Creating a homeschool space in your house plan

Many families have made the choice to homeschool their children. When you first make this decision you may feel a little lost and not certain what will be the best environment for learning for your children. Some people choose to find individual desks for each of the children to utilize, while others decide to use open tables and offer other storage options and overall utilize a more shared workspace.

When preparing your homeschool space consider the following ideas:

Book Storage

Homeschooling usually brings about a need for additional book storage space. If you are instructing multiple children at different education levels you may want to organize the books, by reading level or subject, to make the selection of books more easily accessible.

Creative Space

Having a creative workspace is a good place for the imagination to grow. In this area, you may want to make available craft items, art supplies, old magazines or other project type items to allow the mind to be creative throughout the day.

Work Space

Having a functional workspace is an important part of homeschooling. While having a desk is needed for some daily activities, the beauty of homeschooling is having the freedom to go outside on sunny days and setting up a workspace under the trees, like having a picnic. Maybe you want to incorporate a regular desk area and have storage drawers labeled with the subjects. This will allow the desk area to stay clean and organized. You may also want to incorporate a flex space to be used some during the week.

Make sure you have enough space for document storage. Throughout the year you may choose to scan documents and have them saved on your computer or other devices; you may also need filing cabinets, boxes of totes to be used for school related documents you may need.

Of course, there are many things to think about when it comes to designing your homeschool areas, make sure to include your children and get their perspective, this will allow the spaces to be properly planned out and enjoyed through the year.

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Boho style Rebound

If you are looking for a new theme within your home décor – instead of the classic lines and design styles, with bold lines and conservative furnishings, why not consider the Boho style.

Boho style lends itself to more curved lines, an overall relaxed environment and bright, fun colors. You may want to consider adding this themed décor in your bedroom, bathroom or everyday indoor/outdoor living space. There are unique décor accents to compliment this style throughout your home:

In the bedroom you may choose to add a mosaic designed wall hanging as a centerpiece to any wall. Possibly incorporate some vibrant colored curtains hanging down from the ceilings, and soft fluffy pillows and throws to adorn the bed. If you want to create a unique curtain, rip sections of materials, denim, old quilts or other curtains and group them together to give a new one of a kind look.

For your bathroom, whether the space is small or not, the overall design can be just as effective. Find a large mirror and spray paint it to match the color pallet in your area. This vibrant splash of color over your vanity will make the room pop. You can add embellishments to the frame of the mirror to add some flair. Maybe incorporate an old wood CD case converted to a wall hanging where you can show off your indoor succulents. Unique Iron lanterns found at stores like Pier 1 imports, World Market or Wayfair can be incorporated to add soft candlelight. As you begin designing your bathroom space you are sure to find some interesting décor to bring it all together.

If you aren’t a fan of the vibrant colors in your living room space, try to incorporate some of the softer pastel colors. With the influx of barn wood and shiplap accented walls you can blend in soft hues of yellow, pink or blue and create a relaxing space you are sure to enjoy. Dream catchers made with recycled materials and grandma’s doilies create nice accents to include in this space. Check these out on Pinterest – which is a great place to use for visual resources until you find the perfect design that works in the space you are decorating.

Kids love big soft, fluffy pillows, vibrant colors and unique art. Creating a kid friendly family space might be the most fun space in the house to create. This space would be a great place to hang out and play board games, video games, a good space to just pile up and read a book or maybe have an area where they can paint or be encouraged to be creative. Allowing the kids to participate in the design of this space will prove to be an area everyone will enjoy throughout the year!

When searching for the perfect decor – check out your local Flea market, Thrift shop or yard sales to find the perfect pieces to incorporate within your new bohemian style décor. You are sure to have fun as you spruce up your new finds and give them a new home in a space you will find extremely relaxing.

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After the Storm

Damage after hurricanes, tornados or other extreme weather, including hail and excessive winds have the potential to create a daunting clean up. Upon the aftermath, having a plan in place will help you to streamline the clean up process and soon bring your home and surrounding area back to normal.

