Getting Ready To Sell? These 5 Small Repairs Make A Big Difference When Showing Your Home

When it comes time to prepare your home for sale, you want to ensure it’s in the best possible shape by the time you show it. This way, when a potential buyer asks about the property’s condition, they know it is ready to be sold without much work left to be done.

After all, most buyers would prefer not to have to deal with any functional issues before they move in. Before showing your home, consider making these small repairs, as they can make a big difference both in terms of interest levels and offer prices.

small repairs

Consider applying a new coat of paint. Image:

Applying New Paint

Nearly any reputable realtor will suggest that you give your home a fresh coat of paint before showing it, provided you have not already done so very recently. At the very least, you should paint the interior in a neutral color that will make the space seem larger. If you have the time and it has been a while, you should also consider new paint for the exterior. A simple coat of paint makes everything look newer and as if it is in better shape.


Update your flooring to hardwood. Image: Breadmaker/Shutterstock

Making flooring fixes

Depending on the flooring currently in your home and its condition, you should also make any small repairs to this part of the house. Flooring replacements and repairs can be inexpensive when you choose the right material. Even a slightly more expensive flooring replacement can be worth it if you have shag carpeting or something else no buyer will want.

At the moment, most buyers prefer hardwood floors, so if you have this type of floor under your carpeting, a relatively low-cost removal of the carpet can dramatically boost your home’s appeal. If you have ceramic flooring, replace or clean the grout and replace any cracked or chipped tiles. As a general rule, don’t bother installing ceramic flooring in a home before showing it, since it is expensive. The only exception would be a bathroom or entryway that previously had carpeting.


Think about resurfacing cabinets. Image: KUPRYNENKO ANDRII/ Shutterstock

Resurfacing kitchen cabinets and sinks

The average kitchen remodel will give you almost a complete return on your investment in terms of asking price, but this holds true more for mid-range and minor remodels than it does for high-end kitchens. One thing that will almost always be worth it, however, is resurfacing your cabinets. This is something you may be able to do yourself. You can liven up old cabinets, which will make them look less dated. While you are at it, consider replacing the handles on your cabinets, as well.

This is also the time to make small repairs to the sink and countertop, such as caulking your sink. Just giving your sink a deep clean may be enough to improve your home’s appearance. Your real estate agent may suggest some other minor repairs to the countertops, backsplash or sink.


Freshen up bathrooms. Image: ArchiVIZ/Shutterstock

Cleaning or replacing bathroom fixtures

Your home needs to be sparkling clean when you show it, so do your best to get your shower doors and any glass fixtures in the bathroom completely clean. If this is not possible, go ahead and replace them. There may, for example, be lime deposits that have etched the glass past the point of repair. You may also need to refinish your tub if there are stains.

There are also some other minor repairs to make in your bathroom before showing your home. If you have carpeting in your bathroom, you definitely want to replace it with tile, as you will be hard-pressed to find a buyer who thinks this is a nice feature. You will also generally get your money back for small repairs such as new fixtures, lights and floors, all of which help make your bathroom shine during the showings. Also, don’t forget to repaint the bathroom walls, preferably in a light color as this makes the space seem larger.

curb appeal

Don’t forget curb appeal. Image: rSnapshotPhotos/ Shutterstock

Boosting curb appeal

Before showing your home, take the time to boost the property’s curb appeal with minor repairs, as this will bring in more interested buyers. If there are any cracks in your sidewalk or driveway, patch them up. If you have an asphalt driveway, take the time to resurface it. In the case of fences, make any necessary repairs on them and give them a fresh coat of paint. You will also want to do some minor landscaping, such as trimming back dead branches and planting flowers.

Remember that a boost to your curb appeal will make it more likely that someone will take a look at your home. Buyers will also be attracted to the ability to get a perfect picture in front of their new home without having to do extensive landscaping themselves.

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New Orleans Artist Debbie Boyd Hageman Looks to Mother Nature

The balance of cool and bold work perfectly in artist Debbie Boyd Hageman’s work. All images courtesy of Debbie Boyd Hageman.

New Orleans-based artist Debbie Boyd Hageman has always looked to mother nature for inspiration, solace and refuge. From the time she was a little girl out in the garden with her mother, helping to grow their vegetables, to photographing and painting outdoors in her beloved New Orleans, Boyd Hageman finds her creativity flows best when outside.

“I look at the landscape and I see something new every time,” says Boyd Hageman. She paints big, bold, colorful abstract paintings for commercial and retail clients around the globe.

