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Magazine styled homes are gorgeous but they’re not quite practical. Especially when you’ve got little ones running about. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still have a stylish home. I’ve got a few tricks for you to today to integrate kid-friendly decor with a grown up touch. 

When house shopping keep those with open floor plans at the top of your list. Open floor plans help your family to stay social and connected with each other. It’s also a whole lot easier to keep your eye on your little ones in the living room while you’re making dinner. Additionally, an eat-in kitchen creates a welcoming atmosphere for older kids to hang out around after school while eating snacks or working on homework.

When it comes to furnishing your new home opt for furniture that doubles as storage to tuck away toys. This helps to keep a tidy home while maintaining a welcoming room for children to pull out a few toys and spend time with the family. If you choose to have wall to wall carpeting be sure to choose one designed to withstand heavy traffic. Alternatively, for a statement rug using an outdoor carpet inside adds visual interest and makes for easy cleaning.

Furnishings in heavy duty fabrics like microfiber, acrylics or distressed leather can withstand messes and frequent cleaning. For existing furniture, slip covers are another way to protect sofas while being able to easily wash messes from kiddos and pets. Round shaped tables eliminate sharp corners and the bumps and bruises they create.

It may be tempting to choose dark colors to hide inevitable messes and stains however it’s best to opt for mid-tone colors to keep a bright, welcoming room. Add pops of color with pillow covers in lighter colors. Pillow covers are ideal since not only can they easily be swapped out to give a room a fresh new look but they can also easily be cleaned by throwing them in the wash.

Install shelves that allow books to be propped up with their covers viewable. Children will be more likely to grab them to read and they will also double as an evolving art display in your home. Another great way to add child-friendly art is to frame the paintings and drawings your children bring home. You’ll have a unique one of a kind piece to rival Pollock and Rothko.

A guest bedroom with one or two bunk beds will make your home the sleepover favorite among your child’s friends. You’ll maximize space and provide a much more comfortable sleeping space than a sleeping bag on the floor. Storing snacks in baskets and see through jars out in the open makes it easy for kids to grab and go throughout the day. You’ll have peace of mind visitors aren’t going hungry while creating a welcoming, homey space for all.

When decorating most put their own taste and style first. However, when raising a family the difference between a house and a home is that everyone living under its roof feels at comfortable in its space. Creating a family friendly home doesn’t mean sacrificing style but it does mean a few tweaks that bring everyone closer together.  


If you plan to purchase a house soon, you may want to narrow your home search. In fact, there are many reasons why you should hone your house search, and these include:

1. You can seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey.

The homebuying journey may seem tough to navigate, regardless of whether you're a first-time or experienced property buyer. Thankfully, narrowing a home search enables you to speed up the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Ultimately, a refined home search allows you to focus exclusively on residences in your preferred cities and towns. This will make it simple for you to find houses that fall within your price range, set up home showings to view these residences and proceed accordingly.

It also may be beneficial to craft a list of home must-haves and wants before you conduct a house search. With homebuying criteria at your disposal, you can further accelerate the homebuying journey.

2. You can act quickly to acquire your dream house.

As a homebuyer, you must be ready to pounce at the opportunity to purchase your dream house. Because if you hesitate during the homebuying journey, you may miss out on the chance to buy your ideal residence.

If you narrow your home search, you may be better equipped than other homebuyers to act quickly to submit an offer to purchase a great house at an affordable price. And if your offer to purchase is accepted, you then can move one step closer to acquiring your dream home.

3. You can avoid wasting time and resources.

When it comes to finding a home, it generally is a good idea to plan ahead as much as possible. That way, you can avoid the risk of wasting time and resources throughout the homebuying journey.

With a refined home search, you can increase the likelihood of maximizing your time and resources. A refined home search ensures you can focus solely on residences that you are sure to enjoy and avoid houses that are unlikely to match your expectations. Then, you can find your ideal home and transform your homeownership dream into a reality.

As you get ready to start a house search, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent. By hiring a real estate agent, you can receive plenty of support as you evaluate residences.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to find a house in any city or town. He or she will learn about you and your homebuying goals and offer personalized home search tips. Plus, a real estate agent will set up home showings and keep you up to date about open house events. Perhaps most important, a real estate agent will respond to your homebuying concerns and questions and ensure you can make informed decisions at each stage of the homebuying journey.

Take the guesswork out of finding the right house at the right price – hire a real estate agent, and you can receive expert assistance as you search for your ideal residence.


Stressed out and wishing you had room in the budget for a trip to Hawaii? Take a vacation whenever you want from the comfort of your home by creating a home sanctuary. When you have a peaceful refuge just a few footsteps down the hall you can easily take 15 minutes to yourself to relax and take the edge off whenever you like.

Start by selecting your space. You can turn a spare room or unused corner of the home into your sanctuary. When choosing a place take the foot traffic and lighting of the area into consideration. For example, you may find it distracting of your new sanctuary is across from the bathroom your family uses frequently or if there is a harsh glare at sunrise or sunset.

Decide on how you’ll spend time in this area. While you may hear sanctuary and immediately assume it’s a space for meditation or prayer this can be a quiet place for you to do any activity you find soothing. This may be reading, painting, writing or even putting a puzzle together. Once you know how you would like to utilize the room you can add furniture that will easily allow you to immerse yourself in an activity. Consider soft lighting, a desk, rug,  large chair, and any tools necessary for your chosen activity. This could mean adding anything from a meditation pillow to an easel.

