Friday, April 22, 2016

Essentials for Your First Living Room On a Budget

Moving into your first place is a great first time experience. For most of us though it has one thing in common, in most cases we are just starting a new stage in our lives. 

At this stage many of us are also trying to watch our budgets. So making sure that we have everything that we need while staying within that budget may seem impossible. If you know what essentials, you really need though instead of want it is totally do-able.

Since this is your first place, maybe all you need is a little help and guidance. So we have come up with a list of essentials that may keep you within that budget while still making that living room look great. Just keep in mind you can save even more if you choose to buy second hand as well, but that choice is yours.


You definitely need places to sit and places for company to sit too. If you are not planning on a lot of company just occasional a couple of chairs in lieu of a couch may be optional. If you are planning on more, but are tight on room you could opt on a loveseat and a chair or two.


You may have ceiling lighting, but you may not always want that much lighting, so a lamp or two depending on size of room should be efficient.


If you want a great way to add some flair to your living room an area rug is a great simple way to do so.  It also helps keep your feet warm if you have hardwood or tiled floors.

Simple Accent Pillows

Another budget friendly way to add comfort and décor is accent pillows. They come in many different styles and in most cases available at affordable prices.


Another dual purpose item, it serves as part of your décor as well as keeping you warm on a chilly night relaxing.

Dress It Up with Artwork

You want to give people something to look at. So you need some art work on those walls. Unless you are an art collector, there are some great ways to find artwork at a great price. 

Go to second hand stores, art festivals or local budget friendly home décor stores. You can find some great deals online as well, just make sure the measurements fit your needs.

Table or Tables

Typically, it is ideal to have two accent tables and at least one coffee table. So you have a place to set your lamps as well a place for people to set their drinks or etc., while they are visiting you. choose your table material on use. Glass can be broken but is easily cleaned if there is spills. 

Wood is more warm and beautiful, but don’t handle any liquid well. You can end up with water rings and more easily.

Personal Décor

The cheapest but most important to add to your rooms décor. You may have personal items that speak to who you are. You want them out and about, easiest way to display is on shelves. You could display on accent tables as well or a mantle if you have one.

Those are just the basics on what you should have in your living room when first starting out. Buying new or second hand is your call. 

Buying second hand also helps by saving room in a local dump. If you buy from some place where money goes for helpful programs, even better. If you choose to buy new just do your homework before purchasing and make sure you are getting the best deal you can.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Learning about Ventless Fireplace

Are you renovating your home and want to install a fireplace? Or do you just want to change the aesthetics of your living room? Why not consider a ventless fireplace as opposed to a traditional fireplace? Read on to learn what is a ventless fireplace.

What is a Ventless Fireplace?

As the name implies, a ventless fireplace is a freestanding unit that does not have a chimney or a flue to exhaust the combusted air to the outside atmosphere.  These ventless fireplaces rely on the indoor air for combustion and exhaust the combustion gases into the area they are located. They are powered by either natural gas or propane or electricity.

Ventless fireplace became popular in the United States in the 1980s as they are easier to install and are less expensive than the conventional fireplace. However, each state has specific regulation with respect to the safe operation within the household.

Type Of Ventless Fireplace 

Ventless fireplace are an economical alternative to the traditional fireplace. In adding to décor and a design element to the home, they are normally installed in locations where an actual fireplace cannot be installed. The different types of vent fireplace are as follows:

Ventless Gas Fireplace  

This type of utilizes natural gas or propane as the fuel.  They are linked to a line which provides the fuel.  These come in a variety of style and designs and tend to be more costly than the other ventless fireplace.

In terms of providing the best secondary heating source, this Ventless Gas Fireplace is far superior to the types of vent free fireplace. However, it must be worthwhile to mention the safety aspect of this unit type. They can produce a host of safety concerns such as carbon monoxide poisoning and physical indoor air sickness.

Ventless Gel Fireplace 

These are fueled by a gel like substance, which normally comes in a can. The gel substance can smell like burning wood can be irritable to the person suffering from allergies and asthma. 

This type comes in a wide range of style and including wall hanging units. They require the lowest maintenance and it has the cheapest form of fuel source. 

Ventless Electric Fireplace

Regardless of the name, these units do not produce any real flames. They use their fuel source to produce heat. Electric fireplaces can be mobile and compact and need an electric output to power them. They are generally cheaper than the gas fireplace.

Ventless  Fireplace- Pros and Cons

Now we know what are the ventless fireplace and the three different types, let us consider the positive and negative features of these units.

Positive Features

  • Hot air rises.  Traditional fireplace loses more than 50% of their heat when the hot air is a lot up the chimneys and flues. As vent free fireplace has no vent, the heat remains circulated in the installed area inside the house and such as provides more heat than a conventional fireplace. 

