How to Prepare for Guests | Part Two

In the first part of this series, we discussed the importance of making the guest bedroom and bathroom comfortable for your guests. Since you will be opening up your home to your out of town guests, they will have access to the entire home. Of course, the goal is to ensure that your guests feel relaxed. Below are some additional ways you can be the ultimate hostess. Let’s take a look!

Kitchen 

We all enjoy our coffee in the morning. Earn some brownie points by setting out coffee and tea every morning during their stay. To make it more like a stay at a charming bed and breakfast, you can have everything set out on a serving tray complete with creamer and sugar to go along with their morning drink.  

Since we all have to eat, go the extra mile by stocking the refrigerator with some of your guest’s favorite snacks and bottled water. Be sure to ask your guests beforehand what type of foods that like to have as a snack. If you plan on cooking, it is best to prepare meals ahead of time. There is nothing more welcoming than having your friends arrive with a spread of their favorite foods.   

Pets 

While we love our furry friends, not everyone is comfortable around animals; therefore, if you have a pet, you should try keeping them contained in one area of the house. Keep their potty mats and food bowls out of sight.   

But what if your guests are traveling with a pet? If your friends bring along their pet, you will want to make things easier for them.  Block off areas of the home that you do not want their pets to have access. Make it easy for them to walk their pet by providing them with an extra house key. 

Living Room Area 

Since you will likely be spending a lot of time entertaining in the living room, you want to make sure your guests enjoy themselves. Keep clean throws lying around so that they can cozy up with if it gets chilly.  Make sure books, magazines and movies are readily available. Even more importantly, do not forget to share the Wifi password! 

How do you prepare for guests? We would love to hear your entertaining tips below in the comment section.

How to Prepare for Guests | Part One

So, you have some out of town friends visiting for the weekend. No doubt, you want to them to enjoy their space. Preparing for guests involves much more than merely ensuring that they have a comfortable place to rest their head at night. In fact, you feel that your main priority is to make sure that your guests feel like they are at home and that they have a memorable experience during their stay. To help you create a guest oasis, we created a list of ideas to help give your guests a five-star hotel treatment. Let’s take a look!

Choose The Right Bedroom

Ideally, having a guest bedroom with an attached bathroom is excellent; however, if you do not have an extra bedroom that is not in use, be sure to put your guests up in an area that gives them privacy. That means you should not choose the room that is next to a busy, public area. In addition, the room you prepare for them should be close to the bathroom; that way your guests will not have to migrate through the busiest parts of the house just to get to the restroom.

Cleanliness

The most obvious step in preparing for guests is ensuring that the guest bedroom is squeaky clean. Since this will be their home away from home for the next few days, you will want the room to be fresh and void of anyone else’s footprints. You will need to perform a deep cleaning and get rid of clutter and dust every crevice. But remember, the guest bedroom is not the only area of the room you will want to perform a deep cleaning. The entire house should be “spic and span.”

Stocking The Bathroom

You can further make your guests feel comfortable by stocking the bathroom with essentials for your guests. If your guests are using their own bathroom, you can fill the vanity with essentials such as extra toothbrushes, cotton balls, soap, and toothpaste. Travelers often forget essential items so having them on deck will relieve their frustration. Additionally, you may want to supply a few luxuries such as plush bath towels and scented lotions and bath beads.

When creating a guest’s oasis, think of the things that you need while you are away from home and put those items inside of their space. For more guest bedroom tips, be sure to check out part two here.

Planning a Kitchen Remodel for Resale

The kitchen can be one of the most significant selling points of a home to prospective buyers. Your home’s resale value can be determined by several factors of your home, one of them including the kitchen. The kitchen’s functionality, aesthetic appeal, and appliances can all contribute to the value. It is essential to properly invest in your kitchen if you are planning on reselling your home. Certain buyers will want particular features in their future kitchen, but there are general guidelines that will help make your kitchen appealing to all prospective buyers. Let’s take a look! 

