Monthly Archives: August 2018

Home Decorator Secrets For You

Have you ever walked into a perfectly styled room and wondered how someone did it? The truth is, it takes a lot to coordinate and plan for all to fit perfectly. Between paint color, furniture and accessories, all must form a seamless design.

Home decorators and interior designers have the unique eye and expertise to see all these elements at once and make a beautiful room come together with ease. By utilizing a few home décor tricks, you can create a room to be proud of. Here are a few home decorator secrets to the latest styles.

Often, the first décor element homeowners want to change is the color of their room. If you’re ready to get the look, contact a painting pro today to receive up to four quotes from contractors in your area for free.

Interior Designer Costs

Designing a room can be a challenge if you don’t have the eye for décor. Never mind considering styling an entire home. While most people can manage one room on their own, like a bedroom or living room, additional spaces might be a challenge. That’s where an interior designer can help. They have a keen understanding of what materials, colors and textures can make a room go from drab to fab, effortlessly. Even further, they can easily take your dreams into a reality. The average cost to hire an interior designer is $4,735, with most homeowners spending between $2,008 and $4,927.

Secret #1: Don’t Overcrowd

One of the first tips any interior designer will share is to be cautious to not overcrowd the room. While there are many elements such as furniture and utilities, some can get too excited about the potential new style and make more purchases then they know what to do with, leaving the room feeling stuffy and small. Instead, create a plan for items you want to replace and items you want to add.

Secret #2: Choose A Color Scheme

Any well-designed room has colors that flow together seamlessly. The psychology of color tells us that what we choose for the space impacts our mood in different ways. In addition to planning what items you’ll be including in your space, you need to plan a color scheme that works together. There are thousands of color pallets that can work well in any room. It’s best to consider your personal preference first. Are you more traditional in your home décor? A neutral-based color scheme with gray, beige and white might work best for you. Do you a love a room with personality? Play with various bright colors and a cool neutral that might fit together perfectly.

Secret #3: Wait To Choose Your Paint Color

Even if you’ve chosen the color scheme of the room, be sure the paint color you’ve chosen matches the other décor items you intend to include in the room. It should complement every aspect of the space including upholstery, lighting and other accessories. A mismatched color can throw off your entire design, so don’t rush this decision.

Secret #4: Add Extra Light With Mirrors

Some rooms don’t reflect light quite as well as others. A trick interior designers use to solve this problem is utilizing mirrors strategically throughout the room. Place it across from a window to help reflect light around the space. A few mirrors can also be a unique decorative element. From bathrooms to bedrooms, mirrors are a great fit for any decorating style and function.

Secret #5: Don’t Keep Furniture Against The Wall

Instinctively, many of us like to push our furniture against walls to create a space that is open and large. However, interior designers say placing furniture away from walls gives the illusion of more space. It helps aid in conversation and create a cozy atmosphere.

Secret #6: Consider Feng Shui Principles

Even if you don’t practice it in it’s entirety, Feng Shui is a practice of bringing balanced, peaceful energy into any room. In the very basic form of the practice, it involves strategically placing furniture in certain areas and incorporating all of the natural elements. While the art of Feng Shui is extensive, some designers utilize principles when decorating a room. Read The Basics Of Feng Shui For Your Home to see what you can include as you redecorate.

Secret #7: Incorporate Bold Color When Possible

Current trends point to bright and bold colors. However, not every homeowner is ready to paint their room a shade of red or yellow. When possible, utilize accessories and décor that compliment your color pallet to make a bold statement in your home décor.

Secret#8: Pay Attention To Your Light Fixtures

Light fixtures are often overlooked when it comes to home décor, but it’s a great conversation starter and focal point when used appropriately. In dining rooms and kitchens, chandeliers take center stage as a decorative element. Find something unique to include in these spaces.

