Posts tagged with "home"

Mina tocalini illustrates article for 360 MAGAZINE

Brands You Will Love In 2021

There is no shortage of new and established products out there for consumers to try in 2021. One thing that has become obvious over the past year is consumer preference for quality. Because online shopping has skyrocketed consumers in the U.S. and around the world are seeming to tend to require more information about the products they buy. The reason being that, while browsing is something you do even when shopping in person, the level at which you can browse when ONLINE shopping is far superior. 

Say you are at a big box store looking at laptops. Maybe there will be ten options there for you to choose from or, if the place is especially large, maybe you’ll get twenty. But on the internet, there are literally hundreds of options – all of which you can research and choose from at your leisure until you choose the right one. While increased variety is certainly not a bad thing, it can also lead to something called “decision paralysis” where your mind gets overwhelmed at the number of options and defaults to something familiar. This is where curated lists like the one below come in handy: We did the research to pick out some of the best brands so that you don’t have to!

Organic Protein

Whether you are a fitness fanatic or not, protein powder is on just about everyone’s shopping list these days. Supplementation should not be thought of as a “substitute” for a good diet but, when taken in combination with a good diet, high-quality (preferably organic) protein products like those from Orgain can make a world of difference in terms of your overall health. 

Adding a high-quality protein powder or drink to your diet can lead to better muscle growth, improved appearance of your skin, more energy, less hunger, and more. 

A Secure, Portable Cubby

Tech Tub2 is a way to keep multiple electronic devices safe when you travel with kids, or students, or whatever the case may be. The device is epecially designed for educators but also has important uses for coaches, parents, and others.

Athletic Apparel

Like every other facet of life, exercise (and physical activities in general) have a uniform. That’s not to say you should be wearing a suit on the basketball court, but you should be wearing the athletic version of the RIGHT STUFF. And that’s where tasc performance comes in. Offering some of the best in bamboo-based technology, clothing from tasc will help you look the part and feel the part whenever you are doing something athletic. It’s high-performance athletic apparel for adults with an authentic approach to their fitness.

High-Quality CBD

CBD has a wide range of benefits, many of which are only now be discovered by the American public. But not all CBD is created equal. If you are looking for a product to help you sleep better or to help reduce your muscle or joint aches and pains, considering going with broad spectrum CBD from Healist Naturals.

Shaving Done Right

LTHR Shaving makes shaving a genuinely enjoyable experience. Sure we all know that a warm, old-fashioned shave feels better and makes you look better than a rush job. But who has the time? With the hot lather shaving device by LTHR, now you do!

The Best In Men’s Jewelry

JAXXON is bringing back men’s jewelry in a big way. Whether you’re thinking about a gold chain, silver bracelet or anything in-between checkout JAXXON for high-quality jewelry at reasonable prices.

The Best Way to Get Comfy

This faux fur blanket from Everlasting Comfort is the only comfort you’ll need while traveling or when snuggling up on the couch. The right blanket makes all the difference when it comes to sleep or relaxing at the end of a long day. That is why, even when it comes to your blanket, it pays to get something that is genuinely high quality and which will feel comfortable enough to help sleep better and relax easier.

Conclusion

Organic protein, athletic apparel, and more. Many products have come out over the past year with those listed here being among the best. Enjoy!

Ava Della Pietra - Press Photo by Prospect PR for use by 360 Magazine

Ava Della Pietra QxA

“Ava Della Pietra is a pop powerhouse sure to inspire her listeners with her passionate lyricism and beautiful delivery.”  –360 Magazine

“Ava Della Pietra Follows Breakthrough Year With “Home,” her “Inspiring, Empowering…pop ray of hope” Parade Magazine

“With pure pop sensibility, catchy hooks and heartfelt lyrics…this young Broadway veteran aims at inspiring young listeners to feel proactive and empowered. Her spot-on vocals and sweet delivery will have you singing along and cheering for the power of open-minded activism.”  –Parade

Proceeds will be donated to charities dedicated to reuniting and rehoming children at the southern border.

Listen to “Home” by Ava Della Pietra here.

15-year-old singer/songwriter Ava Della Pietra has just released her most poignant single to-date with “Home,” inspired by the devastating stories of families torn apart on the southern border. Parade Magazine called the song “inspiring,” “empowering,” and a “pop ray of hope,” with “pure pop sensibility, catchy hooks and heartfelt lyrics…inspiring young listeners to feel proactive and empowered.” With lyrics that touch on fear, loneliness, and hope, “Home” is universal anthem for any young person struggling with life’s challenges, as relevant to those on the southern border as to the everyday teen. Parade adds, “Her spot-on vocals and sweet delivery will have you singing along and cheering for the power of open-minded activism.” Proceeds from the single and merchandise will be donated to charities dedicated to reuniting and rehoming children at the southern border.

Over the past few years, Ava has emerged as one of the most promising young artists on the pop scene today. Having established herself on the Broadway stage in the original cast of School of Rock, Ava’s debut single “Christmas Tonight” was named one of the “Best Holiday Songs” of the year by Tiger Beat Magazine, alongside artists like the Jonas Brothers and Liam Payne, and her follow-up single “Optimist” reached #50 on the Top 40 Radio chart, earning praise from American Songwriter, Just Jared Jr., and Newsday, who called Ava a “rising star.”

