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How to Make Your Home More Inviting


An inviting home is one that reflects who you are at heart, displaying the objects that you love, and making comfortable, aesthetically pleasing and beautiful items central to your home. An inviting home will encourage friends to stay longer and help you family to feel content.


Steps


1. Make use of artwork. Whatever your preferred form of art, adding artwork to your home is a great way to attract attention and keep people enthralled. Paintings, pictures, photos and sculptures can all enhance the home environment. Fill up a bland wall, cover a boring mantelpiece and strategically place an three-dimensional item on the coffee table. These will create warmth, add color and serve as excellent conversation starters.

2. Add soft furnishings to your sitting areas. Encourage people to want to come in and sit down by using comfortable seat cushions, large pillows and cozy throws. Dress up a cool sofa with a warm blanket in the wintertime and remove it in the summer. Always think of comfort as the top priority.

  • A few large floor cushions and beanbags will always be welcomed by those who like lying on the floor––kids, pets, flexible adults and dreamers will all take the opportunity to use these pieces!
  • Add rugs. Rugs add warmth, color, comfort and style to a home. It's hard to resist sitting on a comfortable rug, especially when a kid, dog or cat curls up on it with you.


3. Add scents to the home. There are many ways to create a deliciously scented home, depending on your preferences. Here are just a few:

  • Use scented candles. Candles provide a sense of warmth and comfort. They add a deep glow to the area they're in, helping to add ambiance. Choose candle colors to match the room and scents that you love the most. Candles can be placed on a shelf or mantelpiece.
  • Place potpourri in your room. Make your own or purchase some, in scents that you like. This can be placed in any room, but try to match the season, such as spicy scents for autumn and winter, floral scents for spring and woodsy or citrus smells for summer.
  • Use room sprays. Make your own or purchase them, and use whenever you feel the room needs a scent lift. Try to find the ones made from basic natural ingredients if purchasing them; chemically produced scents don't have the same pleasant smell to the nose.
  • Add some scented flowers to your home. These might be cut flowers or flowers growing in a container, that's up to you. There is an incredible range of delightfully scented flowers available, so experiment to find out which ones fit your home and natural sensibilities the best.
  • Use the stove to send forth delicious scents. Bake a cake or bread, heat up coffee, cook spices in a saucepan. All of these will send forth a heavenly scent into your home.


4. Add plants. Enliven your home with the beauty and freshness of plants growing in containers. Choose plants that thrive indoors; even better, look for plants that also benefit you, such as cleansing the air or eating the indoor insects.

  • If you'd like your plants to be fixing your indoor air, check out How to use indoor plants to remove harmful chemicals.


5. Add decorations. For every seasonal event you enjoy and participate in, get right into the spirit and decorate your home with the relevant decorations. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Eid-Al Fitr, Halloween, Easter, Diwali, July 4th, national days, the Chinese New Year and so on, there are decorations for every event. You can also celebrate other things you care about, such as family togetherness, your love for animals, a sports event or personal celebrations such as birthdays, graduations and achievements.

  • Decorate in the lead-up to the occasion. It's always nice to have a build-up of happiness in the lead-up to the certain day, week or occasion. The decorations will increase the inviting factor of your home markedly.


6. Use family photos. These turn the house into a home, showing outward signs of the loving life lived within the house. Photos can tell stories, provide conversation focal points and pique the curiosity of the visitor. Be prepared to answer questions guest ask about photos and be proud of the photos you've lovingly arranged.

7. Add bits and pieces. Nick-knacks are a great feature of an inviting home. They can consist of many fun things, including:

  • Displays of collectibles. Always an interesting curiosity to encourage conversation, exclamation and interest.
  • Jars of 'things.' Jars of things (candy, beads, letters, etc.) make your home feel interesting.
  • Paper scraps. Have a pin board of all the lovely bits and pieces of paper paraphernalia that have piqued your interest.
  • Keep some favorite old toys on a shelf or in a glass-fronted cabinet. These can represent the children (and adults) at different stages of their life, and make for wonderful conversation starters as well as being nostalgic reminders.


8. Have plenty of books. Bookcases with lots of interesting books are a feast for the mind. Guests will be intrigued and keen to pick them up and read the prefaces. Book collections can tell a lot about the inhabitants of the home and are definitely a great source of conversation.

9. Add teapots. Although the teapot might seem like an unusual suggestion, they make your house... cuter! They also have a functional purpose in suggesting that it's time to sit down and share a cup of tea, a conversation and some fine time together. Of course, you can include some coffee pots too, if you like.

