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How To Arrange Furniture in an Awkward Living Room

Getting a home, whether owned or not, gives us the feeling of excitement and nervousness at the same time. It could mean that you are starting anew with something and having a new home is part of that.

Of course, for a place to be your home, you will have to add your own touch to it. This means you will be choosing furniture and decor that will fit your personality. And because it is your home, you need it to be a place where you will be happy and relaxed.

It is not that easy to decorate though. You will have to choose things that complement each other, and should also consider the placements because it might affect the materials you will look for or already have. Then of course, if you are renting or buying a house, you may encounter a room that is oddly shaped. This will affect how you arrange your furniture, and renovation is out of the question because of the expenses. 

Here are some of those cases and tips on how to arrange furniture in them.

1. Long and Narrow

Because the room is long, you can divide the space. You could have a seating area for entertainment then the other could be your home office or another seating area for reading or a corner for a one-on-one conversation. And because it is narrow, you could have the pieces of furniture smaller, so it will not take up much of the space and cause traffic especially if many people would be around.

2. L-Shaped

Just like above, you can divide the space. The other side will be automatically your seating area then the other could be a dining area. Even if you already have one, you can have this exclusive for your guests so that way, they will not need to transfer further. Another idea would be having a mini library. This would be great if you collect books and have it on shelves and maybe create a small sitting corner for you to enjoy them.

3. Cramped

This is usually the problem for small apartments especially the studio-type. It seems like there will be no space for everything. One solution is not to have large furniture that will take up space. Instead, have the alternative space-saving furniture that is available. You can have furniture that also doubles as storage like an ottoman. You can have daybeds that will be handy if you have a studio-type apartment or a sleeping space for your visitors. You can also eliminate the sofa but have the alternative seats instead. Comfort does not have to be with the big pieces. You just have to be creative with them.

4. Awkward Corners

This is when the room is full of niched corners. Not only does it look awkward, but it would also be dangerous at times too. The solution to this is placing shelves or racks that will cover them up. You can also have that as another seating corner with a table.

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How To Clean A Charcoal Grill

Having barbecue parties is fun especially during the summer. You can have your friends and family over and grill some steaks and hotdogs with some side dishes such as salads or sandwiches. 

But you have to clean your charcoal as part of ongoing maintenance, and also for it to function well. It may be additional work, but it is necessary or else your food might not be cooked very well.

How often will you need to clean your grill? Is it only during summers when in use? How about other times? Well, charcoal grills build up rust and ash, so you need to have them cleaned once during grilling season at the very least or more if you use them frequently. Always scrape the built-up crust and remove ash for maintenance. Also, have the grill itself oiled when in use to avoid food sticking to it.

How do you clean a charcoal grill?

Equipment

The first thing you need to know is the equipment that will be used for cleaning. You will need cleaning instruments such as brushes or sponges. This also includes cleaning solutions, and you should avoid the toxic ones because it will affect the food you will cook. A simple mix of warm water and dish soap then also paste of vinegar and baking soda are enough. Then you will also need trash bags for the charcoals and debris.

Lids

Lids are advised to be cleaned often to avoid the collection of grease and smoke. You can do this by simply wiping it with soap and water solution after use.

Grates

Grates should be cleaned before cooking. Have it heated for about 15 minutes then use a stainless steel brush to remove the debris. This way, you will not stick to the grill. Aluminum foil is also an excellent scrubber for the grate.

Bowl and Ash Catcher

The bowl should be brushed or wiped with any debris with a mild detergent soap or glass cleaner. Be sure to have the ash catcher emptied too.

Additional Tip: You can also do some pressure cleaning for your grill to make things easier. Just make sure you know how to use your washer.

How to maintain a charcoal grill?

It was asked before how often grills should be cleaned, but maintenance is also a must so how should that be performed?

At the end of the grilling season

a. Always remove and dispose of the ashes.

b. Clean your grill.

c. Oil the grate.

d. Cover it to protect from weather and seasons to come.

At the beginning of the grilling season

a. If there are any excess ashes, remove them.

b. Wash your grill.

c. Stock the charcoal.

3. During the grilling season

a. Always check if you have a supply of charcoal.

b. Clean your grill once in a while especially if it is used often especially the grates.

c. Brush your grates before and after grilling so that debris will easily loosen.

d. Always oil the grate to avoid the food sticking. It also helps prevent any rusting. It also adds flavor to the food you are cooking.

