new year, new home?

 

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It’s the start of a new year and many of us are reflecting on areas of our lives we want to improve on. The pandemic over the course of the past two years has made many of us reflect on our living spaces. Some of us are now working from home, so need extra space for desks and other office style equipment. Some of us have new jobs and want to move. Some of us have realised we want to be closer to friends and family. Some of us have simply had time to reflect on our properties and have decided we want something different. Whatever your reason for considering a new home for the new year, here are a few areas of focus that you can take into consideration. Hopefully, they’ll help you to find something that works for you!

Considerations

There are so many things to consider when choosing a new home. Some will hold more weight than others for different people, so here are just a few to take into account to get the ball rolling.

  • Area – where would you like to live? This is the first step you should take, as it will allow you to begin your property search. Do you need to be close to work? Do you need to be near schools for children? Do you want to be close to friends and family? Would you like to live in the city or a more rural area? These types of questions should help you to find a location that you’re happy with.
  • Property size – how big does your home need to be? Would you be fine in an apartment? Or do you need a home with separate rooms and living spaces? If you’re buying, it’s generally best to go bigger than your current needs if you think your family may be growing in the near future.
  • Aesthetics – how a property looks can determine how much you like it. Do you want something new or older? Modern or traditional?

Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, you can use reliable real estate sites like Compass to get your property search started.

Remember

Moving isn’t necessarily the only option. Sure, if you want to move location, then you will have to move home to achieve this. But if you’re considering moving because of things like outgrowing your property, wanting more natural light or wanting more or fewer rooms, you could always consider renovating the property you’re already in. This is a great option for those who love their current home and don’t really want to leave and those who have children who they don’t want to disrupt. Sure, renovations can mean having work carried out in your living spaces for a while, which isn’t always ideal, but it’s a good way to make the property you’re already in better fit your needs and preferences.

These are just a few suggestions that could help you find the living space of your dreams. Hopefully, some of the information will come in useful for you and make all the difference! You’ll be in your new home before you know it.

** This was a contributed post.

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wonderful additions to your home that will put a smile on your face

https://unsplash.com/photos/R-LK3sqLiBw 

Your home should be something more than just a place that keeps you warm and private. It should be something that makes you feel warm inside all of the time. You should be proud of what you come back to every single morning, afternoon, and evening. If not, then it might be wise to begin reimagining your home and seeing what you can add!

It’s amazing what you can do to a home. Your creativity might let you in on all kinds of different ideas. Right now, you might think that not much can be done, but with a little thought and a little help, you could create something wonderful that not only makes you happier but raises the value of the place. Adding in certain items in order to put a smile on your face makes all the sense in the world. Here are just a few things you can do to your home in order to improve the area:

Driveway Additions 

The driveway is literally the first part of the home you will reach – in most situations, anyway. If your driveway is looking a little worse for wear or a little boring, then it can take a huge toll on how everything else goes. First impressions are key and can set the tone. Even if the rest of the home is fine, the mind may not see it that way. Think about adding a few borders and/or ornaments. A be sure to give it a clean with a pressure washer in order to take a few years off it. It’s amazing what dirt can do in terms of making a driveway look decades older than it actually is.  

Extend A Part Of The Home 

If you have the money and the space to do so, then there’s no reason why you couldn’t add an extra room or two to your home. It would be a terrific idea. If you have a family and need the room or you just feel like adding another dimension, you’d get a kick out of it. The value of your home would go up, too.

New, Fresh Lighting 

It’s amazing what lighting can do to a home. Now, of course, we’re not expecting you to add the most expensive lights or the kind of equipment that makes you feel like you’re in a movie studio. Adding a few artificial lights to the corners and the roof could make a huge difference to the look and the overall feel. Even an extra window would be helpful as you could get some natural light in. 

An Office Or Study 

The feeling of setting up your own workspace in your home feels wonderful. It allows you to feel as though you’ve got a place that you can really concentrate in. A spare room that has a table, a chair, and a computer can do half the trick, but a genuinely dedicated room is a huge upgrade. 

