Tips To Make Your Home More Pet Friendly

Tips To Make Your Home More Pet Friendly

There is nothing more satisfying than coming home to a happy pet greeting you at the door. Unfortunately, too many people neglect to include the safety of a pet when they are buying or building a new home. There are many simple ideas for how to make your home more pet friendly and, if you are building or buying a new home, consider some of these when planning.

Choose the Right Flooring

You want flooring that is attractive, durable and easy to maintain, but you also need to choose flooring that is safe for your pet. Carpet, although attractive, can be difficult to keep clean with pets as they track dirt and mud in when they have been outdoors. It is also important to remember that pets have accidents no matter how well they are trained.

One option is painted concrete that can provide the look of brick or terrazzo for a unique look. Bamboo is another excellent flooring option for pets as it is durable, stands up to traffic and is environmentally-friendly. Stone and ceramic tile don’t scratch and are easy to clean after an accident. However, stone may be cold and hard for pets to sit on. New luxury vinyl styles are a very good choice as they are durable, easy to clean and softer than stone or tile.

Avoid hardwood which can stain and scratch easily. Laminate is also not a good choice as it can be difficult for pets to walk on.

Furniture Coverings

Even if your pets are not permitted on the furniture, fur that is shed can still land on cushions. If you have a puppy or a kitten, they may be tempted to chew or scratch on furniture material.

Choosing the right fabrics is one way to make your home more pet friendly. Crypton coverings are almost indestructible. It resists stains, smell and bacteria making it an excellent choice if you have children as well. Leather may not seem like the most pet friendly option, but it is easy to clean and durable. Ultrasuede is machine-washable and feels almost like real suede, but is resistant to stains and discoloration. One tip is to match your furniture colors to your pets fur so any shedding is less noticeable.

A Space of Their Own

If possible, create spaces that are specifically for your pet, such as a climbing house for your cat or a soft bed and blanket for your dog. Keep their toys and treats in that area so they connect that one section of the house as their own. Make sure to provide your pet with an outdoor area that is safe for them as well as a well-exercised pet is less likely to cause trouble inside.

Other ways to make your home more pet friendly is to remove all hazards. Check for choking, electrocution or hanging hazards. Keep cords for blinds and curtains short and unplug electric cords that your animal could trip over or chew. Only purchase plants that are pet-safe and safety lock any cabinets that contain pesticides or other chemicals. Keep the toilet lid down to prevent poisoning from cleaning products and make sure all screens are sturdy enough to keep your animals inside. These simple tips can help keep your pets safe and protected.

What Are The Benefits Of A Home Addition?

What Are The Benefits Of A Home Addition?

When you want to transform your home and have the space about which you’ve always dreamed, a home addition may be the right choice for you. Home additions give you much more than a simple remodeling project can, including additional space, more natural light or rental income. There are also additional advantages of home additions.

Gaining additional space with a home addition

Most people want more room in their homes. As Americans, we have many items that require storage, including exercise equipment, bicycles, photo albums and more.When you add a home addition, you will have a lot more room with which you can work. Your addition could be a bathroom, family room, bedroom or a kitchen. Even adding a few feet to your existing kitchen or bathroom can add the space that you need.

Benefits of a home addition for family and friends

Whether you frequently entertain out-of-town guests or have grown children who are wanting to move home, an addition can be used to house them. The Pew Research Center reports that nearly 40 percent of young adults live with their parents. If your lot can handle of extra space, you can add a bedroom to your home. If your existing plumbing allows you to do so, you can also add a guest bathroom, making the new bedroom and bathroom perfect for your adult child or for guests.

Home additions for added value

It is important for you to research carefully and talk to a real estate professional before building an addition to your home if the reason for you doing so is to increase your home’s value. While adding space may add value, it doesn’t always. Other factors, including the area in which your home is located, local market conditions and your lot size will also impact the value of your home.

It can be cheaper to build a home addition than to move

Building on to your house may be cheaper than moving and buying a larger home. It also helps you to avoid the hassles involved with packing, hiring movers and unpacking. Home additions are less expensive and involve fewer hassles.

Benefits of a home addition for added luxury

You can add luxury to your home by adding on to your master bath. With a bathroom addition, you can add an infinity shower, added storage space, an oversized tub and other spa-like features.

Home additions for more natural light

Sunrooms are a good option to add sunlight to both the sunroom and the rooms surrounding it. These are often what homeowners visualize when they think about home additions.

Building a home addition is one way that you can turn your house into your dream home. They are less expensive than moving and may be cheaper than some remodeling projects. With their benefits, home additions are definitely an option for you to consider. To learn more about how we can help you with your home addition, call us today to schedule your appointment or stop by our showroom.

Planning a Man Cave? Don’t Forget These Items

Planning a Man Cave Don’t Forget These Items

Personal space is important in a marriage which is why man caves have been on the rise over the past few years. Man caves give men a place to go where they can relax, enjoy time with the “guys” and not worry about where they put their feet. It may also be a quiet place to work or read as well as a game room for shooting pool, throwing darts or playing poker. If you are planning a man cave, these are a few necessities you need to make it complete.

The Comfy Recliner

A recliner is a man’s all-purpose furnishing. It is perfect for sitting and enjoying the game, but is also a comfortable spot to read the paper. If you plan to use your man cave for work, the recliner is a great place for calling clients in the evening or comfortably working on your laptop. It even leans back for that afternoon nap on a rainy afternoon without the stiff neck you end up with when you sleep on the sofa.

Large Television

If you plan to enjoy the big game, you need a television. Choose one that is large enough to be seen from all angles of the room. Even if you are not into sports, a television is still critical when planning a man cave. You can watch movies, catch up on old television shows or even find an all-music channel for background noise while you are working.

Grown-up Games

For many men, a pool table is an essential addition to any man cave. If pool is not your thing, a dart board, air hockey, ping pong or Foosball table may be more to your liking. In fact, you may want to include a combination of games. Another excellent addition to a man cave is a poker table. There are many options available today, some with reversible tops which make them more versatile if your man cave will be used by other members of the family.

