4 Home Decor Websites to Inspire You

4 Home Décor Websites to Inspire YouFrom DIY projects to the aisles of IKEA, there are plenty of ways for those looking to dress up their home to come up with unique and fun decorating options. However, with the instant accessibility of the Internet, there’s no reason you can’t search the world over for other’s people great ideas. If you’re looking for new tips and tricks, here are some websites that may inspire your own miniature renovation.

Limitless Art At Lumas

Finding the perfect portrait for your living room or bedroom wall has long been one of the last struggles of home decorating, but with Lumas.com you don’t have to conduct a search of the very best portraits. Instead of waiting for the ideal piece, just search this website created by two art collectors for items by new artists, signed images and economical options that will provide a wide variety of great wall coverings.

DIY Designs From Pop Sugar

With a lot of great images and ideas for what you can do all over your home, Pop Sugar – formerly known as Casa Sugar – is ideal for getting a smattering of instant ideas on how to change up your favorite living spaces. From things to do for your studio apartment to ways your furniture can compliment your astrological sign, there are few limits to the kind of advice you’ll find.

Vintage Offerings At Rubylane

As one of the largest websites of its kind, Rubylane provides one of the most extensive collections of vintage and antique items available anywhere. With so many web searches that offer up pages and pages of the goods you’re looking for, there’s no reason you can’t locate whatever unique item will kick up your room a few notches on this popular design site.

Small Sized Design With Small Furnish

With so many people looking to deck out their studio apartments and small houses, decor and DIY ideas for smaller spaces are becoming more popular, and no website can capitalize on this need quite like Small Furnish. Featuring everything from items for your laundry room to wall mounted laptop stations, this website will give you great small-scale ideas with an arty design ethos in mind.

It can be hard to know where to begin with decorating your home, but there are plenty of online options that will give you great ideas for how you can upgrade. If you’re currently on the market and are considering options for your next home, you may want to contact one of our real estate professionals for more information.

Looking to Renovate?: 4 Renovations That Are Cheaper in the Summertime

Looking to Renovate?: 4 Renovations That Are Cheaper in the SummertimeIt’s often necessary to make a few small renovations before putting your home on the market, but it can be surprising to learn that summer can be a less expensive time for many common fix-ups. If you’re wondering what you should renovate in the summer months, you may want to consider a few of the following for the sake of economy.

Take On The Lawn

In many cases, often-difficult weather conditions that the winter months can provide make a lot of things difficult, and tackling the state of your lawn is certainly among these. Since curb appeal is very important when it comes to the overall impact of your home, the summer months are the optimal time to deal with any changes you want to make to the lawn, gardens or even your walk-way or front stoop.

Fix Up The Kitchen

A kitchen renovation may be long overdue but this is another one you’ll want to put off until the summer. While the warmer seasons afford the possibility for many outdoor, evening meals, this option may not exist in the cold throes of the winter, depending on your location. Instead of hustling off to restaurants where the costs will quickly add up, summer will provide a more affordable opportunity for upgrading.

Add On Extra Space

Whether your doubling your garage or adding on an extra room, this is the kind of work that can bring an influx of cold air into your house and will take a little longer given the discomfort. Instead of completing renovations that deal with the elements in the cooler months, spring for the summertime when the temperature and timeline will be a little milder.

Paint The Exterior

Few things will have a more positive impact on the overall look of your home than a coat of paint, but taking on this task in the winter can be a recipe for disappointment with the sudden snow and storms that may come along. Instead of chancing it and extending the completion of this task, save it for summer when the weather will be more predictable.

There are countless renovations under the sun, but there are some that may end up being more affordable if they’re completed in the summer months. If you’re fixing up your house because you’re planning on selling in the near future, contact your trusted local real estate professional for more information.

3 Ikea Hacks That Can Be Done in a Weekend’s Time

3 Ikea Hacks That Can Be Done in a Weekend's TimeWhether you’re moving into your first apartment or preparing to purchase a second home, Ikea is a favorite for those trying to economically fill up the extra space in their home. While Ikea may have plenty of inexpensive options that you might not think can be dressed up, there are actually a lot of simple pieces that you can add to for a stylish, DIY look that will take no time at all.

Cue The Cocktails

The popularity of the bar cart has seen a resurgence, but many of these decorative pieces can be quite pricey for the person who isn’t sure they want to commit to the cost. Instead of shelling out of for this overpriced piece, purchase the BYGEL utility cart from Ikea for less than $50 dollars and spray paint it in the color of your choice. While this will serve as a basic bar cart, it will easily look the part with some glasses, liquor bottles and an ice bucket.

