What to do About That Messy Closet

Do you have one of the closets that is the way old-school high shelf and a single bar? There is no place to put your shoes or stack your sweaters, let along hang belts and accessories. Welcome to the 21st century: Cool organized closets are not just for the rich anymore.

You can get someone to help you and pay them to organize your closet, or you can be a little creative. There are many manufacturers of different kinds of closet organizers: wire shelves, laminate, wood, with or without doors—you name it, you can find it. It truly depends on how much money you’d like to spend.

If you are like most people that own their own home money is tight. It takes every penny to pay the mortgage, insurance, utilities, yard work, HOA, etc. But if you take the time to make careful measurements of the interior of your closet, you can change the usefulness of not only your closet but every storage room in the house.;

Planning Your New Closet

Most local DIY stores carry closet planning grids. Get one, and you can take pictures of the different sizes that they offer or go to their website to get them. Draw up your closet with carefully taken measurements. Now you can become a little kid again. Using the same scale that you used on the grid create small closet pieces by cutting up another sheet or two of grid paper. Now you can start to fit them into the closet just like putting a puzzle together. It costs nothing, and you can even do it while watching your TV show for the evening.

Let it settle in your mind for a day or two and come back and try again. You might see a different configuration the next time you play with it. When you are satisfied that you have something that works, you can take the time to look at all of the other products available in different stores. There may be some layouts that you like better than others, or they might have different sizes that would work better. Make a note of those sizes and come back home and create more pieces and see what works. You can do this for as long as you like until you are happy with it.

Once you have your final creation, you can buy all of the pieces. Here is the good news, you do not need to be an expert closet installer to put it together. Most of them have incredibly simple instructions to follow. Presto! You are a closet designer, and now you can tackle all of those other rooms that need better organization.

Being organized is some much less frustrating than not, so now you have a perfect closet and less stress in your life.

Painting with Classy Grays

The commonly chic neutrals of the last couple of decades – namely mocha, bone, beige and café au lait – have given way to a more modern and sophisticated gray palette. While gray seems like a simple color, just a mix of black and white, in reality, there is a huge variety of gray tones, and you can use them to create different design vibes while sticking to the neutral color tones suggested by your real estate agent. 

With over fifty shades of gray available from paint manufacturers, the choice can be overwhelming, even when sticking to just one color. The most crucial step in choosing your gray color palette is understanding how grays work together. While a gray begins with combining black and white, adding a variety of undertones gives it subtle shade variation. Just like when buying make-up, choosing the right cool or warm tones makes all the difference. Warm grays can look more brown, cool grays more blue or green and all of that changes depending on what color sits next to it. Most of you will be familiar with blue-grays, but you will also find golden-grays, green-grays, red-grays, and even purple- or brown-grays. 

With So Many, How to Choose?

If you have the budget, find yourself a pain colorist. They have specific training and experience in modifying colors for an exact feel, and they understand how all those tones work together. However, that’s usually out of budget for most. You can find all the same colors at your local home improvement or paint store but without that designer consultation. It saves you on the fees but requires more work to ensure you get just the right colors for your space. Its especially important that your gray remains neutral and doesn’t clash with your existing art or furnishings, or it could do more harm than good.

When choosing your new paints, start by testing a variety of brands, finishes, and designers. Don’t just stick with colors already available in your price range, since most of these stores will color match for free or a minor fee so you can get your custom color done by any brand. Try those different swatches out next to each other, your furniture, wall hangings, woodwork, brickwork and virtually any other color they might conflict with to determine which looks the best and creates the feel you want. Don’t forget to test at multiple times of day and with both natural and artificial light, since that can change the color dramatically.

Once you’ve narrowed your paint choices down to three or four, get your store to mix sample size batches for you. Most stores will do a six to eight-ounce sample for a small fee or even free. While you’re at the store, remember to pick up a roll of butcher paper and some painters tape. Using a separate sheet of butcher paper for each color, paint large swaths on the butcher paper and let it dry completely. Now, tape the giant color swatches to your walls. Test them on different walls and different types of day, just like you did with the small samples. Make sure you confirm how the paint looks under your lightbulbs. Keep in mind that LED and incandescent light bulbs will make the color appear differently. Since incandescent bulbs are being phased out, now is an excellent time to consider switching all our bulbs out for LEDs.

