Baby & Toddler Home Safety Checklist

You probably feel safest at home with your baby—and you should. But the unfortunate fact is that so often, our homes are filled with hazards for babies, toddlers, and young children who don’t know how to avoid dangers at home. Common risks like sharp objects, hazardous liquids, hot surfaces, and water can cause injury or even death. Before your baby is born, or at least before your baby starts crawling, ensure that your home is safe to explore by getting ready with our baby and toddler home safety checklist.kitchen

26 Essential Items for Your Home Repair Tool Kit

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Every home owner needs a tool box. Whether you’re handy or not, little things come up, and they’re not all worth calling a professional. A home tool kit can help you hang photos, assemble furniture, fix a toilet, build a cabinet, and more. You can even manage emergencies like leaky pipes until you can get help from the pros. Fill your tool box with these essential items and you’ll be ready to take on most minor (and some major) repair and home improvement projects.

  1. Hammer: No tool box is complete without a hammer. You can drive in and pull out nails and complete a variety of projects with a hammer.
  2. Measuring tape: Consider how furniture will fit into a room, measure wood before cutting, measure windows for blinds, and more with a handy measuring tape. Look for a 16 foot long tape measure at least 3/4 inch wide.
  3. Screwdriver: A screwdriver is essential for so many home projects, ranging from assembling furniture to tightening hinges. You can get a set of multi sized and multiple bit individual screwdrivers, or invest in a single multi bit screwdriver. It’s a good idea to get extra Phillips head screwdrivers to place in multiple areas of your home, as they are most commonly used.
  4. Power drill: You can live without a power drill, but practically every project is made easier with the help of power. You can drill holes and drive screws efficiently. With additional bits, you can even stir paint, grind materials, and more.
  5. Hand saw: A power saw is helpful for many applications, but quick jobs like cutting through small pieces of wood or pipes in tricky spots are better handled with a hand saw. These saws are also very portable.
  6. Utility knife: Break down boxes, open packaging, sharpen pencils, and more with a simple utility knife.
  7. Five gallon bucket: Corral tools for a project, catch water, or just sit on a five gallon bucket. You’ll be glad you have it.
  8. Super glue: Glue porcelain pieces back together, fix a drawer, complete arts and crafts projects, fix shoes, repair sunglasses, and more.
  9. Wrench: Invaluable for plumbing jobs, get a medium sized slip joint pair of pliers and an adjustable wrench.
  10. Allen wrench: Save those little wrenches that come with ready to assemble furniture, as they can come in handy later. You can use them to disassemble furniture and toys, even fix some bikes.
  11. Needle nose pliers: Needle nose pliers come in handy more often than you’d think. They’re great for repairs in small and tight places and especially useful for jewelry repair.
  12. Putty knife: Scrape away loose paint, apply wall patching compound, and more with a stiff bladed putty knife.
  13. Vice grips: Vice grips can give you a practical third hand, holding on when your other hands are busy. You can use them to clamp items in place, remove stripped or broken screws, open zippers, pinch or close off small pipes, and more.
  14. Clamps: Hold pieces of wood tightly together, keep items in place while glue dries, and more.
  15. Step ladder: Reach anything in your home with ease using a step ladder. You can hang Christmas lights, change light bulbs, paint rooms, even get items off of the roof.
  16. Level: Make sure every photo you hang is straight across with a level. You can also use it for precision woodworking and other projects.
  17. Pry bar: Remove nails, flooring, and more with a pry bar.
  18. Stud finder: Never wonder where you can hang heavy photos. With a stud finder, you’ll be able to identify studs in your walls for sturdy hanging spots. Some stud finders can even identify water pipes and electrical lines you should avoid.
  19. WD-40: Lubricate anything, stop rust in its tracks, clean bathtubs, walls, and more, protect metal from corrosion, remove tough materials, and so much more with WD-40.
  20. Circular saw: This versatile power tool is helpful in practically any woodworking project.
  21. Duct tape: It’s no joke: duct tape really can fix almost anything, at least temporarily. Patch a PVC pipe, repair an air duct, stop wood from splitting, and more.
  22. Flashlight: Visibility is key to safety and accuracy in home improvement projects. Using a flashlight or lamp will illuminate your work area and make your task easier. If you need an extra hand, consider a head lamp instead.
  23. Safety glasses: Working with tools can kick up dust, debris, wood shavings, and more — none of which you want to end up in your eyes. Protect them with a good pair of safety glasses, especially when you’re working with power tools.
  24. Gloves: Even padded and comfortable tools can wear on your hands, causing blisters and discomfort. Some projects can also get quite messy. A pair of gloves will protect your hands and keep you comfortable.
  25. Mask: Protect your lungs from debris and fumes with a mask.
  26. Ear plugs: Using power tools can get loud, so it’s smart to use a pair of ear plugs for safety.

