Give Your House a Makeover With Home Furnishings

Home furnishings can give a complete makeover to your home. They can make your home more appealing. It may not necessarily involve a heavy expenditure. Simple changes made thoughtfully can do the trick. However, you have to put on your thinking caps and get creative. Explore your hidden creativity and think of ideas that can change the appearance of your home. If you are confused and don’t know where to begin, then read our guide to remodel your home without burning a big hole in your pocket.

How To Remodel Your Home

Select A Theme – It is important to select a theme before you begin the process of choosing your home furnishings. Decide if you will like to play with dark or light colors, what kind of impression do you want to give your visitors, what kind of designs do you want. Do you like retro prints, block prints, checks, stripes, floral prints? You can choose from earthy tones to vibrant and bright colors. Moreover, you can also select an antique theme or a contemporary theme. The decor can be subdued or ultra glamorous. There are many options, and you have to make up your mind about the choice of the theme. Once this is done, you can start shopping.

Do Not Rush – Initially, you may get too excited and tempted to go out and shop for home furnishings. However, you must resist this temptation and not indulge in impulsive shopping. Do not be in a rush to buy things, take some time. Search the market and hunt for the best alternatives. Browse the Internet; you can get anything and everything online. You will be surprised to know that you can buy wetsuits, portable outdoor shower, camping hammocks, and discount camping equipment on the Internet. Indeed there is a lot in store for you when it comes to selecting home accessories.

One Room At A Time – Begin with one room at a time. This way you will give enough time to the designing and be able to build the theme across the home. It will also give you leverage if you err somewhere. You can correct the mistake halfway and do not have to work all over again. Moreover, if you do not like something, then it can be discontinued, and you can start afresh. Home furnishings require attention for detail. If you are generally fond of grooming, then this endeavor will be a cakewalk for you.

Match Your Personality – Your home talks about your personality. It should compliment your personal traits. Your choice of home decor will speak a lot about the type of person you are. Thoughtfulness and creativity will show up in the way your home is decorated.

Small Changes – Small changes that make a huge difference include items, such as flower vase, candle stands, wall paintings, family photograph frame, sofa covers, table covers, curtains, and cushions. If you change these items in the living room, it will drastically change the appearance of your home. Home furnishings can certainly give a complete makeover to your house. Try it, and you will not regret.

Home Improvement for The Ladies!

Your Own Homes Improvement Outline

(One for the Ladies)

Let me begin by saying what a home improvement plan will not do! I have seen this happen more than once, so I will say this now. A home improvement project, addition, upgrade, remodel, or makeover will not make up for a troubled marriage. So for those that think home improvement may save a marriage, I’m telling you now that it will add more stress and it is a poor substitute for proper counseling.

With that said, when you see a home being sold due to a divorce, take a good look at the house because you may see evidence of a great remodel job. However, the marriage still failed. The scenario above leads into other areas of home remodel, acquisition and selling points. Gentlemen, pay attention here! It is generally recognized that women are responsible for 80% of all decisions on whether or not to purchase a particular home.

So what influences the ladies in their decisions concerning home purchases and remodeling? By far the two biggest items are the kitchen and the bath. If I had to choose one or the other, I believe I would look at which area was in need of the remodel more, while at the same time looking at the costs of both options.

As for the men, what do they want? They would be happy with a large garage/workshop plus a secluded den or office to carry on with business or to retreat to the solitude of a “cave.” Men, as we can see, really don’t spend as much time feathering the nest so as a result we see that contrary to popular belief, men really tend to follow the female’s lead.

Generally speaking, you’ll find that men don’t pay much attention to draperies, window treatments, flower boxes, state of the art appliances, Jacuzzi tubs, well-lit bathrooms, large closets or floral patterns of any kind. They often prefer brown and gray everything, with a big garage, a shed, a sprinkler system and a privacy fenced back yard for barbeques and lounging in private. Men also like low maintenance houses so they aren’t constantly being asked to fix or repair things. If left up to the men to decide, you would find that faucets, toilets, sinks, baths, floors, mirrors, cabinetry, appliances and furnishings would tend to be favored by their industrial strength qualities as opposed to beauty.

