Archive for category Simplicities

Decorating Beyond Your Comfort Zone

Decorating Beyond Your Comfort ZoneOne day, you enter your living room and start to realize that it has the same look it’s had for years. You start rearranging the furniture and decor inside the room. But, when you step back to evaluate the new design of your living room, it still looks and feels exactly the same.

Simply rotating the same design throughout your living room, dining room, or bedroom can become boring. If you want to see something new inside your home, you need to get out of your decorating comfort zone and work on something bolder and more fearless.

Below are some cool tricks on how you can transform the repetitive look of your home interior to something new:

  • Change your artwork. The great thing about artwork is that you can easily change it. Update your artwork with new colors and concepts, so there is something more interesting to look at. Store your old artwork for future use because you never know when you may want to bring it out again for future use.
  • Use wallpapers in other places besides your walls. There is no rule that says wallpaper is meant only for the walls. You can update the look of your cabinets with beautiful wallpaper on the inside. Or, cover the doors of your cabinet with different patterns that pop out and adds color to the room.
  • Choose bolder lighting. Instead of blending your lamp into your living room’s neutral color, choose a bolder color for your lamp base, such as orange, red, or yellow. These warm colors will not only brighten up your day, but they will also offset the monotonous look of your living room. You can even explore colorful chandeliers.
  • Paint your furniture red. Wouldn’t a red dining room cabinet look attractive amidst your darker or lighter walls, table, and chairs? Find the courage to paint your cabinet, chair, or table red (or whatever color you like) for added attention to the room.
  • Use words. Try using quotes or jumbled letters for added decoration inside the room. Paint it yourself or have your kid paint one for you. It will be a lot of fun.
  • Enhance your staircase. Use a patterned and/or colorful floor runner to add more vibrancy to your staircase than plain wood.
  • Install bolder drapes. If your furniture and walls have neutral colors, add something lively via your drapes. You need not cover your entire window with a full drape. Use an elaborate hook on the sides to fold your drapes into place while letting the natural light come in.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors
http://www.alanandheatherdavis.com

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Working with a Landscape Professional

Working with a Landscape Professional

When you want to increase the curb appeal of your home, one of the many things you take into consideration is landscaping. Having beautiful landscaping in your yard will enhance the look of our property and make our home appear more elegant. Lovely flowers in bloom, green grass,  stunning water features, and well-crafted stone pathways all serve as eye-candy for homeowners and potential buyers.

If you want to add a scenic touch to your yard, a landscape professional can help. Landscape professionals are experts in beautifying your yard and garden, so you can simply relax and enjoy them.  To make your landscaping project a success, it is important that you work well with your landscape professional. You will be spending a lot of money, so it’s important to communicate well the first time around because mistakes and changes can be costly.

So, how do you work well with your landscape professional?

  • Set a budget. Before you begin any home project, always set your budget first to evaluate whether or not you really can afford hiring a professional to work for you for a period of time. Consider the costs of hiring a professional, including labor and overhead.
  • Decide what you want and use it as a basis for hiring the right kind of landscape professional. There are different kinds of professionals that can work on your landscape, so you want to be sure you’re working with someone who will address your needs. A landscape architect will focus more on the overall structure of your landscaping, while a designer will concentrate on its aesthetic appearance. If you only need help in growing more plants, try working with a horticulturist.
  • Sign a contract prior to the start of the project. A written contract will provide support and security for both you and your hired professional. Make sure that everything you want and everything your landscape professional needs are described in the contract.
  • Supply the resources that your landscape professional will need. This includes access to a source of water, electric outlets, and added space for their materials and equipment. If you give your landscape professional what he or she wants, then your project will be done in no time.
  • Set the ground rules up front. You may be working with people you don’t know, so it is important to establish guidelines before you work with them. If you don’t want somebody to smoke on the job, you need to express that from the beginning.
  • Learn everything about maintenance before the project ends. Ask your landscape professional to teach you how to properly maintain your landscaping, so it can last for a long time.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors
http://www.alanandheatherdavis.com

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Eliminate Paint Smells Inside Your House

Repainting your home makes it look fresh and new. However, one drawback is the overwhelming smell of the paint. Not only is it uncomfortable when you breathe, but it also poses a health risk, especially to children who may be roaming around the house.

