New Habits: Should They Be Left In Lockdown?

We had a lot of time to learn and perfect new habits over the last year, and many people are keen to continue taking the time to do them even as life goes back to normal. Of course, there may be some habits that are better left, but there have been many great habits people have formed that have really made a difference in their lives and allowed them to find a new passion in life. However, just what are these, why are they worth keeping onto, and could it provide you with inspiration to try it yourself? Keep reading to find out more.

Featured Photo from Vuelio

The Lockdown Kitchen

It was prime time to start getting creative in the kitchen. With so much time at home, people uncovered a love for cooking and baking in the kitchen. From having different themes to using new ingredients and learning new skills, many felt inspired by television shows such as The Great British Bake Off or Masterchef, while others may have been gifted the present of time and were finally able to start testing out recipes from a forgotten cookbook. Not only was there more time for cooking, but everyone had longer to take a moment to plan out a week of eating. To the foodies who never had enough time, this was heaven.

Not only were people more likely to use their stock in the cupboards (because of the essential-only shopping trips), but they had a knock-on effect of a better quality and healthier diet. Overall, this habit should definitely be taken out of lockdown and carried on into post-lockdown life.

The Lockdown Garden

Many were lucky enough in lockdown to have a space, big or small, outside of their four walls in the form of a garden. With so much time spent out there, it got many people thinking more creatively and making the most of their time outside. A survey from Squire Garden Centres concluded that 77% of people did more gardening during lockdown than they would normally do.

From gardening, the same respondents of the survey said it gave them a sense of achievement but also an outlet for stress and a source of much-needed happiness. This kind of positivity should be taken with everyone who found comfort in it from lockdown.

The Lockdown Knitting

Knitting may not have appealed to the masses, to begin with, but once gifted with time, many tried their hand at the skill, and so lockdown provided a lifeline for many wool stores in London. Knitting, obviously, creates a beautiful piece of art, a wooly hat or a newborns’ first blanket, but it has the added bonus of stimulating the mind. Knitting has proven to mimic the rhythmic repetition of mediation, thereby calming those who ‘practice’ the skill and is well worth continuing long after lockdown. You find all your essentials online from wool stores and take guidance from online resources.

The Lockdown Decorating

Interestingly, homeware brand Habitat announced that what consumers watched (or binged) on the television influenced the decoration of their homes. This is a dangerous game, as what could be deemed as stylish in the 1900s period drama may not sit so nicely in a modern home.

This trend should definitely be used sparingly. Otherwise, the front room may look like the set studio for a production company!

Throughout the global pandemic, everyone needed to seek comfort in their home, whether that meant small home improvement projects, getting your fingers green, smelling out the kitchen with delicious cooking or baking, or getting stuck into a challenging skill like knitting, They all brought a sense of calmness and relaxation. As a society, these skills should be taken back into reality, where new skills can flourish in classes, groups, or even to show off your new dish at a dinner party.

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5 INTERIOR DECORATING TIPS THAT WILL BOOST THE ROMANCE IN YOUR HOME THIS VALENTINE’S DAY

Believe it or not, the way you design and decorate your home can have an impact on your relationship. There are a lot of things that homeowners do in designing their spaces that can put romance on the back burner. The decor in a home—whether that’s a rented condo or a house in the suburbs—is important for setting the right tone and sending the right message to those who inhabit the space. Make sure cupid is ready and willing to visit with these easy to apply decorating ideas:

Add out-of-sight storage for turn-off items

Shoes, stacks of bills, kids toys, and dirty laundry don’t exactly set the mood for Valentine’s Day. One way homeowners can improve their living space in time for the holiday of love is by reducing clutter and installing storage options that keep turn-off items out of sight. Over-the-door organizers in closets are perfect for anything from shoes to house cleaners and stuffed animals. Double duty storage benches by the front door provide a home for seasonal gear, such as coats and boots, and a place for family and friends to sit down and take off outerwear upon entering the house, decorative baskets as a catch all for books, magazines, pet/kids toys etc… Installs shelves or modular closet systems in smaller spaces that cannot hold bulky pieces of furniture. Nothing melts worries and stress, leaving vacancy for feelings of intimacy, then a clean and clutter-free environment.

