Author Archives: Juliana Woodrof

10 Home Improvements to Avoid

If you’re looking to get value for your money by investing in a home improvement project, here are 10 design trends and features to avoid.

1) Inconsistent architecture

The fact that your home contains a tangle of architectural styles can be off-putting to a potential buyer. A ranch-style home with columns on the front porch can be just as confusing as a log home with art decor accents. Each architectural style has its own beauty, so be sure to emphasize these factors. Otherwise, it’s like eating pickles on ice!

2) Oversized kitchens

Hold the rise of famous chefs responsible for it. Kitchens with every imaginable appliance and too much space can be off-putting to potential buyers who don’t engage in serious entertainment. Unless you’re planning sumptuous meetings with a team of cooks, it may be time to divide the kitchen into several parts, such as a comfortable breakfast nook and a family table.

3) False “Old World” design

By decorating or highlighting a European style on the left (for example, the right-hand region of Tuscany has a particular and popular type), we can hope to capture the elegance of this region, but keep in mind that unless you get the materials (and a vineyard to boot), there will always be something inauthentic about channeling Europe into another part of the world.

4) White cameras

If your devices are white, it’s time to upgrade them. White may at one time have been the color of choice to showcase a spotless home (everything appears on white!), but that’s precisely the problem. Homebuyers will unconsciously feel the hard work associated with cleaning each surface or see persistent stains that will never come out. In addition, plastics fade over time, turning a non-uniform yellow. Instead, choose black appliances, stainless steel, or the latest “black stainless steel”.

5) Wallpaper

Wallpaper makes a bold statement in a home. However, that same boldness can discourage buyers, especially if the wallpaper is cheap, old or familiar. In addition, removing wallpaper is a labor-intensive process that can also discourage potential buyers, especially considering that removing old wallpaper can damage walls and create more headaches. In addition, wallpaper can be a source of undetected mold growth. Use paint instead.

6) Carpeted bathrooms

There was a time when walking across the master bedroom and walking on a glossy tiled floor made a carpeted bathroom look like a brilliant idea, but that time is past. That’s what bath mats are for. Carpets and water in the same place only lead to the growth of mould or damage. Some modern homes have heated floors, a huge selling point for potential buyers, and far preferable to the hygiene nightmare of a carpeted bathroom.

7) Solid Gold Appliances and Equipment

Metallic finishes can add warmth and sophistication to your home, but if you have bright gold fixtures and hardware, consider removing them. Gold has an unnecessarily glossy, flashy look that may appeal to the nouveau riche, but most home buyers find it as old-fashioned as the 80s. Instead, choose to replace these fixtures with warmer metals such as polished brass or brushed nickel.

8) Tile Countertops

The countertops in your kitchen and bathroom play an important role in the eye of a potential buyer. If they are tiled, consider removing them. At one time, this seemed like a modern trend, but tile countertops can be disconcerting to maintain. Think about it: what to do if a tile flakes and needs to be replaced? Are you prepared to regularly clean porous grout to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria? This only makes the already unwelcome chore of cleaning the kitchen even worse.

9) Cheap wood siding

The wooden houses are beautiful. If you have beautiful wood paneling throughout your home, leave them alone. However, if you have cheap wood siding in your house for a bingo game in a church basement, remove it immediately. Cheap wood paneling will instantly date your home and scream “cheap” to those who look at it. Worse yet, it can be very expensive.

10) Taxidermy

Not all buyers will like the heads of the animals on display, so it is best to remove the moose head at the sale. That said, this may not prevent a sale in some areas of the United States where hunting is popular. Similarly, similar objects such as a bull’s skull strategically placed over a coat or in a garden will only be attractive to certain types of home bars. Keep in mind that your goal is to make your home an open model, so that a potential buyer may consider living in it.


What Should I Look for When Renovating a Pool

Summary

– Renovation to repair your pool

– Swimming pool renovation: to embellish or improve

– Who should I contact for pool renovations?

A swimming pool gets damaged over time and it is often useful or even necessary to renovate it. For renovations, whether it is essential or you simply want to embellish your pool, it is advisable to call a professional. Here is a brief overview.

Renovation to repair your pool

This renovation is often made necessary after years of use of the pool. A first step is to make an “inventory of fixtures” that will help determine existing problems.

