Archive for the Tips Category
It’s no secret that when service members receive orders for relocation they may have only a few short weeks (or months, if they’re lucky) to move. To make matters more confusing, because PCS doesn’t always mean permanent you may be relocated multiple times and to very different parts of the country all within the same short span of a few years. While this can understandably wreck havoc on your family life, it’s less well known that family belongings take a hit, too. All families like to have items of their own, but in military life it can be challenging; constantly packing up and moving takes a toll on every part of the home. While the military will ship items to their future homes, consistently relocating furniture becomes tedious and draining and can wear down furniture rather quickly.
Additionally, while in transit items may become damaged or even lost. This can cause families to go days, weeks or even months without their furniture and be left in a bind. After filing the inconvenience claim and getting covered for those surprise out-of-pocket expenses, you’re still left in quite the pickle, especially if items arrive damaged. A separate claim must be filed, the moving company inspects the damaged property, and then chooses to approve or deny the claim. Best case scenario is an approval, which still results in a time-consuming repair (or payment, if you’re really lucky), while a denial results in total loss. These situations happen, unfortunately, and the family is the one that suffers.
Many military families face the dilemma of whether to start over in each new city by selling their used furniture and buying fresh (or even buying used), or dealing with the hassle and expense of shipping pieces the family has grown to love, risks and all. A great alternative to these problems is furniture rental. The dilemma of what to do about furniture is entirely removed and the flexibility to select the right pieces for your home and return all or some at will is a huge weight off the stressed and busy military family. Signature Furniture Rental offers package deals for the whole home or room by room, or you can choose piece by piece if you like for maximum customization. Select from a variety of couches, dining tables, bedroom pieces, and accessories in a variety of colors and sizes. With the many options of furniture rental you are sure to find something to fit into your personal décor.
As a military member, it’s understood that relocation is always a possibility. Furniture rental services offer easy return – including pick up – making your move an easier process and creating a smooth transition for your family. Moving is hard for anyone, but relocating a military family is even harder. Consider furniture rental as an option to make it even just a little bit easier on your family.
Image courtesy of SheKnows.com
Magnets are one of those little touches we don’t realize how much we miss when they aren’t there. Over time, magnets have become much more purposeful than the mere refrigerator decoration to uphold family photos and schoolwork. Some of the first refrigerator magnets came in the basic rectangular or cylinder shape and have since transformed into small works of art accentuating your kitchen. We really like these DIY magnets to adorn your fridge in a temporary location and provide a respite from impersonal accessories.
Go eco with these mini gardens made using wine corks. A simple and quick creation will add beauty and life to your kitchen with just a few items; corks, a knife, glue, magnets, and a screwdriver. You can even make these once you’re in your new location and store them in an empty travel mug when it’s time to go back home. Start by carefully carving out the center with a knife and finish creating the hole using the screwdriver. Glue the magnet to the back of the cork. Fill the hole with dirt and a small plant. Use plants that don’t require a lot of care and have a long life.
Sticking to the “green” theme, we found these unique tree branch magnets. Using a small branch (preferably found on the ground), you can add an earthy theme to your décor. Customize the branches by painting patterns or initials on them. Short inspirational quotes would be a good way to start your day each morning. We think there would make great coasters too! (If you missed our DIY coaster post, check it out.)
The blog How About Orange has created mini mod clocks using bottle caps. Of course, you can paint the caps in any design you prefer. Add a theme or mix it up. Due to the depth of the caps, it is important to glue something thick to the inside, such as a piece of cardboard, prior to adding the magnet. This way the magnet can effectively attach to the refrigerator or magnet board.
Magnets have moved beyond the kitchen and into the office or living areas. Create a personalized board for the office using a large sheet of metal, some fabric or patterned paper, and a large wood frame. Supplies may be purchased from craft stores, found around the house, or for a unique find, check out yard sales and thrift stores.
Our final DIY magnet project is created in a similar fashion to the memo board, but on a smaller scale – a magnet photo frame. What a perfect way to switch out photos quickly without all the fuss of removing the layers from the back of the frame and constantly checking to make sure if the photo is straight prior to sticking the cardboard back in. Plus, this way, you don’t injure your fingers trying to pull up on those little metal tabs every time.
Vases are one of those items that make a room feel more warm and inviting, but sometimes a vase just isn’t available when it’s needed. Vases are sometimes left out of basic furniture packages because renters view them as unnecessary. We beg to differ! Using items that you’ll already have or can purchase for a fairly low price can turn all sorts of objects into a vase.
With a little creativity and a few tools you can create an elegant and personalized set of vases.
