Tag Archives: home

Why it’s Important to Have an Energy Audit

The reason why an energy audit is such an important thing is due to the fact that it plays a vital role in your budget’s health. Poor insulation, outdated equipment and similar structural and infrastructural issues can be a reason why you’re spending twice the amount of energy, thus increasing your monthly utility bill and boosting your home’s carbon footprint. In other words, performing an energy audit is a frugal, smart, pragmatic and eco-friendly decision. So, here are several other reasons why having an energy audit is a smart choice for every single homeowner and business owner.

1. Wall and attic insulation

The first thing that needs to be visited during an energy audit is the insulation of the building in question. Namely, the ability of your home to maintain the desired heat level is a key factor in your energy spending during extreme heats and blizzards alike. In the summer, a properly insulated building is easier and cheaper to cool down and keep at that target level. In the winter, this same building is cheaper to heat, which is a massive factor on your utility bill.

A lot of people miss out on checking an attic while handling the insulation of their homes, thus, coming short of optimal efficiency. Remember that some countries and states provide insulation grants, seeing how going through with this particular home remodeling project works to everyone’s benefit.

2. Quality of windows

The next thing you should address is the quality of windows. Properly installed, quality, double-glazing PVC windows can reduce the energy loss of your home’s interior by as much as forty percent. Sure, the project of getting them installed isn’t necessarily frugal; yet, it’s a price definitely worth paying. On the other hand, you can’t merely observe your windows as just another feature or fixture on the shelf. Their orientation is pivotal to their overall efficiency, which is why you should always have someone who knows their job to take a look at them.

3. Checking your installations

Inspecting your safety grid should definitely be at the very top of your priority list for several reasons. First, it’s vital to the safety of your household, second, it puts your appliances at risk, thus, causing some potentially expensive property damage. For both of these reasons, it would be wise to have a phone number of a local emergency electrician, even if your grid seems to be doing just fine at the moment. Apart from being a safety hazard, bad energy grid situation also makes all of your appliances less efficient.

4. Finding leaks

The reason why mere home inspection can never beat the efficiency of the energy audit is due to the fact that the auditor uses a wide array of specialized tools that guarantee efficiency at every step. They might start by depressurizing your home and proceed to use a thermal imaging camera to see cold areas. In this way, you’ll easily reveal any leaks or blind spots that a casual inspection wouldn’t have done. Apart from this, they might also use an infrared thermal imager in order to notice something you might have missed during the insulation process.

5. Getting a detailed report

Let’s be honest, the chance that replacing a single window, replacing one appliance or plugging a single leak in your insulation will solve everything are quite unrealistic. It’s far more likely that you’ll be facing a set of problems, not all of which will be of the same gravity. This, on the other hand, also means that they’re not of the same priority. With that in mind, if you lack the budget to tackle all of them at once, you can start by focusing on the most pressing issues leaving all minor flaws for later on. The extensive report that an auditor you hire will provide can serve as an unofficial to-do list.

6. Recognizing an impostor

The greatest problem with this particular process lies in the fact that you might hire someone not qualified, experienced or equipped for this job. The first raised red flag should be their outreach method. A professional and reputable auditor will never offer their services with a door-to-door method. Second, make sure to ask for necessary certification. People who get offended by such a simple and common background check usually have something to hide. Finally, make sure to inquire about the nature of their process.

Lastly, you need to figure out if the auditor you’ve hired has an agenda. For instance, it wouldn’t be that hard to imagine that an auditor working for a windows installation company might suggest that your windows are at fault. While they might be 100 percent right, it’s hard to trust them when you’re aware that there’s a conflict of interests involved. Therefore, your safest course of action would be to look for independent auditors to do this task.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, living in an energy inefficient home is something that has to be resolved as soon as possible, seeing as how every day you postpone it puts you more and more behind (financially). On the other hand, as soon as you diagnose your problems and start fixing them, you will get some immediate results, further reinforcing the idea that you’re on the right path.

