Do it yourself…everything and anything!

DIY General Inspiration Tips and Advice

DIY Pallet Wall

After watching all of the home design and remodel shows, you feel like you are ready to take on any project that comes along – I mean they make it look so easy, right? While in reality, most of them have a crew of people working that they don’t show us on the half hour show, but, there are some ideas that you can in fact, do yourself! One of the most popular design techniques that has come up from these shows is the concept of “shiplap” or pallet walls.

This is a technique that repurposes old boards to create a statement wall in any room – whether kept in the rustic unfinished boards condition they were found or repainting them for a fresh new look. Although it provides a big punch in a room, it is actually relatively easy to DIY. Step one is gathering the materials. So, to start, decide if you are shooting for the more rustic look of weathered, old boards, or the fresh look of a painted finish. If rustic, go on a hunt for boards in the color/style you want – check out yard sales, thrift stores, even big box improvement stores now sell – “vintage style” boards. If you are going to paint, start at the home improvement stores to save some time – no one will know what is underneath the paint anyway. Once you have gathered them, you’ll need nails and a saw.

When picking the wall, keep in mind you must work around whatever is there – so try to pick the wall with the least windows, doors, and heating elements, because it honestly just makes the project easier. And then start at the top. Make sure to cut the boards into different lengths – you don’t want to make it look symmetrical. Just nail the boards into place and continue lining up row by row until you get to the bottom of the wall – if necessary cutting the bottom row in height to finish evenly at the bottom of the room. While a hammer and nails would suffice, a nail gun will definitely make the job go quicker and easier.

When you are done, sit back, enjoy another home design show and get thinking about next weekend’s project!!

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DIY General Inspiration Tips and Advice

Layering Old and New

It’s always the smaller details that bring comfort and coziness into your home. Whether it’s a soft, patterned pillow against your solid color sofa or a handpicked chandelier over your tabletop; the smaller touches add more of you to a space than the bigger ones.

However, sometimes it can be overwhelming decorating a place. Your first goal is always to get the bigger items, such as a rug,  sofa, or an accent table. But once you get those items in place, you realize you need more to add and finish up the space. And most of the time, you’re over budget. So what can you do to reduce this feeling?

If you’re renovating or remodeling a room, keep in mind that you do not need to throw everything away and start from scratch. It may be best to get rid of that beat up loveseat and get a new one but you do not need to throw out your existing accessories and accents if they’re in good condition. Don’t throw away that basket you keep your snacks in. Don’t throw away the tray you keep your magazines and remotes on. Reuse those items back into your newly decorated space. And don’t be afraid of layering them with other existing items you may have or new ones you’ve picked up. Layer your existing tray with new accent colored candles that fit the new space. Put some colorful potpourri in that old but still in good condition basket and leave it on a side table. Keep that painting you have and reframe it with a metallic paint finish or a color accent that complements your space. Spray paint your existing vase to fit the new décor and put in some fresh flowers.

And when you’re done integrating the new and the old, you will realize the space will feel much cozier, much more you in it than buying everything new.

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DIY General Tips and Advice

DIY Mirror Upgrade

More likely that not, you have one of the generic full-length mirrors somewhere in your house. If you are like me, it is hanging on the interior of your closet door, because although it is very useful, it is also very unattractive. However, for the $5 it cost we shouldn’t expect anything glamorous. Turns out, there are a bunch of nice and relatively easy ideas for upgrading your mirror – and then maybe it can be a decorative piece in your room too!

The concept is essentially the same as creating a picture frame – for those of you that make them – and do not buy them premade at the store like me. To start out, you need to decide the color and the material you want. Working with wood is the easiest, just by the nature of it, and comes in a wide variety of widths, designs, and textures – all ready to buy off the shelf. The thicker the wood you chose, the more sturdy the frame will be – key if you hope to use the mirror as a “leaning” mirror rather than hanging it up. If you don’t find the exact color you want premade – its easy enough to either paint or stain it to match your space. You will also need wood glue, mirror clips (easy to find online or at the home improvement store), a saw, and a staple gun.

