3 Home Upgrade Options for a $1,000 Budget

Looking to update your home without spending a pile of cash? Here are three projects you can complete for just $1,000 each.

Whether you’re hoping to make your home more comfortable to live in or trying to broaden its appeal for a quick sale, small updates can be a win-win. But home improvement projects can be tricky because if you spend too much, you may not get the return on that investment.

To add value to your home, focus on two categories. First, adding function to the home is a given. You will love that update, and so will future buyers. The second is adding charm and character, which will make your home a happier place for you, and can be an advantage when it’s on the market.

For the relatively small renovation budget of $1,000, you can complete any one of the following projects, boosting the appeal and value of your home.

Add a wall of built-in bookshelves

Few things say charm and character like built-ins. Take them floor-to-ceiling on an empty wall in your living space, dining room, or even hallway. To really boost the appeal, add sconces in between or over each shelf.

Not only do built-ins create a beautiful focal point in your home, they also increase function. They’re perfect for book storage, but you could also get a set of pretty woven baskets to store and conceal items. You get more storage without compromising the tidy look of the shelves.

Create faux beams in your cased openings

Wood beams instantly add appeal to your home. While this is purely a cosmetic upgrade, it’s one that will have you, your friends, and future buyers swooning.

On any cased opening in your home, pop off the trim and use stained framing lumber to cover the sides. Run one long piece across the top and you’ve created the look of an actual beam for less cost.

Adding beams increases your home’s charm and makes a real statement. It’s a perfect addition to entry ways or living areas.

Build paired closets

Adding closets to your home has the obvious benefit of providing much-needed storage. The issue, however, is that building a closet usually means taking a corner out of a room. You get the storage, but you’re left with an awkward protrusion into the space.

Paired closets in each corner on a wall solve this issue — and you get double the storage. Paired closets look purposeful in a room, and their symmetry is visually appealing. This configuration creates a charming nook in between to place a table, bench, or even bed.

You’ll love having the extra storage, and any future buyers will, too. After all, you can never have too much closet space.

Regardless of which upgrade you choose, you can’t go wrong with these cosmetic and functional home updates. With a modest investment, you’ll immediately enhanced your home with charm and usability anyone would love.

Posted by Lindsay Jackman on Zillow

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5 Ways to Get Your Basement Organized Quickly and Effectively

Summer is here! With the longer days and — if you’re lucky — more time off, many people set aside this time for finishing projects around the house. One of the top projects on everyone’s list: getting more organized. Your basement in particular probably needs work, if you’re anything like the rest of us.

It’s also a time for vacations, however, and who wants to have to stay home to work on their to-do list instead of traveling, sightseeing, and relaxing? Luckily you can do both if you power through organizing your basement using these five tips.

1: Make a checklist

The best way to get something quickly is to make a checklist. This helps you to stay on track. You will always know what still needs to be done, so that you don’t waste time spinning your wheels when you could be completing the next task instead.

2: Start with a clean slate

Before you can organize, you need to go through what you have. Make three categories — keep, donate, and throw away — and separate everything into piles. Be sure you take immediate action on what you’re getting rid of — drop off everything worth donating at your local thrift store right away, and toss the rest — or it’ll work its way back into your basement storage, cluttering it up again and making more work for you later on down the road. Plus, by getting rid of things you leave yourself with less to organize. Take a hard look at the items you are considering keeping. If they are not super important or essential to having around, consider renting a self storage unit to put aside those items for later use.

3: Invest in a good organization system

Consider investing in things like metal shelving and clear plastic storage bins. A good organizational system can make your job much easier for a number of reasons.

  • Everything fits more easily. Instead of wasting your time playing Tetris with many different sized boxes to try to make everything fit, all you’ll have to do is pack each bin and put it on the shelf. Easy peasy.
  • Your storage system will hold up better. Cardboard boxes stacked on one another don’t tend to last very long, requiring you to do the same job all over again in a few years.
  • Your belongings will be better protected. Plastic bins protect your things from moisture and pests, an added bonus since basements are often damp, and you’re more likely to find unpleasant creatures in them.

4: Utilize unused space

Basements have lots of space that is under-utilized. Get creative when planning your basement storage, and you can make use of this space much better. For instance, wall space can easily be turned into tool or craft supply storage by affixing pegboard to the wall. Presto! Instant custom hook setup.

You can also make your own custom shelving to help you access and use the space under the stairs more easily, and hang shelving from the ceiling in order to take advantage of that oft-overlooked space (and keep your things off the ground and dry in the case your basement floods).

5: Label

Now that you have a well-organized basement, could you find what you needed quickly and easily? No? To help fix this problem, pack each bin with things of the same general category, and label your bins as you go along. This will make it easier to quickly locate which bin you need when you’re looking for something in particular, or add something to a bin without having to open up each one and find the one you’re looking for.

