Nontraditional Options for Side Tables

12867566_SHaving a place to put a drink or cup of tea next to a chair or sofa is a must for a well designed living room.  Having to stretch and reach to grab a beverage or snack can be awkward for you and your guests. While a coffee table works as a place to put your cup or plate, having a small side table next to the sofa or chair is the nicest option.

A traditional side table has enough room for a lamp and objects and is a good bet if you have the space next to your seating.  If you have a tight space, you may not have room for a proper end table.  This is where thinking outside the typical is a good thing.

These multicolored poufs make wonderful side tables for a living room, and even add extra seating options.  Their shape feels sculptural and their color can brighten up the room.  They can easily be moved around so everyone has a side table for their drinks or a place to sit.

Small stools or ottomans are versatile pieces of furniture than can work as side tables.  A set of nesting tables can also be divided to serve as moveable tables.  Anything with a flat surface and a sturdy base can be used as a side table or gueridon, a small French table. Look for things around your home that could be transformed into a side table with a glass or stone top for a unique side table for your living room.

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How to Maintain Your Garbage Disposal

14259627_SDoes your garbage disposal get a workout everyday? Do you take this wonderful invention for granted? Did you know there are some rules of maintenance that need to be followed to keep your disposal in good health?

Keep anything too hard out of the disposal – this is very important. Hard items will cause your shredder to become dull and less efficient. Check your manual for a list of items to avoid, but in general do not stuff bones, un-popped popcorn kernels and hard shells from shellfish into your disposal.

Do not put fibrous or starchy items in the disposal – both can cause particularly stubborn drain blockages (fibers get tangled, and starches get thick). The following items should just be thrown in the trash or composted – banana peels, celery, potato peelings, coffee grounds in large quantities, egg shells, corn cobs, artichokes, fruit pits and onion skins.

Avoid putting trash down the disposal – common sense will go a long way but here is another list of items to avoid: hair, rubber bands, twist ties, glass, screws, nails, tacks, cigarette butts, plastic bottle caps and grease.

Cut large items into smaller pieces before you put them in the disposal. If the items are really big then consider composting them instead.

Run cold water while the disposal is on – keep disposer and water running for 30 to 60 seconds AFTER the waste matter has cleared your drain. The waste still has a distance to go. Cold water keeps the motor, bearings and shredder assembly from overheating. It also lets the waste go down easier because the water is pushing it down. Don’t use hot water, because it can melt fat and allow it to re-solidify as a blockage further down in the drain.

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The Best Flooring for Your Home Gym

10024996_SThat room in the basement that seems to collect the junk that doesn’t have a home is calling you. Yes, this is the perfect room for your home gym. Instead of piling up odd ends of carpet, kids bikes and holiday decorations why not turn this room into a place where you can get in a good workout? If you have such a bonus room you may be tempted to just clean it out and set up your gym equipment, but think first very carefully before you do that. You want to be sure you have the right flooring for your home gym before you get all crazy hanging mirrors and pull up bars and moving the treadmill out of your living room.

Choosing the wrong flooring can ruin the function of your gym and lead to injury. What kind of equipment are you going to have in your home gym? Will you mainly be lifting weights or will you be doing aerobics and yoga/Pilates? Will you have a treadmill or an elliptical machine?

If you are mainly using weights a rubber floor is your best option. It provides the necessary cushion for heavy weights and equipment. It also gives you a non-slip surface, which is key to preventing injury. The “give” in a rubber floor is a fantastic shock absorber if you drop a weight or fall.

If you are going to use carpet, use a low pile one. The standard high pile can cause uneven surfaces for gym equipment making it a safety hazard. Heavy-duty carpets used in high traffic areas would be a good way to go, but keep in mind there is little cushion if you drop a heavy weight.

Laminate flooring is a good option if you are mainly going to be doing aerobics and yoga/Pilates. Again, dropping a heavy weight on a laminate floor can be damaging.

So get going! Clean out that room, pick your flooring and move the treadmill downstairs.

