​Typically, when you remodel your home, the contractor or contractors you hire will be the ones to order any building materials needed for the job. But this can sometimes be problematic. In fact, according to a Consumer Reports survey of general contractors, the second biggest cause for delays and cost overruns on remodeling projects was building materials arriving broken or different from what was ordered. To avoid this happening to you, you can order the materials yourself to make sure they arrive ahead of schedule just in case there are any problems with the order that might delay the remodel.

Not only does this reduce the odds of the project being delayed and going over budget, it can also help you stretch your budget since many contractors will lower their fees for homeowners who manage this aspect of the remodel themselves. Purchasing your own materials way in advance can also give you the ability to be a little more patient in waiting for the right deals to come along.

But purchasing your own materials isn’t without its risks. After all, contractors know a lot more about it than you do and you may end up with inferior materials or the wrong materials if you don’t know what you’re doing. Here are six tips to help you if you decide you want to purchase your own renovation materials.

Find out what your style is

Spend a few hours online looking at different types of materials to figure out what your style is. Many websites allow you to add photos to a digital ideabook that will help you determine what your preferred design style is. Once you’ve identified your style, then you can start looking for specific building materials showrooms that carry those kinds of products.

Make an appointment

Though you could just show up, it’s better to make an appointment first so you can be guaranteed to have a designer on hand and ready to help you select your materials. It will save you time and make the process go a lot smoother.

Don’t try and rush it

Most showrooms are going to have hundreds, if not thousands of different products to look at and consider so allow yourself plenty of time at each showroom you plan to visit. Force yourself to be patient since you have to live with the decisions you ultimately make. Try to enjoy the process even when it’s slow going.

Come prepared with your floor plans and ideabook

The showroom designer who is assisting you will have an easier time directing you to the products that you’ll be interested in if you bring your ideabook, whether digital or hardcopy, and your floor plans. This will let your designer know the specifications he/she is working with and also your style.

Know when to splurge and when to save

Only you know your vision for the finished remodel so you have to prioritize your wish list beforehand. When you start seeing the actual costs for the things you want, you’ll be prepared to make decisions about which things to splurge on and which things to cut back on.

Consider secondhand materials

Finally, keep in mind that secondhand doesn’t always mean second-rate. Materials salvaged from high-end homes or leftover materials from completed projects can be of high quality at a much better price so be willing to check out the secondhand market, especially if you’re on a tight budget.

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Source: consumerreports.org/home-remodeling/when-and-where-to-buy-home-renovation-materials/

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A nice area rug is one of the most underutilized home décor items. The high price for a quality rug can discourage some homeowners from considering one but it’s a wise investment. The rug can serve as the focal point of virtually any room in the home and it can also protect your carpet or hardwood floors and help preserve them. Since an area rug is a big purchase, it’s important to take your time in selecting the right one. Here are five factors you’ll need to consider.


Of course, the price is going to be a factor you need to consider. The price of a rug will depend a number of things including the size, material, style, and the brand. If you’re shopping for a rug on a budget, then it’s a good idea to visit a number of stores to compare different styles, materials, and prices. Avoid buying the cheapest rug you can find as these will always be of an inferior quality and won’t last as long. It’s better to put off purchasing a rug until you can afford one of better quality that will last you many years.


The color is a great place to start when narrowing down your choices. Start by looking at the existing design scheme of the room you’re purchasing the rug for. Is it on the simpler side or is the room already quite extravagantly decorated with a lot of color and vibrancy? It it’s the latter, then opt for a rug that’s neutral in color and a simpler design to balance out the room. If you have a simpler design scheme, then opt for a brighter rug with a more complex pattern.


Texture is a factor that many homeowners forget to take into consideration when buying a rug. Aim for contrast when selecting the texture of a rug. If you have a velvet couch or loveseat in the room, then a harder and smoother texture for the rug—perhaps sisal. Also keep in mind that some materials are harder to clean than others so if you have young children or pets, you’ll want to look at materials that require less in the way of maintenance. No matter which material you choose, it should be comfortable under your feet so this is one purchase you don’t want to make online. Wear shoes that you can easily slip off when you go rug shopping so you can see how it feels when you step on it.


