10 Ways to Make Working from Home More Enjoyable

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As times are changing and workplace settings are shifting, more and more people have been able to enjoy the flexibility of working from home. While there are many benefits of spending the workday from the comfort of your own house, there can be times when it gets frustrating or drudgery.

Below are 10 suggestions to help increase productivity, make you feel happier and bring you some extra comfort on your “WFH” days.

Take your office anywhere in the house.

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A sturdy, wooden bed tray is ideal for everyday use, especially if you enjoy working in different areas of the house. Have your food, drinks, or laptop with you at the comfort of your bed or couch as you work from home. Shop now

Spruce up your desk with new décor.

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You won’t mind getting work done when you’re in a space that you love. Declutter your desk area and swap out your old items for a new lamp, fresh greenery and some new bold picture frames.

Splurge on a better coffee machine.

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Treat yourself to that espresso machine you’ve been eyeing forever. Something that you know will get used every morning is worth the extra money. Check out this list of the 10 Best Coffee Machines.

Move your work area near a window.

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Natural light will do wonders for your mood and will allow you to call it quits at a reasonable hour.

Invest in a second monitor.

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If you know that you will continue to have the flexibility of working from home going forward, consider adding a second monitor alongside your laptop. Check out the insane benefits of dual monitors here.

Warm the surface you lean on all day.

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If you work from your granite countertop or you have a desk made of stone, you’ve likely noticed how uncomfortably cold the surface is on your wrist and forearms. A thin adhesive warming mat that goes under the counter will make your workday much more cozy and warm.

Schedule legitimate stretch breaks.

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Unlike at the office where you have to look professional, working from home allows you to wear comfy clothes and no shoes, so take advantage of it! Schedule a time everyday where you can pull out the yoga mat, stretch out your muscles and take time to decompress your mind.

Increase productivity with some high-end headphones.

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If you have other family members in the house or you get constantly distracted by random noise, a good pair of sound-canceling headphones is your solution. You will be so happy to disconnect from the chaos around you and focus solely on the task at hand.

Consider buying a height adjustable workstation.

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When you’re in an office setting, you are much more likely to stand up and walk around more often than when you’re home. Standing desks have many long-term benefits such as weight loss, reduced back pain and improved mental health.

Light more candles.

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Set the ambiance and atmosphere of your working space by lighting a seasonal candle every morning. Why not take advantage of being at home since you are likely not allowed to light candles when you’re at the office?

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13 Creative Ways to Update Your Living Space While You're Stuck at Home

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Finding yourself with extra downtime? Or maybe you have the urge to spruce up the areas of your home that you spend the most time in. We have some great ideas that will help you do just that.

Below are 13 creative ways to update your living space and make your home feel a little more cozy this spring.

Create a cozy reading nook.

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Creating a designated space to relax and unwind will make your home feel extra cozy and comforting. Here’s how to create the perfect reading nook.

Upgrade your shower head. 

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It can be as simple as unscrewing your existing shower head and replacing it with a new one to completely enhance your shower time. From LED lights and Bluetooth speakers to a rain-style experience, you’re sure to find a shower head that does a lot more than you’d expect.

Warm your cold granite countertop.

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If you have granite or quartz, you know how cold it feels to the touch. A thin countertop warmer can be applied under your overhang so you that can enjoy your morning cup of coffee while leaning on a warm surface.

Bring the outdoors in.

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Plants give life to any indoor space, so bring in some plants to brighten up a room this spring. If you don’t have a green thumb, there are plenty of plants to choose from that don’t require much care. Here are 10 indoor plants you probably can’t kill.

Install dimmer switches or blue-tooth lighting.

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Sometimes, getting out of bed to turn off a lamp across the room feels like a journey of a million miles. However, with this Hue starter kit, you can integrate your light bulbs with your smart home system.

Give old furniture a makeover.

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Do you have an outdated piece of furniture, or simply a piece that no longer fits your decor? You may be tempted to replace the item; however, painting furniture is an easy (and inexpensive) way to give your pieces new life.

Install soft-close hardware on your cabinetry.

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Taking away the loud slam of your cabinets and drawers will certainly enhance your space. This simple DIY project will make your kitchen feel more serene.

