Articles Tagged "home inspiration"

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September
30

For most of us, a life lived mostly inside the walls of our home became the norm for at least a year. Lots of things changed; grocery store trips became deliveries, intense hand-washing sessions occurred multiple times a day, and empty guest rooms became home offices.

It makes sense then that homebuyers' preferred features have shifted in response to the changes they've experienced. Point2 Homes examined 43 million words from more than 640,000 listings across the United States, then compared their findings to a study of the same nature in 2019.

Examining the most popular home descriptions words, phrases, and features reveals a lot about how buyers' tastes have changed.

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September
2

Litter Box Tips

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.

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August
11

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.

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July
28

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.

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May
26

Composting Tips

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.

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March
2

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.

Stay Simple

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.

Aromatherapy

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.     

January
20

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.

Deep Clean

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.

December
18

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.

Make it Toasty

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.

Light it Up

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.

Go for Coziness

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.

Keep Grilling

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.

Get a Hot Tub

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.

A Technicolor Makeover

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.

Decorate for the Holidays

Hang garland, put up Christmas lights, accessorize your outdoor furniture with wintry color schemes, and more to get your backyard holiday-ready.

September
30

Spooky season is here! There's only one way to celebrate: turning your home into a ghastly Halloween haven. And while you could drop tons of money on store-bought décor, why not try your hand on some homecooked decorations? Take these DIY Halloween décor projects for a spin this spooky season to get your ghoulish vibes right.

Empty Bottle Candlestick Holders

Take any empty bottle, spray paint it matte black, then insert a candlestick in the opening. Now you've got spooky flickers of candlelight!

Paper Bats & Cats

Cut out silhouettes of bats, cats, half-moons, and other creepy imagery using black paper, then stick them to the outside of windows throughout your house – they look great and are easy to make!

Flannel Face Pillows

Flex your sewing muscles with this nifty project that turns your favorite throw pillows into adorably creepy monsters.

Oversized Spiders

Foam balls, toothpicks, some paint, and a few more crafts are all you need to make these oversized spiders.

Bubbling Cauldron

Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble! Creating your own frothing cauldron is a breeze. Just take a cast-iron Dutch oven and mix in a little water and dry ice and voila!

Illuminated Ghost Garland

Want to make your home feel truly haunted? Follow these simple instructions to make a bunch of friendly ghosts that'll light up your home with spooky charm.

Partygoing Pumpkins

Instead of carving up your pumpkins, try decorating them with other crafts: gemstones, glitter, masks, and more.

Pumpkin Archway

Let trick 'r treaters know exactly what kind of house they're approaching with this custom pumpkin archway out front.

Mummify Your Front Door

Take some white crepe paper, adhesive putty, and some scissors to transform your front door into a macabre mummy. If you want more silly than spooky, add some googly eyes.

Spider Cake

Take any store-bought cake and add some white frosting to a frosting piping bag (or make your own with a sealable freezer bag) to layer spiderwebs on the exterior. Stick some small novelty spiders on top of the webs and you've got a chilling yet delicious spider cake!

Witch Legs

Spruce up your front lawn with these wicked witch legs. A few crafts and some elbow grease are all you need for these witchy bush decorations.

Trees from Another Dimension

Those aren't any ordinary trees in your yard – at least not when you give them a set of ghoulish eyes! Draw some pupils on a fluorescent foam circle to create the eyes, then stick them to your trees with double stick tape.

Mason Jar Ghosts

Turn mason jars into g-g-g-g-ghosts! Hit them with some glass spray paint and affix some googly eyes to the front and bam, you've got ghosts.

Candy Corn Pinata

Festive cheer comes in the form of a giant piece of candy corn with this craft. Except this one isn't edible – it's a pinata!

Hanging Cage Props

Keep ghastly prisoners in line with these homemade hanging cage props. Follow this guide to make your own!

Skull Candle Holder

Set the spooky mood with these DIY candle holders made with plaster novelty skulls.

Crystal Ball Candlesticks

These nifty pieces of décor may look like something you'd drop $15 on at a big-box store, but you can make them on your own for less!

Hanging Bats

How adorable are these DIY hanging bats? All you need are black socks, hot glue, crafting foam, and a few more supplies to craft your own.

