3 Quick How To Fix A Squeaky Floor Tips

Posted on December 13, 2018

Squeaky wood floors are a common problem, and it’s usually an inexpensive do-it-yourself repair. Here are some tips for silencing the squeak: Sprinkle baby powder, baking soda or powdered graphite over the squeaky floorboard and work it into the seams. This will lubricate the wood and should keep the floorboards from rubbing together and squeaking. If … Continue reading "3 Quick How To Fix A Squeaky Floor Tips" Read More >>

Freshen Up Your Bathroom This Weekend

Posted on December 11, 2018

Haute Hardware Switch out your dated, dusty knobs and pulls and replace them with their chic, shiny counterparts. This quick, low-cost project (can you even call it that?) has the power to transform the entire aesthetic of your bathroom design. Proof: this, white double vanity with inky countertops and bright, brass hardware that oozes glamour. … Continue reading "Freshen Up Your Bathroom This Weekend" Read More >>

Color Maximalism Will Be Hot In 2019

Posted on December 06, 2018

At home design expo Design Chicago this month, Sherwin-Williams director of color marketing and design Michael Plank broke down his team’s forecast for the color trends that will dominate design in 2019. Among the hip hues Plank sees taking off in the coming months are sun-washed oranges and tans inspired by the American West, rich galactic jewel tones and, maybe most eye-poppingly, a mix of vivid purples, golds, reds and emeralds. Color maximalism and the idea that “more is more” when it comes to color, Plank says, may soon have its moment. Taking a Chance on Color While gray and white walls and finishes are still a homeowner favorite, some designers and color experts say they’re seeing more clients open to the possibility of vivid color. “I am seeing a shift away from gray as the whole color scheme,” California-based color and design consultant Diane Hendrix of Reflective Color & Design says. “I think people need an uplift these days — more energy than gray can provide. Gray continues to be a great neutral but is now taking a back seat and being used to support rather than dominate a room.” Opting for a rich spectrum can give a space an emotional as well as practical boost. Decorative artist Heidi Holzer of Heidi Holzer Design & Decorative Work in Connecticut says dark colors in particular can come in handy as striking backdrops and to camouflage mundane pieces such as TVs and exercise equipment. More vibrant shades, she says, are just as useful for bolstering moods. “Not only do we want our spaces to be a reflection of ourselves, but we want them to be a place of relaxation or maybe motivation in certain instances,” Holzer says. “Studies have shown that color has the power to do this.” Inspiration Is All Around  Maxed-out color inspiration can come just as easily from a wildflower bouquet as it can from a favorite glass vase. Holzer says she looks to nature as well as well-loved pieces such as velvet armchairs, braided rugs or window treatment trim that a homeowner already has to drive her colorful work. If you’re still not finding a palette you love, Florida interior designer Tracy Stern suggests exploring a paint store and collecting swatches that speak to you. The Best Places to Play With Color Once you’ve landed on the colors you want to play up, figuring out where to show them off can be a challenge. Here are a few high-voltage ideas. Small space, big wow factor. Incorporating a lot of color and pattern into a small space can be a good starter project for homeowners who like the look of bold color combinations but aren’t quite ready to commit a full-size living area to it. Stern recommends experimenting with a powder room by mixing colors, patterns and adventurous wallpaper. A designer can help find the right combination. “I like the peep-show quality of surprise when you open a door to something dramatic,” she says. Fancy up the front entryway. Greet guests with a dose of color as soon as they step in the door. Using bold color in the front entryway of a home makes an immediate impression, Stern says. “It sets the tone for the entire house.” Celebrate the ceiling. The ceiling is another area where an unexpected burst of color can go a long way. “It’s a wonderful place to add color that is less intimidating but also a great conversation starter,” Holzer says. Consult with a design pro to echo the overhead pop in throw pillows, art and other accessories, as shown here, or anchor other bright colors throughout the room. Concentrate the color. If the ceiling doesn’t feel like the right place to go all in on color, a feature wall, like this one with emerald wallpaper, can create a major statement and focal point for the space. Here, equally powerful doses of color in the headboard, chairs and bench keep energy spread evenly throughout the room. Color Is Personal There are no set rules when it comes to over-the-top color. Instead, designers suggest homeowners embrace the combination that brings the kind of energy they’re looking for into a space. That can mean taking into consideration things such as texture, scale and the room’s lighting during the time of day the homeowner expects to use the space most. “Color is a very personal thing,” Holzer says. “We look for the visceral reaction that a client has to certain colors to determine the direction and then also take into account the other elements of design.” Read More >>

