New Trends For A New Year

2019 is finally here and with it comes new resolutions, new workout plans, and new headaches! Many of us want to put 2018 behind us and start a new year off fresh. An easy way to do this is simply surrounding yourself with a fresh, new look!

As far as interior design goes, 2019 is full of promising trends. Warm tones are taking over living spaces and knocking out the cooler grays and blues we have all become familiar with. Warm neutrals are particularly in high demand for the coming year. Taupe-like colors for walls, sofas, and ottomans are the new gray. And believe it or not, green is making a comeback!

chair2_3793_cactus_large1246291365We aren’t talking about the 1950’s green kitchen walls that your grandmother still has. We’re talking about vintage green velvet armchairs – a 19th-century appreciation. Places like Ikea, Target, and Wayfair are already designing the old world French looking chairs and getting them on the shelves. If you like the classic look or even something more modern, green velvet is sure to be a head-turner this year!

If you’re the person who would prefer the modern green velvet chair with gold accents, you are in luck! Modern style design is still trending above all others. American modern, Art Deco, and Scandinavian modern are at the top of the charts for 2019. Eclectic mixes of colors and patterns are shaping a new sense of “home” (along with those warmer tones we talked about)!

Take the stress out of sticking to a diet or reading a book a month and surround yourself in a stylish new comfortable. The other resolutions will come much more naturally if you are in a more positive and fresh space!


Turn Your Staircase Into A Grand Entrance

Staircases are arguably the most important part of a multi-level house. Not only do they serve as a very important tool for getting from one floor to another, but they also decide the flow of the house.

If your staircase creaks and you don’t even know the last time the boards were replaced, you’re likely looking at more than just a detriment to the fengshui of your home – you probably have a safety concern on your hands. If this sounds like you, drop everything you are doing and read on!

You may think that creaky stairs are a commonality and are nothing to worry about. Really, this is a sign of dangerous boards that could break or detach from the staircase, which could cause serious injuries to you and your family. But don’t worry, there is an easy DIY fix for both the safety and look of your stairs. All you need is some help of wood boards, paint, nails, and a saw.

Start by examining your stairs from the underneath, if possible. Often tightening screws, adjusting nails, or using a bit of wood glue can secure your steps more without having to replace them. If you see a lot of discoloration, holes from termites or other bugs, or rotting spots you should go straight for brand new boards.

Carefully take off a riser to use as a template to measure and cut the new ones. Remember that cutting a board a little too big is better than cutting one too small, as you can always cut them down a bit more. Before you nail on the new tread you must secure the new riser to the stringers (A.K.A the existing frame). After you secure the first riser you can then secure the first tread. For the treads, using boards with one rounded edge will be the easiest.

We recommend replacing one board at a time before taking the next board off. This way, you will always have a full functional staircase for the duration of your project. Once all of the treads and risers are replaced you can stain, paint, or add tile to your new stairs.

A dark colored tread with a complimentary colored riser will make your staircase look tall and modern. The tread can be painted a solid dark grey, brown, or black. If you like a more traditional or exposed wood look, try staining the treads with a black cherry or walnut color.

Your risers should complement the treads and tie in the color scheme of your home. You can use an off-white paint for a fresh look, or a pop of color to make it look modern. If you want to incorporate different colors or tiles into your staircase, then the risers are the place to do it! An added bonus of using tile risers is that they are so easy to clean if they get scuffed.

Now that you know how easy it can be to change your staircase, what other projects would help spruce up your home? Give us a call about any other home renovation projects we can help make happen in 2019!


4 Quick Springtime Renovation Projects

As the weather warms up in Ohio, it’s a great time to take care of improvements in and around your home. Whether you are focusing on DIY projects, or calling professionals like us to give you a hand, there are a few home projects that you should prioritize in the springtime.

Driveway Repair

The frigid, winter temperatures may have created cracks and potholes in the pavement of your driveway. Sometimes this kind of breakage in the driveway can be repaired with a pavement filler, but other times the whole area must be resurfaced. The amount of splitting on the surface will guide your decision to refill or resurface.

