Professional interior decorators and designers are usually employed by celebrities or the very well off while the average homeowner doesn’t want to put any of their limited decorating budget towards a professional decorator. But occasionally professional designers take to the internet to share some of their secrets. The following tips come from a professional interior designer.

Less is more

A rookie mistake is to try and cram too much into a space. Even if all of the pieces and accessories in a given room are carefully selected and aesthetically appealing, the overall look can come across as cluttered when you try to do too much. A little empty space goes a long way in creating contrast and visual interest and it makes the elements that are there stand out more.

Mix and match

The novice decorator assumes that matching is all-important for a good-looking design. But it’s not. While you do want certain design elements such as good symmetry and color scheme to tie everything together, there also needs to be contrast. Sometimes it’s a little bit of juxtaposition or seeming chaos that completes the look. When decorating, avoid purchasing ready-made collections of furniture sets or décor items. Instead spread out your purchases. Mix time periods and styles. Keep the charm but also make it modern by leaving the baseboard heaters and covering them with sleek baseboard heater covers.

Good lighting is everything

Even the best interior design can be ruined by poor lighting. There are three types of lighting that are essential for good design but most people only use one or two. Ambient lighting is for mood. It’s the overhead lighting that illuminates the entire space. Dimmable LEDs are a great option for ambient lighting since they can be brightened or dimmed as the mood calls for. Task lighting is more about functionality of the space, a reading lamp near a favorite recliner or under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen. Finally, accent lighting calls attention to focal points such as interesting architectural features, a gallery wall, or a favorite piece of artwork. Good design will have all three kinds of lighting spread throughout the space.

Make it yours

Don’t worry about trying to impress anyone else and certainly don’t aim to recreate a photograph you saw online or on the cover of a magazine, unless it perfectly reflects your personality and tastes. It’s your home so first and foremost in your mind should be creating a home you want to spend time in. Display something you collect, hang pictures from your travels, show off photos of your kids and/or pets.

Consult a professional

While hiring a professional decorator to oversee the whole process of decorating is outside the price range, most home owners can afford a one- or two-hour consultation with one. They usually charge between $100 and $175 per hour but they can save you more than that by helping you avoid common mistakes. This is an opportunity to get the opinion of a professional and run your own ideas by him/her before doing the work yourself.

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Unless you’re just doing a few simple DIY projects like installing baseboard radiator covers or doing some interior painting, you’re most likely going to have to hire a contractor or two. Large-scale projects might even entail bringing in a general contractor who will hire a number of subcontractors with various specialties. With so many strangers coming and going inside your home for a few days or even weeks, it’s important that you as the homeowner take some precautions to protect yourself and your property. Here are a few tips.

Don’t hire just anybody

Your top priority should be to carefully select your contractor(s). There are a few things you can do to limit the chances of hiring a dishonest person who will take advantage of you. First you should make sure that the contractor has a license to do the kind of work they do. Checking their BBB rating is another smart idea. Make sure the contractor is well-established in the community—that they’ve been in business for at least a few years and have a good reputation. Company logos on uniforms or vehicles is a good sign that it isn’t a fly-by-night operation.

Get the necessary permits

Obtaining the necessary permits from the city will ensure that your remodel adheres to local building codes. A reputable contractor will take care of all this for you but it’s a good idea to verify yourself that any necessary permits have been obtain before work begins. Failure to do so could mean further remodels down the road to be in compliance and it could negatively impact the value of your home when you try to sell it. Jobs that typically require a permit include additions, anything involving electrical or plumbing work, and anything related to HVAC but there may be others based on where you live.

Be careful how you pay

A good rule to live by when paying a contractor is to never pay too much up front and never pay with cash. It’s very unlikely you can get your money back when you pay with cash and the contractor doesn’t complete the work to your satisfaction. If you paid with check or credit card, however, you can often call and cancel the check through the bank or dispute a charge through your credit card company. By only paying a small percentage up front and the rest in installments, you provide incentive to the contractor to keep his/her end of the deal.

Ask about insurance

Most states require contractors to have insurance. This protects your property from any accidental damage and it prevents you from being liable for any injuries that might occur on your property during the remodel. If a contractor can’t supply proof of insurance, then it isn’t worth the risk.

Keep records of everything

Finally, keep a record of all written correspondence between you and the contractor. You should also have a copy of the contract you signed with the contractor that details the specific materials that will be used and an estimated time frame and cost for the project. Receipts from materials orders as well as any permits that were required are other good things to have. You may end up not needing any of it but if there’s a dispute, you’ll be glad you have a written record to look back on.

