The Outside Is Just As Important As The Inside

When people think about decorating, remodeling, or renovating their homes, they are usually thinking of the inside. The inside of a home is the most important part since that is where most of the family’s time is spent, so it is a great place to start when considering a style change or update. According to Better Homes and Gardens, homeowners should not forget the importance of curb appeal, though. While the inside of the home is fun to upgrade, the outside is equally as fun and is actually a great place to start when considering a remodel. Often times homeowners cringe when they think about making over the outside of their home. Landscaping can seem like a taxing feat, but while it is an important part, landscaping is not the only part of an outdoor makeover.

Creative Outdoor Makeover Techniques

Any kind of remodel can be costly, but it does not have to be. While it might be easier to spend money on readily made décor, it pays to be creative and spend time coming up with unique ways to capture the style you are looking for when remodeling. Consider using materials that are easy to come by and can be painted or fixed up to look nice such as pallets or crates. Pallets or crates can be turned into beautiful weather proof outdoor furniture as well as be used for storage. Not to mention they can easily be found at little to no cost. Turning items such as these into furniture is a great way to spruce up a patio or front porch without spending a fortune. Another part of outdoor remodeling that many homeowners dread is repairing or replacing fences. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars replacing an old wooden fence with fancy new vinyl, consider giving the wooden fence a fun colorful paint job. Wooden fences are also great to hang shelves on to hold plants and other outdoor décor. Gardens and flower beds are a big part of yards, but homeowners do not have to spend lots of money on expensive plants to make them beautiful. Pavers are actually easy to make and there are several unique ways to make them colorful and festive. They also take up space meaning less money has to be spent on plants to fill garden and flower bed space.

These are just a few outdoor decorating ideas that are cheap and easy and make all the difference when it comes to making yards look nice. Again, while remodeling the inside of a home might seem much more fun, homeowners should not underestimate the importance of the outside as well. And as these few techniques have shown us, sprucing up the yard can also be fun!

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Source: bhg.com/home-improvement/porch/outdoor-rooms/diy-outdoor-projects/#page=16

Utilizing Light As A Design Element

Light has a significant impact on the way we perceive a room. A brightly lit room with long light panels reminds us of a doctor’s office or an office. Sconce lighting is more reminiscent of hallways and bathrooms. Pendant lighting is often used by restaurants to set an exotic, intimate, or opulent mood. All these forms of lighting have their place in home design as well. Jeni Madden, an interior design consultant, explained, “A well designed room will have layers of light to create different moods throughout the day or night, from bright general lighting to pools of light.”

Thus, lighting should not be disregarded as second tier after floor materials or paint. It’s just as integral to the home atmosphere as a piece of artwork or a window. Relying too heavily on the generic dome lights used so frequently in the 80s and 90s creates generic homes with dull, flat light and little visual interest. Madden had several ideas for homeowners interested in making the most of their lighting decisions.

Using Downlighting

“Downlights,” Madden explained, “are particularly useful in kitchens and bathrooms. . . . Advances in technology are now making these much more affordable and they can be specified in warm white or extra warm white to give a consistent light to rival halogens.” Halogens, of course, are those industrial-looking lights of old that created a well-spread, if bland, light. Such lights are useful in rooms where color is important—as in kitchens where cooking is done or bathrooms where makeup is applied. LED lights, a not-so-new but still underrated option for homeowners interested in cutting their electricity bill, can be used in these fixtures.

When To Use Chandeliers

Chandeliers can be great accent or statement pieces, but only when they’re used correctly. They tend to create very bright lighting conditions, sometimes with overlapping shadow and light layers. It’s attractive as an entryway decor piece, but it can play havoc with your eyes during dinner parties. Avoid this effect by having a dimmer switch installed so you can set the mood for every occasion.
Employing directional lighting

Madden said the direction you point your light can have a big difference on how effective it is. She said, “A spotlight will give a directional light . . . whilst a conical shade on a table lamp will direct more light downwards creating a diffused light and a more moody feeling. Similarly, a long-armed floor lamp will be perfect to direct light over a sofa for reading but a tripod drum shade will send light upwards and downwards creating an accent light.”

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Source:thisislocallondon.co.uk/NEWS/11318045.Expert_interior_design_advice_on_lighting_your_rooms/

4 Things All DIY Home Renovators Should Plan On Doing

It’s summer, prime time for finally getting to all those neglected, long dream of home renovation projects. However, those projects can turn from dreams into nightmares if they aren’t handled properly. The best way to successfully complete a remodel is to get all your facts straight ahead of time. Here are 4 things all DIY renovators need to do.

 
Look At Your Whole House, Not Just One Room

This sounds opposite from the accepted knowledge that you should focus on one area of the house at a time. What this piece of advice refers to is the idea of realizing how your renovation project will fit into the house as a whole. Laura Firszt, an interior design writer, suggested, “Try to see your home as a whole, making sure that your remodeling job will result in a cohesive style for the entire home.” The idea is to avoid hyper-focusing on a single room until it doesn’t resemble or appear related to any other room in the house.

