Articles posted under: DIY

Jan 12

New Year's Resolutions for Your Home: Do's and Don'ts For Your Home's Value

Posted by into DIY, Gainesville, Organization

Happy New Year! It’s time for a fresh start, a clean slate. Many make resolutions to drink less, eat right and workout. But have you ever thought about resolutions you shouldn’t make? With housing prices on the rise, now is the time invest in your home to capitalize on its value. Here are five home improvement resolutions to stay away from and the solution that will help you make the most of your investment.

1. Landscaping without Forward-Thinking

Are you planning on a major landscaping redo? Curb appeal is everything, even if you don’t plan on selling in the near future. Don’t plant trees too close to the driveway. It will create havoc later by not only cracking pavement with the root system, but creating a rise on certain sections making an unsightly mess. It may also increase your homeowners policy.

Look forward 15 years and plant accordingly. Plan on placing trees and shrubbery far enough way from the foundation, driveway, sidewalks and walkways to the front door leaving plenty of room for future growth. It saves money on future landscaping, fixing pavement, and prevents homeowners insurance from increasing.

2. Choosing A Wild & Crazy Exterior Color

Are you considering painting the exterior of your home brown, green, red or that lovely shade of lavender? Be aware, be very aware.

Be aware of your surroundings and select a color that is common and will blend well with the other style and color of homes in your neighborhood. For example, there is a home in a newer neighborhood near my home with lovely neutral colored homes surrounding it throughout the subdivision. However, this particular home is fire engine red. While it’s nice to be different, consider your surroundings so you don’t look out of place.

3. Lackluster Front Door Appearance & Hardware

Does your front door or entryway leave a lot to be desired? Is the hardware rusty or the lock a bit challenging? A potential buyer doesn’t want to walk up to a home and be met with challenges before they even walk through the door. If a realtor has to finagle a lock or traverse a rugged front walkway, a buyer will wonder what else hasn’t been properly cared for on the inside of the home.

Create an inviting entryway with a clean walkway free of leaves and other yard debris. Adding a potted plant or a wreath is also a nice touch. Be sure hardware is clean, rust-free and in proper working condition.

4. Choosing Wild & Crazy Interior Colors

Do the colors in your home appeal to a select few due to a loud color palette or unique taste? How about the trim throughout your home? Is it clean and neutral or eccentric?

If you’re planning on selling, embrace neutral tones. Only 10% of people can see beyond what they see as they walk through a property. Anything taste-specific is difficult for buyers to overlook when selecting a home. Taste-specific decor can include wallpaper, family pictures, foliage (faux or real), wall art etc. Creating a home full of clean, neutral colored walls and trim will sell a home faster.

5. “Updating” the Fireplace

Is your old, dated, brick fireplace not the focal point you’d like it to be? Resist painting the exposed brick as it may reduce the value and appeal of your home.

To bring new life to your fireplace, simply update the mantle and leave the beautiful exposed brick. Replace the outdated mantle with a clean, sleek looking, custom stained mantle and keep the exposed natural brick creating a warm, eye-catching centerpiece.

May 26

Simplifying Stains: Your Easy Guide to Stain Removal

Posted by into DIY

Every day most of us have a stain situation that needs a solution whether on laundry or outdoors on the driveway. For most, my Resolve stick (looks like deodorant) works wonders on just about everything. However, there are those times that a Resolve stain stick just can’t cut it. See how to remove stains from just about anything.

Ink – To prevent the stain from spreading, create a “dam” around it with petroleum jelly. Then apply isopropyl alcohol with an eyedropper or a clean toothbrush. Dab with a cotton ball and mineral spirits to remove any residue. Let dry and then rinse with a dish-soap solution.

Chocolate – If laundry presoak fails, dab 1 tsp. ammonia in 1 c. water. Rinse and wash (Don’t use on wool or silk)

Red Wine – Cover the stain with salt to absorb excess; wait 10 minutes and brush off. Put garment in cold water; gently rub out the spot.

