Teen Room Decorating

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Friday, February 17, 2017

    The stereotypical teenager lives in a bedroom littered with piles of laundry, old pizza boxes and walls of music posters. But that doesn’t have to be the case for your teen's bedroom. Make them happy in their space and help them have the room of their dreams. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to decorating your teenager's room.

    Make It Their Space
    First and foremost, you have to remember that it is their space, not yours. If you want them to keep the room clean, then you should make sure they are at least happy in it. Even as adults we find that it is much easier to do something if it brings us joy, and if your teen is happy in their room, chances are it will be reflected in how they maintain it. Even teens with a messy personality can keep a room clean. When decorating the room, make sure your teen is involved 100% and try to refrain from shooting down all their ideas. They know what they like. You can guide them without taking away from their chance to make a decision.

    Make a Plan Together
    Use this as a chance to bond and spend quality time together. Grab a stack of their favorite teen magazines, catalogs, paint samples, and whatever else you think you may need and start planning together. Talk to them about how you see it and if they hate your ideas don’t get discouraged, just listen and move on. Draw the outline of the bedroom as if making a blueprint and glue in pictures of linens, furniture, paint colors, etc. when you finally have it all planned out go shopping for all you need. That’s the fun part, right?

    Bring It to Life
    This is the part where you stand aside, mostly. Help put furniture together and arrange it according to plan, but let your teen do the decorating. They can hang the pictures and posters and arrange the décor items how they want. After all, they have to live in the space. If you don’t like where they put something it's okay. You are never going to agree with everything they do, so no point in trying to. Just pick your battles and move on.

    ven if you hate every part of the way they design their room, keep in mind that it's only temporary. It may not seem like it now, but you are helping them prepare for their first apartment, for life on their own. Taking the time to make a budget with them before going shopping and showing them the basics to designing a space are things they will need to know when they finally get their own place. So what if you hate the colors they choose or the posters they hang? It won’t be like this for long. You can guide them to the right choices when it comes to decorating, but it is ultimately their decision for their room. Embrace their independence.

    Make Your Entryway Better

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Thursday, February 16, 2017

    The entryway to your home is a very important part of your home’s exterior. It leads guests in. Just as your personal appearance makes the first impression, so does the appearance of your entryway. If it looks like a hot mess, imagine what your guests will think about the rest of your home. Here are some great tips to upgrade the entryway to your home without overspending.

    Start at Their Feet
    Having a walkway that is well maintained does wonders for the front of your home. The walkway is what leads guests to your door and sets the tone of the appearance of your home. It should be at least three feet wide—wide enough for a couple to walk side by side. It should be free of cracks and edged properly, making it free of overgrown weeds. Adding some mulch, flowers and/or plant life will add color and life to your walkway. Plant life naturally gives an inviting feel. Use bright and clean colors. Take the style of your home into consideration when choosing colors so that you can be sure that everything goes together and the walkway looks as if it belongs to your home.

    Doors and Porch
    Beautiful front doors create an exciting presence. Having the right style of door in the right color for your house will add to the beauty and charm of your home.

    Same goes for the porch. If the existing paint is chipping and cracking, a fresh coat of paint is a major improvement. Bright colored flower pots and flowers are a great accent. Keep hedges trimmed back and well cared for so they don’t consume the porch. It is also important to remember not to overcrowd your porch either. A great rule of thumb when deciding what belongs on your porch is to ask yourself, “Is it in season? Does it fit the style? And do I need it?” If the answer to any of these questions is no, then it needs to go. To keep your porch feeling inviting, keep it clutter-free and clean. This shows guests that your home is well cared for on the inside as well.

    The Little Things Matter
    The address number may seem like a little thing, but it makes a big difference. You must display your address, so do so in a way that adds character. Hang some plants from the awning, and update the moldings on your porch. Even the hardware on the doors can change the entire look of your entryway. Keep things symmetrical. What you do on the left, you should do on the right. Lastly, update the lighting. Even during the day, the light fixtures are a big part of the outside entry way. Use a decorative light fixture and keep it clean of dust and bugs.

    It doesn’t cost a lot to update the front of your home. Most upgrades like this don’t cost anything at all. Just spend some time cleaning and maintaining the yard and outdoor décor and your home will look as good as new with little effort. 

