3 Ways to Get a Whole New Look With Just a Coat of Paint

Itching for a new look? Paint can transform so much more than just your walls.

Paint is easily one of the biggest home design tools at your disposal. It has the ability to take a room from dark and dingy to light and bright — and from small and cramped to spacious and airy.

To find out exactly how to change the look of a room with paint, we asked house-flipping pros and owners of Seattle-based Urban Squirrel, Lora Lindberg and Debbie Cederlind, for some pointers.

“Paint can lend a feeling you want to evoke,” says Cederlind. “The walls are the biggest surface for the biggest impact.” But you can get a new look without committing to painting a whole room.

Here are Lindberg’s and Cederlind’s tips for transforming your space with just a little paint.

1. Paint your furniture

Your first instinct may be to look at the walls for a drastic change in your home, but painting your furniture can pack just as much punch — if not more.

Not only is this a more renter-friendly solution, but it’s also a good way to break up the monotony of furniture that came in a set or that matches the flooring.

Photo courtesy of The Design Firm.

“It’s definitely more interesting to mix in a painted piece of furniture rather than have everything wood,” says Cederlind.

If you’re a renter and aren’t allowed to splash any color on the walls, go for a bold color on your furniture that will brighten up the room — particularly if you have white or off-white walls in your rental home.

2. Don’t be afraid to paint paneling

If you live in an older home that has been blessed with the gift of wood paneling, it may look dark, outdated and cavernous. Although it might be tempting to rip it out and start over, Lindberg and Cederlind suggest painting over the woodinstead.

“We see so many houses that haven’t sold because of paneling. Painting the paneling is one of the most dramatic changes you can make,” says Lindberg. “Some people say it’s a sin to paint wood, but a paneled room can look incredible with a lighter paint.”

Photo courtesy of Tyler Whitmore.

When you choose the paint color for your wood paneling, Lindberg and Cederlind suggest painting it a muted color and saving the pops of brighter color for artwork and area rugs.

3. Limit bold color choices to a room or two

Painting a dramatic color in one or two smaller spaces, like a powder room or a dining room, will make them stand out and be more memorable to visitors.

Photo from Zillow listing.

Although adding bold color to your walls is a great way to change up your space immediately, don’t go overboard with dramatic colors.

“The thing that drives me the craziest is painting every room a different bold color. Paint the whole house the same color, then pick one or two special rooms to get an accent, like a dining room or powder room or den,” says Lindberg. “A trend I’ve been noticing a lot is dark walls. You definitely don’t want to do that everywhere.”

This tip is especially important if you live in a home with an open concept living or dining space. The house will seem bigger and flow better when there’s continuity in the paint color throughout the home, Lindberg and Cederlind say.

Remember: Finding the right paint color takes time

Whether you decide to paint your walls in just one space or all of them, make sure you choose the right color before you tape off the baseboards and prep the room to paint.

“Picking out colors is the hardest,” says Cederlind. “We spend a lot of time getting samples and trying them physically in the room, but it’s worth every penny. Don’t go and get the paint chip and then buy a gallon of $60 paint. The chances of getting the color right the first time are pretty slim.”


Posted by Jamie Birdwell-Branson on Zillow

9 Kitchen Color Ideas That Aren’t White

Don’t get me wrong: White kitchens are cheerful, clean and classic — it’s no wonder why they’re so popular. But since white kitchens are everywhere, it’s easy to forget that there are other colors that can also look great in this space. Thinking about bucking the trend in your kitchen? Consider one of these options, from alternative neutrals to bright, bold hues.


You can’t go wrong with these versatile picks.

Charcoal Gray

If you want a cool neutral that’ll add a bit of drama to your kitchen, look to charcoal. Bright accent colors — or even white, as seen in this kitchen designed by Brian Patrick Flynn — really pop against it.


Tobi Fairley

A mix between gray and beige, greige is an incredibly versatile neutral for the kitchen that can complement both warm and cool colors. In this space designed by Tobi Fairley, greige cabinets bridge the gap between warmer brass elements and cooler marble accents.


A black kitchen may sound dreary, but it can actually be stunning if done right. Just take this gorgeous room that goes all in with black cabinets, a black vintage stove and a black-and-white tiled floor. If you’re not on board with an all-black kitchen, try adding one black element like a backsplash or a sink.


