Guest Blog Post: 3 Goals for a Healthier, Happier Home


Image via Pixabay

Blog post by Seth Murphy,

Your home is like another member of the family, but do you show it enough love? We can all stand to put in a little more effort to make the house a happier, healthier place, and there’s no better time to start than now — after all, spring cleaning season is just around the corner! Here are some great ideas on home projects that can make you and your family physically and emotionally healthier.

  1. Improve Your Air Quality

The air inside your home is full of allergens and pollutants that can be harmful to your family’s health. Fortunately, there are lots of ways—big and small—you can improve air quality in your house. Check out the following tips:

  • Create a space at every entrance where family members can remove their shoes before entering. Our shoes drag all the outdoor chemicals, allergens, dirt, and dust inside.
  • A deep cleaning of furniture and carpets a few times a year can also significantly improve air quality.
  • Open the windows when the weather is nice to let fresh air in.
  • Adding houseplants and air purifiers in different rooms helps produce cleaner and fresher air.
  • Avoid products that contain volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. Household products including paint, cleaning supplies, building materials, pesticides, adhesives, personal care products, synthetic fragrances, and more contain VOCs.
  • Be sure you are changing the air filters in your HVAC system every 60 to 90 days.
  1. Reduce Energy Use

There are many reasons homeowners would want to reduce their energy use. First of all, the less energy you use, the lower your utility bills will be. But don’t discount the other environmental benefits. You can reduce your home’s carbon footprint with these easy tips:

  • Seal and insulate the ductwork around the home.
  • Switch to long-lasting, energy-efficient LED light bulbs.
  • Invest in a smart thermostat that keeps your home comfortable and reduces energy consumption when the house in unoccupied.
  • Install automatic light switches that turn lights and lamps on when a person needs them, but turns them off when not in use.
  • Wash clothes in cold water and hang them to dry when you can.
  • Ask your utilities company if it performs free energy audits and get a professional opinion on how your home could be doing better.
  1. Breathe New Life Into Old Rooms

Redecorating doesn’t have to be a costly or super time-consuming endeavor. There are tons of quick and easy mini projects you can do on a budget that can make your house look new again. Some projects include:

  • Painting old furniture or refreshing the paint on your front door to give your home’s curb appeal a bit of a boost.
  • Framing prints to add a touch of class to your favorite posters. Use a safety knife to trim down excess borders and get the perfect fit.
  • Clearing out clutter and opening up more space to make your home look larger and cleaner (even when it’s not).
  • Changing the scent of your home with candles, reed diffusers, and essential oil sprays.
  • Changing curtains to update an entire room and make its decor scheme feel more modern.
  • Giving some lift to indoor plants by hanging them from macrame holders.


The turning of the seasons is the perfect time to make changes to your environment to shake things up and inspire you. If you’re planning to make any substantial changes to your home, make sure to keep safety in mind, particularly when using power tools. By completing projects around the house, you can show your home some love. Improving the air quality helps ensure the health of your family. Reducing your energy use is both good for the wallet and the environment. Finally, mini makeover projects like painting or changing curtains can help inspire you while making your home feel more modern.

Thanks to Seth at Contact him at


How to Add Color in Your Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the hottest rooms in the home, and there is always the desire to keep it updated for maximum functionality as well as to keep up with the trends in design. Whether you’re interested in a kitchen renovation or just want to make subtle changes, one of the hottest kitchen trends we are seeing is an increase in color. Adding color can be a simple task that you can complete in an afternoon, or it can be a bit more elaborate.

Lately we have seen a substantial amount of kitchens with the white on white, or the soft brown on white look. We are still big fans of neutral-inspired kitchens, but there has been an upswing in kitchens that are bringing a fresh dose of color to their walls.  Blue and grey will be popular colors, but don’t be afraid to choose a more daring color. If you don’t have plans to replace cabinetry, just make sure that the color you do choose for your walls pairs well with your current cabinets and appliances.


We also love the idea of choosing a less than common color for your cabinets or kitchen island. Consider a turquoise island in a white and cream colored kitchen or cabinets in a moody grey or black for a bold statement.


If a low risk change is what y interested in, consider making simple changes to your kitchen towels, curtains, rugs, or dinnerware. These are great items to experiment with bringing in bold, bright colors or patterns. If you want to paint, but not your walls, try painting your chairs or stools in a sunny color. While not an extensive overhaul, subtle changes like these can make quite the impact.


How would you add color into your kitchen?

Home Improvement Projects to Leave to the Pros


Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Some household updates require more than an online tutorial to complete. Instead of tackling these projects yourself and dealing with the cleanup as well as costly and unsightly mistakes, consider hiring a professional to help you out. Here are some home improvement projects best left to the pros.

Lead Removal

Hiring someone for lead removal is necessary as lead poisoning is a serious safety hazard. Lead is often found in paint on the walls of older homes. Removing it requires a special set of skills and knowledge of the regulations and safety protocols. In order to minimize exposure from sanding and scraping, a professional will need to contain the area as well as the dust in it.


