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Fall 2020 One Room Challenge: Week 3 and 4….Demolition, Extended….

When they said renovations are no joke, boyyyy did they mean it. Apologies for skipping last week—I really needed to get a handle on all that is happening on this project(s). But we did get the walls out and the structural beam up and he’s the current floorplan view (there used to be two walls across the majority of this):

Not quite the same angle but you get the point. 🙂

You see, my friends….I have been holding out on you. Not only are we (perhaps stupidly) taking on the bathroom and kitchen renovation at this time in the 2 months before we move in (now 1 month!), but we’ve also managed to tackle a few other simultaneous projects ourselves and with some specialty contractors. These projects include but are not limited to:

-Building a deck
-Building a fence
-Finishing a basement
-Insulating a shed and turning it into a workspace for yours truly
-Replacing an entire roof
-Reinforcing a 100-year old chimney on the verge of falling down
-Installing AC
-Refinishing floors
-Painting the entire interior
-Re-dry walling around the bay window
-Completely rehabbing the fireplace/mantle
-Building custom bookshelves around said mantle.
-Installing 3 skylights….

The list goes on. While fixing up a house before you move in might be commonplace, we probably underestimated the workload and the timeline…just a little bit. So while most of the above projects have been completed (!!) or are near completion, the work they have required has pushed back some of our own work as they relate to this challenge. Construction timelines are always fluid, am I right?

I think we’re still going to feel a deep sense of relief in a month when (hopefully) most of the big stuff is done.

No matter—I only preface today’s post with this to ensure that while progress on the kitchen and bath are not as advanced at this point in the challenge as I’d like, it hasn’t been because of a lack of effort (or planning, or logistics). Gratefully, Linda and the wonderful team at the One Room Challenge have graciously moved back the deadline to account for COVID delays and poor time managers like myself. Still keeping my fingers crossed that we can tidy things up enough for a full reveal at the end of November.

Here’s the current kitchen, patiently awaiting drywall, new water and electrical lines and a gas line:

In the aftermath of skylight installation….

And for what its worth… some more demo images:

So….that’s sort of where we’re at. The house is definitely still a construction zone, but the main walls are OUT to make way for a kitchen island and to make way for more light into the center of the house. The structural support beam is in and functional. Skylights still need to be framed but they are installed. Framing has begun in the bathroom for the shower and tiling should be happening over the next week. Cabinets are being built and constructed. Appliances have arrived and await their final destination.

Electrical is going in as we speak.

Oh and the roof, chimney, AC, deck are finished! Here’s Dakota modeling the new deck and fence:

Imagine all the plants growing up the trellis…

The mantle is still a work in progress but its coming along with the help of our friend, Kurtis, and my very patient husband, Wes. They are a dry walling/framing super team.
Here’s some of the before and in-progress shots….

And the current situation (with dog model Leia):

I say this with the utmost optimism but I think the next couple of weeks will be a full sprint from drywall to cabinets to tiling to countertops and lighting and appliance, oh my!

Thank you for sticking in there with me and hoping I have some truly exciting things to show you next week. Cheers to the weekend (and more projects!). And please be sure to check out some of the other wonderful design participants:



One Room Challenge

Fall 2020 One Room Challenge: Week 2 – Bathroom Renovation

Hi there Emtek visitors! Amy here again—it’s Week 2 of the Fall 2020 One Room Challenge and due to the rules of the game and the Thursday posting schedule, I am mostly ready to share our plans for this 2nd space. While not as large as the kitchen plans from last week, the bathroom is no small task to take on simultaneously. In an effort to maximize the next 5 weeks of the challenge and every available waking moment I have left on the countdown clock, I’m going to try to keep this short and sweet so it doesn’t cut into my ambitious construction time too much.  

First, the before/current situation:

Note the western coyote bathtub tile. It’s truly something.