Your Personality

Although you don’t have to have a theme for your man cave, you want it to reflect your personality. It could be the deer head your wife refuses to allow in the living room or the trophies from the golf tournaments you enjoy. The opportunities are endless in a man cave to display what makes you who you are through memorabilia, mementos and other items.

Seating for Everyone

In addition to that comfy recliner, you will want to have seating available for others who may join you in the man cave. If you install a large-screen television, consider adding theater seating. Theater seating is also a great way to watch the big game as many come equipped with cup holders and small tables for snacks. There are even seats available with iPad and laptop holders so your friends can keep up with their fantasy team during the game.

A Bar and Stools

Another great touch when planning a man cave is a bar with stools. Sitting at a bar adds a feeling of “adult” to a man cave, even if the toy box is just on the other side of the room. People enjoy sitting at a bar, watching the game or simply enjoying each other’s company.

If you need help with the plan for your man cave, contact us today to learn what we can do to help you create the perfect space. You can give us a call or visit our website for suggestions on what can make your man cave unique, exciting and “you.”

What You Need to Consider Before Remodeling Your Basement

What You Need to Consider Before Remodeling Your Basement

Remodeling your basement is one of the best ways to add square footage to your home at a lower cost than adding an addition of the same size. In fact, it costs approximately 30 to 50 percent less to remodel a basement than it is to add an additional room. When you sell your home, it is possible to recover more than 75 percent of your costs when you sell. However, there are things you need to consider before you decide to take on that remodeling project.

Ceiling Height

Most building codes now require that a basement ceiling be at least seven feet above the floor. However, a seven-foot ceiling will seem much lower than other rooms in the house as most rooms have eight-foot or higher ceilings after they are finished. Finishing the basement floor and ceiling will make the room seem even more cramped.

If your basement has a low ceiling, consider using a drywall ceiling rather than a drop ceiling. If you have pipes and wires that must be accessed, place plastic panels strategically throughout the ceiling. Paint the room white as it will make the room seem larger.

Water and Moisture

Because basements are underground, they are prone to moisture and water leakage. If water leaks through cracks in your foundation, have a contractor repair the cracks before starting your remodeling project.

Hire a contractor that specializes in basement water issues and ask for references. Additional rain gutters or a French drain may also assist in keeping water away from the foundation. Sump pumps with a battery backup are also a good way to keep water out of your basement.

Choose the Right Flooring

Although wood is a popular choice for basements, flooding can ruin the floor and the floor can also eliminate head room as it is installed over subfloor. Vinyl will also show any imperfections in the floor so it is not recommended for basements.

Laminate, vinyl interlocking or plank flooring are better options for the basement as they are not attached to the floor but to each other. Many contractors call them “floating” floors as they seem to float above the existing flooring. If there is damage, one or two planks or tiles can be removed and replaced. Carpet, although an excellent option if you want to reduce noise, is susceptible to mold and mildew.

Other things to consider before remodeling your basement include the layout itself. You want the space as open as possible, so try not to chop the space into smaller rooms. Remember to section off an area to use for storage. Install plumbing below an upstairs room that already has water pipes to keep costs low. Remember to position furniture so that furnaces, water heaters or washing machines do not disturb someone in a basement bedroom or in your home theater. These simple tips can help you make the right choices for your basement remodel.

How To Create Space For A Home Office

How To Create Space For A Home Office

In the past, people used to only work from home when other demands, such as a sick child or a scheduled repair, forced them to do so. The trend has been reversing, however, with more and more people telecommuting for their jobs. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2010, 13.4 million people reported that they telecommuted at least one time per week. That number was an increase of 35 percent in just 13 years from 1997. The trend has only continued its upward trajectory since then because technology has made telecommuting easier and more effective.

If you are considering a telecommuting or work-from-home job, you are likely wondering how you will be able to fit a home office into your available space. There are several innovative ways that you can carve out space for a home office, including in your kitchen, using an available wall or even under a staircase. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Choose your spot

When you’re trying to choose the place where you will work, you should think about both the work that you do as well as the types of home tasks you will need to also be able to monitor. For people who are planning to simultaneously supervise their children while also working, picking a spot near where your family normally gathers is smart. In many people’s homes, this is the kitchen. You can get creative by installing your spot into a breakfront that is built in or tucked away in an available corner.

Consider the space under your stairs

If you have a staircase in your home, consider the space under the stairs as a possibility. With creativity, you can turn the space into your home office. Another possibility is setting up your home office in your dining room, especially if your dining room doesn’t get used too often. You can use the table for your desk and store office equipment in your hutch.

Use a wall

If you are limited by your square footage, a wall-mounted desk might be a good option. You can purchase one that has a shelf with side storage that is functional and attractive.

Consider your storage options

People who are space-limited may want to choose to store documents in a closet or to store printers and other electronics in custom drawers built for them. Filing cabinets, crates, stackable storage options and blanket chests can all be used to store and hide office items away when you are not working.

Pick your office chair

People who will be working at a desk for multiple hours should purchase ergonomic chairs. You can pick an ergonomic chair that also has a sleek appearance so that it won’t look like an office chair if it is out in plain sight.

Choose your lighting

Don’t make the mistake of only relying on the blue glow from your laptop. Other tasks will require additional lights so you reduce the possible strain on your eyes. Natural light works great, but for darker rooms, using an adjustable lamp that you can move to focus on different tasks.

Make it comfortable

Straining or hunching over while you work will end up hurting you over time. This is why ergonomic designs are so important. You’ll want to pay attention to the height of your keyboard so that you don’t end up developing carpal tunnel syndrome in your wrists.Drawers or platforms that sit right under your desk surface are ideal. Footstools can be used to make certain that your legs are elevated, which helps to prevent lower back pain. Similarly, ergonomic pillows that are designed to fit with the natural curvature of your spine are also helpful.

