Little Updates For a Big Impact

Seeing that most of us are spending an inordinate amount of time at home these days, why not utilize a moment or two to refresh the places and spaces in your decorating repertoire with little updates for a big impact.

PHOTO MELANIE ACEVEDO STYLING OLGA NAIMAN

Southern Living – Photo by Melanie Acevedo – Styling by Olga Naiman

Rearranging furniture instantly gives the room a refreshed update.

Floating a sofa and/or accent chair(s) away from the wall opens up the room, creating the impression of a larger space.

Enlist the help of your fellow able bodied stay-at-home quarantiners to get the job done and give the room an updated look.

Little Updates For a Big Impact

Styling a coffee table with a sense of individual style is an easy decorating refresh to undertake.

Treasured keepsakes, fresh flowers or plant, a short stack of great reads and coffee table books, a vintage decorative box to house remotes, and a framed picture of a favorite something, somewhere or someone become coffee table conversation pieces.

Eclectic Home Photo Credit Sara Essex Bradley

Eclectic Home – Photo Credit Sara Essex Bradley

Art travels well from one room to another.

Kerry Spears InteriorsKerry Spears Interiors

Switching art pieces and wall decor from one wall to another or countertop, shelf, accent table or mantel is a visual game changer.

Dodson InteriorsPhoto Credit Julie Soefer

Dodson Interiors -Photo Credit Julie Soefer

A borrowed piece or pieces from another room falls into the category of take away from and add to.

It’s amazing how often this decorating trick works to the betterment of a space.

spot-chair-used-for-bedside-table

Julia Reed – One Kings Lane

Play a game of decorating I spy, the edit from within your home version.

That accent chest in the den or spot accent chair bedside table.

Bring a lamp from another room to the mix.

Flower magazine flowers in vase

Flower Magazine

While you do your part to be stay-at-home safe, why not consider a style-at-home little updates for a big impact project.

love your style

Show & Tell

Spring Break

Spring break is not canceled on the beaches of Places In The Home.  Reality of late is some serious stuff, which brings us to the necessity of taking a spring break to calm these choppy seas.

The wall to wall pandemic coverage is informative and needed, but my goodness can it be overwhelming.

As it is in design and decorating, balance is key.

spring break

To keep the windmills of the mind turning in a positive manner, give yourself permission to take a daily spring break.

Something so simple as wildflowers blowing in a virtual breeze cancels the noise better than a pair of Bose headphones.

Bessie Potter Vonnoh statue 1Flickr

letter writingPinterest

Truer words, Lord Byron.

spring-collection-note-cards

At home and on demand music stations and smooth jazz concerts inspire the inner DJ in all of us to create live in-house concerts and dance parties to beat the band.

Music-can-cure-things-medication-never-willDodinsky

Cooking, baking, discovering new recipes and brushing off old cookbooks combats boredom in the most delicious way.

white chocolate bread pudding recipe

vanilla bread pudding with vanilla sauce

For every evening I indulge in my famous vanilla bread pudding with vanilla sauce, there is a day of slim fasting.

slimfast

It’s amazing what you can learn in breakfast round table coffee talks.

creative-living-country-houses-photo-Luke-White

Architectural Digest – Photo by Luke Wilson 

Reading a good book and the Good Book transports the mind and eases the soul.

Newman

Esquire

Spring is a time of renewal- a season of reminding.

Nature awakens in color and bloom reminding us dark and barren times never last forever.

Now more than ever it is vital to our overall well being to see the good, the beauty, and the best in our every day.

how-to-brew-teaSugar and Charm

Taking a spring break from the everyday, if only for the time it takes to brew and enjoy a cup of tea, is a relaxing and renewing indulgence.

Floral "Love" Decorative Pillow

pink-signature

Show & Tell

Home Sweet Home in the Time of Coronavirus

A little levity while home sweet home in the time of coronavirus by no means makes light of the situation.

What it does do is take some of the stress out of this unprecedented and trying time, if only for a moment or two.

“A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing.”

–Laura Ingalls Wilder

Between disinfecting surfaces, finding somewhere to put all the supplies and extra food we’ve purchased, corralling Mama Places In The Home who at 80+ years old gets that others need to shelter in place but keeping her standing beauty shop appointment is exempt, and trying not to go crazy with every breaking news update, I’m learning the internet can be a wonderful source of entertaining and educational virtual activities to discover while home sweet home in the time of coronavirus.

For kids and big kids alike, check out these resources and activities from Scholastic and live streams from the Houston Zoo and the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory.

The Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory

blue butterfly

When I was a freshman in high school, a group of friends and I hosted a progressive dinner at the end of each six weeks.

We carefully planned out the evening, assigned a cuisine theme, dressed in disco and dine attire, and hopped from one house to another enjoying appetizer, salad, main course, dessert and coffee delicacies.

