August 18, 2017

Your Most Powerful Decorating Tool: The Internet

Redecorating used to be most fun for those who had the time to spend poring through interior design magazines, waiting for samples to arrive in the mail, and driving to specialty stores looking for exactly the right item for their redesign.

Today, remodeling ideas and items that would once have taken hours – or even weeks – to obtain are now easily available, thanks to the magic of the Internet. Where once you would have had to locate and drive to a specialty store for items like custom blinds, slipcovers or lighting, you can now browse and purchase a staggering variety of options all from the comfort of your home PC.

Do-it-yourselfers will find plenty of inspiration and inventory online. Here are three interior decorating ideas that you can easily bring to life with the help of some Internet shopping:

1. Buying blinds

Perhaps you remember your mother or grandmother driving from store to store in search of the perfect window treatment. While most department stores have always offered window treatments, in the past the selection has been limited and often pricey. Online resources solve the inventory and pricing problem and spare you a trip to the home improvement store. Websites like Blinds.com offer thousands of cost-effective options, from wood, aluminum and vertical blinds to cell shades, shutters and draperies. Plus, shipping is free.

Changing window treatments is a great way to update the look of a room for a modest investment of cash. And replacing window treatments is one of the easiest DIY projects you can tackle. Online shopping also makes it easy to update your window treatments according to the season. As summer approaches, replace tired old blinds with cellular shades that block heat and ultraviolet rays but still allow light to filter through. When colder months arrive, add a layer of insulation at your windows with lined draperies.

2. Lovely linens

Sure you can find a big selection in terms of style at big box linen stores, but the variety of brands – not to mention lower-priced options – might be lacking. Need especially deep-pocketed sheets for your plush pillow-top mattress? You’ll probably find them in stores, but at a cost that may make you wish you’d bought an air mattress instead. Online, you can find options in every style, color and thread count imaginable – and often at prices that retailers can’t match.

A Google search for “linens” yields nearly 40 million results. Your biggest challenge will be deciding which online merchant to check out first. Some websites specialize in luxury linens, while others offer more basic and practically priced options. You may also find good deals by going directly to the website of a designer you like.

3. Simplifying slipcovers

Long gone are the days when “slipcover” mostly referred to that awful clear plastic covering your grandmother put on the couch to keep the kids and pets from staining it. Slipcovers aren’t just for sofas anymore, according to HGTV.com. You can find slipcovers for ottomans, armchairs, recliners, dining chairs and more – all online.

Modern slipcovers are a great way to change the look of a piece of furniture and the room in which it sits. Cheaper than reupholstering or buying new furniture, adding a slipcover can resurrect a treasured piece that may have worn upholstery but is still in good shape otherwise.

Whether you’re looking to update one room or a whole house, online resources have made redecorating easier than ever. A few clicks of a mouse button can help you quickly create a new look, so you can spend more time enjoying your new decor than you did shopping for it.

 

Roller Or Brush?

home inspector atlantaThe applicator matters for your DIY painting project.

In today’s tight economy, freshening outdated home interiors can seem like a daunting, budget-breaking task. The good news is that you don’t have to spend a lot to remove eyesores such as unattractive paneling, too-dark cabinets or that not-so-charming “retro” fireplace mantel and surround.

Instead of living with these design disasters from another era, there’s an easy and inexpensive fix – paint. Quality interior coatings, applied with the proper applicators, can go a long way in giving those design debacles a quick and easy facelift for hundreds of dollars less than a full-scale renovation.

But before you start your paint project, it’s important to know the key to success is selecting not only a quality coating, but applying it with a quality painting applicator. If an inferior applicator is used, even the most outstanding paint may not provide the smooth finish you desire. Using superior applicators can streamline a variety of interior painting projects, saving you time and money, and ultimately helping you achieve a fabulous end result.

“Paint has long been considered one of the great budget boosters for decorating projects,” says Andrew Marsden, product manager for Purdy  applicators. “When you combine a first-rate paint with a quality painting applicator, you can transform a variety of surfaces – from outdated cabinetry to knotty pine paneling – giving any room in the house a fresh look.”

