The Living Room Is Taking Shape

October 21, 2018

home design

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Today I have decided to talk about the inside of my home renovations rather than the outside at this time. This will be a fairly short comment as we are only going to discuss the changes that we are now starting to see in our homes living room. To start our discussion off let us talk floors. Previously, the floors were covered with some sort of wooden laminate veneer however they were essentially ruined, likely as a result of the dog which was in the home with the previous tenants. An examination of the floors will reveal how some sections of the flooring were starting to buckle. This room, like all the other’s in the home stunk to high heaven and needless to say we did not spare the bleach and deodorizer when cleaning it. For the life of me, I cannot understand why anyone would allow their home to deteriorate as this one has. A house is usually one of your most costly investments therefore it should be carefully taken care of and preserved.

The living room, like all the rooms in the house was in dire need of painting, so we started out by painting the walls and the wood work. We decided on a shell color for the walls like all the rooms in the home would be painted. I liked the uniform look with all of the rooms being painted the same color. As you can imagine, I purchased the paint in five gallon containers rather than by the single gallon. It also provides a seamless transition from one room to another. For some reason, I dislike looking at corners of one room being a different color then the next. It just feels incomplete to me. In a similar manner, we painted all the woodwork in a dark brown to keep it looking the same in each room. The dark brown color gives the impression of a rich wood finish. Some items such as cabinets or doors were left in natural wood when possible in order to break up the color scheme a bit.

Speaking of paint, I don’t know if you have recently priced the cost of paint at stores like Lowes or not, but it has jumped sky-high now. Once we started the beautification program for this home we realized what was going to be involved in painting. It is not cheap to restore a home to its previously charming condition. The cost of paint is unbelievable. I went to Lowes in Seaford Delaware and purchased one five gallon bucket of paint for the walls and a single gallon of a darker color for the woodwork. Total cost was $175.99. Folks the amount was for only the paint. We had previously bought the brushes, rollers, etc. We finally ended up using a grand total of ten gallons of paint for the complete home. That’s two of the five gallon containers. Whoever said paint was cheap is grossly mistaken.

As we painted the living room wall we decided that it really did not matter if we got paint on the floor or not since the floor in the living room was in such a deteriorated condition. As a result of the poor condition of the floor the decision was made that it was best to install a carpet over it and believe me it certainly made a drastic difference in the mood of the room. We still need to put the floor transition strips in place once we get the kitchen area completed but slowly it is starting to look like home. All that is needed now is to add some of our furniture and accessories to the room. As you can imagine the change was unbelievable.

Pam, my wife still has to put her paintings on the wall and add some of her living room items to the area that she plans to use but that will come slowly as she continues to empty the boxes from storage. It certainly looks a group better than it did when we first moved in. I will see you another time with more updates and information.

10 Ways to Make Your House Look Bigger and Spacious

October 21, 2018

home design

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Getting a small area around the house or the entire house to look bigger is possible by following some simple steps.

1. Repaint the ceiling or use a wallpaper to give the room a taller appearance

It doesn’t matter whether it is your living room, or your bedroom, repainting the ceiling or making use of wallpaper can make a room appear bigger. The trick is that a brightly painted ceiling tends to make you raise your brows upwards which make the room appear large and spacious.

2. Use light color paint on the walls

When the walls in a room are painted with dark colors, it makes the room seem a bit cozier due to that they absorb light. Whereas when the walls are painted with bright colors, it helps to make a room more spacious since light easily gets reflected around the room.

3. Ensure furniture’s aren’t placed closed to the wall

Creating space between the wall and furniture creates the illusion of a large room; this makes the room look more open unlike when you place them close to the wall which makes the area look cramped.

4. Use light colors on the floor also

Just like in the case of a brightly painted wall, a brightly colored floor also gives a room a spacious outlook. You can opt for a floor remodeling if you are up for it or simply just get a brightly colored rug or carpet.

5. Place shelves close to the ceiling to get people to look up.

You can make a small space look bigger by putting structures in place to draw the eye towards the ceiling. And one effective way you can achieve this is to hang a shelf close to the ceiling. It can be a book shelf or one with an array of decorations that are pleasing to the eyes.

6. Make use of large decorative accents

Accenting a room with large decorations such as tall vases or handcrafted items can get it to look large. This is because few large decorations in a room give it a detailed outlook unlike when you cramp it up with smaller decorations scattered here and there.

7. Go for furniture’s that makes a statement

So you want the living room to be a lot spacious to make room for air and light, a simple way to achieve this is to make use of a large couch instead of several small pieces which makes it look a lot cluttered.

8. Place a striped rug on the floor

This works perfectly in a small bedroom. Placing a striped rug like that of a zebra makes your room appear bigger.

9. Use color coding on shelves

Arranging items on shelves according to colors makes space looked structured and organized which ultimately gives the room a spacious appeal.

10. Improve a tiny bathroom with a clear shower curtain

You can give a small bathroom a spacious look by getting a brightly colored shower curtain.

Basic Maintenance for Home

October 21, 2018

home design

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Did you know that there is more to your home’s exterior than just siding and paint? Sure, you may recognize that, but it should also be noted that your roof is also a part of the exterior of your home. After all, without the roof, your home’s interior would not be protected! (shocking, isn’t it?)

