Category Archives: Uncategorized

Small Bathroom

It seems to me like more and more of the bathrooms today are getting bigger and bigger, or maybe I have just been looking at Pinterest way too much. But really, it seems like its more and more common I see a bathtub the size of a hot tub and a shower the size of a small bedroom. I’m not saying I’m not jealous, but it’s just that I’m aware that I may never have that luxury. We are thinking of building a house one day soon, and I’d imagine the bathrooms will most likely be small. I have found some great ideas for small bathrooms and they still look great and modern and stylish. Just because it’s small doesn’t mean it can’t look awesome! It’s more cozy!

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This bathroom is great! You can see it’s pretty small, but totally practical. The tub/shower is probably my favorite, what a sweet idea.

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Sometimes there’s just gotta be a bathroom upstairs! And with that comes slanted ceilings because of the roof. The window in this bathroom really helps make it appear larger than it really is. It also brightens it up. You may also notice it’s only a tub, no shower. A great idea because the ceiling would definitely get in the way of standing, so hopefully you like baths over showers!

 

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Here is another bathroom with a great use of space. If there’s no room, make the sink smaller. I like the choice of sink, it’s nice, clean and modern.

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And for really really really tight spaces, like under the stairs, make it a simple half bath! You won’t need a large sink or even cabinets (you basically just keep extra hand towels and cleaning supplies in there, they can find a new home), just the sink and toilet will do. They added a shelf and attached the soap dispenser to the wall and i am sure you can find a basket or something to keep extra toilet paper in. The simpler the better.

 

DIY Home Projects

Welcome to the world of DIY! Thanks to some helpers (like Pinterest) everyone is trying to get on board with all the DIY projects. In case you didn’t know, DIY stands for “do it yourself”… I thought I’d explain, because I saw this abbreviation everywhere and had no clue what it meant. So if you were/are like me I thought I would save you the hassle of Googling what it meant. Your welcome.

I bet you could find a DIY tutorial of anything… and I really do mean ANYTHING. I have attempted some of these myself and have succeeded, but then I have also greatly failed on others. I’m trying to figure out a way to ease my way in to what I am trying to talk about in this post, but I’m not sure it’s working… I thought I would list some DIY HOME projects that I found. DIY is (most times) cheaper than paying a professional to come in and do it for you. It’s a great way to get the handyman/woman out of you. You may never know just how talented you are in this area… until you try!

Let me first talk to all of you smart phone, smart pad, or anyone that’s a fan of a good app users out there! Did you know there are home improvement apps out there? It makes projects a lot easier when you can SEE the work rather than read an instruction manual. There are apps like, DIY to Go – this app has video clips from the DIY Network and full episodes from your favorite DIY Network shows! There’s also a Home Depot  and Handy Man DIY app and more!

Check out more of the DIY Home Improvement Apps here.

I have rounded up a few of my favorite DIY home projects from a post I fount called Your Best DIY Projects of 2012!

A great book shelf using kitchen cabinets!

And here is another built in bookcase using kitchen cabinets for the base.

DIY Old Barn Door

Barn doors are really huge right now, so why not try and make one yourself? This person made theirs all under 10 bucks!

How to Install Faux Beams

Awesome headboard!

A Family Room Makeover

Stacked wooden crates as a cabinet

Painted wood floors

Check out lots more of the 2012 Best DIY home projects here!

Kitchen of the Year

I believe I can speak for everyone when I say, it’s a pretty huge dream when building a house to focus a lot on the kitchen. Everyone wants a super nice, organized, stylish, roomy kitchen with tons of storage and lots of counter space for entertainment or maybe just because the space is needed due to a great big family. House Beautiful.com or House Beautiful Magazine is an inspirational place to find all kinds of incredible rooms in the home. I would love it if one of these great designers would design a kitchen for me! May as well design the rest of the house while they are at it too.  House Beautiful hosts and even called Kitchen of the Year, and let me tell you 2012 Kitchen of the Year didn’t disappoint. I believe it was defiantly worthy of the title.

The kitchen was showcased in New York’s Rockefeller Center. The designer Mick De Giulio described the 1,000 square foot kitchen as being “simple and classic. It’s also a little bit glamorous.”

The kitchen features a 100 square foot butler’s pantry, a navy colored sink, dining room, cozy sitting area with fireplace, open shelving… and just look at all the details, which what make this kitchen so eye catching and incredible.

For more details and pictures of the kitchen tour – HouseBeautiful.com

I also found another one of Mick De Giulio’s kitchens. It was a makeover from a horse stable! The stable, from Lake Forest, Illinois was turned into a guesthouse and fantastic kitchen. Mick De Giulio put good use into the 3 stalls by giving each a purpose. One stall was a Storage pantry, the next, a cooking station with a nice oven, and then of course the third was the clean up station with dishwasher, sink and fitting chicken wire cupboards for the dishes. I really liked the cutting board next to the sink that was specially designed to make it easily within reach. It can slide over the sink for easy cutting or more counter space. The slot can be used as a drain board.

