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Use Your Mudroom for Less Household Mess



(Family Features) Often positioned near the primary point of entry, mudrooms are a popular addition to many family homes. These organizational dynamos are the perfect place to catch muddy boots, backpacks, sports equipment and dirty paws before they make it all the way into the main living areas.

Luxurious mudrooms in high-end homes can sometimes boast custom cabinetry, full bathrooms, laundry facilities, showers for pets and direct pantry access.

Regardless of whether your mudroom is an actual room or just a small space near the front door to hang bags and jackets, the organizational basics are the same:

Corral Clutter: One of the most important items in any mudroom is storage for shoes, pet supplies, backpacks, sporting equipment and other items. If built-in storage isn’t in your budget, put up a sturdy shelving unit with a bin or basket for each family member.

Get Hooked: Securely anchor a row of strong hooks along the wall for coats, hats, scarves or other seasonal accessories that may otherwise find themselves dropped on the floor upon arriving home.

Mud Happens: Mudrooms are meant to handle dirt so nix the carpet and lay down tile or hardwood flooring. Pick a stylish rug to catch dirt in its tracks while also adding a design element to the space.

Shoe Space: Place a wooden bench or sturdy coffee table near the door so everyone has a place to sit while removing shoes. Slide a few baskets or bins underneath as an alternate location for storing backpacks and other gear when not in use.

Take Command: Create a family command center by adding a small cabinet or desk with a corkboard above. It makes for a perfect spot to stash keys, charge cell phones, open mail, sort school papers and post the family calendar.

Find more organization tips and tricks at eLivingtoday.com.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Family Features


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Residential Refresh: Personalized touches for your home

“Your home is a reflection of your unique personality and lifestyle, making it an authentic expression of who you are.”



Your home is an expression of you, your personality and your lifestyle.

(Family Features) Your home is an expression of you, your personality and your lifestyle. When it comes to personalizing your home’s aesthetic, try leaning into your senses to inspire change within your space.

Inspiration can be found everywhere around you – from taking cues from Mother Nature to “shopping” your own house or, with a little help from Air Wick, finding and incorporating your home’s signature scent.

Give yourself a residential refresh with these tips:

Rearrange Living Spaces
Breathing fresh air into a room doesn’t always require a complete overhaul, or even any construction or DIY projects. Sometimes all you need is a little rearranging. Shifting furniture to better suit your needs or let more natural light in can significantly improve the space’s aesthetic.

Additionally, the items you currently own are most reflective of your style; try “shopping” your own house by repurposing items from other areas or rooms to give them a fresh feel. When decor pieces are overused in one spot, they may feel brand new in a different space. These are practical and cost-effective tactics to create a new and inviting space for both you and any guests entering your home.

Introduce Plants and Greenery
When sourcing your design inspiration from nature, adding greenery is an inherent way to bring in the beauty and freshness of the great outdoors. To personalize your home with plants, visit a nursery or local flower shop and choose ones that are appealing to you based on their shape, color or size. Live plants offer multiple benefits, like naturally purifying the air, and studies have shown numerous therapeutic benefits of spending time with nature. Therefore, designing with natural elements, like house plants or flowers, can bring a sense of serenity into your home.

Find Your “Scentscape”
A home upgrade rooted in nature includes more than just what you can see and feel, it also includes engaging the sense of smell. One of the latest home decor trends, “scentscaping,” is growing in popularity as a way for individuals to enhance the ambiance of their homes through tailored scent.

“Scent is an often-overlooked aspect of design,” said Egypt Sherrod, HGTV personality who is both an interior designer and real estate broker, and Air Wick partner. “People tour homes and experience spaces with all their senses. It adds a new layer to home personalization, as an authentic fragrance experience often heightens the aura of your space beyond its physical layout. Scentscaping is the perfect way to add a bespoke vibe for your home that reflects your personal style, in turn creating a welcoming atmosphere.”

With innovative devices designed to deliver carefully blended scents like Air Wick’s Advanced Plug-In Scented Oil, you can enjoy long-lasting pulses of scents inspired by nature in the comfort of your home for up to 60 days on low setting. With anti-fading technology, an on-demand boost button and adjustable intensity settings, you’ll notice the fragrances from the first drop to the last.

Update Colors
Introducing color to a room can transform its look, and the scale of change is up to you. You might repaint the entire space, simply paint an accent wall or even just spruce up a corner with a pop of color. Incorporating accessories or decorative elements with new colors can also create some variety, such as including pops of seasonal-inspired colors in artwork and textiles.

