Do Your Windows Need Service?

Jul 26, 2021 Vincent Russo

Windows are one of the most important features of your house. They let in light, let in fresh air, and can have a significant impact on the overall look of your rooms. With that said, windows do require a bit of maintenance from time to time. Most of the time, it will be simple things like cleaning the windows and checking window screens for damage to make sure that your windows are still operating in tip-top shape. Occasionally, though, you may find that your windows require a bit more service to keep them from showing wear and other damage over time.

If you aren’t sure what sort of service and maintenance your windows might need, don’t worry. A lot of homeowners are somewhat in the dark about proper window maintenance, and the amount of service your windows need depends on a lot of factors including their age and the climate where you live. To help ensure that your windows get the attention that they deserve, here is some info on proper window maintenance and how to tell if your windows need additional service.

Window Service

There are a number of types of service and other maintenance that your windows may require from time to time. Some of these are simple, such as periodic cleaning on both the inside and the outside of the window. Some maintenance operations are a bit more complicated, however.

When checking your windows to see if they need service, there are several things that you should check for. Open the windows to make sure that they’re operating correctly, taking note of any difficulties that you have or if they seem to stick at any point when opening or closing them. Inspect the windows for any signs of visible damage, both to the panes and to other components such as the frame, muntin sections, or the sill. Look for signs of water getting trapped in between panes in double-paned windows, and also feel around for drafts or signs of leaks. You should also pick a quiet time to listen for a few minutes near the windows to see if more noise than usual seems to be getting through. Any of these issues will require correction, and the sooner you identify them then the easier that service will be.

When to Service Your Windows

Unless something obvious like a rock striking a windowpane happens and causes physical damage to one of your windows, it can be a bit difficult to tell when your windows actually need service. Since you don’t have time to constantly check over your windows, it’s a good idea to check them at least a couple of times per year. You can usually make the most out of these maintenance checks by doing one early in the spring when temperatures are starting to rise after winter, and again in late summer or early fall as temps start to drop again. This will alert you to potential problems caused by the intensity of winter cold or summer heat and preps you for seasons with a lot of rain, drafts, and other issues.

With that said, it doesn’t hurt to give your windows the occasional once-over as well. Clean them or at least wipe them down once a month, checking for any obvious signs of problems as you do. You should also do a more thorough inspection if you notice drafts, louder noises, or signs of leaks near the windows. You don’t have to go in-depth with your windows during these periodic checks unless there’s some sign of trouble, but even just a glance every now and then can do wonders for early detection of problems.

Professional Service

Some window problems such as gaps around the frame or loose screws on locking clasps are easy to fix on your own. Bigger window problems may require professional help to take care of, though. If you find yourself needing major work done on your windows or maybe even full window replacements, be sure to check out HomeKeepr. We can help you connect with window pros in your area, making sure you that you get the help you need from professionals you can trust. Sign up for a free account today to get started.

#WinWithVin #KWMerrimackValley #HomwOwnership

Original Post: https://blog.homekeepr.com/do-your-windows-need-service?sharedby=vincent-russo

Improve Your Home’s Organization!

Jul 22, 2021 Vincent Russo

Organization is an important part of keeping your home clean and tidy. Unfortunately, organization doesn’t always come easy to homeowners. It may be that your home just lacks the storage solutions that you need to effectively organize, or your house simply isn’t large enough to effectively contain all your family’s stuff. Maybe there is enough room, but the way your rooms are laid out makes things a bit difficult. Whatever the reason, you might feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle with organization and that it never lasts as long as you’d like.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to getting your house organized, but there are some things that might help. Not all of these suggestions are likely to fit your specific situation, but a few might point you in the right direction to start getting a better grip on your home’s organization. Even if the individual suggestions don’t fully apply to your home and its layout, they still might give you ideas that will help you get your home’s excessive disarray under control.

