Archive for May, 2019

How to Choose Proper Lighting for Your Home

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tips

Light is an essential element to any room. Without proper lighting, a room can feel small and unwelcoming. Light helps color pop, it makes rooms feel much larger, and it gives a general good vibe throughout the atmosphere. When you think of design, the lighting may not be the first thing to cross your mind; however, this essential element will make or break any room. While floors, paint, and décor are essential, without light, you cannot even see the aesthetics of a room! Knowing how to properly showcase lights is important. There are three ways to light an atmosphere properly. Becoming familiar with them can help make sure your rooms in your home are properly illuminated.

General Lighting

Every room needs general lighting. This is the light that illuminates the space, and it can be an overhead light which covers the whole room in light. Your general light should provide adequate lighting to make a room easily maneuverable and not feel dark. Rooms with dark color themes like black walls, dark ceilings, or dark flooring may need more than one source of general light to illuminate the room.

Ambient Lighting

Take your light further and incorporate ambient lighting. This lighting is vital to support the room’s overall aesthetics and highlight attributes. You can use ambient lighting to highlight pictures, create a mood, or help amplify or showcase a focal point. This spotlighting is excellent to enhance a space and should be used as such. Overplaying ambient lighting can take away from its significance; however, too much light is never a bad thing.

Task Lighting

What about the areas which you need more fine-tuned lighting? A task light is a way to illuminate spots in which you may perform certain daily tasks. These can be installed under countertops where food is prepared or in a reading corner where you need a little more light. Task lighting is excellent because it is used when needed. Include task lighting throughout your home for a more complete look.

Some rooms may need several of each type of lighting. Others may only need general lighting. Additionally, natural lighting from windows is the best source to help revitalize your space. However, the sun is only available for so many hours, so do not miss out on proper lighting!

Storage Warrior | How to Maximize Storage in Your Home

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tips

The key to minimalism is an open layout with no clutter.  However, minimalism is a lifestyle and does not happen overnight.  Getting rid of all your stuff at once and decluttering an aggressive approach.  A more practical matter is investing in more storage options.  The best storage options serve more than just one purpose.  When designing your space, especially smaller homes, you need to facilitate your space as much as possible.  Here are three easy ways to add storage to your design and help declutter your home more:

Ottoman

The key to minimalism is not going out and buying more furniture without eliminating some of the items you already own.  A good general rule of thumb to use in the beginning is for every one piece of furniture purchased, eliminate two.  An ottoman is a functional seat that can serve as an end table and includes internal storage.  For your own home, you will want to find an ottoman that complements your design theme.  Theses multifunctional furnishing can transform your design not only aesthetically but functionally as well.

Coffee Table with Enclosed Storage

Minimalism is a double-edged sword.  Some minimalist will lean toward Mid-Century Modern Design; however, this style likes to include open furniture to help make the space feel airier and more accessible.  Yet, if you want to store your belongings, they are very noticeable.  A coffee table with enclosed storage can still look great but adds a little more functionality.  Plus, almost all living room sets are not complete without a coffee table.  Adding a coffee table with storage can help you eliminate books, magazines, remotes, and other odds and ends in the living room.

Cube Storage

Cube Storage has been a trend for the last decade, and it has really been a great solution to tuck away unwanted clutter.  Create bins with labels to store mail, miscellaneous tools, or even shoes.  Cube storage is excellent to help create an aesthetic solution for storing your belongings.  You can get a wall unit or invest in a floating unit as well.  Find a style that best complements your home.

Under-Bed-Storage

Do you decorate for the holidays, and are you looking for a spot to tuck away your holiday decor?  Try investing in some under-the-bed-storage units.  With wheels on them, they can easily slide in and out from underneath your bed.  This can help you keep holiday decor and seasonal clothes easily accessible throughout the year.

Learning to see areas in your home to facilitate as storage is critical.  Just remember that minimalism does not happen after night.  Scrutinize your space and determine the best plan of attack. Start with a game plan, and you will be pleased with the end result. Best of luck!

