Weekly Home Help with small home improvments you can make now, using metallics in your home, 'appcessories' and more.
Use these DIY home improvement and cleanup tips to help revamp your home without spending a fortune:
- Repaint the walls. One great way to update your home is to refresh walls with a fresh coat of paint.
- Or simply update the paint on doors, cabinets and crown molding rather than the walls. Likewise, you can paint an accent wall along a hallway or within your kitchen or living room rather than the entire house.
- Replace hardware. Make small updates now that you can incorporate into later construction projects. One small trick is to replace the hardware in highly trafficked areas, such as the kitchen or the bathroom. Replace cabinet handles or knobs and drawer pulls. Make sure to give your door hinges and drawer tracks a good oiling to prevent squeaking.
- Install shelving in the garage. Who couldn't use extra storage space? For many, additional storage may mean looking beyond the house to the garage.
- Update flooring. To cover existing flooring, use floating laminate pieces. Installing wood laminate in your bathroom, bedroom, kitchen or living room is easy with snap-together pieces.
-- Family Features
Decorating Tip: Metallics are warm, regal
Decadent gold, demure bronze, lavish silver and refined nickel –– these colors bring a warmth and regality that just can't be achieved by their matte counterparts. Metallics should be incorporated into the home in unexpected ways. "Add a bright gold picture frame in with a cluster of traditional black or white, or mix a silver pillow in with a bunch of colored fabric," said Kirsten Grove of design blog Simply Grove. If you want a grander scale, try a wallpaper pattern that has a low sheen, which gives a room depth and interest.
-- Scripps Howard News Service
Home-Selling Tip: Clean the windows, screens
To ensure the most natural light possible shines through your house, clean all the windows and screens before it hits the market. Clean windows will allow more light to shine through the house and will make it seem bigger, more inviting and brighter.
Going Green: Japan dominates in recycling plastic
Japan is now one of the world’s top plastic recyclers, having recycled 77 percent of its plastic waste in 2010 –– the U.S. recycled just 20 percent, according to The Guardian. Since 1997, the island nation has increased its recycling laws and mandates.
Did You Know …
Seven of the top 10 most cost-effective home improvement projects nationally, in terms of value recouped, are exterior replacement projects. -- Realtor.org
Home Improvements: Garage door upgrades
Among the top 10 home improvement projects that offer the most value in terms of resale is the upscale garage door replacement, which jumped seven spots to No. 6 this year, primarily because the average cost of the project has declined more than 15 percent nationally, and they are expected to return more than 71 percent of costs.
-- National Association of Realtors
New Product: Watch for ‘appcessories’ in 2012
The latest trend seen at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show is ‘appcessories,’ which are “toys you connect up in some way with your mobile device, marrying virtual and real-world play,” according to the Consumer Reports’ Electronic Blog. For example, plug in the Atari Arcade joystick and take a trip down memory lane with your tablet. The Orbotix Sphero is a toy ball that you can roll around using only your smartphone.
Garden Guide: Houseplants help air quality
University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator Greg Stack said houseplants can help make the air inside healthier by absorbing pollutants.
Stack said many of the houseplants NASA has found to be particularly good at cleaning the air are also houseplants that are commonly suggested for low-light interior spaces because they can adapt and grow very well inside the home, like the spider plant. The peace lily or Spathiphyllum is a durable houseplant, as well as the Pothos with its variegated leaves.
GateHouse News Service