Category Archives: Home Improven

5 Very Unique and Appropriate Upcycling Ideas for Your Home

1. Upcycled Furniture

Furniture is where many DIYers turn first when it comes to upcycling, simply because there are so many options. Old dressers can be repainted and restructured to become just what your kitchen needs. An ugly coffee table can be turned into a beautiful bench for your entryway. I love the idea of taking an old headboard and transforming it into a chalkboard with hooks that can be used almost anywhere in the home. Beyond The Picket Fence provides an excellent tutorial for this.

2. Upcycled Dresser Drawers

If you’ve decided to upcycle your dresser into extra open storage for the kitchen, bedroom or bathroom, you might be wondering what to do with the drawers. After all, one of the keys to upcycling is to not be wasteful and have extra parts end up a landfill. For pet owners, this is the perfect opportunity to pamper your furry friend. Create a pet bed out of the extra drawers. This is usually a project that is best for cats and smaller dogs. It’s an easy project that shouldn’t take more than an afternoon to complete. See the tutorial from DIY Showoff.

3. Upcycled Doors

Old doors make the perfect upcycling project. They are uniquely shaped and can be transformed into almost any surface. Create a unique coffee table by sizing the door to your desired length and adding some legs on the end. Or, make your bedroom décor pop with an old door headboard. Be careful however, older doors may have lead paint on them which may need to be stripped before creating anything new.

4. Upcycled Glass Bottles

If you’ve been looking for the perfect way to use extra glass bottles, you’re in luck. Upcycling glass bottles is one of the easiest projects you can do. Start by stripping the bottle of any labels that may be on it. You can usually do this by soaking them in hot water for about 20 minutes, then gently scrubbing the label off. From there, you have endless options. Use glass paint to decorate how you’d like. Stick fresh flowers in it to create a vase or a candlestick in the opening for the ultimate DIY centerpiece.

5. Upcycled Chandelier

Over time, chandeliers can become worn and out-of-date. But, they are the perfect canvas to create something new. Chalk paint provides an easy opportunity to transform the piece completely, giving a new look to your light fixture. For outdoor décor, remove all electrical components and use as a hanging planter.

However, chandeliers are hot right now in the interior as well. See this tutorialfrom Mountain Modern Life on how you can dress up an old chandelier.

How to Save Energy, Tips For Summer

 the energy bills up inside. After a long day of gardening, games and other outdoor activities, it’s important to have a place to cool off. If you live in an area that sees extreme heat, having a home at a comfortable temperature is essential.

However, keeping a comfortable home might mean a larger energy bill during the summer. After all, your air conditioner, fans and other appliances are all working hard to keep your home cool. Here are a few tips to help cut costs and stay cool this summer.

1. Energy-Saving Air Conditioners

Your air conditioner is where most people turn when it comes to cooling their house to a comfortable temperature. From a central unit that cools the whole home to a window unit that can cool down a room at a time, homeowners have a few options when it comes to cooling. Whatever you choose, be sure it is Energy Star certified, ensuring that you’ll get all the benefits of an efficient appliance. According to Energy Star, you could save $115 annually by installing an energy-efficient air conditioner. Depending on the unit you’ll need, you might want to contact an HVAC pro to help. The average cost to install an air conditioner is $4,828.

However, if you already use an energy-efficient unit or do not wish to replace your system, there is still plenty you can do to cut costs. Be sure to change the filters regularly and have routine check-ups to ensure your HVAC system is working properly. Fans can help keep the cool air circulating so your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard.

2. Energy-Saving Thermostat

In addition to an energy-saving air conditioner, a smart thermostat will be the perfect complement to help save you even more money. Most learn your habits and can be controlled from an app, so you can turn off the air conditioning when it’s not in use, even if you’re not home. The Department Of Energy advises to keep the temperature settings as low as comfortably possible when you’re home, or roughly 78 degrees.

3. Energy-Saving Curtains

A small detail could make a huge difference in your energy costs. Insulated curtains give your windows extra protection against the heat, by blocking the hot summer sun and helping to trap the cool air inside. They come in a variety of styles that match your décor, so you won’t have to sacrifice your style to save some money.

4. Energy-Saving Power Strip

While there are summer-specific energy-saving solutions, there are tactics you can use year-round to help save you money. An energy-saving power strip can help save you up to 10% of your monthly electric bill, according to the Department Of Energy. That’s because items like TVs, computers and other plugged in electronics continue to use power even after they’ve been turned off. An energy-saving power strip can prevent this by cutting power completely when an item is not in use, making it a worthwhile investment.

