3 Tips to Design the Ultimate Kid’s Room

Give your kids a room they can be proud of by adding design features that bring out their personal style. You can encourage creativity and curiosity in kids with fun features that make their playroom or bedroom just as educational as the classroom. And when you ensure their safety every step of the way, you can sit back and relax while they enjoy playing on their own or with siblings and friends in their stylish sanctuary. Check out these top tips for designing the ultimate kid’s room.

Make it Fun

Planning a room that’s fun to be in is your best bet for ensuring this kid-friendly space gets plenty of use. Ask your child about his or her favorite colors or characters, or find inspiration in a beloved toy when coming up with a design scheme for the room. Bright colors give the space a lively feeling. Rather than just painting the walls one color, consider fun details such as stripes, removable wall stickers, or glow-in-the-dark paint.

To encourage lots of creative play, give kids a cozy rug where they can sit on the floor and enjoy their toys and games. A child-sized art station is another popular feature. Consider setting up a small easel with an oversized pad of art paper and cups filled with crayons, markers, or colored pencils.

Make it Educational

Image via Flickr by Martha W McQuade

Give your child a boost of brain power by making the playroom or bedroom an educational space. Set up a desk where they can work on homework after school. Consider facing the desk into the room so kids don’t feel like they’re boxed in when working on these tasks.

Tap into his or her interests when choosing décor for the room. Kids fascinated by exotic places can learn from large maps hung on the wall or a cool globe set up on their dresser. You can hang photos of adorable creatures for kids who love animals or paint constellations on the ceiling for those who love astronomy. 

Create a cozy reading nook with shelves for favorite books and a comfy chair or beanbag to lounge on. Consider creating a chart where kids can proudly list all the books they’ve read or track how many pages they read per day.

Make it Safe

While playing and learning make any kid’s room more fun, it’s critical to make sure the space is safe for them to enjoy. Cover electrical outlets, and make sure cords for blinds are kept out of reach. Make sure all furniture is secured to the wall in case little ones attempt to climb it. Install mesh or metal guards over the windows.

Besides following these child-proofing suggestions, parents should make sure the space doesn’t trigger allergies or respiratory issues. A child’s room should be free of allergens and have a good flow of AC or heat. To make sure your child’s room is well-ventilated, schedule an HVAC inspection and inquire about installing an air purifier in your home.

Create happy memories for your children by giving them a comfortable, fun, and safe place to play at home. Use these tips to design a kid’s room they’re sure to love.

4 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Holiday Travels

If you’re like many homeowners, you plan to travel during the holidays. You’ve got your flight tickets, and you made the hotel reservations, but did you really plan to leave your house unattended? While you may think that locking up and setting an alarm will do the trick, there are some things to consider before you board the plane. Discover these four ways to prepare your home for the busy holiday season.

If you plan to be gone this holiday season, consider enlisting the neighbors. If there’s a teen in the area, pay them a few bucks to bring in any late arriving packages, water the plants, and rotate the lighting. Studies show that keeping a single lamp on day and night is a red flag to burglars. Instruct them to alternate which lights are on and off, and which shades to draw each visit.

Have your house sitter come over during evening hours when many are arriving home from work, and at varying times during the day, so a watchful burglar never feels certain your house is empty. Also, leave your travel plans and contact information with a trusted neighbor in the event of an emergency.

Unplug Small Appliances

Vampire appliances use electricity even when they’re turned off. The Department of Energy reports that these small electronics account for 10 percent of the average home’s energy use. Unplug all TVs, sound systems, computers, and your internet routers. Use power strips in your home office to make life easier, and turn them all off with a single switch.

Head to the kitchen and avoid a breakdown while you’re away by unplugging the coffee maker, toaster, and the microwave. Flip the breaker on large appliances like the dishwasher and washing machines to save electricity and protect your home from the risk of fire.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat not only lets you monitor the temperature in your home but also lets you control it. Needlessly running the furnace while you’re away is an added expense.

What if an unexpected cold snap comes through? Relax on your travels, and remotely set your thermostat to a temperature that protects your plants, pets, and keeps your pipes from freezing. Your programmable thermostat can also prepare for your return home, and ensure that the house is toasty warm when you arrive or nice and cool, depending on your climate.

