Thursday, 3 August 2017

What to Look Out for When Hiring a Contractor ?

If you’ve had a bad experience with a contractor, you know that you need to be extra careful when hiring someone to remodel or repair something at your home. If, however, you haven’t had any negative experiences, you have the chance to learn from other people’s mistakes and learn what is important to know before you hire a contractor.

Make Sure They Are Insured and Registered to Work in Your Area

The first step when picking a contractor is to learn if they have all the necessary permits to conduct works you are interested in. Don’t just pick one company, take several local companies into consideration.

Another important thing you should not neglect is whether the company is insured. If they are not, you could be liable for any damage or injury to the workers. Typically, contractors will have a website which clearly shows their insurance, like in this example from KIC Restoration Inc of San Diego Make sure you double check the company’s credentials before you commit to them.

Another good reason to pick a local restoration company is the cost. If the workers need to travel far every day, the costs of your projects can increase significantly. Additionally, if anything goes wrong later, it is more likely that locals will want to come back and repair whatever the problem was.

Look Up Their Work Beforehand

Another useful thing you can do to ensure that you have the right company is to look up their previous work. Most companies will display their work on their website. Not only can you see the quality of their work in the flesh, but you could also get an inspiration for your project as well.

Trust Recommendations

Ask your friends and family if they have done any restoration works and what their experiences were with contractors. Their personal recommendations should be enough for you to make up your mind.
However, if you are still unsure, consult various online forums, where you can read both good and bad reviews. Naturally, you should take these reviews with just a pinch of salt.

Get an Estimate

Most companies will gladly give you the rough estimate of how much the project is going to cost you. Get several quotes from different companies and compare them. You will end up with a median price of your project as the guide.You can use this price as a bargaining chip when talking to contractors in the future.

Make a Contract Before You Start

If you have settled on a contractor you want to work with, make sure that you sign a contract. Be as specific as you can in this contract to ensure that you are protected if anything goes wrong. The contract should include the total cost, estimated starting and ending times, as well as all the plans and technical drawings used. 

You can never be too specific or detailed. If you have agreed on the brand of materials being used, put it in there. If you have a detailed schedule, it should also be included there. Once the contract is completed, both you and the contractor should review it and sign it.

Make a Payment Plan

Restorations and other house works can be quite costly. Most people do not have that kind of money in cash. Fortunately, most companies have the policy of not paying everything upfront. Typically a small percentage is given as an advance, the majority of the sum is paid during the works and the final installment is given when the work is done and you have had the chance to inspect the work they’ve done.

If they ask for all, or a large percentage of the money in advance, the company might be in some financial problems and you should think twice before doing business with them. The best option is to include this payment schedule into the contract you sign before the works start.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Hottest Patio Furniture Trends for Summer 2017

Hot summer days are already here, and now is a great time to work on your patio or porch if you haven’t already. New outdoor furniture options, as well as appliances and outdoor kitchens, can make any outdoor area as comfortable as the interior.  

Some homeowners are concerned with the fact that the summer has already started and their patio furniture is outdated. But, as the experts at Skylar’s Home and Patio claim, the right time to buy furniture is whenever you are ready.

Cold, streamlined and concrete patios are out this season, as new trends emerged and took the home design world by storm. Natural materials, outdoor living areas and retro design are back in cool, calming colors.

Indoor Layouts Outside

The indoor designs are moving away from your living room and onto your patio! Homeowners are adding outdoor rugs, side tables and lots of furniture outside to transform their patio or porch into a comfortable living outdoor area.

This way, your backyard and patio can become an extension of your indoor living area. You can achieve this look by going for furniture that looks like it was made for the indoors and spice it up with items such as layered blankets and pillows.

Retro Furniture

Ornate plastic and wrought iron furniture are out this seasons, as retro-style furniture is reemerging. Homeowners are going for wooden or woven furniture for its rich texture and retro vibe. The 70’s-style rattan has become a huge trend, both for indoor and outdoor furniture.

Colorful Woven Furniture

While we’re on the subject of woven furniture, even though it has its roots deep in tradition, designers are finding new ways to make these pieces interesting and appealing to a younger generation of homeowners. This gave birth to woven furniture that comes in non-traditional colors like light blue. This pairs well with darker hues common for traditional outdoor furniture and design.

Natural Materials

In line with the previous entries, we’re seeing a lot more of natural materials as opposed to concrete furniture. Wood and other natural materials like teak are ideal for a traditional, rustic patio.