Handy hint: keep what you do add to the room intentional and functional. To maintain a calming environment that is easy to relax in avoid clutter from finding it’s way into this room and taking over. Add plants to bring a touch of peaceful nature to the room and purify the air. Choose soft, neutral colors to decorate with. If you are using a corner of a room for your sanctuary you can section the area off for privacy with a room divider or bookshelf.

If you don’t have space in your home for a dedicated sanctuary you can easily turn any space into a peaceful area by turning on some relaxing music and lighting some candles whose smells you find soothing. If you’re open to redecorating you can take the above tips and apply them to your living room or family den. You can even get your whole family to join in by limiting tv time and scheduling a “calm hour” for everyone to take a break and just chill.

Don’t wait all year for a two-week vacation to relax. Bring the elements that soothe your soul to your everyday routine into your home whether with a hobby like building a puzzle or setting dedicated quiet time for the whole family. When you make it simple to take a timeout from the day it’s harder to put off taking the time to relax. Your health will thank you!


Since the dawn of the internet age, a growing number of homeowners and bill payers are asking themselves if they really need to keep paying for cable television.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to cable. While there are many services that you can find most services and shows that cable TV provides, there aren’t any that offer the full package.

Ultimately, the choice of whether or not to cut the cord is down to personal preference. In this post, we’re going to talk about some of the ways you can save by getting rid of cable TV, the services that you can use instead of cable, and what to expect from those services.

The case for cord cutting

We’re not at a point where you can usually bundle up services to get all of the things you watch on cable TV and then some. Some people argue, however, that to truly get a wide selection of sports, news, and TV shows you would end up paying the same amount as you do for cable. How do they arrive at those figures?

Say you pay about $20 per month for Netflix and Amazon Prime. But you still don’t have the sports channels you want so you have to add an additional service. Then you notice your video stream keeps pausing and lagging so you have to upgrade your internet.

If you want every channel under the sun and the highest internet to stream them on, yes it could cost as much to ditch cable as it would be to keep it. But the reality is that most people don’t want or need that many services or channels. People don’t have time to watch that many shows when they get home from work, and are more than happy with the selection that one $8 per month service offers them.

Alternatives to monthly streaming services

Another thing opponents of cord cutting ignore is the fact that there are a number of services you can get for free that would replace some of the things that cable TV offers.

A number of news channels, as well as entertainment services like YouTube are streaming online for free. You have to watch the occasional advertisement, but you have to do that with cable TV anyway.

If there are local channels you feel you’re missing out on, you can still use a TV antenna, which are broadcasting a higher quality than ever. For $30, you can have access to channels for free over the air (OTA).

OTA channels vary based on your location, so be sure to check to see what the signal is like in your area.

The decision

The best way to decide if you’re ready to ditch cable is to find out which channels and shows you still want access to and to see if you can get them cheaper online. That’s it.

Odds are your internet is going to be strong enough to stream a show (unless you have a house full of kids trying to do the same thing). So, look into the streaming options, do the math, and make the best informed decision for your household.


As a first-time home seller, you may feel the need to make a counter-offer based on a homebuyer's initial proposal. However, if the homebuyer rejects your counter-offer, you may be forced to return to square one in your efforts to sell your house and obtain the best price for it.

A homebuyer's rejection of a counter-proposal is not the end of a home selling journey. And for home sellers who know how to proceed after a counter-proposal is rejected, they may be able to streamline the process of getting the optimal price for any residence, at any time.

Now, let's take a look at three tips that a first-time home seller can use to handle a rejected counter-proposal on his or her house.

1. Consider the Homebuyer's Perspective

Why did a homebuyer reject your counter-proposal? A first-time home seller should consider why a homebuyer decided to move on from a house after a counter-proposal was submitted and learn from the experience.

For example, if a home seller held firm on his or her home price, a homebuyer may have been unwilling to pay this amount. Thus, a home seller may want to consider lowering the price of his or her residence in to help stir up interest from large groups of potential homebuyers.

2. Review All of Your Options

A first-time home seller who submits a counter-proposal and receives a rejection from a homebuyer still has plenty of options, regardless of the current state of the housing market.

For instance, a home seller can keep the price of his or her house intact. Then, this home seller can await potential offers that match or exceed his or her expectations.

On the other hand, a home seller may choose to conduct assorted home improvements to upgrade his or her house's interior and exterior. These upgrades can make a world of difference in the eyes of homebuyers, and as a result, may make a home more attractive than other residences that are currently available.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a difference-maker for a first-time home seller, and for good reason. This housing market professional can offer expert guidance that a home seller may struggle to obtain elsewhere and ensure that a property seller can make informed decisions at each stage of the home selling journey.

With a real estate agent at your side, you can map out your next steps in the home selling journey accordingly.

Typically, a real estate agent will be able to tell you why a homebuyer rejected a counter-proposal on your residence. As such, you can learn from the experience and gain the insights you need to prevent the same problem from happening once again.

Selling a home can be difficult, particularly for those who have listed a residence for the first time. A real estate agent will help you take the guesswork out of selling your residence and do everything possible to ensure you can get the best possible price for your house.

Ready to overcome a rejected counter-proposal on your home? Use these tips, and you can proceed with confidence along the home selling journey.




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