The Philly native spent a good chunk of her childhood in the state of Indiana. In her early 20s, she headed south to Florida, where she began her artistic career. Though she had always painted and briefly spent time in college art classes, it wasn’t until the then 20-something hit the Sunshine state that she was able to sell her paintings and confirm she could be successful as an artist.

Her use of both bright and muted colors, often together, is part of what makes her art so appealing. Though she does sell smaller pieces so that her art is accessible at all price points, Boyd Hageman mostly creates larger pieces that can stand on their own. “I tend to express myself best using large-scale canvases,” she says.

Deep, dark colors from artist Debbie Boyd Hageman work well in a monotone room.

Freedom of expression

For this busy artist and mom, it truly is all about expression.

“Sometimes I hate a piece, then I love it, then I hate it. Eventually, I come to a place where I can stop working on it, which is where I love it again,” she says with a laugh. Though she works to keep the artistic temperament to a minimum, Boyd Hageman jokes she’s been known to throw a piece outside on the ground when completely unsatisfied. “I usually go pick it up later and get back to work on it.”

The prolific painter is also a talented cook who makes most of her family meals daily – and from scratch. Working as an artist has allowed her to spend more time with her husband and two children. Her family also loves the outdoors. Often, they will walk the levee overlooking the Mississippi River. The scenic walk is just a few hundred feet from her front door in the Algiers Point neighborhood of New Orleans. It’s that kind of freedom she finds most appealing.

“I love that I make my own schedule, set my own rules and can truly be myself,” she says.

New Orleans-based contemporary artist Debbie Boyd Hageman in her studio.

The creative process

The artist has set up a studio in her home and posts pictures of her process almost daily. Many collectors buy their pieces directly from Boyd Hageman through her social media channels. She says those channels are like a virtual art gallery and she has a huge appreciation for them. Some artists she follows and admires on Instagram are Adam Handler, Eileen Noonan and Joseph Conrad-Ferm, as well as many others.

The busy artist also sells her pieces at various art galleries and artistic spaces such as the Broad Theater. Plus, she sells at local hotels like the Old 77 Hotel through the curated collection from Where Y’Art. She also has pieces in the permanent collections of The Jung Hotel, Pigeon and Price and The Brent House Transplant Institute.

On days when her schedule and mother nature align, the natural beauty will pack up her paintings and her gear and head to the famous French Quarter. There, she often sets up shop in Jackson Square with a multitude of other talented artists.

“It’s a real community of people who take care of one another,” she says. She adds that she learns a great deal from her contemporaries on everything from the location of the best parking spaces to easy ways to haul canvases and equipment through the busy streets.

For more information on Debbie Boyd Hageman, visit her website or follow her on Instagram or Facebook.

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What Classifies A House Style: What Makes A National Home?

The national home is one of the oldest architectural styles that originated in the United States, yet we still see these homes – and their descendant styles – being built today. If you’ve ever wondered what it is that made this style stand the test of time, you’ve come to the right place. This post will take a deeper look at national-style homes. Read on below to find out what this type of architecture is all about.

national house

National-style homes date back to the first settlers. Image: Romakoma/Shutterstock

History of the national home

National homes are perhaps the earliest style of architecture to be born in North America. Early settlers mixed the structure of a traditional English home with some aspects of Native American design. The narrow profile of a national home, with steeply-angled roofing, is similar to teepee and lean-to construction and was better suited for withstanding harsh New England winters.

However, this style got its name because, with the advent of the railroad, it eventually spread beyond New England to all areas of the country. Each region was then able to put its own spin on the style. For example, Midwestern versions typically have two stories while Southern ones typically feature a large veranda.

It’s thought that national-style homes are the predecessor of many of the more common architectural styles that we see today, especially Colonial and Federal homes.

national home

There are three subtypes of national homes. Image: Ppa/ Shutterstock

Types of national homes

With all that expansion, it’s only natural that there are a few distinct subtypes of national-style homes. We’ve listed the three most common below:

Hall-and-parlor house

The hall-and-parlor house is the earliest configuration of national homes. The homes were made up of two rooms, which stood side-by-side with a wall dividing them. The larger of the two rooms was the “hall,” or main living space. It took up about two-thirds of the house and was where the family spent most of their time. The remaining third was the “parlor,” or sleeping quarters. It was usually to the back of the house and a little more private.


The I-house is similar in construction to the hall-and-parlor house in that it is two rooms wide and one room deep. This time, however, the home is two stories tall. Additionally, in more modern versions, there is a separate rear wing for the kitchen. These homes received their name in the 1930s when Fred Kniffen, a cultural geographer, remarked that they were common in rural farm areas of Indiana, Illinois and Iowa – all states beginning with the letter I.

