Titine Joyce - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Scituate



Posted by Titine Joyce on 4/16/2020

Photo by kelsey roenau on Unsplash

As the focal point of your living space, your fireplace needs to look its best or it could bring down the rest of your décor. But how can you restore the look and feel of that key design element without breaking the bank? There are actually many different ways to rekindle your old fireplace and none of them have to cost a ton of money or effort. Here’s a look at several low-cost, minimal effort ways to beautify the design of your fireplace.

Revise the Mantlepiece

If your fireplace does not have a mantle, adding one is a quick and easy way to transform its look. Hardware stores carry inexpensive mantle kits that are simple to install and still look like a million bucks. Just follow the included directions and you will restore your fireplace design in an instant. If you want to go the extra mile, slap on a coat of paint to jazz up the piece even more.

Reface the Exterior Surface

By refacing the exterior of your fireplace, you can make it look all new without spending a lot of money. All you have to do is add interlocking tiles that mimic the look of real stone over the existing exterior surface. These tiles not only look great, but their lightweight construction and simple installation techniques will not damage the underlying materials. If you ever want to remove them, you can do so without worry about what you will find underneath.   

Add Glass Doors

Although open fireplaces look great on their own, installing glass doors makes the whole design look a little more sophisticated. You can find doors in many different designs, giving you the ability to match them to your existing décor. Their installation only requires basic tools and a little bit of know-how, which allows you to complete this project in one afternoon.

Restore the Bricks & Mortar

If you want to leave the rest of the fireplace as-is, but still want it to look a little nicer, consider repairing the brick along the inside. The brick and mortar joints inside the fireplace can start to look a little rundown after years of exposure to open flames, after all.

To restore its appearance, start by cleaning the brick with a stiff bristle brush and a vinegar-water solution. Rinse with warm water, and then focus on scraping the loose mortar with a scoring tool.  Then, mix up new mortar and spray the joints with a little bit of plain water. Pack the joints with your mortar mixture and smooth out to complete this restoration project.

By completing any, or all, of these improvements, you can rekindle your fireplace design, elevating the beauty of this key focal point. Your visitors will delight in the changes and reward all your hard work with their praise and accolades. Even more rewarding, perhaps, is the confidence you will gain from completing your home improvement projects without breaking the bank.




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Posted by Titine Joyce on 10/26/2017

Stressed out and wishing you had room in the budget for a trip to Hawaii? Take a vacation whenever you want from the comfort of your home by creating a home sanctuary. When you have a peaceful refuge just a few footsteps down the hall you can easily take 15 minutes to yourself to relax and take the edge off whenever you like.

Start by selecting your space. You can turn a spare room or unused corner of the home into your sanctuary. When choosing a place take the foot traffic and lighting of the area into consideration. For example, you may find it distracting of your new sanctuary is across from the bathroom your family uses frequently or if there is a harsh glare at sunrise or sunset.

Decide on how you’ll spend time in this area. While you may hear sanctuary and immediately assume it’s a space for meditation or prayer this can be a quiet place for you to do any activity you find soothing. This may be reading, painting, writing or even putting a puzzle together. Once you know how you would like to utilize the room you can add furniture that will easily allow you to immerse yourself in an activity. Consider soft lighting, a desk, rug,  large chair, and any tools necessary for your chosen activity. This could mean adding anything from a meditation pillow to an easel.

Handy hint: keep what you do add to the room intentional and functional. To maintain a calming environment that is easy to relax in avoid clutter from finding it’s way into this room and taking over. Add plants to bring a touch of peaceful nature to the room and purify the air. Choose soft, neutral colors to decorate with. If you are using a corner of a room for your sanctuary you can section the area off for privacy with a room divider or bookshelf.

If you don’t have space in your home for a dedicated sanctuary you can easily turn any space into a peaceful area by turning on some relaxing music and lighting some candles whose smells you find soothing. If you’re open to redecorating you can take the above tips and apply them to your living room or family den. You can even get your whole family to join in by limiting tv time and scheduling a “calm hour” for everyone to take a break and just chill.