 

It dawned on me a virtual progressive dinner could be a lot of fun.

Sure, dining with friends or family is always better in person, but why not get creative and host a virtual progressive dinner.

You could theme it dinner with the girls, cooped up couples virtual night out, or what’s cookin’ with the kids.

dinner party invite

There’s several ways to do this.

FaceTime

Skype

Facebook Live

Instagram

Blog Hop

Get creative with it, and bon appetit!

gardening-mud-roomHouse & Garden

A garden creates beauty around us.

Use this time to ready, plant or enhance your spring garden.

“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

roses-house-and-gardenHouse & Garden

Take a virtual field trip to Stages Around the World, the Guggenheim Museum, Van Gogh Museum, The Louvre, and Buckingham Palace.

Click the links below to discover.

11 Dramatic Virtual Tours of Stages Around the World

Mantova-teatro-bibiena

Teatro Bibiena di Mantova

Guggenheim Museum

GuggenheimGuggenheim

Van Gogh Museum

Vincent-Van-gogh

The Louvre

Mona Lisa

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC BY-SA 3.0a

Take in a nightly opera performance via nightly live opera streams from the Metropolitan Opera.

The Metropolitan Opera

Metropolitan Opera

Hand washing as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is an essential must in helping to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease.

In keeping with the scrub-bacterial-germs theme, this snippet from Scrubs comically explains how bacteria and viruses can easily spread from person to person.

Our crew were big Bernie Mac Show fans, and the episode “Now You Got It” was a favorite.

One highly anticipated Vegas trip was totally wrecked after I got sick mid-trip complete with emergency room visits (three to be exact).

I picked up a now you got it germ of my own from one of the Canadian snowbird’s birthday party guests aka the darling little Petri dishes.

Watching this episode brings a little humor and levity to the day.

Look, there’s nothing funny about this pandemic.

Staying close to home may be a sacrifice, but it’s an exercise in social responsibility that is the smart, safe, courteous, and vigilant thing to do at this time.

We must do our part to flatten the curve and slow the spread of this horrible disease by practicing good personal hygiene, social distancing, and following the advice of those in the know by staying home sweet home in the time of coronavirus.

I’m here if you need me, and am keeping you all close in thought and prayer.

stayed home

love your style

Show & Tell

Spring Garden Buzz is Building

The first day of spring is right around the corner, and the spring garden buzz is building.

bee-on-spring-flower

“Beauty surrounds us, but usually we need to be walking in a garden to know it.”

Rumi

alligator-alley-benjamin-moore1

Green is the color of spring- a back to nature neutral that lushly complements all shades of green and spring related colors.

endless-summer-shrubs-bushes

Hydrangeas bud, bloom, and beautify the Southern flower garden.

The blue hydrangea bush Dave the Builder planted for me last spring bit the dust this winter.

Although our winter was mild compared to our northern friends, yours truly failed to properly protect the hydrangea bush during the one below freezing blast we did have.

Guess what’s on my spring garden buzz list to plant.

spring garden center

Fliers from local nurseries and garden centers are beginning to arrive in the mail, and I’m plotting the potting garden path to full bloom color.

farming

Local farmers are preparing the fields, ready to plant, water, and harvest the sweetest corn and tomatoes soon to be the stars of the local farm stand.

garden-seeds

“Springtime is the land awakening.  The March winds are the morning yawn.”

Lewis Grizzard

gardening-tools

Flickr

There’s no two ways about it, getting garden ready involves getting a little garden dirty.

Enter the garden workstation.

Opening a bag of potting soil, filling a pot or planter with it and working the soil, adding the seeds or gingerly removing a plant or flower from the nursery pot, and placing the plant or flower into the pot is a relaxing therapy session of sorts.

Spring Garden Buzz

Country Living – Photo by Tim Street-Porter

Garden workstations, potting tables, and potting benches make life in the garden so much easier.

 

Outdoor Garden Wood Storage Furniture Box Waterproof Tool Shed w/ Potting Bench

Outdoor Garden Wood Storage Waterproof Tool Shed w/ Potting Bench

There’s plenty of options of both the retail and DIY kind.

The chippy chic farm table I found at a curbside boutique (trash) worked for years until it disintegrated.  Before that, two saw horses and a sheet of pressure- treated plywood got the job done.

 

Deluxe Cedar Potting Bench

Deluxe Cedar Potting Bench

The point is a garden workstation is garden potting, trimming, storage hub.

garden theme cabinet knobs

Customizing a potting bench is as simple as a gallon of paint and garden perfect hardware and hooks.

