The Spotlight’s On Us! – A Two Story Home

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  These sketches spotlight elevation options for either a Craftsman or Farmhouse style home. Which elevation would you choose?

These sketches spotlight elevation options for either a Craftsman or Farmhouse style home. Which elevation would you choose?

We’re always developing and perfecting designs for our clients, after all that’s what we’re known for. We’re extremely proud of our designers here at RDS and we’d like to show off their work a bit in our new feature, The Spotlight’s On Us!

These sketches are for a builder client of ours. We’re designing a 2 story home with over 3,600 SqFt. It features 4 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. The finished lower level includes a 5thbedroom, perfect for guests, a space for parents, or a teenager’s dream room. The kitchen features a 10’ long kitchen island, creating an entertainer’s dream, since we all know the real party is always in the kitchen! 10ft ceilings add drama and space to the home. 

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Contact us when you’re ready to do a remodel or a new build and our designers will put the spotlight on you and your dream!

Another Dose of Inspiration - NARI Home Improvement Tour

 Dave Osmond Builders RDS Design

Dave Osmond Builders RDS Design

NARI Home Improvement Tour

The NARI Home Improvement Tour is the 15th and 16th of September, and this year’s show has all the hallmarks of being another amazing show. This one is perfect for those of us that love where we live, love many things about our home, but are looking for some inspiration and changes to our beloved home. Ooh and aah as you view a new great room and covered porch, a whole house remodel, a stunning master suite, a gorgeous kitchen and family room renovation, and more. You’ll definitely find some inspiration here!

Do you want to change the footprint, add a room, renovate a space, or just update your existing rooms with new paint and décor? Then this show is for you! 

When: Saturday, September 15th 10:00am-5:00pm
Sunday, September 16th 12:00pm-5:00pm

Where: Drive to 11 newly remodeled homes on this tour. Homes are located in Delaware, Powell, Dublin, Upper Arlington, Clintonville, and Worthington. See them all or just the ones you are interested in. 

Check out the website for details about each home, tickets, and more! 

https://www.trustnari.org/event/2018-fall-home-improvement-tour/

Our Downloadable Form for the Home Improvement Tour

Since so many of you commented on and used our RDS downloadable Parade form, we’ve created one for you to use for this tour. Jot down what has inspired you, whether it’s the room itself, the colors used, the decor, the flooring, wall treatments, or finishings. 

Our RDS NARI Home Improvement Form Click on the link and use this sheet to keep track of everything that you want to think more about and not forget!

Still Need Inspiration?

Are you still on the search for more ideas? We’ve got them! We pride ourselves on doing the very best for our clients. Check out what we are inspired by and what we’ve designed for our clients. 

Visit our:

·      Website

·      Houzz page

·      Pinterest page

Our designers are here and ready to bring your dreams and inspirations to life. Contact us and we will get the process started, whether it is to redesign one room or create a new home, all while keeping your budget and needs in mind.

Inspiration Sources! #beinspired

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Are you ready to make some changes to your home or sell yours and build a new home? Do you know where to find inspiration for new ideas? We love inspiration and are always looking for new sources to help our clients visualize what they have been dreaming about or provide them with ideas when they didn’t know they needed them. Luckily, there is inspiration available everywhere!

2018 BIA Parade of Homes
 

One of the biggest sources of inspiration is right around the corner. The BIA Parade of Homes is an ultimate source of creativity whether you are looking to find ideas for building a home or just making updates to your own home. Colors, designs, floorplans, use of space, furniture styles, fantastic appliances; you name it and you will see what is new, trending, coming soon, and timeless, classic features. 

When: September 1st-16th, 2018

Where: Eversole Run at Jerome Village. Jerome Village is located in Jerome Township, in the Dublin City School District. Jerome Village is stunning, with 13 neighborhoods and a community center with pool, fitness center, and restaurant. 

What better way to find new ideas than by winding your way through this year’s seven stunning homes? 

This year’s participants are:

·     3 Pillar Homes

·     Arthur Rutenburg Homes

·     Bob Webb Homes

·     Coppertree Homes

·     Manor Homes

·     Memmer Homes 

·     Romanelli & Hughes

For more information about this year’s event, click here. http://www.biaparade.com/aws/BIA/pt/sp/biaparade_home

Our Downloadable Form for the Parade

While you’re visiting each home, why not jot down ideas and floorplans that inspire you? In order to make this easier for you, we’ve created a form for you to download and use at the Parade. Love the lighting, the floorplan, the paint colors, design pieces, outside areas, and more? 

