Page 1


Transform any small space, 2

Outdoor fixes for higher ROI, 3

Add light to a room easily, 3

Easy DIY projects, 4

Squeeze in extra bathroom storage, 6

Secure your home pre-vacation, 3

Beautiful decor from wood pallets, 5

Cost-effective bathroom trends, 7

Timeless kitchen designs, 6

Marble: The '80s comeback kid, 7

Published Saturday, April 8, 2017


journaL trIbune Spring Home Improvement

How to transform any small space


BrandPoint uring the 1950s, the average-sized American home was just around 1,700 square feet. Fast forward to today, and the average size has increased to about 2,600 square feet, accord-

ing to the U.S. Census Bureau. While many Americans think the bigger the better, there is a growing trend of homeowners around the country opting to downsize to tiny homes, condominiums, apartments or just smaller single-

family homes. Deciding to scale down is driven by many reasons - the quest for less maintenance, parents recently becoming empty nesters, an increase in the cost of living or simply looking to live a

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greener lifestyle. However, having less square footage doesn’t need to mean skimping on style or function. If you are planning on downsizing, here are four tips for thoughtful small space home design. 1. Think durable material that can handle double duty. As people continue to downsize, it is important to maximize space by having rooms work double duty. If your home isn’t large enough to accommodate an eating area and an office, have your kitchen island work as both. 2. Less is more. According to popular belief, it is better to fill a space with several small pieces of furniture. However, design savvy professionals and homeowners are turning this idea on its head by using fewer, yet larger pieces to furnish living rooms, bedrooms and din-

Saturday, aPrIL 8, 2017 ing rooms. By doing so, this creates an optical illusion of space and adds a designer’s touch. 3. Make a statement. When designing a small space like a bathroom, thoughtfully selected wall colors can make a huge difference. Add oversized art, large mirrors to bounce light around the room, and open shower to pack a punch in a small space. 4. Bring only what you love. It may seem obvious, but when moving or scaling back on your next home, be sure to take an inventory of everything you own, and only bring items that make you happy. Downsizing is a great opportunity to really ask yourself, “Do I love this and do I need it?” When you have only the possessions you love surrounding you in your new space, it will automatically feel bigger.

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SATURDAY, APRIL 8, 2017 BrandPoint armer temperatures, budding trees and blooming flowers are all lovely parts of spring, but what you really look forward to is the start of vacation planning season! Deciding where to go and what to see, making arrangements and planning your wardrobe are all exciting aspects of summer vacation planning. But before you pack up to leave on your getaway, be sure to take care of the most important asset you’ll be leaving at home - your home itself. 1. Stop the mail. Home safety experts agree: a stuffed mailbox is a sign of an empty home. The United States Postal Service allows you to request a vacation hold on your mail up to 30 days before your depar-


ture date. Go to to see if this service is available in your area. You should also put newspaper and package delivery on hold, too, as uncollected newspapers or parcels in front of your house could also alert others that you’re not home. 2. Turn off water and gas. If a water or gas leak occurs while you’re not there to address it, the emergency could cause significant damage to your home. You can reduce risks by turning off water flow to appliances like the clothes washer. To conserve energy and money, you can also turn off the gas flow to your water heater. 3. Adjust the thermostat. You don’t need to spend money to heat or cool your home to a comfortable level when you’re not there

JOURNAL TRIBUNE Spring Home Improvement 3 to enjoy it. Turn down the thermostat, but No one wants to come home to smelly, don’t turn your HVAC system completely spoiled food. Empty the trash and arrange off. Extreme temperatures can harm your for a neighbor to put the trash at the curb home and its contents. A programmable on your scheduled pickup day. Unplug thermostat can take care of temperature all small appliances like the coffee maker, adjustments for you while you’re away. A toaster ovens, food processors, etc. touch-screen interface makes it easy to 6. Power down electronic devices. program the system, plus a free downloadItems like computers, TVs and phone able app allows you to control the therchargers all draw power while plugged in, mostat from your smartphone, no matter even if they’re not switched on. Turn off where you travel. Just be sure to leave your and unplug electronic devices to reduce internet connection active at home so your power usage in the house and protect thermostat can communicate with the app electronics from power surges while you’re while you’re away. away. 4. Put lights on timers or sensors. 7. Secure the garage. This is especially A well-lit home looks lived in and is less important if your home has an attached appealing to burglars. Put outside lights garage with direct access into your home. on sensors so they’ll turn on when the sun Most garage doors have a simple bolt lock goes down. Use timers to turn interior that can be engaged from inside to prevent lights on and off at appropriate times. the door from being raised. Remember 5. Prep your kitchen. Go through the refrigerator and pantry and throw away any to also lock the door from the garage into food that could go bad while you’re away. your house.