As you know, home ownership comes with tasks to maintain your home and keep your investment secure. A few things which may need your attention after a storm include:

Identifying and Repairing Roof Damage

During a storm, where hail or possible high winds are present, there may be damage to your roof. You can quickly see if this is a possibility by looking in the yard to see if loose shingles have made their way to the ground, or in some cases you can look at the roof and identify where loose shingles have shifted. You may also see ping damage to your shingles, when heavy hail has occurred. Ignoring roof damage can result in other problems if left un-repaired, so make sure you handle the repairs in a timely manner.

Trimming Trees

It is a good idea to trim trees throughout the year, as needed, so in the event a storm arrives you do not have to lose limbs or encounter unwanted damage that could have been prevented. Regardless, if you have damaged trees, make sure to hire a tree trimming professional to properly trim larger trees. Some damage to trees after storms, including lightening strikes, etc. can cause damage to the internal tree structure and may result in broken limbs at a later date when you least expect it, so handling the trimming process soon after the storm is highly recommended. A great resource for tree trimming after a storm can be found at the Arbor Day Foundation, where they suggest you take safety precautions and have detailed information on how to properly care for your damaged trees.

Cleaning Out Gutters

The extreme weather and excessive amount of rainfall in a short period of time can cause gutters to become quickly clogged up, especially when you have trees closer to your home. Once the storm has passed you want to make sure leaves and other debris are cleared from the gutters. You may also want to do a visual inspection of your gutter system to make sure all components are still connected well and nothing appears loose. In order to prevent excessive build up within gutters there are several types of gutter guards to allow proper water flow without retaining excessive debris.

Making sure there are no leaks within the home (due to excess water)

Heavy storms moving through can cause landscaping to flood, gutters to overflow, as well as water to begin to show up in places where you may not typically see it around your home. Areas you want

to keep an eye on include garage door entrances, especially basement garages that don’t have proper drainage; make sure your weep holes near your home landscaping are not blocked or covered up, this can cause water retention which could result in other problem areas.

It’s great to have a regular home maintenance plan in place to make sure your home and surroundings are secure and properly maintained throughout the year. Depending on the extent of damage after a storm, you may or may not need to contact your insurance provider to come out and properly asses any damage and allow their guidance to restore your home back to normal.

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Steam Baths & Sauna Rooms

Hot spring bath

What was once just a room designed for the simple purpose of toiletries and necessity has grown into one of the most planned out rooms of any new custom home.  Bathrooms have changed so much over the years and we now almost have a sense of entitlement when it comes to creating the relaxing bath space.

In addition to separate tubs and showers, with added water or airstream jets to aide in the relaxation process to extra features like heated bathroom floors, multiple sets of lighting to enhance the mood you are in, while bathing or decorative features like waterfall walls, electric fireplace accents or added plant shelves, the bathroom really can become your space for ultimate relaxation.

Custom homes are typically designed with more custom accents throughout. For many people these custom features may be upgraded trim work or a customized kitchen with professional grade appliances, but for the bath enthusiast these custom selections might include Steam Baths and Sauna Rooms.

In addition to adding these relaxing features, Saunas are known to provide increased circulation, sometimes assisting with lowering blood pressure, improving lung health and provides better muscle relaxation for the entire body.

When it comes to adding these custom features within your home, you have several options.  If you want a unit that will provide the luxury of a jetted bath with the option of having a steam shower unit you can install a fully integrated system that has a variety of panel options, including body spraying systems, steam generators and tempered glass, while still giving you the option of massaging jets as you relax in a heated bath.

healthy wooden steam sauna

Companies like Finnleo provide several options including traditional style sauna rooms to incorporate within your home as well as Infrared Sauna rooms.  With so many options and features you can truly design the perfect sauna room or steam bath area within your at home spa.

The initial expense of adding a custom feature like these can be well appreciated within a few years of use, knowing that you can enjoy the benefits of a spa environment within the comfort of your own home.  Taking time to consider all custom possibilities when it comes to designing and planning your home can be a fun process, and if you haven’t thought of items like these contact us at AmericasHomePlace.com to learn more about other options you may want to incorporate within your home.

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Homesteading

The house is in the field

The hustle and bustle of everyday life has driven many people to rethink what they consider to be their normal lifestyle and as a result there is a growing population leaning towards selling their everyday items and moving out to a rural area and begin homesteading.  While the idea of living on a farm and growing your own food, while raising a family of farm animals does have a sense of more “living” and less hustle and bustle, there are things you want to consider to make your homesteading venture a successful one.

