Creating a Handsome Bachelor Pad

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Thursday, June 22, 2017

    You’re out on your own and have the perfect bachelor pad—or do you? These tips are going to help you create the manliest space for not a lot of money. After all, what’s the point of having your own place if you’re too embarrassed to invite people over?

    Masculine Décor Pieces
    Choosing masculine décor is not as hard as it sounds. You don’t have to have a stereotypical approach and choose cars or sports memorabilia. Geometric, abstract, industrial, rustic, steampunk and modern are all brilliant design themes for a manly apartment. Artwork with dark tones that features gadgets, electronics, and music is perfect in a bachelor pad.

    Sure, you can still use sports and car art if you please, but color has a lot to do with creating a masculine design. Choosing a theme such as industrial or steampunk will help you choose the right décor pieces for your apartment. It’s not really the décor that makes an apartment masculine, but the colors.

    Bold Color Schemes
    Warm colors should be your go-to when deciding on a masculine theme. Dark, bold colors such as black, dark blue, charcoal gray, brown, dark orange and forest green are all beautiful color choices. The trick here is to not get carried away. A perfect balance of dark colors and light colored accents keep the room from appearing too small and crowded.

    However, if you have an oversized room that needs to be brought down, painting the walls dark colors will greatly help with that. The best approach that many designers use is to paint one wall, preferably a feature wall, one dark color, and the surrounding walls a lighter corresponding color. This will create a focal point in the room and prevent you from going overboard with dark colored paint.

    Powerful Furniture
    Every magnificent home needs furniture. Not just a random place to sit and eat, but good furniture. The furniture pieces you choose should be indicative of your personality and the overall theme of the apartment. For example, if you choose to go with an industrial theme, you should choose furniture pieces that are metal and leather upholstered. If you choose a rustic theme, go with wooden or log furniture to complete the design.

    Choose furniture that serves multiple purposes such as an ottoman or sideboard that can serve as storage and a place to set your TV. Lastly, go with good seating. Don’t default to a sectional sofa. Instead, use sofas of various sizes, but the same style. Add additional seating in the form of living chairs or recliners. If you have guests frequently, purchase a sofa that doubles as a bed like a nice futon. Don’t just settle on furniture because it meets a certain need. Choose furniture because it looks great and reflects who you are.

    This isn’t your bedroom at your parents’ house anymore; you have your own place. You work your butt off to pay for this place, don’t just throw whatever into it and call it a home. Make it inviting, make it functional, but most importantly, make it yours. 

    Upgrading Your Windows from Basic to Beautiful

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Wednesday, June 21, 2017

    Windows are an essential part of any home, but if you live in an older home your windows may not be as energy efficient as they should be and may even be harder to open. Replacing your old windows with new ones won’t just improve your electric bill but also your home value and curb appeal.

    Style of Windows
    There are eight types of windows to choose from. Double-hung windows have two sashes that slide vertically up and down in the frame. Single hung windows only have one and open from the bottom. Casement windows are hinged windows that open and close by a crank mechanism. Awning windows are hinged at the top and open outward.

    Then there is a picture window which is a large stationary window that lets in the maximum amount of light and view. Transom windows can be either functioning or nonfunctioning and are usually mounted above a door to allow in more light. Slider windows glide along a track where at least one window slides in front of the other. Stationary windows do not open but are easily customizable to fit any shape, size or angle. Lastly, there are bay windows. Bay windows add ample amounts of interior space because they protrude out from the exterior of the home.

    Types of Window Treatments
    Just like there are several types of windows, there are just as many, if not more, types of window treatments. Let’s start with Roman shades. Roman shades consist of one continuous piece of fabric with horizontal pleats down the length of the shade. Shutters are the most classic window treatment choice that also contribute to the architectural look of the home.

    Then there are several types of blinds, several pieces of thin material in a horizontal pattern that collect on top of each other when lifted. Faux wood blinds are the most affordable window treatment because they are made of recycled and moisture resistant materials. Wooden blinds offer a more rustic look but are harder to maintain. Panel track blinds are made from vertical panels of fabric that slide back and forth to give you complete control over light and privacy. Lastly, there is drapery which adds a bit of style and elegance to a room.

