5 Tips To Make Moving House A Breeze

The following is a contributed post.  For more on my contributed posts, please see this page.

Moving house can be incredibly exciting, especially if you’ve found the home of your dreams. But relocating also involves a lot of preparation and endless hours of packing boxes. If you’re preparing for life in pastures new, here are some tips to make moving a breeze. 

Give Yourself Time

Unless you have to move suddenly, it’s hugely beneficial to give yourself plenty of time to get sorted. Once you have a date, you can write a list of everything you need to do in the old house and tasks to complete before you move to your new home.  Then figure out a plan of action. Begin packing as soon as possible, starting with items you won’t need in the period before you move. 

Enlist Expert Help

Whether you’re moving to the next street, a new town, or a different state, it’s wise to enlist the services of professional companies. Search online for reputable businesses and try to find a firm that specializes in the services you need, for example, moving heavy or valuable items or cross country moving. Read reviews and testimonials, get quotes, and ask neighbors, friends, or colleagues for recommendations. It’s also an excellent idea to join social media groups and ask members of the local community for advice. It can be reassuring to book a firm based on recommendations from people who have used them in the past. 

Organize A Clear-Out

Moving house is a fantastic excuse to declutter and organize a clear-out. There is no point in filling moving vans with items you haven’t used or even seen in years. Take the opportunity to throw away, donate, or sell anything you don’t want to keep. If you have possessions that you do want to hang onto but won’t fit in your new home, you could rent a storage unit. 

Packing And Labeling

When it comes to packing, it’s always beneficial to have a plan in place. Work through each room methodically and fill boxes with similar items. Label each box so that you know what it contains and which room it needs to be delivered to in your new house. Keep valuables or anything that is fragile or precious to you with you. 

Tying Up Loose Ends

Relocating doesn’t just involve packing all your stuff, hiring a truck, and moving boxes from A to B. You’ll also need to tie up loose ends and undertake some administrative work. Contact utility providers to settle bills and change your address, let your doctor and dentist know that you have moved, and change your address with the bank. Redirect your mail and cancel any deliveries to your old house. It’s also beneficial to make sure your new home is ready. You may want to arrange for a new broadband contract to begin before you move in or ensure that your utilities are sorted in advance, for example. 

Moving house can be an upheaval, but there are ways of lightening the load. Take these tips on board to make moving a breeze.

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A Mound of Baby Tears – And A Garden Update

The garden project I’m about to share isn’t spectacular, but I’m sharing it anyway because it’s a simple project with endless possibilities, and there is plenty of room for experimentation and creativity.

Then, keep scrolling for a late-summer update on my new planting area.

Baby Tears For A Tapered Urn

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Some time ago, Chris and I came across a large and classic terra cotta urn that had been kicked to the curb.  The base was badly cracked, but Chris knew he would be able to mend it.  So we took it.

It wasn’t until later that I realized that the urn had another issue:  Its wide round opening tapered almost immediately – making it impossible to find a plastic pot with the right dimensions to work as a liner for the inside.  Since I wanted to store the urn in a protected place in winter, it would be important to have a liner for it so I could easily remove the contents first.

So I started using a half-round wire hanging basket cage with a coconut liner to line the inside.  Its circumference was a good fit for the mouth of the urn, while the tapering walls of the urn supported it.

So, in spring, I would usually fill it with good soil.

And plant it with annuals.

This past spring, it sat (mostly) empty again – waiting for me to plant more annuals.

But this time I wanted a different look.

I remembered the absolutely adorable DIY succulent mushroom planters I’d seen over at A Crafty Mix.  To create the mushroom top, a half-round wire hanging basket, with its coconut liner, was placed upside down and planted with succulents.

And I started thinking:  What if I put a second hanging basket upside down over the basket that was already in the urn, filled it with soil, and planted it?

I had a hanging basket on hand, so I placed it on top of the urn to see what the shape would be.

Interesting!  The only problem was that I didn’t have a coconut liner or the right cute succulents on hand.  But there was a pot of baby tears in the no-man’s-land behind my garage.  The hardy little plants had survived the winter.  I just needed to remove the dead plants and the weeds from the pot.

Once I cleaned up the pot of baby tears, I turned it upside down and emptied the contents, which came out in one big clump, into the wire hanging basket.  (Of course, if the baby tears had not created such a dense mat, this would not have worked.) I pressed the soil/baby tears clump tightly into the basket, trimming the clump where necessary to make it fit.