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Furniture Layout For A Rectangular Living Room With A Fireplace

To decorate your home is one of the crucial points in having your own. It is not just about having a touch and showing off your personality but also having it look pleasing to the eye. It is certainly not an easy task. You would have to choose the right color, decor, and furniture. And it does not end with that. You would also need to have to perfect layout to arrange those.

Sometimes, there will be added problems having your room much longer, and you have no idea how to make up for space. What if there is also a fireplace? Sure, it is a nice addition to have at your house, but it is an added factor to your arrangement.

For that matter, here are some suggestions that will work for your living room:

Balance

With this, you can have the fireplace as your focal point. Then maybe have one large sofa in the middle with an equal amount of chairs and side tables at the side and have the television beside the fireplace and another shelf or rack on the other side. You could also have two large sofas on each side instead of chairs. No matter what it will be, having the pieces of furniture symmetrical is pleasing and always works.

Zones and Corners

A way to maximize space is having two purposes. You can still have the living room on the other side, but the other can be different. It can work, you just have to be creative with it. You can either have the fireplace as the divider if it is placed right in the middle. If not, you can always have it on the living room side.

Here are some examples that you can divide your living room with:

Workspace

If you are a person who works at home or takes home their work, this will be great for you. While the other side is for relaxation and entertaining guests, you can place a desk with your computer or laptop at the other or even just a corner that will be enough for you. It will depend on what your job will be, but you can place some essentials in your reach.

Dining area

The most common solution for small spaces is having the living room and dining room as one. It is also handy because these are the places you entertain your guests with, so they will be easily transferred places if there are dinner or lunch parties. You can also do this even if you already have a dining room. It could be a space that is exclusive when guests come over.

Another small seating area

You can have the main living room then have a corner either for reading or a private corner that you can have talks. You can also separate an entertainment area from the seating area.

Kid’s corner

If you have kids, it will be handy to give them a playpen with their toys. This way, you can watch them more closely. This is also helpful to have your kids on playdates or if your visitors will have kids too.

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How To Clean Your Outdoor Furniture

Relaxing does not always have to be done inside. In fact, it is a great opportunity for you to catch some sun and be with nature. The problem at times though is that either you do not have the time or money for it. But you do not have to go that far for you can do it just outside your home in your backyard or patio. Just sit around and observe your surroundings like your garden or the trees around. But of course, cleaning would be required when you have something outside and that includes the furniture. Because it is outside, it is most likely prone to be dirt and dust. 

All pieces of furniture are made from different materials, therefore, cleaning is done in different ways.

Wood

Mostly, wooden furniture would likely consist of grime and in order to remove them, you will just need an oil-based soap mixed with warm water. You can also use the ammonia, vinegar, and water solution. You can also purchase commercial wood cleaners but be sure to read the instructions first when using them. Hardwoods are required to be sanded. It can be done after cleaning, but it is also advisable to do it once a year with the application of coating for protection.

Metal

Metals are prone to rust so as you are cleaning them, watch out for those potential rust spots and be sure to take care of them first before anything. You can remove them by using white vinegar and water solution or metal polishing paste. Do not use chemicals that cause oxidation. To avoid rusts, sand your furniture and add rust-resistant paint. Add rust-resistant primer before that. Then apply a coat of automotive wax.

Plastic

You will just need a mild cleanser for plastics. You can make your own by just mixing water and soap dish. Avoid chemicals such as chlorine or bleach that eat away the plastic. Also, watch out for cleaners that scratch the plastic. Abrasive cleaners do this. For protection, add a coat of automotive paste wax. 

Wicker

Before getting wicker wet, it is required to some pre-cleaning. Have something like a brush to loosen the dirt or grime. The cleaning process for wicker is the same as wood (wiping it with solutions) but requires it to be more diluted. Have the wickers hosed down every few weeks or so to avoid dirt build-up. You can also wipe it regularly for added protection and prevention.

Glass

The pieces of furniture that are made of glass are most often tables. The best way to clean them is simply by wiping them with home cleaning solutions or dish detergent. Be sure to use a microfiber cloth or dishtowel to avoid scratches. You can cover them when not in use to be protected.