4 Tips for Keeping Your Home’s Sinks and Drains Clean and Fresh

Keeping up with housecleaning and maintenance chores can be a considerable challenge for you as a homeowner. However, even if consistent housekeeping is a high priority for you, it may also save you money, as one recent report notes that a shortage in skilled labor may make it difficult to find a plumber, roofing contractor, or other repairmen if something goes wrong. Keeping your home’s drains and sinks clean can reduce the risk of clogged pipes and the need for constant plumbing calls, and there are several ways you can do so without scrubbing or using harsh cleansers.

1. Ditch That Abrasive Sponge

You may have memories of your mother scrubbing her sink with powdered cleanser and a stiff scrub brush to get it clean, but today’s porcelain sinks can be harmed with such treatment. Instead of using powdered cleansers that may scratch your sink’s surface, use a solution of gentle dishwashing soap and warm water, then pair it with a cleaning pad that has a soft surface. Not only can this protect the porcelain enamel surface of your sink, it can leave it looking polished and shiny.

2. Make Your White Sink Whiter

If your white porcelain sink has orange hard water stains or its surface appears dull, you can bring back its shine and color safely. While bleach and bleach-based spray cleansers have been traditional standbys for cleaning the kitchen, breathing in their odor has been linked to the development of certain breathing problems, according to a recent health study. Fortunately, a simple mixture of ingredients you might already have in your pantry can replace these cleansers yet give you the same results.

If you want to clean your sink’s surface without bleach, mix baking soda and warm water until it forms a paste. Coat the sides and bottom of the sink and let the mixture sit for about thirty minutes. Afterward, you should be able to rinse away stains loosened by the baking soda. If you have any stubborn spots, apply baking soda to them directly and gently scrub them with a non-abrasive pad. Be sure to rinse the surface thoroughly to avoid leaving a film.

3. Banish Stains With Lemon Juice

Food and hard water can cause sink stains that can be difficult to remove. However, you do not need to resort to bleach to clean them. All you need is half a cup of Borax and a lemon. Cut the lemon in half, squeeze the juice from it, and add the liquid to the Borax. This mixture can remove a variety of stains from almost any surface, including stainless steel and porcelain enamel, without leaving scratch marks or other types of damage.

4. Clean and Deodorize Your Sink Drains

Knowing a few handy maintenance tips for your home’ plumbing can help you keep your sinks clog-free and functional in between annual inspections and repairs. One way to ensure that your sink’s drains remain free of food and other kitchen scraps is to clean them monthly with baking soda and vinegar.  You will need boiling water, one cup of baking soda, and one cup of white vinegar.

To begin, pour the baking soda down the drain first, then follow that with two cups of boiling water. Chase those with the vinegar, and then lock your sink’s drain stopper to prevent the ingredients from bubbling out of the drain. This mixture can be helpful is dissolving organic material trapped in the drain and banish unpleasant odors as well.

Keeping your home’s sinks clean and preventing damaging clogs without the use of harsh chemicals can be challenging for you as a homeowner. However, with a little know-how and a few ingredients from around your home, you can keep your sinks looking and smelling clean and fresh every day.

5 Stunningly Basic DIY Upgrades That Can Help You Sell Your House

The trick to selling a house quickly? Sellers should know it’s all in the details.

A glance at homes for sale in Woodinville WA shows competition is fierce. So how can a seller compete with other listings? Fortunately, if you are a DIY-er, you have a leg up. You likely love fixing up the little nooks and crannies of your house. This means when the time comes to sell, your house will sell fast.

Here are 5 of the top ways for DIY-ers to make upgrades on their house that will take it to a top contender in buyers’ minds. The best thing about these fixes? You can do most on your own, even when on a tight budget.

  1. Repaint your kitchen cabinets.

As HGTV frequently likes to remind us, a fresh coat of paint can turn “dreary and drab” into interiors worthy of Martha Stewart. And the makeover starts with your kitchen cabinets.

