Archive for the ‘beautiful home’ Category

Pink Living Room Design

Pink Living Room DesignThere are 21 various shades of pink. 21! There is a shade of pink for everyone, from well known baby pink to lesser known Thulian pink. While you may have some reservations about pink, it is a fantastic color to add a bit of whimsy and retro to your kitchen design.  Pink is considered a feminine color, so masculine greens, grays, and blues bring out your pinks beautifully.  Complementary green shades such as deep jade and dark olive, pewter or dark steely gray, and cobalt and navy blue can combine with pink to create a lively space or classy feel, depending on the combination. Neutral chocolate and sand shades also balance out pink beautifully. Continue reading

Asian Inspired Interior Design

Modern Bathroom Vanity

Double sinks

There is a growing trend in luxury interior home decorating. It brings to mind exotic locales and tastes, serene environments and emotions. This growing trend tantalizes the eyes and begs to be touched. The Far East contains a vast playground of inspirations that can be incorporated into today’s luxury homes.

Homes in Woodbridge, NJ, use touches of Chinese inspiration in their décor. Chinese inspired bathrooms tend to be more ecologically friendly. Most materials are either recycled or are from environmentally sustainable sources. Elegant, ecological, and practical touches include teak wood mats, dark earthen wares, live bamboo plants, organic cotton towels, and natural soy candles. Wall paints or wallpapers in the palest gold or yellow hint at early morning are also a few touches that bring the serenity of a bamboo forest into the bathroom. Continue reading

Top Accent Colors for the Kitchen

Modern kitchen design

Modern kitchen design

With the kitchen being one of the most used rooms in a home, you should feel comfortable in it and enjoy its colors. Whether you are looking for an inviting space, a cozy room, a great entertaining zone or want to make a smaller area appear larger, here are a collection of colors you are sure to love.  When decorating your home in New Jersey, keep the following ideas in mind.

Whether you’d like to define a living space or spotlight a treasured piece of artwork or architectural feature, an accent wall can create a striking, unique design element.

Accent walls can also help you create color flow. By using the same color in fabrics, finishes, accessories, and furnishings in adjoining rooms, you can create a seamless transition from space to space.

Painting is the most inexpensive way to freshen and update your kitchen.  Painting a kitchen accent wall can be an easy week-end project.  If you are “old school”, you probably painted each wall the same color the first time you painted this room. A different color accent wall will both add a new visual interest to the room but will also perk up your accessories.

Which Wall to Paint?

Start by walking into the room from each entrance to the kitchen. What wall do your eyes immediately focus on first?  If you feel biased in your selection since you are performing your own test, ask a friend or neighbor to come in and do the same.  If the choice is unanimous, that’s the wall you want to highlight.  Choosing a color can be mind boggling.  If painting an accent wall is new to you, a simple rule is to pick a soft hue color, like beige or light green, and make the accent wall 3 shades darker of that same color.  It will still add some flare but not a dramatic punch.  The kitchen isn’t a place for drama.

 Select a Color

If it were only that easy.  When you walk into a paint department of a large hardware store, you are going to see hundreds of paints chips from several different paint companies (I.E. Behr, Olympic, Valspar, Glidden).  Prior to going to the paint store, take inventory of the accessories and wall ornaments currently being used.  If there are specific ones you like, you may want to gravitate to a shade of it.  All the colors usually confuse you before they will convince you.

Create a Subtle Contrast

If you prefer a more gentle contrast, try using a deeper version of your existing wall color on one strategic wall. This can be just enough to add interest and break the monotony of a single-color space.

Favorites

Green– is the all-time favorite kitchen color.

Yellow-is warm and welcoming and brings a cheery vibe.  A deep shade of yellow can be used as an accent wall in a larger kitchen.

Red– before purchasing a shade of red, consider the area you are painting.  Red can make a small kitchen look smaller. If you are concerned about it being overpowering, look for a small part of the kitchen that you can color as opposed to an entire wall.  Play it safe if need be.

Neutrals (whites and beiges)-are viewed as non-committal choices of color.  You can easily change the decor with a neutral color without having to re-paint.

