By Anjelica Michael
Spend some time with three bloggers who love to rip their house apart, then put it back together.
A young married couple from Richmond, with a three-year-old and cute little dog take you along on their renovation and DIY adventures. With a published DIY book and a blog stuffed full of home projects, you feel like you are part of their family. Don’t know what color to paint a room? Check out their handy guide. Want to conceal that ugly microwave but keep it accessible? They have a tutorial on that as well. This blog is centered towards family living, with projects for children’s rooms and family-friendly DIY projects. The blog is strategically and simply categorized into project themes like painting, eco-friendly, and even projects to celebrate that special someone in your life entitled “Lovey-dovey.” Readers beware… the list of enticing projects may lead you on a DIY binge. Check out below to see what may be the chicest nursery ever created by parents.
Visit Young House Love to dive into more projects www.younghouselove.com
Blogger Sarah Fogle is a single girl sharing her DIY and home improvement adventures with the world from her home in Atlanta, Ga. She admits that she doesn’t always get projects right, but will go step by step with you in the process of adding your own style to your home, no man required. With in-depth descriptions and some humor to boot, Sarah is like the crafty friend we all have, willing to try anything. Her projects range from heavy duty room remodeling to cute little DIY projects to give an item in her room a whole new look. Who else can say they put in their own butcher’s block counter tops?
Sarah’s journey of DIY can be found at her blog www.uglyducklinghouse.com/
Kit Stansley is another blogger is is a fan of DIY, but with a rustic edge as a nod to her farming experience. Kit and Ugly Duckling House blogger Sarah actually do “Dueling DIY” segments against each other on a home project, and blog about their experiences. Kit is in love with her power drill and shows how girl power and home improvement can go hand in hand. Black Feather Farm is home to one of the biggest projects she has ever done, and where she has learned about farming and keeps animals. Want to build a picnic table? Kit’s got you covered. Want to know more about house building? She reserves a section on her blog for that as well. When she isn’t writing about home improvement and her DIY projects, Kit describes her posts that don’t fit into that category as “General Badassery.” Ready to get down and dirty and plan the home you’ve always dreamed of? Kit is at your service.
Enter Kit’s world here: diydiva.net/
By Anjelica Michael
In October 2013, Hayes Organization Solutions was born out of 21-year-old Brandon Hayes‘ Fairfax apartment. “I’ve always been an organized person” said Hayes. “When I started working with friends and family and organizing their homes, a friend recommended I start my own business.”
As part of a generation of budding entrepreneurs, Hayes took the next step and put his dream into motion.
A Michigan native and George Mason University student, Hayes saw there was a market for home organization and decided to pursue it, forming his own before even graduating. We talked to Hayes to learn more about his business, and what makes it different from the competition.
“We can do anything from just going into your closet and color-coordinating your clothes, to a whole closet redo,” Hayes said. “It’s all about functionality and easy access. Each time we go into a home it is different, because it is specific to what a customer wants. Catering to the individual is what its about.” Hayes said that he wants his team to get to know a client before any work is done to evaluate works best for them and their every-day lifestyle.
When asked if he feels like his age plays a role in his business, Hayes laughed and said, “Of course people take it into consideration. But I notice all the ever-changing trends in homes. I notice what works and what doesn’t.”
But despite starting a business when many of his contemporaries are worried about graduation, Hayes is confident in his abilities.
“I’m serious about what I do, and I am in someone’s home to do a good job. Not everyone starts a business at 40.”
Keeping on trend and up to date with new tools are important, but Hayes says it goes beyond that. He always tells clients with kitchen organization projects to go grocery shopping beforehand, so he can see the products they use on a regular basis and work that into the organizational design of the space.
“I like to incorporate style into the space,” he said. “If I go into a space and organize it without knowing the person, sure, it will look nice and trendy, but it won’t work. It needs to be personalized to their daily routine.”
