Better Than a Dog Run — Yard Ideas for Your Four-Legged Family Member


7 Ways to Keep Spiders Out of Your Home Naturally

Image result for pictures of spiders and cleaning


With the shifting seasons comes change. The leaves turn red and gold, kids head back to school, and it gets cold and wet. We start tracking in the mud and the needles and find ourselves cleaning our floors more often. And we start noticing an influx of crawling critters in our cozy homes.

Or maybe it’s just me? I’m not personally bothered by spiders, but they tend to show up indoors more often in the fall, when the cold closes in at night and they find their way into our warm rooms. Whether or not spiders give you the creeps, you probably don’t want them in your house.


There are various ways to keep them at bay using harmful sprays and chemicals. But thankfully, there are also tried and true natural alternatives! So especially if you’ve got pets or kids, take note and be ready to keep your home happy and healthy.

  1. Keep things dry and clean. This is a good starting point. Spiders love damp places, like bathrooms, and particularly love clutter. In the kitchen, old food will attract insects that will ultimately attract spiders. Organize and clean routinely, and you’re less likely to find an unwelcome friend at the back of your closet.
  2. Patch cracks and holes. Eliminating easy entry points in your home’s foundation, walls, window and door frames can’t hurt, especially since it may save you money on your energy bill!
  3. Check the exterior of your home for wood piles or leaves. Keeping your home clear could help deter copious amounts of critters. This is the perfect opportunity to clean out your gutters.
  4. Grab the peppermint. Fill a spray bottle with some peppermint oil and spray in any trouble spots, like dark corners. Bonus: peppermint works on most other household pests too!
  5. Peppermint not your thing? Try white vinegar, or any of these other fragrant essential oils:
    • Eucalyptus
    • Rose
    • Cinnamon
    • Lavender
  6. Citrus peels can also repel spiders! But the effects are short-lived and when the peel dries, you’ll have to replace it.
  7. Get a pet. Cats will naturally go after just about anything that runs across your floor. But be mindful of poisonous spiders in your home.

Got any spider deterrents you swear by? Share them below! In the meantime, enjoy the returning sweater weather and warm coffees.



8 Things Interior Designers Notice the Instant They Walk Through Your Door

 | Aug 14, 2017

If an interior designer were to walk through your front door, like, right now, what would this professional think of the place you call home?

We’ll tell you right now: plenty. And that’s even before you’ve given the pro the grand tour. Interior designers, with their sharply honed sensibilities, can take in a space in seconds. In fact, these pros can’t help but make a ton of snap judgments—and typically these first impressions aren’t all that good.

In case you’re curious about what jumps out at interior designers when they first enter a home, here’s an unsettling glimpse, courtesy of some experts who aren’t afraid to spill the beans. But don’t beat yourself up if you recognize your home in some of these criticisms; these flaws are entirely fixable. Read on for an inspiring home decor wake-up call.

1. A wonky flow

Photo by Intrabuild

“The first think I notice is whether or not the furniture placement promotes good flow of traffic,” notes Lorelie Brown, a Showhomes franchisee in Charleston, SC. Most living and family rooms have a focal wall that’s anchored by a fireplace or television, which means the chairs and couch should be arranged to face this point without causing you to walk awkwardly around them.

“I find this problem happens a lot in an open floor plan, with pieces defeating the whole ‘open’ idea,” she adds.

The solution: Less is more. Remove extraneous chairs and side tables to create a natural path in and out of the space.

2. Poor lighting

Photo by Rebekkah Davies Interiors + Design

The wrong lighting can ruin even the best interior design.

“Usually when I walk into a home, the overall look is dark and drab because there’s not enough of the right kinds of light,” says Anna Shiwlall, a designer with 27 Diamonds in Los Angeles.

Of course, we can’t all be blessed with a flood of natural light, but you can install what you need rather easily. Sit in each chair or section of the room, and determine whether you can read easily. If not, add in the missing table or floor lamps; don’t rely on one big overhead light.

3. The insane amount of clutter

Photo by CKS Design Studio

Interior designers dream of a streamlined, junk-free look, which means their eyes will immediately come to rest on the hot mess that is your bookshelf.

“Just because you have it doesn’t mean it needs to be on display,” points out Jeanne Hessen, senior designer at Closet Factory in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Her advice? Pick and choose a few sentimental or interesting pieces to show off, and put the rest away.

4. A lack of theme

Photo by Dresser Homes

Style continuity is a big one for design pros. If your pieces don’t work well together or there’s no unifying color or theme to the rooms, the whole look can feel off.

“This seems to come from a lack of understanding of the style elements and characteristics of the pieces in the room,” explains Mark Sidell, a Closet Factory designer. Too many colors, in particular, can create a sense of disorder. Make it better by choosing a neutral palette and then introducing just a couple of coordinating hues.

5. That (ahem) smell

Photo by Renewal Design-Build

Truth: Interior designers make snap judgments not just on what they see, but also on what they smell. As a homeowner, you’ve become inured to your own odors, but an outsider can nail a scent right away.

Pets are the most obvious offenders, followed by cooking smells and odious candles. Fortunately, the remedy is an easy one: Open the windows as often as you can to air out stale spaces (especially in bedrooms and the kitchen).

6. The state of your loo


We can’t be more emphatic here: Your bathroom must be pristine!

Interior professionals (and potential buyers) will look with a critical eye at every bathroom in your home, and a dirty one will convince them that the entire home isn’t clean, even if it is. Towels must be fresh, grout should be clean, and definitely clear your counters of personal items (makeup, hair dryer, toothbrush).

7. No sense of scale

Photo by Rugo/ Raff Ltd. Architects

We’re talking tiny lamps on huge tables, or king-size beds squeezed into too-small rooms.

“I always notice the layout and scale of the pieces in a bedroom,” says Hessen. Frankly, most people buy whole packages at the furniture store instead of choosing complementary items in the correct sizes for their home.

“To fix this, try to mix and match your styles and the stores where you shop,” she adds. “You’ll end up with a more interesting, inviting space.”

8. A lack of personal style

Photo by Rikki Snyder

Let it shine! A lack of personality in a home means your space will appear boring or sterile. Even worse is a look that’s been copied directly from a catalog. A designer can certainly help you develop a style, but you can also jazz up your abode with art you love, mementos from a faraway trip, or a collection that has special meaning.

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