Switch Out Light Fixtures
A room’s lighting is an important detail for personalizing the type of mood and ambiance you are trying to achieve. Swapping out light fixtures for dimmers, for example, can create a brand new atmosphere, allowing you to adjust the light to the time of day and for your intended experience. Consider updating old lighting fixtures with new ones to enhance the presence of natural light or changing the bulb wattage to further impact the mood.

Embrace the Scent of the Season
If you tend to make frequent edits to your home’s design, you may also find the idea of experimenting with different fragrances appealing. A short-term scent can be ideal for seasonal swaps, like trading fresh spring blooms for sweet summer citrus, for example. Lasting for up to 45 days on low setting, Air Wick’s Essential Mist Diffuser fills the room with a gentle, fragrant mist with natural essential oils so you can set it and forget it. Adjustable settings are included on the device, and the cordless and portable design allow it to blend seamlessly into any home decor.

Explore more inspiring ideas for incorporating a breath of fresh air into your home at airwick.us.

Scentscaping to Give Your Home a Personalized Style

Achieving your perfect scentscape begins with nature-inspired fragrances, including classics like White Sage + Mahogany, Lavender + Waterlily and Eucalyptus + Wild Berry. If sweeter scents are your preference, consider enticing blends like Pink Watermelon + Mimosa, Lush Honeysuckle + Raspberry or Hawaiian Guava + Tropical Flowers.

To establish a one-of-a-kind scentscape for your home, start with these tips from Sherrod:

  1. Identify your scent preferences, whether leaning toward citrus, spicy, fruity, floral or woody notes.
  2. Consider the scent’s intensity and the scent level you and your guests find pleasing.
  3. If you plan on creating room-specific scents, or want to use different fragrances in each room, consider how these scents interact with one another to harmonize the scents with contrasts that add dimension.
  4. Consider rotating your seasonal scents to freshen up your home and bring new energy to your space at different times of the year.
  5. Maintain a scent balance so different scents do not overpower each other. Rather, create a soft and pleasing aroma that establishes inviting spaces throughout your home.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock (woman arranging plant)

Air Wick



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Consumer Corner

High-ROI Spring Home Projects



(Family Features) Spring is nature’s cue to renew and refresh. Whether you’re looking to add value for potential sale or simply create a more comfortable living space, you can make the most of the season and breathe new life into your home with projects that provide a high return on investment (ROI).

Consider these top home renovation projects to tackle this spring from the experts at Westlake Royal Building Products – a leader in innovation, design and production of exterior and interior building products including siding, trim, mouldings, roofing, stone, windows, outdoor living and more – based on the 2024 Cost vs. Value Report from “Remodeling Magazine.”

Remodel the Kitchen and Bathroom
The average seller can expect an 96.1% return on a light touch to the kitchen, according to the report, and 73.7% on a modest bathroom renovation. Because personal preferences can vary widely among buyers, minor upgrades can provide a higher ROI than large, upscale remodels. A few easy ways to refresh your kitchen or bathroom include updating shelving or adding new hardware. Decorative trim and mouldings are also cost-effective ways to add visual interest.

Upgrade with Stone Veneer
As natural and textured home trends continue, homeowners are gravitating toward stone veneer, or manufactured stone, as it can replicate the look of real stone, adding comfort, character and beauty to homes. An option like Versetta Stone from Westlake Royal Building Products offers the authentic, handcrafted look of stone in a panelized format that’s easy to install with nails and screws. There’s also no need to paint, coat or seal once installed. Ideal for its ability to add texture and dimension throughout both home interior (accent walls and fireplaces) and exterior applications (siding, entryways and walkways), stone veneer – which comes with a 153.2% ROI – can influence mood, emotion and energy levels while serving as a focal point of your home’s design.

Install New Windows
Depending on the harshness of winter in your area and the age of your home, you may notice certain windows have developed drafts, allowing cold air to enter and heat to escape. Replacing drafty or outdated windows with modern, energy-efficient models is one of the most effective ways to enhance your home’s energy efficiency. Additionally, a vinyl window replacement brings approximately 67.1% ROI.