Massed house

The term “massed house” refers to national homes that are more than two rooms deep. This type of home also typically has a large gable on one side and a shed-roofed porch.


National style homes feature simple ornamentation. Image: Karen Culp/Shutterstock

Defining characteristics of the national home

Despite the differences in floorplans and regionality, there are some distinct characteristics that tie all national-style homes together. They are as follows:


  • Narrow profile
  • Rectangular or square shape
  • Pyramid-shaped roof
  • Steeply-angled roof
  • Side gables
  • Simple ornamentation


  • One to two stories
  • Rectangular or square floorplan
  • Side-by-side room layout

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An Inspiring Contemporary Cafe in a Former Automotive Warehouse

Contemporary Cafe
This Greater Goods Coffee Roasters contemporary cafe in Austin, Texas, was designed by Michael Hsu Office of Architecture. The architecture studio took on the challenge of upgrading a 61,569 square-foot old automotive warehouse in East Austin. With connectivity in mind, they sought to make it ideal for public use. The result is an inspiring contemporary cafe, roastery and training facility. Composed of creative spaces, it encourages social interaction.

“We sought to preserve the existing steel structure and use the gabled profile of the trusses to vault the roof,” the architects said. “Translucent polycarbonate panels along the north wall and skylight allow for natural light to fill the coffee shop.”

A vibrant combination of materials and textures make up the interior. It invites guests to visually explore each nook of the contemporary cafe. The architects planned the layout in order to maximize the synergy between the functional areas.

“The design revolved around a central bar which allows patrons to experience any side of the café. By elevating and breaking up the bar into smaller volumes, it encourages interaction between the guests and baristas,” the architects added. “A gabled seating niche in the back is framed with a steel window for visibility into the roaster.” Information provided by Michael Hsu Office of Architecture; photography courtesy of Chase Daniel

A look inside this contemporary cafe

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Get Inspired By This 1970s Color Flashback

1970s Color Inspiration Room

Get 1970s color inspiration from this stunning living room. Image: MindfulDaze

Retro paint colors have us falling in love right now. Neutral colors have ruled the interior design world for years, but now we’re seeing exciting new colors everywhere. Though the colors we’re seeing may seem new, many are flashbacks to more colorful palettes of the past.

The paint and decor colors of the 1970s are making their way back into today’s color palettes. The 70s design trends moved away from the bright and psychedelic colors of the 1960s into more natural colors. These 1970s natural colors were far from neutral; they came from the more colorful elements of nature. Everything from paint color and carpets to stoves and refrigerators could be found in colors like Avocado Green, Harvest Gold and Burnt Orange. Though the industry may have gone overboard with these iconic colors in the 1970s, many have been reformulated for today’s homes.

1970s paint colors

Here are the prettiest ways to use 1970s-inspired colors today:

  • Mid-Century Modern – This decorating style is associated with the 1950s and 1960s, but the earth-inspired colors of the 1970s made their way into mid-century homes as homeowners redecorated over the years.
  • Lodge Style – The rich greens and warm reds of 1970s palettes are a great fit for rustic rooms with lots of natural stone and wood.
  • Exterior Color Schemes – The typical beige and gray exterior color palettes are now being joined by richer colors like deep gold and dark blue for dramatic curb appeal.
  • Family Room Color Palette – Earthy colors inspire socializing and relaxing together in a warm and unpretentious way.

You probably won’t want to recreate a totally 1970s color palette for your home unless you’re looking for a completely retro look, but you can find inspiration from these gorgeous shades in today’s most popular paint colors.

1970s Color: Harvest Gold

1970s color Harvest Gold

Sherwin-Williams’s Ceremonial Gold is an updated color that warms up any room. Image: Sherwin-Williams

Harvest Gold is the most recognizable color from the 1970s era. This warm and inviting gold was the focal point of kitchens, popping up on appliances, linoleum floors and even wallpaper. Decorators in the 1970s used Harvest Gold as a neutral, the way we use beige and gray today. When the color schemes of the 1980s were developed, Harvest Gold was the last of the 70s colors to get phased out because it was so popular. Gold can be a dynamic color in any decorating color scheme, but finding the perfect one can be elusive. This is definitely a color that needs to be tested on your wall before committing. 

