Category Archives: Home and Garden

Cowhide Rugs Exude More Than A Western Flair

While cowhide rugs certainly exude a Western flair, you don’t need to live in Texas to enjoy their versatility and appeal. Cowhide does have a well-deserved reputation for adding a feel of prosperity and luxury in ranching culture. While this organic material also makes its mark on furniture, fashion designs and vehicle interiors, people everywhere use it most commonly as part of their home interior design.

Traditionally, the showiest calves among Longhorn cattle were chosen to be raised and specifically bred to create color variants and unique patterns within the herds. The hides of select cattle were then turned into coverings. Nowadays, you can find many cowhide patterns and colors. These include golden and black brindle, black and chestnut piebald, blue and strawberry roan, and spotted varieties. They also come in solid colors such as white, yellow, red and black. With so many options available, you’re sure to find that ideal cowhide rug to suit the ambience and style of your home.

Homeowners who react to allergens in animal fur will most likely find that a cowhide rug won’t cause them any problems. This organic material consists of smooth, fine hair. Since Longhorn cattle don’t grow a woolly winter coat because they are a warm-weather species, their hair stays satiny and soft year-round. While the hide feels soft and supple, the skin part is surprisingly tough and long-wearing. Since their patterns won’t fade or mottle over time, cowhide rugs also make excellent decorative wall hangings.

Unlike other rugs or some fur coverings, cowhide doesn’t shed and can even keep up with frequent foot traffic. Since the soft-treated underside acts like an anti-skid feature, cowhide coverings stay put, even on leather couches or hardwood floors. That makes cowhide ideal for floor rugs or sofa coverings. The material stays cool and silky smooth to the touch on hot days, but it also works like an insulating layer in cooler climates. Since leather breathes and does not trap moisture and heat, cowhide can be used as bed coverings.

Cleaning a cowhide rug is easy. Just shake it out, and use the hose attachment of a vacuum cleaner to remove fine debris. Just make sure you move the vacuum hose with the direction of the hair. You can also use a dry cloth instead. This will help keep the natural sheen of the hair intact. Turn floor rugs occasionally so they wear evenly.

If you enjoy Western glamor, use cowhide rugs as part of your interior design. These heavy, flexible, brightly colored coverings with their unique shapes make an eye-catching addition to any room, regardless of decor.

3 tips for choosing synthetic lawn for your home

If you currently reside in Phoenix, you are probably looking for alternatives to grass due to the terrible drought we are experiencing. Installing synthetic lawn is the wave of the future. It can offer quite a few benefits. It allows you to say goodbye to your lawn mower and other maintenance hassles that you usually experience with real grass lawn and save money in the process.

We suggest you call local reputable companies such as putting greens phoenix to get estimates and layout advice on your project – It is important to get estimates and quotes so you can choose the right artificial grass turf for your lawn and for your budget. A professional turf expert can answer all your questions about the best types of artificial grass, cost, proper layout, and other important information that you want to know about artificial grass installation.

Below are some of our suggestions to help assure you find the right synthetic lawn solution:

#1. Get Complete Cost Estimates

When you discuss the cost with the synthetic lawn specialist, make sure that the final cost will include everything. What do you get for your money?  What is the labor cost of the package vs. the hard costs, etc. Most importantly, you should ask if there are added charges for installing synthetic lawn or artificial grass on special areas on your lawn (possible problem spots). It’s best to clarify everything before you sign the contract to avoid hidden charges and misc. expenses that could arise during installation.

#2. Educate Yourself about Different Synthetic Lawn or Turf Varieties

Synthetic lawn goes by many different names with different companies – some might refer to it as artificial turf, artificial grass and synthetic grass or synthetic lawn.  Regardless of which is used to describe their product, each variety has its own applications and benefits. You should take the time to research which type of synthetic lawn will be suitable for your project. There are artificial grasses that are suitable for yards with pets, kids tumbling, putting green in your back yard, commercial properties and even athletic playing fields. You should also learn about the latest updates on turf safety and maintenance. It’s honestly no different than any other product that you might invest in for your property, you need to choose one that fulfills your specific needs. Let your landscape contractor or professional synthetic lawn specialist know what you want so you can get good suggestions and advice.