Add a touch of color without overpowering your space.

Pale Green

Erin Williamson

Hints of green in the stone countertops inspired the cabinet color in this country-style kitchen. The soft hue brings coziness to the space, yet still feels bright and fresh.

Butter Yellow

Stacey Brandford

Particularly charming in a cottage- or farmhouse-style space, pale yellow adds a cheerful, sunny touch to a kitchen. Try it with robin’s egg blue or with neutrals, as seen in this kitchen designed by Sarah Richardson.

Navy Blue

Eric Perry

Navy is practically a neutral — it pairs beautifully with everything from tangerine to turqouise to chartreuse. In the HGTV Smart Home 2014 kitchen, navy cabinets are offset by a black-and-white basketweave backsplash for lots of eye-catching contrast.


Go all in with these daring shades.


Brian Patrick Flynn

Want to instantly energize your kitchen? Just add a vibrant shade of red. To keep it from feeling overwhelming, try contrasting it with a cool color, like the blue-gray Brian Patrick Flynn used here. If you’re not ready to commit to red cabinets or walls, incorporate the color in small doses with red countertop appliances, dish towels and other accessories.

Emerald Green

Andrea Schumacher

Just a splash of this gorgeous green will make a big impact in your kitchen. In this design, Andrea Schumacher painted only the island, pulling a color from the floral wallpaper to keep the space cohesive. For an ultra-rich look, pair emerald with other jewel tones.


Orange is thought to stimulate the appetite, making it an ideal color choice for the kitchen. In this space by Jennifer Gilmer, an orange backsplash and zebrawood cabinets add warmth, keeping the contemporary design from feeling cold. Smaller orange accents, such as pendant lights or window treatments, can also liven up a kitchen.

Posted by Shannon Petrie on www.hgtv.com







The Color of Your Bedroom will Affect your Sleep

There are a lot of people talking about sleep recently. When people do not get enough sleep, they become stressed, overwhelmed, and tired ultimately making them less productive in the busy schedules of life. They can also become sick and frustrated without the proper amount of sleep. The question now is, can the color of your bedroom actually impact your sleep? Well, it sure can.

A study by Travelodge has been conducted to measure the effectiveness of color in a room on how people slept and for how long. Have you guessed the most soothing, peaceful and relaxing colors yet?

As you think of peace and relaxation, blue may come to mind. As this is the color of a bedroom that helps people sleep the most. People with blue bedrooms get almost a full 8 hours of sleep versus other colors. This study also revealed that blood pressure and heart rate were reduced, which also contributed to longer amounts of sleep. Along these similar concepts, yellow and green are the next colors to cause a good night’s sleep. A muted yellow or a green can calm the body and the mind, creating a safe and secure environment and ultimately, a sense of peace.

Surprisingly, silver is another calming color, resulting in 7.5 hours of sleep each night. A silver room creates a moonlight like color in a room. By adding moonlight, it offers a sense of calm and the appearance of night. Don’t be fooled though, silver is the color that gets the most sleepers motivated to work out in the morning.

Orange creates a sense of warmth, which gives sleepers close to 7.5 hours of sleep, while red and gold colored rooms offered just shy of 7 hours of sleep. Grey and Brown are the colors where you start seeing significant dips in sleep. People that sleep in these colored rooms often get around 6 hours of sleep.

The unfortunate part for those Baltimore Ravens, Sacramento Kings, and LSU fans is that purple rooms are the worst to get the best amount sleep. Anyone sleeping in a purple room will have trouble relaxing, and their brain will continue to function, resulting in under 6 hours of sleep. This ultimately can affect your mood, your ability to function and your stress levels.

Posted on HomeZada

The Most Popular Exterior Paint Colors

Here’s a breakdown of the most popular colors for your house’s siding, trim, and architectural accents.

Changing the color scheme of your home’s exterior is one of the quickest ways to give your house a face-lift, whether you’re preparing to list it for sale or just want to increase curb appeal (or both!). You might be surprised at the number of outside elements at play that you should consider before you choose a color scheme. Things like the hue of your brick chimney (is your brick more orange or brown?), the color your neighbor chose for their house, and your area of the country can all influence a color scheme. Plus, you’ll probably have to coordinate at least three colors — for the siding, trim, and accents. And this is a big investment, so it’s not very easy to change if you don’t love the end result, making what seems like a simple decision trickier than you might have expected.