Those are general observations and many times they will not apply. However, by keeping them in mind and using the 80/20 rule, they may help in the decision making process. So now using what we know, it would be wise to slant your remodel towards the light and bright feminine side of life. It seems to make sense that if the women are the decision makers then we should let them decide on what really needs attention first!

Let’s look at the kitchen first. Can you paint or refinish the cabinetry and change the knobs and handles to get the new look? Would new Formica laminate over the old counter tops with a matching backsplash do the trick? Maybe a white ceramic sink with a new faucet will achieve the desired effect. Quite possibly you may decide to rip it all out. If that is the case, then paint the walls and consider tiling the floor also. Often times, adding some minor electrical and lighting upgrades will help transform and modernize the entire effort. Don’t forget the new built in dishwasher and plumbing as well.

Custom cabinets, if designed, built and installed by a local reputable cabinetmaker with references and a picture book of previous work done, are often very attractive in price and quality. I use craftsmen with low overhead who work on one job at a time. Often I will ask them to make, in addition to the kitchen, a base cabinet for the bathroom to match, all for one low price. When working with kitchens I always look to see if a wall can be opened up to create a pass through or bar stool counter top. This lets in more light and allows the person in the kitchen to talk with and see the people in the adjoining room. It also creates the effect of a more spacious kitchen.

The bottom line is that a well-lit, light, bright and spacious kitchen, well equipped with modern appliances, plenty of storage space and decorative tiles, paint and window treatments, will add value and appeal to any home’s remodel plan.

Next, lets look at remodeling the bathroom. Here again, we look to the feminine side as the women seem to spend more time here then the men. So with the ladies in mind concerning the upgrade, I will often bite the bullet and rip it all out, the tub being the only exception! If I can leave the tub in, the job is easier, faster and cheaper. However, if I am looking at an olive green or yellowed chipped up and rusting ceramic eyesore, than a new fiberglass insert with a sliding glass door is going on my list of items to buy at the local Home Depot.

Jet tubs are the in thing, so I won’t rule them out as a possible upgrade. This decision again is based on the female as most men don’t take candlelit bubble baths or require a pulsating massage. Walls are painted with Sherwin Williams semi-gloss paint which creates an excellent moisture barrier to the walls. With regard to walls, by adding tile or laminate half-wall wainscoting to the lower three to four feet of the wall, you’ll add a nice touch. Since you have torn out the old toilet and base cabinet, now is also the perfect time to rip up the old vinyl and put down ceramic floor tile before the new fixtures are installed.
New lighting, mirrored vanity cabinets, G.F.I. electrical outlets, wallpaper borders, towel rings and bars are usually the finishing touch. Even a man can appreciate coming home to a spacious, clean, modern, functional and aesthetically pleasing kitchen and bath. One final note here: Be sure to caulk everything when you’re through. You’ll want to protect your new investment from rotting, from the inside out. Dampness and wood eating insects are your homes worst enemies.

Now with the kitchen and bath out of the way, what do you feel is next? I myself spend on average about seven hours a day in the bedroom, so I tend to go there next. Once again, the closet is of importance to the ladies so I will look to paint that bright white, upgrade the lighting and install a closet organizing system to maximize the space that is available. A tip for the guys! Put in a shoe rack for the ladies, as most of you wouldn’t even think about that little upgrade.

Once the closet is done, I’m back patching and painting the rest of the room. Another smart thing you can do is to let the female decide on what color of Sherwin Williams brand satin super paint they would like to have applied. I always make sure I get enough paint to do the ceiling as well because when you’re on your back, you will be looking at it. Once the walls and ceiling are done, the ceiling fan with light kit and dimmer switch go in. Then the baseboards are prepared for installation before the carpet goes down. Usually I paint them a shade darker than the walls and tack them to the wall about one-half inch above the floor.

Now that the paint is put away, it’s time to install the plush carpet and a dense quality pad beneath it. In order to really bring the room together you will need to take a paint swatch or chip to the carpet dealer to choose the carpet color that really sets off the walls and base board trim. As for final touches, those include mini blinds, a curtain, and decorative switch plates and receptacle covers. A solid core door represents today’s modern standards with a keyed lock set for security, so I will add that factor in too. Just add candles and you’re done!

