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Real Talk: 5 Crucial Things to Do When Buying a Fixer-Upper

We all love seeing those home renovation shows on TV, but unfortunately, the process is a little more complicated when you’re planning on buying a fixer-upper in real life. That said, as always, we have you covered.

Below is a list of the top considerations to keep in mind if you’re set on buying a property that needs a lot of TLC. Read them over and keep them close. Believe us when we say this is how you buy a fixer-upper that works.

Here’s how you successfully buy a fixer-upper. Image: Dane Deaner

Shop based on resale value

Here’s the thing: You don’t want to buy just any fixer-upper. You want to buy one that makes sense. While everyone’s priorities will be slightly different, resale value is often a great place to start. Whether you plan on flipping the home or living in it for a while, it’s worth hedging your bets to have your investment pay off once you’re ready to sell.

Here are a few indicators to keep in mind:

  • Location: Location is always king. After all, you can change a lot about a home, but you usually can’t move it. Look for homes in popular areas or good school districts. If possible, choose ones that offer privacy from busy roads and commercial structures.
  • Functional layout: Yes, you can move walls, but it gets expensive quickly. The better bet is to focus on finding a layout that allows you to keep things more or less the same.
  • Structurally sound: Sloping floors, cracks in the walls and water spots are major red flags that the home will need extensive — and expensive — structural repairs. Unless you have experience with this type of work, it may be best to look elsewhere.
inspections

Be sure to do inspections. Image: Cytonn Photography

Include inspection contingencies

Inspection contingencies are part of the offer you make once you find a home you love. While inspections are technically optional, we strongly advise you use them, especially when buying a home that needs work. Simply put, they’re your chance to bring in a professional to tell you exactly what’s wrong with the property and what work needs to be done to bring it up to code.

Inspections are also your chance to back away from the home, if the work becomes too extensive for you to handle. As long as you tell the seller your intentions within the proper time frame, these contingencies allow you to walk away from the property with your deposit in hand. It’s a good option to have if you’re not sure exactly how much effort a home needs.

contractor

Find a contractor before you buy a fixer-upper. Image: Rawpixel

Hire your contractor before buying

Conventional wisdom states you shouldn’t worry about hiring a contractor until after you’ve purchased the home. But we suggest you have someone on hand before you even submit an offer. That way, as you go through your inspections, he or she can start providing you with estimates for the work required by the inspector, as well as any envisioned improvements. You can then use those estimates when making your decision on whether or not to continue the sale.

When shopping around for a contractor, try to find someone who specializes in working with older homes or major renovations. Do your due diligence: read reviews online, ask for references and to see examples of their work. Above all, make sure you go with someone you trust to work cooperatively with you throughout the length of your project.

budget

Pad your budget for the unexpected. Image: Rawpixel

Prepare to go over budget

Once you have quotes in place, the next step is to take a long, hard look at the budget you can allocate toward this renovation. With any project, you want to add a budget cushion in case you encounter an unexpected expense. This is especially true when you’re planning on buying a fixer-upper. You never know what surprises you’ll encounter once work starts.

First, you want to use your contractor’s estimate as a starting figure. Usually, we’d encourage you to pad that number by around 10% to cover these incidental costs, but when you’re looking at a home that needs a lot of TLC, we advise raising that buffer to 15%-20%. That way, you’re covered in the event of one or two major setbacks. If you can’t put that amount aside, you may want to keep searching for a more affordable option.

Do you have a thing for fixer-uppers? Have you renovated one recently? What tips can you share from your experience? Tell us in the comments!

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Dark Colors in Small Spaces? Yes You Can! (Here’s How)

Exotic prints and eclectic accessories brighten dark colors in a living room. Image: Ethan Allen

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Small rooms can be a decorating challenge, and we often reach for light colors in hopes of making the room look larger. However, a light color palette isn’t the only way to decorate a small space, and it doesn’t always make a room look larger. Don’t be afraid to use dark colors in even the smallest rooms of your home. With a few easy tips, your small spaces can handle a dark color palette.

Your powder room is the perfect spot for dark colors

Powder rooms may be small, but they can pack a big decorating punch. Your powder room or guest bath is used less often, so it can take more color and daring accessories. No amount of light paint that will hide the fact that these spaces are tiny. This is great news, as it means you can decorate however you like.

