4 Ways to Get a Mini Kitchen Island for a Small Space

If you have a small kitchen but want the functionality of a kitchen island, don’t despair: Just because you’re working with a small space doesn’t mean you’re cut off from this convenient kitchen feature. Kitchen islands do tend to be popular in large kitchens, and they typically have expansive designs. But by getting creative, you can have a mini kitchen island in your small space.

We’ve covered small kitchen islands in the past, but the kitchen island ideas below are downright micro. Read on to learn a few of the best ways to miniaturize your cooking, prepping and socializing space.

Mini Kitchen Island Green Stool Design

In small spaces, add just the amount of counter space needed and no more. Image: Davis Architects

Miniaturize the concept

The first step to using a kitchen island in a small space is to shrink the counter space. While this may appear to sacrifice usability, you can still retain functionality by leaving just enough space for two or three people to sit and eat.

The kitchen island above is perfectly measured for two stools. That’s about the space to aim for in a mini kitchen island: not much wider than the stools themselves. People can still use the island to eat or even prepare food without taking up extra space.

Mini Kitchen Island Blue Cabinets

Sinks combine well with surrounding counter space for added functionality. Image: Hill Farm

Add the sink to your mini kitchen island

Another trick for creating a mini kitchen island is to combine the space with the sink area. The design above is more of a “kitchen peninsula” than a kitchen island. However, putting counter space around the sink gives a similar functionality and feel, combining areas to serve and prepare food.

Combining functions is a great way to get the most out of a small space. For instance, with some small floorplans, you may have to sacrifice counter space or sink space along the wall in order to fit an island. But by adding the sink to the island, that becomes a non-issue.

Mini Kitchen Island Minimalistic Style

A minimalistic kitchen island works well in tighter spaces. Image: Marco Joe Fazio

Go small and free-standing

A mini kitchen island doesn’t have to be connected to the rest of your kitchen. The design above demonstrates how a smaller kitchen can still feature an island. You simply need to make the kitchen island itself smaller and more minimalistic.

This style goes well with minimalistic stool designs that tuck beneath the island itself. Stools don’t take up much room as it is, but in a small area, every bit of space counts. Choose a stool design that allows for “storage” under the island when not in use.

Mini Kitchen Island Bookshelves Storage

A kitchen island opens up possibilities for storage and organization. Image: Palmerston Design Consultants

Combine storage uses

Making good use of small areas is all about combining functionality in a space. Get creative with storage options. Use space beneath your island to shelve books or store bottles of wine; add drawers and shelves for baking supplies; install fold-out cabinetry for maximum storage. If you’re going to have a kitchen island in a small space, it’s important to make the most of the space by using the island for multiple purposes.

Even if you’re working in a small kitchen, a mini kitchen island is still a great way to use your space without getting overcrowded. By toning down dimensions and combining functionality, your island could very well be the star of your kitchen. Did you get inspiration from of any of these mini kitchen island ideas? We’d love to hear about it below!

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Wood and Metal DIY Industrial Desk

Hey all! It’s Tylynn, dropping in from Bitterroot DIY again. This week I’ve moved up from scrap wood projects to share a little bigger build – a wood and metal industrial desk.

I designed this desk a few months ago for my Father-in-law’s auto shop. Though I know how to weld, I don’t currently have all the necessary tools. So, I sent the plans to one of my FIL’s friends. He welded the frame, sent it back, and I built the wood portion. It was a group effort, and the finished product looks great in the shop!

For the purposes of this tutorial, I have overall dimensions for the frame if you want to weld it yourself. But I’m no expert in that field, so I don’t have details for those steps. If you have questions, I’m happy to try to clarify the design. Shoot me an email or leave a comment over on my page.

Now for the good stuff!

Step 1 – Weld the Metal Frame

Overall dimensions for the frame:





I designed the frame to be constructed with 2″ right angle steel so that it was easy to pop the plywood into place. It’s up to you if you would rather use a different style of steel pipe, but the plywood sits nicely in the right angle.

