Home improvement is a great way to improve the comfort of your home and increase the value. It’s important, though, to know what needs to be done, so you can do it correctly the first time. Doing so makes it more likely that you will be satisfied with the results, thereby eliminating the need for costly changes or replacements. This article is packed with tips to get you to that point!
If you have small holes in your wall, you can repair them by using spackling paste. Simply apply the paste to fill the holes and wait for it to dry. The paste may expand and crack, so you can apply a little more paste if needed. When dry, sand away any excess until the dried spackle is flush with the wall. Then paint the wall any color you desire.
Installing carpet can be a daunting task if done yourself, or an expensive task if you pay a professional to do it. Fortunately there is an alternative. Much like vinyl floor tiles, there are carpet tiles that exist. These too have adhesive backing that allows you to install them easily, and they look just like real sheet carpeting when installed.
Buying used chairs with bad upholstery on the seat portion isn’t all bad. A lot of times, you can easily remove the seat, take out the staples holding the stretched fabric across the cushion and switch it out. You can mix match any fabric of your choice, and staple it back to the bottom with a heavy duty stapler.
If you have a lot of dirt in your backyard or garden, you can easily make your own pathways using pavers and stones. You don’t need to use any concrete, just lay your stones in a nice design or pattern in the area you need it to cover. This can provide a nice and balanced look to your garden, as well as keeping your shoes dirt free.
You don’t have to throw out your old wicker patio furniture. Sure, it may be weathered, but you can make them good as new. Replace your old cushions, or sew a new cover for them. Buy some cheap spray paint in shocking black or elegant white and spray your wicker set in the chosen color. Make sure to wear a protective mask over your mouth for safety. This can make your patio set look good as new and give you a reason to spend the day outdoors.
Focus on interior lighting for your next home improvement project. If you change out your old light bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Lights, you will save energy and money. These bulbs also last longer than traditional lighting choices. This is a very simple project that will have remarkable results on the amount of money you save in energy bills.
Before you begin your next home improvement project, take the time to look for inspiration in magazines, color swatches and anything else that you can find. It is important to plan ahead so that you don’t get stuck trying to do too much when it is time for you to begin your project. This will make the entire process much more relaxing for you.
Minor home improvement work can be handled by the homeowner without the need to involve a contractor. By making minor repairs and improvements a homeowner can improve the value of his or her home by a surprising amount. Relying on the homeowners own skills will make home improvements cheaper, because there is no profit cut out for extraneous contractors and experts.
Give special attention to your porch if you are thinking about home improvement projects. The porch will will be the first visible area anytime your neighbors or friends pay a visit. Clean up clutter and add nice enhancements such as flowers and flower pots, patio furniture, wood varnish, and light fixtures. Having a nice porch will improve your home’s value.
No longer are chandeliers found only in mansions. Some chandeliers are not very expensive at all, and can provide a very elegant look in your dining room. If you want a chandelier that will stand out, try getting one that puts out 200-400 watts.
To save on energy costs, consider adding a series of small fluorescent lighting fixtures under your cabinetry. These lights consume less energy than your overhead light and can cast a glowing light on the counter surface that is ideal for preparing food or illuminating a richly colored counter top or decorative back splash area.
To create a built-in display case for your favorite china, glassware, or decorative touches, consider removing one or more cabinet doors from your kitchen cabinetry, or replace a few solid cupboard doors with glass doors. The inside of the cabinet can be painted, and you can easily add accent lighting to make the area a key focal area.
If you are looking for home improvement projects that are guaranteed to raise the value of your home, you can’t go wrong with a bathroom or kitchen remodel. Builders and real estate agents estimate that perfecting these rooms is likely to earn you more than 100 percent back on your investment when you put your home up for sale.
Trimming your hedges, bushes and trees may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of home improvement but it can greatly improve the appearance of your property. It can often be a quick day job for you to undertake, that will result in a nice, finished look.
Get new tiling. If your tiling does not match your walls, or is cracking and becoming damaged, replacing it is a great home improvement project that is relatively simple and inexpensive. Stick-on floor tiles are available at many home improvement stores, and if you want to use the real ones, they are not too expensive either.
If you complete your home improvement project to well, you will be happy and the value of your home will increase. If you don’t know what you’re doing, and you’re home improvement project becomes a relentless nightmare, you will be unhappy in your home may be worse off. Hopefully the advice you found here can put you on the right path toward home improvement success.
Tuscan designed homes with their Mediterranean construction materials are perfect for people living in the Southwest…Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and all areas of the desert southwest. Stucco, plaster, and cantera stone with terra cotta roofing tiles have always been typical of southwest decorating.
These designs include high ceilings with walls covered in major large tapestries or framed Tuscan works of art. These wall hangings do more than cover bare walls. They bring the warm designs, rich colors, and textures of Tuscany to life on neutral walls.
