Test Your Air Quality

You may not be able to see it, but air pollutants are all around you. From dangerous mold to fumes from cleaning products, do you know what you’re breathing in at your home?

Because it’s often invisible, you may not have considered testing for it. However, if you have allergies or asthma, or experience frequent headaches or nose irritation in your home, it’s time to discover the source of the problem to find a solution. See a few reasons why you should get a home air quality test.

Once you’ve determined the quality of your air, you may want to improve it by cleaning your ducts and vents. Contact an HVAC contractor today for up to four quotes in your area for free.

Reasons To Test Your Air

Home air quality has as much to do with the comfort of your home as well as your health. Certain airborne pollutants can have long-term health effects. Here are the most common pollutants that homeowners should know before conducting a home air quality test:

  • Carbon Monoxide
  • VOCs
  • Allergens
  • Mold
  • Dust & Dander
  • Radon
  • Formaldehyde

1. Carbon Monoxide

One of the first reasons to test air quality in your home is to protect it from potential dangers. Odorless gasses can harm both your home and your family. At the top of the list is carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a dangerous odorless gas that occurs when fuel does not burn fully. While symptoms at first can be excessive tiredness, headache or dizziness, prolonged exposure can lead to death. An air quality test can help you identify if there are above average levels of carbon monoxide in your home. It’s also a good idea to install carbon monoxide detectors, to identify levels at all times.

2. VOCs

After a remodel or a simple paint project, a test for Volatile Organic Compounds is necessary. VOCs are emitted from paint products, aerosol cans and building materials. They are found mostly indoors and are a key contributor to household air pollution. If you have frequent eye, nose or throat irritation in your home, testing your air for your VOC level can be key in finding a solution.

3. Radon

A gas you can’t see, smell or taste may be found in your home, and is the leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S., according to the EPA. Radon can be found indoors and outdoors, but most often, people are exposed in their homes. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, moving up into the atmosphere through the ground. Buildings then trap that gas inside, which is why it’s a particular danger for homeowners.

Whenever you’re buying a home, you should always test for radon with the help of a professional. If radon is found above average levels, they can help you find the solution to make it safe.

4. Protect From Allergies & Asthma

If you or members of your family suffer from allergies or asthma, an air quality test can show what you can do to improve the symptoms of each. According to the EPA, indoor air allergens and irritants play a huge role in the severity of an asthma attack. An air quality test can identify if there’s dust, pollen or pet dander in the air.

Dust, dander and mold are a common trigger for those with allergies. Even if you don’t own an animal, it’s still wise to test and see what might have been present in the house prior or, if you have a critter bringing it in.

5. Discover Other Harmful Materials

Airborne mold and formaldehyde are pollutants that can be found in the air, even though you can’t see them. Excessive exposure to these materials can lead to serious health effects such as lung disease, cancer or other long-term illness. If you’re buying a home, it’s a good idea to test for these materials so you can take the proper steps to remove it before prolonged exposure.

How To Test Air Quality In The Home

When it comes to testing your air quality, there are many things you can test for. While some homeowners opt for DIY testing kits, it’s best to contact a pro. They will be able to conduct the inspection thoroughly, identifying any and all potential air quality pollutants. The average cost to test home air quality is $405, with most homeowners spending between $328 and $442.

If you’re going to perform a DIY home air quality test, it’s best to do it for one specific reason at a time. Mold, dust and pollen are the most commonly tested among those who choose to DIY. Keep in mind, these DIY tests can run as high as $250 for a thorough result. You can find these tests online or at your local home improvement store.

Improve Your Air Quality

Once you’ve discovered the pollutants in your home, you must remove them. Here are a few tips on how you can improve your home air quality:

  • Have monotonous air duct cleanings
  • Invest in an air purifier
  • Have your HVAC regularly inspected
  • Open windows when possible
  • Clean and dust floors often

However, if you have your air quality tested and find the pollution is coming from a specific source, such as mold, get it removed as soon as possible. This will immediately start improving your indoor air quality, resulting in better health for your family.

All About Laundry Room

Close your eyes and imagine your perfect laundry room. Everything is clean and in a proper place. There are no stray socks and everything is folded neatly, with the iron easily accessible. Now, think about the current state of your laundry room. It’s likely the exact opposite of what your perfect laundry room looks like.

Fear not! There are ways to make your laundry room beautiful and functional. Say goodbye to cluttered work surfaces and hello to a new way to get housework done. See a few common laundry room organization problems and a few ways you can resolve them below.

Organization starts with a clean space. Contact a cleaning pro today for up to four quotes from contractors in your area for free.