Using your imagination and a little creativity, you can create space for a home office somewhere in your home. Even if you are limited in the amount of your available space, you can use one of these methods to establish your spot so that you can work comfortably from home.

Top 11 Home Design Blogs You Should Should Be Following

Top 11 Home Design Blogs You Should Should Be Following

If you are thinking about home renovations and updates, you’re likely overwhelmed by all of the home design trends. Finding the unique style that calls to you can take some time. It is common for people to struggle while they are searching to find the latest trends and the unique designs that will work best for them. A good place to start is by looking at these 11 home design blogs. By following them, you’ll learn the best and most modern ideas to transform your home with designs that are both modern and timeless.

1. The Endearing Home


The Endearing Home

The Endearing Home is a blog that is chock-full of do-it-yourself craft projects that are meant for people who want to create beautiful and comfortable homes on a budget. Lauren, the blogger, offers many creative ideas that are perfect if you love a rustic, homey appearance. She provides tips for repurposing garage sale finds as well as using burlap and other items to give your home its own uniquely beautiful look.

2. Simply Designing

Simply Designing

If you are a parent, you’ll love Simply Designing. Ashley Phipps offers family-friendly ideas for your home transformation, including ideas geared for infants up through teenagers. Sprinkled throughout her designs are recipes, crafts and educational game ideas so that you can have fun with the whole family in your remodeled home.

3. The Homes I Have Made

The Homes I Have Made

Megan Duesterhaus is a military wife who focuses on creating functional and beautiful designs that can be easily moved and reincorporated into each house her family moves into. Her design ideas make terrific use of limited space, with ideas for organization when the square footage is limited. Her ideas are terrific for people who rent or whose jobs require frequent moves.

4. Dandelion Patina

Dandelion Patina

Michelle, the blogger behind the Dandelion Patina, is a stay-at-home mother who specializes in incorporating farmhouse, modern and rustic design themes. She includes both do-it-yourself ideas along with ways to find items to purchase when doing so makes a better option. Her blog is focused on helping people to use simple style ideas so that they can create their own simple lives for happy tranquility.

5. Gray House Studio

Gray House Studio

Blogging duo Brent and Courtney met in high school and later reconnected, getting married and embarking on a life of designing, building and renovating houses together. On their blog, you can find unique designs that are very utilitarian and industrial while also leaving a timeless impression. Brent is a master craftsman, and he offers some special insight into how to build different items in order to make your home truly yours.

6. Wife in Progress

Wife In Progress

Jenna, who is originally from Ireland and who now lives in Boston with her husband and their child, is a teacher and lover of do-it-yourself home renovation projects. She gives excellent ideas for how to remodel your home frugally, and her work has sleek lines combined with muted and beautiful colors. The results are classically inspired rooms that will stay in style even as time passes.

7. The Blissful Bee

The Blissful Bee

Amy, a professional designer and blogger, creates beautiful spaces that incorporate bursts of color using flowers and photographs of plants and trees combined with neutral shades. Her designs bring nature indoors, giving a breezy and airy feel to the homes she designs. She also offers do-it-yourself ideas if you want to try your own hand in creating your unique space.

8. The House of Wood

The House Of Wood

Jen Woodhouse is a successful songwriter as well as a do-it-yourself enthusiast and designer. On her blog, you can find many buildable furniture projects along with home decor and design ideas. Blogging from Nashville, her designs incorporate farmhouse styles with a sense of Southern gentility.

9. Charles & Hudson

Charles & Hudson

Timothy Dahl, the founder of Charles & Hudson, focuses on smart home ideas, incorporating technology into his designs and do-it-yourself projects. In addition to innovative ideas, he provides step-by-step instructions along with a discussion of the tools that you will need.

10. The Painted Hive

the painted hive

Kristine specializes in creating livable and beautiful homes while working on a budget. She provides information about rehabbing furniture and other pieces in order to transform your home room-by-room into a place in which you can truly enjoy living. She also offers craft ideas and how-to information, and you can check out her work with her before and after photographs.

11. Flemington Granite

Flemington Granite Screenshot

Flemington Granite is far more than just a provider of natural stone products. The company has a team of professional designers who are able to work with you to help make your home express your personality while using the most modern trends and classic designs. The results are stunning, allowing your home to appear as if it came from the pages of a top design magazine.

Deciding how to remodel your home doesn’t have to be bewildering. With ideas from these 11 blogs, you are sure to find the combination of styles that best fit your personality. After you have decided on the designs you love, you can then roll up your sleeves and get started.

What Are the Ugliest Colors to Paint Your Home?

What Are the Ugliest Colors to Paint Your Home?

The Australian government recently researched what color people dislike the most, and the government determined that people dislike a color called Pantone 448 C, a specific shade of greenish brown. Australia has found that people find the color ugly enough that the country is using it to try to keep people from smoking.

Pantone 448 C

While browns and greens are both fine, the particular way in which the human brain processes the particular blend that makes up Pantone 448 C is probably why people find it so repulsive. When people choose paint for their homes, they usually want colors that make them feel uplifted. The particular greenish-brown hue of Pantone 448 C instead makes people feel lifeless or depressed, bringing their moods down. While people haven’t rushed out to paint their homes in that particular shade, some people still do choose other colors that are quite ugly for both the interior and exterior of their homes. Here are some colors you should avoid when you are getting ready to choose the colors to paint your home.


Peach made a splash in homes during the 1960s, but it had quickly fallen out of fashion by the 1970s. The likely reason that peach has never reappeared as a design trend is because it is so ugly and dated-looking. It is a very difficult color for you to design around or to work with. While peach may look fine for clothing, it is overwhelming and depressing when it is covering expanses of walls.

Bright orange

Orange might be okay if it is used in small touches. Every few years, orange rears up, appearing in home design. The reason why it doesn’t last is because it is overwhelming when used on walls and is very hard to work with in home design.

