Archive for August, 2012

Organizing Sheets and Towels

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

Leave it to Martha to make us feel a bit inadequate about how our linen closets look. But, we also have to give her props for her great organizational ideas. Today we are going to talk about how to beautifully store your sheets and towels.

Try to limit yourself to three sets of sheets per bed and as few as three sets of bath sheets or towels, hand towels, and washcloths per person (more if you change towels daily, fewer if the men in your household have never picked up a washcloth). This gives you one set in use, one in the hamper, and one in the closet ready for action. You’ll need only one or two sets for guests (one on the bed and one in the hamper or closet).

To enhance the aroma of your linens, place in the back of the closet sachet bags of pine, cedar, vanilla, or fresh lavender wrapped in cheesecloth and tied with a ribbon. You can also hang a fabric-softener strip on the door or use scented drawer liners.

Fold sheets neatly and store them in the matching pillowcase. Place them in your linen closet according to size. Label the shelves so that sheets are always returned to their proper place. Always put the newly laundered on top of a stack, and remove the set to be used next from the bottom. In this way, sets become equally worn.

To keep folded linens organized in neat stacks, flip two shelf brackets on their heads and fastened them to the wall and the shelf with finish washers.

Here is an easy trick for keeping your towels neatly folded. Place the towel flat on the bed. Place a standard-size cutting board in the center of the towel. Fold one end of the towel over to the edge of the cutting board; then fold the other side of the towel. You might have to adjust the cutting board so it’s perfectly centered. Remove the cutting board, then fold the towel in half. For hand towels, use a smaller cutting board.

Send us pictures of your newly organized linen closet. We would love to post them on our Facebook page.

Healthy Home

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Environmental, Family, Hints, Tips and Advice, Tips and Advice

We all know that keeping your home clean is key, but keeping your home healthy is important as well. Consider the following tips:

Defeat allergens – Use zippered dust-proof casings for pillows and mattresses; the pore space of such casings is so small that dust mites and their waste products can’t get through.

Vacuum properly – Use HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters to prevent tiny particles of dust from being blown back out into the air.

Change the vacuum filter – Changing the filter is an essential part of keeping dust out of the air and preserving the life of the machine.

Speaking of filters – Never run your heating/air conditioning system without filters, and be sure to change them regularly.

Run your bathroom fan – Running the exhaust fan (and making sure it’s vented to the outdoors) helps remove moisture from this naturally humid room.

Tend to the gutters – Leaky gutters can cause excessive moisture entering your basement or crawlspace. If you don’t have covered gutters, regular litter removal is a must, not only in the fall but all year long.

Use your nose – If you detect a musty smell in your home, inspect closely until you find the source of the smell. The sooner you find the mold, the easier it will be to remove.

Keeping your home allergen and mold free makes it a healthier place for your entire family.


Solving Your Creative Puzzle

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in About Us, Design and Decorating, Hints, Tips and Advice, Sales and Promotions, Tips and Advice, Website Tools

Do you have an active household, medium traffic, a large dog and teenagers. The environment is important to you and so is getting as much bang for your decorating dollar. Your style is casual and modern. Ever wonder what type of flooring would work best in your home?


Do you have a low traffic great room, no kids unless you count your two small dogs and you want to invest in beautiful floors. What kind of flooring would you think would work best for you?

Well, wonder no more. Dolphin Carpet has a great tool on their website that can make choosing the best flooring option for an entryway, formal dining room, kitchen or bedroom as simple and painless as possible.

Called “How I Live” this feature asks a series of questions and then makes recommendations based on how you live your life. Once you sort through your options you can browse through product galleries and even apply for financing right on line.

So, what have you got to lose? With design tools like the creative puzzle, today is the day to make a list of all those home improvements you have been meaning to do.

Reader Question – Dealing with Cords

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Hints, Tips and Advice, Reader Question, Tips and Advice

Q. What is the best way to deal with a tangled mess of cords? My desk is a disaster and so is my entertainment center.

A. To help tidy up your desk, invest in an under desk wire basket, which you can easily find at many office supply stores that sell furniture, and a power strip large enough for all of your plugs. Instead of letting all of those ugly cables and cords hang freely, run them through the wire basket along with the power strip. Tack the remaining slack together with a handy zip tie and voila! You have a neat and clutter-free work environment.

