Things to Put on Your Fall Maintenance List

Things to Put on Your Fall Maintenance List

Spruce up your home this fall season with some of our easy tips to make your home more cozy, beautiful and welcoming for the long holiday season to come! Plus learn some simple maintenance tips that will make a huge impact for your home!

Photo: Harold Leidner Landscape Architects

Fall is officially here, which means that the leaves are turning, people are gearing up for the holiday season, and it’s time to complete some last minute to do items before the temperature drops and fall turns to winter. Here are some chores you may want to include on your list to keep your home in beautiful condition as we ease into cooler weather.

Look Up

People often forget about their home’s roof, chimney, and gutters because they’re not at eye level. However, keeping these important pieces of your home is vital for its infrastructure and can help prevent water, ice, and other damage to your home. Start by cleaning your gutters of any leaves, twigs, or other debris that may have built up over the summer months. Gutters with a clear pathway allow water to flow freely away from your home, which protects your foundation from water damage. You should also spot check your roof for any cracks, holes, or tears that may be present. If you notice anything, have it repaired right away so winter weather doesn’t make it worse and cause leaks inside your home. If you plan to use your chimney throughout the winter, you may want to have someone come clean it out to keep it clear of debris, which can cause a chimney fire.

Photo: Rikki Snyder

Complete Final Lawn Maintenance

Once winter weather arrives, chances are you won’t be doing much lawn maintenance. Making one last lawn care effort should be on everyone’s fall home maintenance list, as it prepares your landscaping for the winter months. Decide what you want to do with your leaves. Some people rake and bag them while others choose to mulch them, which can provide your soil with extra nutrients.

Tip: If you have trees or other plants with special lawn care needs, you may want to wrap them to keep them in good condition during the long winter months. You should also get rid of any weeds or other debris that may have built up in your yard, since they can serve as a home to many unwanted pests seeking shelter during colder months. Put away any yard furniture and lawn equipment so it isn’t exposed to the elements.

Photo: Mary Prince Photography


Having a well-insulated home can not only help keep you and your family warm during cold weather months, but it can also save you money on your monthly utility bills by reducing the amount of energy you need to heat your home. Caulk and use weather stripping around your windows and doors to block out drafts. If you have energy-efficient windows, inspect them to ensure they’re still in good condition and don’t have any gaps. Head up to your attic to inspect your insulation. If you can see the joists in your attic, chances are you don’t have enough insulation and should add more.

Photo: Gil Walsh Interiors

Service Your Furnace

Fall is a great time to have your furnace inspected before you turn it on for the winter. Call an HVAC professional and request an inspection and cleaning. Regular servicing can keep your furnace running efficiently and help reduce your monthly heating bill and even help prolong the life of your unit.

Tip: Make sure you have your filters replaced regularly as well to improve airflow, keep energy costs low, and keep your system running efficiently.

Check Your Plumbing

The last thing you want to happen is to have a water line freeze or burst in the middle of winter. Prep your pipes by wrapping them in insulation, which can not only provide peace of mind knowing your plumbing is protected, but can keep your plumbing running efficiently. If you have any hoses outside, detach and drain them so they don’t freeze and cause damage.

Maintaining a thorough fall maintenance checklist can help keep your home in great shape. Most of the tasks take a weekend to complete and can save you a lot of money in the long run in costly repairs.

Review: Illumi Arts LED Artwork is the Hottest new thing in Luminous Smart Art Panels

Review: Illumi Arts LED Artwork is the Hottest new thing in Luminous Smart Art Panels

Light up your home’s décor with light-up artwork that can change colors via Bluetooth! Meet Illumi Arts, a company that specializes in modern luxurious artwork that doubles as ambience lighting…

This season is all about great lighting, statement décor, and something we all love: uniqueness. It’s no surprise we stumbled across Illumi Arts, a company that creates LED art panels that light up and actually change colors via Bluetooth. It’s something a regular artist would have never though of, unless they had a strong background and knowledge in lighting and design.