April
23

Creating the perfect home office is more challenging than it might initially seem. You have to find the right mix of comfort and functionality to ensure you can remain productive over the course of eight hours. After all, the rest of your home and its many distractions are just a few steps away. Whether you're new to working from home or you're looking to spruce up your existing workspace, we've assembled some home office design tips to help you.

Select the Right Location

We can't stress enough how important location is when setting up a home office. You're going to spend a lot of time here, so you don't want to pick a cramped, windowless corner. If you can, choose a quiet place with minimal distractions – consider traffic flow, too! How often will your spouse or kids be walking by this space? And if you can set up next to a window with a nice view, even better.

Maximize Your Space

Just as you don't want to feel claustrophobic while working in a tight space, you should also aim to get the most of the space you choose. Before furnishing, consider which items must be readily accessible and determine how they'll fit in your home office.

Match Your Home Décor

This isn't some soulless cubicle you're designing. Let your established style be reflected in your home office! If your home features traditional furniture, warm, wooden finishes will look great in your office. A more contemporary office might feature metal furniture and some striking art. Feel free to add homely touches as well, like a cute mug to hold your pens and pencils or a comfy pillow nearby to put in your chair as needed.

Find the Perfect Desk & Chair

When shopping for a desk, make sure it's big and sturdy enough to support everything you need on it. If you have a dual monitor setup, keyboard, and laptop, you'll want plenty of space for those items, as well as leftover space for other items like notebooks, a mouse, coffee mugs, and other miscellaneous things you might keep on your work desk. Of course, if you're using significantly less, you can get away with a much smaller desk. Finding the perfect chair is arguably more important. Nobody wants to walk around with a stiff back because they sit in an uncomfortable chair for dozens of hours each week. Material – leather, nylon, etc. – is up to personal preference, though you should try to get one that's adjustable if possible.

Personalize Your Space

If corporate gray and beige tones rev your work motor, then by all means, surround yourself with them. Otherwise, take steps to personalize your home office in a way that inspires you. Paint the walls with your favorite color, hang up art or pictures of your family, display memorabilia at your desk; whatever it takes to keep you motivated throughout the day.

Storage & Shelving

An often-overlooked part of home office design is storage. Take stock of paperwork, books, supplies, and anything else you might need to keep track of, then give yourself enough shelving and storage space to safely secure it all.

Avoid Harsh Lighting

Bright overhead lights can do a number on your motivation. Keep that in mind when setting up your home office. If possible, set up shop near a window to take advantage of natural light. Soft lamps can be a great alternative if you're unable to find a good window. Good lighting can also help cut down on headaches and eye strain.

Keep Video Calls in Mind

Does your job require you to be on video with clients or colleagues? If the answer is yes, keep that in mind when setting up your home office. Distractions in your background can quickly and easily derail an important video conference. Many video conferencing platforms also allow for custom or blurred backgrounds.

Make Your Tech Convenient

Try to go wireless as often as you can. Keyboards, mice, printers, and more common office gadgets come in wireless styles and can help reduce unnecessary clutter. Use zip ties, cord winders, tubing, or a wire organizer to corral your unavoidable cables into manageable forms. You can even dress up your cables with pretty fabric covers for an extra splash of personalization.

October
9

Florida weather may not conjure up feelings of a blissful autumn even in October, but to many of us, that doesn't matter. Fall Is Life, after all. Even if the leaves don't put on the same vibrant show as they do in the North and we have to wait a little longer for cooler temperatures, you can still outfit your home with a fall-inspired look to get you in the spirit. Get started with these 11 fall decorating tips.

Pumpkins Everywhere

Whether real or fake, you can't go wrong with pumpkins when decorating for fall. Use them as anchors for large set pieces or space them out throughout your home. Even just a few can create fall vibes anywhere.

fall decorating ideas

Photo Credit | Kindred Vintage

Embrace Warm Colors

Rich hues like brown, burnt orange, green, yellow, and even magenta are great fall colors – especially when you go for the darker shades. Play with patterns and different mixtures to create an eye-pleasing look.