How to Capture Real Estate Pictures|Part Two

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

To successfully sell your home, you need to stand out against the rest of the houses available. The simplest way to achieve this is by capturing quality pictures of your home. As we explored in Part 1, you need to have the right amount of pictures, stage each room properly, and accentuate your exterior. However, more goes into photography than just your home. Knowing how to take the shots is equally important. Help your home sell quicker by using these quality tips:

Professional Angles

You do not need to be a professional to find the best angles. Your goal is to make each room look as large as possible. You may need to stand in a doorway or closet to capture the entirety of the room. Wide angle lenses are ideal but do not use fisheye. You want the pictures to look as natural as possible. Make sure nothing is too obtrusive to the shot. Take your time and play with the angles. You may need to take several pictures of one room to determine which is the best to help market the room.

Proper Lighting

Open all curtains, make sure that your light fixtures have matching bulbs, and double check all your lights are on in your home. Lighting is a critical element in photography. A properly lit space can look much larger. Do not take photos of your exterior in poor lighting. Pictures outside are best taken an hour after sunrise or hour before sunset–this time is referred to as golden hour.

Editing

Uploading poor quality pictures is one of the worst mistakes you can make. Do not overly edit your photos; however, having proper lighting and contrast is very important. Try to use a camera with at least 5-megapixels. Most camera phones are great than this today. Remember, a well-edited photo can make a world of difference. You do not need to be a photoshop pro. There are free apps available that you can edit your photos straight from your phone.

Using the proper techniques will help you move your home faster on the market. If you are struggling to make progress, you can always hire a professional; however, never underestimate the power quality photos can have on selling your home.

How to Capture Real Estate Pictures|Part One

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

Real estate is a competitive market. You need to know how to represent your product best if you want potential homebuyers to make an offer on your home. Knowing how to take professional real estate pictures is essential to selling your home. You want to know what to shoot and how to capture it. Here are the general three rules of thumb to capture the perfect pictures for selling your home:

Not Too Many or Not Enough?

When taking pictures of your home, it is important to find balance. You are trying to spark the interest of the buyer. Not enough pictures can make buyers skeptical of the property, whereas too many images can hurt the potential sale as well. Aim for a dozen photos–include some exterior and interior shots. You are trying to showcase the strongest attributes of the home. Take pictures of areas that make your home unique and can help add to the sale. Remember to ask yourself why you are taking each picture.

Staging

Next, it is essential to make sure you stage your pictures correctly. Your landscaping should be impeccable for the photographs as well as your interior setting. Do not upload photos with messes or personal items in them like your car, family members, or pets. Sounds obvious, but you would be surprised. You may even want to remove bulk furniture from the space. This can be temporary for the photo but allows the area to look bigger. You want your home is welcome to look lived in; however, do it with taste. Remove your toiletries from the restrooms and only have essentials for selling points.

Exterior Tips

Not essential, but you can include some unique exterior shots to help your home on the market. If you live in a nice neighborhood, consider having a drone shot of the property, including some of the surrounding homes. If you have the ability to show one seasonal shot, take advantage of this as well. Homes can look different during the winter and summer months. If your environment does not have dramatic influences on the home’s exterior, you do not need to include this. Remember, you do not want to create a massive album. Three to five exterior shots are plenty.

Having pictures can increase the amount of internet traffic and views. Make sure you take the time to get the best photos to help sell your home. For more tips, be sure to check out Part 2. The more tricks and tips you have in your arsenal can give you the advantage you need to sell your home.

Four Unique Ways to Make Your Staircase Standout

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

Many homeowners are not aware of the design opportunity that a staircase provides, and many times, people tend to overlook this architectural element when decorating their homes. From using your favorite color to playing with LED lights, there are numerous ways you can style and add personality to your staircases. If you are interested in learning more, here four unique ways you can make your staircase standout:

A Beautiful Stair Runner

One easy way you can add style to your staircase is to use a stair runner. Go bold by selecting a runner with a vibrant hue or pattern. From animal prints to more textured runners, there is a wide variety on the market to fit your taste. Prints and designs are timeless because they instantly add a fun vibe while hiding any tracked in dirt or debris.