In order to properly repair your home’s foundation, a professional is needed to understand the root of the problem. Getting it inspected by an engineer will ensure that you have peace of mind knowing your home is securely resting on its foundation.


While you are capable of repairing or replacing your flooring by yourself, contracting professionals will guarantee that the proportions and amount of material necessary to cover the space will be correct. They will also take away the large amount of trash that comes with replacing floors. The average cost to install new flooring is $2,299. Whether it’s tile, laminate, wood, or carpet, make sure to get the right kind of flooring, and consider the foot traffic and durability needs for the area.


 Knocking down a wall often allows for a more open floor plan. However, it also means possibly rerouting electrical and plumbing lines. Therefore, you will need to call someone to determine if the wall in question is weight-bearing and necessary to the structure of your home before tearing it down.


Rewiring, no matter how small the project, is always a safety concern. Hiring an electrician will mean no harm comes to you or your home, and it will also minimize any loss of power.


According to the American Home Shield, “you shouldn’t ever try to fix a main pipe underneath the sink, install a shower or toilet or redo the plumbing yourself.” A missed leak could lead to rot or mold that may not be found until it’s too late.

Tree Removal

Taking down trees is a dangerous endeavor especially if electrical lines, cars, and homes are nearby. A pro will safely cut it down and haul it away for you.


Repairing or installing your roof is risky in terms of falling and possibly creating leaks in your attic and home insulation. Unless it is a very minor repair, call in a professional roofer to do the job.

Gas Appliances

Whether it’s a stove, dryer, or furnace, maintaining gas appliances is safest when done by a technician in order to eliminate the chance for carbon monoxide poisoning.

Be sure to get background checks done on any professionals who will be spending considerable time on your property, and ask for copies of their licenses or certifications as well as recommendations from previous jobs they’ve completed. It especially helps to look within your community for reliable contractors. Ask thorough questions about the process so you are up to date, and even get a second opinion if you feel it is needed. Make sure they have the proper insurance, and you have obtained a written contract. Also, ensure someone is able to be present at your home to monitor the work. Leave money in your budget for any unexpected costs and get multiple quotes so you know you are getting the best price.

When it comes to home improvement, there are many projects you can do yourself. But there are times when you’ll want to avoid costly mistakes and also to take your safety into account. In those cases, you’ll definitely want to hire a professional.

Thanks to guest blogger Seth Murphy of Reach him via email at


Our Favorite Interior Design Trends for 2018

A New Year means new interior design trends to lust over, and while there are so many to choose from, we’ve selected our top 4 trends that we can’t wait to see in more homes this year. Follow along to learn our favorite picks!

Darker Colors

Dark colors will continue to be a hot trend in home design this year, as they will be used to add extra drama to your space. Dark colors still give off feelings of warmth and coziness so don’t worry about these colors making your room feel dark and lonely. Whether you add these colors to your walls, furniture, or décor pieces, you can’t go wrong!

Natural Wood

Natural wood is still maintaining a strong presence in home design, as owners are taking advantage of its ability to evoke an earthy and natural feel to their home. Natural wood elements harmonize the different textures and colors in your space, allowing for the room to come together harmoniously.

Moody Green

Moody green continues to be prevalent in home design. Moody, luxurious, and calming, this shade of green is bound to make a statement. If used in furniture, take it one step further and make it a velvety green on your couch or chairs. On your walls, we love pairing it with white accents to truly make the color pop and come to life.

Metallic Finishes

Whether in hardware, furniture, wall coverings, or accent pieces, metallic is being used in various ways in the home. Don’t be afraid to mix and match metals either, but if you do, make sure to incorporate the same color metal in other areas of your room.

What are your favorite design trends for 2018?

5 Fixes You Need to Complete Before Selling Your Home


Trying to sell your home but not getting any bites? If your home has certain problems, you could be scaring away buyers without realizing it. For a successful home sale, make sure you take care of these home improvement projects before you list:

1. Upgrade kitchen appliances

Like it or not, most homebuyers expect stainless steel appliances in the kitchen. That doesn’t mean you have to upgrade to top-of-the-line fixtures, but if you’re still sporting white appliances, replacing them with mid-range stainless steel styles will add value. Purchase matching styles for the entire kitchen and look for refrigerators with the ENERGY STAR logo to appeal to eco- and budget-conscious buyers.

2. Fix the flooring

Scuffed, stained, and damaged flooring makes an otherwise lovely home look drab. You don’t need to completely replace your flooring before selling, but you should give it some attention. Most buyers prefer hardwood over other flooring types, and it pays to refinish existing hardwood floors to make them shine. If there’s carpeting installed over hardwood, rip it out to expose the boards underneath. If your subfloor is plywood, clean the carpeting and replace any that is badly stained, frayed, or garish with new carpeting in a neutral hue. Don’t forget to regrout tile floors in the kitchen and bathroom and replace cracked tiles.

