Guide for Selecting Interior Paint Colors

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Choosing paint for your home’s interior can be difficult. There are so many varieties out there and you want to choose the perfect combination; we totally understand. To help you in the selection process, we have created a simple guide for choosing your interior paint colors. We hope you find these tips helpful! 

Guide for Selecting Interior Paint Colors

1. Get Inspired by Social Media. 

Let’s be honest, magazines can be considered a resource of the past. Most likely, you are browsing online sites and social media pages to keep you up-to-date on current color trends and inspiration. These sources are great because they are free and they are constantly being updated. 

2. Take a Glance at The Color Wheel. 

Sometimes, we get so stuck in our ways that we forget about all of the other color options are out there. For a brief refresher, take some time looking at a color wheel. You may get inspired with a new look. 

3. Do Not Disregard Neutrals

For some reason, a lot of online articles are encouraging homeowners to veer away from neutrals. While taking a chance with color can be a good thing, we want to encourage you to incorporate neutrals wherever you seem fit. If you are a fan of beiges and grays, do whatever your heart desires. In the end, it is your home and you ultimately want to be happy. 

4. Pull from a Print

The fabrics and artwork that you use within your space can be a great inspiration for color. You can begin to pull colors from your fabrics or wall art to decipher a new wall color for the space! This will help tie together everything within the room to create continuity in your space. 

5. Incorporate Your Destination.

Design experts recommend taking a look outdoors to get inspiration during your next design project. The outdoor scenario can have a tremendous impact on the color selection for your home. For example, if you live in a more tropical area, blues may be the color of choice. But, if you live in a more dry climate, you may opt for a warm color palette. Choosing colors from the outdoors can help create a complimentary visual for your home’s interior. 

6. Get out of Your Comfort Zone

If you are ready to try something new, begin by getting out of your comfort zone. If you are constantly selecting the same color for each room, it may be time for a change. Your local paint store can become a great resource. Show the sales representative a swatch of your typical color then ask for their opinion on other colors. They can help guide you in a similar style of color to help meet your preferences while changing up things. 

7. Try Different Undertones

Undertones are the colors underneath of your original paint color. These undertones can affect the way it looks within your room. Ideally, you will want to match the undertone with similar undertones, whether that be a cool undertone or a warm undertone. 

8. Always Sample Your Paint

Anytime that you are selecting a paint color for your home, you absolutely want to try it out on the room’s walls. A paint sample can look completely different from the paint store’s showroom to your living room’s wall. Experts even recommend testing it out in different lighting to be one hundred percent sure that you love the color. 

For more expert advice and tips, be sure to check back weekly. 

Foods That Help You Clean

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Finding the perfect cleaning solution can become a long and tedious process. There are thousands of cleaners available to homeowners, but only some are effective and safe. Instead of searching through all of the stores, look right in your own home for an impeccable cleaning product. All you have to do is open your pantry doors to discover an array of cleaning products.

Cutting Board Cleaner:
Ingredients: Lemon and Salt
What to do: Wooden cutting boards can become easily stained, but half of a lemon and a pinch of salt will do the trick. Dip a lemon half into a small bowl of salt and begin to scrub the cutting board. Let the combination sit on your cutting board for about 20-25 minutes, then take a wet rag and wipe off. Polish off your cutting board with some mineral oil.
How it works: The salt is tough enough to tackle excess food, and the lemon’s acidic nature will lift any stains. Plus, this amazing combo leaves your cutting board smelling delectably fresh.

A Glass Vase, Bowl or Bottle Cleaner:
Ingredients: White Vinegar and Rice
What to do: Pour 1/2 cup of white vinegar into your glass container with two tablespoons of uncooked rice. Place your hand on top of the opening, then swish the mixture back and forth.
How it works: Rice acts as a rough brush to remove any leftover, stuck residue and vinegar washes away any remaining filth.

Scratched Wood:
Ingredients: A Walnut
What to do: Take a walnut and rub it over any scratched or scuffed areas on wood. Then take a paper towel and wipe off any leftover pieces of walnut.
How it works: The walnut will fill in the areas that were scratched and the process is truly fascinating.

Sticky Mess:
Ingredients: Olive Oil and Baking Soda
What to do: In a small mixing bowl, combine two tablespoons of olive oil with three tablespoons of baking soda. Mix together until the ingredients combine like a paste. Take a small dish cloth and rub away gooey or sticky spots on your glass jars.
How it works: The olive oil and baking soda work together help to lift any sticky residue and stains left behind by stickers.

Have you discovered that some of your pantry’s products serve a double-function? We would love to hear your food cleaning tricks in the comment section below!