Meet the Creative Director

Farah Barnes, the creative director behind Illumi Arts is a lighting design professional and knew exactly how to make a creative design and concept that would wow her clients. Farah is also a former architect and lighting expert that has previously worked on high-profile projects such as commercial buildings, bridges, museums and other interiors. After seeing how important and difficult it is to incorporate natural and artificial lighting into a space, she decided to specialize in lighting and create Illumi Arts.

Pop Inspired Artwork

Illumi Arts creates pop inspired modern artwork that features a backlit LED panel that lights up the design and also your room! It comes with important UL and CE certifications, which make it great for industrial and commercial use. Illumination is a huge part of interior design and can make or break your space if you don’t know how to do it right. We’ve seen tons of spaces instantly transformed just by switching up the lighting. It’s proven that lighting creates ambience in a space, sets the mood, and can also make your space look twice the size. Light up your home’s dark corners with Illumi Arts LED artwork and you’re bound to see a huge difference!

What is so great about Illumi Arts color changing artwork is that you can set the mood to whichever color you want! Feeling romantic? Use your mobile phone to connect via Bluetooth to your artwork and change the color to red! 

Color Changing Art

What I love about Illumi Arts is their products are very dual purpose. They serve as beautiful pop art inspired works of art but also double as fabulous lighting sources. They can be placed just about anywhere in your home to create a luxurious interior: living room, hallway, bedroom or even a fun game room where I think they would fit in perfectly. The artwork can change colors via Bluetooth right from you phone, which makes a great conversation starter and a fun way to impress your guests!

Here is some of my favorite color changing art pieces from Illumi Arts:

Paris, Wall Art Light – Illumi Arts

New York, Wall Art Light – Illumi Arts

To make this post even better, we are offering a special promotion to get FREE Priority International Shipping! Just enter code: MODERNARCHCONCEPT in the checkout! Already ordered? Post your reviews and comments below – I’d love to hear about how you’re enjoying your new illuminated artwork!


Know Where to Save and Where to Splurge on Your Bathroom or Kitchen Remodel

Know Where to Save and Where to Splurge on Your Bathroom or Kitchen Remodel

Give your bathroom and kitchen a new remodel for this season with some of these smart ideas and advice from home reno experts!

Photo: Laura Burleson

The bathroom and kitchen are two of the most common rooms when it comes to redecorating a home. As a homeowner, you should know where to spend and where to save while you learn everything you need to remodel your home kitchen and bathroom to make the process a success. Doing so goes a long way in making the most of your investment and your remodel.

Where to Splurge in the Kitchen

In regards to where to invest your money in the kitchen, since you’ll get a lot of use out of your appliances, you’ll want to spend money on energy-efficient designs that come with warranties. While you’re picking out appliances, make sure you think about how much you want to spend on cabinets so you don’t blow your budget on a new fridge that will likely need to be replaced in about 15 years instead of countertops that are likely to last longer.

Speaking of countertops, you should splurge if your counter is the centerpiece of your kitchen remodel. Just make sure you’re fully aware of your countertop options and different materials to get the best buy.


Where to Save in the Kitchen

Cabinet material is definitely one place where you can save in the kitchen. This is because home remodelling technology has advanced to a stage where it’s hard to tell the difference between actual wood and veneer. Drawer inserts are another aspect of your kitchen remodel in which you can scale back on the price. Theres no need to spend more than necessary on the pulls, handles and knobs on your kitchen cabinet doors.

In regards to the backsplash in your kitchen, your priorities are where you can save. For instance, don’t make any changes to the mechanics, plumbing or walls, which adds more to the overall price. You should also stick to your original decision to avoid being stuck with the cost of returning materials.

Where to Splurge in the Bathroom

Photo: Bloglovin’

While you can save on the cabinetry in your kitchen, the same doesn’t necessarily apply in your bathroom. This is because your bathroom experiences more moisture than your kitchen, and you want cabinets that are made to withstand the rigours of that moisture and continue to perform. Plumbing fixtures are another aspect on which you’ll want to make a solid investment. This is because high-quality fixtures can help you save on future water bills, and they’re much likely to last longer.

