Even if you’re not a fan of burlesque, or perhaps don’t even know for sure what that is, you’ll still know about Dita Von Teese. The 47-year-old star is credited with bringing burlesque back into the limelight, which also landed her the moniker of Queen of Burlesque.
But that’s not all she does. Von Teese (Heather Renée Sweet, by her real name) is also a former model, a costume designer, singer, actress, entrepreneur, bestselling book author, and last but not least, an avid vintage and antiques collector.
Architectural Digest was lucky enough to take a sneak peek into Dita Von Teese’s ultra-glamorous Los Angeles home recently. The diva keeps her personal life off limits, so the video tour offers a rare glimpse of her private sanctuary.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Von Teese’s home is dramatically different from other Hollywood celebrity homes. The burlesque star moved into her 1927-built Tudor Revival home five years ago, and has spent most of this time finessing it to match her unique taste.
Firstly, she made sure she had complete privacy and security, and built a fortress-style wall adorned with spiky vegetation to keep unwanted visitors at bay. Then, she decided to turn a boring pool house into a veritable, English-style pub that she’s filled with quirky memorabilia and souvenirs.
When Dita Von Teese first moved into her 3,200-square-foot four-bedroom home, all interior walls were white, which was naturally way too boring for her unique personality. She tells Architectural Digest that she’s ‘a maximalist, not a minimalist,’ having filled every room and nook in the house with one-of-a-kind antique pieces.
The living room is like a small-scale taxidermy museum, painted in vivid colors and filled to the brink with unique pieces. Some she’s found at flea markets, some were gifted from friends, and some she’s carried with her for years, taking them with her whenever she’s moved house.
The blue couch in the living room, which Von Teese admits is very uncomfortable, is a reproduction of a French couch bought at her favorite Dallas store, called Deco-Dence. The Chinese rug is an Etsy find, while the working phonograph was bought at the Rose Bowl Flea Market.
There’s a lot of taxidermy in Dita Von Teese’s house, but it’s all antique. She tells the folks at ArchDigest that she doesn’t condone hunting or hanging hunting trophies, but that she does enjoy collecting antique taxidermy – some of her most prized possessions are a couple of heart-shaped glass bowls containing rare taxidermy birds, that she keeps above her fireplace.
The kitchen is equally stunning, painted in dark green and copper throughout. Von Teese says she wanted a ‘sexy, womanly, grown-up kitchen.’ She made the switch to green after having a much-photographed, all-pink kitchen in her previous home.
The dining room is, again, a stunner, colored in red and blue, in a nod to the bottle design of one of her favorite perfumes, Lou Lou by Cacharel. The dining room table and chairs were another flea market find, to which she added her own touches like custom fabrics inspired by those seen in a French hotel.
Dita Von Teese also has her own version of a man cave, a red library room that also serves as a TV room – though the TV is hidden behind a piece of pin-up art, as to not disturb the vintage vibe of the room. This is where she chills out, perhaps flipping through some vintage men’s magazines and sipping cocktails from martini glasses in her unique Art Deco bar.
The bedroom was designed in what Von Teese calls her own version of minimalism, painted all gray and silver. The bed was designed after a Mae West bed with mirrors, while the room was inspired by Jean Harlow’s bedroom in Dinner at Eight. This is where we also catch up with her cat Alistair, who was sleeping peacefully on the bed before ArchDigest reporters woke him up.
Von Teese is the proud owner of an authentic 1930s vanity that she keeps in her bedroom, but she also turned a former closet into a hairdressing room. She likes to do her own hair, and this is probably our favorite room in the house, adorned with small antiques and a beautiful, light pink vanity bench with tassels.
Last but certainly not least, Von Teese turned a former children’s room into a giant walk-in closet, where she keeps her shoe, hat, and brooch collections. She’s good friends with iconic shoe designer Christian Louboutin, so she’s got a lot – and we mean a lot – of red-soled shoes.
Outside, Von Teese also enjoys a quiet backyard surrounded by lush vegetation, as well as a large swimming pool and plenty of reupholstered, vintage patio furniture. She also designed her own ‘Snow White garden’ featuring tall pine trees and rolling baby tears moss.
Dita Von Teese is definitely not done decorating her home. She’s always adding things, for instance, she’s still got a remaining white wall that she’s planning to have covered in feathers. Whether you’re an antique or taxidermy fan or not, you can’t deny that Von Teese’s lovely English Tudor home is a cozy, stylish retreat fit for an elegant and classy diva.
All images courtesy of Architectural Digest
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Your budget is important. It also needs to include everything on which you spend money. Have you forgotten to add anything to yours? Learn the top items most people don’t remember to add to their budget.
It’s no secret you need a budget, but if you’ve left off some essential items, it’s not going to do you much good. After all, if you have to spend more than you plan, then your budget is a worthless piece of paper or an app taking up memory on your phone.
The problem is not that you intentionally left them off. More than likely, that hey were overlooked Here are ten items you might find are missing from your budget.
If you don’t yet have a budget, make sure you grab our free printable budget form to get started!
ITEMS YOU FORGOT TO PUT ON YOUR BUDGET
If you happen to belong to Amazon Prime, you have an annual membership fee of $99. You should include that and other memberships and subscriptions like magazines, gym memberships, etc. Determine the monthly cost (divide the total by 12) and make sure you are saving that amount every month.
As a parent, I never forget that my kids need clothes. However, it is easy to forget about my own needs. If you’re like me, you’ll want to remind yourself and account for necessities like undergarments and socks in your budget. And try to prepare for unexpected items as well. As soon as you buy a new pair of sneakers for your oldest, your youngest will suddenly hit a growth spurt, and you’ll be out shopping for him too.
To determine the amount to save, look at your total spending over the past 12 to 18 months. That will give you an idea of what you spend annually and how much you may need to pay for the expenses this year. Always make your deposit of this amount your cash envelope.
Read More: How to Create and Use The Cash Envelope System
3. SPECIAL OCCASIONS
Holidays, anniversaries and birthdays….they come around again every single year, so make sure to include them in your budget. You will also want to look ahead for one-time events like a wedding (which may require travel costs as well as a gift).
To determine the amount to save, take a look at what you spent the prior year. Then, divide the total paid by 12 to get a monthly budget amount.
4. FUN MONEY
You work hard for your money, so you should treat yourself to something special now and then. It might mean a latte on the way to work or even that new book you’ve wanted to read.
