Tag Archives: DIY

To-Dos: Your April Home Checklist

April is here and spring is in the air! With the changing weather it is time to think about what you can do around your home in April to keep it in sync with the seasons. We love this list from Houzz which gives you an extensive list of things to work on over this coming month. Enjoy!


After the grueling winter some regions experienced this winter, many folks are itching to get outdoors and feel a little sun this spring. No matter where you live, answer spring’s siren call with these cleaning, freshening and gardening projects to keep your home in top shape.

1. Inspect decks, fences and paths.

The driveway, back deck and fence can take a beating over the winter. Take a walking tour of your property — if you notice any damage, schedule repairs.

2. Clean the siding.

Spring clean your home’s exterior by washing it thoroughly. Using a regular hose with an attachment to dispense soapy water is the gentlest option; depending on the type of siding, you may be able to use a power washer for a deeper clean.

3. Declutter your living space.

The transition from one season to the next is a natural time to sort through and pare back belongings. This April focus on decluttering the communal living areas of your home — the living room, dining room and kitchen — so you can enjoy coming home to a simple, restful space.

4. Make a green commitment for Earth Day.

Living a bit more lightly on our planet doesn’t need to be difficult. For instance, the next time you need to shop for a piece of furniture, seek out a reclaimed piece or shop vintage. For an everyday change, get in the habit of using cloth napkins instead of paper at the dinner table, or keep a basket of rags (cut up old T-shirts, for instance) on hand for wiping up spills.

5. Refresh your entryway, inside and out.

Erase the last traces of winter road salt and slush with a good cleaning. Then refresh the area around your front door with new entry mats and a reorganized storage zone.

6. Enhance a view with flowers.

Speed along spring by strategically planting flowers where you can view them from inside. Consider potted flowers on a patio, window boxes on the porch or a flowering vine planted just outside the bedroom window.

7. Set up outdoor rooms.

Get those outdoor tables and chairs cleaned and set up in the backyard (or on the porch) where you can enjoy them. While you’re at it, consider stocking up on outdoor entertaining essentials, like unbreakable plates and versatile mason jars — having what you need on hand makes it easier to throw impromptu parties.

8. Plant a cut-flower garden for homegrown bouquets.

Consider setting aside a small, sunny area of your backyard or side yard to plant flowers for the express purpose of cutting. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to planning a cutting garden, but do try to plant flowers that will bloom at different points in the year, so you’ll always have something to cut.

9. Make a clean sweep of your cleaning tools.

Broom looking ragged? Ironing board seen better days? You just might feel a bit more inspired to spring clean if your tools are fresh and in good condition.

10. Tidy up outdoor supplies.

Hoses, rakes and spare plant pots tend to sprawl across the yard in spring. Take a morning to straighten things up and take stock of your supplies. If you do a lot of gardening, consider investing in a potting bench or toolshed to house your supplies.

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10 Pretty Ways to Refresh a Gray Palette

Gray can be a great color in a room…but only if it used the right way. Often it can end up looking really drab and need a bit of brightening up to bring it to glory. We love this article which provides some really great ideas to do just that. 


Gray has proved to be one of our collective favorite color picks for the home in recent years. We’ve been strutting our gray stuff for a few seasons now, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. But with the spring sunshine, it’s definitely time to uplift our beloved palette of charcoal, pebble and dove with a few dashes of color and print. Be inspired by these 10 gray refreshes, guaranteed to put a spring in your step.

1. Bring in some sunshine.

Gray and yellow have long been a clever color combination for fashion and our homes. Adding this sunshine shade is a really simple way to pep up a palette of gray and white in the spring, reminding us of daffodils, primroses and sunny days to come. Choose any hue from the yellow spectrum — from citrus lemon to earthy mustard — for an instant interiors lift that’s sure to put a smile on your face.