Outdoor improvements:

Yield higher ROI for less money


BrandPoint enovation season is approaching. Do you know what home improvements will give you the best return for your money? Here’s a hint: step outside. Those that yield the best return on investment are generally exterior improvements.


Interior projects like a minor kitchen renovation or bathroom upgrade return a decent percentage of your initial investment when you sell your home - about 80 percent and 65 percent, respectively, according to Remodeling’s Cost vs. Value report. However, they can also cost tens of thousands of dollars. By contrast, exterior projects like adding a deck or replacing a garage door deliver similar high rates of return, but for far less cost. Adding a composite deck can cost around $17,000 and yield an ROI of more than 65 percent, while a garage door typically costs less than $2,000 and returns nearly 77 percent of your investment when you sell. In fact, six of the eight improvements with the best ROI on Remodeling’s report were exterior projects, and their average payback was nearly 75 percent.


Here are popular exterior projects that offer high ROI, according to the Cost vs. Value report: • Roof replacement - A midrange roof replacement costs approximately $20,000 and returns nearly 69 percent of the investment. What’s more, a new roof helps protect your entire home from weather damage and can improve curb appeal. • Composite deck addition Costs vary, but Remodeling bases its evaluation of ROI on a cost of about $17,000. At that price, adding a composite deck delivers ROI of 65.2 percent. Of course, the value of your deck will depend on many factors, including the quality of the building

products you choose. • Siding replacement - Another exterior feature that protects the whole home and greatly affects its curb appeal, new siding can cost around $14,500. When you sell your home, that new siding will recoup about 76 percent of your initial investment. • Garage door replacement - Older garage doors may lack modern insulating qualities and a shabby-looking door can drag down the look of your home. Replacing the garage door costs roughly $1,700 and returns nearly 77 percent of that amount at the time of resale. • Steel entry door - The single exterior home improvement with the greatest ROI is also one of the cheapest and easiest to do. Replacing a wooden door with a steel entry door will run you about $1,400 and you’ll recoup more than 90 percent of that cost when you sell your home. Exterior home improvements not only enhance your enjoyment of your home and help maintain its security, they’re also the first things potential buyers see when they pull up to the curb. When you want to make cost-effective, high-ROI improvements, making exterior upgrades is money well spent.

Light solutions:


BrandPoint house with ample windows can win your heart with its sun-drenched rooms and warm breezes wafting through. The truth, however, is that even a home with windows galore can have rooms that feel dark and cave like. What’s more, interior spaces like powder rooms, laundry rooms, mudrooms and closets often have no windows, making them feel small and dark. No one wants rooms that look like caves - not even if your house has an actual “man cave” or “woman cave” in it! Fortunately, a few smart decorating tricks and some budgetfriendly, high-impact enhancements can help brighten rooms and relieve that cavelike feeling.

Sunlight solutions

Of course, the sure-fire way to get more light into a room is to add more windows, but that’s not always cost-effective. Daylighting systems can bring sunlight from a rooftop down into a room, allowing natural light to illuminate dark spaces where light from windows can’t reach. Another option is to amplify the sunlight coming into the room. Strategically positioning mirrors can help reflect natural

When your house feels like a cave light to dark corners. What’s more, a large mirror mimics the feeling of a window, making rooms feel bigger and brighter.

Window dressing

Maximizing the amount of light that comes in through the windows you do have is easy. Keep curtains light and airy, and use blinds or shades to control the amount of light coming from the window. Install curtain rods 2 feet wider than windows so that when curtains or drapes are open, they don’t block any of the window or the light coming through it.

Decorating tricks

Finally, don’t overlook the power of decor in making a room feel bright and welcoming. Lighthued walls of white, cream or pale yellow or blue not only make a room feel bigger, they evoke the visual qualities of natural light. Large windowless rooms, like a basement play room, can benefit from large framed art, such as a seascape, mountain scene or city skyline. Filtered overhead light can also create the effect of a natural light source. Drape light-colored, opaque fabric above a bed, so that the cloth conceals the overhead light fixture.


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BrandPoint hese five simple home improvement projects are easy, affordable and can be completed in three hours or fewer.


Mirrors are timeless decor options, but the frames can look dated over time. Breathe new life into an old mirror by painting the frame a rich, modern color that pops within the current color scheme. Another idea is to clean

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the frame and adhere mosaic tiles along the edge for a crafty, custom look.


