How to Create a Gallery Wall at Home

You don’t have to be an accomplished art collector, historian, or aficionado to curate and hang a well-crafted, visually appealing gallery at home. Hanging a gallery wall will give your collection of photos, drawings, and other works of art a place to be displayed. It can also give life to bland stretches of empty wall space, helping to tie together the spaces in your home. So, before you touch nail to drywall, keep the following information in mind to hang the perfect gallery wall for your home.

How to Create a Gallery Wall at Home

The first step to hanging a gallery wall at home is to assemble your artwork. Once you’ve gathered the artwork you intend to hang, take measurements of each piece to determine their framing dimensions. You’ll have an easier time finding frames for the pieces in your art collection with common dimensions—such as 5” x 7” or 8” x 10.” For artwork with uncommon dimensions, you can either shop around for custom framing or simply buy a larger frame with the appropriate matting to fit the artwork. Applying a mat can also give your pieces an elevated, professional look. Once you’ve taken your measurements, it’s time to shop for supplies.

Gather your gallery wall essentials first: a hammer, nails, hooks, and picture hangers. If you have a large piece of artwork in your collection, be sure to find a hanging apparatus certified to hold its weight. You may find it helpful to use paper and tape to “sketch” your desired layout on the wall before you start hanging, and while you’re hanging, use a level or framing square to determine when your artwork is level. During installation, start in the center of your wall space and work towards the edges. It may also be helpful to hang larger works first and work your way down in size. This way, if you need to make adjustments, you can easily adjust your smaller artworks around a focal point.

Gallery Walls Throughout Your Home

Living Room Gallery Wall

 

Image Source: Shutterstock – Image Credit: Photographee.eu

 

A living room gallery wall may be just the remedy for that large, blank space behind your couch. Because living room walls tend to be one of the larger surface areas in a home, it is a fitting place for large pieces of art and intricate collages of frames. Consider how the proportions of your gallery wall can create balance in your living room.

Home Office Gallery Wall

 

A home office with a gallery wall above the desk.

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: CreativaStudio

 

With the recent increase in remote work, home offices are more important now than ever before. Keeping your home office fresh and lively is the key to staying productive and inspired while working from home, and a gallery wall can help to do exactly that. Experiment with different combinations of artwork, photos of friends and family, and other cherished collectibles. 

Bedroom Gallery Wall

 

A bedroom with a gallery wall above the headboard of the bed.

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: KatarzynaBialasiewicz

 

Hanging a gallery wall on the space above your headboard or on an adjacent wall is a quick and easy way to upgrade your bedroom. Fill the space with inspiring paintings, memorable photos, motivational quotes, or whatever artwork best compliments the color and décor throughout the room.

These are just a few of the ways you can incorporate a gallery wall into your home. Hanging a gallery wall in a children’s playroom can be a fun way to highlight their artwork. Curating a cascading gallery along a staircase between floors will create a flow between the levels in your home. The options are endless. For more information on curating the spaces in your home, read about How to Upgrade Your Dining Room.

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How to Upgrade Your Dining Room

The dining room is a place of gathering, comfort, and community. Creating the right mood in the space is a matter of choices in décor and design. For example, a traditional dining room creates a heartwarming tone whereas a modern one feels minimalist and light. Homeowners can often feel puzzled when trying to upgrade their dining room, since it typically isn’t as simple as buying new appliances or green-lighting a remodeling project. Here are some simple ideas to help you upgrade your dining room and achieve the atmosphere you’re looking for.

How to Upgrade Your Dining Room

Lighting

A light fixture is often the centerpiece of a dining room. Your choice in lighting can greatly reinforce the dining room theme you’re going for, so look for fixtures that reinforce the other elements of the space. A chandelier will add a formal touch to the room, while more modern fixtures like pendant and warehouse lights can deliver a sense of chic sophistication. If you plan to hang a chandelier, keep in mind that the bottom of the fixture should hang roughly three feet above the dining room table. If you have vaulted ceilings, it should hang even higher.

Flooring

A full dining room upgrade happens from the ground up. If your flooring is outdated or showing signs of wear and tear, it’s the perfect time to add a flooring upgrade to your project list. Choosing the right flooring is a matter of identifying what material will work best in the space, assessing your budget, and forming a plan for installation. Materials like vinyl, ceramic tile, and hardwood are popular options, not only for their durability, but also because they’re easy to clean. Other niche options like cork or concrete can help create a specific ambience but may not be as widely available. Once you’ve decided on your material, talk to local contractors to compare installation quotes. There are pros and cons to installing flooring on your own or hiring a professional; know what they are before making a final decision.

