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5 Smart Ways You Can Instantly Brighten You Home Interior

It’s never good when your home feels quite dark and gloomy. During the night, this isn’t much of an issue as you can turn the lights on. But, during the day, you feel like you’re living in a cave as it’s so dark and there are shadows everywhere. Aside from making you feel uncomfortable, all this darkness can detract from the lovely design of your interior. Therefore, it makes sense to try and brighten up your indoor spaces as naturally as possible.

What can you do? Some of you may argue that you can just turn the lights on during the day, and that ends the article right here! However, having your lights on during the day is not only a waste of electricity, but it’s also just plain weird. It feels odd having the lights on when it’s light outside, I don’t like it!

Instead, you should try some of these straightforward and smart ideas that will instantly brighten up your home interior:

Refresh Your Windows

Sometimes, your windows are guilty of blocking out a lot of natural light. This happens when they’re ancient and have become almost caked in dirt and grime. Or, it may just be the style of the window that doesn’t let a lot of light in. Regardless, you can solve a lot of your problems by refreshing your windows.

There are two distinct ways you can do this, and the first is to straight up replace the windows themselves. Find a glazier that will restore and install new panes and fixtures for you, which will improve your home quite dramatically. Not only will your house look nicer, but you can choose windows that let in light better and are perhaps wider than your old ones too. As such, your interior becomes a lot brighter and free from shadows.

The second option is less extreme, and it’s just to get the windows professionally cleaned. Often, you should do this first as it helps you see if the windows were just filthy. If things improve, then you can brighten up your home while saving a lot of time and effort too.

Change The Decor

Another widespread cause of darkness in the home is the decor you’ve chosen. Some people will rock really dark colors in their home that just don’t do a great deal to make it seem bright and inviting. Instead, you almost shoot yourself in the foot by creating a gloomy atmosphere. Now, it might not be your fault as you could’ve just moved into a house that’s decorated like this. This doesn’t matter, all that matters is you fix the problem!

I love this idea as it’s one of the easiest and most fun to do. All that’s required is a little renovation of your interior design. Assess your dark rooms and think of brighter colors that will make them feel less dark and more bright/happy. White is obviously always a good color to use on the walls as it will reflect natural light and really brighten up any room. Not only that, but you can get wallpapers that are primarily white, but also use other colors/patterns, which mean you can have fun re-designing your rooms as well.

Obviously, you can choose any bright colors you like, but I only used white as an example because it’s the best example to choose. Some other colors might be a bit too ‘out there’ for some people, while white remains neutral. This means you can come up with an interior design theme that stays in fashion for a long time as well.

Make Good Use Of Mirrors

Ah, mirrors – one of the most underrated interior design features on the planet. People think this item should only be used in bathrooms or bedrooms to give you something to look at when you’re getting ready. However, they have so many more uses as well. We all know that mirrors help open up a room and give the illusion of more interior space. But, they also serve to brighten up your interiors as well.

You see, mirrors are incredibly reflective, which means that light will bounce off it back into the room. If you position your mirrors smartly, you can use the natural light coming in through your windows to reflect all over the room. It almost acts as a daytime light, totally illuminating the space. But, the clear difference is that mirrors don’t run on electricity so your energy bill won’t go through the roof!

Another reason I love mirrors is that they can be used to complement your interior design as well. A grand mirror in your living room can completely tie everything together and make the whole place feel more connected. It’s a decoration, as well as a reflector of light!

Switch To A Different Flooring

Carpet has its pros and cons, but I don’t think it’s very beneficial in the modern era. Sure, it can add warmth and comfort to your property, but I think some neatly placed rugs will do the same when put on top of a different flooring option. Plus, ideas like laminate, vinyl, and tiled floorings will help brighten up your home as well.

How? Well, it’s pretty much the same effect that mirrors have on your property. These floorings are all quite shiny – especially tiles – which means they reflect the light and bounce it around the room very well. It will definitely be considerably different compared to what a carpet or some old hardwood flooring will bring to your home. Here, they can act as a bit of a light dampener – if that makes sense. No light reflects off them, and they almost suck it out of the room and create a sense of dullness.

Consider Installing Skylights

Fair warning; this idea won’t work for every room in your home. However, where it makes sense, it will be unbelievably useful. If you don’t know, a skylight is basically a window in the ceiling. It lets it light from the sky, which can illuminate an entire room. Typically, you see these in attic bedrooms or places where you can install a window in the ceiling. A lot of people will have kitchen extensions to make this room stick out from the rest of their home, giving them the ability to install a skylight and bring more natural light into that particular room.

This idea is also trendy for upstairs bedrooms and bathrooms as well. If you can do this, then it’s so highly recommended as it instantly changes the outlook of a room. You produce another light source (along with the standard windows), and it can make the space feel much brighter and create a happier atmosphere.

