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Renovation Costs

Bright Ideas For Lamps and Lamp Shades For Frugal Home Decorating

It’s not the light of the lamp that brings out the best in illumination, it’s the lamp and lampshade. Here are some simple frugal home design lamp ideas to give that old lighting standard a new look. Let’s start with the shade: Did you know you can paint most any fabric and paper shade with either a commercial spray paint or a home made spray paint application? The home made formula consists of 1 part paint (latex or craft) to 10 parts water. Measure the parts based on the size of a standard plastic spray bottle. All you need to do is choose your color and apply it in one or all of these decorative applications.

– Tape off diagonal lines or stripes with painter’s tape. -Create some basic stencils creating your own designs or browsing your local craft store. -Instead of spraying on paint, apply the paint with a sea sponge to give it an entirely different look.

Be sure your shade is dusted before you get started so the paint will adhere solidly. All paint aside, another way to give that shade a fresh designer look is to apply dark paper silhouettes to the inside of a lighter shade. Create a seasonal lamp shade accent by changing the shape as appropriate. For example, place stars or Christmas tree silhouettes during the Holiday season. Rabbits or egg shapes will look just right for Easter. Simple floral leaves, stems, and any shape you might need can be downloaded from free click art web sites.

Be sure you don’t allow the loosely tacked silhouette which is taped to the inside of the lamp shade be too close to the light bulb. Now let’s take a look at the base of your lamp. Here is where creativity is unlimited. It’s simple to create a lamp base out of almost any sturdy 3 dimensional shape:

Yard Sale Vases

Large Soup Mugs

Bowls turned upside down

Terra Cotta pots

Books That have been glued together in a horizontal stack

Wooden boxes with your decoupaged touch

Teapots

Antique Bottles

Anything!

Most of your home made bases will need a hole drilled at the bottom or on the side to run the cord down and through. Unless you have an old lamp shoved in storage somewhere that you can take apart and reinstall to your new lamp, you will need to purchase an inexpensive store lamp kit. This kit provides all the hardware and electrical parts you need to put your lamp together.

The other tried and true frugal home design option to resurrecting a lamp is to paint the base. Here again the choice of application is really up to you. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

Guild

Decoupage

Etch

Stencil

Add colors that accent wall art

The most important point to remember when planning to paint your lamp, is to buy paint that is suited specifically for the the type of object; glass paint for glass, metal for metal, etc. Whatever you do, these simple frugal home design lamp and lamp shade ideas will bring fun, fresh and noticeably new, illumination to any room in your home.…

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Bathroom Remodel

Define Your Style – Home Design Ideas

Leonardo Da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” and when it comes to interior design this can often by the best route to take if you don’t trust your own design instincts. There is a danger however, that your house will blend into every other Magnolia drenched, carbon copy home that we see cloned on every street in Britain today. Why do we practice such safe design? Is it because we suffer from a lack of imagination, or are home owners up and down the land just not brave enough to experiment? Maybe in this difficult economic climate we cannot risk straying from that safe colour palette of cream and white?
I say, why create a ‘blank canvas’ (just in case you move home), for someone else to put his or her stamp on. Look for inspiration everywhere and don’t fear your own style. There are several ways in which you can experiment without breaking the bank and below are a few ideas and tips, which could inspire you to create your own unique groove. Firstly, do a little research. Websites such as housetohome have a fantastic gallery of pictures and suppliers that can inspire you and are less likely to be found in the house next door.
Create a mood board. Collect images, colour swabs and fabric samples in order to focus your ideas and inspire you. This way you will be able to see which colours and styles go together and it will also help you commit to only buying what you need. Steer clear of the plain and create simple elegance by choosing a simple colour palette but also experimenting with different textures of paint and fabrics. B&Q have a paint colour mixing service, which can match any of your favourite items.
Add a splash of colour by adding cushions and throws or curtains. Cushions, and more surprisingly curtains, are easy to make if you have a bit of time on your hands and you can get quality designer fabrics at greatly reduced prices online. Stores such as sell designer fabrics at £10 a meter instead of the recommended retail price of £30 to £100 a meter. If you don’t fancy making curtains yourself, Digby & Willoughby can get these made up for you. Alternatively breathe life into a favourite chair with new upholstery with Fabrics from Digby & Willoughby.
Accessorise with one or two unique pieces such as a beautiful free standing mirror or a piece of artwork. To save some pennies you could visit auction houses such as lotsroad or criterionauctions. I recently found a fantastic seascape oil painting in a charity shop and a beautiful art deco bedroom suite on so keep your eyes peeled. Love the traditional? Experiment with mixing the traditional with the new to avoid being old fashioned. Choose classic wallpapers with a funky twist from companies such as Cole & Sons and Zoffany to create a feature wall. Visit reclamation yards such as wellsreclaimation or sites such as to find beautiful antique wooden furniture and natural materials to create a classic and unique vintage look.
A statement piece of furniture can be the inspiration for the design of your whole room. Cover an old chest of drawers or table with fantastic hand printed wallpaper, protected with layers of clear varnish and jazz it up with new or antique handles. Try for hand printed wallpapers. Go off piste, I recently purchase antique music scores from a local bookshop, which cost me 30p each and they make the perfect vintage wall coverings. If you religiously follow modern styles, what is the buzz from the world of interior design, what are the hot colours for 2010?
Colours from Mexico such as, burnt oranges, sunny yellows, gingers and taupe’s are on trend. Various shades of midnight blue with greying whites are in vogue and as well as being chic and ultimately classic, they would be a good long-term investment. Soft vintage colours, such as neapolitan pinks and yellows reflect the current boom in homemade crafts and reclaimed materials. Other colours in style for 2010 will be natural hues, soft beiges and nudes with green or purple accessories. There are plenty of ways to create your own unique style and to update your home. And remember, to play on the words of Jim Rohn, ‘if you don’t design your own style, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much!’
Helena Searle
January 2010…

