Ways to Make Your Lounge Room Pop

Your lounge room is one of the most significant rooms in your entire home. It’s where you go to do so many important things – from relaxing with a cup of coffee to watching your favorite TV series to catching up with family and friends. It makes sense, then, for you to show this room some love.

A lounge room should be complete with all of the essentials that make it easy to relax and be comfortable. Unfortunately, a lot of us have left our lounge room interiors to fall to the wayside. The good news is that if your lounge room is in need of a revamp, there are a few ways you can easily transform it. The following 4 ideas will truly make your lounge room pop, so you can start to really enjoy time in it.

1. Lay Down a Statement Rug

There are few easier ways to make your lounge room pop than with a statement rug. By statement rug, we mean a rug that is eye-catching and bold. There are a couple of ways a rug can have these qualities. Perhaps it has a color that instantly captures attention, or maybe it has an interesting pattern. It might even have both!

Of course, you’ll want to get a rug that suits your particular tastes. There’s no point selecting a zebra print rug if you prefer a minimalist aesthetic. Stay true to your tastes but at the same time, don’t be afraid to branch out a bit. Many stores have generous return policies, so if you realize that you’ve gone a bit too bold with your choice, you can always make a return and swap it for something more suitable to your taste.

2. Get A New Coffee Table

A coffee table is one of the most practical items you should have in your living room. Due to their usefulness, the range of coffee tables available can be slightly overwhelming. Different materials, colors, finishes, patterns – it’s no wonder many people put off buying this essential piece of furniture!

That’s why it helps to refer to an expert roundup of the top-rated coffee tables. Given that the coffee tables were all reviewed this year, you won’t have to worry about selecting a style that is outdated. Selecting the right one for your lounge room is simple with categories like “Best Wooden Coffee Table” and “Best Budget Pick.”

Decorate with some indoor plants

3. Decorate With Some Indoor Plants

While it’s tempting to crowd your lounge room with all types of decorations, this can often make your room look more cluttered and cramped. Indoor plants, however, have the opposite effect. They can make your room look more spacious, not to mention sophisticated. If you don’t have the faintest idea on how to pick indoor plants, there is a lot of guidance online.

For example, this guide to indoor plants highlights the benefits certain plants offer, how to take care of them, as well as where to purchase them. As you’ll see, having an indoor plant can provide a lot in the way of health and wellness benefits. You may just develop a green thumb after placing your first plant in your living room and seeing what a difference it makes.

4. Call in the Experts

If you’re serious about transforming your lounge room, you may need to do more than just make a few additions here and there. While a lot of homeowners want to go down the DIY route when it comes to renovations, this can prove to be a costly and time-consuming operation. Not to mention that mistakes could cause bigger problems in the long run, and potentially devalue your property.

That’s why sometimes, it’s best to call in the experts. At Maya Construction Group, they have the experience to lead your lounge room remodeling. Whatever you have in mind, from a complete overhaul to smaller changes, we’ll work with you to make it happen. They even offer a free in-home consultation, so you can be assured we know precisely the vision you have in mind!


This post is from Kristin Hitchcock who frequently contributes to Family Living Today. She was raised in Tennessee and still lives there with her husband and toddler. She seeks to help others make informed decisions for their family through her writing by providing clear and concise information on all sorts of topics.

Kitchen Design Ideas

Designing a kitchen can be fun, or it can be a headache. If you’re a little way into the process yourself, chances are you’ve already encountered your fair share of headaches.

Don’t let frustration get the better of you. The last thing you need is to make a mistake in the planning phases, because that can get expensive, and potentially leave you with a brand new kitchen that you don’t even like.

Instead, let’s look for inspiration from the pros. We’ve gathered 98 different kitchen design ideas to help you find inspiration. In this list, you’ll come across things you definitely want to include, and things you definitely want to avoid.

So let’s take a look and get your plans sorted before the contractors show up.

Modern Kitchen DesignsMinimalist Kitchen DesignsCountry Kitchen DesignsContemporary Kitchen DesignsIndustrial Kitchen DesignsColorful Kitchen DesignsClassic Kitchen DesignsRustic Kitchen DesignsEclectic Kitchen Designs


Modern Kitchen

Source: ​citydeskstudio.com​​​

Sleek, modern, eye-catching, and cool, this bold and organized kitchen offers tons of contrast and personality. Stainless steel appliances, mixed with black, white, and red surfaces make this room stand out.

Modern Kitchen

Source: ​asterhousedesign.com​​​

This kitchen shows a fantastic example of how to work with an open floor plan. The kitchen, dining area, and living room are all in the same footprint, but clearly defined thanks to a smart, modern layout.

Modern Kitchen

Source: ​karenberkemeyerhome.com​​​

A small kitchen can still be very stylish, and pack a lot of personality. Dark blue cabinetry mixed with white counter tops and stainless steel fixtures give this room depth and a sense of wide space.

