Category Archives: Modern Living

3 CREATIVE IDEAS ON DECORATING A DINING TABLE

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The significance of decorating a dining table can be easily overlooked. Since the dining table is usually the focal point in the dining room, the decorations placed on it surely have an impact on the overall look of the room. Aside from that, when people walk into your dining room, the dining table is also the first thing that they will notice so you shouldn’t set aside the importance of keeping it presentable. There are a lot of ways on how to decorate a dining table, but provided in this article are three of the most creative ones.

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1. Use a table cover or table runner to beautify your dining table.

If you have a bare dining table, one of the easiest ways to make it look nicer is to use a table cover or a table runner. Make sure that the design as well as the color of the table cover or table runner blends well with the rest of the interior design elements of the room. In addition, you must also consider the other decorations in your dining room when deciding on the tablecloth or table runner material. Luxurious types of fabric are perfect for dining rooms that look formal and elegant, while for a dining room that has a casual look, a table cloth made of cotton or linen is more appropriate. Aside from decorative purposes, table covers can also be used to hide the flaws of your dining table, such as stains and scratch marks on the surface.

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2. Add a centerpiece on your dining table.

A centerpiece can enhance the look of your dining table by adding focus as well as dimension to it. There are many kinds of centerpieces that you can use such as a vase with fresh flowers or realistic looking fake flowers, a fruit bowl with different kinds of fruits, a basket containing decorative balls, or even an exquisite art piece. In choosing a centerpiece, you might want to consider the size and height because it might obstruct the view of the person seated in front of it if it is too large.

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3. Use accessories for your dining table.

In choosing accessories for your dining table, the first thing that you should consider is whether they coordinate well with the tablecloth, the centerpiece, as well as the overall design of your dining room. You must know that accessories are more appropriate to use in long tables compared to small tables because it can make a small one look cluttered. Instead of using accessories that are only decorative, you might also use accessories that are functional as well. Examples of these are salt shakers, stylish condiment dishes, pepper shakers, tissue box holder and the like.

Whether you are preparing your dining table for a special occasion or just want to make your dining room look presentable and less plain, the pieces of information shared in this article can definitely help you in achieving your goal. You can go for a modern design, a traditional one, a rustic one or a themed design such as summer or autumn decoration. It all depends on your preference as well as your budget.

HOW TO ENLIVEN YOUR LIVING SPACE THIS WINTER

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Many people might say that winter is not the appropriate time to make some tweaks in your living space. However, in actuality, enlivening your living space during this season seems to make perfect sense, especially because winter is considered a dull season. In this article, you will learn about the different ways on how to enliven your living space during this time of the year.

 

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1. Remodel your fireplace.

Since it is the winter season, one of the things that you should focus on is the fireplace. The look of the traditional hearth and mantel type of fireplace never gets old. However, if you want to enliven your living space, you might want to remodel it and turn it into a modern fireplace. The sleek designs and textured panels of a modern fireplace can add sophistication to the room and make it look cosier as well. Decorate the mantel piece with bright photo frames or flowers.

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2. Accent one of the walls in your living space.

If you think it is costly and it takes too much work to remodel your fireplace, you might want to accent one of the walls to enliven the room. This method is more practical and wouldn’t create much disturbance in your living space. Moreover, to add vibrancy and enliven the room, you might want to consider choosing a burnt color such as the colors orange and red. For an enhanced effect, the other walls should be plain white, off-white, or cream.

 

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3. Make the room look brighter.

The winter season can be gloomy and dreary. There is less daylight, so you should make an extra effort in making your living space more illuminated. You can add permanent light fixtures on the walls or ceiling, or you can just purchase floor lamps or desk lamps. There are a lot of stylish lamps that can enliven your living space and add an aesthetic appeal as well. An advantage of having lamps is that they can easily be repositioned. Top Tip: Arc lamps are increasingly becoming a popular choice of homeowners nowadays.

 

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4. Add an artistic touch to your living space.

