Home Help: Simple fix-ups you can complete in a weekend

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

While you may not know the term "nowism," you more than likely live it. With our fast-paced lives, this term, coined by, describes the trend of the consumer's need for instant gratification. We want fast service, fast answers and fast results.

And, of course, this need for fast fixes extends into our homes. Luckily, no matter how pressed you are for time, you can spruce up your house by focusing on simple projects that can be completed quickly ... in a day or a weekend. Don't delay - check these easy and affordable projects off your to-do list today and soon your home will be perfectly prepared and instantly updated.

Fancy fixtures

As the workhorse of the kitchen, we have dozens of daily interactions at the sink. So, give your kitchen a functionality facelift by upgrading your faucet. Next, tie the finish of your new faucet throughout your room by updating the hinges, knobs and pulls on your cabinets for an uncomplicated and inexpensive way to add new dimension to your kitchen space.

Restore beauty in the bath

In a recent Gallup Poll, 80 percent of workers said they feel stress on the job, making it important to make your home -- and specifically your bathroom -- a relaxing retreat. Swap your old, boring showerhead with a new one.

Another fast fix for the bathroom is to simply get organized ... and stay that way. Keep your hand towels tidy by installing a Retractable Towel Ring. The thoughtfully designed accessory offers the traditional benefit of a towel ring, with a retractable cord that extends from the base to allow the towel to be used - yet stay neatly in place. Simply pull the towel toward you, dry hands and release. The unique accessory is the ideal solution for your bath, or even kitchen or laundry room, to keep your towels remaining securely on the towel ring. Within minutes you'll have a clean, up-to-date space you'll want to show off.

Refurbish the living room

As one of the gathering areas for your family or guests, the living room can get dirty quickly - especially the carpet. Footprints, pet odors or food and beverage spills could be detracting from the enjoyment of the room, so take a few hours to take back your carpet. Many grocers rent steam cleaners for as little as $25 per day, making them an ideal solution to bring new life to your living space.

Living room lighting can also have a big impact on your room's decor and ambiance. Brighten your atmosphere -- and your mood -- by replacing your current incandescent light bulbs with high-efficiency LED lamps. These energy-efficient bulbs will have your home shining brightly all season long, while also saving on your electric bills.

Clean ceiling fans

The most neglected fixture in your home might be hanging right above your head -- the ceiling fan. Luckily, by flipping a switch, you can improve the effectiveness of this overhead oversight. Start with dusting the fan blades and housing, and then simply reverse the fan's usual summer rotation to a clockwise spin to push down warm air from the ceiling. This is easily done with a switch located on the side of the fan's motor.

Don't think that fix-ups can't fit into your fast-paced life. By following these helpful hints, you can quickly and easily renew your home now and make it an inviting retreat throughout the year.

-- Brandpoint

Home Selling Tip

Clean and de-clutter your house regularly. Not only does this make the house more appealing to potential buyers, but it helps you to keep on top of maintenance issues (mold, outdated electrical outlets) by spotting potential problems early enough to be fixed easily and quickly. This is also a great way to avoid scrambling to clean the house before a showing.


Did You Know...

Water heating is the next largest home energy load after heating and cooling. The best way to reduce water heating energy use is to ensure your water heater’s thermostat is set to 120 degrees F (you no longer have to set your water heater to a higher temperatures to sanitize dishes if your dishwasher has a booster heater). Improvements such as installing low-flow faucets and showerheads, and insulating hot water pipes will also help you save money on water heating. 


Decorating Tip: Be unexpected

"Just because a product is made for a specific purpose, doesn't mean you can't reimagine how it could be used," says Taniya Nayak, HGTV designer and television personality. "For example, hanging materials on the wall that are typically used as flooring can be breathtaking. Wood planks or concrete panels, featured vertically and not just on the ground, add richness and texture."

Another great tip to accomplishing this trend is to look at construction materials in new ways. Molding and paneling can add architectural detail well beyond crown molding and baseboards. Installing framing on a wall and painting it with complementary paint colors can change the look and feel of any room. "Unique treatments instantly increase the texture, depth and visual appeal, without spending a lot of time or money," says Nayak. "And the greatest feature is that these updates aren't permanent, meaning you can continue to change your space as your style - and home design trends - evolve."

-- Brandpoint

Garden Guide

Q: When is it too late to plant bulbs?

A: The best route to success with spring flower bulbs is to plant them at the optimum times. Ideally, bulbs should be planted at least six weeks before hard, ground-freezing frost can be expected in your area. The bulbs need time to root and establish themselves. On the other hand, planting bulbs too early can lead to fungus or disease problems. A good rule of thumb is to plant bulbs when the average nighttime temperatures in your area are in the 40- to 50-degree range. At that point the soil temperature should be just perfect for tucking bulbs in for their winter's rest underground. In colder northern climates, plant in September or October. In warmer climates you may need to plant bulbs in December (or even later).

If you miss planting your bulbs at the optimal time, don't wait for spring or next fall. Bulbs aren't like seeds. They won't survive out of the ground indefinitely. Even if you find an unplanted sack of tulips or daffodils in January or February, plant them and take your chances. No matter what, they're better off giving it a fighting chance in the ground or a chilled pot than wasting away in the garage or cupboard. Flower bulbs are survivors by nature's design. Every year stories abound of bulbs that bloom after being planted under the most improbable circumstances.

-- The Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center,

GateHouse News Service