Now the baby tears were upside down and pressed against the wire of the basket.  I tightly packed plenty of good potting soil into the hollow middle of this mess and watered it thoroughly.

Then I carried the basket over to the urn, quickly flipped it upside down, and placed it on top of the soil-filled basket that was already lining the urn.

Because I did this so quickly, not much of the packed soil fell out.

I connected the two baskets together with clips.  Now they were joined as a circle, although only the top basket was showing.

There were holes and bald spots in the new baby tears “mound.”  So I added more soil and additional plugs of baby tears where needed.  I also added a thin grapevine wreath to the circumference to give it a more finished look.

Now the mound just needed to fill in a bit.

Baby tears grow well in the shade, so we moved this urn to a shady spot outside our garden shed.

The baby tears mound has thrived there this past summer.

 

As I said before, not spectacular.  But, as someone who likes topiaries, I am enjoying the neat and manicured look of this pot – especially in a garden that is otherwise chaotic by the end of summer.  And I was able to put this together in minutes with materials I already had on hand.

Maybe next year, I will try planting the mound with something else.

This is not the first time I’ve joined two hanging baskets to make a circle.  This hanging garden sphere ended up hosting two birds’ nests!

A Garden Update

You might recall that, back in April, I shared my makeover of a large planting area in my garden.  I was in the early stages of transforming this area.  I had removed many of the existing plants and done a bit of landscaping.

The area then looked like this.

Because it was new, it was pretty sparse.  The Spanish lavender and geranium starts that I had placed around the gravel center circle were still tiny.  The dahlia and peony tubers I had planted had not yet emerged from the soil.

So what’s happening now?

While the peonies didn’t do much this summer (nor did I expect them to in their first year), the dahlias went crazy. The lavender and geraniums thrived as well.

 

 

 

 

I planted Swiss chard to add first-year color to the sparser parts of this new area.

And a couple of recent arrivals are these zinnias,

and this variegated dwarf Joe Pye (which hopefully will be less prolific than the full-sized Joe Pye I used to have here).

Joe Pye blooms late summer and early fall. The bees loved our old Joe Pye so much that I felt I needed to give them something in its place.

But the symmetry I had hoped for on either side of the urn did not happen.

The look is still incomplete and chaotic.  So, come fall, I’ll relocate some plants and rethink others.

But there is something going on here that I like:  Now that the area is less densely planted, we get a little “peek-a-boo” view of the back patio.

 

 

There is a madrone that separates the back patio from the planting bed.  Unlike its rambling, trailing counterpart in another planting bed, this one has been growing up instead of sideways – with beautiful branching.

At this time of year, its bark peels away to reveal fresh green wood underneath.  After it’s done peeling, the bark with turn a rich brown and become so smooth that it will look polished.

I like how the two areas seem more connected now, and I also like how the unique, sculptural branching of the madrone is more noticeable.

So, whatever changes I make (and there will be changes), I will keep that in mind.

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Have The Home Of Your Dreams With These Simple Renovations

My recent living room makeover wasn’t a huge remodel.  It wasn’t even particularly imaginative. The biggest change was a new coat of paint. Yet it made a huge improvement to my home and the way I feel about it.  Now I want to keep going and repaint every room on the main floor!

So this contributed post, about simple changes that make a big impact, really spoke to me.

The following is a contributed post.  For more on my contributed posts, please see this page.

Have The Home Of Your Dreams With These Simple Renovations

Do you want to improve your home but don’t know where to start? Consider starting small.  Sometimes small changes are all you need to breathe fresh life into your home.  So, if you want to fall in love with your home again without spending a fortune, this post is for you! It will go over some simple renovations that will have your house feeling new in no time.

Apply A Fresh Coat Of Paint

Applying a new coat of paint is a cheap, simple way to update any room.  You can also peel off wallpaper before repainting your walls. 

The best time to paint is when the weather outside is warm and dry so that your fresh paint will not peel or crack—plan for at least a week of drying time before moving furniture back in. Laying plastic on floors and using a drop cloth to protect the floor will help contain any mess. Once it’s dry, you’ll be pleased with the beautiful transformation that a fresh coat of paint can bring.

Install New Lighting

An easy way to make a space feel new is with some simple light fixtures. Swapping out a fixture can change the mood of your home in seconds. Make sure the fixture is large enough to cover most or all of the space without being too overwhelming or detracting from other elements in the room, such as a fireplace.

