April 14, 2017

Utility rooms are a great asset to any home. The utility room is where you can do all of that stuff you don’t want your visitors to see! From laundry to washing the dog, a well organized utility room, decorated with those finishing touches you love, will make it a perfectly pleasant place to do some of your grubbiest jobs.

  1. Practical and Attractive

Choose practical, easy to maintain materials that are also pleasing to the eye. A light-colored hardwood countertop would not only be beautiful, but also great for folding laundry on. A wide, deep sink with a high-necked faucet will make bathing the pup so much easier as well as doing other messy jobs. Did your kids bring home some fish to clean for supper? Send them to the utility room to clean them – keeping the mess contained.

  1. Ceiling Spotlights

Ceiling spotlights are a great way to brighten up a utility room – especially one that doesn’t have windows. It will also give you practical lighting that can help you see those pesky stains — or the scales on those fish. Adding good overhead lighting can be a utility room game-changer.

  1. Use all of the space

A utility room is a great place to hang poles for hanging clothes or drying racks, making the most of the space. There are several styles of drying racks available that can fold down from the wall when you need them and be put back up out of the way when they are not in use.

  1. Add fun details to make the space more enjoyable

You likely won’t be doing a lot of hanging out in a recliner in your utility room, but you can still hang fun signs, do up the cabinet handles with funky knobs you like, or add a fun backsplash to make this space one in which you won’t mind spending time.

  1. Do something different

Open shelving is becoming more and more popular. Use open shelving to hold your laundry detergent. Put your powder detergent in a big fun jar with a scoop to make it part of the décor. Put attractive baskets on the shelves to house your less attractive cleaning rags.

  1. Use different materials

Give your room that will inevitably have the elements brought into it a more rustic or outdoorsy feel with a faux stone or faux brick wall. A faux stone or faux brick wall can give an otherwise boring utility room a little texture and interest.

  1. Racks

Use a rack or rail that folds back flush with the wall to hang wet clothes or items like mittens and socks after a rainy or snowy play day outside. You can also string a clothes line across the ceiling and use clothespins to hang items from clothing – to those painting projects your kids just love to do.

  1. Create variable space

Cabinets are great, but they are often uniform in shelf size. Try and find cabinetry with adjustable shelving that will allow you to accommodate taller items like a vacuum, mops, brooms, or a clothes hamper that you’d like to conceal.

  1. Embrace hooks

Hooks are awesome. You can stick them on cabinet doors, walls or window sills. They come in many different sizes and styles so that you can hang just about anything. Hooks are an easy solution for those messy overalls or a wet towel you still want to use.

  1. Consider your needs

No matter what you put in your utility room, take some time to really think about what your ideal space would look like. Since you are likely the only people who will be in that room, it’s important that it’s a space you enjoy – not others. It’s a great opportunity for you to do some DIY and get creative with your style while you may not be so brave in other less private areas of the home.

April 13, 2017

There are countless styles when it comes to decorating homes but there are several tried and true tricks that work for any style space. Read on to learn 12 tips for creating an inviting, interesting space with ease.

  1. Choose the Paint Color Last

Since there are thousands of paint colors that appear different based on the lighting, your paint choice might vary in appearance from home to home. You also want a color that complements your decor, upholstery, and other aspects of your space. Choosing a paint color last ensures you know exactly what the color will look like and how it will mesh with the surroundings.

  1. Give Your Furniture Room to Breathe

It is crucial to resist cluttering a room with too much furniture or decor. Adequate living space equates to less of a hit to the budget and more room for moving around with ease.

  1. Hang Artwork at the Appropriate Height

Art galleries and museums display artwork so that each item’s midline falls between 57 and 60 inches from the floor (this is in line with the average eye level of humans).

Even in a room with a massive ceiling, it is still essential that art relates to human scale, not structural scale.

  1. Know How to Situate Furniture on a Rug

Generally, there are three basic ways you can arrange furniture pieces on a rug: all furniture on top of it (best for large rooms), no furniture on it (best for small rooms), or just the front legs of furniture on it.

  1. Resist the Urge to Focus Too Heavily on Themes

Focusing too heavily on a certain theme can detract from the individuality of your home. Incorporate a few key pieces of a theme but be careful not to overdo it.

