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Country Kitchens

Posted by Alyssa on April 23, 2018

kitchen

Country kitchens are a warm, comfortable, and casual look for your home. Whether you’re interested in completely renovating your kitchen or you’re hoping to add a few country details here and there, these characteristics of country kitchens will help you create the perfect space. 

Country Kitchens

One key element of country kitchens is the use of natural materials. Use a mix of different types of wood and stone materials to create a layered and interesting feel.

country kitchen

via Miss Thornberg

Sinks can really set the tone of your kitchen. Farmhouse sinks or old-fashioned porcelain sinks are popular choices for country kitchens.

kitchens

via Better Homes and Gardens

Country kitchens typically have an open and airy feel. Stick to lighter cabinets and colors.

country kitchen

via Homedit

The fabrics you bring into your kitchen will make or break the overall style you’re going for. Country kitchens traditionally use gingham, toile, and plaid fabrics. Tablecloths, curtains, chair covers, or even dishcloths can help create the country feel.

country kitchen

via Our Vintage Home Love

Part of the overall design of a country kitchen is using everyday items as decor. Open shelving or pots and pans hung in the open are some of the ways you can do this.

 

What are your thoughts? Do you like country kitchens?

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Cardboard Recycling

Posted by Alyssa on April 22, 2018

recycling

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I have so many cardboard boxes coming into my house that I end up having to deal with - especially giant diaper boxes that are constantly showing up on our shopping list. Fortunately, cardboard is one of the easiest things to recycle, especially if you have a recycling bin at your home. Before you shove and smash a cardboard box into the bin, there are a few things that you should do. 

Cardboard Recycling

cardboard recycling

via Recycling Works

  1. Break down your boxes. Not only will it make it easier to handle and sort for sanitation workers, it’ll also give you a lot more room in your recycling bin!
  2. Do a quick scan of the box. You can’t actually recycle cardboard that is wet or that has food residue on it. Pizza boxes are usually not recyclable due to the grease and cheese leftovers.

That’s it! There are so many benefits that come from recycling cardboard. Recycled cardboard is used to make new cardboard boxes as well as paperboard for cereal boxes and chipboard for shoeboxes. Not only that, 1 ton of recycled cardboard eliminates 9 cubic yards of landfill space and saves 3 tons of trees from being turned into new cardboard.

At RC Willey we make an effort to stay green and protect our Earth. Check out what we do each day here. Happy Earth Day!

 

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Earth Day Quiz

Posted by Andie on April 21, 2018

 

In celebration of Earth Day tomorrow, go ahead and take this Earth day Quiz to see how much you do or don't know about our dear Mother Earth! Full disclosure: I took it and was totally embarassed by how little I knew and remembered from my college science classes.  My goal this Earth day?  Get a little more knowledgeable about the problems at hand, and figure out I can be part of the solution!  

https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-quiz/

 

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Tricks to Keep Flowers Looking Fresh

Posted by Andie on April 20, 2018


Is there anything better than fresh flowers?  I think not!  One of the most inexpensive design tips to help brighten and cheer up your home is to display fresh flowers!  They can literally transform a room from feeling dull and boring, to a space filled with energy, color, and life!  The only downside to fresh flowers is that sometimes they don't last quite as long as you'd like.  Today I am going to share some excellent tricks to help keep your flowers looking fresh for longer.  You'll be shocked at the amount of life you get out of your blooms, just by following these simple steps! 


PREPARING YOUR FLOWERS FOR DISPLAY:

1. Cut the Stems
Cut 1-2 inches off of the stems of your flowers before placing them in water, and cut at an angle.  Why at an angle?  Cutting at an angle allows for better water intake since they aren't sitting flat on the bottom of the vase.  Keep re-trimming your boquet once every few days.

2. Prune 
Remove any foliage and leaves below the water line.  This will keep your flowers looking nice and clean, while also preventing bacterial growth.  

3. Select a Vase
Find an appropriate sized vase for the boquet of flowers you have.  Too narrow of a neck might damage the flowers, but too wide of a neck won't allow the boquet to hold it's shape nicely.  Make sure you clean it and remove any dust before using.  

4. Fill Vase with room temperature water, and a packet of flower food.
You don't want the water to be too hot, or too cold- room temperature is ideal for flowers.  Make sure the flower food is mixed well with the water.

5. Add Soda!
Believe it or not, adding 1/4 cup of soda (lemon lime) to the vase of water has been proven to help your blooms last longer!  Pro Flowers did a grand experiment trying different methods to keep flowers looking good, and soda was the #2 best thing you can do! (I'm mentioning #1 further down in this blog post)  Here are photos to prove it:

 

 

 

via pinterest


FLOWER MAINTENANCE: 

6. Clean out water in the vase
Every 2-3 days, you should take all of the flowers out the vase, and re-cut the stems.  Wash out the vase to keep bacteria at bay, and fill with fresh, room temperature water and another packet of flower food.  Do this on repeat and your flowers will thrive!

