Category Archives: Home Improvement

How To Make Your Bathroom Smell Great

At the end of the day, where do you go to unwind? A spa-like bathroom can be the remedy for a stressful day. Your bathroom is beautiful, so it should smell beautiful too! Mold, mildew and waste can make this a daily challenge. With use and over time, these smells seem to grow stronger.

Majority of unpleasant bathroom scents grow stronger with time. So it’s important to take care of them as soon as you recognize it. Never fear, there are solutions to create a great smelling bathroom. Eliminate odors and freshen up with these bathroom tips.


Clean It Up

Bathrooms tend to have a lot going on that can easily cause a mess. If you don’t have one already, create a cleaning routine for the bathroom. Clean the shower, bathtub, sink, toilet and floors thoroughly. Using a daily shower spray can help.

Fabrics in the bathroom like towels and shower curtains tend to hold the moisture and can create a musty smell. Be sure to wash these regularly to keep the bathroom smelling fresh.

Once a year, it’s a good idea to get a professional cleaning. This is a great way to scrub all the corners and small areas you may not be able to clean on your own. The average cost to hire a maid service is $157, with most homeowners spending between $122 and $167.


Use Your Bathroom Fan

Mold and mildew can be the biggest culprit of unpleasant smells in the bathroom. This is due to the sitting moisture within the room from showers and baths. That’s why all bathrooms must have a bathroom fan. This helps the moisture escape the room and reduce the musty smell. It also helps protect your bathroom from water damage over time. While newer homes already have bathroom fans installed, you may find many older homes without. The good news is that you can get a bathroom fan installed for an average cost of $344.


Scented Candles

For instant relief from unpleasant bathroom smells, a scented candle can go a long way. If you have company coming over or just want to create a pleasant bathroom environment, a candle can give you the scent and look you desire. While there are many scents out there, some brands offer odor eliminating effects that can help take care of any bad smells in the moment and after the candle has been blown out.

As always, practice appropriate fire safety techniques whenever you burn a candle. Never burn a candle near anything flammable, such as curtains or towels. Always blow out the candle before leaving your home and keep away from small children.

Garage Door Trends

Your garage door is a huge factor in curb appeal. The style and color can either add style to your home’s exterior or be a complete eyesore. If you feel like your garage door has become the latter, this may be the year you make the investment and update your garage door.

However, there are many small updates that can improve your garage door without a full replacement. New technologies and innovations have made it easier to move and in and out of your garage. Keep an eye out for these garage door trends in 2017.

Compared to last year, we’re seeing many trends continue, specifically using bold colors to create a vibrant garage. Given the color trends of 2017 are bold and deep, this will fit right in with your hot home décor this year. Innovation in garage doors has allowed for new trends in smart home technology to reach the garage as well as using your garage door to create a more functional and livable space. If you’re ready to update your garage, 2017 is the year to do it!


Garage Door Prices

An old, outdated garage can speak volumes about the condition of your home. Though often, garage doors are made to last, the styles can change fast. If you’re considering selling your house this year or looking for better curb appeal, investing in a new garage door may be worth it. The average cost to install a garage door is $964, depending on the style you choose.


Glass Garage Doors

This year, contemporary and modern will be a trendy look you’ll want to incorporate in your home’s exterior. If you’re planning to update your look, look no further than a frosted glass garage door. This style is especially beneficial if you tend to work in your garage. Glass garage doors come in a variety of options with other materials like wood and steel. If you’re going for the contemporary look, be sure to find styles with plenty of straight lines in natural finishes.


Wood Garage Doors

Wood garage doors are making a comeback after gaining in popularity the past few years. They are now the hot home exterior item to have. But, in a new way. Many have been integrated with glass options to continue with the modern garage door look that’s trendy this year.

However, the classic wood garage door look is still hot, especially those in the carriage style. The average cost of a wood garage door is between $1,235 and $2,756.

