Wall Painting Techniques

Wall Painting TechniquesYou know you want to do something interesting with your walls, but you’re not sure what. You’ve never liked the idea of wallpaper. Even the best wallpaper designs can get mixed reviews. Drywall texturing is playful but not for homeowners who put a premium on elegance. If you want something simple but not boring, looking into different wall painting techniques is a good place to start. Each technique has something slightly different to offer and all of them will enliven your walls without risking the tackiness of busier wallpaper.


Sponging will create a uniform texture for your walls. Once you’ve painted the base color, a paint glaze can be sponged on to create a mottled look or a solid glaze can be sponged off before it dries. If you want depth, use a lighter color on top. For a more definitive statement, try a darker color on top of the lighter one. For a subtle effect, use two different tones in the same color family. For a more dramatic effect, two different colors will provide an interesting

Bedroom Interior Designer: More than Meets the Eye

Bedroom Interior Designer More than Meets the EyeWe all have trouble decorating bedrooms. We look at our neighbor’s beautiful color scheme, a magazine’s breathtaking decor, and we see dozens of tasteful homes on the TV everyday. The trouble is that there are so many options out there that it’s hard to make a decision about what works best for your house. Another problem that we encounter is that sometimes a room isn’t originally engineered or constructed in the way that fits our desired vision. Fortunately, interior bedroom designers are available to offer their wisdom and experience when simply rearranging the furniture in your bedroom doesn’t cut it.

Do you think those rooms on TV look that way by themselves? That’s why many homeowners seek the counsel of a trained bedroom interior designer. Not to be confused with decorators, who tend to focus more on the look of a room, a bedroom interior designer combines the two different roles of remodeling: part artist, part engineer. They must be both creative in terms of their aesthetic and technical in terms of their approach.

Mirror Doors and Tile

Mirror Doors and TileA mirror alone is simply a tool to view our surroundings or ourselves. In the home, though, mirror doors and mirror tile are a way to enhance the look of our space. If you are happy with how your home already looks, why not double your pleasure with some well placed mirrors?

Traditional Mirror Door Placement
Nowhere in the home is a mirror door more useful than in a bathroom. This is the place where you brush your teeth, fix your hair, and (for some) put on makeup. While a mirror behind a sink is nice, it is often too far away to comfortably get a good look at what you’re working on close up. Having a mirror that is easier to access makes grooming a less time consuming process.Second to bathrooms in mirror necessity comes the bedroom. Having a mirror door in the entryway or mirror closet doors gives you a full view of your entire body, so you can always be sure you’re dressed to impress.Mirror Doors around the Home
Bedrooms and bathrooms aren’t the only

Small Home Repairs: Who Should You Call?

If you are like most of us, there are a number of small home repairs you’d love to take care of but can never seem to find the time to do. Unfortunately, many small home repairs are likely to turn into big service bills if left unchecked. However, there is a solution! If you don’t have the time to worry about every minor repair on your list, hiring a handyman service is a great way to get the job done without cutting into any of your free time.

The Rise and Fall (and New Emergence) of the Handyman Company

Though it hasn’t always been true, good handyman companies aren’t hard to find! During the real estate boom of the eighties, many home improvement contractors wouldn’t take on a project worth less than $25,000. Handyman companies that used to focus solely on small home repairs weren’t in demand, so the handymen who worked for such companies started to work for larger contractors, thus stretching the available supply. Today, homeowners are focusing more of their home improvement dollar on keeping the things they already have in the best shape possible. So the demand for handyman services is on

Exterior Paint Provides Good Looks and Protection

It doesn’t take long after one of the neighbors springs for a new exterior paint job that everybody else can soon be seen standing out in front of their homes with paint brochures and color swatches. Why? The answer is simple. A good exterior paint job transforms the appearance of your residence. It’s like getting a new home almost overnight.

Why Is Home Painting So Important?
House painting is important for many reasons. Obviously, a good paint job beautifies and adds character and personality to your home. Just for that reason it’s important to take sufficient time planning which colors, shades, and paint styles you want to decorate your home with. But paint also serves as one of your home’s primary lines of defense against weather, insects and other damage, so it’s an important aspect of home maintenance to keep up on as well.

When to Paint
There isn’t any set timeline when you should plan to re-paint your home. It varies depending on climate, the quality of paint that was previously applied, how thoroughly your home was prepped beforehand, and whether you hired a good painter. A poor paint job can last as little

Interior Painting Considerations & Ideas

Few additions transform the interior of your home more than a new coat of paint. Interior paint adds variety, color, and a touch of your personality to any room. Different interior paint colors can also be a great design tool, making larger rooms feel cozier and smaller rooms feel more spacious. Here’s a few tips when it comes to choosing paint for inside your home, so that you can feel confident you’re making the right paint decisions for your interior spaces.