And here’s a bit of inspo of where this is headed:

I haven’t quite decided on the orientation of the muted green subway tile yet. The vertical feels more modern but still trying to stay true to the era of the house in some small ways. Do you prefer the vertical or the staggered? 

Currently the space is a 1.75 bath that is 7’x7’. There is a shared bathtub/shower and a small storage closet that reaches from the outside of the hallway into the bathroom. We’ll be installing a pocket door with one of Emtek’s many great pocket door lock options to help maximize the limited space (probably something like this. And will of course be utilizing a variety of Emtek bathroom accessories like our Transitional Paper Holder and Towel Bar.

To honor the 100 year old history, the floor will be a classic Carrara 2” hexagon tile and we’re hoping to salvage the headboard wainscoting already present in the room but will paint it a creamy white. The remaining upper part of the wall will be a neutral gray. We are also adding a separate clawfoot tub at the back of the room under the window and a large-ish walk-in shower behind the existing swing door and across from the vanity. 

Because one of the 4 walls is currently half closet and half bathtub/shower, we will likely need to continue the green tiling all along this wall, unless we can match the existing beadboard. Will this look odd? It’s possible! Will I know before it’s too late? Unlikely! So this is a TBD following demolition later this week but keeping my fingers crossed we can make something work. 

We are trying to stick with a mostly neutral metal theme of Polished Nickel with a few variations in the cabinet hardware and the bath fixtures. 

The 36” vanity was on sale a few weeks back via Joss & Main and comes with a marble top (but will be getting a Schaub & Company cabinet hardware upgrade yet to be determined—but that I hope you’ll help me decide on): 

We are also adding a built-in medicine cabinet from Rejuvenation, with a polished nickel latch and beveled mirror.

Here’s the lighting and the faucet

While I am not currently sponsored by Wayfair in any way whatsoever, I relied heavily on their extensive product offerings and highly recommend all of their adjacent brands. 🙂 

There will also be a small linen closet added outside the bathroom— AKA another opportunity for me to demonstrate Schaub’s extensive and beautiful product line. 

Maybe something like one of these?:

I think that’s it for now! There is still a bit up in the air as we determine what the situation is with the existing plumbing and what’s behind the walls. I’m sure next week will be a journey all its own— stay tuned for demo on both spaces in Week 3 and thank you for following along! 



One Room Challenge

Fall 2020 One Room Challenge: Week 1

Hi there and thanks for stopping by! Amy Switzer here, the Marketing Communications and Social Media Manager for Emtek and our sister brand, Schaub & Company. My husband and I recently purchased a home in Pasadena, CA and are in the midst of a slew of major renovations. Given the timing, we thought it would be fun to hop on board for the Fall 2020 One Room Challenge as a guest participant to share our renovation with the Emtek audience!

Emtek and Schaub are long time sponsors of the bi-annual event and our team always has a blast watching the featured ORC designers create magic over the course of the 6-week challenge. We are so excited to be tangentially involved this go-around!

Because of the toxic combination of terrible impatience, unrealistic expectations, and unbridled optimism that lives within me, I have committed to renovating not only my kitchen but also the only bathroom in the home over the next 6-8 weeks. All while also attempting to have a variety of other major projects completed simultaneously… Think everything from: new roofing, an AC system, floor refinishing, basement finishing, patio construction, major demolition of most available spaces, plus an actual move. *Deep breathing*.

We have not yet moved in to the space (phew) but we are hoping to settle in by Thanksgiving. Naturally and humbly, I could use all the well wishes you are selflessly able to provide on my behalf. 🙂

Small caveat before we get started…While I consider myself a design enthusiast/rapid fan and a personal cheerleader for a large number of design bloggers, I myself am certainly NOT a design blogger, nor will I purport to be one here. This is a rather large project so I’m going to split these rooms into separate blog posts with respect to the challenge. Maybe that way, I can also spare you some of the more dramatic future details on whatever is certain to go wrong over the course of the renovation.