Source: ​sundlingstudio.com​​​

Gray subway tile, white cabinets, stainless steel appliances, natural light, and comfortable chairs come together to create a kitchen which would look equally at home in a city loft, or on a modern organic farm.

Source: ​pamelachelle.com​​​

The over-sized back-splash acts both as a focal point, and as a means for bringing in a bit of color to this predominantly white kitchen. Dark grays and slate blues paired with rattan chairs and modern lighting give this kitchen a comfortable and updated look.

Source: ​dynacontracting.com​​​

This kitchen has loads of counter space, perfect for baking or other large-scale kitchen projects. The island works as a contrast piece to the main counter top, and both are tied together by a clever use of chalkboard paint.

Source: ​leichtwestchester.com​​​

Decorated predominantly in shades of gray, with stainless steel appliances, this room has great flow between the dining area and the L-shaped kitchen with a central island.

Source: ​trevorbrownarchitect.co.uk​​​

This predominantly white kitchen is broken up by a warm wooden table, with accented black seating. Another large seating area sits just outside the room, making the space perfect for big families or entertaining.

Source: ​stoneagetx.com​​​

This U-shaped kitchen is a great example of a very popular design. White cabinetry creates a sense of space and reduces visual clutter, while the U shape maximizes available work area.

Source: ​bandgdesign.com​​​

Sleek, clean lines help define this ultra-modern kitchen design. An open concept keeps good flow between the food prep area and the dining area. Shades of gray, silver, and white form the backdrop, while bold black forms the accents.

Source: ​laurenshadidarch.com​​​

This kitchen done in dark browns and neutrals, slips right into a split level home design, maximizing available space, without impeding foot traffic. The glass top table and vaulted ceiling give this kitchen a wonderfully modern look.

Source: ​stoningtoncabinetry.com​​​

White cabinets and stainless steel appliances give this kitchen a clean and finished look. Silver seating and lighting fixtures help balance out the black and white theme.

Source: ​kimberleyharrison.com​​​

A kitchen designed to accommodate the modern family. With two different seating areas at the breakfast bar and at the dining table, it creates separate surfaces for eating, writing, and entertaining.

Source: ​brookewagnerdesign.com​​​

Tile walls and tile flooring in different patterns bring a singular look to this modern kitchen designed in neutral tones with blue accents.

Modern Kitchen

Source: ​westendny.com​​​

A dark blue accent wall, yellow rimmed chairs, and live plants give this modern kitchen some interesting colorful contrast without overcrowding the space. The centerpiece is undoubtedly the concrete top island.

Source: ​mascheroniconstruction.com​​​

Mostly white with stainless steel appliances and fixtures, this Pacific Heights home has kept things clean, simple, and modern.

Source: ​cavdesign.com​​​

For those living in a loft style home, here is a great example of what you can do with the space. A very modern and updated kitchen which flows with the rest of the home’s layout.

Source: ​ikekligermanbarkley.com​​​

This U-shaped kitchen makes a great use of space and created a very well laid-out work triangle. A colorful throw rug adds warmth and texture.


Source: ​interior-design-portland.com​​​

This is a great example of how you can transform a small kitchen into something spacious and uncluttered. We love how this kitchen is built around the people using it.

Source: ​studiodearborn.com​​​

The main event in this kitchen is clearly the view outside, so why clutter up the inside with too much distraction? Here’s a great example of what you can do with the minimalist design.

Source: ​divinestoneworks.net​​​

Ultra small spaces can still have loads of character. An exposed brick wall, a painted accent wall, and an L-shaped set up offer just enough space for this compact, and very stylish kitchen.

Source: ​garretcordwerner.com​​​

This no-fuss kitchen slides right into this brilliant open floor plan without interrupting the flow, or doing too much to draw the eye. Wide flat counter tops, and tone-on-tone fixtures give it a wonderfully minimalist style.

Source: ​finne.com​​​

This tasteful and simple design features a long table with seating, open shelving, and one or two accent pieces. A nice example of a minimalist design using shades of brown rather than white or stainless steel.

Source: ​zeroenergy.com​​​

Designed to fit with a tranquil beach house, this single wall kitchen is enhanced with a large island, which then flows through to a separate dining area. Clean, and uncluttered, with unique translucent cabinet doors.

Source: ​bigrenovations.com​​​

In a home like this, the view through the windows takes center stage. This kitchen with its unobstructed profile works really well in this beachfront home.

Source: ​tgharchitects.com​​​

Another great example of a home with a breathtaking view, this kitchen is designed so that no visual obstructions stand between you and the large sliding doors. Clean lines, simple design and an uncluttered look.

Source: ​sf-arc.com​​​

Built into a stately San Francisco Victorian, this minimalist kitchen makes a statement all on its own. The rough-hewn, reclaimed wood countertop makes an amazing focal point. Little else is needed.