Bee Metal Wall Hook

garden-accessories

Simplicity Floppy Hat Women’s UPF 50+ Straw Sun Beach Hat
Small Market Basket – Threshold™
Gardman 1-Gallon Galvanized Steel Watering Can
Joules Mid Molly Welly

Container ideas for early spring planting from Garden Answer.

Isn’t this gorgeous!

My first thought when I saw this pink wheelbarrow was what a great Mother’s Day gift idea.

Marathon Industries Pink Poly WheelborrowMarathon Industries Pink Poly Wheelborrow

A pink wheelbarrow loaded with garden goodies such as a flat of color rich flowers, a bag of mulch, gardening gloves and the like will be a big hit with the gardenista group.

Floral Garden Weeder GlovesFloral Garden Weeder Gloves

Distressed Copper and Verdigris Metal Round Drum Planters with Handle

Kirkland’s

trowel gate handleBetter Homes & Gardens

Estate and garage sales are garden supplies treasure troves for finding pots, planters, tools, and decorative garden statues in good and stylish curb appeal condition.

Sharon-Santoni-Gardens1

Flower Magazine

rabbit-in-garden

Flickr

Garden cloches help to keep cute garden visitors from feasting upon plants and flowers.

Willow Cloche Willow Cloche

Stepping stones add instant flair and function to lawn and garden.

decorative-stepping-stones

The first hint of spring comes through longer days and first traces of pollen in rain puddles along the driveway.

wind chime bells

Wind chimes doing their spring thing, early morning into afternoon serenades from the feathered choir and full blooms of back yard azalea bushes remind me of early Aprils spent in Texas lazing around the sleep porch at my great-grandparent’s house.

sunroom-LDa-Architecture-Interiors LDa Architecture & Interiors

blue white ticking pillows

Ruffled Eyelet Floral Bolster

Ticking Stripe Blue Decorative 20-inch Throw Pillows (Set of 2)
Surikova Ticking Cotton Lumbar Pillow
Ruffled Eyelet Floral Bolster

Potting Shed Note CardsPotting Shed Note Cards

Emails, E cards, and online greetings rule the present day communication preferences, but there’s something about the handwritten note that is still so special.

Orchid-USPS-stamps-2020

USPS Wild Orchids Forever Stamps

bee kind note card

Bee Kind Note Cards

In keeping with the bee theme I’m sharing these spring garden buzz appropriate and ever stylish dish and decor options.

Safavieh Hand-hooked Chelsea Aubree Country Oriental Wool RugSafavieh Hand-Hooked Chelsea Aubree Country Oriental Wool Rug

The taste of spring in a bottle becomes a recipe project ready to bee keep and gift.

rosemary-honey

Photo by Jose Picayo 

Rosemary Honey

Ingredients

8 cups mild honey

10 sprigs of rosemary

Directions

In a medium saucepan over low heat, cook honey and 6 sprigs rosemary just until honey begins to bubble around the edges.  Remove from heat and let steep for 20 minutes.

Using tongs, remove and discard rosemary sprigs and any stray leaves.  To decant, divide honey among 4 clean 16-ounce jars.  Let cool completely, about 40 minutes.  Insert 1 fresh sprig rosemary into each jar, and tighten lids to seal.

-Country Living Magazine

glass honey jar with lid2

Natural Raffia
Studio Silversmiths Beehive Crystal Honey Jar
Free Printable Bee Tag

 

bee tagsFree Printable Bee Tags

Embellish the jar with a free printable bee tag of your choice secured with natural raffia or bee inspired ribbon for a fun and festive look.

bee ribbon EtsyBlack + Taupe Bee Printed Woven Cotton Ribbon • 3/4″

After sourcing and sharing these spring garden lovelies, I know I can certainly see what all the spring garden buzz is about.

With one week to go until the first day of spring, it’s time to plan your get it growing garden.

spring signature

Show & Tell

Budget Friendly Renovation Ideas

Budget friendly renovation ideas serve a work with what you have purpose in the home improving the outdated with the updated game.

Today’s 6-10 blog post bookends the Home Improvement Ideas on a Budget companion post.

Here we go.

Budget Friendly Renovation Ideas

6.  Make the Decorative Call to Replace Outdated Window Treatments

(or elect not to use window treatments at all)

Period Architecture

Period Architecture

There’s no substitute for the beauty of natural light, but privacy concerns may trump this option.

If going with window treatments consider blinds, shutters, shades and even architectural salvage pieces.

Heidi Caillier

House Beautiful – Heidi Caillier Design

window-treatments-ideas

farmhouse shutters Leanne Ford interiors

House BeautifulLeanne Ford

Working or stationary, a pair of vintage shutters used as a complementing accent in your window treatment application take the finished look to new heights.

European-shutters

The house we owned before the one we presently live in was a garden district charmer complete with interior French doors, original cast iron farmhouse kitchen sink with drain board, and casement windows.

