Posted by Andie on July 31, 2018
Is there anything better than summer nights spent hanging out on the patio with family, friends, good food, and fabulous weather? I think not! If you haven't been taking advantage of throwing your own outdoor parties and BBQ's, you better start now! If you're like me and your patio could use a little sprucing, check out these photos below for inspiration! In my book, you can't go wrong with a fire pit, cute outdoor cushions and rugs, plenty of awesome patio furniture, lots and lots of greenery and flowers, an outdoor kitchen, a swing or two, and a hot tub or pool if you can swing it!
What is the most important element of an awesome patio in your opinion??
Posted by Andie on July 29, 2018
When it comes to kitchen design, one of the best ways to add style and personality to your kitchen is with the backsplash! While white subway tiles have been a major staple in kitchens for about ten years now (and still are, quite frankly), there is definitely a shift taking place that is putting colorful, patterned, bold kitchen backsplash tiles in the lime light! If white subway tile is your thing, that's great! But, if you want to create a show stopper backsplash, here are 6 ways to do it...
1. Take tile all the way to the ceiling
Don't stop at the cupboards- go all the way! It looks nice, put together, and wonderful!
2. Supersize Your Subway Tiles
If subway tiles are your thing, but you want to change things up a bit, go big! Larger subway tiles (not just the 3 x 6) are beautiful, and here to stay!
3. Say yes to PATTERN!!!!
4. Go for Mirrored and Metallic Finishes
I love this look because it's glamorous & elegant.
5. Color, Color, Color!
Literally, any color can go in your kitchen! You don't need to stay with neutrals- if you love bright green, do it!
6. Go With a Slab of Stone
One of the hottest kitchen trends of 2018 is foregoing tile backsplashes alltogether, and opting to put in a single piece of stone (typically the same stone used on your countertop) instead. This look is bold, and new, and quite lovely. If you want a modern, streamlined elegant kitchen, this is a great way to get it.
What is your favorite kitchen backsplash shown above?
Posted by Andie on July 26, 2018
My family loves to travel. It doesn't matter if we are flying across the country, staying in a condo a couple hours away, or camping at the closest State campground- it's always a good time! It seems there are always things that you forget to pack that you wish you would have thought to bring, though. Here are 10 essentials to take with you on your family summer vacation that will help keep you sane, and ensure that the trip goes smoothly!
1. Packing Cubes
Want to make packing your family for your summer vacation so much easier? Pick up a set of these awesome Travel Wise packing cubes! Not only do they help keep clothing and other items separated for each family member, but it keeps it nice, tight, and organized. And they just stack on top of each other in your suitcase! Easy Breezy!
2. Digital Luggage Scale
Speaking of luggage... have you ever gotten to the airport to realize that you've overpacked? Story of my life. Nothing is more inconvenient than trying to re-pack your suitcase and shove things in your carry like a crazy person when you're in a hurry to catch a flight! Solution- snag yourself a digital luggage scale! Weigh your bags before you get to the airport (going, and especially coming home after you've bought lots of souvineers!), and your travel experience will go so much smoother.
This might sound like a no-brainer, but how many times do you buy a new bottle of sunscreen and then forget to pack it in your beach bag or luggage? I am a huge believer in using sunscreen year round, and there are no exceptions in the summer! Make sure you pack it! Check out my sunscreen guide I posted last summer- Blue Lizard is my very favorite family friendly sunscreen.
4. Travel dumbells and resistance bands
Not sure whether your vacation accomodations boast a workout facility or gym? Don't want to quit your exercise regimen completely just because you're going on a trip? These Water filled travel dumbbells and resistance bands are perfect travel companions! They are easy to pack in your suitcase (don't take up a lot of space OR weight), and they can help you stay on track when it comes to your fitness goals.
5. Mini Steamer
I am always amazed how many airbnb's don't have irons! Maybe I'm a grandma, but nothing bothers me more than wrinkled clothes right out of the suitcase that I have to wear without ironing out! Pack your own mini steamer and your clothes will look great!
6. Mifold Grab-and-Go Booster Seats
I have three kids that are 6 and under, and they are literally all in some form of car seat contraption (and probably will be until they are 10 years old. Short people probs!) Flying with kids, and shlepping car seats all over the place is the WORST. It's such a hassle. If you have children old enough for booster seats, these compact travel boosters are a game changer! You can throw them in your purse!
