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Ways Build A Bookcase

Before you dive into actually building your bookcase, your first step should be to nail down your design inspiration. Remember that the structure itself doesn’t have to be complicated. The plan just needs to be well-thought-out and the design properly constructed.

In addition to seeking out what style of a bookshelf you want to create, you should also consider its size and location. The instructions below will give you a better idea of what you need to build a bookcase and how to go about completing this DIY project successfully.

Overview & Materials

The purpose of your bookcase is important in determining the design of your project. In most cases, homeowners are looking to store books and materials, fill an empty space or add dimension and character to a room.

In this article, I’m going to outline plans for creating a pine bookshelf with open sides, inspired by the Pottery Barn Hendrix Bookcase. I want to make it clear that this is one of many bookcase design options. I’ll be showing you images of additional ideas throughout the article so you get a better

Ways to turn Unused Space Into the Rooms You

More Space, Same Footprint

Adding over and under your home are both smart ways to increase living space, but there are other creative ways to eke out extra square footage without drastically changing the footprint of your home. Look up, down, and all around, and you may find you have more room for rooms than you think—in the attic, the basement, the garage, or even an underused outbuilding. This Old House has gathered its favorite basement and attic bonus rooms, as well as shed and garage conversions, three-season porches, and more, to help you get inspired to find that hidden space in your home.

From Attic to Suite Retreat

Sometimes in the search for more living space there’s no place to look but up. When Alan Koch bought this 1933 cottage in Portland, Oregon, he knew he’d be finishing the 600-square-foot attic sooner rather than later. And since he worked at home, Alan hankered for a light, bright office where he could spread out. By tapping the upstairs, he

Big Ideas for Small Baths

A few things all old house lovers are familiar with: Drafty windows, less-than-perfect plumbing, squeaky floors—and small bathrooms. While new home baths have nearly doubled in size over the past 30 years, old home bathrooms average about 5- by 8-feet.

Not to worry, though: You can combat the claustrophobia by scaling down to physically save space. (Pedestal sink, anyone?) And, with the right colors and lighting, you can create the illusion of a roomy bath.

Here, we dig into the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) Design Competition archives to deliver great ideas from Certified Kitchen Designers that you can use in your next remodel.

Rich, Asian-Inspired Design

This homeowner wanted to bring her home out of the 1980s with contemporary Asian design, so the powder room vanity was inspired by a Japanese kaidantansu(stepped chest), which contributes fluidity of design in the cramped quarters. The use of rich and dark colors makes the walls of the small space recede.

Day at the Beach

Ways Install Holiday Lights

Holiday lighting installation is something many of us look forward to each and every year, but sadly, many homeowners run the risk of hurting themselves or their loved ones as they hang lights throughout the exterior of the home.

There are always safety precautions one should take before hanging holiday lights, but more so, a helpful guide, including tools needed and step-by-step instructions should always be referenced before attempting a new DIY project.

Recommended Tools for Holiday Lighting Installation

Like any home improvement project, there are tools one needs to complete the project and tools one could use to make your lives easier. Below are all the tools you should consider purchasing (or borrowing) before you hang holiday lights.

  • Drill
  • Staple Gun
  • Hammer
  • Light Clips
  • Gutter Hooks
  • Extension Cords
  • Christmas or Holiday Lights (LED lights recommended)
  • Timers
  • Remote
  • Ladder

Tips on Lighting Materials

You can purchase many of these items at The Home Depot or any local hardware store. Before you go spending, make sure you take an accurate inventory of the materials you already own.

First, check out how many lights you own and the condition of each. If any are cracked, chipped or stray wires are present, throw

Refresh Old Wood Furniture

As you may already know, sustainability is a hot trend in home design right now. From natural flooring to the latest in energy-saving technology, homeowners are doing their part to make the earth a better place for all.

Sustainability does not stop at home décor. Before throwing out an old desk, chair or other item, consider giving it an upgrade with a coat of paint. This is an easy DIY project that almost anyone can do with a few hours and a paint brush. So before you decide to toss that old item, see how you can give it a new look with a coat of paint.

What Paint To Use

When it comes to painting furniture, the options are endless. It truly depends on what decorative element this will add to the room. When I painted my kitchen chairs a few years ago, I knew I wanted a pop of color in a room that was painted white. I chose a deep blue that added just the right amount of color without being overwhelming. Whether you’re painting a mirror, desk or chair, think about the statement you want that item to make. Take home

Bedroom Design for Baby Boy Nursery

For a parent-to-be, there is much excitement surrounding the arrival of your little one. So much preparation surrounds this day where your baby will come home and your new life as a family will begin together.

If you’re anticipating the arrival of a baby boy, you may be eager to start decorating his nursery. Picking out the theme and color scheme of your son’s room is an exciting time, but can often be overwhelming. Here are a few ideas to help you get started planning the perfect nursery for your baby boy.