Update From:http://www.choicehomewarranty.com/blog/26-essential-items-home-repair-tool-kit/

Remodeling for Twins

Remodeling for Twins

Homeowners renovate a master bathroom, nursery and outdoor space in time for twins.
 
Adam Christian and John Volturo had just six weeks to remodel a fixer-upper house into the home of their dreams. The reason for the tight deadline? The couple was expecting twins. To help them make room for babies in record time, they called home remodeling expert Laurie March.
The Pacific Palisades, Calif., home, built in 1949, was walking distance from restaurants, grocery stores and state parks. The mid-century modern home had two bedrooms and two baths tucked into an economical 928 square feet. The property also had a private backyard and a large guesthouse, making it ideal for the family life the couple was about to begin. Affordability was an issue, too. “We essentially picked the smallest house that needed the most TLC,” Christian said, in explaining their purchase.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Remodeling for Twins 07:19

Homeowners with twins on the way embark on a six-week remodeling adventure.

Adam Christian and John Volturo sit in their newly renovated outdoor space with twin daughters, Michaela and Julia.

At the top of their to-do list: Turning one of the home’s small bedrooms into a nursery. The room had an existing closet but it was a reach-in style that didn’t have enough space for the belongings of two babies. So Laurie’s team demolished the old closet and replaced it with adjustable shelving and rods behind white slab doors, an open bookcase and deep drawers. She also installed recessed lighting in the ceiling so precious floor space wouldn’t be taken up by lamps.
To give the nursery a fresh, modern feel, Adam and John selected a white and aqua color scheme, with a diamond pattern stenciled on an accent wall. They replaced the old windows with new ones that were up to fire safety codes and repaired the damaged floor.
Next, Laurie’s team moved on to the master bedroom. They demolished the closet in this room, too, replacing doors and hardware, and knocking out the wall between the master bedroom and a hall bathroom to create a bathroom en suite. Pocket doors that slid into the bedroom walls maximized the room’s floor space.
Then, it was on to the new master bathroom. To keep them on schedule, Laurie had Adam and John choose materials that were in stock and didn’t have to be special ordered. Updates included a new, gray-stained floating vanity, white acrylic countertops, square porcelain vessel sinks, and chrome single-lever faucets.
Gray wood medicine cabinets provided much-needed storage. The polished chrome shower fixtures put sparkle in the tub, and its hand-held showerhead makes it easier for Adam and John to bathe their babies.
To stay on budget, Adam and John kept the existing tub, and March had it sandblasted and recoated. Large wall tiles in a light gray pinstripe made the shower feel sleek, warm, and modern without darkening the space. Laurie’s team cut a horizontal niche into the shower wall for baby toys, shampoo and scrub brushes.
For the bathroom floor, Adam and John opted for a darker gray tile and matching gray grout for a seamless, spa-like subtlety.
To keep the bathroom’s feel modern, Laurie’s team used metal trim on tile edges instead of rounded bullnose tiles. So the shower walls, niche and vanity backsplash all have brushed chrome edges. Bathroom walls were painted with crisp, white, low VOC paint. Ceiling-track shower curtains completed the spa look.
Laurie didn’t just help John and Adam with aesthetic choices. She also kept their construction project running on time and within budget. Laurie hired a contractor who would work on a per-project fee instead of an hourly rate.
“You have to set up your team to be motivated by time if you’re going to achieve a rapid-fire construction schedule,” Laurie says. “Putting each of these items on a project fee encourages a contractor to work quickly and budget their time well.”
In addition to redoing both bedrooms and the bathroom, John and Adam also added an exterior door to the master bedroom so they could walk directly into the backyard. They updated lighting fixtures inside and outside, planted a hedge to provide privacy to their fenced backyard, and demolished a concrete pad in the backyard so they could create a grassy spot for their dog, Lincoln, to enjoy.
The remodel was done a week before baby girls Michaela and Julia arrived to their new home. Mission accomplished.

How to Hang Pictures Right the First Time

How to Hang Pictures Right the First Time

Painting hung over mantel

Framed paintings and photographs add a splash of color to a room and give it a unique personal touch, but some homeowners are reluctant to tackle the job for fear their walls will end up resembling aged Swiss cheese. With the right hardware and know-how, you can approach your next picture hanging project with confidence.