1. Appliances. Keep in mind that homeowners typically prefer stainless steel appliances for their home. If you are looking to potentially sell your home, you should consider buying stainless steel appliances to keep buyers happy. Also, you will need to take in consideration the age of each appliance that may need to be replaced. Some appliances will last longer than others. Make sure to only replace items if they need to be replaced then you can use the leftover money on other kitchen features.

2. Counter Space & Countertops. Food gurus love a lot of kitchen counter space. Plus, it will not devalue your house if you have a lot of counter space available. The type of countertop your home has can really hold together your whole kitchen’s design. Granite countertops tend to be homeowners’ favorite because of their beauty and durability. Granite allows you to place hot pans on top of it without having to worry about potentially burning it. If you are worried about the cost, consider getting grade 2 granite. Buyers are not necessarily looking for the most expensive countertops, but a nice-looking countertop can complete the overall look.

3. Storage. The kitchen could be absolutely gorgeous, but if there is nowhere to put anything, it is almost useless to buyers. The number of cabinets and drawers available for storage purposes can be a major selling feature. Homeowners do not want to worry about where they will put all of their kitchen supplies. If your home does not have enough storage currently, try adding in some more cabinets.

4. Flooring. There are some significant factors to keep in mind when you are choosing your kitchen flooring. If your kitchen is opened to other rooms in your house, consider the style and if it flows with the rest of your home. Keep in mind that your flooring can determine the aesthetic appeal of your kitchen. Flooring can either be a real eye-sore or a statement piece. Lastly, you should consider how easy it is to clean your flooring. Maintenance can definitely be a priority for some homeowners.

Try remodeling your kitchen with classic trends rather than making it super trendy. Focus on designing with trends that tend to stay in style for a long time. We hope you found these four tips helpful. Thanks for reading! 

Tips for Understanding & Incorporating Neutral Colors

By now, we are sure that you understand the importance of colors like black and white in design. You may even be able to confidently use warm and cool tones effectively express a desired “feel.” Now you may want to know how to incorporate neutral colors in your design to compliment your space.  In fact, you will find that neutrals are great because like black and white, they will not be biased towards your room’s depiction. 

Brown

This earthy tone is often associated with being welcoming and friendly.  Using it to balance a room, gives a conservative feel.  Its genuine, organic nature makes a room feel balanced.  It is a safe solution to use in a space that is lagging stability and balance.  It is perfect to add with warm colors to create a rustic vibe or use with cooler colors to make an earthy, tranquil environment.

Beige and Tan

Beige and tan are ideal for toning down bold colors.  These colors help bring the room back to a more grounded, flexible feel.   While reliable in nature, too much of these can leave a room feeling dull so remember to include warm or cool tones to get the most out of your room.  Using these classic colors is always a safe option to help your home’s resell value in the future.

Gray

Gray is a cool-toned neutral color that helps add balance to a space. It is often considered a timeless color, and it is loved for its ability to blend well in any design. It works well with its complimenting colors: black and white, but you can also pair it with other color tone colors to create a calming, tranquil oasis.

Golds, Coppers, & Bronzes

Perhaps these prestigious colors are one of the more fun and daring neutral tones to use.  They are great because it will not lean towards warm or cool tones but can help give a room a more valuable entitlement.  More matted forms of these colors feel traditional and even historical.  This is a great way to help develop a design style in a room.  If you decide to go a more Hollywood Glam style, you can incorporate a more metallic form of these colors.  They will help make a room feel rich and classy.  These metal-based colors are fun to use and visually expand the room’s potential with a more elegant approach.

Which neutral tone is your favorite? We would love to hear your thoughts below in the comment section. Thanks for reading!

How to Properly Paint a Room

Paint is probably one of the most affordable and quickest ways to transform a room’s appearance. It allows homeowners to add personality and detail to a space without overwhelming the design. 

If you are new to painting, do not be overwhelmed.  There are four easy steps: preparation, trimming, rolling, and the finish. With this quick and easy guide, we hope to simplify the process for you while including must-know details for your project. Let’s take a look!