Step 2 – Cut all the wood parts

You will need two 4 x 8 sheets of 1/2″ plywood for the bottom shelf, sides, and front of the desk. I recommend measuring the frame once it’s finished to account for any variability at the welded joints, but in a perfect world, the following is the list of cuts:

  • 1   |   1/2″ Plywood @ 2′ 5″ x 2′ 11 3/4″ (right side)
  • 1   |   1/2″ Plywood @ 3′ 11″ x 2′ 11 3/4″ (front right)
  • 1   |   1/2″ Plywood @ 2′ 5″ x 2′ 11 3/4″ (front left)
  • 1   |   1/2″ Plywood @ 1′ 11″ x 2′ 11 3/4″ (left side)
  • Cut the bottom shelf to fit as shown in the diagram below:

Cut your pieces and do a dry-fit in the frame.

Place the bottom shelf sections first:

Then, work your way around the side and front shelves:

Make any adjustments necessary.

Once you like how everything looks and fits together, remove the wood from the frame and finish as desired. It’s much easier to finish the wood separate from the metal frame than to try to stain it while in the frame.

I used Minwax Stain in Special Walnut.

After the stain is completely dry, attach the bottom shelf, sides, and front to the welded frame with Liquid Nails.

When it was all said and done, we added a few interior shelves and attached them to the bottom shelf with right angle brackets.

Step 3 – Install the countertop

We used granite for the countertop and attached it with Liquid Nails.

If you want, you could use plywood, wood planks, concrete, etc. for the top … designer’s choice!

I really like the mix of materials on this desk — it adds so much character and is perfect for an auto shop!

Enjoy the free plans, and happy DIY-ing!
For more project ideas like this, I’d love it if you stopped by my blog. You can also find me on Pinterest. And to stay up to date with the latest shenanigans, follow me on Instagram!
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wood and metal diy industrial desk - free plans

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The Data Is In: These Are the Top 2018 Home Trends Buyers Are Falling For

Each year, Fixr.com releases a comprehensive report — called the Single-Family Home Trends Report — that compiles data on what today’s buyers are looking for in their properties, according to industry pros like builders and real estate agents. This year’s report offers some surprising insights into which 2018 home trends are flourishing and which old standards may be falling by the wayside. Let’s take a look at the highlights:

2018 home trends

Green features like solar panels are some of the biggest 2018 home trends. Image: Sol Haus Design

Green features are in

It should come as no surprise that sustainable features are some of the most requested by buyers, according to this survey of industry professionals. Indeed, green industries have grown at unbelievable rates. The renewable energy industry, in particular, has an annual growth rate of around 68% in order to meet the demands of homeowners.

As for which features buyers crave the most, the following topped the list:

  • 34% solar energy
  • 26% natural light
  • 18% use of recycled materials
  • 13% water conservation
  • 5% passive solar design
  • 8% thermal flooring

High-tech features like smart HV/ACs are becoming more popular. Image: Honeywell Home

So is smart home technology

As far as the home automation category is concerned, many positive responses were to be expected. The most common features that the home and design pros are seeing added to homes are as follows:

  • 53% HV/AC and smart thermostats
  • 24% automated home security
  • 16% lighting control systems
  • 5% smart appliances
  • 8% automation geared toward the elderly and disabled

However, the rash of recent weather events has also prompted a spike in home safety technology. A whopping 50% of respondents have seen a trend in homeowners looking for homes with backup generators.


Patios are the top addition in outdoor spaces. Image: Yardscapes Northwest

And outdoor living spaces

These days, most of us crave outdoor living spaces. The survey found these spaces to be one of this year’s top features among buyers and industry professionals alike.

The most anticipated additions to an outdoor space are:

  • 34% backyard garden
  • 32% porch
  • 24% hardscaping, or man-made features such as paths and walls
  • 8% pool
  • 3% driveway

In repurposing existing outdoor spaces, respondents expect an uptick in the following:

  • 39% patios
  • 29% herb and vegetable gardens
  • 24% backyard gardens
  • 5% front yard gardens
  • 3% water features
open concept

Only 34% of buyers are searching for open concept layouts. Image: Angus Mackenzie Architect

But open concept layouts may be on their way out

Open concept layouts have been the style du jour for a while now — and industry professionals seem to believe that they’re not going anywhere. According to the survey, 50% of builders admit to making these layouts a priority in their home designs.

