Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Colour Schemes from Colour Wheel

Lost in trying to decide which colour goes with what? Learn about the colour wheel.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Holiday Home Decorating Tips

Tis the season! Have you seen the Christmas lights and decor in town? It's time to put them up at home.

Monday, November 22, 2010

10 Fresh Ways to Bring Green into your Décor

Nothing says fresh like a splash of green. Add some to your home decor today.

Article taken off http://freshome.com

10 Fresh Ways to Bring Green into your Décor

1.) Green in the bathroom is refreshing: Nature inspired colors in the bathroom connect your body and spirit to get revitalized and refreshed. Try adding green in soothing hues of sage and moss in wall paint, bath linen and area rugs.

2.) Sleep well: Similarly to the bathroom, your bedroom is about tranquility and rejuvenation. Create a Zen-like oasis with bed linen, window treatments in varying shades of greens and browns. Espresso brown and spring green emulate a forest and being amongst nature.

3.) Green in the kitchen is nourishing: from painted kitchen cabinetry to soothing greens in a kitchen backsplash, nourishing green is a favorite in the kitchen. Just as animals and humans derive their food from greenery, kitchen appliances and cookware are all becoming popular in green hues.

4.) Calm your senses: If you’re looking for décor that is subdued and relaxing, pair pale greens and buttery yellows for a relaxing meditation room. The human body enjoys colors that relax and soothe. Add matching décor to the walls in collections to visually add interest and to carry through the color scheme.

5.) Rejuvenate and energize: If you want to be energized in your space, add bright green with bright yellow undertones. Used in fabric throw pillows and wall art, green can inspire and help you be creative. Use it in playrooms, art studios and work out rooms of your home.

6.) Kids rooms love green: Apple, lime, and chartreuse greens are all bright and happy versions to bring a cheery disposition to play areas and children’s rooms. Used alone or paired with blues, browns, yellows, or purples – green is playful and fun.

7.) Masculine greens are popular in décor: Green is very versatile and isn’t gender specific. Although hunters green, kelly green and army green tend to be used in home libraries, dens and billiards rooms to evoke masculine appeal.

8.) Liven up your urban home: For those of you that are seconds away from walking outside onto a green lawn, consider yourself fortunate. For those that live in urban homes, bring nature into your home with live greenery, water features, and natural fibers and décor. When you bring green into your furniture, and surroundings, the noise and hustle and bustle of urban life will melt away inside your nature inspired home.

9.) Eco-friendly décor goes ‘green’: From the color green to earth friendly ‘green’ – your home can benefit from quickly renewable resources in your décor. Choose from cork flooring, seagrass furniture, and jute area rugs. Your home and family benefit from green décor and so does Mother Nature!

10.) Green means balance in feng shui: The color green is a balancing color which means harmony. Consider using green as an exterior home color along with fresh green plants in your front entry and back porch. Your entire home can feel centered and harmonious with the use of green.

If you could pick one color to represent calm, relaxation, energy and balance it’s the color green. Colors that are found naturally in nature will make your home feel welcoming every time you come home. Use these 10 tips for adding green to your décor and see how nature and your home are truly harmonious. Freshome reader’s share with us how you use green in your décor. Other than reading our fabulous online magazine everyday!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

Signs You Should Remodel Your Bathroom

Is it about time you give your bathroom a new dose of life?

Article taken off alborronchos.com

Signs You Should Remodel Your Bathroom

As a homeowner, you may want something a bit different, more exciting, or more attractive for your home. There are many homeownwers who are satisfied with their home, but there are also many who are not, and want more. If you are one of the latter, then it may be time for you to change things up a bit. The changes don’t have be expensive, you don’t have to buy a new home. Often, all that it takes is a simple remodeling project, such as renovating your bathroom.

When looking at a bathroom remodeling project, many homeowners will wonder if it is a good idea or not. To ensure that a bathroom remodeling project is indeed a good idea for your home, you should look at some of the signs that your bathroom needs to be remodeled. If any of these signs sound familiar to you, then renovating your bathroom could be a good idea to revitalize the bathroom, and your home.

The most important sign that you should remodel your bathroom is whether or not you are unhappy with it, and want a change. If you are unhappy with just the bathroom, or the appearance of the entire house, then a good bathroom renovation may be just the ticket. If you do decide to remodel or redecorate your bathroom, you have many options available to you. You can just repaint the walls, or maybe replace that old sink. Since the bathroom is typically the smallest room in the house, even a small change will have a big impact. Or you could go all out, and replace everything in the bathroom, and do a complete bathroom makeover.