Don’t suffocate under the stress of your budget. Allow some room to have a little fun every now and again. When you do, you will find it easier to stay on budget with your other expenses.
5. PET EXPENSES
Don’t forget to include the four-legged family members. Your pet needs food. He or she may need grooming monthly. There are also annual visits to your vet along with vaccinations.
You may also need to board your pet during your family vacation. Just add in a “PET” line to your budget, so you aren’t caught having to cover expenses above the budget.
Read More: How to Save Money on Your Pets
6. IRREGULAR BILLS
There may be bills which come around quarterly or annually. Make sure to include these in your budget. Use the simple formula of dividing the total you owe by 12 to reach the amount to set aside each month.
Read More: How to Create a Budget with Irregular Income
7. VEHICLE MAINTENANCE
You probably remembered your monthly car payment, but did you add in fuel costs? What about oil changes and new tires? It is a simple item to forget about, but always budget for the routine maintenance needed to keep your car running.
8. HOME MAINTENANCE
Each spring you know you will replace the mulch in the garden. When winter rolls around, you will get the furnace serviced to ensure it works correctly. Are these items in your budget? It is essential to plan for the home maintenance expenses you know about as well as those that will creep up when you least expect them.
If you plan on taking a vacation, it is vital that you include it in your budget. The amount should take into account fuel, hotel, food, venues, etc.
Read More: Brilliant Vacation Money Saving Tips
10. MEDICAL EXPENSES
You know that you have to pay for your insurance. You may even have a savings plan at work to help cover the out-of-pocket expenses. But, what about the items that may not be covered? Do you need new glasses? Is your monthly medication covered? Make sure you are setting money aside each month to pay for these.
Your budget is your roadmap to financial success. There are bound to be some detours, but if you can plan, you can make sure you follow an alternative track and still achieve your goals.
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You’ve heard it said “Everything in moderation.” Like your brain will just know when it’s achieved maximum moderation and you’ll be fine. Who actually achieves their ideal of moderation?
I know a lot of people who think their addictive or impulsive personality means they can’t do moderation.
While there’s something to be said for how genetics and personality affect the purchases we make, overspending and impulsive spending are problems for everyone, regardless of personality type.
The idea that moderation must be organically practiced is a myth. Moderation is a skill that takes building and refinement.
There are actual steps you can take improve your willpower and moderation. It all starts with understanding it, so let’s get sciencey.
But first, if you like this topic I cover this and much more in my book The No-Spend Challenge Guide. Check it out to help you save more, spend less, and make the most of your time paying off debt.
In brain terms, the forehead is the prefrontal cortex of our brain. It’s in charge of executive functions like logic, planning, problem-solving, and impulse control.
According to a study on the prefrontal cortex and impulsive decision-making by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, there are two types of impulsiveness.
The first is the brain places too much weight on immediate outcomes without considering the weight of future benefit, like choosing to have one cookie now instead of waiting to have two. The second is rapid habitual response without consideration of what the correct response should be.
The study further showed that people’s ability to think about long-term outcomes of their decisions was reduced by stress, distraction, even loud noises.
Got any of those?
We set these big goals for ourselves, to get out of debt, lose weight, stay off social media. Then we get down on ourselves when we’re buying cookies at 10 pm because we saw something unattainable on Facebook.
The willpower to choose moderation is finite. You wake up with the best intentions, have a great day and by the end of it you’re bingeing. Rest assured, you’re not hopeless; you’re normal.
The first step in getting your finances under control is knowing how to take care of your brain to set yourself up to make better decisions. You can have the strongest willpower of anyone you know or seemingly none at all and still be ok as long as you’re taking steps improve your decision-making brain.
There are five totally common sense, eye-roll inducing ways to set your brain up for success. But even though you know what they are they beg repeating. Because until you’re living on the beach with piles of money, you can use a reminder of the simple things that keep your brain and bank account healthy.
1. Manage Stress
When we started paying off our debt I was so stressed working multiple jobs and staring at my loan account that I got shingles. Thank God my body stopped me from living that way because chronic stress is horrible for your decision-making brain.
Chronic stress reduces resilience, impairs memory, and actually shrinks your brain cells. Stress isn’t just bad for the brain; it negatively affects your heart, immune system, and speeds aging. Nobody wants that.
Practice meditation and relaxation techniques regularly. Studies show that just eight weeks of brief daily meditation can increase gray matter in the prefrontal cortex. That means better impulse control and a bigger storehouse for willpower.
If you’re prone to stress avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine. In addition to costing money, they’re stimulants so they increase whatever stress levels are already present.
2. Bombard Yourself with Encouragement
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”
Positive thinking expands your mind and makes you believe more is possible. It’s the difference between achieving outrageous goals and giving up. But just like willpower, positivity doesn’t last, you have to refill your tank daily.
But you can’t manufacture your own encouragement. You can only top this one off with a little help from your friends. And the more the better. Find friends, family, and mentors who get what you’re doing and ask them to keep you accountable but more so encouraged. And don’t be embarrassed if you need more encouragement than you assume is reasonable, everybody needs more on the front end of a big task.
Find 7-10 friends who’ll text you once a week with an encouraging quote or quality they see in you. We live up to the expectations set for us so make sure you surround yourself with people who know you can be great.
3. Sleep More
Sleep deprivation is a type of chronic stress so in addition to avoiding stimulant substances, try the relaxation techniques I mentioned earlier right before bed. It takes just one good night’s sleep to start improving prefrontal cortex function. Studies show that 6.5-7.5 hours of sleep is optimal.
Understand that the older you get the more care you have to take to sleep well, yes even in your 20’s. I used to be able to have a few glasses of wine before bed and now if I do that I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep. Pay attention to your sleep and avoid habits that impede it.
And design your bedroom as a place for sleep. Make your bedroom a place of tranquility and do your work outside of it. Training your brain to think night time is sleep time will improve your sleep.
Experts tell new moms to keep noise and light in the house during the day and quiet darkness at night so babies will learn the difference and develop a proper sleeping schedule. If you want to sleep like one, you should too.
When you’re stressed you release a stress hormone called cortisol. It’s designed to decrease your reaction time in cases of physical or mental stress. But if you’re stressed because of money and life problems and you don’t have any life-saving decisions to make, that cortisol just hangs around bullying your brain cells. The best way to burn off cortisol is through physical activity.
