Archive for March, 2010

Home Design and Trends: A Little Paint Goes a Long Way!

March 29, 2010

Sometimes I am not able to commit to a lot of time to spruce up my home – or maybe I’m loving a color but can’t see it everywhere in the room. I have to take a step back and just do some updates with simple projects like…

1) Painting Furniture – Tips and tricks: Don’t be afraid to go with a potent color, especially if the walls and the trim are neutral. Before painting, prep furniture with a flexible-foam sanding sponge, which can “get around curves, legs, and grooves,” says Cathie Filian, a host of the DIY Network’s Creative Juice. If the piece has a wax finish, remove it with denatured alcohol first.

Best paint for the job: “High-gloss paint will turn a piece into a strong focal point,” says Edward Schaefer, a decorative painter in North Bergen, New Jersey, while “semigloss will freshen it up without emphasizing flaws.”

2) Painting an Inexpensive Mirror – Tips and tricks: A plain mirror can have an expensive custom look when you paint it a color that coordinates with others in the room, says Schaefer. To work most effectively, position the mirror so you can paint evenly around the edges. Place a small mirror over a sturdy bowl or a large one on a small stool, and put down newspapers to catch spatters. Using a brush the approximate width of the frame will help minimize dripping.

Best paint for the job: A paint with a glossy finish will give a frame “a little sheen,” says Filian. Interior designer Robert LaHatt suggests adding a few coats of clear varnish for a lacquered effect.

3) Painting Interior Doors – Tips and tricks: Changing the color of an interior door can take a room from drab to fab. But too much contrast between the door and the wall can be jarring, warns Filian. If your walls are bright, choose a similarly lively color for the door. If they’re subdued, go for a soft shade. Be sure to paint the frame too, so the door doesn’t seem to float in space.

Best paint for the job: It’s easiest to clean smudges and grime off gloss or semigloss paint. But avoid paints that are super-shiny―they tend to reveal even the tiniest nicks and dents.

4) Painting Stair Risers – Tips and tricks: A dark color in a glossy finish hides scuff marks best. (When risers get nicks, says LaHatt, just “fill them in with a Sharpie.”) If you want to test colors before committing, cut cardboard pieces to the size of the risers, paint them, and position them on the steps to approximate the effect. When you’re ready to go, prime the risers, then add at least two coats of paint. If you wait a day, then add a third coat, the paint will be even more durable.

Best paint for the job: Semigloss and high-gloss finishes withstand high traffic best.

Now…if my husband takes the kids to a movie for a few hours, I can totally get some of these projects done!


Home Design and Trends: When to Hire a Pro When You Can’t “Do It Yourself”

March 15, 2010

When to Hire a Pro When You Can’t “Do It Yourself

Find out when it pays to call for help in some common situations.

Problem: You’d like to spruce up your house, but you can’t seem to find the right red paint to complement your olive green couch.

Solution: The color consultant. She can help you select colors that work for your space and spare you from testing 15 different reds on your walls. She can also lead you to unexpected, possibly more daring choices.


Problem: Your bookcases are buckling under their heavy load.

Enter: The carpenter. A professional knows exactly what to do, from choosing the right veneer to finding the proper wall studs that will prevent it all from crashing down. You can call Practical Remodeling & Repair in Wisconsin Rapids.


Problem: Your energy bill has gone through the roof, and you still feel a chill.

Enter: The energy auditor or rater. These pros come armed with sophisticated equipment to trace even tiny air leaks and will prioritize problem areas in your home. Some local utility companies will send a contractor to you for a free basic inspection. CMS Construction can also advise on going greener and saving energy in your home.


Problem: Your china cabinet is full of unused mint-condition heirlooms.

Enter: The eBay drop-off store. These independently owned stores handle everything from photographing to shipping. Stores known as Power Sellers, such as iSold It, may fetch a higher price than you can, and there’s usually no charge if an item doesn’t sell.


Problem: Despite your best efforts, your house always seems to be a disaster zone.

Enter: The house cleaner. One person or a whole crew will do the dirty work for you, whether it’s a weekly visit or a job every few months―all in a couple of hours. There are several independent cleaners in Wisconsin Rapids, but you might want to try a listed cleaning service.


Problem: Your home computer has taken mutiny to a new level.

Enter: The home-technology consultant. A pro will save you time on tasks like setting up a computer and rescuing a hard-drive crash and make all systems go by the end of setup. There are a couple in Wisconsin Rapids like ZAXX or RCO Computers.


Good luck!

Home Design and Trends: Let it go to your head…board!

March 9, 2010

Do It Yourself Headboards

Every room needs a focus and in the bedroom, it’s no different. Try the key word…bed! Every bed should have a headboard…and I’m not talking the traditional headboard (although some are just beautiful: strong woods and great finishes). I think it’s time to think outside of the box(spring).

Try some of these ideas:

  • Salvaged wood can be painted and stenciled for a really inviting vibe (see photo).
  • A collection of mirrors transforms a boring bedroom into a DIY dream.
  • A rescued mantelpiece and old doors become shabby chic headboards.
  • How about the old shutters you pulled off the house last year? With a little sanding, and a fresh coat of paint, you’ve got a unique headboard solution!

Any more ideas? Feel free to share!

Home Design and Trends: Get Creative!

March 3, 2010

If you’re longing for the warm weather that’s just around the bend, don’t delay—jumpstart the spring season by adding bright bursts of color throughout your home. From one-of-a-kind stairways to stylish shelves and adorned drawers, let the sun shine in with lovely, unexpected accents in every room of your home.

Paint Possibilities
A bucket of paint in a fun, vivid color is one of the easiest—and most inexpensive—ways to instantly transform an ordinary item.

  • Stylish Wooden Staircase: Look around your home for large, showcased features that are often ignored when it comes to decorating. Your wooden staircase is the perfect example! With a pencil, ruler and painter’s tape, work your way down your stairs, measuring approximately 3 inches in from each side of the step to create a “runner.” Tape off the inner section and sand it down with sandpaper, then apply a base primer. Once dry, color in your runner with at least three coats of latex paint to stand up against high foot traffic.
  • Tip: Choose one bright color for your staircase, or paint each step in a different complementary hue!

Pretty Papers

    • A Perfect Fit: Select a gorgeous wallpaper or specialty liner paper, then trim it to size with a craft knife or scissors and fasten it in place with an all-purpose spray adhesive, smoothing away any air bubbles with your hands.
    • Tip: A decorative liner is the perfect way to spice up an everyday piece of furniture, but it serves an additional purpose. The paper will keep the lined surface protected from dirt, dust and nicks.

    • Easy Removal: It’s important to fasten your liner paper in place with a spray adhesive. Otherwise, the paper will slip and lift up, sometimes trapping smaller items beneath the paper. However, if you’d like to remove the liner at any point, simply apply an all-purpose adhesive remover, available at most craft and hardware stores, to safely and easily remove the paper with no damage to your furniture.
  • Take advantage of the countless textures, patterns and color combinations that abound in specialty papers, using your selection as a stunning, unexpected liner on bookshelves, pantry shelves, or drawers in a dresser, desk or kitchen.When it comes to sunny touches, it’s all about refreshing your surroundings in small, special ways that make a big impact. Once you get started, you’ll be inspired to add bright twists of color to every corner of your home.