I really liked the cutting board next to the sink that was specially designed to make it easily within reach. It can slide over the sink for easy cutting or more counter space. The slot can be used as a drain board.

For more pictures of the before and after stable makeover, check here.

Home Office Ideas

I have never had a nice organized home office before. It is always the last place on my mind to even think of to organize or even make look nice. In our first place we had an old beat up desk, in the spare bedroom/junk room, that I think we found for free on the side of the road – and it served it’s purpose as a spot to set up the computer as well as a place to throw all the random papers and whatnot. It really just looks like a junky corner. Now the place we live had a built in desk, so now it’s just a junky corner. I am determined for our next home (which should be our very first house – no more rentals!) that I (we) will make a nice office. I have already been searching on Pinterest for some nice, organized, simple, stylish home office spaces. I think it would be pretty awesome to make it big enough to work on projects, art and whatever else.

entry.housesawards.com.au

This office is amazing! It would probably be super hard to make an office like this. The tall ceilings and unique windows for sure add to as well as make this office what it is. Lot’s of natural light and tons of storage.

Modern home office

Maybe I am just super attracted to vaulted ceilings and lots of natural light. This office is really nice. I think it’s got a more modern feel to it. It wouldn’t hurt to add even more book shelves and storage.

trendir.com

Go big! This has got another great amount of storage space and all around space. It looks clean and well put together. This is probably an office that will only be in my dreams.

Maybe most of these offices are unlikely for most, but glorious, so I found some more offices that may be a little more reasonable for some of us that have much smaller space to work with.

photo credit

photo credit

curbly.com

Turn a closet into an office! I found lots of other closet offices over here.

Garage Ideas

Garages can be overlooked so easily, because well… let’s be honest they can be a little boring. It’s basically just made to have a place for your car or in some cases, a lot of your junk. And lot’s of times garages are built right in the very front of the house. Everyone’s first sight of the house is a big giant door or two. Which isn’t always a bad thing, but I think lots of people like the look of the house and have the garage hidden or in the background, rather than right dead center in the front. At least I do. I found some great designs to make a garage better!

(Architects Northwest)

Like this picture above shows a great way to hide a garage OR to make sure it’s not the first thing your guests see on your great looking house – is to have the garage in the basement!

 

(Daylol.com)

Maybe this is a little funny, but my actual first thought was “how cool!”. This is for the person that really hates the look of a garage anywhere! It’s totally hidden. It might be confusing to a guest stopping by and knocking on a garage door, but that just means you fooled them! Nobody knows you have a garage!

Here is another garage to consider if you like the idea of “not appearing to have a garage” type look…

(Pop-up Garage)

It’s probably a great space saver. You can park a car on top too!

This next idea I think every single person should do to their garage. This makes the floor look so much nicer and cleaner. It will probably make you want to deep clean and organize.

(My Concrete Makeover)

It’s called Partial Chip Epoxy Garage Floor. It’s supposed to make an easier clean up and keep from dragging dirt into your home. I think it looks awesome. If you like this idea, you can also consider doing a custom design garage. Maybe something like this…

(Cecy J)

Part garage, part man cave.

OR

Something more like this…

(Garage Flooring Inc)

Kitchen Sink Ideas

It was easy for me to want to talk about sinks after looking for all the faucets in the last post. And then I cam across this sink and I knew it would be a good post,

{circular water station by KWC}

This kitchen sink or “circular water station” includes colander, cutting board and more. Just what you’d need while cutting, slicing, rinsing and dicing. After seeing this sink it had me wondering what other kind of unique sinks are out there? So I began my search. I’m sure the sinks I have found are not the only unique styles out there, and they may not even be ones you like – these are just the ones that spoke to me. Sink designs are nearly endless!

{Entertainment Sinks}

These sinks are good for the parties you like to host in your homes. You can fill these sinks with a bunch of ice and keep your desserts, salads, sides and drinks cold. Pretty neat huh?

{Colored Sinks}

Did you know there were bright colored sinks to choose from? This would look so cool in a kitchen, adding just a tad pop of color. The house I grew up in as a kid had 3 bathrooms with puke green, red and blue sinks. These colors look a whole lot nicer than the puke green I remember in my house.

{Undermount Sink with Cutting board – by Kohler}

This kitchen sink includes the faucet on the side and a custom fit cutting board to work directly over the sink. It’s scratch burn and stain resistant. Choose single or double bowl.