Gray powder room

Gold metallic accents add luster to a charcoal-gray powder room. Image: Eurodale Development

Add drama to your foyer

Use a dark color palette to give your guests a big welcome in your small foyer. Most foyers and entry halls open up to other rooms, so your adjacent rooms will balance dark colors. If you’re not ready to jump into a totally dark color palette in your foyer, an accent wall or even your ceiling make good surfaces for deep colors.

foyer with accent wall

If you’re not ready to commit to lots of dark colors in your foyer, a dramatic accent wall may be the answer. Image: Design West

Purple foyer

Dark purple walls are the perfect backdrop for bold stripes and gold accents. Image: JDS Designs

Make your formal dining room an everyday space with color

Formal dining rooms may not see everyday use, as busy lives often necessitate casual mealtimes. That said, a new color palette and furnishings can make your dining room the most-used space in your house. Deep wall color with light upholstery and accents is a classic combination, but it doesn’t have to be stuffy. Choose modern lighting and accessories for an updated look.

gray living room

Natural light is an asset for a dark dining room, illuminating your accessories and fixtures. Image: Ethan Allen

navy blue dining room

Crisp white dining chairs balance the rich blue of these dining room walls. Image: Adam Gibson Design

Choose dark colors for your bedroom

There are so many ways to use dark colors in a small bedroom. Other than your walls, your bed and bedding are the largest surface areas in the room. If you love the look of dark paint but fear it will overwhelm the room, light-colored bedding and window treatments even things out. Of course, there is no rule that says bedrooms have to be light and bright, especially as a space for sleeping. To pair dark wall color with dark bedding, choose bed linens and window treatments with texture or patterns. Too many solid dark colors can quickly turn a relaxing space into a cave.

Gray bedroom idea

White bedding and innovative plant shelves soften a dark bedroom. Image: i3 Design

Plaid bedroom accents

Clever plaid wallpaper makes a welcoming backdrop for a black headboard. Image: Boutique Homes

Turn a living room from cave to cozy

We love the look of a cozy living room, so don’t be shy about decorating with dark colors. There are ways to create a harmonious balance between dark and light in these often-used spaces. For instance, paint your ceilings and trim white, or use pops of bright color in accessories and artwork to create a bridge between the two extremes. The right lighting is important for your living room, so look for fixtures that are airy and light.

brown living room

Metallic accents and wall texture brighten up a brown living room. Image: Anthony Michael Interior Design

Contrary to popular belief, there are many ways to make dark colors work in small areas — everything from using accent pieces to employing unusual texture. Which rooms will you be transforming with dark colors? Tell us about it in the comments.

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The 7 Deadly Remodeling Sins

Renovation, particularly DIY renovation, is huge for homeowners right now. If you’re in the majority considering a renovation, the operative word is “plan.” Jim Hubbard, owner of Remodeling Experts in St. Louis, MO, tells Freshome, “Doing the work is easy, but planning and making good selections – that’s the hard part.”

Failing to plan is the overall remodeling sin that homeowners make. However, within that broad category, these are the seven deadly remodeling sins that can ruin your project and your budget.

Do your research to make sure you’re not surprised by costs. Image: dSPACE Studio Ltd.

1. Having an unrealistic budget

“’Budget’ is a very tricky word – when it is mentioned, people seem to get a little shy,” Hubbard says. “Sometimes, when I hear the homeowner’s budget, I wonder if they came up with it from watching a DIY TV show, because those amounts won’t work in the real world.”

If you can’t afford the project, Hubbard advises that you wait until you can do it right. “It’s never good to finish a job and say ‘I wish we would have done this instead of that.’”

A few best practices will help you make the most of your space. Image: Hanson Fine Building

2. Being inefficient with space

Research can go a long way in planning for upgrades or additions, as well. When considering the placement of new appliances, consult with a designer or study common room layouts.

For example, if you’re remodeling your kitchen, many designers recommend the “kitchen triangle” for its efficient use of space. In the triangle, the sink, the range and the refrigerator should form a triangle. In its expanded version, the triangle consists of zones: the sink/dishwasher, the cooktop/oven/stovetop/microwave and the refrigerator/freezer.

kitchen remodel

Ensure everything is in working order and under code before committing to your remodeling plan. Image: Glenvale Kitchens

3. Committing faux pas

To err is human, but design mistakes can be costly. Maybe you don’t have enough clearance to open the dishwasher because the new partition wall is too close. Or, perhaps you can only open the cabinet drawer a few inches before it bumps into the wall trim.

Another faux pas: failing to put ground-fault circuit interrupter outlets in areas that might come into contact with water. According to the National Electrical Code, this includes kitchens, bathrooms, wet bar areas, garages and basements, in addition to outdoor areas that are subject to rain and snow. If you install a regular outlet, you’ll have to pay an electrician to remove it and replace with a GFCI interrupter outlet.