Secret #9: Keep It Clutter Free

Mess is the number one way to ruin your home décor. Clutter can easily accumulate over time. Be sure to include an organization system in every room so you can keep small items out of the way and you and your guests can focus on the beautiful room décor. If you’re finding it difficult to keep your room clean, you may want to call in the help of a home organizer. The average cost to hire a professional organizer is $470, with most homeowners spending between $312 and $505.

Secret #10: Add Accessories That Express Personality

Finally, don’t forget to add your personality into the space. While the above tips are important, don’t forget that it’s your room. Find smaller accessories that can work well with the style and color palette, but also express your interests and personality. These could be anything from small knick-knacks to coffee table books. Interior design is about expressing your unique personality in your home, so get creative with your décor!

Conclusion

Interior design may seem daunting, but it can be a fun experience for all involved. Utilize a few of these home decorator secrets to decorate a room with ease.

Holidays with Family in a Small Home

If you think you need a big house to host a major holiday meal, you’re mistaken. The spirit of the holidays is about being together with the people you love, and no amount of square footage can create that magic. You can host a Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, or Christmas meal, even in a small house or apartment. You just need to get creative. These out-of-the-holiday-gift-box ideas will get you ready for a truly enjoyable event, regardless of the size of your home.

1. Create space

You have limited room in an apartment or small home, but you can make the most of what you have. Rearrange the furniture to maximize floor space. Pack it all into the corner of a bedroom if you have to. Rent or borrow folding chairs, which can be easily whipped out, moved around, and stored away again. Bring small side tables out of bedrooms to make a resting place for drinks and plates. Then, designate a single room, like a bedroom or office, where guests can leave their things, so your entertaining space won’t get cluttered with coats and bags as guests arrive.

2. Serving alternatives in small homes

Not everyone has room to serve 20 at their dining table. Who cares! There are plenty of alternatives to the Norman Rockwell depiction of a holiday meal. Dispense with the table completely if you need to. Most people won’t mind sitting on the couch with a plate in their lap, catching up with a relative they rarely see. Plan to serve buffet style, and release any anxiety you have about your upholstery. There are wonderful stain removers on the market, and the Internet is loaded with tips to remove gravy from anything. Got a gang of kids coming? Pull out an extra tablecloth and let them picnic on the floor! While you’re at it, seriously consider disposable plates, napkins and flatware. A heaping mound of dirty dishes in a small kitchen sink is overwhelming. If the food and company are memorable, few are likely to focus on the plates and cutlery.

3. Keep meal-prep simple

Chopping, mixing, and all the other cooking what-not takes up a lot of space. As much as you can, pick recipes that you can prep and cook ahead, to keep the kitchen less crowded and give you more time to enjoy your guests. When it comes to beverages, forget about offering every option. Create a small station with a signature drink where guests can serve themselves.

4. Get outside your small house

Find opportunities to get outdoors. In many parts of the country, the weather can be nice enough to enjoy a fire pit, hiking or snow-shoeing and lawn games like corn hole and horse shoes. Take an after dinner walk through the neighborhood to check out the holiday lights. Live in an apartment building with no yard? Plan a scavenger hunt, and get your neighbors involved. Then, invite them back for a piece of pie, and get to know them better. Connecting with your community can make life more fulfilling all year long, not just during the holidays.

5. Ask for help!

No matter the size of your home, if you’re hosting a holiday, you should absolutely ask for help. Most guests want to contribute, and it’s more fun to work as a team. Ask some guests to arrive early to help with parts of meal preparation and table-setting. Ask other guests to bring an appetizer or dessert to eliminate some of your cooking chores. Enlist a teenager or grandparent to help entertain little kids. In entertaining and in life, when everybody pitches in, it brings us closer together.

With some planning, you can pull off a wonderful holiday celebration no matter the size of your space. It’s the time you spend together that makes the memories — not the table settings and other trappings. Now, find your favorite recipes, and ask your Mom to bring Grandma’s famous casserole. Happy Holidays to one and all!

This Bathroom Shower Tile Ideas

Your shower is more than just there for function. It’s a huge decorative element in your bathroom and could have a large impact on your home’s overall ROI. If your shower is looking a bit outdated, it might be time to consider a remodel.