Displaying different kinds of artwork is definitely a great way to enliven the living space. You can put family pictures, artistic photographs, pictures of landscapes, abstract artwork, and even your children’s masterpieces in your living space. If you do not have any of these, you can also get a page from your coffee table book, put it in a frame, and have it on display. Lastly, if you have an artistic talent, now is the right time to create a new artwork that you can hang on your living room wall. Not only will this enliven your living space, but will also serve as an outlet for your self-expression and keep you busy as well.
The tips discussed in this article on how to enliven your living space during winter can definitely make your home look cozier and can add a warm feeling during the cold weather. After reading this article, you should now realize that simple alterations can give a room an entirely new look that is perfect for the winter.

MODERN KITCHEN IDEAS THAT WON’T BREAK THE BANK

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Most people would love to spruce up their kitchen but lack the financial means to do so. However, there are plenty of ways to create the modern kitchen of your dreams, even on a small budget. Read on for some great tips that don’t cost an arm and a leg but allow you to infuse your personality into your cooking and eating space.

 

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Never-ending surfaces
A modern kitchen utilizes all spaces practically while maintaining a beautiful look. One affordable addition is an expansion of surfaces. If you have a separated island, adjoining the island to the main counters can create more surface area. Smaller counters tend to be traditional in the sense that the eating table and cooking area were kept separate. A modern look brings the two together.

 

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Sharp lines
The kitchen usually houses appliances like a dishwasher, stove, sink and refrigerator. Some of those appliances are bought individually and may not match well. A modern feel is best tapped into by going for similar straight and sharp lines in the designs of appliances and cabinets. Grey and black go great with this geometric look typical of a modern kitchen.

 

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Natural light

Maintaining a well-lit area is important for those who cook a lot. Even if you are primarily in the kitchen at night, large, wide, spacious windows make a space open up and seem roomier. Hanging lights or built-in spotlights that are mounted on the ceiling add a nice touch. Rather than a tacky ceiling light, a modern look is sleeker and simpler.

 

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Harmonious tones
A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for your kitchen. Neutral, muted tones like white and brown go better with appliances that are black, which is a more common color for dishwashers. An earthy colour for the walls with black appliances can create a lighter feeling if you opt for some white cabinets. This will open up the space and keep it modern without a feeling of somberness.

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Glass
You can really open up a kitchen by changing the cabinet style. Glass coverings for cabinets can lighten up a room. They are less heavy than purely wood cabinets. Some carpenters can change the cabinet face without replacing the entire cabinet, which is much cheaper.

 

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Versatile shades
Accessories go a long way in creating a beautiful modern kitchen. The window treatments can make or break a room. Choose a colour that vibes well with the room and compliments it. If you have mostly earth tones, you can use a patterned blind to add some more life. Avoid trying to match the colour of the window treatment to the exact colour of some aspect of the room. It’s difficult to make an exact match and looks odd if mismatches. Black and white go well with anything. If black and white are the colours you’re using, you have more flexibility.
The rich are not the only ones who can have the latest trends in their kitchens. You, too, can implement modern designs with less money than you may realize. Consider the entire room as a whole and assess how it flows together to know which style and colours are for you.

 

THREE IDEAS TO MAKE YOUR HALLWAY LESS CLUTTERED AND MORE APPEALING

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Most people forget how important a hallway can be for someone visiting a home. Countless people end up in the clinic each year from tripping in hallways, too. Shoes, laundry, toys, games, and numerous other objects often clutter in a hallway and are an eye sore. No time is better than the present when it comes to organizing your home. Read on for hallway tips that will prevent walkways from becoming danger zones.

 

Declutter Home

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1. Learn to throw out
Some people hold on to useless things more than others. While one person may throw out everything and constantly buy more, another may keep piles of clothes and items in closets, on floors, and under beds. If you fall into the category of the latter, then you need to realize the importance of assessing what you actually use. This is key to eliminating clutter that often finds itself in hallways. Donating is a great way to feel good about yourself and allow someone else to use those things that you haven’t in so long. If you learn how to throw out, you can then move on to de-cluttering.

 

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2. Have a place for everything
Take a day to look around and group together things as you would use them. Find a place for the random drawings the kids made years ago. Put weights and exercise equipment together in one bin. Avoid the temptation to separate and sort out random items that eventually land on the floor. One communal shoe bin or rack can be great for larger families. If you’ve taken the time to throw out old items, then you should have the space to designate items and where they should go. Label these spaces with note cards of some sort until you automatically place items back.