When to use a mini roller

Premium applicators come in a number of shapes and sizes; however one of today’s most popular choices is the mini roller. Purdy has a variety of innovative mini roller choices that are versatile, lightweight, can quickly and easily deliver a perfect finish with smooth rolling action and have the ability to reach tight spaces. These combined features make them the ideal applicator for an endless number of projects, from painting walls, doors and cabinets, to freshening up tables, chairs and even bedroom furniture.

When to use a brush

Even with all the advantages the mini roller offers, a paint brush is still the hero for most projects especially when trim work is needed. A quality brush is a must when you’re aiming to end up with a professional-looking appearance. Most consumers might not know it’s also important to use a brush that’s the appropriate size for your painting project. So, be certain to keep these tips in mind:

* Use 1- and 2-inch brushes for trim work, touch-ups and smaller projects such as window frames and moldings. Angular 1- and 2-inch brushes are great for painting around windows.

* Choose brushes measuring 2 1/2 and 3 inches for medium-size surfaces such as cabinets, baseboards, doors or steps.

* Paint larger surfaces, like walls, ceilings, and floors with brushes ranging in size from 3 1/2 inches to 6 inches.

“Whether you’re using a brush or mini roller, the right applicator can make or break any painting project,” Marsden says. “By paying as much attention to the size and quality of applicator used, in addition to the paint, you’re guaranteed to end up with a fantastic finished project that you’ll be able to admire and enjoy for years to come.”

Going Green On Your Next Remodel?

home inspector atlantaAdd tile to your green product list!

Are you planning an upcoming remodel for your home? Going green and using sustainable building materials continues to be a top trend in home improvement. Remodeling green isn’t just about using products with recycled content, it’s also about using superior products that will stand the test of time and reduce energy costs.

You can choose from a number of options when remodeling green, including modern energy-efficient appliances and low-VOC paints. Traditional products can also be environmentally friendly. For example, many homeowners choosing to go green are selecting ceramic tile for a variety of reasons.

Ceramic tile is inherently a sustainable product. It’s a great choice because it lasts up to four times longer than carpet and wood flooring. It never needs to be refinished like wood floors do, contributing to a low lifecycle cost. To clean, all you have to use is hot water which means no harsh chemicals are flushed into the ecosystem.

Tile also doesn’t release fumes or fibers into the air like carpet can. Many people dislike carpet because it houses microbes and other germs, and dirt can become deeply embedded, requiring a costly cleaning by a professional. Tile eliminates these issues entirely.

Getting all the great eco-friendly qualities of tile doesn’t mean a sacrifice of good design. Tile of Spain manufacturers offer stunning options in any size, format, texture, color and pattern. From modern, sleek designs to ornate, classic patterns, visit www.spaintiles.info to find tile that will perfectly suit your design personality.

Emerging technology has eliminated some of the concerns people tend to have when it comes to tile. Adding new tile used to be a daunting task. Tearing out old layers and disposing of them is messy and time-consuming. New slim tiles are only 3 to 6 millimeters thick and thin enough to be applied over existing tile, offering a new look to walls and floors with less hassle, and saving construction waste from the landfill.

Tile no longer has to be cold. It’s an ideal product to use in raised flooring and radiant heating. In fact, technological advances now allow for the tile to work in tandem with a home’s HVAC system. High-tech tiles adopt the temperature of the room and once past a certain temperature use nano energy storage cells to absorb thermal energy and then slowly release it back into the room. This technology alone can save the average home more than 16 percent in electricity bills.

Dry setting tile is now an option for home remodelers as well. Tile can be applied without mortar or grout, which means if you move, you can take the tile with you. Or you can change it in a few years without a lot of work.

If you don’t like the appearance of grout lines and worry about keeping these areas clean, there are new options in large format tile which can lessen the number of joints. Additionally, rectification of tile, a process where the edges of the tile are shaved off for perfect calibration, makes it possible to get a very tight “credit card” joint that allows a more seamless appearance.

If sustainability is a key consideration when remodeling, make sure the products you select are durable, easy to clean and are good for the health of your home and the environment. Ceramic tile helps you accomplish all of the above on your green check list.

Tips To Make Your Current Residence Home Sweet Home

atlanta home inspectorAre lower real estate values keeping you in your current home – even though you were hoping to upgrade? Or, maybe you can’t bear the thought of boxing up all your belongings to move? You’re not alone. More homeowners are staying in their current homes, but remodeling with the idea of improving their quality of life and adding more “live-in value,” according to recent research from Consumer Reports.