Use this sheet to keep track of everything that you want to think more about and not forget!  Parade Form

More Inspiration

Can’t make it to the Parade this year? Don’t worry!  See what inspires us and what we have designed for our clients. We’d love to meet with you and help your inspirations come alive.

You can visit our:

·      Houzz page

·      Pinterest page

·      Our website

NARI Home Improvement Tour

Another event to remember, and we will share more information with you soon, is the upcoming NARI Home Improvement Tour on September 15th & 16th. (We’re even creating a form for you to use at this event.) https://www.trustnari.org/consumers-and-homeowners/home-improvement-showcase/

All of us here at RDS love creating designs for new homes and remodeling projects. Call us and let’s get your ideas down on paper, revealing your dreams and turning them into your reality. 

 

 

 

 

 

Get Your Home Ready to Sell 101

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Is it finally time? Time to sell your home? Of course, if it is, you want it to sell quickly. But that takes a bit of planning on your part. Just listing it with an agent isn’t enough. You need to plan, clean, and maybe do some work to get it ready to sell. Even though we are in a seller’s market, the better you make your home look, the faster and easier it should sell, even increasing your chance of selling above asking price.

At RDS, we meet with people daily that are ready to design and build a new home, while selling their existing home. Often, the conversation turns to how long it will take them to sell their existing home. That is the question, isn’t it? We’ve done the research, scoured the Internet, talked with people, and have come up with a list of projects you can easily tackle yourself and some that you might need a professional to do. Now get busy and ready to get top dollar for your current home. We’d love to design your new one for you!

Let Go and Declutter:

The hardest thing to do is to view your home as a potential buyer, not the one living in the home. Remind yourself that the home isn’t going to be yours much longer and see it with a critical eye. What can you get rid of? What won’t appeal to a potential buyer? 

  • Get rid of clutter. You want the rooms in your home to appear as large as possible. Clear off bookshelves, end tables, countertops, and anyplace you have collectibles, art objects, and things you just haven’t found a place for. 
  • Take down personal photos, especially if you have many of them hanging. Buyers want to see themselves in the home and pictures of your family can be distracting. 
  • Do you have a designated kids’ space or are there toys strewn everywhere? Organize the kids’ space, box up everything you can and remove toys from around the home. 
  • Clear out your closets so that they appear larger. You might want to invest in a simple storage system if your closet doesn’t have adequate shelving. 
  • Now is the time to go through everything. Sell, donate, and throw away what you don’t need or want. It’s easier to get rid of it now instead of moving it and then going through the boxes when you unpack.
  • Your kitchen cabinets need to be organized and clean. People will open up the cabinets to check how much storage is available. If you have them packed, the message is clear that there isn’t enough space! 
  • Box up everything that isn’t necessary for day-to-day living. 

Appearances Matter:

You only get one chance at a first impression (if they’ve actually made it through the front door) and nothing sets the tone like a clean and tidy home. 

  • Your home needs to be as clean as possible. If you can, hire a cleaning company to do a deep cleaning for you. If that isn’t an option, spend a day cleaning baseboards, windows, trim, tops of doors, ceiling fans, light fixtures, window frames and sills, and anything else that may not have been cleaned for a while. Thoroughly dust and sweep everything.
  • Clean the carpets, hardwoods, and tile floors. 
  • If you have pets, make sure the pet smell is gone. That can be an immediate turn off for buyers that don’t have pets themselves. If you aren’t sure if your house has a smell, ask a trusted pet-less neighbor to give your house the smell test!
  • Change out light bulbs in your home to bright white or blue-tinted bulbs, not yellow/soft white ones, especially in darker rooms. This will make the home brighter.
  • Remove heavy, dark drapes or curtains and replace them with sheer curtains or leave the curtains off altogether. This lets loads of natural light in the rooms. 

Make Minor/Major Repairs:

Some repairs might be more than you want to do, and you might already have that worked into the sale of the home, or you aren’t planning on making them. But, making some repairs can go a long way in getting the most money for your home. 