Mosaic Table

Another surprising comeback on the list, mosaic tables are a huge trend both for accent and dining outdoor tables. Keeping in line with the previous items on this list, these vintage tables are made out of glass and natural stone or ceramic.

Bohemian Colors

Deep reds and oranges are a huge patio trend that still holds up this season. These colors go well with the rustic style that’s making comeback as well as natural materials and wooden finishes.

Calming Blue Tones

If you are not a fan of darker, bohemian hues, you can try to bring the seaside into your own yard using calming blues and striking greens instead. This style also works well with traditional furniture, especially woven pieces, but can be made edgier by using colorful pieces like yellow woven furniture.

Experiment with Colors

If neither trend looks appealing or fits your vision, don’t be afraid to experiment with colors, textures and patterns. While this trend is mainly popular with younger homeowners, it will make any old patio look invigorated and new. Don’t hesitate to mix and match vibrant colors like bright orange and turquoise.

10 Most Fastest, Cheapest and Easy Home Decor Ideas

Browsing around for quick home décor ideas that are effortless and go smooth on your budget? These floor-to-ceiling decorating ideas are sure to provide not only visual appeal but will also stimulate your senses the positive way.

1.     Re-purpose Stuff

Look around your house to reuse unused & throwaway stuff in style because old and discarded things, especially are good to experiment with. Old suitcases and trunks may not be in use these days but why hide them away in your attic when they can serve as excellent side tables and ottomans with minor makeovers?

2.     Swap Things

The most convenient way to decorate your space is by inviting hand-me-downs and by exchanging stuff with family and friends. This way you can keep clutter at check and also ensure trash is put to the best use.  

3.     Love Your Floor

Just because rugs lie on your floor, we often forget that rugs add grace not only to your floor but also to the entire room. Perfect rugs especially custom area rugs can perfectly open up your room. With affordable custom rugs conveniently available online, you can be sure to get a perfect rug to suit all your needs.

4.     Dote On Your Wall

Walls are perfect to hold all your home décor dreams from wallpapers to DIY artwork due to the vast expanse of walls that make your home. Let your imagination run wild when it comes to utilizing your wall to the fullest.

5.     Get Crafty

Flaunt your crafty side by using leftover wallpaper to your advantage. With a wee bit of your time you can make use of wallpaper to adorn the insides of shelves and wardrobes. This is the cheapest way to add interesting patterns to plain storage fixtures.

6.     The Magic Potion

Paint is a magic potion that can bring about an instant change in your interiors. Paint a single wall a surprising color to create an accent wall and the best part is, you can finish this project with just one quart paint.

7.     Infuse Freshness

Indoor plants can add a breath of freshness to your home. If these plants are flowering shrubs, you can be sure to add sweet fragrance into your interiors.

8.     Nature's Free Stuff

Nature is its own decorator capable of changing its looks with every season. Why not use nature’s bounty to decorate your interiors? Natural stuff like wood, sea shells, pebbles and dry flowers can add charm even if you use them in their raw form.

9.     Light To Your Advantage

Table lamps, pendant lights and floor lighting are a convenient option to add a soft warmth and fascination to your space. These lighting fixtures work much better than bright overhead lights in your interiors.

10.      Minor Changes Huge Impact

A change in slip-in covers, upholstery, drapes, table covers, cabinet handles and window treatments are a convenient way to change your interior outlook. Get on the mailing list of your favorite store to avail crazy deals on these home improvement stuff.

Author Bio: This article was written by Lubna Ali Khan. She loves interior designing, home décor and DIY projects. 

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Tips and Tricks to Bring Elegance to Your Home

Living on a budget is undeniably difficult -- you can’t buy all the things you need simultaneously and not to mention your wants. Utility bills, mortgages, loans and the likes only adds up to your expenses so sometimes you just have to sit down, accept and be content with what you have.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t upgrade your home the way you have always imagined it to be. You may not have the most glorious house structure but there are simple and hands-down hacks to make your home appear more expensive without damaging your pockets.

Frame your TV. If you want to upgrade your home in a budget, you can DIY a frame for your TV. Your living room will look more sophisticated and elegant by just doing this one hack. It’s like camouflaging your television, have your guests wonder where it is. Also, it should be easier now for you to decorate since your framed TV is now in style.

Supersize your artworks. If you love to decorate on your walls, why don’t you consider hanging a large scale artwork instead of small ones? You may opt to divide the large piece into three pieces and hang it accordingly to add dimension. Since we don’t want to burn your wallet, you can buy some in thrift stores for reasonable prices or if you prefer letting your creative juices flow, make your own and experiment on it. If you think you’re not that creative, abstract paintings will work just fine so no worries.