Problem #1: Disorganized Laundry Supplies

Whether you’re loading your washer with dirty clothes or you need to quickly get a fresh stain out, your laundry supplies should be easily accessible. This starts with organization. Throw out any empty bottles and containers that may be taking up space. Then, survey what you have. Any items you don’t use frequently you can place on a cabinet or shelf. Go an extra step and label where each item goes, so everyone in the family knows where things go.

My favorite method for laundry cleaning supply organization is a small cart. This way, you can keep your supplies on hand whenever you need them. From the perfect solution to scrub a stain to a dryer sheet for the final load, your supplies are handy when and where you need them!

Problem #2: Not Enough Storage

For many with small laundry rooms, storage can be an issue. While a small cart can help with supplies, there are other items that are not used as often that need to be put away so you have a clean option. An instant storage area is shelving or cabinets over the washer and dryer. The average cost to install cabinets is $4,305, but this will largely depend on the size of cabinets you’ll be installing. If you’re on a budget, open shelving might be an easy way to keep items stored and in reach when you need them.

Problem #3: Stray Socks & More

We’ve all been there. Mysteriously, a sock went missing during the washing process. This can happen with any item that comes in a pair such as washcloths, gloves and bed linens. It’s a good idea to have a place for the stray item, so when its partner is found, they can be paired together! You can even turn your missing item into temporary wall art. See this tutorial from Katie Brown Home Workshop on how you can make a laundry board.

Problem #4: There’s Always Loose Change In Pockets

If you have kids, or even some adults, in your home who haven’t yet learned how to check their pockets before throwing them in the hamper, it’s likely you’ll find change before throwing them into the wash. This can be damaging to your washer and dryer. Be sure to empty all pockets before washing. Keep a change collector nearby, such as a decorative jar or cute wall hanging. If you’d like to make your own, see this tutorial from Lil Luna.

Problem #5: Lint, Dryer Sheets & Small Trash Around The Room

While you may not realize it, the laundry room needs to be cleaned too. When cleaning the lint trap, I prefer to keep that waste separate from my trash, as you can reuse lint to make kindling for a fire starter when camping or simply having a backyard fire. I find a cute container or small closed trash can and label it “lint” so everyone knows that’s the only thing that goes in there.

A cute trash can help spruce up the room. I love the look of galvanized steel trash cans in laundry rooms. A lid is helpful too if you have any pets or small children that love to get into things.

Problem #6: Ironing Board Won’t Fit

A laundry room isn’t complete without an ironing board. However, this is the first item that’s tossed aside by many if they don’t have enough space. Thankfully, you have plenty of options. Add a hook to the back of the door and it becomes instant ironing board storage. Some home improvement stores also sell over-the-door iron and ironing board caddies for less than $30.

If you have a room without a door or, your ironing board simply will not fit, you can always opt to make your own portable ironing board that can fit across a standard washer or dryer. See the tutorial from Dream A Little Bigger to make one for yourself!

Problem #7: Sweaters Have No Place To Air Dry

Similarly, to an ironing board, drying racks might also be less of a necessity if your space is small. But there are plenty of creative ways to air dry your clothes that would otherwise shrink in the dryer. Wall-mount drying racks are available and easy to install if you have space. You can find them at your local home goods store.

Another creative way to air dry clothes without taking up space is to install a railing on your high wall or ceiling and use hangers to dry blazers, jackets and more. While not ideal for sweaters or other delicate materials, it will help you save space on bulky items as they dry.

Tips To Adorn Your Floor

While you may not think of it, your flooring is one of the largest decorative elements in your home. It stretches from room to room, highlighting your space and providing comfort.

Furniture and other functional items often adorn you flooring. But what if you could add decoration to make your floors stand out? The good news is that you can add room décor to enhance the style of your floors. Take a look at a few floor decorating ideas.

Before you add to your floor’s décor, make sure it’s in good condition. Contact a flooring pro today for any repairs that need to be made. You’ll get up to four quotes from contractors in your area for free.

Floor Repairs

Your flooring should stand out. That’s hard to do if you have a cracked or creaky floor. Regardless of material, your flooring can become damaged over time. Though, every material may be an easier or more difficult repair. Replacing tile can be more difficult than replacing linoleum. Most hardwood floors need to be completely refinished. All of these will have different costs associated, however the average cost to repair a floor is $741.