7. Travel Blender
If you aren't giving up your workouts on vacation, don't feel like you need to give up your morning protein shake or healthy fruit smoothie! Grab a small & inexpensive travel blender like this one that you can easily fit in your suitcase, and you'll be good to go!
8. Kid Bunks
Hae you seen these kid bunks before? These puppies are amazing! They fold up real nice and compact, and turn into bunk beds for kids! Perfect for a camping trip, or even to take to a hotel if you need a little extra sleeping space for little ones. Each cot holds 200 lbs, so they work great for lots of adults as well!
9. Mini First Aid Kit
You never know when a first aid will come in handy. Don't rely on being able to find a drugstore at any given moment- just bring your own mini first aid kit for safe measure! If nothing else, you can give your kids bandaids to play with when they're bored in the car.
10. A Notebook
This one might be the most important! I like to take detailed notes and keep an agenda of what I do on my travels and adventures. What did we see every day? What did we eat? What was the name of that ice cream shop that served the best chocolate milkshakes you've ever had? Write things down, and it will be a great memory keeper! Plus, it's always nice to steer a friend in the right direction if you've visited a city before!
Posted by Andie on July 23, 2018
One of the things I love about living in the South in July, is the fact that literally every single house in my neighborhood has an American flag hanging from their front porch. It's so festive! I can't help but feel a little bursting of love for our country every time I drive down the street. It feels pretty magical.
I know we tend to associate the summer months with patriotism and displaying our flags, but you can decorate with the flag in your home all year round! And it doesn't matter what your style is. I used to think it only really worked in a very countryish house, but I've since embraced the idea that American flag goes with anything. I personally love it hanging in a frame on a crisp white wall, or simply draped over a long staircase. Check out the beautiful rooms below for some inspiration!
Do you display an American flag in your home?
And if so, where is it?
Posted by Alyssa on July 21, 2018
There is something so classy about black and white rooms. I love the neutral colors and how just adding a pop of color makes such a big difference! I also love how clean a black and white room can feel. If you are looking for a cool, unique room consider making black and white your primary colors. Go big and even paint an entire wall black! Check out some of these ideas for your black and white inspiration.
Black and White Rooms
via Home Bunch
via Beauty Decors
Are you having trouble knowing where to start designing in your room or home? Did you recently move to a new place and your old decor just isn't working with the new space? Are you recently living with a new person and running into a design disaster? RC Willey's trained design consultants are here to help. We have an amazing staff of interior design consultants who will help you with anything from furniture layout, color therapy, accessories, or even a whole home makeover! You're only five simple steps away from having a home that reflects your personal style and incorporates those things you love the most. Click here to get started!
Posted by Andie on July 20, 2018
We are in the middle of a huge kitchen renovation, which means a ton of big decisions! One of the hardest choices for me was what kind of appliances to get--- which brands do we go with? What kinds of features are must-have? How do we know what the best bang for our buck is? For my own personal research, I decided to turn to the experts- Brett Hiatt (RC Willey's Corporate Appliance/Electronics Merchandise Manager), and Jennifer Udy (our cooking/dishwasher buyer) to help me understand some of the latest trends when it comes to kitchen appliances. It was so informative, and really helped us make what I feel was a great decision. Here are 5 of the hottest appliance trends right now....
1. New Finish Options
When it comes to appliances, new finish options are all the rage! GE has Stainless, Black Stainless, Slate and Black Slate. LG has Stainless, Black Stainless and Matt Black Stainless. Whirlpool has Stainless, Black Stainless and a new Sunset Bronze finish that will begin shipping soon. Samsung, Bosh and Kitchenaid all have stainless and Black Stainless options available. Many people are choosing to replace their appliances before they break down or need repair because they love the new color options!
2. Built in Options
More and more people are opting for the look of custom, built-in appliances. What exactly does this look like, you might ask? Think counter-depth refrigerators that don't stick out into the middle of the kitchen. Hooray! Front-control or slide-in ranges that don't have a back-guard are also growing rapidly, as are wall ovens and cooktops, all of which give the kitchen an elevated, refined look.