Break Out the Crafting Supplies

Eager for a new crafting project? Tackle this button art candy corn piece or make a turkey out of a decorative gourd. Create your own miniature pumpkin patch complete with DIY sign and handmade pumpkins made from long-sleeve t-shirts. The possibilities are endless!

fall decorating ideas

Photo Credit | Repeat After Me 

Fill up Your Mason Jars

Mason jars are a perfect decorative piece. Fill them up with any number of seasonal item – candy corn, real corn, acorns, just to name a few – and arrange them for an easy DIY piece of décor.

Employ Accents

For areas of the home you don't want to completely redecorate like, say, your bedroom, accents can have just as much of an impact as a full redesign. Mix in throw pillows or other small items with fall colors and patterns to create a pleasing contrast with the rest of the room.

Experiment with Candles

If you're anything like us, all your favorite fall-scented candles have been burning since October 1. But further experimentation with colors can liven up any room. Go for colors like deep velvet or bold green to add a touch of modernity to your autumn decorations.

Wear Your Wreath Proudly

Fall is prime wreath season! Dress up your front door with a wreath basked in rich, warm autumn colors and staples of the season like pumpkins or pinecones.

Make Your Own Centerpiece

You don't have to spend a ton of money for the perfect centerpiece. In fact, you can easily make your own with just a few flowers – go for zinnias, dahlias, chrysanthemums, and other fall blooms – some ornamental grass, and a cute planter to hold it all. For added texture, fill in blank spaces with berry branches.

Design the Perfect Fall Porch

Let visitors know they're entering a fall paradise the second they see your front porch by mixing DIY décor like the ones we've mentioned above with store-bought items like throw pillows and other decorative pieces. Accent your existing outdoor furniture and doors with long garlands, wreaths, larger gourds, lanterns, and more.

fall decorating ideas

Photo Credit | Sugar and Charm

Clad in Plaid

As far as patterns go, it's hard to find a better workhorse in fall than plaid. Plaid's a great tone-setter for all your décor, and you can mix color schemes to spice things up.

Celebrate with Harvest Décor

We've already covered the all-around greatness of gourds, but there's more harvest décor you can employ throughout your home. A simple sheaf of wheat in a decorative jar is the perfect item to dress up a mantel, while stylish cornstalks organized symmetrically next to the front door create a picture-perfect entryway.

September
18

We talk a lot about your home's interior – affordable renovations, minimal decorating tips, even holiday decorating advice – for good reason: it's where you'll spend most of the time in your home! But we never underestimate the importance of curb appeal, and you shouldn't either. A handsome, maintained exterior sets the first impression and makes people want to come inside – especially important if you're selling. But even if your home isn't on the market, these 12 tips will help you boost your curb appeal.

Proper Lawn Care

When the heat's on in the dead of summer, it's hard to find motivation to do yardwork. But trust us: dutiful lawn care gives your home a polished look from the outside. Mow the lawn, rake up leaves, and buzz those weeds down!

Flex Your Green Thumb

While you're out tending to the lawn, add some more vitality and color with plants and flowers. If you don't want the hassle of planting a garden, stick with pots or hanging planters. Place them in windows and entryways to accentuate key points on your home's exterior.

Makeover Your Front Door

You go through your front door every day, but do you ever stop to analyze its condition? If the paint is chipping away or fading, invest in a bold color and give it new life (just make sure it matches the rest of your home). Replace any weathered hinges, locks, or doorknobs, too.

Simple Symmetry

Creating symmetrical patterns around your entryway is another easy way to boost your curb appeal. Arrange matching light fixtures, plants, or other accents to achieve a stylish look that's pleasing to the eye. Image result for pretty front doors

You've Got Mail

Your mailbox is another oft-overlooked accessory contributing to your curb appeal. Repaint it if necessary and fix any broken parts. Or take the easier route and replace it! You can get a new standing or wall-mounted mailbox for as little as $100.  

The Power of Pressure Washing

Dirt and grime is a fact of life for any outdoors area of your home. Especially if you're in a humid state like Florida, you can practically guarantee an invasion of yucky buildup on your hard surfaces and floors. Flush that gunk away by pressure washing your outdoor surfaces.

Clean the Gutters

Scoop all the collected debris out of your gutters, but don't stop there. Scrub the outsides to get them looking freshly installed.

