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Downsizing Your Home

Posted by Alyssa on April 30, 2017

small house

Are you in the position of downsizing your home? Maybe your kids have all moved out and you’re walking around in a house that’s too big or you’ve decided you want to live a more simple life with less stuff. Maybe you want to live closer to the city and your only option is a smaller condo or you’re working to pay off student loans and a smaller house is the way to do it. Whatever your reason, here are three things to do before you move into your downsized home. 

1. Decide how much space you really need. Go through all your belongings and decide what you can’t live without, what you would like to keep if possible, and what you don’t care about at all. This will help you determine what size of house you will be comfortable in.

small house

via Country Living

2. Think about the kind of space you want. Do you really need a bedroom for all your grown children or would it be better to have a larger gathering space? Is it important to have an extra room for a home office? Do you need a dining room or is a kitchen eating space enough? Critically think about the spaces you use every day and make a list of priorities before looking at houses.

donation box

via Good Housekeeping

3. Start going through your things a couple of months before moving. Donate, sell, or give away things that don’t have sentimental value. In your smaller kitchen you may not have room for all your mixing bowls and it will be easier to get rid of them before you start packing.

Have you downsized your home? What tips do you have to share? 

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Easy Landscaping Ideas

Posted by Alyssa on April 29, 2017

easy landscaping ideas

I’ve been looking for some easy ways to landscape my yard. I want it to look nice, but I also don’t have the time or budget to go all out at this point in my life. Right now my goal is a clean, nice, and low maintenance yard. I’ve mentioned that we’re starting from scratch in a lot of ways with the landscaping in our yard, and I’ve been looking up some ideas to make it easy. Some of these ideas require some initial effort, but once they’re in, you’ve got yourself a low maintenance, easy to care for yard! 

edging

via The Art in Life

Add edging to separate different sections of your yard. The time it takes to put in edging is worth it. Once it’s done, it’s done, and your yard will look much sharper for your effort. Whether you want to have an edging of stone or simple plastic dividers, think about incorporating it into your yard.

shrubs

via Eric Teske

They are a little more expensive to purchase, but add some trees or shrubs to your yard. Using trees and shrubs creates a focal point in your yard, and if you’re looking for a way to fill a large, empty space, they’re your answer.

xeriscaping

via Landscaping Capetown

If you aren’t into weeding (is anyone into weeding??) think about xeriscaping your yard and including planters with greenery rather than planting them in the ground. Easy access, no weeds, and if you xeriscape your whole yard, no grass to cut and a cheaper water bill!

plants

via Garden Gate eNote

Rather than fill your entire yard with greenery and plants, focus only on one area and create a cluster of plants and flowers. This creates a focus point, gives direction to how you’ll be working in your yard, and is not as overwhelming as having multiple places to weed and plant.

gravel pathway

via Gardenista

If you have a shady place in your yard where few things grow, think about adding a gravel pathway. You can make a cool path lined with pots or plants that will cover mud and limit weeds growing in that area.

I love working in the yard and being outside, but having less to do than more so that I can enjoy other things as well sounds amazing to me!


What have you done in your yards? Any tips on creating a low maintenance yard?  

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Cleaning a Dishwasher

Posted by Alyssa on April 28, 2017

dishwasher

Did you know that you need to clean your dishwasher? Being completely honest, I had never really thought about it, but here is why you should be cleaning your dishwasher on a regular basis: 

You are putting dishes with scraps of food, grease, and oil on them in your dishwasher and some of those scraps end up getting stuck in the filter. The food scraps will build up bacteria and can create a funny smell in your dishwasher, which is the last thing you want to smell when pulling out plates you’re about to eat on!

 

The inside of your dishwasher can start to be discolored from hard water over time. It can also start to smell funky, so it’s important to clean the inside, as well as the filter.

dishwasher

Good to know, huh? You can see instructions on how to clean a dishwasher here. If your dishwasher is beyond saving with a good clean, or you’re looking to swap it out for something more energy efficient check out all of RC Willey’s dishwasher options.

How often do you clean your dishwasher? I read somewhere you're supposed to do it every three months. If that's true, I'm really due for a cleaning!

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5 Designers You Need to Follow on Instagram

Posted by David on April 27, 2017

You guys.  If you love interior design and you aren't following these designers on instagram, you are really missing out.  Here are 5 of my very favorite follows: 

1. Stuio McGee 
@studiomcgee
This is a husband-wife owned interior design studio, based out of our very own Salt Lake City, Utah!  They came onto the scene just a couple years ago, and have exploded in the best of ways!  Every. single. project they do is perfection.  Their designs are classic, fresh and streamlined, with just a hint of masculinity. My mind continues to be blown by this studio, and I can't wait to see what they do in the future!

 

 

 

2. Becki Owens
@beckiowens
This Southern California based Interior designer has the best eye!  Her deisgns are brilliant and absolutely stunning.  I constantly find myself saying "WOW" under my breath when her feed comes up.  She knows what's up.