Coffee – Stretch the fabric over a bowl and carefully pour boiling water through the stain from about a foot above. If the coffee had milk in it, follow with an oil solvent, like Carbona Stain Wizard Prewash. If it contained sugar, follow with a pretreatment product, like Resolve or Shout and let sit for 30 minutes before washing.

Grass – Grass stains on clothes can be removed with an old toothbrush and plain white toothpaste; just make sure you use a paste variety and not a gel. Squeeze a small amount of the toothpaste onto the stain, then dip the toothbrush in clean water and use it to scrub away the stain.

Blood – To remove spots of blood from clothing, use 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. Soak the stain with the peroxide, use your fingernail or the blade of a butter knife to help loosen and scrape away the blood, then rinse it away with more hydrogen peroxide.

Another method for removing blood from clothing is to wet the stained area of the fabric with water, sprinkle it with plain old table salt, rub one half of the stain against the other to work in the salt and loosen the stain, then immediately launder the garment as usual.

Lipstick – To remove lipstick from dark fabrics, grab a piece of white bread and remove the crust. Wad up the soft center and rub it gently on the stain until it picks up all of the lipstick. Sweep away any leftover crumbs with a clean, soft-bristled brush.

Food Grease Spots – Sprinkle the spot with cornstarch. Allow the cornstarch to soak up the grease for a few minutes, and then brush it away. The grease spot will lift right out.

Permanent Marker

Tips for concrete surfaces

One of my biggest pet peeves is an oil stained driveway. I feel it’s the first impression of what’s to come in my home and like it to be clean looking. Yes, yes, I know we’re talking about a driveway here but I have a very type “A” personality. Last month I had a cable provider at my home (I won’t name any names) and needless to say, in the 30 minutes their vehicle was in my driveway, there was one small area of oil and two very large soon-to-be stains. I was in a pinch for time and threw kitty litter on it to absorb it thinking I’d have to come home and pressure wash. However, since I caught it right after the fact, it completely came out. Relief, who has time to pressure wash anyway?

If you already have a grease or oil stain that has been there a while, dissolve 3-4 ounces of TSP or TSP phosphate-free detergent in 1 gallon of hot water. Pour on the stained area and let sit for 20 minutes and scrub with stiff brush working from outside to the center of the stain and rinse thoroughly.

If you have a concrete surface that hasn’t been sealed, wash it as needed to prevent stains with TSP available at hardware stores. For a rust stain, use a solution of one part citric acid crystals and six parts water and fuller’s earth to make a paste. Apply it to the area of rust, let dry, and scrape off and the rust stains should be gone.

Do you have a cleaning tip you’ve discovered and would like to share? Please post it in the comments below.

If you found this article useful, please hit the “Share/Like” button below so that others can benefit from it too. Thanks!

Consumer Reports, How to Clean Practically Anything
Good Housekeeping, March 2013
Real Simple, August 2014

Dec 26

Office refreshers

Posted by into Apartments, DIY, Organization

I love my little home office area, but I like to refresh it every once in a while so I don’t get bored and end up sitting in front of the TV (my chiropractor also likes this idea). Here are some DIY projects and products that will add a little flair to your space.

Clockwise from top left:

1. This atlas cork board set from Urban Outfitters is cute and makes you look smart and worldly.

2. A Creative Mint won us over with this great idea: Mark dates on your calendar or planner with colorful washi tape. That way everything is color coded and bright.

3. These maple and brass rulers by Best Made Co. are beautifully well designed. This isn’t a ruler to stick in a drawer — it’s begging to be displayed on your desk.

4. These drawer liners by Hammocks & High Tea are bright and fun. They’re sure to make you smile.

Clockwise from top left:

1. The folks at A Creative Mint have another great idea: Hang some photos and mementos with neon washi tape straight to the wall. Create your own fun, bright gallery!

2. We love the idea of monochromatic pencils in this simple initial mug. We saw the combination over on Annixen‘s blog.

3. Painted embroidery hoops as mini cork boards that pack a punch? We’re already on our way to Michael’s. These are adorable. The Voilet Hours/Project Kid is bringing it.

