4 Decorating TIP TOP TIPS

Bob Idakaar Realtor’s Perspective~

Here are my 4 tip top tips for decorating a room:

  1. Choose your flooring first!
  2. Choose your paint last! (Yes, this is one of the common mistakes and comes as a surprise to many)
  3. Define your style and “goal” or mood for the room. What is the feeling you want to evoke?
  4. Find a focal point (or an anchor)

In my opinion, things usually work out best when you plan ahead and design the whole room. It’s ideal if you plan the whole room before you start working on it with out a plan!

1. Start with the floors

From the Bottom up… the floors are the foundation, and they set the tone for the entire room.

In general, I think it’s best to have the same type (and color) on all of the floors, at least all main rooms on the main floor (bathrooms/powder rooms are different). When you have the same flooring in all areas, it makes your space look larger and more cohesive. It also makes your space look cleaner and less cluttered.

The flooring is the base, and everything is built on top of it…literally and figuratively. And, if you choose your floors well, they will be there for years to come and should outlast any paint and decor changes you make to the room throughout your time in your home.

2. Pick the paint color last!

Everything goes smoother if you pick the paint color LAST.

If you choose the paint color first, it will make every other decision TOUGHER. It will be harder to find the find the right floor color, carpet/area rug, window treatments, pillows, bedding and other accessories.

Color can be placed in an area rug, window treatments, pillows, furniture,  wall paintings and accessories. And, of course, you also have the option of an accent color wall.

3. What’s your style?

What do you want the style and the mood of the room to be? Do you want a more modern look, or traditional or perhaps a cozy farmhouse style? There is no right or wrong answer…it’s whatever you like.

4. Make a focal point

Choose piece that you want to be the focal point for the room. It sets the tone and your style. This may differ by room. It could be a painting (or picture), or an area rug, or some pillows, or a coffee table or special item for your coffee table. This piece is your inspiration and it is your “must have” item. Make sure everything in the room goes with this piece and complements it.

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4 Reasons for Keeping Baking Soda Around the House

Most people, by now, know that baking soda isn’t just for baking: It’s also a fantastic fridge deodorizer. (If you didn’t know that, rename the title of this article “6 Reasons to Keep Baking Soda Around the House.”) But did you know that baking soda has about a bazillion other uses?

To save us both some time, we narrowed down the uses we focus on to just four. Here they are, in all their glory.

1. Use Baking Soda as Toothpaste

We know, we know – putting powdery baking soda straight into your mouth sounds like one of the least appealing things, ever. Hear us out: Just dip the tip of your toothbrush bristles into some baking soda, and start brushing those soon-to-be pearly whites. Baking soda whitens and brightens your smile like crazy.

If you’re really having a hard time stomaching the flavor, you can always drop a bit of mint into your baking soda for something a little more toothpaste-like.

2. Use Baking Soda to Soothe Your Skin

Ever been stung by a bee or a wasp? There aren’t many things that hurt like that hurts.

Baking soda can actually relieve the pain from stings. Take out the stinger first, and then apply a baking soda paste (mixed with water) to the wound.

This home remedy also works for itchy bug bites and even sunburn.

3. Use Baking Soda as Elbow Grease

Pans can be a pain in the pot to clean. Cooked-on food is basically human Kryptonite. Your mother always told you that everything can be cleaned with a little bit of “elbow grease,” but if you haven’t been hitting the gym lately, sometimes your “grease” is on short supply.

That’s where baking soda comes in. Using a paste similar to the skin-soothing remedy, you can remove stuck-on food like you have, in fact, been hitting the gym.

Bonus feature: Baking soda also makes stainless steel pots extra shiny.

4. Use Baking Soda to Clean Your Bathroom

Sure, that name-brand spray cleaner gets the job done in your bathroom, but have you ever stopped to think what kind of chemicals are in there? What kind of chemicals you’re breathing in every time you clean your porcelain throne?

Skip the poison shower, and just use baking soda. It’s not just good for porcelain – it also cleans tile, counters, faucets and other stainless steel fixtures. If you want things fizzy clean, spray everything with vinegar first. Adding baking soda to the mix will fizz away all the grime, eliminating the need for the “elbow grease” we talked about earlier.

You want your house to be spotless when showing it to prospective buyers. If you need more tips on how to make your home sparkle before you sell it, give us a call.

Ways to Be More Energy Efficient at Home

Looking to save on their home’s energy costs? Many people don’t know where to start or what steps to take to get the most bang for their buck. These four tips can be a great starting point for increasing your home’s energy efficiency.energy efficiency

Energy Efficiency Tip No. 1: Insulate your walls and attic.

The average homeowner can save over $200 per year by increasing or upgrading the insulation in their home’s walls and ceilings. One of the biggest energy costs that homeowners face is keeping their homes cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Poorly insulated homes — particularly those with poorly insulated attics or lofts — can have much higher energy bills than their well-insulated counterparts.

Experts estimate that nearly one-third of the homes in the United States are under-insulated, so if you have not checked your home’s insulation recently, it might be a good idea to check it out this summer. Taking on the one-time cost of adding more insulation to your home can result in years of savings down the road.

Energy Efficiency Tip No. 2: Double-check the edges of doorways.

One of the key factors in lowering energy costs is keeping air from flowing freely in and out of your home. Adding a cheap strip of stick-on foam insulation can be an easy way to seal any gaps where air is escaping around the edges of your doors. For this reason, you will also want to check for leaks in your attic and basement — particularly if the room is unfinished.

Energy Efficiency Tip No. 3: Use heavy curtains.

This upgrade can serve both a practical and aesthetic purpose. Covering your windows with thick curtains can reduce the amount of heat passing through your comparatively thin windowpanes. Choose a fun pattern that you love — this can be an easy way to lower your energy bills while also decorating the space.

Energy Efficiency Tip No. 4: Use a low-flow showerhead and toilet. 

One of the most obvious ways to cut down on your water bill is to use less water. Most people will not want to shorten their morning shower, so using a more efficient showerhead can be a relatively painless way to reduce your water consumption. Switching out your home’s showerheads can result in a yearly savings of $260. This means that your new showerhead will pay for itself during its first year of use — a great deal for those seeking long-term savings.

These four energy saving tips can be affordable ways to cut down on your long-term energy costs. Many of them will pay for themselves within the first year, so there is no reason why you should wait any longer to increase your home’s energy efficiency.