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Indoor Water Features and How to Create a Basic Fountain

Home and Garden September 13, 2017

Who doesn’t love to relax to the sound of water – the ocean waves crashing on the shore, a waterfall, a babbling brook, even a soft rain? Indoor fountains and water features accomplish this feeling of peaceful relaxation in the same way. And they also have a beautiful aesthetic that can compliment any decor. There are tabletop fountains, free standing floor fountains, as well as wall fountains, and they are created in all different shapes and sizes and made out of a wide  variety of materials. Whether you buy a fountain, have one customized for your home, or create your own all of us can have this kind of water element in our living space.

How to Create Your Very Own Tabletop Fountain

This is a totally cost-effective way to have a fountain. First, choose a container to house your fountain. It can be glass, plastic, or something more outdoorsy like terra cotta, but with terra cotta you first must polyurethane the container to make it water-tight. You can use wide-mouth jars, bowls and fish bowls.  Buy a small submersible pump at a home goods store. These are cheap and effective, and they also have a way to adjust the height of your water spout. They also have a filter that it is very easy to clean. Next, gather rocks or other colorful stones and pebbles from either your yard or purchase them from a craft store where you can buy beautiful sea glass or polished stones in your choice of colors.  

Once you have all your supplies, putting your fountain together shouldn’t take more than five minutes. Place the pump into your container first. Make sure the electrical cord is near enough to an outlet. Then pour your polished stones, rocks, and sea glass into the container all around and atop the pump, leaving the spout uncovered. Last but not least, add water. Add enough water to cover the base of the pump but never the spout. Plug it in and adjust the water height to your liking.  You now have your water feature! Voila!!! Enjoy!

Remember: Keep an eye on the water level and always make sure the entire base of your pump is covered. Also clean the pump’s filter now and again so the flow of water isn’t impeded.

All the images in our gallery are courtesy of Pinterest, as well as the resource material. The images can be enlarged for better viewing.

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6 Bedroom Dressers That Will Totally Change the Way You Think About Your Room’s Decor

Furniture and Furnishings September 13, 2017

6 Bedroom Dressers That Will Totally Change the Way You Think About Your Room's Decor

Your bedroom is your sanctuary – that place where you go to shed the frenetic energies of the day, catch your breath, and renew yourself. And as each of us is unique, we must all honour our own design and decor aesthetics when putting together our bedrooms. Your bedroom dresser is not only functional as a place of storage, but also should have its own beauty and style within the overall style of the room itself. Whether the other furniture in your bedroom is modern, traditional or French Provincial, your dresser should at the least be complimentary to the rest of the room. You might even want your dresser to be a focal point of your bedroom, and let the other pieces in your room take their pages out of the style of your dresser. The general feel of your bedroom should be one of coherence, even if you like to mix and match styles. The six dressers here should spark your imagination.

This cottage style dresser has a bit of the “Shabby Chic” feel to it and would work well in a more casual bedroom. It looks hand painted and a little distressed for that cottage aesthetic. Notice how the accessories compliment the style of the dresser.

The scalloped edges of this modern version of a French Provincial style dresser is a little more formal and the rest of the furniture in the room should highlight its formality. The ornate mirror on the wall behind it is the perfect accessory for this dresser.

This farmhouse style dresser with a slightly distressed look, is more rustic, but still has a scalloped edge which makes it extremely versatile. The interesting hardware on it provides a bit of an antique feel and this would look beautiful in any style room.

The double mirrors above this dresser with gold hardware, highlight its touch of the formal, though it is still traditional in feel. The candles, lamp, and other accessories are wonderful groupings.

This handsome pine dresser with mantle is definitely of the country style and a gorgeous  focal point in any bedroom. The natural wood gives it a great warmth, and its simple lines and hardware compliment the dresser . The mantle is an unusual addition and can be used for a variety of country style accessories.

This tall rustic style dresser also boasts natural wood and very simple, functional hardware. It is raised off the floor by some interesting feet, and the accessories on it go perfectly.

