How to Create a Comfortable Living Room

For home sellers, it is important to take a close look at every room in your house, including your living room.

Although your living room has served as a great place to relax and hang out with family members and friends, you’ll want to invest time and resources to ensure this space offers a warm, inviting vibe. By doing so, you may be able to enhance your living room’s appearance and boost your chances of a quick home sale.

What does it take to revamp a living room? Here are three tips to help home sellers transform an ordinary living room into a comfortable space:

1. Establish a Color Scheme.

Your living room colors ultimately could make or break a homebuyer’s impression of your home.

For example, if your living room includes calm, relaxing hues, it may help homebuyers feel at ease the moment they enter. Or, if your living room features bold, vibrant colors, it may add energy to the setting’s décor.

Determine a color scheme that offers the ideal mix of style and sophistication. This color scheme should make your living room pop; at the same time, try not to use colors that are overly dramatic or take away from the setting’s ambiance.

When in doubt, use warm or cool hues to bolster your living room’s appearance. These hues likely will complement any home’s décor and will improve your chances of making an unforgettable first impression on homebuyers.

2. Select Stylish Flooring.

Flooring may make a world of difference in how homebuyers view your living room, and for good reason. With the right flooring in place, you’ll be able to make your living room a comfortable and enjoyable space, one that will generate plenty of interest from homebuyers.

A solid wood floor may prove to be a great choice in your living room and could give the space a natural look and feel. Comparatively, carpets are soft and durable and come in a wide range of patterns to help you take your living room décor to new heights.

3. Rearrange Your Furniture.

What good is a living room if visitors cannot easily converse with one another? Show homebuyers the true potential of your living room by arranging furniture in a way that promotes conversation.

Pull your living room couch, loveseat and other furniture away from the walls and have them face one another. This will help give your living room an intimate appearance, one that may enable your living space to leave homebuyers with a distinct impression of your residence.

Discovering the best ways to enhance your living room could prove to be time-consuming. Fortunately, hiring a real estate agent may help you streamline the process of transforming your living room’s appearance from drab to fab.

A real estate agent will conduct an in-depth home assessment so you can better understand your residence’s strengths and weaknesses. Plus, this professional will offer tips to help you improve your living room’s appearance in no time at all.

Dedicate the time and resources to bolster your living room’s appearance, and you may be able to reap the benefits of a quick home sale.

Four Reasons Dogs Are Not For Everybody

There are several compelling reasons to have a dog as a family pet. They give their owners unconditional love, their protective instinct helps keep your family and home safe, and they’re great walking or jogging companions. If you love dogs, then your home probably does not feel complete without one. However, dog ownership is not for everyone, and careful thought should be given to the pros and cons of bringing a dog into the family. Here’s an overview of some of the issues to weigh when your kids are begging you to buy them a puppy.

  • Is your family’s lifestyle compatible with dog ownership? Dogs are very social animals, so if everyone is too busy to train, walk, and play with a new pet, then your pooch might not receive the attention they need to thrive and be happy. Dogs that are frequently bored or lonely tend to acquire some undesirable habits, such as chewing on furniture or barking incessantly. Dogs also need to be groomed regularly, taken to the vet’s for periodic shots and checkups, and given preventative medicine for ticks, fleas, and other parasites. Some dog breeds are considered to be higher maintenance than others, so it pays to do your research before deciding whether to take on the responsibility of dog ownership.
  • Does anyone in your family have allergies to dogs or cats? Roughly one in ten people in the U.S. do have pet allergies, so it could be a potential problem. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, dogs produce allergens that are found in their hair, dander, saliva, and urine. Symptoms of a dog or cat allergy can include sneezing, running nose, coughing, wheezing, hives, rashes, or watery, itchy, red eyes. If might be impractical to have a dog living in your house if a member of your family has a pet allergy. The good news is that there are some dogs that are less likely to cause allergic reactions than others, including the following breeds: Bichon Frise, Maltese, Poodle, Schnauzer, Irish Water Spaniel, Portuguese Water Dog, Afghan Hound, several types of terriers, and a handful of other family-friendly dogs. The American Kennel Club is a good source of information on dogs, including ones that have non-shedding coats and produce less dander.
  • Dogs that were bred in less-than-humane conditions and were removed from their mother prematurely may be fearful, neurotic, and have behavioral problems. Buying puppies through reputable, local breeders rather than pet stores that may be associated with large-scale “puppy mills” is usually a wiser approach to adopting a dog. There are plenty of pet stores that sell healthy, well adjusted puppies, but it’s always good to shop around and make informed decisions.
  • Large, rambunctious dogs can be playful and friendly, but aren’t aware of the effect they can have on their human friends. If you have very young children or elderly relatives in the house, an overly exuberant, large dog might not be the best match for your family. If you do have a big dog, one of the first orders of business would be to teach them not to jump on people.