Photo credit: Good Housekeeping

Declutter. A messy living room with books, pillows, displays and the likes that goes everywhere in your unpolished look only results to making your room look cheap and littered. This doesn’t require decoration or designing, it only requires a lot of cleaning to cut the messy bundle. Get rid of the unnecessary objects you leave on display and the stuff that needs to go straight in the trash bin. Take note, leave you floor with a lot of space. That means putting your shoes in the shoe rack and your exercise equipment in your garage.

Photo credit: Freshome

Add a touch of green. No, we’re not talking about money or painting your walls green (unless you want to). Okay, you guessed it. It’s adding plants in your home such as a pot of flowers or a garden. Nothing more would make you home seem luxurious and expensive-looking other than plants. Not to mention, it isn’t really that hard to find if you’re not picky in terms of the type of plant you want.

Photo credit: Popsugar

Interesting room element. Don’t you think a room that only offers you to see verticals, horizontals and rounds is a little bit boring, plain and uninteresting? Spice it up! Look for a structured room display such as an unusual vase, peculiar table/chair or an off-beat structured plant will draw the guests’ eyes to it directly. This could be your unique and stylish bed frame/bed board, your bold-colored flower vase, unusual center table display or artworks among many others. Of course, keep in mind the appropriateness of the element regarding your room motif/theme. It should be seen as a piece of head-turning art lying in your room.

Photo credit: My Domaine

Add mirrors. The vogueish ones, yes. Adding mirrors deliver an illusion of larger rooms and bringing elegance to a home. Thus, adding this sole piece is a leap to a luxury home design. Instead of the plain ones, opt for the old and historical looking designs to give your room a sense of significance. Go to antique stores for reasonable prices.

Photo credit: My Domaine

You see, there are lots of ways to upgrade and make your home feel and appear luxurious whether you’re on a budget or not. You don’t have to necessarily buy an expensive couch and dining set to upgrade your home, these tricks will work effectively just as you need it to. Experiment with what you currently have and continuously learn over the process. Good luck on revolutionizing your home!

About Chie Suarez

Chie Suarez is a passionate writer/blogger for PAAL Kit Homes, a company that manufactures and supplies steel-framed kit homes that help Australian families build their dream home. Chie likes watching TV series and movies, is inclined to music and has a deep interest in home design and decoration. 

Friday, 13 February 2015

Affordable Home Improvement Ideas for Everyone

Home improvement could involve structural changes that you may be planning either for personal satisfaction or for increasing the value of your property, to get returns on your investment; either way, you are looking at quite a massive budget requirement. Home improvements in prominent areas like your kitchen, basement and your attic sure can enhance the value of your property tomorrow; while you get to enjoy all of it today. Here are some smart tips to consider before taking a leap into this herculean task of home improvement.

1.     Compact Storage:

No one has ever complained about having excess storage space! Improve the value of your property and the utility of your home by maximizing its storage capacity. Utilize idle spaces and transform them into the most efficient storage spaces of your home. From floating shelves and cabinets in your hallway, tall shelves, to staircase spaces, there is an abundance of redundant spaces; you might not have considered. 

  2.     Easy Kitchen Makeovers:

One easy peasy way to give your kitchen a well-deserved makeover is by changing the small aspects of your kitchen like the cabinet doors and handles. You can even ransack an antique shop to get some timeless pieces of handles to replace the factory-made hardware that came with your cabinetry. Install a new faucet that goes with your sink & backsplash to give your sink a new look. Small changes like these are sure to have a big impact on the outlook of your kitchen. 

3.     Accent Walls:

Set up an accent wall that stands out from the other walls in your home. Your accent wall can feature a cozy fireplace, a surprisingly bold wall colour, a large wall art or even a collage of all your pictures put together to cover an entire wall. Prospective buyers prefer to have a gas fireplace in their next home as a gas fireplace is 77% high energy-efficient than a traditional wood-burning fireplace.

4.     Nature’s Signature Stuff:

A stone fireplace, a wooden accent wall and hardwood flooring are a sure way to add timeless value to your home. Nature’s signature stuff like these has a distinct capacity to enhance the aesthetic value of your home. Installing wooden beams to your ceiling will give your home an instant makeover. Make use of almost any nature-inspired upgrade to add instantaneous significance to your home.

