5 Affordable Craftsman-Style Details to Warm Up Your Brand New Home

From stone fireplace surrounds to built-ins, craftsman-style details bring character to a builder-basic home.

The American craftsman architectural style originated (by and large) in sunny California at the turn of the 20th century. It is a distinctive American style that incorporates natural materials and clean lines.

While the exterior of craftsman homes offer details upon details — like columns, exposed beams, and stone work — the interior maintains a clean and simple vibe with hand-hewn elements and a down-to-earth feel.

Adding craftsman-style interior elements is a great way to add warmth to a home, especially new construction. Here are five budget-friendly ways to do it.

Stone accents

Craftsman style is very no-nonsense, so stone is a natural fit in this aesthetic. Stone accents throughout the house add a warm touch, especially on a fireplace surround or as an accent wall.

Courtesy of Zillow Digs.

Stone’s natural beauty is perfect for the fireplace. Add a large wood mantel and decorate with earthy colors to make the fireplace surround a truly craftsman-style masterpiece.

To use stone in an accent wall or backsplash, make sure you choose a color that lends itself to the surrounding areas of the home. Favorite types of stone include slate, honed granite, and soapstone, especially in the kitchen, where it can truly shine.

Earthy tones

The craftsman palette pulls straight from nature. This aesthetic puts a focus on simplicity, but not a lack of color.

For this style of home, think mossy green, rusty brown, and clean white. Accent with natural finishes and tones like wood and stone, and make sure to use the colors in different decorative elements, like tiling, flooring, wall covering, and trim.

Built-in shelving

Clean lines and simple silhouettes are key to accomplishing craftsman style, and built-in shelving is a go-to way of creating this particular look.

Stay away from ornate or overly detailed structure, and opt for a clean and classic shelving unit.

Courtesy of Zillow Digs.

Ample storage arranged in a polished way with built-in shelving perfectly reflects the unique and straight-forward craftsman aesthetic. Inside the built-ins, keep decor simple and neat so the sleek shelving can be the focal point of the space.

Interior columns

Perhaps the most distinctive detail of craftsman style is interior columns, particularly those that are squared off or tapered. This recognizable look can be found on the exterior as well, as it helps support the home in a beautifully simple way.

If your home comes equipped with columns, celebrate them! Keep the decor around them simple, and let the columns do the talking. They are best shown in earthy tones, or a simple, bright white.

Simple lighting

Contributing to the uncomplicated aesthetic of craftsman style, statement lighting and task lighting are unfussy and simple. Composed mostly of glass, iron, and bronze, the lighting pays homage to the natural materials used in this classic turn-of-the-century style.

Courtesy of Zillow Digs.

Courtesy of Zillow Digs.

To honor this simplicity, look for straightforward silhouettes that add just a touch of style to a space.

See craftsman home design inspiration

Posted by Kerrie Kelly on Zillow

7 Homes That Bring The Curb Appeal

These homes with outstanding curb appeal could be yours — or they can inspire your next landscaping project.

You won’t need a second chance to make a first impression when you live in one of these homes for sale on Trulia.

Everyone hopes for love at first sight — though your first-look jaw dropper may come in the form of an early-1900s Colonial home in Richmond, VA. From a home’s landscaping to its color palette, even the smallest details can help set the look and feel of the rest of the home. You get only one chance to win the curb appeal game, and these picks from Trulia with stunning front yards are really bringing the heat.

Pomp and circumstance: $398,500, 701 Sugar Mill Road, Greer, SC 29650

The wide, brick stoop of this imposing Georgian-style beauty beckons, with lovely details like dormer windows and mature, tailored landscaping. The four-bedroom brick home’s charm isn’t limited to the front: A two-story back deck and screened-in porch overlook a parklike backyard.

Charmer in Chattanooga: $605,000, 704 Westwood Ave., Chattanooga, TN 37405

Flowers and greenery adorn the curb of this four-bedroom Chattanooga, TN, home, set back from the street. An inviting porch leads into a spacious great room that offers high ceilings and a spiral staircase. Rooms flow easily from living to dining spaces and into each impressive bed and bath — all the way out to the screened-in porch off the master suite.

California casual: $975,000, 4462 Pleasant Valley Court S, Oakland, CA 94611

A cozy front porch or a spacious back deck? It’s hard to choose where to spend your time in this 1916 craftsman-style home. A flowering vine creeps up the side of this three-bedroom, two-bath storybook-sweet home, while the large picture windows provide an inviting glow in the updated kitchen, modernized with white granite and stainless steel appliances.