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Angie’s List Super Service Awards 2013

 Levi’s 4 Floors Earns Esteemed 2013 Angie’s List Super Service Award

This Award reflects our consistently high level of customer service

We are so happy to bring in the new year! As we reflect on 2013, we would like to thank each and every one of our workers and customers that have been apart of such a great year.

We have earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the consumer review service in 2013.

We are so proud and thankful to have received such an esteemed honor!

“Only about 5 percent of the companies Levi’s 4 Floors competes with in CITY/MARKET are able to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a mark of consistently great customer service.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2013 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, have a fully complete profile, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality. Members can find the 2013 Super Service Award logo next to company names in search results on

Thank you Angie’s List, customers, and our team for making this possible!

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Create A Gift Wrapping Kit

15177155_SAre you scrambling around trying to find a roll of wrapping paper, some ribbon or even some tape? Instead of getting caught unprepared, create a gift-wrapping kit so that you always have something on hand to make a pretty package.

For a basic year round wrapping (think birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, anniversaries) you will want to stock up on solid colored paper. Do you have a signature color? Use that and people will start to know exactly what gift is from you. For the winter holidays you’ll want red, green, blue or metallic colors.

Buy some fabric ribbon. It makes a package look instantly classy. Tulle is also another great option.

Get some scissors that you only use for wrapping. Read – the kids can’t steal this pair for their projects, and neither can your husband. You’ll also want some double stick tape.

For gifts that are huge and bulky consider getting some large size gift sacks. For gift cards have some cellophane bags on hand. For golf clubs, posters, yoga mats or baseball bats mailing tubes are a great idea.

Also keep an assortment of gift boxes in different sizes and shapes. This makes wrapping smaller odd size gifts easier.

And finally, gift tags!!! Make sure you have occasion appropriate gift tags in your repertoire or make your own.

Store all of these items in a large bin or box that you can easily pull out when you need it.

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STAINMASTER® PetProtect™ Carpet

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Are you an animal lover? Do you have a dog? Do you love watching the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show?!  Well, we wanted to announce that Stainmaster® PetProtect™ Carpet will be featured at the 138th Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show!  It’s a great product and perfect for homes with pets.  If you’re interested in watching and/or attending this year’s show on Monday and Tuesday, February 10-11, 2014, visit the Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show website here to learn more.

We would also like to announce that Stainmaster is holding a photo contest.  Enter your pet’s photo to #UnShameYourPet contest by January 1, 2014.  You can visit the Stainmaster Facebook Page to like it, learn more about the contest, and share your pet stories with others!

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Decorate Every Room in Your House for the Holidays

5866259_SYour tree is up and the lights outside look great but don’t forget about decorating other rooms in your house for the yuletide.

Staircases and banisters are no brainers for holiday décor. You can always do a traditional green garland, but why not dress it up with satin ribbons, lights, pinecones or flowers, metallic berries and ornaments.

Go ahead and set your dining room table with a holiday theme. This is called staging when you are selling your home, but why not do it now for the holidays? Get out the fine china – holiday themed if you have it, flatware and wineglasses. Use golden chargers, greenery and cranberries. Don’t forget some sparkly candles.

Hang holiday hand towels in all the bathrooms. Set out dishes of holiday scented potpourri. If you have any other holiday knick-knacks they will look good displayed on bathroom countertops.

Hang stockings from the mantle but don’t stop there. Clear glass vases filled with glittery ornaments look very festive. Add some beaded garland and votive candles.

Replace ordinary artwork with holiday themed vintage framed artwork. Put the ordinary throw pillows away and use red, green and candy cane colored ones instead.

A mini holiday themed tree looks great on a kitchen countertop. So does a wintery village if you have the room. Use holiday colored kitchen towels and think about hanging ornaments or snowflakes from your track lighting or pot and pan holder.

