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Smart technology has moved from our phones to plenty of different spots around our homes. Luckily, even the most technology-challenged homeowners can take some simple steps to incorporate smart devices into their homes. If you want to enjoy some of the latest conveniences without getting in over your head, consider these easy ways to turn your house into a smart home.

Switch to Smart Light Bulbs

smart light bulbsImage Source: Flickr

With smart light bulbs, you can turn the lights on and off without being in the room. They’re available in two options: standard white or color. Standard white bulbs light up just like your traditional lights bulbs, and color bulbs offer an array of different colors to light your home. Best of all, you can control these light bulbs with an app on your phone or using your own voice and smart home hubs, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home.

Plug in a Smart Vacuum Cleaner

iRobot cleanerImage Source: Flickr

Perhaps one of the first smart home products to hit the market was the smart vacuum cleaner. Popular models from brands like iRobot and Dyson made cleaning floors a breeze. Simply program how often you want your smart vacuum to run, and these little robots head out to clean your floors. You can even place the vacuum on a certain area you want spot cleaned. Additionally, virtual walls will keep your smart vacuum cleaners out of any room you don’t want it in.

Go for a Smart Doorbell

smart doorbellImage Source: Flickr

Popular smart doorbells like Ring are easy to swap out with your traditional doorbell and work with your smartphone to help you see who’s at the door. Some models even run on a battery, so you don’t have to worry about wiring it to your old doorbell. When someone rings your doorbell, you’ll get a video feed on your smartphone so you can decide whether you want to answer it. Most smart doorbells also come with handy features like infrared lighting to help you see when it’s dark out, motion detection, and two-way talk capabilities.

Install a Smart Thermostat

smart thermostatImage Source: Flickr

If the idea of saving energy, adjusting your heating or cooling while you’re away, and getting instant alerts about issues with your HVAC system sounds good to you, you’ll love having a smart thermostat installed in your home. These devices replace your traditional thermostat and help you stay connected to your home through an app on your smartphone. You can adjust temperature settings from your phone, even if you’re not at home. Smart thermostats can also analyze your energy usage to help you save money and send you alerts if the temperature in your home gets above or below a specified range.

Smart Refrigerator

smart refrigeratorImage Source: Flickr

Smart refrigerators are one of the easiest technologies to install in your home. Simply plug one in and you’re ready to go. These appliances use cameras to show you what you have inside. They can also remind you if you’re running low on items or something is about to expire.

While these smart home items offer amazing advancements in technology, they’re also easy to install and even easier to use.

Kitchen is the central place of your home where you spend quality time of your day, so why not make it more modern, glamorous and inviting. Adding glass kitchen cabinets renders that wow factor to the cooking space you have always dreamed of. They allow you to display your expensive china, while saving you the hassle of searching every cabinet to find a crucial piece of tableware. They also make the room appear more spacious and artful. Adding glass cabinets does not mean you have to replace the old ones. Redesign your existing shelves into glamorous glass cabinets by inserting glass doors.

Glass Kitchen Cabinets Ideas

When adding glass to your cabinets, take into account the following two things. First is the type of glass you need to use; each glass serves a different purpose. From clear and translucent to opaque, textured, grooved glass look, the market teems with all sorts of designs to complement your kitchen cabinet style. Clear glass kitchen cabinets show off items inside making them inappropriate for cereal boxes, canned products and other less attractive items you want to hide.

They are perfect for showcasing expensive and delicate china, wine glasses and champagne flutes etc. Frosted glass kitchen cabinets are suitable if you don’t want to highlight the items. They not conceal the stuff inside the cabinets to a large extent, but also give a glamorous look to the door. Textured glass cabinets paired with cool marble surfaces add visual texture to your kitchen and make every day dishes standout like display pieces. Second factor to be considered when introducing glass cabinets to your kitchen is the location. If you have kids in the house, it’s better not to add glass doors on lower cabinets.

Now let’s discover the various options that will assist you in choosing the right glass door cabinets for your kitchen.

1 – Textured Glass Kitchen Cabinets

Textured Glass Kitchen Cabinets

Image via BHG

There are different types of ornamental glasses available in the market. These include ribbed glass, glass with air pockets to create a textured look, frosted glass and etched glass etc. Decorative glass cabinets not only display all flatware and china, but also add visual texture to the kitchen.