This motif is rustic and earthy with terracotta tile on the floors, stucco walls, open ceiling beams, and stone fireplaces. Use black wrought iron accessories and chandeliers in your decor. Your heavily textured walls might have trim stenciled on them. Tile might be used on kitchen or garden walls.
You might use dark leathers on your sofas and chairs and then add color by adding pillow using brilliant yellows and gold, aqua, or deep reds. Any of the Mediterranean colors work well in this scheme…cinnamon, olive, ochre, bronze, burnt orange, burgundy, or ivory. Your darkest colors belong on your cabinetry, furniture, and wrought iron.
Use your textiles freely to add interest to your rooms. Decorative pillows and throws on your sofas and chairs, a beautiful, vibrant table runner on your dinning room table, tapestries on your walls, draperies, and richly colored bed spreads will carry your theme nicely throughout the house and give it a softer look.
It is your choice as to whether you have formal or casual furniture, as both appear in Tuscan design. Furniture might be made of fine hardwoods, rustic woods, or iron and sometimes have accents of copper in them. It is large; expect to find oversized buffets, hutches, bookcases, dining room tables, chairs, and bedroom furniture. Don’t be surprised when you find dining room sets that include seating for twelve or more people! Sometimes kitchen islands and buffets are hand painted.
The Tuscan kitchen is designed for cooking large meals and for socializing. Browns reds, oranges, and greens are kitchen colors, but lots of pottery adorns the counters…both useful and decorative…in yellows, blues, and olive green, and red. Tuscan kitchen design reflects its natural surroundings.
The bedroom will be luxurious, with a large bed, a tall headboard, massive furniture, fancy bed linens, and romantic lighting. Finishes are usually water base lacquers. Don’t forget the large, wide frame mirror!
Ceramic tile, marble, slate, granite, wood, and iron are used in the Tuscan style bathroom. Wrought iron framed mirrors or wall sconces with glass shades, and sinks that make a statement are called for. Large vases or urns, candle holders, and glass decanters can be used to accessorize.
Moroccan decor combines influences from Europe (most notably France and Spain) as well as Arab, Berber and some sub-Saharan African influence, along with art deco and modern design. One easy way to get started is to use simple furniture in white or muted colors and dressing them up with colorful Moroccan-style accessories. If your budget is a little more flexible, however, you might want to opt for traditional Moroccan furniture, especially pieces made from thuja.
This evergreen tree produces wood which is much like cedar: resistant to decay and insects, aromatic and beautifully grained. In North Africa, it’s commonly used for furniture as well as fence posts, shingles and the soundboards of guitars and other musical instruments. It’s also a rapidly growing, quickly renewable resource, which makes it an environmentally sound choice.
Moroccan furniture is often covered with cow, camel or goat hide, although there are a lot of other choices available. You may also want to add a tea table to your living room or den if you’re going for a Moroccan look and feel. Inlaid wood and parquet work are also common features of Moroccan furnishings and are well worth exploring. Along with some colorful throws and a low, hide-covered table, you can transform any room into an exotic retreat.
Table tops, chairs and fireplaces are all places that you might also want to consider using Moroccan-style decorative tilework. You may even find some pieces featuring tiles and bronze or brass inlays, which are perfectly fitting for Moroccan décor.
Other than wool and silk brocade, velvet and linen are also good choices for fabrics when you’re redecorating your home in this style. However, as far as window treatments are concerned, textured white curtains are definitely the way to go, either in cotton, canvas or wool. There are plenty of other places where you can throw bold colors around to contrast with the earth tones commonly used for floors and walls.
Moroccan décor gives you a lot of choices for accessories as well as colors, but don’t forget the sea-inspired colors while you’re decorating, especially azure and turquoise. Some ideas for accessories include terra cotta pottery and jars in bright blue, yellow or green, as well as potted palms, ferns or tropical plants. You could also consider photographs of Moroccan scenes or even a Moroccan horse or camel saddle hung on the wall, if you’re feeling bold.
You can add the finishing touches with hand woven baskets, wooden trunks, North African rugs and essentially, any kind of Moroccan handicrafts. Be sure to extend the theme to your patio, deck or other outdoor space – perhaps with a mosaic tiled fountain and potted palms.
In very small bathrooms, especially if they are being used by children, it is usually wise to use a simple vinyl shower curtain that stays tucked in the tub. They come in every color imaginable, with any number of patterns. You can go solid, striped, floral, or in an animal print. There are dozens of themed shower curtains. They can be geometric, outdoorsy, sporty…everything from a beach scene to an African safari!