 

Image Source: Shutterstock – Image Credit: Artazum


Table & Chairs

When it comes down to it, the essential function of your dining room is to provide a setting for enjoying a meal. Together with your main lighting fixture, your table and chairs help to form the focal point of the room. Size is a critical component of your dining room table. There’s a Goldilocks dynamic with dining room tables. The larger the table, the more room everyone has, but the more space it takes up. Make sure to take exact measurements before shopping around so you know exactly what size you’re looking for.

Your chairs will reinforce the look and feel of your table. Consider balancing wood grains and matching colors. For example, if your dining room table is designed with intricate wood grain, look at chair sets with simple colors and designs to bring balance to the room. When it comes to the height of the seats, arms, and back, choose dimensions that suit the dining experience you’re looking to create. Generally, high-backed, narrower chairs create a more formal atmosphere than their rounded, modern counterparts. Either way, choose the combination that looks best to you and feels most comfortable.

 

Image Source: Shutterstock – Image Credit: JR-stock

 

Color & Décor

A fresh coat of paint can take a dining room from stale to lively in a hurry. If you’re thinking about painting your dining room, think about how the color scheme would complement and/or contrast with the colors elsewhere in your home. A contrasting color will help differentiate the space, while a complimenting color will help to tie things together. New color in the dining room doesn’t have to come exclusively from painting a wall. Colored furniture pieces, decorative throw pillows, placemats, and table décor can help liven the space as well. Curtains and drapes can add a splash of color while softening the room, and when paired together with a decorative rug, can make your colors pop at different eye levels.

 

For more information on how to upgrade the space in your home, read our Guide to Upgrading Your Bedroom.

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A Guide to Upgrading Your Bedroom

For many homeowners, their ideal bedroom is that of a minimalist sanctuary—a place where you can kick your shoes off, relax, and get some shut eye. For others, making their bedroom as cozy as possible is their idea of perfection. No matter what kind of bedroom you’re dreaming of, keep the following information in mind as you prepare to make your upgrades.

A Guide to Upgrading Your Bedroom

How much does it cost to remodel a bedroom?

The total cost to remodel a bedroom depends on the size of the room and the scope of the remodel. According to a recent nationwide report by Fixr, the national cost range to remodel a bedroom is between $14,000 and $40,000, with the national average cost being roughly $21,000.  While this might sound like a lot, it includes everything from hardwood floors and painted walls to new furniture and a custom closet.

Another factor that will dictate your budget is whether you plan on doing the remodel DIY or hiring a professional. Taking a DIY approach to your bedroom upgrades will save on labor costs and allows you to complete the project on your own schedule. However, if you get in over your head on a project and things go sideways, it can be costly to fix, and you may end up having to hire a pro to get things back on track.

Before you begin your remodel, create a list of tasks and all the sub-tasks involved to assess whether they are within your skill level to DIY. Determine whether the project requires a permit and check your local zoning regulations before making any additions or extensions to your bedroom.

Which bedroom projects are best for home value?

Adding a bedroom or converting a space into a bedroom can increase your home’s value. That’s because you increase the livable square footage while also making it more appealing to a wider variety of buyers. If your home has fewer bedrooms than other recently sold homes in your area, a bedroom addition may allow you to list at a more competitive price. Talk with your agent to get an idea of what types of upgrades buyers in your area are paying top-dollar for.

Simple Bedroom Upgrades

With costs for a small bedroom remodel averaging up to $20,000, a full-scale renovation may not be in the cards for every homeowner. Fortunately, there are plenty of budget-friendly ways to rejuvenate your bedroom. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Upgrade your décor: Appealing to the senses will help transform your bedroom in a snap. Add texture by swapping out your bed spread, pillows, and blankets. Go for plush to make it feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud or try vintage elements like knit fabrics for a more traditional comfort. Add natural elements like wood and stone to create an earthy atmosphere. Essential oils and scented candles can bring some added relaxation into the space.
  • New hardware and lighting: A simple trip to the hardware store can change the look and feel of your bedroom. Switch out your door handles, drawer pulls, shelves, and lighting fixtures to upgrade your bedroom in the span of a few hours. Select pieces that reinforce the theme you’re going for. For an industrial vibe, select rustic metals and materials. For a minimalist look, choose sleek metals like gold and chrome.
  • Decorate with plants: Not only will decorating your bedroom will plants spruce up the space, but they also help to improve air quality. If you have vaulted ceilings, shop around for vertical plants and hanging gardens that can make the most of your empty wall space. If you consider yourself a beginner gardener, consider low maintenance plants like cacti and succulents.