No matter what your reason for staying put, rest assured; you don’t have to move to get the home of your dreams … just make a few home improvements.

Ooh la la kitchen

Today’s kitchens are no longer a place to simply cook and eat. Your kitchen is the “real” living room – for living, working and entertaining – and the ideal room to improve for added enjoyment.

One project to improve your home and “live-in value” is installing a multilevel kitchen island. Not only does this provide an extra work area, but also an informal place for entertaining guests. Central island cooktops and sinks are another option, keeping cooking and clean-up areas within easy reach.

Tying the overall look of the kitchen together will also help to make a style statement you can live with for years to come. Upgrading to stainless steel appliances is a common choice, especially with the latest technologies – such as built-in flat screen televisions or computers on refrigerators – all with a beautiful high-end finish.

Fashionable faucets

Just think of how much time you spend at the sink, from rinsing fruits and vegetables to filling pots and washing hands and dishes. So why not update this kitchen focal point with a new functional and fashionable faucet? High-arc models with pullout spouts are the most ideal since they allow ample room to fill or clean large pots and pans. Models with multifunction sprays are helpful when washing delicate fruits.

Once you’ve found a model with these useful features, don’t forget about style. Designer finishes, such as stainless steel will give your kitchen a professional look. And, for a designer look that maintains the beauty and brilliance of the faucet’s finish in between cleanings, try Moen’s Renzo pullout kitchen faucet with Spot Resist Stainless finish. This unique finish does just what it says – resists fingerprints and water spots. Moen’s Renzo kitchen faucet is available at Lowe’s.

Storage space explosion

No matter the square footage of your home, accumulating belongings over the years contributes to a lack of storage space. Try to solve this issue by first purging items that you haven’t used within the past six months. Next, you can organize your necessities with a variety of storage systems – from drawer organizers to storage bins. And, if it seems like a task that you can’t handle on your own, hire a company that specializes in organization, such as Closet World, to create a custom-designed solution.

Spa-tacular and sensible baths

Today’s baths have evolved from a task-oriented room to become a private spa. Luckily it’s simple to turn your bath into a private sanctuary. To start, update your current showerhead with a more luxurious and functional design. If you prefer a powerful, full-body spray, perhaps you’d like a rainshower showerhead. Or, if you like options, try a multi-function version that allows you to switch from a relaxing wide spray to an invigorating concentrated spray – or somewhere in the middle. You can find a variety of designs and finishes at your local home improvement store, such as Lowe’s.

And, as in the kitchen, the faucet is a focal point in the small space. Update your current faucet with a new designer style and finish … and with water-saving benefits. Faucets account for approximately 15 percent of indoor household water use – more than 1 trillion gallons across the U.S. each year – so once you’ve found the perfect look, be sure that you choose one that is certified to meet WaterSense criteria.

With these few home improvements you can start recouping your “live-in value” and make your current residence a home sweet home.

Pondering A Pond?

home inspector atlantaCreating a water feature is not as hard as you think.

Vibrantly colored flowers, lush grass and stone pathways are wonderful accents for any backyard. But to truly elevate a backyard to the status of “garden,” few features make a bigger splash than a pond.

Ponds can create a focal point, serve as a restful oasis and add the soothing sound of water to an outdoor space. Many homeowners may shy away from building one, thinking it will be too difficult to do themselves and too costly to hire a professional to build. Yet creating a backyard pond doesn’t have to be difficult – if you prepare properly and use pond supplies that are intended to make the job manageable for most do-it-yourselfers.

“The key effort behind building a pond begins before you ever put a shovel to the ground,” says Doug Ward of TotalPond, makers of high-quality pond supplies and water pumps. “Choosing the right spot for your pond, and planning carefully for how it will look, will help you achieve results that you can be proud of.”

Ward offers homeowners some advice for planning, preparing and creating their own backyard pond:

Go big

For your first effort, you might think you should keep it simple, but playing it safe may not ultimately lead to optimum results. “The number one complaint we hear from homeowners is that, while they love the pond they have, they wish they had built something bigger,” Ward says.

