Redecorating Grandma’s Home

Earlier this year my grandma reached out to me about wanting to redecorate her home.  She said she had been itching for a change and wasn’t quite sure how to go about it.  This sounded like the perfect project for me.  I love design and using my creative passion to redecorate and redesign.

I got together with my grandma and we discussed some different styles she wanted to incorporate.  I was surprised when she said she wanted to go with a more modern look – but it sounded like a fun project!  She said she wanted to get started the following week while her senior care partner was out of town.

The following Monday I drove over to pick her up and we headed out to a local White Plains, NY home goods store.  Browsing the store we found some great wall decorations that she wanted to use in her home.  She also spotted a new comforter for her bed and a rug to match.  I could tell she had a ton of energy and was so excited to be out preparing for a transformation.

After the home goods store, we headed to a home improvement store to pick out some new paint for her walls.  She wanted to repaint bother her bedroom and living room.  For the living room, she wanted to replace the plain white walls with a warm and welcoming golden yellow.  For her bedroom, she was replacing the outdated cream color with a cool, light blue color.  Before we left the home improvement store we picked up some new brushes, painter’s tape, and plastic lining.  We were both anxious to begin our project.

We spend the next few days painting, reorganizing, and decorating.  By the end of the week you could hardly recognize grandma’s house as the one I grew up in!  Everything looked fresh and rejuvenated.  When her senior caretaker finally returned she was amazed at all of the work we had done she was shocked.

Even though we only worked on the living room and her bedroom, the house looked new and modern.  Next, I think my grandma wants to redo her kitchen.  I think that project will take a little bit more planning considering that she wants to replace all of the appliances and countertops.  Oh well, I’m happy to help her out any way that I can!

The Advantages Of Hiring A Moving Company

Moving house usually requires more time, effort and physical strength than most people expect. Although there are costs associated with hiring a moving company in Jacksonville FL, the advantages more than compensate for this. Take some of the facts below into account, before deciding to move house on your own.


One of the biggest advantages of using a professional moving firm is that they will provide insurance for your belongings. Typically, this is specified in their terms, and it will protect the value of your transported items to a certain extent. You will be able to purchase additional insurance cover, if you believe that the standard cover provided is insufficient for your needs.


It should go without saying that hiring a moving firm is far more convenient than trying to do everything yourself. All you have to do is tell them your requirements, read their conditions, then sign an agreement. After this, the firm will get all your belongings packed and transported to the new location safely and quickly. You need not concern yourself with the smaller details, because the firm can pack and move even delicate belongings with good attention to care. Moving professionals are experts at packing up large quantities of items fast, without any need to be supervised. Happily, this will free up your time to manage other parts of your house move – like informing relevant parties of your change of address, and learning more about your new neighborhood.


A professional moving team is accustomed to transporting heavy furniture every day of the week. In the event that you encounter narrow gaps or steps at your new or old residences, they will be more equipped to deal with it. Moving firms possess the required equipment to transport heavy items. This, combined with their expertise, is key to ensuring that everything goes smoothly. Better still, a professional team enhances the safety element too, because they lower the chance that you will suffer any injuries on the day of the move.


Perhaps surprisingly, hiring a moving company is affordable for the majority of people. Partly, this is due to the fact that you can forgo purchasing the packaging materials, which are needed to safely move your items to their new location. Wooden and cardboard crates, packing tape, foam peanuts and bubble wrap will all need to be bought before you can get your belongings packed. Also, if you miscalculate and buy too much packaging material, this will be money down the drain. Happily, this is not something you have to worry about if you hire a professional mover. They will supply their own packaging materials and use any leftover materials on a different job.

Home Remodeling

stylish-kitchenAt last, our home renovation ends tomorrow.  It’s about time! It’s been a drawn out and stressful project.  Contractors have been in and out of the house for weeks now.  Most of our home has been out of commission for most of the time an dust has covered everything.  But it’s finally coming to a close.

Since buying the house twenty years ago, we’ve always wanted to change some things, but never have gotten around to it.  A few months ago, we decided that it was finally time to go ahead with the project to have our entire downstairs remodeled.  This includes the kitchen, the living room, the dining room, and the powder room.