Fabric

Fabrics involve the seat covers and cushions. Seat covers can be machine washed if you desire. Cushions, on the other hand, should be regularly dusted by shaking them out or clapping them together. If they are small enough, they can be machine washed. If not, they are done by hand and scrubbed with a brush. They are also air-dried under the sun.

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Living Room Seating Ideas Without a Sofa

Having a small space has more advantages than we think. The first would be it is less difficult to clean because there are fewer rooms and spaces. It is also cozy and intimate, so it is a lot easier to have conversations with your friends and family. 

The downside is definitely the lack of space. You will not be able to splurge on furniture and decor because they might not fit in your home. You might need to be a minimalist even if it is not really your style. But it does not always have to be that way. You just have to be creative. You do not need to always follow the equation. You can have your own rules when comes to your home. For example, you do not have to have all of the needed furniture. You can just have an airbed for your bedroom or a sofa bed, so you could also have it as a home office. 

As for your living room, you do not need to have a sofa. There are many alternatives that you can take but still make your living room look cozy and welcoming. In addition, they do not add more space. Here some of them:

1. Floor Cushions and Bean Bags

You can definitely do it in a traditional Asian style where floor seating is not new and unusual. You can even have it styled that way with Asian-inspired floor cushions and a small coffee table. You could also go to Bohemian style with various patterns and a carefree look and feel. It does not have to be only floor cushions. You could Aldo get bean bags and nowadays, there are various styles you could choose that will fit not only personality but also your lifestyle. 

2. Daybed

A daybed is great to have when you often have visitors spending the night. This way, even if you do not have any guest room, you will not need to have extra airbeds that will take up space. They can still have a sleeping space then you can also have it as a seat during the day. This is also handy if your home is a studio type. You do not need to have a separate space as a bedroom. Instead, you can have the living room during the day then set it up as a bedroom at bedtime.

3. Lounge

Like a daybed, lounges are also versatile. They can be used as a seat but can also be a place for sleeping in. It is also less hassle than a daybed for it does not need any transformations to be one. Just add some pillows and a blanket, and it is done.

4. Chairs

Chairs do not have to be always the hard and uncomfortable types that we usually see. You can be stylish with easy chairs. If you want more comfort, there are a lot of armchairs available. You can even find ones that are convertible and turns into a bed, so another sleeping place option for you. Then you will just add some simple ottoman in the middle as a table or even as an extra seat, and your living room is ready.

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How To Clean a Concrete Patio

Entertaining guests does not have to be always done inside the house. In fact, there are various tips for this. Having a backyard or pool for barbecues will surely be an experience for them. With this, it would be beneficial for you to have a patio. You can also have dinner or lunch parties with it. You can also have your meals in it from time to time for some change. 

A patio can be built with different materials, but it also has different costs and durability. Concrete is one of the most popular choices because of its versatility and adaptability. Add to that, it also costs less than the others but durable enough.

1. Clear the Patio

But of course, like anything in your house, you have to maintain it and clean it regularly. Surely, clean concrete is definitely good for the eyes. With these simple steps, you can definitely do the cleaning on your own:

The first thing you need to do is clear your patio. Put the furniture and plants out of the way. If there are appliances such as a grill and toys of your kids or pets, put them in a safe place. After that, you can sweep or use a leaf blower in removing dirt and leaves. Then wash your concrete with a hose.

2. Mix the Cleaning Solutions

Then it is time to mix the solutions you will use. There are three solutions you can use. First is the baking soda and bleach paste that is good for stains. If you want more environmentally friendly, vinegar and baking soda paste will be good for that. For the smaller areas, have vinegar, salt, and water in a spray bottle to apply it on your targeted zones.

3. Clean

Before you do your clean, protect the nearby plants by hosing them with water or covering them. Then, apply the solution and let it sit for a while. Then scrub it with a brush. Use one that has a long handle, so it will be easier and comfortable. For deeper stains and mildews, be sure to use the right solution for it. This may also require to let the solution sit in longer. Another alternative would be using a pressure washer to be more convenient especially for tougher stains and molds. Just be sure you know how to use it because it might affect or even damage your concrete. Also, be aware of the solutions you will use with it because some of them are damaging to the washer. Another thing to watch out for is the nearby plants. The high pressure might destroy them.

4. Rinse

After all of that, rinse away the solutions from the concrete. If the nearby plant is not covered, have them sprayed with more water. Then let the concrete dry. If you want, you can apply a sealer to provide more protection from future stains. Once it is all dry, you can rearrange your patio and is ready for use again.

