How to Keep your Home Always Smelling Fresh

The atmosphere of your home is one of the ‘unsaid’ aesthetics that keeps you loving your home. When you are in it day in and day out, the way your home smells and feels will actually have a stronger impact then the décor in your space! So what factors keep your home smelling fresh and which one’s contribute to their bad odor? Read on to see how to keep your home always smelling fresh and clean!

  • Determine the culprits of odor: There are different sources that can contribute to your home’s odors including: must, old age, pets, food and daily regimen, poor air circulation, smoke, old finishes – carpet/wallpaper, etc.. and a host of others.  Depending on the odor you will first have to determine where the odor is coming from.  When you have lived in your home for a while, you may be insensitive to the odor, and will need to ask a friend or neighbor for advice on the source of odor in your home.
  • Solving the issue: Once you found the issues use the following tips to keep the smell away:
  • Musty odors: If musty odors are caused from an aging home consider painting walls, changing wallpaper, replacing carpet, and refinishing wood floors.  If odor is from old furniture, read our Freshome post about removing musty odors from furniture. Musty odors are some of the hardest to get rid of due to age and the smell could be embedded into the home.

  • Pets: Odors from pets can be from pet stains in carpet/pad or furnishings, or it can be from wet fur of animals.  Try getting your carpets steam cleaned on a regular basis and get pets house trained to keep carpets smelling fresh. Consider using a carpet powder or light baby powder on carpet and vacuum.
  • Food & Daily regimen: Your household regimen and food that you cook on a regular basis could be the source of odor in your home. It doesn’t mean you have to change your cooking habits, but the routine of cleaning and airing out your kitchen may need to.  Use the range hood vent when cooking to remove cooking odors from the air. Empty the trash immediately after disposing of food, and consider double bagging if necessary. Have neutralizers in your kitchen to expel odor while you create them. Turn on garbage disposal immediately after placing food in – and put fresh lemons down drain to keep clean and odor free.

  •  Poor air circulation and smoke: Both of these causes can be addressed by opening up windows on a regular basis to let fresh air move throughout your home. Change your air filters on your heating/air conditioner unit per the manufacturer’s instructions. You can also buy scented inserts especially made for your vented system to disperse smell throughout your home. Consider not smoking in your home to truly expel smoke odor in your home. Smoke settles into finishes and can stay for years into the future.

  • Keeping your home smelling fresh: Once you have solved the issue you will need to take on a new regimen for routinely keeping your house smelling fresh. If your home’s source is from being unclean, it will be important to clean more often and more thoroughly. Consider hiring a cleaning service for an initial clean that you can later maintain, or hire on a regular basis. Teach teenager’s to wash athletic clothes, bed linen, and bath linen on a regular basis. Believe it or not, these can harbor germs quickly and cause odors.
Your home can smell clean all the time with diligence and identifying the source of the odors. Take the time to make your home smell inviting and fresh. You will feel better in your home and notice guests will enjoy it too. You just may find a new reason to stay at home and entertain more once your home is more inviting to all! Freshome reader’s tell us what makes your home smell fantastic!

How to Bring Powerful Purple into your Décor

Purple in history has been long associated with mystery, wealth, and wisdom by royalty and those in higher power. From deep royal purple to lilac fresh light purple, the color is gorgeous in your home and décor. The color purple has feng shui and meditation connections and makes your home feel more powerful and secure. Have you ever noticed a lot of professional sports teams use the color purple as their dominant color? Purple can symbolize power and those who know how to use it in their homes can have a home of strength and security. Here are tips to bringing the color purple into your home décor.

  • Deep purple is powerful: Purple symbolizes prosperity and therefore should be used throughout your home and décor. Consider using it in your home’s front entry as guests enter your home, artwork, accents, and main wall colors can give off a powerful aura.
  • Wallpaper trends love purple: Purple has taken on a new look with modern wallpaper. Big, bold prints are being paired with light lavenders to dark plums.  Whether you like small prints, or you prefer textured wallpaper, purple has a big presence in the wallpaper world of home décor. Pair bold wallpaper with subtle neutral furnishings to prevent clashing of patterns

