how your home can make better first impressions

Whether you’re looking to sell your home or you simply want to make the most of the home you have for yourself and your family, it’s always worth thinking about how you can improve it. And one area in which it makes sense for homeowners to improve their homes is through the first impressions they’re able to deliver.

So what does it take to ensure your home gives off the right kinds of first impressions? That’s a tough question to answer and one that you might be struggling with right now. The truth is there’s not just one thing that goes into creating good first impressions; it’s more about the overall package.

We’re going to talk today about some of the things you can do to make your home more appealing at first sight. And a lot of these changes will also improve your living experience in the home too. So read on to find out more.

Go the Extra Mile with Your Floors

One of the first things that people tend to see and look at when they step into your home are the floors. These are important because we all look down and see them as we take in a space and judge it subconsciously. So that’s why you’ll want to go the extra mile with your flooring and make it as strong as it possibly can be. Doing so will certainly pay off for you. Whether that means laying some nice tiles or exposing and restoring the original floorboards is up to you.

Keep it Well Cleaned

The inside and the outside of your home will benefit a lot from being kept properly clean at all times. If the space isn’t properly clean, people will notice it right away. And that’s why it might be a good idea to invest in a pressure washer so you can really take on the dirt and grime on the outside of your home. You’ll be astounded at how much of a difference it makes, and a pressure washer is great for cleaning the driveway and any of the paths around and leading up to your home as well.

Create a Well-Lit Entrance

You should want the entrance to your home to be light and well-lit if you want to make some positive first impressions. That applies to the outside and the inside. So think about the porch area and whether a small light is needed there for when arriving after dark. And when it comes to the inside, having a light hanging from the ceiling can offer the light you need as well as creating a nice visual effect. Either way, you should make the introduction to your home as bright and light as it can be.

Take Steps to Declutter It

If your home is full of clutter, it’s going to be quite difficult for you to get the most out of it. And it’ll make first impressions far less favorable than they might otherwise be. Start with the outdoor space and ensure you don’t have any lawn clutter or toys that are making your front garden look messy. From there, tackle your home and get rid of everything that you don’t really need or that doesn’t have a useful place in your home.

Pay Attention to the Scent

The scent in your home is something else that’ll have a big impact on the overall first impressions the home creates. It’s up to you to make sure that you have a warm and welcoming atmosphere in the home and the scent of it will definitely play a part in that. The right scent is the one that offers what you’re looking for and that makes the home feel welcoming. It might be lavender or maybe the scent of freshly baked bread. That’s something only you can decide on.

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Work on the Exterior Landscape

Before people see the inside of your home, they’ll see the exterior and the way in which the greenery is presented. If you’re not much of a gardener and you don’t have green fingers, it might be a good idea to hire a professional gardener who’ll be able to take care of this stuff for you. The main aim when working on the landscaping of your exterior space is to make the home look well looked after and manicured. Nicely shaped hedges and a landscaped lawn will help to make that possible.

Replace and Upgrade the Front Door of the Home

It’s often a  good idea to think about the front door and the visual impact it has when you’re looking to boost first impressions. Replacing the door with something new and more modern can make a difference. But what matters most is making sure it has an impact and fits in with the overall aesthetic you’re trying to achieve throughout the home. It’s also vital you work with the best door replacement company you can find in order to achieve the best outcomes when the work is done.

Do Something New with Your House Number

If it’s been a long time since you did something different with the house number on the front of your home, it might be time to do something about that. With a fresh new number you can make the exterior of the property look and feel far more appealing, and that’s never a bad thing. It can be elegant or dramatic or whatever you want it to be. But it should fit in with the design of the home and the overall aesthetic you’re looking to achieve. People notice those kinds of things.

Invest in Quality Windows

High-quality windows will always serve you well when it comes to creating a home you can love and be proud of. People will notice the fresh new frames and the clean aesthetic that come with new windows. It really pays off to think about buying new windows if the ones you currently have in place are old and starting to decay a little around the edges. That’s certainly not what you want to be contending with later on and they’ll certainly damage the first impressions your home gives.

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Keep Plants or Fresh Flowers in the Home

When people enter a room and see flowers and houseplants, their attention is drawn to those things. It adds a touch of nature to the space and really adds an important element in an understated way. It’s a simple thing that anyone can do and it’ll make your space so much more inviting that it would otherwise be. That’s not an easy thing to achieve, but the right flowers and plants can make it happen.