Use a Creative Handrail

A great way to make a statement with the staircase is to add a creative handrail. You can use a handrail made of a different material than you would think to use such as a rope handrail, or you can even bring in a hint of nature by building a handrail made from a branch. The possibilities are endless! Top off the look by adding a well-placed accessory at the bottom of the stairs such as a small table on the side or a woven basket to accent your look.

Illuminate the Pathway

Adding lighting to the stairway can be beneficial for safety reasons, but you can also use lighting to set a particular mood. This can be done by installing LED lights on the side of the steps. Lining the side of the staircase with LED lights will cast a futuristic glow that can also feel luxurious in dark settings.

Rainbow Staircase

Love color? Well, you can express your love of different hues right on your staircase. You can apply linoleum made up of different colors right on the riser so you can see each color from the bottom of the staircase and you can enjoy the look of each color as you go up or down the stairs.

What do you think your favorite staircase look is? We would love to hear your thoughts below in the comment section. Thanks for reading!

The Ultimate Spring Checklist for Homeowners

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

Chicago winters can be harsh on your home; therefore, it is essential to do an annual spring check-up of your house. Inspecting your home can help prevent any further damage to the structure and save homeowners a lot of money. This weekend, we recommend going outside and examining your house using this checklist to assure your home is in excellent condition.

Examine Your Exterior Siding

First, you will want to take a look at your home’s siding or bricks and check from any chipping or crumbling.

Repaint Siding and Trim

If necessary, you may have to repaint your home’s siding or trim. Experts recommend that you do not just “touch up” the area but repaint the entire section. We do this because paint can fade into different colors over time and it will be more noticeable that you just “touched up” the area than it was before you painted it.

Check Your Roof

It is imperative to check your roofing to avoid future leaking. Call an expert or two to come and look at your roof to ensure it is in good condition for the upcoming seasons.

Get a Chimney Inspection

Chimney inspections can help detect cracks or leaks in the structure that may be unseen from the outside. Also, you should have your chimney cleaned annually.

Clear out Your Gutters and Downspouts

A lot of grime and guck can get stuck in your gutters during the winter season. Clean out your gutters annually and make sure they are lined up with your home. There should not be any gaps or dips between them and the roof.

Look at Your Heating and Air Condition Unit

Check and replace your filters and air purifiers.

Inspect Your Attic

Attics should be examined annually to determine if they have proper ventilation. Homeowners should look for any hindrance in the vents and panels. Also, you should take a look at the attic to see if any leaking is coming from your roof.

Inspecting your home annually can be beneficial for you and your family’s health. Also, it can help save you money in the future by being aware of issues ahead of time. If you are concerned about something in your home, call a company to come out and take a look. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Creating the Ultimate Spring Garden

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Curb Appeal, DIY Projects, Outdoor Living

Spring into a new yard design this year by incorporating some of spring’s trendiest flowers and plants. Every spring, homeowners fall into a routine of planting the same things each year. This year, liven up your yard with bright colors and take on planting that garden you have always talked about, and spring into a new routine!

Plan the Layout

Your garden holds extraordinary potential, and maybe you have the perfect layout already in mind. But if you do not, draw up a layout of how you want your plants, herbs, vegetables and/or flowers to sit in your garden.

Pro Tip: You do not need to section off your flowers from vegetables, they can coexist and actually mix well with one another. Vegetables can actually benefit from certain plants and their shade. For example, lettuce loves the shade; place your taller flowers in front to help the growth of this vegetable.

When Less Is Better

Look for plants that are grown in your area at local nurseries or shops, because these plants will flourish in your yard. Homeowners struggle with choosing their plants because a lot of times they are not native to your area and will ultimately take a lot of extra work. So, create less work for yourself by dressing up your yard in native plants.

Add Personality

Marking your garden’s items is a great way to get creative. Plus, making DIY garden labels creates a fun project!

DIY Garden Labels:

  • Purchase chalkboard signs and write each of the herbs/vegetables you have growing in your garden.
  • Use some old bricks and write the plant names with a permanent marker.
  • Paint some rocks with the names of your plants.
  • Hammer down silverware and engrave the plant’s name onto the utensil.