The previous homeowners bleached the screened interior window frames that surrounded the casement windows above the kitchen sink.

We removed the screen and left them in place as the sole window treatment, hitting a work with what you have budget friendly renovation ideas home run.

Mahogany wood windows in the home of Michael and Ally Banks were bleached in keeping with a Belgian influenced result.

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by BarnesVanze Architects (@barnesvanze) on

I found this piece at Hobby Lobby, and the price is budget friendly renovation ideas right.

Embossed Medallion Metal Wall Decor

Stand out and be noticed unique is what we’re going for here, so the idea is to use the embossed medallion (36 ½” wide) as an inside mount valance.

flip house kitchen remodel update remove

Dressing up a window frame with pediments, decorative corbels or architectural pieces is another decorative option that will help to achieve a custom look.

distressed corbel

7.  Shed New Light On The Situation

New lighting fixtures instantly update and turn on the visual wow factor.

white-tongue-and-groove-trim-on-island Heidi Caillier Design 

Pendant lights will be hanging around and on-trend for awhile.

alyssa.colagiacomo.interiors.portfolio.interiors.kitchen.bar.wine.cellar

Alyssa Colagiacomo Interiors

I’m a huge fan of a lamp(s) on kitchen countertops.

LKM Design Bedford, NH Farmhouse Kitchen

LKM Design

A well placed lamp easily becomes a focal point of both function and fashion.

kitchen-full-view

Wireless LED puck lights mounted under cabinets are my first choice of affordable accent lighting.

Puck lights cast a lovely light at night- an all grown up night light.

outdated kitchen

This is the original image I worked off of for this post, so Number 8 refers to furr-down.

8A. Places In The Home #1 Rule of Kitchen Remodels: Furr Down Be Gone!

Furr Down

A box-out at the ceiling typically 12″ high and 14″ deep.  Often used for AC duct work.  Kitchen cabinets are installed up to it creating a step effect.  Also called a soffit or bulkhead.

I am no fan of the furr down.

Removing an ornamental furr down takes years off the life of an outdated kitchen.

crown molding cabinet topsBetter Homes & Gardens

Crown molding added to the tops of upper cabinets gives a finished top edge and ups the decorative ante.

crown-molding (1)

8B. New Sink + New Faucet = Hello, Current and Fresh Update

flip house kitchen remodel update

Number 8 in this photo reflects the kitchen sink and faucet dilemma.

transitional

Love, love, love the details and accents of this spectacular service kitchen by Jill Frey Kitchen Design.

Perfectly positioned accent lighting, statement flooring, gorgeous choice of countertop materials, excellent choice of window treatment, and a focal point sink prove the contrast engages the eye point.

Kraus KHU103-32 Undermount 32 inch 2-Bowl Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink

Swiss Madison Ceramic Farmhouse Kitchen Sink with Apron

Swiss Madison Delice 30″ x 18″ Ceramic Farmhouse Kitchen Sink w/Apron

farmhouse-faucets

Lyndhurst 2-Handle Bridge Kitchen Faucet with Side Sprayer in Matte Gold

Kraus KBU24 Undermount 32 inch 2-Bowl Stainless Steel Kitchen SinkKraus KBU24 Undermount 32 inch 2-Bowl Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink

9.  Update Switches, Plugs and Plates

outlet-covers-various

Small changes make safe and stylish improvements and brings things into the 21st century.

10.  Countertop Solutions

mint green kitchen

Studio MRS

In real estate it’s all about location, location, location.

In renovating it’s all about enhance, enhance, enhance.

Manufacturers pay very close attention to the design and decor needs and wants of the buying and renovating public, and the kitchen design industry has made huge strides in bringing to the retail marketplace affordable alternatives to expensive kitchen countertop materials.

rust-oleum-transformations-countertop-paint

Rust-Oleum Countertop Transformations

If the existing countertops are free of stains, marks, scratches and the like,  workable with your color palette, and not overly antiquated, you may be in business.

How to paint laminate countertops instructions from DIY Network HERE

daich-spreadstone-countertop-paint

DAICH SpreadStone Mineral Select Countertop Refinishing Kit

Countertops are the utilitarian workhorse of kitchen, and as such should be crafted from quality materials coupled with a quality look.

If a quality, style and affordability tops the list, consider replacing existing outdated and worn laminate with new laminate in new and improved pattern selections.

Formica light countertopsFormica

Laminate is back on the radar as an affordable and visually pleasing countertop and backsplash option.

40f2ca0d6beab7f5da422646791b995aWilsonart

Bonus Suggestions

contemporary-bathroom Jill Sorensen Inc Design Firm

Wall sconce lighting is a versatile choice for ambient lighting in foyers, kitchens and bathrooms.