Fix-Up Your Fences

Repair any broken or worn sections of your fencing and give it a fresh coat of paint if it needs it. If you don't have fencing, consider adding some! Even a nice arbor or small sections of decorative fencing woven into a garden can add significant curb appeal.

Walk This Way

Clearly define the walkway to your front door with lanterns, plants, or other decorative pieces framing the sides. Give the walkway a good clean with the pressure washer, or redo it altogether with new pavers. 

The Right Amount of Furniture

It's easy to go overboard with outdoor furniture, and nothing makes your outdoor area appear cluttered more than a bunch of chairs and tables thoughtlessly strewn about. Instead of overdoing it, pick the right amount of furniture (only a few pieces for smaller yards, more for larger areas) and arrange it smartly.

Add Accents

Want to really make your home pop? Accent your color scheme with palette-pleasing trim or window shutters. Shutters come in a variety of styles and materials, allowing you to personalize to fit your home's look.

The Right Way to Fix Your Driveway

A roughed-up driveway might seem like a big project to tackle, but you can actually clean it up without dropping a ton of money or time. Repair any cracks, clean up stains, and kill any weeds infesting the asphalt and it'll look good as new! You can even accent it with stones and other decorations as another major way to boost your curb appeal.

July
12

More often than not, renovating your home sounds like a great idea until you start seeing price tags. The fact is most major renovations are going to cost a pretty penny or two, but there are still projects you can tackle that will refresh your home without having to shell out a ton of money. If you're ready to rejuvenate your house, try one of these affordable home renovations you can make on a budget.

Clean Your Home's Exterior

Know what is sure to make you feel in love with your home again? Charming curb appeal! Cleaning the gunk off your home's exterior is a great first step. Whether you go with a bucket of cleaning product and a brush or rent a pressure washer, restoring the shine to your home's façade will make it feel new again.

Repaint Your Front Door

While you're at it, add some new paint to your front door or exterior accents. Think bold colors if you really want your home to stand out!

Change Your Doorknobs, Handles, and Hinges

They may seem inconsequential, but you'd be surprised how much of a difference it makes to update these small items. Installation is super easy, too!

Create More Kitchen Storage

Lack of storage space is a kiss of death for any kitchen, so don't let this tragic fate befall yours. Take advantage of empty walls by installing open shelving to hold more dishes and cookware. It's a smart solution to a common problem, and it's way more affordable than redoing your cabinets.

Update Your Lampshades

Along with doorknobs and hinges, lampshades probably don't top your list of renovations that matter. But you should update that list, because updating lampshades can liven up an entire room.

Replace Light Switch Plates

Out with the dingy, yellowing light switch plates and in with clean, bright plates. For extra pizazz, go with stainless steel plates for the kitchen or even bathrooms.

Paint the Walls

If it works for the exterior, a fresh coat of paint can bring new life to any room. Painting the walls can even represent a complete thematic change for the room, so feel free to change up the entire décor to match the new wall color.

Install a New Backsplash

Backsplashes are great additions to any kitchen, not just because they look great, but because they can make your kitchen appear as though it's undergone major renovations. You don't even need expensive tools; peel-and-stick tiles are easy to apply and look just as great as the real deal.

Overhaul the Bathrooms

Go all-out with the bathrooms: change the shower curtain, get new decorative towels, swap the rugs, establish a whole new color scheme. On the hardware side, you can install new shower heads with specialty settings, replace your shower door with a more attractive one, and so much more without dropping hundreds of dollars.

Give Your Flooring its Shine Back

No matter how handsome your flooring is, tile, carpet, and wood will wear with time and use. Rather than gut your flooring and replace it with expensive new materials, invest in a good cleaning product specific for your flooring type. A deep clean every few months will keep your floor looking freshly installed.

Install New Curtains or Blinds

Typical vinyl blinds can be basic and drab, so replace them with something a little cozier like wooden blinds. The same goes for your curtains – a simple switch to something bold can make your room feel new again.

Rearrange Your Furniture

Unless your furniture is no longer functional, there really isn't a need to replace it for renovation purposes. Instead, move it around! Creating new spaces and restructuring the flow of the room can accomplish the same result as doling out hundreds for new furniture.

Hang More Mirrors

Mirror mirror on the wall, which room is the fairest of them all? Any room with a few mirrors on display! They'll open the space, making it appear larger and reflect light to brighten it up.

