Articles Tagged "Home Decor"

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Keep Your Living Room Looking Fresh By Avoiding These Trends

Not all design trends are worth the fuss. Here are some living room trends that you should ignore.

You want your living room to make a statement as the showpiece of the home. As the name suggests, a living room is also where you invite company, and maybe even where you and the family spend time, so while eye appeal is important, so is comfort.

As you plan the living room of your dreams in the house you discovered from Tuscaloosa homes for sale, bone up on avoiding some of the most common decorating blunders. Our real estate agents have sourced the wisdom of top design experts to help you avoid mistakes and create the perfect living room for your home.

  1. Avoid magical thinking about your lifestyle.
    No doubt about it: that all-white living room you saw in the magazine at the doctor's office won't seem so appealing once the kids spill their juice on the sofa or Fido gets sick on the chair — never mind the black hair he sheds on the white carpet. You simply have to factor in the kids, the dog, and whatever other messy bit of reality arises. Unless you have a lifestyle that is guaranteed pristine, you're better off going the more practical route, with furnishings that resist the onslaughts of the tribe. Go for dark rugs and easy-to-clean fabrics — maybe even leather, which can hold up to rugrats and their canine allies.

  2. Stylin' is fun, but don't forget comfort.
    We bet you've been in rooms like this: no place to sit but that ancient, oh-so-expensive, hard-as-a-board Victorian sofa, or those minimalist but eye-catching metal and plastic chairs. Looks aren't everything. Building comfort into the home should be part of your design scheme.

  3. Get out the tape measure, and use it.
    You want to create good flow around all the furnishings in your living room, and to do that, you need negative space around the pieces. Be it paintings or artwork, or a coffee table and sofa, they won't look good if they're crammed together. Here's a general rule of thumb: leave 18 inches between the coffee table and sofa; aim for 32 to 36 inches of clearance between adjacent seatings.

  4. Avoid wrong-sized rugs.
    Rugs should fit the rooms they're placed in. A large rug will overwhelm and make the room look smaller; a too-small rug will force you to crowd the furniture too close, leaving the room off balance with the extra empty space. Use painter's tape to mark off the space the rug will take so you can better envision how it will look.

  5. Don't fall for (boring) matching showroom furniture.
    You really don't want your living room to look like a furniture showroom. Sure, it's easier to buy a furniture set, but you can create a unique and curated-looking space if you take time to choose pieces that complement each other.

  6. Don't overlook lighting.
    One of the most unfortunate mistakes you can make is to not include enough lighting in your living room. Add lighting with a table lamp or overhead pendant lamp, so you can read in a comfortable spot. Floor lamps help to anchor larger pieces such as a sofa. Don't feel like rewiring a wall? Add plug-in sconces next to furniture arrangements. If you're building or renovating, put a floor outlet in the middle of the room so you can float furniture, capping pieces with an end table and a lamp.

You can make all the right decorating moves by consulting the experts. Need some advice on whom to call? Contact us today.


Transform Your Family Photos With These Display Ideas

Your family photos deserve special attention. Here's how you can make them shine in your home.

Our real estate agents often hear that one of the best parts of becoming a homeowner is being able to decorate and display personal items any way you like. Adding all those personal touches to Tuscaloosa homes for sale will make you feel right at home in no time. So you probably can't wait to display those favorite family photos. But where should you even start? Here are a few creative options to inspire you.

  1. Opt for one large scenic photo. If you have a favorite vacation photo of your family somewhere with a nice view in the background, you could enlarge it and hang it on the wall.
  2. Small tile photo collage. Use small square or rectangle photos arranged in a grid pattern within a larger frame. This is nice if you have a lot of photos since you won't need to hang them individually.
  3. Black and white photos with color mats or frames. This idea creates a dramatic but playful effect. You could opt for different bright colors in a child's room or playroom. Or go with one or two colors to better compliment adult decor.
  4. Black and white photos against a boldly colored wall. If you have a boldly colored accent wall or are thinking of adding one, use an arrangement of black and white photos to give it that extra wow factor.
  5. Display your family photos in the dining room. It's a family gathering place where happy times like holiday meals and game nights happen, so why not display some of your favorite family photos there as well.
  6. Photo collage coffee table. This takes some effort but adds a real "at home" feel to your decor. Small photos are arranged on top of a wood coffee table, and a glass top is used on top of the photos to protect them. The end result is a family photo display like no other.­­
  7. Instagram styled photo wall. You can use your actual Instagram photos or other photos printed in the same style. You'll need a large number of same-sized square photos. Arrange them in a grid across a rectangular wall. You can unify the collection by color, theme, or photo composition for an Instagram-worthy look right in your own home.
  8. Garland style wall display. Drape wire, rope, twine, heavy yarn, or ribbon along the wall. Attach your photos with decorative clips. This display style offers almost endless options for customization to fit with any décor.
  9. Photo ledges. This is a nice look for modern décor because ledges are simple with sleek lines. They're also good for small spaces because they're only a few inches wide, unlike traditional shelves. You can layer photos, so you don't have to spend time hanging lots of photos directly on the wall.
  10. Door frame display. Use tape to display small photos around the door frame. This is a unique idea for a casually styled room or a teen's room.
  11. Opt for sepia or another effect. This can help maintain a look of coherence with photos of different styles, eras, or ones with colorful images that look out of place with other photos or decor.
  12. Mix horizontal and vertical photos. Instead of a traditional gallery wall try mixing horizontal and vertical rectangle photos for a more modern look.