 


3. Emily Henderson
@em_henderson
She's been around the block for a long time now, and there's a reason why she hasn't gone anywhere.  Her designs are fun, and playful and a tad more feminine than some of the others I've mentioned.  She can make a hot pink couch look so rad.  She always showcases the most colorful, happy artwork, and overall her style is just awesome.  Also, she always has a lot of instagram stories!






4. Patti Wagner
@patticakewagner
This Minneapolis mother and designer makes Minnesota living look pretty darn charming.  You'll see lots of simple white walls, minimalistic design, and dreamy architecture.  Every Monday she posts a house crush from her neighborhood, and oh my word, I think I need to move there.  


 



5. Amber Lewis
@amberinteriors
Another California based designer in the lineup!  Her designs are so intentional, and well thought out.  They are clean, fresh, and she has a knack for never over-doing it, but finishing at the perfect stopping point.  Everything looks elegant, timeless and sleek.  





 

 What instagram accounts do you like to follow for great design inspiration?

 

 

 

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Calming Colors

Posted by Alyssa on April 26, 2017

calm colors

Picking calming colors to use in your home will help create an environment to relax and unwind. After spending a day overwhelmed by sounds, lights, responsibilities, screens, and so many other things, it’s important to have somewhere calm to escape to. If you’re looking to create a peaceful environment, these are the colors you should use. 

BLUE

calm colors

via Apartment Therapy

blue room

via Apartment Therapy

blue room

via One Kings Lane

blue room

via Elements of Style

 GRAY

gray room

via Traditional Home

gray room

via Home Bunch

gray room

via Architectural Digest

gray bedroom

via Apartment Therapy

GREEN

green room 

via Gravity Home

green room

via Design Love Fest

green room

via One Kings Lane

green room

via Coco Lapine Design

 VIOLET

violet room

via Benjamin Moore

violet

via Apartment Therapy

purple room

via Home DIT

PINK

pink room

via Apartment Therapy

pink room

via Style and Minimalism

pink room

via VKV Visuals

Don’t be afraid of going more bold with your colors. Pastels and pale colors aren’t the only way to have a calm room. Pick a color you love and create your perfect oasis!


Do you have calm colors in your home? Or do you prefer bolder rooms?

 

 

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The Secret to Making the Perfect Birthday Cake

Posted by Alyssa on April 25, 2017

 

 

Baking (and eating!) cakes is kind of my thing.  You might say it's my love language.  Over the years, I have tested hundreds of recipes.  I've found that regardless of the recipe used, there is one simple secret to making the perfect, moist, delicious birthday cake.  Are you ready for this??....

FREEZE THE CAKE!

Yes, if you've never heard of this technique before this may sound strange, or crazy.  But, I promise you, it's the only way to go.  I'm not sure what the scientific explanation is, but something about freezing a cake literally changes the nature, and texture of the cake!  It comes out so moist and delicious, it'sjust incredible.  It's my fail proof go-to.



Here's how you do it:

1. Bake your cake, just like normal.
2. After pulling it out of the oven, let cake sit in tins for about 10 minutes to begin the cooling process, then remove them from pans and let them cool on racks or your counter completely.
3. Once cooled to room temperature, wrap cake tightly in 2 layers of plastic wrap.
4. Following the plastic wrap, cover with 2 layers of tin foil.
5. Place cake freezer.  

It's the easiest thing, but I promise you'll be completely and utterly wowed by the difference it makes!! The great part, is that you can keep it in the freezer anywhere from 8 hours to 6 months!  This is a game changer when it comes to party planning, or hosting a dinner party.  I think it's a great idea to keep several cakes in your freezer and then you are always prepared to serve a delicious dessert on the fly!  Just make sure to pull the cake out of the freezer 5 or 6 hours before you're going to be serving it, so that it can fully unthaw.  I have also found that frosting the cake while it's still frozen is a breeze because you don't have to work with loose crumbs!  

 

 
Also, for the record: this Coconut Cake by The Barefoot Contessa is amazing, and I like to pair it with this frosting recipe below.  It's so delicious, that even my husband requested it for his birthday this past week- pink frosting and all!

Sweet and Pure Strawberry Buttercream frosting
3/4 cup fresh strawberries
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 pounds powdered sugar

Over a large bowl, crush the strawberries in your hands.  Allow juice and pulp to fall into bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and beat well with an electric mixer.  Frost cooled cupcakes.

 

 

Now go get baking!!