As for the rest of the house, I will choose one-color paint and use it throughout all the remaining areas that are to be lightened and brightened. Earth tone, eggshell or tan sand colors are a neutral favorite of many, so unless you have a floor that is going to clash with it, earth tones are a safe bet. Speaking of floors, I will follow appraisal rules that tell me wood is better than carpet, except in bedrooms. And tile is better than vinyl. With that in mind, I will use tile and Pergo flooring everywhere else. Once the tile and wood are installed, I never have to replace it and maintenance is a breeze. The appraiser also looks upon wood and tile as an upgrade, so at the earliest opportunity, they are getting incorporated in my plans.

There you have it! A general Joe homeowner remodel job, but what about the infamous addition? With this consideration, you’ll have many more options to weigh, so let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of adding square footage.

When does it make sense to add square footage?

#1. Is it physically possible, legally permissible, and financially feasible? Will the new addition serve your intended purpose to the maximum extent?

#2. Does the current floor plan, layout or design of your home allow for a smooth flowing traffic pattern in, out and through the proposed addition?

#3. Will your lot size accommodate a larger dwelling and will the neighborhood surrounding your home support the higher value that you expend?

#4. How long do you intend to stay in the house that this upgrade is planned for? Five years from now, will the addition return, dollar for dollar, the money you have spent to the sales price of the home if you sold it?

#5. Are you prepared to deal with draftsmen and plans development, contractors, building officials and permits? Will you mind living on a construction site for about 6 months? Are your finances in place with an additional 10% set aside for cost overruns? Has everyone agreed upon what this addition should look like and the purpose it will serve?

Let us say you have considered the above and would like to continue towards the improvement. From here, we should consider the economic principle of what is called progression. Example: You have a 2-bedroom, 1-bath home, located in a neighborhood of more expensive 3-bedroom, 2-bath homes. In this case you could, with more certainty, add another bedroom and bath and expect to be able to realize or achieve the value from the addition’s expense as the more expensive homes around you will tend to pull the value of your home up along with theirs.

Now the reverse is also true, so you must consider the opposite case that is called the principle of regression. That says that if you over-improve beyond the value of the homes that are surrounding you, then those lower value homes will tend to keep the value of your home in the lower price ranges. So putting it another way, try not to pass the point of diminishing returns. In essence, saying that you can only improve so much before you reach a point where, for every dollar you spend, you will receive less of that same dollar back when you sell.

A good rule of thumb to use is to try to get at least two dollars of increased value for every dollar you spend. Once you begin to approach “break-even,” then you should consider maintaining what you have as opposed to adding to it. A simple way to say it: Don’t over-improve!

Another watchword to know is super-adequacy. That would be like putting gold faucets in a mobile home. It’s overkill and too high-end for the properties overall value, so the final decision on remodeling and additions comes down to balance and a happy medium being reached. Also, take into consideration the cost, aggravation, the net gain, the need for improvement, the improved quality of life, the suitability to all occupants taste, needs and desires and in the end the ability to receive a higher sales price.

I choose to remodel more often than add-on because it goes much faster and the profits role in quicker too. If I need more space to live in, I simply remodel the house I’m in and rent it out for top dollar, and then get an equity line to buy a bigger house! When remodeling my own home I will attempt to do everything myself, aside from building cabinets or rewiring electrical circuits. As with everything else, if I get in over my head, I will concede defeat and call in an expert to finish what I started while I learn where I went wrong by watching them finish it up.

Here are a few parting shots that you may or may not know:

Painting everything inside and out is the greatest value producing improvement that you can make on a dollar for dollar return basis. When painting, ensure you buy the absolute best paint available, as it is true that the expense of painting lays in the application of the paint not the paint itself. So if you have to apply two coats because of an inferior watered down paint then the cost just doubled in time and the added paint needed to get the job done.

This next tip alone will save you the cost of this entire book and here it is. Without naming any names, whether it be the manufacturer or the distributor of the product, there is a problem out there with what used to be considered top brand, quality paints. It has been said that some manufacturers have thinned out their paint and left their good name on, all in the name of allowing certain retailers the ability to sell hundreds of thousands of gallons a month at what appears to be a bargain price. Unfortunately, the consumer is fooled by the name and ends up coming back for more paint when they find that it takes more of the thinned out product to get complete coverage.