    Caring For and Maintaining Your Windows
    Windows aren’t cheap, so protect them and make them last with proper maintenance and care. Repair any damage to the windows such as cracks, holes and splinters. The longer you wait to make a repair, the more damage will occur to your windows.

    Cracks and holes can be filled with epoxy. Repainting wooden and metal window frames every few years will help protect them from the elements and preserve their appearance. Windows need to be resealed as soon as you notice worn seals around the frame. This helps keep your windows energy efficient. Cleaning and regularly inspecting your windows is the best maintenance and care you can give your windows. 
    Windows give your home a view of the world. They are just as important for your home as doors and walls, so care for them properly and make them last for the life of your home. 

    Timeless Bungalow Style Homes

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Tuesday, June 20, 2017

    Bungalows are typically described as a form of house rather than a style.  Do you know whether your bungalow home is an original, or what year it was built? Is your bungalow a real bungalow or imitation? Knowing the history of your home as well as its characteristics will help you determine if your home is what you think it is.

    History of Bungalow Style Homes

    The word “bungalow” has a popular use to describe a one and a half story home or a beach house.  In all actuality, the term bungalow is derived from the Indian word bangala, meaning to belong to Bengal. Bungalows were originally built in India in the mid-nineteenth century.

    These homes were built with the intention of housing British travelers. Bungalow style homes showed up in America around the 1880’s, primarily in the New England area, but their presence in southern California paved the way for bungalows to become a year-round house making it the most popular style home in America by the mid-1900’s.

    Qualities of a Bungalow
    These homes were built with materials that created a warm yet informal image. Clapboard is typically used for siding, as well as cedar shingles shaded to a natural tone of brown. Stone, brick, and concrete were also used. The roof is a low-pitched gabled roof with a wide overhang that shields much of the home from the sun. Exposed rafters will extend out from the home and the ends were cut to create a decorative look. Windows are double hung and typically divided into three to six sections.

    Bungalows typically did not feature an open floor plan. Kitchens are small and the living room usually doubles as a family room. Built-in cabinetry is a focal point in much of this home, especially in the kitchen, dining room and bathrooms.

    How to Spot an Imitation Bungalow
    Not all bungalows are traditional, or originally built as a bungalow style home. Many were converted on the exterior to look like a bungalow. These homes usually have a vaulted ceiling, which is a ceiling that angles upward on one or both sides to create more volume in a room. Imitation bungalows also have a small porch, usually less than six feet deep, and a garage in the front of the house. Traditional bungalows did not have an attached garage. A big kitchen is another way to tell if a home is a real bungalow or imitation. Traditionally, this home’s floor plan consisted of boxy rooms as opposed to an open-concept floor plan.

    In every neighborhood across America, you can find homes built to look like bungalows, but rarely do you find an original, built to be a true bungalow home. A traditional bungalow features some of the most amazing exterior craftsmanship and designs. All the original features are what make this home so desirable. Bungalows make the perfect home for first-time homeowners and small families as well as retiring couples looking for that perfect house on the beach. 

    Affordable Arts and Crafts Apartment

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Monday, June 19, 2017

    The Arts and Crafts movement of the early 1900s brought forth many beautiful and amazing designs for the interior as well as the exterior of our homes. For many of us, owning or living in a house is out of reach, so we must settle for living in an apartment. A common misconception for apartment living is that you are limited on how you can design your interior. This is far from the truth. You can have a beautiful Arts and Crafts style apartment without breaking your lease agreement or the bank.

    Characteristics of Arts and Crafts Furniture
    Furniture of this style is easy to find in second-hand stores and yard sales. It's easily customizable and can be repaired quickly if need. The option to upcycle furniture pieces is what draws many people to this design—it’s a great opportunity to save money on furniture.

    Furniture pieces feature squared shapes, natural wood stains that show off the wood's grain and leather upholstery. Pieces are typically made from hardwoods such as oak, cherry, and hickory, which makes them much sturdier than traditional furniture. Amish furniture is also a desirable choice for this design.