Produced by Will Hicks (Ed Sheeran, Jamie Lawson), “Home” is one of fifty songs that Ava has written, and the first of ten already produced, to be released in the coming months. Ava collaborated with some of the world’s top producers on her upcoming album, including Hicks, Justin Gray (Avril Lavigne, Mariah Carey), and Adrian Gurvitz (Andra Day, Jesse McCartney, Cheetah Girls). Alongside “Home” and “Optimist,” the album will also feature songs like “Forgotten,” dedicated to the people of Puerto Rico suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, as well as Ava’s upcoming single “Isolation,” slated for release this spring.

“Over the past few years, I have been shocked to learn about the terrible conditions that children have had to endure at the border–being separated from their families and left alone,” Ava said. “I also know that there are kids around the world struggling in other ways, including emotional challenges, pressures at school, problems at home, and so much more. I hope this song can encourage people to lend a helping hand and be there for one another.”

A multi-instrumentalist who plays piano, bass, guitar, violin, and ukulele, Ava began performing at age four and writing songs at age five. She performed on the national tours of “Les Misérables” and “White Christmas” before joining the original cast of “Broadway’s School of Rock”, and has been featured on “Good Morning America”, “Sesame Street”, the Tony Awards, “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”, and more. Ava has performed at the Sundance Film Festival, the Great South Bay Music Festival, the New York Tennis Open, and at Madison Square Garden in front of 20,000 Knicks fans, as well as at My Father’s Place in Roslyn, New York, and in front of a sold-out crowd at NYC’s Rockwood Music Hall. Most recently Ava launched “Talking Tunes with Ava Della Pietra,” a new music column with Teen Kid News, where she is reviewing popular hits. Ava was also featured on the soundtrack for “Secondhand Lions: A New Musical.”

A supporter of both local and national charitable organizations, Ava is dedicated to advocating for young people, inspiring others to believe in themselves and follow their dreams. For more information on Ava Della Pietra, please visit her website.

Here at 360 Magazine, we sat down with Ava to discuss the release of “Home,” her rise to fame, and how she finds inspiration for her soulful songwriting.

  1. Are there any specific charities you’d like to shout out of which to proceeds of “Home” are going toward? Yes, I am giving proceeds from “Home” to non-profit agencies helping unaccompanied minors to reunite with their families and find homes.

    2. You’ve written over 50 songs! That’s very impressive. Where do you find inspiration for writing all of these tracks?  

    Most of my inspiration comes from real life. I really enjoy expressing my emotions through my songwriting because I think it helps me discover more about myself. Sometimes, I will just be walking around my house and a thought will pop into my head. Unconsciously, I come up with a melody to that phrase, and occasionally I’ll create a song. Other times, I’ll simply sit down and think, “I want to write a song today!”

    3. Of the songs you’ve written that haven’t yet been produced, what other themes do you discuss within your music that you think are most important to bring awareness to?

    A few themes I explore in my songs are love, empowerment, mental health, confidence, and friendship. For example, I’ve recently written a few songs about overcoming insecurities. Something I like about my music is that even though a couple of my songs may focus on sad topics, almost all of them have a positive or hopeful spin to them by the end.

    4. Even though other young people’s situations may not be as severe as those at the southern border, how do you see “Home” as a relatable anthem for all listeners?

    “Home” is about lending a helping hand to those in need. This idea can apply to a wide range of situations, from daily encouragement to serious national issues, such as the southern border.

    5. What is the most standout performance of your career, in your opinion?

    In terms of acting and performing arts, “School of Rock” on Broadway was definitely a dream come true. In regard to my singer-songwriter career, Sundance Film Festival was one of my favorite experiences. I also really enjoyed singing the National Anthem at Madison Square Garden for a Knicks game, singing at My Father’s Place, and traveling out to Las Vegas to perform.

    6. You recently launched “Talking Tunes with Ava Della Pietra.” What artists do you particularly enjoy and inspire your own performance?

    Some of my favorite artists are Lauv, Conan Gray, Halsey, Lewis Capaldi, and Camila Cabello. I also like Ed Sheeran and his performance style. He uses a loop pedal which allows him to add the different layers of a song live. I’ve recently started to use a looper, and I find it really fun to incorporate all 5 of my instruments into my performance.

    7. Do you have a “dream musical” you’d love to be involved with in the future?

    I’m a huge fan of “Dear Evan Hansen”, so being a part of that musical would be absolutely incredible!

    8. You began performing at such a young age. When did you, or your parents, first recognize your natural ability to perform?

    I’ve been singing more or less my whole life! I was in my first community theater production when I was four, and people began to approach my parents and encourage them to find me an agent. When I was six, I booked my first role in the National Tour of “Les Misérables.” Everything kind of skyrocketed from there.

    9. What are you most excited about regarding the upcoming release of your debut album?

    I’m just so excited for people to listen to my music. Over the past year, my style has changed a lot, and I can’t wait for people to hear what I’ve been working on!

Room Makeover illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Spruce Up Your Space

By: Carly Cohen × Vaughn Lowery

It’s time to spruce up your space. Giving your home a makeover is all about being resourceful and strategic. Let’s take a look at a handful of makeover tips to get you pointed in the right direction. We’ve listed the top efficient tips to give your space the ultimate makeover!

