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7 Ways To Update Your Outdated Living Room

If you’re growing increasingly bored with your surroundings but aren’t prepared to part with a small fortune to renovate your home, simply upgrading certain rooms is often enough to transform your space. With this, there’s a good chance that you spend most of your time at home relaxing in your living room, so this is a great place to start your makeover project. 

With these practical tips, you can instantly freshen up your outdated living room. 

Clear Out Clutter

But before you can start shopping around for new furnishings or decorative details, it’s best to start with a clean space. Declutter your living room to get rid of all the excess items. As soon as you have contained all the unnecessary clutter that’s cramping up the space, you will be able to identify whether or not you need additional storage solutions in your living room. 

Large bookshelves and ottoman boxes are great storage ideas to consider. Moreover, a storage sofa or a multifunctional coffee table are wise investments for smaller living rooms.

Replace Coffee And Cocktail Tables

While your coffee table should grab attention as the room’s centerpiece, luxury cocktail tables that echo certain colors or finishes can have a similar impact. With this, you can bring various elements together by matching them to your choice of coffee and cocktail tables. Simply updating the tables in your living room can transform the interior appeal of the room by tying decor details together. 

Repaint The Walls 

A fresh coat of quality paint is another quick way to transform your living room. If your living room walls are currently white or cream, you could consider a neutral palette with muted undertones to uphold luxury interiors. Otherwise, you can try repainting one wall in a bold jewel-tone color to create an accent wall. 

When choosing the paint palette for your living room upgrade, it’s wise to use the same palette throughout your home. This way, your interior style will flow from one room to the next. 

Upgrade The Flooring

If your living room floors are currently covered up with dusty old carpeting, installing hardwood flooring can make a huge difference to property value, the overall appeal of your living room, and even your sinuses. 

Replacing the flooring is not the most pocket-friendly undertaking, although you can boost property value substantially if you decide to upgrade the flooring throughout your home. Even so, you can replace the flooring one room at a time to afford the expense with a bit less financial stress.

Invest In The Perfect Sofa

While the coffee table should act as the centerpiece of the room, the sofa is usually the main attraction. Beyond that, a living room simply is not complete without the right seating. But when shopping for the perfect sofa, you must consider more than aesthetic appeal; your lifestyle, living room size, comfort preferences, and budget are other critical factors to consider. 

Your lifestyle will determine whether you need a sofa that’s easy to clean, multifunctional, or comfortable enough for movie nights, while a furniture size guide will help you find a sofa that fits perfectly. Nevertheless, only investing in a new sofa can change the entire atmosphere of your living room. 

Replace The Art

Unless you have invested in prolific timeless art pieces, there’s no reason you can’t switch up the art that adorns your living room walls. There are also no real rules when it comes to choosing a style of art. However, it is wise to consider the size and dimensions of canvases or frames to prevent your art selection from clashing with interior design principles.

Bigger is always better when scaling art; many small art pieces can easily create visual clutter. It’s also vital to place canvases and frames at the right height. 

Change Up The Decorative Details

If you are looking for a way to give your living room a makeover on a budget, only decluttering and changing the decor details can transform the space. Shop for new scatter cushions, throws, candle holders, and other decorative touches, and store away or sell your old items. At the same time, it’s still worthwhile to change the decorative details if your living room makeover is not as restricted by your budget. 

Upgrading your living room is a great way to upgrade your everyday comfort. Whether you decide to change the sofa and invest in new art, repaint the walls, or replace the flooring, it’s important to create a budget for your living room makeover before you start shopping around for upgrades that can transform your home. 

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How to Add a Personal Touch to Your Home

Your home is your personal space. It’s your area to relax and be yourself.
 
What turns a house into a home are those small personal touches. The things you display around your house convey your personality, or showcase your achievements and memories.
 
Here are the best ways you can add a personal touch to your home. Even if you're renting or you hate clutter, these tips are easy and appropriate for you!
 

1. Print Out Your Own Photos
 
The photos you take capture the most special memories that you want to remember forever. There is no better way to keep these memories at the forefront of your mind than to print them out and hang them up around your house.
 
Lots of people are using laser printers to print out their favorite family photos. These machines are an affordable way to bring your photos to life in bright colors.
 
Get yourself a laser printer, print a few photos, and you’re ready to display them across your home. You could even print some out to gift to other people if you have photos with them.
 
2. Show Off Your Achievements
 
If you’ve had an amazing achievement in the past, and have an award to show for it, you should be proud of yourself. What better way to display your pride than having up your awards in your home?
 
You could hang up your certificates in some beautiful frames, or place your trophies on your sideboard. Whatever achievements you have to show, having then displayed is a great way to add a personal touch to your home.
 
3. Display Your Homemade Accessories
 
For those of you who love arts and crafts, displaying your homemade accessories is a lovely way to add your personality to your home. They reflect who you are, and showcase your skills and hobbies.
 