    Why you Should Update Your Garage Door

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Wednesday, February 15, 2017

    Updating the exterior of your home can not only up the curb appeal of your home, but also the value. But maybe you don’t have to revamp the entire exterior, it could just be you need some new garage doors. After all, the garage doors are a huge part of the outside of your home. If they are in poor condition or don’t go with the style of your home, then it’s time for an update.

    Planning the Project
    This is one of those projects that can go well with your spring cleaning routine. But if there is way too much to do, you can just wait till summer to get it done. Either way, this kind of project should be done when it is warm and dry outside. Depending on the method you choose, it should only take a few hours to get the job done and have your home looking beautiful again.

    However, keep in mind that if you choose to hire someone to either paint or install new doors, you will have to plan around their schedule and that could take longer than something you could do yourself. Don’t plan to install new garage doors yourself if you have no idea what you are doing, or you could spend the whole day just making a mess.

    Choosing Your Materials
    Let’s say you choose to install new garage doors, you should know that there is a variety to choose from when it comes to materials.

    1. Wood has the widest range of design options but is the most expensive choice.

    2. Aluminum doesn’t rust like other metals and is a good choice for a home that is close to the water or in a coastal region.

    3. Steel is less expensive but has a tendency to rust

    4. Tempered glass is an option with a wood or steel frame and looks great on modern homes.

    5. Fiberglass and vinyl are the more budget-friendly options. They don’t rust, but can crack in the winter and have limited design choices.

    There are also different styles of doors such as a sectional which is the more common garage door that rolls up on a rack. There are the sliding barn-style doors and a swing-out door, which opens outward like French doors on a home.

    Making a Decision
    In many cases, you wouldn’t need to install new doors. A simple paint job can give you the look you are going for. When choosing to paint, be sure you use the paint that works best on the material of the door. The right paint can dramatically improve the look of your garage and your home and won’t need to be repainted again for a few years. You can also just change out the hardware on the door. It seems like a small thing but can make a big difference.

    You will be amazed at how different your home will look with a fresh garage door. This small upgrade can instantly improve the curb appeal and value of your home.

    The Evolution of the Arts and Crafts Movement

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Tuesday, February 14, 2017

    Many events happened before the Arts and Crafts Movement that sparked its beginning. To fully understand the impact of the movement, you need to know where life was before, during and after the Arts and Crafts Movement.

    During the Movement
    The movement was a peaceful protest against the industrial revolution. This peaceful and artistic protest created the most beautiful styles in history. The main goals of the Arts and Crafts Movement were to find joy in work, live a simple life, stay connected to nature, and create objects that were well designed but affordable to everyone. These ideals were expressed through handcrafted objects, and homes built using local materials that fit the landscape. The goal was to separate people from the world around them. The world that contained the industrial revolution where people were working in unhealthy factories and mining jobs.

    Before the Movement
    When the Arts and Crafts movement began, there were many things happening in the world that had corrupted society in the eyes of many who were in protest of the industrial revolution. Mass production was all about shooting out as many objects as possible for the growing middle class. The problem was, these products were poorly designed and poorly built. The best things were still hand made, but extremely expensive compared to items that were mass produced.

    The Victorian style was still trending. This style was all about showing how much money you had, and to do so, people would fill their homes with as much stuff as they could to show their ability to spend their money on things not essential to survival. In England, everything was in vogue and the American people still looked to England for cultural inspiration. Therefore, the architecture in America was designed from English and French architecture that didn’t fit the landscape here.

    After the Movement
    The technical revolution that happened in the 1950s was similar to the industrial revolution 100 years earlier, and the display of wealth grew increasingly important. However, during this movement, that status symbol was an automobile. After the owners of the original Arts and Crafts homes lived their lives in them, the second generation of owners moved in and updated the homes with modern appliances, and painted the woodwork. Those changes make it hard to find an original Arts and Crafts home today.

    It seems that with the boom of DIY culture in today's society, the movement could be making a comeback, in a way. There are so many crafters selling handcrafted one-of-a-kind pieces all over the internet, and so many people craving handcrafted goods, that it's like being in the Arts and Crafts movement all over again.