Rest assured, this does not involve a kitchen renovation. Home renos often come with a price tag that is unjustified when compared to a house’s market value.

What it does involve is you + a bucket of paint, sandpaper, and the will to make it work. YouTube tutorials on how to get this done abound. This is a quick and cheap way for any DIY-er to get a new look to their kitchen that provides a lot of “wow” with hardly any “ouch” to their wallet.

  1. Build a swing set out back.

Buyers are impressed by anything that adds a touch of convenience. Build a tree swing outback, and your backyard transforms into a playground. No longer will the prospective buyer need to accompany their children to the park when they can keep an eye on Little Jane from the kitchen window.

If not a swing set, consider adding other appealing outdoor items outback. For example, a barbecue pit, or an outdoor fireplace hearth. Recent trends show that buyers want a merge of outdoor spaces with indoor comfort. So, anything you can do to bring comfort to your backyard gets a huge thumbs up from potential prospects.

  1. Plant a garden.

Buyers want to know that their house has curbside appeal. It’s part of the whole keeping up with the Joneses that we’re all susceptible to. No one wants to be the eyesore on their street. And if your house falls anywhere near that category, you will lose prospective buyers before they set foot ‘neath your roof.

Planting a few flowers and cultivating a garden is a simple way to spruce up the outside of your house. Not only that, but it also gives your home a warm appearance, one of care and thoughtfulness that buyers will want to partake of.

  1. Give your exteriors a scrub.

Does your house have a dull look to it? Have years passed since its last spray down?

Because you believe in doing things yourself, versus hiring labor out, you’re going to pick up your hose and get to work. Dirty windows can also detract from a house’s appearance, so be sure to get to that, too.

Do it yourself, and you will be saving yourself a couple hundred dollars in the process. Only do a pressure wash if the grime does not come off through other means. Pressure washes are good for particular types of siding but can wreak havoc on brick and your carefully chosen petunias. Additionally, they must be used with caution, so proceed carefully if you use a pressure washer.

  1. Put up a deck.

For the more advanced DIY-er who also dabbles in handyman work, why not try your hand at building a deck? Decks allow you to enjoy the sunrise or sunset, beverage in hand, from the comfort of your front porch or back lawn. Extreme selling point: Buyers will no longer need to fork out extra cash for a restaurant with that sunset view.

But just how doable is this for your average DIY-handyman? One girl, with little carpentry experience, got it done on her own. She saved herself between $6000 to $8000 if she had hired it out.

Check out your closest Home Depot. Most stores will sell a ready-to-assemble kit that gives you all the pieces you need. Of course, depending on your deck plans and the shape and size you want it to be, you might want to further tailor it. But all that to say, a deck could be the crowning glory and a deal breaker for home buyers.

Bathroom renovation checklist

Renovating a bathroom requires a lot of work and careful planning. However, this doesn’t mean that you should postpone this forever. Instead, roll up your sleeves and get down to work immediately. In order to help you out with this endeavour, we’ve prepared the ultimate bathroom renovation checklist. Let’s take a look.

Determine your budget

First of all, you have to determine your budget in advance so that you know exactly how much money you can spend and then create your plan accordingly. Owing to this, it will be much easier for you to decide what you should include in the remodelling project and in what order you should finish the tasks. For example, it’s crucial that you start with what’s most urgent and then consider all other minor alterations. Finally, keep in mind that you won’t remodel your bathroom again soon, so don’t hesitate to invest in high quality materials and furniture. We guarantee you it will all pay off in the end.

Take time into consideration as well

Once you’ve determined your budget and made a sound plan, don’t forget to take time into consideration as well. The majority of people think that just because their bathroom is small, everything will be finished in a couple of days. However, most often they are wrong and end up panicking because their vacation is almost over and there is still a lot more to be done. So, in order to avoid such an unfortunate scenario, make sure to consider the smallest details including the time you’ll need to purchase tiles or vanity pieces. Finally, you should know exactly when all the ordered items will be delivered since you certainly don’t want to prolong the whole project only because your online orders are late.

