Create a Cozy, Chic Look in Your Bedroom With These Simple Steps

To improve your sleep, create a relaxing atmosphere, and add a chic look to your bedroom, all it takes are a few smart upgrades. From incorporating plush textures to changing up the color scheme, these simple tips will show you exactly what to do.

  • Replace your current bedding with crisp, white bedding. If your current sheets and duvet feel drab and outdated, upgrading to chic white bedding will give your bed a timeless look that's just like a four-star hotel.
  • Create storage for every loose item and stray article of clothing. If you constantly find yourself tripping over clutter, head to the home goods store and invest in additional drawers, bins and other storage items.
  • Frame some art to dress up your walls. Choose soothing nature scenes, neutral abstract prints or framed family photos that will make you feel calm and relaxed.
  • Add throw pillows and blankets that will add additional depth to your bedding. Choose one statement pop of color or something in a fun faux fur for some soft, eye-catching texture.
  • Update the lighting by replacing the current bulbs with muted lights or bulbs that imitate natural sunlight.

No Green Thumb? No Problem! Grow These Houseplants at Retreat at Cross Mountain!

Even if you haven’t had the best luck with plants in the past, that’s no reason to give up on having a greenery-filled home. While certain houseplants are very finicky and seem to die as soon as you glance in their direction, others are hearty, resilient and made for people whose thumbs aren't exactly green. Here are just a few.

  1. Succulents. The desert native succulent plant is beloved by many for its very sparse watering schedule. Because it only needs watering once a month or so, this trendy houseplant is perfect for forgetful owners.
  2. Aloe plants. The unique looking aloe plant is another one that doesn’t need much watering (or even much sunlight). Simply give it a bit of water when the soil feels dry to the touch.
  3. Cast-iron plant. There’s a reason this great plant has a name that’s tough as nails: the cast-iron plant can tolerate everything from low light to changes in the atmosphere like a champ.
  4. Snake plant. The high-reaching snake plant (sometimes called mother-in-law’s tongue) not only offers a stylish, impactful look, it can also survive in low light and with sporadic waterings.
  5. Jade plant. This gorgeous plant will live for years without much care at all, eventually growing into a small tree with a large enough pot.

Houseplants for People Who Can't Grow Houseplants [This Old House]
How To Choose the Right Houseplant [Bayer Advanced]
Houseplants for the Forgetful Gardener [Better Homes & Gardens]

How to Use Borax Around the Home

If you haven’t yet experimented with the wonders of borax, you’re missing out on a versatile household cleaner that could help to consolidate many of your chores. This unique, all-natural substance consists of sodium borate, and it makes a powerful cleanser, drain cleaner, and much more. Here are a few ways to use it.

  • Mix 2 tablespoons of borax with two cups of hot water to create an all-purpose cleaner for around the house.
  • Clear a blocked drain by mixing 1/2 cup of borax with two cups of boiling water. Pour the solution down the drain and let it sit for 15 minutes before running water to flush it away.
  • Get stains out of your sink by making a paste of one cup of borax and 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Scrub the paste into the stain with a sponge and rinse with hot water.
  • Clean carpets naturally by using 1/2 cup of borax per gallon of water in the steam cleaner.
  • Clean pots, pans, and porcelain cookware by sprinkling borax on their surfaces and rubbing with a slightly damp cloth.

Borax Changed My Life! [Stacy Makes Cents]
30 Little-Known Uses for Household Borax [One Good Thing]
Borax and 25 Ways to Use It [Apartment Therapy]

How to Get the Most Out Your Apartment’s Square Footage

Whether your apartment measures 200 square feet or 1,000 square feet, how large it feels depends on how it functions. Artfully arranging your furniture and incorporating smart storage solutions can make even the tiniest studio apartment feel like a luxury penthouse loft, and these space-savvy tips will show you just how to make the most of each square foot in your rental unit.

  1. Use light to your advantage. No matter how limited you are on space, having good lighting can make all the difference. Play up your apartment’s natural light sources by using sheer curtains or blinds in light colors that invite the maximum amount of sunlight inside.
  2. Arrange – and then rearrange. Instead of moving in and leaving your furniture right where you first placed it, don’t be afraid to rearrange multiple times until you find the situation that best suits your space.
  3. Make your furniture play double-duty. Adding furniture pieces that double as storage systems (such as using a chest as a coffee table or a kitchen table as a desk) is one of the best ways to maximize the space in your apartment.

