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.

Photo Credit: https://lingoistica.com/47-small-kitchen-remodel-and-amazing-storage-hacks-on-a-budget-you-can-try-in-home.html/47-small-kitchen-remodel-and-amazing-storage-hacks-on-a-budget-you-can-try-in-home-15#mainPhoto Credit:

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- Countertops

The options for countertops have grown exponentially in recent years with the help of technology and creativity. There is so much more than the laminate and granite of years past, including quartz, concrete, wood, solid surface, stainless steel, or even a combination, as well as, many more. Each option has its own benefits, as well as, its own disadvantages. The trick is finding the right option to suit the needs of the client and the design style. One option may work for one space, while another may not. In some cases, the client may want multiple countertop materials and the challenge is combining them in a way that looks purposeful and cohesive.

As with many other things in the design world, the options seem endless. The key is to steadily narrow down the options that are available. The easiest way to start is by looking at the budget for the project. This could narrow down the possibilities fairly quickly if the countertop budget is low. If the budget is larger then maybe the lower end options are ruled out. The next thing to consider is durability. How much is the space used? Does the countertop need to be durable? Lastly, the look of the countertops and how they will relate to the overall design of the space.

Laminate countertops are one of the most cost effective options because they are made of layers of plastic that have been bonded to particle board. This allows them to be made in a variety of colors and patterns. They are also more easily installed. The downside is that they are less durable and will have to be replaced more frequently. Granite is a natural stone, which means that it is porous and requires sealing. Poor maintenance of this stone will lead to staining and bacteria growth. This material is more durable than laminate because it is scratch and heat resistant, however it could chip or crack over time.

Quartz is different from granite because it is an engineered stone. It is made of 93% quartz composite and 7% binder, which makes it scratch resistant, stain resistant, and extremely durable. There is also a great variety of colors and finishes thanks to today’s technology. The downside is that they aren’t as heat resistant as granite and some of the other options and they tend to be more expensive. Concrete countertops are often formed on site or in a shop and are custom. This makes them just about as strong and as expensive as quartz, but they require the same maintenance that granite does to keep them free of staining. However, they will not chip or scratch.

Wood, or butcher block has always been a very popular choice when it comes to countertops. They are ideal for those who love to prepare food and bake. They can be sanded and refinished after years of wear, which makes them very eco-friendly and require less replacement. They do need to be sealed to avoid bacteria, and water damage. Stainless steel countertops are one of the most durable, and easy to keep clean, but unfortunately they are also one of the most expensive. They also create a sterile feeling in a space that is normally supposed to feel warm and inviting.

Last, but not least, would be solid surface. These countertops are about mid-range on the price spectrum. They are a very strong material that is seamless and non-porous. They also require much less maintenance than granite and concrete. However, they are not scratch and heat resistant like the quartz is, which could lead to more wear and tear over time.

There are still more options for countertops out there than the ones mentioned here. These just happen to be the ones that are most commonly used. Some other examples are tile, resin, marble, recycled glass, and even lava countertops. Just like with these options each one has their own benefits and weaknesses, which is why it is important to know the differences when specifying a countertop for a kitchen or bathroom application.

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!