 

For more information on upgrading your home, read our Guide to Remodeling Your Bathroom.

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5 Timeless Tile Designs

The history of home design is full of trends that have come and gone. A style may suddenly skyrocket in popularity, capturing the hearts of homeowners and designers everywhere, only to fade away just as quickly. Taking this into account, homeowners will often look to the pillars of home design that have stood the test of time when preparing to remodel or upgrade their home. It’s these elements of timeless home design that ensure the spaces in your home won’t go out of style, and when it comes time to sell, won’t hurt its resale value.

5 Timeless Tile Designs

White Subway Tile

Subway tile is ubiquitous—and for good reason. Clean, simple, and elegant, these tiles make it the top backsplash choice for many kitchen renovations and bathroom remodels. The white surface brightens the space, making it feel clean and organized. Resilient and easy to clean, subway tile may be just what the designer ordered for your next home project.

 

Image Source: Getty Images

 

Penny Tile

Penny tile has stayed relevant through the years, and not just for aesthetic reasons. Though penny tile is visually appealing, its many grout joints make it ideal material for slick and slippery surfaces such as the shower, bathtub, or bathroom floor. This practical function has kept penny tile at the forefront of homeowners and professional remodelers alike for decades. With many color combinations from black and white for a retro look to colorful mosaics for the more eclectic homeowners, there’s an option for everyone with penny tile. While it’s commonly used in bathrooms, penny tile is also great near fireplaces and kitchen backsplashes.

 

A shower floor of neutral-colored penny tile.

Image Source: Shutterstock – Image Credit: Berkay Demirkan

 

Herringbone Tile

Known for its distinctive angular arrangement, herringbone has been a fixture of interior design for decades. Herringbone tile brings flair and texture to a space, and its repetitive pattern will help to liven up any room without pulling away from other points of interest. It is a popular choice as a backsplash on bathroom walls, behind vanities, or in shower stalls. For those seeking the cleanliness of subway tile but prefer more dramatic lines, herringbone may be the perfect choice for you.

 

A bathroom wall decorated with herringbone tile behind the vanity and mirror.

Image Source: Getty Images

 

Checkerboard Tile

Checkerboard is one of those rare designs that has the ability to continually reinvent itself. It carries a vintage charm but is also often found in aspects of modern design. It’s simultaneously formal and fun. Out of all the timeless tile designs, checkerboard is perhaps the most flexible. The design can make a great impact on the floors in a space as small as a bathroom yet is bold enough to make a statement in a larger surface area like a foyer. 

 

A hallway in a house with a checkerboard floor and a desk under the stairs.

Image Source: Getty Images

 

Hexagon Tile

Though there is a certain geometry to all the previously mentioned designs, hexagonal (or honeycomb) tile’s unique shape gives it its trademark pattern. There are several variants of hexagonal tile, including stretched hex and picket tile, that can deliver that timeless feel you’re looking for while breaking up the monotony of rectangular lines in your home. Hexagonal patterns are bold and eye-catching, yet their patterns can provide a sense of calm and orderliness. Whether you decide to use it as a backsplash, shower tile, or floor tile, Hexagon tiles will add intrigue to the space.

 

A bathroom with hexagon tile as the backsplash and shower floor.

Image source: Getty Images

 

The right tile may be just the ingredient you need to tie your home together. It can make a surprising difference in your next remodel, so it’s worth your time to explore the many different options available before making your decision. For more on timeless home design, find out which 7 Vintage Design Elements are still popular today.

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A Guide to Remodeling Your Bathroom

There are a variety of reasons that a homeowner may decide to remodel their bathroom;  they could be looking to increase the value of their home for a future sale, they may have discovered repairs that need to be made, or perhaps they’re simply looking to maximize their enjoyment of the space. Whatever your motivation may be, consider the following information before the hammer hits the tile to make sure your bathroom remodel turns out as successful as you’d hoped.