    Types of Décor Accessories
    Décor accessories are just as natural as the furniture. Landscape paintings or paintings of nature, in general, do well in this design. Tapestries are also beautiful wall art for this style. Metal work statues and pottery were very popular in this period and still fit into the design beautifully. Lastly, area rugs featuring floral patterns or natural tones help divide up space in an apartment with an open floor plan.

    Stained glass became very popular during the Arts and Crafts movement and is still prized and treasured by many collectors. It looks amazing on cabinet doors, light fixtures, windows and so much more.

    Suitable Color Schemes
    Just like everything else with this design, the color schemes should also be made up of natural colors. Browns, oranges and reds go together perfectly, as well as gray, white with blue or brick red, beige and white. Whatever colors you decide to go with, be sure that the colors blend together and correspond with all the other décor pieces.

    Stick to colors found only in nature. Hot pink will not do here. With wood furniture being the focal point of your design, you should use color schemes that draw attention to the stain and grain of the wood. If you are fortunate enough to have an apartment that features wood paneling, use this for the starting point of your design.

    The Arts and Crafts movement brought with it designs from hundreds of artists and designers. This type of interior design is timeless and beautiful, and fits into any style of home. Arts and crafts décor and furniture is functional, sturdy and holds its value making it the perfect investment for your home. The idea of owning handcrafted décor and furniture is enough to make anyone desire such a beautiful design. 

    Log Cabin Summer

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Sunday, June 18, 2017

    The end of spring is drawing near and the long sweltering summer days are coming in full swing. Is your log cabin ready for the summer heat? Have you packed away the spring décor and brought out the summer supplies? Do you know what you need to do for your cabin during the summer months to prepare for fall and winter? Here’s how to get your beautiful cabin ready for the changing seasons in no time.

    Summer Maintenance Tips
    Summer is the perfect time to schedule professional wood treatment to prevent termites and other wood-boring insects from causing damage to your home. Now is also an appropriate time to trim the trees around the cabin to allow more air and sunlight to the logs and prevent damage from falling tree branches. Does your cabin have a heating or AC unit outside? Go through and clean out all the leaves and debris that accumulated within the unit over the winter months. Lastly, it’s very important to check the shingles on the roof to see if they need to be repaired or replaced.

    Summer Decorating
    Brightly colored décor accessories such as curtains, pillows, and tablecloths are perfect for the inside and outside furniture. A bowl of fresh fruits on the counter will add the colors and the smells of summer.

    Flowers are the best décor piece in a summer cabin. Fill planter boxes with brightly colored flowers on the outside of your home. Fresh cut flowers in a vase for the inside will bring the season into every room. If the inside of your cabin is painted, it may be time for a fresh coat of paint or even a change in color. Does your cabin have a coastal theme? Driftwood, ropes, surfboards, and seashells are perfect for a coastal cabin get away.

    Prepare for Fall
    Midway through summer is the perfect time to begin preparing your cabin for fall. Check insulation around plumbing to keep pipes from freezing. If you use a wood stove or fireplace, it is essential that you clean the chimney and make sure the flues are in working order to prevent fires. Check seals on doors and windows.

    If you are not staying in the cabin for the fall and winter months it is important to make sure you unplug all appliances, clean out the fridge, and get rid of all the garbage in and around the cabin. You don’t want hungry bears destroying the place while you’re away. Close all the doors and windows and put all outdoor furniture indoors to protect it from the harsh winter elements.

    Cabin maintenance is important for protecting your investment but it doesn’t have to take all your free time. Doing preventive maintenance throughout the year means less time and money spent overall on repairing your cabin and more time enjoying the great outdoors. Who doesn’t love that idea? So take the time now to protect such a beautiful home and spend more time doing the things you actually enjoy. 

    How to Redesign Any Room in Your Home Without Hiring a Designer

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Thursday, June 15, 2017

    Let’s face it, in today’s economy, hiring an interior designer is out of reach for many people. Interior designers are expensive and many times don’t really know what you are looking for in a room design. But you know what you want and that is why you are always going to be your best designer. Your home should feel personal, each room should show who you are and what you love. So where do you start? How do you make a simple room amazing completely on your own with no designing experience?