Adjust Your Storage Methods

There are a number of things that you can do to help improve the storage options in your home. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Don’t organize spices or dry goods items based on their names; sort them based on frequency of use instead. This lets the things that you use most often be near the front of your storage and those things that are less frequently used can go in the back or on a harder-to-reach shelf.
  • Label folders, boxes, and any other long-term storage containers. You should also avoid having a catch-all or miscellaneous option; put things where they go at the start, instead of dealing with an ever-growing pile in need of sorting.
  • Use dividers to improve organization in your drawers, allowing you to store multiple types of items together without causing a significant amount of clutter.
  • Install hooks for coats and set up a container to hold shoes near your main entryway, then make sure that members of your household use both. This will help prevent those shoes, jackets, and coats from ending up strewn all over the house.

It’s also important to note that the solution for running low on storage isn’t to simply buy extra storage containers. If you’re running low on storage space, sort through what’s currently in storage and see if you can pare things down before adding additional storage.

Out With the Old, In With the New

A big cause of clutter and running low on space is buying new and upgraded products while still holding on to the items that they’re replacing. This doesn’t mean that you should only own one jacket or a single purse, of course; it makes sense to have multiples of some items, so long as the older items are still actively being used. If you buy something with the clear intention of replacing something else but that something else is still sticking around unused, though, then there may be a problem.

Electronics are the biggest culprit here; if you get a new phone or tablet, you should sell, donate, or give away the old one instead of sticking it in a drawer to take up space. The same goes with clothes that are damaged or threadbare, purses or backpacks with broken straps or other damage, and all those other items that you tell yourself you’ll get fixed eventually but never do. Go through all your old items that haven’t been touched for 6 months or more and see what you can get rid of. You should also get in the habit of prepping old items for donation soon after picking up a newer model.

Give Your Layout a Makeover

In some cases, all that it takes is a rearranging of furniture or some changes to your home’s layout to open up some extra space and cut back on the clutter. In many cases you can do this yourself, though you may decide to bring in a professional decorator or a decluttering pro to help. If you do decide this is the way to go, HomeKeepr is here to help. Sign up for a free account today and get connected with the pros who’ll help you conquer the clutter for good.

#WinWithVin #KWMerrimackValley

Original Post: https://winwithvin.kw.com/blog

Smart Kitchens, Smart Faucets

Jul 15, 2021 Vincent Russo

So-called “smart” devices are increasingly popular, adding new features and functionality to just about every room in your home. One room that you might not consider for a smart upgrade is the kitchen, but you should. There are a number of sensors and connected devices that can transform your kitchen into something special. One great option that’s often overlooked is the addition of a smart faucet to your sink.

While smart faucets aren’t as well known (yet) as other smart home add-ons such as smart lighting and smart thermostats, they can have a significant impact on how you use your kitchen. Not only can you turn the faucets on and off in different ways, but you can also have your smart faucets automatically save you money on your water bill. If you’re wondering whether a smart faucet might be a good addition to your home, read on for more info on just how these faucets can help you.

Smart Faucet Controls

One big advantage to smart faucets is that there are multiple ways to control the flow of water. In addition to standard handles or levers, many smart faucets contain features such as touch panels and motion sensors that allow you to turn the water on and off with little to no contact with the faucet itself. This adds convenience to using the sink in general, and can help keep your kitchen area clean if your hands are dirty or covered with batter or other substances that you wouldn’t want to clean off of everything later.

Depending on the model, some smart faucets can also be controlled remotely using apps or voice controls. In most cases, you can even pair the apps on your smartphone with digital assistants such as Alexa and the Google Assistant. This lets you control the faucet using Amazon Echo and Google Home devices, turning the water on and off as needed while doing prep work or otherwise getting things ready for the water.

Smart Water Usage

Another big benefit of smart faucets is the way that they help to control your water usage. The water-saving features of smart faucets help prevent wasted water by cutting off the flow when you aren’t actually using the sink. This keeps you from accidentally leaving the water running when you’re doing something that takes too long and can also help prevent drips and other problems that might occur when you don’t close a valve all the way.

