Category Archives: Decorating

Top 10 Home Design & Decor Trends for Fall 2017

Fall is just around the corner, meaning that soon we will spending a whole lot more time in and around our homes rather than at the beach! 🙂 That being said, here are the top 10 home trends for the Fall to help ignite your imagination for seasonal home design and decor updates:

1. Deep Seating Patio Furniture is in Style even in the Fall!

Even in the Fall, people still want to be outdoors! That’s why deep seating patio sets are all the rage, especially when they are tastefully combined with a beautiful deck or patio, or placed around a fire pit.

via Nashville Billiard

2. Outdoor Propane Heater to Keep Your Deck Comfy and Warm!

Of course placing an outdoor heater on the deck is also a great way to extend your outdoor season and enjoy the colors and sounds of the beautiful Fall season! 😉

via Bob Villa

3. Dark Green Kitchen Cabinets for the Classy Look and Feel

In terms of the interior design and home decor trends, we are seeing dark green kitchen cabinets are gaining in popularity again.

via Studio McGee

Did you know? Dark green cabinets can give your kitchen that somewhat rustic yet classy look and feel mixture in terms of design.

4. Darker Cabinets and Wooden Floors – A classy rustic mix

Darker cabinets mix in well with the open design kitchen layouts, coupled with hardwood floors, or imitation wood tiles.

via Sebring Services

5. Open Layout Kitchens with Hardwood Floors for Seamless Comfort throughout the Kitchen and Living Room Space

In case of hardwood floors and open layout kitchens, we are seeing hardwood floors extending all the way into the living room for that ultimate feel of rustic comfort and beauty! 🙂

Continue reading

15 Awesome Kitchen Remodel Ideas, Plus Costs 2017 Updated!

Updating or remodeling your kitchen can be a great investment of your home improvement dollars, especially if you plan to sell your home in the next few years. Remodeling this center-stage space of family gatherings can further enhance its functionality and utility, enabling you to enjoy the heart of your home to the fullest. Here are some of the top kitchen remodeling ideas for 2017, along with their expected costs and the pros and cons of each update.

1. Low-budget Remodel – Do It Yourself can be a Viable Approach here

A kitchen remodel can be done on a shoe-string budget. Just update one part at a time as the budget allows. You can do some or all of the work yourself, in some cases, if you are handy and have the necessary time and desire to get your hands dirty. 😉 Otherwise, an investment of $20,000 will buy a minor kitchen remodel completed by a professional remodeling contractor, but doing some of the work yourself can also bring that price down quite a bit. A minor kitchen remodel could include, but doesn’t have to be limited to the following:

  • Refinishing cupboards
  • Replacing outdated appliances with new, more energy-efficient appliances
  • New paint or wallpaper
  • New faucet
  • New countertops
  • New but inexpensive flooring

New countertops don’t necessarily have to be expensive. Even a new laminate countertop, which is fairly inexpensive, can make a huge difference. Decide what needs to be done, figure out the cost and have that one part done, or do it yourself, when your paycheck can cover it. – This remodeling approach could take a while, but eventually, you’ll have a beautifully updated kitchen and won’t be too broke to buy groceries. 😉

  • In 2017, a minor kitchen remodel will give you an ROI or recouped value of investment of about 80%. Thus, a $20,800 kitchen remodel should add about $16,700 to the value of your home.

2. Refinish the Cupboards

kitchen-cabinets

Give your kitchen a face-lift by refinishing the cupboards and drawer fronts instead of replacing them. New pulls and knobs will complete the look. This is fairly inexpensive and you will be amazed at the difference it makes. You can save even more money by doing it yourself but, be forewarned, it is not as easy as it seems. If the cupboards are in good shape and do not have lots of grooves or intricate carving, it is pretty straightforward. The job will take time, elbow grease and paint that costs about $30 to $60 per gallon plus $10 to $25 for new pulls and knobs. However, the cupboards will almost certainly look better if you have the refinishing done professionally. Plan to pay between $800 and $5,000, depending on the number of cabinets and how much repair needs to be done. The average cost is around $2,500.