So why start the business in NoVA and not his native Michigan? “There are a lot of homes and businesses and everyone is on the go.” Hayes pointed out that people in Northern Virginia want the perfect home, and with perfection comes organization.
Even if you are on a budget, Hayes said there are solutions that are wallet-safe, ” You can find a lot of things at Target or on Amazon that are nice and inexpensive.”
In the end, Hayes just wants people to be happy in their homes with spaces that they are comfortable in. “I’m looking to create a perfect plan that fits their needs.”
For more about Hayes Organization Solutions, visit its website at www.hayesorganizationsolution.squarespace.com.
By Anjelica Michael
Brandon Hayes of Hayes Organization Solutions in Fairfax gives us his best tips to help organization situations in your home.
1. With children, keep things at their level within their space
“If you put things at your level and not theirs, they’ll never use it,” Hayes said. Make everything at easy reach for your children, then they can help with clean up as well.
2. Use a shoe organizer in your pantry
“These are good for planning out weekly lunches and putting snacks aside for kids when they come home.” This could save time and possibly prevent a mess.
“Hangers can change your life,” Hayes said. Different types of hangers can save space and make things more accessible. This is also important to save your clothes. Hayes recommends phasing out plastic hangers that can damage your clothing and cause stretching.
Don’t buy something help with organization because it seems functional. You need to know that you will utilize it daily. “It’s easy to go to The Container Store and freak out, but this can waste a lot of time and money.” Know ahead of time what you need and visualize it in your space. If you see it collecting dust, it isn’t a smart purchase.
To learn more about Brandon Hayes and his home organizing business, visit www.hayesorganizationsolution.squarespace.com/
By Taylor Ness
No one likes to spend time in a room that looks like the size of a closet. Luckily, there are many ways to trick the eye with home décor.
The common rule of thumb is to stick to neutral colors when designing a small room, allowing the space to feel airy and open. Even keeping to a monochrome palate will make the space feel larger. But a room isn’t all about the paint. Even if you go with a bold, vibrant color base there are still ways to figuratively open up the space.
1. When it comes to furniture, choose pieces that can serve more than one purpose, like an ottoman with a tray placed on top.
2. Shelving that has a limited number of items on it creates the illusion of open space.
3. While it’s important to allow natural light into a room, adding curtains that are the same color of a wall can open up the room.
4. Strategically placed mirrors not only give the feel of the room continuing on, they allow light to bounce around the room.
5. If you choose to have wall art, pick one large piece.
By Janee Williams
Bathrooms are often the most overlooked room in the house when it comes to decor. Their sparseness can be off-putting, cold and either too bright or too dark.
This small room is supposed to be welcoming and perhaps among the best presented rooms in your home when entertaining.
Don’t let your bathroom scare your guests. Dress it up with some great bathroom accessories that will make your guests feel at home and comfortable. Your bathroom doesn’t have to be dark and scary, it can be bright and inviting. You want your guest to feel like they have everything they need around them.
Here are our picks for must have bath accessories for you and your guests to enjoy:
Toilet cover and rugs: Make your guests feel right at home with these matching rugs and seat covers. Dress up the porcelain throne to look less cold. Croft and Barrow Solid Bath Rugs, $7.99 – 45.99.
Decorative Towels: Add some color and creativity to your walls with these towels. Pick hand towels that will color coordinate with your other bathroom accessories to really bring your bathroom together. Not only will your guests not feel like they’re in a dungeon, but they will be in awe of your awesome taste in bathroom decor. Popular Bath Contempo 3-pc. Bath Towel Set, $74.99.
Soap dish and Lotion Dispenser: Give your guests the option to moisturize their hands after they have washed them. But don’t just have the soap and lotion thrown on the sink any kind of way. Dress it up. Present it beautifully in a nice soap dish and lotion dispenser that says: ‘Try me, I smell great.”
Shower Curtain: Don’t just leave your tub open for all to see. Decorate it with a beautiful shower curtain that accents your other bathroom accessories.