10 Insights On Working With A Kitchen Designer

Posted on December 04, 2018

Enlisting an experienced pro can take your kitchen project to the next level. Here’s how to make the most of it. With the average major kitchen overhaul costing homeowners tens of thousands of dollars, it’s no wonder that 85 percent of kitchen renovators turn to a professional for help in ensuring that their money is well spent. In many cases, that professional is a kitchen designer. A kitchen designer can take the sometimes overwhelming task of revamping a kitchen — whether it’s updating tired finishes or reimagining the entire look and layout of the space — and help homeowners navigate the process. But how can homeowners know they’ve picked the right designer? Or are asking the right questions? Or are investing in the right places? Here’s a breakdown of what potential renovators can and should expect when they hire a kitchen designer. When and Why You Should Consider Hiring a Kitchen Designer Specific kitchen designers’ services vary, but generally these professionals guide the homeowner through the kitchen design process, from initial consultation to installation. Not every upgrade necessarily calls for a kitchen designer. Paula Greer, senior designer at Bilotta Kitchen & Home in New York, says an interior designer or other design pro can help with minor changes such as replacing a countertop or backsplash. It’s when new cabinets and other big-picture elements come into play that a kitchen designer can really make life easier. “A kitchen designer is going to have a background that other people — architects, interior designers — aren’t going to have because they specialize in kitchen cabinetry and the functionality of the kitchen cabinetry and how everything fits together,“ Greer says. Kitchen designers also can help homeowners look at their kitchens with fresh eyes, suggesting new layouts, appliance configurations and room plans the homeowner may not have considered. Kitchen designers typically are familiar with the latest products and trends, can recommend (and potentially later manage) reputable subcontractors and suppliers and often can even help with details such as product warranties, Jennifer Gilmer of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath and the author of kitchen design book The Kitchen Bible, says. While investing in an independent kitchen designer’s services instead of going it alone or working with a customer rep at a big-box store can be pricier, a good kitchen designer also will be well versed in spending where it counts and making your dollars go further. “Regardless of who designs the kitchen, it’s an expensive undertaking,” Gilmer says. “If a client is going to spend the money to remodel the kitchen, then using a kitchen designer will ensure that it’s done as well as possible, both in form and function.” How to Narrow Down Your Options Where to look. With so many kitchen design professionals out there, finding the best fit for you and your project can seem daunting. “Sometimes it’s not the paint color or cabinetry detail but more of a ‘feeling’ that the designer created in their work,” designer Brenda Helms of Edmond Kitchen & Bath in Oklahoma says. “Look for projects that convey the feeling you hope to achieve.” Who does what. Different kitchen designers structure their roles and professional affiliations in different ways. You may come across: Independent designers. These pros may have contractors they work with regularly, but they typically don’t have an official tie to particular products or brands. Designers affiliated with a particular product line or showroom. Designers in this category generally know the cabinetry, flooring, lighting or other lines they represent well and play a dual role as designer and dealer. Designers affiliated with a larger design-build firm. Firms that have a kitchen designer on staff or on contract can give clients a one-stop-shop experience. What to look for. When studying potential designers’ profiles or websites, make note of styles and projects you like but also of the quality of the photos used, as that can be an indicator of the pro’s level of experience and polish, Gilmer suggests. Mentions of awards, articles or design philosophies you feel strongly about in “About Us” pages can be similarly illuminating. If a pro’s portfolio contains a variety of styles, colors and materials, it might be a sign that he or she is a good listener and designs around different clients’ wishes, Gilmer says. Of course, a pro with a lot of similar-looking projects may simply specialize in a particular style, and if that style matches yours, this could be a smart pick too. The Interview Process Once you’ve found a handful of pros who seem promising, scheduling at least three in-person meetings should give you a glimpse into a few different perspectives. There’s a lot to cover in those initial conversations, but overall, a discussion of the designer’s process is key to understanding approach and personality. “If they don’t seem really confident in the process or explaining it, or how they manage the project, that’s going to be a red flag for you right there that ‘maybe this isn’t what I’m looking for,’ ” designer Emily Holley of Merit Flooring, Kitchen and Bath in South Carolina says. Questions. It’s also good to be prepared with a number of questions for each designer, such as: How long have you been a kitchen designer? What services do you provide? (Services might include design only; design and some product sales; design and all product sales; design, product sales and labor; or electrical plans.) Which brands or products do you represent, if any? What are the steps in your process? How long would you estimate my project will take? How do you charge? Is there a separate design fee or retaining deposit? Do you offer a complimentary consultation and then a comprehensive estimate for the total project? How do you handle budgets for things that might be added during the process? How do you source and vet your subcontractors? Do you have references available? Ask to see samples of each designer’s work. Past design drawings also can offer insight into the designer’s process and professionalism. Can he or she provide detailed elevations or 3D renderings? Think about the big picture. If your kitchen space opens into another part of the house, such as the living room, make sure the designer is taking the full space into consideration. “A skilled kitchen designer looks at the space holistically,” Gilmer says. Trust your gut. As important as other factors are, finding a designer you can work closely with for several months may be most vital to your overall experience. If there’s a firm or a showroom you like but none of the designers you talked to wowed you, ask a manager if you can meet with another designer on staff. If a potential designer’s line of questioning about something such as budget gives you pause, trust it. Does the designer seem to be really listening to your wants and needs? If you don’t get a good feeling about any of the potential designers you meet with, don’t settle. Find someone you love. Shaping Your Vision Once you find the designer you want to work with, keep in mind that it probably will still be a while before work gets underway. Drafting a design plan everyone is happy with can take three or four more meetings as you collaborate on priorities and possibilities after the initial plans are discussed. The design stage is also the time to be clear about what you’re willing and able to spend, as well as the time to keep an open mind design-wise. “Before rejecting an idea, I would like the client to understand that the designer has logical reasons for making certain design decisions,” designer Larry Rosen of Maryland-based Jack Rosen Custom Kitchens says. “If these reasons are not persuasive enough, then the plan should be changed.” Carving out a rough timeline (emphasis on rough). Spending two to three months on planning is pretty typical, pros say, though it can go faster. The remainder of the project varies widely, though Gilmer estimates that most of her kitchens are completed within about six months of her being hired. Even so, she says it’s best that homeowners err on the side of caution. “If you’re told that the project will take two months from the day of demolition, prepare yourself for three months,” she says. “This way, if it takes 2½ months, you’ll be fine.” Being realistic. No matter how meticulously you and your designer calculate your plans, things happen. Despite what some TV makeover shows may portray, issues crop up and slow things down or prompt last-minute changes. Keeping a flexible attitude can prevent some of the most common snarls of tension in the kitchen design process. Your designer may not know the exact time window of your plumber’s arrival, for instance, or a lighting fixture part may be faulty and have to be reshipped. Patience and a realistic outlook can save you and your designer many headaches. “I tell a lot of my clients, ‘You’re going to love me in the beginning because you’re so excited. In the middle, toward the end, you’re about ready to kill me because I’m still in your home and I have not finished.’ But by the end, you love me again because you’re so happy,” Holley says. Second thoughts. Maybe you’re not so sure about the backsplash you ordered now that the countertops are installed, or maybe you hate the way the pendant lights look against the new paint color. Be honest with your designer about any late-in-the-game doubts. A good designer should be able to talk you through why the initial choice will work after all or work with you to make any needed changes. This might mean weighing the pros and cons of the chosen design versus what the homeowner is now thinking, or using 3D renderings to better visualize each choice. If a change does need to be made, the impact might be just a restocking fee, depending on the situation, so homeowners should speak up as soon as they’re concerned so as not to get too far off track or incur extra costs. The finished product. Investing in a kitchen designer’s expertise can pay off in having a kitchen that works for you — and that increases the value of your home. Read More >>

12 Clever Laundry Room Tips

Posted on November 29, 2018

Get inspired to tackle your laundry room with re-purposed storage tricks. Glass drink decanters are not just for backyard parties anymore! Use a beautiful drink decanter with a spout to hold your laundry detergent and fabric softener. It’s a breeze to pour bulk-sized detergent – or make your own in a few simple steps. With clear glass, you’ll never miss a cue when you’re out of detergent. Read More >>

Smart Ideas For Built In Home Efficiency

Posted on November 27, 2018

The living room’s predominantly neutral color scheme is injected with splashes of bold color such as the citron side chair and the orange grasscloth wall covering inside the media bookcase. Metal accents with a modern edge include the minimalist curtain rods, stainless-steel coffee table base, and the aluminum ceiling-fan blades. To disguise the room’s wall-mount mini-split HVAC unit, sliding screen doors—metal mesh inside a wood frame—were made for the top shelf of the media bookcase. View more smart ideas for around your home. Read More >>

10 Intriguing Outside Holiday Entertaining Concepts

Posted on November 15, 2018

If you’re entertaining family and friends during the holidays and could use a bit more space, we’ve got easy, festive ideas on getting everyone outdoors and into the spirit of the season. You don’t have to keep the party inside! Turn your favorite outdoor space into an entertaining hot spot this holiday season. Read More >>