Which brings us to the before:

This 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom cottage near Eaton Canyon was built in 1925. While it does have some original features (Floors! Built-ins!), most of the home has been through its fair share of less-than-fully considered renovations over the years.

She’s cute right?

The current kitchen is small and awkwardly arranged. The entryway from the front door, into the kitchen feels cramped and claustrophobic. The cabinets are handmade by the previous owner but not terribly functional and– moreover– they ain’t gonna cut it for this cookware fanatic.

We are hoping to reuse them elsewhere, as a workbench in the garage- and we will attempt to salvage some of the components in the new design.

First order of business? The wall behind the oven is COMING OUT! In its place, we will be installing an island that opens into what is now a small bedroom, which will transition into a larger living space/dining room. Part of the wall, on the right of the oven shown here, will remain for the refrigerator with a surrounding cabinet unit. A tall pantry unit with pull out shelves will replace the current fridge situation.

Here’s a peek at what that should look like:

In this window rich corner, we will be building a breakfast nook with additional drawer storage underneath. Hoping to keep the glass storage cabinet on the left to showcase pretty plates and serving trays.

Like so (with a tall pantry unit where the fridge is currently located):

Here are the new line drawings, starting with the new island space at the top and the entrance into the kitchen from the front door on the left.

(Nook on the left under the double windows, then cabinets and sink on the right).

Admittedly, I can’t get enough of the Southern CA sunlight. The house is rather dark at the moment so we are also sprinkling in a few skylights for good measure—both in the kitchen, bath and the living space. You can just call me the “Oprah of skylight placements”:

So where are we planning on heading with this? I am so glad you asked! Here’s an inspo shot from ORC alums, Coco and Jack:

And from deVOL Kitchens:

And from Julie Blanner here:

Shaker-style cabinets will be painted a gray-beige/mushroom color somewhere between Benjamin Moore’s Stone Hearth and Feather Down. Backsplash will be minimal but done with beadboard finishing.

We will be using a combination of unlacquered brass hardware from Emtek, including the Cabinet Latch. Hoping everyone can help vote on the best cabinet hardware to pair it with—stay tuned for IG Story polls over the next several weeks!

Here are some potential options:





And here is a mood board with items that I’m considering or planning to include: This polished brass faucet, with a fireclay apron-style sink, our current fridge that’s coming with, a new range and possibly these sconces.

Naturally, I am still working on additional details, like sourcing countertops and pendant lights for the island and breakfast table. But excited to share more soon!

Stay tuned next week for an overview of the bathroom plans! And be sure to check out the One Room Challenge Blog and follow along with the guest and featured participants alike 🙂



2020 In Color: A Look at This Year’s Trends

Your home has always been your castle, but your interior spaces probably found new importance this year as COVID forced many of us to stay at home for work, school, and recreation. Those of us with cheery, bright indoor spaces had a big starting advantage, but if you had to shelter in place in a dreary grey basement apartment, you may well have begun thinking of renovation.

Bland colors, cramped spaces, and mismatched design elements may be just a minor annoyance if you are at work every day 9-5 and spend your evenings out. Once you spend 24 hours in the same place all week long, a little investment in your long term comfort level becomes a necessity. You start thinking about the big picture, like painting your living spaces, and the important details, like accents such as door handles and window dressings.

Colors matter. They can inspire confidence or give a sense of chaos, promote optimism or make you feel apathetic. A well-chosen color palette has the potential to completely change the atmosphere of an indoor space, and a simple color switch can transform a cluttered, uneasy area to a place that always seems full of peace and relaxation. 

At the beginning of the year, the home improvement website FIXR ran an extensive survey about color trends in 2020. This survey provides some helpful insights into what colorscapes are trending in 2020, and which color schemes are likely to soon be dated. 

Who is Doing Painting Projects?

