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Are You Hurricane Ready?

Hurricanes are powerful tropical storms which attribute heavy rains, strong winds and surging waves. Hurricanes occur anytime and anywhere, therefore the most important thing a person can do is prepare beforehand. Everyone who lives in an area highly affected by hurricanes needs to take personal responsibility and accountability by planning well before the storm season begins.

Start With a Plan:

  • Think about whether you will evacuate or stay at home. If you are unsure whether your home is able to withstand the storm, it is important to make note of the nearest hurricane shelters or alternative options and be prepared to leave as soon as possible.


  • Have disaster supplies on hand; Flashlight and extra batteries, Portable battery-operated radio, First aid kit & essential medicines, Canned food and water.


  • Document valuable items (passports, credit cards, birth certificates, money, licenses, etc.), and guarantee their safe keeping.


  • Perform an inventory of your home’s contents (electronics, jewelry, appliances, clothing, etc.) and store in safe place in case a damage claim has to be made.

Prepare Your Home:

  • Protect your windows. Permanent shutters are the best protection. A lower-cost approach is to put up plywood panels.


  • Trim branches away from your home and cut all dead or weak branches on any trees on, or in close proximity to your property.


  • Secure or remove all items outside of your home to avoid them being a cause of damage during strong winds.


  • Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.


  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.


During a Hurricane:

  • Regularly listen to your radio for information and updates related to the stop.


  • Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.


  • Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.


  • Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors. Ensure that they are all closed, including interior doors. Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object if the conditions get dangerous.
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Have Fun Decorating Your Kids Room

When your kids are ready to have their own bedrooms, for sure, they are excited to have a well-designed bedroom done according to their likes.


You will also be excited on how you could make your kid happy by decorating his or her bedroom.


Of course, the first thing you need to do is ask your kid what he or she really wants.  Then you conceptualize on how you will do it.  Think of what you already have and what you still need to acquire.


Depending on the theme of the bedroom, it could be expensive or affordable.   It is up to you to create a budget that will be enough to give your little ones the bedroom of their dreams but as you design your kid’s bedroom, bear in mind that as he or she grows up, the design of the room will also be altered.  A teenager wouldn’t want to sleep in a childish bedroom so for now, here are tips for designing your kid’s bedroom:


  1. Use bright colored window treatments.

Use colorful curtains for your child’s room.  See to it that the color you will use will match with the theme of the entire bedroom.  Stick with bright colored window treatments for it can give the room a sharper and cleaner look.  You can place a valance to lessen light that comes from overhead during the day.  Also, place a shade to be used in the evening.  Use a shade that has a color that complements to the room.


  1. Use the child’s toys as decor.

Your child’s toys are colorful and they also come in different sizes and shapes. They can serve as a decoration for the room. This way, you can save storage space by using hooks to hang large toys and open shelves for small toys. It actually looks great especially if the toys are arranged well.


  1. Use prints and paints.

For the wall of the bedroom, choose a bright colored paint and combine it with some prints. Aside from the wall, you can also use it for cabinets and other accents. You can try using a mural instead of prints. Let it show your kid’s favourite theme like flowers, race cars and others.


  1. Use fabrics that fit the room.

For the beddings, you can use one that match with the theme of the room.  Select your bedding to match the theme of the room as well as for comfort.  Mix and match sheets, pillows and comforters. You can even have some extra pillows just for accent. Aside from that, you can also match your curtains. This can give the room a united look.


  1. Decorate the ceiling.

You can also make the ceiling suitable for a kid’s taste by decorating it with glow in the dark items. They would enjoy staring at it while they are about to sleep. It would seem like they are gazing at the night stars.


  1. 6. Place educational things in the room.

Do not just stick with the design. Be sure also to place things that could aid for their learning like books, charts and toys for education. This way, your kid can have fun while learning.


  1. 7. Use photos for decorating.

Make use of pictures of your child’s fondest moment. You can include photos taken while you were in vacation, activities in school, achievement day and many others. You can create an accent wall using these photos which are framed in various sizes.


  1. Use innovative storage.

Storage areas are important for a kid’s bedroom in order to keep your kid’s things. Allocate different areas for their toys, books and clothes. Train them to return the things they took. Teach them how to be organized.


