When Buying a Fixer-Upper, Where Should You Draw the Line?


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When you find a great fixer-upper, it can be difficult to determine if you should put an offer. You want to restore the home to its natural beauty — especially if it comes at a good price. However, you need to weigh the good, the bad and the ugly before making a decision.

Fixer-upper pros and cons

Weigh the pros and cons of purchasing a fixer-upper. Image: Hero Images/Getty Images

“Fixer-upper, remodeling and design shows have attracted large audiences and have romanticized the process to the point that buyers and homeowners believe that it is not a big deal to create their dream home,” says Karen Kostiw of Warburg Realty in New York, NY. However, she says these reality shows don’t provide the guidance you need to decide on a fixer-upper. If you’re transforming your basement, adding rooms and making other changes to the home’s footprint, there’s a lot to consider.

The advantages

When Selling Your Home, Are Neutral Colors like Builder Beige Too Boring?


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Although black is the most stylish color of every year, it’s conventional wisdom to use neutral colors like builder beige, gray and taupe when putting your home on the market. However, some people (myself included) actually like these colors apart from resale factors. We believe that these neutral color palettes have gotten a bad rap. Is builder beige really boring? And is gray really too gloomy? What do realtors really think about these color choices when putting your home on the market?

Below are examples of these color palettes that might change your mind regarding neutral colors – along with advice from a handful of experts.

Today’s beige isn’t boring

Builder Beige - background

A neutral background allows the crisp white hues to stand out. Image: Svet_Feo/Shutterstock

Perhaps the issue with builder beige is related to the color choices of the past. “Today’s more taupe-based beiges have a wonderful quality of warmth but don’t

Builder Beige: Color does not compete
Builder beige - sophisticated color
Builder beige warm and inviting
Gray and white
Color soothing
Builder Beige dark wood
Builder Beige - or vivid colors

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FSBO: Should You Sell Your Home Without a Realtor?


This post is by Terri Williams from Freshome.com - Interior Design & Architecture Magazine


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Who knows your home better than you do? Not only have you actually lived in it, but you know all of the home’s great features. You’ve put years of TLC into it. So it may seem like a waste of money to pay someone else thousands of dollars to sell your property. Especially if you’ve done your homework and have a pretty good idea of how For Sale By Owner (FSBO) works.

However, have you considered all of the other factors that go into FSBO? Below, Freshome takes a look at the pros and cons of selling your home without a realtor.

Advantage: Saving Money

FSBO can eliminate the middle man

FSBO can eliminate the middle man. Image: RichLegg/Getty Images

The most obvious advantage is the amount of money you could potentially save. “Typically, a realtor charges a 6 percent listing fee: 3 percent to the buyer’s agent, 3 percent to the listing agent, and selling

Homeowners can control every aspect
Legal help is available
Realtors sell homes for more money.
Homeowners are defensive
Selling a home is not as easy as it looks
Be sure to do your homework.

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Should You Rebuild After a Hurricane or Just Move On?


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There were eight hurricanes during the 2018 hurricane season and ten during the 2017 hurricane season. These storms cause billions of dollars in damage each year. If a hurricane damages your home, should you rebuild on the same spot or move to another area? It’s not a question with a simple yes or no answer. But we reached out to several experts to learn some of the factors that can help you make an informed decision.

Level of damage and insurance

Hurricanes cause flooding

Hurricanes often cause flooding. Image: JodiJacobson/Getty Images

“A homeowner’s decision to rebuild after a hurricane will likely depend on how much damage they sustained to their property, and how much of that will be covered by their insurance policy,” according to Peter Duncanson, Disaster Restoration Expert at ServiceMaster Restore. His company specializes in minimizing the impact of weather damage.

“Once it’s safe to return and assess the situation, you

Flood insurance
Hurricane ravaged home
Reputable companies
Get the water out as soon as possible

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Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite: Separating Fact from Fiction


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Orkin recently released its list of the cities with the most bed bugs. (The list is based on the cities in which the company performed the most residential and commercial bed bug treatments.) The top 10 cities, in order, are Baltimore, Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, Columbus OH, Cincinnati, Detroit, New York, San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose and Dallas/Fort Worth.