Some smart faucets also let you track your water usage over time via their connected apps. This can make you more aware of how much water you’re using in the kitchen and may help you to ratchet back on your usage over time. Eliminating unnecessary water use will save you money and help the environment as well, and the awareness of how much water you’re using is a big part of cutting back on that unnecessary use.

Installing Your Smart Faucet

For the most part, installing a smart faucet is a lot like installing any other faucet. Depending on the faucet model, its smart features will be powered either by batteries or a nearby outlet; if the faucet is outlet powered, you’ll need to make sure that there’s a source of power close enough to hook the faucet up for it to work properly. Once installed, some smart features may require additional setup, especially if you plan to use the faucet with external devices such as an Echo or Google Home.

If you aren’t sure how to hook up a faucet or need a new outlet installed to power the smart features of your desired model, HomeKeepr can assist you in finding the help that you need. Whether you’re looking for a plumber, an electrician, or any other pro to help bring your smart kitchen to life, we can connect you with the top professionals in your area. Sign up for a free account today to get started.

#WinWithVin #KWMerrimackValley #Keller Williams

Original post: https://winwithvin.kw.com/blog

What’s In Your Toolbox? Plumb Bobs, Levels, and Squares

Jul 08, 2021 Vincent Russo

There are a lot of tools in the world, and some of them have some very specialized uses. Sometimes these uses are pretty obvious; a hammer is used to hammer nails, and a wrench is used to tighten nuts. Even tools that you think you’re familiar with might surprise you, though; a hammer is a hammer, but do you know the difference between claw hammers and ball-peen hammers? What about all the different types of pliers that you might run across? Knowing exactly how specific tools are supposed to be used can help you to avoid errors and make finding the right tool for the job a lot easier.

With that said, here are a few pretty common tools that you might not know enough about to use effectively. Learning a bit more about them will help to ensure that you always have the right tool for the job and know exactly how it should be used (and more importantly, how it shouldn’t).

Levels

When you look at a level, figuring out how to use it often seems like a no-brainer. Just line it up so that the bubble appears between the lines on the level, right? Unfortunately, this sort of reasoning is one of the leading causes of people using a level and finding out later that their shelf or other project isn’t actually very level.

Levels come in a lot of different sizes, and that’s not just because manufacturers want to cater to personal preference. When using a level, it’s important to have the level cover as much of the surface that you’re trying to level as possible. For a small picture, using a small level works great. For a large shelf or a storage unit with adjustable legs, that same level isn’t going to give you a complete picture. Using a level that’s close to the same size as the surface that you’re leveling is the best way to use one of these tools effectively, but if that’s not possible then you should check the level at both ends of the surface as well as the middle. You might be surprised at how much of a difference this can make.

Squares

The handy-dandy square (which ironically is often a triangle) is a very useful tool if you know how to use it. Its most obvious function is to show you whether a corner is 90 degrees or not, but that’s not all that it can do. Depending on the type of square you have and its size you can also use the square to make measurements, mark 45-degree angles (and often other angles) for cuts, determine whether a segment of a surface is flat or warped, and more. It’s also important to remember that just because a corner seems to be 90 degrees, that’s not always the case; using a longer square or checking multiple corners is the best way to ensure that your work is actually square.

While it’s always nice to get more comfortable with your tools, it’s also important to realize that some jobs are a bit too big to DIY. If you run into a problem that you can’t tackle on your own, HomeKeepr is here to help. Whether you need a plumber, electrician, or just a general contractor to get some work done on your house, HomeKeepr can help you connect with pros in your area who will get the job done right. Best of all, creating a HomeKeepr account is free. Sign up today so that you’ll be ready for whatever home repair problems tomorrow might bring.

#WinWithVin #KWMerrimackValley

Original Post: http://WinWithVin.kw.com/blog

Matching Cabinet Hardware

Jul 05, 2021 Vincent Russo

Whether it’s with knobs, pulls, handles, or some other hardware, you need to have some way to access your cabinets. If your cabinets are relatively new, that hardware is probably fairly modern. But for older cabinets, you may need to replace the hardware, and it might be kind of tricky to figure how to get it. This can make replacing old cabinet hardware stressful, especially if you’re not sure where to start. While your success will depend on the specific pieces that you’re looking for and how recently they were manufactured, here’s some info that will hopefully point you in the right direction if you find yourself on a hardware hunt.