#3. Work within Your Budget

Depending on the size of your lawn, installing synthetic lawn can be expensive. So it’s best if you can finalize your budget before calling a professional installation service. Do let the initial upfront cost scare you though.  Synthetic lawn or artificial grass can pay for itself over the long term. Once your project is complete, you will not need to water the grass any longer and you can greatly reduce water consumption which will translate to savings on your water bill.

What are you thinking about college apartment

However, with great freedom comes great decorating responsibility, and that’s often a financial burden. Unlike living in a dorm, you have to fully outfit your place. And even if the unit has some furniture (mine had a desk, bed, and sofas), you still have a lot of work to do before it feels like home.

Before you get lost in the euphoria that is shopping at home stores, however, make a list of everything you need. As a matter of fact, why don’t you use our college apartment essentials checklist:Bedroom

Your bedroom will be your haven in your college apartment. Other spaces are shared between you and your roomies, and the bedroom is where you can close the door, unwind and focus on your studies. So, it’s a pretty important space. Here’s what you’ll need:

Bed Frame and Mattress: Some college apartments provide the bed for you, but double check before you make any assumptions. If you do have to bring you own, measure your bedroom. You don’t want to pack up your queen-size bed just to realize it takes up the entire room.

Full-size beds are great for college apartments – they’ll fit in most rooms and they’re still big enough to let you spread out.

Mattress Pad: College apartments don’t have TempurPedic mattresses. They may be downright uncomfortable. Save yourself a backache and get a mattress pad.

Bedding: No matter how furnished your apartment is, you’ll need to bring your own bedding. See how large the bed is and purchase based on that. Also, the bedding you choose will determine the color scheme in your room, so pick wisely.

Neutral bedding allows you more freedom in picking colors later on, and you can always change things like pillow covers and art to alter your color scheme. Also, consider getting two sets. That way, when you wash one set, you can put another on your bed.

Desk and Chair: Again, many college apartments provide a desk, but if yours doesn’t, get one! This is where you’ll write your papers, study for finals and lounge around on Facebook. Make sure your chair is comfortable – you’ll use it a lot.

Lamp: Make sure your desk is well-lit so you don’t strain your eyes trying to read “Crime and Punishment” for your classical literature class – don’t make it any harder on yourself.

Organizational Tools

While your bedroom in a college apartment will be larger than your dorm, it’s certainly not a mansion. Keeping your things organized will prevent clutter and give you plenty of room to live. These tools will help maintain order in your space:

  • Shoe rack
  • Under-bed storage bins
  • Laundry basket
  • Bins for storing in your closet
  • Organizers for your desk

Apartment Culture Tips To Look So Traditional

In many industries, working remotely from your apartment rental has become quite common. Many of the advantages are undeniable, especially when living in a big city. You don’t have to get up early to face a long commute to the office via congested interstates or embark on the hustle and bustle of mass transit. You don’t have to worry about skipping breakfast or packing a lunch. You don’t even have to get dressed! All you have to do is walk a few steps across your apartment rental to yourhome office. However, a major challenge of working from home is the ability to focus and prioritize. We’ve put together five tips to improve your productivity while working at home!

1. Claim Your Workspace
Dedicate an area of your apartment as your sole workspace. No more wandering off to look for important work documents and getting sidetracked by television. A dedicated workspace helps establish boundaries for a better work/life balance. Storing your work supplies in one area – as opposed to spread throughout the apartment – will help keep you organized and focused.

Many rental apartments are too small for a separate home office, but you can always find ways to separate a work area from the rest of the apartment. It may be a drawer devoted to your work supplies, or even a tucked away small desk and work chair. Whatever it is, do your best to make sure those areas are dedicated to work — and work only!

If you reside with a roommate or spouse, let them know that when you’re sitting in your workspace, you are officially at work. Anyone sharing a residence with you should respect your work life and understand that you are at a job each day, just like if you had left your apartment and gone into the office.

2. Set Professional Standards.

You might be tempted to leave those pajamas on every day, but getting dressed helps define the workday and fosters productivity. When working remotely, your mindset is important. If you’re in the correct frame of mind about being at work, it won’t matter as much whether you’re in an office or your own apartment.

