Top Things You Need to Do to Prepare Your Home for Visitors

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tips and Advice

Guests are something that many people look forward to around the autumn and winter holidays. Of course you enjoy the company, but getting your house ready can feel like a major chore. Keep in mind that your visitors are coming to see you and remember a few tips to help relieve the rush before arrival. Don’t panic — we’ve got ideas for you to ensure that your guests feel welcome and at ease when they arrive.

Spruce Up the Guest Bathroom
Make sure you have clean hand towels, soap, and wash cloths set out and ready to use in the bathroom. Set out a few pillar candles and bottles of scented oil for ambience.

Make a Focal Point in the Entryway
Set up a decorative table with a seasonal centerpiece on it and light some scented candles. Make sure you have a place set up for guests to hang their coats and place their shoes as soon as they walk through the door.

Clear Your Front Walk
Make sure to sweep the front walkway to your home clear of fallen leaves or snow, and that you set down some ice melt if necessary.

Bring Out the Fireplace
Have a fire going to welcome your guests, and spruce up the mantel with fresh greenery and some lit candles to set the scene.

Have the Carpets Cleaned
Nothing brightens up your house faster than a professionally cleaned carpets. 

 

Invest in Air Beds
If you have guests coming to stay overnight and don’t have room, invest in air beds for them to sleep on.

Anticipate Their Needs
Try to learn the items that your guests will need or want during their stay. Extra towels, a box of tissues, or spare toothbrushes are always appreciated — have them at the ready.

Stock Your Kitchen
Make sure you have plenty of drinks, snacks, and guest favorites. A few items that remind your guests of home will go a long way towards making their visit relaxing and comforting.

Make Things Accessible
Move your coffee station to the family room. Set things like breakfast items and silverware on the counter so guests can find them easily.

What to Plant For First-time Vegetable Gardeners

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tips and Advice

Are you new to gardening? If you have not tried gardening at home, even a few vegetables will have their harvest perks with regular watering and care. Or, try an easy container herb garden with some starter herbs like basil, parsley, thyme or chives. A garden can fill an empty corner in your yard or bring freshness to a couple of windowsills indoors. Your home will feel welcoming and you will be proud of your harvests throughout the season.

 

If you are considering planting a small vegetable garden, read on for tips and plants to try.

 

Tomatoes

Likely one of the most popular plants for first-time gardeners, tomatoes come in several varieties and sizes. The plants are quite prolific, so depending on the size of your plot, you may want to start with only one or two starter tomato plants. You could also grow a small plant in a hanging basket. Tomato plants need plenty of sunlight so be sure to plan strategically. One tip to keep pests away from the fruit is to place plastic bags of water near the plants. The reflection is supposed to deflect pesky bugs.

 

Zucchini

Another prolific plant that will take over your garden if you don’t plan correctly, you may only need one-two starter plants. They need plenty of water and ample sunlight. You can harvest the vegetable itself and the yellow and green blossoms. Both are delicious. Zucchinis will grow quickly, even overnight, so if one looks ready to pick, then grab it!

 

Green beans

Like tomatoes, there are several varieties of beans for the home gardener. Try a vine-growing bean variety if you have the space. Simply plant the seeds in fresh soil where the area will receive full sunlight.

 

Lettuce varieties

Lettuce may be one of the easiest plants to grow. Pick your favorite varieties of lettuce–baby romaine, arugula, red leaf or green leaf–they take up little room and only need a small amount (time) of sunlight. To harvest, simply snip or tear off the leaves. The more you pick the lettuce, the faster it will grow. It’s a very easy vegetable variety for first-time gardeners.

 

Regardless of the vegetables you select, the important part of gardening is to get started.  You will reap your reward later!

Vinyl Maintenance

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tips and Advice, Vinyl






Flooring, no matter how new or beautiful, is meant to be walked upon. Vinyl flooring is no exception. Time and the onslaught of foot traffic will most certainly take its toll. But take heart, keeping your vinyl flooring as beautiful and inviting as the day it was installed just requires a little knowledge. So, check out the following advice and be a little smarter about smart and stylish vinyl flooring.

New vinyl floors are extremely durable and long lasting, but like any floor covering they still need regular maintenance to stay looking like new. Follow these general guidelines for vinyl flooring. For more detailed information always refer to the manufacturer’s written floor care procedures. You can’t avoid wear on your vinyl flooring, but knowing how to care for and maintain it can keep you floor in beautiful condition and make it a source of pride for years to come.

