Simple Interior Design Ideas

Keep your home from looking cluttered or like it has been filled with just a bunch of random furniture and decor. With a few simple interior design ideas, you can breathe new life into your living space, and make it look as appealing as the well-designed homes you see on HGTV.

Interior design ideas for a modern home gathered helpful information and simple interior design ideas that let you update your home with the resources you have, and without having to spend a ton of money to do so.

Design Ideas for Your Entryway

First impressions can make all the difference when entertaining polite guests, friends, and family. Your entryway can set the tone for the rest of your home, and here’s how to make it shine:

Interior design ideas for an entry way

The Door – Is your door clean? When cleaning your home, take an extra few minutes to spray down your door (inside and out), clean the knob or handle and the clapper.

Interior design ideas front door

Shoe Rack – Is your home a shoeless one? Add a small shoe rack to the space and a selection of inexpensive slippers for your guests.

Paint a Wall – Add color to your entryway by painting one of the walls to add contrast.

Interior design ideas painting

Add a Coat Rack – Depending on the time of year, your guests will be arriving bundled in coats and scarves. If you don’t have a coat closet, add a coat rack to your entryway.

Interior design ideas coat rack

Design Ideas for Your Living Room

Your living room is meant to be a place of comfortable gathering. Use the space to create opportunities for conversation by doing the following:

Add an Accent Wall – If you painted one of the walls in your entryway, Use that color (in a darker shade) to paint one of your living room walls. You’ll be surprised at how this creates continuity and pleasant contrast.

Interior design ideas living room accent wall

Reupholster Your Furniture – There’s no need to spend a lot of money on new furniture when you can reupholster what you have. By doing this, you have total control over the color and design of your furnishings.

Install a Reading Nook – Select a corner of your living room, add a comfortable chair, a corner table, a charming floor lamp with soft lighting, and voila. You have a new spot to decompress.

Interior design ideas for a reading nook

Rearrange Your Furniture – One of the easiest ways to do-over a living room is simply rearranging the furniture. This is also a great way to get some deep cleaning done.

Change Your Throw Pillows – Pillows can add a touch of color to your living room design. You can use them to incorporate accent colors or to contrast the colors you already have in place.

Interior design ideas with throw pillows

Taller Furniture for Taller Looking Ceilings – You can create the illusion that your ceiling is much taller than what it is by using taller furniture. Bookcases and wall-mounted shelving can easily accomplish this for you.

Interior design ideas tall furniture

Display Your Collection – Whether you have a nice collection of books, coffee mugs, plates, or candles, well designed shelving can display these in an aesthetically enhancing way.

DIY wall mounted shelving unit to display a coffee mug collection

See how easy it is to make and mount your own custom wall-mounted shelving at

Move Furniture Away from Walls – Pull your furniture towards your living room’s center to create a more intimate setting, especially if you have a fireplace. By doing this, you create depth and can use the freed-up wall space for more shelving or art.

Interior design ideas living room

Repurpose Your Fireplace – If you don’t use your fireplace in the winter, close the flu, add candles, mirrors, and vases to make it a centerpiece for conversation.

For more living room remodel ideas, visit

Design Ideas for Your Windows

Without window treatments, your room designs can look shabby and incomplete. Consider the following for your windows:

Trade-In Your Window Shades – A set of new curtains can bring a room together in both style and color. However, if you don’t like the idea of curtains, bamboo or wood shades and blinds are a nice alternative to consider.

Interior design ideas window treatment

Paint The Trim – Over time, your window trim and windowsill contract and expand with temperature and humidity. If the paint or finish has cracked or peeled, sand them down and paint them.

Use this opportunity to incorporate one of the colors you used as an accent to make the windows a part of your design.

Use The Windowsill – Windowsills are shelf space that is often forgotten. Small plants and pictures can add a touch of life to an otherwise neglected feature of your home.

Interior design ideas for window sills

Design Ideas for Your Dining Room

Your dining room is a place to gather for meals. You can make it a space that inspires conversation and adds style to your home’s interior by making some simple changes. Use the following for inspiration:

Create an Accent Wall – On one or two of your dining room walls, go dark. Or, you can block paint the wall(s) by using a dark color from the floor up to about 2-1/2 feet, then a lighter tone of that same color up to the ceiling. This creates a more relaxed atmosphere in the dining room while creating a degree of separation from the rest of your home.

Interior design ideas dining room accent walls

Jazz up Your Dining Table – Use statement tablecloths that highlight accent colors in your dining room or any featured colors in your design.

Add New Lighting – You can change the lighting or fixtures. Still, the goal is to set an enjoyable atmosphere for the entire family.

Interior design ideas for dining room lighting

Swap Chairs for Benches – Adding a bench or two at your table can create a sense of true coziness during mealtime. There’s just something charming about sitting on a bench.

Install a Breakfast Nook – If you have the space (by a window preferably), install a small table with a couple of chairs to create an intimate, cozy breakfast nook.

Interior design ideas breakfast nook

Design Ideas for Your Bathroom

When it comes to your bathroom, you can refresh the atmosphere by decluttering the counters and adding artwork or statement pieces.

Interior design ideas for the bathroom

Sometimes all it takes is a fresh coat of paint and a new set of matching towels to do the trick. Keep in mind though, if this serves as your guest bathroom, no-one really wants to see your toothbrush.

For more on redesigning your bathroom, read

Design Ideas for Your Bedroom

Your bedroom is a treasure trove of potential for a redesign or makeover. Consider the following possibilities:

Paint the Walls – Take your favorite color and paint one wall in a dark tone, while painting the adjoining (or opposite) wall in a lighter tone of the same color.

Interior design ideas bedroom color

Paint the Ceiling – You can completely change your bedroom’s atmosphere by giving your ceiling a treatment. Dark or light tones can be applied to add another dimension to your resting area.

Interior design ideas bedroom ceiling

Add a Bench – At the foot of your bed, if there is enough space, add a bench. This replaces the need for a chair. This is especially helpful if you have difficulties dressing or getting in and out of bed due to a disability or illness.

Interior design ideas bedroom bench

Change the Drapes – Swap out your drapes to match the new design. You can also invest in blackout curtains to have complete control over the lighting and mood in your bedroom.

Interior design ideas bedroom drapes

Change the Bedding – Update your sheets and comforter. Having two or three options of bedding allows you to truly set the mood of your bedroom.

Interior design ideas for bedding

Invest in Your Bed – If you have trouble sleeping or you can’t seem to get comfortable in your bed, buy a new one. Take your time, do your research, and buy a bed that fits your needs. This is also a great time to get a bigger or smaller sized bed.

Have Fun with Your Headboard – You can shop headboards as easily as shopping for beds. Some have shelves, others have outlets for your electronic devices, and some are just for show.

Interior design ideas bedroom headboard

Find a Corner for Plants – Plants can add a wonderful, warm perspective to your bedroom. You’ll want to look for shade-tolerant species, and give them plenty of space to grow.

Interior design ideas with plants

When it comes to your bedroom, don’t be afraid to try out something new. You can always re-do it if you don’t like it.

General Interior Design Ideas

Throughout your home, there are simple updates you can make at any time and with any decor. Consider investing in the following:

Crown Molding – Add a touch of elegance to your rooms and give them a finished look by installing crown molding.

Interior design ideas crown molding

Baseboards – Often forgotten, clean, finished baseboards can elevate any room in your home. They can be as tall or as short as you like, and be finished in numerous ways to complement your home’s design.

Interior design ideas for baseboards

Upgrade Light Switches – Over time, your light switch and plug panels should be upgraded. Besides coming in a variety of colors and styles, this alone can give your walls a sense of renewal. Use switches that come with a dimming feature to truly make a change in a room’s atmosphere.

Interior design ideas for new light switches

Housekeeping – One of the most essential activities in your home is housekeeping. If your home is kept clean and dusted, its design will stand out. An unkempt, cluttered home is remembered for being just that… unkept and cluttered.

Interior design housekeeping

Install New Lighting – With time, the strength of lightbulbs can fade. Renew the atmosphere in your home by installing new lighting, and in some cases, swap the fixtures too.

Interior design ideas for light fixtures

This is also a great time to invest in floor lamps for those spots that need more light and explore colored lightbulbs to add accents to your interior design.

Install a Gallery Wall – Choose a wall (usually in a hallway) with a lot of space to fill and hang family pictures, vacation pictures, memories, messages, etc. Gallery walls can tell a story, or simply contain a hodgepodge of your favorite images.

Interior design ideas for a gallery wall

There is always something to paint, move, repair, or replace. Once or twice a year, take the time to evaluate your interior design and make changes that make you smile. Never stop updating, this is how you keep your home fresh and pleasant.

Designing Your Home

In this article, you discovered information and resources to help you update the interior design of your home without spending a load of money.

By keeping your living space clean, renewed, and refreshed, you can create a welcoming atmosphere that friends and family come to enjoy with you.

When you let your interior design get outdated or allow clutter to build up, you may leave your guests with the impression that you just don’t care about your home’s presentation anymore.


Visit for more interior design articles, resources, and tips.

The post Simple Interior Design Ideas appeared first on

DIY Wall-Mounted Shelving

Don’t be embarrassed by cluttered tables and counters anymore. A wall-mounted shelf offers an organized home to pictures, vases, collections, or whatever you want to display.