5.     Lush Foliage Space:

Consider adding lush foliage to your home beauty. Trees around the house have plentiful benefits; from keeping your home cool, to fetching far more value than a house without plant life. Installing a garden patio sure is a great way to bring about a refreshed look to your home. Avoid planting trees inaccurately to avoid property damage from large trees - avoid planting trees too close to your building and take due care about the gap between two plants considering their potential size.

6.     Perfect Area Rug Space:

While investing on home improvements, quality must be the king. It is not only important to choose a genuine hand-woven rug; it is equally important to make appropriate arrangements to show it off too. Consider adding a beautiful Bokhara rug to your living room. A sunken living room space sure is a pleasing sight if its coziness is complemented with the best quality hand-woven rug that is conveniently available online.

7.     Collection Display Space:

Walls make amazing display gallery space for your home so why not utilize them to the max? Make provision for displaying your collections that could be as big as a guitar or as small as a figurine from your previous tour. Built-in shelving sure is an option to add depth and interest to your wall. Make use of molding and trim work to highlight this display space on your wall.

Author Bio:  This article was written by Preethi.  She loves interior designing, home décor and art & craft. She regularly writes for

Thursday, 7 August 2014


Serene, calm, and quiet- traditionally, with these qualities, a bedroom would pass as a great room. The big decorative rooms were only owned by those who can afford it. Well, that was in the past. In this modern age, design has evolved to include the use of cheap materials. With a little creativity, you may be able to see a dull room transform into a real beauty right before your very eyes. Want access to cheap bedroom decorating ideas? Why not try the ones listed below.

Cheap Bedroom Decorative Ideas

Add a punch of color.

Break away from the usual while or neutral beige. Choose your favorite colors instead and let this work inside the room. There are several ways to get this done. The most obvious would be to paint the whole room a new touch of color. Accent decorative wall pieces and colorful throw pillows could be used to add a touch of funkiness to a bedroom.

Get inspired by nature.

Yes, buying an entirely new set of furniture will definitely give the bedroom a fresher look. But the buying cost of bedroom furniture could easily eat up your life savings. Instead of doing this, you can just take some of the plants outside and use these to give your room an outdoorsy feel. Don’t want the bother of taking this in or outside the house for sun exposure? Let the plant sit beside the window where sunlight usually hits.

Move the furniture.

Looking at the same bedroom furniture pieces tiring you out? Maybe it’s not the furniture at all but the fact that you routinely get off from a particular side of the bed. Get your muscles ready then. Don’t just stick to the old bedroom furniture layout. Move the bed near a different wall. Or get the vanity table near the window. Just make sure that when you do, you still have enough room to move about without bumping into these.

Dress up a wall.

You have the right furniture pieces. But why is the interior design for the master’s bedroom not working as it should? Are the walls devoid of anything decorative? Yes, simple bedroom furniture are practical but these could make a room look boring. To deviate attention from these, make walls interesting with the use of decals or framed pictures.

Add a mirror.

Light can make a room livelier. But coming from a natural source, this is even better. Let your room shine brighter with the use of mirrors. Hang a big one on the wall, attach these on a bedroom cabinet, or create a collage piece on a wall.Mirrors will reflect natural light into the room better.

Use a headboard.

If you don’t have a headboard, then consider getting one. You can just simply do this on your own or have a carpenter make one for you. If you want something vintage, you may be able to find a piece such as an old wrought iron fence that can be transformed into a headboard. Old or new, just remember to exercise safety in buying bedroom pieces like these.

Final Thoughts

Still think redecorating is reserved for the rich? Paint, wood, mirrors, pillow, plants, and a lot more. Add a touch of imagination and see how far you can take that old bedroom into an entirely new one.

About Mark Brandon:

I am a regular contributor to Safe and Sound Property Inspections blog and other home improvement sites. I’m very family-oriented and loves being in the shed or help my mates with their houses.
You can catch me via Google+ or Twitter: @MarkBrandon01

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Tips to Design a Wonderful Playroom

Kids always fancy having a place in their home where they can play and have fun. A place that looks attractive and is full of fun stuff for entertaining activities always appeals to children where they can invite their friends to have fun together. It is not a difficult task to design an entertaining playroom at home that let your children spend most of their time at home. Make use of the extra space in your home and design a wonderful entertainment area for your children. Here we are going to present some great tips to design a wonderful playroom that will surely make your kids happy. 


