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!

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Make Your Tiny Kitchen Look Enormous

1. Eliminate Counter Clutter
With the busy lives we live, it is hard to keep everything organized in kitchen cabinets at all time. However, one thing that will create more visual space in your kitchen is a clear counter. Remove all food products, mail, and cluttered decor from your counter surface and reserve it for useful items like sugar and spices. It will appear to be a larger space when the clutter is removed.

2. Lighting
If you have the benefit of big windows near your kitchen, the natural light will help to make this living space appear bigger. If you do not have an abundance of natural light, providing adequate lighting for your kitchen is beneficial for cooking but also for create space in the room.

3. Add Hidden Storage
There are typically unused spaces in kitchen cabinet that can utilized for organizing kitchenware. Creating extra cabinet space can help to eliminate clutter on countertops.

4. Reflective Surfaces
A new trend for smaller kitchens is to add mirror fronts to kitchen cabinets or buy all stainless steel appliances. These reflective surfaces can add depth and create the illusion that the space appears larger.

5. Light Colors
Along with natural light, painting walls and cabinets light colors will brighten up the room and essentially make it look bigger. Painting walls lighter colors can also allow creativity with decoration themes being bold colors that will really stand out on the walls and countertops.

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First impression Tricks for Your Front Door

When you’re welcoming a guest into your home, one of the first things they notice is your front door. Don’t you want it to make a nice first impression of your home? Here are a few tips to help make your front door leave a lasting impression.

Coordinating Color
The color of your door is typically the first and most important factor for changing the door’s appearance. There are many dynamics that can impact your color decision. For instance, what color are the shutters and house? What direction is the door facing? Do you want a neutral or bold color? These are all questions to start asking when deciding the color for your home entrance.

Personalizing Décor
Simple wreaths are common on doors, welcome signs, or the home address number. These are all fun do-it-yourself projects that really personalize your front door to create a welcoming persona. Changing up the decorations according to the season or upcoming holiday can show care for your home since there is continuously upkeep to the home environment.

Selecting Hardware
Doorknob selection can be an overlooked selection for some front doors. First priority, purchasing a secure lock for your home. Second, determine your decorative style and how you flaunt that within your home. Do you like a vintage appearance or do you prefer the modern and clean look that has clear cut lines? Whatever your preference may be, there are more options than expected when it comes to searching for the perfect doorknob.

Welcome Mat
This functional detail can add more personality to your home entrance. This addition to your front door could be a clean design or a quirky saying to make your guests smile. It also doesn’t hurt to give a reminder to wipe their feet before entering your beautiful home.

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Maximize the Sun Rays in Your Home

Lighting for a home goes beyond simply the illumination of a room. Designing a home around maximum sunlight exposure allows you to harness the power of the sun to warm and light the rooms of your home as you desire. This not only creates beauty in design that you want but also minimizes your carbon footprint, since you’re tapping into a renewable energy supply to help with interior climate control. Here are some ideas on how you can do this effectively.

Mirrors
Place a mirror on a wall adjacent to a window or opposite a window. This will make your space feel bigger. If the space has a view and you put a mirror on the wall opposite that window you will double the light and double the view.

Let the Light in
Avoid heavy, light-blocking window treatments. Opt instead for translucent shades that provide privacy while allowing light into the space. This will even give a soft glow to the shade and bounce light into the wall directly adjacent to the shaded window.When designing your home, we also suggest that you optimize opportunities to add windows and skylights. These options will give you more natural sunlight to warm the room and provide illumination.

Carefully Choose Your Curtains
Curtains are a powerful tool that can help with the lighting of a home. They change the entire function of a window, beyond providing an outdoor view, by controlling the amount of sunlight that is allowed to penetrate into a given area.

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Cozy Decorating to Keep You Warm This Winter

In the depths of winter, we rely on our homes to shield us from the chill. Frosty temperatures keep many of us cooped up indoors more than we’d like, and when we do brave the winter weather, we want to come back to a cozy home. From comfy throws to wood burning stoves, here are some tips on how to keep your home warm this winter season!

1. Make Mirrors a Must-Have
Since winter comes with shorter days, make the most of the natural light whenever possible. Hanging a large mirror on a blank stretch of wall near a window or above a mantel display will reflect light throughout your space. The more light there is, the warmer your house will be!