Solar-powered in Phoenix: $999,900, 13208 S. 34th Way, Phoenix, AZ 85044

The stark desert landscape surrounding this Santa Fe, NM–style home fades into the background, letting the home really shine. The imposing adobe home, with solar power and more than 5,000 square feet, also includes a pool and Jacuzzi. Inside, an industrial-grade kitchen and high ceilings add to this six-bedroom home’s charm.

Old World meets New: $1,089,000, 501 NW A St., Bentonville, AR 72712 

Enjoy vintage charm and modern amenities in this Arkansas home. The 1891 Victorian design is still intact, with original stained glass, a detailed porch railing, and crown molding — but upgrades like commercial-grade appliances and custom built-ins make it feel as though you’re living in this century. Outdoor entertaining is a breeze with an old-school tree swing out front, plus a spacious yard and detached guesthouse — complete with a second kitchen. Toss in the updated bathrooms, refinished original wood floors, and a wood-burning fireplace, and just like that, you’ve found yourself a dream home.

Texas modern: $1,249,000, 6527 Anita St., Dallas, TX 75214

A unique twist on the traditional Texan landscape, a spacious rock bed holds a planter of succulents, making it the front-yard focal point of this custom home. The home blends a cottage feel with a modern aesthetic, with quirky light fixtures and finishes and an open floor plan in 4,216 square feet. Drop your clutter from the day in the home’s mudroom and relax on the fenced-in back patio, complete with a fireplace and grill (it’s even wired for a TV and sound). The fresh hardwoods glow from the natural light beaming into each room. Custom built-ins — from the closets and hallway shelving to the kitchen cabinets — give each room a unique and functional piece.

Miami vibes: $1,500,000, 555 NE 57th St., Miami, FL 33137

Miniature shrubs line the walkway of this bright and beachy Miami, FL, home. Let the palm trees greet you along with the roof’s Spanish tile and bright orange stucco, which all give the house a fresh, Floridian feel. The 3,500-square-foot smart home has a completely renovated interior, including high-end appliances in the kitchen and bath — even a steam room in the master suite! If four bedrooms aren’t enough, there’s also a guest cottage, just past the gated driveway and adjacent to the pool and grilling patio.

Posted by Catherine Currin on Trulia

 

Warm Up to Cozy Spaces

Grab a soft sweater and a good book, then take your pick of these snuggly spots for whiling the winter days away.

Courtesy of Zillow Digs

It’s funny how after the holidays, living in a Winter Wonderland becomes a whole lot less wonderful. Whether you’re enduring thunderstorms, snow, or gusts of wind, snuggling up at home near a crackling fire or in your personal reading nook is the ideal way to wait out the weather.

No matter your interior style, there’s always room to add a few cozy touches. Here are some favorite ways to warm up your home design to face the wintry days ahead.

Fireplaces: Light up the night (or day)

There might be nothing in the world as comforting as a beautifully decorated fireplace. While it’s typical to have these fixtures in the living room or even the dining room, consider the charm of having one in your own bedroom.

The soothing crackling of a fire is the perfect way to wind down at the end of the day, and with so many styles to choose from, you’re sure to find one that fits your interior style.

Reading nooks: Bookworms’ paradise

Creating a little getaway within your own four walls is a fantastic way to warm up on a particularly cold day. A reading nook can inspire calm and creativity with a few simple furnishings and accessories.

Pair a fun patterned chair with an ottoman, and a unique side table to set your reading material on. Make sure you have sufficient lighting and a cozy throw blanket nearby for those days when you just want to curl up with a good book.

Courtesy of Zillow Digs.

Window seats: Room with a view

On your day off, there’s nothing quite like sipping a cup of coffee while enjoying a beautiful view. What better way to soak up your surroundings than with comfy window seating?

Traditionally found in older homes with Victorian style, window seating is versatile and complements most styles of design. If your home is modern, consider a bright white seating display with patterned pillows. If your look is more traditional, opt for textured seating in a timeless print.

Whatever your choice, you won’t regret spending time in this cozy spot.

Courtesy of Zillow Digs.

Area rugs: Keeping toes toasty

Hardwood floors are a luxury, but they can be painfully cold in the winter months. Help insulate your home with plush area rugs throughout the space for visual warmth and added coziness.

