Cooler temperatures are rapidly approaching and if you, like me, have huddled down next to the heater in the evenings, simultaneously bemoaning and dreading the impending heat bills, you’re not alone. Here are 10 simple tips on how you can stay warm this winter, without spending a fortune. 

  1. Insulate your house. Perhaps your house is older and in the middle of the winter, you notice lots of icicles hanging off your gutters. Your house is leaking heat and therefore, you’re wasting money. Spend the time before the winter really starts by properly insulating your house and especially around your windows. This may be as simple as caulking around the windows, but it can make a lot of difference, and save you money in the long run. 
  2. Buy a heat pump. Not only will it work during the summer to keep you cool, but it will reverse during the winter to help you stay warm. They’re efficient and economizing, and use less energy than regular heaters. 
  3. Reverse fan direction. During the summer you want your fan to be pushing air down so the circulation is increased. But in the winter, you want the cold air pulled up and the warmer air pushed down. Consult your owners manual to make sure you have the fan settings right. 
  4. Hot water bottle. This is a favorite trick of mine. Hot water bottles are cheap, long lasting, and retain heat for hours. You could cozy up with one on the couch while another one is heating the foot of your bed. Buy good quality bottles and accessorize them with padded exteriors that help retain the warmth and prevent you from burning yourself if the water is extra hot. 
  5. Embrace the sunshine. Don’t keep your blinds pulled during the winter. Let the sun shine in and use the natural warmth to help heat your house. It can make such a difference and that combined with better insulation allows your house to warm up and stay warm through the day. 
  6. Drink hot beverages. During the warm summer months, you probably swap your coffee for an iced one, but as the temperatures cool, you probably will want to swap back to a hot cup. Coffee, tea, and cocoa all are warming drinks that aren’t very expensive, especially if you make them yourself, and can help you stay warm during the cool winter months. 
  7. Bundle up. Break out those woolen sweaters and socks because bundling up is one of the best ways to stay warm during the winter months. If you’re looking to invest in a warmer wardrobe, buy natural fabrics, such as wool or cotton, that last longer than man-made ones and will naturally biodegrade once they’re no longer wearable. Wool especially is fantastic in the winter because it helps regulate the body temperature. Furthermore, wool fibers last longer than cotton and can be bent hundreds of times more before they wear out. There is a reason our ancestors wore wool, and we should too. 
  8. Invest in a wood stove. Using a woodstove can be an investment, or it can be a much cheaper and more efficient way to heat your house, depending on your circumstances. If you live in an area where wood is cheap and you don’t mind the extra work, using a wood stove as supplemental heating can be a great way to save money on conventional modes of heating. 
  9. Open your oven. Are you a baker or do you use your oven often? If so, once you’re done cooking, crack it open so the excess heat leaks out and helps warm up your house. It will help keep your kitchen toasty warm and comfortable and help save money. With this in mind, bake away!
  10. Turn up your heat in the morning. Keeping your house between 60*-67 at night is recommended anyhow for optimal sleep. If you keep your house cool but not chilly, you’ll be cool in the morning, so turn the heat on then and warm up your house during the day. At night, the temperature will cool down again but since your house will be set at a cooler temperature, it will cost you less overall. Essentially, you’re only using your heaters when you’re up and around there house needing it. 

In conclusion, there are lots of ways you can save money this winter by preparing ahead of time to save money on your heating. Of course, this list does not take into account a heater that is maybe broken or not working properly. If that describes your heater, definitely have it fixed before the chill of winter sets in so you stay warm and comfortable all winter long.

Guest Contributor: Allie Shivers


Most people have been spending more time at home lately – you might be sick of those bright blue walls that were so trendy five years ago. Does a room in your home need a refreshment? A good place to start is with a fresh layer of paint. If you plan to sell your home, painting is a great remodeling strategy that provides a handsome ROI. But before you break out a bucket and roller, you’ll need to take some steps to get everything in order. Properly preparing a room before painting it will ensure the best results:

Move or cover all the furniture. Ideally, you should move all your furniture out of your room, but that’s not always possible if you’re short on space. In that case, use drop cloths to cover all your furniture from accidental paint splatters. Protect your floors by covering them with drop cloths, as well.