Tidy Up the Kitchen

Before you pack up the car or head to the airport, spend a few minutes in the kitchen. Dispose of any food that may spoil before you return from your holiday vacation, such as meat and milk products. Take out the trash, and run a half-cup of vinegar and some water down your garbage disposal for a fresh, clean-smelling kitchen when you return.

The holiday season is often hectic, and traveling during this time can be stressful. By taking advantage of these four ways to prepare your home for holiday travels, you can relax and join your family and friends in celebrating the reason for the season.

What to Look For in a Mattress and What to Avoid

 

Buying a new mattress can be daunting. It’s important to remember that this is a long term investment that will pay for itself with the right diligence. Here are some tips to help you find the right mattress for you without causing a headache.

best mattress

How do you Sleep?

What seems like an irrelevant question should be at the very core of your quest for a new mattress. How you sleep, on your side, on your back or stomach, defines what material you need. If you experience back and neck pains, it could be that your current mattress isn’t properly supporting you for how you sleep, where others have experienced a wonderful night’s sleep on the same model.

This is because of how the mattress responds to the pressure, curvature and heat of your body. Memory foam mattresses are renowned for their ability to mold to the shape of your body, but if you are a restless sleeper this can be a problem.

Check Online Reviews

Reviews are your best tool for finding a great quality product. Find reviews with similar needs to your own; a restless side sleeper’s review may not be relevant to a peaceful stomach sleeper. Click here for the best rated reviews taking into account many factors to find the best brands.

It’s also worth noting that only a customer can tell you honestly if they’re happy with their purchase. It might be that the product degrades after a year into a much lower quality version, or if there was trouble with deliveries. Companies will go to great lengths to prevent bad reviews so a sharp eye is needed to find the best retailers.

Misleading Information

Some brands claim to have qualities such as high-density memory foam when in reality only the top layer is what they claim. This can severely affect the lifespan and comfort of the mattress. Another tactic used by brands is to claim their product is “made in the USA” when they are only assembled in America from materials shipped from China. This is important as it can tell you the quality of the materials used and if they’ve been treated with harsh chemicals and perfumes. For such an important part of your life, it’s worth taking a little extra time to dig deep and find out where the mattress really comes from.

Look for Guarantees and Warranties

One good indicator as to whether a product is genuine or not is the quality of the warranty; if a manufacturer claims their mattress will leave you happy for ten years, they could just be trying to win you over, but if they offer a 10 year replacement guarantee then they must have incredible confidence in their product. On the other hand, if a m

attress looks great on paper but only offers a 6-month replacement warranty then it’s quite possible they don’t expect the product to retain its quality after the warranty is over.

Key Points When Renting a New Home

Moving to a new rented home can be stressful – there is little doubt about that. Many people dread having to move because there is so much to organize and plan. However, this is not the only daunting part about moving. You also have to think about starting afresh in a new home, in a new area, and with new neighbors, all of which can be quite scary.

When you are moving to a new rented home, there are various factors you need to consider. If you look into these before you make any solid decisions about the property you plan to rent, you can avoid making potentially costly mistakes that could lead to a heap of stress and misery. In this article, we will look at some of the key things you should look into before you take the plunge and make the move.

3 Factors to Look into Before You Move

Before you get the movers booked, uproot yourself and your worldly belongings, and plunge headfirst into the unknown, it is always wise to do a little digging first and find out more about the area where the new rental property is situated. There are various factors that you should investigate, and we will look at three of the main ones.

First off, try to find out more about your new neighbors. It is important to get along with your neighbors, and the last thing you want is to live near people with whom you do not get along with or who have undesirable backgrounds. There are a number of ways in which you can do this. You could pop and knock on the door prior to moving to simply introduce yourself or ask about the area. This will give you the chance to meet them and see how you get on. You can even do a criminal record check online to see if there is anyone next door who is best avoided.

The second thing to do is to find out more about the area in general. Again, just because your new neighbors are not criminals, it doesn’t mean that there are not loads of other dubious individuals in the area. The best way to determine this is to look at the general crime rate in the neighborhood or area, which is something you can easily do online. You will find plenty of statistics that will give you a better idea of the crime rate, so you can make sure you do not move into a crime hotspot.

Finally, take some time to look at the amenities and facilities in the area, as this will help you to decide whether this is a convenient area to move to. Look at things like how close the shops, public transportation, medical and dental facilities, schools and colleges, and entertainment venues are.