Get Organized

Being organized is key to having a well-put-together space. Waking up every morning and before going to bed every night, look around and pick up anything or everything that isn’t where it is supposed to be and put it in its designated spot. Purchasing storage organizers and matching bins are an easy and effective way to keep the space clean. There are so many shops with affordable and aesthetically pleasing organizers such as Marshalls, HomeGoods, Target, Amazon, and any home stores that they can think of. Designate a time out of the day to a particular spot in the space and focus on that space until it looks brand new. Once it reaches that clean and organized look, all that needs to be done is make it a habit to keep it that way.

It’s Time to Say Goodbye

Some clothes haven’t been worn in 3 years, or a kitchen filled with appliances that will never be needed or will never be used can be hard to get rid of sometimes. But please do get rid of it. Make a rule to his or herself while decluttering: “if I haven’t touched it in a few years, I need to get rid of it.” Getting rid of unnecessary products or appliances can help space feel ten times better. Getting rid of things can be challenging for some people, but once it is accomplished, they won’t look back. It will be refreshing to look around the space and only see things that are constantly needed and used and not having to worry about excess items.

Figure Out Your Style

There is no need to rush the process when changing the home or moving into a new space. It’s exciting, so sometimes people buy the first items they see without thinking about it for a little bit. It’s key to figure out his or her style because when they are surrounded by things that make them calm, happy, excited, the energy will radiate off of the environment they are in. If they love color and bright settings, but the place is dark and grey, they will feel that energy without realizing it. If they feel calmer in a spa-like environment with whites and plants, but the home is dark wood and blacks, the same thing happens, it will radiate the energy they are surrounded by. This is why it is so essential figuring out what spaces that give that calm and happy feeling. There are budget-friendly and not-so-budget-friendly ways to provide him or her what they are looking for. Either way, it is possible and crucial if this is the place where they go to bed at night and wake up in the morning.

Accessories

Accessorizing is the best part of updating a space. Accessorizing can be so fun and customizable. A popular way of accessorizing is candles and plants. There are so many candles out there that are incredible decorations and smell amazing, and who wouldn’t want their house to smell amazing? Places to look at for unique and lasting candles could be Anthropology, Nest, Le Labo Santal, and Chester Candle Company. Having plants (real or fake) bring in calming nature and awakens space. If they are into the music, they can create a section for the records and wall art of favorite artists. If they are into statement pieces of art, they can purchase beautiful pieces from the Pastel Paradise line through Desenio. If they are into fashion, they can purchase a clothing rack and place favorite pieces on display. If they love to host, make a bar cart and decorate it with sleek bottles and vintage glass wear. There are so many unique ways to accessorize to his or her liking.

Make it luxury without breaking the bank

Celebrities always have the most unique, modern, and fascinating homes, but it can be costly to get them how they are. There are so many other ways to make the space look luxurious without spending too much. Going neutral and accessorizing with exciting and unique things is key. Making the walls, light fixtures, and furniture neutral and simple can allow them to have so much fun in other ways. They can add texture and patterns to spice it up.

Make those ceilings tall

A lot of homes and apartments have shorter ceilings which can make space feel smaller. When it comes to windows, a trick to know hang the drapes close to the wall rather than directly above the window. Doing this creates an illusion that the window is taller than it is.

Bring in sunlight

Whenever I get the chance, I open up my shades every morning and open a window to let the sunshine in and listen to the outdoor sounds. This makes my space feel so calming and always makes me feel better to breathe in some fresh air every day without going outside. Even on a rainy day, listening to the rain as background noise while sitting at home is always fantastic. This is a great and extremely easy trick that everyone can manage.

Make the space perfect with:

Bedroom illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Spring Cleaning Tasks

Did You Remember These Spring Cleaning Tasks?

Flowers are budding, birds are chirping, and grass is turning from beige to green. Homeowners everywhere are thinking about closing the door on winter, cleaning up the house and celebrating a fresh start to spring.

The traditional spring cleaning is something many of us take to heart this time of the year, however, there may be some tasks that you didn’t think of that really take your annual wipe down and declutter to a whole new level.

In every room of the house:

Door frames — As you move through the house, don’t forget the edges of doors: whether they are closet doors, cupboards, medicine cabinets or the front door, they can all accumulate dirt and grime that you may not notice day to day. For example, kitchen cabinets can get sticky and grimy on the front and edges, from the steam produced by cooking. Same for bathroom cabinets. Most doors have a small amount of gap at the top, and that air flow can help dust accumulate. Wipe down the edges of all these surfaces for an extra level of clean. 

Ceiling fans — Another dust accumulator are the blades on ceiling fans. As hot air rises, taking dust and debris with it, the blades can end up getting thick, stuck on coating over winter, when they’re less in use. Light fixtures and chandeliers also have this issue. Lightbulbs in particular attract dust through the electromagnetic waves they emit, creating a magnetic field that inevitably attracts dust.

Area rugs — You might have thought to rent a steam cleaner or hire a service for the broadloom in the bedroom, but what about the area rugs that you’ve placed here and there? The amount of dust and grime that accumulates but isn’t necessarily visible can be surprising! A run around with the vacuum might not be enough. If they’ve been in your home for a while, consider a professional rug cleaning service.