Rugs with texture like shag or a high pile offer extra comfort while walking around the house. Put one in each high-traffic area, as well as under your bed to ensure you wake up with warm feet.

Courtesy of Zillow Digs.

What are some of your favorite ways to add warmth to your home?

Posted by Kerrie Kelly on Zillow

What Does Your Living Room Say About You?

Bernd Opitz/Getty Images

Your living room says more about you than any other room in your house—whether or not you want it to.

With most floor plans, it’s the first room guests are ushered into, and where they spend the most time schmoozing, hanging out, and generally soaking in your style. Some people are messy; others are obsessively organized. Some living rooms are closed off, others are open.

So what signals is your living room sending about you?

Open layout

If you actively sought out an open layout for your living room, it’s a good indication that you keep up with the hottest and most up-to-date architectural trends—or maybe you just inherently understand the vast appeal of a free-flowing floor plan. You’re an entertainer at heart, even if it’s just you and your spouse assembling fish tacos while keeping an eye on the Super Bowl (or maybe the latest episode of “Downton Abbey”), and you think communication and interaction trump private space. You don’t just tolerate controlled chaos—you thrive in it.

Neutral everywhere

You prefer a blank canvas, but it’s never boring. Neutrals are classic and crisp, immune to the variances of seasonal trends. You’re practical, down-to-earth, and easy to please—and happy to be a backdrop for others’ wild antics. But when it comes to décor, you’re not scared to throw in a few colors to liven things up.

Bright colors

Criticism? Haters gonna hate. Who cares! You’re bold and gregarious, eager to show off your tastes and don’t give a hoot whether your guests dig it or not. Your living space makes a proud statement—just like you. Like your décor, your personality is colorful and bright, if a bit overwhelming to the shy among us. (Don’t worry: We’ll come around.)

Metallic accents

You’re a glamour queen or king, full of sparkle and shine. You’re attracted to Hollywood Regency, and we bet you’ve got a few bold pops of color tucked away in your bookshelves, too. You love attention and being the star of the show, but you’re happy to cede the stage to friends—after all, you want everyone to feel as glamorous as you.

Formal

You love big-time entertaining with an intellectual twist—from predinner cocktails, to four-course gourmet meals, to galas. We’ll bet we won’t find a single fingerprint on your polished glass cabinets. You’re  not just a clean freak—you’re also meticulous. You’re successful and urbane, and can argue your way through an economics debate without batting an eyelash.

Green thumb

If your shelves are covered in plants and you’ve swapped a gallery wall for a living wall, you’re more than a nature lover. You’re stable and well-balanced—assuming you keep those plants alive, of course—and you’re probably a great listener. You love long hikes and are eager to bring nature home with you.

Gallery wall over the couch

You’re a bit of a Pinterest addict, and you’re proud of the artwork investments you’ve made. There’s no denying your eye is impeccable, and you’re the master of finding the perfect piece at a garage sale—but now that your gallery is made, you’re not sure what blank wall to tackle next. Might we suggest the stairway?

Pristine surroundings

You probably don’t have kids, and if you do, gosh, they’re well-trained. You love order and arrangement, and we’d bet your personality tends toward Type A—you might be just a bit tightly wound. But the payoff is huge: Jaws drop when guests enter your stunning living room (even if they’re a bit nervous about knocking something over). Congrats, you’re the person whom people call when life becomes overwhelming.

A bit of clutter

Don’t let anyone call you a perfectionist. Free spirit, maybe. What’s a bit of a mess in the long run? You’re not a hoarder, but you don’t care if everything is perfect, either. Marie Kondo has no hold over you. You find a lot of joy in your possessions, and you’re proud of your home, but you don’t treat it like precious property.

No TV at all

You’re a bookworm, and that’s great. For you, entertainment is disappearing into a good novel, enjoying deep conversation with friends, or taking in a cup of tea and a warm fire with your pug Humbert at your side. Or maybe you just prefer bingeing on “Jessica Jones” on your laptop—after all, a giant TV can ruin a cozy living room.

Pillows and fluff

Some people might complain about stuffing your couch with throw pillows and fluffy blankets, but they’ve never known the joy of curling up in cozy heaven and chilling with a glass of wine. Comfort is your No. 1 priority—and if those pillows happen to perfectly complement your rug, that’s a bonus! Shine on, you downy dreamer.