Decorating your new home with all your own personal touches can be a lot of fun. We've helped so many families find the right home, and we can help you too. Contact us today to get started.


Carpet vs. Hardwood: Your Guide to Flooring

Is hardwood better than carpet? It depends, which is why we're giving you our tips to help you decide on the best flooring for your home.

One of the first things you notice when you enter a room is the flooring. If your floors look old and worn out, it's probably time to replace them. Our real estate agents know that new flooring is also very appealing to potential homebuyers. Two of the most popular alternatives are carpet and hardwood. Here's what you need to know about these top options to decide if they're right for your home. 

Hardwood Floor Basics

Hardwood floor consists of boards that are produced from wood. The boards can be crafted entirely from solid wood, or they may consist of a thin hardwood layer that adheres to a layer of plywood (also known as engineered wood flooring).

Advantages of Hardwood Flooring

Aesthetics are one reason that hardwood floors are popular with homeowners. Hardwood floors create a bold look that suits a variety of home styles. With a lifespan of 50 to 100 years or more, hardwood floors are a long-lasting option for your home's flooring needs.

They're also easy to clean, making them a top choice for individuals with allergies. You can quickly sweep or vacuum dirt and dust, and for deeper cleanings, a damp mop with some wood cleaner works wonders.

When it's time to add your home to the list of Tuscaloosa homes for sale, hardwood floors will help you maximize your home's selling price. Potential buyers are often willing to pay more for a home with hardwood floors.

Disadvantages of Hardwood Flooring

One potential drawback of hardwood floors is that they're cold to the touch. While you might appreciate their cooler temperature during the muggy summer months, you may find them less appealing on chilly mornings. 

Hardwood floors also have a higher initial cost than carpet. On average, hardwood floors cost an average of $8 per square foot installed. For a home with 2,000 square feet, hardwood floors will cost an average of $16,000.

Carpet Basics

Carpet consists of a backing material containing loops of fibers (generally produced from synthetic materials). It comes in a number of colors, styles, and thicknesses. 

Advantages of Carpet

If you're on a budget, carpet is an affordable way to improve your home. Carpet costs an average of $3 per square foot, including installation. Assuming a home is 2,000 square feet, it will cost approximately $6,000 to install carpet. 

Some people also prefer the look and feel of carpet. It lends a cozy appearance to any space, and it's warm when you walk on it. If you're living in a home where noise is an issue, carpet can also help dampen some of the sounds that travel through your home. 

Disadvantages of Carpet

A drawback of carpet is that it has a relatively short lifespan; on average, carpet requires replacement every 10 years. If your household has a lot of spills, the carpet may need to be replaced even sooner due to stains.

Many find that it's not as easy to clean carpet. While vacuuming is relatively simple, more intense messes call for the use of a carpet cleaning machine or prompt attention with a scrub brush and cleaning agent. Carpet also provides a lot of hiding spaces for pollen and dust, making it a poor choice for homeowners with allergies. 

Ready to upgrade your home? Contact us to get started!


Colors of the Year for 2021

Colors of the Year

As we finally turn the page on a tough year, it's time to set our sights on the future. If 2021's color of the year choices are any indication, the future is certainly looking bright.

One of our favorite parts about this time of year is reading all of the interior design predictions for the New Year, and our real estate agents have been busy doing just that. In fact, we were so inspired by new colors in these Tuscaloosa homes for sale, we pulled together a list of the most popular 2021 colors of the year to help guide your home decor choices.