3. Repair pet damage

As much as you love your pets, their presence in your home takes a toll on its value. While damage from cats and dogs is usually minor, it’s also widespread. That means a lot of little areas that require your attention. Spot treat urine stains on floors, walls, and trim, replace gnawed and scratched-up baseboards and window ledges, fix scratches on doors and walls, and patch dead areas of lawn.

4. Replace the roof

No one wants to pay for a new roof before they sell, but not doing it could cost you. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2017 Cost vs. Value report, a new roof adds an average $14,214 to a home’s value, representing a 68.8 percent return on your investment. While that means the average homeowner will lose about $6,500 by replacing their roof, not doing it could mean reducing your home’s listing price by the cost of a new roof — a loss of more than $20,000. Combined with the fact that a damaged roof will scare away many prospective buyers, the decision to replace is an easy one. Just be mindful of roofing scams as you shop for contractors, or you could find yourself out more money than you bargained for. Homeowners can protect themselves by checking a prospective company’s license and insurance, asking for a contract including material and labor costs, and never giving a down payment before the project has started.

5. Spruce up the exterior

None of these fixes matter if your home’s exterior turns buyers away before they take a closer look. Curb appeal plays a big role in selling a house, and homeowners would be remiss to overlook it. Take care of overdue maintenance like fixing and painting fences, patching driveway cracks, pruning trees and perennial plants, and repainting your front door. For added curb appeal, install inviting features like landscape lights along the front walk, large planters, and cozy front porch furnishings. Don’t forget to tend the backyard, too; if buyers can peek in before scheduling a showing, they will.

Your home should look and be its best when you sell. Otherwise, you may not get the price you’re hoping for. By taking care of these five fixes before staging your house, you make it easy for prospective buyers to feel at home.

Image via Flickr

Thanks to Seth from for this article! Email him at


Cozy Winter Bedroom Ideas

With colder weather and darker days upon us, now is the perfect time to make your bedroom extra cozy and comfortable. While it’s important to have a living room that promotes relaxation, some nights we just want to venture into our bedroom to unwind for several hours. Follow along as we share with you our favorite ways to create a warm and cozy winter wonderland in your bedroom this season!

Winter Color Scheme

White is going to be a color that you will want to incorporate into your bedroom this winter. Not only does it give off a feeling of the holiday season, but it’s also an ideal color for bringing peace and relaxation into your bedroom. Whether it’s a fluffy, white throw blanket, a furry white rug, or sparkly white accent pieces, there’s a magnitude of ways for you to incorporate the color in your room.

Cranberry and gold are also winners for your winter color palette, and when combined, these two work together to create a sophisticated and classic holiday statement. Whether its holiday décor or throw blankets, just like white, you can take these colors and incorporate them in a variety of ways.




Layer with Texture

Thick duvets and knitted blankets are an easy way to ramp up the coziness factor in your bedroom. They evoke feelings of warmth and make you want to curl up under your blankets with a movie and a mug of tea or hot cocoa. By layering your rugs, blankets, and pillows, you can add both texture and warmth to a room anytime of the year, especially during the colder months.


Add Plush Rugs

Add warmth with fluffy and luxurious rugs or carpet to your bedroom floors, because on cold winter mornings, the only thing better than a pair of slippers is a plush rug to sink your feet into as you start your day.


Soft Lighting

In the late afternoon or evening when you’re ready to unwind and relax for the night, choose soft lighting to create coziness. A dimmer is a great way to adjust your bedroom’s overhead lighting, and when you can, choose soft white or warm white for the temperature color, as this will create a warm, cozy ambience.


What are your favorite ways to create a warm and cozy atmosphere in your bedroom?

Easy Thanksgiving Decorating Ideas

Thanksgiving feels like it has snuck up on us, and with the holiday being a week away, we have several decorating tips that can make your home feel like Thanksgiving in no time.

To create a space of warmth and coziness, decorate with colors that are inspired by the season, such as soft brown, burnt orange, and cranberry.



Before your guests even walk into your home, you want them to feel comfortable and relaxed. An easy way to do this is to welcome your guests by hanging a festive fall-themed wreath on your front door. This sets the tone that once they walk inside, there will be a warm, festive atmosphere awaiting them.


Near your entrance, have a thankful board either hanging on a wall or resting on an accent table, where your guests can write down something or someone that they are thankful for. By the end of the day, your thankful board will be overflowing with reasons that everyone can be thankful.


If you’re hosting a holiday dinner, it will be important to have a festive dining table. Add festive table linens to each place setting, and create fall-themed place tags for your table. You could use pretty leaves gathered from your yard, or use mini pumpkins with a name written on a tag, tied around the stem. For your centerpiece, use decorative vases that are layered with twigs, berries, pine cones, and corn kernels to create a full fall effect.


Remember, when it comes to decorating, less is more, and sometimes having too many decorations can be overwhelming. Keep décor simple, stick to several colors, and decorate with what you already have to make your home feel warm and welcome for your friends and family.

What is your best tip for decorating your home for the holidays?