5. Energy-Saving Roofing

For hotter regions, the type of roofing you have could impact the temperature of your home. A cool metal roof can help keep temperatures down inside. The average cost of a metal roof is between $7.50/sf and $10/sf. While it may seem like a costly installation, it’s a long-lasting option that can save you money on your bills quickly. To learn more, read Create An Energy Efficient Home With A Cool Metal Roof.

The right idea of ​​Home Decoration to fit on a particular Season

As the seasons change, so should your home décor. While holidays provide easy inspiration for decorating, other times you may feel stuck. But there are many transitional decorating options you can use as the seasons change; you just have to know the right places to look.

I’m here to provide some inspiration for your seasonal décor changes. Whether there’s a holiday in sight or you just want to make your home a little cozier, see a few home decorating ideas for every season.

Seasonal Decorating Tips

If you love to change the look of your home, decorating for each season is the right strategy when it comes to interior design. However, the key is to not overdo it. Pick a few areas in each room that can be decorated based on your taste and season. Here are some places that décor is easily interchangeable:

  • Living Room Mantel
  • Above Kitchen Cabinets
  • Dining Room Table
  • Bedroom Sheets & Blankets
  • Couch Throw Pillows
  • Window Sill & Curtains
  • Front Door Decor

Spring

As spring approaches, you might want to refresh the look of your home. Flowers and fresh scents can be incorporated in every room to give it a clean and airy feel. A large vase full of flowers can be a beautiful centerpiece for springtime. If you have the option, now is the time to change the sheets in your bedroom and guest bedroom from the heavy blankets you may have been using, to something lighter. Find a comforter in a pastel or white to really brighten up the room.

In the living room, continue your floral décor with exchanging your throw pillow covers for a fun new pattern. Incorporate small pots and greenery on your mantel to finish off the spring look in your living room.

Summer

Bring the sunshine inside with summertime home décor. Similar to spring, keep things light and airy. This could mean a change of curtains in various rooms. A light white sheer curtain will give you privacy while providing a way to brighten up your room.

Natural décor is a go-to for many homeowners looking to spruce up their home in summer, especially if you’re going for the nautical look. Welcome in the nautical summertime look with front door décor that you can DIY! See this tutorial from Addicted2DIY. Large seashells and driftwood make perfect decorating elements for your table centerpiece or mantel. Find patterns with anchors or tropical designs such as pineapples or palm leaves as your tablecloth or new throw pillows.

Fall

After a hot summer, some of us welcome the cool weather fall brings while others might need convincing. Whatever your attitude is towards fall, there’s no question that it’s one of the easiest seasons to decorate for! Leaves, pumpkins and rustic elements adorn homes across the country. Create a unique centerpiece for your table, decorate above your kitchen cabinet and more using pumpkins and leaves. For the best results, use various sizes.

Now is the time to cozy up your home. Change your bedding and blankets to a heavier material in a red, dark orange or brown. This will warm up the spaceinstantly. Replace your window curtains with the same idea of warm, darker hues and a heavier fabric.

Winter

When it comes to winter, most homeowners are stumped with what to do after the holidays are over. After all, the winter season lasts longer than your holiday decor. For this time, you can either draw from two areas of inspiration. Either continue the warm, cozy theme you started in fall, incorporating plaid patterns of dark brown, red and green. Or, you can draw inspiration from the glistening snow, incorporating hues of blue, silver and turquoise into your interior. While both are great options, be sure to use one for consistency in your home.

Mantel decorating is easily done with some faux snow-dusted plants or pinecones. Door decorating is made easy with many evergreen options available. Don’t forget to incorporate candles when possible that not only add style but allow you to experience all the scents the season has to offer.

Holidays To Remember

While you can transition your décor for the season, many of us like to decorate for the seasonal holidays. Here are a few examples:

  • Valentine’s Day: Use hearts in colors of red, pink and white throughout the home.
  • St. Patrick’s Day: Faux shamrocks can adorn your mantel or front door décor.
  • Easter: Pastel colored eggs make the perfect accent in a clear vase.
  • Fourth of July: Use red, white and blue accents where you can!
  • Halloween: Keep it classic with jack-o-lanterns on your front porch and candy corn in decorative bowls.
  • Thanksgiving: Create a cornucopia centerpiece for your family’s table.
  • Christmas: Colorful lights and Christmas trees should be front and center of your holiday décor.

Interior Designers Can Help!

