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Five Ways to Discourage Burglars

There’s more you can do to discourage burglars than an alarm system when you’re away. Burglars look for easy targets, where they can get in and out quickly. They pick a house and watch it to learn your comings and goings and for signs that you’re gone. So what can you do? Make it harder for burglars.

Smart Phone Security. Make cameras visible and install them in more places than the front door. You can access your security cameras anytime, anywhere and get alerts when visitors are detected. You can store video clips and recorded audio to the cloud.

Neighbors. Meet your neighbors and exchange numbers. Watch their homes when they’re gone and ask them to watch yours for any suspicious activity. Have your neighbor pick up mail, flyers on your door or packages left on your doorstep.

Trash. Burglars look through trash for valuable personal records and through empty boxes to learn about purchases, such as pricey new electronics. Make sure to shred important documents you wouldn’t want them to get ahold of.

Lighting. Motion detector lighting is startling and may discourage a burglar from entering your home. It’s worth it to keep your home well-lit with landscape lighting that illuminates windows, doors and walkways. Use on-off light timers, T.V. flicker simulators and large dog bark recordings to simulate that someone’s at home.  

Vehicles. Many burglars break into cars to get addresses and other information. Keep your car and glovebox locked. Don’t leave your garage opener visible. Instead, pair your opener with your smartphone so only you can access your home.

Retro: Not Just Mid-century Anymore

According to EyeonHousing.comhalf of owner-occupied homes were built before 1980. That could be just one of many reasons why many homebuyers and homeowners are going more “retro” in their decorating styles. Retro pieces of furniture, art, and accessories, whether antique, reproduction or derivative, can bring unique personality to any home.

TheSpruce.com explains that home décor has always mixed the old with the new. Retro is widely thought to mean Mid-century design, but it can also include nods from other eras, including Art Deco and Modernism from the 1920s to the 1940s. Both post-war, these modernistic motifs reflect large lifestyle changes, and are based in the joys of progress and optimism for the future.

Art Deco décor: The 1920s was a time of wealth, optimism, and confidence, concepts reflected by geometric shapes, opulent details, shiny surfaces, luxurious fabrics and vertical lines. Art Deco décor pays homage to the technical achievements that produced skyscrapers, planes, trains and automobiles. Machine-made objects such as toasters, blenders, refrigerators and vacuum cleaners revolutionized housekeeping. Bring Art Deco influences into your home with brass, chrome, statuary, luxe fabrics like brocade, velvet and suede, rounded seating and bold colors like emerald green, black and gold.  

Mid-century décor: Mid-century design takes inspiration from suburbia, highway travel, the invention of jet airplanes and easier international travel, and the Space Race of the 1950s to the 1960s. It’s practical, sleek, uncluttered, and features light cheerful colors, low furniture with exposed legs, and new materials like plastic, rayon, acrylic and Formica. 

Hit the Deck with Easy Upgrades

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It’s time for fun in the sun, and not too late to make some improvements to your deck. Before you have family and friends over for summer barbeques, take a weekend to make your deck more attractive, comfortable and better integrated with your backyard.

You want your deck and yard to look like they flow together. One way to do that is to plan around what you’d like to view, such as side gardens with flowers. The deck steps can lead down to the landing area or pavers in the grass that allows you and your guests to walk around and admire the plants up close.

Just as you want to orient your deck to pleasing views, you want to block out views that aren’t as nice. It’s easy to add screens, outdoor curtains or lattices so that you can enjoy the fresh air with more privacy. BobVila.com recommends adding a pergola to the deck. It’s a regal touch and the open slats of the roof will still allow airflow.

Lowes.com says to plan your deck for how you’ll use it. Is the space large enough for a barbeque, portable fireplace, or hibachi? Do you want to dine outdoors? You can buy outdoor dining furniture or build in a banquet. You can also add bench seating to one side. Anything that’s built-in and well-cared-for will add value to your home.

Top off the new look with planters for pops of color. And don’t forget soft lighting for evenings.