Remove the cheap frame that comes standard with the mirror you already have – it will snap off pretty easily. Arrange the pieces exactly how you want them, and then cut them to fit the shape of the mirror. You can cut them at the four corners at an angle, or just line the pieces up square (much easier to do) and gives it a slightly more modern look. One everything is the correct size, glue the joints together with the wood glue, let dry, then staple the pieces into place for reinforcement. One stapled, add the small mirror clips to the back of the frame. If you are going to further stain or paint the wood, do it at this point, before you attach the mirror.

Attach your mirror into place, and instant upgrade! You now will have a mirror that you are happy to display somewhere other than in your closet!!

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DIY General Inspiration Interior Designers Shades Tips and Advice Window Basics

Window Treatments 2018

It’s hard to believe trends can change so drastically from one year to another. Of course, there are go to styles which will never go out of style; but 2018 has brought some new, fun trends to the window treatment industry – maybe it’s your year to upgrade?

  • Bold patterns. Within the last few years, pattern has slowly been reintroduced to window treatments. This is compared to the 2000’s where the rule of thumb was neutral is better. Most of the bold patterns you can find now are available in Roller Shades. This provides a statement piece while remaining a modern, streamlined look in your window. They are also available in Roman Shades, which tend to appear slightly more traditional while the patterns provide them with a modern twist.
  • Natural materials. This is a trend that has held true over the last few years. Bringing in natural materials and fibers that make your rooms feel more tropical. There are a lot more roller shades that have been introduced in these materials which allows a more modern twist on the style. You can also stick with the natural bamboo shades which bring in actual reeds and shoots of bamboo and bring a feeling of warmth to any room.
  • Sheer materials. While the style of Serenity (two layers of sheers with a fabric blind in the middle) are still around, they have come a long way. These beautiful shades are produced in a variety of sizes, colors, and patterns now! There are also Cascade shades which operate more like a roller shade. These have expanded into a wide variety of natural patterns and colors. Even better, there is now a vertical version which is two layers of sheers with a solid in the middle that can be adjusted for privacy.
  • Adding dimension. As we mentioned, pattern has become extremely popular this year in the decorating industry. Adding decorative drapes over your blinds or shades is becoming increasingly popular as well. Not only does it allow you to bring in more texture, but it makes a statement in your overall room décor too.

These are just a few of the styles that are standing out in 2018 – not to mention the add-ons that have become easily accessible to the average homeowner – cordless and motorized. Hope this gets you thinking about your own windows!

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DIY Tips and Advice

Rejuvenate the Home

The warm weather is here! So the Summer, oops, I mean the Spring season is upon us. It’s time for spring cleaning! Freshen up with these cool ways to give your home that facelift after winter weather.

  • Vacuum those dusty nooks and crannies. Baseboards, crown molding, under furniture, fans, and vents. Deep clean all rugs, carpeting, and window treatments. These basic bones need to be wiped down to renew them every once in awhile.
  • Take time to really scrub those light fixtures and windows. Polishing them to look brand new can do wonders for the lighting in your home. Lighting sets the atmosphere and improves your mood.
  • Don’t forget about those appliances. Sanitize you refrigerator. Scrape up those oven and microwave spills. Run the washing machine and dishwasher through self cleaning cycles. Keeping these essentials clean matters. Don’t let the dirt and grime accumulate. These chores eliminate germs, lengthen the lifespan of appliances, and ease the workload of upkeep.
  • Declutter! Use baskets, boxes, and drawers to organize life’s little things. Pack away cold weather clothing and unpack the warm. Be sure to go through all toiletries, make up, and medicine; toss anything that’s expired. Replace hairbrushes, toothbrushes and loofahs if they haven’t been replaced in the last 6 months. When decluttering, ask the essential questions: “Do I like it? Do I need it? Do I use it?”

Use this list more like guidelines rather than rules. Adapt it to fit. Don’t let it seem like you must do this all at once, dedicate a few days to a week for each chore. Accomplishing any or all of these tasks are sure to create a gleaming home and you!

