DIY Tips and Tricks - DIYInspired.com
31st May2013

Four Budget Kitchen Renovation Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

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When it comes to renovating a home, everyone can agree that the kitchen is one of the most important places to begin, but it can also be one of the most expensive rooms to decorate. Still, not only will an upgraded kitchen make you feel more at home, but it’s one of the things that will boost the resell value of your home the most.  That doesn’t mean you have to spend a ton of money, however – there are a lot of inexpensive upgrades you can employ in your kitchen. Here are some great budget kitchen renovation ideas to consider.

Clean Up and Create a Plan

After you’ve cleaned up your kitchen and moved everything into a local storage unit, do a little bit of research and study the design trends.  Having a plan for your new kitchen will save you not only money but also a lot of headache since you’re no longer trying to do it on the fly. This is also a great time to see if there’s anything from your kitchen you no longer need.  Selling it could bring you quite a bit of money you can use toward the kitchen upgrades.

Look at the Layout

With the kitchen cleared out, look at the layout of it.  This is the time to decide if you really need to change the foundation of the room or if it will work as it is.  Most times kitchens have been designed a particular way because of mobility or functionality and you’ll find you probably don’t need to rip up the counters.  It could just be a matter of changing around the appliances and if that’s the case, you’ve just saved yourself hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

Energy Efficiency is a MUST

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If you’ve decided to upgrade your appliances, make sure that they’re being replaced with energy efficient models.  Not only are these kinds of upgrades usually available for tax credits for the next tax year, but they’ll also save you a lot of money in utilities each month, helping you pay off other bills and debts.  Plus, those homes that have energy efficient kitchen appliances have a much higher resell value than those without and that’s a trend that isn’t looking to go away anytime soon.

Look for Alternatives

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Before you drop a ton of money on new counter tops, consider if you can get a cheaper alternative.  There are a lot of laminate versions of your favorite counter top designs nowadays and they mimic the look of concrete and stone quite nicely.  Most people won’t be able to really tell the difference and it will save you a lot of money. 

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Rather than spending the cash to install new cabinetry, consider just painting the ones you have and adding new handles and hardware.  If the wood is looking worse for wear, a simple coat of wood stain will fix that right up and shiny new hardware can go a long way to making your kitchen look fresh and new.  If you do want to install new cabinets, considering forgoing the custom made models and instead search for base models that will fit well into your kitchen.  Check places like Habitat for Humanity Restore that offer a wide range of different cabinet options, most of which look just as nicely as those custom-made ones.  And they’ll end up saving you quite a bit of money.

It’s no secret that kitchens are one of the most valuable places to renovate inside a home simply because of the incredible resell value they hold, providing you with a potentially huge financial sum if you decide to sell.  But it doesn’t need to be an expensive upgrade to get all the benefits.  With just a few tweaks, you can save a lot of money and increase the value of your home while still having an amazingly renovated kitchen.

23rd May2013

My Crafty Toolbox

by Dinah Wulf

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I have a bag that I carry around all the time… my crafty toolbox, if you will.  If my purse is large enough it goes in there, if it isn’t I bring it with me in the car.  I decided that I wanted to share it with you because I use it SO much and it really comes in handy.  I use it around the house, or if I’m out thrift shopping I can easily measure my new find to repurpose or refurbish.

Here’s what I have inside:

One: This mini hammer has come in handy.  I’m always rearranging or hanging new frames and pictures around the house.   It has a screwdriver attachment that conveniently screws into the bottom as well. 

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Two: Screwdriver with both a Phillips and flat head attachment.

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Three:  I found this baby in the dollar bin!  I use it ALL the time for fixing glasses, opening battery covers, remote controls, etc.

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Four: Measuring tape, Sharpie, and a pencil. A small measuring tape is perfect for when you’re out thrift shopping or going to garage sales.

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Five: Scissors and a straight edge.

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And it all fits in this bag that is small enough to carry around or fit in a purse.

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That’s it!  I hope you found this useful.  It’s just so convenient for me that I thought I’d share!