Maybe you have painted your own canvases that could be hung up in your bedroom. Or maybe you have created patterned ceramic vases that would make a great addition to your living room. Because these accessories are home-made, they’re one of a kind and add a unique touch to your house.
 
4. Hang Up Your Children’s Work

If you have young children who love painting and drawings pictures for you, it’s always lovely to hang them up around your home. Not only does this add a personal touch to your living space, but it also makes your child proud and happy that you’re showing off their work. You may want to laminate their artwork to keep it looking like new.
 

5. Display Travel Purchases
 
If you love going on city breaks, chilling by the beach, or exploring exotic countries, you likely have lots of items that you’ve purchased on your travels. Displaying these in your house helps you to re-live the memories and show them to any guests that visit your home. It's like showcasing your steps across the world!
 
Whether you have a bunch of fridge magnets or unique seashells that you’ve spotted whilst on vacation, displaying them gives your home an amazing personal touch.

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Color is Key When Picking Doors

Door color completely alters the atmosphere of a home. Internal glazed doors will outlive even most the durable and long lasting of interior design trends. Color needs to be carefully considered when choosing doors. Doors can be painted in the future, but it is often more hassle than it is worth. 

Set the Mood

The internal doors are going to outlive the paint or wallpaper. Color comes down to more than personal tastes. Colors can calm or excite. A home is a place to relax, but it is also a place to entertain. 

Colors on the cool spectrum, such as blues and purples relax. Warm colors, such as reds and oranges, excite. 

Neutral colors impact the overall mood of the home too. Sleek blacks and greys are very modern, but can lead to small and dark spaces feeling oppressive and claustrophobic. Whites stand out against any interior but can help open space. 


Natural Wood

Natural wood finishes remain a popular choice. Doors see many interior design fads before they need replacement. Natural wood will match most of these. Darker and lighter woods are available, plus there’s dark or light stains. A lighter wood isn’t going to stand out in the same way as a brilliant white door. 

Glazing

Glazing adds another layer of options to pick from. Even the smallest and darkest of spaces can have dark with the right amount of glazing. Internal glazed doors allow natural sunlight to travel from room to room, further changing the atmosphere. Sunlight is a mood booster that works with both relaxing and entertaining. 

Unfinished Doors
If you have the space and the patience, unfinished doors are a consideration. The advantage of unfinished doors is you can have them any color you want. The disadvantage is you have to paint them yourself or have the additional expense of hiring someone to do it for you. 

Unfinished doors cannot simply be hung up. They need to be painted first. They need to be laid flat to paint, otherwise the paint drips. Painting doors is very consuming in both time and space. 


Painting doors yourself means you can tone down brilliant whites by adding a barely-there touch of blue, pink or magnolia. They would need to be entirely stripped down and repainted if brilliant white walls ever come back into fashion. Something even a little off-white looks dirty when up against brilliant white walls. 

Door color goes beyond tastes. Colors impact moods. A high anxiety household will want to stick to cooler colors. Colors affect the overall atmosphere of a home. An oppressive atmosphere can be altered by the use of color. Internal doors are going to see more than one interior change. Buying doors to match the current interior is going to be wildly inappropriate a few years down the line when styles change. The lightest house becomes oppressive when out-dated. Internal doors are one of the simplest ways to change a home’s energy, but the color needs to be carefully considered. 
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Pergolas - The Ultimate Garden Structure

What is a home garden without an outdoor structure that is a multifunctional and multi-seasonal addition that not only offers you protection from different types of weather but that also defines your space in style? Extravagant features like pergolas are what designers, architects, and homeowners are raving about nowadays. 


Pergolas vs Other Outdoor Structures 

Outdoor structures are the easiest and inexpensive way to transform your dull home garden into a luxurious living space. However, the structure that you end up choosing depends on the vision that you have for your space. You can choose these several different types of outdoor structures for your garden.

Pergolas

A traditional Pergola design can trace its roots back to the Italian Renaissance. Pergolas are typically large outdoor structures that are attached to the house to serve as protection, link pavilions, or extend from the back door onto an open garden feature such as a pool. This versatile outdoor structure can also be freestanding to provide a sitting area like a patio to offer much-needed protection from the sun. They are commonly mistaken for Arbors and Gazebos. 


Arbors

This is a structure very similar to pergolas, but the difference is that they are relatively smaller and simpler in their design. Unlike pergolas, arbors are never attached to the house, they are always freestanding or attached to a fence to house a gate. They are generally used to define an entry point, divide outdoor rooms, or frame a focal point in your garden. 

Patio Covers

These are structures that are attached to the house and can either be built with a trellis or lattice or they may have a solid roof. They are a lovely way to add more space to your outdoor entertainment area while preventing the heat from messing up with your relaxation in summer. 

