Irene Guanill's Blog
Why minimalism?If you're the type of person who lives in a "well-organized mess" and is able to function highly in this environment, maybe you don't need to strip things down. Or, if you feel the most comfortable in a busy room and are able to get more work done this way, maybe the busy and cozy office environment works for you. However, the majority of people don't fit that description. We tend to do our best work when we have only the necessities at had. Having a minimal home office has numerous benefits. Aside from helping you focus and adding a spacious, pleasant atmosphere to the room, minimalism can help your room look more updated and modern (increasing the value of your home), and can help you save money once you start making only the most useful purchases for your home office.
Your office as a workshopIf you work on cars in your garage and nothing else, you'll probably only want to fill your garage with the right tools for the job. This is also true for your home office. We have a tendency of putting old and extra furniture and decorations from our house into the less frequented rooms, like a home office. Look around your office. Has it become a storage room for old pillows, lamps, or furniture? If so, this is your chance to get rid of some items to clear up the room. Unlike your garage, the tools for the job needed in your home office have been extremely cut down thanks to technology. Among the items that laptops and smartphones have made obsolete:
- filing cabinets--Google Drive and Dropbox can securely store all your documents
- calculators--your phone and laptop have these
- hole punches
- landline telephones
- bulletin boards
- desktop calendars and planners
Minimal decoratingSince simple living and minimalism are current trends there are a range of resources available to you when looking to revamp your home office. Some decorating tips to help you along the way:
- Shop modular. Modular furniture from stores like IKEA and VITSOE are great space savers.
- Keep your surfaces clear. Avoid the urge to cover your desk with items. That goes for tables, floors, walls, and ceilings as well.
- Think about color. Using bright colors for your walls and ceiling will make your room feel more spacious and minimal.
- Nature is your friend. Natural light and one or two plants will compliment any minimal space.
FloorsA children's room floor sees a lot of wear and tear. Spilled drinks, crayons, and other forms of destruction are sure meet the floors of a child's play space. So you probably don't want to leave exposed expensive hardwood flooring; at least until they're older. There are, however, a number of creative ways to floor a children's room that are fun and kid-friendly. Foam puzzle tiles are a classic example. They are colorful and can be placed in any order you and your child decide. They're fun to build together, plus they're soft and squishy enough to help you avoid some crying fits when your child falls down. When one of them starts to get worn down or stained, just pop it out and replace it with another.
WallsThere are a lot more fun things to do with your kid's room's walls other than just painting them a fun color. Painting is a good place to start, though, so pick some bright, pastel colors that are fun but also easy on the eyes. You could stick with the same old pink and blue for girl and boy, but a more creative option is to go with green, orange, or purple hues. Plus you might get more use out of them if you have a second child who will eventually move in to that room. For other creative wall ideas you could...
- Build a whiteboard or chalkboard into the wall
- Make a super-hero changing station where you hang your child's costumes
- Hang a wall-sized map to get them interested in learning
- Paint or buy a tree decal that they can turn into a family tree
- Paint the walls white or light blue and buy a sticker kit to make the room look like an aquarium
CeilingThere's no need to stop the fun once you reach the ceiling in your children's room. It may seem like there's not much you can do to make the ceiling interesting but you might be surprised. You could...
- Buy glow in the dark stickers like stars, moons, and space ships
- Buy a projector that shoots lights onto the ceiling
- Hang lights and fans that fit the theme of the room (like clouds, for example)
- Paint the ceiling to be an extension of the scene on the wall
Monitored or unmonitoredOne way of dividing up security systems is monitored and unmonitored. Monitored systems depend on landline, cellular, or broadband connection to communicate with the security provider who will call your home and alert authorities in case of a break-in. Unmonitored systems, on the other hand, rely only on alarms such as sirens and flashing lights. Monitored systems that are connected via landline have the disadvantage of being cut or by losing connections due to power outages. Cellular-based systems (a.k.a. wireless monitoring) have the advantage of staying up even if your telephone line is cut. One disadvantage of monitored systems is that they often come with monitoring fees. The disadvantage of unmonitored systems is that it relies on your neighbors to call the police in case of an emergency. The problem with this is that not all neighbors are going to go see if everything is okay until it's potentially too late.
Contracts and InstallationDepending on whether you rent or own your house and how long you plan to stay in your house, you'll want to read over contracts before signing away. If you plan on moving or are only leasing your apartment, it might be a better option to buy a system outright that you can set up yourself at your next home. Systems that rely on technicians for installs may charge you fees for having to relocate or uninstall your system.
Added featuresHome security and home automation are two separate industries that have become one due to similarities in the way they function. Many home security companies now offer automation technologies that allow you to control various items in your home remotely. If you can't remember if you locked your door or if you need to unlock it for a house guest, there's no need to leave work--just hit a button on your smart phone to unlock the door. Other systems even allow you to answer your doorbell remotely from your smartphone in the same way that you would have a conversation on your phone. If you are paranoid about checking up on your house, you could go with a system that allows you to view your security cameras live feed right from your phone or computer. Now that you know the basics of home security systems, go check out some of the top rated providers and compare prices. You'll soon be on your way to making your home an even safer place for you and your family.
Is a two-car garage a luxury or an essential feature of a home? While it may not always be a top priority for first-time buyers, many seasoned homeowners consider it a "must have" item. In a lot of cases, it all boils down to expectations and what people have grown accustomed to.
Climate also plays a key role in how important a two-car garage is to you and your family. However, even if your winters are mild and your snowfall amounts are slim to nil, there are other weather conditions that a garage can shield you (and your cars) from.
Being able to park your vehicles in a protected, enclosed area is especially welcome when you have an armful of groceries, inclement weather outside, small children in tow, or an elderly parent to care for. Once you start adding up the advantages of having a two-car garage, it makes you wonder how you ever got along without one!
- Crime deterrent: No matter where you live, if your cars are parked in your driveway or on the street overnight, they're going to be much more vulnerable to vandalism, car theft, and break-ins. From a personal safety standpoint, it can also be safer to drive into your garage, close the automatic door behind you, and go directly into your house. Even if you live in a low-crime neighborhood, safety habits are a good thing to cultivate, especially if you sometimes arrive home late at night.
- Valuable storage space: As you acquire more possessions and your family grows, storage space becomes more of a precious commodity. In addition to protecting your vehicles from the elements, spacious garages are also great for housing lawn mowers, bicycles, barbecue grills, golf clubs, yard maintenance equipment, spare tires, gardening supplies, firewood, tools, and lawn chairs. If you don't have a backyard shed, then garage storage space is indispensable.
- Protection From The Elements: Besides wind and rain and dark of night, other elements your cars don't need to be subjected to include the hot, baking sun, bird droppings, and air pollution. And speaking of the hot, baking sun: Keeping your cars in a cool, shady place during the hot summer months can help spare you the discomfort of having to sit down in a sweltering vehicle! For those who live in chillier climates, garages can make your morning commute just a little less bone chilling!
- Privacy: There are a lot of benefits to being sociable with your neighbors, but it's also nice to be able to pick and choose when those social interactions takes place! Parking in your garage can provide you with an extra measure of privacy when you don't have the time (or inclination) to stop and chat.