Over the years our home began to feel boring, so we decided to make a change.  The first thing we did was knock down the wall separating the kitchen from the living room, which opened up the space.  The two rooms had two completely different types of flooring.  The living room had carpeting and the kitchen consisted of tile.  We wanted to go with consistent flooring across both of the rooms.  We went with a medium colored hardwood that looks great in both rooms. We also repainted all of the walls a consistent color – a heavy cream color.  This color looked great with our new flooring and offers a great contrast to our dark gray furniture.

I’m so excited for this project to be ending tomorrow.  I can’t wait to finally sit and enjoy my new renovated home.  The only thing that’s left is that the electricians need to finish up some work.  After that, it’ll be home sweet home.

To celebrate the monuments event, I’m treating myself to a spa day.  I’ll be at my favorite Richmond massage spot, , hopefully relieving all the stress from months of planning and having to deal with contractors.   I’m going to make sure today is a relaxing day.  I know, however, I’ll hardly be able to contain my excitement though.  I’ve been waiting a long time to finally have the home I desire.  Maybe next year we’ll go ahead and remodel the upstairs!

Bright empty room with fireplace and carpet floor. Glass slide door to backyard

Avoid Expensive Restoration Costs By Following These Quick Carpet Cleaning Tips

An average carpet along with pad costs $35 per square yard, which translates into $1155 for covering an area of 33 square yard. This sum escalates several times when you purchase an Oriental make, its price being dependent on the number of knots it contains per square inch.

Costly yet un-cared

Apart from being the costliest furnishing of the house, it is the most abused one. Kids trample on it with dirty feet, untrained pets pee on it, and family members drop crumbles of food on it. If this is not enough, a leaking water pipe or spilled liquid can permanently damage the rug, causing colors to flow from one part of the rug to the other if one does not take proper and preventive measures in time. However, it is surprising to see that homeowners hardly bother to clean it. It is too late by the time they realize their folly and try to clean it. They have no options apart from calling a professional cleaner.


Methods to follow

Here are some quick carpet cleaning tips that will help you for cleaning dry rugs. Carpets generate static electricity when people walk over it because of friction. This problem aggravates during the winter when the humidity level of the atmosphere decreases. Over time, the dust permeates between the knots and becomes impossible to dislodge.


Carpet cleaning with a vacuum cleaner

You can use a vacuum cleaner for removing dust and pollen from your carpet. Pick up toys, bobby pins, paper clips, and other objects that can damage your cleaner before vacuuming the rug. It is a good idea to dust windowsills, blinds, and furniture before the cleaning process. This allows the cleaning machine to pick up those dust particles, and ensures that your carpet remains clean for a longer time.


Use the rug nozzle

Instead of using the normal tip that you use for cleaning the floor, attach a rug nozzle. You can purchase one from online stores if required. They restrict the power of the cleaner and prevent it from plucking the soft fibers of your rug. Move the cleaner forward and backward, first horizontally and then vertically. This removes dust particles trapped between the twisted fibers. It also removes pet hair trapped between the knots.


Cleaning a drenched rug

Follow these quick carpet cleaning tips to dry a drenched rug. If water has moistened a small area, pat that zone lightly with a lint free blotting paper. Never rub the surface of the rug, since this process can damage the tender fibers and cause the color to transfer from one part of the carpet to the other. You should also change the paper on a regular basis for the same reason. However, you have to use a different carpet cleaning process if the rug is fully drenched.


Points to follow

Never dry it in sunlight. It contains ultraviolet rays that act as a bleaching agent, which can fade the colors of your carpet. Avoid rolling the carpet since this will further damage it. Place a couple of tables side by side, so that their combined surface area is more than that of the carpet. Four persons should catch the four corners of the rug, lift it gently, and place it atop the tables. Close the doors and windows and turn on the air conditioner. The dehumidification function of the air conditioning unit will dry your rug without damaging it.

For more carpet cleaning tips, visit Precision Chem Dry.

Air Conditioner System With Dirty Condition Industry object

Benefits Of Air Duct Cleaning

Airborne contaminants are inevitably sucked into the duct when the HVAC system is in use. After a while, these destructive contaminants will cause a buildup inside the air ducts. The contaminants could include carbon monoxide, bacteria, airborne allergens, animal dander, dust mites, household mold, tobacco smoke and chemicals.