The Need to Match Hardware

Why do you need to match old cabinet hardware, anyway? There are a few reasons. The most common is that handles and knobs sometimes become damaged or break over time, especially if the cabinets see frequent use. You may also find yourself adding new cabinets or other fixtures that you want to match as closely to the older cabinets as possible, including similar finishes and hardware. In some cases it may even be a matter of hardware being removed to repair or replace cabinet doors and then getting lost or accidentally tossed out. Whatever the reason, you want matching hardware, and it doesn’t seem to be available in stores anymore.

Sources for Older Hardware

When trying to match old hardware, it’s important to start by checking if it’s actually available. Visit cabinet or woodworking shops in your area with pictures of the hardware you need (or the actual hardware itself) to see if anyone can recognize it and know where to order it. If that doesn’t pan out, check the internet; there are a lot of stores online that specialize in older items, and this can include out-of-production hardware and other materials. Even if you can’t find the specific hardware from its original manufacturing run, you may be able to locate visually similar reproductions that will at least match the look of your existing hardware.

If that doesn’t work, spend some time searching online auction sites to see if you can find the hardware that you’re looking for there. While online auctions can be a mixed bag, there are a lot of people who post used or out-of-production items that they have a surplus of to make some money off things that they no longer need. It may be worth checking a few times on different days, as new items are listed all the time, and you never know when someone is going to list that handle or knob that you need for a few dollars.

Unable to Find a Match?

Unfortunately, there may be some cases where you simply can’t find a match for your old cabinet hardware no matter how hard you try. If this happens, you typically have two options: You can upgrade all your hardware to a new style, or you can find something that complements your existing hardware to create a mix-and-match arrangement. It basically comes down to whether you want to upgrade some of your existing hardware or all of it with something a bit newer. You can choose pieces that complement your cabinets, hardware that goes well with sinks and other fixtures in the room, or even something significantly more modern than the cabinets to create a visual contrast between the cabinets and the hardware. Regardless of what you choose, be sure to pick something that you enjoy.

Of course, if you decide that the cabinets themselves could use an upgrade too, then HomeKeepr is here to help. We can help you find contractors and other pros who can give your rooms the new cabinets or other solutions that you need. Best of all, signing up for a HomeKeepr account is free. Create your account today and be on your way to the new cabinets of your dreams.

Original Post: http://WinWithVin.kw.com/blog

#WinWithVin #KWMerrimackValley

The Truth About Zillow Zestimates

Jun 21, 2018 Vincent Russo

Do you know how much your home is worth? No, really, do you?

Homeowners and buyers across the country often answer this question by turning to a figure known as a Zestimate, produced by Zillow.com. Zillow’s intention is to create an accurate value estimate for the over 100 million homes indexed by the site. Although it won’t give you a figure that’s right on the nose, it can provide a price range to start with during your real estate negotiation.

Wait, What’s a Zestimate?

A Zestimate is Zillow’s attempt to use algorithms and publicly available data points that influence housing prices to estimate a home’s value at any given time. While this is a good idea, in concept, it’s important for buyers and sellers to realize that there’s a bit more to predicting prices than the cold, hard facts.

Often, real estate becomes a very personal and emotional buy. Two houses with the same floor plan, but different shades of brick or different trees in the front yard can have different values to the person doing the buying. That’s really what matters. Ultimately, a home is only worth what the market will bear and what a buyer will give.

The Perception Versus the Reality of Zestimates

Zestimates became popular because outside of an appraisal or comparative market analysis generated by an experienced Realtor, it can be really hard to judge whether your home is gaining or losing value. After all, no one wants to bet on a losing horse, even if they live inside that horse and it provides them with shelter from the elements and a place to make memories (must be a Trojan horse).