Finding the Right Location

The first step is to decide where you would like the picture to hang. Recruit a helper to hold the picture on the wall while you evaluate its placement using the following guidelines:

  • The center of the picture should be at eye level, approximately 60” from the floor.
  • Leave at least a 3” to 6” gap between the top of a sofa and the bottom of the picture frame, and 4” to 8” inches from a table top.
  • Treat a grouping of pictures as a single unit.
  • Center the picture or grouping within the available wall space or over the piece of furniture below it.
  • Position pictures away from direct light and high humidity.

Deciding on a location for one picture is fairly simple, but arranging several pieces in a single space can get a bit more complex. The answer is to make paper templates with arrows on them to indicate whether the piece will be hung vertically or horizontally. Tape the templates to the wall, using easy-release painter’s tape, and rearrange them until the grouping is to your liking.

Once you’ve decided on the perfect spot, use a stud finder to identify wall studs and mark their location with Post-it Notes or painter’s tape.

Marking wall even with edge of frame

Marking the Wall

While holding the picture in place, put a strip of painter’s tape on the wall with the bottom edge even with the top of the frame. Mark each end of the frame on the tape then remove the picture.

If the picture will have only one wall hanger, find the width of the frame, divide by two, and measure this distance in from the marks on the painter’s tape. Split any difference between the two marks for the center.

Mark wall at center of painting

For added stability on wide frames, use two hangers that are equidistant from the center point. If the frame has a hanger on each side, measure in from the outside edge of the frame to the center of each hanger and transfer these measurements to the tape.

Next, turn the picture over and measure from the top of the frame to the point the picture will hang. For pictures with a hanging wire and one hanging point, hook the metal end of a tape measure under the center of the wire. Pull up until the wire is taut, and measure up to the top of the frame.

Measure from wire hanger to top of frame

For frames with a wire that will have two hanging points, pull up on the wire at both points simultaneously then measure up to the top of the frame.

Measuring wire to top of frame for double wall hangers

For pictures with D-rings or sawtooth hangers, hook the tape over the top of the frame and measure down to the spot where the wall hanger will be attached.

Transfer the hanger location on the wall by measuring down from the bottom edge of the painter’s tape.

Measuring wall to frame hanger location

Then use a level to make sure it is plumb with the mark on the strip of tape.

Use level to measure down to hanger location

Choosing Hardware

In order to select the right hardware to hang your picture, you need to know:

  • The approximate weight of the picture.
  • The type of hanging hardware on the frame.
  • The wall material.
  • If the wall hanger will be attached to a stud.

Types of wall hanging hardware

There are a number of hardware options for hanging pictures, with the label on the package usually giving the maximum weight each one is designed to hold. To find the weight of the picture, weigh yourself on a bathroom scale while holding the picture then subtract your weight from it.

Traditional metal picture hooks work well for lightweight frames fitted with wire while screws or nails are a better choice for sawtooth and D-rings hangers.

Standard wall picture hanger hardware

If the hanging hardware will attach to a wall stud or solid wood paneling, just about any hanger suitable for the frame and rated for the weight of the picture will do. If the picture is heavy and a stud isn’t present, you’ll need to use a wall anchor on drywall or plaster walls. Self-tapping threaded anchors are suitable for attaching all but the heaviest pictures to drywall.

Anchors that spread out behind the wall—such as toggle or molly bolts—provide the most holding power and help keep plaster from cracking.

Wire hanger picture hanging hardware

The latest innovation in picture hanging hardware is a thin curved spring steel wire sold under brand names such as Heavy Duty Wall Hanger, Hercules Hook, and Monkey Hook.

To use, simply twist the sharpened point through the drywall and push the wire into the wall cavity until it locks in place.

Wire hangers will only work where there’s not a stud or other obstruction in the wall. They are quick to install and remove, leaving a very small hole that is easy to spackle and paint over.

Installing Hardware

Keep in mind that the spot marked on the wall and the location you attach the hanger may differ since the hook often extends down from the nail or screw that holds it. To make sure you get it right, position the lowest point of the hook at the mark before attaching the hardware to the wall.

While you can nail or screw directly into drywall, always drill a pilot hole first in plaster to prevent cracking. Brick and concrete walls require drilling a hole with a special masonry bit then either hammering in a masonry nail or using a plastic anchor and screw.

Hang Picture

To prevent your picture from marring the wall and keep it hanging level, apply self-adhesive rubber bumpers to the bottom corners on the back of the frame before hanging. After suspending the picture on the hanger, remove the strip of tape, and use a level to check your work.