The snooze button is a remote worker’s best friend and worst enemy. The time you save on commuting can be spent catching a few extra winks, but you should still aim to be focused and ready to work by the start of the regular work day.

3. Limit Distractions.

There’s no doubt that having an apartment in the hub of the city has many benefits, but one major problem is noise. People going about their daily lives in the apartment complex may distract you from work. Invest in a pair of good headphones to reduce the noise that invades your home office space. You can work in a virtual bubble with a pair of headphones and only let in the noise you want, such as computer alerts or phone calls.

4. Stick to a Schedule.

Schedule your work day to be as productive as possible. Keeping a schedule might seem silly when you work from your rental, but it has been shown that strict scheduling each day will keep you on top of your “A” game. Remember that part of your schedule is taking time for yourself. Don’t let your apartment serve as an office exclusively. Make suer you take a break for lunch, or take a 15-minute break to walk the dog and deactivate your work brain. You would do this if you were out of your apartment at an office, so make sure you translate this to your work space. It’s tempting to “stay late at the office” if you need to complete a project, but don’t make it a habit. Quitting time applies to home offices as well.

5. Applications and Programs.

Computer and mobile apps have come a long way to help you stay in contact with business associates from around the globe. You might want to consider using Skype, join.me, Grasshopper, Basecamp, Trello, and Google apps for business when working from a home office. These great tools foster collaboration and give you the ability to seamlessly connect from anywhere.

How to Get Apartment Insurance

images (21)Many renters aren’t aware of the importance of renters insurance. According to Bankrate.com, over 40 million renters lack insurance for their rental, putting themselves at financial risk in the event of unfortunate circumstances. Don’t become one of them. For less than the cost of a daily candy bar, and sometimes less than the cost of a monthly pizza night, you can insure your belongings and avoid financial consequences if Murphy’s Law happens to strike. Keep reading to discover 5 reasons every renter should invest in renters insurance:

1. Your landlord’s policy doesn’t cover your personal property.

 Often, renters assume that their property’s insurance policy covers them in the event of trouble, such as a fire, flood, power outage that damages personal property, or burglary. Only when the worst happens do they discover that the landlord’s policy only covers the building, not the tenant’s personal property. Renters insurance protects you against financial loss, providing money you can use to replace or repair your personal belongings. Typically, a landlord will only reimburse a tenant for personal property if the damage or loss resulted from the landlord’s negligence. Check your lease for a clause that discusses insurance for renters, as many landlords include this as part of the standard apartment lease contract.

2. You need liability protection.

 Accidents happen, and even as a tenant, you may be liable for personal injuries affecting your guests or neighbors. For example, if a guest slips and falls in your apartment they may seek injury compensation from you. Likewise, if your pet bites a neighbor or the mailman, you could face a liability lawsuit. The same applies to common household mishaps, such as overflowing tubs that send water gushing down over a neighbor’s personal belongings. Renters insurance provides financial protection for such situations.

3. Replacement costs can be high.

 Maybe you don’t have many valuable possessions. Perhaps your television is an older model and you purchased your couch second-hand. Even in such cases, replacement costs can be high, and renters insurance provides a way for you to replace your possessions without undue stress or financial hardship. While replacing one or two items might not break the bank, consider the cost of replacing all or most of your belongings after a fire or flood. According to Bankrate.com, the cost to replace the personal property in a one-bedroom apartment with a single occupant would easily exceed $13,000.

4. Renters insurance can be inexpensive.

 While renters insurance premiums do vary, policies are generally priced to minimize their cost and fit tight budgets. In fact, many policies cost less than $1 per day. If that’s not enough encouragement for you, consider that policies are usually dependent on the estimated value of your household possessions and the typical risks you face. For example, if you don’t need flood insurance, your premiums may be less than those paid by renters in flood zones. Additionally, if money is tight, some people opt for higher deductibles, which typically result in lower premiums. While this strategy can lower premiums, keep in mind that you have to pay the deductible in the event of a claim. For example, if you have a $500 deductible and experience $5,000 in losses, you will have to pay that $500 out of pocket. Opting for a higher premium instead may be a better option if coming up with a lump sum of cash will be difficult when you’re filing a claim.