Don’t wait all year for a two-week vacation to relax. Bring the elements that soothe your soul to your everyday routine into your home whether with a hobby like building a puzzle or setting dedicated quiet time for the whole family. When you make it simple to take a timeout from the day it’s harder to put off taking the time to relax. Your health will thank you!




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Posted by Titine Joyce on 8/24/2017

If you strive to make your home unique and have a particular style in mind, it can be difficult to find the right decorations to meet your needs. 

With a Target in every town and strip malls containing the same stores carrying the same mass-produced furniture and decorations, where can you turn to find handmade home decor? In this article, we’ll share with you five sources for just that.

Etsy

What started as a project in the founder’s New York apartment in 2005 has turned into a multi-million dollar online business. Etsy is the undisputed champion retailer of handmade goods.

From clothing to home decor, if you can think of it you’ll likely find someone who makes it and sells it on Etsy. One of the advantages of Etsy is being able to contact the seller personally and ask questions or make custom requests. This makes Etsy one of the best ways to find home decor that is made to order.

Another benefit of Etsy is how easy it is to search and browse. If you aren’t ready to buy an item or want to wait for a second iteration, you can always follow the seller or save them item for later on when you’re ready to purchase.

Pinterest

We know what you’re thinking. Pinterest is a place where you pin photos of home decor, not a place where you buy it. And while that may be true, it’s also a great way to find handmade goods that you might not see anywhere else. Here’s how to find handmade goods on Pinterest.

  1. Search for and follow Pinterest boards that are created by or related to handmade home decor. You’ll find hundreds of boards like this already in existence.

  2. Start pinning some of your favorite items so you can research them more later.

  3. Pick the items you’d like to purchase off of your board and research the maker of those items. Oftentimes, the people who made the items are the ones who initially pin them. Other times the pins lead directly to the sellers webstore.

  4. If you can’t find a webstore to buy the item from, try contacting them directly to see if the item is for sale online

Polyvore

Polyvore is a fascinating website. It’s like if you took Pinterest, a dressing room, and a webstore and mixed them together. Polyvore is often used for clothing, however they have a growing selection of furniture and home decor available.

You create an “outfit” of furniture and home decor to see how they will look together. Then you can place an order for the items you want to buy.

Ebay

Before Pinterest, many craftsmen sold their goods on Ebay. And many still do to this day. Ebay is also a good place to find second-hand, unique home decor that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. And, if you’re lucky, you can win bids on items at a low price.

Uncommon Goods

Uncommon Goods might not have common goods, but they do run a very conventional and straightforward online store that is easy to use and contains a range of unique home decor that you won’t find anywhere else.




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Posted by Titine Joyce on 6/15/2017

Humans have been thinking about the way they decorate their homes for thousands of years. In ancient India, Vastu shastra (literally, "the science of architecture") has been informing decorating techniques since as early as 6,000 BCE. The more commonly known influence for home decorating, feng shui, has its roots in ancient China where practitioners were inspired by astronomy. In the early 1900s, however, a modern science was founded that attempts to solve some of the problems that arise based on our environments. Environmental psychology is a field that focuses on the interplay between humans and the environments they live and work in. Scientists have studied the way humans (and other animals, like rats) are affected by their environment. Their findings help to inform us of how we can live more relaxed or focused based on how we decorate our home and workplace.

A place to call your own

As society becomes increasingly urbanized, many psychologists are studying the problems that arise from being in constant contact with one another, both physically and in the digital world. One thing that scientists have discovered is that it is important for humans to have a place of sanctuary during their day. Whether this is your cubicle at work, your home office, or your tool shed, everyone needs a place they can be alone. Ask yourself if your home setup provides you with a space that you can go to be alone.