Things to Factor Into Your Color Choice

There are many black and white kitchen appliances still being sold but stainless steel appliances are the most popular right now. Your counter surfaces might be granite or quartz.  The common denominator here is “reflection of light”.  Stainless, granite, and quartz all have high reflective qualities allowing you to go with a bold and bright color.  There is no rule that says to stick with the traditional shades of yellow in the kitchen.  Make sure you factor in the color of your backsplash into the equation.  Let’s see, so far we are taking into consideration the color of the appliances, accessories, backsplash, and counter surfaces. That’s a lot to coordinate.  Be cautious when making your final color selection and make sure it’s within the family of colors that you can live with.

Primer

Most of the time, you’ll want to apply a primer before you paint. Primer is a must if you’re painting a light color over a dark color, or want to cover up a semi-gloss or gloss finish. Primer helps smooth out the surface to be painted and also helps the paint adhere. The only time you may not need to prime is if you’re painting a darker color over a matte white wall.

If you feel like getting a little crafty, you can try your hand at faux finishes.  Try it on a scrap piece of drywall first to make sure you get the texture you wanted.  Whatever color you choose as an accent, make sure that accent wall stands out from the rest of the room.

How Does Skim Coating Work?

Interior Paint in Blue

Interior Paint in Blue

A skim coat of plaster gives your rough looking walls a second chance in life.  If you are running out of pictures and family photos to hide the cracks and blemishes on your walls, you may want to consider “skim coating” your walls.  Skim coating is the process of applying a thin coat of veneer of gypsum based joint compound over an entire wall or ceiling.  It will give you a smooth coat and an even surface.  After building up several thin layers, the overall thickness of the skim coat should be 1/8 inch thick.  This gives you an idea of how thin each coat is applied.  This process can be done in kitchen and bathroom remodels in Summit NJ or a textured wall that you want to make smooth.  It’s definitely not a heavy duty remodeling project, and in most cases, you won’t even have to remove the wood trim around doors and windows.

 

Although the process is easy, it’s not a walk in the park.  Plan on spending 3 to 4 days of working with your arms above your head at times. The cost is relatively cheap (not much more than interior house painting) to do an average size room.  Skim Coating your kitchen may take a little longer due to all the trim work.

 

Take a Good Look

Carefully examine your old walls.  The condition of the plaster will determine if the process will work.  If there are any holes, patch them first.  Use your fingertips and press on the plaster in random spots in the room.  If it feels mushy or crumbles, don’t waste your time.  A full blown drywall job may be required.  If you have miner cracks here and there, skim coating is the answer to get rid of them.  Textured walls have a unique quality to them.  The patterns are done randomly so they cannot have duplicate styles beside each other.  But when you want to get rid of them….the only way is to skim coat the texture.

Materials

For the first coat of drywall compound, you’ll use “setting type compound”.  Get one with a 90 minute set time and one that sands easily.  You may be tempted to cut out a step and use “ready mix joint compound” on the first coat.  Don’t do it!  It can possibly soften the bond of the paint to the old plaster losing its integrity to continue the process.  You can use the ready-mixed joint compound for the 2nd and 3rd coats.   Ready-mix is easy to use and also sands easily.

Preparation is the Key

Make sure your walls are free of any smoke film or smudges before you start.  Use a non-sudsing cleaner like TSP-90.  Use the same check list that you would for any house painting job

Ready to start

Mix about a gallon of setting type compound.  The mixture should be the consistency of soft serve ice cream.  Start at a corner and work your way across the room.  Much like painting.  Load your drywall knife with compound and pull it with even strokes.  This is the foundation so don’t worry too much about having a glass like finish.  You will be adding additional coats and sanding in between.   The 2nd coat should be done the same way as the first coat but this time use the ready-mix compound.   Even though the weather is usually warm in Atlanta, its best to let it dry overnight.

The Final Coat

Look over the entire wall checking for tooling and low spots.  If the walls appear relatively smooth, the dreaded sanding part of the job is next.  After sanding the walls and wiping them down, put a lamp against the wall and look down it to see if there are any sections you can’t live with.    The skim coating is done! Now get out you paint brush/roller and coat all the walls with a good drywall primer.

