Archive | February, 2013

Decorating Ideas for Your Home Library

28 Feb

Decorating Ideas for Your Home Library

Having a library at home is a dream for book lovers and book collectors. If you love to read books and want to build a collection for your home library, then you should do some creative brainstorming on how to organize that special nook.

Planning a home library can open up a lot of ideas. First, what do you want your bookcase to look like? How will you arrange the books? Will there be a special area where you can sit down and read in peace? Is your library just a getaway or also something to show to your friends and house guests?

To help you plan a great home library, here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Stack your books diagonally. Instead of the usual horizontal or vertical stacks of books you see in libraries, you can create patterned stacking to make your library more unique. Use a diamond shaped compartment for your book cabinet and stack seven to ten books in each compartment.
  • Enclose your library with a glass divider. Make it more private when you plan to read your favorite books at home. A full glass divider will give you the privacy you need, while allowing you to still see some areas of the house. Add a door if you want it to be even quieter.
  • Reserve an empty space in the center of your book shelf or cabinet for decorative items. You can add your TV, some book-related decor, or even a painting. This will create a focal point, which is especially important if you have floor-to-ceiling stacks of books.
  • Add a built-in seat for your reading pleasure. Instead of using a separate chair for reading, install a built-in couch where you can be near your book collection while you read. Install lights above your couch for better lighting and a few throw pillows to give you more comfort.
  • Enclose the lower part of your book cabinet for added storage. This is useful if you don’t have enough books to fill the entire cabinet.
  • Mix things up. Add decorative items in between the books for display rather than filling the entire cabinet with books. You can also use pieces of decor as book ends.
  • Find that special nook in the house. Your home library can be perfect if properly situated inside the house. Find that special area where you can simply relax and read. It can either be inside your living room, a small closet in the hallway, or perhaps under the stairs.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent


Oklahoma Troopers and Correctional Officers to Receive Salary Increase

26 Feb

Oklahoma Troopers and Correctional Officers to Receive Salary Increase

Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers and prison correctional officers will soon enjoy a salary increase. Two bills were recently approved by the House committee that would increase the salaries of existing officers and produce higher starting salaries for new ones.  Both bills have also been approved by the House Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee and are now awaiting evaluation and approval by the full House Appropriations Committee.

According to the bills, the salary increase of prison officers would cost the state $12.2 million per year, and the increase for state troopers would cost $7.3 million per year.  For state prison workers, the starting salary would increase from $11.83 per hour to $14 per hour, and other employees at the Department of Corrections would see a salary increase of 5 percent. State troopers would also receive a starting salary increase from $33,192 to $38,602.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

Electrical Jobs That Require a Professional

25 Feb

Electrical Jobs That Require a Professional

There are certain jobs at home that are best left to the professionals. Though you may want to attempt DIY projects in order to learn more about repairs and renovations, save on labor costs, and customize the project based on what you want, hiring a professional is sometimes a safer and more practical idea.

Electrical work is one area in which it is better to hire a professional in order to avoid accidents like short circuits, electrocution, and starting a fire. Their expertise minimizes the risk of errors and damage to your electrical equipment. In other words, it’s better to leave the riskier jobs to a professional, so you don’t risk your property, money, or safety.

Here are a few electrical jobs that should be left to the professionals:

  • Replacing old fuse boxes or panels. Sometimes you can experience an overload due to the high wattage loads required by some of our appliances that cannot be accommodated by the current power load. If you need to install a subpanel or replace your old fuse box to add more power for your appliances, hire a professional. This type of job is too risky, especially if you need to tackle electrical wirings.
  • Changing wires. Old wires are made of aluminum, but are prone to corrosion. Changing them to copper wires is much safer because it is more resistant to corrosion. If you plan to change the electric wirings at home, have a professional do the job. Tending to electrical wirings is very risky and can be damaging if you do not know what to do.
  • Assessing your electrical system. If you have problems with your electrical system such as unexplained increases in your electricity bills, then have an electrician check and your power system. They will know how to spot the problem that may be cuasing the energy surge and can find solutions to the issue.
  • Exposed wires. Never touch an open or exposed wire at home. It can be dangerous, especially if you don’t have the proper tools to fix them.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

Creative Features to Add to Your Deck

21 Feb

Creative Features to Add to Your Deck

A beautiful deck adds life and comfort to any home.  You can use your deck to have a venue in which to wind down, have an outdoor dinner party, or bond with your family. Adding more features onto your deck will more than likely be great for your home value, especially if they are added features that contribute to the overall convenience of staying on your deck.