Closet revamp — Everyone knows about decluttering closets and adding hooks and shelving to make it more user friendly, but the change of season is also the ideal time to change how you use your closets entirely. Whether it’s the front hall closet or the walk-in bedroom closet, use the space seasonally and find storage for out of season items. You don’t need to be looking at mittens and boots in July, so set up one storage space as the alternative seasonal storage area and twice a year, spring and fall, you can shift clothes and accessories back and forth. The advantage to this method is that you have less stuff in your main storage spaces that you use daily, which allows you to see what you have to wear that is seasonally appropriate.

Phones and remotes — How often have you thought of wiping down your smartphone or television remotes? It might have occurred to you in a public space like a hotel, but even at home, these often-used items are some of the filthiest items you own. Ideally, you’ll get into the habit of wiping these down regularly!

Garbage bins — Even the indoor bins that you line with bags need a good going over once in a while, to catch dirt and germs that got through or around the liners. Hosing them out and washing them outside is a great job for kids; let the bins dry in the sunshine before you bring them back in.

Specific tasks for the laundry area:

Check your lint traps — Do you find that your dryer is taking a long time to dry your clothes? While most people know to check the lint trap that is right inside the dryer, you also need to clean the rest of the hose and vent to the outside. Over time, lint and other debris can get stuck in there and they could be a fire hazard, given the heat that emanates from a dryer. 

Wash the washing machine — Every time you run a load of laundry, your machine is accumulating some amount of soap residue, dirt, dust and skin flakes from clothing, sheets and towels. Since most washers aren’t self-cleaning, it’s important to wash it out too. You can run a cycle with some bleach; just be sure to run another so that the washer is thoroughly rinsed, and bleach doesn’t get on your next load of colors!

Specific tasks for the kitchen:

Time to move the fridge — The coils and fan area at the back of your refrigerator can definitely get gummed up over time. Unplug your unit and pull it away gently from the wall. While the coils can be at the front / bottom of the fridge, they are sometimes found at the back and the condenser fan is definitely back there. Use a vacuum to remove all of the dust and debris that has accumulated for better overall functioning and efficiency.

Get to ground level and look under appliances — If it’s not built-in, move it! Even removing the warming drawer at the base of your stove will reveal all manner of crumbs and detritus that are attractive to bugs and vermin, so getting down to ground level and making sure that you clean under appliances where food is prepared is just good sense!

Specific tasks for bedrooms:

Eliminate mattress dust — Most people remember to flip and rotate their mattress but what about cleaning it? It’s great if you have a cover for it, but that isn’t foolproof protection for dirt, dust bunnies and so on. A better option is to remove (and wash) the cover, and vacuum your mattress, including the nooks and crannies at the edges. If you sprinkle it with baking soda and let that sit for an hour before vacuuming, you will pick up a lot more debris and the soda will deodorize your mattress from any lingering scents. 

Wash your pillows — Washing pillowcases is a no brainer but as they aren’t drool proof, washing your pillows once in a while is a good idea too. Double check the labels to make sure that you can do it! This task can be a bit much for a standard washing machine, so you might need to take them to a laundromat with a high-capacity machine to get the job done but you’ll sleep better for the effort!

While this might seem like a daunting list of tasks, on top of the normal spring-cleaning effort, just remember that you don’t have it get it all done in one day. Take it a room at a time, over several weeks, but you’ll be glad of the effort when it’s all done, and you have a sparkling clean, fresh space to call home.

Marty Basher is the design and organization expert with Modular Closets. Marty regularly contributes on topics of DIY renovations, home design, organization, improvement and more, helping home owners get the most of the spaces in their home. Modular Closets are high-quality and easy-to-design closet systems made in the USA that you can order, assemble and install yourself, in no time at all. Using closet modules (closet pieces you can mix & match to design your own modular closet), homeowners everywhere are empowered to achieve a true custom look- for nearly 40% less than standard custom closets.

Container House by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

How to Avoid Disgusting Bathroom Smells

The bathroom is probably the most challenging area to maintain at home. It usually smells bad. If you want to avoid a disgusting bathroom smell, these tips will help.

Use air fresheners

You can use air fresheners to help maintain a good scent in your bathroom. The problem is that some fresheners contain chemicals that might damage your health. The good thing is that there are organic options available. If you can find them, they’re perfect for your bathroom. Make sure you only spray a little each time, there’s no need to coat your floor with air freshener. Keep your children and pets away from the bathroom while you spray. Don’t allow them to come inside for a while.

Maintain good ventilation

Allow good ventilation in your bathroom. The key is to use a vent fan since it keeps the foul smell away. It also helps to keep the door open when no one is using it. If someone uses the bathroom, it won’t have a terrible smell anymore.

Keep the towels dry

You might not be particular about it, but damp towels can also lead to a bad smell. Make sure that the towels are dry all the time. After using one, you should put it in the laundry bin. Don’t keep it in the bathroom because wet towels will produce a bad smell. Remind your entire family about this so that they become responsible.

Light a candle

Look for scented candles that you can light to keep the bathroom smelling good. The smoke that comes from the candle can help neutralize the odor. However, some scented candles may contain harmful chemicals. Therefore, you have to be careful in choosing which candles to use. The good thing about having a scented candle in your bathroom is that even if you don’t use one, it looks good. It can be a part of your bathroom decorations.