Another factor to consider when you decide whether or not to remodel the bathroom, is the condition of the room, and safety. If you’ve noticed a problem in the bathroom with mold and mildew, or if the room is falling apart, you may not only want to remodel, you may need to remodel your bathroom. The bathroom is one of the most used rooms in your home. You, and everyone in your home probably uses it several times a day. Loose floor tiles and mold are unattractive, but can also be a hazard. If your bathroom is in poor condition, then you should definitely look into remodeling.

If you are looking to sell your home, you may want to consider remodeling your bathroom. A new bathroom can help to increase the value of your home, especially if the bathroom is in bad shape, poorly lit, or out of date. You are certainly not required to remodel the bathroom before you sell your house, but it is a good idea. Speak to your real estate agent about it. They can give you information on whether or not the bathroom remodeling project will increase the value of the home enough to make the project worth it. In some cases, remodeling the bathroom before selling your house is worth the time, expense, and effort. Other times it isn’t.

When it really comes down to it, the biggest sign that the bathroom needs to be remodeled, is simply that you want to remodel it. There are many benefits to remodeling the bathroom, and you can approach it from many different angles. Whether it is simply replacing a faucet or repainting, or completely remaking the entire bathroom, the changes will have a big impact, and make a huge improvement in your bathroom.

Friday, November 12, 2010

How To Makeover Your Home On A Budget

Make your home magazine-ready on a limited budget. It's possible!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Minimalist Kitchen

Not many people are very adept in the kitchen these days and as a result, we tend to spend less and less time in it preparing home-cooked goodness. If you are in the midst of furnishing your first very own kitchen, these pointers will come in handy.

Article taken off thesimpledollar.com

The Minimalist Kitchen: What You Need (and Don’t Need) to Set Up Your First Workable Home Kitchen

Cooking at home is the most effective way to minimize your food budget. Almost every meal you cook at home will be less expensive (and often quicker) than a similar meal out on the town. Doing it consistently will not only save you money consistently, but it’ll build up your skills in the kitchen.

The only problem? The setup cost is usually quite stiff. You do need quite a number of items. Fortunately, you don’t need quite as much as you think, and most of the stuff you do need is cheap. Here’s the equipment I’d get for a basic kitchen.
An oven and stove top and a refrigerator These are the basic appliances you’ll need to even attempt cooking at home. Without them, this article is moot. If your apartment/home comes with them, just use the ones already there until they wear out. If you must buy new, buy durable. Do the research, check out Consumer Reports, and follow their recommendations. Energy efficiency is also vital – use the Energy Guide stickers and look for the EnergyStar logo when comparing models. I also strongly encourage you to avoid getting a flat-surface stove top if you’re unfamiliar with cooking, as you will have many boil-overs as you learn and the top can be nearly impossible to clean.
NO microwave “Blasphemy!” many will shout. I argue that a microwave stunts your ability to learn to cook at home by making it very easy to pop convenience foods in the microwave instead of actually preparing something. It’s a crutch at first, though it can definitely become a tool later on. Challenge yourself to no microwave for a year and see how much you learn. Even better – do it right off the bat and you don’t have the initial cost of buying a microwave.

Tip #1: If you can see only a few situations for using it, don’t buy it
So many kitchen items have one use. Take, for example, the cheese slicer. It slices cheese. Period. Use a knife, or if you grate or slice a lot of things, get a four-in-one box grater. Don’t waste your money on a cheese slicer unless you slice five pounds of cheese a week. Any item that does not have uses with a wide variety of foods should be looked at with a very discerning eye.
Basic flatware and eating dishes Don’t sweat this a bit. Go to your local department store and go for the low-end stuff for now. Later on, if you want to “upgrade” to something “classy” (meaning spending far more for essentially the same functionality of an item), go for it. Just don’t waste your money right out of the chute on hundreds of dollars of flatware.

A cutting board Get the cheapest one possible – probably a rectangular chunk of plastic for a buck or two. The entire purpose is to keep your knife from damaging your countertop.

A vegetable peeler This is one of the very few kitchen “gadgets” that’s worth its salt. Although you can peel potatoes, zucchini, squash, and so forth with a knife, a vegetable peeler is incredibly efficient at its task. You can use a knife and/or a box grater in place of this item, but it’s very inexpensive (any old one will do) and the efficiency it adds to many food preparations (especially in a vegetable-heavy diet) is immense.