Rugs come in a wide variety of materials from wool to cotton to synthetics. There’s also animal skin rugs, sisal, bamboo, silk, and many others. Each material is going to have different advantages and disadvantages. Some will have a smoother texture while others will be a little more coarse. Others will be more durable compared to some that are more delicate. The material is probably the biggest factor that’s going to affect the price so shop carefully and weigh pros and cons when choosing the material.


The size and shape of the rug will of course depend on the size and shape of the room. A square or circular rug is best for a square shaped room and a rectangular or oval shaped rug is best for a rectangular room. Most homeowners make the mistake of purchasing a rug that’s too small for the room. An area rug is a statement piece so you want to buy bigger than you think you need. It should be more than large enough to encompass any furniture placed on top of it.

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Source: thesouthafrican.com/decorating-tips-how-to-choose-the-best-rug-for-your-room/



TV shows tend to make remodeling look easier than it really is, especially when the professionals swoop in and do all the work. But any homeowner who has been involved in the remodeling process themselves will tell you that it’s anything but easy. Home remodeling is complex and will almost always require some degree of involvement for the homeowner even when professionals are involved. Here are a few tips to ensure that a home remodel is successful.

Get expert help

Because of television networks like HGTV and DIY, many homeowners are tricked into believing they’re more capable than they really are when it comes to home improvement projects. A good first step is to evaluate your own abilities and be realistic about which projects you can do on your own with a little help from YouTube instructional videos and which projects should be left to professionals. There are a few tasks that should always be left to professionals such as electrical and plumbing work as well as any project that will require structural changes to the home.

Set a budget

Whether your project is relatively small (a fresh coat of paint and some new window treatments that will cost a few hundred dollars) or huge (a total kitchen makeover that will cost tens of thousands of dollars) it’s important to have a realistic budget for the project before work begins. Going into a remodel with an open-ended budget is a recipe for disaster. So crunch the numbers and come up with an estimate that is reasonable and do your best to stick to it. Experts recommend setting aside an extra 15 to 20% more than you think it will cost as a contingency fund for when things don’t go according to plan.

Consider the time frame

Just as you’ll want to have a realistic expectation of what it’s going to cost, you should have a realistic expectation of how long it’s going to take. Some projects can be done in as little as one or two days while major remodeling projects can stretch on and on for weeks. If you’re working with a contractor, you should ask for and receive a written estimate that will not only include the anticipated costs associated with the project but an estimated timeframe as well. As with your budget, estimate high and then round up just to be safe. You may want to make arrangements to stay out of the home during a major remodel.

Communicate expectations

Whether you plan to be more hands-on or you’re pretty much leaving it up to the contractors, you need to communicate to anyone who is helping with the project exactly what it is you want. You should have detailed plans drawn up before any work begins. If there will be multiple contractors, consider hiring a general contractor to oversee the subcontractors and coordinate schedules.

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Source: news.hjnews.com/maxread/valleyoutlet/home-remodeling-must-know-tips-to-ensure-success/article_d54e1670-711f-11e6-82ac-d316c1dc2a76.html



​Just because a room is tiny doesn’t mean it has to be uncomfortable. A small space can be cozy and inviting. Not only that, there are a few interior design tricks you can use to make that small room appear larger than it really is and while some of them may seem counter-intuitive, they really do work. Here are five tricks to experiment with.

Buy larger furniture

Buying small furniture for a small space is a rookie mistake. The thinking is that smaller furniture will make the room seem larger but it simply doesn’t work. Smaller furniture may seem more appropriately scaled for the space but your eyes will tell you it’s just small furniture, not a small room. Not only does small furniture not make the space look bigger, it also tends to be less comfortable for your guests. So go larger than you normally would. Choose furniture that’s comfortable. You’ll have to be more selective since you won’t be able to have as many pieces in the space but fewer large pieces will make the space feel bigger than if you were to have more small pieces.