The size, shape and features of your pond need be limited only by your imagination, available space and budget. Your water feature can be a small pool of water with a simple fountain pump or a multi-level extravaganza of pools and waterfalls. Your design can be classic, contemporary, organic or a style that’s completely new – what you end up with will depend on your tastes. In fact, you don’t even have to dig a hole if you don’t want to. It’s possible to create an above-ground pond using pavestones and a liner.

TotalPond provides kits and supplies that make pond-building well within the abilities of most do-it-yourselfers. The company groups products into four easy steps to help you determine what is needed to create your water feature. Pro-grade quality pumps – including waterfall pumps – feature UV bulbs inside that kill bacteria, providing extra algae-fighting help to keep the pond cleaner. You can even incorporate a nice spray and night illumination by selecting an advanced multi-purpose product such as the Pond Boss that pumps, purifies with a UV sterilizer, provides a spray and features LED lights. This product ensures the pond is oxygenated and crystal clear by reducing bacteria and micro-organisms with minimal maintenance. Go to www.totalpond.com for more product information.

Stay practical

Let your imagination run wild within reason. Don’t forget that your location, regional climate, community restrictions, the architecture of your home and the purpose of your pond will all affect your pond-building project.

When choosing a spot in your landscape for your pond, keep these factors in mind:

* Draw a map of your property so that you have a visual of its overall look – and how a pond will fit in with the rest of your landscape.

* Your pond is a living eco-system. If you’ll be adding water plants, most need at least four hours of sun per day, so you’ll need to choose a spot that gets plenty of sun.

* Avoid placing your pond near trees or plants with invasive root systems. Roots can grow under the pond liner and cause damage. And if it’s under trees, falling leaves could block the filter and pump, and decomposing leaves are actually toxic to fish.

Designing and building pointers

Now that you know where you’ll place your pond it’s time to think about what it will look like, and to get down to the business of building it. Keep in mind that how you’ll use the pond, where it’s located and your lifestyle will all affect the design.

If you plan to have fish in your pond, you need to adjust the depth accordingly; goldfish are usually OK in shallow water but koi will need a deeper pond. If the ground in your area of the country freezes in winter, you’ll want to make your pond at least 18 inches deep to protect it. If you live in a densely populated area or have small children, you will need to build a fence into your design for safety’s sake.

Before you begin digging, check your community’s bylaws and find out if any city ordinances govern pond-building. Also, be sure to contact your local utilities by calling 811 to ensure you don’t risk hitting any utility lines while digging.

With planning, the right products and a little elbow grease, you can create a water feature in your landscape – and turn your backyard into a garden that you’ll enjoy for years to come.

Live Large In Your Living Room For $100 Or Less

atlanta home inspectorThere’s a reason we call it “the living room.” We might all spend most of our time in the kitchen, but when we want to relax with family and friends to watch a movie, take in a TV show or just enjoy some good conversation, we head to the living room.

Between the kids playing trampoline on the couch or taking the “throw” in throw pillows literally, the family dog decorating the carpet with her hair, and the overall wear and tear the room gets, it may be hard to imagine living large in your living room anymore. The good news is, refreshing the room and making it a showpiece of your home again needn’t cost a bundle.

In fact, you can give your living room a facelift by making some key changes that each cost $100 or less. From wall decor ideas to furniture fixes, here are some easy, do-it-yourself decorator moves that can update the look of your living room for less than the cost of a designer handbag:

Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize

Just as the right shoes and a bright scarf can add pizzaz to an otherwise so-so outfit, the right mix of accessories can add power and pop to your living room decor. Accessories can also help conceal a host of flaws, from worn-out upholstery to stained carpeting.

Hit a discount home goods store and replace tired accent pillows with new ones in bright colors. Add designer-inspired tiebacks to the same old drapes after you’ve freshly laundered them. Scatter plush throws around the room. Cover carpeting that’s seen better days with an area rug that looks fresh, new and fun.

Back to the wall

She who wields a paint roller well (or is even just reasonably OK with one) has the power to completely change a room – for less than $30 a gallon. Paint is a fast, cost-effective way to make a lived-in room look move-in ready again. And since you spent so little redoing three walls, consider a wallpaper mural for the fourth.

Murals like those found at www.DecorPlace.com can transform any room with a nature mural or images that evoke a tropical getaway, a vibrant cityscape, an undersea wonderland or a rustic Tuscan villa. On the website, you’ll find plenty of easy-to-install murals for less than $100. You can use yours to create a focal point in your living room, accent an architectural feature, make a small space feel more open and airy, or add interest to an otherwise boring wall.

