Finding Inspiration in your Home

Styles change. Something that you may have liked a few years ago just does not appeal to you anymore. That is what happened to me with this wall art that I had bought at Hobby Lobby about 5 years ago. I would sit on my couch and look at it and it was just boring. I appreciate pieces in my house that make me happy or are creative. It just wasn’t doing it anymore.  It was uninspiring. So on a snow day stuck inside with kids, I decided impulsively that it must be changed. I looked through the internet but couldn’t find anything that I liked enough that I would pay for. I started pinning things that were refreshing to me. Recently, I have fallen in love with the concrete tiles like this:

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I kept coming back to this abstract art designs. That’s when I decided that I would just do it myself. I had acrylic paint left over from another project and white wall paint in the basement. No canvas though and we were snowed in. So I grabbed the uninspiring canvas off of the wall and painted it white:

Let it dry and started my design inspiration.

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When I was done, I lightly brushed a stain over the top.

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We hung it up where the painting had been. Aww, fresh and new. Happy with the end product and love that it is something that my husband and I made together. Inspired!

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Is Your Home Secure?

Recently, our neighborhood has had a few burglaries during the day. This served as reminder for us to update some of our home security features.

SECURITY SYSTEMS:

We have had a security system through Monotronics for years now. It allows us to have sensors on all of the doors and windows. If any of these entry points open a loud beep goes off for 1 minute before the alarm is triggered. At that time, a message is sent to the security company and they call police. We can also set the alarm when we are away so that sensors go of if someone is walking around the house. The feature that makes me feel the best is the fire alarm. If our fire alarm goes off then the fire department is dispatched to our house. We always set our alarm at night but at times we do forget to set the alarm when we leave for the day. Our company also allows you to set the alarm through your cell phone. There are so many different companies available. SimpliSafe offers many of the similar features.

We have also considered getting RING.COM so we can see who is at the door.  https://ring.com/

A quick google search and you can find different companies in Omaha that offer a variety of security systems

DEADBOLTS

When we purchased our home we inherited some drilled out deadbolts that needed to be replaced. After replacing the deadbolts we decided to also add another security feature (for those times we fail to set our alarm), Dead Bolt Secure. Apparently for a few bucks it prevents “lock bumping”. Lock bumping is a fairly simple way for thieves to enter your home.

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SLIDING DOORS

If you have a sliding glass back door, here are some options for you:

  1. security bars
  2. double bolt locksdownload-11
  3. sliding door lockdownload-12
  4. door sensor

Ideas to prevent thieves from breaking glass:

  1. window film, blinds, or curtains so they can’t see in
  2. glass break detectors that sound your alarm systemdownload-13

GARAGE DOORS

We often forget this is another point of entrance.

  1. Motion Lights above your garage
  2. Window film
  3. Secure your doors emergency release with zip ties
  4. Don’t leave your garage remote in your car
  5. Frequency changers – Modern automatic garage door openers now feature rolling-code technology. Prior to this thieves could just drive through a neighborhood pushing their purchased transmitter. If they had the same brand that you purchased than your door would open. 
  6. MyQ alerts when a garage door opens. https://www.liftmaster.com/for-homes/accessories/myq-accessories

    Hope these few ideas help make you feel safe and sound in your home!

 

Front Door Update

When we moved into our current house, we inherited an outdated front door. At first we thought that we would replace it. We priced out some front doors and quickly realized that a new front door would have to wait. Fresh paint and updated hardware would have to do for now. As with any old house repairs, none of this would be easy. Here is what we started with:0710161347

A few problems here. 1) The door is hollow. 2) There is a hole for a deadbolt at the bottom of the door. 3) The lead of the glass has been painted. 4) The window leaks when it rains 5) The antique door knocker that was given to me screws do not line up with the current door knocker holes. 6-8) problems that we would find out later as we put in the new hardware.

Knowing the obstacle that lie ahead, I ran down to my local ACE Hardware. Luckily, I was helped by an older man who was very experienced in home improvement. He set me up with some good products.

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Durham’s Rock Hard Water Putty = awesome! This product comes in a powder form which you mix with water to the desired consistency. So I took the deadbolt out, stuffed with newspaper, puttied, and sanded.

Then I puttied and sanded the door knocker and sealed the window with caulk. I also scraped the paint off of the lead of the window.

After everything dried I painted the door the same color as the brown trim.

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A couple months have past and we recently added new hardware and worked on a better seal for the bottom of the door. Here is the finished product which cost about $150. A little hard work saved us some money!  Final product with a little fall decor.

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Table and Chairs Brush Up

About 15 years ago, we purchased a formal dining room set. Over time the dark cherry wood became worn and the cream colored fabric that lined the seats had been stained. It was dark and needed a face lift.

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I decided to paint the side chairs, table apron, and legs.  I have had luck with using Annie Sloan chalk paint so I decided to use French Linen for this project.  It took two coats to cover the dark wood.  I distressed with a sanding pad and applied the Annie Sloan clear wax.  The chairs were recovered with updated fabric.  For now I decided to leave the Captain’s chairs the same color as the tabletop however I might change my mind and paint them too. imag3029

Here is the finished product.  It definitely lightened up the dining set. Next up… center a new light fixture over this large table!

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Rain Rain Go Away

Most people love sleeping to the sound of rain but not if you have water problems in your home.  Water issues can be caused by many factors. Here are some things to address around your house to decrease water problems:

  • Are your gutters clean?
  • Do you have the grade built up around your home (was this an item in your home inspection that you have not addressed yet?)
  • Do you have extra long extensions on gutters?
  • Do you have cracks in foundation that need to be sealed?
  • Do you have a sump pump? Is it running correctly? Does it have an alarm in case it fails?

If you are tired of water in your house you can also call for waterproofing options. The following are some reputable companies in Omaha:

Here are some more ways you can solve water problems on your own:

  • Try a french drain – many landscaping companies can install these but you can also do this yourself.
    Here’s how to do it:
    1. Dig a trench along the outside of your footing.
    2. Lay the pipe on the soil.
    3. Cover the pipe with at least 12 inches of washed gravel.
    4. Lay filter fabric over the gravel to prevent any soil from clogging the pipe.
    5. Back-fill the foundation with top soil back to its original grade height.

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  • Install a channel drain – if you have a driveway that slopes towards the house this might be your solution. Check out this Old House video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C39FWbhqiSA

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  • Build a dry well

bd2fc06db476726f9f4b611c6f04a30bUse the slope of your yard and add curb appeal with a rock bed

 

Hope some of these ideas help waterproof your home!

 

 

Planter Boxes

The thing that I love most about gardening is how plants can be split, reused, or repurposed. In the past, I have dug up and split hostas, forsythias, lilacs, weigelas, peonies, and other plants from friends’ and neighbors’ yards. Every spring I scour through Pinterest looking for the best, most beautiful annuals to plant in my planters. I hope to achieve something like this:

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I spend a small fortune on beautiful flowers that will only last one season. Last year I tried something different. I went around my yard and looked for plants that needed to be split. This included hostas and Lily of the Valley. This year I am watching them come back in beautifully. My pots are full, and I just have to go add a few annuals this year! They look beautiful, and I saved money. My pots are not yet completely grown, but I attached some pictures of what I am hoping they will look like this summer. You could also use boxwoods, hydrangea (flowering shrubs), ivy, fern, etc. This year I will use potato vine and alyssum as fillers. Hope this gives you some ideas this spring.