It would help to balance lighting between ambient, task, and accent lights, so make sure you keep that in mind when selecting fixtures for different parts of the room. Select fixtures that complement your décor, but don’t feel limited to them. Be sure to hire a professional to install your new light fixtures if you are not experienced at doing this task yourself.

Replace An Old Roof

Some of the most important tasks to take on when having an old house renovated are those that will make your property more energy-efficient. Of course, the priority is usually a new roof as it can save you heating and cooling costs. 

There are many different types of roofing materials available, but asphalt shingles are often a good option because they last longer and are less expensive than some other materials. And sources like Affordable Home Services can make roof replacements cost effective.

Add A Mudroom

There are so many benefits to having a mudroom.  But even if there is no room in your existing floor plan to add one, try designating some wall space near your front or back door as a space for an organized “drop zone” for keys, sunglasses, gloves and jackets. Most importantly, provide a place for wet or dirty footwear. This can reduce the amount of dirt, mud, and other debris tracked into your house, so you won’t have to clean house as often.  

Invest In Your Entrance

The entrance is the first impression that guests have of your home.  If possible, make sure that your entryway has a welcoming feel. A great way to do this is by investing in a new front door or repainting your existing one and adding upgraded door hardware.  Try adding decent-sized plant containers on either side of the front door or an attractive outdoor chair or bench near the entrance.

Conclusion

The home of your dreams might be closer than you think. With just a few simple renovations, you can make any space feel like the place where you belong and want to spend time with family and friends every day. 

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4 Great Ideas For Improving Your Home’s Exterior

Today’s contributed post is on one of my favorite topics: Curb appeal.  At my house, there is always room for improvement in this area, and tip number 2 reminded me that I really need to step up my game when it comes to exterior lighting.

The following is a contributed post.  For more on my contributed posts, please see this page.

4 Great Ideas For Improving Your Home’s Exterior

We often hear real estate professionals talk about the importance of street appeal in buying and selling properties.  That’s because street appeal is your home’s public image.  It’s the story that it tells about itself and its occupants.  And that means something whether or not you’re selling your home. 

As per the U.S Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey, homeowners spent $522 billion on home improvement projects from 2017 to 2019.  And, while much of this money and effort was spent on interior improvements to homes, improving your outdoor space is equally essential.

But improving your home’s exterior doesn’t necessarily have to be difficult.  Here are a few simple tips.

1.  Upgrade Your Front Door

First impressions typically begin at your front entryway, so having a dazzling front door is a guaranteed way to boost your home’s curb appeal. Thankfully, you can explore numerous ideas to make your front door attractive. For instance, giving your front door a new coat of paint can refresh your home completely. Alternatively, you can replace an old and unappealing door with a more eye-catching option. However, unless you plant to repaint your exterior, always choose a new front door based on your existing outdoor color scheme.

You can also upgrade your front door hardware to enhance its look. And if you are considering redesigning your entryway or front door, it is always best to add a personalized touch that reflects your style. As such, you can hop over to this page to consult with experts for durable, customized doors to improve your curb appeal.

2.  Invest In Exterior Lighting

Proper outside lighting is a must-have to boost your home’s exterior. For starters, exterior lights increase curb appeal and can even help you get more cash for your house when you decide to sell in the future. Indeed, the National Association of Home Builders reports that excellent exterior lighting can increase your home’s value by up to 20%. 

Outdoor lights also highlight exciting landscape or architectural features at night, so they are worth the investment. In addition, these lights increase safety after dark since well-lit exterior spaces deter criminals. You can select strong lighting sources if you want a highly illuminated space or opt for solar lights and small lanterns for a soothing and relaxed atmosphere.

3.  Revive Your Roof

Your roof is an essential aspect of your home’s insulation and weatherproofing system. But your roof also significantly contributes to your home’s exterior appeal. Therefore, a roof revival might be necessary to transform drab roofing into an aesthetically pleasing asset. Generally, your roof’s condition and age will determine whether replacement is needed. As such, take a critical look at your roof and consider repairing or replacing it to improve your home’s exterior.

4.  Install Window Boxes

 

Window boxes are undeservingly overlooked when homeowners consider ideas for sprucing up their home’s exterior. However, the classic window box remains an excellent exterior design feature that can add a distinct touch to your house and make it genuinely stand out. You can select a window box made of metal, wood, vinyl, or fiberglass, depending on your preferences. Then, hire a professional to anchor these boxes properly, reducing their chances of failing in the future. You can also consider planting some colorful mix and match flowers to make your exterior brim with life.

