Jeffrey Harrington's Blog
Choosing the paint colors for your home is a daunting task. With so many options available, picking the right colors can take longer than the actual painting. But it's a good thing to spend time on choosing paint colors that you're happy with. The color of the room we're in has been shown to affect our moods in positive or negative ways. Your home is the place you should feel the most comfortable, and the colors of your walls should be an extension of that. Today we're going to give you some tips on choosing the right paint for your home that will fit your personal tastes but will also be appealing to just about any eye.
Take inventoryBefore you head to the hardware store to start looking at color swatches, you're going to need to do some research in your own home. While you have the freedom to choose any color you want to paint your walls, it's advisable to take a look at the colors that are already in your home--not the colors on the walls, but the colors of your furniture, floors, ceilings, countertops, etc. If you have a living room furniture set that you love and a new carpet, odds are you don't plan on replacing these items just to fit the new color of your room. So, here's what to do. Take out your phone and snap some close-up photos (I mean really close up so that you can only see one color) of your sofa, chairs, and other furniture. Open up your photos and compare them next to one another. Do you notice a color trend in your furniture? If so, one of those colors could be a great place to start your palette.
Choosing a paletteThere's no need to go to the store just to get a basic idea of the colors you want for your home. If you're reading this, odds are you have all the tools you need to start making a palette. There are numerous websites devoted to creating color palettes. But today we'll talk about two specific tools that will be the most useful.
Palette makersThe first thing you'll want is to put one color into a palette maker online (Google will present you with many). This color should be the one that you want to tie the whole house together with.
Color harmoniesHave you ever head of complimentary colors? The term might make you think back to middle school art class. Complimentary colors are a type of color harmony. There are websites that allow you to enter the color of your choosing (in this case the main color you chose above) and it will give you the color harmonies for that color.
- Choosing various shades of the same color help build continuity in your home
- Putting the darkest colors in your room near the floor and the lightest near the ceiling add a natural ambience to the room
- Use bolder colors for "high energy rooms" like the kitchen, and quiet colors for lower energy rooms like the bedroom
Growing Sword Plants Indoors Native to Central and South America, Vriesea plants, also known as sword plants are robust, easy to grow, low-maintenance plants that do well as indoor houseplants. Also known as “mother-in-law's tongue”, Vriesea is one of the most common members of the forty genera of bromeliads. Vriesea provides brilliant, showy greenery. An epiphyte in its native habitat, Vriesea does well in any well-light spot indoors. Vriesea can grow just as well with artificial light as it does with sunlight, but does best in a full sun location. Place the plant in the corner of a sunny room and it will flourish for years with little or no attention. Just keep in mind that the more sunlight the plant receives, the more moisture it requires. Sword plants thrive on high humidity. A sunny and highly moist kitchen, laundry room or steamy bathroom, are ideal locations for a collection of colorful and eye-catching Vriesea plants. Description There are more than 250 varieties of Vriesea across a broad spectrum of colors in both leaves and flower bracts and hundreds of different cultivars. Indoor gardeners delight in collecting and cultivating the many unusual varieties sporting variegated leaves and brilliantly colored bracts in every color of the rainbow. Within the Vriesea genera are hundreds of tiny and medium sized plants. However, some varieties of Vriesea are within the tallest and largest of all bromeliads. The most common of Vriesea varieties, the “Flaming” sword plant, is so named for its fire red bracts that appear when the plant is from three to five years old. Most Vriesea plants only flower once and then withers away, however, not before producing a batch of “pups” or new offset plants at the base of the parent plant. Remove the pups for transplanting when they are approximately half the size of the mother plant. Cultivation Sword plants grow best in a mixture of half regular potting soil and half orchid mix. A specialty soil mix for bromeliads is available from florists or plant nurseries. Sword plants can also be attached to a slab of wood, bark or a piece of freshwater driftwood. Do not use driftwood from the ocean. The salt embedded in the wood is harmful to plants. Vriesea plants do best when the temperature maintained between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Similar to all other bromeliads, Vriesea plants have a tank or cup in the center of the plant to hold moisture. Make sure that the cup is always filled with water. Sword plants prefer a humid atmosphere. Planting soil should remain slightly moist and never allowed to dry completely out. Maintain a high humidity level by misting the plant daily or placing the planting container on a pebble tray or close to other transpiring houseplants. Shop online to find unique Vriesea plants to combine in a designer pot or ceramic container. A striking arrangement of sword plants is a popular type of floral arrangement often used in corporate office décor. The plant has no odor, is non-allergenic and requires very little care and attention.
The process of sitting down and creating a household budget can be an enlightening experience. Not only is it one of the few ways to figure out where the heck your money is disappearing to, every month, but it's a method for identifying expenditures that are wasteful or redundant. Once you've created a chart or spreadsheet that itemizes your income, savings, and expenses, you're in a stronger position to control your household cash flow. Using accounting software, budgeting apps, and/or the services of a qualified financial advisor can also help you gain control over your family's spending habits. If your goal is to reduce expenses and stretch your household budget farther, her are a few strategies and tips worth considering:
- Buying in bulk: Some people swear by the savings they rack up by joining and doing their shopping at wholesale buying clubs. Others say it isn't worth the long lines at the checkout counter, crowded parking lots, and the fact that not everything is cheaper than at regular retail stores. Like any kind of shopping, though, it pays to compare prices and research the best deals. However, it's not unusual to save from 25% to 50% on a variety of commonly used household items, groceries, and other consumer goods.
