This week's blog post is courtesy of Karl Kennedy with Projectortop.com. He has you hooked up with how to enjoy your summer nights by creating the BEST outdoor movie theatre!
Watching a movie on the big screen is always fun, whether you’re by yourself or enjoying a good film with company. But sometimes, it’s rather inconvenient traveling to the theaters and spending all of that money on a cinema experience.
What if we told you that there’s a way to avoid going to the local theaters? All you have to do is install your own personal outdoor movie theater in your backyard! It’s perfect for the summer months, it’ll save you money, and over time, the backyard cinema will have paid for itself.
Let’s not forget that having a movie theater at home gives you the utmost comfort and privacy. You also won’t have to choose from the movies that are currently being offered, like at the movie theaters. You’ll have the opportunity to put whatever it is you want to watch on the screen.
And, before you get too worried, know that the process of buying the equipment and setting it all up is a lot easier than it sounds. It’s even easy to stick to a budget if you do your research. An outdoor home movie theater can be as simple as a projector and sheet combo or it can be as boujee as a large outdoor screen, receiver, and speaker mix for the best audio and video quality.
Enough jibber-jabber, let’s get into explaining the core components you’ll need to pull your at-home, backyard movie theater together.
Buying a projector is the better movie, especially when compared to bringing your flat screen television outside every time you want to view a movie.
Purchasing a projector will absolutely “wow” your guests every time they come over. It’s bright enough to showcase any movie as soon as the sun sets, but keep in mind that it won’t do too good in the daytime.The visuals once the dark sets in are impeccable, to say the least.
Just remember that items like the projector and similar technological equipment should not be left outdoors all the time; the rain and other conditions could always temporarily or permanently ruin the technologies.
Projector screens aren’t necessarily needed, but they definitely come in handy. Many first-timers will use the side of their house, primarily because it’s a free alternative to a screen. However, we do not recommend it in the least. Movie screens are supposed to be smooth and color free, and we can guarantee you that the side of your house is anything but that.
If you’re looking for a more affordable solution, you can definitely purchase a large white sheet and hang it up; you’ll get decent viewings. But, you’ll have to try your best to keep the sheet wrinkle free and secure it to something. The wind can technically cause the “screen” to move, and that’s highly inconvenient in the middle of watching a film.
Honestly, buying a projector screen is your best option. Plus, it comes with a sturdy frame to avoid any blowing over.
Now you need to think of how you’re going to watch the movies. Sure, you can always resort to a DVD or Blu-ray player, but streaming sticks are way more magical.
Not to mention they connect directly to the projector, pick up Wi-Fi fairly quickly, and have a plethora of movie options to choose from.
Good audio is a must when it comes to a great outdoor movie theater set up. To get you started, the projectors have minimal speakers, but they don’t work very well. If you’re looking to use the built-in speakers, you should plan on only having a couple people over to view the movie. If you would like to be the host for the evening and have a big group of friends or family over, it’s best to get larger speakers. The additional support is much appreciated.
Think about it this way, a big screen deserves big noise, it’s the best scenario. And, if you don’t know what specific speakers to purchase, just head on out and ask a professional to get the best, most extraordinary experience with your at-home, backyard theater.
This week I am excited to share a special guest post from one of our favorite contributors, Alice Robertson of Tidyhome.info She shares some great tips on how to create an optimal home office!
Do you work from home full- or part-time? If so, a place where you can work comfortably and productively is a must. Even if your workspace is just a go-to for your side gig, designing it properly will keep you going strong. The following tips and resources will help you create a home office with your personal and professional success in mind.
Places and Spaces
Choosing the right spot to work can make a big difference. For the best energy and focus, think about the following components:
Solutions for Your Space
Sometimes the ideal workspace doesn’t present itself right away. You might need to do some additional tweaking to work things out.
Physical discomfort will get in the way of your productivity, so ensure peak performance with a few ergonomic essentials:
Safe and Sound
The last thing you want is to put your household or livelihood at risk. There are plenty of great ways to resolve security issues for your home office and provide peace of mind.
Whether you’re hitting the daily grind from home or just picking up a few hours here and there freelancing, your home office should be set up for success. Optimize your productivity and comfort with these simple tips and resources.
It's November, and how fitting this next blog post is, which just so happens to be a guest article, from Jim Williams, with On-Site Property Management. For the month of October, my design topic was 'Planning For The Holidays'. Keeping along that theme, but incorporating November's topic, 'Christmas', Jim shares with all of you some great holiday decorating ideas...for renter's.
The holiday season is the time of the year when people are able to spend the most time with their family and friends. That’s when neighbors are friendliest, there are lots of gifts, plenty of food to share, and time away from the daily stress of life. And the buildup to the season is just as enjoyable as the holidays themselves; half the fun is the excitement of decorating your home. Many people relish the chance to go back to being children for just a few days of the year.
