Get ready to cuddle up in bed with your significant other, furry friend or a good book this month. Pile on fuzzy textures and transform your bedroom into a snowy sanctuary for naps and lounging. Stock up on these essentials for the warmest season yet.
Invest in High-Quality Bedding
Your choice of sheets and blankets will really matter in the dead of winter and can dramatically improve your quality of sleep by wrapping you in a warm embrace. Look for ones made of insulating wool, cashmere or flannel to ensure warmth all night long. If your budget allows, splurge on an electric blanket for the room too.
To add even more warmth, shop for a goose down duvet or quilt. This fill provides thermal protection against the cold while also being breathable for ultimate comfort. For those with allergies, cotton and microfiber options are comfortable, budget-friendly alternatives.
Gather a bunch of pillows and throws on top of your bedscape. A stack of fluffy pillows provide back support for reading in bed, while layers of throws make heat control easier. Go for fleece or velvet for an irresistible look and use this opportunity to experiment with color and pattern.
Warm up Your Palette
Swap summer blues and autumn reds for creamy neutrals this winter. White is not only a foolproof choice that pairs well with every color on the spectrum, but it also helps reflect and spread the scarce daylight we have this season. Dip your toes into the timeless Scandinavian style trend by testing out a bright white palette in your bedroom. Spring to life in milky white and soft yellow hues or pair pale blue and gray together for a relaxing look.
Accent a neutral palette with warm wood around the room. As seen in this Montreal bedroom, the paneled ceiling and trim lend a cozy cabin vibe amidst the bleak winter landscape outside. You can replicate the look in smaller doses with a wooden nightstand, stool or headboard.
If you’re willing to venture past your color comfort zone, use a bold hue or two sparingly for a much-needed mood and energy booster. Welcome a bright yellow, pink or teal through accessories like decorative pillows, bedside lamps or overhead artwork.
Light it Up
Since the sun now sets hours earlier than it does on long summer nights, we have to substitute the lost hours of daylight all on our own. Invest in a layered lighting plan to illuminate every dark corner and visually enlarge your space. A great combination is having an overhead fixture, such as a statement chandelier or a cluster of pendants, and adding smaller lights where they’re needed, like lamps or wall sconces. Shop for LED bulbs for energy efficiency or incandescents to mimic the sun’s yellow tint. If you’re still in the holiday spirit, you can also hang string lights above the headboard or along a spare wall for an extra homey feel.
Stash the Nightstand
When you’re too comfy in bed to get up and venture to another cold room, look to your nightstand for one or two of your daily essentials. Choose from a humidifier to combat the dry season or an aromatherapy diffuser to set the mood; succulents or fresh flowers for a welcome burst of nature; a small tea or coffee maker for early mornings; and a journal or good book for inspiration. If your bedside table is looking a little worn out, upgrade it now to one with multiple shelves or drawers for year-round storage.
Source: CB Blue Matter Blog
The best way to personalize your space and give it a fresh, polished vibe is to make upgrades—big or small—that let your personality shine. Whether you’re ready to undertake a major remodeling project or only have the budget for a few modern touches, these DIY renovation ideas are a great place to start.
Welcome 2018 with an updated home that’s perfect for new beginnings and a lifetime of memories.
Make Your Kitchen Colorful
Gone is the popularity of a white, monochromatic kitchen. More homeowners are embracing bold accent colors on their countertops, backsplashes and cabinets, from vivid yellow and burnt orange to chic turquoise and dignified navy.
Another popular trend is juxtaposing the stainless steel appliances with warm, vibrant hues that make a space more inviting, while keeping that sleek look.
- Small budget: When repainting, choose a two-toned base. For example, “dark colors offset with lighter or brighter colors…offer visually entertaining and appealing levels of contrast,” advise the contemporary design experts at Interior Zine.
- Big budget: Replace all appliances with stainless steel; then do the painting.
Upgrade Your Storage Space
Finding enough room to store seasonal decorations, filing papers, hardware tools, keepsake items, cleaning products and office supplies is a common struggle of homeownership. Luckily, there are a number of creative and resourceful hacks for increasing the amount of storage without reconfiguring your entire space.
- Small budget: You don’t have to find room in your home for more storage—head to the garage first. Take advantage of the walls by hanging DIY peg boards and adjustable wall panels: “With the help of hooks, you have the freedom of hanging your things anywhere and any way you want: in the center, horizontally, vertically, at the bottom, or top,” suggest garage experts. As you tackle inside storage, refer to 8 Space Savers for a Small Bedroom for inspiration.
- Big budget: Invest in new furniture pieces that double as decorative and functional, like an old chest that you can keep in the living room or a coffee table with a storage space below.