  1. Cover the floor.

Since your kids will surely crawl on the floor to play. Place carpet to protect your kid’s feet, knees, hands and other parts of his body but suits the design of the room. There are many options to use in the floor. You can also use rubber mats in lieu of carpets.


  1. Place a lampshade.

To give just enough light during bedtime, place a lampshade. It can also be good as an added decoration for the bedroom. There are decorative lamps with creative shades which you can use for your kid’s bedroom. But you can also buy plain lampshades and decorate it yourself.

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Using the Design Element of Balance

There are two main ways to create balance with your design. The first is SYMMETRICAL design and the second is ASYMMETRICAL.

Symmetrical design is achieved by placing identical objects on either side of a central point. Also referred to as formal balance, this design creates a quiet and restful feeling and suggests restraint, orderliness and formality.

With symmetrical design, everything is perfectly balanced. There is roughly two of everything or items are mirrored in the room. For instance, one chair is placed exactly opposite another one just like it. Identical light sconces are placed on both sides of a framed picture.

While this creates balance, it can also make a room look static and lacking any visual interest or energy.

Experienced designers use asymmetry to create this interest. Asymmetrical design is achieved by placing different objects of equal visual weight on either side of a central point.

Objects balance well because they are judged by their visual weight, not pairings. For instance, you have a large sofa on one side of the room that is balanced by two large overstuffed chairs with an accent table in the middle and floor lamp behind. These pieces balance the sofa visually, even though they aren’t equal in size or shape. The design works because there is balance in the asymmetrical layout of the furniture.

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A Reading Nook

We are indoor and in the reading nook. A reading nook is a small space that is set up specifically for relaxation while enjoying a favourite book. Sometimes you need to steal yourself away from other activities to focus on biting into literature that can feed your mind. Kids may need an area away from the television and games to focus on homework or reading.

It may not be practical or affordable to designate a separate room for a library. A reading nook is the perfect opportunity to display a few books and set up a comfortable area for reading.

Interestingly, a charming reading nook can be created even in the most cramped interiors or in spaces that need not necessarily be part of the living room or a specially designated area. Thus, the reading nook can be created beside the dining area, at the landing of the stairs, under the stairs, inside the bedroom, even beside a charming patio and perhaps the kitchen too if it opens on to the family room.

A reading nook under the stairs can be cleverly designed to serve as the most attractive and quiet retreat by simply fashioning the book shelves and seating in accordance. Thus, the shelves could be structured under the slope of the stairs while a comfortable seating can be fashioned beside it. Lighting appropriate for reading is placed in a position where if provides the best lighting for the task.

Interestingly, the seating here need not be a conventional armchair or regular reading chair. It can be an attractively curved piece of wood with plenty of cushions that rests snugly beside the shelf or a swanky design that packs in plenty of comfort along with a charming reading lamp.

The bedroom too can prove as an excellent place to accommodate a reading nook. It is customary to read before going to bed but some find the bed too cozy since they fall asleep too quickly. A small area can be created by placing a comfortable arm chair with foot rest in a corner of the bedroom, preferably next to a window, which is sectioned off by a bookshelf or two with an attractive floor lamp to facilitate reading.

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Cozy up Your Front Porch

The kitchen may be the heart of the home, but the front porch is like a handshake, welcoming visitors, serving as a connection point with the neighborhood, and role-playing as the first and sometimes only impression for passers-by and neighbors.

Whether it’s a sweeping, wrap around balcony or a cozy nook off the entryway of your home, a warm and welcoming porch brings indoor comforts outside, making it the perfect place to unwind with a cup of coffee or catch up with friends and neighbors.  The front porch adds value and instant curb appeal to any home.

Need some tips for spicing up your front porch?

Design with stylish, yet weather resistant furniture, instead of simple plastic lawn chairs.  This can turn a porch into a warm and welcoming gathering space.


Add some throw pillows to make your porch feel more personal.  A matching outdoor rug will make the space look cozy and more pulled together.

Adding a rocking chair or two painted in white, and metal coffee table will add character to the space.