The most common problems encountered are:

– Leaks in the hydraulic system: a search for leaks with specialized equipment or by doing tests makes it relatively easy to locate the origin of the problem. Depending on the design of the pool and the location of the leak, it may be necessary to open part of the walls or the bottom of the pool.

– Micro-cracks or cracks in the structure of concrete pools: it is possible, after treatment of the cracks, to put the pool back into operation. In some cases, it may be imperative to install a reinforced membrane or glass fibre reinforced polyester, for example. These will ensure that the pool is permanently watertight and give it a “facelift”.

– Blisters on the surface of shell pools: this phenomenon is well known as the osmosis phenomenon. A sanding, followed by the application of glass matting with resin and a gel coat finish and your pool is left for 15 years of good and loyal service.

– The liner is no longer watertight: a change of liner is necessary.

– The tile joints are in poor condition: it is then necessary to redo the joints after a few years and replace the lost tiles. This renovation is easy even if it is often difficult to find exactly the same tile.

– Changing a tile is also possible, even if it is a bigger job. Indeed, this requires (after demolition) a preliminary repair of the sealing compound.

Swimming pool renovation: to embellish or improve

Over the years, your pool will become obsolete, both aesthetically and technically. Indeed, new equipment is marketed every year, you can call upon a professional who will be able to advise you.

Among the possible renovations are the following:

– Replacement of a ladder by a stairway or an immersed beach, if the dimensions of the pool allow it.

– Installation of an immersed roller shutter, which is much more aesthetic than an above-ground shutter and easier to handle than a cover.

– Installation of a heating system, to extend the swimming season.

– Installation of balneotherapy nozzles in a shallow corner of the pool to create a relaxation and wellness area.

– Integration of a jacuzzi in the pool.

– Raising the bottom of a very deep pool and integration of an automatic bottom cleaning system.

This has the advantage of reducing the volume of water in the pool and therefore reducing the quantity of treatment products while benefiting from a powerful automatic cleaning system.

– Modification of the water circulation system by the creation of an overflow that will replace the skimmers. In addition to the technical benefit for the quality of the filtration, there is also an aesthetic advantage.

– Modification of the shape of the pool, creation of a terrace, a pool house…

Who should I contact for pool renovations?

All of the above renovations must be carried out by a professional who will be able to advise you on the feasibility of the planned renovation, taking into account the land, the structure of the pool and the existing installation.

The cost varies according to the work envisaged: from a hundred dollars to several thousand. Before committing yourself, it is of course necessary to obtain detailed estimates and compare them.

To go further, stay posted for our next publication on:

How to renovate the liner of a swimming pool? 

A few tips for maintaining a wooden pool.


Best Ideas for a Provencal Bathroom Renovation

The Provencal bathroom is a bathroom facing south and nature, with warm and soft colors. All the regional codes can be found there. It must be harmonious, synonymous with well-being, comfort, and plenitude.

The materials and colors used are very important to stick to the style. We can globally identify two trends: the “bastide” trend, tone on tone, very softly, and the trend “Provencal tradition”, more colorful.

Which materials should be used in a Provencal bathroom?

Natural materials

Stone is a fundamental part of the decoration in the Provencal bastide style bathrooms. In sand and white tones, it is used on the walls, the floor, the plans of basins, etc… It gives a warm and very natural look.

Note: there are for example tiles made of travertine, a sedimentary limestone rock treated for water features. They symbolize certain durability with their ancient patinas.

On the wall

The walls were traditionally whitewashed. The ideal is to keep this technique. There are now modern products that are very similar in texture, such as effect coatings or “tadelakt” style matt waxed concrete. The tones remain in white and stone.
The friezes, if there are to be any, must remain sober and harmonize with the decoration.

On the floor

Floors are still traditionally made of terracotta tiles, small tiles that are very resistant, but difficult to maintain because they are porous. They will have to be treated (if they are handmade) to make them water repellent, otherwise, time will tarnish them and they may even crumble. No maintenance problem with large tiles in sand and white tones, if you opt for this solution, which is always very effective.

Decorating tip: choose large tiles (60 cm × 60 cm for example) which help to enlarge the room.

Furniture and sanitary facilities in a Provençal bathroom

Wooden furniture

Wood, natural and warm, is ideal in a Provencal bathroom. It can be used for vanity units, columns, shelves, etc. You can choose solid European wood, such as oak or Robinia, or exotic wood, such as teak, which is naturally rot-proof.
Small wrought iron occasional furniture can also complete the decor.