  • Investing $2,500 in cupboards will add about $2,000 to the value of your home.

3. Reface those Cabinets

Have the cabinets refaced instead of replacing them if the doors and fronts are too damaged to refinish or if you just want a completely new look. This must be done by a professional. It generally costs between $2,000 and $13,000. When cupboards are refaced, the doors, drawer fronts and the actual veneer or wood finish on the outside of the cupboards is replaced. There are a few up-sides to refacing, as opposed to replacing:

  • Refacing costs less.
  • You regain the use of your kitchen more quickly.
  • You don’t have to deal with the hassle of new cupboards that don’t fit.

Even though this option is more expensive than refinishing, it will be worth it if your cupboards are old and outdated. They will look brand new.

  • The ROI for a $5,000 refacing will be about $4,000 and a big wow factor that you get to enjoy every time you go into the kitchen.

4. Refinish Walls

New paint or wallpaper, along with the refinished cupboards, will leave your kitchen looking fresh and brand new. You can do this yourself, of course, or hire a professional. If you hire a professional to paint, plan on spending between $400 and $1,000, depending on the size of the room. Having wallpaper installed by a professional will generally cost between $150 and $800. Doing it yourself is much cheaper but painting or hanging wallpaper in between the cupboards can be tricky.

  • This minor investment may not give you much in the way of ROI but it will probably help sell your home more quickly. Think of this as curb appeal for your kitchen.

5. Replace Flooring

Replace your kitchen flooring with cork or vinyl tiles. These materials are inexpensive and easy to put down yourself in most kitchens. Cork tiles cost around $3 to $6 per square, while vinyl tiles are $1.50 to $4 per square foot. There are some pros and cons to consider here.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive.
  • Easy DIY project in most kitchens.

Cons:

  • Not usually a very long-lasting flooring, although some come with a 25-year warranty.
  • Existing flooring may need to be removed or underlayment might be required.

New flooring makes a big difference. The floor is the largest surface area in your kitchen and the first thing you see before you even enter the room.

  • The ROI on $500 worth of new flooring won’t add to your home value but it will make a big impression on prospective buyers.

6. Mid-Range Kitchen Remodel

modern-upscale-kitchen

Larger, total kitchen remodels generally cost between $20,000 and $40,000 and entail a complete tear-out of the old … well, everything. Consider all possibilities and come up with a plan before the work begins. Give plenty of thought to what works best for you in addition to what materials you want. Keep in mind that this room must be built for function, not just aesthetics.

Let your intentions guide your remodeling plans. Return on investment for kitchens is generally only 60 to 80 percent, although this varies considerably from area to area. This means you will likely only recoup a little over half to three-quarters of what you invest in most locations. It may, however, help your house sell more quickly. If you are remodeling to sell, keep the colors and materials on the neutral side. A prospective buyer may be turned off by too much bright purple.

  • The national average ROI on a minor kitchen remodel is 80.2% but in Chicago it is 102.9%. You should only expect to recoup about 65% of the cost on a major remodel.

7. Small Kitchen Planning

mid-range-minor-kitchen-remodel

Even though a small kitchen may seem like an easier remodel than a large kitchen, you actually may need to get a bit more creative. Small kitchens can be difficult. Rip out the old cupboards and appliances in your mind and let your creative juices flow. Imagine the cupboards, sink and appliances in every possible configuration to get the most out of the limited space. Plumbing can be moved. It will cost an additional $1,000 to $1,500 or so but that extra cost may be well worth it in the long run. Keep the kitchen sink in front of the window, if possible. Use cupboards that extend all the way to the ceiling to get as much storage space as possible.

  • Spending $25,000 will add about $20,675 to the value of your home. Do not invest too much. You could add more value to the home than the area housing market will support. Rule of thumb – do not spend more than 5% to 7% of the home’s value on remodeling.