All the images and resource material used here are courtesy of Pinterest.

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How Much Could it Cost to Live in a Van Year-Round

Unusual Dwellings September 13, 2017

Van life is becoming a phenomena. People everywhere are giving up their mortgages to live in renovated vans. Those old vans who everyone thought had seen their day, are now being snatched up by your sons and and daughters with a sign hanging out that says,” home”.  There are also a lot of older adults getting into the act as well, selling most everything they own for the freedom of living on the road.

But is van life really everything it’s cracked up to be or are there some important things you should know about choosing this life before you toss out the furniture?

Cost

Just how much does it cost to live in this kind of freedom. Is freedom and mobility cheap or are there costs involved that you haven’t thought about?

Van life is becoming a huge social media subject as well, with Instagram full of people’s pics living the good life, sitting outside their van drinking out of a coconut. But let’s get into the numbers that add up to this type of lifestyle.

The Van

First you need a van and unless your parents are giving you one, you will need to buy one for yourself. A decent running van can cost you anywhere from $3000 to $6000 and these vans in this price range will most likely need work or at least a good cleaning. If you’re looking for a van that is a bit more upscale without all the handyman grease spots, you’re looking at spending over $6000 and up for a good looking van, inside and out.

Changes and Repairs

Depending on the condition of the van you purchase, your repairs could cost anywhere from a few dollars to thousands. If you happen upon a van that is road-ready and has had a recent driver who has taken well care of it, you could get off with something like a new battery, but if the van is an older model needing some TLC, you could spend up to $25,000 making repairs and remodeling.

Keeping it Legal

Remember, once you give up your home, your new home is now a vehicle and vehicles not only require maintenance but also a proper up-to-date registration and current insurance. In most areas these costs vary, but you are looking at an average yearly amount of at least $1500 and up. This cost is highly important because being insured and registered is what keeps you on the road and the cops off your back. You must also be legal and keep your driver’s license up-to-date, which ranges from about $30-50$ depending on the state.

The idea of van living is a fairytale to some and it can be a truly adventurous way of living if you’ve got, as they say, all your ducks in a row, meaning that you are organized and have all your paperwork and vehicle repairs in order.

Source: Price Check: How Much Does That Insta-Perfect #Vanlife Actually Cost

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The Tiny House: Is Downsizing Really Cheaper?

Tiny House September 13, 2017

The Tiny House Is Downsizing Really Cheape

We have heard so much about the “tiny house movement”, it is an ever evolving subject. Many people choose to move into a tiny house because they feel that they will save money, if not right away, definitely in the long run. Is it cheaper to move to a tiny house and if so, what are the forgotten costs of making this decision?

Buying or Renting?

Does it make more sense to buy or rent a tiny house? It depends on your financial situation. Many older people find it to be a great investment and a worthwhile move, even those still raising one or two children, because they ususally have the savings or a property they already own to use as collateral or sell, in order to make the move easier and cheaper. It can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $40,000 to build a tiny house from the ground up. Many buyers put down a very significant down payment or pay for the entire home at once. Many Millenials (the latest generation) find it simpler and cheaper to rent a tiny home because they haven’t yet built up enough savings or collateral to purchase one.

Renting or Buying Land?

Most Millenials rent land even if they buy or build their homes themselves. It is simply much cheaper to pay a price each month for your land than to buy it outright. Most land is too expensive for that, costing in the tens of thousands of dollars to purchase. Particularly when you rent a tiny home, it is often inside of a community and you pay a fee for the land that is yours. These types of tiny home situations often have a main house for cooking, showers, and the use of computers.

Live in a tiny home or rent it out?

For those who want to own a tiny home as an investment, you have a couple of choices. You can live there for a while to have the tiny house experience or you can rent it out right away. If you are the owner of a tiny house with land that you also own, it can be a good investment. By renting it out you give yourself a monthly paycheck that will be able to pay off the purchasing and/or building of the home or to use as you please if those bills do not exist. Purchasing a tiny home to rent out can be a lucrative project if you’ve already got a home of your own.

