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5 Easy Home Improvement Ideas Approved by an Expert Home Renovator

5 Easy Home Improvement Ideas Approved by an Expert Home Renovator

The process of making a home your own doesn’t end when you sign the deed. In fact, that’s when the process really starts.

A house becomes your home once you customize it to your individual, distinctive taste and lifestyle. Home improvement projects can bring satisfaction to homeowners at all stages of the game: whether they just bought the house, have lived there for quite some time, want to increase its resale value, winter is coming, or they just want to be creative.

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Whatever the reason for the upgrade, one of the most important first steps is to take a good look at your bank account.

It’s important to resist the impulse to dive into a long list of home improvement projects. I spoke with a design-build contractor, Aquarian Renovations, a company that specializes in custom homes, to create a list of aesthetic fixes and budget-friendly overhauls for your home.

Here are the best home makeover tips plus clever hacks and ideas from this expert home renovator and increase the functionality, value, and happiness quotient of your home.

1. Start with your Door

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    Because first impressions matter, invest in enhancing the look of your entrance. Your door can make or break the look of your house. If you really want to convey a welcoming vibe to your guests, remake the exterior of your house to keep your visitors intrigued of what else the inside has to offer.

    • Consider purchasing a new front door with a vivid color and contemporary fittings or locks.
    • On the other hand, a solid door in good condition only needs little DIY fixes like a new paint color or switching out a new handle or knob.
    • For a more inviting look, spruce up the porch with potted plants, a welcome mat, stylish new house numbers, and outdoor lighting to highlight the beauty of your walkway.

     2. Brighten up with Lighting

      A simple tip from our expert is to use lighting to make any room look bigger and warmer.

      • To create a brighter and happier space, ditch your old lighting fixtures for new, modern lamps and energy-efficient bulbs.
      • A fresh light fixture over your dining table is a surefire way to brighten up mealtimes. As a safety precaution, turn off the power from the breaker box before connecting any electrical wires.
      • Update your existing fixtures to match your decor. You can spray paint your old chandelier or the blades of a ceiling fan to breathe new life to them.
      • To achieve the feel of a designer home, you can install a dimmer switch or cord to add more accent and versatility to your rooms without having to buy more light bulbs. You can use incandescent bulbs or fluorescent light with dimmable bulbs. By adjusting the slide switch, you can get the perfect warm ambient lighting you want every time.

       3. Power up with Paint

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        There is more to painting your walls than just covering them with thick layers of colors. Whether you go for paint or paper, changing the color of your room can also change its appearance.

        • No matter how small a space is, when you focus your home improvement plans on the walls, you can create an illusion of a wider and bigger room.
        • No room is old nor drab when you choose a paint color that adds a burst of brilliant depth to it. If you opt to go for a bold tint, use it to paint just one wall in a room. Aside from the fact that it’s less costly, it’s also a quick fix compared to painting the entire room.
        • If you go for a faux finish or a decorative wallpaper, a small room is a good place to experiment with fun patterns and designs. Self-adhesive wallpapers work like an easy-to-apply sticker, where you can peel the paper off its back and stick directly to the wall.

         4. Make a Statement with the Flooring

          Give your eyes a reason not only to focus on what’s up on the walls, but also to look down underfoot. Quality flooring drastically changes the overall look of a room – much like your walls.

          • Those hardwood floors hidden under the carpet are nothing but beauty concealed in a dark cave. Let them shine to bring out their natural appeal.
          • Meanwhile, hardwood floors that are not in good condition require refinishing. If you have the money, it wouldn’t hurt to invest on good sanding or refinishing.
          • For more eco-friendly and affordable options, choose bamboo or cork. But if you’re on a tight budget, you can easily update the floor space using the ever-dependable home makeover partner – paint.
          • If it’s time that’s keeping you from updating your flooring, start with an easy, fast fix that’s also decorative, like sheet vinyl or vinyl tiles. These will also make your space look better and can hold up to heavy use.
          • One nice-to-know tip if you’re annoyed with the squeaking sound from floors of old homes is to sprinkle on talcum powder and sweep it into the cracks to stop those creaking floors.

          5. Spice up your Window Treatments

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            Although you might not want to cover up the natural light coming in through your windows, windows are worth your attention when it comes to home improvement. Windows can make your home more energy efficient which, in return, can help save you dollars off your electric bills.

            • If you’re planning to build a new house, consider placing a window that does not face the winter winds.
            • If you don’t want to use blinds or curtains, you can just install shades in the form of window films. These act like room sunglasses and are an inexpensive way to make your home energy-efficient. At the same time, it gives you more privacy and stylish opacities and patterns.

            Featured photo credit: Yellow door, Turned on black torchiere lamp, Black paint roller, Person in black shoes on deck, Caribbean architecture door via Pexels

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            Last Updated on December 9, 2019

            5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

            5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

            Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

            Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

            Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

            1. Get Rationally Optimistic

            Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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            This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

            In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

            The result: no more mental stress.

            2. Unplug

            Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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            How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

            It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

            Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

            3. Easy on the Caffeine

            Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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            Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

            4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

            That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

            How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

            • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
            • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
            • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

            While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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            5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

            This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

            The result: mental stress will be gone!

            So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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            Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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