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piggy bank DIY General Inspiration

Yard Sale Lookouts

Finding and incorporating retro or vintage items can finish off or start a whole new décor scheme for a room in your home. Some things you can find new that are meant to look old or weathered other you can actually find and a lot of the time you will pay less. And when you can’t find that perfect item to finish off a room or be that focal point you can use some tricks to weather and DIY them yourself!

One of the places you can find a lot of great items for that farm house feel or vintage looking pieces is actually Target. I know what you are thinking why would target have it? Well they partnered with HGTVs Joannah Gaines to carry her Hearth and Home Collection. This collection has a ton of great pieces that are both affordable and stylish.

One of my personal favorite places to find these type of items is at estate or garage sales. You can really find anything at these sales and normally pick them up very cheap because people just want more room. You can find a lot of old items at these types of sales, weathered wood that you can repurpose to make into tables or accent signs, and thing to keep an eye open for are cool little knick-knacks that you can use to fill console tables or shelves. These items can very quiet a bit and be personal to your style, for example skeleton keys candle sticks interesting sculptures and even old typewriters and cameras whatever you see and can’t live without! Estate and garage sales are normally limited to the weekends and if you are looking to get a great deal earlier in the week you may want to check out some thrift or antique shops. As they say, one persons’ trash is another persons’ treasure.

And if you can’t find that perfect piece there are some great easy ways to weather metal and wood. A lot of these are explained in some great tutorials online but are as simple as soaking the metal in lemon juice to give it a nice patina and aged look. Whatever the look is its most likely you can spend some time and make it yourself and then you will truly have a one of a kind piece that you can be proud of.

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DIY Inspiration Tips and Advice

Space Saving Ideas for Your Kitchen

Kitchens aren’t always as spacious or inviting as you see on HGTV. Sometimes you have a modest kitchen or a galley kitchen and the hardest thing is to find enough space for all of your appliances and essentials such as plates, bowls, and silverware.

One of the best ways to find more storage is to add it yourself! One way you can do this is by adding an island. I am not talking about the kind you are thinking of that are of so popular and everywhere in the model homes and magazines. What I am talking about is a lot more practical and can add much needed storage and count top space. These islands are like carts most of them are movable with wheels and are great for adding needed counter top space as well. You can bring things out of the cabinets that you go to a lot and put it on the open shelving as well pots or cereal whatever you find is more helpful. The best part as these allow you to move them into a corner or out of the way when you don’t need them and bring them closer and have that crucial extra countertop space when you do.

Another great space saver is to hang items on the wall pot hooks or racks are great for this and again allows you to get those pots and pans out of the cabinets where you can now store more food, spices, linens, or whatever else you may want to stash behind closed doors.

Another great thing to do is find extra room. This can be done in a lot of different ways and would rely you utilizing all the space you may have and not realize. One thing you may want to do is stack spices perhaps putting ones you use less often on the bottom or just organizing them so they take up less room this can be done for any set of food just prioritize the food you use most often and put the others underneath. If you have space around your fridge you may be able to fit in an extending rack so you can hide brooms or whatever else back there and pull it out when needed. Lastly you can try and get things off the countertops hanging paper towels or knives under the cabinets will net you a lot of precious counter top space.

Happy planning and have fun finding new space and making your kitchen your dream kitchen.

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DIY Inspiration Tips and Advice

Updating the Old Wood

A lot of houses were traditionally made with wooden trim and baseboards. While the craftsmanship shows, and the bold colors of the wood certainly make a statement, unfortunately stained trim has become a style that ages your homes appearance. Also, unfortunate, is how difficult it can be to just cover it up with a coat of white paint. Learning from personal experiences, and a lot of trial and error, we have come up with a list of instructions, suggestions, and ideas to help you (and let you learn from our mistakes).

For starters, as previously mentioned, do not just start to paint with white paint and expect high quality results. While it sounds good in theory, the reality is that it just won’t work – there will be streaks, bumps, and a lot of imperfections. Step one must be breaking out the sand paper. Depending on how much trim you have, we suggest the foam sanding cubes, or even a power sander with a light grit paper. At this point, you’ll have to feel out your own situation – how many layers of stain or clear coat were used over the years – and judge how many times you will have to sand. You will probably not get all the color out of the wood, and that’s okay, but try to get down to a surface that will allow the wood to take on new layers of paint.

