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Monthly Archives: November 2016

Projects To Refresh Your Bedroom

After a long day, there’s nothing quite like resting in the comfort of your own bedroom. But over time, it may require a few updates to create a place where you can retreat away from it all. The smallest updates may make a difference in your bedroom makeover.

There are many DIY tips and tricks available to spruce up your bedroom. Some projects require expert skill and others may take longer than expected. If you’re looking for quick and easy ways to change the look of your bedroom, we’ve gathered the top 10 DIY projects to update the look of your bedroom.

1. Paint Your Room

If you’re looking to dramatically change the look of your room, without knocking down any walls, then paint is your answer. A simple coat of fresh paint can give you an entirely new room, without making any structural changes.

When it comes to choosing a new color for your room, consider your current style. Will your new color match your linens and furniture color? What atmosphere are you trying to create with your new look? These are all important questions to consider as we know that the psychology of color has a lot to do with your mood.

2. Dress Up Your Dresser

The furniture condition in your room adds a lot to the overall look and feel. But, you don’t have to go buy a new one. Simply update the one you currently have with a coat of paint. When it comes to painting furniture, the most important part is not what color you choose but rather how you prepare for the project.

You’ll want to clean and sand your dresser before you begin to paint, otherwise the paint will peel off the furniture. It’s not necessary to sand the furniture down completely just to remove the finish and rough up the surface bit. If you can, get a paint with primer included, otherwise, be sure to use primer on your project before you add color.

3. Create A New Headboard

You may rarely consider it, but your headboard can be a unique decorative element in your bedroom. Many people opt for a standard wood headboard, but you can easily make a one-of-a-kind piece for your bedroom by turning this into a DIY project. While there are many ideas out there, one of my favorites is the recycled window shutter idea. It’s a great project for a beginner and you can complete it in an afternoon!

4. Change Your Lighting

The bedroom should be a space you can relax and retreat from the world. If your lighting is too bright or plain, it may impact the mood. Soft lighting is best for bedrooms and installing a new, unique light fixture can change the overall look and feel of the room.  This project may require a bit more DIY skill compared to others, but will look great once completed.

If you don’t have enough DIY experience yet and love the whimsical look, try adorning your room with a few string lights. Globe lights are a great addition that you can dress up with fake flowers or ribbon. String them across your headboard or window frame for subtle room lighting perfect for relaxing.

5. Style Your Shelving

While your shelves are useful for storage, have you thought about the decorative qualities they have? They are a great way to display beloved items and knick knacks. The key is knowing how to do it in a way that will look fabulous. Here’s a few tips:

  • Start by stacking books if space allows
  • Use trays or stands to highlight special items
  • Include a taller vase or two, allowing the eye to move
  • Include smaller items on different levels
  • Pick a color scheme and stick with it

Another way to add style with your shelf is by using the actual shelf itself. Try building shelves in different geometric shapes, such as squares or triangles. Or stagger them on different levels to add variation. This is an easy way to add wall décor to your bedroom.

6. DIY Throw Pillows

It’s amazing how a few small pillows can add a look of luxury to your bed. If your current throw pillows can use an update, there are plenty of DIY options you have. If you know how to sew, you’ll have an advantage here, however there are many of no-sew options available. Of course, my favorite DIY options are the ones that can be completed in a short amount of time.

7. Update Your Rug

We’ve been talking a lot about the décor surrounding the bedroom, but let’s not forget about the floor! Regardless of the flooring you currently have, a small rug can be a great update to add an extra bit of color to any room. However, rugs can be expensive, especially if you need to cover a large area.

Conclusion

Your bedroom is your sanctuary. It should be a place you love to end your day and reenergize for the day ahead.

Design and Decoration Basics Of Feng Shui For Your Home

Your home is your sanctuary. After a long day, so many of us look forward to enjoying its comforts. But, you may not be making the most of your space if you haven’t adapted the techniques of Feng Shui.

This ancient art of balancing your space is beneficial to your health and happiness in your home. Often, it takes very minimal changes to create the energy you desire. Here’s a few ideas to get you started on how you can incorporate the practice of Feng Shui in your home.

What Is Feng Shui?

The practice of Feng Shui dates back to ancient China. The term “Feng Shui” translates from Chinese to “Wind Water.” As Mind Body Green explains, “Without air and water we parish. When both wind and water are balanced and flowing, nature is in harmony.” It utilizes the elements to create a balanced energy in a space. When used properly, it can improve sleep and create peace in the household.

Including elements in a room allows the person in the room to become more in-tune with nature and become more self-aware. Feng Shui has a few different practices and schools of thought, but they all share similar themes:

  • Traditional Feng Shui: The oldest form of Feng Shui. This takes into account compass directions, and natural elements to determine how to create the best relationship to your environment.
  • Black Hat: A western adaption of the traditional practice. Focuses on engaging the “nine energies” that are within every room.
  • Modern Feng Shui: Also known as Intuitive Feng Shui. This practice is based on utilizing color and your own intuition to create the best space for success.

Whatever practice you choose, you can expect to see health benefits such as sleep and stress relief as you rearrange your space for positive energy.

Costs Of Feng Shui

If you can Feng Shui benefitting your household, now might be the time to rearrange for better energy. However, this is not something you want to do without guidance, as Feng Shui can be complicated if you haven’t studied. A trained Feng Shui pro can help you determine you to arrange your home for the maximum benefits. The average cost to hire a Feng Shui consultant is $874, with most homeowners spending between $632 and $799.

Feng Shui Basics

Regardless of the practice you choose, there are a few themes that cross each school of thought. Keep in mind, Feng Shui can be a very complicated practice. Here are a few Feng Shui basics to keep in mind as you rearrange your home:

Declutter Your Home

One of the first steps in creating better energy throughout your home is to get rid of the clutter. This goes beyond just throwing out trash, but also removing items that block the energy in the room. Stacks of unorganized bills, piles of clothing and other disorganized areas are responsible for creating negative energy and should be properly sorted or removed.

Determine the Primary Purpose

As your decluttering, consider the primary purpose of the room and keep items in the room that only represent that purpose. A clear purpose allows for less stress within the room.

Include the 5 Elements

When you’re incorporating Feng Shui décor, you’ll want to include various styles of the 5 elements. Ideally, each room will incorporate something representative of these elements that work together. These elements are:

  • Wood
  • Fire
  • Earth
  • Metal
  • Water

Discover Your Birth Element

Though incorporating all five elements are important, your birth date may indicate what element may influence your energy the most. You can see a helpful chart to discover your birth element at KnowFengShui.com.

Let in Natural Light

The principles of Feng Shui are all about getting in touch with the environment. So, it’s likely no surprise that natural light plays a huge role in creating positive energies throughout the home. Open windows when you have the chance and see what lighting options you have that provide the illumination you need.

Feng Shui Colors

If choosing a new color for a room wasn’t already difficult, you should consider how it impacts the Feng Shui. Choosing the right color for your room can greatly impact your efforts to create positive energies. Once you’ve determined the purpose for a room, you can begin to define its color. Keep in mind colors that are representative of various elements.

  • Wood is represented by shades of green brown.
  • Fire is represented by shades of red and some shades of yellow.
  • Metal is represented by white, gray and metallic colors.
  • Water is represented by shades of blue and black
  • Earth is represented by orange, beige and some shades of yellow.

When choosing a new paint color for your room, consider how it collaborates with the other elements in the room. Remember that all the elements must work together.

Feng Shui Bedroom

One the rooms most commonly in need of Feng Shui techniques is the bedroom. After all, it’s a space where you sleep and relax. If the elements in your room are not working together, this can cause serious problems. One of the best things you can do to change the energy of the room is consider your bed placement. Ideally, your bed should be placed diagonally from the door and away from window. Finally, even though it’s nice to have your smartphone by your side at night, Feng Shui guidelines advise to have your bed away from a wall with outlets.

Feng Shui Living Room

Another popular room that can utilize these guidelines is the living room. As a spot where family gathers together, you want to make sure the energies are right for all. Sunlight is key, so drawback the curtains to let the natural light in. Including a water element, like an aquarium, is said to bring new opportunities and positive energy to the room. Utilizing candles and wood accessories will help to balance out the elements in this room. Finally, if your living room is connected to the front of the house, ensure you can see the front door from the main sitting area.