If you have some natural talent of your own, you can go above and beyond by trying your hand at a project like this one. Individuals under the name of Custom Bottle Art by Celano Painting & Design, have created their business in which they sell their masterpieces. Using empty liquor bottles, the company paints just about any sports teams’ logo or player onto the glass. With lights added inside, you have a truly unique lamp that your friends are sure to envy.
A vase in a vase? Now that’s original, such a simple yet unique idea. This is the perfect solution to any odd numbered sets you have due to one breaking or getting misplaced or wanting to display a certain flower in a wide mouthed vase. Mix up colors and shapes for a variety of options. Fill in the empty space of the large jar with Christmas lights, marbles or colored glass, shredded magazine pages, or whatever you may have around that you aren’t using for some added personalization.
It’s easy to remake a crystal bottle or vase that you’re not too fond of with paint. Choose a glass paint that matches your decor, pour it inside and turn the bottle until all sides are covered. If you intend on using water inside the vase, make sure to choose a paint that is waterproof. Reusing cans create the ability to up cycle in a similar way: slightly squeeze an empty and cleaned soda can to create a unique shape. Spray paint the cans and use for smaller, single flowers for an artistic look. Leftover food cans can also be artfully repurposed by gluing ribbon or rope around the can, covering it completely and adding a small jar of water in the middle.
Let your imagination run wild and don’t forget to share your ideas with us!
One of the great things about corporate housing is the modern, upscale furniture rentals you’ll enjoy. But one of the down sides is being away from the things that make your house your home. With Earth Day quickly approaching we’ve decided to celebrate our environment with some upcycled DIY projects. The kicker is that these ideas are also perfect additions to temporary housing decor because they add personal touches to your home away from home.
When staying in a temporary corporate apartment it is important to keep furniture rental items in the condition in which they were found, thus avoiding any additional fees. We’ve found some fun coaster projects to help protect tables from unwanted rings and stains. Plus, coasters take up almost no space in your luggage and are easy to transport!
The quickest and easiest coaster we found involves just a little cardboard and patterned duct tape. This idea is inexpensive, fun and creative, and if you leave one of these guys behind, you won’t be too disappointed.
We just love these wine bottle cork coasters. Save the corks from your next wine and cheese night, cut them in half, and glue together in any shape of your choosing and glue a ribbon around the edge. This is a simple, yet classy addition to your coffee table.
Martha Stewart is always coming up with creative ideas and this one easy as pie with an elegant flare. Buy plain white tiles, lace, and spray paint. The possibilities are endless and the project is completed within minutes. Other lace options include using decoupage to adhere the lace to a tile for a 3D textile feel.
The next coaster project brings fun to the table. Utilizing pieces of the classic board game Scrabble, glue letter squares onto a cork board and add felt to the bottom. Letters can be placed randomly, with words hidden, or personalized with names. Create a theme amongst your coaster set and make a game of it when guests arrive!
The ultimate in coaster personalization comes with the addition of your favorite photos, wrapping paper, images from magazines, or your most memorable travels; that’s right, use a map! Using print outs or any type of paper, decoupage and tile, you can personalize to your heart’s content.
Alternatively, stamps may be used.
Drum roll please……we have found the most creative, Earth friendly, simplistic DIY coaster project for you. Are you ready for it? A cinnamon stick coaster! Just glue some cinnamon sticks together and trim with yarn or ribbon. Not only do you have a beautiful addition to your table which protects it, this crafty piece will make your place smell delightful. And it will certainly be an interesting conversation piece!
All of these ideas are a wonderful way to spruce up that coffee table, whether it’s rented or owned. Not only are these ideas great for your home, they make great personalized gifts for the people in your life. Sometimes do-it-yourself projects may seem overwhelming, but with a little imagination and some inspiration, DIY can provide you with a sense of accomplishment. Earth Day is almost here, get started now and share with your friends.
Check our blog often to find out about more projects from our DIY Series! We’ve already shown you our favorite DIY pallet furniture ideas.
Finding that unique piece of furniture can sometimes be difficult, but if you’re up for a DIY challenge, anything is possible. With the rise in eco-awareness, individuals are in constant search of the newest “green” project they can find, and there’s one that has caught our eye.
Pallet furniture has been popping up all around, with creations that go further than the mind may have imagined. From couches to tables, shelving units, and even entire houses have been made from pallets! We have compiled a list of some of our favorite pallet designs to share with you along with some fun tips and tricks.
Use two pallets to create a moveable table. Stack the pallets and add wheels for easy moving. Stain the wood and weatherproof it to have a great addition to your outdoor furniture.
