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Interior design off the beaten path – how to make bold statement pieces work for you’re your main spaces

*This is a guest post. The opinions expressed are that of the author’s and do no necessarily reflect my own. 

Decorating your home is a confusing task and most of that confusion stems from modern culture that promotes the idea that it’s so complicated that only interior designers can do it right.

It’s kind of like working in an office where everybody is protective of their work and do their best to use big words to make it seem like they, and only they can do it. It might be a clumsy metaphor but those of us who have worked in an office will relate.

So, what do most home owners do?

If we can’t afford a decorator, we tend to stay on the safe side of things and avoid anything that stands out because we’re afraid it might look tacky.

Let us talk about that – let’s talk about how to be bold without being tacky.

To do that in an efficient way, let us take a step back and look at what makes a good practice when working with bold statement pieces.

What’s a statement piece in the first place?

The word is thrown left and right left and right and part of the confusion and the fear people have comes from the fact that nobody clearly defines it. Everybody simply starts talking about colors and trinkets, and you somehow get the impression that everybody understands it but you, because you don’t even have that basic answer – what is a statement piece in the first place.

To tackle it, let’s demystify it.

A statement piece is nothing more than a interior design element (it can be anything from a piece of art, a mirror, painted chair to a mural wal) that’s planned with to say something about you, the person who lives there.

It’s you speaking to your house guest.

Over the years, the word was mulled and repeated so many times that the idea that a “statement piece” is universal and it changes along with the trends.

It doesn’t.

It’s an extension of you and you can choose to “state” whatever you want.

The statements can range from, “I’m a country gal/boy an, although, I live in this fancy place I still cherish my roots” to a simple “I gave this space a lot of thought.”

Once that veil of mystery is down, you are free to tackle the task of designing a space that speaks.

The basic principles

Showcasing and streamlining.

When all said and done, it all comes down to those two principles.

Showcasing means that the design element you’re working with is bold enough to stand out and streamlining means that it works with your space so there are no “sore thumbs”. It’s as simple as that.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get specific and move on to some actionable tips on how to actually do it.

“Drilling” down – a few specific tips

The most misunderstood aspect of accents – color

Color is where articles on the topic usual start. They are a dime a dozen but most of them will leave you more confused than you were before reading. In some cases it’s because the authors don’t know the subject to well to begin with but in most cases it’s because of information overload.

If you try to say everything, you end up saying nothing.

So, let’s do the opposite of that – let’s make it really simple and trim it all down to three steps:

  1. If you are working with a room with lots of natural light, go with a more subdued, darker color scheme
  2. If the room doesn’t get a enough natural light, choose a saturated, bright color scheme
  3. Finally, to choose the color of your accent pieces, don’t just guess. We’re in the 21 century, use some of the online tools to choose a color that will compliment the dominant color

It’s as simple as that. Do not over-think it.

The living room – don’t get carried away

It’s easy to get carried away, especially if you do well with one bold new piece. You feel like it added so much to the room that a few more nifty details is the way to go. But where does it stop?

What it means in practice

Limit yourself to three pieces per room and place them in a way that steers the eye towards what you want to be the focal point of the room. Let’s say that you’re proud of that fireplace or video surround system and you want people to notice it.

If you can choose the location of the focal point, make sure that it’s the first thing people see when they walk into a room. Then, to keep their eyes focused on it, use color. In practice this might mean having an accent wall – one wall within the room that stands out.

In the alternative scenario (let’s work with the mentioned fireplace) – one that doesn’t allow for the focal point to be the first thing a visitor sees, steer their eyes. For example, if the focal point if a fireplace, hang a boldly colored painting and make that the first thing they see.

Then, tie that color to a detail like a vase or lamp in the corner, completing the “eye journey” at the fireplace with one bolder piece. Just make sure that none of those overshadows the part of the room that you want to emphasize.

The bedroom – bed is king

The bedroom is the one room where you want to be careful and it’s fair to say that you have the least leeway to experiment.