The vast majority of home renovation experts surveyed suggested that couples—and especially couples with kids—were most likely to carry out painting projects in 2020. While the singles among us can wield a paintbrush as well as anyone else, this statistic makes sense: when you’re living with someone else, if either partner makes it a priority, the paint job gets done. That gives your home twice as much chance of getting a new coat of paint. What’s more, walls in homes with children tend to fall victim to chips, scratches, and impromptu undesired artwork that might need covering. 

Painting the Indoors: Your House, Your Way

When queried on interior paint colors that would be popular in 2020 of the experts surveyed suggested cool neutrals. 20 percent suggested jewel tones would become popular: think bright, saturated colors. 14% suggested warm neutrals, and 9% cast a vote in favor of other color schemes and pastels.

For the living room, 45% percent of experts suggested white as the most popular color in 2020, followed by warm grey (40%).  Mushroom, hazelnut, and mint were mentioned as other possibilities, but the vast majority of homeowners are likely to choose neutral, easy to match colors for their living room walls. 

For small spaces, 37% of experts recommended the use of pale blue. Gray/green was the follow up color, with 22% of the votes. Other suggestions were sand and ivory.  These colors could be accent colors, too; used for door knobs or window frames. 

Exterior Paint Jobs: Working Toward Curbside Appeal

Fixr also asked the experts what color someone who wants to sell their house in 2020 should paint the exterior. If you plan on long-term residence, you can go with any color in the book, but if you’d like to get a good price on your house, neutral colors are recommended. White and grey tied for the top two color suggestions, with cream lagging behind as a distant third and dark green in fourth place. 

It’s easy to see why this is the case. A white or grey exterior looks tidy, clean, and even a little stately. It may not trumpet individualism, but most prospective home-owners will not be expecting a house with their personal mark already on it—and they definitely don’t want yours.

Gray: On the Way Out, But Still Staying On

One telling question on the survey probed deeper on the subject of grey. It had good popularity rankings for both interior and exterior paint, but not quite as solid of a following as it has in other years. Is gray on the way out?

The answer turns out to be yes. Only 20% of experts responded that gray is still popular. 57% responded that gray is waning, but people will still use it. 14% suggested that while gray is waning, fewer people would use it. 9% of the home improvement experts felt that grey was over, finished, done. 

While grey is still a good color option this year, you may want to consider choosing another trendy color if you want a home that continues to be trendy without a new paint job. Warmer neutrals will do the trick for home interiors, and white is a never-fail choice for the outside of the house.

Paying attention to trends is important if you want your house to sell well, but it’s not everything. Whatever improvements you decide to make, in colors or doorknobs, make renovations that set the mood you want for your home: a peaceful, joyful atmosphere where you and those you love can relax and feel at home.

One Room Challenge

Spring 2020 One Room Challenge Highlights 

2020 has been anything but ordinary and the One Room Challenge is no exception to that. When the featured and guest participants alike signed on for the 6-week challenge, little did they know the rollercoaster of an experience they were in for.  

From a delay in commencement, to COVID related shipping delays and restrictions, to navigating weeks of social unrest, these interior designers displayed an abundance of flexibility and grace as they made their way towards the finish line. After 8 long weeks, the results are in and they were definitely worth the wait! Below are a few of the participants that we’ve selected to highlight:

Dwell by Cheryl

First up is Cheryl Luckett of Dwell by Cheryl Interiors. Cheryl revealed a revitalized and colorful kitchen that we absolutely love. In her own words, “I feel like I live at Disney World. For me this is the HAPPIEST place on earth.” Which makes us all the more glad to have played a role in her kitchen transformation. Pictured below is Emtek’s Melon Knob in Satin Brass:

Left: Melon Knob with Regular Rosette; Right: Melon Knob with Quincy Rosette + Quincy Deadbolt| Credit: Cameron Reynolds Photography

Clark + Aldine

Danielle and Michael of Clark + Aldine are super stars! They tackled their first floor open concept kitchen and dining space and the end result is spectacular. The french doors that lead to their office features Emtek’s Round Knob with Modern Rectangular Rosette in Satin Brass as well as the 6″ Flush Bolt in French Antique.