Declutter

Decluttering is just as effective at livening your home as it is at getting your home ready to sell. It gives the illusion of more space while making your home that much more inviting.

Install New Trimwork

Accentuate your walls and doors with new trimwork or crown molding. Whether you go ornate or reserved with your trim choices, this small project can refresh a room in just a few days.

Smarten Your Home

If your home isn't already armed with smart devices, consider installing a few. Just about every aspect of your home can be controlled by a smart device, from thermostats and lights to door locks and security systems. You can even link most devices to a single hub like a Google Home or Amazon Echo for easier control. Technological renovations can be just as important as physical renovations!

Upgrade an Affordable Appliance

A fancy new refrigerator probably won't fit your budget, but a smaller upgrade could! Look for appliances you use often when searching for affordable appliance upgrades, like the microwave or coffee maker.

May
31

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.

Living Room

Throw Blanket

Nothing makes cuddling up on the couch in a new house sweeter than a cozy throw blanket.

Bookends

Readers will love a new set of stylish bookends to spruce up their bookshelves with.

Smart Speaker

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 Fancy Candle

A nice, aromatic candle is a great way to help their new home smell divine.

Coffee Table Books

Tailor these to your homeowner's interests and they make for a fine gift that doubles as reading material and nice décor.

Trinket Dish

These are perfect for catching all the little knick-knacks like jewelry, keys, and other pocket-fillers that otherwise just create clutter.

Key Ring Holder

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!

Bathroom

Bath Towels

A new set of bath towels is a perfect way to celebrate an all-new bathroom.

Shower Speaker

A waterproof shower speaker makes morning routines a little easier with some musical accompaniment.

Bathtub Caddy

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.

Smart Scale

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.

Kitchen

Various Kitchenware

A set of quality dishware or silverware is not only a thoughtful gift idea, but an incredibly practical one, too!

Serving Tray

Whether it's used when entertaining guests or for breakfast in bed, a serving tray is a multifaceted gift.

Cookbooks

They just got a brand-new kitchen, so give your new homeowner new recipes to try with a cookbook or two!

Unique Appliances

Items like, say, an Instant Pot or air fryer are neat additions to a kitchen, and they're practical enough to get used often.

Engraved Cutting Board

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.

Bedroom

Bed Sheets

Pamper your new homeowner with a set of cozy sheets for their bed and they'll be forever grateful.

White Noise Machine

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.

Alarm Clock

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!

April
24

There's a reason the minimalist decorating style has never gone away. It's a versatile look that can transform any room into a warm, welcoming space with just a handful of smart and practical choices. Going minimalist also makes your home look neater, and helps you cut down on the daily chore of tidying up a bit as clutter inevitably builds up. And unlike other styles, minimalism doesn't require a ton of expensive pieces or an interior design degree. All it takes is a willingness to shuffle things in your home around, a little inspiration, and the right guide. Luckily, we've got you covered. Here's how to achieve a minimalist decorating style.

Declutter

There's a single philosophy that connects every aspect of the minimalist style: less is more. So let's start with the amount of stuff in your home. Pare it down! Clutter makes your home feel stuffy, which is the opposite of what minimalism aims for. Display the items you truly love and either put the rest in storage or toss it out. Counters, dining room tables, and coffee tables are areas that often house a ton of clutter, so start there. Assigning your display items a location and keeping them there helps keep clutter down after the initial clean up.

One In, One Out

Another great strategy for staying clutter-free is abiding by the "one in, one out" philosophy. You can read about it in greater detail over at Miss Minimalist, but the general idea is for every new item that enters your house, remove an old one. Bought a new lamp for the living room? Get rid of the old one instead of stuffing it in the corner of another room that doesn't need it. It's simple yet effective.

Quality > Quantity

Remember how we said to only display the items you truly love? Your aim in achieving a minimalist decorating style should be quality over quantity. A small handful of carefully selected pieces will smartly tie a room together in a way that dozens of items shoved together never could.

Stay in Neutral

Bright colors, while lively, are loud and busy. For a minimalist look, you'll want to opt for neutral hues. That doesn't mean you have to settle for stark white walls, though. Mix in different shades of your chosen color to add dynamics. If you're committed to white paint, you can still find one with an undertone of yellow for warmth or blue for crispness, for example.

