Posted by Betsy Graziano on 12/4/2017

Many times, it’s the quick projects around your home that make the biggest difference. Lighting is one of the most important aspects of your home. Without the right lighting, the entire mood of a room can be offset by the poor ambient quality. Lights are practical and help work on our emotions in the most subtle ways. Here, we’ll show you some of the updates that you can make to the lighting in your home that you may have never thought of. Kitchen Many kitchens have only one source of lighting. If the kitchen is short on windows that bring in outside light, this single-source lighting can be an even bigger problem. Try under cabinet lighting to illuminate countertops and preparation areas. This is great for not only safety, but to bring more light into the room in a unique way. Bathroom There's nothing creepier in the bathroom than strange shadows. That’s where recessed lighting comes in. You also don’t need to apply makeup in the wrong way due to poor lighting. Having lights available in several areas of the bathroom will make getting ready in the morning easier. Proper lighting will also make showering safer and less like a horror film! Bedroom The bedroom is perhaps the simplest room of the house to light. You’ll need lights by the bed for reading and other tasks. Usually wall mount fixtures work best for these purposes. They make great task lights and also look fantastic on the wall as part of your bedroom’s decor. As a bonus, lights on the wall will create less clutter in the home. Dining Area Look for task lights and lamps for your buffet to brighten your dining room. Try adding lighting fixtures in places where you’ll be doing a lot of task-focused activities. Aim for more recessed lighting over the dining table so guests won’t feel that they have the spotlight on them. Living Spaces In shared environments, lamps that are easily made portable can work best. This is simply because people tend to forget a lamp that’s tucked in the corner somewhere. It’s also a plus to put your lamps on timers. If you know that you get home at 7 PM every evening, set the timer so that you walk into a bight, inviting home and not a dark one. Highlight Things In The Room It’s always a great way to light a darker corner by placing lights over a plant or a painting. This helps to highlight the decorative aspects of the room even in the dark.





Posted by Betsy Graziano on 10/2/2017

When was the last time you examined the lighting in your hallway? For home sellers, you may want to consider revamping the lighting in your hallway. By doing so, you can brighten up your hallway, and ultimately, help make your home more appealing to prospective homebuyers. So what does it take to improve your hallway lighting? Here are three tips to consider: 1. Add Lighting Controls. Although you may already have a light switch to control your hallway lighting, incorporating a dimmer switch or occupancy sensor into your hallway may prove to be a great option to enhance your hallway's overall appearance. A dimmer switch ensures you can brighten or dim your hallway as much or as little as you choose. The added control provided by a dimmer switch enables you to create a certain ambiance that you can share with homebuyers when they check out your residence. Comparatively, an occupancy sensor detects when a person walks through a hallway automatically. This sensor may serve as a distinct feature in your home, one that may help your residence stand out in the eyes of homebuyers. 2. Incorporate Wall Sconces. For home sellers who want to impress prospective homebuyers the moment they enter a hallway, wall sconces may serve as ideal additions. Wall sconces come in many shapes and sizes, allowing you to select lighting that matches your hallway's décor beautifully. Also, wall sconces are available that enable you to create both up and down lighting that can give your hallway a one-of-a-kind look and feel. Try to find wall sconces that deliver a sense of balance in your hallway. By doing so, you'll be able to utilize wall sconces that provide a superior mix of fashion and function. 3. Install Track Lighting. Looking to brighten up a long hallway? Choose track lighting – you'll be glad you did! Track lighting typically runs parallel to your hallway's walls and offers immense versatility. Therefore, it serves as a wonderful option for those who want to make a hallway dazzle day after day. In many instances, you can change the direction of track lighting with ease, too. This type of lighting gives you superb flexibility, and as such, remains an exceedingly popular option in many homes. When it comes to brightening up a hallway or any other area of your home, be sure to evaluate all of the options at your disposal. Remember, you'll want to do whatever you can to help your residence sparkle, and the right lighting may enable you to transform a dull hallway into an eye-catching one. Lastly, don't forget to consult with your real estate agent before you perform hallway lighting improvements or other home repairs. This real estate professional likely boasts years of industry experience and will be able to guide you as you explore ways to make your home more attractive to homebuyers. Take a close look at your home's hallway lighting, and you're sure to find many great lighting options that you can use to help your residence stand out in any real estate market.