    Caring for Amish Furniture

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Monday, February 13, 2017

    Amish furniture can be expensive, but also very beautiful and worth the investment. These furniture pieces are beautiful heirloom pieces and can last through many generations when properly cared for. You can’t treat this kind of furniture the same as you would a furniture piece in your home. It has to be properly cared for to make it last. You wouldn’t buy a new car and never wash it or change the oil. The same goes for wood furniture whether Amish or any kind. It has to be properly maintained.

    Where to Place Your Furniture
    Placement of furniture is important not just for decorative purposes. Don’t place your furniture pieces in direct sunlight or in the rays of the sun through the window for too many hours in the day. Sunlight can damage the finish of the wood. The same goes for strong artificial lights.

    You also want to keep your furniture away from radiators, heating ducts, fireplaces, and any warm or cold drafts. Heat causes the wood to swell, whereas cold causes it to shrink, the constant shrinking and swelling of the wood can cause joints to loosen and compromise the stability of the furniture in damp places such as a basement, or anywhere the environment varies as this can cause the item to warp.

    How to Clean Amish Furniture
    Every home has a cleaning routine of some kind. Dusting your furniture regularly is the start to keeping your furniture pieces clean and beautiful. Never use alcohol-based products on them because it can cause permanent damage to the wood. You also don’t want to use polishes containing silicone. Silicone will artificially increase the sheen of the wood, but will also absorb into the wood and dry it out, making the wood cloudy and difficult to repair and refinish. The best way to clean your Amish furniture pieces is to use a dry cloth for dusting weekly, wipe up spills as soon as they happen, and use a semi-damp cloth to clean up smudges and other sticky messes.

    Preserving the Wood
    The best way to preserve Amish furniture is by applying lemon oil once every couple of months. Lemon oil protects the wood from cracking and drying out. Put a small amount of oil on a lint-free cloth and spread it over the entire surface of the wood, then wipe it dry with a clean cloth until the finish shines. Beware of other furniture polishes as they may do more harm than good. You can also consult with the Amish furniture dealer you purchased the furniture piece from.

    Just as you need to maintain your home, you have to maintain your furniture. Anything made of wood is subject to scratches, drying, rotting, and other disasters that can damage wood furniture, but with proper cleaning and maintenance, you can ensure the furniture stays just as beautiful as the day you bought it and will last for many years to come.

    How to Buy Arts and Crafts Furniture

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Saturday, February 4, 2017

    When shopping for Arts and Crafts style furniture, many people don’t care much about the history in the style. They don’t care about the rebellion against the industrial revolution or the people who made the Arts and Crafts movement possible. Instead, they are looking for the appeal of the easily identified and naturally strong woods such as American Cherry and White Oak. The high-quality craftsmanship that is found in the furniture of this period is another aspect that draws in consumers.

    How the Furniture Is Made
    Many furniture pieces of this period were constructed using mortise and tenon joints. This is a technique where a projecting tenon fits perfectly into a mortise opening, like where the leg meets the crossbar. If possible, joints are pinned with dowels as opposed to nails and gluing, so that pieces don’t shift as the wood shrinks and swells. A well constructed furniture piece shouldn’t require any glue or nails. In early pieces, craftsmen used interlocking techniques as decorative elements.

    Not every furniture piece is constructed solely out of wood. Many highly prized pieces use leather upholstery and feature hand carvings and inlays. These decorative features add both value and cost to a piece.

    The Perfect Finish
    The finish on wooden furniture is the first thing that anyone notices. A good finish doesn’t just look good, it also protects the wood and increases the life of the furniture. When searching for true craftsman style furniture, pay close attention to the finish. Real craftsman pieces are sanded by hand and pigment stained many times to achieve a certain color.

    After this step, the finish is hand rubbed to create highlights and expose different layers in the finish. A final step in creating a beautiful finish is applying a layer of penetrating wax that should help the wood keep a fine appearance for many years. These steps are done in this order to further enhance the handcrafted appearance of any piece of Arts and Crafts furniture.

    Where to Find True Craftsman Furniture
    Knowing how it’s made will help you know where to look, and what to look for, when searching for true craftsman style furniture. There are many online retailers that sell these furniture pieces. Thrift stores and antique shops are also great places to look. Keep in mind that there are many reproductions out there, and just because the price matches authentic craftsman style furniture pieces, doesn’t mean it’s real. This is why knowing how it’s made and true details of the build will prevent you from being scammed.