    Get to Know Your Current Space
    You can start by either emptying the room completely of all its contents or leave it as it is and design around what you have. Starting from a blank slate is way easier! Take a moment to decide what you have to work with. Are you going to keep your old furniture and accessories or are you going to scrap everything and buy all new pieces? What is the main purpose of the room? what do you love most about the room and what do you absolutely hate?

    Write down everything, all the pros and cons. Draw out the space or take pictures of the room from every angle. This will not only give you a reference tool while shopping for supplies, but it will also give you a shot of the room from before the makeover for comparison after it’s all complete.

    Find Your Muse
    Gather magazines, shop and collect paint samples, and print or save pictures from your favorite sites. Whatever you see that inspires your design, find it and keep it. Spend days, weeks, or months gathering inspiration for the design of this room.

    After you have collected all you can find that pleases you, spend some time sorting through what you have and set aside your favorites. Is there a common theme among your samples? Did you have several shades of the same color? These are good questions to start with during this phase and will help you create the perfect design.

    Bring It to Life
    Once you choose your paint, theme, and accessories, it’s time to bring it all to life. Start by painting your walls first. This is the messiest part of the designing process so be sure you protect your floors with drop cloths and use painter’s tape where necessary. After the paint dries, bring in your furniture and accessories. Start with the largest items first and work your way to the smaller accessories. If furniture needs to be assembled, it's recommended doing so in the exact spot you want the furniture to be placed to avoid damaging the floor, furniture or walls when arranging large pieces. Once everything is assembled, polished and perfect be sure to take an “after” picture and gaze in amazement at your new room.

    Don’t let interior designing scare you. It’s so easy to create the room or the home of your dreams on your own and on a budget. You can do this and make it amazing. Don’t be afraid to try something new and bold—if it looks good to you, go for it. This is your home, make it personal and be your own designer. 

    Choosing the Right Countertops for Your Kitchen

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Wednesday, June 14, 2017

    You just designed the kitchen of your dreams. You’re down to the finishing touches and it’s time to choose your countertops. With so many materials and styles on the market, this can be a tough choice. Some require more maintenance than others. Knowing the differences between each material and the pros and cons that each countertop has to offer can help you make the right choice for your kitchen.

    Majestic Marble Counters
    Marble is timeless and has been used as a building material for centuries. It has a natural beauty that is very elegant and classy. The downside to this material is that it is porous, meaning it will stain and scratch easily. Marble also requires resealing every couple of years. It is very expensive and hard to maintain but looks beautiful.

    Splendid Soapstone
    This is a very dense material. It's non-porous but extremely susceptible to nicks and scratches. Soapstone is usually only found in gray tones but has various vein patterns. It can be easily maintained with mineral oil. Soapstone is not very expensive but looks great in a kitchen theme featuring various shades of gray.

    Stunning Quartz
    A manmade material, quartz countertops are stain, scratch, heat and acid resistant meaning this material is very low maintenance. Its nonporous surface doesn’t need resealing and is very easy to clean. Quartz comes in a variety of colors and shades, which means it can fit in well in any style of kitchen.

    Rustic Butcher Block
    This handsome material gives kitchens a strong rustic vibe. Butcher block is great for areas of the kitchen commonly used for prepping food. This countertop requires constant resealing, one or more times a year depending on the frequency of use, so it’s a very high maintenance material but looks amazing in cabins and craftsman style kitchens.

    Gorgeous Granite
    Available in a wide range of colors and variations, granite is the most popular choice in countertops for homeowners. Granite does require resealing because it’s a naturally porous stone that soaks up everything, so regular maintenance is important. Granite is typically inexpensive compared to other stone countertops. It comes in various shades, styles, and colors so it fits well in any kitchen.

    Amazing Concrete

    It’s not a very popular material, but concrete countertops are beautiful and very easy to customize. You can choose your own color, thickness, edges and textures with concrete. It does require maintenance and regular sealing but is the least expensive countertop on the market. Concrete is heat, stain, and water resistant when properly maintained.

