Creating a Home Gym That Makes You Want to Exercise

Nothing beats being able to exercise at your convenience – and in the comfort and privacy of your own home.  No driving in traffic, showering with strangers, wondering if the exercise equipment has been disinfected recently or being too hot or too cold.  Even if you’re not an exercise buff, designing your own gym allows you to create the type of space that is conducive to working out. Below, you’ll find design inspiration and tips to help you design a home gym that beckons you to work out.

This Orange County, California home gym features stained white oak plank floors. Image: Gaetano Hardwood Floors

“Compared with the cost of a gym membership or personal trainer, creating a home gym can pay for itself in no time,” according to Dan DiClerico, home expert and smart home strategist at HomeAdvisor. And Wi-Fi-connected exercise equipment has increased the popularity of home
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Do You Live in One of Orkin’s Top 50 Rattiest Cities?

Today, Orkin released its annual Top 50 Rattiest Cities List. The list is based on the metro areas where Orkin has conducted the most rodent treatments (residential and commercial) from September 15, 2017 through September 15, 2018.
Rattiest Cities

Do you live in one of the rattiest cities in America? Image: Ed Sologa Design Build

The top 10 on the Rattiest Cities list include, in order: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC, San Francisco, Detroit, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Baltimore, and Denver. The next 10 on the Rattiest Cities list include Minneapolis-St. Paul, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Boston, Seattle, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Hartford, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati. Spots 21-30: Milwaukee, Charlotte, Houston, Portland, Columbus OH, San Diego, Raleigh-Durham, Buffalo, New Orleans, and Norfolk. Spots 31-40: Richmond, Albany, Kansas City, Portland, Nashville, St. Louis, Sacramento, Greenville, Grand Rapids, and Phoenix. Rounding out the top 50 of the Rattiest Cities: Orlando, Tampa, Burlington NY, Champaign, Rochester NY,
Mi Casa is Su Casa?
Eliminate food sources
Remove clutter and debris
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Score Extra Points by Showing Your Team Spirit at Home

Your favorite team has a place in your heart – and can also have a place in your home. You shed sweat and tears (but hopefully not blood) screaming, shouting, rejoicing, biting your nails, crying and using words we can’t print here. Team spirit is important to you, and your design and decorating choices are fun ways to demonstrate your allegiance. Whether you just want to include one or two well-placed items or pay homage to your favorite player or team throughout your house, below are some ideas to inspire you.

Hockey Headboard

A hockey lover’s bedroom in New Brunswick, Canada: Image: Decorating Den Interiors

You’ll have sweet dreams (assuming your team is winning this year) when your headboard is a hockey goal. Those curtains are sheets (with the team’s logo) that have been custom-sewn to fit the window.  To recreate the Toronto Maple Leaf’s logo over the headboard, the
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Bring Hollywood Home With These Mesmerizing Media Rooms and Home Theaters

The price of the average movie ticket is $9.16, according to the National Association of Theater Owners. If you add popcorn, drinks and candy and multiply the total amount by three or more people, it’s not hard to understand why media rooms are growing in popularity. When you watch a movie in your own home, you’re surrounded only by people you love – or at least kinda-sorta like. Plus, you get the ability to start the movie when it’s convenient for you. Enjoy all that while eating and drinking to your heart’s desire at no additional costs – who wouldn’t want a media room? If you need additional inspiration to create a media room/home theater, check out the possibilities:

A perfectly-designed mid-size home theater in Rye, NY. Image: Inner Space Electronics


This home theater in Rye, NY looks like a commercial theater, even down to the lighting and
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‘Go to Your Room’ Isn’t Punishment With These Kid’s Bedroom Ideas

A kid’s bedroom is more than just a place to sleep. It’s a place to dream, play and think. You can nourish your child’s imagination with a creatively designed bedroom. We’ve included a few examples below, but be advised, these rooms are so cool that sending your kids to their room will no longer be viewed as punishment.
kid's bedroom loft

This creative loft bedroom is space-saving yet spacious. Image: Louise de Miranda