Completed and hung DIY wall mounted shelving unit gathered information and simple instructions on how to make a DIY wall-mounted shelf with variations to fit any empty wall space, and anyone’s taste.

Wall-Mounted Shelving – Location and Wall Space Requirement

The wall space you choose to mount a shelf in will determine quite a few aspects of the shelf you will build. Take the following into consideration:

Purpose – What will this shelf be used for?

• If you are trying to display a light collection such as coffee mugs or picture frames, you can use narrow shelves with lighter anchoring.

DIY wall mounted coffee mug display shelving

• Heavier items like lamps, books, or even TV’s will require broader, more reinforced shelves with more aggressive anchoring.

DIY wall mounted shelving unit reinforced to support heavy objects

• Durability is needed when these shelves are used for repositioning towel racks or toilet paper dispensers.

DIY wall mounted shelving with hanging toilet paper dispenser

• Filling “dead space.” Rather than hanging a picture or painting, you may decide that some random shelves will nicely fit in that space.

DIY wall mounted shelving attached to wood support system

Four or six-inch wide shelves are recommended when you are using them to display or store lightweight objects (less than fifteen pounds combined). Ten to twelve-inch wide shelves can be used (with reinforcement) for objects exceeding fifteen pounds combined.

Location – Where this shelf will be mounted will determine many factors like its length, width, and height.

• The location should ideally be between five feet and six feet from the floor. This keeps the shelves out of reach of small children. If the shelves are part of a system (surrounding a fireplace, etc.), make sure lower shelves are well-anchored or removed to eliminate potential hazards.

DIY wall mounted shelving unit built and anchored to surround a fireplace

• If the location is in your hallway, these shelves should be placed higher up (six to seven feet) and be narrow (three to four inches wide). Shelves in hallways quickly become obstacles, especially in the dark.

• Your shelves can be as long as the space you have for them. The longer you make your shelves, the more support they will require. For the following mode of assembly, there should be either support, anchoring, or both for every two feet of shelf space.

• A wall-mounted shelf has several surfaces that can be utilized. You can set objects on the top, with hooks or mounts, you can hang objects beneath them, and with hooks from the side, they can be used to hold keys, lanyards, headphones, charging cords, etc. If you decide to use your shelf to its fullest capacity, make sure the space around it is enough to accomplish your goal.

DIY wall mounted shelving with hooks for extra utility

Wall-Mounted Shelving – Design and Specifications

Whether you are an artist or not, you can sketch out how you want your shelves. This step will leave you with a guide to follow. As your project comes together, it will likely deviate from your drawing, but this is expected. consider the following:

1. Start by determining how many shelves you want
2. Draw the space they will be in (draw it large for numbers and notes)
3. Write the dimensions of that space along the top and down the side (see image below)
4. Draw a line or a 3D representative image of your shelves in that space
5. Write the length of the shelves along the shelves (especially if lengths vary)
6. Draw in where the supports will be (we are using simple back supports in this example)
7. Designate where the shelves will be anchored to the wall
8. Determine whether you will use drywall anchors, studs, or a combination of them

planning and preparation to build a DIY wall mounted shelving unit

Add as much detail to your drawing as you can; type of wood, stain or paint color, etc. The more detail you include, the easier your project will be.

Wall-Mounted Shelving – Supplies

The selection of wood, anchoring system, stain, etc. are all a question of what you are most comfortable working with. The following are suggestions to help you make informed decisions when acquiring the supplies to construct your shelf:

Wood – You can use just about any type of wood for this project, from common wood to cedar, walnut, or even reclaimed wood. Note the following:

1. Use your design as a guide to get the right length and width of the shelves.
DIY wall mounted shelving measuring and marking before cutting to size2. The thicker the wood is, the heavier it will be, potentially requiring a more reliable anchoring system.
3. Most home supply centers will cut the wood to size for you (if needed).
DIY wall mounted shelving cutting wood to size after measuring and marking4. If your shelf is intended to be a decorative piece, look for grain patterns and knots in the wood for aesthetic enhancements.

Tip: The recommended minimum thickness of your shelf should fall between 1/2” to 3/4” to avoid eventual sagging.

Wood Stain – If you are looking to showcase a natural wood appearance, you can skip this. However, if you are trying to make your shelf complement other wood pieces in your home, snap a picture of the piece and compare the color options.

Tip: Wood comes in different shades. Take this into account if you are trying to make a color match with another piece (exact matches are tough to make).

Varnish – There are several types of varnish or finishing coats that will add shine and texture (or both) to your wood. Choose the finish best suited for your style and home’s décor.

Structural Support – There are a few options you can use to support or even reinforce your shelf or shelves. Consider the following:

• For smaller, lightweight shelves, you can use vertical 1 x 3 or 1 x 4 lengths of wood and attach the shelves to the wood using 3” deck screws from behind.

Hanging towel rack on DIY wall mounted shelving

• For a more traditional, simpler support system, use shelf brackets that attach to the underneath of the shelf, and anchor to the wall (there is an infinite number of styles and colors to choose from). Note the weight rating on the brackets you select, some can only support ten pounds while others can support several hundred pounds.

Track with inserted support for DIY wall mounted shelving

• For shelves that must support extra weight, use a wire and turnbuckle support system in conjunction with the primary support system. These wires can be attached to the outer edge of the shelf, then to the wall or the ceiling. Tightening the turnbuckle on each wire will keep the shelf from sagging or collapsing.

DIY wall mounted shelving with wire and turnbuckle support for extra weight

Anchoring Systems – When hanging your shelf on a wall that uses traditional wooden framing and drywall, the following anchoring systems will help you secure your shelf to the wall:

• Three-inch fastening screws can be used when fastening directly into a stud behind the drywall. This is one of the most reliable anchoring options you have. These screws can be found in silver, gold, black, etc.

• Screws and plastic push-in or screw-in anchors can be used when a stud cannot be found. They are also ideal for wood, stone, or brick walls. The weight capacity of anchors varies, the sturdiest of them are the screw in type with a capacity of up to fifty pounds each.

• Toggle bolts and wings work well to anchor heavier shelves in the absence of wall studs. Make sure the bolts are long enough to pass through the structural support and the drywall, allowing the wings to spring open behind the drywall.

DIY wall mounted shelving anchoring system and fasteners

Tip: Use washers with your anchoring system when possible or needed. Washers prevent the head of a screw from digging into the wood.

Wall-Mounted Shelving – Tools

This is a relatively easy project. The tools listed below will help you assemble and mount your shelf:

• Measuring Tape or a Long Ruler
• Level
• Stud Finder
• Pencil or Pen (for marking mounting locations)
• Drill (you will need bits appropriate for the size of the screws or bolts for your support and fastening systems)
• Circular Saw (not required if the wood was cut to size)
• Screwdriver (flathead or Phillips depending on the screws you use)
• Sander or Sandpaper – coarse (120 grit) and fine (400 grit) are needed
• Vinyl Disposable Gloves
• Painter’s Rag or Sponge (for stain application)
• Paintbrush (for varnish application)

Tip: Verify that you have the needed tools before beginning your project. If any are missing, make a shopping list and visit your local hardware store or home supply store.

Wall-Mounted Shelving – Preparation and Assembly

Wood Preparation – Take the wood components you have selected and do the following:

• Unless done for you, use a circular saw to cut the wood to size.

• Examine the faces of the wood and select the most appealing ones to face outward.

• Drill holes in the locations for your support and fastening systems. If fastening to studs, determine the length between studs (typically sixteen or twenty-four inches between studs) and match the distance between the holes of the anchoring system. Likewise, for toggle bolts and wings, knowing where your studs are will help you avoid them.

DIY wall mounted shelving drilling a half inch hole for a toggle bolt and wing

• Assemble your shelf to make sure everything fits and drilled holes are where they should be, then take it apart and begin the wood finishing steps.

• Using the 120 grit sandpaper, sand the face and edges of the wood to remove any protective resin (used for shipping and storage), dents, or uneven edges.

• Using the 400 grit sandpaper, sand the wood until it is smooth and without any sanding marks. Scratches and other defects in the wood become very evident when applying stain and varnish. Be thorough.

DIY wall mounted shelving 120 and 400 grit sandpaper

• Using a lightly dampened cloth, clean the wood, removing any residual sawdust. Make sure there is no sawdust or debris left on the wood.

• Apply a thin, even coat of wood stain to the top, bottom, and border of the wood using a painter’s rag or a sponge (wear vinyl gloves to avoid staining your hands).

DIY wall mounted shelving stain application after sanding

• Prop the wood upon screws drilled into your work table or a piece of wood fastened to it. This way, you can stain and varnish all sides at once if you choose.

• Allow the stain to completely dry (4-5 hours), sand the stained area with 400 grit sandpaper until smooth. If you find the color is too light, apply another coat of stain and repeat this step until you reach the desired color. If the stain is too dark, apply wood bleach to lighten it (wood bleach is a potent chemical – follow the container’s instructions and use caution).

• When your wood is satisfactorily stained, dried, and sanded smooth, use your paintbrush to apply a thin, even layer of varnish to the top, bottom, and border of the wood.

• Once the varnish has completely dried (8-10 hours), sand the varnished area with 400 grit or finer sandpaper until smooth. Then wipe the wood clean with a lightly dampened cloth, let dry, and apply a second thin and even coat of varnish. Allow the piece another day to completely dry.