Clean the walls. Dust will interfere with a smooth paint application. Use a vacuum on baseboards and crown molding to clean those hard-to-reach places. Then, wash your walls with a cloth and warm soapy water. This will remove any stains and dirt. If you’re painting a room that’s been exposed to oil (like a kitchen), you may need to use a grease-removing product. Humid areas like the bathroom may have mildew growing in the corners, in which case you’ll need an abrasive sponge and a solution with bleach. Allow the walls to dry completely before applying any paint. 

Assemble your tools. Unfortunately, paint doesn’t apply itself. You’ll need to arm yourself with the right supplies to do a good job. Make a list of the items that you have and what you’ll need to pick up from the hardware store. To name a few here, you’ll need paint, brushes, a roller, a tray, painter’s tape, cleaning rags, drop cloths, and clothes that you won’t mind getting covered in paint. 

Wear protective equipment. Before you open up a paint bucket, wear a respirator mask! It’s important to wear one that can filter out harsh chemicals. Beware of harmful chemicals that can irritate your lungs and cause headaches. If you can’t wear a mask, be sure to open all doors and windows to allow a cross breeze through the room.

Repair any holes or damages in the walls. For this step, you’ll need putty, a knife, and sandpaper. Fill in any holes or imperfections on your wall using the putty and smooth the raised edges with the knife. Once it’s dry, file it down with sandpaper so that it’s level with the rest of the wall. If the existing paint is flaking in any areas, smooth it away using sandpaper to ensure a smooth application of paint.

Protect electrical elements and light switches. Remove the covers from electrical outlets and switches, and cover them with painter’s tape. You don’t want the paint to get inside of your electrical outlets, so don’t neglect this step.

Use painter’s tape around baseboards and windows. You are painting your room, but you don’t want to paint everything in it. Seal the edges surrounding your doors, windows, baseboards, and crown molding. If you have painted before, then you’ll know the satisfaction of removing the painter’s tape once you’ve finished the job. Something to keep in mind is that you should never remove the tape before the paint has dried completely, or else you’ll wind up with jagged edges. Rather than ripping it off all at once, try to do it slowly. 

Choose your wall color. The final step is choosing which color will work best for your space. If your room is small, select paint colors to make a room look bigger. But if size isn’t a concern, then you have free reign. Those who want to sell their homes in the future should keep in mind that most buyers like neutral colors. There’s also the option of going bright and bold – it is your home, after all. Once you’ve chosen your color, determine how many gallons of paint you’ll need by measuring the square feet. When covering a darker color with a lighter one (like black to white), you will need a few extra coats. Factor in that you might want a little extra to use for touch-ups in the future. 

Apply a primer. A base coat will help your paint job last for years to come. It can also help you transition from a darker color to a lighter one. The primer you need will depend on the type of paint you’re using. Oil and water don’t mix, so if you’re using an oil-based paint, you’ll need an oil-based primer (and vice versa for latex-based paint). 

The painting process will go much more smoothly if you take the above steps first. After all this preparation, rolling layers of paint on your walls will seem like a breeze. It’s amazing what a coat of paint can do to transform a familiar space and make it feel brand new.

Guest Contributor: Christie Simon


You probably know that colors affect a person’s mood. That’s why it’s very important to choose the colors right, especially when it comes to your bedroom. 

Needless to say, you want to achieve a comfortable, calming, and relaxing space that will help you achieve a good night’s sleep.

Whether you’re renovating your bedroom or building a new one, below are some of the best color schemes for your inspiration:

Black + White + Brass

There’s nothing as timeless as black and white. 