Floor Decorating Ideas

Your floor décor must fit into the interior design of your room and space. It must work with all the elements to keep a seamless look throughout the room. Here are a few ways you can dress up your flooring:

  • Decorative Area Rugs
  • Decorative Floor Lamps
  • Decorative Floor Fans
  • Decorative Floor Easel
  • Decorative Floor Plants
  • Decorative Floor Seating

1. Decorative Area Rugs

Area rugs can be just the thing you need to dress up your floors, not to mention warm up your feet! They are a common choice in basements, living rooms and bedrooms, but are becoming more popular in entryways. Area rugs come in all shapes and sizes, so you could easily end up with the wrong style for your room. Here are a few tips to choose the perfect area rug:

  • A big rug can be treated like art. Use your flooring as a “frame” for your large area rug.
  • Use painter’s tape on the floor to trace out the size and style of the area rug you are looking for before buying.
  • Don’t use a pattern that clashes with your current décor.
  • 2. Decorative Floor Lamps

For dual purpose, floor lamps are both decorative and illuminating. It will certainly highlight a favorite feature of the floor that you want to show off. Floor lamps work great in room corners to add some reflective light off the walls. Tower lamps are a hot choice right now for those looking to add a unique decorative element and fit into a budget. Because the mid-century modern look is making a comeback, tripod lamps are becoming more popular as well.

When decorating with floor lamps, be sure not to place cords in walkways or high traffic areas. These can become a safety hazard causing someone to trip and fall.

3. Decorative Floor Fans

Another item that has function and style is a floor fan. While you may be used to seeing cheap plastic ones, there are many floor fanstyles that can help keep you and your space cool. If you’re going to for the vintage look, a copper or bronze decorative floor fan can improve your look. Look for fans with intricate details and metal work sitting approximately 24” to really draw the eye to the floor décor.

4. Decorative Floor Easel

Outside of the craft room, easels can be used for far more than painting. Decorative easels can be used to hang artwork in a way that accents the floor instead of the wall. It’s a unique piece of décor that will surely improve your space.

5. Decorative Floor Plants

Plants for your home not only help decorate the floorspace, but they have incredible health benefits. They help to clean the air by removing carbon dioxide and dust particles. Here are some ideas for house plants:

  • Majesty Palm
  • Ficus
  • Lucky Bamboo
  • Snake Plant
  • Split Leaf Philodendron
  • Yucca

6. Decorative Floor Seating

While your couch may take centerstage, there are some versatile options for those of us who choose to create cozy floor seating. Floor poufs are a hot home décor item right now. They can be found in a range of patterns and colors that are sure to fit your style. These poufs have more structure than a beanbag, acting more of a comfortable stool.

Another option for floor seating is large pillows. Often, you can find these around a small table where people can gather in the living room.

Better Sleep with Better Bedroom Design

You’ve probably heard the statistic that we spend about a third of our life asleep. This may seem like a waste: how could we squander away all that precious time? It’s not a waste though. We live busy lives: long hours at the office, a family waiting at home, combined with the other burdens of daily living: bills, cooking dinner, grocery shopping. So sleep is essential. However, recently, people have been breaking this age-old cycle by only getting a few hours of sleep a night, and this sleep deprivation hurts you physically, emotionally, and mentally. Many people skimp on sleep due to some form of insomnia, and though this may seem like a medical condition, it is often environmental as well. Which means your bedroom design may have something to do with your lack of zzz’s.

Make the Old New

Sometimes your bedroom decorating simply needs a change of atmosphere to make it more comfortable. If the room looks a bit unfamiliar it may help to create a getaway sensation: a vacation in your own home. And the easiest way to achieve this feeling is with a quick paint job. Often cool colors are a great way to produce a relaxing feel to the room, such as soft pinks or light blues and greens. You don’t even have to re-paint the entire room to make it look different. Create an accent wall by painting one wall a different shade from the other three. Or simply paint the trim around the doors or the molding around the ceiling an alternate color. Little changes can make a big difference.

Make the New Old

Maybe you have a bedroom design that is immaculate, modern, and beautiful. But is it comfortable? It’s important that a room still feel like home, and an easy way to achieve this is by adding some creature comforts. Some personal bedroom decorations add individual character to a space and make it more relaxing. Add some comfy pillows to the bed not only to create an interesting texture but also to add a relaxing impression to your subconscious as you go to sleep. Put up a few shelves for personal artifacts and knick-knacks. Throw some artwork or photographs on the walls. Install a mirror for between $280 and $400. Add anything to make the room feel more complete and personal, and therefore more peaceful as well.