Posted by Betsy Graziano on 8/14/2017

Working from home is a job benefit many dream of. However, despite what some may think working from home is not all fun and games. While it may make for an easier commute it also can make for more distractions that keep you from your work. Learn how you can create an office in your home that is a productivity oasis. Function before form. It may be tempting to run out and buy all the beautiful office supplies and knick knacks, but before you do plan out the function of your office first. Create a list of must-have items. Will you need a printer, file cabinet or shelves for your reference binders? Perhaps a fax machine, large whiteboard or a sprawling desk with plenty of elbow room. Knowing what you need on hand to create the most efficient work environment will give you the ability to sit down and productively work without running out to get supplies or inventing workarounds. You will also want to invest in a good ergonomic chair since you will be spending so much of your time sitting in it. Your back will thank you. Location. The location of your home office in your house may be more important than you think. Choosing a quiet secluded room with lots of light will create an ideal working environment. If you have children or a partner that will be home during the day you will want the room in a place where they will not have to tiptoe around like if you, for example, set up shop in the dining room. Creating some “do not disturb” signs may be a good idea to further set boundaries with your family. Organize. Set yourself up for success off the bat by developing an organization system that works best for your home office. Since home offices tend to be set up in smaller rooms of a house make the most of your space by organizing vertically as well horizontally. Neatly manage and label cords when you set up any electrical equipment. Keep the items you use daily within easy reach so you don’t need to jump up and down all day to dig through your cabinets. Inspire. This is your home office, after all, and not a cubicle so don’t be afraid to add personality to work your space. Pick up posters with uplifting quotes or imagery or a cork board to pin inspiration and goals. Paint your office a color that uplifts and inspires you. A calm blue paired with a vibrant yellow can help boost your focus and alertness. Setting up a home office is an exciting house project, especially when you will have the opportunity to work from home. While it’s tempting to make your new office one that is visually appealing don’t forget to keep function at the forefront of your planning process. In the end, you’ll have the best of both worlds and may even be more productive for it!




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Posted by Betsy Graziano on 1/9/2017

Many new homeowners are eager to begin renovations on their home to make it fit the beautiful picture they have in their mind. Unfortunately the aesthetic improvements, while important, are often prioritized over important structural and functional repairs that should be made first. The key to making smart financial decisions for renovating your home is to have a good budget and to stick to it. Home improvements are one of the few expenses that people often forget to budget for, alongside car repairs and emergency medical expenses. If done properly, however, a budget will help you prioritize your repairs so you'll spend your time and money wisely. In this article, we'll explain how to budget for home repairs in a way that works for you and your family.

Understanding your money

To budget for home improvements, you first need to budget for other things in your life. Use an app or website like Mint or You Need a Budget to get a better understanding of how you spend your money. For some, budgeting for home improvements may mean cutting back on other spending areas. Fortunately, these apps break down all of your purchases by categories and help you spend less each month.

Ranking your renovations

If you're dying to update the bathroom but the roof needs to be redone, you should call the roofers first. Some home improvements are a ticking time bomb: deteriorating roofs, poor insulation, HVAC issues, water damage, and safety concerns like fire hazards are all problems that need to be addressed first on your budget. Some will save you money, others could save your life, but all of them are more important than adding closet space in your bathroom.

Estimating costs

Do your research when it comes to the the cost of repairs and home improvements. Once you have a ballpark figure, add it into your budgeting app as a new item on your budget. There is a general rule, when budgeting for home repairs, that you should set aside 1% of the cost of your home for maintenance and repairs each year. However, there are many other factors involved in how much it will cost to upkeep your home like the age of the house, the weather in your area, and how well-maintained the home was before you bought it.

Sticking to your budget

Everyone starts with good intentions, but keeping a budget isn't easy. Thankfully, it has been made much more manageable with the help of apps and websites that link right to your bank accounts. To stick to your home repair budget, make sure you sign up for reminders on your spending and progress. If you're keeping a budget the old fashioned way (pen and paper), put reminders on your calendar each month to check if you're spending too much on home repairs. Another key to successful budgeting it to make sure everyone in the house is on the same page. If your significant other plays a role in home repairs, go over your budget together. This will help you keep one another accountable and set priorities that work for everyone.