The first thing to consider when making this leap is to make sure your home still offers you the comforts you may be used to, without throwing you for a spin along the way.  A lot of people think of homesteading as living off the grid and creating a home environment off the land.  While there is a wide variety of homesteading methods, finding your comfort level is the first place to start.  Understand what homesteading means to you and create your custom home around your expectations.

You can design a custom home that has features like custom bathrooms and large living areas, while adding small features like larger wood burning fireplaces and wood burning stoves, allowing you to pull off the grid or still live comfortably during a winter power outage.

The young cow and the pig

Having an area where your farm animals are comfortable and out of harm’s way is an important factor.  Living on a hobby farm is a lot different than fully homesteading a larger piece of property and both come with a lot of extra daily activities like mending fences and making sure your animals have daily food and water.  Creating barns and feeding stations that incorporate your outdoor living spaces can make for a more easily manageable daily routine.  Make sure your driveway and access to your barn locations are easily accessible and will not be damaged too badly during torrential weather.

Another area to consider is your garden.  You want to make sure you place your garden in proper lighting and in close proximity to water access.  If you consider the full layout for your property, the goals you have in mind when it comes to your homesteading plan and your daily routines, you can create an environment you and your family are sure to enjoy for many years to come. Planning your homesteading venture can begin small and grow each year, but putting your plan on paper will help you work through some of the design issues and create a workable space to live and prosper.  For more information on designing a custom plan for your homesteading lifestyle visit us at AmericasHomePlace.com

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Skipping the Starter Home

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There was a day, not too long ago, when people went by a certain progression as it related to home ownership.  The idea was that we were intended to be in a home, which fit our current and immediate needs as a family.  We would get married and buy our first home, which typically meant a couple of bedrooms and a bathroom.  This size house would easily accommodate a married couple, and a young child if one should come along within the first few years.

Once we started planning for child number two, and maybe the family dog, we would start looking for a house with an additional bedroom, and maybe a fenced backyard so we would have a place to play, and get outdoors without having to take a drive.  This was also good for those weekend cookouts, and for the quick picnic for the kids on days that were a little more on the boring side.

If we decided to expand the family to a third child, we would have an option to consider.  We would allow two of the children to share a bedroom, and stay in the house we are in, or we would have to expand to an additional bedroom, and definitely an additional bathroom.  Home ownership was more about the needs of the family, and the most economical decisions avoiding unnecessary debt.

Today, home ownership is more about moving into something that will work indefinitely, so a move isn’t necessary if the family should expand, or it is about making a smart investment decision that will offer better security for the future.  In other words, the mindset is more about down-sizing if the need should come up in the future, than it is about up-sizing as the need arises in the early days.

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We also have a new dynamic factoring into the new home buyer formula.  We have interest rates lower than ever, which means sales prices can increase.  Most people are more interested in the monthly payment, than the total price of the home.  Today things are more about our budget, than the amount of debt we collect.  As long as we can manage our monthly payments, it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to own a million-dollar home….as long as the monthly payment fit our budget model.

The largest risk for people today would be maximizing their debt to income ration, and then having something happen to their income.  Based on this we have money managers to help define an “acceptable” debt to income ratio, helping to ensure people have some amount of protection and savings in case their income should change.  For most people, it is worth the risk for the possibility of not just achieving home ownership, but achieving what they perceive as the “American Dream” …. the largest and best house on the block.

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We still have the need for the “starter” home today, but the customer is a lot different.  Many millennials are purchasing their first home in their late 20s or early 30s.  Because of this, many of the starter type homes are requiring more custom features than the starter home 30 or 40 years ago.  Based on this the definition of starter home has also changed.  In the past a “starter” home meant small, and inexpensive.  Today a “starter” home means small, but usually includes some nice interior features, like granite countertops, or tiled showers and custom home offices. 

Creating a home that works best for you and your family is going to be dictated by the style and function you need, based on your specific lifestyle, desires and budget.  To learn more about creating your custom starter home visit us at AmericasHomePlace.com

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Home Paneling & Partitions

beautiful house, interior, view of the kitchen.

