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Think Green When it Comes to Your Countertops

A big trend in countertops is eco-friendly options. Eco-friendly means that the materials for the project come from sustainable sources that are not harmful to the environment. In today's world, more people are learning about the benefits of building, decorating, and living in a more eco-friendly manner. To protect the planet and environment, more people are taking steps to reduce their ‘carbon footprint’ and are choosing more ecologically sustainable materials for their home renovation projects. Because of this rise in environmentally friendly attitudes, eco-friendly renovations and home dÈcor have become a rising trend. Your countertops, in the kitchen and bathrooms specifically, are no exception. Eco-friendly countertop materials are not only environmentally sound, but also attractive and affordable. These countertops are trending right now, and for good reason. Here are some popular choices for eco-friendly countertops: Salvaged Materials Giving your home, especially the kitchen, a ru...

 


DIY Lighting Projects that Won’t Break the Bank

Inside or outside your home, simple lighting upgrades can make a huge difference in the appearance of your home. A change in lighting fixtures or bulbs might seem like an almost too simple answer to small home renovations, but they can really change the entire mood and atmosphere of your home. 1. Outdoor Lighting The outside appearance of your home is what you choose to display to the outside world. People driving by, your neighbors, and the people that come to visit you see this outside display first. Simple and affordable lighting upgrades can make a huge difference. Certain fixtures can dress up and beautify what might otherwise be a simple dÈcor. Fixtures Depending on the dÈcor style of your home, there are many styles of lighting fixtures for outdoor lighting. For a more updated and modern look, chrome or metal colored spotlights and track lighting can brighten up your outdoor areas. If youíre looking for a more traditional or rustic style of lighting, there are lamps and sconces for litera...

 


Hydrotherapy in Hot Baths May Relieve Stress

(NewsUSA) – As you get older, you depend on the simple things in life to help relieve stress — the arms of a loved one, the comfort of your mattress, shower pressure and possibly a few too many Dove chocolates. But did you know your bathtub can be a source of much needed therapeutic benefits? Hot baths offer many relaxing health advantages — they’re a natural detox because they increase your core temperature, dilate blood vessels, improve circulation and clear lymph nodes to stimulate the immune system. Since most Americans are also magnesium deficient, according to the National Academy of Sciences, adding magnesium-rich Epsom salt to a bath has further benefits: it reduces inflammation, improves insulin absorption, relieves stress, helps nerve function and plenty more. In fact, some bathtubs are actually designed with different forms of therapy to target specific diseases and illnesses. For instance, the walk-in tub from the Safe Step Walk-In Tub Co. combines chromotherapy, aromat...

 


Attic Projects With Big Payback

Whether you are selling your home now, planning to in the future, or are just looking to increase the value of your home, you can do so with relatively simple attic renovations. One of the most recommended upgrades for attics is finishing the space so that it can be an additional useable and livable area in your home. Doing so can increase the value of your home, giving you an excellent return on investment. 1. Finished Attic There are many things you can do with a finished attic. Depending on the size and shape of the room you have to work with, a finished attic could act as an additional office, playroom, man cave, sitting area, or living room. Attic Bedroom Renovating your attic into another bedroom is an excellent way to use the space and get a big return on your investment. Another finished bedroom is always a perk when it comes to the value of your home, and a creative use of attic space as another bedroom is a great seller. Efficiency Apartment If you really want a huge return on your investm...

 


Clearing the Clutter In Your Bedroom

While you may only use it a few hours a day – and most of those hours you’re sleeping - nothing feels better or more restful than going to bed at night in a clean and clutter-free bedroom. If you’re like most people, though, you avoid this area because most of your decluttering would have to take place in the morning – for example, making the bed and putting clothes away. Who has time for that? But it is possible to spend just 15 minutes giving it a quick decluttering when you get home from work or are done running errands for the day. Start by making the bed. If you think you can change out the sheets in less than 5 minutes (because you are just that good), then go ahead. Otherwise, put the comforter or bedspread on, fluff up those pillows and be done with it. Next you’ll want to tackle clothes. Do you have them tossed around all over? The dirty ones need to go into the hamper. If the hamper stays in sight, make sure it has a lid. If the hamper is in the close...

 


Kitchen Remodel Ideas

The kitchen is often the main focal point of a home. If your kitchen is outdated, you might be thinking of a kitchen remodel. There is no need to hire an expensive professional, however. With a little time and patience, you can do your kitchen remodel yourself. If you are careful, you can actually remodel your kitchen and save a lot of money in the meantime. Here are some tips and ideas for your do-it-yourself kitchen remodel: Update Instead of Demolish Instead of ripping out all of your cupboards and cabinets, consider updating the existing cabinets. Sand them down and stain or paint them and replace the hardware to give your cabinets a fresh and updated look. You might be surprised how much difference a fresh coat of paint can make. Salvage To save money and stay environmentally friendly, consider getting your cabinets and building materials second hand. You could salvage some of the materials from a building that is abandoned or being torn down, or from a business or apartment complex that is closing ...