Gazebos

Sometimes there is confusion between Gazebos, Pergolas, and Arbors. Gazebos are freestanding, typically octagonal structures that have a solid roof and open sides. They provide ample shade and allow you to enjoy uninterrupted views making them the perfect outdoor structures to entertain. They can also be used to host intimate dinners.

Pavilions

Bigger than both Gazebos and Pergolas, pavilions are designed with entertaining larger large crowds in mind. The roof is solid and covered to make sure that even the heaviest rain cannot interfere with your hosting plans.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money in the city in a picturesque place to have your lunch, you can turn your home garden into an exquisite oasis with outdoor structures like pergolas. They are the most common additions to outdoor spaces because of their flexibility with design and size.

Pergolas will accentuate the quality of your home garden with their aesthetically attractive design without being obtrusive in your garden. They are made from simple materials such as treated wood. It is easy to build your own from scratch if you are the type who wants to erect your structure and possess intermediary building skills. There are loads of DIY hacks for pergolas online that include ways to waterproof your wood.

How To Maintain and Care for Pergolas

Like many outdoor structures, pergolas need to be maintained and cared for to increase their lifespan. Since they can be made from different types of wood, it’s important to know how to take care of them.

  • Using a high-pressure hose helps to give it a thorough cleaning and eliminates any dirt that may cling to the surface and harder to reach areas.
  • Wash and rinse any visible stains on the wood with a recommended cleaning solution. It’s important to know the characteristics of the wood to avoid any unintentional damage.
  • Pergolas need a bit of touching up and repair work after some time. A home kit and paint will do the trick. Some wood like cedar changes color over time. If you want to preserve its color it needs a sealant to be sprayed on it. Clean it well and spray it with some oil, leave it to dry and then apply a sealant to it.
  • If you’re the kind that enjoys growing creepers on pergolas because you love the touch of greenery for ambiance, you need to remember to trim your vines. It will lessen the amount of weight on the pergola. 

It's a Pergola Lifestyle 

Pergolas are the right kind of outdoor style accessories with a practical purpose. They not only offer the right amount of shade, contrast, color, and privacy to your home garden, they are also easy to maintain, add value to your property, and can be added anywhere you see fit. So, if you want to enhance the quality of your outdoor living experience by giving it more visual appeal pergolas are the perfect solution to your design needs.  

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The Interesting World of Skirting Boards In The UK

Skirting boards are typically overlooked when planning interior, renovating, or even when buying a home. The truth of the matter is, that they actually provide not only protection to walls but that they also add an additional design flair to any room. 

These wooden or vinyl features are actually much more interesting than you might think. In this article, we will look at the interesting world of skirting boards in the United Kingdom. 


What is a Skirting Board? 

Also known as a mopboard, baseboard, skirting, base molding, or floor molding, the skirting board is a vinyl or wooden feature that covers the part of the wall closest to the floor. It can be cut into different lengths to fit the room’s layout and are typically screwed, nailed, or glued to the wall. 

First designed in the Victorian era as the elite’s decorative pieces for their homes. Because the area where the floor and the wall met would usually have bad painting jobs and uneven brick textures, the area would be covered with moldings to create a more luxurious and appealing look. Watch this video to discover more about the history of these underrated pieces: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75sQvwZ_PIA&feature=emb_logo

They are not only made from different materials, but they can also be found in many different designs and molds. Depending on the design you are going for, baseboards can measure up to a height of 1.5 meters high. These higher skirting boards are named wainscots and covers between 1-1.5 meters of the lower part of the wall. 

Characteristically, baseboards cover only up to ankle height (less than 20 centimeters) of the wall.  


Skirting Material 

Materials used for baseboards vary between price, durability, texture, and color. Here is a list of the most typically used materials when manufacturing them: 

  • PVC: The most commonly used plastic when manufacturing baseboards is PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride). It is used because it is hard, flexible, and durable.  These designs are typically found in white or other shades of white. Owners do have the option to paint and repaint vinyl models too. They are a popular choice because they can fit any kind of wall, no matter the uneven texture, compared to wood which isn’t as flexible.

    Because they are glued to the wall with strong adhesive, they can be difficult to replace and remove. Regardless, Vinyl is durable and can last for a very long time without any maintenance. Furthermore, they are much more affordable than expensive timber types.

  • Wood: Traditionally, wood was used to create different molds in Victorian homes. Today, it’s still a material of choice for many builders and home owners. The type of wood used to create these baseboards are usually softwoods like Pine, Spruce, Cedar, Cypress, and Yew. Hardwoods like Birch, African Blackwood, Maple, Oak, Teak, and Walnut can be bought raw to be stained or lacquered.