A mere 20-30 minutes of aerobic activity can reduce cortisol levels. So when you’re trying to work up the willpower to go to the gym know that you’re not just working your puff into tuff, you’re getting budgeting buff as well. (I’m sorry I love rhymes.)
Side note: Foods with a high glycemic index (GI) foods increase cortisol levels which can increase stress AND make it hard to fall asleep. Try consuming foods under 55 on the GI scale and see if it improves your sleep and stress levels.
5. Focus on One Thing at a Time
The less you have to think about and the fewer decisions you have to make, the better the ones you make will be. That’s the philosophy of the No Spend Challenge. By focusing on one thing you won’t have to make any other discretionary decisions about money.
I love the book The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. I highly recommend it to anyone embarking on a major life-changing project, like paying off debt.
Instead of trying to master all your goals at the same time and inching forward on each of them only to give up one and throw yourself into another; The philosophy of the ONE thing is that by focusing your energy on one thing at a time you can get maximum results from it quickly and move from one thing to the next.
So if paying off debt is your ONE thing then make it your ONE thing so you can cut the clutter and achieve it fast. You’ve only got one brain, stop wearing it out and work it smarter, not harder, and you’ll discover an ease in budgeting and saving you didn’t know was possible.
” data-medium-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Motivation.png?fit=173%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Motivation.png?fit=346%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” data-pin-title=”Why the Myth of Moderation is Keeping you in Debt – And How to Get Out” class=”aligncenter size-large wp-image-1559 jetpack-lazy-image” src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/why-the-myth-of-moderation-is-keeping-you-in-debt-and-how-to-get-out.png” alt=”Everything in moderation quotes got me feeling deflated. I need more than motivational quotes. This has stuff I can act on.” width=”346″ height=”600″ data-recalc-dims=”1″ data-lazy-srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/why-the-myth-of-moderation-is-keeping-you-in-debt-and-how-to-get-out.png 346w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Motivation.png?resize=173%2C300&ssl=1 173w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Motivation.png?resize=100%2C173&ssl=1 100w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Motivation.png?w=750&ssl=1 750w” data-lazy-sizes=”(max-width: 346px) 100vw, 346px” srcset=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7″>
” data-medium-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Motivation.png?fit=173%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Motivation.png?fit=346%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” data-pin-title=”Why the Myth of Moderation is Keeping you in Debt – And How to Get Out” class=”aligncenter size-large wp-image-1559″ src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/why-the-myth-of-moderation-is-keeping-you-in-debt-and-how-to-get-out.png” alt=”Everything in moderation quotes got me feeling deflated. I need more than motivational quotes. This has stuff I can act on.” width=”346″ height=”600″ srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/why-the-myth-of-moderation-is-keeping-you-in-debt-and-how-to-get-out.png 346w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Motivation.png?resize=173%2C300&ssl=1 173w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Motivation.png?resize=100%2C173&ssl=1 100w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Motivation.png?w=750&ssl=1 750w” sizes=”(max-width: 346px) 100vw, 346px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>
Jen Smith is a personal finance expert, founder of Modern Frugality and co-host of the Frugal Friends Podcast. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Lifehacker, Money Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, Business Insider, and more. She’s passionate about helping people gain control of their spending.
It is often hard to stay inspired during this difficult time. Things can look bleak – whether you’re reading the news or braving the world outside of your home. San Francisco has lost its charm during the pandemic. Streets are deserted. Businesses are boarded up and graffitied. All the cultural vitality that draws one to a city like this is canceled. If if we wanted to go somewhere….there’s no nowhere to go.
And so we turn inward. Back towards home. If you’ve been looking to scratch a creative itch, this post is for you.
As this pandemic has continued, I’ve been sharing #StayHomeInspo on Instagram – a respite for the eyes and inspiration for design ideas and creative projects we can do in our own homes to boost our spirits. One of my primary resources of inspiration has been stylist and photographer Colin King. I discovered Colin’s work on Instagram and have been following his creative journey every since – as he styles editorials ranging from corporate clients like Zara Home, to homes that grace the cover of Architectural Digest. As part of his own #StayHomeInspo journey, Colin started his own hashtag – #StayHomeStillLife chronicling his Covid creative outlet – creating stunning still life vignettes in his Manhattan apartment during New York City’s lockdown. I looked forward to a new image from Colin every day and even though he’s back to work outside his home, I still do.
Colin was gracious enough to share some of his creative tips and tricks with Apt34 today. I hope you find his insights as inspiring as I do.
Q: How did you get started, especially doing still life work? Did you have a mentor? Study something? Or just start experimenting?
A: I’m really good at doing, and not so good at being. Out of all of the careers I’ve had, none of them afforded me the flexibility to work from home. So in an attempt to cope and self soothe, I quickly found comfort in creating still lifes at home. My apartment is small, and there are only so many combinations when it comes to rearranging furniture, so I was forced to think small. It started organically shopping at my favorite decor shop (and the only one that was open) – nature. Foraging quickly led me to taking unrelated, inanimate objects, fruit, and anything else I could find around the house; placing all of that on a clean surface and trying to find an arrangement that felt poetic. The act of creating these still lifes gave me a schedule and presented a challenging, healthy way for me to step away from my screen, disconnect from fear and worry, and just be.
Q: What would you say are the key components of a captivating still life?
A: For me there are three key components of a captivating still life.
Each still life I create, my goal is to conjure the feeling of being a tourist in someone else’s reality. I never want any of my photos to feel as though you’re on a set or that the elements were contrived specifically for the photo. For example, when I am at a museum or even in someone’s home for an editorial shoot, I am always noting the forgotten corners, the stanchions, the coat rack, the half-drawn closet curtain; these are the places where there was no thought or extra care given to the placement of things – it’s just where everything naturally fell. Every captivating image I’ve seen has this almost eerie element of a human having just been there moving about unapologetically, and what’s left is unstyled but perfectly settled. Ultimately, creating a moment that seems more unearthed than contrived.
When approaching my still life I let go of the practical, intended use of each object. To me, a vase isn’t a vase and a fork isn’t a fork – they’re just things with their own materiality and form. I love it when I see an image and don’t even realize what the objects are until examining closer. Whether it’s upside down, balancing on its side, or completely submerged in a glass of water, there is an irreverence with a nod to surrealism that I love.
Lastly, light. Finding the depth between and beyond the surface the objects are on and how they relate to each other is key. Not only do I want to feel the dimensionality of the image, I also want to use objects that absorb light, reflect light, and bend light arranging them in a poetic display to generate an unexpected conversation.