4. We got all giddy when Eva Black took us on a tour of Lindsay Stetson Tompson’s home studio. Those drawers are our favorite, and you can grab them at IKEA.

Clockwise from top left:

1. OK, so we’ve got a think for cool cork boards. How else are we going to get all of our cool finds up on the wall? For a more typographic approach, try these Pottery Barn Kids Harper corkboard letters.

2. A Beautiful Mess took us on another home tour of Sarah Sherman Samuel’s abode. We thought this super simple but very chic black ribbon inspiration board idea in her studio was great. Don’t you agree?

3. There’s something about fancy desk accessories that just makes us happy — including this great collection of fancy scissors. Want to snag yourself a display-worthy pair? We’re pining for this Hay Shop pair.

4. Fellow Fellow gets crafty with another great way to use all of that washi tape you’ve been hoarding: Make temporary polka dots that look like wallpaper! They’re simple to make and add a lot of pop!

Dec 16

Ringing in the New Year with style

Posted by into Apartments, DIY

Are you already planning the perfect New Year’s Eve party for you and some friends? If you aren’t, you might want to after seeing these ways to make the evening extra special.

Clockwise from top left:

1. Make your own coasters (and save your tabletops!) with this DIY project from Martha Stewart.

2. Make things extra festive with this diamond piñata from Prospect Goods. Looking to save some money? Reveiller has an awesome DIY that makes it super simple to make your own.

3. Help guests keep track of their cocktails with this quick and easy solution from Jentertaining: Use washi tape on the side of their glass and write their name on it.

4. These fig, lobster mushroom and taleggio tarts from Cannelle et Vanille look so delicious! We’d love to nibble on them at a soirée.

Clockwise from top left:

1. Not enough sparkle in your party? We’re pretty sure this DIY gold sequin heart from 100 Layer Cake is just the thing you’re looking for.

2. We love the sparkly detail at the bottom of this dress we saw over at Chic Vintage Brides. Doesn’t it just make you want to spin around a little?

3. This fig, vanilla bean and cardamom-infused vodka from Tasty Yummies is the perfect base for a cocktail to complement that fig tart.

4. Every host needs to have a bottle opener on hand, and this one from Poketo is simple but chic.

Dec 9

Decorate your apartment for the holidays

Posted by into Apartments, DIY

The holidays are here, and we’re all about spreading the cheer. So grab your rainy day craft box, make a cup of hot cocoa, crank up your favorite Pandora holiday station (might we recommend this one?) and let’s get to crafting!

Clockwise from top left:

1. Need to create a tree but don’t want to buy one and haul it inside? Check out this tree made of photographs (it’s the first image in the slider). If you’re going for a more dramatic look, the page has 14 other ideas to decorate for the holidays in black and white.

2. This paper straw wreath is simple and adds a great pop of color to your space.

3. Trim your tree (or your walls!) with four homemade garland ideas from Freutcake. These are so cute.

4. Blow Up! studio created a DIY piñata tree for Anthology magazine. The only thing better than a holiday tree is this adorably fringed one.

Clockwise from top left:

1. We didn’t think we could like a garland of fall leaves any more — until we saw 6th Street Design School’s glittery version.

2. These images from Elle Decoration’s Christmas issue over on Petra Bindel’s site are so lovely. We’ve got our eye on those patterned pendants hanging from the ceiling. A Subtle Revelry has a great round up of 25 different types of garland you can make to decorate your space year round.

3. These bright, yarn-sewn ornaments are super easy to make and add so much color to your decorating. You could put them on your tree or even hang them as a mobile. The DIY from Mr. Printables comes with a template you can print out for the shapes, and the best part is that this project is totally kid friendly, so grab a little one and get crafty!

4. If you’re looking for something a little more natural, Designlovefest has you covered with this holiday wreath project. It’s a little organic and wild in the perfect way.

Clockwise from top left:

1. We’re digging the idea of temporary wall art using washi tape. This deer head (check out those antlers!) is so much fun.

2. If you believe that everything that glitters is gold, you’ll love this diamond balsa wood ornament project from A Beautiful Mess. We supposed you could really paint it any color you like, but we’re partial to gold this year.