Embrace Textures

Going with a subdued color gives you more freedom to play with different textures to bring variety to the room. Upholstered furniture, woven elements, items with natural wear, or pieces with a sleek finish are just a few examples of unique textures you can incorporate. Just be mindful not to go overboard; remember, less is more!

Be Natural

For all its strengths, minimalism can at times leave you feeling cold and detached. Combat this by letting in as much natural light as possible by opening the curtains or using light fabrics that let sunlight bleed through. Feel free to incorporate a plant or two, as well! They add tremendous texture and a great sense of warmth.

Accents & Patterns

Minimalism doesn't mean you have to abandon color altogether. Your flashiest decorations still have a place within the minimalist decorating style; they're just going to be used a lot less. Use your more eye-catching decorations like accents to highlight the overall style of the room. The same goes for patterns – work them into your established color scheme without overwhelming. Got any tips of your own for how to achieve a minimalist decorating style? Let us know in the comments!

January
1

Maybe your family grew a bit last year and you need more space. Maybe you're ready to move somewhere closer to work. Whatever your reason for moving on from your current house, how you prep your home to sell makes a big difference in attracting interested buyers. Your home's overall condition includes everything from its curb appeal to the foundation it's built on. That's a broad spectrum, and it can easily overwhelm. But with this post, we'll walk you through some of the most critical steps and teach you how to prep your home to sell.

Deep, Deep Clean

We're not talking about wiping down the counters and vacuuming the carpet – save those for your weekend cleaning routine. When selling is your goal, you've got to scrub, dust, and polish every nook and cranny of your home. Clean behind any pictures hanging on the wall. Wash the inside and outside of all your windows. Scrub the built-up grime from the sides and backs of your major appliances. Dust the ceiling fans. If it's not spotless, clean it until it is! Prospective buyers will be impressed by your home's cleanliness, and they'll be encouraged that you've taken good care of it.

Make Necessary Repairs & Replacements

Drafty door? Cracked windows? Sagging roof? Clogged pipes? Any of these could severely damage your ability to sell your home and should be repaired or replaced. It's also important to determine which repairs are the most cost-effective – these should be your priority.

Organize Cabinets & Closets

During a home tour, prospective buyers are inevitably going to open a cabinet or closet and look around. They may just be checking on the amount of space, but you can bet they'll be unimpressed if it's in disarray. There's no greater time to finally tackle a closet or cabinet rearrangement than when prepping your home to sell. Organization, like cleanliness, shows you've treated your home with care.

Declutter & Depersonalize

Decluttering is a common part of prepping your home to sell, and it's easy to see why. Not only does it create space and open up your home, but it makes it much easier for prospective buyers to see themselves living there without all your junk in the way. Speaking of buyers seeing themselves in your home, now would be a good time to depersonalize. Photos of your kids, family heirlooms, or even just a favorite piece of furniture – all of these should be removed. Don't make prospective buyers feel like they're visiting another family; allow them to envision their own life in your home.

Consider Curb Appeal

Your home's exterior can be forgotten amid deep cleaning and decluttering everything inside. But it shouldn't be, because it's the first thing any potential buyer will see. Don't let them develop a negative opinion of your home before they even make it through the front door. Update doorknobs and locks, paint the front door, and be sure to clean outdoor furniture. Add a few colored pots or plant some flowers for a touch of vibrancy. You want your home's exterior to give potential buyers the same feeling it's given you for years: Welcome home. First time putting your home up for sale? Check out our helpful home-selling guide and make sure you get the most out of your investment.

December
17

For more than 50 years, Watson has been in your neighborhood. And like any good neighbor, we can't wait to show you around. That's why we created The Watson Blog.

If you haven't noticed, we're fresh off launching a brand-new website. One of our goals when designing our new website was to equip it with the features you'd need to feel empowered during your home-buying and selling experiences. Feeling empowered is, among many things, feeling knowledgeable. Know what you want in your new home. Know what to do once you find the perfect home. Know about the neighborhood you're moving into. Our new website has everything you need to obtain this knowledge, and so much more.

