Even if you're not looking to sell, there are a few projects you can take on that will freshen up your abode for the new year, and add interest and value to your home. Here are a few popular ideas, and all the information you need to get the job done.
1. An affordable and easy way to freshen up any room is to give it new coat of paint. But, don't bother doing it if you're going to be sloppy. Home stagers recommend painting in neutral colors, but if that's too "blah" for you, consider applying decorative painting techniques like the one shown here: The strie technique mimics the look of centuries-old paint altered by dust and sun. It's best used on paneling or other woodwork; in white, it's perfect for creating French country kitchen cabinets. You can get the job done yourself in a weekend. Here's how.
2. Add architectural interest to rooms with crown molding (in less than a day), ceiling medallions (in just a few hours), and other details. Consider installing wall frames in the
Blog Posts by This Old House Magazine
Even if you're not looking to sell, there are a few projects you can take on that will freshen up your abode for the new year, and add interest and value to your home. Here are a few popular ideas, and all the information you need to get the job done.Read More »from 3 DIY upgrades to boost the value of your home
- This Old House Magazine | Work + Money – Mon, Jan 4, 2010 7:38 PM EST
Here are 6 products-and some pro organization tips-to help you "put away" your holiday 'til next year.
Holiday decorating can go from fun to frustrating in no time flat. The only thing more frustrating? Putting it all away. But 'tis the season, and to help you get it done we've gathered a few clever storage solutions, along with pro organizational tips, from Lea Schneider, author of Growing Up Organized and a member of The National Association of Professional Organizers.
"If you take the time to stow decorations properly after the busy holiday season passes, next year will be easier," Schneider says. Keep reading to see how to store fragile holiday items, and save yourself a few headaches next holiday season, too.
In a battle between a decorator and a wad of tangled lights, the lights will almost always win. "Use a piece of masking tape and a permanent marker to label each strand. Your note can indicate how long it is or where it was used for easy replacement next year," advises
- This Old House Magazine | Work + Money – Thu, Dec 24, 2009 5:15 PM EST
It's almost a shame to just call them "gingerbread houses." Dozens of you entered your masterpieces into the 2nd annual This Old Gingerbread House contest. Then, hundreds of readers came back to vote. We're thrilled to announce this year's winners: Grand Prize winner Stephanie S. in West Palm Beach, Florida, created the amazing Victorian palace shown up there. She'll get a $200 gift card from Home Depot.
The four runners-up rounding out the Top 5 will all receive a Dremel rotary tool. They are Gerhard P. of North Salt Lake, Utah, Denise J. of Coronado, California, Marjorie Ann and Ronald M. of Carmel, Indiana, and Barbara A. of Florham Park, New Jersey.
Take a look at all of the This Old Gingerbread House contest entries at youroldhouse.thisoldhouse.com/gingerbreadhouse
Congratulations to the winners, and happy holidays! Have a safe and merry Christmas.Read More »from Announcing the This Old Gingerbread House contest winners...
- This Old House Magazine | Work + Money – Wed, Dec 23, 2009 5:24 PM EST
Just because you're working up until the actual holiday, doesn't mean you can't add some cheer to your workspace. Whether you're in a real office or just your home office, this little D.I.Y Christmas tree - cut out from an old catalog and held together by paper clips-will do the trick. I got the idea and instructions for this cute little decoration from our friends at Casa Sugar. Mine's a little rougher around the edges than theirs, but it still brings a little smile to my face (and my co-workers!)
Plus, this one took just five minutes to put together and it requires way less maintenance than a real tree. But don't forget to give some TLC to the live evergreen you've got in your living room, too, with these tips and tricks.
__Natalie Rodriguez, This Old House Assistant EditorSee more at the This Old House blog,"The Hardware Aisle"
Read More »from TOH's 'Hardware Aisle' | Image Inspiration: Desktop Christmas Tree
- This Old House Magazine | Work + Money – Tue, Dec 22, 2009 1:21 AM EST
Want to freshen up your home without spending a wad of cash? Give your rooms a new look for 2010 with some of these painting solutions from This Old House. Check out each of the following Step-by-Steps which include detailed how-to information, shopping lists, tools lists, and everything else you need to get the job started, and finished in no time.Read More »from Home Upgrade Resolutions: 5 ways to pretty up your rooms with paint
For a one-of-a-kind look that is more personal than wallpaper, grab some blackboard chalk and start sketching. Here's How to Paint an Oversized Wall Design
Your cavelike kitchen feels that way because the dark cabinets have sucked all the light out of the room. As long as the frames and doors are structurally sound, you can clean them up and brush on some new paint-and within a weekend take that kitchen from dreary to sunny. Here's How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets for a Fresh New Look
The burgundy red floor in the master bedroom of Sara and Andrew's Massachusetts farmhouse didn't fit the fresh and energetic personality of the newlyweds.