3. New Cooking Methods
New technology doesn't just affect your electronics and TV's, it has a huge impact on cooking! We have definitely seen a major shift to gas ranges and cooktops over electric in the last few years, as price points on gas have come down and cooks like the precision it offers.
We have also seen a strong trend towards dishwashers with a pocket handle as opposed to a bar handle that matches other kitchen appliances. This has given brands like Bosch, KitchenAid and now LG and Samsung the ability to sell stand alone dishwashers easily with other kitchen packages, since many also do not have a badge on the front. Price points have also encouraged consumers to step up to features like 3-racks and improved drying performance, in this space!
You guys, this one is pretty unreal! WiFi connectivity is also something that all major brands except for Frigidaire are putting their money on right now. There are many bundle offers with Alexa, Google, Etc. that allow consumers to get deals on their connected home hubs with their appliance purchase. With WiFi consumers can monitor their appliances, diagnose service issues, and manage their food storage, with the use of apps on their phone. Although not everyone has adopted the tech in appliances, it feels that with the growth of Smart Home technologies in general, the connected capability will become the standard in the near future as opposed to an upgrade.
Posted by Alyssa on July 19, 2018
The front porch of your house can make or break your home’s curb appeal. Having a porch that is welcoming, fits the style of your home, and decorated in your personal aesthetic will make your home stand out in your neighborhood. No matter the size of your porch put a little thought into how you would like to decorate it and make it happen this summer. You won’t regret the time you put into it whenever you pull up to your house! Check out some of these porch decor ideas and see if there is something you can use on your own front porch.
Porch Decor Ideas
One of the first things you can do to change up your front porch is to paint your front door. If you’re feeling brave, go for a bold color. You’ll love the pop it will give to your home! Even if the thought of a bright front door is too intimidating, a fresh coat of paint will give your front door and your front porch the facelift it needs.
via Southern Living
If you have a small front porch and don’t have room for any front porch furniture, get a couple of flower pots and fill those things up! Flowers will brighten your porch and create a homey look.
For large porches, think about including seating options. Put out a bench, a couple of outdoor chairs, or even a small outdoor loveseat and invite your neighbors over!
With front porches that have sturdy ceilings, make your front porch as classic as possible by installing a front porch swing. Add a couple of outdoor pillows, make yourself some lemonade, and get ready to relax.
Even if you can’t fit furniture or would rather keep things simple, consider changing out your light fixtures, hardware, and house numbers. Just changing out these small things will update your home and personalize your front porch.
via Martha Stewart
Finally, don’t forget to include seasonal touches to your front porch. Pumpkins in the fall, a wreath during the winter, or a flag during July will make your home feel festive and cared for.
What are some of your ideas for front porch decor?
Posted by Alyssa on July 18, 2018
If you're curious about how to tile a backsplash, look no further. Adding a tile backsplash, whether it is glass, ceramic, or natural stone, to your kitchen or bathroom will immediately make the room feel more complete and finished. It may seem daunting to think about doing the tiling yourself, but don't get scared! You'll be able to save yourself a lot of money if you install the backsplash yourself. If you're interested in knowing how to tile a backsplash or are wanting to see if it's something you'd be able to do, check out this video below.
How to Tile a Backsplash: Pro-Tips
- Prepare surface by filling or sanding if necessary
- Make sure you use a level and follow that line because your counter/cabinets may not be level
- Start tiling from the bottom and put your cut tiles at the top - they won't be seen as much up top
- Use your field tile as an edger - it's cheaper than buying tile specifically made for edging
- Don't force tile through tile saw - you will chip it or break it
- Mesh-backed tile makes it easy to cut around obstacles such as electrical outlets
- Back-butter your tile in hard to reach spaces - this means to put the adhesive on the tile - not the wall
- Choose a sanded grout or un-sanded grout based on your tile choice
- Ask your tile retailer if you need sealant
- Remember the peanut butter rule - adhesive and grout should be the consistency of peanut butter
- Grout all seams except for the bottom seam of the tile - that seam will be caulked
- You might need longer screws for your wallplates on your electrical outlets due to the new depth of the wall
Have you ever tiled something? Let us know how it went!
