Truffles Magazine

Posts Tagged ‘house’

Room Functions

In House & Yard, Life, Life @ Home on November 2, 2012 at 10:25 am

Over the years houses styles have changed and room functions have as well. Most people in the USA have a home of approximately 2,500 square feet. Depending on where you live may determine the specifics (basement, attic, crawl space), however many people have moved toward more informal living arrangements and now prefer the open concept. There are pros/cons to both. If your a messy person sorry but you don’t belong in an open concept house just picture it when you open the front door it would look like one big mess had engulfed the entire space. What about rooms that didn’t exist years ago? Well many people didn’t use home offices (unless they were self employed or worked from home) moms usually paid all the bills from the kitchen table thereby eliminating an extra bedroom just for surfing the web and bill paying. The formal dining room that gets used only on Thanksgiving or Christmas is wasted space – for the regular entertainer who spends time dining with their guests its a necessity. So here are some ways to make the open living concept work for your family…and yes sometimes open concept means feeling more spacious even though there can be a lack of storage.

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A sofa table can provide great extra storage, serve as extra lighting for reading, use solid baskets to hide the stuff so shelves don’t look crowded. And during the holidays its an easy place to reach to put up some extra Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations.

For those of you who find yourself always eating in the kitchen or family room and find the dining room as the black sheep of the house then by all means try re-purposing it into something useful for your family. Here’s a few suggestions: even if your eliminating your dining room table (if you have one in the dining room) make sure to have some built ins designed for the space (whether they’re ikea or custom is up to your style/budget)

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Why the built ins? well you unless you have a massive kitchen or plenty of closet space a built in provides the extra storage for those items that can be seasonal (turkey platters, carving boards) and for all those wedding gifts that don’t have space in maybe a small kitchen. Also with the floor space freed up you still have storage so you can turn the dining room into a library (built ins are great for books) or a home office for the self employed.

Or maybe your in the opposite position and find yourself without the formal dining room and your kitchen, dining room, great room are really one big space…talk about open concept challenges. I suggest removing your kitchen set and having just a larger dining room set. If you have a table that has leaves then it can easily go from 6 people for family dinners to 10 or 12 for holidays.

Consider what rooms you use and how often and for what – ignore the labels for a moment and see if that basement can be turned into the kids playroom or that dining room into the home office for the self employed or maybe an attic can provided needed storage for a hobby room.


Reviewing Rugs

In House & Yard, Life @ Home, Urban Dweller on August 9, 2012 at 9:03 am

Some people have gone more and more towards having hardwood, tile or linoleum throughout their house. Obviously some people do this because of asthma, allergies, quicker cleanup whatever the reason it can leave you with little to no carpeting in your house and sometimes an area rug may just be the perfect solution (under your bed, dining room table or in the living room.) If you’ve been considering getting an area rug make note of 4 things: your budget, the size of the room, the size of the furniture and its placement and finally what material preference you have (I prefer a natural material such as wool.)

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The above Adum Rug, hile pile comes in 4 colors and is available at Ikea $199.00

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The above rug is from Natural Custom Rugs (they sell natural rugs already made and custom made) the photo shown above details the one I created which was a St. Tropez weave and Black Border. Make sure to browse their rugs selection its quite extensive.

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If a modern rug is more your fancy and yet you hate bright bold colors or obnoxious patters this one might do the trick. On this hardwood floor it looks like concrete stones but yet its really an area rug and the neutral colors will work great with many furniture pieces.  Its available from eSaleRugs for $271

Finally remember small area rugs can help older dogs from sliding or sitting on a hard surface and they make a great spot for baby to sit softly on and play. If you are looking to browse (in person or the web) consider these  places below:

Crate and Barrel

Pottery Barn

Looking for cheaper solutions try your home improvement store (Lowe’s and Home Depot) normally have lots of colors, typical sizes and lower prices.

Cheap Wall Art Solution

In House & Yard, Life @ Home, Urban Dweller on June 28, 2012 at 9:52 am

Sometimes your walls look a little…empty…bare…no maybe there just missing some framed artwork. Artwork though can be expensive in some stores and for paintings or photos that are virtually worthless (I’m talking resale here- unless there Van Gogh or Monet well its not like resale really is gonna matter.) So think of something you really like and would fit your decorating style and decor of your home. Awhile back my bathroom had a ocean motif the colors chosen were to make me feel as if I was always at the ocean (don’t I wish!) now type that word into your search engine then hit image search. Example: type “ocean” image search it then find one you like, print it (on photo paper is ideal) and then frame it. Simple cheap framed art!

