Nature Inspired 2018 Color of The Year

Behr is pleased to announce the new 2018 Trend palette along with our 2018 Color of the Year, In The Moment. This cool, tranquil, spruce blue is inspired by nature and is a soothing, restorative coalescence of blue, gray and green. This comfortable color evokes a sense of sanctuary and relaxation amid our busy, always-on lives. In name and color, this hue speaks to our desire to take a break, be present and recharge. In The Moment is versatile and perfect to use for both interior and exterior projects. It also crosses multiple design styles, ideal for working with traditional, modern, coastal and global décor.

How To Install A Stair Runner

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If you have plain old stairs, a runner can make a statement and soften your footsteps. Runners made of woven cotton are affordable and easy to work with, and they range in style from beachy to baroque; here, we chose heathered stripes to complement a cottage-style interior.

To simplify the job, This Old House senior technical editor Mark Powers employed the waterfall method: The runner cascades from step to step, a look that suits the pattern and is more casual than tightly wrapping the nosing.

Readers Show Us Where They Create At Home In Winter

See how readers are engaging in crafts and hobbies, whether it’s weaving, winter gardening or fairy-home building!

Winter is the season to be a homebody, whether due to frigid weather, shorter days or simply the natural rhythm of the season. Recently we asked readers to show us their winter hobbies at home, and the spaces where they do them. See some of their responses below. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to pick up a new skill, or revive one you haven’t turned to in a while.

19 Beneficial Feng Shui Secrets

Did you know your home’s design can affect your bank account and love life? Try these feng shui tips based on the ancient art of balancing energy.

Keep the Kitchen Clean

“Your kitchen is directly related to your ability to attract money,” says feng shui consultant Suzanne Metzger. Keep your pantry and refrigerator organized and full of fresh food you actually use. To attract more money, keep the stove clean — every burner must work and be used equally. Lastly, remove all clutter from the kitchen table.

Add Doubles to Every Room

“If you want to start a relationship, don’t surround yourself with single imagery”, says Laura Benko, feng shui and holistic design expert. “Avoid a single chair in the corner, solitary images in artwork and solo photographs. It’s important to create the energy of partnership around you, otherwise you are continually enforcing singularity.” Add a second chair to a sitting area, double up on nightstands and surround yourself with pairs of everything.

Decorate in Red, Purple or Green

“Color has a powerful impact on mood, and red is considered auspicious and powerful. Think of walking the red carpet or wearing a red power tie,” explains Laura. Purple and green are also key colors for attracting prosperity but there’s a hitch. “If you really can’t stand the color green, it won’t work for you. But if you do love purple, paint a wall lavender or add a violet throw to your couch. Then tune in to how your space feels. It’s not just filling your home with stuff — it’s about decorating with mindfulness and enhancing the vibration and power of your own home.”

Add Happy Family Photos

To improve your marriage, display smiling photos of yourself as a couple and your family in the hallways, kitchen or other high-traffic areas, suggests feng shui consultant Ken Lauher. Avoid putting family photos in the master bedroom, which should only include photos of the couple. Design by Cortney and Robert Novogratz.

Make Your Front Door Inviting

If it’s hard to find your front door or it’s confusing as to how to get in, it’ll be hard for opportunity to make its way into your life as well, explains Karen. Put in an archway or gate to denote the front door if you need to, and make sure the doorbell works. The welcome mat should be bright and fresh. Sweep the steps and sidewalk in front, and add a potted plant to the entryway. Karen’s rule of thumb: “If a trick-or-treater can’t tell where to go, your front door isn’t clear enough.”

Arrange Dining Table in a Circle

When it comes to creating more love, the dining room is the second most important space in a home, the master bedroom being the most important. Arrange the dining table so everyone can see each other, and set out enough chairs for everyone even if the family doesn’t eat together every night, says Karen. Symbolically, it’s important to include the whole group.

Lose Clutter, Add Plants and Water

“To bring in more prosperity, it’s important to create a vibrant, healthy, inspiring and clutter-free home,” explains Laura. “Clutter jams up good energy and leads to procrastination. Bring in vibrant life forces such as plants and flowers, and don’t forget to have fresh air circulating. Fountains are important wealth adjustments in feng shui because they stimulate prosperity and energy, and symbolize money.”

Create a Cozy Master Bedroom

Oversized master bedrooms need to be cozier in order to have good relationship feng shui. Start by closing off any adjoining rooms, including a bathroom, office, patio or gym, suggests Karen. If there’s no door, install curtains. If you have a sitting area, arrange the chairs toward each other, and downsize with a smaller bed — go from king to queen or queen to double. “When the space gets bigger and bigger, people tend to live further and further apart emotionally.”

Arrange Kids’ Beds for Better Harmony

“Feng shui applies to all the occupants in the house,” explains Laura. “Children can be even more susceptible to their surrounding energies, so it’s very important to make sure their beds are placed in the commanding position. They will feel easily startled and vulnerable if their backs are to the door.” Laura also says electronics should never be stored or charged near a child’s bed.