Design Maze

Tim Lam of Design Maze really blew it out of the ball park with his open concept kitchen and living room makeover. He created a soothing and tranquil modern space topped off with Emtek’s Helios Lever and Cabinet Edge Pull both in Flat Black which contrasts beautifully with the neutral colors throughout the space. Also, who wouldn’t mind that incredible view?

Featured: Helios Lever in Flat Black, Cabinet Edge Pull in Flat Black | Credit: Design Maze

Coco & Jack

Steve and Alyssa Terpstra of Coco & Jack, yet another dynamic duo, placed Emtek hardware throughout their master bedroom renovation. Starting with their closet space they utilized Emtek’s Cabinet Egg Knobs and Traditional Brass Robe Hooks in Unlacquered Brass. In their bathroom they creatively used another Cabinet Egg Knob to DIY their shower door! We are beyond impressed.

Other products used throughout the space include the Modern Brass Towel Bar, the Modern Brass Paper Holder, and the Modern Non-Keyed 9″ Lockset with Round Knob in Flat Black.

This season of the One Room Challenge was definitely one for the books! We congratulate everyone who participated and look forward to seeing their work circulating the web.

Seeing Emtek hardware out in the world bringing joy into people’s lives is always a delight. So if you spotted an Emtek item that you love or want to further explore our catalog head on over to for additional information on where you can purchase our hardware. We hope that you’ll consider Emtek for your next big renovation!

Tips & Best Practices

How to Improve Your Work From Home Experience

We’re halfway through 2020, and one thing is certain: this year is one for the books. We at Emtek, like many others, are feeling the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and are doing what we can to remain positive and hopeful. We’ve found that channeling our energy towards things that can be controlled, such as beautifying our personal spaces, is an easy and accessible way to lift our spirits and in turn make our time spent at home more enjoyable.

We’ve compiled a list of best practices when working from home, with a bit of our favorite home design tips added:

  • First and foremost, establish a routine and do your best to stick to it to promote a sense of consistency. Get dressed for work in the mornings (informal clothes are ok!), have breakfast, make your bed, etc. Giving structure to your day can help ease anxieties.
Design by @gowlerhomes | Photography by @jaceycaldwellphoto
  • Having a dedicated coffee station (with Emtek hardware!), like the one featured above, can help make a ritual of your mornings. Start your day off right with a cup of coffee, tea, or whatever makes you feel energized and ready to tackle the day’s activities.
  • Be sure to give yourself breaks. Get up and move around every so often to stretch your legs and help get your blood circulating.
  • Speaking of moving around, make it a point to take walks outside while taking appropriate safety measures during your breaks or lunch. Be mindful of your mental health needs, as spending extended amounts of time indoors can have negative impacts.
  • Have a dedicated workspace – whether that’s a desk, kitchen table, or living room. Whichever makes the most sense for you! The goal is to promote a sense of separation between work and home. So whichever space you’re able to carve out in your home for work, make sure that work only takes place there.
  • Work/personal life boundaries are important. Only work when you’re on the clock and try to maintain your usual work hours. The better you are at maintaining these structures in place, the easier the eventual transition back to the office will be.
  • Communicate your boundaries and expectations to the people you live with so when you’re on the clock, you can minimize distractions or intrusions.
  • Play music or podcasts if having background noise is something you like. Something not too distracting though. Listening to music you aren’t as familiar with tends to be less distracting.
  • Check in with co-workers and try to maintain social interactions. Not having those daily in-person interactions at the office over coffee or in the break room can often lead to feelings of isolation. Being intentional with our communications can go a long way of helping everyone through these difficult times.
  • Have a to-do list, attainable short-term and long-term goals. As we’ve all witnessed this year, being flexible is key as things can change in the blink of an eye. Having this list will help you stay on top of your tasks as well as prioritize appropriately.
  • Try rearranging your “home office” to best suit your needs. If it’s possible, place your desk by a window or where there is plenty of natural light. Open your windows to allow fresh air to come in. Switching a few things around can give your home a whole new look and brighten up your days.
  • Beautify your home with economical touch ups, clearing out the clutter, keep things tidy, add fresh flowers or new plants. These small changes can end up making a big difference.
  • Finally, simple DIY projects can go a long way in beautifying your home and making it an overall more comfortable place to work in. New hardware on your desk or on the door to your office can be a small and easy upgrade that will make you happy every time you touch either!