However, that may be contrary to what buyers actually want. The survey found that the term “open concept” only appeared in 34% of buyers’ searches for available homes. That number is much lower than in previous years. It could be a sign that tastes are moving in another direction when it comes to layouts.

What do you think of these 2018 home trends? Are you planning on incorporating any of them into your next home?

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Kitchen Pantries for Every Lifestyle

Like closets and garages, kitchen pantries are one of those once-hidden rooms that are now playing a significant role in today’s home. “The pantry has become one of the most desired and necessary storage features in today’s kitchens — especially for homeowners who make a lot of bulk purchases from the warehouse club,” says Dan DiClerico, a home expert at HomeAdvisor.

So how much should you expect to pay to trick out your pantry? “In terms of budget, a full-size kitchen pantry could cost about as much a well-appointed walk-in closet, which is in the $1,500 range according to HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Guide,” DiClerico tells Freshome. “Freestanding pantries can be had for a few hundred dollars, which is good for homeowners on a tighter budget.”

These are some of the trends in kitchen pantries.

kitchen pantries pocket doors

Space-saving pocket doors are perfect for hallway pantries. Image:

Hallway pantry

We’re seeing more homeowners convert a hallway closet or extra bathroom into a walk-in pantry, complete with built-in shelves, recycling bins and even a charging station for phones, laptops and other electronics,” DiClerico says. This is a great way to maximize underutilized space in your home, plus the pocket door doesn’t take up valuable floor space.

kitchen pantries barn door

A barn door adds architectural design to this kitchen pantry. Image: Cummings Architects

Barn door pantry

Open shelving creates a clean, spacious look in kitchen pantries and can help you quickly locate items. “A sliding barn door, in keeping with the farmhouse look that’s so popular right now, might be the finishing touch,” DiClerico says. This unconventional design provides character and functionality.

kitchen pantries storage

Create a variety of storage options. Image:

All-purpose pantry

Jonathan Self, a real estate broker for Center Coast Realty in Chicago, advises homeowners to get creative with storage options. “Lazy susan-style shelving that rotates in a circle is a great way to maximize corner space that’s hard to utilize.” There’s a place for everything in this pantry, from canned good and drinks to tablecloths and other accessories.

kitchen pantries shelves

Pull out shelves help you maximize wall space. Image: Blum UK

Built-in wall pantry

If your pantry is small, you’ll really need to maximize space. When opened, this built-in wall pantry packs a big punch. “Place all dry goods, tins, bottles and other vessels together,” recommends Nicola Croughan, an interior stylist at Blinds Direct in the UK.

kitchen pantries bulletin board

A bulletin board and places for mail and keys add to this pantry’s functionality. Image: Garrison Hullinger Interior Design Inc

Family room pantry

This pantry stores more than just food items. It’s also a place to hang the kids’ artwork, hide your busy calendar from view and even store mail and keys, which keeps your kitchen uncluttered. “Keep all dried herbs and spices labeled and together for a neat and colorful effect, and use baskets to store pasta, rice, oats, etc.,” Croughan says.

kitchen pantries doors

These beautiful doors hide a lot of kitchen secrets. Image: Woodale Designs

Elegant pantry cabinet

A good pantry design solves the clutter problem – and for those who don’t like small appliances on the countertop, it removes them from view. This cabinet does both so you can display your beautiful china, not your blender, coffeemaker, spices and oils.

kitchen pantries butler

This butler’s pantry complements the dining and kitchen areas. Image:

Butler’s pantry

Carla Phillips, an interior decorator based in Melbourne, Australia, tells Freshome the latest trend in the pantry is the butler’s pantry. “The pantry needs to function well and be a seamless extension to the kitchen,” she explains. This elegant butler’s pantry has an undermount sink and chandelier.

kitchen pantries breakfast

It’s easy to start your day right with this breakfast pantry. Image:

Breakfast pantry

Phillips also recommends including a breakfast bar in the pantry to store bread, cereal, coffee and more. This trendy breakfast pantry has flat panel cabinets and bi-fold doors and contains everything you need in one tidy place.

