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Making Use of the Walls

Homeowners generally tend to design rooms without making use of the walls. If walls are left bare it gives off an incomplete feel to a room. If you do not have an eye for design, figuring where to start in regards to wall décor may be difficult. For all intents and purposes you can chose to follow your instincts, but we have included a few ideas that you can use in this article.

 

Similar to furniture, wall décor can be arranged to change the mood of a room, and reflect an individual’s personality.  Here are a few tips that can help you use wall décor to make your home design more interesting:

 

  • Art can have a significant impact on the mood and ambiance of the room in which it will be placed. The right color or subject of a piece can bring life and energy into a room. Art in itself can take on many forms. If you are interested in an option besides having the average painting or drawing consider using large canvases painted with interior latex paint.

 

  • Family photos or photographs that are highly sentimental tend to remind us of loved ones and happy times and transfers that feeling in the room.  Search your photo albums and electronic devices for the best shots that you can find and have them framed.

 

  • Mirrors are essentially the wonder child of design therefore it is wise to learn how to incorporate them in your home design. They reflect light and make a room feel brighter and appear larger, while adding visual dimension and depth.

 

  • Fabric can also be used as artwork. A piece of fabric with a color scheme or pattern that speaks to your personal taste that meshes with the style of your room can be easily framed and hung on a wall as piece of art.

 

  • Be as creative and imaginative as possible. In truth many items that you probably would not consider can make wonderful wall décor if hung in an appealing manner. For example, plates in unexpected colors can form a beautiful wall arrangement.    Artistic pieces created with materials such as ceramic, glass, wood, feathers, metal, plastic etc. make great wall décor.  Even the frame used for hanging artwork and photographs can be considered a work of art in itself. Use your decorating sense when choosing a frame so that you can reap the most benefit from the purchase.

 

If your walls are naked, complete your home’s design by dressing them up!

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Benefits of Having a Kitchen Pantry

The pantry is essentially a special closet that serves as a storage area for foodstuffs and, or kitchen appliances. Pantries usually feature a combination of shelving as well as open space for the storage of larger containers; the exact configuration of the interior space will depend on the type of food storage that is intended for the space. Originally, a pantry was simply a cool and dark place where perishable foods such as freshly baked bread could be stored. As a matter of fact, the word pantry is believed to have originated from the French word “pan” which means bread. The concept of the pantry has now expanded from a simple bread room to an area where essentials could be stored in bulk, thus, providing many benefits to the modern kitchen.

 

The most obvious benefit of adding a kitchen pantry is additional storage space. Not only do cluttered kitchens look messy and dirty, they also make it easy to misplace cooking tools. Including this home storage option in your kitchen is a great way to make better use of available space.

 

Having a well-organized kitchen pantry will make cooking at home easier and more convenient.  Have you ever settled for eating out because you were not sufficiently stocked with the necessary food items to prepare a meal?  Or, have you come across certain food items after thinking you had none at home because it was not being stored in an easily accessible place? Having a pantry solves both of these problems.  You have everything you need, in one place.  In addition, who wouldn’t want the money saving and health benefits of cooking at home.  You know what you are eating when you cook your own meals, and you save the money you would spend when eating out.

 

Having an updated kitchen with pantry adds considerable appeal to the room, and increases selling chances. The kitchen is considered by many to be the heart of the home, thus making it a critical component when considering buying a home.

 

If you are currently planning on building your home, remodeling, or expanding, consider taking advantage of these benefits by adding a pantry to your home design.

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Home Fire Safety Tips

Protect your home and your family with these 4 essential home fire safety tips:

 

1) Create multiple fire escape plans for your family to adhere to in the event of an emergency. Having an escape plan is a critical and proactive step to keeping your family safe. As part of your family’s escape plan, designate a specific individual(s) to get infants and small children out of the home safely. Ensure that you review and practice the escape plans with the entire family several times. You can never be too cautious.

2) In the event of a fire, exit the building immediately. Beforehand you will need to identify the most appropriate exits to be taken in the event of a fire. Ensure that the entire family is aware of where the exits are located. Also take into consideration any obstacles that may be in the way such as burglar bars or furniture that might block these exits. When you get out of the building, stay out and call for help. Do not go back into the home for anything.