Tip: It is of the utmost importance that you allow each coat of wood stain, varnish, or other finishing to completely dry before applying the next coat. If you don’t allow these coats to completely dry, you will end up with a soft tacky to the touch finish that may take years to fully dry, if it ever does.

Note: If you are going for the bare wood look, no staining or varnishing are needed. The sanding step should still be done to create a smooth surface.

Wall-Mounted Shelving – Assembly and Anchoring

Depending on the size and weight of your shelf or shelves, you may need assistance for the safe and proper mounting of your project. The following will help you get your shelf up and functional:

Assembly – Once completely dry, put the pieces of your shelf together. Make sure you have tightened all screws and that any vertically attached wood supports are firmly fastened to your shelves.

Tip: If you used stain, varnish, or paint on any surfaces that will be flush to the wall, allow extra time for them to dry. If they are mounted moist, they will adhere to the wall creating significant difficulties in removing them.

Anchoring – The following steps will help you get your shelf leveled and securely anchored to your wall:

• Use a stud finder to locate the position of the studs in the wall (to use them or avoid them).

DIY wall mounted shelving stud finder to locate anchoring points on the wall

• Place your shelf/shelves flush against the wall in the desired permanent location.

• Lay the level across the top of the shelf and adjust it until the bubble indicator is centered, then mark the wall using the holes in the support system.

Centering a DIY wall mounted shelving unit with a level before marking anchor points

•Attach wires and turnbuckles to the shelves and the wall or ceiling. The turnbuckles can be unscrewed to attach the wire of one half to the shelf and the other half to the wall or ceiling.

• Drill holes for screws with a drill bit slightly smaller than the size of the screw (for stud mounting).

DIY wall mounted shelving screw and corresponding drill bit

• For toggle bolts and wings, you will need to drill holes large enough for the wings to pass through the drywall in the closed position.

DIY wall mounted shelving anchoring toggle bolt and wing sizes with corresponding drill bits

• For plastic screw anchors, drill holes with a bit that match the size of the anchors and push them into the holes (it should be a snug fit). For screw-in anchors, the hole can be small, as they will expand it while being screwed in.

DIY wall mounted shelving drywall anchor and corresponding drill bit

• Place a washer on each screw or toggle bolt and pass them through the mounting holes in the wood (for toggle bolts, attach the wings to the end of the bolt after passing through the wood).

• Return the shelf/shelves to the selected position on the wall and tighten each screw into place. For toggle bolts, close the wings and push them through the holes in the drywall. You should hear a “snap” as they clear the drywall and open back up, then pull them back, so the wings are against the backside of the drywall and tighten them up.

DIY wall mounted shelving setting the wings of an anchoring system

• If you are using wires and turnbuckles, this is where you connect the turnbuckles and tighten them until the wire is drawn tight.

Tip: Start tightening screws or toggle bolts from the top-down, verifying the shelves are level as you go. Then sit back and enjoy your accomplishment!

DIY wall mounted shelving finished and affixed to the wall

Making Your Own Wall-Mounted Shelves

In this article, you discovered steps and pro tips on how to build and mount your own DIY wall-mounted shelves.

By making your own shelves, you are in complete control of their size, their look, and, more importantly, their weight capacity.

Save money while adding a personal touch to your space and giving a home to the items cluttering your counters and tables.


Visit for more DIY articles, resources, and tips.

The post DIY Wall-Mounted Shelving appeared first on

18 Examples of Living Room Architecture and Decor

Don’t let your outdated or rundown living room decor embarrass you to your family, friends, and guests. By knowing how to highlight your living room’s architecture through color, furniture, and style, you can create a space that represents you and your family well. collected 18 examples of how architecture, color, furniture, and placement can create an incredible space for you, your family, and your guests to come together.

Living Room Architecture and Decor

Hiring an interior decorator to makeover your living room can cost as much – if not more – than the intended remodel. With a few ideas and examples, become your own interior decorator making your living room architecture stand out with a decor that fits your and your family’s personality.

The following are 18 examples of what you can create with some paint, fixtures, and furniture:


Living room architecture and modern design with an accent wall

This is an example of how an accent wall can add significant depth to a modern living room with sleek furniture. Notice how the raised sectional sofa and absence of curtains create an illusion of more space.

Tip: Establish a budget before you begin a living room remodel. Furniture can get very expensive quickly. You may have to do this in parts.


Living room architecture and contemporary design

Here you have a contemporary take on seating and fixtures. This furniture sits well on the hardwood flooring while contrasting with the darker brick walls.

Tip: When arranging your furniture, walk around the living room. You’ll gain a better perspective for the final placement of both fixtures and furniture.


Living room architecture modern furniture and design

If your brick walls are too dark, paint them. Take note of how the rug and tiered coffee table tie this modern living room together atop white granite flooring.

Tip: Floating shelves offer clean, unobtrusive space for plants, pictures, or decorations.


Living room architecture and design for small spaces

Even when your space is limited, you can still create a comfortable and simple living room. Sectional sofas allow you to fit more sitting space into the smallest spaces.

Tip: The addition of a plant or cut flowers to your living room can provide a burst of nature and color to nearly any decor.


Living room architecture contrasting colors and sleek design

Here we have a sleek setting with a touch of modern that utilizes the architecture of the living room to highlight the ceiling while bringing the furniture and decor together.

Tip: Use and attempt to highlight sources of natural lighting. Natural light makes your living room brighter and can make it seem larger.


Living room architecture fireplace seating options and design

If you have the luxury of a fireplace, you can build an atmosphere that screams “cozy.” In this living room, there are several seating alternatives arranged to keep everyone engaged with each other while being taken in by the fireplace and comfortable setting.

Tip: In large open spaces, a long or sectional sofa can be strategically placed to separate one area from another.


Living room architecture and design with open floor plan and natural lighting

This open floor plan is an excellent example of how floor-to-ceiling windows and creative architecture can make your space seem wider and longer. Note how the dining space and bar seating flow into the living room, taking you right out to a natural setting.

Tip: The use of sliding walls, completely retractable curtains, or no curtains at all helps floor-to-ceiling windows create the illusion of having more space.


Living room architecture and design with hardwood flooring and modern furniture

Simple and bright. This arrangement of modern seating on a rug that blends with the hardwood flooring creates an inviting atmosphere without the need to add a multitude of fixtures.

Tip: When looking for furniture, visit furniture stores, furniture outlets, Craig’s list, yard sales, and talk to your friends and family. The more options you have, the more likely you will find the perfect furniture.


Living room architecture and high contrast design with floor to ceiling windows

In this high-contrast setting, the living room’s bright and spacious architecture lends a hand to creating a comfortable and modern space.

Tip: You can use rugs to separate seating areas and create alternate atmospheres in the same room.


Living room architecture and design with modern lighting and cozy furniture

Here is an amazing example of how natural and artificial lighting can work in tandem to highlight a living room’s architecture and multiple seating options.

Tip: Offer seating options in your living room that fulfill different necessities.


Living room architecture and design with natural and indirect lighting

You can use your living room to tell a story or many stories. Besides the intimate seating arrangement, the natural and artificial lighting work to highlight this room’s decor. Take note of the mirror behind the floating shelves and how it creates an illusion of more space.

Tip: Collections, trinkets, and figurines can go from beautiful accents to a cluttered disaster very quickly. Use these items sparingly and with purpose.


Neoclassical architecture and design in balanced cool tones

Everything about this neoclassical living room screams “relax and enjoy yourself.” These cool tones come to life with natural lighting and both direct and indirect ceiling lighting.

Tip: Avoid using tall or dense centerpieces between your living room’s seating options. Everyone should have an unobstructed view of one another.


Living room architecture and design with an open floor plan and grey tones

This living room in an open floor plan provides seating options and beautifully selected art that perfectly blends the room’s colors. Notice how the raised furniture creates a sense of more space.

Tip: Consider upholstery to update and give new life to old furniture before discarding or replacing it.


Living room architecture and design for lounge and recreation purposes

The architecture of this living room provides a fluid transition to a recreation and lounge feature smartly lit with direct and indirect lighting. Note how the rug contains the entertainment area independent without isolating it.

Tip: Decorative rugs placed in high traffic areas will help you preserve the finish on your hardwood floors.


Living room architecture and design with large windows and vaulted ceiling

This living room has a lot going for it. With vaulted ceilings, oversized windows, transitional flooring and simple yet modern furniture, comfortable may be a severe understatement.

Tip: Depending on the climate of your region, vaulted ceilings can make it difficult to maintain a regulated temperature in the room. Ceiling fans or other smartly placed air movers can help correct this.


Living room architecture and design in a rustic leather and wood cabin setting

A blend of rustic fixtures and leather furniture provide a charming atmosphere in this log cabin’s living room.

Tip: Unique fixtures and furniture can often be found at roadside shops near resorts, forests, and reservations. Depending on your style, you may be surprised at what you can find.


Living room architecture and design with marble flooring and sleek furniture

This simple configuration with sleek furniture and modern fixtures highlights the outstanding architecture of this living room. Note the placement of recessed lighting in conjunction with natural lighting turning the marble flooring into a space-magnifying mirror of the room.

