Creative Ways to Organize

As we approach this new year, many of us will take this as opportunity to make some changes.  Some of these changes may include de-cluttering and organizing our surroundings.  Here are a few tips to get you started.

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A good way to store your utensils is to store them vertically in a deep kitchen drawer

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Attaching under shelving in your cabinet is a good way to use vertical space.

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Label your electric cords so that you know what belongs to what

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A good way to keep your linens together is to store matching sheets inside of their pillowcases

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Hanging baskets on rails is a creative and fun way to store items

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Choosing Your Paint Finish

You’ve chosen your paint colors and now you have one last decision to make – what finish?  Should you choose a flat or satin finish?  Before you make that choice, here are a few tips to help you decide on the perfect paint finish for your interior home applications.

Matte/Flat Finish
This paint finish is only available in latex paint. It is the least shiny finish available and doesn’t clean well.   This application is not recommended for kitchens or any space that has high traffic.  It is a good finish to use if you have to camouflage small wall bumps, cracks or other imperfections for this paint finish does not reflect light.  This type of interior paint has a matte surface. This paint finish is usually used on interior walls. While some flat paints are advertised as washable today, you may need to touch up scratches or marks by covering with a bit more paint, so be sure you keep some on hand after you’ve finished painting.

Eggshell Finish
An eggshell finish has a very low sheen to it.  This option is very favorable to use in interiors because it provides a low luster, but does not exaggerate imperfections in your wall. It also cleans up better than a flat finish and can be wiped down with a wet rag.  This finish is a popular option in bathrooms, kitchens and other high traffic areas.

Satin Finish
Satin finish is the most popular.  It has a smooth, velvety look with a bit more sheen than an eggshell finish.  This finish is a good option for woodwork, walls, doors, trim, hallways, interior walls and ceilings.  It is particularly suitable for areas with a lot of traffic.  This paint finish is formulated to hold up to cleaning and light scrubbing.

Semi-Gloss
Semi-gloss paint is tougher than eggshell and satin and will show less wear.  It does reflect more light when dry so it is important that your surface not have any imperfections for they will become highlighted with this finish.  It is most often used on doors, trim, and cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms. It is easily cleaned and lays down a nice, subtle shine, without being too glitzy.

Glossy
A high gloss finish has a very shiny, almost reflective quality to it and can mimic the look of enamel or plastic.   It is very stain resistant and scrubbable.  This finish can be used for window and door trim, cabinets, furniture and walls if you are wanting a more glamorous look.    However, it is very important for your surface to be very smooth and even, for this finish will magnify any surface imperfection.

satin finish

Honed vs. Polished Marble: Which Option is the Best for You?

 

 

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Look and Feel
A polished finish gives the smooth surface a shiny, much glossier look.

Characteristics:  The polish of the marble withstands stains better.  However, the reflective properties of the finish makes it more prone to scratches.

Suggested Application: Using polished marble on areas with high foot traffic is something to take into careful consideration.  Due to its glossy surface, it can become very slippery.  A popular option would be to use it for bathroom counter tops, fireplaces and walls.

Maintenance and Damage Repair: Unlike honed marble, polished marble does not require as much re-sealing. As is with honed marble, you must immediately wipe off any stains because certain substances will etch the surface, like toothpaste, for example. Use water, mild bleach solution, and a small brush to clean your polished marble. Brushing too roughly or using a detergent with too much ammonia can damage the finish

 

 

 

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Look and Feel: Honed marble lacks the shiny and reflective qualities of polished marble.  It has a more satin finish and is smooth and velvety to the touch.

 Characteristics:Honed finish is scratch resistant due to it lacking the glossy surface of a polished marble. Therefore, when honed marble does get scratched, it is not obviously reflected when light hits it. Consequently, honed marble soaks up liquids spilled during cooking faster and easier.

Suggested Application: Since honed marble is resistant to scratching and less slippery when wet, it is popularly used in high-traffic areas, including floors for the bathroom, living room, foyer, and even kitchen counters.

Maintenance and Damage Repair:  Once liquids spill on the surface of a honed marble, wipe it off immediately. Try to avoid using regular soap because it will seep through the surface and darken its color.  It is best to use a mild household detergent with bleach.

5 Holiday Decorating Tips

1. When decorating for the holidays, try to establish a theme and style that works with the décor and design of your home.  This will help your space look more cohesive.

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2. Try to limit your holiday color palette.  Having a wide array of colors can become distracting and does not provide cohesion to your space.  Limiting your holiday color palette three to four colors is best and try to choose colors that works well with your existing décor.  Silver, blue and white; red gold and brown, or green, gold and silver are all pleasing color combinations.

Color Palette

 

3. Allow all of your senses to experience the holidays.  Baking fresh cookies makes your home feel warm and cozy.  Scented candles and potpourri in your communal spaces provides a very inviting feel.

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4. Home crafts can be a fun family tradition that can involve the kids. Purchase ready made wreath of greens and decorate it.  You can use all sorts of craft items, such as ribbons, pine cones, crystals and beads to decorate it.  It’s a fun activity and creatively yours!

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5. Rearrange your furniture to accommodate your guests during this festive time of the year.  Creating different seating spaces within an area to better facilitate circulation can be key.  You want your guests to feel comfortable and not crammed in your space.

Seating Areas