The former NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire has opted to pass his highly stylized Florida mansion for $200,000 less than he paid for it a decade ago.
He’s placed the stylish Southwest Ranches, FL, home on the market for $3.5 million, after having purchased it in 2011 for $3.7 million.
That price chop certainly doesn’t reflect a lack of attention to detail. Stoudemire’s Landmark Ranch Estates home is a uniquely decorated home with such fancy features as soaring, coffered ceilings festooned with chandeliers.
Those high ceilings offer plenty of room to accommodate Stoudemire, who is a towering 6-foot-10, as well as his many friends and family members.
With six bedrooms and seven bathrooms in 8,675 square feet of living space, everyone can comfortably stretch out and relax.
Each room has been given the palatial treatment, with elaborate decorative touches throughout. Even the powder rooms have been intricately designed.
The kitchen is also the opposite of minimalistic, with custom millwork, an island and a peninsula, four ovens, a six-burner gas range, two dishwashers, and a large walk-in pantry.
The spacious, fully equipped outdoor kitchen is also a huge highlight. It’s ideal for entertaining guests, who can enjoy the lavish pool and spa, the immaculate landscaping, and the large lawns.
The two offices and a “secret” home theater, accessed via a hidden door, are also built on a grand scale, but the massive main suite is the crown jewel of the property.
That main suite features marble floors, luxe draperies, and access to the resortlike backyard through floor-to-ceiling sliders. There’s also an attached bonus room that could be used as a yoga room, studio, or nursery. It’s rounded out by a massive bathroom and a vast custom closet.
We aren’t the only ones in love with the spacious storage.
“The closet is absolutely to die for!” says the listing agent, Kim Knausz with ONE Sotheby’s International Realty. “You feel like you’re shopping in a luxury boutique in the Miami Design District. It has custom-built, chic gray cabinetry, backlighting, and stainless-steel sliding ladders to reach high shelving.”
The living space is divided between a 7,361-square-foot main house with four bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms, and a 1,314-square-foot guesthouse with two bedrooms and one bathroom.
In addition, there’s a wealth of parking on the gated grounds. After guests pull up under the spacious porte-cochère, they can continue to the nine-car garage.
The six-time All-Star’s home is located in Landmark Ranch Estates, conveniently close to both Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
The path that led Stoudemire to his current position as player development assistant with the Brooklyn Nets is unique in the NBA. He played for four NBA squads before persistent knee issues forced him to retire from the league in 2016.
He also played professional basketball in China and Israel. He has earned dual American/Israel citizenship, and is the partial owner of the Hapoel Jerusalem basketball team.
His career highlights include being named NBA Rookie of the Year in 2003, and a brilliant beginning to his career with the Phoenix Suns. Off the court, Stoudemire has appeared in TV series including “Law & Order: SVU,” “Entourage,” “Sesame Street,” and “The Mindy Project.” He’s also appeared in the films “MacGruber,” “New Year’s Eve,” and “Trainwreck.”
During winter, when temperatures drop, we all want to keep our homes feeling (and looking) as cozy and comfortable as can be—and that’s easily done if you layer in the right fabrics like mohair, boucle, and chenille.
“Soft textiles like these are obviously cozy, but they also provide a luxurious look that makes spaces feel timeless,” says Barbara Karpf, founder of DecoratorsBest. Plus, “The pandemic has only furthered our need to create a comfortable, safe haven in our homes, and using materials like these is an ideal way to snuggle up after a long day.”
If you’re a fan of natural textiles, the winter-weight options below fit the bill.
“These fabrics offer strong fibers that are healthy for the home, plus they add texture, which infuses rooms with dimension,” says Liz Caan, an interior designer with the eponymous firm. “They’re like a big hug—and who doesn’t love a hug?”
If you’re craving a warm and fuzzy shopping spree, check out these decor ideas below.
Similar in feel to a very dense velvet, mohair is a type of wool that comes from the hair of the Angora goat.
“It’s incredibly insulating and dense, so it’s well-suited to upholstery use due to its natural sheen and durability,” says Caan.
Our pick: Add a midcentury vibe to your living room or den with this elegant perch that’s been recovered with jade mohair ($500, Etsy).
Boucle, French for “curl,” is a heavy textile made with looped yarn.
“The look is irregular, and the tiny loops create shadows, both of which add interest and texture,” says Caan
And boucle has long been a source of inspiration in the fashion and furniture worlds.
“Coco Chanel was enamored with this nubbly fabric, so she created the iconic boucle jacket that’s still worn today,” says Karpf. “And the womb chair made by Eero Saarinen for Florence Knoll was also covered in boucle.”
Our pick: Snuggle up to this cute throw pillow that sports an exposed metallic zipper with a tassel ($22, Target).
This pretty woven fabric also has a French pedigree (chenille means “caterpillar”) and can be made from cotton, wool, silk, or rayon. The fuzzy twists of yarn create a raised, tufted texture that’s ideal for bedspreads, pillow shams, carpets, and blankets.
Note: While many of the fabrics here mix and match well, chenille isn’t necessarily one of them.
“It often feels more casual than sophisticated,” says Karpf.
Our pick: The swirling floral pattern on this bed cover is whimsical and feminine, making it a nice option for a master bedroom or guest suite ($75, Walmart).
Shearling is made from a lamb’s hide that’s been treated and tanned so that there’s a suedelike surface on one side. While it’s typically seen on jackets, hats, and house slippers, shearling is right at home as a pillow or throw rug.
Our pick: This adorable handmade pouf comes in pink, red, beige, and white, and could be a sweet accent piece in a baby nursery ($90, Etsy).
