Posted by Marie Presti on 4/21/2019

If you don’t have a dedicated playroom space in your home, you may feel as though toys and children have taken over. Toys, games, stuffed animals, coloring books, and crayons may be all over the house if children don’t have their own space to play. 


It doesn’t have to be this way. There are a few options that you can use to let your kids have their space, and the adults have theirs. You don’t need to move just to find a home that has an area for kids to play. Read on for some ideas to help you stay stylish yet kid-friendly in your home.    


Versatile Furniture


Buying furniture that has a couple of purposes can be handy when you have kids. A coffee table with storage drawers can turn into a great place to store board games. An ottoman that has a storage component built in is a fantastic place to fantastic place to keep stuffed animals or action figures. When you have kids, finding ways to keep your style but allow children to play freely can be done easily with these types of furniture.   


Turn An Ordinary Shed Into A Magical Place


No matter what part of the country you live in, you can buy a small outdoor storage shed and turn it into a playroom. You can install portable heaters or fans in the shed for comfort. This space can become your child’s playroom detached from the house with all the comforts of home. You might even consider a treehouse, but that may afford slightly less storage or possibilities than a storage shed.    


Use The Corner Of A Room


Kids don’t have to take up the whole of a room. Consider giving little ones a corner of a room dedicated to their stuff. A small chair with a bookshelf and a few baskets of toys is all they need for a play space without fuss. Depending on the size of the room, you can even put a toy chest there for the playroom effect without the space.   


Use Baskets


Baskets are the next best things to furniture that has hidden storage. Baskets look pretty, and the contents are colorful, fun toys. There’s not too much wrong with this solution! You can even give the dog a basket for his toys.   


Find Ways To Incorporate Kids Into The Rooms Of Your Home


You can get creative when it comes to living with children. Chalkboard walls. Tiny furniture and more items are available to make your kids comfortable yet creative and keep your home stylish. Consider a chalkboard wall that allows kids to change their artwork on the daily.

With a little creativity, your kids can feel at home without a playroom and without taking over the whole house.  




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Posted by Marie Presti on 4/14/2019

It’s easy to feel alienated when you move to a new city or town in today’s world. Traditionally, being friendly with neighbors was much more valued in decades past than it is now. And, with the help of things like Facebook and Skype, it’s easier to stay in touch with your old friends from your previous town than it is to make new ones in your new town. 

There is, however, much to be said about becoming involved in your local community. You’ll meet new people, discover new places to explore, and can make new friends in the process.

So, how can you go about involving yourself in your new town? Read on for our advice.

Say “hi” to the neighbors

Meeting the neighbors can be beneficial in a number of ways. They’ll be able to give you the lowdown on your neighborhood, including any issues you might want to be made aware of.

They’ll also be able to tell you if they notice anything strange or concerning around your house when you’re at work. And, if you go away on vacation, a good neighbor might volunteer to take in your mail for you or water your plants.

Find local events

There are a number of ways to find out what’s happening in your new town and get involved with them. Some places we recommend that you check frequently are:

  • Local newspapers and magazines

  • Library and town hall bulletin boards

  • Facebook groups for your town

  • Craigslist community boards

  • Meetup.com groups

You could also check out some local businesses, including cafes and restaurants, to introduce yourself to some of the people who likely live and work in your town.

Learn a new skill

One of the best ways to become involved in your new community is to find out what classes are offered nearby and to join one that you’re interested in. If fitness and wellness are one of your priorities you could consider joining a yoga or fitness class.

If you’re more into crafting, see what classes are available at the local library. And, while you’re there, ask the librarians for recommendations for local places to visit, whether it be museums or specialty stores.

Volunteer your time or skills

If you’d like to give back to your community a great way to do so is to volunteer for a local cause. Many cities and towns have neighborhood or park cleanups. Others have food pantries and assistance for the elderly.

If you have a skill that you think could be useful, such as carpentry or graphic design, find out if any local groups could use your skill.