For Bedroom Design, It’s the Bed, Stupid

When it comes to politics, it’s the economy. When it comes to the bedroom and getting a good night’s sleep, it’s the bed. You need to take your time and do your research for various options. Don’t buy into every new fad that you see, but don’t be afraid to make a change, either. Take, for example, the box springs. Many people still use box springs for their beds, even though today’s high-quality mattresses don’t really need them, anymore. Instead, you can install a platform bed and storage bed frame that can almost single-handedly modernize your bedroom, increase your storage capacity or allow you to get rid of that bulky dresser, and get a better night’s sleep. Not bad for a piece of furniture.

Bedroom Feng Shui

When you hear this term, you probably think of some intimidating new-age hocus pocus that shouldn’t be taken seriously. But really, at its essence, the philosophy behind bedroom feng shui is to rearrange and declutter a space so you can get the R-n-R you deserve. The belief is that the look of a living space reflects the life of the inhabitant. Although this form of bedroom design is a science (often involving chi and energy levels) that can take years to understand, here are some quick basics that serve as good general ideas for bedroom decorating and design:

Bedroom Design Ideas

  • Remove Technology: Get the television, the computer, and the treadmill out of the room. Not only is this inappropriate bedroom decorating (what is the room: a place to sleep or an office?), but it can also distract you. It can remind you of work, daily chores, or other to-do lists when this area should be associated with sleep.
  • Remove Clutter: If you have a messy room, you probably have a messy life. And how can you relax in bed if everything is out of order. Instead, organize the room as best you can and remove all disorder and confusion from the space.
  • Soft Light: How are you supposed to fall asleep under an interrogation lamp? Not only are soft colors relaxing, but by adding a soft lamplight or candlelight, your room’s light source will feel less harsh and more like a sunset.
  • Close Openings: In order to shut out all distractions, it may be a good idea to close your bathroom and closet doors at night. Also, shut your windows and center your bed against the wall. All these components may be more psychological than physical, but the more mentally focused and centered you feel, the better rest you’ll get at night.

Perfect Guest Room

Though homeowners spend quite a bit of time on living rooms, kitchens, and bathroom remodels, guest rooms are one of the most often neglected spaces in the house. If you’re planning on having overnight guests within the next year, consider remodeling your guest room to make it more appealing and welcoming.

Step 1: Revitalizing Spare Room Walls and Flooring

First, examine the condition of the walls and flooring. Is the paint looking dull? Is the wallpaper outdated? Painting is the easiest and most inexpensive remodeling step, yet it can instantly create a fresh atmosphere that friends or family staying in your guest room will appreciate. Keep in mind that neutral or warm tones are generally the most inviting. If you want to put up new wallpaper, choose a nice soft pattern with a border to keep it simple.

What is the condition of the flooring? Is the carpet stained or worn? If so, replacing it with new carpeting will change the look of the entire room. If the carpet is in decent shape but a little matted down, you should consider hiring a professional carpet cleaner. If you have hardwood flooring, simply adding a new area rug will give your guest room a warmer touch and will make the area softer underfoot and more comfortable for visitors.

Step 2: Coordinate a Color Scheme

After deciding on colors for the room, try to coordinate comforters, sheets, window treatment, throw pillows, and chairs to match. A unified color scheme looks elegant and will make guests feel special.

Step 3: Increase Guest Room Storage Space

No one likes living out of a suitcase. No matter your guest’s length of stay, it is considerate to create storage space for their clothing and personal items while they are visiting. Clear out a drawer or two or make some space in the closet where they can hang clothes. Be sure to tuck some extra toiletries and fresh towels in one of the drawers as well!

Step 4: Remember Bathroom Access

How is the bathroom access from your guest room? Do guests have to walk down a long hall to get to the bathroom? If there isn’t a convenient bathroom near the guest room and space allows, maybe a small bathroom could be added and sectioned off within the room. This would require a larger budget but if it’s possible, your guests will be grateful.

Even a half bathroom could be added for extra convenience. This is an especially good idea if your family has frequent houseguests. A private bath in the spare room is a convenience that your company will appreciate, and will also cut down on crowding in the existing bathrooms when visitors come to town.

Step 5: Finishing Touches to Complete Your Guest Room

Sometimes the details can make all the difference in the world. Any of the following additions to your guest room will be much appreciated by all visiting guests: alarm clock, TV, radio, phone, reading lamp, fresh flowers or plants, and recent magazines or books.

Think about all of the things that make you feel comfortable when staying in someone else’s home and aim to include any luxuries you can afford in your guest room renovation. Even a few quick and simple touches can make all the difference, and your guests will surely thank you.