Nursery Safety

As fun as it is to choose a theme and paint, you must consider safety first. Here are some points to consider when it comes to nursery safety.

The Crib

Many times, the focal point of a nursery is the crib. Cribs come in many variations and styles, so it’s important to look at the options that are up to government standards. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says that slats in the crib should be no more than 2 3/8” apart.  The crib frame should have no knobs or hooks attached. They also say that cribs older than 10

Ways To Remove Plaster Walls

As you may already know, an older home tends to need a bit more TLC than others. They’re great for those who love to DIY and want to truly make their house unique to them. Some homeowners choose to take on remodels themselves. If this sounds familar, you’ll likely need to take down a wall or two to truly transform a room.

Plaster walls were commonly used in homes built before 1950, before drywall was introduced. These walls were made to last, so it’s no surprise that if you’re looking to remove a plaster wall, it can be a tedious and messy process. To help, here are a few tips.

1. Prep The Area

Before you begin removing plaster walls, you’ll need to do some prep work so your project can be completed successfully. Removing plaster walls can create a lot of dust and a lot of mess, so you’ll want to tarp off any doorways and flooring you want protected. Seal off any air ducts and vents to protect the rest of the home from the dust. Remove any furniture from the room, as you’ll need plenty of space to work as well. You’ll

Design Ideas That Will Increase Your Property Value

When it comes to selling your home, everyone knows about the importance of curb appeal. But according to real-estate experts, small updates can be made inside that are less costly and time-consuming than an exterior overhaul but will still increase your odds of fetching a good selling price. We turned to Jennifer Titus, a real-estate agent withCompass who works in the competitive Boston market, for her tips. Some changes take five minutes, some are weekend projects, but all of Titus’s ideas are likely to deliver a high return on your investment by wooing buyers and increasing your property value.

Make a big first impression
There’s no better way for a guest to be greeted than with a statement-making decorative chandelier, says Titus. “It’s eye candy, but it also brightens up a space that tends to be underlit and underdecorated.

Kick the bathroom vanity to the curb
A great way to refresh a home is to switch out boxy (and often timeworn) vanities with sleek cast-iron white pedestal sinks, says Titus. “The bathroom will feel bigger, fresher, and more modern.”

Refresh kitchen cabinets
“One of the highest returns on value for a small money investment in

Ways Make Your Shower Safer

You’re in the shower, doing your best imitation of a Top-40 pop star. Suddenly that warm, relaxing shower turns too hot to handle, causing you to jump back to avoid the scorching water. The cause? Someone in the house has flushed a toilet. If the situation sounds familiar, then you need to install a pressure-balance valve in your shower. These pressure-balancing devices prevent “shower shock” by automatically adjusting for temperature fluctuations whenever water?cold or hot?is diverted from the tub or shower, such as when someone starts up a load of laundry or flushes a toilet. Even in an instance when the water pressure drops drastically, a pressure-balance valve ensures that the water temperature doesn’t change by more than 3° F. Antiscald devices have been required in hospitals and nursing homes for decades. Now, 31 states have enacted, or will do so soon, legislation requiring pressure-balance valves in all residential remodeling and new-construction projects. Antiscald devices are a wise investment. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, each year some 200,000 Americans suffer injuries caused by sudden changes in water temperature while they’re bathing. Everyone is in danger of getting scalded or falling as they try to escape the

Ways Make a Secret Door to a Room or Closet

Thanks to movies and novels, the very mention of secret passages is enough to conjure visions of mysterious castles, haunted houses and intrigue, but in fact, many ordinary homes once had — and some still do have — small secret spaces built into them. Often these were utilitarian places such as wine cellars, broom closets or tiny safe-like rooms for storage of the family silver. In 16th-century Europe, many wealthy homes had secret compartments known as “priest holes” for hiding politically persecuted Catholic clergy from Protestant authorities. Whatever the time, the place or the reason, secret rooms have been more common and less mysterious than Hollywood or popular fiction ever imagined.

Simple Secret Room Doors

If you have a dead-end space, such as a closet, utility room, butler’s pantry or something similar, off a larger room, you may have an ideal setup for creating an inexpensive secret room. First remove all the trim boards, if any, from around the door to the space you want for your secret room. Keep the trim so you can reverse the process, if desired, at a later date. That leaves a smooth wall, so whatever

The Pros Reveal Personal Organizing Secrets

The term organizing tends to conjure images of color-coded labels, exhaustive filing systems, or strict, Kondo-style minimalism. But the truth is, even the houses of professional organizers aren’t always pristine. “One of the things we get asked most often is whether our own homes actually stay organized or whether our kids destroy them in a split second,” says Clea Shearer, who co-owns organizing company the Home Edit with Joanna Teplin. “Our answer is always the same: Of course our kids destroy it, but if you put simple systems in place, you can get it back to perfection in about ten minutes.” Here, Shearer, Teplin, and another industry pro, Marissa Hagmeyer, a cofounder of organizing service NEAT Method, share the secrets that make organizing a habit, not a chore.