As for your entertainment center, the jumble of cords can be an eye-sore, as well as a walking obstruction in your home. In the case of audio/visual interference or technical difficulty, a mess of cords can make finding and fixing the problem a frustrating, time-consuming experience.

Before hiding the cords of your entertainment center, diligently untangle and separate them from each other, so that each cord’s origin and destination is clear.

Once all your cords are separated, bundle groups stemming from each individual appliance with twist ties or zip ties. For additional organization, separate cords based on their function; for example, keep audio cords in one bundle, video cords in another, and power cords in another bundle.

Cord covers are a handy solution if your entertainment center is set up away from your power outlets. Measure the length of cord cover you require, then route the cords through the cover. Attach the cover to your walls with self-adhesive. Unlike flexible cable sleeves, you can paint cord covers. Paint the cover a color that complements your room decor; this makes the cord cover look like molding, rather than hardware. Or, if your entertainment center resides in a carpeted room, gently lift the edges of the carpet behind the entertainment center to tuck your cord bundles underneath. Use cable tacks to attach the bundles to the floor before replacing the carpet; this will keep the bundles from bunching.

Cleaning Up After the Dog

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Family

We all love our pets, we just hate the hair and the other messes that they make. Protecting our floors, no matter what type, and our furniture from the accumulation of fur can drive any homeowner batty. Today, here are few tips to help manage the beasts that live with us.

  • Place a sheet or a blanket where your pet likes to rest. Shake it out every few days and then toss it in the washing machine. Remember, grooming your pet regularly will also help with shedding.
  • To remove pet hair on carpeting, vacuum several times a week using full suction. Pick a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
  • On wood and other hard floors, use an electrostatic mop. They’re more efficient than vacuums since they don’t blow the hair around.
  • On clothing, use a tape roller. Loop a ribbon through the handle and hang one from the doorknob inside closets throughout the house so they’re always available to use.
  • On upholstery, use the vacuum’s upholstery tool or a hand vacuum with a motorized beater-bar attachment. Lint brushes designed for clothing and dry sponges (sold at pet-supply stores) also work well.
  • The sooner you can get to a pet stain, the better. Pet urine left on carpets can permanently alter the dye, liquids on hard wood or laminate can cause permanent damage. Remove any solid residue on carpet with a dull knife.
  • Blot fresh stains with a clean, white cloth. After absorbing as much moisture as possible, apply a solution of 1/4 teaspoon clear dishwashing liquid mixed with one cup tepid water; blot with another clean, dry towel. Rinse by blotting with a towel dampened with tepid water. Continue alternating with a soapy towel and a clean, damp towel until the stain is gone. Use a blow dryer on low to dry the carpet thoroughly. For stale stains or persistent odor, call a professional carpet cleaner.

George Elliot once said, “Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.” Isn’t that true? Suddenly dealing with pet hair and messes doesn’t seem so bad, does it? For more information on care and maintenance, please visit our website.


Taking Care of Cork Flooring

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

Cork flooring is a very popular option these days. Cork floors are gorgeous, environmentally friendly floors, hypoallergenic and incredibly durable. However, they do require proper care and maintenance so that they stay looking good for years.

Here are a few tips on how to take care of your cork floors:

  1. Perform regular maintenance – sweep your floors often to pick up dirt and dust.
  2. Prevent fading – over a period of time sun exposure can cause your floors to fade. Be sure to install curtains, blinds or a window tint to block direct sunlight.
  3. Protect – lift, don’t drag furniture across your floors. Place felt pads under all furniture to prevent scuffs.
  4. Mop –damp mop your cork floors weekly. Remember that cork is absorbent, which means it can easily be stained from spills. All spills should be wiped up as soon as possible. Do not use abrasive cleaners or solvents, especially those that contain glycerin. These products can harm the finish making it impossible to refinish. A neutral PH detergent (PH of 6-8) should be used to clean cork floors either with a wrung out sponge or misted over the floor and damp mopped.

Cork floors are one of the easiest floors to maintain. If you follow our tips on keeping them clean they will continue to look beautiful for years and years.

Color Mistakes to Avoid

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

We have talked before that adding color to your home is a great and personal way to decorate. However, there are some mistakes you can make. Here is how to avoid them:

Know the color wheel – Choosing a color palette can be a difficult task, but set yourself up for success by knowing the basics of the color wheel and how different schemes work.

