Weekly Home Help with items on freshening up your house for spring, a new app to reduce junk mail, a home-selling tip and more.
Break out of the winter gloom by making some simple changes to your home with bright, fresh decor. Here are the top trends in interior decorating that capture the optimistic feeling of springtime, without having to spend a lot of time or money.
1. Color your world happy. To uplift your mood and give your home a new personality, color should be the first thing you address. Paint is an easy and affordable way to dramatically change a living space. Spring's hot color palette includes rich hues of blue and turquoise, vibrant pink and orange tones, and soft greens and neutrals.
2. Mix in light and fresh decor. Making small changes to your home's decor is a great way to refresh the interior, and you don't have to spend a ton of money. Window treatments are a great place to start. Replace dense fabrics with airy options that beg to blow in the warm breeze.
3. Bring the feeling of "green" indoors. The buds and blooms of spring are a big reason it's such an inspirational season, and houseplants are a great tool for awakening that sense of nature and bringing the outdoors inside. Houseplants make any room look more luxurious, and they are natural air cleaners, awakening the senses of spring's fresh air. Good, low-maintenance indoor houseplants include the peace lily, spider plant and snake plant.
Decorating Tip: Use online shopping sites
If you are decorating on a budget, try shopping online. There are some great deals to be found. Listings in classifieds often have photos attached, so it's easy to find exactly what you're looking for. Online closeout sites are also a great way to save money.
-- Scripps Howard News Service/ HGTV
Home-Selling Tip: What’s under the carpet?
If you have hardwood floors under old carpet, rip up the carpet and hire a professional to refinish the wood for around $1 to $1.50 a square foot, and then do your own staining and sealing to save money. If you are installing carpet, buy the best padding because mid-price carpeting looks and feels fine if the padding below is thick.
Going Green: New app reduces junk mail
Do you get frustrated with all the paper junk mail in your mailbox? PaperKarma is a new app for both the iPhone and Android markets. Just take a picture of the junk mail, and the app will contact the company who sent it and request your name to be taken off the list. It is a quick and easy way to reduce paper –– and your junk!
Did You Know …
Home sales increased 4.3 percent in January from December, marking three gains in the past four months. -- Realtor.org
Garden Guide: Checking soil fertility, pH
Check soil fertility and pH by having your soil tested at least once every three years. Soil pH measures the degree of acidity or alkalinity of the soil. Vegetables vary to some extent in their requirements, but most garden crops will do well with a soil pH of 6.2 to 6.8. This is a little below neutral or slightly acid (sour).
-- University of Illinois Extension
GateHouse News Service