Clean the bathroom regularly

The best way to keep your bathroom free from bad smells is by cleaning it regularly. Empty the bin each day. Feminine products, wet wipes, and used tissues may cause a terrible odor. You also have to wipe the toilet bowl and sink. There are times when they may look clean, but they’re not. Make it a habit to clean your bathroom a few minutes each day before you bathe. Otherwise, you will spend a long time cleaning the bathroom during the weekends.

Invest in quality bathroom furniture

While you’re thinking about ways to improve your bathroom, you should consider investing in bathroom furniture. Imagine having a new freestanding bath or bathroom enclosure. They will be perfect for making your bathing experience more comfortable. You can check them out at JT Spas.

You won’t have to deal with a disgusting and messy bathroom anymore once you implement these changes. Try to be consistent in following these strategies. Otherwise, it will only take a few days before the disgusting odor comes back. Your family members should also try to do their share of bathroom upkeep.

Housewarming Party 101

How to Host the Ultimate In-Person or Virtual Celebration

By: Hippo Insurance 

Housewarming parties have always been hallmarked by gift-giving. And while today’s housewarming gifts tend to be things like glassware, charcuterie boards or books, this wasn’t always the case. The tradition of housewarming parties began during medieval times, where it took on a very literal meaning. Central heating wasn’t around yet, so homeowners had to rely on fireplaces to stay warm during the cold winter months. This meant that housewarming parties of centuries past often involved gifts of firewood to help the family stay warm and healthy in their new home.

But today, as accustomed as you are to throwing a housewarming party, you’d likely be concerned if a guest showed up with a pile of firewood as a gift (and rightly so). Your new home might not even have a fireplace! But that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate your purchase.

Housewarming parties are a rite of passage for new homeowners, though, in today’s climate, you may be wondering if you should even throw one at all. But there are plenty of ways to go about celebrating that keep everyone safe and happy. From backyard festivities to Zoom parties, our guide will help you throw the ultimate pandemic-friendly celebration.

What traditionally has made a great housewarming party?

Whether you plan to go all out when decorating your home for a housewarming party, or you want to go the more low-key route, there are a few elements that make any housewarming party great. The first? A guest list full of close family and friends. Other must-haves include food, drinks and activities to keep everyone entertained all night long. Here’s a quick to-do list to make sure your party goes off without a hitch:

  1. Make a guest list
  2. Set a date and a theme (if you want one)
  3. Send out invitations
    1. You can mail out traditional invitations, send an evite or just create a Facebook event page
  4. Get plenty of snacks and drinks
  5. Buy games or activities for everyone to play
    1. Not the game type? Turn on your favorite movie in the background or make a playlist to set the mood
  6. Give the house a final deep clean
  7. Set the stage
    1. Add mood lighting, decorate, create a food/drink station and make sure to set out enough utensils and seating for your guests

Of course, you can always add or remove some of the steps above to better tailor your to-do list to your housewarming party specifications. As long as you make your party representative of what you want your life in your new home to be like, you’re off to a great start.

Options for hosting a (safe) housewarming party

Given the pandemic, it’s safe to say that housewarming parties aren’t what they used to be. While people are still buying up homes left and right (especially it’s a smart home that makes the pandemic a bit easier), get-togethers have slowed to a halt. New homeowners looking to celebrate their big purchase throughout 2020 may have had to trim their guest lists significantly or considered canceling their parties altogether.

But the celebrations don’t have to stop in order to keep people safe — quite the opposite, in fact! From backyard (socially distanced) parties to drive-by or Zoom get-togethers, there are plenty of options available that let new homeowners show off their digs while keeping everyone healthy.

Backyard housewarming party ideas

Backyard get-togethers are always a hit, and given how much safer outdoor events are than indoor events, it’s a no brainer when it comes to hosting a housewarming party. Still want to give tours of your new place? Make sure to only bring a few people indoors at a time and wear your masks. If you set up enough games, the rest of your guests won’t even realize you’re gone. Check out our suggestions for backyard housewarming party themes below.

  • Say aloha to our new home-a
    • Throw a Hawaiian-themed bash in your backyard, complete with leis for the guests, a tiki bar and plenty of games like limbo and hula hoop competitions.
  • Home is s’more fun with friends
    • Set up tents at least six feet apart and get a bonfire going — complete with all the s’more fixings — for a camp-out party guests of all ages are sure to love.
  • Let’s ketchup with a housewarming BBQ
    • Grill up something juicy and set up plenty of tables throughout your backyard so that everyone can chow down safely. Bonus points if you set up an outdoor handwashing station and plenty of games to keep the party going.

Drive-by housewarming party ideas

Drive-by parties are all the rage. From birthday celebrations to light shows, every celebration of the year has gotten the mobile treatment lately. Homeowners can use this trend to their advantage by throwing a drive-by housewarming party. Not only is this kind of party easy to plan, but it also means you don’t have to worry about cleaning up the inside of your home. All you have to do is mow the lawn, set up a table of food by the street and grab some lawn chairs to make the perfect party. Pick a theme from the options below.

  • A honkin’ fun housewarming party
    • Invite your friends and family to drive by and celebrate your new home purchase without having to leave their car. You can even have house- or car-themed treats set out in the yard for guests. Just make sure to warn your new neighbors, as there will likely be a lot of honking.
  • A drive-in for our move-in
    • Roll out the red carpet and decorate your yard to create a drive-by party fit for the stars. You can even project your favorite movie on your garage door and invite your guests to slow down and watch.
  • It’s housewarming paw-ty time
    • Given that 33% of millennial homebuyers bought their home for their dog, having a pup-themed housewarming party is bound to be a howling good time. Invite everyone to bring their dogs along and pass out treats for your human and canine friends to thank them for stopping by.