2. Give Your Feet a Treat
Wood and tile floors can add a sophisticated style statement year-round, but walking on them during the winter can feel like you are freezing your feet. To cozy them up, add a fluffy area rug and some bold colored carpet runners to keep your home warm underfoot.

3. Warm Up Windows
This may seem like a no brainer, but open up the curtains when the sun is out! Utilizing natural energy is the cheapest way to keep warm during the winter. To keep them insulated, layer on window treatments and add heavy drapes made of thick material.

4. Wood-Burning
Though gas fireplaces are good, there’s nothing quite like a wood-burning stove. Wood stoves are compact, user friendly, and a great way to keep your home’s heating costs down.

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New Year, New Home: 3 Renovation Tips for the New Year

Congratulations on getting to 2016!

You’ve already set goals for yourself in the form of New Year’s Resolutions, but have you set new goals for your home? Transform your space into a beautiful and efficient place to live this year. If you spend a lot of time in your home, continual upgrades to the space are essential. As you make a better you, make a better home!

The following are considerations you should take while making renovations in the new year:

1. Know Your Budget and Stick To It
After all of the holiday chaos, you might be a little short on change. But what about all of your dreams of home improvement? Not to fear! Regardless of whether or not you’ve been affected by holiday spending, you should strategically plan how much your project is going to cost you. Lay out each piece to the project and the corresponding price estimates.

2. Keep Lines of Communication Open With Your Contractor
When you hire a contractor for your project, you are placing a certain level of trust on that person. They are ultimately responsible for how your project will turn out. If you already have the pieces of your project laid out from when you budgeted, it should be relative easy to explain the vision you have to your contractor. Be flexible with your contractor and let them develop a solution that meets your vision and expectations.

3. Look at Other Projects for Inspiration
Do you know exactly how you want your finished project to look? Sometimes it’s challenging to find modern styles and trends that closely match your taste. Reference projects from magazines or from the Internet when explaining your vision to your contractor. He or she should have concrete examples to go off of, since they are unable to see your mental picture of the project.

Are you tackling home renovations this year? If so, which rooms will you give makeovers to? Share your renovation stories on our Facebook!

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4 Tips for Keeping Your Home Secure During the Holiday Season

For most of us, the holiday season is a time to be merry. It is a time for decorations, shopping, parties, and fun! During this time we smile a little more, love a little more, and give a little more. It is important to keep in mind, however, that thieves view the holiday season as an increased opportunity to take and steal.
Whether you are staying home this year or visiting family, we want you, your family and your home to be safe. Please consider the following safety tips as we enter the heart of the holiday season.

1. Make sure gifts aren’t visible from the street.
You will probably try to keep gifts out of sight from children, but you should also make sure gifts are hidden from public view. If a criminal can see what is in your home, it’s likely they will try to rob you. Try to keep your Christmas tree or Menorah away from windows and other places with an outside view.

2. Keep your travel plans offline.
If you are planning to travel during the holiday season, be sure to keep your travel plans off your social media networks. Publicizing the location or duration of your trip on social media lets thieves know when no one will be home. Even if you have the highest-level of privacy on your Facebook or Twitter accounts, posting personal information is never recommended.

3. Use holiday lights safely.
Put your outdoor holiday lights on an automatic timer to keep thieves from learning your daily routine. We also suggest you put your indoor lights on an automatic timer if you are vacationing for the holidays. Do not run extension cords through windows because it means that windows will not completely close.

4. Notify a trusted friend or family member.
If you are going out of town, get someone you trust to check on your house, pick up your mail and newspapers, and keep your walks cleared of snow. Nothing tells a thief you are not home like a week’s worth of newspapers on your driveway or un-shoveled snow on your sidewalk.

How are you getting your home holiday ready? Message us on Facebook!

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Make Your Mantel a Stylish Focal Point

We believe that your fireplace should always be the center of attention, and what better way to turn your mantel into a wow-worthy focal point than with a decorating makeover.  The way your mantel is decorated dramatically affects the aesthetics of the room it’s in. Your mantel expresses the room’s intended style and highlights the interests and experiences of the homeowners. We would like to help you decorate your mantel!