18 Wall Decor Ideas That Are Anything But Boring

Posted on November 13, 2018

So, you recently moved into a new place, and you finally have your furniture arranged exactly how you want it. You placed your decorative accents and hung the few pieces of art you own. But every time you sit down to relax on the sofa, those big, blank walls taunt you with their unforgivable boringness. “I need decor! I need decor!” they cry. We’ve all been there. Blank walls can be a total headache when you don’t have time, funds or ideas — but they certainly don’t have to be. I’ve rounded up some wall decor ideas for every type of person: the DIY decorator, total trendsetter, penny pincher, plant person, vintage visionary, focused functionalist and salvaging soul. Scroll through, pick your favorites and show your walls who’s boss. Read More >>

14 Smart Kitchen Storage Upgrades

Posted on November 08, 2018

The typical kitchen cabinet has a lot of wasted space. You can’t see or get to what’s in the back, so things get forgotten and food items can get outdated, especially in lower cabinets. Create a system in your existing cabinets that allows you to see and access everything in the pantry. These solid wood units allow you to customize the height of shelves and glide each unit out of the way on piano hinges. All necessary hardware is included. The kits are available in a range of heights, from 25 inches for lower cabinets to 57 inches. Lots of guests and family gatherings means you’ll have loads of extras on hand this holiday season. But where do you put it all? Make the most of the space you have with these smart kitchen storage ideas and accessories. Read More >>

Color Collections For 2019

Posted on November 06, 2018

Take a sneak a peek at next year’s color trends — they’re all about peace and relaxation. The 2019 Color of the Year, Reflecting Pool, brings a sense of calm to almost any space, especially combined with natural tones. For more great combo ideas, check out three  harmonious Color Collections for 2019! Explore the new colors Read More >>

13 Brilliant Pumpkin Carving Hacks

Posted on October 31, 2018

Click/Tap Image To View Video Many of us dream of creating an elaborately carved pumpkin for our neighbors to admire on Halloween night, but the second we start carving, we remember how difficult it is just to cut out a toothy grin. To prevent your pumpkin carving ambitions from turning into frightful fails,  here are 13 genius pumpkin carving tricks that will save you time, extend the life of your pumpkin, and keep all of your fingers intact. Helpful tips like using an ice cream scoop to scrape out the pumpkin guts and playful ideas like sprinkling the lid of your pumpkin with cinnamon to make it smell like pumpkin spice (yes, seriously) will make pumpkin carving easier and much more fun. 1.Use a dry-erase marker Instead of using a permanent marker that makes it difficult to revise your design if you mess up or change your mind, sketch with a forgiving dry-erase marker. If you want to redo your pattern, simply wipe off the marker with a damp paper towel. 2. If you’re using an artificial candle, cut a hole in the back (not top) of your pumpkin Carving a hole in the back of your pumpkin leaves the front of your pumpkin intact and ready for your design. But if you’re planning to use a real candle, you’ll still need to cut the top of your pumpkin to let the smoke escape. 3. If you’re carving the top of your pumpkin, add a notch If you’re cutting off the top of your pumpkin, add a v-shaped notch so you’ll always know which way the lid fits back on. Cutting at a slight angle and adding the notch will also prevent the lid from accidentally falling into the pumpkin. 4. Grab your ice cream scoop Rather than gut your pumpkin with an ordinary spoon, use an ice cream scoop. Not only is this tool designed specifically for scooping, but the sharp edges are perfect for scraping the sides of your pumpkin if you want to thin them before carving. 5. Carve shapes with cookie cutters If you’re planning to carve basic shapes like stars, circles, or numbers, forget the paring knife and pull out your cookie cutter collection. Set your pumpkin on its side on a flat surface, then place your cookie cutter where you’d like it to go, making sure the sharp side is against the pumpkin. Holding the cutter securely in place with your fingers out of the way, tap the cutter with a rubber mallet until it goes all the way through the pumpkin. Tip: If you’re carving a large pumpkin, it’s a good idea to thin the walls of the pumpkin first so it’s easier to punch out each shape. 6. Use a drill If you want to create holes in your pumpkin of almost any size, the easiest method is to pull out your drill. Fit the drill with the size drill bit you’d like to use, hold your pumpkin steady on a flat surface, and carefully drill into the pumpkin. Be sure to wipe down and dry off your pumpkin before drilling so that stray pumpkin guts won’t make the surface slippery. 7. Sprinkle with cinnamon Lightly dust the top of the cut pumpkin lid with a very small amount of cinnamon, then blot off with a paper towel. Make sure there is no loose cinnamon inside the pumpkin (this can be flammable) before lighting a candle and replacing the lid. After a couple minutes, the room will smell like pumpkin spice. 8. Keep it fresh After carving your pumpkin, rub petroleum jelly onto the carved areas. It will protect the surface and seal in moisture, preventing the pumpkin from getting dry and shriveled. 9. Use twinkle lights As an alternative to an artificial candle, fill a glass jar with tiny battery-powered twinkle lights for a gentle glow. 10. Follow a pattern If you’re hoping to replicate a complicated design or pretty, swirling calligraphy, print out a template to follow. Tape the paper template onto the pumpkin and use a thumbtack to pierce small holes around the outline of the design. 11. Don’t carve—etch Etching pumpkins, the process of removing just the top layers of the pumpkin surface, is much easier than carving all the way through the flesh. Using a linocutter (the one we used is just $10), a tool that’s typically used for carving linoleum tiles, you can easily carve intricate designs. Start by etching carefully around the outline of your design with a thin blade attachment, then switch to a thicker one to etch the center of your design. As you etch, hold your pumpkin steady and keep your hand out of the way of the blade. 12. Color your pumpkin with food dye Once carved or etched, you can dye the exposed pumpkin flesh with liquid food dye diluted with a small amount of water. Simply brush it on with a paintbrush. 13. Fill a pumpkin vase with a grocery store bouquet If you’re turning your pumpkin into a vase, take a pre-arranged grocery store bouquet, hold the stems right below the flowers, and trim all of the stems at once to a length that fits the pumpkin. Place the shortened bouquet into your pumpkin and you’ll look like a florist even if this is your first arrangement. Read More >>

8 Kitchen Storage Ideas

Posted on October 24, 2018

Try some or all of these solutions to declutter and organize your kitchen cabinets, drawers and pantry items. 1. Utensil drawer insert. If you care about getting your flatware and serveware in order, check out designer and Houzz writer Yanic Simard’s column from this week. He looks at nearly two dozen solutions and tips for organizing drawers and decluttering utensils, such as the tiered drawer insert shown here. 2. Built-in pantry cabinet. If you think there’s no hope for your compact kitchen cabinet, you may be wrong. Clever storage solutions like this built-in pantry system can help squeeze vital inches and organizational capacity from any size space. 3. Appliance garage. If you have often-used small appliances but want to keep your countertops free and clear, an appliance garage is a great solution. The system keeps your toaster, mixer and other appliances within easy reach while allowing them to be shut away when not in use for a clutter-free look. 4. Mini spice shelf. In tight spaces such as the kitchen in this narrow Washington, D.C., row house, you’ve got to get clever with your storage. Since countertop and cabinet space is limited near the cooktop, the homeowner installed a slim shelf that holds often-used spices and other ingredients. In this case, a little effort goes a long way. 5. Undercabinet pot rack. Speaking of having things within easy reach, this home in Scotland offers a smart solution for copper cookware. A long rail beneath high-hanging upper cabinets puts pots and saucepans always at the ready — and on gorgeous display when not in use. not in use. 6. Step-stool cabinet. Figuring out where to put a step stool might seem like a trivial matter, but when you use one often and don’t want it cluttering up the kitchen, the situation can become a bit frustrating. 7. Back-of-island cabinets. Island seating is a popular choice for many homeowners. One thing to remember is that having seating there doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t also have storage there. Many homeowners use this undercounter cabinet space to store large serving platters or rarely used appliances. 8. Island carts. Since we’re on the topic of island storage, let’s take a moment to appreciate the storage versatility of compact island carts. These workhorse pieces are great for small kitchens, providing an extra chopping and prep surface as well as Swiss army knife-like storage for things such as dish towels, bottle openers, serving platters and more. Read More >>