Toilet Paper Holder: Just because toilet paper is in the bathroom doesn’t mean it has to be displayed in a boring way. Give it a place to make itself known. Deluxe Pedastol Satin Nickel Toilet Paper Holder, $24.99.
Tissue Covers: It’s great to have tissues in a bathroom. Make your tissues creative by presenting them in a nice tissue cover. Your guests will appreciate the gesture. Delta Tissue Cover, $8.
Incents and Candles: Keep your bathrooms smelling nice with some scented candles, incense or wall scents. Your guest will smell a field of flowers.
By Shelby Robinson
When it’s cold out, and you are stuck inside, a cluttered home is that last thing anyone wants to deal with. Here are some easy tips for corralling the daily chaos of your home ahead of spring cleaning.
Any room predominantly occupied by kids can quickly turn into a disaster. Transparent containers or large labels are great because they can often be found around the house and they help kids find what they’re looking for without pulling out the contents of every container. *Try glass/clear plastic kitchen containers or mason jars for small things.
Get all of your to-do lists, receipts, notes, grocery lists, and kids’ schedules, all in one place. The kitchen is often one of the easiest places to organize because it’s the one room in the house that comes with a cabinet for everything. Without too much effort you can find a place for everything except all of the important papers in your life. Try a kitchen organizer with an erasable calendar and clips for every kind of list or receipt.
Every garage can be simplified and organized with the proper distribution of hooks and shelves in your garage. When thinking of whether to make or purchase new shelving and trying to decide which things should really go on a shelf, take a close look at your garage.
If you have the wood and tools to make a new shelving unit, go for it. But if you don’t have those things, you can purchase a safe, sturdy shelving unit for around $40-$70, depending on what you need.
Consider putting the things you always trip over on a shelf. It may sound obtuse but getting things like recycling bins, roller skates and lawn equipment off the floor of your garage is a great place to start getting organized.
A towel rack at kid’s eye level and some “S” hooks can change the “dump zone” into a meticulously organized entryway that even kids can keep clean. A few simple changes to your entryway can make it both more inviting and easier to keep clean.
By limiting furniture you can limit places that coats, backpacks, or purses could get dropped. Choosing bright colors of paint, accessories or furniture make your entryway more inviting and make it look less like a dark closet to dump stuff.
Finally, make sure you have a hook or cubby for each piece of clothing that should come off at the entryway, like coats, hats, and shoes. If they have a spot, they’ll most likely stay in that spot instead of landing anywhere between the door and the kitchen.
Finding a way to untangle your chords can make the whole room look more orderly. Try something as simple as using wide paperclips to hold the ends of your chords to your desk. Also considering purchasing or making a file organizer to hang on your wall or stand on your desk. Whether you work from home or use your office to organize your personal records and bills, every home office can use a good file organizer.
By Janee Williams
It’s freezing out there. This by far is one of the coldest winters we have had and it seems nearly impossible to stay warm. After soldiering through the frigid weather of the week with the endless errand running and long commutes to work, why not wrap up with something that will protect you from the chill.
But instead of dragging the bulbous bed comforter around the house like an anchor, throw blankets are just the thing to beat back the cold. Not only will these look nice laid across your bed, they will also keep you warm when the day gets a little too arctic for your liking.
Here are our picks for five fashionable blankets to have in your home:
Vintage Kantha Throws: Keep warm and brighten up any room within your house with these Vintage throws. This unique handcrafted Indian throw is created from recycled saris and textiles, catching everybody’s attention with its vibrant colors and designs.
Biddeford Zebra Plush Heated Electric Throw: Get in touch with your animal side with this funky throw. Not only can you wrap it around your body to keep you warm it is electrically-heated just in case you need a little more heat to get you through the night. It has a great design to make any room in your house creative and it is guaranteed to keep you warm.
Hudson’s Bay Point Blanket: Let it light up your home by adding a splash of color to any room. This throw is guaranteed to keep you warm. It is windproof, water repellent and it is made with 100 percent virgin cotton.
