Whether you’re keeping up with the Joneses or capturing attention from would-be buyers, give your home’s curb appeal a boost with easy steps, such as making a list of any imperfections that require replacing or repair; prioritizing your to-do list, taking your budget into account; cleaning siding, doors, shutters and delicate items like patio tables with a power washer; making improvements to stop current and prevent future problems; cleaning outdoor surfaces such as decks, sidewalks and driveways; and adding finishing touches like flowers, lighting and other small details.
6 Steps to Up Your Home's Curb Appeal
(Family Features) For good or bad, first impressions count. Whether you’re keeping up with the Joneses or capturing attention from would-be buyers, give your home’s curb appeal a boost with these easy steps.
Find more solutions to make the view from your curb as appealing as possible at briggsandstratton.com.
Remodeling your home can be a big, and oftentimes, overwhelming project, but it doesn’t always have to be. If you’re not looking to do a whole home renovation, and just want to give your interior a little pick-me-up, consider revamping colors, textures and your home appliances with these simple tips.
Bold and Blended
Upgrade your home without a full renovation
(Family Features) Remodeling your home can be a big, and oftentimes, overwhelming project, but it doesn’t always have to be. Sometimes all you really need is a fresh coat of paint or smaller upgrades. If you’re not looking to do a whole home renovation, and just want to give your interior a little pick-me-up, consider revamping colors, textures and your home appliances with these simple tips from Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating.
Color Is Key
When it comes to your countertops and backsplashes, you can also achieve a standout look with a high-contrast approach. Pair deeply colored counters or backsplashes with more subtly hued cabinets and flooring to make a dramatic statement.
With more homeowners tuned into online and televised DIY resources, manufacturers are challenged like never before to deliver high-end products that blend flawlessly into the background of a living space. One example is Mitsubishi Electric’s Designer Series indoor units. These units are sleek, stylish, slim and available in three different colors – glossy white, matte silver and glossy black – making matching the appliance to the style of a space effortless.
A Little Texture Goes a Long Way
These simple details can make a drastic difference in the feel of your home, no matter what room in the house you’re sprucing up. In the kitchen or bathroom, choosing the right style and material of countertop can make or break your intended design. For example, the beauty of granite’s natural patterns make it a one-of-a-kind look for your home, while a newer kitchen design trend, stainless steel, provides a distinctive look.
Another easy way to play with the texture in your home is by placing small, decorative objects throughout your living quarters. Natural and organic objects, like shells, stones or twigs, can be used to inject an outdoor feel in different rooms.
Most importantly, consider balance when seeking out different textures. Overdoing it can detract from your attempts to liven up your home, making it instead feel cluttered or disorganized.
Find the right features
In addition to the aesthetic benefits, these units give homeowners the ability to choose their desired room temperature for each zone in their home, while using 30-40 percent less energy than traditional cooling and heating systems, and providing better indoor air quality. Learn more at mitsubishicomfort.com.
Having your home severely damaged by a storm can turn your world upside down. Often, foremost among your concerns will be your roof, as it is protects the rest of your home and possessions. Take action on your post-storm repair process with these tips.
Tips for Tackling Storm-Related Roof Damage
(Family Features) Having your home severely damaged by a storm can turn your world upside down. The damage could simply be cosmetic, or so extensive as to render your home uninhabitable. In either case, you need to act fast, but smart, to ensure that your home will be properly repaired.
Often, foremost among your concerns will be your roof, as it is protects the rest of your home and possessions. Start your post-storm repair process with these tips from the experts at CertainTeed Roofing.
Find more tips to help guide your roof repair, and find qualified installers in your area, at CertainTeed.com.
(BPT) - Now that your kids have launched lives of their own, you may be considering how to maximize the extra space they left behind.
Making renovations can be a fun way to turn their now-empty rooms into a useful and/or relaxing space for your own enjoyment. And your timing could be spot on; a recent survey found half of empty-nesters of pre-retirement age are opting to stay in their family homes instead of downsizing.
"Retirement isn't all about being practical," notes Ken Dychtwald of California-based consulting firm Age Wage. "More and more people are turning their empty nests into nurturing nests."
Even better, with today's easy-to-use construction tools, repurposing rooms can be stress-free and efficient. If you haven't engaged in DIY projects lately, it's worthwhile to check out some of the newest market innovations in saws, cordless drills, portable nailers and belt sanders. One of the most consumer-friendly is the RotoSaw+ with Dust Vault attachment from RotoZip that can effectively custom-cut a variety of materials (including drywall) while reducing the dust and debris that is sure to be produced by any great remodel project by 90 percent.
