Getting to Know Carpet

For many homeowners, a house is not considered home without carpet. This soft flooring option can provide warmth and comfort to any room. In fact, carpet can provide so much warmth that it serves as an insulator and can reduce your heating bill. Understanding everything carpet has to offer is a dense subject. There is a lot to know about this lush flooring option. To help expand your knowledge, we have created a guide for getting to know carpet.

 

Getting to Know Carpet

  1. The Material. Carpet is made up of fibers. There are different types of fibers that your carpet can be made from: 
    1. Acrylic. You will want to put this carpet in a low-traffic area of your home. It looks and feels like wool carpet, but is a more affordable option. Plus, it fights against static, moisture, and stains. 
    2. Nylon. This is one of the most popular carpet materials. It is very durable and resistant to stains/dirt. The downfall of this fiber is that it is more prone to static. 
    3. Polyester. This is a hypoallergenic option for homeowners with a wide selection of colors. Best in low-traffic areas. 
    4. Polypropylene. This fiber is good against sunlight, bleaching, and stains. But the fibers can be easily crushed; therefore, a low-traffic area may be best.
    5. Wool. This is a high-end option for homeowners looking to splurge. It has hypoallergenic qualities and purifies the room’s air. 
  2. The Padding. The carpet’s padding prolongs the life of your carpet while providing a soft cushioning. It is more important to get a quality pad if a high-quality carpet is not in your budget. 
  3. The Location. Carpet tends to work best in bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms. It provides a soft cushion in case of any slips and falls. Plus, it can help cancel out noise! 
  4. The Cleaning Process. You should vacuum your carpet regularly. Also, you want to make sure that you use a vacuum with a beater bar to remove all the dirt. If you do not remove the dirt particles, they can act as scissors between your fibers; therefore, damaging the carpet. 

 

We are happy to answer any more questions or reservations you may have about carpet. We understand that there is a lot to know and we are happy to help! 


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Home Maintenance Checklist

With the change in season, a change in your maintenance routine may be just around the corner. The hustle and bustle of life can get in the way of our home’s safety and sanitary. Before you begin your fall activities, it is time to check off some much-needed maintenance chores for your home. Here is our 2017 home maintenance checklist: 

 

  1. Air Filters

Cleaning out your air filter can be beneficial for your allergies as well as your family’s health. It is important to clean them out every 30 days to promote a healthy lifestyle. Especially with summer coming to an end, you will find a lot of built-up pollen and debris attached to your air filters. 

  1. Batteries.

Your home is not protected from danger if the batteries have not been changed. It is important to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detector yearly by running a test and checking their batteries. 

  1. Pillows & Mattresses

We do not really think about replacing our pillows and mattresses as often as we should. Remember the 3:3:3 rule and you will be fine:

    • You should replace your pillows once every three years. 
    • Every three months, you should place your pillows in the washing machine and let them run on a wash cycle with mild detergent. 
    • Pillowcases should be washed every three weeks to help reduce allergens and remove dirt. 

Mattresses last for about five to ten years depending on your personal mattress. Make sure to clean your mattress every once and awhile to remove dirt. You can easily clean your mattress off with a vacuum cleaner and baking soda. 

  1. Refrigerator Filter.

Keep your water fresh and clean by replacing your water filter every six to twelve months. 

  1. Sponges & Dish Brushes.

Do your family a favor and clean your kitchen sponges and dish brushes every week. Simply place them in the dishwasher for a wash cycle. Replace the sponges and brushes every four-eight weeks depending on how much you use them. 

  1. Toothbrushes.

We put them in our mouths every day; therefore, we do not want them to be filled with germs. The American Dental Association encourages families to change their toothbrushes every three to four months. A good way to tell when they need to be replaced is by looking out for frayed brush hairs. 

 

We hope you and your family have a safe and happy fall! 


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Fireplace Safety

Close your eyes and imagine a cool fall night. The kids are In bed and you are curled up by the fireplace with a warm cup of hot cocoa.  You would not be able to enjoy this moment if you did not prepare your fireplace this summer. Luckily, you read this post and you are fully prepared with fire safety tips and fireplace maintenance. Here are our six easy tips for you to thoroughly enjoy your fireplace this autumn. 

 

Fireplace Safety:

Tip No. 1: Never let your fire burn for longer than five hours. Some homeowners like to keep the fire going during the night, but this can be extremely dangerous for you and your loved ones. Keep your family safe by never leaving the fireplace unattended. Make sure that the flames are fully out before you leave your house or even the room. 