How to Enhance Your Home's Interior


Enhancing your home's interior involves using items of particular interest to the home's owner(s) to showcase the owner's personality. By surrounding one's self with these "Items of interest," one showcases to visitors a home that is both unique and interesting. Visitors will be both "Drawn in" and captivated by the "Personal feeling" the home exhibits.

Steps


1. Find a style. The first step toward enhancing your home should be to determine the style that most reflects your personality (Ex. Outdoorsy, Classic, Modern, etc.)

2. Collect items. Once this style is determined, begin to collect art, knick knacks, fabrics, and textures that display your interests.

3. Experiment with various placements of these objects to see what appeals to you the most and what will "Draw in" your visitors (Ex. Try moving lamps to different locations to showcase various lighting, or place throws on various pieces of furniture to add warmth and texture to your room.)

How to Make a Ceiling Look Higher



With more people living in apartments and spec houses these days, low ceilings have become a common design problem. There are lots of architectural ways to increase a room’s size, but that isn’t always possible. By using a few tricks with paint and decor to redesign the room from top to bottom, you can give the appearance of a higher ceiling without physically increasing the height.

Method 1: Painting the Room


1. Paint the ceiling white or a light color. Painting is one of the cheapest ways to make a big change to a room. Light colors are always recommended for small rooms or low ceilings.
If you prefer dark walls, avoid using white on the ceiling. This creates a horizontal line that will make the ceiling look even lower. Try painting the ceiling a few shades lighter than the walls instead.
Pale blue or aqua tinted ceilings give the illusion of distance and will make ceilings look further away.

2. Choose a matte finish for best results. Color is not the only aspect of the paint that can contribute to the apparent height of the ceiling. A matte finish hides flaws and draws focus away. A glossy finish creates a reflective surface with benefits similar to a mirror but can also show imperfections.

3. Paint the crown molding. By painting it the same color and sheen as the wall, you can give the appearance of pushing the ceiling up a few inches. If there is a big difference in ceiling and wall color, choose a shade somewhere in between for the crown molding.

4. Paint vertical stripes. The more contrast between the colors of the stripes, the bigger difference it will make.
Besides painting, there are lots of other ways to get stripes on the wall. Wallpaper and paneling work well too. You can even use washi tape.

Method 2: Styling the Walls and Windows


1. Construct vertical patterns with wall hangings. By placing artwork and framed pictures vertically and in a linear pattern on the wall, you can create more visual interest upward. The more vertical shapes in the room, the greater illusion of height.
Place items as close to the ceiling as possible. For a more dramatic effect, choose one large vertical item to accentuate the height.

2. Use mirrors to increase light. Mirrors are often used to make rooms look bigger by reflecting light and giving the appearance of an ever-expanding room. By hanging a vertical mirror or even leaning it against the wall, the same effect can be made on the height of the room.
Again, one large vertical mirror positioned close to the ceiling will have the most benefit.

3. Install window treatments close to the ceiling. Make sure that the curtains reach the floor or even pool at the bottom for an even greater appearance of height.
Use a bold pattern on the curtains if it is the the only pattern in the room to accentuate the height.
Another option is to remove window treatments altogether to increase light. You’ll have to consider the loss of privacy or use of blinds with this option

4. Position shelves near the ceiling. Not only will you draw the eye upward, you will also open valuable floor space by creating storage off the ground. You can increase the height interest by adorning the shelf with bold pieces like large colorful vases.
Extra precaution should be taken with shelving installation, especially overheard. Make sure you level the shelf and anchor it to a stud to avoid injury.

Method 3: Decorating the Room


1. Use low profile furniture. This technique will increase the actual space from furniture to ceiling and make the ceiling look higher. Large, bulky furniture will make the space seem closed in and less spacious.
Be deliberate in what you buy to furnish a room with a low ceiling. Make each piece count and consider lighter colors to really open up the space

2. Add uplighting. Install sconces or wall lights to draw the eye upward. Even a well-placed lamp can make a ceiling look higher.
Position lights to shine toward and up the wall when possible to create more reflective light and attention upward.
Avoid pendant lights and the use of overhead lighting which bring the focus downward

3. Accessorize with tall items. Branches, candles, and large vases that reach upward toward the ceiling are great at drawing the eye upward. Place these items in the corners of the room to create high corners and maximize the height all around.

