Stone is one of the most versatile building materials out there — it looks just as elegant inside a home as it does on the outside.But with so many varieties and applications, how do you know where to start? These ideas may be just the inspiration you need to start your stone renovation.
Adding stone to the front of your home gives it a classy look that can make it stand out from the other homes on your block. From classic bricks to sleek granite, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination.
Stone can stand on its own, or be used as a compliment or accent to siding or paneling. Once you’ve chosen your material and your design, work with a professional installer to ensure that it is applied correctly. You might think you’re a weekend warrior, but there’s nothing worse than losing money if the stone is damaged during installation, so leave this one to the professionals.
A Fireplace For All Seasons
Whether inside on a cold winter’s night or outside on an autumn evening, it’s hard to beat a cozy fireplace. Stone’s versatility allows fireplaces to be constructed inside or outside depending on your preference and the climate where you live. Either way, you’ll have a timeless area for you and your family to enjoy.
Similarly, stone can be used to create an outdoor fire pit that’s perfect for making S’mores and sharing stories around the fire. Unlike pre-made metal fire pits, stone designs are much more flexible and can be shaped and sized to meet your specific needs.
One of the reasons stone works so well in a fireplace is its naturally cool exterior. This feature also makes it ideal for outdoor patios and indoor spaces that tend to get a lot of sun and heat.
Make a path out of stone to keep your feet cool while walking around the pool or even to and from the mailbox. It’s also a great option for sunrooms, kitchens, and other places that are on the warmer side. Your pets will appreciate it too when their paws stay cool year-round!
Buying your first home is a huge step for anyone, and it can be tempting to jump right in and start making it your own. You should definitely capitalize on your enthusiasm and strike while the iron is hot, but do so in a meaningful way! Here are a few common mistakes you can avoid with a little planning.
Focusing Solely on Cosmetics
If you spent time watching HGTV before buying your house, the first thing you probably want to do is replace old appliances with stainless steel and swap out dated countertops for shiny new granite.
Making those cosmetic improvements is great, but don’t let them come at the expense of larger, structural issues that might be lurking deeper in your home. Your home inspection should have flagged most of them, and it’s important to address them before moving on to more fun purchases.
Speaking of structural issues, once you’ve determined what needs to be fixed, you need to figure out whether it’s something you can comfortably tackle yourself or whether you need to get a handyman involved.
The answer will depend on your ability level and the amount of time you have to devote to home improvement projects. It’s important to be honest with yourself here — you don’t want to get in over your head, but you don’t want to spend unnecessary money on a handyman either.
When in doubt, consult friends and family for a second opinion, especially if they are homeowners themselves.
Rushing into Remodeling
Regardless of whether your home needs a little work or a lot of it, you’ll want to wait at least a few months before you start any major projects. Your mind may change over time as you adjust to the house and get a full understanding of how everything works.
Again, this is frustrating when you want to dive in and get right to work, but you do not want to make changes only to realize you want something else instead.
The break will also allow you to get a better handle on your finances. Once you have a few months of a mortgage payment and utilities under your belt, you will have a better idea of how much you can spend on renovations.
Moving to a new place can be exciting, since it often comes as a result of a new job or a new relationship. However, that transition can also bring feelings of anxiety and loneliness if you don’t know many people in your new area.
Follow these tips and to help you be on your way to a new social network!
Many colleges and universities have alumni chapters in cities around the world, and they can be a great place to start building your network. You already have something in common with members of the group, and they can act as ambassadors to help you get to know your new home.
Plus, you can relive the glory days of college while getting together to watch sporting events or mentor high school students looking to attend that university.
Give Back to Your New Community
What are you passionate about? Whatever it is, chances are you can find a corresponding charitable organization looking for volunteer help. If your social schedule is light as a result of moving to a new place, you probably have a few extra hours to spare too. You can have a chance to meet people with similar interests, so you instantly have something to bond over. Plus, you’ll get the satisfaction of knowing that you are already giving back to your community.
Never Say Never
When trying to re-establish your social network, you may need to be more open to things you might have passed on before you relocated. The best way to get to know other people is by spending time with them, and that sometimes means doing things that are not exactly your cup of tea.
Every invitation that you don’t turn down opens the possibility that you might receive another one. You should not do anything that makes you uncomfortable, but activities like attending a concert in a genre that’s not your favorite will give you the opportunity to make even more connections!
If your kids are interested in discovering the underwater world of Southern California and learning all about the marine life that makes it their home, there may be no better place than the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.
This hidden gem is a fantastic experience for young children when you want to do something just a little different, with numerous aquariums, an exploration center, several main exhibits and a tidepool touch tank. There is much more to do and see than just looking at fish, as kids will be entertained by a crawl-in aquarium, a discovery center when they can create artwork, and interactive exhibits that help them learn about different habitats.
The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is very much a learning environment, offering classes and programs for individuals, families, schools and other community groups that include whale watching and outdoor learning workshops right on the beach. There are also many tours available year-round led by the knowledgeable staff that are great for students of all ages.
The aquarium has a rich history since it first opened in 1935, and with a suggested donation of $5 for adults and $1 for children, it’s a great way to spend an afternoon. The hours are Noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekends.
Check out the aquarium’s Facebook page for plenty of photos as well as updates on events, classes and programs, or the numerous reviews on Yelp, where it has earned 4.5 (out of five) stars.
Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
3720 Stephen M. White Drive
San Pedro, CA 90731
Are your kids interested in what lives in the ocean off Southern California? Check out the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.
Have you ever visited an aquarium? Find out more about the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.
What is your favorite educational activity for kids in Los Angeles? Click here for another idea for your list.
Redondo Beach is full of things to do, but finding something the whole family can enjoy can be a chore. Adults and children of all ages can appreciate the hands-on activities at the SEA Lab, owned and operated by the Los Angeles Conservation Corps.
Committed to educating local schools and the community on the importance of protecting marine life and our oceans, the SEA Lab has a number of educational packages for schools and field trips alike. During the summer they even offer a summer camp program which can be a low cost alternative to other more expensive camps.
Let’s face it, kids dig the ocean and they'll love an afternoon at SEA Lab! Entry is by a $2 recommended donation.
For more information about The SEA Lab and all it has to offer, check out their webpage and plan your next outing.
The SEA Lab is located at 1021 N. Harbor Drive, Redondo Beach, CA 90277. Metered parking is available across the street on Yacht Club Way.
Suggested donation of $2.00 per person or $4.00 per family.
SEA Lab hours of operation are as follows: Tuesday - Friday: 9:00AM - 3:30PM Saturday: 10:00AM - 4:00PM We are closed every Monday & Sunday. Hands-on facility tours are offered: Tuesday - Friday at 1:00PM, 2:00PM and 3:00PM Saturday: 10:00AM, 11:00AM, 12:15PM, 1:00PM, 2:00PM and 3:00PM.
Join us every Saturday at 12:00PM for a public fish feeding! For $2.00 per tray of food, you can help feed our fish in our tidepool tank! Trays are subject to availability and are sold on a first-come, first served basis.
Groups of 10 or more should schedule a private tour ahead of time by calling 310-318-7438.