Decorating for a wedding is a lot of work, especially if you choose to do all the decorating yourself. It is also very expensive unless you find ways to reuse the wedding decor in your own space. Here are some ideas of wedding decor you can take home.

Paper flowers

A big trend in the wedding market right now is to go away from the traditional flowers and start looking at recycled flower looks. There are companies that will hand-make your flowers for you, but you can also make them at home yourself out of a variety of material. Make paper roses out of your favorite book or use comic book pages for your flowers. After the wedding is over, you can combine these flowers on a piece of canvas to give yourself a new piece of beautiful art.

Vintage glassware

If you buy vintage glassware to use at your wedding, you can actually re-use it in your home regularly. Use the glassware at your wedding as centerpieces or just for use during dinner. Pick some pieces to keep in your regular cabinets, and then put the rest away for when you host parties at your home later.

Candles galore

Adding candles in with your wedding decor is a way to bring some ambiance to the space. They can be used as part of your centerpieces or as decor on the cake and gift tables. Even lining the dance floor with candles is a fun way to decorate (though you should probably stick with fake candles instead of risking your dress catching on fire). Take them home and use them as a centerpiece on your table, and switch out the candles when they burn up or lose battery life.

Large Engagement pics

You can blog up some of your engagement pics and put them on the wall around your reception room to show yourselves off a bit. After the wedding, you can take them home and use them as pictures on your walls. Of course, you may need to get some baseboard heater covers to complete the picture, but the large engagement shots will look great in your space.

Outdoor lights

Decorating your reception with outdoor lights can make it feel extra romantic and special, especially if you are having an outdoor reception in the evening. But what are you supposed to do with all those lights after the wedding is over? Take them home and decorate your front and/or back porch with lights. If you have a back yard, you can string the lights back and forth between the house and your fence to light up your whole yard. It’s perfect for parties later.

Wedding arches

If you choose to get a wedding arch for the background during your wedding ceremony, you can re-use that in your home as well. Just put it up in your back or front yard as an entryway into your garden. Decorate it with the leftover lights from the wedding, and you’ll be able to create a magical space in your yard for you and your new spouse to enjoy.

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There are many reasons to remodel your home. Maybe you want to increase your resale value, or maybe you just want to make it a more comfortable place for you and your family. Maybe you need to increase the functionality of spaces in your home. Whatever the reason, right now it the perfect time to do here. Here are some of the top reasons to remodel your home right now.

Mortgage rates are going up

Mortgage rates have already gone up slightly, and it is anticipated that they will continue to rise. In 2017 alone, we are expecting three separate rate hikes. With rates increasing, home prices usually decrease or remain the same because people can afford less house. That makes this a good time to remodel your home in preparation for a sell.

Financing your remodel project

You can pay for your remodel in cash if you have it, but you may need to get a home equity loan or line of credit. Right now, interest rates are also still fairly low for those lines of credit, which makes it easier to pay for remodel project.

You may not have even realized you can use a line of credit for a remodeling project on your home, but they are readily available. You can get those new countertops, buy your baseboard heater covers, and add a wet bar in your basement with a small loan.

Better economy

As the economy appears to be doing very well, people are more likely to be doing projects in their homes. There is less to fear and more to gain than there has been for years. You might notice a lot of your friends and family members doing home remodeling jobs too as confidence in the economy increases.

Get a contractor before they are gone

With more consumers feeling confident and wanting to remodel, the number of contractors available to do your work will decrease. More people do their remodeling projects in the summer, so as we get closer to spring, you’ll notice it is even harder to get contractors. Start now before it warms up too much and everyone else starts getting their projects done.

Increasing costs of materials

As the economy rebounds, the price of your materials will also increase. If you decide to do your project now, you’ll save money on all the things you want to buy for your home.

This does not apply if the remodel you want to do involves a lot of technology. A lot of times, technology costs decrease as newer products become available or as the technology becomes cheaper to make. However, why would you want to wait to add smarthome accessories to your home?

Get it over with

The other thing you might consider is that remodeling is a big job, especially if you want to do multiple rooms in your home. Sometimes, it is just easier to do it all and get it over with. It will be inconvenient, but wouldn’t you rather have inconvenience all at once instead of having it spread out over a couple of years?

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If you love to read, then you know having a good reading nook in your home is a necessity. It will encourage the rest of your family to read and gives you a space you can really enjoy when you dive into a new book. Here are five necessities any good reading nook will have.