It might be tempting to splash some vivid colors to impress but, at the end of the day, you want to keep the feeling of tranquility and an open space that breathes.

When it comes to bedrooms, less is usually more and the whole point is to make the space feel welcoming calm and, if possible, bigger than it is.

Remember, the bedroom is all about your perception and not the razzle-dazzle of design. So, instead of investing in expensive artwork or chic armchair, make your bed and mattress a priority. Chose a mattress that evokes the feeling of comfort every time you think about it. Then protect it from time and decay. An elegant mattress protector will be more important than any piece of art.

The best tool you have at your disposal is the wall behind the bed. Going with complementing wallpaper for the wall or two hues darker than the rest of the bedroom will “elongate” the space…create a perception of depth.

The guest bedroom – don’t let it be a waste

If you live in a mansion with 15 rooms this probably won’t apply to you, but for those of us with limited space, one room is a big deal. And dedicating it completely to guest sleepovers is a bit of a waste.

Instead, make it a multi-purposes space. Instead of a permanent bed, go with an air mattress that you can set up and down as needed.

It’s where creativity meets practicality – besides allowing you to use to room as a den or an office space when guests are not around, and airbed can be also be a statement piece. The best air mattresses today are more than a piece of inflatable furniture.

If you choose right, a good air bed becomes a bold detail that will make the room look like it belongs on the cover on a magazine.

Tying it all together – short and long term planning

One last piece of advice (and an important one too) is looking at the bold pieces you add as whole that ties in the whole house, especially if you are working with color.

Statement piece like a bold yellow wall in your living room and purple vases or lamps in the lobby give of the impression of a poorly though out space.

So, when adding touches of personal flair, think broad and have a short and long-term plan in mind – one that will tie in the rooms into a cozy home.

 

 

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Haunted Halloween Fun from Oriental Trading Company

 

My dining room table last Halloween.

I LOVE to decorate for the various holidays and seasons. Halloween and Christmas are my two most favorite times of the year to decorate. Some people might say that Halloween is my favorite, but honestly, I enjoy decorating for both Halloween and Christmas just about the same.

When my kids were little I kept the decorations “G” rated so as not to frighten them and give them bad dreams. As soon as they were old enough I swapped out cutsie decor for more sinister things. Gone are the colorful plastic pumpkins, fluffy plush animals and dolls that dance and sing. They’ve been replaced with life sized zombies, skeletons, mummies, bats and more.

We live in a condo complex. I’d have to say 95% of the residents DON’T decorate for the holidays. We do, and our neighbors notice. We receive a lot of comments from people who live in our complex about our decorations and how much they enjoy seeing what we put up year after year.

I love to rotate the items I have to decorate with. I have a few key pieces that I put out year after year. Other decorations I put out every other year so as not to look at the same thing all the time.

Notice the eerie glowing eyes in the background?

I am always on the look out for new goodies to add to our holiday decoration collection. Since I need to keep to a budget I like to visit shops like Oriental Trading Company where I know I can find great deals on holiday decor and more.

This year I picked up a few new pieces that have been a hit with visitors.

One of my favorite new pieces this year is the Haunted Gargoyle TV from Oriental Trading Company. It looks like a small television, but it holds an eerie surprise. When you turn the dial – watch out! You are in for a big surprise.

Check out my brief video (below).

 

How cool is that? I love it!

The television is made of hard plastic, but it’s very light weight. The “screen” is made with some kind of fabric-like material.

To use simply turn the dial, then step back and watch the magic happen. The face really does pop out of the screen.

On a scale of one to ten for awesomeness, this Halloween decoration is a TWELVE!

The ONLY negative I can think of is that it’s very loud. I remedied this by taping a thick piece of cardboard over the speaker.

Another fun Halloween decoration that is sure to send shivers down your spine is a creepy Halloween Animated Owl.

This is a large decoration, as you can see in the brief video I made (below).

 

The owl is motion and sound activated (you can hear me clap in the video). He makes owl sounds, movies his head and his eyes glow an eerie orange color.

