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The Best Feng Shui Positions For Your Bedroom

July 1, 2018

At times while it is quite difficult to understand, we call or refer to the best feng shui position in the bedroom as the command position. This command position imposes the best feng shui position and it just doesn’t involve the bedroom, but it also comprises or includes business like your building or office where you work.

According to the guidelines about the best locations on this Chinese system, it clearly declares that you must not have your office or workstation in your bedroom so set aside those PCs and try to replace it with the best feng shui position. The concept behind this is that resting and working do not go in harmony with each other and as such, it gives gives rise to certain negative energies which affect you and possibly also the fact that except you are richly independent, you likely do not have that huge of a bedroom that you could place both a desk and computer as well as a bed in the best feng shui position.

It is said in some of the guidelines in this practice is that– if you cannot see the door from your bed, that you keep away from issues and could be freely be hurdled with different stresses and life could easily daze you. The best feng shui position is in placing your bed so that it’s in line with with the entrance door of your room, as this would invite a more positive ambiance which carries with it some positive energies about it.

The good feng shui position for your bed is of chief importance because in modern society, it is not uncommon having a TV or even a computer inside the bedroom. In addition, it is also believed that the great feng shui location could actually, relieve irritability, some stresses, and even certain health problems or difficulties.

If you could accomplish all of these through a simple repositioning of your bed to give way to a greater feng shui location, it is highly recommended that you should at least give it a try. And because many of us can relate to having just small bedrooms, it is a very usual circumstance that it is often quite a challenge to even attempt to place the bed in the optimum feng shui location.

It could actually cause some unnecessary problems and certain inconveniences due to limitations in the space available. It is very essential not to place your bed on the very same wall with the bathroom, kitchen, shower as well as any other ‘active’ items that may be on that same wall.

Try to attempt in investing in your finest interior decorating endeavor to arrange or coordinate the greatest location in feng shui also to receive the optimal benefits and advantages even if it would mean taking the TV out of your bedroom! Consequently, if you try following all these guidelines and tips given, you would be sure to generate a more balanced atmosphere and welcome harmony in your offices or in your homes.

Simple summer home maintenance tips for comfort and energy savings

June 1, 2018

Things will soon be heating up all over the country. In fact, the average household will spend 3 percent more on electricity bills this summer than in 2017, due to rising retail electricity prices and higher usage.

The good news is that homeowners can spend just a few hours before the season starts to make some quick fixes and easy improvements that will help them save energy and make them more comfortable all summer long, including:

Mind the maintenance: Schedule an annual routine check-up for your heating and cooling equipment to keep the system running as efficiently as possible, and check the air filter each month to see if it needs to be replaced.

Keep it cool: Add extra insulation to the attic, which will help prevent your home’s heating and cooling system from having to work harder to regulate the indoor temperature during the hottest months of the year.

Control cracks: Seal cracks around windows and doors with caulk or weather stripping to prevent conditioned air from escaping.

Set it and forget it: Install a programmable thermostat to adjust the temperature at certain times of the day, automatically regulating the temperature when you’re away. In addition, always set your thermostat to the highest temperature you can stand to save the most money. Homeowners can save as much as 10 percent a year on cooling bills by setting their thermostat 7 to 10 degrees higher than its normal setting for eight hours a day.

Make a clean sweep: Decrease dust and dirt in the home by cleaning with non-toxic, natural household cleaners, such as baking soda, cornstarch or white vinegar, and using a vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate air filter, which will trap small particles like dust that others re-circulate back into the air.

Seal the deal: Examine the home’s pipes and connections, as well as all vents, and add caulking or sealant, if needed, to ensure they are air-tight.

Clear the air: Breathe easier this summer by installing a whole-home air purification system, which is integrated with your home’s heating and cooling system. These systems are much more effective at eliminating airborne contaminants than portable room air cleaners and don’t produce ozone, which is a known lung irritant.

Homeowners should pay special attention to their heating and cooling system, which accounts for more than half of a home’s energy costs. The easiest thing homeowners can do to save energy and stay comfortable during the summer – and all year long – is to change the air filter on their system regularly; however, if your air conditioner is more than 10 years old, it’s time to consider replacing it with a more efficient system that will save significant energy and help lower utility bills.

