Small rooms can feel cramped and uninviting. Incorporating the right paint colors and selecting appropriate light fixtures can create an optical illusion to make a tight space feel larger than it really is.
How to Choose the Right Color for Your Walls
Lighter colors, such as off-white and light shades of green and blue, can reflect more light than darker colors. That can help you capitalize on natural light and can make a small space seem more open. In a room that receives a large or moderate amount of natural light, painting the walls in a shade of white, light taupe, grey or pink can create an impression of space.
A dark paint color can be overwhelming in a large room, but it may work perfectly in a tighter space. Using a darker color, such as charcoal or black, on the walls can make a small room seem cozy. If you decide to use a dark paint color, balance it out by incorporating furniture and accessories with lighter hues.
How to Use Accent Colors to Make a Room Seem More Spacious
You may want to paint one accent wall in a different color than the rest of the space or use a lighter color for the trim and moldings than for the walls. Painting the walls and trim the same color is another way to make a small room seem more spacious. The lack of a visual difference from one area to another will make the ceiling seem higher. Painting the doors, trim and ceiling in a single color can also unify a space and make it feel larger and more open.
How to Choose the Right Light Fixtures
Don’t rely on only one source of light in a small room. That can cause the room to be bright in the center and darker in other areas. Instead, use multiple light fixtures and lamps to illuminate the space. You can incorporate a combination of overhead lights, wall fixtures and lamps to brighten the area and make it seem roomier.
If the room has a relatively high ceiling, take advantage of the vertical space by installing a light fixture that will hang down. That will draw people’s eyes upward and take their focus away from the room’s small footprint. Recessed lights, backlighting and light fixtures that draw attention to artwork and other focal points can brighten the entire space and make it feel larger and more open.
Consult a Design Professional
Choosing the right paint and lighting for your home can be complicated. Many variables can come into play, including the size and layout of the space, the locations of windows, the amount of natural lighting, your personal preferences and how your family will use the room. If you need advice, get in touch with a local interior designer.
Saving money can be difficult, and sometimes your frame of mind can hold you back. Here are some negative thoughts to overcome:
I Don’t Make Enough Money to Save
You are more than likely wrong about this one. Sometimes it’s about writing down your numbers and determining what you can cut and save on.
With the improving economy, it’s becoming even easier. Household incomes have been increasing and the unemployment rate has been falling the past few years, giving more people a chance to save. And many are doing it. The personal savings rate in the U.S. rose to 5.9 percent in March after rising steadily since 2013. But there’s room for improvement. The personal savings rate averaged 8.29 percent from 1959 until 2017.
I’ll Start Saving When I Earn More
How many times have you told yourself that you’ll start saving when your income rises enough so you can afford it? Unfortunately, this kind of thinking won’t get you anywhere. Expenses often increase as pay does, so putting off saving for this reason doesn’t mean you’ll do it later. Start now instead of waiting.
I’m Young. I’ve Got Decades to Save
Telling yourself that you’ll save later can affect your retirement planning. It’s a problem that can be dealt with later, the thinking goes, and it can be hard to imagine what will happen decades from now.
The value of compounding and saving early in life are explained on the website interest.com. Waiting only five years, not decades, can require a higher savings rate to reach a retirement goal of $1 million by age 65.
According to the site, if you save $405 per month by age 25 at an average annual return of 7 percent then you’ll have $1 million at age 65. But if you wait until you’re 30 to start saving then you’ll need to save $585 per month to reach that same goal.
It’s Too Difficult
Saving money isn’t easy, but it isn’t as difficult as you might think. Some apps can help. Digit monitors your spending and moves money from your checking account into savings when you can afford it. Meanwhile, a finance app, Acorns, automatically invests your spare change.
Some retirement plans take the work out of investing with target-date retirement funds. Workers select a fund closest to their retirement date and the portfolio changes automatically as they age—aggressive investing when they’re young and more conservative as they near retirement.
