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End-of-Summer Home Checklist

It may be sad to say, but summer is just about at an end. It is time to start battening down the hatches for the colder months ahead. Plus, there are plenty of other home improvements which you can make during the following weeks and months. In this blog post, we are going to take a closer look at just a few of them. Many of these jobs will be much harder to complete when the real cold of winter sets in. So, here is an end-of-summer checklist which you can start ticking off.

A Lick of Paint

Since you will be spending a lot of time indoors over the next few months, it makes sense that you have a nice environment to look at. So, now is the perfect opportunity to give your walls a lick of paint. It could be that you simply want to refresh the wall colours which you have already. Otherwise, you may want to go for something completely different. Since the weather is still warm, you can leave your windows and doors open to let the paint dry. This is helpful in not leaving your home stinking of paint fumes.

Check for Any Leaks and Get Them Repaired

Winter is the last time of year that you want leaks in your home. So, to avoid suffering from chilly draughts, you need to check for leaks around the house now. Look around the home for the potential places where cold air could enter. Step outside to check for any cracks or holes in your windows, walls, doors or anywhere else. Some of these could be solved with a DIY job like caulking in the gaps. This will dry better during the warmer weather. However, if you do notice any in your windows, now is the time to get in touch with a firm like Westview Glass. Getting these jobs taken care of now can help to provide you with great peace of mind.

Get Your Fireplace Ready

There is nothing like cosying up indoors in front of a roaring fireplace. So, if you are lucky enough to have one in your home, now is the time to make sure that it is in good working order. Give it a test out now, as it is going to be much harder to get it repaired in the height of winter. It may simply need a good clean since it has likely not been used for several months of the year. Now is a good opportunity to stock up on some firewood so that you are all ready to go.

Clear Out the Gutters

If your home has rain gutters, now is a great opportunity to get them properly cleared out. Of course, you may want to do this job a little later in the year as well, since they could get clogged up with leaves when they start falling. All sorts of damage can be caused to other parts of your home if you don’t take care of this task now. Prevention is far better than the cure, so now is the time to take action.

Wash Your Winter Clothes and Bedding

 

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It won’t be long before you want to start digging out your winter clothes and bedding. And it is likely to have been at the back of your closet gathering dust over the past few years, so now is the time to dig it all out when the weather is still warm enough to dry it all properly. Just some of the items to put on the washing checklist include winter duvets, blankets, coats, pillows, jumpers, to name a few. Hang them all up outside if you can as the UV light in sunshine works as a fantastic disinfectant. Odours and mildew can also be cleared by the fresh air.

Make Your Rooms Cosier

Once your winter duvets, rugs, and blankets are washed, now is the time to start putting them around your home again. You can swap them out for your light and simple linens. You may even want to invest in some new ones. Layering up your furniture is also a fantastic way of updating your interior design. Choose a wide combination of colours, prints, and fabric varieties. This way, your home will appear inviting from the moment you step through the front door.

Rearrange Your Coat Room

There is a lot of effort in the winter months when you are putting on and taking off your coats, boots etc. Maybe you need to clear out your coathooks or get some new ones entirely. Perhaps you have some winter clothes hanging around which you no longer need, and they are simply taking up space. It is worth getting a little rug to wipe your muddy and wet boots on. A little stool will also make your job so much easier. And a shelf to put your shoes on will also help you to keep everything properly organised.

Clean the Windows

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Since the days are getting shorter, you will want to allow as much natural light into your home as possible. The first thing to do is to give them a good wash. On the inside, you can do the job well with a damp microfibre cloth. Outside, they are bound to get dirtier, so you can start by spraying them down with a hose. Finish off the job with a squeegee for the highest quality results. You may also want to switch out your thin blinds or window treatments for some which are a little thicker and heavier. This way, you can better contain the heat in your home.

Bring Your Outdoor Furniture In

It is sad to say, but the days of having outdoor gatherings are coming to an end. So, you want to make sure that your patio furniture and grill are stored safely indoors. Before you do this, now is a good opportunity to wipe down your tables and chairs with a cloth to get rid of the dirt on the surface. Afterward, you can then hose them all down. However, you need to make sure that everything is properly dry before you put it all indoors. Take this extra bit of care now and your furniture is much more likely to stand the test of time. And before you are closing your grill up for the season, it is worth wiping it down with a soapy cloth. If you have a gas-powered grill, take special care to close the tank of the valve is closed and detached.