Another cheap solution if you have a nice camera go outside take some beautiful photos of that thing you would love to have as an art piece in your home: flowers, building, ocean, trees, etc. then take it to a Kinko’s or Printing shop and ask them to blow up the image to your desired size (depending obviously on the wall your placing.) I have seen this method done before and it works great so my suggestion is let your imagination run wild take some photos and you never know which one might work for your home.

Hurricanes for Candles

In House & Yard, Life @ Home, Urban Dweller on April 16, 2012 at 11:42 am

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Hurricanes holders for candles are beautiful and simple, they allow you to display the colorful candle inside while allowing its light to shine through. I also like that you can add any decorative item inside them as well not just candles. I found these London Hurricanes on Crate and Barrel.    They are  $24.95 for the small and $39.95 for the large. Another thing I really like about these are: they will last a long time, because their clear the candle or other items inside can be changed out for relatively little money allowing you to change the look. Also, you can re-purpose them in the future (it can have a candle in the dining room, mints in a home office, or cotton balls in a bathroom.)  Share a comment with me if you have any other great uses for these Hurricanes.

Selling your Home

In House & Yard, Life, Life @ Home, Urban Dweller on March 28, 2012 at 11:54 am

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The hardest thing about selling your home is being objective, and yes you really need to be objective. Why ? Because most sellers are of course partial to their homes. Trying to see your home objectively can really be a challenge.

So here are some tips to make your home more sellable and they are often overlooked by sellers but absolutely make a difference when potential buyers are touring (and these changes cost very little money.)

  • Make sure all windows in the home are freshly washed – shining clean windows let the sunlight in
  • Vacuum all the rugs and hardwood floors
  • Make sure ceiling fans, a/c and heat vents are dust free
  • All closets are neatly organized (buyers will look in all closets when touring a place, just as you would – if they are unorganized or overflowing with stuff buyers will automatically assume there is a lack of closet space)
  • If you live in a house curb appeal is key – buyers will assume if the outside of a house is run down then they won’t even be interest in seeing the house inside
  • Make sure all dishes are cleared from the sink and put away
  • Neatly organize laundry in baskets so it doesn’t appear cluttered and disorganized
  • Remove excess items from counter tops in a kitchen to maximize counters only keep 1 appliance when you are having a showing – e.g. a coffee pot

Consider making a Free account of your home if you plan to sell your home by owner – read how Andrea over  @ Simple Organized Living got her home sold in 3 days!


Setting your House Apart

In House & Yard, Life @ Home on March 11, 2012 at 12:17 pm

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There are many advantages to living in a Master Planned Community (M.P.C.) the side walks, club houses, on site pools, and neighbors who know each other, but on the other hand not many M.P.C. homeowners know how to distinguish their home on the outside. Yes, having lived in one myself I know there can be many rules – this is why I am showing you ways to give your house curb appeal without violating the community rules (obviously I don’t pretend to know ever M.P.C. or subdivision’s rules so check your home owners handbook first).

Here are some tips to get you started and you can choose which ones fit your budget:

Paint the mailbox you presently have – most people have a metal mailbox and most are black or white go ahead and buy some spray paint and feel free to give it a new life

Look at all the doors to choose from

Make sure the numbers for your house are visible and feel free to spray paint them if they look worn out or make sure they match the hardware on your front door (satin, brass, nickle, etc).

Put out a “Welcome Mat” so people have a place to wipe their feet

Go to  Lowe’s, Home Depot or your local nursery and find flowers that do well in your area then plant them along the drive way to freshen up the land scape

If the budget allows consider getting pavers or brick for your drive way it is  gorgeous and will last a lifetime (even though it can be expensive it can be a well worth it item that you might really enjoy)

Make sure the driveway and front lawn are free of weeds, and choose a colored mulch to give your front area depth and distinguish different plant beds 

Add solar lights to the walk way or for those of you who don’t want planted flowers you can use the solar lights along the driveway as well (its also a great Eco-friendly touch)

Sometimes a front door works well and you may even like the color or style go ahead and switch the hardware  (handle, knob, & locks) to a finish you prefer

