How To Remove Crayon From Surfaces

Is there a toddler running around your house? If the answer is yes, the chances of having a work of art drawn on your walls, flooring, furniture or clothing is rather high. Children like to express themselves in any way that they can – this includes using their art supplies on your home’s surfaces. In honor of National Crayon Month, we rounded up the best ways to remove crayon from surfaces around your home. just in case your child’s masterpiece ends up somewhere other than their paper.

Here’s how to remove crayon from the following surfaces:

  • Walls: The experts of Englewood, FL painters recommend heating the crayon marks with a blow dryer. Next, use a wet, soapy wash cloth and scrub the surface. If this doesn’t work, make a paste of equal parts baking soda and water and scrub the stain with the paste. Another tried and true method is Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. Though it’s not DIY, it still works wonders and can be used on multiple surfaces and for various stains. Use with caution – scrubbing too hard can remove the paint from your walls.
  • Hardwood Floors: There are a few solutions for removing crayon from hardwood floors. One option is to use mineral spirits. This is a type of solvent used for cleaning grease and grime, but it works well with crayons on hardwood floors, too. You can also use Goo Gone, which cleans up stains and sticky substances. If you don’t have mineral spirits or Goo Gone available, scrub the area with dishwashing detergent and water.
  • Countertops: One of the easiest ways to remove crayon from your countertops is to spray an all-purpose cleaner on the stain and scrub away. Once again, warm water and dish soap or a Magic Eraser will also do the trick.
  • Carpets:  Start by removing crayon from your carpet by scraping off as much of the wax as you can. Follow that with a carpet cleaner. You can also place a paper towel over the stain and heat it with a blow dryer. Any spots that aren’t absorbed into the paper towel can be dabbed with hydrogen peroxide.
  • Clothes: Similar to the carpet, first scrape off as much as you can. Then, throw the clothes in the wash on a high setting. If there’s an entire pile of crayon covered clothes, wash the load with hot water using laundry soap and one cup of baking soda.
  • Furniture: As an interior decorator in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Laura Maxwell has seen it all when it comes to furniture stains, particularly amongst families with young children. Like other fabric based surfaces, start with a scraping. Then make a mixture of dish soap and warm water. Use a brush to scrub the stain away.

When removing any crayon marking, make sure to test a small hidden space with your desired cleaning method to make sure it’s not going to further damage the surface. A little elbow grease goes a long way when removing crayons from surfaces. Most methods are DIY, saving you a fortune on home cleaning costs! Remember these tips the next time your child’s masterpiece ends up somewhere other than the drawing board.

How You Should Be Choosing Patio Furniture

No matter the season, having a place to sit and relax outside of your home has many benefits. You get to breathe fresh air, up your Vitamin D intake, reduce stress and generally feel happier. The patio is the perfect space to optimize for maximum outdoor comfort and pleasure. When designing your patio, there are few things to consider throughout the process. Furniture is at the top of that list! After all, it’s what transforms your patio into the ultimate place to relax. Here are tips on choosing patio furniture:

  • Think about the elements. When purchasing patio furniture, keep Mother Nature in mind. Rain can cause metals like wrought iron to rust. Dry air can cause wood to splinter, and the wind can cause light items to blow away.  To avoid these problems, consider your geographic area and the bones of the furniture you’re going to invest in, as well as any cushions or pillows. Look for fabrics that can withstand different weather conditions so you don’t always have to run outside and bring them into the house.
  • Make sure it’s comfortable. There’s nothing worse than sitting down to unwind and not actually being able to because of the furniture. With that in mind, a good rule to follow is: make hard things soft. No matter what type of chairs, benches, or chaises you buy, get cushions to accompany them. Whether you’re lounging in the sun or enjoying a meal al fresco, you’ll want comfort to be a priority.
  • Look for more possibilities. If you don’t have a garage, shed or room anywhere inside your house to store the furniture, think about ways the patio furniture itself can act as a storage unit. An easy solution is a bench or ottoman with a removable top. Inside you can store cushions and accessories when it’s raining or during the offseason. Place cushions on top and you have extra seating too!
  • Don’t be afraid of color. While most of your chairs and tables will come in black, white or a neutral color, you can incorporate pops of color in the cushions, pillows, and rugs. Look for bright solids or fun patterns that go with the vibes of the rest of your home. You can also use the colors of the nature surrounding you to compliment the decor. Surrounded by greenery? Throw some red in the furniture. Is your view an ocean or lake? Nautical patterns are perfect!
  • Invest in UV protection. Have you ever stepped outside for a moment only to wind up sitting out there for hours? In times like these, it’s easy to forget sunscreen. Make sure you invest in a sturdy umbrella or awning for those spontaneous moments or particularly sunny days. Even when it’s scorching outside, a little shade will go a long way.