There are a lot of misconceptions regarding these bugs. Whether you live in one of these cities or not, here’s what you need to know to keep these pests out of your bed.

Myth #1: Bed bugs can fly

Bed bugs anywhere

Bed bugs can be anywhere, but can’t fly. Image: Astronaut Image/Getty Images

Fortunately, they cannot fly. “Bed bugs cannot fly because they do not have wings,” according to Sydney Crawley, Ph.D. public health entomologist at  Scotts Miracle-Gro. “Instead, they crawl, traveling one meter per minute on average,” Crawley tells Freshome,

Bed bugs adjust
Bed bugs are tiny
Bed bugs clean tidy
Bed bugs suitcase
Bed bugs hospital
Bed bugs mark
Bed bugs vigilant
Bed bugs dont bring home

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How to Paint Over Bold Colors Using Fewer Coats


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Painting is one of the quickest and easiest ways to update your home. However, depending on the color you’re trying to cover, painting might not be quick or easy. Keeping up with the latest color trends can lead to pastels, jewel tones and everything in between. But when you’re ready to make a change, some colors are notoriously difficult to conceal under fresh paint. How can you paint over bold colors to make sure that new colors take and don’t bleed through?

Prep work

 Ben Akiba/Getty Images

Black is a sleek, stylish and stubborn color. Image: Ben Akiba/Getty Images

It’s less a matter of what colors are hardest to paint over but more about the transition, according to Jimmy Slattery, senior product manager at Valspar. “The more drastic the transition (light to dark, dark to light) the more difficult it can be to get the job done in less coats.”

If your

 Peter Zvonar/Getty Images
Wachirawut Priamphimai/EyeEm/Getty Images
Paint Over Image: Paolo De Santis/EyeEm/Getty Images

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Take a Look at the Latest Faucet Trends from Industry Leaders


This post is by Terri Williams from Freshome.com - Interior Design & Architecture Magazine


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Perhaps nowhere is the marriage between form and function more apparent than in faucets. In your kitchen and bathrooms, and even in your laundry room or at your bar, faucets are not only practical, but can also be pieces of art. You may still be in the valley of decision regarding hardwood floors in kitchens and bathrooms, and whether farmhouse sinks are still trendy or if the kitchen work triangle is an outdated design rule. However, after you read what the industry experts at several of the top companies told Freshome about the latest faucet trends and designs, your only faucet decision will be which one to choose.

GRAFF

Graff

The Vintage collection. Image: GRAFF

“From coast to coast, we are seeing a rapid shift in faucet style preferences, with the market moving away from traditional styles and toward contemporary silhouettes and finishes,” according to Celine Marcotte, business development manager

Vintage Collection
Incanto Collection
Ombre
Components
Delta
Delta 2
™
Franke
Franke2
Rohl1
Rohl
Elkay
Elkay2 faucet trends

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Trends in Window Treatments


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Window treatments provide privacy, let the sun in (or not) and help to keep the cold weather out. And they do all of this while dressing up your windows and making your rooms look formal and elegant, modern or romantic – or while making a whimsical or bold design statement. So, what’s popular in the world of window treatments? Freshome asked several interior designers and window treatment experts to share some of the trends in this area.

Roman and Roller Shades

Roman shades add color

These stylish Roman shades add texture to the space. Image: KhongkitWiriyachan/Getty Images

“Clean and simple is one of the biggest trends in window treatments, like pairing treatments for coverage with simple side panels just to give that pop of color and texture to make a statement in the room,” says Shane Aidala, Marketing Director at Gotcha Covered. “Traditional items such as shutters and Roman shades are popular in

roman curtains
roller shades2
Window Treatments - Plantaiton Shutters
Window Treatments -wood and faux wood blinds
Hardware
Motorized
Window treatments safe
Window treatments functionality
Window treatments combined
Window Treatments - crisp and clean

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Is the Kitchen Work Triangle an Outdated Design Rule?