 

 

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Front Porch Decorating Ideas

Posted by Alyssa on April 24, 2017

front porch

Do you have a boring front porch you want to decorate? At my house, we’ve decided to ditch the flower bed in the front of the house and make it into a front porch instead. I’m so excited to have a sitting area out there! I’ve been looking at different ways to decorate a front porch and have found some really good ideas I thought I’d share. 

front porch

via House of Turquoise

If you have a ceiling over your front porch, don’t forget about it! Cool lighting fixtures add a whole lot of charm to a house. I also love the idea of painting the ceiling a different color.

front porch

via Lolly Jane

front porch

via Lonny

If you have space, add an outdoor rug. Just like inside your house, rugs outside add energy and life to an area! Gather your chairs around an outdoor rug and you’ll feel as cozy as if you were inside your living room. If you don’t have room for a rug, a door mat can have the same effect.

front porch

via The House that A-M Built

Use planters and fill them with flowers. Even just one or two flower pots creates an inviting area.

front porch

via Christina's Adventures

Just because you’re outside doesn’t mean you can’t accessorize! Add outdoor pillows, paintings, end tables, stools, etc. A front porch should be an extension of your home, so don’t be afraid to decorate it.

front porch

via Jenna Burger Design

If you have the room, add a chair or two. Having chairs in your front yard is inviting and welcoming. It also is the best place to sit and take off any muddy shoes before going into the house. Win win.

front porch

via Lolly Jane

Change or add decorations for the seasons. It doesn’t have to be an extreme change, but adding pumpkins, a wreath, or bunting will make your home ready for whatever season or holiday is coming.


What do you think about decorating a front porch? I’m always afraid things will feel too cluttered, but I think a couple of chairs and some flowers will be perfect. What have you done to your front porch?

 

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Traditional Kitchens

Posted by Alyssa on April 23, 2017

kitchen

If you’re redoing your kitchen and are wanting to have a more traditional look, keep in mind these design elements.

traditional kitchen

via HGTV

Use natural materials such as wood or stone. Man-made materials like metal or concrete fit in more contemporary kitchens.

traditional kitchen

via HGTV

Cabinets should be ornate and detailed. They may even have glass or metal inserts to add interest.

traditional kitchen

via Decorating Free HQ

Wood is often stained or glazed to look distressed. Distressing your cabinets makes your kitchen feel timeless.

traditional kitchen

via HGTV

Incorporate a unique range hood. These can become the focus of the kitchen and add a layer interest to the room.

traditional kitchen

via Home Bunch

Details are important in traditional homes. Think about crown molding, arches, unique lighting, interesting hardware, and a variety of textures.

What do you think? Do you like traditional kitchens? 

 

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RC Willey Goes Green

Posted by Alyssa on April 22, 2017

earth day

Happy Earth Day! RC Willey is committed to not only providing a great product to our customers but also to doing our part in protecting the environment. Check out all the ways RC Willey chooses to “go green” every day below! 

  1. We recycle your old appliances. When we come to deliver your new appliances and take your old ones, we don’t go to the dump. Instead, we take the old appliances to our Inter-Mountain Distribution Center where the freon, copper, and scrap metal are all recycled.
  2. In all our warehouses and offices we have switched from fluorescent lighting to more efficient bulbs.
  3. We recycle all the plastic, styrofoam, and cardboard that comes into our warehouses. Because of our focus on recycling, we only take about 2 trips to the dump per week instead the multiple trips a day we were taking before we started using recycling bins.
  4. In our warehouses, we have motion sensor lights that turn off after 10 minutes of inactivity, helping conserve a lot of energy.
  5. Our ads are printed on paper that uses less chemicals and energy in the manufacturing process. We also have a recycling program in our corporate offices.
  6. We offer ENERGY STAR certified appliances. If you are interested in doing your part to go green, consider purchasing an energy efficient appliance.

For more details on how RC Willey has gone green, click here.

How have you gone green?

 

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ENERGY STAR Appliances

Posted by Alyssa on April 21, 2017

appliances

When you consider how much energy and money is required to run all the appliances in your home, it is important to consider purchasing energy efficient appliances. In 1992, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) started a voluntary program called ENERGY STAR that identifies the most energy-efficient products on the market and labels them so that consumers are able to make informed choices to help save money and the environment. If you see the blue ENERGY STAR label, you know that product is one of the most energy efficient options available! It’s amazing what a difference it can make, both for the earth and your pocketbook. 

dishwasher

via RC Willey

If your dishwasher is older than 1994, you are wasting more than 10 gallons of water per cycle and paying an extra $35 a year on your utility bills. ENERGY STAR dishwashers are able to save water and conserve energy, which helps reduce air pollution.

refrigerator

via RC Willey

Your refrigerator is running non-stop to keep your food cold. Refrigerators that are over 10 years old use much more energy than newer fridges. You can use this calculator to see how much money you could save by replacing your old refrigerator with an ENERGY STAR certified model.

washing machine

via RC Willey

Did you know that an ENERGY STAR approved washing machine only uses 13 gallons of water per load compared to 23 gallons other washers use? With an ENERGY STAR washing machine you would save over 3,000 gallons of water a year!

Check out this website if you are interested in reading more about ENERGY STAR certified products or come in and talk to someone at RC Willey. We have a huge selection of energy efficient appliances you can bring into your home! 

How are you conserving energy in your home? 

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