Saturday, June 29, 2013

Guest Post: The Importance of Interior Design and the Right Flooring in the Home By Jennifer Parker

Regardless of whether a home is built from the ground up or an existing structure is being remodeled, it is important to incorporate the following elements: 
Interior design
High-quality design can turn a room with bare white walls and no character into a home that accurately reflects its inhabitants’ style and personalities. Some homeowners choose to complete their own interior design while others hire professionals to do if for them. Regardless of who does the job, the following aspects must be considered:
One of the most important aspects of design is the wall color choices. Using a bright color will open a room up while a dark color can make an oversized room feel more cozy. 

Image via flicker

The next important design element is the incorporation of the right furnishings. This could include acquiring a stylish couch or chair in the living area or a beautiful dining room table that fits the home’s overall design theme. Of course, furnishings can also include small details such as pictures or pillow accents.
Home flooring
Another important aspect to keep in mind when attempting to create a certain look is the choice of flooring. 
Wood floors
Today, many homeowners are choosing prefinished wood floors, which create a sophisticated look throughout the home.  In addition, a variety of options are now available to homeowners such as laminate flooring, which has the look of hardwood floors without the expense. Trending now are dark wood floors, which are elegant and classy; however, homeowners should be aware that having dark flooring, dark furniture and darkly colored walls can make a home appear drab and too dark.  Therefore, it is important to balance the dark elements with lighter accents to ensure the home does not appear gloomy.

Image via flicker

Other flooring options
Most homeowners still prefer having carpet in their bedrooms although wood floors are still very popular in other parts of the house. For bathrooms, many homeowners are choosing tile.  It usually depends on the look a homeowner is going for and how much they can spend as to what type of tile they will use in their home.

The two elements listed above those being home flooring and interior design are both crucial to remember when creating a certain look in a home. Having the right design elements can make or break the overall ambiance of a home. Furthermore, flooring is the base in which the rest of a home's design is built, Therefore choosing these two aspects wisely is vital. 
Author Bio: Jennifer Parker is a handy woman to have around the house. Her passion is home living and she manages a home improvement blog in the living, design, and decor niches. Jennifer is also a freelance writer for Floor and Décor, a flooring retailer specializing in hardwood and laminate flooring. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Guest Post: My (Ongoing) Quest for Clean and Convenient Shoe Storage By Maya Rodgers

For many people, shoes are the things that dreams are made of. It starts small, with a favorite pair of sandals, or hot pumps that are just perfect. However, a few pairs quickly become a mountain, and after collecting many pairs of shoes over time, you may get to the point where there is no closet space left for your beloved footwear. Your shoes end up in a huge pile, tucked away in your closet, making finding the right pair difficult, if not impossible.
Like many shoe-lovers, I struggled with finding spaces to store my own as well as my family’s shoes. Why not leave them in a neat little row beside the door? That sounds like a good idea – at first. But then my children trek through the front door constantly, and that neat little row of shoes that I spent time ordering is quickly destroyed. Even more, the dog sees our shoes as an array of chew toys, and I’ve had spiders lurk inside my unsuspecting shoes more than once. Yes, my shoe storage ideas never really work out. 
If you’re struggling with shoe organization, there are plenty of eye-catching and fun ways to keep your shoes tidy. If you’re feeling particularly creative, you can even make your own device.  In an attempt to organize my shoes, and help others do the same, I took a look at some very cool and functional ways to store shoes. All of these designs keep shoes neat, clean, and away from children, pets, and pests:

  • Cantilevered shoe racks are a sleeker, more modern version of the original shoe rack. The construction of these racks, which are mounted to the wall, can give the illusion that your shoes are floating. 

image credit and shoe rack: available here

  • Wooden thread racks can double as a shoe rack for small children’s shoes. Whether your thread rack hangs on the wall, or stands near a door, yours can be personalized with a fresh coat of paint, fabric, or wherever your creativity takes you! When it’s finished, just hang your children’s shoes onto the hooks.
  • Bookcases are a great, simple place to store your shoes. Depending on the size, you may be able to display your entire shoe collection on the bookcase, making it easy to find the perfect pair of shoes for the occasion. 
  • Room dividers can serve more than one purpose by doubling as a shoe rack. If you have a room divider near the front door or in your bedroom, just place an over-the-door shoe hanger onto the room divider and you have yourself another place to put your favorite shoes. 
  • Shoe wheels seemed magical the first time I saw one. These allow a large amount of storage while also offering easy accessibility to pairs of shoes. 

