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Choosing Between a Deck or Patio

Categories: Home Design Trends, Home maintenance tips | Posted: November 26, 2018

Customizing and designing your home’s interior is an essential part of being a homeowner. With all the time you’ll spend in it, you’ll undoubtedly want to make sure each room is perfect. But in this post, we’re moving out into your front or backyard. We’re talking about decks and patios – the difference between them and what to consider when choosing one or the other.

The most significant factors in this decision are maintenance, cleaning, and customization.

What’s the Difference Between a Patio and a Deck?

First, let’s look at the difference between the two. A patio is built at ground level and often directly attached to a house. It can be made from an array of materials, like concrete or brick. Patios are generally uncovered and don’t necessarily need guard railings or fencing. They come with more privacy since they’re at ground level and can be hidden behind a fence.

Decks, on the other hand, aren’t usually built at ground level. They tend to take advantage of a view and are therefore at higher levels. For this reason, it’s a good idea to put safety railings or fencing around them. Decks are usually made of wood or other composite materials. You can build decks on uneven ground, and they often add higher resale value to your property.

Even from these definitions, it’s easy to see why it’s a tough decision. Both patios and decks can be attached to a home or built away from the house, and both tend to be uncovered outdoor spaces.

Maintaining Your Outdoor Space

The first question to ask yourself is: how much maintenance do you want to do?

Since decks are made with wood, you’ll need to take care of it every year. That includes scrubbing it down, power washing, or sanding, not to mention checking for loose or protruding nails and screws. If you’re not using composite materials, you’ll need to check for splintering or peeling wood boards.

With patios, the amount of maintenance is certainly less than with wooden decks. But that doesn’t mean you can build it and forget it. You may need to replace stone tiles or clean the concrete now and again. Generally speaking, it will also be cheaper to build and maintain a patio than a deck due to the cost of materials, the elevation, and ongoing maintenance.

Whichever you choose, you’ll need to put in regular work to make sure your deck or patio doesn’t fall to pieces. Choosing composite materials for decks or durable materials for a patio can keep your outdoor space looking good for years to come.

Keeping Things Clean

We just covered ongoing maintenance, but what about cleaning? Though cleaning falls under maintenance, it’s certainly something to look at when deciding between a patio and deck.

Since decks are often made of wood, it’s common to get mold. After all, your deck battles all kinds of weather – rain, snow, and humidity. You can get mold under, near, or on your deck. It’s not difficult to remove, but you’ll need to stay on top of it. If left unchecked, mold could weaken its structure and cause major problems.

Patios can get mold too, but not nearly as often as with decks. Generally, you can clear your patio of mold by power washing. When it comes to cleaning, you’ll get by with less when you have a patio.

Customizing Your Patio or Deck

How much personal touch would you like to add to this new outdoor space?

While both decks and patios can be constructed in different sizes, shapes, and materials, you may run into some restrictions along the way. For example, using a specific stone texture or concrete to build a patio may prevent future changes, whereas wooden decks can be stained or painted to any color or shade that fits your home.

Changes to patios may be more expensive. If you’re looking to switch out the brick or patio tiles, you will likely need to rebuild the entire patio. But with decks, you can sand and re-stain every year if you want without damaging the materials.

That being said, you certainly have more options with patios. You can construct patios out of almost anything – stone, brick, concrete, pebbles, pea gravel, or rock. With a deck, you’ll be using either wood or composite materials. So, if there’s a specific aesthetic you’re looking to match, keep building materials in mind.

Making the Choice – It’s Up to You!

Whichever you choose, you’re sure to enjoy this new space. Whether you’re looking for a more customizable, elevated area or a private, durable patio, either option is a great choice. What’s great is you can add a portable fire pit, outdoor kitchen, or grill to either (just make sure you’ve got a fireproof platform for your deck!).

Tips for Designing Your Home with Timeless Style

Categories: Home Design Trends | Posted: November 8, 2018

Designing a home can be challenging, especially if you’re the kind of person looking for a low maintenance style that can endure the years. But it’s not easy to execute a timeless design. It’s easy to fall into trends that become outdated fads or over accessorizing a room until it becomes a cluttered mess.