Cozy up your living room with new pillows and throws.

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One of the easiest ways to update your space is to swap out your old blankets and throw pillows for something new and fresh. You can shop your favorite looks online.

Let the light in with electric blinds.

Winter Home Ideas after Christmas

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Motorized blinds are an easy and fancy way to bring plenty of sunshine in, especially during long days stuck in the house.

Create furniture displays in otherwise unused corners.

Winter Home Ideas after Christmas

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Rearrange furniture or create an inviting vignette in an unused area of your home. You will enjoy the feel of a new room without having to spend an arm and a leg.

Give your tub a makeover using paint.

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If you’re down for a simple yet somewhat time-consuming project, this one will totally transform the look and feel of your bathroom. See tips here.

Put up more mirrors.

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Swap out some of the stale pieces on your wall for one large mirror or a cluster of different mirrors. This will completely open up your space and reflect more natural light. 

Invest in a portable fireplace.

Winter Home Ideas after Christmas

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Even if you don’t have a built-in fireplace, adding a portable one to any room in the house can instantly up the coziness factor. Anywhere Fireplaces “are ventless and use ethanol, which is recycled and clean-burning,” meaning there are no dangerous fumes to worry about.

What other ideas do you have for sprucing up your home this spring?

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The Ultimate Custom Home Building Checklist

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Designing and building a new home is a very overwhelming (and sometimes very stressful) process. You’ve narrowed down that you want an open layout, walkout basement and 4 bedrooms, but what about all of the other details that go into building a custom home?

We spoke to a licensed realtor who, after years of receiving customer feedback, gave us the following custom features to not forget about when building a new home.

Behold: The Ultimate Custom Home Checklist.

KITCHEN

Extra large garbage area in kitchen

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Cabinets to the ceiling

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Two ovens

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Walk-in pantry & wine storage

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Speakers in the ceiling

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Heated countertops

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MAIN LIVING SPACE

Large baseboards & trim

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Upgraded carpet with extra padding

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Built-ins around the fireplace

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Outlet by banisters and mantle (for Christmas)

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Floor-to-ceiling windows

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9-foot ceilings

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Dimmer switches everywhere

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Looking to Increase Your Home’s Value? Here Are the Top Renovations to Consider

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You’ve probably heard your neighbors, family members, and friends all talk about “ROI.” Thanks in part to home remodeling TV shows, this buzzword has really become mainstream. “Return on investment” is the idea that home projects should be gauged by how much value they add to the home versus how much they cost to complete. High-ROI projects are those that pay for themselves or come close to doing so. 

The below infographic from the team at Superior Stone & Cabinet contains a breakdown of what projects have the best ROI, as well as ways to maximize your savings:

Remodel Your Kitchen

When it comes to home remodeling projects, the kitchen renovation is king. It’s one of the highest-ROI projects and the one prospective homebuyers appreciate the most. After all, the kitchen is the new center of the American home.

For any modern kitchen remodel, new cabinets and countertops are indispensable. Here, quality matters: you want to invest in high-grade wood cabinets and stone countertops. While the cost of these materials may seem high, these two elements alone drive much of your potential return-on-investment. Our recommendation is that you build your budget around new counters and cabinets, and then allocate the rest of it toward other additions and upgrades that are less costly, but complement them. This includes tile backsplash and under-cabinet lighting.

One of the things homeowners never quite get used to is how cold stone countertops feel to the touch, especially on winter mornings. One innovative addition to any kitchen is heated countertops. The FeelsWarm countertop heating system is compatible with new quartz, granite, and marble countertops, and provides a uniform, gentle warmth across the surface. It’s safe for the stone and completely inconspicuous: your family and guests won’t even know your countertops are heated until they feel it for themselves.

Renovate Your Bathroom

If your bathroom hasn’t had a major makeover since the 1980s, it’s probably time to renovate it. Next to kitchen remodels, bathroom remodels have one of the next-best ROIs of any home project. To get the most bang-for-your-buck out of your work in this space, focus on the shower, bathroom vanity, and floors. In the shower, add new shower tile, glass, and fixtures. For the vanity, replace the sinks and lighting. Finally, for your bathroom floors, replace outdated linoleum with either tile or a durable vinyl flooring.