Source: ​artisan-builds.com​​​

Crisp, clean white lines are all the eye can see in this wonderfully minimalist kitchen. Designed to be in line with the rest of the home, which is designed in shades of white and blue.


Source: ​qualcraftinc.com​​​

A large, multipurpose island combined with rustic wood, and cornflower blue make this country style kitchen look like an inviting place to roll out homemade biscuits, or come together for a family meal.

Source: ​mhousedevelopment.com​​​

This country style kitchen makes great use of a large space, without the room seeming overly cluttered. A large wooden island and country-style cabinets are complemented by modern lighting and tile.

Source: ​mollyquinndesign.com​​​

With beautiful copper pans hanging above a sturdy marble top island, and exposed brick peeking through stucco you can almost taste the delicious home cooking that must come from this kitchen every day.

Source: ​mvidesign.com​​​

If the best part of your kitchen is the beauty of nature surrounding it, why not show it off from every possible angle? This innovative design allows for natural light streaming through walls and the ceiling. It’s all complemented by white fixtures and furniture.

Source: ​fluidesignstudio.com​​​

This French country kitchen has everything you need for cooking fine cuisine, or entertaining guests. From the generous seating area to the wine rack, the design is graceful, classic, and functional.

Source: ​stephaniegambleinteriors.com​​​

From the arched entryway to the over-sized center island, this kitchen looks like it was lifted straight out of the country cottage. A few modern elements such as subway tile backsplash and round lighting fixtures give it a classic yet updated look.

Source: ​artofrain.com​​​

This exquisite French country kitchen brings in exposed brick, shiny copper, distressed furniture, and elegant chandeliers. You can almost picture the vineyard which must be just outside the door.

Source: ​alexanderdesigngroup.com​​​

Designed for a country estate, this kitchen has an abundance of room to work on baking, canning, or other large-scale kitchen projects. Beautiful off white cabinets are complimented by a dark hardwood floor.


Source: ​sarahstaceydesign.com​​​

Bright white keeps this kitchen looking open and airy. The glass front cabinets and subway tile backsplash keep this kitchen looking brand-new and updated, while simple touches like a floral carpet runner keep it classic.

Source: ​kroissdevelopment.com​​​

This kitchen incorporates elements of mid-century designs such as acrylic chairs and brass fixtures with updated details like marble countertops and focal point chandeliers.

Source: ​heidicaillierdesign.com​​​

An L-shaped kitchen gets a whole lot of personality thanks to solid blue cabinets, a large decorative tile backsplash, and lots of bright light. This is a great use of color without overwhelming a space.

Source: ​stephaniekraussdesigns.blogspot.com​​​

Glossy hardwood floors paired with bright kitchen windows bring a lot of light into this room. Accents of slate gray and navy blue make for outstanding focal points.

Source: ​volanskystudio.com​​​

Working with an unusual layout – and octagonal, open concept space – this home expertly blends rustic designs such as exposed wood beams and cobblestone floor accents, with ultra-modern stainless steel fixtures, and wide windows.

Source: ​bcandj.com​​​

Warmly colored wood floors and a butcher block island nicely offset the cream-colored cabinets and stainless steel appliances. Modern task lighting helps finish off the contemporary look for this familiar and classic design.

Kitchen Plan

Source: ​cabinlife.com​​​

A classic an inviting look for the smaller, multipurpose space. This open floor kitchen plan allows the kitchen, dining area, and living room to coexist in the same relative footprint. Deliberate furniture placement helps create “borders.”

Source: ​westbrookinteriors.com​​​

A white marble countertop and oversized white marble backsplash come together to create a striking combination in this contemporary kitchen. A plush curved bench in front of large windows creates a unique seating area.

Source: ​briahammelinteriors.com​​​

Bright white cabinets and backsplash are broken up by a dark gray countertop. The high ceilings make a great opportunity for some custom cabinetry and crown molding.

Kitchen Design Layout

Source: ​decorpad.com​​​

Subway tile, open shelving, rattan chairs, and a marble countertop are a few of the modern updates to this familiar and classic kitchen design layout. Brass lighting fixtures and stainless steel appliances complement each other wonderfully.

Source: ​karrbick.com​​​

Another great example of dark wood cabinets and a dark countertop being put to great use. While white is popular, dark colors can make for a clean and dramatic look, as seen here.

Source: ​celiawelchinteriors.com​​​

The gray tile backsplash and custom white cabinetry is nicely offset by hardwood flooring, and design elements like fresh flowers. This kitchen is a great balancing act.

Source: ​clemonsdesignco.com​​​

White cabinets and backsplash add a sense of space to the room, while presenting a clean and uncluttered appearance. The look is balanced nicely by the large wooden dining table.

Source: ​pickellarchitecture.com​​​

When they say the kitchen is the heart of the home, this is what they mean. This is a really beautiful example of the kitchen which is built to interact with all the rooms around it.

