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!
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.
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:
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!
What tricks have you found that help keep your flowers looking nice?
Posted by Alyssa on April 19, 2018
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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?
Posted by Alyssa on April 18, 2018
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
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.
via CC Diseno
Bring the outdoors in with lots and lots of houseplants. The more the merrier!
via Bright Bazaar
What are your thoughts? Do you like any of these spring design trends?
Posted by Alyssa on April 17, 2018
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
via Ideal Home
via Home Design
via Home DIT
via Meadow At Dusk
Check out all the mirror options at RC Willey and see which one would be perfect in your dining room!
Posted by Alyssa on April 16, 2018
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Posted by Alyssa on April 14, 2018
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
via Suburban B's
SHOP THE LOOK!
SHOP THE LOOK!
via Camille Styles
SHOP THE LOOK!
via House and Garden
SHOP THE LOOK!
Similar sofa in gray
via Italian Bark
SHOP THE LOOK!
Similar accent chair
Do you like green living rooms?
Posted by Alyssa on April 13, 2018
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
Posted by Andie on April 12, 2018
If you have a lonely neighbor that could use a little pick-me-up, you need a thoughtful housewarming gift for a friend, or you want to involve your children in a fun baking activity, I've got just the thing! Bread in a flower pot! Because who doesn't love home made bread, and who doesn't love a fresh terra cotta flower pot for spring! With such a darling presentation, it's sure to impress!
There are tons of recipes out there for flower pot bread, but believe it or not, you can adapt most bread recipes and cook them in a flower pot quite easily. I've done it by following my regular banana bread recipe, and then simply bake it in a flower pot instead of my normal pans. Just make sure you wash flower pots (get new ones) with soap and water before using, and then spray them really well with cooking spray, and line them with parchment paper before dumping the bread dough inside. Place pots on a cookie sheet, and throw it in the oven! Baking times may be altered a bit, but just watch it closely, and pull it out of the oven when a toothpick comes out clean.
If you're a little hesitant to wing it, here are a few easy flower pot recipes to follow....
Rosemary Bread in a Flower Pot via food network
Rustic Flower Pot Bread via Genius Kitchen
Flower Pot Peasant Bread via pinterest
Happy Bread Baking!
Posted by Alyssa on April 11, 2018
Shaker furniture is a minimalist, simple style of furniture developed by the Shakers. Like the Shaker religion, this type of furniture is made to be modest, simple, and functional. While original Shaker furniture can be fairly expensive, many designers have been inspired by the Shaker style.
What is Shaker Style Furniture?
You’ll be able to identify Shaker style furniture by its straight lines, lack of excessive adornment, and its simple form. Wooden pulls, ladder-back chairs, and wall hanging pegs are all inspired by the Shakers. One of the best parts of Shaker style furniture is how easily it fits into almost any interior design style.
via The Style Files
If you’re interested in bringing some Shaker style furniture into your home, this bed set is a great option. Would you bring Shaker style furniture into your home?