1970s Color: Avocado Green

Avocado Green color ideas

Avocado Green is still popular now. Behr’s Bermuda Grass brings a fresh update to this decades-old color. Image: Behr

As proof that Avocado Green is still popular, many paint brands still include it in their color palettes. Of all the iconic 1970s paint colors, avocado green was the most versatile. It has evolved slightly as a paint color. The new shades are less muted and more dynamic.

1970s Color: Burnt Orange

Orange Paint Colors

Though today’s orange paint colors are not as vivid as a 1970s color palette, colors like Behr’s Japanese Koi can bring energy to any space. Image: Behr

Burnt Orange was a big part of the 1970s decorating scene. Decorators and homeowners weren’t shy about including it in most designs, even for carpeting and countertops. While we don’t recommend carpeting your house in orange, this vibrant color can still have a place in your palette. Today’s orange paint colors are softer and could be the warm accent color your kitchen or dining room needs.

1970s Color: Autumn Brown

Dark brown bedroom colors

Benjamin Moore’s Clinton Brown continues in the tradition of rich, earthy browns from 1970s color palettes. Image: Ballard Designs

Autumn Brown was a rich and rustic brown that was popular in 1970s decorating. Even though this brown was dark, it had a soft and muted look. Today’s popular brown paint colors are crisper and more neutral. The right brown can anchor a rustic neutral color palette or complement pastels in a contemporary space, but watch for unexpected undertones. Dark brown can also be used in place of black or navy blue in almost any color scheme.

1970s Color: Barn Red

Red paint color ideas

Red will always be a popular paint color, especially for accents and front doors. Behr’s Red My Mind is a beautiful and warm red that brings energy to an eclectic dining room. Image: Behr

Barn Red was just one of the popular red shades in the 1970s. Today, it’s still easy to add red to most interior decorating styles, especially as an accent color. The most popular 1970s red was warm and earthy, rounding out a palette that could be easily considered autumnal. There will always be a place for red, both cool and warm, in home decorating. If you love the color but can’t find a way to incorporate it into your home’s interior color palette, it can also be the perfect color for your front door and exterior accents.

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Build Your Home Emergency Kit with These Essentials

home emergency kit - candles

Is your house prepped for an emergency? Adding a few simple items – like candles – to a home emergency kit can make you ready for anything. Image: JR-stock/Shutterstock

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If the wide range and vast number of natural disasters that have impacted the US in the last year are any indication, we need to be ready. When you watch these events unfold on the news, it’s easy to feel like they’re happening in a parallel universe. But, you never know when disaster will come knocking at your back door. That’s why having a home emergency kit prepped is so important.

Last December, we had just put up our Christmas tree and were enjoying a glass of wine in its light when we noticed the sky turn orange. Within hours, we had evacuated out of the path of the Thomas Fire, the largest wildfire in California history at the time. Over the next few days, I thought about everything I assumed we’d lost. Ultimately, the incredible efforts of the firefighters saved our neighborhood. But it taught me a valuable lesson.

With that in mind, I’ve started putting together a home emergency kit. From my research and based on recommendations from various disaster preparedness agencies, here are the seven items we should all have stocked and ready.

home emergency kit - pantry

Stock your pantry with the essentials. Image: Switlana Symonenko/Shutterstock

Food & water

While facing disaster meant evacuating for us, it can also mean you need to batten down the hatches. If you get trapped at home and need to quite literally wait out the storm, you’ll need food and water. It’s recommended that you have enough water for three days of survival, and experts say “enough” means one gallon per person per day.

Keep plenty of nonperishables stocked that you can prepare without a heat source, too. And if you rely on an electric can opener, tuck a manual into your emergency prep area. Generally, you should have enough food stocked in your pantry to last you a week and should put three day’s worth in your go bag (more on that below).


If you lose electricity, light will be key. Give yourself a few different options in your home emergency kit. While flashlights are easier if you need to head outside, lanterns can make it less of a chore to maintain some semblance of normalcy. Plus, they’re handy if you need to perform any task with both of your hands.

It’s a good idea to have a mix of solar and battery operated lights and plenty of extra batteries. Throw some candles in the mix, too. They can add a nice sense of calm during an emergency and can save you from having to fumble around for batteries in the dark.

home emergency kit - bag

Have a bag packed and ready to go. Keeping a carry on ready makes it easier to get out the door. Image: Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

A go bag

The one thing I wish I’d had ready to grab was a go bag. This can save you a ton of stress when you need to hurry out the door. In addition to the few days’ supply of food, add a few changes of clothes and personal hygiene essentials. Then add medication (a seven day supply), cash and important personal documents.