  • For the first 24 hours after your new vinyl floor is installed, protect all the seamed areas.
  • Keep the room at 68° F or greater for at least 2 days after installation.
  • Do not roll heavy objects directly on to a newly installed vinyl floor for at least 5 days.
  • Allow 5 days before thoroughly washing your floor.
  • Lay plywood down before moving heavy objects.
  • Check the condition of rollers and casters before use.
  • Protect your vinyl floor by covering the legs of furniture with felt protectors.
  • Remove dust, sand and grit particles.
  • Don’t use a vacuum with a beater bar.
  • Rinse the floor thoroughly with fresh water after cleaning
  • Place non-staining, walk-off mats or rugs at every outside entry to your room.
  • Be sure to avoid using rubber-backed mats or rugs.
  • Use rugs specially designed for vinyl floors.
  • For spots or spills, wipe them up immediately.
  • Make sure the floor’s manufacturer recommends the cleaner you are using.
  • Avoid using abrasive scrubbing tools.
  • Never use abrasive cleaners, soaps, paste waxes, or solvents on your vinyl floor.
  • If you purchased a PVC vinyl floor you should consider placing 2-3 coats of the manufacturer’s recommended floor polish on the floor immediately.
  • Cover open seams immediately.
  • If your floor gets a cut or gouge in it, cover the area immediately and call your flooring professional.
  • Urethane floors finish can darken over time.
  • For more maintenance information specific to your vinyl flooring, remember to consult the manufacturers’ recommendations.

 

Blank Slate

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Hints, Tips and Advice, Tips and Advice

2408982_SStarting from scratch with a blank slate is a luxury many of us don’t have unless we’ve recently moved or are building a new house. Some people might have an extra room that isn’t being used, but most likely an extra space is spoken for in our homes. But imagine if you did have an empty room in your home—a blank slate. What would you do?

Imagine having an empty room with just wood floors and neutral walls. Would you turn this space into a playroom for the kids? A home office? Home theater? Gym? In-law suite? It can be fun to imagine starting from scratch and designing a space from the floor up. Or, it can be daunting.

Sometimes in decorating and interior design we get too caught up in the possibilities and the what-ifs that we fail to move forward. Decisions can be scary. This is why new builders often present design packages where flooring, cabinets, counters, knobs and pulls are all grouped together so you don’t have to make too many decisions and be overwhelmed.

If you do have a blank slate in your home, first decide how you will use the space. Then build from there. You might want to replace the carpet with hardwood or add carpet. You might want to add built-ins for storage or extra ceiling lighting for tasks. Wall color and window treatments can be inspired by the activities that will go on in the room or an area rug or object. Start slow, but keep moving forward. Once you know how you’ll use the room, design decisions should start falling into place.

How to Remove Chewing Gum from Carpet

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Carpet, Floors, Hints, Tips and Advice, Tips and Advice

14768658_SHave you ever had chewing gum stuck in your hair? In the worst cases you can cut the gum out of your hair, but have you ever gotten gum stuck in your carpet? It’s not such a good idea to cut the gum out of your carpet because unlike your hair, the carpet won’t grow back!

Below are some tips about how to remove chewing gum from your carpet:

Solvent – A non-flammable spot removal solution, or dry cleaning type solvent, is preferred. Exercise caution when using a solvent. Never pour it directly onto the carpet or allow it to reach the backing, because it can damage the latex that holds the primary and secondary backings together. Acceptable solvents include Carbona®, Energine®, K2R®, Goof-Off®, etc.

When in doubt, you can always call a Professional – Professional cleaners have the ability and the equipment to use more aggressive cleaning solutions to remove stubborn spills. Always consider consulting a professional cleaner regarding any spot removal question. The Carpet and Rug Institute – 1-800-882-8846

If you happened to have already had this problem and now have a hole in your carpet, we can talk about a replacement!

Organizing in 2014

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Floors, Hints, Tips and Advice, Holiday, Tips and Advice

21329088_SIs your New Years resolution to have a more organized house this year? You’ve taken down the tree, put away the ornaments and dealt with all the gift-wrapping supplies. Dealing with the holiday clutter is a great start. Now you can concentrate on keeping the rest of the house clean and organized for the entire year. Here is a simple way to start the process.

When you leave a room look for items that do not belong. Don’t be lazy. Pick those items up and put them away. This is a good habit for everyone in the family to get used to.

Sort and read the mail everyday. Recycle the junk and then deal with bills and other correspondence appropriately. Note – this does not mean leave them in a pile. There are fun organizational tools that you can use to separate these items.

Clean the kitchen and the bathroom. Do not leave a sink of dirty dishes to be dealt with every morning. Instead make sure the pots and pans are scrubbed and the dishwasher is turned on before you go to bed. Likewise, don’t leave makeup all over the bathroom counter. Put it away. Do a daily wipe down of the countertops and sinks in both your kitchen and your bathroom.

Sweep the floors. If you have wood floors you should probably be doing that anyway. This will really help and there are many tools out there that make sweeping a breeze.

Finally, when you do the laundry don’t let your clothes hang out in the basket.  Hang them up!

At the end of a long day we are tired, but if you get in the habit of doing these few simple things your house will be more organized and you will feel better.

Hardwood Basics

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Floors, Hardwood, Hints, Tips and Advice, Tips and Advice, Uncategorized

4861971_SHardwood flooring has been trending in home design for the last few years and can even add value to your home.  We have decided to put together some information and a few tips we think you should know about the different styles and if hardwood is a material that fits your lifestyle.

