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Which is better for a Baby’s Room? Flooring or Carpeting?

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When it comes to the best flooring for your nursery, there are many different factors to take into consideration. After all, this floor has very different requirements to the other rooms in your house – mainly the fact that soon enough a little person will be crawling all over it!

So which is better for your baby? Well there are advantages and disadvantages to both flooring and carpets, so let’s take a look at both:

Carpets

Carpets are often a popular choice due to their forgiving nature – when your baby starts taking their first tentative steps and doesn’t quite have their balance yet, falling on a cushioned surface is obviously more appealing than hardwood. This type of flooring is also much less slippery, helping both you and baby from having unnecessary accidents. This makes carpets a great choice for the nursery.

That being said, carpets are known for being breeding grounds for unsavory visitors like dust mites, holding mold and mildew, and being difficult to clean. This is certainly a concern if your little one has allergies or suffers from asthma.

If you choose to carpet the nursery, opt for natural materials or similar low –VOC synthetic carpeting and ensure to clean it regularly. You should also get it fitted well in advance of baby’s arrival, so it has a chance to air out and you can vacuum any excess fibers.

Flooring

There’s a huge number of different types of non-carpet available:

  • Wooden flooring is durable, long-lasting, and easy to clean.
  • Bamboo is more eco-friendly than wood and is a lot more affordable.
  • Cork is another option that’s a little warmer and softer than traditional wood, and is naturally antimicrobial.
  • Laminates are easy on the pocket, but you should check what it’s treated as some contain chemicals that can irritate both you and your little one.

All of these types of flooring are of course harder than carpet, so you should invest in an area rug to place over to protect your baby (and the floor!) This also helps to create different areas in the nursery (for example one rug for the crib, one rug to play on). Area rugs come in pretty much any shape, size, style, and color, and can be replaced when needed and as your baby grows.

How to Save Money On a Bathroom Remodel

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Remodeling your bathroom can be an expensive task to undertake, but by being smart and doing your research you can easily find ways to keep costs at a minimum. Bathrooms present a unique challenge thanks to their inherent complexities (plumbing, electric etc.) but that doesn’t mean that remodeling means you have to remortgage your home. Let’s take a look at some tips on how to inject new life into your bathroom without breaking the bank:

Update instead of Replace

You’d be surprised by how much a little love and care towards your original fixtures and fittings can go. Regrouting can make a huge difference to the overall aesthetic, and you don’t have to go the trouble and expense of ripping out and replacing tiles. Look into painting cabinets, replacing handles, and bathtub/sink refinishing.

Keep Your Plumbing in Place

If you opt to use your existing plumbing you’ll save yourself a great deal in the long run. Moving plumbing to relocate items such as your toilet and bath will not only be a huge task to undertake, it also bumps up the price of your remodel by around $5,000 on average.

Look For Deals

If you’re a keen bargain hunter make sure to hit the flea markets and thrift stores for interesting décor, lighting, and furniture. You might also be able to find leftover tiles as people often buy more than what they need – check local Facebook and Craigslist pages. If you find a good deal you can top up by buying the remainder directly from the store.

Create a Focal Point

Spend a little more on a focal point to have large impact without breaking the bank. Consider spending more on one large item which will draw the eye of visitors, such as a new countertop or an elegantly-framed mirror.

Shop Around

If you decide to get help for more complicated aspects of your remodel (such as plumbing, installations, and electrics) make sure you get a great service for a reasonable price. Check online for reviews and meet with several contractors to see what they can offer you. You should also check how long their warranty lasts.      