1. A Theme

The first thing you should do when creating a cozy place for reading is to pick a theme. When fostering reading in children, many people like to use bright colors and themes like Dr. Suess in order to give the space a fun feel. If the area is going to be more for yourself and other adults in the home, you may want to stick with more neutrals in order to create an environment that can transform to anywhere. Or you can try to bring back a bit of life from your childhood. Harry Potter themes are a great example of this. Whatever you do, make sure you pick out paint colors you love and get baseboard radiator covers to complete the look of the room.

2. Bookshelves

There are so many different ways you can put bookshelves in your reading nook. You can choose anything from floating bookshelves to a whole wall filled with shelves. Many children’s reading nooks will use rain gutters as shelving, so the books can easily be seen and accessed by the children. Whatever you choose, shelves are practical and complete the look of the space. Plus, nobody will be questioning what you use the space for. It will be pretty clear by the rows of books.

3. Place to lounge

Even in the smallest spaces, creating a place to get comfortable with your book is essential. Maybe all you need are some pillows on a rug or you can buy some comfortable new couches. Bean bags are an especially popular option for comfortable reading spaces. In this case, it is much better to get something you feel comfortable sitting in and enjoy with your family than it is to get something stylish. Some people even put hammocks in the space.

4. Blankets and pillows

Even with the most comfortable couch, it isn’t quite the same without your blankets and pillows to snuggle up with. Remember, this space is more about functionality and being a comfortable place to lounge about than it is about showing off a perfectly decorated room to your friends. Even if you have a little tent for your little ones to read in, make sure they have pillows and blankets to snuggle. Nothing says “cozy reading nook” like some extremely comfortable blankets and pillows.

5. Decor

Your bookshelves alone might be all the decor you need if they go wall to wall, but adding some wall decor will really complete the space. A sign on the wall that says “read” or some black and white photos of places in the world you want to visit will give an amazing finished look. This is especially important with a strong theme where the finishing details make all the difference.

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Remodeling anything in your home is a big project, but none bigger than your kitchen. When you choose to remodel a kitchen, you are picking your finishes that you want to keep for the next five or ten years. And since they are typically very expensive, it can be scary trying to pick a bunch of finishes that all will look good together in the same room without actually seeing the finished product. With all this as consideration, here are some tips to choosing your kitchen finis

Countertops should be first

The first thing you should do is pick your countertops. You can always find things to match your countertops, but you can’t always find countertops that match the other finishes you have put in the room. You may pick a stone that you fell in love with at the store with flecks of pink and blue. Meanwhile, you were planning a kitchen with completely different colors. If you get your countertop first, you’ll be much better off.

When picking something for your countertop, choose something durable that will last a while. The reason most people pick stone right now is because it can withstand heat, so you don’t have to worry about the material melting. You can also cut your food directly on it since it won’t be damaged by the knife. Many people also like to match their kitchen and bathroom countertops for consistency throughout the home.

Pick your cabinets

If you are remodeling and want to go all the way, picking completely new cabinets will give you a very high-end finish and allows you to pick features in your cabinets you didn’t have already. To save some money, though, you can paint or stain your current cabinets as long as they are in good condition. Whatever you choose, pick lighter colors to help brighten up the room. The trend for the last couple of years has been white cabinetry, but that isn’t the case anymore. Lighter woods and paints are in style. Some people even choose a bright color.

Paint and backsplash

The next big things to consider is painting the walls and a backsplash. While paint can easily be changed if you are unhappy with the color, it is very difficult to remove and re-tile a backsplash. Pick something neutral and beautiful to give your kitchen the final look you really want. Put on your baseboard heater covers to get rid of the eyesore in the room, and paint with neutral colors to make decorating easier later.

Final touches

This biggest thing to remember when picking your finishes in the kitchen is to pick simple finishes and to stick with a few main colors. The more colors or materials you add to the mix, the messier it will begin to look. Get hardware, lighting, and furniture all of a similar style and color scheme. The final touches should go with the overall theme of the kitchen, though accent pieces are also important. Add color with the decorations you leave on the counter and put on the wall.

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The idea of a man cave is to have a space in your home dedicated to whatever hobbies or interest the man of the house loves. But as traditional roles in the family have changed, so has the idea of a man cave. While it is typically still a room dedicated to the man’s hobbies, it is also usually a place the whole family can spend time together. Typically, it is the main family room with the biggest TV and nicest gaming system. With that in mind, it is important your Man Cave is decorated in a way that is comfortable for the whole family.

Choose a location

The nice thing about a Man Cave is it can go pretty much anywhere. You can put it in the garage, a backyard storage shed, the attic, the basement, or even a large closet. Of course, you should definitely try to get the largest space possible, especially if you really want a multi-purpose space that can be used by everyone in the family without stepping on each other’s toes. You can definitely put a family-friendly man cave in any room, even if it isn’t finished yet or doesn’t have plumbing to the area.

Layout the room

The next thing you want to do is take that space and figure out exactly how you want it laid out. Measure the space to figure out how much room you have. Then, decide whether you are going to use furniture you currently have or if you are going to buy new things. If you already have current furniture, you’ll want to figure out how that furniture will fit in the space. New furniture is a little easier because you are able to pick pieces that fit the space a little nicer.

You need to decide what you want in the room. Do you want a TV-watching area with couches? Do you have bean bags you want on the floor? Do you have a poker table or a foosball table you are going to set up? Are you going to put a wet bar in the space so you can easily snack while watching the big game? Then, layout the space according to those items and how they can fit in the area you have picked out.

Designing the wall

One of the ways you can make the space more inviting to the whole family is by having decorations on the wall that make the room feel more inviting. Man caves used to have nothing on the wall or pictures of half naked women. That isn’t going to make everyone feel comfortable, so you want to put things up that feel comfortable for everyone. Make sure you put up a fresh coat of paint and baseboard radiator heater covers to make it look clean and fresh. Then, put up iconic movie posters or art that is themed towards the type of man-cave you have. If your man cave is dedicated to video-gaming, put up decorations related to gaming. If your man cave is dedicated to football, put up stuff from your favorite team. Whatever you do, put things on the wall that remind you of what you love and will make your whole family feel comfortable and invited into the room to play with you.

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Nearly a third of all professional remodeling projects are the result of a botched DIY remodel. Many homeowners emboldened by television shows that make it look easy undertake remodeling projects that are beyond their abilities. While the goal is to save money, this almost always results in the project costing even more since a pro is most likely going to end up coming in to fix the mistakes or simply start over. If you’re considering a DIY remodeling project, here are four questions you need to ask yourself first.

Am I allowed to do it?

This is a great question to start with and it’s usually a pretty easy one to answer. If the project you’re considering requires a license to do it, then you shouldn’t do it. This rules out plumbing and electrical work, as well as roofing work. It most likely includes any remodeling project that would involve changing the structure of your home. If a job requires a license it’s because it’s potentially dangerous for the untrained and it needs to be completed to a certain standard.

Do I have the tools and experience to do it safely?

Even if you are technically allowed to do a certain job without a license, that doesn’t mean you should. Many remodeling projects will require very specific tools and training to do it right. Trying to cut corners by not purchasing the necessary equipment or educating yourself is sure to result in failure.

How long will it take and am I fully committed to completing it?

Make sure you fully understand the scope of the project before you begin. If you go into the project with unrealistic expectations about how long it will take and how difficult it will be, you’ll grow frustrated quickly and most likely be forced to call in help partway through. If you fully understand the scope then you may decide to call in a pro from the start or you may decide to proceed but at least you’ll know what you’re getting yourself into.

What will be the total cost?

Homeowners have a tendency to estimate the lowest possible cost and go off of that. That’s a recipe for disaster. Remember to include the cost of any tools you might need for the project since many only include the cost of materials. Once you’ve got a realistic number, add another 15% for contingencies. Depending on what tools you need, it may be cheaper to just higher a pro who already has them.

If after answering these four questions, you decide the project isn’t of the DIY variety, you can select something that is. You can upgrade your light fixtures or swap out cabinet hardware. You can install baseboard radiator covers or repaint your bathroom. Whatever you do, just make sure it’s something within your abilities.

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One of the most challenging aspects to remodeling your home is making sure that you’re in compliance with all local building codes. Every city has codes to ensure that homes are built and remodeled according to certain safety standards. Simple home improvement projects like installing baseboard radiator covers or a peel-and-stick backsplash in your kitchen obviously won’t require pulling any kind of permit, but many other projects will. In those cases, it’s probably best to hire a professional contractor who will take care of the permits. But if you really want to do the work yourself, then here is a list of common building code violations that DIYers commit. Making these mistakes can mean added costs and added time to your remodel.

Not pulling the necessary permits

This is one of the simpler ones to avoid yet thousands of homeowners make this mistake every year. Many homeowners mistakenly assume that just because they’re doing the work themselves, they don’t need to get a permit from the city. They do. Unless you’re absolutely certain that the kind of work you’re doing doesn’t require a permit, you should familiarize yourself with the local building codes so you know which projects require a permit.

If you’re doing work on the exterior of your home, there’s a good chance you’ll be required to get a zoning permit. This is different from a building permit and they vary from state to state, county to county, and even city to city.

Improper electrical work

Because of the dangerous nature of electrical work, no homeowner should ever attempt this kind of work without bringing in a licensed electrician. Even though no one will know initially, you will have trouble selling your home if an inspection turns up faulty electrical work. That’s a best case scenario. Worst case you could burn down your home or seriously injure or kill yourself. Some of the most common electrical work mistakes homeowners make are using the wrong sized circuit, splicing wires without a junction box, or missing a ground-fault circuit interrupter. If that sounds like a foreign language to you, then hire a licensed electrician.

Venting a bathroom to the attic

In all likelihood, your local building codes require that your bathroom fan is vented directly to the outdoors and not into your attic space. While other rooms can be vented to the attic, and from there, to the outside, bathroom fan ventilation must bypass the attic. That’s because a lot of moisture is going to come through that particular fan and if it ends up in the attic, you’re going to have problems with mold and rot.

Other issues

There are many other common building code violations most having to do with safety concerns. For example, not testing for asbestos in older homes, decks not properly fastened to the home, and basement bedrooms without a window exit.

Again, your safest option is to hire a contractor to oversee the remodel and make sure everything is in accordance with local building codes. If not though, make sure you do your research, pull the necessary permits, and do everything according to code.

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Having your first child is one of the most exciting moments of your life. One of the things that first-time parents enjoy most is getting the nursery all ready to go. Though it’s easy to get carried away since you’re understandably anxious to get everything ready, it’s a good idea to take some time to really plan it out so you end up with a finished product you’re happy with. Here are some tips for designing a beautiful nursery.

Design a nursery that can grow and change along with your child

Your baby won’t be a baby forever and it would be a shame to spend so much time and money designing a nursery only to have to throw everything out when your little one outgrows it. Rather than just a traditional crib, purchase one that can convert a toddler bed. Rather than buy a changing table that can’t be used for anything else, buy a vintage dresser and fashion a changing table to be attached to the top. When you no longer need the changing table, remove the top part and you have a dresser that will serve your child throughout his/her growing up years. Purchase a gliding recliner rather than a recliner and ottoman combo since you’re more likely to get use out of the former in another room in your home down the road.

Design with yourself in mind

Sure the room is ultimately for your baby but you’ll be spending a lot of time in it too, especially in those early years so don’t forget to design with yourself in mind. Have a design that’s calming for you. It’s a good idea to have a nook where everything you might need is within arm’s reach. Near your glider, where you will feed and calm your baby, have a table with a lamp and any other items you might want there. For instance, you may want a few books to entertain yourself as your child falls asleep.

Add a rug

For a wall-to-wall carpeted nursery, a large area rug is a great addition since it can add some color to the otherwise bland carpeting. It’s also going to keep your carpets in better condition which is especially crucial since children have a knack for making messes.

Get creative

Most nurseries tend to conform to a certain standard. But just because it’s a room for a baby doesn’t mean it has to have muted colors and a simple design scheme. You can have bold colors and design elements to create a wow factor.

Make it gender neutral

A gender neutral nursery is a good idea for a couple of reasons. For one, ultrasounds have been known to deceive parents, technicians, and even doctors. Also, even if you’re set on having one child, you don’t know what the future may bring and it will be nice to have a nursery that doesn’t need to be overhauled if you have another child of the opposite gender later on.

Make it safe

Of course every room in your home will need to be baby-proofed but it starts with the nursery. For example, if you have a baseboard heating system, your child could burn him/herself or can wedge toys into the heating element creating a fire hazard. Baseboard radiator covers can make your heating system safer for your child.

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One of the best upgrades you can in your home is to complete an unfinished basement. With fewer homes on the market and home value climbing, it’s truly a seller’s market and there’s never been a safer time to invest some money into your property. One of the things that prospective buyers are looking for is a completed basement that’s move-in ready and doesn’t require any additional work. Here are six considerations to make when completing that basement.

Return on investment

When remodeling, you always want to keep ROI in mind regardless of the project unless there’s zero chance you’ll be moving. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2016 Cost vs. Value Report, the average cost to complete a basement is about $61,000 and the average return on that investment is about 70%. That makes it one of the best home upgrades for ROI. It’s significantly better than the ROI you could expect by adding a bathroom or master suite.

Square footage

Depending on where you live and the local regulations, there’s a good chance that by completing your unfinished basement, you can add the square footage of the basement to your home’s total square footage which automatically to your property’s value considerably.

Be smart about design

You’ll get the most out of your basement remodel if you incorporate design choices that are attractive and appealing to the widest possible number of people. Home theaters, man caves and other highly customized or quirky remodels that are designed just for you are riskier investments.

Water is not your friend

Water is a basement’s worst enemy since water always runs downhill, and that means it ends up in your basement where it can cause a lot of damage. Before anything else, make sure your basement is waterproofed. Have a professional (don’t even think about doing this job yourself) and have all walls and floors sealed. Invest in a good dehumidifier as well.

Pay attention to the ceiling

Ceilings are usually out-of-sight and out-of-mind but since basement ceilings often tend to be cracked or otherwise damaged, they will stand out to you and to prospective buyers so spend a little money now to repair them and make them attractive. You’re already putting a lot into completing your basement so don’t do it halfway.

Think about heating

Since basements are at least partially below ground, they tend to be the coldest rooms in the home. Some basements aren’t connected to the rest of the home’s heating system at all. There are many options when it comes to keeping a basement warm. One option is a baseboard radiator system since they tend to be more energy efficient and work best in rooms that just don’t want to stay warm. If you decide to go with baseboard heaters, make them more attractive by installing snap-on baseboard heater covers.


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Whether you’re planning on putting your home on the market today or a few years from now, it’s a good idea to invest in some home improvements that will add value to your home and make it easier to sell. While you can certainly hire a contractor to do some renovations, the costs for such projects can really add up and many homeowners can’t afford the expense. Fortunately, there are some relatively simple home upgrades that you can do yourself to maximize your home’s value before you sell. Here are six of them.

Upgrade your lighting

Prospective buyers really like a well-lit home so trade in those dark curtains for light, airy window treatments. Clean skylights so more sunlight is able to get through. If you’ve got old, dated light fixtures, swap them out. You can install a nice chandelier or a modern ceiling fan in just a few hours. In addition to ambient lighting, install some task lighting and accent lighting as well.

Low maintenance landscaping

Prospective buyers care a lot about curb appeal so they’ll like a well-landscaped yard. However, they also know a landscaping burden when they see one and many yards require a lot of upkeep. Since prospective buyers don’t want to invest a ton of time and money into maintaining the landscaping, it’s a good idea to go low-maintenance. Consider using beds of mulch instead of grass where possible and choose drought tolerant plants. A water-saving irrigation sprinkler system is a good idea as well.

Wood floors throughout

Home buyers are starting to move away from floor-to-floor carpeting which used to be quite popular. Now most prefer wood flooring throughout the communal areas at least and sometimes even in the bedrooms. This is a DIY project that’s a little more challenging but if you take time to educate yourself, you can remove the carpet and install wood flooring or laminate yourself.

A fresh coat of interior paint

There are few DIY projects as easy as painting your home’s interior. For just a few hundred bucks and a couple of weekends of your time, you can completely change the look of your home’s interior and add considerable value to your home.

Stainless steel appliances

Kitchens tend to see the best return on investment so it’s a good place to spend your remodeling budget. Upgrading to stainless steel appliances is one of the safest investments you can make since everyone loves stainless steel.

New and improved bathroom

After the kitchen, the bathroom is going to be the most important room in the home for prospective buyers so it’s a good idea to spend some time and money remodeling it. The average homeowner can’t do a complete bathroom makeover on his/her own but most are capable enough to swap out hardware and fixtures. Replacing the knobs and pulls on the cabinets and drawers as well us installing a new faucet and shower head are relatively small improvements that can make all the difference. Also consider re-grouting the tub/shower and installing a tile backsplash.

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