Beginning Act

Prepping your space is an essential step to ensure your paint job has a professional quality finish.  Take your time with prepping and do not rush because it will show in your end product.  Start by clearing your room of all furniture and covering your floor with a tarp.  You will need to remove your outlet covers as well.  You may want to put the screws back in once the outlet covers are removed, so you do not lose them, and cover the outlets with painter’s tape.  Remove doors and place the pins back in the hinges for safe keeping.  Remove wallpaper and patch any holes in your wall with spackle.   

Once any holes are filled and dried, use sandpaper to sand the area to a smooth finish.  Next, give the room a quick wipe down.  Grab a lightly dampened rag and wipe down all your walls and trim to remove dust.  Dust could possibly be on your baseboards and above your door trim.  If you plan on painting your trim, you will need to check if it has been painted prior.  Most trim is painted with an oil-based paint which cannot be painted over.  Sand your trim and apply a primer to the trim and any patchwork you have done in the room.

Sectioned Off

Depending on the amount of paint you have purchased, you may need to mix them to create a homogeneous blend.  Get a large, clean pale and pour your paint gallons into and stir.  Next, you will need to paint the trim in your room.  Generally, painters prefer to start with the ceiling before the walls.  Tape off where your ceiling meets the walls to avoid splatter.  Use a paint roller to paint the majority of your ceiling.  For the edges, you should use a brush.  Let the ceiling dry and remove the tape.  Next, apply your painter’s tape to trim your walls.  Use a paintbrush to get hard to reach areas like corners and where the walls meet the ceiling or trim.  When cutting in with your brush, use light, smooth strokes to avoid runs.  Do not press harder to get more paint.  Just add more paint to the brush as needed.

They See Me Rollin’

After you edge in all your room with paint, grab your roller and apply your paint to the walls.  This is the usually the step people like to rush too but do not rush the importance of prepping and trimming in your room.  Mentally, break your walls into smaller four-foot by four-foot sections to focus on doing.  When using your roller, go slow to avoid splatters and go in different directions to hit all angles.  To get closer to your trimmer in work, turn the roller sideways.  You may need to apply a second or even third coat after the first coat dries.

The Finishing Touch

Once you have finished applying all your coats, let the paint dry before removing your painter’s tape.  Do not wait too long after your paint dries, or you will peel your paint off as well.  Using a razor blade can help you remove the tape without pulling off paint.  Remember to clean your brushes and rollers when you are done.  Put your doors, and outlet covers back on and remove your flooring tarp.  Your room is ready to have it furniture added now.

Paint instantly changes the feel and tone to a room.  Whether you paint your space yourself or hire a professional, undoubtedly, a fresh paint job will transform your room’s entire look. 

What paint colors are you currently obsessed with using? We would love to hear below in the comment section.

Five Fabulous Ways to Use Laminate on Your Walls

Homeowners are raving about the wonders of laminate. Not only does laminate work well on your floors, but you can also install it on your walls! With the broadest selection of colors and textures available to consumers, you can create a stylish space on a budget. Let’s take a look at five ways homeowners are using laminate on their walls:

Five Fabulous Ways to Use Laminate on Your Walls:

1. Featured as an Accent Wall.

Laminate can help make a statement in your space by using it to frame your room. It can work exceptionally well in bedrooms that do not feature a headboard. When selecting your laminate, if you already have hardwood floors in the space, you want to choose a laminate in a contrasting/complementary color. You want the wall to stand out as well as accent the space.

2. Displayed inside of Built-In’s/Shelving/Insets.

Installing laminate inside of your home’s built-in’s, shelving, or insets is a unique approach to this classic storage option. The laminate helps to draw attention to the cut-out and frame it as a visually appealing piece. For even more creativity, design experts recommend switching back and forth between vertical and horizontal installment in each different cut-out. 

3. Placed above Your Fireplace.

By lining the top of your fireplace with laminate, you can help elevate your room and make the room look larger. This is an inexpensive way to create a larger space on a budget.

        • Pro-Tip: If you decide to hang your television on top of the laminate, experts recommend adding a sheet of plywood underneath for support with weight-bearing screws. This will help ensure your television is secure and ready for watching. 