A Guide to Remodeling Your Bathroom

Which bathroom remodel projects have the highest ROI?

Before you decide which projects to tackle, it’s worth your while to identify which bathroom remodeling projects have the highest ROI. This can be especially helpful if you’re thinking about selling your home in the near future. According to recent nationwide data released by Remodeling Magazine, bathroom remodels can have as high as a sixty percent return on cost, while larger projects like bathroom additions return roughly fifty percent of their costs. The point is you likely won’t recoup every dollar you spend on your bathroom remodel, so choose your projects wisely. If you’re preparing to sell your home, talk to your agent about which bathroom projects are seeing the highest return in your local area.

How can I save on my bathroom remodel?

There are various ways to keep your costs down when remodeling your bathroom, but it depends on the scope of your project. If, while preparing to sell your home, you identify a handful of outstanding repairs that need to be fixed before you list, it may be difficult to pull off a low-budget bathroom remodel while still fetching a competitive sales price. Neglecting these issues can be a costly mistake, and in some cases can even jeopardize a sale.  

One way to save money on your bathroom remodel is to do it yourself. Identify the pros and cons of either doing a project DIY or hiring a professional. Though you may save money on labor, if you get in over your head on a project the costs can add up quickly, and you may end up having to hire a contractor to remedy the situation. If you decide to hire a contractor, thoroughly research multiple companies, ask for referrals from family and friends, and get multiple quotes before deciding which is best for the job.

Simple Bathroom Upgrades

As the scope of a bathroom remodel changes, so do its costs. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2021 Cost vs. Value Report, a midrange bathroom remodel cost an average of roughly $24,000 nationwide, while an upscale bathroom remodel was just over $75,000. But fear not, there are ways to give your bathroom a makeover without having to break the bank. Here are a few ideas for budget-friendly bathroom upgrades.

  • Refinish Your Tub: Remove all hardware from your tub and sand the entire surface smooth, evening out any chips or cracks and filling them with epoxy. Once the epoxy has dried, sand those areas one more time. Apply multiple layers of primer and topcoat as advised and buff the surface to finish off the job.
  • Add Décor: A well-decorated bathroom can revitalize the space. Add a fresh coat of paint to the walls, install a new faucet and shower head, and match your towel rods and shower curtains for a quick bathroom refresh.
  • Finishing Touches: The right bathroom lighting can make all the difference. Experiment with softer light bulbs or dimmers to create a sense of calm and relaxation. Add candles, scented oils, and new towels to make your bathroom feel like your own personal spa.

For more ideas on remodels, décor, and all things home design, visit the design page on our blog.

Windermere Blog – Design

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How to Choose the Best Flooring

Flooring is a key component of a home’s design and can often be the centerpiece of a renovation or remodel. Because it covers such a large surface area it will significantly impact the look and feel of your home, so choosing the right material can be stressful. Weigh your options before making a decision. Learn about the different types of material, assess your budget, and form a plan for installation.

How to Choose the Best Flooring

Room Function

How you spend time in any given room will help you decide which type of flooring is best. In your home office, choose the flooring that best accommodates your working needs. Carpet can be comforting while hardwood and laminate are more durable. Entryways, mudrooms, playrooms, and pet rooms will undoubtedly see their fair share of dents, cracks, and dings, so a resilient material is best for these areas. Consider materials that are strong and easy to clean, such as tile. The kitchen is a high-traffic area that is constantly being cleaned and re-cleaned. Explore solid yet easy to clean materials like vinyl, hardwood, and ceramic tile. If these common flooring materials aren’t to your liking, certain alternative flooring options may appeal to you, including bamboo, cork, and concrete.

Budget

Your budget will be a major deciding factor in which type of flooring you ultimately install. Are you replacing your flooring as part of a larger, full-scale remodel? If so, there may be other projects that will warrant a larger share of your budget. Are you looking to make the flooring a selling point of the home? If so, you’ll likely dedicate more money towards the material and installation. Talk to your agent about which types of flooring have the best resale value and what buyers in the area are looking for. For example, if you live in a climate that experiences cold temperatures, heated flooring may give your home a competitive advantage over other listings when it comes time to sell.

