Moving or Improving? Tips for a Flawless Painting Project

(BPT) – Did you know spring is the best time to sell your home? And now that the housing market is bouncing back, there’s never been a better time to do it. But even if you’re planning to stay put for the long haul, chances are there are some much-needed touch-ups you could be doing to keep your home in tip-top shape. And you don’t have to break your back, or the bank, to do it. In fact, adding a new coat of paint is a quick, affordable, and possibly the most impactful, way to get your project done.

Prep, prime and primp
Misusing color can be a surefire way to turn people off from your home. For a more inviting look that nearly everyone can enjoy, opt for neutral paint colors. A subtle beige, slight grey or even white can do the trick.
First, move furniture out of the room and place drop cloths to protect the floor. Remove any picture frames, outlet covers and wall decor. Then, gently scrub the walls with a mild detergent and water mixture using a soft sponge to remove any dirt, grime or lint. Don’t forget to prime your walls before applying color to ensure the best end-results.

Paint like a pro
For an ultra-smooth finish, try Purdy’s line of Ultra Finish roller covers. These premium microfiber roller covers, available in 9-inch lengths and varying nap thickness, provide an even release of paint and deliver a consistent application from start to finish. Plus, they work great with any kind of paint and finish, including satin, semi-gloss and gloss, taking the guesswork out of the DIY equation.

When applying paint, start at the top and work your way down. For superior results, you’ll want to fill the well of your roller tray with paint, dip the roller in half-way and then roll it back onto the tray’s angled platform to easily remove excess paint. This will reduce dripping and improve overall paint cover. The best approach for applying paint? Use your roller cover to make an overlapping "W" pattern in a 2-foot by 2-foot area; then fill in and repeat.

For smaller interior paint projects or tight spaces, Purdy also has a variety of innovative mini roller choices that are versatile, lightweight and can quickly and easily deliver a perfect finish with smooth rolling action. These combined features make them the ideal applicator for a variety of projects like painting doors and cabinets, to freshening up tables, chairs and even bedroom furniture.

Keeping your color conviction
If you’re still feeling deprived of color after your painting project is complete, never fret. There are several ways to add a pop of color throughout your home without slathering the walls with offensive paint colors. Try incorporating fun accent pieces in your favorite colors – think lamps, frames, pillows and rugs. You can even include larger focal pieces like royal blue armchairs or a patterned couch to make a bolder statement. By keeping the overall aesthetics of your home neutral and inviting, and enhancing them with a few sight-provoking embellishments, house guests will be asking you for home decorating tips. And if your end goal is to get your home sold, consider these minor improvements a step in the right direction.

Trends in Baby Furniture: Unique New Designs That Combine Comfort and Practicality

Trends in Baby Furniture: Unique New Designs That Combine Comfort and Practicality

By Barbara Pronin

Decorating the nursery is a distinct pleasure for most expectant parents. But it isn’t easy to choose furniture and accessories that offer style, comfort and practicality that will last for many years.

Design mavens at the ABC Kids Expo in Louisville, Ky. spotlighted six new products for parents who are looking for something different. They aren’t cheap, but they offer unique and modern styles created with beauty, safety and comfort in mind:

• The Babycotpod – The most contemporary bassinets ever, Babycotpod designs feature an egg-shaped collection of baby furniture that is handcrafted of fine hardwoods with custom-painted exteriors. The Nuna and Cascara models offer a unique, sophisticated and comfy sleep space with built-in hood and carry handles. Prices begin at about $800.
• The Gro-Crib – A crib that turns into a toddler bed, a day bed, a desk and a play table – with no screws or hinges. Designer David Singelyn’s crib has no mechanical fasteners and takes only minutes to put together. Not cheap at $1,400, but when you consider how many pieces of furniture you get in one, it’s great for those who can afford it.
• Baby Dee Dee Sleep Nest – A cross between a soft, washable duvet and a wearable baby sleeping bag, this new innovation with shoulder snaps and a glow-in-the-dark zipper wraps baby in a soft cocoon, eliminates the need for loose blankets, and makes it easy to change diapers in the dark. Costs about $35.
• The Petit Nest – An eco-friendly, made in America collection of cribs, dressers, gliders, wall art and more designed to last long beyond baby’s early years. Whimsical, playful styling with a distinct point of view that can later be integrated into the design of any home. Cribs and dressers cost between $1,400 and $1,700.
• Ububub cribs – Unique, modern wood cribs with smooth, rounded edges and clear Lucite sides for best visibility for you and your baby. They feature a low profile, adjustable mattress positions, and no bars for baby to get stuck in. Cost? About $1,600.
• Spa Baby Hot Tub – A soothing green “baby bucket” that calms squirmy babies and keeps them safe at bath time. Provides a chest-high warm soak in a natural, womb-like position. Cost is about $38.

Do It All Remote, Sweet Sounding Surround System Perfect for Man Cave

Do It All Remote, Sweet Sounding Surround System Perfect for Man Cave

By John Voket

I occasionally head down to the world of man caves to get a beat on some of the coolest new accessories and gadgets making these very personal spaces just a tad bit more comfortable.

The Mancaveday.com blog really responded to a couple of items from this year’s Consumer Electronics Show including the Logitech Harmony Touch remote. This little wonder delivers fluid, one-touch interaction with a vibrant, color touch screen that allows you to quickly swipe and scroll to your favorite entertainment options, TV channels, movies, games, music – all with one touch.

According to Logitech, with 50 easy-to-customize channel icons, you and your family can access all your favorite channels with a simple tap. Just select and save your favorite channel icons from a list on myharmony.com on to your remote or create unique favorite icons using your own personalized images.