To help you avoid all that, here are five general tips for creating a timeless home design.

Keep Your Home Fad-Free

This may be the most obvious piece of advice in this article. If you’re looking for a timeless style that requires no fuss or work year to year, stay away from fads. You may love a sleek and severe minimalist look right now, but it’s certainly not going to be in style forever.

Make Sure Your Designs are Functional

Each furniture piece should serve a purpose. In the same vein of creating a fad-free home, it’s best to make sure your furniture makes sense in the room. Ornate, fragile side tables or never-sat-in designer chairs may not factor into a timeless design.

Choose Subtle Patterns and Colors

Busy or decorative patterns and accessories can give your room a cluttered, outdated feel. Certain colors may be in style one year and suddenly out the next; don’t be caught with a pale green couch that’s horribly out of style within a year. Though these colors or patterns may appeal to you at a certain point, they certainly won’t stand the test of time.

Let Your Fabrics Bring a Room to Life

Painting and wallpapering are hassles, and it’s just not practical to put on a fresh coat each year. So instead of painting a bright accent wall that may not feel right a few years from now, use throw pillows, rugs, and drapes for that pop of color. It’s easier to change out these fabrics than it is to change wall color or carpeting.

Simplify Major Furniture

By major furniture, we mean sofas, dining room tables, and bed frames. If you simplify these pieces of furniture, you can use other elements in the room to add personal style without overdoing it. Simple furniture tends to be timeless and classic, whereas hyper-modern, antique, or ornate furniture can seem outdated or fussy.

Home design is a delicate balance of welcoming aesthetic and personal style. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance, timeless design, follow these tips. You can create a balanced room without clutter or antiquated style. Imagine how relaxed you’ll feel each time you enter your perfectly timeless room.

Bring the Outside in for Elegant, Uncultivated Autumn Decorating Ideas

Categories: American Classic News, Community Spotlight, Home Design Trends | Posted: October 15, 2018

Thanksgiving is around the corner and before you go running off to the craft store, take a look at the outdoor bounty around you. All of your fall decorating needs can be found from the great outdoors, pumpkin patches and with a few things around the house.

If you don’t already have a pumpkin on your doorstep it’s time to get at least one. Put pumpkins on small tables, benches, over turned wooden apple picking buckets, chairs or even cake stands to add height, color, dimension and style to flat surfaces. In the last few years we have seen an incredible increase of variety, colors, shapes and sizes of gourds and pumpkins. French Fairy tale pumpkins have made it to most pumpkin farms and retailers stateside over the past few years and match a variety of home colors. White pumpkins, and warty orange and green pumpkins can bring color and texture to your doorstep.

The wonderful thing about decorating for fall is that the simplest decorations are the most beautiful. Store bought decorations, are pretty, but in the PNW it’s more rewarding to find your own. Go foraging for acorns, branches, leaves and grasses. Bring the outdoors in for some of the most perfectly beautiful, and inexpensive décor.

Centerpiece for Thanksgiving Ideas

A simple sprig of wheat or rosemary tied with a nametag and a raffia bow make the perfect centerpiece on your plate for Thanksgiving.

Bring home acorns from the giant oak trees surrounding Green Lake, pour them around a candle in a crystal candle holder or vase, or even just place them on a dinner plate with a wide candle in the center. Find things around the house to compliment your outdoor findings, look at the glass throughout your house with a new perspective, drinking glasses, vases, platters, candle holders and lanterns can all be used. Mixing in different shapes and sizes will add interest. Popcorn kernels, pinecones, lentils, or any type of bean can be used in place of the acorns giving alternatives to match to your décor.

Put pumpkins and gourds of different sizes on table tops and mantles. Use wooden blocks or risers to create height and interest.

Preserve Autumn Leaves for Decor

Preserve colorful fall foliage in a glycerin solution, this method is perfect for creating soft, pliable leaves as if they’d just fallen off the tree, or leave them on the branch to use in vases. Mix 1-part glycerin with 2-parts water and submerge leaves in the solution. Not much is needed, just enough to cover the leaves and branches. Put a weight on top, for instance a plate on top to hold the leaves under the solution and leave it for 2-6 days. When you pull out the leaves, dry them with a paper towel. You can then glue them onto a Styrofoam wreath form for the front door, sprinkle them across your thanksgiving table and over the mantle and they’ll stay looking beautiful for 6 months.