On the topic of installations that don’t suit every room, I’ll include a bonus one for you; patio doors. These are great if you have a back garden and want to connect your home to it. The way most houses are made, you have either the kitchen/dining area that sits at the rear of the house, with the garden behind it. Sometimes, you have a back door leading out, but you should change to a patio door. This will give you some massive ceiling to floor windows that also function as sliding doors. Therefore, you get loads of natural light in this room when you want it!

Final Thoughts: Why Should You Brighten Your Home Interior?

I’ve given you all my ideas to help you brighten the inside of your home, but I thought I’d wrap things up by telling you why this is something you need to do.

For one, there’s the clear benefit of just getting to enjoy your home more. Who wants to live in a shadowy home? No one! It totally brings your mood down when you’re in dark areas, whereas it brings your spirit up when it’s light. Plus, you can improve the way your home looks and really bring out all the fine details in your interior design work.

From a more practical point of view, this is essential for anyone selling their home. If you want a quick sale for a reasonable asking price, then your home must look bright and attractive. Nobody wants to buy a house that looks dark and shady; it’ll be on the market for years!

Finally, and this is something I touched upon earlier, you reduce the need to turn the lights on during the day. If you focus on bringing more natural light into your property and using it to your advantage, then there’s no reason to have the lights on until it’s dark outside. This can save you an absolute flipping fortune in energy bills! As a consequence, you can use some of these savings to revamp your home and make it look even better.

On that note, you know why it makes sense to brighten up your home interior, so go ahead and get started. Run through all the ideas mentioned above, and pick out the ones you think will work best for your property.

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A Guide to the Best Baking Apples

It’s that time of year again — apple picking and fall baking! With so many apple varieties to choose from, it can be hard to decide which apple is the best to use when baking. The best baking apples offer a balance of sweet and tart flavors as well as firm flesh that doesn’t break down in the oven while baking.

Sweet juicy baking apples

Here is a list to help when deciding what apples to use in your fall baking.

8 “go-to” apples for the perfect Fall apple dish:

Jonathans

A classic American variety, and widely regarded as one of the best flavored with a good sweet/sharp balance. You’ll recognize Jonathans apples by their deep red-stripe skin and classic apple shape. Grown in many Midwest states, Jonathans are a great apple for pies, juice and cider.

Honeycrisp

The name says it all! Honeycrisp apples are one of the sweetest apples around. They are distinctively crisp and firm, holding their shape while baking. Mix Honeycrisp apples with a tart apple like Granny Smith for a stellar pie packed full of flavor!

Granny Smith

These pretty green apples are tangy and tart with a firm flesh. One of the most popular apples for pie making, pair them with your favorite sweet apple for the perfect flavor combination.

Braeburn

This deep red beauty is spicy and sweet. It’s stores well with it’s firm texture and holds it’s shape well while baking. A great apple to eat raw. It makes the perfect portable snack!

Golden Delicious

This golden beauty is sweet with a thin skin. Golden Delicious apples require less sugar in recipes due to it’s innate sweet nature and breakdown quicker in the baking process. These are the perfect apple if you like your apple pie to have a softer texture. Great sliced in salads and to make apple butter.

Cortland

The cousin to the very popular Macintosh, Cortland’s are sweet with a tart aftertaste for a little kick. This  red, plump apple has a snow white flesh that is slow to brown after slicing.

Gala

This crisp apple has a sweet, mellow flavor. A beautifully marbled apple is ideal for applesauce and is the perfect apple to eat raw.

Macintosh

Sweet and juicy, Macintosh apples have a thick red skin with a soft, meaty flesh. Macintosh apples flesh is softer in consistency and will breakdown quickly while baking. Pair Macintosh apples with a firm, crisp apple like Granny Smith for the ultimate pie combo.

Ok, now that you are educated on all the apple facts, it’s time to make something yummy and I have just the recipe, Apple Crisp with Oatmeal Crumble.
Enjoy ~M

Homemade Apple Crisp

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Rustic, Not Rusty: Modern Convenience For Rural Homes

Just because you live far away from the hustle and bustle of the city doesn’t mean that you have to be stuck in the past. The old-fashioned charm of a rural home is a huge part of its appeal for many people, but that charm comes with a few costs, too. Here, we’re going to look at how to keep the charm but do away with the inconvenience. We’ll look at a few upgrades that can make your home both look and feel a little more convenient, offering you all the comforts of modern living.

More than a lick of paint

If you simply don’t like the aged look of your home, then that could be one of the easiest issues of all to tackle. A change of style can really make your home a magical place. For instance, instead of warm, drab colors, you can make it feel much brighter while still highlighting the appeal of country style walls with a light color palette of cream and neutrals. If you don’t have a lot of space, then consider using unfussy furniture with neat lines and space-saving shapes so you don’t feel quite as closed in. Art is a great way to update the walls, too.