Unfortunately, the Zestimate has been responsible for a great deal of confusion since Zillow started using the original algorithm in 2006. Even though the algorithm has been upgraded several times since its inception, it’s not perfect. Unfortunately, people deeply enveloped in the stressful process that is buying a house sometimes become ultra focused on the numbers that Zestimates provide, treating them more as an absolute than a flexible guide.

Because most people don’t really know what goes into valuing a home, this issue of getting married to a valuation that’s not quite on the dot isn’t new. Even before Zillow, many homeowners believed that their home was worth so many dollars due to tax assessments that were often based on outdated information, collected during the initial construction of their home and updated based on average inflation.

Why Have a Zestimate, Then?

Zestimates aren’t the most accurate way to assess the value of a home because they aren’t able to pick up on the harder to quantify items that go into determining the value of a home. They can’t tell a freshly remodeled 1960’s ranch home from one that’s still got the original shag carpet, for example. They aren’t appraisals. For many homes, though, a Zestimate will get you in the ballpark.

Zestimates work best in areas of high turnover, in neighborhoods with fairly similar homes. Because a Zestimate relies on public data like tax assessments and homeowner corrections of the basics, including the number of bathrooms and bedrooms, it can make a fine starting point for the potential home buyer or seller.

Since you don’t buy and sell real estate constantly, having an overview of the neighborhood’s stats is helpful when you do–but you have to allow for wiggle room. Just because a listed house on Maple Drive has a Zestimate of $203,000 and it’s almost identical to your house next door, it doesn’t mean you won’t get more (or less) when you go to sell.

Taking Your Zestimate to the Next Level

Zestimates can give you a very general idea about the value of your home or a home you’re considering buying, but they aren’t appraisals. The only way to know what a home’s actual value is in the moment (because this can change rapidly in some markets) is to reach out to a home pro for their formal opinion.

If you’ve reached that point where you’re ready to buy or sell a home and want a highly accurate price point to start from, contact your Realtor for a comparative market analysis. Once you have a contract in hand, a professional appraiser will take it from there and give you an exact dollar figure based on hundreds of factors that are a bit too nebulous for the technology we currently have available to reliably assess.

And hey, if you need help finding an appraiser or any other home pro that can speed your real estate transaction along, just ask your HomeKeepr family for a recommendation!

Original post: http://WinWithVin.kw.com/blog

#WinWithVin #KWMerrimackValley #ATL #Zillow #Zestimate

This Year’s Tile Trends!

Jul 01, 2021 Vincent Russo

Tile is a very versatile material, offering strength and beauty while also providing color and decorative flair wherever it’s installed. Useful on both floors and walls, tile can really define the look of a room and can even be paired with other flooring and wall décor types to create complex looks from relatively simple materials. Tile provides something of a timeless look, though that doesn’t mean that it isn’t subject to decorating trends like any other material. If you’re curious as to what’s hot in tile at the moment, here are some of the biggest current trends out there.

Neutral Colors

Throughout the years, tile trends have covered just about every color imaginable. Deep browns and light tans used to be hot, and it seems like every few years monochromes and grayscales come back into prominence. Sometimes we even get bold and bright colors as the “it” trend. At the moment, though, a lot of tile trends seem to be gravitating toward more neutral colors. Tans, grays, and greens are especially popular within the last year or so.

The key to the popularity of these colors lies in how well light shades of brown, gray, and green tend to go with a variety of different decorating styles. Soft greens are especially popular lately and pair well with green, blue, and even brown shades in bathrooms, kitchens, and other rooms where tile is commonly used. While these colors are the most popular at the moment, other neutral shades including soft yellows, creams, and even pinks and blues are finding their way into more homes as the neutral color trend continues.

Hexagons Are Hot

Most of the time, tile comes in some variation of squares or rectangles. Even tiles with repeating sweeping designs or that are arranged to create vivid images tend to mostly be square. That may be one of the reasons that hexagonal tiles are so popular these days, since they really shake up convention while still offering an easily repeatable shape that captures the essence of classic tile.

