You’re ready for more sunlight. You can smell the shift in the air that announces warmer weather. It’s almost time to start thinking about outdoor patio dinners, fresh flowers in the garden beds and lazing about in bare feet.
Aligning your lifestyle and habits with seasonal change is an important part of remaining in sync with nature. It’s also a great tool for keeping your home in good running order. As daylight saving time approaches, consider making these maintenance tasks part of your periodic household switch-out routine.
Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Locate the test button on your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and press it to check each alarm. Be sure to call your central monitoring company first if you have one, so they know it’s just a drill. The American Red Cross recommends changing detector batteries once a year and replacing alarm systems every 10 years.
Change Appliance Filters
Any filter in your home that purifies air or water requires periodic cleaning or switching out to remain effective. Don’t wait until you notice a problem. Consumer Reports cites ease of filter replacement as one of the main things it routinely checks for when testing appliance viability.
You might be surprised how many appliances in your home utilize filter systems. Be sure to check:
Seal Air Leaks
Now that the air in your home is running newly freshened, it’s a good time to check for air seal leakage. Freezing temperatures, snow and ice commonly wear away caulk and weatherstripping around doors and windows.
In preparation for the warmer weather, check for drafts and recaulk, weatherstrip or spray foam insulation to keep the cool air in. You and your family will be in and out of the house a lot in the coming months.
Consider installing door sweeps to block air transfer from steady movement. A poorly insulated door can account for over 20 percent of your home’s energy loss, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That means you’re missing out on cheaper heating and cooling bills, and of course, a more comfortable place to live. Making simple fixes here and there can do wonders to help prevent energy loss.
Clear Out Medicine Cabinets
Cold and flu season can wreak havoc on a medicine chest. Clear out all medications that have expired and any prescription drugs you no longer take. Make sure to use proper disposal methods, as recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Check into local collection sites for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which happens annually in April.
Restock First-Aid Kits
With all the room left over from your medication overhaul, you should have plenty of space to store first-aid and safety items. Warm weather brings bee stings and scraped knees on the playground. Mayo Clinic recommends you restock your first-aid kit with seasonal items such as Band-Aids, aloe vera gel, eyewash solution, tweezers, antiseptic solution and antibiotic ointment.
Additionally, some safety and emergency preparedness items have the potential to be more useful than others during the warmer months. The Red Cross recommends making sure that you stock your home with matches, extra batteries, towels, flashlights and jugs of commercially bottled or distilled water, among other things. Be sure to replace dwindling supplies as needed in travel kits as well as those for use at home.
Flip Your Mattresses
Extend the life of your mattresses by flipping or rotating to help distribute weight evenly. While the sheets are off, grab the vacuum and thoroughly clean the top and sides.
Don’t forget your pillows. Oil from skin and creams, dust mites and dead skin cells can build up. Run stripped pillows through the wash or replace entirely if they're older than two years.
Donate Your Clothing
While you’re boxing up winter jackets and boots, long underwear and heavy sweaters for storage, go through your closets with an eye toward donating clothing that hasn’t been worn in over a year. Decluttering is less intimidating when it’s done piecemeal, and there’s no better place to start than acloset that's already partially cleared out.
Clean Out Your Oven
Before those outdoor patio dinners made on the grill begin in earnest, clean your oven and put it to bed for the summer prepped and ready for fall holiday baking. Gently scrape off built-up residue before starting the self-clean cycle, and wipe down thoroughly when finished.
Are you ready to get out and start walking on sunshine? Because your house is now in full-out spring-forward mode.
It may be time to update your decor.
A Trulia survey released in December reports only 6 percent of homeowners plan to sell their home in 2018, though 16 percent say they plan to sell in the next two years, which means renovations will likely be on the rise in the coming year. Whether you’re renovating your home for yourself, updating your home to sell it or simply want to spice up a living space that you rent, you’ll see some new trends entering the interior design field this year – and others easing out of the spotlight. Here’s what to keep an eye out for in 2018.Spaces are getting more flexible.
Spaces are getting more flexible.