Window Trends for Your Home

Windows are an essential element in any room. Sure, they are a great utility for natural light, but have you considered how they can easily change the look of a space? With so many shapes and sizes available, you can easily match your style.

With 2017 approaching, now is the time to consider what changes you can make to your windows to give your room a stylish look. Updating your windows could mean a small DIY upgrade or a new installation. To help, here’s a few window trends you’ll be seeing in 2017.

Last year, we reported that high and functional windows were hot. Many of these trends will carry over to 2017, such as sustainable windows. This is a trend that will carry on for years to come, as many homeowner see the valuable ROI.

Changing out your curtains and drapes is an easy way to update your look for the new year. Window treatments started to make a comeback last year and we’re seeing bright and bold colors at the forefront, as well as including the small details to make a big impact on your window décor.

Overall, you’ll see that 2016 gave a great foundation for the new trends of 2017 to build on. Get ready to make a statement with your windows this year!


Energy-Saving Windows

Creating a sustainable home has been the movement in home design for the last few years. In 2017, the focus is on upgrading your windows for energy-saving benefits. If you have old windows that easily let air out, consider upgrading this year. According to the EPA, switching to Energy Star certified windows can help save up to 12% in energy bills.

Energy-efficient windows come in many different shapes and sizes. When searching for windows, look for the Energy Star Efficiency label right for your climate. The cost to replace windows is between $150 and $2,500 per window, depending on how large of a window there is to replace and any other work that needs to be done.


Vinyl Windows

This year, vinyl windows will take center stage as an affordable and convenient option for homeowners. It’s been growing in popularity in previous years, with homeowners turning to vinyl as a sustainable upgrade for windows in their home. With so many colors available, it’s easy to find an option to fit your home. It’s a good choice if you plan on installing a larger window this year as it can help costs and still look great in a room.

Additionally, vinyl windows have plenty of energy-saving benefits that can keep heating and cooling costs down during the year, making it a great long-term investment. The average cost to install vinyl windows is between $150 and $2,000 depending on the style and size.

Basement Remodeling Trends

If you have a basement, you likely love your extra space or don’t know what to do with it. It’s a large area that tends to be out of sight most of the time. However, this space is a great opportunity for any homeowner to create a space that’s unique and useable. It all starts with a basement remodel.

While basement remodeling is an investment, it can give you a space you and your family can enjoy for years to come. From home theaters to play rooms, the options are endless. Here are a few trendy ideas to create your dream basement in 2017.


Basement Remodeling Costs

When starting any remodeling plans, you should be aware of the costs associated with the project. Depending on the condition of your basement currently, it may require less work, which could change the costs in the end. The average cost to remodel a basement is $17,118. These costs also vary on the style of room you are creating. A children’s play area may need less work while a home theater requires more wiring and technology to be installed.


Basement Bar Ideas

Whether you’re creating the perfect man cave or want to be the best host on the block, you can’t go wrong with a basement bar. You can create a bar to your liking and stock with your favorites. You can create a classy, timeless look with a marble countertop and beautiful bar stools. Or, surround with your favorite sports pennants and celebrate the big games this year. Whatever you choose, you certainly won’t regret your basement bar!


Basement Apartment

With new ways to travel and the rise of the sharing community in the last few years, basement apartments are becoming more popular. Remodel your basement into the ultimate guest house on your lowest floor or create a space for a permanent renter. Depending on the style of apartment you’d like to create, this can include a small kitchen and a bathroom, which you’ll also have to factor into your remodeling budget. You’ll recoup the money you spent in no time at all.


How to Turning It Into Livable Space

Creating extra living space in your home can be the change you need. Depending on what you decide to use a new room for, it can mean less toys in the living room or a place for an unexpected guest to stay. If you’re looking for extra space, consider your attic as an area to remodel.

Depending on its size, converting your attic into livable space can be easier than you may think. However, it’s not as simple as painting and moving furniture in. Here are a few tips on how you can turn your attic into a living space.