Overwhelmed by the Options?

Most homeowners do feel overwhelmed when it comes to choosing paint for the interior spaces of their home. It’s understandable, since there are literally thousands of colors to choose from. First and foremost, look for colors that are pleasing to you. Check your closet and take a long look at your wardrobe. The colors you see there are the ones you feel most comfortable in, and which best reflect your personality. Determining a baseline is always a good place to start, and makes for a great jumping off point when you pick up the color wheel at your local hardware store.

Think Design when Choosing Interior Paint

Besides choosing

A Step By Step Guide to Exterior Painting

Exterior painting is a job that requires you do everything by the book. Your home’s paint plays a vital role in protecting it from the elements, so doing a cut rate job means you’re effectively putting your home at risk. By following the basic guide below, you can be certain that your exterior painting project will hold up in good fashion for years to come.

Good Prep Is the Key to Good Exterior House Painting
It’s impossible to emphasize this point enough. When it comes to paint, a thorough preparation of the surface to be painted is absolutely essential. Skipping the prep means you can be almost certain that your exterior house painting project is going to fail you somewhere down the line. Keeping that in mind, be sure to check and see if any of the following preparations are necessary before your exterior painting project really gets rolling.

  • Clean your home before painting. The easiest way to get this done is to rent a pressure washer from an equipment rental company or have it done professionally for a price. This is one of the most important things you can do, since dirt and

Removing Exterior Paint or Stain

There are a number of ways to effectively remove old coatings and your particular job may require a combination of approaches to get the results you want. Review the methods explained here and see which ones best suit your project.


This is a traditional effective approach for many flat surfaces from smooth masonry and hardboard to wood and ferrous metal. For maximum effectiveness, keep the scraper sharp and apply even pressure as you scrape in one direction, then at 90 degrees. Use shaped scrapers like triangle or oval shapes to get into corners and on rounded profiles. Take care not to gouge or score wood and be sure not to apply pressure when scraping hardboard.

For heavier scraping on hard or metal surfaces try a two-hands scraper. Feather sand all rough edges of remaining paint with medium grit sandpaper such as #100 grit to achieve a smooth finish. Wear goggles or face mask for eye protection, leather or work gloves to protect the skin and limit dust intake by wearing a protective mask or respirator. Scraping is less effective on rough surfaces such as stucco or cinder block.

Wire Brushing


Protect Your Textiles with a Cedar Chest

The traditional cedar chest is a classic piece of furniture that also serves a valuable function. From an aesthetic standpoint, few rooms feel complete without these timeless pieces incorporated somewhere into the overall design. Whether you buy your chest from a furniture warehouse, or have it custom built by a fine furniture builder, the air of tradition and down home warmth they add to any space is hard to beat. Looks aren’t the main reason these chests have become a fixture in the American home, however. Storing natural-based fabrics in a cedar chest is one of the most sure-fire ways to protect them from insect infestation and other damage.

It’s All about the Oil

The reason cedar chests are so effective at keeping your blankets, clothes and other fabrics insect free is a direct result of the oil in the wood. The oil in cedar naturally repels insects that feast on organic based fabrics such as cotton and wool. That same oil also repels water and moisture, keeping your clothes free of fungus and other decay that can work to break down the integrity of cloth materials. To top it off, cedar oil also smells great,

Beauty and Simplicity of Shaker Style Furniture

If you like furniture with lots of curves and ornate decoration, then you’re barking up the wrong tree with shaker furniture. Unlike furniture styles that attempt to win you over with fancy millwork and detailed carvings, Shaker style furniture is known for exactly the opposite: its simple, utilitarian design. On the other hand, it’s exactly that modest, yet beautiful, look of shaker furniture that is responsible for making it so popular with American homeowners and designers alike.

Shaker Style Furniture: a History
Shaker furniture has changed little since it’s inception in the late 1700’s by a Christian denomination (the Shakers) that stressed beliefs of simplicity and efficiency. Their furniture reflected their values, as did their high level of craftsmanship. The resulting designs were functional, well built, and beautiful in their understatement. Those same traits remain the trademarks of shaker style furniture to this day, and spotting quality shaker furniture is simply a matter of knowing what to look for.

