September is officially Happy Cat Month, so take some extra time to appreciate your feline friend. Cats make wonderful pets, but there's one part of cat ownership that everyone dislikes - the litter box. Its appearance isn't attractive, and no one wants to have its odor or the sounds of a cat scratching away in the box invading your home's common areas.
With a few tools, some time, and a little bit of effort, you can hide your cat's litter box while still leaving it easily accessible for them. Check out these tips to help make your cat's litter box out of sight and out of mind.
With the start of the school year upon most of us, now's a great time to talk home organization! Kids resuming their studies often results in a flurry of backpacks, textbooks, and various other school supplies that can quickly leave your home in a stressful state of disarray. Here are some airtight back-to-school home organization tips you can use to corral the chaos.
Have you ever wondered what style of house represents your personality? There are so many home types to choose from, you should know which one fits you best! Take a look at these five popular home styles to get an idea for the aesthetic and functionality that match your unique personality when you're ready to purchase your next home.
If you're looking for a new home, one thing you may be thinking about is gardening and landscaping. Many homes have plenty of yard space for growing plants. You may want a home with room for something else, too: a compost pile. If you've never had one before, they're a great tool for anyone with a green thumb. Here's how to start your first compost pile.
Listing your home for sale can be overwhelming, especially if it's your first time. One of the best ways to sell your home quickly and increase your sale price is through proper home staging. Home staging is both an art and a science and often takes a good bit of experience to pull it off just right. Our real estate agents are experts at home staging and are always willing to offer tips to help you through the process.
If there's one thing we could all take from the lovely people of Denmark, it's the concept of hygge. Pronounced hyoo-ga, hygge encapsulates all that is cozy and comfortable. But beyond the material aspects of hygge, there exists a desire to enjoy life's simple pleasures, to pause and find contentment amidst the chaos of living. What better place to introduce hygge into your life than your house? Here's how to incorporate hygge into your home and create a personal sanctuary.
Bright color schemes might be bold, but they don't exactly align with the goals of hygge. After all, hygge emphasizes the simple pleasures. Keep your space uncluttered and clean and your color scheme neutral. Browns, creams, and similar colors encourage peaceful, relaxing feelings.
Cozy & Comfortable
Life is hard, so we should prioritize coziness at all possible opportunities. In your home, that means lots of cozy blankets, fluffy pillows, and feathery comforters. Another great way to incorporate hygge into your home is by creating a cozy nook or corner to which you can retreat when things get a little hectic.
Further increase the coziness of your space by lighting a few candles. Pick scents that calm you and your candles will serve as a great self-care tool. But it's not just the scent you're after; the soft, radiant light provide the perfect comforting glow.
Casual Dress Code
What you wear at home contributes just as much to hygge as the décor. So leave the jeans and dresses in the closet and opt for your coziest pair of sweatpants and fuzzy socks. If you really want to commit, grab yourself a pair of hyggebuksers.
Let There Be Light
The gentle glow of candlelight sometimes isn't enough. Open up those curtains, lift the blinds, and let as much natural light in as possible. Those soothing pillars of sunlight become invaluable for comfort in the chilly winter.
Bring the Outside Inside
Greenery in the form of plants are a great way to liven up the atmosphere in any room of your home, especially in your cozy nooks. Even if you don't have a great track record of keeping plants alive, you can still capture the ambience of the elements with wood accents in floors, furniture, and other décor pieces.
Light a Fire
If you're lucky enough to have a fireplace, set a fire to create warmth – an essential piece of the hygge mindset. Few things can improve a relaxing night cuddle up on the couch under layers of blankets like a roaring fire.
Ready to reimagine your kitchen? Or tackle that backyard project? Or maybe you're just finally ready to declutter and reorganize. Perhaps you don't even know what it is you want to do with your house; you just know you want change. Never fear! We've got New Year's resolutions for your home to inspire you.