Tip: Just because you have space available doesn’t mean it has to be filled. Sometimes, the absence of decor is the best decor.


Living room architecture and cozy western design

This living room conveys a cozy western atmosphere with its hardwood flooring, natural lighting, and furniture placement that takes all eyes to the fireplace.

Tip: Always find the “sweet spot” between style and comfort. Don’t settle for something just because it looks good. Uncomfortable furniture should never make its way into your living room.

Living Room Architecture Ideas

In this article, you discovered 18 examples of how your living room’s architecture can be used with color, furniture, and fixture placement to better reflect you and your family.

By using your natural preferences to style, color, and comfort, you can create a living room as basic or as eclectic as you desire.

When you allow your furniture and decor to get old and outdated, it can leave you with a sense of embarrassment or may send the wrong impression to guests and loved ones.


Visit for more living room articles, resources, and how-to tips.

The post 18 Examples of Living Room Architecture and Decor appeared first on

How To Pay Off Your Mortgage Fast

Are you trying to pay off your mortgage fast without paying penalties? By knowing how and when to increase your mortgage payments, you can cut significant time off of your mortgage term.

You can pay off your mortgage fast with bi weekly payments gathered the following information, suggestions, and tips about paying off your mortgage early.

Can I Pay Off My Mortgage Early Without Paying Penalties?

Yes, depending on the loan agreement with your mortgage company. However, you may only be allowed to make extra payments at certain times.

It is essential to remember that as you pay down your principal, the interest rates also go down over time. This translates to less money the financial institution will make from your mortgage. Early pay off fees and penalties are designed to keep you in your mortgage for its full term.

Before you begin making extra or larger payments, read through this article. Then contact your mortgage company and define what you can do to pay down your principal, reduce interest rates, and pay off your mortgage (without being penalized).

Contact your lender for instructions on how to pay off a mortgage fast

Make Biweekly Mortgage Payments

Biweekly mortgage payments allow you to make the equivalent of 13 monthly payments per year. The year has 12 months, but there are 52 weeks. Making a payment every two weeks will result in 26 payments for the year, or 13 months worth of payments. The following will help you get started:

• The idea here is to pay half of your monthly mortgage payment every two weeks. You can calculate the amount by using your last monthly statement. Locate the principal and interest portion of your regular payments and divide that by two. Then calculate the tax and insurance portion of your payment and include it in your payments.

• Contact your mortgage company to see how they process biweekly payments. Some lenders refuse to process partial payments while others will work with you.

Tip: If your mortgage company refuses to accept biweekly or partial payments, open a bank account exclusively for this purpose. Make your biweekly payments to this new account and write a check or make an online payment (for the full mortgage payment amount) after every second deposit.

Note: By using biweekly mortgage payments, and depending on the loan’s interest rate, you can reduce your mortgage term by several years.

What Else Can I Do To Pay Off My Mortgage Fast?

As you’ve seen, you can take years off of your mortgage by making just one extra payment per year. Here are some ways to put more money towards your mortgage and save tens of thousands of dollars over your mortgage term that you may not have considered:

Save money while paying off your mortgage fast

Pay Off Your Credit Cards And Loans – Besides eliminating other monthly payments, you will save money by not paying interest on credit card and loan debt.

Apply what you were paying on your credit cards or loans to your mortgage payment.

Stop Eating Out for Lunch – Get your Superheroes lunch box out of retirement and start making your own lunch. If you were spending $8 per day eating out, that comes to about $160 per month that you could now be putting toward your mortgage.

Stop Smoking – If you smoke a pack a day at $6 a pack, you are burning (literally) $180 per month. Besides using that money to pay off your mortgage even faster, you will increase your overall health, reduce your risk of developing cancer, and live longer.

Cancel Subscriptions – If you have paid subscriptions to music platforms, newspapers, movie sites, etc., cancel them. The $30 to $40 per month can convert to thousands of dollars of interest you won’t pay on your mortgage loan.

The idea here is to change your spending habits. If you can move from “it’s just $5” or “I can afford this” to “let me invest this $5” or “I don’t need this” and apply that money towards paying off your mortgage, you win.

Extra (Unexpected) Money – You may be getting a windfall like a sizable tax return, bonuses from work, a pay raise, an inheritance, etc.

The more of these unexpected treasures you put towards your mortgage, the sooner you can pay it off, and save in interest. You shouldn’t even miss the money, you were already used to living without it.

Visit for ways to use home improvements as tax deductions.

Recast Your Mortgage – If you receive a sizable windfall that can significantly reduce your principal, some mortgage companies can re-amortize your loan. For this, the term remains the same, with your monthly payments lowered based on the reduced principal.

Refinance Your Mortgage – If your income can handle it, refinance your 30-year mortgage to a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage. Unless you want to be in debt for 30 years. However, if you already have a low interest rate, you can always pay your 30-year mortgage like it’s a 15-year mortgage.

Sell Your Home – Put the equity you’ve built up to work for you. If your intent is to eliminate your mortgage, consider downsizing as an option.

Sell your home to pay off your mortgage fast

Use the profits from selling your home to put a sizable downpayment on a smaller home or pay cash for it. If you have to get a small mortgage, you have still succeeded in lowering your debt. Now get to work paying it off.

Note: Before you increase your mortgage payment amounts, switch to a biweekly schedule, or change your payment habits in any way, contact your mortgage company. Verify that your intended modifications will not incur any penalties, fees, or additional expenses.

Pay Off Your Mortgage Fast

In this article, you discovered information and tips to help you increase your mortgage payments and pay it off quickly.

By taking action and increasing your mortgage payments, you can significantly reduce the amount of money spent on interest rates and shave years off of your mortgage.

If you choose to accept and pay your mortgage as it is, you are giving the mortgage company money that could be yours. The sad part is that you’ll be doing this for 30 years.


Visit for more financial resources, and tips.

The post How To Pay Off Your Mortgage Fast appeared first on

Early Spring Lawn Care Tips

Are you unsure of what to do for your lawn in the early spring? Knowing what to do with your lawn as spring takes over from winter will help you grow an extraordinarily vibrant and healthy lawn.

Early spring lawn care and maintenance for your yard assembled the following early spring lawn care tips to help you transition your lawn from winter dormancy to spring growth like a pro.

Spring Lawn Care – Preparing Your Equipment

Your lawn’s appearance depends not only on your efforts but on the effectiveness of your equipment. The following will help you have everything working well when it’s time to spring into action:

Irrigation System Check – Your lawn’s health depends on your ability to compensate for lack of water in times of drought or extreme heat.

Tip: If you utilize hoses to irrigate your lawn, verify that:

1. They have not rotted or become brittle by stretching out the hose and winding it up. Look for cracks or hardened rubber as you wind it back up.
2. They can hold pressure by connecting the hose to a spigot and capping off the other end or kinking the hose. Watch for leaks or punctures as the hose expands under pressure.
3. The threaded connection points at either end are undamaged and form a watertight seal when connected to a spigot or sprayer. You can usually fix a bad seal by replacing the washer in the connector.
4. Your sprinklers, drip-lines, and sprayers are functioning correctly when connected to your hose(s).

Early spring lawn care maintenance for hoses and irrigation

If your hose(s) are damaged, have them repaired or acquire new ones.

Tip: If you utilize an underground sprinkler system, verify that:

1. All sprinkler heads are free of debris and properly activate when turned on. Replace any defective heads.
2. The timer is functioning properly. Run a short test of the timing and cycles it controls, then adjust the timer for each cycle/section of your lawn.

Underground pipes are susceptible to breaking or clogging by soil compaction and opportunistic tree, grass, or weed roots. If you detect low water pressure in the sprinkler heads or water surfacing/pooling on the lawn, this is a sign of a damaged pipe that needs to be repaired or replaced.

Lawnmower Tuneup – Like any other motorized equipment, your lawnmower will need occasional maintenance. Late winter or early spring is the best time to get your lawnmower in shape for the growing season.

Tip: The following are essential to keep your lawnmower performing at its peak:

1. Change the oil and oil filter
2. Replace the spark plug
3. Replace the air filter
4. Sharpen the blade(s)

All mowers work by cutting grass with a blade. If the blade is dull, it will tear the grass instead of slicing it. Torn grass is more vulnerable to disease, infestation, and solar damage.

Watch this video to see how a lawnmower is tuned up.

Hand-Held Equipment – After servicing your lawnmower, it’s time to take a look at your hand-held equipment.

Tip: Keeping your hand-held equipment in excellent working condition will help you avoid accidents and injury. Do this by:

1. Servicing and cleaning motorized or electric edgers and trimmers
2. Inspecting power cords for all electrical equipment and replace damaged cords
3. Cleaning, sterilizing, and sharpening all shovels, spades, and blades on your equipment
4. Replacing equipment with rotting handles or rusted components
5. Reading and following any safety procedures detailed in your owner’s manuals.

Early spring hand held equipment cleaning and tuning

If you sustain an injury from any rusted or new equipment, it is essential to:

• Wash the wound with soap and water
• Apply antibiotic cream or ointment to the wound
• Dress the wound with sterile bandages or bandaids
• Watch for signs of infection like swelling, discharge, increased pain, and increased redness (if these signs are present, see an ER doctor or your primary care physician for evaluation)

If the laceration is deep or you cannot stop the bleeding, go to the ER where the wound can be appropriately treated and explored to verify there is no damage to your underlying musculature.