If you’re not afraid of a little glitter mess, sponge paint Elmer’s glue onto the leaves and sprinkle them with orange, gold and brown glitter for sparkly fall leaf beauty.

A long wooden board down the center of the table can become an elegant canvas to decorate with colorful gourds, small orange pumpkins, tall white or cream-colored pillar candles, colored leaves and cedar greens. Neutral colored candles can be left out and reused for Christmas. Weave stripped birch branches throughout the candles for a pretty, rustic look. Birch branches are bendy and can be easily manipulated to swirl around obstacles. If you have a small round or square table, cut tree rounds will make a perfect place for your centerpiece.

Is there anything better than a beautiful fall garland?

Create a darling acorn garland, thanks to the neighborhood oak tree. Very carefully drill a small hole through the top of the acorn making sure to drill through the cap and center if they’re still intact, if they aren’t you’ll first have to glue the top onto the nut. Then just string them up, this is an entertaining task for children who’ll love to help out. You can string the garland over chandeliers in the dining room, over the mantle and door frames. Leave them up for Thanksgiving and Christmas, they can also be hung on the Christmas tree.

If you want an even easier garland without the drill, string up your preserved fall foliage, or better yet, colorful silk leaves. Silk leaves will last for next year and hold up to wear and tear. Waxed twine or hemp rope is grippy and will hold the leaves in place. Thread a string onto a needle with a wide eye and pull it through each leaf twice so the leaf will stay front facing. Delicately string all of the leaves until you have a long, colorful garland you can hang around the house or over your front door.

Cake Stands to Decorate

Use platters, cake stands and bowls to display your fall finds and foliage on shelves and bathroom vanities. Dried Wheat bundles are simple and structural and can be used on fireplace mantles.

Simple little vases with mums cut to fit is a beautiful way of using flowers you might already have in your yard. Twigs with colored berries, soft grasses, cat tails and wild foliage can all be used with different shapes and sizes of vases, glasses and candle holders to add height, color and texture to your center piece.

For finishing touches, swap out your summer colors with fall inspired throw pillows on your couch, it’ll feel like a new room, without making any major changes. Toss a red or orange blanket over your couch for a useful, cozy vibe. Red can be left throughout the Christmas season too.

Now you’ve got the perfect atmosphere to host friends, with hot cider and get maximum enjoyment out of your home in the fall.

The Benefits of Building a New Home vs. Buying a New Inventory Home

Categories: Home Design Trends, New Home Selections, New Homes | Posted: September 21, 2018

Imagine buying a home and immediately moving in, no waiting for paint to dry or for the builders to finish up final touches. For people buying ready-to-move-in inventory homes, this is a wonderful benefit.

But some home buyers desire the customization that comes with designing their perfect home and overseeing the construction. These folks are fine with the wait because the final product is often as close to a dream home as possible.

Neither of these options is necessarily better than the other. It truly depends on what’s important to you and your family. If you’re looking to move and aren’t sure which option is right for you, take a look at some of these benefits of each. It may help you with the decision.

Benefits of Building Your Dream Home

Location, Location, Location

When buying an inventory home, you don’t have much say over the location. After all, the building’s already there. You can’t just move it. When you build your own home, you can choose where to live. It’s up to you.

Do You Have a Handy Friend?

Okay, this benefit may not be for everyone. But handy friends can come in, well, handy when building your own home. You can save money by calling in favors from friends and family who have construction, electrician, or plumbing experience.

Ready-To-Go Inventory Home Benefits

Move-In Ready

This one may seem obvious, but you can’t overstate how great it is to find a beautiful home and move in right away. As soon as you close the sale, you can start packing up boxes and shipping them over.

Lower Cost

One significant benefit of purchasing an inventory home is the cost savings. Since you’re not paying for contractors, materials, or labor, you’re already saving money. An inventory home is already built, so you don’t have to worry about construction going over budget. That’s a big win.

Way Less Stress

When shopping for inventory homes, your biggest worry is finding the right place for your budget and style. When building a house, you’re likely worried about everything. With so many building projects going on at once, the whole thing can be incredibly stressful.