Know Your Codes

Before you begin looking at what you need to do to convert your attic into a living space, research your local codes and requirements. Many ordinances require ceilings to be at least seven feet high and seven feet wide in any direction. A room in your attic must also have a staircase. If your attic does not have the minimum space or access requirements, that can be a major safety concern. You will need include these requirements in your remodel.


Attic Insulation Costs

To make your attic livable, you’ll need to have temperature control. While some newly-built homes have insulated attics, many older homes do not. Attic insulation is key for keeping your new room comfortable and saving money on your energy bills. The average cost of attic insulation is $1,900


Attic Fan Installation

Just because your attic is insulated doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider an attic fan to remove humidity and help keep the temperature comfortable. Attic fans can be helpful in keeping the room and the upper floor of your home cool. The average cost to install an attic fan is $521, with most homeowners pending between $393 and $544.

Room Chandeliers That Create Conversation

A dining room is a place where company can gather and enjoy a meal together. Unlike kitchens, dining rooms are a place to rest and relax with those you love. The décor of the room can also impact the conversations around the table. That’s why it’s so important to include items you love in your dining room.

One feature that takes center stage in the dining room is the chandelier. Valued for both function and décor, it’s an item that can easily enhance the space. If you’re looking for a piece to talk about over dinner, look up! See a few chandelier ideas that will inspire conversation.


Light Fixture Installation Costs

The good news is that statement lighting is hot this year. If you want to update your dining room without spending a fortune, replacing a light fixture with something new could be just what’s needed. However, installing on overhead light fixture on your own is not recommended. Unless you have a background in electrical work, you could be putting yourself and your home in harm’s way. As a general rule, leave electrical projects to the pros. The average cost to install a light fixture is $418, with most homeowners spending between $176 and $375.


Linear Dining Room Chandelier

Dining rooms come in all styles and often, you’ll have to match your lighting to the décor that already exists in the space. A simple solution that matches all styles is a linear or rectangular dining room chandelier. This feature spans horizontally and looks great over a long table. From mid-century modern to farmhouse style, there is a linear dining chandelier that will fit any look.



Lantern Chandelier For The Dining Room

If you’re looking for a traditional look but want still want a decorative element that pops, a lantern chandelier is a great choice. While it hangs vertically like a traditional chandelier, the lighting is usually surrounded by a metal frame. They also come in various sizes, so a lantern chandelier can be the perfect addition to a small dining room.


Modern Dining Room Chandeliers

For a style that really stands out, modern dining room chandeliers are the way to go. This style of chandelier comes in many variations and sizes, but is often characterized by its straight lines and geometric shapes. Look for metallic and chrome finishes. Due to the unique look of modern dining room chandeliers, it’s sure to be a talking point for all who enter the room.

Guide To Adding Value To Your Home

Whether you’re a senior looking to sell your house in the near future or are looking for practical updates that will make it more appealing to buyers later on, there are all kinds of ways to increase your home’s value. Some changes can be made quite easily by homeowners themselves, and certain projects will take no more than a weekend to complete. Other updates are better left to a professional, be it due to safety precautions or special training that’s required to do the job. This guide will discuss the best value-boosting modifications to consider for your home so that when the time comes to sell, you’ll get the highest return on your investment.

Keep in mind that every homeowner’s needs will be different, and you may want to ask a real estate agent or local interior designer to evaluate your home. They can offer valuable insight on the areas of your house that would best benefit from an update, as well as when to preserve the integrity of a particular style of home, some modern renovations may detract from a colonial home’s appeal, for instance. Getting personalized advice about how to best add value to your home is never a bad idea!



An updated kitchen is the number one wish list item for young buyers and an excellent place to start when boosting your home’s value. The best part is that your budget doesn’t have to be a limiting factor. Even small changes can make a world of difference in giving an outdated kitchen a facelift. Of course, if you do have a large budget to work with, you may want to consider investing a good amount in your cooking space.