NOTE: Not every cut from rusty metal results in tetanus. It is when you pick up spores of the bacterium Clostridium tetani in the wound, that you can get infected. These spores are found everywhere in the environment, but particularly in manure fertilized soils, ash, rusty surfaces, human and animal feces, and on the human skin.

Tip: If you haven’t had a tetanus booster shot in the past ten years, consider requesting one as a preventative measure.

Spring Lawn Care – Inspect Your Landscape

Before heading to your lawn with your equipment, you should take the time to inspect the lawn meticulously. This will help you avoid damaging equipment, causing injuries, and wounding other plants, shrubs, and trees. Inspect your lawn for the following:

Surfacing Tree or Shrub Roots – Plant, shrub, and tree roots may surface for many reasons like erosion, improper watering procedures, and soil compaction. These roots must be protected from injury to avoid disease and infestation.

Tip: You can successfully address surface roots by:

• Covering surface roots with soil
• Having them pruned back by a professional
• Applying 3” to 5” of mulch over the roots
• Keep all foot, vehicle, or equipment traffic away from them

Early spring lawn care and tree surface roots

NOTE: As some plant and tree species are prone to produce surface roots, avoid such species when you are designing or modifying your yard or landscape.

Soil Compaction – Soil compaction happens when soil structure is compressed by constant foot traffic, equipment storage, and machinery traffic or parking. Compaction reduces the number and size of pore spaces between soil particles. Compaction typically leads to problems with soil drainage, aeration, nutrient cycling, and plant growth.

Tip: You can reverse or avoid soil compaction by:

• Plug aeration (this is a safe alternative to soil tilling which may damage utility lines and destroy existing turf.)
• Air tilling uses compressed air and a special high-pressure gun to loosen compacted soil.
• Composting may also be used to relieve soil compaction. For fast results, it can be tilled into the top 6” of soil or used as a topdressing to alleviate compaction slowly.
• Installing walkways in high traffic areas can prevent the damages caused by constant foot traffic.
• Preventing vehicle, heavy equipment, and equipment storage on your yard will help slow or stop the compaction of your soil.

NOTE: The most intensive and costly alternative is soil replacement. This alternative may be used when the composition of your current soil constantly compacts (this condition occurs in clay soil frequently.)

Holes or Rodent Burrows – It is sometimes surprising what animals will do to protect themselves from harsh winter weather. Often, they will burrow deep into the ground or nest in the space between mulch and tree trunks.

Tip: Alert animal control if the animal is still present or fill the hole(s) if it has moved on.

Rocks, Small Toys, and Other Debris – Kids, storms, pets, and erosion can all leave small objects on your lawn. If left there when lawn care activities begin, they can become dangerous projectiles when caught in lawn mower blades.

Tip: When inspecting your lawn, use a leaf rake to detect objects that need to be removed.

Early spring lawn maintenance and care raking debris

Spring Lawn Care – General Needs

The following activities will aid you in keeping your yard looking pristine throughout the growing season.

Weed Removal – Besides physically removing weeds from your lawn, you can apply pre-emergent herbicides to prevent weeds from growing and post-emergent herbicides to treat weeds that are already growing.

Tip: Do not use herbicides near trees or shrubs. Herbicides can have adverse effects on the growth and development of trees and shrubs. Pull these weeds by hand.

Edging – Edging serves a few significant purposes:

1. Creates a sharp line around the perimeter of your lawn
2. Separates where your lawn ends and a garden bed begins
3. Serves as a border for where your lawn mowing should stop
4. Keeps walkways distinguishable through your yard

Tip: Each time you mow your lawn, walk the edges, and cut back any overgrowth to maintain their distinction.

Overseeding – Overseeding provides an opportunity for new grass to grow and fill in gaps. It is also used to fill in yellowing or balding spots on the lawn.

Tip: Wait to overseed until mid-spring when growing conditions are more conducive to healthy growth.

Tip: For yellowing or balding spots, make sure the cause of the problem is resolved before seeding these areas.

Watering – Many believe it’s time to start regularly watering at the end of the frost season. Regular watering consists of 2 to 3 light pre-dawn waterings per week (4 to 5 in desert or arid climates).

Early spring lawn watering habits

Tip: In early spring, you don’t have to rush. When grass exits dormancy, the roots grow first. If you leave the ground a little dry, the roots will grow deeper into the soil. Deep roots will help your grass better survive drought conditions.

Read more about lawn watering at

Fertilizing – There should be no rush to fertilize. For cool-season lawns and warm-season lawns, fertilizing too early means faster growth and more mowing throughout the season.

Tip: Fertilize your warm-season lawn after the third or fourth mowing, and your cool-season lawn only after the grass has exited dormancy.

Mowing – Allow your grass to grow and strengthen until you are well into spring. Mowing too soon can cause undue stress on your lawn.

Tip: When you do begin mowing, remove only one-third of the total grass blade length at a time throughout the growing season. Only at the end of the growing season should the cut be as low as the mower can go.

Early Spring Lawn Care

In this article, you discovered a collection of early spring lawn care tips to help you transition your lawn to the new growing season and avoid many of the mistakes people commonly make.

By beginning your lawn activities in early spring, you can stay ahead of emergent problems like soil compaction, weeds, and burrowing animals.

When you let your lawn grow unchecked, you also allow any problems your lawn is experiencing to go unchecked and potentially cause your lawn to look ugly and unkempt.


Visit for more lawn care resources, and tips.

The post Early Spring Lawn Care Tips appeared first on

Container Gardening for Beginners

Container gardening is versatile, easy to pick up, and the perfect way to keep your green-fingered spirit alive no matter where you are. Essentially, container gardening enables gardening in a small space. It’s likely that you’ve come across a form of container garden before: they could be elaborate hanging baskets at weddings, a tiny cactus on a windowsill or some flowers blooming on a patio during a warm spring evening.

Container gardening in space with limited size and minimal sun

Container gardening is an integral skill for any budding gardener who wants to add some color and ambience to their home without worrying about restrictions like space and placement. If you have ample space in your yard visit, otherwise this post will walk you through every aspect of gardening in a small space, looking at factors like container choice, types of compost and the best vegetables for container gardening.

What Makes Container Gardening Different from Normal Gardening?

What makes container gardening so unique and popular amongst both novice and expert gardeners is that it works especially well in small spaces whilst still maintaining a wide breadth of flexibility and functionality with what you can grow. Gardening in a small space offers a range of flexibility – from easy-to-change outdoor displays, to growing your own fruit and vegetables with ease (although you will need to do some research into the best vegetables for container gardening).

It is important to note that container plants need a little more TLC than your average plant order to thrive the same way they would in the ground. Although gardening in a small space might involve a little extra work, it’s by no means impossible – with the right foundations, equipment, tips and tricks, anyone can transform the smallest of spaces to a beautiful hub of nature to admire and harvest.

What Can I Grow with a Container Garden?

The first (and arguably most important) question to ask yourself before you plunge into container gardening is what exactly do you want to plant? Despite the fact that you are gardening in a small space, one of the biggest advantages of container gardening is that there is a lot of versatility in what you can do with it – it’s truly what you make of it!

Container gardening with fruits and vegetables

Questions to Consider when Container Gardening

The possibilities are truly endless, but in these cases, it is important to do your research before diving in and consider the following:

• What time of the year do they need to be planted?
• How much sunlight/water does it need?
• Does it need a specific type of soil/feeder?
• What are the best vegetables for container gardening?

Answering these four essential questions is the first step in ensuring the success of your home-grown produce. However, what is equally as important is ensuring that your care for them is consistent, and being absolutely prepared before diving in no matter how tempting it might be!

Before digging into the best plants for your container, there are more tips and questions about gardening in containers that you may want to consider at

Best Vegetables for Container Gardening

A lot of people like to grow their own produce via container gardening – developing fresh herbs and vegetables in a pot conveniently near the kitchen! With the right container (we’ll go into why that’s important later) and conditions, most of the fruit and vegetables you’ll find in widespread allotments can also be produced in a container. Apples, pears and tomatoes are common fruits for container gardening, whilst the best vegetables for container gardening are as follows:

• radishes
• carrots
• peas
• potatoes
• lettuce
• spinach
• peppers and chilis

There are an abundance of vegetables that will thrive in containers, for more options visit

What Else Can You Put in Your Container Garden?

Furthermore, it’s important to note that knowing the answers to the above four questions are equally as fundamental not just for growing produce, but for anything you choose to plant in your container garden. Your options are plentiful, and can range from basil and thyme, decorative leaves and all your favorite flowers like petunias, fuchsias and miniature roses. What makes container gardening so popular in this day and age is that whilst you’re gardening in a small space, you have a large variety of options.

A Thriller, a Spiller and a Filler

You might even want to put a combination of plants into a container, but for a first timer this may be intimidating, and you might not know where to start. When you want to combine plants in a single container, you’ll generally be advised to include ‘a thriller, a spiller and a filler’.

The ‘thriller’, as the name implies, is usually the elaborate focal-point plant that will be the center of your display. This main plant will be complemented and surrounded by small decorative plants and leaves that ‘spill’ over the container. Finally, you have the ‘fillers’ which will be your staple plants all year round – so choose wisely!

