Who Says Old Is Out? Embrace the Country Chic Trend

country chic

HGTV fans and Pinterest aficionados will tell you what’s old is new again. The country chic trend is popping up everywhere from dining room tables to windows to doors. Many DIYers are also mastering the art of making their updated furnishings look “lived in” to achieve the perfect laid-back style.

We’ve compiled our favorite tips for enhancing your space and updating your energy-efficient replacement windows to master this trend.

More Chic Than Shabby

When we say country chic, we’re not talking about the tacky, over-the-top country bumpkin look. Instead, think mason jars, white-washed furniture and vintage shutters on top of your Harrisburg replacement windows.

While a characteristic of country chic is often peeling paint and rough wood, it doesn’t mean things actually have to be worn out. You can age a modern table using a golf club to create divots and use a pickling stain to create an antique look.

You can also pair your country chic pieces with more modern items. Hang vintage lace curtains on your Central PA replacement windows and place antique medicine bottles on the window sill to combine modern comforts with old-time elegance.

Where to Shop

The best country chic pieces look like you just pulled them right out of Grandma’s basement. While you can definitely find great trunks, wrought-iron bed frames, gold mirrors and vintage milk glass on sites like eBay and Etsy, they’ll often come with a high price tag.

Your best bet is to scour flea markets, antique shops and yard sales looking for pieces you can mix-and-match to create your ideal look. Don’t be deterred by stains, peeling or disrepair. If a piece has solid bones, it can easily be cleaned up for your space.

Don’t forget to think outside the box and turn those old beat-up windows into a picture frame, coffee table or chalkboard message center. Explore Pinterest for loads of ideas on how you can repurpose these types of pieces in your space.

When All Else Fails, Paint

Country chic is often characterized by all-white everything. Layer shades of white in your space to achieve the perfect shabby chic look. For a bedroom, consider a white-washed wooden headboard under your Harrisburg replacement window with white sheets and an ivory bedspread. Paint your walls white, but for a bit of character add a board and batten wall treatment.

Modern accessories can also receive a vintage twist with a coat of paint. Consider spray-painting cheap glass vases white to emulate vintage milk glass. You can also fill modern- day mason jars with water and food coloring to make them look like the tinted jars of yesteryear.

Wall color also can make or break your country chic look. Go for neutral tones such as ivory or pastels. Vintage-looking wallpapers are also making a comeback. Opt for florals and faded patterns for your space.

Ultimately, no matter what you choose, the country chic trend allows you to be unique and thrifty — the perfect combination!

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10 Tips for Better Window Treatments in Your Home

drapes

With the changing seasons, you might be contemplating new window treatments for your home to spruce up your space.

Here are 10 tips to consider when picking window treatments for your Mechanicsburg replacement windows.

1. Block the light

If you work second or third shift, you might want to invest in blackout curtains for your Mechanicsburg windows. The heavy curtains are made of a special light-blocking fabric that will also cut down on any outside noise. Blackout curtains are especially effective at blocking harsh winter rays and making sure you catch your needed zzz’s.

2. Drapes for drafts

Drapes made of heavy woven fabrics and insulated linings will keep your drafty Mechanicsburg windows from letting cold air in or warm air out this winter.

3. Breezy linens

If you’re confident in your Mechanicsburg replacement windows and drafts aren’t a concern, you can lighten up your space with light fabrics such as linen. Incorporate colors such as white or cream to evoke a relaxed  feel.

4. Very stylish valances

You can spruce up your space with window valances. The size and shape can define your space as elegant, rustic or contemporary. You can also pair valances with longer curtains or they can hang solo on your Mechanicsburg replacement windows.

5. Relaxed Roman shades

Flat or Relaxed Roman shades are a popular choice for contemporary spaces. Made of varying materials and colors, you can personalize your shades to block light and match your room.

6. Laid-back lace

Like linen curtains, lace is a popular choice for breezy styles. These romantic curtains are more for style than function, as they will do little to block light or drafts. This makes them a great choice for your replacement windows.