2. Add a bolt of crimson.

It’s fair to say that gray can be a triumph in every single room, and it’s a winner in the kitchen. These Shaker-style rich gray units anchor the bottom half of this cooking space beautifully, letting the white upper level max out on light and airiness. What makes it, though, is the bold blast of crimson in the form of a curvaceous fridge-freezer. If that’s too much of a commitment, try a scarlet backsplash, an artwork or even just a kettle or tea towel.

3. Soften with pastels.

Pale, barely-there gray can be an ideal backdrop for an open-plan living zone where lots of different functions need to blend harmoniously into one space. This room is freshened, though, with a smattering of pretty pinks and lilacs on rugs, cushions and artworks; the pastel palette offers a taste of springtime sweetness.

4. Flip out on florals.

One of the simplest and most effective ways to lift a gray palette for spring is with a pile of floral-inspired cushions or throws to bring a taste of the blooming outside world into your interior. This foolproof design trick — which can be used in the bedroom, living room and dining area — allows you to let loose on wild colors and flamboyant prints, as the gray will temper the overall vibe.

5. Soften with vintage.

Gray might be associated with urban grit, but it can also conjure a certain sense of faded grandeur with very little effort. I love the earthy gray tone of this bathroom, which hits just the right vintage note with the classic pedestal basin, tongue and groove paneling and antique mirror. For spring, lighten up the look even further with some striped cotton hammam towels and a billowing sheer at the window.

6. Pick a patterned floor.

Break up blocks of gray with eye-catching patterns and prints. This leaf design nods to the emerging spring greenery outside and turns the “plain floors, patterned walls” concept on its head with great style and masses of confidence. It also shows how all things gray blend beautifully with a mix of weathered and silvery woods.

7. Be bluer.

If you want to be totally ahead of the game design wise, this is definitely the kitchen for you. Mixing two of the hottest colors on the interiors calendar this season, it teams pale gray cabinets with a rich indigo island. The flash of copper in the pendant lights adds warmth to the scheme, giving it a sunny mood.

8. Mix in metallics.

Using pewter and silver is the perfect way to harness the glamorous side of gray. The glint and gleam of these gray-toned metallics is spot-on for this bathroom, where mirrored mosaics, pearlized furniture and silvery accessories create a magical, Moroccan vibe that’s hard to beat. If you feel like warming the gray further, introduce brass fittings.

9. Brave a pattern clash.

Have fun with gray, as it’s such a flexible neutral color with which to decorate. This pebble- and charcoal-colored leaf wallpaper offers a soothing backdrop, while the geometric-print chair adds energizing color and pattern. The pattern mix is startling but works thanks to the leaf-green color against the leafy motif.

10. Accent with white.

Dark, saturated gray is my current color crush. It looks especially elegant, striking and modern when used from floor to ceiling on baseboards, walls and doors. For spring, highlight the moody tones with a few lighter pieces of furniture, sticking to a monochromatic theme for simplicity at its very best.

Have you glorified your gray palette lately? Please share your ideas and inspiration in the Comments below.

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Kitchen Ideas: 10 Easy Ways to Keep a Small Kitchen Looking Stylish

When blessed with a small kitchen, we tend to spend so much time, energy and money trying to create more space and investing in storage solutions that we sometimes forget to add our own personality to it. Follow any of the 10 tips listed here and make your kitchen sing with style!


Create a wow factor

One of the advantages of having a small kitchen is that you can probably splurge a little more on some materials, as you will need less of them. To create a wow factor, it’s best focusing on the largest surfaces of your kitchen, such as the splashback or worktops. Whether you opt for gold-looking tiles or super veiny calacatta marble, dare to be bold and make a statement you will love.


If you are renting or your resources are limited, you can also consider creating a striking splashback with tile decals. These removable stickers come in a variety of patterns and colours and can make a powerful, temporary statement in your small kitchen.


Bring in flowers and plants

This has to be the quickest improvement you can make to any room. Whether they are beautifully scented flowers, striking foliage or fresh herbs that can move from the windowsill to your cooking pot, greenery immediately adds personality, interest and colour, and makes the space feel loved and lived-in.



