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October 2019
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December 2019

How to Reduce the Risk of Fire While Heating Your Home


As the weather begins to get colder, many people inevitably need to find ways to stay warm during the autumn and winter months. While heating equipment can be useful in keeping your home at a comfortable temperature, it is important to remember that these devices can sometimes pose a safety risk. The following are a few ways that you can reduce the risk of fire when heating your house.

1. Keep Chimneys and Fireplaces Clean and Supervised

If your home has a fireplace, this can be a convenient, and beautiful, way to provide warmth to the area. However, you need to be very careful when using this method. Loose embers can cause a fire that may begin to spread, so it is best to use fireplaces only when they are properly supervised. Keeping the area clean will reduce the chances of a chimney fire.

2. Plug Devices Into a Wall Outlet

While a power strip can be useful when you need to power many devices at once, these are best left to items that do not use a large amount of electricity. Plugging your heating equipment into a power strip can cause it to overheat, melt, and start a fire. Instead, always use a wall outlet for your heating devices. You may want to avoid plugging anything else into the same outlet as well.

3. Maintain Your HVAC System

Using a central heating system is often the safest option, but that does not mean it is without its own share of risks. When lint or dust begins to build up, it is possible that these materials could contribute to a fire. Damaged wires or heating parts can become a hazard as well. For this reason, it is important to have inspection and maintenance done regularly.

4. Keep the Area Around Devices Clear

No matter what kind of equipment you are using, you should be sure to always keep the surrounding area free of flammable materials. Liquids such as gasoline and alcohol are highly combustible and should be removed from the area. You should also avoid placing items such as papers, cloth and wood too close to your heaters. If you are using central heating, make sure there is nothing covering the vents.

5. Turn Off Devices Before Going Out or Sleeping

While the idea of returning home to a cold house or waking up to a chilly bedroom may not seem appealing, it is a much better choice than the alternative. If you are not around or awake to keep an eye on your devices, then it is best for you to turn them off. Unattended devices can overheat or create sparks that result in a fire. If you are not able to react quickly, then it could cause a large amount of damage to your home and can compromise the safety of you and your family.

While many home fires are the result of using heating equipment in the house, you do not need to be afraid to keep your house warm. If you take the right precautions, you can stay comfortable while remaining safe, no matter how you choose to heat your home.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Dawn Peterson

4 DIYs for the Laundry Room


If your laundry room is anything like mine, it’s sort of a mess. The laundry room is definitely not the most glamorous room in the house. But it deserves some credit. It’s where those stinky clothes get washed, where the kids’ backpacks get hung, and where I hide the dog when visitors come over. There are several ways to tidy up the laundry room, here are 4 DIYs to organize and beautify your laundry room.

1: Countertop Over Your Washer and Dryer

This DIY only works with front loading washers and dryers, but if you do have front loading machines, this DIY has a lot of practical and visual uses. It’s pretty common practice to store things on top of the washer and dryer, but this can make the laundry room look messy, crowded, and maybe even cheap. Installing a countertop above the washer and dryer gives you a proper place to store your detergents and fabric softners. Plus, if you go with a beautiful wooden countertop it can help establish a rustic aesthetic in your laundry room.

2: Wooden Pallet Hat and Coat Rack

Every laundry room needs to have a sturdy coat rack, especially if that room is being used to store backpacks. This DIY repurposes wooden pallets to create a rustic hat and coat rack. All you need is a pallet or two, which you can buy from Challenger Pallet and Supply, some coat hangers, nails, and paint. The nice thing about creating your own coat rack is that you can customize it to fit your exact needs. You can install the perfect amount of coat hangers. You could even use some paint to write everyone’s names above their hanger to give it a personalized touch.

3: Drying Rack

Most clothes can be dried in the dryer, but there are always a few delicate items that really should be air dried. I use to always air dry my delicate clothes on the back of my couch, but it was such a pain to leave them there as they dried. A drying rack gives you a space, that’s tucked out of the way, that’s dedicated to only air drying clothes. Installing a drying rack in the laundry room makes a lot of practical sense. It may not be the prettiest edition to your laundry room but it’s small and won’t catch too much attention, and I believe its usefulness far outweighs its lack of good looks.