3) If you are trapped in the building and cannot safely escape try your best to keep smoke out of the room by covering the spaces around the doors and other points of entry with tape, towels, or whatever you have available. If you are trapped in a room with a window, stay near it and keep it opened. If you are unable to escape through the window then signal for help with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.

4) As a family, develop fire safety habits:

  • Prevent the start of fires by avoiding having several appliances plugged into a single electrical socket.
  • When you are cooking do not leave the stove unattended. Any item that can catch on fire should be kept away from your stovetop especially if it is lit.
  • Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn easily and always have them placed on a non-flammable surface. Remember to blow them out when you are leaving a room and especially before going to sleep.
  • Lastly, keep matches and lighters in a safe place, out of the reach of children.

 

Were the above tips useful?  Share this article with family and friends.  If you need any clarification on this topic, feel free to email us at feedback@millenia.dm.

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Summer Plant Care Tips

The summer heat is on and you are trying your best to keep yourself cool. Your plants are also feeling the brunt of the heat and require some cooling and a little tlc too.

 

Here are some tips that you should follow to help your plants make the best of this growing season:-

 

-Water your plants more than you normally do to make up for the lack of humidity in atmosphere. Potted plants need special care as they can’t grow deep into earth in search of water. Even though the quantity of water would vary according to the soil and plant type, the soil should generally be moist at all times of the day.

 

-If your pot soil is sandy, try mixing it with some amount of clay. Sandy soil becomes dry easily and mixing it with some clay will help retain moisture.

 

-You can also cover the top layer of the soil with mulch, containing wooden pieces, twigs, dead plant leaves, etc. It will not only provide extra fertilizer for the soil but will also help retain the moisture of the soil. Small pebbles may also be used to cover the soil.

 

-Potted plants can be kept in a cluster instead of being scattered. This way they will lose water only from the external sides and will also face sun from only one side.

 

-During summer water the plants during early morning or just after sunset, to avoid evaporation of the water.

 

-Proper pruning of the plants should be done and unnecessary foliage should be removed from the plants to avoid excess loss of water trough transpiration.

 

-The plant soil should be provided more fertilizer in summer to sustain their high growth and extra energy requirement.

 

-All kinds of weeds should be rooted out of the plant soil, so that the nutrients and water meant for your plants are not used up by weeds.

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HOME OFFICE LOOKING LIKE THE GAME JUMANJI?

You once worked in a well laid-out and organized office, but now the Coronavirus pandemic, COVID19, has demanded that you work from your home to support the “Stay at Home” drive, which will assist in curbing the spread of this deadly disease.

In some cases, this situation now calls for starting a makeshift office at home.  A piece of your personal space, is now being used to create a workspace, and it may just seem like a misfit.

No need to worry, we can help you work through this and succeed in creating a comfortable workspace at home.

Here are some vital tips on how to create an organized home workspace, which will surely contribute to an environment that will contribute immensely to your productivity.

 

Firstly and most importantly…


1. Keep it clutter free – clear your desk whenever you step out; it could be for a short break.  A clean desk policy should be a usual practice, to keep all information confidential.

2. Give everything its space – everything deserves its space and must be kept there at all times. When you have a designated space for everything, items are easier to locate, and this saves time.

When everything is in place…
3. This makes your desk a combination of inspiration and efficiency. Place a wall art or a framed client testimonial within your line of sight – when things get tough, one needs a little motivation.   You can also keep a vision board close by to remind you of your long-term goals and a calendar to keep track of important activities and appointments.


You are inspired and motivated, now…
4. Reduce stress and improve creativity and productivity, by adding a few plants to your office space. Some plants are known to help reduce noise levels, and provide clean air.


Keep your space well lit…
5. Ample lighting is important for every type of workspace.  This improves motivation level and functionality.  Working near windows, also increases your access to natural light, which has a positive effect on how you feel.

Whether you work from home or in a formal business setting these tips can be quite useful.

Contact us for a free consultation at feedback@millenia.dm.