Do you have a crafty toolbox?  What’s inside? Is there anything you think I should add???

 

29th Apr2013

Creative Curtain Accents: Making a Statement

by Dinah Wulf

As we wave goodbye to winter and welcome warm spring weather, we are ready for change. Heavy sweaters are packed away for next year while colorful tank tops and floral frocks hang in the closet. Afternoon poolside BBQs replace indoor lounging around a blazing fireplace.  Create new energy as sunshine breaks through dreary clouds by making over an interior space in your home as well. Remodeling the look and feel of a room doesn’t have to be an expensive makeover that includes brand-new furniture, lighting and decor. Since spring and summer are all about the sunshine, focus on your window treatments and creative curtain accents and make them the aesthetic focal point of your interior space.

Boldly brighten your bedroom or create a fanciful ambience in the living room with these drapery ideas:

Dueling Hues

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Accent a spacious living room by hanging floor-to-ceiling curtains in two different bold, complementary colors. For a cheery and vibrant atmosphere, lean toward warmer colors or soft pastels. Shimmery tangerine gold drapes paired with bubble gum pink or muted pistachio green curtains hung beside robins’ egg blue can confidently add personality to a space. Home decor store West Elm offers selections of sheer linen window panels in coral rose and linen cotton grommet window panels in desert marigold that can serve as an aesthetic duo for your new home decor.

Black and White

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Stark colored contrasts can also draw attention to your window and create a contemporary look. Hanging solid black and white, striped black and white or checkered black and white drapery achieves that modern interior-design theme and invites colorful decor to accessorize the space. Once you’ve established your black-and-white focal point, work on incorporating colorful accents like a velvet fuchsia chair, mustard-colored throw pillows or an orange-crush vase.

Eclectic Curtain Rods

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Even if you prefer more neutral hues and subtle colors, your window treatments can still be an eye-catching display. BHG.com provides creative window treatment inspiration with DIY curtain rod ideas. Create a whimsical rustic look by installing a branch curtain rod and use spray paint to color it an earthy tone. Draperies from The Shade Store in stone, willow or olive will add to the organic theme of the window. Other creative ideas for curtain rods include an oar or canoe paddle for a nautical or beach theme. A bamboo pole complements a feng shui interior design.

Pretty Patterns

Take a style risk with your drapery and adorn your windows with patterned curtains full of character and pizzazz. Your walls will radiate with personality by hanging vintage, whimsical curtains from Anthropologie, such as the Nests & Nectar Curtain adorned with flittering hummingbirds and sweet sparrows. Sweep your curtains back with rope tie-backs or a bronze branch tie-back. Create a retro feel by hanging Anthropologie’s Climbing Vines curtains in chartreuse or go for a clambering floral theme by accenting windows with Ink Garden Curtains designed with soft forest green foilage and discreet blue blossoms.

19th Apr2013

4 Tips to Redo a Small Bathroom

by Dinah Wulf

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The bathroom obviously needs to be an efficient, comfortable and functioning unit of your home. And it should be treated that way. By focusing on the right things and by using effective decorating techniques/storage ideas, you can get the most out of your bathroom regardless of how small it is. You can actually have everything you need in there to create a soothing/relaxing spa-like atmosphere by fully effectively utilizing the available space.

#1: Go for the Right Colors

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One of the things that you can work on is the current colors of your bathroom. It’s a fact that light colors help in creating the illusion of more space in a small bathroom. By using soft pastels such as blue, green and pink you’ll not only make the bathroom look/appear larger than it is, but you’ll also be able to create more soothing atmosphere since such colors are relaxing.

In case you want to go for the contemporary look,  go for neutral colors for your bathroom walls. Besides that, you can also add some color with “decorative touches” such as counter accessories and towels.

#2: Focus on De-cluttering

Most of us try to de-clutter our homes during the spring break. But what when you want to do it specifically for your small bathroom? The purpose of de-cluttering is to make the most out of the space by taking the regular approach and by using innovative, creative ways to get results.  For example, by removing some of that clutter from the bathroom counters it can help you get rid of the “cramped feeling” from the room.