Fire it up

Wish your living room had a fireplace, but find yourself without several thousand dollars to have a real one installed? You can evoke the warm, cozy atmosphere of a fireplace in a number of ways.

Purchase a small chiminea for less than $100 and invest in a pillar candle to place inside it. The candle will create a warm glow (and appealing aroma if you choose a scented one) with less fire risk than burning wood in the chiminea. Just remember to follow good fire-safety practices, and keep children and animals away from all open flames. Spend a little bit more, and you can construct your own faux mantel and place several pillar candles in the hearth area of the mantel.

Furniture fixes

If your wooden furniture is still sturdy but suffering from scratches, dings, dents and watermarks, consider refinishing it yourself. One gallon of wood finish can cost less than $30, and cover a lot of wood furniture. Or, you can check out used furniture stores, flea markets and yard sales in search of gently used items in better condition than what you have. Another option would be to visit a big box store that sells unfinished furniture and do the finishing yourself.

Living large in your living room again is possible, and you don’t have to have the large budget of a home improvement show to achieve it. Some creativity and the willingness to try some fun do-it-yourself projects can go a long way toward making your tired old living room look and feel new again.

Kids Room Decor That’s Easy To Replace When Their Tastes Change

home inspector atlantaDecorating a child’s room is a challenge filled with variables – not the least of which is just how long the room’s inhabitant will actually like walls decorated with fuzzy bunnies or fire engines. In fact, the one thing you can count on is that what your child loved as a toddler is most likely not what she’ll want for her room’s theme when she’s a “big kid.”

While you want your child to be comfortable in his own space, you don’t want to spend a mint if you know you’re going to have to redo the room again in a few years. It makes sense to choose decorating options that are easy to change so that a room’s decor can grow with your child.

Here are some hints for decorating touches that you can easily redo or reverse:

Take it to the walls

The walls are the biggest design element in any room – and, fortunately for parents, they’re one of the easiest things to change. Painting is an easy, cost-effective way to completely change the look of a room. If your son is tired of baby blue walls, take a family trip to the local home improvement store and pick out a new color. Do try to encourage kids away from very dark colors, as those can be harder to cover up the next time you repaint.

Another option is a peel and stick mural.  Products like SmartStick by MuralsYourWay.com allow you to decorate a room without risking the integrity of the walls. Perhaps your daughter is seeking a princess room or your son is hoping for a Disney wall to depict his favorite movie. You’ll find plenty of Disney characters available in easy-to-install and easy-to-remove SmartStick. A patented adhesive allows you to easily place the material on nearly any surface (walls, windows, even doors), pull it down, reposition it, even move it to a different wall – all without damaging the mural or the wall beneath it. Unlike wall decals or wall stickers, the mural does not rip or wrinkle and can be reused hundreds of times. Log on to www.muralsyourway.com to learn more.

The material world

For bedrooms, linens can make a significant design statement. They’re also a flexible, cost-effective way to change a room’s look. Replacing the toddler-themed linens on your tween’s bed with something more contemporary for her age group, may allow you to keep the walls, carpeting and furnishings as they are. Even if you invest in high-end sheets and a comforter, the overall cost of linens will be far less than the expense of completely redoing the room.

Curtains can work the same way. They’re easy to change, and by replacing toddler-themed curtains with something more age appropriate – plus a decorative curtain rod – you can impart a classy, more-grown-up atmosphere to a room for a modest investment.

For a bit more of an investment, consider reupholstering the gliding rocker that’s still sitting in your daughter’s room. The neutral tones or pastel colors might have been appropriate when you were rocking her to sleep as a baby, but she probably has more definitive color preferences now. Rather than discarding or selling the chair, why not add some bold patterned pillows and turn it into a welcoming yet sophisticated-looking spot where she can read or chat on the phone in comfort?

Art and accessories

Table lamps, floor lamps, wall hangings – even decorative faceplates for light switches – accessories can help remake a room’s image without breaking the bank. If your child is old enough to have voiced his desire for a new room design, he’s probably capable of telling you his preferences in terms of accessories and artwork.