  1. Create a Focal Point

Select a key place to serve as the focal point for your room and allow other items to hold a secondary place. Too many focal points will result in visual confusion.

You may choose to feature a dramatic stove hood within the kitchen, a unique headboard in the bedroom, or a bold art piece. Focal points anchor a room and create an intriguing, interesting atmosphere.

  1. Consider Lines of Sight

Focal points should be clearly seen from each room. It should feel as if you could draw a line to connect the two. This means the ideal spot for a focal point is directly across a room’s entrance.

  1. Downsize Your Collectibles

Even if a piece carries sentimental value, consider finding a new home for it (even if that just means a separate room) if it does not fit the space.

  1. Vary the Scale

Since items that are too large can appear overwhelming and smaller items may appear insignificant, it is important to use varied scale and proportion. Also, remember that arrangements of threes or fives are generally more visually pleasing than even numbers.

  1. Add Various Layers of Lighting

One central lighting fixture lacks the ability to create adequate lighting and dramatic interest. In addition to general ambient lighting, include one or two other light sources in the room and even make them unique pieces for added interest.

  1. Make a Bold Statement

Personality can take a space from good to great. Be sure to have fun and make your own personal statement by incorporating unexpected elements.

An excellent way to add a bold statement is by incorporating a faux brick wall. A faux brick wall is an easy way to boost visual interest and add elegance.

  1. Prioritize Creativity

Ultimately, go with comfortable decor that has a personal touch. Overly designed rooms can look stuffy and cold whereas your own personal creativity will produce a stylish, personal look.

April 11, 2017

Are you looking for trendy new ideas for your home? What about a weather updating, voice-activated, personal assistant that pours your coffee for you? If that’s not your style, don’t worry. The design trends of 2017 have a little something for everyone. In fact, here are a few things you might see more of in homes everywhere in 2017.

Brushed Brass

In recent times, brass has made a bit of a comeback. Even more recently, designers have transformed the idea of shiny brass by polishing away the reflective finish. This is called satin brass or brushed brass, and it gives a warmer feel to the room.

Personal Voice-Activated Assistants

Voice assistants have been spoken of a lot recently, becoming increasingly popular in 2017. With the ability to await your commands, these voice assistants can turn on your music, power the lights, or start up the hot tub.

Converted Vanity Tables

Finding the right pre-made vanity for your home can be difficult. If you are having a hard time finding the right one, try finding an old chest of drawers or a vintage console. Converting an older piece to a unique vanity has become common practice and can be both simple and affordable.

Storage Walls in the Kitchen

Open space is a big desire nowadays especially for those who love to entertain. Because of this, many homeowners are doing away with multiple walls of cabinets that make a room feel more closed in. Instead, they are keeping cabinetry to a single wall, and adding storage in other places such as island drawers or open shelving that keeps the space feeling open.

White and Off-White

A white room is refreshing, but too much white can be too clean. You can balance your white palette with off-white shades or other airy natural hues to create a cozy space that feels open and clean, but not sterile.

More Green

One of the biggest colors of 2017 is green, and it seems to be an instant classic. For those seeking to bring a little nature indoors, green brings a certain zest into the home, working well with wooden tones.

Indoor Outdoor Styled Showers

A great way to get that outdoor shower feel without worrying about the elements is to design an indoor shower with the look of an outdoor shower. It creates an intimate spa-like atmosphere right in your own bathroom while still maintaining privacy. For an easy transition from bland shower to spa shower, try adding faux brick or faux stone panels to create a warm environment with an outdoorsy feel.

Islands that Contrast

White has been a dominant kitchen color for years, but recent studies show white on white can seem too sterile. This color issue can be easily combated by painting the kitchen island with a darker, contrasting color. Gray is a very popular option for this right now and is great for adding a bit of warmth while still keeping that light airy feel.

Bathrooms with Wainscoting

Painted wooden panels in the bathroom are becoming quite popular this year. Traditional wood, tile, or wainscoting breaks up the monotony, adding interest to the bathroom. Wainscoting is especially simple and affordable. The large sheets once cut to size are simply glued or nailed to the wall, finished at the top with a trim piece, seems are caulked, and then the panels are painted to your choice of color.