Changing vanity cabinet hardware takes years off a tired look.

painted-wainscotting-Photo-by-Tiffany-Haynes

One Kings Lane – Photo by Tiffany Haynes

Color makes a big splash in small spaces.

bold-wallpaper-white-tile-bathroomRue Magazine

Make a big and bold statement by painting trim or wainscotting in a fabulous color and wallpapering the walls and/or ceiling.

wallpaper-bathroom-Domino-photography-by-Ungano-Agriodimas

Domino – Photo by Ungano+Agriodimasy

Replace existing vent covers with decorative resin wall or ceiling vent covers.

Decorative Resin Wall or Ceiling Vent CoversVent Covers Unlimited

Fireplace built-ins come in as one of the top remodeling projects I love to tackle.

 stephanie kraus design Stephanie Kraus Design

Again color, texture, and pattern come into play.

bookcase-wallpaper

It’s amazing what you can do with a gallon of paint, new cabinet hardware and a roll(s) of gorgeous wallpaper.

cabinet-knobs-collection

Works in the kitchen, too!

Liz Caan & Co. wallpaper cabinetsLiz Caan & Co.

Painting the built-ins and the bricks is a budget friendly step in the right direction.

For the DIY decorista project pros, covering over the bricks with tile or texture project may fit the bill.

Budget friendly?

Perhaps not, but in terms of resale and style at home value it can be a justified expense.

dalliance designDalliance Design

Picture lights mounted at the center point at the top of each unit creates a stunning library effect, and wallpapering the back wall of the unit or painting in a fabulous designer color brings forth the decorative oomph in updated fashion.

Plenty of wall space to fill?

I love this DIY library wall project from Kristin Cadwallader of Bliss at Home as featured by Better Homes & Gardens with all the how to instructions.

Click on the above link to check it out.

diy-library-wall

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
—Theodore Roosevelt

Teddy’s words hammer and nail the sentiment of this budget friendly renovation ideas post.

Home improve what you can, with what you have, when you can.

Show & Tell

Home Improvement Ideas On A Budget

The main objective of home improvement ideas on a budget is to update, refresh, and improve existing features in pretty on a penny fashion.

The same logic applies to blog posts in need of a refresh.

Caught up in the splendor of sourcing, I accidentally changed the status of this four year old post (time sure does fly) from published to draft, so it and its sister post is coming around again with improved upon budget friendly remodeling ideas.

Many of the conversations around Places In The Home center around renovating, updating and home improvement ideas on a budget.

We speak fluent all things house that make a home around here, and we love when renovating, updating and remodeling projects leave a little change in our pocket.

Design on a dime is good, but project on a penny is even better.

wheat penniesFlickr

Both our flipping and personal home owning portfolio has consisted of pre-owned homes in established neighborhoods flush with properties primed for remodeling.

Older properties appeal to a large portion of the buying market such as first time home buyers, downsizers, and fixer upper decoristas.

I decided to check out our local real estate listings for a newer older property to use as a visual guide.  Being familiar with the residential landscape, I thought I would score a great listing photo from particular areas known for 60s-80s ranch style homes.

Guess again.

What I learned is good news travels fast among sellers.

Living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, and bathrooms of older properties remain stuck in a time warp, but the kitchens rock the modern update.

You would have to be living under a rock if you do not know the value of and  demand for the updated kitchen.

I remembered I kept the image file of the flip house we entertained purchasing a couple of years ago.

The deal didn’t work for us, but the images do for this post.

flip-kitchen-master-1

Click Here to Enlarge Image

It’s a fact of real estate and home owner life that not everyone can afford a total renovation of their new older home after purchase.

A business associate shared with me her philosophy as to why so many occupied properties on the real estate listings channel are sparsely furnished.

Too much month at the end of the money.

money

When there’s too much renovating at the end of the money work with what you have.

Let me share with you Dave the Builder’s short and to the point philosophy.

bite-out-of-apple

Flickr

Take it one bite at a time.

flip house kitchen remodel update

Let’s look at 10 home improvement ideas on a budget to update and refresh the spaces and the places in the home.

1. Function isn’t always stylish, so dress it up!

Fluorescent lights offer reliable affordable lighting for main and task lighting in a kitchen.

That’s the good.

The bad?

Basic fluorescent lighting fixtures.

I’ve got a couple of solutions for this dilemma that are relatively simple and inexpensive.

framed fluorescent light

This is our kitchen renovation and remodel in progress, in two very different paint colors, and completed.

Note the framed fluorescent light.

kitchen-pediment

Frame an otherwise plain fluorescent light with decorative trim to introduce a custom look to the project.