7. Pick a panel

You can customize your panel curtains to be functional or stationary, depending on the amount of fabric you use. If you want to be able to shut them for privacy and to block light coming through your Mechanicsburg windows, go with wider panels that will meet in the middle of your window. Stationary panels will just add a pop of coordinating color at the edges of your window.

8. Sweet shutters

If you love the look of old plantation-style homes, you can incorporate interior shutters. Available in vinyl or real wood, interior shutters combine style and function. Shutters are a durable choice for increasing privacy on your Mechanicsburg windows.

9. Bamboo blinds

Bring a bit of nature indoors with popular bamboo blinds. The organic materials are eco-friendly and will work to block light and increase privacy in your space.

10. Fashionable fabrics

Many window treatment companies are taking inspiration from the runway and incorporating luxurious fabrics — including velvet and grosgrain — into their designs. These curtains will evoke a high-end feel in your space.

No matter what window treatment trend you choose for your space, your Mechanicsburg replacement windows will shine. Get decorating today!

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Protect Your Windows From the Elements This Fall

rain

The shine hasn’t worn off the brand-new replacement windows you installed this summer, but you definitely want to protect your investment through the fall and winter months.

Hurricane season is in full swing, and heavy rain, ice and early snow can cause downed trees and branches that can wreak havoc on your Harrisburg replacement windows.

Don’t worry! We have a few tips to help you protect your windows for seasons to come.

Trim Those Trees

The biggest risk to your Harrisburg replacement windows is rogue branches. Now is the time to trim and prune away any tree limbs and bushes that are hanging precariously close to your home. Experts advise trimming after the leaves have fallen to avoid putting trees at risk for disease. It’s especially important to trim back or cut down any dead trees, as they will be the ones most likely to fall in storms.

Check Your Roof

With high winds and heavy rain, loose shingles can become a major problem for homeowners. Not only do damaged shingles increase your chances of a leaky roof, but they can also damage your windows, doors and siding if they come off. By using roofing cement, you can easily swap in replacement shingles before you have a big problem on your hands. Or, if the majority of your roof is covered in buckling, curled shingles, it’s better to get it completely replaced now instead of hoping it makes it through another harsh Pennsylvania winter.

Clean Your Harrisburg Replacement Windows

Even if you’ve only had your replacement windows for a few months, you might have noticed a build-up of dirt and grime — especially if you live in a heavily-trafficked area. Once winter sets in, any water you put on your windows would turn to ice immediately, making them impossible to wash. Clean your windows now before temperatures dip below freezing so you don’t have to hire a professional.

Don’t Forget Your Gutters

Autumn in Harrisburg means bright, beautiful leaves. But those leaves eventually fall and can cause a mess in your gutters and downspouts. Make sure those areas remain free of debris. If blocked, water can back up and freeze in cold temperatures. If those gutters get too heavy, they could potentially break off and fall right through your replacement windows.

Insulate Your Windows

If you weren’t able to install replacement windows throughout your entire home, it’s important to get your old windows ready for cooler temperatures. Put up storm windows if you have them, or consider using energy film or a window insulation kit. You can also use caulk, weather stripping, or draft stoppers to keep cold air out and your heat inside where it belongs. Heavy drapes will also keep your home cozy and block the harsh UV rays from the winter sun.

The fall and winter weather can carry some harsh elements, so protect your windows to ensure you stay warm and clean all season long.

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The Top 7 Thanksgiving Do’s and Dont’s

thanks

If you’re in charge of cooking the turkey and all the trimmings this Thanksgiving, you might be a tad overwhelmed. We’ve basted our fair share of birds over the years, and we’re ready to share our top seven do’s and don’ts for being the hostess with the mostess.

  • Do: Start Cleaning Early

 You don’t want to be cleaning your stove the day you’re roasting the turkey, so don’t put off all your household chores until the last minute. Start tackling the big jobs — washing the windows, organizing the coat closet, cleaning your linens — at least two weeks out. Complete the majority of your cleaning by Tuesday, so all you’ll have to do before guests arrive is a quick tidying.

  • Don’t: Experiment With Recipes

 Make sure you’re familiar with any side dishes you’re making. Try them out at least once for a family dinner before making them for a large group.