Creative Decorating Ideas for Small Spaces [Real Simple]
Make the Most of Small Spaces [Real Simple]
Designer Tricks for Small Spaces [Coastal Living]

Keep Your Home Office Squeaky-Clean (and Germ-Free) With These Handy Tips

Is your home office one of the messiest spaces in your rental home? Here are some easy ways to clean your gadgets and electronics — and keep your office tidy and germ-free.

  1. Start by organizing your pesky wires and cords. This will help prevent fire hazards and eliminate the unattractive mess.Invest in some sturdy clips from office supply stores to keep them neatly wound.
  2. Clean your keyboard. You can’t exactly spray your keyboard with disinfectant, but you can clean it by unplugging it and shaking out the loose dirt. Use canned, compressed air to remove the rest of the dust from between the keys, then give it a wipe-down with a cloth dampened with cleaner.
  3. Wipe off your computer screen. Use a bit of water and a lint-free cloth. Don’t use cleaner, as it may damage the screen.
  4. Disinfect your cell phone or landline phone. Do this regularly, as the germs from your mouth spread very easily. Use a disinfectant wipe all over the phone, being careful that no drips get inside of the phone itself.
  5. Dust. If you have allergies, be sure to dust shelves, floors, and your desk regularly to prevent dust particles from infiltrating your home office.

How to Keep Home Office Equipment Clean [HGTV]
Step-By-Step: Keep a Clean Keyboard [PCWorld]
How To Clean Your Filthy Gadgets [Gizmodo]

How to Breathe New Life Into a Basic Bulletin Board

A bulletin board is a practical part of your kitchen or office, but it might not be the most attractive element in your decor. There are quite a few ways that you can take your drab bulletin board and turn it into something fabulous, and these simple tips will help!

  • Add a chevron border. Use simple acrylic paint to paint the entire frame, then create a bold chevron design across the bottom using the same bright color.
  • Cover it with fabric. If you’re more partial to prints and patterns, cut a piece of fabric into the same size as the bulletin board’s surface, then affix it to the board with basic spray adhesive or pushpins.
  • Turn it into a travel map. Purchase a frameless bulletin board and turn it into your own custom travel map. Use a craft knife to cut it into the shape of the United States, then attach push pins and photographs at all of the places you’ve visited.
  • Dress up your pushpins. If your basic plastic or metal pushpins are too plain for your taste, dress them up by gluing colorful pompoms to each end. Use all one color or choose a variety for a rainbow effect.
  • Use an embroidery hoop. Instead of using a traditional bulletin board from an office supply store, cover embroidery hoops in varying sizes with your favorite fabrics.

10 Ways to Update & Decorate a Basic Cork Board [Apartment Therapy]
13 Fun Ways to Decorate a Bulletin Board [Babble]
Craftykins // DIY Pom Pom Pushpins [Babiekins Mag]

How to Display Your Houseplants for Maximum Impact

Adding houseplants to your home is one of the best ways to brighten a room and clean the air, so why not take the time to incorporate a few plants into your home's decor? Check out these tips for getting the most visual impact out of your houseplants.

  1. Place them in display boxes. Hanging antique crates or boxes from the wall is an affordable way add some vintage style to a room, and this is also a good way to show off your green thumb. Secure attractive crates to the wall facing outward, then pop a plant inside to create a sort of framed effect.
  2. Add tiered plant stands. While using plant stand is a great way to show off a smaller plant, adding three plant stands makes an even bigger impact in a room. You can even DIY your own by adhering attractive copper pipes in three different lengths to wooden or concrete tops.
  3. Hang them from the ceiling. Macramé is back in style in a big way, and there’s no better reason to break out your yarn and beads than to show off a beautiful plant. Creating a macramé plant hanger is simple and affordable, so you can create a whole slew of plant hangers with little money and little time.