To help you add something creative and functional on your deck, here are a few ideas:

  • A colorful hammock – Having comfy chairs on your deck may be conducive to resting for a few hours,  but a lovely hammock will make resting more comfortable. Install a colorful hammock to create an alternative to simply sitting down. A colorful hammock will also add more colors to your deck.
  • An outdoor kitchen – Barbecue parties, where friends gather around your deck, can be a lot of fun. However, it would make it so much easier  if you had an outdoor kitchen that gave you everything you needed without forcing you to keep going in and out of your house the whole time. Just make sure that your outdoor kitchen is secure enough that it won’t be able to start a fire.
  • Pattern lighting – Make your deck brighter at night with patterned lights all over. You can add small lighting along the rails to make your deck more intimate at night.
  • A hot tub – Why not make your deck a place for a hot tub party? No need to go to a pool since you and a few friends can dip on the tub while enjoying the comforts of your home.
  • A fire pit – Nothing could be cozier than having an outdoor fire pit to warm you up at night. Install a large fire pit on or near your deck, so you can gather around the fire and enjoy some s’mores. Make sure you have enough seats to be conducive to quality conversation.
  • A mosaic pathway – Make any path on your deck more colorful by adding  mosaic to the floor. You can use glass tiles or ceramic ones to create lovely patterns above your deck.
  • A water feature – Add a small fountain or coy pond with fish. This will as a great conversation piece and will make everything more fun.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

Annual Book Fair at OKC State Fair Park This Weekend

19 Feb

Annual Book Fair at OKC State Fair Park This Weekend

Book enthusiasts in Oklahoma City and surrounding areas are getting excited because, this weekend, the area’s annual book fair will be held at the OKC State Fair Park. More than 600,000 books will be for sale, and everyone is welcome to come and participate.

The Friends of the Metropolitan Library will once again host the book fair in Oklahoma City, which has been occurring annually since 1981.  The book fair is known to have wider options at a lesser price, and most books will be sold for $1.00 or less.

The non-profit organization originally formed the annual book sale in order to raise money for library expenses and needs. The money from the book sale will be used to fund projects or improvements in the library.  Thanks to sales in recent years, the organization has been able to donate  millions of dollars to the Metropolitan Library System for equipment expenses and special programs.

This year’s book sale will be held on Saturday, February 23, and Sunday, February 24. It will be free and open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For members of the organization, a presale will be held on Friday, February 22, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Different books will be available for $1.00   in hardback and  $0.50 in paperback. Other items on sale will include videos and DVDs.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

Edmond Police Department Increases Presence in Public Schools

18 Feb

Edmond Police Department Increases Presence in Public Schools

The safety of students is the top priority of teachers and parents who have children in school. It is important that students passing through school doors are well guarded from possible threats caused by intruders or other unauthorized people.

To better enhance the security inside public schools, the Edmond Police Department is assigning several officers to report to each school campus each day. The added officers will be able to provide additional security for the schools and create visibility to deter potential threats or intrusions.

According to the Edmond Police Department, five school resource officers will be assigned full time to middle schools and high schools in the city. The officers will end their afternoon shifts at their designated school campuses to help improve security among the students. It will also help them become more familiar with the campuses in case emergency response should ever be required.

Aside from enhancing the security of the schools, the added police presence will also boost the confidence of parents. The  police department is currently shooting a video about their plan to increase the number of police officers in schools, so families can feel more confident about the safety of their children. Videos will be posted online and also sent to parents directly.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

Brighten Up Your Dark Home!

14 Feb

Brighten Up Your Dark Home!

Nobody wants to live in a dark home, especially if it’s also where you work! Dark rooms can appear gloomy and add to stress and frustration. Create a more breathable and tension-free home by adding more light to your room. You are some helpful tips:

  • Install a bigger window. Bigger windows allow more natural light to come in. With more light coming into the room, it will make your home look brighter. Make it a habit to open up the blinds or drapes during the day, even if you don’t open the windows.
  • Make the room bigger. What often makes a space feel smaller and darker is the dividing wall. If you don’t have huge walls dividing your rooms, then you have ample space for the light to circulate. So, remove unnecessary walls and use a narrow shelf for divider or glass panel as a divider instead.
  • Paint the room white or anything bright. If you paint the walls with bright colors, they will easily add brightness to the room. So, instead of using dark tones on your floors and walls, use light ones.
  • Limit the number of pieces of furniture you have to only what you  need. You may need one dining table and six chairs, but if you also have an extra small table and seats, it will just add clutter to the space and make the room look darker. So, only use furniture that you need and get rid of the rest.
  • Enhance lighting. Even if you cannot renovate the small space in your home, you can still brighten up the room through enhanced lighting. Add more lights to your room using LED or CFL bulbs. This way, you can create light dimension in the room without hogging more energy. CFL or LED lights are assured energy-efficient and use less energy than incandescent lights.
  • Add mirrors. Use these reflectors to spread light around the room and brighten up the space. Use mirrors strategically inside the room. Make sure that they not only work as reflectors of light, but also as great interior enhancements.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent