The Master Bath You’ve Been Dreaming Of…

Imagine having a space in your home that helps wake up your mind and body in the morning and helps you to unwind after a long day.  Your master bath could be that space.  With the right features, your master bath can turn into an oasis that will also increase your home’s value!

Heated Floors
No one likes waking up and stepping barefoot onto cold tile floor.  Consider adding radiant heating when remodeling your bathroom!  Radiant heating also tends to be more energy efficient, which makes this investment the perfect mix of desirable and practical.
Update The Exhaust Fan
Did you know that an exhaust fan is one of the most requested bathroom features for home buyers?  Make sure yours is up to par in fighting mold and humidity with an upgrade!  There are humidity-controlled fans, fans with nightlights, and many other customizable features you can have in a new exhaust fan.
Dual Flush Toilet
Your water bill (and the environment) will thank you if you make the switch to an efficient dual-flushing toilet!  These toilets allow you to regulate the amount of water used when you flush the toilet. These are a must for new or remodeled bathrooms, and it will definitely add value to your home when selling.
Multi-Head Shower
Make your shower a customizable experience with a multi-head shower!  You can place a rain shower above your head for when you want to relax, or strong jets to soothe sore muscles.  There are all sorts of different heads you can have in your shower, and you can pair this with a separate soaking tub for a truly relaxing experience.
Warming Lamp or Heating Rack
Not many things that feel better than a warm towel after stepping out of the shower or washing your face.  Installation of a heating towel rack right by the shower is a simple feature that warms you up any time of the year.


5 Things Every Home Office Needs

When working from home, you need your own space to minimize distractions and maximize the amount of work you are able to complete.  It also makes sense that this space should be as function and pleasant as possible, or you’ll never want to get any work done!  Make sure your home office has these essentials to help you get your work done, as peacefully as possible.

This may seem obvious, but make sure your home office has doors or is in a secluded area of your home.  You don’t need any added distractions like pets, kids, or your partner’s TV watching to interrupt you; separate yourself from all of this to be productive!  If you live alone you may think you are exempt from this, but that means it’s more important than ever to have a private space used only for work to maximize your productivity.
Quality Furniture
If you spend a lot of time working from home, you should definitely invest in furniture that will serve you best.  Pick out an office chair that won’t hurt your back and choose a desk that is stylish as well as functional.
A View
When working, you don’t want to look up from your computer to a blank wall right in front of you.  Optimize your creativity by placing your desk near a window, or if your space is lacking in these, then paint your walls a color you love and hang up pictures or artwork to stimulate your mind.
Great Lighting
You will never get any work done if your lighting is bad and strains your eyes.  Avoid the headache by taking some time to think about what lighting you need in your space to work at your best.  Another thing to consider: make sure your lighting does not cause a glare on your computer screen.
Organizing your work space is necessary for maximum productivity.  Invest in a book shelf or file cabinet if you have lots of documents or other items that need a home.  Also, your pens, business cards, and sticky notes will probably be kept on your desk, so buy some baskets or holders to keep everything in its place. (Note: the items you choose can be a great way to personalize your office!)


4 Ways to Brighten Up a Room Lacking Natural Light

While all the homes you see on TV and in magazines always have amazing natural light and stunning window features, you may not be as lucky in your home.  Many houses, especially older homes, do not allow the amount of natural light that we all prefer today.  So before you start knocking walls down to get the light you crave, try some of these ideas to brighten up your darkest rooms!