5. Replacement cost policies give more bang for your buck.

 Some renters insurance policies provide actual cash value in the event of a claim. This means that the insurance company will pay what your property was worth at the time of the theft, damage, or loss. Since personal property depreciates, this could leave you very low on funds for replacing your property with brand new purchases. In contrast, replacement cost or replacement value policies pay the amount it will cost to replace the lost or damaged item at current prices.

Simple Tips for Furniture in Your Apartment Bedroom

Arranging furniture is an art– no, seriously, it’s one of the most important parts about interior design. That’s not to say that it’s best left to the pros, though. Everyone can design their own perfect space with just a little bit of thought and a lot of experimentation. In fact, figuring out how to set up your new place is a really fun part of moving into an apartment.

When it comes to arranging furniture in your apartment,it’s sometimes necessary to get a little creative (and even to just throw the rule book out of the window every now and then). One of the most difficult rooms to design tends to be the bedroom, especially if it’s small. So, read on to learn how to arrange furniture in your bedroom:

Use Only Necessary Furniture

Before you start deciding where to put what, think about the furniture you’re using and try to use only the pieces that are necessary for the room to function.

This is especially important in small apartments when there isn’t a lot of extra space– using fewer pieces will make the room look and feel a lot more spacious. If your room is extra tiny, use taller dressers and shelves to get more storage while taking up less room.

Arrange the Furniture You Have First

Another quick tip before you get started: Don’t buy new furniture until you’ve arranged the pieces you already have.

That way you’ll know the exact furniture you need, along with the dimensions and style you’re looking for.

Draw it Out

It’s a good idea to experiment with different arrangements on paper before you start pushing furniture around the room. That way you can eliminate some options that won’t work without potentially scratching your floor or walls while moving your dresser for the zillionth time (believe me, it happens).

Measure at least your biggest items (bed, dresser, shelves, etc.), as well as the dimensions of your room, then sketch out a couple of different options. If you’re not much of an artist, check out an app that can do the job for you. Try Home Design 3D (iOS) or Floor Plan Creator (Android).

Think About Function

While figuring out how to arrange furniture in your new bedroom, think about your lifestyle. This could really affect where your furniture ends up.

For instance, if you tend to watch a lot of TV in bed, you’ll want to find a layout that works well for that. Also, plan your walkways. If your bed is blocking your path from the dresser to the mirror, you may find yourself a little annoyed down the road.

Dive in Bed First

Once you’re ready to put the pencil and paper (or app) down, and start actually arranging, begin with your bed. Traditionally, beds are placed on the wall opposite the door or the largest one with no windows.

In a small bedroom, you may have to break these guidelines, though. Find a spot for your bed that makes the most sense to you, just make sure you can open and close your bedroom and closet doors. Also, while placing your bed under windows is totally OK from a design perspective, you may find yourself feeling uncomfortable drafts over the winter.

Free of smoke on apartment tips

Cigarette smoking is still a very common habit in the U.S. According to the latest findings from the American Lung Association nearly 480,000 people die each year from tobacco use and exposure. Given that, it’s little wonder that more people are giving up and keeping their apartments smoke-free.

So what does this have to do with you?

Whether it’s summertime, the holidays or spring break, it’s likely that you’ll welcome visitors into your apartment. Whether they’re staying for a day or a week, you may run into a very uncomfortable issue: how do you ask them not to smoke in your apartment?

You should not feel intimidated in your own home. Your house, your rules! If they can’t deal with not being able to smoke inside, they can find somewhere else to crash.

If being blunt isn’t your style, here’s something to consider. Even if you’ve never lit up yourself, you would still be in harm’s way as secondhand smoke is also a killer.

So, what can you do?

Do’s

  • Remember that smoking is an addiction, one that cannot be stopped cold turkey at your convenience.
    Did you know: You can search for a smoke-free community on Apartment Guide! From the main search bar, just click on “More”, then “More Options”.
  • Find out your apartment community’s smoking policy. Some apartments are completely smoke-free. Others have designated outdoor areas for smokers. Even if you have a patio, that’s not always the best place to send a smoker since the fumes will travel to your neighbors.
  • Let your guests know about your anti-smoking policy as soon as possible, even before they arrive at your place. Letting them know your expectations up front will prevent them from feeling caught off-guard.
  • Even if the smoker is courteous enough to step outside, the odor will no doubt linger back into your apartment. If possible, leave windows open to air out the funk.
  • Be prepared to launch a cleaning campaign upon their departure. Lingering smoke will likely make it into your furniture, bedding and clothing.