1. Dress to impress your mantel with some outstanding overlapping.

Overlap artwork to make any mantel stand out. It is crucial to make sure the pieces vary in height and width. Keep in mind that bigger pieces should be a backdrop for smaller artwork and picture frames, so make sure they are not super busy. Finish the look with some chunky candles on either side to frame it.

2. Soften the space by using a soothing palette of colors.

The right mix of accessories, in the right colors, will make your mantel go from simple to chic. Hang a mirror in the middle and mount candleholders on either side of it. Fix the mantel with a big vase in front of the mirror and fill in the rest of it with smaller accessories of varied height, like vases and candlesticks. Make sure the colors and materials you use reflect the room’s palette.

3. Turn your space into a tasteful oasis with a traditional tableau. 

Classic order comes from symmetrical arrangements. Fashion the wall behind your mantel with a pair of wall sconces on each side of the fireplace, and mount a round ornate mirror in the center. On the mantel itself, add pairs of similarly designed articles to maintain the balanced look.

4. Move to modernize with a media mantel.

Flat-screened televisions are often placed above the mantel, but this look can disrupt the fireplace’s decorative facade. Avoid this by fixing the television unit into the wall behind the fireplace and enclosing it with bi-fold doors. Finish the look by placing a simply elegant orchid at the corner.

How did you style your mantel to make your fireplace shine? Message us on Facebook!

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5 Safety Tips for Outdoor Decorating

Are you ready to give your front yard a spooky makeover? ‘Tis the season to get creative with your Halloween decorations!

Young trick-or-treaters will be arriving at your doorstep later this month, so we want to give you some tips for safe decorating. If you have a porch connected to the front of your home, you have a lot of space to play!

Consider the following safety tips before putting up your Halloween decor:

  1. Keep your outdoor space clutter-free.

Make sure to leave enough room for people to walk up to your door. If you are bumping into lights and props, consider taking a few of your decorations down.

  1. Remember that all heat sources can cause fires.

It’s a good idea to completely avoid all open flames, and to use LED lighting or battery-operated candles instead. Keep in mind that LED lighting and battery-operated candles need to stay away from open flames too. Also, remember that items such as straw, dried flowers, and crepe paper are all highly flammable.

  1. Secure props.

Electrical cords should be hung up or taped down securely. Any item that is hanging, dangling, or draped should be tightly fastened and tucked away. Make sure to check your decorations while your trick-or-treaters visit on the night of Halloween, in case something becomes loose during the night.

  1. Follow directions.

Read the instructions on ALL decoration packaging. If you have lighting that is only meant for indoor use, make sure you are only using them indoors. Kids’ safety will be at risk if it starts raining and the lighting can’t get wet!

  1. Clean up your decorating mess.

You will likely use tools and equipment to set up all of your Halloween decorations. When you are finished decorating, take some time to walk back and forth through your yard and make sure you cleaned everything up. Don’t forget that pair of sharp scissors laying on the ground, or the ladder you used to hang props from the tree!

How do you give your yard a spooky makeover? Share your photos on our Facebook page!

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What to Look for in a Remodeling Company

How many times have you completed a renovation project? Regardless of whether you are on your first or fifth, you should know that one of the most important things to do before you start a project is to plan.

Choosing a remodeling company to get the job done correctly is arguably the most important part of a  renovation project. As you  begin researching companies, make sure you are looking for these key qualities in the contractors who will be completing your project:

  1. Professionalism

Search for a company that presents itself like a full-time business. The contractors who are a part of that company should be well-organized, follow up with you directly, and present a detailed contract of the project details before they begin construction.

  1. Experience

Renovation is  many different types of work combined, involving architectural design and project management. The contractors you browse through need to have more than three years of expertise in home improvement. Check the company’s certifications in places other than their website, such as The Better Business Bureau or Angie’s List.

  1. Excellent Communication

The lines of communication need to be open between you and your contractors. You should receive constant updates from your contractors regarding the project, especially if the timeline or the budget changes.

  1. Reputation

Opt for a remodeling company with an established name. Look for reviews online from previous customers or network with other businesses in the same industry to find out more about the remodeling company.

  1. Job Site Etiquette

The contractors worth investing in are the ones who maintain clean and organized work sites, take precautionary steps to ensure safety for you and your family, and know how to keep a low profile in a neighborhood.

Are you planning your next home renovation? Call us for a consultation or send us a message on our website!

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