Hire a professional

Since bathroom remodelling can be quite overwhelming, don’t shy away from hiring a contractor that can take a look at your drawings and check your entire plan. Although this means investing a bit more money in the project, you’ll be sure that everything will be done properly. After all, it’s much wiser to spend a bit more in advance than to end up with a bathroom full of flaws and impractical solutions that will become a true nightmare.

Decide on the perfect style for your bathroom

One of the most important aspects of every bathroom is style. So, before you start remodelling, you should determine which look you want for your bathroom. For example, if you’re into vintage bathrooms and rustic accessories, we would recommend going for an amazing freestanding bath which will add that final touch. On top of that, even the smallest details like beautiful vintage brass faucets can make your bathroom look absolutely sophisticated and elegant. Finally, it’s extremely important that you choose the right colour for your walls as well, since it should match the rest of the decoration perfectly. Therefore, in order to get some inspiration, feel free to check out the latest Pantone colour report and find out which hues are considered to be a true craze this season.

Be practical – think about storage

Aside from thinking only about your bathroom’s look, don’t forget to consider the practical aspects as well. In other words, it’s high time you started thinking about various storage options and see which one will be the most suitable for you. For example, we like the idea of using vertical space as much as possible. So, instead of buying a massive cabinet that will occupy a lot of floor space, go for several open shelves that can be easily installed one above the other. In addition to that, if you have some free room under the sink, you can install sliding drawers underneath and get a lot of additional space for cleaning supplies or cosmetics.

Install adequate lighting

Finally, having adequate lighting installed in your bathroom is of the utmost importance if you want it to be practical and absolutely safe. On top of that, you should make sure to brighten your home with natural light as well, since many studies have shown that daylight has numerous benefits in comparison to artificial sources. Finally, you can install light dimmers so that you can enjoy romantic baths with your partner or relax in your bathtub after a long day at work.

As you can see, there are quite a lot of things that you need to consider before you start remodelling your bathroom. However, if you design a good plan, there is nothing to worry about. Just roll up your sleeves and get down to work!

 

Give Your Backyard a Complete Makeover

Some people spend most of the year outdoors, greeting their guests in their backyard rather than in their living room, while others seldom even visit the place. “Why is this so?” you wonder. Well, some people simply enjoy spending time outdoors more than others. Still, things may not be so simple. You see, sometimes, it’s up to the yard itself to persuade you. A pleasant, oasis-like backyard might lure you out with its charms, while a messy and overgrown back garden may repel you. In order to get the most out of your backyard, here are a few tips that will help you give it a complete makeover.

1. Start from your deck

In the introduction, we suggested that your backyard could double as an alternative living room during the warmer part of the year. For this to work, however, you need a proper patio. Start by building a deck or revamping your old one, and furnish it with appropriate outdoor seating solutions. In this way, you will have all the basics. Next, some people decide to outfit this deck with a shade-providing solution, yet this is completely optional. Nonetheless, it does save you quite a bit of time on the furniture sheltering and maintenance.

2. Go with companion planting

Those willing to start a vegetable garden in their backyard might want to explore the option of companion planting, in order to make it as self-sufficient as possible. For instance, beans get along quite well with cabbage, carrots and cauliflower, while they are definitely to be kept away from garlic, onions and shallots. Needless to say, this isn’t something you are supposed to learn by heart or even apply in your everyday life. All you need to do is take a brief look at the list and your gardening efforts will become a lot more efficient.

