Starr’s 50 Favorite Home Tips

July 31, 2019 | Starr Tingle

If you haven’t heard yet, this July I turned 50 years old. I know! Don’t worry, I’m not depressed or sad. I feel like I’m 25, I’m doing work I love, and I have a charmed life. I want to get in one more tiny little celebration and so I’ve written down my 50 favorite home tips to share with you! I hope you enjoy them and are able to implement some of them in your home!

Bedroom

  1. I find dark paint on the walls in a bedroom are cozy and inviting.
  2. Carpet in a bedroom just makes me happy.
  3. Keep two sets of sheets for each bed in your home a summer set and a winter set. (Except for guest beds. Those only get one set unless you have super frequent guests.) Wash them weekly and put them back on the bed to avoid having to fold sheets on the regular.
  4. The lights on each side of your bed should be at the right height, and brightness for nighttime reading.
  5. 4 can lights, one in each corner of the bedroom, are useful in addition to bedside lamps. I rarely find one light in the middle of the ceiling satisfactory.
  6. Keep the pillows on your bed simple and only put ones on there you actually use. Nobody has time to place 20 decorative pillows on their bed every morning.
  7. I don’t care what the trend is, use a top sheet.
  8. If you can, keep two different bed covering (quilt or duvet). One for spring/summer and one for fall/winter. I like to change up my room a bit; it keeps me from getting tired of it.
  9. Keep a chair in your bedroom only if you will sit in it. If you pile clothes on it, get rid of it.
  10. No electronics in the bedroom.
  11. Keep your window coverings simple and inexpensive. Use that money to buy better sheets. What is next to your skin is more important than what is hanging covering your window.

Bathroom

  1. Medicine cabinets are a great way to keep your countertops free of clutter.
  2. Resist the trend to put a single light on each side of your mirror. It is NOT enough light. Put at many bulbs over your mirror as possible. When you are 50, you will understand.
  3. A place to sit in the shower is not really necessary (it’s cold), but a LARGE place to put our bottles of potents is a must.
  4. As much as I love a fluffy white towel, I don’t buy them. Instead, I buy a patterned towel. Patterned towels stay looking nice longer in our hard water in Kentuckiana. And I only buy enough of them to make a full load in my washer. When they are all dirty, I do a load of towels.
  5. I do, however, purchase only white washcloths. They don’t last long, I just buy them in bulk when they are on sale. As soon as they start looking bad, they go into the house cleaning bin.
  6. Squeegeeing you shower is how I show my gorgeous Carrara marble tile and my heavy glass shower door that I love them. It takes seconds, I get in a few squats, and my shower always looks amazing.
  7. For my money, hardwood flooring in the master bath is life. It is warm, pretty, luxurious, and it gives me a chance to add texture by layering in an area rug.
  8. A freestanding soaking tub – if you take a bath – is so pretty and sculptural. I highly recommend it.
  9. Reduce clutter and mess in your master bath by reducing the number of products you use. Find a brand of natural products you like and get rid of everything else. I recommend Lush.
  10. Speaking of Lush, I swear by their shampoo bars for body cleaner. They smell so good, are all-natural, and they don’t leave soap scum in your shower!

Kitchen

  1. Carrara marble is always first in my heart, but honestly, quartz that mimics Carrara is much more practical
  2. Tile or glass behind your cooktop is a must.
  3. Keep your countertops as clear as possible.
  4. Open shelves are lovely. I keep items on them that we use daily. I think it makes putting away dishes and setting the table so much easier/faster. And it looks pretty. I have beautiful things, and I like to see them!
  5. If you are taller like me and you have the option, make your island a little taller than the perimeter cabinets. It makes food prep so much handier.
  6. Get rid of items that are not dishwasher friendly. I put everything except my Grandmothers iron skillet in the dishwasher.
  7. Keep enough cute and cheery dish towels and dish clothes on hand that you can change them out at least daily. When I’m cooking heavy, I go through as many as 3 or 4 in a day.
  8. Don’t keep your cabinets, drawers, or pantry full of items or food you don’t use on the regular. If you don’t use it, get rid of it.
  9. Never ever use paper or plastic for daily meals. It is terrible for the environment, and it’s just not very homey.
  10. Get rid of your microwave.

Exterior

  1. James Hardie siding is my favorite because of its flexibility, but I also understand the appeal of brick. Please NEVER be afraid to paint brick. Painted brick is the very best brick of all!!!!
  2. Keep your landscape simple enough that you can maintain it easily. If you have too much and it’s full of weeds, tear it out and sow grass seed.
  3. Use plants native to your area. Start with small plants and give them the space they need to grow.
  4. Trees are life. Plant all the trees you can.
  5. Shine the glass on your entry doors often. Clean your windows at least twice a year. Clear your gutters (inside and out) and siding at least every other year.
  6. Don’t go crazy on potted plants, but a couple of well-placed pots sends a homey, welcoming message.
  7. Layering two rugs at your front door is a nice touch.
  8. If you keep a wreath on your front door, keep it fresh looking. But don’t feel pressured to change the wreath out monthly. That’s expensive and where do those people store all those wreaths!?!?
  9. If you think you may want a pool, you definitely want a pool.
  10. Set up a grilling station you’ll use often. It keeps your kitchen cooler and cleaner in the summer, and grilled food is so good!!

General

  1. White Dove by Benjamin Moore is my favorite “white.”
  2. Decorator’s White by Benjamin Moore is my second favorite, “white.”
  3. Less is more when it comes to furniture, decor items, and basically everything.
  4. I love LED lightbulbs.
  5. Keep your house decluttered and clean. If you keep your home in top shape, enlist a family member or hire outside help. This is super important for your mental health.
  6. Invite friends and family into your home even if it is not perfect.
  7. Have them over for dessert if you can’t cook a whole meal. Being with friends and family is better than watching TV any day of the week.
  8. Declutter. Declutter. Declutter. If you need help, read Decluttering at the Speed of Life by Dana White. You can get it here.
  9. Put together a few low cost, easy, healthy go-to recipes, and eat at home more. And invite friends over! A meal only has to be good. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.
  10. Exercise for more energy to do life. Need to declutter but don’t have energy? Go for a walk. Exercising creates the energy we need for a full life.

If you made it to the bottom of my list, THANK YOU!! I hope you found some value and things you want to try in your own home. In the mean time, I’m over here working on my next 50 years!