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Home remodeling is never as easy as they make it look on TV. For the eager homeowner anxious to do some remodeling work, it’s worth taking some time to carefully consider if it’s the right decision. There are at least three important questions that every homeowner considering a DIY remodel should ask first.

Do I have enough time?

Remodeling projects have a tendency to take longer than expected. One way to avoid this is to have more realistic expectations from the start. When considering a given remodeling project, it’s always a good idea to sit down and write up a step-by-step list of all the aspects to the project that must be completed as well as a realistic time frame to complete all of these steps. Even then it’s probably a good idea to add some additional time as a contingency. The internet can be a great resource in researching realistic estimates for various projects. With this done, you’re ready to examine your own circumstances and determine whether this is a project you can feasibly fit into your schedule. If you’re not absolutely certain that you can dedicate the time that will be necessary for the duration of the project, then this project may not be of the DIY variety.

Is there a potential for injury?

For obvious reasons, homeowners should avoid any project that comes with a reasonable chance of serious injury. There are many different ways that home remodeling can be hazardous. If a project will require the use of tools that can be dangerous in unskilled hands, it should be left to professionals. If the nature of the work involves inherent risks such as roofing work or any other project that involves working in high-up places, then it should be left to professionals. Finally, if the work would require a license if it were done by a contractor, it should be done by a professional. Electrical work, for instance can cause serious harm or even death if the person doing it is inexperienced.

Will it save me money?

Saving money is one of the major reasons that homeowners choose to DIY remodel. Ironically, DIY remodeling often ends up being more expensive than hiring a contractor. Homeowners can avoid this by taking the time to research the project and determine a realistic estimate for the work. It’s important to factor in the cost of any tools that would need to be purchased in order to complete the project. With a realistic DIY estimate, homeowners can compare it to the average cost of hiring a professional. If there is a likelihood that the project isn’t done correctly, that adds to the risk and could potentially lead to an even more costly remodel.

If a project will require too much of an investment of time or money or if it is potentially dangerous, it should be left to professionals. There is no shortage of simple, manageable projects that homeowners can do themselves instead. Repainting, installing baseboard radiator covers, or simple light or sink fixture upgrades are doable for the average homeowner.

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Major interior design projects can turn your home into a construction zone for days or even weeks at a time, but it doesn’t have to take forever to do some interior decorating. Here are a few simple projects that you can tackle in one hour or less.

New throws and pillows

Now that Spring is here, why not swap out old pillows and throws with new ones that better fit the colors of the season. Light blues, pinks, purples, and yellows are great colors for the spring. Mix different fabrics, textures, and sizes to imitate the look you’d get from hiring a professional decorator to do it for you.

Update the bedding

It’s time to put away the thick down comforters and replace them with lighter quilts or blankets. You can add some color with pillow shams or bedside table accessories. You should be able to swap out all the bedding in each room in less than an hour with time to spare.

Rugs and doormats

Warmer weather means more time spent outdoors. It also means more dirt being tracked into your home. Invest in a new doormat if your current one is getting worn. Laying down some new rugs in your home is another simple decorating project that takes almost no time at all.

Add fresh flowers

Nothing says spring time like fresh flowers so purchase an arrangement or two or make them yourself and find a place to display them in your home. The more plant life you can incorporate into your interior design, the better.

New window treatments

You can swap out a curtain rod and curtains in no time at all if you have a drill handy. Just make sure to use a steady chair or step ladder that can safely hold your weight. Go with light, airy fabrics for the springtime.

New artwork

Purchase and display a new piece of artwork. Curating an art collection is a lifelong project so don’t feel like you have to purchase a lot of pieces. One or two new additions to your art on display can make a big difference.

Baseboard radiator covers

You can measure out how many feet of baseboard radiators you have and install covers over them in minutes thanks to snap-on baseboard radiator covers than anyone can install.

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One of the main reasons homeowners give for doing home improvement projects themselves is to save money on remodeling. DIY can be a great way to stretch your remodeling budget but as any general contractor will tell you, it can just as easily cost you money if you don’t choose projects wisely. A lot of contractors are called in to try and fix something that the homeowner did incorrectly and in many of these cases the cost is even higher than if the contractor was called in in the first place. Here are four projects you should never undertake yourself.