Clean Out the Sink and Garbage Disposal

  If you have a garbage disposal in your sink, this is a very useful tool which is worth keeping in good working order. However, during the warmer months of the year, it is very easy for the bacteria lurking within to multiply significantly. A simple way of clearing it out is by using a specially designed garbage disposal cleaning product to disinfect it and remove any clogs which may well have built up. Again, this is the type of job which becomes much more complicated to complete if you wait for the winter months to do it.

Scrub All the Bathrooms

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Spring cleaning is a phrase that you hear all the time, but autumn cleaning is one which hardly ever gets mentioned. And if you are going to complete a fall cleaning job, it makes sense that you kick things off in the bathroom. A mildew remover is a useful tool which you can use to scour the surfaces until they are shiny and clean. Perhaps you have spotted some areas which need regrouting, and now is the perfect opportunity to complete this simple DIY task. And if there are any other major bathroom repairs or improvements that you would like to make, start now and they will be done in plenty of time before winter arrives.

Though you may be sad about the end of summer, rather than dwelling in your depression, now is the time to start taking action so you can kick off the winter in the best way possible. This way, you will be able to relax indoors rather than rushing around trying to complete a million different jobs when the nights are getting shorter and the weather is getting colder.

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5 Things You Should Never Do When Decorating A Spare Room

Are you constantly telling yourself that you’re going to do something with your spare room instead of just using it to store all of your junk in? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Spare rooms around the globe end up wasted which is a real shame because you could be doing something so much better with that space. If you take the time to clear out all of the clutter that you’ve got in there and convert the room into something else, you’ll have a lot more space in the rest of the house and you’ll actually be able to enjoy using that room. But you’ve got to be careful when you’re converting a spare room because there are a lot of mistakes that you can make. If you get it wrong, the room will be just as useless as it was before. If you’re thinking about doing something more interesting with the spare room, make sure you don’t make these mistakes.

Using It For The Wrong Thing

Before you start doing any work, you need to decide what the room is going to be used for. So many people get it wrong and choose a function that just doesn’t suit the room. For example, if you have a fairly small box room and you try to turn it into another bedroom, you’ll fill all of the space with the bed and the room will be incredibly cramped. Equally, if you take a large room and make it into an office space, you’re not going to make great use of all of that space. That’s why you’ve got to be careful when you’re working out what to do with that spare room.  Consider the space and think about how you can get the best use out of it. By letting the space in the room guide you, you can be sure that you find the right use for it.

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Not Matching It With The Rest Of The House

Now that you’ve decided what you’re going to do with the room, you can start coming up with a design. You might have an idea in mind but before you get carried away, think about how the room will fit with the rest of the house. You need to match the decor in the spare room to the rest of the house, otherwise, it’ll look out of place. That doesn’t mean you have to use the exact same decor that you’ve got in other rooms, but you need to find a color scheme that accents it well.

Trying To Do Too Much Yourself

When you’re making home renovations, DIY is a great way to save money. But you do have to be careful because there are some things that you should never do yourself. For example, if you’re going to start messing around with the radiators or any other plumbing, you need professionals like ABC Plumbing Services to do the work for you. If you try to do it yourself and you haven’t really got a clue what you’re doing, you’ll end up with a flooded spare room instead of the great new space you were hoping for. The same goes for anything to do with the electrics. You’re going to end up hurting yourself if you start poking around in plug sockets. There are plenty of things that you can do yourself, mainly the cosmetic stuff. Any wallpapering or painting etc. is fine to do on your own as long as you take your time and plan properly. But anything more complex is always a risk so you need to get some professionals to do it for you.

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A Short Lived Design

When you’re trying to pick a color scheme for the new room, consider the longevity of the design. If you’re decorating in the fall, you might decide that you want to use lots of nice oranges and browns. That’ll look great for a while but it might not fit well when the winter comes. When you’re designing the room, it’s important that you don’t let yourself be swayed by seasonal styles that won’t look good all year around. Try to pick something fairly neutral that isn’t going to fall out of style a couple of months down the line. You should also try to avoid using any new design trends. While everybody might think that those styles are here to stay, they usually fall out of fashion pretty quickly. Instead of a stylish spare room, you’ll end up with dated decor that you’ll end up having to change again.

Measuring Badly

When you’ve landed on a final design for the new spare room, you’re ready to start work. But if you rush into things and just start throwing wallpaper onto the walls, you’ll end up with a shoddy job that looks terrible. One of the biggest mistakes that people make when they’re starting a new renovation is measuring badly. If you don’t get your measurements right, you’ll cause yourself all sorts of problems down the line. When it comes to buying materials, you can easily end up not ordering enough because your measurements are wrong. Getting halfway through a wall before realizing you’ve run out of paint and having to go out and get more can easily ruin the finish. Equally, you might overestimate your measurements and end up wasting a load of money on materials that you can’t use again in the future.