Maybe you’re looking to move right away and want to put your savings towards other expenses (a new furniture set or landscaping, perhaps?). Or maybe you’re not looking for the added stress of overseeing a 6-9 month construction project. Either way, go for a ready-to-move-in inventory home. You’ll be ready to move as soon as you close the sale without any of the added hassle.

Whatever you choose, there’s really no wrong answer. You’ll love your new home no matter what.

Top 5 Furniture Layout Apps

Categories: Home Design Trends | Posted: August 30, 2018

Whether you’re moving into a new home or simply feeling like redecorating, finding a great furniture layout can be challenging. Nobody wants to play a real-life game of Tetris, moving bulky pieces of furniture around to find the best fit.

Luckily, most of us (pretty much everyone, if we’re being honest) have a handy device in our pocket that can help. Need help organizing furniture in your home? Just like ordering pizza, checking your credit score, or turning on a security light – there’s an app for that!

Here are our top 5 picks for furniture layout apps.

1. Planner 5D(Android and iOS)

Are you looking to get hyper-detailed? If so, then Planner 5D is for you. This app lets you create both 2D and 3D floor plans based on the dimensions of your home or yard. That’s right; you can plan both interior and exterior layouts with this handy app. Create a floor plan based on your home’s dimensions, choose furniture from an extensive catalog, and create the layout of your dreams. This free app is available for both Android and iOS users.

2. Magicplan(iOS only)

The Magicplan app puts the power of 3D design in your hands.  You can turn pictures into floor plans, and then plan out your space in 3D. Add and arrange furniture with ease. The app itself is free, but you’ll be required to pay for a download version of your planned space ($2.99).

3. RoomScan Pro(iOS only)

For realistic, no-frills layout planning, go for RoomScanner Pro. This app boasts three different methods for capturing your exact floor plan: touching your phone against walls, scan the room and add in details via augmented reality, or manually draw the plan with added dimensions. Regardless of which you choose, you’ll get a completely accurate digital version of your home, ready for fast furniture layout planning. The app is currently free to download but will require in-app purchases to access many of these features.

4. IKEA Place(iOS, link to Android below)

Real talk: how much do you love IKEA? Do you ever find yourself clicking through their website or wandering through the warehouse-sized store wondering if that pine desk or stainless steel bar cart would fit into your home? Good news! The new IKEA app lets you literally place their furniture into your house using augmented reality. Check it out and place an order right from the app.

For Android users, here’s another App similar to this one (but without that neat AR functionality): IKEA Home Planner App.

5. Plan Your Room

Okay, so this technically isn’t an app. But Plan Your Room is such an easy-to-use layout-planning platform that we just had to mention it. Using a grid, you can map out your room and then add furniture pieces (represented with minimalistic line drawings) based on what you own – or want to own. It’s easy to use and free.

With these apps in hand, you have no reason not to give your home a little makeover. Or, if you’re moving into a new home, no reason not to get organized beforehand. There’s nothing worse than moving things around after the movers have left because you weren’t prepared to tell them where things needed to go.

So relax, download a new app, and play around. You’re sure to find the perfect layout; no heavy lifting required.

5 Kitchen Design Trends Foodies Will Love

Categories: Home Design Trends | Posted: August 13, 2018

Okay foodies, here’s the deal. We all know the kitchen is the cornerstone of your home; it’s where you’ll spend most of your time, both alone and with friends, cooking and eating. You’re likely more excited about decorating or upgrading your kitchen than any other room.

Farmhouse sinks and Pinterest-inspired flour sack dish towels are great, but for someone who spends most of their time in the kitchen (or thinking about their kitchen), function is as important as aesthetic. With that in mind, here are some kitchen design trends guaranteed to make your cooking life easier.

Take Your Knife Storage Seriously

Where would you be without your trusty Chef’s knife? Having a reliable and sharp blade is cooking 101, but improper storage can quickly lower the life expectancy of this likely-spendy knife. Storing knives down on their blade can actually damage them over time, so instead consider a magnetic knife strip. These handy strips attach directly to your wall, keeping knives at the ready and out of the way. Besides their usefulness, a magnetic strip turns your knife collection into a flashy kitchen showpiece.