Shower tile is the way to go when it comes to changing the look of your bathroom. It’s durable, easy to clean and when chosen appropriately, can be a timeless look. See six tile shower ideas to freshen up the look of your bathroom below.

Regardless if your replacing tile or starting new, tiling a shower can be a big job. Contact a bathroom remodeling pro for up to four quotes from contractors in your area for free.

Shower Tile Cost

With any remodeling project, you should always properly budget before buying anything. While bathroom remodeling isn’t cheap, tiling a shower could be the upgrade you need that fits into your budget. The largest cost of this project will be the material. On average, the cost to tile a shower Is about $25/sf.

1. Subway Tile Shower

The hottest option in bathroom tile right now is subway tile. This ceramic tile option is a timeless, vintage look. There’s also plenty of color choices if white is too plain for your taste. It’s recommended to go with a glossy finish to resist mildew and give it a great look. The average cost of subway tile is between $6.86 and $13.03/sf.

2. Wood Shower Tile

A new trend we are seeing in bathroom remodeling is faux wood tile. This type of tile is typically made of ceramic or porcelain. It will instantly give your bathroom a rustic look and a focal point all will love. Faux wood tile has become a trend all over the home, but specifically in the bathroom where it’s taking center stage.

3. Rock Tile Shower

Get back to nature with rock and pebble tiles in your shower. River rock shower tiles are a popular choice for homeowners who want to add a unique element to their showers. These river rock tiles can be found two ways, either individual pieces you can mosaic together, or in precut tile sizes. Depending on your project, the precut might be easier.

Rock tile shower should be cleaned with a natural stone cleaner. Don’t forget about the grout here either. Because the rocks are in different shapes and sizes, the grout lines maybe dirty as well and can easily trap soap scum and moisture. Consider a regular grout cleaning to help keep your rock tile looking its best.

4. Glass Tile Shower

Mosaic glass tile is a look that is perfect for any bathroom. You have the ability to customize the look of your shower in small and detailed ways. Glass tile is easy to clean and resistant to stains. However, installation will take some patience for these tile pieces to fit together perfectly. It’s also more costly than other shower tile options. The average cost of glass tile is between $31.25 and $48.75/sf.

Glass shower tile is fairly easy to maintain with a multi-purpose bathroom spray and a daily cleaner.

5. Travertine Shower Tile

Are you looking for an elegant natural stone tile option? Travertine shower tile is a timeless and beautiful look for any bathroom. This particular material is commonly used in shower floors, but travertine tiled shower walls are becoming more common. This tile must be sealed to protect it from mold and mildew, but be careful to not choose a high gloss sealant. This can cause slips and falls in your shower. The average cost of travertine tile is about $15/sf.

Travertine shower tile also requires a bit more care than other tile options. As a natural stone, avoid using vinegar and bathroom cleaners. This can cause damage to your tile. You’ll need to invest in a shower cleaner specific for natural stone.

6. Cultured Marble Shower Tile

If you’re looking for a sophisticated look that won’t go out of style, cultured marble might be the right choice. You’ll even save a little bit while achieving this look of elegance. The average cost of cultured marble tile is between $8 and $24/sf. This excludes the shower pan slab, which could be between $300 to $600, depending on the size of your shower.

Avoid using any abrasive cleaners on this tile, as it can cause scratches and cracks that can grow over time.

DIY Or Contact A Pro?

When you’ve chosen your material, you’ll next want to decide what is the best way of installation. Even if your shower is small, tiling can be a tedious process that’s likely to take more than a weekend to complete. You’ll also need to have the proper materials, such as a wet saw, to ensure each tile fits perfectly. We recommend shower tiling to experienced DIYers. If you’re a beginner and you want to give your shower a new look, contact a bathroom pro who can help.

Conclusion

A new look for your shower could be just the update your bathroom needs. There are many options available depending on the style you hope to achieve. Some require more care than others. Use a few of the ideas above to help inspire your next bathroom project.