{Apron Kitchen Sink}

Last but not least: Apron Kitchen sinks. Apron sinks got their name because they have an apron front or in other words the front side of the sink is exposed rather than hidden behind false drawers or cabinets. This style is quite popular today.

Bathroom Faucet Ideas

Who thought there could be such a huge variety of faucets out there. Before this post when I thought faucet I thought of the one in my bathroom that is so outdated and uncool. And who really knows how hold it is, but I am pretty sure they don’t make this style anymore.

[Nice backsplash right? it blends right into the counter and sink!]

The reason that I may think it’s uncool could be the fact that it’s broken, but I am still deciding. It could also be when I am trying to pull on the plastic (that isn’t really attached by the way, it just helps give us a little bit of grip to pry it open to let the water out and it’s got some force to it) and when all you want to do is wash your hands or wet your toothbrush or wash your face, all it want’s to do is tear your flesh off.

It could be time to get a new one! Like some of these I found:

{landisplumbing.com}

I am really into the modern look. Clean, straight lines.

{trendir.com}

This one above could work well for a kitchen too I suppose. For the bathroom it might help with rinsing down the mouthwash that gets stuck to the sides of the sink or easy rinsing when cleaning.

{gizmodo.com}

It’s just so pretty. I’m not sure how helpful the digital temperature gauge would be to me, I find it easier to feel the water to tell if it scorching hot or just right.

{karmatrendz.wordpress.com}

The designer name is Graff and I read Giraffe. So now all I can think about is how much this faucet above reminds me of a giraffe. I really think this one is incredible, even if it does remind me of a long necked animal.

{digitaleveryone.com}

{homedit.com}

How much more simple can you get? And all you have to do to turn the water on is do what?! It apparently has touch sensors that allow you to control the temperature and the water pressure quick and easily. The post that this faucet is linked to says when describing this stylish piece, “This faucet makes the old ones look like a piece of junk…”

….I think that comment may be sorta true.

Eco-Friendly House Plan

This Estate in Extramadura, Spain is spectacular! I think I found my dream house. An Eco-friendly home that is modern, fashionable joined with nature. It was creatively put together to save energy. The great big windows bring in lots of light as well as heat. Their water source… pure river water. They wanted to preserve the walls as they were, but they were falling during the reconstruction, so they built them using concrete.

The brother and sister were looking for a house to build and when they found this place they found it amazing. Coming from the city but raised in the country when young, both loved the idea of the country side. The house was a stable for cattle and since machinery doesn’t work around there, you can’t have a big plot so the stables are abandoned and eventually collapse. That’s exactly what would have happened to this stable if it wasn’t redone.

It was important for them to find 2 streams that produce water all year round. In the front entrance they built a hole and a pond or fountain that is also connected to the house with sliding glass doors which can be opened in the summer and they can listen to the noises of the natural flowing water.

This fountain connects to the water resource outside, a watering reservoir for watering purposes. “The fountain is where they collected water originally so they were trying to recover nature on it’s course. It goes under the house and continues to the river” They use the pure river water for cooling the home, washing, showering and drinking as well as just plain and simple nature’s pleasure. They didn’t have to do much they said, because it’s perfectly oriented.

At the beginning they were thinking of keeping the original walls and structure, but when they were working on rebuilding, the walls started falling down. So they started over and reconstructed the walls in the same way it was originally built. The same original system was used, but instead of using just mud, earth and wood, they added concrete to the middle.

On the inside everything is a very modern style, which makes a great blend for the old fashioned exterior. The sun is what bring the heat. There is a fireplace, but most of the heat comes from the sun through the big windows. The windows have wooden shutters outside and are closed at night to keep the heat in, so it requires very little energy. There are solar panels and a small turbine for power in the summer and winter time.

For a tour of the home, watch this video.

Tree Houses

When picturing a tree house, typically we go on thinking of a little play house for the kids or maybe it’s something like the Swiss Family Robinson’s Treehouse that is built in an oversized tree with rope bridges and are made of grass roofs. I can’t imagine having to find a tree house plan. I mean, it’s probably hard enough trying to find the perfect house plan, but for a tree house… every single tree is a different shape and size and you probably have to make room for adjustments, because trees are living things and that means they might have some growing left to do. I imagine lots of people make up their own plans. So when you are out on your Sunday walk and you see the house with the big tree and the 2×4 wood boards piled up and starting to corrode, just waiting to be nailed together into a magnificent tree house – don’t judge them.

junecleavernirvana.com

Tree houses are fascinating and creative and can bring us closer to nature. Every tree house is unique and maybe that’s why they are so fascinating. So backtracking a little, when we think of a typical tree house, we will most likely picture a cute little house in that great big tree out in the back yard – maybe we forget logs come from trees too and this makes ideas for building a tree house even more endless. Like for example this “tea house built too high” is built on tree logs harvested from a local mountain in Japan:

“This allowed him to situate the building where he wanted it and to fully integrate the “trees” with the building they are supporting (since they will not grow over time).” 

