New Year, New Start

The New Year is a great time for renewal, and there’s no reason why your home shouldn’t share in this time of rejuvenation. Here are a few ideas to give your home – and your spirits – a lift as you move forward in 2018.

Get organized

One change that might make a big difference in your life is organizing your space. Like most projects, the hardest part is getting start, so start small. Decide which one area would make you feel the best to have organized. Kitchen wraps and unruly pots lids driving you crazy? Start there. You may just feel so good afterwards that the next area won’t seem so daunting! Here are some organizational strategies to help:

Contain it: Seasoning packets, magazines, rubber bands… they’re easier to locate and cause a lot less mess when they’re all in one place. Just choose an appropriately sized container, be it a jar, box, basket or drawer, and consolidate.

Consider a container that’s both attractive and durable, particularly if your items will be in view. Decorative baskets come in many sizes, shapes and materials, from fabric to wicker and solid wood. They’re pretty and versatile enough to corral magazines in the living room or toiletries in the bathroom cupboard. Office supply stores carry metal mesh accessories that are great for gathering pushpins or pens. Stylish glass jars are good for colorful items such as buttons. You can even buy pre-made organizers or order custom inserts to straighten mess drawers.

Make the most of the space you have: You probably have storage space that’s not well utilized because it’s inconvenient. For deep corner cabinets, you can install lazy-Susan shelving so you can actually get to the items in your cupboard. Sliding storage racks hold pan lids, cleaning supplies and more, pulling out for easy access. Stair step shelf organizers let you see (and reach) what’s in the back row of a cupboard. And shelf-helper platforms double your shelf space and help you separate fragile items to keep them from breaking.

Look for space in new frontiers: You may have more room in your home than you think. There are lots of storage options designed to make use of hidden space. Under-counter paper towel dispensers and space racks. Kitchen-wrap organizers that hang on the bottom side of shelving. Bike risers and ceiling-mounted storage shelving for garages. Walls can also offer an alternative to precious counter space, with magnetic strips to hold knives, scissors, tools, jars with metal lids and more.

Create additional space: You can give yourself even more room by doing away with some traditional pieces of furniture. For instance, a fold-down ironing board frees up space in a closet or laundry room. A wall bed lets your guest room double as an office or craft room. A desk armoire gives you an “office in a box” that fits right into your living room after-hours. And bed risers can give you extra space under the bed.

Reinvent your space

With a little imagination, you can give your space an entirely new look and feel for the New Year. And even small changes can work wonders to rejuvenate your home.

Introduce new colors or patterns: Winter is a time for deeper hues and richer colors. You can transform your home by adding slipcovers, switching shower curtains and bedding, adding a new area rug or changing out throw pillows.

If you don’t want to change the room’s color palette (if your room is white on white, for example), you can still mix things up by incorporating textures such as jacquard, quilting, animal patterns, faux fur, chenille, mohair or velvet.

Shake things up: Sometimes just changing things around can make a huge difference. Try rearranging the furniture, and maybe even take out a piece to give the room more space. Shuffle the items on your mantle, the books on your coffee table, potted plants and pictures. By featuring items with a winter color palette, you can make your home warmer and more inviting.

Dress up the walls: Not everything that hangs on a wall has to be in a frame. Consider something different, perhaps a metal sculpture, small rug or tapestry, decorative dishes, masks, antique items, such as old keys…the list is only limited by your creativity.

Accessorize: Area rugs make your room or hallway cozier and add a touch of sophistication. Plants not only add a nice decorative touch, but research shows they’re also good for your health. Spice up your entrance with a shiny new doorknob and knocker. Add some stylish light switch plates, or new drawer and cabinet hardware in the kitchen.

It’s amazing how much changing our personal space can change the way we feel about our home. What do you do to update your home décor for the season?

The post New Year, New Start appeared first on Best Real Estate Agents in Northern Colorado.

25 Ways to Make the Most of Small Spaces

Suburban homes—with their large spaces, big yards, and separate bedrooms for every child—will always be popular with families, especially families of four or more. But there’s also a contingent today that’s eager to live in a dense urban setting: a high-rise condominium in the downtown core, a small home in an urban neighborhood, a small apartment, or even a shared housing arrangement. For those people, designing, furnishing, and organizing these living spaces will require a very different approach.

Urban living spaces are usually much smaller than suburban homes, which means, if you use traditional furnishing and space-planning techniques, you’re bound to be frustrated by the outcome. But with a little planning and creativity, you can create a fully functional space that belies its size.

Small-space planning ideas

  • Start with the biggest, most important piece in each room (the sofa, the dining room table, the bathroom sink, etc.), then plan the rest of the space around that item.
  • Focus on the needs of those who will be living in the home full-time. Leave any accommodations for guests until later.
  • Work to make every space multifunctional (e.g., a kitchen island that can also be used for eating; a home office that can also function as a TV room and/or guest room).
  • Look for any opportunity to increase the amount of sunlight. Install glass doors and skylights, and leave windows unobstructed.
  • The fewer walls separating spaces, the more open and spacious it will appear.
  • Traditional staircases are an inefficient use of space. If you’re designing from the ground up, consider a spiral staircase instead.
  • Light paint colors (especially white) will make a room look more spacious. The combination of light walls with a dark floor will magnify the effect even more. Consider painting one wall a contrasting color to create a stylish focal point.