Twill is a woven material that results in diagonal lines or ridges on the fabric’s surface—and it’s a top choice when it comes to curtains. Twill hangs well, is easy to clean, and won’t show dirt and dust the way a plain weave can. This fabric is typically made from cotton, but velvet versions are also available.
Our pick: These smooth sateen twill curtain panels can block drafty windows and come in four sizes and two dozen shades. Sturdy grommets line the top for easy hanging on just about any kind of dowel ($35-plus for a pair, Amazon).
Plush velvet is a go-to for upholstery, pillows, and curtains, though keep fabric weight in mind as you select window treatments. (Some velvets are heavy, which affects the way it drapes on the rod.)
“The most expensive and least durable is silk velvet, but a linen-cotton blend is better and moderately priced,” says Karpf. Or consider performance velvet, especially the ones from Maiden Home, which is resistant to stains and spills. “This strong fabric is an easy-care alternative that looks and feels just like real velvet.”
Our pick: Consider this gorgeous sapphire velvet couch with a frame made from locally sourced hardwood that offers midcentury design and comfort in one stylish package ($1,469, Crate & Barrel).
With a new year now underway, there’s no better time to give your home a makeover and get off to a fresh start.
While you may not have the budget to do a major remodel, there are still ways to make your home look good on the cheap.
Following are some great options for sprucing up your digs without spending an entire paycheck.
1. Add indoor plants
Whether fake or real, plants add pops of green throughout your home and freshen your space — sometimes literally. Live plants can improve the air quality by removing impurities, as we explain in “9 Houseplants That Remove Toxins From Your Indoor Air.”
Place potted plants near windows throughout your home if you have a green thumb. If you don’t have the time or inclination to care for real plants, look for realistic-looking artificial plants.
2. Create a cozy corner
Consider creating a corner that lets you relax and recharge. Find a quiet space and add a comfortable chair and a small table. Don’t forget a fuzzy blanket and comfortable pillows.
If you enjoy reading, put a small bookshelf and a reading light in the space to make it easier to get lost in your favorite book.
Getting rid of clutter can change the look of your home. You may not realize how having extra stuff on every flat surface and mountains of pillows affects the look and feel of your rooms.
Go through every room in your home and try to clear off most surfaces, leaving only essentials such as lamps or a clock. Remove extra pillows and blankets and get a feel for the room before adding anything back.
Add to your decorating budget by selling items you don’t need. If you don’t clear out enough clutter to hold a yard sale, check out “6 Safe Ways to Sell Your Clutter During the Pandemic.”
4. Swap out your hardware
Adding new hardware to your cabinets is an easy way to change how your space looks and feels. Cabinet hardware is inexpensive — you can even buy it on Amazon if you don’t want to drive to your local home improvement store. It can completely transform the look of a room.
Unless you plan on drilling new holes, your new hardware will need to have the same dimensions. So, before you pick out new handles and drawer pulls, remove one of your current ones.
Measure the screws and, for pulls with multiple screws, the space between the screws. Or, take a piece of your current hardware with you to the store.
5. Change the artwork
After a while, you stop really seeing the art on your walls. It becomes just a part of the decor. But your wall art can set the tone for a room or tie into your color scheme. Mixing things up can breathe new life into a room at a fraction of the cost of remodeling.
If you have framed photos, swap them out for more recent ones. Look through photos from recent vacations and outings and find a few images of nature that you like. Consider blowing them up and framing them to accent your walls.
6. Remix your accessories
Accessories can add a pop of color or an interesting element to a room. Consider switching throw pillows between rooms or pull out any accessories you have in storage.
Add a new throw blanket to your sofa and experiment with arrangements for lamps, candles and other accessories.
7. Change up your lighting
Make sure you have sufficient lighting in all of your rooms to fit your needs. Add lamps to brighten up dark corners or shine a light on frequently used areas.
Switch up your lighting by changing up lamp shades or moving lamps around. If you’re up for bigger changes, consider swapping out hard-wired fixtures, such as entryway ceiling lamps or a dining room chandelier.
8. Install new door handles
Door handles are an often-ignored detail in most homes. However, having just the right hardware can change the look of your house.
For example, if you have old brass-colored door handles and you switch to a new modern look, your doors could get a facelift for less than $100.
9. Rearrange your bookshelves
Updating the contents of your bookshelves can have a big impact on the look of your home. Here are ways to do this on a shoestring:
Group books based on color.
Position knickknacks off-center on a shelf.
Mix up how books are displayed: Place some in horizontal stacks and use them as bookends.
Make a pyramid of books and add a favorite display item on top.
Mix framed photos and art with the books.
10. Add new storage options
New storage options can add color and function to your home. Colorful baskets or boxes on bookshelves or side tables can hide remotes and other unsightly items.
Adding a storage ottoman or bench gives you more functional seating and a place to hide extra blankets or pillows. Spending a little on key organizing essentials can be money well-spent.
11. Change switch plates and outlet covers
It’s the little details that can make a difference in the feel of your room. If you have old or yellowed switch plates and outlet covers, consider updating them with a new look.
Most hardware stores sell them for just a few bucks, so you can update the look of your entire home on a budget.
To add pops of color or extra polish, look for ceramic or stainless steel switch plate options at hardware stores, on Etsy or at Walmart.
12. Give your home a deep cleaning
Nothing beats the feel and smell of a clean home. If you want a great way to update your home in the new year, don’t just wipe the surfaces and give the toilet bowl a quick squirt of cleaner. Instead, consider a deep clean.