3. Children’s playground

A lot of parents are devastated that their children refuse to play outside like they used to, but would rather stay indoors with their computers and smartphones. Instead of trying to force your kids to play outside, why not try something a bit subtler and more persuasive? Why not rearrange your backyard and create a particularly stimulating children’s playground that will draw them out on its own? You can start with something as simple as a chalkboard wall in one section of your fence or even set up a backyard tent. Those a bit more courageous might even feel like going with a zip line.

4. Go with a bit of luxury

So far, we’ve discussed standard backyard remodeling options, but now, it’s time for something completely different. For those with enough money and imagination, there are so many exciting backyard makeover ideas to explore. There’s nothing preventing you from using a section of your backyard to make a small yet efficient lap pool. Needless to say, you would be surprised by just how little space such a project requires, and the difference it makes is astronomical. Those willing to go one step further might even consider installing a luxury spa on their property.

5. Utilize the terrain

In order to make a bit of a contrast, we should mention a creative and frugal option of utilizing the terrain to your benefit. Let’s imagine there’s a tree that needs pruning or even a complete removal. In the latter case, you might be even required to pay between $50 and $500 for this service. Instead, why not use the stump to your benefit and turn it into an organic flower pot? It’ll be your backyard’s own little landmark.

6. Wrap it up with a DIY hammock

Finally, in order to turn your backyard into a proper outdoor haven, you need to hang up a DIY hammock between two trees or posts, and proclaim it your official outdoor getaway. Most importantly, however, try to provide as much shade as possible, seeing as how falling asleep in the sun during the greatest heat of the day might be something you will soon come to regret. All you need for making a hammock is a sturdy fabric (one that can withstand your weight) and a couple of ropes.

Conclusion

With these several simple steps, you can turn your garden around and make it into the absolute hotspot of your home. Sure, some may argue that sometimes the costs of this may be substantial, yet they are nothing when compared to the overall resale value boost that these projects may bring to your property. In other words, apart from investing in your own lifestyle, by remodeling your backyard you are also making a financial investment that is bound to pay off in the future.

What Pond Filter Options Are Available for You

Whether you’re installing a new pond or you’re just in the market for new pond filters, the information and research you need to sift through can seem daunting and endless. Having your pond kept clean and looking great takes a great filter and finding the right filter takes work and research. Through this article, we’ve sifted through all the pond filter options for you and boiled it down to the important information you need to know. Let’s get started.

Submersible Filtration

A submersible filtration system sits at the bottom of the pond, submersed in the water, and forms a suction, pulling the water through the filter, and then pushing it out through a fountain, effectively recirculating the water back through the pond. This filter is relatively quiet and is ideal for small to medium ponds with very few or no fish residing in it.

External Filtration

An external filter operates taking the water from the pond, running it through a pump with a pre-filter or skimmer attached to it, and pushes through a filtration system on the land at a higher level. The filtered water gets pumped back into the pond and recirculated accordingly. This filtration system is concealed with landscaping easily and works well in ponds that have fish and those that don’t. It’s important to note, however, that this type of pond works best when it’s cleaned regularly.

Skimmer or waterfall external filtration

These filtration systems take the water that overflows into the filter and skim out the debris to be easily picked out of the filter later. They work very similarly to the overflow filters in pools. These systems are easily concealed through creative landscaping and work well in most ponds.

Trying to find a new filtration system can be confusing and overwhelming, but it’s not impossible. Given some research and time spent identifying what you need, you can find the right filter that will clean your pond and have it looking the best it can. You need to figure out which type of filtration will work best for your pond, that will fit in your budget, and will fit any other specifications you have for it. Before you purchase a pond filter, you should know that it will work well in your pond and fit all your needs. With a little research, you’ll see there’s no reason to be overwhelmed.

Keep Your Home Warm with Furnace Installation or Repair

With the onset of the winter season, keep your home warm and toasty on bitter cold days by having your furnace or other heating unit inspected. When a qualified heating technician performs the inspection, he/she can determine whether any repairs are necessary. If your particular residential heating system cannot be safely repaired, better heating companies will also provide installation for their up-to-standard furnaces or other units. If needing HVAC installation Conroe Tx, choose a heating company that promises to stand behind their workmanship. Find a reliable heating company known to be trustworthy and able to provide any heating and/or air conditioning services that your home might need.