Are you inspired by any of the kitchen pantry ideas above? We’d love to hear about it below!

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Build a Better Bathroom: 6 Bathroom Upgrades Worth the Money

Kitchens are usually seen as the heart of the home, but bathrooms are the muscle. A poorly planned bathroom could affect the way you feel about your home for years to come. What’s more, it’s one of the most expensive rooms to renovate. If you’re building your own home, it’s important to get the bathroom right the first time. Your builder should have a list of standard options and upgrades, but how do you know which bathroom upgrades will add to your home’s value?

Repeat after us: Bathrooms should be the most functional rooms in the home. Choosing the right bathroom upgrades means you’ll love your bathroom for years to come — no matter what. Invest in these bathroom upgrades to get the most value for your money.

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bathroom upgrades master bath

A master bathroom is a major selling point. Image: Clay Construction

Master bathroom

If your chosen floorplan offers the master bathroom as an option, take it. Master bathrooms are one of the most desirable features for resale value. If your current home layout doesn’t include a master bath, it might be worth your money to have your architect design one for you. As one of the most used rooms in the entire home, a master bathroom is a must. It gives adults a place to relax, separate themselves from the kids and stay sane. It’s one of the more expensive bathroom upgrades, but anything you spend on a master bathroom will pay you back tenfold in functionality and investment.

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bathroom upgrades plumbing

Save money by plumbing your basement bathroom now. Image: Classic Homeworks

Basement plumbing

Adding basement plumbing during the build process is cheap and easy, so pay your builder to have it done before you move in. Sure, it’s not the most exciting upgrade. Still, opting for plumbing in your basement — even if it’s not finished — makes sense. You’ll likely finish your basement sometime in the future, and having the plumbing installed during the building process saves you money. When you’re ready to finish it out, you won’t have to break up concrete or rip out walls to install plumbing. Instead, you can hook right into the existing plumbing and skip ahead to framing and drywall.

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bathroom upgrades tile

Invest in better tile for a lasting look. Image: Broad & Turner

Tile and flooring

Ask anyone who’s lived with bad pink tile for 10 years: Tile is hard to replace. It requires a major demolition, and, in most cases, you’ll put it off or learn to live with tile you hate. Don’t settle for standard tile if it’s not something you love, because trying to replace it down the road is costly and time-consuming. Upgraded surfaces enhance the look of your bathroom so it’s something special. Follow the same principle with flooring, choosing long-lasting materials that you find attractive. You can always change paint color and fixtures, but tile and flooring will be there for a while.

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bathroom upgrades storage

Bathroom storage is worth its weight in gold. Image: Mark Williams Design Associates

Extra storage

If one of your options for bathroom upgrades is increased storage, your answer should be yes. Bathroom storage is one of the features you may not think about initially but can make huge improvements in your lifestyle. Extra cabinets, built-in shelving and organizers make the difference between a cluttered cave and a serene retreat. Opt for upgrades that build out the space you have and help you keep your bathrooms totally organized.

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bathroom upgrades lighting

Upgrade your lighting package if you don’t have natural light. Image: Larsen Development

Better lighting

Builder-grade lighting is rarely inspiring. It’s usually standard over-the-mirror lights that are cheap to buy and install. You can upgrade your lighting package on your own by procuring better fixtures and even planning for can lights. While natural lighting is always best, windows aren’t always feasible in a bathroom. Make up for a lack of light with upgraded fixtures that are outfitted with bright LED lights that’ll last.

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bathroom upgrades tub shower

A separate tub and shower gives a spa feel. Image: Two Hawks Design & Development

Separate tub and shower

One of the simplest bathroom upgrades with which to get a return on your buck is a separate tub and shower. Separate spaces increase your home’s worth and offer more functionality — particularly in the master bath. A standard tub and shower combo might do the trick, but it doesn’t have a wow factor. A separate tub and shower isn’t exactly a weekend renovation, so if it’s something you want, upgrade during the building process instead. You’ll thank yourself later.