How to Save Money On a Kitchen Remodel

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Remodeling projects tend to be a bit costly and time consuming. First, you’ve got to work out all of your logistics, and then it’s time to start executing your plan. It can seem impossible to find ways to cut a few financial corners, so here’s a few ways on how to save money on a kitchen remodel that you may not have considered before:

  1. Plan out your major purchases. While this one seems like a given, one of the biggest purchases in a kitchen remodel are the cabinets. A great way to make this a little more affordable is to opt for ready-to-assemble cabinets instead of other kinds. They’re still semi custom and if you’re an avid do-it-yourselfer, then you won’t even need a contractor on board when it comes time to install.
  2. Consider alternates. While you may fall in love with a white marble countertop, you may be able to find an alternative material that’s more cost effective and maintains the same look. Consider this with your flooring as well. Brand new hardwood floors are beautiful, but recycled wood and other options like bamboo are just as gorgeous for a fraction of the price.
  3. Don’t move things too much. While you may be hoping to adjust the layout of your kitchen a little bit, try to avoid moving any major appliances. Having to rewire or redo the plumbing for a sink or dishwasher is something that will most definitely supersede the cap of your budget. Instead, find ways to work around what you already have set up and consider options that will compliment those instead of starting your project completely from scratch.
  4. Don’t do it all at once. While in theory doing one large hull seems efficient, it can also be a bit limiter on your budget. As long as you have a solid plan in place, you can definitely find ways to do it in stages. Start with flooring, then move to countertops and cabinets, transition into appliances, and work into backsplashes and painting. This will keep you from being totally overwhelmed as well as keeping your kitchen somewhat workable as you’re remodeling.

 

How to Save money on New Flooring

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It can be intimidating to start a remodeling project. Designing your home is a big task to take on and also requires a considerable budget. One of the biggest purchases you’ll make when designing your home is your flooring. While it can seem like a lot to take on, there are a few ways you can learn how to save money on new flooring:

  1. Do the grunt work yourself. While it’s not the best of jobs, ripping up your own old carpeting is definitely a money saver. By moving any furniture that’s in the way and getting all of the carpeting and staples up ahead of time, you’ll save a ton of money before you’ve even truly started your project.
  2. Don’t be a stickler with your woods. Knowing what you want and having a clear vision is very important. However, if you get too picky then you’ll end up jacking up your prices. Be willing to compromise if you’re opting for a hardwood floor type of finish. Bamboo is a great alternative that is also eco friendly. You’ll get the hardwood look that’s a fraction of the cost and better for the environment.
  3. DIY as much as possible. For some people this may not be as doable, but for those who have experience with things like this, it’s always cheaper to do it yourself. Installing your own flooring will save you heaps of money in labor bills you would otherwise have. However, only do this if you’re confident in your abilities. The last thing you want is to have to pay someone to redo what you attempted the first go around.
  4. Plan around the contractor. By this we mean that there are certain seasons that are busier for most contractors and others that are slower. Typically, a contractor is most busy during the spring and summer when everyone is itching to get things cleaned and changed a bit. Scheduling your project for the fall or winter could get you some discounts. Some contractors are willing to cut you a break during their less busy seasons and while it may not seem like much at first, you’ll save a lot in the long run with how involved and time-consuming flooring can be.

How to Refurbish Cabinets

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Updating your home is something that always seems to be in the back of every do-it-yourselfers mind. Whether it’s new trends coming to the forefront, or a change in your own style, there’s always things you can do to adjust your house into more of a home. A great way to make a change without breaking your bank is to refurbish your cabinets. This being said, it’s not always the easiest of tasks. Here’s how to refurbish cabinets the DIY way:

  1. Start with the basics. While you may be ready to jump right into refurbishing the physical cabinet itself, you should start off with something a bit more rudimentary: the hinges. This is something that many people skip over and it’s one aspect that can make a huge difference. Having hinges that are new and work properly is a great way to give your cabinets a little more TLC.
  2. Get your tools in order. It’s important to have a solid plan in action. You’ll need to gather all of your tools ahead of time like your sandpaper, screw drivers, and paint brushes. Be sure you’ve already got your stain or paint picked out and create a plan of action on you you’ll maneuver refurbishing them all.
  3. Get to sanding. Once you’ve gotten everything in order, you’ll need to begin the refurbishing process. You’ll want to sand down all of the surfaces making sure there’s no longer any old stain or paint left on the cabinets. Once you’re done, use a rag to wipe each surface clean. The last thing you’ll want is to have a spotty paint job after all of that sanding work.
  4. It’s staining time. In order to apply your stain, make sure your surface is smooth and prepped. When applying stain, you’ll want to use a rag and rub it into the wood. This allows the stain to permeate deeper into the pores of the wood. Be sure that you are rubbing with the grain of the wood to get a smooth and professional look on your stain. As the stain dries, it will darken as well so be sure you’re mindful of this as you’re applying your layers. Multiple layers equate to a darker stain look over all.