Hanging baskets of flowers are a great way to free up planter space on your porch. The bright blooms will bring instant color to the front of the home.

To boost your home’s curb appeal, try painting the trim of your porch in a bold and unexpected color, like purple.

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Enjoy the Convenience of a Half Bathroom

A half bathroom is a bathroom which has a sink and a toilet, but no shower or tub. Such rooms are sometimes known colloquially as “half baths” or “powder rooms.” Many larger homes include a built in half bath, typically in a public area of the home so that it is readily accessible to guests. Especially in a house with multiple residents, a half bathroom can be an extremely useful thing, as it reduces pileups at the main bathroom in the morning, allowing people to use the toilet while leaving the shower free.

The design of a half bathroom can be quite varied. Some are extremely minimalistic, with just a toilet and a pedestal sink, while others include storage cabinets and other features. A mirror is also a common feature, allowing people to check on their physical appearance before emerging from the bathroom. Generally half bathrooms are relatively small, since people presumably do not need a great deal of space to do their business there.

If you happen to be building or remodeling a home and considering bathroom layouts, you may want to think about a half bathroom. One of the major conveniences of a half bathroom is that it ensures that you have a space for guests to use while keeping your own bathroom private. Since many people like to store medications and personal care items in their bathrooms, having a simple half bathroom can ensure peace of mind by ensuring that nosy guests will not be able to delve into a host’s personal life.

A half bathroom can also be useful in a master bedroom or as a shared bathroom used by children. In some cases in a house with multiple occupants, installing multiple full bathrooms might feel a bit silly, but having several toilets and sinks available can be handy; half bathrooms can meet this need quite nicely. People can keep various personal items like toothbrushes and so forth in the half bathroom, ensuring that they have access to them when a main bathroom is occupied by someone bathing or showering.

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The Attic

In our previous articles: Basement Conversion Ideas Part 1 and 2 we took a look at some uses for basement space that are uncommon in Dominica. Today we look at the benefits of a space that is not found in the average Dominican home, the attic.


The attic is the space found directly below the pitched roof of a home or building and just like the basement or any other room they offer a number of uses and benefits:


1. Attics help control the temperature in the home by providing a large mass of slowly moving air. When the hot air rises from the lower levels of the home it is often retained in the attic which is why generally attics are not primarily used for living space. However, ensuring that the space is well insulated will rectify this problem.


2. Attics are generally used for the purpose of storage. Rather than having all your family’s belongings scattered in various rooms all over the house causing the home to feel cluttered you can simply place the less needed items in the attic for safe keeping. The attic can be used to store items from seasonal decorations to unused pieces of furniture.


3. Homes with attics, especially completed attics that are well insulated, are of greater value than homes that do not have attic space. If you ever decide to put your home up for sale in the future you will not regret having an attic included in your home design. 
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5 Design Tips For Your Home Office

Including a home office in your home provides both personal and professional advantages. For starters, having a home office could greatly increase the value of your property. If you have a small business working from home will save you money that would essentially go towards renting an office space and additional utilities. And it also saves you money on travel. If you conduct your business affairs from home or you find yourself working from home frequently and are thinking of including an office space in your home, here are a few tips you should consider:


  • A home office can take any shape or form, and can come in various sizes. But what you firstly need to take into consideration is the location. In order to work efficiently in your home office you will need to consider the ideal location based on the type of work you do, the layout of the home, the space available, as well as your personal preference. Whether it is a quiet corner in the bedroom or living room, or a separate room altogether, ensure that the area has ample space for all what you need and that you can comfortably work in the chosen area. If you will be meeting with clients on a regular basis having a private space large enough to comfortably accommodate additional seats is best.
  • Available storage can greatly affect your level of productivity in your home office yet it is often overlooked. No matter where your office is located it is essential that you include some form of storage for books and important documents. Include enough shelving and or cupboards as needed in your office space. If the area is not large enough, or does not have ample wall space to take the necessary amount of shelves or cupboards needed, a filing cabinet can also be included. Having storage space in the home office helps you make efficient use of your office space and keeps your desk and surroundings well organized.
  • When it comes to lighting in your home office, maximize the use of natural light. A room that is well lit will keep you feeling awake, productive and creative. While thinking of where your office will be located consider an area in the home near a window, and if possible have your chair positioned facing the window. If you are in a windowless space try having your chair face the door. Having mirrors in your office space will brighten up the room when enough natural light cannot come in.
  • Different colors are thought to affect us in different ways and can alter our mood. For example the color blue is considered to be a very soothing color which aids in concentration. While colors like orange and yellow help foster creativity. When choosing a color for your home office space think light and bright. Darker colors, though they may be stylish, are more inclined to make you feel tired and less productive.
  • The best part about having a home office is that you get to decide what it looks and feels like. The opportunity is yours to add furniture and décor that not only highlights your business but shows who you are as an individual. If you want the overall office space to be traditional, contemporary or modern the decision is yours.