When you’re measuring things out, always make sure that you’re taking your time and measuring everything twice. You might save yourself 5 minutes now by rushing it, but you’ll waste hours and loads of money further down the line when you make a mistake. Measuring right is particularly important when you’re cutting things. If you get it wrong you’ll have to go out and buy more materials.

Converting a spare room is a great way to get more use out of the space in your home but if you make these mistakes, you’ll end up with a room that’s more useless than it was before.

 

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Refreshing Your Home on a Budget

Our homes get a lot of use. Especially if you’ve got kids and pets. We spend a lot of time in our houses, and now a lot more of us are even working out of them. Your home is where you relax after a hard day. It’s where you are free to be yourself, to relax with your family, and to entertain your friends. It’s your own private space in the big wide world. It makes sense that we’d want our homes to look and function at their best. To keep us safe, to give us what we need to create sumptuous meals, to get a good night’s sleep and to unwind when we are stressed out.

But, with so much use, it’s no surprise that our homes can quickly start to look worn and tired. Things break, our décor becomes dated, and we can easily fall out of love with our homes. Unfortunately, while we’d love to always live in the home of our dreams, refurbishment and decoration can be very expensive, and not many of us can afford to undertake a full home makeover as often as we like.

Luckily, however, there are plenty of ways to refresh your home even on a tight budget. Ways to make small changes that can help you to fall in love with your home again. Easy things that you can do, to refresh your home without spending the world.

Refurbish Your Kitchen Cabinets

 

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A whole new kitchen can cost a fortune. You’ll often find that the cost of installation is at least as much as the kitchen itself, and you can face weeks without a kitchen while the work is being done. But, your kitchen is an important part of your home. For many people, it’s the heart of the house, and many modern families spend most of their quality time together in the kitchen, cooking, eating, doing homework and having fun together.

Fortunately, getting a brand-new kitchen isn’t the only way to refresh the room and give it a new lease of life. Check out https://kitchensacramento.com/kitchen-cabinets/ for remodelling and refurbishment options. Including refacing your cupboards which could only cost a fraction of the price.

Let More Light In

If your home has started to look dull and dark, the easiest way to brighten it up is literally brightening it up. Getting plenty of natural light doesn’t just brighten up your décor. It can also improve your mood, help you to get more vitamin D and help you to sleep better.

There are many great ways to increase the natural light in your home. You can switch to lighter curtains, paint your window frames a lighter color so that they reflect more light inside, add mirrors to the walls in smaller, darker spaces, trim back anything in your garden that might be blocking light and simply clean your windows.

Paint the Walls

Redecorating is very expensive. But, just painting the walls can be significantly cheaper. Even if you paint them the same color, a few shades lighter can brighten things up and make things look cleaner and fresher. Try to stick to neutral colors, so that you can change your accessories when you get bored without having to worry about clashing colors and schemes.

Hang Some Art

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Original artwork can be very expensive. So can prints if they are from a known artist or limited editions. But, there are so many other options. Frame wallpaper samples or bits of gift wrap that you love. Frame pieces from magazines or even your children’s artwork. Everything looks cool in a frame and hanging large pieces can add color and life to your home. Check out this cool free printable

Move Things Around

You don’t need to spend a penny to make your home look completely different. Just move things around. We get used to our furniture being in the same place, so moving it around can make your rooms look entirely different. Change the layout so that the seating faces each other instead of the TV and you’ll suddenly have a more sociable room with a new focus.

Cover Your Furniture

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Sofas and chairs are very expensive, but they don’t last forever. They can also be a large feature that draws focus in your rooms. So, if you are bored or your sofas need a new lease of life, instead of replacing them, cover them. You could recover your seat pads and cushions or simply buy big throws to cover them up when you fancy a change. This is a super simple way to refresh your room.

Throw pillows can also add a much needed pop of color, add texture and dramatically change the look of a room within minutes. Check out my favorite throw pillows this season: House Fenway’s Favorite Autumn Pillows

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The Empty Room Upstairs Can Mimic Another

One of the biggest dilemmas for any household is what to do with that spare room upstairs? For someone that loves DIY and home decoration activities, it’s actually a godsend. They get to reset the room however they wish and pretty much stir their creative juices into a smooth-as-silk flow. For those that aren’t so versed in homely things, it can be more than a bit of a problem. In fact some people are so afraid that they might get it wrong, they just leave the room blank. So right up and til they want to sell the home, they have been living with a giant empty hole in their home. The issue is, what kind of ideas could work? Starting totally fresh is what gets people twisted up. When you have the money, you can throw ideas at the wall and create the room into whatever you want. But when you don’t, it’s best to fall back onto something safe, like mimicking a room that you already have.