You can also consider eliminating shelves from your bathroom walls and storing any of your extra towels in your hall linen closet in order to make more space in the small bathroom. Although the pedestal vanity for your bathroom sink could be taking lesser space, it still fails to offer you the storage needed to keep the bathroom free from clutter. So go for one of those bathroom vanities that have an under-sink storage area where cleaning supplies and extra toilet tissue rolls can be stored.

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#3: Work on the Shower Stalls

An easy and effective method for producing the “illusion of space” in your small, compact bathroom is to get rid of the bathtub and instead create a nice stand up shower stall. By removing the bathtub, you get more space for standing when showering.

Try and use glass doors that are clear enough to allow the eye to look in the direction of the shower stall so that it gives out an illusion of a larger bathroom. Avoid using solid type shower stall doors as they tend to break up the space, invariably making the bathroom feel smaller. Another good way to create this same illusion is to use one of those clear shower doors/curtains if your bathroom has a bathtub.

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#4: Use Large Mirrors

In order to enhance the appearance of size of your bathroom, have a large mirror over the sink. Also, the reflection in this large mirror can and will capture some of the bathroom’s decorative elements, enhancing the illusion of space. In case your bathroom has a low ceiling, it would make sense to use vertical mirrors in order to create an effective illusion of height. The more smartly you make use of mirrors in a bathroom, the better it is.

11th Apr2013

Go Green with an Eco-Friendly Bathroom

by Dinah Wulf

Eco-Friendly Bathroom

As larger percentages of Americans are placing stress on the importance of eco-friendly fixtures in their homes, and more and more initiatives are aimed at encouraging homes to switch to eco-friendly bathroom products, it’s no wonder eco-friendly bathroom fixtures are growing in popularity. Some very simple adjustments to a bathroom can reduce its impact on the environment and, in some cases, even save homeowners money.

In the bathroom, water conservation is the most important factor in making eco-friendly changes. New low-flow toilets are improved and better than ever: in the past, some low-flow toilets had to be flushed twice. Now, one flush will suffice and you might even notice a slight drop on your water bill over time.

Your water conservation efforts don’t have to end with installing a low-flow toilet. By installing low-flow shower heads and faucets, you can take your water conservation efforts one step further. For maximum water efficiency, select a shower head with a flow rate of less than 2.5gpm.

There are two types of low-flow shower heads: aerating and laminar-flow. Aerating showerheads mix air with water, and laminar-flow showerheads form individual streams of water. Using aerating faucets in both the kitchen and bathroom is one of the most inexpensive ways to improve household water conservation; a new eco-friendly showerhead can be as affordable as $20.

If you’re interested in a complete makeover, a beautiful eco-friendly vanity may be the way to go. Not only are they chic, attractive, and practical, but they will conserve water and may even save you money.

Bathroom fixtures aren’t the only thing homeowners can focus on in their eco-friendly endeavors. Displaying potted plants and flowers in a bathroom is a beautiful way to decorate and cut back on the use of aerosol products. Ceramic tile and natural stone are ideal alternatives to wallpaper, won’t need to be replaced as often, and can give a bathroom a more modern look and feel. Paints with a low volatile organic compounds (VOC) label should be sought out, since they’re less toxic and better for the environment, and fluorescent light bulbs use less energy and last longer than their incandescent alternative.

08th Apr2013

Add a Splash of Class with a Water Garden

by Dinah Wulf

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There are hundreds of little projects that can add a focal point to your yard, but one of the most dynamic is a water garden. Having one will most likely put you in rare company on your block. That’s because people think that installing and maintaining water features are much harder than they actually are. In fact, a fully functioning water garden can be installed in a single day!

Choosing a Liner

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The first major choice you have to make when putting in a water garden is how large you want to go. There are several plastic forms that run from 10 gallons to over 200. If you are not a fan of the forms, you can buy a pond liner and design your own. Liners are more work and require significantly more knowhow than the performed plastic. For most applications, unless you are planning on putting in a Koi pond, a preformed pond is versatile enough for your needs.