 

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3. Use closets wisely
Closets, naturally, are the areas that people fill up with random clutter that doesn’t make it to the room. Hallway ideas that use vertical space the best will prove the most effective ways of keeping a clear walkway. A hallway closet can have storage units inside of them instead of putting objects on the floor. Standing units with individual cubbies work great for putting shoes, laundry equipment, and anything else. It also allows you to keep grouped items together.
A mounted rack at the top can then be transformed into more shelving by adding individual bins that stack onto each other. Rather than using a shelf to hold things, use a shelf to hold other shelves, so that one space becomes multiple spaces. Hanging racks also work well. They can have compartments that hook into one hanger. Jewellery, hair accessories, lotions, shampoos, and other beauty products can all be stored with one hanging rack with compartments. The more you organize, the less clutter that will be in your hallway.

 
These hallway ideas are great for those with a small budget and a lot to de-clutter. Start by getting rid of those items you can do away with by donating them. Move on by grouping together everything that blocks your hallway. Last figure out how to maximize your storage space. The results will be fewer trips to the hospital and a cleaner, more organized feel to your hallway.

 

FENG SHUI BASICS FOR YOUR HOME

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The art of feng shui is all about making sure that your home and spaces of living are balanced and full of positive, clean energy. Mastering feng shui can take years, but with these helpful tips, you can maintain positive feelings for you and your loved ones. Read on to find out some of the most important steps to take to know all about feng shui for your home.

 
The Main Entrance

 
Feng shui prizes the main entrance into a home and puts it into a special class of its own. Locating which door and entryway is the actual main entrance is important. If you have recently remodelled or changed the layout of your home from the original blueprint, find out which door is actually the front door.

 

Once you’ve located the main door, you want to make sure that the area is free from clutter. Trashcans, junk, shoes, and whatever else people tend to leave near the front door should be put aside. To vibe well with the natural elements, the entryway and space that you enter into when leaving and coming should allow air or positive energy to flow freely.

 

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Wall Colours

 
If there’s one space that needs the tranquility afforded by feng shui, it’s the office area. You can tap into certain vibes and energies depending on the colours you make your walls. Colour is very important to feng shui. There are numerous colours that carry specific meaning.

 

Red, orange, pink, purple and deep yellow are colours that promote great motivation and energy. Grey and white, on the other hand, encourage clear thinking and precision. Colours of the earth, brown and white represent those aspects of the natural world, like growth and life. Surrounding yourself in your office with these vital energies is a basic of feng shui for your home. When deciding on the wall colour, you can pick and choose between the energies that are most pertinent to your needs.

 

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Plants and Symbols

 
All living things require positive, free-flowing energies. Plants bring nature inside and are key to feng shui in your home. Flowers are also useful, and should be chosen according to the colour scheme and energies you are tapping into. For example, red and orange flowers, like wall colours, work great in the home office where the added motivation and energy can boost your career.
Feng shui also depends on certain animals. The black tortoise is one that is often used in entryways and in work spaces. It should always point north. It fosters career success and personal growth. Tortoises can also be placed in the north area of an outdoor garden. Like the entryway, the space should remain relatively clear so that the energy can flow.
Overall, it doesn’t take much money or studying to adapt feng shui techniques for your home. Both the inside and outside area can draw from all of the energies if you follow a few guidelines. Colour is an important aspect and largely dictates the overall balance of a room. Feng shui symbols can also be used to create harmony if placed in the right direction. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can move onto more complex ways of enriching your home with feng shui.

4 WATER FEATURE IDEAS IN THE HOME

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Millionaires are not the only ones who love to bring the outdoors into the home. The relaxing, calm sounds of water trickling, or the tranquil look of a pond can make us feel good. A water feature in the home can help you feel more focused and at peace. The type of water structure that you bring into your home depends largely on your space and budget.