These should include birth certificates, the deed to your house, proofs of insurance, passports and social security cards. If you have a filing system where you keep these documents normally, keep them all in one folder. Then, put a visual reminder (like a big yellow tag that reads “DOCUMENTS”) on your go bag so you remember to grab it.

Cell phone chargers

During an emergency, being able to keep in touch with loved ones can take an absolutely huge amount of stress off you. Make sure you have cell phone chargers ready in your home emergency kit. Just like the lights, you want to mix up your power sources. Batteries come in handy at night, but solar power is an essentially infinite power source if you can find sunlight.

Since your phone will be an essential tool during a disaster, prep it. It’s smart to store a note in your phone with important emergency contact numbers, like the number for your local fire and police departments. Also, download some local maps so you can access them even if your cell service goes down.

home emergency kit - first aid

Your first aid kit doesn’t need to be this conspicuous, but it does need to be stocked. Image: New Africa/Shutterstock

First aid kit

When a disaster comes your way, you can’t predict what it will bring. You should have a stocked first aid kit at the ready in your home emergency kit. It’s a good idea to put a smaller version in your car, as well.

Hand-crank radio

Nothing is quite as stressful as having a disaster coming your way – and not knowing what’s coming next. A hand-crank radio can keep you in the know. An NOAA weather radio is a reliable option and you can grab it on Amazon for just $40. That’s a small price to pay for information when that information can help bring you peace of mind.

N95 mask

In California, we’ve learned the importance of N95 masks for keeping smoke out and keeping lungs healthy. But in the few days after the Thomas Fire, every store in our area was completely sold out of these masks. Have a box on hand so you’re ready.

These aren’t just applicable for fires, either. Disasters can stir up airborne debris or cause gas or fumes to be released into the air. Having a mask handy can help you avoid respiratory problems.

Do you keep a home emergency kit ready? Let us know in the comments!

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You’ll Never Want to Come Down from These Attics

The attic used to be the place to store items you rarely – if ever – used. In horror movies, apparently, it was also the place where the boogeyman would rest and regroup. Perhaps as a result of this media portrayal, there was a tendency to avoid going up into the attic, if at all possible.

However, homeowners are discovering that the attic can provide a lot of usable square footage, creating new places to sleep, play, work or just hang out and do nothing.

“When it comes to utilizing the space in your attic, we are finding that a lot of people are taking the opportunity to go to the next level and add on a whole second story. They then transform it into a parents’ retreat complete with master bedroom, living area and bathroom,” says Matt Keogh, director of Nexus Homes Group. Below are some of the ways you can transform your attic.

Luxurious Bedroom

Attic bedroom

An attic is a great place for an additional bedroom. Image: Astronaut Images/Getty Images

“If it’s purely for investment purposes, it’s recommended you use the attic as an additional bedroom with plenty of storage available,” Keogh recommends. “Having an extra bedroom adds value to your home and will increase your rental income or sale price,” he says. Parents may also find that an attic basement can serve as a retreat from a noisy household.

Library/Living Room

Library attic

Consider storing your books in the attic – along with a comfortable place to relax and read them. Image: asbe/Getty Images

“For an attic with sloped ceilings, place a large lighting fixture at the highest point in the center of the room,” advises Steve Brielmaier, CEO of LampsUSA. Many bulbs can start to heat when left on, so install LED light bulbs for added safety while also reducing energy consumption. Aside from the central lighting in the middle of the room, additional lighting should be added to darker corners to assist the space in appearing larger and less cramped.


Office attic

An attic office offers a marvelous view of the neighborhood. Image: Ben Akiba/Getty Images

“A home office situated in an attic with a windowed view can be a great secret getaway to work in peace – perfect for households with children or roommates,” says Brian Gow, president of Scheel Window & Door. “Complement the room with plenty of free space for storage, and try adding bright decor and wall paint to make it even more welcoming.”

Hobby Room/Studio

Attic hobby room

An attic is a quiet place to sew, paint, or work on other hobbies. Image: fotostorm/Getty Images

If you need extra space to paint or work on your hobbies, consider carving out space in your attic. Make sure that your attic is light and airy. “Attics are known for being quite dark. Minor renovations will turn it from a roof cavity to a space that can be greatly enjoyed by various members of your family,” Keogh says. “Keep the furniture light and install light-colored carpet or floorboards (preferably carpet to reduce any noise).”

Kid’s Bunkroom

Kid's Bunk Room

There’s a place for everything in this Montana bunk room. Image courtesy of: Sanctuary Home Decor

Karen Synder of Sanctuary Home decided to turn her family’s attic into a bunk room for the kids. “The attic bunkroom is the most popular space in our Montana ranch home, offering kids (and sometimes adults) a chance to escape to a ‘camp cabin’ with modern touches.”