Shaker Furniture 101
If you’re interested in decorating your home with shaker style furniture, there’s several building styles and design elements you’ll want to get up on your radar screen. The first thing to look for is

Lighting Design and Designers

Lighting design is the planning of a lighting system to achieve an optimal lighting effect in a given space. The process may include landscape lighting, exterior architectural lighting, improving the lighting in a specific room or area, or designing the lighting for an entire home remodel or a new home build.

A competent lighting designer will be able to determine your lighting needs based on your tastes, decor, personal habits, use of space, and your budget. And they will be able to provide you with a custom, personalized lighting plan to meet those needs. Even if you only want to add a couple of lights, and plan to do-it-yourself, you can still benefit from the specialized knowledge and advice of an expert in lighting applications.First Talk to a Lighting Designer about Major Projects
If you’re undertaking a major home remodel or a new home build, then it is wise to search out a lighting designer that you’re comfortable with during the early planning stages. Lighting design is one of the most important aspects of a home, inside and out, and a good lighting specialist will be able to offer you valuable, and innovative, ideas that may be

The No-Sweat Guide to Hiring an Interior Designer

Hiring an interior designer is a simple way to achieve magazine-quality décor. Regardless of the scope of your project, an interior designer will have the skills necessary to bring your dream décor to life.

As you begin to look for an interior designer, make sure that your design goals are easily shareable. A defined direction for your interior design will help you communicate with designers and ensure that you choose the right pro. Here are three tips to help you finalize your plans and hire the best designer for your home:

#1 Budget: Your budget will guide your interior design from start to finish. If you’re working with limited funds, consider a little do-it-yourself — the Internet is a wonderful source for DIY decorating tips. If you have the funds to hire an interior designer, expect to spend around$4,248 for their services. 

#2 Your Home: An interior designer’s role in updating your home’s décor will vary depending on your situation (e.g., — decorating your entire home will require a different skill set than a remodel or one-room project). Before hiring a designer, make sure you understand the extent of your design.

  • Complete redesign: Decorating

Exterior Doors: The Easy Way Out

A home’s entry door is one of the first things people notice about a house. Its color, style, and condition are a big part of how a property looks from the outside. A stylish, well-maintained exterior door can set a house apart from those around it.

An exterior door has the tough job of keeping the outside out and the inside in. It is regularly pelted by precipitation, baked in harsh sun, and dusted by wind and dirt. Since the entry door is the first door visitors use in a home, it’s a good idea to make sure it works as it should. These exterior doors are exposed to more harsh conditions than their interior brethren.

If an entry door is made of wood, it is likely to swell, shrink, and bow over time. This will cause the door to stick at times, and at other times leave room for a draft. The best way to prevent this is to make sure that your door is properly sealed before it is installed. If bowing is already present, a good storm door can eliminate drafts (if installing a storm door, be careful to make sure that

Expanding Your Options for Interior Doors

Your entry door may be the first door a visitor sees, but it also has to endure the hardships of the weather. An interior door can be a more decorative material at a more reasonable price. Interior wood doors don’t need to have the same premium grade and exotic softwoods that would be impractical for exterior doors can add the ambiance you’re looking for. Privacy is also less of an issue for some interior doors, allowing you to choose a decorative glass door in some areas of your home.

Interior Wood Doors
Even interior wood doors aren’t cheap, but they won’t break the bank and are often cheaper than their exterior wood counterparts. While you can still achieve the warmth of wood doors, the heavy-duty solid wood doors typical of exterior doors are often unnecessary. Instead you can focus on custom carving and designing to create a truly unique decorative door. Ordering a door prehung and prefinished will make for an easier installation, but having a contractor come to your home will ensure your decorative door works with your décor for maximum effect.

Interior Glass Doors
Glass doors are easily broken and usually aren’t the best

Stuck on Classic: Vintage Wallpaper

Wallpaper has been used to decorate homes at least since the 1500s. Back then, wood blocks were carved with a design, then the design was inked and stamped onto the paper. This process was time consuming, but the product was incredible and unique. Today, mass produced wallpaper is an excellent alternative to painting and can be found in a wide variety of patterns, pictures, and styles. To capture the feeling of a certain time, some homeowners are turning to vintage wallpaper in addition to (or instead of) furniture and architecture of the period.

Purchasing Vintage Wallpaper

Vintage wallpaper is significantly more expensive than new wallpaper because it is much harder to come by. New wallpaper can be found for less than $20 a roll, while vintage usually starts at double or triple that, and goes up from there. Its look and feel, however, is difficult to replicate, and some of the processes used to make it are no longer available. It can generally only be found at specialty shops or by pure luck at a flea market or thrift store. As with most things, it’s a good idea to spend a while shopping around, as selection

Install a Suspended Ceiling with Your Basement Remodel

A suspended ceiling is an excellent option for just about any room, though it is particularly well suited to basements and their particulars. If you’re currently remodeling your basement, or are just looking for a way to spruce things up, installing a suspended ceiling can work wonders.