Float your furniture

Another rookie mistake homeowners make when decorating a small space is to push the furniture as close to the walls as possible to maximize floor space in the middle of the room. Resist the desire to maximize floor space and create some space between the walls and the furniture. This creates a room-within-a-room effect and will actually help the space to seem larger.

Fake a view

Large windows always trick the eye into perceiving a space as being larger than it really is. But installing windows where there weren’t any before is expensive and depending on where the room is located in your home, it may not be an option at all. Fortunately, you do have the option of faking a view. Hang an oversized mirror on one of the walls. If possible, hang it across from a window to double the effect but even without the window, the mirror will add space to the room.

Floor-to-ceiling curtains

As mentioned in the previous trick, large windows make a space seem larger. But even if you don’t have large windows, you can make smaller windows seem bigger by hanging floor-to-ceiling curtains or drapes. Most people, when doing window treatments hang the curtain rod just above the top of the window, instead, install the rod closer to the ceiling and invest in some nice long curtains that will hang just an inch or two above the floor.

Horizontal stripes

The previous trick will make the space seem taller, this trick makes the room seem wider. You can do it in any room but it’s most common in a bathroom. Either paint the walls or put up wallpaper with a horizontally striped pattern. It creates a stretching effect that opens up the space.

Bonus trick

This last one isn’t an interior decorating trick per se but it does make any room look bigger. Declutter. To really maximize the available space, have everything put in its proper place and try to minimize the number of accessories and smaller pieces that you might have on display in the room.

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Source: today.   com/home/live-small-space-5-design-tricks-can-make-any-tiny-t102086



One of the most difficult aspects of making the big step to move in together is merging two living spaces into one. Each person is bringing their own baggage, literally, and there may not be space for everything. It’s especially difficult when one is moving into the other’s space because the other person is already used to it being furnished a certain way and the other will surely want to make a few changes. But whether you’re both moving in to a new space or one is moving into the other’s, there are a few pieces of advice that can help you make this transition as smoothly as possible.

Consult an interior designer

You don’t have to pay a fortune to have an interior designer manage the entire project from beginning to end, but it is a good idea to consult with one, if only for an hour. Bringing in a neutral third party for help can give you both some ideas you may not have thought of and it can resolve some arguments before they start.

Designate a space for mail, keys, and other little odds and ends

We don’t have the exact numbers on this but a good percentage of divorces/breakups result from not having a designated space for all the odds and ends that get dropped off when you first come through the door. So decide right off the bat where mail, keys, and other little items will be placed.

Embrace the quirkiness of your partner and his/her belongings

They say birds of a feather flock together but there’s also truth to the saying, opposites attract. Your partner will undoubtedly have little quirks that seem strange to you and he/she will likewise have artwork or other furnishings that isn’t really your style. Learn to embrace these things. Occasionally there may be real deal-breakers where you’ll put your foot down but you’ll be more likely to get your way in such disagreements if you’re willing to compromise on other things so choose your battles carefully and learn to embrace your partner’s interior design tastes.

Make the most of your outdoor space

A nice outdoor space can be an extension of your living space and can be a great place to relax. No matter how great your relationship, it’s great to have a space where you can be away for a little bit to meditate and just be alone.


Unless you’re moving into a significantly larger space, chances are you’ll have too much stuff for the space, especially if you’re both fairly well established before moving in together. If each of you have a sofa and there’s only room for one, you may have to settle it via rock-paper-scissors. Be willing to part with things you simply don’t have space for and things will go much more smoothly. If you must, you can spring for a storage unit until you can move into an even bigger space later on.

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Source: discoversd. com/news/2016/aug/19/small-spaces-moving-in-together/



When decorating a space, the hallways are the most forgotten room, that’s because they’re not a room at all. Hallways are communal areas but also not well-defined rooms like kitchens or family rooms that have a distinct purpose. But when you think about it, hallways should be decorated as well. After all, they get a lot of traffic since they are the passageways between the various parts of your home. So neglect your hallways no longer. Here are some tips for decking your halls.