These can include further decorative flowers or other ornamental plants like salvias or peppers.

Container gardening in yard with limited space

Choosing a Container

But what about containers? It’s important to note that the bigger the container, the bigger the chance that your container garden is a success. It sounds obvious, but roots are the most important part of a plant, and if they are given as much room as possible to grow in a spacious container, everything else will fall into place. This is especially important if you’re planning on putting multiple plants in a single container, or mixing and matching. Make sure that when you pick a container, you are giving your plants room to breathe! Equally, if smaller containers are the only viable option for you, it is best to focus on smaller plants that have smaller roots and, subsequently, require less room.

In any case, it’s always advisable to pick a lighter-colored container if possible. These containers keep the soil cooler whilst darker ones will absorb any heat and dry out the roots, stopping any budding bloom in its tracks.

When picking a container, it is also important to ensure that it has adequate drainage, and if it doesn’t, adapt it so that it does. If the water in a plant has nowhere to drain, the roots can become saturated and begin to rot.

Other Things to Consider When Container Gardening

Location is also a crucial factor, and with this, it is important to let the plant guide you. Whilst some grow best in direct sunlight, others are more likely to thrive if they live in the shade.

Container plants won’t have access to the same amount of moisture they would in the ground, and for that reason it is important to take extra care when it comes to watering and choosing compost. Home-made compost or a multipurpose type from your local garden center will be a lot better than typical garden soil because they are rich in nutrients, lightweight, and retain moisture.

Speaking of moisture, keep in mind that container plants will need more watering than ones in the ground if you want to keep their moisture levels healthy. When watering container plants, you should ensure that the water soaks right through to the plant’s roots, and make sure to do this morning and night – especially if it’s a hot sunny day!

Ultimately, container gardening is a rewarding and flexible skill that anyone can learn – but it can take some time. If your plants end up dying the first or second time you try container gardening, please don’t give up! Keep persevering, researching and planting. Before you know it, your container plants will be in full bloom and you’ll have the garden of your dreams no matter what the size!

Visit for more container gardening resources, and tips.

The post Container Gardening for Beginners appeared first on

How to Repair Torn Drywall Paper

Avoid lumps, unwanted textures, and an ugly surface from appearing in your drywall repair job. By following some simple steps, you can get your wall looking like no damage ever happened.

Damaged and torn drywall paper repair gathered information and step-by-step instructions on how to repair torn drywall paper.

Repairing Torn Drywall Paper

To repair torn drywall paper, you will need a few simple tools and supplies from your local hardware or home improvement store, such as:

• 6 inch Joint Knife (scraper)
• Sandpaper (150 grit)
• Plastic Drop Cloth (one for the floor and more to cover furniture, electronics, etc.)
• Large Sponge (soft texture is best)
• Spray Bottle (filled with water)
• Protective Latex Gloves
• 2 Paint Rollers (one for the primer and one for the paint)
• Paint Tray with 2 Liners (one for the primer and one for the paint)
• Shellac or water-based Wall Primer
• Spackle, Joint Compound, or Drywall Mud

Use the following steps to help you make clean and efficient repairs:

Drywall Paper Repair Step 1 – Cover with Drop Cloths

Get one drop cloth on the floor with one edge taped to the baseboard under the damaged area, and extend the drop cloth several feet in either direction to catch as much debris as possible.

Drop cloth on floor during torn drywall paper repair

Use multiple drop cloths to cover desks, furniture, computers, Televisions, plants, and books.

Drop cloth to protect electronics during drywall repair

Note: Even the slightest breeze from a fan or air conditioning vent may carry particles far from the area being repaired.

Drywall Paper Repair Step 2 – Scrape the Damaged Area

Use the joint knife (scraper) to scrape away any loose pieces of paint or drywall paper. This process may enlarge the area to be repaired but is necessary to achieve a well-executed, flat and seamless repair.

Preparation for torn drywall paper repair scraping the wall

Avoid using a blade or x-acto knife to cut away rough edges. Doing this may cause you to score the sheetrock, creating a weakness in its structural integrity.

Drywall Paper Repair Step 3 and 7 – Apply Primer

There are two steps in the process where primer should be applied during drywall repair. For this step, once you have scraped away all of the loose drywall paper and paint, apply a thin coat of primer to the damaged areas.

Do so using a roller, roll on the primer using some force. You want the primer to get into the cracks, crevices, and loosened paper to re-strengthen the damaged areas.

Wrap the roller in plastic to prevent it from drying out; it will be used again in step 7.

Drywall Paper Repair Step 4 – Apply Spackle, Joint Compound, or Drywall Mud

Once the primer has dried, use your joint knife to spread the spackle onto the area being repaired. The following will help you avoid extra work:

• Apply generous amounts of spackle to the damaged area
• Use your joint knife to run over it, taking away excess material
• Leave approximately an eighth of an inch of material above wall level

Smoothing spackle with joint knife during drywall repair

It is essential to put enough spackle on the repair. You can sand the excess away, but when you have to apply more after the fact, you lose time and risk ruining the job.

Spackle application for torn drywall paper repair

When you have an area that the spackle doesn’t want to adhere to, apply it by hand, using pressure until it stays where you applied it. Use the joint knife to scrape the excess away.

Spackle hand application for drywall repair

When the spackle goes on rough, or leaves flaky edges after scraping the excess away, Spray the area with water and lightly smooth it over with a soft sponge.

Smoothing spackle with sponge after application during drywall repair

Once you have filled all of the damaged areas, allow the spackle, joint compound, or drywall mud to completely dry. Some compounds are colored when wet and fade to white when dry. Generally, eight to ten hours is enough time for your repairs to completely dry.

Drying spackle after application during drywall repair

Drywall Paper Repair Step 5 – Sanding

Before beginning the sanding process, make sure that your drop cloths are covering your furniture, desks, electronics, and carpet. This is fine dust that travels easily with the slightest breeze.

Use a 150 grit sandpaper to remove any excess compound. Sand both horizontally and vertically until you have flattened the repair level with the wall.

150 grit sandpaper for torn drywall paper repair

Use a ruler or flat edge against the wall to confirm that the surface is level. Use a pencil to mark areas that still need to be sanded gently.

Flat surface to confirm level drywall repair

Once you have finished sanding, take a moment to look over the finished areas and confirm that no spots were missed or left rough.

Inspection and verification of drywall repair

Drywall Paper Repair Step 6 – Cleanup

Using a soft-bristle brush, brush the repaired area from the top down to remove any residual dust from the wall. Then, using a clean, slightly moistened cloth, wipe the area from the top down.

By cleaning the wall, you will ensure that the primer has a clean surface to adhere to and avoid any bubbling or peeling.

Sanded and cleaned wall after drywall repair

Carefully remove the drop cloths from your furniture and electronics. Replace the drop cloth on the floor before applying primer and paint to finish the job.

Drywall Paper Repair Step 7 – Apply Primer

Now that you have finished sanding and cleaning the wall apply another coat of primer to the repaired areas using the same method as in step 3.

The primer will stop the repaired areas from soaking up paint and leaving faded or darkened marks on your finished wall.

For professional tips on painting your wall, read

Watch this video about primer application:

Torn Drywall Paper

Drywall “facer” and “backer” paper is the covering that protects and reinforces panels of sheetrock material (calcium sulfate dihydrate or gypsum).

Sometimes, the facer paper can be torn away, exposing the actual “sheetrock”, and leaving an unsightly gash in an otherwise perfect wall. The following may cause drywall paper to tear and should be avoided if possible:

Glue – Using glue to anchor a vanity mirror or other large object to a wall is common practice. However, when the glued object must be removed, it will likely tear the paint, primer, and drywall paper wherever the glue was applied.

Torn drywall paper repair

Tape – At times, we put tape on a wall to re-do the trim on a paint job, mark a spot to hang an object, or secure something to the wall. Like glue, strong adhesive tape can tear drywall paper away when removed.

It is recommended to use painter’s tape or tape with a lower adhesive quality if it is applied directly to your wall.

Nails and Anchors – We use nails and anchoring systems to hang paintings, pictures, and other objects on the wall. Removing those nails or anchoring systems can not only tear the drywall paper, but they can also break the drywall, causing a bulge or even a large hole.

Drywall Paper Repair Tips

In this article, you discovered step-by-step instructions and professional tips on how to restore damaged drywall and its paper.

Fixing your damaged drywall will not only restore the aesthetic to your room, but also increase the value and appeal of your home.

With a little effort and guidance, you can easily restore the wall and make its damaged paper or drywall look like nothing ever happened.


Visit for more interior home repair articles, resources, and tips.

The post How to Repair Torn Drywall Paper appeared first on

How to Make a DIY Wall-Mounted Coat Rack

Are you ready to add a personal touch to your home’s décor? A wall-mounted coat rack provides a place, not only to hang your coat but a place to drop off your keys and other pocket contents as you arrive in your home.

DIY entryway furniture wall mounted coat rack gathered information and instructions on how to make a DIY wall-mounted coat rack with optional stowing capability.

Wall-Mounted Coat Rack – Location and Space Requirement

The space in which you will mount your coat rack is as essential as the coat rack itself. The last thing you need to do is mount a coat rack that blocks the opening of your door or interferes with traffic entering and exiting your home.

Location – Before you do anything, you need to decide where your coat rack will go.