Take into account structural issues before making large remodeling changes. Image: Gaile Guevara

4. Forgetting the age of the home

Another mistake is failing to account for structural issues. Most people aren’t remodeling new homes, and older homes can have a variety of problems under the surface. For example, termites or rotting wood may be present under walls. In addition, the wiring may be insufficient, or the plumbing may need to be replaced. You should add at least 10% to your budget to account for unexpected issues.

bed bath

It may not be necessary to replace every old item during your remodel. Image: Elizabeth Roberts Architecture & Design

5. Insisting on shiny and new

The goal of a remodel is to make substantial changes, but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Should you really discard those perfectly good appliances? Perhaps you can spray paint them using stainless steel appliance paint. If your cabinets are in good shape, you can probably refinish and repaint them as well. And, when purchases are unavoidable, consider mid-grade instead of top-of-the-line products.

Swimming pools may seem like a great addition, but they don’t always have resale value. Image: taC Studios, Architecture and Design

6. Following fads

“You need to figure out what is a fad and what is timeless,” Hubbard says. For example, many buyers, especially those with small children, are not looking for homes with swimming pools. Also, remember those three- and four-car garages? A garage that’s so large it becomes a focal point is hardly a selling point.

remodeling house

Have a list of questions prepared for your contractor. Image: Bien Zenker

7. Not vetting your contractor

Many homeowners get references from clients or ask to see other work the contractor has completed. However, Hubbard says it’s important to dig much deeper. By doing your research, you can avoid a lot of problems. These are some of the questions he recommends you ask yourself:

  • Is this person too busy to do my job?
  • Does this person have the manpower to do my job?
  • Does this person have work comp and the insurance to do my job?
  • How long have the subcontractors worked for this person?
  • How long have the employees worked for this person?
  • Is this person financially stable? (Many times, when a company is going under, it will still take payments.)
  • Does this person have a shop, or are they working out of their home? (It’s important to see a place of business to ensure the contractor will still be around tomorrow.)

Can you think of additional remodeling sins? Leave us a comment below.

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Target Launches New Decor Line, “Made By Design,” Aimed at Millennials

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Retail giant Target is taking aim at millennials with its new home décor and accessories line, Made By Design. Made By Design’s tagline reads “Everyday ingenuity that’s a joy to use.” The new line invokes a clean, simple aesthetic that is affordable and pleasing to the eye.

Launching both online and in stores on June 23, 2018, Made By Design features over 750 items, organized into six different categories: Home Décor, Furniture, Bath, Bedding, Organization and Kitchen & Dining. Beginning with items listed for as little as $2, most products stay under the $30 mark. While much of the furniture is more expensive, it’s not priced out of reach for young professionals and first-time home dwellers.

Affordable home decor items and accessories are just a sampling of Made By Design’s offerings, launching June 23.

The new line addresses shoppers looking to furnish, update and add to their first apartments and new homes. To determine its core audience, Target invested heavily in research about shoppers’ spending habits in the home department. Findings showed that shoppers would purchase some decorative items but purchase larger items and home furnishings at other prominent retailers like Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart and IKEA.

Made By Design, the new home decor line for millennials, includes home furnishings.

Home Furnishings represented 19 percent of Target’s annual revenue in 2017, and the retailer aims to increase that number with this new line. Target spared no expense in researching the kind of basic product designs and features customers wanted most in their homes. The company claims that developing this product line was “the most extensive guest research [they’ve] ever done.” It’s an investment that stands to have big payoffs, with 75 million millennials in the US now wielding spending power.

The goal of the new line is to increase market share and capture guests who might spend their dollars elsewhere for the majority of their home accessories and décor. According to the organization, “guests – especially those establishing their first homes – crave quality everyday items that will simplify their lives and complement their ever-evolving style – all without compromising affordability.”

Affordability is a huge component to Made By Design. Everyday ingenuity is present in everyday items, like $2 to $11 stemware, bakeware beginning at $7, and dinnerware for under $20. Solid color bedding sheet sets are reasonably priced and fit the back-to-basics aesthetic. Rugs in solid colors and simple designs also fall into line with the overall look and feel of the collection. In addition, matching organizational bins and boxes cater homeowners who want to keep things simple.

Home Organization is one of the six categories in the new Made By Design line.

Under the direction of Mark Tritton, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer who joined the company in 2016 after serving as president of Nordstrom Product Group, a group of in-house designers were directed to create the line. “Made By Design is the ultimate expression of our DNA – a commitment to democratization of impeccable design,” he said.

