Think an Interior Design Consultation is out of your budget?! Nope!

Orlando’s best Home & Garden Show is back at the Orange County Convention Center and offering FREE Interior Design Consultations, by The Design Diva, Natalie Kight! It is easy to feel intimidated by your interiors or know where to begin, prepare to take advantage of this amazing opportunity in the following ways:

  1. Bring photos, drawings and/or measurements of your space.

The more you have for us, the more we will be able to give you. It’s hard to imagine a space without some sort of visual, even for a designer. Bring in what you have. Any existing pieces or floor plans you want to work with. It’s hard sometimes – but any samples of existing colors within your space that will not be removed during the updating process are extremely helpful with selecting new colors for a space.

2. Have a budget in mind.

This is a big one. Although budget plays an extremely important role in decision making, clients rarely figure that part out first – but they should! Having a budget in mind not only gives your designer a ‘stopping point,’ but ALSO helps their creativity flow. Anyone can create a gorgeous space with $2M dollars in their pocket, but if you give your designer a realistic budget you can actually work with, you’re more likely to get a design you can achieve.

3. Take the advice given.

We get it – We haven’t seen your space and don’t quite know your colors. But you came to us for help – so take it! The most important part about receiving a free design consultation is actually taking the advice that is given. Too often, clients will resist the change they were looking for in the first place. Not every decision is going to be comfortable, some will take some getting used to. Design affects the way we live our everyday lives. Change your home’s design, and change yours.

Come on down to the show you know, The 9th Annual Orlando Fall Home & Garden Show, August 10-12 at the Orange County Convention Center to be inspired by amazing interiors and landscape seminars, plus tour over ten tiny homes and learn how to pare down and live a more simple, ‘tiny’ life! And this show is for the whole family, there are kids activities going on all weekend from cooking classes and character meet & greets to art workshops and author readings of great kid’s books; and more! You don’t want to miss this!

Do Tiny Houses Intrigue You?

Have you seen the shows on TV or run across them on social media and thought, wow, I like the idea… but how can someone live in that… permanently? We get it! We had the same thoughts, so we asked home remodeler, tiny home builder and tiny home dweller, Matthew Collins for some insight! Collins owns and operates Tiny3GB, a division of Third Generation Builders, LLC.
Matthew’s family of six underwent a drastic downsize from a three story, 3400 sq. ft., home in a Charleston suburb HOA neighborhood, to arrive on one fenced acre and a home of less than 900 sq. ft. in the small town of Ravenel, minutes south of Charleston towards Edisto Beach. During their renovation they lived in a two bed one bath single wide without a washer, dryer or dishwasher.
They learned that there were a lot of “things” they could live without and continue to purge their lives of things they no longer need.  The Collins family made three moves before they finally arrived in their finished home.  Each move made them question: do I need this thing enough to haul it from here to there once more and store it for weeks or months?  Many things did not pass this test, leaving their load much lighter today.
When we asked Matthew how he managed to get his four children on board with giving up their “things” and moving to a tiny house, he shared the following ideas:

  • Get the kids invested and involved; we had four yard sales, as I recall, and the kids were allowed to keep the proceeds of any items they contributed to the sale.
  • Give yourself time to see what you miss; we put everything but the bare necessities for about 6 months as we renovated. That put “things” into perspective and we truly enjoyed each other’s company and enabled us to see what we really missed and what we didn’t.
  • Turn purging into sharing; we were able to give quite a few items away on free cycle and Craigslist that we no longer needed finding it really is more blessed to give than to receive. The children went with my wife as she gave a lady our second set of Christmas decorations (we had 2 different color themes and rotated every year—crazy—why did we do that??). The lady was hosting Christmas for her daughter and family for the first time and it was indeed a joyous occasion. Also, we were able to gift our piano to a small country church and that too was such a joy when the two members came to pick it up.
  • Get excited about the ‘pros’ of the change; our family was very excited to be moving from a small yard in a big neighborhood to a big yard in a sparse residential area. Plus, they loved the idea of a “small chicken farm” which has evolved into raising Kinder Goats as well. And now, in our final phase of transformation we are staying on the farm building tiny houses and not fighting Charleston traffic across town to renovate and repair homes.
  • Our downsizing experience really helped us to focus on prioritizing our relationships with those we love over any worldly possessions. It has been a sweet time in the life of our family and we are grateful for the journey.  We have seen God work in our lives and our circumstances.

If you’d like to explore the idea, and some tiny houses for that matter, we’ve got just the thing! The 9th Annual Orlando Fall Home & Garden Show has a Tiny House Village in which you can tour about a dozen Tiny Houses! Homes will be coming from as far away as Texas. There will be homes of all shapes and designs; and all less than 400 square feet. The Tiny House Village will also have fun family activities, including a Farmer’s Market! AND!! These builders do not want to drag these houses back home, so bring your best offer and buy a home on the spot.
NOAH (National Organization of Alternative Housing), the sponsor of this feature, is the premier third-party inspection and certification company for tiny houses on wheels. Addressing the challenges of life, fire safety, structural efficiency and energy efficiency in the construction of the homes, Noah is like the building department for Tiny Houses on Wheels. NOAH will have representatives at the Village to answer your questions regarding national codes and construction of your tiny house on wheels. Also, some challenges faced with Tiny Houses are placement, insurance, and funding, so NOAH will have representatives on site with solutions to all of these!

4 Tips for Maintaining Hardwood Floors

Many homeowners ask, “How do I best take care of my new hardwood?” With proper maintenance, hardwood flooring can last a lifetime, serving as an enduring investment in your family’s comfort and property value. Here are 4 tips for maintaining your hardwood floors:

Use Mats and Rugs

Take preventative measures to protect your flooring. With the strategic placement of mats and rugs, you can protect your hardwood from debris and moisture. High-priority locations include:
Doormats should be placed near entryway, the longer the better, so that visitors have ample time to clean the bottoms of their shoes.
High-traffic areas, such as a mudroom or hallway.

Sweep and Mop Often

Another preventative measure is to remove dirt and grime from your floor before it can damage it. Our shoes carry particles of sand and grit that can wreck havoc on a beautiful hardwood finish. When mopping to remove particles from your floor, be sure to use a cleaning agent that will not stain hardwood or remove the finish. Chemicals to avoid include vinegar, citrus, silicon, acrylics, urethane, or tung oil. When vacuuming, take extra precautions to ensure you do not scratch the floor. Vacuum attachments, especially rolling brush heads, can easily scratch a finish.

Get Your Dog a Bed

Don’t let your hound sleep on the ground. The spots where our canine companions spend the most time are obvious because animal fur removes hardwood finishes over time. A dog bed is a sound investment for maintaining your beautiful hardwood flooring, as well as making you very popular with Fido. Pet owners should also be sure to regularly trim their pet’s nails, which leave unsightly marks on your floors.

Polish Your Floor

Applying a polish to your floor can help smooth a floor’s surface by filling in dings and scratches. Be sure that whatever you use is appropriate for the species of wood and the finish. For best results, hardwood floors should be polished every few months.
Floor Coverings International Winter Garden is dedicated to finding the perfect flooring for Orlando, Winter Garden, Windermere FL area homeowners. Learn more about your hardwood options by visiting their booth at the 9th Annual Orlando Fall Home & Garden Show, August 10-12, at the Orange County Convention Center!