Hopefully it doesn’t sway in the wind. Maybe it’s easier to go more with this route, but I think it’s okay to build it closer to the ground – especially if it’s for your kids.

 

Sources: DIY Traditional Tree House Design with a Twist, dornob.com, extreme tree house, junecleavernirvana.com

Home Security

It’s important to know how to enforce home security to prevent break ins and burglaries. There are steps you can take to make sure your home is safe and eliminate the chance of someone intruding.

You may have already read about things your burglar won’t tell you bouncing around the web. If you haven’t yet, it’s a list of things a consultant, who hosts the Crime Doctor Website, and a professor, who interviewed a bunch of burglars for his book, put together. It actually gave me a little bit of an uneasy feeling after reading the list. Knowing all the things that burglars look for before invading is good to know, but like I said before, not exactly comforting. So If we make sure and do these things I think it can up our chances of home security and maybe helping (a little) by putting our minds more at ease.

Things burglars don’t want you to know:

  • If you have nice taste outside, it most likely means you have nice taste inside.

  • Signs that you aren’t home: piled up newspapers, mail or flyers on the front door. If it snows while you are out of town, it might be a good idea to have a neighbor make some tracks around the house, so virgin snow drifts don’t give away the fact that you aren’t home.

  • Don’t let your alarm company install the control pad where a burglar can see if it’s set or not. A good security company will alarm the window over the sink and the windows over the second floor, where the master bedroom is.

  • Don’t ever forget to lock your front door, lots of times a burglar will try that first and lots of times they can walk right in.

  • Some burglars knock at your front door to see if you are home. If you are, they might ask for directions or offer to help in the yard. They may even carry a clipboard or carry a rake like a lawn guy to make sure and never look like a crook

  • Don’t hide your valuables in drawers or a safe that’s not secured to the floor.

  • A loud TV or radio can sometimes be as good as or better than a fancy alarm system. They have devices you can buy now that work on a timer and simulate the flickering glow of a real TV.

  • Burglars don’t like dogs.

  • Breaking a window, even if it’s a little noisy, is no big deal to them because even if your neighbor does here it, he will probably stop and listen to see if he can hear it again, and if he doesn’t he will just go back to whatever he was doing.

  • Make sure and use your alarm system. What’s the point of paying for it if you don’t set it?

  • Avoid announcing your vacations on Facebook, because it’s easy to look up your address.

  • Never leave a window open, even if it’s just a cracks

Things You Can Do to Ensure Home Security:

  • Lock your door, always. – 51% of break-ins occur during daylight. 49% occur after dark. 8,600 break-ins a day. 1 every 13 seconds.

  • Every exterior door (even the garage door to the inside of the house) needs a deadbolt with a full 1″ throwbolt. They should also be solid

  • Good exterior lighting around the house will prevent intruders. 40-watt bulbs on the porches should do the trick. Trimming the bushes should help too.

  • Double cylinder deadbolts are good for doors with glass an arms length away will help, because they will need to the key to unlock from the inside.

  • Sliding doors, when installed can easily be lifted out of place if not careful. Adjust screws in the door track to limit clearance. And make sure and add a broom stick or something similar in the track so the sliding door isn’t easily opened.

  • When out of town, take extra steps to have the appearance that you are still home. Automatic devices, like the flickering TV, or timers to turn on different lights at different times. Have trusting neighbors pick up your mail and newspapers, maybe even have them use your garbage cans. During the winter have them make tracks or have the snow shoveled.

  • Start a  neighborhood watch.

  • Make sure to hide our “spare key” well or not at all. Under the mat or above the door jamb is not good.

  • If something does happen, you would want the police’s help asap right? Make sure your house numbers are nice and big so they are visible maybe even reflective. Help others by reporting strangers running through private yards.

  • Don’t make it easy for a burglar to rob you. Hide your valuables or lock them in a safe that’s bolted down. Engrave your valuables with “this property is stolen from…” and include your divers license number. Don’t make it tempting for a robber when you have your empty TV box sitting in the driveway. Be careful, you don’t know who’s watching.

Sources: Weiser.com, 10 Things you must know about home security. Reader’s Digest, 13+ Things a Burglar Won’t Tell You, Author: Michelle Crouch from Reader’s Digest, September 2009. Richard T. Wright, criminology professor at the University of Missouri- St. Louis – Book: Burglars on the Job. Chris McGoey, host of crimedoctor.com.