6 Smart Updates To Make To Your Bathroom

The idea of renovating your bathroom can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to knock down walls or gut the whole thing to make it feel new again. Making smart updates can get you closer to the look you want without the big budget, or the big hassle.

“You dream about a bathroom that’s high on comfort and personal style, but you also want materials, fixtures, and amenities with lasting value,” said houselogic. “Wake up! You can have both.”

Here are a few places to start.

1. A new showerhead

This is one of our favorite ways to freshen up a bathroom because a new showerhead is: A) inexpensive, even for one that provides multiple heads and functions; B) an easy way to make your shower more enjoyable if you’ve been dealing with an old showerhead that doesn’t provide massage or handheld options; and C) also a money saver since new showerheads are more energy-efficient.

2. Soaker tub

Soaker tubs are the hottest trend in bathrooms right now, and it’s getting to the point where anything else makes your bathroom look outdated. Have one of those giant Jacuzzi tubs in your bathroom? It’s probably time to yank it out, especially if your jets stopped working long ago. The bonus of a freestanding tub is it can also make your bathroom feel airier and more spacious.

3. Walk-in shower

Your dinky shower with the tired tile and the metal trim isn’t fooling anyone. You don’t have to tear the whole thing down (but, if you can, by all means!) Removing the tile and replacing it with something more current can do wonders, especially if you’re going from something dark and cave-like to a choice that’s light, bright, and reflective. A seamless glass enclosure can give the shower a more expansive and current look with minimal work.


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4. A smaller mirror

Sounds funny to be think about replacing your large mirror with something smaller, right? After all, it’s a bathroom. But if you’ve toured a model home lately or watched a bathroom be remodeled on HGTV, you’ve probably seen this swap. Taking down your full-width mirror and replacing it with something more tailored to the size of your vanity will instantly give the bathroom a lift. Have two sinks? Get two smaller mirrors. And make sure they’re framed out. A plain slab of mirror is just…plain.


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5. New lighting

Those cheap builder lights are making your bathroom look DATED! Some of them are so bad they can make an otherwise stylish bathroom look not so great. Replacing the lights is easy (and inexpensive!). Just make sure to get your mirror situation figured out first so you know what width your lighting should be. A light fixture that’s wider that the mirror is going to make everything look off.

6. Vanity overhaul

There are several ways to make an old vanity/sink combo look more customized and more updated. Changing out the faucets, painting the cabinets, and adding hardware can work wonders. But if the cabinet door or drawers aren’t in good shape, if the sink shape is just too dated, or if you just want to rip the whole thing out and dump it on the lawn, it might be time for something new. If you are going to replace your vanity, take a look at floating versions—a hot look today that that’s also great for a smaller space because it keeps the eye moving.

Written By Jaymi Naciri

Source: https://realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/homeownersadvice/item/46591-20160808-6-smart-updates-to-make-to-your-bathroom?rtmpage=

December 4, 2018   No Comments

7 Rules for Choosing The Right Area Rug

You just moved into your new home. You’ve purchased the perfect furniture and accessories. You even found the perfect area rug to add to your hardwood floors, but you’re totally stumped on which size to buy.

There are so many questions: Should the furniture be placed on or off the rug? Does the rug go underneath or next to the bed? How big should a dining room rug really be? It can seem overwhelming, but here are seven simple tips to help you choose wisely. After all, a good rug is an investment, and you don’t want to make any costly mistakes.

Rule #1: Always Go Big

Too big is always better than too small. A rug that’s too small not only looks skimpy, but seems like an afterthought. However, you also don’t want to go overboard. Pick a rug that’s the size of your seating area rather than the size of the room.

Rule #2: Keep Your Furniture on Your Rug

An area rug should anchor your seating arrangement, so place rugs underneath sofas and chairs. Ideally, your rug should fit entirely under your sofa and side chairs. If that’s not possible, make sure at least the front feet of your furniture are on the rug, even if it’s only by a matter of inches. In order to look balanced, rugs should also extend at least 6 inches beyond the arms of the sofa.

Rule #3: Try Layering

Consider layering your area rug over wall-to-wall carpeting. Most people seem to think that this is a decorating “don’t,” but nothing could be further from the truth. An area rug over carpeting adds texture and color to a room. In this case, the area rug can be a little smaller than usual – just make sure it’s placed right up to the edge of the sofa/chairs. And make sure your area rug and carpeting are compatible: a too-thin area rug over plush carpeting will never lay flat and may slide around.

Rule #4: Use Color

Don’t be afraid of pattern, color and texture! An area rug can be the focal point of the room. If your furniture upholstery is neutral, choose a colorful or patterned rug. It doesn’t have to match perfectly, but it should coordinate with the other colors and fabric in the room.

