Thursday, March 21, 2013

RENOVATION TIPS: Top Remodeling Tips for 2013

Kitchen makeovers are the most requested remodel projects. Kitchens are no longer just a place to prepare food - they are an area for entertaining.

Because of it's broadening role, an outfitted kitchen can be the most valuable asset in your home.

Bathroom makeovers come in a very strong second.  Homeowners want a spa-like environment.  Remodeling can change a cramped bathroom into a luxurious spa.

No more small separated rooms in the main living area!  Removing an interior wall or two between the kitchen and living room, family room or dining room can make your space feel  more spacious and more user friendly for entertaining. 

Removing carpet and installing hardwoods, bamboo, tile, stone, reclaimed flooring or cork make one of the largest impacts on a home. Bare floors are great for people who have pets or suffer allergies.

From outdoor kitchens and arbors to outdoor living rooms with fireplaces and TV areas to draped dining rooms....only our imagination can hold us back.  Aluminum screen enclosures around pools are being replaced with concrete and stucco columns and arches with screens inserted between the columns.  Pool houses with fireplaces and or restrooms and storage areas for pool supplies are growing in popularity.

Adding a room is one of the most valuable improvements you can make to raise the market value of your home.  A master bedroom can be made larger, a study can be eased into an unused outdoor space, adding a room above your garage can provide many uses from guest quarters to game rooms or a study, exercise areas, hobby space or a combination of uses.

Most homeowners want to save money on their electric bill.  The best way to save on utilities is to upgrade your HVAC equipment, to include new ducting.

Adding additional insulation to your attic, replacing windows with energy efficient and impact resistant windows as well as caulking and sealing around windows and doors will also help you save your utility bills.  Check with utility companies about the possibility of rebates for these improvements.

Most of our homes are one of our largest investments.  General maintenance and quality improvements to your home will make every inch of your home a valuable investment.

Be sure to read all our other tips and news in the archive located on the right sidebar. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

DESIGN TIP: Color Your World

by Ann Kingon, Southern Showcase

How do you refresh and update your home without great expense?
Color can transform your home! So many people live in white or beige rooms, which can appear stark, cold or display a real case of the "blahs". Just a touch of color can add drama, warmth, and even a touch of sunshine. Color can be bold or subdued; it can be warm or cool.  Your desired effect will determine what colors you should choose.  Here are a few  tricks  designers and decorators use that can help you navigate the world of paint and color.

Make more space without adding a single square foot!
Pale colors tend to recede visually, the lighter the color you choose for walls and floors, the larger your space will appear.  Cool colors such as blues and greens make small spaces appear larger.  You might want to consider using the same color throughout in a small condo, it will make the condo seem larger.

Make large rooms appear smaller!

Deep colors reduce sense of space.  Warm colors (red, orange, yellow) appear warm and cozy (they also simulate appetite)  Large spaces feel more welcoming and user friendly with these colors.  Have you ever been in a large home that felt cold and uninviting?  I bet they didn't use a warm color pallet.

Get more headroom!
Make low ceilings appear higher by painting the ceiling a shade or two lighter than the walls.  You can install crown molding around the perimeter of the room, which will help draw your eye upwards.

Hide things you don't want to emphasize!
Windows, doors or any off-center architectural detail will not be as noticeable if they are painted the same color as the walls.  Air conditioning vents and returns seem to disappear when painted the same color as walls or ceilings.

Get modern!
Paint with contrasting color for a contemporary/industrial look. Pipes, metal work and air conditioning ducts can look like sculptural artwork.  You have to be a little adventurous to go this route, but remember, it's only paint.  Niches and tray ceilings are much more noticeable when painted in a contrasting color.

Optical illustions down the hall!
Paint can make long corridors appear shorter if you use a deep warm color on the far walls. Try this one tip - it works like magic.  To give the corridor a more spacious look paint with light cool colors. And to make the corridor look longer, mount a tall mirror.

Paint is inexpensive, and lighting at the paint store can't be trusted to match your own lighting, so initially, buy the smallest amount you can and try a test area. This will assure you that the sample you fell in love with on the swatch really is the color you want.

Remember, paint is one of the easiest transformations for your home, and can give you a big bang for the dollar.

Stay tuned for our next tip, and most of all, have fun!