 

 

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Outdoor fountains
The front entrance makes a strong statement about a home. Stone, porcelain, and other materials can be used to construct a birdbath or fountain outside of your house. These structures range in price, depending on the material and size. Look for used ones being sold by others who are moving or changing water features. Fountains make for a great way to get extra water to your garden, too. Some can actually act like sprinklers and use water efficiently.

 

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Waterfalls
A waterfall can be calming when placed in an area like a living room or bedroom. A complex model may have a waterfall and small pond at the bottom, and stand like a statue in a room. If space is an issue, consider a vertical waterfall. It stands on the ground and vertically covers part of the wall like a painting. It’s a little space that can be soothing and tranquil. This water feature in the home makes good use of space and provides relaxation, being practical and minimalist. A standing fountain tends to be less costly than stone or marble fountains made of more expensive materials.

 
For a more ornate and fancy water feature in the home, opt for a ceiling to floor waterfall. These costlier decorations can be seen in some restaurants. Coloured lights are an extra touch to highlight the waterfall at night. These structures work well by stairways and use up space that would normally be just a wall. Small nooks and enclaves in the home can also be used to place a waterfall. Eco-friendly models allow water to be minimally used through a special filtration system.

 

 

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Ponds
Another possibility is a pond or small pool of water that can be placed just about anywhere. For a more peaceful look, try lily pads and flowers that sit atop water, with dimmed lights. For areas of little space, ponds can be built into the floor, much like an open aquarium. Specialists can give you ideas for fish that live in indoor ponds.

 

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Tabletop Waterfall
An equally tranquil and beautiful water feature in the home is a tabletop waterfall. For a fraction of the cost of a standing fountain, a small, plug-in waterfall can be placed on your nightstand. Some have real water flowing through them, while others simulate the sound. If you can’t afford the real thing, these smaller replicas do the job of relaxing you.

 
The modern home can be enhanced by natural touches like waterfalls, ponds, pools, and other water features. No matter what size you go for, the sounds are proven to calm and centre the mind. These amazing works of art add to the beauty of your home and your soul.

 

6 FRESH IDEAS ON DECORATING YOUR HOME WITH CUSHIONS

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Not all people have spacious homes where they can display heavy decor pieces. If you are one of those who only own a small living space or are only renting a small accommodation but want to make it look cosy and liveable, you might want to use cushions as decoration pieces. In this article, you will learn about some effective home interior design ideas that uses cushions.

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  1. Use two sets of cushions which come in complementary colours.

You can decorate your couch by putting two cushions at each end. It would be much better if they come in complementary colors and are not too fluffy. When you place too fluffy cushions or too many cushions on your couch, the tendency is that there wouldn’t be enough space to sit on. Also, too many cushions may accidentally make the room look more cluttered instead of making it look more pleasant.

 

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2.    Choose colour and cushion designs that blend well with the other elements of the room

How well the colors and styles of your cushions blend with the other things in the room should be one of the top priorities. You must consider the color of your walls, the design of your curtains, the style of your rug, as well as the pieces of furniture in the room in deciding what kind of cushion to buy. You might want to look at samples on the internet if you are not that good with colours.

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3. Combine cushions of different shapes
Feel free to explore other home interior design ideas by combining cushions of different shapes. In addition, you can also place cushions of different sizes instead of just combining different prints and colors together.

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4.  Use leather, silk, or suede cushions for an elegant look

Silk, suede, or leather cushions can add an elegant and dramatic look for your room. You can place these cushions on your couch, divan, or bed. Moreover, your room will look even better if you match these cushions with curtains of the same look and feel.

Wall Art Cushions

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5. Display cushions as art pieces.

If you are interested in art, you can also decorate your room with cushions that have artistic designs. There are cushions available in the market which have artistic prints, and these are usually made by home interior design artists and contemporary artists. Aside from that, if you are good in the arts, you can also opt to paint the cushion cover yourself. You can unleash the artist in you and paint it with whatever design you want. Remember that there are no limits; be creative enough and use your imagination.