Bright yellow

Certain shades of yellow are cheerful, such as some buttery shades. Bright yellow feels overly aggressive, however, making people feel nervous and anxious. It is also overpowering when it is used in a large room with large walls.

Red coral

While red itself is very aggressive and anger-inducing, some shades are also very ugly. For example, red corals blend some pink into the pure red along with some neon intensity, none of which look good on walls. Bright deep reds may be good to use for accents, such as on the front door of a house, but you should avoid using shades of red to paint whole rooms.

Pastel pink

Pastel colors should be avoided in most cases. While they might be appearing in design magazines, remember that brightness helps to lift a room’s mood. Pastel pink instead appears dusty when it is painted on the walls, making the room feel dull and lifeless. Instead, choosing neutral shades such as a gray with a hint of beige will provide a timeless appeal.

When you are ready to remodel or update your home and would like ideas about colors to paint your home, the design professionals at Flemington Granite will be happy to help. To get some ideas about updates for your home or to learn how we can help, come by or call us today.

4 Must-Have Power Tools No Homeowner Should Be Without!

Separating us from a majority of the rest of the animal kingdom, tools have allowed us to create the items that make our environment more comfortable and beautiful. While humans have used hand tools for thousands of years, there are some power tools you should also make certain that you have in your home. While there are many different types of power tools, here are four that are essential.

1. Cordless Drill

Among all of the other choices, a cordless drill is the most important power tool to have. When you have a good drill, you will be able to easily handle almost any drilling job, ranging from small pilot to large holes. Cordless drills also allow you to make the holes you need in order to run wiring through and drive your chosen fasteners in.

What you should look for in a cordless drill

While there is an abundance of compact 12-volt cordless drills on the market, you’ll want to instead choose a drill with a little more power to them. Several top tool manufacturers, such as Dewalt, Makita and Bosch, offer 18-volt cordless drills so that you can make certain you’ll be able to complete your drilling job. Since your drill is something you’ll likely need to use frequently, spend a little extra money when you purchase it, and you’ll be glad you did later on. You can expect to pay somewhere between $100 and $200 for a good-quality 18-volt cordless drill.

2. Reciprocating Saw

Reciprocating saws can cut through wood and most metals as if they were made of butter. Whether you are completing electrical, plumbing, remodeling or demolishing work, your reciprocating saw will help you slice through 2x4s, pipes and almost anything else with ease. You’ll want to take care when your work will involve your cutting into a wall. Take time to investigate what is inside of it so you don’t cut into a water or electrical line.

What you should look for in a reciprocating saw

For reciprocating saws, it’s best to choose one that has a cord rather than a cordless version. Reciprocating saws that have cords won’t run out of power, and some have rotating handles. You’ll need to plan on spending about $100 for a good saw. Your blades are also important, so make certain that you get a varied selection so you can handle almost any job.

3. Oscillating Multi-Tool

Oscillating tools have long bodies with heads that can be fitted with a number of different attachments. Depending on the attachment you choose, you can scrape, remove grout, grind, do detail sanding or cut wood. The oscillation is just sufficient enough to make smaller jobs fast while also not creating a large amount of dust. Until a few years ago, the Fein Multi-Master was the only oscillating tool that you could purchase. After the company’s patent expired, the availability of different multi-tools expanded significantly. You can now find multi-tools from nearly every leading tool manufacturer.

What you should look for in an oscillating multi-tool

Unless you intend to use your oscillating multi-tool for jobs that will make a cord annoying, you should choose one that is corded. For longer projects, having to take the time to swap out or charge batteries can be very annoying. Bosch released the oscillating interface system, or OIS, and many manufacturers support it with their own tools. Fein is still the best, and the quick-change mechanism of Fein’s oscillating multi-tool is a great feature. Skil and Fein both have support for dust collection, which is very useful when you are using your multi-tool for sanding. You should plan to spend anywhere from $100 to $200 for a good oscillating multi-tool.

4. Circular Saw

Circular saws allow you to easily cut through boards and sheet goods. If you only need to cut through wood once yearly, a handsaw is good enough. If you need to cut through wood on a more regular basis, you can cut through a wood stack in around 2 minutes as opposed to the 20 or more minutes it would take you with a handsaw. You have to be cautious when you are using a circular saw as it can cut you just as easily as it can wood.

What you should look for in a circular saw

If you plan to cut hardwoods, it is best for you to choose a circular saw that has a cord. Among corded circular saws, there are traditional saws that are smaller as well as larger, heavier-duty ones. If you are planning to purchase a circular saw for do-it-yourself projects, the traditional model is likely sufficient for you. Framers and carpenters prefer the heavier-duty circular saws, which are also called worm-drive saws. They cut through everything very easily, but they are also harder to safely manage using one hand.

Getting the right tools for your home or shop can allow you to complete almost any project you desire. While you’ll want to add to your tool collection, these four power tools will give you a good start. To learn more about tools or about your home renovation project, give us a call today.

10 essential elements you’ll find in luxury homes today!

10 essential elements you'll find in luxury homes today

If you want to have a luxurious home, that means that you want something extravagant rather than simply having a home that is well….average. When you think about luxury homes, you probably imagine such things as saunas, swimming pools, tennis courts, fully stocked kitchens and indoor gyms. When luxury buyers are looking to purchase a new home, there are a number of different features they tend to search for. Here is an ordered list of 10 ideas of how you can add some similar features that cost much less than some of the expensive features affluent buyers look for in homes.

1. Open up your floor plan to add character

In a 2013 study completed by Coldwell Banker, survey respondents said that they look for grand entryways with open floor plans and two-story staircases.

2. Think high-tech

Technological innovations are increasingly popular for homeowners. Builders who add technological features to their homes are consistently at the top of their industry.

You can install wireless automation devices in your home. These can allow you to remotely unlock your doors, adjust the lights, adjust the temperature and set your alarm system with a simple touch of a button on your smartphone.