- "Coupons" is not a four-letter word -- although some people act like it is. Clipping, printing, saving, and organizing discount coupons can be a bit of a nuisance, but when you add up the monthly savings, it's worth the inconvenience. Stores that offer double coupons and/or accept competitors' coupons can also help you chalk up extra savings. Taking advantage of advertised specials is yet another way to reduce your monthly expenses.
- Compare notes with friends and family. You can often pick up worthwhile money-saving ideas by simply asking people whose opinions you respect. Nearly everyone has discovered stores, products, websites, businesses, and strategies that have helped them save money. Sometimes the topic is also discussed on social media sites. Most people you know would be glad to pass along their money saving tips, insights, and techniques.
Buying a home is one of the largest commitments you will make in your life. It's also one of the best. Being a homeowner comes with a sense of independence that renting simply can't match. You can do with your home whatever you like, making it the place you love to go home to at the end of the day. Knowing when you're ready to buy a home is a complicated issue. But it's also a learning process that everyone is new to at some time in their lives. Sure, buying a home can be anxiety-inducing. But you don't need to add any more nerves to the process because you feel uninformed. In this article, we'll lay out a basic checklist that will help you determine when and whether you're ready to buy a home so that you can worry less about your credentials and focus more on finding the right home.
- Finances. We hate to put it first, but the reality is your finances are one of the main things that determines your preparedness for becoming a homeowner. Unlike renting, there's a lot more that goes into the home financing process than just your income. Banks will want to see your credit score to ensure you have a history of paying your bills on time. They'll also use your credit information to see how much debt you have and if you'll be able to take on homeowner's expenses on top of that. Another financial impact for buying a house is to determine if you can afford a downpayment. It's one thing to see that you can cover your bills with your income, but unless you have enough money saved for the downpayment (and any emergency expenses that may come up) you should wait a while and save before hopping into the market.
- What are your longterm plans? Many people are excited at the thought of home ownership to the extent that they forget their life circumstances. If you have a job that might cause you to relocate in the next 5-7 years you might want to consider renting rather than buying. Depending on factors like the price of the home, cost of living in your area, and how long you plan on living in your new home, it may be cheaper to buy or rent in the long run. There are calculators available online that will tell you which option is probably more cost-effective for you. As a general rule, however, if you plan on living in a new home for under 5-7 years, it might be cheaper to rent.
- Do you have the time and patience to be a homeowner? Owning a home means you can't call on the landlord to fix your leaks anymore. Similarly, you probably won't be able to depend on someone else to shovel snow or mow the lawn for you. It takes work to be a homeowner, and if your job has you away from home for long periods of time or working very long hours, renting might not be appropriate at this time.
- Plan for new expenses. If you can comfortably pay rent and you find out your home loan payments will be comparable, you should know that there will likely be new expenses to consider as well. Home insurance, property taxes, and expenses for things like sewer, plumbing and electrical repairs all should be taken into consideration. Additionally, you will likely have new utility bills, including electricity, water, oil, cable, and others depending on the home.
Many times, it’s the quick projects around your home that make the biggest difference. Lighting is one of the most important aspects of your home. Without the right lighting, the entire mood of a room can be offset by the poor ambient quality. Lights are practical and help work on our emotions in the most subtle ways. Here, we’ll show you some of the updates that you can make to the lighting in your home that you may have never thought of. Kitchen Many kitchens have only one source of lighting. If the kitchen is short on windows that bring in outside light, this single-source lighting can be an even bigger problem. Try under cabinet lighting to illuminate countertops and preparation areas. This is great for not only safety, but to bring more light into the room in a unique way. Bathroom There's nothing creepier in the bathroom than strange shadows. That’s where recessed lighting comes in. You also don’t need to apply makeup in the wrong way due to poor lighting. Having lights available in several areas of the bathroom will make getting ready in the morning easier. Proper lighting will also make showering safer and less like a horror film! Bedroom The bedroom is perhaps the simplest room of the house to light. You’ll need lights by the bed for reading and other tasks. Usually wall mount fixtures work best for these purposes. They make great task lights and also look fantastic on the wall as part of your bedroom’s decor. As a bonus, lights on the wall will create less clutter in the home. Dining Area Look for task lights and lamps for your buffet to brighten your dining room. Try adding lighting fixtures in places where you’ll be doing a lot of task-focused activities. Aim for more recessed lighting over the dining table so guests won’t feel that they have the spotlight on them. Living Spaces In shared environments, lamps that are easily made portable can work best. This is simply because people tend to forget a lamp that’s tucked in the corner somewhere. It’s also a plus to put your lamps on timers. If you know that you get home at 7 PM every evening, set the timer so that you walk into a bight, inviting home and not a dark one. Highlight Things In The Room It’s always a great way to light a darker corner by placing lights over a plant or a painting. This helps to highlight the decorative aspects of the room even in the dark.