  • All homes settle and develop cracks over time, but you don’t want that to be what potential buyers see. Hire a good handyman and get those ceiling and wall cracks repaired.
  • Repaint if needed, whether it is inside or outside. Cracked or peeling paint or very personal paint colors could turn off a buyer. 
  • Fix any holes in the walls, repair leaky faucets (outside ones, too), check that doors open and close properly and quietly, and windows work.
  • Replace any burned out light bulbs and be sure your electricity is up to code. 
  • If you have good hardwood floors, use them to your advantage. Make sure they are cleaned and refinished. Consider pulling up any old carpeting that might be covering them. Buyers want hardwoods!
  • Speaking of carpeting, replace it if it is worn and beyond cleaning.
  • If you can, get rid of any wallpaper. That is a big turn off for some people; especially if they are looking for a home they can immediately move into without having to make many changes. 
  • Update whatever you can in the kitchen, whether it is appliances, faucets, fixtures, or lighting. 

Create Curb Appeal:

The first impression might be the only one you get. Some buyers can see past what a home looks like in order to see the potential, but most buyers can be turned off and never enter a home if it doesn’t make some kind of a good first impression. 

  • Wash the house! There should be no evidence of mildew or mold on the home. Just power washing to remove dirt and grime will make a big difference. 
  • Clean the gutters out. There should not be any leaves or growing plants visible. Plus, a good inspector will go up on the roof and inspect them, so be sure they are in good working order. 
  • Weeds and unkempt grass are a big deterrent to potential buyers. Keep your lawn mowed and weed free.
  • Paint the house or the trim, or both if necessary. If you can’t afford to have the house painted, just painting the door and shutters will be a quick facelift.
  • Is the front porch/entryway inviting? It should make people want to enter. Use color, a wreath, good lighting, a few potted plants, or a seating area to welcome them.
  • If you are selling your home in the winter, provide photos of the landscaping during the open houses or when buyers come to see the home. That way people can see what the house looks like in the spring and summer. 

Stage It:

  • Move furniture around so that it showcases the room. Remove excess furniture and make sure that the room is easy to walk around. That giant treadmill isn’t going to do you any favors in the bedroom. 
  • If a room is painted a very bold or unique color, consider repainting it to a more neutral color. Most buyers will repaint a home, but if they see they don’t have to do it immediately, you’ve just made it easier to sell. 
  • Add a few live plants and some pops of color with pillows and blankets. Even a new bedspread can add to the allure of the room. 
  • Set the table or only have a centerpiece on it. Keep it looking like a place buyers want to sit with friends and family.
  • Clear off kitchen countertops, but add some color. A bowl of limes or lemons, a bright pot on the stove, or a colorful vase of flowers will do wonders. Put all appliances away to showcase the countertop space. 
  • During showings make sure the beds are made, lights are turned on, pets are put away, curtains are open, windows cleaned, furniture dusted, carpets vacuumed (vacuum lines go a long way) and home feels welcoming and inviting. Your goal is for someone to walk in and realize that the home is loved and cared for!
  • Create an inviting smell by baking cookies before the showing (and leave for potential buyers to eat) or brew a pot of coffee.

Just remember that when you’re getting ready to sell, you have to remove all emotion and attachment that you have to the home. Look at each room critically, as you would if you were buying the home. What can you change, update, or leave as is? The better your home looks, the faster and easier it should sell. And if you’re ready to build a new home, our designers would be honored to design your dream home for you. 

 

 

 

Help Your Home be More Efficient

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Keeping our homes eco-friendly, efficient, and reducing power consumption is something we should all be thinking about and implementing. Many of the things we can do are tried and true and some are new and innovative. Here at RDS, when we are designing new homes or completing remodeling plans, we are asked about how homes can be made more energy efficient. We’ve gathered up a few tips and tricks you can implement to be more energy efficient, which can save you money, too. Some are simple and won’t cost much, while others will involve a bit more time, energy, technology, and money on your part. 

Simple Ideas:

1. Just lowering your thermostat a few degrees in the winter or raising it a few degrees in the summer, (especially if you aren’t home) uses less energy and saves on your utility bill. Energy.gov estimates that you can save as much as 10% a year by daily turning your thermostat 7˚-10˚ lower or higher from your normal setting. A programmable thermostat can do this for you. There are many options available, including ones that sync with your phone or home voice controlled device. 