Hudson pendantsY Lighting

Light Shaded Drum Chandelier

Lynden 5 Light Shaded Drum Pendant
Bowe 6 Light Shaded Drum Chandelier

Another option is to take down the fluorescent light and replace its ceiling footprint with a decorative panel.

Liz Caan & Co.

Liz Caan & Co.

I’m crazy about chandeliers and pendant lights on a Carrie Bradshaw Manolo Blahnik level.

flip pendants

Destrey 3 – Light Lantern Square Pendant
Patrice 3 – Light Pendant
Landrum 2-Light Single Globe Pendant 
Vargo 1 – Light Single Dome Pendant

You’ve probably heard the reference “jewelry of the room” in regards to lighting fixtures.

Statement accessories and accents pull the entire look together and impress the eye.

modern-farmhouse-style-chandeliers-pendants

3-lights Chandelier with Drum Farmhouse Pendant
1-Light Brass Ring Hammered Hand Blown Glass Pendant w/ Clear Glass Shade
Keowee 4-Light Galvanized Orb Chandelier with Antique White Wood Accents
Calgary 1-Light Pebbled Rust Mini Pendant
Ferris 3-Light Blue Verde Patina Chandelier
1-Light Warm Brass Pendant

2.  Home on the Range

A new and/or improved range hood is is both an investment in function, safety, and updated style.

Christy Foran Design

Christy Foran Design

A contrasting finish and/or material creates a commanding focal point.

all-white-kitchen-with-brass-accents-Amber InteriorsAmber Interiors

beams

Reclaimed wood beams and scrap pieces strikingly fit in with home improvement ideas on a budget.

Scrap pieces of reclaimed wood left over from large jobs and demos can be bought at very affordable prices.

farmhouse-kitchen-beam

Reclaimed wood beams camouflage a multitude of design and decorating sins.

When the tornado hit our house in 2017 and took most of our roof off, the kitchen ceiling suffered several issues including the exposure of tape joints on the drywall ceiling.

split-sheet-rock-tape-seam

After taking a project priority inventory, I consulted Dave and we decided to purchase a reclaimed wood beam from a local antiques store and install it over the joint in this image.

The current status on this update is project pending, patience waning, but I digress.

Standard-Tile-Photos-Chris-VeithStandard Tile-Photo by Chris Veith

Using decorative embellishments such as corbels, onlays and appliques will give an existing range hood and splatter guard a custom refresh.

appliques

Home Depot

There’s renovating and decorating gold in them thar Etsy listings, home improvement stores, flea markets, and antiques stores.

ornamental gate architectural iron

Iron Ornamental Grate

Architectural salvage pieces make visually interesting interior and exterior accent pieces.

An ornamental iron grate is beautifully put to decorative use as a splatter guard-fireback.

Antique 1800s Cast Iron Register GrateAntique 1800s Cast Iron Register Grate

3. Cabinets and the Techniques That Improve Them

Behr neutral colors

Behr

Select your color(s), grab a brush, bucket, roller, pan, painters tape, a couple of drop clothes and proceed to color your world!

painting-project

kitchen colorsPainting kitchen cabinets, walls, ceilings, and molding will bring forth an affordable change with instant visual gratification.

maureen.stevens.design.portfolio.interiors.kitchen

Maureen Stevens Design

traditional-home-contrasting-cabinet-fronts

Opposites attract comes to mind when I see these contrasting drawer fronts.

Contrast engages the eye and creates visual interest.

white-painted-cabinets-natural-wood-contrastBetter Homes & Gardens

contrasting-paint-colors

Maria Haidamus Interiors

Maria Haidamus Interiors

How about adding glass front inserts to existing cabinet doors?

DIY instructions HERE

Once the cut out is complete, I prefer to take the doors to a local glass company.

The pros measure, cut and install the glass, and the cost involved is surprisingly affordable.

Farmhouse is still the decorating style darling, and chicken wire cabinet doors will certainly achieve the style and put a unique twist on vintage chic.

How to instructions HERE

afb4cb6e6f8d1bb8372594c43d3c8a66Pinterest

I love this budget friendly idea for cabinet doors featured by Better Homes & Gardens.

Removing an existing cabinet door front and replacing it with a canvas art print results in a distinctive kitchen feature that’s anything but ordinary.

art-as-cabinet-doorsBetter Homes & Gardens

Ideas for this range from culinary art to black and white photography to photos from your own collection.

I’m seriously contemplating doing this with these photos on canvas of the Canadian snowbird’s wedding day and the wedding photo of my parent’s wedding cake.

Jade+Jackson-canvas

wedding-cake-black-white-photo

Dave and I often have conversations about the design and decor features of the houses we lived in as kids.  One conversation is particularly easy as it goes since our present house is also my childhood home.

panelingMy mother with her grand-mother and two first cousins
in our paneling covered kitchen circa 1974

My parents did an extensive remodel and addition to the house in 1986, modernizing for the time the design and decor including the removal of any and all paneling.

