Posted by Steven Sawyer on 5/17/2020

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Most everyone would love to gain some extra room, especially those in small homes with limited space options. Here are three home interior DIY projects to help you maximize your space.

1. Transform a Closet into Workspace

If you’re lacking the room for a home office, transform one of your closets into a mini-office. This is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to give yourself a dedicated workspace.

  • Remove the door and hinges.
  • Empty the closet and give it a good wipe down.
  • Disassemble hanging rods.
  • Touch up or repaint the closet’s interior.
  • Add two to three shelves—a deep one to serve as your desktop and additional ones for storage.

If you prefer a traditional desk and your closet is wide enough, slide one in and eliminate the need for a deep shelf.

2. Mount Your TV

Modern styles are all about minimalism and entertainment centers don’t exactly fit this look. Besides, media consoles take up a ton of floor space. An easy way to reclaim this useful space is to mount your TV to the wall or above a fireplace.

  • Choose a mount for your TV—this will be a tilting mount, low-profile mount or full-motion mount.
  • Select a location and determine the best viewing height—be sure you have sufficient outlets and access to cable connections you need.
  • Cut out a piece of TV-sized cardboard or poster board and tape it to the wall to get a “visual” of your TV’s position.
  • Locate a stud and mark it. (If mounting to a fireplace use masonry anchors.)
  • Before you drill, use a level to ensure the wall mount is even.
  • Drill holes, attach your mount and secure it so it doesn’t collapse.
  • Add a cord cover to hide unsightly wiring.

Media consoles were useful before flat-screen TVs became the norm, but most people today can easily get by with a wall-mount and a shelf to hold cable boxes, media players or game consoles. If you need additional storage, add a small table with cabinet space.

3. Build Window Seats

Adding window seats to any room eliminates the need for extra seating on the floor, gives a cozy look and offers additional storage space.

  • Buy two wall cabinets about 30 inches wide by 15 inches high. You can purchase new or, to scale back costs, check secondhand stores, such as Habitat for Humanity’s Restore, for used cabinetry.
  • Use plywood (2x4 or 2x6) to serve as a perimeter base, nailing these pieces of wood into the floor to create a toekick. Be sure your outline’s depth is large enough to hold your cabinets, and leave a little extra room to pull your cabinets away a few inches from the wall beneath the window to save space for your seat.
  • Place cabinets on top of the toekick and clamp the two cabinets together. Be sure your screws are strong enough to hold the units together.
  • Clamp and screw cabinets to the toekick.
  • Place hardwood plywood on top of the cabinets to widen your seating area. (Sand and paint, if necessary.)
  • Add cushions and pillows.

Tip: Be sure to avoid positioning your seat over an HVAC vent or baseboard because you don’t block out your heat or A/C.

If you’re working with some tight spaces, you can better utilize it by transforming your existing space.




Categories: DIY  


Posted by Steven Sawyer on 8/25/2019

When looking at new homes, home buyers with high expectations can sometimes feel disappointed with their options. In a world where wood paneling, blue bathtubs, and wallpaper in every room have been popular trends it can feel like a lot of houses on the market are eyesores.

An important factor to keep in mind, however, is what parts of the home are merely cosmetic and which are structurally important. If a home is in a neighborhood you love with all the structurally important systems in excellent shape you can still add it to the top of your list. Poor design choices, or lack thereof, can always be changed down the line. 

If you were hoping for a home with lots of character and detail but the neighborhoods you love are filled with ranches and builder grade homes donít despair. There are plenty of style upgrades you can DIY yourself to give your home the luxe look youíre looking for. 

Ready to make a dramatic first impression? Wow guests with just a few of these simple upgrades. 

If your entrance opens up to a staircase you can create a drastic difference with just a small change. The newel post, that is the first main post of the stair railing, can be swapped out for something more ornate and classic. With plenty of options ranging from boxy posts with molding to something sleek topped with an ornate finial ball. Add more drama by choosing a contrasting color for the finial, newel cap, and railing from the main post and spindles.  

A large mirror placed in an entrance or along the length of a hallway never fails to make a statement. Place a pier mirror between windows to create more light and dimension to the room. Create a built-in look by adding molding and wainscotting painted to match the trim of the room. 

Add elegance by installing a ceiling medallion. Not just for the foyer they are also a great detail to add to your dining room, guest bedroom or home office. With a wide selection at your fingertips, you can pair one with a chandelier for a chic look or for a more modern flair coupled with a contemporary style pendant light.

For a truly classic look wall trim instantly makes any room look more luxe. Keep it simple with box shapes or opt for an art deco touch with more geometric shapes. Paired with other vintage elements wall trim brings a sense of refinement. If youíre aiming for a more effortless yet modern theme pair with a mix of mid-century modern and minimalist pieces.

When house shopping keeping an open mind as to what can be changed and what is imperative for a safe home makes all the difference in your shopping experience. Print out pictures for inspiration or create a board on Pinterest to keep the ideas flowing. As you look at each new house keep in mind how you can easily add these elements to create a more luxurious home with a quick weekend project.





Posted by Steven Sawyer on 1/20/2019

Fido is part of the family, but sometimes he doesnít quite know how to obey the family rules, and sometimes just doesnít fit in the human-sized furniture. Youíve gone to great effort to design your home just the way you want it, but that doggy-bed in the middle of the floor somehow detracts from what you had in mind. Here are some delightful design ideas for making life at home with your four-legged friends more fun and less hassle.

Give a leg up

  • If your pet is small or getting a little older, add a step with style by using antique step stools or vintage children's chairs next to sofas and beds.
  • Cover a pet step with matching upholstery fabric or carpeting to blend in with your design.

Protect your place

  • Buy extra fabric when you order furniture to have made into cushion covers. That way, your pup can enjoy sitting on the sofa next to you, but when Aunt Millie comes for a visit, you can slip off the covers to show off your divine divan. Just send them out to the dry-cleaner's for a spruce up before you put them back on.
  • Little nails can scratch hardwood, so keep your petís nails trimmed, and place throw rugs in locations your little fur-ball uses frequently.
  • If your dog or cat scratches at the door, add plexiglass to the bottoms of your door panel with removable strips. Usable inside and out, the clear plastic covers allow your design to show through but keeps those doors protected.
  • Purchase pet beds that match the carpet to give design continuity.

Pack potential

Minding multiple pets quickly gets out of hand, so create an organizing space with hooks for leashes and outdoor gear. Keep toys at hand in a basket or bin. Set a water-proof mat or boot tray under food bowls for easy cleanup and make sure pet dishes work in the dishwasher for simple sanitation.

Store in style

Rather than keeping large unsightly bags of pet food, store it in more stylish containers such as adorable trash bins with lids, or inside a decorative hamper, basket, or crate.

If your pet prefers a crate at home, check out some of the stylish wood/metal combinations or pet crate/side table furniture so that your petís home blends right in with yours.




Categories: design tips   dogs   Pets and Your Home