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Archive for August, 2015
Trying to find activities to occupy your children’s time as they are finishing their summer break? It can be difficult to fill the days with activities and you don’t want to just sit them in front of a screen all day but what can you do? Here are a few activities that can help keep your children active and away from screens. Some cost money while others don’t so that anyone on any budget can find something to do with their children.
A great option if you are trying to stay within a budget is to pack up some balls, mitts, soccer balls—whatever it is that your children enjoy playing—and throw in a lunch and head to the park. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, a blanket, plenty of water, and even an umbrella if there isn’t much shade. Take your children to the park and allow them to run around and play for a couple of hours. It is a great way to get them more active and enjoying the beautiful weather and outdoors.
Another way to keep them active and also allow them a chance to be social is to take them to your local pool. They will have the opportunity to swim around and also meet other children who are at the pool. If the pool is outdoors, make sure you bring sunscreen! Depending on how long you’ll be there, you might consider bringing a book if you aren’t planning on getting in. However, there is something to be said about taking a dip yourself and playing with your kids.
Finally, if your children have never been camping it could be a great idea to pack up your old gear that maybe hasn’t seen the light of day since you had them and set up a camping site in your backyard. Play lawn games with them, grille up some dinner, and when it gets dark start a fire if you have a fire pit and enjoy each other’s company while you look up at the stars. Luckily you are still home so if anyone needs to use the restroom or clean up they are still able to do so.
These are just three ideas to help keeps your kids active and off the couch some while they are finishing their summer break. Use these as inspiration for other ideas! Perhaps you actually take them out camping after all. Or you could bring them to an amusement park for the day, or a museum. Whatever you choose, if you keep them moving and learning and experiencing it will be good for them.
Do you have an unfinished basement that you have thought of finishing? Many homeowners have a basement that they choose to finish for various reasons. You could potentially gain equity in your home by making improvements. The options for the space are endless. What could you use the extra space for in your own home?
The new space can be single or multi use depending on how much space is available. If the size is smaller, keep the use to single in order to keep from feeling cramped. If space is not an issue, you may want several rooms or a space that provides multiple uses. For example, turn the space into guest quarters with a laundry room for an added bonus in the home.
One option is to turn the basement into a media center or theater room. These rooms are great for families because it serves as a second living room. You have the option to buy a big screen television or install a screen and use a projector to give the space a real theater like feel. Seating can be groupings of furniture or actual theater seating. Who wouldn’t want to show this space off to guests? A media room is a way to do just that. It is also a good space for entertaining children.
A game room or Man Cave is another option for a space to entertain guests. Turning a basement into a game room can consist of a pool table or vintage video games. For a Man Cave, consider adding a bar and themed decorating. Either option will allow peace to reign upstairs while louder fun stays downstairs.
Single use spaces can have dual functions. For example, add a full bath to the media or game room and it could be converted to guest quarters at night. Add a pullout sofa bed or a comfortable couch. If your space is large, consider adding multiple rooms that function with the rest of the home.
Each of these ideas will add value to your home, whether you are thinking about staying or moving. Visit our Design Center for a few ideas to help get you motivated!
Gallery walls are becoming increasingly popular. This technique is best explained as a wall with art and photos, similar to the look of an art gallery. The concept is great for family homes because it gives you a way to display the many family photos that accumulate over the years. It is also ideal for people that have ample art to display. Find out how to successfully pull off this technique!
Groupings of art or photos need to be tied together so that it doesn’t give the appearance of a chaotic mess. There are several ways you can tie the different photos or art together.
Coordinate colors. Group together similar colors together. You can mix art and photos together by grouping subject matter, relative by color scheme. For example group black and white photos with line drawings, pencil and charcoal art. The relative component in the relative component is the colors is black and white. Use the same color frame if possible.
Family photos generally have many different colors within them. Keep the gallery wall in unison by selecting the same color frames or the same frames in different sizes. If you wish to use all different photo frames, consider using the same type of photos, such as organized by age (children’s photos as they grow are a great example). This will keep the gallery wall harmonious while using an eclectic group of frames.
Gallery walls art or photos are either hung in symmetrical groupings or asymmetrical groupings. If the subject matter is a mixture of art and photos keep the grouping relative by hanging frames in a symmetrical layout. If the grouping of art’s subject matter is relatively simplistic; choose an asymmetrical layout. This will add interest to your gallery wall.
The key to a successful gallery wall is to have a common element throughout the grouping. This can be achieved by coordinating color schemes of the subject matter, frame selections or the layout style of the grouping. Choose one of the above techniques to unite your gallery wall!