Decorate the walls with photos and memorabilia

Displaying pictures and items that represent special moments in a relationship helps foster intimacy, and it’s an easy and inexpensive home improvement option that can be done by Valentine’s Day. Homeowners can stage precious moments in shadow boxes and on floating shelves. Collect saved items from events like weddings or childbirth and store them together with props to elevate the setting. For example, if a picture captures a husband kissing his pregnant wife’s belly in a field of flowers or on a beach, incorporate elements from that scene such as a vase of sunflowers or a bottle of sand and sea glass. Next, frame ultrasound pictures and announcements and arrange them with props in an aesthetically pleasing way.

Choose soothing colors

Take a look at the colors that a business like a spa will choose: natural shades of green, blue and light hues of browns and taupes, all intended to create the feel of a lush and calm oasis. Homeowners don’t always consider the use of color in the aesthetic of a home, often opting for neutrals that border on boring. That doesn’t inspire a lot for romance though, and even if the homeowner begins with a single room (the bedroom, perhaps?), adding colors that soothe the soul will help create a perfect mood. Whether that’s wall color to the choices of artwork on the wall, choosing soothing colors from nature inspired palettes will help to create a harmonious space. In the same style, it’s best to avoid gender focused colors and styling, so that everyone feels comfortable in the space. Too much pink or mahogany can be off putting.

Set the mood with lighting 

Homeowners will be surprised by how much a simple change of a light bulb can impact the atmosphere of a room. White light mimics natural light, making a room feel more expansive. Yellow light, on the other hand, casts a cozy glow, perfect for setting a romantic tone. Utilize both lighting options by pairing white lights with ceiling fixtures and yellow light with table lamps. That way homeowners can choose between the two lighting based on their needs. (White light while reading and working, and yellow light while cuddling their partners.) Take lighting a step further by burning candles with pleasant scents regularly, and stringing up twinkling fairy lights for a whimsical, fairy tale atmosphere.

Focus on the bedroom

When romance is in the cards, a cozy den is nice. A beautifully set dining table is excellent. But the ‘’pièce de résistance” has to be the bedroom. This is where a little luxury is worth the expense. It starts with adding storage for everything, as noted in the first tip, and then then it’s a question of personal taste. A quality mattress is a good first step. Considering that adults spend 6-8 hours a night sleeping, which is a full third of every day, it makes sense to put a little quality into the one piece of furniture that gets used the most. Bedding should be luxurious, with 1000 count thread sheets, soft duvets and perfect pillows. A cashmere throw blanket is the height of luxury and would put anyone in the mood! The right color palette, lighting and bedding is all it takes to make the bedroom a space to enjoy.

With most people spending more time at home these days, events like Valentine’s Day are more important than ever. Creating a beautiful space has the advantage that, while homeowners will enjoy it on the day, it can be appreciated the rest of the year as well!

Bio:

Marty Basher is the home improvement and organization expert with Modular Closets, https://www.modularclosets.com. Marty regularly contributes on topics of DIY renovations, home design, organization, improvement and more, helping home owners get the most out of the spaces in their home. Modular Closets are high-quality and easy-to-design closet systems made in the USA you can order, assemble and install yourself, in no time at all. Using closet modules (closet pieces you can mix & match to design your own modular closet), homeowners everywhere are empowered to achieve a true custom closet look- for nearly 40% less than standard custom closets. 

Zoom Backgrounds Inspired by 2021’s Hottest Interior Design Trends

With 2020 finally in the rearview window, it’s the perfect time to celebrate the new year by embracing some of the hottest new interior design trends of 2021.

While you may be itching to redecorate your home in high style (or maybe just tidy up the living room before your next meeting), the online interior design experts at Modsy will spot you one better!

They’ve rounded up their favorite designs inspired by each one of this year’s hottest new home interior trends and turned them into beautiful Zoom backgrounds that are perfect for any virtual get-together, whether it’s a work conference call or a girlfriends wine night.

The biggest emerging style trends of 2021, which are embodied in each of the Zoom backgrounds, are outlined below and can be downloaded HERE.

    • 1980s Style Revival. Sculptural furniture, bold colors, and plenty of drama. The 80s are back—but only the good parts.
    • Natural Materials. Brings effortless texture into your space and gives your home a perfectly layered look.
    • Bold Wall Colors. White walls, be gone! Bold wall colors are the perfect way to bring joy, excitement, and personality to your home.
    • Lighter-Toned Wood. Hello, Scandinavian and Rustic inspiration! We’re seeing lighter-toned and whitewashed woods take center stage.
    • Grandmillennial Style. More and more people are embracing the “granny-chic” style—filled with antiques, wallpaper, and ruffles galore.
  • Rise of Traditional Comfort. Slipcovered sofas. Traditional patterns. Functionality. It’s time to get comfortable without sacrificing on style.