The open floor plan still remains popular for many homebuyers, but a wide-open box layout is being left behind. Lee Crowder, design gallery and model branding manager for Darling Homes, a subsidiary of homebuilder Taylor Morrison Inc. based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, says many buyers of new homes enjoy having dedicated spaces for sitting areas or dining, but they also want the flexibility to personalize. Where there was once a cutout area clearly meant for the TV, Crowder says, many floor plans are beginning to welcome more variety based on individual preference. “We shouldn’t really be telling buyers where to put their furniture and how to do it,” Crowder says. “They should be able to come and envision the space with their furniture.”Midcentury modern inspiration will take a back seat.
Midcentury modern inspiration will take a back seat.
The design movement from the mid-20th century made a comeback around the time that "Madmen" became a hit TV show on AMC, and it has stuck around since. While the clean lines and simple utility have become a classic part of design, you can expect to see fewer midcentury modern pieces in interior design in the near future. “Midcentury modern is on the precipice of settling down a little bit,” says Corey Damen Jenkins, an interior designer based in Birmingham, Michigan. “It’ll remain with us, but I think we’ll be looking at some other influences in that same genre.” Expect to see some pieces of midcentury furniture, such as chairs or a coffee table, stick around to mix with more traditional design.Embrace traditional nouveau design.
Embrace traditional nouveau design.
In place of midcentury modern, expect more traditional nouveau inspiration, with a nod toward neoclassicism and older design styles that also incorporates a more eclectic feel pulling from art nouveau decor. “The pendulum’s kind of coming back more towards traditional design,” Jenkins says. You can expect more antique pieces of furniture, but with a “nod toward the future,” he says. Jenkins says clients are looking to incorporate something like an 18th-century credenza, but then paint it in a brighter color.Wood floors are here to stay, but changing.
Wood floors are here to stay, but changing.
Don’t worry – shag carpet is not coming back. Wood floors will remain the focus of flooring in many homes, whether it's reclaimed pine, bamboo or engineered wood. But Crowder says buyers of new homes are moving away from dark, ebony woods and opting for lighter options. “We’re seeing a really wide plank – probably a 7- to 5-inch plank – in a lighter finish,” Crowder says. Greige – a combination of gray and beige – is a more popular option for many wood floors, she says.Trim around the interior gets simple.
Trim around the interior gets simple.
Another departure in new-build homes is opting out of crown molding, Crowder says, which has been a buyer preference for years. While baseboards, positioned where the wall and floor meet, remain fairly wide in buyer preference, there’s no added frill or flair to the design. “It’s pretty refreshing to see this simple style come through,” Crowder says. She adds that buyers, in many cases, are opting to paint the baseboard the same color as the walls, so there’s “not that pop of white trim” that’s been standard for a long time.Brown decor returns.
Brown decor returns.
Beige may not be back quite yet, but you can expect to see more brown colors in decor than in previous years, when gray has been the primary neutral color. “I do see chocolate and brown becoming a bit more powerful,” Jenkins says. He notes that earth tones are never too far away in interior design, as they create a level of comfort simply because they appear naturally around us. “They’re soothing, they’re sexy and people can just relate to them,” he says.Expect more jewel tones and bright colors.
Expect more jewel tones and bright colors.
Neutrals and earth tones aside, you can expect to see some more pops of color in design in 2018. Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2018 was announced as Ultraviolet. In a press release about the choice, the Pantone Color Institute noted the deep purple color “communicates originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.” But purple won’t be the only color making an appearance this year, as Jenkins says jewel tones and bright colors are also coming in to liven up rooms more. Neutrals will still be there, he says, “but putting [in] that emerald green and the orange, it’s very fresh and vibrant.”Rose gold days are over.
Rose gold days are over.
The popularity of the gold color with a pink hue took over jewelry, light fixtures and even iPhones, but designers are seeing an end to rose gold – and they’re pretty happy about it. “Rose gold is done. Rose gold should never have begun,” Jenkins says. Instead, gold of the nonrose variety and brass are coming back into style for light fixtures and hardware in kitchens and bathrooms.Feel free to mix metals.
Feel free to mix metals.
Hopefully you haven’t decked every piece of metal in your home in rose gold, but you also don’t have to be concerned about completely redesigning your house to meet new interior design trends in metals. Instead, Crowder says, it’s OK to have a more eclectic mix. “People are not going to completely redo their whole home in brass light fixtures, but you can redo the hardware in the kitchen and maybe keep your old bronze light fixtures,” Crowder says. The trend toward mixed metals has been becoming more popular in recent years, and in conjunction with other trends, this is a nod to simplicity of design without everything having to perfectly match.Read More