Here are some DIY ideas for using such tools to repurpose your space:
*Private gym: Building a workout space right into your home should eliminate any excuses to avoid exercise. Features might include mirrored walls, storage space for gear, a sound system, extra ventilation and/or rubber floor tiles for acoustic control.
*Man or woman cave: This room could incorporate an endless array of hobbies specific to your interests including reading, watching movies, creating art, practicing music, playing video games or cheering on your favorite sports team.
*Guest bedroom: Now that your kids have flown the coop, you have more time to entertain friends, whereupon an appealing guest bedroom could be a boom to your social life. Another option is using space-saving furniture to combine a guest bedroom with a room that serves other purposes, such as an office or reading room.
*Walk-in closet: Multiple retailers now offer dream closet components like drawers, bars, shelves, mirrors and containers. Consider a vanity and/or benches for relaxing as you apply makeup, try on shoes and accessories and create the perfect outfit.
*Meditation room: Create a space to recharge yourself physically and mentally, perhaps with natural light, a sound system and elements of nature like plants, flowers and/or a water fountain. To achieve a Zen quality, minimal furniture and accessories are recommended. Pastels or dark colors are considered the most relaxing colors. Consider building a customized meditation table to work as the centerpiece of your room.
Your DIY remodeling project doesn't have to be complicated. RotoZip offers three models of RotoSaws able to cut multiple surfaces while greatly reducing construction dust and debris. Call 1-877-ROTOZIP or visit www.rotozip.com for more info.
(BPT) - Do you ever wonder why you feel immediately relaxed when you enter a spa, yet when you enter a gym, you feel alert and energized? The answer can be found in the colors selected to decorate the space.
"Interior designers use color psychology to evoke an emotional response," says Sue Wadden, director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams. "Homeowners can use this strategy to connect colors with emotions and memories to create one-of-a-kind spaces."
Color psychology starts by exploring warm and cool hues and then using these different tones to manipulate mood throughout your home. It's easy to do with the tips below.
Warm color families
Red, orange and yellow are considered warm colors since they are associated with images of heat, like fire or sunshine. Warm families of color are bold and powerful when incorporated into home design.
Because yellow reflects light, it's an excellent choice for foyers and dark hallways. Its cheery nature has the ability to create an uplifting mood in homes. Rich yellows are great accent colors because they catch the eye. A great color to consider is Wadden's favorite: Butterscotch SW 6377.
"This color isn't for the faint of heart," she says. "The color features an acidy, deep mustard feel but is a great accent color paired with neutrals. I find its pop can really spark up a room."
Reds evoke feelings of passion, energy and intimacy, so it's an excellent color for workout rooms and master bedrooms. Red also inspires the appetite, so is a logical choice for dining rooms or kitchens.
Michael Plank, director of color marketing and design services for Sherwin-Williams, enjoys Chinese Red SW0057.
"Chinese Red is one of my perennial favorites to play off dark stains with its saturated and sophisticated nature," he says. "Rich in hue as it is in Chinese culture; the harbinger of joy and fortune."
Orange has a friendly attitude that awakens and welcomes. Never understated, orange works well in family rooms and is a playful choice for children's bedrooms or bonus rooms. Orange tones can also integrate into other colors, such as Coral Reef SW6606.
"Ever since I was little I had a love affair with orange," says Wadden. "I painted my daughter's room Coral Reef. I love the rich complexity of the color."
Cool color families
Blue, green and violet are considered cool colors because the inherent tones of each shade. Reminiscent of water and the outdoors, cool colors stimulate feelings of peace and tranquility, and are great options for bedrooms, bathrooms and patio spaces.
Blue is soothing and elicits feelings of relaxation, which is perfect for bedrooms and bathrooms. Alternatively, blues should be kept out of the kitchen because it's a color that's associated with appetite suppression.
"I love cool greenish blues," says Plank. "Blue Sky 0063 is from our historic palette and is a calming hue that works in virtually every room."
Green tones provide a feeling of familiarity because they are found throughout nature. Light greens are ideal for living rooms and offices; dark greens are wonderfully rich as accent colors.
Vivid greens add unexpected pop, notes Sherwin-Williams Senior designer Karrie Hodge, who likes Marea Baja SW 9185.
"I really like dark colors and this color reminds me of the deep turquoise part of the ocean," she says. "This would make a great front door color on a white or gray colored house. This color would pair well with some natural stone or brick or wood."
