Archive for the 'Home Improvement' Category

(BPT) – Who doesn’t want to upgrade the looks, value, functionality or comfort of their own home? From minor tweaks to major makeovers, renovating with hardwood is a sure way to achieve one or more of those home-improvement goals. “Beautifully milled and finished hardwood surfaces offer a variety of colors and textures that no other material truly matches,” says Linda Jovanovich, of the American Hardwood Information Center. “But most American hardwoods — whether classics like oak and walnut, or less familiar species like sycamore or basswood — are also remarkably durable, easy to work with and sustainably grown.” Here are five hardwood upgrades well worth considering for your home.

Refresh staircase banisters and balustrades

Photo courtesy: Laura Moss Photography

An outdated staircase balustrade — the collective name for the handrail, balusters and newel post — can be replaced entirely or in part with stylish new hardwood elements. DeGraw & DeHaan Architects show one crisp and elegant possibility: A red-oak newel post and handrail, stained to match existing treads and flooring, with balusters painted white to match risers and wainscoting.

Lay solid hardwood flooring

Photo courtesy: Peter J. Sieger Architectural Photography

Solid-hardwood planks have always been the gold standard for residential flooring. But you can create an even bigger aesthetic statement by laying the boards in a sophisticated herringbone pattern — as AWH Architects does with natural-oil-finished oak in this Minneapolis master suite — a traditional style that’s looking very au courant once again.

Install a beverage center

Photo courtesy: AsterHouse Design

If you entertain at home, a built-in wet bar or beverage center — dedicated hardwood cabinetry incorporating a countertop, sink and faucet, and maybe a small fridge — is an amenity worth its weight in gold. AsterHouse Design does it right with clean-lined wall and base cabinets, painted different colors and separated by a solid alder shelf.

Turn a closet into a home office

Photo courtesy: Alan Tansey

With more people working from home, dedicated office space is increasingly a residential necessity. One way to achieve such a must-have amenity even in a small apartment is to transform a closet with hardwood built-ins. Michael K Chen Architecture shows how it’s done with this admirably compact yet surprisingly roomy example in a New York loft.

Create a hardwood feature wall

Photo courtesy: Allyson Lubow

A feature wall clad in hardwood planks or panels is a wonderful way to create visual interest or bring warmth and texture to almost any interior. Neuhaus Design Architecture achieves a cocoon-like glow by using burnished walnut for the custom headboard and bed in this Brooklyn brownstone. Visit www.hardwoodinfo.com for more about upgrading your home with American hardwoods.

(BPT) – DIY continues to thrive, with many homeowners planning to tackle projects big and small themselves. According to the National Association of Realtors, home improvement projects that reflect adding the homeowner’s personality to their home were …

(BPT) – DIY continues to thrive, with many homeowners planning to tackle projects big and small themselves. According to the National Association of Realtors, home improvement projects that reflect adding the homeowner’s personality to their home were …

(BPT) – Updating the bathroom with the latest trends is something many homeowners desire, but the thought of a complete remodel can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are many easy and accessible upgrades that you can make that will transform your bat…

(BPT) – Updating the bathroom with the latest trends is something many homeowners desire, but the thought of a complete remodel can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are many easy and accessible upgrades that you can make that will transform your bat…

(BPT) – The appeal of all things al fresco has never been higher with homeowners across the country investing more time and money than ever before into their outdoor spaces. Based on insights from decking contractors, retailers and home design experts, industry leader Trex Company has compiled its annual outdoor living forecast, predicting the top design trends for 2020 and beyond.

“It’s always fascinating to compare the trends reported by our customers with those projected by the industry at large,” said Leslie Adkins, vice president of marketing for Trex. “This year, we also engaged celebrity designer Alison Victoria to take our forecast to a whole new level.”

According to the latest report, the following five top trends will influence outdoor living in the new decade:

1. Mixed materials

2020 is the year to mix it up. Add visual interest to an outdoor space by juxtaposing materials such as concrete and composite, wicker and aluminum, copper and stone. Integrate nature-inspired materials that maintain cohesion with the natural surroundings, and infuse color and pattern with pillows, cushions, furnishings and decorative accents.

2. Sizzling kitchens

As the foodie phenomenon continues to thrive, outdoor kitchens will continue to evolve. Picture fully appointed culinary centers complete with specialty appliances such as smokers, pizza ovens and integrated refrigerated storage — all housed in stylish all-weather cabinetry. Capturing this trend is the new Trex Outdoor Kitchens collection, featuring stainless steel cabinetry solutions in color and style options that allow homeowners to create functional spaces that rival interior spaces.

“A good kitchen is essential — whether indoors or out,” emphasized Victoria, host of HGTV’s “Windy City Rehab” and DIY’s “Kitchen Crashers.” “A well-designed and well-appointed kitchen becomes the heart of any space. It’s where people gather. It’s where memories are made. So, make it memorable!”

3. Industrial inspiration

There is a growing shift toward sleek, contemporary designs and materials for interior and exterior spaces as homeowners are increasingly finding inspiration in commercial settings like hotels and restaurants. Outdoors, this trend is manifesting in more industrial aluminum railing styles with sleek profiles and contemporary rod, mesh or glass inserts designed to optimize sightlines and deliver a modern flair.

4. Fire and water

“Fire and water are all the rage right now for outdoor spaces,” Victoria noted. “These elements not only take a space to the next level; they connect it to the natural surroundings. Even in an urban setting, these elements add a sense of tranquility that can make you feel like you’re a million miles away.”

Fire pots, such as those in the new Trex Outdoor Fire & Water collection, can be positioned almost anywhere to create a cozy gathering spot — or combined in a series to provide an ambient boundary for larger outdoor areas. For even greater visual impact, a fire table can serve as a focal point and elevate the luxury and comfort of an outdoor space. Likewise, the soothing sound of trickling water from integrated spillways, bowls or other features can instantly conjure calm and set a relaxed tone and atmosphere.

5. Bonus space

If you have a raised deck, there is undoubtedly some open space underneath. While, historically, this space has been used for storage, the design trend for 2020 is to turn it into bonus living space by installing a deck drainage system. Designed to divert water away from a deck, systems like RainEscape create a dry space that can be outfitted with everything from furniture and accessories to lighting fixtures, ceiling fans and entertainment components.

For more outdoor living ideas and inspiration, visit Trex.com.

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