Hang, Don’t Stack Pots and Pans

Is there anything worse than getting down on your hands and knees to pull out every pot and pan you’ve ever owned to get to that one specific saucepan? Instead of resigning yourself to sorting stacks of cooking gear, hang those pots and pans from hooks. If you’re keeping a minimal vibe to your kitchen, apply sturdy hooks to the back of your cabinets. Bonus: this organization tip will clear up space in your cabinets too.

Boldly Cook Anything You Want (Without Lingering Smells)

Some foods are more pungent than others, lingering hours and even days later. No matter how great a meal tasted, it’s never pleasant to smell it the next morning. Invest in a proper ventilation system above your oven to rid yourself of these unwanted odors. A few things to know when making this purchase: If you have a gas range, you will need a more powerful vent than if you have an electric one, and there’s no need to buy a vent that’s larger than your oven.

Shine a Light On It

A kitchen is no place for mood lighting. You need to see what you’re doing, especially when cooking on your range. There are so many beautiful lighting options available that there’s no excuse for under-lighting here. Make sure your hood vent has a light, add a light over the sink, and maybe even additional runner lights under cabinets or above counters. You’ll never regret having strong lighting in the kitchen, especially when chopping and slicing.

Spend Extra on the Best Dishwasher Possible

Whether you’re constantly entertaining on the weekends or just cook elaborate meals for your family, a dishwasher is a must in every kitchen. But not all dishwashers are created equal. Consider purchasing one that includes a utensil rack above so you can wash spatulas, serving spoons, and whisks without taking up too much space elsewhere. Nowadays, dishwashers are nearly silent, which is a must if you have an open floor plan and don’t want to hear it running while watching TV on the couch nearby.

If you love food and love cooking, then now’s the time to invest in your dream kitchen. Consider designs that are both functional and beautiful to create a room you’ll never want to leave.

Master Suite Design Trends You’ve Got to Check Out

Categories: Home Design Trends | Posted: July 26, 2018

Master bedrooms are a calming space in your home. It’s where you spend most of your time, especially when you want to relax. You can let your style run free here, independent from the aesthetics of the rest of your home. Or you can think of your master suite as your personal spa, a place for relaxation and comfort. No matter what you want to do, here are some new design trends you’ll definitely want to try out.

Enhancing Your Bedroom Aesthetics from Above

Just a few years ago, accent walls were the hottest trend. You may even have one in your home right now. Accent walls let you add a pop of color or texture to an otherwise uniform room. But as with all trends, it’s started to fade in popularity, even prompting some designers to ask if the accent wall is dead!

There’s a new trend in town – and all you need to do is look up. Decorative ceilings are all the rage this year. You’ve got a lot of options with this: colorful paint, decorative ceiling tiles, architectural elements, faux beams or tray ceiling give the illusion of depth. Think of it as your master bedroom getting a fifth wall.

Organizing Your Master Closet Like A Pro

You finally got that walk-in closet of your dreams. It has space for everything you need. The only problem? These spaces can quickly descend into chaos. That’s why today, closet organization has almost become an art form. It’s inspired countless trends in minimalism shelving design, seasonal outfit sorting, and more. What are the latest organization trends?

  • Adding closet drawers to tame the clutter and keep things out of sight
  • Double-up closet rods for twice the hanging space
  • Optimizing closet nooks and corners with shelves
  • Building shoe racks at the bottom of your closet (you’re not using that space anyway!)

Turning Your Master Bathroom into a Relaxing Spa

Every master bathroom needs a place to shower or bathe. Whether you’re a quick-shower-after-a-morning-run type of person or an after-work-bath-with-red-wine relaxer, you need something that fits both your lifestyle and your bedroom’s aesthetic. Do you want a walk-in shower? A stand-alone bathtub? Some people would rather have a larger shower, while others want a tub-shower combo.

But have you ever considered both? More and more people are adding both a walk-in shower and a soaking tub to complete their master suite. If you have the space for it, this option gives you the best of both worlds. As a bonus, a standing shower and soaking tub give your master bathroom a wonderful spa-like quality.

