Owning your own home has long been part of the American dream. It's a goal most of us rightfully aspire to, and one that can often help build wealth. Indeed, 64% of Americans own a home today. If'
Give Your Home A Smart Fall Makeover
Dated: September 5 2018
Loving your home is easy when it runs efficiently, saves you serious money and is filled with things you love.
Lets start with the basics; saving water, energy and money.
Lower your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. “Most manufacturers set them to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, but 120 is hot enough,” says David Nemtzow, director of the Building Technologies Office at the U.S. Department of Energy. With this minor adjustment you can cut costs 6 to 10 percent.
Turn off the “power dry” feature on your dishwasher. This setting is designed to speed up the drying process. But if you’re not going to run another load right away, there’s no need to use it. Plus you’ll save about 30 percent on your dishwasher energy costs.
Replace your showerhead. Water-efficient models are phenomenal these days. American Standard has a great model that uses 40% less water than conventional showerheads and can save a family up to 8,000 gallons per year.
Upgrade your insulation. This is the number one way to reduce your energy bill. Check your attic. There should be 15 to 20 inches of insulation throughout. If there isn’t, hire a contractor or handyman to install it.
Change to LED bulbs everywhere. According to the DOE, they’re six to seven times more energy-efficient than incandescent lights, cut energy use by more than 80 percent and can last 25 times longer.
MAKE YOUR KITCHEN ENVIABLE
It’s the most expensive room to upgrade, but doing so adds tremendous value — and happy living to your home.
Make it open. Open kitchens are popular as hubs for entertaining, meals and family togetherness. Open kitchens are multipurpose. Dinner is being cooked while the kids are doing homework at the kitchen table. Consider opening up your space if you can.
Spend selectively. Splurge on the one or two items that matter most to you and go with the basics elsewhere. If you are an avid cook, buy the best range you can afford while going with Ikea cabinets.
Select countertops with care. They should be strong, heat-resistant and nearly nonporous. There are plenty of gorgeous choices that meet the criteria. Natural stones include granite, soapstone and quartzite. For man-made options, try composites like Caesar-stone or Corian, or check out the new ceramic slabs. They’re very durable and come in lots of shades.
TREAT YOUR HOME LIKE A RETREAT
An emotionally stimulating home arouses your senses and makes you feel calm and happy too.
Fill it with things you love. Remember, no detail is too small to spark joy. Even your tiniest choices like the coat hooks, key drop, drawer pulls should all please your eye.
Create a pleasant flow. Your home should feel open. Avoid clutter and try to avoid having too much furniture for the space. This makes space feel larger than it is.
Pick a timeless palette. That means grays, whites and natural tones. Once you’ve established a simple and serene foundation, add bolder tones through less-permanent objects like a piece of furniture, drapes or throw pillows. You can easily change them up as your taste or trends evolve.
Go with fail-safe fabrics. Many people have kids or pets. Why not take away the anxiety that something will get spilled on? The market is full of stainproof, washable options that are so luxurious you’d never know they’re so practical.
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