Master Suite Room

Though they might seem like the same thing at first, the terms “bedroom addition” and “master suite addition” are actually very different. While conventional bedroom additions are typically focused on practicality, master suite additions are also concerned with comfort and convenience. While bedroom additions tend to be built purely to create needed living space, master suite additions are created to provide those who use it with a private sanctuary inside the home. If you’re thinking of adding a bedroom anyway, it is well worth considering the small (but important) upgrades that will make your new addition a true master suite.

The Practicality of Master Suite Additions

The idea of a master suite addition is not appealing to everyone at first; adding a bedroom is expensive enough, without the extras that make master suites more costly. However, when you consider the practicality of many master suite designs, it becomes easier to see why these projects are becoming so popular.

Master suite addition designs typically include a walk-in closet, a private bathroom (often of a “his and hers” layout), and room for a couch or loveseat. In a way, master suite layouts are very comparable to creating a small apartment attached to the house. This not only makes getting ready in the morning easier and coming home at night more enjoyable, it also increases the value of your property and makes your home more appealing to future prospective buyers. Since you are adding a space that can act as a living room, bathroom, and bedroom, the extra cost of a master suite may actually be considered a bargain!

Master Suite Addition Ideas

One of the nice things about master suite additions is that they can perform whatever functions you like. Adding a breakfast nook to make mornings more comfortable is a popular option, as is adding a small kitchenette to keep snacks, drinks, and some flatware easily accessible. Many homeowners view master suites as an opportunity to create a second-story living room, as the higher perspective often yields a better view. If the couple that shares the room tends to get in each other’s way when getting ready for work or a night out, a changing room might be a good inclusion; for those who work from home, a master suite addition is a great idea for a small home office. Those with a spouse who snores might appreciate a daybed or comfortable couch a little bit away from the main bed to get a better night’s sleep. Just about anything is possible in such a diverse and adaptable area, so imagine what you want or need and go for it!

Keeping the Price of Master Suite Additions Manageable

Of course, the most prohibitive aspect of a master suite addition is the price. Unfortunately, just the term “master suite” conjures images of high-end materials and even higher-end construction costs. If you want all the bells and whistles to go along with your new master suite, you’re going to have to pay for them; however, it is important not to pay too much if you don’t have to! When considering contractors to build your new addition, make sure to meet with and get estimates from at least three; the more contractors you interview, the better your idea of how much your particular project will (and should) cost, and the better your chances of finding a company you feel comfortable with to do the work.

Before you meet with contractors, make a list of the things you absolutely must have along with those that would be nice but you could do without if the cost becomes too high. This will allow you to realistically picture the project you can afford and will give each contractor you interview a chance to wow you with their suggestions, ideas, and, of course, estimate!

Antique Bedroom Furniture

Few furniture choices are more beautiful, classy, and distinct than antique bedroom furniture. Whether you’re looking for a specific style antique dresser, a wardrobe, armoire, bed, or other specific piece, antique bedroom furniture is a great choice for a number of reasons.

Hand Crafted Quality

While the looks of an antique are tough to beat, they are also built of top-notch craftsmanship and materials. Since many antiques were built by hand before technological advances made mass-producing furniture a regular practice, most antiques are of a quality that is hard to find outside of furniture built by custom furniture builders. The cost of custom-built furniture averages around $2,000, but with age it potentially decreases in value. Of course, you’ll want to inspect the furniture carefully before you buy, since some antiques have experienced rough times along the way, but if they’ve survived this long there’s a good chance they’ll hang in there for quite a few years more.

They Don’t Make Them Like That Anymore . . .

Another reason many homeowners choose antique furniture is the pure originality of so many pieces. As society changes, so does our furniture needs, and it’s always fun to have a piece of bedroom furniture that hearkens back to an earlier time. Vanities, for example, are rarely used to put on make-up and prepare for a night on the town anymore, but they are beautiful additions to any bedroom and can double as a convenient desk for sitting down to jot notes or letters. And while commode chests and washstands have been replaced by the bathroom sink in function, they still provide good storage in a bedroom, and carry with them that added attraction of times gone by.

Like the Looks, But Not the Age?

Of course, there are those homeowners who like the classic looks of antique furniture, but aren’t sure if it’s worth the risk to buy a piece of furniture that is a hundred or two years old. If you fall into that category, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Antique bedroom furniture is so popular that there is an entire industry of furniture builders out there who specialize in recreating antique designs with new materials. You can shop warehouses full of antique replicas that have already been built, or talk to a custom furniture builder about recreating a specific piece, if that’s what you have in mind. And because part of the antique mystique is the quality craftsmanship, almost all antique style furniture being built today rivals its predecessors in hand-crafted quality.