When in doubt, an interior designer can help you visualize your seasonal home decorating vision. They can also help you turn your interior into the space you’ve always dreamed of! The average cost to hire an interior designer is $4,735, with most homeowners spending between $2,008 and $4,927.

 

What You Should Know Before Doing a Construction Manager

Are you planning an addition or renovation for your home?  Many homeowners have a lot of fears when it comes to the ins-and-outs of a large home project and may not know the full scope of the details. The good news is that you can hire someone to help.

A construction manager is a pro at keeping home projects on track, safe and abiding by all local laws and codes. They can be extremely beneficial in ensuring your project turns out the way you envisioned it. If this sounds like a service that can be beneficial to you, see what you must know before hiring a construction manager.

What Do Construction Managers Do?

For larger home improvement projects, construction managers are invaluable. Hiring a construction manager takes the all the worry out of remodeling, new home building or adding an addition, so you can relax. They help to keep every aspect of the project on track, from the beginning plans and design to ensure the general contractor has all the resources he or she needs to have the job done on time. They also work to save you money and stay in your budget throughout the duration of the project. A construction manager must juggle multiple details as they work toward a complete big picture. Here are a few tasks the construction manager oversees:

  • Timeline planning
  • Budgeting and staying within the budget
  • Abiding by local codes
  • Ensuring safety for all on the job site
  • Managing smaller issues that arise
  • Guaranteeing the quality of work

Construction managers typically have a bachelor’s degree in the trade. However, not all states require a construction manager to be licensed. Most specialize in either commercial or residential construction management. It’s also good to know that unlike general contractors, construction managers take no legal responsibility for the job. If there’s an issue with the work or workers once the project is completed, that’s up to you to solve.

Costs Of Construction Managers

Residential construction doesn’t always require a construction manager. Two places you would consider hiring a construction manager would be a new home construction or a significant alteration to your home, such as an addition. This investment can save you time and give you peace-of-mind throughout the length of the project. The cost of construction manager varies by the scope of the project. The average cost to hire a construction manager is between $3,787 and $17,047.

How to Design a Strategic Room

1. Brighten It Up

The biggest problem with a windowless bathroom is, of course, adequate lighting. The first step in improving your bathroom is finding the appropriate bathroom lighting. Lighting on or around the mirror is a must, but if your bathroom is small, you might want to consider other spaces to add lightingsuch as under cabinets and wall sconces. You might also consider adding a decorative light fixture. Not only does this add more light to your bathroom, but it can be a beautiful focal point without utilizing any of the limited space offered. The average cost to install a light fixture is $421, with most homeowners spending between $177 and $328.

2. Install A Bathroom Fan

Ventilation is a big concern for homeowners with windowless bathrooms. There’s less ability for moisture to escape from the room, eventually causing mildew, build-up and odors in your bathroom. A quality bathroom fan can take your worry away. A bathroom fan is a worthwhile investment, as it helps to stop moisture from damaging your room. A bathroom fan can cost $60 on the low end, but more costly models can be up to $800. The average cost of a bathroom fan installation is $347.

3. Choose Plants For Windowless Bathroom

If you’ve never considered adding a plant to your windowless bathroom, think again. A small plant can give the space a fresh, spa-like feel. However, you’ll need to find a plant suitable for the low-light, high-moisture environment a bathroom has. Here are a  few bathroom plant ideas:

  • Potted Grass
  • Aloe
  • Spider Plant
  • Bamboo
  • Orchids
  • Reed Palm

4. Best Windowless Bathroom Paint Colors

The color of your bathroom can greatly impact the brightness, making it either feel open and airy or dark and cave-like. Choose lighter paint hues as darker colors absorb the light. Pastels are always a great choice for the bathroom, but even better if there’s no natural light source. An accent wall can help here as well if you feel like incorporating a brighter color.

5. Use Mirrors Wisely

To help distribute the light around your windowless bathroom, it’s a good idea to include more than one mirror. The key to this is placing the mirrors so they reflect the light around the room easily. Start with the largest mirror in the room, likely over the vanity or sink. This mirror should be 2” to 4” slimmer than what it’s hanging over to make your small windowless bathroom seem larger. The average cost to add a bathroom mirror is at a minimum $179 and maximum of $1,290.

Next, place a smaller mirror or two across from wherever your light source is. If your bathroom light is in the middle of the room or hanging from the ceiling, you have the ability to get creative with mirror spacing and placement. Adding more mirrors to your windowless bathroom will help distribute light evenly.

