Dana Strong's Blog
196 Delmont Ave, Worcester, MA 01604
A new house means a clean slate for redecorating. Which is fun and exciting but can become quickly frustrating if you struggle to match the furniture in front of you to the vision in your head.
If you find that this happens the good news is that you are probably a lot closer to creating a beautiful, well-designed room than you think. It’s usually subtle touches that designers keep up their sleeves that make all the difference for a stylish room.
The first thing to keep in mind is that all furniture should be arranged to fit onto your area rug. If this isn’t the case or you don’t have an area rug, this is a worthy investment when you’re able to do so. If you love you’re existing area rug that is too small you can always layer it over a larger rug. This will add dimension and a designer touch, look at you go.
Keep furniture away from the wall. This also makes the above tip much easier to achieve. That’s right you don’t need to find a rug that will span the entire room. Keeping the furniture in the center of the room makes it feel bigger and more spacious. You’ll never look at your friend’s and family’s rooms the same!
Match the size of the artwork you hang up to the size of the furniture you hang it over. Aim for the frame to be at least ⅔ of the size of what it is over and hang it mid-eye level. If you have a gallery wall design it to be so that it still covers a large enough amount of wall space. And smaller artwork can always be creatively reframed.
Take your family’s traffic patterns and activities into consideration when arranging. Blocking main routes with a piece of furniture is awkward and cumbersome. And designing a room that doesn’t accommodate your family’s lifestyle can create chaos and even discord. Make space for toys, video games and homework stations for example.
Take advantage of different levels of lighting. Combining overhead lighting with table and floor lamps create a well-lit comfortable room. It also allows for more control over the ambiance of the room whether it’s time to wind down at night or you’re having friends over for the game.
Add enough tables to the room. A large coffee table is an anchor to the room and allows for drinks to rest, snacks to be laid out and feet to be kicked up. You also want side tables in reach of all sitting positions, and as a place for those table lamps, we mentioned earlier.
And last but not least the secret detail few homeowners include is greenery. Lots of greenery throughout a room makes it feel pulled-together and “right”. It can be via potted plants, fresh-cut flowers or both! If you don’t have a green-thumb there are lots of low-maintenance plants that can survive the most destitute of conditions. Visit a local greenhouse to get an expert opinion on what will fit your level of experience and the lighting conditions of your room. Hint: it’s a good idea to know which direction your windows are facing i.e. North, NorthWest, West etc.
In times of rising temperatures and growing concerns of climate change, many of us are looking for small ways we can make a difference in our everyday lives. What better place to start than your own home?
It can be overwhelming to plan drastic eco-friendly changes to your home. That’s why we’ve broken these tips down room-by-room so that you can make changes in just one area and then build from there. Starting small will help you see your environmentally-minded project through to the finish.
Read on for tips for each room of your home to make your life more eco-friendly.
We’ll start with a small and easy one: the bedroom. Odds are your bedroom isn’t hogging too much power or creating a lot of waste. However, there are a few small changes you can make that will help you save some money while helping out the environment.
If your bedroom tends to get chilly at night, try using insulating curtains to help keep the cool air from slipping in through the windows. Similarly, on hot days close the curtains at peak sunlight hours to keep the bedroom cool. This small change could save you from having to turn up the heat or air conditioner when you enter your room each night.
The next time you clean out your closet, bring your items to a local thrift store or charity drop-off. You can even ask for a receipt which will make your donation tax-deductible. This way your clothes can extend their lives and stay out of a landfill a bit longer, and you’ll be helping out someone who could use the clothing.
Kitchen appliances offer a lot of opportunity for energy and water waste. When shopping for appliances, seek out appliances that meet Energy Star standards.
When it comes to water, forego the plastic bottles and buy a glass or metal refillable water bottle. Tap filters can greatly improve the taste, and you might find after a few days that you don’t even notice the water tasting differently.
Consider composting kitchen scraps in a composting bin. You can later use this for fertilizing plants in your yard and garden. And, finally, be sure you’re recycling all of your empty food and beverage containers.
Is your living room your entertainment center? If so, many of your devices, like cable boxes and streaming media devices, might continue running on “standby mode” wasting electricity. To prevent this, simply plug all of your devices into a power strip and turn it off at night.
Start by using refillable hand soap containers rather than buying a new one each time you run out. This will save you a lot of money in the long run and save you trips to the store as well.
If your hot water takes a long time to heat up and you find yourself running the tap often, consider installing a recirculating water pump in your bathroom.
To save on electricity throughout the house, make sure you’re using compact fluorescent bulbs and only keeping the lights on when you’re in the room.
When cleaning, try using non-toxic cleaners or making your own from solutions of water, vinegar, and citrus essentials.
Cooking a homemade meal fills the home with mouthwatering aromas. But once you’re done eating and your hunger is satiated, you won’t want those cooking odors to stick around any longer.
Eliminating cooking odors isn’t easy, as they tend to stick to the surfaces of your house in the form of grease splatter, and oils that make their way through the air.
Fortunately, there are many great ways to avoid, reduce, and eliminate household cooking odors so that you don’t have to wake up each morning still smelling last night’s fish dinner.
Know thy enemy
The worst culprits of cooking odor are the ones that make their way into your vents, onto your stovetop, and stick to any surfaces within reach. We’re talking about cooking grease and oils. The best way to manage these odors is to try to limit their ability to spread across your house. When frying on your stovetop, cook with the cover of the pan slightly ajar or purchase a splatter screen. This will greatly reduce the amount of grease that spreads across your kitchen.
Enjoy the outdoors
The grill isn’t just for steaks. If you have a meal that’s likely to leave lingering odors in your home, take it outside to cook on a nice day. You can often buy grill-friendly fry pans and other accessories that will expand the number of meals you can cook outdoors.
The best chance you have at reducing cooking odors is to clean them up as soon as you’re done eating. Make an agreement that whoever does dishes for the night will also be in charge of wiping down the surfaces of your kitchen.
Open up the windows and turn on your exhaust fan while cleaning too, this will help sweep away the stale, humid air in your kitchen that is likely to settle in the house.
Proper dish management
It can be tempting to leave the dirty dishes in the sink or dishwasher for the next day, but if you do you’re giving cooking odors a free pass to hang around for another night. What’s worse, some odors worsen over time, such as pans that were used for cooking meats.
Some odor neutralizers are more sensational than effective. One common myth is that an open box of baking soda will neutralize odors. While baking soda can be mixed to form a useful cleaning solution (and therefore reducing odors), it doesn’t do much to eliminate odors on its own.
Instead, try cleaning with neutralizing agents. Citrus and vinegar scented cleaners are easy to make, inexpensive, and don’t contain any dangerous chemicals.
Another option would be to use odor neutralizing air fresheners, fabric fresheners, and candles. If you have furniture that tends to attract cooking odors, you can spray them lightly with a fabric freshener or wipe them down with dryer sheets.