Dust the top of cabinets, wash windows inside and out and give baseboards an extra scrub. Throw your pillows and pillow inserts in the washing machine. Don’t forget comforters and blankets.
When you’re done, your house will smell and feel squeaky clean.
13. Add some trim
Crown molding can change a home from ho-hum to elegant. Check out this tutorial on the This Old House website showing how to install crown molding.
If adding crown molding seems a little too advanced, start with window and door trim.
Measure three times before making a cut or installing your trim. If you don’t have the tools, some hardware stores will cut the molding you purchase if you give them the dimensions.
14. Spruce up your couch
Couches are big pieces of furniture that take up a lot of real estate in your living room. An easy way to update the look of your home is by adding a pop of color to the area.
This can be in the form of colorful accent pillows or a new throw blanket. If your couch could use a little more help, consider adding a slipcover.
15. Repaint a room
If you’re looking to make a big statement on a small budget, change the color of a room. With a few tips, you can paint like a pro. Repaint a main area such as your living room or a smaller space such as a bedroom.
Look through design websites and magazines for inspiration. Before you commit to a color, get a sample of the paint (most are $5 or less) to test it out. Put it on a piece of wood and hold it up to the wall to see how it looks in your space. Home Depot is one place to find paint samples and wall colors.
Keep in mind that a paint color when it’s dry can look different than it looks in the can. Also, the shade can look darker or lighter depending on the lighting in your room.
16. Paint your front door
First impressions matter: What better way to make a good one than refreshing your front door?
The color you choose will depend on the trim and color of the rest of your house. Consider going with a bright and welcoming shade such as blue, yellow or red.
Some paint colors even can boost the resale value of a home.
17. Add container plants
Dress up your porch and yard by adding new plants. You can use seeds to start your plants in the spring or dig up a few perennials from your garden and arrange them in pots.
Look for a discount area in your local nursery where you can pick up plants and pots for half-price or less. Container plants are a great way to add a splash of color to your home. You can easily move them around and group them for a bigger impact.
18. Paint photo frames
If you have photo frames throughout your house, consider changing them up. Buying new ones can be pricey, so consider painting them instead.
Don’t stick to safe and boring options such as black and white. Instead, opt for a few bright colors to add interest and brighten up your home.
19. Add some contrast to bookcases
If you’re not ready to commit to painting an entire room, consider sprucing up your bookshelves. Add a pop of color to the back panel of your bookcases by either painting them or using colorful paper. This can be contact paper, gift wrap or wallpaper with fun shapes and designs.
If you want to do a trial run, cut cardboard boxes to fit the size of each bookshelf opening, and cover or paint it. Place it at the back and add your books and accessories as usual. This will tell you if you like the look before you make a permanent change.
20. Paint furniture
Painting furniture can take it from boring to spectacular. This works best with pieces made of wood, since the paint will stick to it better. Don’t forget to sand it down and strip any lacquer or other shiny coating before painting.
Doing a coat of primer can make your paint go on more evenly and make it more durable in the long run. Start small with a side table or a chair before moving to bigger projects such as a dresser or bed frame.
21. Add path lighting
Upgrade your walkway or garden by adding path lights. This will make the area safer come nightfall and add a little romance.
Look for solar-powered lights, since they don’t need additional wiring.
22. Paint exterior shutters and trim
Bring the exterior of your home to the next level by adding a fresh coat of paint. Depending on your home’s design, a little paint can go a long way.
You can refresh your current color or switch it up to another shade within your home’s color scheme.
Short on time? Focus on street-facing trim for maximum impact.
23. Make a new headboard
Change the look of a bedroom by adding a new headboard. This project can be done for less than $50 while dramatically updating the look and feel of the room.
Either refurbish an old headboard or search for free and cheap materials to keep costs down. DIY Network has six ideas for simple headboards anyone can make.
24. Change your house numbers
Your house numbers can set the tone for your home. From classic to sleek and modern, they are more than the numeric display of your address.
Search for new house numbers online or at your local hardware store. And, for something unique, check out Etsy for handmade options.
25. Add a chair rail
Chair rails add elegance and upgrade the look of a room for less than you’d expect. They are easy to install, but require close attention to detail so they are level throughout the room.
Increase the architectural drama of a room by painting the wall above and below in two different shades of the same color.
26. Paint the ceiling
Most people paint their ceiling a boring white, which is why going for something different really stands out.
Consider a neutral color such as a soft blue or gray to draw the eye up without overwhelming the room.
27. Add mirrors
Strategically placed mirrors reflect light and can make a room appear much larger than it is. If you have a small or dark room that needs pizazz, add a decorative mirror to brighten it up.
Or, add several small mirrors to a dark corner in a main area, such as the dining or living room. Update the look of an outdated bathroom by swapping out the mirror over the sink with one that has an ornate or fun frame.
28. Switch out your window treatments
Add drama to your space by swapping out your window treatments.
Switch up your drapes for a new pattern that ties into your color scheme. If you have blinds, consider adding fabric curtains in some of your rooms for added impact.
29. Rearrange your furniture
One of the easiest ways to make a change on a budget is by switching your furniture around. This could be as simple as rearranging your couch and chairs, or grouping furniture in a way that encourages conversation.
Consider moving some furniture from a bedroom and using it to mix up things in your main living areas. An armchair or a side table from a different room can change up the feel of a room and add a new element.
If you have a friend with an eye for design, ask for ideas on how to freshen your space.
30. Try a theme
Going with a theme can take a room from boring to fun. Whether you opt for the French country look in your living room or a nautical theme in your bathroom, choosing the right accessories is key.