A Dream Limestone-and-Wood Home on a Cattle Ranch

Posted on October 17, 2018

For this working ranch in Spicewood, Texas, architects from Furman + Keil broke down a new-build house and outbuildings into discrete, Charles W. Moore-influenced spaces that take advantage of landscape and views. The entryway to what the architects call Dogrun Ranch is a hinge point between the children’s quarters, at right, and the main living area, at left. Stone quarried from Granbury, Texas, covers the exterior, and a Spanish cedar front door, designed by the architects, greets visitors. The main house’s living room ceiling features exposed trusses and purlins and rough-top longleaf pine flooring that lend a slightly rugged feel to an otherwise contemporary ranch design. The architects specified standard-size, off-the-shelf windows where possible, using on-site butt glazing for the corner. Monopoint light fixtures provide additional illumination when daylight fades. Windows: Kolbe; light fixtures: Lighting Services In the living room, the same exterior Granbury stone is carried through to the hearth, which features a modified fireplace made with fire-clay brick. Fireplace: Rumford Conceived as a building within a building, the kitchen is wrapped in tongue-and-groovewood paneling painted in Benjamin Moore’s Dry Sage. The kitchen island is topped in mesquite, and countertops and backsplash are basaltina. A custom gun-blued steel hood covers the stove’s exhaust system. Island task lighting is from a trio of pendants by Visual Comfort. Ripsawn white oak cabinetry and a built-in wet bar form the back side of the kitchen space. A recess in the tall master bedroom helps bring a more intimate scale to the space. Wall sconces: Christian Liaigre A marble countertop in the master bathroom echoes marble in the shower and bathtub surround. Clerestory windows above the mirrored wall and custom teak cabinetry allow daylight to reach the toilet room behind it, and the bathroom opens to a screened-in porch beyond. The owners can take evening refuge on a custom hanging bed in the screened-in porch. Dogrun Ranch features a detached guesthouse with a clean, contemporary feel. A central living, dining and kitchen area lighted with a George Nelson ball pendant anchors the guesthouse and is flanked by bedrooms on each end. The guesthouse also serves as a pool cabana for the owners. The deep porch overhang shades the house’s full-height glass to reduce sun exposure and help keep temperatures down inside. The property also includes a kennel for the family’s cattle dogs. The outbuilding is designed in the same style as the main house, with galvanized steel supporting wood framing and roof. Read More >>

Trending This Season: 9 Splash of Color Bathroom Designs

Posted on October 10, 2018

Bright yellow, bold green and sea blue are a few of the colors that give these bathrooms pizazz. While bathrooms decked out in neutrals such as black, white, gray and taupe are trending these days, plenty of spaces are taking a different approach and inserting a shot of color into the bathroom. There are many examples among the 50 most popular new bathroom photos uploaded to Houzz from April through June this year, as measured by the number of people who saved them to ideabooks. Here are nine bathrooms with a hit of color — from a single shot of a bold hue to multiple colors applied in this small space. 1. Yellow and gray. This bathroom marries the of-the-moment neutral palette of gray, wood and Carrara marble with an unexpected shock: happy yellow cabinetry. The contrast between the centered pulls on the drawers and the offset one for the center door panel gives this piece a quirky look. Vanity: custom by Joe Worland of H & J Cabinets; cabinet hardware: Flute reveal knob, Rocky Mountain Hardware; mirror: custom by Bonesteel Trout Hall; light fixtures: Small Bluff City pendants, Design Within Reach; faucet: Waterworks; tile and countertop material: Concept Studio 2. Watery blue. The blue and green tile paving the walls of this shower reflect its location, a marina dock in the seaside town of Sausalito, California. Multilevel glazing gives the tiles their rich variation. 3. Orange alert. Colorful blue, orange and yellow wallpaper lend a tailored look to this farmhouse-style bathroom designed by Alison Kandler, but the bright clawfoot tub is what draws the eye. A checkered, painted wood floor in aqua and avocado green balances out the busy wallpaper. Wallpaper: Galbraith & Paul 4. Fuchsia funs it up. A bathroom finished in classic gray and white gets added interest from the fuchsia rug, hand towel and orchid. Note in the reflection of the mirror that the fuchsia complements the accent color in the adjacent master bedroom.  Floor: French Quarter Azul stone, Materials Marketing; bathtub, Michelangelo, Hydro Systems, Rampart Supply; rug: Surya; cabinet hardware: Martello collection, Schaub & Co. 5. Green energy. Everything in this bathroom in an Atlanta townhouse is understated except for the vanity — and, of course, the cheeky bath mat. Vanity: refinished in milk paint; countertop: acrylic blend cement, custom 6. Blue skies ahead. A bright blue ceiling sets a cheery mood for this San Antonio bathroom designed by Shea Pumarejo of Younique Designs for two growing teenage boys. The colorful backsplash is composed of wooden tiles that mirror the tailored farmhouse feel of the shiplap walls. Vanity: Pottery Barn; sconce and mirrors: Restoration Hardware; wood tile backsplash: Moonish 7. Unabashed pink and blue. Textured blue wall tile pairs with hexagonal floor tile in a similar tone, creating a soft blue bathroom oasis in the 2017 Pasadena Showcase House. In this light, the walls read a pale blush color. The window treatments add a sweet note to the room. 8. Nautical time. This children’s bath designed by Rhona Chartouni of Eclipse Designs has a nautical blue and white theme, with stripes made up of hexagonal tiles that should still be appealing as the children get older. 9. Deep teal accent wall. This bathroom designed by SGS International, also in the Pasadena Showcase House, has many of the elements popular in neutral bathrooms today: a marble vanity, faux wood tile accents, a chevron pattern and hexagonal tiles. But the dark teal accent wall to the left of the vanity sets this space apart from so many bathrooms that stick with a color palette of pure neutrals. Shower and sink faucets and accessories: Newport Brass; tile and countertop: Walker Zanger; pendant lights: Rejuvenation; wall sconce and mirror: CB2; toilet: Toto Read More >>