 
Keep Size And Scale In Mind

Another mistake DIY home designers make is overstuffing their homes with all the design details they see in magazines. Sure they look great on the cover of Home & Garden, but does it fit with your home? Do the furnishings clash with what you already have? An overstuffed room feels cluttered and confined. Better to err on the side of too little and then add a little more once all your decor is arranged, than to deal with too much.

 
Recognize Traffic Patterns

No, this doesn’t refer to the busy road out front, this refers to the worn paths in your carpet. Or the dirty versus clean areas you find in frequently used rooms. Traffic patterns refer to leaving space for people to maneuver through your home easily. Firszt said, “Make your doors and hallways wide and high enough to avoid congestion and stooping.” There are building codes for these types of measurements, so take the time to research what they are.

 
Avoid Dated Styles

Dated styles are those pink, green, and blue plaid plates selling big in the seasonal section of Target. They’re cute, but by the end of the summer they’ll be gone and you won’t be able to get replacements when your son or daughter decides to use them as anger management tools. The same goes for furnishings, carpet, and color palettes. Sure the “in” style might be fresh and attractive, but will people still think so 10 years from now? Unless you plan on redoing your entire home every 2 to 3 years, choose colors, textures, and patterns that will stand the test of time.

As Firstz explained, “Today’s trend is tomorrow’s avocado refrigerator (or next year’s subway tile?). Choose timeless styles that won’t date stamp your home,” especially if you foresee the need to move at a not-so-distant date.

 
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Source: myfoxphilly.com/story/25934106/8-top-home-renovation-planning-mistakes-to-avoid

Organization Is The Key

It is common for people to become bored with their homes and want to make a change. That change can be moving, or even just remodeling or renovating. An even easier change to make is simply organizing accumulated clutter. Clutter is overwhelming and many people choose to ignore it or run away from it, but by using simple organization techniques the clutter can disappear and a whole new vibe will be felt through the home. When many people hear the word “organize,” they panic. Organization can be just as big of a job as remodeling a home depending on how big of an unorganized mess there is. Do not panic, though. While organizing is a big and terrifying project, it is well worth the time and effort and it can definitely save some money!

Successful Organizing Techniques

There are several ways to make life easier through organization, and many of these ways are so easy that they seem silly! Much of organization is just finding a way to contain messes. According to Real Simple, Lazy Susans are a great way to contain messes by keeping them in one easy to clean space. Do not be afraid to use wall space to mount pegs to hang things like potholders and aprons. Not only does this technique give easy access to those supplies, it also opens up cabinet and drawer space for other items. The kitchen is often the hardest room to organize, but if done right, you will be surprised how easy the task of organizing your kitchen actually can be. Real Simple suggests starting by placing kitchen items in specific places based upon frequency of use. Place items that are regularly used in easy-to-reach drawers and cabinets, and put your holiday china in the higher cabinets that do not need to be accessed on a daily basis. Group similar items together so they are easy to find. One of the scariest places in the kitchen is the Tupperware drawer…in order to avoid a nightmare, file the Tupperware drawer by stacking containers and lids by size and keeping them together so they are not difficult to find. Do not be afraid to invest in little organizational tools such as lid holders. These items may seem silly, but you will quickly find that they are definitely not a waste of money when you do not have to cram lids in a drawer or cupboard. Cabinet organizers are another great way to keep cabinets from becoming cluttered messes. It is amazing how organized one can feel by simply placing baskets on shelves or in drawers to keep items divided.

There are many ways to organize a home and make it feel like a whole new place. One will never regret taking the time and spending a little money in order to organize their home. So before you consider knocking down walls or abandoning ship all together, see what a little organization can do for you!

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Source: realsimple.com/home-organizing/organizing/kitchen/smart-ideas-kitchen-00000000013845/page19.html

The Simplicity of Decorating

There are some people who live to decorate homes. It is their passion, and they definitely have the eye for beauty when it comes to decorating. Then there are people who cringe when they hear the word decorate. They do not understand how different colors match and give certain vibes, or how something as simple as a 12×12 mirror can change the entire feel of a room. Keeping up with the different styles and trends is a job in and of itself, so most people just avoid the task all together. What many people do not know is that there are many classic decorating styles that are easy to put together and do not have to change that often. Another fear people have when it comes to decorating is the cost behind it. Depending on how you go about decorating, you might just have to take out a second mortgage, but there are definitely several ways to save money while decorating that many people forget to consider.