Installation

There are two approaches to a flooring installation: DIY or professional. Installing your flooring on your own is a great way to save money on the project, but it’s also a lot of added responsibility. Before making the decision to install on your own, understand the risks involved with the project and the time it will take to complete it. Vinyl and laminate flooring tend to be easier to install DIY. Hiring a professional will come with increased costs, but you’ll be paying for higher quality work that will increase the value of your home. More involved flooring installations such as hardwood are usually best handled by a pro.

Style & Color

After your budget has been set and you’ve decided on how to install, then comes the fun part. When choosing the style of your flooring, think about how it will interact with the space. Will the flooring be the focal point of the space? Will it compliment the features of the room and the surrounding décor? Knowing these answers will help to sort out the fine details, such as the specific shade of tile or the grain of wood.

Maintenance

At the end of the day, you may simply be looking for flooring that’s easy to take care of. In that case, explore common low-maintenance materials like vinyl and laminate. Vinyl flooring—whether it’s tile, sheet, plank, or peel-and-stick—requires little care compared to high-maintenance flooring such as solid or engineered wood.

 

For more information on home design, visit our Design page. To learn more about interior design, visit our Design Styles page.

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7 Vintage Design Elements That Are Still Popular Today

Adding the right touch of vintage décor to your home is a matter of balance. It brings that decades-old, well-traveled quality that gives the spaces in your home a special character. A common concern with vintage décor is that it will make a home feel outdated. Fortunately, certain design elements and trends have stood the test of time.

We tend to think of vintage décor in terms of well-known objects, like shag carpets and Eames chairs, but it is so much more than that. Some of the most iconic design concepts of eras past continue to influence how we design our homes today. From features to furniture, here are just a few that have maintained their popularity with homeowners and interior designers alike.

 

7 Vintage Design Elements That Are Still Popular Today

1. Built-Ins

The history of built-ins dates back to the Arts & Crafts movement of the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. In contrast to the Victorian period that preceded them, the Arts & Crafts designers looked to simplify home design by working features into the structure of the home itself. The clean aesthetic look of built ins, as well as their functionality and the storage they provide, have kept them relevant for decades.

2. Exposed Brick

Exposed brick has maintained its popularity through the years, sometimes used to compliment certain modern design trends, such as Industrial, a common design choice for open-concept, non-traditional living spaces such as lofts. Whether it’s stripping away a wall to reveal a chimney or using it as a backsplash for open shelving, exposed brick creates a vintage lived-in quality. Its natural pattern and textured surface work well as either a focal point or an accent piece in large and small spaces alike.

3. Crown Molding

With roots dating back to ancient Greece, crown molding is both decorative and functional. It provides a visual transition for the surfaces in a room by embellishing the space between the ceiling and wall. It can also be a decorative piece for architectural elements such as bookshelves, doorways, etc. Although crown molding is a small detail, it plays a significant role in tying a room together.

 

Image Source: Getty Images

 

4. Marble Countertops

From ancient Rome to the European Renaissance, marble has been widely used throughout history in countless homes throughout the world. Heat resistant and easy to clean, marble countertops have become a staple of kitchens and bathrooms. Due to their large surface area and durability, they are often the centerpiece of kitchen renovation projects. Because marble is porous, it’s best to seal them at the time of installation to prevent damage.

5. Wicker Style Furniture

With origins tracing back thousands of years, wicker-woven furniture is still ubiquitous today. Made from the sturdy and flexible material rattan, wicker furniture is lightweight and weather resistant. It makes for the ideal outdoor patio chair or lounge seat, or the perfect rocker by the fireplace in the living room. A combination of functionality and beauty, wicker furniture’s popularity has showed no signs of slowing down.

 

A wicker chair holding a book, a hat, and a blanket.

Image Source: Getty Images

 

6. Checkerboard Tile

Checkerboard tile is a classic element of vintage design, often used on kitchen floors and in bathroom tile work. Designers have always found a way to incorporate this eye-catching black and white pattern into the latest trends. In the home, it can be applied on a large or small scale. If a whole kitchen floor is a bit much for your taste, incorporate it in smaller areas, such as a bathroom backsplash or a backdrop for your shelves.