Note: Choose a piece of furniture with an FSC label, which guarantees that the wood comes from a sustainably managed forest.

Natural sanitary facilities


The white basins, to be posed or to be embedded, are timeless classics that will be integrated into all supports. They are reminiscent of the porcelain basins of yesteryear with a lot of charm.

Stone basins also work very well. It is a noble, elegant, and natural material, which fits as well in the charming decor of a Provencal bathroom as in a design bathroom. There are very beautiful models cut directly in the mass, a little more expensive, but with a rough aspect on the outside walls, very adapted to the “bastide” style.

For even more originality, recover an old marble stoup

Decorating tip: play with tones and materials. If your basin is white, combine it with colored or textured support (wooden furniture or basin top). On the contrary, for discreet basin support, enhance it with a basin with more character.

Lighting and colors for a Provencal bathroom

In a Provençal bathroom, light is the order of the day. A beautiful chandelier will provide general lighting, while a few wall lights scattered in strategic places in the room will illuminate the basins and decorative elements.

Colors to favor in a Provencal bathroom

In a Provencal bathroom, light colors are in the spotlight.
Bright colors such as ochre (yellow/orange), yellow, lavender-blue, olive green are perfect. But it is of course a base that can be changed.

However, avoid falling into the cliché “all Provencal”. Do not overload with friezes such as olives, olive branches, wheat sheaves, lavender baskets, or poppy bouquets, which are commonly found in Provencal decoration. Similarly, put only two colors at most and in small touches, so as not to overload the room, and avoid walls entirely yellow or blue.

Decorating tip: To give a more contemporary touch and “break” a bit the Provencal code, choose for example plain tiles (20 cm × 20 cm) in all colors (not just ochre, blue and green) for your vanity top and its credenza, and counterbalance these colors with immaculate walls and floor.

What kind of decoration in a Provencal bathroom?

General organization

Your Provencal bathroom should not look like a city bathroom. It is even the opposite. It generally has beautiful proportions, which allow you to accommodate a bathtub, an Italian shower, and furniture accordingly.

The Provençal bathroom is also a sunny room, ideally with a large window, or even several whose orientation is to benefit from the morning sun.

Decoration and accessories

A few decorative elements can breathe a marine spirit into the Provençal bathroom: model boats, shells, pebbles, etc.

As for small accessories, such as towels, soap dishes, trash cans, and baskets, they will be chosen to recall nature, with materials such as wicker for example. They alone can give the desired Provencal spirit if the rest of the bathroom is neutral.

Are you looking for a professional?

You can find elements for a Provençal bathroom in specialized bathroom design stores, DIY stores, decoration stores, sanitaryware vendors, and on the Internet. You can also visit the website of the Capital Construction Group. They are experts with 30 years of industry experience in home and bathroom renovation.


Which Bathroom Floor Covering to Choose

The bathroom floors can be adorned with different materials by considering the style, installation, ease of maintenance, price… it is not easy to make a choice. This post will help you to consider the right criteria to choose a quality, moisture-resistant, and durable covering.

Choosing the flooring for your bathroom

The bathroom flooring materials must be able to withstand moisture, splash water, and stains. Another requirement is that the bathroom floor covering must not be slippery. The next step is to choose from the many possibilities, depending on your taste and budget.

Resistance and ease of installation

There are several criteria to consider before choosing between the different types of bathroom floors:

– Water resistance: humidity reigns supreme and splashes of water are common, the impermeability of the floor covering is an essential selection criterion.

The degree of slipperiness: opt for a non-slip covering. Request more info from your flooring supplier for the best rating (pendulum test value) determining the barefoot adhesion.

– Scratch and stain resistance: the bathroom is the place to get rid of accumulated dirt. It is also where stains from cosmetic products (shampoo, cream) can accumulate. For perfect hygiene, the chosen floor covering must therefore not only be resistant but also easy to maintain.

– Ease of installation: this is an important criterion, especially if you are not an experienced do-it-yourselfer, knowing that a flexible flooring is generally easier to install.

– The style of the bathroom: the floor covering will have to match the decoration of the walls, but also the furniture. Waxed concrete, for example, will go perfectly with a modern bathroom, while solid parquet will enhance rustic-style furniture and bathroom fixtures.

– The budget: the purchase cost of the floor covering should be compared with its eventual installation cost and durability.

Which covering for which floor?

