I recently became acquainted with Paul Denikin. While Paul was always interested in home improvement, he became an expert when his daughter, Maggie, was born with special needs. At that time, Paul realized he needed to modify his home so that it would be safe and functional for Maggie. He started his website, dadknowsdiy.com, to share what he’s learned with the rest of us. Here, he talks about how painting your home can improve its value and its appearance.
DIY home improvements are one of the most common ways home sellers will try to increase the value of their home. While some DIY projects can be complex or expensive such as redoing your bathroom, other projects are far less complicated. It may seem difficult to up the value of your home, but in reality, a few simple improvements can dramatically change how your house is viewed by potential buyers. The best way to make an impact without breaking the bank? Paint.
Continue reading “The Power of Paint, by Guest Blogger Paul Denikin” »
Over the past few months, I’ve had a number of clients ask me for help organizing storage units. Some clients have multiple storage units and some have just one. In some cases, the storage units are complimentary perks that come with apartments, and, in other cases, exorbitant fees are paid. Sometimes, the client knows exactly what’s stored in the unit and wants to make it less cluttered or more appealing. And sometimes, the items have been put away for years, and the client has no idea what s/he will find there. While I generally believe that a client is better off purging and living within his/her space means, here are some instances when a storage unit is a good idea:
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Now that summer is upon us, it’s time to prepare your vacation house for a wonderful season. Here are my tips for getting your house in tip top shape:
- Make sure all appliances, large and small, are in working order.
- Replace light bulbs as necessary.
- Wash all linens and towels. Inspect for holes and stains.
- Open windows to let fresh air into the house.
- Put a load of dishes, silverware, and kitchenware into the dishwasher.
- Tend to broken window screens and wash all windows.
- Wipe cupboards, fridge shelves, stovetop, and appliances clean.
- Take outdoor furniture out of storage and check for damage. Replace if necessary.
- Check expiration dates on sunblock and other toiletries. Replace anything that has expired.
- Check the wi-fi connection, cable, and music system.
- Purchase flowers for the porch and the indoors.
- Stock up on food and beverages.
- Pour yourself a glass of wine and settle in for a great summer!
Here are my best organizing tips utilizing items you already own!
1. Peel off the labels of baby food jars and use them to hold paper clips, safety pins, buttons, and keys.
2. Use up all of the half full toiletries in your bathroom such as shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and sunblock. The fewer products you have to store, the neater your bathroom will look.
3. Stock up on storage containers from your local dollar store. As long as all of your containers are uniform, they don’t have to cost a lot of money.
4. Use push pins on a bulletin board to hang costume jewelry like necklaces and bracelets.
5. Clip barrettes and bows to a wide piece of colorful ribbon.
6. Instead of having loose change all over your house, corral your currency in a mason jar.
7. Place a tray on a coffee table, entry way table or bedside table. Remote controls, cell phones, and car keys will look stylish and chic when contained.
Although we’d all love our homes to look like those pictured in magazines, not everyone has access to fancy decorators, spacious layouts, and expensive furniture. Yet, there are many stylish solutions for your organizing dilemmas that are as practical as they are pretty. Here are a few of my favorites…
Organizing Dilemma 1: My Bedroom Looks Cluttered
While I can’t comment on the piles of clothing, work projects, or toys you may have lying around, I can promise that white bedding will make any room feel more peaceful and calm. Make your bed with white sheets and a white coverlet, and your room will instantly be transformed to a Zen oasis. To add pizzazz, use brightly colored pillows and a colorful throw folded along the bottom of the bed. Keep in mind that you can change those pillows and throw blanket to get a different look any time you feel the urge. Try dark colors and heavy fabrics like velvet and corduroy for the winter months and lighter fabrics and colors for the summer.
Organizing Dilemma 2: I Don’t Have Enough Storage Space
When you think you don’t have enough storage space, you’re probably correct. The good news is that many manufacturers are designing pieces that look great and provide ample storage as well. So, say no to nightstands with nary a drawer or shelf. Instead, look for nightstands that have multiple drawers, particularly if you’re a “collector” of stuff (see picture on the left). The piece pictured on the right has flip down drawer fronts to accommodate a cable box or DVD player (or books as shown).
Design Studio of Somerville, 908-685-1921, design-sos.com
Organizing Dilemma 3: I Have Piles of “Stuff” on My Counters
If you’re prone to piles of random stuff, corral your clutter with a beautiful tray. Add a framed picture, candles, or a vase, and your remote controls, keys, spare change, and books become a fashion statement instead of a declaration of your mess. Place these trays on your dresser, night table, or coffee table, or wherever you stash your stuff, so you’ve displaced the mess. You’ll even have incentive to put items where they belong.
| Design Studio of Somerville, 908-685-192
Organizing Dilemma 4: There’s No Room on My Nightstands for a Tray
When your nightstands won’t accommodate anything other than a lamp, move the lighting onto the wall by installing sconces. Purely practical, but sconces also provide an opportunity for a fashionable décor statement.
Organizing Dilemma 5: There’s No Room in My Kitchen for Large Pieces
Large serving pieces can make beautiful focal points for your kitchen. Instead of storing a large bowl, fill it with fruit and center it on your kitchen table. Instead of cramming that large pitcher in the bottom corner of your cupboard, put it out on display in a corner of your kitchen.
Do you have any ideas that merge organizing and decorating? If so, I’d love to hear them!