Conclusion

We’ve only touched the surface of how to properly incorporate Feng Shui into your home. This ancient practice has many details you can incorporate to bring positivity and health to all.

Ways To A Better Basement

The primary reason homeowner’s finish their basement is to create extra usable space in their home. If you go through all the trouble remodeling and cleaning up your lower-level, then it only makes sense you’d want to make it more livable and functional.

Building a better basement means something different to everyone, but there are a few proven ways that most would agree are beneficial to enhancing the appearance and increasing the value. If you aren’t in a position to implement all the changes below, pick a few ideas to start working on and build upon each update over time. Alright, let’s get to work!

1. Neutral or Pastel Paint

The basement, or lower-level, is usually the darkest place in the home. The obvious reason you want to choose neutral or light pastel paint is to brighten up and illuminate the space. Our interior house painting cost guide will help you prepare for the average expense.

I suggest going with lighter paint, even if you’re someone who likes it dark for watching movies or relaxing. There’ll be times you’ll want the space to be light, such as when you’re entertaining, cleaning or reading in the daytime. If you’re someone who prefers dark features, you should work them in by installing dark cabinets, countertops or carpet, but keep the walls neutral.

2. Inviting Décor

A basement is the perfect place to cozy up by yourself or with the family. Not only will neutral paint help your cause, but décor is also a budget-friendly and simple way create a warm and inviting setting. Colors, materials, textures and designs all play a role in how your style comes together.

Even though you’re in the basement, you still need to pay attention to the details and attend to any dead space. Design your lower-level as a continuation of what you already have going in your home, or instead make it a fun space that’s different, themed and personalized with its own unique flair.

3. Focus on Functionality

Don’t assume your basement is just for lounging around. Step back and brainstorm how to make your basement more functional and livable when you’re not using it to snooze on a Sunday afternoon. For example, use the space as a guest bedroom or play area, or install a home theater or bar and lounge area.

Section off the space into different working parts if you have a big enough basement. Those of you who are working with smaller square footage should prioritize what functions to implement based on your current lifestyle and what makes most sense for your family.

4. Strategic Lighting

Many homeowners assume that because they’re decorating a basement, which tends to be dark by nature, they shouldn’t have to worry about lighting. This is opposite of what you should be thinking when you’re working on improving your basement. Lighting is key to setting the mood and making the room more functional.

Installing a basement window is well worth the little time and money it’ll take to add one. In fact, regulations require all basement bedrooms to have an egress window in case of a fire. As far as artificial lighting goes, I suggest having lamps placed strategically throughout the space and installing recessed lighting on a dimmer switch. You won’t regret having options when it comes to lower-level lighting.

5. Organized Storage

A basement is the perfect place to store almost anything, but it must be organized if you want to get the most use out of the space and keep it functional. Take the time to remove any junk in your basement and place any boxes on sturdy and secure shelves.

You don’t need to limit yourself to shelves. A pegboard, a wire rack or a magnetic organizer are all creative ways to get the job done. Doing this will prevent fire and tripping hazards and potential water damage. A damp or wet basement requires immediate attention to maintain the structural integrity of your home. If your basement is prone to dampness you should store your stuff in plastic bags or put them in plastic bins.

6. Wine Cellar or Bar

Your basement doesn’t need to be all business. This is a great opportunity to add an entertainment area and storage place for your alcohol. Imagine a fully stocked wine cellar or built in bar where you can keep your bottles and place additional seating.

This is an enhancement you won’t regret when you’re hosting a party or entertaining guests. Doing this will also free up some of your kitchen space upstairs. Add a sink, fridge, TV and some cabinets to create the perfect little hang out nook.

7. Add a Bathroom

Many people leave a new bathroom out of their basement renovating budget, but that’s a big mistake if you’re going to use the space on a regular basis. Installing a beautiful bathroom on the same level can make a difference in comfort and convenience.

A small vanity, toilet and shower will do the trick. Not only will your family benefit from having another bathroom to get ready in the morning, but it’ll be nice to offer guests their own space when staying over.

8. Comfortable & Stylish Furniture

The most important part of creating an inviting and cozy basement is including furniture that looks good and feels good to sit on. Take your time picking pieces that bring style to the room, but also something that you won’t feel bad breaking in and throwing up your feet.

