Sunday Funday: weekend wallpaper project

Maybe you’re sleeping in. Maybe you’re heading to the gym.  Or to brunch.

Or maybe you want to take on a little home DIY project: WALLPAPER!

I came across a great article on houzz.com today & I wanted to share… along with some amazing photos to ogle, it’s full of ideas on how wallpaper can transform a room.  These tasks range from easy (done in a day) to moderately intense, and includes ballpark pricing & whether to hire a professional.

Check it out, and enjoy your Sunday, however you choose to spend it!

 

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LAUNDRY MAKEOVER! before & after.

So, if you remember a few weeks back, we decided to give the laundry room a facelift. (See the original post here!!  I wanted to get it done in a day or 2, but life happens (and laundry gets piled to the moon) and so although it took a bit longer than I’d hoped, I’m happy with the results!

Let me remind you of the “before” shot:

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And take a look at the “after”:

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OK! So here’s what we did:

  • we went to Lowe’s home improvement to buy some unfinished cabinets, a metal hanging rod, some peel & stick backsplash tile & a hook rack
  • after installing the cabinets & the rod, I painted the cabinets (Valspar Woodlawn Snow) & hung the backsplash, and only had to make a few cuts around the outlets. This was a pretty painless job, but the most time consuming. (I used 32 squares.)
  • finished the project by painting the rest of the room (Olympic Stormy Weather) & then hung the hooks.

I will add a cute little “laundry” sign or something, as well as our family calendar & some hangers, but I am excited about the transformation! And all for about $350.  Not too shabby.

It’s FRIYAY: Quick & Easy DIY!

It’s easy to get stressed out just hearing the word “renovation.” You’re instantly thinking of having your home life disrupted by construction debris, cluttered rooms, and loud noises.
But you don’t have to spend a ton of money and brace yourself for months of inconvenience to upgrade your home. Here are a few projects that you can knock out in a single day, and they’ll greatly improve the look and enjoyment of your home.
Paint or replace an exterior door: If you know the correct dimensions and specifications for a replacement door, replacing an exterior door is a quick and easy job. That’s even more true if you’re repainting it. Preparation and a few coats of paint will only take a few hours.
Plant some low-maintenance trees: Young evergreen trees are relatively simple to plant, and after some heavy watering in the first few weeks, they’re very easy to maintain. They’ll add some color and texture to your landscaping, instantly improving curb appeal.
New light fixtures: Whether they’re on the interior or exterior of your home, something as subtle as light textures can have a dramatic effect. Swapping out traditional fixtures for something modern or industrial can completely transform a room.
New hardware: Drawer pulls and door knobs are easy to change out, and like light fixtures, they have a big impact. You’d be amazed how your kitchen or bathroom could look with new hardware.

source: breakthroughbroker.com

MAKEOVER MONDAY!

Happy New Year, Y’all!!!

So now it’s 2017 & everyone is making resolutions.  I personally don’t make resolutions because in years past they never stuck, and I figure why not just keep trying to be a better human every day (ie: make good choices, learn from mistakes, try not to go insane) rather than set a bunch of unattainable goals just because a sparkly ball dropped down a pole?

OK. Anyway, one thing that often goes overlooked is resolving to make changes in, and to, your home!  I don’t mean, complete demolition & rebuild. (Unless it’s in your plans and you have the cashflow.) I mean, small things from maintenance (have you had your HVAC serviced lately?) to undesirable chores (when’s the last time you cleaned your ceiling fan blades?) Resolving to do some kind of job, chore, upfit, downgrade, replacement, repair is a great way to save yourself $$ in the long run, but also it gets things DONE, and there’s nothing greater than the feeling of ACCOMPLISHMENT!!!

Today we decided to give our laundry “room” a bit of a facelift.  Our laundry room is tiny; about 4×6. It’s tight.  Moreover, it doubles as the entry area from the garage into the house, so it’s also sort of a mud-area/wet stuff drop zone.  But if you’re trying to move a load from the washer to the dryer and someone walks in from the garage and nails you in the buns with the door… let’s just say, I wish we had more space.  But knocking down walls isn’t in the plan right now. So we need to create some storage and maybe gain a few inches.

Currently, our laundry room looks like this:img_3528

One long wire rack is all we have for storage.  Not gonna cut it anymore.  So we spent some time on New Year’s Day at Lowe’s Home Improvement grabbing some supplies to create new spaces.