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Getting The Most Out Of Your Small Garden

I have a fairly large garden, and I enjoy it. But I can see a day when I’m ready to downsize to a smaller, more manageable outdoor space.  This post, brought to me by a guest writer, gives us a few suggestions for maximizing space in a small garden.

The following is a contributed post.  For more on my contributed posts, please see this page.

Getting The Most Out Of Your Small Garden

It can be challenging in small gardens to fit all the plants you want to grow into a limited space. You don’t have the luxury of planting every crop or flower species you may want. But, with some creativity, you can make the most of your small garden space.  Here are a few tips.

Grow What Isn’t Easily Accessible To You

You may want to grow and harvest all your favorite veggies but, if you only have a small space to work with, you might not be able to grow all your favorite crops. The best you can do, in this case, is to prioritize and focus on growing what isn’t easily accessible to you. Find out what you cannot buy easily and grow it instead. For example, if you love mushrooms but find them a bit difficult to access where you are, you can try growing them. Out-Grow, for example, can provide you with the mushroom-growing substrates you need.

Practice Companion Planting

With companion planting, you can grow more than one crop on a patch of land. In companion farming, it is important to pair plants that grow well together. Growing the wrong crops together will only lead to competition for nutrients and root space. 

A crop like carrots, for example, does well with beets, as the latter has a shorter growth period. Tomato plants also do pretty well when paired with most other plants. 

Grow Vertically

If you have a limited amount of garden space, why not try growing plants on your garden wall or fence? This will provide you with extra growing space and also add to the attractiveness of your small garden.  You can choose climbing plants or opt to grow plants in pouches and wall-hanging pots attached to your fence. Growing plants in containers on a wall or fence also keeps them out of reach of many pests. 

Look For Compact Varieties Of Your Favorite Plants

Many plant types have compact or dwarf species that take up much less planting and growing space. If your favorite plants take up too much room, try opting for their dwarf species instead. The only downside here is that the compact or dwarf species also yield smaller fruits and flowers in most cases. So, take the time to check your local seed provider or plant nursery for the compact species of the plants you want. And be sure to read the instructions they come with.

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Eight Ways To Keep Your Home Smelling Fresh

I’m always sensitive to any unpleasant odors in my home, especially during the warm summer months.  Seems I’m constantly doing the “sniff test” on the soft textile surfaces:  Curtains, cloths, towels, rugs, etc.  So I love it that this post, brought to me by a guest writer, brings up the importance of keeping curtains clean.

The following is a contributed post.  For more on my contributed posts, please see this page.

Eight Ways To Keep Your Home Smelling Fresh

We want to believe that our homes can be healthy, hygienic and fragrant year-round. But that’s rarely how it works out in reality. 

In this post, we take a look at some of the ways you can freshen up our interiors without resorting to fabric deodorizers. 

1. Wipe Down Surfaces Using Unscented Microfiber Cloths

If you want your home to smell beautiful and fresh, try wiping down your surfaces after you clean them with a dry, microfiber cloth. These cloths are incredible for attracting any microscopic particles still left on your countertops that could produce a smell later on. 

2. Check For Mold In Bathrooms

Do your bathrooms or powder rooms smell a little musty when you walk in? If so, there’s a good chance that you have a mold problem. Check your grouting for patches of discoloration. Also check for any damp drywall, since it is a magnet for both mold and mildew. If you do find mold, you may wish to get professional guidance on how to deal with it.

3. Wash Your Curtains

Most curtains are made of similar fabric to clothes and sheets. And yet most people never bother to wash them. So, over time, they absorb all kinds of foul-smelling particles which then leach odors into your home. 

The solution, though, is super simple. Put them in the wash (if machine washable) and follow the laundering instructions.

4. Add More Plants

Plants have a wonderful deodorizing effect on homes. Their leaves naturally freshen the air and keep everything smelling beautiful. Just make sure to give your plants the proper light exposure and prune, water, and mist as needed.  

5. Get Rid Of Pest Droppings

Sometimes pest droppings and urine can lead to foul smells in your home. And the worst bit? No amount of cleaning can solve the problem because it is usually under the floorboards or behind the walls.

In situations like these, getting rat and mice removal is essential. Not only are droppings smelly, but they could potentially harm your health. 