They circulate throughout the home or workplace, polluting the air, aggravating respiratory illnesses and triggering allergies. Children and the elderly are especially susceptible to these pollutants.

It should be noted that a contaminated HVAC system does not automatically mean the air is unhealthy. However, this situation could be contributing to larger health issues. It could also be accumulating contaminants that could trigger serious problems for individuals with autoimmune disorders.

Professional air duct cleaning in Phoenix AZ uses specialized brushes, blowers and vacuums to unclog the intake, supply and return ducts all through the home or office. Typically, the process also involves a comprehensive cleaning of the registers, air handler, fans, coils, housings, motors and grilles that make up the HVAC system.

There are numerous benefits that can be derived from cleaning air ducts. They include:

Improved Air Quality

Getting the air ducts cleaned will assist in eliminating poor air quality. When the air ducts are cleaner, indoor air quality automatically improves. The cleaning will free the ducts of all unwanted and potentially harmful particles. It will prevent their release into the living space as well.

Energy Savings

Studies have indicated that between 25 and 40 percent of the energy used during the cooling and heating process is wasted. Contaminants in the system result in it working harder, which will ultimately shorten the lifespan of the system. Even though filters are used during the heating and cooling processes, normal use will still cause it to get dirty. When the system gets a thorough cleaning, it does not have to put in as much work to maintain the desired temperature. As a result, you will use less energy and this will lead to improved energy savings.

Elimination of Odor

As the colonies eat, expand and reproduce, unpleasant odors are produced by fungi and mold. These awful smells escape through the ductwork and eventually end up in the living area. Food and perspiration odors can become trapped as well. This is particularly true in tight homes where these smells subsequently become embedded in the dust clusters that are scattered right through the duct system. Regularly cleaning the duct removes the materials these smells cling to. The professionals can put a deodorizer into the system, if you so desire.

Lower Costs for HVAC Repair

Most system failures result from improper maintenance and excessive cycling. Dirty components and ductwork restrictions could amplify friction loss and drastically lower airflow up to 50 percent. Cycles that run longer cause extreme stress on critical moving parts. This could lead to excessive wear and tear and the untimely breakdown of the system.

Many homeowners recognize the significance of regularly servicing their HVAC equipment. Unfortunately, the network of the air duct is mostly neglected until it affects the performance of the whole system.

The air quality outside is influenced by several factors we have no control over. However, the indoor air can remain safe, clean and healthy. This can be done by incorporating filtration, duct cleaning, UV protection and ventilation into a complete indoor air quality plan.

It’s best to leave it to the professionals if you think your home is in need of air duct cleaning. For Scottsdale AZ area residents, call Cook Bros Cleaning and Restoration to receive a free estimate for your home duct cleaning.

home windows

Home Window Tinting Energy Efficient Results


skylight smallAt a time when homeowners are placing more emphasis on going “green” and becoming energy smart around their homes, there is the advantage of energy efficient window tinting.  In fact, there are many practical benefits related to a home window tint that opens a home to natural lighting; while home window film has been proven to cut home cooling and heating costs by more than 50 percent.  Home window tint products can be purchased at traditional brick and mortar stores or online from a window tint company.

Decorative window tint trending online

Another aspect of trending home window tint products is linked to the many environmentally friendly tinting benefits to save both energy and money on utility bills.  Tinting one’s home or business windows with an energy efficient window film product is great for hassle-free energy efficiency, say home lighting professionals commenting online.  A home window tint company can recommend energy efficient and U.V. protection for all window shapes and sizes.

Decorative window tinting on offer

bedroomAn EPA Energy Star building manual states that today’s window tints can cut a home’s utility bills in half.  In fact, untreated windows can waste lots of heat, say window experts.  At the same time, today’s window tinting products are offered in decorative, energy efficient and security film designs.  The products not only block out worrisome UV rays and sun glare but also help the homeowner save on today’s super high electric and energy bills.

Reduce sunlight glare and heat loss

The glory of today’s high-tech window tints includes an overall reduction in glare by upwards of nearly 90%; while making it much easier for residents to enjoy viewing programs on TV and computer screens.  Moreover, the use of window tinting means no worries when opening shades, draperies or blinds to allow more natural sunlight in one’s home.  Because tinting cuts down on excessive glare, homeowners can enjoy the natural warmth of the sun without worries about direct outside light.