Virtual housewarming party ideas

While you may be on the brink of Zoom fatigue, a virtual housewarming party via Zoom or another video service is a great way to show off your home safely. Creating a fun theme can help keep the night from feeling like another virtual work meeting. Maybe a classy dinner and champagne event or a spirited drinking night, try out any of our virtual housewarming party theme ideas to liven things up.

  • Let’s get into the housewarming spirit(s)
    • Test out your skills as a mixologist and create a craft cocktail recipe named after your new home. Make sure to send out the recipe a few days in advance so that everyone can gather the ingredients, then have fun discussing how your creations turned out before you give a virtual tour.
  • A pa-jammin’ housewarming party
    • 2020 left us all exhausted, so why not let everyone stay cozy? Ask guests to hop on the call in their pajamas and get ready to crown the winner of craziest PJs at the end of the night.
  • Be our (virtual) guest
    • Turn your housewarming into a fancy soirée with a Zoom dinner party. Put on your best outfit, cook your favorite meal and light a candle to celebrate remotely with friends and family. You can even ship a bottle of champagne to your guests’ doorsteps to toast to your new purchase together.

8 housewarming party games and downloadables

Once you’ve decided what kind of party you want to throw (as well as your party’s theme), the next step is to plan out the games and decor for the ultimate get-together. Lucky for you, our team has gathered plenty of games to help you kick off your first year in your new home with ease.

  1. Housewarming sign

When hosting a drive-by event, your home’s decor will need to be focused on the front yard. One of the easiest ways to highlight your new home and thank your guests for swinging by is through a customizable yard sign. Download the interactive PDF and update it with your address or your new home’s nickname. Attach a few of them to a table full of treats by the street before the party starts to kick the night off right.

  1. Cornhole and tour game

Cornhole is a classic backyard party game. And it turns out there’s a major safety bonus as well, as it helps keep everyone at least six feet apart. Use this game to your advantage by rotating your guests in and out of your home. That way, everyone gets a tour and stays entertained while they wait outside. If you don’t have a cornhole set, you can also play other socially distanced games such as lawn bowling, Ladderball or Kan Jam.

  1. Champagne label

Toasting your new home is a must during a housewarming party, no matter if you’re physically with your guests or not. Send your guests a bottle of champagne to use during your housewarming Zoom party and add a fun, celebratory label to the bottles before shipping for a night they won’t forget.

  1. Homeowner history game

Find out just how much your friends know about you with a homeowner history game, perfect for Zoom and backyard parties alike. Have your guests grab a pen and paper and make their best guesses to tough questions like:

  • How many roommates did I have before buying this home?
  • What city am I from originally?
  • What day did I officially move in?
  • How many houses did I tour before buying this home?
  • What’s my real estate agent’s name?
  • How long have I lived in this city?

Bust out this game at the beginning of the party to break the ice. For a prize, give the winner a gift card to a home cleaning service or a package of cookies shaped like keys.

  1. Advice booklet

There is often a steep learning curve when it comes to owning your first home. You can no longer rely on your landlord or your condo’s maintenance team to fix your dishwasher when it breaks. You’re on your own now.

Get a head start on learning the ins and outs of owning a home (like how to protect your stuff with personal property insurance) by asking for advice from your friends and family. These printable advice cards are a great addition to any backyard or Zoom party, and once you’ve collected all your friend’s advice, you can turn the pages into a cute coffee table booklet.

  1. Lip syncing competition (home edition)

Once the drinks have been flowing, have your guests take turns lip-syncing and performing their hearts out. But this competition has a housewarming twist. The song has to mention a house or home in some fashion, so make sure to give your guests some heads up to find the perfect song. Expect to see powerhouse performances of classics like “Brick House” by The Commodores or “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, and be prepared to crown a winner at the end of the night.

  1. New home trivia

One of the most important parts of a housewarming party is the tour of your new home. After all, the point of the party is to show off, right? You can easily turn the tour into a fun game with this interactive new home trivia downloadable. Send it to your guests after the tour is complete and see how much they can remember about your new place.

You can quiz them on anything from the number of windows on the first floor to the color of your bathroom cabinets. We even included a few fill-in-the-blank questions so that you can customize the game to your home.

  1. Famous houses guessing game

Monica’s apartment from “Friends” may be easily recognizable, but how many would recognize her apartment building when they see it? Or what about the house from “Home Alone?” Test your guests’ pop culture knowledge with a slideshow of houses from famous movies and TV shows (or just send them this quiz to take). No matter if you’re hosting your housewarming in person or virtually, your guests are sure to love battling it out to be crowned the King or Queen of pop culture. Make sure to add in houses from some of the following shows and movies for a quiz that’s sure to puzzle:

  • 10 Things I Hate About You
  • Breaking Bad
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • Friends
  • Full House
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  • Home Alone
  • Modern Family
  • Mrs. Doubtfire
  • New Girl
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

As a new homeowner, there are likely a few stressful things on your to-do list, like building an emergency preparedness kit or getting an insurance binder, but throwing a housewarming party shouldn’t be one of them.