Talk to your child about his vision for his room. Maybe he’d like to replace the fire engine theme with an homage to his favorite sports team. It’s easy to find a range of accessories – from waste baskets to bed sheets – that will appeal to lovers of virtually any sport. Whatever the theme your child chooses, carry it throughout with cost-effective accessories.

From peel-and-stick wallpaper murals to freshening old furniture, it’s possible to give a child’s room a whole new look for not much money. And there are many ways to ensure that the updates will be simple to redo when your child’s tastes change again in the future.

Expert Tips For Choosing The Right Fountain For Your Outdoor Space

home inspector atlantaSpanish explorer Ponce de Leon spent many years and covered many miles searching for the fabled “fountain of youth.” Fortunately, you don’t have to go to those lengths to find a special fountain that will transform your backyard into a private oasis. You only need to make a trip to the local garden store.

Water’s ability to relax the human soul is virtually unmatched in the natural world. The gentle sounds of flowing water can wash stress from our lives, restoring and relaxing us. That universal appeal is making fountains more popular than ever with homeowners dealing with the stresses of modern life, including the economy and the need to hold on to and improve the homes they have.

The demand for fountains has led to the widespread availability of traditional designs, and some inspired modern creations by enterprising fountain makers.

“Our fountain category continues to grow,” says designer Peter C. Cilio, creative director of Campania International, a purveyor of garden accessories. “Customers want cast stone fountains, glazed, terra cotta and even light-weight – all types of fountains to bring the sight and sound of water into the garden in an easy, low-maintenance way.”

Jon Carloftis, renowned garden designer, agrees. “Water in the garden is an essential element,” he says. “Adding a fountain to your garden, even a small fountain, is a great investment.”

Here are some simple guidelines from the experts to help you choose the perfect fountain for your garden space:

What’s your style?

The most important consideration to keep in mind when choosing the right fountain is the overall style of your home and garden.

“People who love a beautiful garden are becoming more experienced and comfortable with their own styles and tastes outside,” says Cilio. “Whether you have an urban, contemporary or country garden, the fountain should be compatible with your personal style and the aesthetics of your house and garden.”

Today’s selection of fountains appeals to the broadest of palates, with choices available ranging from traditional European designs to more modern Zen-inspired pieces.

Carloftis reminds homeowners to keep proportion in mind. “It is everything in the garden,” he says. “Choose a fountain that will fit and feel good. And if you go big, be sure to keep it simple.”

Consider your space

Whether it graces a patio or the landscape, a free-standing fountain can be a mesmerizing focal point. The size of the fountain that you choose will depend on the size of your garden space.

“You could have a 4-by-6-foot pocket garden and put a small, beautiful fountain at the end, and you’ve really made an incredible statement,” says Carloftis.

Although fountains can take center stage in the landscape, you might also consider nestling your fountain in a secluded corner of your garden. Tucked away among the plantings, the fountain will not distract from the overall composition.

What’s your desired outcome? Dramatic or Zen?

If creating a highly dramatic effect is your desire, the classic choice is a larger two or three-tiered fountain as a focal point for your landscape. Carloftis suggests Campania’s elegant Newport Fountain, which is a beautiful tiered composition made of cast stone with a lightweight basin for better maneuverability.

If you want something Zen, look for a more soothing effect in water gently cascading over a cast stone ball. Discover the allure of dancing water from a fountain lit at night, while you entertain on the patio or deck. Look for freestanding wall fountains, which include lighting components for dramatic nighttime illumination.

Low or high maintenance

Keeping your fountain clean and free of debris to prevent algae growth and clogging is something to consider when purchasing a fountain. Smaller fountains don’t require as much maintenance as larger fountains. And remember to protect your fountain in winter with a water resistant cover to prolong its life.

Whether simple or ornate, you can create your own private oasis by introducing your own fountain of youth into your landscape or garden.

To view Campania International’s wide selection of cast stone, glazed and lightweight fountains, visit www.campaniainternational.com.

Tips For Making Your Home Office Comfortable And Functional

atlanta home inspectorWhether you start a home business or just work at home, you will probably set aside one room or area of your house to be your office. This is the place where you’ll handle general business, customer relations, shipping and delivery of products and services, payroll and many other details that pertain to your company.

Of course, this room is also in your house, so you want to make sure it looks good in case you have customers stop by, or if friends or relatives stay over.