2. Another consideration for your thermostat is its placement. It shouldn’t be placed near a heating or cooling vent, near a window where it could receive direct sunlight, behind furniture, or near doorways, windows, or drafty areas. If you’re building a new home or remodeling, look at the placement of the thermostats to eliminate any of these issues.

3. Low-flow showerheads won’t feel much different when you shower, but they will improve the efficiency of your water use. Installing them is a Saturday project and as easy as finding the one you like. 

4. Seal your windows if they are older and drafty. Adding caulk or spray foam around the frame or any cracks will help, as will applying shrink film to the windows. This is a big one for your college kids living on campus apartments!

5. Unplug whatever you can when it’s not in use, especially phone chargers and small kitchen appliances. All of these little things continue to use electricity even when not in use and can add up on your energy bill. 

6. If you already have smart technology, are you using it to its advantage? What could you be doing better? Can that app turn off your lights when you aren’t home? What about adjusting the temperature in your house from your smart phone?

7. Keep blinds and curtains closed on hot summer days (to keep the sun out) and open on sunny winter days (but close at night to keep heat from escaping). Close vents in unused rooms. 

8. You don’t use your computer 24/7, so be sure to turn off the monitor when not in use. It is a big energy drain on the computer system. 

9. Turn off lights when you aren’t in the room. This seems like something easy, but how often do we really remember to turn them off? Another thing to think about is using compact fluorescent bulbs. They will save you money. 

10. Are your trees helping you? Are they blocking the sun from your house in the summer but allowing sunlight in the winter? Especially in a new build, spend some money to position trees to your home’s advantage. Plant shrubs and evergreens around the north and west sides of your home to combat those cold winter winds. 

11. Don’t have many dishes? Wash them by hand to save on the energy the dishwasher uses. Or only run the dishwasher when it is full. Some of us could run it daily, but those of us that don’t have big families could probably wait a few days. 

12. Need to light up a walkway? Put in solar garden lights instead of electric ones. All you’re using is the power of the sun! You can even find torches and patio string lights for your yard that are solar-powered. 

A Bit More Involved:

1. Is it time for a new furnace or air conditioner? If either of yours is older, have them inspected and the usage analyzed. It might be less expensive in the long run to upgrade to a new, efficient system. Up to 44% of our utility bills are attributed to heating and cooling our homes. Have all ducts inspected to be sure they are working properly. Consider sealing any that aren’t serving a purpose or installing ones that are in unfinished spaces to stop heat loss. 

2. All older appliances should be replaced, as you are able. Look for Energy Star rated appliances. These products are the most energy efficient. This includes that old refrigerator in your basement or garage! If you can’t replace a washing machine or even if you have, reduce the amount of energy used by using less water and cooler water temperatures. Most clothes can be cleaned in warm or cold water temperatures. 

3. Is it time to install solar panels? They are expensive upfront, but the cost savings might be worth it. Depending on where you live and the amount of sunlight that will hit the right areas of your roof, this might be a viable option. 

4. Is your home well insulated? Adding more insulation to the attic, crawl space, exterior walls, and basement is one of the best and easiest ways to increase the efficiency of your home. Don’t assume a new build has enough insulation. Most homes, old and new, are under insulated. Have it checked out!

5. Installing a new energy-efficient hot water tank or an on-demand tankless hot water heater can have a big impact on your bill. These systems have come a long way and are extremely efficient and effective. Can’t afford a new system? Turn the temperature down a few degrees on your tank. You won’t notice the difference but your energy bill will!

6. Replace your windows. It is a significant cost, but the rewards are worth it. Double or triple pane windows keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. If you can’t replace them, consider getting storm windows for the cold months. This lower-cost alternative might be a good option if your interior windows are still in good shape. 

7. Purchase energy-saving power switches and put in all of your outlets. They draw no energy when the switch is flipped off, but your appliances or devices can still be plugged in. Good for those of us that can’t remember to unplug appliances such as stand mixers, toasters, and coffee makers.

8. Ceiling fans are more than décor ideas. Their ability to circulate air in your home makes them a perfect companion to your heating and cooling needs. They don’t cost much too run and will help your air conditioner or heater work more efficiently.