  • Decorate your home office with purple: It is believed that purple is associated with wealth, nobility and stature. In your home office consider using purple in your desk supplies, desk and furnishings.  Beautiful purples in window treatments and office lighting can bring a spark of enlightenment and creativity to your space!
  • Welcome guest with a purple entry door: The first impression of your home will be memorable with a purple door. Purple palette can be an eggplant color to a deep maroon.  A purple door represents that your home is prosperous and attracting a healthy life. Matching window shutters and or trim around your front entry add to the presence of your home.
  • Pairing with purple is beautiful: Depending on the shade of purple you choose, there is a color that matches flawlessly with it. The contrast between light purples and dark browns, and mustard yellows is modern and sophisticated. Deeper purples work better paired with lighter gold, and oranges. Purple encompasses the fire or red and mellowness of blue which always gives a lively feel to a room.
  • Children love purple: According to studies, children prefer the color purple over most other colors. Purple can be found in children’s toys, belongings, furnishings and décor. Purple works beautifully in a girl’s room paired with hot pink or in a soft lilac color. While boys feel at home with dark purple paired with red or orange. Either way purple adapts to its surroundings.
  • Purple has healing powers: It is believed that purple helps with ailments of the head and nervous system. Consider using muted tones of purple where calmness and tranquility are desired. Elderly and overly stressed people may enjoy in their bedrooms and retreat areas.

Purple is majestic and it gives individuals a sense of accomplishment and power when in the same presence with it. From the exterior of your home to the walls of your interior, purple welcomes and gives its occupants strength. For any space that you want to feel healthy and secure, bring purple into area rugs, wall artwork and fabrics. Purple can be an accent or can stand on its own and command a presence. You choose how you bring it into your home; it will make you feel great, wherever you use it.
Freshome reader’s do you like the color purple? Do you use it in your home? We’d love to hear how it empowers your home!

How to Cure Your Boring Kitchen with Pink

The color pink has long been associated with girls and femininity, but in October pink represents a cause that doesn’t know gender, it is breast cancer awareness.  Breast cancer awareness charities have spanned from athletic events to home décor. In your home, from the vacuum you use on your floor to the kitchen mixer your use to make a cake, pink is now fashionable for more reasons than just appearance. Your kitchen loves this trend and if you’re trying to bring a boring kitchen into the modern day, see how pink is the perfect color!

Add accents of color with pink: If you’re thinking you have to use the “hit-yourself-over-the-head” pink, you are wrong. Consider taking a neutral palette and add bar stools and pops of color with countertop appliances and décor.  Ever notice that the cook is happier when they love their kitchen? Neutral concrete countertops and white cabinetry can make your kitchen sophisticated with an edge of whimsy.

Don’t forget your ‘little’ chefs: What child doesn’t love their own kitchen that looks like mom and dads? Kitchen toys that mimic the real thing look great adjacent to your kitchen or in your child’s room. Look online for specials around holiday time in popular furniture home catalogs or purchase online. Pink isn’t exclusive for girls either! Boys and girls can learn to play on any color toy – role playing is crucial for childhood development!

  • Wall color can transform your kitchen: Wall color is the easiest and cheapest way to transform your kitchen. How about using creamy beige above your cabinets and then use a shot of flamingo pink from your countertop to the underside of the upper cabinet instead of a backsplash? Paint can change as easy as your personality! If you’re daring, bring pink into your flooring, wall art and cookware. Your kitchen is an extension of you; love the space you cook in!
  • Kitchen cabinetry makes the space: Have you ever noticed how a gorgeous color of cabinetry can make or break your space? Pink doesn’t have to be refrained to only walls and fabrics. Pale pink lacquered cabinetry to hot pink painted wood cabinets, pink is the unthought-of color that’s the perfect conversation for your kitchen. To counter balance bright pink; consider using neutral countertops in black or white. Door cabinetry should be kept neutral as well, to keep the eye from bouncing around the kitchen.