Hexagonal tile is available in a wide range of options, including classic glossy ceramic tiles, marbled tiles, matte finishes, and even 2D images that repeat over the face of the tiles. Some hexagon layouts even use different types of hexagons to create a more complex pattern, combining classic hexagons with others that have two sides longer than the rest to create a remarkably interesting look overall. You can even combine hexagons with rectangular or square tiles to create very striking patterns on your walls or floors. The options are limitless, and they’re sure to catch the attention of any guests who see them.

Textures and Tile

While tile has often gone hand in hand with complex design work, a lot of emerging trends seem to be dialing back on that to keep things a little simpler. At the same time, more tiles are adding subtle bits of texture to make up for the lack of design complexity. This gives the tile more of a 3D look, allowing light and shadow to add subtle touches of depth without the need for a wide range of tiles in different shapes and colors to create complex patterns. This texture can mimic the look of natural stone, create flecked patterns on the tile, or even create ridges or waves that seem to flow from one tile to the next. These textured tiles are redefining what many people think of when they think of tile wall coverings and flooring.

Whether you want to follow one of these new hot trends or stick with more traditional tile layouts, HomeKeepr can help you find the pros you need to get your tile installed exactly how you want it. Sign up for a free account today to find installers in your area. They may even help you to find new trends that you weren’t even aware of that will meet your needs perfectly.

Original post: http://winwithvin.kw.com/blog

#WinWithVin #KWMerrimackValley

Thinking About Upgrading a Skylight?

Jun 28, 2021 Vincent Russo

Skylights can be a great way to add natural light to your home. This can be especially useful for rooms that lack windows or that are otherwise blocked from getting much natural light. Unfortunately, skylights sometimes fall victim to the ravages of time and climate. This may leave you wondering whether you should upgrade or replace those skylights that have been in place for years. In some cases, this can be a pretty big undertaking, so here are a few things to consider before jumping into a skylight upgrade.

Reasons to Upgrade a Skylight

There are a number of issues that can arise with skylights that might prompt an upgrade or replacement. The most obvious is some damage occurring to the skylight from severe weather or other natural events. Even without external damage, though, skylights can also start to leak around the edge seams over time. This is especially prevalent in older skylights that were made with materials that are not as resistant to UV rays and weather as modern materials.

Leaks and damage aren’t the only reasons one might want to upgrade or replace a skylight, however. Some skylight materials can yellow or otherwise become discolored over time, resulting in cloudiness or a gradual decrease in the amount of light that shines through. Fixed-frame skylights were common at one point, but newer skylights may offer the ability to open them or can feature self-venting options to help manage heat buildup within the house. Older skylight designs may also not be as aesthetically pleasing as newer skylights, leading to homeowners wanting to replace them with something more modern that better fits the look of their home.

Skylight Upgrade Considerations

Regardless of the reason you might want to upgrade your skylight to something newer, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind when considering the type of replacement you want to get. The size of skylights can be deceiving given their angle and location, so proper measurements are vital to ensuring that you get the right size for your skylight replacement. Different skylight types may only be suitable for certain roof pitches as well, so this should be taken into consideration when picking one out to make sure that it won’t cause problems once installed. The materials used in modern skylights can also affect the strength, UV resistance, and overall look of the skylight, so this should be kept in mind when exploring skylight options.

Another important consideration is the timing of your skylight upgrade. Many homeowners who upgrade or replace older skylights often do so when planning other roof work such as a new shingle installation to allow all the work to be done at once. This also ensures that any warranties or guarantees for the skylight and the roof will be activated at the same time so that leaks or other problems can be taken care of regardless of which part of the roof or skylight they’re associated with.

Calling in the Pros

While it’s possible to replace or install a skylight yourself, it can be a real challenge if you don’t have previous experience with roofing or skylight installation. The work can be dangerous if you don’t know what to expect, and if installed incorrectly your new skylight can leak or suffer damage that can lead to even more costly repairs down the road. As a result, it’s often recommended that you hire a roofing contractor or skylight installation specialist to perform any upgrades or other installation work for your skylight.