Give Your Walls More Texture
Textured walls is a fun way to infuse character into any room, whether you’re into exposed brick, wooden shiplap, geometric molding or smooth tile. Walls are a blank canvas for experimentation, so harness your inner designer and play around with different materials or wallpapers that mimic the feel of those materials.
Note that you can combine more than one texture in the same room to create a particularly unique and artistic ambiance. For instance, a “grungy” or “rustic” wall could be adjacent to a “wavy design on the accent wall,” says Kareen Liez, civil engineer and architecture enthusiast.
- Small budget: If you have unfinished drywall, use this to your advantage, with these ideas from Vintage Revivals or this idea from The Creativity in the Chaos.
- Big budget: Go in all the way with high quality wall paper that creates texture with patterns or invest in the laundry list of materials needed to create your own exposed brick wall, for example. If your budget is flexible, there are many ways to tackle this project.
Re-Do the Garage Flooring
The garage has become an extension of a home’s living space that should be both aesthetic and functional. To take your garage to the next level, and turn it into a space you actually enjoy being in, start with the boring concrete floor—replace it with an epoxy coating.
This material is “noted for its durability and longevity,” according to flooring professionals at Kwekel Epoxy Floors. They explain: “With epoxy, you’ll enjoy protection against [mold] growth, as it offers a protective layer against moisture damage.” Not to mention, epoxy is also stain resistant and the surface repels chemicals, so if something spills, it won’t seep into your concrete.
- Small budget: Take the DIY route and lay the epoxy flooring yourself. Use this tutorial from Family Handy Man to navigate through the process.
- Big budget: Hire an epoxy company to handle the work, which can be done in one weekend.
Make the Space Your Own
A house is an expression of the people who live inside, so give your new home a splash of personality in the New Year. You’ll fee great about the space and excited to show it off to your friends and family.
Source: CB Blue Matter Blog
What makes a house a home? It’s a hard question to answer, but a large part of it is the years of memories you’ve made in it. Oftentimes that includes the blemishes, flaws and dents on the walls and furniture that serve as lasting impressions of cherished moments and fun times. However, whether you’re selling your home or just making it presentable for guests, there are times you’ll want to camouflage them up. Read on for 10 clever ways to disguise your home’s flaws.
Create a Gallery Wall
Put your inner art connoisseur to work to blend random light switches or bulky thermostats into your design. Strategically place similarly sized artwork around switch plates, outlet covers and wall gadgets to distract the eye. If you want to cover it entirely, mount a canvas painting over it or hang art from a swing arm so you can reach behind it when necessary.
Hang Long Drapes
Window treatments are generally used for, you guessed it, windows, but they certainly aren’t restricted to other uses. Drape big and breezy curtains above to disguise unsightly wall features or awkward off-center windows. Off-white and cream shades are perfect to use now and throughout winter, such as the one seen in this Swedish bedroom that cleverly conceals the radiator and window when pulled closed.
Paint the Wall
This is probably one of the most obvious solutions to drywall chips and paint scratches, but here are some guidelines to help you get it right. Stick to one matte color for the walls, ceiling and trim to downplay the lines between and blend them together. Remember, the glossier the paint finish is, the more it will highlight imperfections.
Consider chalkboard paint for a non-glossy texture and an ever-changing wall feature. You can create your own design and erase it as your style evolves or use it to jot down lists and reminders.
Add wallpaper. Use wallpaper to inject personality and fun into any space. Choose from subtle designs to a dramatic mural or anywhere in between. Keep optical illusions in mind when picking patterns. For example, a striped design can make a small space look taller or wider.
Cover it With Clothes
If you have a scratch on your bedroom wall that just won’t go away, play fashionista and move a shop-style clothing rack in front. Showcase some of your most stylish garments or everyday staples on the rack to lighten your closet’s load.
Lay Down a Rug
Roll out a gorgeous area rug over all the nicks and notches on your floor from moving furniture or dropping heavy items. Especially great for renters, rugs come in a variety of styles, colors and price points to fit your personal preferences without committing to a permanent change.
Rethink the Fifth Wall
This is a bit of a heavier project to take on, but perhaps most rewarding for those left with an infamous popcorn ceiling. Upgrade overhead stucco for a beautiful new feature with paint or paneling. Try white beadboard or wood slats for irresistible rustic charm.
Work Around Wall Vents
Air vents are necessary for cooling, heating and any other home circulation systems, but can be quite unattractive. Conceal them with slotted laser-cut screens that add texture and visual interest. In this D.C. living room, the revamped air return works double duty as a display shelf.
Choose Your Switches Wisely
Light switches and power outlets are must-haves in every home and there’s often no easy way around them. Wherever possible, especially in the kitchen and bathroom, group your electrical outlets together and shop for new switch plates that complement the existing wall. You can blend them into an existing pattern, as seen here, or make them a fun feature with vibrant colors and textured materials.