  • Place a bench in your hall. This can be at the end of the hallway or off to the side. If your hallway comes of an entry way, this can be a great place to sit to put on or take off shoes. The bench can even double as a storage space for shoes.
  • Hang a large piece of artwork or a large photograph. Many will tell you that artwork, and especially pieces, shouldn’t be displayed in the hallway since people can’t get the necessary visual distance to appreciate it. But a nice piece of art in a hallway can become the wall and look nice even without visual distance.
  • Lay down a long rug. The hallways are a great place to experiment with something a little quirky.
  • Install picture ledges. As long as your hallways aren’t too narrow, you can put up some shelving to showcase family photographs, smaller pieces of artwork, or random knick-knacks your family has collected during your travels. Really, you can display whatever you like.
  • Mirrors, mirrors, mirrors. Hallways always feel a little cramped. But if you’re creative with mirrors and you hang them directly across from a bedroom with a window, mirrors can reflect a lot of light and can make a space appear larger than it is.
  • If a long hallway ends in a wall as opposed to a doorway into a room, you can use that space to create some visual interest. A bench with some artwork displayed above it or a small table or cabinet can make an otherwise bland, long hallway seem inviting.
  • Creative lighting. Lighting doesn’t always have to be about illuminating the space. You may want some accent lighting to showcase art that you’ve chosen to display in the hallway.
  • Instead of one larger piece of art or one large photograph, you might choose to have a gallery wall in your hallway. Carefully select a number of smaller pieces or art or some smaller photographs that have a common theme and display them like you might see in a gallery.
  • Another option for the end of a hallway is a built-in bookshelf, or, if you can’t manage a built-in one, then a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf. Since hallways are a high-traffic area, it’s the perfect place for a bookshelf since family members can easily stop to browse for a good book as they pass through.

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Source: triblive. com/business/realestate/10908695-74/com-hallway-says



Nothing makes a home feel put together like décor that is in style, but keeping up with the latest trends can be an expensive project, and unfortunately a lot of money can be wasted on expensive décor that quickly goes out of style. Save yourself hundreds of dollars by learning how to decorate on a tight budget, and relying heavily on your own creativity. Your home should reflect who you are, and your personality does not go out of style, the trick is knowing how to properly create and place décor that reflects your personality. Here are a few tips for decorating on a budget.

Shopping on a budget

First and foremost, you have to know how to shop. Stay away from the popular retail stores that over price décor, and focus on thrift stores that contain thousands of hidden treasures that can be turned into beautiful décor with little effort. Shopping at thrifts stores is not always successful, which is why Live Love DIY suggests going to thrift stores often. Search for items that can be repurposed, refinished, or turned into something new. Old candle sticks can be repainted and turned into picture frames or another unique piece of décor with a few additions. You will not regret shopping at thrift stores because while it might take a little more time and effort, you will save hundreds of dollars on décor. The only items you should be paying top dollar for are furniture and other items that need to be high quality and last, and that you can modernize over time.

Keeping an open mind

Sometimes it is difficult to keep an open mind, especially when turning thrift store items into beautiful décor takes a lot of time and effort, but the reward is great. Do not stress so much about making each piece of décor perfect to your eyes, because décor is constantly going in and out of style, and you do not want to regret spending time and money on pieces that are only going to be around for a few seasons. Always be ready to adjust your plan just in case you cannot find the materials you need to complete décor projects. It is easier to complete DIY projects if your mind is open to new ideas.

Clutter vs. collections

It is common to become carried away with decorating, especially when you are saving so much money completing DIY projects. It is important to stay focused, and not waste that money on pieces you do not need. Never buy anything that you does not have a clear place to reside in your home. Collecting items and cluttering up your shelves only leads to hoarding, so avoid trying to make room for items that you do not need, even if you are absolutely in love with those items.

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Source: livelovediy. com/2013/04/my-top-10-thrift-store-shopping-tips.html?m=1