Some Ideas To Decorate Your Stair Risers

Depending on their placement in your home, your stairs can be a prominent decorative feature that shouldn’t be overlooked. The stair risers present a unique opportunity to decorate your space and give your stairwell a fresh, new look.

If you’re feeling stuck on how to decorate your stair rises, don’t worry, there are plenty of options. From traditional and timeless to bright and colorful, see a few decorative stair riser ideas.

Before you decorate your stair risers, you should inspect them to see if any repairs are needed. Contact a flooring pro for up to four quotes from contractors in your area for free.

What Is A Stair Riser?

While you may think about your stairs as one complete set, there are many parts that make up your stairs. The stair riser and tread are the two major parts that make up a staircase. The stair tread is what your foot lands on as you walk up the stairs and the riser is the vertical support that fills the space between each tread.  According to the International Association Of Certified Home Inspectors, the average height of a stair riser should be between 4” and 7 ¾”.

Before you consider your stair riser décor, you should inspect your steps to be sure they’re in good shape. With average wear and tear, creaks and squeaks can occur due to gaps occurring between the tread and riser.  With older stairs, you may find a crack or two. These should be repaired as soon as possible so the damage does not worsen and become a safety hazard. The average cost to repair stairs is $597, with most homeowners spending between $361 and $678.

1. Wallpaper Stair Risers

If there’s a pattern you love and want to incorporate it into your home, wallpaper is a great option to incorporate a seamless look into your home. This is also a great project to DIY. For those looking for a less permanent option, temporary wallpaper is a great choice to see if it’s truly the wallpaper pattern for you.

2. Painted Stair Risers

Paint is what most homeowners turn to when it comes to painted stair risers. Paint allows you to get creative and find the exact match to your home’s décor. It can also be an easy and fun weekend DIY project. Here are a few popular ideas in painted stair risers:

Multicolor Painted Stair Risers

Can’t decide on a painted stair color? Mix it up! Utilize a blend of your favorite hues to create a unique look for your stair riser décor. Paint each riser a different color. I love the look of various pastel colors for a pop of color. Or, contrast a neutral to a bright color to really make your stair décor stand out.

Solid Color Painted Stair Risers

For one cohesive look in your room, solid color painted stairs are the way to go.  If you have a color that matches perfectly, paint each riser for a uniform look.

Ombre Painted Stair Risers

The hottest look in painted stairs right now is the ombre style. This takes a lighter color and transitions it to a darker shade with each step. Blue, red and green make great choices for ombre painted stairs.

3. Tile Stair Risers

When it comes to decorative stair risers, tile is a beautiful and durable option that will add a unique look to your staircase. Mexican tile stair risers are a popular option. These add a unique pop of color and design that can’t be beat. Depending on the shape or size of your staircase, you may want to consider contacting a pro for your tile stair riser project.

4. Stair Riser Vinyl Decals

From your favorite saying to an intricate pattern, stair riser vinyl decals are an easy way to instantly change the look of your stairwell. Most stair riser decals peel and stick directly on to your stair riser. You can use them as the full decoration or use them in addition to your new painted stair color. The bonus is that these can be changed very easily, so if you like to change your look often, this is likely the best option!

5. Stencil Stair Risers

Like vinyl decals, consider putting in a bit more work and stenciling your stair riser design with paint. This is a small paint job but a longer-lasting option, so be sure it’s a pattern you love! Smaller stencils are sold at your local craft store. Be sure to get a smaller paintbrush to fit the stencil, as a regular wall paintbrush will be more difficult to use.

6. Chalkboard Paint Stair Risers

For both kids and adults, chalkboard paint can be a welcomed addition to any area of the home, especially stair risers. This is an interchangeable design whenever you feel like it. Chalkboard paint usually takes about three coats of paint to cover completely, but once it’s dry, complete your look with chalk drawings all your own! However, always practice proper safety around stairs, especially with young children.