As it is with the Haunted Gargoyle TV, the volume is rather loud for the owl too. I did the same thing to the owl as I did the TV (I taped a thick piece of cardboard over the speaker).

Currently our owl is inside. On Halloween night I plan on putting him outside so that every time a trick-or-treater comes by he’ll hoot and make scary sounds.

The owl is selling on Oriental Trading Company for only $19.98. For something of this quality its a great price.

Both items require batteries in order to operate. Even when they are not being used they are still fun Halloween decorations.

Notice the great details including the yellowed fingernails. Gross!

Another new piece that we added to our Halloween decor this year is a fun Zombie Hand Napkin Holder, although we use it to hold our cellphones when we are charging them.

This is cute on it’s own, or even better if you set out a spooktacular Halloween tablescape for your holiday guests.

Right now we only have one hand. Next Halloween (if they are still available) I want to pick up several more so I can decorate our dining room table with one at each place setting.

Oriental Trading Company has A LOT more than just Halloween decorations. They have Halloween candy, non-candy treats to give our to children, costumes and so much more. They are literally your one stop shop for all things Halloween related. They even have Halloween crafts which are great to do with a classroom, Sunday School craft or just something fun to do with your children or grandchildren.

If you would like to check out all that Oriental Trading Company has to offer, visit OrientalTrading.com. You can also find the brand on social media. All of the links are found on their website.

Do you shop at Oriental Trading Company? Are you in the market for Halloween decor, costumes or candy?

Feel free to comment and share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

Kimberly

*I received free products in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Marshalls Fall 2017 Style Surprises Report

 

The calendar says it’s autumn, but the 80+ degree temperatures here in New York say otherwise.

Fall is my favorite season. If these was a place where weather was fall-like 365 days per year I’d move there in a heart beat.

I love everything about fall – the cooler temperatures (if that ever happens!), the start of the holiday season (Halloween, Thanksgiving…), the beautiful, colorful leaves and swapping out my shorts and tee shirts for leggings and sweaters.

I want SO BADLY to swap out my summer wardrobe for my fall wardrobe, but the weather is not allowing me to do that. It’s been unseasonable HOT lately. We’ve even had to break down and put on the air conditioner.

I love to shop for a new pieces to add to my seasonal wardrobe. I like to keep up with current fashion trends. At the same time I enjoy wearing some of my favorite (comfy!) staples that I keep in my wardrobe year after year.

Marshalls is one of my favorite places to shop for new additions to my wardrobe, as well as for holiday and seasonal decor. I especially LOVE their holiday and seasonal decor. My husband often jokes with me that I can’t shop at Marshalls without “adult supervision” because he knows I’m going to come home with bags of great finds. Ha Ha.

Marshalls recently took a survey to find out how consumers feel about shopping this time of the year. They surveyed 1,000 women ages 25-54 to verify a few things. The results can be found below. Some of the results surprised me.

Fashion

  • 2/3rds of women believe they’re better stylists than fashion experts
  • When shopping, four in five women often search for the one piece that brings their whole look together
  • 93% of women say the thrill of the find is their favorite part of shopping
  • Women say their top must-have fall piece are boots or booties, followed by denim and layering pieces.
  • 79% of women believe combining patterns and textures create the most stylish fall looks

Beauty

  • More than half of women are wearing more dramatic makeup this fall than they did last season
    • Women 25-29 (68%) are more likely than women overall (55%) to play up cosmetic colors
  • Women are buying skincare treatments with healthy, natural ingredients. The top ingredients are charcoal, tea tree and turmeric
  • Women in the Northeast are more than twice as likely to look for gold in skincare products than women in the Midwest

Home

  • 72% of women believe it doesn’t feel like fall until they put out their first pumpkin decoration
  • Top fall décor styles are traditional (31%), rustic (25%) and contemporary (24%)
  • Women in their early 50s are more likely to decorate their homes in traditional styles while women in their late 20s are choosing more vintage styles.