Kitchens might sell homes, but any homeowner can tell you that a comfortable, functional bathroom is just as important. Function and style should come together to create spaces that keep your family organized, so look for upgrades that are compatible with the way you live. In most cases, spending a little more on thought-out bathroom upgrades can increase your home’s resale value — and your family’s satisfaction.

Have you made any of these bathroom upgrades in your own home? Do you have any more to add?



4 Fresh Ways to Celebrate National Curb Appeal Month

August is National Curb Appeal Month! It’s the perfect time to give your home’s exterior a refresh. With that in mind, we’ve brought you four fresh curb appeal ideas to help you celebrate. The ideas below are small changes that can be done on a variety of budgets.

Read them over and decide which ones will work best for you. Even just doing one or two will leave your front entrance feeling brand new.

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curb appeal month

Give your front door a pop of color. Image: Trimlite

Paint your front door

If you want your curb appeal to truly pop, there’s no stronger statement you can make than with a freshly painted front door. This will ensure that all eyes zoom to your doorstep from the street. Those going for a modern look should choose bright colors, much like the fire-engine red door above. However, if you’re a bigger fan of classic aesthetics, opt for a more neutral shade like black to keep the look subdued.

To do this, start by removing the door and any hardware. Then, move it to a flat surface and sand it down to get rid of the current finish. When you’re ready, apply a coat of primer. Follow that with a coat or two of exterior paint in the color of your choice. Finally, allow the door to dry completely before re-installation.

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Try out some new exterior hardware. Image: Terracotta Design Build

Replace your hardware

If you’re not up for the workload that comes along with painting your front door, you can still make it shine by replacing your hardware. Since replacing these pieces only involves using a screwdriver, your biggest consideration, in this case, is which finish to choose. Opt for a color that will contrast with your front door in order to bring the biggest amount of visual interest to the space.

Beyond your doorknob or handle, consider adding a few additional accessories to finish off the look of your doorstep. The addition of a door knocker will help bring a stately feel to your property. Some fresh house numbers will help create a welcoming vibe, as well as providing passersby with useful information if needed.

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Treat yourself to some new exterior lighting. Image: D. Claire Designs

Invest in new lighting

Having proper, working lighting on the front of your home is crucial for helping to guide visitors in the dark. Plus, it can make a strong style statement for relatively little expense, helping you celebrate National Curb Appeal Month. You can buy lighting sets at nearly any home improvement store. In this case, your main concern should be matching the finish to your other hardware.

Installing a new light properly is mainly about following the instructions. That said, when you’re working with electricity, there are a few key factors that you’ll want to keep in mind. First, be sure to turn off your existing lights and the breaker. Then, pay close attention to which wires connect as you remove the existing fixture. Feel free to take photos, if needed.

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Use flowers to add visual interest. Image: F. M. Construction Ltd

Add colorful planters

Colorful flowers are a great way to add a pop of visual interest to any space, especially your front entrance. When chosen correctly, they can add layers of color, texture and shape to your overall design. In particular, planters are a good option for this space because they are self-contained and don’t need to be worked into your existing landscaping.

When picking which flowers to use in your planter, your top concern should be making sure that they will flourish in your environment. Consider things like the amount of sun exposure that the flower needs, as well as the amount of water. After that, it’s all about finding a plant or flower that is aesthetically pleasing to you.

Happy National Curb Appeal Month! How will you be celebrating?



8 Swoon-Worthy Wallpaper Ideas

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Chevron Wallpaper

Runge Chevron Temporary Wallpaper by Wrought Studio. Image:Wayfair

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Decorating with wallpaper is back in our creative toolbox. We’re loving the new patterns and colors. This is not the paper that we rush to cover or remove when we buy a home. The top wallpaper trends include graphic patterns, large-scale florals and metallic accents. In addition to the enticing new selection of colors and patterns, temporary wallpaper is now available from most major home retailers. This means there’s an option for every home or rental. Here are some of our favorite ways to use wallpaper:

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Rose Gold Wallpaper

Create a stunning accent wall with a stylish pattern like Graham & Brown Rose Gold Reflections. Image: Graham & Brown 

1. Create an accent wall

When your space needs a focal point, painting an accent wall is a simple solution. Before you reach for that paintbrush, check out wallpaper options first. By choosing one with a colorful palette or geometric design, you’ve just increased your accent wall’s impact. If you’re struggling to create a pulled-together look in your home, adding a stylish wallpaper accent can create a unifying element for mismatched decor — and can transform an entire room with just one wall. Your foyer, living room and bedroom are just a few of the spaces that can benefit from a pop of color and pattern.