But when you live in a rented home, your experience may be a little different from the experience of someone living in their property. You are somewhat limited in the options you have for decorating the house, condo, or apartment.
You have to think about how your decorations could damage the landlord's property or affect other people in the building. Landlords are usually wary of tenants hanging ornaments on their property and often include this in the lease agreement.
From the point of view of a tenant, this clause could put a damper on your decorating ideas and make the holiday season a little less enjoyable. But from an owner's perspective, there are good reasons to do this.
Allowing tenants to put nails in the walls of a rental will damage and devalue their property. But just because your landlord has placed limitations on what you can do when decorating the home, he or she has not barred you from decorating altogether.
There are things you can do to get your home into the holiday season without violating the property owner's restrictions. Here are some important considerations and tips for when you are putting up holiday decorations in a rented apartment.
Keep your neighbors in mind
This is particularly important when you live in a multi-family rental or a condo. You have to think about how your decorations will affect other people in the building. But even if the rental is a single-family dwelling, considering neighbors' well-being is still important.
As a general rule, it is best to avoid decorations that obstruct pathways, disturb the peace, or anything that could fall on people. Be careful of motion-detecting ornaments that play music when someone passes, putting decorations on your balcony railing (they could fall and hurt someone), as well as low-hanging decorations that block the way.
Avoid fire and injury hazards
Decorative lights use electricity and that makes them a risk. There is a huge chance that your lights could start a fire or shock somebody. There is also a possibility that lights that are not firmly secured can get dislodged and become a tripping hazard.
The first step to ensuring that your holiday lights are safe is to buy quality lights; the cheap stuff may not have passed quality control. If the lights are going to be hung outside, make sure they are rated for outdoor use. Before you hang the lights and switch them on, make sure to test them first.
Do not damage the walls and doors
Many tenants take issue with their landlord's refusal to let them hang things on the walls using nails. They feel they are left with no way of placing their pictures, ornaments, or decals on the walls of the rental. But this is only because people assume that the only way to hang stuff on walls is by using nails. There are lots of options for placing decorations on the walls, doors, and, windows which do not involve making holes in the property. Here are a few of them.
We hope these tips will give you some holiday decorating ideas to enjoy your holidays in your rental. Have fun!
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Fall is here, and while many of us are working from home + homeschooling, looking for something creative for the kids to do, well the Toscano family has a fun and easy craft for you... courtesy of the $1 Tree!
We recently celebrated my Fall Open House at Toscano Interiors, and to make the occasion extra special our daughter, Harper, helped make these fun goodie bags for my customers who attended the event.
To make these simple bags we picked up the following from our local $1 Tree Store:
* Paper Lunch Bags
* Felty Halloween Stickers
* Halloween ribbon
* Rolls of felt- purple, green, white
* Sticker jewels
* Brown Bakers twine
* Monster Googely Eyes
Then we used some patterned orange craft paper we already had from Michaels, patterned scissors, hot clue, Tacky Glue, and of course...buttons *eyeroll* (refer to previous blog posts about buttons)
We created pumpkins out of the craft paper and green felt. Made ghosts with the white felt and googley eyes...we just let our imagination run with it.
Your homemade goodie bag can be as simple or as a decorated as you want. Place your treats inside the bag. Fold the top of the bag over, and use a hole punch to punch through the folded layers. Thread some raffia through the holes, and tie it to secure it.
Repurpose old newspapers. Fold a sheet of newspaper into a pouch, and secure it with clear tape. Use craft glue to affix Halloween-colored notions and trim to the front of the bag. This package is best suited for flat treats like stickers and notepads.
If you’re looking for something a little fancier to wrap your treats in, make a felt favor pouch. Again, the $1 Store has rolls of felt you could use. Use pinking shears to cut out a long, rectangular piece of felt. Fold the felt in half, and use hot glue to join the two sides. Decorate the front, using scraps of felt indifferent colors. Braid a handle out of yarn. Cut small slits in each top corner. Thread the handle through each slit, and tie to secure.
These goodie bags were a huge hit, something that just adds to the touch of shopping small and local...and it gave our 6 year old something new to do one afternoon while hanging out with mom at her store.
As I wrap up my design topic 'Vintage' for the month of May, I wanted to share my top tips for buying vintage furniture because let's face it, it can be a bit overwhelming because you don’t know which pieces to buy and which to avoid.
1. Avoid Pieces That Are Unstable
This seems like a given. If the piece has been exposed to water and/or extreme temperatures. These conditions cause wood to swell and shrink as well as loosening glue in joints and destroying paints and finishes. These pieces will not be functional again without a lot of repair.