Furnishing solutions for small spaces

  • Your furnishings should be small mobile and, when possible, stackable. That way, spaces can be quickly reorganized to suit different situations.
  • Furnishings that blend with the colors of your walls or floors (or are transparent) will make the space appear less cluttered. To add personality and warmth, accentuate with colorful throw pillows and rich fabrics.
  • If you keep most furnishings against the walls, traffic flow will be improved, and it will make rooms feel larger.
  • Furnishings that hang from the walls or have legs will also create the illusion of more space.
  • In many cases, bench seating is better than individual chairs, because benches can accommodate more people and can be used as side tables when no one is sitting on them.
  • Instead of a coffee table, consider small side tables. Instead of a full-size sofa, try a three-seat version, or even a love seat (just two cushions).
  • A large, wall-mounted mirror will make the space appear larger.
  • An open-sided bookshelf can do double-duty as an interesting room divider. Leaving it half empty will allow natural light to shine through.
  • A table on wheels is good for the kitchen. Use it as an island in the center of the kitchen or roll it to the side and use is as a side counter.
  • Consider using an under-counter refrigerator, together with an under-counter freezer, instead of one large, freestanding unit.
  • In small spaces, there is no room for furnishings you don’t love. If something isn’t getting used much, or if you don’t really care for it, get rid of it.

Organizing small spaces

  • The best furnishings are those that include storage space (a dining room table with drawers; an ottoman with a hollow interior; a bed that sits on a storage unit).
  • Bookshelves and other wall-storage systems should be thin and as tall as possible to maximize storage while minimizing the amount of floor space used.
  • Storage pieces with doors keep small rooms from looking cluttered and unkempt. Even glass doors can help achieve this effect.
  • Remove food goods from their air-filled boxes and bags and store them in space-saving, stackable containers.
  • Store larger things (like a vacuum cleaner, electronics, etc.) behind a free-standing decorative screen.
  • A professionally designed closet storage system can double, and even triple, the space for your clothes. Removing the door(s) to the closet will ease access.
  • Wall-mounted hooks are ideal for coats and much more. Pot racks are great for freeing up valuable cabinet storage space in the kitchen.

Many people think you need to sacrifice in order to live in a small space. But with these suggestions, you can simply adapt and enjoy your home to the fullest.

The post 25 Ways to Make the Most of Small Spaces appeared first on Best Real Estate Agents in Northern Colorado.

3 DIY Renovation Ideas You Might Want to Steal

Our series on reader renovations of kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms has garnered many comments, with plenty of readers chiming in about the features they love. Here, we round up some of the brightest ideas from the Reader Projects featured so far. Perhaps you’d like to try them in your own project.

Reader Remodels 1: Original photo on Houzz

Related: See More Bathroom Remodeling Ideas

Reader Remodels 2: Original photo on Houzz

1. Aging in Place in California

Bathroom at a Glance

Who lives here: Beth Sawatzky

Location: Healdsburg, California

Size: 50 square feet (4.6 square meters)

Total cost: $22,026

Construction time: One month

Great idea: Adding grab bars and a curbless shower. These features anticipate the need to accommodate a wheelchair — or even just avoid the potential hazard, as the homeowner ages, of stepping over a shower curb.

“Wow — that bathroom would be a positive sales feature for a buyer of any age,” writes Jannie in a comment. “I’d like to see the aging-in-place adaptations built into more homes from the get-go. Just the curbless showers and reinforced framing for super sturdy grab bars would be so much cheaper to do on the initial build.”

Related: Find a Design-Build Firm That Specializes in Universal Design

Reader Remodels 3: Original photo on Houzz

2. An Update in San Francisco

Kitchen at a Glance

Who lives here: Houzzer Christa Martin and her husband

Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Size: 90 square feet (8.4 square meters)

Cost: About $35,600

Construction time: Three weeks

Reader Remodels 4: Original photo on Houzz

Great idea: A a pullout pantry placed between the refrigerator and the wall ovens.

Reader Remodels 5: Original photo on Houzz

3. Enjoying the Views in Washington

Kitchen at a Glance

Who lives here: Jo Ann Snover and her husband

Location: Woodinville, Washington

Size: 350 square feet (32.5 square meters)

Cost: $99,021

Construction time: Four months

Reader Remodels 6: Original photo on Houzz

Great idea: This Seattle-area kitchen renovation has a couple of ideas you might want to steal. It removes cabinetry to make room for light — and in this case, beautiful views. To make up for losing those cabinets, the homeowners added some under-the-stairs pullouts where they stash appliances.

By Erin Carlyle, Houzz 

The post 3 DIY Renovation Ideas You Might Want to Steal appeared first on Best Real Estate Agents in Northern Colorado.