Target is betting a lot on the success of the Made By Design product line. It is one of three new product lines that CEO Brian Cornell promised in the 2017 annual report letter that are “on pace to generate more than $1 billion each in annual sales.” Reaching millennials may prove to be tricky. According to the marketing company Kissmetrics, 89 percent of millennials trust recommendations from friends and family more than claims by the brand.

The new line will join Target’s classic Threshold furniture and furnishings product line, which reportedly does $2 billion in sales a year, as well as its mid-century modern Project 62 line. The Made By Design looks are designed to seamlessly blend with all its other home product lines, such as Hearth & Hand with Magnolia.

Which Made By Design products are you excited to check out on June 23?

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Target Launches New Decor Line, Made By Design, Aimed at Millennials

Retail giant Target is taking aim at Millennials with its new home décor and accessories line, Made By Design. With economy-minded price points that still delivery style and function, the collection has over 750 items to choose from covering everything from bedding and bath, to cookware, dinnerware, furniture and more. Target’s Made By Design has a tag line that reads “Everyday ingenuity that’s a joy to use”. The new line invokes a clean, simple aesthetic that is affordable and pleasing to the eye.

Launching both online and in stores on June 23, 2018, Made By Design is organized into six different categories: Home Décor, Furniture, Bath, Bedding, Organization and Kitchen & Dining. Beginning with items listed for as little as $2, the majority of the products stay under the $30 mark. Much of the furniture is more expensive, as to be expected, but not priced out of reach for young professionals and first-time home dwellers.

Affordable home decor items and accessories from the Made By Design line, launching June 23rd.

Based on detailed research of shoppers’ spending habits in the home department at Target, the new line addresses shoppers looking to furnish, update and add to their first apartments and new homes. Target invested heavily in research and findings show that shoppers would purchase some decorative items but leave the store and shop elsewhere at other large retailers like Kohl’s, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Walmart and IKEA for larger items and home furnishings.

Made By Design, the new home decor line for Millennials, includes home furnishings.

Home Furnishings represented 19 percent of Target’s annual revenue in 2017 and the retailer aims to increase that number with this new line. Target spared no expense in researching the kind of basic product designs and features customers wanted most in their homes. The company claims developing this product line was “the most extensive guest research we’ve ever done.” It’s an investment that stands to have big pay offs, with the 75 million 20- and 30-somethings who now outnumber Baby Boomers in the U.S. and have tens of billions of dollars in spending power.
The goal is to increase market share with the new line, and to capture guests who might spend their dollars elsewhere for the majority of their home accessories and décor. According to the organization “guests – especially those establishing their first homes – crave quality everyday items that will simplify their lives and complement their ever-evolving style – all without compromising affordability.”

Affordability will not be compromised here. Everyday ingenuity can be found in everyday items including those such as stemware ranging from $2 up to $11, bake ware beginning at $7, and dinnerware in the $ – $20 price range. Cookware has some pricier items for stainless steel pots like the 6-quart stockpot, selling for $35. Solid color bedding sheet sets are reasonably priced and fit the back-to-basics aesthetic. Rugs, in solid colors and simple designs also fall into line with the overall look and feel of the collection. Simple wood shelving, desk and side tables are clean and lean and very affordable. Matching organizational bins and boxes are also important items to new home owners who want to keep things simple and their lives in order. The furniture line has limited items such as wooden shelving, side tables, bedside tables and chairs.

Home Organization is one of the six categories in the new Made By Design line from Target launching June 23rd.

Under the direction of Mark Tritton, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer who joined the company in 2016 after serving as president of Nordstrom Product Group, a group of in-house designers were directed to create the line. “Made By Design is the ultimate expression of our DNA – a commitment to democratization of impeccable design,” he said.
Target is betting a lot on the success of the Made By Design product line. It is one of three new product lines that CEO Brian Cornell promised in the 2017 annual report letter are “on pace to generate more than $1 billion each in annual sales.” Reaching millennials may prove to be tricky. According to the marketing company Kissmetrics, 89 percent of millennials trust recommendations from friends and family more than claims by the brand.

The new line will join Target’s classic Threshold furniture and furnishings product line, which reportedly does $2 billion in sales a year, as well as its mid century modern Project 62 line. The Made By Design looks are designed to seamlessly blend with all its other home product lines, such as Hearth & Hand with Magnolia.

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Here’s Why You’ll Want a Living Green Roof on Your Home

A green roof, also known as a grass roof or living roof, is a growing trend. Architects and designers have cleverly figured out how to put down roots in the most expected of places — over your head!