Fortunately, HomeKeepr can help you find the pro that you need to complete your skylight upgrade. Not only can you connect with roofers and other skylight pros in your area, but creating an account with HomeKeepr is free. Sign up today to get your skylight rejuvenation underway.

Original Posting: https://winwithvin.kw.com/blog

#WinWithVin #KWMerrimackValley

Small Changes Make Big Bathroom Impacts

Jun 24, 2021 Vincent Russo

Nobody likes a small bathroom. Unfortunately, a lot of houses have them. If you live in a home with a bathroom that makes you feel a bit claustrophobic, you might think that there isn’t much you can do without some major (and majorly costly) renovations. This may not be the case, though. There are actually a number of small changes that you can make to your bathroom to make it not only appear bigger, but possibly even give you some more space to work with.

Bear in mind that some of these options are a matter of personal taste. You’ll need to think about how these would work with your own personal style preferences. With that said, even if you only use one or two of these suggestions, you may be surprised at how big of a change they can make in your bathroom … all without having to tear down a wall or anything.

Change Up the Look

The first thing that you should do is stop and take a good look at your bathroom. Are the walls some dark, unappealing color that was last seen in the wilds of the 1970s? Does the lighting give everything kind of a dull yellow tint or cast some big shadows everywhere? Did some unfortunate soul decide that the bathroom really was the place for some deep-pile carpeting? The look of your bathroom can have a big effect on how open (or not) it appears, and in many cases can make the bathroom seem smaller or more unpleasant than it actually is.

Some options for fixing this include adding mirrors (which are always useful in the bathroom anyway), painting or adding wallpaper to cover up dark or grungy walls, and replacing light fixtures with something that will give you a bit more illumination everywhere. Try painting one wall a different complementary color as an accent. Choose wallpaper with repeating patterns but also with ample open space between repetitions. Paint your cabinets or add light-colored veneer to help lighten up the space. The lighter and more inviting the bathroom is, the larger it will seem.

Revamp Your Storage

Another thing that can make a bathroom feel small is clutter. If every available surface seems covered with soaps, styling products, makeup, or manscaping tools, it’s going to trigger that part of your brain that doesn’t like crowded spaces every time you enter the room. This is where good storage can come into play, since it will give you a place for all that clutter, so you don’t have to just shove everything into an unorganized mess in the cabinet.

Consider installing rotating storage or under-shelf racks in your cabinets to make organizing easier. Adding a high shelf with a towel rack under it can also help, letting you move towels out of your cabinet and position them closer to your bath or shower without taking up precious floor space. Hanging a multi-panel medicine cabinet is also a great idea, since it gives you more storage for small items and medicines while also adding additional mirrors to the bathroom. Once you deal with some of the clutter on your surfaces, you’ll be surprised at how much more open the bathroom seems.

Bringing the Bathroom to Life

If you aren’t exactly sure how to revitalize your bathroom, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Painters and interior designers may have suggestions on how to change the look and functionality of your bathroom without breaking the bank and can assist you in picking colors and other options to really open the place up. They may have additional suggestions based on the actual layout of your bathroom as well, helping you to feel more comfortable in the bathroom without all the cost of significant renovation.

HomeKeepr can help you to find the pros you need to make your bathroom revamp a reality. Sign up for a free account today to find local pros in your area that can get the job done. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s one more little thing that will make a big difference in your bathroom revitalization project.

#WinWithVin #KWMerrimackValley

5 of the Most Searched Outdoor Decor Trends of Summer 2021

By Larissa Runkle
Jun 18, 2021

Even with the outside world opening back up, many of us have found new comfort in staying at home. Backyard dinner parties, outdoor movie nights, drinks on the deck—you name it, there are so many summertime favorites that really don’t require going anywhere, especially if you have a great outdoor space.

And if you don’t? Well, we’re here to help with that.

After

To get a little inspiration for making your backyard into an oasis you actually won’t want to leave this summer, we once again consulted with the pros at design retailer Living Spaces. They gave us the scoop on the most searched outdoor decor and design ideas of the season, and we’re here to share a few of our favorites.