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Bathroom Renovations

Creative Up-Cycle Ideas For Home Design

Upcycling is trendy, green and economical, but all too often, upcycled projects look – well, upcycled. We’ve all seen those oh-so-crafty projects that use old CDs to make artwork on the walls, or repurpose old sweaters into sofa cushions. While some of them look great in any apartment living room, the typical “saved from the trash” decorating project really does look like it was saved from the trash. It doesn’t have to be that way! 

It is possible to turn trash into treasure that really looks like treasure. It takes attention to detail and a careful eye for professional finishing of your project. These tips will help you create beautiful furniture and design accents for your home from throwaways that you find in your own garage or at a local yard sale.

Start with quality materials. The best way to end up with a high quality upcycled accent is to start with a well-crafted piece that needs cleaning, repair and updating. Keep your eyes peeled for items at yard sales and on the side of the road that fit your design scheme, and that are basically sound.

Use the right tools. Good tools can make the difference between a frustrating, time-consuming project that looks slapped together and a fun, easy-to-finish new piece of furniture or decor for your home. The tools are dependent on the type of project, of course. A decent sewing machine is a must for sewing projects, for instance, and an electric drill with a full set of bits will make woodworking projects so much easier.

Start with a plan. Before you lay a finger on your project, decide exactly how to tackle it. Have a clear idea of what you want your finished piece to look like. Examine your starting piece to figure out what needs to be done to make it look the way you want it to look, then follow through on your plan step by step.

Clean and repair first. Any redesign or upgrade needs to start with a clean, sturdy base. Sand away any rust from metal pieces, and clean all surfaces of your piece. If joints are loose or rickety, tighten them up. Repair any parts that need repairing. Don’t let your eagerness to dig in overcome your good sense. This is a vital first step that will ensure a quality result.

Pay close attention to finish and detail work. The difference between a “craft project” and a striking piece of home decor is in the detail and finish work. Finish all seams on sewn work. Countersink screws on wood pieces. Clean up any corners and edges. Install the right hardware. Do whatever it takes to give your finished piece that finished look.

Creativity is great. Having an eye that can see a gorgeous planter in a paint-dripped old wooden ladder is a gift. When you couple that funky, creative side with meticulous crafting and attention to detail, you can truly lift a “home made” piece into the realm of “hand crafted design”.…

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Remodel Kitchen

Great Home Improvement Ideas Everyone Should Know

Are you planning to improve your house for the very first time? You may not know how to start. You are not alone – many times people who start a home improvement project feel overwhelmed. As you continue to read the article, you will run across some great, professional tips that are sure to help you with your next home improvement job.