Pendant Lights on the Bedside

Table lamps are a thing of the past. Pendant lights offer freed up bedside space and can be a benefit in smaller rooms.

Coffee Stations

Homeowners everywhere are beginning to add built-in coffee stations to their kitchens. Who wouldn’t want a warming drawer for cups and mugs? Or a space designed specifically to house their coffee pot? For a true, coffee shop feel, you can add a faux brick panel accent wall behind your coffee station, making it a unique and stylish focal point.

Bedrooms with Romantic Colors

Most bedrooms are painted in cozy colors like grays or blues, but recent studies have shown that romantic colors are one of the most desired colors for a master bedroom. Colors like deep reds or caramel can make a room seem more romantic and intimate.

Breezy Dutch Doors

Dutch doors allow a smooth breeze to blow into the home while keeping kids and pets safely indoors. These doors can be placed in entryways or even kitchens.

Chairs that Hang

Hanging chairs haven’t been in the spotlight for a while, but they are making quite the comeback in the home. These chairs can be found in the living room or even bedrooms to really create a fun modern space and make a statement.

April 9, 2017

Most often, tips for decorating smaller homes involve eliminating clutter and minimizing items. However, regardless of the size, there are certain things every home needs. Following are seven essentials worth including in any size home.

  1. A Landing Pad

Even if your home lacks an impressive foyer, it is still important to have an area to decompress when you enter your home.

Be sure to set aside a little space near the front door for placing your keys and coat. Also, include a seat for a comfortable place to take shoes on and off. For an added touch, a mirror or glass table will offer a welcoming effect.

  1. Bold Color and Patterns

Although using ample amounts of white and light neutrals can make a small space appear bigger, it does not mean color and patterns should be completely avoided. Including some interest and drama will make the space look inviting and interesting.

To achieve the best of both worlds, incorporate color into high and low spaces while keeping the walls neutral. Consider using a bold paint color on the ceiling or an interesting piece of furniture so it pops out against the room without becoming overwhelming.

For additional visual interest, faux wall panels can be added. Faux wall panels add an element to your home that most likely no one else you know has. With so many surface options, you can easily and affordably give your room the unique vibe that you want and others will envy.

  1. A True Dining Space

Small homes rarely feature a dedicated dining space but that does not mean you are limited to eating at your desk or at the counter. Try situating a small, two-seat dining table up against a window or wall.

If your space lacks room for even a small table, consider using a fold-down table that can be pulled out as needed. You can also use a convertible coffee table that raises to dining height during meals.

  1. A Comfortable Place to Lounge

While having a small space may tempt you to focus on compact furniture pieces, it is crucial to still include full-sized pieces as well.

Incorporating a comfortable, full-size sofa or lounge chair, as opposed to numerous small chairs, will result in a much more cozy, inviting space. To accommodate occasional guests, keep compact side chairs that can be added to the room on hand.

  1. Excellent Lighting


Small spaces often feature inadequate lighting since it usually relies on a single fixture per area. Realistically, adequate lighting cannot originate from a single source. This makes it crucial to include a wide range of fixtures.

To create adequate lighting without taking up too much space, try going with a plug-in wall sconce with numerous bulbs. Fixtures of this style will create rich light without using up precious square footage or table space.

  1. Live Plants

When it comes to the layout of your home, an excellent way to utilize the space is through the addition of live plants.

Including live greenery helps bring life to spaces, add an element of nature, and create a more welcoming atmosphere. As a bonus, plants are capable of purifying the air.

  1. Room to Breathe

Finally, it is crucial to remember one last detail: empty space.

Cramming every inch of space with decorations, art, and furniture will result in a chaotic, cramped, cluttered home. Be sure to leave some walls empty to maintain an inviting, open atmosphere.

April 7, 2017

Given the popularity of home improvements shows, you may be feeling inspired to undertake a home renovation on your own. While a complete overhaul may be taking the DIY trend a bit far, tackling a more manageable project such as adding a tile accent in your bathroom or kitchen can be an excellent place to start.

If you are curious what it takes to install tile without hiring a professional, read on to learn the necessary steps.