60-30-10 – Follow the color principal of 60-30-10 to create an aesthetically pleasing color scheme. Divide your color choices into percentages: 60 percent is a dominant color, 30 percent is a secondary color and 10 percent is the accent color.

Don’t forget about lighting – Always consider how lighting will affect your color choices. Before finalizing your selections, see how each color will look in the room during different times of the day.

Neutral does not equal beige – While beige is a neutral, shades of your favorite colors can also act as neutrals in your room. A neutral just needs to be a balance of warm and cool tones, like the shade of red used in this living room.

Don’t overload your palette – While a mixture of colors can be beautiful, too many or the wrong shades together can create a disastrous look. Follow a favorite color scheme, like monochromatic or complementary, and stick with the 60-30-10 rule to create the perfect palette.

Don’t get too trendy – Adding a trendy color to a room’s palette can be the fresh take you need, but choose where you use the trend wisely. Wall colors and accessories can be easily switched out, but when purchasing furniture, choose shades that will stand the test of time.


Cleaning Baseboards

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

How often do you clean your floors? At least once a week, right? How often do you clean your baseboards? If you are like most people, the answer is rarely. Yes, it’s no fun to clean baseboards but your home will look much cleaner and more polished if you do. Here are some tips to make this job a bit easier.

Clean the baseboards AFTER you have swept and mopped your floors as they are likely to get even dirtier as you kick up debris with your broom and mop.

Vacuum the baseboard with the brush attachment. You want them to be pet hair and dust free before you start scrubbing. Pay particular attention to the floor closest to the baseboards as that is where dirt tends to accumulate.

Spray the baseboards with an all purpose cleaner. Be careful you don’t soak them too much as you don’t want to damage your walls.

Using a damp sponge mop with clean water, wash the baseboards. The mop is convenient from a logistical standpoint, especially if you have a bad back; you don’t have to get down and dirty, so to speak. But really tough marks may still require you to get on the floor and scrub. If the stains are stubborn, just scrub harder, but refrain from using anything abrasive, like a scouring pad, on your baseboards.

Once your baseboards are clean, take a damp dryer sheet and wipe it over the wood. The anti-static cling property of the dryer sheet will cut the amount of dust that sticks to baseboards. In fact, each time you sweep and vacuum, go over the baseboards quickly with a dryer sheet. If you have shedding pets, you’ll want to do this regularly. This preventative maintenance will go a long way.

So even though it will take you some time to get your baseboards clean, you will feel much better AND your home will look much better as well.

Small Kitchens

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

Are you blessed with a small kitchen? Fear not, whether you have a galley in a high-rise or a small space in a suburban cape, these decorating ideas will help you visually expand the look of your kitchen.

Tiny kitchens can feel claustrophobic when cabinets are towering overhead. Many cooks can’t reach what’s in them and the overall feeling is boxy and closed in. Get organized and trade the top cupboards for open storage. Consider shelving, pot racks and magnetic knife or spice holders instead. Your kitchen will look more spacious and serve up display space for your favorite dishes, shiny pots and pans, or artwork.

Because your kitchen may be short on interesting architectural details, it’s up to you to add the all-important style via compelling countertop surfaces, cabinetry, fixtures, flooring, lighting and color. One tip: Using the same color and style of fixtures and cabinet pulls can help unify a look.

One of the easiest ways to visually expand a kitchen is to incorporate glass. Try a glass counter or tabletop, tile, door cabinets or kitchen doors that lead to the outside world or to the next room. Mirrors, in a backsplash also lighten up the look.

A small kitchen requires a combination of task and atmospheric lighting. To counteract the bluish cast of fluorescent lighting and add drama, install pendant lights in the eating area, incandescent lighting underneath upper cabinets and incandescent spot lighting above cabinetry.

Flooring in a small kitchen is so important. Linoleum in a checkerboard pattern can be really eye-catching and relatively inexpensive. Since square footage is small, you may be able to afford a beautiful tumbled marble.

The color of walls, appliances, counters, stools — even the dishtowels — can change the atmosphere and perceived size of the kitchen. Pastels or light colors, with good doses of white, reflect light and draw the eye up, making ceilings appear higher. Bold colorations can be very effective in smaller kitchens.

Rather than using tricks to visually enlarge the space, consider embracing your kitchen as-is. Instead of going light or sleek, opt for country cozy.