I have to laugh at the above stat about how 72% of women don’t feel like it’s fall until they put out their first pumpkin decoration. I would think people would say it was fall as soon as “pumpkin spice” EVERYTHING started to pop up.

I’m also curious about gold in skincare. That piqued my interest. I’d love to learn more about that.

Unlike most retailers, Marshalls brings an ever-changing selection of high-quality, on-trend merchandise that is trending right now into every Marshalls store—every single week. That is why I always love to stop by my local Marshalls every time I am in that area. You never know what good finds you see there. I love how their inventory is always changing, especially when it comes to the various seasons.

If you are looking for Halloween costumes for your child, you should check out Marshalls. I was just there yesterday and they have some beautiful costumes (I most especially love their princess costumes for children).

To find a Marshalls location near you visit MarshallsOnline.com. They have a store locator on their website. You can also find the brand on social media.

Do you agree (or disagree) with any of the survey results? Did any of the results suprise you? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

Kimberly

*I have partnered with Marshalls to bring you this information. I received a store gift card in exchange for my participation. There was no other compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Shugar Soapworks – Beautiful soaps that not only clean, but also saves lives

 

I love to fill my home with beautiful things – most especially things that smell lovely. I pride myself on making my home very welcoming and inviting to friends, family and guests.

When I know we’re having company over I go all out to make sure our home is not only clean, but I also like to add a few nice “finishing touches” to truly delight my guests. That can be everything from yummy treats to beautifully scented candles.

I like to offer my guests the “good” towels and best linens. I even go so far as to use beautiful soap in the bathroom. Actually… I enjoy having beautiful soap in the bathroom all the time.

I was recently introduced to a unique soap company called Shugar Soapworks. I like the name “Shugar” (sugar). When I think of the brand’s name I think of sweet smelling soaps.

Shugar Soapworks offers consumer a line of lovely hand soaps (you can use them in the shower too!) that are not only good for your skin, but also smell delightful.

I was sent a wonderful assortment of Shugar Soapworks soaps to sample and review. I received the following.

  • Rose
  • Lemon Verbena
  • Honey Almond
  • Cucumber Melon
  • Oatmeal & Verbena
  • Oatmeal & Coconut
  • Lemon Slices
  • Oatmeal & Lavendar

Shugar Soapworks soaps are cruelty-free and made only from the purest plant-derived ingredients. They never use sulfates, parabens, or animal by-products.

Each of the soaps has it’s own unique scent. What I like about the scents is that they smell natural – not artificial or “chemical-like.” The scents are subtle. It’s not like you are washing your hands (or body) with a bar of perfume. I prefer the subtle fragrances.

Shugar Soapworks is bar soap. I know that some people prefer liquid hand soaps or body wash. Not me. Call me “old school” but I prefer actual bars of soap.

Each of the soaps is good for your skin – as well as your spirit. Take for example the oatmeal soaps. Not only does the oatmeal help to clean and exfoliate your skin, but the uplifting scents are sure to make you smile.

I discovered just how wonderful oatmeal can be when I was pregnant with our daughter. I had incredibly itchy skin and the doctor recommended that I use oatmeal products (soap, soaks and similar). WOW! It made such a difference. Since then I have been a fan of oatmeal products. Add in a delightful scent and you have yourself a “must have” product.

If I had to pick my top three scents from Shugar Soapworks I’d say Rose, Lemon Slices and Oatmeal & Coconut. They all smell amazing, but those would be my top three (if I had to choose).

The Rose scented soap reminds me of my great-grandmother. I don’t know why. There is just something very classy and nostalgic about the scent.

PHOTO SOURCE: Shugar Soapworks Facebook Page – Pretty packaging!

Shugar Soapworks soaps are just as lovely to look at as they are to use. The packaging is really pretty. You could easily tuck a few bars in a gift basket. Each one-of-a-kind keepsake box tells a story of exquisite beauty and delicacy. Their packaging is also 100% recyclable, a perfect complement to their completely biodegradable soaps.

Shugar Soapworks soaps are not only wonderful to use, but the brand is very much into charitable work.