If you’re interested in antique bedroom furniture, real or replica, talk to an antique dealer or custom furniture builder about procuring the individual piece or bedroom set you’ve been looking for.

All About Hooked on Bedroom Remodels

Peter Pan and his adventures battling Captain Hook are equal to our wildest, most enjoyable dreams. Is it any wonder, then, that all of Peter Pan’s escapades started in a bedroom? If you’re looking for a way to turn your boring bedroom into a place where dreams come true, then maybe it’s time that you give your bedroom a facelift, or more, with a bedroom remodel.

Finding Your Happy Thought

You might think that a professional designer has all the answers when it comes to creating the perfect bedroom design for you and your home, but much as Robin William’s middle-aged Pan couldn’t fly until he discovered his happy thought in the 1991 Peter Pan movie “Hook,” interior designer Corinne Matthews, owner of Dream Room Designs in Atlanta, GA, says that each homeowner has to figure out for themselves what it’s going to take to turn the bedroom they have now into the bedroom of their dreams. “Ask yourself, how do you want to use the bedroom? How do you want it to feel?” she suggests. “If I come in and just tell you (what to do),” says Matthews, “then it’s my bedroom, not what you’re looking for.” Instead, she encourages homeowners to do their homework, and think carefully about what they’re trying to achieve. If aiming for the brightest star in the sky and then veering a little to the left isn’t helping you get on course, here are a few more of Matthews’ proven suggestions to help you find your bearings.

  • Magazines—It’s unlikely that Peter Pan or any of the Lost Boys ever read a book cover-to-cover, but we doubt they would have objected to picking up a comic book now and again. For homeowners looking to create a perfect Neverland of their own, Matthews says that looking through design and home magazines is “a great place to start and get ideas.”
  • Websites—Websites can be equally helpful. “There are sites now that have galleries of finished bedrooms for you to look at,” Matthews points out. That allows you to see for yourself how different design ideas might translate into a finished product.
  • Think Tinkerbell—In other words, take note of even the smallest details. “Even if you see a single bed or chair that you like, it can help generate ideas to go on,” says Matthews.
  • Keep Your Radar Up—Peter Pan never let his guard down, and you shouldn’t, either. Matthews recommends that homeowners keep their eyes open when they go on vacation, visit hotels, and visit the homes of friends and family, as all of these can end up being sources of inspiration for your upcoming remodel.
  • Note What You Don’t Like—Peter Pan knows what he doesn’t like, including pirates, bedtimes, and gravity. Understanding what turns you off can be a valuable tool in bedroom design as well. “What you don’t like is just as helpful as what you do like,” says Matthews, “especially in working with a designer.”

Still Looking For Some Pixie Dust?

Despite following all of Peter Pan’s advice, and no matter how hard Lady Wendy tried, she still couldn’t fly on her own. It ended up taking a little sprinkle of Tinkerbell’s pixie dust to finally get her up and off the ground. If you’re still having a hard time getting started, here’s some pixie dust of the bedroom design variety to help you fill your sails and get your head up into the clouds, where it belongs:

  • Think Cozy—”Most homeowners are interested in creating a fairly warm space,” says Matthews, who recommends that homeowners “focus on things that make it feel intimate, romantic, and warm and cozy.” That means choosing soft, warm colors, carpet instead of tile, flowing window treatments, and comfortable bedding.
  • Don’t Overdo It—You’ll never hear those 3 words uttered in Neverland, but in bedroom design land, they’re words to live by. Designbiz.com stresses the importance of not overcrowding, noting that “the bedroom is your personal space, and should be open and not claustrophobic.” That means getting rid of the computer desk, the dressing table you never use, and replacing unnecessary furniture with less obtrusive storage solutions, like getting rid of your bedside table and installing out-of-the-way shelving instead.
  • Dream Big—If you like dreaming about your future bedroom as much as you like dreaming, period, then designing your new bedroom is a good time to let your imagination run free. After all, nobody ever accused Peter Pan of thinking rationally and keeping his feet firmly anchored on the ground. “A lot of people are looking for a master bedroom suite,” says Matthews, “including things like a built in spa, and an adjoining master bathroom.” Bedroom remodels are one place where luxury is often the rule, rather than the exception.