Doubling Sink Space for Half the Stress

We’re back to your master bathroom with this trend. This time we’re focusing on the vanity – or in this case, a double vanity. If you’ve ever had to share a single sink, drawer, and mirror with a significant other, you know the situation is not…ideal. This new design trend seeks to prevent any squabbling over space: double or side-by-side vanities. Each offers your own quiet space – a separate sink, drawer, and counter room.

Whichever you choose may depend on the size of your master bathroom. If you’ve got the space, why not use it? Double or side-by-side vanities can add a dramatic or elegant element to the room. It’s a perfect way to optimize extra bathroom space.

Take the time to perfect your master oasis. After all, it’s a place just for you to enjoy!

To Shiplap or Not to Shiplap? Three unexpected ways you can use shiplap to personalize your home

Categories: Home Design Trends | Posted: July 15, 2018

If you don’t already know about shiplap, let’s get you acquainted. Shiplap is a type of wooden board traditionally used as siding on barns, sheds, and other buildings. Since it’s often used on the outside of buildings, shiplap has grooves for pieces to fit tightly together. Recently, shiplap has become an extremely popular building material, thanks to HGTV’s Fixer Upper and the hosts’ love of it.

There are many benefits to using shiplap both inside and outside your house – it’s inexpensive and easy to install. But there are aesthetic reasons as well: it doesn’t require much (if any) finishing, it adds a design element on its own, and it’s easy to fix or paint. Here are three unexpected ways you can incorporate shiplap into your new home.

For the Kick Wall of the Kitchen Island

As you move into a new space, adding personalized touches really brings rooms together and helps you feel at home. The kitchen is no different; you want to find the perfect backsplash, cabinet hardware, and dish towels. Updating your kitchen island’s kick wall is another way to add character to your kitchen. Consider using shiplap to add style here with minimal effort. As a bonus, shiplap is easy and affordable to replace, just in case someone gets crazy and kicks it a little too hard.

As an Accent Wall in Your Living Room

Adding an accent wall in your home is a fun way to add a splash of color to a room. But have you ever considered replacing the color with a new texture? Shiplap’s horizontal lines and effortless look adds a subtle style to your living room. You may even find it easier to match (and change up) your décor with an accent shiplap wall than you would with a vibrant color.

Surround Your Fireplace

Nothing makes a living room feel warm and cozy like a fireplace. But it can be hard to match a traditional brick or dark wood fireplace with the rest of the room. Why let the fireplace dictate the room’s aesthetic? Shiplap offers an affordable alternative that can easily be painted or decorated to fit your room. With the addition of shiplap, you can add incredible farmhouse style to your entire home.

It’s incredible how quickly shiplap can transform a room. Whether you’re adding a new texture or style, or using it as an affordable building material alternative, the versatility of shiplap is undeniable. You may be a longtime fan of Fixer Upper (and already a shiplap convert) or may be entirely new to the material. There are so many ways to use shiplap in your new home, it’s clear why those hosts love it so much. Look into it – maybe you’ll find an entirely new way of incorporating shiplap into your new home.

Decorating for Spring – On a Budget!

Categories: Home Design Trends, Home Owner Tips, Interior Design | Posted: April 27, 2018

After the cold, dark months of winter, is there anything more exciting than Spring? These warmer months bring vibrant colors, cool breezes, and sunshine. What better way to usher out the snow and welcome the season with an indoor makeover? Celebrate Spring with these budget-friendly indoor decorating tips.

De-clutter your home. During the winter, homes tend to accumulate a lot of extra stuff. Holiday decorations, cold-weather gear like boots and hats, and extra blankets can make your home feel small and cluttered. Now that Spring has arrived, it’s time to de-clutter these spaces and simplify things. You can also try for a monochromatic feel with soft whites and light colors. Your home will feel bigger and brighter with that extra space.

Fresh flowers. Flowers add a pop of color and life to any room. But not everyone has a green thumb or the garden space to plant a variety of flowers. Visit your local supermarket for fresh and pre-arranged bouquets to liven up any room in your home. To keep flowers looking fresh longer, use room temperature water and cut the stems (about 1 to 2 inches) before putting them in a vase. Look for flowers at your local grocery store, co-op, or farmer’s market.