Luxe Rose Petal Throw: This polyester throw is super soft and designed keep you warm throughout the day. Made by Bedford Cottage, this blanket epitomizes the brand’s modern design, but retains the softness of a bed of roses.
Valerianne: Keep warm with these great throws, made from soft organic yarns and Alpaca. Alpaca is one of the warmest fabrics out there. It is insulated to keep you warm in the winter and is very breathable to keep you cool when the days start to warm up. Grab this throw, snuggle next to a fireplace and keep the nippy weather away.
Pieces to keep your home on trend. —Lynn Norusis
Organic Orchid Duvet Cover and Shams @ West Elm; $24-$119.
Blenko Amethyst 2 Spout Water Pitcher @ The Hour; $250.
Aloha Orchid Reed Diffuser @ The Nest Egg; $30.
Radiant Orchid Bold Stripe Giclee Glow Plug-In Swag Pendant @ Lamps Plus; $129.99.
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (in Henrietta) @ Stylish Patina, $38.50 for 32 fl. oz.
Rhapsody Wool Woven Rug @ The Nest Egg; $101-$2,119.
Stonewashed Belgian Linen Hemstitch Placemats, set of 4 @ Restoration Hardware; $48.
Patmos Quilt, in varying sizes @ Timothy Paul Home; $80-$325.
Smoke Rings Dinnerware @ Anthropologie; $12-$18.
‘Painterly View I’ Artwork (42×32”) @ The Nest Egg; $485.
By Kristy Ju
With the hot summer months well under way, don’t forget to include plantscaping the deck on your next summer to-do list. Linda Nichols of Hidden Lane Landscaping & Design brings us tips to ensure that our deck’s blooms can withstand the season’s blazing heat and humidity. With over 24 years of experience of residential landscape design, Nichols has developed a wealth of knowledge of plants and the best groupings for color that lasts throughout the year (with the least amount of maintenance).
What plants do you keep on your own deck during the summer?
I move a number of my houseplants outside for a summer vacation—they really thrive with fresh air and filtered sun! For annual summer color, my planters are filled with pink geranium, purple petunias, yellow marigold, white alyssym and dusty miller. I love this color combination! In individual pots, I’ve used red pentas, pink callibrocha, blue verbena, variegated sage and purple oxalis to carry the color scheme through. Most of these plants are attractive to hummingbirds & butterflies because the tubular shape of the blossom is conducive to their long beaks/tongues as they search for nectar. The grass is an experiment this year, it’s called Stipa. I like the way it drapes and moves gracefully with the breeze, although by the end of the summer it may hide the annuals too much underneath it. If that happens, I’ll plant it in the ground this fall.
I also keep a pot of my favorite herbs on the back deck (basil/chives/parsley)—there’s nothing like slipping out the back door and pinching off a few basil leaves to accompany fresh tomatoes!
Why is soil with moisture control elements important to use during the summer?
When filling up pots for outdoor use it is a good idea to use a potting soil that has ‘moisture beads’ included. These ‘beads’ swell up with water and help the container stay wet a little longer during the hot summer days. Pots sitting on your deck/patio will dry out faster than plants in the ground, as the surrounding hot air heats up the potted soil much faster than plants in garden soil. As summer progresses the plant roots expand and fill up the pot, quickly absorbing any available moisture. I have found that during the last days of summer, it is not unusual to water the pots on a daily basis.
“Don’t crowd your pots” is one tidbit that landscapers advise. What is the reasoning behind this tip?
I like to give annuals in my container plants room to grow, and so when planting them in mid-May, leave plenty of room between the plants so they naturally fill the pot within a few weeks. This will give the roots room to grow and have access to enough water as the summer progresses.
Now that it’s the middle of summer, what is one task we should keep in mind for plantscapes on our decks?
By mid-July/early August, some annuals can get leggy or tired looking. I like to cut these plants back a few inches and then give them a good liquid fertilizer. It’s amazing how quickly they respond with dark green, bushy growth and lots of new flowers!