Switching out kitchen curtains for something in luscious velvet or a shimmering metallic lends some drama. These rich fabrics are usually impractical in a kitchen, but practical decorating isn’t as important when it’s temporary. If you prefer simple, uncovered windows, the center of each window is an ideal spot to hang a wreath of bay leaves or red berries from a velvet ribbon, or you can use windows to showcase antique glass ornaments, glittery stars or candles.

Now your entire house is ready to go for the holidays!

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Shift Your Color Palette This Holiday Season

16403512_SDo you find that the traditional cherry red and emerald green have started to feel too traditional for the holidays? How about mixing it up with some different choices?

This photo shows the red, green and gold, but the result is anything but traditional. Taking the red down to a rich burgundy and bringing the green to a forest tone with hints of olive adds a new sophistication to the holiday look.

Perhaps you would like turquoise and hot pink instead? Maybe a mint green and petal pink for an all-pastel look. Choose silver as the metallic element to complement either of these color combinations and you will be all ready for holidays with a different style.

There are some simple steps you can take to switch your holiday colors without buying all new holiday items. Start with gift wrap and ribbon in your new color choices. Buy extra ribbon to drape on your tree and wind across your table or buffet. Pick up paper plates and napkins that echo your new colors and place on a white or metallic tablecloth. Look for small stuffed animals or toys that could help with the décor. You can always give them to children you know after the holidays are over.

Candles provide another great way to introduce a new color. You should be able to find both pillars and tapers in your preferred shades. Fresh flowers may also be an option. Check with a florist to see what would be available at this time of year. Both these purchases can spark up your holiday and their temporary nature means that next year you can start over with a totally new color scheme.

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Winterize Your Closet

18055461_SYour husband may be worrying about getting your car winterized but we know that there are more important things to fret about. It’s time to winterize your closet.

Unless your closet is the size of Khloe Khardasian’s, you are going to need to move your summer wear and shoes to another location. Here are a few tips to make sure that you start the winter season off right.

  • Start by sorting through your clothes. Move all your summer dresses, shorts, tank tops and flip-flops.
  • Give away anything in bad condition, outdated or that you haven’t worn in two seasons.
  • Mend any clothes that need it. Repair and re-heel shoes if necessary. You want to put everything away in good condition so that it is ready to go when the weather gets warmer.
  • Now where to put all this stuff? Get boxes that fit under your bed or move clothes to another closet.
  • Move your winter sweaters, pants and skirts to the middle of your closet.
  • Put all of your sweaters together, all of your cardigans together, and all of your turtlenecks together. Then within each category, group by color.
  • Line your winter boots up by color as well.

Determine if you need to buy anything new for the season. Are your black boots really that shabby or do they just need a good polish? Do you need a sweater in a trendy new color?

Remember this is also the time to go through your coat closet and put away your summer gear. Break out the winter coats and see if any need to be dry-cleaned or mended.

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Tips for Hanging Frames for a Gallery Wall

87610562There is a popularity of gallery style walls full of framed art. These gallery walls can work in hallways, stairs, living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms and even kids’ rooms.  Hanging a collection of framed art on the wall is a great way to fill blank walls.  You can do a gallery wall expensively or on the cheap—the idea works with every budget.

How to hang the artwork can be tricky if you’ve never done a gallery wall before.  Two main choices for creating a pattern are the grid and the bulls-eye.  The grid is self explanatory.  The bulls-eye has a center artwork that all other pieces radiating out from.  This manner of hanging art is looser in style than the grid, and is also a little easier to hang because you don’t need to be as precise.

One of the tried and true methods for hanging art of any kind on the wall is to make a paper silhouette of the frame, marking where the hook or wire is located. This way you can tape the paper to the wall to see if you like the placement before you put a hole in the wall.  Making paper silhouettes of all the frames for a gallery wall lets you arrange the gallery wall on the floor first.  This method works well for frames of different sizes and shapes in a bulls-eye pattern.

Gallery walls add so much to a space without taking up any floor space. You can coordinate the frames with your wood floors, carpet or molding colors.

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