Make the most of your landscaping projects this year with these tips

May 20, 2018

Home improvement projects aren’t constrained to a single season, but during these warmer months, your focus is no longer simply on your home’s indoors. Now there’s outdoor yard work to do as well, and if you’re looking to recreate your outdoor space, your outside projects may include some landscaping. If you have landscaping as part of your to-do list this season, the right strategy can ensure that you get the most benefit from your landscaping goals with the least amount of headache.

To that end, here are five tips to simplify your landscaping projects this year:

1. Plan for the entire year. Landscaping projects can be hard work, and because of that, you deserve to enjoy them for as long as possible. That’s why it’s important to plan your landscaping layout with the entire year in mind. Research your plant and flower options based on bloom periods and plant a variety so your yard is always being introduced to new pops of color. You should also add evergreen shrubs and other such plant life to your overall plan to give you a spot of color in the winter and preserve your landscaping look.

2. Be mindful of other tools outside your home. When developing your landscaping strategy, you need to be aware not only of your home but the other vital components outside as well. Many homeowners are not mindful of their home’s HVAC units and may place landscaping solutions too close to the unit, which makes it difficult for techs to service the unit and exposes your system to the harmful effects of debris. Instead, plan to keep all landscaping at least two feet away from your HVAC system.

3. Touch every corner of your yard. Your home is naturally the focal point of your yard, but it doesn’t have to be the only one. Creating a berm – a mound-type space that you can fill with rocks, wood chips or a flower garden – can add a pop of color and visual appeal to an otherwise plain area. These visual attractions can be placed anywhere, but adding one to an otherwise deserted corner of your yard is a great way to tie the entire space together and make the most of an unused area.

4. Add plants that fit your lifestyle. When planning your landscaping project, it’s important to remember this isn’t just a one-time solution. Your landscaping will need continual work, and as such, your landscaping plan should be based partly on the time you have to dedicate to the project. For example, if you’re a person who appreciates beautifully colorful flowers but doesn’t want to replant them every year, you should start your project by planting perennials instead of annuals. Your time commitment in year one will be roughly the same, but you’ll ease your time requirements in the years ahead.

5. Monitor your budget. Like many things, a lavish landscaping project can get away from you very quickly in the financial department. Veteran landscapers know that it becomes very easy to get swept up in the project and before you know it, you’ve added a slightly larger tree or another bush or two. Then you suddenly have unexpected costs heading your way. Instead of ending your exciting project on a bad note with a higher bill, plan out your budget ahead of time. Try to get as specific as possible with where you plan to spend every dollar. The more you can hold to each line item in your budget, the better you’ll be able to avoid unnecessary expenses throughout the process.

Making landscaping improvements to your yard can be a fun and rewarding project provided you follow a strategy that makes the best use of your time and money. Apply the tips above and you’ll be rewarded with a beautifully landscaped yard that you can enjoy every day of the year.

Fresh beginnings: Clean your bathroom faster with these tech tools

December 2, 2017

If you’re like most people, you prefer to have an immaculate bathroom – you just don’t like cleaning it.

In fact, in a recent study by Kohler, 42 percent of consumers admitted cleaning the toilet is one of their most disliked chores.

That said, domestic guru Martha Stewart recommends scrubbing your tub/shower enclosure, toilet and drains at least weekly to maintain decent standards of cleanliness. And a study shows 49 percent of adults place importance on doing their housecleaning right, though 27 percent would like to minimize the time they spend in such pursuits. That may be why 42 percent prefer to clean in small increments, though “most are not interested in compromising on effectiveness or results.”

People are more likely to prefer to clean as they go, doing quick cleanups that fit into their busy schedules, as opposed to setting aside time to give the whole house thorough top-to-bottom cleanings. This preference for on-the-go cleaning has helped fuel the market for quick-cleanup products designed to tackle small messes quickly and efficiently, saving both time and effort.

If cleaning the bathroom is on the bottom of your favorites list, consider some of these brilliant solutions technology has enabled that might make your bathroom sanitation a non-issue moving forward.

No flubbing the scrubbing. No more must you aggravate your bad back and tennis elbow manually scrubbing soap scum off your shower walls, sinks and grout. Powerful rotating brush scrubbers that operate on batteries can now do the heavy lifting for you; one of the latest is made up of a set of attachments that cleverly fit onto a normal household drill.