    • Kitchen appliances are all popular in pink: Do you remember when the only pink appliance you could get was a toaster or a blender? Today, kitchen appliances that aren’t outfitted in pink are rare! Use them to add color to your kitchen cabinet and support a worthy cause at the same time!
    • Pair pink with rich color: To add contrast to pink, pair it with rich colors that will bring visual interest and mask the ‘femininity’ of the color. Pair pink with espresso brown, navy blue, apple green, or heather gray to give your kitchen a modern chic appeal.  For a contemporary look pair your favorite stainless steel appliances, espresso brown cabinetry and light bamboo colored flooring. You’ll love the look and the feel!
    Your kitchen can be cured from its boring look with the addition of pink. If you want a one of a kind kitchen ask a local artisan in your area to paint you an inspirational piece of artwork to hang in your kitchen with hints of pink. Take color cues for your kitchen from the painting for a designer approach. Make your kitchen a joy to be in, and support breast cancer awareness for those that can’t. Who thought your kitchen could have this much class?
    Freshome reader’s what do you think of a pink kitchen? Love it or hate it? Share with us!

    Simply Genius: Letto Zip, the Bed That Almost Makes Itself

    We have to say we are usually very foreseeing when it comes to the new designs that are being created, but we really did not see this coming. Letto Zip comes from Florida Furniture and is a dream came true for all those people who dislike making their beds in the morning. Its appearance can be changed by simply zipping and unzipping its stylish cover. This has a major effect on the overall room design, while in the same time being very practical for the user who can prepare the bed in a fast and simple way. The furniture piece is highly modern and elegant, perfect for a large variety of contemporary interiors. With a soft and slightly curved frame, this looks like a comfortable dreamy bed. Letto Zip comes in three charming color-combinations: white-red, gray-red and white-blue. Looks inviting?- via The Design Blog

    The Perfect Boys Bedroom by Perianth

    This may seem like a room filled with “clichés”, meaning that everything that crosses our mind when we think of a boy’s room can be found here. But in this case, the “clichés” lead to a dream place of half-manly retreat. This bedroom from Perianth belongs to an apartment in New York whose owners wanted a boys’ room that would keep their children busy for a significant part of the day. A rock-climbing wall, a mini basketball court and a punching bag are just a few of the features of this cozy bedroom. Plenty of shelves can be found all throughout this interior, perfect for storing the books needed for school and the action figures from various collections. This place is so diverse that even a grown-up could be entertained in here for a couple of hours. We challenge you to look through the pictures and find anything “boyish” that is missing from this room.

    How to Bring Earth Inspiring Brown into your Home

    Brown symbolizes the earth and being grounded, and what better color to surround yourself in your home? From natural organic materials to strength in gorgeous wood flooring and furniture, brown is a classic neutral that is at home by itself or paired with color. Dark espresso brown to pale beiges evoke a sense of comfort and warmth in your everyday living and lifestyle.  Read on to see how to bring earth inspiring brown into your home.

    • Formal or casual: Brown is one of the few colors that can look dramatic and stylish is an urban penthouse, or look casual in a one bedroom eclectic apartment. Since brown occurs naturally in nature we are at peace with it around us. For a formal look, use rich brown leather seating paired with wood décor and supple textures and patterns.  In a casual setting try khaki colored seating, sea grass area rugs and varying shades of brown for wall and window treatments.
    • Sophisticated brown in the kitchen: In the past few years brown has gone from being a innocent bystander to taking center stage as a main focal point color of a room. Wood butcher block countertops and varying stains in wood cabinetry makes a kitchen the perfect place to display brown.  Whether used as a predominant color or paired with white or cream cabinetry, brown is the new sought after color in kitchens.

     Pair brown with color: Since brown is a neutral, the color palette is open for pairing up with. Pastel colors in pink, blue and green are favorites for baby nurseries and children’s rooms. In living and bedroom areas, brown pairs with bright vibrant colors to exude a fresh and modern decorative touch. On a beige or tan couch, varying colored throw pillows, area rugs, wall art and décor pieces on display will give a balance between dramatic dark and inspiring bright colors.

    • Dining areas love brown: Whether you dining room is formal or informal, brown accents make the mood heartfelt and genuine. Look to brown for an accent wall to add visual interest or keep it simple in furnishings and lighting fixtures. Copper and antique bronze or popular trending fixture colors for lighting, plumbing, and cabinet/door hardware.
    • Rustic cues from the color brown: For homes that are in a rural, mountainous setting or want rustic cues, brown is the ideal color. Fireplaces adorned with river rock or flagstones are beautiful in their varying shades of browns, grays, and sand colors. Southwestern American décor that mimic the colors of the dessert in deep rust, chestnut, and sienna brown can fill your home with culture and warmth. Consider using these colors in your exterior palette of home colors as well.  Colors that occur naturally in nature make the best exterior colors.