Tip No. 2: Crack a window to let some of the fire’s smoke out of the house. 

Tip No. 3: Invest in a chimney cap to prevent animals from creating nests in your chimney and it will help prevent water build up and even potential water damage. 

Tip No. 4: Make sure to clean your fireplace’s glass doors. Wait until the doors are cool to the touch then using a blade, scrape off the build-up on the doors into a bowl. Afterward, mix together a teaspoon of dish detergent with a cup of warm water and wipe down the glass doors. 

Tip No.5: Always get your chimney inspected. Never skip a chimney inspection and make sure to schedule them at least once a year, it can save a life.

Tip No. 6 Clean out your firebox weekly to remove all of the ashes. You will want to leave 1 inch of ash though to provide a natural insulation for your fireplace. After you are done using your fireplace for the season, you will want to clean out the entire firebox. Remove all the ashes and discard them safely. 

 

We hope you enjoyed these quick tips and stay safe while using your fireplace. If you are looking to update your fireplace, we provide a wide selection of tile that would finish off your fireplace perfectly. Stop in today for more information.


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A Quick Clean

Sometimes you do not have enough time to do a deep clean of your home or apartment. If you are looking for a quick yet efficient cleaning routine, we have you covered. You should not have to compromise quality for time. Let us focus on seven items that you can quickly clean in under an hour. 

 

7 Items to Clean:  

1. Clear the Clutter. Before you can begin cleaning, you will need to put away all of the items around your home. Encourage your family members to partake in the cleaning and create a fun game. Assign every member a certain room then set a timer for five minutes. See who can pick up the clutter the fastest in their room and have a reward prepared for them. 

2. Throw away trash. Go through all the rooms with a trash bin and throw away any trash that may be lying around your home. Afterwards, empty out all trash cans. 

3. Wipe down surfaces. After you have cleared the clutter and trash from your rooms, you will want to wipe down all of the surfaces. Use a disinfectant wipe on door knobs, handles, and light switches. 

4. Vacuum, sweep, and mop. Next, you will want to focus on floors by doing a quick sweep before mopping the floors. If you do not have time to mix a solution, try using a portable spray mop. For wood floors, make sure to check the recommendation of the manufacturer before using anything other than a dust mop.  

5. Swap out towels. Run around to all of your bathrooms and place clean hand towels out for drying. Make sure to throw the dirty towels in the washing machine. 

6. Clean the toilet bowls. Squirt some toilet bowl cleaner inside of your toilet and scrub them out with a toilet bowl brush. 

7. Light candles. Finish your cleaning off with some candles. They create a pleasant smell and they will set the tone for a relaxing evening. 

 

Whether you are having company over or want to tidy up your house, this quick clean can come in handy. We hope you enjoyed these tips and tricks for a quick home cleaning. Let us know what you think in the comment section.

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The Lifestyle Quiz

Need help with the design of the interior of your home? Well, you should consider completing the online free Lifestyle Quiz. The Lifestyle Quiz is a short quiz that can assist you in making decisions and selections when it comes to decorating your home. The interview questions encompass a range of topics about your pets, the size of your household, any individual needs as well as what your set budget is.

 

The Lifestyle Interview is so helpful because it analyzes your home life. For instance, you’ll be asked the ages of your children and the common areas of the home they frequent. Based on your answers, you’ll be given suggestions on the best home products you should utilize. It’s essential to respond to each question in its entirety because the tips are based solely on these responses.

 

You can use the interview process to make design plans for a particular space in your home because it’ll help you give you a starting point. You’ll be able to review possible design selections and ideas on how you can upgrade different features in a room. Such a tool is ideal for individuals who are not savvy when it comes to decorating an interior. Why? The Lifestyle Interview tool decreases most of the guesswork.

 

Use this tool to determine what type of flooring, cabinetry, and even furniture would look great in a particular space so that you can achieve your desired look. Having the ability to plan ahead can make you the best decisions possible so that you’ll get your money’s worth and you’ll be happy with the results.

 

Are you ready to take the Lifestyle Quiz? Just visit our website today to begin.

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What You Need to Know About Carpet

Warm up any area in the home and reduce your energy bill when you install carpet. Many people shy away from carpet because it requires increased maintenance. However, carpet can provide warmth and comfort. Yes, there are several distinct advantages to selecting carpet as your flooring.

