Tips For Renters Part 3

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tips

Next in our series, we provide additional pointers on how to successfully rent a space and live there happily! Don’t forget to go back and read Part 1 of tips for renters and Part 2 of tips for renters!

  1. Determine how much light you need to be happy. If you suffer from depression or seasonal dysphoria, a dark dwelling in a basement apartment is not a good idea. If light is really important, you may also want to narrow your search by dismissing any north facing windows. They do not offer much light or warmth. Also, look for rooms that don’t have overhead light fixtures. You’ll need lamps for those rooms right away.
  2. Take a look at entries and exits as they relate to moving furniture and appliances. Some properties have exceptionally small doorways and tight hallways. If you have huge furniture you may run the risk of not being able to get it inside. Keep in mind that there is often a window that might solve the problem if both panes are removed.
  3. If you don’t own much furniture and/or you have very limited space in your new place, favor properties that have built-ins. There will be less to buy and less to move. Many homes have built in desks, armoires, entertainment centers, and so on.
  4. Consider how you’re going to manage your pets. Most people just ask if dogs or cats are allowed. But, there are lifestyle decisions that are part of owning a pet. For instance, if you don’t like walking your dog three times a day, then you need a yard. If you’re gone all day, you need a doggie door. If you prefer playing in a natural setting or having some alone time with your dog, a city apartment would not be a good idea. City life requires you to leave the building, be in a busy public setting, and walk on concrete. Also, many residences have exotic animal restrictions and don’t allow bunnies, ferrets, or large fish aquariums. With any species, there is almost always an additional cost when you bring along a pet. Typically an extra deposit and sometimes even pet rent. Fido might have to get a job!

Next read guidelines #13-16.  Leave us a comment with your worst horror story about an item not fitting through the doors of your new home, and how you overcame it!

Tips For Renters Part 2

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tips

#5-8  Advice on pests, parking, furniture and appliances, home improvements.

Continuing our series, find here the next five pointers on how to successfully rent a space and live there happily! Don’t forget to go back and read Part 1 of Tips For Renters!

  1. Ask about pest control.  Many landlords will cover the cost of pest control because it is in the best interest of the property. But if they don’t, you could end up with a costly problem. You don’t want to end up sharing a bed with 16 spiders. Also ask about wildlife in the area if you have small children or pets.
  2. Inquire about parking. Is there a garage or car port to protect your vehicle from the elements? Or, is it street parking? Are spaces reserved or first come first serve? Find out if parking is an additional cost. Once you know how parking is handled, make a mental note of the furthest potential distance between your car and your potential home. Is it a long way, and does it include stairs or an elevator? You’ll be making the walk on a daily basis so give it thought.  If it’s the dead of winter or your carrying eight bags of groceries, two blocks will feel like a mile and stairs will feel like a form of punishment.
  3. Before visiting properties, make a list of large items you own so can determine if they will fit. Places often seem bigger or smaller than they really are. Once you know, you can plan to sell anything that won’t fit before you move so that you don’t have to move it.
  4. Determine home improvement changes you may want to make so you can ask if they are allowed. A lot of landlords these days are totally open to cosmetic changes such as flooring, paint, and fixtures as long as you pay for them and get permission first. Some landlords will even deduct the cost from the rent in exchange for you coordinating the upgrade. If you decide to paint, schedule a time prior to your move-in to do so. It is far easier to paint an empty room! To get the most out of your investment, choose upgrades that are easily removed and transported to your next home. For example, light fixtures, bathroom hardware, and temporary flooring.

Next read guidelines #9-12.  Leave us a comment telling us the most awesome rental fix-up idea you ever used to improve your space!

Use Color Wisely in your Home – Part 1

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Hints and Advice, Tips

 

Adding color to your home allows you to personalize your space. It does take careful thought, however, to include color wisely. Here are a few suggestions before you dive into color options for your décor. 

Get to know the color wheel: Choosing a color palette can be difficult, but you can set yourself up for success by knowing the basics of the color wheel and how colors work together. A number of Internet sites provide instruction on color wheel basics and it’s worth a review. 

For example, colors that sit directly across from each other on the wheel, such as orange and blue, green and red or yellow and purple, are called complementary colors. Using a complementary color scheme creates an arresting look that can be overwhelming. On the other hand, sticking with similar color choices – next to each other on the color wheel – can quickly become boring.

Use the principle of 60-30-10: Select a dominant color and use it for 60 percent of the color in a room. Use 30 percent – or half as much color – for your secondary color choice. Finally, add accents of a third color for the final 10 percent. For example, you could select red for a dominant color in a dining room, painting the walls and including some red in the rug on the floor. Brown as the secondary color might include the wood floors and a buffet and dining table. For a daring accent choice, use a yellow-orange for the dining chair cushions and table centerpiece. 

It may be tempting to stick with neutrals when decorating, but the careful selection of colors that work for you can help make your home as inviting and welcoming as you are.

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Cleaning Out Your Gutters

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice, Tips, Uncategorized

9393881_SIt’s fall, which means there are some unpleasant chores that need to be accomplished – namely raking leaves and cleaning out the gutters. Get your kids to deal with the leaves and handle the gutters yourself as it involves climbing up and down a ladder.