Embrace imperfections. After all, they’re what makes your house so special. You can capitalize on the look and help them blend in by investing in distressed furnishings, such as rustic coffee tables or stained wood floors. You won’t have to worry too much about future drops or spills and they instantly add built-in age and character to any space.
Source: CB Blue Matter Blog
To get your home in tiptop shape for 2018, here are some important and efficient ways to get it ready.
Guest post by Andrea Davis
2018 is almost here! While you might consider making some New Year’s resolutions, you first need to think about your end of the year list. To get your home in tiptop shape for 2018, here are some important and efficient ways to get it ready.
1. Clean, clean, CLEAN!
If you haven’t taken care of the essential house cleaning chores, now is the time. You’ll want to quickly or deeply clean many areas of your home. These include:
- Gutters & downspouts
- Air vents
Not only does this give your home a refreshed look, it also keeps you financially savvy going into 2018. Without the proper cleaning, areas like the air vents and gutters can lead to expensive home repair bills.
2. Purge & Recycle
Nobody likes looking at a full closet, especially if you have holiday presents to add. So go through every bit of storage in your home – closets, attic, basement, garage, shed, etc. – and remove what you don’t need. You can either throw it away or recycle it by donating to a local secondhand shop. That way, you have tons of space for next year’s discoveries.
3. Increase Efficiency
If you’re going through bills and notice a marked increase in utility costs, now is the time to plan out an efficient home in 2018. This could be as simple as turning off the lights more often and conserving water. On the other hand, if you have some extra dollars, you might consider improvements like:
- Double or triple-paned windows
- Solar panel(s)
- Upgrade your faucets and water outlets
4. HVAC TLC
One of the most important – and expensive – parts of your home is the HVAC system. It keeps the house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Because it does so much work, it needs some fine-tuning and maintenance at least every six months. To make sure you avoid an expensive bill in 2018, go through the system. Replace the filter, clean out the vents and make sure it’s all working smoothly. If you aren’t an HVAC pro, you can find plenty in the neighborhood to come for a quick checkup.
5. Review the Exterior
Roofing, landscaping, doors, siding – have you given them a thorough look? All of these are important to a beautiful appearance and optimal safety. You need to check for cracks, holes, overhanging branches and the like. You can always get a home inspector for a more in-depth review, but most of it you can do yourself. Doing a quick circle around the house with some spackle or caulk works at least in the short term.
Going into 2018 means letting go of 2017’s hassles. To feel free of any stress, you should take care of the essentials, including your home. Maintenance and some cheap upgrades could make all the difference personally and financially in the New Year. Don’t feel you have to go all out, or else you’ll be too tired for new tasks. Make sure there’s a nice balance of work and play so you get the best start to 2018.
Source: CB Blue Matter Blog
Breaking down walls and renovating an entire space is not only time-consuming, but it’s also expensive and, in most cases, requires the help of professionals. Luckily, you don’t have to do major construction to make small spaces feel bigger.
If you’re not up for knocking down walls, focus on small DIY projects that can make your home feel bigger, the following of which are perfect for every homeowner, regardless of skill level or budget. From lighting to ceiling paint, consider how you can open up the space in your home without a sledgehammer and construction team.
Paint the Ceiling
The ceiling and trim have just as much an impact on the look and feel of the room as your furniture, yet they’re easy to overlook when painting. To open up your home without construction, consider how you can tie your ceiling and trim into the rest of the room:
“Homeowners typically leave the trim and ceiling white in their living rooms when painting. Since the trim and ceiling both have as much impact as the walls, it’s important to tie them in with the rest of the space, otherwise they’ll stand out too much,” says Brian Patrick Flynn with HGTV. When your ceilings stand out, the size of the space immediately feels smaller.
Flynn’s suggestion for choosing the best paint colors: “A smart way to use one color consistently throughout a common area is to choose a slightly lighter shade than the wall color for the ceiling and a slightly darker shade for the trim.” Talk with your local hardware or paint store to find the lighter shades that match with your current paint, or start over with a whole new color scheme.
Make it Brighter
A dark room always feels smaller, and this is an easy DIY fix: let in the light, as Coral Nafie, blogger for The Spruce, suggests: “Any room will look larger if it’s well-lit, either by natural light or artificial lighting. Get rid of heavy draperies and open up the windows to let the light of the outdoors into the space.” A few more ways to bring more light into the room include:
- Sheer drapes
- Ceiling lighting
- Replace lamp shades with lighter colors or none at all
If the space has no windows at all, consider the costs for installing one or a few, depending on the size of the room. Take the DIY route and follow this tutorial from This Old House.
Convert the Basement
If you already have a finished, insulated basement, the next step is to turn it into a space where people want to spent time. When you do, your home suddenly feels bigger because you have an entirely new room to use. This added area is great for you now and is will be helpful if you’re thinking of selling soon as well:
“All buyers want the maximum amount of living space they can get for their budget. Converting your basement into a living space is a great way to add additional square footage without having to build anything onto the house,” according to Which Home Improvements Add the Most Value to Your Home.