Once everything is sanded, then it is time for the priming. This is the place you want to invest your money. The higher quality the primer, the better the final project will look – look for primers specifically for hard to cover surfaces. Apply three layers of primer. While it may seem unnecessary, it is important! By the time you get to your final coat of white paint, you want to make sure the surface is covered, clean, and smooth, and the multiple layers of primer will help you to get there.

Finally, time for the white paint. You want to choose a glossy or semi-gloss finish for the trim paint. Not only will it help to hide any imperfections when the paint has a bit of a shine to it, but it is also much easier to maintain trim that has some glossiness – and being that you are going with white – you need easy to clean!

In most cases, if you follow these directions step by step, you will come out with a refreshed, bright, and updated space. This is one case where cutting corners will definitely lead to more work in the long run – but remember it will be worth it when you’re done!!

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DIY General Inspiration Tips and Advice

Angled Ceiling Spaces

We have all seen those impossible to design spaces; the awkward corners, the weird lighting or the dreaded angled ceilings. Well it’s time to stop fearing those spaces and embrace them for the “funky” places they are! Today we are going to focus on great ways to decorate and design those angled ceiling rooms and area in your home.

The first point we will focus on is COLOR. Do you paint the whole room? Do you leave the angles the same color as the ceiling or wrap the color around the wall? There are so many options and in truth, the answer is not clear but more dependent on what you want the space to do for you. If you want to create bold contract, leave the angled ceiling white (or whatever color the ceiling is painted). This will keep the room brighter and a bit more open feeling too. If you paint the angled part the same color as the rest of the room, it will be more of a stark and closed feeling. Using accent walls is also a great idea for angled ceilings since the irregular angles are typically more accentuated and can be visually distracting.

Using these angles to your advantage is always a plus. There are many ways to work a bed into an angled space as well or creating a DIY project out of it and making a storage unit too. Many light fixtures now come with vaulted ceiling fixtures as well, or they can be purchased separately, so  adequate lighting will never be hard to come by. I would recommend using Pinterest to get ideas for DIY closets or bookshelves and other storage units – there are some really clever ideas out there!

Using these angles to create a space you love is tough work but in the end, can be your favorite room in the house. It’s always great to remember that angled or vaulted ceilings are an architectural feature too, so it is something that is not common in every home; making it even more special that it is in yours.

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DIY General Tips and Advice

Instant Room Changers

At this point, we have been stuck inside for months now!! I can’t be the only one getting a bit sick of these walls and am aching to get back out side, but for now still too cold and the sun just isn’t out as late as it needs to be. So what can we do? Well, if you are getting sick of your current rooms (as I am) here are a few ways to really make a difference and help you out:

  1. Accent wall: if you want to make a bold change to a room adding a new color or texture is a great way to really get a new feel on your living space. Be careful when choosing colors though; going to dark (especially in a low light room) will make the space feel even smaller and eat the light that comes into it. Textures or wall papers have really come back in style and some of the new patterns are a lot of fun and sure to make a statement in any space.
  2. Window treatments: We know window treatments and we know that they can affect the whole style of the room, you could instantly change any room with a new window treatment. You can add some roman shades, cellular, wood blinds, drapes, or curtains. Each of these will change the feel of the room and a lot of them come in modern colors and patterns.
  3. Furniture: a bit of flare you could choose a bold accent chair that really makes you feel better – something bright and airy; or you could just want to change up your sofa and go with a new color for the room all together.
  4. Re-arrange: one of the biggest changes that you can make (and it won’t cost you anything!) is to re-arrange and flip around your furniture. The room will feel new and different and you really just need to invest in a few man hours and time to rethink the layout.
  5. Throws and pillows: simple but effective; just changing the throw blankets and pillows you have on your chairs and sofa or cushions on your kitchen chairs can make a huge difference and be the thing that ties a whole room together.
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