The floors of your bathroom are likely to be a bit of a middle ground in regards to spending and splurging. To stay balanced, opt for a slip-resistant floor to better avoid slip-and-falls, which can also cost you money on medical bills.

Where to Save in the Bathroom

The background tile of your bathroom is one place where you can save money. If you really want to add a bit of pop to your bathroom tile, you can add a few expensive tiles to your shower or a vanity backsplash. As long as you don’t do an entire wall, your overall expense shouldn’t be too scary. When it comes to bathroom countertops, you want something that’s going to be low maintenance. You can also get a laminate for your countertops that resembles a more expensive material like granite without paying a granite price.

Photo: Aimee Song

If you don’t take a lot of baths, you may prefer to have a shower installed in your bathroom and remove the tub. That being said, if your home has two bathrooms, you might want to leave the tub in one if you later plan on putting your home on the market. Knowing where to save and where to spend in your bathroom and kitchen remodel better ensures you get what you want without compromise. Know that you don’t have to go broke to have the best design!

Trying to sell your home? If you are tired off all the remodelling and renovations there are companies that will actually buy your home as-is and offer you are great sum upfront. See this link for more info on this subject:

How to Incorporate Scandinavian Design into Your Bathroom

How to Incorporate Scandinavian Design into Your Bathroom

Learn how to add some Scandinavian flair to your bathroom for a fresh new look this season!

Photo: Domino

Anyone who’s ever seen the Scandinavian interior decor style will remember its sleek lines, the white color palette with just a touch of black, gray or metallic, and just a few decorative elements. Well, the same goes for the Scandi bathroom. It’s stress-free, airy, light, refreshing and its contemporary design always makes it look clean and inviting. So, if you’re a fan of the design that’s bold and dramatic, but at the same time calm and relaxing, you might want to give the Scandinavian design a shot. Its minimalist layout with a few bold details will give you just what you want. Now, let’s take a look at how you can pull off this seemingly simple yet tricky design.

The right color

White with a touch of black was always a signature element of Scandi design, especially when it comes to bathrooms. When cold white mixes with warmer timber and brass, a true Scandinavian look that made it so popular all around the world is achieved. However, in recent years, the all-white scheme has been replaced with a bit softer pastel and beige tones. Even if colors such as peach, gray or taupe are used for tiles, walls and furniture, you can still achieve that trademark Scandi look, only with a little twist. But, if you’re a die-hard traditionalist, white, black and cool gray paired with blue textiles definitely give off the right ambiance of a Scandinavian interior.

Make it interesting with different textures

Tiles have long been one of the must-have details of any Scandi bathroom, but today we have the incredible tile-making technology that gives us many textures and shapes. This is why more and more Scandi bathrooms play with textures to break the monotony of white. You can experiment with tiles of different shapes, sizes, textures and colors, but don’t overuse them. Scandinavian design is all about making a statement rather than having one element overpower the space.


Introduce wood

Scandinavians love and cherish nature, so it’s not a surprise how much wood they use in their interior design. Their favorite is light-colored timber, so make sure to incorporate it into your bathroom. You can choose solid, veneer or even recycled wood to construct or panel your bathroom vanity and storage space, or even create a statement wall. If you match timber with brass faucets or pendants, you’ll nicely complete the look of your bathroom.

Make it light and airy

Every Scandi-style space is very light, airy and full of clean lines, and bathrooms are no different. The best way to achieve that feeling is by using a lot of white on white. To break the monotony, you can contrast white with some dark or metallic fixtures and lighting features. Black, gray and metallic look amazing in Scandi bathrooms and create a perfect contrast to cool white and warm timber.


Create an atmosphere of a spa

Nothing says Scandinavia quite like a good spa experience. If you have a lot of space in your bathroom, make sure to make the bath the center of attention. This way, you’ll have your own spa experience every time you step into the bathroom. Your perfect match would be a sleek freestanding bath that will give you that clean and minimalist look and feel. To finish off your Scandinavian bathroom, add a small wood-burning stove and some wood that will keep you warm and remind you of long and cold Finnish winters.