  • Do: Snack Smart

 Be smart about what you serve before the main course. If everyone is coming right around dinner time, you can get away with crackers, cheese and other small items to nibble on without much fuss. If guests are going to be hanging out all day watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and the big game, make sure you planned ahead to have a hearty breakfast or lunchmeat for sandwiches early in the day.

  • Don’t: Go It Alone

 Don’t stress yourself out trying to cook a 10-course meal for your entire extended family. Make the meal a potluck. You can focus on the bird and ask Mom to bring her favorite stuffing. Grandma can bring the pies. And your cousin who needs everything to be gluten-free can bring a few dishes to share. At the very least, when people ask what they can bring, tell them — even if it’s just wine!

  • Do: Throw Open the Windows

 When you’re cooking a feast, it’ll be a bit toasty in your home. Don’t make guests sweat it out. Crack a window to let a bit of steam out and keep it comfortable for you and your guests.

  • Don’t: Simultaneously Schedule Home Repairs

 Sure, you’ve been eyeing replacement windows from your favorite Central PA replacement windows company for some time now, but the week of Thanksgiving is not the most ideal time to schedule that job. Call now to get your replacement windows installed before your guests come or schedule an appointment after the holidays to avoid any added stress.

  • Do: Eat in Shifts

 If your dining room table isn’t big enough to host all of your guests, you can eat in shifts. If you’re not committed to the formal, sit-down dining experience, you can even have some people in your kitchen, some in the dining room and some eating at the coffee table in the living room. No one will mind where they’re eating — the holiday is all about being together.

Best wishes for a very happy Thanksgiving from your friends at Renewal by Andersen of Central PA!

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Holiday Table-Scape Inspirations

What could be more enchanting than a gorgeous holiday table-scape? Surprisingly, they aren’t as difficult to put together as you might assume. In fact, awesome table-scapes can be whipped up using many of the items you already have at home!

Use Different-Sized Candles and Ornaments

Candles arranged with ornaments that have been placed in bowls are a fast and effective way to create a table-scape that’s simple, but impressive. You can choose candles of different colors for a multi-hued effect. This is a great use of ornaments that won’t be put on a tree this year. (photo)

tablescape

Use Natural Plants and Items

Why not use what’s available this time of year thanks to Mother Nature? For instance, you can place pine cones in a wooden basket for a rustic effect. You can also use berry-laden twigs, leaves, rocks, squash and gourds. (photo)

table

Let the Kids Help

Have some youngsters who would love to help you make a picturesque table-scape or centerpiece? All they need are some pieces of construction paper, a few crayons, a little tape and their imaginations. Let them run wild! (photo)

table

Turn Baked Goods Into the Table-Scape

Cookies, cakes and candies can actually add to the ambiance as part of the table-scape. They can be lined up in fun ways on a runner or on special dishes. Make sure everyone knows that they can eat the table-scape at the end of the meal! (photo)

table

Make a Table-Scape Tableaux With Figurines

Do you have some figurines in your china cabinet? Bring them out and arrange them on your table top. You can even position them in vintage scenes, such as kids sledding or couples waltzing. If there are kids at your meal, put them at a different table to protect any breakable objects. (photo)

table

No matter how you choose to decorate your table, have fun with the experience along the way. Even if it isn’t perfect, it’s your personal innovation — your friends and family members will be wowed!

How to Maximize a Small Space for Family Gatherings

holiday

Ah, family! It seems like they come out of the woodwork around the holidays. It can be tricky to host a holiday meal in a smaller abode. Fortunately, there are several clever ways to maximize even a tiny space for your upcoming family gatherings.

Remove Unnecessary Furniture

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, you may want to move any unnecessary furniture out of the main living spaces, at least for the meal. You can always squeeze bookshelves or desks into bedrooms for the night. That way, you’ll have more room to move around.

Ditch the Big, Round Table

Do you have one round table that serves as your dining area? You might want to put it away for your larger family meals. Instead, rent a few long, slender, rectangular tables. You’ll be able to seat more relatives and friends in the same space.