    Take the time to do your research and pay close attention to the furniture you are purchasing. If you are looking for real Arts and Crafts furniture pieces you don’t want to waste your money on reproduction pieces. If you don’t care whether or not the furniture is authentic, and are just going for the look of the Arts and crafts movement, then, by all means, go for it. If you are going for the real thing, be sure to protect your investment.

    Handsome Man Caves for Any Home

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Wednesday, February 1, 2017

    Men love their man caves. Even if they don’t have one, they want one. For most men, their cave is in the shed or the garage, the basement, wherever they can find peace and quiet. If your man works hard to provide for the family, why shouldn’t he have a man cave? Here’s how to create the perfect man cave for any man, in any home.

    Choose a Location
    The location of the man cave has a lot to do with what your man likes to do in his free time. If he enjoys working on the cars or making things such as furniture, the garage will be a great place for his man cave. A shed in the backyard is also a good place for your handsome crafter. If your man isn’t very handy, but has other hobbies such as video games, hunting, fishing, or sports, the basement or another unused room in your home would make the perfect man cave. It's all in preference. Pay attention to where he spends most of his free time, this will help determine where he would want to have his man cave.

    Designing the Man Cave
    After you have chosen a location, it’s time to plan how you are going to decorate the cave and the location plays a big part in this. The theme should involve what your man loves to do most. This is your map to your design. Hunting-themed rooms should have a rustic and natural design. Mounted animals from his hunts make great décor for this room. Sports-themed rooms should feature décor that involves his favorite sports teams and a large television, of course.

    If gaming is where he finds peace, how you design his space is based on the type of console he games on. If his console is connected to the television, this will be the main area of the room. Comfortable seating around the TV and modern storage for his gaming accessories will make this space his favorite. Using his favorite game as inspiration for color schemes, and décor items such as posters and other fan items that go with the game is a fantastic way to decorate the space for that special gamer in your life.

    Tips to Remember
    If your man is a hard worker he deserves a place to get away, but there are a few things to keep in mind when designing his man cave. It’s easy to get carried away when designing any space in your home, but you have to remember that you aren’t designing this area for yourself. Keep what he wants in mind. If you are designing the man cave as a surprise, then of course you can’t ask him what he wants, but you can set up the basics. This gives him room to make the space his own, later on down the road and you don’t have to worry about getting in the way.

    Adding On to a Log Home

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Monday, January 30, 2017

    As your family grows and the years go by, you may find that your once-cozy home is a bit overcrowded. Adding to a traditional home is no big deal compared to building an addition onto your log home. Maybe your family size didn’t change but your needs changed. Whatever the reason may be, your log cabin is too small and needs some added space, so where do you begin?

    Where to Add Space?
    When it comes to your log home and choosing to add additional space, your first decision needs to be where to add the space. Do you want the addition on the main floor or on a second level? This decision has a number of factors to take into account. Things such as building site, the design of both your existing home and the prospective addon, and your budget. In many cases, it may be more expensive to add an additional story to your log cabin because you will need to account for the roof removal as well as protecting the newly exposed part of the home from the elements. You also need to ensure that the foundation can hold the weight of an additional floor. The less expensive option is to add the additional space to the main floor.

    Matching Materials
    When adding an addition to your log home, one challenge you may run into is matching up logs. Depending on how old your log cabin is, the existing logs may have had several years to shrink and settle. Everything may match up when you complete the addition, but be uneven several years later because of shrinkage—and predicting the size of the logs after they shrink is tricky because no two logs shrink at the same rate. Log additions also have a problem when it comes to blending the appearance of the existing logs with the new ones. Aged logs are darker than new logs. The same goes for stained logs. Stained logs are also hard to match because the stain typically darkens over time.

    Call in the Professionals
    Log homes are very valuable when properly maintained. Call in structural engineers or a professional builder who specializes in log homes before making any changes to your cabin. Some walls in your home may be load-bearing walls, meaning they support the weight of the house. If these walls are removed, or compromised in any way, it could compromise the safety of the structure entirely. If you are trying to add a door or window to a load-bearing wall, this is where you will want a professional involved to ensure you don’t lessen the safety of the structure.

    Log cabins are a beautiful investment and should be cared for properly. Always do your research before attempting any addition to your cabin. You worked hard to make your cabin a beautiful home, don’t ruin it with a simple building mistake. Just because it saves you money, doesn’t mean it’s the right choice.