Step 1: Organize Your Materials and Collect the Necessary Tools

To complete a tiling project on your own, you will need:

Step 2: Make Sure the Power Is Turned Off

  • Safety goggles
  • Your chosen tile (An excellent option to consider is faux brick panels. Faux brick panels make a classic, timeless statement.)
  • Tile spacers
  • Your selected grout
  • Plastic sheets
  • Gloves
  • A wet saw / tile cutter
  • Ledger board
  • Sponges
  • Cleaning solution
  • Power drill
  • Mixing paddle
  • Notch trowel
  • Several buckets
  • Joint Knife
  • Measuring tape
  • Joint compound
  • Permanent market (if desired)


Head to your circuit breaker and turn off the power supply to the area you plan to tile. Also, remove any outlet covers in the tiling area.

Step 3: Protect the Surroundings

Protect any exposed countertops with sheets of plastic. Cover outlets, countertop edges, and cabinets with painter’s tape.

Step 4: Move Any Appliances Away From the Wall

Pull any appliances in the tiling area away from the wall.

Step 5: Attach a Temporary Ledger Board

Screw a ledger board into the drywall to indicate exactly where you should quit tiling.

Step 6: Make Sure the Wall Has Been Properly Cleaned

Before beginning, use a cleaning solution mixed with water to wipe down the walls. If the wall has a glossy finish, you will need it sanded or deglossed.

Step 7: Complete Any Necessary Wall Preparations

If the surface of the wall is uneven, spread a layer of joint compound onto it, let it dry, sand it down until it is smooth, and apply a primer.

Step 8: Determine the Center of the Wall

Using a tape measure, measure the length of the wall to find the center and mark it with a pencil. This is where you will want to begin laying your tile, working your way away from the center.

Step 9: Mix Thin-set Mortar

Mix thin-set mortar by following the manufacturer’s directions. It should have a consistency that is similar to peanut butter.

Step 10: Apply the Mortar

Spread a patch of mortar on the wall and comb over it using a notch trowel.

Step 11: Start Tiling

Install the first piece of tile and gently apply pressure to it using a rubber grout float.

Step 12: If Needed, Cut the Tile

If a piece of tile needs to be cut, use a permanent marker to mark it before cutting it with a wet saw.

Step 13: Install The Rest of the Tiles

Install the remaining tiles, checking frequently to make sure they are level and making sure to leave a one-eighth of an inch gap between the bottom of the tile and the countertop.

Step 14: Wait 24 Hours

Wait 24 hours to allow the mortar to fully set.

Step 15: Mix the Grout

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to mix the grout (it should have a consistency similar to cake batter).

Step 16: Use a Rubber Float to Apply the Grout

Spread the grout evenly onto the tiles, ensuring that it gets into every gap. Rub it into the tile at an angle for the best results.

Step 17: Clean Up any Excess Grout

After 10 minutes, use a wet sponge to wipe away any extra grout on top of the tiles. If a haze develops, eliminate it with a layer of haze remover.

Step 18: Complete the Tiling

Apply the grout sealer after allowing it to dry for the specified amount of time and add caulk to the expansions between the tile and the countertop.


Hopefully this breakdown helps to make the job of a DIY backsplash seem more manageable. If instead it has just scared you away from ever considering it, then look into the aforementioned faux wall panel option. This option involves zero grouting, spacing, or mess. Just a few simple cuts on panels that cover more area at a time and some glue and voila! Plus, with a large variety of faux stone and faux brick panels, you’re sure to find something to your liking.

April 5, 2017

If you are planning on remodeling your bathroom, you are probably aware that you have a big task ahead of you. Even with the assistance of a professional, the majority of the planning, designing, and choices fall on you.

Read on to learn eight tips for streamlining your bathroom model, regardless of whether you choose to tackle the project yourself or hire a professional.

Step 1: Determine Your Vision

Before you do anything, think about what your ideal bathroom would be. Consider how many people will use it, how long you plan to own the home, if you want to increase the resale value, why you are remodeling it, how much storage you need, and other important details.

