for warmth.
We typically keep a lot of our health and beauty products and medications in our bedrooms. Make sure these are out of your pet’s reach so they don’t accidentally swallow something inedible. Also, keep your laundry basket hidden behind a closet door if you have one to prevent your pet from swallowing buttons or drawstrings.
Always remember to close the lid to the toilet seat and hide toilet cleaner. If you’ve just cleaned the toilet, your pet could try to drink the toilet water and ingest harmful chemicals. If the toilet cleaner is just lying around, your pet could end up trying to eat or drink it as well. Always put your cosmetics and products in medicine cabinets that your pet can’t reach, and store shower items on tall racks so that your pet can’t get into your shampoo bottle.
Doorways and windows
Make sure you close and lock your doors when you leave your house so that your pet doesn’t run away. Also, if there are certain rooms you don’t want your pets getting into or if you don’t want them getting to a certain floor of the house, install a doggie gate to block them from crossing certain thresholds. You can also just remember to close the doors of rooms that you don’t want your pets to go into. Be mindful about keeping your windows open in the warmer months. Pets can easily jump out of low windows.
When pet-proofing your house, think of your pet’s typical habits. If you’re wondering whether or not they’ll try to investigate an object you have lying around, they probably will. With a few adjustments, your pet will stay safe and your home will stay intact.
Sometimes, we spend so much time focusing on interior design that we forget about the outdoor spaces of our homes. Many people with patios neglect that space, which means they’re missing out on beautiful outdoor retreats. If your patio decor is lacking, there are countless ways to add some flair to it.
Pillows and rugs
Get floor pillows that you and your guests can use to sit on the ground for more relaxed occasions. You can also cover the ground with an outdoor rug that will bring a little warmth into the space.
Hang hammocks if you want to use your patio for a relaxing, quiet place to think or read. If you want to make your patio extra comfortable, throw in a futon or daybed.
Add a few potted plants to bring nature into this indoor-outdoor space. They’ll brighten up the area nicely. Just make sure that the layout of the patio allows your plants or flowers to get enough sunlight.
If you like to eat outdoors, add a small table and a few chairs to your patio space. During the warmer months, you can head outside and enjoy dinner with a sunset view. If you’re feeling fancy, consider purchasing a bar cart, which will help you bring cocktails from the kitchen to the patio seamlessly. You can even install a tabletop firepit if you’re interested in roasting marshmallows on the patio.
Curtains and partitions
To add an element of privacy, hang a curtain or set up a partition to separate your patio space from the outdoors. You can even repaint old shutters from your home and use them as a barrier between your patio and the rest of your yard. If you’d still like to get natural sunlight, choose a light colored curtain or only set up a partition on one side of the patio for partial privacy.
Blend design styles
Make your patio have a natural transition between your home and backyard. Include furniture that is a mix of both indoors and outdoors, such as wicker chairs with decorative pillows.
Incorporate lighting so that you can use your patio at night. Whether it’s a large light or a number of twinkly string lights, adequate lighting will allow you to get the most use out of your space.
Your patio has more potential than you might’ve realized. Think about how you’d like to use your space, and you’ll be surprised by how easy it is to transform this often overlooked part of the home.
Thanks for doing an excellent job of marketing and selling our property. If I ever hear...Read More »
They're awesome! I wouldn't have a beautiful house if it weren't for them. I would definitely...Read More »