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6.  Use cushions as functional pieces

Cushions are not just used a decorative pieces but also functional items. Placing huge cushions on a rug will be inviting for guests who prefer to sit on the colourful cushions instead of on the sofa. Cushions can also be placed in a reading corner or by the window or even around a coffee table for an afternoon tea and chat session. Placing cushions in front of a fire place creates a very cosy feel as they are made available for guests or the family to enjoy the warmth of the fire in winter and have a short nap afterwards.

 

Of course, everyone wants to enhance the look of his or her home and having a small space should not hinder you from trying to do so. Cushions are not only space-savers, but they can also add life to your home because of their colors and designs, enhance comfort and the functionality of living spaces and add an inviting look to your home. With this in mind, it can be said that cushions are indeed one of the most wonderful decorative pieces that anyone can use in the home.

HOW TO PICK THE RIGHT WALL DISPLAY: 5 TIPS

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Walls are often the last things to be a decorated in a home. Most people look at the furniture and arrangement, and then consider what wall displays would look best. However, another way to think about how to decorate is to use the wall display for your home to be the cornerstone. Below are five helpful suggestions to guide you in choosing a wall display that sets the mood of the room and makes it a functional and pretty space.

 

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Collections of art

Abstract paintings and designs are made up of lines, shapes, and usually a variety of colours. The beauty of this type of wall display for your home is that it tends to open up space. It also allows you to be more flexible in your furniture style and colour. The simplicity of abstract art works well with a minimalist feel that relies more on open space than clutter.

 

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Entertainment stands

A wall-mounted entertainment stand can also serve as a wall display. If you have a lot of objects and want to open up the room, choose a model that has a lot of concealed shelves. It gives off a sleek, smart feel to a room. Opt for a white or off-white colour (if you have similar hues in the room) for a harmonious feel.

 

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Mounted shelves

Mounted shelves have been a trend for some time because of their aesthetics and practical uses. If you have a lot of objects like photos, china, vases and other nice touches, these shelves showcase them while avoiding a cluttered feel. For a more sophisticated feel, you can stagger them along a wall. For a more traditional, symmetrical look, you can put them next to each other, with an equal amount of space between each shelf. Take this decoration up a further level by installing mirrors behind every shelf to give the impression of depth.   

 

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Cubes

Some stands are divided into multiple cubes or small compartments. This wall display works great in areas where you need functional storage space. Some cubes are stackable, allowing you to tailor a wall display for your home according to your needs. These types of displays, while transparent, can still seem artistic and smart. Darker colours work well, like cherry wood or black plastic.

 

 

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Photographs

Everyone loves photos of family and happy times. A wall display made up of various photographs can be beautiful if some time is put into their organisation. Some displays are shaped like trees, with photos as leaves. Include pictures of people as well as abstract photos of landscapes. Consider the background and try to vary the colours to be livelier. Black and white photos can also be beautiful and add a touch of sophistication atop a dark wall colour.

A wall display for your home is a nice touch that makes a good room great. It can transform the space by opening it up, or it can display your favourite faces and places. It can be purely aesthetic, or highly functional. Consider your needs and choose one that highlights the beauty of the room and your tastes.    

HOW TO CREATE SPACIOUS GREEN LIVING IN YOUR BALCONY: SIX WAYS

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Maintaining a green-friendly life in urban areas can be difficult. Often, people in apartments or without backyards may have a balcony that they can use to surround themselves with plants. Everyone has different tastes and preferences. Read on to find out some great balcony ideas for green living. There are suggestions for everyone, from the novice gardener to the green aficionado.

 

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Cubicles and racks

A balcony is only so big. Placing a standing rack or stack of shelves near the wall uses space more efficiently. You can have a variety of different plants in vases, all next to each other. Hanging plants look great and give a decorative touch.

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Plant furniture

It may sound far-fetched, but they now sell chairs and sofas alike that have plants growing inside of them. These transparent chairs are for those who have a bigger budget to spend. You can simulate the experience by building a set of steps that can act as a chair, placing plants along the sides of each step. In addition, you can wrap a vine around furniture. Be sure to choose a type of vine or plant that is adaptable and versatile.

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Hooks for hanging

In some areas, a balcony may be very close to other balconies. You can use balcony ideas for green living to also create a sort of divider for privacy. Mount hooks to the ceiling or overhang and use different colours to act as shade. Even a few larger hanging plants can block others out of your balcony garden.