2 – Frameless Glass-Front Cabinets

Frameless Glass-Front Cabinets

Image via Houzz

Frameless glass front cabinets have a whole front sheet of glass for the entire cabinet with decorative hinges. The lack of hardware gives an airy and light feel to the kitchen.

3 – Glass-Front Cabinets With Paint At The Back

Glass-Front Cabinets With Paint

Image via Houzz

For those who love a trace of color in their kitchen, these glass front cabinets with a hint of mint at the back are a perfect option. Adding a little color to your kitchen makes it appear more alive. You can also add other colors that go with your kitchen scheme.

4 – Sliding Glass Cabinet Doors

Sliding glass cabinet

Image via Decoist

Two sheets of sliding glass drilled in hardware or finger-pull cut through the glass slide back and forth on a recessed track. More popular in the 70’s, it is back in fashion again.

5 – Smart Glass Cabinets For Compact Kitchen

Smart glass cabinets

Image via Decoist

Glass cabinets are the perfect solution for a compact kitchen. While the wood makes the kitchen look solid and crowded, glass adds an entirely different feel by making it appear airy and spacious in addition to giving it a touch of sparkle.

6 – Stained Glass Kitchen Cabinets

Stained Glass Kitchen Cabinets

Image via Miserv

Stained glass cabinets provide a customized look to your kitchen. Use stained glass door cabinets with interior cabinet lighting to enhance the look of the glass. The warm glow of the light through the stained glass will add a hint of gloss to the kitchen.

7 – Glass Cabinets On The Kitchen Floor

Glass Cabinets On The Kitchen Floor

Image via Homesthetics

These are ideal for people who don’t have small kids or canines in their homes. Though not very practical, glass cabinets look beautiful on the floor giving your kitchen a distinctive appearance.

8 – Painted Glass Kitchen Cabinets

Frameless-painted-glass-cabinets

Image via Decoist

Painted glass cabinet doors are frameless with back-painted glass to offer a wonderful glossy look to the kitchen.

9 – Peninsula Glass Cabinets

Peninsula Glass Cabinets

Image via Homedit

Peninsula cabinets are found in areas that divide the cooking space and an adjacent space like the dining room. They are accessible on three sides and adding glass-front peninsula cabinets to the kitchen give it a more open feeling.

10 – Muntins On Glass Cabinets

Muntins On Glass Cabinets

Image via Traditional Home

Muntins are timber or metal moldings that hold individual frames of glass or serve for decorative purposes over an entire sheet of glass. They work well to enhance the look of your glass kitchen cabinets, thereby combining style with functionality.

11 – Lighting Options for Glass Kitchen Cabinets

lighted-glass-kitchen-cabinets

Image via Interiordesign

Install interior cabinet lighting to highlight your collections of silverware and dinner sets of crystal and porcelain. The lights will not only augment everything on display, but would also add extra sparkle to the glass doors.

12 – Picture Window Glass Cabinets

Window Glass Cabinets

Image via Houzz

For kitchens with more windows and less wall space, picture window glass cabinets are ideal. You place the glass cabinet on top of the window with no rear panel for the cabinet. It not only brings more sunlight into the kitchen, but also beauty the backyard. Also, make sure the window geometry aligns with the cabinet design.

13 – Adding Glass Cabinets Above Upper Cabinets

Glass Cabinets Above Upper Cabinets

Image via Miserv

Adding glass cabinets above the upper kitchen cabinets allow you to exhibit your beloved items. Moreover, it gives you the opportunity to utilize the usually wasted space of your kitchen.

14 – Combing Glass Cabinets With Wooden Cabinets

wooden and glass cabinets

Image via Pixabay

To break the heaviness of all the wooden cabinetry going all the way up to the ceiling, we can use a few glass cabinets. The glass will add glamour to the kitchen, break the monotony and give a feeling of openness.

To transform your kitchen into an exciting cooking space, here are some more kitchen design ideas.