    Boards made from wood are either sold as one single piece or are finger jointed to create a longer unit. Recently, more home owners have

  • Engineered Wood: Different woods that are engineered and combined like plywood, wood-plastic composite, glue laminated, hardboard, MDF (Medium-density fiberboard), cross-laminated, and OSB are also popular material choices.

Function

Its main function is to provide protection to the area of the floor where the wall and the floor meets. This area can easily get damaged because of walking, furniture being pushed against it, abrasion, and accidental kicks against it. When left unprotected, the area can easily look unpleasant. Floorboards, carpet, or tiles can lift up and will need to be replaced much more often if there isn’t any skirting protecting that area. 

Furthermore, it can also be used for decorative purposes. Either casing the door or windows, crowning the area between the ceiling and the wall, as well as placed running through the middle of the wall as a chair rail. Check out this illustration for an example of its different decorative molding purposes. 

Different Treatments

To treat the skirting boards in order for them to fit a specific design aesthetic, manufacturers use different treatments. The treatment of the skirting will have an effect on the overall price. Different treatments can include: 

  • Oil

  • Paint striped

  • Thermal 

  • Varnish

  • Waxing

  • Adhesive

  • Heat bending

  • Wood stain

  • Wood preservation, finishing, and drying

  • Steam bending

  • French polish

Design 

The United Kingdom is known for different design and architectural eras. Derived from these different eras, skirting is usually named according to the era in which it was designed. Periods like the Edwardian and Victorian eras are popularly used in modern designs today. 

There are loads of different wooden and plastic designs available for home owners, interior designers, and builders to choose from. Here is a list of the most popular designs available:

  • Chamfered: This design features a subtle rounded middle that is sleek and polished. It remains a go-to design because of its simplicity and clean shape. They are popularly used in the UK.

  • Bullnose: Another very popular design is the bullnose. It features a thick top and a gradual decline to the floor. It’s popular in many modern homes because of its simplicity and adaptability to any design aesthetic.

  • Torus: The Torus is an ornate skirting board that features a half circle design at its top and an angular downward cut to the floor. This design looks great in MDF material, like the ones found at Metres Direct skirting boards.

  • Ogee: Perfect for all classically styled dining rooms, living rooms, and bedrooms, the ogee is an extremely ornate design that can be made from hardwoods, softwoods, and engineered woods. 

Additionally, designers and builders can choose different architrave designs to add an extra touch of design to door and window frames. Just like skirting boards, architraves are made from all kinds of materials and can be customized to fit the shape and size of any room. 

When you are planning to renovate an old room or design a new room’s interior, be sure to add skirting boards to the plan. 

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Top 5 Ways To Make Your Upholstery Last

You've invested a lot of money in your upholstery. You spent time doing your homework on Joybird reviews furniture to choose just the right sofas and chairs. Now it's time to take good care of them.
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1. Vacuum Regularly

You should vacuum dirt and pet hair away from your upholstery about once per week. Use a vacuum attachment with a brush that is made for furniture. This will keep dust, soil and hair from getting stuck in the weave of the fabric.

2. Revive and Flip Cushions

If possible, shuffle the cushions on your couch once in a while to make sure that they are each used consistently. Flip other cushions and pillows regularly to ensure that they wear equally on both sides. These items will eventually become flat or stretched from use. Hit cushions gently with your hands to get them back in shape and keep the furniture you found through Joybird reviews comfy.
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3. Use Stain Protectors

Purchase a fabric protector spray as soon as you get new upholstery. Make sure that you follow the instructions and perform a color test on an unseen part of the fabric before spraying the entire piece. This coats the fabric and makes it repel stains. 

4. Clean Stains Immediately

Just like you did with the stain protector spray, test upholstery cleaning spray on a hidden part of the furniture or curtain. Do not allow the stain to dry before you clean it up.

5. Utilize Yearly Professional Cleaning

Even if you keep up with the regular maintenance of your upholstery, there is no substitute for a professional cleaning service. You should have this done every year or two. A qualified cleaner will have special equipment and cleaning products to take care of stains and buried dirt that you cannot get rid of on your own. They can make your upholstery look new and apply a powerful stain protector.
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Must Have Items for Your Classroom

Teachers are always looking for ways to inspire and teach their students. There are the tried-and-true methods that teachers have used for decades; however, very often teachers look for something new and different to shake things up a bit for both themselves and their students.  Luckily, there are some amazing products out there that can help you make the classroom more interesting for all of you. Read on for some classroom products that are much better than just a pencil and paper!