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Space it out

As mentioned, space can be a concern in country homes. You might not have as much floor on the room as you like, and the walls might be full of awkward angles that create darker spots that you’re not too fond of. Knocking down a wall can really air a room out, so that might be worth considering. Otherwise, however, trying look at ThisOldHouse.com for storage ideas that can help you save a lot of space without having to get rid of anything you need in the home. As for those small, awkwardly angled corners, you could make use of them by installing bespoke storage that takes advantage of the space rather than simply ignoring it.

Light it up

The architecture of older, rural homes tends to also be very closed in, which means that lighting can be an issue. However, one of the benefits of a rural home is that you’re going to get enough natural light to make anyone living in the city jealous. The key factor is finding how to let more of it in your home. You can opt for lighter window treatments and use décor like mirrors to help maximize the amount of light coming through your windows. However, it may be worth considering something like patio doors that can really blur the divide between the outdoors and indoors, bathing your home with a lot more light. Greenery and houseplants can also help the home feel a lot brighter.

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Stay connected

Modern convenience isn’t all about how things look, but about how comfortably and easily you can live, too. When it comes to the internet, rural homeowners tend to get the short end of the stick, to put it politely. If you stick with the major providers, you might find that coverage in your area isn’t suitable to the modern needs of the average internet-powered household. Check out other providers like i3Broadband.com for more information on the types of internet packages they offer in your area. You might just be able to find one who can provide better coverage or at least better hardware, such as routers, that can help your home make the best use of your connection. We use the net for much more than visiting websites nowadays. Between online video games and streaming high-quality videos, you need high-speed internet that can handle a heavier load.

Make it smart

If you upgrade the wireless hub of the home, then you might be able to use it to do a lot more than access faster download and upload speeds. The smart home is a revolutionary new trend in home technology that allows you to control a lot more from a single control panel. For instance, you can connect your smart home to your lights, electronic locks, blinds, your HVAC, even your TV, and your sound systems, allowing you to control them all remotely. There’s nothing to stop someone in a country home from taking their house to the future. However, it may require you to do a lot of rewiring and to install new power outlets into the home to keep everything connected.

 

Get energized

Speaking of power, if you’re sick of being tied to the grid and paying utility companies for your energy, then you should consider going solar instead. Sites like YellowLite.com show more about different solar installations that can make the best use of the climate in your area. As previously mentioned, country homes tend to get a lot more natural light that homes in suburbs and the cities, because there’s nothing to block the sun. As a result, they could also have the biggest potential savings by making the switch to solar-powered electricity in the home. If you produce more electricity than you use, you can even provide it back into the grid.

Stand up against the weather

If your home is at the mercy of the elements, there are a lot of ways to tackle it. Updating your doors and windows to more energy efficient fixtures is one way, as is replacing and maintaining the health of the roof. However, sometimes it’s the walls that let a little too much of the heat escape. As Hunker.com shows, exterior cladding could be just the solution you need. Besides helping the home better maintain its own climate, cladding can reduce water absorption and is highly resistant to sunlight. What’s more, it can immediately transform the aesthetic appeal of the home, giving it a much more modern façade.

You don’t have to transform the home from top to bottom to enjoy a little modern convenience. It’s a good idea to list your wants and needs, to prioritize so you can see where you can do a little updating without sacrificing what you love about your country home

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Do You Want To Send Your Neighbor’s Green With Envy?

Do you ever wonder what your neighbors think of your home? Believe me, they are looking. They might subtly suggest that the weather’s nice enough to trim the grass. That’s their way of saying that yours is a little too long and it’s making their home look bad. Or, potentially, they could notice a lovely colorful new array of flowers in your garden. They could ask where you bought the seeds or what your secret is for getting them to sprout so beautifully. Sometimes we want to impress our neighbors and other times we want to beat them to see who can have the prettiest home.

This could be simply to make sure that your property is the crown jewel on the street. Or, perhaps it’s because you’re selling and you don’t want attention taken away from your house by other homes in the area.

This is all about curb appeal, and we have some fantastic tips for you.

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Going Green

It’s a big change, but you might want to consider adding solar panels to your roof. Solar panels have been a big deal for companies and businesses for years, helping them save money. You can find more from Big Dog Solar Energy about this and discover the benefits of a feature for companies. Or, you can start to look at the new trend where homeowners are getting in on the action. Yes, homeowners can now invest in solar panels as well, getting the energy saving solution they need and the home redesign they want. With solar panels, your home roof will look fantastic and modern. The energy saving is really just a bonus.