Looking to update your garden? Dismantle a pallet, stain the wood, and lay pieces in your garden to create an elegant walking path. This is especially helpful if the pallet you’re using isn’t stable enough for other projects.
Shelving can come at a hefty price, but using a pallet is a cost effective way to update the look of any room. Add pallet shelving to the bathroom, use it in the kitchen as a spice rack, or hang in the dining room to display beautiful china. Paint the pallet and add personal touches of your own.
Simple projects go a long way with the right designs. Start your own DIY with the change in seasons to add variety to your household. Just be sure to select pallets that haven’t been treated with harmful chemicals and are free of any dangerous issues.
Follow our Pinterest page for other DIY pallet furniture favorites!
Did you know that Pinterest is the third most popular social networking site out there? The site has become so popular we suspect people have imprints on their fingers from clicking the “pin it” button so often.
Part of this popularity may stem from how easy it is to use Pinterest for fun and exciting things, like planning a vacation. When planning a trip, the first step is figuring out where to go. The Earth is covered with land and sights to be marveled at and Pinterest allows the user an attractive way to discover them. Take a look around at what your pinning friends have posted and see if any of their favorites strike your fancy.
Still looking for a destination? Choose from the variety of categories that Pinterest offers from the menu at the top of the page. Some of the following topics that may help to get the vacay planning on its way:
Travel: this category will give you ideas from all over the world. From anything your heart may desire, to the fully unknown. One click on this link and you’re sure to dedicate hours of cyber-traveling bliss.
Architecture: is a great topic for those that have a passion for unique buildings and history. This link will show you amazing sites around the globe and can ignite the urge to visit places you’ve never imagined.
Art: if you have an eye for art or are intrigued to learn more about it, view this category for ideas of where you favorite art/artists are located. Get inspired to visit your newest favorite art works.
Outdoors: allows you to feel out what you want the most. Is it a botanical garden you want to visit or are you more interested in basking on the sandy beaches of an exotic destination?
Sports: utilize this Pinterest category as a way to find new and involved sporting events around the globe.
Once you’ve narrowed down an idea of where you would like to go, create a board for your top location. Create a different board for each city to compare and organize. Additionally, create separate boards for activities and different things to do and visit in those cities. What would you like to do while on your trip? Use Pinterest to put together a variety of fun things to do and start planning out an agenda.
It’s also helpful to have an idea of what’s to eat locally while on vacation, especially for those with special diets and allergies. Search the restaurants close to where you will be staying and create a board for “eats”. You can link directly to the places you are interested in checking out and include their direct contact info within the pin. Do the same for your lodging options: have some hotels or home stay options pinned.
Be prepared! Pin important and useful information that you will need while on vacation. Include your flight info, local travel info (i.e.-bus lines, etc,), resort information, and maps of the town you will be staying in. This is all especially useful if you are traveling abroad and don’t speak the native language.
The best thing about all of this pre-pinning? If you have the Pinterest app on your phone, you will have immediate access to all necessary information! It’s never been easier to plan your vacation with Pinterest.
Once you have arrived to your destination and are ready for some fun, snap a bunch of pictures and – you guessed it – start pinning! Maybe you can help another Pinterest user to help plan their next vacation.
Pinterest for projects and other things
We already talked about how Pinterest is an excellent tool for home design and gave you a list of home design Pinterest boards to follow, but if you’re still new at the whole Pinterest thing we’ve got you covered. Once you take the first few steps you’ll see why Pinterest is being called the most addicting social network ever!
Find and save with pins
The fastest way to get started is by going to www.pinterest.com and creating your own personal account, which can be linked to your Facebook page or Twitter profile for easy logging in and sharing. Once you are logged in, Pinterest will walk you through the process of adding the “pin it” button (or bookmarklet) to your browser tool bar for speedy pinning almost anywhere on the internet. This will allow you to pin an image from almost any webpage to a board that you create on your Pinterest profile.
But wait! What is pinning? Simply put, it’s bookmarking something you’ve come across while surfing the net and quickly want to refer back to in the future. The Pinterest site allows users to create “boards”, which are essentially files that keep pins in categories of their choosing. You can see how it would be useful for anything home related: when you’re browsing photos of beautifully decorated bedrooms and kitchens and see a design that speaks to you, no more trying to remember the exact colors when you finally make it to Home Depot – you have it saved on your Pinterest profile! Just log back in and find that pin.
So, how does it work? Let’s say you are working on a project – redecorating a room, perhaps – and you’re still tossing around ideas with your spouse. You start by searching online for color schemes, wallpapers, or furniture options. Once you come across something you like – for instance a couch – you can click on the pin it button on your tool bar. A box will pop up asking you to choose a board from which you already have or lets you create a new one. Some images will already be optimized for pinning and will have a description ready to go, but you can add or change anything you want. You can also share a board with another user; this allows you and your spouse to collaborate on the couch you want for the living room, for example.