While some people will think this color scheme is quite too heavy especially if the dominant hue is black, these colors are actually remarkably serene when used together.

You can create an entirely different mood depending on how you style your room. 

If you want to further elevate the look of your room, consider incorporating brass. It makes the space inviting, elegant, and dazzling.

Bright Blue + Gray

Blue promotes calmness and relaxation, which makes it perfect for a bedroom. Meanwhile, gray is a neutral color so it goes nicely with other hues and accents.

Blue + gray is a great option since you don’t want your room to be overly colorful or vibrant.

Natural wood details make a wonderful accent for this color scheme.

Charcoal + Gold

If you love gold and would want to incorporate it in your room, go ahead. Just make sure to pair it with warm, deep-tone neutrals, such as charcoal gray.

This color combination helps you achieve an elegant and relaxing ambiance. When working on this palette, enough lighting is important so your bedroom won’t look too dark. 

This color scheme works well with well-lit rooms or those with larger windows that allow natural light in.

Aside from charcoal gray, gold also works with chocolate brown, rich olive green, and beige.

Navy + White + Yellow

Navy and white go beautifully together and a punch of yellow makes this color scheme much more exciting. 

You can set the tone with a deep hue accent wall or some navy blue furniture, decor, or cabinetry and a backdrop of crisp, white walls.

You can use yellow for the curtains or your mattress.

For an even more dynamic color scheme, you can pair navy blue with mustard yellow or soft butter yellow. Such color offers warmth and brilliance that stands out against the coolness of the navy color.

Emerald + Mint + White

Emerald adds cheerful energy and freshness to any room. It’s a little too bright for a bedroom but it makes a beautiful option when paired with a complementary shade of mint. To tone down the vibrance of emerald, make sure to incorporate white in your color palette.

For example, you can paint the walls white and add touches of emerald wall decals or cabinetry. Then, you can choose mint green for the curtains and accessories.

Emerald also works amazing with neutral shades, particularly earth tones like gray, charcoal gray, and beige.

Factors To Consider When Choosing the Bedroom Colors

The above color schemes are just ideas. There are so many color combinations that are perfect for bedrooms. It can be a challenge deciding what colors to use for your room. To make the process easier, here are the most important factors to consider:

Start With a Mood Board

Every interior design starts with a mood board. 

A mood board lets you visualize your ideal bedroom and helps you organize your ideas for the style, mood, and colors of your dream room.

Your mood board should incorporate different elements, from the overall feel of your bedroom to the accessories, window treatments, and furniture pieces.

Don’t Forget About the Floor Color

Floor color is an important element to consider because it helps create a cohesive layout with your chosen color palette.

When choosing the color of your flooring, consider the mood you want to create, how much natural light you get, your room size, and your furniture’s color and finish.

Gray is the most popular flooring color because it’s the ultimate neutral, but you can always choose something else as long as it matches your interior design.

Pay attention to what carpets and rugs to use. Carpets should always be clean and fresh. If you can’t manage to wash your carpets deeply, there are lots of budget-friendly yet professional carpet cleaning services that will have you covered! Remember, carpet color should match your whole bedroom style. 

Consider the Orientation of Your Bedroom

Another important factor to consider when choosing paint colors is room orientation.

For example, a north-facing bedroom will have cooler light so it works well with warmer shades like pinks and yellows.

Meanwhile, a south-facing room is naturally bright so it can take cooler tones like blue or grey.

Make it Personal

Bedrooms are deeply personal spaces. Thus, you want to make sure it fits your lifestyle. If you’re a morning person, choose clean, light, and energizing paint colors.

If you’re an evening person, opt for dark, womb-like shades.


Creating a relaxing bedroom starts with choosing the right colors. Keep in mind that a color scheme doesn’t just involve the walls, but also the floors, accessories, and furnishings of your bedroom.

More importantly, it should reflect your personality and lifestyle.

Guest Contributor: Leila Amber