Continue reading

Top 10 Home Staging and Curb Appeal Ideas, Plus Costs

We’ve seen those remodeling shows where homeowners take sledgehammers to walls, and cabinets crash to the floor.

Here are some tips from the other end of the spectrum, small remodeling ideas that are a big help to sellers. They are simple, creative, DIY… but wait! Before you shake your head: you can have someone do them for you, and you don’t have to be a Creative Type.

Small Ideas: Big Difference

These projects are worth doing, but you decide how much you actually do. If you’re a DIY fan, great. If not, you can still choose the right materials. The trick is to know your house well, and you’re the expert there.

Imaginative Goals

One goal in small remodeling is to give the house a fresh, clean look that shows off its best features. Another is to spark the imaginations of potential buyers. You don’t want them to see the house as your home, but to imagine it as their home. 😉

This means following some tried-and-true rules, but also using your own knowledge of the house to its benefit.

The following simple ideas are inexpensive, and top agents agree they have proven appeal to potential buyers.

Helpful (and Maybe Even Fun) Small Remodels

1. Paint Indoors

Neutral colors are the best choice because they let good features show and present a “blank canvas” to the buyers’ imaginations. You know your warm and cool rooms, those with lots of or little sun, so you can choose warm or cool neutrals to balance those spaces.

Paint is especially helpful in updating kitchens and bathrooms, where “new” walls will take the focus off not-so-new interiors that require big remodels.

Cost: Plan to spend a few hundred dollars on quality paint and supplies if you are tackling this job DIY styles. If you plan to hire a handyman, your cost will be anywhere from $500.00 to a couple of thousand dollars depending on the extent of the work — the number of rooms being painted, and whether or not the removal of old wallpaper is required.

ROI: With the right paint colors for the interior walls and a job well-done, your ROI could be well over 100%. A nice facelift for you house and a more attractive, clean and modern look is what you get. If selling your house is the goal, then this is surely an important part of getting your home ready for sale. 😉

2. Paint Outdoors

A freshly painted front door says “Welcome!” with personality. Painting window trim freshens the first impression, but also lets you accent the windows on your home, or not. Having outdoor accent paint complement a flowering tree or your main garden color can be a charming touch.

Cost: To hire a handyman to repaint the exterior trim can cost anywhere from $500.00 to $2,000 depending on the extent of the work.

ROI: Getting your front door and window trim painted and exterior powerwashed not only welcomes buyers, it gets you money back when you sell your house.

3. Rearrange Furniture for better staging

Its placement likely reflects how you live, so rearrange furniture to minimize your presence and let the house’s qualities “speak up.” If you have a fireplace, arrange suggest a cozy evening. Aim seating towards a gorgeous view out a picture window when things are in bloom. Ask buyers to imagine a quiet reading area, or a sunny kitchen spot as a place for breakfast.

Buyers need to be able to picture the use for every single room, and you can create that use in the way you lay out your furniture. If you don’t lay out the furniture in a cohesive way, buyers could think that your floor plan has a bad flow or that it has too much unusable space.

Cost: Free if you do it yourself, or a couple hundred dollars to get a professional advice from an experienced interior designer or home staging company.

ROI: With the right house and proper furniture and lighting arrangement, you can make the whole home sale process easier, shorter, and more enjoyable.

4. Pay Attention to Small Details in the Kitchen

Speaking of kitchens (and bathrooms), buyers focus there, so details count. Choose new cabinet handles and drawer pulls, to give a uniform “look.” Hardware can be “country,” or “industrial,” etc., and can give a new feel to an older room. These small details cost pennies to fix (only $2.00-$5.00 per drawer pull), yet they give your space an instant facelift. Old hardware makes a space look dated, where new hardware makes buyers think it’s newer, and thus worth more, than it actually is.

You can make small scale changes in the kitchen that have a big impact, too. According to Consumer Reports, a kitchen renovation for as low as $300 could make you 3% more on your home sale. Spending that cash on drawer pulls and getting your cabinets/walls repainted will make the biggest impact.

Continue reading