Even newer furnaces should be checked regularly to avoid any problems. There are some issues that could occur without the homeowner even realizing that there is a problem. At best, a furnace operating despite some sort of problem will use more energy. At worst, the unnoticed issue could cause fires, smoke or even dangerous to humans and animals carbon monoxide poisoning. Residential heating units will need maintenance by a skilled and experienced heating technician. Look for companies that hire licensed techs. If wondering whether to call in an expert or not, then make that call. It is better to be safe than sorry in this situation.

Honest heating companies will not inflate their service prices or the costs of any heating and/or air conditioning units that they offer for sale. Good heating businesses are transparent about all of their business interactions and practices. These terrific technicians will explain everything to the homeowner before any repairs are even made. The homeowner always should have the final say in what services to accept. Heating emergencies can happen in off hours or on weekends. Choose a heating service that provides this emergency service just in case.

There are many ways in which hiring a reliable heating business makes more sense. Homeowners that neglect to have their heating units checked on a regular basis may end up with very costly repairs instead of the simple fix that a qualified tech could have done earlier on. If unsure about anything regarding your residential heating units, call a local heating expert for helpful advice. Having an emergency number to contact these services after hours can bring a sense of relief to homeowners during the winter months ahead.

When professional technicians work on a heating system, they are trained to assess and pinpoint any problems promptly. These specialists try to stay out of the family’s way as much as possible. If they find a problem, they will have solutions for the homeowner to make a final decision about. When homeowners attempt to fix their own heat sources, they could end up damaging the whole entire unit from faulty repairs. These skilled heating professionals are able to check the flow of heat through the home. Always inquire about preventative services that the company might offer.

Keeping things comfortable in your home this winter will not be a problem for homes that had a professional heating inspection. Find a reputable business specializing in heating and air conditioning products. Ask about the company’s newer furnace models to find out if they are worth the investment. Typically, these are a wise purchase.

How to Get Your Home Back in Order After a Bad Hurricane

Depending on where you live, there may come a time when a hurricane passes through your town. If you’re lucky, this just means a day spent inside waiting for the rain and winds to pass. Other times we are not so fortunate, and the hurricane leaves some damage in its wake. This can range from minor damages, like broken tree limbs or a fallen gutter, to something more major, like a flooded basement or a hole in your roof. No matter what happens to your home during the hurricane, once it passes you’ll need to take some steps in order to get everything back to normal. Here are the steps to follow to do this.

Assess the Damage

The first thing you need to do is figure out what happened. Inspect the inside of your home first, and see if the hurricane caused any damage inside. Are there wet spots in your ceiling? Puddles on the floor of your basement or crawlspace? Did any windows break? If you rode out the storm within your house, you likely noticed these problems as they happened, but it’s still a good idea to check each room in your house in case you missed something, and to assess the entirety of the damage.

Once you’re done with the inside, move onto the exterior of the home. Did anything fall into the yard, or break on the outside of the house? Do you notice any problems with your roof from the outside? The outside of your home received the brunt of the storm, so be sure to go over everything carefully. As your examining your home, both inside and out, take pictures of anything damaged, as you may need them for insurance purposes.

Contact Your Insurance Company

If you received significant damage to your home, it’s important that you call your insurance company. You might have hurricane coverage, and therefore won’t have to spend the money yourself on repairs. You don’t want to get things fixed before talking with your insurance company, as this may nullify your claim. Once you’ve contacted your insurance company, they will tell you how to proceed with getting your home back in order. While insurance companies are likely busy right after a major storm, hopefully it won’t be too long before they send someone to assess the damage at your home.