I’m drawing inspiration from the following:

It’s not going to look as polished as these do, but it will certainly be a better solution than our current one.

STAY TUNED FOR “AFTER” PHOTOS!!!!!

TIME TO WINTERIZE!

In many parts of the country, the brutality of winter has already hit.  But here in the south, we’re still enjoying some pretty spring-ish weather: chilly mornings & evenings, and warm sunny days. But don’t let it fool you.  You still need to prepare for the reality that winter, even if it hits after the New Year does, is coming. And you want your house to be ready!

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From cleaning out your gutters to checking for leaks and cracks in your windows and doors, check these items off your to-do list this month and get started on winterizing your home.

1. Check batteries. A Simple, but often overlooked, task is making sure to check all alarms in your home. You’ll want to check and test all smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and any home protection devices when prepping your home for winter. Winter is a common time of the year for indoor smoke and fires to occur, and poorly ventilated space heaters and furnaces can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. For your safety, you’ll want to tune up all technology and stock up on extra batteries in case of power outages or other problems.

2. Clean out your gutters. Clogged gutters can lead to serious water and ice problems during winter, so to prevent costly repairs and long-term damage, clean and clear your gutters before winter hits. Remove leaves, pine needles and any other debris, or book a gutter-cleaning service to ensure your channels for water runoff are ready for winter. Giving your rain gutters a clean sweep will not only add curb appeal, but will also help melting snow, ice and excess rain flow freely and properly.

3. Check for cracks and leaks. Cold drafts can leak through any cracks in your home during the fall and winter months causing your furnace to turn on and ultimately increase your heating bill. Dodge cold drafts by sealing any cracks and crevices around the points that can let air in, particularly around your windows and doors. Add weatherstripping or caulking to remove unwanted air leaks and drafts. This can also drastically cut down on your energy costs.

[See: 12 Home Improvement Shortcuts That Are a Bad Idea .]

4. Trim back branches. Consider hiring a professional tree service to properly trim back branches and ensure your yard stays strong and healthy until spring. Winter storms can weigh down trees and branches with ice and snow – anything located close to the sides of your home that could cause damage should be removed. Prep your yard for cooler temperatures by covering outdoor furniture, shutting off water valves, and storing your garden hose.

5. Reverse your ceiling fan. Looking for a simple fix to keeping your home warm this winter? Reverse your ceiling fans to circulate heat downward in a room, for a little extra warmth. When looking up at your blades, your fan should be circulating clockwise. Ceiling fans properly circulating warm air will help to ease the burden on your furnace in heating each room, not to mention cutting down on your heating bill.

6. Hire a chimney sweep. During the fall and winter months you’ll be spending more time in front of the fireplace. Cleaning your chimney is crucial to maintaining a safe fireplace as highly flammable creosote can build up. Be sure to schedule a chimney sweep early on and check the exterior of your chimney for any loose materials or debris that may be hazardous.

7. Check your furnace. Don’t forget to schedule a routine maintenance check on your furnace before using it full-time in the winter. If you plan on preparing your furnace for winter on your own, you’ll want to complete multiple tasks such as changing the filter, cleaning out air ducts and vents, and checking the fan belt.

[See: 10 Ways to Save Energy and Reduce Utility Bills at Home .]

8. Add insulation. Keep heat in and cold air out by adding insulation to your basement and attic. Properly insulating your home for the season will help cut your home energy bill this winter. If you don’t plan on hiring a professional to complete your insulation, adding thick curtains or floor rugs are quick fixes to trapping heat in your home.

source: realestate.usnews.com

Improve or Move??

Unless you built a custom home, you probably have a long list of things you’d like to improve in your current home. Browsing online listings might get you in the mood to upgrade to a new home, or you might be thinking about renovating your current home after binging on HGTV. The answer to renovation vs. relocation depends greatly on what you’re trying to fix.

Thinking about a new kitchen? If you’re dreaming of a chef’s kitchen with new appliances and beautiful cabinets, renovating your own kitchen gives you incredible ROI and is less costly than moving. You’ll increase the value of your own home if you ever decide to sell, and there’s a great sense of accomplishment that comes with completing a custom renovation.