Synder says there are three single beds along one wall – and one has its own bookshelf, cubby and electric lantern. “There are also two larger beds extending out from the opposite wall,” she says. “The other side of the room is a hangout area with a cozy couch that doubles as an extra bed, a game table and a desk.” Synder says all of the beds – and many of the walls – were created using locally-sourced barn wood.


Attit playroom

Cut down clutter by moving the kid’s playroom to the attic. Image: archideaphoto/Getty Images

Keogh says his company is frequently asked to convert an existing attic into a kid’s playroom or a game room for teens. “This involves making sure the area is secure (including the flooring, walls and roofing) and creating a warm, inviting space with carpet and large windows,” Keogh says. “Ensuring there is plenty of storage is a must. We also often recommend adding fold-out couches up there for the kids to have sleepovers with their friends. It’s a fun experience for them, and you get extra peace and quiet.”

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Reclaimed Resources: 8 Ways to Score Recycled Materials

Building with recycled materials offers two-fold benefits. Not only are you building with cheaper materials that come with a story, but you’re also helping to offset some of your carbon building footprint. It’s no secret that building materials can really eat into your building budget. Just like the housing market, material prices can ebb and flow. By searching for recycled materials whenever possible, you can save more of your money. Not sure where to start? If you know where to look, you’ll find an abundance of reclaimed materials at your fingertips. Here are some of the best places to score free and low-cost materials.

Reclaimed wood kitchen

Reclaimed material adds extra character to your home. Image: Pillar & Peacock

Social media and online classifieds

The best place to start is by putting out the call to your friends and family on social media. Chances are someone on your friend list has something you need sitting in their garage right now. Post a message on your page and then post messages on indoor swap meet and online classified sites. There are entire websites, like Freecycle, devoted to exchanging used goods for free. You can find wood, tile and counter remnants and even tools there.

Building reuse stores

Habitat for Humanity Restores are outlets that accept building material donations like fixtures, cabinets and even tools. They then resell them to the general public for pennies on the dollar. You can check if there’s a Restore near you, but if you’re not lucky enough to have one, try thrift stores.

Industrial style bedroom

Check out demo sites for reclaimed stone and metal, too. Image: Barker and Stonehouse

Bartering and trading

Hey, you’re not looking for a handout, just recycled materials! Trading some of the extra materials you have on hand can be a win-win situation. Don’t have anything extra? Offer to lend a hand for a builder or a neighbor who has materials you need. Or, take a look through your garage and post some of the tools or toys you don’t use on trade or sell sites. It’s a great way to get to know your community and help offload some of your extra stuff, too.

Scratch and dent centers

When floor models or packaging becomes damaged, it’s usually unsellable for retailers. While some stores might write damaged items off at a loss, others send the damaged things to scratch and dent outlets. There, you can find screaming deals on materials that have minor cosmetic issues, were returned by customers or were ordered incorrectly. Check out these outlets for things like carpeting, lighting fixtures, plumbing fixtures, flooring and even appliances. If you’re willing to overlook cosmetic issues or are less picky about color and finish, you can outfit your home on the cheap.

Barnwood home exterior

Make contact with local builders for first dibs on scraps. Image: Appalachian Antique Hardwood

Building sites

Here’s the thing: building sites almost always have remnants and leftovers in their garbage bins. Before you dumpster dive for scraps, however, check to make sure it’s kosher with the builder. In fact, calling a builder to see if they have extras of your bathroom tile or an incorrectly ordered chandelier can help you connect with contractors who are happy to give you scraps they would have thrown out otherwise.

Demolition sites

Demolition sites are the real motherlode for recycled materials because in most cases, the materials are headed to the dump. When you think about how many homes are renovated while still in technically good condition, it’s a no-brainer. Cabinetry, for example, is updated frequently, even when there’s nothing wrong cosmetically or functionally. Keep an eye out for demolition sites to score reclaimed wood, brick, cabinets and even tile and flooring.

Salvage yards

Salvage yards are usually run by individuals who can see the potential in just about anything. Even the pallets used in shipping can become reclaimed wood if you can find them in good condition. Take a Saturday afternoon and head over to your local salvage yard. Let the owner or manager know some of the things on your wishlist and, more often than not, you’ll find someone happy to help you on your treasure hunt. Salvage yards are great for upcycling metal and reclaimed wood and finding replacement parts for pricey tools.