Give Your Stuff a Home
Over the course of a year, we tend to accumulate lots of stuff. If you don't keep a handle on it, you can find your drawers, cabinets, closets, and counters overflowing with heaps of stuff that maybe doesn't belong there. Make it a resolution to give all that homeless stuff a place where it can live comfortably – preferably somewhere neat, tidy, and out of the way. Decluttering in this way not only frees up useful space, it'll make your home feel even roomier than before.
You'll likely have a lot of stuff that doesn't make the cut after this process. Instead of just tossing it, consider donating it to a local organization that will give it to those in need.
Restock & Organize Your Pantry & Fridge
Unless you're hyper-diligent when putting away groceries, chances are you've got a lot of clutter in your pantry, cabinets, fridge, and freezer. Dedicate some time to reorganizing theses pivotal kitchen spaces: sort out the items you'll use/eat from the things you won't, store frequently used items like flour and sugar in airtight containers to minimize the amount of unwieldy bags taking up space, and reorganize what remains in a clean, sensible fashion. It'll make cooking feel like much less of a chore when everything you need is where it should be.
Make Your Home Safe
We mean safe in two ways: safe from intruders and safe for yourself.
First, intruders. If you don't already have one, maybe this is the year to have a security system installed. They're incredibly sophisticated these days, allowing you to control many features remotely from your phone. Pair it with a smart doorbell and cameras and you'll feel safer than ever in your home.
Speaking of feeling safer in your home, sometimes it's the unseen threats that you should worry about. Invisible invaders like radon and carbon monoxide can endanger everyone living in your home. Check for radon with an inexpensive testing kit from your local hardware store. Install carbon monoxide detectors on every bedroom floor as well to monitor this deadly gas.
While we're on the topic of unseen threats, have you cleared out your dryer lint lately? Not the relatively paltry amounts caught in the trap inside the dryer, but rather the lint in the vents and ducts behind the machine? With even just a reasonable amount of lint buildup in those areas, you could be looking at a major fire hazard.
New year, fresh start – what better time to give your house a deep, deep clean? Go room to room and scrub, dust, vacuum, wipe, and just generally sanitize every nook and cranny you normally glance over during your regular cleaning sessions.
Be More Eco-Friendly
Going green at home doesn't have to mean installing solar panels (though that doesn't hurt). It can happen in smaller but just as impacting ways, like recycling more than just your soda cans. From compost to cardboard and glass to grease, organize your recyclable materials into appropriate bins and dispose of them properly – your local recycling center can help you figure out the best way to approach this.
Going green can also save you money on your power bill, and who doesn't want that? Seemingly little things like turning the lights off when you're not in the room or cutting off your AC when you're gone can help the environment and your wallet. Installing LED bulbs and low-flow showerheads that use less electricity and water, respectively, are other beneficial ways to save money and the planet.
It's chilly, blustery, and it gets dark as soon as you leave work – yep, it's winter. For many Floridians who view the cold weather as a personal attack, that means spending less time outside until spring's warm touch returns. But if you're determined to get outside despite the chilly weather – especially in your backyard – you can make it happen. Here's how to make the most of your backyard during winter.
The best way to combat the cold? Heat things up! Install a firepit in your backyard for the ultimate winter hang-out spot where you can roast marshmallows with the family. If a firepit won't work for your yard, add some heat lamps to create a toasty atmosphere.
Part of what makes winter hard for some people is the seemingly inescapable darkness. Depending on your schedule, it might be dark when you go to work and dark when you get home. That's why adding lights to the backyard goes a long way towards brightening things up literally and figuratively. You have tons of options, too: LED, solar, path marker, string lights, spotlights, and more.
Swap out your summer furniture for more winter-appropriate items. Or if you can't, just cozy your usual furniture up! We're talking warm rugs, blankets, pillows, anything that makes you feel safe and snuggly. Do make sure whatever you use is weather-resistant, though, lest your cozy days be ruined by ruined furniture.
Grilling doesn't have to be a summer-exclusive habit. Especially in Florida where we rarely get truly frosty weather, you should keep grilling all winter long! Wear an extra layer and enjoy the radiant heat from the flame as you flip your burgers.
