Color Ideas for Your Home: Help in Choosing Interior Decorating Colors

What color choices you make are affected by a number of factors. Personality, climate, and function of the room are all important players. Color trends are always in flux, so the best idea is to pick something you love and that you can live with. It is costly to change fabrics, furniture, and wall paint because something is out of style. Make your style classic and timeless by focusing on what feels good to you.

The First Step in Choosing Color

While many people believe the first step should be to choose a wall color, this is in fact the last thing you should do. You can paint first, but by that point you should have all the furnishings, window treatments, and carpet already selected. It is much easier to mix paint to match your fabrics than to find fabrics that match your walls.

Advice for Blending Color in a Home

More homes these days involve open floor plans, which requires a harmony of colors on the first floor. While not every room has to have walls painted the exact same color, they should have a continuous tone. Avoid mixing warm and cool colors, or bright and pastel colors. There should be some way in which the colors relate to each other. Consider what feel you want your home to have. Would you like an energetic home with bright citrus colors or a cool, calm home with muted blues and greens, or perhaps a comfortable and cozy feel with warm neutrals?

Climate Can Make a Difference

The climate of a room involves not only the outdoor climate of your location but also the direction the windows are facing. A house in a northern climate with a north-facing window is going to have much less sunshine and have a darker feel that may need to be worked around compared to a house in Florida with southern exposure. The last situation would call for colors that can hold their own in washed-out conditions while the former might need bright colors or light colors with light woodwork to keep from looking drab and depressing.

Size Matters in Selecting Color for a Room

While there are no hard and fast rules here, there are some guidelines that might be helpful. Painting a ceiling tends to make the ceiling appear lower, which might not be the best choice in a smaller-sized room. Light colors make a room feel more open and airy, and dark colors can help a large room feel more intimate. You can create a unique effect to draw people into a large room by placing lighter colored furnishings toward the entry and darker colored fabrics and woods near the back, to entice people to enter the space that appears to have more “personality”.

Current Color Trends

  • Taupe is a popular color now, with the idea that it will work with just about anyone’s color scheme. It is showing up on walls and carpeting in many model homes.
  • Earth tones are everywhere, such as browns running from chocolate to sun-kissed, golds and bronzes, and outdoor hues such as khaki green and gray-blue sky.
  • Warm neutrals are another excellent choice for a base color. Consider terra cotta, honey beige and olive tans.
  • Wood colors are moving away from the light colors to darker tones. Floors and cabinetry favors cherry and stained maple.
  • Finishes for cabinets and door knobs are tending toward brushed nickel, stain finishes, oil-rubbed bronze, and other seemingly exotic, texturized metals.
  • Carpets are still neutrals, with slight color flecks to add some interest and used in a minimal number of rooms.

Trends in Stairs

Building a forever home can be a challenge! Everyone knows that today we can choose from a variety of different ideas, materials and solutions and all we want to achieve is a stylish house that is functioning the way we want. Talking about home design we have to admit, that trends are changing really fast so we have to take it into consideration when making important decisions. One of the most common questions that people face while building a house – staircase design. We have so many options and ideas that it is really hard to make a decision and be sure that it goes along with the trends. Knowing that we want to introduce you to staircase trends for 2017!

One trend, that has been going on in 2016 is here to stay. And it is curved staircases. This look goes perfectly with modern and classic design interior, so you can be sure that this design is the best choice. Of course, curved staircases need a lot of space and not everyone has it. Still, if you have an opportunity – use it!

Another thing that will look beautiful and won’t go out of style soon – matching black and white. This style staircases is here to stay so you can be sure that it is a right decision. This monochromatic look is a perfect way to add character without bright colors, that can soon become annoying.

These two trends are modern but still on a classic side, so now some inspiration for more modern looks. If you want to save space and create modern design, staircase with glass elements is a perfect way to do it. It looks really elegant and weightless so for smaller spaces there is no better choice.

And finally – staircase with a storage! This might seem an option for smaller houses but don’t be so sure. The fact is that these type of staircases look really stylish and adds that home feeling to a place. Everyone of us want to feel comfortable at  home ant this trick will help you to achieve it.

So these are the main trends and ideas for 2017. If you want to build a house with a character – use them and you won’t regret it.

Know more about Doors

Good looks and value — what’s not to love? Not only does replacing your front entry door kick up your curb appeal, it’s a solid investment with a decent payback.