Rule #5: Your Rug Should Be Bigger than Your Bed

Think big when choosing a rug for your bedroom. Your area rug should be big enough to extend two or three feet beyond the edge of the bed. After all, you want to step onto a cozy, warm rug when you get up in the morning!

Rule #6: Your Dining Chairs Must Fit Completely

Chairs should sit perfectly and completely on an area rug in your dining room—that means all four legs on the rug even when they’re pushed away from the table. Never have the front legs of the dining chair on the rug and the back ones off. Not only does it look funny, but it’s dangerous, as your chairs are unbalanced and more prone to tipping over. You can easily estimate the size rug you’ll need by adding 24 to 36 inches to each side of your table. If your table has extension leaves that you use often, choose a rug size to accommodate the table with the leaves in. In terms of shape, a rectangular table needs a rectangular rug. A round table can support either a round or square rug.

Rule #7: Think Outside Standard Sizing

Area rugs tend to come in standard sizes, usually including:

  • 3 x 5 feet
  • 5 x 8 feet
  • 8 x 10 feet
  • 9 x 12 feet

If you need an odd size rug, you can always have one custom-made. It might sound expensive, but it may be more affordable than you think. Simply purchase regular wall-to-wall carpeting, have a carpet installer cut it to your desired size, and finish the edges with binding or serging to get a custom rug without the custom price tag.

Now you can avoid the stress of buying a brand new rug only to find it’s the wrong size. Just follow these rules to make sure your new area rug fits perfectly in your home, so you can enjoy your beautiful, cozy new space.

Written By Merri Cvetan

Source: https://realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/homeownersadvice/item/41356-20160106-7-rules-for-choosing-the-right-area-rug?rtmpage=

November 13, 2018   No Comments

Top 10 Most Expensive Mistakes You’re Making on Your Home

Homes cost a lot of money to maintain. But are you spending extra money unnecessarily on upkeep? Here are the 10 most expensive mistakes you could be making in your home.

1. Using Traditional Light bulbs

If you still have incandescent light bulbs in your home, you could be throwing a lot of money away every month on inflated electric bills. Over its life span, an incandescent bulb can use $180 worth of electricity. A CFL will only use $41 worth of electricity over the same time period. Even better is the LED bulb, which only uses $30 per bulb. Think what replacing every light bulb in your home could do to your home’s bottom line.

2. Ignoring a Leaky Faucet

A leaky faucet that drips one drop per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year, which is enough water to take more than 180 showers. Some of us live in areas where water is plentiful, but for those of us in areas plagued with drought, this could be costing you a fortune. Fix or replace your leaky faucet and save a ton on your water bill.

3. Using the Wrong Air Filter Size

We all sometimes forget to change out the air filters for our HVAC systems or accidentally buy the wrong size. But using the wrong filter or a dirty filter can increase your power bill and cause expensive problems for your furnace down the road. Use the correct filters for your system, and set a reminder to change them after the recommended amount of time. You won’t regret it.

4. Not Customizing Temperature

Invest in a customizable thermostat. If you’re away at the office all day, you can program your heater to shift down a few degrees while you’re gone and then shift back up shortly before you return home. Heating or cooling an empty home wastes a lot of money in energy costs.

5. Not Adjusting Air Vents Properly

Is one room in your home hot, while the others are cold? Oftentimes homeowners will crank up the air conditioning in the whole house to combat hot temperatures in one area. Instead, adjust air vents to direct the flow of air more evenly throughout your entire home. Professionals will come regulate this to ensure that your entire home is receiving the same amount of air conditioning or heating.

6.Over Watering Lawn

Many homeowners have their sprinkler systems programmed to come on in the early morning hours for optimum lawn health. This can become a problem, however, if you’re never around to see what you’re actually watering. A broken sprinkler head could be causing a fountain, or the trajectory of your sprinkler may be directed at a fence instead of your lawn. Periodically run your sprinklers during the day so you can see how they are performing when you’re not around.

7. Water Heater Temperature Set Too High

Unless you have a tankless water heater, your water heater is keeping the water in its tank hot 24/7. If you don’t keep an eye on the temperature as each season changes, you may be paying too much to heat your water. Decrease the temperature in the summer, and bump it back up when winter comes.

8. Leaky Windows and Doors

Leaky windows and doors are great places for cold, winter winds to enter your home. Many homeowners simply ignore them and crank up their heaters. Caulk leaky windows and put rubber seal around doors to keep winter winds out and warmth in.

9. Paying a Handyman

Don’t pay a handyman for a job that is simple enough to do yourself. If you’re unsure of how to do something, look up video tutorials online. Doing simple tasks yourself can save you a lot of money.

10. Ignoring Curled Shingles

It may be easy to ignore problems on your roof, but it will only lead to bigger problems later. If you see any possible issues with your roof, repair them as soon as possible, as this will save you significant costs later.