So, it is quite important to see that you take care of your home’s exterior. This doesn’t have to be a part of the basic To Do list that you check off weekly, but it should definitely be a part of that quarterly list! By doing so, you have a better chance of identifying home exterior concerns and being able to stay a step ahead of them – before they become full on problems that are costly to repair (or need to replace!).

If you are new to home ownership, then determining what type of checking on the home exterior needs to be done can be stressful. So, to help out, here are the place you need to be paying special attention to:

  • Gutters – The gutters of your home control the amount of rainwater reaches your home’s exterior and protect your roofing as well as your home’s siding. Be sure they are attached correctly and are not sagging anywhere. It is also important to clean them periodically so that there is no build up of debris.
  • Paint – Take time to note if you need to touch up an area or call in a professional painting crew. The status of the paint job/siding will be one of the first thing people notice.
  • Siding – If you have vinyl siding, or one of its sister products, then you will want to clean it off periodically using a pressure sprayer.
  • Windows – Be sure these are not just clean, but open and close as they are designed to do.
  • Patio or deck – e sure that the boards are sound, and that any debris is swept off of them. Not only does this look better, but you can prevent any damage caused by critters/pests. Be especially vigilant against areas around windows and doors – were wood rot can occur. If you notice damage near these locations, be sure to get someone to check it out and determine the action to be taken.
  • Roofing/Shingles – Walk around your home and note any areas where shingles may have pulled away or are loose/missing. If you see any, repair them before they fall away and leave your home exposed to the elements of nature.

Dealing with home exterior issues doesn’t have to e stressful. Do some basic maintenance and then be sure to connect with the right companies within your community to help with those aspects that you don’t feel qualified to do yourself.

What Makes a Home?

October 21, 2018

home design

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We all have to have a roof over our heads don’t we? Most of us are lucky that we have, but is it a house or a home?

A house provides shelter for us and our family but a home provides much more. Walking towards your house/home after working all day, is it an attractive prospect or is it just somewhere to get out of the rain and sit down? The reason I ask is that so often you get the wrong advice usually from people who benefit out of it.

I have recently moved to Swansea where there are some lovely little terraced cottages – my wife and I have bought one – with stone walls, a slated roof (someone was given bad advice and put tiles on ours!), chimneys, timber sash and casement windows, flagstone path, good quality timber door, etc., etc. But I see whole rows which have been covered in beige cement roughcast, whole streets of them, all the same.

Hardly any chimneys remain in some streets with uPVC windows and doors, concrete paths, totally devoid of their original character. A terrace near to us was stripped of its old cement render and the stonework exposed. I had high hopes of it being repointed in lime mortar and shining but, no, beige cement roughcast accompanied the uPVC windows and removal of the chimney stack so we now have a faceless roughcast box in its place.

Why does this happen?

I suppose that it’s partly an effort to modernise but does that mean that the original fabric should be forgotten or hidden as if it’s something to be ashamed of?

Original/traditional features like timber windows or chimneys are in poor condition. MAINTENANCE SAVES MONEY. It seems that very few of you can be bothered decorating your windows or doors and would rather lose that part of your homes history and character by replacing these troublesome features with plastic, which, I must add, also need replaced after about 10 years. The wooden windows you just got rid of probably lasted for the previous 100 or more… So, would it have been worth decorating or repairing them? Everything can be repaired. Chimneys may no longer be used. IF they are repaired correctly there is no reason they will give you any problems for decades or longer and it helps prevent your home from becoming just a house.

You are asking the wrong question of the wrong person. I have mentioned this before but, if you ask a double glazing salesman if you need windows – guess the answer. If you ask a builder if you need building work done, he’ll no doubt find some like removing your chimney or covering your stonework up with beige cement roughcast from the apparently never-ending supply.

The lack of importance of traditional/original features in the community. What sets out an historic town centre from a modern one, how do peoples feelings change towards them? Do you enjoy trips to an historic town with different shops and building styles or prefer 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s flat-roofed or concrete slab-fronted buildings with no soul? You probably are mixed but aesthetically, the craftsmanship of the old must win out.

The local authority has some responsibility for this by allowing or not preventing these changes. And it’s not just the aesthetic and historic value, these features have an intrinsic value and usefulness. Chimneys, even if there isn’t a useable fireplace, can provide ventilation. This is vital for human health, reduces condensation and the risk of some chest complaints, improves air quality and the movement of air in the chimney will help keep it dry.

Sash and casement windows are known as being draughty but this again is good for you and your home, maybe no so good for your heating bills though. Maybe you should expect to be wearing a jumper indoors in the winter and not flip-flops and shorts like my son used to. Old windows can be draught-proofed and double glazed units can be fitted to the same frames however double-glazing salesmen are NEVER going to offer you that option.

If you have a limited budget, as most of us have, it is cheaper to refurbish, repair, mend, decorate, fix, etc., than it is to replace, short and long-term. There is as much value and a great deal more social history in your terraced cottage than there is in the Colosseum or Buckingham Palace so, how about taking some free advice and please consider the consequences of removing something that helps make your house into a home. Or even calling for some advice or to discuss a survey.