They don’t buy a zillion bins
Yes, vessels are your friends, but don’t think a shopping spree at the Container Store will solve all your problems. Buying the wrong boxes can just add to your clutter. “Most home organization mistakes begin when bins, baskets, and other organizers are purchased before the actual organizing has been completed,” says Hagmeyer. Edit first, and then choose storage strategically. “You must know exactly

Steps to an Organized Garage

A garage is a natural place to hide away anything you don’t want cluttering up the inside of your home, whether it’s a box of holiday ornaments or outgrown clothes. The problem is that over time, the space can start to look like a dumping ground. “If you can’t fit a car or two in the garage, you need to reassess what you’re keeping in it and how it’s organized,” says Amelia Meena, owner of Appleshine, a New York–based organizing service. She recommends doing a thorough garage reorg twice a year, as your storage needs will change seasonally. Here’s her five-step plan for getting the job done.

Put it on the calendar
While you can probably chip away at cleaning up your closet, tackling an organizing project like a garage is better handled all at once, says Meena. For most people, she recommends setting aside a weekend for the project. “If you commit to overhauling the space and setting up a system, any future changes become much more manageable.”

Consider your ideal layout
Before you start organizing, set your priorities for the garage, says Meena. “This will help you figure out how to best divide up

Ideas Window Tailored to Your Space

When it comes to designing a room, we tend to think about larger elements like the sofa or the rug before turning our attention to window treatments, but they shouldn’t be overlooked. In fact, “they’re often the most complicated decision in a space,” says Ashley Gensler, founder of Loom Decor, a company that designs custom window treatments. To determine the perfect curtain or shade for your room, start by thinking about your practical needs, such as light and privacy, then consider the architecture. “If the focal point of a room is the window, you want to play it up as much as possible,” says Abby Rodriguez, vice president of Chelsea Workroom, a New York atelier specializing in made-to-order drapery. Here, the experts talk about what types of window treatments work best for various spaces and needs—and common mistakes to avoid.

For rooms that need darkness (or a dose of elegance):
Heavy drapes are a smart choice for bedrooms because of their light-blocking ability, says Gensler, and they also provide a luxurious feel in formal spaces, such as living and dining rooms. “If the molding around a window is beautiful, mount the treatment inside so as not to

Ways Create a Color Palette

If you’ve been searching high and low for the perfect palette for your house, chances are red is the answer. Or should we say, Miles Redd, the Manhattan-based interior designer who is known for wildly stylish color combinations that give rooms an elegant charisma homeowners can only dream of creating on their own. Until now. AD caught up with Redd to find out the secrets to creating color schemes that stir the senses—and found his advice to be every bit as nuanced and witty as his designs.

Look outside for inspiration

Take a tip from Redd and let the outdoors guide you. “Leopard always works, a bit of blue always works, things that you find in nature always work,” says Redd. “Our creator knew what worked, which is why he made the sky blue and white!”

Expand on the classics

Before you try for adventurous, start with what you know: Pick a classic color combination and add in some Redd-style flair. “Blue and white works with everything,” the designer says. “So toss in an accent color, like butter-yellow or shocking pink, to throw it off a bit.”

Design for the Best Night’s Sleep

As if you needed another excuse to make over your bedroom: It can be good for your health. Every decor choice you make, whether it’s the lighting, the window treatments, orthe bed itself, has an impact on the quality of your sleep. “When I evaluate sleep environments, I think of four of the five senses and how each one has an effect on sleep,” says Michael Breus, a sleep expert and the author of the forthcoming book on optimizing your inner clock, The Power of When. Here are six ways to upgrade your bedroom for the best night’s sleep—and make the space look better in the process.

Splurge on blackout curtains
“Melatonin, the sleep hormone, is called the Vampire Hormone, since it only comes out in darkness,” says Breus. “So whatever a person can do to make their bedroom dark will help with sleep.” Replace any flimsy window treatments with elegant heavy drapes to help you rest easy.

Kick electronics out of the room
A television and a tangle of cords by your bed aren’t doing your decor—or your sleep—any good. Studies have shown that viewing electronics before bed, whether it’s watching TV

Ways Clean Copper Pots and Pans

Copper cookware has a long association with world-class cooking (think Julia Child). And as copper experiences a renaissance in design right now, people are snapping up copper pots and pans to bring warmth and a gorgeous sheen to the kitchen. But while copper, which is considered a soft metal, is prized for its ability to conduct heat, it requires a little more TLC than other materials. “Depending on the lining of one’s copper cookware, it’s possible to make mistakes when cleaning,” says Mac Kohler, of Brooklyn Copper Cookware. But when your pots are well cared for, they pay off in decades of use and beauty in the kitchen. Here, Kohler and Tara Steffen, marketing manager at French copper-cookware manufacturer Mauviel, share their best practices.