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Embrace the Christmas Season

Written by Garn Todd Joseph

Website & Advertising Assistant for the Millenia Group of Companies

Millenia Architects | Millenia Realty | Sorell Consulting Ltd. | Kaliber Construction & Homes

 

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a single Christmas decoration could be found. No stockings were hung, no mistletoe in sight, such a terribly dreadful Christmas night. As we celebrate this most joyous time of the year, let us take the time to make our homes feel as festive as our merry hearts. Turn your home into a festive gathering place for family and friends by sprucing it up with a few simple and creative holiday décor ideas.

 

  • Are you unsure of how to display your collection of holiday cards? Turn them into works of art. Use clips or clothespins to string them around your living room or against the wall.

 

  • Create Christmas themed slipcovers for your chairs. Cover your dining room chairs and wrap a bow around each one; Christmas ornaments can also be incorporated for extra pizazz. Ensure that the underside is properly secured with tape, if necessary.

 

  • Use Christmas themed curtains and other drapery around your home. If you do not have any with Christmas designs, simply use any with colors that most associate with the holiday: red, white, green, gold, etc.  Even your dining table can come alive with a Christmas themed table cloth fabric.

 

  • Lighting is an important aspect of Christmas. If you’ve grown weary of the traditional Christmas lights another option would be to purchase colored light bulbs to replace your regular bulbs.

 

 

  • Tie a bow around your throw pillows on your couch, bed, etc. with holiday-colored ribbons, and they’ll look just like Christmas presents! Add a few rhinestone pins for additional sparkle.

 

 

  • If you can’t get access to a real Christmas tree don’t lose hope. There are many alternative methods that you can use this holiday season. Click the link below for a few creative alternatives provided by Elle Décor to choose one that suits you. You can also search for other alternatives, or create one yourself. Be as creative as possible.

http://www.elledecor.com/life-culture/cleaning-organizing/g13/alternative-christmas-trees/

 

  • Homemade Christmas decorations can make wonderful additions to your home this holiday season. Spend time as a family creating decorations to make this holiday season feel more personal.

 

What other Christmas decorating ideas can you think of?

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Getting Organized Before School Starts

Busy ticking off items on your list of to-do for school opening?  I’m sure by now you have checked books, pencils, uniforms, bags, and even new looks (hair cut, hair accessories)… I bet you didn’t include anything for the home.  At home is where learning continues and creating a good learning environment is important in facilitating our children’s learning experience.  What can we do at home to make this new school year more exciting and rewarding?

 

  1. A dedicated study area – Place a table and chair in the bedroom or in an area with minimum distractions. Designating a desk and study area emphasizes the importance of schoolwork.  The child will associate this area with learning.  This works for me, whenever I go into my study area my mind automatically gets into study mode.

 

  1. Organizers/calendar – Place a large calendar on the wall or bedroom door. A paper calendar with large squares lets you enter information easily.  Enter school events and activities and probably even home schedules into the calendar.  You can also colour code entries, based on urgency or importance.  If you have more space, use it to hang up projects and test papers or newspaper articles.

 

  1. Put up some hooks – Tired of picking up after your son/daughter? Place hooks in selected areas of the room to encourage them to hang their stuff up instead of throwing it on the bed or even on the floor.  Be sure to place the hooks at a level the child can easily reach.

 

  1. Create a snack/lunch making area – If you prepare snack and lunch for your child, especially if it’s different from your meals then it would be helpful to place these ingredients and items together in one area or in a particular cupboard. This will surely help you beat the morning rush.  Put in anything you use to prepare the lunch and snack and anything you send them to school with, like lunch bowls, foil paper, bread and peanut butter. My son loves peanut butter!

 

  1. Organize clothing storage– “Mom I can’t find my ….” You know this phrase right? Before the new clothes are added throw or give out those that are not in use and arrange the others appropriately to avoid that call.

 

  1. Organize and store papers and notes – Designate a spot in the house where you will store and organize papers that will later require your attention and projects that you want to keep. If you do not have a designated area, use a small storage box and file folders to store and arrange test papers, and used exercise books so that when it’s time to revise, they will be easy to locate.

 

Get your children to participate in the organizing process, after all you are doing it for them too.  They may have some good ideas and this could make this activity fun and add to the back to school excitement.