And if you’re feeling inspired after seeing these designs, explore and shop them all at www.modsy.com.

FIVE DECORATING TIPS FOR A CLEAN FRESH MODERN HOLIDAY SEASON

Laura Muller, the Principal Designer, and Owner of Los Angeles-based design firm, Four Point Design Build, has five easy and effective tips for decorating a perfect holiday home worthy of your in-law’s expectations. Check out these inspirational photos ALL from Laura’s personal home!

☆ Tip 1 ☆

That’s a Wrap!

For a fresh and cozy style, add a single pine cone or cedar stem to your gift wrapping. Tie packages with raw linen strips, cotton ribbon, or twine. To give a cohesive look to your whole décor, coordinate the gift wrapping details to your tablescape!

☆ Tip 2 ☆

Deck the Decor Make sure to keep your holiday color scheme clear and consistent throughout your décor. For a clean, fresh, modern look, we use white candles in clear glass. For visual interest (and for the collectors at heart), we suggest all clear glass, but mix it up in size and shape! Use assorted greens for dynamic contrast. Keep greens fresh and in the same proportion for a full and elegant display.

☆ Tip 3 ☆

Let There Be Light Place a table or desk next to a bright window and group three to five mini pine trees with gifts. Display with a collection of assorted white candles in clear glass, and stacks of holiday books for inspiration.

☆ Tip 4 ☆

Add an Easy But Noticeable Accent! Adding simple fresh stems of pine can give your kitchen countertops a cozy wintery feeling! Lace fresh stems in between canisters for a fresh touch of the holiday and fresh mini Christmas trees look perfect in white ceramic utensil crocks!

☆ Tip 5 ☆

Tabletop Trinkets When thinking about your everyday holiday table settings, start with some basic year-round pieces. A large natural grain rustic charger will ground your entire décor theme. For a clean fresh modern farmhouse style, layer with simple white pantry pieces. Once you have the basics, all you need to change from theme to theme is the napkin details!

FOUR POINT DESIGN BUILD INC. is an award-winning, full-service residential and commercial interior design and construction firm based in  Los  Angeles,  CA serving clients nationwide. Established in 2010, and led by the husband-wife team and Co-founders, Cliff and Laura Muller, Four Point Design Build was the result of a chance in-class meeting at UCLA, followed by nearly a decade of successful collaboration and noteworthy published design-build projects, and finally, a beautiful romance. It is Four Point’s commitment to cultivating, building, and leading a  strong project team of experts; working closely with all project team members during every phase of project development and execution. Laura has been voted into the Top 15 of Designhounds Top 100 Design Influencers for 2017 and 2018 and has the distinct honor of being one of four top interior designers selected to the prestigious DXV Design Panel (2018 – 2020).

How To Find Your Dream Home On A Budget

A low budget shouldn’t mean settling for a low-quality property. Your home is your personal space and deserves to meet your requirements. You may have to manage your expectations somewhat – you’re not going to find an eight-bed mansion on a shoestring – but you shouldn’t discount every luxury. Here are just a few ways to help you find your dream home on a budget.

Photo Credit from Architectural Digest

Consider a self-build

Building your own home can often cost a third of the price of buying a home – that’s the cost of land, architects, lawyers, labor and materials all included. Self-build mortgages exist to cover these costs, meaning a deposit could work out much less than buying a regular property. Buying land can be tricky – you may be limited by location and council legislation. However, if you do manage to find suitable land, you have total creative freedom (within reason) of what your property will look like. For building a dream home, this is the way to go.

Consider renovating

Another option to consider is renovating. There may not be a property out there that meets all your specs as it stands, but when you start to consider the small tweaks that can be made, you may be able to turn a dull property into a dream property with time. Colors can often be the most off-putting elements to buyers and yet are the cheapest to fix. It costs very little to repaint pink walls or repaint flaking cabinets. Structural alteration will be the most expensive, such as extensions or removals of walls. So long as a property doesn’t need these alterations, you may be able to fix other faults on a budget.