Posted by Alyssa on July 17, 2018
I didn’t realize this when my daughter was just a baby, but now that she has all of the sudden become a little kid, I’m realizing how hard is is to keep her room organized! We don’t have space for a designated playroom so her room not only has the usual bedroom stuff, it also has all her toys. Somehow she has collected way more toys than I thought she would ever have, and I have no idea where they came from. Does anyone else feel that way? Anyway, I’ve decided it’s time to get serious about organizing her room and have done some research. If you’re interested in kid room organization, here’s what I’ve found out.
Before you even start working on an organization system, go through everything that is in your child’s room. Go through toys and get rid of or donate anything that isn’t played with or that is worn or broken. This will get you to the starting point to actually get your kids' room organized.
via Life With 4 Boys
Obviously, you will need storage options. Make use of bookcases or storage benches to keep less played with things out of sight. Baskets and clear boxes are great options that will (hopefully) keep your kids from dumping everything out just to find one toy.
via The DIY Mommy
Label everything! For kids who are too young to read, include pictures. If your kids know where their shoes, toys, shirts, pants, socks, etc. belong they’ll at least know where they should be putting them.
Think like a kid when you start organizing. Get on their level and think through how they play, what they can reach, and what objects they go for most consistently. If you make it easy for them, there won’t be an excuse to not keep things in order.
How have you kept your kids' rooms organized?
Posted by Andie on July 16, 2018
Last week, we moved for the 8th time....
In case you're wondering, we've been married for 8 years.
Yeah. You'd think by the pattern we've established that we love moving or something. In reality, I LOATHE it. While we don't plan on moving again for a very long time, my husband and I have become somewhat expert when it comes to packing, moving, and unpacking a house by ourselves. I've tried everything! I've read tons of interesting ideas about color coding boxes for certain rooms, but to be honest, that was way too intense for my style and didn't really work for me. Here are 5 simple, yet fail proof moving tips that have worked wonders for me, and will for you too!...
1. Get Rid of Your Crap!
The last thing you want is to spend time, energy & resources hauling your trash and junking up your new place right away. If you have the luxury of starting a month or so before your move, you can methodically go through every room, closet and cupboard. If not, simply trash stuff as you are packing! If you haven't used something in over a year, toss it or donate it. You'll be SO glad you did this when you start with a clean slate in your new home.
2. Wrap Dishes in T-shirts, Dish Towels, and Blankets.
Packing paper is so expensive. Don't waste your money on it! I didn't learn this until a couple moves ago, and wish I would have figured it out sooner. Instead of wrapping dishes and fragile items in packing paper, simply wrap them in t-shirts, dish towels, and even blankets! They are just as protected (maybe even more so) and you kill two birds with one stone!
3. Keep Your Clothes on Hangers
This is a game changer, guys. Don't mess with taking every item of clothing off of it's hanger and wasting precious moving boxes, because you'll just have to spend time hanging them all up again! Instead, look no further than a trusty garbage bag. Stuff your clothes into a garbage bag while they're still hanging in your closet, leaving the hooks out, and then you're good to go. This makes it super easy to transport everything (you can literally lay them all on top of each other in the back seat of your car), and even easier to hang your clothes up in your new closet in 5 seconds flat.
4. Fill Up Your Suitcases!
Don't you dare move empty suitcases to your new place! Use everything you have to hold your things before you turn to traditional moving boxes. Fill up all of your suitcases with linens, clothes, towels and clothing. Best part? It's super easy to transport because suitcases are on wheels!
5. Rent a Moving Truck, and Hire a Couple of Movers by the Hour
Again, we've learned through time and many experiences how to move on the cheap. In the beginning, we always forked out a ton of money to hire moving companies. (I really hated asking friends and family throw out their backs moving our stuff, and I also wanted to make sure my furniture was protected properly!) . The problem is, moving companies are crazy expensive. By the end of the move, you typically pay at least $400 more than you thought you would. So, listen carefully- here's the solution. Instead of hiring a professional moving company, rent a U-Haul. It's cheap. About $80 for an entire day. But, don't stop there! Hire a couple of guys to help you move by the hour. (We went through U-Haul, but I'm sure other truck companies have this option.) We paid $60 for two movers per hour. A steal! My husband had a co-worker that recently paid $8,000 for a local move, and he felt a little sheepish when she asked how much our move was and he told her that we paid less than $300! Shop around, and don't get taken advantage of!
What shortcuts have you found that make moving easier?