  1. Aqua Fiesta by Glidden - PPG1147-4
    If you're looking for a bright color that isn't too far over the top, Aqua Fiesta by Glidden is really a great choice. This color has a beautiful, happy vibe that can really create a calming yet intriguing feeling in any room of the house. It's a unique mix of blue and green, making a perfect complement to any kitchen or bathroom. However, using this color to cover a large wall might be a little overboard, so be sure to combine it with some neutral accents in the bedroom.
  2. Aegean Teal by Benjamin Moore - 2136-40
    Looking for a mid-tone color to bring harmony to your bedroom? Aegean Teal is really the perfect combination of bluish-green and gray that creates a feeling of wellness while maintaining a modern edge. It also has a subtle calming effect. Consider centering your bedroom, living room, or home office decor around an Aegean Teal base. We think these tranquil tones will really be in style next year.
  3. Urban Bronze by Sherwin-Williams - SW7048
    This earthy tone really generates a sense of calm and tranquility. Urban Bronze is Sherwin-Williams' 2021 color of the year, and it's a really comfortable tone with an organic appeal. It's a clean gray hue with a subtle gold tint that can really add a bit of sophistication or class while also adding a touch of nature-inspired energy. It's a great option for any house, but it works particularly well with biophilic elements such as light-filled spaces.
  4. Smoky White by Behr -  BWC-13
    Behr selected several colors for 2021, and among them was this new off-white tone. For those looking to stick to a neutral pallet, we definitely recommend taking a look at Smoky White. It's a darker shade of white that really gives off a sense of softness and serenity. It's a great choice for any room in the house. Best of all, sticking with a neutral paint choice gives you more flexibility with your decor colors.
  5. Arizona Dust by Valspar - 2003-8A
    Valspar's Arizona Dust generates a warm, organic ambiance. The color is best described as a modern apricot shade with a bold accent and really draws out a warm, energizing feeling. If you'd like to add a bit of nature-inspired vibrancy to your mornings, we'd recommend trying Arizona Dust for your kitchen.

If you're planning to revamp your interior design, we always recommend checking out the colors of the year trends for inspiration. We can't wait to see what design trends emerge next year. For more interior design tips, contact us today!


6 Kitchen Trends for a Timeless Look

Timeless Kitchen

Many refer to the kitchen as the heart and hub of the home. It's the place where meals are created and the primary gathering place for many families. Having a great kitchen can truly make all the difference in a home, which is why kitchen renovations are expensive yet worth the investment.

The quality of your kitchen also significantly impacts your home's value. It can also make your home much more appealing to potential buyers, as future owners won't need to worry about redecorating any time soon. If you're planning an upcoming kitchen renovation, our REALTORS® put together a list of 6 classic trends that will create a timeless look.

  1. Neutral Tones
    For a truly timeless look, you can't go wrong with neutral tones. White, off-white, and grays are good choices for walls, cabinets, countertops, and appliances. If you're planning to sell you home, neutral tones won't be distracting; rather, they'll allow buyers to focus on how they'd like to decorate.
  2. Classic Subway Tiles
    Talk about a trend that's been around for decades - a white subway tile backsplash can truly give your kitchen a classic look. A subway tile backsplash is not only affordable, it's a relatively easy renovation project. Best of all, subway tiles are versatile and can match any kitchen style.
  3. Kitchen Islands
    Kitchen islands really serve as the center of attention for any kitchen. Not only do they serve as a meal prep space, but they also make your kitchen feel cozier and more intimate. Islands come in all shapes, sizes, and styles, so it's important to find one that fits your kitchen and matches your countertops.
  4. Shaker Style Cabinets
    Shaker cabinets have been a staple of the American kitchen for decades, and they aren't going out of style any time soon. Shaker cabinets are simple in design - they consist of a cabinet door with a recessed center panel. Not only do they always look good, but they're also affordable.
  5. Quartz Countertops
    Quartz is one of the most durable materials out there, so quartz countertops are designed to withstand the test of time. However, not all colors and patterns are timeless, so be sure to choose neutral tones that match the rest of your kitchen.
  6. Stainless Steel Appliances
    Stainless steel is not going out of style any time soon. Appliances are expensive, so you don't want them to go out of style or show signs of use shortly after buying them. Stainless steel appliances not only look good, but they're also easy to clean and have a long lifespan. Stainless steel refrigerators, ovens, and microwaves are definitely the way to go.

A timeless kitchen can save you from future renovations and make your home more appealing to potential buyers when listing your home among other Tuscaloosa homes for sale. For more tips on how to create a timeless look for your kitchen, contact us today.