 


Tips for Creating a Sustainable, Stylish, High-Performing Bathroom

(NewsUSA) – Pioneering new product solutions can transform any bathroom from a water-and-money-waster to a water-and-cash-saver without sacrificing style or performance. Think that your bathroom doesn’t offer a significant potential for cash savings? Think again. Let’s do a little math with the help of the Water Savings Calculator (www.americanstandard-us.com/water-efficiency/) created by American Standard. Using an average residential cost of $6.06 per 1,000 gallons of water per year, consider this: * Install new 1.28-gallon-per-flush (gpf) high-efficiency toilets to replace older (pre-1990) 3.5 gpf toilets currently in your home. With the average toilet being flushed 12 times per day, replacing two older toilets saves $118 and 19,447 gallons of water per year. * Replace three 2.2-gallon-per-minute (gpm) faucets with 0.5 gpm WaterSense-labeled faucets and use them the same 40 minutes per day. The result: Save $451 and 74,460 gallons per year. * Swap out two 3.0 gpm showerheads for new...

 


Tame Your Home Office Work-Space

The office is often seems to be a spot of contention in the house because of the important role it can play. With so many people working at home at least part of the time, the office becomes the keeper of all that’s important – and everything is important. It can also be a place where kids do their homework of the family shares the computer. There are two items of focus in an office: paperwork and objects. In your 15-minute declutter sweep, ignore the computer: it’s really only taking up space and there is not much you can do to make it uncluttered other than dealing with the cords (and that’s a 15-minute or more project on its own!). Give it a quick swipe with a dust cloth if you like, then move on. A home office tends to collect things: awards, collectibles, books, souvenir mugs, and a host of other items find a home on and around your desk. In addition, you likely have equipment such as a computer, printer, scanner, docking stations and external hard drives. That’s ...

 


Keeping a Chaos Free Kitchen

As one of the most frequently used rooms, it’s no wonder the kitchen is often the most cluttered area in your house. So is it possible to get your kitchen free of clutter in only 15 minutes? It is if you have a plan. Begin by giving the area a quick look to get an idea of what you have where and what needs to be put away. When you’re ready to begin, start at one end and work your way around the room. Stay focused on the item you’re currently handling and don’t get side tracked when you see something else. To keep you on track, split your kitchen up into sections, making sure you’ve identified three sections in which you will spend 5 minutes (and use a timer if you need to, to help keep you moving forward). Counter space is the first thing to consider. It’s likely cluttered with appliances, mail, empty containers, non-spoiling food (such as spices and cereal), etc. The general rule is that if you don’t use it daily, it doesn’t need to be display...

 


ShoppingnYard Sales for Your Next Piece of Treasures

Buying furniture pieces at yard sales offers many options, but you must look closely to know what you're getting. Are you interested in trying your hand at some creative furniture painting? If you don't already have an old piece of furniture to practice on, shopping yard sales is the best way to come up with a piece. If you are buying the yard sale furniture for the sake of practicing your creative idea, buy away! If you are looking for a particular piece to use, take time to look the furniture over to make sure you are getting a solid piece at a good deal. For instance, if you want to buy a small dresser for a guest room and want to give it a country look, your first concern should be the stability of the furniture. You can give almost any style the look you want, as long as the furniture is sturdy and in good condition. Look to see if any of the wood is buckling or if the piece has any deep scratches that can't be sanded out. If you want it to have an old look, the scratches might not matter so much to ...

 


Choosing a Sofa that Will Stand the Test of Time

A living room sofa is likely to outlive a lot of things - from the family car and microwave to the kids' trendy hairstyles. Most people keep a sofa from six to 15 years before buying something new. In a recent survey by Furniture/Today, a leading trade publication, more than half of consumers in the market for a new sofa were replacing one that was 10 years old or more. If you are one of those consumers - or soon will be - here are some tips on how to choose your next sofa wisely. According to Paula Hoyas, vice president of upholstery merchandising for La-Z-Boy, it is important to pay careful attention to the quality elements that give a piece its lasting power. Read the fine print Before you buy, be sure to read the fine print in the warranty. Note what is included and how long the company guarantees the product. For instance, La-Z-Boy offers a 10-year limited warranty on the cushions of all pieces within its Inspired Living collection. The duration of this warranty reflects the collection's quality ...