Shugar Soapworks fervently believes that Clean Hands Save Lives™. That’s why we work closely with our customers to identify nonprofit organizations across the country that can use individually wrapped bars of Shugar Soapworks soaps to better the lives of others.

By providing natural, sustainably crafted soaps, we hope to improve the health of those in our communities who are at high risk of illness. Since launching, we’ve delivered soaps to vital organizations like Comfort Cases, CityTeam Portland, The Los Angeles Mission, Operation Gratitude, Working Wardrobes, SOVA and more, from California to Massachusetts, Oregon to Virginia, and states in-between.

When Shugar Soapworks sent me soap to review they sent me a lot of bars. I knew it would take years for my family to use them all up. With the brand’s permission I donated a good chunk of the samples to a local woman’s charity that helps low income women/families, domestic abuse victims and others.

It made me feel really good to donate these pretty soaps to women who might be going through some really tough times. I hope the sweet smelling soaps lifted their spirits and helped them to feel relaxed and/or energized.

FYI… Shugar Soapworks soaps are not only for women. Men can enjoy them too. My husband happens to like the Honey Almond soap. Both of my kids (young adults) also enjoy the soaps. My husband and son DON’T think they are too “girly” at all. Trust me, if they thought that way they would never use them.

In addition to being charitable, Shugar Soapworks also believes in strong women. They understand what women around the world go through and how strong they need to be. Strong women need soft hands, which is what Shugar Soapworks is about.

If you are interested in learning more about this amazing brand visit ShugarSoapworks.com. I would encourage readers to visit the brand’s website to learn more about this remarkable brand and all that they stand for.

You can find Shugar Soapworks soap at many retail locations across the country. To find a store near you visit the brand’s website and click on the “Store Finder” tab. Dollar Tree and Dollar General are two locations across the country you can find the soaps. You can also find the soap on Amazon.

What do you think of Shugar Soapworks? Do any of the soaps stand out to you?

Kimberly

*I received free product samples to review. I donated most of the samples to a local woman’s charity. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Fake Candles Craft – Great for all seasons/holidays (and so easy to make!)

 

I will be the first person to say that I am not very crafty. I used to be, and I still want to be, but it’s not always easy for me to do the crafts I want to do. I simply don’t have the time between my family, work and my blog. I also don’t have the physical space needed to do a lot of different crafts. On those occasions I do a craft it’s usually something quick and easy.

I am addicted to Pinterest. I “pin” crafts all the time on that site – both for my own personal use and for work (I work with kindergartners).

I’m a HUGE fan of decorating for the holidays and seasons, so many of my craft pins are related to them.

One evening while browsing on Pinterest I saw a craft where you can make candles out of paper towel (or toilet paper) cardboard rolls. I wish I had the original site/photo that I saw the project on. I suppose if you look up “paper towel candles” or “floating candle craft” on Pinterest you might find similar ones.

Please disregard the strings. I made these to be hanging candles but you can make them without the string to display on a table top.

Floating Candles

I have a lot of paper towel and toilet paper tubes collected to use on crafts with the kids I work with. I already had the main piece I needed for the “candles.” Here are the rest of the supplies.

  • Paper towel/Toilet paper cardboard rolls
  • Hot glue gun (I used Westcott Mini Hot Glue Gun (High Temp Model) and Wescott Hot Glue Pen)
  • Hot glue gun sticks (I used Westcott because they work with my glue gun/pen)
  • Paint (I chose white and a glitter paint to add some sparkle)
  • Paintbrush
  • Finishing line or clear string (only if you plan on handing the candles)
  • Long needle (only if you plan on hanging the candles)
  • Scissors (Westcott has great non-stick scissors which are ideal for this project)
  • Small battery operated candles (I got mine from the Dollar Store – 2/$1)

Directions:

Make sure your cardboard roll is clean. Pull off any loose paper towel/toilet paper.

Using the scissors, cut one side of the roll with a bit of a “wavy” pattern to it. When candles melt they don’t always melt evenly, so you want to give your fake candle as realistic of an appearance as you can. I neglected to do this part at first. I decided to do it after I had painted them.