Step 2: Determine Your Budget

It is important to set your budget before you get carried away. A typical remodel can cost thousands of dollars. Basic remodels range from $3,000 to $12,000 whereas deluxe remodels can skyrocket to 100,000 and up. It is a good idea to include a cushion of around 10 to 20 percent to cover any unexpected costs that will inevitably arise.

Step 3: Consult a Professional

A professional designer can help you come up with concepts you may not have thought of otherwise such as incorporating a washer and dryer into your bathroom, utilizing the space more efficiently, or adding a skylight.

Unless you are completely comfortable handling the demolition, construction, and installation yourself, you may want to consider hiring a contractor. If you lack construction experience but still want to save a bit of money, handle easier tasks such as painting.

Step 4: Finalize Your Plan

Refine your plan and work on finalizing any details and addressing any concerns. Determine what kind of storage you need and where the outlets should go. If you need inspiration, look at photos to gather ideas and visual cues.

Step 5: Choose Your Materials, Finishes, and Colors

The next step is researching materials, colors, and finishes that will fit your design. When considering materials, do not forget about faux stone. Faux stone can add a stunning visual appeal to your bathroom for an affordable price.

Additionally, consider the atmosphere you would like to create. If you intend to use your bathroom for relaxing in a soaking tub, consider a warm palette that will create a rich, calming, inviting feel. If your bathroom does not have any windows, consider using bright colors or a bold pattern to bring the room to life. Also, you can make a tiny bathroom feel larger by keeping the color scheme light and bright.

Step 6: Prepare Design and Construction Documents

This stage involves reviewing the floor plan, elevations, tile layout and any other relevant designs associated with your project. This stage also involves the process of obtaining permits.

Step 7: Get Quotes From Contractors

If you are working with a designer, they will probably have recommendations for skilled contractors. It is important to obtain several bids to help you determine which contractor to hire. However, do not automatically rule out the highest bid. As with many things in life, sometimes you get what you pay for. Although a particular contractor may charge a higher cost, you may end up saving money in the end if they work efficiently and avoid mistakes.

Step 8: Plan for Installation and Prep for Demo

As you already know, bathroom remodels involve a significant amount of time, research, labor, and effort. Depending on the scale of your project, the entire process can last anywhere from a month to over a half a year or more.

Ideally, you should have the details completely planned out and materials chosen and ordered prior to the beginning of construction. The last roadblock you need is getting partially through the process only to find out you cannot continue until your special-order marble arrives from Italy.

March 29, 2017

With such a wide range of decor styles available – rustic, modern, traditional, minimal, shabby-chic, vintage – it can be overwhelming to decide which style is right for your home. Fortunately, many of these styles actually complement each other nicely.

When overlapping these styles, the world of design refers to it as “transitional style”. If transitional style sounds intriguing, read on to learn eight tips for incorporating it into your home.

1. Find the Right Balance

The most important aspect when trying to achieve transitional style is finding balance. Transitional style combines contrasting styles – traditional and modern, masculine and feminine – in the same area. It creates a sleek, classic look that is further accented by the inclusion of contemporary rugs, accessories, and furniture.

For example, a modern table with angular lines surrounded by traditional chairs covered in classic upholstery demonstrates transitional design. Generally, you want the final decor to be comforting and inviting rather than too far in the direction of one certain trend.

2. Utilize Neutral Tones

Transitional style is characterized by neutral tones. Aim for a calming, simple palette of whites, creams, tans, light browns, grays, and beiges. Focusing the walls, cabinets, flooring, and large furniture around a neutral palette will make a room feel modern and timeless all at once.

3. Mix Up Textures

Transitional style embraces a variety of different materials including wood, leather, and stone (for a lighter, more affordable option that is easier to work with, consider incorporating faux stone panels into your design). Mixing a variety of textures such as chrome, glass, fabric, faux stone panels, faux fur, and gold helps create an elegant, modern design.

4. Use Antiques As Accents
Incorporating an antique piece as an accent adds depth to the room and helps it feel more modern. The sleeker the space, the more rustic the antique should be.

5. Use Bold Accents Strategically

It is important to avoid overusing bold accents to prevent the room from becoming overpowered. Choose only one or two loud, bold pieces and keep window treatments simple and sleek.