Go to town meetings

If you want to quickly learn some of the ongoing issues and conversations in your town the weekly or monthly town meetings are a great way to familiarize yourself. Most towns and cities post their meeting schedule online and even offer recordings of past meetings if you want to get a feel for what the meetings are like before attending.

Other places that meetings are held that could be of interest are the local library, churches or spiritual centers, and parks or the town common.




Tags: moving   community   involved  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Marie Presti on 4/7/2019

With rising energy costs and temperature extremes, fans are a great investment for your home. They help lower energy costs in both the summer and winter by helping move the air you want to the right locations in your house. More than that, fans can be a lovely decorative addition to any room and can increase the value of your home.

Built-in Fans
Ceiling fans are a great addition to any room. Usually combined with lights, these double-duty fixtures add beauty and temperature control to any room in your home. For best results, go for ceiling fans that are reversible, so you can push warm air down towards the floor in the winter, and pull cold air up through the room in the summer. The latest iteration of ceiling fans is “Smart Fans”. These fans have motion sensors, temperature detection, scheduling timers for both fans and lights and more. Many of them will connect to their own app or your smart home devices like Google Home or Alexa. These fans have the added benefit of using the lowest amount of energy for the greatest benefit and can pay for themselves rather quickly, at least according to the latest test and advertising.

If your home doesn’t have central air-conditioning, or even if it does, a whole house fan can help reduce your cooling costs and make your house more comfortable year-round. Better for the environment than air conditioning systems, the latest designs are quiet and can lower skin temperatures by as much as 10 degrees. These fans, located in hallways or stairwells and venting into the attic, pull air through open windows to reduce the temperature of the whole house. Just want the fan in the attic? Both whole-house and attic-only fans vent warm air out to help protect your roof from heat warping damage. The main difference is that an attic fan doesn’t draw air through the living spaces. It can be a great augmentation to a whole house H-VAC system.

Moveable Fans
Box fans, tower, pedestal, and other free-standing fans can be moved from room to room in your house and just used when needed. Newer high-end bladeless fans are quieter and safer for children and can even include remote controls, multiple speed options, and scheduling features. Like window air conditioners, window fans fit into the window frame of an open window and draw air in from outside. They work the best overnight when the air is cooler and can offset air conditioning costs considerably when used correctly.

Fans in the Winter
You might think fans are only for summer, but you would be wrong. Fans can move air in multiple directions, that means they can pull warm air down in the winter just as easily as they push cool air up in the summer. In addition to reversing your ceiling fans with the built-in switch, reversing window box fans on your lower level can bring warm air down from the upper floors and push cold air outside. Bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans are especially useful in the winter since they can reduce the mold and mildew caused by moisture build up.

Next time you go to an open house, make sure to note existing fans and take pictures of areas that would benefit from new fan installation.





Posted by Marie Presti on 3/31/2019

The entryway to your home is probably quite small, but you can make the most of your space by pinning down what you really need there. Below, you’ll find some items that you should try and keep around the entry of your home for both design appeal and organization purposes. 


A Place For Coats


When guests come to visit, it’s welcoming for you to be able to offer them a place to hang their coats, rather than throwing them into a bedroom or on a chair. You can place coatracks on a wall for easy hanging, giving everyone open access to their coats when they need them. You can even place a coat rack along a stairway hall. This way everything from coats to bags to hats will all be in one place.     



Rugs


Having a weather-resistant rug available in the entryway of your home can help to keep dirt and grime off of the floor. 


Storage


Every entryway needs some type of storage for items like extra coats, shoes, umbrellas, even bags. You can use an inexpensive shelving system or go as fancy as using a dresser or armoire.


Seating


It’s important to have some kind of seating near the entryway of your home. This way, you’ll have a place to sit down and put on shoes. Seating will also help make the entryway more comfortable. Make sure that the seating allows for a casual feel to add to the warmth of the welcome.