Most rooftops are an eyesore or simply boring. And in an urban environment, they’re wasted space. But a living green roof solves all these issues by being visually stunning, expanding your outdoor square footage and adding an eco-friendly element. Here’s a roundup of some of the most beautiful green roof ideas and reasons why you’ll want one on your home.

This rooftop blends in with its green surroundings. Edible herbs and lettuces are grown throughout the year. Image: Feldman Architecture

Why a green rooftop is a great idea

A landscaped or grass roof has many advantages, if you plan it correctly. Depending on where you live and the water needs of your area, you can choose plants that handle lots of rain or ones that tolerate drought. The key to selection is to find plants that don’t have aggressive roots that can damage your rooftop (like bamboo).

A green rooftop absorbs heavy rainfall and reduces flooding. It also extends the life of a roof by protecting it from the elements. Most importantly, green roof designs insulate a home or building, reducing the temperature inside. Major cities can benefit from living roofs to combat the heat they create, called heat islands.

According to the EPA, city buildings are made of concrete and cement that trap the day’s heat. This heat can raise the temperature of a city “as high as 22 degrees more” than a nearby rural area. This increases the need for air conditioning and electricity, contributing more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

green rooftop ideas

A green rooftop in a high-rise improves air quality by cooling its surroundings, decreasing greenhouse gases. Image: Zinco Living Roofs

Living roofs insulate buildings, cooling the city overall and decreasing air pollution. The city of Portland, Ore., has embraced the grass roof trend by offering an ecoroof program that gives incentives to builders that add living roofs to buildings and homes.

Green roof ideas

grass roof ideas - freshome.com

The Dutch Biesboch Museum has a grass roof that creates the illusion that the stark glass buildings are jutting out of the earth. Image: Biesboch Museum

green rooftop

Creeping vines coming from the green rooftop soften the hard edges of this tropical contemporary home. Image: Daniel Koh

Drought-tolerant living roofs

green roof

River rock and drought-tolerant grasses and shrubs add interest to this mid-century modern flat roof. The garden can be enjoyed from the rooms on the second floor. Image: Feldman Architecture

living roof

Colorful-foliage plants are framed by a gravel border to create a living roof that needs little rain or water. Image: Natural Balance Home Builders

rooftop garden

A shed’s flat roof was turned into a rooftop garden featuring succulents planted in geometric patterns. Image: Paradise Restored

green roof ideas that are drought-tolerant

A low-water green roof is far more attractive of a view than an ordinary rooftop. Image: RAAarchitects

Urban green rooftops

green roof design

A jungle rooftop in hot and humid Singapore cools the outdoor area considerably. Image: G8A Architects

living rooftops

A green living rooftop in Beirut beautifies the grey urban environment. Image: Green Studios

green rooftop

A sprawling urban campus in France was built with endless waves of green rooftop. Image: Arch Daily

Colorful green roof designs

small green roof

Even a small overhang can be converted into a green roof. Image: C&H Architects

green roof

Colorful shrubs and flowering plants add a striking design effect to a contemporary home. Image: PBW Architects

living roof

This green roof features local wildflowers that bloom in colorful shades. Image: Prentiss Architects

Grass roof designs

grass roof

An imaginative contemporary home in Singapore, called the Sky Garden House by GUZ Architects, features two levels of grass roof. Image: GUZ Architects

living roof

Wild grasses that grow at different heights and textures soften the angular design of this small, contemporary house. Image: McCoubrey Overholser

grass rooftop

This grass roof absorbs up to 80% of the rainfall, helping mitigate erosion and flooding. Image: Rusticasa

living roof garden

The garage and guest house provided the perfect rooftops to create grass roof living gardens. Image: Maienza Wilson

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Moving With Kids? How to Make the Process Easier for Everyone

Think moving with kids has to equal tears and tantrums? We’re here to prove that conventional wisdom is wrong on this one. Moving with kids may not be easy — after all, neither is moving itself — but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world.

Below we’ve outlined our four best strategies for helping little ones adjust to a move. Read them over and try them out on your family. We’re sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how well these tips work.

Make moving feel like a fun and exciting event. Image: Kelly Sikkema

Make it an adventure

Let’s face it: Moving can be stressful and scary for all of us, even adults who have been through this process before. Now just imagine how scary it would be if everything about it was new and we didn’t have any control over what’s happening around us. It’s no wonder moving is tough on kids, but as the adult, you can change the narrative. You can reframe it as an exciting adventure.