Bring On The Board Games

With its four square legs and flattop, the LACK table is one of the plainest items in IKEA, but this inexpensive table can be fixed up as part of a fun activity with your kids. Once you’ve purchased your own brightly colored table, pick up some paint and using stencils paint the family’s favorite board game right onto its surface. Whether it happens to be backgammon, chess or Monopoly, this will add a lot of personality to the family room.

Create Your Own Sitting Table

The EXBY ALEX shelf is a relatively simple shelving unit that attaches to a wall for extra storage space, but it can also serve as a perfect starting point for an item that’s completely different. Instead of attaching this shelf to the wall, add a set of legs so the unit will serve as a cabinet without any need for wall mounting. While this will still serve as an understated piece, it can say a lot more about your room than the average wall cabinet.

Many people head to IKEA for the economical furniture options, but it’s also a great place for coming up with your own home DIY projects that are sure to make for a unique look. If you’re planning on purchasing a home and are looking for interesting furniture to fill it with, you may want to contact your trusted local real estate professional for more information.

4 Neglected Home Maintenance Tasks That Are a Must

4 Neglected Home Maintenance Tasks That Are a MustThere are a number of home maintenance tasks that are easy to forget about in favor of more obvious renovations, but forgetting to do some of them can end up costing you a lot down the road. If you’re hoping to keep your home in tip-top shape, here are a few tasks that you shouldn’t forget about.

Sealing Off Access Points

Small rodents and insects can wreak havoc on your home if they gain access, so ensure that you maintain the foundation of your home and seal off any areas where these pests might get inside. Check all the windows and doors, and survey the foundation of your home, making sure to patch up any areas where sealant or mortar has come loose.

Cleaning The Shingles

The reality of algae eating away at your roof shingles can be an unpleasant, expensive renovation, so clean your roof on a regular basis before any black streaks can take your shingles with them. Simply mix together hot water, bleach and detergent and spray this from your garden hose on a cooler day so you can save your roof from rot. This will also save you the cost of having to hire a professional

Maintaining Your Wood Deck

There are few things that will age your yard like a poorly maintained deck, so take the time to re-stain and seal your deck so it doesn’t quickly see the effects of time and weather. While harsh weather can have an ill effect on your deck’s appearance, properly maintaining it will mean you can avoid the high cost of replacement that will be required.

Keeping It Clutter Free

Many homeowners get pretty comfortable in their home, and this can often mean that many boxes of unused items get stored away. Instead of keeping old items though, do a clean out once every 6-12 months to get rid of the things you don’t use. By having a clean basement and garage, you’ll also have the ability to notice many other maintenance issues that might not be visible with all the extra stuff.

There are a number of maintenance tasks around the home that people often forget, but neglecting to complete them can often times cost a pretty penny down the road. If you’re doing a few home renovations before putting your house on the market, contact your local real estate professional for more information.

Thinking about Renovations?: 5 Considerations Before Hiring a Home Improvements Contractor

Thinking about Renovations?: 5 Considerations Before Hiring a Home Improvements ContractorWith the pre-summer enthusiasm and the milder weather, springtime can be one of the best times of the year to take on home renovations that aren’t as easy in other months. If you happen to have some projects in mind and are considering taking the work on yourself, here are a few questions you’ll need to ask.

What Can You Take On?

If you have specific renovations in mind for the coming months, it’s very important to decide what you can reasonably take on and what you could pass on to a contractor. While some projects and fix-ups may be easier to complete on your own, some will require a greater degree of expertise.

What’s Your Skill Level?

You may have something that you think you can take on yourself, but if you’re new to renovating, it may be worth hiring a contractor who will be able to complete the job without incident. It can be a great learning experience to do many fix-ups on your own, but this can take a lot of time and energy too if you don’t know the details.

What’s Your Price Point?

Before deciding to hire a contractor, it’s important that you’ve thought about the potential costs associated with what you want to do. It can be pricy to hire someone if you have a lot that needs to be done, but someone else’s expertise can also end up being worth the money spent.

Do You Have A Timeline?

Many people renovate in the spring and summer months, and this means that your ideal contractor may not have a lot of time available. While this may end up working out for you, you’ll want to consider when you want it done so your expectations are not unreasonable.

Is A Second Opinion Helpful?

It’s great if you can handle all your home renovations on your own, but no one will be able to offer you the knowledgeable opinion that a contractor will. While a professional will undoubtedly be able to complete the work you’re requesting, they may also have helpful suggestions for you that may make for an even better home improvement.