  • The Location: Consider where the hardwood is going to be installed inside your home.  The location may change the grade or type of wood you choose.
  • Species: Common wood species are red oak, white, oak, maple, cherry, white ask, hickory, or pecan.  Each wood species has a specific grain and texture to it.
  • Color: Each species will have several colors and finish choices for you to decide on.  We suggest picking a color of wood that best fits your lifestyle and coordinates well with furniture pieces you already have.  Darker wood is more formal compared to lighter wood.
  • Finishes: There are many different finishes you can have on your floors.  Lower gloss levels are better suited for more active areas because dirt and scratches are harder to see versus higher gloss finishes.
  • Width Terms: “Strips” are narrower board widths and work well in smaller areas to help make a room look larger.  “Planks” are wider board widths that work well in a larger space.
  • Hardness Wood Rating: Wood is rated based on the Janka Hardness Test.  Basically, the higher the rating, the harder the wood is.

These items are a quick overview of some of the terms or questions you might have when it comes to purchasing your hardwood.  We hope these tips and information helps you in your decision-making.  For more information on hardwood, please visit our website.  If you would like to learn more about specific hardwood flooring topics, leave us a comment below and we’ll be sure to address them in a future post.

Decorating for Teen Girls

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Area Rugs, Design and Decorating, Family, Hints, Tips and Advice, Tips and Advice

13888918_STeen girls can change their style as often as they change their outfits—and that can be a lot. Decorating a room that will keep our teenage daughters happy can be tricky but isn’t mission impossible. Getting input from the teen is important but you have input, too. After all, it is still your house.  Working together on decorating your teenage daughter’s room will make you both happy.

Keeping the major things neutral and timeless will help the room to grow and change as your teenager grows.  If you are investing in new furniture and flooring be sure to select pieces that can work for several different styles.  Wood floors will never go out of style and can be topped with area rugs that suit this year’s color scheme.  Wall color is a great way for your daughter to express herself. Paint is less expensive and can change as she continues to mature and grow up.

Forcing your modern loving daughter into a traditional room won’t work for either of you.  Start by having your daughter pull together images from blogs or magazines of rooms she likes. Create a dialog about what will be possible.  Set a budget and allow her to make some of the design decisions. Bedding and accessories are great for adding a certain style and look.  Keeping furniture to classic forms means you can have more fun in the fabrics and colors of the room.

How to Showcase Your Floor With Tile Patterns

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Floors, Hints, Tips and Advice, Kitchen and Bath, Tile and Natural Stone, Tips and Advice

There are so many choices when it comes to designing and laying floor tile.  So how do you determine what pattern and style is best for your space?  Is your space small, large, narrow or wide? These are all things to keep in mind when choosing a tile design.

Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 2.49.55 PM Diagonal: Tiles are set at a 45% angle. This type of design makes a room look larger and longer. If you choose this design make sure you buy extra tiles (approx. 15% more) because of the angles and cuts more material is usually needed.

Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 2.50.11 PMStraight lay: This is the most common way of laying tile and looks good in any room. This is an easier design needing less cuts and material.

Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 2.48.16 PMHerringbone. This pattern is very stylish and adds an elegant visual texture to any floor and will make a short hallway look longer.  To spice up the bathroom use this pattern on the wall installing to “chair rail” level. Framing the pattern with brick size tiles going vertical is a great finishing touch

Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 2.53.15 PMModular: This design has three of more different size tiles to form a pattern. If using more than one type of tile be sure they all share the same thickness.

Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 2.50.31 PMBrick:  Using a brick pattern with ceramic or the real deal, “brick”, is one of the easiest patterns to install and can be more economical.  This pattern looks great in a kitchen, use on the floors or as a backsplash.

For an added “pop” use a smaller accent tile such as a square or diamond. These can be placed randomly throughout your design. When choosing a grout color pick something that has the same tones as your tile. You may want to lean towards a darker color, which can be easier to keep clean. Most flooring retailers have displays in their show rooms so you can shop and compare!

Making Your House A Home

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Hardwood, Hints, Tips and Advice, Tile and Natural Stone, Tips and Advice

13122566_SSome homes speak to us by saying “hello” and welcoming us with open arms.  What characteristics do these homes have that makes us feel welcome, comforted, and happy?

Below are three simple changes you can do to bring out your personality in your own home to make it feel just right!

  • Colors:  Paint your walls, install new carpet, add decorative pillows, or hang new curtains. A color scheme is very important and should flow throughout your home. If you are uncertain how to coordinate your colors, you could purchase a color wheel for guidance. This tool can be a very helpful resource.
  • Finishes: Flooring can be the first and easiest fix to change any room or an entire house. New carpet, wood, or tile is a quick fix and you will literally get miles of enjoyment for years to come.
  • Textures: Replacing tile on a fireplace can change the aesthetic of the whole room. For added texture use river rock or stone. Don’t be afraid to install tile and wood side by side on your floors; this looks great in the right space, as long as there is a “cut off” between the two rooms.

There is “no place like home” what are you waiting for?