4: Folding Table

I’m not talking about the cheap folding table you keep in storage, I mean install a table dedicated to folding clothes. I typically just fold my clothes on the couch or the bed, but lacking a hard surface to fold on sometimes irritates me. Plus, if I’m being honest, my freshly folded clothes normally sit on the couch for a while before they actually get put away. If you have the space in your laundry room, installing a folding table can help you get your laundry room more organized. Plus it’s easy to take your clothes from the dryer straight to the folding table. And, if you’re like me, if you can’t bring yourself to put away all those clothes after folding them, at least they’ll stay hidden in the laundry room and not take up half of your couch.

partnered post • image by Dan Gold and Unsplash

H&H Maher Clock 2

George Washington Maher was one of the central figures of America’s Prairie movement, and was known for blending traditional A&C design with the wider uninterrupted lines of the Prairie aesthetic. Along with Wright, his interiors were just as impressive as his exteriors, and unlike Wright, he was a very competent engineer, too.

Recently, the artisans at Fair Oaks Workshop came up with a very attractive mantel clock design that channels Maher’s aesthetic. It’s under $200 and gorgeous – a perfect holiday gift for anyone who is a fan of Prairie and Arts & Crafts style.

4 Things to Be Aware of & 3 Things to Ignore When Searching for the Perfect Home


Searching for the perfect home can sometimes feel like finding a needle in a haystack. Your wishlist has needs that you aren’t willing to give up on… like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. While you might be concerned with your wishlist, there are some things you need to be especially aware of, while some things you can ignore. 



It’s pretty difficult to move a house, so be aware of the location when you tour. If it’s close to a highway or busy intersection, the home may have decreased value. Likewise, if it adds to your morning commute or isn’t in a good school zone, you may want to look somewhere else. 

Floor Plan

A floor plan isn’t an easy change. Although HGTV shows make fixer-uppers look easy, they’re not. Changing the floor plan of your home will lead to extra costs, extra waiting time before moving in, and extra resources. If you aren’t up for the challenge, move on to a different home with a floor plan you can work with. 

House Age

Old homes don’t always have problems, and if you are looking for history and charm, they’ll most likely have it. However, old homes are more likely to have lead pipes, termites, or other repairs. You may want to make sure you aren’t in over your head before bidding on an old home--you don’t want to accidentally sign up for a fixer-upper. 

Lot Size

If you are 100% set on having rolling acres of fields for your backyard, stop touring quarter-acre plots. Let your realty agent know how much land you expect so they can only show you the best homes for your wishlist and budget. If along with lot size, you are also worried about the view, consider looking at homes at for gorgeous property along green expanses of a golf course.


Paint / Wall Paper

While bright or drab walls can sometimes feel overpowering, they mislead buyers from truly being interested in a worthy home. Odd paint and wallpaper adorning the walls is an easy fix. Plus, if you mention that you’ll need to paint the walls, you may be able to knock a few hundred bucks off the asking price. 

Curb Appeal

When you get to the front step of a new house to tour, keep an open mind. While the current residents may have left their lawn to the elements, it doesn’t mean you have to. Imagine the home with new landscaping, window boxes, and shutters, and you might have found the perfect home. 


Carpet can seem like a big deal. So when you walk into a room with hideous shag carpet covered in hair, don’t panic. Carpet, like paint, is actually a simple fix that can help you negotiate the price to a lower offer. Replacing carpet isn’t very time consuming, plus, you’ll get to appreciate the brand new flooring in your home instead of living with worn-out carpet. 

Before you decide to buy a house, make a list of your priorities--what does this house need and what can you sacrifice? Let your agent know what you expect so they can help you find the perfect new match for you.

partnered post • image by Marten Bjork on Unsplash