How colors can affect mood

Have you ever been in a school or hospital that was painted an awful color that just made you uncomfortable? Many of us have trained ourselves to adapt and live with environments that aren't ideal for us. For example, the bright red walls of McDonald's or the blinding fluorescent lights in a department store probably aren't conditions we'd pick for our homes. Scientists have discovered that there is a correlation between colors, brightness, and our mood. Try to match the colors of your rooms with their functions. For example, you wouldn't want to paint your bedroom bright red, as your bedroom should be a place you can relax to fall asleep. Instead, go with a less-pronounced color for the bedroom.

The balance between cluttered and sterile

Much of the way we choose to decorate our homes is informed by our childhood. If you learn meticulous cleaning habits from your parents, you might carry on with this into adulthood. As a child, you probably went to a friend's house and marveled at how differently they did things. Part of that lesson is learning that the way someone chooses to decorate and clean their home is part of their personality. But like most things in life, it's important to find a balance. If you find yourself restless or distracted you should ask yourself if the room is too cluttered or messy. Maybe it's the opposite; you could just as easily become distracted or uncomfortable by an environment that is too sterile looking.

Listen to yourself

The most important thing to remember when decorating your home is to follow your intuitions. Decide if you decorated a room a certain way because that's what everyone else does or if it actually makes you feel more at home.





Posted by Titine Joyce on 11/3/2016

The variety of candles on the market has never been greater. When it comes to shopping for candles, however, a bigger selection isn't always a good thing. Many of us have, at one time or another, come down with a case of option paralysis looking at a wall full of Yankee Candles. Aside from choosing a fragrance, there are several other options to consider. Which candles burn the longest? Which type of wax works best? And, unfortunately, now we must even find out which candles are safe for us to inhale. Types of Candle Wax There are three main types of wax widely available in stores today: paraffin, soy, and beeswax. Each type has its ups and downs, but we'll break them down so you can choose one that's right for you.

  • Beeswax - This type of wax comes straight from the hive, making it a safe and natural wax to burn in your home. It also burns for the longest duration of the three types of wax, which is good because it can be pricey. It's great for lighting a room and burns as a bright white color. But, if you spill it walking to the fusebox during a power outage good luck getting that sticky beeswax out of your carpet. Also, beeswax candles do not mix well with added fragrances, so the selection will be narrow.
  • Paraffin - If beeswax is the natural, healthy choice for candles then paraffin is the processed, junkfood option.  Paraffin candles can be very affordable, but the cheap price tag comes at the cost of additives and artificial fragrances that you might not want to breathe in. Paraffin also tends to burn quickly, so if your candles aren't just for show you might find yourself spending a lot on them anyway. One benefit of paraffin is that it combines easily with fragrances so there is a great variety of scents available.
  • Soy - Perhaps a good in-between choice for candle lovers is the soy candle. Since they're made from soybeans, soy candles are a sustainable, biodegradable option. Spilled wax cleans up fairly easily, and soy combines well with other fragrances, so there are a great variety of scented candles available on the market. Soy wax is soft, however, which means you won't find many candles that aren't in jars that you could pop into your favorite candle holder.
Types of Wicks Wire, cotton, and wood, oh wow... Who knew there were so many types of wicks out there?  You can find all of these options in stores, but which one is right for you?
  • Wire wicks - These wicks have a metal zinc core that sits straight in a candle and burns evenly. The idea of burning a metal wick doesn't seem safe, but they are harmless and do not emit dangerous gases into the air.
  • Cotton wicks - The most common wicks on the market are made from cotton. They're cheap to produce and are often braided, which looks nice. They can sometimes burn unevenly, though, and require trimming.
  • Wooden wicks - The new wick on the block. These fit in with the rustic look that many homeowners are now going for. To further that point, there are also crackling wood wicks that emit either a pleasing or distracting crackling noise while they burn. You probably won't need to trim these wicks, but they are often used in higher-end candles, so expect to pay more.




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