Source: Is the Tiny House Movement Worth Investing in?

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Your Tiny House Bathroom Can Still Be Like a Spa

Tiny House September 13, 2017

spa bathroom

More and more people are becoming attracted to the idea of living in a Tiny House, and it’s true that the Tiny House Movement has become quite a phenomenon worldwide. But even the most gung-ho of those whose interest in the tiny house has been peaked express concern about the things they might have to give up besides space. Things like losing convenience, interior design, and their personal style worry many of those folks. The reality is that living in a tiny house does not mean you have to sacrifice your style of decor.

When decorating any house, but especially a tiny house, most people put their attention to communal areas like living rooms, dining rooms, and kitchens. The bathroom is often overlooked as a purely utilitarian space, but if you care about your well-being, the bathroom should be given a lot of thought. Tiny bathrooms can still be a place to relax, unwind, and chill out. With a little care, imagination, and minimal expense, you can make your tiny bathroom into your very own spa with the right accessories.

Scents                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Keep your bathroom smelling inviting with essential oils and soaps. A bathroom that smells of cleaners and industrial products is not alluring to anyone. Pleasing aromas are much more conducive to  relaxation and that spa feeling.

Lighting                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Put electrical lighting on a dimmer switch. Dimmers are very easy to install and you can regulate the light as you desire. When you can light pillar candles and place them strategically around the bathroom.

Textures                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Treat yourself to some thick fluffy towels and wash cloths. Also some sea sponges and loofahs to smooth and buff your tired skin. Dried flowers go a long way to beautify the space, and add an interesting texture.

Sounds                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Get out your trusty boombox or a radio and put on some soothing music. A lot of folks use New Age music which is very ambient and unintrusive.  Music gets your mind off the tapes that play in your head.

You may not  be able to fit a sauna in your tiny house bathroom, but with a bit of creativity you can make your bathroom into a spa. Treat yourself well. The images below are intended to inspire and excite you. All images and resource material are courtesy of Pinterest, and images can be enlarged on our website.

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Aqua Dams Can Save Your Home and Property

Outdoors September 13, 2017

Over the last decade or so, the increase in catastrophic weather conditions, hurricanes and flash floods – not to mention devastating tsunamis – has called innovators to come up with solutions to the horrifying loss of homes and property. The aqua dam, which was originally built to keep water at bay for the building of pipelines, has emerged as a life saver for many homeowners who do not choose evacuation only to return to complete destruction.

Basically an aqua dam is a series of large tubes filled with water and placed strategically around your property and home as a barrier to flooding. But it also has other applications such as being used for temporary reservoirs for water storage, the containment of water while contractors and their teams repair bridges and the like,  and defending against erosion by either containing or diverting the flow of water. Interesting right? Water containing water. What an irony, but what a life saving solution to today’s weather.

The initial investment in a water dam to protect your home has a steep price and not everyone has the means to afford it. At $8500, some people would rather take their chances. But when you take into consideration the value of your land and dwelling, an aqua dam may seem more than worth the expense. Flash flooding can wreak total havoc on your homestead, and the cost of rebuilding can be prohibitive. There is also the loss of precious items from your home, irreplaceable mementos of your life to consider. They may just be things, but they may also have some deep meaning to you and your family. And an aqua dam could keep all of your belongings safe and dry.

The images below are just some of the applications of the aqua dam and are all courtesy of Pinterest. The featured image is courtesy of Click2Houston.

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Too Cool for School: 6 Very Cool Bus Homes

RVs September 13, 2017

Too Cool for School 6 Very Cool Bus Homes

If we’re not hearing about fabulous tiny homes, we are now hearing about homes made from school buses. We’ve seen the humble version and even those are amazing. It is difficult to think about turning a school bus into a home. But when we think we have seen it all, someone uses their imagination to come up with something we’ve never seen before.