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How To Combine Your Living and Dining Room Together In Small Spaces

You do not really need a big place to be able to bond with your family and friends that is why a small home is nice to have. It is enough for you to start. It is cozy and intimate which is good for conversations and catching ups. 

But of course, the downside of it is the lack of space. You have to get used to having a minimalist lifestyle for your small space does not bear much. One of the ways in maximizing the space is having two rooms in one. You could have your home office in your bedroom. There will not be any guest rooms and visitors opt to sleep in the living room instead. But one of the tricky parts is having the living room and dining room as one. Sure, it is not as bad as it sounds because both rooms are the usual place to have gatherings and entertain guests. But how would you have them separated? With these tips, you will be able to maximize your space but still having two separate uses.

Furniture

When it comes to furniture, the fewer the better, so it will not take that much space. You can have the basic ones for both rooms. You could have tables and chairs for the dining room then a sofa and maybe a few more seats and a table for the living room. Even if it is just a few, why not look for comfortable furniture that will make you relax and also welcoming for your guests. Another tip is getting furniture that is smaller in size, so you could accommodate to both rooms.

Decor and Theme

Decors are essential for the room to look pleasing to the eye. So, how will work when the room is divided into two purposes? The solution to that is to have coordinating decors. You can up with a theme that will be good for both rooms. It could be something simple like having them color coordinated. You could also do something about the interior style and in order to do that, the furniture is going to be a factor. An example is if you have contemporary furniture for your living room, it is advisable to have your dining room have contemporary furniture too, so they will match. You could also make a theme. A very good example is making it look like a cafe, and it will be nice since cafes are known for being cozy.

Wall Color

Make sure that the color you will choose matches for both the dining room and living room. It is said that light colors, such as white and cream, will help enlarge the room at least visually. This would make the room look less cramped. Add to that, these colors are easy to coordinate with furniture for they are neutral. When you want to pick something else, be sure that it will put the room together and not clash.

Lighting

Lighting will also help with having the room visually large. You could add lamps all around to make it brighter. As for the overhead lights, you can have designs that will match the overall design of the room.

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How To Clean A Wood Deck Naturally

A home is a nice way to show your personality. In fact, it is said that you usually show your true self when you are at home. So the decorations and style of your house most likely speak about you. And this applies to both the interior and exterior of the house. Some would tend to get more focus on the inside, but it is the outside of the house that people will see. That is why they make an effort in beautifying the backyard and adding something on the outside. One of those is the wooden deck. It is simple but adds a lot of character. Of course, like any other part of the house, you need to know how to maintain it and to maintain it, you will have to clean them.

It might sound intimidating but with these following steps, you can definitely do it by yourself.

1. Prepare

First off is to clear your deck. Remove anything that will get in your way from cleaning like potted plants or tables or chairs. If needed, you can cover them if you think they will need protection.

2. Sweep

After clearing the area, sweep the deck and stairs for any debris. Look also for cobwebs and remove them.

3. Wash

Now it is time to wash your deck. It can be done in different ways. But before that, you must pre-treat stains, algae, and molds first. It should be done by appropriate chemicals. If this will not be done first, they might come back sooner. Then after that, you can now wash your deck. It could be by a regular hose but be sure to have your deck rinsed thoroughly. Another option and more efficient is by a power washer. Just be sure that you know the instructions on how to use it. It tends to get too powerful that it can remove paint. If you are planning to do that, then having a power washer is more useful for you now. Not only the power may impact you in using it will also affect and damage the wood that could cause splintering and fraying if you use it with much power so be sure you know the proper technique and how to use the power washer.

4. Clean

After washing, it is time to clean your deck. There are different kinds of cleaning solutions you can use. In choosing though, you will need to consider something that will not damage your wood. It is also important to use a product that will not be harmful to you, your family, and even your pets. Use a long-handled brush in applying the solution and leave it for a while. Then after that, be sure to rinse thoroughly, removing the solution very well.

5. Seal

After all that, you will need to seal your deck for protection from ultraviolet light and prevention of forming mold and mildew and also from water damage. You will just have to purchase a sealer. You can have a waterproof one for more effectivity. Apply it according to instructions. After that, you can now place your tables, chairs, plants, and other decorations back.