Industrial style kitchen

Reclaimed materials make for great architectural features. Image: Jane Kim Design


Hey, no one can give you their recycled stuff if you don’t ask, right? Simply putting the word out in your neighborhood can give you a huge return on your time. Printing a flyer that lets your neighbors know what you’re working on and some of the materials you’d like to recycle can help you reclaim things practically from your own backyard. Put a few flyers up around town or post them on community bulletin boards to make sure you get the word out.

Whether you’re renovating your home or building from scratch, your local hardware store isn’t the be-all, end-all for materials. Getting creative about sourcing and looking beyond the usual avenues can help you save money, plus it adds more to your story. Give materials new life by committing to recycle and reuse whenever you can and you’ll appreciate your finished project even more than before.

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Our Favorite Stores to Shop on any Budget

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Creating your dream home can be a lot of fun, but it can also turn into a very frustrating experience. Even if you’re a DIY whiz, there are some pieces that you just need to purchase. You might be a master re-upholsterer but no good at art. Or you might be an artist with cold, echoing floors. Whether you’re shopping for that perfect area rug, piece of art or couch, it’s annoying when money gets in the way of your vision. Fortunately, we’ve done some homework and want to introduce you to four of our favorite stores to shop on any budget.

We polled our Freshome team to figure out which stores we all turn to when we need to buy something major for the house without creating a major disruption in our budget. The stores in the list below are all affordable and all offer a huge variety. They make it easier to find that perfect piece at the perfect price. Let’s get to it! Here are four of Freshome’s favorite stores when designing on a budget.

favorite stores - wayfair

The Greyleigh line from Wayfair sets you up with everything you need for a gorgeously designed room. Image: Wayfair


Wayfair makes shopping easy. They’ve got just about everything you could need. In fact, their selection is so big it can sometimes feel overwhelming. That’s why we love their curated collections, like the Eider & Ivory bedding line or the Greyleigh line, which makes it easy to put together a completely designed room.

Of course, Wayfair is a go-to for great deals on furniture, but don’t miss out on their design elements. They have pieces that can help you take your home to the next level. Check out thie Louvered Pine Shutter to really dress up your exterior or fantastic accent mirrors (check out the Monico Accent Mirror or Brynn Accent Mirror) to add brightness to your interior.

Want to score a real deal? Check out their Daily Sales. Plus, Wayfair offers free shipping on orders over $49 so you don’t have to dedicate any of your budget to transportation.

favorite store - amazon

Amazon’s curated lines like Stone & Beam and Rivet are chock full of great pieces you can grab on a budget. Image: Amazon


Who doesn’t love Amazon? Prime has made two-day shipping commonplace and Amazon’s huge network of vendors make it possible to buy virtually anything you can imagine. The problem is finding exactly what you need from among their seemingly endless options. That’s where Scout can come in. Amazon’s new automated helper makes it easier than ever to shop for furniture.

Enter Scout using the link above and you’ll be shown furniture, home decor and other product category options. When you “like” and “dislike” products, Amazon’s automated system gets better and better at recommending items you’ll love. Or you can check out Amazon’s own home brands, like Stone & Beam and Rivet, for already-curated selections of great pieces at great prices.

Plus, Amazon is a leader in the smart home technology game. If you want to automate your home and make your life easier, shop their gadgets.

favorite stores - world market

International flair meets affordable pricing with pieces like this Cactus with Gold Frame art and Natural Rattan Fallon Cocoon Chair from World Market. Image: World Market

World Market

World Market is much more than just a place for international tchotchkes and fun candies. Their furniture collection is seriously impressive. If you’re looking for pieces that will wow your friends without shocking your budget, World Market will be one of your favorite stores – if it isn’t already.

If you want to get a feel for their offerings, check out their Shop by Room categories. At a glance, you can get plenty of inspiration for your living room, dining room and more. If you find a room you love, World Market makes it a breeze to shop the pieces and create the look yourself.

They also make life easier with a very handy How To section on their site. So if you’re looking for interesting home pieces but don’t want to spend too much time, money or energy hunting them down, head to World Market.

favorite stores - target

No surprise here: Target is one of Freshome’s favorite stores for home decor shopping thanks to affordable, quality pieces like the Loring Writing Desk. Image: Target


Maybe you call it Target. Maybe you call it Tarzhay. However you refer to this shopping mecca, you probably know the danger of walking in for a couple things, only to leave pushing a full red cart. And it’s no surprise that we just can’t seem to control our buying impulse when we’re surrounded by so many great options. Target’s big on letting the pros curate collections for them. They have impressive offerings from the likes of Chip and Joanna Gaines and Chrissy Teigen.