Q: Are there any tricks of the trade you regularly rely on (tools, adhesives etc)?
A: No tricks. Just patience and a good playlist. I’ve never used a tool or an adhesive, I recognize I have so much to learn but right now I am having fun shattering glasses, chipping ceramics, cursing under my breath, and the freedom that comes with not being bound by any way of doing it. And music has always been a part of my process. As a trained dancer, music brings me a sense of comfort, routine and ritual while keeping me in the present moment.
Q: Your photography is also amazing. The way you use light is incredible. Are you self taught? Do you only use your phone and if so what do you use to edit your photos?
A: Aw, thank you. I am completely self-taught and I only use my iPhone. I just looked and I have 143,885 images on my phone. For each still life I create, or any image really, I take anywhere from 20-40 images per set up. It’s practice. it’s repetition, it’s trial and error. It’s like going to the gym and working out. Taking photos is a muscle I’ve been working on since I first got a camera phone in college. I use VSCO and Snapseed to manipulate shadows, contrast, and perspective. We’re all learning from each other. I look to photographers and other creatives I admire and dissect their images, find what I like about them, and then tinker with my own.
I had to let go of the concept that there was the perfect preset or formula for any of my work. No one was going to share a map or rulebook with me, and through a lot of trial and error, I learned that I can’t think my way into being a good photographer or stylist – it’s in the action. I have to use my hands to pick up something tactile – a book to sift through or a couple of objects to arrange. From there I just play, sometimes it’s there and sometimes, I walk away. I get myself into trouble when I wait for inspiration to hit, I have to get up and find it.
Q:You have a very distinct look. I can recognize your work a mile away. How did you go about cultivating that?
A: Intuition has always been my leader in life. I didn’t know I was cultivating a look – I just kept taking photos of what I liked and using the limited resources I had. Although the aesthetic strands running through my work are pretty consistent, the influences feeding into the design process are typically eclectic and even the most unlikely of subjects can provide food for thought. Simplicity and finding beauty in the mundane interested me. At first, my minimal sensibility came from not having a large portfolio or a lot of pieces to work with. And ultimately, I’ve always admired the edited life – less color, less clutter, and fewer things sustained by purposeful restraint.
Q: Where do you turn for creative inspiration?
A: I draw my inspiration from other people. I’ve learned to surround myself with people who have something that I want; and challenge me to be more honest, take more risks, and ultimately how to not fear failure. I am energized and encouraged by other people’s victories; the immense joy I get from watching peers succeed gives me hope that I too, can achieve anything I put my mind to.
I am also very inspired by nature – I am in constant awe of what it produces. Nature has a way of humbling me and is a great reminder to abandon the idea of perfect – nothing about nature is linear or symmetrical and nothing is immune to decay.
Q: What about your work brings you joy?
A: I get to tell stories for a living and that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. I get to connect with people and help create a context for the intimate rituals of peoples’ lives. And I also get to surrender to the subjectivity of what I do and knowing that the narrative I’ve created will be interpreted differently by each viewer – it challenges me to be vulnerable in a way – it’s all part of being a creative – and I feel grateful to be able to make a living by being creative.
Also, objects that have been given to me or are inherited from a shoot or trip, bring me joy. The handmade pieces in my place, knowing the story and process of the artist brings me joy as well. Ultimately, the smallest object can embody an entire relationship or single experience; they’re tied integrally to memories and can shape the identity of the room.
Q: Your career has been taking off of late. Where do you hope to be in five years?
A: This time has presented irrefutable evidence that I don’t have the power to know where I will be in 5 years. Doing the best at this moment puts me in the best place for the next moment. The saying Time takes time has always been a hard pill for me to swallow, I spent so much of my life wanting to be the fastest, youngest, and the best at everything I did but these unrealistic expectations only brought me pain. Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. Surrendering to the idea that I am exactly where I am supposed to be, going through exactly what I need to be going through, AND being content with that is where I hope to be in 5 years. I am learning that the most important relationship I have is with myself. When that relationship is strong I am a better son, brother, friend, employee and partner.
Colin you are wise beyond your years and talented beyond belief. Thanks to you I’m going to continue to try to improve my foraging skills! f you find Colin as truly inspirational as I do, I hope you’ll give him a follow on Instagram.
What are you doing to stay inspired during this weird time??
Looking to add a little flavor to your apartment? It’s easy to do so, both literally and metaphorically, by growing your own indoor spice garden.
Add a dash of extra fresh ingredients to home-cooked meals using plants grown in your DIY herb garden. They’re shockingly easy to grow! Wish we could say the same about some other members of the flora and fauna community (ahem, orchids).
The benefits of an indoor spice garden
There really are no cons to having your own indoor spice garden. However, the pros are numerous and convincing:
Dried herbs and spices are awfully pricy for such small bottles. Five bucks for a tiny jar of tarragon that you’ll probably never fully use? Ridiculous!
By comparison, the supplies necessary for creating and maintaining a DIY herb garden are minimal, since it’s pretty much just young plants, possibly seeds and dirt and grow lights if you’re feeling really adventurous.
You don’t have to be the second coming of Wolfgang Puck to appreciate fresh cooking ingredients. Your dishes will be full of extra flavor, plus you won’t have to wonder where that cilantro has already been or who has previously handled it!
A dash of natural beauty
A bit of extra greenery brightens up any home, especially apartments where space for plants and indoor trees is typically limited. A window sill full of herbs and spices is sure to add extra natural beauty to your space. Then, of course, there’s the benefit of delicious herb-related aromas!
If you’ve never flexed your green thumb before, a DIY herb garden is a perfect way to learn the basic ropes of gardening. There’s no feeling quite like seeing those first shoots peek through the dirt, so give it a try, then pat yourself on the back when everything comes up roses (so to speak!)
Steps to growing herbs indoors
Compared to an outdoor green space, an indoor spice garden is much less difficult. Still, there are decisions to make and steps to follow to achieve success!
Step 1: Pick a location (or two!)
As all plants require at least some sunlight to grow, identify the window spaces that have the best light for the herbs you’re growing. South-facing windows offer the most sunlight during the winter, so those are the best choice for plants that grow best in tropical climates, such as thyme, basil, oregano, rosemary and bay laurel. However, herbs like mint, chives, chervil and parsley don’t require such heavy light, so nurture those near east or west-facing windows.
If you want to get really fancy try setting up grow lights for best results, especially when growing from seeds. Then, it won’t really matter where the plants are!