Purple tones are immediately attractive to children, making them a great paint option in playrooms or bonus rooms. Additionally, violet is also a stunning accent color in bathrooms.
When it comes to the violet family of colors, Hodge likes the versatility of Veri Berri SW 9069.
"Its a rich berry tone that is playful," she says. "This would make a really dramatic accent wall color in any room; I could even see this as a really fresh front door color."
For more color inspiration and to learn more about warm and cool colors, visit www.sherwin-williams.com.
(BPT) - Whether an afternoon tailgating before the big game or a fun-filled evening under the dazzling autumn stars, the forecast for this season's entertaining is trending toward cozy, comfortable and outdoors.
"I think the big lifestyle shift right now is toward eating out less and entertaining more at home, and autumn is the perfect season for taking your get-togethers outside," says Keith Winkler, marketing manager for dinnerware giant Replacements, Ltd. "Think about it - the temperatures are cooling down following our record breaking summer heat. You can have more people at outdoor gatherings than you can generally fit in your home. Plus, there's more flexibility because you can easily have one or more set ups, whether that means setting up tables for dinner or having canapÃ©s and finger foods around a fire pit."
Fall is a great season for ditching the paper and plastic and taking your dinnerware outdoors. Tableware industry experts say there are many positives to introducing your "good stuff" to Mother Nature. It won't blow away like paper plates, and it's far more environmentally friendly than Styrofoam.
Mix it up
While serving finger foods on small plates is extremely popular and encourages your guests to mingle, there's a definite return toward the comfort and connection of a sit down meal. To set the perfect fall table, designers encourage mixing and matching patterns to reflect your distinctive style.
"I generally start with a pattern that sets the tone for the evening, one that reflects what I'm feeling for this particular gathering," says Replacements' designer Julie Robbins. "Whether that's a cute salad plate that's going to sit atop the dinner plate, or a fun color I want as my main design element or theme. I then add pieces that either draw out that feeling or ground the place setting to give me the ambiance I want for my entire table."
Robbins says that may mean pairing a current fall favorite, such as a dinner plate in Woodland by Spode, with vintage American amber glass from the 1940s. She also mixes different pieces. For example, adding a hued glass accent salad plate creates another layer of dimension, while a bright goblet can infuse a much needed pop of seasonal color.
Light up your evenings
There's really no need to go heavy on the decorations for fall outdoor entertaining. Bright leaves, pumpkins, seasonal berries and other naturals create the perfect autumn decor. Experts say you don't need a floral centerpiece if you have nature all around you. Instead, use candles to light up your evenings.
"It's time to upgrade from the Mason jar look by mixing glassware and candles," says Robbins. "Lighting can truly set the mood for your gathering, which is why I'm big on creating an eclectic grouping down the middle of my table by mixing glass and metal candlesticks with hurricanes, clear decanters and other pieces I can use to hold candles. If you don't think you have enough pieces, old tumblers make great votive cups, while you can also turn wine glasses and goblets upside down and place candles on the inverted base. This is beautiful for daytime entertaining, and when lit, creates a simple, warm feeling on those nights when you're just starting to feel a nip in the air."
Looking for more fall inspiration? Robbins and team suggest checking out Replacements' website at www.replacements.com.
Converting to a smart home may seem like an intimidating task, but breaking the process into manageable steps makes it easier to choose and install the best smart devices for your home and lifestyle. You can begin turning your house into a smart home by following these simple steps, such as setting a budget, brainstorming ideas for each room and prioritizing what you install – such as a garage door upgrade kit or opener.
Starting Your Smart Home Transformation
(Family Features) With the aid of modern technology, it’s now possible to convert virtually any ordinary house into a smart home filled with features that make daily tasks more convenient. These technologies allow for greener living, customization of your living space to personal tastes and the peace of mind that you can control key home systems with your smartphone.
Converting to a smart home may seem like an intimidating task at first, but if you break the process into manageable steps you’ll find it’s not so hard to choose and install the best smart devices for your home and lifestyle. You can begin turning your house into a smart home by following these three simple steps.
Set a budget.
How much money you’ll ultimately spend to create your smart home depends on numerous factors: the size of your home, number of systems and appliances you wish to automate and the level of integration you desire are significant considerations. Assuming that your home is already wired for a high-performance broadband connection, you can get into the smart home game for under $100 with a thermostat that you can manage remotely. On the other hand, adding smart-home technology throughout the whole house will likely cost in the thousands.