Your patio is your outdoor oasis. When it comes to choosing your patio furniture, weather resistance and comfort are key factors to take into consideration. For more help designing your patio, contact Mimi Wilson, a Northern Virginia interior decorator.

Designing Your Bedroom To Promote Better Sleep

Did you know that how you style our bedroom can actually affect your ability to have a good night’s sleep? Our quality of life is dependent on the quality of our interior spaces. It is important that we take care in designing our spaces thoughtfully, with an emphasis on our bedrooms. These 3 secrets will help you create a bedroom that promotes a better night’s sleep.

Allow Darkness. Lights communicate to your brain that it is time to wake up, so keeping your room dark is one of the main foundations to promoting better sleep. If you live in an area where there is a lot of light pollution or an area where your bedroom windows face the rising sun, invest in light-eliminating curtains to block out lights and activity that would otherwise cause anxiety and distraction. It’s important to eliminate as much light as possible in the bedroom. This includes the glow of our electronic devices. Many of us use our phones as our alarm clocks, but the light from our phones can also be disturbing to our sleep cycles. Try an analog or vintage alarm clock rather than your cell phone. Coming out of a deep sleep to the brightness of your phone can be damaging to your vision.

Similarly, televisions in the bedroom can be a distracting light source for your sleep cycle. Use an armoire to conceal your television while it is not being used. While it can be comforting to fall asleep with the TV on, the light from the monitor can disrupt your sleep pattern. If you absolutely need the television on to fall asleep, set a timer so it turns off automatically, or replace the habit completely with soothing music or a sleep meditation recording. In addition, use soft lighting in your bedroom. Try investing in bedside lamps with low wattage light bulbs to avoid the use of overhead lighting during the night. Bright lights remind the brain of wake time, and it is important to enhance and promote the feeling of sleep time.

Clear Clutter. Too much clutter can disturb your ability to have a good night’s sleep. Always keep your work out of the bedroom to promote relaxation and peace. The more your bedroom promotes a  feeling of leisure, the more it will actually feel like a luxurious place. Keep household items like your laundry basket in a closet or other enclosed area. Leaving clothes around the room can remind one of daily tasks and chores that need to be done. By neatly enclosing these items in a designated place, you’ll eliminate the look and feel of a clustered space. The same goes for all of your personal items. Clothing, jewelry, and accessories should all have a place. Keeping your items organize will promote a feeling of an organized life.

Color palette. Soothing colors can actually promote relaxation and enhance your ability to fall asleep and feel calm. Muted earth tones, such as blues, creams and greens, are ideal colors for bedrooms, according to the experts of Aurora painters. Try to avoid bright and loud colors in your bedroom to create a more restful atmosphere. Pale gray is the perfect color for bedrooms. It creates a sense of balance in any kind of lighting, plus it plays well with accent colors like lavender, pale pink, and cool blue. Use these hues in your bedroom accessories like your comforter and wall art to create the ultimate relaxing space.

Sleep is an important and sacred part of our everyday life that benefits both our physical and mental health. The better sleep we get, the better we feel throughout our day. Simple design concepts, like light, color, and organization, create the foundation for the perfect night’s sleep. By utilizing these tips, you too can promote a better and healthier sleep for yourself. For more relaxing bedroom decorating tips, contact Angie Lowry, a Smithfield, VA interior designer.

Uses For Duct Tape

If you don’t have a roll of duct tape lying around your house, you’re missing out on a major problem solver. Duct tape is one of the cheapest, easiest, DIY-problem solvers for many household troubles. It is one of the most versatile items on the planet with many uses. Think about it – what household item can you use to fix a leak and make a prom dress? Duct tape can save the day on many different levels, multiple times per day. Discover how you can use duct tape to solve your everyday issues around the house:

Fix a leak, any leak. Do you have a leaky faucet, plumbing, or hose? Is there a hole in your tire? Duct tape is a great temporary fix that will keep you up and running until you can have a professional come out and make the repair.

