July Home Inspiration- Simple Ways to Update the Home

Most homes today are in serious need of cosmetic updates. Whether you’ve had the home for a while and have put it off or you’ve just purchased your very own fixer upper, the list of home improvement projects always seems endless. There is so much work to be done and very little time, or money, to do it. A full scale renovation may not be possible at any given time. Just because a renovation isn’t plausible does not mean that the space has to remain the same. There are still some small things that can be done in the meantime to brighten up and bring the space in question up to date.

These quick fixes will not completely solve the problem, but they will make it easier to live in as long as need be. There are a handful of DIY projects that can be done to update any room in the house! The biggest lifesaver in DIY home improvement is paint! There are plenty of simple, easy projects that most home owners should be able to accomplish in order to freshen up their space.

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Add Paint

Paint allows new life to be brought to old things; especially in a world where the objectives reduce, reuse, and recycle are more important than ever. The best part about paint is that it is so simple and easy. This small change can also make a very large difference and there are so many different places that it can be used!

One of the most common places that will need updating is the walls! The color of a room is such an easy way to change the tone of a space. There are certain steps to take to avoid picking the wrong color. Always bring samples of the actual paint to try before committing. It is so hard to pick a color from a swatch confidently so be sure to live with it on the wall for a few days. Also be very careful that the current color of your walls doesn’t distort the new options!

Other things that can be updated using the power of paint are cabinetry in the kitchen or bathroom, moldings, furniture, fixtures, and so much more. The possibilities are endless!

Photo Credit: http://www.designevolving.com/2017/07/02/jen-tylers-lincoln-park-condo-kitchen-makeover/

Replace Hardware

How can something so small and seemingly insignificant make such a huge impact? Whether it be cabinetry hardware, door hardware, curtain rods, or anything else, they all have a great affect on the style of a space. Once these things are updated the room can look and feel fresh and improved. If the hardware just needs a little TLC then they can always just be refinished and re-installed, or they can be replaced altogether for a drastic change in style.

The challenge with cabinet hardware is finding a pull that will fit within the existing drilled holes.If the cabinets currently have knobs then there is no issue! If the cabinets are painted or being painted then the existing holes can be filled in and painted over and new holes can be drilled. If they are stained then that poses more of a problem. Try to find pulls that are similar in size. The age of the hardware will often determine how difficult this task will be!

Photo Credit: http://nextluxury.com/home-design/kitchen-cabinet-hardware-ideas/

Replace Tile

This is one of the more time consuming and difficult tasks, but the reward is also one of the largest. Most of the time the kitchen is where most of the work is needed. There are also many things that can be changed in a kitchen; very few of those being simple. Tile work can be done by the homeowner, but to ensure it is done properly should be done by a professional because the scope of work might be more than any homeowner is willing to do.

Changing out the tile is a perfect way to make a small change without having to gut the whole room. This can have a huge impact and can really update the space by using a bright, neutral, and contemporary tile. Another popular thing to do with tile is to take it to the ceiling in order to make a statement. This can help bring any kitchen into the present!

Photo Credit: http://simplestylings.com/kitchen-renovation-reveal/

Add Storage

There is almost never such a thing as “too much” when it comes to storage. Another great way to add something new to your home without having to do much work or spend too much money is adding storage. This can be accomplished by adding shelving on open wall space that can be stylish or functional. Open shelving adds something to a space that was dull before. It is a simple update with a huge reward!

This can also be done by going through belongings and figuring out what it absolutely necessary and what is not. Go through every inch of storage space in the home and determine what can stay and what can go. It is surprising how much space this can open up. Then there is more storage space for other important things and the home feels fresher and cleaner.

Photo Credit: https://www.shopstyle.com/shop/Cassym2017/43130005?utm_content=stl

It does not take thousands of dollars and months of time to create a beautiful home. Not everyone is capable of such renovations. Sometimes its the simplest things that make the biggest impact.

