Category: Home Improvement

Painting Cabinets-Mistakes To Avoid

Photo of kitchen cabinets for an article about painting cabinets.

Painting cabinets can look great and really update the look of a space, but there are many potential mistakes to be aware of and avoid!

  • You don’t allow enough time: Typically this DIY project cannot be completed correctly in just one afternoon. 4-7 days is more realistic in order to allow enough prep time before painting.
  • Not removing doors and drawers: Some DIYers try to leave the doors on and drawers in and plan to just paint over hardware and hinges but this isn’t the best idea. The paint will start to chip and look worn within a month or so, so it’s best to put in the effort to remove them before painting to save yourself from extra work later.
  • Not de-greasing: You may keep a clean home and think your cabinets are clean enough to begin painting, but if a de-greaser is not applied to the cabinets prior to painting, the paint will not adhere correctly to the cabinets which will cause major issues.
  • You skip sanding: Sanding is a crucial step to take before painting. Use a 150 grit sandpaper to lightly sand the surface of the cabinets which will help the paint to go on smoothly.
  • You don’t label drawers and doors: It’s a good idea to label doors and drawers so that you know exactly where to put them after painting.
  • Not priming: Even though it’s more work, using a primer before painting is necessary. A stain blocking primer is best and will prevent wood grain from showing through the paint as time goes by.
  • Putting the doors back on too soon: It’s tempting to rush to put the cabinets back together but it’s super important to allow the paint to dry and cure correctly before putting everything back.
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Brightening Up A Room

Do you have a dark room in your home? Brightening up a room can be easy and doesn’t have to cost a lot! Check out these ways to transform a dark space into a light and bright retreat.

Light and bright living room for an article discussing brightening up a room.


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3 Landscaping Mistakes To Avoid

Photo of backyard for an article about landscaping mistakes.

  1. Plant for only one season: Think about all seasons instead of  just one when planning what trees and flowers you want to plant. Don’t just plant flowers that will bloom in the spring and summer, leaving your yard brown the rest of the year. Consider adding evergreens that will add color throughout the year or trees that bloom in the summer and have colored leaves in the fall.
  2. Ignore the upkeep: Don’t get into the habit of neglecting your yard; plant low maintenance flowers and trees so that the yard can be easily taken care of.
  3. Leave clutter around: Yard toys, sporting equipment and extra lawn furniture can all take over your yard, making it look chaotic and neglected even if the landscaping is taken care of. Invest in an oversized storage bin that these items can be kept in.
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Unique Yard Projects

Photo of a beautifully landscaped yard for an article about unique yard projects.

  •  Homeowners are increasingly replacing grass with other low maintenance options such as walkways and ground cover. Not only do these options add interest to the yard, they can also cut down on water usage, saving money.
  • Adding a fire pit to the yard increases the functionality of the space by allowing homeowners to enjoy the outdoors beyond the spring and summer months. Not only are fire pits useful, they are also a good investment. Homeowners can expect to get an ROI of about 78% on a fire pit. They can cost around $4,500 for a professionally installed flagstone fire pit with a small patio or you can purchase a DIY kit for only $200.
  • Creating your own native habitat is both attractive and can boost curb appeal. Establishing a native habitat in your yard is fairly simple; all that’s needed are native plants to add protection from predators, a bird bath or other form of water, and a shelter such as a bird house.
  • Utilizing edible plants is very beneficial; it provides food for your family and creates beauty in your yard. For example, basil, Swiss chard, and fennel are colorful and unique while dill and okra feature beautiful flowers. There are many different options when it comes to using edible foliage such as pole beans grown on arbors, blueberry bushes as hedges, cucumbers as climbing vines on trellises, and much more.


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Kitchen Design Mistakes

There are several potential kitchen design mistakes that may be made but these tips will hopefully shed some light on the common mistakes and how to avoid them.

  • Forgetting a space for the trash: Sometimes a kitchen can be beautifully done except for the ugly trash can. Instead of using the traditional plastic can, opt instead for built in pull-out drawers that can house the cans.
  • Not installing enough electrical outlets: Get creative and install several outlets throughout the kitchen. Sneaky spaces include the sides of an island and inside a drawer.
  • Too much stainless steel creating a sterile look: Even though stainless steel appliances are very popular right now, they can create a sterile look instead of a warm look. To avoid making this mistake, think about using white, black, or even colored appliances instead.
  • A cluttered look due to too many open shelves: Instead of having many open shelves, install a few to display your prettiest dinnerware and use regular hidden shelving for the rest.
  • Not having enough lighting variation: Ideally the kitchen should have three different types of lighting. Spot lighting for tasks, overhead lighting to illuminate the room and accent lighting to showcase specific design elements. It’s important to vary the type of lighting in the space as well as the wattage used.