Feature greenery

If you want to add some color and life into an otherwise fairly monochromatic space characterized by the Scandinavian style, you can do that with greenery. There’s something very interesting and exotic, yet natural in having a real plant in your bathroom that’s why Scandinavians usually decide to spruce up their space with greenery. You don’t have to go too large to make a statement. A small potted plant, such as a fern, peace lily or begonia, will still catch the eye every time you enter the bathroom.

Organize and Declutter Your Garage + Make Some Money too!

Organize and Declutter Your Garage + Make Some Money too!

Put your garage to good use this season by decluttering and organizing! Here’s how you can do it and make some money while you’re at it!

Photo: Traditional Home

The primary use of a garage is of course to have a place where homeowners can put their cars safely in. In contrast, many American garages lose their purpose because we tend to put a lot of things in there to a point where our cars can’t fit already. Most of the things we put there are items we do not need anymore but still valuable to just be thrown away. If you are one of the many Americans who suffers from the same problem, it is probably the best time to declutter your garage. Not only it can help you have space for your cars and have an organized garage, it can also help you earn cash from it.

Here are the things you must consider so you can make the best out of cleaning your garage:

Call a Friend

If you have an overcrowded garage, additional hands can be very handy. Pun aside, having someone to help you can make your work much easier. It can also be a great bonding time between you and your friend. If you are having a lengthy conversation, time will fly very fast and you will not notice that you have done so much for the day. Also, you will just have to spend a minimal amount to pay him/her or you can just treat him/her to a dinner or you can just help your friend to do some repairs in his/her home in return.

Creating specific place for similar stuff

Taking away all the things in your garage and just putting it elsewhere will not solve the problem entirely. The next place where you will put your things will get messy. You have to assign a specific space or box for every similar thing. If you establish zones, the order will follow. If you will need 10 bins to fit all your stuff in your garage, don’t just put everything there randomly. Classify things so you can easily remember where to find them and how to put it back. Additionally, labeling boxes can be very helpful to be more systematized.

Photo: Do it Yourself Samples

Weighing the Value

Although most of the things you put in your garage are probably seldom used items, there are still some things in there that are very valuable. You should be able to decide which things have big sentimental values to you or your family. If you are having a double heart for some stuff, use the one-year-question. Ask yourself, have you used the item for the past year? If you did not, you might as well not keep it. If an item is really important that you can’t part with it, you might as well get it out of the garage and put it somewhere else where it can be more dignified.

Separate Valuable ‘Junk’

Before starting your decluttering, prepare at least 3 boxes labeled ‘trash’ box, ‘sell’ box, and ‘donate’ box. This is important so you can directly put your stuff into the right box. For instance, things like DVD’s, electronics that are still in good running condition, well-kept clothes and shoes, and other stuff can go straight to the ‘sell’ box. Also, those old and worn out clothes can just be donated because it can’t be sold with so much value anymore. While those electronics that are in bad shape can still be sold to the right buyer since some people are looking for old things to restore. If you are not sure whether an item will sell, you can still post it and just get rid of it later if no one wants to buy it.

Photo: A Bowl Full of Lemons

Sort Your Sell Collection

After throwing all the trash and donating some of your things, it is time to sell. But before you do that, it is vital to classify them first so you can be able to reach the right buyer. For instance, books, DVD’s, and video games can be best posted on Amazon. High-end and quality clothing, collectibles like limited edition toys, smaller electronics, can be sold better on eBay. Lastly, items that are too big to ship and some other generic items like baby or toddler items are best for Craigslist. Categorize them where you’ll sell them: Amazon, eBay, and Craigslist.

Open an Online Store

If you want, you can just open an online store to sell your clothes or some of your old stuff from your house. This online store can eventually be turned into a legit store after you sold all of your items in your garage. To be successful, you can consider selling your items in lots. For example, instead of selling collectible toy cars individually, you can sell them as a group to be able to move your things faster. Be straightforward to your description, make sure you state the real and current condition of the products you are selling. Lastly, since your customer will only rely on the picture, try to include lots of it. Show any flaw, even if it is just minor to show that you are really an honest seller.