If you really aren’t sure how your home is working, get an energy audit. Many energy providers will provide an audit for free or a small fee. Their report will guide you to make the improvements you need for you’re a more efficient home.

If you haven’t watched our latest Front Porch Friday video, watch it here for more ideas. As always, we are thinking about you when we create these videos. Contact us to help you create your energy efficient home.

 

Backsplash Thoughts

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How many times have you wandered into someone’s kitchen or bath, or have been watching the DIY and Home shows on TV, and thought, “Wow, I wish I had a backsplash like that!”  As designers, we are always on the hunt for the best and most innovative backsplash ideas, designs, and options.

Our latest Front Porch Friday Video Series DIY Backsplash talked about different aspects of a do it yourself backsplash, but we also wanted to make sure you knew a couple things before you got started. Whether you DIY it or have the professionals do the installing, making a final selection can be overwhelming. The professionals at a reputable local tile distributor can help you. Designing and selecting the right tile is what they do!

What to think about:

What should you think about when planning to install a backsplash? There are several things to consider when making the leap into backsplashes. Your home’s personality will most certainly be reflected through your choices. 

The main goal is to showcase the cabinets, countertops, theme, and flooring in your kitchen or bath. It can serve as a focal point and a place to be as creative as you want. Use it to draw attention or just to unify the space.

If you’re not installing upper cabinets, then the backsplash choice becomes a much bigger design decision. Cost, function, and form need to be determined when choosing materials. 

Style:
Backsplash materials are available in all kinds of styles, finishes, and materials, so take time to research all options and choose what it is that you’re trying to accomplish in the space. Are you making a statement,  adding some color or texture, making it the focal point, or using it to complement the other features in the room? 

Learn what you’ll need to do to keep it looking its best. Does it need to be sealed every year, is it hard to clean, will it scratch or discolor?  

Color:
The color may be somewhat determined by your countertop color. Go bold for some drama. Add pops of color without committing to color everywhere. Choose a neutral color if your countertops are full of color. Whatever you choose, it needs to complement the countertops, flooring, and paint used in the room. 

Size and Shape:
If you are using tile, don’t just think normal rectangular pieces of tile as your only option. Tiles come in sheets with a built-in pattern or they can be octagonal, hexagon, square, and more. They range in size from very large all the way down to about an inch square. They come in individual pieces or sheets. What size and shape you choose will be determined by the size and space you want to fill. 

Decorative and Primary Tile:
If you are going to use several types of tile, do some research before purchasing. The primary tiles should be thicker than the decorative tiles so that you don’t have to build up all of the tiles, just the decorative ones. 

Options:
The options are endless! Spend time in stores just looking around. Visit some model homes and ask what was used. Search online and read about some of the options that we’ve listed for you. Remember-it doesn’t have to be tile. There are many other materials and styles that you could use! 

Subway tile
Tiles made from 100% bamboo
Recycled glass or plate glass
Glass pebbles or sea glass
Stainless steel sheets
Metallic tiles
Natural Stone
Ceramic
Porcelain
Bead Board
Soapstone
Resin Panels
Laminates

One point to keep in mind is the grout. Don’t use a cheap grout, or you’ll be replacing it within a few years. The grout is the cohesive piece in this design, so invest in the good stuff. 

Things to Try:

Set some samples up on the wall after the countertops and cabinets have been installed, or at least are set up in the kitchen. What might have looked amazing in the store might not work with your lighting and other design choices when everything is actually installed in the kitchen or bath. 

If you’re going with a solid color and the same shape tile for the area, play around with the pattern. Try a herringbone pattern, a diagonal, a staggered look, or the standard stack style. 

Do you have an area above the range or sink that is larger than the rest of the areas to be tiled or covered? Use a different tile or pattern to create more visual interest. In a shower, use a different tile running vertically or horizontally.

You might want to install a backsplash yourself like we discussed on the video or have professionals complete the install. Whatever you do, adding a backsplash will create a stunning look. Let our designers help you create the perfect spaces in your next new build or remodel.  

What Our Clients Have to Say...the Shepards

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At RDS, we believe that designing a home is one of the most satisfying parts of our work. We love building relationships with our clients, and working with them to bring their dreams to reality. We want you to get an idea of what our clients think of their experience working with us. As you will read, we can design a home for you to build anywhere!

