Your back porch is an awesome place where you can spend time outside all year long. But there’s actually something you can do to make your back porch even better than it has ever been before. By simply adding potted plants to your back porch, you can totally change the ambiance and make it a more comfortable place to spend time with the people you care about.
Improve the Aesthetic
The first thing that potted plants will do for your back porch is that they’ll make it look better. Potted plants are beautiful, and there are so many to choose from. You can choose plants that are perfectly matched to your style and your ability to care for them. Potted plants can come in a variety of colors and be purely leafy or full of fresh blooms. According to Farmers’ Almanac, vegetables like cherry tomatoes are also a great potted plant to grow and harvest. Research plants that are well suited to the climate of your area, which will make them easier to care for. Once you have your potted plants in place, your back porch will look even better.
Keep Away Pests
Potted plants can also do an exceptionally good job at helping you to keep pests away from the back porch. Certain plants can discourage different kinds of bugs from entering an area or even have scents that pests dislike. For example, according to Proterra Pest Control, eucalyptus and mint plants have a strong smell that keeps away pests. When you choose the potted plants for your back porch carefully, you can create an environment that is pest-free and more comfortable.
One thing that makes it difficult to enjoy your porch all year long is that it can get hot during the summer months. Your potted plants can make the space cooler and more comfortable even when it’s hot outside. Taller plants can create shade and block out the sun. But even small plans can have a positive impact on the temperature of your porch area. The water content in plants helps to create a cooler environment. When you have a variety of great plans you can keep your back porch much cooler.
Plants are becoming a very popular addition to homes across the country. But you don’t need to confine your potted plants to just your indoor spaces. Instead, you should use potted plants creatively, and find a way to turn your back porch into an oasis in your own backyard.
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Are you hoping to improve your home just a little bit more? Renovations go through every homeowner’s mind at some point, but the type of projects you decide to take on or implement can make a world of difference in your home’s productivity. Home investments that pay you back in various ways are better than fun novelties.
Kitchen and Bath Remodels
For example, kitchen and bath remodeling both have significant benefits to your wallet. These two rooms are places that tend to have the most water damage or leakage issues, and remodeling can help you remove the problems entirely. They are also two of the most important rooms in the house, so adding fun features can make your home feel more streamlined.
Some of the best kitchen and bath upgrades are new appliances, new countertops, and new technology to make your life easier and safer. Depending on your family members’ ages, you may want to put different emphasis on different enhancements. Research some of the best remodeling techniques here.
Alternative energy is another amazing way to get your money’s worth out of a renovation. Because less efficient energy leads to higher power bills, adding alternative energy to your home can keep your prices low. On top of that, solar installation has become more mainstream, making the start-up costs lower because of higher competition.
The price of solar has dropped 38 percent in the last five years. Most people start to see the benefits of using solar after only a couple of months. When you are ready to sell your home, it also becomes easier since people are craving solar energy in the housing market. Just another benefit to going with green energy.
Speaking of energy, you don’t need to invest in solar energy to help your home become energy-efficient. Often families who suffer from high energy bills have some major problems that need to be fixed. Usually, there is a draft in a door or window, insulation is old, or the roof has some problems. Thankfully, with a little TLC, you can fix these issues.
Installing energy-efficient windows is also a brand-new way to make your home more energy-efficient. Look into the new and upcoming technology that will make your home more cost-effective and greener.
These are just a few of the ways you can implement cost-effective home renovations into your house’s design. It doesn’t take too much time to make these improvements, and they make a world of difference.
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Whether you’re moving into a new home, renting, or working on a home renovation, it is important to consider how you can upgrade your kitchen. Here are a couple of things that you can include in your kitchen to enhance your experience and home.
Create a Better Cooking Experience
There are a lot of different elements that can create a better cooking experience in your kitchen, including design elements and cooking accessories. First off, you’ll also want to make sure that you have enough counter space. Often, when preparing a big meal, you’ll run out of counter space and feel cluttered and messy. Add a wraparound counter or island counter to solve this problem and provide yourself with sufficient space to cook.
According to Neil Kelly, there are also some kitchen appliance upgrades that you could make to facilitate your cooking, such as adding a double oven, investing in an air fryer, or replacing your fridge with an extra-wide configuration. All of these decisions will transform your kitchen into a cooking space that you’ll never want to leave.