You can also cut the tubes to different sizes.

Using your selected paint, paint the entire tube. You might need to do 2-3 coats depending on the paint you used.

I found it easier to stand the tube upright. I put the tubes over prescription bottles so they would stand up right when I was painting them and when they are drying. Spice jars might work too.

Paint an inch or two on the INSIDE of the tube on both end too. You don’t want any of the original cardboard color to show.

Allow the tubes to dry completely.

Plug in your hot glue gun and make sure you have plenty of glue sticks on hand (this craft requires several glue sticks). I’m glad my Wescott Mini Hot Glue Gun heats up quickly. I was anxious to see how my candles would look.

I opted for my Westcott Mini Glue Gun High Temperature Model because I wanted the glue to be a “liquidy” as possible. It can reach up to 400 degrees! This model Wescott Glue Gun is great for;

  • Glass
  • Stone
  • Marble
  • Ceramic
  • Floral arrangements
  • Denim
  • Heavy fabrics

I realize that cardboard is not on this list. I was a bit worried the glue might be too hot, but it wasn’t. It worked out perfectly for my needs.

Westcott also has a low temperature model which is great for crafting;

  • Plastic
  • Felt
  • Styrofoam
  • Paper
  • Silk

Once the hot glue was ready I took one of my painted tubes and squeezed some hot glue on the INSIDE of the tube about an inch or so down. This glue will act as a “ledge” that your battery operated candle will sit on when in use. You cannot glue the battery operated candle to the tube or you won’t be able to turn it on/off. You need to be able to remove it from the tube. By making this “ledge” the candle has something to sit on so it won’t fall through the tube.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just squeeze some glue around the sides (even back and forth if you want). It’s just a way of keeping the battery operated candle from sliding through the tube.

Once that glue hardens (it did so quickly) you are ready to add glue to the outside. Using your hot glue gun, squeeze glue all the way around the end of the tube you made the inner ledge. You want the glue to look like it’s dripping – just like hot wax does on real candles. You can keep adding glue until you get your desired look. I ended up going back over a few of them with my Westcott Hot Glue Pen because it gives you precision accuracy, so I was able to add just the right amount of glue in the places I felt like I needed a bit more.

Photo Source: Westcott

This little Hot Glue Pen from Wescott is ideal for any crafting project you might have. It’s also great for quick repairs around your home. The Wescott Hot Glue Pen features;

  • Non-Stick tip for easy clean-up
  • Nozzle changes from blue to red, indicating when the pen is hot and ready for use
  • Top-mounted finger trigger allows for controlled glue dispensing

It can also be used on;

  • Plastic
  • Felt
  • Styrofoam
  • Paper
  • Silk

After you have achieved the look you are going for, let the glue dry completely. After it’s dried you can go back over it with some more paint (I used both white paint and a clear glitter paint).

Allow the tubes to dry completely.

The tube before I painted over the glue and tube with more white paint and glitter paint.

The glitter paint gave the tubes a nice texture.

If you want to hang your candles up to give them a “floating candle” appearance (great for Halloween), thread clear string or fishing line into a long needle (a quilting needle would work).

Using a long needle, pop a hole in one side of the candle (just below where you made that inner “ledge” out of hot glue) and pass the needle all the way through to the other side, keeping the needle as straight as possible (another words have the needle go straight across – not at an angle). If you don’t go straight across your candle will tip when you hang it up (unless you are not going to hang it up). Decide how much string you want and then cut and tie off the end.

If you prefer to make a centerpiece simply use your hot glue gun to adhere the candles to whatever platform you want to use.

Here are some photo and a brief video of my finished candles.

 

I intentionally took the video in the dark so that you can see the lighted candles.

This project was so much fun and oh-s0-easy to make. I plan on making this again but as a centerpiece for Christmas. I was going to make 3-4 candles of varying height and glue them together and surround them with some greenery and small ornaments. If/When I make that I’ll update this post with a photo or two.

