Ah, the wonderful weekend is finally here! If you find yourself with some extra time this weekend, here are some great ideas to get busy on your home. A few small changes here and there can have a huge impact on your home environment, and even more importantly, they will make you feel accomplished and DIY savvy as well. Read on for some simple weekend projects that will truly make your house feel like a home.
You need to wash your windows more often than just during the spring cleaning spree. The best way to freshen a room is to remove the grime and let the sun shine in. Start by vacuuming the sills, screens and window frames with a dust brush. Then clean windows with a squeegee with a sponge attachment dipped in a bucket of warm water that has a squirt of dishwashing liquid. Start at the top left corner and drag the squeegee to the right, drying the scraper after each pass. Remove any remaining water on the edges of the window with a damp, wrung-out chamois.
A change in fragrance can have as much positive impact in your home as a change in wall color. (It’s the reason real estate agents tell you to boil some cinnamon sticks in a pot of water or bake cookies before prospective buyers arrive.) In the fall I like to switch to a spicier, citrus-based or more musky aroma. In the summer I burn Jo Malone’s Nectarine Blossom & Honey scented candle, but come fall I move to her Orange Blossom fragrance.
Most people have too many framed photos on display throughout their house. I suggest picking a couple of spots to display your favorites and have at most seven (odd numbers always look better than even) grouped together. Put them in consistent frames (all silver, all wood, etc.), and remember: A single photograph says more than a dozen. To update your collection, rather than adding more frames, swap out old photos or just slip a new photo into the frame in front of an old one. Also consider displaying a group of photos with a specific theme. For example, display all fall and Halloween images now, and winter and holiday images in December; that way, even your photos become part of your seasonal decor.
I have had a couple of clients complain about the lighting (or lack thereof) in their rooms. Getting the right mix of fixtures and the right output of light is one of the most important elements of decorating. A beautiful room can turn ugly in too harsh a light, and daily tasks can be hard to complete in rooms that are too dark. Factor in a lack of natural daylight that comes with shorter days, and indoor lighting is all the more essential. There are two ways to solve lighting issues. No. 1: Install dimmers everywhere. Easy and not expensive to install, dimmers allow you to moderate the brightness so that a dining room can be bright enough to complete a school project but dim enough to host a cozy dinner party.
Twice lately I have visited friends who have complained to me that they never use their living rooms. In both cases my friends had furniture (a sofa in one house and two big upholstered club chairs in the other) that visually blocked the entrance into the room. I suggested a quick rearranging of the furniture (we swapped the bulky pieces with lighter, airier pieces from the other side of the room) and voila! Their rooms became instantly more inviting.
Flower season may be over, so try cutting tree branches instead. Branches displayed in a vase give a natural note to your rooms — even without leaves on them — but also add height and drama. Best of all, they’re free. Look for branches that have a sculptural shape. If you feel crafty, spray-paint them black, white or a striking color.
Have a great weekend from The Tom Lipinski Team! Please contact us for all of your Real Estate needs.