6. Add a Contemporary Rug

If you are not ready to fully commit to transitional style, consider adding a contemporary rug. A contemporary rug featuring solid, animal, or geometric prints instead of floral or oriental designs serves as the perfect partner to transitional furnishings.

7. Focus on Modern Art

For the most impact, consider hanging large, bold pieces of art instead of numerous smaller pieces. Photography, graphic prints, and abstract pieces usually work best.

8. Utilize Classic Lines

When choosing furniture such as couches, tables, and beds, stick to simple, clean lines rather than pieces with rounded, ornate shapes. Transitional furniture will feature straighter lines but still be comfortable.

When choosing traditional elements, avoid anything with curves or ornate details. Try to focus on straight, minimized lines. An example would be choosing doorknobs with straight levers instead of round knobs or sinks with a rectangular shape rather than round.

Final Thoughts
Successfully incorporating transitional style into your home can be done by combining traditional pieces with several contemporary accents. Following one or more of the transitional style tips mentioned above will make your home classic, sophisticated, livable, and comfortable.


March 28, 2017

You’ve probably spent a significant amount of time searching high and low for the perfect home. Once you’ve signed on the dotted line, it’s time to enjoy your new digs and make your space your own. But before you pull up your shirt sleeves and get to work, there are some critical steps you need to take. The following are 5 duties that can prove helpful before you move into your new home.

1. Ask Your Real Estate Agent to Share Their Contacts

Your friends and family members may have some recommendations, but your trusted real estate agent is an expert in the industry and works with professionals on a day-to-day basis. Before you enlist the help of a contractor, plumber, inspector, electrician or handy man, ask your real estate agent if they will share their list of providers. When something goes wrong, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’re prepared to handle the problem with some trusted individuals.

2. Put Off Paining

A fresh coat of paint can brighten up your living space, but until you’ve seen where you get the most significant amount of light in each room, put off painting for a bit. Once you’ve seen your home at its dullest and sunniest moments, you’ll be able to better choose the best colors. In addition to natural light, light bulbs can also impact the color of your walls. Using the color swatches that you’ve chosen, place the sample hues in each of the rooms corners to help in your decision making. You may also opt for using faux wall paneling to completely change the feel of a room, in which case you’d hate to waste the time painting only to cover it with faux wall panels. Faux wall panels are a quick, easy update that can help to create the perfect man cave, spa-like bath, stone fireplace, wine cellar, etc. These panels can help to truly make your new home your dream home with features maybe you thought were only for the rich and famous.

3. Update Your Home’s Safety Features

To ensure your safety, you want to update important features such as your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If your system is wired to the house, check to ensure wires are attached and in working condition. You can then change each of the systems batteries. Mark the number of detectors and change date for future reference. This is also a great time to mount fire extinguishers on each of the floors in your home. Another safety feature that protects your family and valuables is a home security system. Before you move anything in, have your dwelling wired with cameras and sound alarms.

4. Audit Your Home’s Efficiency

A simple upgrade such as additional insulation is an improvement that helps save homeowners money on future energy bills. Your local gas or electric company will be able to do a thorough audit on your home before you move in to determine your energy efficiency. They may also make cost-effective suggestions such as installing an automatic thermostat for your heating and cooling systems.

5. Plan a Housewarming Party

You’re going to want to celebrate life as a homeowner with your family, friends and neighbors. Schedule your party at least four weeks following your move. This action offers you an incentive to get on the ball and unpack your belongings and prepare your home for upcoming guests.


March 25, 2017

Although you may simply view your stairs as a method of getting from one floor to another, they can actually serve as a stunning focal point in your home. This is an especially important feature if you are considering selling your home, as the stairs will be one of the first areas buyers see.

If the stairs are wooden and covered in dents and scratches or if they are covered in outdated, worn-out carpet, it may leave a negative impression on buyers. Read on to learn nine tips for easily updating your stairs.

1. Add Some Visual Interest

Decorating the risers can add a new level of interest to stairs. Consider painting the risers with a shade that complements the surroundings or for a trendy, visually appealing feature, try the ombré route. You can also write the days of the week or family member’s names on each riser. For an entertaining area for your kids to learn, try chalkboard paint.