A Trundle Wheel

What is a trundle wheel, you may ask? A trundle wheel is a handle attached to a wheel. Your students can push the wheel and measure a surface, with a clicking sound at each specific measurement. It’s a great way for kids to really understand measurements and find out exactly how far a meter is. It is one of those things that kids can’t wait to get their hands on, and once they do, they won’t even realize they are learning.
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Blocks That Get Them Moving

Every teacher knows that if kids have to sit at their desks and pay attention for too long, their ability to learn, think, and remember deteriorates rapidly. When they get antsy, they can’t concentrate, and some of them act out in an attempt to get rid of that energy. Get them out of their seats with a teacher-approved method, and get them moving and laughing with classroom brain-break activity dice. These big foam blocks have instructions on each side that range from encouraging activity (pretend to jump rope) to encouraging laughter (crawl like a baby for one minute). Allow a few minutes with the blocks as a reward as an end-of-the-day activity for them to look forward to or on the fly on a day when you notice they just can’t sit still.

Moon Lamp

Almost every classroom has a globe that shows the kids the earth, but how about a “globe” for the moon?  Moon lamps are a three-dimensional way to show the surface of the moon, and having one in the classroom is sure to inspire wonder, imagination, creativity, and lots of questions about astronomy. The moon lamp lights up and can even change colors.
As a teacher, you know that a variety of fun things in the classroom helps to inspire learning and fun. Make your classroom a place the kids can’t wait to come to every day!

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DIY Home Ideas for Summer 2020

It’s time to get your house in order and ready to enjoy the summer weather. Skip the long construction projects and take advantage of some easy DIY ideas to upgrade your home this summer. 
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The Garage 

The summer is a great time to reinvent areas of your house. What better place to begin than with your garage? Besides a home for your car, your garage is an excellent spot for storage, an enclosed terrace, and even an extra room for entertaining. To help you take advantage of this space, install your own DIY garage screen door, add a few planters and perhaps even a DIY bar. With a screen door in your garage, you can enjoy the summer in the shade, and without the bugs. These doors are relatively easy to install and allow you to open up a whole new room for the season. 

The Sun Room 

When the summer hits, finding the perfect spot to read and relax is always a priority. No matter the space you have, you can create your summer oasis at home. Start by looking at the area and thinking about how you want to utilize it. If you are looking to create a place to relax during the day, you may want to line the area with lush plants and rich colors. For those looking for an evening hangout, a DIY fire-pit creates the ultimate hangout spot to unwind with friends after a hot summer day. Whatever you decide to do, be sure to add some lights so day or night your oasis is ready for you.
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The Restroom 

You may not think about your bathroom in the summer, but whether you are rinsing from a day in the pool or after working in the hot sun, you end up spending more time than you realize in your bathroom. This summer, take the time to invest in creating a sanctuary for you to relax from the heat of the day. To help you get on some of the summer's hottest trends, consider adding bold colors and patterns to give your bathroom a fresh look. Don't forget to add plenty of storage space, so everything you need is available without ever having to leave the room.
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The Kitchen 

During the summer, your menu changes to match the season. As you steer away from hot hearty dishes, you want your kitchen to reflect this switch in dining. Follow some DIY kitchen ideas to help you get the room ready to prepare the best meals possible. Before you get started with any big changes, take the time to update your storage and organization. Then, think about the small touches you can add to brighten up the room. Whether adding a splash of color as a backdrop or accessorizing the counter, there are tons of unique ideas you can do to make it summer-ready. 

No matter how you update your house, make sure it reflects your personality. Keep in mind where you will spend the most time, and enjoy your home this summer.

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Spruce Up Your Walls With Canvas Prints From Canvas Champ

Today's post is sponsored by Canvas Champ. All opinions are my own. 

Can you believe that we are heading into yet another month of staying at home? While many states have opened back up a lot of businesses, some people are still choosing to stay home a bit longer. We have been taking this time as a family to work on numerous projects around the house. We have tackled everything from cleaning out closets and drawers, to repairing little things that are manageable, and even starting a vegetable garden. When you are home it seems like the projects and work never ends.

There have been holidays that have come and gone in the past couple months, and now we are in graduation season with Father's Day coming soon after. Celebrations are being done in very different ways. My husband graduated earlier this month from his MBA program, and his college did a virtual graduation. He got fully decked out in his cap and gown to watch the ceremony. Although it was a bit odd, it really went nicely and we did our own iPhone photo session with the graduate afterwards. We had to make do with the current at-home situation and ended up having a fantastic time.

One of our traditions each time a family member graduates is to take a photo of them in their cap and gown and have it turned into a canvas print. Canvas prints are a great way to display your important memories and definitely jazz up a plain wall. Canvas Champ makes it easy to upload your images and order a variety of sizes of canvas prints. You can even do multiple canvas prints to make a gallery wall.



The ordering process is super simple, and takes only few minutes to do as long as you have your images picked out ahead of time. Since we are all spending so much more time at home, we might as well have nice things to look at each day. Father's Day is coming up next month, and I am certain any dad would love a canvas print of his kids for his home or work office. I know my husband would!