     For every home there is a brown shade that is appealing to most, due to the organic nature of the color. Determine if your home wants to use it as an accent in brown wood detailing and trim around windows /doors, or convey it through woodworking details around your home. It can also become the main star and become the theme color of your walls, furniture, flooring and window treatments.  Give it a try and see how brown can be more than just your average neutral color! Freshome reader’s how do you use brown in your home? Do you prefer it in your décor, or added to your wall and flooring finishes too? Thanks for sharing with us!

    Small and Cozy Reader’s Apartment in Cluj-Napoca, Romania

    We received some photos of this tasteful one room apartment from Gina Malin, one of our Freshome readers. Located in Cluj Napoca, Romania, this cozy crib has a few American influences, due to the fact that its owner spends nine months a year working in Arizona. The apartment has 35 square meters and features a living room, a kitchen and a bathroom. Initially there was a wall between the living room and kitchen, but it was demounted so more living space could be gained. The owner wanted an airy home, without useless furniture items and other forms of clutter. The furniture was custom made by a friend. We really like the wall shelves and think they manage to add style, functionality and an overall warm feel. The color palette (black, white, red, silver) is engaging and not at all tiring. The apartment is located on the forth floor of a building and overlooks a beautiful forest. We really want to know how you see this place and if you consider the owner did a good job in designing this small home. We certainly do.

    How to Live a Green Apartment Lifestyle

    Living a green lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to own a house, apartment owners can do their share in being ‘green’ and eco-friendly. When living in an apartment, appliances, and utilities are most likely handled by your landlord or leasing company.  This doesn’t mean there aren’t tips to help save you money and be environmentally conscious at the same time.  Follow these tips for living a green apartment lifestyle.

    Observe your waste: Apartments and their residents generate tons of trash, and refuse on a regular basis. Ask your landlord if they have a recycling system in place for separated recycled content. Recyclable containers for paper, glass, and aluminum are a good start. In your own apartment be mindful of personal waste. Switch from Styrofoam cups to biodegradable or glass ones. Reduce junk mail waste by changing to online billing and paperless statements. Ask for your food take-out to be placed in cardboard or recyclable material containers. Under your kitchen cabinets keep small recyclable containers to sort immediately when you’re finished using a container. This will save you time and energy to not have to sort through a dirty kitchen trashcan.

    • Minimize your energy consumption: Regardless if your utilities are included in your monthly rent or if you pay them separately, minimizing your energy consumption can help everyone. Consider turning your thermostat down or up depending on the season.  Consider dressing warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer to avoid changing the thermostat constantly.
    • Change out your light bulbs: Consider switching out your traditional incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs. They use less energy and last almost 10 times longer than the traditional bulb. Switch out bulbs in lamps, overhead lighting, wall sconces, and

    • Utilize public transportation or carpool: If you live in an urban environment where public transit is an option, considering using instead of driving. This will save money for you and help minimize carbon emissions put into the Earth’s atmosphere. If you need to drive, try to organize a carpool with an apartment neighbor or a coworker.
    • Washer and Dryer usage: If you have your own units in your apartment, try to plan a schedule with your roommate so the machines aren’t being used every day to conserve energy. When washing clothes use cold water as much as possible and ask your apartment landlord to install high efficiency washer machines. Use cooler dry settings in dryers, and don’t dry clothes on the longest setting.

    Conserve water in the bathroom and kitchen: Plan with your roommate(s) when you will use the dishwasher, and take showers. Be mindful of each other’s schedule and try to shorten the length of your showers and baths. Water consumption in apartments can be kept to a minimal with low flow faucets installed in the showers as well. Ask your landlord if they plan on installing water saving fixtures in your home.

    Apartment green living can be made easier with the help of these useful tips. Before renting an apartment, ask what green practices the complex has in place. This should weigh into your impression of the complex. If they care enough about saving money and the Earth’s resources, they will probably be more attentive to their tenants. If your apartment does not have green practices in place, give them a few suggestions to see if they will consider and stress the long term advantages for everyone involved.
    Freshome reader’s do you live in an apartment building that practices green initiatives? What specifically do they do that made you want to live there? We’d love to hear your feedback.