Use these 10 tips to cut maintenance costs on your home today.

 

Written By Cary Teller

Source: http://blog.rismedia.com/2016/top-10-expensive-mistakes/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email#close

November 9, 2018   No Comments

Clever Ways To Give Your Small Bathroom Some Pop And Make It Look Larger

Clever Ways To Give Your Small Bathroom Some Pop And Make It Look Larger veranda.com

Small bathroom? It doesn’t have to be short on style. And it doesn’t have to feel like a cave either. Many of the same tips for creating a standout space will also help to make it feel bigger.

Cover those walls

The old-school wallcovering is back in a big way, and you don’t need a big space to make it work. In fact, the right print and some complementary details can make a small bathroom the most impactful room in the home.

Consider the vanity

The floating vanity trend looks great in any type of space, but it was tailor-made for a small bathroom. Because it doesn’t extend all the way to the floor, there is an airiness you wouldn’t get with a traditional vanity. You can find versions with built-in storage, because who doesn’t need a place to put a hair dryer?


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Or, go for the vintage look one of the hottest trends in bathrooms today. This version mounts to the wall, taking up the least amount of space possible, but still offers a clean and crisp look.


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Keep the color consistent

And, keep it light and bright. This bathroom packs a lot into a compact space, but the color palette keeps it feeling airy. And the upscale materials, with marble tiles used in contrasting shapes, add a glam feel.


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Get artsy

Who says you can only display “bathroom-style art” in a bathroom? Ditch those framed pictures of Victorian baths and hang something you love, like this Robert Longo drawing in a New York City powder room.


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Focus on the details

Keeping the palette bright white makes this space feel breezy and allows the snazzy details to stand out. A herringbone shape on the floor adds interest, and the modern brass fixtures would look amazing in any size bathroom.


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Don’t forget about storage

Creating a sleek and stylish bathroom in a small space is enough of a challenge without having to think about where you’re going to put everything. But, if your bathroom isn’t just a space for occasional guests (or even if you just need a place to store the extra toilet paper), storage has to be a consideration. Whether it’s a vanity with drawers, baskets you put on open shelving, or a custom cabinet, there are a lot of options. Apartment Therapy has some great ideas here.

Make tile your friend

There are a number of tricks you can use with tile to make your bathroom feel more expansive. “Set floor tiles diagonally to increase the perceived size of the floor,” said SF Gate. “Choose rectangular wall tiles and set them horizontally on the walls to increase the perceived width of the space. Use the same color of tiles on the floor and walls to reduce the difference between wall and floor. If possible, carry the floor tile up the wall behind the fixtures, right to the ceiling. This visually expands the wall height.”

In this New York City bathroom, zig-zag tile runs “straight into the shower stall,” said House Beautiful. The lack of interruption creates a larger feel.


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The horizontal bands of mosaic tile in this shower don’t only add interest, but also elongate the back wall, making the space look larger. The glass surround also creates a more open feel and unique touches like the countertop sink, distinctive mirror, and light fixtures add more jewelry to the room.


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Written by Jaymi Naciri
Source: https://realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/homeownersadvice/item/1002226-20170515-clever-ways-to-give-your-small-bathroom-some-pop-and-make-it-look-larger?rtmpage=

October 18, 2018   No Comments

Home Maintenance Checklist

Owning and caring for a home is a big responsibility, but the right repair tools and maintenance tips allow for easy living. Smoothly navigate your home’s seasonal upkeep with our home maintenance checklist and expert advice.

Like a health physical, a home maintenance schedule is important for every home’s upkeep and well-being. Continuing to check up on your exterior, appliances, heating and cooling, plumbing, security, and electrical systems will help prevent breakdowns, save money, and keep your home looking its best. Use this home maintenance checklist to help schedule your seasonal updates, repairs, and cleaning, along with a handful of monthly tasks. If any of the jobs go beyond your skill level or lead to more involved repairs, hire a professional to help.

 

Monthly Home Improvements

 Inspecting your home and completing monthly home improvement projects will keep your maintenance schedule on track and easier to manage. A comprehensive monthly home maintenance checklist is easy to implement, both in terms of time and money. Here is a list of basic monthly home improvements:
  • Clean the furnace filter to remove dust build-ups, make it easier to regulate your home’s temperature, and ultimately decrease utility bills.
  • Check the water softener and replenish salt if necessary.
  • Clean faucet aerators and showerheads to remove mineral deposits.
  • Inspect tub and sink drains for debris; unclog.
  • Test smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, and all ground-fault circuit interrupters.
  • Inspect electrical cords for wear.
  • Vacuum heat registers and heat vents.
  • Check that indoor and outdoor air vents are not blocked.
  • Flush out hot water from the water heater to remove accumulated sediment.
  • Clean the garbage disposal by grinding ice cubes, then flushing with hot water and baking soda.