Expert Organization Tips

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Organization is the foundation to a happy home. A chaotic organization system can lead to more messes and more time spent trying to clean them. To transform your home from unorganized to fully-systematized, stay tuned for our four expert organization tips.

Expert Organization Tips:

Tip No. One: Understand The Area.
It can be difficult to organize a room that does not hold a specific purpose. Take time to understand and determine what purpose each room holds in your house. If you have spaces that are unused, give them a specific purpose. For example if you have an extra bedroom that holds an old sewing machines and some random boxes, transform this space into a home office. You will find it easier to navigate and organize your belongings when all of the spaces in your home are defined and definite.

Tip No. Two: Go through EVERYTHING.
You cannot organize your home if you do not go through all of your belongings. This process may take a really long time; therefore, break it up into different rooms and do not move onto a new room until you have completed the current room. Go through closets, boxes, drawers, etc. You will want to sort everything out into four main piles: keep, donate, trash and put away for later. These piles will determine what stays in the room and what does not.

Tip No. Three: Invest in Organizers.
A struggle many homeowners will face is not owning enough organizing containers. You will want to purchase more containers to help you store items. You can buy bins for under your bed, baskets to sit on shelves, closet organizers, etc. There are an array of organization systems awaiting you online or at your local store.

Tip No. Four: Stay Motivated.
Organizing can be boring, let us be honest. To make organizing more fun, give yourself rewards. Once you complete a room, reward yourself with something that is special to you. This can help you stay on task and focused.

These tips are perfect for any room in your home. All it takes is a start date to transform your cluttered home into an organized masterpiece.

Adding Value to Your Home

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From selling to staying, the value of your home is important to you. We have six simple ways to increase value in your home this summer.

Six Ways to Add Value to Your Home:

Upgraded: It is important to take into consideration all the small features that may need updated and replaced like faucets, door knobs and light switch coverings. These small upgrades can actually add more value to your home in the eyes of a buyer.

One Step at a Time: When remodeling your home, it is important to take it one room at a time. Create a list of the things you would like to accomplish in each room and then start working on it one at a time. This way you can save your time, energy and even money. If you start with your most important projects, you can cover unexpected circumstances/costs without having to worry about finding extra money in the budget.

Establish Curb Appeal: The exterior of your home is extremely important when considering a home’s value. Before you put your house on the market, make sure to do all necessary yard work, clean up the leaves, trim the bushes, touch up exterior paint, etc. You want to make sure that the first thing potential buyers see makes a good impression.

Quality Kitchen: Kitchens are one of the biggest factors considered in home value; therefore, they should be your top priority during a remodel. If you do not have a lot of money to spend, update what you can and do a “mini remodel.” Any updates can help increase a home’s value even if they are small.

Buyers Love Bathrooms: Bathrooms are another selling feature of homes. Make sure your bathroom is in tip-top shape before you put it on the market. Again, we recommend updating as much as you can afford in the bathroom because it is important in increasing your home’s value. If you have extra money in the budget, try adding heated floors!

Inspection: Inspectors can give homeowners a good idea of what needs fixed in their home. If you are planning on selling, schedule an inspection before you put your house on the market. This way you are not blind-sided with house issues that you did not even know existed. Even if you are not selling, scheduling a home inspection can be a good idea to catch issues before they get expensive. If you get something fixed now, you may save money before it got worse.

Finish your remodel off with the best way to add value to your home: new flooring. We have a wide selection of flooring ranging from carpet to hardwood. Stop in and visit our showroom at 915 Rand Road
Mt. Prospect, IL 60056 for more information, pricing and design inspiration. We look forward to working with you!

6 Hacks to a Cleaner Home

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Have you ever been to a friend’s house and it seems like they have it all together? Their house is always perfectly organized, clean, and surprisingly spotless. You want in on their secret! They have kids, a hectic schedule, and work full-time, so how do they possibly do it? There is no need to wonder, because we have six hacks to help you keep your home clean and organized.

6 Life Hacks to a Cleaner Home:

Hack #1: Make Your Bed.
Make your mama proud and always make your bed! This is a great life hack to help homeowners start their day off right. Plus, you will be so excited to come home to a made bed each night.

Hack #2: Eat then Clean.
This is one of the most difficult tasks on our list, because we all get tired. We say that the dishes can wait until tomorrow, but you never know when you will have an unexpected guest. Always clean up after dinner and you will thank yourself tomorrow. Try to wipe down your kitchen surfaces and load the dishwasher every night after dinner.