The Harmony Touch remote’s low profile, sculpted buttons offer a sleek look and are easy to press. Plus, they are backlit so you can comfortably and easily navigate your favorite entertainment, even in the dark.

Another man cave recommendation is the Definite Technology Solo Cinema XTR Sound Bar. This surround sound system provides cutting edge industrial design, operational simplicity and outstanding sound.

This ultra-slim amplified sound bar, powerful wireless subwoofer, and ergonomic remote offer an immersive 5.1 channel sound experience with contemporary aesthetic beauty…minus the clutter of component systems.

At only 2-3/8″ deep, the SoloCinema XTR is the perfect complement to today’s ultra-slim TVs. It can be either wall or shelf mounted with the supplied brackets and hardware.

One type of shelf hardware allows you to raise the SoloCinema bar over the TV’s protruding stand. The other set tilts the speaker upwards when placed on a shelf below the TV.

SoloCinema’s subwoofer connects to the bar wirelessly. Select the location that best fits your lifestyle and décor, plug it into a wall AC outlet and you’re ready to rock.

The slim subwoofer is easy to tuck out of sight behind or under furniture (you can place it on its back pointing up) but the folks at Definite Technology say its clean modern styling make it an object d’art when it is located out in plain sight.

May you continue to enjoy much ‘hibernating’ in your man cave with these two cool new components!

2013’s Hot Home Trends and Easy Updates

2013’s Hot Home Trends and Easy Updates

(BPT) – The top home decor trends for 2013 are already emerging, and homeowners seeking a fresh look will find a lot to love. Not only can these looks be accomplished in minimal time – they’re budget friendly and easy enough for DIYers to finish in a weekend or less.

Giving your home an updated feel doesn’t require a full-scale renovation. Instead, focus on simple updates for the most frequently used rooms in your house. When you’re ready to get started on your home’s new look, let these trends of the year be your design guide.

In the kitchen

Kitchens need to be functional, but in this hub of the home style is just as important. Upholding practicality while adding visual interest is a top trend this season. Two-toned upper and lower cabinet colors are rapidly growing in popularity as a way to let homeowners customize their kitchen spaces and express their personalities.

  • Maple is the style frontrunner when it comes to wooden cabinets, but painted cabinets in white, black and gray tones are also on the rise. Whether you opt to replace your cabinet fronts or paint them, your efforts will give you impressive – and fast – results.
  • On the functionality front, innovative hands-free faucets simplify cooking and cleaning tasks while requiring minimal effort to install.
  • Open shelving is seeing a boost in popularity. Both glass-fronted cabinets and simple open shelves capture this trend, allowing you to put your style on display while creating a sleek, updated look.

In the bath

A luxurious-feeling bath doesn’t need to make big demands on your wallet. By making a few on-trend updates, you’ll give your room designer appeal guaranteed to make an impression.

  • Updating the vanity, often the focal point in a bathroom, provides immediate results. Customizable modular options let you create a storage-savvy vanity that fits virtually any bathroom while also adding functional drawer and countertop space.
  • Tiling provides the perfect solution to add extra personality to your bath. Right now, trends offer two different but equally chic directions – large-scale tile and small-scale mosaics. Tiles with wood-like appearances are also gaining popularity; they create a warm, inviting look, but offer the wet-space practicality of tile. If it’s your first time tiling, home improvement experts at stores like Lowe’s can provide guidance to get started with your tile flooring.

Throughout the home

When it comes to low-effort, big-impact changes, it’s hard to beat a fresh coat of paint. For walls that feel drab, boring or outdated, new paint makes a color statement and draws attention to architectural details. Follow these paint tips to make an instant, dramatic impression:

  • Alter the dimensions of a space by painting ceilings a slightly lighter color than the walls.
  • Create patterns and shapes using painter’s tape. Stripes, chevrons and ombre effects are perfectly on-trend.
  • Highlight architectural details by painting interior doors and trim in a colorful hue instead of traditional white.
  • In one weekend or less, these simple changes will make your home feel like an entirely new space. So when the seasonal urge to renovate sets in, don’t resist – reinvigorate your home with these ideas. Find more decorating trends and inspiration at Lowes.com.

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Remodeling

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Remodeling

By Barbara Pronin

Whether it’s adding a sunroom, refurbishing a bath, or modernizing your kitchen, remodeling projects can be fun and exciting and add comfort and value to your home. But, noted contractors at a home remodeling expo in California, costly planning or construction mistakes can cost you time, money, and satisfaction.

The experts advise avoiding these top five remodeling mistakes:

• Not getting a permit – A room added without a permit may not be counted as part of your total square footage when you sell. It may cost you a few bucks in the short run, but check with your city about zoning restrictions and necessary permits before you begin any project.
• Being too trendy – Home design trends go in and out of fashion. Today’s popular vessel sinks for example – the ones that sit on top of the bathroom counter like a salad bowl – could be out of favor down the line. Unless you love them unconditionally, err on the side of the more traditional when choosing colors, patterns and designs.
• Lowballing – Inexpensive is good. Cheap is not, and there’s a difference. Choose quality materials from roofing shingles to kitchen cabinets because you may be in for a major disappointment when shoddy materials don’t perform as expected.
• Inaccurate measurements – If you’re doing it yourself, measure everything three times before the fabric, lumber, or granite is cut or the new refrigerator is selected. Best choice? Have a licensed contractor do the work or consult with experienced installers.
• Counting on too big a payback – While it’s true that great kitchens can sell houses, be careful of over-investing. Do the work that’s needed, but understand that your beautiful new kitchen will represent no more than 15 percent of your home’s actual resale value. New windows? They will look great and reduce draftiness, but don’t expect them to “pay for themselves” in energy costs in just the first few years after installation.