    There are many more materials available for your countertops, but the five above are the most common surfaces. To make the best decision for your kitchen, visit a showroom that offers these various styles so you can take a look at them first hand. Some even have samples you can take home to compare in your kitchen. Updating your countertops will raise the value of your home, especially if you are giving your entire kitchen a makeover. 

    Summer Patio Décor Themes

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Tuesday, June 13, 2017

    With summer right around the corner, it’s time to pull out the patio furniture and get ready for those backyard barbecues and family gatherings. Make your backyard patio more inviting by adding some seasonal décor. Here are three beautiful themes that are sure to look amazing for this year’s summer season.

    Warm and Rustic Backyard Retreat
    Bring out your rustic side with this traditional patio theme. Wicker or log furniture is best suited for this theme and a porch swing is a stunning touch to add to this design.

    Accent with mason jar lanterns, or use the jars as flower vases. Wooden barrels can be repurposed into flower pots, planters, and even furniture such as tables or benches for a unique look that is sure to catch your guests’ attention. 

    When choosing fabric for your patio accessories, choose something that not only reflects the rustic vibe you are trying to create, but can also hold up to whatever summer weather rolls through your yard. Burlap is an excellent fabric choice for tablecloths, placemats, and even wreaths because it's durable and looks amazing. This design theme is perfect for homes in a country setting, log cabins or for anyone craving the cabin lifestyle.

    Calming Coastal Paradise
    Who doesn’t love the beach? With a coastal vibe, you can create a backyard that makes you smell the salty air every time you step onto your patio. What do you love most about the beach? Is it the water, the sand, the sun, the smells, the relaxing warm air and cool ocean breezes? Bring everything you love about the coast to your backyard with this design theme.

    Driftwood makes great furniture and accessories because it’s sturdy and has a stunning appearance. Tiki torches, sea glass lamps, and string lights should light up the night in this backyard. Lounge chairs and big umbrellas centered around a beautiful fire pit make up the perfect sitting area.

    Incorporate shells, surfboards, rope and anchors to complete the perfect design. Color choices should revolve around the colors you would see at your favorite beach, such as deep ocean blues, sea foam white, and beige colored sand. When this design is complete, you have your own personal ocean getaway any time you please.

    Relaxing Garden Oasis
    The smells of summer are hard to ignore. The beautiful fragrances of roses, sunflowers, and honeysuckles fill the air all around. If being surrounded by the bright array of colors of different flowers keeps you happy, why not create a relaxing garden oasis for your patio? Your guests will enjoy the instant calm feeling of your beautiful backyard garden.

    Divide up the yard into sections for different plant types. A stone walkway should lead away from the steps and into your garden where guests can have a seat on a stone bench. Snooze on the porch swing to the sound of windchimes blowing in the warm summer breeze as butterflies dance from flower to flower. This theme can be customized with as many colors and décor accessories as you like.

    Whether you enjoy relaxing by the sea or in a cozy cabin by the lake, you can create a backyard getaway that gives you the perfect escape without having to leave your home. Designing the perfect backyard patio will have your guests relaxed during your next summer gathering. 

    Choosing the Right Tile for Your Style

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Monday, June 12, 2017

    If you have done any kind of remodeling, whether in your bathroom or kitchen, you have probably realized that there are numerous tile designs and styles available. Although it can be overwhelming looking at all your options, choosing the right tile doesn’t have to be a hard decision.

    Porcelain Tiles
    Porcelain is made from a dense clay. When kept at low moisture levels, this tile can be quite durable, however it is difficult to cut without breaking. Porcelain tiles are great for backsplashes, floors, countertops and walls. They are often found in showers, but don’t tend to last as long as many other tiles. These tiles are often left unglazed and colored white or gray, but can be made custom to feature other colors and designs. Cleaning porcelain tiles is very easy and, when properly cared for, they can last for quite a long time.

