How to plan your restoration, remodel or addition
If you have already decided that a renovation project or addition to your home in is in your near future, know that it is a big undertaking. You already have the dream, so the next step is to put a well-thought out plan in place to turn your ideas into reality.
A well-planned project will save you time, money and avoid headaches while helping you reach your goals, whether you’re looking to boost the value of your home, add to its character or simply extend the square footage.
Get ahead of the game and your project off to the right start with these basic planning guidelines:
Start off by making a list of things you want, what issues you want to resolve, and what you want the project to achieve.
Don’t be afraid to sketch out your ideas. Knowing the end result will only help the process.
Eye On the Future
Think ahead about how long you plan to stay in your home or might someday sell, and how the home will fit the future of your family. Make sure the project fits the style of your home, as well as the neighborhood, and is cost-effective for the value of the improvements if you sell sooner rather than later.
Know the Rules
Research any restrictions on your property as well as local ordinances. Make sure to get the required permits to meet local codes and safety regulations.
Learn From Others
Check in with friends and family who have completed projects to find out what went right, and what didn’t. Find a contractor, architect or designer in your network to seek some friendly advice.
Make It Match
Focus on keeping your project in proportion to the rest of the house and consider the building materials of the original structure. Repeating architectural features and designs, as well as choosing matching or complementary materials, will avoid an eyesore.
Budget, Budget, Budget
It’s very possible, even likely, cost overruns will cause you to go over your budget. Review all of your material choices to clearly understand where you want to go high-end, and where you can save. Make sure to include a contingency cushion in your overall budget. Explore home-improvement loans, home equity loans and re-financing options.
Choose Your Crew
All DIYers must decide on how much to take on yourself and what, if any, parts of the project to hire out. Once that is done, research licensed contractors and subcontractors to ensure they are qualified and have proper insurance. Make sure they understand your plan and vision, and negotiate a written contract to avoid misunderstandings.
Plan For Problems
Even the best-laid plans can run astray. Understand ahead of time there will be issues and you will need to remain flexible. Have an open mind to how to solve problems that will surely arise without creating further delays.
Contemporary architecture is, in broad terms, the architecture of the present day.
The term contemporary architecture is also applied to a diverse range of styles of recently built structures and space which are optimized for current use. Examples do not necessarily have easily identified common features, but Contemporary Architecture is where one will see the most up-to-date ideas and technology being used to create living and work spaces.
Contemporary architecture may use the styles or forms of previous architecture styles, but will often adopt elements such as open floor plans, green and "re-used" elements, and non-rectangular or irregular supporting frames.
Contemporary architects will likely focus on the key elements of natural and sustainable components, recycled and nontoxic materials, and emphasizing natural light and/or landscape.
A contemporary home is a home you want to entertain in, live in, enjoy being in, both inside and out. To learn more about contemporary / modern architecture, check out the in depth ideabooks at Houzz
Ten clever ideas for your bathroom
Whether you are limited on space in your bathroom or elbow room is in abundance, there are plenty of clever tricks to make the most out of what you do have. Some of us spend a lot of time in our bathroom, and there’s no reason it can’t be functional, comfortable and still match your style.
There is no shortage of ideas, from storage to seating to technology, so here are 10 ideas to start:
Utilize extra wall space without much effort by installing an extra medicine cabinet or custom shelving unit in the wall between studs to boost storage. Add molding to match the character of your bathroom.
Make the most of the space behind cabinet doors by installing a towel rack or small storage shelves. Or cut one shoe organizer in half and hang one on each side door, like this Pinterest example.
Rack it up
Repurpose a coat rack in your bathroom as a towel rack. A vertical solution that can hold many towels at once. Take a seat If space isn’t an issue, create a comfy seating area with an ottoman or padded stool and side table, or [build a custom vanity http://pinterest.com/pin/72620612713731332/] between storage units for a defined space.