Preparing the Site

The location of your water garden will have a great deal of influence on the maintenance required to keep it clear. Try to avoid areas near large deciduous trees that will drop leaves into the area during the fall. Keeping the pond away from trees in general is a good idea. Root systems can grow into the pond liner and rip it.

The entire pond area needs to be cleared out and made ready for a dig. This means that any grass needs to be mowed down, raked and cleared. While it may not seem important, removing the debris prior to digging will keep rocks, sticks and other items from falling into the pit.

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Installation

With a prefabricated pond you need to dig out an area that is one to two inches larger than the liner you have purchased. It should be an approximate match to the liner, including any ridges that exist. The area must be kept level. This is the most labor intensive parts of the job, and depending on the size of your prefabricated pond, could take anywhere from an hour to a full day.

Once the pit is cleared out, add an inch or two of pool sand to the bottom of the pit. This will create a cushion between the hard base ground and the pool liner and allow it to be adjusted and leveled as it is being put in. Wet this sand down and then slid the pool liner into place.

After moving the liner into place, fill the pond with a garden hose. You can install edging around the exterior or plant water loving plants around them – some possible choices are Iris and papyrus. Also consider installing a fountain or pond pump to keep the water circulating and reduce algae build up. These pieces of equipment are easy to install and don’t interfere with the growth of surface water plants like water lilies and water poppies.

Choosing a water feature as part of your backyard makeover can add both visual interest and a sound element that might currently be missing. And you can do it all by yourself, or with the help of a few close friends, in just a weekend.

 

01st Apr2013

Moen: How to Install a Kitchen Faucet

by Dinah Wulf

This post brought to you by Moen, Incorporated. All opinions are 100% mine.

How to Install a Kitchen Faucet (1)

One of my best friends has lived in her home for many years.  Her husband was born and raised in that home.  Over the years they have been able to make some big improvements like new floors, windows, and kitchen cabinets.  Now, they are able to focus on the details that truly make their house a home.  Last weekend I helped them install a new Kiran Spot Resist one-handle pulldown kitchen faucet.  Oh my!  What a difference a faucet makes!  Here is our journey on how to install a kitchen faucet.

The Moen Kiran faucet can be purchased at Lowe’s.  It has so many great features and was perfect for updating their kitchen.  The Spot Resist™ stainless finish resists fingerprints and water spots for a cleaner looking kitchen.  It has a high arch pulldown design makes it easy to adjust water flow or temperature.  It is equipped with the Reflex™ system for smooth operation, easy movement of the spray head.

Installation time: Approximately one hour

Materials:

  • Adjustable Wrenches
  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Flashlight
  • Plumbers putty

Here is a photo of the sink before. It is quite old!

How to Install a Kitchen Faucet (2)

Step One:

Shut off the water valve.  In our case, the valve was located below the sink.  I turned the faucet to release any extra pressure.

Step Two:

Disconnect the mounting and remove the old faucet and clean the area from any dirt and debris.  As you can see, this was a REALLY old sink!  Yuck!

Step Three:

Assemble the mounting washer to the faucet and put the supply lines through the hole.  Make sure the faucet sets securely on the deck.  Be aware of your surrounds so that you don’t scratch your new faucet!

Step Four:

Reconnect the supply lines.

Note: At this point I had to run to Lowe’s to purchase an adapter because their faucet was so old! Apparently, old tube lines are 1/2 inch, while newer lines are 3/4 inch.

Step Five:

Insert the hose through the spout of the faucet and attach the connector on both sides. Make sure there is a clear path for the retractable hose.

Step Six: 

Attach the faucet head to the hose by screwing it on.

Step Seven: 

Attach the hose weight to the hose in the bottom of the sink and test the water pressure.

Ta dah! What a difference!