DIYhome-01 by Imagine It Media for 360 Magazine

3 Step Process For Repairing Polished Concrete or Epoxy Floors

Although polished concrete is a highly durable flooring option, it can succumb to damage after a long time. The damage usually occurs and can be caused by; using harsh soaps to clean it, stains caused by other liquids seeping through the concrete, exposure to high foot traffic, and exposure to high impact. 

We interviewed an epoxy flooring contractor near marlboro NJ can also wear and tear if the contractor laid the foundation improperly. Improperly laying the polished concrete can cause air pockets and bubbles inside the concrete. These bubbles later worsen and crack. 

Luckily, there are ways to fix the small imperfections that occur over time. Read on to find out how to repair polished concrete floors.

Repairing Dulling 

A polished concrete floor can become dull when exposed to high traffic, usually by foot. This can occur in places like restaurants, school’s common areas, or grocery stores. Typically, this happens when the floor features a burnished tropical treatment or a sealer to give it a shiny look. These features usually wear out fast over time. 

If you went for a mechanically polished concrete floor where physical buffing is done to produce a shiny appearance, your floor’s shine might last for a while compared to when you use chemicals to get the same effect.  Nevertheless, the polished concrete floor is bound to become dull after some time, no matter how well it is polished.

A mere rebuffing process can make your polished concrete shiny again to fix the dulling. The floors will look as good as new once a professional rebuffing is done. 

Fixing Cracks

Besides dulling, cracking is another common problem for polished concrete floors. And just like dulling, you cannot entirely avoid cracking. Cracking usually occurs when the chemicals used in making the concrete floor shrink. Also, adding more water to the concrete puts the concrete at more risk of cracking. 

However, unlike dulling, cracking is not easy to fix, especially when the cracks appear in small areas. Replicating a good finish can be challenging in such areas, and pouring more concrete into the cracks will not do the trick. When your concrete develops small cracks, the advisable thing to do is to consult a professional contractor first to assess the extent of the damage and have them give their advice on the best way to fix the cracks. 

Typically, an epoxy repair mortar is used to repair concrete cracks. The other alternative is by using control joints. Control joints are more of a preventive measure than a repair method since they are fixed on the concrete floor when the concrete is being laid. The control joints help provide stable and durable flooring and limit the threat of cracking. 

Fixing Crazing

Cracks are known as crazing when they become interconnected, forming a hexagonal shape. The cracks result in a sloppy and unsightly appearance. 

Crazing occurs when the finishing of the concrete floor is poorly done or when the concrete dries too fast. Fortunately, concrete contractors can fix the crazing when it occurs during the construction. They do this using a method known as moist curing. Moist curing is a popular repair product that features a spray-on with chemicals that fix the crazing. Alternatively, the contractor can use other stiffer and drier mixing solutions.

Other more straightforward methods that do not involve chemicals include using a broom to brush over the concrete floor in the final stages. This method is useful in masking cracks and other surface blemishes of a minor scale. Prompt repair of crazing is necessary to avoid severe damage when the crazing is left for longer. 

Finally, since it is almost impossible to prevent the concrete floor from dulling and cracking, the best thing to do is to ensure you involve professional contractors when installing the polished concrete floor. This will enable you to at least enjoy your beautifully shiny concrete floor before you have to think of repairing it. But make sure you involve professional flooring contractors to get quality results.

Plants by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

Feng Shui Plant Positioning

There are good and bad feng shui plants and positioning arrangements. It’s all about how you position plants in specific areas of your living room, bedroom or other areas of your home. As feng shui has a lot to do with the overall “feeling” of a space, it is important to find plants that fit comfortably in your space and are not cramped or too small for the area. Healthy, robust plants are a must!

What is Bagua and why is it important?

Bagua is one of the main tools used in feng shui. It is an eight sided  ‘energy map’ used to evaluate the energy of the green space in your home. Each of the eight sections and the center correspond with different life experiences: career, wisdom/knowledge, finances, family, fame, relationships, children/creativity, supportive people, and health. Plants can be used to connect these eight sides of the map and create harmony and well-being in an area.

Good feng shui plants
This includes plants that are known to cleanse the air and have a strong presence. Some of these include Philodendron, Areca Palms, Ferns, Jade, Money Tree and Mother in Law Tongue. Of course, there cannot be positive energy in a home or office without clean, good quality air, which makes this aspect of the plant very important. Appearances also play an important role, as it is important to have a strong, healthy plant that radiates a strong energy. Struggling plants may not offer these qualities so keep your plants healthy and pair them with visually pleasing pots as they can offer vibrancy and joyful energy.

Bad feng shui plants

These are generally considered plants whose shape can bring undesired energy. Cactus is a classic example of a so-called bad feng shui plant because its energy is very “spiky.” In addition, the Snake Plant could be considered bad feng shui because of their lengthy pointed leaves. However, the Snake Plant has strong protective energies to specific areas of your home and is considered helpful.

Positioning of Feng Shui Plants
East, Southeast, and South bagua areas are excellent feng shui areas to decorate with plants. Be sure to experiment with the best placement of plants in your living room, bedroom, or other areas of your home, and keep them healthy! This will create an environment where plants will become a harmonious part of your decor and create excellent feng shui in your green space.