Old hardware makes any room look like a relic of yesteryear. A complete replacement can be costly, so instead opt to paint existing hardware. Simply remove and clean to eliminate grime. A tip for painting hardware is to use an old egg carton. Turn the egg carton upside down, secure the hardware to the egg cups and spray away!


Dingy doors can get a stylish update with minimal effort when you add some interesting detailing to the panels. Leftover wallpaper, for example, can be adhered to the panel sections for an eye-catching look. Another fun option, especially for kids’ rooms, is to spray paint panels with chalkboard paint. Then kids can customize drawings and messages whenever they’d like with chalk markers.



Those old lamps still have a lot of life left in them - they just need a fresh color and finish. Metallic colors are trending for 2017, so add a modern touch to treasured lamps with a fresh coat of spray paint.


Paint Protective gloves and eye wear Drop cloth to protect surface Sandpaper Tack cloth Instructions: 1. Set up a spray area by covering work area with a drop cloth. Make sure it is in a wellventilated area. 2. Read the spray paint can label for proper safety and application instructions. 3. Prep chair surface by lightly sanding. Then wipe down the surface with a tackcloth to remove dust and particles. 4. Apply even coats of paint to the chair in a side-to-side motion. Slightly overlap each spray, working from the top down. 5. Recoat, per instructions, until the chair’s surface is completely covered. 6. Allow paint to dry completely.





Wood chairs are a household essential, but because they are used so frequently, they suffer a lot of wear and tear. There’s no need to replace when the finish is dull; just add some colorful pizzazz by painting with spray paint. No primer is needed, plus it dries in 10 minutes or less so you save time. Follow the simple directions below to revamp your own wooden chairs:

When you’re selling your home, the front yard gives buyers their first impression. Go beyond well-trimmed hedges and green lawns by building decorative fixtures such as a bench, flower crates made of reclaimed wood or other such projects that combine craftsmanship and taste.


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DIY projects

JOURNAL TRIBUNE Spring Home Improvement





SATURDAY, APRIL 8, 2017 BrandPoint he saying, “what’s old is new again� has been around for years, but most recently represents a popular trend in interior design - upcycling old items with a new purpose. An unusual hero of this new design trend is the wooden pallet, which can easily be purchased at any hardware store. With some creativity and know how, these inexpensive items can be re-purposed to create a personalized statement in your home that you’ll love.



One way people are adding new life to their walls is by paneling them with reclaimed wood. To achieve this look, purchase a number of pallets, cut them into various sizes and arrange them on your wall. To enhance the natural beauty of the wood and to show off your own personal style, pick a few

of your favorite stain colors and apply them to the wood. If you are looking for bright and bold colors or subtle cottage inspired tones, check out water-based wood stains. It’s a deep penetrating stain that offers an array of colors, so you can create a display of contrast and patterns on your walls that can be truly stunning. After staining your wood pallet, don’t forget to protect it with a clear protective finish.


If you’re someone who is always looking to free up cabinet or counter space, use a wooden pallet to create a rustic mug holder. All you need to do is add hooks to a few of the wood slats for the mugs to hang from. Get creative with this pallet by painting a design or phrase such as “But First, Coffee� on the top wooden slat. Add some dimension

Turn discarded wood into beautiful decor

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JOURNAL TRIBUNE Spring Home Improvement 5 bedroom a makeover, consider lengths and widths, arrange the building a headboard for your bed boards so they span the width of out of pallet wood. Gather your your bed. Attach a few long pieces wood pallets and apply pre-stain across the back to serve as crosswood conditioner to prepare the beams that hold it together. The bare wood surface. Apply your variation in sizes will create a jagged favorite stain color. Using different top and make a big statement.

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JOURNAL TRIBUNE Spring Home Improvement BrandPoint s a reflection of the ever-changing American lifestyle, kitchens have evolved over the past 100 years from a space that was once viewed as a utilitarian work-room in the back of the house, to become the centerpiece of the home. While trends come and go, history has made its mark on kitchen design. Transitional style kitchens are now the most popular, as evident in research such as the 2016 Design Trends Survey conducted by the National Kitchen & Bath Association. Today’s designers and homeowners are incorporating elements of past, present and future to create designs that are timeless, yet personalized to their needs. To create the timeless kitchen of your dreams, consider these staple design-elements from the most significant decades in kitchen evolution.


1920s and ‘30s:

In the early part of the 20th century, the luxury marble look began to emerge in the American kitchen, usually appearing in smaller spaces like the pantry. With marble once again making a comeback in today’s designs, incorporating the look for a pantry or island will take any kitchen from drab to fab, without the investment of a full marble makeover. To get the same look of marble in a non-porous product, look to engineered materials.