Name: Kirk and Nadine Shepard

How was your experience with RDS – Residential Designed Solutions?
Our experience with RDS was superb! Working with Jim Wright and his crew was an easy and pleasurable process in designing our homes. After working with Jim on our home in Ohio, we were fortunate to have him design our next home in Connecticut (which was due to a business transfer). His calm and professional manner made this step to homebuilding a joy. Jim was so very helpful in providing suggestions and listening to our needs, which made our finished homes exactly what we had imagined.

What space(s) did you have redesigned or did you have a new home designed?
We have had two new homes and a renovation for a family cottage designed with RDS.

What is the favorite aspect of your new home design?
We loved the general floor plan of our homes; they were functional for a family of six (4 sons!) and were spacious enough to give everyone their own area when needed. Both homes have a warm, comfortable feel about them.

If you could change one thing, what would you change?
After living in the first home in Ohio designed by Jim, we went back to him to see if he could design the same home in Connecticut for us on the property we had purchased. Being the ultimate professional in his craft, at our first meeting, Jim asked us this question. “After living in our home for 2 ½ years, what changes would you want to make?” There were two small changes; he really designed it right the first time!

What was your overall experience like?
Kirk and I have been very satisfied. We have recommended RDS to others and have told them they would not be disappointed.

What advice would you offer to someone who is designing a home or redesigning a space in the home? 
1. Know that there would be many decisions to be made during the design process; it would help to get your ideas and requests down on paper. Start looking at home design magazines, internet sites, drive through some neighborhoods, even visit some open houses to get ideas of your likes and wants for your own home. 

2. Get an architect or residential designer that is reputable (do your homework before signing any contracts) and that you feel you have established a good rapport within the initial meetings. This will make the difference in a wonderfully pleasant home building experience, or a complete nightmare. 

Who else did you reach out to for designing your home?
We were fortunate to have a neighbor who was a home builder who we admired and trusted, Mr. Ed Lynch, Lynch Builders. Ed recommended Jim Wright, Residential Designed Solutions, as the one to work with. After meeting with Jim, we never needed to contact anyone else.

Would you do it again?
Yes, most definitely!

We’re thrilled that Kirk and Nadine have such confidence in us and have been happy with their homes. Let our designers help you make your dreams a reality. We’d be honored to work with you!

 

 

Spruce Up the Front of Your Home!

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Summer is almost here and with that comes the fact that we are spending more time outdoors. Neighbors are out walking the neighborhood, kids are playing, and you might be having more parties at your home. But what does the front of your home look like? Is the curb appeal all that you want it to be or could it use some help?

At RDS, our latest Front Porch Video - Curb Appeal Tips dealt with just this topic. We’ve got sprucing up on the brain, so we wanted to share more tips to help you get the front of your home looking its best! And the best part? It doesn’t have to break the bank to accomplish it!

Front Porch:

Your front porch is the first thing most people notice. Is it welcoming or will it scare people away? A well designed and interesting front porch not only provides great curb appeal, but it’s inviting! So what can you do?

  • Fill colorful containers with summer flowers and place in groups on your porch.
  • If your porch is large enough, put a couple of chairs out so you can sit and chat with neighbors. 

Painted Brick:

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Many homes have brick exteriors. It’s timeless and a staple when building. But does it need a facelift? Many people love the look of brick, but not the bold reddish hues. One change you can make is to paint it. Painting it will update the look and freshen up the front of your home. Choose a color that will coordinate with any adjacent siding. Two popular options include choosing the same color as the siding or a shade or two darker or lighter. 

Window Pediments (or Headpieces):

Window pediments give your home proper dressing on the outside, much like window treatments do on the inside. Window pediments come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so choosing a style that works with your home’s architectural style is important. Choose to reinforce the style of your home or bring out more of your home’s character. If window pediments aren’t your thing, or you want to do more, add shutters if they will work on your home. 

More Sprucing Tips:

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Garage Door: Look at your garage door. Does it need a thorough cleaning? Is it time for a new paint color? Maybe the hardware needs to be updated or replaced. Or is it time to replace the door with a new wooden door, a door with windows, or a whole glass door? You can change the whole look of your home with a new garage door. 

