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5 Ways to Refresh Your Home

5 Ways to Refresh Your Home

Creating the Home of Your Dreams Without a Major Renovation

Maybe you purchased your home a few years ago and it was your dream house. Everything was perfect and exactly how you liked it. But now your furnishings seem a little faded and the paint on your walls doesn’t quite give the vibe you were going for. Or maybe your home never started as your dream home and you’re determined to start on your fixer upper but aren’t sure how to update the space. No matter what scenario you’re in, there are quality investments you can make to refresh your home.

Upgrade your flooring

There’s nothing worse than staring year after year at flooring you feel lukewarm about. Updating your flooring is a great way to make a dramatic impact without tearing down walls and adding skylights. Even if real hardwoods aren’t in your budget, you can create the same look with laminate flooring. Create the luxury you deserve with flooring that epitomizes your taste and style. Even if you decide to only change the flooring in your powder room, you’re sure to appreciate the update it has on the rest of your home.

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Refresh your walls with paint

Quality paint can be a little pricey, but it’s imperative to make sure you purchase the best quality you can afford, particularly for areas such as the bathroom that have moisture problems. Aside from the cost of the paint itself, you should also calculate the amount of time it will take you to paint the space because time is our most valuable resource. If you think painting an entire room would take too much time away from your everyday enjoyment, consider painting only one wall as an accent, saving time and money.

Update lighting fixtures

Casting away the shadows and mixing up the lighting in your house can easily transform a space. Your room might feel dark and gloomy and could easily be spiced up with new lamps or even curtains that let more light in. Or, if you still have one of those brass chandeliers popular in the 90s, consider installing a newer style and add retro appeal with a few Edison light bulbs. You’ll be surprised what difference the right light can make.

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Hire professional cleaners

While having a regular maid might be a pipe dream, you can experience the bliss of having someone else clean your home until it’s spotless by using a one-time cleaning service to come revive your home back to just-moved-in luster. While an all-over clean might be out of your budget, you can have specialists come turn your carpets from brown back to the original beige or have window washers remove the grime that builds up overtime. The time you save will be well worth the expense.

Declutter and Donate

Whether or not you believe in The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, decluttering can go a long way in revitalizing your home and give it more of a movie set appearance. By going through your items, you’ll get a better idea of what items you have and see if there are any you might have forgotten about. From there you can rearrange the items and potentially give the room a whole new look. As an added bonus, you can donate whatever you don’t want to others who might be looking for the perfect piece to tie their room together.

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Creating the home of your dreams doesn’t require contractors, saw dust, and sledgehammers. Instead, focus on small changes that can create the most impact and fall in love with your house all over again. After all, you don’t want to let go of the home that’s brought you so many happy memories just because the linoleum is the wrong color.

Featured photo credit: Armstrong Flooring via armstrong.com

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Sarah Walsh

Freelance Writer

Armstrong Laminate Flooring 5 Ways to Refresh Your Home

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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