These are all points that you should look at before you decide whether you are renting the right house in the right area. Taking the time to check things out beforehand can save you a huge amount of trouble in the long run.

Cost Effective Home Makeover Tips You Should Know

 

Doing a home makeover is not a big deal. What you need is an excellent plan which contains some creative and innovative tips. In fact, you don’t need a lot of money to have a home makeover. Here are ten cost effective home makeover tips which you should know;

 

Repaint

Repainting is the least inexpensive method to do a home makeover. When you repaint your home, it will definitely look more attractive and beautiful.

 

Don’t just paint your walls only. You should also repaint your shelves, cabinets and dressers. Also, make sure that you choose the correct color combination. As asserted by Country Living, it is wise to look out for the latest color and interior design trends.

 

Install Advanced Home Security Systems

 

You should have advanced home security systems. A reliable security system will keep you, your loved ones, and your property safe.  

 

There is a common myth which states that advanced home security systems are expensive. Worry not – you can find some affordable security systems if you deal with the right security companies.

 

Perhaps you already have a home security system. If so, you should scan it and see whether it is still functioning properly. If not, then you should replace it with a new one.

 

If you just have a simple security system, you can swap it with a more advanced one. If you own an advanced home security system, you will eliminate all possible attacks of burglars and thieves.

 

Install Beadboard Ceiling

 

Beadboard ceiling is cheap. What’s more – it is a great tool which you can use to totally revamp your home décor!

 

If you install beadboard ceiling, your house will look more attractive, sleek and elegant. What you need to do is to buy beadboard from a local hardware vendor, then install it yourself.

 

After buying the beadboard, you should measure and make it proportionate to the size of your house. Then you just fit it in. However, if this process looks to be difficult to you, you can hire a local handy man to do the fixing for you at a small fee.

 

Use Artisanal Homewares

 

You should always strive to purchase homewares which appear unique and attractive.  This will make your home to have a new look.

 

Avoid purchasing homewares from large store chains. Homewares from these chains are usually generic and expensive. However, you should take your time to look out for specific artisans who design homewares. Most artisanal homewares are cheap and attractive.

 

Have A Focal Point

 

One of the most cost effective ways to remodel your home is to create a focal point. A focal point should be the main center of attraction in your home.

 

For instance; if the television is your main focal point, you should surround it with some of your most fashionable and stylish home décor. You should also place your major decorations around the television.

 

Use Themes Frequently

 

Each part of your home should adhere to a specific theme. You can do this by using matching patterns, accessories and color schemes.  

 

Moreover, you should not randomly hang your family photos and artworks on the walls. However, you should create galleries which all adhere to a specific and distinct theme. You will have to be really creative in designing these themes.

 

Make Your Accessories to Be More Stylish

 

Purchasing new accessories is not cost effective. To do a complete home makeover, you can just choose to update your existing home accessories. For instance; you can change your pillow covers. Or polish your worn out decorative items.

 

Improve On Your Flooring

 

Maybe your floor appears to be hideous and ugly. According to Business Today, an old dull floor can make your home to look gloomy and deplorable.

 

So, you should improve on your flooring. Installing new flooring is a costly affair; but there are cheaper alternatives to get rid of an ugly hideous floor.

 

Just buy a patterned carpet or rug and place it on your floor. You can also look out for artisanal rugs from online stores.

 

Add More Storage Space in Your Kitchen

Another ingenious way to have a home makeover is to increase your kitchen storage space. You should always aim to have more storage space especially if your kitchen appears to be cluttered.

 

You can increase your kitchen’s storage space by adding more racks, shelves and cabinets. Just make an appointment with a local carpenter and instruct him on your storage needs.

 

Moreover, you should install open shelves in preference to closed shelves. Open shelves offer a lot of flexibility in placing and retrieving items. Also, you can use open shelves to display some of your beautiful and valuable home décor.

 

Conclusion

 

You are not obligated to implement all of these tips. Even if you implement just one of these tips, your home will definitely be the point of envy of all your friends, neighbors and relatives.

Improving Home Energy Efficiency with Proper Window Treatment

The staggering 30% of your heating bill is eaten trough old and inefficient window installations in your home. It is more or less a known fact to all these days and it seems that nearly all household owners throughout the world are planning that transformation for the modern and energy efficient frames. Today we will cover various facts that you need to know in order to once and for all forget about all the problematic possibilities regarding energy efficiency, and never again have that nervous feeling before opening the heating bill.