Setting up your office so that it is functional and looks nice is important, but because you’ll be spending a lot of time in there, you should make it comfortable as well. Here are some tips on how to make your home office functional, yet fun and stylish.

* If you have young children at home, designating your office separate from the rest of your house with a closed door, or a standing partition, can help your children learn that you are “at work” and not to be disturbed unless they have an emergency. If you plan to use your office space for family business as well after work hours are over, consider making a sign indicating you are busy working to hang on the door or partition.

* Your desk probably will be where you spend the majority of time in your home office, which means you need it to match your style perfectly. Your office chair needs to be comfortable, but you also want it to match the decor as well. You can choose a HON Volt or HON Ignition chair, picking from over 30 different fabrics and colors, allowing you to match your decorating scheme and comfort levels. Visit www.officedepot.com/customdesign to see how a HON chair can enhance your home office space.

* Decorate your office in colors and materials that will help keep you operating efficiently, but also allow you to enjoy the time you spend working. For example, yellow is considered to be a stimulating color, orange encourages creativity and green provides a calming influence. Depending on the energy level you would like to have in your office, consider using file folders, binders, pictures and wall paint to bring colors into your office that would enhance your professional emotions and behaviors.

* Keeping your home office picked up is key, especially if you pace while talking on the phone or while brainstorming a business idea. Make sure all your electronic cords are bundled and tucked away under your desk so you aren’t tripping over them while chatting with a client on the phone.

* Get organized with a cubby hole or filing drawer system, which will help keep the paperwork off your home office desk area and also help you find filed information quickly and easily if you were to have a customer catch you by surprise on the phone. These items are available at office supplies store such as Office Depot.

As you get your company up and running in your home office, don’t forget to add little personal touches to make it feel even more comfortable. After all, you might be spending a lot of time in your office, so there’s nothing wrong with having inspirational photos or a desk plant or two to provide you with the pleasant atmosphere you need to get your work done.

Attaining The Perfect Patio In 48 Hours!

home inspector atlantaSpring is a time of renewal with flowers and trees blooming, grass greening and warmer temperatures bringing us back to the outdoors. But before you can begin to truly enjoy the fresh air – there are many updates needed to help your patio areas recover from the harsh effects of old man winter.

Luckily, with a few spring spruce-up projects, you can achieve a patio revival in only a weekend that’s simple, yet looks sensational.

Wash away winter
When we think spring – we think cleaning. No matter what type of patio you may have, pressure washing is a simple way to make it shine. It offers instant gratification as layers of dirt, dust and grime are quickly blasted away. Don’t have a pressure washer? No need to run out and buy one; most rental companies or home improvement centers offer reasonably priced daily rentals. Or it’s an opportunity to visit the neighbors you haven’t seen during the cold months to borrow theirs.

Bring new life to old furniture
Once your patio area is clean, it’s time to bring out the seating. But have your table and chairs seen better days? The outdoor elements can wreak havoc on patio furniture. Fortunately, you can easily turn something ready for the trash into a new treasure by updating it with a coat of spray paint.

To start, lightly sand and clean the entire surface. Next, spray the entire piece of furniture with a new, updated paint color. For metal, wood or wicker surfaces, try Krylon’s Outdoor Spaces spray, or for plastic surfaces, try Krylon’s Fusion for Plastic spray paint. Both products are available in a wide selection of popular colors and finishes and offer superior protection to keep your patio furniture looking beautiful for years to come.

Petals and pots with pizzazz
Finally, it’s time to liven up your patio area with beautiful and aromatic flowers. But just as important as choosing the pretty petals, is planting them in the perfect pot. Terra cotta pots are ideal since they come in a variety of sizes and are inexpensive. For added pizzazz, you can update these planters with a splash of color. You can choose one color for all of your pots or mix it up. This is a great project that allows you to experiment with all of the colors that you love but were hesitant to commit to inside your home. If you change your mind, all you need is a new can of spray paint.

To start, turn each pot upside down on newspaper and spray the pot with your favorite shade of Krylon Outdoor Spaces spray paint. Once dry, you may choose to spray your vibrant pot with a clear, pearlescent or glitter spray to achieve the dazzling finish you desire.

With just these few simple projects, your patio will be festive and fashionable in just a weekend’s worth of work. For more information on other products or products from Krylon, visit www.projectsinacan.com.