7. Mid-Century Modern Furniture

The evidence of the Mid-Century Modern (MCM) movement’s relevance is all around us, but in the home, it lives on in its signature furniture pieces. MCM designers took the concepts of modern design—clean lines, minimalism, multi-functionality—and created sleek, interesting furniture pieces that blend into a room and make a statement simultaneously. Common items such as teak desks, Eames chairs, Tulip chairs, credenzas, and raised-legged dressers skyrocketed in popularity during the fifties and sixties. MCM has proven to be timeless, and to this day, its influence can be seen in homes everywhere.

 

A living room decorated with mid-century modern furniture.

Image Source: Getty Images

 

For more information on home design styles, check out our Interior Design page on our website.

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7 Weekend Home Projects

So many projects, so little time. That tends to be the mantra for homeowners with an ever-growing to-do list and limited availability to accomplish their tasks. Fortunately, the weekend is an opportunity to dig into certain projects and see them to their completion by the time the weekdays come around again. These seven weekend home projects can be accomplished within a couple of days and will make a dent in your to-do list.

 

1. Upgrade Your Kitchen Cabinets

Giving your kitchen cabinets a facelift is a simple way to give your kitchen a makeover. When staining wood cabinets, begin by removing the cabinet doors and hardware, then wipe the doors to clear away and dust and dirt. After applying and removing wood stripper, sand the doors to get them primed and ready for a new stain. When painting cabinets, choose a color that works well with your appliances. As you pack up the contents of the cabinets keep your most frequently used items nearby so you can access them during your  project. To add a finishing touch to your weekend cabinet makeover, shop around for new hardware and drawer inserts.

Image Source: Getty Images

2. Refresh Your Front Entry

Your home’s front entry is the key to making a lasting first impression and helps to enhance your curb appeal. Make a statement by giving your front door a fresh coat of boldly colored paint, look for stylish house numbers, and add classic front entry elements like a sitting bench or swing for ultimate comfort.

 

3. Improve Your Home Office

Whether you work remotely or in person, much can be done in a weekend to improve the functionality of your home office. Creating an environment conducive to your productivity helps to separate your office from the rest of your home, maintaining a balance between your work life and your home life. Situate your desk near a window to attract natural light. If the room has no windows, orient your seating so you’re facing the open space of the room. Experiment with therapy lights, ergonomic chairs, and soothing décor to make your office as comfortable as can be.

 

4. Curate Your Bathroom

In one weekend your bathroom can be transformed into a sanctuary of self-care. Refinishing your tub is a cost-effective alternative to a replacement. Start by removing any and all hardware, then sand the whole surface, filling in any cracks or holes with putty. Once you’ve sanded down the putty, apply multiple layers of primer and topcoat following the manufacturer’s instructions and buff the surface. Replace your vanity’s cabinet hardware and drawer pulls, matching them with your shower rod, faucet and shower head to tie the room together. Switch out your shower curtain and carpets for bold colors to liven up the space or choose neutral tones to create an organic feel.

 

A bathroom with a dark blue vanity, white walls, and white tile.

Image Source: Getty Images

5. Organize Room-By-Room

Spending a weekend organizing each room of the house is sure to make a big difference in the look and feel of your home. Bookcases and coffee tables are magnets for clutter in the living room. Start by emptying everything and sort the items into three piles: keep, dispose, donate, (this method of organization will do wonders for your closets and bedroom as well), and invest in storage bins to keep the space tidy. In the bathroom, organize the medicine cabinet and vanity drawers first. Get rid of expired medication, makeup, and toiletries. Take the same approach to your shower. Once you’ve gone through everything, reassess your shower shelving to fit your newly organized inventory. After working your way through your kitchen cabinets, consider either a hanging or wall-mounted pot and pan rack to save space.

 

6. Fix Up Your Fence

Whether your fence needs a simple wash, a new sealant or stain, or repair, tending to it will freshen up your yard while also extending the life of your fence. Power washers are a helpful tool in getting your fence clean before re-staining, but a sprayer that’s too powerful could damage the wood. Let the fence dry for one to two days before applying the stain. As long as any damage that needs repair is contained to a section of the fence, a weekend should be plenty of time to get it fixed. To replace any damaged rails, pry them off their posts with a crowbar or cut the damaged section out with a handsaw. When repairing fence posts, be sure to remove any rails that are connected to it.

 

7. Build a Firepit

Common firepit materials include brick, stone, or cinder blocks. Outline your firepit before you start digging. Once the hole is dug six to eight inches deep, fill in the hole with gravel until it is level with the ground. Choose your materials, fix the stones into the ground, compact them together, and enjoy your time by the fire. Check for local burn bans or regulations.