Extensive bathroom or kitchen remodels

These projects are always way bigger and way more difficult than homeowners anticipate. As a result, they always go over budget and often run out of money with a half-completed bathroom or kitchen. These projects often involve special equipment or training that the average homeowner just won’t have. For projects of this scale, it’s worth the money to bring in an architect and general contractor from the very beginning.

Roof repairs

Because your roof is at least a dozen feet off the ground, any DIY work involving your work is inherently risky. Not only do you risk your own safety by trying to do your own roofing work, but there are other drawbacks. Any warranty that came with the shingles is almost certainly voided because they weren’t installed by a professional. If you need any roofing work done, whether it’s a complete replacement or just a patch, it’s best to call in a professional roofer.

Tree removal

If you’ve ever watched funny videos online, you’ve come across homeowners dropping trees or large branches onto their homes or vehicles. This is precisely why you want to hire a professional for tree removal. They have the proper safety equipment and they know how to cut the tree in such a way that it won’t pancake your car or fall into your living room. There are plenty of smaller-scale landscaping projects that you can do yourself to save money but save this for the pros.

Removing harmful materials

For obvious reasons, you should let professionals handle any dangerous materials such as asbestos or lead-based paint. If you have an older home it’s a good idea to have an inspection to test for the presence of these materials. If they’re discovered then it goes without saying that you need to have them removed, but don’t do it yourself.

Projects to do instead

If hiring architects or contractors isn’t in your remodeling budget, then consider some small-scale projects to do instead. For the bathroom or kitchen, you can swap out light or sink fixtures. You can replace cabinet hardware or even repaint your cabinets. You can repaint your home’s interior or install baseboard heater covers. There is no shortage of simple DIY projects that can add value to your home that don’t require the help of professionals.

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DIY home improvement projects can be a great way to add value to your home and make your home more attractive. It’s equally possible that the opposite can happen. Some home improvement projects are best left to professional contractors who have the necessary licenses, equipment, and training. What follows are five projects you shouldn’t attempt yourself and five you can.

Garage door installation

While it might not seem too difficult, there are lots of moving parts, including powerful springs that all must work perfectly. Since it requires special tools and since the tiniest mistake can result in a garage door that doesn’t function or is dangerous to use, this is one project to avoid doing yourself.

Refinishing wood flooring

Sanding down and refinishing hardwood floors may seem doable, but unless you want to spend days on your hands and knees, you’re going to need a commercial floor sander. Run the sander a few seconds too long in one location and your beautiful hardwood floors are irreparably damaged.

Structural changes

Any project that will change the structure of the home should be left to professionals. After all, how are you supposed to know if that wall you just knocked down was load-bearing?

Electrical work

While swapping out light fixtures is within the scope of the average homeowner’s abilities, homeowners shouldn’t go much beyond that when it comes to electrical work. Don’t try to reroute any electrical wires or extend or add electrical circuits as serious injury, death, or a house fire may result.

Ladder or scaffold work

In any given year, close to 50,000 people will be injured in a work-related fall badly enough to have to miss work. Approximately 600 will die from these falls. Professionals have safety equipment to minimize the risk of such injuries.


So long as you take the proper precautions to tape off and cover everything that’s not supposed to be painted, painting the interior of your home is a pretty low-risk project you should be able to handle alone. Or you can enlist the help of family and friends as well.

Peel-and-stick wallpaper

Traditional wallpaper is a pain to apply and remove but fortunately there are peel-and-stick alternatives that make wallpapering a very simple task that allows you to transform the look of a room in almost no time at all.

Baseboard radiator cover installation

You can quickly transform the look of an old, outdated-looking baseboard radiator system by installing snap-on covers. Simply measure how many feet of covers you need, order the materials, and you can have the job done in minutes.

Resurface kitchen cabinets

While you probably don’t want to tear out and replace kitchen cabinets, you should be able to repaint or re-stain and swap out the knobs or pulls of all your cabinets and drawers in just a few hours. You can do the same in your bathrooms as well.

Window treatments

Replacing old and broken blinds or shutters and hanging new curtains or drapes is a job you can probably do in an afternoon.

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Whether you’re remodeling or building a house from the ground up, when you get to the kitchen and bathrooms, there is an important decision that needs to be made about countertops. And it’s not how to get a new baseboard heater cover, cause that question is already answered (simply order them from EZ Snap Baseboard Heater Covers).


Stone countertops are among the most sturdy and solid types of countertops. Whether you want marble, quartz, granite, or ceramic tiles, they’re sure to last a really long time. They are resistant to scratching, and you can cut directly on the countertop, without having to use a cutting board. Unfortunately, they are also usually the most expensive. They can also chip if heavy things fall on them. But, lucky for us, there are lots of other choices that we pick from that also work pretty well.