2. Make Sure The Piece Fits In Your Space
If you are like me it is easy to get distracted by the beauty in a piece of furniture, but that doesn't mean it is going to be the right piece for your space. Prepare before shopping by making a list and taking measurements (height, width and depth) of the space you’re hoping to fill.
3. Avoid Pieces That Are Stained, Stinky, and Potentially Infested
As a matter of fact, burn them. Okay, obviously I'm not promoting arson here, but always give a piece of furniture the “sniff test”. Mustiness can be aired out, but strong pet or smoke odors are next to impossible to remove from all the layers of foam and batting.
4. Timeless Pieces Are Always A Win
The best thing about buying vintage or antique furniture is the timeless quality they give your space. If the style of a piece looked good 50 or 100 years ago and it still looks good today, it’s a purchase that’s likely to look good in another 50 to 100 years.
5. Just Because It's Cheap, Doesn't Mean You Should Buy It
When making a buying decision, take the price out of the equation. Even if it’s $5, would you pay more for it? Do you love it that much? Do you have the perfect spot for it? If the answer to those questions is yes, go for it! If you wouldn’t pay good money for it, it’s not worth buying.
These tips are based on years of experience shopping for, fixing up, and reselling antique and vintage furniture. I made all of the mistakes, so you won’t have to.
Never in a million years would I have thought I would ever be staging homes during a pandemic. But here I am, almost three months into it. I can tell you it has been a very interesting three months, and houses are still selling in our thriving City.
This week's blog post addresses this crazy topic, and is courtesy of guest blog writer Shirley Martin, with Tidy Life Today.
The coronavirus pandemic has put home sellers in a tough spot. How can you show your home off to potential buyers if you’re supposed to practice social distancing? With open houses and in-person showings off the table, you will have to get a little creative. Fortunately, the real estate market has adopted certain tech tools that enable sellers and buyers to complete a home sale with minimal contact. Keep reading to learn more about navigating this new and unfamiliar home-selling process!
Prep Your Home for the Market
Although buyers may not be touring your home in person, they will still want to see pictures and videos of your space. To get your home ready, TurnKeyHomeLoan recommends giving it a good top-to-bottom deep clean and tackling some major decluttering. Clutter will make your rooms appear cramped, unclean, and uninviting, especially in your real estate photos. You don’t want anything to distract your buyers from seeing your home’s best features!
Once your home is sparkling clean, consider making a few impactful upgrades to really hook those buyers. If you want to keep it simple, a fresh coat of paint will have a huge effect on the overall feel of your home—go with a neutral shade to please everyone. You could also touch up the exterior paint, especially if it’s peeling, cracking, or otherwise looking unkempt. When you’re finally happy with the state of your home, stage some elegant vignettes around your home to help your potential buyers imagine living in your space. For best results, try to incorporate the color blue. Blue works great with many different color schemes and stands out in photos, so invest in some blue accents to help your listing pop!
Skip the Open House
Even if open houses are still permitted in your area, it’s best to play it safe and skip this social gathering. Research suggests that open houses aren’t that effective anyway and tend to benefit the real estate agent more than the seller. Instead, focus on your virtual presence! Take stunning listing photos, create a 3D walkthrough, and offer video tours to interested buyers.
Showing off your home's features is even easier online because you can shoot your photos and videos from the angles that make your rooms look their best. To create the most engaging and attractive listing photos, Home Advisor recommends working with high-quality camera equipment and shooting during the day to take advantage of the natural light. When making videos walkthroughs of your home, try to follow a natural path through your home so your online viewers can get a more accurate feel for the flow and layout of your house.
Clean Every Day
One plus side of the coronavirus lockdown is that you won’t have to deal with buyers coming by to view your home on short notice. However, you will still need to keep the place clean! Your real estate agent might be giving live video-chat tours to potential buyers while your home sits on the market, and you want it to look its best every time.
Get in the habit of cleaning up after yourself as you go about your day. Pick up laundry, put dirty dishes straight into the dishwasher, and wipe down countertops when you're done cooking—these simple actions will reduce the amount of cleaning you have to do before a virtual tour. If your kids are home from school, distribute your workload by giving them some daily chores. Try to keep your storage areas clean as well. Potential buyers might ask your agent to film inside cupboards, drawers, and closets so they can check out your home’s storage solutions, so make sure these spaces look neat and organized.
Selling a home is always a stressful experience, but the coronavirus pandemic has made things much more complicated. Take steps to prepare for your sale so you can sail through the process with minimal issues. Declutter, clean, and stage your home, work with your real estate agent to create great online listings, and keep up with the daily cleaning so you’re always ready for virtual showings!
Author, Candance Toscano
"You can design the life of your dreams and acquire that luxurious, fulfilled and empowered lifestyle you know you have always wanted."