7 Inspiring Ideas To Make The Most of Autumn Weekends

Posted on September 27, 2018

As you plan for Halloween and winter travels, remember to savor today’s pleasures before they flicker by. We’re thick into fall now — it’s a good weekend to rake leaves, and then curl up with an engrossing book and a mug of something warm to drink. Here are seven weekend could-dos, including watching monarch butterflies and getting ready for trick-or-treaters. 1. Put fall leaves to good use. Spy some beautiful fall foliage outside your door? Before you rake and bag it, consider other uses for the leaves. They would make good mulch for your lawn or garden. Or, if the leaves are still more on the trees than on the ground, cut a bundle and bring it inside for a long-lasting display 2. Plan a winter trip. Let the chill in the air be a reminder to book that winter getaway you’ve been thinking of. Lodging in popular destinations fills up early for holiday travel, so it pays to book early. Not planning any big trips? Make a date with your calendar and a mug of hot cider to plan some fun weekend jaunts instead. 3. Get inspired with a new design book. Peruse the shelves of your local bookstore and bring home a new tome for your coffee table. Looking for a recommendation? The New Bohemians Handbook: Come Home to Good Vibes, sounds like just the thing to curl up with on a chilly fall afternoon. 4. Add warm, cozy layers and flickering light. Bring autumnal warmth and coziness to your living room with candlelight, extra-soft blankets and cushy pillows galore. Layer beds with thicker quilts, turn on the twinkle lights, and set out bowls of apples and nuts in the shell. It doesn’t take much effort, and your home will instantly feel more fall-like. 5. Help storm victims. Hearing news reports of natural disasters can leave those not in harm’s way feeling powerless to help. But the truth is, even small amounts of aid are very much needed and appreciated. If you decide to donate money, just be sure you are giving to a legitimate relief organization — sites like Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau’s Give.org can help. 6. Say hello to migrating monarchs. Every fall, monarch butterflies make their way back to the same overwintering grounds — monarchs from the eastern coast of the United States migrate to Mexico, and butterflies from west of the Rocky Mountains return to coastal California. This month, those along the migratory paths may be able to spot monarchs on their way to warmer climates.  If you’re lucky enough to live within driving distance of Santa Cruz, California, you can visit the monarchs at Natural Bridges State Beach. Guided tours of the habitat are available on weekends starting in mid-October. 7. Prep for Halloween. Candy corn? Fake spiderwebs? Check and check. If you plan to pass out candy or host a party on Halloween night, this weekend is a good time to stock up on supplies. Read More >>

Button Up Your Home For Fall

Posted on September 25, 2018

We all know the drill: You wake up on a Saturday with every intention of doing some pre-winter maintenance but ditch your best-laid plans as soon as you feel the late-summer sun on your shoulders. Take a tip from the experts and avoid putting off till next Saturday (or next year) what you can do in a snap today—whether it’s replacing old weather-stripping or adjusting the pitch of the gutters. You can always put your feet up late, when it’s time to rake the leaves. 1. Weatherproof Windows and Doors Seal gaps larger than ⅛ inch around windows and doors to cut your winter heating bill by up to 15 percent. On windows, press adhesive-backed closed-cell foam onto the bottom of the sash. Secure a loose sash by applying a strip of plastic V-channel weather­stripping in the groove the sash slides in, securing it with finish nails. Use foam strips on the sides and tops of doors, and install a door sweep on the bottom. 2. Check Your Gutters When gutters aren’t pitched at the right angle, they overflow—and can threaten your once dry . Properly pitched gutters slope between 1/16 inch and ⅛ inch per foot, directing water to the leader and out the downspout. Check the pitch by holding a level even with the gutter; on longer runs, pour in water from a hose and check the flow’s direction. Get instructions for keeping your gutters in good working order. 3. Find and Fix Cracked Concrete Cracks in your driveway, walkway, or steps are a big-time trip hazard, and they’ll only get worse if water seeps in and freezes. Luckily, if you can caulk, you can fix concrete—just make sure it’s clean and dry to start. For cracks less than a half-inch wide, squeeze a bead of acrylic latex concrete repair compound deep into the crack, smoothing excess with a putty knife. For larger cracks, trowel on a vinyl concrete patching compound, and let it cure one day before walking on it, three days before driving over it. 4. Clean Cooling Devices If you have ceiling fans, change their rotation to clockwise to push warm air down (usually accomplished by flicking a switch on the base), and while you’re at it, wipe down the blades with a microfiber cloth that traps dust. At month’s end or when the temps drop, remove window AC units. Vacuum the coils and filters, and store them in a cool, dry place, preferably covered to keep out dust and bugs. 5. Check for Holes in The Attic During the brightest part of the day or a steady rain, look for streams of light or water entering the attic through the roof or sheathing, which can lead to more serious damage (and critter invasions) if left unfixed. (Another sign of holes is black staining on insulation.) From inside, fill sheathing gaps with closed-cell polyurethane foam. Fix small roof leaks by caulking with tripolymer elastomeric sealant, which is compatible with asphalt shingles and resists UV rays. But don’t caulk large leaks, which tend to develop around chimneys or vent stacks. For now, place a bucket underneath to catch drips and stuff an old towel in the crevices to absorb moisture. Then do a more serious repair before the first winter storm hits. 6. Check Your Insulation How do you know if your attic is properly protected? It’s simple: If you can see the tops of the joists, you’ve got a problem. If the existing insulation is roughly even with the tops of the joists, add a new layer of unfaced batt insulation perpendicular to the old one, pushing the pieces together so they fit snugly side by side. On the other hand, if the existing layers are more than an inch above (or below) the joists, blown-in cellulose or fiberglass does a better job of filling the crevices. To find out how much you need, depending on where you live, type your ZIP code into the ZIP-Code Insulation Program at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. And give yourself a pat on the back for keeping up with fall upkeep. Read More >>