Back in the 60’s and 70’s wall paneling was one of the go to wall finishes.  There was a period in time where drywall wasn’t an option, or perhaps there were not many drywall companies to handle the work load.  During this time home options would be an exposed lath system, a plastered lath system, wood plank, or wood paneling.  Plaster was a popular option during this time period but was sometimes cost prohibitive.  Wood paneling was a solid option for a while because it was economical, and also gave a wood finished look, which became a popular solution for many homes.

Once drywall became more popular, many builders switched from paneling to drywall to save money, and to offer a new look for new homes.  Eventually drywall was about the only wall finish being installed within the home building market.  People really liked the drywall because it had a nice clean look, was paint friendly, and proved to be easy to repair if it was damaged.  After some time, different types of finishes re-entered the equation so there would be other options to choose from, in addition to standard drywall.  These drywall finishes include textured (orange peel) finishes, knock down finishes, patterned finished, splatter finishes, etc.  

We are now at a point in home design, where wood paneling is making a comeback.  The difference this time is the installation of various wood accents on walls, not just the wood-look panels. Many people like to mix the wood paneling and drywall finishes for unique accents in different rooms of the home.  Much of the paneling looks the same as it did years ago, but there are some new options to choose from as well.  There are different patterns and styles, both options available as paintable and stainable.  Some panel materials are made to look like a tongue and groove wood, and some look distressed or like a sun bleached wood.  

Partitions have gone through many of the same changes over the years, and have grown into an industry of its own.  You can find panelized partitions, or you can choose to custom build the partitions in your home to match the wall types and trim finishes used throughout the home.  

Many plans are designed now using lower partition walls between areas allowing natural light to flow through parts of the home without the need for additional windows in some applications.  We can add a plant ledge to the tops of these partitions and have a focal accent wall in an area that otherwise may be a little plain.

Home wall paneling and interior partitions are definitely a couple of areas to display creative flair and make your home look more custom.  Consider adding a wall of reclaimed barnwood with a diagonal pattern as a wall feature within a living room or bring in horizontal planked wood or partitioned wall sections to add a decorative touch to small areas like bathrooms and laundry rooms.  Think about the places you could use these accents, and see how creative you can get.  There are many ways to customize a home, and even with tight budgets, you can still incorporate designs within your home to create a unique masterpiece.  For more information on different types of wall options, paneling or partitions feel free to visit us AmericasHomePlace.com.

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Gas Lamps

Antique Lantern

Gas lamps are becoming more popular with many builds and remodels these days. With an increased appreciation for this artistic flair, homeowners now have a large assortment of lamps that are available. Adding gas lamps is a great way to add decorative lighting with function instead of just design. Many people look to upgrade their lighting so their house is more unique, and more reflective of their individual style and taste.  Light fixtures are a great way to customize your home, and with the proper forward thinking, you may consider a wide variety of “different” lighting options. Electric and gas are the two go to options. Choosing a nice gas lamp as an accent piece somewhere in the home, or even for your exterior bracket fixtures, makes for a unique addition to your new home.

Gas lighting was fairly common at one time because of the limited resources of electricity to outlying areas. This lighting was usually in the form of a propane or oil lantern. The gas light, with the natural flickering appeal brings about an old world feel to contemporary farm houses or rustic décor. This light source brings about a unique feature while providing ample lighting.

Artificial lighting (electric lighting) can sometimes be too bright, or too soft, or maybe give some kind of tint to the room because of the type of bulb, etc. It is difficult to achieve the proper light quality in some applications. If you have an area of your home, where properly lighting this area is not giving you the look you are going for, consider a gas lamp for this area. This may not solve the problem, but will likely be more visually satisfying simply because it is a more natural option.

If there is no option to add a gas lamp to the interior of the home, there is always the option to add a gas lamp or gas light pole to the outside of the home. There is something nice about seeing a gas lamp post in someone’s yard, or gas lamps accenting a landscape area along a walkway or gated entrance. Gas coach lights at a front door automatically associate the house as being a more custom home. So as you consider all of the possible options to customize your new home, consider placement and gas lighting options in areas like dining rooms, a home library or customized hallway featuring artwork, or along the exterior of the home.

There is a wide variety of fixtures with gas options, so any home style can include this custom feature. For more information about Gas Lamps and lighting and how it pertains to your new custom home feel free to contact us at AmericasHomePlace.com

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Major Advice for the Quickest Way to Make a Internet site

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The Tried and True Approach to Make an online site

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