6. Cleanse All The Surfaces In Your Home

Cleansing your home’s surfaces is tedious, but it is essential. That’s because even doors and windows can harbor compounds that create foul odors over time. Be sure to clean all the surfaces, including your fridge, your garbage cans, and behind the toilets. Leave no area unscrubbed!

7. Clear Out The Clutter

When it comes to bad smells, clutter is your number one enemy. Not only does it trap odors from other parts of the house, but it can also start to smell pretty bad in its own right even after a short time. 

8. Add An Air Purifier

Lastly, if you’re still struggling to deal with any odors, install an air purifier. These clever devices suck in air and then trap any odor-containing particles in a fine mesh. If you have a particularly smelly room, they can work wonders.

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ORC Week 8: A Pet-Friendly Living Room Makeover – Final Reveal

Finally we’re at Week 8 of the One Room Challenge.  If you’ve been following my living room transformation since Week 1, thank you so much for coming along on my little journey.  In this post, you’ll finally see if I accomplished my goal of creating an elegant, airy, and inviting living room that looks right for our circa 1920s house.  And, because we always seem to end up with at least one resident cat, it must also be able to withstand pet hair and pet stains.

Basically, my project consisted painting stuff, buying stuff, and moving stuff around.  To see some really impressive projects, check out what the other Challenge participants have done.  You can find their projects here.

Big thanks to media sponsor Better Homes & Gardens and ORC creator Linda at Calling It Home.  The ORC gave me the motivation I needed to actually do something about this room – and keep to a schedule.

The Room’s Challenges

In my Week 1 post, I went into detail on the challenges we were facing with the living room.  But, in a nutshell, this is just a very tricky room to furnish.  Because it has two huge windows, two doorways, and one large archway, there is very little actual wall space.  Since there is no entry hall, traffic flow from the front door to any other place in the house radiates from the living room.  So traffic flow also had to be taken into consideration when placing furniture.

As a result, most of the furniture was pushed against the walls.  This made the living room feel more like a glorified hallway.  And somehow it looked cluttered and empty at the same time.

Living room before

The sofa blocked access to the garden view from one of the large windows. Anyone sitting on the sofa would be facing away from the view. Since I’m the type of person who loves to look out windows, this has always bugged me.

Living room before

But turning the sofa at an angle from the window wouldn’t have worked either because that huge sofa would have impeded traffic flow to the dining room.

Living room and dining room before

Also, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, the room was a bit bland.  The blandness actually did have a calming effect – which is why we kept it that way for so long.  But this was not a room where we enjoyed spending a lot of time.

Although antiques are not trendy right now, we love ours.  But they felt stagnant in the room.  I needed to find locations that worked better for them.

So, here is what we did.  And as I explain the project, I’ll also mention a couple of things that make the room pet-friendly.

The Transformation!

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We mostly use this room for gatherings or for listening to music.

So, for a cozier gathering area, we replaced the sofa with a loveseat.  That enabled us to create a U-shaped seating configuration that centered around the large window instead of blocking it.

The new loveseat is from World Market.  I know from experience that it can comfortably seat two adults and one small child.

 

It was very affordable, and I am in love with its fun and classic design.  The green upholstered chair is also new from World Market.  They are both very soft and velvety.

Pet-Friendliness:  Although I can’t speak for all cats, none of our cats have ever been compelled to use furniture covered in microsuede as a scratching post.  It’s also easy to spot-clean and vacuum. So I made sure that my new furniture pieces (the loveseat and upholstered chair) were covered in microsuede fabrics.  

The new furniture configuration called for a square area rug.  The new area rug I found carries a bit of an arts and crafts theme that I think goes well with our 1920s house.  The only thing I’m not crazy about is the fringe.

Pet-Friendliness:  Maybe it’s just the particular vacuum that I have, but I find it impossible to vacuum cat hair from low-pile rugs.  So, when shopping for a new rug, I didn’t consider rugs with a pile height shorter than a half inch.   

I gave the tray of our old coffee table/ottoman an update (detailed in my Week 6 post).  It not only looks better, it’s also easier to clean up spills since now it has a plexiglass cover.

Beyond it, under the window, is the little vintage bench that used to be in our bedroom.  It works well here as extra seating yet it doesn’t block the window view.

This Hepplewhite-style chair was one of the first antiques I purchased (at a swap meet) as a young adult.  I love it just as much now as when I first saw it.

