DIY Weekend Projects: Replace Your Tired Light Fixtures With Newer, Modern Options

DIY Weekend Projects: Replace Your Tired Light Fixtures With Newer, Modern OptionsThere are a variety of cool, modernized light fixtures that will be sure to jazz up any living space, but these trendy items can often come with a high price tag. Instead of going out and spending a bundle, how about staying inside over the weekend for a unique do-it-yourself project? If you’re looking to make a new light fixture, here are some fun designs to put at the top of your list.

Get A Grater Light

The cheese grater may be better known as an every-day kitchen tool, but there’s no reason you can’t use this strange gadget for your very own light. Whether you decide to place your light in the kitchen or the living room, you can get a unique, updated look by taking a number of graters and attaching them to a piece of wood that is affixed to the ceiling. The bulbs will be placed inside each grater to achieve a cool, cascading light effect.

Add Some Ribbon

Changing up the look of your home doesn’t require a grand gesture, and this means that even doing something small will make a big difference. If you have an old lamp with an aging lampshade, make a visit to the craft store for some ribbon that you can use as an accent. Whether you decide to cover the entire lampshade with a particular color or you just want to create a neat effect, this is an easy way to add some vibrance without replacing anything.

Break In The Bamboo

From updated lava lamps to paper lanterns, there are a lot of unique styles out there that you can instantly modernize, but a bamboo lamp can add instant impact. In order to get this earthy and inspiring look, purchase some bamboo strips and flex them into place so that you have an orb. Once you’ve settled on a design you like, you can utilize wood glue to maintain the shape and a cord kit to install a light in the middle. This may require a little bit of patience, but the ambiance it creates will be worth it.

There are plenty of striking light fixtures out there that can add a lot of character to any space, but there are many options for doing it yourself that will come at a more economical price. If you’re currently staging your home and are planning to sell, you may want to contact one of our real estate professionals for more information.

2017 Home Decor Trends: Stay on Top of Modern Trends With This Handy Guide

2017 Home Decor Trends: Stay on Top of Modern Trends With This Handy GuideNow that 2017 is here, it’s time to consider which upgrades you will make to your home. If you don’t have any major renovations planned, you can still tackle smaller projects or theme rooms. In today’s post we’ll explore some of the home decor trends expected to be popular in 2017.

Paint Colors: Confident, Composed & Comfortable

According to the color experts at paint company Behr, 2017’s trend colors express confidence, composition and comfort. If you plan on painting accent walls, rooms or even your entire home this year, these are worth exploring. Confident palette colors include the bluish-green Jade Dragon, the fiery red Hot and Spicy and more. The Composed Palette is a bit muter, with blues and grays like Laid Back Gray and Polished Aqua. For those that love pastels, the Comfortable Palette has many soft notes. Life is a Peach and Everything’s Rosy are two great light link options.

Replacing DIY With Artisanal

If you’ve owned your home for a while, you may find that over time your do-it-yourself projects have added up. While DIY upgrades are fun and cost-effective, if they don’t match or pair well they can throw off continuity in your decor. Consider 2017 a chance to replace some of your older DIY items with similar ones created by artisans. You can always gift, sell or repurpose yours to ensure they find use in a new home.

Enjoy Saving Energy With Heated Floors

Heated floors are one of 2017’s decor trends that combine luxury with responsibility. It might be tough to imagine that heated floors actually save energy, but it’s true. In-floor heating can actually heat entire rooms with less energy than other central solutions. Still using electric baseboard heaters in small areas like bathrooms? Consider heating your floors instead.

Climbing Plants Are The New Art

If you’re struggling with how to fill a blank space on a wall, consider climbing plants. Indoor vines like the Pothos (or Devil’s Ivy) can add a lively splash of green to a wall area. Or, consider using creeper vines that grow upwards. Even a small shelf with a few attractive potted plants can set off an entire wall. The more life you can add to your home, the better!

With so many colors, upgrades and DIY upgrades to choose from, 2017 is set to be a great year for home renovators. For more insight into value-boosting decor upgrades, contact your local real estate agent.

Take the Plunge: Why Installing an In-ground Pool Will Boost Your Home’s Resale Value

Take the Plunge: Why Installing an In-ground Pool Will Boost Your Home's Resale ValueWhether you’re planning to sell or not, if you can afford to upgrade your home it’s almost always worth it. But the question is: which renovations add value to your life, as well as your house? Let’s explore how adding an in-ground pool to your backyard can boost your home’s value.

The Ultimate In Functional Luxury

It’s true that there are many home upgrades that add a ton of value. Kitchen renovations, home solar panels and other long-term investments tend to pay off. But few are as luxurious and fun as installing your own in-ground pool.

Not only will you get to enjoy having a swim whenever you feel like it. But some studies show that having a pool improves your health and quality of life. Of course, you’ll actually need to use your pool to gain its benefits. But once you have one… why wouldn’t you?