How to Refurbish Existing Hardwood

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Hardwood floors are a classic centerpiece of many homes. They provide a timeless elegance that other materials simply can’t, as well as give you the ability to style your home almost any way you want around it. This being said, hardwood flooring eventually tends to need a little refurbishing. Here’s how to refurbish existing hardwood floors in your home:

  1. Asses the damages. This step is important because it tells you how much prep you’ll actually need to do. For instance, if you have scratches that go all the way through the wood, you’ll want to consider some sort of sanding before getting to the painting aspect. However, if you have more superficial scratching you can typically get away with a simple buff instead.
  2. Get your tools handy. Once you know what you’re getting yourself into, there’s a few things you’ll need. First is sandpaper for those tough deep scratches and hard edges you’re contending with. Next, is a buffer which can typically be rented at any home center (be careful with these, they tend to get away from people). And last for your prep is a vacuum to suck up the dust particles form your buffing.
  3. Add your protecting coats. Once you’ve properly prepped, it’s time for the polyurethane. This is a clear finish that protects your wood and gives it that shiny new look you’ve been dreaming of. It’s highly durable and will last you for years making sure that you don’t have to refinish your flooring too often.
  4. Wrap it all up. With your finishing touches, be sure that you’ve gotten into all of the tough corners and after letting it dry for the allotted amount of time, be sure to clean it. Once you’ve done this it’s time to move back into the space. Be mindful of furniture and try to limit scratching as much as possible so that your finish stays fresh for years. Get protectors that you can put on the bottoms of the furniture and consider area rugs for places that tend to get a lot of foot traffic or are susceptible to damage.

Can I Paint my Floors?

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When figuring out which avenue to take when it comes to your flooring, there are so many options it can seem overwhelming. Many homeowners decide on a hardwood or hardwood look alike since it’s the most timeless and reliable of the flooring options. Once you’ve done this, after some time you may be looking to spruce up your floor without having to totally change it. If you’ve had the same finish or stain on it for years, you may be tempted to switch it up and paint them.

Many people ask, “Can I paint my floors?” worried that the paint with either damage the wood or simply not take to it in the way that they imagined. However, most hardwood floors can be painted. This being said it’s important to properly prep the floor before attempting to paint it. Painting directly over a glossy, finished, floor is never a good idea as the paint won’t permeate properly or set in the way you’re imagining.

Be sure before painting you thoroughly sand or buff out the flooring, finished by vacuuming up all of the dust particles. Once you’ve done that, it’s safe to start your project. While many think it’s sacrilege to paint over a wood floor, in some cases it’s exactly what a space calls for. You may have cheaper wood being used for that room that simply doesn’t look the way you want it too and painting is a lot easier and cheaper than reflooring. Or you may simply be looking for a way to express your creativity. Either way, as long as you’re properly prepared for the job, it’s never a bad option.

It’s very important that when you’re choosing your paint you purchase one that is high quality, meant for floors, and (if possible) contains polyurethane. All of these will ensure that your paint will withstand the test of time as well as the everyday wear and tear that happens with floors. The polyurethane will protect it on a deeper level as well as help it last especially in more humid environments. Being sure to invest in high quality paint will keep you from a series of possible problems down the line, so as much as you’re saving in not having to refloor you’ll still want to splurge a little on high quality paints.

Can I Paint My Cabinets?

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Repainting wood can seem like a highly time consuming or costly job. In reality, it’s one of the easier projects out there and doesn’t have to be too expensive. This being said, there’s a lot to think about when tackling a project like this and many people ask, “Can I paint my cabinets?” They wonder if it’s a job that can be completed as a do-it-yourselfer, or if it’s one that requires a professional’s help.