Step 2: Purchase plants or plant seeds
Purchase plants any time of year! Pick up a few from the local nursery and consider buying more attractive containers than those plain, black plastic ones they come in. Think farmhouse chic, a la Joanna Gaines!
If planting from seed, start in spring. Buy the seeds you want, as well as a bag of seed starting potting mix. This is very important because heavier types of potting soil aren’t good for helping the germination process.
Some people opt to start the seed-planting process in plastic trays that have a lot of individual cells. Then, transplant the sprouts into clay pots. But you can really do either! Whichever container type you select, place the newly seeded containers out of direct sunlight in a warm room. Use clear plastic to cover them until germination happens, then take the plastic off and place it in sunlight or under grow lights (preferably the latter).
Step 3: Water and fertilize
Water is another essential ingredient to herb garden success. Be careful not to add too much of a good thing, however. Do not allow the soil to get very wet. Instead, water lightly using a watering can or sprayer to keep the soil slightly moist.
Frequency of watering really depends on how quickly your plants dry out. The amount of sunlight and temperature inside the apartment affects this. Do a fingertip test to make sure each plant really needs watering before you do it.
Starting a week or so after germination, use a liquid houseplant fertilizer a couple of times a month. Follow directions accordingly.
Step 4: Harvest
Don’t cut into that brand new plant right away! Instead, wait to start snipping until the plant is at least four to six inches tall.
To harvest, cut the outside leaves first. Use kitchen scissors or shears that are both clean and sharp. This will help the plant heal more quickly. Take care not to cut more than one-third of the plant at any given time, so that it can grow and mature at a good, strong pace.
If the plant starts to flower be sure to pinch the buds off, or else it will change from a producing plant to one that is more interested in reproduction.
Step 5: Enjoy!
Your enjoyment of these herbs is only limited by your imagination! Top your favorite dishes with fresh green onion or cilantro, or cook with sage or thyme for extra flavor. Some even go well as cocktail garnishes (mint)!
The best herbs to grow in your indoor spice garden
The great thing about growing your own herb garden is that you don’t have to plant anything that doesn’t suit your palate. Not a fan of cilantro? Don’t even bother! Put basil on everything? Plant extra!
Certain herbs are extra popular in DIY gardens. When you’re planning your garden, consider these versatile cooking herbs:
Lemongrass: Fans of Asian cuisine should definitely plant this easy to grow herb.
Parsley: This one is tricky to grow from seed, so perhaps start off with a plant, instead. Never transplant parsley from one container to another!
Rosemary: A must for soups and stews, this aromatic herb grows best in full sun.
Mint: One of the easiest to grow, mint is a great addition to just about any type of recipe.
Chives: Another on the cinch list, chives grow quickly and with little help. They make a wonderful and tasty garnish atop many dishes!
Basil: A little trickier than some herbs to grow, basil is well worth the extra effort.
Watch your spice garden grow
With a little effort and TLC, an herb garden is just the thing to spice up your home and cooking. Try your hand at a variety and note what works and what doesn’t. As with any gardening, growing herbs indoors takes time to learn and perfect. Keep at it and before you know it you and your guests will be enjoying flavorful herbs and spices that put the bottled stuff to shame!
Savvy savers know that a warehouse club membership can easily pay for itself — and then some — over the course of a year. The key to saving money at these stores is to know how to shop wisely.
Sam’s Club is among the most popular of warehouse clubs. And with a little schooling, you can learn how to use your membership to save even more.
Sam’s Club benefits are based on your membership level:
Following are some great ways members can save a little more at Sam’s Club. If you’re not ready to become a Sam’s Club member yet, check out “How to Shop at Sam’s Club Without Being a Member.”
Shop through a cash-back site
You can save even more at Sam’s Club when you shop through a cash-back website. For example, Rakuten members recently could get up to 8% in cash back on Sam’s Club purchases simply by shopping through Rakuten.
Earn rewards for shopping
Plus members at Sam’s Club get 2% back on qualifying purchases — up to $500 annually.
Your rewards are loaded onto the Sam’s Club Plus Member account about two months before the end of the membership year, the retailer says.
Get free and discount prescriptions
Millions of us take prescription drugs on an ongoing basis. Sam’s Club can help you save a bundle on these medications Five drugs are free for Plus members at a 30-day supply. They are:
Vitamin D 50,000 IU
In addition, Plus members can get more than 600 generics for $10 or less. They can also save on many brand-name drugs.
This program is not available in every state. So, check with your Sam’s Club to see if you are eligible.
Save on your next pair of eyeglasses
Warehouse club memberships can be a great way to save on eyewear. Plus members get 20% off a complete pair of eyeglasses and free shipping on contact lenses.
Earn cash back with a Sam’s Club credit card
If you are looking for more rewards, consider opening a Sam’s Club Mastercard account. It’s available to both Plus and Club members.
You’ll receive cash back on the following purchases up to $5,000 annually:
5% cash back on gasoline (on the first $6,000; then 1% after)
3% cash back on dining
1% cash back on all other purchases
If you are looking for other types of rewards — or simply want a credit card that offers other benefits, like a lower interest rate — go to the Money Talks News Solutions Center and find the right card for you.
Enjoy instant savings
As a Sam’s Club member, you’ll be able to take advantage of Instant Savings — which are discounts on top of the warehouse club’s already low prices.
This benefit is available to both Plus and Club members.
Pick up perks at the Tire & Battery Center
Sam’s Club members get free flat repairs. That’s true even if you purchase your tires elsewhere. Other benefits include free battery testing and free wiper-blade installation.
This is available to both Plus and Club members.
Grab discounted gift cards for your favorite retailers and restaurants
Sam’s Club members can choose from an array of retailer gift cards that the warehouse club sells at a discount.
For example, we recently saw the following deals:
$50 of Spa Week gift cards for $37.50
$50 in Steak ‘N Shake gift cards for $37.50
$100 in Chili’s gift cards for $85.98
Get email alerts and check out Shocking Values
Sign up for email alerts from Sam’s Club, and you’ll learn about ways to save when shopping online every day.
In addition, visit the Sam’s Club website’s Shocking Values page to find out about the latest deals. We recently saw a Honeywell 5000 Lumen LED utility light — normally priced at $159.98– for $64.98.
Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.
Be open about your goals. Specify on your profile that you want kids. Don’t invest your time on someone hoping that he’ll eventually come around on this. There is no middle ground on having children.