If you don’t have any places for plants on your worktop, look upwards. You can use an open shelf or the top of a cabinet to house a plant with cascading branches, such as a Devil’s ivy (Epipremnum aureum) or strings of bananas (Senecio radicans).


Use large chopping boards

A large chopping board can extend your preparation zone, as it can be used over the sink or on the hob (when it’s not in use, of course) to free up some worktop space. It can also hide a significant portion of your worktop, which can be very handy if the latter is not exactly good looking. Don’t limit yourself to wooden chopping boards – offcuts of engineered stone or granite can also do wonders without breaking the bank.

Display your funky appliances

With limited storage, you might not be able to store all of your appliances out of sight. Even if you limit your number of appliances and keep the bare minimum, it is likely you will still end up with a kettle and toaster. If you have colourful, fun or simply beautiful appliances, leaving them on your worktop will solve the storage issue, and will double up as a decorative statement.


Obviously, appliances shouldn’t be chosen for their looks alone – efficiency, durability, and other more technical aspects must be taken into consideration. However, many good-looking and well-performing options are available today, and cater for a variety of budgets, so it pays to investigate and shop around.


Add a rug

This idea is always a little bit controversial. ‘A rug in the kitchen? It will get filthy,’ you might think… ‘What if we trip on it? It could be a hazard,’ you might add… While this tip certainly doesn’t work for everyone, it can create a wonderful and practical space for others.


When selecting your rug, choose an outdoor rug made of recycled plastic that can be wiped clean (even hosed down!). Alternatively, go for a flatweave that can easily be chucked in the washing machine. In both cases, use anti-slip pads under your rug to minimise the risk of any unwanted underfoot action.


Hang art

When your flat surfaces are all occupied, go vertical! Use the walls to personalise your small kitchen by hanging art. Vintage posters or maps, funky prints, photos of people or places you love… it doesn’t even have to be kitchen-related. Choose your artworks for what they mean to you. You might want to steer clear of canvas, though, as it will quickly deteriorate from the likes of kitchen grease, smoke and steam.

Replace knobs and handles

So your kitchen is the size of a dollhouse and your budget is tight? Replacing hardware is still an option for you! It is not limited to the above profile, though – any kitchen, big or small, could benefit from such a change. For a large choice of affordable models, check websites such as Etsy and eBay. DIY blogs are also great resources for making trendy knobs and handles out of ceramic or leather, giving you the opportunity to practise your creative talents.

Show off your tea towels

Another super-cheap idea that works well in tiny spaces is to display your tea towels. They come in so many patterns, colours and styles, it’s literally impossible not to find one that would work for your kitchen. Once you’ve found a few designs you are happy with, look for napkins and oven gloves that are in line with your tea towels. It may sound a little bit funny, but it’s important to stay consistent with your kitchen linen choice, especially because tea towels, oven gloves and napkins are likely to share the same space at the same time.

Open up your storage

While a clutter-free, well-balanced, perfectly styled open-shelving arrangement can be very difficult to create (and sustain), such storage is a wonderful option for small kitchens. First of all, it opens up the space, making it larger and airier at the same time. It also allows you to take the microwave or other appliances off the worktop, so you have a spot to store and display your cookbooks, favourite china or other kitchenalia that are too pretty to be hidden behind closed doors.

Consider lighting

Last but not least, an essential element of a successful kitchen – big or small – is lighting. Under cabinets, above the hob, over the island or the sink, there are so many areas that require good lighting in a kitchen. Use a combination that works for you.

When in doubt, or on a limited budget, replace the overhead ceiling lighting with a couple of well-placed dimmable downlights. In a small kitchen, these should give you enough light to perform all your preparation and cooking without risking your fingers, while having the option to be dimmed to a much softer light, which is ideal for open-plan areas.

Blog originally from Houzz.com at http://bit.ly/1yfRLUv 

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