 

What are some of the benefits of carpet flooring? Well, did you know that new carpet can improve indoor air quality? Compared to other flooring options carpet emits lowest VOC. It acts as an air filter by pollen, dust and other harmful particles that can affect one’s health. According to recent studies, this can benefit individuals who have asthma and severe allergies. An added advantage of carpet is that it provides warmth. Carpet is thermal resistant, which means that in cold climates heat is retained for a longer period which conserves energy. Also, carpet helps reduce noise. Carpet quickly absorbs noise emitted from the televisions or sound systems.

 

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of carpet flooring is that it’s comfortable. Carpet cushions your feet, soften slips and falls. Such a safety feature is suitable for homes with small children and the elderly.

 

If you’re interested in installing carpet in any room in your house, you should take into consideration the type of carpet of fiber to utilize. There are three major types of carpet fiber which include:

Nylon
A synthetic fiber. Most quality residential carpets today are made of nylon. Nylon is the leader in appearance retention, fade and heat resistance, soil and stain resistance, and color and styling.

– Polyester
A standard synthetic material well accepted for its bulkiness, color clarity, and good stain and fade resistance. While not as resilient as nylon, Polyester fiber carpet constructed with today’s new technologies can be a good performer.

– Polypropylene
Another common synthetic material used in carpet manufacturing that is sometimes referred to as olefin. Most commonly used in commercial carpeting, polypropylene is not as resilient or resistant to abrasion as nylon, and it is naturally stain and fade resistant.

 

There are a wide variety of carpet colors and pattern. Are you ready to incorporate carpet in your interior design? Contact us today for a consultation.

 

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Tips for Prolonging the Life of Your Hardwood Floors

Now that you have installed amazingly beautiful hardwood floors, we want to share a few tips for prolonging the life of your hardwood floors. Of course, you want to protect your investment and preserve the natural beauty of your hardwood floors.

 

  • Clean Flooring – This is the most basic task of maintaining and extending the life of your floors. Just like other chores, if you maintain the chore on a day to day basis the chores do NOT pile up! Simply sweep and dust mop the floors daily to prevent dust and dirt from spreading. This will also eliminate allergens in the home and prevents the floors from becoming scratched. Also, you will not be chasing those pesky “dust bunnies” especially if you have pets! For additional maintenance, only clean floors with products recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Direct UV Sunlight Exposure – Don’t forget that sun light can and will fade the color of your hardwood floors. During the peak hours of the day use window coverings to eliminate the sun directly hitting your hardwood floors. Area rugs are another great way to prolong the life of your floors while adding comfort, texture, and pops of color. Another helpful tip is periodically rearranging the furniture to allow the flooring to age naturally.
  • Alleviate Sharp Objects – Don’t forget that high heeled shoes can scratch and damage hardwood floors. Simply remove when you enter and place in a designated storage area of the foyer.  If you are a pet owner, keep your dog’s nails trimmed or purchase footies for your pets. Good luck with the footies! Grin…
  • Floor Protectors – Invest in inexpensive floor protectors to place under furniture to prevent scuffs and scratches. These protectors are also wonderful for sliding large pieces of furniture over hardwood floors. They not only prevent scratches but make it so easy for one person to move furniture especially for cleaning.
  • Accidents and Spills – Clean spills quickly with a dry cloth or paper towel to prevent staining and discoloring the natural color.  Again, only use cleaning products recommended by the manufacturer.

 

Get in the habit of scheduled floor maintenance, and live and love your hardwood floors for many, many years!

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Party Dips 101

You have invited all your friends and bought decorations for the house, but there is still one thing you are struggling with. . . What food are you going to serve? The food for the evening can be one of the most time-consuming tasks of throwing a party. We want to help you not spend as much time in the kitchen during this party. Our solution is for you to serve dips. Dips can be served with a variety of food options and can be quite filling. Switch up your party’s food routine and choose to serve a varied selection of dips. 

 

Party Dips:

French Onion Dip. This dip is a classic, to say the least. French onion dip has earned a place in many hearts from its bold and flavor-filled taste. This dip can be paired with toasted cheesy bread or crackers. 

Pizza Dip. There is nothing more traditional than a good, old fashion pizza dip. Party-goers will love this flavorful dip and you can pair it with bread slices or pita bread. 

Queso Dip. Can you say YUM? If you are a cheese fan, you will be running to this dip time and time again to delight in its rich deliciousness. Traditionally, tortilla chips pair well with this dip but try adding some soft pretzel bits around the dish. 

Buffalo Chicken Dip. This has become a recent trend at many house parties and we completely understand why. It has a creamy base with a pleasant, spicy kick to it. This scrumptious dip pairs well with bread, crackers, tortilla chips, celery, etc. 