I understand why it makes you nervous to spend a substantial part of your savings here. So often, we think of our savings as falling in two buckets: an emergency fund and retirement, without consideration for all of life’s other needs. But investing part to build a family someday is a perfectly legitimate use of your savings. As long as you’re willing to invest the time, this is money well spent.
Get the Penny Hoarder Daily -Suddenly Single
Dear Single, I’m a 37-year-old female who wants kids. Just after the holidays, I ended a six-year relationship with a man I loved dearly because he decided he didn’t want children. I’m one of four kids and the only one without children. I adore my niece and nephews and always wanted a family, but he was unsure. We were both busy with our careers. I kept thinking he’d eventually come around.
I don’t want you settling for any guy who comes along. But we don’t get an unlimited number of dealbreakers when we choose a partner. Invest in the guys whose goals align with yours. Swipe left on any man who’s upfront about not wanting kids on his profile. Same goes for all the guys who say they want kids someday but are looking for something casual. Source: thepennyhoarder.com Now I’m thinking of freezing my eggs to buy myself some extra time in hopes of still having one or two children. It would cost me about ,000. This would be about a third of the money in my savings account. I’m not emotionally ready to start dating yet. I’m also concerned about dating in the middle of a pandemic, knowing it will probably be several months until I’m able to be vaccinated. Robin Hartill is a certified financial planner and a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. Send your tricky money questions to AskPenny@thepennyhoarder.com.
That may sound like a lot. But I’m not telling you to commit three entire evenings a month to a four-course dinner and a movie. I’m asking for three cups of coffee, three glasses of wine or three walks around the park.
Everything I’m about to say is based on a few assumptions: that you’ve consulted with a doctor you trust, that they’ve told you that egg freezing is a viable option for you and that you’ve confirmed the ,000 price tag. I’m now working from home permanently and don’t have a ton of opportunities to meet new people. When I get back into dating, I’m guessing it will be on a dating app, which I’m already dreading. I don’t want to settle for just anyone. Is it wise to use a substantial part of my savings if I can buy myself more time to find a partner?
But I want you to think of your ,000 as only part of your investment.. You have a goal here, which is to meet a partner and have children with them. The pandemic, obviously complicates that. You’ve accepted that this will cost you money. But you’ll also need to invest time and legitimate effort to meet someone once you’ve gotten your COVID-19 vaccines. And quite honestly, that may be harder, at first, than parting with your ,000.
Let’s set some measurable goals, even if that doesn’t exactly sound romantic It usually isn’t that hard for women to find a date on the apps. So I want you to aim for three dates per month once you can safely do so. These dates can be with three different guys or all with the same guy.
Ready to stop worrying about money?
If all this is true, yes, go ahead and spend ,000 to freeze your eggs. This absolutely counts as an investment in your future, just one that won’t come with a monetary payout. There’s no guarantee that you’ll get the returns you’re after, but then again, there are no guarantees in investing.
Trying your hand at the stock market? Chances are, you’ve come across the term “P/E ratio”. If you’re like many who are new to the stock market, you’ve looked at this phrase and asked yourself, “What in the world is that?”
P/E ratio, otherwise known as the price-to-earnings ratio, is a formula that investors use to determine the value of a company’s share. It is one of the most common formulas used to determine the value of a stock. The formula compares the price of a company’s share to the earnings per share (EPS) of the company in order to determine how much an investor is paying for $1 of the company’s earnings. Let’s take a deeper dive into the P/E formula. Use the links below to jump ahead to a section of your choosing.
P/E Formula and Calculation
First thing’s first: let’s learn the price to earnings ratio formula and how to calculate it. The price-to-earnings ratio formula is as follows: the price of a single share of a company’s stock (What is a stock?), divided by the company’s earnings per share (EPS). The ratio of these two variables will tell you exactly how much an investor is spending for a single dollar of the company’s earnings.
Finding the cost of a company’s stock is extremely simple. In order to find the price of a single share of a company’s stock, all you need to do is enter the company’s stock ticker symbol (the series of characters that represents that company on the stock market) into a finance website, such as investor.gov. You’ll quickly find the current cost for a single share of that company’s stock. Google also keeps an up-to-date Market Summary for the prior day’s stock market, so a quick Google search will often bring exactly the answer you’re looking for.
Determining a company’s earnings per share (EPS) can be a bit trickier. Earnings per share are broken down into 2 categories: trailing earnings and forward earnings. Trailing earnings, often shortened to TTM, are the company’s core earnings over the trailing, or prior, 12 months. This number is the profit that the company has generated over the past 12 months of business. Remember that we’re talking about the net income of a business, rather than the gross income (Need a refresher? Learn more about gross income vs net income.). P/E ratios calculated with trailing earnings are known as the trailing P/E (P/E TTM). Forward earnings, on the other hand, are the predicted earnings that the company will generate over the next 12 months. P/E ratios calculated using forward earnings are known as the forward P/E. Both types of earnings are divided by the total number of public shares on the market in order to generate their EPS. More on this later.
Let’s try out an example. Say you’re looking to determine the trailing P/E of a fictional company AlphaBet Corporation, known on the stock market as ABC. Their share price is currently at $50 per share. Their trailing earnings per share is $5. Divide the $50 per share by the $5 EPS, and you’re left with a P/E of 10. This means that investors are paying $10 for every $1 in earnings per share.
Understanding P/E Ratio
So, ABC has a P/E of 10. What does that mean for you?
In the most general sense, the lower a P/E ratio, the less an investor is paying for each dollar of a company’s earnings per share. A higher P/E ratio means that an investor is paying more per EPS. But, unfortunately, determining which stock to buy isn’t as simple as “look for the lowest P/E ratio”.
It is imperative to remember that everything on the stock market is relative. “Good” and “bad” numbers are different for each and every industry. An electronics company and an automotive company are functioning in two vastly different landscapes. Therefore, in order to determine what is a good price to earnings ratio, you’ll need to understand the landscape of P/E ratios in the industry. Look at similar companies’ P/E ratios to better understand the relative value of your company’s P/E ratio. If ABC’s price-to-earnings ratio seems extremely high as compared to other companies in the industry, it may be an overvalued stock. On the other hand, if it seems extremely low as compared to other companies in the industry, it may be a very valuable stock.