One nifty feature of pinning is the ability to record prices of things. Suppose you are selecting from a variety of couches and want to compare prices… just put the cost of the couch into the description box! Then, when you open your board you will see a list of all the couches that you have pinned and their prices will appear directly on the image.
If you decide that you no longer have interest in one of your pins – for example, you’ve narrowed it down to two couches and don’t have a need for the others anymore – it can easily be deleted. But possibly the most useful feature of Pinterest is that each image is connected to the website you originally found it. While all you will see on your board is photos, with one click you’ll be sent back to the original website where you found that favorite couch. This makes purchasing things easy and fast!
Pinning isn’t just for home design projects; it may be used for shopping, recipes, party and entertaining ideas, children’s activities, or just for sharing photos that you upload yourself. With the recent addition of “secret boards” you can manually select who they want to share files with or keep them all to themselves, which is great for gift ideas or hiding a collection from the world. You can also have a board for travel ideas, books you want to read, your future dog… the list goes on!
With millions of users “pinning” every day, individuals are able to follow other pinners across the world. Upon logging into the site, each person’s homepage has recommended pins catered to their personal selections along with friends to follow.
Businesses of all types have been able to utilize Pinterest as a marketing tool allowing the customer to follow their favorite companies and stay on top of what’s new and available. Pinterest really brings customers and businesses together and companies are recognizing what their customers most want to see, making the online experience more enriching. As an example, Signature Furniture Rental has a board for furniture for rent in San Diego for a variety of uses that users attracted to our other boards might one day need.
And now for our shameless plug, Signature Furniture Rental has a variety of other pin boards that we think you’ll love! We have a board for educators, corporate travelers, DIY furniture junkies, foodies, San Diegans, and (of course) interior decorators and amateur home designers. We have a total of 24 boards and we’re positive you’ll find one you love. Follow Signature Furniture on Pinterest!
So you’ve just been temporarily transferred to sunny San Diego… welcome! America’s Finest City is kind to new arrivals and the people here genuinely like to share in the wonders of our own city by the sea. Plus, there are so many things to do no matter what kind of lifestyle you have – and no matter how busy you are on assignment, there’s no doubt you’ll break out to experience life as a San Diegan, if only on occasion and if only for a little while. But one of the worst feelings as a traveling professional is feeling like a tourist in a city you don’t feel comfortable calling home. Any traveler knows the merits of acting and feeling like a local in a temporary city, but knowing where to start isn’t always easy. Here are some ways to find fun and interesting things to do for any personality; these tips can be applied to any city you’re in so you’ll never have to feel bored or alone again anywhere in the world!
- SanDiego.org: Calling itself “the official travel resource for the San Diego region”, this San Diego website is a great place to start with a lot of the touristy stuff. There is information about getting around San Diego, tips for being in the city with kids, an updated list of events, and it even has a few current offers for fun things to do. Tip for other cities: Wikipedia isn’t a bad place to find online resources! Go to the travel section of the city’s Wikipedia page or scroll all the way down to the references section. Plus, if you’re visiting a rather touristy city there’s bound to be ideas buried in the page itself.
- MeetUp.com: Whether you’re on your own, with a few colleagues, or have your spouse with you, attending a meet up is a great way to meet new people while participating in something you all have an interest in. Chances are there’s already an established meet up for your industry, so you could use the opportunity for some laid back networking, too. Tip for other cities: Just select the city you’re in, browse some of the activities that interest you, or simply hit up the “socialize” group! Meet up groups typically always have new members so you won’t feel like a total stranger.
- Follow local organizations on social networks: Make a list on Twitter, a circle on Google+, and follow local brands on Facebook to stay connected to goings-on. A great benefit to this tactic is brands tend to give their followers exclusive access to or advance notice about events and special occasions, and you can really feel like a local! Tips for other cities: Keep a separate list or circle for the different cities you visit so you can keep track of the awesome local venues. Google does a decent job of translating Twitter accounts and other websites if you find them in an unfamiliar language.
- Find local blogs: Say you’re interested in hiking and will be a temporary resident in San Diego. Head to the Google blog finder and plug in “hiking San Diego” and you’ll be presented with blogs from individuals and organizations that have recent posts related to hiking. (If you try it with beer, food, or really any outdoor activity you’ll have plenty to choose from.) Read through a few posts and you’ll surely gather some ideas on things to do that will make you feel like a local in no time. You can create an email alert for as many topics or interests as you want that delivers blog posts to your inbox! Tips for other cities: It’ll be easy to find blog posts about something the city is famous for, and then you’ll get to experience this as the locals do.