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Renovating Your Short-Term Rental

Renovating your short-term rental property will not only keep it in peak condition but will also help it stand out to potential renters. Completing remodeling projects with the goal of increasing the return on your investment is a matter of identifying which renovations make sense for the home, putting together a plan, and taking steps to minimize the risk of the projects going over budget.

 

Start with Repairs

Because rental properties are by nature a source of income, it’s worth your while as the homeowner to reduce maintenance costs wherever possible. This can often mean spending money in the short term on repairs and replacements in order to save money down the road. Furthermore, by upgrading your appliances, fixing leaks, and updating any outdated features, you will provide the most accommodating environment for your renters. Making these improvements can also help set your rental apart from other properties, giving you a competitive advantage in the market. As you go about making repairs, don’t forget to check the working condition of all faucets, electrical outlets, and lights.

 

Renovating Your Rental

Understanding the scope of your renovations and the motivation behind them before you get started will help formulate your plan moving forward. Are you looking to upgrade the home to sell it in the future? Are you renovating to increase rent? Or are you simply looking to be more competitive in the local rental market? Knowing the answers to these questions won’t necessarily change your renovation plans, but it will provide guidance as you enter the remodeling phase. Consider talking to your Windermere agent about how different projects may affect the value of the property.

Even a small-scale renovation can make a big difference in the minds of renters. To create the best first impression from the get-go, consider boosting your home’s curb appeal. Projects like exterior painting, refinishing a deck, and power washing your siding and walkways will help provide an inviting outdoor setting for your renters.

When it comes to interior renovations, kitchens are a great place to start. Thankfully, kitchen makeovers can be simple. Identify the areas of your kitchen that need repair first, then expand your project list from there. Next, consider upgrading the bathroom. Begin by checking your pipes, drains, and p-traps for any signs of wear and tear. Simple things like painting the vanity and updating the bathroom hardware can also make a big impact.

Last but not least, if you decide to hire a professional to renovate your rental property, be sure to gather multiple bids and compare prices before making your final decision.

Learn more about the pros and cons of investing in vacation rentals here: Vacation Home or Income-Producing Investment. You can also read about vacation home renovations by season here: Renovating Your Vacation Home.

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Ideas for Decorating with Plants

At the mention of interior design, the first things that often come to mind are furniture, wall art, paint colors, and other material components. However, plants are an important décor element that have the power to refresh the look and feel of any indoor space, while making your home eco-friendlier. Keep the following tips in mind when decorating your home with plants.

 

Consider Your Space

Before you make a trip to the nursery, think about which spaces in your home are best suited for plants. It’s also important to research the needs of the plant varieties you’re considering. By knowing how much shade and direct sunlight they need, you’ll be able to identify the best home for each plant type and the care they need to grow.

 

Go Vertical

Empty vertical wall spaces provide the perfect opportunity to incorporate hanging plants. Whether you use planters or install shelving, hanging plants attract the eye and bring an organic, living element to what was previously a blank canvas. Hanging herb gardens are a wonderful addition to the kitchen, allowing you to keep fresh ingredients and flavors out in the open air and within reach at all times.

 

Floor Plants

Floor plants are typically large and require plenty of space. Due to their size, they are often used to balance the proportion of rooms containing large furniture items like couches, desks, and tables. Common floor plants include the fishtail palm, olive trees, the rubber plant, fiddle leaf fig, and bird of paradise.

 

Low Maintenance Plants

For those who don’t consider themselves to be green thumbs, cacti and succulents are the way to go. Most succulents come from hot climates with little humidity and have thick tissue that stores water for long periods. Accordingly, they are lower maintenance than most other plants and require little watering.

 

Decorate with Terrariums

Another creative, relatively low-maintenance option for indoor gardeners is a terrarium. Terrariums are contained indoor gardens, usually in a glass container that can be left either sealed or open. Closed terrariums are self-nourishing, creating their own water cycle. Plants that grow in humid conditions are best suited for this environment. Open terrariums provide a good home for plants that need less water, like cacti and succulents. Terrariums make for eye-catching décor, with styles ranging from minimalistic to intricate.

 

For more information on home design and the latest trends, check out our tips on how to upgrade your bedroom, home office, and kitchen, as well as the 2021 paint color trends and principles of timeless home design.

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