3. Add a wine cellar and warming drawers

Luxury buyers love fully-stocked, beautiful kitchens that are replete with smart features. According to Forbes Magazine, a commercial-grade kitchen is a must-have for luxurious homes. Your kitchen should include plenty of storage options, great appliances, a wine refrigerator and warming drawers. A walk-in pantry is a terrific addition.

4. Adding outdoor cooking and swimming spaces

Affluent homebuyers love outdoor cooking spaces and kitchens where they can entertain guests. The ideal outdoor kitchen should include an expanse of stone patio flooring with seating areas, a small refrigerator, a stainless steel food preparation station with a sink and a built-in gas grill.

If you are able to add a changing cabana, hot tub and a beautiful pool, all of these are near the top of the wish list for the wealthy set. Water features including waterfalls and privacy are important.

5. The home’s location is a key consideration for the affluent

No matter what a person’s socioeconomic status may be, every buyer wants to carve out their own space. Having a tree-lined property with plenty of space that is also private is highly desirable. A feeling of exclusivity in which people can relax is very important to wealthy homebuyers.

6. Having rooms for gaming and viewing movies

Theater rooms and rooms devoted to games are classic features wealthier people look for in prospective homes. Having home bars, areas for liquor storage and even such areas as indoor pools or racquetball courts are all features that are highly desired by the affluent.

7. Bathrooms that resemble spas

Luxurious homes have luxurious bathrooms. Recreating the feeling of opulence found at world-class spas is important. These types of bathrooms have features such as infinity showers with multiple shower jets, radiant-heat flooring, soaker tubs and towel warmers.

8. In-home gyms

Who likes to exercise in front of strangers? Most people prefer to get sweaty in the privacy of their own homes, which makes adding an in-home gym a smart and desirable thing to do. You would need space for equipment, weights, televisions, built-in speakers and, if it is possible, an indoor lap pool and a sauna.

9. Sleeping quarters that seem befitting of royalty

Many hours of every day are spent in the bedroom. Ideally, your bedroom should be a large room with a California king bed, plenty of seating and great storage options. Adding technology such as automated systems for climate control, lighting and security are also a must.

10. A dressing room that is connected to the bedroom

Having a large dressing room that is connected to the bedroom is a must for many wealthy men and women. This would ideally have cedar shelves lining the walls, display racks for neckties, purses and shoes and great lighting and mirrors for applying makeup and inspecting how you look in an outfit.

Of course, the idea of style and luxury varies from person to person. By updating your home with the most modern technological features and amenities, you can still attain your own version of luxury.

How to increase your home’s curb appeal on a budget

How to increase your homes curb appeal on a budget

The first impression that your home gives off is the most important one. When your home’s exterior is drab, it can influence the first impressions others have of it. On the other hand, a beautifully well-kept exterior design can be pleasing to everyone viewing it.

It isn’t necessary to spend a large amount in order to transform the exterior of your home. Here are some of the best ways you can make a big difference while also being mindful of your budget.

Repaint your home

Painting your home’s exterior can immediately change the appearance of your home’s exterior. The terrific thing about this update is that paint only costs an average of $30 per gallon, making it an affordable option.

You can either choose to paint your entire exterior with a new coat of paint, or you can instead select specific areas to apply contrasting colors. For example, many people love the look of painting a front door, shutters or trim with a bold color in order to give a home more curb appeal.

Replace your outdoor lighting

If your outdoor lighting is outdated, replacing it can make an immediate impact. When you are getting ready to buy new outdoor lighting, you’ll want to consider the lights’ functionality and style. It’s important to make certain your entire entryway will be illuminated in order to heighten safety. One terrific option is solar lights, which can be used to light up pathways, landscaping and trees along with your entryway while not increasing your electric bill.

Install shutters

If your home’s windows are small, you can install shutters to make it appear as if they are almost twice as large as they really are. Shutters also provide a visual break in large, boring walls, giving your home a more interesting appearance.

Clean the windows

You can give your home new life by cleaning all of its windows on both the inside and outside. It will also cost you very little if you are planning to complete the task yourself. If your home is two stories, you’ll want to make certain you observe all safety techniques for ladders.

Groom your flower beds

Beautiful flower beds can make your home appear more beautiful while also being affordable. Mulch and annuals are both very affordable, allowing you to beautify your yard even if you are on a tight budget.

You’ll want to begin by removing debris and weeds from your beds. Next, add some mulch, using enough to cover the entire length and width of the beds. This will help your home and your garden look fresh. Next, choose flowers such as petunias, impatiens, black-eyed Susans or pansies to give a burst of color. Because annuals grow very quickly, your home will be looking fabulous in no time.

Trim your bushes

If the bushes and trees in your yard are overgrown, it’s time to trim them. You’ll want to remove all branches that block your driveway, windows and walkways. While pruning shears should work for most of the job, you may need to hire someone if the work will involve the removal of large tree limbs.

Replace your mailbox

Make certain that your mailbox works with your home’s color and exterior decor in order to better express your family’s style and personality.

Improving the look of your home’s exterior does not have to be expensive or difficult. It is also very important if you think you might want to sell it sometime in the future. When you complete some of these simple projects, your home’s appearance will quickly be transformed.

How to Improve Your Home In Just A Few Hours

How to Improve Your Home In Just A Few Hours

Making your home look its best doesn’t need to involve significant time and expense. Instead, there are a number of different simple projects you can do that will spruce up your home while costing little and taking just a few hours of your time. Here are 20 different things you can do to make your home look better.

Use paint to make an old room look fresh

If you have a room that looks drab, paint one wall of it with paint in a bold color. This can help with creating visual interest and will take less time than will painting the entire room.

Install a new faucet

Old leaky faucets are a drain on both your budget and the functionality of your bathroom or kitchen. Installing a new faucet requires only that you know how to use a wrench. You’ll need to start by turning off the water supply. After unscrewing your old faucet’s connections, simply screw in your new faucet. If you add an aerator, you’ll decrease your water bill further.