According to the “2015 Remodeling Impact Report” from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (full disclosure: NAR is a sponsor of HouseLogic), a new steel entry door has a national median cost of $2,000, and you’ll recover 75% of that investment if you decide to sell your house.

What’s more, if you choose an energy-efficient exterior door, you may trim up to 10% off your energy bills. (With utility bills averaging $2,200 annually, that’s a savings of as much as $220.)

But how do you know which door is right for you? Make your decision by comparing the three main materials available for exterior doors: steel, fiberglass, and wood.

Steel Entry Door

If you’re looking to save money, a steel door is a great choice, especially if you have the skills to hang it yourself.

A simple, unadorned steel door can sell for as little as $150 (not including hardware, lock set, paint, or labor) and typically runs as much as $400 at big-box retailers.

Steel offers the strongest barrier against intruders, although its advantage over fiberglass and wood in this area is slight.

Still, the attractive cost of a steel door comes with an important compromise: It probably won’t last as long.

A steel door exposed to salt air or heavy rains may last only five to seven years. Despite steel’s reputation for toughness, it actually didn’t perform well in “Consumer Report’s” testing against wood and fiberglass for normal wear and tear.

With heavy use, it may dent, and the damage can be difficult and expensive to repair. If your door will be heavily exposed to traffic or the elements, you may be better off choosing a different material.

Fiberglass Door

Fiberglass doors come in an immense variety of styles, many of which accurately mimic the look of real wood. And if limited upkeep is your ideal, fiberglass may be your best bet.

Fiberglass doesn’t expand or contract appreciably as the weather changes. Therefore, in a reasonably protected location, a fiberglass entry door can go for years without needing a paint or stain touch-up and can last 15 to 20 years. Although it feels light to the touch, fiberglass has a very stout coating that’s difficult for an intruder to breach; and its foam core offers considerable insulation.

Fiberglass generally falls between steel and wood in price; models sold at big-box stores range from about $150 to $600.

Wood Exterior Door

Wood is considered the go-to choice for high-end projects; its luxe look and substantial weight can’t be flawlessly duplicated by fiberglass or steel — though high-end fiberglass products are getting close. If your home calls for a stunning entry statement with a handcrafted touch, wood may be the best material for you.

Wood is usually the most expensive choice of the three — roughly $500 to $2,000, excluding custom jobs — and requires the most maintenance, although it’s easier to repair scratches on a wood door than dents in steel or fiberglass.

Wood doors should be repainted or refinished every year or two to prevent splitting and warping.

If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of your door as well as its energy efficiency, you can purchase a solid wood door certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which assures you that the wood was sustainably grown and harvested.

Tracing the environmental impact of a particular door — from manufacturing process to shipping distance to how much recycled/recyclable content it contains — is quite complicated and probably beyond the ken of the average homeowner, notes LEED-certified green designer Victoria Schomer. But FSC-certified wood and an Energy Star rating are an excellent start.

A final note on choosing a door based on energy efficiency: Because efficiency depends on a number of factors besides the material a door is made of — including its framework and whether it has windows — look for the Energy Star label to help you compare doors.

Martha Stewart: The Empire and Beyond

“All the things I love are what my business is all about.” – Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart is the undisputed goddess of everything home. From her first book, Entertaining, to her monthly magazine Living, to her daily television show, to her recent release of a full home decor line at Macy’s, she has the corner of the home market. So what can we learn about Home Management from Martha?

Martha Stewart: The Website

Let’s take a look at Martha Stewart’s website. The site has 10 main tabs: Food, Entertaining, Holidays, Home & Decorating, Crafts, Gardening, Weddings, Kids, Health and Community.

Under Home & Decorating are the following tab/topics: Decorating 101, Decorating by Room, Accents and Details, Painting, Organizing, Homekeeping, Clotheskeeping, Maintaining, Home Improvement & Repairs, and Good Things.

All of these sections offer plentiful information, excellent photographs, and countless helpful tips on a wide variety of home and garden subjects.

Martha Stewart: Learning More

You can learn a great deal about your home-related topic of choice on Martha’s site. For example, under Homekeeping, you can watch a video on Closet Organization, learn how to create a space for organizing family items or even see a photo gallery on how to welcome guests to your home.

The main Home & Decorating page offers tips on keeping clutter under control, creating a welcoming foyer for your home, and clever ways to reuse things you already own.