How to Add Texture to an Interior Wall

Add Texture to an Interior Wall

Add Texture to an Interior Wall

You might think that adding texture to an interior wall involves a lot of hard work, meaning covering your whole wall in brick or tile or anything that isn’t so painfully smooth. However, there’s no reason to take drastic measures; adding texture to a wall is completely feasible using just paint and a few other materials. Through this method, you can create popcorn, stone, suede, or sand textures. You can even get the look of painted plaster without having to purchase an ounce of plaster! This simple painting project can bring out a new level of character and individuality in your Winnipeg home’s interior; Adding texture to an interior wall can sometimes be a daunting task, we recommend contacting a Winnipeg interior painting contractor to help you with this job. If you are interested in doing the work yourself, you can read further for some tips and ideas.

Textured Paint Method 1: Building Texture into a Surface

Not nearly as daunting as it seems, one easy way to add texture to the interior of your Winnipeg home is to add a textured layer on top of your existing drywall. This method is best on walls that are relatively clean and have not been painted previously. You will need a material called joint compound, which is easily found in home improvement stores. Joint compound is used frequently in home construction to smooth out seams between two slabs of drywall. While it is usually used to give a wall a smoother appearance, it can be used in this case to create roughness and texture. After applying a layer of joint compound to the wall, you can stamp or etch designs and textures into the soft material. After the compound has dried, you can paint it your desired color just as you would paint regular drywall. However, you should take care to work quickly in a small area as joint compound cannot be manipulated once it is dry.

Textured Paint Method 2: Mixing Texture Additives

A simpler way to add texture to an interior wall can be to add texture pre-mix to your desired paint. For this, you will need acrylic paint or other interior use formula as well as the texture mix. These are powder-like additives that can be found in a home improvement or paint store. A Winnipeg painting contractor may also be able to supply this material if you are hiring a professional painting service. These mixes can create a variety of textures for your walls, including popcorn, sand, or stone. When you are ready to begin painting, you can gradually mix the texture additive into your paint. Be sure to use a container that is large enough to hold both the paint and the additive! Additionally, you should make sure to mix the additive in slowly to prevent clumping or an uneven spread. For safety reasons, you should wear a dust mask to prevent inhaling any additives. Some stores will even sell pre-mixed paint with texture already added. This is the quickest way to achieve your desired results.

Textured Paint Method 3: Faux Plaster Finish

Faux plaster can be a great look for your home, but you may need professional help to achieve consistency over a large area. There are two ways to create the plaster look. The first is to use a Milano tool (resembling a trowel) to spread a lighter version of your wall color in sweeping, curved strokes. Then, you can sweep the tool horizontally over the new paint, blending it into a plaster-like look. Another way is to add a smooth texturing agent, thickening the paint to a plaster-like consistency. Coating the wall in this thickened paint mixture will give the illusion of painted plaster.

Trends in Classic Landscape Design

Poolside living and landscaping

Backyard landscape

Believe it or not, your landscaping tells a lot about the home owner and their characteristics.  Few outsiders get to see the inside of your home but anyone can observe the outside.  Whether you are in New Jersey or another state, a visual creates an immediate impression.  It’s like meeting someone for the first time.  It takes just a few seconds to form an opinion.  Your landscaping is no different. Continue reading

Trends in Modern Landscape Design

Rocks and Landscape

Landscaped Yard

Landscaping designs have changed over the years.  Classic designs are not abandoned but instead merged with current design.  Landscaping is like other fashion trends.  They usually first appear on the west coast and will eventually make it to the east.  Folks in New Jersey will get the new trends a little later than the Californians.  You can tweak your existing landscapes with some new features to give a completely new look.  The price of doing it this way is minimal as opposed to replacing everything. Continue reading

Tips for Remodeling a Historic Home

Roofing a historical home

Historical Home’s Slate Roof

To remodel a historic home, you have to be extremely dedicated to this project and be interested in the history behind the home and the time era it was built and maintained.  Research other homes of that era.  This will take research on the internet or by talking to historians.  It’s not like you can take a drive and look at homes built within the past 20 years.  If your house is historic, chances are there are other ones in the neighborhood that are very close to yours.  After all, the people that bought the other historic home have the same goal as you do………to preserve and restore.  That being said, talk to your neighbors and share ideas. 