Loft bedroom

Contractor, carpenter and DIY podcaster Mark Clement of My FixItUp Life says it may be the carpenter in him – or it could be the Peter Pan boy inside the man – but it’s hard for him to think of anything better for a kid’s room than a loft. “The bed goes up, a desk goes underneath and it becomes a room within a room.” However, Clement says you really need a nine-foot ceiling to support this
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Valspar + HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams 2019 Color Trends

The wait is over. Valspar and HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams have officially revealed their 2019 color trends – and these colors are spectacular! HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams has one 2019 color of the year and three color collections. On the other hand, Valspar, a part of the Sherwin-Williams Consumer Brands Group, has twelve 2019 colors of the year. We asked the senior designers from Valspar and HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams for photos of these magnificent colors, along with commentary on their choices.

HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams 2019 Color of the Year

HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams: Reflecting Pool 

Reflecting Pool is the HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams 2019 Color of the Year. “We are on a path of self-discovery and internal reflection, and Reflecting Pool speaks to our desire to have a life of balance, but with a bit of flair embracing our optimism and sense of humor,” says Ashley Banbury,
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Exclusive! The Property Brothers Describe the Ultimate Man Cave

We hope you like the products we recommend. Just so you are aware, Freshome may collect a share of sales from the links on this page.  Drew and Jonathan Scott, hosts of HGTV’s uber-popular Property Brothers and Brother vs. Brother, don’t have a lot of time to relax. In addition to being TV personalities, they’re co-founders of Scott Brothers Global, have written several best-selling books and are expanding their collection of home goods. However, they took time out of their busy schedules to tell Freshome what they consider the ultimate man cave and offer tips on how to create it.

Do Your Own Thing

This Ashburn, VA man cave has a bar, pool table area, gas fireplace and theatre room: Image: Synergy Design and Construction

“I believe all men – and women – need a place to hang out,” Drew says.  He believes the perfect man cave has
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Game Rooms to Make You the Most Popular Neighbor on the Block

A game room (or recreational room) is a great place to hang out with family and friends. It also provides peace of mind to have a safe, controlled environment for your kids and their friends to get together. If you’re thinking about creating a rec room in your home, we have several ideas for game rooms that can make you the most popular neighbor on the block.

Your favorite team’s jerseys are part of the room’s design. Image: Thinkterior

Sports-themed game room

One of the easiest ways to create a game room is by incorporating a sports theme. Hang jerseys, hats and other merchandise on the wall. This creates an instantly fun place to hang out while you play games and watch your favorite teams in action.

Include space in your game room to store food and drinks. Image: Bagnato Architecture & Interiors

Sports car game room

In lieu of
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True or False? Decoding Decorating Rules

“Don’t ever do this.” “You should never do that.” We’ve all heard certain decorating rules regarding colors, furniture, finishes and accessories. But how many of these are actually true, and how many may have made sense in the past but are no longer applicable? We asked a few experts to weigh in and separate fact from fiction.
decorating rules bright colors bedroom

Use a calm, relaxing color palette in the bedroom. Image: Studio M Interiors

Should you avoid bright colors in the bedroom?

This rule is true, according to Kimberly Schmunk, an interior designer at Nashville-based luxury custom home developer Focus Builders. “I tend to lean toward a more soothing color palette in the bedroom, since this is the room you will be winding down in.” If you want to incorporate bold colors, she recommends including it in artwork, throw pillows or other accessories. You can paint your bedroom bright red, but
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Still Think You Don’t Need a Formal Living Room?

The formal living room has become an endangered species.  Freshome reached out to experts around the country, and the responses were the same. “There was a time when everyone wanted three bedrooms, two baths, formal living and dining and a basement den – but those days are over,” says Angela Williams, a Birmingham, AL-based realtor at Extreme Agent Realty. “Today, I find that my clients are all about convenience and functionality. Gone are the days of the showroom/living room.” Aaron Bowman, realtor at Mazz Real Estate in Tolland, CT, agrees that he doesn’t have any buyers looking for formal living rooms. Lance Marrs, principal broker at Living Room Realty in Portland, OR, puts it this way: “Formal living rooms are, well, formal, and very few of my clients desire formalities in the design and functionality of the living room.” According to Seth Argo, president of Nashville-based luxury
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Create a Grand Entrance With Your Entryway

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Regardless of your home’s style, when people come to – and go through — your front door, you want to wow them. Fortunately, that’s not as hard as you might think. Following these entryway tips can help you create that “wow” effect every time someone visits your home.