Location selection for a DIY wall mounted coat rack

• Make sure the location is free from obstacles, or that the coat rack will not become an obstacle itself.

• Measure the available space. You will need a minimum of 2 feet 6 inches of clearance below the coat rack to hang coats or other garments.

• The length of the space can be anything from 6 inches (for a single hook and storage tin) to several feet (with multiple hooks, storage tins, and features).

• The width of the coat rack can be as small as 3 to 4 inches or as wide as 12 inches or more (depends on your décor and preference).

Wall-Mounted Coat Rack – Supplies and Tools

Like a recipe for a meal, there are some things you will need to gather and prepare to assemble your wall-mounted coat rack.

The supplies you will need include:

• Wood – Nearly any type of wood will work for this project. Anything from a 2”x4” piece of common wood to a 1”x4” or even a 1”x8” cedar or walnut plank will work (base this selection on the space for the coat rack and décor it will be a part of). Choose wood with little to no dents or damage, and look for grain patterns or knots that will add aesthetic appeal to your project. (most home supply stores will cut a length of wood to size for you).

• Wood Stain – Choose a stain color that compliments your home décor. No need for a large container unless you have multiple projects, as you will only use a few ounces for your coat rack. If you prefer the natural wood look, no stain is required.

Application of wood stain to a DIY wall mounted coat rack

• Varnish – There are many types of varnish or finishing coats that will add shine and texture to your wood. Choose the finish best suited for your home’s décor.

• Coat Hook(s) with Mounting Screws – You will find a multitude of available styles, colors, and sizes. Choose the coat hooks that appeal to your taste, and there is no right or wrong.

Hooks and mounting screws for a DIY wall mounted coat rack

• Potting Tin(s) or Pre-assembled Box(es) with Mounting Screws (optional) – This is where you can get really creative. Nearly any type of lightweight open container can be mounted to your coat rack between the hooks if desired.

• Fasteners (minimum of two) – 1/8 inch by 3-inch toggle bolts and wings for drywall, 3-inch wood screws for anchoring to a stud, or screws and plastic screw anchors for wood, stone, or masonry (brick) walls. Screws or toggle bolts must be long enough to pass through the wood, drywall, and securely fasten the piece to the wall.

DIY wall mounted coat rack types of fasteners

• Washers (one for each fastener) – Washers prevent the head of the screws or toggle bolts from “digging” into or damaging the wood.

The tools you will need include:

• Measuring Tape
• Stud Finder
• Level
• Drill (you will need bits appropriate for the size of the screws or bolts for your fastening system)
• Circular Saw (not required if the wood was cut to size)
• Screwdriver
• Sander or Sandpaper – coarse (120 grit) and fine (400 grit) are needed
• Pencil or Pen (for marking mounting locations)
• Vinyl Disposable Gloves
• Painter’s Rag or Sponge (for stain application)
• Paintbrush (for varnish application)

Wall-Mounted Coat Rack – Preparation and Assembly

Preparing and assembling your coat rack is a remarkably easy task. The following will guide you through the process:

Wood Preparation – Take the length of wood you have selected and do the following:

1. If the wood is too long, use a circular saw to cut it to size.
2. Examine both faces of the wood and select the one to face outward.
3. Drill your holes (minimum of two) for your fastening system. If fastening to studs, know the length between studs and match the distance between the holes to that length. For toggle bolts and wings, knowing where your studs are will help you avoid them.
4. Using the rough sandpaper, sand down the face and edges of the wood to remove any protective resin (used for shipping and storage), dents, or uneven edges.
5. Using the fine sandpaper, sand the wood until it is smooth and without any sanding marks.

Sandpaper grits used on a DIY wall mounted coat rack
6. Using a lightly dampened cloth, clean the wood. Make sure there is no sawdust left on the wood.
7. Apply a thin, even coat of wood stain to the front, back, and border using a painter’s rag or a sponge (wear vinyl gloves to avoid staining your hands).

Wood stain cloth used on a DIY wall mounted coat rack
8. Once the stain has completely dried (4-5 hours), sand the stained area with fine sandpaper until smooth, If you find that the color is too light, apply another coat of stain and repeat this step until reaching the desired color.
9. Once your wood is stained, dried, and sanded smooth, use your paintbrush to apply a thin, even layer of varnish to the face and border of the wood. (It is not required to apply a finishing coat to the back of the wood).

Finishing coat application on a DIY wall mounted coat rack
10. Once the varnish has completely dried (8-10 hours), sand the varnished area with fine sandpaper until smooth, then wipe the wood clean with a lightly dampened cloth, let dry, and apply a second thin and even coat of varnish. Allow the piece another 8-10 hours to completely dry.

Adding the Hooks – As long as you maintain a minimum of 2 inches between each hook or feature, you can add as many as you like. Follow these steps to fasten the hooks to the coat rack securely:

• Use the tape measure to find the center of the board length-wise.
• With the board on a table, place the hooks and tins along the board in the desired arrangement.

Storage tins and hooks for a DIY wall mounted coat rack
• Measure the space between the hooks and adjust them so they have equal spacing across the board.
• Once you’ve arranged them and measured them out, use the mounting holes in the hooks to mark where the screws will be placed.
• Remove everything from the board. Using a 1/16 size drill bit, drill a starter hole 1/8 inch deep for each of the holes you marked (this will keep the board from splitting.
• Place the hooks in position one-by-one, manually tightening each screw (if you use your drill to tighten the screws, you risk breaking the board, breaking the hook, or stripping the screw head).

If you are using a tin, box, or container between the hooks, follow the same steps to secure them to the board. These features are an excellent way to cover up the fastening method.

DIY wall mounted coat rack with storage and hooks

Wall-Mounted Coat Rack – Putting it Up

Depending on how large your coat rack is, you may need someone to assist you with this step. Follow these steps to fasten the coat rack to the wall securely.

1. Use a stud finder to confirm the position of the studs in the wall (to use them or avoid them).

Wall stud location for mounting a DIY coat rack
2. Place your coat rack flush against the wall in the desired permanent location.
3. Lay the level across the top of the wood. Adjust the wood until the bubble indicator is centered, then mark the wall using the holes in the wood.

Use a level to mount a DIY coat rack
4. Drill holes for screws with a drill bit slightly smaller than the size of the screw (for stud mounting).

DIY wall mounted coat rack fastening screw and drill bit
5. For toggle bolts and wings, you will need to drill holes large enough for the wings to pass through in the closed position.

Toggle bolts wings and drill bits for fastening a DIY wall mounted coat rack
6. For plastic screw anchors, drill holes with a bit that match the size of anchors, and push the anchors into the holes (it should be a snug fit).

Plastic screw anchor and drill bit for a DIY wall mounted coat rack
7. Place a washer on each screw or toggle bolt and pass them through the mounting holes in the wood (for toggle bolts, attach the wings to the very of the bolt).
8. Return the coat rack to the selected position on the wall and tighten each screw into place. For the toggle bolts, close the wings and push them through the holes. You should hear a “snap” as they clear the drywall and open back up, then pull them back so the wings are against the backside of the drywall and tighten them up.

If you decided to use the tins or containers to cover the bolt or screw heads, fasten them into position once the coat rack has been mounted to the wall.

Hidden fastener on a DIY wall mounted coat rack

Making Your Own DIY Coat Rack

A great way to personalize the space in your home is to make your own wall-mounted coat rack. Strategically placed by the door, this can be your drop off point for keys, loose change, your wallet or purse, and of coarse your coat.

In this article, you discovered the steps to make your own DIY wall-mounted coat rack with stowing capability.

Save money and add a personal touch to your home by building and mounting your own coat rack.


Visit for more DIY decorating articles, resources, and tips.

The post How to Make a DIY Wall-Mounted Coat Rack appeared first on

Exterior Home Repair – Vinyl Siding

When your weather damaged vinyl siding has your home looking rundown, you could call an expensive handyman or follow these easy DIY tips to restore your home.

Home exterior vinyl siding weather damage and repair

Hurricanes, tornadoes, and other extreme weather conditions can damage your vinyl siding, allowing moisture in your walls and causing structural damage to your home. Repairing these damages is imperative to preserving your home’s structural integrity, and preventing its decline in value. gathered this DIY information so you can knowledgably repair or replace your home’s damaged vinyl siding.

Vinyl Siding Repair – Small Holes

Small holes in your home’s vinyl siding (up to the size of a nickel) are straightforward to repair. The following steps will help you make these repairs in a matter of minutes:

Level the Surface – Using a utility knife or razor cutter, cut away any protruding parts of the edge of the hole. You are creating a flush surface to work with.

Sanding the surface is not recommended, as it may cause off-pattern scratches that are not easily covered up.

Exterior Caulking – Apply a generous amount of exterior caulking into and around the hole (if you are unable to find caulking in the right color, use paintable caulk).

Finish the Repair – Once the caulk has completely dried, use a razor scraper to remove any excess caulk, leaving the repaired area flush with the outside of the siding.

Razor scraper for home exterior vinyl siding repair

If needed, paint the caulk (once it has cured) with acrylic latex exterior paint matched to the color of your siding.

Vinyl Siding Repair – Medium Sized Holes

Medium-sized holes in your siding (up to 1 1/2 inches) can be repaired similarly to smaller holes. The following steps will help you efficiently make these repairs:

Level the Surface – Again, using a utility knife or razor cutter, cut away any protruding parts of the damaged area. In performing this step, take care to avoid increasing the size of the hole.