Featured Image: Flickr

Home Appliances

Home appliances can cost American households hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Whether you live on a tight budget or you simply hate waste, you probably want your household appliances to last. Follow these simple tips to maximize the life of some of the most common appliances in your home.

home appliancesImage Source: Flickr

Run Your Dishwasher When It’s Full

Run your dishwasher once it’s full, without exception. You might be able to squeeze in a few extra dishes and glasses, but there won’t be enough room for the water jets to hit all your items as they should. When you open the door and find dirty dishes, you’ll probably start another cycle, which will put more load on your unit.

Of course, running a dishwasher that isn’t full can be just as bad. While your dishes and glassware will get clean, your dishwasher will experience the same wear and tear as if it did a full load. Doing lots of small loads will see your dishwasher wear out much faster than if it did fewer regular loads.

Regularly Inspect Your HVAC System’s Air Flow

When HVAC filters get clogged, your system must work much harder to keep your home at its ideal temperature. All that extra work can take years off the life of your HVAC unit. In extreme cases, your HVAC unit could overheat and die before its time.

Regularly check your HVAC system’s air filter for dirt and dust. These items clog the filter and impair air flow. Clean or change your filter regularly to keep the system running efficiently for years longer. Depending on how often you use your HVAC system, air filters need attention every one to three months. Your diligence will save you money now and in the long run. Experts say dirty air filters can impact energy consumption by between 5 and 15 percent, resulting in big power bills for consumers.

Keep Your Refrigerator Clean

A clean refrigerator is an efficient, long-lasting one. You’ll want to target two areas here: the gaskets and the coils.

The gaskets are the plastic strips that create the tight seal between the fridge and its doors. When they seal well, they conserve energy, and the fridge doesn’t have to work as hard to keep your food cold. With less strain on its motor, your fridge will last much longer. Wipe clean your gaskets whenever you notice food residue or dust. Coating them with a thin layer of petroleum jelly will also help them maintain their elasticity for a better seal.

Just like with your HVAC system’s air filter, dirty and dusty refrigerator coils can impair airflow. Similarly, dirty coils can impair energy efficiency and cause dangerous overheating. Use a handheld vacuum cleaner to remove all debris from your refrigerator coils as part of your ordinary kitchen cleaning ritual.

Never again surrender an appliance before you need to. With these simple tips, you can enjoy your favorite appliances for many years to come. Taking small actions now can prevent major appliance expenses down the track.

Why Staging Home is important?

One of the biggest mistakes home sellers make is not prepping the house before buyers see it to give it that clean and minimal, but appealing, look. From big overhauls to small details, staging home is a strategy that will bring your Return on Investment of time and money. A well staged home will generate more interest and even 3-5% better offers. The Real Estate Staging Association studied sales and found that staged homes sold 79% faster.

What is Good Staging?

Some may worry that a staged house looks impersonal, like a waiting room, instead of home-like. Staging doesn’t have to be cold, but less is definitely more when you show a house.

Staging is important if you want to sell your house fast:

  • Staging illuminates the house’s features, not your style. Buyers want to see spaciousness, storage, light, and character.
  • Staging lets buyers imagine their life in the house, instead of seeing yours. That’s why effective staging presents an almost-blank canvas, with just the right amount of visual appeal and cues for the imagination.

Big Tips and Small Touches for Staging Home

Here are 5 projects that make a difference.

1.  Tackle Clutter and Scrub Your Home for a Great First Impression

No list of tips can overemphasize their importance. No matter what, these two are must-dos.

  • Declutter: All your stuff will distract buyers from seeing the house itself. No piles of magazines, no hundred family photos, no line-up of cereal boxes on the counter, no closets jammed to overflowing. You want the house, not you, in the foreground.
  • Clean: Really, really clean. Wash the walls and the blinds. Scrub grout with an old toothbrush. Dust, sweep, and mop everything. Polish windows, mirrors, and fixtures. Make everything sparkle. And don’t forget smells. You may love your cooking and pets, but their aromas need to be aired out.

2.  Give Your Curb Appeal Some TLC

lush lawn

Reseed the lawn and give “curb appeal” some attention. A lush lawn is a guaranteed ROI, as in a 300% return! It’s a big, beautiful part of your home’s first impression and suggests a house that’s been cared for. Also, trim bushes, plant some colorful native flowers, or place some pretty potted plants by the front door.