How to Install a Kitchen Faucet (3)

Learning how to replace a kitchen faucet was a lot easier than I thought!  The step by step photos made it easy to understand and follow.  My friend and her husband are so happy with their Moen Kiran faucet.  Join me and become a Moen fan on Facebook!

Visit Sponsor's Site

01st Apr2013

Cleaning after Spring Cleaning: De-clutter Your Home

by Dinah Wulf

If you’re like me, you may have already finished your spring cleaning (I am far from being a procrastinator). After you finish cleaning the nooks and corners of your home during the spring cleaning exercise, it is important that you de-clutter your home and organize your living space.

But why spend another weekend organizing when you spent the last one scrubbing the house meticulously? Cleaning takes out the accumulated dirt gathered during the winter season, but organizing makes the house worth living in. Believe it or not, de-cluttering helps you de-stress and organize your life. A well sorted home with no extra mess is a dream come true.

Here is how you can pull off a DIY home organizing job in less than a few days. Ask your family and kids to help you out; you won’t be able to sort (and throw out) any clutter without their help!

Put Everything Back in Place

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Has your laundry basket been lying somewhere in the hallway all this while? Put it all back where it belongs. You cannot sort and organize things unless they are in their right place. It would be much easier if you place all items in their respective rooms, and then organize and de-clutter in every room systematically. Remember: if something does not have a place, you probably do not need it.

Let It Go!

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If you don’t need it and it can’t be upcycled, let it go. We often stack up on unnecessary items and end up with a lot of junk. Say goodbye to anything you don’t need, and ask your kids to do the same. Give the things away rather throwing them away. Maybe setting up a garage sale will be a good idea. After all, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure!

Identify Trash

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This goes especially for kitchens and bathrooms. You are likely to discover many food tins, pudding boxes, and spices that expired some time back. Similarly, your kitchen might be home to useless bottles and jars. Bathrooms are also cluttered with useless items like old toothpaste tubes and shampoo bottles, and medicine cabinets often have some expired pills. Get all of this trash out of your way.

Sort and Store!

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Now that you have gotten rid of all the junk, sort and store the items methodically. Be creative in how you use the space in rooms. It is best to store small items in boxes and cabinets. If you do not use something on a daily basis, you can store it away in a box. Organize the storage boxes and cabinets as well; store similar things together and label the boxes. You can add a few more shelves at home if there is little space to store the things.

In case space at your home is insufficient, you can store items in a self storage unit. These units are convenient and easy to manage; some self storage providers like Uncle Bob’s Storage also have smartphone apps so you can manage your storage online.

Now that you are done designating new spots to all the items, make a vow to carry out an organizing exercise regularly. Maybe you could re-evaluate the clutter situation at home every month. Mark your calendar and keep up with the de-cluttered zone you have just created for yourself. A clean, organized and mess-free home requires continuous monitoring and maintenance.

22nd Mar2013

How to Remove Tough Pet Stains

by Dinah Wulf

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This may be my most embarrassing article yet and much different than my typical DIY tips and tricks article. I have been a dog owner for over 25 years.  My first dog, Tiny, lived for 17 years and now I have two dogs, Pablo the Chihuahua and Harley the Pug.  In these 25 years, I have moved 15 times.  Yep… 15!  With the constant changing environment, my little buddies get confused.  Needless to say, there have been several accidents.  I HAD to share this how-to because after over a decade of purchasing every carpet stain remover out there, I finally found out how to remove tough pet stains.

Now I don’t know why it took me 25 years to figure it out because it is SO simple!  Here is what you’ll need:

  • White vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Clean dry cloth
  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum cleaner

That’s it!!! I know, right???

I decided to spare you the step by step photo tutorial because, well, that’s just disgusting.  I can, however show you a less disgusting before and after photo:

how-to-remove-pet-stains-before-after

Notice that I didn’t even bother to put the fancy font or the watermark… still so embarrassing…

Anyway, if the stain is still wet blot the spot as dry as possible with a clean cloth or towel.  Next, put white vinegar is a spray bottle, and completely saturate the stain.  If the spot is new, leave the vinegar on for a few minutes and then blot it with a clean towel.  If the stain is old, leave the vinegar for an hour or two.  If the stain is really bad and even brown in color, skip the spray bottle and pour the vinegar directly on the stain soaking it completely and leave on for several hours before blotting dry.

