Post-Holiday Cleaning

The holidays can bring with them a lot of clutter and mess. Going into the New Year with a cluttered house can make for a stressful start. There are simple ways to keep the mess down to a minimum and get the New Year started with a clean, clutter-free home.

With family and friends visiting to celebrate the holidays, spills and stain are inevitable. Stains are harder to get out the longer they sit, so they should be remedied as soon as possible. Using warm water and a mild dishwashing detergent in a spray bottle is usually an easy fix. Just spray it on the stain, blot with a paper towel and continue this until it is no longer visible. Then it should be rinsed with water and blotted once more before left to dry.

Kitchens should be deep cleaned after the holidays. Mop the floors and clean all of the countertops. If the countertops have become damaged from all the prepping and cooking, contact Refinish First about refinishing them to look brand new.

Separate recyclables from what needs to be thrown in the trash during the festivities instead of after. Also, try to do dishes right after they are done being used. Many people find cleaning as they go to be less stressful than walking into a kitchen with piles of dishes the next morning.

Have a designated box for Holiday cards. Update addresses and lists as necessary. Holiday cards should be recycled after the holidays are over, there is no real need to keep them around for a whole year.

When packing away decorations, people sometimes decide to throw everything into a box to sort later. However, later tends to not come around and next year those decorations are tangled and misshapen. Packing away holiday decorations neatly will help limit stress and frustration when they are needed next year.

Many people consider the easiest way to stay away from clutter is to get rid of one thing when they add something new. This can be done with clothes, kitchen gadgets and much more. While doing this, it could be a good time to get rid of things that are no longer used, such as toys or shoes that are no longer worn.

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Holiday Gift Guide for Foodies

For those who enjoy spending their time in the kitchen, the best holiday gifts are ones they can use to make cooking easier or just more fun.

Microwaves are useful for cooking many dishes, but sometimes food can come out dry. Using a microwave pressure cooker, any foodie can make a multitude of dishes by braising, steaming, stewing and more. They use less energy and cook food in a fraction of the time it would take in an oven or on the stove.

A common way to cut back on expenses is to make coffee at home instead of heading to the nearest Starbucks on the way to the office. However, that can limit options for brewed coffee. For that friend who loves their morning latte, but not necessarily the price, pick them up a French press and frother set. This gift is less expensive than an espresso machine, and easier to use.

Some would argue that one can never have too many slow cookers, especially during the holidays. Well now there are double-duty slow cookers that are a little larger and have a divider in the middle. That way two dishes can be cooked at once. This can definitely cut down on crowding the countertop with slow cookers during holiday parties.

For the serious bakers out there, a turntable and cake stand is the perfect gift. The rotating plate on top makes it perfect for piping frosting around a cake, but is also stylish enough to display desserts.

Wine connoisseurs know the frustration of breaking a cork in a bottle of wine. Instead of letting friends open bottles of wine by hand with the anxiety of mangling the cork, get them the gift of an electric corkscrew. This method takes a fraction of the time and muscle power.

Holiday Refresh

When family and friends gather for the holidays, the kitchen and bathrooms become high traffic areas. If the kitchen or bathroom is looking a little dingy and old, consider refinishing the surfaces before the holidays hit.

Refinish First can get those floors, countertops, sinks and bathtubs looking brand new before guests arrive. They can refinish surfaces in days, and there is still plenty of time before the holidays hit to get it done.

Whether homeowners are wanting a completely new look or just their old one spruced up, Refinish First can deliver. They can match any color or create almost any custom color. They also offer a variety of stone looks.

If the kitchen or bathroom needs a little love, but the price of a renovation is overwhelming, contact Refinish First for a free estimate. Refinishing costs a fraction of what a renovation would.

Fall Décor Ideas

Autumn is easily many people’s favorite time of year. The leaves change colors, the air gets crisp and everything pumpkin flavored comes out. Here are some ideas on how to bring the feeling of fall into the home.

What fresh flowers are to spring and summer, wheat stalks and pumpkins are to fall. Replace that vase of flowers in the bathroom with pumpkins and gourds. There are tutorials online about how to preserve them for decorating purposes. Painting them can be a fun craft idea and gives them an added visual appeal. Or put some wheat stalks in a flower vase for a simpler touch of fall.

For the kitchen, paint the pumpkins and gourds before placing them on a tea or cake stand on the counter or table.

Candles, a staple in many bathrooms, should be switched out with the seasons. There are numerous autumn scents to choose from, such as apple cider, pumpkin, candy corn, cranberry, cinnamon and more. Make a decorative piece with them to put on a cute tray in the bathroom. Try putting one in a vase surrounded by acorns or candy corn.

In both the kitchen and bathroom, change out the towels to autumn colors. Oranges, browns and burgundies are good choices.

Buy or make fall themed place mats and a table runner for when having guests over. It’s a simple way to add a touch of fall without unnecessarily taking up room with big decorations.

There are many options when it comes to decorating for fall. Just think warm and cozy!