Source: ​jamiekeskindesign.com​​​

Can’t you just see the family gathering in this room to share meals? The unique tile backsplash adds color, character, and focal point to this otherwise neutral room. Add a few plants and fun lighting fixtures, and you have a very contemporary kitchen.

Source: ​luxeremodel.com​​​

White cabinets and a white marble countertop help make an already large kitchen seem expansive. A custom arched opening creates flow between the kitchen and surrounding rooms, preventing a closed off feeling

Source: ​sheltonpgh.com​​​

With upper cabinets done in whites, and lower cabinets done in a blue-gray, this room instantly gains dimension and personality. Stainless steel appliances and dark hardwood flooring give the room a very up-to-date look.

Source: ​howserhomes.com​​​

This is a great example of how a decorating theme can include the entire home. This nautical themed kitchen includes white and navy blue as well as warm wood tones.

Source: ​designstorms.com​​​

White cabinets paired with a white marble countertop are beautifully offset by bronze fixtures and lighting, a dark wood floor, and a small area rug.

Source: ​pksurroundings.com​​​

A rounded center island adds some dynamic lines to this L-shaped kitchen. Hardwood floors and white cabinetry keep the room looking open and clutter-free.

Source: ​eurolinesteelwindows.com​​​

White on white works so well in a sunny beach house, and that’s exactly what this design brings out. The rattan accents like the chairs and chandelier balance the room and give it a natural feel.

Source: ​jma-ids.com​​​

This “bumped out” island and breakfast bar creates separation between rooms without completely blocking off either space.


Source: ​hobsonschoice.uk.com​​​

This unique kitchen uses an open wood-burning stove as a clever separation between the professional level food preparation area, and the large dining area. Right angles, metal accents, and wood flooring give this room a sleek, industrial look.

Source: ​christianrice.com​​​

This uniquely designed kitchen features a U-shaped island. Stainless steel cabinets, open shelving, and panoramic windows give this space an industrial, modern, and minimalist feel. Perfect for an urban space.

Source: ​inspirekds.com​​​

An extended breakfast bar island with extra seating, placed across from a large food preparation area gives this kitchen the look of a professional restaurant. Clean, organized, industrial, and attractive, this ultramodern design makes a statement.

Source: ​sustainable9.com​​​

Perfect for the person who likes to experiment with cooking, entertain others, and make a grand presentation. This kitchen could just as easily be found in a hipster restaurant is in a home.

Source: ​marrokal.com​​​

The large stainless steel vent hood is the centerpiece of this industrial style kitchen. Offbeat electric yellow seating along the breakfast bar, and a reclaimed wood accents all give this space lots of character.


Source: ​slogreengoods.com​​​

Color doesn’t always have to be relegated only to accent walls, as seen here in this playful design filled with shades of blue, purple, and orange. Hand-painted chairs help tie all the different color elements together, for a bright and cheery room.

Source: ​littleblackdoordesigns.com​​​

A predominantly white kitchen is broken up with pops of royal blue and vibrant yellow accent pieces. This is a great example of how color can be put to great use even in smaller spaces. Yes, neutrals make a space look bigger, but colors add depth and character.

Source: ​alisonkandler.com​​​

While this kitchen sticks with neutrals such as white and gray, they have chosen to use bold shades like red, blue, and yellow as accent colors, and statement pieces. It brings a lot of life into the room.

Source: ​jeffsheatsdesigns.com​​​

This kitchen was designed as part of a Nantucket inspired remodel. Shades of blue, yellow, and green come into play throughout the kitchen. Take note of the custom center island with built-in dining benches. Very innovative use of space.

Source: ​katierosenfelddesign.com​​​

A spring green tile backsplash helps break up the white cabinets and countertops, and introduces room to play around with other colors and textures like the floral curtains

Source: ​designstudiowest.com​​​

This lovely, old world kitchen draws the eye with a colorful tile backsplash. Browns and blues help add a warmth to the room, making the whole kitchen look inviting.


Source: ​beautifulchaoscompanies.com​​​

This classic design uses white cabinets and walls as a backdrop, but softens it with rattan furniture and lighting fixtures. Throw in a few stainless steel elements for depth and texture, and you have a beautiful kitchen.

Kitchen Remodel Idea

Source: ​jhinteriordesign.com​​​

This is a really amazing kitchen remodel idea of what was once a cramped and small kitchen in a historic Victorian home. The update includes some Victorian elements, while also modernizing the look.

Source: ​myinsidesign.com​​​

A mixture of different wood colors, combined with textures like dark leather and gray tile give this kitchen a classic look that feels warm and inviting in any home.

Source: ​chairma.com​​​

Looking like something straight out of a fairytale, this kitchen includes dark woods, a vaulted ceiling, tree patterns, and ornate lighting. A beautiful, whimsical, inviting, and also functional heart of the home.