Don’ts

  • According to Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights (ANR), 80 percent of smokers say they want to quit. But addictions are hard to break and only 20 percent of smokers actually stop. Don’t bother getting on your soap box, lecturing about how smoking causes cancer and other health problems. Everyone already knows that.

  • No name calling. Referring to your guest as Smokey or Puff the Magic Dragon, though funny, doesn’t really help the situation.

All it takes is a little finesse and open communication to keep your apartment from turning into the smoldering speakeasy.

Apartment living tips with your pet

unduhan (15)Here are some tips to help you catify your crib, so your royal highness will be purring

Take playtime to the next level
Cats in the wild love jumping from limb to limb, and cats at home are no different. Create an active cat wonderland by providing platforms at varying heights for them to pounce or lay on. DIY cat lovers can install different sizes of shelving on the wall. Even if you aren’t super-handy, you can still create a playful, cat-friendly apartment withready-made cat gymsthat come in all shapes and sizes. (There’s even a life-like tree house.)

Help your kitty veg out
After all that active playtime, Mister Fluffy or Miss Furrybutt will need some downtime. Cats love to be perched up high, so you might stash a cat bed on top of a bookcase or dresser. But some kitties like to chill out on the down-low: perfect for this groovy cat hammock that you can hang on a stand or attach under a chair or table.

Serve them in style
The average apartment cat never wants to feel average. That’s why you might pamper them with modern dining utensils like a stainless steel watering fountain,square Asian-inspired supper dishes or a funky cathead food container. And if you really want to treat your feline friend right, whip up a batch of homemade cat food to make sure they are the healthiest they can be!

Make litter more elegant
Just so you know, classy cats don’t call their commode a litter box. Oh no, they call it a litter cabinet. And you simply must have one to make your cat wonderland complete. Choose from a variety of wood finishes or wicker. Seriously, these litter boxes in disguise look fantastic and are a treat for both pet and owner.

Apartments tips for treat pat

There’s never a need to convince your cat that he or she is perfect. Ever. They already know it in their furry souls. You can thank them every day for guarding theapartment, kiss them on the head and give him plenty of love and attention. Still, whenever you really want to show your little furball how much you love them, there is only one best way — treats. And nothing shows your love more than whipping up a batch of homemade kitty goodies.

Keep Health In Mind

Make sure you keep your kitty’s health in mind when you’re giving treats. It’s easy to forget that a treat here and there adds calories to your cat’s diet. Make sure you consider how treats fit into your cat’s overall diet, and if you’re treating your cat often, make changes to its regular food as needed.

Research Ingredients

Now, we may as well admit it – nothing is good enough for a cat. Cats are transcendent beings, and no food intended for mere mortals can ever truly suit them. However, we must work with what we have. Before you make any recipe for homemade cat treats, thoroughly research the ingredients. Make sure everything is good and safe for cats.

In the same vein, never experiment in your cat-treat cooking without checking the ingredient first. Many common kitchen ingredients that are perfectly fine for humans are terrible for cats. For example, onion, garlic or even chocolate can both make cats sick and even be deadly in large quantities. When in doubt about a particular item, check with your vet.

Pet and Play

Remember: Treats should not and cannot replace love and attention. Cats will love your homemade treats, but they still need lots of mental and social stimulation to be truly happy. Make sure you play with your kitty at least once a day.

Treats can be part of play! For example, you can purchase a treat puzzle toy, or make one yourself using a soda bottle – simply cut some paw-sized holes in the bottle, and drop in a treat. The fewer holes you include, the trickier the puzzle will be. Your cat will have tons of fun figuring out how to get the treat out, and afterward, it will have a homemade snack!

Chicken and Catnip Crunchies

Combine a cup of flour, a can of shredded chicken, an egg, a tablespoon of olive oil, and a tablespoon of catnip in a blender or food processor. Blend the ingredients until they’re fully mixed together, then scoop out cat-bite-sized dollops onto a greased cookie sheet. Pop the sheet into the oven heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes, or until brown.