Emtek X Kim Wolfe

Kim Spradlin Wolfe does it all. She is the winner of the 24th season of the reality television show, Survivor, a mother of three adorable kiddos, and a talented interior designer. She is truly a modern-day renaissance woman! 

Kim recently took on the hefty project of turning a damaged house into a family friendly home. The Texan ranch home had previously taken quite the beating including getting hit by a tornado! But that didn’t deter Kim from taking on this renovation. She had a vision for the home’s potential and she was determined to bring that vision to life.  

That’s where we came in. We partnered with Kim to adorn her home with hardware that would tie together her desires for style and functionality. 

Filled with an abundance of natural light, Kim wisely opted for an open concept kitchen, dining and living area. The cabinets are topped off with our Wire Pulls in Flat Black. The bright closet doors feature our Brisbane Pulls in Flat Black.  

The Emtek love continues throughout Kim’s home. Rancho Lobo also includes Emtek’s Freestone Extended Pulls and Square Pocket Door Mortise Lock. The classic look of Flat Black is complemented nicely with a sprinkling of Satin Brass throughout the home.  

Our Freestone Extended Pulls in Satin Brass found a home in Kim’s adorable kitchenette. Her door is secured with our chic EMPowered Motorized Touchscreen SMART Keypad Baden Entry Set with interior L -Square Tribeca SELECT Lever. 

Overall, we are blown away by the end result of Rancho Lobo and are proud to have been a part of the process of creating this beautiful home for an even more beautiful family.  For more information on Emtek hardware please visit and find a dealer near you!

renovated bathroom with Emtek hardware.
One Room Challenge

Fall 2019 One Room Challenge Recap: Undecorated Home

It’s been a couple of months since the Fall 2019 One Room Challenge officially ended, but we’re still not over these jaw-dropping renovations! We were so blown away by the season’s transformations, we just have to keep showing them off. So sit back and enjoy while we look back at these iconic spaces:

First up in our blog series of One Room Challenge recaps is Megan of Undecorated Home. She completely reinvented her daughter’s bathroom, which doubles as a guest bathroom. She started out with a space that used to be a source of insecurity…

…Then, fast-forward six weeks, one covered up door, one closet removed, re-tiling, and a whole lot of interior design magic later… and voila!

A new and improved bathroom from interior design heaven! Megan simultaneously added so much to this space while also making this space feel significantly bigger and brighter.

Megan also integrated a double vanity, new lighting fixtures, and a transom window to boot! However, the part that we’re most excited about is the hardware, of course. In this case, we are especially thrilled because this bathroom is completely decked out in Emtek hardware!

Greeting you at the entrance is none other than Emtek’s Round Knob with Modern Rosette in Flat Black. A grand entrance isn’t really grand without Emtek, am I right?

Next in your line of sight as you step into Megan’s bathroom is the vanity, which displays Emtek’s Cadet Cabinet Knobs and Freestone Cabinet Pulls both in Flat Black. Functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Then, immediately to the right are Emtek’s Modern Brass Double Hooks in Flat Black. Why just hang your towels when you can do it in style, you know? Same goes for our Modern Brass Towel Bar! No detail can be spared!

Finally, the MVP of this room is, of course, our Modern Brass Paper Holder in Flat Black. Where would we be without this indispensable piece of hardware?

There you have it! Undecorated Home’s bathroom renovation is truly an Emtek wonderland. For more door, cabinet, and bath hardware inspiration and technical information visit Be sure to keep an eye out for the newest season of the One Room Challenge coming soon!