Go easy. Engineers at Kohler have developed a lower-maintenance toilet – the Corbelle with Revolution 360 flushing – that’s designed to remain cleaner, longer. Its CleanCoat surface repels bacteria, mildew and hard water buildup, its smooth design makes for easy surface maintenance and its powerful flushing motion flows at a 360-degree angle for thoroughness that minimizes the need for scrubbing.

Dreamy steam cleaning. Sanitize your bathroom floors, counters, tub and shower enclosures and other surfaces without chemicals by using one of the efficient and easy-to-use handheld steam cleaners now on the market. Steam can work efficiently to kill bacteria, germs and dust mites including E. coli, staph bacteria, salmonella and other micro-organisms.

Floored by cleanliness. For larger bathrooms, the new and nicely compact mopping robots can wet mop, damp sweep or dry sweep hard-surfaced floors. Internal navigation systems let them clean systematically while identifying rugs, drop-offs, spills and stains, the latter of which are tackled with jet sprays and vibrating cleaner heads.

Suck it up. Several vendors now offer 3.2-gallon motion-sensor trash cans that keep their contents out of sight but automatically open (via battery) when you’re ready to deposit dirt and debris.

Life is too short to spend more time than you have to keeping your house clean – and that’s where technology comes in handy. Consider investing in the products that can free up your life for more meaningful activities.

The time is now to incorporate Scandinavian style into decor

September 21, 2017

As homeowners look for ways to refresh their spaces, Scandinavian style has become ever more prominent and popular among designers and interior decor experts. The clean, modern, minimalist aesthetic shows up in interiors and exteriors, from streamlined furniture to low-maintenance landscaping. Here’s how to achieve a Nordic look in your own home:

“Slow design” and minimalist decor

Perhaps the most common association with Scandinavian style is minimalist decor. Less is more when it comes to decorating, and the concept of “slow design” focuses on fewer, higher quality pieces collected over time.

Melding indoors and out

Scandinavian style incorporates materials that meld indoors with outdoors – natural woods, slat walls, leather accents and greenery. “Cottage culture” architecture style draws on these influences and makes interiors feel like cozy cabins in the woods.

Functional furniture: Storage and good looks

Another key aspect of the Nordic style is hardworking, functional furnishings. A piece can be beautiful and also have utility – like eye-catching shoe racks and shelving, or built-in bed storage that creates a unique frame.

Cool, natural tones and light woods in flooring

Scandinavian style incorporates natural tones of whites, grays and light browns. Pale wood and whitewashed floors create a clean, spacious look. That look can be achieved with oak and maple styles, as well as wood-look tiles and laminates with wood graining. There are an array of cool-toned flooring options to choose from.

If homeowners want to be on trend with Scandinavian style in their home, the key is updating with clean, modern and light-toned accents. Functional furniture will help you organize your space and efficiently use the room. Finish off the room with sunny wood grain flooring and your Nordic look is complete.

Want to catch homebuyers’ eyes? Follow 5 easy steps to a lush lawn

July 1, 2017

When it comes to selling a home there are many different strategies and most of them focus on the home’s interior. However, what many sellers fail to realize is that it’s the exterior of the home that often makes or breaks a sale.

Curb appeal is necessary for that vital first impression. Much of a buyer’s opinion about a property is formed before they even enter the front door. Research shows curb appeal not only speeds the sale but also increases offer prices.

One of the biggest influencing factors of curb appeal is the health of the lawn. Think about how much property space the lawn covers. A sparse lawn dotted with weeds lowers a buyer’s opinion of the home, while a lush, green lawn elevates a home, and gives the impression it is well taken care of.

Lawn revitalization projects provide impressive return on investment. Lawn seeding earns the top spot for return on investment, recovering 417 percent of the project cost at resale. Implementing a standard lawn care program recovers 303 percent and updating a landscape with a sod lawn recovers 143 percent. Lawn revitalization projects offer much higher returns than many other home improvement projects, including kitchen remodels and deck additions.

Lawn revitalization projects are surprisingly easy to do, so whether you’re selling your home or are staying put and just want to enjoy your property more, it’s a worthwhile investment. Experts, a coalition of grass seed farmers and academic turf specialists, offer the following five simple steps to achieving a lush lawn fast.