If you wish to avoid having to remove the old floor covering, it is possible to install a new floor covering on parquet, tiles, vinyl or plastic flooring. But be careful, preparation may be required, such as patching to prevent the tile joints from reappearing over time under a vinyl floor, for example, and also to fill small cracks and imperfections.

Note: The underlayment of some floor coverings allows small differences in level to be made up without the need for patching.

Bathroom floor coverings: the main materials used

The tiling
Tile comes in a wide variety of aspects, colors, and of course materials, but not all are ideal in a bathroom. The most suitable for the floor in this room is full-body porcelain stoneware, which is made of pressed stoneware and vitrified at high temperatures. Durable, waterproof, it is also very resistant to scratches and stains. It is available in many colors and finishes and also allows material effects (wood, concrete, or metal for example).

Cement tile
The cement tile is very decorative in a bathroom as in other rooms of the house, with its unique colors and patterns. It is made from white cement, water, white marble powder, sand, and colored pigments that are traditionally worked by hand.
Although it is very resistant and decorative, one must take into account its significant thickness (16 mm) and weight (about 35 kilos per square meter). It must, therefore, be laid on a resistant, stable, and flat floor (old tiles or cement screed).

Wood
The choice is vast between solid parquet and engineered parquet.
– Solid parquet is onerous and requiring regular maintenance, solid parquet is composed of one and the same species of noble wood (for a wet room), but nothing beats its inimitable cachet.
– The engineered parquet is made up of two or three different layers of wood. It is similar in appearance to solid wood but is less expensive. However, it is less resistant over time.
– Another option is exotic wood (teak, bamboo, etc.), which is particularly suitable for humid environments but its price is high.

Hope the above helps you out to make your decision. Remember to share your experience in the section below.


What to Consider When Fitting a Jacuzzi

When you think of Jacuzzi tubs, you probably imagine a relaxing bath and soaking in soothing warm water. Although the Jacuzzi brand name is technically for a line of luxury hot tubs, the name has become interchangeable with both hot tubs and jetted tubs. Many homeowners decide to install a whirlpool bathtub in order to enjoy a relaxing spa experience every time they take a bath.

The Difference between Jacuzzis and other tubs

You’ve probably heard the term Jacuzzi used to mean a variety of hot water tubs with jets. This can quickly lead to confusion about the differences between tub types. For example, perhaps you’ve seen hotels advertise their Jacuzzi tub rooms but heard someone else say they just put in a new Jacuzzi in the backyard. One Jacuzzi is a private bath and the other is an outdoor spa on the patio.

Understanding the difference between tub types can make it easier to know exactly what you’re shopping for:

Jacuzzi tub—Although sometimes referring to the luxury hot tubs, the Jacuzzi brand also makes a Whirlpool bathtub line of jetted bathtubs. This is where the term Jacuzzi tub became associated with jetted tubs and whirlpool bathtubs. Most of the time a Jacuzzi tub refers to indoor jetted bathtubs and not outdoor spas, which are usually just called Jacuzzis.

Bathtub—A bathtub is the generic tub that’s in your bathroom and can be filled with warm water for bathing or soaking. Most homes with bathtubs have a shower/bathtub combination for convenience. A regular bathtub won’t have jets or whirlpool features.

Hot tub—Hot tubs, also known as spas or hot tub spas, are large tubs or pools of water that can fit several full-size adults. There are usually jets placed around the seats of the hot tub to create a whirlpool effect in the water. Hot tub spas are used for everything from entertainment for a backyard cookout with friends to hydrotherapy treatment after a tough workout.

Once you’ve decided to install a hot tub or indoor jacuzzi, there are a few details you or your bathroom renovator will need to take care of, including:

Flooring

In addition to ensuring that your bathroom floor is strong enough to support the weight of your hot tub, what type of flooring you use is incredibly important as well. It may seem surprising, but up to a gallon of water comes out with you when you exit your hot tub. Where does most of this water end up? On your floor. It is essential to have a quality flooring material that not only isn’t slippery but also has good drainage when wet. Carpet and wood are not recommended as they will rot from the water spillage. The best flooring option for an indoor hot tub is non-slip tile with a matte finish. Even better is also installing a flooring drain so that any splashed water will not pool on the floor.

Moisture and Ventilation

When the cover is off your hot tub and it is running, your bathroom will become very steamy. It is very important that the walls can handle the moisture without rotting. Concrete and glass are great choices and there are some types of rot-resistant wood and water-resistant drywall that is available.