Halloween Decor Ideas for Your Front Yard

Last year, visiting a haunted house was on the Halloween agenda for one-fifth of Americans. Designing your own haunted-house inspired yard can really amplify the spookiness in your neighborhood, and creating the decor for it can get the whole family involved.

Everyone can help with easy-to-make ghosts, tombstones, and cobwebs. It’s a time for your imagination to take flight—the more outrageous the better. One of the best parts about Halloween decorating is that you don’t have to cut straight or paint evenly to have the spookiest yard in your neighborhood.

Leaves are not doing your lawn any favors. In honor of Halloween, the leaves can stay there—for that brief window of opportunity, because a spooky lawn is an unkempt lawn. In fact, you can use the leaves in your “tableau.” Rake leaves into a big pile. Place a pair of old boots sticking out of it. Voila! You have a dead body on your lawn.


Haunt your yard with as many floating ghosts as you want. All you need are balloons (mylar balloons stay inflated longer) and yards of gauze or cheesecloth. Cut the cloth material at different lengths to drape in layers over the balloon. Use the balloon string to hang the ghosts on the front porch or from the trees. Personalize the ghosts’ faces with a magic marker.

Source: Darren and Brad (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Pumpkin Balloons

Blow up orange balloons and paint scary or silly faces on them with a magic marker. Similar to the balloon ghosts, hang the pumpkins as you’d like using a thin string or transparent fishing line. You can also tie them down around hedges or on the ground level of the porch.


Source: Dushan Hanuska (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Tombstones can be made out of wood, styrofoam, or cardboard. You can find a tombstone template guide online for design ideas or do them in free form. After all, tombstones are old, worn out, and look spooky when lopsided. Paint your cut out using shades of gray and brown. Let the paint streak and drip, adding eerie texture. You can also try to dab at the paint with a wet sponge for additional texture—whatever will make them look old and decrepit.

With a magic marker or black paint, add some clever inscriptions. “I told you I was sick” may be trite, but it never fails to get a laugh.

Source: Susannah Anderson (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Escaping Bones

Scatter around skulls and bones as though they are rising up out of the ground. If you decide to make tombstones, add the skeleton bones in the ground in front of the tombstone to amplify your makeshift graveyard.

Glass Jar Luminaries

Use recycled or store bought glass jars of all sizes and shapes to create luminaries. Making sure there is a large enough neck to insert a candle. Wash and rinse the jars. Then rinse again in rubbing alcohol and let air dry. Apply acrylic paint in Halloween colors of your choice to the outside of the jars. No need to be precise. The rubbing alcohol will leave the paint transparent in spots and streaks. With a magic marker or black paint, draw on faces. Tea lights are the best kind of candles to use, you can also use battery operated tea lights. They light the faces from the bottom up for an eerie ambiance.


Use rolled cotton or store bought polyester spider web material cut into 3-to-6-inch lengths. Hold the cotton and pull at the fibers. You can pull those fibers right, left, up, down, diagonally—it’ll keep stretching without tearing apart. The fibers allow you to stick the cotton to nearly all textured surfaces—front door frame, porch, trees, shrubs, and fencing. When you want to join two pieces of cotton together, attach it with a firm-hold (sticky) hairspray. Stick a few plastic spiders here and there for extra creepy look!

Source: Popsugar

Front Door

Simplicity is key when it comes to decorating your front door. Turn your front door into a giant monster or mummy. Use white party streamer paper to criss-cross a mummy-like pattern and use black and white paper to create the eyes. You can do a similar technique to create a frankenstein inspired door, using green streamer paper. For an even more simple door decoration that’s not as bold– cut out bats on black felt in varying sizes and scatter around your door with double-sided tape.