Don’t let location limit you

Being in a location you love is important. But when you consider you can buy a large house in country for the same price as a flat in most city centers, you need to start weighing up your needs. You may not want to live in an extremely remote location, but you may be able to find a happy medium on the outskirts.

Local moves have their financial advantages. You won’t have to pay for removals, and could rent a van and do it yourself. However, weigh up the added cost of movers and thousands off your mortgage and it may not seem like that much of a sacrifice. Start broadening your search and see what your find.

Don’t rush

When trying to find your perfect property, patience is key. Waiting may allow you more time to save up for something you truly want, as well as giving you more time to scope the market. Try to resist the urge to jump upon the first good property you find, sometimes it can be worth taking the risk and waiting for that ‘great’ property to arise. If you feel you’re being too finicky, discuss what you’re looking for to an agent and see how realistic they think your criteria are. Consider giving such agencies your number and ringing you when they think they’ve found a property you may like.

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Birthday Staycation – Ross Bridge Golf and Spa Resort

I celebrated my birthday at the Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf and Spa Resort. This beautiful hillside hotel is located (here) in Birmingham, Alabama.

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Inside of Ross Bridge Golf and Spa Resort is intricate artwork along with Mediterranean inspired decor. 

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The Spa at Ross Bridge

I booked an appointment at the spa and received a manicure and pedicure.  When I have free time, I prefer spa nail services because they use all natural products. In addition, it’s an intimate environment and provide delicious refreshments.

Sitting in a bathrobe and inhaling essentials oils was very relaxing.  The Spa at Ross Bridge has several additional services including a quiet and steam room, boutique, and chlorine-free pools.

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Additional Resort Photos:

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My visit to Ross Bridge Golf and Spa Resort was the perfect staycation.  I can’t wait to stop by again for an afternoon of golf or deep tissue massage!

Talk of Alabama Lifestyle Segment – Safe Decorating for Kids Rooms

I was invited to host a lifestyle segment on ABC 33/40, Talk of Alabama and share safety tips for kids rooms. The segment was a lot of fun because I truly enjoy discussing new products with a local audience!

Click Here To Watch
Click Here To Watch

The main focus was to bring safety awareness of products for kids rooms.  Parents must ask are home decor items functional and eliminate hazards for little ones?

As a mom, I love to decorate my kids room (especially in character themes) but there’s also consideration for electric plugs, heat consumption, contained storage bins, and comfortable sleep.

The products shown below are beneficial and can be successful in everyone’s home:

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 1.  Blindsgalore (BG Kids Brand) Shade – recommends completely cordless blinds or shades when children in the home.  The company offers hundred of independently certified child safe blinds and shades.

BG Kids Roller Shades
2.  Kidzooz Pillow – Designed by a chiropractor, parent and grandparent, this is more than just a stuffed animal or pillow but a product that combines the two while encouraging good sleep habits.

Kidzooz
3.  BPA Free Storage and Organizers

  • Available in three colors – grey, pink and blue
  • Includes three pieces – a caddy, bucket and tote
  • The storage items are BPA Free and made of a durable canvas exterior.

BPA Free Storage Bin Delta Children
4.  Interactive Finding Dory Wall Friend –  The interactive light-up, talking Wall Friend from uncle Milton toys is a perfect addition to a child’s bedroom.

  • Just touch the remote control button and watch as Dory lights up and talks with many fun, familiar phrases from the new Finding Dory movie.

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Home Decor Spring Trends 2016 – Fox 45 Morning News Segment

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Blindsgalore Window Treatment Display

Everyone’s updating their home for the Spring season!  Whether it’s purchasing new pillows, curtains or adding tulips to a vase, new decor can uplift any space.

Last week, I hosted a Lifestyle Segment on Fox 45 News discussing home decor trends with a technology flair.  Blindsgalore is a window treatment company, specializing in Bali Blinds.  This particular type of home blinds is considered eco-friendly and it operates from a smart phone/table app or remote control.  Customers can open their blinds while sitting on the couch or in a different area of the home!

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Burlington Photo Frame and Decorative Pillow

A few of the other products shared included the Mcushion Massage Pillow, BedJet Climate Comfort System, and MyIvation Lamp.

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H&M Earrings | Stella & Dot Necklace
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Shoedazzle Pumps

Special thank you to Burlington for (also) supporting this segment and providing additional home products!