We talked to paint companies to get information on their bestselling exterior paint colors, then consulted with color specialists on what to consider when planning your own home’s color palette.

Choosing a color for the siding

When it comes to sheer square footage, a home’s siding takes up a lot of visual real estate and is usually the most difficult (and most expensive) area to paint. Consequently, you should decide on a paint color for your siding first and then match your trim and accents to it. To start your color selection, realize your home actually isn’t a blank canvas. You have a lot of fixed elements to consider when establishing your color palette.

1. The roof

If you have a brown roof, steer toward a warm siding color, like Sherwin-Williams’ Avenue Tan. If you have a gray or black roof, you can go cooler — Olympic’s Coast of Maine is a popular choice. Take a step back and observe any other fixed, unpaintable elements on your home’s exterior, like copper awnings, stone chimneys, and brick features.

2. Consider your neighbors

If one house next door to yours is navy-blue and another is white, you shouldn’t veer into warm-color territory or paint your house navy-blue or white (no one likes a copycat). Instead, match their home’s color intensity. Something like Benjamin Moore’s Wedgewood Gray would pair well: It stays in the cool spectrum and doesn’t duplicate their selections. You want to have personality but not stand out in a bad way.

3. Don’t ignore local cues

Beyond the colors on your block, do some research (you can probably just drive around your town!) to make sure your color scheme is historically and regionally appropriate. “Imagine the colors you see on homes in Key West,” says Amy Krane, an architectural color consultant. “Pink and turquoise feel natural in a tropical region but would be wholly out of place in the Midwest.”

4. Keep scale and depth in mind

The color of your home can trick the eye. For instance, painting your home a light color like Benjamin Moore’s November Rain can make it seem larger than it is and visually brings it forward to the curb. Conversely, dark colors can make a home look smaller but more substantial and set back — Benjamin Moore’s Boston Brick has this effect.

5. Test before you commit

Always paint a test patch and observe it at different times of day to see how the sunlight affects it. Keep in mind that all colors will always appear lighter on the exterior of your house than on a paint chip in the store. “Natural lighting makes everything appear lighter and brighter,” says paint color specialist Kristie Barnett. “Always go darker than you think you’d want.”

The best colors for trim

A house’s trim color is easy to overlook if it marries well with the rest of the house but impossible to ignore if the color is even slightly off. Trim that’s matched exactly to the siding color can feel flat; dark trim, especially around windows, can make them appear small or oddly framed.

1. Keep it in the family

For this reason, a safe bet is to select a trim color two shades lighter or darker from the siding color or to keep it simple with a fresh white or cream shade. Sherwin-Williams’ Panda White and PPG Paints’ Oatmeal are popular selections for warm-tone homes; Benjamin Moore’s Frostine is an option for cool-hued homes.

2. Use trim to blend

Keep in mind that less-attractive elements of your home, like gutters, garage doors, or vents, should be painted the same color as your trim so they blend in. Picking a trim color can be tough, so this is an opportunity to talk to a pro — see if the paint company you’re working with has preselected color palettes based on architectural style or color range. These can be incredibly helpful when matching your trim to your siding.

Now for the fun part: accent colors

After you’ve chosen the foundation for your palette — the siding and trim colors — it’s time to have some fun playing up the accents, like the front door, shutters, and other architectural details. Accent colors present an opportunity to make a statement and differentiate your home from your neighbors’ houses.

1. Keep it classic

When it comes to front doors, some colors will never go out of style: Behr’s Black Lacquer, for instance, or a red door like Glidden’s Rusty Red. Or pick a color that gives a nod to a classic: Something like Sherwin-Williams’ Indigo Batik is similar to navy-blue, but the gray undertone is slightly more modern and fresh.

2. Look inside

Besides coordinating your front door with your siding and trim, when picking a color, consider the interior of your house, says color consultant Barbara Jacobs. “For one of my clients, as soon as you opened the front door, they had a beautiful oriental rug and piece of art,” says Jacobs. “We pulled a lilac color from these elements to use on the front door, and it created a stunning impact as you entered their home.” Colors like Benjamin Moore’s Super Nova and Breath of Fresh Air are unexpected hues that can ooze this effect.