In the corner behind it, a vintage lamp adds evening lighting.  A majesty palm and a “string of bananas” succulent help to blur the line between indoors and outdoors.

 

A piece of abstract art done by my preschooler niece, and an oil painting of our cat, Eddie, painted by a friend, hang on the wall.  (Now Eddie can give us his judgy look even when he’s not in the room.)

 

To the left of the palm is the dresser I revamped with chalk paint a few years ago.

 

As a side table between the two chairs, we are using a small vintage table that we inherited from my mother-in-law.

And next to the loveseat is the industrial glam campaign table that used to belong to my Mom.  She graciously agreed to trade another table with me so I could have this one.  So I guess I didn’t just shop my own house for this room, I also shopped Mom’s.

From the front door, traffic flow still works.  But the living room no longer looks like a hallway – with furniture pushed against the walls.  It’s cozier and more intimate.

The north wall is the longest stretch of uninterrupted wall space, but the front door also swings in here.  Furniture placed on this wall needs to be fairly shallow for the sake of traffic flow.

Here we placed our wardrobe-turned-stereo-cabinet and an antique console.

This wall gets indirect light from two large windows, so plants here always seem to do well.

We don’t use the front door much ourselves, but guests and packages come in this way.  So, other than the plants, I didn’t go overboard on styling the console as it will no doubt serve as a drop zone.

 

But of course I had to tweak something after this post was published.  I remembered a friend’s advice to make the living room reflect our personalities – which I think I did for the most part.  But the console felt impersonal.  So I changed a few of things and added a couple of art pieces done by family members of all ages.  There’s still space to use the console as a drop zone, but now it’s just more “us.”

Moving on to the west wall, we have our liquor cabinet.  The large mirror was hanging in this location before.  It’s the only piece in the room that went back to the same location.

We got the wood carving from a local artist in Kona, Hawaii, while vacationing on The Big Island.

From the dining room, there is ample space to enter the living room despite the placement of the loveseat.

As a transition between the living room and dining room, we hung a large print that we got at an arts and crafts fair in Newport, Oregon.

The photo was taken under the Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport.

I really love how the photograph looks with our new wall color, and I’d like to talk a moment about the new color.  It’s a PPG color called Iced Periwinkle.  This color changes noticeably in any changing light.

For example, this color is in both our living room and our dining room.  But, when the dining room light is on, it looks like a completely different color.  So far I’m liking any color it decides to be.

Deep, moody colors and wall treatments like box moldings are trending now, and they look fantastic. But it’s not what I wanted for this room.  So, once again, I’m flying my freak flag and going against trend.

Speaking of which, this is also a good time to mention the window coverings – or lack thereof:

If the windows were mullioned, I would have already replaced the dated mini blinds.  But I have yet to find an alternative type of blind or shade that is as versatile or as suited for the expanse of these large picture windows.  So, until I do, they have to stay.

Also, you might be wondering where the curtains are.  The curtains that were in the room before actually look better with the new wall color but, for the time being, we are enjoying the windows without them.

But let’s get back to the single most important issue:  Our resident cat Eddie.  Before the room transformation, he loved sleeping on the large sofa against the window.  So I was hoping he could find happiness in this room even after the transformation.

Well, the jury has come back.

And I think he’ll be okay.

So I can finally say that, as far as I’m concerned, the transformation was a success.

I will leave you with one last before . . .

Southeast wall before

and after.

Southeast wall after

Sources

The Camel Leanna tufted loveseat is from World Market.

The green upholstered chair is also from World Market, though I’m not seeing it on their website at the moment.

All throw pillows are from World Market.

I got the square area rug from another source, but it’s available on Amazon (and on sale as of this writing).

The felt rug pad under the rug is from RugPadUSA on Amazon.

The woven seagrass plant basket that the majesty palm is in is from Artera Home Store and available on Amazon.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
Entertaining
My Dressing Room Remodel
Dan’s Workshop
Decorating and Holidays
Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse
Floral Design
Garden Design
The June Bug Diaries
Our Laundry Room Remodel

 

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Is Your Home Summer-Ready?

Summer seems to come and go so quickly, and we always want to make the most of it.  So today I’m sharing this guest post, with a few tips for preparing our homes for summer.

The following is a contributed post.  For more on my contributed posts, please see this page.