En-Suite Bathroom(s) 

Again, anyone with a bathroom should obviously be grateful they have functioning plumbing that allows them to take part in some of the most basic of needs. Getting straight out of bed and heading into a bathroom, however, is a privilege we all deserve. There are so many benefits of an en-suite bathroom, starting with convenience.

A Room Exclusively For Relaxing 

A lot goes on in your life, so you’re going to want to make sure that you do whatever you can to chill out. Why not use one of your free rooms or spaces to create a room for relaxing. You can add comfort items like pictures and a kinetic sculpture that is easy on the eye. You could make it clear to everyone that when it’s in use, nobody interrupts. 

Loft Conversion 

In this day and age, a lot of people have their lofts or basements converted into something more useful. Possessing an old, damp area of the home is absolutely pointless in this day and age. So, if you have the funds, then you may as well turn this vacant area into something more important. 

Backyard Ornaments And Decorations

The backyard has the power to change the entire look and feel of a home. It’s supposed to supplement a house but it does so much more than that. If the garden is looking a little boring or eerie, then you could always liven things up with a few decorations. You can turn something very bland into something that has a real sense of character with a genuine atmosphere. Adding personality to a backyard can liven up a home even more.

** This was a contributed post.

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acreage renovation: living room makeover

We started renovating our living room in August when I hung wallpaper from Rocky Mountain Decals. Below is what our living room looked like before we began.

As you can see, it needed help! A few followers on Instagram even asked me why we were making over our living room since it wasn’t in that bad of shape. But honestly, it was! There were still holes and patches on the wall from the previous owners, the trim was either missing or falling off, there were holes in the ceiling, and none of our furnishings really flowed since I never put in the effort to set it up properly to begin with. Not only that, I’m in serious nesting mode and wanted a nice room where we would be spending the majority of our days. So here we are.

Geoffrey started buy hanging shiplap on our largest wall. After he completed that, he started expanding our TV wall. Our goal was to have all of the electrical built-in behind the TV so that you wouldn’t see any cords hanging down when it was plugged in. Rather than finishing it off as a plain white wall, we really wanted to tile it. However, neither of us had any tiling experience! Our solution? To install peel and stick tile. It turned out nicer than either of us hoped for!

Geoff painted the remaining walls Falling Snow by Behr. He purchased new baseboards from Home Depot and painted, installed, and caulked those as well.

Now for the fun part- I got to buy what we needed to finish decorating the living room! I purchased a new black rattan light fixture from Bouclair. Three of our throw pillows also came from there. The floating shelves came from Canadian Tire. I bought curtains and the curtain rod from JYSK, as well as two throw pillows and an end table. Finally, our octagon ottoman came from HomeSense.

I have already rearranged a few things on the end table and I know that we will be adding more as time goes on. For now, this is our living room makeover!

Emory

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6 super ways to upgrade your kitchen

Being a homeowner, you’re going to spot the best trends and want to upgrade your home bit by bit over time. Whether you have a view to selling up or you choose to upgrade for yourself, you’re going to do much better in your home if you make sure that you give it a makeover from time to time. 

The kitchen is one of the most renovated rooms for most homeowners. It’s the social hub of the home and it’s where you cook your meals. It’s definitely a room that requires kitchen floor maintenance, upgraded cabinetry and better fixtures every now and then. Below, we’ve got six super ways to upgrade your kitchen and make the space work for you. 

Image Source: Pexels

1. Start with your cupboards. Whether you have both standard kitchen cupboards or a walk-in pantry, you know that these are one of the essential elements of your kitchen to make it look as good as it does. They are there to store everything from food to plates and pots. Reinventing your cabinets will immediately alter the look of your kitchen, as will upgrading from wood to other materials. Of course, a huge renovation can cost a lot but renovating just the cabinets? This will help you to take down the price.

2. Give it some style. The kitchen should be reflective of the rest of your home and your personality. It’s for this reason that you should consider upgrading it to be more stylish and modern. With good kitchen floor maintenance, you can ensure that your kitchen maintains a modern look, and you should consider showing off some of the most precious glassware and kitchen items. Open shelves, for example, add instant style.