Posted by Jamie Wiebe on realtor.com

Learn to Prime Like a Pro

Follow these tips from Sherwin-Williams to prep for a perfect paint job.

Paint can make more of a difference in changing a home’s aesthetic than new accessories and furniture. Why? Color makes an immediate impact because it’s on one of the largest surface areas in your home.

But a painting project that seems simple can easily go awry if the proper prep work hasn’t been done. (No one loves streaky paint.)

Avoid mishaps and get a room that’s painted to perfection with these tips from Sherwin-Williams.

Gather materials

It’s best to have all of the proper tools on hand before the first dip of the paintbrush. Sherwin-Williams suggests having the following tools at the ready to ensure a seamless painting experience:

  • Wash bucket
  • Mild dishwashing soap
  • Cellulose sponge
  • 1-inch painter’s tape
  • Flexible putty knife
  • Dropcloths
  • Primer
  • Plastic paint container
  • Roller pan/tray
  • Paint stir sticks
  • 2-inch to 3-inch angled sash paintbrush
  • Paint roller
  • Paint roller covers:
    • ¼-inch to ⅜-inch nap thickness for smooth surfaces
    • ½-inch to 1-inch nap thickness for rough or stippled surfaces
  • Paint roller extension pole
  • Paint rags
  • Ladder
  • Acrylic caulk
  • Caulk gun

Step 1: Wash the walls

To get a perfect paint job, it’s all about the proper prep for your walls. That starts with removing all of the loose paint and patching any holes or cracks.

Next, wash your walls. A simple dusting of the walls and trim where dirt tends to gather can prevent painting problems such as paint that doesn’t properly adhere to the wall. Experts from Sherwin-Williams recommend using a mixture of lukewarm water and mild soap and gently rubbing with a rag or cotton cloth in a circular motion. Rinse your walls using a slightly damp cellulose sponge.

Step 2: Tape it up

It may seem an unnecessary step, but taping the walls is of the utmost importance if you want to keep paint from dripping onto trim or, worse, the floor. To start, check that your walls and trim are thoroughly dry before applying painter’s tape.

Use longer pieces of tape rather than several shorter pieces. This critical step helps minimize the possibility of gaps in your tape and helps ensure paint won’t sneak through. Start in a corner, pressing to the trim in small sections as you go. To make it even more secure, use a clean putty knife to press the tape’s edges to the trim so your tape sticks firmly. This will help ensure you get a nice, even paint line.

Step 3: Grab the dropcloths

Paint on the carpet or in the cracks of your hardwood floors? No, thanks.

To avoid this, use one or more dropcloths to protect your flooring and furniture from paint drips. Canvas dropcloths are the most durable, and the fabric works to absorb paint drips and spills — and they’re reusable.

Plastic and paper dropcloths cost less but tend to slide when you walk on them, so use painter’s tape to secure the edges to the floor.

Step 4: Time to prime

Priming may not be necessary if you’re working with an all-white wall or a paint and primer in one. However, in the case where you’re painting over an existing color, it’s typically best to prime the wall first.

Starting off with a primer base helps you get a truer color and sheen from your paint. Plus, it provides a layer specially formulated to protect your topcoat.

To get started, use a 2-inch or 3-inch angled bristle brush and paint a narrow strip of primer all along your trim and the inside corners of your room. Prime the remainder of your wall with a roller.

Use a ¼-inch to ⅜-inch nap thickness for smooth surfaces. Use a ½-inch to 1-inch nap thickness for rough or stippled surfaces. If you’re painting a room in a darker color, consider using tinted primer rather than white to ensure a true hue throughout the room.

Step 5: Mind the gap

Gaps often form between walls and trim work. The solution: caulking. Fill them with an acrylic caulk after priming the wall and trim surfaces.

Not all caulks are paintable, so make sure you read the label to see if yours is. Use the little hole in your caulk gun handle to cut off the tip of the tube at a 45-degree angle. Carefully pierce the inner seal inside the tip using the seal-puncture tool found on most caulk guns. Load the tube into your caulk gun and squeeze out a small amount to start the flow.

Have a damp cotton rag handy to clean up excess. Start in one corner of your room, point the caulk tube tip into the crack, and gently squeeze an even flow of caulk along the crack. Wet your finger and use it to smooth out and remove excess amounts of caulk. Have a damp cloth handy to wipe your finger clean. Make sure you read the label to find out the dry time for your caulk too. Some take 24 hours, so make sure to account for this!