It’s that time of year we all look forward to – summer. There’s nothing nicer than waking up, heading outside with a coffee and starting your day in the sunshine, is there? Of course, while the warmer summer months are extremely enjoyable, if your home isn’t summer-ready it can be difficult to enjoy the warmer weather. 

That’s why, before summer truly hits, it’s a good idea to take the time to think about how you might like to update and upgrade your home for summer. By taking the time to think about this now, you can ensure that you are able to get the most out of the warmer summer weather. 

Wondering what steps you can take to make your home summer-ready? Here are a few ideas: 

Overhaul Your Garden

Chances are that in the warmer summer weather you’re going to want to spend more time outside, which is why it’s worth taking the time to think about how you can overhaul your garden and make more of the space that you have. 

It might be as simple as mowing your lawn, clipping your hedges and adding some new garden furniture, or you might want or need to completely re-design and decorate your outdoor space. Whatever route you opt for, just make sure that you are left with an outdoor space that you love and enjoy spending time relaxing in. 

Think About Staying Cool 

When it comes to making the most of the summer weather, one of the most important things is actually being able to keep cool. Yes, it’s lovely to be able to soak up the sun, but what you don’t want is to come inside and feel like you can’t cool down, so being able to keep your home nice and cool is a must.

Think about things like having HVAC installed if you don’t already have air conditioning in place, or buying security screens for your windows so that you can have them open without worrying about security breaches. 

Create A Combination Space

If you’re in a position to create an indoor-outdoor space, consider doing that. An outdoor kitchen or outdoor pop-up living room could be the ideal space to create to make more of the warmer summer weather. If your home has double doors out to your garden or even sliding panels, open them up and create a combination space. 

Think rattan furniture, potted plants and palms, solar-powered fairy lights, outdoor rugs, outdoor cushions, a fire pit, and anything else that takes your fancy. You want to create an indoor-outdoor space that’s comfortable, stylish and ideal for relaxing in. 

It’s also worth considering adding a pool to your garden, if you have the room for it. Imagine how nice it would be to be able to chill in your own personal pool while soaking up the sun but also staying cool. 

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

 

SIMPLE SPRING  HOME REFRESH IDEAS

 

Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!

 

Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
Entertaining
My Dressing Room Remodel
Dan’s Workshop
Decorating and Holidays
Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse
Floral Design
Garden Design
The June Bug Diaries
Our Laundry Room Remodel

 

Exploring

 

ORC Week 7: A Pet-Friendly Living Room Makeover

With one week to go before the final reveal, Week 7 of the One Room Challenge had me obsessing over accessories and art.  And I have to say it’s been the most fun I’ve had so far with my living room transformation.

My final goal is an elegant, airy, and inviting living room that can also withstand pet hair and pet stains. If you’d like to see before photos and read about the issues that I’ve been addressing during this Challenge, check out my post from Week 1.

My room transformation has been very simple compared to some of the amazing projects that other Challenge participants are taking on.  You can find their projects here.

Accessories

Affiliate links appear below.  For more on my affiliate links, please see this page.

I’ll be shopping my house for most of the accessories I need, but I did bring home a few new throw pillows to test in the room.  For our new loveseat, I decided on these two from World Market.

I’m finding that corals and oranges work surprisingly well with our Iced Periwinkle wall color.

The room is screaming for more plants and natural textures, so I got a decent-sized majesty palm.  It is in a corner of the room that gets lots of natural light.

And I ordered this adorable belly basket to put it in.  I can’t wait to see it in real life.

I love that it is made of sustainably grown seagrass and woven by Vietnamese artisans.  It comes with a plastic liner, but I don’t trust that to make it waterproof.  I’m going to place a saucer inside the basket before setting in the plant pot.

But no doubt the most important accessory is the new plus-sized scratching post I got (happily, marked down on clearance) for our plus-sized cat.

Eddie in action

Good kitty, he already likes it.  Now hopefully he’ll leave everything else in the room alone.  His scratching post will be stashed away whenever we have company, so you won’t be seeing this accessory in the final reveal.

Art

We relocated some of the pieces that were in the room before.

The antique mirror is now in our tiny dining room.  Our dining room also got a mini-makeover with the same wall paint as the living room.

But we needed a new piece of art for the living room’s north wall.  I obsessed for hours this week over what we should get.  I love vintage botanical prints and found that the Biodiversity Heritage Library has an extensive assortment of beautiful flora and fauna images available for free download.  So I was down that rabbit hole for quite some time.