Organizing your basement can be much quicker and easier than you might think. Just set aside a little bit of time and follow these five steps. You’ll be done with your “big” summer project and ready for vacation before you know it!

Posted by Jennifer Caughey on HomeZada

7 Ways to Make a Bold Palette Work in a Small Space

Add some color to your home — and your life — with these tips from Sherwin-Williams.

Nothing energizes a personal space like a pop of color — and small rooms are no exception. Best of all? Painting is an easy DIY project that can make a big impact.

We consulted the Sherwin-Williams Director of Color Marketing Jackie Jordan for a closer look at the trends (and expert tips) for heading in a bold new direction.

1. Get to know bold

Bold colors range from dark to bright, adding drama — and depth — to a space. Think jewel tones or bright, summery shades. Contrary to popular belief, when it comes to making a room feel “bigger,” color is not the enemy … yet picking the right one is key.

2. Pick your palette

First and foremost, skip the trends and start with hues that resonate with you, first and foremost. Not sure where to start? According to Jordan, Sherwin-Williams’ Indigo Batik SW 7062, Naval SW 6244, and Coral Reef SW 6606 are popular options, according to Jordan.

Inspiration can come from anywhere — including the fashion world. If you see a look you love on the red carpet, Jordan adds, take a few Color to Go® paint samples for a test-drive at home. You might love it there too.

3. Go natural

Draw inspiration from Mother Nature for amazing, bold colors that work well with neutral walls and natural materials like wood, linen, wool, and leather.

“Think of how a flower looks on a tree or bright blue sky pops against a sandy beach,” advises Jordan, who suggests pairing bold hues with neutral bases. “Try a bright yellow green [see Sherwin-Williams’ Sassy Green SW 6416] or a brilliant blue [consider Aleutian SW 6241].”

4. Look past the living room

According to Jordan, powder rooms and dining rooms are perfect for bolder palettes, from red and green tones leading into the kitchen — which have been scientifically proven to rev up or calm snack habits — to sunny yellows and bright blues that can elevate your bathrooms from a purely functional space to a spa-like escape.

Curious about what your room might look like in a fresh new hue? Snap a photo on your smartphone and then use this brilliant app to virtually paint your walls, or upload an existing photo here to preview the job on your desktop or iPad before you even start.

5. Keep the accent on the accent wall

“An accent wall should be the feature wall or the wall with the most interest in the room,” says Jordan.

Have a hearth or a gallery wall situation going on? Don’t split the difference — or the focus — by applying paint on yet another wall in the room. Double your efforts and execute attention-grabbing projects in the same spot as your bold hue.

6. Finish strong

Contrast is key to playing up a bold palette. For example, pairing orange ceramics against deep-blue walls, or trimming shelves or picture frames in white or metallic are great-looking ways to make bold backdrop colors pop.

7. Remember, it’s not all about paint

Renters and noncommittal types can — and should — still get in on this bold trend. A few simple mini-makeover swaps will keep you in love with your space from season to season (or design whim to design whim).

“Stick with a neutral wall color [try Accessible Beige SW 7036, Nomadic Desert SW 6107, or Amazing Gray SW 7044], then change out your pillows and a few key accessories to shift in warm, cozy fall colors, summer brights, or seasonal finds,” says Jordan.

Posted by Tiffany J. Davis on Trulia

This post was sponsored by Sherwin-Williams.

 

Pick Your Favorite Party-Ready Pool

Which of these professional pool designs is your ideal escape from the summer heat?

With temperatures rising as summer begins, a refreshing dip in a cool pool is at the top of most folks’ lists. Do you daydream about your ideal backyard oasis with a crystal blue pool and stylish lounge chairs? Zillow compared six gorgeous outdoor pools from professionals on Zillow Digs™ to find the leading pool design for the season.

Which pool is best primed for a party? The hard part is choosing just one. Get your vote in now and check back to see the winner on July 1, 2015.

Modern or Mediterranean luxury

If luxury designs with maximum privacy and all the high-end additions are right up your alley, check out these pools. The modern pool designs include geometric-shaped patios, fountains, outdoor kitchens and hot tubs. For something warmer, Mediterranean swimming pools offer elegant designs using a mix of earth-toned stone structures and extravagant features like fireplaces and built-in fire pits.

Traditional garden grandeur

Not into that celebrity look? Select a favorite from these peaceful, garden-forward designs. The lush green plantings accent the crisp blue water perfectly. Each includes a water feature and poolside patio with lounge chairs. Surrounding most traditional pool designs you’ll find pergola or trellis structures to support climbing vines with colorful blooms.

Tropical pool paradise

Alternatively, feel right at home in the summer heat alongside one of these tropical pools. Both boast palm trees and other tropical vegetation. Notice the curved pools common with this design. Enjoy tropical layouts on warm summer evenings with lighting features such as tiki torches, pathway lamps and built-in fixtures. Is one of these your dream pool?

Posted by Tali Wee on Zillow