    Natural Stone Tiles
    Natural stone tiles are made from a natural, earthy composition and have a unique look. Tiles made from this material are great for walls, ceilings, backsplashes, flooring, showers, tubs, baseboards and outdoor areas; however, natural stone is porous and requires substantially more maintenance than tiles made of other materials. It is recommended that this tile only be used in areas that stay clean.

    Ceramic Tile
    One of the most common tiles in homes today, ceramic tile is extremely easy to clean and maintain. Many versions of ceramic tile feature a natural, red terra-cotta finish for more appeal. Ceramic tile works best on walls, countertops, ceilings, showers and flooring in the bathroom. Because ceramic tile is made from water, sand and natural clay, it is advised not to use this style outside as it will break down very easily in an outdoor environment.

    Glass Tiles
    Just as the name suggests, this tile is made from glass and is one of the easiest tiles to clean and maintain. Glass tiles are moisture-proof, so you don’t have to worry about what room to use them in. They look amazing as a backsplash, on walls, or to finish trims along baseboards and ceilings. This is a very durable tile and comes in millions of colors and designs, meaning no matter what style you have in your home, you can find a glass tile to fit that design without spending a fortune.

    Exotic Tile
    Exotic tile comes in a variety of styles and various materials are used to create it. Because of this, it can be hard to know exactly how durable the tile will be, which can impact your decision about where to place it. Exotic tile looks great on walls, showers, flooring and backsplashes. This tile is used to create a custom look and can be very expensive.

    Knowing all the various materials used to make each type of tile can aid you in your decision about what type of tile to use anywhere in your home. Installing tile is typically done by a professional, but you can ensure they are legit by knowing the facts for yourself. 

    Extraordinary Log Cabin Bedroom Designs

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Sunday, June 11, 2017

    Being in a log cabin offers a unique comfort and peace of mind that is different from the feel of a traditional home. The cabin can be on the outskirts of town or the middle of nowhere and you still develop a sense of calm relaxation taking over your body. Whether you are creating a bedroom within your cabin or designing a cabin-themed bedroom, these tips will help you take advantage of the relaxing traits being in a cabin has to offer, so you are sure to get the best night’s sleep possible.

    Fireplace Focal Point
    If you are just building your cabin this is a no-brainer; simply incorporate a fireplace into the design of the bedroom. However, if you are in a pre-existing cabin or a traditional home, adding a fireplace can be a bit tricky. There are modern ways to create the same look such as installing an electric heater that looks and feels like a real fireplace without all the smoke and wood cutting. There are also gas versions of this style. Either way, adding a fireplace to the bedroom is the first step in creating the log cabin feel. Falling asleep to the glow of a warm fire is an amazing experience.

    Log Style Bedroom Furniture
    Furniture of this style is found in many furniture stores but can also be custom-built to fit the style you are looking for. Log furniture is the perfect choice when creating a log cabin bedroom. Log style canopy beds look amazing and create that five-star hotel feel, while a basic log style bed is just as comfortable but offers a simpler look. You can also purchase matching nightstands, dressers and other accessories to complete the look. These log furniture pieces are very heavy but also very durable. They can be stained as dark or light as needed to match the overall look and feel of the room.

    Rustic Linens and Accessories
    Once you’ve created a layout and chosen the right furniture for your bedroom, it’s time to decide on bed linens and accessories for the room. Flannel linens are the go-to style for many cabin owners or people looking to create that rustic look, but in reality, all natural-colored linens will do just fine. Linens and accessories that feature woodland animals such as bears and deer also make a fantastic addition to the design. Accessories such as lamps made from deer antlers, faux fur rugs, and landscape paintings are all great choices to complete the cabin look in your bedroom.

    When creating a cabin vibe in your bedroom there are a few things you want to avoid. First is unnatural colors such as neon pink, metallic purple, highlighter orange and lime green just to name a few. Look for colors found in nature such as blue, red, orange, grass green, dark blue, and brown. Try your best to use only natural materials in the build and design of the room, including hardwood floors and solid wood furniture. Being in a cabin is meant to bring you closer to nature, keep that in mind when creating your own log cabin bedroom. 

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