At the same time, there are other great tinting benefits that include:


  1. The advantage of new “ultra-clear” tint for home windows that is both very attractive and distortion-free.  The tint products on offer for windows of all shapes and sizes are also truly “glare-proof” so there are no worries about security issues when looking in our out of home windows featuring these new high-tech tinting product materials.
  2. Fighting harmful UV rays naturally with specialized window films.  There is a need to protect fragile home carpets, fabrics and furniture from powerful UVB and UVA sunlight rays that not only fade but destroy these products over time.  It’s a proven fact that bright daylight can fade such things as cherished home photographs, artwork, and other light sensitive items if not fully protected with today’s tinting products.
  3. The other perk of tints for home windows is the inconvenient fact that glass is a serious safety hazard when a storm, accident or even a break-in results in broken glass.

Meanwhile, safety window films and tint products offer a proven barrier to hold broken glass in place when a breakage occurs.


Overall, there are numerous benefits for using tinting products for home windows.  The tints are not only affordable and energy efficient, but home window tinting improves the look, feel and safety of one’s home at a time when sunlight can be just as damaging to a home environment as being outside without proper sun protection for one’s face and other exposed body areas.  The goal of protecting one’s family and investment is what drives home window tinting today, say homeowners.

Quick Carpet Cleaning Tips For Busy Homeowners

carpet-cleaningAs warm and inviting as they may make a room appear, carpets can quickly become messy and stained. This is particularly true if you have a lot of foot traffic coming into and out of your home. Rather than calling a carpet cleaning company every time your carpets look dirty, there are some quick carpet cleaning tips you can use on your own to refresh your carpets and clean stains.


First, keep in mind that maintaining your carpets regularly will make it much easier to deep clean your carpets. Once a week, vacuum your carpets. You may need to vacuum more frequently in areas that are prone to collecting dirt. Doing so will help to prevent a build-up of dirt and prolong the life of your carpets while also making carpet cleaning much easier and faster.


In areas where you may have isolated stains, remember that it is always best to clean them as soon as possible to prevent the stains from drying into your carpeting material. While it can be tempting to wipe spills, it is much better to blot. This will help to prevent the stain from going deeper into the carpeting or even smudging and becoming worse. For stains with a particularly bad odor, trying mixing equal parts warm water and vinegar and applying the solution to the stain with a cloth. Sticky stains are best treated with ice first. This will help to harden the sticky residue so that it can be pried loose from the carpeting more easily. When cleaning stains on your carpeting, always make sure you use a hard bristled brush.


Grease stains can seem particularly difficult to deal with on carpet. The easiest and best way to treat and remove grease stains on carpet is with the use of your favorite dish detergent. Make a solution of water and detergent and place it in a spray bottle. Spray the solution directly on the stain and keep doing so while cleaning the stain until it is completely removed.


Pet owners are all too well aware of how difficult it can be to keep carpets clean. Even the most well-trained and well-behaved pet can have an accident. In the event that your pets should happen to have an accident, first remove any waste material. The best cleaner to use on a pet stain is an organic cleaner, sprayed directly on the stain. For urine stains, soak up as much as you can using towels and then blot with a damp cloth. Next, spray the stain with a solution of water and vinegar and blot. Follow with a solution of ½-teaspoon non-bleach detergent mixed with water. Blot dry.


Homeowners looking for quick carpet cleaning tips often wonder whether it is better to use a powder or a carpet shampoo. Both shampoos and powders have the advantages and disadvantages, but if you need to clean your carpets quickly, such as right before company arrives, a powdered carpet cleaner is usually the best solution. This is because it can be vacuumed up directly without the need to wait for it to dry, as is the case with a shampoo.


Remember that even if you do not have any accidents or spills, it is still a good idea to have your carpets cleaned once a year for ongoing maintenance. If you happen to have a stain that just won’t come out, contact a local carpet cleaner to assist.