Pay attention to the levels of integration various products offer. Purchasing products from brands that partner with many other smart-home device makers will help ensure the products you add in the future will work with those you install now. Selecting highly integrated products will save you time during the installation process, help you avoid unnecessary expenses down the road and improve your overall smart-home experience.
Brainstorm ideas for each room.
Go room to room in your home and think about the activities that occur in each space. Consider which of these can become easier or more enjoyable with the support of smart technology. The living room, where you likely have a host of entertainment and audio equipment, offers plenty of obvious benefits, but also look at the kitchen, for example. Did you forget to start the dishwasher on your way out the door? Initiating a wash cycle remotely will let you come home to dishes clean and ready for dinner.
Prioritize what you install.
Opening and closing the garage door is so much a part of your daily routine that it is often hard to remember if you closed it on the way out. Products such as the Chamberlain MyQ Garage upgrade kit, or Chamberlain garage door openers with built-in MyQ technology, put peace of mind in the palm of your hand. This technology allows you to control and check the status of your garage door from anywhere, at any time, so you know if your garage was left open or if it’s being opened while you’re not there. The innovative technology works with numerous smart-device brands and their devices, such as NEST thermostats and Xfinity home security products. Learn more at chamberlain.com.
With the all-important lead-in to your home covered, you can turn attention to devices that help manage your home’s operation and efficiency. Thermostats that auto adjust to designated climate settings are a popular option for many homeowners because they bring immediate returns in reducing your overall energy usage. Irrigation systems and power management products are also wise investments when it comes to optimizing your home’s use of natural resources.
Stepping across the threshold to a smart home may feel like a big step, but once you get settled and experience the convenience and control, you’ll likely find yourself exploring ways to incorporate smart technology every place you can.
Smart Devices for Every Room
The number of devices that can be integrated into a smart home is growing at an accelerated rate, but not all are complex gadgets and gizmos. Some of the simpler options for every room in your home include:
Living Room: Outlet Adapters
Walk into your home late at night and flip on the lights, the TV or both without searching in the dark for a switch or remote. After your smart outlet adapter is plugged into the wall, appliances can be plugged into the adapter and controlled from a smartphone.
Bedroom: Motorized Drapes
Adding motorized drapes to your bedroom allows for an easy way to adjust lighting and privacy – all without leaving the comfort of your bed. Properly adjusting drapes, which is easy to do with smartphone control, can also help manage energy consumption by regulating solar heat.
Kitchen: Coffee Maker
Wake up to your favorite morning beverage without drowsily scooping and pouring. A smart coffee maker can make the right amount of coffee at just the right time through simple settings on your smartphone.
Garage: Remote Garage Door Access
Open, close and monitor your garage door anywhere, anytime, with MyQ technology from Chamberlain. With remote access to one of the main entry points to your home, you can ensure the garage door is shut when you’re out or ready to open when you return.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images
More than 40,000 homes flooded in the state of Louisiana after historic rainfall since Friday, Aug. 12, causing more than 20 parishes to declare federal disasters. FloodSmart, the marketing and education campaign of FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program, encourages residents to protect their families, property and pets as floodwaters recede, providing these tips on what to do after a flood.
Flood Recovery Tips to Get You Back on Your Feet
(Family Features) More than 40,000 homes flooded in the state of Louisiana after historic rainfall since Friday, Aug. 12, causing more than 20 parishes to declare federal disasters. Across the state, only 20 percent of homes have active flood insurance policies.
“Our top priority is the safety of Louisiana residents,” said Tony Robinson, regional administrator for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 6. “We are working closely with the Louisiana governor’s office to respond and help residents recover from this devastating flood. We encourage those with flood insurance to file a claim. People with disaster damage and expenses not covered by insurance can register for Individual Assistance from FEMA. Apply online at disasterassistance.gov or call 800-621-FEMA.”
Communities, families and businesses can take action to recover quickly from flooding caused by severe storms, as well as prepare for the next one. FloodSmart, the marketing and education campaign of FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program, encourages residents to protect their families, property and pets as floodwaters recede, providing these tips on what to do after a flood:
To learn more about filing a flood insurance claim and flood insurance, contact your insurance agent or find one using FloodSmart’s Agent Locator Tool. Flood damage is typically not covered by homeowners insurance, so it’s important to financially protect homeowners and business owners from flooding’s costly consequences.
Visit FloodSmart.gov to learn more about staying safe after a flood, and to find other helpful tips.
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