Plants In The Bedroom [Smile and Wave]
20 Unforgettable Indoor Plant Displays [Decoist]
Buy or DIY: 5 Ideas for Displaying Tillandsia [Apartment Therapy]

Revamp Your Bedroom With These Easy Decor Tips

Whether you’re a fan of vintage boudoirs or sleek, modern spaces, your bedroom should be a reflection of your own personal style. This is the place where you should feel your most relaxed and comfortable, and these simple design tips can help you to turn your bedroom into a hotel-inspired oasis.

  1. Add colorful throw pillows. Even if your bed already has a patterned comforter or a solid-colored blanket, you can always add more texture and color with the addition of some artfully mismatched throw pillows.
  2. Use a unique headboard. While headboards from a furniture store can be quite pricey, there are a number of DIY ways to create a headboard from unexpected items. An antique door, an old fireplace mantle, and some repurposed wood palettes can all be used as a headboard on your bed.
  3. Hang some drapes. Create a cohesive look throughout your bedroom by investing in some luxurious drapes that match the rest of your bed linens. Hang them above or to the side of the window frame for a more dramatic look, or search for light-cancelling drapes if you like to sleep in on the weekends.
  4. Add extra storage. If your bedroom lacks a proper closet, add storage in creative places throughout the room to keep it feeling organized. Frame the bed with cubby-style shelves, or add drawers underneath for seasonal clothing.

3 Bedroom Décor Ideas [Real Simple]
23 Decorating Tricks for Your Bedroom [Real Simple]
20 Design Tips for Small Bedrooms [Sunset]
Bedroom Hotel-Style How To [DIY Network]

DIY Natural Teeth Whitening with charcoal… Yes CHARCOAL!!!

Whiten your teeth with activated charcoal?!?

It's weird, but it works! It leaves your teeth feeling extra clean, helps with bad breath, and they will be whiter of course. Activated charcoal is what you will find in all of your store bought whitening stripes you pay loads of money for. Activated charcoal is the ingredient that removes staining form coffee, teas and cigarettes. This will work better, cost less, and is all natural.

What you need to whiten your teeth with activated charcoal:

  • 1 old toothbrush (or one you don’t mind getting black)
  • 1 capsule of Activated Charcoal (I use this brand)
  • A cup
  • Water

Activated Charcoal teeth whitening directions:

  • Wet your toothbrush well.
  • Place toothbrush on top of a napkin, piece of toilet paper, or paper towel.
  • Gently twist open your activated charcoal capsule.
  • Carefully empty activated charcoal powder onto toothbrush
  • Start brushing! It will be a little bit “powdery” at the beginning, but your saliva will soon take over and spread the powder everywhere. You could also add a small amount of toothpaste to your toothbrush and dip into the charcoal powder if you prefer.
  • Gently brush for 3 to 5 minutes. Spit periodically into your cup, rather than sink. This will make clean up easier!
  • Rinse your mouth well with water. Be sure to brush your tongue too with water as it will be black
  • Dump your spit cup into the toilet and flush.
  • Clean any excess powder residue on your sink with a wet wipe

How to Hem Pants Like an Expert Tailor

If you’ve ever tried on a pair of pants and thought, “These would be perfect if only they weren’t so long,” it may be time for you to learn how to hem. Hemming is a fairly simple sewing technique that just about anyone can learn, and it can save you a great deal of money on tailoring. Check out these smart tutorials for hemming at home.

How to Hem Pants []
This accessible tutorial offers both high quality images and an instructional video to help beginning sewers learn how to hem. It also describes the types of tools that you’ll need and what to do every step of the way.

How to Hem Dress Pants Like a Pro []
The DIY Tailor offers a wide variety of genius tips for mending and altering clothes at home, but the site’s tutorial about hemming dress pants is one of its most brilliant. This tutorial is designed specifically for business professional pants.

How to Hem a Pair of Pants []
WikiHow is beloved for its straightforward, photo-heavy tutorials for how to do just about anything, and this hemming lesson is just as simple. It even describes how to rip out the old hem before beginning.

How to Hem Jeans (And Keep the Original Hem) []
By keeping the original hem in a pair of jeans that need hemmed, this tutorial will make your hemming much easier and more professional looking.

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