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The kitchen work triangle has been the standard by which we measure good design and functionality. Whether you paid attention in your trigonometry class or not, you probably knew the basics of the kitchen triangle. It connects the cooktop, refrigerator, and sink. According to guidelines from the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), no leg of the triangle should be less than 4 feet or more than 9 feet. The sum of the three triangle sides should not exceed 26 feet. In addition, no major traffic patterns should flow through the triangle.

But do those rules still apply?

Kitchen prep

Kitchen triangles make prep work easier. Image: Sisoje/Getty Images

“Back in the 1940’s, kitchens tended to be small and appliances tended to be large,” explains Erin Davis, lead designer at Mosaik Design & Remodeling. “The concept evolved as a general guideline for creating a certain proximity and distance between the three main

Kitchen Dimensions
Kitchen multiple sink
Kitchen older homes
Kitchen work triangle works

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Sliding/Stackable Glass Doors Erase the Boundary Between Inside and Outdoors


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Nothing brings the outside indoors like glass doors and rows of windows. They create an instant portal to the great outdoors. And with sliding glass doors and windows that are also stackable/foldable, you can maximize your indoor and outdoor spaces while increasing your entertainment options. Below are some of the ways these versatile glass doors and windows are being used today.

Natural Light/Energy Efficiency

Abundant light

There’s an abundance of natural light. Image: teng99/Getty Images

Sliding doors have extra large panes of glass and, according to Mark Liston, President of Glass Doctor, Neighborly Company, when the doors are shut, they function like floor-to-ceiling windows that allow enormous amounts of natural light to enter. “This makes your home feel grander and more inviting,” Liston explains. However, he recommends getting UV-blocking glass to prevent sunlight from heating up the house or causing any upholstery to fade.

“Glass isn’t an effective insulator, but

Perfect view
Home Aesthetic
Homebuyers
Practical

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What You Should and Should Not Do When Renting


This post is by Terri Williams from Freshome.com - Interior Design & Architecture Magazine


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Choosing to live in a rental property offers a lot of freedom from repairs and maintenance. Typically, tenants are not responsible for tasks like cutting the grass and fixing plumbing problems. Perhaps that’s why more than 111 million Americans have chosen renting over home ownership, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council.

Renting provides convenience and independence, but there are limits to what you can do in a rental property. While specifics may vary from landlord to landlord, these are some of the general do’s and don’ts of renting a property.

Don’t go paint crazy

Renting - paint

Be sure to get permission before taking on any painting projects. Image: CreativeStudio/Getty Images

“Tenants like to say, ‘I’m leaving the place better than I got it,’ and some tenants might think that blood-red accent wall they painted is much better,” says Diana Valin, CPM, owner/broker at The Rental Xperts in San Diego, CA.

However, Valin tells Freshome that

Renting - customizing landscape
Renting - consult with landlord
Renting - decorating
Renting - maintain property
Renter's insurance

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Don’t Hide Those Concrete Walls! Use Them in Your Home’s Interior Design


This post is by Terri Williams from Freshome.com - Interior Design & Architecture Magazine


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Few materials are as strong as concrete. According to the Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI), concrete is the most used man-made material in the world. It’s used more frequently than wood, steel and other building materials. In residential settings, concrete usually isn’t exposed – except, perhaps, in a basement or garage. However, homeowners are starting to embrace the raw beauty of concrete walls in various applications.

Concrete smooth

Concrete can be smooth or porous. Image: Ashe/Getty Images

There are several ways to use concrete walls in industrial designs. “Concrete comes in a variety of colors and finishes. These start from a very smooth and almost reflective surface, which is akin to Tadao Ando’s masterpieces, through to the brutalist porous concrete which you might find in underground car parks,” explains Michael Schienke, Director and Chartered Architect at VORBILD Architecture in London. “For interior applications, the more smooth or gently porous finishes are most

London
london2
Concrete sustainable
Concrete not gray
Concrete not always appealing
Concrete imitation

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Are Farmhouse Sinks Still Trendy?


