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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:

xx,

Amy

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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.

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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 Emtek.com and find a dealer near you!

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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.

Ghosts

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.

Tombstones

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.

Cobwebs

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.

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How to Improve Your Home for Profit

neutral-living-room
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 DadKnowsDIY.com, 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.

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How To Decide On A Front Door That Speaks To You

By Bryn Huntpalmer

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Your front door has the potential to increase your home’s curb appeal and property value, all while keeping your loved ones protected from potential intruders. Depending on where you live, your front door must also be able to withstand any punishment that mother nature has in store – from torrential rain, freezing blizzards, gusting tornadoes, violent hurricanes, and the blistering sun, it has to stand up to the elements. Those are some serious demands on a door! The decision can seem daunting, but by comparing the virtues of the three main options for door materials, you are certain to find one that meets all of your criteria.

Wood

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Wood is the most common, and classic, choice for a front door due to its versatility and inherent beauty – and it certainly makes any home feel high-end. With a luxurious look and impressive weight, solid hardwood doors have no comparison. However, they do have the potential to stretch your budget (particularly with custom made doors). If you are looking to save a few dollars, while still having the beauty of natural wood, look for a stock wooden door with an insulated core. You’ll get the aesthetic you love with the added bonus of lowered utility expenses.

Steel

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If safety is your top priority, look no further than steel. Steel doors are tougher than wood or fiberglass, will not warp, and can be repaired with an auto-body repair bit. On top of that, steel is an excellent choice for your wallet, typically being the least expensive of all door materials. However, contrary to common thought, steel doors do not have the longevity of other doors – especially in wet, tropical climates. If you live near the ocean, a steel door may only last five to seven years under normal wear and tear.

Fiberglass

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Fiberglass strikes a perfect balance between wood and steel. Most fiberglass doors are designed to mimic real wood grain and can be dyed to look like any type of wood. They do not expand or contract in humid climates, have fantastic warranties (assuming you use the complete entry system including the frame), require virtually no maintenance, and can be expected to last upwards of twenty years. Fiberglass doors are very light, but also very strong, holding up nearly as well to intruders as steel. Manufacturers fill spaces in the framing with foam insulation, giving you excellent energy efficiency as well. Fiberglass doors have virtually no downside!

The Final Touch

Once you have settled on a door material, you can move on to the creative part—imagining all the ways to personalize your new front door. From color choice, to glass inserts, to hardware, there are so many ways to design your front door and make it match the style of your home . Your front door makes your home’s first impression, it should make a statement.  Emtek offers a beautiful array of door hardware that is guaranteed to make your front door a true piece of art that makes a great first impression for years to come.

Once you find the perfect combination of hardware, use the Retailer Locator on the Emtek website to find a local store near you.

About the writer

blog-writer

Bryn Huntpalmer is a mother of two young children living in Austin, Texas where she currently works as an Editor for Modernize. In addition to regularly contributing to Home Remodeling and Design websites around the web, her writing can be found on Lifehacker and About.com.

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Home Free on FOX

Home-Free

On HOME FREE, FOX’s new competition series featuring couples vying to win their dream home and airing Wednesdays at 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT, nine deserving couples are challenged to revive one run-down home every week. During each episode, famed professional contractor Mike Holmes (“Holmes on Homes®”) will present the couples with tasks designed to test and challenge the skills of these do-it-yourself enthusiasts. Holmes will be with the competitors every step of the way – picking apart their work and demanding they meet his high standards, while also sharing his expertise and guidance to help them reach new heights. But in a surprise twist, when the work is done for the day, the couples don’t have far to travel to get home…because not only must they work together to restore the home, they must all live together in the same dilapidated work site 24/7. The more they accomplish, the better they sleep at night.

“A home is way more than brick and mortar. So being part of this new series and partnering with FOX is truly exciting for me,” said Mike Holmes. “I’m ready to break ground with these couples. It’s going to be a lot of sweat and tears but I promise you, all worth it in the end…trust me on this.”

Emtek provided cabinet hardware for this groundbreaking show. Take a look at a few images from the first episodes to see our designer cabinet knobs and pulls in action.

Tune in Wednesdays at 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT to watch (see if you can spot Emtek!).

HOME FREE is produced by Relativity Television and executive-produced by Tom Forman, George Verschoor, Trice Bartow, Brad Bishop, Andrew Marcus and Mike Holmes. The series will be distributed internationally by ELECTUS.

 

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Finding the Next Big Thing

The design world is forever looking for the next new trend. What will be “it” next year and how can we keep up with the times? Some trends end up a flash-in-the-pan while others come to define an era of design. Shag carpet anyone? You can’t think of a 1970’s style home without it. As a hardware brand for designers, Emtek walks the tightrope of providing classic designs that will endure and appeal to the majority, while still remaining relevant with current product designs. The year 2015 brought whispers of a comeback for warm brass finishes. Emtek listened and met the next trend for design head-on.

The whispers came from design oriented magazines and blogs. Editor after editor came to Emtek asking for product in warm brass for a project or editorial placement. The finish was used in the Academy Awards Greenroom by Architectural Digest and will be featured in the upcoming fall 2015 issue of House Beautiful’s Kitchen of the Year (all with Emtek products).  But the question remained of what the design community at large thought about the finish. To garner feedback, Emtek created a new Satin Brass finish on its Lausanne entry set and displayed the stunning combination at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas.

 

Satin Brass on Display at KBIS 2015

Satin Brass on Display at KBIS 2015

The response was overwhelming. Satin Brass finish was met with uniform praise by the design community and inquiries as to when it would be available. Emtek sprung to action and released Satin Brass finish for select modern styles a mere four months later – a quick turnaround for a new product.

Satin Brass’s lifespan and mass appeal remain yet to be seen, but if the design community is any indication, we have the next “it.”

Satin-Brass-instagram

Article by Susan

SusanSig