Unlock the Siding – Use a siding removal tool (also known as a zip tool – readily available at home centers), unlock the bottom of the damaged siding far enough to gain access to the back of the siding.

Watch this video to see how to use a zip tool when unlocking vinyl siding.

Seal the Back of the Hole – With the siding unlocked, trim the back edge of the hole so that it is flush with the back of the siding, and apply foil tape to the backside of the hole. Use multiple pieces of tape if necessary to extend the coverage to at least one inch beyond its edge.

High-quality foil tape is preferred over masking or duct tape as it works well in humid and low-temperature conditions without peeling off, and it can remain in place for a decade or longer.

Lock the Siding in Place – Once the hole is covered from the back, lock the siding back in place.

Exterior Caulking – Apply a thin layer of color matched or paintable caulk to the hole. For best results, the layer of caulk should be flush with or slightly raised above the level of the siding.

Finish the Repair – Use a razor scraper to remove any excess caulk once it has completely dried, leaving the repaired area flush with the outside of the siding.

If you used paintable caulk, paint it with acrylic latex exterior paint matched to the color of your siding.

This repair can also be made from the outside without unlocking your siding. Watch this video to see how it is done.

Vinyl Siding Repair – Large Holes and Cracks

Large holes and cracks in your siding will need a solution other than caulking. For this type of damage, a siding patch or replacement is necessary. The following steps will guide you through this repair.

Before proceeding, verify that you have a matching section of siding (wide or long enough to cover all of the damaged area) for a seamless patch or replacement.

Siding Patch – When the damage to your siding is concentrated in a specific location, a patch can be put over it following these steps:

• Using a utility knife, carefully score the top of the siding patch along the base of the nailing strip, then snap off the nailing strip. Siding shears can be used just to cut it off.
• Do not make this cut too low. The upper edge of this patch will be shoved into the joint formed by the original siding.
• Before proceeding, verify that the patch fits firmly in place and is flush along the sides and that the interlocking flange will snap into place*.
• Clean and dry the surfaces that will be in contact with each other.
• Apply a bead of waterproof heavy-duty adhesive to the back of the patch along the top, one inch from the edge.
• Align the patch in its position, then firmly push it into place with the top edge shoved into the joint of the original siding, and the lower interlocking flange snapping into place.
• Firmly press against the top portion of the patch to spread the adhesive evenly.

Watch this video to see how a patch is prepared and applied over damaged siding.

* Some models of siding have an interlocking lower section that won’t allow the “snap in place” to occur. When this is the case, cut off the interlocking flange, leaving an inward fold that will conform to the existing siding. When the patch is firmly in place, use two to three rivets to secure the bottom of it in place.

Applied correctly, this type of patch can last for many years, likely until the house is due for new siding.

Siding Replacement – When the damage to a section of siding is extensive, replace the damaged siding with an entirely new piece.

The following steps will help you successfully replace an entire section of siding:

• Use the zip tool to unlock the siding from above and below the damaged piece.
• Remove (pry out) the nails from the nailing strip.
• Remove the damaged siding.
• Situate the new siding in place of the old piece, locking it into the lower piece.
• Verify that the new piece of siding correctly overlaps the existing siding and that it rests seamlessly into corner fittings.
• Drive nails in the nailing strip of the replacement siding close to where the old nails were driven.
• Do not drive the nails too deep. They should be left flush with the nailing strip to allow for expansion and contraction without buckling.
• Use the zip tool to lock the upper piece of siding to the new piece.

Home exterior vinyl siding nail placement for loose fit

As siding models, colors, and sizes change over time, if there are sections of the damaged siding that can be cut away and stored for future use (as patches), it would be wise to do so.

Likewise, be sure to keep several lengths of the new siding stored away for eventual patches and replacements. Visit for other exterior home repair and maintenance articles.

Your Home’s Vinyl Siding

Don’t let your damaged siding make your home look rundown and shabby when there are easy to use DIY repair and replacement tips.

In this article, you discovered how to quickly and easily repair or replace damaged vinyl siding.

By not taking action when your vinyl siding is damaged or cracked, you are risking costly structural damage, and the need for significant repairs or substantial replacement costs.


Visit for more exterior home repair articles, resources, and tips.

The post Exterior Home Repair – Vinyl Siding appeared first on

3 Tax Deductions for Home Improvements

Get a bigger tax return now and pay less tax later. Sound like a bargain?

Tax deductions limited for home improvements

Under certain circumstances, a portion of home improvements may be deducted from your yearly taxes. If that doesn’t catch your attention, the money you can save when it’s time to sell your home will. gathered information on how home improvements for a home-based business, as medical expenses, and for the sale of your home can help you maximize your current tax season and help you save money when you sell your home.

What Home Improvements Are Tax Deductible?

A home improvement (for tax purposes) is work that substantially adds value to your home, extends its useful life, or modifies it for new uses or activities. Such home improvements include:

• Adding a new bathroom
• Adding or expanding a room
• Installing a deck
• Installing a driveway
• Installing walkways
• Replacing the roof
• Erecting a fence
• Upgrading the electrical system (wiring)
• Making energy efficient upgrades
• Upgrading the plumbing
• Upgrading the kitchen

Here’s the spoiler. If your home is used solely as your personal residence, you are not allowed to deduct the cost of home improvements. In this scenario, home improvement costs are nondeductible personal expenses. However, the property tax you pay is deductible.

This is relevant because when you make home improvements that increase your property’s value, your property taxes will generally increase in tandem.

Don’t be discouraged though, when the time comes to sell your home, the cost of your home improvements are added to the tax basis of the home, reducing the amount of taxes you must pay when selling your home at a profit (we’ll address this in more detail later in the article).

For now, let’s discuss how to benefit from your home improvements in the current tax season.

1. Home Business – Deductible Improvements

If you operate a business from your home, the improvements you make that benefit the entire home can be partially deducted from your taxes in the year the improvements were made.

Home improvement tax deduction proportionate to percentage of space used by business

A great example of a partial deduction is as follows:

If your business occupies 25% of your home’s square footage and that space is only used for business purposes, you can deduct 25% of the home improvement costs when those costs directly impact the space allocated for your business.

So, if you spent $4,000 to upgrade your home’s heating and air conditioning last year, 25% of that or $1,000 may be used as a deduction on last year’s taxes.

The remaining $3,000 may qualify to be applied to the tax basis of your home when you sell it.

An example of a full deduction is:

Upgrades made exclusively to the space used for business purposes, e.g., the installation of a shelving unit or floor replacement, can have the full value deducted from that year’s taxes.

The Internal Revenue Service has strict qualifying guidelines for home business space, learn more at

2. Medical Expenses – Deductible Modifications

If you have been diagnosed with a medical condition or have a disability that requires you to make modifications to your home, these expenses can be written off as medical expenses.

These modifications may include:

• Installing ramps for access
• Lowering cabinets
• Widening doors
• Installing handrails
• Installing lift chairs

Tax deduction for handrails as a medical expense

Note that if the improvements add to the value of the property, the cost of the improvement is reduced by the increase in the value of your property. The difference is considered a medical expense. And if the value of your property does not increase from the improvement or modification, the entire cost can be calculated as a medical expense.

For more information regarding medical expenses, visit

3. Sell Your Home – Deductible Moving Expenses

The ultimate home improvement may be selling your current home and buying a better one!

When You Sell Your Home – The “tax basis” is the term used for the profit you make. For tax purposes, home improvements made to the house – while you owned it – reduce the IRS calculated profit you have to claim in the sale of the home.

Home improvement deductions reduce taxable profit when selling a home

This translates to less money on which you can be taxed. In addition, you only get taxed on the profit if your gain as a single person is over $250,000 and $500,000 for a married couple filing jointly. Take a look at how this is calculated:

$300,000 Purchase price for your home
-$100,000 Qualified home improvements
=$200,000 New tax basis
$700,000 Selling price of your home
-$300,000 Purchase price for your home
=$400,000 Profit
-$100,000 Qualified home improvements
-$250,000 Single person exemption
=$50,000 Total taxable profit

Moving Expenses – If you are active military personnel and must move due to permanent reassignment, the following may qualify as deductions:

• Transportation
• Lodging
• Shipping
• Storage

Note that your moving dates should reasonably coincide with your assignment start date. Simply stated, any expense you would not normally have (if it weren’t for the move) may be an eligible deduction.

For Non-Military taxpayers, this moving expense deduction has been suspended from tax years 2018 through 2025. For further reading on deductible moving expenses and who is eligible, visit

Maximize Your Tax Refund

By making certain home improvements, you can increase your current tax refund or benefit from a lower tax basis when you sell your home.

In this article, you discovered how your home-based business, medical expenses, and selling your home can increase your tax return or decrease taxes owed.

The government offers tax breaks and deductions as incentives. If you do not take advantage of them, you are losing money and passing up exceptional opportunities.


As federal tax codes and regulations may change from year to year, we at Home & Gardening Guide strongly recommend consulting a tax specialist before attempting to make any deductions in reference to the above stated material.


Visit for more home finance articles, resources, and tips.

The post 3 Tax Deductions for Home Improvements appeared first on