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gray wallpaper

Elevate the style of your neutral room with Graham & Brown Innocence. Image: Graham & Brown

2. Add texture to a neutral room

Neutral and monochromatic rooms can be so soothing, but after a while, you may be ready to add more drama to your space. When your goal is to update your decor without completely changing the color palette or furnishings, adding a neutral textural or patterned wallpaper could be the answer. Choose with your existing color palette in mind and focus on pattern and texture to change things up. Your wallpaper texture can have an organic vibe, like grasscloth, or a tone-on-tone pattern which can give the illusion of texture.

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Candice Olson Wallpaper

Dial up the glam with Candice Olson’s Velocity. Image: Bellacor

3. Channel your inner glam

We love wallpaper that expresses your inner glam with metallic patterns and accents. Your foyer, powder room and living room can get a glam makeover with a shimmering foiled wallpaper featuring a floral or graphic pattern. Touches of metallic color add light and dimension to a room, so don’t worry about choosing a design with a dark background. 

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Silver Wallpaper

Create a stunning focal point behind your bed with Graham & Brown Souk Damask Pewter. Image: Graham & Brown

4. Spice up your bedroom

We love the look of wallpaper to transform a bedroom into a glamorous retreat. Floral and damask patterns are perfectly suited for bedroom walls. For a total makeover, designs can be applied to every wall. If you love the look but you want a more subtle vibe, an accent wall probably works best for you. An accent wall behind your headboard is an easy way to add a dramatic pattern that you may not be comfortable with for an entire room.

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Create a special little space with Tempaper Self-Adhesive Marrakesh Wallpaper. Image: Lord & Taylor

5. Define a tiny space

Wallpaper is a clever option for claiming a small space in your home. A neglected corner or niche becomes a useful space when you define it with pattern and color. Your newly-claimed space can become a small dining nook, a workspace or a reading corner in one afternoon with fresh walls and a few new pieces of decor.

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Tropical blue wallpaper

Lush and tropical Graham & Brown Ubud Tropic is an artful way to accessorize a room. Image: Graham & Brown

6. Use wallpaper as art

Can wallpaper be considered art? Yes! Look for mural-style designs with big images and colorful patterns. Bold colors and images can add just the right amount of pattern to a minimalist room without overwhelming it. 

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Stone mural wallpaper

Add drama to your dining space with West Elm Quartz Stone Mural. Image: West Elm

7. Reclaim your formal dining room

Our dining rooms have been a bit lonely lately. Wallpaper can re-energize our neglected rooms, making them a magnet for entertaining and everyday meals. Whether you choose a bold mural style for an open dining space or something more formal, you can definitely be more adventurous in the dining room because it’s not a 24/7 space. Like powder rooms, our dining rooms are the perfect spot for expressing our creative style.

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Home Office Wallpaper

Personalize your home office with Expressionist Rounds Gold Wallpaper. Image:CB2

8. Create a stunning home office

Though your home office should be functional, don’t scrimp on making it inviting, too. The top wallpaper patterns for a working space have simple color palettes and geometric lines that create interest without being too busy. The perfect choice for your home office is a paper with color and pattern that make you feel good whenever you walk in the door, inviting you to linger and work.

How have you used wallpaper in your home? We’d love to hear about it below.



20 Creative Ways to Use Natural Textures in a Home

If you love the outdoors, it’s understandable to want to incorporate nature into your living space. When it comes to bringing natural textures into the home, you can go as drastic or as simple as you want. If you’re looking for bold statements and design elements that make you feel like you’re practically outside, take a look at these creative ideas for surrounding yourself in nature. From wild natural texture accent walls to full indoor gardens, these ideas will make you rethink the division between the indoors and the outdoors.