photo credit and more information available at: The Telegraph

  • Large wicker and decorative baskets can also be used to collect shoes. This works best for shoes that take up less space such as sandals and flats, along with shoes that get worn less frequently. Unlike the shoe wheel though, the basket risks the possibility of not being able to quickly find that pair you need.
  • A final shoe storage idea is the use of crown molding to hang heels on the wall. Taking three to four rows of crown molding and mounting them high along your walls can add a decorative pop as well as a useful area to hang your heels. The photo below comes from a great DIY article that shows you how to make your own

I found these solutions were very helpful in my ongoing quest for ideal shoe storage – though I also learned that these ideas work best in combinations. (My personal favorite is the shoe wheel.) Try using some of these suggestions and let me know how it goes! May your shoes stay clean, organized, and ready-to-wear!

Author bio: Maya Rodgers currently mothers two children and a yellow lab who loves stealing and chewing any shoes she can find. Maya also very much dislikes being surprised by bugs in her shoes, which is why she works as a pest control consultant. She can be found musing and experimenting at

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Guest Post: Home Landscaping-Why Build Waterfalls In Your Yard By Madoline Hatter

When it comes to designing the look and feel of your home, there truly isn't a right or wrong way to do things. It all centers around what your personal preferences are and whether or not you can feel comfortable in your own home. Your lawn is no different. Miniature waterfalls have a great deal of aesthetic improvements within the confines of your property. As these can be hand constructed using various materials, the odds of duplicating the exact look and feel are next to impossible.

  1. Attractive - When it comes to building your waterfall, there are multitudes of ways and designs you can implement in order to give it that totally unique look and feel. These can be short two-foot miniature falls to much larger, six-feet and up elaborate structures that feed into natural swimming pools. You are the designer and you can base these beautiful additions on real-life water falls, or develop a completely different look and feel. For many home owners, the active waterfall in the yard has an allure regarding nature that they feel utterly comfortable around.

2. Stress Relief - For those who practice yoga or meditate on a regular basis, the soothing sounds of a small waterfall can put you in an excellent frame of mind. There are tens-of-thousands of people around the globe who actively find campsites or hotel rooms that overlook rivers and waterfalls for the sheer sound of running water at night when they sleep. It is a relaxing experience and can help relieve tensions and stress.

3. Creativity - Building a waterfall in your yard is more than simply stacking rocks on each other and running the hose through the top. It can be a way to express yourself through the use of nature as your canvas and tools. There are multitudes of ways to build your waterfall and you can be as creative as you wish. Different rock formations, small pools that feed into each other as the falls digress, even miniature houses and mills can be added as if you were putting together a model of nature.

4. Inexpensive - The more elaborate your waterfall is, the more money you will be putting into the construction. However, there are many people all around the country that wouldn't mind someone coming over to their properties and cleaning up rocks and other natural debris that you can fit into your design. If you can be creative about the materials you use, you can save quite a bit of money.

5. Entertaining - Many of us build or work on various objects because we think it's fun. Models, cars, computers, and more are used as hobbies in order to build something filling us with the feeling of accomplishment. As the waterfall could take a great deal of time to perfect, you could find yourself viewing your scenery as a hobby in order to bring you pleasure from something you have complete control of.

Waterfalls in your yard can do quite a bit in the terms of increasing your home's desirability. Although appraisers in some areas don't include lawn additions in this fashion when determining the value of your home, the personal appeal will arise more interest within those who are looking to buy. If you plan on living in the home for years to come, then you can enjoy your own slice of nature in the form of a running waterfall throughout the remainder of your stay.

This article is contributed by Madoline Hatter. Madoline is a freelance writer and blog junkie from You can reach her at: m.hatter12 @ gmail. com.