Contributing Writer

Bringing Back Floral

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Greetings and happy (almost) weekend everyone!  I’ve invited Michelle of Ten June back to be a guest contributor on the blog – she has an amazing eye for design and we both agreed that right now we’re big time loving the bold floral patterns reappearing in interior design.  These aren’t the itsy bitsy pastel florals of previous decades, in this century florals are bigger, bolder, and full of unexpected color combinations.  Please welcome back Michelle of Ten June and her five tips for bringing back floral into your home. 

Take it away Michelle!

Don’t you love when old trends make their way back into our lives? I’ll bet you thought you’d never see this fad again… floral décor!  Gone with the days of acid wash jeans and slap-bracelets was flouncy floral décor, right?  Think again! The use of big, bold flower patterns is making a big comeback in interior design these days.

If you, like most of us, love this look but are unsure how to bring it back into your home with style, I’ve compiled five fabulous tips for bringing back floral décor. Ready, set, flower power!

1. Use floral designs with bright, bold colors.

There’s nothing like a graphic pop of color to make floral patterns feel modern and fresh. Forget the pastels and let your flowers shine in bright pinks, purples and yellows. These hues show that you’re proud of your floral décor and you aren’t afraid to show it!

bold floral bedding design sponge

Design*Sponge

 

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Choosing Cabinetry in Kitchen Renovation

Friday, May 4th, 2012

One of my absolute favorite topics on earth is kitchen renovation, and even though we finished our own several years ago, it’s still one subject I never get tired of.  Today l’d like to welcome fellow home renovation lover and blogger Liz from It’s Great to Be Home on the subject of choosing kitchen cabinetry during a home remodel.

Liz and her husband are pros at flipping houses, in fact they just finished their fourth flip and I’m so excited to have Liz as a new monthly contributor, sharing her insight on all things home improvement.  Today the topic is choosing kitchen cabinetry, take it away Liz!

If you’ve ever tackled a kitchen or bath renovation then you know all about the onslaught of emotions that can be brought on by that prospect – excitement about having a fabulous space after the renovation is complete, nervousness about surviving the process, and sometimes total fear about the daunting task of choosing each and every fixture and finish.  For those of you on the brink of a big construction project, I’m here to take the intimidation out of at least one aspect of your renovation: choosing the cabinetry.

Cabinetry is often the biggest investment you will make during a kitchen renovation, so of course you want to get it right!  There are so many considerations and decisions to make.  Will you choose custom or stock cabinets? Should you chooser painted or stained cabinetry?  How much should you set aside in your budget?  The list goes on and on.

However, if you arm yourself with just a little knowledge before you tackle the cabinetry conundrum the task doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating.  The key to having confidence in your cabinetry choices is all about finding the perfect balance between three key elements – your budget, the look and feel you’re going for, and making the most of what you have through space planning.

 

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How do you balance those three elements?  Here are ten questions that will help guide you to that ideal balance between budget, look and feel, and space planning to achieve your dream cabinetry.

cabinetry considerations.wants v needs

 

Practical matters should be considered first (i.e., your actual needs), which are addressed in the first 5 questions.  Then we’ll move onto the pretty stuff!

1.  What is my cabinetry budget?

You probably already have an overall budget in mind for your entire kitchen renovation – but have you broken that budget down into allotments for cabinetry, tile, hardware, fixtures, labor and everything else that will go into the project?

Creating an itemized budget is the very first thing you should do, before you spend a single dime.  Why?  Because you don’t want to be that person that has a killer Viking range sitting in the middle of an empty kitchen – it’s all about spreading your pennies around, saving and splurging as necessary.  Keep in mind that you may need to make adjustments to your cabinetry budget (and possibly your budget in general) as you consider the next nine questions.

elle decor kitchen

Elle Decor

 

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Ten Tips for Selling Your Home

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

It seems it’s “tips” week here at CG and today we’re talking about some general suggestions for selling your home.  When I say “we” I mean I’ve invited my mister to share some tips with you since he’s the guy with all the knowledge on this subject – he’s a real estate appraiser and broker (yep both!) with over 25 years experience.  I asked him to contribute some of his knowledge so he was kind enough to write up this article for you today.

And after three years, it’s time I stop referring to him as just “mister” so allow me to introduce my husband to you by his actual name – it’s Matthew, or Matt as most people call him.  There I feel much better now that you finally know his name too!  Matt’s taking the helm here to share his ten best suggestions for selling your home quickly and achieving top dollar at the same time.  Here he is:

“Kate asked me to share some of my suggestions for maximizing the value of your home when you decide to put it on the market (and she’s going to add some pictures to illustrate too.)  First know that these recommendations depend on a variety of factors such as price range, time of year, region, and location, and this list is by no means all inclusive.

For first timers, the process of selling a home can be stressful, but there are a few things you can do to reduce the anxiety of the sale and secure the best sales price too. Most people buy the home they feel the most emotionally connected with – the one they can envision living in. Your goal as the seller is to give that feeling to the best of your ability to any potential buyer that comes through your door.

Ten Tips for Selling Your Home

1. First Impressions Matter.  The exterior of your home gives potential buyers the first impression and you want it to be looking its very best.  Start by power washing your home to get rid of any cobwebs, dirt, or grime. Rid your driveway of any oil stains and move any old cars off the property. Focus attention on an attractive and inviting entry with a new welcome mat, potted plants, and flowers. If your front porch light is old and/or broken spend $30 and give it a facelift with a new fixture. Spruce up the landscaping, mow the grass, prune the trees and shrubs, and replace or replant where needed.

inviting front entry

2. Inspect the Exterior and Make Obvious Repairs.  Repair any peeling exterior paint or damaged siding, especially in the front of the home.  Make sure the front door hinges and hardware work perfectly, and the doorbell too since one of the worst first impressions is a non-working doorbell.  If for some reason you can’t get it to work, place a note over the doorbell that reads “Please Knock”.  Sliders and doors all need to be oiled and working smoothly including the sliding screen doors too.  You want that smooth transition from room to room and from indoor to outdoor living.

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