Get A Carport

Don’t worry, all the ideas aren’t quite this grand, but a carport could be a fantastic option. With a carport, you can add an exciting new feature to the front of your property and will have a practical purpose. With a carport, you can protect your vehicle from the worst of the elements. However, it’s also consider a luxurious build. So, if you want to upscale your home, this could definitely be the right choice for you.

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Invest In Landscaping

You can think about using a professional landscaper to keep your garden looking lush and lovely. People will often hire a landscaper if they are thinking about selling to make sure that their yard makes a tremendous first impression. However, this can be an expensive service so you will need to think carefully about whether it’s worth the charge. The cost will typically depend on what you want to do. Tidying up the grass and making it green won’t cost a fortune. But altering the levels and layers of your yard definitely will.

Go Astro

Finally, if you want to cheat, you can think about investing in astroturf. Similar to solar panels it’s a concept that started off as a commercial choice but was ultimately embraced by homebuyers, and you can see why. With astroturf, you will have gorgeous lush green grass no matter what the weather is like outside.

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How to Decorate your Home for Autumn

Autumn is just around the corner so now it is more important than ever to get the house in order. Autumn is a wonderful time and all of the leaves will soon turn nice and golden, before falling from the tree onto the cold and hard ground. It’s safe to say that autumn is one of the best times for you to spruce up the home but at the end of the day, so many people fail to do it every single year. So if you want to get your home ready for autumn then you can find out whatever you need to know right here.

Orange is Your Friend

When you think of autumn colors, what really sticks out is the various shades of orange. Consider using deep and dark accent colors. These rustic colors will really create a wonderful feeling of warmth and it will also give you a good level of comfort as well. You will even find that it makes your home feel much more inviting and this is a great way for you to get everything looking great.

Warmth

Autumn is the time for log fires and snuggling up on the sofa. This is a fantastic way for you to combat those wet, miserable Mondays. One of the best ways for you to make your home feel way warmer without having to decorate is to invest in a space heater. They are super practical and they are also very easy to carry around the home as well. you can even invest in a log burner as well. When you do have a log burner you can install it into your wall and nothing can quite compare to this.

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Accessorize

Your autumn wardrobe is all about accessorising. You have to think about coats, scarves, gloves, hats and more. Your homes cosiness will be boosted with the right accessories and the best way for you to do this would be for you to add some soft textures. A lot of people are so against mismatching fabrics and even accessories that they really don’t open up the full potential of their home. Consider opting for things such as fleeces, heavy cottons or even knitted items as well. This will add layer after layer of cosy comfort and it can work wonders for the cosiness level of your home. You may even want to opt for a knitted ottoman as well, or even invest in a throw for your sofa. When you add a few cushions you will soon see how this can make all the difference and you will also see that you can add so much personality to your home as well.

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It’s All About Layers

If you think that there is a rule of one rug per room then there are a few rules that you need to follow.  There is no such thing as too many rugs or even carpets. If you want you can overlap lots of rugs and you can even add a cosy Moroccan vibe as well. The main thing that you have to remember here is that you don’t want to trip over them when you walk into the room, so try and space them out appropriately and don’t put them right outside doorways.

Lighting

Another way to make your home cosier would be for you to add more lighting. A great way for you to capitalise on making your home look as cosy as possible would be for you to have some dot lamps around the room. You also need to try and grab an end table and even find a way to install a shelf or two as well. When you can do this you can easily install way more lighting and this is a fantastic way for you to make the most out of the light that you have in your home.

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Never Ignore the Bathroom

The bathroom is easily one of the major rooms that you should focus on. It helps to have a rug that is right next to your bath and this will help to stop your feet from touching the cold, tiled floor. If you want to maximise the feel of the room then it also helps to have some scented candles as well. Vanity lamps are ideal and you can also have some floating shelves installed. When you do this, you can then really get more light into the room and you can also brighten it up as well. When you are choosing your scented candles, try and make sure that you are choosing ones that are nice and spicy. Toasty scents are also great because they can really make your home feel warm, so do keep that in mind when the time does come for you to get started.

The Windows

Sure, it’s cold outside but you really don’t want your windows to make your home feel cold as well. Invest in some vinyl windows or even try and have some nice flowers in the windows. This is a fantastic way for you to really make your home feel more cosy and you can even decorate to your heart’s content as well. When you look at your curtains, try and make sure that they are nice and thick and also make sure that they are able to lock in heat as well. Curtains that are able to do this often have more than one layer. So when the night gets late and there is frost outside, you can shut the curtains and feel instantly warmer. The best thing about this is that it can also save on your energy bills as well, and this is a fantastic way for you to really make the most out of the bills that you pay.

Of course, if you want to really make your home feel cosy then these top tips will help. You would be surprised at how easy it is for you to really turn things around and when you put the work in, you can seriously get your home ready for the colder months.

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