Make Your Home Feel More Spacious with These Tips

Tips for a Spacious Home

Smaller homes can be efficient to heat and cool and easier to clean. They can also feel more cramped than cozy, especially if you're used to the decor and storage techniques better suited to larger homes. But no matter what size home you have, you can make the most of your square footage with careful planning. Buyers looking at Tuscaloosa homes for sale get to see homes of all sizes, but seeing how well you use your space will get everyone thinking big about going small. Make your home feel a little roomier with these tips below. 

  1. Kick Clutter to the Curb
    Removing clutter will go a long way towards helping a space feel larger. Some clutter consists of items you no longer need, but other items may just need better storage. Determine what items you'd like to part with first. Use vacuum-sealed bags for long-term storage of clothing and linens and free up precious closet space. Consider a small outdoor shed for patio furnishings and garden tools. Hide additional storage in plain sight with storage ottomans in the living room or bed frames designed to accommodate drawers. When looking for storage space, look up. Wall-mounted shelves, organizers, and hanging baskets can keep everything you love within reach. 
  2. Sizing Up the Problem 
    If you've moved that enormous sectional from a much larger house, it may be too big for the space you're in now. Your furnishings may need an update to make your home look more spacious. Move through your home in a way that's typical of your usual activity, noting any time you have to dodge to avoid bumping into your furniture. Changing one or two pieces may be enough to make the space feel much larger. 
  3. Let There Be Light
    Light colors help spaces look airy and spacious. A room in floor-to-ceiling white looks much larger than a room in deep earth or jewel tones, but pastels do the trick just as well. Look at flooring options in blonde wood tones or other pale neutrals. A fresh coat of paint can make your home look newer and larger. Soft, cool pastels are on trend for 2020, with options that will suit a wide range of architectural styles. Take advantage of the natural light coming into your home. Sheer pastel curtains or blinds will help you maintain privacy and allow light to come through. Select curtain rods that extend beyond the window frame, so you can throw the curtains back and make the best of every sunbeam. 

Our real estate agents get to see homes of every size, and what we appreciate is homeowners that understand how to show off their home's best advantages. If you have any questions about making the most of what your home has to offer, contact us today. 


7 Tips to Enhance Your Patio This Summer

Patio Tips

As you search among Tuscaloosa homes for sale to find the perfect home for you, perhaps a patio is high on your list of must-haves. Or perhaps you're considering creating a stunning patio area for your current home.

Inspired to create or upgrade your outdoor space? Here are seven tips to give your patio a boost.

  1. Cleaning up 
    If you already have a patio that needs upgrading, or an area where the patio might work, clean it up and do some calculations. Is your existing patio big enough for your needs, or should you relocate it to a new area? Look at shade and proximity to landscaping and the HVAC unit.

  2. Covering Things up
    Will you be installing a cover? Many types of umbrellas and awnings are available. Installing awnings can be a bit tricky, depending on where your patio will be located. Umbrellas can be more versatile, not needing vertical support, eves, gables, or strong fitting points. 

  3. Flooring Options
    If you already have a concrete floor, but it needs work, is it worth fixing, or should you have a new floor built? It's usually best to hire a pro for this, so you're sure the flooring is graded properly. Consider concrete pavers for flooring material, natural-looking, irregular stone, or understated clay bricks. If you're on a budget, you can put down pea gravel and add an outdoor rug to brighten things up.

  4. Creating the Design Scheme
    Your patio design should tie in with the style and materials of your home. You can echo color schemes with accessories and furniture: for example, bring the color of the house trim into the patio design, in accessories, plants, or furniture. Is your landscape theme abundant roses, glorious perennials, a white garden (big white flowers are lovely at night in subdued lighting), or simply sleek and contemporary? Tie landscaping and exterior design elements into the patio.

  5. What's Cooking?
    If your plans include a gloriously appointed kitchen in your patio, that's great. But if you're on a budget, installing a grill might suffice. Unless your skills are pretty high level, it may be best to hire a pro to do the honors.  

  6. Add Lighting
    You may want to hire a pro to help design your lighting scheme, or else just go with solar options, including walkway and accent lighting, with string lights for patio and trees. Lanterns can add charm and visual interest for special occasions.

  7. Heating and Cooling System
    In Tuscaloosa, summers are long and hot, but you can extend your time outdoors into the spring and fall by adding some heat, be it a gas-powered firepit or if regulations allow an open fire pit. Don't forget to plan for comfortable seating, be it colorful patio furniture, or stone benches with cushions. For hot evenings, how about a patio misting system?

Our team can help you with ideas for your Tuscaloosa home, indoors or out, to make it stand out in the marketplace. Let our real estate agents help you get started! Contact us today. 

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