Choose Your Paint Wisely
Light, pale colored walls are one of the best ways to brighten up a room.  Not only are they already bright, but they also help to reflect what little light you may have in a dark room.  The type of paint also matters here; a glossy paint can end up doing more harm than good by creating a glare rather than reflecting the light equally around the room.  Stick with matte options to avoid this problem.
Think About Your Décor
What you hang on your walls can have a big impact on the brightness of your room.  Mirrors are great for reflecting light, so it’s a great idea to hang a large mirror across from your sunniest window or hang a variety of sizes of mirrors in a darker corner.  Also, furniture can help light bounce around if it is reflective or metallic.
Play with Lighting
Lighting plays a major part in rooms without much (or any) natural light, and there are lots of ways to work with it.  Recessed lighting is great for evenly distributing light around the room and can also work well in alcoves and shelving.  Another tactic is hidden lighting, which helps give the room more of a glow.  Some great ways to utilize hidden lights are behind furniture, between ceiling beams, and under cabinets in the kitchen.
Internal Windows
If you have some walls blocking your natural light but don’t want to knock any down, internal windows could be the best way to distribute light to your darker rooms.  Windows can be added to walls or even doors to allow more light through, and some rooms may not even require glass to separate them and you can leave the “window” open.  For areas that require more privacy, frosted glass is the perfect solution to still retain your natural lighting.  Lastly, adding a transom window over a doorway is perfect for a bathroom or closet that needs some extra light.


2018 Kitchen Trends


The kitchen is often called “the heart of your home” for good reason, as most of us spend countless hours in this room throughout the week. That feeling can be compromised if your kitchen needs an update. Check out these great ideas that you could implement into your space… and next thing you know you’ll find yourself in the kitchen even when you aren’t cooking!

Black Appliances
Many homeowners are stepping back from the popular stainless steel and instead choosing darker shades for their appliances. If your dream kitchen features custom cabinetry or a unique backsplash, you don’t want to overshadow it with lots of silver that can draw the eye.
Statement Floor Tile
Since rugs are not very practical in kitchens, the only way to switch up your flooring from basic tile or hardwood is to take advantage of a statement tile. If this is the route you choose for your kitchen, you may want to stick to a more neutral backsplash and fixtures to even out the room.
Fewer Upper Cabinets
If you have enough storage, you might consider the minimalist trend of ridding your kitchen of its upper cabinets. This popular trend helps keep your space looking open and airy, while giving you the option for more windows or hanging décor on your walls.
Open Shelving
Open shelving or cabinets with glass fronts look great in kitchens, although they may not be as practical as regular cabinets. If you choose this route for your kitchen’s design, use it as an excuse to buy new matching dishes that you won’t mind being displayed at all times!
Coffee Station
If you have a large kitchen with lots of counter space, why not dedicate a portion to your coffee addiction? Some features for this area are a mini fridge, mug storage, a tray for your cream and sugar, and obviously your coffee maker! If you have extra room, this could double as a great place to store your wine collection and glassware as well.


Winter Weather Hacks You Wished You Knew Before

Winter becomes a lot less fun when you become an adult. Say goodbye to carefree snow days, and hello to actually dealing with the snow and ice that ends up covering your car, yard, and driveway in the winter. Sadly, these responsibilities aren’t going to go away, so we thought we’d put together a winter weather survival guide to make the winter a little more enjoyable.

You can walk into almost any convenience store in the winter and find a multitude of de-icing products, but which one should you choose? While this mostly depends on what material you’ll be placing it on, whether you have pets, etc., there’s a few things to keep in mind no matter what. First, a little goes a long way. Make sure to read the instructions on how much to use, because it is easy to overdo it. Using the correct amount will reduce buildup of the product, which would prevent its ability to wash away (which can lead to damage of your driveway/sidewalk).
If you’re interested in natural products (coffee grounds, kitty litter) that add traction but do not melt the ice, a good idea is to mix it with your deicer product to minimize the amount you would need to use. Lastly, a major factor to consider with any product if you are placing it on concrete is the age of your concrete. If for example it was laid within the last six months, it can be damaged quite a bit by your deicer product.
If you didn’t get ahead of a winter storm and lay your deicer product beforehand, you may think you’re out of luck. However, there are a few homemade remedies you can use to get you out the door quickly. One solution is salt water; let ¼ cup of table salt dissolve in a quart of water and pour it over that pesky ice on your walkway. This will quickly melt the ice and help prevent freezing since salt has a lower freezing point than water. This is also true for rubbing alcohol, which you could pour or spray over ice in a pinch.
Tips and Tricks
We all have different things that annoy us about winter. Here are some hacks to avoid a few of them:
• Cleaning off your car: avoid wasting time doing this every morning by placing a tarp, towel, or old blanket on your windshield at night. There are also specially made products that can make this task even simpler.
• Shoveling every few hours for the dog: some dogs, especially smaller breeds, really don’t like tromping through the snow. Instead of going out with them to shovel or sweep, lay a tarp down before it snows, and then move it for a snow-free spot for your pup to do his business.
• Wet feet: if your shoes get soaked through while shoveling or playing in the snow, then odds are you won’t be out there very long. Prevent this by putting plastic bags over your socks before putting your boots on.


