The Soft Side of Neutrals

Styles may change, but one of the constants on which you can depend is that the color of your walls should make you feel at home. Today’s top design trends focus on new ways to do neutrals.

Cozy Welcome
Your color scheme sets the tone of your home. Soft whites are easy on the eyes and create a cozy atmosphere of hospitality. These neutral colors are also a great blank canvas for any type of decor.

Warm Glow
White walls brighten any room. A softer shade of white such as cream or ecru, however, also adds an irresistible touch of warmth.

You don’t have to give up the modern flair of your white walls to create a more welcoming home. A slight shade variance makes a world of difference.

Safe Light Bulb Replacement

It is necessary to safely change a light bulb to avoid an often unnecessary electrical repair. One easy way to stay safe is to check the wattage and size of the bulb needing replacement. Replacing the right bulb can prevent issues with an improper fit or too much heat generation.

Take Your Cue From Light Fixture Labels

Check the light fixtures warning label to see what type of bulb to use. This helps prevent using the wrong bulb without pulling out the light bulb until you ready to replace. When you have the right bulb, let the lamp cool, remove the burnt bulb counter-clockwise and set aside before screwing in the new bulb until it stops.

Tap Into the Great Outdoors

A popular design trend that takes you back to your roots (literally) is bringing the outdoors in. Many of today’s designers and homeowners believe the great outdoors can revive a home’s energy and make it look and feel fresh. There’s no better way to relax after a long, hard day than reconnecting with nature right from the comfort of your own home.

Some of today’s top design trends include implementing nature into the decor, such as natural wooden furniture or finishes, large windows to let in the natural sunlight, and sustainable, locally-sourced materials to help the environment. You can even invest in plant life to bring a bit of the outdoors inside while also invigorating the air around you with the oxygen from the plants.

Christmas Wall Décor You’ll Love

A blank wall space can be a dream come true when the holiday season rolls around. Take an otherwise unused wall and turn it into your favorite Christmas canvas!

Traditions Shine Through

Red, white, green, silver and gold are traditional Christmas colors, so lean on that palette. Use traditional Christmas decorations on your walls, such as white candlesticks in gold candelabras. Add greenery like wreaths and garland to your walls and to spruce up the space (literally).

Offbeat and Whimsy

If you’re a less-than-traditional decorator, go with wall decor that speaks to you. Some ideas might include bright, colorful stars made with glitter and metallic paint, fun stockings hung from hooks or a display of festive dishware. Any color is a Christmas color if you believe in it enough!

Dark Decor for a Dramatic Winter

When you think of winter home décor, your mind probably goes straight to mistletoe and holly. Although that’s valid and beautiful in its own right, don’t overlook the power of dark accent pieces when you’re deciding on a winter look to create a bold effect.

Black or slate grey pieces like rugs, end tables and lamps echo the sky outside, helping to set a dramatic mood in the room. You might also think about dark metal accent pieces such as cast iron or steel to mix up mediums. If you’re worried about the space looking too dark and depressing, remember to balance your decorations out with bright and sunny pieces you love too. Everything in moderation, after all.

The early nights and cold days don’t have to mean that dark decor in the wintertime is off-limits. Experiment with using blacks, metals and greys when you prepare your house for surprisingly elegant winter decorating.

Test Your Foreclosure Investment for Mold

Buying a foreclosed property can be a great way to get more bang for your buck, whether you are looking to turn a profit or make a home just right for your family. People may try to scare you with stories of mold damage, but these are not a big deal if you know how to protect yourself.

Mold Facts

Since a foreclosed home has sat empty for long time, it could have become a suitable environment for mold. Here is why:

  • Mold spores are abundant in the environment.
  • Mold needs moisture to grow.
  • An empty home has not been ventilated properly, potentially raising indoor humidity.

Testing Is the Solution

Don’t be deterred by these facts. Foreclosures are sold as is, but a professional mold inspector can look for things you can’t see and conduct mold testing to make sure your investment is safe.

Ready Your Home for Winter

Colder days are on their way! This means more time to spend around family, snuggled in next to the fire, and the bright decorations throughout your home. While you prepare for the winter months, why not make sure your house is in shape too? Here is how you can prepare your home with winter home maintenance.

Reverse the Fans

If you like saving money on heat, make sure to reverse your fans for the winter. This will stop the warm air from rising through your roof.

Inspect Water Tank

Have your water tank inspected before the chill sets in. If you have had your water heater for a while, it helps to make sure that there are no cracks in the hot water heater.

Clean Dryer Hose

Dryer hoses need regular cleaning. If you have gone a while without having your dryer inspected, winter may be the best time. After all, you cannot hang your clothes outside in winter.

Have Chimney Inspection

Make sure that your chimneys are clean. An inspector can take a look at your chimney and ensure that there are no clogs. In addition, he or she can guarantee that your chimney is in working order.

Leave Heat On

If you leave the heat on at all times, you can maintain healthy pipes and also save money on heating. Your heater will not have to work extra hard to heat the room when you return at the end of the day.

Consider Your Pipes

To prepare your home, make sure that you have your plumbing inspected in advance. A plumber can also give you tips on how to care for your pipes this winter. Make sure that you let a little water run through the pipes to prevent freezing.

Winter can be a beautiful season. As you prepare yourself for the cold weather, make sure you have your home in tip top shape too.

Top Signs Your Older Home Needs Electrical Repair

When you own an older home, or a home built between the 1950s and 1970s, you may need to upgrade or electrical repairs. If you’re not sure if your home needs an upgrade, take the age into consideration and look for any warning signs.

Address the warning signs right away for a safe, electrically sound home. These warning signs include:

  • Strange odors
  • Sparks or smoke near outlets
  • Warm outlets or switches
  • Frayed wires
  • Unusual buzzing
  • Ungrounded outlets
  • Flickering or dim lights
  • Tingling after touching a switch
  • Scorch marks on outlets

If you spot any of these signs, then talk to a contractor right away. He or she will keep your house in safe shape. Regular inspections can also maintain safety in an older home.

The Importance of Radon Re-Entrainment

Radon is something homeowners everywhere need to be aware of. Homeowners should test for radon levels in their home and if levels are elevated, it’s time to mitigate.

Homeowners can use radon mitigation to remove the risk associated with the odorless gas. Many radon mitigation systems use venting through the attic. There are undoubted benefits of radon systems through the attic, but homeowners also need to be aware of radon re-entrainment. It is one of the most essential aspects of radon mitigation and one not always properly understood.

Understanding Re-Entrainment 

Essentially, re-entrainment focuses on having an opening in the roof vent stack that better ensures radon gas is exhausted away from the property. Specifically, re-entrainment keeps radon from trickling through common openings such as windows and doors. What’s so important about this aspect of radon mitigation is that it keeps the gas from re-entering the home once it’s channeled away.

It’s a good idea for homeowners to look into radon testing and prevention for better peace of mind.

Soak That Siding

Return your home’s exterior to its original fresh and beautiful appearance by giving your siding or brick a good washing. This home maintenance task doesn’t take long, and the results can be amazing.

It’s easy to forget how vibrant the original color of your home’s siding is until you blast away any accumulated dirt from the outdoors.

The Tool of Choice

If you have a pressure washer, cleaning the entire exterior goes very quickly. Plus, it’s really satisfying to see layers of dirt just melt away. Many hardware stores rent pressure washers by the hour, which is perfect for spring cleaning projects. If you’re feeling an energetic euphoria from your gorgeous siding, you can even use the pressure washer for deep cleaning the driveway.