Slide and pull
Install custom pullout shelves in vertical cabinets or [sliding drawers within cabinets under the counter to keep your accessories orderly and accessible while not taking up much space.
Hang boxed wall art or custom boxes with hinged doors to hide blue tooth-enabled wireless speakers on your walls to add some music to your day.
Make use of the space above your toilet with traditional kitchen solutions. Install horizontal rods and hang baskets or small containers for your extra necessities like this Pinterest example.
Think upwards! If you have a pedestal sink, place tall, slender cabinets on each side to maximize your space. Build a shelf over your door for items you don’t use all that often, or mount a flatscreen TV bracket on the wall near the ceiling to conserve counter space.
If your bathroom has light sconces, replace them with movable arm lamps that will give you light exactly where you need it.
Bring the heat
Towels take up a lot of space. Get them out of your cabinets and make better use of your space with a hydrotherm heated towel rack that doesn’t require any power.
There are moments in life when special individuals rise up from what seems like nowhere; The Sweeny's are are proud, strong and ready to help the world experience art from a local perspective. Opening the eyes of children and adults alike, their new museum on Main Street in the heart of El Segundo has caught the attention of many locals seeking to learn about and experience fine art.
Brian and Eva Sweeney are the owners of the, [El Segundo Museum of Art link: http://www.ESMoA.org] which opened in early 2013 after two years of development. When the Sweeney children were unable take part in an art program at their Manhattan Beach school due to budget cuts, the couple decided this was the best way they could help the community. The main focus of this quaint but elaborate art hostel is for students in the local community to come and experience art without having to hop on a bus or see works through a slide show.
Using wealth accumulated from large costal properties, the Sweeney's have amassed over 400 fine art pieces. They began their collection with contemporary art and now focus on landscapes and architectural imagery with an emphasis on paintings and drawings. Their collection has even gained the attention of Getty Curator Scott Schaefer who said of the couple, "They are both passionate collectors who are willing to share their enthusiasm."
In addition to helping local schools access their art collection, the Sweeney's also believe that enhancing El Segundo's cultural offerings with an art museum in the area will help increase property values and improve the community. From one passion to another, the Sweeney's are leaving a legacy for their children and many others who follow.
El Segundo Museum of Art
208 Main St., El Segundo
Open Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(Open Monday through Thursday by appointment to school groups and private parties.)
Photo Credit: Teamone Esmoa
Ceiling Fan Pulls
When it comes to the design and style inside your home, no small detail should go unnoticed.
That’s the mindset for many homeowners. The beauty is in the small details, and every small element adds to the overall feel of your home, each a testament to your taste and style. If you have ever purchased a ceiling fan, you probably installed the pull that came out of the box without giving it much thought.
But if you like to give every detail some attention, there are many options of ceiling fan pulls that can add that little extra flair or personal touch and even be a conversation piece.
Make It Fun
Any trinket or toy can be adapted to hang at the end of the pull chain, and many of the best sellers online fall in this category, like animals, miniature sports items, airplanes, cars, sports team logos or figurines of movie characters. Many of the ideas you will find on Pinterest are fun items.
Make It Personal
Sometimes an item that means something to you, one that you would like to see every day, could be used as a nice reminder each time you turn on your fan. Something like an old fashioned key a locket, an antique item from a previous home or a keepsake from a loved one could work – all you need is a little creativity.
Make It Clever
With one of these, you will never have to wonder again which chain is for your light, and which one is for the fan. There are many variations out there that offer a little assistance. A small nightlight is a clever item to help you find it in the dark.
Make it Artsy
With a little creativity and some art products, just about anything could make a unique pull. Using beads, wine or champagne corks, key chains or even old jewelry could be an interesting twist. If you don’t own that artistic touch yourself, many company’s make pulls that seem one-of-a-kind, like these from Trace Elements.
As you can see, just about anything can be used to make your ceiling fan pull more decorative, fun, or just plain interesting. Many companies sell fan pulls, or a quick online search is sure to give you ideas if you would rather do it yourself.