Leave Room for Someone Else

“Single people build rooms for single people,” says Karen. “They have one chair, one nightstand and so on. Add another nightstand for your future someone.” That goes for the closet too. “Don’t fill it up with your stuff — honor the space and carve out a dresser drawer or a shelf that’s not yours. You don’t need to literally have enough room for two people to live there, just leave room for opportunity.”

Bring In New Opportunities

Sometimes it doesn’t take money to make money — just a yard sale. “This is a zero-cost fix,” explains Karen. “Take out clutter to increase prosperity; what you don’t use, don’t love, don’t need. Space equals opportunity.”

Add More Fun

If your bedroom is too neat or stuck with a sterile feel, “add something whimsical that makes you smile,” suggests Suzanne. It could also be artwork or a photo of a couple laughing together. This can bring positive energy into the room, and in turn, improve the relationship.

Don’t Use Water Symbols

“Drippy faucets are a sign of money going to waste,” Karen says. “Whatever the state of your water, your finances mirror those.” To increase your bank account, repair broken fountains and remove all stagnant water from your property. “Ever heard the expression, ‘I just can’t get my head above water’?” Karen asks. It’s best not to display water-based artwork or mirrors higher than your nose, which carries the same significance in feng shui. For most of us, that means no mirrors or water scenes above the bed.

Remove Negative Symbolism

“To decrease stress and arguing in your home, check your surroundings,” Laura suggests. “One couple that fought constantly had crisscross swords over their bed, and another couple had guns on their living room wall. Keep photos and artwork pleasing, inspiring and uplifting.”

Set Up a Sophisticated Home Office

“Many people who work from home have a lack of dedicated space for doing business,” says Karen. Take yourself and your business seriously if you want to attract new clients and bigger opportunities. Picture a CEO’s office, with a large desk facing the door and windows. “You’ve got to have space for people to come in, sit down and hand you a check. Putting a desk against a wall is a cubicle type position. It’s subservient, which is not assuming respect.” The amount of space in front of you relates to the amount of opportunities available, so arrange your chair so you have a view.

Focus On One Another

When it comes to the master bedroom, it’s not about the view or TV, explains Karen. “The bedroom is about passion and rejuvenation.” To increase intimacy in your home, install heavy, cozy drapes over large windows, remove the TV and never sleep with a laptop, iPhone or other electronics buzzing near your bed. The bedroom should be low-tech and romantic. Avoid pictures and decor featuring anyone other than the people sleeping there — wedding pictures work, but family photos don’t. Design by Cortney and Robert Novogratz

Add a Splash of Pink

Because it’s the color of relationships in feng shui, pink is one of the best colors to decorate a bedroom with, says Ken. Pink represents love, joy, happiness and romance. It doesn’t need to be a whole room, even a splash will do. Alternatively, light blue is a positive relationship color.

Choose Your Favorite Colors

Make sure your home speaks to you, or the feng shui updates won’t work. “The biggest feng shui money mistakes people make are choosing adjustments they don’t like,” explains Laura. “For example, red is considered a lucky color and you might hear that painting your door red will attract wealth. The bottom line is, if you don’t like red you will hate coming and going through it every day.”

How To Install A Glass Tile Backsplash

glasstilebacksplash

In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva demonstrates a fast, no-fuss way to tile a kitchen backsplash.

Steps:

1. Snap a chalk line onto the backsplash wall 5½ inches above the countertop.
2. Use a utility knife and steel-rule straightedge to cut five ⅜-inch-wide strips of tile adhesive. Notch the adhesive strips, if necessary, to fit around obstacles.
3. Peel off the protective membrane from the back of the tile-adhesive strips and press them to the wall just below the chalk line.
4. Cut the glass-tile sheets into 5½-inch-wide strips by slicing through the mesh on the back of the sheets with a utility knife. Repeat to cut enough tile to cover the backsplash wall.
5. Use a wet saw to square-cut the end of the first glass-tile strip. Allow the tile strip to dry completely before proceeding.
6. Peel off the protective membrane from the tile adhesive on the wall.
7. Lay the steel rule on the countertop and up against the backsplash wall to create an even grout-joint space beneath the tile.
8. Lightly set the first tile sheet into place against the tile adhesive. Once satisfied with its positioning, firmly press the tile to the wall. Repeat to install the remaining tile sheets.
9. Next, apply 1½-inch-wide masking-tape strips along the top and bottom edges of the tile backsplash, and to the sink faucet.
10. Use a rubber float to force premixed tile grout into the joints between the tiles on the backsplash wall. Scrape away excess grout from the countertop with a margin trowel.
11. Allow the grout to firm up for about 10 minutes, and then wipe the tiled surface clean with a sponge and clean water. Peel off the masking tape.
12. Wait about 5 hours for the grout to harden, then use a slightly dampened cotton cloth to buff off any hazy grout residue from the tiled surface.