Use Sturdier Materials
Another thing that you can do to transform your kitchen is to use better quality materials as it is being renovated. By using sturdier materials, you’ll guarantee that your kitchen won’t sustain significant damage over the years, and won’t need to be repaired or renovated again anytime soon. For example, rather than buying a wood or vinyl countertop, it is worth the investment to buy a granite countertop. According to KML Worktops, granite countertops can be maintained with just soap and warm water. They will last a long time while still looking stunningly beautiful.
As you’ve almost completed your kitchen, don’t forget to add finishing décor touches such as decorations, lighting, and hardware. According to Leedy Interiors, a statement chandelier or pendant light can make a huge difference to the presentation of your island counter. Adding gold hardware adds a luxurious sparkle and shine to your space. Decorations such as a nice floral centerpiece with greenery or a decorative bowl on your counter look beautiful. Don’t forget to use personalized touches such as paintings, signs, or photos that will give your kitchen a personal, homey feel.
Remember, this process is worth every minute spent and penny sacrificed since you’ll spend so much time in your kitchen in the future. It is so important to take the time to do all of the upgrades and changes that you’ve dreamed of because the outcome will bring you so much happiness. Keep each of these upgrades in mind and try to integrate them into your renovation plan.
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When it comes to protecting your home and protecting your family members, there are a lot of things you need to do. It can be difficult to know where to start. But thinking about specific things you can do to protect your family members’ health at home will represent an important step forward.
One of the biggest problems that your home can have that can affect your health is mold. Mold is especially likely to develop in areas of your home where it is moist—like bathrooms and even certain areas of your kitchen.
There are a variety of things you can do to prevent mold from growing and spreading. Make sure you have good ventilation in your bathrooms and that your family members actively use those ventilators. Also, make sure that you have good air circulation. This can help ensure that damp air does not rest in the same place for long periods.
Additionally, make sure that you do not have any areas of your home where water is often left sitting. Check areas of your bathroom like the corners around the outside of your bathtub for still water. If you find any problem spots, figure out what’s causing the stagnant water to collect and prevent against it.
When it comes to harming your health, pest infestations can make a huge difference. Pests bring with them different problems and diseases. If the pests themselves were ever to bite you or your family members, you could have serious serious problems. Cleaning your home and removing odors will help you prevent rodent issues in the future.
If you live in an older home, your home could have been painted with paint that had harmful materials in it that have since been banned. Of these materials, some types of older paint and even tile or certain types of flooring contain asbestos.
Asbestos is a material composed of small fibers that can become trapped in the lungs if they become airborne. Being careful to test your paint or tile before ripping it out will help you prevent painful repercussions for your health.
Figuring out how to care for your family is difficult enough. Making sure your house stays in great shape too only adds to everything. Starting with the above things will help you get off to a great start.
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How to tackle deep-cleaning tasks around the house
(BPT) - You know it must be done, but you just don't want to. It's been on the to-do list for far too long. You may try to ignore it, dodge it or even cover it up. It's your mess nemesis — your least-favorite cleaning task — and you dread having to tackle it.
Not all cleaning is equal
While some people enjoy cleaning more than others, everyone can agree that not all cleaning tasks are created equal. In fact, 88% of American adults have a least-favorite cleaning task, according to a new survey from the makers of home cleaning brand CLR (pronounced "clear"). When asked to liken their least-favorite cleaning task to a person, 33% of Americans said it's like a scam caller. When asked to choose between activities, almost half (43%) would rather go to the dentist than handle their least-favorite cleaning task.
Cleaning during quarantine
Considering the extra time people are spending at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, messes are more frequent and can quickly become bothersome. The frequency of cleaning has increased for most Americans over the past several months, but Americans are, understandably, split on their level of cleaning productivity during this time: 53% have tackled a cleaning task they've been avoiding for years during the pandemic and 42% have avoided at least one cleaning task during the pandemic.
Tips for conquering a mess nemesis
Whether it's soap scum, mildew, rust, stinks, stains or spills, it's time to show your mess nemesis you mean business. Follow these tips to get the job done right:
1) Set a date: It's easy to keep avoiding tasks you loathe, so set a time for when you plan to focus on cleaning and be specific. For example, at 10 a.m. Saturday you're finally giving the boot to that lime and calcium buildup on the shower door. Put on some cleaning clothes, play some motivational music and focus on getting the job done once and for all.