Why do we need to clean out the gutters? Leaves and other debris can build up in the gutters, clogging the downspouts. This can lead to water damage on your roof. Water pouring over the gutters can end up leaking inside your home and into your foundation.

Clean your gutters while standing firmly on a ladder. Use one bucket for gutter debris and one for tools. Use wire hooks to attach each bucket to the ladder. Clean large debris with a trowel first. Using a hose flush the gutter starting at the opposite end of the downspout. If the water doesn’t drain, check the downspout to see if it is clogged and clean as necessary.

If there is still any standing water in the gutter after it has been flushed it may not be sloped correctly. Do not ignore this problem. If the gutter doesn’t slope enough, detach the hangers and adjust the gutter to drain properly and then reattach.  If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, call a professional.

This is also the time to inspect gutter sections for damage and missing parts, repair any gutter leaks and apply gutter touch up paint. You may even want to repaint all of the gutters.

While cleaning out the gutters does take some time and elbow grease, it is necessary for the health of your home.

Glass Shelves in the Bathroom

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice, Kitchen and Bath, Tips

16592717_SGlass shelves are a versatile storage option for the bathroom.  Glass shelves can be hung throughout the bathroom. In smaller spaces, like a bathroom, the glass will take up less visual space than a wood or painted shelf.

Glass shelves virtually disappear into the wall behind them. If you use a floating shelf design like in this bathroom, the shelf will blend in with whatever is behind it. This allows your beautiful backsplash to be uninterrupted by the shelf. This is important when you have an intricate pattern like a mosaic or border.

Tempered glass is always a good idea in a bathroom for a shelf or a shower door. Tempered glass will not shatter into shards, which can be dangerous in a bathroom with its tile or wood floor.  If you have a glass shower surround, glass shelving in the room can unify the design.

Glass shelves can be hung above the toilet as well as above the vanity.  You can vary the depth of the shelf depending on its use and placement in the bathroom. Thicker shelves can be used to store extra toilet paper, jars of Qtips and cotton balls, or even extra washcloths and hand towels in neat rolls. Smaller shelves can hold toothbrushes and toothpaste.

No matter the material you choose for shelves in the bathroom, make sure you secure them to the wall with the proper screws for your wall type. Going into a stud is always a good idea when hanging a shelf that will hold any weight.

Don’t Let the Holidays Sneak Up on You

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Christmas, Events, Family, Hints and Advice, Holidays, Thanksgiving, Tips

16311397_SThere are so many already aired holiday ads, and the stores have had their winter holiday aisles up since just after Labor Day. Retailers certainly won’t let us forget that the holidays are almost upon us. Our email inboxes are already full of coupons for holiday cards and ideas for holiday meals. So, have you made your appointment for your family holiday photo yet? Are YOU ready for the holidays?

Without putting the horse before the cart, here is a checklist of items you can do now so that you are not overwhelmed as the holiday season arrives.

  • Get out your holiday recipes. Check your pantry to make sure you have what you need so you don’t have to run to the store in the midst of holiday food prep.
  • Plan your Thanksgiving meal. Order your turkey, if that’s what’s on the menu. Your butcher will thank you for not waiting until the last minute.
  • Also plan your holiday baking. You can easily make breads and cookies now and freeze them for future use.
  • Buy containers for freezer meals, holiday gifts and baked goods. The stores are full of holiday themed disposable ware.
  • Take stock of your china, holiday tablecloths, serving pieces and stemware. If you need additional items you have plenty of time to look for sales.
  • Review your address book. Update any changes and count how many holiday cards you need to order. It’s also not too early to start writing your holiday letter.
  • Make your gift list and plan your budget. Look through your wrapping supplies and see if you need extra tissue paper, ribbons and bows.
  • Make travel arrangements if you will be visiting family out of town. Service your car so that it is ready for the trek to Grandma’s house.
  • If you are hosting family, check your supply of extra linens, towels and throw blankets. Schedule carpet cleaning, window washing and a professional house cleaning so that your home is sparkling.
  • And finally, don’t forget to plan for a haircut, and a mani/pedi so that you start the holiday season relaxed and looking great.

Best Tools for Dusting

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Hints and Advice, Tips, Uncategorized

17743332_SYou know what dust is made out of, where it comes from and how many times a month you need to dust to keep your home healthy and looking its best. But what are the best tools for getting rid of dust?

Start first with your vacuum. You can use your vacuum to dust your walls, ceilings and baseboards. One downside – if you don’t have a HEPA filter on your vacuum you may end up spewing dust back in the air.

A feather duster is another good tool. Use a feather duster to dust bookshelves without having to move everything off. Just be careful to replace your feather duster if any of the feathers break, as this may cause scratching of surfaces.

A lambs wool duster is also good at getting in small and irregular spaces. This tool tends to stir up less dust than a feather duster, but you do have to make sure to wash it periodically.

Microfiber cloths do a great job of dusting without stirring up dust. The cloths can hold quite a bit of dust and won’t scratch your furniture. They are not great, however, for dusting up high or for dusting irregular surfaces.