Sectionals are the perfect choice for any basement. Make sure to get it professionally cleaned on a regular basis, especially if you have pets or use it frequently. Sectional couches are comfy, offer seating for many and can even be used as a bed if someone needs to crash.

Conclusion

Your basement has so much potential, but you need to be open to trying new things. These upgrades can become a reality if you’re motivated and thoughtful about how you want to upgrade and enhance your basement. Most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy it when it’s all done!

Ways To Repair A Broken Stair Tread

In any multi-level home, stairs are a necessity. While you may not give them much thought, if there’s an issue, it can cause problems for the overall flow of the home and even pose a danger to family members. If you notice an issue with a creaking stair or feel the board crack under your foot, it’s time to repair your stairs.

While repairing an entire set of stairs is a big job, if you have a basic knowledge of carpentry, you can replace a single stair tread on your own. If you choose to do this as a DIY project, you should set aside at least a day to complete. Follow these instructions to repair a broken stair tread.

Stair Repair Costs

Before you begin any DIY project, you’ll need plan your budget. While you’ll save money by doing this project yourself, you’ll need to invest in the materials and tools needed to repair your stair. This is a project recommended for experienced DIYers, so if you’re just starting out with a few home improvement projects, you may want to leave this to the pros. The average cost to repair stairs is $586, with most homeowners spending between $357 and $669.

Materials Needed

  • Tape Measure
  • Replacement Wood
  • Liquid Nails
  • Screws
  • Drill
  • Cardboard
  • Pry Bar
  • Saw, if customizing size at home

Safety Considerations

With any DIY project, there are safety concerns to be aware of. Your stairs are a utility that’s needed daily. For this project, you’ll be removing a vital part of the stairwell. For this reason, you’ll need to alert anyone in the home that the stairs are being repaired. When you aren’t working on them, be sure to block them off and remove any sharp objects from the area.

In this instance, we’ll be talking about a single tread in a rectangular shape. For rounded or oblong shaped treads, you’ll need to take more measurements to get the cut you need. You’ll need to be sure that the new stair tread is secure once the project is finished. If you’re uncertain, contact a pro who can help.

Step 1: Measure & Inspect

Before you make any cuts or remove any parts of the stair, take the measurements of the tread, railings and riser. These will all be necessary for the cuts you’ll need to make in your new stair tread. You’ll also want to inspect the source of the damage. If the board is cracked, try to understand why. Was there a lack of support under the tread? Is the board rotting? These issues must be addressed by a pro before the tread is replaced.

Step 2: Remove Old Stair Tread

Be sure that any carpeting, rugs or decorative element is removed from your stair tread before you begin work. Take your pry bar and carefully remove the stair tread from the riser. Though you took measurements, do your best to keep the tread still intact. If you’re not refinishing the entire staircase, be careful not to damage the riser as well.

Once you’ve removed the stair tread, trace the outline on to cardboard. You will use this as a template to guide your cut for the new tread. If the stair tread comes out in pieces, use a piece of cardboard to cut a template of the space.

Step 3: Cut To Fit

If you’re painting or refinishing your stairs during this project, you may have more options when it comes to the wood you use. If your tread is a common size and style, you can likely buy it from your local home improvement store. Many will cut the wood there for you as well. Otherwise, you’ll need to use your saw at home to carefully cut the wood to the measurements you took. You can use a pencil to trace on the template to your wood. Remember to measure at least twice, as you can only make the cut once.

Step 4: Adhere

Once the stair tread is cut to size, you’ll need to adhere it to the stair riser. Use liquid nails to attach to the stair riser. Reinforce with screws to properly secure the stair tread. Let this sit for at least 24 hours before use.

Step 5: Finish

This project is best done if you’re refinishing or painting your stairs. Once your new stair tread has had time to dry, you can continue finishing your staircase. Painting your stairs is a great way to update your look and incorporating your new, secure step.

If your new tread came prefinished, be sure to clean up around the area. Inspect the stair riser to ensure you did not damage it in the process of replacing the stair tread.

Conclusion

Say goodbye to squeaky stairs! Replacing your stair tread takes careful attention but will result in a safer and quieter staircase. If you’re an experienced DIYer, this is the project for you.