Adapt Your Home To Its Selling Season

Posted on September 20, 2018

Play up your home’s amenities for the season in which you choose to sell. There is a selling myth that you should wait till springtime to sell your home. While spring is the busiest season for real estate sales, people buy homes 365 days a year. If you decide you need to sell your home in the off-peak season, emphasize its seasonal amenities. Choose Your Selling Season Because many buyers prefer to move in the spring or summer, the market starts to heat up as early as February. Families with children are eager to buy so they can move during summer vacation, before the new school year begins. The market slows down in late summer before picking up again briefly in the fall. November and December are traditionally slow months, although some astute buyers look for bargains during this period. Despite these trends, not everyone’s situation will be the same. Ask yourself questions like these: How quickly do I need to move? If you need to relocate quickly for a new job or family emergency, you’ll need to sell as quickly as possible. If your moving dates are more flexible, you may be able to get a higher sale price in the spring or summer. What season will your home be most desirable? If you’re selling a lake or beach home, for sale homes will be most in-demand in the early spring and summer months. A ski chalet in Aspen would make more buyers bite during wintertime. Once you’ve chosen your selling season, play up its perks! Master these tips for a successful home sale no matter what season it is: Winter Selling Tips Clear snow and ice away from walkways and stairs. If you live in an area with lots of snow and ice, keep walking areas salted and shoveled. Buyers and agents want to see that your home is well maintained, and, of course, you’re not likely to wow a house hunter if they fall on the way in and break a leg. Learn more about boosting your winter curb appeal. Stage it outside. Even if the grass is brown and the patio is snow-covered, you can still do some outdoor staging. Tasteful winter wreaths and garlands can make your home seem welcoming. Just like inside the house, pick decorations that will appeal to a wide variety of buyers — blow-up snow globes and giant plastic Santas are probably no-nos. Learn more about staging for the holidays. Make it cozy. Clean up your windows. Fall Selling Tips Keep your lawn in shape. Just because summer is over doesn’t mean you should abandon your lawn. Patch up any brown spots in the grass, and keep falling leaves at bay with frequent raking. Get a fall garden. As your summer plants start to fade, replace them with vibrant mums or other colorful plants. Tasteful fall decorations, like pumpkins or tri-colored corn, can also add to your home’s curb appeal. Get indoor fall decorations, too. Without breaking the bank, get a few fall-colored decorations, like inexpensive window treatments or seasonal dinnerware. Fresh decor will make your space seem current and well-maintained. Repair outside lights. As the days get shorter, you may end up showing your home in the dark. Make sure your outdoor lights are clean and working — if they’re dirty or broken, buyers will get a bad feeling before they even come inside. Keep exterior photos of your home up-to-date. If you listed your home in the summer, update your online photos with brand new fall shots. Pictures from the previous season make your listing seem dated. Spring Selling Tips Whip your yard into shape. When you’re selling in the spring, you need to get your yard in shape as quickly as possible. Clear winter yard debris, and get frost-resistant plants that won’t be affected if a late cold spell hits. Or, invest in silk flowers for a touch of color that you don’t have to worry about watering. Do some spring cleaning. It’s natural to want to spruce up your space in the spring, so scrub away! A sparkling home will impress buyers and make your home seem even more appealing. Box up your winter wardrobe. Bulky winter clothes take up lots of space, so move them out as you de-clutter your closets. You’ll impress buyers with all that space. Spruce up the entryway. If your welcome mat is covered with winter dirt, pick up a new one. A clean, pretty doorway will help set the tone for the entire showing. Bring spring aromas indoors. Spring is not only a colorful season, but a fragrant one, too. Bring the aroma indoors. Scents have a profound effect on mood, so infusing scent into your decor with diffusers, candles, fresh cut plants/flowers, or incense can change the overall feeling of a space. Bring out the bright colors. Tuck away the heavy, winter flannel comforter and pull out crisp linens with coverlets for color. Bring in the spring with floral-designed spreads or colorful solids. Don’t forget accent pillows for added style and comfort. Summer Selling Tips Highlight your outdoor areas. This is your outdoor space’s chance to shine. Clean your deck, porch, patio or outdoor kitchen, and repaint or make repairs if necessary. No deck? Arrange chairs or outdoor furniture in your yard to create the illusion of an outdoor room. Make necessary repairs to your home’s exterior, including your siding and windows. Play up the pool. A pool is a huge selling point during the sweltering days of summer. Keep yours clean and debris-free, and create a seating area near the pool where buyers can imagine themselves floating through the cool water. Spruce up your landscaping. Make sure your lawn and flower beds aren’t languishing in the summer heat. Add pops of color to your entryway with potted plants. Add value and security with lighting. Frame your walkways and driveways with lights for a stylish touch. Don’t skimp on the air conditioning. House hunters will want to escape the heat so make sure your home is nice and cool. Set the thermostat at a comfortable level, so it doesn’t feel like an ice box either. Provide refreshments. Even though you likely won’t be home for a showing, greet buyers like you would party guests. During the dog days of summer, set out a cool pitcher of lemonade for buyers. Anything you can do to make them linger a little longer can only help you sell. Read More >>

Boho Style Transcends In This Home

Posted on September 18, 2018

House at a Glance Location: Eastgate neighborhood of Bellevue, Washington Size: 3,000 square feet (279 square meters); three bedrooms, 1¾ baths Year built: 1969This family recently relocated from Long Beach, California, to Seattle, leaving behind ever-present sunshine. “We moved in during the thick of winter and, boy, were we in for a surprise,” Michelle says with a laugh. “It snowed 6 inches that weekend and here we were a bunch of Californians getting off the plane in flip-flops.”With the move, the family left behind its Cliff May-designed ranch home. Michelle, who owns home decor and vintage store 6th and Detroit, sought a house that was equally architectural and one where she could easily express her late-’70s California-inspired style, this time in a Pacific Northwest setting.The 1969 home, designed by Seattle architect Omer Mithun, has everything they were looking for: “Floor-to-ceiling windows, midcentury architecture and an insane view of the horizon that made you feel like you were in the heavens,” Michelle says. Wall hanging: Ay Que Vintage; mirror: D+K Renewal; PS 2014 plant stand: Ikea; vintage gold plant stand: Mazidori; vintage wicker plant stand: Vintage Seattle Rain; white planter: Peacock & Co.; green planter: Home Depot; lamp: Mod Pop Vintage; Fireside faux fur throw blanket: Anthropologie; blanket: Etsy; plant basket: HomeGoods Before making the move, the family had just one weekend to tour homes and make a decision. After viewing four houses, it was starting to get discouraged. “The second we walked through the door of the fifth house,” Michelle says, “it screamed out to us, ‘This is it!’ ”Karim, left, Hamilton, Davis and Michelle are pictured here in their formal living room, where they spend the most time. “It was interesting to see that in our new house we still all hang out in the same room at the same time every day as we did in our California home. Creatures of habit I guess,” Michelle says. “It’s where I can lounge, work, chat when guests come over, fold laundry, play games with the kids and just ‘be’ when I get those free moments of quiet.” The entryway showcases the home’s subtle Asian design influences. “It was perfect,” Michelle says. “There was an immediate East-meets-West Zen feeling that brought an instant calm.”Desk and bench: 6th and Detroit Michelle credits her Southern California upbringing for her signature aesthetic, which often features a sunburned color palette. “My love of sun makes me gravitate toward pops of yellows and oranges,” she says. The hues also pair perfectly with a 1970s-inspired look. “I love midcentury and I love the ’70s, so I like to marry the two,” Michelle says.Sofas, rug and armchair: 6th and Detroit; metal wall art: Fremont Vintage Mall This mix of styles is seen in the downstairs living area. “You’ll see a handsome tapered-leg teak coffee table paired with a wicker room divider,” Michelle says.Daybed sofa: Overstock; Mexican serape: 6th and Detroit; rug: OfferUp; midcentury teak coffee table: Vintage Seattle Rain Michelle found this pair of midcentury armchairs and the woven side table at Goodwill. “We were on a very tight decorating budget, but luckily my love for vintage and deal hunting pays off,” she says. Houseplants decorate nearly every corner of the house. In Michelle’s words, there are “plants galore.” The lower level has wide-open views of the large, wooded backyard. “As an outdoorsy family, having the yard wrapped around the home full of the great evergreens is the boys’ perfect playground for exploring and adventures,” Michelle says. Rattan peacock chair: Vintage Seattle Rain  “My love of the sun makes me gravitate toward circles,” Michelle says. Circular shapes are seen in a number of decor items in the home. Here, a mirror with a quarter-circle pattern forms rainbow-like imagery behind a vintage floor lamp.Throw pillows: D+K Renewal The open kitchen is in between two upstairs living areas, where plentiful windows look out to downtown Bellevue and Lake Washington. The living room opens onto a deck with an outdoor dining area. “We get to dine alfresco while watching the perfect view of the sunset, hearing nothing but birds chirping. It’s magical,” Michelle says.Russell Woodard patio set: The Fair Trade Union; jute rug: OfferUp The home’s Pacific Northwest influence can also be seen in its unique round columns that run through the upper-level communal spaces. They’re reminiscent of totem poles, a symbol adopted by Seattle as a symbol of the city during the Klondike Gold Rush of the 1890s. The family room connects to a patio on one side and a deck that overlooks Lake Washington on the other. The house is larger in square footage than the family’s Southern California home, and this bonus living space gave Michelle room for her blush-colored velvet Adrian Pearsall sofa, which she calls her “biggest splurge of all time.”Adrian Pearsall sofa: Sunbeam Vintage Circles and half circles repeat in the wall art and accessories in the guest bedroom. “I tend to always lean toward natural elements, wood textures and all the plants I can get my hands on,” Michelle says.This room comes in handy when family comes to visit from California. Pillows and sheets: Jungalow; accent pillows: Myhavenhome; wall hanging and nightstand: Vintage Seattle Rain; mirror: 6th and Detroit;  A large, wraparound bed frame Michelle found on Etsy and a scalloped mirror from her shop, 6th and Detroit, are focal points in the master bedroom.Monte Viso bedspread: Hamamlique;  George Nelson cigar bubble wall sconces: Modernica; bed: Etsy; sheets: Macy’s; pillows and rug: D+K Renewal; pot: Peacock & Co.  “This home encourages play and discovery because it feels like it’s nestled deep within a forest,” Michelle says. That vibe is evident in the boys’ bedroom, where picture windows put the lush surroundings at their fingertips.Santa Fe Mission bunk beds: Camaflexi; Golden Canyon duvet cover: Circa 78 Designs; Ornos pillow cover in yellow: Hamamlique; rug: 6th and Detroit When spring arrives, it changes how the family uses the home. “We finally get to use the outdoor spaces and fulfill our yearning for indoor-outdoor living that we are so used to,” Michelle says. A bench on the front porch creates a staging area for the family’s outdoor gear — everything from rain boots to coolers to fishing poles for weekend fishing trips with the boys. Read More >>