This DIY project doesn’t have to happen in one weekend. Instead, reduce the stress and cost by making upgrades slowly, over the course of 1 to 2 months. Install carpeting or update the flooring, followed by adding furniture and then some artwork on the walls. Final touches can be added as you find fun items or inspiration strikes.
Enjoy More Space
These simple projects will help you create the bigger home you’d always wanted. Instead of knocking down walls, tackle each project one-by-one for a budget-friendly, hassle-free upgrade. As you play with paint colors, lighting and more, you may even be inspired to tackle more fun DIY projects, and you can get some fun ideas here.
Source: CB Blue Matter Blog
Can’t quite figure out just exactly you are looking for when it comes to that color pop in the kitchen?
These fabulous ideas are worth a look!
Don’t get me wrong: White kitchens are cheerful, clean and classic — it’s no wonder why they’re so popular. But since white kitchens are everywhere, it’s easy to forget that there are other colors that can also look great in this space. Thinking about bucking the trend in your kitchen? Consider one of these options, from alternative neutrals to bright, bold hues.
You can’t go wrong with these versatile picks.
If you want a cool neutral that’ll add a bit of drama to your kitchen, look to charcoal. Bright accent colors — or even white, as seen in this kitchen designed by Brian Patrick Flynn — really pop against it.
A mix between gray and beige, greige is an incredibly versatile neutral for the kitchen that can complement both warm and cool colors. In this space designed by Tobi Fairley, greige cabinets bridge the gap between warmer brass elements and cooler marble accents.
A black kitchen may sound dreary, but it can actually be stunning if done right. Just take this gorgeous room that goes all in with black cabinets, a black vintage stove and a black-and-white tiled floor. If you’re not on board with an all-black kitchen, try adding one black element like a backsplash or a sink.
Add a touch of color without overpowering your space.
Hints of green in the stone countertops inspired the cabinet color in this country-style kitchen. The soft hue brings coziness to the space, yet still feels bright and fresh.
Particularly charming in a cottage- or farmhouse-style space, pale yellow adds a cheerful, sunny touch to a kitchen. Try it with robin’s egg blue or with neutrals, as seen in this kitchen designed by Sarah Richardson.
Navy is practically a neutral — it pairs beautifully with everything from tangerine to turqouise to chartreuse. In the HGTV Smart Home 2014 kitchen, navy cabinets are offset by a black-and-white basketweave backsplash for lots of eye-catching contrast.
Go all in with these daring shades.
Want to instantly energize your kitchen? Just add a vibrant shade of red. To keep it from feeling overwhelming, try contrasting it with a cool color, like the blue-gray Brian Patrick Flynn used here. If you’re not ready to commit to red cabinets or walls, incorporate the color in small doses with red countertop appliances, dish towels and other accessories.
Just a splash of this gorgeous green will make a big impact in your kitchen. In this design, Andrea Schumacher painted only the island, pulling a color from the floral wallpaper to keep the space cohesive. For an ultra-rich look, pair emerald with other jewel tones.
Orange is thought to stimulate the appetite, making it an ideal color choice for the kitchen. In this space by Jennifer Gilmer, an orange backsplash and zebrawood cabinets add warmth, keeping the contemporary design from feeling cold. Smaller orange accents, such as pendant lights or window treatments, can also liven up a kitchen.
Paint can make or break a room…here are some handy tips before you pick up the old paint brush!
Paint colors play a crucial role in successfully selling a home, having the power to influence a homebuyer’s decision to make an offer or move on and the best colors, according to a new Zillow analysis, are blues and grays.
Homes with bathrooms that have soft blue walls (e.g., periwinkle, powder blue), specifically, sold for $5,440 more than expected in the analysis, as well as homes with a “greige” (beige/gray) exterior, which sold for $3,496 more than homes with brown or tan stucco exteriors. Homes with dark navy blue and/or slate gray front doors also sold for more: $1,514.
Certain colors, though, have the opposite effect, lowering sale prices by a few thousand dollars or more. In fact, homes with bathrooms that have white walls sold for $4,035 less than expected, while homes with darker walls (e.g., brick red, terracotta) sold for $2,031 less than expected.
“Color can be a powerful tool for attracting buyers to a home, especially in listing photos and videos,” says Dr. Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow. “Painting walls in fresh, natural-looking colors, particularly in shades of blue and pale gray, not only make a home feel larger, but also are neutral enough to help future buyers envision themselves living in the space. Incorporating light blue in kitchens and bathrooms may pay off especially well, as the color complements white countertops and cabinets a growing trend in both rooms.”
The analysis considered over 32,000 photos of sold homes across the U.S.