3. Change up the lighting. Kitchens should be packed with light so that you can see what you’re doing while you cook/eat/work – whatever you choose to do! You could consider adding more lighting, or expanding the size of the kitchen windows to let in more natural light.

4. A lick of paint. Some kitchen walls are wallpapered and others are painted. If you don’t want to paint the walls or change the color from a plain one, think about painting your cabinets or door/window frames. Opt for brighter colors if you want to continue a theme, but gentle pastels also work really well for your kitchen.

5. Go with wood. Kitchens with scrubbed wooden tables and wooden cabinets are kitchens that are reflective of natural elements. Wood can, of course, scratch and dent. So, opt for porcelain for the floor to avoid dents and scratches popping up all over the kitchen floor.

6. Clean it up. The kitchen is going to look ten times better when it’s been professionally cleaned. You can call in the experts to come in and do it for you before staying on top of it all yourself. Kitchen hygiene is so important and you know how to keep on top of your kitchen so that it looks beautiful no matter what.

** This was a contributed post.

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a few of the benefits of living somewhere a bit wilder

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Approximately hundred years ago, the vast majority of human beings – including those living in Europe and the United States – lived in rural settings, with only a minority of the population living in highly urbanised environments.

Today, the situation is the exact reverse, with urban areas being highly crowded population centres, and the wilder parts of the world being increasingly sparsely populated.

Throughout almost the entire span of human existence up until this point, we have lived in natural settings that bear virtually no resemblance to modern cities and large towns, and there’s a lot of evidence that living somewhere a bit wilder and a bit closer to the heart of nature can convey all sorts of different potential upsides.

Civilisation provides many amazing benefits, ranging from modern healthcare, to the ability to purchase the best quality eyeglasses for your needs, within moments, via the Internet.

Fortunately, living in a wilder or more rural area doesn’t mean that you have to become a hermit and totally turn your back on technology and modern innovations.

Here are a few of the benefits of living somewhere a bit wilder.

A much closer connection to nature and a sense of being part of a greater whole

For a long time now, a wide variety of people have reported feeling alienated, atomised, and disconnected as a result of city living.

Sociologists dating back at least to the 1800s have made the point that living in dense urban centres naturally creates a sense of distance and disconnection from other people, even when you are completely surrounded by them, and fosters sensations of anxiety and rootlessness.

As human beings, we all need to have a sense of connection to a greater whole in order to really thrive – and that sense of connection to a greater whole frequently comes in the form of a connection to nature, and the more natural and organic kinds of communities that tend to develop in wilder and more rural settings.

Increasingly, psychologists are finding that people who regularly spend time in nature enjoy an enhanced sense of well-being, feel more balanced and whole, and suffer less from many of the issues that afflict people in urban environments.

The psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist, for example, makes a compelling case that urban environments keep us completely submerged in a landscape of human artifice, which makes it very difficult for us to feel the sense of organic wholeness that we associate with things like the natural world, and nourishing interpersonal relationships.

Regular opportunities for “silence” and getting in touch with what really matters

One of the most common issues that afflicts virtually everyone today, is the sheer, ever-present, overpowering nature of the various distractions that we are surrounded by day and night.

Whether it’s advertising, worrying stories in the news, the latest celebrity gossip or cultural event, notifications in your social media feeds, or any number of other things, it can often be overwhelming just going through day-to-day life while trying to maintain a bit of balance and poise.

On the one hand, having your attention under constant attack is certainly annoying, but the issue might be significantly more serious than that.

The highly accomplished Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge, who – among other things – was the first man to walk solo to the South Pole, believes that we all need moments of “silence” and freedom from distraction on a regular basis, in order to help us get in touch with our authentic selves, and truly thrive.

For Kagge, many of his best moments of what he calls “silence” came about when he was doing feats of endurance in extreme natural environments.

