Posted by Amanda Bruen on 10/1/2018

There's a lot to love about a builder grade home, for example, the fact that it is newly built and doesn't come with the host of issues of an older home. However, these homes can lack in the personality department since the focus when being built was on the budget and not magazine worthy style. Keep reading to discover how you can add stylistic flair to your home without draining your bank account. Light fixtures. Changing light fixtures by either replacing them completely or painting them can make a huge difference in a room. Picking up a few cans of rubbed bronze or satin nickel spray paint will give a modern touch without breaking the bank. Doors. Replace or reface generic hollow core doors. You can reface flat doors by adding molding or get creative with a can of paint and a roll of painter’s tape and make the illusion that you have a raised panel door. Beadboard paired with molding is another great combination that adds personality to your doors without the major price tag. Stairs. Strip carpeting to expose treads and risers. Here’s where you can let your imagination go wild. Pick up some cans of paint and add a unique touch to your staircase by painting railings and  risers to add a pop of color. Avoid painting your stairs all one color to avoid a bland look. You can even paint a faux runner to really add a unique touch. Cabinets.  Replacing cabinets is always an option albeit a pricey one. If you’re happy with your cabinet layout you have a few diy options available. Variation can be the spice of life. Try removing some cabinet doors to keep things open or installing some glass paneled doors. Paint is always an option whether professionally sprayed or done by yourself. Another easy way to add some personality to builder grade cabinets is by updating hardware. Look for knobs and handles at antique shops to add a unique touch on a budget. Millwork. Molding, wainscoting, and beadboard. Oh, my. With this trio on your side, the possibilities for customization are endless. Frame a plain bathroom mirror, add chair rails or extend baseboards. With a little creativity, you can even recreate the look of coffered ceiling or paneled doors. If you are unsure of where to start, try looking through some home magazines for inspiration. Wallpaper. Wallpaper gives you endless options for adding flair to the walls of your home. Add a pop of color with bright, bold patterns or texture with paintable varieties. If you don’t want to make a commitment to wallpaper or the idea of scrapping it if you change your mind fills you with dread there are now a plethora of temporary wallpaper options. Tile. Hexagon and subway tiles are both guaranteed to add a modern feel to your home. However, your options today are endless no matter your budget. Explore the selections at your local home improvement store and don’t rule out materials fabricated to recreate a stone or wood finish. After all, there’s no need to empty your wall out just to get the look you want. Just because you’ve fallen in love with a builder grade home doesn’t mean it needs to stay quite so basic. If you want to add a touch of modern style to your home a little creativity and paint can go a long way. Don’t forget to sit back and enjoy all your hard work when you’re finished!




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Posted by Amanda Bruen on 8/8/2017

Whether you are a recent transplant to the area or have been a New Englander all of your life it’s hard to resist the charm of the classic New England style. The crisp clean lines and simplicity make one feel instantly at home. Keep reading to discover how you can add a touch of New England charm to your home. Furniture. New England style still holds its roots from it's early settlers. Look for simple, rustic furniture. Ideally, it should be a handmade piece built for quality to last the tests of time. Speaking of time, no New England home is complete with at least one antique and preferably one handed down generation to generation. If you are not so fortunate to have an heirloom piece start hunting the antique fairs for one you love. Color. New England homes are deeply inspired by their natural surroundings. When choosing colors for your home think sky blues, sunny yellows, sea foam greens, sandy beige, pine greens and nautical navy. If you need some inspiration visit the cape or some nearby woods to gather your color inspiration. Visual Interest. New England style may be simple but it’s not devoid of visual interest. If you don’t have at least something covered in plaid you should consider a shopping trip in the near future. Whether it’s a blanket, kitchen curtains or even some wallpaper, having plaid is practically a must. Braided rugs are another New England staple and not always one limited to floor coverings. You can also find braided table runners, placemats, coasters, chair pads, and potholders. Decorating. Books, books, and more books. A large home library is not hard to find in New England homes. Collect interesting titles and visually appealing book spines for a collection that makes a statement. Nature landscapes, seashells, lobsters, ducks, and shells are all common themes found within this homey decor style. Woven baskets and rustic pottery are also New England staples to be placed on shelves or hung from hooks. Shelving and hooks will be your best friend as New England style maintains it’s clean simplicity by having a place for every item and keeping them off the floor. Features. A wood stove and/or fireplace are practically nonnegotiable. And while a stack of split wood nearby and fireplace tools are a practical necessity there also a form of decor. Invest in a visually appealing log rack and hearth toolset. White washed walls and wide wood plank floors, usually of pine, are another classic New England feature hearkening back to its first settler roots you will want to look for when home shopping or replicate in your redesign. If you’ve been lusting after New England style homes gracing the pages of your favorite interior decorating magazine it’s probably time to add some of that charm to your own home. Whether you just add a few touches by switching up your decorations or overhaul your house top to bottom you should have a better idea of how you too can have a cozy New England style home.