Here are 6 very cool bus homes that were built from a spark of imagination and some interesting materials. These bus homes are luxurious, intriguing, and can be used as muses for those thinking about transforming a school bus into a home. You can do almost anything you can think of and make it gorgeous. Some look like buses still and that’s pretty cool, while others you may not believe were ever school buses at all. Either way, they are all fun to view and tour.

Here are 6 of the coolest school bus homes we’ve found on the internet today:

1. 

This schoobus home designer decided to make the kitchen the center of attention. It is truly a dreamy chef’s kitchen fully equipped for all your gourmet meals.

2. 

This home owner uses color to brighten up this schoolbus house. It is a bit retro in style and the mix-matched pillows really do the trick in the “living room” area.

3. 

The wood in this schoolbus house gives it that cabin flair and a very natural look for camping and traveling. The furniture and appliances are minimal which makes the wood stand out beautifully.

4. 

This schoolbus home’s owner has used the sides of the bus to line everything up in a row. This way the center of the bus is uncluttered and used as space for walking. This is a very modern minimalist look.

5. 

This schoolbus home is very traditionally decorated. It is almost like walking into your family’s living room space in the suburbs. With a beautifully luxurious and comfortable looking sofa, this schoolbus will make you feel right at home.

6. 

This home has a country flair to it. This owner transformed a schoolbus into a traditional home with wooden accents and all that comes with a home in a rural area. The kitchen is beautiful and well-equipped for those who love to entertain. It is basically a country home inside of a bus.

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You Can Convert Double Decker Buses Into Two Story Homes

RVs September 6, 2017

With the recent popularity of living “off the grid”, and the global excitement over the Tiny House Movement more and more people are searching for different kinds of alternative living. Living more simply, being more mobile, and downsizing their lives are the desires of these folks. The school bus has emerged as a favorite new option. You are able to have all the comforts of a small home and tour the country at the same time. And the cost of a school bus conversion is not prohibitive.

Some school buses and city buses as well have been turned into amazing dwellings and bus living can be a whole lot more than giving up space. Some people live very glamorous lives while living in a bus. You can have more than just basic needs, and you can either hire a contractor to refit your bus or make it a DIY project that you and your family can work on. A used bus can cost as little as $3000, and you can spend less than $15,000 to do the refit depending on what you want in the way of conveniences and what materials you choose to use.

A lot of people want to live “green” and put solar panels on the roof of their bus and compost their plumbing. This way they feel closer to the planet and a part of the climate crises’ solution as opposed to being a part of the problem. As with RV living, you can travel and have real adventures on the road all while taking your home with you. And families can also live in buses and other mobile dwellings with ease and fun.

In the UK a young couple bought one of those famous double-decker buses and converted it to a two story home for a community of professionals.

Just like the tiny house, you need not give up any creature comforts while living in a bus. You can have a full bathroom, more than one bedroom, a spacious kitchen with plenty of counter space, and lots of storage with your furniture doing double duty.

The images below are courtesy of Pinterest and are meant to spark your imagination, and show you that bus living is a wonderful experience. Living in a home on wheels is unique and not for everyone. But if you love to travel, see new sites, and meet new people, and want your home to travel with you, living on a bus could be just the thing for you.

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Tiny Washer-Dryer Combos and Other Home Improvement Trends for Small Spaces

Furniture and Furnishings September 4, 2017

Tiny Washer-Dryer Combos and Other Home Improvement Trends

Many, many more people are simplifying their lives and downsizing their living spaces these days. Living large has become too costly and overwhelming, as well as cluttered, and folks are longing for a cleaner and more organized look – one where items,  furniture and appliances do double duty. The Tiny House movement epitomizes this trend and apartment and smaller homes dwellers have learned a lot from the tiny house.