5 ways For Your Deck Style This Summer

1. Repair & Restore Your Deck

One of the top reasons people shy away from spending time on their deck is because it is weathered or damaged. Before you go out of your way to add new outdoor décor items, you must fix your deck first. Repair and replace any broken boards that might need it. The average cost to repair or restore a deckis $1,357, with most homeowners spending between $857 and $1,408. The costs here depend largely on the work you’ll need done, so be sure to contact a decking contractor who can help.

2. Find The Right Furniture

Deck furniture can not only change the look of your deck, but it can ensure you’re able to comfortably relax. First, consider what you’ll be using the space for. Is it primarily for entertaining? A large outdoor table with plenty of chairs will do the trick? Are you looking to have space to sit and read outside or spend time with your family? Consider investing in an outdoor couch and comfortable chairs for your outdoor furniture.

Once you’ve found the right type, you should choose a cohesive style that you love. If you want your deck to be an oasis to take you away, consider fabric patterns that are nautical or tropical. Love the contemporary look? Choose items in black or metal, using bright accent colors in fabric or accessories, such as throw pillows, to make this décor style really pop.

For hot summer days, you’ll want to lounge around in something light and airy. Deck hammocks and chaise lounges are becoming more popular with homeowners. There’s nothing quite like spending the afternoon with your feet up and relaxing on your deck.

3. Add Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting is essential if you’ll be using your deck at night, especially for summertime gatherings. Not only will it add style to your deck, but it’s a great safety feature to have so you can enjoy your outdoor retreat into the evening. Here are some deck lighting ideas that will make your décor stand out:

  • String Lights
  • Globe Lights
  • Deck Track Lighting
  • Deck Post Lighting
  • Recessed Deck Lighting

4. Install A Decorative Deck Railing

All decks that are raised off the ground must have a railing to keep everyone safe from falling. However, that doesn’t mean you have to choose a bland style. You’ll be surprised at how this small detail can truly make your deck stand out. Deck railings must be at least 36” high, giving you plenty of room to make decorative decisions. Popular trends right now in decking are cable railings as well as metal deck spindles.

If you have a deck railing that you’re not quite ready to replace, add some color with some paint. For a whimsical look, paint the railing and spindles different colors. Using warm hues will surely remind you that summer is here! If bold color isn’t your thing, try a simple white to make the space look clean and bright. Be sure to get paint that will be resistant to the elements and expect to repaint once a year.

5. Screen Your Deck

It’s hard to truly enjoy your deck when bugs and other distractions are present. Adding a screen to your deck can add to your overall enjoyment of the space as well as helping it look great. For this project, you’ll need to add a roof over your deck as well, which truly transforms your deck into its own outdoor room. There are many different styles of deck screens, but smaller panels with wood beams are certainly the most popular and a great choice if you’re going for a rustic look. The average cost to screen a deck is between $45 and $95 per square foot.

How to Keep Your Home Clean for longer than 5 Minutes

So you’ve scrubbed every corner of your home until it’s sparkling. But what does it look like a few hours later? Chances are, not nearly as neat (and, for some of us, like a tornado came through). According to Becky Rapinchuk, the expert behind the blog Clean Mamaand the author of Simply Clean, the secret to ensuring your house stays relatively tidy between deep-cleans is to do a few quick chores every day to keep things in order. Before you turn in for the night, keep reading for your room-by-room to-do list.

In the living room

Every night, do a quick pickup of anything you spot out of place on the floor; think toys, TV remotes, old issues of AD. Then, turn your focus to the sofa, refolding throw blankets and fluffing up pillows. “A daily run-through-and-grab of any errant items is much easier than a weekly full-on cleanup,” explains Rapinchuk.

In the kitchen

“A clean sink is the symbol of a clean kitchen!” says Rapinchuk. “But in order for a sink to be clean, the dishes have to be done.” First things first: Make sure you’ve unloaded the dishwasher so there’s room for a new batch of dirty plates and cutlery. Once the last dish is put away after dinner, give the sink a scrub. “You’ll be happy in the morning that you don’t have a sink full of dishes staring back at you,” notes Rapinc​huk. Last, wipe down the counters to get rid of any pesky bacteria.

In the bathrooms

Wiping down your toothpaste-splattered counters every day is the secret to a bathroom that at least looks neat. But Rapinchuck also suggests keeping a squeegee on hand to remove soap scum from the tile after you shower, then immediately hanging your towels so they have a proper chance to dry. “This simple little habit will reap big results that will save you time in the long run,” she says.