Personal relaxation or lounge?

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Consider these two options, personal relaxation versus an upstairs lounge. For personal relaxation you would make the room into somewhat of a mix of the living room and bedroom. You could have a single bed in the room, together with an armchair that looks out toward the window. This means that the room would be your little corner of the home where you can just relax, away from the kids, your partner and the pets. Here you could read a book in silence, have a snack or have a chat with your friends on the phone or via online without disturbing anyone else.

On the other hand the lounge option would mean hiring some furniture transport because you should put a great sofa in the room. The services are user-rated and reviewed, so you know who you can and can’t trust. They offer assistance in moving it also so you need not put your back out lifting it up the stairs. It could be a corner sofa that is end to end giving maximum space usage. The design is modern so it doesn’t look like a hovel trapped in time, the spare room could end up looking even more fashionable than your downstairs lounge.

For the pets

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Still not sure about what to do? If you have pets, usually they will sleep downstairs in their own beds. They could be moved upstairs nearer to where the rest of the family sleeps. In fact, the spare room could become the pet room, where they could play with their toys and gnaw on bones without damaging the walls or floor in the kitchen. If you install a small bath, you could wash them here too and not need to put them into the same bath the family uses. All their clothes could be kept in this room, such as towels, winter jackets, costumes etc.

The empty room is always a conundrum in households that aren’t used to having a spare room no one uses. The fear is messing it up with decor and things that don’t work. However, it could be your little space or privacy, or perhaps a zone where the pets can be a little wilder inside the house!

 

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Outdoor Summer Entertaining Basics

Long summer days and outdoor entertaining go hand-in-hand. After all, we might as well celebrate the extra hours of sunlight by kicking back with a few of our favorite people while enjoying a yummy cocktail and some delicious food.
I gathered a list of some of my favorite outdoor entertaining basics available this season. Take the stress out of planning your Summer soiree and keep these items on-hand for that impromptu backyard grill out or cocktail around the fire-pit.

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Gibson Studio 12 Piece Mauna Melamine Dinnerware, Golden Yellow – Amazon

Serve and entertain your family or guests with the Mauna 12 pc. Melamine dinnerware set. The break-resistant melamine is perfect for families with kids! The crackle finish gives you that designer look. – set contains four each of: 11″ dinner plate, 9″ dessert plate and 7.5″ bowl – dishwasher safe – yellow finish

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Natural Macrame Table Runner – World Market

BOHO is so trendy right now! This intricately hand knotted by Indian artisans using 100% cotton rope. The rustic natural macrame runner with long tassels adds bohemian flair to any table.

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Pop Clear Acrylic Drink Glasses – Crate & Barrel

Cool and refreshing color serves up soda, juice, water and more in break-resistant acrylic drinkware that can be used indoors or out.

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White Picnic Cooler – Crate & Barrel

Bring some nostalgic charm to outdoor concerts, firework displays or beach outings with our retro-styled white picnic cooler. Made of durable steel, the insulated cooler keeps drinks and snacks fresh and cool. This retro design even incorporates a handy bottle opener!

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Vermont Iron and Wood Tray – Amazon

Decorative serving tray is made from a unique combination of wrought iron and Oak wood adds a rustic touch to your outdoor dinner parties.


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Acrylic Drink Dispenser – Crate & Barrel

Serve your favorite lemonade, ice tea or sangria in this versatile acrylic drink dispenser. Featuring a large-capacity 3-gallon beverage dispenser, it’s great for casual cocktail parties, family reunions and outdoor occasions. Clear acrylic container with Mason jar shape is topped with a cork lid and gets a lift from its metal and wood handle. Low-lying spout ensures easy and long-lasting pouring.

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The Giant Wooden Yard Dice – Wayfair

Keep your guest entertained with some fun games! These giant dices are perfect for guests of all ages. They come in an easy carrying case so you can take them to any picnic, tailgate and backyard or pool activity. These wooden dices are hand-crafted out of soft pine wood, with the pips heat branded into the wood, so they will be marked for the life of the dice.

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Backyard Patio Globe Lights – Amazon

Add amazing ambience to your outdoor entertaining area. These backyard Patio Globe light are 25 feet long with 25 clear G40 Bulbs. Strands of lights connect end to end for easy stringing.

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Triangle Sun Shade Sail – Amazon

Protect you and your guests from harmful UV sun rays with this inexpensive and stylish shade sail. Easy to install and available in 6 colors to easily match your outdoor décor.