  • A ventless fireplace is smaller units and as such are cheaper and more affordable than a traditional fireplace.

  • Being smaller units and not requiring the chimney, vent free fireplace is easier to install and can be installed against any open wall.

Negative Features

  • Vent free fireplace is thought to be a potential health risk. As there is no chimney to exhaust the combusted air to the outside atmosphere, the combusted air is exhausted to the surrounding indoor location. This can lead to an accumulation of carbon monoxide and other gases in the breathable air. In additional to aggravating persons suffering from headaches, eye irritation, chest congestion and coughing bouts.

  • It is advisable to install carbon monoxide monitors and oxygen detection sensors in the area when installing a ventless fireplace. These safety devices will automatically shut off the fireplace if the emissions go above a certain value. However, this additional device can add to the initial cost of the units. 

  • Fire needs oxygen to burn and these fireplaces are not really meant as a primary source of heat. As such they should not be in periods longer than one hour or the manufactures specifications as they can deplete the oxygen from the room.

  • Water vapor is released from the different units and this can encourage the growth of mold or mildew in the walls.

Final Verdicts 

A ventless fireplace can add home décor aesthetic value to a living area giving it a warm and cozy feeling. They are cheaper and easier to install than a conventional fireplace but it must be remembered that they are not the primary source of heating.

Before consider purchasing a unit, it is advisable to check your local state agency to determine the applicable regulations. Also, ensure a certified is hired to install the unit. Ensure the correct size type is purchased with add the necessary devices and additions. 

In conclusion, you are more aware of what is a ventless fireplace and can make a more informed decision. Ventless fireplace offers a great deal of convenience and home décor. Why not jazz up that living space?

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Fireplace Ideas for a Small Living Room

Just because you may have a small living room, doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy the same things as a large one. One of the many things people enjoy in any living room is a fireplace. It is a little different trying to fit a fireplace into a small living room though. Obviously the typical fireplace in a small room just isn’t going to work. First reason being the large size of a standard fireplace. Secondly the heat of a typical one may be too much, as well as more dangerous in a small space.

You do have some options available to you though, if you know what those options are. First thing is you don’t need large to get the large effect. So let’s go over some of the options you have, then all you have to do is decide which one is best for you.

LP or Natural Gas

There are many options available to you in the LP or NaturalGas Line. Many of the fireplaces take on the look of a regular wood burning fireplace, but take up less room. You can also get a model that doesn’t require a venting system which is even better for saving space. They still give you a beautiful flame display without all the maintenance that goes with a regular fireplace. These are equally great at producing heat as well as display for those who want to enjoy both benefits.

They do have to be hooked up to a consistent LP or Natural gas supply. That does make it a great choice for those who are heavy fireplace users, or those who require a sole heat source or backup source. Most of these units can be used without electricity, so great for outages.

Gel Can Fireplace

Gel can fireplaces are becoming more popular, mainly because they come in a wide variety of styles and sizes. You can get tabletop, fireplace styles and wall. These are also easy to maintain, give off a beautiful flame and vent-less. You do have to change out fuel cans pretty often, cans can be hot and they can be spilled. These are great for the occasional burner.

Bio Fuel Ethanol Fireplaces

These are probably the most universal fireplaces on the market. They are also quickly becoming the most popular as well. These fireplaces utilize bio ethanol fuel, so they are eco-friendly. They don’t omit anything harmful into the air for you or the environment. Many of these come in a wall mounted style in a variety of sizes. They also take up very little room and many not much more than the same space as a painting on the wall. The fuel is cost effective, little to no maintenance and a quiet burn.

You do need to make sure that if you are using for heat and looks that the BTU output is high enough to put out the heat you are looking for. Easy to fill just fill with fuel when it runs out. So you have several choices to choose from in this line of fireplaces.

Final Thoughts

Your needs and wants are the determining factor on what you are looking for. Just always make sure that the one you pick can safely be operated in your small space. The ones mentioned above are the best choices when you are looking to conserve much needed space.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Small Living Room Cleaning Checklist

Sure there are some of us who are luckily extremely organized. In most cases though we have so much going on that it is hard to remember everything. Other times we get distracted before we get something completed. It’s not a bad thing by any means, it is life! We all have busy lives we live, there is always something that needs to be done. So when it comes to keeping things up at home when it comes to cleaning, a checklist to follow can make things easier.

A checklist will allow you to know where you left off, keep you on track and also help make sure you didn’t forget anything. When you finally make it to the end, you will feel great knowing you accomplished what you set out to do. Since you wrote it down you will know everything you wanted done got done. So here is a great basic checklist for cleaning your small living room.