Source: https://www.todayshomeowner.com/hanging-pictures-right-the-first-time/

Now Even Your Corner Market Has a Top Designer

Now Even Your Corner Market Has a Top Designer

At the newly opened Clover Grocery in New York’s West Village, Studio Mellone puts an über-chic twist on the urban deli experience

When Kyle Hotchkiss Carone conceived Clover Grocery, the neighboring take-out offshoot of Café Clover, his health-and-style-conscious West Village restaurant, he envisioned “the world’s chicest bodega.” In a city of small apartments and smaller kitchens, Clover Grocery was to be the ultimate grab-and-go, replete with wholesome roasted veggies, fresh coffee, a juice bar, and other essentials like Bamford beauty products and fresh-cut flowers.

“Since I was a kid going to the market with my mom, I loved the experience of shopping for food and other beautiful things,” says Carone. “Coming to Clover Grocery should be a highlight of your day—for breakfast or matcha, for a brief escape from the office for lunch, to pick up a gift, to shop for a dinner party on the way home from work—it should be the opposite of stressful to come by our little shop.”

For the epicerié’s interiors, Carone tapped Studio Mellone, known for creating rigorously glamorous spaces for clients including Thom Brown and Jason Wu. “I came to Andre [Mellone] with a million references—everything from Perriand stools to bronze Pompeii deer,” notes Carone. Together, he and Mellone conjured an ultraglamorous scheme that draws on the chic epicurean arcades of Europe as well as iconic residential architecture. “Ultimately we arrived at [Milan’s] Villa Necchi Campiglio and its incredible kitchen as the jumping-off point,” Carone adds, pointing out the blue ceramic tiles, blond wood shelves, and curvilinear marble details. And, setting the space apart from the quotidian bodega, much attention has been lavished on a sumptuous lighting design that’s ultraflattering to both the patrons and the fresh goods. When evening falls, the lights go dim and the large custom-made trestle table is reset for intimate dinners and private events.

Source: http://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/clover-grocery

Living Room Paint Ideas

Most of our time spend in our home. It should be simply beautiful decorated. By putting some small efforts we can result a lovely peaceful place. A common latest home maybe have featured dull colored theme but it seems like dull look. Bright colors can change the entire surrounding. It shows the elegant and stylish behavior towards the home decoration.

The most important part of the home is your room, where you get yourself relax at day or night. There are some colors that were used from a decade and most of the room decor starts with blue and white. Different colors of touch represent our moods in most of the ways. Every color has its on meaning like yellow symbolize the energy and it is also represented as attention grabber. On the other hand, grey color signifies the protection and strength.

Now you want to change the tedious bedroom color to some energetic and peaceful color. Below are some of expert’s recommendations about the selection of color for your room.

The strongest color is the Red, which raises the room energy level and mostly used in living room or dinning room.

room-1

To slower down the high blood pressure and heart it is recommend to use the Blue color in bedrooms and bathrooms.

room2

 
Green a natural calming color is suitable for any room on the house. Too much use of green color can make people laziness, slow mood and depressed but a combination of red or orange can make these feelings down.

Experience the graceful and modern living style; try to redecorate your home in best possible way according to your family’s taste.

room4

Source: http://www.interiordecoratingarticle.com/living-room-paint-ideas/

Patio Furniture Cleaning Tips

Patio Furniture Cleaning Tips

Follow these simple instructions once a month and neither rain, wind, sun, nor drop of bird can ruin your patio pieces.

Cast Aluminum

Cover furniture pieces from top to bottom with all-purpose cleaner and rub with a nylon scrub brush. Next, wipe with a microfiber cloth. For extra protection, finish with a coat of car wax, says Linda Cobb, the author of the Queen of Clean book series.

Cushions

Combine 1 quart warm water, 1 teaspoon dishwashing detergent, and 1 tablespoon borax in a bucket. Dip a sponge in the solution, then use it to scrub the cushions on all sides. Let the solution soak in for 15 minutes. Rinse with a hose. Stand each cushion on an edge until dry.

Umbrella

Hose down the umbrella. Rub a wet soft-bristle brush across a bar of laundry soap. Run it over the open canopy, working from bottom to top. Rinse with a hose. Leave the umbrella open until dry. In between cleanings, wipe off bird droppings as soon as you spot them; the high acid content damages fabric, says Don Aslett, the founder of the Museum of Clean, in Pocatello, Idaho.

Wicker

Use the vacuum’s crevice attachment to dislodge leaves and bugs from the cracks. (A paintbrush works well, too, says Cobb.) Next, wet a microfiber cloth with all-purpose cleaner and glide it over the wicker. Rinse with a damp sponge. Dry with a cloth to prevent mildew.

 

How to Clean a Glass Stovetop

How to Clean a Glass Stovetop

Clean a scorched stovetop with this simple solution.