Window Boxes: Window boxes are simple, yet effective ways to add pops of color and depth to the front of your home. There are a variety of styles, materials, and colors available, allowing you the option to customize the look you want to achieve. 

What’s Around Your Front Door: Sometimes it’s the smallest details that can make the difference. Replacing the hardware on the front door, the house numbers or the mailbox are easy changes to make, yet add flair to the front of your home. 

Light it Up! You’ve made many improvements and now it’s time to show it off! Exterior lighting can provide you not only with safety at night but a little flair and drama. Uplighting in front of your home can light up trees, landscape, and exterior details. Change out existing lighting for new and trendier lighting. Don’t forget to light up your garage door. 

Give your home a whole new look with a little dressing up the front elevation of your home. You can choose to do a little or make it a bigger project. Whatever you do, it’s going to help the curb appeal of your home. Our designers would be thrilled to help you do even more and redesign the front of your existing home or design a new home for you. Contact us to get your project started!

 

DIY or Pro...What to Do?

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You’ve watched the DIY channel; you’ve wandered through the home improvement stores, and watched your neighbor doing everything around their home. But are you DIY savvy or do you need to use a pro when tackling projects in and around your home? Of course, here at RDS, we’re all about using a pro when you’re building a home or remodeling an existing home.  But there are many projects you might be able to do on your own. Knowing how you answer the following questions may help you decide.

Our latest Front Porch Friday dealt with this topic – DIY or Pro. But let’s delve into this in a little more detail. 

Ask Yourself the Following Questions; How You Answer Will Help You Decide

What is worth your time and energy?

What is worth it to you? If it’s a huge project, is the time away from your family worth it? Will your full-time job impact the timeline of the project? Is your family willing to live in chaos for a while? Any project, whether it’s a DIY or handled by the pros will cause a disruption to you and your family, but will a DIY cause more or less disruption? What is your stamina like? We all want to believe we can do it all, but can we? Or do we even want to? It might be better for you do the demo or prep work or finish work, and have a pro do the other parts. 

Is the reward worth the risk?

Saving money is always important, but it may not be worth it for you to do it yourself and save a few bucks. Depending on what your project is, having someone complete this project may be a better use of your money. In addition to financial reasons, you need to know your limits. Anything that carries with it the potential for causing damage to your home or yourself, or others should be handled by the pros. Plumbing and electrical are two biggies to be wary of doing yourself if you don’t have prior knowledge or experience. Ready to knock down a wall? Do you know if it’s load bearing or how to even find out? We’ve all seen DIY projects gone wrong!  If you have the skills needed for the project, or can learn a new skill quickly, then go for it! There’s nothing like being able to say that you did it yourself - if it isn’t too risky for YOU!

Do you know what you’re doing?

If you’re a seasoned DIYer, then you get what it takes to complete a project.  For the rest of us, we need to understand and be aware of all of the steps that will be needed to complete the project. We need to have all of the necessary tools available to us, whether we own them or rent them. Research is paramount for success, as well as knowing who to call if things go wrong. Hidden surprises are the worst and will not only slow your project down but might prevent you from completing it. However,  the more DIY you do, the better you will be with future projects. 

Be honest – will you finish what you start?

This is an easy one to understand. Look around - do you have other unfinished projects? Don’t start any new ones until you finish other ones you have started. In addition, if you tend to be a weekend warrior, how long will this DIY take? If it’s a huge project, do you have the time?  Start small if this is your first project and stay on your schedule! 

How long will the project take and can my family live with it?

A kitchen remodel, finishing a basement, or adding a room will take a great deal of time and energy, especially if you’re doing it yourself. How will your family cope with the project? If the DIY is a big time-involved project, you might want to call the pros. Painting, building furniture, replacing doors, changing light fixtures, or adding a deck or outdoor space might be better places to start as a DIY. 

Do you understand what permits and licenses might be needed?

Depending on your project, you might need a permit or license. Some communities require a permit to install a hot water tank or HVAC system. Some require permits for fences, patios or decks, or room additions. Pros understand permits and licenses since that is critical to their success. Every community has different rules and restrictions, so if this is more than you want to handle, then using a pro has its benefits.  But if you love working with permits and licenses, you’ve done it before, or you just want to learn how to do this, then go for it. Don’t listen to your neighbor’s advice about needing a permit – always call the city to check.