3.  Re-Paint Your Walls, and Stick to Neutrals

paint color

Go beige (or white). Walls in a fresh, neutral color are the foundation of good staging. It’s not the time to be trendy, and certainly not the time to leave that bedroom purple. Beige and white continue to be the go-to colors over time: neutral without being glum. No need to be boring! There are many subtly interesting shades out there.

4.  Use Staging as an Opportunity to Tell a Story

staging your home

Organize furniture and accent pieces to create vignettes. The right pops of color and personality are perfect final touches. In the kitchen, try glass jars of citrus or seasonal fruits/veggies. Leave a nice pot and cup of tea on the counter for that lived-in feeling, with charm and without Cap’n Crunch. A container of flowers adds fresh color anywhere. If you have blossoms or branches from the yard, you can remind buyers of the property’s landscaping. A few throw pillows also add colorful touches. Coffee table books, neatly arranged on a table or shelf, add personality, and also give you a chance to say something. Books on gardening or local history can emphasize special things about your house or location.

5.  Hire a Professional Stager

You can stage your home yourself, but throw a professional stager into the mix for added wealth of experience. Working within your budget, stagers can edit and arrange what you have or bring in just the right decor. They can handle one room or a whole house with the skill that makes buyers take notice. As Sacramento real estate agent Elizabeth Weintraub says, “Home staging is… the art of creating moods. Professional stagers are highly skilled artists.” Stagers cost about 1% of the list price and are well worth hiring if you’re feeling unsure or overwhelmed by your staging needs.

These Quick Tips Show Your House at Its Best

No one would think about attending a job interview or walking the red carpet at the Oscars without looking their absolute best. Do the same for your house through staging: this is your home’s chance to stand out from the competition and shine.

Images by Pixabay

Home Automation Gadgets

The ubiquitous arrival of home automation gadgets is having a persuasively amending effect to our lifestyle and the milieu we dwell in. Each day, it has been escalating on a very gigantic scale. As a matter of fact, people are getting rather institutionalized with the use of home automation gadgets.

Home automation gadgets have brought down innovative methodologies to magnify easier way of living. On the other hand, it has caused the human physical activities to become almost obsolete and because of that, it shadows a lethargically ongoing effect on the user’s overall vitalities. Advancing further, let us acknowledge some various types of home automation gadgets and the way they operate and affect the ambient nature of life.

Classification of Some Automation Devices:

1. Nest Thermostat

Nest Thermostat

Image via Flickr

It is a peculiar type of thermostat that comprises of an embedded microcomputer and various types of control sensors. Apart from its most conspicuous job of controlling the temperature, it can be manipulated via Wi-Fi from every nook and corner of the world, wherever internet is accessible. While, a user may also interact with the device using the simplistic Dialer function and rectify the atmosphere as per requirement. Moreover, the latest version endures a capability of capturing hand gestures as input signals and pragmatically using them to operate the device accordingly.

2. GOJI

Goji smart lock

Yet, another flamboyant and innovative technology that helps you to conquer advanced prophylactic measures, acting as a surveillance device. A digital lock that does not only tends to be lucid but, through an embedded camera, it captures and transmits the user, image of each and every visitor that appears on the door. Accordingly, it is simultaneously connected to the user via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and respectively, allows you to operate the door lock for temporary access whenever mandatory. It is also competent enough to capture all lock activities. One detrimental aspect is that, it is restricted to operate under adequate supply of electricity while, allows the lock to be used manually under such circumstances.

3. Egg Minder Smart Egg Tray

egg minder

Image via DigitalTrends

Here is a brief description of another monumental product brought into existence just, for the sole purpose to enhance the field segment of home automation. Categorically speaking, an egg tray is conceived to be least conspicuous object when, it comes to creating automation intelligence. It has a capacity of keeping hold of 14 eggs at a time. Also, it is capable of making synchronization with your smart phone in order to keep the user informed at all times, about the amount of eggs that inhabit smart egg tray. It also pragmatically transmits alert notifications when the egg tray nears to emptiness. Succinctly saying, it is an imitable smart device that has turned a normal reminding job into a much simplistic form.