7. Display your flowers in cool places if possible
Avoid direct sunlight, heating or cooling vents, electronics and appliances, etc.  Also, don't put them near fresh fruit, as ripening fruits release tiny amounts of ethylene gas which can reduce the longevity of your fresh arrangement.

8. Put your flowers in the fridge at night
This was a new idea to me, but it makes total sense!  After all, florists always keep their flowers in cold fridges!  It's been said that putting your flowers in the fridge for 8 hours every night, and then taking them out again in the morning will do wonders for your blooms!  Flowers thrive in cool places, and low temperatures help slow the aging process.  After their experiment, Pro Flowers found that this was the #1 way to keep flowers looking wonderful!  

 

 


via pinterest

 

 What tricks have you found that help keep your flowers looking nice? 

 

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Ways to Save Energy

Posted by Alyssa on April 19, 2018

energy

With Earth Day coming up in just a couple of days, it’s time to talk about different ways to save energy! Not only will you be helping out the earth, you’ll also be able to save some money each month when your bills come rolling in. There are a lot of small changes and things you can do in your everyday life that will help conserve energy. 

Ways to Save Energy

  1. With warmer weather coming up, it might be tempting to turn your air conditioning on full blast, but did you know that the smaller the difference between the outside temperature and the inside temperature, the smaller your cooling bill! Not only that, your air conditioner won’t be working quite as hard, saving you energy.
  2. Unplug your electronics and appliances when you’re not using them. This might seem like a pain, but if you have everything plugged into an outlet strip you’ll be able to turn everything off with the flip of a switch.
  3. Water heaters are the second highest source of energy in your home, so lowering the thermostat on your water heater will help keep it from overworking and using too much energy. Bonus! You’ll avoid getting scalded next time your water turns on hot unexpectedly.
  4. Avoid running a half-empty dishwasher. Your dishwasher uses the same amount of energy regardless of how large the load is, so wait until it’s full before you turn it on.
  5. It might be something you never think of, but replacing the filters on your furnace, heat pump, and AC will keep your equipment running smoothly.
  6. Replace your light bulbs with energy-efficient alternatives. The upfront cost of the lightbulbs may seem high, but the money you’ll save on your bills will make it worth it.
  7. Using a smart thermostat that can be automatically set to turn on and off, or that will lower the temperature at specific times will keep you from wasting energy. LINK
  8. Replace your old appliances with ENERGY STAR products. You’ll be able to save a lot of energy and money by replacing your big appliances with energy efficient ones. If you’re interested in looking at ENERGY STAR appliances, RC Willey has a huge selection to pick from.

 

What have you done to save energy in your home?

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Spring Interior Design Trends

Posted by Alyssa on April 18, 2018

design trneds

If you’re looking for the perfect way to get your house ready for this spring, there are plenty of design trends you can bring to your home! While it’s true design trends come and go, there are easy ways to keep your house looking updated and fresh without changing the entire room. Pick a trend or two that would work with your style, find a couple of accessories that fit the trend, and make your home one of the most stylish places around! 

Spring Interior Design Trends

spring trends 

via Ciao! Newport Beach

Embellishments are in! Fringe, tassels, feathers, tufting - anything you can think of! A pillow, like this wool fringed one, or a tufted sofa like this will keep your room looking great.  

living room

via Home Girl London

Geometric patterns in tiles, wallpaper, and art will start popping up everywhere you look. If you don’t want to commit to wallpaper or tiling, a sofa table, rug, or pillow with geometric shapes will add just the right amount of pop.

houseplants

via CC Diseno

Bring the outdoors in with lots and lots of houseplants. The more the merrier!

ombre

via Bright Bazaar

Bring hints of ombre (colors that go from light to dark) into your home. Planters on your porch or small rugs with ombre colors like this would be perfect.

gold accents

via Decoholic

Gold detailing on doorknobs, handles, lamp bases, picture frames, or accessories will add just the right modern touch to your designs.

What are your thoughts? Do you like any of these spring design trends? 

 

 

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Mirrors in Dining Room

Posted by Alyssa on April 17, 2018

dining room

Have you thought about including a mirror in your dining room? Mirrors make a room feel larger and brighter and can create a beautiful focal point in your room. This makes bringing mirrors into your dining room a great option! There are a couple of things you’ll want to watch out for before you just throw a mirror up onto your wall. You’ll want to make sure the mirror is big enough to fill your wall space and that it will be reflecting something you actually want to look at.

I’ve gathered some examples of mirrors in dining rooms for inspiration. Maybe it’ll inspire you to bring a mirror into your dining room! 

Mirrors in Dining Room

mirrors in dining room

via Ideal Home

dining room

via Lestnic

dining room 

via Home Design Lover

mirrors

via Home Design

dining room

via Home DIT

dining room

via Meadow At Dusk

 

 Check out all the mirror options at RC Willey and see which one would be perfect in your dining room!