Decorating Tips

House Beautiful gives several easy and unique ways one can decorate on a budget. One way is to pile on the pillows. Whether you purchase pillows or make them yourself, pillows with contrasting colors can spruce up a room while tying it together. Paint and wallpaper colors do everything for a room. Dark colors typically make rooms feel more enclosed or smaller, which is a great look and feel depending on the room. Light colors tend to do the opposite by opening up a room. Paint colors can make all the difference when it comes to decorating, so choose them wisely! Do not be afraid to mix decorating styles. Work with the furniture you already have instead of investing in all new furniture. Not only will this save bundles of money, it is a unique way to decorate. Reupholstering or refinishing older furniture is a great way to save money and put spruce up a room. Use furniture for unique purposes. Instead of a coffee table in the middle of the living room, use an ottoman as the coffee table. Consider using benches instead of chairs around your kitchen table to give it a unique vibe. You might also consider using benches and mismatched chairs in order to modernize your kitchen table. Using old furniture in unique ways is one of the easiest ways to decorate without going into debt. These are just a few decorating ideas that anyone on a budget can accomplish. Sometimes the most difficult part of decorating is just putting your imagination to use! Do not be afraid to have your own eccentric style. The best part of home décor is that it reflects the personality of the people who live there!

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Source: housebeautiful.com/decorating/

Put Your Stairs to Use

Let’s face it, no matter how big your house is there is always a problem when it comes to finding enough storage space. It is funny how the emptiness of a brand new home can fool you, but as stuff accumulates, storage disappears. While some homeowners give up and just start stacking things wherever they will fit, others are coming up with creative ways to put their staircase to use not only to get from one level of the home to another, but also for other space saving purposes. If you are considering building or even remodeling your home, don’t give the stairs only one function, rather put your imagination to the test by coming up with new ways to give stairs multiple purposes.

According to BuzzFeed and DIY, there are several ways stairs can benefit the home and homebuilders and remodelers should not look past them!

Creative Staircase Functions

The main purpose of a staircase is to allow people to get from one floor to another, but have you ever considered also using the staircase as a bookshelf? Instead of putting a wall next to the staircase, use the side of the stairs or even the space underneath them as shelving for books, knick-knacks, and anything else that needs a home. Other creative homebuilders have turned the empty space under the stairs into roomy storage spaces with easy access by simply lifting up the steps. This is a great way to hide messes as well! Do you hate the mess of shoes in the entryway? If your staircase is close enough your entryway, consider installing pullout drawers on the side of the staircase where shoes can be stored and easily accessed when needed. If you are looking for something fancier than drawers, install wine shelves under the stairs kept safe by elegant cupboard doors to keep your wine collection out of the way, but also easily accessed for those special evenings. Have you ever felt like you just needed your own space to retreat to, a quiet place to read, or even take a nap? Several homeowners have turned the space underneath their staircases into comfortable nooks specifically for these purposes. Humans are not the only beings who need their space, either. Nooks underneath the staircase serve for great pet houses as well! These few ideas are obviously not the only ways staircases can serve multiple purposes; they are just a few examples. Before building or remodeling a home, homeowners should always consider storage, and it is always safe to add more storage rather than less.

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Source: buzzfeed.com/peggy/insanely-clever-remodeling-ideas-for-your-new-home

Avoid Home Remodeling and Renovating Mistakes

With the housing market always fluctuating, sometimes it is just easier and cheaper to renovate and remodel your home. Perhaps the most important and most difficult part of remodeling your home is setting a reasonable budget. Once that task is taken care of, the work begins, and in the case of home remodeling, the work is the fun part! Coming up with new and creative ways to make your home your own is always exhilarating, especially because there are so many different styles out there today. There are a few things home remodelers should keep in mind before they begin their project, though.

Things To Consider Before Remodeling

There are several mistakes that many people make when remodeling their homes. In an attempt to be as frugal as possible (because let’s face it, we all want the best deals), many people buy the cheapest materials thinking they are getting a good deal, but in most cases those materials have to be replaced in a short period of time ultimately costing more money rather than saving any. HGTV reminds home remodelers that you get what you pay for, so in the case of home remodeling don’t be afraid to budget a little more for higher quality materials. Another common mistake home remodelers run into is inaccurate measurements. It never hurts to double, triple, quadruple check measurements to avoid having to start over, and spend more money to fix the mistake. Never skip the prep work such as measuring, taping, and other tedious techniques. While they can be annoying and we all tend to be confident enough that we don’t need to waste time doing the prep work, more often than not projects do not go as planned and cost a lot more because the prep work was avoided. One of the most common mistakes home remodelers make is going too trendy with their renovations.

While it is fun to have the most in style décor, it is important to remember that styles fade and home remodeling is expensive, so in order to avoid facing multiple remodels, it is always best to stick with classic styles that are long term rather than short-term trends. Most importantly, home remodelers should remember to have patience. Home remodeling is a long process depending on the project. Not only is it a lot of work, it can be bring a lot of chaos depending on the size of the project. Maintaining patience throughout the project is vital for a remodeler’s sanity. Many people often give up halfway through projects because it becomes too much to handle and the anticipation of it being completed takes over. No matter the size of the home, remodeling is always a big project and it is important that remodelers focus on the little details and give themselves plenty of time to complete it. If these tips are followed, the long hours will be well worth it!

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Source: hgtv.com/homekeeping/top-25-biggest-renovating-mistakes/pictures/index.html