This post is by Terri Williams from Freshome.com - Interior Design & Architecture Magazine


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Farmhouse sinks have been all the rage for several years now.  The old-world charm of farmhouse sinks, also known as apron sinks, is due to the character and functionality that they provide. Farmhouse sinks also work well in a variety of kitchen styles, ranging from rustic to modern. But are they still trendy? We asked several experts, including designers, realtors and manufacturers, to weigh in.

Survey results

Elkay

Elkay Crosstown Stainless Steel Single Bowl Farmhouse Sink

Elle H-Millard, certified kitchen designer and industry relations manager at the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), offers some findings on the subject. 92% of respondents in the 2018 Design Trends Study chose under-mount as the trendiest kitchen sink style. “However, farmhouse and single-bowl styles tied for second place, with 81% of respondents selecting these styles,” she explains, proving it’s still a trendy kitchen design accessory.

Affordability

Kohler

Kohler Hawthorne Undermount Farmhouse Apron Front

Franke sink
Elkay sink
Elkay sink
Elkay sink2
Alabn/Getty farmhouse sinks
Elkay farmhouse sink

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Add Architectural Detail with Wainscoting


This post is by Terri Williams from Freshome.com - Interior Design & Architecture Magazine


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Wainscoting can transform a boring space into a work of art. It can involve raised panels, recessed flat panels and bead board combined with various types of rail and molding. These add interest, style and, above all, a focal point to almost any room. Below are just some of the ways you can use it to create architectural detail in your home.

The history (and pronunciation) of wainscoting

Wainscoting beauty

Wainscoting brings out this home’s natural beauty. Image: Jorge Salcedo/Shutterstock

“Wainscoting was originally used to beef up construction in wet areas of homes and businesses,” according to Justin Riordan, founder of Portland-based Spade and Archer Design Agency. He says it was most often used in areas like kitchens, bathrooms, dining rooms and servant corridors. “With the invention of green ‘hardy’ board – which is a water-resistant type of gypsum board, wainscot is purely decorative at this point.”

If you plan to

Wainscoting texture
Wainscoting painted white
Wainscoting bathroom
Wainscoting image
Wainscoting elegance
Wainscoting style
Wainscoting Getty Images
Beadboard
Wainscoting large rooms

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Should You Use Hardwood Floors in Kitchens and Bathrooms?


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Hardwood floors offer a number of benefits. They are both incredibly beautiful, and incredibly easy to clean. They are a great option for allergy sufferers as carpets can aggravate symptoms. Even homeowners without allergies can enjoy the seamless look of hardwood flooring.

However, water can easily damage or warp these types of materials. So, is it a good idea to install hardwood floors in kitchens and bathrooms? Freshome asked several experts, including designers, realtors and water damage restoration experts to weigh in on this topic.

Pros of hardwood floors

Hardwood floors variety

You can choose from a variety of hardwoods for your floors. Image: Breadmaker/Shutterstock

Dave Murphy, the training director of N-Hance Wood Refinishing, believes that hardwood floors make an excellent choice in the kitchen. “Hardwood flooring is stylish and sustainable, comes in a variety of natural colors, and doesn’t absorb dust or debris, making it easy to clean and maintain,” he

Hardwood colors
Hardwood spills
Hardwood floors, refinish
Hardwood floors can warp
Hardwood floors leaks
Hardwood floors not kid friendly
Hardwood floors pros cons

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What You Need to Know about Jack and Jill Bathrooms


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Jack and Jill Bathrooms allow occupants from two separate bedrooms to conveniently access the same bathroom. But how do you know if this is the right type of bathroom to include in your home? Freshome asked several experts to weigh in on the pros and cons, resale value and other factors you need to consider.