Fresh Spring Color Trends

The 2014 color of the year according to Sherwin Williams is Exclusive Plum SW6263. Here it is –

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Here it is – 2014 Sherwin Williams Color of the Year is Exclusive Plum

They suggest combining it with one of these four colors:

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Dynamo SW 6841

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Sassy Green SW 6416

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Relic Bronze SW

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Sealskin SW 7675

Let Refinish First resurface your bath, shower or countertop to go along with the new spring color trends!

 

7 Ideas for Decorating Your Kitchen with Love

Romance is in the air as Valentine’s Day approaches. Don’t let Cupid’s arrow land without taking time to incorporate the holiday into your kitchen decor. With just a few simple decorations, you can surprise your special someone.

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in a house; it is where meals are cooked and where families converge and hang out. There are many ways to add decorations to a kitchen and make it inviting and warm. Here are some tips on how to add some love to your living spaces:

1. Update the bling. Surprise your Valentine with updated fixtures or newly refinished kitchen or bath countertops. Refinish First can refinish your countertops and sink quickly and inexpensively. Yes, we can have it finished by Valentine’s Day!

2. Amore with aroma. The aroma of your home can be seductive on any special evening. Create candle groupings, using a single color palette and scent. A arrange on a decorative tray or glass dish. Place on the kitchen countertop, tables, or in the bathroom or bedroom.

3. Dining in decadence. A sure-fire way to warm your Valentine’s heart is through their stomach.  Have fun cooking something creative and fun that you can enjoy eating together.

4. Fun with flowers.  Blooms and blossoms add ambiance and lively decoration to any room. For an easy, romantic centerpiece, fill a glass bowl with water and float blossoms and votive candles.

5. Express feelings with fridge magnets.  A fun way to spruce up your kitchen’s ambiance is to spice up your fridge!  Buy a bunch of magnetic letters and leave your Valentine a loving message.

6. Play around with lighting. String lights on the kitchen backsplash, on top of cabinets and on the table.  Even bare branches from the backyard, wrapped in lights, and placed upright in a vase or a bucket create interesting lighting. Turn off the main overhead lights to create a romantic atmosphere.

7. Declutter.  If you are like many people, you may be guilty of too many details. Take an honest look at your kitchen. Is it too cluttered?  A new kitchen may emerge just from this one step.

Any new decorations should still allow your kitchen to be practical and functional. With just a few dollars and a little extra effort, you can create a romantic interior to surprise your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day.

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home

1. Clear the clutter. As a year passes, it’s easy to accumulate a mountain of unused items. The start of a new year is the perfect time to clear your home of unwanted possessions and junk that you no longer need. Not only is it one of the easiest ways to make your home look better, it’s also one of the cheapest. This year, resolve to go room by room and clear out anything you don’t need. If you’ve got kids, ask them to join in by passing along some of their old toys to other children. Find a new home for the stacks of mail and unused small appliances on your countertops. Now that your countertops are no longer in hiding, maybe they could also use an update!

2. Make sure your home is safe and sound. Now that you’ve cleared out the clutter, it’s time to make sure your home is safe as well as beautiful. Have you done radon or carbon monoxide testing? For the relatively low price of testing kits, you can assure your family’s safety. Both deadly gases are odorless and colorless and responsible for thousands of deaths each year—don’t let that happen in your home. Another silent but toxic enemy of your home is mold. It often lurks in poorly vented bathrooms. Cracked or leaking tiles, tubs, and vanities also contribute to the spread of mold, so make sure you take care of those. Refinish First can help!

3. Reduce your energy usage. You don’t have to install solar panels or buy a hybrid car to go green. There are plenty of easy ways to shrink your energy usage—and your bills. Simple things your mother used to tell you are still great advice, like switching off lights when you’re not using them. Here are other ways to reduce your energy usage:

  • In the winter, turn your heater down at night. Many people sleep better in cooler temperatures and it’ll reduce your energy bill dramatically.
  • Open your blinds on sunny days to trap the warmer air and close them during the evening to keep the warm air in.
  • While a long, hot shower is tempting, especially during the winter months, try to reduce your water usage by taking shorter showers and installing a low-flow showerhead.
  • When it’s warmer out, dry your clothes out on the line. This will extend the life of your clothes and reduce your power bill.

4. Develop a system for keeping your home clean. During hectic days, it’s easy to let things like cleaning the bathroom or kitchen slide. However, once you develop a system for keeping things organized, it’ll become second nature. A little while back, we gave you tips for cleaning your bathroom in five minutes a day. You can also apply this concept to other rooms in your house. Spend a few minutes each day putting things back where they belong.

5. Entertain more. Don’t hold off on entertaining simply because you’re worried about having to overhaul your house. All it takes to spruce up your house is some simple updating and rearranging. No need to go all out on a full home remodel. Think about where your guests will spend the most time—the dining area and the kitchen. New countertops are an easy way to give your kitchen a new look without the cost of a kitchen remodel. Another simple way to freshen up your home is by adding plants. They’re an easy way to decorate on a budget and they help clean the air. Other easy ways to decorate include painting an accent wall with a vibrant color, adding a new rug, or rearranging the furniture to promote better flow of conversation.