Create an edible centerpiece. Spring brings with it a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. This produce is beautiful on its own, so why not use it as a centerpiece? Find your favorite serving bowl, or go shopping for one, and fill it with bright oranges and fresh apples. The best part about this decorating tip? You can eat it!

Swap out or put away throw blankets. In the fall and winter, there’s nothing better than curling up under a fuzzy blanket. But we’re saying goodbye to cold weather, so it’s time to put away or swap out those thick, dark-colored blankets. Look for thinner blankets in vibrant colors, like pastel blues or yellows, to give a spring-y look to your living room. For an even more budget-friendly option, repurpose leftover light-colored fabric and drape it over your couch. You’ll be surprised how much this simple action changes the entire feeling of a room.

Buy or make pillow covers. Pillows are an excellent way to decorate on a budget. You can instantly change a room by switching up a pillow cover, which is an easy cost to manage. This has to be one of the easiest ways to decorate a room – no fussy arrangement needed. Just throw a few pillows onto your couch, chair, or bed for a new look. These covers aren’t expensive to buy or make, and storing them takes almost no room at all.

Faux plants or flowers. Fresh flowers are relatively affordable, but maintaining the look can be a hassle. Faux plants or flowers have only an upfront cost and can add a nice natural look to your home. You can change the pot or vase for a fresh décor and never have to worry about cleaning up wilting or dead flowers left out too long. Craft stores often carry these plants and flowers at an affordable rate.

These easy options help your home look brighter and more vibrant without breaking the bank. Preparing your house for Spring will help you bring in the new season and transition from the darker months with ease. Brighten up your home with flowers and new fabrics, and enjoy the sunshine.

Bathroom Vanity Design Trends for 2018

Categories: Home Design Trends, Home Owner Tips, Interior Design | Posted: February 8, 2018

Are you thinking about updating your bathroom? The new year brings new design trends for every room in your home, from the colors to the fixtures to the style. Bathroom vanity design trends for 2018 can show you how to make a big difference here with the focal point of the room.

What will we see more of this year?

Quartz is replacing granite countertops. Granite has dominated the countertop industry for most of this century. It’s natural, durable, and available in so many colors and patterns that you can easily find one to match your taste. Quartz is an engineered stone, a combination of about 95 percent ground quartz stone and 5 percent polymer resin. Quartz looks and feels like stone, but, because it’s manufactured, you can order the pattern and color and get the consistency you want. Unlike granite, quartz doesn’t need to be resealed. Finally, quartz isn’t porous like granite, so bacteria isn’t absorbed, an important factor in a bathroom countertop!

Brass is back in the bathroom. Polished brass has returned from its exile. Designers are trending toward warmer metals, like brass, bronze, and copper. Even rose gold is making a play for bathroom presence. With trends toward richer colors in the bathroom—like navy blue and plum—the warmer hues of other metals will gain prominence in plumbing fixtures.

Sinks are taking a cue from nature. Homeowners have shifted toward natural looks throughout the home, and the bathroom is reflecting this preference. Stone sinks are popular choices, using granite, marble, and onyx that take advantage of the one-of-a-kind patterns created by nature. Wooden basins—like oak, cedar, teak, and bamboo (which is a grass but largely considered wood)—share the same natural beauty as stone.

The all-white bathroom is fading to black. Vanities are going to the dark side with designers moving away from light cabinetry in the bathroom, in favor of matte black and darker stains, like deep chestnut and espresso. The richness of these deeper hues creates a completely different look that transforms the room.

Bathroom storage gets smarter. Vanities are no longer about vanity. They have beauty, of course, but you should expect more. Manufacturers have recognized the way we use bathrooms and vanities today. Drawer organizers present a custom storage solution, along with a tall cabinet that separates the dual sinks. New vanities are incorporating electrical outlets inside drawers. Keep your hair dryer plugged in yet out of sight.

Sinks will have a splash of color. If you love color, you can get more of it in your bathroom. New ceramic and metal sinks reflect the trend toward vibrant statements, like orange and turquoise.

Every year brings more options to customize your home to the place and space you want it to be. Are you ready to make some changes?