People assume that hot glue guns are only to adhere a few things together. As you can see there are plenty of other fun things to do with hot glue. Just check out Pinterest. You’d be surprised at how many fun projects you can do. I have seen jewelry, wallets and bowls made out of hot glue.

Wescott non-stick scissors are great for this project. They cut through the cardboard tubes with ease.

Even hot glue dispensers have evolved over the years. The Westcott brand of hot glue guns and pen feature non-stick tips for easy clean up, a nozzle that changes from blue to red so you know when the pen/gun is ready for use, and a finger friendly trigger for dispensing the glue.

If you would like to learn more about Wescott products visit WestcottCreativators.com or WestcottBrand.com/products.html. You can also find some wonderful, creative ideas on the brand’s site or by visiting WestcottBrand.com/craft-projects.html.

The brand can also be found on social media. All of their links are found on their website (bottom right).

Do you use hot glue guns for crafting? Have you ever tried a hot glue pen?

What are some of your favorite projects you’ve made with hot glue? Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

Kimberly

*I have partnered with Westcott to bring you this information. I received free products to do this project as well as compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Home Warranties – a “must have” for all home owners

 

My family and I live in New York state. Thankfully we haven’t been exposed to too much bad weather, except for an occasional hurricane (Sandy) and snow storms.

My heart goes out to everyone in Texas and Florida affected by recent hurricanes. I cannot even begin to imagine how horrific those events were. I saw photo and videos on television and online and I am in awe of how destructive nature can be.

I cannot imagine losing not only personal items, but also things like furniture and appliances. Even a little damage could make an appliance unusable.

With all this bad weather that has been happening recently, it has made me take a better look at our homeowners insurance and the types of home warranties in New York, where we live.

We did have to take advantage of our home owners insurance back when Hurricane Floyd hit New York (1999). We lost power for three days. Sadly all of our fish died (there was no electricity for their water pump) and we lost all the food in our refrigerator.

Our insurance did cover food replacement, but we had a $500 deductible we had to reach first. UGH! It ended up costing us over $300 to replace everything that we had to get rid of.

We don’t have a home warranty – yet. I have been researching what is available, the cost of owning a home warranty, and what exactly it covers. From what I’ve learned, home warranties typically cover;

  • Central Air Conditioning
  • Central Heating
  • Interior Electrical System
  • Refrigerator/Icemaker
  • Range/Oven/Cooktop
  • Dishwasher
  • Built in Microwave
  • Plumbing
  • Garbage Disposal
  • Washer/Dryer

and more.

NOT ALL home warranties cover these items. Some do, some don’t. You would also need to check on repairs due to “acts of God” such as hurricane or flooding damage.

That is why you need to do your research. Some might eve cover bigger things like a Jacuzzi or swimming pool.

If you live in an apartment, or rent, you most likely wouldn’t need a home warranty because your landlord should already have taken care of it for you.

Owning a home can be costly. It’s bad enough that here in New York we have to pay state, county and school taxes, let alone having to worry about fixing a broken dishwasher.

I have looked at different home warranty companies, especially those that are available for New York residents, and I am surprised to find that they are not that expensive. I’ve seen some affordable ones, even ones with low deductibles. I found one with a $50 deductible. It cost more than triple that to have the refrigerator repairman come to our home. I should know, before we replaced our refrigerator we had to call the repairman twice to fix the same problem in the freezer.

Personally I think that a warranty is a “must have” if you own a home. If it ends up saving us money in the long run, and provides us with peace of mind knowing that if anything goes wrong it can be fixed (providing that it’s covered under your plan), then it’s well worth every penny.

I’m curious to know… how many readers are home owners? How many have a home warranty?

If you have a home warranty for your home, do you feel that it’s well worth it? Do you have any experience with a home warranty – good or bad?

Feel free to leave a comment on this post and share your thoughts and experiences. It could not only help me to decide what is best for our family, but it can also provide insight for other readers who might be considering a home warranty too.

Kimberly

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