Laminate is among one of the cheapest options, which also makes it one of the most popular choices. It also comes in the greatest variety of colors, and has been refined over the years to become stronger and more durable. The seams can also be hidden much easier than other types of countertops. Unfortunately, laminate countertops can also be easily scratched and the color can be rubbed off on stress points, which means, you can’t cut directly on the counter like you could with a stone top.


Plastic or resin countertops are also among the cheaper options. They are often used in restaurants and diners because of their durability and ability to be created in any shape without seams. They are non-porous and easy to clean. And they can have pretty colors, but there’s less variety, and they look less like stone, which most people like to try and imitate. Some resin countertops can look quite nice, however.


Using concrete for countertops is a new movement in the home development community. It is lighter and still durable, making it a growing popular choice. It can also be dyed an array of different colors, and is usually framed and poured inside the house instead of made somewhere else and then shipped, thus decreasing the chance of damage during transport. It’s a great choice for countertops that are unusual shape.

Recycled Glass

The best part about these countertops is that they are made from recycled glass. They can be very elegant and modern looking, and give your home a crisp freshness that other countertops may lack. They also are non-porous, meaning, they do not absorb water, making them easy to clean. The downside, is that they easily show water spots and fingerprints, so they may not work well with children.


Wooden countertops can give your kitchen a very natural and elegant feel. These counters are very beautiful, and add a richness to the room, and are still rather durable. Unfortunately, they are also made from wood, and retrain bacteria if the finish is not properly sealed. Wooden countertops also don’t survive well with hot pots and pans. And they can also be very expensive, as wood take a lot more work to refine.

But whatever countertop you choose, make sure you pick a color that you can enjoy. Learn more about the different types of countertops here.

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A home office is extremely valuable to your home because it gives you an extra space for working, whether you own your own business or just work at home from time to time. If you have children, they can use the space for doing their schoolwork, and it is nice to have a space where all of your office supplies can be stored. In most cases, it makes sense to add a home office to your space. Here are some things to consider when you are adding your home office.

Home value

Having a home office or a flex space in your home is going to add to your home value. Even if you don’t plan on moving ever again, it is still a good idea to have a home office setup to increase the value of your space.

Remember if you are concerned with your home value, it is be st to have your home office meet all the criteria for a bedroom as well. Make sure there is a window, a smoke detector, and a closet in the room so you can count it as an extra bedroom if that changes your home’s total value.


Most people use their home offices as a multi-purpose space. So while you may use it for occasional days working at home, your kids might use it to do homework. Because your home office has multiple purposes, you want to make sure you have good storage in the space that can hold all the things everyone needs.

Choose a desk that comes with some storage or add storage yourself. You can get cabinets, shelving, or even overhead units to go in your office and hold all the extra things you need hidden away.


The other thing to consider when adding your home office space is the aesthetic appeal. This includes all your painting and decorating. Choose neutral paint colors. While wallpaper was an eye sore for quite some time, it has actually come back in style again. And you can choose wallpaper options that are easier to remove than the old fashioned stuff, so you can change it out later if you decide you want something else. Make sure you patch up the walls if there are any holes, and get baseboard heater covers to cover up the baseboard radiators and improve the total overall look of the room.

After the space is painted and the wallpaper is up, you can begin decorating. Put in your desk and storage options you purchased, and get some wall decor. Many people prefer to get wall decor that is both design-friendly and functional. For example, you could get a large calendar or paint one on the wall for use.


Do not forget about seating when you are doing your office space. Even with all the other design features, if you don’t have the right seating, you could be missing a lot from the room. Make sure you pick a desk chair that is very comfortable. Opt for comfort over style in this situation, especially if you are going to be spending a lot of time in the office.

If you have room for other guest seating in the space, get something that fits your personality and the overall look of the room. Comfort is less important for seating that rarely gets used, so consider the design element first.

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One of the most used rooms in your home is probably your kitchen. Even people who don’t like to cook spend plenty of time in their kitchens. That is just one of the reasons why having a beautifully decorated kitchen is a good idea. It also adds home value if you are trying to sell your home. Plus, you will feel more comfortable having friends over if you have a nice kitchen. Here are five ways you can improve your kitchen.