Most Popular New Living & Family Rooms

Posted on September 13, 2018

As homeowners put not-so-big-house principles into practice, downsize into smaller homes and plan more efficient uses of space, we often see the formal living room and casual family room merging into one. Casual comfort meets luxe accents and grand fireplaces meet TVs and smart built-ins. This is the case in photos of living rooms and family rooms. Here’s a look at some of them. Shades of Gray The popularity of gray showed no signs of waning this spring. Notice the subtle color of the walls (Gray Cloud by Benjamin Moore).Detail worth noting: Yes, stylish ceiling fans do exist. This one is called Haiku. In this large family room outside Chicago, shades of gray add calmness. Color takes a back seat to the soaring ceiling, expansive windows and a range of textures, from smooth alabaster to hefty wood beams. Detail worth noting: Sometimes the scale of such a high ceiling can be overwhelming. Here, the proportions of the beams, windows, fireplace and chandelier make the height feel comfortable. No Drywall I’m not sure who gets the credit, but shiplap, tongue-and-groove paneling, butt boards, beadboard and V-groove paneling are bringing texture to many of today’s most popular family room and living room walls. Detail worth noting: The rug ties this seating area together. Smart Built-Ins Whether you need library-style book storage, a place to hide media equipment and toys, a proper place to store musical instruments or a good way to show off your favorite objects and photographs, there’s a built-in solution that will work for you. This popular shot has a variety of storage offerings all along one wall: concealed storage with drawers and cabinet doors, open storage for books, sculptures, plants and photos. There’s even room for windows. Detail worth noting: The weathered reclaimed beam that serves as the mantel is a well-worn contrast to the crisp white paint. I doubt these homeowners had unpacked all of their moving boxes before the photographer showed up. Here we’re able to visualize these lovely built-ins in their own homes filled with their own things. Detail worth noting: The metal grilles on the built-ins’ doors. This is a good way to dress up cabinets while partially obscuring the view into them. Fantastic Fireplaces This is one of the coziest family rooms I’ve seen in a while — plenty of books to choose from, overstuffed furniture, a few plaid patterns tossed about and that wonderful fieldstone fireplace. Detail worth noting: Check out the way the drapery rods are mounted into the thick crown molding. Stylish Sectionals There was a time when furniture like reclining chairs and sectional sofas scored high in comfort but abysmally low in style. Today, style has more than caught up. We find chic sectionals not only in the expected places such as casual family rooms, but also sliding into formal living rooms. Detail worth noting: The oversize lantern navigates the split-level space. It hangs over the entryway but also plays an important role in the living room. Browse stylish sectionals Another fabulous sectional cozies up a San Francisco family room within an open floor plan. Detail worth noting: The way the pillow fabrics work with the kitchen backsplash. By the way, this “sofascape” is a lesson in how to mix colors, patterns and scales of patterns when choosing throw pillows. Artful Hanging Displaying favorite family or travel photos can be tricky. How do they wind up in so many different frames and mats, looking like a total hodgepodge? Matching frames, photo sizes and large white mats tie the photos together. Hanging them in a perfect grid also creates cohesion. Detail worth noting: The coffee table, stump side table and fiddle leaf fig tree in a basket add natural textures to the room. Clever Lighting Lighting is an important part of living and family rooms, whether to read by, to highlight objects or to create a mood. In this sleek Miami living room, a soffit provides a recessed cove for overhead lighting, creating a soft glow around the tray ceiling. There’s lighting in the built-ins as well. Detail worth noting: The TV wall has hidden storage drawers cleverly camouflaged within the wood panels. Read More >>