What You Need for Your Dream Gym… At Home!

Do you have an unused space in your home that you think would be a great spot for a home gym? Or is it your dream to have a space in your home where you can exercise in peace? While we’re no expert on what equipment you will need, we do know what kind of space would work best!

Closed-Door Policy
The first factor to consider in your space is if it is secluded. Exercising is great for your mental health, but it could turn stressful if you have your whole family watching you or pets trying to join your downward dog. A door will help block distractions and will also help mute sound, which means you can blare your workout mix as loud as you want. A basement or spare bedroom would work perfectly to prevent family interruptions and give you the peace of mind you deserve while exercising.
Don’t Ruin Your Floors
You’ll want to consider what type of flooring is already in your space, and whether or not that type would work in a home gym or if you should replace it. If you aren’t planning to use your space for heavy weightlifting, then laminate or carpet could work for you. But if you have pristine wood flooring, don’t risk scratching it: you can buy foam tiles or other rubber mats to protect your flooring. These mats also act to soundproof the room and create a non-slip surface.
Space Requirements
How much space you’ll need depends on what exercises you plan to do in your home gym. The main things to consider are if you have enough room to move around comfortably; you don’t want everything crammed in too tight. Another feature you’ll want to make sure your space has is enough outlets. Cardio machines, lights, speakers, and TVs are all popular in home gyms and require outlet access.

After you evaluate your space and make any necessary changes, go ahead and make the jump to having a home gym. Make it into your own personal retreat, which in turn will lead to more exercising!


Is an Open Floor Plan for You?

One of the trendiest home designs right now is the open floor plan, which is when a space has no (or only a few) dividing walls separating the areas. This design trend has become a staple in what people look for in a home, but does that mean it’s the design for you?
Here are some pros and cons to consider when buying or renovating a home if you’re thinking of having an open floor plan.
Many people choose open plan living as a way to not feel closed off when in common areas of the home. When a kitchen, dining room, and living room are opened up to each other, family members can be doing different things in each of the rooms, but still feel together and communicate with one another. This is also great for entertaining purposes, as guests won’t feel awkward when the host needs to run to the kitchen. However, if you prefer privacy when relaxing in the living room or cooking in the kitchen, then this wouldn’t be the floor plan for you.
No surprise here, but when you take room-dividing walls down, there’s nothing blocking sound from room to room. If someone is watching TV in the living room while someone tries to listen to a podcast while cooking in the kitchen, your home might sound a bit chaotic.
If you are a fan of natural light, then an open floor plan could be the perfect option for you. When you take down walls, the light streaming in from windows will brighten up the whole space, and not just the one room. This is especially great if one of your rooms has only one or two windows and tends to look dark.
For most people, more space is always preferred, but open plan living has both pros and cons in the space category. On one hand, there are no doors dividing rooms that take up space when they are open, and doors can also hinder foot traffic. However, fewer walls means fewer storage areas, especially in a kitchen where cabinets and counters can be sacrificed in an open floor plan. In addition, this floor plan can make heating/cooling your open space much more expensive, as you cannot indicate which rooms you would like to focus climate control on.

Overall, an open floor plan is a great choice in a home and usually will add value to your home. However, it’s important to look at all aspects before making a large renovation decision or buying a home with an open living plan.