3. Add more color

Other architectural details can match the front door, but they offer another opportunity to introduce a new hue. Barnett says it’s wise to pull other accent colors from fixed elements on the home. “If you have orangey brick on the base of your house, you could do a copper-color shutter,” she says. Or, a shade like Behr’s Cinnabark would work well with dark brick. “If you have a black roof, you could do black shutters and a pop of color on your front door. Whatever you choose, by syncing these details, it looks like you had a plan!”

Posted by Liz Olech on Trulia

Before & After: Cottage Curb Appeal Makeover

When a South Carolina couple moved into their new little cottage, it was in desperate need of some TLC.

With very little budget, the couple put their DIY skills to the test and focused on a few key updates that would go a long way.

First, they updated the home’s awkward window placement. They removed the window to the right of the front entry, and added a window in the large expanse on the left. This was the biggest part of the renovation, and it greatly boosted the home’s curb appeal.

The next step was making simple barn shutters from three planks side-by-side and a trim piece connecting them at the top and bottom. Painted bright blue, the shutters liven up the white siding.

Next, the couple set out to update the entry. They removed gutters and replaced iron posts with thicker wooden posts.

Replacing the old screen door with a paned wooden door created a more welcoming approach, and adding trim to the portico completed the entry’s transformation. Painting the posts white was a risky move with the white siding, but it allows the new wooden door to pop and serve as a focal point.

Finally, decorative touches like painting the beaded board ceiling blue and bringing in a copper lantern added some much needed personality without breaking the bank.

Posted by Lindsay Jackman on Zillow


5 Repairs You Might Encounter During the First 5 Years of Owning a Home

Routine inspections and maintenance can help keep these issues from becoming bigger problems.

Fact: Things in your home can break. Faucets might leak, windows can stick and ceiling fan motors occasionally burn out.

Whether your home is newly constructed or listed on the historic registry, repairs will be needed. Here are five common household problems you’re likely to encounter within the first five years of owning your home, plus tips for dealing with the repairs:

1. Leaky faucets, running toilets

Your toilet flushes fine, but it won’t stop running. Or, perhaps you have a bathroom faucet that drips, drips, drips.

Those leaks are annoying, but they can also be very costly. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average household’s leaks waste more than 10,000 gallons of water each year; 10 percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day. Worn-out toilet flappers, dripping faucets and leaking valves are among the most common types of residential leaks.

To check for leaks in your home, the EPA suggests taking these steps:

  • Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a leak.
  • Identify toilet leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank and waiting 15 minutes. If any color shows up in the bowl, you have a leak. (Flush immediately after the experiment to avoid staining the tank.)
  • Do a visual inspection of pipes, faucet gaskets and pipe fittings. If there’s water on the outside of the pipes or gaskets, you likely have a leak.

If you find a leak, get fix-it tips from the experts at your local hardware or home improvement store, or have a licensed plumber do the work for you.

2. Peeling, cracked paint and siding

Beyond keeping your house looking great, exterior paint protects your home from wind, rain and insects. If exterior paint is chalky, peeling or cracked, or caulk around windows and doors has failed, your home’s key structural components are at risk. Most homeowners can handle small repairs such as sanding and painting trim around windows and doors.

If you need a full exterior paint job, you’ll likely need to hire a professional. It could cost $2,600 to $7,500 to have a 2,400-square-foot house professionally painted, depending on your location and the amount of prep required. Remember that the longer you wait to repaint, the greater the likelihood that water and pests can damage your home.

Other types of exterior materials — vinyl, stucco and brick — also should be inspected and repaired on a regular basis.

3. Jammed disposal

According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, the average household garbage disposal has a life expectancy of about 10 years — less if you use it a lot or don’t properly maintain it.

If the disposal is jammed or clogged, you may be able to fix it yourself, following instructions in your owner’s manual.

If the unit grinds poorly or is unreasonably noisy you may need to replace the blade, impeller or motor; this should be done by a pro. Because these types of repairs can be expensive, it’s often cheaper and faster to replace the entire unit. Expect to pay $325 to $400 to have a mid-grade disposal professionally installed.