2) Stock ample supplies: Stock necessities, such as sponges, scrubbers and rags, before diving into any cleaning mission. Having the right supplies for the specific job makes tasks simpler. Use proper cleaning formulations for your task, such as the CLR line that has products designed to get rid of the grime in areas of the home, from the kitchen and bathroom to the patio, garage and beyond.
3) Follow directions and use safer products: Always follow the directions on any product to ensure you get the results you want without making the mess worse or damaging the items. Use products that clean effectively without unnecessary use of harsh chemicals. Look for products approved by the EPA Safer Choice Program, meaning they’re recognized as a safer alternative to traditional cleaning options that rely on the use of harsh chemicals to be effective, such as bleach.
4) Rally the troops: Whether it's a big mess that requires multiple sets of hands or a tough mess that requires a few people strategizing, help can make a big difference. Even if you need to focus on the mess nemesis while other people handle regular household chores, this can keep things moving forward thanks to teamwork. Get your partner, spouse, kids or roommates in on the action.
6 ways to improve the time you spend at home
(BPT) - After spending so much time at home in 2020, you might be running out of ideas to keep yourself entertained. If you find yourself with extra time on your hands, you’re not alone. Many people are looking for new ways to improve the time they spend at home. Follow these tips to revamp your space and enhance the time you spend at home.
1. De-clutter to cultivate calm
Make your home your happy place away from the hectic world. Target the hot spots for mess and get organized to regain peace of mind. Do a bedroom makeover to create a space more conducive to sleeping. Whatever you decide, your body and mind will thank you.
2. Binge a new podcast
Though they’ve been around for years, podcasts continue to grow in popularity. While you’re spending time at home, they can make you feel like you’re part of a fascinating conversation. Search for a subject or topic you’ve always wanted to learn about and dive in. And if you’re looking for a device with the latest technology to help you stay informed, check out LG’s newest smartphones --Wing, Velvet or K92.
3. Watch something out of your comfort zone
Sure, you could turn on another season of your favorite show, but why not try something completely different? Choose a topic you don’t know enough about and turn on a documentary. Or choose a show or film from a genre you don’t typically follow and see what all the hype is about. To help you stick with your new favorite, LG’s OLED TVs deliver the pinnacle of picture quality and offer access to the most popular streaming sites so you’ll have a vast library of content to explore.
4. Up your work-from-home game
If you’re working from home, you might be getting tired of sitting at the kitchen table or lounging on the couch. Make your work setup official by finding a designated office space within your home. Customize your space to help with productivity — like swapping your small laptop screen with an LG UltraFine Monitor for easier multitasking and an unencumbered view.
5. Increase your cleaning efficiency
Since you’re spending more time at home, you’re likely spending more time doing mundane chores. Get your cleaning done better and faster by boosting your laundry room setup. With a style-forward design that takes up half the space of a typical washer and dryer, the LG WashTower gives you the freedom to reinvent your laundry space. You'll have room for more storage, a pet wash station, or even a new desk set-up for work or hobbies.
6. Do nothing
When you’ve run out of activities, work and chores, there’s nothing wrong with just letting yourself be. Many people don’t take enough time to decompress and recharge. Take advantage of some downtime to de-stress and relax.
Small and simple actions can help make the time you spend at home more enjoyable. Follow these tips to get the most out of your downtime.
Discover Nature-Inspired Paint Trends for a Calming Home
(Family Features) When it comes to home design, color can change everything. From understated, clean hues and calming neutrals to soft greens and mid-tone colors with artistic qualities, a whole new style is just brush strokes away. With the right color palette, you can transform your space to highlight contemporary trends while creating your desired ambiance.
These curated Clark+Kensington color palettes, showcasing on-trend looks for 2021, are heavily inspired by nature and natural materials like raw cotton, linen, wood tones and soft, peaceful greens. The colors invite the best of the outdoors inside so you can design a personal refuge where you’re free to relax and unwind.
Each of these three collections, assembled by the experts at Ace Hardware, can help conjure a sense of calm and offer inspiration so you can thoughtfully incorporate color into your home.