Posted by Amanda Bruen on 11/8/2016

 

If you’ve paid any attention to home and living catalogues over the years you’ve probably noticed how quickly home decor trends come and go. Just like in the world of fashion, the people who manufacture homegoods do it with one idea in mind: to keep you coming back for more.


There’s an important distinction to be made between a trend and a style. You’ve probably seen several homes that adhere to the styles of farmhouse, mid-century modern, industrial, and so on. However, within these styles there are several trends that flood magazines and houses each year. While everyone wants to keep their home up to date, it’s important to keep a watchful eye out for homegoods that are just capitalizing on the latest trends.


In this article, we’ll break down some home decor tips that will help you pick the homegoods that will look great year after year while also serving a useful function in your house. And, we’ll help you avoid the trends that put a strain on your wallet each year.

Keep the big picture in mind


When browsing through the latest Crate & Barrel catalog, it’s tempting to order items based on liking the way they look in the picture. However, it’s important to remember how it would look in your own home. This is true for many items around the home, like houseplants. If you have a farmhouse-style home, decorating it with cacti or zen gardens might appear out of place and thus will be short-lived decorations.


Aside from the inside of your home, it’s important to keep in mind the architectural style of your house. It would seem strange, for example, to enter a brownstone building in Brooklyn to find it filled with country style decorations. That isn’t to say you need to always adhere exclusively to the architectural style of the building (some juxtapositions work well together and are a fun way to give your home some originality).

Good design sticks around


Appearance isn’t everything. When it comes to things like furniture, appliances, and kitchenware you’ll find that usefulness and ease of access is a key feature. Before buying one of these items, think about whether it serves a purpose, and if it serves that purpose better than your current item. Read reviews or ask friends and family about these items before purchasing them.

Stick to the classics


One of the latest trends to hit coffee shops around the country is the tall metal stool. Sometimes they have a backrest, sometimes they don’t. They can be painted a neutral color or left metallic and unfinished.


While these stools may fit neatly into the modern, industrial look, they might not fit your particular needs. In some instances, it’s better to stick to the tried-and-true furniture items for your home. If you’re placing the stools somewhere that people are going to sit often and for long periods of time, you’ll want them to be comfortable. Don’t sacrifice comfort in your own home just because something looks good.




Tags: home   house   interior design   Decor   homegoods   design  
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Posted by Amanda Bruen on 9/27/2016

Rent out your basement and you could offset at least half of your monthly mortgage. The extra money could put your dream home within reach. It could also help to keep you in your home if you signed an adjustable rate mortgage and rising interest rates have increased your monthly mortgage. But, are you ready to be a landlord? Factors to consider before you rent out your basement Are you ready to share your home with strangers? This may be the most important question to ask yourself before you advertise for renters. Sure. You'll come to know tenants over time, but you're taking a chance at the start. If you're ready to rent out your basement, familiarize yourself with area renter laws. Local licensing agencies should be able to tell you whether or not your basement is up to code and meets city requirements. Things that you may need to consider include whether or not your basement is finished, has an emergency exit, a bathroom, bedroom, sufficient lighting, windows and proper insulation. A separate heating and cooling source are generally required should you rent out your basement. Again, consult local licensing agencies. Once your basement is up to code, start to think about what you'd want in an apartment that you were renting and living in. Offer an attractive living space You want your basement rental to be desirable to renters. You also want the space to successfully compete with area apartments. Decide if you'll allow tenants to park in your driveway or ask that they park on the street. If you build windows, partitions and separate rooms with doors in the basement, pay attention to the types of windows and doors that you install. Are you going to go with double hung or casement windows? Door types to consider include wood, steel and fiberglass doors. Features range from trim, sidelights and finishing to colors and transoms. Get to know potential renters Perhaps even more important than ensuring that your finished basement is up to local code, is renting to the right tenants. Definitely get a thorough background check on potential renters. Check criminal, financial and other court records. If you have children, ask yourself if you prefer to wait until they are older before you rent out your basement. Also, interview people who want to rent with you. Make sure that you communicate well and that your personalities gel. Decide if you want to rent to tenants who have pets, and, if so, what types and size of pets would you allow inside the basement? This information goes both ways. Let renters know if you have pets, as some people do not want to live near dogs, cats or other animals. Set legal boundaries. Let tenants know if you they can or cannot blast their music or television and if tenants are allowed to have visitors stay with them for days at a time. Be clear about whether you will allow tenants to have pets, and, if so, which types of pets. Determine what the monthly rent will be. Consider consulting with an attorney to draft a rental agreement. Items to include in a rental agreement are the legal names of occupants, whether trash, sewage and utilities are included in the rent and when you will walk through and check the basement. Some cities require you to give tenants no less than a 24 hour notice before you enter a rental space. Be prepared to make repairs, as needed. You don't have to make repairs yourself. However, it is advisable that you a reputable repair professional's contact information.




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