Start by using their favorite toys. Act out a scene in which one of their favorite toys gets the opportunity to move to a new home — and loves it. Then, at a good time, tell your child that he or she will have the chance to move to a new home, as well. Reading books on the subject can also be helpful, if you want to reinforce the idea.

Then, watch your language. When you’re around the kids, make sure you remain positive about the move. Reassure them that, while it’s OK to be sad or nervous about leaving, you’re about to embark on an exciting adventure and they will ultimately love their new home.

involved

Don’t forget to get the kids involved. Image: RawPixel

Give them a job to do

We get that on moving day you probably don’t want to keep track of one more thing. However, having your kids involved in the moving — and packing — process will go a long way toward keeping them focused and engaged rather than simply underfoot. After all, no one reacts well to being told to keep quiet and stay out of the way.

To make it easier on yourself the day of, brainstorm a list of age-appropriate duties beforehand. Below is a list to get you started:

  • Checking for missed items
  • Sweeping
  • Dusting
  • Packing up their own toys
  • Carrying small boxes and bags

Then, on the big day, dole out these jobs as needed. Be sure to stay positive and make a big fuss once a task has been completed. The key is to make your child feel as though he or she is an integral part of the work.

toys

Keep a separate bag full of toys and comfort items. Image: Hello I’m Nik Photography

Keep favorites close at hand

Keeping track of valuables is crucial in a move. This goes double when kids are involved. No one wants to deal with the fallout of having their favorite toy or special comfort item lost in the shuffle. To keep those items protected, we recommend storing them in a special overnight bag; one that travels with you rather than the movers.

You can also use this bag to keep fun distractions on hand in case your child gets restless. These could be things like new coloring books and crayons, stickers, non-perishable snacks or action figures.

Is this bribery? Technically, but it can go a long way toward keeping tantrums at bay when your attention needs to be elsewhere.

explore

After you move, take the time to explore your new surroundings. Image: Annie Spratt

Explore the new neighborhood

Unfortunately, the moving process doesn’t stop once the truck is unpacked. Children often need time and assistance to adjust to their new surroundings. You can help them through it by following a procedure similar to the one listed above. Frame being in your new neighborhood as an adventure and take time to explore this exciting new place.

Kids adjust faster when their surroundings feel familiar, so be sure to get out and about as soon as possible. Walk to ice cream shops and parks. Introduce yourselves to other families in the neighborhood. If they’re starting a new school, see if you can arrange a time for them to tour the school and meet their teachers before their first day.

You could even pick out a few fun activities together to try in your new town so they have something to look forward to once you arrive at your new home.

Have you experienced moving with kids recently? If so, what tips and wisdom can you offer? Share them with us in the comments!

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5 Ways to Get the Mixed Metallics Look in the Bathroom

Mixed metallics is a huge trend that’s taken the design world by storm. At one time it would be taboo to mix metallic textures in a space — too much clashing. But today, purposefully mixing metallics creates a sense of contrast and visual interest. And there’s no better way to get that artsy, sleek and stylish look than in the bathroom. With all of those fixtures going on in the space, it’s a great way to try out mixed metallics. Keep reading to learn how.

Try pairing gold with a dark wall to make it pop. Image: Décor Aid

Gold and silver go well together

Combining gold and silver won’t steer you wrong. As the two most popular metallic shades, they can be combined in such a way that they actually balance each other out. The cool silver and warm gold adds a stylish contrast to your bathroom.

The photo above showcases an interesting organization: gold on top of the room against the black wall, with silver fixtures on the bottom against the white tile backdrop. The gold pops against the black wall, and the silver doesn’t compete with the white backdrop. Combining gold and silver in such a way also keeps the space from looking chaotic.

Mixed Metallics Three Colors

Three metallic shades can work well together. Image: Orren Pickell

Add bronze for another pop of color

You’re also not limited to just two options. The design above combines gold light fixtures, silver faucets and bronze cabinet door handles. This space shows how any combination of mixed metallics works as long as you use a certain amount of organization. This room has a gold theme at the top, a silver shade in the middle and bronze on the cabinets at the bottom. It progresses logically in gold-silver-bronze, like award metals. The light coloring of the room itself also helps the metallic pieces pop.

Mixed Metallics Light Gold Mirror

Subtle shades like the light gold mirror frame bring cohesion to more polar shades like bright gold and silver. Image: Worthington and Shagen

Subtle shades pull together the room

The photo above shows how you can combine metallics in a less tiered way. The warm gold cabinet handles go well with the warm wood coloring. Meanwhile, the cool polished nickel-type faucet pairs nicely with the white marble. Bright chrome light fixtures sit on either side of a light gold mirror frame.