If you are considering sprucing up around your house a bit, I recommend canvas prints since they are affordable and are a nice way to display your favorite memories. They come with the mounting hardware, so all you have to do is hang and enjoy! So open up that photo gallery and get those moments turned into a beautiful piece of art.

Thanks for stopping by today!
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Create A Family Photo Wall With CanvasDiscount [Giveaway]

Do you ever look around your home and think about the things you have been meaning to do for a long time? One of those things for me is to get some pictures, art or really anything up on my bare walls. We have lived in our home for almost 2 decades and still have so many bare walls. We tend to have more minimalist taste when it comes to decorating our home, but I do love displaying family photos.

I have been wanting to have a family gallery-style wall, and finally started it this year. I still have a little way to go, but feel like it is coming along pretty well so far. We have pictures that have been taken over the years that are very much worthy of being displayed. One of my favorite styles of photos is canvas prints. I really do love the look of a photo that almost looks like a painting when it is printed on a canvas. I knew I need to add a couple more family photos so I used CanvasDiscount.com to order exactly what I needed.

CanvasDiscount.com offers a huge variety of sizes and styles of canvas prints to fit your budget. Since I had tighter areas that I needed canvas prints for, I went with a vertical prints in sizes 12" x 16". They were the perfect size, and the prices were so good at just $25 each. The website is user-friendly, and I was able to upload my photos and create my whole order from start to finish in about 10 minutes. It does help a lot when you already know which photos you want to use. Check out these gorgeous canvas prints we had made.

The quality is excellent, and the colors are rich and vibrant. Also, the shipping time was super fast. Right now, you can get up to 5 FREE MIXPIX® plates from CanvasDiscount.com just by going through this link: http://bit.ly/momfiles. I absolutely love the idea of an entire collage of canvas prints on a wall. Speaking of which, look at how nice our two canvas prints look with the existing photos we have on the wall above our couch. All I need to do now is add some decorative signs and plaques to finish it off. By the way, canvas prints make nice gifts for the holidays!




Be sure to stay connect to CanvasDiscount.com for product updates and discount on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Giveaway

Our friends at Canvasdiscount.com are providing a $50 code to their site for one Mom Files reader to win. Enter below: a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only and ends on December 19, 2019. Must follow rules in Rafflecopter. One winner will be chosen randomly. Mom Files is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Good luck!

Thank you so much CanvasDiscount.com for providing us with a code for complimentary canvas prints. All opinions are our own. 
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Projects We Tackled In 2019

This past year seems to have gone by so quickly and makes me take time to reflect on things that we accomplished in our household, as well as plan for the upcoming new year. We decided on buying a lot less stuff in 2019, and donated a lot of things that were no longer serving us in a positive way. We made a list of household projects that we wanted to get done, and thankfully we were able to check off those boxes!

Photo by Camille Brodard on Unsplash
We started out with some plumbing repairs which we still have another part to complete. Thankfully we replaced our ancient water heater with a brand new one and got some re-piping done. The plumbing job then led to a bathroom remodel in our hallway bath. We experienced some mishaps during the process, but it’s done and we are planning on the downstairs bathroom remodel. We will take all of the lessons we learned from the first one into the second project.
Rocco is enjoying our cozy new carpet
Another big project that we got done was having our upstairs carpeting replaced. We did our research at a local place that was highly recommended and we couldn’t be happier! It was so nice entertaining over the Thanksgiving holiday with a refreshed-looking home. I really think we will get a new dining room set early next year to replace our 15-year-old set. I was reading an article earlier this year that talked about having a custom table made or refurbished, and then purchasing chairs for your dining table. That might not be a bad idea since our actual table isn’t in bad condition. The chairs aren’t the most comfortable to sit on for extended periods of time. It might look nice if we got our table professionally refinished. Then we can spend our time looking for chairs that will suit our taste and needs.

Speaking of dining room, we got a quote for new flooring for the kitchen and dining areas. We just have to come up with what type and finish of flooring we want to go with. I am leaning towards the higher quality vinyl that looks like hardwoods. We have old vinyl now and the thing I like about it is that it’s easy to clean, and if you accidentally drop a cup or plate, it doesn't always break like it would on a hard tile floor. Decisions, decisions.

A couple more things that we also got done was getting our landing replaced at our front door. The wooden planks were getting rickety, so we had them all ripped out and replaced. We just have to get the wood stained once the weather gets warmer. For now we have to look at a two-toned deck, but that's okay. I also got a brand new washing machine to replace my 23-year-old one. Yes, we had it for 23 YEARS! Although my new machine is pretty and modern, I actually miss how the old school type works. Go figure!

I think that we will focus on one new project per quarter as our budget allows. Planning everything out ahead of time has really made it so much easier to get the projects set up and completed. We were super lucky to find good people who offer reasonable prices. Hopefully they will be able to get us on their schedule. Do you have any big home renovations or projects planned for the new year?

