Minimizing Kid Clutter at Home

As the kids head back to school, parents are breathing a sigh of relief that life will settle down into a more predictable routine. With new schedules, it’s the perfect time to review and change where things are stored to keep the kids and house more organized. Given a choice, who wouldn’t like less clutter?

Let’s start by thinking about where the kid clutter comes from (you can use the same exercise for yourself):

Paperwork from school and extracurricular activities that comes home and often has to be returned. Backpacks, books and everything needed for homework stored in a convenient location so leaving the house in the morning goes smoothly. Sports... 

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Goodbye Boring Walls & Ceilings

Decorating styles are changing, although it’s not clear what’s driving these changes. Maybe it’s because we’re not moving as often, so there’s more disposable income to make the updates you’ve always wanted to your home. Maybe it’s new, open floor plans and higher ceilings that give us more choices when it comes to decorating.

The reality is we’re breaking decorating barriers everywhere – in the hallways, stairs, living rooms, bedrooms and even bathrooms. So we thought it was time to explore all the new and affordable ways homeowners have found to dress up their walls and ceilings.

Ideas for Creative Ceiling Designs

Traditionally, crown molding... 

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Outdoor Kitchens Appear Here to Stay

We’re spending more time at home which means eating in versus eating out. It seems natural that if we enjoy eating out, we might love “eating out at home”, so maybe it’s time for an outdoor kitchen? Just the idea of moving outdoors can help us relax and be less formal about the meals we eat and what we wear. Well if you happen to be a foodie, it might also be fun to explore new recipes for meals cooked on a grill.

So for those who are ready to upgrade their trusty old grill, we thought we’d offer some tips to plan the... 

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Creating Your Backyard Landscape Plan

Are you spending lots of time in your backyard? Or maybe you’re dreaming about what you want in this special space, once you have more time and money?

New homes have lots of expenses. We spend more time indoors so we focus on the kitchen, bathrooms, window coverings and some new furniture. With older houses, you might want new appliances, flooring and maybe some new light fixtures. It’s common to delay making improvements to the backyard for years … and years (are you smiling?).

What’s On Your Backyard Wishlist?

We thought you might want some tips on how to turn your backyard dreams into reality, in... 

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Time to Inspect Your Home’s Exterior

It’s spring and most of us are ready to spend more time outdoors. So you’ve got to decide how to spend that time. You probably want to do some gardening, hiking or other outdoor sports. But one critical thing you shouldn’t ignore is assessing your home’s exterior. The sooner you find and repair problems like missing roof shingles, the more money and time you’ll save because problems you ignore only get bigger.

By understanding home maintenance priorities, you can decide what has to be taken care of now. And some projects can wait, especially larger projects where you’ve got to save money and/or research different solutions... 

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Home Maintenance or Low Maintenance?

there are lots of low maintenance building materials you can use in your kitchen to save time spent cleaning & maintaining your house

Spring is that time of year when you start to think about home maintenance. You know your house weathered severe weather over the winter, so it’s time to check for damage and make needed repairs. At the same time many homeowners wonder how they can reduce or even better, eliminate many of these maintenance tasks .

So we thought it made sense to look at low maintenance materials and products on the market. We picked ones that can lower the time needed to clean, seal and/or complete other home maintenance chores we’ve come to expect. Until then, here’s a spring home maintenance checklist for... 

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Tips to Making Your Closets Work Harder

Closets look so big when you see them in model homes. Once you move in though, they seem to shrink and somehow there’s never enough room for all the stuff you’ve collected over the years. That’s true whether you live in a home under 2,000 square feet, or a newer house that’s more than 2,500 sq. ft.

You’re not alone as the average size of a new house in the US increased to 2,687 sq ft in 2015. As our houses have gotten bigger, closets are also getting larger. At the same time though, we’re buying more which means we need more... 

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A Sneak Peak at What’s New in Housing

You know car manufacturers come out with new models every year. One year they might change the lights and another year, the door handles. Houses evolve the same way – we just don’t buy them as frequently as we buy cars, so you might not notice.

The way we learn about new home products is different too. The most popular advertising today are the television shows like HGTV’s Property Brothers or Fixer Upper (see the top 25 shows). These are followed by websites like Pinterest and Houzz, and traditional magazines like Better Homes & Garden and Architectural Digest.

Builders and remodelers learn... 

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How LED Lights Are Changing Our Lives

We probably think more about lighting during the holidays than any other time of year (unless you’re building a house). You have to decide what holiday lights to hang, whether to buy new ones or what neighborhoods to visit to see the best holiday lights in town (watch these house lights flicker to music).

This made sense in the past because there weren’t a lot of new lighting ideas. Now that LED lights are everywhere, there are many more lighting options for every room in your house. So this month we’re exploring lighting ideas because the light in a room can affect your emotions.

How... 

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Doors that Welcome Family & Friends

Fall is in the air and soon we’ll be welcoming friends and family into our homes. That’s the one time we get to use the front door as most families go into their house from the garage or a side door off the driveway. So we decided to step back and take a look at what makes an attractive front door, as every homeowner has one (or two).

Where is Your Front Door Located?

The front door traditionally faces the street, going back to the days when people walked to the store, bus or rail station. Where the front door is located was... 

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