However, because shower curtains do have a tendency to mildew, it is better to use a shower curtain liner beneath your decorative curtain. The liner is a thinner, cheaper curtain that will hang inside the tub, and the decorative one will remain on the outside. When you are using two curtains, it opens a plethora of new decorating possibilities. For one thing, you no longer have to have vinyl material on your decorative curtain.
For a summer cabin you might want to use a sturdy material like canvas as your outside curtain. This is a rough textured, heavy material that will not get wrinkled when it is wet…but you will still need a liner. Because of the weight of canvas you might want to use a separate rod for this curtain. A more resistant material which is quite a bit like canvas in appearance is the polyester shower curtain. They weigh less, are less expensive, more water resistant, and far easier to clean.
For a truly elegant and formal bathroom, you can use heavy cottons, lace, silks, and satins as your decorative curtain. It is always best to hang a good fabric on a separate rod and have it tie back to the wall. This will protect the material from the water. You need good ventilation when using something like this. Be aware that these curtains will require dry cleaning.
For a feminine bathroom why not try a ruffled shower curtain? There are all kinds of fluffy and bouffant curtains available for this purpose. For an outdoorsman you might choose one with a hunting and fishing theme…complete with bear, moose, and fishing patterns. These are also great fun if you have a rustic cabin somewhere.
There are curtains that have comic strip characters, printed sayings in several languages, whimsical themes, or even bathroom jokes. They can represent travel, sports, the weather, and countless other unique topics. Some are just simple and elegant, and others are calm and serene, with a flowing seascape, or a field of colorful flowers.
You can go art deco, traditional, Victorian, country, contemporary, or modern. Some of the vinyl curtains available have wonderful children’s schemes…there is even one that has outlines of objects that can be colored in by the kids and then erased!
There are also shower curtains and liners available that are friendly to the environment. They have no “plastic” smell to them. One product, PEVA is a lightweight plastic curtain that is PVC free, soft, strong, and one hundred percent waterproof. Another product is Ecopreme. Both of them are chlorine free and not harmful to the environment.
If you want to redecorate a bedroom for your kids, and they have asthma, allergies, or any other respiratory condition; you really have to be careful when choosing fabrics, carpeting, curtains, and so on. They want to have fun playrooms filled with color, imagination, and exhibiting their special interests…just like any other child. And you can do it, with just a little more care and thought!
Respiratory problems often cause children to spend more time indoors or resting than their friends do, so by making their room a safe and fun place to be, they will not feel deprived in any way. And a fun playroom will also encourage other kids to want to play there. Children sleep, play, and as they get older, do homework in those rooms. It’s your job to make them want to be there!
The number one rule of decorating for a child who has asthma or allergies is to get the carpeting out of that room! So what should you replace it with? Hardwood floors, ceramic tile, or linoleum are very good substitutes. But watch out…you want a floor that can be washed with plain water, rather than one that requires adding chemical odors or the heavy scents that are in most cleaners. And you should avoid textured walls and ceilings…they provide little pockets for dust to gather in.
Use cotton throw rugs in theme patterns or bright colors to add interest to the room. And remember…don’t buy anything that you can’t easily throw into the washer and dryer. You need to be able to keep them clean.
Instead of curtains, which will hold dust and gather pollens from open windows, use metal mini blinds. They are so easy to dust, and they come in every color imaginable! If you want to dress them up a bit, a simple wooden cornice4 box will hide the mounting. It can be wallpapered (washable vinyl, please) or painted (using water based paints that can be damp-wiped). Accent with peelable decals that reflect the theme of the room.
Bedspreads should be non-linty and washable, and dust ruffles should be avoided (their purpose is to gather dust-hence the name). Mattresses, box springs, and pillows should be covered with zippered vinyl covers to keep the dust mites at bay. Linens should be tightly woven, and of cotton, or silk.
Toys can also be a problem. Large stuffed animals that cannot be machine washed will gather dust and dust mites. So stick to smaller, washer friendly plush toys, and launder them regularly. Toy boxes should have covers and be wiped out regularly. In fact, all toys, walls, and ceilings need to be cleaned several times a year.
Children with respiratory ailments need to be exposed to a minimum of dust, mold, and mildew in their lifetimes. The fumes in cleaners and furniture polish, potpourri and scented candles, oil based paints; these are all possible problems for allergic or asthmatic children.
Any wall hangings should have a wipeable surface…or be covered in glass. Adding a dehumidifier in the rainy season, and an all season air purifier will also help to control the quality of the air your child is breathing.
Lots of us are choosing home improvement these days instead of the problems of selling and relocating. It costs less, you don’t have to pack, move, and unpack, and there is a certain comfort in dealing with the known problems and assets of your old home, rather than the unknown surprises of a new one.