Go with a color scheme to tie everything together and blend it with the rest of your home.
31. Paint kitchen cabinets
If you want to make a big change in your kitchen and you’re on a small budget, paint the cabinets. It will take time and attention to detail, but the end result will be worth it.
Don’t forget to make notes as to which cabinet doors go with which cabinet to make it easier to put back together once you’re done painting. Also, group all the hardware for each cabinet in a plastic bag and label it so you’re not hunting down screws when reattaching the doors.
Considering remodeling? Check out the “19 Home Renovations That Give Owners the Most Joy.”
32. Change rugs and flooring
The floors set the tone for a room, so switching them up can shake up the feel of your home. Consider adding a soft rug to a bedroom to warm up your feet as you get up in the morning.
Or add an area rug to a living area to define the space and bring in more color and texture. If you’re up for a bigger change, consider refinishing hardwood floors or removing existing flooring and staining the concrete underneath.
33. Add display shelves
Mix up your wall decor by adding display shelves to an empty wall. Shelves are easy to install and can display art, photos, small plants, favorite pieces from traveling adventures and much more.
34. Update your kitchen backsplash
If you don’t have a backsplash in your kitchen, adding one can make a big impact. Even if you’re not handy, there are many backsplash options such as peel-and-stick designs you can add with little skill.
For those who have basic DIY skills, consider installing a tile backsplash that will last longer and protect your wall from water, food grease and damage.
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Ever wonder what gives the homes of Ellen DeGeneres, soon to be ex-couple Kimye, and other stars their chic, Zen-like charm? The answer is often “Japandi,” a mashup of Japanese and Scandinavian styles that’s calmly infiltrating homes today.
In fact, Pinterest searches for Japandi doubled year over year, according to the decor site’s 2021 predictions report, so much so that it dubbed Japandi “the new modern” of the year.
Simple, uncluttered, neutral, and natural, the “Japandi design concept showcases minimalism and a low-key color palette,” says designer Marty Basher.
Ana Cummings of the eponymous design firm says that DeGeneres’ Montecito, CA, mansion is a perfect example of Japandi style, with its focus on natural materials (glass walls, bamboo ceilings), earth tones, and clean furniture lines.
Or look to the marble-clad, nearly all-white Hidden Hills, CA, estate of Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West.
“Japandi was adopted by the couple throughout the home,” says Basher.
If you’re looking to make a clean break from 2020 (and frankly, who isn’t?), embracing this fresh look is just the ticket. Here’s more on the history of Japandi style, and how to incorporate it into your own home.
The history of ‘Japandi’ style
Photo by Ward 5 Design
Japandi home design traces it origin to long-standing cultural ties between Denmark and Japan.
“It’s a relationship that began more than 150 years ago, when Danish artists and designers began traveling to Japan in search of new inspiration,” says Basher.
These seemingly disparate nations already had similar design philosophies, so a marriage of the two was inevitable.
“The wabi-sabi movement in Japan, which highlights imperfections and the use of natural, handcrafted materials, has a lot of similarities to traditional Scandinavian hygge designs,” says Cummings.
From ceramics and textiles to quiet colors and natural fabrics, the Danish and Japanese cherish a time-worn appearance and the rich traditions of crafting.
“People in both countries appreciate minimalist interiors, and the look has certainly gained a much bigger following during this past home-bound year,” Cummings says.
Make furniture functional
Photo by Rowland+Broughton Architecture & Urban Design
Clutter is extremely forbidden in a Japandi home as it clashes with the decor’s principles that emphasize a function-driven space with statement pieces rather than an abundance of items, says Karen Gray-Plaisted of Design Solutions KGP.
To that end, a dining room like this one fits the bill with furniture that features clean lines and practicality.
“Accessories have lesser importance in this design style, but the ones that do show up lean toward natural elements like plants and wooden bowls that add warmth to the entire room,” she says.
Choose quiet shades
Photo by IDF Studio
Whites, off-whites, and all manner of beige are typical in a Japandi home, but this doesn’t mean a little brightness can’t also be introduced.
“Japandi colors also include softer tones such as light grays, pinks, blues, and greens,” says Basher.
And natural light is key to this home style, so throw back the curtains (or remove them completely) in order to flood your interiors with sunlight.
Lean on wood and stone
Photo by Design Build 4U Chicago
A spare—or even bare—aesthetic is another Japandi calling card. Extra stuff has no place in this baby nursery nor does it rule supreme on kitchen counters or your bedside table. Instead, choose just a single accessory or two and showcase it.
“Minimalism is an essential feature here, which applies to every piece of furniture and also means zero clutter,” says Basher.
Nix busy patterns
Photo by EightyTwo
You don’t need to go full-on stark with white walls and plain linens, but know that patterns should be sparse in a Japandi home.
“Stay away from textiles with a lot of lines, curves, and checks, as these are overpowering and defeat the purpose of this simplified style,” says Basher.
Shop related brands
Photo by BoConcept Pennsylvania
Estate sales and antiques shops can yield stunning one-of-a-kind pieces, but more cost-conscious homeowners can look to Ikea and even Target for Japandi pieces.
“These big-box brands are hopping onto this trend and fabricating items with this particular aesthetic in mind,” says Cummings.
Basher recommends Maruni, a Japanese brand that crafts mass-market options as well as BoConcept, a Danish company with stores in dozens of countries that’s known for modern furniture, accessories, and lighting with Scandinavian flair.
Sometimes home improvements are out of reach for the moment. A kitchen upgrade can cost tens of thousands of dollars you might not have to spend right now.