While dogs can be a wonderful addition to the family, dog ownership is a commitment that has one thing in common with marriage: It shouldn’t be entered into lightly!

Organic Produce

It seems like there is so much information now about eating organic food. It’s a good idea, but there are a lot of misconceptions, too. For instance, warnings online about what foods are dangerous to eat don’t take into consideration the amount of “dangerous” chemicals that may be on or in some of these foods, particularly vegetables and fruit. In many cases, one would have to eat pounds and pounds of the produce to cause a possible problem in your body. If you read all the negative hype, like “Top 5 foods to NEVER eat”, it will make you crazy.

Markets are getting on the bandwagon and have labels on their organic produce, grass-fed meat and free range chicken and eggs. You may have noticed that the costs are quite a bit higher for these items. Careful planning and a little bit of research can help you feed your family safely and economically.

For instance, fruits and vegetables that can be peeled or washed will most likely remove any residue from the produce. Other items that are eaten peels and all may be the ones you want to buy in the organic version. Strawberries are an example of this: have you ever tried to peel a strawberry? Just use your better judgment; there is logic in shopping, after all.

Farmer’s markets are a good way to buy locally grown produce, but be aware that some fruits and vegetables will still have been treated with pesticides and chemicals. Just read the signs as organically grown is all the rage now and the farmers are aware of what the public is looking for.

The bottom line is, don’t go overboard and be over reactive in buying “healthy” foods for your family. Remember that most of the meats and produce contain just trace amounts of unhealthy chemicals and you have been just

Keeping Pests Out of Your Garden

landscape of floral gardening with pathway and bridge in gardenDeer and other pests are hungry and your gardens, whether they be rooftop or 5 acre gardens, they may host just the right menu items. If you compare your plantings to this basic list of critter resistant plants, you may find a few that are helping your garden grow and keeping the critters away or baiting them in. If you opt to plant some of these known defenders, you will have a lovely garden scent, a whimsical flare, and less pests. Proven fact per many local professional gardeners.

Catmint Plants come in white, pink and purple. They make a great addition to a full sun garden and can even withstand partial shade. If you prune these flowers, they will continuously bloom, making them a permanent pest blocker.

Fox Glove is considered one of the most poisonous garden plants and yes, critter resistant. Because of its height, you may want this plant to be positioned as a backdrop in your garden or use as a privacy wall on your porch or balcony. Fox Glove will deter small critters but you may want to reconsider this poisonous plant if you have small children.

Ornamental Salvia Plants are also a critter resistant plant because of their odor. Deer and small animals find the sweet, herb like flower to be “smelly” and they walk right by. Similar to a Lavender plant, the smell is not desirable to the hungry pests. Be careful of the ever popular Salvia, which the some critters love, Hosta. Even though it is easy, looks pretty and fills almost any hole, it is a favorite item for those hungry critters.

A simple plant to place in the garden is Ornamental Grass. Again, pest resistant with height and variation on its side, this is a good choice and a barrier to either the wood line where the wildlife would approach, or the edge of your patio or balcony where small scavengers have access.

A combination of Catamint, Salvia, Ornamental Grass, Fox glove, and Lavender in a full sun or partial shade garden, will deter most critters, enhance your gardens, attract butterflies, and smell fantastic all at the same time.