Archives for September 2016

Time to Give That Nook Another Look?

nookMake that alcove more inviting with

fresh art, new pillows or a good tidying up

Nooks are one of those features that often become a favorite place in the house. But they can leave us puzzling over exactly what to do with them. If you have a nice nook to work with, lucky you! But

if yours isn’t that inviting, it’s time for a revamp. One or two of these

designer ideas could be just the thing to inspire a reinvention.

Foreclosure Rate Drops to Pre-Crisis Levels


Dos and Don’ts of Hanging Art Above a Fireplace

artIt’s a classic spot for a work of art, but what are the design rules for getting it right?

When it comes to hanging art above a mantel, what are the dos and don’ts? How high should you hang the work? Is one piece enough, and what’s the right color scheme? Read on for expert tips.

Should My Window Trim Match — or Contrast With — the Sash?

sashThe short answer: It depends

One of the most common questions I get during exterior color consultations is whether the window trim should be painted the same color as the sash. It’s a good question. And the answer is frustratingly complicated. But before we dive into it, let’s start with a quick primer on a couple of key terms used to describe the exterior of a window.

8 Practical Space Savers for Small Bedrooms

small bedHardworking furnishings, accessories and built-ins will keep your

sanctuary tidy and calm

Keeping a bedroom organized and uncluttered maintains a serene feeling. Every inch counts in a tiny bedroom, so a space-saving strategy is a must. If you’re dealing with a small room, consider some of these clever space savers. They may inspire you to shuffle around a few pieces of furniture or complete a weekend DIY project. If you know you’ll be in your compact bedroom for the long haul, you may even invest in hiring a carpenter.

You Can Turn That Into a Bathroom Vanity?

vanityFind fresh inspiration from 13 unconventional bathroom vanities that are as functional as the real deal

A bathroom vanity needn’t be straight out of the shop or supplied by a manufacturer or cabinetmaker. Indeed, thinking outside the square can turn up a one-of-a-kind vanity with character and function to boot. Sideboards, desks and cabinets — whether new or used — can all be repurposed to provide storage and surface space. Here are 13 pieces of furniture that have been cleaned up and repurposed as stylish bathroom vanities.

New Construction Numbers

Though some think that the pace of the housing recovery

is unsustainable. However, Jonathan Smoke, the Chief Economist of explains the basic difference between 2005 and today:

“The havoc during the last cycle was the result of building too many homes and of speculation fueled by loose credit. That’s the exact opposite of what we have today.”

If we look at the number of new single family housing starts over the last 30 years, we can see that the numbers of housing starts during the current recovery (2012-Today) are still way below historic averages, and

are far less than the numbers built during the run-up to the housing bubble (2002-2006).


A single family housing start is defined as “the number of permits issued for construction of new single family housing units. Housing starts are an important economic indicator

due to its extensive spill over benefits for the other sectors of the economy (retail, manufacturing, utilities).”

Current demand for housing actually calls for more new construction to be built – not less. We should at least return to historically normal levels.

8 Decorating Tricks to Brighten a Dim Room

decorating tipsYou might think to add white and provide adequate lighting, but you might not know about these other ways to lighten up a space

If you’re looking to brighten up a room that feels more like a cave (or even just a little on the dim side), try this mix of beginner tips and advanced ideas for bringing in more light and maximizing what you already have.

How to Declutter and Create a Capsule Wardrobe

closetNeed a gentle nudge to clear the decks? Join the ‘less is more’ tribe and pare back your clothing and shoes

An excessive number of jackets, shoes and clothes in general is a prime culprit for messy bedrooms, hallways and closets. A collapsing, heaving wall-mounted coat rack was my own personal sign that I needed to aim for a more minimal wardrobe, but your reasons may be different. Perhaps you’re moving and want to streamline your belongings? Maybe you’re curious about Marie Kondo’s KonMari organizing method after having chats with converted friends? Or perhaps you’re just sick of taking forever to choose your clothes and get dressed in the morning. Paring down your wardrobe is a cleansing and liberating experience. Plus it creates more space. Give the following steps a try this weekend to kick-start a simpler outlook on life.