Let’s try another example. We’ve already determined that ABC’s price is $50 per share, earnings are $5 per share, and P/E is 10. A competitor, DOG, also has stock for $50 per share. Their earnings, on the other hand, are $2 per share, making their PE 25 (50/2=25). An investor would pay $10 for every $1 of ABC’s earnings per share, but they’d have to pay $25 for every $1 of DOG’s earnings per share. With a better understanding of the landscape, we can see how ABC sits relative to its competitors.
A company’s price to earnings ratio may also be looked at relative to itself. Remember those two types of earnings we reviewed earlier? We can compare a company’s trailing P/E to their forward P/E to better understand the value of a stock. A company with a high trailing P/E ratio may have been rather unprofitable the prior 12 months because theywere preparing to ramp up business substantially, and took on a number of upfront costs. They may be expecting a boom of profits over the forward 12 months, leaving them with a substantially lower forward P/E. By reviewing these numbers in comparison to each other, we may see an opportunity for a long-term investment.
Limitations of the P/E Ratio
While the price to earnings ratio is certainly one of the most widely used calculations among stock market investors and analysts, it’s not a cut and dry way to determine a good or bad stock. It gives investors a good understanding of the value of stock in a particular moment, but it certainly has its short-comings.
Just as the stock market is relative, it’s also in a constant state of fluctuation. It is re-evaluated and recalculated constantly. Why does this matter when it comes to the price to earnings ratio? Well, just look at the variables we use to determine the P/E ratio.
First, we have the “price” of the price-to-earnings ratio: the cost of a single share of a company’s stock. Stock prices fluctuate every single day based on supply, demand, current events, and more. Typically, the cost of a company’s stock will be reported as the cost that it was when the stock market closed the prior day. Each time a company’s stock price changes, their P/E ratio will change. Certain companies may tend to have a greater fundamental volatility than others, leaving their stock price changing substantially each and every day. Even those with low fundamental volatility experience routine fluctuation.
Next, we have the “earnings” in the price-to-earnings ratio. Both trailing and forward P/E ratios have their limitations. Trailing P/E can feel like the more reliable of the two numbers because it’s based on facts. We take their actual earnings over the prior 12 months into account. But, in many situations, a company’s prior 12 months may have little to do with their next 12 months. As mentioned earlier, a company may have spent heavy the prior 12 months in preparation to ramp up the next 12 months. The trailing P/E won’t show us any of that. The forward P/E, on the other hand, is based on predictions. And predictions are quite educated guesses, but at the end of the day predictions are still guesses. A company may fall short of their predicted earnings or blow completely past them.
Looking to try your hand at the stock market? Don’t go at it alone. Consider opening an investment account with Mint. We believe that there’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach to investment. That’s why we offer a variety of investment partners, suited to each particular need. Let’s find the best to suit yours.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic clobbered our economy, many Americans were struggling to make ends meet. And now, more than ever, it’s important to know all the tricks to avoid creeping costs. Start with this rule: Never pay retail.
These savvy tactics help you make every penny count. A dollar you don’t spend on needs or wants can be working for you in an emergency fund, a health savings account, retirement savings or a college plan for your kid.
1. Use a cash-back shopping site
Sites like Rakuten and TopCashback typically get a finder’s fee when they send shoppers to any of thousands of retailers with links on their portal. They split those fees with consumers, so you get a rebate of from 1% to 30% on what you spend through their sites. Swagbucks Shop, which offers shoppers several ways to save, has a cash-back option, too.
How it works: On a cash-back site, type in the name of a retailer, click through to the site and sign up. You’ll typically need to accumulate a minimum amount in rebates ($25, say) before you can cash them in.
After finding the best price and accessing it through a cash-back site, you can add yet another layer of savings if you …
2. Use a rewards credit card
Why would you not pay with a rewards card? It’s free money — or hotel or airline points. If you handle the card wisely, the benefits are potentially great.
There are two reasons not to use a rewards card:
You tend to carry a card balance. In that case, your priority is finding a card with the lowest interest rate possible.
The card has an annual fee. You don’t want to spend more on fees than you’ll reap in rewards although, in some cases, the rewards are enough that it’s worth paying to own the card.
As always, use credit cards wisely: Pay off your entire account balance each month. Otherwise, interest rates can eat up any benefit and can throw you into debt.
Money Talks News’ credit card finder helps you choose a card that’s right for your personal circumstances.
3. Pay with discounted gift cards
You’ll find tons of gift card resellers offering to buy cards consumers don’t want or can’t afford to keep.
How do you save money using gift cards, you ask? Here’s how: Buy gift cards at a discount from these resellers and then use them to do your shopping. Suppose you’ll be shopping at Target, for instance. Buy discounted Target cards to use at the store, effectively saving 2% to 20% or more on your purchases.
A couple of sources for discounted cards:
Aggregator sites like Raise, which point you to good deals. Also at Raise, you can sell gift cards you aren’t using.
Multipacks of discounted gift cards, found at warehouse stores like Costco (membership required).
4. Use shopping tools
Shopping apps are another path to savings. Ibotta’s mobile (Android or Apple) app offers rebates for purchases. Use it while shopping to:
Link your store loyalty cards for automatic tracking.
Amass points for gift cards and cash (through Venmo or PayPal).
Programs like Dropand Target’s Circle let you track your purchases and receive discounts and/or points to cash in for rewards.
5. Look for coupons
Coupons can save you a bundle, both online and off. Find them through:
Coupon websites: A few are RetailMeNot, Savings.com and Coupons.com.
Store websites: Download coupons to your store’s loyalty card.
Regional publications: I look forward to my monthly local “Good Deals” magazine, with coupons for all kinds of stuff, from ice cream cones to bathtub restoration. Watch for a shopper publication in your area.
Valpak: You may receive the familiar blue envelope in the mail; if not, visit Valpak.com and insert your ZIP code.
Social media: Follow your favorite retailers, and they’ll often mail you coupons regularly.
6. Be a preferred customer
Everyone’s a VIP these days. To claim your “special” status:
Sign up for email lists with favorite companies. You’ll be notified of sales and may get one-time discount codes, too.
Join the club. Establishments offering membership programs can include free products, discounts, birthday freebies and other goodies. When you check out at a store, ask if a rewards club exists.
Sign up for a store loyalty card. These can earn discounts and possibly points for more savings.
Rewards with every purchase. Some retailers go over and above, offering rewards with each purchase you make.
If you’re not a member of Costco and have been wondering whether you should be, check out this special promotional offer for online signups.
7. Hit the dollar store
Certain items should never be purchased at a dollar store.