Think About the Pathway Leading Up to the Home

First impressions are established to some extent before a person even steps into your home, and that’s why it’s important to work on the pathway leading up to it if you can. There are lots of ways to improve the pathway, such as adding new paving stones, adding small lights along the way to light up the path at night. It’s up to you, but do what you can to create an approach that’s fitting for your home and that delivers the first impressions you’re looking for.

Fix What’s Broken

If there are occasionally issues that arise in and around your home, you should try to deal with them sooner rather than later. When something’s broken or no longer functioning as it should, that’s a sign that you should step in and get it fixed at the soonest opportunity. That could mean doing the work to carry out the fix yourself or it might mean calling in a professional. But if you ignore those minor issues, they’ll only get worse until they eventually cause you big problems that are very costly to fix.

Pay Attention to Signs of Exterior Wear

The home’s exterior will no doubt show signs of ageing and wear as the years pass. It’s up to you to find ways to maintain that exterior and keep it looking fresh and in check for as long as possible. Paying attending and tending to issues as and when you see them will help you to keep that exterior appearance in check. 

Use Signature Art Pieces

Finally, you could think about potentially adding a new art piece that acts as a signature item in the living room or maybe in the hallway as people enter. That way, it acts as part of the first impressions people get when seeing your home for the first time, and that can only be a good thing. Choose a piece that says something about you and makes a wider statement about your interests and aesthetic preferences

So if you’re looking to make your home’s first impressions stronger for whatever reason, you should be sure to make the most of the tips and ideas that have been discussed here. Each of them will help you to improve your home and its overall vibe in one way or another.

** This was a contributed post.

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17 weeks/4 months pregnant

I am now 17 weeks pregnant!

Baby is as big as a large onion and is around 5″ long. His/her heartbeat is around twice as fast as mine, and fingertips will be formed within the next week or so.

My energy is coming back though it hasn’t returned quite all of the way. I am still throwing up but it isn’t as often. I don’t remember being sick for so long with any of my pregnancies before this- so I’m hoping that it’s just a really, really strong and healthy baby.

I’m still so blessed to be carrying him/her for this long. In two weeks, we will find out the gender for the first time ever! We are very excited.

Emory

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recipe: homemade potato chips

These potato chips are so easy to make and taste ah-mazing. I will say that they are a bit time-consuming (as you can only cook a few chips at a time), but do require so little ingredients and steps. Their smell will bring up happy memories of fair food. Pair with the homemade hot dogs buns and you’ve got yourself a winning dish!

Homemade Potato Chips

Ingredients:

5 large potatoes
2 litres ice water
5 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
3 cups oil, any kind

Steps:

1. Using a slicer or a very sharp knife, slice the potatoes into the smallest pieces possible. Put into a large bowl, adding the ice water and 3 tsp of salt. Let soak for 30 minutes-1 hour.

2. Heat a large skillet with oil over medium heat. After soaking the potatoes, pat dry. Very carefully drop the slices into the oil and cover with a lid so as not to burn yourself. They should begin to deep fry. Continue to move them around with a large spoon or spatula. Cook for approximately 3-5 minutes on each side or until they are browned. Remove them from the oil, pat them dry, and top with salt and pepper. Serve once they have cooled!

Emory

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4 ways to upgrade your outside space

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Is your backyard ready for outdoor parties, barbeques, lawn games, and family dinners?

Your outside space is an extension of your indoor living space and a wonderful place to spend time in the Summer. Keeping on top of your backyard duties in the Winter is not always very appealing, so it may need a little sprucing up! 

Your backyard should be a welcoming space to spend time with the family or entertain guests in the sunnier months. It can get expensive to renovate your backyard, but there are many cost-effective ways to upgrade your backyard, regardless of the size, without breaking the bank. 

#1 DIY canopy 

Why not indulge in some alfresco dining this Summer? Building your DIY canopy does not cost a lot of money and can add a stylish eccentric vibe to your outdoor space while protecting you from harsh sunlight and even rain! Add some curtains for extra shade and even add some fairy lights to brighten it up at night. 