Invite Family Members in Shifts

Do you have a super-small apartment? You could always ask family members to come at staggered times. This allows you to entertain everyone without feeling like you’re being inundated by bodies. For example, you could host a special Thanksgiving breakfast, then a lunch and finally a dinner. While it’s not ideal, it will allow you to play host to lots of loved ones.

Make Kids Sit in the Kitchen

This is an “oldie but goodie” in terms of tricks to maximize space. If you have lots of children at your event, put them in the kitchen at a smaller table. This will free up space for the big kids in the main room.

Don’t Have a Big Meal

Rather than asking relatives to come for a big, sit-down event, have them stop by for drinks and appetizers. That way, they can sit and chat. Remove the table from the dining area and replace it will some chairs. This will encourage mingling.

There’s no reason to let a small space keep you from entertaining the people closest to you. With some planning and ingenuity, you can make all of them feel at home no matter what size the room!

 

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How to Winter-Proof Your Home

gutters

When cooler weather starts to enter the Mechanicsburg, Harrisburg and Camp Hill areas, it’s time to winterize your residences. Winter-proofing a house doesn’t need to take a lot of time, but it does require some practical planning.

Below are six ways to lower your winter heating costs, improve the quality of your home and ensure you’re not surprised when the temperature dips below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

1. Get your furnace and duct-work cleaned.

Your furnace and ducts have worked hard all year long, and they need to be checked out and cleaned. Hire a professional for this job — that way you’ll know of any problems before they get worse.

2. Replace drafty windows

Drafts take a serious bite out of your wallet every winter. If you have windows that are obviously allowing your heat to seep out, contact a trusted Mechanicsburg replacement window company. You’ll see a huge difference in your utility bills.

3. Clean up your lawn and outside areas.

As the weather cools, clean your patio furniture thoroughly and store it either in your home, shed, garage or a rented storage unit. At the same time, clear away any brush and leaves. They won’t go away during the winter and can cause paths to become slippery.

4. Bring in some outdoor plants.

Have a few plants that you bring indoors every winter? Make sure you have a place that will help them stay alive and healthy until you can re-plant them in your garden.

5. Clean out the gutters.

While it isn’t a job that everyone loves, gutter-cleaning is a necessity. If you can’t safely get on a ladder to do it yourself, pay someone else to do the work. It will help take away the worries that your gutter might overflow and cause serious property damage over the cold months.

6. Add insulation to your home.

Do you have enough insulation in your attic or crawl space? You might be surprised to learn that replacing insulation can lead to huge gains in terms of home efficiency.

Winterizing definitely has its rewards: you’ll be able to sail through the winter more comfortably and with fewer “uh-oh” moments.

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How to Care for Your Andersen Replacement Windows

andersen windows

After you have made your investment in replacement windows for your Harrisburg area home, you should start a maintenance schedule to make sure your windows stay in tiptop shape for as long as you have them. Here are some of the best ways to keep your Andersen windows sparkling and beautiful every season of the year:

In the Spring…

Springtime is ideal for sprucing up your windows, especially after the tough winter snow, sleet and ice has melted away. First, it’s a good idea to clean every window in your house on the inside and the outside. You can use any kind of gentle cleaner, although it’s recommended that you choose one that won’t scratch your windows or frames.

If you want an all-natural cleaner, mix equal parts vinegar with warm water. Dry the windows with a soft cloth. If any of your windows require lubricant, use the type of spray that’s recommended for the product.

In the Summer…

While you don’t have to clean your windows on the outside if you did a thorough cleaning in the spring, you should still clean the insides of the windows every month or so during the summer. Again, use a gentle cleaner and a soft cloth. Screens can be cleaned with a vacuum — never use any kind of intense pressure, as they might break.

In the Fall…

The autumn is the time to do another indoor and outdoor cleaning of your Harrisburg home and its replacement windows. Don’t forget to clean the tracks and mechanisms of your windows – many people who invest in window replacements neglect to maintain all the parts that help the windows work as expected.

If your replacement windows have to be taken apart, make sure you know exactly how they work. It’s actually much easier than you might expect!