If you're in a position to, get a hot tub for your backyard! It's an immaculate luxury item, and there's nothing quite as exhilarating as spending an evening soaking in the hot tub on a frigid 32-degree night.
In addition to installing lighting to raise spirits, adding some color to your backyard surroundings can have a similar effect. Plant some colorful flowers that thrive in the winter, like Japanese quince, pansies, snowdrops, winter jasmines, or cyclamen.
Hang garland, put up Christmas lights, accessorize your outdoor furniture with wintry color schemes, and more to get your backyard holiday-ready.
Each sign of the zodiac is a unique blend of planetary alignments and elemental influences. This creates a personality that has unique needs, values and preferences – especially when it comes to their home. That's why we've created a list of rooms in the house that suit each sun sign's needs to a T. Here's your favorite room in the house based on your zodiac sign.
Aries needs to be active. There just is no getting around it. Their high-energy, go-getter spirit lives in their blood. And when they can't be active physically, they'll start to suffer greatly. So, obviously the gym is their #1 room. Whether it's a treadmill in the living room, a sunroom for yoga, or a fully equipped garage gym with barbells and HIIT workouts scrawled in chalk on the floor – it's all the same to these Mars-ruled signs. The sweatier the better!
This grounded, Earthy sign is ruled by Venus – the planet of beauty and love. But there is one thing they love most – and that's food. Taureans need good food, comforting food, and lots of it to remain satisfied and happy. They love showing off their cooking skills and cooking for family and friends, too. That's why a big, fully equipped kitchen is this sign's favorite room. Complete with various cookware and exotic, yet hearty ingredients, this space is sure to satisfy these creatures of comfort.
You have to be quick to catch these flighty and mentally oriented signs. Ruled by Mercury, they crave intellectual stimulation 24/7. They are a gregarious sign by nature and love playing games and learning new things. You will typically find your favorite Gemini reading the latest news article, watching the newest TV show, or hanging with friends. This can all be done in a stimulating room with lots of hobbies to choose from. That's why the game room or flex space is the best place for these playful signs. Fill it with gadgets, board games, books, video games, and musical instruments, and watch them bask in the joy of entertaining themselves and you.
Our sensitive, nurturing Cancers are happiest when at home – so nearly any room will do as long as they're with loved ones. But these Water-based signs crave creature comforts, cookies, and crying sessions. The bedroom is obviously the best place for these activities. Reading their favorite fantasy novel, watching a moody drama, or simply cozying up to their pets or family members with a pile of plush blankets and pillows (and a few sweet snacks) is their favorite thing of all time.
Leos are simply the sunshine of the zodiac. They are lions and lionesses and love to be in charge and admired. They're walking drama and theatre majors. And what better place to practice their latest monologue than in the bathroom mirror? They love a good, dramatic soaking clawfoot tub filled with potions and bubbles where they can sip their wine and pretend they're in a movie. And let's face it, the bathroom simply has the best acoustics for singing along to their favorite musical!
These Earthy mothering types can be a bit nitpicky, but pure-hearted. They simply want things to be clean and organized. Nothing wrong with that! That's why you will find them in the office. They're known to always be working their tails off while spraying their keyboards with compressed-air dusters. Post-its are their favorite invention, and they'll never miss an appointment or meeting as long as they have access to their beloved planner or calendar. Plus, the office is far away from the mess of the rest of the home, which, frankly, gives them hives just thinking about.
Make way for the hostess! Librans, like their Leo counterparts, have a flair for the dramatic, but function more as theater managers rather than stars. They love the art of entertaining and to be entertained, but they love it most when they can show off their entertaining skills creatively. That's why the dining room is where they shine. A beautifully curated table setting filled with family, friends, and good champagne is this artful soul's dream setting.
Scorpios are powerhouses ruled by Mars, similar to Aries. But their Water element makes them much more introverted and even a bit secretive. They really like their alone time and prefer to have a lot of it. That's why the best room in the house for them is going to be somewhere quiet and private. A den or even a basement works well so they can be on their computer or deeply invested in a crime novel with no interruptions. Plus, they kind of need space to layout their corkboard timeline of a murder they're trying to solve.