Mini Blog- Subway Tile

Subway tile is something that has been around for quite some time. This “trend” first made its appearance over 100 years ago when designers George C. Heins and Christopher Grant La Farge placed the infamous 3 x 6 tile into a New York subway station. This simple, sleek tile quickly made its way into homes across the country and has been a staple in design ever since. Its versatility is the main reason it has remained so popular throughout the different eras. Its simplicity allows it to blend seamlessly in any design from modern to farmhouse. The most common subway tile is the standard white 3 x 6 that is laid in a brick pattern, but there are also countless ways to mix things up and be unique.

Subway tile has evolved a great deal since its first debut. There are now different styles, colors, sizes, and configurations that can be used to create a look that is perfect for every space. Instead of the basic brick pattern, tiles can now be arranged in the same pattern just vertically. They can also be arranged in a diagonal or straight herringbone patter. Those simple changes in the way a tile is laid can make a huge impact. There are many other ways to arrange tile that is different and unexpected. The options are endless. The style and size of the tile might lend itself better to a different pattern overall.

The way we install subway tile is not the only thing that has changed. The tile itself has taken on new forms. There are wider variety of sizing than there was back in the day. Subway tile can now be long and thin, it can be larger overall, or it can be the same 3 x 6 that we have come to know and love. This shift in sizing allows designers and homeowners a chance to be unique and different, while still sticking with a classic. The different textures of subway tile has also increased. There are so many more textures that make for an interesting backsplash! Hand-formed subway tile has taken over because of its authentic look and the way the light reflects off the ripples. Beveled subway tile is another popular one because of its traditional feel. There is also glass, metal, marble, and so much more! We have come a long way from the smooth, porcelain 3 x 6 tile.

Another way to dress up subway tile is the grout! Grout is so much more than a basic building material! It is an important part of the design because changing the color of the grout can have a huge impact on the space. A stark contrast between the tile and the grout is most common, but recently colored grout has taken off as a way to bring interest to the tile while still keeping it simple. The only problem with contrasting grout is that it must be done very well because any imperfections will be highly visible. This can give the space a much needed focal point or can enhance the intended style.

Subway tile has been around for over 100 years and it is not going anywhere anytime soon. This classic look has grown and evolved during that time period. There are so many options now in terms of color, sizes, material, texture, and pattern that every kitchen can be unique. Don’t be afraid to use subway for your projects because its so popular, instead make it your own!

May Home Inspiration- Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning

It’s that time of year again! The weather is finally getting nicer here in Western New York, which means it is time to do the cleaning and organizing that was put off during the winter months! Winter tends to be the time when everyone goes into a hibernation-like state. Things tend to pile up when your stuck inside. And often, when the weather is less than desirable it can affect our motivation. Spring is the time most people awaken from their slumber and are ready to accomplish anything!

Spring cleaning your home is the perfect thing to do that will kick start the warmer months ahead. This means steadily going room by room and clearing out everything that isn’t useful or is cluttering up the space. After the harsh, cold months of winter it can also be therapeutic to open the windows for the first time that year and let in that much needed fresh air. I know that this is not necessarily fun for everyone, but try not to cram all of this into one weekend. Go step by step and try to spread out the tasks over a few weeks. It is more important to be thorough than it is to be fast. Spring cleaning will give your home that necessary cleansing so that you can focus on the beautiful weather and enjoying everything that summer has to offer!

Photo Credit: http://www.foundrentals.com/blog/2015/11/30/found-home/

General Tasks

First, go through every room in the home and do a general cleaning. This will allow you to get the more basic tasks out of the way so that you can focus on the specific room tasks. This will help keep the job from feeling less daunting. Begin at the entry and clean the things that tend to get forgotten. Work your way through the house systematically by starting each room at the top and working your way down.

Start by washing the walls and removing those cobwebs that we all know collect in the corner then move on to the lights and ceiling fans. By doing this all the dust and dirt will fall to the floor. This keeps you from having to redo the floors later. Next, clean light switches, heating vents, and door knobs before moving on to the floors and baseboards. Dust all baseboards and then sweep and wash the floors, including any carpets or area rugs. Do not underestimate what this will do for each space! Everything will look and feel so much better. Now the focus can shift to individual areas and their unique tasks.