4. Place a bold rug on the floor. When in doubt, distract. Use the bold pattern to draw attention away from low ceilings. Similar to the window treatments, avoid too many patterns in the room. If you decorate with a bold rug, keep the rest of the room simple.

How to Make Your Home Elegant


Elegance is subjective, just as beauty is. However, there are some basic principles of elegance which all of us can identify and can differentiate how one home is more elegant than the other. A beautiful space that you reside in is a reflection and extension of you, what you are and what you love.

Steps


1. Select a color theme. Selecting a color palette of perhaps 2-3 main colors and 3-4 complimentary colors. For example, you might choose as main colors cream, brown and green. The complimentary colors could be a few shades lighter or darker from "cream, brown and green" such as champagne, ivory, beige and pastel green. Stay away from harsh colors or any color that heavily contrast other colors, unless you are aiming for contrast for a particular feature or reason.

2. Choose the main items in the rooms in that color palette. Main items include major furnishings such as shelves and sofa, plus the room itself, in the form of paint and carpet.

3. Add enhancements such as green leafy plants, photo frames, or drapes.

4. Create a focus in the room. This central point or feature should be the thing that draws the eye or starts conversations when visitors enter. It might be a very elaborately framed mirror, an eye-catching painting, an unusual couch, a wall of pictures. Let just one thing be the sole attraction of the room and everything else blend and support it.

  • When there is too much going on in a room, it becomes busy, creating a stressful, rather than unified, look.


5. Keep clutter out of sight. Clutter includes the mail, shopping catalogs, and anything else that is not either pleasing to look at or serving some immediate purpose. Set rules about how there should only be five items on the table or any counter. Don't let anything dangle or have too many display items and trinkets.

6. For things that you regularly use, still keep it out of sight as much as possible. Try to group things together. For example, keep remote controls in a beautiful basket so that only one item will be seen on the coffee table. Keep magazines in an opaque holder where one can easily access them on the sofa but you can only see the number of magazines when you look from the top. On your make-up table, only display favourite perfumes and gather all your cosmetics into a basket. The idea is that you have easy access but maintain a unified, simple look. Choose cabinets, bins, or baskets that cover and contain. If you choose glass cabinets, plan to keep the contents in order. Clutter only interrupts the flow of the space.

7. Select beautiful, meaningful things and use them to give the home a soul. A beautiful, elegant home is one that shows that it is loved and well thought of. Stay away from zen looks, or overly minimalistic kind of decorating. Those belong to corporate offices where there is a very sharp, 'switched on' feel as opposed to a relaxed, cosy, warm environment. The key is stringent selection. Depending on the space you have, select a couple of favourite things that gives you great memories or might be a lovely conversation-starter—things that you'll love to share with others. Perhaps you might display a beautiful vase of freshly-picked flowers in your garden that might be the centre piece of your dining table, some unique treasures collected on your travels, or works of art that you or a friend have done.

8. Keep things clean. Draw up a system for housekeeping and refer to it until it becomes automatic. Write daily, weekly, fortnightly and monthly tasks.

  • Pay attention to rubbish—never leave it till it's overflowing.
  • If you cook a lot, ensure that the smells don't stay and spill out to the other rooms and keep your home smelling nice.
  • Avoid getting stains and remove the ones you get. With clutter out of the way, you will be wonderfully surprised how much easier housework and maintenance gets.


9. Keep it simple. Stick to a few selected styles and avoid anything that looks too opinionated, complicated or that might be rude.

  • Avoid posters of celebrities. Use posters only if they are elegant and can be elegantly framed)
  • Use joke and novelty items sparingly, if at all. This includes things like joke calendars and novelty appliances (telephones, kettles).
  • Avoid items emblazoned with advertising or brand names.


10. Ensure your house is always airy and well-lit, preferably with natural light and in the evening with a soft warm glow. Lighting in a home makes and breaks the quality of elegance. In reading areas, make sure that there is enough light. Choose lamps that make sense, fit your style and theme, and aren't too gimmicky. If in doubt, choose simple designs.

  • Pay attention to wires and ensure they are hidden as much as possible. Otherwise, place them near sockets in order to prevent someone tripping over them.


11. Wires. In our modern day and age, we use more appliances than before, and the wires and connections don't make for attractive.

  • Go wireless wherever you can. #*Choose items with inbuilt wires and places to wrap up cords.
  • Conceal cords, being sure to handle electrical wiring safely.
  • Run wires and cables as neatly as possible by bundling them, tying them along the underside of furnishings, etc.