Once you have blotted the stain with a clean cloth or towel, allow it to dry.  Once it is dry, sprinkle baking soda on the stain and vacuum it.  The baking soda will get rid of the smell!

Tah-dah… an all-natural how-to on how to remove pet stains!

Phew!  Glad that’s over…

 

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Today, my daughter and I played memory on our new kid-friendly rug!

  Mohawk Flooring (3)

You can win your own 6’ X 9’ SmartStrand bound carpet rug. Go to the contest page to enter. SmartStrand carpet is rated #1 in consumer satisfaction… Experience it for yourself!

The contest started Monday, March 18th and ends April 8th. Please see the registration page for legal rules.

A big THANK YOU to Mohawk Flooring for sponsoring this giveaway!

 

11th Mar2013

Backyard Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

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Giving your backyard a makeover doesn’t have to be rocket science. As long as you take the right steps and implement the right backyard ideas, you can definitely spruce up your backyard and give the face-lift it needs…

1. Start with the Cleaning

Although this seems like an obvious tip, a lot of people tend to ignore it. Cleaning up your backyard is an important step towards making it prettier. So go ahead and grab your rake, get the lawn mower - along with the hedge trimmers to tidy up your backyard. Right from raking the leaves to trimming the bushes – everything should be on your ‘tidy backyard’ to-do list.

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2. Begin Planting

Want to add more color and dimension to the area? Then planting trees/shrubs along with adding a flower garden to your backyard is what you should be doing. For example, simply sowing in wildflower seeds will give rise to colorful wildflowers that will beautify your backyard.

See to it that you first scope out the spots that receive a lot of sunlight and the ones that get the shade. Once you’re done with that, you can then choose plants that survive in such conditions. Try and understand their characteristics and growth habits. Also, if you want you can go beyond flowers and add trees to your backyard landscape for added privacy.

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3. Add Walkways/Stone Paths

Enhancing the overall flow and improving the landscape doesn’t have to be complicated. You can do it by having a path to the garden and a ‘walkway’ from the deck. Whether you choose to go for brick, stone, gravel or other available edging options, pathways are not only attractive but also beneficial for guiding the “foot traffic” in the appropriate direction.

4. Cover Garden Beds with Mulch

During the summertime, plants need to retain their moisture in the sweltering heat. When you cover your garden beds in mulch, you help the plants in retaining this very moisture. Besides that, mulch happens to give the backyard a clean and an organized look/feel.

After this step, consider doing some budge edging so that the garden beds are better defined. If you look around, you’ll find that there are many styles for you to choose from. If you’ve got a shovel and a level, you can be done building an edge only in a few hours.

All in all, redoing your backyard and designing it to make it look prettier can be a fun and exciting experience as long as you put your creativity into it and don’t treat it as just another tedious task.

18th Feb2013

If I Had a Hammer: Tools Every Homeowner Needs

by Dinah Wulf

lady hammer

As a homeowner on a budget, I had to learn how to handle a lot of problems on my own. If it weren’t for YouTube tutorials and my trusty pink tool bag (yes, it’s pink), I’d still have a leaky faucet, clogged shower drain and broken garbage disposal. With some basic knowledge and a few tools, you too will be ready to remedy your first disaster. Whether your water heater goes out or the screens start falling out of your windows, here are the essential tools to help you take care of everything on your own:

Flashlight and Magnet

When was the last time you were taking something apart and you lost the screws somewhere in the great unknown? A flashlight and a long magnet would help you get back on track.

The Basic Hammer

A basic hammer is a necessity. Think about the chores that require one, such as hanging pictures and fixing little things around the house, and all the specialty jobs you may need one for, such as installing landscaping lights or home security systems. Keep it in an easily accessible spot, like the entry closet or the kitchen junk drawer.

