Home Owner Tips

How To Judge Your Home's Curb Appeal

Curb appeal

It's easy to get an objective look at your home. Simply change your perspective and see your home through the eyes of a visitor. For best results, try this exercise at dusk, a time when many first-time visitors are likely to arrive.

  1. Approach your home slowly as if you were searching for the house number. Is it inviting?
  2. Where would a guest park? Are the forced to negotiate kids' toys in the yard? Garbage cans? Uncollected newpapers?
  3. What will your guests notice on their way to the front door...attractive landscaping or cracked concrete pathways?
  4. Ring the doorbell and then stand on the stoop for 30 seconds. What do you see? Trim that needs painting? Mold on the siding?

Taken together, these observations help a guest from an overall impression of your home and set their expectations for what they will see on the inside.
 

Choosing Paint Colors

When you’re planning a home remodeling project, you should have a color scheme in mind for every room. But, choosing the actual paint shade usually comes at the end of the home renovation process. Looking at all the choices in the paint store can be overwhelming.  But, here are some hints to help you decide:

Choosing paint color

Coordinate – Hold off on choosing a precise shade until you have rugs and furniture selected.  That way you can be sure to create a unified look. Take samples of your carpet, upholstery, and tile to the paint store with you.

Choose a Finish – Glossier finishes reflect light and are easy to clean, making them a good choice for trim or kitchen and bathroom walls that need to be cleaned more frequently.  A matte finish is better at hiding flaws in the walls and creates a softer look by absorbing more light.

Atmosphere – What kind of mood do you want to create with your room?  If you want a cozy feeling, darker colors might be the way to go since they can make the room feel smaller.  If you want the room to feel larger and more expansive, lighter colors on the walls will help.

Bright vs. Neutral – A very bright color on walls can feel overwhelming and frenetic.  Sometimes it’s best to pick the most neutral version of your desired color and use the brighter shades for accents.

Trim – Most people prefer white or off-white for trim around windows and doors to draw attention to them, but you don’t have to follow suit.  A lighter shade of your wall color can be lovely while still drawing the eye.  Dark trim and light walls can be striking but sometimes hard to pull off well.

Take Your Time – Don’t choose a paint color right away; take those samples home with you and think about them.  Although paint is relatively easy to change, repainting a room can be an annoyance.  Be sure you’re happy with the paint before you begin.
 

Space Saving Ideas - Kitchen and Bath

Adding storage space is one of the main reasons homeowners embark on home remodeling projects, but it’s not enough to add square feet of floor space.  When you’re planning your kitchen or bath renovation, be sure to make storage space part of the design.

Kitchen

Save space with a shower

  • Consider removing a wall to open up the kitchen to the dining or living rooms.  It will make the room feel bigger and airier.  It will also allow family members and guests to converse easily from room to room.
  • Islands or peninsula cabinets with an overhang for seating provide more opportunities for family gatherings - or homework - as well as additional cabinets for storage.
  • Avoid corner cabinets that are accessible from only one door. It’s nearly impossible to see or retrieve anything in the back of the cupboard. If you can’t avoid it altogether, be sure to install a lazy susan or swing-out shelves.
  • Raise the microwave off the counter.  Counter space is always at a premium.  When planning your kitchen remodel, be sure to identify a place to hang the microwave.
  • Most refrigerators are at least 6 inches deeper than the surrounding cabinets, taking up floor space and making the room feel more crowded. Consider a cabinet-depth refrigerator to make your kitchen feel more spacious.
  • If you have a tall, narrow space, you can install a roll-out cabinet which provides storage for cans, spices, and other small items.

Bathroom

  • Corner fixtures can make the most of valuable floor space in a bathroom.  You can buy corner vanities, pedestal sinks, bathtubs, and toilets.
  • Use sliding doors in the shower rather than a hinged one.  A pocket door that slides into the wall can also save floor space near a bathroom doorway.
  • Be sure to use the area under your sink—add a cabinet or shelves for toiletries.
  • If space is really at a premium, you may want to install a shower rather than a tub.
     

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