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New Uses for Old Curtains

Redecorating your home can be expensive. But you don’t always have to go out and buy the newest décor on the market. You can repurpose items you already have - like curtains! Your curtains may be old, but that doesn’t mean they’ve lost their use. There are many ways to recycle the fabric that once covered your windows. Here are several ideas on how you can come up with new uses for old curtains.

Table accessories: The fabric from old curtains can be repurposed into a tablecloth or runner for any table in your home. The material can also be converted into placemats or decorative napkins that will add flair to any dining room table. Think about the different types of events you’re hosting, whether it’s Thanksgiving dinner or a small cocktail party, and use old curtains that match those vibes.
Photo by Jopofa Bolt on Unsplash
Blankets and pillows: Old curtain fabric can also be used to create throw pillow covers, blankets, or pieces to a quilt. With blankets and pillows, you do want to consider the texture of the curtain. Burlap may not be the best choice for something you want to curl up with, but silk would make for an excellent pillowcase. Make use of these old curtain fabrics to create unique pieces that add comfort to any room in your home.

Headboard: Another option for repurposing your old drapes is to convert them into a headboard. This option is less expensive than purchasing an actual headboard, and it will create a new focal point in your space. Headboards pull a room together, and it’s so simple to DIY one. You can hang one behind your bed as is or upholster a piece of wood.
Photo by Volha Flaxeco on Unsplash
Room dividers: Use old curtains to divide a large living area into two separate spaces. For example, you can split an office space from a living space or create a secluded play area for children apart from your main living room. It’s also a good idea for children who share a bedroom and want extra privacy.

Shower curtain: Old drapes can also be converted into shower curtains. Simply add a plastic lining to protect your repurposed drapes. Shower curtains are an item in the house that can really show off your style and personality, so the more eclectic the pattern, the better. Plus, you’ll have a shower curtain that can’t be found anywhere else and at a much lower price.

Doors: This option provides your home with the privacy of a door, but with a more open and decorative feel. Utilize old curtains to cover a closet space in a hallway, bedroom, bathroom, or any area in your home that you want to be hidden from view.

It doesn’t matter whether your curtains are solid or patterned. Any type of curtain can be repurposed in several ways. When you’re recycling old curtains, think about the color scheme and style of your home so that you’re creating a cohesive vibe throughout the house. Get creative and reinvent your old curtains into new décor for your home!

Many thanks to Piper Classics for this guest post.

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Tips for Decorating This Christmas Season

As the year comes to a close, many people start focusing on the holidays. While it can be a beautiful season, you may also find yourself stressing to get everything done on a limited schedule. One area that tends to frustrate people is decorating. Though it can be fun to invest in decor and display it around your residence, you also need to come up with a plan so you don’t feel like you’re annoyed as you attempt to deck the halls with boughs of holly.

If you need advice on how to improve your decorating process, now is the perfect time to look for help. Explore these tips and see what you can do to get more out of your attempts at decorating.


Start Small

Decorating in some neighborhoods can become something of a healthy competition. One home will put up an elaborate display and other homeowners will try to outdo their neighbors each year. While this can be a fun way to go about creating a beautiful wonderland on your lawn, it can also be a huge point of frustration for you and your family. Instead of opting for a big, complicated display, try to scale back and see what you can accomplish on a smaller scale.

Minimalist decorations are quite popular nowadays. A few strategically placed decorations can create more of a cozy sense of winter magic than a garish display of bright lights and singing Santa Claus inflatables. Sit down before you start putting up and decorations and formulate a plan on how to go about making your home more festive for the holidays. The simpler the plan, the easier it will be for you to get through these tasks without feeling overwhelmed by how much you need to finish.

Artificial Options

Another area where it can be easy to feel stress while decorating is with your Christmas tree. Though you may feel like a natural tree is the best way to go, it can also be a lot of work. Putting up a real tree in your home means you need to go buy one, haul it to your house, put it up, decorate it, and then tend to it in the weeks before and after the holiday. If you want an easier option, then it can be helpful to consider buying an artificial tree from a seller like Balsam Hill.

Balsam Hill trees may be artificial, but they perfectly capture the real deal. Selecting an artificial tree gives you more control over the size and style of your tree, allowing you to maximize the space in your home and find an option that fits perfectly. Decorating an artificial tree is also a lot easier, as you do not need to worry about damaging the branches while hanging your ornaments. Best of all, you don’t need to worry about watering the tree or any of the mess that comes along with caring for a larger living plant.


Make Memories

You may also want to think about making your decorations at home this year. This can be especially fun if you have little ones in the house. Set a night of the week aside for your family to make some decorations together. You’ll be able to create some beautiful wreaths, garlands, and ornaments for the season and make lasting memories all the while. Your little ones will be able to look back on these years with fondness when they remember how much fun it was to make decorations with their parents.