Source: ​interioranthology.com​​​

Dark wood flooring and exposed ceiling beams set the tone for a stately, spacious, and classic kitchen. White cabinetry, mixed countertops, and comfortable chairs on casters make this wide open kitchen an ideal spot for gathering and entertaining.

Source: ​theworkingkitchenltd.com​​​

An eye-catching chandelier stands as an oversized centerpiece to this charming kitchen decorated predominantly in whites, with dark wood and wrought iron accents. Wide windows help bring natural light, and glass front cabinets keep the room feeling open and airy.

Source: ​houzz.com​​​

This is a really beautiful example of a 1920’s kitchen which was updated, without sacrificing some of the beautiful historic and Art Deco properties which made it so special to begin with. Tile flooring, and decorative woodwork take center stage.

Source: ​smithandvansant.com​​​

Here’s a really beautiful example of what can be done with a galley kitchen. Sometimes considered a challenging layout, this kitchen shows you just how much you can do in that footprint, and how beautiful the finished product can be.

Source: ​moskowlinn.com​​​

Open, airy, and bright, this kitchen is designed from the bottom up to allow light into the room. Large windows are positioned over the sink, and shelving is left open to allow light from the dining area to spill through.

Source: ​havendesignandconstruction.com​​​

Here’s a kitchen which shows why dark colors are not always something to be avoided. Black cabinets with brass accents actually work as a wonderful contrast to the brightness of the walls and floors.

Source: ​advancehomesinc.com​​​

Dark wood cabinets are brightened up by an exquisite marble topped custom island with built in seating area. Elegant details such as upholstered chairs in the unique chandelier make this kitchen stand out.

Source: ​space10interiors.com​​​

This galley kitchen renovation was done in a classic, Edwardian style home in San Francisco. By keeping some original design elements, they honor the history of the home, while also bringing it up to date.

Kitchen Cabinet Design

Source: ​idfstudio.com​​​

An unusually shaped kitchen benefits greatly from custom kitchen cabinet design, and a pop of bright color. The narrow profile center island maximizes walking space in this offbeat layout.

Source: ​designshopinteriors.com​​​

This design uses a clever blending of a center island and a dining area to create a bi-level, extended countertop. This centralized layout is perfect for families.

Source: ​dimauroarchitects.com​​​

The beautiful inclusion of a brick oven immediately makes this classic kitchen stand out. Decorated mainly in white tile and marble, the stonework focal point helps shake things up.

Source: ​sarahblankdesignstudio.com​​​

This large kitchen is complimented nicely by white cabinets creating a sense of even more space. Wood and granite countertops add elegance and texture.


Source: ​watersedgewoods.com​​​

Lots of exposed, reclaimed wood helps give this kitchen a rustic, woodsy feel. By keeping the rest of the kitchen in a bright neutral white, it allows the wood accents to stand out on their own.

Source: ​tgbuilder.com​​​

Warm browns dominate this room, as do wood accents. From an exposed beam over the island, to the large butcher block counter, to reclaimed storage bins, this kitchen has loads of rustic personality.

Source: ​rafterhouse.com​​​

Exposed ceiling beams set the tone for this lovely rustic kitchen. Wood accents, natural light, and metal chairs help bring the theme out even more. Bright and modern, yet still outdoorsy.

Source: ​idologyasheville.com​​​

Brick flooring, an exposed brick accent wall, reclaimed wood, and bracket shelving make this a very modern and efficient kitchen look as though it has taken a step back in time.

Source: ​barbrabrightdesign.com​​​

This Sonoma-inspired kitchen features hardwood floors, a butcher block island, and lots of reclaimed wood on the walls. Stepping into this room feels like stepping into Northern California.

Source: ​historicalconcepts.com​​​

Designed to look like a log cabin, this home features lots of oiled, glossy wood accents, mallard greens, and an Oriental rug. Wraparound windows help bring in lots of natural light.

Simple Kitchen Design

Source: ​herlongarchitects.com​​​

A simple kitchen design with the outdoors in mind, the room flows right into the exterior patio. Unfinished wood accents and lots of natural lighting give this room a rustic charm.


Source: ​streeterhomes.com​​​

This fun and quirky design makes great use of a vaulted ceiling by adding built-in storage shelves which can also become design elements. There is desk space in this kitchen for homework, paying bills, etc.

Source: ​jobecorral.com​​​

This kitchen features unique accent walls and glass shelving. Also, note the multiple sinks available in the center island. This is a good example of how you can create the kitchen “work triangle” in different layouts.

Source: ​houzz.com​​​

Small spaces are made bigger by open shelves created from industrial piping and wooden planks. By keeping only the essentials, this kitchen looks uncluttered, but still has lots of personality.

Source: ​kplusr.com​​​

A really beautiful example of an outdoor kitchen, complete with grilling area, cabinets, seating area, refrigeration, and entertaining area.