Maintain Your Home’s Comfort System

Is your home as comfortable as it can be?  I’m sure many of us would like for our homes to be a little bit bigger and a little bit cleaner.  But how well does your home regulate its temperature?

hvac-repairYour home’s heating and cooling efficiency is probably far from the nearest worry your mind, but maybe it shouldn’t be.  If you’ve noticed that your home isn’t quite as cool or as warm as it should be while your AC or heating unit is running or that your energy bill has slowly risen throughout the years, there may be a problem with your HVAC unit.

Below, we’ll go over a few things that may help you get your heating and cooling system back up and running at full efficiency.

Change the Filter

Changing your HVAC unit’s filter is probably the easiest and most common solution to restoring your home’s comfort levels.  By clogging up airways for it to breath, a dirty air filter can kill the efficiency of your heating and air conditioning.  It’s recommended that you change the filter every month during the months where you’re using the system heavily.  When searching for a replacement filter, you’ll want to look for its minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV).  MERV is a value between 1 and 12 which tells you how well its filtration is.  The higher number provides better filtration, however, it requires more energy to pull air through it.  If you’re concerned about your energy costs, you should stay toward the lower value range.

Fix Air Leaks

Air leaks inside of air ducts and window units can account for 30% loss in air.  Leaks are common for window air conditioning units because they’re usually very difficult to seal properly.  If you notice an air leaks occurring between the window seal and the frame, stuff the area with foam to form a proper seal.  For duct work, you’ll want to use foil tape to seal small gaps in the frame.

Insulate Your Ductwork

If your ducts run through an uninsulated attic, chances are you’re losing energy to that hot or cold room.  The best way to fix this problem is by wrapping your ducts in insulation.  There are a few different types of insulation you can use for this:

  • Spray foam
  • Batt insulation
  • Rigid foam insulation

All three work very well and can do wonders for controlling your HVAC efficiency.

Make Room for the Condenser and Compressor

A central air conditioning system will typically be located outside near the home.  The condenser and compressor work best when it has plenty of room to breathe.  Any nearby obstructions, such as low hanging tree branches, bushes, leaves, or tall grass may be hindering your HVAC system’s performance.  It’s recommended that your compressor has at least 24 inches of space between it and other objects.

Reduce its Workload

One of the best ways to extend the life of your HVAC unit and increase its efficiency is if you do what you can to ease its workload.  Keeping curtains and blinds closed is a great way to add a little bit of insulation to your home as well as keep the warm sun out of rooms during summer months.  Doing so can make your AC unit work much less than it typically would have to.

Have Scheduled Maintenance

One of the best ways to diagnose and prevent problems from occurring with your HVAC system is to have scheduled maintenance by a licensed professional.  They’ll be able to take a close look at the internal workings of your system and will be able to point out any flaws.  Typical maintenance procedures include the following:

  • Cleaning and inspecting coils
  • Cleaning or replacing filters
  • Adjusting or replacing fan belts
  • Motor and bearing lubrication
  • Cleaning and checking blowers
  • Inspecting safeties and controls
  • Checking refrigerant pressures
  • Verifying operating temperatures

You can find a good licensed HVAC service shop locally by using Yelp or Google Plus listings.  For the folks in Maryland, I always recommend Arundel Cooling.  They’ve been doing my maintenance work for years now, and I’ve never had an issue ever pop up.




Happy, Healthy Home


A clean home is a healthy home. With indoor air pollution a concerns, and more and more people suffering from allergies and asthma, it’s important to keep your home as clean as possible. However, most people hate to clean or don’t have the time to do a thorough job of it.

Fortunately, there are a few tips that you can utilize every day to keep your home or apartment clean.


Organize the Cleaning


You get the best results from cleaning if you use the right tools. There are several tools that every home needs. This includes a broom, dustpan, vacuum cleaner, duster, scrapper, bucket, mop, sponge, and paper towels.


The easiest way to keep your home clean on an ongoing basis is with organization. Instead of doing a deep clean after several weeks of not cleaning, a smarter way is to clean every day for about 10 to 20 minutes.


Creating a schedule or a chore chart is the way to stay organized. You can choose a day of the week to clean one room in your house. Another option is to choose a day for certain tasks such as sweeping, vacuuming the floors, mopping the kitchen or bathroom, cleaning out the refrigerator or taking out the garbage. Upholstery cleaning is also an important job. If you have carpeting, you can do spot cleaning for spills, but for best results you need to use professionals such as a Naperville carpet cleaning service.