2. Use up Leftovers

If you have ever wondered what to do with any remnants of wallpaper or accent tile you have sitting around, the stair risers might be a perfect option. With only a small area to cover, leftovers are often enough to do the trick.

3. Try Adding Inspiration

Stairs can serve as the perfect space for inspiring you as you climb. Consider adding an empowering quote or phrase to the risers.

4. Incorporate a Nook

Although the space beneath the staircase is often overlooked, this area can serve a variety of functions. It can be designed as a sewing nook, station for gift wrapping, home office, or storage space.

5. Go for Faux

Another option to drastically improve your stairs without actually touching the stairs themselves is through the addition of faux stone. Faux stone can be added to the wall next to the stairs to instantly increase the visual appeal of your home.

6. Switch out the Railing

If you are tired of looking at the original wooden banister your stairs were built with, consider upgrading to a new style. A variety of materials such as steel, wrought iron, or horizontal wire can provide an easy update.

7. Add a Rug (Or Remove It)

If bland carpeting is hiding lovely wood beneath it, consider ripping up the carpet completely. For increased warmth and comfort, a neutral carpet shade in a low-nap style (think Berber) can make a great option. To really create a bold statement, add a runner with an unexpected pattern or stand-out colors.

8. Get Rid of Clutter

The stairs themselves are important but the area at the top and bottom is just as crucial when it comes to visual appeal. Stair landings with too much furniture or clutter can feel cramped and crowded. If necessary, move or remove clutter to ensure that the walkway is a minimum of 36 inches wide.

9. Stay on Top of Cleaning

Regardless of the design or whether the stairs are carpet or wood, keeping them clean is crucial to maintaining their appearance. For carpeted stairs, vacuum frequently and perform a steam cleaning if necessary. For wooden stairs, wash them to remove any dirt or dust and use a Magic Eraser to get rid of scuff marks on the walls.


March 23, 2017

Even when a fireplace is sitting dormant, it is still a stunning focal point within a home – unless yours is in need of an update. If your fireplace is in need of a little makeover or you are ready for a new look, there are a variety of easy updates to consider.

Re-doing your fireplace is likely easier and more affordable than you realize. To help inspire your potential transformation, read on to learn 5 ideas for DIY fireplace updates that won’t burn up your budget.

1. Go For Tile

If you are tired of staring at your brick fireplace, consider updating it with glass tile. This transformation has the potential to be completed in just a matter of hours and for as little as $110. Required materials include grout, tile, and sticky, two-sided paper to place the tiles on. The final result is an updated, gorgeous focal point that will add depth and interest to your space.

2. Paint Over It

Although some people may consider it a crime to paint over a brick fireplace, it is actually an easy, affordable way to update your fireplace to be a better reflection of your style. Painting over basic builder bricks with a crisp, white paint – or the color of your choice – followed with a bit of gray chalk paint can add a modern update that will greatly increase the visual interest of your fireplace. For the cost of a few cans of paint and a bit of time, your fireplace will have brand new character and a fresh appeal.

3. Consider Updating With Whitewash

Although you probably associate the term “whitewashing” with Tom Sawyer, this technique is actually an excellent way to create a stunning fireplace. This method is quite simple and only involves chalk paint and sponges (for transferring the mixture to the fireplace without dripping).

4. Add Some Faux Stone

You can easily take a fireplace from bland and outdated to a can’t-miss focal point by adding floor-to-ceiling faux stone and a floating mantel. Applying the stones all the way to the ceiling draws the eye upward, makes the space feel larger, and completely transforms the entire atmosphere of the room. Faux stone is not only lighter and easier to work with than real stone but it is also available at a fraction of the cost.

Adding a uniform look from floor-to-ceiling cleans up the appearance of the fireplace while the floating mantel offers a modern appeal while also providing an excellent space for displaying important items.

5. Modernize Your Fireplace With Porcelain

Another excellent way to modernize your fireplace and give it a total face-lift is with the addition of porcelain. Porcelain tile offers a clean, streamlined look. The addition of a floating mantel along with this contemporary design can further increase the overall appeal of the space and add to the inviting atmosphere. Porcelain tile is a versatile material to work with and is available in a wide range of colors that allow you to customize the feel you want to achieve.



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