Guacamole. Nos Gusta!! Include this dip for your party-goers to indulge in its creamy goodness. It pairs well with lime-flavored tortilla chips!

Spinach and Artichoke Dip. Let us pretend this one is as healthy as it sounds. This creamy dip will indulge your taste buds and leave guests chatting. Pair this dip with toasted bread or tortilla chips.

Hummus. This dip adds a variety to your selection because it is perfect for your vegetarian and vegan friends. We also want to make sure that there is an option available to everyone and having a hummus dip will definitely help to assure you. Buy an original flavor hummus and separate it into different bowls. In each bowl, add a different topping to add variety and flavor. You can create flavors like a roasted red pepper or garlic-herb hummus. Pair this dip with pita and a selection of raw vegetables (celery, carrots, broccoli, etc). 

 

Is there a dip you love to make for parties? Share your favorite dip with us in the comment section below.

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Maintaining Your Deck

Decks are the perfect place for long summer nights, outdoor entertainment, and family barbecues. Since your deck is always in use, it is important to take great care of it. Knowing the proper ways to clean and care for your deck can extend its overall lifespan. 

 

Tips for maintaining your deck:

  • Reseal your wooden deck every 3-4 years. Look for a durable resealing product that will save you time and money. 

Note: Only sand your wooden deck before resealing if it has experienced extreme wear and tear. If you decide to sand your deck, you will need to apply triple the amount of regular stain and sealer after sanding. 

  • Sweep up any dirt and debris. You should regularly sweep your deck to prevent any damage caused by mold, mildew or stains.
  • Wash your deck often, but not too often. A good rule of thumb is to wash only when there is something to wash off the deck. If your deck has visible dirt then it is the appropriate time to wash your deck. 
  • Move furniture around once a year. Moisture tends to get stuck beneath furniture and rearranging your deck furniture will help prevent future mold/mildew build-up.
  • Take a look at the health of your deck. It is important to check annually for stress points, split wood, and elevated nails in your wooden deck. It is better to be safe than sorry. Fix these areas as soon as possible to prevent future damage or potential injuries. 
  • Place potted plants on saucers. Letting moisture sit on your deck is a big no, no. Protect your deck by placing your potted plants on top of saucers. Plant water tends to contain minerals that can be left behind when the water evaporates. These mineral build-ups can lead to unwanted mold and stains in your deck. Avoid stains and molds by simply placing your potted plants on a saucer.

 

Now, you can be assured that your deck will have the proper care and treatment it deserves. Time to celebrate with an outdoor party on your well-kept deck. 


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Garden Pest Control

Gardeners understand the constant battle of dealing with unwanted pests in their garden beds. The key to sustaining a healthy garden is to create equilibrium between a number of predators and prey in your garden. When you create the perfect balance, it will ultimately eliminate the need for chemical pest controls. 

 

Garden Pest Control 101

  1. Spread out your plants. By spreading out your plants, you can help divert pests for making a home in your garden. It becomes difficult for the pests to make themselves comfortable when you place the same plant in different areas of your garden. 
  2. Remain active. Investing in a plant magnifying glass will help you to catch pests quickly. You should check the plant’s buds, shoot tips, and underneath the leaves. At night, you will need to do a quick scan with your flashlight to detect any nocturnal pests (slugs or snails). 
  3. Pull weeds. You will need to consistently pull weeds and keep your eye out for any pests that may have been hiding. 
  4. Know the difference between predator & pests. Predators can feed off of the pests in your garden. It is important to understand the difference to prevent killing the good guys. Become familiar with your predator’s larvae. They sometimes hide underneath leaves and bark mulch during the daytime then come out at night to eat your pests.
  5. Welcome the beneficial insects. Certain insects can be beneficial to your garden. To encourage nectar-feeding insects, offer hibernation sites (plant log pile or flowers).To attract frogs and toads, provide a small pond surrounded by grass. You can also lure birds by providing them with a water and food supply. Birds can be beneficial to a garden because they feed off of insects and caterpillars. 
  6. Plant Mint in Pots. We recommend placing mint into pots because it can overtake your entire garden. Mint can deter pests from your garden plus it tastes delicious! Place your mint plant in an area that gets morning sun and shade in the afternoon. 

 

Pests will always be a problem for gardeners, but these simple steps can help you deal with them a little better. Are there any pest control remedies you live by? We would love to hear about them in the comment section below. 


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