Another must-have is a powerful fan (that isn’t noisy) that is able to suck the humidity out of the bathroom quickly. This will spare your walls from moisture damage or mold and mildew forming. If possible, it also helps if you can crack a window open while soaking in your hot tub to help allow the moisture and humidity to escape.

As bathrooms are typically smaller spaces, a hot tub can cause the room to heat up quickly. Installing a ceiling fan is ideal for improving the air circulation and helping to keep bathers from feeling overheated.

Delivery

Make sure you consider how you will be able to get your hot tub into your bathroom. You will need to factor in the entire delivery path through your home and ensure that staircases and hallways are wide enough to allow the hot tub to pass through. If you have an existing bathroom it is probably likely that you may need to remove the door or even expand it in order to bring the hot tub into the room. If you are building a new bathroom, make sure that you don’t install the door until after your hot tub has been delivered.

If you’re searching for a reliable bathroom renovator that can handle the installation of your new hot tub in the Brevard County, FL. area, look no further than Artistry Caseworks Inc, who have over 35 years of proven home renovation experience.


The Benefits of Skylights in Your Home

Have you ever walked into a room and had the feeling that it is both comfortable and inviting? You can’t figure out why, but you are drawn to that room, and because of it, you choose to spend most of your time there? The next time that happens, look around. You will probably find that your sense of well-being stems from the natural light that floods into the room. One of the most popular ways to introduce light into your home is by way of skylights.

What Is A Skylight?

A skylight is a window set in the roof at the same angle as the ceiling. This window’s purpose is not to provide a view, but to allow natural sunlight to shine into the room.

The Benefits of Skylights

There are numerous benefits to being surrounded by natural light. Installing a skylight in your home or business will not only change the aesthetics of the room but the atmosphere as well. Let’s have a look at a few benefits of skylights:

  • Skylights increase the amount of natural light in a room, which makes even the smallest room look bigger.
  • You will find yourself using less electric lighting and your utility bill will decrease.
  • They are a huge selling point for potential home buyers; natural light is a must.
  • They light up dark spaces that cannot access natural light, such as dark hallways or bathrooms in the middle of the house that don’t have windows.
  • They come in various shapes and sizes.
  • When skylights are installed in work and school environments, you find happier, healthier, and more productive employees and students. Even shoppers in malls with skylights tend to hang out longer and as a result, shop more.
  • Properly designed tempered glass skylights, with low-emissivity (low-E) coating, are cooler than electric lights, screening out 99 percent of the sun’s heat and ultraviolet (UV) rays while providing excellent lighting.
  • You decrease your carbon footprint. Installing skylights is better for the environment; no artificial light can compare to the quality of natural light.
  • The natural sunlight that a skylight provides is good for your health. It is known to reduce stress and anxiety by providing your body and mind with much needed Vitamin D3, which can only be synthesized by your body absorbing some rays.

Why Must A Roofing Contractor Install Your Skylight?

All the benefits of a skylight won’t matter if it is not professionally installed and maintained by a roofing contractor specializing in skylights. These contractors will know how to:

  • Install the skylight without compromising the roof, keeping the structural integrity of the roof and building intact.
  • Seal the skylight properly, it must be leak-proof during even the heaviest of rains.
  • Use the glass specially designed to withstand impact. If the skylight does not have double glazing (the second layer of tempered glass) then it is not up to current code regulations.
  • Explain the costs involved to install and maintain the skylight. Skylights need regular wear-and-tear maintenance. A leaking skylight, depending on the severity, can cause major damage to your furniture and floors.
  • Meet all the relevant building codes in regard to windows and doors.

Do you want the rooms in your home warm and inviting? Do you want to lighten darker areas of your home naturally? Do you want to decrease your carbon footprint? A skylight is an answer. Daylight Skylights is a name you can trust, since they have been in the roofing business for over 35 years. Give them a call today for genuine, reliable advice and a free estimate, and see how they can transform your home today.


Why Opt for Eco-Renovation?

Summary
– Eco-renovation: its key advantages
– Characteristics of an
Eco-renovation

Do you want to live in a healthy, comfortable, and ecological home? You may have decided not to remain passive in the face of environmental degradation, and you want to bring a positive impact on your environment. This post will help you understand the fundamentals of Eco-renovation.