Eventually I realized that I was getting very confused and rushing the process just for the sake of completing the Challenge.  It would be more fun if Chris and I could find something for the wall that we both love – and see it in person before deciding.

So in the meantime we’re using an inexpensive canvas print that I found this week at TJ Maxx.  It is nothing special, but it does work well here.

This print is only a placeholder until we find the right piece for this space.  But at least now there’s no hurry.

A Rug Pad

My new rug pad from RugpadUSA arrived.  I like that these rug pads are affordable and 100% felt.  They don’t come with the overwhelming chemical smell that other rug pad products might have.

I ordered it in the 1/4″ thickness and hoped it would be thick enough.  And it is.

But it was just a little too large for our new area rug, so I had to trim it.

Some of the reviews I read mentioned that folks were having difficulty trimming their rug pads with scissors.  But I used sewing scissors and didn’t have any trouble – at least not with this 1/4″ thickness pad.

So, that’s the progress this week.  Tune in next week for the final reveal!

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

 

SIMPLE SPRING  HOME REFRESH IDEAS

 

Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!

 

Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
Entertaining
My Dressing Room Remodel
Dan’s Workshop
Decorating and Holidays
Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse
Floral Design
Garden Design
The June Bug Diaries
Our Laundry Room Remodel

 

Exploring

 

The Practical Side Of Revamping A Garden

This guest post made me smile because, while I’m always thinking of whimsical things like decorative garden lighting or how beautiful my peonies look this year, I tend to forget about the more practical aspects that should be considered in a garden revamp.

So it’s my pleasure to pass along these helpful hints today.

The following is a contributed post.  For more on my contributed posts, please see this page.

The Practical Side Of Revamping A Garden

With summer right around the corner, now is the best time to start thinking about what you want from your garden so you can make the most of the fine weather that is almost upon us. You may or may not have revamped your garden for this year and, if you haven’t, then see this post as a good start.

While there are many things you can do to increase the appeal of your garden, it’s important to keep a couple of practical concerns in mind:  Safety and security.  But it can be easy to address these concerns when planning or expanding on your garden revamp.

Add Fencing

You might be a great gardener but, unless you are qualified, don’t try to install your own fencing.  Fence building isn’t as easy as it looks, and trying to DIY it could end up costing you both time and money – as well as leaving you a bit red-faced should you do it wrong. Consider consulting with professionals like Sierra Fence Inc. or those local to you about any fencing installations.

While the main reasons people get fencing installed are privacy and security, you could use fencing to separate different areas of your garden.  This can be especially useful for growing vegetables and herbs while keeping out pests. Alternatively, you may want to distinguish a working area from a recreational area where there is a chance of children being injured by tools, for example.

Address Landscaping Issues

Should you be in the process of revamping your garden, you will probably come across various tasks that need to be addressed – especially if your garden has been neglected for some time.  You might want to get any landscaping done as quickly as possible, but it isn’t quite as simple as clearing out debris and getting to work.

Landscaping is a vital part of garden renovation but it comes with its own issues, many of which can potentially be dangerous.  Issues such as erosion, standing water, and wildlife may require professional assistance. Erosion is a common challenge but can often be rectified by installing soil and mulch, concrete retaining walls, and gabions.  Standing water indicates a drainage problem.  And many species of wildlife are protected by laws that require that they be moved properly or remain undisturbed. 

Check The Safety Of Your Garden

Potential garden hazards to be mindful of include theft, animal attacks, and injuries sustained while playing in the garden.  A UK report from 2019 found that 90% of household thefts occurred in the garden.  Urban wild animal attacks have been rising throughout the US and Canada since 1980.  And around 110,000 children are admitted to UK hospitals each year with garden-related injuries.

One of the first things you should do is secure any expensive items away in your shed or in your home so as to reduce the potential for burglary.  Invest in security lighting and CCTV. To protect against animals, never leave food lying around (fresh or spoiled) and move trash bags to the front of the house where animals are less likely to venture. Dangerous items such as lawnmowers and garden shears are responsible for major incidents, so prevent access to these items by children. 

Place down soft materials in designated play areas if children are to play in the garden. 

Consider the needs of anyone who might be using the garden – including senior family members and pets.  Make sure staircases and decks have handrails and that walkways are free of trip hazards.  Remove any hazardous plants.

Following these practical suggestions while revamping your garden will help ensure that it is a safe and secure place for your family to enjoy.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

 

SIMPLE SPRING  HOME REFRESH IDEAS