Decorate anything! Instead of repainting a wall or staining a wood surface, use duct tape for a colorful update. You can find duct tape comes in many different colors and patterns aside from its usual silver. It’s also a great replacement for painter’s tape. If you’re completing a paint project and lack painter’s tape, Evanston painters recommend using duct tape to achieve clean lines and stop paint from bleeding.

Create a roof shingle. Did a nasty storm blow through your area and take some of your roof shingles with it? For a quick fix, make a temporary shingle out of duct tape and plywood. Whip out your measuring tape to make sure the shingle will fit in place. You will eventually have to replace the duct tape shingle, but it’s good in a pinch until you can have a professional install a new one.

Patch a tear or crack. From broken windows to rips in furniture and tears in clothes, there isn’t anything duct tape can’t patch up. Whenever you find a hole in your window screen, a crack in your plastic trash can, or a hole in your swimming pool liner, bring duct tape to the rescue.

Secure (or make your own) cords. If you find yourself in need of a rope or cord, you can twist duct tape into a sturdy solution. If you have a bunch of electronic chords scattered haphazardly across a wood surface in your home, tape them down so they aren’t exposed.

Fix your siding. Vinyl siding can easily get punctured and damaged. Thanks to the various colors of duct tape, finding one that matches your home’s siding and temporarily repairing the damage has never been so easy.

Reinforce and repair. Surely you have a few accessories and decorations around the house that tend to fall apart. The binding of old books can come undone, picture frames can break, and lamps can crack. Use duct tape to reinforce and repair these breaks until you can purchase something new.

If you have a problem, duct tape can solve it. Don’t let that roll go to waste in your tool box or junk drawer. Before you go to make a repair or replace an object that is damaged, buy yourself time and let duct tape save the day.

Decorating With Plants

When you think of home design, your mind probably wanders to paint color palettes, patterned drapes, and accent rugs. Our friends at Clark Team Designs, a group of interior decorators in Carmel, say it’s important to think outside of the box when it comes to accessorizing your home.

Plants and flowers are an amazing way to accessorize throughout your home. Whether you’re looking for a solution to that boring bedside lamp you can’t get rid of or simply want to breathe new life into your kitchen, plants are the answer. In celebration of National Decorating Month, here’s a closer look at the best ways to work plants into your home design:

  • Simple Succulents. These small, low-maintenance plants you can work into any room in your home. If you don’t have a green thumb, start with a few well-placed succulents like Mistletoe Cactus, Jade, or Aloe plants in your kitchen window or in your home office. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, some with small, rounded leaves other with lengthy, pointed ones. Choose the succulents that speak to you!
  • Trouble-free Trees. Incorporating a tree into your home decor can help generate oxygen in your home, deter illness, and even help you be more productive. Weeping Figs, Rubber Figs, and Ficus trees are all excellent indoor tree options. Expert tip – keep the potted tree on a small platform with wheels. When it comes time to clean, you’ll be able to move your greenery around furniture and out of the way. If you’re looking for a smaller option, consider a Bonsai tree to store on your desk.
  • Painless Plants. Choose plants that are going to thrive in the home environment you can provide. If you live in Fargo, you’re not going to be able to keep a palm tree alive in your kitchen! Instead, opt for Phalaenopsis plants, like Orchids. They require a lot of humidity, making them excellent additions to any kind of bathroom decor. No matter where you live, your orchid will absorb all of the moisture in the room whenever you shower.
  • Tiny Topiaries. These artfully-shaped plants are the perfect accessory to any home design style. Topiaries offer that classical feel without all the fuss. They don’t require direct sunlight so they can live anywhere in your home. Use them as a living centerpiece in your dining room or as an eye-catching accessory on the end tables in your living room. Shop your local nursery to find the topiaries that work for your home.

If you’re not comfortable with maintaining live plants in your home or you’re housing small children or pets, you can always find faux plants at your local craft or big-box store. Dress up your home with plants this spring!