Consider your basic kitchen hardware: cabinet door knobs and drawer handles. If they’re the same as when you moved in, and especially if there’s visible wear and tear, it’s likely time to switch them out for a fresh, modern look. Changing them is simple and often low-cost. This small change can completely transform the look of your cabinets and create cohesion in the space, particularly if you opt to match the hardware to your appliances.

If your cabinets are in need of more than just a minor update, you can still make alterations to update them without breaking the bank. A good scrubbing is a great first step! Sanding out rough or worn spots, new contact paper lining, and a fresh coat of paint are all simple ways to elevate old cabinets. If the cabinet boxes are in good shape, you can remove and refinish the doors and drawers for a brand new look without the overhaul of a total remodel.

Replacing your cabinets completely might end up being the best option for a particularly worn-out kitchen. Most home improvement stores come with entire units you can install yourself, but it does require significant time and skill, after all, you have to rip the old ones out first! Keep in mind, however, that if your home is on its way to market, it’s wise to be conservative with brand new cabinets. New homebuyers will certainly appreciate seeing an updated kitchen, but they still may opt to make their own changes. Shanty cabinets can be a major distraction to would-be buyers and prevent them from seeing the space’s potential, but you shouldn’t devote your entire budget to new cupboards that may ultimately get altered.



Sink hardware is another easy update to consider. Does your kitchen have:

  • A modern faucet?
  • A spray nozzle for easy dishwashing?
  • A garbage disposal?

Even new drain traps can make an important difference. No one wants to think about years of grime and buildup in their “new” kitchen sink!

Lighting To Boost Curb Appeal

Your outdoor décor doesn’t end when the sun goes down. Outdoor lighting can improve the elegance and sophistication of your home, not to mention the safety benefits it has.

One way you can save money and improve your ROI is with solar landscape lighting. Not only does solar landscape lighting save you money, but it’s also eco-friendly. From solar path lights to solar spot lights, you can find a landscape lighting option for your budget. See a few ideas you can use to boost your curb appeal with outdoor solar lights.


Why Choose Solar Power?

The latest innovations in solar power make it possible for you to add lighting virtually anywhere indoors and out, without increasing your electrical bill. Many homeowners are turning to solar power for their landscape lighting needs, as they are typically easy to install and the best way to harness the sun’s rays. Solar power lighting has a high ROI that will be good for your wallet now and when it’s time to sell.

Solar power not only helps your wallet but it also helps the earth. By choosing to use solar power, you are significantly reducing your carbon footprint and helping to conserve resources. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the solar industry projects have doubled in 2016 and expected to triple by 2022.  With the popularity of green homebuilding, outdoor solar lights might be just what you need to get your home up-to-date.


Solar Spot Lights

Of all the solar landscape lighting choices, spot lights will bring the most light and attention to a particular landscaping feature in your yard. Solar spot lights can also help deter intruders and be either placed into the ground with a stake or simply sit on top of the grass, with the light pointing at the feature you’d like to highlight.


Solar Fairy Lights

One of the latest trends in outdoor lighting is solar fairy lights. These little lights resemble string lights but are on a thin, flexible wire and don’t hang like other outdoor lights. They are perfect to wrap around trees, decking posts or pots. Most solar fairy lights are LED lights, so they have a long lifespan. When looking for outdoor solar fairy light, you’ll want to be sure they are waterproof so they won’t get damaged by the rain.


Outdoor Solar String Lights

For your deck or patio, outdoor solar string lights will help the party last into the evening. Globe and Edison style string lights are especially popular right now in backyard entertaining. Because solar string lights don’t need to be plugged into an electrical source, they can be hung almost anywhere in your yard. From decking to tree decor, you can get creative with your string outdoor solar lights.

Great Bathroom Decor Ideas

For most of us, the bathroom of our dreams is matched with a budget we can only imagine. However, that doesn’t have to hold you back from falling in love with the bathroom you have right now.