4. Installed as a Kitchen Backsplash.

If you are looking for a budget-friendly and rustic backsplash for your kitchen, laminate is the perfect choice for you! It can help add character to your kitchen with its charming wooden look. This design works well in kitchens that have painted cabinetry or open shelving because wood (backsplash) on wood (cabinets) can feel a bit intense.

5. Designed into Bathroom.

Laminate can be an affordable, durable option for homeowners looking to dress up their bathroom walls. It helps to give the bathroom a cozy, cabin feel and creates a breath-taking finished product.

We hope that you feel inspired by all the different possibilities. For more user-friendly tips and tricks, please visit us at From The Floors Up

Genius Tips for an Overly Bright Window

Most buyers will search for a home that provides a lot of natural light. Unfortunately, yours may feature a little more than typically wanted. If you feel like the light coming through your window is overpowering, we have six genius ideas to help you. Let’s take a look at six ideas for an overly bright window:

Ideas for an Overly Bright Window

1. Soften The Effect.

You may find it helpful to place curtains over the window that produces a lot of natural light. Instead of getting rid of all of the light that is produced from the window, you may want to incorporate sheer curtains. Sheer curtains will help soften the intensity caused by the sunlight while still allowing an ample amount of light to enter the space.

2. Incorporate Plants.

Greenery can help the window’s brightness feel deliberate. A few plants here and there will add some charm as well as tone down the room’s overly bright nature.

3. Begin The Day Earlier.

Bright spaces give the opportunity to start your day early. You can get a jump start on activities and begin each morning feeling refreshed.

4. Take Advantage of The Light.

You may find it a little difficult to sleep in a room with an overly bright window, but it can make for the perfect workspace. Homeowners find the brightness inspiring, and it helps them get a jump start on work.

5. Contrast It.

Homeowners also find it helpful to contrast the bright nature of the window with a darker wall color. Some may even go as far as using black on the walls to balance out the brightness. We recommend sampling some paint colors within your room before committing. You want to be sure that the colors work well during all hours.

6. Create an Indoor Garden.

If the well-lit area of your home is inside your kitchen or dining room, you can create a mini indoor garden with fresh herbs. The windowsill can be the perfect place for mini pots and containers. Just be sure to find easy-to-grow herbs that work well in sunny areas.

We hope you enjoyed these tips and tricks! Be sure to check back weekly at From The Floors Up for more expert advice. Thanks for reading! 

Simple Tricks for Housing Guests without a Guest Bedroom

If you do not have a bedroom to spare, you may be left without a proper guest bedroom. But fear not, because we have six simple ideas to help transfer your space into a guest’s hideaway. Let’s take a look!

Simple Ideas for Housing Guests without a Guest Bedroom:

Add a Tension Rod with Curtains.

If you are trying to create a closed-off space for your guests, you can install a tension rod with curtains inside one of your rooms. This simple hack will easily close off their area of the room by giving them privacy and comfort.

Place in a Room Divider.

Another solution for instant room division is a divider. Room dividers can be easily removed at a moment’s notice, making it a perfect last-minute solution. You can place the room divider inside of any room with extra space to feature your guest’s hideaway.

Buy a Sofa-Bed.

If you are worried about where they will sleep, you can invest in a sofa-bed. Sofa-beds are fantastic because they are dual-purpose. In the daytime, they provide a cozy place to sit and watch television. In the evening, they can be turned into your guest’s bed for a good night’s rest.

Provide The Essentials.

Guest bedrooms tend to come along with essential items like extra blankets, clean sheets, towels, and even extra phone chargers. Although you do not have a guest bedroom, you can make this designated area special by incorporating these items. You can also make them a friendly welcome basket for their stay. The basket could include some of the items previously listed and even things that are special to your city.

Give a Proper Nightstand.

If you are hosting your guests in your living room, be sure to convert your end table into a proper nightstand for the evening. That means clearing it off of extra decor pieces and providing the essential items we previously listed.

Make It Have Easy Access to a Bathroom.