Enrollment in a 401(k) retirement plan can be automatic when a worker joins a company, allowing them to opt out if they want to. Employee contributions can also be automatically increased over time.
Whether you suffer from migraines, tension headaches or the occasional run-of-the-mill headache, there are limits to the value of over-the-counter meds, such as aspirin or ibuprofen. While they may bring pain relief in the short term, doctors say that overusing such meds can induce more frequent headaches in the long run and may even leave the sufferer resistant to other treatments.
Chronic headache sufferers and medical professionals offer six holistic tips for getting the best of headaches.
How medical debt and other collection items are tallied in a credit score is changing, potentially increasing the credit scores of millions of people.
Called the FICO 9, the new credit score changes how medical collections are treated from non-medical changes, such as credit cards. A medical debt will now damage a credit score less than paying a credit card bill on time, for example.
FICO 9 came out in 2014, but the improved credit scores could just now be coming to fruition for many consumers because it can take a few years for banks and other lenders to implement the new system.
The new FICO 9 score should give responsible borrowers better access to credit and lower rates on existing credit once the changes are accepted by the industry.
Part of the thinking behind the changes is that for many people facing medical debt collections, it isn’t something they have a lot of control over. People get sick or are in an accident and can’t control how high their medical bills are, and may not even know that their medical debt is in collections.
More than 64 million Americans have some kind of medical collection record on their credit reports, according to Experian, a credit bureau. Almost all medical debts are reported to credit bureaus by collection agencies.
The FICO score is the most widely used credit score in the country, and is used by companies selling mortgages, credit cards, personal loans and more.
Another change with FICO 9 is that older collection items will have less impact on a credit score. Other types of debt that are sold to a collection agency—such as an unpaid utility bill or phone bill, school loan or rent—can still be reported to a credit bureau, but older collections will have less impact on a credit score. If the collection item is paid back, the score will improve.
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When people are searching for a home to buy, they think about more than the purchase price. They consider the overall cost of ownership, including utility bills. Rising energy costs have affected homeowners across the country and people naturally want to find ways to keep those bills under control. Many people are also conscious of the impact that their lifestyle has on the environment and want to reduce their energy usage.
Potential buyers may choose a house that has undergone upgrades to make it more energy efficient over another house that is less efficient. If you’re thinking about selling your home in the next few years, making some improvements now can save you money while you live in the house and may help you attract a buyer in the future.
Figure Out Where to Make Changes
Contact your local utility company to schedule a home energy audit. A representative will inspect your windows, insulation, appliances and other features to identify areas where your home is wasting energy and recommend ways to make it more efficient.
If your house has leaks around the windows, you may be letting cold air enter and letting warm air escape in the winter. In the summer, hot air may be coming in and cooled air may be escaping. That means that a lot of the energy used to heat and cool your house may be wasted. Installing new, more efficient windows can help you avoid wasting energy. Increasing the amount of insulation in the attic, basement and crawlspace can also help you control the indoor temperature.
With a programmable thermostat, you can avoid spending money to keep your home heated or cooled when no one is there. Instead, you can automatically adjust the thermostat so the house will be at your desired temperature when you and your family are home.
Older appliances may use a lot more electricity and water than newer ones. Upgrading to more energy-efficient appliances may dramatically lower your utility bills and make your home more appealing to prospective buyers.
Make Smart Long-Term Investments
It can be difficult to know whether a renovation or a remodeling project would be worthwhile, but energy efficiency improvements are almost always a wise investment. Making your home more energy efficient can save you money while you live in the house. If you stay there for several years, you may recoup most or all of your investment.
Those upgrades can also help you get a higher price when you eventually sell your house. People who are concerned about the environment and who want to save money may be willing to pay more up front to enjoy lower utility bills each month. If you decide to sell your home in the future, discuss any energy efficiency upgrades you have made with your real estate agent so they can be highlighted in the listing.
Great information in this one!