Eco-renovation: its key advantages
Eco-renovation consists of adapting an existing construction to create a comfortable and healthy interior space, while seeking to reduce its impact on the environment, taking into account:
– the work carried out (low impact materials, heritage quality);
– the use of the house (heating, water, waste, travel).

Determining criteria
There are several reasons for this:
– To adapt the existing system to current comfort requirements.
– To reduce the loads.
– Gain independence from fluctuations in energy costs.
– To improve comfort (no more “cold walls,” no unwanted air movements, etc.).
– Reduce the risks of damage to the building (condensation on or in the walls).
– Create activity in a high-potential area (wealth creation, jobs that cannot be relocated, etc.).
– Anticipate future thermal regulations.
– Responding to environmental issues:
◦ climate change;
◦ depletion of resources;
◦ risks to health and biodiversity (waste, nuclear accident, oil spill, etc.).

Investing in what already exists rather than building something new
The reasons can be various:
– Safeguarding agricultural land: currently, more than 1,000 m² of arable land is converted to urbanization every minute.
– To preserve and enhance the local heritage.
– Non-increasing local authority charges (networks, waste collection, etc.).
– The conservation of a village or district dynamic.
– Limiting the energy consumption of a building, which is mainly due to structural work.

Characteristics of an Eco-renovation
Take the time to design the project
Above all, it’s about taking the time to:
– Carry out an inventory of the existing building: the construction system and its specificities, the possible humidity problems to solve, the strong/weak points of the existing structure (inertia, orientation, the layout of the rooms), and the heritage elements that you want to preserve.
– Define the objectives of the renovation.
– To call upon the competent people.

Take into account the energy performance
Given current comfort requirements and the environmental impact of energy consumption, an Eco-renovation must take into account the house’s energy performance:
– Aim for the low consumption building-renovation level, which appears to be the most relevant.
– Give priority to insulation, air-tightness, efficient ventilation, and summer comfort (inertia, solar protection).
– Think about renewable energies (solar, wood, especially wood pellets).

Reducing the environmental impact of the work carried out
The manufacture and use of the materials in your renovation are not neutral from an environmental point of view. To reduce their impact, choose bio-sourced (mainly plant-based) or recycled materials, and if possible local.
Find the right balance between architectural quality, heritage preservation, quality of use (comfort and low loads), and control of environmental impact.

Important: Have an air-tightness test carried out during and at the end of the work: this is one of the best ways of checking the quality of the installation.

Look for quality
Use professionals with proven track records:
– Ask for references from construction sites similar to yours.
– Ensure that the home renovation professionals are aware of the issues involved in Eco-renovation and trained in the relevant fields.

Note: in the case of an old building, do not forget to take into account the behavior of the wall with humidity (capillary rise, opening to water vapor).

Do not forget:
– Air quality: use finishing products with low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) emissions and do not forget ventilation.
– Water management, whether it is rainwater or water consumption (use of foamers and water-saving showerheads).

To find out more about this:
– The Eco-loan is an ecological loan for energy-saving work in real estate. Find out more about its terms and conditions to lighten your budget. Hope this post helps you make your decision about Eco-renovation. Remember to leave your comments below.


Ways to Change My Living Room Setup

It’s a place to relax, work, watch TV and entertain friends. The living room is THE living room par excellence, enough to make you want to furnish it like a pro, whatever its size and constraints… Apartment, studio, house, micro-living room or XXL living room? Let’s take stock of the essential rules for a successful living room layout!

1. Start with the sofa

If you had to pick a centerpiece in the living room, it would be him, without hesitation. To arrange your living room well is to start by determining the position of the sofa and what it faces: TV, fireplace, window? Contrary to popular belief, the sofa is not necessarily glued to a wall. On the contrary, even it can be used to structure space, to separate rooms and to delimit areas between living room, dining room, corridor or even night space in a studio. In any case, to organize a living room well, the sofa is always preferred, even if it means limiting the number of pieces of furniture around it.

2. Adapt the layout to its use

In a living room, there is usually a sofa and coffee table. For the rest, everything else is possible! Some hinge everything around the TV, others around the fireplace, others still need a work space or a play corner for the children. In other words, to properly furnish a living room, you define the spaces to be provided according to your lifestyle. The question to ask is: what are we doing in the living room? Those who like to entertain will need extra seating and a sofa bed, or even a bar or china cabinet within easy reach. Those who work there will need a small desk near an electrical outlet with a light source and a chair. If children are playing in the living room, a toy storage area is ideal… and with toddlers, a well-fixed carpet and clear space is mandatory!