The mirror frame is the element that draws the deep gold cabinet handles and silvery fixtures into one cohesive look, as it stands as a midway point between the two shades. This is a great idea for mixed metallics designs where contrast in the metallic fixtures isn’t the focal point.

Mixed Metallics Leaves and Mirror

Gold statues and mirror frames work as accent pieces when mixing metallics. Image: Schmidt Custom Floors

Fixtures and metallic statuary add to the mixed metallics look

If you don’t want to redo your bathroom, an easy way to get this look is to add some metallic statuary to your bathroom. The photo above shows how metallic gold leaf statues add contrast to the silvery faucet fixtures in the room. You also don’t have to feel limited to silver and gold; a copper statue could create a colorful accent against silvery fixtures.

The beauty of metallics is that any types can go together if you use a light touch, using one shade to accent a more dominant shade. And adding metallic statuary is a solid way to do that. To achieve this look without spending a fortune on solid-gold statues, invest in a metallic spray paint that that can withstand moisture and spray a less-expensive statue or accent piece.

Mixed Metallics Dark Handles

Dark wrought iron stands out well against light color schemes. Image: Studio K B

Dark door handles and bright faucet fixtures create contrast

One way to combine mixed metallics in the bathroom is to combine dark and light. Dark wrought iron cabinet handles combine well with a bright silvery color like chrome on the faucet fixtures.

However, what makes this style work is the organization: The chrome on the faucets pops as an accent against the rest of the wrought iron fixtures. The white cabinets showcase the dark door handles, as well.

How have you used mixed metallics in your bathroom? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.

The post 5 Ways to Get the Mixed Metallics Look in the Bathroom appeared first on Freshome.com.

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Here’s How to Decorate Your Home From Scratch (It’s Easier Than You Think)

Are you moving into a new home and starting fresh? Don’t feel overwhelmed! Here are six new home decorating tips when you’re starting from scratch. You’ll see that decorating your new home is fun — and much easier than you think.

1. Figure out your decorating style

If you can pin down the design style you want for your home’s interior, you’re half way there! An easy rule of thumb is to use the same style for the interior as the home’s exterior. With an architectural home style like ranch or craftsman, dark, rich wood pieces, clean-lined furniture and lots of earth tones work well.

Here are four of the most popular home decorating styles to consider:

Transitional

A transitional style goes with most home architectural styles. The look is a hybrid of modern and traditional — perfect for updating older home styles like colonial or Victorian, or warming up a new-construction home. The transitional home decorating style involves the use of dark woods, stone, neutral colors and earthy reds, sages and olive greens as accent colors. Furniture is fairly streamlined but features more ornamentation and curvier, softer lines.

Modern

A modern decorating style is well-tailored and features clean lines. Wood and earth tones add a softer feel to the clean straight lines. Mid-century modern sofas or elements are popular. Ranch homes, Art Deco-era homes, and homes constructed during and after the 1950s tend to work best with modern decor.

Contemporary

decorating from scratch ideas for a new home

Image: B Interior

Contemporary design is the most sparse and minimalist of the design styles. Few pieces are used in each room. Color selection is normally pared down to black, white or grey with primary color accents. Metals and glass, instead of wood, are featured. When decorating from scratch, a contemporary style is a good idea when you’re working with smaller spaces and/or you want to highlight the home’s natural features, like big, bright windows or architectural details.

Farmhouse

how to decorate your new home

Image: Magnolia

Farmhouse is very popular nowadays thanks to designers like Joanna Gaines. The style adds fun, cozy comfort and a bit of whimsy to your new home. To decorate from scratch in a farmhouse style, practical, cozy and inviting are most important. Sofas should be overstuffed for comfort and slipcovered for low maintenance. Wood tables are earthy and casual. Colors and accent pieces have a vintage or antique store feel.

New home decorating pro tip: Determine your home’s exterior style and do a little research. Take inspiration from the elements of that style and add your own twist to the look.

2. Break down your new home decorating plan by room

The fastest way to get overwhelmed by an empty new home is by trying to decorate the whole house at once. Prioritize what rooms are most important to you and make a decorating plan, one room at a time! Maybe you’ll want to start with your bedroom, living room and laundry room. Pick two or three rooms maximum and plan to decorate them one at a time.