Any schedule you create has to reflect your lifestyle such as whether you’re an early rise or night owl. A chore chart includes the names of any family members who are old enough to do cleaning jobs.


How to Clean


Spring-cleanThe first thing to do is to assemble the cleaning supplies you will use for a particular room or job. When you’re ready to start, set the time for10 to 20 minutes. If you are cleaning a room, start at the top of the room such as dusting bookcases. Then do the middle parts of the room. The final area is to clean the floors. As you clean start in one direction and continue in that direction. Stop cleaning when the timer goes off.


A Special Note about the Kitchen


The kitchen can become one of the dirtiest rooms in the house. Cooking and eating can leave food, spills and messes every day if you eat at home. After the final meal, wipe down the dining room table, the stove and all the kitchen countertops with a damp sponge or paper towel. The last step is the sweep the kitchen floor every night. With this short cleaning routine every day, you keep the kitchen clean for food preparation the next day.


General Cleaning


Every member of the household needs to clean up any messes or spills as soon as they happen. When a mess is fresh, it’s easy to clean up.


Clutter is another problem in households. Every day sort through piles of old mail, newspapers, catalogues, magazines and flyers and throw out anything you don’t want or won’t have time to read. Don’t forget to recycle.


You need to make a commitment to keeping your home clean. You want to live in a home or apartment that is fresh-smelling, tidy and clean. With a little cleaning every day, you avoid a filthy home. By following these household tips, you realized that cleaning doesn’t have to be a major hassle.


6 Ways to Keep Your House in Tip-Top Shape Every Day

In today’s fast-paced world, the average person has little time to spare for basic household chores like cleaning. Many people would rather hire a professional cleaning service to help with carpet cleaning, but this can be unsustainable if you need regular cleaning. There are simple steps you can take to keep your home clean.


Quick Ways to Clean Your Home


Since you have a busy schedule throughout the week, you can only spare a few minutes every day to do some cleaning. Therefore, you need to divide your chores into smaller tasks which you can undertake on a daily basis. The following tips may help:



1. Buy a Doormat


Your shoes can carry a lot of debris into the house, so be sure to put a doormat outside the door. Before getting into the house, try to get rid of as much debris as you can by rubbing the sole of your shoes against the doormat.



2. Leave Shoes at the Door


Even after using the doormat to remove debris from your shoes, there will still be some debris remaining on your shoes, so you should always take your shoes off and leave them at the door. Before placing your shoes on the shoe rack, you may want to clean or brush them first. Ideally, this should be done outdoors.


3. Do the Laundry on a Regular Basis


Many people have a habit of throwing dirty clothes on the floor, which makes a clutter. Ideally, all dirty socks, pants, dresses, underwear and shirts should be dropped into the laundry basket, so you should get one if you don’t already have it. You can decide to wash once or twice a week depending on the size of your laundry machine and the amount of dirty clothes your family produces. Keeping dirty clothes in one place helps to reduce clutter and makes it easier for you to clean the room.



4. Do the Dishes After Every Meal


After taking your breakfast, lunch or supper, be sure to load the dishwasher and unload it immediately after the cleaning process. This ensures that all your dishes are always clean. Unloading the washer also ensures that there is enough room to accommodate any dishes your may use in between meals.



5. Take Out the Trash Every Morning


Before leaving for work, be sure to take out the trash. Leaving trash indoors will not only attract pesky pests, but also leave a stench in the house. Regardless of how clean your house may be, a foul smell and crawling insects are clear evidence of an unclean environment.


6. Sweep and Vacuum


Sweeping outdoor staircases and pathways will only take you a few minutes. Start from the doormat and work your way towards the driveway. Use a vacuum machine to get rid of dust and other types of debris from your floor, carpets and rugs. Do not forget to contact a carpet cleaning company to take proper care of your area rugs and carpets every two or three months. Stained areas in the kitchen can be mopped to get rid of the stain.


Remember to also clean the toilet and bathroom every day, or at least every two days to ensure it’s sparkling clean. You do not have to do all these tasks on a single day. Just pick one or two chores and leave the others for the other days of the week.