Main suggestion and old common cleaning rule to remember clean from top to bottom. Since any dust will float and fall. Some things need to be done before getting there, but always keep that in mind.

  • Pick up any items on floor that don’t belong there.
  • Clean off tables, shelves, furniture and etc. of items that don’t belong.
  • Once all items that don’t belong in room are removed, then on with the start of cleaning.
  • Remove rugs, blankets, curtains and other items that can be washed or need to be hung and beat or dry cleaned if necessary. You can save time by having washable things in the process of washing and drying while doing other cleaning.
  • Then proceed with your dusting or wipe down process. You can do one or do both depending on how deep of a clean you are looking to do. Always start from top of room and work your way down. Start with ceiling fans and lights, then move onto cabinets, window frames, door frames and etc. Then shelving, mantles, tables and all items stored on any shelving and tables.
  • Next clean all glass surfaces and items using proper glass cleaning techniques. 
  • Empty garbage’s and shake out rugs. 
  • Vacuum of any upholstery that allows for it.
  • Then vacuum floor. 
  • Spot clean upholstery or carpets at this time if you have the items to do so. Always test questionable fabrics first. 
  • Re-vacuum spot cleaned items to assured there is no residue is left behind.
  • Once rugs, curtains and etc. are done they can all be returned back to their rightful spots. 
  • This is also a great time to remember to do a thorough tending to any plants you might have. Wiping leaves down, watering and etc.

This was just a simple basic list you could add more especially if looking to do spring/fall cleaning. Which is typically a deeper clean. You could even write each individual item down so you know you got everything. You can adjust to carpeting or no carpeting and etc. Cleaning frequency depends on your needs, more use means more frequent and less use means less frequent.

Thanks for reading my Small Living Room Cleaning Checklist. Now it's your turn. Share your ideas using the below comment box.

How to Decorate a Small Living Room

How to Decorate a Small Living Room

If you are thinking about decorating your living room, but the space is small it may seem impossible. Think again though, even though it is small there are still plenty of ways to get it done. You don’t have to have a large room to make a big bang when it comes to decorating. You just have to know how to decorate properly so everything looks right.

You might just not know where to start, but that is ok too. We will go over 10 ways to decorate your small living room. Sometimes following some laid out steps will make things easier because then you can make sure everything has been done. So let’s get started so you can enjoy your new living room.

How to Decorate a Small Living Room: My Ideas

Light Colored Furniture

When picking furniture for a small space, light colored furniture with straight lines is the best choice. It will help make the space appear larger than it is. Dark colors close things in making things seem smaller and more closed in.

Stick with Lighter Color Scheme for Rest of Room

living room color

The paint, rugs and accent pieces should also follow a neutral to light color scheme as well. If you do want some bright colors, they can be instituted by throws or pillows.

Mirror Placement Is Key

If you want to use mirrors, using them the right way in a small room is key. Mirrors can be used to make a room appear larger but not simply just by placing them in room. They have to be placed in places where they will be reflecting either a light colored wall or light that is coming into room.

Horizontal or Vertical?

If you are planning on using décor with lines, you want to make sure you get the right ones. You want vertical, because you want to stretch the view upward not outward. Using vertical lines gives your perception the same feeling you get when you walk into a cathedral.

Don’t Supersize Furniture

small living room furniture

One of the biggest mistakes made in decorating a small room is the furniture. When choosing furniture, don’t choose furniture that is too big. You want the size of the furniture to fit the size scale of the room. So if you are decorating a small room, you need to find smaller furniture. Instead of a large three cushion couch, pick a two cushion and so on.

Get The Most Out of Your Furniture

Best way to save space in a small room so you have more space, is find furniture that has more than one use. Such as extra storage, tables with shelves, a recliner instead of using an ottoman and a chair and so on.

Make Un-Used Space Useful

Use that unused wall space for something useful. Built some built in cabinets, giving more room for storage without taking from the space you need. Placing objects in different ways can also, so break up the way it is stored on shelves to avoid clutter.

Clutter Is a No Go!

One of the biggest things that will instantly make a smaller room look even smaller is clutter. So you want to avoid clutter any way you can. Don’t add pieces you don’t need, store what you can and display only what you need or want to.

Lovely Lighting

small living room lightening

Lighting can be your biggest helper in making a room bigger. Placement is everything though because light also creates shadow. So providing lights in different areas can open up the room greatly, by lighting up dark areas that can close in a room.

Those are the best 10 ways to decorate a small living room. So hopefully these ideas will get you way on your ideal small living room. You will find out that it was much easier than you thought and could be done with minimal effort. Once you have it the way you want it, you will surely love spending more of your time in there as well.