Advantages

jack and jill bathrooms

Two sinks and two mirrors can help with traffic flow. Image: Krooogle/Getty Images

Nathan Outlaw, president at Onvico, a general contracting and design-build company in Thomasville, GA, says several homebuilders have requested Jack and Jill bathrooms in their new build. “They are a really good compromise to having a private bathroom for kids in the home,” Outlaw explains. “It keeps everything of theirs confined to their own space so it doesn’t spill into the hallway or guest bathrooms.”

John Lindon, an interior and furniture designer at MirrorCoop in Los Angeles, recommends that bathrooms have two

water closet
unlock doors
Square footage
Adults Jack and Jill

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Art Studios: Ideas to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing


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Whether you paint, sculpt, illustrate or specialize in another type of art, an art studio provides a place to work in solitude, store your supplies and display your work. While some artists may work in warehouses, lofts or office buildings, you can create an art studio in your home. Below are several art studios to provide inspiration, along with tips for creating the type of workspace that will stimulate your imagination and inspire you to create your best work.

Location

Art studio location

Location may be your most important choice. Image: LightFieldStudios./Getty Images

Your first and most important decision is determining where to place your art studio. An attic or an unused room in your home would be an excellent choice. A basement with sufficient sunlight is also a good option. If you don’t use your garage, consider transforming it into an art studio. Or you have enough space on your property

Art Studio yellow
Art studio light
Art studio space
Art studio supplies
Art studio windows
Durable materials
Art studio cleanup
Display artwork

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You’ll Never Want to Come Down from These Attics


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The attic used to be the place to store items you rarely – if ever – used. In horror movies, apparently, it was also the place where the boogeyman would rest and regroup. Perhaps as a result of this media portrayal, there was a tendency to avoid going up into the attic, if at all possible.

However, homeowners are discovering that the attic can provide a lot of usable square footage, creating new places to sleep, play, work or just hang out and do nothing.

“When it comes to utilizing the space in your attic, we are finding that a lot of people are taking the opportunity to go to the next level and add on a whole second story. They then transform it into a parents’ retreat complete with master bedroom, living area and bathroom,” says Matt Keogh, director of Nexus Homes Group. Below are some of the ways you

Attic bedroom
Library attic
Office attic
Attic hobby room
Kid's Bunk Room
Attit playroom

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Garage Doors Aren’t Just for Garages Anymore


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Both garages and garage doors have come a long way. Homeowners are deciding to turn their boring garages into showstoppers. And as garages become more stylish, it’s natural that garage doors would also evolve. But who knew that they would become so stylish that they’re now being used as design elements in other applications?

Should homeowners follow these trends or stick with more conservative uses for garage doors? Below are some of the cool ways that garage doors are being used, along with advice on implementing them from architects, realtors and the very people making some of these garage doors.

Glass Garage Doors

lower level cabana

Glass garage doors on a lower-level cabana. Image courtesy of Dan Nelson, Designs Northwest Architects

As you can see from the photos above and below, Dan Nelson, AIA, Principal at Designs Northwest Architects, does quite a few projects with glass garage doors. “We have done projects

Kitchen private space
Garage gorgeous view
Ocean living
Less expensive doors

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Krylon’s 2019 Color of the Year: Gloss Gum Drop


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Krylon, a brand of Sherwin-Williams, just announced its 2019 color trends and its color of the year, a lush purple named Gloss Gum Drop. In addition to announcing Gloss Gum Drop, Sherwin-Williams already revealed the Valspar + HGTV Home 2019 color trends.

Krylon proves that you don’t necessarily need a paint brush to achieve perfect color. The 2019 color trends also prove that spray paint is versatile enough to achieve a variety of looks, ranging from rustic to urban. Rachel Skafidas, senior color designer at Krylon, gave Freshome the scoop on the new colors.

Gloss Gum Drop

Gloss Gum Drop by Krylon

The story behind Gloss Gum Drop

“Gloss Gum Drop is a warm, comforting and reassuring shade of purple that nods to a simpler time,” Skafidas says.  She also adds that it’s a nostalgic shade that pays homage to the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. “During that time, our world was ever-changing

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