However, home improvement projects can end up running amuck if you don’t plan them carefully, stay within the constraints of a reasonable budget, and start and complete them within a reasonable amount of time! Living with a torn up, half-done bathroom, kitchen, bedroom (you get the picture), can make everyone in the house miserable.
One of the secrets of successful do-it-yourself projects is to plan the extent of renovation assuming that everything than can go wrong will. If you think you only need to add a length of pipe to your bathroom plumbing, price replacing all of it. If you think that old bathtub faucet will be just fine in the new Jacuzzi tub, add the cost or a new one to your budget…just in case.
Try to use recycled materials whenever possible, including preused cabinets, shelving, bathroom essentials, furniture, and so on. Check out the vintage stores for wonderful fabrics and accessories. Estate sales can net you quality goods at “quick sale” prices.
Before you start adding a room to your home, make sure that you don’t have usable space that is just there gathering storage and dust. Attics can be finished to make darling playrooms, study rooms, offices, or craft rooms. An unfinished basement can become a recreation room, spare bedroom, office, or even a small private apartment, for a grown up child, an elderly parent, or visiting company. It can also be rented out for some much needed income!
Don’t forget to add any subcontractors you may need to your budget. When you get bids on the job, make sure they understand that you want the bottom dollar price…NO surprises. If they come in lower than the bid, you will be delighted to recommend them to all your friends.
Don’t be so quick to replace items because they have a bit of damage. It is far cheaper to paint or replace kitchen cabinet doors than it is to replace the cabinets. A chip in your bathtub can be painted to prevent further damage and then covered with an appliqué. You now have repaired, added no slip patches to the tub, and the accessorized your bathroom for a pittance! By the way, changing the handles and knobs can give you a brand new look, too, and what could be easier than that?
Lamps that you’ve grown tired of can be sprayed another color and with a new lampshade will look as good as new. While you’re at it, you can change the appearance of your wall hangings just as easily by spraying them a new color. Picture frames can be had for pennies at garage sales and flea markets.
Home improvements are a good idea…as long as you plan carefully and stick with the program!
Your Bedroom Should Be Your Sanctuary
This is where you go to relax, calm down, rest, or share quiet time and passion with your loved one. Chaos adds nothing to this picture. Instead it causes discomfort, feelings of guilt, displeasure with yourself or your mate, and disturbs both your waking and your sleeping hours.
Nobody Wants To Have To Dig Out The Bed After Having Worked All Day
You just want to crawl into a warm and soft cocoon. Nor do you want to kill the mood…the kids went to sleep without a fuss…hubby cocks an eyebrow and points upstairs…you sneak up there, giggling in anticipation…and have to clear a path to the bathroom and the bed? NO, NO, NO!
It’s No Better When You Get Up In The Morning
Most families today have two working parents, but even if you are a stay at home mom, you don’t want to have to search through piles of clothes and shoes to get dressed.
Organizing Your Bedroom Will Eliminate These Problems
And my first recommendation may be a surprise to you. Keep your bills out of the bedroom. Have an office or at least, a designated office area where you pay your bills, handle your mail, and so on. Who wants to find an overdue utility bill under the bed? Or worse…not find it!
Keep A Clothes Hamper In Your Walk-In Closet
If you have no room, then put one in your bathroom. If there just isn’t any wall space, you can use a storage bench placed at the foot of your bed. This also gives you a place to sit down while dressing.
You Do Not Want To Overcrowd Your Room
If you haven’t got the wall space for two night stands, your bed, a dresser, and a chest of drawers; consider getting an armoire or two. There are some that have either a fold down desktop or a pull out shelf that will work as your nightstands when placed on either side of your bed.
Get Rid of the Excess Furniture
This will also eliminate the need for your chest of drawers, thus eliminating three pieces of furniture and making your room feel larger…as well as providing good storage. However, it will now require a different type of lighting. Floor lamps with adjustable arms, wall sconces, or lamps that clip on to your headboard will give you the lighting you need for reading in bed.
For most of us, a major part of the clutter in our bedrooms is created by our unwillingness to let go of clothing that is out of style, too small or too big, or too worn to be really useful. So go through all of your clothing, and be ruthless with yourself. Keep what you wear now, that looks good on you and is in good condition, and give items in good condition that you won’t wear to charity. Formal wear that you used once can be sold, and the rest should be tossed.
With Just The Essential Clothing Left, Invest In Some Space Bags
If you’re wondering what a space bag is, remember those silly commercials where a person vacuumed all of the air out of the bag and just left a flat bag of clothes – well, that’s a space bag. This little investment will make your closet roomier, and keep the clothes you’re not currently wearing clean and fresh. I’ve included a picture of what I’m talking about.
You are going to be thrilled at how a few changes like this can turn your room into a sanctuary.
Twist and tear and boogie woogie