Source: ​carterinteriorconcepts.com​​​

This kitchen features warm wood tones in its cabinets and shelving, but the eye is immediately drawn to the offbeat tile pattern along the base of the center island. Mid-century style stools and lots of live plants finish off this fun eclectic lock.

Source: ​ashleygilbreath.com​​​

From the mismatched seating, to the hunting trophies, to the exposed wood beams, there’s a lot of eclectic style going on in this kitchen. This is a great example of how to bring your personality out when decorating.

We hope these gorgeous array of kitchens has given you some points of inspiration to take with you as you design your own layout. Which trends did you like or dislike? Anything important you’re taking away from this list? Let us know in the comments!

Kitchen Remodeling - 10 Lessons Learned

A full kitchen renovation is the kind of project that requires a lot of commitment on your part; and that means in terms of time, finances, improvisation, and stress management. You will have workers in your house for weeks at a time, you will run into unexpected problems, you will get tired of microwaving meals in your living room, and you will come out the other side of this project knowing some things that you didn’t know before.

In fact, that’s precisely the point of this article. We’ve chosen some of our favorite stories about lessons learned from kitchen remodeling. Each story comes from a homeowner who finally took the plunge, and can now relay some important things they’ve learned as a result.

Things like…

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Small doesn’t equal bad, especially when it comes to your kitchen! When this is your kitchen reality, and you’re not in the market for a complete remodel, it’s time to pull out some design tricks! The lucky thing is there are easy and affordable hacks to make a small kitchen look bigger.

From the Bottom to the Top.

Does anyone ever give much thought to the lower cabinetry other than stuffing in the soup pots and the cookie sheets then quickly closing the door before anything falls out? (Or is that just me?) Anyway, let’s start thinking of the lower cabinetry in the way of the saving some space. There are slimmer cabinets available for purchases (12-15 inches deep) that can be installed on the bottom. It creates floor space which is important when your space is already small. Take this cabinet change as an opportunity to purge some never used kitchen items that take up a lot of cabinet space.

Skip the Farmhouse Sink.

I know. We love big, double sinks too especially with a country, rustic styled home. But sometimes space is more important. Sometimes that sweet, sweet counter space is more useful. And without a huge block of a sink, which is a huge “eye stop” the space will look bigger.
Slim the Fridge. You may have noticed a theme: space saving with appliances helps to open up room elsewhere as well as giving the impression that there’s more space in general. If you can do it, look into a smaller fridge, 28-30 inches, and your kitchen will feel less cramped.

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Home Improvement - 10 Best Renovations to do Before Selling

Home Improvement

To put it lightly, selling your house is a pretty big deal. You have to interview realtors, clean more than you’ve ever cleaned in your life, welcome strangers into your home at all hours, and stage the place for sale.

For many homeowners, until their realtor walks through their home pointing out dozens of issues that could potentially diminish the selling price, they had no idea how much work was ahead of them. Of course you want to increase value anywhere you can, but home-improvement projects can easily stack up, and seem overwhelming at first.

In a perfect world, maybe you would be able to tackle each and every imperfection, netting the highest possible selling price. In reality, homeowners are dealing with limited budgets, limited time, and certainly a limited capacity for stress and chaos in the house where they still live.

Besides, as your realtor may have already mentioned, home improvements will not always get you a dollar for dollar return on investment.

A classic example:

A beautiful $80,000 in-ground swimming pool with all the bells and whistles typically won’t automatically increase a home’s value by $80,000 – not even close. For many potential buyers, the thought of maintaining a swimming pool is a turnoff, and can actually decrease a home’s value.

Very few people can afford to invest money without seeing some sort of return. This is why realtors, architects, and home renovators have all paid very close attention to the types of upgrades that will increase your home’s value. After years of working with families looking to upgrade their home before putting it on the market, we have come up with our 10 best recommendations for home improvements that are actually worth it.

To maximize your home’s value, consider these areas…

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9 Tips for a Successful Finished Basement Project

Finished Basement

A finished basement can add utility and enjoyment to your home, not to mention some much-needed square footage. If you find yourself continually wishing for more storage space, an extra bedroom, a dedicated playroom for the kids, or even just a more organized laundry area, the solution may literally be right under your feet.

Finishing a basement is complicated project, especially if you are working on a budget. However, you’ll be happy to learn that this project will cost significantly less than adding on an addition of the same square footage. If possible, it is always best to work within the existing footprint of your home, and to make the most of the space and foundation that you already have.

Of course, as most homeowners realize, basements come with their own particular set of challenges. With that in mind, we have assembled a list of 9 tips for a successful finished basement project. After years of helping families turn an unused space into something truly enjoyable, we have become familiar with some universal truths.

Here they are…

Finishing a Basement

Address Any and All Problems Before Beginning Work

Before you do a single thing – and this includes even sketching out a preliminary layout – have your basement professionally inspected so that you can address any problems before they have a chance to halt construction.