A Huge Draw For Families

As you might imagine, in-ground pools are very popular with home buyers that have children. A backyard pool is an excellent way to get the kids out of the house and away from the TV or computer. Some families will make a buying decision on factors like this alone. If you’re the only pool in the neighborhood, you’ll find that your home sale moves a bit faster.

Aim For Eco-Friendly Options

If you plan to sell your home in the future, you’ll want to ensure your pool is easy on the environment. Both regulations and social opinion are moving in favor of ‘green’ homes. Invest in water-recycling technology that goes easy on the chemicals. And if you plan to heat your pool, aim for options that use solar or other natural resources.

Remember: Maintenance Is Key

Finally, don’t forget that an in-ground pool is an investment. You need to keep it in top shape or it may actually lose value over time. If you’re motivated and handy, you can likely handle most of the maintenance yourself. But if you think it’s above your skill level, invest in a pool service professional. Even if they only come out once or twice a year, it will be worth it.

There are many other home renovation projects that can add equity and value to your house. For other ideas, contact your local real estate agent today.

5 Home Maintenance Chores That You Can’t Forget to Take Care of This Winter

5 Home Maintenance Chores That You Can't Forget to Take Care of This WinterWinter may be a time for nesting until the cold weather abates, but there are a number of important tasks that a homeowner should be sure to do during the winter months. If you’re readying for the slow season or wondering what you might have forgotten, here are some things you’ll want to check off your to-do list.

A New Coat Of Paint

Getting out the paint may seem like a sizeable task, but any peeling paint is going to be adversely affected by the cooler temperatures of fall and winter. While you may want to hold off if it’s already cold, it might be a task worth prioritizing if the materials on your home will be damaged as a result of the coming weather.

Shovel The Snow

Shoveling snow may be important for sidewalk safety, but a build-up can actually have an ill effect on your home’s foundation. Instead of taking the risk, ensure you clear the areas around any basement windows and steps so that drainage will not impact your home’s foundation and its value.

Do A Window Check

A window that isn’t properly sealed can cause issues with the heating and cooling of your home, but in the cooler season any issues will be a lot more apparent. If you find drafts throughout the house, you may want to hire a professional or do the re-caulking on your own.

Restore The Roof

If there are issues with the viability of your shingles, you may have significant problems when it comes to heavy rain or snow. Whether you decide to hire a pro or head up the ladder on your own, make sure to take the time to check for loose or damaged shingles before the season hits.

Test The Detectors

It’s easy to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors at any time, but it’s easier to remember if it’s on the year-end checklist. It may be easy to forget about the utility of a functioning detector, but it’s very important for protecting your home and your family in the event that something goes wrong.

There are a lot of things to prep for when it comes to winter, but it’s important to make sure that you’ve done your home maintenance duties so your home is prepared for the coming season. If you’re fixing up your home to put it on the market, contact one of our real estate professionals for more information.

Living the Simple Life: How to Minimize Your Clutter and Maximize Your Space

Living the Simple Life: How to Minimize Your Clutter and Maximize Your SpaceMany people look at a smaller living space and think that there are a lot of limitations imposed. However, a more miniature home can offer up the opportunity to be inventive with design and get creative about your abode. Whether you live in small apartment now or are thinking of downsizing in the future, here are some ideal ways to make the most of your pint-sized pad.

Invest In Multi-Functional Pieces

It may be nice to have a stylish bar cart or a hefty china cabinet for your space, but there are certain kinds of home items that only serve one function and this is not necessarily useful with limited capacity. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, try purchasing items like a folding table tray that can serve as a coffee table or a bookcase that can hold dishes, books and other household items. This will enable you to maximize the space you have and create a uniquely modern design aesthetic.

Maintain An Organized Space

Every home has a little bit of clutter, but nothing will fill up a comfy space like having a lot of knick-knacks all over the place. Instead of making your home look smaller, ensure that you have vertical storage or closet space that can be effectively used for items that might often be left out. An organized space will not only make for a cleaner, more effortless looking apartment, it will give the allusion that you’ve got a few more square feet than you actually do.

Stick With Neutral Colors

It can be tempting to go with a bright color for an accent wall, but this can actually work against your space and make it look a lot smaller. Instead of something vibrant and eye-catching, stick with a neutral palette and go for shades like white, light grey and light brown so they can naturally expand your space. You can still choose to accent with bright colors, but you may want to leave them to your pillows or a vase so that they don’t take over your space.

It might seem like there are many limitations imposed with a smaller living space, but with so many people downsizing there are a variety of great design possibilities for a less sizeable home. If you’re currently staging your home and are planning to put it on the market, you may want to contact one of our local real estate professionals for more information.