Do’s & Don’ts of Kitchen Remodel

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A kitchen is often described as the heart and soul of the home, and for good reason. This is an area that is often used for family gatherings, for entertaining friends and for everyday living. You may begin mornings talking to your family in the kitchen about plans for the day, and you may end the day preparing a meal together while you discuss the day’s events. This is also a room that receives a great deal of scrutiny by buyers when you list your home for sale, and its style can have a direct impact on property value. In fact, in some areas of the country, homeowners may recoup more than 80 percent of the cost of a remodel in an increase in property value. With this in mind, you may decide to remodel your kitchen soon. By following a few tips, you can more easily walk through the remodeling process and get the kitchen you want.

Do: Create a Plan

Some homeowners will throw together a kitchen remodeling project by the seat of their pants. They may work on the back splash one weekend, and they may decide to do flooring a month later. This can create a hodge podge look to your kitchen, and it also makes it more difficult to budget properly. The best idea is to create a thoughtful, well-researched plan up-front before you begin any aspect of the project. Pick out all of your materials up-front so that they look great together, and you can even order them ahead of time so that your project is not delayed.

Don’t: Make Hasty Design Decisions

Your kitchen design will stay in your home for years to come and perhaps even a decade or longer. It will influence the style of your home, your property value and more throughout this time period. Consider if you have plans to sell your home during this time period, and if you do, choose materials and an overall style that has greater appeal to the masses. In addition, make design decisions that add to the functionality of your space. For example, you can move the appliances in different locations for better flow.

Do: Prepare a Remodeling Budget

A kitchen remodeling project may range in cost from a few thousand dollars to $10,000 or more, depending on the size of the kitchen, the quality of the features and other factors. Costs can easily mount, so it is important that you create a budget and tally all costs. If you plan to keep your existing appliances in place, you may want to get them serviced. Review your home warranty to see if your appliance work is covered in an effort to reduce remodeling and repair costs.

Don’t: Forget to Plan for Kids and Pets During the Remodel

In the days leading up to the start of your kitchen remodeling project, think about the scope of the project and how this will impact your daily lives. Your pets, for example, may need to be kenneled in the days while workers are in your home so that they do not get underfoot. You may need to move your fridge to the garage so that you and your kids have access to cold foods as needed. You may even consider asking a nearby friend or relative if the kids can stay with them for a few days while this process is completed. Because of how frequently used a kitchen is, a remodel can cause upheaval in your home that needs to be planned for.

Do: Seek Financing If Needed

The last thing you want when remodeling your kitchen is to run out of money halfway through the project. Financing is available in a variety of forms to help you pay for the high cost of a kitchen remodel. For example, some will put the expenses on a credit card, and others will apply for a short-term installment loan. If you have equity in your home, you may be able to access that equity through a home improvement loan. Explore the options with your bank to better determine which financing option is right for you.

A kitchen remodel is an excellent idea for older homes or homes that lack superior style. However, this is a major undertaking, and you want the project to be completed without a hitch. These helpful tips will assist you in completing your project without hassle or delay.

The Polite House: Hosting Guests

#HostingGuests

This is Part 2 of an answer to a question posed by a reader who lives in a popular vacation destination and wants to know how to properly set limits for the numerous houseguests she and her husband entertain throughout the year — often involving long stays, getting stuck driving guests around, visiting attractions numerous times per year, and guests not offering to cover gas or food costs.

In Part 1, we explored boundaries she and her husband may want to establish ahead of time. Here, we will focus on the gentle suggestions that can be made during a guest’s stay to indicate things like “We can’t dine out every night” or “We aren’t going to join in seeing that attraction for the billionth time” while still being polite.

When overnight guests arrive, follow this advice to set guidelines on eating out, seeing attractions and more!

4 Envy Inducing Laundry Rooms With Clever Storage

A lot goes on in laundry rooms. Folding, sorting, hanging, drying, not to mention other tasks like sewing and gift-wrapping. Some of us use these spaces as extra pantry storage, as mudrooms, as home offices, as locations for feeding pets. The list goes on and on. And a lot of what makes a pleasant experience in these spaces versus a negative one comes down to how storage and function are handled. The following laundry rooms have embraced smart solutions to both, with things like pullout drying racks and hampers, a workhorse island and dedicated pet-feeding stations.

Why Waiting Until After The Holidays To Sell Isn’t A Smart Decision

aftertheholidays

Every year at this time, many homeowners decide to wait until after the holidays to put their homes on the market for the first time, while others who already have their homes on the market decide to take them off until after the holidays. Here are six great reasons not to wait:

  1. Relocation buyers are out there. Companies are not concerned with holiday time and if the buyers have kids, they want them to get into school after the holidays.
  1. Purchasers that are looking for a home during the holidays are serious buyers and are ready to buy.
  1. You can restrict the showings on your home to the times you want it shown. You will remain in control.
  1. Homes show better when decorated for the holidays.
  1. There is less competition for you as a seller right now. Let’s take a look at listing inventory as compared to the same time last year:

Why Waiting Until After the Holidays to Sell Isn’t a Smart Decision | Keeping Current Matters

  1. The supply of listings increases substantially after the holidays. Also, in many parts of the country, new construction will continue to surge reaching new heights in 2017, which will lessen the demand for your house.

Bottom Line

Waiting until after the holidays to sell your home probably doesn’t make sense.