To get the most out of your remodel, limit your upfront costs. Avoid moving plumbing and electrical around, as this can balloon your project overhead and lead to potential issues with building codes.

Turn Your Backyard Into an Oasis

Whether you live in Southern California or the Midwest, homeowners want to spend the nice parts of the year outside. Making improvements to your backyard might be just what your home needs. In fact, a new wood deck is one of the best projects for ROI. However, you should also consider adding features that you can both enjoy in the present and that prospective homebuyers will appreciate, such as a:

  • Built-in grill and outdoor kitchen for entertaining
  • Gas-lit fire pit with seating
  • Extended patio
  • Additional shade or fruit trees to cool off the home in the summer

In your backyard, your options are nearly limitless. It’s a great place for you to really make your own. After all, you want to enjoy those beautiful spring and summer days outside.

Give Your Home’s Value a Boost

The three renovations discussed above represent only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to potential home remodeling projects. If you really want to maximize your ROI and make your home a more attractive space, we recommend you talk to a professional in your area. A home remodeling contractor will not only have great ideas for your home, but can steer you toward high-value projects and upgrades.

12 Ways to Spruce up Your Home During These Final Winter Days

Winter Home Ideas After Christmas

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Just because Christmas is over doesn’t mean that the cold winter is over. Below are some ideas to brighten up your home, make it feel cozier and get you excited for stay-in nights on the couch until the spring weather hits.

Invest in a portable fireplace.

Winter Home Ideas after Christmas

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Even if you don’t have a built-in fireplace, adding a portable one to any room in the house can instantly up the coziness factor. Anywhere Fireplaces “are ventless and use ethanol, which is recycled and clean-burning,” meaning there are no dangerous fumes to worry about.

Bring your tree back out for the other holidays.

Winter Home Ideas after Christmas

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Who made the rule that you must take down your tree after Christmas? We think every holiday throughout the year deserves some festive spirit.

Create a cozy reading nook.

Winter Home Ideas after Christmas

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What better way to relax and unwind than by cuddling up with a good book in the winter? Creating a designated space to do just this will make your home feel extra cozy and warm. Here’s how to create the perfect reading nook.

Easily install a countertop warmer.

Winter Home Ideas after Christmas

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If you have granite or quartz, you know how cold it feels to the touch. A thin countertop warmer can be applied under your overhang so you that can enjoy your morning cup of coffee while leaning on a warm surface.

Bring the outdoors in.

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Plants give life to any indoor space, so bring in some plants to brighten up a room this winter. If you don’t have a green thumb, there are plenty of plants to choose from that don’t require much care. Here are 10 indoor plants you probably can’t kill.

Set up a hot cocoa bar.

Winter Home Ideas after Christmas

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Warm up here! Create this log cabin-inspired hot cocoa (or coffee) bar for a winter party or a cozy night indoors.

Replace door and cabinet hardware.

Winter Home Ideas after Christmas

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Replacing door handles and cabinetry hardware is an easy update that you can do during the winter. It’s relatively inexpensive and it really makes a big difference.

Cozy up your bathtub area.

Winter Home Ideas after Christmas

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Make your bathroom feel like a luxurious getaway with some simple décor improvements. Nothing sounds more soothing than a hot bubble bath on cold winter night.  

Let the light in with electric blinds.

Winter Home Ideas after Christmas

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Motorized blinds are an easy and fancy way to bring plenty of sunshine into your home, especially during the short, dark days of winter.

Install garage heating.

Winter Home Ideas after Christmas

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Everyone hates getting into a cold vehicle in the morning so this may be the year to finally get your garage warmed up. You will thank yourself next winter too! See 12 Best Ways to Heat a Garage in the Winter

Create furniture displays in otherwise unused corners.

Winter Home Ideas after Christmas

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Those corners of your home without furniture can look especially bleak when under the harsh winter light. To brighten up your space and add some much-needed warmth, create cozy corners and inviting vignettes instead.

Use branches from your yard as “greens”.

Winter Home Ideas after Christmas

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A great decorating tip after Christmas time is to get some bare branches, or ones with very few leaves and plunk them into a vase. Voilá, instant winter decor!

What other ideas do you have for sprucing up your home this winter?

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