#2 Sort or replace your grass 

The grass can make or break any theme you are trying to create with your backyard, regardless of how expensive your decking is! If the grass is not in good shape, it will ruin the vibe.

Consider spending some time nurturing your garden by removing any weeds, watering during dry spouts, and even adding a small stoned path to protect the grass. Another inexpensive option could be to completely replace the grass if it is too far gone, or if you don’t have any already. Surprisingly, there are different types of grass that you can choose for your garden, but it is best to do your research first, so you can decide which is best. The most common debate for best lawns is bermudagrass vs tall fescue

#3 Build a seating area 

The best (and cheapest) seating areas are the ones you build yourself. All it takes is some old wood, food palettes, or even old bricks and concrete slabs and you can build a customised seating area. When you build it yourself, you can make it as big or small as you want, as well as decorate it in your unique style. Building your own creates that trendy rustic look. 

#4 Outdoor cinema

Once you have your DIY canopy and seating area set up, a fun addition to your backyard is an outdoor cinema. This can easily be achieved on a budget, with the only investment being a small projector to hook up to your laptop where you can log in to your favorite streaming service or watch old-time DVDs. Bring things you already have in the house, like a bedsheet for the screen and cushions and blankets to cozy up with, get some popcorn and enjoy a warm summer’s evening with your cinema! 

There are so many ways you can upgrade your backyard in preparation for summer fun, without breaking the bank. It just requires you to think outside the box and get your hands dirty. If there is anything this past year has taught us, it is that we need to spend more time with friends and family, and in nature! So make sure your backyard is up to scratch!

** This was a contributed post.

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6 tips for planning a summer home renovation

A summer renovation is just the thing that a home needs after a long winter. People can fix things outside and inside their home as people enjoy the fresh, clean, summer air. If you are planning a renovation, they are probably looking for some tips on the best way to get things done. 

Here are 5 best tips for planning your summer home renovation. 

Start in the Early summer 

Upgrades and renovations that take place outside are ideal for summer renovations. People can soak in the sun and fresh air while crossing some things off of their to-do list. The earlier in the summer people start, the more motivated people will be to complete their list. 

It is also important to have a comprehensive list of things to do. The best thing to do is to check your home thoroughly to spot any unsatisfactory parts. Before making any additions or improvements, you can even fix the lasting problems you have been procrastinating on. For example, the leaking faucet, noisy fridge or shaking dryer. Simply give a local appliance repair company a call to fix any issue right away.  

Consider the Style 

Making changes to your home is exciting, but you also need to make sure that any new changes are consistent with your current style. Or if you want to completely change your home style, you need to make sure that everything matches it. For example, the color is the one of the most obvious factors you can think of. If you plan to get a custom drape for your living room, you want to make sure it matches your new flooring or ceiling tiles. So does other furniture in your living room.  

Order Materials and Labor in Advance 

Renovations take place across multiple stages and the earlier people start planning, the more prepared they will be. It takes time to pick out a contractor and get materials delivered. To make sure people have everything set up and ready to go by the time they want to start their project, people will want to book these things months in advance. The good part is that there are promotions or deals from all kinds of stores like flooring stores or window companies. You can take advantage of them before they go away.  

This is also important when it comes to permits. For example, if people want to build a fence, they might need a permit from the city. These take time to get approved, so file in advance. 

Research Contractors 

We’ve all heard stories of people hiring contractors that take their money and do an awful job, or completely flake. To avoid this, homeowners will want to spend plenty of time researching the person people are going to hire. Read reviews of other people who have hired them to get a feel of how they work.  

Consider Return on Investment 

When people are thinking about any kind of renovation, it is important to consider the return on investment. Even if selling their home is not on their list at the moment, people should consider how the renovation will increase the value of their home. 

Consider Budget 

Budget is extremely important to consider before people start their renovation. people will need to think about every task that will be completed so people can create an accurate budget for the project. Keep in mind that people might want to paint, replace doorknobs, or resurfacing their cabinets.  

Another point that people may ignore is that the budgeting is only related to the projects itself, and it is more related to the overall expenses of the family. You need to take into account any possible big expenses like family vacations or clear teeth aligners for kids, etc.  

Taking on projects by themselves will save people money, leaving people more room in their budget for the actual renovations. 

** This was a contributed post.

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