1. Aerate

When the soil under a lawn becomes too compacted, water, air and nutrients have a hard time reaching grass roots. Lawn aerators correct this problem by pulling small plugs of soil about 1/2 inch in diameter and 2 to 3 inches deep out of the ground. You can affordably rent an aerator for a day or hire a professional.

2. Reseed

If you have bare patches or your lawn looks thin, reseeding is an easy solution. Start by contacting a local turf specialist to determine the best seed or sod to purchase for your location and soil type. Then, rake the bare areas of your lawn and apply seed. Water lightly and regularly until new grass grows in. The spring and fall are good times to seed due to cooler weather, although it can be done any time of year.

3. Mow high

Never cut off more than 1/3 of the grass blade height at a time. If grass gets too long, raise the height on your mower. Recommended mowing heights vary by grass type, but an easy rule of thumb for the most common types of lawn is to mow to a 2-inch height when the grass blades reach 3 inches tall.

4. Fertilize

To keep your lawn healthy, aim to fertilize at least once a year; four times a year is ideal. Your local garden center can recommend the fertilizer best for your climate and grass type. Additionally, naturally fertilize your lawn by leaving grass clippings after you mow. As grass clippings break down, they enrich the soil with nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, the same nutrients found in fertilizer.

5. Irrigate

A thorough watering once or twice a week is better than lightly misting every day. Allowing the soil to dry before it is watered again encourages the roots to grow deeper into the soil and can help the lawn become drought tolerant in the future. What’s more, water during the early morning and evening hours to avoid excess evaporation. Watering during the heat of the day can actually scald and burn grass.

Easy steps to get your lawn ready for spring

April 15, 2017

After a long, cold winter, you’re certainly ready for summer. But is your lawn? The snow and bitter temps may have wreaked havoc on your yard, but now that warmer weather has arrived, it’s time to tackle those small projects that can add up to a beautiful lawn.

Here are five tips you can use to make your lawn and yard everything it can be this season.

Reseed bare patches in your lawn. A fabulous lawn is one devoid of bald spots, so make this project a first priority. Loosen the soil in bare areas 2-4 inches before flattening it with a garden rake. Once the soil has been loosened, apply fertilizer and grass seed to the area. Flatten the surface down once more and apply water to help your new grass grow.

Find the right mower for your lawn. Your mower is your yard’s most important tool. If you’re in the market for a new mower, don’t settle for an average, run-of-the-mill model. Look for a “pro-grade” mower with a powerful engine. A commercial-grade engine will have you mowing like a real pro and offers a variety of perks, including turnkey starting, improved reliability, reduced maintenance and enhanced performance. Once your mower is ready, cut your grass to 2 1/2 inches and mow frequently for a perfectly manicured lawn.

Prune and/or remove dead leaves and branches. Using a set of shears, inspect each bush and tree on your property and prune the branches while removing those that have died. This process will support your plants growing in a proper, ordered shape while improving their overall health and appearance.

Start a compost pile. Compost is a natural fertilizer that provides valuable nutrients to your plants throughout the summer. To create your own compost pile, start with a bed of leaves, garden trimmings or pine needles and add grass clippings and plant material at a 3-to-1 ratio favoring the former. Top each layer with a bed of soil and you’ll create the perfect compost site.

Bring birds to your yard. The benefit of birds in your yard goes far beyond the music they make. Did you know a single chickadee can eat more than 1,000 insects per year? This helps cut down on pesky insects ruining your backyard cookout or feasting on your plants. So add a bird feeder or two, a birdbath and some fruit- or seed-bearing plants to draw the birds in. Your yard and garden will be all the better for it.

Warmer weather is on the way, so don’t delay. Now’s the perfect time to start those outdoor projects. The hours you spend now will benefit you every day in the months ahead.

DIY pressure washing: How to get great results

March 5, 2017

Clean siding and trim can do as much for a home’s curb appeal as fresh flowers, neatly trimmed hedges and a repainted front door. You could scrub for hours trying to remove dirt, mold and mildew, or you could do the job more quickly and easily with a pressure washer.

However, if you decide to pressure wash your home’s siding, trim, fence or other surfaces on your own, it’s important to choose the right equipment for the project, and to know the basics of good pressure washing.