4 Kitchen Cleaning Tutorials You'll Be Happy to Know


Cleaning your kitchen can be a daunting task. With all of the appliances we have in our kitchens now, as well as greasy vents and clogged drains, keeping your kitchen clean can feel overwhelming. The good news is, it doesn't have to be stressful at all! These 4 cleaning tutorials will help you get your kitchen clean from top to bottom with just a few household ingredients and very little work!

Things You'll Need


  • Baking soda
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Clean cloth or paper towels
  • Water


How to Clean a Blender

Blenders are used for so many things now, like making smoothies, mixing salad dressings and marinades, and even making soup. Cleaning them with a scrub brush in the sink isn't necessary, you can let the blender do all of the work instead! Use this method to clean your blender after each use.

Start by adding water to the fill line and 1 teaspoon of dish liquid to the blender.

Place the lid on the blender and pulse about 10 times. The blender will mix the soap and water, allowing it to clean the blades and every corner of the inside of the blender.

Pour the soapy mixture into your sink and rinse well with warm water.

Your blender will be clean and ready to use again!

How to Clear a Clogged Drain

Kitchen drains can get clogged with food particles and other items. If your drain gets clogged, just grab some baking soda and vinegar, and clear it in seconds! Use this cleaning method each time your drain gets clogged.

Start by pouring 1 cup of baking soda into the sink drain.

Next, pour 1 cup of vinegar into the drain.

The baking soda and vinegar will start to fizz and help clear the drain quickly

Rinse your drain with hot water and it should be all clear!

How to Clean Stove Hood Filters

Whether you have a hood over your stove or a microwave, your stove hood should have filters. Those filters can become really dirty and sticky over time. The filters are typically metal and usually won't come clean with just a sponge and warm water, but no fear... this trick will help you get those filters clean in no time! Stove hood filters should be cleaned every 6 months to keep them in good working order.

Start by placing the filter in a casserole dish or your sink, and add a generous amount of dish liquid to the dish.

Next, cover the filter with hot water.

Let it soak for 10 to 15 minutes.

Use a scrub brush to remove loosened grease and food particles.

Rinse your filters with warm water, and put them back in place.

How to Clean a Toaster

Toasters are one of the most used appliances in our kitchens, and they can get pretty sticky and dirty. The outside of the toaster isn't the only part that needs cleaned though... the inside of your toaster can collect lots of crumbs and burnt pieces of bread, which can become a fire hazard. It's super easy! Clean your toaster at least once per month.

Begin by spraying the outside of the toaster with distilled white vinegar and wipe down with a clean cloth or paper towel.

Next, pull out the crumb drawer at the bottom of the toaster. If you have an older toaster, there may be a latched door instead of a drawer that can be opened. Dispose of any crumbs or burned pieces of bread.

Finally, turn the toaster over and shake out any left over crumbs.

Cleaning your toaster once per month will help extend the life of your toaster and keep it safe for your family to use!

9 Smart And Easy Ways to Remove Stains from Stuff in Your Home


Stains are the worst. Luckily, you'll soon be well-equipped to combat even the meanest stain, no matter where it appears in your home. Whether you're dealing with tough laundry spots or a dreaded wine spill on white carpet, use this handy guide the next time you find yourself stumped on a stain and watch it fade away for good.

Remove Butter Stains with Dish Liquid


No need to skip the bread basket at the next important client lunch, it is a mere opportunity to test out your new DIY stain fighter.

Remove Stains Using Hydrogen Peroxide


Hydrogen peroxide does it all, or so it seems. Not only is it an effective antiseptic and disinfectant to have on hand, but it can also be used mixed with other common household ingredients as a fairly inexpensive stain fighter for any tough cleaning job that may come your way.

Remove Stains from White Sinks


There is a simple and all-natural way to clean a white sink and remove stains, too, just waiting to be discovered by you. We're happy to facilitate.

Remove Laundry Stains


There are so many commercial products that claim to be the best, but you really only need two household ingredients to remove even the toughest laundry stains with ease.

Remove Hard Water Stains From a Toilet Bowl


Skip the potent bleach products that can actually make your problem worse. In fact, most over the counter cleaners won't be able to combat hard water stains at all. That's right, the answer is a simple, chemical-free DIY solution.

Remove Stains on Bakeware


Don't toss your old bakeware! Instead, try a few household tips to remove old stains and restore the look of your kitchen items to their shiny metallic glory.