3. Boost the brightness

If there is one room in which brightness is essential, it is the living room, which should take advantage of daylight as long as possible and compensate for its disappearance in the evening. There is nothing sadder than a poorly lit living room! With few exceptions, the sofa is therefore placed near a well oriented window to take advantage of its luminosity. A good decorative ceiling light or a designer floor lamp is provided to light up the evening, complemented by accent lamps to warm up the atmosphere, and warm rather than white light bulbs. The room lacks light? We choose light colours on the walls, space the furniture and think about mirrors! They enlarge the space and reflect the light, giving a good boost to a living room that is too dark.

4. Choosing the right floor

Since by definition, the living room is a place to live, it is best to avoid white carpeting or fragile floors for an optimized layout. Tiling is generally preferred in warm regions, parquet flooring for the cocooning atmosphere. It should be noted that PVC floors today offer beautiful imitations at low prices, with different thermal or acoustic qualities as a bonus. In all cases, a washable option is chosen that is resistant to heavy traffic… avoiding excessively light shades that get dirty more quickly, especially with children, and overly marked trends that can age poorly. In use, it is easier to change carpets than a complete floor!

5. Don’t neglect the atmosphere

A well-equipped living room is also a living room in which it’s good to live… In short, a cozy atmosphere that resembles its inhabitants, and that goes through all the little accessories rather than the big furniture. Great readers swear by the books in the living room, cocooning lovers by the plaids and cushions, vintage fans by the antique furniture, etc… Can we sum you up? Adapt the layout and decoration to your tastes to design a living space that suits you, by playing with colours, paintings, cushions, curtains or lamps, for example. A few travel souvenirs, potted plants, a couple of photos and the living room comes to life!


Is It Worth Tearing Down a House to Rebuild?

Have you outgrown your home? Or has it perhaps gotten shabby and no longer suits your needs? While renovating your existing digs, selling up and buying a new home or building elsewhere are three possible solutions to these common housing conundrums, there’s a fourth option that’s also worth considering: knocking down your house and building a new one in its place.

Given the many advantages of tearing down your home and starting afresh, it’s not hard to see why this is an increasingly popular solution. If you’re not clued in on the benefits of this building approach, read on and then weigh up whether it’s the right option for you.

It can be a smarter move financially

One of the main appeals of opting to tear down your existing home and rebuild is that it can be more cost-effective than renovating. Some costs associated with renovating and extending a home are difficult to determine during the design stage. Some examples are when new subfloor, underpinning or plaster rectification are required. As a result, allowances for such costs are built into the contract you will have with your renovating company.

This obviously won’t factor into your financials if you choose to knock your house down and rebuild, since your existing home will be completely demolished, allowing you to start afresh.

There are less surprises

Many people love surprises, but not so much when they’re renovating their home. Unforeseen problems like leaky pipes, dodgy wiring and undetected asbestos can turn what should be an exciting home makeover project into a lengthy, stressful and costly nightmare. Which is another reason why KDRs can be a more attractive and cost-effective option.

You can stay in the same neighborhood…

While demolishing and rebuilding your home has plenty of financial benefits, this building approach has a positive impact on your lifestyle, too. KDRs are a great option for families who love where they live and are loath to leave but are in desperate need of a new home that better suits their needs.

Rather than upping sticks and buying or building elsewhere, opting for a knockdown-rebuild means you can construct the home of your dreams but stay in the area you’ve grown to adore.

Or buy a house to raze and rebuild where you love

A shortage of land in and around metropolitan areas has been a driving force behind the popularity of knockdown-rebuilds. This is especially true for those who have their heart set on building their dream home in their favorite inner-city, rather than relocating to where vacant land is more readily available.

Properties in well-established areas can be pricey, no matter how dilapidated they are. Before you splash out some serious cash on such a property, weigh up the cost versus the lifestyle benefits to make sure the price of the purchase, demolition and rebuild is worth it.

It’s also worth getting advice from a local real estate agent. They will be able to point you toward potential properties, plus they can tell you more about what the property’s value might be if you were to rebuild, versus simply renovating.

You start with a clean slate

While renovating requires you to work around existing structures, knockdown-rebuilds offer a lot more design freedom. While you will still have site conditions to challenge the design, you have a clean slate to explore new ideas and challenge the previous layout. Building a new home gives you more options in terms of the style and size of the home, sustainability and the use of technology and modern building practices.