Need more space? If you’re running low on bedrooms, there may not be a lot of options. Converting an existing room to a bedroom doesn’t create any new space. If you’re in a condo, an addition is probably impossible. And additions can be expensive even if it’s a possibility. Moving is usually the best option.

If the neighborhood isn’t ideal You may have seen some potential for your neighborhood when you first moved there, but perhaps it still isn’t welcoming the shops and restaurants you expected. If that’s the case, consider moving. There’s no sense in waiting years for the neighborhood to improve, especially if you can move to a house in the same price range in a more preferred part of the city.

source: breakthroughbroker.com


SOAKING TUBS…ahhhhh

Bathroom updates are almost always #2 on the list (after the kitchen.) There are lots of bathroom trends right now: wood tile flooring; subway tile showers; individual vanities with interesting sinks; and of course farmhouse chic throughout.  However, having shown several newly updated homes lately, I feel one of the newest trends is ditching the ol’ shower-tub combo and installing a gorgeous, free-standing soaking tub, situated nicely near a tiled wall, beckoning to be enjoyed with bubbly warm water & a glass of wine.

(Too wordy? Don’t take my words for it.  Check out these beauties:)

Obviously, any kind of renovation comes with a price tag that may or may not be nice to your wallet.  Luckily, soaking tubs are available for most budgets, and coupled with a bit of DIY on the rest of the details, you may find yourself soaking sooner than you thought!

Soaking Tubs: Wayfair

Wayfair is amazing because they have tons of products that compare to higher-end stores at great prices. And, they have free shipping!!  If you haven’t tried Wayfair out yet, this might be a great opportunity.

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This gorgeous tub is on sale for under $800!!! 

Signature Hardware

If you have a bit more money to spend, or you don’t want to compromise on cost on the showpiece of your new bathroom, then Signature Hardware is the way to go. They feature stunning, quality products!

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This Japanese soaking tub is a stunner– and starts at $2149

AUTUMN decor: the Front Porch

Fall is a perfect time to think about curb appeal.  Even if you’re not going to sell your house, you should always want your home to look it’s best.  How excited do you get to decorate the front porch (or, if you don’t have a porch, even just the front door!) when it’s finally autumn?!

So for us here in the south, it pretty much *just* turned fall.  (As we like to say, HAPPY FALL Y’ALL!)  It’s the first week of October & the weather is cooperating — cool at night & mornings, nice and warm during the day. It makes you want to get out all your autumn decor & get to work!

I’m a huge fan of a big, simple item (like a wreath or a door hanger) with some smaller items around to accessorize.  Others love to go all-in and let fall explode over their exterior– to each their own!!

I found these front-porch how-tos for some inspiration… hopefully you can get some ideas from here, and let your front porch celebrate!!

HGTV: Fall’s Best Porches & Patios

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Good Housekeeping: Fall Porch Decor

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Architecture Art Designs: 30 Adorable DIY front porches

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Farmhouse Chic: the Dining Table

The trending update for dining rooms is the Farmhouse Table. Since HGTV’s Fixer Upper has taken DIYers by storm in recent years, the table has become one of the most popular projects.  The rustic, well-worn look (perfect especially for families with tiny humans who like to spill) and added length over the traditional table (and no leaves necessary!) are just 2 reasons why folks are flocking to lumber yards & hardware stores alike.

It always makes me happy when I get to photograph farmhouse tables for my real estate photography. They’re so unique & beautiful, no matter how the room is decorated:

Of course, farm tables are readily available for purchase (check out Cottage Home Furniture, Wayfair, and World Market, just to name a few.) But they often come with a hefty price tag, and isn’t the whole point of DIY to save a few bucks?!

Hence: take a look at some super fun and [seemingly, if you’re handy enough] easy woodworking plans to DIY Farmhouse Table. They include lots of photos, notes, videos, links, and most importantly INSPIRATION.  Why wait?!

Ana White | Build a Farmhouse Table

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The instructions are super easy to follow — and includes the list of all materials/tools needed with lots of helpful links.

 

DIY Pete | How to build a Farmhouse Table

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This plan from DIY Pete includes tons of photos & an instructional video, and as a bonus, includes the plan to build the matching benches!

 

Domesticated Engineer: Farmhouse Table

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This one might be my favorite because it comes straight from a normal human’s blog! She is uber organized in her instructions! #iloveorganization