If you’re just moving into your first apartment, Target is a great place to go for the basics, like a white cotton duvet set, a beautiful bookcase with a small footprint, or the coupe glasses you’ll need for your housewarming party. Even if you’ve been in your home for years and have it completely styled, Target can take you into the digital age with tech like the Google Home or an electronic entry door lock. All of this at budget-friendly price points? It’s no surprise Target is one of our top spots for home shopping.

What are your favorite stores to shop on a budget? Let us know in the comments so we can check them out for ourselves!

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5 Ways to Get a Creative and Fun Boho Style

Have you always wanted a more free-spirited and artsy space, but have never quite had the courage to try it? Then 2019 might be your year for getting an exciting boho style. Boho is showing back up in home trends this year. Short for bohemian, boho style is all about finding what’s unique, fun, interesting, artsy and relaxed for a home.

For instance, boho style tends to emphasize bright colors, complex prints, unique furniture and anything that makes a space unusual. Because of these elements, every boho style has its own unique look. So take a look below for some inspiration on how to incorporate this look into your home.

Boho Style Fabric on Wall

Don’t be afraid to make fabrics your wall art. Image: Jessica Forbes

Colorful Fabrics on the Wall

One key hallmark of the boho style is bold and colorful patterns in fabrics. Because they look so cultural, they also help give your space the globe-trotting, free-spirited vibe common in the boho style, even if you don’t travel as much as you’d like.

The photo above shows how using these prints and textures in unusual ways helps add to the artsy feel. For instance, you might hang one of these fabrics on the wall as unconventional, free-flowing artwork. You can also see how these bold textures and colors are reflected in other pieces in the space, like the lamp, tablecloth and pillow.

Boho Style Rustic Kitchen

Go rustic for a classic bohemian feel. Image: Kole

Rustic Texture and Bright Colors for a Boho Style

Not many people think to combine a boho look with rustic interiors. However, it makes sense. The boho look arose out of the bohemian lifestyle of the 19th Century and onward. It was once marked by unconventional lifestyles for the times, frugality and a life devoted to artistic pursuits. As such, many bohemians lived in the then-affordable artistic districts of large cities (Greenwich Village is one of the most popular examples).

So by choosing either a purposefully rustic or industrial interior, you could effectively create a feeling of those early art district apartments. You can see in the photo above how such a look combines well with bright shoots of color in the herbs, books, rug and tea kettle for an added boho vibe.

Boho Style Rustic Furniture Space

Set the casual and free-flowing feel with non-matching furniture. Image: STRUKTR

Purposefully Mismatched Furniture

One of the ways to get a boho look with the biggest impact is to go for uncommon furniture combinations. This instantly packs a feeling of free-spirited unconventionality. You can see in the photo above how such a look was achieved by combing a standard sectional sofa with rustic woven chairs. The upturned basket as a coffee table gives an additional feel of free-flowing space.

Additional elements in the room add to the boho look, too. Exposed rafters juxtapose with sleek, dark walls for an artsy feel. The pattern and bold colors in the carpet add those quintessential boho fabric textures. And the pillows add fun shots of color.

Boho Style Cover on Bed

A bright fabric makes a great focal point for more subtle, chic spaces. Image: Jungalow

Go Chic with a Single Bright Fabric

One way to go for a boho look that’s on the easier side is to choose a single bright and intricate fabric as the room’s focal point. A good example is the cover on the bed in the photo above. The neutral colors in the rest of the room help the cover easily become the focal point.

Once you have your focal point fabric, you can add subtle boho elements around the room. For instance, the free-flowing, minimalistic canopy over the bed is a common element in boho bedrooms. The rustic picture frames with small art elements in them give a funky, unconventional look. And the hanging lantern piece has a fun, artsy feel to it.

Boho Style Hanging Chair and Rocker

Go wild with your furniture choices for that fun, relaxed boho feel. Image: Kristin Laing

Unconventional Furniture Pieces

Another idea is to go for many outright unconventional furniture pieces, like in the photo above. As large fixtures in the room, furniture always instantly sets the tone of the space. An example is the artsy swinging moon chair. The ornate rocker also gives the space a feeling of unconventionality. Other elements like the hanging potted plant and large cushion on the floor give the space a fun, relaxed, free-spirited feel.

As you can see, it’s hard to prescribe exactly what should be in a boho space. These spaces are as unique as possible. So you might combine some of the ideas above or find fun, artsy items in a thrift store to make the space all your own. The true fun with the boho style is to make it uniquely you.

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