If you’re thinking of designing a home or just redesigning an existing home, call us. We are your seasoned professionals and while we won’t knock down walls for you, we’ll help you figure out which ones you can have knocked down! 

Closet Organization – Tips and Tricks

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Be honest – when you look in your closet, is it as organized as you’d like it to be? Or could it use some help? Our latest Front Porch Friday video, Closet Organization, is full of tips and tricks. We want to help you get organized. We can even design a new closet for you when we design your new bedroom! 

An organized closet can lessen your stress when getting dressed and ready for your day! Recapture time as you easily find just the right outfit for that important meeting or date night. Organizing, whether it’s the kitchen cabinets or your bedroom closet is very personal, so you have to do what works for you. 

What to Do:

Evaluate the Space:

  • You can’t evaluate the space unless you look at it critically with everything in it. Take a photo if you need to so you can compare before and after!
     
  • Picture your closet with four zones; overhead, eye level, mid level, and floor level. Are you getting the most out of all of these areas?
     
  • Where do you need more space? Do you hang most of your clothing? Or is most of it folded? Do you have lots of shoes?
     
  • Take everything out of the closet and do a second evaluation. Do you have dead space where shelves could be added? Is the closet deep enough to hang something from the back of the door? Is it large enough for a built-in or freestanding dresser? 
     
  • If you’re lucky enough to have a walk-in closet, can it be customized to give you even more space?
     
  • Sort your clothing into keep, donate, and pitch. Be realistic and honest with yourself. Will you ever wear that dress or shirt again?
     
  • If you can’t decide on certain clothing items and whether you need them, hang all of your clothes with the hangers facing in the “wrong” direction. Every time you wear something, hang it back with the hanger in the “right” direction. At the end of the season, see what hangers haven’t been turned. Maybe now you’ll see what you can really get rid of. 

Organizers:

There are a huge variety of organizers available for closets. What you choose will depend on your needs. 

  • Hangers come in different sizes and materials. Slim, wide, wooden, non-slip and plastic hangers are all designed to help you make the most of your closet. Plastic hangers come in many colors and styles. These are perfect for t-shirts, casual shirts, and jeans. Non-slip hangers work well for silky material and are designed to keep any clothing from slipping. Wooden hangers that are curved are best for sweaters and jackets. Hangers with clips make hanging pants and skirts easy and wrinkle-free. Slim hangers allow you more space for clothes, especially if you have a smaller closet. 
     
  • Using hooks, shoe organizers, baskets, shelves, dressers, different sized plastic bins, and towel bars provide you with a plethora of options for organizing. All you need is a closet and some ingenuity to make it work for you. 

Reorganizing:

You’ve got the organizers; you’ve sorted your clothing, shoes, and accessories. Now how can you best reorganize?

  • Hooks are perfect for hanging bulky items like purses, handbags, bulky sweatshirts, or fleece jackets.
     
  • Shoe organizers are not only good for shoes but also other items like sweaters or sweatshirts, keeping them from stretching out. Plus, it’s easy to see them since they are separated.
     
  • In dresser drawers, use drawer organizers to separate belts, ties, socks, underwear, and bras.
     
  • Roll t-shirts and stand them on end in dresser drawers, baskets, or plastic see-through bins. It takes up less space and you can easily find the one you want. Plus, they don’t wrinkle as much.
     
  • A basket filled with socks or underwear is easy to pull out from a shelf. 
     
  • Organize by color, function, style, and use. Keep dressy clothes in one area, exercise and casual clothing front and center, and work clothes where you can easily mix and match. 
     
  • Towel bars can be hung on a wall. Tie scarves to them or hang up high-heeled shoes. They’re easy to see and doesn’t take up valuable rod or floor space. 
     
  • Raising the closet bar higher allows you to hang a second bar or add shelving or a dresser underneath it.
     
  • Shelf dividers allow you to stack sweaters up higher since they will be held in place.
     
  • Shelf brackets can have a whole new use! Flip over a shelf bracket and sort items by type and hang with curtain clips.

The sky’s the limit with your closets! Even a small closet can be better organized. Be creative, use the ideas we’ve suggested, and if you’re ready, contact us to help you design a home (and closets) for you!