You can go green(er)

Another benefit of undertaking a KDR is that you can up your home’s sustainability game in ways that would not be possible if you were to renovate. For example, starting from scratch means that you can optimize the orientation and layout of your home and the placement of windows, to allow for maximum sun exposure in winter; shade and coolness in summer; and cross ventilation.

These three key passive design strategies harness renewable energy resources such as the sun and wind to heat, cool, ventilate and illuminate your home naturally. This in turn allows you to improve your home’s carbon footprint and reduce your household energy spending.

Knockdown-rebuilds give you the opportunity to construct your new home from the ground up, using sustainable materials and incorporating the latest smart, eco-friendly fixtures, features and gadgets too.

Sold on the idea of a knockdown-rebuild? Have you ever embarked on a knockdown-rebuild project? Do you have any advice to share for people who are considering this building approach? Tell us in the comments below.


Spellbinding Ideas to Spruce Up Your Bedroom

Include Several Lighting Options

In a bedroom, it is good to “stack” the lighting throughout the room. Ambient lighting can illuminate the entire room. Small lamps can focus light for reading and other activities, and accent lighting can wash walls in soft light. To focus reading light where you need it, use a bedside lamp with a movable arm. Each light should be adjustable with a dimmer switch. Install a separate switch for each bulb so that you can be selective and light only the area you want.

Choose A Subtle Color

Instead of bright primary colors, choose soothing shades and a relaxing palette of monochrome tones. Remember color theory: soft shades of blue, lavender, or green are considered calm and serene. Vibrant hues of jewel-colored tones help create an atmosphere of comfort and well-being. They can be roasted browns, deep pomegranates, or topaz. Use invigorating versions of your favorite colors in the bedroom”. That may mean choosing mauve instead of eggplant or pumpkin instead of tangerine.

Keep the Bedroom Simple

A bedroom should be comfortable and simple, sophisticated, and elegant, whatever style of decoration you choose. For ease of movement, leave a minimum of three feet between the bed and side walls or large pieces of furniture and at least two feet between the bed and low furniture, such as tables and chests of drawers. If you need to move the bed around from the closet to the bathroom, think about how you can move the bed.

Put what you need in your bedroom only. A bed, one or two bedside tables, a chest of drawers and a chair are necessities. Everything else is a mess. If you have room, put a chest of drawers in the closet. Accessories should be kept to a minimum. Choose a beautiful piece of art, arrange a few family photos, add flowers and candles, and leave it all out.

Do Not Neglect the Ceiling

The ceiling is the fifth wall of a room. When you lie in bed, do you see a bland, blank surface? Add a subtle pattern or soft color. Paint the ceiling with a slightly lighter version of the color of the walls. That will visually lower the ceiling and give the space a sense of comfort and privacy.

Have Plenty of Storage Space

To add to the serene feeling of a bedroom, store things out of sight. The room will appear quieter and more spacious. Choose a spacious bedside table with drawers or doors behind which you can hide books, lotion, and reading glasses within easy reach but out of sight. For more storage, choose a table with a skirt or a small chest of drawers.

Choose Furniture of the Right Size

When you’re ready to buy bedroom furniture, start with a floor plan and a measured drawing of the space. The furniture should be adapted to the room in which it is located, and this is especially true for bedroom furniture. Don’t choose a large bed and a large chest of drawers for a small bedroom. If the ceiling is high, a high headboard will help to reduce it visibly.

Cover the Windows

A well-dressed window will help frame the window and the view and provide other ways to add color, pattern, texture, and softness to a bedroom. If you like soft, transparent curtains that filter light, combine opaque blinds that you can lower to provide privacy at night and block out the morning light.

Treat Yourself to Luxury Sheets

Furnish your bedroom with beautiful and luxurious fabrics. Nothing adds more comfort to a bedroom than stunning sheets. Don’t buy sheets made of less than 100% cotton or linen with a high thread count (350 or more). For sheets that look like they come from a 5-star hotel, send them to the dry cleaners for professional washing and ironing, which doesn’t cost much but creates a crispy softness worthy of the Ritz.

Make Your Room A Real Getaway

Try to discipline yourself to keep your cell phone, computer, television, exercise machine, or blackberry out of the room. Create a special place to relax and unwind.


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