Photo Credit: https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/portland-project-the-entry-staircase-reveal

Living Room

Once those general cleaning tasks are complete the focus can move to more area specific tasks. In a home each room has a unique purpose, therefore it only makes sense that each room would require something different in terms of cleaning and organizing! The living room is a high traffic area in any home. It is where everyone congregates and spends time together, whether its playing games, watching movies, or just enjoying each others company. That is what this space tends to need a bit more TLC than others.

Furniture in this space can certainly take a beating. Kids, pets, and everyday messes build up and things can get pushed off. This is the perfect time to take care of all of those things. Start with spot cleaning the couches and chairs then follow with the vacuum. Be sure to dust any hard surface that can collect dust. Also, wash any linens or blankets that might need it! Go through any magazines and other things that could use a good purge!

Photo Credit: https://www.mcgeeandco.com/products/jensen-coffee-table

Kitchen

The kitchen is ground zero for all of those other messes that occur in the home. Those stains and crumbs all originate in the kitchen. The kitchen also tends to be a dumping ground for all of the miscellaneous things that have no home. Mail gets left out, things don’t get put away, leftovers never get thrown out, and the mess just piles up. The kitchen tends to have many different places that can become disorganized quickly. One of those places includes the black hole we all know as the refrigerator. One of the first things that needs to be done in the kitchen is cleaning out the refrigerator. Throw out anything that has expired or donate what will never get used and wipe everything down thoroughly. Don’t stop there. Clean the outside of the refrigerator and all other appliances. Then pull everything out and clean underneath.

The next step is cleaning and organizing the pantry. This can very easily get unorganized when cooking and preparing meals. Have a method to the madness. Try to keep all similar products together and maximize the space as best you can. If you are feeling really ambitious, then place everything in clear containers and label them for a pristine pantry. Be sure to wipe everything down; inside and out. This includes the cabinets, shelving, and the back splash.

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Bedroom

The bedrooms are one of the easier rooms to clean. Most people are not in the bedroom unless they are sleeping or getting ready. Unless you tend to dump everything in the bedroom so it is “out of sight, out of mind”, then you shouldn’t have to do much to get this room feeling fresh and clean! The bed linens should be washed every few weeks so I would take the time to do that while you are doing the rest of your spring cleaning. While everything is being washed and dried, clean out the dresser, nightstand and under the bed.

Don’t be afraid to move things out of the way to get the nooks and hard to reach areas that you may miss when cleaning weekly/daily. Once that is complete it is time to tackle the most difficult part of the room; the closet. Go through everything that you own and if you do not wear it or it doesn’t fit then donate it! Take this time to complete other daunting tasks, such as flipping the mattress. Once that is complete the bed can be made and everything can be organized.

Photo Credit: http://jennysteffens.blogspot.com/2016/10/our-bedroom-tour-autumn-accents.html

Bathrooms

The room in the house that no one wants to clean, but has to. Between the moisture and everything else the bathroom is a breeding ground for soap scum, mold, water spots, and much more. The bathroom should be thoroughly cleaned at least once a week. The vanity top needs to be cleaned. The floor, shower, and toilet all have to be scrubbed. However, there are a few things that can be done less frequently.

A few of those things include wiping the inside and outside of the vanity cabinet with a wet cloth, cleaning the grout, clearing the shower and sink drains, and replacing the shower curtain (if you have a curtain). The bathroom closet or linen closet can also be organized. Try to get rid of anything that is just taking up space and is not being used. If you have any small samples or travel sized hotel toiletries that can be donated try to do that before you throw anything away, unless it has already been used (that’s just unsanitary).

Photo Credit: https://decorlogix.com/keep-your-bathroom-neat/

The best way to go about your spring cleaning is by making a list of the things that you wish to accomplish for each room or area of your home. Then make a general list of things that need to be done for most, if not every, room in the house. One of the things that usually needs to be done for the entire house is cleaning the windows inside and out. Or maybe some other things make it to your spring cleaning list, such as cleaning the garage or basement. No matter what is on your to do list, just take it slow and don’t rush. Good luck and happy cleaning!