A new door can add instant curb appeal. Image: Filament Lighting

It starts with the door

Creating a grand entrance starts with the door, according to Mark Clement, a carpenter, contractor and DIY podcaster at My FixItUp Life. He recommends getting a new door and says it’s an instant payoff project. “While it’s more carpentry than decoration, it’s both beautiful and practical.” Besides just getting a new look, Clement says the new door may also be quieter, which means you won’t hear all of that outside noise from passing cars.
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How to Use the Most Stylish Color of the Year: Black

We hope you like the products we recommend. Just so you are aware, Freshome may collect a share of sales from the links on this page.  Black accent walls, ceilings, furniture – black is making a comeback. Similar to the little black dress, this color can be casual or elegant, depending on the accessories. It’s the boldest color, and yet it’s also neutral, making it the perfect choice when decorating. Here are some of the trendiest ways to use the color in your next decorating project.
black penthouse

This San Francisco penthouse is sleek, yet cozy. Image: DesignLine Construction

Create a cozy, calming atmosphere

According to Dee Schlotter, senior color marketing manager for the PPG Paints brand, “Black is a classic color that is now finding its way onto the walls, creating silence, space and quiet in a very busy, distracting world.” If you treat it as a neutral paint
black statement
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Create the Perfect Home Office in 8 Steps

home office wood

The wood floors carry into the accent wall of this home office. Image: Blackbox Design Studio

Your home is your castle, but it can also be the central command post for your business, or a secondary workplace if you frequently bring work home. If the latter, you may not have much input regarding the appearance of your workplace office (or cubicle). However, as the king or queen of your castle, you can design and decorate your home office to your exact specifications. These are some tips to keep in mind as you create the perfect home office.
home office floating shelves

This home office has a walnut desk, credenza and floating shelves. Image: Angela Rotondo

Choose carefully

When selecting the location of your home office, consider noise and traffic factors. For example, if the office is close to the street, you may hear people walking and/or driving by. Also, consider the traffic in your
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Kitchen Decor Just Got a Lot Easier With GE’s Matte Collection

Kitchens are important to both homeowners and homebuyers. In fact, many homebuyers will walk away from a house based solely on the condition and style of the kitchen. That’s because the kitchen isn’t just a place where you prepare and eat food. It’s the home’s central location: where you bond with family, relax with friends and (try to) help kids with homework. The quest for the perfect kitchen can sometimes lead to buyer’s remorse, or you may grow weary of looking at the same decor every day. However, thanks to GE’s Matte Collection, now you can customize your kitchen appliances and change the handles as often you like.
ge's matte collection kitchen

GE’s Matte Collection allows you to fully customize your kitchen.

GE’s Matte Collection

GE Appliances just launched The Matte Collection, a fully customizable kitchen appliance line, for its new Café brand. Mattie Bellinger, senior designer at GE Appliances, spoke with Freshome
ge's matte collection finishes
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ge's matte collection appliances
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Hate That Brick Fireplace? 12 Ways to Make It Look Better

Your brick fireplace is a dependable source of heat and, if it’s wood-burning, also helps keep your heating costs low. But the outdated design may have become an eyesore, and years of soot can make it look even worse. We found several ways to make your brick fireplace look better – much, much better.

This taco quartz tile fireplace is warm and inviting. Image: ARJAY Builders

Taco quartz tile

One way to update your fireplace is by covering it with tile. “Because tile requires a smooth surface, though, and brick is anything but, you will need to use a cement backer board,” advises J.B. Sassano, president of Mr. Handyman. “This handy invention allows you to skip the torturous task of adding layers of mortar to create a level surface on which the tile can attach,” he tells Freshome. “Instead, you attach the tile to the board and the board
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Is Your Home Making You Sick? Sick Building Syndrome 101

Sick Building Syndrome. It’s a real medical condition in which people experience sickness as a direct result of occupying a particular room or building and feel better when they leave the area. You can experience SBS anywhere; it could be your office building, your favorite store or even your home. (Note: If you get a headache from arguing with your boss or your spouse, that’s not SBS. There are interpersonal issues that may cause stress or anxiety,  but they’re not related to the building itself.)
sick building syndrome - bathroom

Could your home be giving you Sick Building Syndrome? Image: dSPACE Studio 

What is Sick Building Syndrome?