 

Seasonal Home Improvement: Fall Maintenance Checklist

In many regions, fall is the perfect season to tackle general home maintenance projects because the weather is generally dry and temperatures are moderate. Before you start your seasonal home maintenance checklist, examine both the interior and exterior of your home. Most of these home maintenance items can be accomplished without the help of a professional, but it’s always better to be safe and call for assistance if a home improvement project is beyond your abilities. Here are our seasonal home improvement recommendations for fall and spring:

  • Rake leaves and aerate the lawn.
  • Have forced-air heating system inspected by a professional. Tip: schedule an inspection in late summer or early fall before the heating season begins.
  • Check fireplace for damage or hazards, and clean fireplace flues.
  • Seal cracks and gaps in windows and doors with caulk or weather stripping; replace if necessary.
  • Swap old, drafty windows for more energy-efficient models.
  • Touch up exterior siding and trim with paint.
  • Inspect roofing for missing, loose, or damaged shingles and leaks.
  • Power-wash windows and siding.
  • Remove leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts.
  • Mend cracks and gaps in the driveway and walkway.
  • Drain and winterize exterior plumbing.
  • Have fireplace professionally inspected.
  • Tune up major home appliances before the holidays.
  • Repair or replace siding.
  • Replace the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Install a smoke detector on every floor of your home, including the basement.
  • Clean the carpets.
  • Clean window and door screens.
  • Vacuum lint from dryer vent.
  • Inspect exterior door hardware; fix squeaky handles and loose locks.
  • Check for frayed cords and wires.
  • Drain and store hoses, and drain in-ground sprinkler systems.
  • Wrap insulation around outdoor faucets and pipes in unheated garages.
  • Check water heater for leaks.

Seasonal Home Improvement: Winter Maintenance Checklist

Winter weather can be harsh on your home. The below-freezing temperatures can cause a number of problems, including frozen pipes and roof damage. To prevent winter harm and avoid calling a professional in the middle of a blizzard, be sure to check these winter items off your home maintenance checklist:

  • Cover your air-conditioning unit.
  • Check basement for leaks during thaws.
  • Inspect the roof, gutters, and downspouts for damage after storms.
  • Vacuum bathroom exhaust fan grill.
  • Vacuum refrigerator and freezer coils and empty and clean drip trays.
  • Clean drains in sinks, tubs, showers, and dishwashers.

Seasonal Home Improvement: Spring Maintenance Checklist

Once the ground has thawed and the trees begin to bud, it’s time to prepare your home for spring. On top of your regular spring cleaning, you’ll also want to consider these general home maintenance tips. Use our spring home maintenance checklist to make sure everything in your home from the basement to the roof is in tip-top shape.

  • Inspect roofing for missing, loose, or damaged shingles and leaks.
  • Change the air-conditioner filter.
  • Clean window and door screens.
  • Polish wood furniture, and dust light fixtures.
  • Refinish the deck.
  • Power-wash windows and siding.
  • Remove leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts.
  • Replace the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Have a professional inspect and pump the septic tank.
  • Inspect sink, shower, and bath caulking for deterioration.
  • Vacuum lint from dryer vent.
  • Inspect chimney for damage.
  • Repair or replace caulking and weather stripping around windows, doors, and mechanicals.
  • Remove insulation from outdoor faucets and check sprinkler heads.
  • Have air-conditioning system serviced.
  • Drain or flush water heater.
  • Fertilize your lawn.

Seasonal Home Improvement: Summer Maintenance Checklist

When the sun is out and warm weather is finally here to stay, the last thing you should worry about is home maintenance. Use our quick summer home maintenance guide to get the hard work out of the way at the beginning of the season. Even if the weather is already pushing 90 degrees, there’s no need to worry—most of these tasks are indoors!

  • Oil garage-door opener and chain, garage door, and all door hinges.
  • Remove lint from inside and outside washer hoses and dryer vents.
  • Clean kitchen exhaust fan filter.
  • Clean refrigerator and freezer coils and empty and clean drip trays.
  • Check dishwasher for leaks.
  • Check around kitchen and bathroom cabinets and around toilets for leaks.
  • Replace interior and exterior faucet and showerhead washers if needed.
  • Seal tile grout.
  • Prune trees and shrubs.

Written By Better Homes & Gardens

Source: https://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/advice/home-maintenance-checklist/?&did=283780-20180922&utm_campaign=bhg-daily-inspiration_newsletter&utm_source=bhg.com&utm_medium=email&utm_content=09221814&cid=283780&mid=15168236332

September 24, 2018   No Comments