Paint Color for your Space

If picking one paint color is tricky, how on earth do you find colors for an entire house? How can you know they will go together? Where do you even begin? Join us as we navigate the process of selecting colors for a whole house, and gather inspiration (and maybe a little courage) to tackle your own walls.

Note which rooms are visible to one another. Walk through your house and note which spaces you can see from each room. Use a floor plan (a rough sketch is fine) to keep track.

Adjoining rooms are part of this, but you may be able to see quite a bit farther — down a hall and into the kitchen, for instance. These notes will form the basis of your whole-house color plan, so keep them close at hand.

Start by picking a color for the biggest, most centrally located room.This will most likely be your living room or kitchen, and it’s a great place to start working on your whole-house palette.

If picking colors has been stressing you out, choosing a soft, neutral hue for the main room will make picking the other colors easier. And you really can’t go wrong with white.

Or start with the room you want to paint the boldest color. If you love color and have a certain hue in mind for a specific room, you can start there instead. Looking out from the bold-hued room, choose a softer, more subdued color for the next rooms. You can, of course, put bold colors next to each other, but that does carry more risk — painter, beware!

Build your palette with shades of the same hue. Once you have a paint color picked for your first room, one simple way to move on is to choose shades of the same hue for adjacent rooms or walls. You can choose a hue from a nearby paint chip, pick the next color up or down on the same paint chip, or even have the same color mixed at the paint store with white added to make a lighter version.

The beauty of this method is that, while it will give your home interest and depth, you also can rest assured that the colors will go well together.

Have a strategy when picking colors for an open space. When much of the house is visible at once, as in the open plan space shown here, picking colors that work together is especially important. Using shades or tints (shades are darker; tints are lighter) of the same hue can work well in this type of space.

Another approach is to use an environment as inspiration for the whole space — we touched on this concept in part two of this series, using the beach as an example. The colors that go well together in nature will also work as paint colors.

Work on upstairs and downstairs spaces separately. If there is a true separation between floors, you can easily create a different mood in the upstairs versus downstairs, rooted in the colors you choose. Plus, focusing on one floor at a time can help keep the task feeling more manageable.

Consider keeping connecting spaces neutral. White, beige, greige and the like are fairly foolproof choices for halls and landings, and they give the eye a place to rest between areas of more saturated color.

On the other hand, if you have decided to stick with white or soft neutrals in your rooms, the halls and landings can be a great place to experiment with a richer hue. It doesn’t need to be a big departure from the other colors you are using — just a shade or two darker is enough to make an impact.

Test your potential palette. As you narrow down your color choices and think you may have some winners, bring home test pots of paint. Sample cards, even the big ones, can be deceptive.

Painting your own swatches will allow you to assess each color in the room it’s meant for and check that the colors in visually linked spaces work together.

Home Remodeling: Tips for Hiring A Contractor

You don’t often buy a car without testing out a few different models. Why would you do anything different when contemplating a major overhaul to your home, or even a room or two.

It does not matter if you’re doing an overhaul of electric, plumbing or adding a new porch to the exterior of your home, when it comes to changing things up in the most important investment of your life, you need to know you’re hiring the right kind of professional(s) to do the job.

The Rule of Three

Get at least three different proposals and estimates, no matter the type of work. Three formal estimates will show you the highest, the lowest, and a “moderator” price—the one that most closely matches one of the other two. Chances are, the one that stands out as the over or under price is the one to avoid, either due to over-inflated pricing or inexperience, either or which could result in poor quality or drawn out work.

Meet the Manager

Before hiring any contracting company, meet personally with the boss, the general contractor; he/she will be the one managing the entire project—the buck truly does stop with them. Get all details in writing; don’t leave it to a verbal agreement. Get drawings; get quotes, down the the brick or flooring strip. And ask how the contract will be affected if the job goes over the projected amount—chances are, there will be unexpected things that crop up once the work has started: unanticipated pipes buried in walls; flooring that is uneven; rooms that are not quite square.