I, for one, as you can well see by now, am a real fan of Sherwin Williams brand, super paint. This blend is so superior in my mind to any other paint available to the little guy, that I refuse to use anything else. I have applied it to exterior walls located in the worst conditions and climates and ten years later its still as good as the day I put it on. The elasticity, color and protection are still in place with absolutely no chalking, cracking or deterioration of any kind, The same goes for interior paint as well. The coverage and wash ability are unmatched!

I also would like to say Sherwin Williams has not paid me to say one word of this. It is for your sole benefit that I harp on it to the degree that I do, as it burns me to no end to see trusting people get ripped off and not even know it!

But wait! It gets even worse. As if to add insult to injury, the retailers don’t really even shoot for the highest profit margin on the paint. They make their profit when you start buying all the tape, rollers, trays, brushes, handles, scrapers, sand paper, buckets, screens and new fangled gadgetry along with a host of other products that may be required to finish all phases of the job at hand.

Has anyone ever told you that? If you doubt it, take a viscosity cup and run the super paint through it and then do the same with the other paint. After this test, you will need no further proof of which paint is going to save you time and money in the long run.

Well, enough said. I hope you get the point on paint. Now another thing you can do to improve your home substantially is landscape it. Landscaping, if done right, can add up to 30% to the value of your home. I prefer to plant shrubbery and low maintenance hardy plants and trees of all types. A few flowers to add color and my job is done.

Back to the addition. If you decide to add a room or two, it has also been proven that you can save about 30% here too by being your own contractor. I would encourage you to get a book titled, “How to Be Your Own Contractor,” as it will often take an entire book to give you a proper grounding on the subject. Just know this! It is entirely within your realm of ability to tackle the over site and scheduling that you would pay that 30% to the general contractor to do. If you feel up to the task, get a book and be vigilant. In the end, you will have that new addition at a significantly lower price.

Finding the Right Home Furnishing Store

How do you find the right home furnishings for your budget and your tastes? Most of us only buy furniture once every ten years or so depending on which consumer study you check out. That means that when we do make those furniture purchases, we are usually a little uneasy about the process. After all, most of us buy a car more frequently than we do home furnishings.

When it comes to home furnishing shopping, there is actually some really good news. Whereas the furniture retain industry used to have a reputation similar to that of used car lots, the industry has made a push to change that perception. Most home furnishing stores now use a no hassle, low-pressure sales technique. In addition, many of them have eliminating haggling from their pricing. Most of the stores are even now offering things like lounges and concessions to make your shopping experience easier. In addition, prices are dropping and customer service is rising.

So what should you be looking for, specifically, in a home furnishing store? That is a tough question to answer, because a lot of it is going to depend on your budget and your taste. Like with anything else, home furnishings range in price a great deal. However, for the price conscious shopper, there are a number of budget priced furniture stores. Don’t let the prices fool you, though. Many of the lower priced stores offer great warranties on their furniture. The truth is that many times the cheaper furniture is made in the exact same warehouses as the more expensive furniture. The only difference is who is ordering the frames and what brand is burned into it. Therefore, it may be worth your time, no matter what your budget is, to check out your local home furnishing warehouse store.

The second thing you should check into is the customer service offered by the home furnishing store you are thinking of working with. Find out what kind of warranties the store itself offers on the furniture. Most will use the manufacturer, but if you can find one that services at least part of the furniture themselves you can save yourself a lot of time and hassle down the road. The other consideration to make is how easily you are able to get in touch with someone if you have a problem with your furniture once it is delivered or picked up. Do they have a central customer service staff? Or will you be dealing with your sales person who has already made their money on the deal? These are things to ask about and then weigh against what you are looking for in terms of the furniture before choosing the store.

It is a big deal to buy home furnishings. It changes the look of your home, is a large purchase, and is something you don’t do often. Because of those factors, it can also be very stressful. The best way to make the experience a good one is to make sure you work with a good home furnishings store that fits your needs. Check out their quality, selection, and customer service, but remember one other thing. The most important factor you should consider when buying home furnishings [http://www.fairviewjournal.com/category/home-tips/] is how much you are going to like the furniture. Get what you like, stay in your budget, and odds are that you will enjoy your new home look.