Painting Walls

After the dreary, winter months, you may notice the colors on your walls are faded. Springtime calls for room colors to be more aesthetically vibrant. Repainting every room in the house is much too large of a project to undertake. Make sure to walk through your house and see which spaces are worth changing.

Carpet Restoration

As you take on your spring cleaning, you may notice that there is wear on your carpet due to the dirt and grime that people have tread into your house all winter. The fabric can be restored  with a carpet cleaning machine. It is recommended that you deep clean your carpets every 12-18 months. If the carpet is in similar condition to as it was before you deep-cleaned, you may need to consider replacing it entirely.

Deck Repair

If your deck is worn or cracked, similar to your driveway, it’s a good idea to make repairs as soon as you notice breakage in the surface. Inspect the deck for common problems that occur after your deck has been exposed to harsh weather conditions. The way you take care of your deck will depend on the kind of material it is made out of, as well as the amount of damage that has been done to it.

Share your before and after projects of you home renovation projects with us on Facebook!


Do it yourself or hire a pro?

We love do-it-yourselfers! The can-do spirit, the chance to show off their work, and all the rescues we get to do when their projects go wrong.

Seriously, it’s great to dive in on making your home exactly what you envision. And more and more people are doing it – 30 percent of homeowners now plan to do their own remodeling, and 65 percent plan to do at least some portion of the project themselves.

Here’s six tips on how to decide whether to take a project on or give a pro a call.


1. Do you have the right reason?

Are you doing this for an ego boost? To impress others? To save money? To have fun?

Whatever your reason, find out if that’s really enough reason by doing a reality check.

– Conduct a visual walkthrough, imagining every step of the project from preparation to clean-up. Go through it once with everything going right, and a second time with everything going wrong. Would the outcome still meet your reasons for doing it?

– Take on some small projects and see how they go.


2. Do you have the time?

If the idea of coming home after work and diving into a dusty mass of tools and busted drywall every day for six weeks sounds great, you’re a true do-it-yourselfer.

– Take your best estimate of how long the project will take, then triple it.

– Remember your visual walkthrough? Now visualize doing the project around all the rest of your activities.


3. Do you have the relationships?

Unless you live alone, any home repair project will affect those around you.

– Before diving in, check in with any family and friends who’ll be involved.

– Make sure you run both the best-case and worst-case scenarios by them, and talk about how each person would handle them.


4. Do you have the skills?

If not, can you learn quickly enough to complete the project and not damage your house?

– Find tutorials and video guides online and at your local library.

– Connect with a home improvement store or contractor friends for workshops, advice – and backup!

– Test with smaller, related projects. Try helping out a friend before using your home as your guinea pig.


5. Do you have the money?

Sure, hiring a professional can give you sticker shock. But a careful cost comparison might surprise you.

– Add up the cost of materials to what your time is worth. (Remember, triple the estimates!)

– Labor usually gives a professional job a 25-50 percent markup. But do-it-yourself mistakes can cancel your savings, or even cost more than you would have paid a pro.

– Remember that contractors usually get discounts on materials and don’t have to buy or rent equipment and tools.

– Get multiple quotes, and ask the contractor about ways to reduce the price. In some cases, you might be able to do the demolition or cleanup, or even handle some of the labor.


6. When to stay away

Some projects are just not something to tackle unless you have professional training and experience.

These include anything to do with electrical lines, natural gas pipes, major plumbing, and garage doors – the tension in their springs is enough to shatter limbs and smash through garage walls.

Not only are these seriously dangerous areas to deal with, but it’s easy to violate local building codes and regulations that can lead to fines and problems with selling the home.

Less dangerous to life and limb but still a risk for wallets are skill-heavy jobs like custom cabinets, flooring and bathroom installations.


So dive in to do-it-yourself – just be informed before you do. We’re always happy to stop by for an estimate, to share advice, and to lend a hand if things go awry.