Electrostatic cloths are another option. They won’t stir up dust and come in disposable options so that no cleaning in-between dusting is needed. They vary in lengths and sizes and some even come with poles so you can dust up high. The main con to electrostatic dust cloths is that they are more expensive as they are not reusable.

Should you use oils or polishes? Oils and polishes can enhance the look of your wood furniture and they will help with dusting fine surfaces, however, overuse or improper use can cause buildup or cause clouding of your furniture.

Compressed air is the best way to dust electronics. It is also great to use for surfaces where cloths may snag or in small spaces where tools aren’t practical.

What’s Hot in Bathroom Design?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Hints and Advice, Kitchen and Bath, Tile, Tips

20819710_SYou’ve overhauled your kitchen and now it’s time to give your bathrooms some extra love.

Do you have a bathtub? Try replacing it with a claw foot tub. The new ones have been given an update and a modern spin to make this classic look fashionable.

Faucets are going high tech. Install a hands-free action-sensor model.

Think luxury. Leather vanities with stainless steel tops were featured a recent design show. You can even customize the leather color.

Jetted tubs are out. Now you “need” a hydrotherapy tub. VibrAcoustic transducers broadcast sound waves through the water to relax and calm the body. Unlike jets, the transducers don’t interrupt the surface of the water, since they’re found below the bathtub’s shell. Who knew?

If you really want to spoil yourself you can add a shower that allows you to control the precise temperature and water pressure you want. You can even start your shower right from your cozy bed with your shower remote control.

Add the finishing touches to your updated bathroom with a patterned backsplash – think herringbone. Pair that with black Italian marble countertops and flooring and a metallic sink.

When it comes to lighting, combine pretty with practical. Sconces on either side of your mirror are good lighting for your face. Put pot lights in the ceiling and add a statement chandelier.

There you have it, design ideas to turn your bathroom into a relaxing sanctuary, a get-away from the world and a place to pamper yourself. Because after all, don’t we all need that?

It’s Officially Fall

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family, Hints and Advice, Outdoor Living, Tips

16419295_SIt IS officially fall. You can tell by the brilliant blue sky, the leaves changing colors and the crispness in the air. Soon we will be pulling out the crock-pot and preparing hearty braised dishes for our families. In the meantime, while the kids have settled down to the routine of the school year it is time to prepare the outside of the house for the new season and also to start (gasp) thinking about the holidays.

Here is a quick checklist of chores that should (don’t you just hate that word?), or can be done to make sure that the outside of your home is ready for the coming of winter.

  • Clean and store your patio furniture and summer toys.
  • Wash your windows. This is worth calling someone and having them do it for you.
  • Drain your garden hoses. Store them neatly in the garage. Don’t forget to blow out your sprinkler system to prevent broken pipes during the winter.
  • Clean out your gutters. Again, this is another job that perhaps a high school student would like to take on for you for some extra spending money. After they clean out your gutters have them retouch any peeling paint on your deck, or at least power wash and clean your deck.
  • Check caulk around outside windows and doors. Re-caulk if necessary.
  • Look at your outside doors and your garage door. Do they close and seal properly? If not, get them fixed. You will reap the benefits on your winter heating bills.
  • And finally, clean your chimney.

Although at first it may seem a bit overwhelming, it is really not a long list. Schedule one job a day or a couple of jobs per weekend and before you know it the outside of your home will be holiday and winter ready.

Organizing Your Closet

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice, Tips

2887766_SYour husband has his man cave and the garage. You have the kitchen and your CLOSET. While some of us have the means to compete with Khloe Khardashian’s huge closet in her beautiful home, some of us don’t. To maximize closet space and find what you need in a hurry, here a few tips for closet organization.

Are you a folder? If so hang ventilated shelves for stacking clothes. This will help prevent mold, mildew and pests.

Group like with like – sweaters with sweaters. Remember that like size items stack more easily and neatly. Put clothes you wear the most in the center of the shelves.

If you have room, add drawers below eye level. Use baskets within the drawers to keep items organized.

As far as hanging goes, divide your clothes into categories and separate by hanging tags. Put all short-sleeved blouses together, then follow those with long sleeve blouses, get the idea? You get bonus points if you organize by color within the category – light to dark hues.

If shoes flood your closet floor, develop a smart strategy for storing them. Keep the shoes you wear all the time accessible on shelves if you have room. Store seasonal and special-occasion shoes in easy-to-see clear plastic boxes on the top shelf of your closet. Or simply reuse the original box and attach a picture of the shoes to the front.

Make sure your closet has good lighting. You can easily install lighting if need be. If you have a window in your closet be sure to add a shade as exposure to sunlight can fade clothes.

If your closet is also your dressing area install a floor length mirror on the back of the door.

To be super efficient you can install an ironing cabinet in your closet so that you can iron your clothes in a jiffy. Yes, this really exists.

Still have a few items that need a place? Pocket shoe holders can be used for more than shoes. Use them for socks, lingerie, leggings or jewelry.

Now, while your husband enjoys his man cave you can enjoy your beautifully organized closet.