“I left a pan on a high flame, and now there’s a black ring on my glass stovetop that won’t come off.”

index

The fix: Rub the stain with a silicone spatula; small circular motions will loosen debris and fade the color, says Meg Roberts, the president of Molly Maid, a nationwide cleaning service. Then make a paste with 4 tablespoons of baking soda plus a little water and spread it on the stain. Place a warm damp rag on top and let it sit for 30 minutes. Wipe the area clean. If the stain persists, make another paste using 4 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of distilled vinegar. Let the mixture sit for about a minute on the stain, scrub it in with a microfiber cloth, then remove the residue with a wet cloth. The next time you clean the stove, apply a glass-cooktop cleaner (such as Cerama bryte cooktop cleaner; $12, acehardware.com) to the stovetop, then polish with a paper towel, says Bridgid Blocker, the test-kitchen manager for GE appliances.

5 Reasons Why Popcorn Ceilings Aren’t Really That Bad

5 Reasons Why Popcorn Ceilings Aren’t Really That Bad

If you’re in the market for an older home, or have recently purchased one, you’re probably more than a little familiar with the term “popcorn ceilings.” Yes, we’re talking about that white, clumpy, textured ceiling surface widely used in home construction through the late 1980s.

But fast-forward almost 40 years later and this method is anything but popular. In fact, this treatment actually can be known for throwing homeowners into an all-out frenzy. There are blog posts galore on how to remove them ASAP, and our favorite home renovation shows oftentimes denounce them too. Somewhere down the line, popcorn ceilings have become high up on the undesirable list, but why?

As someone who currently has a few popcorn ceilings in my own 1940s home, I have to say I’ve never been particularly bothered by them (and truth be told, I’m generally a picky person!). So, after some contemplating on how this could be, I’ve gathered the top five reasons why popcorn ceilings actually aren’t all that bad, despite the media hype. And if you are in the same popcorn-boat as me, these reasons might help you to see that popcorn ceilings just aren’t as bad as they seem!

1. Popcorn ceilings are easily transformed by paint.

A coat of paint can do wonders for your walls, so why not apply this same truth to your popcorn ceilings? If their appearance is bothersome to you and removing them isn’t a current option, find a gorgeous white hue and go to work. You’ll be amazed at how much this will brighten up the texturized surface, making it appear less clumpy and a lot more chic.

2. Lighting can make a huge difference.

Oftentimes popcorn ceilings get a bad reputation because of the shadows they tend to create in a room. If this darker contour is what you are concerned about, simply switch up the lighting. Adding in a downward ceiling fixture (like a chandelier or pendant) will instantly cast a gorgeous glow. If that isn’t an option, just be sure to avoid any lighting options that are flush with the ceiling, as this will only add to the shadowy effect.

3. Popcorn ceilings add charm.

If you live an older home, chances are that you’re surrounded by tons of charming interior details and accents. From adorable built-ins, to authentic brass doorknobs, these original features create an abode that’s one-of-a-kind. So, why do popcorn ceilings have to be any different? You can choose to see it as a negative, or you can instead see the popcorn ceilings as another endearing quality of an older, but still very delightful, home.

4. Ceilings aren’t typically a focal point, anyway.

Can you describe exactly what your best friend’s ceiling looks like, or your mom’s? Probably not. Ceilings aren’t usually the first design element people notice after entering a room, so why stress over something that will most likely go unnoticed? If you want to guarantee your guests aren’t tempted to look up, add in a bold area rug or large piece of art to distract their eyes.

5. Popcorn ceilings aren’t permanent.

At the end of the day, these ceilings aren’t even permanent! You can simply hire a professional to scrape them whenever you’re ready for a reno. Or, as mentioned earlier, there are also plenty of helpful DIY tutorials if you wanted to take on the project yourself. Either way, the option to eventually change your popcorn ceilings is always there, so don’t let this smaller detail turn you away from a home that you otherwise love. And in the meantime, try to embrace them!

5 Ways to Recreate the Tropics in Your Home Decor

Bring in the fabulous rush of flowers, foliage and island colours to recreate the tropics in your home

 

If lounging on the beach is your idea of a fun holiday, you needn’t dream longingly of the sun, sand, coconut palms and blue sea whilst parked in your urban home. Create a tropical island within your own residence to live out your vacation. Scatter images of leafy fronds, bold flowers and brilliant butterflies … go for a riotous colour palette that brings alive the hues of the tossing blue waves of the ocean, waving green palms, lazy golden beaches and smiling colourful blossoms. Here is how to bring into your home decor the vibrancy of the tropics.

Expert inputs from interior designers Sulaxmi Laud and Reshma Chhabria