3. We’ve seen a lot of metallics and neutrals paired together in decorating lately, and we love how it looks sophisticated and striking all at once. This paper fan banner from Somewhere Splendid can be customized with letters (theirs reads JOY) that can be removed if you want to display it after the holidays.

4. And then, there was this wreath. We saved our favorite project for last. While this golden wreath by The Design Confidential looks super sophisticated, it’s ridiculously easy. It’s made of paper straws and string!

Dec 3

Make room for your winter coats

Posted by into DIY, Organization

Winter is here, and most of us are running out of closet space. Coats and jackets take up a lot of room, and if you’re like me, you don’t have them hanging in your closet all year for that very reason.

Well this year I didn’t know what to do. I just don’t have room for them, and when I tried to squeeze them in my closet, they took up so much space I couldn’t get to anything else. So I did a quick search on some of my favorite blogs and found a reader of Adore Your Place had the same problem I was dealing with and asked Cathy for her advice. She suggested a really chic DIY coat rack project, as well as two hanging wall racks in case you don’t have the space for a standing one. I can’t wait to make this! And it’s a great idea for dorm room organization, since closet space is always at such a premium.

If you want to make one yourself, check it out on the Adore Your Place blog.

She also has a killer organization board on Pinterest. If you like to stay organized, this is the place for you. Check it out!

Mar 26

DIY home organization

Posted by into DIY, Organization

I don’t know about you, but looking through my room, I notice 3 areas that are screaming for an extreme makeover: my make-up area, my jewelry corner and, the worst one, my closet.

So after doing nothing for what seems like the beginning of time, I have decided to do something about my mess. After all, putting on my make-up in the morning wouldn’t take so long if my eye shadow brush didn’t always go missing, and getting dressed wouldn’t be such a task if my favorite work skirt wasn’t always MIA.

Below are pictures of how I fixed these problems. I found these online and used them as models to follow. It is so easy and I now get ready in the morning in half the time I did before.

Jewelry organizer
You can make a simple jewelry organizer using a repurposed frame, some corkboard, fabric, really any materials that you wish to use. I used an old picture frame and a shower loofah instead of wire and it worked just the same.
Here’s a great tutorial from I Heart Organizing.

Make-up board
This one is just as cool and I found it at College Girl Living. It is a magnetic board in a frame. You then place magnets behind all your makeup, and violá! Your makeup is now hung up on the wall and super accessible every morning. It saves me tons of time! Trust me on this one.

Your Closet
Well, there is no way around this one. You have to go at it the old fashion way. Evaluate your closet and look around for ways to save space or use it more effectively. Then go out and buy hooks, shelves, etc. to build your new closet. It takes a bit of time and energy but it is definitely worth it when you know where every item of clothing is placed each morning. Sure your closet might not look like this one, but you can make the best of the resources you do have.

Mar 8

Crafty organization tools

Posted by into DIY, Organization

So today I was scanning through Pinterest and found sound pretty neat projects to aid in the organization of your home and wanted to share them with you. I personally did all of them and I can honestly say that each and every one of them is currently saving me time and space around the house.

Go ahead! Give these a try, and you won’t regret it.

This is my personal favorite. I can’t express how useful and handy this is. I come in from work and through my keys on a wall hanger and put the mail in a box. I made new and old mail boxes, and they are incredibly time savvy when it comes to sorting out the bills. You can customize these to your needs. The to-do list is also really helpful for grocery shopping lists and writing down errands I need to run.

This one is adorable. Get a few colorful jars or even just plain ones. It adds some flair to the room. Keep these in the garage, kitchen or just about anywhere you need those little tedious items stores and don’t want them to be lying around all over the house. I just wish I would have found this earlier.

And last, a very smart thing to do that will save you time and energy. This one is a no-brainer: stick an empty tissue box to your full box and ta-da! You have a trash can attached to it. It works wonders when you have a cold and don’t want to get up. Plus when the dirty tissues one fills, the other one empties and wa-lah, you have another empty one to attach to your new box.