Spring is an ideal season for home renovations, but before taking anything on you’ll want to carefully consider whether or not you’ll need to hire someone. If you’re renovating to put your home on the market, contact your local real estate professional for more information.

5 Fun Ways to Spring Clean with the Kids

5 Fun Ways to Spring Clean with the Kids Spring-cleaning might seem like a necessity if you’ve accrued a lot of stuff through the fall and winter seasons, but it can be hard to determine how to get your kids involved. If you’re looking for tips on how to get this task done and engage your children at the same time, here are a few fun ways.

Play Some Tunes

It goes without saying that almost everything is more fun with music, and kids will readily agree with this! Instead of silence, pique your children’s interest with their favorite album and encourage them to take the duster or mop along with them.

Offer Up A Reward

It’s important that your children understand that helping out around the house is everyone’s job, but offering them a treat can be a good means of getting them involved. Whether it’s a couple of dollars or a trip to the ice cream parlor, a little work for a reward has always been a positive thing.

Give Them A Choice

Most kids don’t like to be told what to do, so providing them with the opportunity for leadership can be a great thing when it comes to the task of spring-cleaning. Not only will they be happy to help you along if they can direct, it will give them confidence in their own capabilities.

Make Room For New Duds

Getting rid of old clothing isn’t always fun, but if it makes way for a new outfit or toy many kids will spring at the chance. Instead of large scale, let your children tackle their own space to clear away stuff they no longer use. It will make them aware of what they need and what they can get along without.

Get Out The Gear

Outside of a damp cloth, most adults don’t have any specific clothes for cleaning the house, but dressing up is always a fun activity for kids! Whether it’s overalls, a cap and some rubber gloves, making cleaning a game of dress up is an easy way to appeal to the imagination of your children.

Spring-cleaning may not always seem like the most fun, but there are a few simple ways you can make it appealing to your kids and liven up an old activity for yourself. If you’re perking up your home in the hopes of a summer sale, you may want to contact trusted local real estate professional for more information.

2016 Kitchen Decor Trends to Inspire Your Renovations

2016 Kitchen Decor Trends to Inspire Your RenovationsA kitchen upgrade may seem like the sort of renovation that will cost a pretty penny, but there are a lot of funky things you can do that will add an easy accent and make for a current look. If you’re planning some home improvements in 2016, here are some upcoming trends you may want to try out.

Cue The Contrasting Cabinets

It can be a major undertaking to change the style of your kitchen cabinets, and that’s probably why many people are considering a little switch instead of a major upheaval. By keeping your top cabinets the same and adding a funky new color or material to the bottom half, you can create a striking appearance. Keep in mind that if you don’t want to change out your cabinets entirely, you can go for a bold paint color instead.

Bring Color Into Stainless Steel

From teakettles to mixers, brightly colored kitchen appliances have certainly seen a retro rebirth in recent years, but the stainless steel trend is also experiencing a bit of an upgrade. While the material remains popular, many people are becoming interested in different stainless steel color options like black and sunset bronze which offer a unique look for an old mainstay.

A Multi-Use Island

Space in the kitchen can become an issue when it comes to dinner parties, and that’s why the diverse utility of a kitchen island is maintaining its popularity. Instead of the prominent counter for holding fruit bowls and extra papers, think of a funky, fashionable drink cart or side table that can be used for prepping extra food and will have many other purposes once the party is over.

The Non-Committal Kitchen Shelf

While kitchens have become more of a gathering space for family and friends in recent years, this has led to the popularity of a less-formal kind of kitchen. Instead of a lot of counter space and pots and pans in their place, create a bookshelf or cabinet that mixes the living room and kitchen together, full of dishware, books, utensils and other popular household items. It’s a piece that will easily transform your space.

There are a lot of unique fixes on the horizon for 2016 that will instantly modernize your kitchen and easily improve its look. If you’re currently renovating and are looking to put your home on the market, contact your trusted real estate agent for more information.

A Quick and Easy Guide to Hiring the Best Contractor for Your Pre-sale Home Renovations

A Quick and Easy Guide to Hiring the Best Contractor for Your Pre-sale Home RenosIf you’re planning to complete some renovations on your home before putting it on the market, you may be unsure of the best way to go about finding the right contractor for the job. While there are probably many contractors available who can do your renovations right, here’s how you can get to the bottom of who will work the best for you.

Make A Few Phone Calls

Once you’ve done some research and determined a short list of prospective contractors, you’ll want to call each contractor to determine that they can complete your project in good time and are the right candidate for the work required. If they’re not available or are cagey about your question, this can be an easy way to whittle down the list.