The Right Screwdrivers

According to home-improvement professionals at Houzz, every homeowner needs two types of screwdrivers: a flat-head and a Phillips. The Phillips has the star-shaped tip and is used for a variety of projects and quick fixes. A flat-head screwdriver only fits in single-slot screws, which are typically used on the faceplates for electrical, cable and telephone outlets.

Measuring Made Easy

A heavy-duty tape measure pays for itself quickly, especially if you like to move furniture around or scour your local thrift store for DIY furniture-makeover projects. If you’ve ever brought a new piece home only to find out it won’t fit through the door or isn’t proportionate to the space, a tape measure will be your new best friend.

On the Level

Although your friend or significant other may tell you they can “eyeball” where you should hang that beautiful new painting, don’t do it. You can easily use your handy measuring tape and a small level to make sure your art is hung correctly and doesn’t look like you live in a home full of giants.

All-Purpose Utility Knife

If you are looking for a razor-sharp cut, an all-purpose utility knife can do the trick every time, suggests home improvement experts at Gizmodo. Just be careful, if you are used to cutting things with dull scissors from the junk drawer, a good utility knife could take a finger off.

Durable Pliers

If you’ve ever tried to pull out a small nail using your bathroom tweezers, now is the time to buy the adult version: durable pliers. They can also be used to reach behind the dryer for a lost sock or to pinch the wires together on your child’s hamster cage after an escape.

Versatile Crescent Wrench

If you’ve never used a crescent wrench, you don’t know what you’re missing. Using one to loosen that bolt will make you feel like a true handyman.

Bigger-Ticket Items

Finally, no home should be without a ladder, power drill and a heavy-duty extension cord. With these items, you’ll be prepared to take on any DIY project.

14th Feb2013

Tips for Making your Bedroom your Sanctuary

by Dinah Wulf

Did you know that the average sleep time for men and women ages 25-44 is about 8.5 hours a night? That’s close to 60 hours a week or 10 out of the 30 days in a month.  That’s one-third of your life!  With so much time spent in the bedroom, why is it the most neglected room in the house when it comes to decorating?  We are so worried about what the house looks like for other people, we neglect the most important space for ourselves.  With that said, I wanted to share some tips for making your bedroom your sanctuary.

Splurge on linens.

Choose quality cotton sheets for luxury and optimum comfort. I had a discussion with one of my friends recently, and she mentioned that the one item she will splurge on is sheets and bedding, like Frette linens.  She says that it’s vital for her to get a great night of sleep in order to have a productive work day.

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Light colors and neutrals aren’t boring.

Subtle neutrals in white, sand, soft sea greens, and light blues create a spa-like atmosphere.  White is the color of purity, while green represents balance and blue represents peace.  Create your own island getaway by bringing the outdoors in with decorative accessories like, shells, coral, or drift wood.

Leave electronics out.

I know it may sound crazy these days, but if at all possible leave the television, computers, laptops, iPads, and any other electronic devices out.  Removing unnecessary electronics will not only eliminate clutter, but it will create more intimacy, allow for more conversation, and will allow you to sleep better.

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Design is in the details.

Don’t forget about accent pillows, throws, artwork, books and accessories.  For me, books are a must in every room.  It’s an inexpensive way to decorate.  Not only for shelves, books can be stacked on tables or can add height under small accessories.

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Choose a style that is YOU.

No matter what your style, shabby chic, country cottage, vintage modern, eclectic, or Hollywood Regency, pick a style that makes you happy.  Don’t be afraid to play with different textures, patterns, and color.  The more you feel your bedroom reflects who you are, the better.  Don’t know your style?  Start with your favorite colors, or if you have a favorite piece of artwork or pattern on a blanket use the colors to help guide you.