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Ideas to Consider When Remodeling Your Bathroom

If you are considering updating your bathroom the first thing you need to do is look around and make note of the things that you love and want to keep, the things you hate and the things that definitely need to either go or be updated. Make a list of the features you want to include in your new bathroom design and highlight what you need the most and what will be more practical given your budget and the size of your bathroom space.

When it comes to any major home remodeling or renovation project hiring a professional may seem costly when considering upfront costs but investing in a designer or architect to oversee your renovation project is always worth the expense in the long run. Setting up a plan with a designer or an architect will help keep your project within budget and will provide the assurance that the project will be completed within an expected timeline. Be sure to use the assistance of professionals for your plumbing and electrical works as well.

If you simply plan on doing a minor update to your bathroom then we suggest you do the following:

  • Update the toilet: if your toilet is still functional and is not outdated consider simply replacing the toilet lid and seat rather than throwing out the entire toilet and purchasing a new one. By just replacing these two components you will give the toilet a new look while saving time and money.
  • Use alternatives to tiles: instead of having tiles throughout the entire bathroom consider including other wall and flooring alternatives. While wood requires more maintenance than tiles, laminated or engineered wood panels or bead boards can provide a truly elegant look and a comfortable feel to your bathroom.
  • Use mirrors effectively: bathroom mirrors serve a greater purpose than providing a reflection. Having a mirror in the bathroom will aid in visually expanding the size of the room without undergoing an extension project, as well as brightening up the room. If your bathroom space is much smaller than you desire but you cannot afford to make the room physically bigger, consider purchasing a large wall-to-wall mirror which will make the room feel twice as big.
  • Storage: an elegant way to store and organize items in the bathroom while keeping them out of sight is by including an armoire with shelving. Installing hooks to hang towels is one of the easiest ways to add surface area when you have limited space. If you want to ensure that items are well organized inside of your drawers, drawer dividers are one way to help.


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April Fools’ Day – Make Small Spaces Appear Big

Many persons put a lot of emphasis on their bedroom and kitchen; this is good because they are often the most used spaces in the home.  The rest of the house is also important because they are the places where we meet and entertain our friends, family and other visitors.  A small space doesn’t necessarily have to feel small, you can make it big.  Here are a few ways to do that:


  1. Consider your household traffic when buying furniture and placing them inside the house. Smaller pieces of furniture placed in strategic locations will make you and your visitors comfortable if they can move freely around them.


  1. Multipurpose furniture is ideal for small homes e.g. a chair bed in the living room allows you to accommodate a visitor overnight. Look for furniture that can also be used for storage.


  1. If you can afford high-end décor, go ahead but there are stores who sell affordable pieces of decorative furniture that may be just as beautiful. Some locally crafted items can also do the trick.


  1. Your paint colour can either make or break your interior decoration. Paint your home in colours that will complement your furniture and will greater enhance your room’s appeal.


  1. Bold colours are great for lifting a room however we do not advise the use of too many bright colours in one area especially if the room is small.


  1. A very important aspect of designing a home is light, not only for aesthetic reasons but also for health reasons. You should try to make the best use of natural light that infiltrates your home.


  1. Do you know mirrors make rooms appear bigger than they really are? The hanging of a mirror or two enhances the appearance of a home.  In addition to making the room look larger, it also makes it brighter.


Before you begin, get your finances straight.  Think carefully about what changes you would like to make and the money you can spend before you start the project.