Trundle Bed Models

Originally, trundle beds were small—the top bed was a twin, the bottom was slightly smaller. For this reason, they tended to take the place of a twin set in a small room for a pair of brothers or sisters. These trundle beds, like a Murphy bed or bunk beds, offered more of the room for dressers, desks and play room. Today, though, trundle beds come in many sizes. And while they once never had box springs—thereby relegating them to day beds?they can come with them today. There are king and queen-sized trundle beds, and trundle beds shaped to work as a deep couch, and others that roll three beds out of two. And if the history of the servant use bothers you, or perhaps you would like to use it for guests but think it odd to have one person sleeping closer to the ground, there are models that pop up. The lower bed is on springs and elevates when you pull it out, making it the same height as the bed it just came out of.

Know How Much Treasure is in Your Pirate Chest

On a final note, Peter Pan would much rather crow like a rooster than act in a sensible manner. Unfortunately, homeowners often adopt the same mindset when it comes to splurging on bedroom remodels. Despite the fact that the bedroom is a great place to cut loose when it comes to pampering yourself, Matthews is quick to encourage people to stay within their means as they transform their dreams into reality. “High end isn’t as popular as it used to be,” observes Matthews. “There are a lot of people, particularly now, that are making changes on a more modest budget.” That’s an insight worth paying attention to, especially if you’ve been counting pennies instead of sheep. Just keep reminding yourself that the goal is getting more sleep, not losing it, and you’ll be well on your way to making all of your bedroom remodeling dreams come true!

Should You Know About Energy Saving Tips For Summer

Summer can bring the fun outside, but the energy bills up inside. After a long day of gardening, games and other outdoor activities, it’s important to have a place to cool off. If you live in an area that sees extreme heat, having a home at a comfortable temperature is essential.

However, keeping a comfortable home might mean a larger energy bill during the summer. After all, your air conditioner, fans and other appliances are all working hard to keep your home cool. Here are a few tips to help cut costs and stay cool this summer.

An air conditioning unit that needs repairs is often the biggest culprit of a high energy bill. Contact an HVAC contractor today for up to four quotes from local pros in your area, for free!

1. Energy-Saving Air Conditioners

Your air conditioner is where most people turn when it comes to cooling their house to a comfortable temperature. From a central unit that cools the whole home to a window unit that can cool down a room at a time, homeowners have a few options when it comes to cooling. Whatever you choose, be sure it is Energy Star certified, ensuring that you’ll get all the benefits of an efficient appliance. According to Energy Star, you could save $115 annually by installing an energy-efficient air conditioner. Depending on the unit you’ll need, you might want to contact an HVAC pro to help. The average cost to install an air conditioner is $4,828.

However, if you already use an energy-efficient unit or do not wish to replace your system, there is still plenty you can do to cut costs. Be sure to change the filters regularly and have routine check-ups to ensure your HVAC system is working properly. Fans can help keep the cool air circulating so your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard.

2. Energy-Saving Thermostat

In addition to an energy-saving air conditioner, a smart thermostat will be the perfect complement to help save you even more money. Most learn your habits and can be controlled from an app, so you can turn off the air conditioning when it’s not in use, even if you’re not home. The Department Of Energy advises to keep the temperature settings as low as comfortably possible when you’re home, or roughly 78 degrees.

3. Energy-Saving Curtains

A small detail could make a huge difference in your energy costs. Insulated curtains give your windows extra protection against the heat, by blocking the hot summer sun and helping to trap the cool air inside. They come in a variety of styles that match your décor, so you won’t have to sacrifice your style to save some money.

4. Energy-Saving Power Strip

While there are summer-specific energy-saving solutions, there are tactics you can use year-round to help save you money. An energy-saving power strip can help save you up to 10% of your monthly electric bill, according to the Department Of Energy. That’s because items like TVs, computers and other plugged in electronics continue to use power even after they’ve been turned off. An energy-saving power strip can prevent this by cutting power completely when an item is not in use, making it a worthwhile investment.

5. Energy-Saving Roofing

For hotter regions, the type of roofing you have could impact the temperature of your home. A cool metal roof can help keep temperatures down inside. The average cost of a metal roof is between $7.50/sf and $10/sf. While it may seem like a costly installation, it’s a long-lasting option that can save you money on your bills quickly. To learn more, read Create An Energy Efficient Home With A Cool Metal Roof.

6. Energy-Saving Insulation

Many older homes have insulation that may not be as efficient as it once was. Leaks and gaps in insulation can cost you a lot of money when you’re trying to cool your home in the summer. It’s a good idea to contact an insulation contractor to help you inspect where your home is most vulnerable and where you may need to seal and add extra insulation. An insulation installation is a home energy improvement you’ll see ROI on through your energy bills. The average cost to install insulation is $1,325 with most homeowners spending between $1,003 and $1,397.