Lastly, before you decide on the location of your temporary guest bedroom, you want to be sure that you choose somewhere with a central location to the bathroom. The last thing you would want is your guests stumbling over everything in the middle of the night to get to the bathroom.

We hope you enjoyed these tips and tricks! Be sure to check back weekly for more expert advice.

Professional Organizational Advice for Your Home Office

If you tend to bring your work home, you understand the importance of having a fully-functioning home office. Even homeowners who work from home, enjoy the luxuries of having an office space right there. Having a home office to work from can be great, but what if your office is underused. There is a desk, sure, but you have not been able to use your office in quite some time. We totally get it and that is why we have created four organizational tips to help make your office fully-functioning by this weekend. Let’s take a look!

Four Office Organization Tips:

Systemize. Your office may be a mess when it comes to the filing systems you have created. Using an efficient filing system will change your life. A good tip is to create a color-coded system for filing. You will want to divide each personal record into a different colored category for example:

Red: Medical
Orange: Dental
Yellow: School
Green: Home
Blue: Personal
Purple: Finances

Computerize. Just imagine all the space you could save by getting rid of the physical paper copies you own. Transfer all of your paper records onto your computer by scanning the documents onto your computer. Generally, it is a good idea to keep the physical copies of significant documents, but you could have two copies just in case. After you put all of your records on your computer, you can color-code your folders to match the color categories you previously used in your filing system.

Minimize & Categorize. Try to minimize the clutter by placing your office supplies in bins inside your desk. While you are sorting through your office supplies, it is a good idea to sort through the items that you want to keep and the items you can donate. After you have placed items inside a box, you can label each box with the category of contents inside of the box (I.e., writing utensils, crafting paper, etc).

Centralize. Your home office can be at the forefront for all of your household needs. Since mail will need sorted and potentially filed, it is a good idea to create a mail station in your home office. Just place a bin on your desk for the mail that needs to be read and sorted.

We hope that these four tips will help you organize your office space quickly and efficiently. We would love to hear your thoughts below in the comment section.

Repetition Matters

Patterns are great tools to utilize in your home.  Repetition through the use of pattern helps captivate the mind and is intriguing to the overall design perspective.  Bold colors and designs can make strong statements through repetition as well as help encompass the room’s theme.  Here are several ways to put patterns in your home to aid your space’s design:
 
Splash of Color in a Neutral Room
If you have a neutral room lacking emphasis and color, try incorporating a bold accent color through repetition. Colors can help change the room’s feel.  For example, a neutral living room with no color will respond great to red throw pillows, a couple of red accented pictures on the wall, and simple red decor.  By repeating a color (i.e., red), you are providing a more continuous design scheme.
 
Pro-Tip: Adding red will help the room have a more soft, warm feel.  Whereas, on the contrary, adding blue to the room as the primary could help give a more tranquil, cool vibe.
 
Hard Angles Versus Soft Curves
This one can be overlooked in some design themes.  Pay attention to your room’s furniture and angles.  If your furniture has sharp angles, continue this concept throughout the room.  The rest of your furniture should help complement one another.  If your space has round edges, you can also have more circular attributes in the room’s decor as well.  Keeping this repetition in a room will help give a sense of unity and balance.
 
Direction and Patterns
If you plan on incorporating stripes and patterns, be sure to keep unity throughout the space.  Vertical lines and horizontal patterns can clash if not done correctly.  Repetition matters and how you use these patterns should help add to the room’s overall theme.  If you have a striped wall as a primary viewpoint of the room, try to have decor compliment the focal point.   Polka dots can be a useful, creative design tool to use as an attention-drawer. They can help add depth to a room with contradicting colors.  When trying to match polka dots, consider using similar patterns and colors through the room’s design to help strengthen your space’s aesthetic.
 
Application
However, you chose to use patterns and repetition in your room will help amplify the features of your space.  Different patterns can be used to capture height or depth.  Consider what your overall design is and what repetition should then allow it to be the room’s base.
 
Remember, patterns make great accents to rooms to help with the overall aesthetics, and the use of repetition will help create consistency and an effortless flow from one room to the next.