Any color in these palettes can be selected and ordered from the comfort of your home online using in-store pickup, curbside pickup or delivery from your local store. Start with color samples to test your colors on your walls in different locations and under different lighting then order your gallons and painting supplies when you’re ready to complete your project. Find more inspiration and all the supplies you need to transform your space with paint at acehardware.com.SOURCE:
At some point, most homeowners will find themselves in the middle of a home improvement project. It might be because they're trying to build equity in the home to prepare to sell or refinance their mortgage, or it could just be the desire to make their home suit them better. Whatever the reason, there are some improvements that can really pay off when it comes to improving the value of the home.
A Large Master Bedroom
Having a master suite in the home is usually something of a given these days, but not all suites are the same. The ideal master suite features a comfortably sized room, a walk-in closet, and a comfortable adjoined bathroom. Keep in mind that bigger isn't always better when it comes to creating the most value here. Upscale master suite renovations don't have a high return on investment, so if that's your main reason for renovating, you're best sticking with minor upgrades like replacing the full bath with a walk-in shower. On the other hand, if ROI isn't the only reason for renovating and you intend to enjoy the end result, feel free to go more upscale. Just remember you won't be seeing the returns you might expect.
A Modern Kitchen
People tend to spend a lot of time in kitchens. Upgrading your kitchen to be more modern can be a good way to improve your home's value. Minor upgrades will get you a better ROI than major remodels will, so again it's important to consider the purpose of your renovation. Minor upgrades include things like replacing cabinet and sink hardware, refinishing the cabinets, and replacing appliances can do a lot to transform your kitchen. In addition to giving your kitchen a more updated look, new appliances tend to be more energy efficient. You should see a corresponding change on your energy bills afterward.
Replacing Your Roof
Roofs last a long time, so you don't need to replace them often, but eventually there will come a time when a roof replacement is a good idea or even necessary. You may find yourself needing to replace your roof if it's been on your home for about 15–20 years, especially if it's become weathered. This isn't a project you want to undertake unless you need to, but if you do it can be a good opportunity to improve your home's value. There are a lot of different options for materials to choose from, each with their own pros and cons. Spending more on roofing materials can be a good choice over the long term. More expensive materials tend to be more durable and last longer, which can really help your money go further in the long run.
Curb appeal matters when selling your home. It's what gives buyers a good first impression of the property. The higher the curb appeal, the higher the value of the property. Even if you aren't selling right now, it feels good to come home to a property that has an attractive exterior. You may not think about your home's siding very often, but it can make a difference in your home's curb appeal. If you choose to replace your siding, there are different materials to choose from. Your choice will impact the return on your investment, so you'll want to balance that with the pros and cons of the different material options.
Updating the Bathroom
Like the kitchen, the bathroom is another room in your house you can often rely on to improve your home's value with a remodel. And like other improvement projects, if you want to get the best value for your money and maximize your ROI, your best bet is to go with minor upgrades rather than a full overhaul. You might consider making minor upgrades such as replacing the shower head, replacing the vanity, and upgrading the lighting. This can give the bathroom a more updated, new look that is brighter and more pleasant to be in.
Your landscaping will greatly contribute to your home's curb appeal. It can also have a strong impact on how much you enjoy your yard. It's more pleasant to be in a yard that has been well kept and is neat and orderly than one that has been allowed to grow beyond its boundaries. Avoid the temptation to solely focus on landscaping the front yard. Buyers will look at the backyard, and you'll probably be spending time in it as well, so it's best to pay attention to both.
Replacing the Entry Door
For a much smaller project that still improves curb appeal, try replacing your entry door. Your front door is one of the first things buyers will see, making it an important part of making a good first impression. This relatively simple project can have a huge impact on how welcoming your home is. A steel door offers the best return and can help improve the security of the property. You can boost the welcoming appearance of your home by choosing one with narrow windows on either side that help open up the home and look beautiful at the same time.
Adding a Wood Deck
Decks can add a great deal of appeal to a home, and wood decks can offer you a good ROI. If you have the space to accommodate one, you should consider adding a wood deck to your property. While they can be expensive to add, and proper maintenance will be essential, you should end up recouping a lot of the cost of building it when you sell. Decks offer great opportunities to entertain guests or enjoy some personal relaxation time. Especially with the recent emphasis on gathering outside, having a space to do that will appeal to many buyers.
Home improvement projects are not all created equal in terms of the value they can add to a home, not to mention the return on investment they offer. If you're trying to build equity in your home, your best bet is to focus on projects that will give you the best return on your investment. This will help you get the best value out of your money and maximize your profits when it's time to sell the house.
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