4. Nail pops

If the walls of your brand-new home are dotted with unattractive mounds, you’ve got nail pops. In most cases, drywall nail pops are cosmetic defects that result when the lumber used to build the house dries and shrinks, oh so slightly. This shrinkage often causes the heads of drywall nails to push the finishing compound loose, allowing the nail heads to “pop” out of the wall. Nail pops most often appear near the corner of a wall or ceiling.

If your home is still under warranty, you should ask your builder to repair these blemishes. If you need or want to tackle the job yourself, you can. Simply use a punch to drive the nail deeper, then apply new finishing compound, sand and repaint.

5. Concrete cracks

Extreme weather, improper mixing, shrinkage during curing, pressure from vehicle loads and tree roots can all play a role in the cracks that form in concrete driveways and slabs. Not only are these cracks ugly, they can allow water and insects to infiltrate and lead to more significant damage over time.

Sinking concrete or widespread cracking could indicate a serious problem requiring the services of a professional and could cost upward of $2,000 to fix.

Products ranging from epoxy injections and concrete caulk to polymer-based resurfacers are available for homeowners who want to repair cracked driveways or slabs themselves.

No house is perfect, and no building material lasts forever. By keeping tabs on your home’s wellbeing and preforming regular home maintenance tasks, you can save yourself money and aggravation.

Posted by Mary Boone on Zillow

7 Decorating Ideas to Add Color without Painting

The easiest way you can redecorate your home is by repainting it, but dealing with moving furniture, priming the walls, painting and more will take a good bit of effort and work if you are not up for it. Changing the look and feel of a room can be completed with some alternative methods instead. The following ideas will give you some insight as to what you can do to make these changes happen if you are not up for painting the walls:

Using Pillows

If you have a relatively dark room, but you want to make it shine a bit brighter, then adding a few brightly colored pillows to accent the furniture and the room might just be one of the best ways to bring color into your room. It will not take much work to complete and you will have viable results in a really short time.

Treating your Windows

You can make your windows better-looking, but also quite useful simply by updating your window treatments. Spicing things up with some colorful window treatments will bring a new look to the whole room if you have a knack for this sort of thing. Adding your personal touches is something that you can do yourself if you have the skill. Try adding a colorful piece of fabric over a decorative curtain rod to create a beautiful new look to your windows. Simple, efficient and low cost. What more could you ask for?

Flowers as Decorations

You can pick your favorite flowers depending on the time of year and add them to a bowl or vase to bring the season indoors. You can also scatter individual flowers around the room, using some budding vases and single flowers to create a dash of color and freshness around a room. Always remember to dispose of them or even compost them when their colors fade and they wilt away to create an environment for sustainability.

Using Artwork

A common solution to enhancing a room and you have a much greater choice when it comes down to it. You can use a variety of artwork forms; such as a collage of kids’ drawings, artwork bought from a gallery, statue or sculptures, woven rugs, or something else that suits your taste and needs. Pick pieces that showcase colors capable of contrasting the rest of the room for optimal results. And find pieces that express who your personality.

Using Bookshelves

One does not simply use bookshelves for books; they can also be used for displaying of figurines, glassware, pottery, awards, prized possessions and so much more. Rearranging the current contents of the bookcase is one great way of ensuring you have a great-looking room that doesn’t require painting to make it so. Adding new pieces that bring a pop of color can also help a new dimension to a room.

Enhancing with Rugs

Rugs and carpets are another excellent way to change the overall ambiance of a room and what it has to offer. The best way to approach it is to look for a certain color and style that fits well with the overall color combination and shapes around it. Sometimes even affixing one to the wall will be a good way to break the monotony.

Using Slipcovers

A slipcover for your couch for every season can help create a new look every few months. Slipcovers can easily make a room and the furniture it covers a new experience.  Using slipcovers can also reduce the wear and tear of your furniture and potentially reduce your upholstery cleaning. Using light colors for the spring and summer months and deeper colors for the cold days of fall and winter cam also reflect the mood you might have during the seasons.

These are just a few tips to help redecorate a room without dealing with the hassle of organizing your room for a painting adventure.

Posted by Heather Roberts on HomeZada