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. 

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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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tips for finding the perfect home

Buying a new home is always an adventure. No matter whether you find it stressful or exciting – or more likely a combination of both these things – you will, once the dust has settled and the boxes are removed, be living somewhere new, and if all has gone according to plan, that new place will be the perfect home. 

Of course, in order to be living in the perfect home, you need to find it. With that in mind, here are some valuable tips for finding your perfect dream home and enjoying it to the fullest. 

Photo by Jessica Bryant from Pexels 

What Is Your Perfect Home? 

Before you can begin to search for your perfect home, you need to know what that ideal home looks like, or at least what elements it needs to have to make it right for you. Make a list of everything you must have in the new place, and ensure anyone moving with you does the same. Ideally, you should have two lists; one that contains ‘must haves’ and one that contains ‘nice to haves’. The first list is unchangeable, but the second is full of things that you could compromise on if need be. 

Once you have your list, you will be able to narrow down the options available to you and only seriously consider the ones in which you’ll feel most comfortable. This is particularly important if you are preparing for interstate moving and not staying in the area you currently live, as you’ll only want to visit houses that are really going to suit you so you can save time and money. 

Stay In Budget 

There are lots of houses that are definitely going to suit whatever your idea of perfection is. However, they may not all fall into your budget range, and this is important to think about. It’s not worth stretching your budget to breaking point (or beyond) and being very uncomfortable every time you need to pay the mortgage for the next twenty or thirty years just to get one more item on your list ticked off. It makes a lot more sense to compromise on some of those listed items and pay less for a property. 

In the end, you’ll be much happier in a house you can comfortably afford, even if it doesn’t have everything you thought you wanted, than you would be in a home that is difficult to pay for, even if it has all the things you thought were important. 

Use Your Imagination 

Some of the houses that will be in your budget and seem to have everything you need will require a lot of work – this is why they are priced much more cheaply than anything else you are looking at. In this case, you’ll need to use your imagination when you go see them or when you conduct a virtual video viewing (whichever is best for you). 

It could be that your perfect house is lurking underneath a layer of old wallpaper and wonky floorboards and that with some time, money, and effort, you can create something that is exactly what you want out of the bones of the houses you’re looking at. Using your imagination to think about what the place could be like might be the thing that finds you your perfect house when you didn’t think you would.

** This was a contributed post.

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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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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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  • 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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