Home Interior

 Get to know what makes the home unique in terms of architecture, materials used, and design of construction. Be realistic about the costs you will incur.  If it truly is historic, chances are that many of the crucial necessities to live in it may be damaged or not work at all.  Assess heating, plumbing and electrical first, since these are likely to be outdated and costly to replace.  Updating the electrical wiring and HVAC are 2 items that will certainly require attention to your budget.  You will need to install wiring that meets current building code.  Best to get a license electrician in Atlanta to perform this job.  To get to your wiring you will have to take down the walls to the studs or lath.  Be mindful of the walls you are taking down as you want to make them look as close to what they originally looked like. Do your best not to use drywall.  If you must, use wall board and consider adding a texture to it simulating the old surface.

One of the most unique characteristics of a historic home is its woodwork.  The moldings and staircases were beautiful pieces of art in the older homes.  This is truly the signature of a skilled carpenter.  Try to find a cost effective way to get the woodwork looking as close as possible to the original design.  It will be very costly to have a woodworker create an exact replica of the wood designs used during that time period so use current wood moldings in a way that are reflective of the ones used at that time. 

Home Exterior

When new homes are built, it’s planned by an architect and a builder at the same time.  That part hasn’t changed whether it is new or ones from 100 years ago.  When restoring your old home, everything should remain to scale the way it was originally built.

When looking to replace a slate roof, do some research on the expected longevity of the tile used on the roof?   Do regular maintenance.  Maintenance in this case would be close visual inspections.  Since you DO NOT want to climb on the roof, you may want to use a pair of binoculars to get that close up look.  If you see signs of deterioration or broken slates, get in touch with a roofer who specializes in slate roofs.  Get multiple quotes and inspections.  Shop around for a slate restorer.  Some will be cheaper than others.  Ask your neighbors how they restored theirs and who they used. 

Try to re-use the old wooden windows.  You will probably have to replace the glass (which is an easy fix and not extremely expensive) but will not be able to find a new frame built with the same style as the wooden one.  Use the wooden frame as long as possible.  Only you can be the judge on when to replace them with ones built with new material.  If you have a window with leaded glass, check to make sure all the mosaic pieces are solid and held in place.  If one piece of glass comes loose the rest of the pieces may also shift making the window irreplaceable.

New Jersey’s Historic Preservation Office, located within the Department of Environmental Protection, brings expertise in a variety of fields essential to preserving historic resources.  You can contact them for rules and guidelines to follow in your preservation.

Prepare Your Home For Summer

Porch Setting Outside your Home

Porch Setting

The hazy, hot, and humid summer will soon be upon us.  We need to change gears and be ready.  This is where storage space in your house is a premium feature.  If you don’t have the storage space in your home, there is usually a storage lease facility close to you.  They seem to have a huge client base.   You can design your storage so that your keep each seasons accessories in predetermined spots.  That is for the “ultra organizer”. Continue reading

Create Extra Space in Your Home

Bathroom decor

Bathroom design

In today’s economic climate it can be less expensive to add room to an existing structure rather than buying a larger dwelling. While the real estate market is continuing its slow climb out of its slump, it can still be difficult to sell a home and buy another without getting in a financial bind. More homeowners are choosing to add more space to their house rather than moving. Home renovations that add square footage to a home can be a major investment but it can also add value to the home that will be evident at the next appraisal. There are several ways to add more room to your home.

Building on a Room

Adding an entire room to your house can be the best way to create more space. It will actually add to the square footage of the home as it is not just redistributing the available space but giving you some additional space to work with. One of the biggest pros about building on another room is that no part of the house has to be vacated while it is being constructed. It is also not hindered by existing structures. This will require that you hire a professional contractor in Atlanta who has construction experience. Continue reading