As you tackle home improvements, be mindful to observe your surroundings, making sure to do just those projects that are sensible. Forgetting things like insulation in the North, or sun-shielding in the South, will seriously lower the value of any renovations you make. Stick with things that are popular, and do not veer from the neighborhood norm.

Think about inserting solar panels on your home. The high initial investment will be offset by years of lower electric bills. This should help you save a lot on your energy bills. This is also a good way to reduce your impact on the environment.

Use wallpaper to create a unique and attractive bookcase. Choose a design that is both interesting and one of a kind. Only put the wallpaper on the back of the bookcase; you will see the wallpaper behind the books. This tip can give an old bookcase a new look and create a visually appealing focal point in any room.

Store your building material in between your ceiling rafters or floor joists. Larger materials can even be stored without problems. You can easily hammer in furring strips across a couple of exposed rafters or floor joists and put in the material that needs to be stored.

Don’t get too carried away demolishing everything in your path when you begin a project. You need to ensure that your structures are not a support to your home before you rip them out. If there is electrical wiring there, it can be a costly mistake to fix.

If your home heating costs are out of control, consider insulating your attic to save money. Because hot air inevitably rises, in the colder months poorly-insulated homes are letting huge amounts of heated air escape wastefully. You can purchase this insulation at a hardware shop and you will be able to install it yourself.

If you have chosen to do your own home improvement project, make it a point to purchase the highest-quality tools and materials. The start up costs will be higher, but in the end, you will save more money this way. High-quality products have longer lives, and stand up to wear better, over time. Tools can be expensive and you don’t want to have to replace them regularly.

As has been shown in this article, making improvements to your home isn’t as daunting as it first seemed. You’ll find it’s easy to maintain your motivation for home improvement too. All you need to do is keep in mind how much of a difference home improvements can make in your quality of life, as well as the money they can save you!…

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Home Remodeling

Awesome Ideas For Your Next Home Improvement Project

Since it involves making your home the way you want it, home improvements are important. You should read up on stuff so you won’t get ripped off or do more harm than good. This article contains tips that can help.

To keep your toilets clean, pour bleach inside the bowl. The bleach may stink for a bit, but germs will be killed and you will know that everything is as clean as can be. Scented bleaches can help limit the smell.

One simple home improvement that is often neglected is gutter and chimney maintenance. Make sure to inspect these parts of your home so you can make necessary repairs. Chimneys are more prone to fires when they are not cleaned at regular intervals. Likewise, debris often clogs gutters and downspouts, and this can cause water damage if it is not taken care of regularly.

See to it that all the spaces in your house have a defined purpose when you’re selling your home. For example, make certain that your family room has comfortable and inviting furniture, while your office has functional, utilitarian furniture. Potential buyers can more easily see themselves using the space. A home with well-defined areas is more attractive and will sell much faster.

Homes with an appealing view can sell for much more than like houses on the market. That beautiful view is not an investment but more of an added pleasure of your investment. The person that considers buying your home might not think that the view as valuable as you did when you purchased the home.

Get exhaust fans for your bathroom, kitchen and laundry room. Vent the moisture and humidity from the outdoors and thus reduce your chances for developing harmful molds inside the home. It also prevents rot by stopping condensation from forming inside your walls.

If you want your basement to shine, think about staining the concrete. It is cheaper to stain a concrete floor than it is to replace one, and the look can be very trendy. Adding a stain makes your floors easier to clean and improves their durability too. Choose one that will add a shiny finish. This can add the appearance of being high-end floors without the price tag.

Homes with older windows are likely losing up to one-fifth of their heating and cooling out the thin glass the windows are made of. One way to make windows more efficient is by having a second glaze added to them. The energy savings with just this step can be significant, especially during the hot summer months or the coldest days of winter.

A shower is a must for any home, so add one if there is not one in existence in one of your bathrooms. This will lead to water reduction, and a time-saving convenience when wanting to get all household members clean. A five-minute shower consumes a quarter of the water necessary to fill a bathtub.

While it can be work intensive, home improvement can provide plenty of benefits. If you understand what you’re doing, you’ll be able to successfully complete all of your remodeling projects. So, do yourself a favor by doing your research and applying the above tips to your home improvement.…

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Home Improvement Contractors

Are You Looking For Unique Home Improvement Ideas?

It can sometimes be difficult to wade through all the home improvement websites and tips online. The following advice will help you complete your next project quickly and efficiently.