Suspended Ceiling 101
These ceilings are the type of ceiling common in offices, schools, and other structures. It consists of a metal framework that hangs from the ceiling joists, and suspended ceiling tiles that conveniently fit into the framework. It’s so common in larger buildings because it provides a space for plumbing, electrical wiring, and ductwork between the tiles and the actual ceiling, which is precisely why it’s such an excellent ceiling solution for basements as well.

Cover up Ugly Pipes and Ductwork
One of the main challenges when it comes to a basement finishing project is how to work around the infrastructure of your home. Basement ceilings often harbor unattractive pipes, ductwork, and electrical wiring that you’ve got to find some way to work around. A suspended style ceiling is the answer. With a suspended design, you can install your ceiling below the line of pipes, wires and

The Ins & Outs of Mobile Home Repair

Mobile and modular homes have a very different list of potential problems and repair jobs than traditionally built homes. In fact, because they are built so differently, everything from preventative maintenance to home improvement possibilities require special consideration. If you’re wondering about any or all of the above, here’s a quick look at mobile home repair and a few things you’ll want to keep in mind before you undertake any work on your residence.

Preventative Maintenance
This is one area where it doesn’t matter what kind of home you have. The more time you take to ensure your home is in good shape to start with, the less you’ll have to bother with major repairs of any kind. However, there are several considerations particular to mobile and modular homes that you’ll want to keep on top of.

  • Seal Out Drafts and Leaks. Maybe the most problematic aspect of mobile homes is their tendency to let in the weather. Be it a cold draft through windows and doors or water getting in through improperly sealed roofing panels, this is one area to be diligent about. Perform a regular check of your mobile home to identify

Things You Should Never Do to Your Home

The list for things you should do to your home is endless—change furnace filter, clean gutters, leave a faucet running when it’s freezing out— there are likewise many things you shouldn’tdo. Of course, “set it on fire”, “paint it all black”, and “take off the roof” are gimmes, but we’ve come up with the top 8 items to be avoided that many people already do. Our apologies if you’ve already done one of these (or several).

1. Don’t do your own plumbing. If you already know how to do it, then this is just a list of the top 7 things you shouldn’t do. But even if you are an ambitious and skilled DIYer, just leave this one to the pros. It’s not so much that homeowners can’t do this or can’t learn, but most homeowners are not familiar with the safety requirements laid out in the Uniform Building Code (UBC). Plus, if you mess something up, water gets everywhere and might ruin a great many things. The risk versus reward of this does not play to your favor.

2. Don’t park in the yard. Now we know what you’re saying, anyone who cares enough about

Snow Removal Tips to Keep You and Your Back Safe

Every year hundreds of people injure their backs, or worse, by shoveling snow. Snow removal may be a necessity if it snows frequently, but it is also a physical activity that should be carefully undertaken. However, there are some tips that can help alleviate this hassle and keep you and your back safe so that you might be able to enjoy the winter wonderland around you.

Shovel light snow.

  • If you receive only several inches of light, dry snow, you may be able to shovel your walks and driveway. When shoveling, always be aware of your back and bend your knees. Avoid excess twisting.
  • Always shovel lighter loads of snow, not a heavily packed shovel.
  • Don’t shovel soon after you wake up. A slipped disc injury is much more likely to occur in the morning due to the build-up of fluid in the disc from lying down all night.
  • Take breaks often.
  • Elderly should consider calling on a neighborhood youth or a snow removal professional to shovel their walks or if getting around isn’t a problem, buy a snowblower. These machines do all the work for you while all you

Is Your Home Ready for Winter?

The late fall is an ideal time to take stock of your home and make sure that everything is ready for winter’s onslaught. If you act now, there are still plenty of nice days left to get things in order.

Start by checking the roof and the gutters. Check your roof for loose, curled or missing shingles. If you see problems or have seen evidence of a leak, this is the time to take care of it. The next time you have a heavy rain, put on your coat and boots and step out into the yard. Look at how the water flows. If the gutters overflow they either need cleaning, realigning, or replacement with larger gutters.

On a cool evening, go ahead and turn on your furnace to make sure it works before you really need it! If you have a forced air system, you may briefly notice a burning smell. This is simply some of the dust in the ducts being burnt off by the first blast of hot air. While you’re checking out the furnace, make sure you change the air filters.

If you have a humidifier, clean it thoroughly in accordance