But if you follow these shopping secrets, dollar stores can have plenty of great deals on other things you need. (Really, how much do you want to pay for a mop bucket, greeting cards, reading glasses or other necessary or handy items?)
Recently I helped my daughter clean and repaint her rental unit. The mop, sponges, cleanser, white vinegar and other supplies all came from a dollar store.
8. Buy secondhand
“Used” doesn’t have to mean “shoddy,” as our veteran thrift shopper explains, sharing his best tips.
At thrift stores and yard sales, you may even find clothing with department-store price tags still attached and unopened shrink-wrapped gift items.
Consignment stores are a happy medium between secondhand stores and retail stores. The managers at these places can be discriminating, so you’ll spend less (maybe a lot less) for new-looking goods.
A few more possibilities for pre-owned goods:
Craigslist.org is the grandaddy of local secondhand sales sites. Letgo and its affiliate OfferUp are newer additions to this rich world of previously-used items.
Facebook has local sales pages: Type in your city or ZIP code and search terms like “yard sale” or “garage sale.”
The Freecycle Network has thousands of chapters in the United States with goods people offer free of charge. Or, post an “ask” for something you’re seeking.
The Buy Nothing Project, a hyper-local version of Freecycle, is a nonprofit effort to get neighbors to give to neighbors. I’ve seen great stuff offered for free, and, as with Freecycle, you can ask for things you want.
9. Use social buying sites
Need the chimney swept or your windshield replaced? Can’t afford pricey restaurants? Social buying sites — Groupon and LivingSocial are two — offer discounted products, services, activities and even travel packages. The prices can be downright startling, and they offer a cheaper introduction to fun activities like ceramic painting, laser tag or bowling.
Pro tip: For even more savings, access Groupon and Living Social through a cash-back shopping site. Go to Rakuten and others mentioned above and type in “Groupon” or “Living Social” in the search box to enhance your savings.
10. Buy in bulk
You don’t have to join a warehouse club to pay less by purchasing in bulk. Other places for bulk pricing:
Ask a supermarket manager if you can get a price break for buying an entire case of canned goods.
Produce auctions are a great source of sometimes unbelievable deals. Search online for “produce auction near me.”
Restaurant supply stores often are open to the public.
Check prices in your supermarket’s natural foods section for spices, rolled oats, cornmeal and other bulk goods at substantial discounts.
“Ethnic” markets often feature larger-sized options, especially for staples like rice and beans.
And of course, you’ll find discounts at Costco, Sam’s and BJ’s. See “10 Best Buys at Warehouse Clubs” for ways to use your memberships to the fullest.
Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.
At home bars are becoming increasingly popular as we are all spending more time in our homes. In fact, over the last 90 days, there has been an 80% increase in Google searches for “at home bars.” Because bars and restaurants are currently closed, it seems that this may be the perfect time to start creating an entertaining bar area in your home. When creating and designing your home bar setup, homeowners are getting inventive, using previously wasted space or converting part of their basements into places of relaxation and enjoyment. Here are 8 tips to consider for your own home bar setup.
1. Turn wasted space into functional space
The empty wall you’ve been trying to find a use for, the little closet you don’t need or even use, or the nook you’re not sure what to do with, all can easily be transformed into a little home bar. Adding some shelves or cabinets allows for creative displays and small countertops, a console table, or bar cabinets will also give you a nice working space for a home bar setup. Use that wasted space in your home by creating a simple yet functional home bar.
2. Show off your wine collection
Fantastic wine displays are growing in popularity, with the wine cellar coming to the forefront. Glass fronted wine coolers are a nice choice because they keep the wine storage space refrigerated and allow your wine to be admired by others. You can also invest in shelves and storage for wine that does not need to be refrigerated. This option shows off your wine collection in another tasteful and beautiful way.
3. Make cabinetry beautiful
There are so many different cabinet options available for storing drinks, bar glasses, and any other bartending tools. You might want to opt for cabinets with glass doors, floating shelves, or a fun and interesting cabinet design. These cabinet options will allow you to show off your collection of wine and spirits or unique cocktail glasses while also being very practical. Choose a cabinet design that flows with the existing design of your home. You can also add a pop of color to make your area stand out.
4. Be thoughtful about lighting
Putting a little extra thought and time into designing the perfect home bar setup goes a long way. The lighting can be just as important as the overall design. You can choose to install under cabinet lighting, unique pendants, rope lights tucked under shelves, or LEDs that change color. Any of these lighting options will certainly add some pop to your home bar.
5. Head to the basement
It’s so handy to have a home bar in a finished basement, whether it’s used for keeping juice, sodas, waters, and popcorn for family movie nights, or for creating new cocktails while hosting your family and friends. If you live in Kansas City, MO, an area where basements are very popular, and you have the space available, start creating a home bar setup in your basement now. Start by building a countertop and installing some cabinets. Luxurious extras include a sink, dishwasher, and refrigerator so you don’t have to carry all your supplies up and down the stairs. This basement bar is the perfect place to have fun from the privacy of your own home.
6. Stock up on bar essentials
If you are planning on creating your own home bar setup you will want to make sure you stock it with the essentials. You can choose to go the traditional route and mimic a professional bar by buying all the liqueurs and tools, or you can customize your bar for what you like to drink most. Grab your favorite drinks and mixers and stock up on them.
You’ll also want to think about the essential bar tools you will need to help you create and mix your drinks. The most common tools you should stock your bar with include; a cocktail shaker, jiggers, mixing spoon, mixing cups, a muddler, beer and wine opener, and a variety of different drink glasses. If you are lucky enough to have a refrigerator and freezer in your bar then buying some unique ice cube trays can definitely add extra flair to your drinks.
7. Accent with reclaimed wood
People wanting to add an accent wall in reclaimed wood are finding a home bar is the perfect place to do it. Adding a reclaimed wood accent wall to your home bar setup is a quick and easy way to introduce an organic element into your home. Adding this accent wall is an inexpensive investment that can transform even the smallest spaces.
8. Decorate with purpose
A home bar is a perfect place to get creative with your design. You can add a pop of color to draw attention or you can match the colors with the rest of your home. You can enhance the space with fun signs or unique art as well as trendy bar stools, a custom sofa, or fun backsplashes. Have a favorite sports team? Add some fan gear and maybe even a small TV to watch your favorite games. The options are endless. Make your home bar setup a place that makes you happy and somewhere you look forward to hanging out.