Party's here! Our adventurous, spicy, outgoing Sagittarians love a good party and are happiest when surrounded by their friends. They're witty and fun to be around and will do anything for a laugh or an applause. They also love good conversation and a good cocktail to go with it. That's why if you lose your Sagittarius friend, you'll want to check the mini bar first. They love to meet strangers in the night and discuss the latest philosophical theory they recently read about. They must always have a mini bar or bar cart in their home stocked with the bases for any cocktail their guest desires. Cheers!
Capricorns are known to be stoic, responsible, quiet types. That's not to say these Earthy signs can't have fun, but they really prefer to get their work done before launching into anything frivolous. They're serious about taking care of their jobs and understanding the world around them. They need a quiet space to do this and plenty of resources. That's why a study or library is going to be their favorite room. They can work, learn, and generally be in peace and quiet. Shhhhh.
Most Aquarians you speak to will tell you they live either online, in their head, or outside of the house. They don't like being cooped up for too long since it suppresses their gregarious nature (AKA their need to socially analyze groups of people for ~science~). Plus, how else are they going to get their humanitarian deeds done? That's why the closet is best suited for this sign who is always ready to go out with friends or save the world. A big, spacious closet with plenty of outfits to choose from that express their unique style is sure to be the go-to place for these airy signs.
Fluttering about in a world of their own, Pisceans create magic wherever they go. These sensitive types love romance, travel, the arts, and can be quite emotionally wise beyond their years like old souls. They are also very nurturing and understand the role our Mother Earth plays in this world. You are likely going to find them doing something creative, whether painting, writing, arts and crafts or gardening. That's why anywhere outdoors or their own personal secret garden is best for these dreamy signs. They crave their own space to get away from the troubles of the real world and they have been known to have a green thumb!
Buying gifts for the person who has it all can be tough, but what about the person who just bought a new house and needs a lot? It can still be tough nailing down the perfect token to celebrate such a major accomplishment, and that's where we come in. Here are 19 gift ideas for new homeowners.
Nothing makes cuddling up on the couch in a new house sweeter than a cozy throw blanket.
Readers will love a new set of stylish bookends to spruce up their bookshelves with.
The new homeowner in your life can control other smart devices throughout their home, organize their schedule, and so much more with a smart speaker like the Amazon Echo or Google Home.
A nice, aromatic candle is a great way to help their new home smell divine.
Tailor these to your homeowner's interests and they make for a fine gift that doubles as reading material and nice décor.
These are perfect for catching all the little knick-knacks like jewelry, keys, and other pocket-fillers that otherwise just create clutter.
A key ring holder is another great way to avoid creating clutter for a new homeowner. Just hang your keys on the wall when you get home!
A new set of bath towels is a perfect way to celebrate an all-new bathroom.
A waterproof shower speaker makes morning routines a little easier with some musical accompaniment.
Moving is stressful, so give your new homeowner an excuse to relax in a rejuvenating bath with a caddy that's perfect for a candle, book, and whatever else they need to kick back.
Even scales have gone high-tech, with the ability to connect to Wi-Fi and track more than just weight. A smart scale is a great idea for the health-minded homeowner.
A set of quality dishware or silverware is not only a thoughtful gift idea, but an incredibly practical one, too!
Whether it's used when entertaining guests or for breakfast in bed, a serving tray is a multifaceted gift.
They just got a brand-new kitchen, so give your new homeowner new recipes to try with a cookbook or two!
Items like, say, an Instant Pot or air fryer are neat additions to a kitchen, and they're practical enough to get used often.
Get a cutting board engraved with a sweet message or even just their name and you've got a one-of-a-kind piece of kitchen décor.
Pamper your new homeowner with a set of cozy sheets for their bed and they'll be forever grateful.
New environments can throw off sleep habits in a big way. A white noise machine is a thoughtful gift to help your new homeowner drift off to sleep in their new bedroom.
It doesn't have to be fancy – a classic analog alarm clock is often all we need to get us up in the morning. Plus it has more benefits than using your phone as an alarm!