 


Energy Saving Tips For Your Home

Efficient solar energy resources for homeowners have become more important on a worldwide basis in the last few years as our fossil fuels deplete and normal methods of creating energy are destroying our environment. When you are looking for ways to reduce your electricity bill, you have several options. One of the more common and popular ones is exchanging your old appliances for new, energy-efficient ones. New appliances, like refrigerators, dishwashers, water heaters, and the "can't live without" clothes washers and dryers, all have Energy Star ratings from the U.S. Department of Energy that tell you how much you will save by using that appliance. Less dramatic changes to your household, but significant savings over time, would be to switch out all your lightbulbs with the new energy efficient light bulbs. The Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) can be found in any store that carries light bulbs. They use about 25% less energy than a traditional light bulb. If you have teenagers who leave lights on const...

 


Accessorize Your Bathroom on a Budget

(NewsUSA) – Decorating a bathroom on a budget is a lot like updating a wardrobe on a budget. Work with what you have, and use accessories to update and add the “wow” factor. In the bathroom, accessorizing can even include bathroom sink faucets. “With a pre-assembled drain assembly such as Speed Connect, a new faucet is easier to add than a new coat of paint,” says Gray Uhl, design director for American Standard. “Even better, top performing lifetime finishes and drip-free, solid brass faucets start as low as $100.” Trend No. 1: Warmer Finishes. Special finishes in warmer tones such as satin nickel, oil-rubbed bronze and blackened bronze are currently popular in hardware and faucets, coordinating well with creams and browns in linens and wall décor. “Matte black finish is the proverbial height of fashion for faucets and accessories right now,” says Leslie Clagett on her blog, kbculture.blogspot.com. Trend No. 2: American Minimalism. “Styles such...

 


How to Clean Any Room in 15 Mintues

Is there anything worse than a dirty bathroom? Towels on the floor, toothpaste in the sink, and a frightening looking toilet can make you not even want to open the door, let alone use your bathroom. But with a little forethought and planning, you can make this one of the easiest rooms to keep clean. Ready? Go! Your first task is to squirt a little toilet bowl cleaner in the toilet. We’ll come back to this in a bit, but for now just add the cleaner and close the lid. Next are the towels (and clothes). Having a place to hang them is a must. (If you don’t, put this on your list of tasks to do when you have more than 15 minutes.) If towels are soiled and really shouldn’t be displayed, toss them into the hamper. If the hamper is located in the bathroom, make sure it has a lid. If there is no lid, then move the hamper to another location – perhaps a walk-in closet. And, since you’re putting the towels away, why not put out some fresh ones…something that will be appr...

 


How to Free Up Space In Your Garage

As the keeper of everything that is really not worthy to go into the house, your garage can be one of the messiest places in your home. Why? Because it’s viewed as nothing more than a storage area and a place for your car to live. If you’re like most people, your garage is probably a jumble of tools, old toys, sporting equipment, and just plain trash. While this is not the time to drag everything out to the driveway and do a complete clean (save that for a Saturday in the spring), there are a few things you can do in your 15-minute allocation of time – although some preparation must have taken place prior. Be sure you have organized your garage in such a way that everything has a place – and that means on a wall, on a shelf, in a cabinet or in a designated floor area. It’s helpful to label these areas so that when you do a 15-minute decluttering, you know where everything goes. When you’re ready to start, first take your car(s) out of the garage. It’s ea...

 


Where Do Pests Lurk? The Rooms in Your Home That Pests Like Most

(NewsUSA) – When it comes to common household pests, they enter homes in search of three things: water, food and shelter. They can find entry points through almost any size opening, including tiny cracks and crevices or holes as small as a dime in the structure’s exterior. Once inside, pests, such as rodents, cockroaches, ants and spiders, will find a hiding or nesting spot — the most common rooms being the kitchen, bathroom, basement and attic. The Kitchen Whether it’s dry foods in the pantry, crumbs on the counter or under the fridge or food scraps in the trash can, all are items rodents, ants and cockroaches are looking for. Once they’ve discovered the goodies, they will keep coming back, contaminating kitchen surfaces and food and posing health and property hazards. The Bathroom Not only do sinks and bathtubs provide a never-ending source of moisture for pests, the pipes provide a good travel pathway from the outside or throughout the house. Cockroaches, house centipedes...

 


Tips for DIY Bathroom Projects

If your bathrooms are out of date and falling short on style, it might be time for a remodel. You don't have to pay a professional to get professional results, though. You can make small or even big changes to your bathrooms yourself. Here are some ideas for do-it-yourself bath remodels that can save you time and money: Keep It Simple When doing a full remodel, try to make things a little easier on yourself by not getting too crazy. For example, when replacing your old toilet with a new one, install the new toilet in the same place as the old one to avoid cutting new holes in your floor and messing with the plumbing. For vanities and tubs, if you are replacing, aim to find replacements that are the same width to avoid having to cut into walls. Tile Work Tiling your bathroom walls or the floors can be a lot of work. You can save yourself some trouble in the future by choosing a neutral color scheme for the flooring and wall tiles. This can make it easier to redecorate in the future if your new dÈcor sc...

 




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