The beauty of barn doors

Barn doors moved out of the farmyard and into the house a long time ago. Recently, however, they have become an even more popular and useful feature in residential design. It’s not hard to see why. “Many homeowners hear the term ‘barn door’ and think of reclaimed, rustic wood, which may not be a look they’re interested in,” says Linda Jovanovich of the American Hardwood Information Center. “But contemporary barn doors offer many more aesthetic choices than their traditional image suggests. We’ve noticed a trend toward the use of solid, fine-milled hardwoods like walnut and cherry for sliding doors, which not …

Mix, match and mosaic: The top interior design trends of 2018

Whether you’re redecorating your home, changing up that old carpet for warm hardwood flooring, or just longing for a fresh coat of paint and some new accents in the living room, the design trends this year are all about texture, style, and surprises. It’s hardwood floors celebrating knots and imperfections or variations in plank sizes and color. It’s wood on your walls and faux stone tile backsplashes. It’s mixing unexpected materials to create an entirely new look. Mix, match, and mosaic is what it’s all about this year. Sara Babinski, a designer for Armstrong Flooring, offers her view of the …

Top trends to inspire your outdoor living

Outdoor living spaces rank first among special function rooms desired by consumers, according to the American Institute for Architects, and so homeowners are expected to be going all-in for the outdoors in 2018. Trex Company, a maker of premium decking and railing, has gleaned insights from contractors, homeowners and industry experts to compile the following outdoor living trends that will dominate this year: Year-round enjoyment Among the biggest trends is a shift away from seasonality as consumers adopt more of a year-round mindset, no longer restricting outdoor living to spring and summer. Thanks to new high-performance materials and innovative design …

5 top trends for your kitchen in 2018

It’s your home’s focal point. The site of some of your best moments and the base of operations for entertaining — it’s your kitchen, and no room in your home is more valuable. A magnificent kitchen defines a home, and bringing your kitchen to this level means capitalizing on today’s top trends. Many of the trends that will define kitchens for the year appear first at KBIS, the kitchen and bath industry convention held every year in January. More than 600 brands attended this year’s event, and here are the five trends that stood out from the show and are …

The hidden dangers of oversharing on social media

Locking doors and windows and leaving a light on used to deter criminals from breaking into homes when you were away on vacation, but our obsession with sharing photos and experiences in real time on social media has created a whole new security risk for travelers. According to Mercury Insurance, burglaries involving social media have become all too common these days. “Instead of looking for physical signs that a home is unoccupied, burglars can simply scan Instagram posts, monitor Twitter feeds and check Facebook for signs that someone isn’t home. Posted photos can also show them exactly what to look for …

5 strategies for protecting your valuables

Home is your sanctuary, your castle, the place where you feel the most secure and protected. It is natural to feel this way. So, it is not surprising that you store your prized possessions and valuables at home as well. But is that the best choice for all your valuables? The recent wildfires in California are the latest in a string of devastating disasters to impact homeowners in the U.S. Together with the hurricanes along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and tornadoes and flooding in the Midwest, residential property losses are expected to approach $100 billion according to CoreLogic. Making …

Equipment warranties 101: What you should know

From smartphones to mattresses, almost everything you buy comes with some kind of warranty. How can you ensure you get the most benefit from a warranty, especially for a major investment that’s also critical to the comfort of your home, like a new furnace? “Warranties are meant to assure a homeowner that the furnace they’re purchasing will do what it’s supposed to, is free of defects and meets applicable government regulations or standards,” says Chip Wade, HGTV expert. “However, warranties are often very specific about the circumstances under which the manufacturer will repair or replace the furnace if it doesn’t …

How to avoid cold weather woes

As sweater season knocks on the door, it’s time to prepare for the brisk temperatures ahead. This winter, keep your home, health and well-being top of mind with these simple tips to avoid cold weather woes. Winterize your porch Install plexiglass panels to keep the cold weather out, allowing you to host friends and family, protect your furniture from snowfall and minimize spring cleaning. Once winter is over, simply pack up the panels and store them for next season. For those who splurged on flooring, apply a protective finish, such as a water sealer or stain, to ensure excess moisture …

Escape with 2018’s top trending color

Whether you’ve been a loyalist to the same shade of green for the last decade or if you’re an evolving follower of trends whose color choices have shifted over the years, the trending color of 2018 is sure to surprise and intrigue you. Indeed, black is back. But how was this classic shade named the trending color of the year? While many assume the choice is random, trending colors are based on many influencers, but where do they really begin? Trending colors arise from consumer preferences, which are formed by societal influences, such as politics, economics, lifestyle and overall sentiment. …

Keep your home pest free this year

Now is a great time to establish year-long goals and resolutions, including home improvement goals you’d like to tackle this year. The first step is to create a pest control plan for your home. It’s important to establish good habits early in the year to help prevent potential pest problems. Unchecked, pests can wreak havoc in your home, but there are several steps homeowners can take to help avoid an infestation and keep their home safe and their family happy. Sanitize Clean your kitchen, pantry and any other places where food is stored. Remove crumbs and wipe up sticky drink …