Start Making Repairs

Now that you have the permission of your insurance company, or if the damage to your home was slight (or not covered under insurance), you can begin to make repairs. Make a list of everything you need to do, and then start tackling them from most important to least. During this phase you’ll need to decide if you are going to make the repairs yourself, or hire someone to do it for you.

If you decide to hire outside help, keep in mind that this may take time. Other homes in your area likely received damage, and the companies you work with will have other customers to attend to, so prepare for some delays. For instance Reroof, a roofing company down in Orlando Florida, is still helping residents all over Florida repair their roofs from the hurricanes a few months ago. Depending on the area you live in, and the severity of the storm, it could be a while before your home is back to the way it was.

Prepare for the Next Storm

Finally, while you’re working to get your home back in order, you should also prepare for the next storm. Hurricanes can come quickly after one another, so you may not have much time to spare. Restock on supplies – such as food, water, batteries, or gas for your generator –  and start examining your home to see if there are any preparations you can do better this time around. During the last storm some trees may have become damaged, and will need attending to before another storm arrives. If you don’t have time for a complete repair, consider patching things up as best you can. For example, if your roof is now leaking, consider replacing just those few shingles, and saving the entire roof repair for the Spring.

Hopefully you will never need the above advice. No one likes dealing with a hurricane, and particularly the aftermath when we start putting things back together. But if the time comes when a hurricane causes damage to your property, you’ll be glad you know the steps for what to do. Then you can quickly and efficiently work to get your home back in order, or ready for the next storm.

Interior Design Ideas For Your New Home

A friend of mine has always dreamed of designing his own home and now that he has acquired a nice piece of land, he is having lots of ideas in his head concerning the designs of his new home and also how the interior designs would be like. Every night after dinner, he will be on the drawing board putting the ideas down on paper. It is easy to just sketch out what you want your house to look like but we will need the architects and the civil engineers to make your house practical and safe for you to stay in.

While designing the layout plan of the house, this friend has more or less visualized how the interior would look like. But the final decision will be reached after consulting his wife. He will leave the children to choose the design for their own rooms.

Now that the house is in the midst of construction and everything is going smoothly and on schedule, it is time for them to look into the interior designs for their house. Looking through magazines, visiting showrooms, and furniture stores are some of their weekend activities as a family.

The man was quite impressed with the some of the ideas he found on one of the Los Angeles interior designer’s website. Since the living room is a common room for the whole family, the design must be well received. He will have the say over his study room, the kids will pick the design for their own bedroom, and the kitchen will be the wife’s choice. The remaining rooms of the house will be the joint decision of husband and wife.

Every idea will be presented to the family. The guideline is to keep it simple and practical for a comfortable home. Views and suggestions were given and taken seriously. Once the work is done, you will be stuck with the design. And also the budget has to be considered.

Consulting one of the Beverly Hills interior design firm for professional tips and quotation will be the next step. These professionals will help you with the right colours for the wall of the different rooms and placing of lightings in each rooms, etc. Some are just hopeless with interior designing, even for their own room. If that is the case, then let the interior designers come up with their ideas depending on your style and requirements.

Unique Party Ideas

Start with the invitations. With the convenience of technology, create one invitation and simply take a picture of it and post it as a private message to all the people you are inviting via Instagram, Facebook via a creation of an event, and then wait for the responses. There are many different kinds of creative designs you can choose from to send.

You can use and old charcoal barbeque and fill it with ice and refreshments like old fashioned root beer and mason jars full of lemonade.

The table itself, (or several tables put together) can be buffet style and covered with long potato sack material table cloths that you can buy at a home goods store or make yourself. Then, place long baskets lined with country-themed handkerchiefs with bread and fresh fruits scattered among wooden boards displaying cut meats and cheeses. As the barbequing gets done, larger boards can be set out and the meat can be served either by pre-cutting it or placing it at the head of the table and having someone serve each guest as they come down the line.