In the bedrooms

Your mother was right about this one—you’ve got to make your bed. “Pull up the covers and put the pillows back on your bed when you get up, or before you leave the house,” says Rapinchuk. “This little step will pull your whole bedroom together.​” Next, gather dirty clothes off the ground and put them in a hamper. “Any objects on the floor should be picked up daily to avoid overwhelm and mess.”

Cleaning way for Things you normally forget

Vacuum, mop, dust—cleaning one’s home tends to be a checklist of the same tasks on repeat. But while you’re busy wiping down that same table for the fiftieth time, items you never thought to wash are under full assault by germs and dust mites. “I think that a lot of people have a regular rotation of things they clean in their house, but you tend to get in a rut,” says Joss & Main style director Donna Garlough. We grilled her on the most neglected household items:

Curtains

“It may not seem like they get terribly dirty, but they get a lot of household dust, pollen, and dander,” says Garlough. “And if you have a wood-burning fireplace, that can cause a lot of buildup.”

How to clean them: If your curtains are made of linen or silk with complicated detailing, head to the dry cleaner. But simple cotton ones with grommets can go straight in the washing machine. “I like to hang dry,” says Garlough. “I think they get less wrinkled.”

Throw Pillows

You know those throw pillows you rest your head on while binging on Netflix? They’re veritable dust bombs. But it’s not just the cover that needs cleaning; the insert is where dust mites accumulate.

How to clean them: Vacuuming throw pillows can loosen up all that dust, but the inserts themselves can benefit from a toss in the wash. Unexpectedly, inserts made of feathers are much more tolerable of washing than synthetics. Afterward, put them in the dryer on a low heat cycle so you don’t damage the fabric.

Outdoor furniture

Frequent weather exposure means more maintenance, particularly if the pieces are wood. In addition to the usual dust and spider webs, they can splinter and gather pollen after going unused for a couple months.

How to clean them: Use a homemade solution of vinegar and water to scrub wooden pieces before you oil them. If you have upholstered furniture, wipe it down with a wet rag at the beginning and end of the season.

Throw blankets

Most people fluff their pillows and call it a day. But that blanket you drape over the couch for cozy evenings? It’s probably filthy—particularly if you have pets, says Garlough.

How to clean them: Toss them in the wash. If they have tassels, use cold water on a delicate cycle.

Bath mats

The feet and shoes of every person that walks into your bathroom come in contact with your bath mat, yet usually they’re left in the unwashed abyss.

How to clean them: Throw the mats in the washing machine every couple of weeks, or at least once a month, Garlough suggests. If it has a rubber backing to avoid slipping, avoid the dryer and just drape it over a railing or clothesline

How to care for Wicker Furniture

Wicker furniture isn’t just for country houses anymore. Even the most minimalist of spaces can benefit from the addition of these warm natural-fiber pieces—that is, until they start to age. Left alone, the furniture will eventually become brittle, warped, and potentially too damaged to sit on. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves; a few protective measures will go a long way, says Alison Davin of San Francisco interior design firm Jute Home. Here’s what you’ll need to do to ensure your beloved bench or perfect pair of armchairs never falls into disrepair.

Keep furniture inside

Although your wicker and rattan pieces probably look fantastic out on your deck, it’s best to use them indoors or on a completely protected porch, where they aren’t subject to the weather. “The sun causes the fibers to become dry and brittle and the glue joints to loosen,” Davin explains. “Conversely, too much moisture from dew, rain, and snow can cause the furniture’s rattan and hardwood frames to warp.”

Clean it like any other surface

“Wicker and rattan furniture should be kept as dust-free as possible by vacuuming it regularly using the soft-bristle brush attachment,” says Davin. “For dust and dirt in hard-to-reach crevices, try a new dry paintbrush.” If you live in a particularly arid climate, Davin suggests buffing your pieces with furniture polish to keep them supple: “Start at the top and work down, paying extra attention to crevices and any spots that are noticeably drier.” Of course, humidity isn’t great either—it can cause mold or mildew. If that’s the case, brush off the furniture, then clean it with a mixture of bleach and water. “Allow the furniture to dry completely,” says Davin, “ideally outside in direct sunlight on a windy day.”

But use water sparingly

“Remove any spills or dirt with a damp cloth and a small amount of diluted Murphy Oil Soap,” recommends Davin. “Some people spray wicker down with a hose and then clean it, but, in my experience, this extra water contributes to the breakdown of woven furniture over time.”

Comfort is key (literally)

Don’t sit directly on the wicker, says Davin: “Padded cushions will add years to the seats of wicker and rattan chairs, sofas and chaises.”