Pressure washer basics

Pressure washers use powerful pumps to boost water pressure and force water through a special nozzle. The intense spray powers away dirt, grime and debris, and depending on the type and size pressure washer you choose, they can be great for both major and minor home cleaning projects. While professionals often use gas-fueled versions for home renovation projects, electric versions are affordable, convenient, and easy to use and maintain for most around-the-home applications such as siding, driveways, fences, patio furniture and vehicles.

Pressure washers use less water and complete cleaning jobs more quickly than simply scrubbing by hand. Generally, the higher the PSI (pounds of pressure per square inch) the greater a pressure washer’s cleaning power. However, PSI is not the only consideration when choosing a pressure washer.

You should also look for ease of setup and use, and availability of accessories like extensions and wands for the different projects you might want to complete with your pressure washer. In addition to affordability, look for compact storage, an integrated detergent tank and ergonomic features such as an on/off pedal switch and tall folding handles. These features make it more comfortable to use a pressure washer and more convenient to store it when you’re done.

It’s also important to understand the type of detergent the washer will use in addition to water. Some cleaners might be too harsh for certain applications. Look for biodegradable options that protect the environment and the pressure washer itself. Never use bleach with a pressure washer, as this can permanently damage the pump.

How to use a pressure washer

Pressure washers are powerful pieces of equipment, and you should always follow basic safety practices, such as using eye and face protection, and the manufacturer’s instructions for use. Be aware that using too high a pressure setting or holding the nozzle too close to surfaces could cause damage. Further, there are some things you should never do with a pressure washer, including:

– Never point the jet at people, animals, windows or the pressure washer itself.

– Never stand on a ladder when using a pressure washer. The kick from the wand could cause you to lose your balance. Instead, use an extension wand or second-story nozzle to clean overhead areas.

To clean siding on your home:

– First, place drop cloths over nearby shrubs and greenery to protect them from the spray and detergent.

– With the washer set at low pressure, apply detergent, moving from top to bottom. Don’t allow the detergent to dry on the siding. Use a brush to loosen any stubborn dirt.

– Use clean water and a higher pressure setting to rinse off detergent, again moving from top to bottom.

– Use a sweeping motion to clean, and keep the nozzle at least 6 inches from the siding.

To clean cement, brick or stone:

– Whether it’s a cement retaining wall, a brick path or a patio of stone pavers, first rinse the surface to be cleaned using fresh water.

– If you’re using detergent, apply it at a low pressure and work in smaller sections of about 25 square feet.

– Using a rotating turbo nozzle and a sweeping motion, clean by holding the nozzle 3 to 6 inches from the surface.

Before tackling any project with a pressure washer it’s a good idea to test the unit in a small, out-of-the-way spot to ensure you won’t damage the surface you want to clean.

How to use color psychology to influence the mood of your home

December 11, 2016

Looking to make a few changes around the house? A fresh coat of paint can make a big difference on the look of your home and how you feel living in it. But unless you’re a color expert, it’s hard to know what colors are best among the endless array of options. A great place to start is by understanding the psychology behind various colors, so that you can achieve the look and create the effect you want in each room.

“Color is such an important factor in setting or improving our moods; it greatly influences human emotion and behavior,” says Dr. Sally Augustin, a color psychologist who applies science-based insights to how we experience colors. “The brain interacts with color in a variety of ways, from calming to energizing. By applying color psychology to your paint selections, you can make each room evoke the emotions you desire.”

Most people talk about neutrals like black and white, according to a new color study conducted online, listening to social media conversation about colors mentioned with areas of the home. But when asked directly, the majority of participants say more vibrant colors should be used throughout the home, such as blue, red and green.

Based on this new research and Dr. Augustin’s insights on color psychology, here are some ideas on choosing colors for painting projects:

In the mood for blue: If you’re drawn in by beautiful blues, you’re in good company. Sixty-two percent of Americans select blue as one of the colors they like the most. This strong preference for blue is consistent across genders, locations and age, making a blue like Adriatic Sea SW 6790 a good choice if you’re considering more vibrant colors, or if you’re painting a room in a home that you plan to sell soon.