Stressing out about the holidays is an easy way to ruin your season. Find a better way to decorate by opting for simpler solutions and see how much of a difference it can make to your experience.
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Get a Healthy Renovated House with These Zero-VOC Interior Paints

Renovating your house is always an exciting task. Nonetheless, this does not mean that you should not think about your health and your safety as well. Choosing your paint is an essential step in this process, and you should make sure that you select a color that does not have too many volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Today we will talk about some of the most significant alternatives when it comes to paint that does not use volatile organic compounds. You should also keep in mind that low-VOC paint usually has less than 250 g/L. If a paint claims that it is zero-VOC, it is required to have less than 5 g/L VOC.

Milk Paint

The paint from Old-Fashioned Milk Paint is fantastic if you want to go organic when painting your home. This paint calls itself “The Greenest Paint There Is,” and according to the company, the same ingredients are used in the pharmaceutical and food industries.

The base paint has components such as minerals or milk protein, and they are all completely biodegradable. However, a drawback could be the fact that there aren’t too many colors available. You can choose to mix specific colors with white so that you get different shades.

Sherwin-Williams

This brand is well known, so you shouldn’t have any problems when it comes to finding it in a store near you. This acrylic latex paint is zero-VOC, and it also has an ingredient that is anti-microbial. This means that using this paint should reduce mold growth and your walls will remain cleaner and healthier for a longer time.

YOLO Colorhouse

YOLO Colorhouse started with 49 shades, and they managed to add more than 40 new colors since then. This paint is created without using formaldehyde, phthalates, carcinogens or VOCs. This brand does more than that. The containers for YOLO Colorhouse are made out of recycled plastic, and the labels use recycled material as well. The ink for the labels is soy ink, and the products are shipped with vehicles that use biodiesel fuel.

Behr Premium Plus Enamel Low luster

If you want to have numerous alternatives, then you should choose Behr which is a brand that offers more than 4000 different colors, and they contain flat interior, semi-gloss, eggshell and base finishes. All products have zero-VOC versions, and you can find the perfect shade by using the color finder at Behr.com. Their website also offers pictures of rooms that were renovated using their paints, so you could see an idea for your house right there if you are not feeling inspired.

Benjamin Moore Natura/Aura

This paint brand has been around for more than two hundred years, but it managed to keep up with the latest needs. Therefore, Benjamin Moore included a line of Natural Waterborne paint, which contains the entire range of colors, without using any volatile organic compounds. Another advantage of this brand is the fact that it does not need a primer on most surfaces.

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Easy Ways to Add Value to Your Home

Are you looking to sell your home in the near future? Then we are sure you will want to try and make as much money as you possibly can on it! There are lots of easy ways in which you can increase the price of your property without having to spend a fortune.  We will take you through our top tips on how you can do this, but without having to get pricey contractors involved.
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Start with the Exterior 

The first thing that people will see when they arrive at your home for a viewing is the exterior and so you will want to make sure that this is pristine, and looks like a home where people will want to instantly move into. As soon as they see your home, they will be thinking about how much you are asking for and whether they think this price is justified. Start with little tasks such as weeding the garden, fixing the fence, and adding a fresh coat of paint to any outside windows. These little things can make a big difference!

Structural problems can also significantly decrease the value of your home, and the big one here to think about is the roof. The roof also makes up the outside exterior of your home, so it will clearly be visible to anyone viewing it, and will also most likely impact how much they want to offer. Before you start to allow viewings of your home, have any roof work repaired, and clear the drains and gutters to improve its appearance.

Finally, to complete your outdoor space, you will want to think about having some type of storage available as this will be a big selling point in your home. We would suggest getting a steel building as these are extremely cost-effective, easy to build and you don’t have to worry about labor costs. Plus, they can even be used as a garage. Armstrong Steel wrote a very useful article about how a steel building can increase a property’s value here: http://armstrongsteel.com/network/steel-building-insider/steel-building-increase-property-value/#.WxfqOEgvyUk

Brighten Up Your Home

One of the biggest things that can add value to your home is the amount of light coming in. A room that has a lot of light coming in instantly feels bigger, and so this is a cheap and easy way to increase your home’s value. A few easy things that can ensure more light is coming into your home is cleaning your windows, installing bright energy efficient lights, and installing a skylight or sliding patio doors.

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Decorating and Flooring

You would be surprised by how much value can be added to your home simply for painting a wall that is slightly drab! If you are going to be painting your home to up its value, make sure to go for neutral colors and avoid using any bright colors and this will probably be unappealing to the majority of buyers out there. The same can also be said if you are going to be replacing carpets.

Adding value to your home doesn't have to be anything over-the-top or costly. Thanks for stopping by!

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