Wild natural stone

One of the best ways to use natural textures in a home is to choose natural stone accent walls or other stone features. There’s nothing like natural stone to add visual interest to a room. And you may end up feeling like you’re hiking in your favorite canyon right at home.

Natural stone also comes in a wide variety of patterns and colors, so it can match almost any style. If you go bold enough with the pattern, that stone becomes its own focal point around which you can design the rest of the room.

Natural Textures Lava Stone

Lava rock on the wall adds tons of texture to the space. Image: DRD

Natural Textures Green Stone Bathroom

Colored green marble means an eye-catching stone texture and the shades of a forest. Image: Domb Architects

Natural Textures Geode Bathroom

This natural geode design creates an interesting focal point for this bathroom. Image: Mezzanotte Carpentry

Natural Textures Stone Sink

Natural stone can also go in creative spaces, like in a sink base. Image: Angela Wells Interior Design

Natural Textures Rock Wall Floor

A good way to add cohesion to the space is to choose a natural stone texture for the wall and floor. Image: J Design Group

Greenery walls for natural textures in a home

One of the most striking trends to come out of home design in the last several years is greenery walls, also sometimes referred to as living walls. These place living plant life right onto a wall. And nothing gets natural texture into a home like living plants.

Some styles go thicker, with full moss textures covering the wall. Others opt for a more minimal vertical garden. Another easy idea involves filling alcoves with plant life. Greenery walls are also a great way to section off outdoor living spaces. Whether you want a statement wall or a subtle natural accent, the styles below have all bases covered.

Natural Textures Greenery Wall Bathroom

A moss texture adds solid coverage across this large greenery wall. Image: Habitat Horticulture

Natural Textures Plant Wall Outdoors

Greenery walls can also contain different types of plants for a variety of textures. Image: Dyer Grimes Architecture

Natural Textures Outdoor Area

Greenery walls are a good way to section off an outdoor living space, especially in close urban areas. Image: Millennium Interior Designers

Natural Textures Plant Alcove

Sometimes you can cheat and get a “greenery wall” with just a small accent plant in an alcove. Image: Werschay Homes

Natural Textures Plant Panels Wood

Greenery walls can also have smaller panels for contrast between the wood and plant life. Image: ERA

Indoor gardens

Another way to bring natural textures into the home is through the use of indoor gardens. Like greenery walls, these make use of natural elements to add texture to a space. However, these are more traditional horizontal gardening spaces.

What results is a traditional-looking space that just happens to have a gorgeous garden in part of the floor. Other spaces take a whole room and make an indoor garden oasis. It’s a great way to get some nature in your life if you live in an urban area or don’t have much outdoor space.

Natural Textures Staircase Ferns

If you feel like you don’t have space for indoor plant life, try playing with previously unused floor space, like under staircases. Image: CplusC Architectural Workshop

Natural Textures Zen Garden

An indoor Zen garden is a good example of how gardens can work right in the home. Image: Garden Mentors

Natural Textures Stone Pathway

This natural design found a way to combine a stone pathway with a garden indoors. Image: Allen

Natural Textures Floor Garden

This home demonstrates how a small garden can fit right along the wall of a hallway. Image: LandStudio

Natural Textures Foyer Plants

Greenery makes an inviting addition to foyer spaces. Image: Paris K Design

Getting creative with natural wood

Then there’s the standby for getting a more natural vibe in a space: natural wood textures. There are as many ways to work with this idea as there are types and finishes of wood.

You can use natural wood on the wall, sure. But other ideas include using it in actual sink fixtures, countertop spaces and mirror frames. You can use as much natural wood as you want for a truly rustic space or keep it a little more minimal for an updated look. Take a look below to see some of the creative ways designers have used wood to get natural textures into the home.