Arrange A Meeting In Person

While a phone interview should provide you with some good insights right off the bat, you’ll also want to meet your potential contractors face to face before making any final decisions. If you get along well with the contractor and they are able to answer the questions you ask with confidence, it’s a good sign that they may be the right pick for your project.

Check In On The References

Once you’ve decided between a few candidates, make sure you contact their former clients to determine how happy they were with the work and the contractor. Since you may have a date in mind for when you want to put your home on the market, it will be important to know if the job was completed in good time, as well as if any final issues were left hanging in the air unfinished.

Consider The Estimated Costs

Last but not least, you’ll want to have each contractor break down the project and provide a projected cost for labor and materials. You should be able to get a good sense of exactly what it’s going to cost and which bid is the most realistic. While it may be tempting to go for the lowest bid since you’ll probably be moving soon, you’ll want to strongly consider which contractor and which price will turn out the best in the end.

It can seem complicated to hire a contractor for your home renovations, but by conducting simple interviews and checking references you should be able to determine who the best person for the job is. If you’re curious about renovations and how they can impact the sales price of your home, you may want to contact your local real estate professional for more insights.

Green-ify Your Home with These 3 Easy Home Renovations

Green-ify Your Home with These 3 Easy Home RenovationsThe concept of going green is often seen as an expensive process, and this can stop many people from taking the small steps needed to make their home more environmentally friendly. If you want to green-ify without any of the high costs, here are some simple things you can do that will easily improve the energy efficiency of your home.

Complete An Energy Audit

It can cost upwards of $400 to get a certified evaluator to take a look at your property and determine how energy is being wasted, but you can complete this type of evaluation on your own without all of the expenditure. Try the candle test and take a flame on a tour of your home, being aware of areas where the flame wavers and drafts may be coming in from outside. Once you’ve determined the problem areas, you can tackle the project of re-caulking which will seal up any openings that are leading to energy loss and more expensive heating costs.

Fix-Up Noticeable Insulation Issues

Completely overhauling your insulation is not among the easiest of fixes, but there are some simple ways you can improve its effectiveness without a lot of hard work. Instead of a comprehensive analysis, head up to the attic to take a peek at the insulation there. Using a mask and a pair of gloves, check the insulation and look for any spaces where air could be gaining access to your home. If you come across any vulnerable areas, add some extra insulation and seal the area with expanding insulation for a little added coverage.

Install A New Faucet

While heat conservation is one of the most important factors in energy efficiency, taking care of the water supply will also have a significant impact on your home’s environmental footprint. Instead of sticking with old-style faucets, head down to the hardware store for low-flow taps that will automatically cut down on water use without you or your family having to think twice. This type of fix is an easy enough installation and your water savings will be facilitated every time you turn on the tap.

There are a number of small changes you can make around your home to easily conserve energy and cut down on water waste. If you’re doing some small renovations because you’re preparing for a large move, you may want to contact one of our local real estate professionals for more information.

Accent Walls: 3 Easy Ways to Spice up Your Space

Accent Walls: 3 Easy Ways to Spice up Your SpaceFor those who love to decorate and are always excited to test out the latest trends in design, the accent wall is a concept that’s become popular in recent years. If you’re not sure how to use this feature to twist any room on its side, here’s how to go about painting your very own and instantly dressing up the look of your favorite room.

Pick The Perfect Wall

When deciding on the ideal location for an accent wall, it’s important to consider which space in your home will benefit from a splash of color and still be complimented by this unique look. Whether you decide on a wall in your bedroom or living room, the location of your accent wall should be somewhere it can have a positive impact on the look of your room without overpowering its natural ambiance.

Decide On A Color You Can Live With

Once you’ve picked the perfect place for your paint, you’ll want to narrow down the list of color options to ones that will work best for the wall. It can be tempting to go from the most brilliant of colors to really indulge in accent, but think of this wall as a way to merely boost the look of a room you already enjoy. By choosing a color that is both vibrant and understated – and goes with your design aesthetic – you can use this wall to maximum, nuanced effect.

Any Additional Accents?

If you’re just wading into the water with home decorating, it’s entirely likely that an accent wall will be enough for now, but if you’re just beginning you may want to consider some other interesting design details as well. While you could choose more than one color to brighten things up or draw a makeshift frame around the border of each wall, if you’re interested in something funky you may want to use some stencils – like hearts or stars – to instantly add a whimsical effect!

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to home decorating, but if you’ve been considering an accent wall for a while you might want to test it out first before diving in with neon colors and funky stencils. If you’re making some changes to your home because you’re thinking of selling in the next few years, you may want to contact one of our local real estate professionals for more inside information.