Other improvements are unavoidable, but also expensive and unsatisfying at the same time — take a roof replacement for one example.
But if you’re in the mood to spruce up your home, there are plenty of doable projects that make a real difference and won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
The following improvements should run you less than $100 but will help make your home look and feel like a million bucks.
1. Paint the front door
Painting your whole house? That’s an expensive project that takes time. On the other hand, painting the front door gives the front of your house a fresh, new look in an afternoon. It can also increase your home value, as we explain in “Painting With This Color Can Boost Your Home’s Sale Price by $6,000.”
2. Add a bird feeder
Add a bird feeder for your feathered friends to visit near a kitchen or living room window, and you’ll draw a bit of natural beauty and song to your yard. A feeder needn’t be fancy — you will find a range of options and price points.
The one pictured above, by Perky-Pet, promises anti-squirrel features — and that is key. If left to their own devices, squirrels will consume all your bird feed.
3. Add path lighting
Add a little romance to your sidewalk or garden path with solar-powered lights, and you’ll also add curb appeal and safe stepping for guests in the evenings.
The lights shown here, by Enchanted Spaces, cost well under $100 for a set of six.
4. Paint the porch floor
Painting the front porch floor is an easy, cheap way to improve curb appeal.
Depending on the size of your porch, it should only take a gallon or two of paint plus the cost of a roller and pan. You can use a pressure washer to prep the surface. Choose a paint or stain that’s tough enough for use underfoot and that’s meant to be used outdoors.
5. Paint the garage door
As with the front door and the porch floor, the garage door is a good place to make a difference with a fresh coat of paint or stain.
Once again, make certain to ask your paint store professional to sell you a product made for the purpose and material you have in mind.
6. Add mulch
Laying down mulch on your garden beds or around the base of trees can quickly make your yard look tidier. It can also spare you a lot of weeding, prevent erosion, save water and, depending on what material you use, improve the soil.
Mulch comes in a variety of colors, textures and materials. Check out Home Depot’s buying guide to learn more. Unless your yard is massive, you can get plenty of mulch to go around for less than $100.
7. Update a light fixture
You can run up a big bill with fancy track lighting and other expensive fixtures, but there are plenty of less costly pendant lights and lanterns available to hang over a kitchen table or spruce up a hallway.
A great place to search for fun household items like fixtures is Cost Plus World Market, which sells this pendant lamp for well under $100. For hundreds of styles and ideas, check out the offerings on a home renovation site like Houzz.com.
8. Replace the porch light
Has your affection dimmed for the porch light that came with the house? Or, maybe you think it’s wise to install an additional exterior light out by the back door or garage.
This sconce on Houzz costs right around $50. If you are handy and install it yourself, you could add two for just under $100.
9. Make a chalkboard wall
Chalkboard paint can transform a kitchen wall into a place to keep a grocery or chores list, and an art spot where family and guests can doodle. In a child’s room, a chalkboard wall is a pallet for art that changes as the occupant grows up. In a home office … well, it just looks hipper than a whiteboard.
Chalkboard paint is usually available at home improvement stores like Home Depot. If you want to get really crafty, make your own chalkboard paint using latex paint and grout. Doing so is certainly cheaper, and allows you to choose any color you like.
10. Add a fire pit
You can make a fire pit in your backyard with simple pavers or bricks, buy a smaller, tasteful one from Amazon for under $100, or spend thousands of dollars on a gas-fed designer fire pit for your elegant poolside patio.
Whatever your budget, it’s nice to gather around a fire in the backyard and chat.
11. Seal or stain your wood deck
Wood decks don’t last forever. But they will last a lot longer and look better if you stain or seal them every couple of years.
The cost of stains or sealants will vary depending on the size and surface of your deck. Ask a paint store expert for help choosing the right product.
Whatever you spend, it will be far less than the deck replacement that will be required if you neglect the original deck for too long. But it may require some serious elbow grease. Take a look at this Lowe’s guide to preparing your deck and apply stain or sealant.
12. Insulate water pipes
Admittedly, this upgrade is boring. But it’s easy, and it will save you money.
You can insulate pipes that carry hot water through a cold basement or crawl space with foam pipe insulation, pre-slit, hollow-core, flexible “sleeves” made of polyethylene or neoprene foam.
Before shopping, make sure you know the diameter of the pipes you are insulating.
13. Paint anything
There’s no quicker fix than a can of fresh paint.
Use it to give new life to dingy wood furniture. Try a new color in your bedroom or bathroom. Or paint the ceiling a soft sky blue.
HGTV has 50 ideas for projects requiring a single can of paint.
14. Update a bathroom faucet
This Old House says replacing an old faucet with a shiny new one is an easy project that takes about two hours, and the site gives step-by-step instructions.
Tip: Find a new faucet with the same finish as your other bathroom fixtures. Although prices range widely, you’ll find plenty of choices under $100.
15. Dress up an old sofa
Give the couch new life by pulling a slipcover over its tired old self.
Amazon has dozens of inexpensive slipcovers in solid colors and floral prints.
With any remaining cash, jazz up your “new” couch with some new throw pillows.
16. Update cabinet hardware
If your kitchen and bathroom look dated but you can’t replace the cabinets, replacing the cabinet hardware gives rooms a new look.
Remove one handle or drawer pull to see the number of screws and spacing required. Your new hardware will need to have the same configuration.
Before shopping, take stock of your room’s style and browse home decorating magazines to identify the look of the hardware you want. For example, do you want pulls or handles? Sleek and modern? Old world? Recycled and eclectic?