Not all Halloween decorations have to be scary. Create a festive wreath using black, orange, and gold ornaments in assorted sizes, mix it up with plain or patterned ones. You can also decorate the plain ones with a magic marker if needed. Using a glue gun, attach the metal top to the ball. Thread the balls onto a macrame ring at random until you have just enough room on the ring to close it up with Gorilla Tape. Place a bright bow to the top or bottom for an additional element.

If you want to create the perfect background, for Halloween night, change all your light bulbs, inside and out, to red ones. Before you know it, you’ll have the spookiest yard on the block!

About the Author:

Katie Kuchta

Katie Kuchta is a gardening guru, outdoor living expert, and self proclaimed foodie. She can often be found cooking in the kitchen or on the hunt for the best tacos, follow her on Instagram @atxtacoqueen.


How to Improve Your Home for Profit

Many people opt for DIY projects to improve the value of their home. Some projects are simple and require little knowledge while others may take some time and research. Regardless of your skill level, there are ways for you to increase the value of your home without the help of a contractor. Here are a few DIY ways for you to help sell your house at a good price.

Add Some Paintbrass-kitchen-bin-pulls

Painting is one of the easiest ways for you to increase your home’s value and attract buyers. Newly painted spaces look cleaner, brighter, and more customized. Just be sure to stick with muted and neutral tones to appeal to the widest audience.

If  you’re really on a budget, there’s no need to paint all of your rooms or even all of your walls. Accent walls in key spaces can have a similar effect on home buyers and the value of your home. Try a sponged, textured accent wall in the dining or kitchen area. The splash of color will make the home seem more inviting.

Update door and cabinet hardware

white-interior-door-knobsThis is a quick and easy task that makes a huge difference. Often, door knobs and cabinet pulls end up looking outdated before the rest of our décor.

Replacing them with newer models can bring a whole new design feel to your kitchen and/or bathroom.

Emtek offers a wide variety, sure to satisfy any DIY home decorator. Even better, usually all you’ll need to switch out old hardware with new is basic tools and a little time.

Redo the Bathrooms

Along with kitchens, bathrooms are key points in the house for increasing value. A well-decorated, luxurious bathroom is a major selling point and is not too
crystal-hardware-bathroom-vanity-cabinetsdifficult to achieve. If you have plain, frameless mirrors, take them down and replace them with framed, decorative mirrors. You can either shop at sales to find inexpensive options, or you can frame the old mirrors yourself. Be sure you have basic fixtures like towel racks, hand towel holders, and appealing lighting. Go for decorative but not ornate and be sure all the metals and designs match each other.

Freshen the Landscaping

People love to see walkways edged by flowers and healthy shrubs. Following the vibrant plant life to the front door is bound to put potential buyers in a good mood. A well-landscaped house tells buyers that the house has been well cared for while helping the house to look clean, neat, and homey. You should also do your best to find hardy plants that will not require a lot of upkeep and are drought resistant. Telling potential buyers that they can have a beautiful front yard with minimal effort on their part is certainly a great way to get people to pay a little extra for your home.

Listen to Your Realtor

landscapeYour realtor is going to be the best person to advise you on what will improve the value of your home. They have plenty of experience with what’s in style, what most people like, and what people will pay more for. If you want to know where to get started, ask your realtor.

They will be able to offer some different projects for you to spruce up both your home and its value.

DIY projects are a great, inexpensive way for you to boost your home’s value. While a contractor may be able to do bigger projects such as add a deck or patio, you don’t necessarily need any big changes to make your house more desirable. All you need is a few gallons of paint, a mirror or two, some flowers and the advice of your realtor.

About the Author:

Paul Denikin began learning the ins and outs of DIY home repair while making his home better fit and more accessible for his daughter, Maggie, who has special needs. Paul wants to continue to help special needs parents like himself, and offer them a source for ideas. And that’s why he created, a website that offers home improvement project how-tos and other accessibility information. When Paul isn’t being handy around the house, he likes to take Maggie to the movies on the weekends.

Image Credits:

All images by Florence Lam with home design in Boise, ID by Clark and Co. Homes.