Here’s how much you need to earn to rent a 2-bedroom apartment in 15 of America’s biggest cities

Los Angeles

Anton_Ivanov/Shutterstock …

One-third of Americans overpay for housing, and renters have it the worst .In fact, almost half spend over 30% of their incomes on rent, exceeding the standard measure of affordability, according to the 2017 State of the Nation’s Housing report, published by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

In addition to transportation and food, housing is one of the biggest expenses Americans have. Cutting back on these things could mean more savings in the bank and even a ticket to early retirement.

In its latest report , SmartAsset calculated the income needed to afford rent in 15 major US cities. That is, the salary a household must earn to spend a comfortable 28% of its income on rent for a two-bedroom apartment. Rent prices were pulled from RENTCafe ‘s January 2017 report.

Below, check out how much you need to earn to pay rent in San Francisco, New York, Boston, and 12 more of America’s major metro areas.

[Source”cnbc”]

Kitchen extensions: All the inspiration and advice you need

Colour code kitchen zones

Make large, open-plan spaces work by using colour to define different functions. Try white, handleless cabinetry for a practical, easy-to-maintain cooking and food preparation area. Introduce a contrast shade on a breakfast bar island to signpost the change of function, but keep the worktop white to indicate that this is a dual-function surface. For dining, go unfinished wood – in keeping with its proximity to the patio, this table and chairs could be mistaken for garden furniture. Unify the whole with timber flooring, a wooden sideboard and a row of wooden bar stools.

 

 

[Source:- IH]

Orchids: 3 trends you need to know about this winter

Orchids - trends for winter gallery

Orchids can be relished all year round due to its wide variety in shades, shapes and sizes, and this winter, they are the perfect centrepiece for your home.

An orchid instantly adds atmosphere to your interior, and thanks to more than 25,000 varieties, there is always one to match the latest winter trends. For example, you can opt for a chic style with the stylish Cambria, or give your interior a bohemian boost by combining various colours of orchids.

TREND 1: BOHEMIAN WINTER

This winter, oust somberness and go excessive in your interior. We’re going to see a lot more of the bohemian trend in which unconventional colours are combined. The orchid is perfect to do so. For example, combine an old-rose pink Cymbidium with a lilac-coloured Dendrobium and yellow-magenta Zygopetalum. Gather your greens, and combine them with orchids. Such an incongruent botanical collection provokes a major explosion of colour during this drab period.

TREND 2: HOTEL CHIC

Whereas last year was marked by a sweet and romantic style, this winter will be characterised as chic. Rich materials such as gold and velvet bestow a luxurious and warm atmosphere upon your home. An orchid that fits like an evening glove is the Cambria. It radiates exclusivity, and the star-shaped flower petals instantly give your interior a chic twist.

TREND 3: CHRISTMAS, THE LEAN-AND-MEAN EDITION

Not everyone can accommodate a Christmas tree. Luckily, creative solutions for decorating your home with festive greens – without a confetti of shedded needles as a byproduct – are abundant. Consider decorating the Christmas dining table with exotic air plants, like the Vanda orchid. Put some Christmas lights in a glass vase and then put a Vanda in the vase on top of them. This is a simple, quick, and ambient Christmas decoration that doesn’t take up too much space. The Vanda is available in various vibrant colours and you will even be able to enjoy its magnificence as an air plant for various weeks, even after the Christmas celebrations have passed.

[Source:- Housebeautiful]

The beginner’s guide to buying a drone: everything you need to know

If you’ve decided it’s time to get involved in the drone revolution but you’re not sure where to start then we’re here to help – here’s everything you need to know about the drones currently on the market and how you can spend your money wisely.

New models are appearing all the time as the technology is refined and hardware prices come down, but there are some general rules you can follow no matter what the exact specifications of the drones on sale when it’s time to start doing your shopping.

Retail price

 

You can spend several hundred or several thousand pounds on a drone and one way of picking a model is to simply choose a budget and then find a drone to match. The quality of the materials, the range and power of the drone, and the specifications of the accessories (primarily the camera) are the main factors that affect a drone’s price.

The drones towards the higher end of the market come with extra tricks, like the ability to hover in mid-air without you constantly fiddling with the controls, and a live video stream back to your phone (or remote). A quick review of the specs listed with each drone on your shortlist should be enough to work out where the differences in price come from.

Camera quality

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Most people buy a drone to take sweeping aerial shots and as far as cameras go you’ll find the output resolutions ranging from paltry VGA to the highest-quality4K. If you don’t need footage that’s going to be broadcast on television then you can save yourself some money, but try looking for sample drone footage online before you decide to part with your cash.

If you want to avoid shaky and blurred footage then a gimbal is a must – this mount uses a gyroscope to keep the camera steady as it’s buffeted by the wind or swoops down through the air on your command. For the best and most reliable results, you want a drone that records video footage straight to a memory card or USB stick on the drone itself.

Flight time

 

One of the key specifications for any drone is how long it can actually stay in the air for – it could make the difference between you catching breathtaking footage of a forest canopy or having to pick up your device from the forest floor instead, so ideally you want to get the greatest flight time and range possible within the constraints of your budget.

Even the best drones on the market can’t stay in the air for more than 30 minutes and in the case of budget models it will be much less than that, so don’t expect to be operating your flying machine for hours at a time. If you’re away from home then spare batteries are an option, but make sure these are available before you buy your drone of choice.

Charging time

 

Charging time may or may not be important depending on what you’re planning to do with your drone (epic expeditions or short jaunts?) but you’re typically looking at an hour or more for a full recharge. Look for details when you’re drawing up your drone shortlist and remember to get your drone fully charged before you head off into the outdoors.

We’ve mentioned spare batteries but it’s worth thinking about replacement parts too, should your drone come to harm – remember if you’re forking out for a top-end model then the spares are likely to cost more too (as with the car on your drive), and if you’re letting the kids loose on your drone then a budget option might be preferable.

Extra features

 

You’ll find a host of extra bells and whistles if you look around the drone market: drones that can automatically follow you around, drones that can swerve away from obstacles in their path, drones that will return to their take-off spot if the remote connection is lost… if you’ve got the money to spend then you can get some seriously smart extra features.

Thanks to the advanced stabilisation technology, more expensive drones are usually easier to fly, and you should aim for a model that matches your flying skills (or be prepared to put in a lot of practice in your garden). Reviews from experts and users on the web can be enlightening if you want to know what a particular drone is actually like to fly.

Intended use

 

The best drone for you really depends on what you want from it: high speeds or excellent video? Simple, automatic operation or the ability to tinker and perform a few tricks? Are you happy using your phone as the controller or do you want a fully featured remote? There’s a lot to weigh up besides the nitty gritty of each drone’s specifications list.

The major manufacturers include DJI, Parrot, Syma and 3DR, and it’s worth shopping around for a good price. There’s nothing wrong with going for a smaller name or indeed a Kickstarter project but bear in mind that you might not have the same customer support safety nets in place. Finally, before you start flying, make sure you know the rules.

 

 

[Source: T3]