Which Paint Do You Need In Your Space?

If you’re getting bored with the décor in your home, you’re in luck; paint is a quick and inexpensive way to completely change the look and feel of a room! While choosing a new color for your walls is its own tedious process, have you thought about which type of paint is best for your space? Here are some pros and cons about different finishes that will help you pick out your dream paint!

High gloss paint has at least 70% reflectivity, and with current trends it usually is used on cabinets and other furniture instead of walls due to how shiny it is. However, glossy paint is the easiest paint to clean and is great in high traffic areas where children and pets are likely to come in contact with the walls. High gloss paint can magnify imperfections on the walls, so if you have an older home this may not be the right choice.

A matte finish, also known as a flat finish, tends to be used on most interior surfaces. Wall imperfections are hardly visible with this paint since it does not reflect light. While it is very easy to make small touch ups to matte finishes, it is not washable. A matte finish enhances a rustic or worn look and also works well on ceilings. You should not use matte finishes on the exterior of your home or doors.

Semi-Gloss paint is most commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms. It is easier to clean than matte paint and does not hold the same high reflectivity as glossy paint. Its subtle shine gives a modern look to walls, cabinets, and built-ins. With semi-gloss paint being the perfect middle point between high gloss and matte, it often is more expensive. This is because it is so durable and has a resistance to dust stains.


Transform Your Basement Into A Rainy Day Escape

Summer is full of barbeques, backyard sprinklers, ice cream, and beaches. But what do you do when the weather is less than perfect? Here are some easy basement ideas that can transform your space and make it feel like you are outdoors, even when you aren’t!

Wood Textures
A simple pallet wall or wooden ceiling beams can completely transform the look and feel of a basement. Wood not only adds warmth to a space, but it also adds an element of the outdoors that you can easily (and affordably) bring inside. Throw in some cabin-themed decorations and some indoor plants and you’ll feel like you’re in your favorite lake view spot!

What is a finished basement without a bar area perfect for serving drinks? Consider adding this feature in your basement if you love entertaining guests! To get that outside feeling, decorate it for summer with tiki inspired adornments. You can use a natural raffia table skirt to decorate the front of your bar and create a tropical bar top display with coconut cups, colorful appetizer plates, and some pineapple décor! Hang decorative LED string lights such as lanterns behind and above the bar for a little festive lighting to really set the mood.

Indoor Picnic
Have a fun indoor picnic theme with family and friends on those rainy summer days! Pick up a large serving bowl and place various summer fruits, such as lemons, oranges, grapes, or watermelon slices, inside of it. Place the bowl alongside a mason jar style drink dispenser and put a classic red and white checkered tablecloth below the two. This will make for an easy and fun serving station or just a seasonal decoration (maybe use plastic fruit as a decoration)! Fill empty table space with fruity scented candles, a napkin display, or a cute picnic basket!


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.


Spring Cleaning… In the Fall

Doesn’t dividing your home’s deep cleaning between two seasons instead of all in the spring sound so much better? Fall is the perfect time to clean your home inside and out, with the temperature dropping from the summer’s sweltering heat. Also, with winter coming there’s steps that need to be taken to protect your home from the cold. A bonus of deep cleaning in the fall: there’s much less to do once the holidays come around when friends and family fill your home! Here are some specific tasks that you may usually overlook, but now is the perfect time to take care of them!

• Clean and store the patio furniture. While you don’t necessarily need to do this too soon, it is best to move or cover your furniture before freezing temperatures come. Also, cleaning it beforehand is important to avoid mold or mildew.
• Clear out your gutters. This is especially important to do once all the leaves have fallen, as you don’t want wet leaves to freeze in your gutters and downspouts.
• Clean your carpets. If you choose to do this professionally, the fall season is perfect because the professionals tend to get busier around the holidays.
• Clean window treatments. Blinds and shades can usually just be dusted off, and curtains can be vacuumed. If the curtains need to be washed, check the instructions as many types should be taken to a dry cleaner.
• Dust your ceiling fixtures. This is never a fun task, but a dirty ceiling fan or chandelier can be one of the most noticeable things for your guests.
• Sweep your chimney. With winter and warm fires on the horizon, your chimney and flue should be inspected and cleaned.

Once these tasks and other deep cleaning chores are done, you’ll be able to enjoy the winter season and the holidays much better knowing there is nothing that has gone undone!