Conclusion

Your stair risers can be a fun place to express your unique style. You can make a permanent change or choose a versatile way to decorate your stair risers. Either way, it’s sure to stand out!

How To Remove Plaster Walls

As you may already know, an older home tends to need a bit more TLC than others. They’re great for those who love to DIY and want to truly make their house unique to them. Some homeowners choose to take on remodels themselves. If this sounds familar, you’ll likely need to take down a wall or two to truly transform a room.

Plaster walls were commonly used in homes built before 1950, before drywall was introduced. These walls were made to last, so it’s no surprise that if you’re looking to remove a plaster wall, it can be a tedious and messy process. To help, here are a few tips.

Are you removing walls for your next remodel? Contact a plaster pro today for up to four quotes from local contractors in your area.

1. Prep The Area

Before you begin removing plaster walls, you’ll need to do some prep work so your project can be completed successfully. Removing plaster walls can create a lot of dust and a lot of mess, so you’ll want to tarp off any doorways and flooring you want protected. Seal off any air ducts and vents to protect the rest of the home from the dust. Remove any furniture from the room, as you’ll need plenty of space to work as well. You’ll also need to remove any outlet plates and fixtures on the wall. Put these parts aside.

It’s also helpful to have a garbage can available in the room, so you can quickly dispose of any plaster you want removed.

2. Safety First

As mentioned, removing plaster walls is a messy job. A dusk mask will come in handy for this project to protect you from breathing in anything harmful. Don’t forget protective eyewear and gloves as well. We also recommend this as a DIY project for those who have experience with a few home improvement projects. If you are new to DIY, you may want to contact a pro who can help remove plaster walls.

It’s important to make sure the room is safe to work in. Turn off any electricity and water that’s going to the room. Locate any wiring or plumbing lines to prevent them from getting damaged in the process. You’ll also need to be sure that the wall you’re removing does not hurt the structural integrity of the home.

2. Rent A Dumpster

When removing plaster walls, you’ll need a place to properly dispose of the material. This may be difficult to throw out in your local garbage pick-up. A dumpster can make easy work of disposal as you work through this project. The average cost to rent a dumpster is $395, with most homeowners spending between $316 and $395. These costs can vary depending on how long you’ll be renting and the size of the dumpster.

3. Save The Molding

If you intend on replacing your plaster wall with drywall, it’s a good idea to save the wood moldings. This is a process that must be done very carefully so you do not damage or crack them. If you’re working with a pro, they will know the best ways to save your molding for future use.

4. Slow & Steady

When you’re ready to remove your plaster, it’s important not to start striking the wall aimlessly. Strategically begin tapping a top corner of the wall with a hammer until a hole has formed where you can see the lath. Once you have this hole, use a prybar to carefully pull off the plaster, working downward. Do not expect this to be a quick process. The more careful attention you pay to what you’re working on, the easier the work will be.

5. Remove The Lath Strips

After the plaster is removed, you’ll need to remove the lath strips. A prybar works well here. Be aware that these won’t break off into large chunks, so it can be tedious work. Lath strips will also have nails in them that can pose a safety hazard. Plaster and lath is a technique often found in old homes, so some of the nails you find may be rusty. Wear gloves and proper safety gear when removing nails from your wall.

6. Clean The Room Thoroughly When You’re Done

Removing plaster walls is a big job with a big mess. The dust created from this project will be very fine, giving it more opportunity to get into the air. When throwing the wall debris away, be sure to gently place it in a trash bin, as to not allow more dust to get over the room. You’ll likely need to dust, sweep and mop the room multiple times after the project is completed.

7. Contact A Pro

Removing plaster walls is a big job that if not done correctly, can have serious consequences to your remodeling project. If you’re not confident you have the tools or instructions necessary to complete this project safely and successfully, contact a pro who can help.

Conclusion

Removing plaster walls is a big and messy job. By doing it yourself, you can cut down costs on your next remodeling projects.