If you love to DIY, there’s no reason you can’t create the perfect bathroom. There are many DIY bathroom décor ideas that can fit in budgets of any size and still look great. See a few DIY bathroom ideas that will inspire your next project.


DIY Safety

DIY is a fun way to truly customize your home while saving money. However, many projects use power tools and products that could be harmful to you or others if used incorrectly. Never take on a DIY project you don’t have the right tools for or that you may not have the experience to do. Review a few basic DIY safety tips before beginning your next bathroom DIY project.


1. DIY Bathroom Mirror

Regardless of its current style, your bathroom mirror can be a focal point of the room. Therefore, it should be a feature that you love! Of all the DIY bathroom projects available, framing a bathroom mirror can be the most versatile to your current style. This project will take a bit of DIY experience, as cutting at an angle is required. See the tutorial on Cherished Bliss.


2. DIY Bathroom Storage Ideas

No matter the size of your bathroom, storage is always an issue. After all, the bathroom contains many items we use on a daily basis. But the storage you choose can be a part of your bathroom décor. For elegant bathrooms, consider repurposing an old cake tray to hold basic toiletries. Or, a wine rack can be repurposed as a towel holder.

Another popular DIY look for bathrooms is a farmhouse style. Mason jars add the perfect touch to your bathroom storage without losing the rustic style You can either simply have them out to hold items like cotton balls, Q-tips and more, or hang them to keep small toiletries in reach. This tutorial from the DIY playbook will show you just how to do so.


3. DIY Bathroom Rug

Bathmats are usually drab and boring. What if I told you that you can make your own DIY rug for less than you can buy in the store and add a unique look to your bathroom? Leftover towels are a great way to do so and is what makes this project so eco-friendly. You will need about two to four old bath towels depending on size cut into strips about 6’ long. Next, get some grid matting and begin to tie them in each row.

Kitchen Ideas On A Budget

The kitchen countertop is a focal point of your kitchen. It needs to have great function just as much as trendy style. Unfortunately, not everyone has the kitchen countertop they dream of, maybe due to age or material.

Countertops are the largest surface you have in your kitchen. Keeping them looking great can sometimes be a challenge. A poor looking countertop can make even the nicest kitchen look out-of-date. The good news is that you don’t need a complete remodel to change the look of your kitchen countertop. See a few kitchen countertop ideas that can fit in any budget.


1. Kitchen Countertop Refinishing

One of the first things you can do to improve your countertop is refinishing. This is a go-to project for many homeowners when they want to update the look of their kitchen countertop. Refinishing is a cheap kitchen countertop idea that you can likely do yourself if you have tile, wood, cultured stone or laminate countertops. The average cost of countertop refinishing varies by material.

  • Laminate countertop refinishing is between $1.67/sf and $4.17 /sf.
  • Epoxy countertop refinishing is  between $2.92/sf and $7.17 /sf.
  • Paint & Sealant refinishing is between $1.17/sf and $2.33 /sf.


2. Repair Kitchen Countertops

In some cases, all you may need to improve your kitchen countertop is a repair. Scratches and water damage can impact your kitchen countertops over time. For tile countertops, grout may need to be touched up and cleaned. A simple repair can restore the look of your kitchen countertops without a complete replacement. The average cost to repair a countertop is $340, with most homeowners spending between $245 and $358.


3. DIY Kitchen Countertop

If you’re looking for a new project, a DIY kitchen countertop might be for you. However, because countertops are such a big feature in the kitchen, a DIY kitchen countertop is not a project for the inexperienced homeowner. Wood countertops are a popular DIY kitchen countertop idea that can add a rustic look to your kitchen.


4. Deep Clean Your Countertops

While you may wipe down your countertops every day as part of your cleaning routine, when was the last time you truly deep cleaned your countertops to restore their original sparkle? Depending on the material of your countertop,