 

It Is Finally Time for an Energy Efficient Transformation

 

There are few things in this world that your utility company loves more than your old traditional wooden window frames. Therefore many of us have already conducted front door window repair and tried to replace all energy insufficient doors in our house. It is still a very surprising fact at what number the old window frames are still presented all around the world.

 

These old frames consume so much energy that all the additional energy that wasn’t intended to be consumed can be put at the end of a year in the amount consumed with an average of three mounts of energy consumption for one year! And no one wants to have such an unpleasing feeling while taking a shocking discovery that his heating bill has tripled itself all of a sudden. How does it happen? And why do advanced PVC technology in window making save so much energy?

 

The so-called U-value specifies how much heat energy is lost to the outside. You need only to remember that the smaller the U-value, the better the thermal insulation. And the greater the savings in energy costs. Windows make up a good third of the facade. They define how much heat stays indoors. PVC doesn’t conduct heat well, therefore, doesn’t transfer temperatures from inside to outside, or outside to inside.

 

Next time you are near an aluminum framed window, put your hand on the frame and feel its temperature. You would be surprised to see the difference… In winter, a single-glazed, 3mm-deep pane of glass can lose from ten to 15 times more heat than an insulated wall of the same area! In summer, single glaze standard windows of an average home account for over 25% of total heat gain.

 

Also, a very important thing next to windows are of course the exterior doors. Choosing the right exterior door for a home should be a carefully thought-out decision. When you choose a door, you should first consider the doors’ energy performance ratings. This score lets you know how well each door does in preserving the energy in your home by trapping heat or cool air inside.

 

From the same principle, you can conclude that replacing the exterior doors can cut your bills nicely. It is also advisable to install double glazing to reduce the need for heating in the rooms. This is especially important for windows.

 

This home improvement may not come as cheap as initially planned for most of us, but a thing worth mentioning is that such replacement is something that will probably be the once in a lifetime replacement for your household and needless to say will relieve you of worries for heating bill in these surprisingly cold winters that are only getting worse.

 

How to Keep Insects Away From Your Home During Spring

Come spring, the weather is warmer and it is a time to get comfortable in less-heavy clothing. Spring season is not only favorable for human beings, but also for notorious insects to wreak havoc. As spring kicks in, nature comes back to life after several months of the cold and snow. The insects that come with the warmer weather are not limited to bright flowers and green grass only. They have a tendency to follow their instincts which can lead them into the inside of your home.

The spring-time pests are annoying because they cause great stress and leave people uncomfortable and sleepless. Their presence during winter was fairly mild. This coming season, don’t allow pests to deprive you the peace and tranquility you had during winter. If it gets to that point, look for a professional such as joshuaspestcontrol.com to come and keep them away from your home. Before it reaches that point, here is some information on spring pests that will prove helpful.

Dealing with mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are disease-carrying insects that can give you sleepless nights. They are everywhere, except Antarctica and a few other places that experience prolonged winter periods. Mosquitoes can host various diseases and should be kept away from your home as much as possible.

To keep mosquitos away from your home this spring, observe some basic precautions such as not having stagnant water in your house. If you’re involved in an outdoor activity, try to stay covered as much as possible in activewear clothing for outdoors that covers almost all parts of your body. Alternatively, you can use mosquito repellents such as DEET and an outdoor repeller lantern. In case you start having flu-like symptoms which persist for about two days, visit a doctor.

Clear bushes around your home

Insects can get into your house through trees hanging close to your roof. Once on the roof, they can easily crawl through the vents and get into your structure. Shrubs or bushes are home to insects and once you have maintained a bush around your home, it is just a matter of time before the insects are moving in with you. You don’t want insects hovering around your living room. Actually, it would be good to have a foot of crushed stone around your house that is free from weeds.

Seal crevices, cracks and weep holes 

Experts recommend the use of sealants that can expand and contract depending on the weather conditions. You could have used some type of sealant during the winter season to seal these areas, but it can crack again and allow insects to get in during spring. It is, therefore, important for you to go for the right sealant and use a material such as copper mesh to seal off weep holes. Copper mesh is not prone to rusting and it can block insects from passing through wall void areas.