Cabinet painting is one of the better DIY projects to tackle, especially if you’re new to the DIY game. When repainting your cabinets there are a few things you’ll want to think of. To begin, you’ll want to assess the condition of your cabinets. Do they have deep scratches in them or stains you’ll need to sand out? Regardless, you’ll need to sand down the surfaces of all of the cabinets so that the glossy finish is no longer there. This makes it so that the paint goes on smoothly as well as helps it to adhere longer to avoid having to repaint them too soon.

Once you’ve sanded down your cabinets, you’ll want to wipe them down to get all of the dust particles off. After this you’re ready to begin applying your paint. As you do so, be sure that you are painting with the grain of the wood and be mindful of things like hinges and knobs so that they aren’t covered in your paint as well. Prepping your work area and the rest of your kitchen is very important. This is what keeps the job looking professional and well done as well as makes clean up far easier for you later on.

Of course, if you simply don’t have the time to commit to a DIY project, it’s always an option to hire a professional as well. They have all of the materials needed and are sure to complete your project just as well, if not better than you could have. This being said, if you’re hoping to spend your funds in other areas of a remodeling project, a DIY job is always a wonderful alternative.

 

Why Blinds are Perfect for Any Home

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Choosing the right window treatment for your home can be a tough job. They’re one of the final complimentary steps in finishing your interior decorating project and can change the tone of a room drastically. Curtains can be a great option and add a pop of color to any room. This being said, they also can be cumbersome and aren’t as easy to change should you grow tired of the ones you start with. While there are many options for finishing out the last touch of your home, blinds are always a solid go to choice. Here’s a few reasons why blinds are perfect for any home:

  1. Lighting is everything. They allow you the privacy you want as well as letting in all the natural light you could need. Lighting is arguably the most important part of a home as it can completely change how a room feels. Having the ability to control the light income with the blinds is a great way to ensure your house always feels like home. Outside of this, it can also help you cut costs in the long run electricity wise. With the ability to have so much natural lighting, you can cut back on the cost of your electricity bill without having to make any major changes.
  2. There’s a style for everyone. Whether it’s Roman or Venetian, there’s plenty of different blind styles for everyone. They are wildly customizable which is great so that regardless of your room you’re able to find something that works for you. With so many options, you don’t have to be limited to anything and have the option to change them more often. This makes any future remodeling projects you do that much easier and affordable. While you may not be thinking that far in the future, it doesn’t hurt to set yourself up to make your life as easy as possible.
  3. They’re affordable. Besides being diverse and having so many different options, they also tend to be fairly affordable. This is great if you’re an indecisive DIY artist or are inexperienced in what you like. Since they’re cost effective, you can change your mind all you want and it won’t break your bank.

How to Select The Proper Window Treatments

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When designing your home, it’s important that details don’t get overlooked. While your big purchases will consume most of your time initially, once those are solidified it’s time to move on to the smaller more specific choices. Typically, this includes things like window treatments. Window treatments are easily looked over since they tend to be one of the last things that are purchased and installed in a design project. Here is how to select the proper window treatments for your space.

First, you’ll want to consider what you want the feeling of the room to be. Blinds are great in any room that you want natural lighting as well as privacy for. During the day they can be opened or raised in order to let the sunlight stream in, and at night they can be lowered and closed to give you the privacy you need. In bedrooms, blackout curtains to cover your blinds are also a wonderful option. These assure that no sunlight gets into the room regardless of what time of day it is, helping you to have the most peaceful and uninterrupted sleeps on the weekends.

Next, you’ll want to think about the design of the room. Should you opt for a material that’s wood or bamboo? Are you looking for something to soften a room a bit? Do you want to go with a sheer linen that allows some privacy, but isn’t entirely opaque? It’s imperative that you understand the tone of the room you’re decorating so that you can pick a style and material that matches best with your vision.

Finally, if you’re not opting for a classic wood design, what color should you go with? For some people, window treatments are a great opportunity to show off their personalities. You could opt for a cloth that is a funky design, a colorful blind that adds a pop of color, or a more industrial look with something metal. Regardless of what you choose, make sure it’s right for you and your home. Choosing the right window treatment is like adding the perfect finishing touch to a space you call your own.