Hack #3: Learn to Love Laundry.
You are probably already rolling your eyes at this one, but laundry can be made easy. All you have to do is wash one load of laundry every night. The worst part about laundry is spending endless hours on your off-days washing, drying and putting away all of your clothes. You can eliminate the piles of clothes left around your house by simple learning to “love” laundry. You will appreciate how much time you will save yourself. After you put the kids to bed, throw in a load of laundry. Added bonus: you can watch your favorite show while the washing machine does its work.

Hack #4: Beautify your Bathroom.
Anytime you or your family uses an item in the bathroom, put it away. Have everyone wipe off the counters each night to remove toothpaste and other stains.

Hack #5: Straighten up.
If you see items laying around, pick them up and stash them away in their proper place. It is that easy! The more that you clean up after yourselves, the less you will have to clean in the future.

Hack #6: Once a week.
We all have a lengthy to-do list that never seems to get done, because our time is consumed by minimal tasks we did not do throughout the week. Now that you have focused your energy throughout the week on these smaller tasks, use your off days to check off one item from your to-do list. Whether you are organizing your master closet or cleaning out the garage, accomplishing one giant task a week will make you proud of your home.

We hope you enjoyed these 6 hacks to a cleaner home!

Plants that are Easy to Keep Alive

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Plants are a wonderful addition to the interior of your home.  Most decor styles benefit from these little pieces of the outdoors, and they help to clean the air inside your home. If you don’t feel that you have a green thumb, there are some plants that are a good fit.  These plants are each easy to keep alive as long as you water them occasionally!

Indoor plants can be easy to keep alive. If you don’t plan on planting a garden this spring, consider some potted plants that you can keep indoors.

Basil is an easy plant to grow indoors. It also tastes fresh and delicious. This plant is perfect to grow on a window sill. It needs sun, so this is a good location. The aroma it gives off is amazing and it is wonderful to have in the kitchen. Just pick a few leaves and add it to a meal! A small flower pot can be used to grow basil, so it can fit on a window sill or counter top.

Aloe is an good plant to have around the home. It is perfect for providing a soothing, natural remedy for sun burns during the summer. It can go days and even weeks without water. This plant does require sun. Place it in a sunny spot and enjoy it for years! You can even cut off a piece of aloe and regrow it. Feel free to make a gift out of your aloe, by re-growing it over and over again and giving it out to loved ones. 

Mint is another easy plant to grow indoors. It smells great and adds a noticeable fresh scent wherever it lives. These plants like a cool environment which makes it easy to grow indoors. Place your mint plant where indirect light is available. Water when the soil feels dry to the touch. Mint also enjoys humidity, so misting the plant occasionally will keep it happy and thriving. Turn the plant every three to four days to ensure it grows evenly. Use this plant to garnish dishes or add it to refreshing drinks!

The plants above listed are easy to grow indoors and useful to keep around. They can be grown and enjoyed year!

Using Partitions

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In the past twenty years contractors have gotten better at building homes with open floor plans. This is much better than having smaller rooms clustered together (as older homes seem to have). Sometimes a good amount of that space becomes unutilized. There is a simple solution to help with this problem. Have no fear partitions are here! There are so many types of partitions to choose from.  

Fabric partitions are great for breaking up a large room. This solution looks best on a flat ceiling. Panels are suspended from hardware (much resembling curtain rods). The hardware is installed on the ceiling. The fabric panels can either be fastened to the floor or simply hang. The hanging fabric panels usually will have a rod sewn into the seam at the bottom. This gives the panel weight and allows it to hang straight.

If you like keeping your doors and windows open when the weather is nice, opt for the panels that attach to the floor. These panels come in all types of fabrics. The selection is endless. This type of partition is great for architecturally breaking up a room or space. The length and width can be various sizes, so you can really customize your look.

Furniture partitions are great for providing a little nook of privacy. This type of partition is generally referred to as a “Screen”. Typically they do not expand more than a couple of feet. Screens can transform a corner of a large room into a smaller reading area in minutes. Complete the look with an arm chair, accent table and a lamp.

Get a little creative and pair house plants with dividers. Partitions do not have to stand alone. They can work well with other supporting pieces. Don’t be afraid to do a little mixing and matching. 

7 Creative Winter Wedding Engagement Photo Ideas

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Winter weddings often require slightly more planning than weddings that take place in warmer weather. For example, you have to plan for the theme far in advance to ensure all aspects of the wedding reflect the winter theme. Engagement photos often have the longest lead time so you might want to start with those at the top of your to-do list. Try one of the seven ideas that will wow everyone on your mailing list, and create a wonderful memory in the process!