Add hardware

Surprisingly, the hardware on your kitchen cabinets can completely transform the overall look of your kitchen. Updating your cabinets entirely is ideal, but if you can’t do that, you can update the hardware instead and still get a really big improvement.

Just go to your local hardware store and pick out some hardware you think looks nice. You can easily drill and install your hardware on your cabinets on your own. It definitely will give your kitchen a complete, modern look even with old cabinets.

Update flooring

The flooring in your entire home could stand to be updated every 10 years or so. With so many different materials available, you can get pretty much any type of overall look you want. Decide first what you want the look to be, and then you can start researching the materials needed to create that look. For example, if you want it to look like hardwood, you can do that with actual hardwood flooring, laminate, or even tile. So at that point, you would determine which material you prefer to use to get your look.

The material that you want to choose for your flooring will depend on your purposes. If you are looking to have an extremely sturdy floor for kids and pets to be on, then you’d want to choose tile. But if you want something a little softer in case kids fall and hit their heads, a laminate might be a better option. With hardwood being much more difficult to take care of and manage, it is not great for homes with children or pets. But it is a very beautiful choice.

Add baseboard heater covers

Baseboard radiator heaters are ugly and outdated, but unfortunately they are necessary for heating your home. This is an especially common problem in larger homes. Even painting them doesn’t really change the appearance of the heaters. You can instead get baseboard heater covers to cover up the heaters. It is design-friendly and functional.

Create storage solutions

Every kitchen needs good storage solutions. It seems like no matter how many cupboards or pantries you have, all that space gets used up pretty quickly. That is why you should consider getting really good storage in your kitchen. There are many different ways you can create storage in your kitchen. Do so by adding in racks for storing more easily in the cabinets or even putting in knife blocks to hold your knives or spice rack holders on the inside of your cabinets.

Decorate above cabinets

Above the cabinets there is typically empty space. And while you can use it for storage, that really doesn’t bode well for a beautifully decorated kitchen. If you are looking to improve your kitchen, it is much better to decorate up there. Add a collection of pottery up there or even some plants. The important thing is that you don’t stack storage up there which is not aesthetically pleasing, and you also need to avoid leaving it bare.

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Spring is almost here, and if you are anything like me, you are desperately waiting for the warm summer days to come back. And while it is still fairly chilly outside, you can still get your home ready by putting out your best spring decorations. Here are some spring decor ideas you can dive right into.

Flowers, flowers, and more flowers

Nothing says springtime like flowers all over your home. One idea is to get some mason jars and paint them with your favorite spring colors. Then you’ll want to hang them up with some fancy rope on your wall. Some people prefer to put these in their homes while others like them right outside the front door. Then, you can put some spring flowers in there to brighten up your home. If you get fresh flowers, it will be beautiful and smell nice, but you’ll need to remember to water them and change them out regularly while fake flowers can stay in there all summer.

Welcome your guests

The next thing to consider is that you can make your guests feel like spring is here with the right wreath. An idea of something you can do is make a flip-flop welcome sign. Get four pairs of flip flops from the dollar store, and glue them together all in a row. Then you can put the letters for the word WELCOME across them. Many people like doing this with their kids because it gives their kids a chance to help decorate and bring them in on the spring feeling.

You can also make other types of wreaths using flowers, ribbon, greenery, or anything else that makes you think of spring. Just remember spring is about bright colors, so use them in your decorating.

Lemons and Limes

Another great way to bring in the feeling of spring is to use lemons and limes in your decorating, though you should probably stick with the fake stuff if you want to keep the decor around for very long. One idea of something you can do is get a small, fake lemon tree to use as a decoration on your table. Another idea is to get a cone shaped piece of styrofoam and glue lemons or limes up it to create a cute centerpiece.


You can literally write out the word “SPRING” or just put up a colorful banner in your home as well. They could be draped in your entryway to bring in the spring spirit right when people walk through the door, or you can draper it somewhere else. A lot of people like to drape banners over their fireplaces, as a fireplace mantle can act as a sort of centerpiece to all your holiday decorating. If you hang the banner above your baseboard radiators, just be careful to make sure there is enough distance. Even baseboard heater covers can get hot, so you don’t want to have anything hanging directly on them.

Bird Houses

One of the happiest days of the year, I think, is when you start to hear the birds chirping outside again. It means spring really is upon us and brings in quite a bit of hope for warm days ahead. So that’s why bird houses make a really awesome spring decoration. One idea is to get a bunch of different simple bird houses and paint them different colors. Then mount them on candlesticks and put them up in your home as part of your decor.

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