The finishing touch

You’re ready to paint! Have more questions? Ask the experts at your neighborhood Sherwin-Williams paint store and be fully prepared to achieve beautiful painting results.

This post was sponsored by Sherwin-Williams.

Posted by Blake Miller on Trulia

 

Make a Small Home Office Feel Bigger With These Tips

Working in a small claustrophobic space can be quite depressing and far from inspiring. However, most of us are not so lucky to be working in an enormous office full of light, so we try to make the most of what we have. How can we redesign our office space so that it seems bigger and brighter without demolishing a few walls or moving to a completely different place? Here are a few tips you can use to change your working environment so that you feel happier and more satisfied.

As White As Light

The first thing you have to think about is your background. In order for it to seem bigger, it has to be light, so make sure that you surround yourself with as much white as possible. As it reflects light, it will illuminate even those spaces that do not have enough or even any windows that would allow natural light inside. White has a calming effect on people, but if it feels a little bit cold to you, it is possible to incorporate a few details in brighter colors, but keep them minimal and not in more than two shades.

Curtainless Windows

When you think about your small office design and what are some of the decorative items you can put in it to make it more personal, avoid using curtains on your windows. As they barely let enough light as it is, closing them up will do you no good. However, if you still feel the need to cover the glass with something from time to time, shades are definitely a better choice.

Only the Most Essential

Whether you are redesigning your office in a company building or your home office, try not to go overboard with the amount of furniture items, especially some larger ones that take up too much space. Now, when you think about an office, you immediately imagine large computer desk and a big comfortable chair, but is it really necessary? Lately, standing desks have become much more popular, not only because they open up the room, but they also proved to be beneficial for your health.

No Hoarding Please

Nothing makes a room look smaller than all the clutter that you never find the time to clean up. So pick up the trash bin and start with throwing all the things that you do not need: old documents, pens that do not work anymore, and put everything else in its place. You will notice just how much bigger your desk looks, and the entire office will seem more spacious at the same time.

Perks of the 21st Century

Finally, the good thing is that that we are living in a digital age so you can save all of your important documents without using large filing cabinets. You can have them all on your computer, tablet or an USB stick, and not only does it save you a lot of office space, this way it will be much easier for you to manage all the important paperwork.

Working in a small and depressing office can affect the pace, as well as the quality of your work in an extremely negative way. If you are not comfortable in it and you feel like it is suffocating, do not get devastated, as there are numerous ways in which you can make it look bigger, happier and more inspirational.

Posted by Lana Hawkins on HomeZada

Styling a Layered and Neutral Living Room

Decorating with a range of neutrals creates a sophisticated yet comfortable living room look.

Nothing says classic design like a neutral palette. For a living room that you’ll still love years from now, throw out the pops of color and opt for soft shades of cream and gray.

Neutral pieces with a lot of layered texture are the perfect fall transition pieces. Your home will feel extra cozy, without compromising style.

1. Abstract Art, Minted, $22 and up | 2. Gray Sofa, West Elm, $1,299 | 3. Louis XIV-style Chair, Arhaus, $1,399 4. Faux Fur Pillow, Wayfair, $45 | 5. Wool Shag Rug, West Elm, $199 and up | 6. Graphic Quote Pillow Cover, H&M, $6 7. Gold Dot Pillow, Wayfair, $30 | 8. Copper Sequin Pillow, H&M, $18 | 9. Cream Tassel Throw, Open Sky, $110

A great sofa with a unique shape and a pair of statement chairs create a beautiful classic base that will really stand the test of time.

A neutral rug with an interesting pattern is a great way to liven up your space with a subtle pop. And abstract art is the perfect addition to this design. It’s graphic and modern, so it balances the traditional furniture well.

Layered textures like fur and cable knits are a must when going with a neutral palette. The varying textures and finishes don’t leave any room for bland or boring.

To really take your color-free space to the next level, bring in some metallics. Copper and gold are both neutral, but layering them together creates a collected look. A graphic black and white quote pillow is the perfect final touch that keeps this design from feeling too formal and brings in just the right amount of fun.

The best part about choosing to design with a neutral palette is that you really can’t go wrong. The more layers the better, and all neutral shades mix well together. Have fun styling your neutrals!

Posted by Lindsay Jackman on Zillow