Also, think about the containers you are keeping your potted plants in and try to purchase some stylish pots. You can even get crafty with your current pots and a can of paint.

Make a Calendar

Timing is everything when it comes to gardening. Making a calendar will help assure your garden grows to its highest potential. Section off the things that should be done in the early, middle, and end of spring.

Do you love to garden? Have any tips you can share with our readers? We would love to hear from you in the comments section.

Tips and Tricks for Cleaning Grout like an Expert

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Flooring, Tile, Tips

Tile can give any home a very luxurious feel. Immaculate backsplashes, enhancing shower systems, or tantalizing foyers all are rooted with tasteful tile selections. However, nothing can hurt this pristine look quite like dirty grout lines. You invest time and money into finding the perfect tiles and complementary grout yet overtime your grout has browned and looks unkept. To help, here is everything you need to know on why your grout is getting dirty, how to clean it, and how to prevent it from happening down the line. Let’s take a look!

Why Grout Gets Dirty

Grout is a pourable mortar used to close the gaps between floor and wall tiles. It comes in two types: sanded and unsanded. The sealant is composed of water, cement, and sometimes sand; therefore, grout is very porous, allowing it to be very permeable to liquids. If moisture is in the air, it can embed dirt into your grout lines. Likewise, if you spill a colored beverage, your grout is susceptible to soaking it up and staining with the color.

How to Clean Grout

First, you will want to broom or dust the surface of any grime. Using hot water can help break down more difficult soot embedded into the surface of the grout. Create a homogenous mixture of vinegar and water and pour it onto your grout. It may need to soak for several minutes to work its way down into the grout. After it is absorbed, use a toothbrush or scrub brush to remove debris.

Maintenance

Typically, installers will not seal grout the same day of being applied to allow the grout to cure. If you have epoxy grout, it is not porous and will not need to be sealed. However, if not, it would be in your best interest to seal it. This sealant can prevent unwanted discoloring or staining from occurring in the future. Your sealant will help protect against stains and bacteria from forming on your grout lines.

If you have dirty grout, do not leave it unattended for too long. Cleaning your grout is easy and can make your tile look brand new. Remember to seal your grout after to help prevent discoloring down the road. For more tips and tricks on floor maintenance, make sure to subscribe to our blog!

Charming Ways to Spruce up Your Home’s Exterior

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, DIY Projects, Outdoor Living

As spring is in full bloom, it is time to start taking care of our home’s exterior, and small weekend projects can make a big difference. If you have the opportunity to set aside a couple of hours this week, here are our top picks for exterior home modifications that are cost-effective and time-conscious. Let’s take a look!

Paint Your Front Door

This is a great do-it-yourself project that can really change your entire curb appeal. Simply, start by removing your door then remove your handles and locks so only the part that needs painted remains. Take your door outside where you can paint it. You will want to sand the door to remove old paint or until it feels smooth. Make sure all the dust is off the door before adding your primer. You can now paint your door any color you choose. You can give your home a pop of color with a bright red or blue, or you can even provide a modern look with a dark grey or black. Just make sure your door is completely dry before rehanging it.

Plant Flowers

Some flowers are easier to grow than others. If it is your first garden or flowerbed, you may want to start with easy plants. Consider if you will incorporate a water irrigation system. If you can make a system before planting, you can evade having your life revolve around watering plants during the hot months. Just make sure your plants can be exposed to plenty of sunlight as well. Trees and houses can block some other important sunrays crucial to growing your plants. Flowerbeds can be a fun project to keep up on during the warm months and completely change your home’s curb appeal.

Stain Your Patio Furniture

Pick a day that there will be no rain or intense heat. If you are staining patio furniture on a deck or concrete surface, make sure to tarp the area. Stain can really spruce up your old furniture but be sure to plan ahead because not all woods except stain the same. You will also want to sand with the grain. Apply your first coat and allow it to soak. You can wipe to remove any heavy coating and apply accordingly until you accomplish the level you like.

These simple projects are great for any level of home fixer-uppers. With little tools and a full weekend, you can accomplish wonders in your yard. Which projects are your favorite? We would love to hear from you. Make sure to leave a comment below and subscribe for more content.