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Interior Design Basics: Laundry Room

Posted by Alyssa on April 16, 2018

laundry Room

Just because the laundry room is a utilitarian room and something that is often overlooked doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be a functional and beautiful part of your home! Whether you’re completely remodeling your laundry room or are just wanting to do a quick update, here are some interior design basics for your laundry room. 

Interior Design Basics: Laundry Room

laundry room

via Gather and Flourish

Of course, the most important part of your laundry room is the washer and dryer. You’ll want to make sure you’ve measured your space before you start picking out machines to make sure they will actually fit. If your laundry room is near living or sleeping spaces, you’ll also want to do some research to make sure you are choosing machines that will run quietly. Click here for a washing machine buying guide and a dryer buying guide for more information. 

laundry

via The Creativity Exchange

Notice the lighting in your laundry room. If you’re designing your laundry room and are able to include natural lighting, that’s the best choice. If you’re like me, though, and your laundry room is in the basement of your house, you’ll want to make sure you’ve installed enough lighting to brighten the entire space. Pay special attention to task lights, even if you have natural lighting.

laundry

via Bre Purposed

Think about all the tasks you would like to complete in your laundry room. If you sort and fold the clothes right after they come out of the dryer, you’ll want to include a counter or table. If a lot of your clothing needs to be air dried, installing a rod to hang clothes on or including space for a drying rack is a must.

wallpaper

via Stories

Staying organized is what will make doing your laundry quick and easy. Even if it’s just above the washer and dryer, make sure you have shelving to store laundry soap, stain remover, ironing supplies, etc. With open shelving, consider hiding the supplies in baskets to keep things looking nice and organized.

laundry room

via Magnolia

Last but not least, decorate your laundry room! Just because it’s a room few people other than your family will see doesn’t mean it has to be an eyesore. In fact, it makes it the perfect place to experiment with colors, wallpaper, cool hardware, etc. Make your laundry room somewhere you’ll want to spend time.

How have you decorated your laundry room? 

 

 

 

 

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Green Living Rooms

Posted by Alyssa on April 14, 2018

living room

Do you have any green rooms in your home? For some reason, green is the one color I’m afraid to bring into my house. I’m not sure why, especially since it can be such a beautiful color. Green rooms and green furniture are such a statement - maybe that’s why I’ve been scared to try it out? Who knows. Either way, I keep finding myself drawn to green interiors. Maybe I’ll give it a try! Bringing green into a living room seems like a safe place to start. I’ve found some green living rooms that I love I thought I’d share below. 

Green Living Rooms

green sofa 

via Suburban B's

SHOP THE LOOK!

Similar sofas and leather accent chairs

living room

via Apartment Therapy

SHOP THE LOOK!

Similar coffee table (but rectangular) and sofa

living room

 via Camille Styles

SHOP THE LOOK!

Similar sofaleather bench, and coffee table (but round)

living room

via House and Garden

SHOP THE LOOK!

Similar sofa in gray

accent wall

via Italian Bark

SHOP THE LOOK!

Similar accent chair

 

Do you like green living rooms? 

 

 

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Front Yard Gardens

Posted by Alyssa on April 13, 2018

front yard

We’ve talked about flower bed ideas and how to set them up, but have you ever considered having a vegetable garden in your front yard? I was on a walk in my neighborhood the other day and was noticing how many people were prepping vegetable planter boxes and garden spaces right in their front yard. I live in an area where backyards are small and often covered with a deck or patio, so it makes sense to grow your vegetables in front! We’re lucky enough to have a garden space in our backyard, but I started noticing how much I liked the idea of a front yard garden. If you’re interested in setting one up, here are some tips and ideas to help you get started. 

Front Yard Gardens

front yard

via Sunset

One reason I think people initially frown on the idea of a vegetable garden in the front yard is that they may feel they aren’t as attractive as flowers or grass. It’s true, vegetable gardens aren’t always pretty. You’ll want to start small and make sure you are able to manage what you have before you convert a huge area into your vegetable garden. A garden that has been tended to, cared for, and thought out will be much more attractive than one that is overgrown or has buggy tomatoes. You can also add flowers to your garden - it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

front yard

via Sunset

Not every yard is ideal for a garden. You’ll need a lot of sun and access to water. Installing a soaker system will save you time and keep your plants alive.

garden

via The Art of Doing Stuff

If you want a manicured look but are still interested in having a front yard garden, plant your vegetables in raised beds. You’ll minimize the time you spend weeding, keep your garden contained, and create a clean look all at the same time.

garden

via Dreaming Gardens

Think through the types of vegetables you’re going to plant. While you might want to grow giant pumpkins, the vines will spread and take over before you even realize it. Sticking with “bush-type” plants like beans, peppers, and tomatoes will keep things orderly and compact.

 

Finally, if you’re afraid your neighbors will resent your planter boxes and grumble that you don’t have grass like everyone else, share your crop! Who doesn’t appreciate homegrown tomatoes and freshly picked herbs?

What do you think? Would you ever have a front yard garden?

 

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