Natural Textures Wood Counter

By incorporating rustic wood design into a counter space, you can showcase that natural texture with ease. Image: Laura Fedro Interiors

Natural Textures Wood Floor

Using textured, reclaimed wood as the floor is a popular way to get natural wood textures into the home. Image: Totally Floored

Natural Textures Wood and Stone Bathroom

Wood works well when combined with natural stone designs in the shower and on the floor. Image: High Camp Home

Natural Textures 3D Wood Panel

Three-dimensional wooden paneling helps add visual interest to an all-wood space. Image: AREA

Natural Textures Wood Sink Bathroom

Wood can also be used in key fixtures, like this raised wooden sink. Image: Danjoseph Architects

There are countless ways to use natural textures in a home, whether you prefer the look of wood, stone or plant life. Are you inspired by any of the ideas above? We’d love to hear about it below.

The post 20 Creative Ways to Use Natural Textures in a Home appeared first on Freshome.com.



Building Versus Buying a Home: What’s Right for You?

You’re finally ready to purchase your own home, but the options are overwhelming. Any visit to a real estate website nets you hundreds of potential properties, from empty lots to decades-old homes. One of the most important decisions to make — and something you should decide before you start shopping — is whether you’d prefer building versus buying a home. Both have specific pros and cons that can drastically affect your new home experience. Look at building versus buying from every angle to decide whether you want a brand-new home or if you prefer an existing home and all of its charms.

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building vs buying new home

Building a home means getting exactly what you want. Image: Greenbelt Homes

5 reasons to build

Building your own home takes time and patience, but you’ll be rewarded with a place you can really call home. Some of the benefits of building include:

  • A custom approach. When building your home, you’ll get to choose from a catalog of floor plans or even design one from scratch. That means building a home that makes sense for you and your family. Whether you’re a five-star home chef, wild about sports or into entertaining, you can get exactly what you need, rather than just working with what you have.
  • No surprises. You’ve probably heard the horror stories: A family buys an existing home only to find it filled with mold or riddled with foundation issues. Building new means you won’t have any of the surprises or risks that come along with purchasing an existing, older home.
  • No renovations. A cheaper existing home can suddenly become a money pit when the kitchen requires a complete gut job or all of the carpeting needs to be replaced. Because you design a new build exactly the way you want, you won’t need any pricey renovations for a few years. This cuts down on stress and cost, so you can enjoy your home after your move-in date.
  • Warranties. Most reputable home builders offer warranties when you build. Warranties typically cover cosmetic issues (think paint and grout) for a year and mechanical issues (like electrical and plumbing) for two. That means if you have any problems, you can have experts take care of your home free of charge. Buying a home means you’re responsible for the costs and repairs from the day you take possession.
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building versus buying old home

An existing home means a quicker turnaround time. Image: Locati Architects

5 reasons to buy

Not everyone is the build-your-own type, and that makes sense. Buying your own home definitely has its benefits, including:

  • Tighter time frame. The average turnaround to qualify for, shop and purchase a home is one to two months. In comparison, the average build time for a new home is seven months. If you’re ready to move ASAP and don’t want to rent while you build, buying a home makes more sense.
  • Established neighborhood. Most new builds reside in new developments, which could mean noisy construction and a lack of amenities. Buying an existing home means a more established neighborhood, where you know what to expect as far as the general feeling of the area. You can even talk to potential neighbors to see what they like and don’t like about an area.
  • Mature landscaping. If you love the idea of lush trees and gardens, an existing home is your best bet. New homes require new landscaping, while buying an existing one gives you access to more mature trees and landscaping spaces.
  • Existing homes give you plenty of wiggle room when it comes to price negotiations. The things you might see as drawbacks — think tired carpeting — become bargaining chips for you and your agent. New builds are priced based on materials and contractors, so you won’t have a ton of space to negotiate a better price. If you’re bargain-hunting, a fixer-upper at a cheap price helps you stay in-budget.
  • Less stress. Let’s be honest: Building a new home is stressful. From material selection to construction delays, no build is without hiccups. When buying an existing home, all you need to do is choose the one you love. No delays, no big decisions, no flaky contractors: just you and your new place.

Making the choice of building versus buying means examining the way you live and how that reflects on your home. For some, the idea of starting from scratch and checking off that must-have list is appealing. For others, the low-stress environment and better deals found in the existing home market makes more sense. Either way, deciding what you want from day one puts you on the path for the home that’s right for you.

What is your stance on building versus buying a home? Do you prefer one method over the other? Let us know about it below!