In recent years, however, he has written a book entitled “Silence in the Age of Noise,” and he argues that it’s possible for us all to find moments for this kind of silence in our own daily lives.

Living in a wilder and more natural area naturally makes it easier to escape the countless distractions that so often bombard us. Simply stepping outside into your garden, going for a stroll, or even just turning off your TV, opening the window, and listening to the sounds of nature, can help you to take a breather.

Importantly, it’s in these kinds of moments of calm and quiet that we often realise what it is that we actually find most significant and meaningful in life.

A higher baseline level of physical activity

As you hear from a huge number of different sources, one of the most pressing public health issues across the developed world today is sedentary living, and lower and lower baseline levels of physical activity for the average person.

Maintaining a high level of low-to-moderate intensity physical activity on a regular basis is associated with all sorts of fantastic health benefits, ranging from improving cardiovascular function, to maintaining a healthy body weight, enjoying an enhanced sense of well-being, experiencing improved immune function, and more.

Living in a wilder locale almost automatically means a higher baseline level of physical activity, as you walk more around your neighbourhood, go strolling through the landscape, potentially work in your garden or on your smallholding, and so on.

At the very least, you’ll almost certainly find it easier to motivate yourself to go out for a stroll if you have some beautiful natural scenery to appreciate just beyond your front door.

Daily opportunities for fascination and insight

It’s probably fair to say that everyone wants their life to be full of moments of fascination, novelty, and insight – and living in a wilder and more natural setting can provide a virtually endless number of opportunities in this regard, if you approach things in the right way.

The natural world is an extremely intricate and fascinating web of different interdependent organisms, forces, and dynamics.

In her book, “Finding the Mother Tree,” plant scientist and former forester Suzanne Simard describes some of the profound ways in which trees and other plants communicate, engage in deeply intricate symbiotic relationships, and shape forests as essentially interconnected, living and breathing mega-organisms.

Whether you are interested in hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, or other high-octane sporting activities, or whether you want to take up birdwatching, explore the forests, try your hand at beekeeping, plant a vegetable garden, or a variety of other things, there are opportunities – on a daily basis – to explore new avenues, delve into new interests, and keep a childlike sense of wonder alive.

While there are certainly all kinds of different things to do in urban environments, the very nature of those environments tends to give us less room to explore and experience those sorts of primal pastimes. Instead, urban environments typically present a preset number of different recreational activities.

Less pollution

Pollution is one of the most pressing issues in the world today, and a lot has been said – and continues to be said – about the ways in which air pollution, water pollution, soil pollution, and more are not only undermining the stability of the planet’s various ecosystems, but also directly harming human health.

Many common pollutants, for example, have been associated with hormonal changes and an increased risk of serious disease.

While many modern cities are far cleaner than they used to be, and while there are pollution concerns in certain rural areas, related largely to pesticides, living in a relatively wild area is likely to mean you will be exposed to significantly less pollution, and can literally “breathe easier” as a result.

Particularly if you have a young family to raise, things like the relative pollution levels in your environment might be major factors to consider, when planning for the future.

More space

It almost goes without saying that living in a wilder and more rural environment automatically tends to mean that you have more space available – both in terms of a larger home and plot of land at a more affordable price, and also in terms of more space between you and your neighbours.

There are many potential benefits to simply having more space at your disposal – ranging from the fact that it might allow for a more comfortable style of living, the fact that it might allow you to work on various projects and interests of yours that would be difficult to work in a more urban environment.

For example, you might be able to create a small barn or workshop, grow a well-sized garden, keep a certain number of livestock, or a variety of other things.

A bit more space between you and your neighbours also means a bit more privacy, and less of the sense of claustrophobia that people sometimes experience when living in crowded cities.

Ultimately, living somewhere wilder can really allow you to tailor your living situation to your particular preferences, in a variety of different ways that will often be at least quite difficult, if not impossible, elsewhere.

** This was a contributed post.

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  • Welcome, friends! My name is Emory. I am a wife and mother to four (two on earth, one in heaven, and growing another). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
    email: helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

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