The kitchen is one area of the home that sees the most wear and tear. All the water, heat, and food spills add up quickly so it’s important to focus on quality and lasting appeal when you’re choosing materials for a kitchen remodel. Here are a few things you should avoid:
Cheap Laminate Countertops: The bottom rung of laminate is extremely susceptible to wear and tear. It can melt if you forget to place a hot pad under a pan that’s fresh out of the oven and the edges can chip off from repeated exposure to moisture and heat.
Flat Paint: A flat or matte finish is great in rooms with lower traffic, but it’s a bad idea in the kitchen where the walls are regularly exposed to splatters and spills. You need paint that can withstand an occasional heavy scrubbing, so opt for gloss or semi-gloss finishes.
Trendy Backsplash: If you watch any home remodeling show, you’ll certainly see kitchens with expensive, elaborate backsplash designs and materials. Those trends can be pricey to pursue and can look dated in a hurry. Subway tile is a cheaper, classic option that you’ll never regret, plus you’ll have more room in your budget to purchase quality materials to be used elsewhere.
Cheap Flooring: Just like the countertops, your kitchen floor needs to be strong enough to take some abuse. Cheap flooring easily scuffs and peels (especially from moisture). Quality flooring is worth the investment.
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine
Sliding barn doors can add a modern twist to an interior space. Malte Strauss, broker and owner of Trust International Real Estate LLC in Deltona, Fla., says the barn door trend has caught on in central Florida.
“They are great for locations where a swinging door would infringe on the space and where there is not a conventional doorway,” Strauss says. “We use them all the time in master bathrooms where there is a vanity area that is separate from the tub commode area.”
They can also be a great solution in modernizing the vanity area of homes from the 1970s and 1980s, which tended to have the vanity in the master bedroom rather than in the bathroom. “Now we just close those off with a barn door and buyers love that solution,” Strauss says.
Can’t seem to create a living room that feels quite right? Looking for some styling tips that will bring your living room up a notch? Here are five ideas that can dramatically improve your living room.
- Move the furniture away from the walls: The tendency is to place your furniture against the walls, but giving it a little room to breathe will make the seating area seem cozier while also making the room seem more spacious.
- Mix old and new pieces: Using the same furniture set to furnish an entire room can make it seem a bit sterile. Try mixing and matching different pieces and styles to give your living room a more eclectic feel.
- Keep everything low: Arranging photos and artwork lower on walls will make a room appear larger, and can also draw more attention to the pieces themselves.
- Place a bookshelf behind the sofa: It doesn’t have to be your entire personal library. Mix and match books with knick-knacks and other items to add some depth and texture to the space behind your sofa.
- Try a smaller coffee table: Your current coffee table is probably larger than it needs to be, and it may be dominating the room. Try downsizing to a table that can still hold magazines, a centerpiece, and a few drinks, but will also give you a bit more room to move around your furniture.
Karen and Grant Richards bought a 5-acre parcel of land between a creek and the shores of Lake Austin, in Texas, with the dream of building a home that would serve as a retreat from their careers in San Francisco and, someday, as a place where they could spend their retirement years enjoying the outdoors. They turned to architect Brian Comeaux of Lake Flato Architects to help them create a modern lakeside home. But quickly, the forward momentum of their dream came to an abrupt stop.
A Portland, Oregon couple wanted to downsize but not give up their style. See what they accomplished with their garage makeover.