Tip #2: Be creative in finding workable substitutes
There are countless clever little items for the kitchen that seem like a good idea, but can usually be substituted for easily if you think outside the kitchen a bit. A meat tenderizing hammer? If you prepare meat every day of the week, sure – otherwise, just use the rubber mallet out in the garage with your meat under paper or plastic.
A large pot, a small pot, and a skillet You need three pots, that’s all. The large pot’s for cooking stews, boiling beans and pasta, and so forth. The smaller pot’s perfect for making sauces, boiling small amounts of vegetables, and so on. A single large skillet will be your primary stove top cooking tool. Don’t skimp and get teflon-coated pans or else you’ll just be tossing them in a couple of years when the teflon begins to chip off. Instead, invest now and get some hard-anodized aluminum ones, especially the small pot and the skillet. You’ll still be using good ones when you retire.

Two very simple baking pans Get a 9″ by 13″ cake-style pan and then a French oven or casserole-style pan. 90% of the time, you can get by with just one of these (I’d get the latter one), but that other 10% will leave you aching, when you need to have two items in the oven at once.

A box grater You can get a metal box grater for a buck, and there are all sorts of little uses for it – slicing and grating cheese or vegetables, making breadcrumbs out of an old loaf of bread, and so on. Amazing little utility item for just a few pennies.

Tip #3: Just starting out? This stuff makes perfect gift requests
Almost everything on this list makes for a perfect bridal shower, wedding, or graduation gift. If you have a registry for any such purpose, put these items on it and get gifts that are actually useful instead of just tossing stuff on there without thought or pattern.

Two knives and a honing steel A paring knife and a chef’s knife will handle almost every cutting need you’ll have in your kitchen. Go to your friendly local department store and grip each one. Find the one that fits best in your hand, regardless of price, and buy it. Different hands grip a bit differently, so it may be that the most expensive knife is the best fit for you or the cheapest knife is the best fit. Just get the chef’s knife that fits your grip the best and the paring knife that fits your grip the best.
You should also snag a honing steel. It’s easy to use and makes a world of difference in keeping your knives usable. It does not sharpen your knife, but it does keep the edge on your knife from warping over time. Just use the honing steel twice on each side before you use the knife.
A magnetic knife rack This is basically just a long magnetic strip you can hang somewhere high. Since it’s a big magnet, it’ll attract the blades of your knives and allow them to hang there, without the edge touching anything at all. This reduces the slow wear on the blade of your knife. It’s cheap and definitely the right way to go if you’re childless – if you have children, though, this may be an unsafe temptation for the little ones.

A baking sheet Something to toss things on when you bake them in the oven, from pizza and vegetables to cookies and bread. Again, just get the cheap one – an air bake one is a nice $4 extravagance, but not vital.
A loaf pan If you’re going to bake bread consistently or like to make meatloafs or other small casseroles, a loaf pan is perfect and costs only a buck or two.

Tip #4: Keep the food basics on hand, always

What about the food? I recommend keeping plenty of olive oil and a well-stocked spice rack on hand, no matter what. Both are very cheap and both are used in almost anything you make.

A food processor This is the least essential item on this list, but it’s incredibly useful, particularly as you move more towards cooking consistently complex meals at home. A good one can retexturize almost anything, from chopping and grinding to juicing and pureeing. I favor the KitchenAid KPF 750, as does Consumer Reports. This is a great housewarming gift for someone genuinely interested in cooking.
Plastic reusable leftover containers – and masking tape For food storage in the fridge (leftovers, stuff prepared in advance, etc.), just get a bunch of low-end reusable storage containers and a roll of masking tape. You can use the tape to identify the contents and the date of preparation on the lid so you don’t have to wonder what forgotten mystery item X is in the fridge. We still use the ones we got for a wedding gift more than five years ago.
Tip #5: When in doubt, always go cheap
If you’re standing there trying to choose between two similar items, always go for the cheap one. For starters, you don’t know for certain how much you’ll use the item, so an expensive one may be a complete waste of money. For second, unless you know the item cold, the quality difference is likely pretty unclear to you. Third, if you do decide that you use the item a lot and can actually see a compelling reason for the higher quality version, you can always upgrade later. So save your money now and go for the cheap one.

These items are all you’ll need to prepare, eat, and store almost anything that’s realistic in a home kitchen. If you do come up with additional needs, don’t be afraid to think outside the box a little bit before you turn to the store – you’ll be surprised at how many nifty solutions you have around the house.
The real key is getting started – don’t just buy this stuff to have it on hand. Use it. Try starting with very simple things, like scrambled eggs and grilled cheese sandwiches, then progress on to things like rosemary chicken. To keep it cheap, start with inexpensive basic foods and master their variations. You’ll find that before long both your wallet and your palate are happy.