Merry Christmas!

Wishing all of you the most wonderful holiday season with the ones you love! Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

First Time Home Buyers

You have taken the plunge, you are officially a first time home buyer. First and foremost, we want to congratulate you on your new adventure. While owning a home, you will learn a lot from experiences. While experiences are great and build character, we want to help inform you before you find yourself in a sticky situation. That is why we have created a list of things all first-time homeowners should know. We want to help you before you find yourself in a troubling situation.

A First-Time Homeowner’s Guide:

If you are still in the process of buying your home, never skip out on an inspection. An inspection can save you from costly unforeseen circumstances in the future.

Do not be late or miss your house payments. This one may seem obvious, but first time homeowners can struggle with managing their new financial situation. Write down your list of monthly expenses and make sure that everything is paid off before you buy anything on your list of “wants.”

Cut down on unnecessary expenses by doing the work yourself. With self-help books and video tutorials online, you can do nearly anything nowadays. Before you spend a couple hundred bucks on a professional, do some research and try to fix the issue yourself.

Do not ignore major issues in your home. The issue could become worse and cause you to spend more money in the long-run.

Buy items to satisfy your needs, not your wants. An expensive cooktop may be something you always dreamed of, but it may not be a financially sound decision for you. You can always upgrade your appliances in the future, but for now, stick to what falls within your budget.

Make sure to keep up with your lawn and yard work. Some cities/townships can actually fine homeowners if their grass grows too long. Take pride in your home’s curb appeal and work hard to maintain it.

We hope that you found this list helpful and informative. Let us know what you think in the comment section below! We look forward to hearing from you.

Five Organization Mistakes You Could Be Making

In the process cleaning your home, do you feel like you’re making a big mess? When you have a lot of stuff it can be challenging to achieve a polished look. While your house may even look clean, common organization mistakes can make it increasingly difficult to keep it that way. Here are some of the biggest organization mistakes that you could be making:

Mistake: Organized and clean are the same thing

Just because you’ve managed to allocate all the clutter to one side of the counter where it’s neatly piled, doesn’t mean that you’ve organized the space. Yes, organized and clean are two different concepts. If the countertops, desktops and other flat surfaces in your home are filled with all kinds of items, it’s time to find a home for each thing. Before you know the pile will have completely disappeared.

Mistake – Full Refrigerator

While a full refrigerator is usually a good thing, in this case it isn’t. From sticky notes, magnets, report cards and photographs; when you have to many things tacked to your fridge doors it can look like a cluttered mess. Professional organizers suggest using a clipboard to hold your reminders, shopping lists and other important things that you tend to attach to your refrigerator.

Mistake: Disheveled Kitchen Shelving

Whether you have an open shelving concept or traditional closed in cabinetry scheme you should make sure that the dishes are neatly piled. Avoid piling dishes at random. For instance, a plates and bowls should not be stacked on top of each other.

Mistake: Not Organizing the Closet to be Functional
Of course, we desire a chic closet space that is organized with our most elegant or trendiest pieces at the forefront. However, the things that you wear should be accessible, which means that they should be arranged towards the front of the closet. Be realistic about the items that you’ll be using the most. Keep things neat and you’re guaranteed to have a functional, yet stylish closet space.

Mistake: Out of Order Drawers and Containers

You know that drawer or container that you tend to use to store all kinds of odds and ends? Try using additional containers with different compartments within a storage space so that you can allocate like things in the same area.

7 Realistic Holiday Decorating Tips

Although the holiday season is a time for joy and happiness, it can be stressful preparing for this time of the year. From shopping for presents and decorating the Christmas tree, to getting the house ready for guests, it can seem like there is so much to do. Bringing the holiday spirit in your home should be as little stress as possible. Here are some realistic tips for decorating for the holidays:

Start Planning Ahead
1. While you may be a superhero to your family, realistically you’re just human. Therefore, keep in mind that you can’t do everything. Being too overwhelmed prevents you from enjoying the holiday season with your family. Before you start decorating the house, decide what areas you want to focus on. The outdoor area, entryway and perhaps the family room may be top on the list.

  1. Throughout the house
    Speaking of the entryway, you don’t have to stop decorating here. While you don’t want to create a cheesy look by overdoing it with the Christmas decorations you can add small, simple touches in every room.

  2. Purchasing Ornaments
    When decorating the Christmas tree don’t feel like you have to purchase expensive ornaments. Discount stores and outlets sell inexpensive ornaments that look just as festive and elegant.

  3. Wrapping Your Gifts
    Repurpose newspapers, magazines and other types of unique papers to wrap Christmas presents. You can even create your very own wrapping with glitter, paper and drawing pencils. Top it off with a ribbon or an accent piece. You’ll be saving money and the environment.

  4. Light dimmers
    Purchase light dimmers for your lamps that can easily be plugged into an outlet. They are cheap and can be purchased at hardware stores. Light dimmers allow you to really set the mood providing the perfect ambiance for Christmas Eve.

  5. Plan for hiccups
    If you plan on having a lot of people over to the house, make a plan for the unexpected. Prepare extra food and purchase inexpensive gifts that can be held in a glass bowl for unexpected guests.

  6. Get the family involved
    Make sure you get the whole family involved. The kids can help you decorate the house. Allow them to decorate their rooms as they please. The family can help you design the Christmas tree and prepare food for the guests.