Martha Stewart: Other Good Things

The other categories on the site include numerous creative home project ideas. You can learn how to make a nautical map tray, how to create holiday homemade craft projects (like a pistachio wreath!), how to antique a mirror, and of course the home basics: ironing, folding, storing clothes, stain removal, and on and on. You name it, you can learn more about how to do it- all in one place.

Martha Stewart: The Past

You can’t write an article about Martha Stewart without mentioning her time in jail. While it seems from a public relations standpoint it might have been better if she were more forthcoming and apologetic, Martha Stewart played the issue as she does most things: tight-lipped. You don’t see a lot of drama from Martha: drama would not have helped her get as far as she has in her career. She did her time, and she moved on: she got right back to work. TV, radio, print: the triple media crown also includes the very brightly shining jewel of her website. Whatever mistakes she’s made in the past have only served to humanize her a bit- for her devoted, loyal fans, her ability to rule the home and garden roost has never changed.

Martha Stewart: Words of Wisdom

And some final words of home & garden wisdom, directly from Martha Stewart herself:

“Life is too complicated not to be orderly.”

Home improvements that will pay you back

home improvement

When it’s time to enhance the value of their homes, most homeowners want to go for the projects that are likely to provide a great potential to recoup what they had spend. For such home owners, Return on Investment is a common term in their talks.  Here are some of the home improvements that are likely to pay back.

Programmable thermostat

programmable thermostat

If you haven’t installed a thermostat in your home, consider buying one. The initial cost and the installation cost of the thermostat is not too high. This device can be programmed to either cool or heat particular sections of the house.

Besides, you can program them to go off when you aren’t at home in the morning hours and turn on a few minutes before you come back to ensure that the house is warm. Depending on how you use the thermostat, it can pay for itself in two to three months and if you have to use it for several years, you can save a lot of money.

Whole house fans

whole house fan

During the summer, it is easier to cool your car by just opening the car windows and cycling out the heat than to sit back and wait for the AC to cool the hot air. The entire house fans work the same wayas the car windows: they normally flash out the air and this allows the conditioner or the heater to pump in cool air. These fans will also help your HVAC system to work efficiently.

Energy-efficient appliances

Energy-efficient appliances

Have you ever realized that over 50% of your home’s energy is used in water heating? Besides, if you use dishwasher, dry cleaner, hot baths, and other appliances that need fuel, you are also using energy. Ensuring that you are using energy-efficient appliances will help you cut energy bills by a larger percentage.

Money in, money back

The adjustments discussed in this article and others which are almost similar will help you to save and at the end of the day, you are likely to minimize the expenses. The home improvements discussed are no less important or valuable but most homeowners over look them. You don’t have to do all of them at once. You can complete each at time and after sometime, you will find that you have achieved a great milestone n home improvement.

Gutter Guards And Gutter Cleaning In Winter

Gutter cleaning during winter can be a problem especially during winter. There are a number of complications that come about when there is heavy snowing. Ice dams and ice buildups are a common problem to most home owners as gutters can buckle under the heavy pressure of the ice buildup and ice dams can flood the downspouts. Most cases of ice dams and ice buildups are due to debris that has collected over time and was not cleared off before the snowfall. The use of gutter guard can go a long way in keeping gutters from flooding and snow build up.

Which gutter guard?

There are numerous gutter guards out in the market but not all of them are the best for winter. A gutter guard that doesn’t allow snow buildup by melting snow as it falls will also prevent snow dams from manifesting keeping the downspouts free from flooding. This means that whenever you are looking for gutter guards, you must ensure that you choose them according to the season. If you have already installed metallic gutter guards in your home, you may need to replace them during the winter.

Nylon gutter guards are known to the best for winter. They are designed in such a way than no snow buildup or ice dams will occur. There are other gutters guards that can be installed to keep debris away from the gutters not necessarily during the winter season but before the snow starts to fall.

Note that nylon gutter guards can get damaged easily, and this is the primary reason they should be          installed by a professional. Besides, if they are not well-installed, they might not be effective especially when the snow comes.

Gutter cleaning

Cleaning the gutter before the winter season will go a long way to save you from the problematic snow dams and snow build up. It is true that gutter guards can keep debris away from the gutter saving you from having to do frequent cleanups but that does not mean you have to neglect cleaning all together. Do frequent inspections to make sure that the functioning of the gutter guards is not hampered by too much debris piling and not falling off the gutter guard.

When winter sets in, you don’t have to neglect your gutters. Instead, keep a close eye on them. Otherwise, you may end up repairing or reinstalling the entire gutter system at the end of winter.