How To Hang A Porch Swing

Posted on September 11, 2018

Warm summer evenings are meant for porch swings. Hanging one from a porch or an arbor is a fairly easy weekend project. There’s hardly anything more relaxing on a warm evening than swaying on a porch swing and watching the world go by. Hanging a porch swing is easier than it might seem: It requires only a few tools, some careful measurements and a little homeowner handiness (or the right professional). Get started this weekend, and soon you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy what may be your new favorite seat inside or outside the house. Keep reading to learn how to hang a porch swing or daybed from your porch or an arbor. Tools and Materials Porch swing of your choice Pencil or painters tape Tape measure Metal chains or sturdy rope (up to four sections, each at least 7 feet long, depending on setup) Heavy-duty metal screw eyes (up to 8, depending on setup) Heavy-duty S-hooks (up to 6, depending on setup) Drill Ladder Stud finder Level (optional) Comfort swing springs (optional) Note: Many porch swings come with a hanging kit that includes all hanging materials needed. If you purchase a swing chair that includes a hanging kit, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mounting. Before You Start Check that your porch can support a porch swing. Before the fun part of picking out a porch swing, make sure your porch is strong enough to support one. Use a stud finder to look for ceiling joists, the thick overhead beams that support a ceiling, to which you can anchor the swing. If you’re unsure, hire an experienced home builder or contractor to take a look. Choose a porch swing. There are plenty of porch swings on the market, in styles that range from classic wooden benches to backless, platform-like seats and 4-foot-deep daybeds. Look for swings made of durable outdoor-friendly materials like coated metal or rot-resistant woods like redwood and teak for a long-lasting swing. Choose a style that complements your porch and the architecture of your home. You can also turn a bench you already have into a porch swing — as long as it’s sturdy enough to be suspended by the corners — by drilling eye bolts into the sides and hanging it. The owners of this porch swing used a vintage Indian teak bench as a porch swing outside their New Orleans home. How much space you’ll need for a porch swing depends on the size and style of swing you select. In general, you’ll want to have at least 4 feet of space for a standard bench swing to swing back and forth, and more space as needed. Leave at least 14 to 16 inches on either side of the swing for clearance. Swings mounted on two chains, rather than four, require a larger space for the arc of their swing (add 2 to 4 more feet of clearance). Swings mounted on four widely set chains (a common setup for daybeds) don’t swing in an arc as much as move back and forth. Therefore, they require less additional space to account for movement. Tip: When planning, it can be helpful to mark a swing clearance box on the porch floor using painters tape. Decide to hang with chains or rope. Galvanized steel chains or thick marine-grade rope are the most common methods for hanging a porch swing. Select whichever material you prefer based on look, feel and durability, or use the chain or rope included with a porch swing. Many porch swing chains come with two long chains and two short chains. The short chains attach to the arms and back of the swing and then come up about 2 feet above the chair to form a triangle. The longer chain attaches to the ceiling.Chains offer the advantage of being completely weatherproof and friction-proof and will not fray over time as a natural fiber rope does. Ropes, however, feel nicer to the touch. If using ropes, you’ll usually need four 7-foot-long sections to attach to each arm and the back corners of the bench. How to Hang a Porch Swing 1. Attach hooks to the swing. If your porch swing doesn’t come with pre-installed hardware, attach your own. Where to install the screw eyes depends on the style of your swing. In general, install hooks on the outer sides of the swing in even, opposite points where the swing will then hang in a balanced way. For daybeds and deep platform-style seats, attach four screw eyes (two on each side) to the swing base, setting them back about 3 inches from the corners. For classic bench swings, attach two screw eyes to the outsides of the arms, set back a few inches from the end, or to the bench seat below the end of the armrest (as pictured here) and two more on the backrest, a few inches above where the armrest meets the backrest. For either setup, drill a pilot hole first and then screw in the screw eyes by hand. 2. Locate ceiling joists. It’s best to anchor into a joist when hanging a porch swing. Joists are the structural beams (usually either a two-by-six or a two-by-eight) that support the ceiling of a porch. Use a stud finder to locate ceiling joists and mark both sides of the beam and the approximate center of the beam, which is the ideal spot to mount the anchor. Don’t have joists in the right spot for your swing? If thick ceiling beams don’t happen to fall where you need them, install short beams (four-by-four) to span multiple joists. Position the short beam so it’s where you need it for hanging the swing, and then use 3-inch screws to secure the short beam to multiple joists. Proceed with the next steps, attaching the hanging hardware directly into the short beam. 3. Measure and mark where you’ll hang your swing. Set the spots for the hanging hardware between 2 and 4 inches wider than the length of the swing. For example, space the hanging hardware 62 to 64 inches apart on the ceiling for a swing that is 60 inches wide. This prevents the chains or ropes from rubbing against the sides of the swing. Do a final check on your measurements for mounting the swing to the porch, lining up where the center of the swing would fall and marking ceiling joists. You can choose to have either four ceiling anchors or two, depending on your swing style and setup. 4. Attach hanging hardware to porch. Once you’re set with measuring and marking where you’ll hang the porch swing, pre-drill holes for the screw eyes into the ceiling and screw them in by hand. If you’re anchoring onto a short beam between joists, you can also drill all the way through the beam, screw in a bolt and anchor the other side with a washer and nut. Add comfort swing springs, if using. Comfort swing springs add some bounce to a swing and can make for smoother swinging. If using, attach to each ceiling anchor, between the screw eye and the chain or rope. 5. Hang porch swing. It’s optimum to hang your swing 17 to 19 inches off the ground. If you’re using 7-foot-long chains or sections of rope and hanging a porch swing from a standard 8-foot-tall ceiling, it will fall somewhere in this optimum height range. For both hanging methods listed, it’s helpful to have a friend hold up the swing while you’re working on mounting. Chains: For chain hanging systems that use two ceiling anchors, you’ll use a short chain and a long chain on each side of the swing. (Swing chains usually come this way). On each side of the swing, attach the end of one short chain to the screw eyes in the arm and back of the chair, bringing the chain up to form a small triangle. Use an S-hook to attach the longer chain to the middle of the short chain (at the point of the triangle). Then, attach the long chain to the screw eye in the ceiling with another S-hook. Check that the swing is level by using a level or by counting chain loops. Rope: Loop four sections of at least 7-foot-long ropes through the four screw eyes on the corners of the swing and connect to the corresponding screw eyes in the ceiling. Knot the rope to hold the swing in place. Use a level to check that the swing is even. Wait to trim the ends of the rope until after you’ve tested the swing. Add a slight tilt. Porch swings and daybeds with a seat back are often more comfortable if the back of the seat hangs slightly lower than the front of the seat. In four-rope or chain setups, before tying off ropes or anchoring the chains, you may want to consider adding 1 inch or one chain link to the two back ropes or chains.  If you’re using the triangle chain setup (long chain combined with smaller chain), attach the long chain one or two chain links off-center on the smaller chain, placing it closer to the front of the chair to tilt the seat back. Give it a swing. Once the swing is mounted, sit down and give it a go. Adjust the chains or wires as necessary if one side feels slightly lower than the other, and adjust the height of the swing as desired. Once you’re happy, trim the excess ends from the bottom of the ropes or knot them up the sides. Excess chains can either be cut with a bolt cutter or hooked into a loop. How to Hang a Porch Swing From an Arbor You can follow the same general steps to hang a swinging seat from an arbor, pergola or under a deck, providing that the structure is strong enough to support a swing. Read More >>

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