Fast forward to the 1950s, which was the start of a new era - kitchens were getting fancier, with homeowners focusing more on design, rather than simple functionality. During this decade, eve-

Timeless kitchen design tips through the decades


Oak cabinets and polished brass were all the rage during the 1980s. Brass accents are making their way back into the heart of the home once again. To get the look with a hint of retro ‘80s glam, update worn nobs and faucets with understated brass.


Watch any home improvement show, and it is more than likely the prospective buyer will have a kitchen island on their “must-have” list. We have the ‘90s to thank for that, when kitchen islands grew in popularity, allowing the host to mingle with guests while preparing the meal. When planning for a renovation, find space for an island or a peninsula for extra seating, storage space or to create a focal point.


rything from kitchen appliances to wallpaper was bursting with color. Take a cue from the 1950s color trend by starting small. If you are not ready to commit to a bold new range or refrigerator, elevate your kitchen color with a toaster oven or hand mixer in a trendy hue.


The 1960s forever changed the modern kitchen by introducing

the kitchen triangle - a model used to determine efficient kitchen layout. If you are in the process of renovating your kitchen, make sure to ask your designer about the kitchen triangle to best maximize the space.


Contrary to the bold colors of the previous decades, the 1970s welcomed muted earth


tones to the kitchen, particularly browns and avocado greens, for a calm, grounding space. Give a nod to the ‘70s - without the bellbottoms - by updating countertops with a tobacco brown tone with white and golden veins etched throughout the slab.

The 21st century ushered in stainless steel appliances and granite countertops as the epitome of the modern kitchen. While the look of stainless is not going away anytime soon, newer alternatives to granite countertops, like a sintered compact surfacing, are gaining ground. The goal for today’s kitchen is form and function, with sleek, orderly and multi-purpose living spaces. By borrowing select trends from previous decades that speak to your personality and needs, you can be rest assured you will have a timeless kitchen for years to come.

Squeeze extra storage in your bathroom


BrandPoint hampoo bottles, makeup tools, lotions, linens and laundry - the bathroom is one of the most frequented rooms in the home and clutter can collect quickly. Stop the chaos before it gets out of control by implementing some smart storage solutions. With these simple ideas, your bathroom will be the most functional and fashionable room in the house.


It’s time to say goodbye to hanging racks from shower heads and precarious corner shelving. The new Store+ shower from Sterling has customizable storage accessories, minimizing clutter and ensuring everything you need is close at hand. Sturdy shelves and accessories are easily snapped into any of eight pre-molded locations within the shower - no tools necessary. A fully accessorized wall includes four rimmed shelf/soap dishes, two 4-inch deep storage bins, and soap dishes with towel bar and two shower hooks. Plus, the back wall has molded foot ledges on either side, providing a safe, handy shaving ledge. To clean up your shower clutter for good, visit


Expand the storage potential of a small bathroom by using vertical storage options. Floor space may be limited, but by installing shelving and other smart storage options on walls,

you dramatically increase space for necessities. For example, floating shelves are an elegant and space-saving option that are easy to install over the toilet or between a mirror and a pedestal sink. That small space above the door? Perfect for a shelf to store mason jars full of supplies or those beautiful perfume bottles. Need extra space to store linens and washcloths? Install stacked towel racks on the back of your door or hang baskets on the wall and then place folded linens inside for a tidy look that keeps fluffy towels within easy reach.


From shaving and combing to primping and curling, the vanity is center stage for your daily routines. That means clutter can easily take over the countertops and drawers if you’re not careful. A few thoughtful steps will help you organize and maximize your vanity space. To start, dispose or donate of any products or tools you don’t use. Then purchase some drawer organizers or reuse small plastic containers to get items in order. On the inside of doors, install small pieces of PVC pipe vertically to store hair tools and cords. You can also repurpose spice racks on doors to hold a slew of personal products. For hair accessories or other small metal objects, a magnetic strip on the inside of a door or drawer is amazingly effective. With these simple storage ideas, you’ll cut clutter, keep spaces clean and never trip over a random bottle or towel on the floor again.


JOURNAL TRIBUNE Spring Home Improvement


Designing with the 1980s comeback kid:


These bathroom trends won't cost a bundle


BrandPoint offee bars, TVs in mirrors, smart toilets and pet-friendly amenities - a growing number of homeowners are requesting such upscale features in their bathroom design, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). Is it any wonder that association members report the average cost of remodeling a bath is between $10,000 and $30,000? However, you don’t have to spend that much to update your bathroom stylishly and easily. Here are four popular bathroom design preferences, plus tips to cost-effectively achieve these looks in your home:

Transitional is trending

According to a poll of remodeling professionals, the vast majority agreed that “transitional” was the most-requested style in bathroom settings. Transitional design allows you to blend elements of both traditional and contemporary styles. The result is a comfortable blend of sophistication and simplicity that is easy to create with only a modest investment.