Clean the dryer ducts

If you notice that your dryer simply just doesn’t work as well as it used to work, lint may have built up in the ductwork. Removing the lint buildup can improve efficiency and help to prevent fire. You’ll need to move your dryer out from the wall. Then, disconnect your ductwork and unplug your dryer. Simply use a vacuum cleaner to remove the lint.

Inspect the electrical outlets in your home

Walk through your home and take a look at all of the electrical outlets. Make certain to insert outlet covers into all unused power strip and wall outlets if you have any children or if children ever visit. Secure all loose wires. Make notes of any overloaded power cords and circuits, and make adjustments where they are needed. You should replace any light switches that are hot to the touch as well as frayed cords that you find.

Build raised flowerbeds

Using eight sections of treated lumber, adhesive and screws, you can construct an 8-foot-square flower bed in an hour or less. You’ll need a drill and a saw to cut the pieces and to fasten them together. You can then finish it off by adding landscape fabric to the base of your new flower bed as it will stop weeds from growing.

Wash your walkways

Power-washing your driveway, sidewalks and walkways can help to immediately improve their appearance. All can become stained by automobile leaks, mildew and wet leaves over time.

Replace your home’s hardware

Installing new cabinet pulls or door knobs can provide an almost instantly improved look. Installing them most often requires that you use a screwdriver unless you are mounting pulls where there are no holes. To do that, you’ll need to draw a template to make certain that the holes you drill are in the same place for each door.

Pressure wash your home’s exterior

Using a pressure washer, clean the grime off of your siding, second-story windows and wherever else you see that dirt has built up. Make certain all of your windows are closed before you begin.

Install weatherstripping

Installing weatherstripping can help by making your house feel more comfortable and by making your home’s furnace work less hard. You should install permanent stripping around the windows and doors of your home that you open throughout the winter months. For those that stay closed until spring, temporary seals or sealant that can be peeled off in the spring can help.

Change your furnace’s filter

Changing your furnace’s filter will help improve its efficiency as well as the air quality. Check the filters for dirt every month, changing them at least quarterly. Replacing filters reduces dust particles and can help people who suffer from allergies.

Drain the water heater

Over time, sediment from your home’s water may build up in the bottom of your home’s water heater. This buildup can cause your water heater to work harder in order to heat up the water. Eventually, the added stress can cause leaks. To combat this, drain one quart of water from the heater once each quarter. The owner’s manual should contain the instructions for how to do so.

Install a programmable thermostat

Millions of U.S. homes still have the old-style dial theromstats. Installing a programmable thermostat instead will help you by varying the temperature according to your family’s schedule and needs. This can help save you money and increase your home’s comfort.

Change your switch plate covers

There are many decorative switch plate covers available for purchase online. These are great to use for replacing drab beige or white switch covers.

Clean your carpets

Get your friends to come help you move your furniture for a thorough cleaning. You can then either rent a home shampooer or use your own. Your carpets will look much brighter when you are finished.

Install dimmers on your lamps

For ambient lighting, you can install dimmer cords on any lamps in your home. After you do so, you can use the sliding switch to adjust the light as you prefer.

Start a compost pile

Your garden will love it if you start a compost pile. Doing so can help by turning old food into compost that can be used to nourish your garden. If you don’t have a yard, you can still do so using kitchen composters for use with household plants.

Make a chalkboard

Chalkboard paint and contact paper now let anyone make write-on surfaces wherever they wish. You can let your creativity run wild. You can use these materials to make surfaces places where you can have a central message-leaving station without needing Post-it notes.

Apply film to your windows

You can use window film to help give you more privacy. These films can mimic etched glass and come in a variety of patterns.

Change up your flooring

Peel-and-stick vinyl tiles can be added quickly over the top of old and unattractive wooden or concrete flooring. Vinyl tile now comes in many different patterns, including ones that resemble metal, wood or stone.

Stop the squeaks

If your home is an older one, you likely have squeaky floors or doors. You can stop squeaks from hinges by spraying them with WD-40.

Read This Before You Add a Wine Cellar To Your Home

Wine has been called the nectar of the gods since the time of Homer. It isn’t necessary to believe in a panoply of divine beings in order to enjoy a terrific, full-bodied red or a crisp white. It is no wonder that a modern trend in interior design is dedicating a space for your personal wine collection. No matter the size of your home or apartment, you probably have an area that can be easily converted into your personal storage space for your wine. Here’s how you can add a wine cellar to your home.

Pick the location

Your primary consideration will be the location where you will store your wine collection. It needs to be an area that does not have direct sunlight, making basements perfect choices. You’ll also need to learn the basics of building your cellar. If it is built well, it will perform its tasks with consistency and efficiency.

1. It is important to maintain a temperature of around 55 degrees Fahrenheit for proper wine storage. It is okay to be within three or four degrees, but any warmer than that will age your wine more quickly. If you keep the temperature too cold, your wine will age more slowly.

2. The humidity of your cellar must be controlled and ideally kept at around 57 percent. High humidity can cause your corks to become moldy, ruining your wine. If there is too little humidity, the corks can dry out, spoiling your wine.

3. Your space must be able to incorporate the size of the cellar your collection needs. Wine cellars take up a lot less room than most people think, with collections having up to 250 bottles needing as little as 30 square feet. When planning, make certain that you also have an adjacent room that’s slightly bigger than the space for your cellar.

Framing, drywall and insulation

You can use 2-by-4 or 2-by-6 boards for the framing. Thicker walls let you use more insulation, giving you a better ability to control the environment. Spray-foam insulation is the preferred insulation type because it works as a moisture barrier as well as an insulator.

If you want to use a different type of insulation, you’ll have to apply a 6-millimeter poly moisture barrier on the exterior of all of your framed walls. If the space doesn’t allow you to do this, then you’ll want to wrap it around all of the studs. Your insulation should be on the inside of your poly barrier. After that, board up the interior of the cellar using green board to prevent mildew and mold.