Matching all the rooms in the house is a design myth. If you decide you want a transitional bedroom but a modern living room, go for it! Your home will have far more personality when you decorate from scratch, one room at a time. Just be sure to add a unifying element to all the rooms for flow, like a certain color, or a decor item in the home’s architectural design style.

Pro decorating tip: Not sure which rooms to start with? Think about what rooms you spend the most time in. You’ll want to do those first. You can always do the guest room later — close the guest room door and forget about it for a while.

3. Start with the biggest piece in the room first

Now that you’ve broken down your decorating plan to one room at a time, take the same concept and focus on finding the most important piece in the room.

The biggest piece in the room is usually the most important and most expensive. That’s why it’s important to start with that one piece and work your way from there. In a dining room, start with the dining table. For your living room, choose your sofa or sectional first. In your bedroom, the bed is the most important piece in the room.

Pro decorating tip: The biggest piece in the room is likely where you’ll invest the most money. It usually gets the most use in the room, therefore quality is important. You can probably save some money on accessorizing, picking up secondhand bedside tables or finding an inexpensive coffee table, but never skimp on your sofa!

4. Take advantage of the experts

how to decorate a new house decorating ideas

Pottery Barn’s free design service flyer

Many stores offer free (or well-priced) design service to their customers. Most employ design professionals to help you make the right choice, the first time around. Their advice can save you a lot of time and money. Here are some stores that offer …read more      

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How to Stay Organized on a Cross-Country Move

Any move has the potential for stress, but a cross-country move much more so. There is no practical option to take things slow and move in chunks, or even bring the most important items to your new place in a few loads. However, the good news is that there are numerous things you can do to remain organized on a cross-country move and make the experience as stress-free as possible.

If you’re looking for a guide on how to stay organized, you’ve come to the right place. Read on for our best tips for making this process as painless as possible.

Decluttering always comes first. Image: Kai Pilger

Start organizing early

The most important part of organizing for your cross-country move is to start planning as soon as you can. The moment you realize that you will be moving a long distance, it’s time to start evaluating what items you actually need to keep. It goes without saying that the fewer items you need to move, the less time and effort it will take.

Go through everything in your home categorically, from clothing to kitchenware to furniture. Evaluate what you actually need and then divide everything else into piles to sell or donate. If you start this early enough, you can tackle a different category each weekend and have time to spare.

Once you’ve decluttered, start making a master to-do list with everything that needs to be done before you go. Include things such updating your address with banks and other accounts, updating your voter registration, finding a new doctor and registering your kids for school. Include when each task must be done, as well as who is responsible for it.

pre-move prep

Take care of as much as possible ahead of time. Image: Twelve Stones Designs

Start crossing off tasks as soon as possible

After you have your to-do list in place, start checking off tasks. In many cases, you can cancel your utilities in your old city and set up the new ones before you move. You can also set up a forwarding address with the USPS in a matter of minutes online.

When in doubt, research. If you’re unsure if a task can be tackled ahead of time, ask the internet or a trusted friend. The key here is to shorten your to-do list as much as possible so that you have less to do while going through the hassle of unpacking your new home.

packing

It’s crucial to stay organized while packing. Image: Rawpixel

Pack wisely

As with any move, keep track of which items you should pack last and open first. Ideally, you’ll have one or two boxes labeled “pack last, open first.” These will have essentials like toilet paper, scissors, tape, markers, pens, paper, paper plates and anything else you will need while getting organized.

As for the rest of your items, pack in an organized fashion. As you pack, think about which items belong to which room of your new house and label the boxes accordingly. To make your life even easier, try color-coding each room; this way, you can use colored stickers on your boxes and tell at a glance which box belongs to which room.

When packing, keep in mind which items should always stay with you. This includes all of your important documents and valuables, medications and the clothes you will need immediately before, during and after the move. Put these items to the side or in your car on moving day, so the movers don’t accidentally take them.

cross-country move

Accept help where you can. Image: Jacob Talbot

Reach out for help

Moving cross-country is a huge task. If possible, try to get a friend, family member or significant other to help you. In addition to splitting up the items on your to-do list, see if one of you can go ahead to the new house while the other stays behind.

For this to work, wait until nearly everything is packed. One person can then head to the new home to take care of cleaning and other preliminary tasks. This way, you can guarantee that one person will be at the old home when the movers pack it up, yet someone will also be at the new place by the time the movers arrive. This allows for some breathing room, as the person who stayed behind doesn’t need to rush to beat the movers.

Have we missed any important tips for a cross-country move? What would you add to this list? We’d love to hear your thoughts below.

The post How to Stay Organized on a Cross-Country Move appeared first on Freshome.com.

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