Let’s Talk Closets: How to Organize Your Closet Spaces Without Breaking the Bank

Let's Talk Closets: How to Organize Your Closet Spaces Without Breaking the BankThere is a particular pleasure in a well-organized closet; not to mention the space and energy-saver that it becomes! And the best part is that you don’t need to spend tons of money to get a dapper closet space. A lot of the work is just thinking outside the (clothing) box.

Plan The Closet First

Before anything else, sit down and plan out your closet. Measure it so you know the exact dimensions (if you need to grab a rod or drawers, you’ll know what size fits). Clean out your closet (to get a better idea of its contents and space), then plan out what you want it to store. Having a clear idea of how you want to organize the space will prevent impulse purchases and conflicting organizational strategies.

Optimize The Contents

Your closet is essentially a functional space, so treat it that way. Think about what you want to have easy access to, and what can be rotated into storage. (Bulky winter coats, for example, can be stored elsewhere until winter rolls around). Once your closet is pared down, look for items that you can donate: think anything you haven’t worn in a year or more.

Optimize The Space

Even if you have a small closet, it can be a mighty space. Optimize what you have by using the walls and the door for hanging storage, and by stacking items. Wire shelving is cheap and easy to install, and is great for seeing at a glance what’s there. A movable closet rod (for hangers) can be pushed up for more storage, and pulled down for easy access. And what about the double-hanger trick; hooking one item’s hanger off another’s? This way you can pair items that go together to save time and save space. Or use shower rings on hangers to store scarves; multiple scarves looped on one hanger; and hang baskets under shelves to maximize space.

Organize The Space

Experts say that organizing items by color is not the most efficient method; instead, group items by activity or function. Pants are with pants, dresses with dresses. Use labels to make access and maintenance easy. Put the most frequently used items in the center and at eye-level, and make sure drawers are slightly below eye-level for the easiest perusal. Finally, think creatively: use hanging shoe bags for other items, hang jewelry off spruced-up paint stir sticks, store entire sheet sets in their pillowcases.

If you have questions or need input, contact your local real estate agent. After all, they have closets of their own. Who knows what organizing expertise they can share?

Let’s Talk Cabinets: How to Match up New Kitchen Cabinets With the Rest of Your Decor

Let's Talk Cabinets: How to Match up New Kitchen Cabinets With the Rest of Your DecorRenovating your old cabinets can be one of the best ways to instantly improve the look of your kitchen, but it can be confusing for the layman to go about making this renovation. With all of the options for cabinetry and the need to match your design aesthetic, it can seem quite easy to make a mistake. If you’re currently wondering how to properly renovate your kitchen cabinets to enhance the overall look of your home, here are some helpful tips you’ll want to consider.

What’s Your Cabinetry Style?

There are a number of cabinet types and details that may instantly appeal, from glass-doored cupboards to more ornamental styles, but certain cabinets will complement the look of your home more effectively. While you may want to experiment with your cupboards and build from there, it’s better to have something a little more streamlined that you can work with so they will adapt to a changing space.

Choose A Neutral Tone

Bright colors can be a great option for small appliances, but when it comes to cabinetry a flashy tone can completely overpower your room and clash with the rest of your home décor. Instead of choosing something bright, stick with shades that are neutral, like gray or white, so they will mesh well with any kitchen additions. Beyond their adaptability, shades like this also have the added benefit of retaining their modern look a little longer.

Consider The Handles

It’s easy to be taken in by a stylish cupboard handle, but high costs can come along with something that’s striking. In addition, they can also clash with the rest of your kitchen if they’re of a completely different style. Instead of going for contrast, consider the kind of pull that will tie in with the rest of your kitchen decor, whether it matches the color of your oven or your countertop tile. This will make for a classic look that still manages to provide cohesion.

There are so many varieties of kitchen cabinetry to choose from that it can be hard to know where to begin with making a choice. When renovating this part of your kitchen, it’s a good idea to be aware of what will work best for your space so that it can retain a customizable and classic look. If you’re renovating in preparation to sell, contact your trusted real estate professional for more information.

Goodbye, Curtains: Try These Fun and Fashionable Ways to Dress up Your Windows

Goodbye, Curtains: Try These Fun and Fashionable Ways to Dress up Your WindowsWindows can add a lot to the look of your home, and this means that dressing them up properly is an important key for aesthetic appeal. While draggy, neutral-colored curtains can be one of the less exciting aspects of decorating your home, here are a few ways you can adorn the most basic of home fixtures and turn your windows into something truly unique.

A Reconstituted Valance

A short curtain can be a nice, less fussy way to adorn your windows, but if you have a kitchen space in need of warming up, try a piece of wood or metal painted with a color or texture of your choice. Whether it’s covered in words or you stick with a neutral paint color, it can easily add texture and character while letting a lot more light in.