Timeworn and let’s face it tacky faux wood paneling is not my wall covering of choice.

Removing paneling is certainly an option, but it can test the budget therefore, we usually go the fill the grooves with drywall joint compound and paint over it route.

Beadboard paneling is the exception to our remove the paneling rule.

If it is in good shape and great style, it stays.

beadboard-panelingBetter Homes & Gardens

The flip house was built in the late 1960s- a prime paneling period in the ranch style house portfolio.

breakfast-area-walls

My home improvement ideas on a budget suggestions for this area:

Take down the upper cabinet unit to open up the space and enhance the sight line.

Keep the peninsula (note the bottom cabinets and drawers).

Replace the cabinet and drawer hardware.

Consider cabinet and drawer hardware in the same color family but different pattern and texture as the hardware choice for the main kitchen area to create statement contrast.

The canvas art idea as cabinet doors would work well in this area.

liberty-drawer-pull

Liberty Regal Square 3 in. Center-to-Center Champagne Bronze Drawer Pull

Square off (straight) the rounded edge countertop.

countertop-edge-profiles

Fill in the paneling grooves and paint the paneling in your color of choice.

Jenni-Kayne-kitchenRue Magazine

A decorative cabinet panel (under $20) added to the upper cabinet will cover and conceal any damage done in the process and give the end piece a fresh custom look.

cabinet-end-panel

Open-shelving is on trend and would work in this location.

Swedish Farm Kitchen Island

Swedish Farm Kitchen Island

Roll in a kitchen island for extra prep space.

Kitchen Island, Smokey Gray, Small, Boucherie

Kitchen Island, Smokey Gray, Small, Boucherie

kitchen island fixtures

Conard 1-Light Single Teardrop Pendant
Cavana 6 – Light Kitchen Island Linear Pendant
Maddox Collection Pendant
Carmen 6-Light Kitchen Island Linear Pendant
Freemont 5-Light Kitchen Island Linear Pendant

walnut-kitchen-island

Industrial Wood and Metal Island Table by Baxton Studio

pantry cabinets

The logic of good bones applies here.

Storage wins out, and there’s a good amount of it in place on this wall.

My suggestions for this area:

Fill in the paneling grooves, allow to dry, and paint the back wall.

Remove the hardware, fill in holes with wood putty, prep cabinets, and paint in color of choice.

Adjust the countertop to your liking (we’ll cover budget friendly countertop surface options in part two).

As far as the louvered door and wall to the left of this area goes, and if the budget allows, I’d demo it down and open up the entire space, incorporating the den/dining room combination into an open floor plan plan.

Taking down the entire wall all the way over to the opposite door opening (not visible in this image) would include losing this area, running up the budget, and bring in load bearing wall issues.

4.  Hardware Schmardware

armac.martin.portfolio.interiors.design.detail

Armac Martin

Replacing cabinet drawer and door hardware instantly updates the outdated.

cabinet-hardware-remodel

Consider replacing the hinges for a totally refreshed look.

hardware-kitchen-cabinets

Home improvement stores clearance bins, Overstock, Amazon, eBay and Etsy are excellent places to pick up super affordable cabinet hardware.

5.  Floors & More

Forest-Valley-Flooring-Pioneer-5-Engineered-Birch-Hardwood-Flooring-in-Tomahawk

Older properties sometimes surprise you with their quality design and decorative features, such as original hardwood or tile flooring.

flooring-French-Kitchen-style

Unfortunately, older properties can also mean older color palettes where orange, yellow and avocado green reign 1970s supreme!

70s-show-kitchen

Here’s a few suggestions:

Who doesn’t want to replace outdated flooring?

What we want, and what we can afford, don’t necessarily line up.

Don’t you hate when that happens?

luxury vinyl plank flooringLuxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

If new flooring is the area of priority, first search clearance sections of home improvement stores, discount building supply warehouses, liquidators, online retailers and eBay for discounted deals.

tile-kitchen-flooring

When buying local shop prices.

Inquire about flooring goods left over from large jobs.

Retailers will often sell these at great discounts.

Dave the Builder wants me to share with you all a trade secret.

Shop flooring installation prices as well.

Negotiate the best price with the flooring retailer on the flooring and get a quote for the install.

Contact other independent and reputable installers in your area to see if you can negotiate a better price.

k2-_bce12373-d8f6-476c-b953-64e301551026.v3If replacing the existing flooring is a budget buster, kick your flooring plan into clean and save gear.

Often our flip house budget left no room for new flooring, so I would hire a local professional floor refinisher to come in and clean the existing flooring.