7. Energy-Saving Windows

Your windows let the sunshine in, but they could also be letting the cool air out. Energy-saving windows can be the upgrade you need to save money on your bills this summer. However, as the average cost to install windows is $4,516, there are plenty of other changes you can make to your already existing windows, if they are in good condition. Consider recaulking and weather-stripping to eliminate any areas where the comfortable air is escaping. Additionally, energy-saving window treatments will be helpful in keeping conditions comfortable.

Learn More About Home Decorating Ideas For Each Season

As the seasons change, so should your home décor. While holidays provide easy inspiration for decorating, other times you may feel stuck. But there are many transitional decorating options you can use as the seasons change; you just have to know the right places to look.

I’m here to provide some inspiration for your seasonal décor changes. Whether there’s a holiday in sight or you just want to make your home a little cozier, see a few home decorating ideas for every season.

Finding the best look for your home can be difficult, but you can take the stress out of decorating. Contact an interior designer today and receive up to four quotes from professionals in your area, for free!

Seasonal Decorating Tips

If you love to change the look of your home, decorating for each season is the right strategy when it comes to interior design. However, the key is to not overdo it. Pick a few areas in each room that can be decorated based on your taste and season. Here are some places that décor is easily interchangeable:

  • Living Room Mantel
  • Above Kitchen Cabinets
  • Dining Room Table
  • Bedroom Sheets & Blankets
  • Couch Throw Pillows
  • Window Sill & Curtains
  • Front Door Decor

Spring

As spring approaches, you might want to refresh the look of your home. Flowers and fresh scents can be incorporated in every room to give it a clean and airy feel. A large vase full of flowers can be a beautiful centerpiece for springtime. If you have the option, now is the time to change the sheets in your bedroom and guest bedroom from the heavy blankets you may have been using, to something lighter. Find a comforter in a pastel or white to really brighten up the room.

In the living room, continue your floral décor with exchanging your throw pillow covers for a fun new pattern. Incorporate small pots and greenery on your mantel to finish off the spring look in your living room.

Summer

Bring the sunshine inside with summertime home décor. Similar to spring, keep things light and airy. This could mean a change of curtains in various rooms. A light white sheer curtain will give you privacy while providing a way to brighten up your room.

Natural décor is a go-to for many homeowners looking to spruce up their home in summer, especially if you’re going for the nautical look. Welcome in the nautical summertime look with front door décor that you can DIY! See this tutorial from Addicted2DIY. Large seashells and driftwood make perfect decorating elements for your table centerpiece or mantel. Find patterns with anchors or tropical designs such as pineapples or palm leaves as your tablecloth or new throw pillows.

Fall

After a hot summer, some of us welcome the cool weather fall brings while others might need convincing. Whatever your attitude is towards fall, there’s no question that it’s one of the easiest seasons to decorate for! Leaves, pumpkins and rustic elements adorn homes across the country. Create a unique centerpiece for your table, decorate above your kitchen cabinet and more using pumpkins and leaves. For the best results, use various sizes.

Now is the time to cozy up your home. Change your bedding and blankets to a heavier material in a red, dark orange or brown. This will warm up the spaceinstantly. Replace your window curtains with the same idea of warm, darker hues and a heavier fabric.

Winter

When it comes to winter, most homeowners are stumped with what to do after the holidays are over. After all, the winter season lasts longer than your holiday decor. For this time, you can either draw from two areas of inspiration. Either continue the warm, cozy theme you started in fall, incorporating plaid patterns of dark brown, red and green. Or, you can draw inspiration from the glistening snow, incorporating hues of blue, silver and turquoise into your interior. While both are great options, be sure to use one for consistency in your home.

Mantel decorating is easily done with some faux snow-dusted plants or pinecones. Door decorating is made easy with many evergreen options available. Don’t forget to incorporate candles when possible that not only add style but allow you to experience all the scents the season has to offer.

Holidays To Remember

While you can transition your décor for the season, many of us like to decorate for the seasonal holidays. Here are a few examples:

  • Valentine’s Day: Use hearts in colors of red, pink and white throughout the home.
  • St. Patrick’s Day: Faux shamrocks can adorn your mantel or front door décor.
  • Easter: Pastel colored eggs make the perfect accent in a clear vase.
  • Fourth of July: Use red, white and blue accents where you can!
  • Halloween: Keep it classic with jack-o-lanterns on your front porch and candy corn in decorative bowls.
  • Thanksgiving: Create a cornucopia centerpiece for your family’s table.
  • Christmas: Colorful lights and Christmas trees should be front and center of your holiday décor.