Monthly Archives: April 2017

Home Projects You Do not Know

With the New Year quickly approaching, you’re probably itching to give your home a seasonal makeover. There are some projects you should just leave to the pros, but others are fair game to try yourself. Mandi Gubler has made DIY renovations and home upgrades her business as the mastermind behind the design blog Vintage Revivals. We asked her to share some simple—but still impactful—ways you could update a space without having to hire a contractor, and she offered five ideas you’ve probably never thought of before. (And they’re easy on your wallet, too.) Your weekend is about to get way more productive.

Wallpaper

Gubler swears you can turn a blank wall into a visual masterpiece with nothing more than a ruler and paint pen. “Not only does this faux wallpaper look expensive, but you can do it all by yourself for under ten bucks.” Not the best artist? No worries. She suggests sticking to a straight-lined pattern that can be measured out in pencil beforehand.

Brick façade

There’s something so charming about exposed brick walls, but they’re a rarity. Forge your own Brooklyn-style façade with thin brick veneers—available in bulk at most hardware stores—and Omnigrip. “This project is surprisingly doable and adds one-of-a-kind character to a small space,” Gubler explains.

Wood flooring

Installing your own patterned wood flooring at home is easier than you might think—and costs less than $80. With the help of some hand-cut geometric pine pieces and a brad nailer, these boring linoleum floors became a sophisticated scene. “The hardest part is just replicating the same shape over and over to fill up your space,” says Gubler.

Design Resolutions to Start 2017 on the Right Foot

If, like most Americans, the weight of 2016 has put you in the emotional negative, now’s your chance to achieve the balance you crave. Every new year brings with it the promise of clarity, an overwhelming sense that your best self is attainable and that you have the motivation to make it happen. But where to begin? You can resolve to improve your health or prioritize your career—lofty goals, indeed—but you’d be surprised what a little housekeeping can do for your soul. Start by identifying all the projects you’ve been putting off for a rainy day and mastering them one at a time until they’ve all been checked off your list. Need to organize that closet? Carpe diem, my friend. Been meaning to refresh your living room for aeons? Today is as good as any. Here, we’ve rounded up seven projects to tackle in 2017. You’ll be impressed by how much lighter you feel—both physically and mentally—once your home becomes as uncluttered as your mind.

Reinvent your closet. Getting your wardrobe—and where you keep it—in order can not only help you maximize your space but also streamline your morning routine, making your day more efficient before it even begins. Click here for a guide to closet organizationto get started.

Get to work. Whether you work from home or bring your work home with you, a designated space that inspires creativity and productivity gets the job done. Here are some tips for carving out a home office of your own.

Take more spa days. A little everyday luxury goes a long way. Turn your bathroom into a place that can revitalize you each morning and replenish you in the evenings—and skip the costly trips to your nearest hotel or gym. See our tips for creating a serene spa bath.

Engage in some color therapy. The force for reinvention, whether it’s an update in a living room or a refresh in a bedroom, is strong during the long winter months. If a full makeover isn’t in the budget, go bold by adding accessories in bright hues or textiles in unexpected patterns. Here are some ideas for decorating with color.

New Kitchen Trends for 2017

We kick off each year at the annual Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, exploring the latest introductions from top brands and designers that will refresh your home. From innovative materials to color and hardware trends, there is no shortage of new ideas to take away and apply to your own kitchen or bath. Whether you’re ready for a renovation or just craving a quick fix for an old room, find inspiration in the most exciting trends that caught our eye at the show.

Matte BlackTrade in typical chrome, bronze, or stainless-steel finishes for sleek matte black, seen on everything from faucets to outdoor kitchens and window finishes. Clockwise from top: Free-standing outdoor kitchen made with Dekton by Cosentino for Brown Jordan, brownjordanoutdoorkitchens.com; Vettis closed-spout single-handle sink faucet by Brizo, brizo.com; contemporary casement with matte black hardware, and detail of hardware by Marvin, marvin.com

Industrial TouchesTextured knurling details give a modern, craftsman-like quality to faucets and hardware. Knurled lever industrial lever handle by Brizo, brizo.com, and Italian Campo U-spout lavatory faucet by ROHL, rohlhome.com

ColorWhile gray dominated color schemes last year, bright hues are in for 2017, as seen in appliances, cabinets, and tile. Clockwise from top left: 6th Avenue tiles by Walker Zanger, walkerzanger.com; Amora vanity in navy by Ronbow, ronbow.com; Crown vent hood by Best, bestrangehoods.com; Quartz Luxe sink in Maraschino by Elkay, elkay.com; outdoor grill in prince by Hestan, hestanoutdoor.com

CustomizationNow more than ever your kitchen and bath can feel personal and unique. Custom options for finishes and hardware range from pattern to color, and appliances like Liebherr’s refrigerator become modular with custom configurations. Clockwise from top left: Script decorative enamel works lever in celeste blue wave by Kallista, kallista.com; custom finish and hardware wine refrigerator by True, true-residential.com; customized refrigerator configuration by Liebherr, liebherr.com

How to Keep Your House Clean for Longer Than 5 Minutes

So you’ve scrubbed every corner of your home until it’s sparkling. But what does it look like a few hours later? Chances are, not nearly as neat (and, for some of us, like a tornado came through). According to Becky Rapinchuk, the expert behind the blog Clean Mamaand the author of Simply Clean, the secret to ensuring your house stays relatively tidy between deep-cleans is to do a few quick chores every day to keep things in order. Before you turn in for the night, keep reading for your room-by-room to-do list.

In the living room

Every night, do a quick pickup of anything you spot out of place on the floor; think toys, TV remotes, old issues of AD. Then, turn your focus to the sofa, refolding throw blankets and fluffing up pillows. “A daily run-through-and-grab of any errant items is much easier than a weekly full-on cleanup,” explains Rapinchuk.

In the kitchen

“A clean sink is the symbol of a clean kitchen!” says Rapinchuk. “But in order for a sink to be clean, the dishes have to be done.” First things first: Make sure you’ve unloaded the dishwasher so there’s room for a new batch of dirty plates and cutlery. Once the last dish is put away after dinner, give the sink a scrub. “You’ll be happy in the morning that you don’t have a sink full of dishes staring back at you,” notes Rapinc​huk. Last, wipe down the counters to get rid of any pesky bacteria.

In the bathrooms

Wiping down your toothpaste-splattered counters every day is the secret to a bathroom that at least looks neat. But Rapinchuck also suggests keeping a squeegee on hand to remove soap scum from the tile after you shower, then immediately hanging your towels so they have a proper chance to dry. “This simple little habit will reap big results that will save you time in the long run,” she says.

In the bedrooms

Your mother was right about this one—you’ve got to make your bed. “Pull up the covers and put the pillows back on your bed when you get up, or before you leave the house,” says Rapinchuk. “This little step will pull your whole bedroom together.​” Next, gather dirty clothes off the ground and put them in a hamper. “Any objects on the floor should be picked up daily to avoid overwhelm and mess.”