Mix up the mulch

While using leaves as mulch is a good idea, it is advisable to keep mulch around your house dry by thinning it out and turning it over. Generally, insects like decaying leaves, mulch or any other decaying organic matter. Additionally, you will want to time your sprinkler systems well in case they stay on longer. This could make water collect and form a pool that could attract insects, such as mosquitoes.

Do some screen and door repairs

You should repair any screen or door thresholds. Insects will invite themselves in as the weather gets warmer. Some glimpse of light can indicate weak seals. If you can see rays of light sipping through the door in the morning, it means that the weather stripping is not at its best and insects can find their way in.

Clean the gutters

Leaves can clog the gutters on your home and it is advisable for you to get rid of the debris before insects make it their home. Cockroaches will have a comfortable home in gutters because rotting leaves are an ideal hangout for them. Insects often crawl into your home after detecting radical environmental conditions. Insects will always want to move to a more suitable place after their habitat has been disrupted.

Outdoor lighting

Lighting at the front of your days can attract insects to your house. Insects tend to be attracted to brightness and it is advisable to switch off the lights at night or even use bulbs with lesser wavelengths.

Upgrading Your Kids’ Room – How Often is Too Often?

Living with kids often means having to adapt your lifestyle to certain changes that you may not be prepared to deal with. For example, the way you handle your own rooms might not necessarily work too well when it comes to the rooms your kids will live in, especially if you live with more than one child. You’ll want to plan ahead when it comes to upgrades and possibly even repairs, and you should always evaluate each situation carefully to figure out whether it’s appropriate to disturb the child’s current life.

Kids Don’t Like Frequent Change

One thing you should understand as early as possible is that kids simply don’t enjoy having their environment changing too often, especially in major ways. You might like thinking about upgrades and other changes to your own room, but when it comes to the ones your kids live in, you should not be too quick to spring into action.

Room improvements inevitably mean having to rearrange things temporarily, and even if it’s for a short while, that might seem like quite the long time to your kids themselves. It’s not just about finding an alternative room for them to stay in during the repair – this kind of disturbance is going to affect their mood more than you might like.

Don’t Postpone Repairs

On the other hand, repairs are not something you should put off. Even little things can add up quite quickly when you’re living with young children, and small issues in their day-to-day life can easily reflect back on you and make your own experience miserable. If something goes wrong, you should take the time to repair it as early as is convenient.

As long as you stick to what we mentioned above about avoiding any too frequent changes, you should be fine. If possible, group repairs together so that you can get more done in one go and not disturb your kids’ lives too much. Also, consider the option of setting things up in a way that minimizes potential damage in the first place. Invest a little more into sturdy furniture that will be resilient to damage, and this can make a big difference.

Quality of Life Upgrades

There are some things that your kids are definitely going to appreciate though, even when it means having to wait a little to get back into their room. Some kinds of improvements can matter a lot, especially to younger children. Giving them the ability to sleep better is one of those things, and even something as simple as taking the time to seek out the best mattress on the market can make a huge impact in the long run. There are various guides available on the Internet that can assist you with this, and it’s in your best interest to familiarize yourself with them as early as possible.

Don’t underestimate the amount of thinking and planning you should be putting into this though, as sleep is easily the number one factor that affects the moods of children on a regular basis. Ensuring that they have a comfortable time each night when they put their heads to rest is going to make a huge difference.

Keeping the Room Flexible for the Future

Don’t forget that this isn’t always going to be a kids’ room. Whether you want to accept the fact or not, your children are going to grow up one day. And even if you have new ones at some point, and they take over that room, it’s still going to be temporary. The point is, it’s not a bad idea to start thinking about what you could do with that room once the kids have moved out, even if it seems like it’s going to be a while until you get there.

The truth is, time flies when you’re raising children, and before you know it, that day will already be here. It’s much better to have something planned and know what you can do, rather than having to think about a solution on the spot. You might enjoy the idea of having an in-house office for your work though, so it might not be as bad as it looks. And if you want to make the transitional process as smooth and quick as possible, you should start setting things up from early on.

It’s true that you’ll have to change your way of thinking in some ways if you want to live with kids, but it’s not as difficult as some people make it out to be. All it takes is a little advance planning, knowing what’s available on the market, and of course, the right kind of communication with the little ones. The rest mostly comes down to common sense and having access to the right kinds of resources for each idea that pops up into your head.