08th Jan2013

Free Curb Side Pick Up

by Dinah Wulf

Free Curb Side Pick Up (1)

The frame you see here was a free curb side pickup.  It was left unwanted alongside of a few other frames I picked up in my friend’s neighborhood.  I made a craft organization board with another one.  When I first had an interest in literally turning trash to treasure, I was hesitant in dumpster diving.  It just seemed… well… gross.  I also felt maybe a little ashamed?  Now not so much! I don’t mind it all.  If it’s free, I just saved some money and I scored!  Now, instead of feeling embarrassed or ashamed, I will literally jump for joy.

Trash to Treasure Frame (2)

When I first saw this frame, I immediately knew I wanted to paint it white…kind of go the shabby chic route.  The first thing I did was clean it.  That is one thing you have to watch out for when picking up someone else’s trash.  It may look good on the surface, but look for damage, bugs, rot, mold, etc.  Smell it.  That’s right.  Smell it.  Make sure there are no funky odors, especially furniture with fabric.  If you’re clear of these things, throw it in the back of your car.

Trash to Treasure Frame (3)

Next, I set it on a protective surface to paint it.  It would have been a lot easier and faster if I spray painted it, but I already had white paint and, well, I’m cheap.  I applied two coats, allowing it to dry in between coats.  I didn’t make it perfect because of my shabby chic idea.  I thought about sanding it and make it look worn, but I stopped and thought it looked just fine.

Trash to Treasure Frame (1)

Now, this once homeless frame is in my craft room.  It sits on top of my storage book case on display to simply look pretty!

Free Curb Side Pick Up (2)

 

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07th Jan2013

4 Furniture Cleaning Tips

by Dinah Wulf

4 Furniture Cleaning Tips

Did you know that a dirty kitchen and a grimy bathroom are the biggest turns-offs for prospective buyers? Rightmove has revealed that grubby kitchen units, mucky dishes in the sink, and filthy bathrooms are the most offensive factors that put people off from buying a property.

Even if you aren’t selling your home in the near too distant future, a dirty home is just wrong. It is important to keep on top of the housework to ensure you remain healthy and happy. We’re not delusional; we understand that certain pieces of furniture can gather dust overtime, such as the television and mirror.

However, by regularly undertaking a cleaning regime, you can ensure your house is spotless. Here are 4 cleaning tips to keep your home spic and span:

Sofas

4 Furniture Cleaning Tips 1

The couch can often get dirty with food crumbs and loose change. Be careful when cleaning as not to tarnish the upholstery.

Use a small dusting brush to remove any visible dirt and vacuum the sofa, removing any loose cushions.

If you can, take the cushion covers off and wash them on a low cycle, at least twice a year.

Chairs

4 Furniture Cleaning Tips 2

How you clean the chair will really depend on whether or not it is wood, or fabric. Fabric chairs can be vacuumed, and you can buy cleaning products that specialise in fabric stain protection.

With regards to a wooden chair, use a soft bristle brush to remove any loose dust and a damp cloth to clean the wood. Don’t forget to turn the chair upside down to clean underneath it. If it is really blemished, it may need staining/varnishing to make it look brand new.

Beds

4 Furniture Cleaning Tips 3

You can clean the bed by stripping the duvet and pillow covers, and washing the bed linen. Whilst the bedding is being washed, you can dust the bed frame and vacuum the mattress.

Metal bed frames don’t need much maintenance and can simply be wiped with a damp cloth. It is important to clean the bed to keep those bed bugs away!

Mirrors

4 Furniture Cleaning Tips 4

Keep your glass gleaming by using a window cleaning product and some dry, crumbled up newspaper to ensure it is streak-free. Alternatively, you can simply use one cup of vinegar with warm water- or baking soda.

If the mirror gets fogged up quickly, use a hairdryer to clean the glass. The dry heat will get rid of condensation rapidly, with zero streaks.

Follow these top tips to keep all your furniture pristine; so shiny that it is fit for the Queen’s royal standards!

This article was provided by AHF Furniture, a leading furniture and carpet chain in the UK that provides high quality furniture. The specialists have an unrivaled reputation for trust, integrity and excellent customer service.

 

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