Smart Home: Feature to Bring More Convenience Home

Photo by Hasan Albari from Pexels 

Thinking about automating your new home? Here are some of the most innovative new smart home features to consider incorporating in your residential design. 

1. Color-Tuned Lighting

Apps exist for both computers and smart phones to warm up color tones toward the evening hours, helping signal to the brain that it’s time to sleep. However, those color capabilities have skyrocketed recently. Tunable lighting in your home could help set the mood just as effectively as different genres of music: just select a color warmth and desired outcome, and push a button to make it happen. 

2. Automate Your Reflection

A smart mirror with embedded lighting can automatically adjust to different brightnesses and lighting styles based on your needs, and integrated Bluetooth speakers allow you to stream your favorite music while enjoying a hot bath or enjoying the heated toilet seat. 

3. Charging Furniture

Future homes might have a lot fewer cables causing mayhem on end tables and countertops—and all thanks to a fairly unsuspecting source: A wide variety of furniture that charges your electronics.

You can take your pick from couches to end tables, lamps to mail organizers. The choices are vast for furniture that charges your tech. But how do they work? They’re able to plug directly into outlets and have ports scattered throughout in user-friendly places. Some even have charging surfaces you can simply place a compatible machine on top of and watch it go.

 

Moving to a New Town? Here’s How to Get the Scoop on Local Happenings

It must have been frightening, in the days before the internet, to move to a new place that you knew little about. The culture, the people, the things to do–all of these things are now at our fingertips thanks to Google and others.

However, it can still be difficult to get used to a new town, especially if you’re moving far away from your previous home. So, in this article, I’m going to give you some tips on how to investigate your new town. That way, you’ll have a good idea of what kind of things you can do for fun, where to eat, and countless other things you might want to know about the place you’ll soon call home.

The lay of the land

A good place to start your search is on Google Maps. From here you can explore your future neighborhood; find out how close you are to grocery stores, parks, hospitals, and even get an estimate on how long your work commute will take each day.

Since many of these places will have ratings and reviews, you can also take some time to read the reviews for popular places around town.

Eating around town

It can seem like you’re always flipping a coin when you eat at a new restaurant. When you move to a new town, you’ll have to discover new favorite places to eat. However, you don’t have to do these experiments on your own.

Check out Yelp reviews for local restaurants and cafes to get a sense of the pricing and atmosphere. This way you’ll give yourself the best possible chance of enjoying the experience.

Meeting new people

Making friends is hard enough as an adult. In today’s world, many people meet their friends online or through other connections, rather than simply hanging around with their neighbors.

Luckily, sites like Facebook and Meetup make it easier to introduce yourself to like-minded people.

Browse local meetups that you’re interested in, and don’t be afraid to try out a new activity or attend a paint night–you might meet new people and discover a new hobby all at once.

Most towns have a strong presence on Facebook in terms of things like groups and events. Joining local groups will give you an idea of the type of things people do for fun around town and give you a way to introduce yourself to new people.

Read the news

Many towns are covered by a local or regional newspaper. They can often be found online or at a local library or cafe. These newspapers are often the key to discovering the good and the bad about your new home, tipping you off to the things you’ll want to pay attention to when you move.

Floating Shelves Offer Your Space a Streamline Look

 Photo by U.U. via Pixabay

Floating shelves offer your space a more streamlined look. Your walls seem less cluttered, which allows your focus pieces to take center stage.

Because floating shelves require less space than traditional shelves, you can put them anywhere all while maintaining your floor space below. They can be any length you choose — within reason. You can even work around more permanent features like a fireplace, doorway, outlet or window.

You’ll be surprised just how easy and affordable it is to install floating shelves and home much they’ll delight guests and prospective homebuyers alike. You’d expect something this elegant to require specialized tools and a lot of engineering knowledge to avoid collapse. But follow these simple steps and you’ll be enjoying your own in no time.

What you’ll need

  • Floating shelf brackets
  • 20mm paddle drill bit 
  • Electric drill – *Pro Tip* Borrow. Don’t buy unless you do projects like this frequently. 
  • Stain, poly & brushes
  • Palm sander
  • Your hardwood of choice – Poplar, oak, maple, walnut or cherry works great.

How to create floating shelves

Here’s your step-by-step guide.

Measure your space

Determine how large to make your shelves. To achieve a floating effect, avoid stopping them right at the edge of other features. Give it some space. 

*Pro tip* – Mom & Pop hardware and lumber stores will often cut the wood for you, so you don’t have to worry about getting a saw. 

Drill holes for brackets

Each bracket has two 6-inch steel rods. Measure the halfway point between them and mark the wood where it will be against the wall. Drill a 1" wide hole into each shelf edge, 7" deep.

Sand & stain

It’s time to sand and stain. This process is very straight forward. But do this outside because sawdust will fly everywhere. Sanding not only smooths any rough spots. It also helps the shelves hold a more even stain for a flawless finish. 

*Pro tip* Test your stain on an extra piece of the same wood. Stains can be unpredictable depending on the hue of the wood, how it absorbs the dye, etc. You may need to mix two stains to achieve the desired darkness and color.

Find the studs & install brackets

Install brackets directly into the studs, spaced apart to align with the holes that you drilled into your shelves so that the brackets slid easily into those holes.

Arrange your shelves

Place your shelves over the wall brackets. Because of their design, floating shelves can hold significant weight. But that defeats the purpose. Less is more on a floating shelf. So plan and arrange pieces that accentuate each other.

That’s how to build a floating shelf. Follow our blog for more helpful home maintenance and design tips.