The Daniels Team's Blog
You always want to be safe in your new home, but bringing home a new baby brings your safety protocol to a whole new level. In the first few months of life, the baby won’t be getting into too much trouble. By the time the baby can crawl, however, it’s a whole different story. This is why you want your home prepared before the baby even gets there. You should keep your home free of hazards. No more boxes in the way on the floor. The glass coffee table may need to be put away for a time. The nature of your home will certainly change once your little bundle of joy arrives. Below, you’ll find some of the most basic baby safety measures that you can take around your home in order to bring it from normal home to “baby proof.”
You’ll want to look at your home from the level of a child. Anything that you feel he or she could get into when you’re on the floor on your hands and knees is fair game.
Lock Drawers And Cabinets
Both drawers and cabinets should be locked in the bathroom, kitchen, even in your office. You never know what a baby can get himself into! This is especially important for drawers and cabinets that have sharp objects like knives, scissors, or tools. Any cabinets that have chemicals, heavy pans, or anything else you don’t want a child getting into should have a lock on them. Locks for cabinets are available in both the interior style or exterior style safety lock. Both types of locks can be easily installed in cabinets and drawers in order to prevent children from opening them, yet giving the adults in the house continued access to the things that they need.
These small plastic fittings come in a variety of types and styles. Some insert into the outlets themselves while others cover the entire outlet plate. Some snap onto the outlet while others open like a door. You’ll want to choose a type of outlet cover that will work best for your needs. You don’t want an inconvenience when you do use the plug and you also don’t want a lot of small plastic pieces hanging around the home to be just another hazard to your child.
Gates are one of the most valuable safety items that parents can install for their kids. Gates can be installed in doorways where the child shouldn’t have immediate access. These safety measures are also important at the bottom and top of each stairway in the home. Baby gates come in all shapes and styles, so you’ll want to decide what works best for your needs in the home. Some gates are mountable while others are detachable and portable from room to room. Some gates even have extension pieces that are available to be installed along with them to fit rooms of all sizes.
Bumpers get their name because they prevent exactly what the name states-bumping! You’ll want to put these bumpers and corner guards to cover any rough or sharp edges around your home. Consider covering the following areas of your home:
- Coffee tables
- Wood stoves
Anything with a sharp corner or edge needs to be covered to prevent your child from injury.
Baby Proofing can be a difficult task, but with the right tools, you’ll be able to protect your precious little one from harm around your other big investment- your home.
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Who doesn’t want to find that perfect eclectic wood piece to complete their design? Selecting vintage wood furniture is both a pursuit and an art. Among the myriad pieces that look similar, how can you tell what is vintage and what is a reproduction?
Learn the art
To tell a counterfeit study the real. Know what the real thing truly looks like before you head out to those antique dealers, flea markets, and vintage shops. Go online and look at how the wood should appear, what the hardware looks like, and those other telltale details you'll find in older wood furniture. Then, follow these guidelines:
- Don't just take the dealer's word for it. Get way down on your hands and knees and look under that table for marks, stamps, or signatures. Sometimes all you're looking for is a date. But remember, just because an item lacks a date or stamp doesn't mean it isn't vintage, so go on to the next guideline as well.
- Assess the wood’s age. As it ages, wood darkens and sometimes warps. If the items spent time outdoors, you should see weathering.
- Finishes develop fine cracks and darken or turn yellow or amber over time. If the former owner or dealer refinished the piece, the dealer might be able to tell you when.
- Joints in older furniture typically use dovetails, pins, or dowel construction as a sign that a cabinetmaker built it rather than a factory mass-production.
- Older hardware loses its shine and gains a patina. Drawer pulls often have a post and nut construction, and authentic vintage furniture shows signs of wear and even grime and dust around the pulls and hardware.
Pursue the object
- New and shiny might look pretty, but refinishing can diminish the furniture’s value on the vintage or antique market. This caveat includes the trend of chalk paint to create the shabby chic and farmhouse looks. Nevertheless, if the piece is what you want, its value is in its ability to fit your design.
- Trust yourself. If the piece looks new, it probably is. If you genuinely want vintage, keep looking until you find it. If the piece fits what you want, buy it and don’t worry about its age.
- Haggle. Buy it if you like it, just don't overpay for it. Don't lowball a dealer, but feel free to make an offer more in keeping with your budget or with similar pieces you've seen elsewhere or online.
If you're looking for a home to display your wood pieces, ask your local real estate professional to show you homes in your neighborhood.
Whether you’re a young professional moving to an urban flat or an empty-nester looking to downsize, the challenge of living in a smaller space is sometimes daunting. The things you want (keepsakes, books, collections, specialty kitchen appliances) and the things you need (room for clothes, a home office, space for a guest) vie for the same square footage. How can you fit it all into your space without it being a cluttered mess? Find the hidden spaces in your home.
Of course, first up is getting rid of items you no longer use, want, or need. Once that’s done, take stock of what remains. Seasonal items should go on one list and everyday items on another.Resourcefulness
Pass a critical eye over your furniture. Can you use space under, behind or above it? Will it do double duty?
- A narrow bookshelf set behind your sofa provides storage for seasonal items and functions as a sofa table.
- Stack vintage suitcases or trunks filled with blankets, seasonal clothing or keepsakes beside the bed or sofa as an end table.
- Slide baskets under a coffee table for smaller items you use often. Or turn a cubby shelf into a coffee table for dual use.
- Put storage bins under the bed for sweaters, blankets, or guest pillows.
- Store sheets and extra blankets under your mattress.
- Use a tall bookshelf behind your bed. It replaces the headboard and nightstands, then adds extra storage both above and behind the bed. Keep seasonal items on the lower shelves behind the mattress and items you use often in the exposed shelves above.
- If you rarely bake, store pans in your oven.
- Typically eat take-out? Store extra dishes in that unused dishwasher.
A little creative effort goes a long way when looking for space. Hack something you already own or an inexpensive purchase into multi-purpose storage.
- Hang shower rings from a hanger to hold scarves, ties, or tank tops.
- Install a towel bar to a closet wall below the hanging clothes and hang your heels over it, freeing up much-needed floor space. Or, use a peg rack or stick-on hooks to hang sports shoes and flats.
- Use binder clips to hold computer and charging cords in place and off the floor.
- If the space between your bed and the wall is too small for a side table or nightstand, hang a floating shelf to hold books, your cell-phone, and glasses.
- Add cushions to the top of a low storage shelf to create extra seating.
- Add stick-on hooks to the insides of cabinet doors to hold lids and cutting boards.
Innovative storage is an industry all its own. Retailers such as West Elm, Pottery Barn, IKEA, Target, and several online-only outlets specialize in dual-purpose pieces to help get the most use from a small space. Here are some you may find useful:
- Look for an ottoman that makes into a sleeper. Use it as your coffee table, then pop it open for casual overnight guests.
- Buy a platform bed with drawers or one that lifts on hinges to access storage underneath.
- Install a table that hangs on the wall and folds down when not in use.
- Install modular shelving with a deeper shelf at desk height for a home office solution.
No matter how small the space, there are ways to maximize it. If your home is on the market, ask your real estate professional which items to leave out and which to find a hidden home to make the best impression on a buyer.