When you’re at home, you may be exposed to chemical contaminants from exhausts in the bathroom and kitchen or from plumbing vents. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) can also cause this condition. VOCs are found in pesticides, tobacco smoke, carpets and upholstery. Alternately, an unvented space
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Tips for Creating the Outdoor Shower of Your Dreams

An outdoor shower can be both fun and practical. If you don’t want kids, pets and other adults tracking dirt through your house, an outdoor shower is a great way to keep the great outdoors where it belongs: outdoors. Below are some of the biggest trends in outdoor showers, along with tips from experts on how to incorporate them into your outdoor space.
backyard outdoor shower

Turn a boring backyard into a relaxing retreat with an outdoor shower. Image: Pearl Remodeling

Tips for installing your outdoor shower

“Outdoor showers are a nice feature for pool owners or beachfront homes,” says Jarret Acevedo, a master plumber and owner of Jarret Acevedo Plumbing and Heating. However, depending on how low your temperatures drop in the winter, you’ll need to take precautions with your shower. “Care is definitely needed to plumb it properly to protect from freezing if it’s an area with frigid temperatures,” Acevedo warns. Placing
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5 Easy Projects You Can Tackle Over the Labor Day Weekend

Preventive maintenance this Labor Day weekend can ensure your home and family are ready for winter. Image: Ward Young Architecture and Planning

Labor Day weekend signals the end of summer, so it’s the perfect time to take care of a few chores around your home. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Gary Findley, CEO of Restoration 1 and Bluefrog Plumbing + Drain, describes five relatively simple and inexpensive home maintenance projects that you can complete over the Labor Day weekend.

Clogged gutters can damage your home. Image: Gutter Helmet of MN

Clean out the gutters

“The gutters on your home can be filled with leaves, sticks and other debris. Over time, if not cleaned regularly, that debris can prevent the gutters from doing their job – ending with potential water damage to the interior or exterior your home,” says Findley. “Clogged gutters can also lead
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Cool Kitchen Backsplashes to Whet Your Appetite

The basic function of kitchen backsplashes is to prevent water, food and other types of liquids and solids from damaging the wall behind your kitchen counters. However, backsplashes can be both functional and stylish. There’s a dizzying array of styles to choose from, but we’re skipping the most popular backsplashes (since you’ve probably seen them anyway) so we can highlight some of the coolest options.

A photo of the city’s skyline is the inspiration for this spectacular kitchen backsplash in Melbourne. Image: Visual Resource

Art glass backsplash

According to Katy Brut, interior design consultant at New York Furniture Outlets, “The newest and freshest trend in kitchen interior design is to use uncommon materials, such as metal panels, glass and ceramics.”

This hexagonal pattern is clean and modern. Image: Trevor Brown Architects

Hexagonal tile backsplash

“People are gravitating toward cleaner, modern backsplashes, as opposed to the busier mosaics, to create
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Not Your Father’s Laminate: Check out These Woodgrain, Stone and Matte Finishes

Laminate used to look cheap and cheesy. It was durable, but certainly not fashionable. However, times have changed, and now the material is much more realistic-looking. In fact, it can mimic many of your favorite materials, which makes it an excellent, inexpensive design choice. Whether you choose to implement it on floors, countertops or even walls, there’s sure to be a use for laminate in any room of your house. Read on to learn more about how to incorporate this once-taboo material into your home.

Laminate flooring

One of the benefits of laminate flooring is that it can easily mimic a variety of materials: wood, stone and even tile. No matter what your design needs are, there’s likely a laminate to match. And while it doesn’t have the same properties as the material it mimics, it’s still a more affordable way to get that visual effect. Modern laminate floors are
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