There is a huge selection of pulls and knobs on Amazon — including the ceramic pulls pictured above — and also on Houzz. If you are looking for a vintage look or trying to match the hardware on an older house, check out building salvage stores in your area.
17. Create order with pegboard storage
The old-fashioned workshop staple of pegboard storage is still a great system for bringing order to any room.
You can purchase and assemble the components individually. Or use a kit, like this kitchen organizing system. You’ll find many variations to suit different size spaces and needs — whether it’s a garage organizing system or a setup for garden tools.
18. Tackle carpet stains
Take a Saturday morning and give your carpets some TLC at virtually no cost, using a solution of white vinegar and water to tackle stains. Or read consumers’ reviews to find carpet cleaning products you want to try.
For carpets stained beyond your powers of restoration, consider using a professional carpet cleaning service. Have only the most heavily trafficked room done if you need to keep costs low.
When looking for a professional service, make sure you’re comparing apples with apples: Some services charge by the room, others by the square foot.
19. Reupholster an ottoman
Grab a staple gun, a little fabric and a simple piece of furniture — like an ottoman — and give it new life.
Brooke Ulrich, DIY blogger at All Things Thrifty, explains how to tackle reupholstering. Here’s a quick video with a genius trick for removing old fabric from furniture, which she says is one of the hardest parts of the job.
Shop for fabric and a piece of furniture with simple lines at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore, a thrift shop or Craigslist. Or search online for “fabric outlet” and “discount upholstery fabric.”
Another source: JoAnn fabrics and craft stores’ frequent sales, discounts and coupons allow for big savings.
20. String fairy lights
Having trouble letting go of your holiday lights? No worries. String up some lights indoors to cheer you up when the nights are long. Here’s an example, at Amazon, of copper wire string lights that you can shape as desired.
Caution: Read all instructions carefully and make certain that, if they’re going outdoors, you’ve chosen waterproof products designed for outside use.
21. Make a faux tile backsplash
This is more than a simple painting job but offers amazing results. A painted kitchen backsplash mimics the contemporary look of stone and glass tiles, minus the costly tile. The project requires a lot of preparatory taping.
For instructions and photos, check out those of the blog Reality Daydream.
22. Make a Mason jar lamp
Mason jar lamps are trendy. A YouTube video by TheSorryGirls takes you step by step through the process of making one.
If a single-jar lamp isn’t enough of a challenge, and you have plenty of Mason canning jars, look for instructions online for making a Mason jar chandelier. Stick to using found materials to keep your costs down.
23. Swap out your shower curtain, bath mat and towels
There are so many beautiful shower curtains to choose from on Amazon and Overstock — functional bathroom art!
With this inexpensive upgrade, you might also consider replacing those threadbare towels with new bath towels. These few changes will improve the look of your bathroom.
24. Install a front door kick plate
A kick plate is a broad strip of polished metal used horizontally along the bottom edge of a front door to protect it from scratches, kicks and dog paws. Kick plates are decorative as well as functional.
Change your old kick plate for a new one, or install a kick plate if you haven’t used one before. Choose one with a finish that meshes with the finish on your existing exterior hardware.
25. Paint exterior shutters and trim
A fresh coat of paint or two on shutters and trim provides a quick, easy shot in the arm for your home’s exterior. Paint all of the trim or just the window trim. If you are short on time or materials, repaint only the front-facing trim. It’s safest to use an exterior paint color that’s already part of your home’s exterior color scheme.
26. Install new door handles
Put attractive new knobs or handles on interior doors and closets. For family members who are aging, arthritic or disabled, make life easier by replacing knobs with easier-to-grasp door levers like these at Home Depot.
27. Make a new headboard
Craft a new headboard or refurbish your old one. If you scrounge for free and cheap materials, you can do it for less than $50.
DIY Network has 15 ideas and photos for upgrading headboards. This Old House shows how to make an upholstered headboard in eight steps.
28. Rearrange bookshelves
“Style” the contents of your bookshelves with artistic flair. Better Home & Gardens has inspiration and tips. This is a fun, creative project, so spend some time and enjoy it.
Among BHG’s tips:
Treat each shelf as a display, and then stand back and make sure all the shelves work well together.
Position some items off-center on a shelf.
Place some books in horizontal stacks and use the stacks as bookends for books shelved vertically.
For a designer look, cover the inside of a bookcase with fabric or wallpaper.
Don’t pack treasures and collections on every shelf.
Pieces of pottery make nice, solid bookends.
Stack a pyramid of books and put one of your favorite objects atop the stack.
Use bookshelves as a gallery for framed photos or art.
29. Rearrange furniture
Ask someone whose home styling skills you admire to help you see your home and possessions in a new light. Stay open to change and new ideas.
30. Add container plants
New plants dress up your home’s porch and garden and create great curb appeal. You can start plants from seed or relocate existing plans into pots to save money.
If you want to buy plants, your local garden store or nursery may have a half-price area from which it sells cast-offs. Often, watering and care is all they need.
31. Install new house numbers
Change out your old house numbers. Find new ones with an online search or at hardware stores. Or, shop for handmade house numbers at Etsy.
32. Give light-switch covers new life
Give those grimy old light-switch covers new life: Toss them out and treat yourself to new ones. Or, for a fun project that will save money, cover your existing plates with decoupage.
33. Give your home a deep cleaning
If you’re stuck in a rut, try using Oprah.com’s checklist, timeline and instructions for deeply, thoroughly cleaning your home in eight hours. Oprah.com calls it “spring cleaning,” but don’t let that stop you from doing it in any season. You’ll feel wonderfully virtuous for doing it.
Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.
At long last, 2021 has arrived! But since COVID-19 is still with us, you might be itching to make some changes around the house that’ll help you ride out the rest of this pandemic at home in style.
You’re in luck: On this week’s “Fixer to Fabulous,” Jenny and Dave Marrs renovate a house by adding some essential quarantine-friendly upgrades you might like to try yourself!
In the Season 2 episode “Ranch Becomes Family-Friendly,” Jenny and Dave meet homeowners Wes and Kate Walker, whose Bentonville, AR, home is lovely from the outside, but the interior is too small for a family of five, and doesn’t function well for their needs.
Dave and Jenny have $175,000 to give this home some coronavirus-savvy updates to make this family comfortable at home through the pandemic and beyond. Read on to find out which favorite quarantine features you might want to add to your own abode, too.
1. Outdoor seating that doesn’t curb your curb appeal
2020 was all about making the most of small outdoor spaces, so Jenny and Dave aren’t surprised when Kate and Wes ask about adding a sitting space out front.
While Kate says she’d love a front porch, Wes is a bit hesitant. He loves the curb appeal of the house and doesn’t want the look to change too much.
So in the interest of keeping the front of the house looking the same, Jenny and Dave decide to make a small (but convenient) deck by the front windows.
They move some of the greenery from the front yard, making just enough space to build a 30-foot steel deck, complete with a fire pit, just off the front door.
“It’ll be really subtle. It won’t be this giant front porch,” Jenny says, “but it would give them a space where they can actually sit and enjoy.”
When the deck is finished, the effect is of having a front porch without changing the shape of the entryway—they gain seating without sacrificing curb appeal.
2. Home decor that feels like a vacation
Sometimes flooring can be forgotten, but Kate and Wes really want to make sure their floors stand out.
“We keep coming back to a terra-cotta floor,” Kate says when Jenny asks what kind of look they want in the kitchen.
While terra-cotta tiles aren’t necessarily typical for modern renovations, Jenny likes the idea, saying that it’ll give the house a Mediterranean aesthetic. In a pandemic when it’s not easy to travel, it’s the closest these two might get to a European escape!
In fact, Jenny embraces the flooring style and even uses terra cotta in both the kitchen and the new master suite, which they convert from a garage.
“The hexagon shape makes it really unique and different,” Jenny says when the tile is installed. “The patina is gorgeous. It just feels like you’re on vacation at a spa off the coast of Spain.”
3. Plenty of kitchen storage
During a pandemic, plenty of kitchen cabinets for all those home-cooked meals is a must—and with unique kitchen floors, Jenny wants to make sure the cabinets complement the look.
So instead of choosing a typical white cabinet, Jenny decides on a rich green color that will not only bring out the red in the terra cotta, but also add to that old-world European character with its dark, moody shade.
Dave approves of Jenny’s dark green choice.
“It’s a statement,” he says. “There’s tons of light in here now so I feel like you can go darker.”
4. A spacious and beautiful pantry
In addition to kitchen cabinets, Jenny knows how important pantry space can be—and that it should be beautiful, too. To deliver, Jenny uses a flower drawing by Wes and Kate’s young daughter, Reese, to create a custom wallpaper. It looks great, and Jenny notes that this detail will be extra special for the family.
“Every time they go into their pantry, for years and years to come, they’ll be able to say, ‘Reese drew this,’” Jenny says.
Plus, to add a kid-friendly feel, Jenny and Dave decide to make a secret “spy room” complete with a desk at the back the the pantry—the perfect hideout for the Walkers’ two boys.
5. A home-school/homework room that’ll grow with the kids
At the beginning of the pandemic, families scrambled to set up home-school spaces and work-from-home offices, but this family was ahead of the curve—they were already home-schooling, so the kids already had a workspace!
Still, Jenny and Dave want to update the kids’ home-schooling room so that they can enjoy it for years to come.
“The homework room for the Walker kids is basically going to be a room that’s going to grow with them,” Jenny says.
So they add some paneling to the wall with built-in chalkboards for each of the kids. The decor is youthful but isn’t so kid-focused that it looks like a nursery. The space is bright and beautiful, and it can be used for years to come.
“You know, you’ve got to do your schoolwork. You want to have a happy place to do it,” Jenny says.
From 800 square feet in sprawling Manhattan to 6,000 square feet in historic Nyack.
Noah and Dennis Brodsky didn’t set out to buy a historic home.
They were just looking for a place that could provide a bit more room for their growing family than their 800-square-foot Manhattan apartment. But as soon as they saw this Nyack, New York, home, they knew it was meant to be.
The Gothic Revival house hit all the marks they were looking for and more: It’s spacious with a gorgeous view of the Hudson River, and it’s within walking distance to town.
A powerful history
Discovering the home’s history was an added bonus.
Built in the 1850s, the 6,000-square-foot house was once owned by Thomas Edison’s lab assistant, William H. Hand. Hand and Edison worked together often in the barn, making significant technological improvements to the battery.
The house was in excellent condition when the Brodskys made the purchase in 2014. “What we really spent time doing was making it feel like ours,” explains Noah.
They changed the colors, added their own furniture and built a nursery for their baby. As an homage to the history of the house, they replaced the standard light bulbs in the kitchen with Edison bulbs.
“That personalization is really where we put our energy,” Noah remarks.
Quirks and challenges
While the home has been modernized, many historic touches — like original handmade crown moldings and a maid’s bell system that no longer works — remain.