“No matter where you go on the planet, people are most likely to say that their favorite color is blue. In our primordial past, blue was linked to good things in our lives. It is the color of the sky on a fair weather day and also a color of a watering hole seen from a distance,” Dr. Augustin says.

Black comes back: It may be surprising that black is the second most popular color (32 percent), and is especially liked among millennials, at 41 percent. Many have fallen in love with darker tones again, and dark black like Tricorn Black SW 6258 and even charcoal, navy and deep jewel tones are all gaining in popularity, adding urban sophistication to a wide range of spaces, from living rooms to kitchens.

What green really means: Generations see green hues differently. Millennials associate it with energy (33 percent compared to 24 percent of Gen Xers and baby boomers). Boomers are more likely than millennials to associate green with calmness (26 percent vs. 20 percent). When it comes to the psychology of green, the color seems to enhance creative thinking, making it a good option for a study or for a stimulating playroom.

Raving for red: According to Dr. Augustin, since red is also the color of many fine wines, painting a wall Rave Red SW 6608 in a dining room can appropriately call wine to mind. Red also offers people a burst of strength, making it an effective color choice for spaces like laundry rooms, where “heavy lifting” is done. The color red is excitement.

Cheery vibes with yellow: Forty-two percent of people associate yellow with happiness. The color yellow is also psychologically linked to physical warmth. Other golden colors that are a bit darker, such as Cut the Mustard SW 6384, would work in a kitchen dining area, as warm colors stimulate appetite and can make a space seem cozy.

What’s right about white: The top feeling most people associate with white is calmness (34 percent). In color psychology, white also signals cleanliness, so shades of white can be good choices for the bath, laundry or anywhere in your home that you want to add brightness.

Home innovations that protect against moisture

November 20, 2016

There is an insidious enemy that every homeowner dreads: moisture and the damage and degradation it can cause if left unchecked. Luckily, home improvement manufacturers have discovered new ways to prevent moisture from penetrating the home in the first place. With new home product innovations, there is no reason to suffer the costly and damaging effects of rain, snow or ice.

Unique fasteners add longevity to decks

Innovative fastening methods can extend the life of your deck and provide a beautiful fastener-free surface that also stands up better to weather and moisture. Although there are several kinds of deck fasteners that conceal the fastener, edge fastening is the latest method. With edge fastening, which delivers real screws into the edge of the deck boards with a series of unique guides and drill bits, fastener-related splitting and cracking can be eliminated. This can add to deck life because moisture is not seeping into those cracks and splits, causing accelerated degradation. Edge fastening works great for composite, PVC and all types of wood decks and creates a safer, fastener-free surface.

Exterior cladding that resists moisture

When searching for alternative exterior products that have beauty and curb appeal, make sure they repel moisture, especially near the foundation or near the gutters at the roof line. It is now possible to have the look of rich wood cedar shake or a variety of stone looks to cover foundations or to upgrade the ugly space under decks. New technology enables polymers to actually be stained or finished to be indistinguishable from the real thing. Homeowners can keep moisture at bay and have luxurious exteriors without sacrificing beauty.

Protect your home in every season

As if heavy spring rains and winter’s melt-off didn’t threaten homeowners’ properties enough, the hurricane season is expected to be more erratic than in years past – with a predicted early start and activity right into late fall. Thankfully, there are new, affordable technologies to quickly remove standing water from homeowners’ properties, keeping it away from their foundations. Having both dependable sump pumps and multi-use pumps are the first lines of defense against storm damage. Having reliable multi-use and sump pumps in your home can save thousands of dollars in property damage and basement repairs.

Seal it or patch it to keep water out

Water damage doesn’t have to happen, and by having the right caulks, sealants and hand tools, homeowners can easily do the job themselves and save on contractor costs. And, if moisture gets ahead of you, there are ways to repair the damage and prevent it from happening in the future. After winter, check windows, under door frames, gutter lines, concrete and other vulnerable areas that need sealing or patching. Very often, the simple act of sealing these areas with the right type of caulk can make a big difference in keeping out moisture. You need a caulk that has a tight seal, won’t sag or crack no matter the temperature and especially for outdoors, one that adheres well to any surface.”

No matter the season, moisture can put your home and valuables at risk, so don’t delay in taking preventative action or repairing damage where it starts. With innovative new technologies on the market, you can easily protect your home from nature’s wrath.