  1. Stake skis and poles into the snow in a nice arrangement. Sit in the snow between them.
  2. Wear a fairy princess dress with a fur stole and an elaborate crown. Dress your groom in an elegant suit. Take the photos in a rustic, snowy location so that your glamour stands out against the simplicity of the rustic background.
  3. Dress in warm comfy clothes in colors that match. Have an actual snowball fight while the photographer snaps photos of it. When the snowball fight is over lie down in the snow and make snow angels together.
  4. Decorate an outdoor Christmas tree. Find a location with a pretty pine tree and winter surroundings. Try traditional decorations such as popcorn garland. Bring along some wrapped presents to place at the base of the tree. Use wrapping paper that coordinates with the colors of your wedding. It might be a good idea to wear clothes in those colors as well. Include a ladder with the props because it will add interesting options for posing.
  5. Wear a cable knit sweater with a plaid flannel scarf and jeans. Have the groom wear a flannel shirt and jeans. Find a natural colored background in a place in the woods. Take along mistletoe and have your groom hold it over your heads while you hold hands and kiss.
  6. If you winter wedding will be in the mountains try engagement photos captured on a ski lift. Dress in formal wear so it’s clear that it’s an unusual photo of a bride and groom. Ride the lift several times and while the photographer captures the moment, keep the photos interesting by talking, looking out at scenery, kidding, laughing, and so on.
  7. In a snowy mountainous area build a fire. Take along comfy camping chairs and the ingredients for s’mores. Wear fashionable winter gear that includes your wedding colors. Enjoy the fire and each other’s company while the photographer capture photos of you spending time and making s’mores.

Tips for Clearing Clutter

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Getting rid of clutter goes hand in hand with deep cleaning. Find out how to get rid of clutter the easy way. The best way to cut ties with things you have been holding on to is to ask yourself a few of questions about the item in question.

Do I have the space available to keep storing this item? If the answer is no, then toss or donate the item. Space is so valuable and you always seem to need more of it. If you could store other things, which you use on a regular basis, clear out this space and put it to good use.

Do I have another item that serves the same or similar purpose? If yes then you need to consider which item is more practical. Also consider which item is easier to store and takes up the least amount of space.

Am I holding on to this broken item with intentions to fix it? If yes then you need to consider if it is worth saving. Ask yourself: “Can I fix this in the next two weeks?”  “Do I currently have the resources to fix it?” if your answer is no to either question then you should let the item go.

Have I used this in the last year? If you have been able to go about your day to day life without using this particular thing for a year, then chances are you do not need it. You may want to consider tossing it even if you have only used the item once or twice during the past year. Unless the thing you have been holding on to is Christmas decorations, it should be under serious review.

Have I been keeping this for sentimental reasons? We can become attached to things easily. Just by looking at an item can create a sense of nostalgia and we are leery of losing those feelings forever. Keep smaller sentimental things that can be put into a scrap book or a small box.

Keep this list of questions so you can de-clutter throughout the year. This list will help you keep the important items and cut ties with the rest!

6 Ways To Make Your Front Porch Welcoming In the Fall

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Fall seems to be the coziest season of the year! Capitalize on its inherently comforting qualities by decorating your front porch with traditional fall decorations. People will feel instantly at home before they even walk through the front door!

  1. Create a display that includes the numerical part of your address. At the craft store, buy large metal or wooden numbers. So, let’s say your address is 5564. Buy two fives, a six, and a four. Attach each one to a white pumpkin. Fill a large whisky barrel with the leaves and foliage you collect after cleaning up the yard. Stack the pumpkins on top of each other on the foliage in the barrel to display your numerical address. If you buy wooden numbers try painting them first with fall colors that coordinate with the color of the exterior paint on your house.
  2. Set a distressed, weathered, wooden chair and table on the porch. On the table place a pot of mums. On the chair set an arrangement of pumpkins and pinecones. On the porch floor, at the foot of the table and the chair, set another large pot of mums and an oversized pumpkin.
  3. Set a large, tin watering can on the porch and use it as a ‘vase.’ Fill it with tall sprigs of fall foliage. Next to it place a large, medium, and small pumpkin. At night, include an outdoor candle to illuminate things. Try citronella if you live in an area prone to mosquitoes.
  4. Frame your front door with a large, trailing, fall foliage garland. Hang a fall wreath on the door. If you like Halloween, the wreath is a great way to incorporate the theme. Place one tall tin planter on each side of the door. Weight it with rocks at the bottom and place tall corn stalks inside.
  5. Decorate mini pumpkins with fall themed ribbons tied around the stem. Use them to fill up a flower planter that attaches to the wall of the porch. Display the pumpkins rather than flowers in the planter.
  6. Replace the summer patio furniture. Put away the wrought iron and glass table, as well as the metal chairs with warm weather cushions. In their place use wicker/rattan set of table and chairs. Drape a couple of the chairs with throws that can withstand being exposed to the elements.