So, for the next time you decide to paint your home, here are some useful tips for how you can remove the paint smell:

  • Use non-VOC paints. VOC paints are those that do not contaminate the air inside your home. VOC means Volatile Organic Compounds, which are unstable compounds that vaporize in the air and cause air pollution. If breathed into the body, they can cause certain health problems like headaches, cancer, and damage to internal systems.
  • Use charcoal. Activated carbon or any ordinary charcoal can effectively remove even the strongest smell of paint and deodorize the room. Place small pieces of charcoal in a wet paper towel and leave it in the room overnight.
  • Use an air purifier. The bad smell of paint is caused by the artificial compounds that vaporize into the air. If you purify the air, it instantly cleans your environment by removing the toxins that come from the paint.
  • Light a candle. When you light a candle in a freshly-painted room, the flame burns out the fumes. Let it burn for a few hours in the middle of the room and check on it from time to time to be sure it doesn’t start a fire.
  • Make use of fresh air. If you are painting a room with two or more windows, open them to allow cross ventilation, which will reduce the paint smell inside.
  • Place buckets of water around the room. A bucket of water can also absorb the smell of the paint.  However, it does not work as quickly as a candle or charcoal, so leave the bucket of water in the room until the smell is gone.
  • Use kitchen essentials like vinegar, onion, baking soda, lemon, and coffee grounds. These ingredients absorb odors, and all you have to do is leave them out overnight.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors
http://www.alanandheatherdavis.com

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Decorating Ideas for Your Backyard Parties

Backyard parties are very common during the summer months because the weather sets the perfect ambiance for socializing outdoors.  It’s fun to create a festive environment by decorating the table on your deck or creating a party area further out in the yard. You can even set up a gathering spot underneath  a tree.

To help you prepare for your backyard parties, here are some decorating ideas you can use:

  • Bring nature closer. Since it’s a backyard party, why not add some décor using natural materials? Make use of organic elements around you such as flowers, potted plants, small pebbles,  and nature-inspired dining pieces. Instead of plastic furniture, use wooden tables and chairs. Wooden benches are an excellent addition if you are expecting more guests.
  • Prepare outdoor games.  Play a game of Frisbee or Badminton while waiting for the food to finish grilling. You can let the kids run around and play tag or hide and seek among the trees.
  • Bring everything outside. Refrain from going in and out the house, as it spoils the outdoor fun. Bring everything you need for barbecuing outside and set up a cooler or mini-refrigerator to hold your drinks and other items that need to remain cold.
  • Dress up your table. If you have a theme for the party, let it be reflected on the table as well. Add a few added touches like small fresh flowers spread all over the table or a beautiful centerpiece.
  • Make your guests more comfortable by providing shady areas and protection from the sun with sun hats, fans, sun block, and bug spray. Arrange the items in a wicker basket, so your guests can access them when they arrive or just let everyone know that they are free to use them at will.
  • Add lights for an evening party. Let your party extend well into the evening with ready to use decorative lighting installed around your deck. That way, when the night comes, there is no interruption to the party.
  • Don’t forget the trash.   Provide colored trash bins with labels for recyclables and non-recyclables, so guests can dispose of their own trash and minimize the post-party cleanup.
  • Add paper lanterns for added color and fun to the party. Hang them above the table and in corners. Choose cheerful colors like green, orange, and yellow.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors
http://www.alanandheatherdavis.com

 

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Decorating Ideas for Your Backyard Parties

Backyard parties are very common during the summer months because the weather sets the perfect ambiance for socializing outdoors.  It’s fun to create a festive environment by decorating the table on your deck or creating a party area further out in the yard. You can even set up a gathering spot underneath  a tree.

To help you prepare for your backyard parties, here are some decorating ideas you can use:

  • Bring nature closer. Since it’s a backyard party, why not add some décor using natural materials? Make use of organic elements around you such as flowers, potted plants, small pebbles,  and nature-inspired dining pieces. Instead of plastic furniture, use wooden tables and chairs. Wooden benches are an excellent addition if you are expecting more guests.
  • Prepare outdoor games.  Play a game of Frisbee or Badminton while waiting for the food to finish grilling. You can let the kids run around and play tag or hide and seek among the trees.
  • Bring everything outside. Refrain from going in and out the house, as it spoils the outdoor fun. Bring everything you need for barbecuing outside and set up a cooler or mini-refrigerator to hold your drinks and other items that need to remain cold.
  • Dress up your table. If you have a theme for the party, let it be reflected on the table as well. Add a few added touches like small fresh flowers spread all over the table or a beautiful centerpiece.
  • Make your guests more comfortable by providing shady areas and protection from the sun with sun hats, fans, sun block, and bug spray. Arrange the items in a wicker basket, so your guests can access them when they arrive or just let everyone know that they are free to use them at will.
  • Add lights for an evening party. Let your party extend well into the evening with ready to use decorative lighting installed around your deck. That way, when the night comes, there is no interruption to the party.
  • Don’t forget the trash.   Provide colored trash bins with labels for recyclables and non-recyclables, so guests can dispose of their own trash and minimize the post-party cleanup.
  • Add paper lanterns for added color and fun to the party. Hang them above the table and in corners. Choose cheerful colors like green, orange, and yellow.