Then, have a dessert table filled with homemade goodies in mason jars decorated with different gingham colored bows. Find simple recipes for bread pudding, banana pudding, strawberry shortcake, apple cake and other bbq and picnic favorites and layer these inside each jar. Then, arrange them in wicker and picnic baskets lined with checkered table cloths and linens. Display everything on old charcoal grill inserts and then set each separate dessert display on a table covered with a checkered table cloth or some other bbq theme to match the lining in the baskets.

You can top the day off by thanking your friends for coming with little party favors of mini potato sack bags embossed with a design of your choice and set in a wire egg basket. The favors could be something personal to each guest or a generic gift for everyone that has to do with barbequing specifically for the season like sunblock lotion and other accessories for the summer months.

Rustic Outdoor Wedding Theme

For someone who wants elegance yet a down-to-earth feeling for their wedding, the rustic theme will get you the best of both worlds. Set outside in a wooded or country setting, or even in a large backyard, the guests are greeted at the entrance to the tent by an old fashioned wooden sign on a stand that gives their name, date of the wedding, and directs them to the hors d’oeuvres table. Or simply put the sign on the table itself and position the table as the guests come to the tent entrance.

The hors d’oeuvres table can be made up of different types of homemade cookies wrapped in individual packages tied with gingham bows, placed in lined baskets and set on upside-down wooden crates that are stacked like steps and accented with large paper flowers displayed on strings and billowing from the ceiling.

The tables for any rustic theme have to be of some weathered wood and could be round or long in design. For long tables, burlap table runners can run along the middle. Unadorned glass vases are then placed down the runner and filled with a flower of your choice that should be delicate, simple, and reflect the bride’s wedding bouquet. By each table setting there will be a small glass votive container holding a white votive candle. The place setting can vary but should be very simple and rustic to reflect the theme.

At the head table, “Mr.” and “Mrs.” Signs can be made out of repurposed wood pieces and thick twine and tied to the back of the bride and groom’s chairs respectively.

A buffet style serving table, which is more keeping in line with a down-to-earth homey feeling of a rustic theme, can be set up as the caterer of our choice normally would set it, but with the added down-home touch of a sandwich board display announcing to the guests the food fare for the evening.

Depending on your location, if you have some kind of cement walls or can make makeshift stands around the tent, place all-white flower arrangements with just a hint of color like lilacs, pansies, or violets in makeshift vintage wooden tool boxes.

Thank your friends for coming and place baskets of customized beer koozies in lined wicker baskets for them to take as they exit the tent at the end of the evening. Each one embossed with the bride and groom’s name, wedding date, and any other personal message you would like to leave your friends and family with to remember the special occasion.

Travel Party

With so many millennials and even retirees embarking on new adventures to distant lands for long periods of time, a travel-themed party seems to be coming more common all the time.

First, the guests can be greeted at a table decorated with vintage world globes on either end and a string of postcards clipped onto several long pieces of thin twine between two poles as a backdrop. A sign, 9actually a simple wooden frame), with the words, “Where in the World Am I Sitting?” placed in the frame alerts the guests to look at the name cards that are designed like passport books placed in the middle of the table that tell them which table they are to sit at.

With the popularity of photo booths nowadays at weddings and other special events, it goes without saying that you would ask each guest to take their “passport” photo before they find their seat. So, have a designated person on hand as everyone arrives to maneuver them to the photo booth that should be just steps away. Then, when they finish, they can take the photo and place it in a scrapbook for the traveling guest of honor as a keepsake.

Each table, labeled as a different country, can have a different centerpiece that reflects the travel theme such as small vanity suitcases filled with flowers, or for a couple, his and her items.

The travel theme can continue with the dessert buffet with more globes centered around jars of candy or trays of cakes and other desserts. When it’s time to go, guests can leave with homemade favor boxes made out of old maps and filled with goodies of your choice.

Jessica Kane is a writer for Silver Superstore, home of the internet’s best flatware.