The Watson Blog is a natural extension of that. Because while you can find the right house through our new website, The Watson Blog will fuel your creative urge to nail down the perfect décor style and themes for that house with posts about design trends and other forms of home inspiration. Our new website makes it easy to see statistics about that new neighborhood you're venturing into. But The Watson Blog will show you what it's like to live there. Find the local pizza joint with the best sauce-to-cheese ratio or the best yoga spot to achieve zen in the neighborhood guide section of our blog. Discover the best spots to spook up a good time around Halloween or how to plan the perfect gameday experience for your favorite local sports team in our local events section.

And when we say we're in your neighborhood, we mean it. Watson has a presence throughout Florida and southeastern Georgia; from as far north as St. Marys and Jacksonville to as far south as Port St. Lucie and Port Charlotte – and lots in between – The Watson Blog will be there to show you around. So join us as we post new content weekly covering a wide range of topics about all the places you call home. And should you wander into an area of the blog that doesn't have much content, worry not; we'll be fleshing out every section of The Watson Blog with the kind of rich content you want to read over the coming months.

December
12

Everyone loves a well-decorated house for the holidays. Achieving that look, however, can be a chore depending on how you approach it. Luckily, there are a lot of inventive ways to get your house holiday-ready without smothering your house in thousands of lights and shutting down the local power grid a la Clark Griswold. Whether it's your first holiday season in your new home or you're looking for some new ideas, here are 12 easy Christmas decorating tips.

Use a White as Your Base Color

Green and red may be the go-to Christmas colors, but using white as your central colors allows you to truly capture the wintry feel of the season. Plus it makes your other colors pop more dramatically. Think white tree dressings, white ornaments, and maybe even some fake snow.

Utilize All Your Space

Your living room will of course get plenty of decorating love, but it's the holiday season – spread that love around! Add decorations to places you wouldn't expect to see them, like the entryway.

Presents Can Be Décor, Too

After spending hours wrapping them in beautiful wrapping paper, why just keep your presents hidden away under the tree? Popping those delicately packaged beauties around your house make for cute and unique décor.

Give Artificial Trees a Try

We know, we know. This one might be considered heresy in some homes, but hear us out! Artificial trees provide all the warm holiday vibes as a real tree with none of the mess, and they're usually easier to decorate thanks to their bendable limbs.

Pine Candles, Seriously

This one is doubly important if you go artificial with your tree. The pine scent is essential to nailing the spirit of the season, and pine candles allow you to get it in any room.

Nature is Your Friend

Utilizing the existing beauty of nature in your decorations is an easy way to set your house apart. When hanging your outdoor lights, don't just stick to your house. Drape lights on trees, bushes, birdfeeders, and other landscaping features to make your whole property shine. And when you want to create a warm, naturalistic atmosphere with your indoor decorations, incorporate Mother Nature there, too. Pinecones are a natural way to add texture to your décor, and they're plentiful during this time of year.

Go Green

Natural greenery is another easy way to liven up your decorations. Just about any craft store should have an abundance of garlands, wreaths, and other greenery. Add this to your mantle, drape it from your curtains, or just about anywhere you're decorating for a refreshing pop of color.

Think Outside the Box

Of course you'll hang your ornaments and put up the wreaths, but think outside the box to really take your decorations to the next level. Got a nice metal watering pot you use in the summer? It'll make a perfect container for a bouquet of wintry flowers! Think of what else you could use around your house to add some variety to your décor.

Remember to Look Up

Light fixtures go mostly unnoticed until they need a new bulb. Give your guests a reason to look up by decorating your light fixtures! A wrapping of garland or even a few ornaments can make a big difference.

Mail's Here!

While you're decorating outside, take some extra material and spruce up your mailbox. It's a great way to catch your neighbors' eyes and bring some holiday cheer to your local postal worker, too!

Candy Canes are for More than Eating

Candy canes are a Christmastime staple, but these little treats make for a handy piece of décor, too. Hang them on your tree, hook them on a decorative candy dish, or mix them in with your garlands and wreaths throughout the house.

Cookies for Santa

Everyone knows to get the best gifts, you've got to bake some delicious cookies for the big man in red himself. And while Santa sure loves a plate of cute Christmas cookies, it can also add a sense of homeliness to your décor – and your guests will love snacking on them, too! Just don't tell Santa.

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