In the Winter…

Just like the summer, make sure you take good care of the indoor elements of your windows. Keep them free from dirt and dust. If you notice that the grout is getting dirty, you can use special grout cleansers.

If you focus on a little bit of maintenance each season, your efforts will pay off in a big way. You’ll love your Andersen Replacement windows even more every day of the year!

5 Simple Home Organization How-Tos

pantry

We all have those areas of our home that have become a catch-all for clutter. But those drawers, cupboards and closets can easily be tamed so you can make the best use of your space.

Here are five simple tips for how to organize your Harrisburg area home.

1. Take advantage of space under the bathroom sink.

 When everything is commingling in one space, your bathroom cabinet can quickly get out of control. Take advantage of inexpensive shoe-box sized clear storage containers with lids. You can buy them at any Harrisburg area box store for less than $1 each. Label what’s inside and combine similar items together. The containers easily stack and will keep your sink space organized.

2. Organize under the kitchen sink.

 Most people have cleaning supplies, plastic bags and a stockpile of trash bags ready to burst out of the kitchen cabinet. You can easily cut down on the amount of plastic bags you’re saving and store only what you need in an inexpensive caddy on the cabinet door. Keep cleaning supplies at eye level by installing a tension from a home improvement store under the sink and hanging spray bottles.

3. Revamp your front entryway.

 Your entryway is the first impression of your home but it is often the messiest because everyone dumps their stuff as they enter. Making a place for everything can easily solve this issue. Look for inexpensive baskets, bins and hooks at Harrisburg retailers for shoes, bags, jackets, keys and purses. Label bins and hooks with each family member’s name so they have a designated spot to store their stuff.

4. Put containers under the bed.

Out of sight, out of mind, right? Not quite. Keep things dust-free and organized with under-the-bed storage containers. The containers, which you can find at home improvement stores, are shallow and slide easily under your mattress to store extra linens and clothes.

5. Simplify the pantry.

While BOGO deals seem like a good idea at your favorite supermarket, they can cause storage havoc in your pantry. Take granola bars, powdered drink mixes, oatmeal and microwave popcorn out of boxes — store them in bins for easy access. You can group tall boxes of spaghetti together in hanging magazine files. And consider putting cereal, flour, sugar and rice in storage containers to keep them fresh and easy to find.

Organizing is contagious. See where else you can use inexpensive fixes to cure the clutter in your home!

 

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Splurge vs. Save: Spruce up Your Home This Fall

windows

Now is the final push for many home improvement projects. Homeowners want to wrap up many of the items on their to-do list before the winter chill sets in, as installing replacement windows during a snowstorm doesn’t sound very fun! But if your finances aren’t matching your wish list, we’ll share the top splurges and a few places where you can save.

Save: Couch

If your couch is looking a little worse for wear these days, you might be able to save it — or at least prolong its life until tax refund time. If cushions are starting to sag, use 1/4-inch thick plywood, foam and fabric to add some support. If your replacement windows are shining light on unsightly stains on the sofa, invest in an inexpensive couch cover in a neutral color and add colorful throw pillows.

Splurge: Lighting

Why does it always seem like all the lightbulbs in a room go out at the same time? If you’re reading by the light of your replacement windows and all the lamps in your living room are in need of new bulbs, resist the urge to be cheap. Sure, a big box of bargain bulbs might seem like the easy choice, but newer energy-efficient bulbs will last longer and save money on your electric bill. It’s worth the extra money now.

Save: Furniture

With Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners right around the corner, you might be looking at your dining room table a little closer these days. If you’ve had it for years and the nicks and scratches are multiplying, you might be considering a less-dated replacement. But this is an inexpensive, easy weekend fix. Sand the table down and paint or stain it — just be sure to open your windows to properly ventilate the workspace.

Splurge: Windows

Last winter’s utility bills were off the charts and you know the culprit: your old, drafty windows. By investing in energy-efficient replacement windows, you’ll add value to your home and save big on your home heating and cooling costs. Price out your replacement window options to get the most for your budget.

Make your money go farther this fall with a little planning and some smart saves and splurges on your home improvement projects.