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Plan Your Living Room Renovation

Guests or potential buyers should enter your home and see functionality.  The living room is an important room in a home so any person who has the intention to one day sell their home should bear this in mind when planning any renovation works for their living room.

Here are a few tips to consider when planning a living room renovation.

In order to plan a successful living room renovation, a lot of forethought and information need to be taken into consideration. If you are on a tight budget and you plan on making any structural changes, or your scope of work requires you to work with several professionals, proper planning is even more significant.

In home renovations, as in life, mistakes can occur. Refrain from making avoidable mistakes by not only planning beforehand but by taking your time during the renovation process. Your living room renovation should be treated as a marathon, not a sprint. In order to reap the reward of a successful renovation take your time and do not rush the process.

Ask yourself, why do I need to renovate my living room? Do you need additional space? Is your living room design outdated? Do you want to increase the value of your property for a possible sale? Knowing the ultimate goal you want to achieve with your renovation will help guide you during the planning process.

The fact that you desire to renovate your home does not mean that all its features should be discarded. Take a good look at your living room, there are sure to be a few features that you would either like to keep or slightly alter.  Keep these features in mind and consider how they can be incorporated in your renovation.

Home renovations can be exciting but can also be a bit overwhelming.  However, if the above planning tips are followed you will be more likely to have a smoother and more successful process.

Were the above tips useful?  Share this article with family and friends.

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Keep Your Body Cooler During the Hot Summer Days

In this third installment of our fighting the summer heat series we offer a few tips to keep your body feeling cool and refreshed during overwhelmingly high temperatures.

  • Use silk or satin pillowcases, and satin sheets. These fabrics will feel smoother and cooler as you sleep.
  • Keep the back of your neck in shade (wear a cap backwards, or raise your collar) or put a wet handkerchief on the back of the neck. The sensor for our body temperature control system is in this area, and so with this method you can make the rest of your body think that you are “cool”.
  • Run cold water over your wrists for 10 seconds on each hand. This will reduce your temperature for roughly an hour.
  • Wear nothing or next-to-nothing. Put on a swimsuit, or wear your underwear at home. Wear summer clothing. Wear loosely-woven natural fabrics (cotton, silk, linen) rather than polyester, rayon, or other artificial fibers (with the possible exception of performance fabrics).
  • Wear light colors. Darker colors will absorb the sun’s heat and stay warmer longer than light or white clothing, which reflects light and heat. Wear natural summer clothing.
  • Sit still. Do not try to fan yourself — trying to move while feeling hot can make you feel hotter. Simply rest until the evening.
  • Sit in the shade. Find a shaded area and set up a water misting system that connects to an ordinary garden hose that can be found at home improvement stores. Sit there and let the mist cool you off.
  • Avoid peak sunlight hours between 10 a.m. and 3p.m., when the sun’s rays are hottest.
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Keep Cool This Summer without Breaking the Bank

In a previous article we discussed natural methods of cooling your home on those scorching hot days. But understandably, some days the use of appliances such as fans and air conditioners cannot be avoided. Here are a few ways to use these appliances without racking up an unbearably high electricity bill.

 

  • If you must use an electrical cooling method use portable or ceiling fans instead of operating your air conditioner. Even mild air movement of 1 mph can make you feel three or four degrees cooler.
  • If air conditioning is really required use a programmable thermostat to adjust the setting at night or when no one is home.
  • Add insulation around air conditioning ducts when they are located in unconditioned spaces such as attics, crawl spaces, and garages; do the same for whole-house fans where they open to the exterior or to the attic.
  • Don’t place lamps or TVs near your air conditioning thermostat. The heat from these appliances will cause the air conditioner to run longer.
  • Install white window shades, drapes, or blinds to reflect heat away from the house. Install awnings on east-facing windows because of the angle of the sun.
  • Plant trees or shrubs to shade air conditioning units, but not block the airflow. A unit operating in the shade uses less electricity.
  • Avoid landscaping with lots of unshaded rock, cement, or asphalt on the south or west sides because it increases the temperature around the house and radiates heat to the house after the sun has set.
  • Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater; 115° is comfortable for most uses.
  • Take showers instead of baths to reduce hot water use.
  • Caulking and weather stripping will keep cool air in during the summer.