Nowadays, many industries, companies, manufacturers and most prominently home automation and health consortium are immensely indulged in the field of home automation due to which, increasing amount of gadgets are prevailing into existence day in and day out. Some other examples may include projects like decorated media rooms, commercial automation, light control and monitor systems, server systems for movies and music and home cinema.

Ambiguous organizations such as Amazon, Nest, Apple, Google, August and Philips have turned their emerging swift towards creating smart automation devices and tend to sway the futuristic trend accordingly. Other than these organizations, there are those, who provide a prescribed plan and automate the entire house according to the anticipated project package.

Perturbation in Ongoing Progress

There are some detrimental aspects that appear to be a hindrance in the exponential rise of the of the upcoming home automation span. No wonder, gadgets related to home automation are eminently gallant and constructed in an appropriate manner to entertain a user, leading to exceptionally versatile ways of achieving comfort, luxury and time saving but, these types of gadgets are highly dependable on a reliable power backup.

home automation

Image via Pixabay

Moreover, these technological diversities are highly appreciated by the category of people who are educated and extremely attached to the latest technology updates while, the other half of the people have to struggle and strive hard for learning and becoming familiar to conquer a pragmatic use of these types of accessories. It is just similar to compelling a hackneyed Apple iPhone user to turn towards android and vice versa.

Another shortcoming is the affordability of such products and simultaneously, the types of consumers it accomplishes to target. These are usually attainable by the people belonging to upper-middle class or more effortlessly, the aristocrat socials. Automation in a house also falls prey to a total internal crash even, if a minuscule type of fiasco occurs within the interconnection system that consist of wires, cables and optical fibers.

It may cause wreckage to either the transmitting or receiving end of the signal or possibly both. Such type of recklessness is more often caused by a human error due to construction of non-simulated gadgets or by the wiring department. There may be a very rare scenario when, reliability is brought into questioning which, may occur to improper functioning of synchronized gadgets or ludicrous internet connection.

Conclusive Analysis

Many pros and cons can eventually take birth in a person’s perception while, the ideology of converting to smart home is brought into shear consideration. A person’s habitat is a mere glimpse of lifestyle, self-esteem, idiosyncrasy and his financial status. Moreover, it reflects the variation of peculiar tastes a person upholds.

Nowadays, people acknowledge the personality of a person solely by a visualization of their living place. Home is a place of garish fascination, an area, embedded by inner peace, a surrounding, where you pass by one of the most memorable moments of your zealous life and an atmosphere that absolutely defines even, a person’s most abated instances.

Home automation gadgets, used for smart home intelligence are divulged to play a vital impact in the futuristic technologies of the World. Also, their leading ways to provide comfort and ease, especially to the old, feeble and disabled people will amplify its popularity even in the third world countries. As a consequence, due to its minimal amount of short comings and remarkable features, these devices seem competent enough to pack a punch in the upcoming technological era.

Featured Image via Wikimedia

Home Office Must Haves

Working in the professional environment of an office is far different than working from your cozy home office. Although the comfort of your home may give you more time to relax, it can have a negative impact on the productivity. Don’t let a sloppy home office get the best of your profession! There are certain home office essentials that you can use to up your work-from-home game. I have enlisted 15 home office must haves that will inspire productivity and motivate you to work hard.

1. Sufficient Room Space

Executive Office

Image via Home Made Electonica

Getting sufficient room area to set up a workplace is the first requisite of a home office. A spacious room prevents congestion and discomfort while working. Give breathing space to your office furniture and you’ll always have space to add more. A wide room will let you spread out your office utilities in a much sophisticated and neat manner.

2. Working Desk

Image via Modern Bee Book

Among other home office essentials is a traditional working desk. You can stick to a decent working surface or get creative with a designer desk. Don’t hesitate to opt for an adjustable working desk. Such a desk can adjust to different heights, so you don’t get tired sitting around all day. Ideally, a working desk is placed near the picture window, but you can place it anywhere that suits you best.

3. Right Amount of Lighting

home office lighting

Image via Homesthetics

Adequate lighting works as a mood booster. A dull, dark room will only make you lethargic and decrease your productivity. Natural or full spectrum lights are recommended when it comes to home office must haves. The warmth of natural light contributes to giving positive thoughts, which help generating innovative ideas. Guide the sun to your home office by using see-through dropping curtains that only let an adequate amount of light enter the room.