 

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors
http://www.alanandheatherdavis.com

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Useful Tips for Painting Your Home Exterior

When it’s time to repaint the exterior of your home, it is best to leave the hard work to professionals. However, if you are saving money and want to do the work yourself, there are a few tricks you should know in order to do it more effectively.  Painting your home exterior may sound easy enough, but without the proper knowledge, you will likely end up doubling your expenses due to trial and error.

Here are a few useful tips on how to paint your home exterior:

  • Have the all things you need prior to painting. You will need to have a good, sturdy ladder to climb that has a wider step or special shelf on which you can set your can of paint.  You will also need good paint brushes and rollers, sandpaper, scrapers, caulking, and putty.
  • Do an estimate on how much paint you will need. Multiply the length of each wall by its height and add about 25 to 30 percent on top of that. You want to be sure you have some paint left over for touch-ups later.
  • Clean your home exterior first before applying paint. Make sure you remove all of the residue that is stuck on the walls because if you paint over it, your finish will be bumpy and could actually cause damage to your paint job later down the road.
  • Remove your lighting fixtures and window screens. You don’t want to get paint on them.
  • Repair any cracks, holes, or other damage on your wall before applying paint. Keep in mind that painting should always be the last step in any house project after all of the prep work has been completed.
  • Buy paint based on the type of exterior surface you have. If you want the color to be consistent, you need to buy something that will work well with the material and texture of your surfaces.
  • Buy oil-based paints for the wood trim along your banisters, doors, and windows. Oil-based paints are tough enough to withstand the elements and protect your wood.
  • Sand all rough areas and glossy surfaces before painting. Paint will not stick to glossy surfaces nor will it look right on rough areas.
  • Apply primers to raw surfaces before applying two coats of paint. Choose a primer based on the type of surface you have.
  • Protect your plants and walkways with drop cloths and masking tape.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors
http://www.alanandheatherdavis.com

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Smart Storage Solutions for Your Bedroom

In most houses, a bedroom can usually accommodate a wardrobe, a vanity, and a small bedside table, but small bedrooms typically have even less space for storage.  Fortunately, there are smart solutions that can help maximize the storage capacity of a small-spaced bedroom, while still maintaining a lovely, relaxing environment with room to breathe.

Below are some smart storage solutions to incorporate into your bedroom:

  • Go vertical. Normally, we think of long, horizontal spaces to store books, linens, and picture frames.  However, when you’re dealing with a small room, sometimes you don’t have the luxury of that much wall space.  So, go with vertical storage units that allow you to hold everything without taking up much floor space.
  • Use a sturdy, multi-purpose table. You may even want to make your vanity double as additional storage space.  The tabletop can be utilized for bags, clocks, and jewelry items, while the space underneath can be turned into a storage area. To add style, you can use wicker baskets or other organizers to hold items.
  • Create more storage in your headboard. If you have a thick headboard, you can use the sides to make book shelves. You may also want to place some of your personal items, like your alarm clock, phone, and keys, on top of your headboard.
  • Go under your bed. Use the hollow space beneath your bed to store extra pillows and bed linens or off-season clothes and shoes.
  • Floor to ceiling wardrobe. Maximize your closet by filling every space possible. To organize everything, use small compartments for items like gloves, scarves, socks, and undergarments. Install a thin shoe rack below your clothes rack, so you can store all of your shoes in an easily-accessible way without taking up much space.
  • Install built-ins. Using built-in cabinets and shelves will not only provide extra spaces to store things, but it will also make your bedroom look more elegant. Paint the inner compartment with a contrasting hue to make it pop.
  • Use a dual purpose bench. Buy a bench for your bedroom that you can open and store things inside.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors
http://www.alanandheatherdavis.com

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