    How to Design an Efficient Family Room

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Saturday, January 21, 2017

    Everyone knows the importance of spending time together as a family. Having an efficiently designed family room is very helpful to making the most of your time together. There are so many things to do in a family room. Watching movies or television, playing video and board games, or just having a good conversation can happen in a good family room.

    Layout Is Important
    The way the room is organized and the furniture is positioned is important to having a good quality family room. Start with the focal point of the room. In most homes, the focal point of the family room is the television. Whether you position the TV over the fireplace or on a media center, making the television the focal point of the room tells you how to position your furniture. Once you establish your focal point, position the seating facing towards whatever that is. For this article, it will be the TV.

    Furniture Makes a Difference
    Try to have the seating together if possible. Sharing a movie or TV show together is better if you can actually sit together as a family. This is where having a large sectional sofa is beneficial because it can serve as a place for the entire family to gather for cuddles and entertainment, and if you have an open floor plan, this can be a way to separate the space as well. A large coffee table with drawers or a large storage ottoman is another perfect piece of furniture for a family room because you have to have somewhere to store and play all those board games. Who doesn’t love family game night? If you are more of a video gaming family, then this piece of furniture isn’t as important as a good media center. There are tons of modern solutions for storing your gaming accessories that can go with any style.

    The Little Details Matter Too
    Since this is a place where everyone, including the little ones, will gather, it’s a very good idea to go with stain-resistant upholstery on the furniture. Same goes for area rugs and carpet. Having something that is easy to clean will ensure that family game night is as stress-free as possible. If going for stain-resistant upholstery is too expensive, you could always invest in a slipcover for the sofa. This way, if accidents happen, and they will, you can just toss the slipcover in the wash and go on with movie night.

    It is never too early, or too late, to ensure your family gets as much time together as possible. Quality time together is important, and having a good family room is one little way you can make a big difference in how efficient your family time is. In the end, it isn’t about how expensive your furniture is or how fancy the room looks, the most important feature in your family room is your family. 

    Designing Your First Studio Apartment

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Wednesday, January 18, 2017

    Living in a studio apartment comes with a lot of drawbacks, one huge drawback being the lack of space and, of course, the obvious feeling of living in your bedroom. But living in a studio apartment, especially as your first place, can be a cozy experience.

    Separate Your Bed
    Separating your bed can give you a good bit of privacy. There are a few ways to do this. Some people put their bed in the closet. This is a cute idea if you’re lucky enough to have a studio apartment with more than one closet. However, if you only have one closet, then I don’t recommend this because, after all, you will need that closet space. I recommend hanging drapes around the bed. This creates an elegant and private bed nook.

    Another way to separate the bed from the rest of the apartment is to use room dividers. These tips work great for a traditional bed. The most common bed for a studio apartment is a Murphy bed. This option allows you to fold your bed away when you need extra space for entertainment.

    Use Your Walls and Ceiling
    Walls offer a ton of storage space. Use the walls to hang hooks and pegs for hanging décor. Floating shelves not only offer tons of storage space and can be hung anywhere, but are very decorative and come in a variety of colors. Use the ceiling for storage as well. No, it’s not crazy.

    Separate your kitchen area from the rest of the apartment with a small island, and above the island, you can hang a pot rack to store hanging cookware. It’s decorative and functional and that’s what is best in an apartment such as this.

    Colors and Light
    Studio apartments are often very small and can feel dark and dramatic. Painting the walls white and allowing tons of natural light into the apartment can really open up the space, making it feel larger. Go with light-colored linens to reflect the natural light. If you notice that corners are dark, adding a beautiful floor lamp will brighten where needed. Keep the windows clean and don’t place furniture in front of the windows. The more sunlight, the better for your apartment and your mood.

    Use Mirrors as Wall Art
    There are thousands of styles of mirrors which means that there is sure to be a mirror perfect for your little apartment. Mirrors aren’t just for putting on makeup. They reflect light, adding brightness and space to a room, thus making your apartment feel so much bigger than it really is. 

    You have to start out somewhere. If you are starting out in a studio apartment, don’t feel down, there are so many great ways to make a small and affordable space work for you. Take your time when planning your space, set a budget, and pretty soon you will have a beautiful starter space designed to fit you.

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