4. Efficient Computer

Image Via Pexels

No office is complete without computer systems? The same is true for a home office. A fast and efficient working personal computer can assist you in completing your tasks efficiently and quickly. You can also use a laptop, but it is better to own a desktop computer, because you have to sit for hours to perform your duties. Staring at a short screen of a laptop for long can cause neck pain. However, if you own at least 17” laptop, you might not need a desktop. All depends on the type of work you have to perform and your convenience.

5. High-speed Internet Access

Fast internet access

Image via The Balance

In the modern-tech era, high-speed internet and WiFi are the most crucial home office essentials. Much of your work can be easily done if you have a good internet connection. Tutorials, forums guidelines, important emails and teleconferencing, all can be accessed with the blink of an eye. A mere internet connection won’t suffice. It needs to be speedy and reliable otherwise you will be scratching your head most of the time. No compromise here!

6. Multi-purpose Printers

multi-purpose printer

Image via Digital Trends

If your work does not require you make printouts, you can skip this point from the list of home office must haves. Most of the businesses do call for a lot of paper work and documentation. When you need to buy a printer, a fax machine and a photocopier, why not buy a multi-purpose printer that can do all? This handy device can print, fax, scan and even make copies.

7. Paper Shredders

Paper Shredders

Images via ThoughtCo

For every document that is not confidential, keep a recycling bin in your home office. But will you throw a sensitive piece of paper just like that? Don’t ever make that mistake. Keep a paper shredder for every paper that need to be disposed, but contains confidential info. Just a single incident of data theft can discredit your work. These home office essentials are here to protect your privacy.

8. Surge Protectors

Surge-Protector

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Your home office is a place loaded with electrical equipment, many of which I mentioned. Now you should pay attention on protecting them. Surge protectors help to keep your electronic gadgets safe from high voltage spikes. Protect your expensive devices from electrical surges, so that your work would never stop. Surge protectors are totally worth your money.

9. Comfortable Seating Arrangement

seating arrangment

Image via Icon Home Design

Now many of you may ignore this, but a comfortable seating arrangement is yet another home office must have. Who likes working in discomfort? No one indeed! If you want to remain steadfast to your work, then you need all the easement you can get. It is also impressive for your clients. Relaxed seating will provide them a satisfying experience with you. Business discussions, project works and other dealings can be carried easily if you’re in a comfortable position.

10. Temperature Control System

Relaxed at work

Image via Clock It

It is hard to pay attention to your work if you’re trembling with cold or sweating with heat. Therefore, your home office needs to remain on a moderate temperature. Maintain proper ventilation and use air-conditioning to keep an undistracted working environment.

11. Elegant Decorations

Luxury-Home-Office

Image via Home Epiphany

A little decoration doesn’t hurt, does it? Feel free to customize your home office with elegant decorations. Lay out a beautiful carpet or light some candles to make your space a little brighter. Decorations will make you spend more time in your home office. Add lovely textures and colors to your wall that help in reducing your stress (light green or sky blue). Beautifying your workspace affects you psychologically by improving mood and releasing tension, which ultimately leads to enhanced productivity.

12. Pots and Plants

Pots and Plants

Image via Crazy Automotive

Never miss out on greenery! Plants and pots are home office essentials that clean up the air around you. You will always find yourself with a clear mind and high spirit if you add a few plants in your working area. It is also a cost-effective way to decorate your home office. And not to mention the sweet scents of flowers that will fill up the entire room!

13. Bulletin Board

Bulletin Board

Image via Pinterest

Important meetings, calls, clients or events can never be missed. Another vital part of your home office is a bulletin board. You can display all important things including calendar and crucial documents. Stay updated about all the upcoming events and stun people with your capabilities.

14. Coffee Maker

coffee maker

Image via Flickr

Burning midnight oil calls for a cup of coffee, but who has the time to go to the kitchen. Don’t disrupt the flow of your work. Keep a coffee maker in your home office, so whenever you feel drained, you can easily enjoy a strong cup.

15. Backup Power Source

UPS System

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Finally, use back up power to protect your data. If your electricity goes off suddenly, you’ll always have some time to save your data and safely shut down your system. UPS is a useful backup power supplier.