Minor issues can easily be handled by a homeowner with a good set of tools, but there are four specific problems which are best handled by a professional.

  • Structural damage – Cracks in the walls or ceilings of your basement may be the result of surface damage, but there’s also the possibility that they are the beginning signs of damage to the foundation of your home. Hopefully, you do not find this type of damage at all, but if you do, do not attempt to remedy it yourself. Get a trusted professional to assess the situation, and come up with a plan.
  • Radon – Radon is a radioactive gas which can seep up through the soil on which your home is built, and make its way inside. This is a dangerous situation, as radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking. Radon will need to be detected, and if it is found, a removal system will need to be placed in your basement.
  • Mold – Basements are more likely to be wet than any other room in your home. If your basement has already been infiltrated by dangerous mold, you may need a professional to safely remove it before you can begin building.
  • Termites – If termite damage is found in the foundation of your home, you’ll need to call in a professional to exterminate the bugs, and to make sure the damage is not severe enough to warrant any further action.

Hopefully, none of these issues come up. However, if they do, it is best to call in a professional right away rather than try to tackle this yourself.

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Home Addition Plans

So, you think you are definitely ready to take the plunge. After too many years of bumping into furniture, squeezing the family into a cramped kitchen for dinner, or doubling up the kids in shared rooms, you are finally in a good situation to put an addition onto your home.

You are excited at the possibilities, but also overwhelmed at the number of choices that lay before you. What you need is to approach this project with solid home addition plans in mind before you begin.

Dreaming up your ideal home addition can be a lot of fun, but there are several important considerations for every homeowner to be aware of. Based on years of experience with helping homeowners put beautiful and functional additions onto their homes, here are our best home addition ideas and tips.


Things to Consider before the Project Begins

Home Addition Costs


Do You Need an Addition at All? – Adding an addition onto your home is one of the costliest projects you can undertake. For this reason, it is worth considering whether your goals can be accomplished simply through remodeling, as opposed to building an entire addition.

Skilled home remodelers can make excellent use of the space you already have within your home’s existing “footprint.” Remodeling services are significantly cheaper because there are no additional foundations to pour, and fewer (if any) legal or zoning considerations. Speak with a design consultant or an architect to determine if the layout of your home could be changed to maximize space and efficiency.

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How Much Does It Cost to Remodel a Bathroom

You may have been daydreaming about upgrading your bathroom for a while now. With so many remodeling shoes on TV, a completely redesigned bathroom now seems more accessible than ever. Of course, daydreaming about it and actually building it are two very different things. How much does it cost to remodel a bathroom anyway? Where do you begin?

We are going to take a look at three different price ranges encompassing basic, midrange, and high-end bathroom remodeling projects. Of course, these are just guidelines, but they should give you a pretty good idea of what to expect for your specific remodeling project.

Before we get to that however, let’s take a look at a few universal situations that will either positively or negatively affect your bathroom remodeling costs.

Situations That Will Add Expense

  • Adding plumbing to an area of your home where there is none.
  • Knocking down walls, or building additions to house your new bathroom.
  • If damaged or rusty plumbing is discovered.
  • If a mold or termite problem is discovered.
  • High-end cabinetry, fixtures, flooring, tile, or counters.

Situations That Will Lower Expense

  • Building within the established “footprint” of your current bathroom.
  • Working with the plumbing that you already have in place.
  • Doing some of the minor work yourself (keeping in mind that specialty work like plumbing and electricity should not be attempted by amateurs.)
  • Using new, but standard cabinetry, fixtures, flooring, tile, or counters.
  • Researching and choosing a trusted contractor to handle your project responsibly, and on budget.


Price Range: $3,000 – $10,000



 This price range is most attractive to those with a very limited budget, or those who are looking to update their bathroom in the hopes of selling their home. At this price range, you will mostly be dealing with standard, off-the-shelf fixtures, cabinets, lighting, and countertops.

If you are particularly creative, you can do a lot in this price range. For instance, while you may not be able to tile the whole bathroom, you can make a very good use of a partial tile job, or some accent tiles. Or, if tile is completely out of your budget, consider perhaps a chair rail, with the wainscoting or beadboard underneath (just make sure you have plenty of ventilation, and are using the appropriate vapor barriers for any type of wood that will be exposed to water.)

Another smart thing to do in this budget range is to choose one or two aspects of the bathroom that you really want to highlight, splurge on them, and then stick to the basics everywhere else. For example, you can dress up a very basic vanity with some beautiful, higher end lighting. Likewise, by splurging on a beautiful, vintage styled pedestal sink, you may be able to get away with a repurposed freestanding cabinet as storage instead of built-ins.

As with any project, you can save a lot of money by doing some of the work yourself. Of course, it is always recommended that you speak with a general contractor and designer prior to beginning any project, as they can help guide you in everything that from building permits, to waste removal.

The Breakdown:

Countertops: Look for cultured marble or granite.