Stylish and Singular Shades

If you want something that will cover the window without getting in the way, you may want to opt for window shades that you can pull down or pull up at your leisure. While this might sound like a pretty tame option, shades are available in a variety of shapes, colors and motifs that are sure to add spark to your room.

Frosted Glass Find

If you want to forego having blinds altogether but you have large windows that need to be covered, you may want to try installing frosted glass in order to maximize the available light. Not only can this be a means of maintaining your privacy at any hour of the day, it will also leave your room feeling airy, well-lit and open well into the evening.

Parade Of Plants

It may seem like a strange solution to the traditional curtain, but a row of plants placed on the window ledge can add a lot to your frames while limiting the need for curtains. While this trick will work especially well for kitchen windows and other areas where you can use smaller plants, you can always try mixing it up to create a different effect.

The idea of long, white curtains isn’t necessarily something that will work for every room, but there are plenty of ways you can dress up your window frames without having to reach for a piece of fabric. If you’re looking for new design tips because you’re considering a move in your future, contact your trusted real estate professional for more information.

3 Easy Ways to Make Your Home More ‘Pet Friendly’

3 Easy Ways to Make Your Home More 'Pet Friendly'Whether you’re moving to a new home or you have a new family pet, it can be a struggle to make the place a little friendlier for them. From the garbage can to the cupboards and doors, there can be a lot of dangers that have the ability to hurt your furry friend you might not be aware of. If you’re looking for some simple ways to make their life a little easier, here are a few things you can do.

Take Care Of The Trash

The image of dogs sifting through the trash is common for a reason, so it’s important to guard your animal against the dangers of the dustbin. In addition to taking out any perishable goods on a consistent basis, it’s a worthwhile investment to purchase a tougher trash bin that your animal can’t get into. This will ensure they won’t be able to get at foods like fruit pits, coffee grounds and chocolate, which can be very harmful to their system.

Pick The Right Flooring

If you have the choice, ceramic tile or hardwood can be a great way to alleviate the tidy-up of having a live-in pet since you can easily wipe or sweep away the damage. If this isn’t possible and carpet is your only option, stick with something that closely matches the color of your pet. As well, if you’re letting your pet on the furniture, it’s worth investing in materials like leather and suede that are more durable and easy to clean.

Give Them Their ‘Space’

You may not have to worry about cleaning up after your pet as much if you can provide them with a space that’s all their own. While it doesn’t have to be anything fancy or sprawling, providing a comfortable bed where they like to nap and a water bowl or selection of toys will do the trick in making them feel right at home. It may also have the added benefit of keeping them away from the family couch!

Many homeowners are so pre-occupied with making themselves comfortable in their family home that they forget about the animal in the family. While it won’t necessarily take much to please your pet, watching the waste and giving them their own comfortable area can go a long way in making your home pet-friendly. If you’re currently in the market for a new home, contact our trusted real estate professional for more information.

Winter’s Coming: Learn How to Prepare Your Plants, Trees and Other Landscaping

Winter's Coming: Learn How to Prepare Your Plants, Trees and Other LandscapingFrom the approaching holiday season to the New Year, there are a lot of things to prepare for when it comes to the winter. It’s important, though, not to forget about the needs of your lawn for the upcoming cold season. If you’re wondering how to ready your trees, your plants and your yard, here are some tips for saving your vegetation until the springtime.

Fertilize For Grass Growth

It might seem like a waste of time to fertilize your grass going into the winter months, but this is actually the perfect time to prep it for spring. As fertilizer will provide much-needed nutrients to the grass in the months when there is less growth, it will actually stimulate improved growth down the road. It’s just important to ensure that you provide a consistent amount of fertilizer so a patchy-looking yard can be avoided. Since weeds scale back in winter, like most other varieties of plants, it can also be an ideal time to apply a herbicide.

Garden Plants And Perennials

While plant maintenance duties like pruning can be done in the spring or fall months, it can actually be a better idea to give your plants the summer months to grow before diving in. Cutting them back will enable the plant to focus its energy on maintenance through the cold winter months, so it’s a good idea to get to work in before the first signs of cooler air set in. If you happen to have plants that won’t last through the winter, you’ll want to compost them so they can be used for soil in the next gardening season.

Clearing Away The Wood

Beyond the garden and the lawn, it’s also worthwhile to provide a little care for your favorite trees before the winter hits. While you’ll want to be cautious about what you do and may want to consult with a gardening professional, clearing away dead branches can help your tree retain its health throughout the year. You may notice the difference in your trees when the spring rolls around again, as they’ll likely have a revitalized look and show signs of new growth.

Winter is a busy time for many people, but it’s important to make the time to fertilize your grass and prune your perennials so your yard will be ready for spring. If you’re currently prepping your yard for a spring home sale, contact your local real estate professionals for more information.