Pick their brain on how they will approach your particular project in relation to similar projects they’ve completed. Don’t neglect taking into account the contractor’s personal dress, personality or demeanor upon entering your home. Oh, and the type of vehicle they drive is another factor to consider. Do they drive a wreck, or is the car/truck/van in good condition, and does it publicize the business?

Get it in Writing

Get a firm timetable, within 5 to 7 days, of when the project will be completed. Confirm start and end times for each day’s work, and ask how workers will clean up after themselves after each day’s work. Ask for several (3 to 5) references who will agree to speaking with you about their satisfaction level with the contractor before starting your work. Any contractor worth their price will agree to this immediately. Ask to see credentials and ensure the contractor will be securing all necessary contracts, both local and/or county. Check with the Better Business Bureau to ensure there are no grievances filed with the contractor.

Final points

Read the contract. Ask questions about any details you do not clearly understand. And if you have special requirements, such as pets that need to be watched so they don’t escape during the remodeling process, or a child or older adult with special needs, make sure this is part of the up-front discussion before signing the dotted line.

Energy Saving Home: Keeping Cool this Summer

Reducing your energy consumption this summer will save you money and conserve our power resources. Suggested ideas to keep the air conditioner turned down or turned off during a hot spell. In time we are able to acclimatize our bodies to the outside temperature; however, we have become accustomed to cooler temperatures in the summer and the warmer temperatures in the winter.

Cooling Down Tips

  • Replace the heavy dark fabrics from windows, beds and sofas with soft light colored fabrics
  • Keep the drapes drawn during the day.
  • Open the windows in the early evening to let the fresh night air flow through the home.
  • Put a small fan near the open windows to help with circulating the air.
  • Install water fountains in the living room or family area. Chose a size suitable for the area. Install more than 1 if you have space. The sound of the water will lower your temperature. You can play tricks on the body to cool yourself.
  • Have a fan circulating the air near the water fountain. It gives a nice breeze.
  • Play music with water in the background. If it is an extremely hot day, play winter music to bring you back to the coldness.
  • Fill spray bottles with distilled water. Periodically mist the room and yourself.
  • Wear light colored clothes made from natural fibers. The synthetic fibers make you sweat more because it blocks the body from sweating freely.
  • Keep the body well hydrated. Increase your water intake from 8 to 10 on those very hot days. Stay away from sugary drinks.
  • Eat light meals such as salad and soups. Limit starch as it makes the body feel heavy and causes you to feel warmer.
  • Embrace the warm weather. Work with it, not against it. Keep chores to a minimal in the summer. The heat makes your body slow down.
  • Imagine yourself sitting on a glacier in Alaska on those very hot days. Jump through the sprinkler.
  • Place a cool facecloth on the back of your neck or mist it with your spray bottle.
    The Art of Keeping Cool Meditation

The key to keeping cool in a home environment with no air conditioner and limited fans is powered by your mind.
Cool Meditation Exercise

Lie on the floor or on the ground with your head supported if desired.

Ceramic floors are ideal if you do this inside the home. Outside of the home, stretch out on a flat surface that provides you with some shade.

Close your eyes and just relax the entire body. If a part of the body feels tense, gently squeeze the muscle and release.

Breathe slowly and softly.

After the body has begun to relax, begin the cool meditation. Do not become anxious, if you are still thinking about your worries; just let it flow through you.
Cool Meditation Visualization

Visualize a waterfall that is deep within a forested region. The falls are cascading down and you are being sprayed by the cool mountain water as you lie on your back in this natural setting. Just experience this feeling and be calm. Try and remember a time when you felt refreshed on a hot sunny day and try and recapture the moment in your mind.

The key is to relax and really experience this moment.

This exercise will cool the body and make the heat less unbearable. As you release the image, be sure to feel the coolness of the mountain water and keep it with you throughout the day.

What Does a House Say About its Owner?