Once the treats are done, let them cool. When they’re totally cooled, you can offer them to your favorite feline (or felines). The combination of catnip and chicken will create a scent that’s sure to drive your furry friends wild, and they’ll absolutely love the flavor. Store these treats in a closed container in the fridge for up to a week.

Cheesy Bites

If your cat’s always sniffing around your cheese, it will absolutely love some cheesy bites. Mix a cup of flour, a cup of cheddar cheese, a half cup of parmesan, and a single egg together in a bowl or food processor. Scoop and separate the bites, and bake them for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove them from the oven and let the bites cool.

Tips for Furnishing Your Apartment

images (22)If you’re on a budget, knowing what to buy first will help you allocate your spending accordingly. That way, you can get what you’ll truly need, then use the rest of your budget on little touches that will turn the space into a home. Here’s a priority list of what to buy when furnishing your first apartment:

A Bed

Your first priority should be a bed, since it’s where you’ll be spending most of your time while at home. In fact, the most essential part of the bed is the mattress. Get a good quality mattress that you’ll sleep well on and be able to keep for several years.
As far as bed frames go, a basic frame is all that’s really needed, but feel free to get something a little more decorative. Though not absolutely necessary, it may make you feel a little more at home in your bedroom.

A Comforter and Sheets

Speaking of beds, you’ll also want to invest in a down comforter and duvet, especially if you live in a cold place. A nice down comforter will last for years, and you can buy new duvets instead of a whole new comforter as your tastes change.
Plus, stripping off a duvet and throwing it in the washing machine, while sometimes awkward and complicated, is a lot easier and more efficient than trying to wash an entire comforter.

A Couch

A living room without a couch isn’t the most comfortable place to spend time, so make sure to pick one up. Splurging on a pricey couch may seem a little out of reach, so if it just seems like too much, start with a futon.
Futons may not be as comfortable or long-lasting, but at least you and your guests will have a place to relax (and sleep). Box stores like Ikea, Wal-Mart, and Big Lots may have some inexpensive couch options, so if you’d rather buy a couch than a futon, consider starting there.

A Coffee Table

Unless you have room for a full dining table set, a coffee table may be the only eating surface you have in your apartment for a couple of years.
This is one item you don’t have to bother splurging on– look to cheaper versions, since it’s likely to get damaged between now and when you move out.

Kitchen Necessities

There are various kitchen items you should make sure to get when furnishing your new place, and you probably know best what those items are. Take a few minutes and write down a list of your own personal kitchen necessities– the items you use the most, like a tea kettle or microwave, for instance
Break the list down into categories for items you use to cook (pots and pans, spatulas and food), items you use to eat (dishes, silverware, glasses), items you use to clean (take my word for it, and get plenty of Clorox wipes), and any appliances you use often. I know many people who simply can’t live without a slow cooker or have to have a French press. If that sounds like you, put it on your list.

Bathroom Necessities

You may already have some bathroom necessities, but there are a few essentials everyone should make sure they have. The No. 1 most important item is toilet paper, obviously.
You’ll also need a shower curtain and liner, and probably a shower caddy or organizerif you don’t already have one.

Lamps

Especially if your apartment doesn’t have overhead lights, make sure you think about lamps when furnishing your place.
Place one next to your bed and in your living room, if you have one. That also means buying plenty of light bulbs!

Extension Cords

Extension cords are so necessary and sadly often forgotten about. Buy several, and I can guarantee you’ll find uses for all of them.
Power strips are another good idea, so be sure to pick up a couple, especially if you have a TV and other electronics.

A Wireless Router

Like extension cords, a wireless router isn’t always the first item on a person’s priority list, but it should be in the top 10. You never know how much you depend on theInternet until you have to spend a few days without it!
Many cable and internet packages include a router rental, so either set up an appointment with your Internet provider as soon as possible, or buy one of your own that you’ll be able to move with you to future apartments.

Hangers

Unless you plan on keeping everything in a dresser (in which case, you’ll need to buy one), make sure you pick up a few packs of hangers.
You’ll find it hard to settle in when all of your clothes are still boxed up!