Add a kick toe plate to an already existing door especially if your front door is the one used most often (it also adds great decorative flare) this tends to get more use on wood doors than metal because it prevents scratching / stains

If you have an outside light fixture consider replacing the lights with something more energy efficient like LED bulbs/fixtures

Well, I hope this inspires you to realize your home can be so much more than an M.P.C. house from the outside


Pillow Inspiration

In House & Yard, Life @ Home, Urban Dweller on February 28, 2012 at 11:58 am

The hard part to decorating is often the small pieces and accessories can really add up. Often people are very good at sticking to a budget for the large items like a sofa or chair but when it comes to the accessories its like I buy this piece today that one next week and lo and behold your receipts start to add up! Look below at some inspiration I provided to help you realize easy ways to re-create looks, you just need the right tools and some patience.

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You can purchase this 18″ x 18″ Pillow fill at JoAnn’s for $14.99 on sale ($24.99 reg.) Then use this with your desired fabric to create beautiful pillows perfect for a sofa or loveseat. Now if your looking for inspiration just browse some websites or your local stores, but I think this pillow below from Z Gallerie is just gorgeous I love the geometric patter however if you don’t feel like spending $59.95 then look for material that suits your taste and use the pillow fill from JoAnn. Your pillows will definitely end up costing you less than the store bought one.

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Check out this video of an awesome and well explained DIY for Envelope Pillows.


Consider using fabric transfers to give pillows a completely different look check out this posting from Lemon Tree Creations.


Decorating a Master Bedroom for 2 Tastes

In House & Yard, Life @ Home, Urban Dweller on February 10, 2012 at 11:46 am

One thing that many couples complain about is their different styles for decor. This can be a real problem when 2 people can’t come to an agreement over their now common space. Before they were married or living together having different tastes didn’t bother them because they each still had their own comforts. I hope this picture inspires you because feminine colors can work with masculine furniture, antiques or older furniture can be re-upholstered into new colored fabric, re-staining or sanding and painting a table can give it a whole new life.

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In this photo gray acts as the modern neutral tone, pink brings in a soft feminine color, the modern bed is coupled with a traditional scalloped end table used as a nightstand. This is a combination that is neither too feminine, modern, masculine or cold.

Renovating your Kitchen

In House & Yard, Life @ Home, Urban Dweller on February 3, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Kitchen 1

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Kitchen 2

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Kitchen 3

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Kitchen 4

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Yeah, you have finally decided your going to renovate your kitchen…how exciting. There are so many color choices, material choices, appliances, color finishes, counter tops, flooring, paint, and decorating that the excitement may seem overwhelming all of a sudden. Here is what you need to make the process go as smoothly as possible.

  1. Set a budget – this is what you can afford and don’t spend more than budgeted
  2. Determine what work you will do and what work you will hire labor for (painting your kitchen or installing mosaic tile back splash will save you money and the tools needed are very cheap compared to installing a granite counter which requires special tools for cutting and installation.)
  3. Determine where you plan to spend your money in the kitchen (some people desire a specific appliance, someone else its the flooring – so unless your budget is enormous you are going to have to compromise on certain items)
  4. Donate your appliances to a local Salvation Army or Goodwill
  5. Choose appliances that energy start rated and use the least energy possible – this will save you money every month over the life of the appliance.
  6. Spend time researching online each item before committing to the purchase – this also alleviates any anxiety and pushy salesmen. Plus you need to write everything down online to get a real comparison – it will save time driving from store to store
  7. It’s best to go prepared to the store – once you have narrowed down your searches go to the store and check them out (obviously some people like to do this process before #6 I think that’s okay if you are unsure of products/brands that interest you but try to have an idea in mind or the choices will become overwhelming and your less likely to stick to your budget)
  8. Please check out this download I created to use Online and In-Stores to make shopping easier


Post a Comment – I’d love to hear which kitchen is your favorite.

1000+ Uses for Vinegar

In Going Green, Life @ Home, Los Angeles, NYC, Urban Dweller on January 17, 2012 at 10:01 am

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Are you on the search for a product that can multitask?  Plain old white vinegar has so many uses (I don’t recommend taking this internally its pH level and acidity is different from that of ACV) but otherwise there are so many uses and its Eco-friendly and very cheap to buy! Most big stores carry it (wal-mart, target, grocery stores both regional and national across the USA).

In fact check out This Link and see the 1,001 Uses for White Distilled Vinegar