Replace Siding
In some cases, applying a fresh coat of paint is enough to refresh your home. However, if you’re looking to enhance your home’s curb appeal while making a long-term impact, consider installing new siding or replacing existing siding. Because vinyl siding serves as an additional layer of insulation, improving the energy efficiency of your heating and cooling systems, it offers a 80.2% ROI. Weather-resistant, low-maintenance siding like Celect Cellular Composite Siding, which is now available in on-trend colors including Imperial Red, a robust shade of red; Deep Pewter, a compellingly modern forest green; and Timberland, a rich, natural brown, won’t warp, sag or buckle and is built to withstand even the harshest weather conditions. Its patented interlocking joints provide a seamless look and it’s easy to install in small spaces, like along a knee or pony wall.

Update Decking
If you want to entertain guests outside, spring is a perfect time to get your patio or deck ready. While a new coat of stain can update your existing deck’s appearance and help protect it, spring is also an ideal time to build a deck if your home doesn’t currently have one. When choosing a decking material, cost and maintenance are two factors to consider. Composite decking offers a 68.2% ROI and is low maintenance as it’s not susceptible to cracking, warping and weather damage.

Find more ideas to update your home this spring at WestlakeRoyalBuildingProducts.com.

Westlake Royal Building Products


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home improvement

Keep Up with Kitchen Trends



(Family Features) If you’re considering a kitchen renovation, you’ve probably heard cautions about avoiding overly trendy designs that can diminish your home’s value and limit its appeal to future buyers. That’s sound advice, but many of this year’s trends are relatively neutral and have long-term staying power.

Kitchen upgrades are typically all about making practical updates to meet the needs of a family. The key to smart design is incorporating functional elements a family requires while striking a balance between style and trends that quickly become outdated.

Before you dive into a kitchen project, consider these on-trend design recommendations from the experts at Wellborn Cabinet.

Add Health-Focused Features
As the hub of nutrition, it’s no surprise wellness design features are making their way into the kitchen. Some examples include appliances with air frying or steaming features, and double ovens are appearing in more homes, making home meals for the family easier to manage. Also look for technology that simplifies meal planning and managing your pantry inventory, as well as features that regulate food storage temperatures more precisely, including during power outages.

Shift Back to Wood Stains
Painted cabinets had their moment, but the latest designs are revealing a movement back toward warm wood grains, specifically oak. As trends continue to shift toward embracing natural elements, as well as exploring diverse color palettes, cabinet manufacturers are constantly innovating to meet the demands of consumers and design professionals alike.

To elevate contemporary cabinetry design, Wellborn Cabinet introduced captivating finishes that celebrate natural materials and textures. Inspired by the highly desired white oak at a more accessible price point, Boardwalk offers a breath of fresh air, allowing the unique oak wood grain to take center stage. The striking finish of Peppermill introduces a versatile darker brown hue with a subtle gray undertone, adding depth, dimension and sophistication. If you’re not quite ready to fully embrace natural wood tones, Alabaster may be a perfect alternative; this hue provides the timeless elegance of neutral white.

Dedicate Space for Beverages
Food prep may be a mainstay in functional kitchen design, but a growing number of homeowners are calling beverages a close second with the addition of built-in coffee bars or smoothie stations and specialized storage for beer and wine. Countertop or supplementary nugget ice makers are another example of trending kitchen accessories that reinforce a growing focus on beverages for all occasions.

Go for Contemporary Cabinetry
Your kitchen’s cabinet doors play an important role in defining your design aesthetic. Consider Wellborn’s wide variety of door styles, several of which have been redesigned to support the trend toward a simpler, smaller rail that’s in favor among designers and homeowners alike. With softer, more up-to-date appearances, they feature eased profiles to produce simple, straight, clean appearances. Options like Breckenridge and Ridgebrook offer updates to the modified shaker style with a clean, modern, less clunky aesthetic. Made of quality, solid wood, they feature a reversed raised center panel to coordinate with a variety of design styles.

Embrace the Middle Ground
Kitchen islands are hardly a new design element, but an increasing number of homeowners are making them a major focus of their renovations. A kitchen trends study by Houzz revealed 42% of homeowners are opting for islands that are 7 feet long or more. That’s extra prep space, but also more room for casual seating or socializing while hosting. Also gaining popularity are double islands for double the workspace.

Skip Bland Backsplash Tile
The wall space between your countertops and upper cabinets may not amount to much, but it’s a sure place to make a style statement. This year’s designers are saying farewell to stark white subway tile backsplashes. Instead, nature- and earth-inspired tones are trending. You can still use subway tile but consider a variation from the traditional stacked design. Texture is another option for modernizing your backsplash; think handcrafted tiles or earthy textures but take care to avoid overly busy patterns.

Find more inspiration for your kitchen remodel at wellborn.com.

Wellborn Cabinet


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