- Ask a bartender: Or a server, or the person in the lobby of your temporary housing building, or a local colleague you’ve come to know. Sometimes good old fashioned asking around leads to far better results than you can find online. Plus, it has the added benefit of being able to tell that person your interests so they can tailor their responses, and you might learn an insider tip the good-old internets won’t tell you. Tip for other cities: Nothing different, just remember to not be afraid to ask! You might find the chance to make a good friend or lasting connection, and if you’re reaching out in an unfamiliar language it shows courage.
Participating in the corporate world involves a fast paced environment with little time for tedious tasks. While constantly on the go, it may be tricky to find the time or place to crack open the laptop. You might have known for months that you’ll need to be temporarily relocated to another city for training purposes or helping get a new location off the ground, but finding the time to sit on the computer searching for the right home away from home isn’t exactly what busy professionals like to do in their downtime.
Fortunately, some temporary housing companies have heard you. They realize you have a host of other things to worry about, and that finding a temporary home shouldn’t be one of them.
With the click of a button on your phone, you could have that new place in minutes. Yup, there’s an app for that. Here are a few that we found to help you get started:
- Synergy Housing-gives users the ability to search furnished accommodations all over the world. This app offers the opportunity to view photos, specials, and featured locations immediately. Customers are able to confirm reservations directly through the app by logging on and entering an email address and confirmation number. Additionally, guests can verify the address and access major details including arrival and departure date, as well as key pick up information.
- BridgeStreet Serviced Apartments-search for temporary living in more than 260 cities globally. Some features include reservations, check-in information, photo tours, welcome packet information, emailed receipt, property maps, and itinerary. You don’t even need a computer with this all-inclusive app.
- CRS Temporary Housing- allows users to submit housing requests and caters to displaced homeowners and business owners (whose needs can change within hours). Within 24 hours of a submitted claim, the company has offers available for the applicant with a goal of having the owners into a new place within 72 hours, promising as little time interruption as possible.
Whatever your needs may be, having an app at your fingertips is sure to help ease the stress of finding temporary housing. You have other things to focus your energy on – let your smartphone handle the house hunt.
Bring Out The DIYer In You
We know what recycling is: converting waste into reusable material or returning material to an earlier stage in its cycle. We recycle plastics and turn them into newly usable materials, for example. But a new term has emerged to the DIYer, and that’s upcycle. You may have heard the term in DIY phrases on Pinterest, offering cute and clever ideas for reusing old things in a new and creative way. What makes upcycling different from recycling is that upcycling typically creates better quality products or products that have a better environmental value. There is also typically a bit more creativity involved with upcycling, as it involves the end consumer, whereas recycling is thought more as a physical process undertaken by recycling companies.
This year, after two years of pledging to actually do the things you pin on Pinterest, just promise one small project a month. We’ll leave it up to you to decide which of your pins to start on first, but here are some ideas to get your inspiration juices flowing. Upcycle furniture for maximum intrigue (and most upcycled furniture is on the easy side of crafty, believe it or not).
What you can upcycle
You’d be amazed at what can be upcycled: cloth and more sturdy materials are easily upcycled, but magazines and glass can be, too. Don’t just toss those bottle caps in the trash after enjoying a tasty beverage; upcycle them into a crafty photo frame! Never throw away another mismatched accessory or broken necklace again – repurpose it into something unique. Before running out to the Container Store next time you need a shelf or a toothbrush holder: look around at some things you already have but aren’t using. Some L brackets and hard cover books make interesting shelves, while almost any used jar can be altered to hold just about anything. Upcycling really is about the transformation; rather than repurposing, which is using a fully formed object in a different use, upcycling tends to significantly or completely change the object into something new.
Get picky with it
Just because you want to reuse an item doesn’t mean you should. Some things are not meant to be upcycled, or at least not meant to be upcycled in the manner you want. There are tons of ways to upcycle old books, but if your hardcover book collection is literally falling apart it may not be the best project; you might love the way you imagine your favorite old t-shirt fits as a pillow case but if you don’t wear it because it’s stained and ripped it might make a better rag, no matter how “vintage” it is. Some trash can definitely be upcycled, but not everything. If you look at something bound for the trash can ask yourself if it really belongs in a landfill or if you just don’t have anywhere else to put it. Chances are if your answer is the latter you’ll be able to find a new use for that item. But if it’s going to require so many resources to make the transformation safe or usable it may not be economically or environmentally worth it.