Here are five absolute must-haves in your outdoor space this summer, and all the details on where to get them.

1. Indoor-outdoor spaces

Photo by PRDG architecture + design 

One of the best ways to make your outdoor spaces feel irresistibly cozy this season is by making them feel like they’re inside. Think: decor features such as extra throw pillows, blankets, and even some of your living room furniture (all approved for outdoor wear and tear, of course).

But don’t just take our word for it. According to a recent Google report, “indoor-outdoor spaces” is one of the most significantly searched trends of the season, and it’s seen a 155.56% increase in popularity from last year.

“Indoor-outdoor living spaces—adding comfy sofas and coffee tables to the backyard—became an easy solution to those feelings of being cooped up during quarantine,” says Living Spaces designer Shelby Greene.

“2020 was all about finding comfort in trying times, and when it comes to the outdoors, comforting pieces are here to stay,” adds Greene.

Add some cozy indoor-outdoor vibes to your space with this boho pearl lantern, then beef up your seating area with this diverse collection of throw pillows and floor poufs.

2. Concrete furniture

Photo by Brooklinteriors LLC 

One outdoor trend we didn’t see coming this season is the draw toward concrete furniture, up nearly 7% in recent months, according to the folks at Living Spaces.

“There’s something minimalist about concrete furniture,” says Greene. “There’s only one texture and color, and the shapes are usually simple. In other words: It’s easy, timeless, and a safe choice, unlike some of the more fashionable wood, fabric, or metal outdoor pieces.”

Because of its versatility, neutrality, and ability to withstand all sorts of weather conditions—maintaining that pristine look—concrete furniture isn’t a trend we see disappearing anytime soon.

Upgrade your outdoor dining with this round-top table, or make a smaller addition with this gray embossed side stool.

3. Outdoor kitchens

Photo by ORCO Block & Hardscape 

Speaking of indoor-outdoor vibes, it’s no surprise that having an outdoor kitchen is still trending on Google and ranking highly on everyone’s wish list this season.

“An outdoor kitchen is a must for exterior design in 2021,” says designer Savannah Phillips of The Knobs Company. “People spend all day in their home office, and when the clock strikes 5, it’s time to sprint outside and do some grilling.

“An outdoor kitchen can be used for not only standard cooking, but entertaining as well if you add bar stools or a dining set,” Phillips adds.

It’s not just Google searches proving continued interest in outdoor kitchens. According to a members-only survey conducted by the National Kitchen & Bath Association, 76% of design professionals reported outdoor kitchens as their “top project” this summer.

Whether you’ve broken ground on your ideal outdoor kitchen or not, one easy way to get started is with a portable pizza oven (also trending on Google)—like this one from Ooni.

4. Pastel colors

Photo by Levy Art + Architecture 

Nothing screams summer quite like a bouquet of color on your patio. That might be why searches for all things pastel are up right now—particularly in shades of yellow (up 13%), green (up 10%), and our personal favorite, lilac (up 19%).

“Pastel colors are a huge outdoor trend right now, stemming from the ‘cottagecore’ aesthetic that has been floating around,” says Phillips. “These muted colors give a calm, relaxing feeling and pair well with the bright colors of flowers and foliage. They’re perfect for not overwhelming the space and keeping the focus on the natural elements.”

Incorporate some pastel highlights into your outdoor decor with this persimmon rocking chair or this peachy-pink mosaic stool.

5. Mini gardens

mini gardens
These mini gardens can make a big impact in your outdoor space.(Living Spaces)

The best thing about this trend is that just about anyone can do it—whether you have a sprawling lawn or a small balcony. These mini gardens (searches are up 7% in the past months) are the perfect way to tie in any outdoor space, no matter the size.

“The mini garden trend is all about practicality,” says Greene. “Downsized or placed in containers, gardens become easy to maintain and place. In containers, this trend becomes portable, and incorporating a tiny garden near, between, and even on outdoor furniture makes an outdoor space delightful.”

Original article appears: https://www.realtor.com/advice/home-improvement/most-searched-outdoor-decor-trends-2021-summer/

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