Buying New or Fixing Up? A Home Can Speak Many Languages

If a home could talk, what would it say about the owner? With any dialect, it takes practice to be able to speak the language. Experts say that homes go way beyond “comfy and cozy” these days. Thoughtful designs can incorporate many other important personality traits.

What Does a Floor Plan Communicate?

A home’s floor plan can be likened to a road map of how homeowners live. Kitchens are a great example. People who want more than one cook in the kitchen will choose open kitchen floor plans with areas for people to gather, such as hearth rooms and seating near an island.

open kitchen floorplan

For busy families who need to be organized, mud rooms with built-in cubbies for kids’ backpacks and sports supplies make living at home easier and more comfortable. Today’s homeowners are demanding a home that works with their lifestyle and complements their daily living.

The Conversation Starts Outside

beautiful home exterior

In addition to floor plans, a home’s exterior appearance has become a revealing characteristic of a homeowner’s personality. In addition to landscaping, driveways, sidewalks and even garage doors have their own abilities to communicate. Backyards have become popular venues for homeowners to interpret their lifestyle priorities. Outdoor living spaces offer extended areas to relax or take the party outside. Fire pits, outdoor kitchens, fountains, screened porches, patios and courtyards contribute to a homeowner’s ability to entertain or just enjoy the natural surroundings.

What’s Being Said Behind Closed Doors?

How a home functions is revealing as well. Energy efficiency is a top priority for homeowners right now. Green is “in”, and not just Crayola’s version. Green building offers many opportunities for homeowners who want to live in a home with environmentally friendly products and utilize techniques that help the home function more efficiently. Homeowners who choose green building and energy efficiency more than likely are environmentally conscious in other aspects of their lives as well.

If a home could talk, what would it say about the owner? With any dialect, it takes practice to be able to speak the language. Experts say that homes go way beyond “comfy and cozy” these days. Thoughtful designs can incorporate many other important personality traits.

If a home hasn’t quite found its voice yet, don’t worry. In many cases, all it takes is a fresh coat of paint, some new landscaping and updated design elements. However, for buyers considering learning a whole new language of homeownership, there are some incredible new homes on the market that offer creative floor plans and unique extras that make them stand out from the rest.

Finding a Home That Speaks in Today’s Housing Market

Currently, homebuyers have a large selection of existing homes on the market in a variety of neighborhoods across the country. The increased supply of homes available offers plenty of options, and low interest rates make it affordable.

How To Prepare For A Wet Weather Season

As a home owner you need to prepare yourself for all weather season especially the wet season. This is because during this season your house can incur massive damage due to the harsh cold and rain and it will be hard to go out in the cold and try to make repairs while it is raining. Therefore you are advised to take your time during the dry season and try to make repairs because you can easily access areas that are vulnerable to the elements without disturbance. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for this season.

  • Gutter cleaning

Rain gutters are essential part of the roofing system that help to get rid of water that can damage the system. If they are not regularly cleaned they will get clogged and will not carry out their functions as expected. Try and make sure that you clean your gutters a few weeks before the rainy season or else you will incur a lot of expenses for something that could have been prevented easily.

Gutter cleaning isn’t a task that can be completed by just anyone. You need someone who understands what should be done when it comes to gutter cleaning. Perhaps a gutter cleaning professional is the best option. He will first inspect the gutters, estimate the extend of cleanliness required, get the right cleaning equipment, and get the task done.

After cleaning, the professional must inspect the gutters again for any faults that need to be corrected. For example, holes, and cracks must be fixed as early as possible to avoid further damage.

  • Seal holes in your roof

If you don’t inspect your roof regularly you will fail to realize that the shingles get loose and even fall off. Before the rains start to fall you should check that the shingles are tight in place and if there are some missing replace them or use appropriate material to seal the hole to avoid leakage when it rains. Rainwater greatly damage the ceiling because water can spread and lot the ceiling creating a big hole on your ceiling which will be very expensive to fix or even replace if the damage is extensive.

Preparing your home for a rainy season is a simple task which should not be overlooked. This will greatly help you to avoid serious home damage.