When deciding on which home improvements you are going to do, consider only those that make sense. Forgetting things like insulation in the North, or sun-shielding in the South, will seriously lower the value of any renovations you make. Stick with the things that are wanted and keep your projects acceptable to the climate in which your home is in.

If you have a water leak coming from your faucet or beneath the sink, hire a professional. Make sure you provide a catch for the leaking water, and then call a professional plumber.

Your kitchen is an excellent place to begin your home improvement projects. Clean ugly grease stains from your walls with a solution of TSP mixed two to one with water. This solution will rid your walls of grease and a lot of the paint. Paint your kitchen in a tan shade; you will create the illusion of having more space.

Seek professional advice before you engage in your project. A simple piece of advice from an expert can steer you away from making immensely frustrating (and costly!) mistakes. You can make a huge mistake if you don’t talk with a professional.

Use old baby food glass jars to help organize your work area. The tops of these jars can be used under a wall shelf. You can use these jars to store different items like nails and screws. Then twist the jars back into place under the shelf. This will help you use the shelf and jars in a positive way.

Take a look at the existing furnishings in a room for hints about a new color scheme. Matching a color scheme with an item in the room will create a beautiful appearance. If the item you pick is multi-colored, select just one to be the main color. You can create many different effects with accent colors.

Tired of your bedroom’s old dresser? You can rejuvenate old furniture by simply sanding and refinishing it. It is a great way to get a new look in your home and save a ton of money. The new stain can be just about any color you want.

Don’t clutter up a single room with too many furnishings. Too much furniture will make a room look smaller. Although these pieces may fit your lifestyle, a potential buyer would most likely prefer to see more open living space. Your room will seem bigger with fewer furnishings.

Add an extension to the side of your home. Consider adding an extra room, den, or even another living room so that you and your family will have more space. Not only will this make your home more comfortable and livable, it’ll increase its resale value, too. You should of course do this project when you have accumulated the money.

Renovating your home on your own can provide you with many benefits. You just need to arm yourself with the right advice so that you can develop a plan that will work for you. This well help you reduce any errors that might show up.…

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Home Improvement Contractors

Love Your Lawn: Landscaping Ideas And Inspiration

It can be difficult to know what the latest trends are, especially as far as homes go. Quality landscaping adds a lot of appeal to any home environment, but many people overlook this important feature when they are looking at home improvement projects. Look for ways to improve your landscaping in the following article.

When it comes to landscaping, there’s a lot you need to consider. You need to know the differences between annuals and perennials, what plants thrive in what regions, and what will work in your climate. You have to also think about what season it is when you’re doing any kind of landscaping. Knowing these things will help you make the most of your yard and your landscaping budget.

Start your landscaping project by developing a list of your necessary materials. There is no bigger frustration than beginning your project only to discover that you are without a vital tool; all work must then come to a stop until the proper material is found.

Water your plants with a drip-style system. Not only are they easy to install, they provide reliable service. The water is also more efficient, because it is a drip rather than a stream, as would be the case with a hose or sprinkler system.

Don’t try to accomplish all of your landscaping projects at the same time. It is best to break up an endeavor this large into smaller individual projects that are easier to budget and execute. That way, you will be able to adapt your design to suit unexpected needs or changes in taste.

Find a larger selection and save money by shopping on the Internet. You’ll find quite a few retailers are available who have great reputations and even better price points. Before purchasing products online, be sure to read plenty of customer reviews to ensure that the product you’re ordering is of the highest quality. Remember to compare prices of different websites.

When making plans to modify the landscaping, think about the existing items prior to doing anything. Make sure to locate underground cables, water lines, and septic drainfields before you begin in order to avoid running into them later. Contact your city of residence to find out where underground lines are so you won’t interfere with them when digging.

If you are doing all of the landscaping yourself, always take time out to estimate your potential costs. Make a complete list of every item that you may need. Then, consider where best to purchase all of those items. Depending on where you live, prices can vary greatly. Look for creative ways to find quality materials at low cost.

Not only is landscaping practical, but the whole family can take part in it. So get out there and make landscaping your home a project the whole family can enjoy. You will ultimately have a better outdoor space for enjoying all your family’s favorite activities. In addition, the beauty of your yard will be enhanced and your property value will be raised.…