Money Tree Brings Fortune and Luck
One of the most common feng shui plants is the money tree. Appropriately named, as it is believed to encourage prosperity and good luck. Some feng shui experts say these plants also reduce stress and anxiety, and can even help prevent arguments and sleeping disorders. This bonsai style tree, with braided trunks, brings the best fortune when placed in the areas concerning money (office), health (kitchen), or fame (entry-ways). With all of these benefits, no wonder they make great housewarming and new business gifts!

Peace Lily Purifies the Air
Peace Lilies make excellent houseplants for your home or office green space. They not only brighten up a living space, but are also excellent at cleaning the air of rooms they are in. They grow well in spaces with low light (although they bloom in areas with more light). They have a wonderful white bloom with lush foliage, and with their air purifying qualities, placement in an office area can help improve air conditions and correct energetic imbalances.

More about Lively Root
At Lively Root, the green spaces created have been instrumental in development as horticulturists, for an ideal green space. Lively Root’s plants are home-grown and full-scale fulfillment centers. They only sell eco-friendly products that are packaged and delivered right to your doorstep. Founding members have over a century of horticultural experience as growers, retailers, and landscapers, ranging from small plants, to indoor plants, outdoor plants, large trees, and flowering shrubs. They have planted & maintained trees on residential and commercial properties. Plants improve health by purifying the air, soothing stress, making people feel happier, and offering style and ambiance. For more information, please visit Lively Root’s website.

DIYhome-01 by Imagine It Media for 360 Magazine

A GREAT SOFA HAS 9 LIVES

By: ERodney Davis

A quality sofa can last a lifetime, if one can stomach the initial shock of its price tag. Not only should a sofa be aesthetically pleasing, sofas are essential to one’s well-being since they are the most functional piece of furniture in any home. Take for instance, this Timothy Oulton sofa that was purchased in 2010 for over $5000 (the most this author has ever spent on furniture). Eleven years later, it still anchors his latest living space. 

This chestnut-colored leather resting place, accoutered with nail head accents, manages to be classic and modern at the same damn time. It’s also incredibly comfortable and spacious. Having withstood one ex, two dogs, two Brooklyn condos, one non-rent-controlled Brooklyn apartment, almost a dozen birthdays, countless night’s sleeps, and many meaningful conversations with family and friends, this couch is made to last. Additionally, It has traveled hundreds of miles to the great room of a beach house in Norfolk, Virginia, and back again.

The ONLY downside of buying a sofa this light in color is the issue of its occupant’s skin’s oil production. The leather is aging quite well, but it does have “soul-glow” discoloration where its occupants rest their heads after sinking into its incredible plushness. 

It’s no secret that well-made pieces can be quite expensive, even if purchased at outlet prices (hello, Restoration Hardware!), but there’s irony in the amount of money one can save in the long run. Quality pieces should anticipate a 15-year lifetime, but with any luck, a quality sofa will live on for much longer–idealistically in a great country home to be enjoyed in summers and on weekends. After all, what’s more country than a worn-out leather chair?

IMG_3813 sofa by ERodney Davis for 360 Magazine

sofa by Erdoney Davis for 360 Magazine

Based in Brooklyn, NY, Davis’ career spans from general market and fashion advertising to model casting to becoming founder and CEO of Basic White Shirt LTD., an agency representing world-class celebrity hairstylists, makeup artists and model/influencers. He recently began cultivating his long-time passion for interior design and is now helping time-strapped clients develop their own design aesthetic with total home and home-office makeovers. 

Artwork for 360 Magazine

GRAPHIC ART TRENDS FOR 2021

Artwork is often the center of a home and brings life and character to a space. As time progresses, artwork trends change and as the new season approaches new art trends are arising. 

With the start of a new year, Desino is excited to present the graphic art trending this spring! Abstract art is at the forefront for the coming season, with organic shapes, arches and geometric lines adding an artsy element to our walls. Check out the latest graphic prints created by our very own Design Studio.

ARCHED DESIGNS

The rounded arch can be spotted through architectural history, and this year the classic curved shape is leading the way in the interior world. Arched furniture, doorways and home accessories are being spotted everywhere! This spring we’ll be decorating our walls with arched designs that bring a classic and stylish feel to our homes. Many people have used the arched design as a makeshift headboard, a DIY that blends in with the trends. 

ORGANIC SHAPES

For abstract art lovers, the organic shapes coming this spring are the perfect addition to your walls! Featuring warm, earthy tones, this graphic art featuring soft shapes and curves will bring a fresh feel to your gallery wall. These pair perfectly with less abstract pieces of art and tie together any gallery wall. 

FIGURATIVE FUTURE

In contrast to the abstract art trending right now, figurative art is coming on strong this season. With a more simplistic approach to this art style, we’re loving these simple portrait drawings honoring our human shapes. These pieces of art encapsulate the beauty of human features. 

GEOMETRIC STRIPES

Monochrome art complements all kinds of interior styles and this season we’re embracing these geometric patterns in black and white. A great choice if you want a modern accent piece for your wall, these graphic prints will look great in minimalist and colorful homes alike. Pairing these with silhouettes, as seen in the gallery wall below, instantly creates a beautiful contemporary wall. 

Visit desenio.com for more graphic gallery walls and inspiration.

Artwork for 360 Magazine
Artwork for 360 Magazine
Artwork for 360 Magazine