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Window flowerbeds

Utilize the windows to the maximum by hanging flower beds that hook onto the window panel. This is one of the easiest ways to surround your outer haven into a colourful, green space.

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Wall vines

Most balconies will have one or two walls that are made of concrete or some other durable material. Certain plants like ivy come in beautiful shades and can be grown alongside a wall. Some plants that cover buildings are certainly unwanted, but vine-covered walls can be aesthetically pleasing and calming.

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Vertical gardening

 

You can grow aromatic herbs, strawberries, greens, and ornamental flowers in a vertical structure in your balcony. Attach a vertical free-standing and self-draining unit with horizontal pockets in every level in which plants can be grown. Alternatively, you can choose to install tiered shelves to place pots or rectangular containers of herbs and ornamental plants. This frees up floor space so your balcony looks less cluttered. By maximizing balcony space, you can place your balcony furniture and even a few potted plants in the corners.

Don’t relegate your balcony to just a barbecue area or unused space. Make it green by creating a microcosm of the natural world right on your balcony. Since the average person’s balcony is relatively small, think of space first and foremost. Tons of options abound, from a sofa containing a plant to a wall with creeping red-tinged leaves. No matter what your level of gardening knowledge is, you can find creative balcony ideas for green living.

WANT TO SELL YOUR HOUSE QUICKLY? TRY THESE SIMPLE UPGRADES

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If you want to sell your house and sell it within a short time frame, you may need to take some steps to make your house stand out from the houses you are in competition with. Every buyer has an idea of what they want in a new home. However, there are some basic needs that you should attend to that appears in the wish list or must-have list of potential buyers. You may want to concentrate on those items when making simple upgrades to your home. 

Curb Appeal

The exterior of your home will influence a potential buyer’s first impression of your home. To make your home more enticing, you might consider some of the following upgrades.
* Replace an old mailbox with a more modern style box.
* Add new, attractive house numbers.
* Trim overgrown shrubs.
* Invest in some new landscaping items such as plants, shrubs, flowers, outdoor furniture or landscape lighting. 
* Replace an outdated front door or paint the door to improve its appearance.

Kitchen

An updated kitchen is one of those essentials that is on the wish list, or possibly the must-have list of most buyers. While a kitchen renovation is far from simple, there are numerous easy, budget-friendly ways to upgrade the area.
* Repainting your kitchen in a trendy color will have a dramatic effect on its appearance.
* Replacing outdated cabinet and drawer hardware is easy and inexpensive.
* Adding a backsplash that meets modern decorating trends will impress buyers.
* Installing an up-to-date style faucet at your kitchen sink will surprisingly change the kitchen’s appearance.
* A well-lit kitchen is more impressive than a kitchen with poor illumination. You may need to add some lighting under your cabinets. You could remove a couple of cabinet doors, repaint the interior and add lighting inside to make your kitchen more attractive.

Bathroom

The bathroom is another area of the home that all buyers will pay particular attention to. A really clean bathroom will impress buyers, but you can do more than clean it to make it more attractive.
* Updating the faucets in the bathroom is an affordable way to impress buyers.
* Replacing old lighting with newer designs will also make the bathroom more attractive.
* You could replace the toilet with a more attractive, up-to-date design.
* If your tub is in bad shape, upgrading to a new shower or shower/tub combination would be something to seriously consider. Although this is not a DIY project, it is an upgrade that will get you a return on your investment.

Storage

All buyers are looking for storage space. This is an area where you can inexpensively upgrade your home to impress buyers.
* Add closet organizers and do not over-fill your closets when you place items in there after installation.
* Add wall shelves to the bathrooms to increase storage space.
* If you have a basement or garage, organize that space so that is looks amazingly spacious.
* Add cabinet and drawer organizers in the kitchen.

Implementing as many of these upgrades as your budget permits, will make your house more attractive to potential buyers. Upgrades can give your home an edge over the competition.

This was written by Kevin Nelson on behalf of shophistoricbeaverton.com. He is a copywriter, guitar enthusiast, and loves music and art.