It's the most wonderful time of the year. But, the holidays can also be hectic and hazardous. While reading Common Holiday Hazards to Avoid, it might have been easy to wonder, "Who on earth would do something that foolish?" Truth is, with all of the excitement and distractions of the season-decorating, welcoming guests, serving up a festive feast, to name a few-just about anything can happen. Here are 5 holiday mishap stories from TOH readers who lived to tell the tale.
"The first time we used our fireplace last year, I forgot to open the flue. I realized this with a roaring fire already blazing, so I opened it. But I had another brilliant idea: Get rid of the smoke from the house with the attic fan, right? Wrong! The fan pulled in all the smoke right out of the chimney! Luckily we have 20-or-so-foot ceilings and an open balcony, so we just opened the doors and windows and stayed downstairs until the smoke cleared! Man, talk about smelling like Christmas. Our houseRead More »from 5 holiday disaster stories
We don't mean to be kill-joys during the most joyous time of the year, but the stats don't lie: According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 12,500 of you have to leave the company of your loved ones to rush to the emergency room due to holiday-related accidental injuries. Here are some common holiday dangers that are overlooked by distracted holiday revelers more often than you might think. Take a look, know the warning signs, and you'll be the first to know if you, your loved ones, or your pets are victims of a toxic Christmas.
If your sniffling and sneezing coincide with the arrival of your freshly cut Christmas tree, you could be reacting to skyrocketing mold spore counts. If you must have a real tree in your home, prevent allergic reactions for guests and loved ones by hosing your tree down, spraying it with a mold-resistant sealant like M-1 Sure Cote, and allowing it to dry before bringing it indoors.Read More »from 5 common holiday hazards to avoid
In a perfect world, we'd carefully unwrap gifts and save the paper for reuse next year. But tearing apart wrapping paper is about 98 percent of the fun, isn't it? Still, gift wrap accounts for much of the 25 percent spike in waste during the holiday season. Meanwhile, according to The Use Less Stuff Report, reuse of just two feet of ribbon per family would save enough of the trimming to tie a bow around the entire planet. That's a whole lot of ribbon.
If the mounds of colorful wrapping paper on your living room floor make you feel a little guilty-wasteful, even-here are a few creative reuse ideas to ease your conscience.
Off the Wall
The repetitive patterns of wallpaper are very similar to that of wrapping paper. Check your garage or closets for wallpaper scraps or samples you may have leftover. Create a reusable "Hollywood box" by wrapping a lid and box separately, or cover an old shoebox to put your gift into. Your box will be so pretty that the receiver is sure to reuse it toRead More »from 6 eco-friendly, money-saving gift wrap ideas
- This Old House Magazine | Work + Money – Mon, Dec 21, 2009 8:09 PM EST
When it comes to the guest bathroom, overnight visitors don't need over-the-top decor. Keep the basics-towels, tissue, soap, and shampoo-accessible and your visitors won't have to resort to awkward rummaging through your closets and cabinets. For a thoughtful touch, put out a basket of unopened trial-size toiletries you've collected in your own travels. But try to keep countertops clutter-free so guests have ample space to layout their goods. Take a look at these 7 affordable guest bath suggestions, all under $50. (And, for even more great bathroom upgrade and product ideas go to Outfit a Guest Bath at thisoldhouse.com)
Read More »from Upgrade ideas for the ultimate guest bath, all under $50
- This Old House Magazine | Work + Money – Mon, Dec 21, 2009 7:57 PM EST
You've got the big heart of a holiday party host, but you're trapped a small space. Now what? You can start with space-smart furnishings to accommodate dining and overnight guests. Invest in multifunctional pieces that make the best use of what little space you have. Also, look for folding items that are easy to move and tuck away post-party. Here are 5 sharp products for the spatially challenged.