Neutrals have staying power

Long favored for their ability to create an easy-to-customize color foundation, neutral hues remain in vogue in the bathroom. Whites and grays are the most popular color schemes, NKBA reports, although these colors aren’t confined to walls or floors. White continues to be the most popular color choice for toilets, tubs and sinks. In bathrooms with these pristine-toned fixtures, you can cost-effectively play on the neutral trend by adding pale gray to the walls. For a subtle effect that will also add height to the room, paint the ceiling a gray several shades lighter than the walls.


BrandPoint arble touts a long precious history in design. For thousands of years, the beautiful stone has been used to complete some of the most famous structures in the world, such as the Taj Mahal, the Supreme Court building, the leaning tower of Pisa, the Pantheon and Michelangelo’s Statue of David. However, in the 1980s, the material lost some of its classic appeal in American design, becoming synonymous with gaudy, overthe-top style. Throughout the decade, homes were outfitted with marble bathrooms, kitchens and other living spaces, accented with shiny brass or gold fixtures. Fast forward to today and marble is making its way back into homes - thanks to an ‘80s design renaissance - but designers are thinking differently about how to incorporate the look in ways that are more timeless and less ostentatious. If you’re planning an upcoming home renovation, here are five tips for incorporating the marble look.


In the foyer, marble floors make a

statement for visitors. Adding marble to the

floor is a great option since it is traditionally a smaller space - meaning more bang for the buck. Marble also adds visual interest to a home from the moment someone steps through the front door.

showers installed. Remodeling your shower can be as simple as replacing an old-style, static showerhead with an upgraded, more luxurious model. A teak shower Superior showers seat and recessed lighting above The shower is becoming a highlight of the the shower are also cost-effective bathroom, with many renovators reporting upgrades that can elevate your that homeowners want customization such as shower experience to be truly spalighting, built-in seating, benches and hand- like.


The marble aesthetic will continue to be a staple in the kitchen, as there are few countertops that look as luxurious and everlasting. However, the natural material should be used with caution on high-traffic surfaces like countertops. Considered a porous soft stone, marble requires regular sealing, and accidental spills from wine, acid or any dark liquid could easily stain the material. To get the same look as marble with less worry, consider innovative alternatives, which are constantly being introduced to the market.


The industry is bringing back yet another popular idea from the 1980s: the resurgence of the separation in the bath, with separate showers and oversized bathtubs. Homeowners and designers today are customizing the rooms with thoughtful elements that integrate better with their lifestyles and design preferences. Consider whole slabs of marble or marble-inspired surfacing to line the shower walls or floors. Use softer colors such as gray, white and cream, which will make the bathroom feel light and clean.

Aging-in-place amenities

Home design experts have long predicted that as baby boomers grow older, demand will increase for home features that will allow seniors to stay in their houses throughout their golden years. NKBA members report


Marble makes an excellent material for furniture, but if you entertain a lot or have young children, marble could be too difficult to maintain. When a simple glass of water can leave a permanent ring behind, it’s important to seek out alternative materials to get the high-end look that can withstand the wear and tear of life. Marble and its alternatives are offered in numerous colors, so do not feel the need to stick to neutral tones; a colored marble tabletop could add just the right pop of color needed to bring the space to life. The marble aesthetic can also instantly elevate the look of a living room when used around a fireplace.

INCORPORATE MARBLE INTO A HOME WITH ACCESSORIES One of the best aspects of the marble revival is that marble accessories are showing up on store shelves. This allows people to try out the trend before making a permanent decision to incorporate the material. A marble clock in the living space, a marble coffee mug or marble lamps are perfect for those seeking to incorporate the material on a smaller scale.

evidence of this trend, with more homeowners asking for aging-inplace upgrades such as grab bars, higher vanities and chair-height toilets. Replacing knob faucets with single-handle or lever-style faucets allows people with dexterity challenges to easily and safely

function in the bathroom. Remodeling your bathroom to keep pace with today’s hottest trends doesn’t have to cost a lot. With a few creative touches and versatile pieces like new faucets and hand showers, it’s possible to create an up-to-date look with a modest investment.


journaL trIbune Spring Home Improvement

Saturday, aPrIL 8, 2017

Spring Home Improvement 2017  
Spring Home Improvement 2017