Happy Holidays!

Different Types of Lighting Fixtures

Are you searching for the appropriate type of lighting fixture for your home? Whether it’s the living room, your bedroom or the kitchen, it’s important to use the right type of lighting for a space. From integrated lighting solutions that are built into a homes structure, to simple decorative table lamps that can easily be plugged in, there are several options. Most lighting fixtures are versatile and can be incorporated into any room. Before you make the final decision on what type of lighting you’re going to use in a room, take a look at the list of lighting fixtures that we’ve compiled.

Architectural Lighting
Architectural light forms are built into the structure of the home. The most common types of structural lighting include cove, valance, and soffit. Cove lighting is installed in the ledges, ceilings valances, and high walls. This type of lighting fixture works to direct light upwards. Valance lighting is built in a wood, glass or metal valance and placed above a window or high up on the wall. This type of fixture offers indirect lighting since it bounces light off the ceiling. Soffit lighting directs lighting downward and is mounted in the soffit near the ceiling.

Other forms of architectural lighting include:

Recessed – Recessed lighting is installed approximately six inches above the ceiling. Recessed lighting is a narrow band of lighting that provides one directional lighting.

Track – Track lighting fixtures are suspended from the ceiling and consists of a linear track containing several lighting heads. The lighting heads are often adjustable.

Pendant lighting – Pendant lighting has become increasingly popular. Pendant light fixtures are suspended from the ceiling and can hang over a kitchen island or table.

Easy Set Up Lighting Fixtures
Many lighting fixtures don’t require professional installation. These fixtures include:

Lamps – Lamps are produced in a variety of colors, style, and designs. You can purchase floor, desk and table lamps. These lighting fixtures are versatile because they can be moved from room to room and plugged into an outlet. Floor lamps direct light upward while desktop lamps direct light downwards.

Scones – Scones are mounted on the wall and can direct light upwards or downwards. Their shades are stylish and offer great aesthetic value.

Ceiling – Ceiling light fixtures are installed into the ceiling. A shade or glass covering conceals the light bulb. Ceiling light fixtures can usually provide illumination for an entire room.

Chandelier – Chandelier light fixture are usually used in formal areas of the home. They are suspended from the ceiling usually over a table.

Happy Thanksgiving!

We hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and family! Together, let’s give thanks for all that we have to be grateful for!

Five Types of Kitchen Styles

When searching for the right design for your kitchen, you’ll be surprised at what catches your eye! Here are five types of kitchen styles you can use as a guide to finding the one that is best suited for your home.

Rustic Style Kitchen

A rustic style kitchen has an outdoorsy feel. It embraces wood cabinetry, countertops, and floors in many varieties. In a rustic kitchen, you’ll find lots of natural elements like stone and timber. If you want to truly embody this theme you’ll stick to basic or vintage appliances. You can customize a rustic style kitchen according to your taste. By adding in area rugs and curtains you can create a feminine flair or you can add some modern touches like a crystal chandelier over the wood features.

Farmhouse Kitchen

Did you love eating in grandma’s kitchen when you were younger? Well, now you can create your own warm and inviting space. Yes, farmhouse kitchens offer great functionality and comfort. This style features a lot of open shelving, deep and wide sinks as well as traditional wood flooring. You also can’t forget the big kitchen table that can seat the entire family.

Modern Style Kitchen

While the definition of modern varies, generally a modern kitchen is sleek and simple. In a modern kitchen, you’ll see stainless steel and white appliances and surfaces. Many modern kitchens take a minimalist approach which means that it embraces strong horizontal lines and limited ornamentation.

Traditional Kitchen

A traditional kitchen is identified by its details. Such details can include; decorative molding, doorway arches, and antique finishes. This kitchen style utilizes lots of muted colors such as dark yellow, white, cream, and green.

Contemporary Kitchen

Contemporary kitchen styles much like a modern kitchen are super sleek. It also blends functionality and style. A contemporary style takes a more fun and light approach. You can play around with bold colors, chrome fixtures, and other unique elements.

Adding a Backsplash to your Contemporary Kitchen

Ready to take your kitchen’s decor to the next level? Then you might want to consider installing a backsplash. Gone are the days when the typical backsplash were boring tile pieces or a thin piece of silver behind the stove area. Intricately designed backsplashes featuring all kinds of colors and patterns have become increasing popular in the contemporary kitchen. How can you get on the wave of this trend?

While a backsplash can add interest to any style of kitchen, it can really benefit a contemporary kitchen. With it’s stark lines and clean contours, this style of kitchen can feel impersonal and lack feeling. Therefore, adding a backsplash will bring some character to area. Once you’ve decided to incorporate this into your design scheme, here’s how you can successfully execute it.

Keep the Backsplash Cohesive With Your Design
If you’re simply interested in adding just a bit of style and not making a bold statement than you want to be sure that your backsplash blends in with the decor of your kitchen while adding a bit of pizzazz. The key is to choose the appropriate material and give consideration to how your backsplash tiles are installed.

Elaborate Design Scheme
If you really want to make your kitchen pop and make a bold statement than you should select an elaborate backsplash design scheme. For instance, if your kitchen features a lot of neutral colors such as white or black, you can install a red backsplash. The way the field tiles are placed can also create emphasis.

When selecting a backsplash be sure to think outside the box. Yes, your unique ideas can lead to a super stylish kitchen.