Noah says that they also find relics hidden around the property. For example, in the backyard, they discovered an old smokehouse and a rusted animal-pulled mower buried in the ground.
Living in a historic home can have its quirky challenges. Getting Wi-Fi throughout the house is “constantly frustrating” because of all the brick. And after the couple’s first chilly winter, they added insulation in the attic to help with the heating.
Tips for historic home buyers
Dennis advises overestimating maintenance costs. If something needs to be restored or fixed in a historic home, often you can’t simply call a contractor.
Additionally, the couple didn’t anticipate the impact that having a home on the National Registry of Historic Places would have on their insurance costs.
“But it’s a lovely house,” says Noah, and the two are relishing creating new family traditions in it.
With a passive-house design, this Park City stunner offers energy efficiency with a side of mountain views.
Although the home on 635 Parkview Dr, Park City, Utah, couldn’t look more modern with its clean, angular lines and stacked appearance, it maintains a rustic, cabin-like feel that blends seamlessly into the forest.
This austere display is, in large part, thanks to the dark cedar exterior that was designed to mimic the vertical lines of the surrounding pine trees.
Built just this year by Park City Design+Build, the home — aptly nicknamed the Treehaus — is state-of-the-art in every sense of the word. Its energy efficiency is said to be two to three times greater than nearly any other home in the world.
The home’s interior is also something to brag about: Light oak floors, exposed beams and beautiful dark staircases dazzle in the abundant natural light that flows throughout the house.
The kitchen is especially impressive, with sleek white cabinets that contrast beautifully against a large dark island.
The kitchen opens up to the living-dining area, which has plenty of space to entertain guests and sits right against a sliding glass door that leads out to the deck.
From the deck area, gorgeous mountain views abound — perfect for soaking up that fresh mountain air.
The main suite upstairs is luxuriously complete with a steam shower in the bathroom and extra space that can be used as a home office or a nursery.
The home is listed for $1.1 million by Corigan Kushma of cityhomeCOLLECTIVE.
Photos courtesy of Kerri Fukui: Portfolio | Instagram
When my husband and I moved across the country, going from a large condo to a small studio apartment, we knew we’d have to downsize a little. But when we found out we were expecting a baby, we were overwhelmed by the idea of sharing such a small space with a newborn.
Luckily, by diving into Instagram for nursery ideas, I’ve since learned that there are tons of great ways to fit everything you need—and the baby—into a small space.
So, whether you live in a tiny home, a small one-bedroom, or even a studio, here are some pro tips for making your small home functional for life with a baby.
1. Get smart with your changing table
When living in a small space, it’s important to be mindful of the furniture you buy. So when it comes to a changing table, many parents who live in small spaces choose to skip it all together.
The truth is, you probably don’t need a specific spot to change the baby. In fact, sometimes it’s easier to put down a mat and change a baby on the bathroom counter (conveniently close to a sink) or to simply switch out that dirty diaper on the carpet.
However, if you still like the idea of a changing space, consider placing a changing station on top of an existing dresser. It’s a space-saving compromise that gives you the benefit of a dedicated changing space, without taking up extra room.
Still not good enough? If you are dedicated to the idea of a true changing table, choose one that has lots of storage. Make sure the drawers can fit all of the baby’s clothes, shoes, diapers, and wipes. If the table is going to take up space, at least you can make it count.
2. Transform a wide, shallow closet into a perfect sleeping spot
You may not have loved your shallow closet before, but if you’re expecting a baby, that space could be your new best friend.
Once you take the door off that long, shallow closet, there may be just enough room for a crib or changing table. Plus, there is lots of room for storage for all those cute little clothes.
Get fancy by painting the interior of the closet, adding soft decor, and putting up lots of cute decorations.
3. Use your shoe organizers in a new way
One good thing about baby clothes and accessories is that they’re small.
You might get an overwhelming number of onesies at the baby shower, but you can still fit a whole week’s worth of the baby’s clothes in a purse. That’s why shoe organizers are perfect for organizing baby clothes. One under-the-bed shoe organizer can hold your baby’s entire wardrobe, plus plenty of diapers.
I love the behind-the-closet organizer because it keeps everything organized and easy to reach, but it’s hidden from guests. It’s perfect for rolled-up blankets, swaddles, and neatly folded outfits.
Even the long shoe organizers that hang from closet rods are perfect for storing easy-reach diapers. Plus, when you’ve got your hands full, it’s nice to not have to deal with opening and closing drawers to grab a diaper, and it’s nice to not have to worry about hanging up each of your baby’s tops.
4. Store your baby’s toys on floating shelves
Most of the time, people save wall space for photos or wall hangings, but when every inch counts, it’s important to use that space. Floating shelves can be a great way to store toys when the baby isn’t playing with them and a perfect place to display books. Add a bit of greenery, and the shelves will look more like a statement piece than a storage solution.
5. Functional, not cluttered, decorations
One of the hardest things about living in a small space with a baby is trying not to go overboard buying baby stuff.
Friends and family love buying presents for babies, so you may find your home overflowing with toys. One thing you can do is to think of storage solutions as decoration. You don’t need another bunny stuffed animal if you have a basket covered in pictures of bunnies. You don’t need another floral blanket if you paint flowers on the side of your baby’s crib or changing table.
Another key is to not let yourself become a part of the problem.
When you go to select items for your baby registry, choose things by how functional they are, not their cuteness. When friends and family ask what they can get the baby, give them a list of must-haves (e.g., diapers and wipes), plus organizational things you’ll need (e.g., storage baskets with cute animals and pastel-colored organizers).