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Large Living Room Layout Ideas

There is something therapeutic with arranging your own room. You will get to decide the best place to have your furniture. You will be the one to choose the color scheme. You will also be able to add your own decorations. Whatever you do, you will add your personal touch that will reflect who and what you are.

It is not that easy though especially if your living room is large. The problem with it is that the living room will not look too cozy. What can you do with all of those spaces? Will you leave them bare? Maybe you can make your room look smaller? Here are some tips that will help you on how you will arrange your large living room:

Color

If you are thinking of wanting to make your room look smaller, painting your walls in a darker shade can do that. Patterns also can create an illusion. Wainscoting or masquerading is also one of the good solutions for this.

Texture

Like the color, texture can also create an illusion regarding the size. So, if you want to make it look bigger than it is, glossy and polished will work for that. If not, have a more rough look that can be done with wallpapers and the flooring.

Furniture

When it comes to large spaces, the division is the key. You can have a focal point, such as a television or a fireplace then have a large sofa and table right in the middle then have some other nice furniture on the side of it. You can arrange them symmetrically if you want. Two smaller seats at each side with side tables and shelves to fill up space. Some will opt to have another function like making a smaller seating area in the corner for reading or working. 

Decor

To make good use of the height, you will need to decide on the perfect curtains. Long curtains can be the key to this, and you can hang them higher than the window frames if it does not fit then place a shelf or any other framed decor to distract from them. A simple solution with your bare walls would be putting large framed pictures or artwork. Just make sure you know how to balance it with your furniture and the color of your room. Another item that will not only add up to your space but also put added interest and design is a large rug. You could either have one that will cover the entirety of your floor. But if you are planning to have your room in section, you can use multiple rugs that will fit those.

Lighting

The usual main light feature of a large living room is a chandelier. Be sure it is not too big to be distracting or too small that is barely noticed. Large rooms often come with large windows, so natural light during the day will not be a problem. You can make use of the space to add more lamps, so it will be more illuminated during the night. Corners and side seating will be a perfect place for them.

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How To Clean Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is one part of your house that will make it look attractive. The downside for this though is the maintenance required and it should be done occasionally. Over time, it will gather dirt and mold, and your exterior will not look good. It is not that hard though. With these easy steps, you can definitely do it like a pro.

Preparation

Before you start cleaning, you have things to prepare first to avoid potential risks.

1. Examine

Go around your home and see if there are loose boards. This might have an impact on how you will clean them. Also, it might be an additional task for you in the future.

2. Safety

Safety gear starts with your clothing. It should be comfortable for you to easily move around with closed-toe shoes. Then for protection, you would need rubber gloves, safety goggles for your eyes, and a face mask so that you will not breathe in the fumes. If there are objects in the way like furniture, move it away. Also, cover the plants for they might get damaged from solutions that will be used. Be sure to have electrical objects such as lights and outlets covered with plastic sheets and duct tapes. To avoid water entering inside the house, close the doors and windows. If you are planning to use a ladder, have someone with you to hold it for additional safety.

3. Cleaner Solution

Cleaner for vinyl siding is actually easy to prepare. But before that, you should check if your siding has mold and mildew on it because it might need a different solution and deeper cleaning. There are three types of solutions that you can choose to use. It could be as simple as soap and water, and this will be already effective. If you think you need something tougher, you can use bleach mixed with water though it could be more harmful and harsh. For other options, you can also use vinegar mixed in water.

Cleaning

After the preparations, it is now time to clean. There are two ways to do this:

1. Cleaning by Hand

You can do it in the old fashioned way. You just have to gather the needed materials which consist of sponge, bucket, and solution. If it has tougher stains, you might want to use a bristle brush. Do it by sections, so you would know what needs to be cleaned more than the others. Be sure to be gentle because added pressure might cause damage to the vinyl. For rinsing, you can use a hose.

2. Cleaning by Pressure Washer

To make cleaning easier and faster, people tend to use power tools. One is the pressure washer. Unlike doing it by hand which is more tiring and time-consuming, using a pressure washer is not and produces a greater result at times. The problem is that it can cause damage if not used properly. So the first thing you need to do is learn how to operate your pressure washer. Read the manual and ask for recommendations. Learn also what kind of solutions are allowed to be mixed in the pressure water. Bleach is not allowed for it will damage it. For rinsing, just use a regular hose or buckets of water for it does not require high pressure.