Handle with care.
Copper pots are generally lined with stainless steel or tin. Either way, use a soft sponge to wash them with a gentle dish soap and warm water. Steffen warns against putting copper in the dishwasher or picking up a stronger cleaner that contains bleach. In fact, avoid abrasive products altogether—even if they advertise themselves as safe, they can score stainless steel and tin, says Kohler. Notice some damage? “In the

Ideas to Beautify Your Kitchen Backsplash

Just as statement furniture can infuse a pop of color into your living room, an eye-catching backsplash can add intrigue to your kitchen. Details matter in the kitchen: it’s the place where you might share a warm conversation over a glass of wine, pour your heart and soul into a dinner for loved ones or teach your kids how to cook for the first time. So it only makes sense that the most beloved room in the house gets the embellishment it deserves! Whether you’re a foodie who loves spending time with recipes, or you’re someone who embraces creativity in design, take a look at these five gorgeous backsplash ideas for a bit of inspiration.

Go for Natural Materials

Raw, exposed brick is edgy: it can do a great job of balancing out modern cabinets and appliances with more texture and color. When slightly white-washed and weather-worn, a brick backsplash can set the perfect farm-to-table vibe in any kitchen. Bonus? It’ll go with any artwork you choose to complete the dining space.

Choose a Decorative Pattern

A color-blocked kitchen is just begging for a

Ways Clean Cast-Iron Cookware

There’s a reason cast-iron pots and pans have remained popular since pioneer times: The material is so tough it’s virtually immortal. Still, caring for and restoring cast-iron pans remains a mystery for many home cooks. So who better to shed light on the subject than the experts at Lodge, which has been making cast-iron cookware for upwards of 100 years? Here, Mark Kelly, PR and advertising manager, shares the company’s best practices for keeping your cast-iron pans going strong for a lifetime.

Take it easy
Cast-iron cookware should be cleaned differently from other pots in your kitchen. Just scrape off residue and hand-wash with a nonabrasive sponge and water, says Kelly—that’s it. Because the pans are sterile at 212º F, soap isn’t necessary (but if you’re still uneasy, you could use a mild soap). No matter what, be sure to dry them immediately to avoid rust spots from forming.

Keep it seasoned
Over time, cast iron becomes naturally nonstick—if you care for it correctly. Kelly recommends applying a light coat of vegetable oil to your pan after you’ve washed and dried it. Wipe on just enough to restore the surface’s sheen, but not

Steps to Stunning Painted Floors

When decorating a room, we usually get to work overhauling the walls, furnishings, and window treatments, but a key element is right beneath our feet. Renowned interior designer and decorator Miles Redd regularly uses paint to make the floors pop in his plush and playful spaces. “I love it in an entrance hall, where you’re covering a basic, not-so-special wood floor,” says Redd, who likes to bring a similar wow factor to dining rooms, kitchens, and children’s bedrooms. We asked Redd how to incorporate bold colors and striking patterns underfoot, and tapped Chris Pearson, his go-to painter, for technical tips.

Do the proper prep
You don’t need wood floors to benefit from the transformative powers of paint. Pearson, a specialty floor painter who’s worked on several of Redd’s rooms, has brushed up hardwood, linoleum, concrete, tile, and plastic flooring. No matter the material, Pearson stresses that the surface needs to be sanded down, vacuumed, and swept thoroughly before it gets a layer of primer. He suggests using a brush rather than a paint roller. “Rollers produce an orange-peel texture on the floor—the paint doesn’t adhere as well and it can affect the sheen,” he says.


7 Common House-Maintenance Mistakes you

A house is a lot like a living thing: It’s great when the systems are firing on all cylinders, but when something isn’t right, it lets you know. According to a recent survey commissioned by Liberty Mutual Insurance, one-third of American homeowners (34 percent) have faced an unexpected home repair of $5,000 or more. But the truth is that for each of those all-too-avoidable catastrophes, there was a symptom that likely went ignored. “Most of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make revolve around what they are not doing,” says celebrity designer, HGTV personality, and Liberty Mutual Insurance consultant Chip Wade. “Neglecting routine home maintenance and ignoring signs of deterioration often cause permanent damage that ends up degrading the value of your home.” Learning to properly maintain your home can eliminate a lot of the guesswork involved in its upkeep. Here, Wade outlines seven of the biggest mistakes most homeowners make when it comes to their homes—and how to avoid making them in the first place.

1. Failure to winterize properly. “Often, homeowners overlook their sprinkler systems when the cold months hit and leave water in the lines,” says Wade. “When temperatures drop, sprinkler pipes can freeze and