This is the season of love, so why not show your home some TLC! We’re not talking Valentine's Day décor, although there are many options available. After the hectic holidays, your home may still be cluttered or suddenly feeling lackluster. Here are 5 simple ways you can make your home your Valentine this year:

Deep Clean 

Cleaning your home can change your perspective about your space and make you feel more at ease. Try focusing on a room in your house you have overlooked, and spend time cleaning windows, vacuuming hard to reach places, and deep cleaning area rugs or carpeting. You could be amazed at the transformation! 

Hang Art 

And we don’t mean going out and finding one of a kind pieces to show off to your friends. There are plenty of affordable options for stunning and transformative pieces for your walls.  

  • Download art from websites such as Etsy. 
  • Enlarge and frame your favorite photos. and other websites offer simple solutions to printing your photos rather than just keeping them on your phone. 
  • Go to a paper or stationary store, you can find gorgeous wrapping paper or other specialty materials that can be framed to add color and pattern to any wall. 
  • Go bold with a whole ‘gallery wall’ by hanging many frames on one wall.  

Get cozy with new linens 

If you have been using the same bedding for years, a new feather topper and duvet set in luxe materials can turn your bed into that of a 5-Star resort. Opt for high quality, machine washable, and classic colors to ensure your investment lasts! 

Switch out lighting 

Lighting can be the first thing that enhances the mood of a room in your house. LED bulbs and “smart lighting” will help you save on your energy bill and if you don’t want to spend on changing any hardwiring, plug-in dimmers, sconces, and overhead lighting can transform a room. 

Host a dinner party 

After investing in these upgrades to your home, don’t forget to show it off. Making memories in your cozy space with friends and family is the best way to show your home TLC. Host a dinner party and fill your home with love and laughter! 

After a chilly winter and a rainy spring, many people cannot wait to break out their grills and tidy up their patios for fun weekend BBQs! Whether your barbeque hang out spot is a raised deck, your yard, an apartment rooftop, or a fully functional outdoor kitchen, these tips can help everyone make their space more inviting and enjoyable for gatherings all summer.

Add weatherproof furnishings:

  • Gone are the days when “patio furniture” means wobbly, white plastic chairs. The market has expanded to include so many weather proof options from dining sets to "zero gravity” lounge chairs. Outdoor furniture also experiences a lot more wear and tear than indoor counterparts. High-quality pieces should either be brought into a shed or garage in extreme weather or secured and covered with heavy-duty tarps.
  • Design an inviting, natural space by hanging outdoor grade string lights overhead. Solar-powered path and garden lights also help guests avoid stepping in newly planted flowers or veggie patches once the sun goes down!

Create shade:

  • If you want to shade a picnic table, go with a classic patio umbrella. As assortment of colors are available to match your outdoor décor. Be sure to always collapse your umbrella at the end of the party though, as these can easily blow away in a windy storm!
  • If you want to invite shade over a larger area, opt for a rectangular or triangular “sail shade.” This unique way to cover your space can be secured to any structure, such as fences, trees, roofs, or posts, to provide shade underneath.
  • A pergola can be a beautiful addition to a back yard or patio and, with some convenient climbing vines to block out the sun's rays, makes a comfortable shaded area to enjoy.

Keep bugs away:

  • Add ambiance and keep bugs away with homemade bug-repellant luminaries. Fill an empty mason jar with a couple slices each of lemon and lime and a couple sprigs of rosemary. Fill the jar with water and top with a floating candle. Placing these luminaries around your BBQ will keep your guests happy!
  • Decorate with lavender and basil plants. They give off aromas that naturally repel insects.
  • Provide bug spray options for guests to apply if the mosquitoes decide to join the party despite all your defenses!

Don’t forget the drinks:

  • If you don’t have a cooler large enough for your get-together, fill a wheelbarrow with ice and your favorite bottled or canned drinks!
  • Tap a watermelon keg! If you carve out a watermelon to fill with your favorite juice or adult beverage, you can install in a keg tap right into the rind of the melon. Consider using some of the watermelon itself to make a frosty, melon-flavored punch.

Try a delicious new recipe:

Have fun!

  • Lawn games such as cornhole and giant Jenga are great for kids, as well as parents. There’s nothing like a healthy competition to keep your party going into the wee hours of the night!
  • For a quieter evening BBQ, host an outdoor movie. Ask guests to bring blankets and lawn chairs to settle in for a single or double-feature! Tie it all together by incorporating the theme of the movie into your BBQ décor and food choices.

If you’re dreaming of a new home with the perfect backyard grilling spot, talk to your loan officer today to pre-qualify and see how much you could qualify for. Your best summer yet could be just one conversation away with Norcom Mortgage.

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