He taught me that a bucket of cold (yes, cold) water, several drops of Dawn dishwashing liquid, a mop, and a lot of good old fashioned elbow grease can bring an existing floor back to life.

Home Improvement Ideas On A BudgetMore times than not the flooring in older properties is a blast from the past.

New flooring is a major expense- sometimes an expense best left for another time and project.

In these cases, a well placed decorative area rug covers a multitude of outdated sins.

French-Home-FurnishingsPopSugar

A patch of sheet rock, framed piece of art or decorative architectural wall piece can cover yet more design sins of days past.

NuTone radio systemNorthside Service Company

In part two of this series, I’ll address home improvement ideas on a budget 6-10 and several budget friendly remodeling bonus ideas.

Show & Tell

What Sells A House Information

What sells a house information, keywords, and decorating trends is of interest to current and future home owners.

What Sells A House Information

The online real-estate marketplace Point2Homes conducted an in depth study of the most used real estate listing keywords used in the 2019 real estate listings market.

According to the search results of the study, the space that garners the most attention is (drumroll, please) the kitchen.

kitchen-photo-Jeff-HerrBetter Homes & Gardens – Photo by Jeff Herr

Throughout the entire database of listings, price points, and the 65 million words analyzed in this study, the top 10 most used keywords in listing descriptions are as follows.

  1.  Home
  2.  Room
  3.  Bedroom
  4.  Bath
  5.  Flooring
  6.  Kitchen
  7.  New
  8.  Large
  9.  Master
  10.  Covered patio

Dodson Interiors

Dodson Interiors

The top 10 features and amenities used by agents in 2019 listing descriptions include the deal makers in the all things house that make a home category.

  1.  Granite countertops
  2.  Hardwood floors
  3.  Stainless steel appliances
  4.  Open floor plan
  5.  Fenced backyard
  6.  Covered patio
  7.  Vaulted ceilings
  8.  Formal dining room
  9.  New roof
  10.  Natural light

The study covers a wide range of what sells a house information, and I especially find the top ten most popular features and amenities by geographical region category enlightening.

Since I live in the south, I’ll feature the top 10 from that category.

  1.  Hardwood floors
  2.  Granite countertops
  3.  Open floor plan
  4.  Stainless steel appliances
  5.  Covered patio
  6.  Close to shopping and restaurants
  7.  Formal dining room
  8.  New roof
  9.  Screened porch
  10.  Open concept

Lococo Architecture

Lococo Architecture

In other search news, Google’s Year in Search 2019 shows farmhouse style as the most-searched home decor trend of the year.

I certainly can see why if it’s based on this stunning design and interior by Lococo Architecture that gorgeously answers yes to the question, “does this decor style have staying power?”

Decorating trends serve as a barometer of tastes, often fluctuating with what we’re loving at the moment.

What say you?

love your style

Show & Tell

Words of Love for Your Valentine

Words of love for your Valentine ignite the celebration of love.

mail drop boxFlickr

Heartfelt words of love for your Valentine put to paper, post, text, or email (modern times, folks) are the sentiments that script a love story- a will you be mine token of love.

Brass Heart Shape Ink Well & Stand Circa 1900Brass Heart Shape Ink Well & Stand Circa 1900

Nat King Cole croons lyrics destined for Cupid’s bow.
I memorize every line
I kiss the name that you sign
And darling, then I read again right from the start
Love letters straight from your heart

♥♥♥♥

Let’s take a look at quotes seemingly designed for a Valentine’s Day love letter straight from your heart.

LOVE-hands

Flickr

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”  — Dr. Seuss

“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”  — A. A. Milne

“Love is friendship that has caught on fire.”  — Ann Landers

studio.sven.portfolio

Studio Sven

“One is loved because one is loved.  No reason is needed for loving.”
— Paulo Coelho

“Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.”  — Aristotle

LOVE

Flickr

“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you…I could walk through my garden forever.”  — Alfred Tennyson

butterfly-in-flower-gardenBetter Homes & Gardens

“I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart).”  —E.E. Cummings

bejeweled-heart-shaped-box

Martha Stewart

“How do you spell love?”  —Piglet

The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh

“You don’t spell it, you feel it.”  —Winnie The Pooh

love hearts

Flickr

“Love is when you meet someone who tells you something new about yourself.”  — Andre Breton

mussel love

Flickr

“If I know what love is, it is because of you.”  — Herman Hesse

Ludwig van BeethovenLudwig van Beethoven

“Ever thine.  Ever mine.  Ever ours.”  —Ludwig Van Beethoven

Sterling Perfume Bottle PendantSterling Perfume Bottle Pendant

“One love, one heart, one destiny.”  — Robert Marley

words of love for your Valentine

“I want to thank you for giving me the best day of my life.”  — Dido

with-love(1)

 

Show & Tell