Hidden sliding shelving in that crack between your fridge and the wall, houses a spice rack, corner nooks, beds that also serve as seating areas, pots, pans,and cooking utensils hanging on a wall pegboard, all these things, exploit the space in a small space, and make it appear that there is more room than there actually is. Using storage shelves around your toilet can contain towels, toilet tissue, and other bathroom items that might otherwise take up unnecessary space that could be better utilized.

The washer-dryer in the featured image does double duty and frees up space for shelves, counter space and the like. Drawers tucked away under sofas and beds add additional storage and another kind of aesthetic to a room. The dining table with chairs that disappear under it is both clever and efficiently space saving.

The hidden trash bin next to the cooking range, keeps your kitchen looking clean and organized. There are so many different ways to enhance and expand your small space so that you don’t feel cramped or crowded. And you and your family can move from one area of your small space to another with ease and efficiency. Your small living space need not seem claustrophobic if you use your imagination and a little creativity.

The images below and resource material are courtesy of Pinterest. Images can be enlarged for better viewing.

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Some Beautiful Artistic Wooden Table Designs

Interior Design August 31, 2017

15 Beautiful Artistic Wooden Table Designs

Nature is something most people get a great deal of joy from, and bringing the outside inside is also something that most people strive to do in their homes. Whether you prefer to have lots of plants, to grow an herb garden, or use natural fibers and materials in your home’s decor, there are many ways you can create interesting textures, shapes and colors bringing nature in. Wood is one of the most frequently used materials to warm interior design and the majestic tables seen below are a perfect example of that.

These unadulterated pieces of furniture are really pieces of art as well and things to be experienced as well as seen and talked about.

You might want to use one of these beauties as the focal point of a room and design the rest of the room’s decor around it. They are big statements for sure, and you must compliment the rest of your furniture with a piece like this.

Check out the gallery of photos below (all images on our site are expandable, even the featured image at the top).

Find more from Tora Basil and other interior designers we’ve indexed in our Home Designers and Builders Directory. You can search the company’s name and look builders near your area. And to see more interior design, click here.

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  • The Ultimate Bed

    The Ultimate Bed for All Comfort Lovers

    by on August 21, 2017 - 0 Comments

    The Ultimate Bed With Built In Massage Chair, Speakers, and Desk Well, there are a lot of types of beds out there, and buying a bed is a decision for everybody, but how many people would go this far to get an ultimate comfort bed? It has cushion all around it – there’s basically a […]

  • All About the Inexpensive Sears Mail Order Houses

    All About the Inexpensive Sears Mail Order Houses

    by on October 22, 2017 - 0 Comments

    If Sears brought these back (for under $30k), would you consider buying one? Sears sold somewhere between 70,000 and 75,000 inexpensive homes through the mail-order Modern Homes program. 447 styles to chose from! Most people are aware of the Sears company, selling everything from clothing to high power tools. But only a few may know […]

  • You Can Convert Double Decker Buses Into Two Story Homes

    by on September 6, 2017 - 0 Comments

    With the recent popularity of living “off the grid”, and the global excitement over the Tiny House Movement more and more people are searching for different kinds of alternative living. Living more simply, being more mobile, and downsizing their lives are the desires of these folks. The school bus has emerged as a favorite new […]

  • Converting a Van Into a Home - She Downsized to Pay Off Debt

    Converting a Van Into a Home - She Downsized to Pay Off Debt

    by on October 2, 2017 - 0 Comments

    “My Car-Dwelling Life” is the only name we have for this brave young woman who decided to chronicle her life on YouTube. And why is she chronicling her life, well, she decided that her credit card debt was just too stressful with trying to pay rent and car payments plus insurance. Though she works full-time, […]

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    by on October 23, 2017 - 0 Comments

    He has now entered Costa Rice with his DIY converted home-on-wheels he bought used of eBay. We have heard of many vehicles being turned into homes these last couple of years, from vans to SUV’s to campers. But it is extremely creative to see an ambulance as your next home. Ambulances are often filled with […]