Remove Carpet Stains Using Shaving Cream


This utilitarian cleaning hack will show you how to clean a carpet stain using plain ol' white foam shaving cream, so you'll pretty much never be stuck with carpet stains again.

Get Kool-Aid Out of White Carpet


A Kool-Aid spill on white carpeting is anything but cool. Don't waste time wondering how to tint the rest of your living room carpet to match the cherry red stain, read this easy tutorial for what to do instead.

Get Ink Pen Stains Out of a Couch


No matter how an ink pen stain managed to get on your upholstered couch, the bottom line is that you want it gone. Good thing ink stains can be successfully removed from a couch in no time.

Surprising Things You Can Clean With Your Vacuum (But You Never Knew You Could)


Vacuums aren't just for cleaning carpets and floors anymore. There are many surprising things that you can clean using your vacuum, but never knew you could! Miele HomeCare Collection vacuums come with some amazing attachments, including two additional accessories: the Universal Dusting Brush and the Flexible Crevice tool. Each attachment can be connected directly to the handle as well as to the telescopic wand to get that closer clean you’ve been looking for. So now you can use your vacuum to clean your home from top to bottom, and banish dust and dirt from every nook and cranny. It's sure to become your favorite household cleaning tool.

Sofas and Chairs

Your sofa and chairs are likely to be used more than any other piece of furniture in your home. They can become an unwanted haven for dirt, crumbs and pet hair. It's easy to clean your sofa and chairs using the upholstery tool. To clean under the cushions where crumbs and dirt can gather, use the flexible crevice tool.

When to Clean: Give it a good vacuum weekly.

Mattresses

The upholstery tool can also be used to clean your mattresses, which can hold not only dust, but dust mites that can cause allergies and asthma. To freshen your mattress, sprinkle it with baking soda and vacuum after 10 minutes.

When to Clean: Vacuum both sides of your mattress as well as your box spring once every six months.

Delicate Surfaces

The dusting brush is a handy tool that can be used to gently clean delicate surfaces like lamp shades, wicker baskets, fabric bins, and silk plants and flowers. The soft bristles will help to gently loosen any surface dust, while the vacuum pulls away the dust.

When to Clean: It's a good idea to clean these delicate surfaces every 1 to 2 months to remove dust, pet hair and cobwebs.

Curtains

Cleaning curtains is a breeze when you use your vacuum. There is no need to take them off of the rod for cleaning if you use the universal dusting brush. Simply vacuum your curtains from top to bottom, allowing the natural bristles to do the work for you!

When to Clean: You should clean your curtains once a month to keep dust buildup and allergens at bay.

Ceiling Fans

The universal dusting brush can also be used on ceiling fans. The adjustable swivel joints allow the brush to pivot so you can efficiently clean the tops of your ceiling fan blades as well as the bottoms of each blade and around the edges. Don't forget to vacuum the fan's motor as well, where dust and cobwebs can settle. This tool also works wonders on oscillating fans, pulling the dust and debris from in between the cage that surrounds the fan blades as well as the blades and motor in the back.

When to Clean: Cleaning your fans once a month will help keep dust and allergens from being dispersed around your home when fans are in use.

Closets, Drawers and Cabinets

One of the most forgotten areas to clean are those areas that we don't really think about, like our home's closets and drawers. You can easily remove any dust and debris that can accumulate in the nooks and crannies of your drawers and closets using the crevice tool. This tool makes cleaning tight spaces a breeze! You can also use the crevice tool to clean the insides of kitchen cabinets and drawers, as well as bookcases, entertainment centers and desk drawers.

When to Clean: These areas should be cleaned every couple of months.

Lint Trap Compartment

The most important thing in your home that should be vacuumed often is your dryer's lint trap. Lint is highly combustible, and can easily cause a fire. While cleaning your lint trap in between uses of your dryer can help deter fires, it's a good idea to clean your dryer's lint trap compartment thoroughly as well. To clean this area, simply remove the lint trap from your dryer and set aside. Attach the flexible crevice tool to your vacuum and use it to clean the area thoroughly, removing any lint or debris that may have bypassed the lint trap. The flexible crevice tool's length enables you to clean difficult to access, narrow crevices like the lint trap compartment of your dryer, and it can also be used to clean your dryer's vent hose.

When to Clean: Be sure to clean this once a month.

Using your vacuum to remove dust and debris from every part of your home will help keep allergies at bay and leave your home smelling and feeling fresh and clean all year round!