Tile: Try very basic tile with a few expensive accent tiles, or mid-priced tile concentrated only around the bath or shower stall.

Walls: Paint will be your most affordable option, but remember that you can tile sections of the room. You may also consider properly sealed wood accents with a vapor barrier

Cabinets: Try refinishing or refacing the cabinetry you already have in place. If that won’t work, consider buying some freestanding furniture as storage. Any built-in cabinetry that you get in this price range will be of a very basic grade, but you can also dress it up with paint or stylish hardware.

Fixtures, Finishes and Lighting: Nearly everything in this price range will be bought off the rack. Again, you can splurge on one or two special accent pieces, but for the most part, you will be working with standard grade materials.

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Remodeling a House


Almost everyone approaches the prospect of remodeling a house with excitement and determination. Unfortunately, those feelings can cool off rapidly once the reality of the situation hits you.

Home renovation can be a lengthy and frustrating process. Homeowners who realize they are staring down a disruptive, occasionally messy, and expensive remodeling project often make some big mistakes in an attempt to make the process less impactful. You can avoid these pitfalls if you know where to look for them.

We want to level with you:

While we would all love it if we could simply point to a picture in a catalog, say “That one!” and have the kitchen, bathroom, or living room of our dreams magically appear, it simply doesn’t work that way.

There is a lot of planning, negotiating and patience required on the part of you, the homeowner. Trying to make the process go faster or cheaper can sometimes get you into big trouble.

So here are the 8 biggest mistakes to avoid during your renovations:


Overestimating Your DIY Prowess

It’s true that you can save yourself some money if you are able to do a portion of the renovation work yourself.

But here’s your gut check:

Be brutally honest. Did a single semester of shop class in high school truly prepare you for large-scale carpentry work? Likewise, just because you can tighten up a leaky shower head; does that mean you should start soldering pipes on your own?

If you have actual construction experience, then you can and should jump into the project, assuming you want to. If you don’t have solid skills, you may end up doing some damage to your home, resulting in a repair bill on top of your remodeling costs.

Professionals ply their trades all day, every day. They can spot potential problems that the average person may miss, and they can do the job faster and more efficiently. This is especially true of highly specialized tradesmen like electricians and plumbers. Messing up in one of those areas can have serious consequences.


Going With the Cheapest (or Most Readily Available) Contractor

Let’s be clear:

You should not allow yourself to be overcharged or treated unfairly, but if you run into a contractor who is quoting you much less than others, consider why that might be.

Remodeling contractors should provide you price quotes with extensive details. They should have specific plans outlined for job aspects such as permit costs, a general contractor fee, a waste removal plan, and insurance.

Make sure your contractor has also included information about how changes to the project are handled once the project is already underway, as this can make a big difference in the final price tag.

Of course, also consider the way the estimate is written as well. If you receive a document saying something along the lines of “finished basement,” with few other specifics outlined, you can safely assume your contractor did not carefully price out your job. He may be quoting low just to get his foot in the door. That’s a red flag.

One last point:

If you run into a string of contractors who all have a waiting list, and then one who mysteriously doesn’t, maybe take a pause before hiring him. The best ones can sometimes require advance booking.

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Bathrooms no longer have to be strictly functional. Homeowners are finding new ways to emphasize the formally taboo room with fun and elegant designs. Here are six unique vanity ideas that are guaranteed to instill bathroom envy in your family and friends.

Rustic Wood with Stone Farmhouse Sink
Combining the rich wood color with the bold metal fixtures and stone farmhouse sink creates a vanity that any Viking would be proud to install in their bathroom. Make sure you combine this style with light, warm colored flooring and walls to avoid making the space appear too dark.


Reclaimed Barrel
If you love wine, this vanity is perfect for you. Taking an old wine barrel and turning it into a vanity creates a rustic, elegant sink that can fit almost anywhere.


This trend has been gaining speed in the DIY community for some time. Savvy homeowners are finding old dressers with a lot of personality at antique shops and flea markets and converting them into bathroom vanities. But beware; many DIYer’s don’t have the proper skills or tools to pull this off correctly. We suggest that, after you find your desired dresser, you hire a professional to convert and install it.


Modern decorators rejoice! This floating vanity is the perfect way to create a sleek, sophisticated design without sacrificing storage or counter space. Add a couple floating shelves for even more visual interest.


Stone Slab
This incredible stone slab bathroom vanity is an unforgettable focal point that will leave your guests in awe. The rough stone edges paired with the smooth faucet and sink and iron chains create a perfect marriage between industrial and natural design.


Simultaneously adding a bit of historic class and extra storage, converting an antique armoire into a functional bathroom vanity is no easy feat. First, you must find the armoire you like in the right size and style. Then, it has to be properly fitted with plumbing and electrical before you can really enjoy this show-stopping piece. Just like with the dresser vanity above, we suggest hiring a professional.