Photo of a beautiful and modern kitchen to illustrate points about kitchen design mistakes and how to avoid them.

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Popular Design Trends

These design trends currently have a strong presence in homes; what do you think of them? Do you have any of these design elements in your home?

  1. Wider, reclaimed wood floors, often 5 to 6 inches wide, are becoming more popular as are porcelain floors. Porcelain floors come in a wide range of styles and colors and are also very durable.
  2. Simple cabinets with larger drawers are being featured. Mid-century designs are being showcased, as are large drawers instead of lower cabinets.
  3. Paint colors are shifting towards soft corals, sea greens, and misty blues. Many people are going towards more bold color choices versus the off whites and beiges seen in previous years.
  4. Bringing the outdoors in: Many homes are being built with large windows and multiple sets of french doors to bring views of mother nature into the home. Outdoor spaces are also being spruced up, with many homeowners opting to install outdoor pizza ovens, fireplaces, and fire pits.
  5. Bathrooms going glam: Bathrooms continue to get more upscale with TV’s being mounted in them, steam showers with rain heads being installed, and an overall attention to little luxuries.
  6. Tech savvy homeowners: Homes are increasingly being equipped with technology systems to control everything  from lighting,  security,  window treatments,  heating, etc. Now that the holiday season is here, some homeowners are even using their smart phones to control their Christmas lights!
It’s not important whether or not you go with the crowd and follow these design trends; what matters is making your home a comfortable oasis for you and your family and doing what works for you both taste wise and budget wise.
Photo of a beautiful living room featuring popular design trends including large windows.
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Must Do Home Repairs

Home repairs on a budget

When a home is on the market, there are a few home repairs that should be done. Buyers are looking for a beautiful, well maintained home. Sellers are usually trying to stick to a budget in order to get into their new home; for this reason the right repairs need to be made. Some repairs are easy and inexpensive. Some repairs have a big influence on how potential buyers view a home.

  1. Take care of safety hazards:  Loose steps, shaky rails, etc. should all be fixed before a home goes on the market. Although some of these repairs may be minor and not seem like a big deal, they will show potential buyers that the home is well cared for.
  2. Roof:  A damaged roof should be another area of the home that a seller focuses on. It’s a good idea to have a roofing professional inspect the roof before the home hits the market in order to catch any potential issues early and make necessary repairs. This doesn’t have to be expensive. A repair can be as minor as replacing a missing shingle.
  3. Non-working light bulbs:  Even though a burnt out bulb may not seem important, it’s something a seller should replace. Not only will a home show better with proper lighting, buyers won’t be concerned about possible electrical issues due to non-working bulbs.
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6 Awesome Summer Perennials

Pink climbing rose

With the right care, these perennials will produce beautiful blooms more than once this summer, making them excellent choices for your yard!

  • Climbing rose: These flowers usually bloom in May and then 5 weeks later. To prune these, cut the stems on an angle right above the nearest 5 leaf branch.
  • Jacob’s Ladder: Blooms in June and then 10 weeks later. Cut down the plant to just a few inches above the ground after they first bloom in order to ensure another healthy bloom 10 weeks later.
  • Columbine: These will flower in May as well as 6 weeks later. In order to prune cut the stems back to the foliage.
  • Blanket flower: These will bloom all the way from May through the Fall or until the first frost happens. Cut the stems back to the foliage to prune.
  • Peachleaf Bellflower: Bloom time is June as well as 6 weeks later. Keep up with pruning by cutting dead flowers off right away without damaging the developing buds.
  • Woodland Sage: These bloom from April through September and can be kept healthy by trimming the faded flower spikes down to the nodes (side branches). A bonus with these gorgeous flowers is they attract butterflies!
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Thinking of finishing your basement? Keep these things in mind!

finished basement

  • Before you get too far with designing your dream basement, check your local municipal code for any restrictions that you need to incorporate into your plan
  • Hire a professional to come in and check for any signs of water in the basement before you begin the project; any water issues need to be remedied before beginning the transformation
  • If your plans include an entertainment area, think about putting extra insulation in the ceiling so things aren’t too loud upstairs
  • Be sure to install enough lighting so that it doesn’t feel like you are sitting in a cave
  • Consult with a trusted contractor to see if there is a possibility of tweaking the heating and ventilation systems to heat the basement properly
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