Install a wine cooling unit

You want to make certain the cooling unit you choose is one made specifically for wine. Unlike regular cooling units, wine cooling units control humidity as well as temperature. They remove the excess moisture that your cellar needs to have removed. There are a variety of different products from which you can choose, so you’ll want to research them.

If you choose one that can be installed through your framing, the unit will cool the temperature in the cellar while controlling its environment. The heat will be exhausted outside of the cellar into the adjacent room next to the cellar.

Choose your lighting

You can make your cellar pretty as well as functional with your lighting. You don’t want to choose regular halogen or incandescent bulbs, however, because they produce too much heat. LED lights are the best choice because they do not produce much heat at all. They come in track lights, strip lights and puck lights, allowing you to light your cellar in a manner that best displays your collection.

Create a seal in the doorway

You’ll need to create a seal in your cellar’s doorway. Using 10-millimeter frameless glass doors will give the best ability to view into the cellar from the outside. Minimally, you’ll need to at least choose an insulated, exterior-grade door. If you do use glass, make certain it is dual-paned.

Add humidity

You can add humidity to your cellar with a basic humidifier, but if you want something showier, you can do that in a variety of ways. An indoor waterfall or fountain can add the moisture your cellar needs while also being a showpiece.

Decide how your wine will be displayed

How you display and store your wine is the central feature of your cellar. You can use several different methods to add interest to the area. The best cellars display the finest wines in the collection while also having sufficient room for everyday drinking choices.

When you are ready to add a wine cellar, you might want to get help from professional designers. Call us today, and we can help you with all aspects of your project.

How To Add A Contemporary Vibe To A Home With History

How To Add A Contemporary Vibe To A Home With History

Older homes offer unmatched charm, including quirky designs and elegant, original fixtures. When you find a historical home, you’ll most likely love almost every unique part about it. Traditional homes are often sophisticated but they can also pose some issues when you are wanting them to work for your modern needs.

You may need to update the exterior and the interior in order to modernize your historic home. Here are some ideas for bringing your home up to date.

Neutral and clean palettes

Many historic homes have smaller rooms and fewer open spaces. You’ll want to give them a lighter feel. An easy way to both maintain your home’s design features while also making it feel airier is to paint the walls with neutral colors. This can significantly brighten a room while also letting you show off the classical touches like a room’s exposed beams and banisters. On the outside of your home, using a bright and bold paint hue on your front door can add curb appeal while not changing your home’s features.

Add natural light

If your windows are small, you may want to add additional windows, install skylights or replace smaller windows with larger ones. People who have sufficient budgets and space may want to consider adding a sunroom to allow natural light to pour in. In areas like your bathroom or kitchen, adding skylights can bring in the natural light you want. Front rooms can use picture windows to allow the light inside and giving you an expanded view.

The added bonus of natural light is that you can save on your electric bill. Natural light will also mean that you will not need as many interior lights, which is great if your classic home isn’t equipped to add them.

Adding unexpected contrasts

Adding contrasting features in your rooms is a great way to modernize your home. You can pair such things as mixed metals for your faucets and drawer pulls. For example, you can use different metals for the pulls and the faucets in your kitchen and bathrooms. Contrasting glossy and matte-finished materials also gives rooms a more modern feel. Your home can look and feel more contemporary while still maintaining the classic nature of your home.

It is possible to make your traditional home more modern with a few updates to the small details. For more ideas and to learn more about what we can do for you, call the professional designers at Flemington Granite today to schedule your consultation.

Design Ideas For Your Floor Plan

Design Ideas For Your Floor Plan

Homes may have open or closed floor plans. Many newer homes have open plans, combining the living, dining and kitchen areas into one large space. The idea is that this provides needed additional space in the kitchen area while also allowing you to have more room to entertain your guests. If you have an open floor plan, there are a number of different ways to break down the separate areas to increase the room’s eye appeal and to clearly divide each area into its separate use.

Many older homes have closed floor plans with rooms separated by walls. The challenge with these types of plans is feeling cramped or closed in. There are some design ideas that you can incorporate to make your existing space feel airier if your home’s floor plan is a closed one.

Ideas for homes with open floor plans

We were trying to decide which filter to use for this incredible kitchen….#nofilter !

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If you feel like how your floor plan is set up isn’t working for you, you can start by thinking about the areas that can be rearranged in a different way. Consider walls that are not needed for supports. Having fewer walls on your main level, in the basement or in the attic may benefit your home.

To create visual interest for a great room, think about adding windows or skylights to take advantage of the beauty of natural light. Using contrasting dark floors and light-colored walls may help to make the room feel airier. Other ideas that you might want to include any of the following:

● Try using the main level of your home as a single space or great room if it is possible.

● There is no need to close off and separate your living room from your dining area and kitchen

● In order to add bedrooms, offices or other needed rooms, you may be able to add walls in your finished basement or attic space to create the needed rooms.

● If you have an open floor plan and need an extra bathroom, you can simply borrow some of the space from it to do so. It is best if the chosen space for it is next to your home’s plumbing.

Ideas for homes with closed floor plans

When you want to remodel your home that has a closed floor plan, you’ll be working with rearranging your rooms. You can start by walking through your home, thinking about different things you might do. This can give you some ideas that you can use. Here are some steps you can take:

● Write down all of the changes you would enjoy making and then list them by order of priority.

● In each individual room, note such features as natural sources of light, how it is currently used, where it is located in your home and what rooms are next to it.

● Think about whether a particular room might be combined with an adjacent one to make your home better.

● Bathrooms might be expanded by using the space of a room that is not used often or an unneeded closet that is adjacent to the bathroom.

● Two small bedrooms may be combined to make one spacious bedroom.

● You can finish a garage in order to transform it into an entertainment room or a master bedroom.