Flowers And Plants


Using flowers and plants in the entryway of your home gives guests that welcoming pop of color that will brighten their day. It’s one of the first things that guests will see when they walk up to the front door of your home, so you’ll want to make a good first impression. Shoot for year-round plants that don’t require a lot of maintenance and can be kept up easily no matter what the season.    


Good Lighting


Once you enter your home in the evening hours, one of the first things you want to do is turn on a light. This is one of the best features for your home to have safety and security when you enter and exit the house. You can choose any kind of light fixture that you want to accent your home in order to bring out the beauty. The only requirement is that you should make sure a light switch is always within an arm’s reach.


Make It Your Own


The most important thing that you can do for your entryway is to make it your own. You can add any kind of accents and features that you choose. The entryway is the first impression that people will get of your home, so make it count!




Tags: decorating   house a home  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Marie Presti on 3/24/2019

One of the best benefits of finally owning your own home is the ability to easily have friends and family over for both small get-togethers and large celebrations. And what gathering is complete without cocktails to kick off the event?

Step One: The Cart

Don’t be afraid to get creative and “hack” a cart of your own creation. There are many stylish bar cart options available both brand new and found in antique shops. However, a bar cart can easily be made from any sort of cart of your choosing or even not be a cart at all! Bookshelves and credenzas make for great bar cart alternatives.

The goal is to find something that fits your style, preferences and, of course, your cocktail collection. Consider if you’d like a built-in rack to hold liquor bottles or a drawer to store utensils. What you want for sure is a surface area large enough to work from and, if there are shelves, enough space to allow for bottle heights.

Step Two: Stock Up

If you don’t have one already, you’ll want to start building up a collection. Aim to have a bottle of each “go-to” type to cater to your guest’s variety of preferences. You’ll want to have a bottle each of vodka, whiskey, gin, tequila, rum, and brandy.

Opt for at least mid-shelf options. It’s okay to pick up small to medium sized bottles at first. Over time your collection will evolve and take on a “life” of its own where you’ll know what types, brands, and sizes to get to keep it well stocked. But to begin it’s wise to start small.

Step Three: The Fixings

Your next stop should be to pick up at least a few of the classic mixers: cranberry juice, coke, ginger ale/beer, and soda water. Others to consider are tomato, pineapple, and orange juice.

As your collection grows and evolves to become more complex you’ll probably want to consider cordials, syrups, bitters, and liqueurs. Simple syrup and aromatic bitters are perfect additions to a beginner collection.

Step Four: Tools of the Trade

Of course, you’ll need tools to craft your cocktails with. When getting started it’s very easy to find a kit with all the necessities. You’ll want to make sure you have a bottle opener, corkscrew, mixer, shaker, cocktail strainer, jigger, bar spoon, napkins and straws. Other handy tools to have are an ice bucket, muddler, and juicer.

If you’d like to keep a minimal cart cocktail tumblers will get the job done for most cocktails. However. If you’d like to have a full array you’ll need:

  • High ball (10 to 14 fl oz)

  • Low ball (4 to 10 fl oz)

  • White wine

  • Red wine

  • Martini

  • Shot glasses

Step Five: Putting It Together

The trick to making your bar cart (or really any grouping of items) look carefully curated and appealing is to follow a couple of design rules.

  1. Group like-items together. So liquor bottles are in one grouping, and glasses in another. Decorative trays add to the aesthetic while also maintaining order.

  2. Place short items towards the front and tall to the back. This creates uniformity and a tidy display. It also ensures nothing gets hidden or lost in the process if you have a large collection.

The rest is about creating a unique-to-you display. It’s common to display a painting behind or above the cart and add a vase of flowers or lamp. When purchasing items for your cart keep your home decor in mind. Does a sleek set bar tools create a similar aesthetic? Or perhaps an eclectic mix found at flea markets and specialty shops. If your area has local distilleries picking up bottles from these brands creates a truly unique display.




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