Most of all, be patient. Take the time to ensure you’re choosing the right color, then take more time to ensure it goes on those walls correctly. Still not sure about what neutral works best for your home? Talk to your real estate professional for useful paint and staging tips.

How to Choose a Color Scheme for Your Home

Many people find choosing the right color scheme to be the most overwhelming part of their home decoration process. After all, you have to consider furniture, doors, drapes, and other items before you pick any color. But it doesn’t have to be all that difficult, a few simple rules can see through it with ease.

Start with a neutral shade as your backdrop and then build on by adding other contrasting colors with art and accessories. You will need to work with a color wheel and determine what color scheme of the color wheel you want to use. The monochromatic scheme involves using different shades of a single color of the color wheel. The analogous color scheme consists of using colors that appear next to each other on the color wheel to create a colorful arrangement. You may also decide to do a contrast scheme that consists of using a triad of contrasting colors. For a bolder look, use the complementary scheme— two opposing colors for the interior.

You should also consider how the lighting will change the appearance of colors within your home at different times of the day. You may have to use sample swatch cards in the colors you are thinking of using, or paint on to a card in that color and carry it around the house, testing it in different lighting conditions. Before you commit, you may even decide on painting small areas of each room to see how the colors will complement each other around the house.

Having decided on the colors you want to use, you should look at how it will flow into the general design of the room. Bear in mind the kind of furniture and upholstery you either already have present in the house or you intend to purchase. Your colors have to fit in with these generally so deciding on the exact shade of color you want should come last in what you are doing. 

The entire process should not be a stressful one if you put enough planning into it. Visit with paint professionals in the paint store and ask how each color complement each other. You can bring home as many test samples as you can until you find your perfect mix. Remember, however, at the end of the day, the final decision lies with you. Your color scheme should reflect you, seeing as it is your home. So, don’t hurry, take your time to reach the decision.

If you are choosing colors to sell your home, ask your real estate professional about trending neutrals in your area.

How To Modernize An Outdated Bathroom

The bathroom is so frequently brushed aside when it comes to decorating a new home. So often left to become the most outdated room in the house, it becomes a frustration to modernize. However, the bathroom is often a room used for relaxation whether to relax in a hot tub or to gain a moment’s silence from the children. If you’re ready to ditch the shell shaped sink, infamous bathroom blue tub, and god help you, matching blue toilet here are some ways to create a clean modern room you’ll love.

If you’re willing to put in time and effort you can remove tub surround yourself by removing the hardware than scoring along where the surround meets the wall. You’ll then want to pull the surround from the wall very carefully as to not damage the wall behind it, cutting the adhesive away as you go. Once torn down you’ll want to prep the walls with plastic sheeting and HardieBacker for tiling. 

While a lot of work, this opens up more options for you to modernize your bathroom with elements like imitation marble or subway tiling and even install a sleek new tub. With so many options on the market now, you can have anything from a freestanding tub such as an acrylic clawfoot tub or drop in that leaves lots of deckspace for bath product and mood-setting candles.  

Tiling the wall behind or surrounding your tub is a great way to create a chic statement wall without breaking the bank imitating floor to ceiling tiling. Use the same tiling for both floors and wall or add some depth by matching smaller floor tiles with a matching larger size for the wall. Painting the remaining walls a light color brightens up the room while maintaining an overall clean feel.

A large mirror over the sink reflects light and makes the room feel more expansive. If your bathroom already has a builder grade mirror you can give it a quick upgrade by framing it with molding or even some simple boards for a sleek look. If you have a medicine cabinet you don’t want to replace a coat of fresh paint and chic knob pull like a T-bar will bring the piece a whole new feel.

Updating the sink with new hardware is always a surefire way to update a room though be sure to match the finish it to the existing hardware for a cohesive look. A pedestal sink adds more visual space to a small bathroom while replacing the cabinet brings an entirely new look to the room. Undermount sinks add a crisp modern look while maintaining the extra storage availability that comes with a vanity.

Don’t let an outdated bathroom continue to plague your otherwise well-designed home. The effort it takes to rip out old amenities is well worth the enjoyment you’ll get out of their modern replacements. Get the most out of your renovation efforts by opting for styles that are least likely to fall out of fashion and instead remain a classic staple.