As you are designing a play area, it should be bright, colourful and funky. Add lots of colours in the room by painting the walls in vibrant shades. Make use of colours to create a certain ambiance in the room. You can add a blend of different hues like purple and pink, red and yellow and green, blue and orange. The combination of these colours will remove the dull effect from the room and will also create a refreshing ambiance. You can also paste stickers and posters on the walls to make the room more attractive, lively and joyful.


Once you are done with painting and adorning the walls, turn your attention to furnishing items. You need to select some nice and functional pieces of furniture for the room. As this is a playroom, I would suggest adding multi-purpose furniture that plays multiple roles for the kids and save the space. You would find a huge collection of multi- functional furniture items in the market like beautifully designed sofa beds, storage sofa beds, futons, storage seats, multi-functional storage tables etc. As this is a playroom, you need to accommodate the playing stuff, gadgets and gaming tools without occupying much of the floor space in room. Storage furniture is an ideal solution to store these items without creating mess in the room but make sure not to buy too many furniture items as playroom should possess sufficient space for children to play around.  The furniture items should own a stylish and striking appearance so that it makes the room trendier and modish.

Utilize empty walls

In order to save the floor space in play area, utilize the space on empty walls in a creative way and make the room look smarter. Hang the playing stuff and toys on walls that will not only manage the scarcity of space but will also adorn your room in a smart way. Hang pictures of your kid’s fun activities and memorable moments to add a personalized touch in the room.   

Tech Corner

Accept the fact; today’s generation cannot think of its survival without tech gadgets. Make a tech corners for your high-tech kids in the playroom where you need to place a computer, a play station and music player.

By following these tips, you will surely be able to design a wonderful playroom for your kids

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Modern Manners for Successful Hosting

Hospitality doesn't mean fanciness, it means to generously receive your guests. Don’t worry about showing off or impressing people, but instead,  share your home and your time. Having guests any time of year come to stay can be both easy and difficult. Here are a few modern manners on how to handle these situations gracefully and stress-free, so everyone can have a positive memorable experience.

1. Declutter & Provide Space for Your Guests:
Getting your home cleaned and organized is the first step before your guests arrive, besides, reining in chaos around the house is never a bad idea. You and your visitors will be more comfortable without piles of wanted clutter and embarrassing messes. Once you have organized, make sure your guests have a clear place to put their things. Give some thought to where your company will store their things. Perhaps in a closet stocked with a variety of hangers, or may be some drawers in a bureau.

2. Respect Your Guest’s Privacy
First of all, don’t make your elders sleep on the couch. If your younger sibling or some friends are coming to stay, they can stay on a pull-out couch or sleep on an air mattress. When your parents or grandparents are staying, offer them a bed and if your bed is the only bed in the house, that means you’ll be sleeping on the couch.

If you need something from the room your guest is staying in for the time being, consider it their space. Always knock and wait for a reply before entering. It would also be considerate to let them know when your going in the room, even if they are not in there at the time.

3. Distinguish What is Yours and What is for Everyone:
Your guests should respect your privacy when staying with you, but in case they don’t  leave out extra toiletries for your guests to use and some other basics that add a welcoming touch. Fill a little basket with towels, shampoo, soap, and other basics for the bathroom, and may be provides a carafe of water, a few books, a candle, or fresh flowers on their nightstand to help them feel at home. As a precaution, you may want to tuck out of sight anything you don’t want them to use or see, like that super expensive face cream or your prescription medications.

4. Stock Your Pantry and Make Something Special
When it comes to gatherings, people like to share meals. Breakfast is a little hard to read though. Some people wake up before the sun comes up, and some well after. Prepare ahead of time with a savory quiche, your grandmother’s coffee cake, or a large bowl of seasonal fruit for quick, easy breakfast options so that people can help themselves.

Keeping that in mind, keep refreshments on hand because no one should ever have to ask for a glass of water. If guests are over, put out a pretty pitcher of water and some glasses. By making snacks and drinks readily available, you’re also freeing yourself to enjoy your friends instead of being busy waiting on them. They are there to spend time with you, not to have you wait on them.

5. Strive for A Meaningful and Memorable Event:
It depends on you and your guests like to do, but planning one meaningful event will create a memorable experience. It really could be anything: dinner at a nice restaurant, a morning hike through the woods, a day at the beach, or a beer/wine tour and tasting. The options are endless. When your visitors go home, they will definitely reminisce about this event in years to come.

Noella Schink is a writer and fervent home cook from Portland, Maine with an affection for rustic New England decor and culture. She is inspired by local designer Sturbridge Yankee Workshop for home decor elements like rustic kitchen tables, chic country furniture, wool-hooked rugs, and kitchen gadgets.