Ideas for homes with extremely limited space

If your home is very small, your creativity will be very important. You might want to start by looking outside to see if an outdoor space can be turned into an indoor space. Here are some ideas you might want to consider for your smaller home:

● When you finish a deck or patio and turn it into added room for your home, it may give you the added space to the room it adjoins that you want.

● If you are converting a patio, you will not need to worry about adding a foundation to it as it already has one.

● Combining sunrooms with rooms that are adjacent to them can make your home feel larger by adding a lot of natural light.

● If you have a flat roof, you may want to turn it into an open or closed deck area or add a garden to take advantage of all of your available spaces.

● You may need nothing more than a better organizational scheme, adding extra shelving and drawers wherever you can fit them.

No matter what your home’s floor plan might be, there are things you can do to make the best possible use of your space. To get some design ideas that are individualized for your home’s features, call our professional team of designers today to schedule your consultation.

Where Should I Put A Second Kitchen Sink?

Where Should I Put A Second Kitchen Sink

With the open floor plans of today’s homes, kitchens have become the primary space in which people gather for entertaining. This means that kitchens now have added traffic and bring a need for a wiser use of their space.

A terrific way to help increase your kitchen’s efficiency is adding a second kitchen sink. You’ll need to choose the spot well, and the decision about where to add it will depend on the room’s layout as well as your lifestyle. Here are some ideas that may work for you.

Adding a kitchen sink in your island or prep station

Having a second kitchen sink gives you the convenience of separating your prep and cleaning areas. When you add a sink to your kitchen island, you’ll have the separation you want. You’ll then have an area to prepare your food while being able to transfer dirty dishes to the cleaning area, keeping them out of your way. If you have a kitchen peninsula, you might want to add a sink that is accessible from either side of it. This can help you with the traffic in the room. Consider also adding pull-down faucets for increased efficiency and style.


For people with smaller kitchens or those without islands, adding a single-bowl sink in a secondary prep area might work. You’ll need to make certain that you leave yourself with some counter space on either side of the sink. You can then use it as your prep sink while leaving your primary one for cleaning.

Baking area

If you bake a lot, you know how messy it can be. People who like to bake find adding a sink in their baking stations helps them concentrate the mess it involves in one spot instead of all over the room.

Coffee station

Coffee lovers often have a lot of equipment for making the coffee they love. They consequently need added space so they can enjoy their habit. If you have a coffee station, adding a sink in that area can help you start your after-dinner coffee without first needing to clear the dirty dishes from your meal.

Wet bar

Many people who frequently entertain understand that their guests tend to gather around in the kitchen. You may be able to give yourself more room to move while you are preparing the meal by adding a wet bar with a second sink. You’ll want to keep this station separated from your cleaning and prep areas. This can let you get the work you need to get done completed while also entertaining your guests.

Pot-filling areas

One modern design feature is adding faucets to fill pots on backsplashes behind the cooktop. This helps to avoid carrying large pots filled with water to use for cooking. Another idea is to add a sink close to the cooktop. You can use pull faucets in order to reach your pots while also having the sink available for other tasks.

To get more ideas about the best placement for your second sink, call us today or simply fill out our contact form. We will be happy to give you some ideas and let you know how we can help you.

Make Your Life Easier With These Home Automation Tools

Make Your Life Easier With These Home Automation Tools

It is estimated that 38.2 million homes in the U.S. will have smart home systems installed by 2019. This is an increase from the 10 million households who had them in 2014. Home automation systems help you to manage or control your home using applications or devices that are connected to the Internet.

Any home can be transformed into a smart one without needing the help of others. While most people are familiar with technology that is used to program lights, control temperatures and provide security, there are many other options that are also available. Here are a few easy applications and systems that can help to get you started on the path to home automation.

Remotely checking on your pet

There are a large number of products that can be used to check on your pet. Options are available from Misafes, Pet Scout, Motorola and Piper, among others. These include wireless camera systems so you can see what your pet is doing anytime. Some of these include two-way audio so you can talk to your pet from a remote location.

If you have an area that is off-limits for your pet, there are options such as the Belkin NetCam that will send you an email if your pet goes in there. You can choose either any wireless camera system or instead select one specifically designed for pet monitoring.

Automated cleaning

People who hate vacuuming may want to choose the iRobot Roomba 980 Vacuum Cleaning Robot. This vacuum cleaner has an internal camera that it uses to map your home’s layout. It has an app that can be used to schedule cleaning at any time and from anywhere. All you have to do to start it is simply tap on your installed app. Other similar automated cleaners include the Miele Scout, the bObsweep bObi and the Samsung POWERbot.

Automated personal assistant

Automated personal assistants allow you to do such things as listen to your preferred music channels, hear the news, get the weather or traffic reports and control your smart home devices. These are activated by your voice, and the most well-known one is the Amazon Echo. An alternative is the ivee, which should be available for ordering and shipping soon.

Watering plants

Tableau is an automated plant watering system that takes away the need to set reminders for yourself. This system can be used even when you will be gone, allowing you to know your plants will be healthy and thrive. Tableau can water up to three plants for a month and tracks the amount of water each plant receives.

Remote cooking

Wi-fi slow cookers are home automation systems that can help improve your efficiency. You can use the Crock-Pot WeMo Smart Slow Cooker to start cooking your dinner using the free app. If you will be gone longer than you had thought, you can also remotely change the timer so your food won’t be cold or overcooked.

Monitoring water leaks

Home automation can also help you to monitor water leaks in areas where leaks are common. You can install systems like the Fibaro Flood Sensor so that you can be alerted if there is a temperature change, water or movement where it is located. Another option is the Everspring Wireless Flood Detector. This device sets off an alert if it contacts water. The SmartSense Moisture Sensor will also send an alert to your phone if a leak is detected.

When you are thinking about home automation systems, the available options may seem overwhelming. You can make it much easier if you simply think about the things that give you the most frustration or the tasks with which you need help. You can then look for devices that are geared to specifically provide options to tackle those specific jobs.