Small House

 

 

While a lot of people is focusing on getting a tiny little space where to live to save money, others spend a fortune just renovating an old house. So where is the middle line when we talk about housing?
All depends on what you really need.
Small spaces are not made for everyone, even if you want to save money, and you are committed to accepting the challenge that means to be living in a small space, so called today “Tiny House”, it can be very difficult to find the appropriate setting that allows you to live well.
I’m all for the small spaces, I like them and I think that we can really do a lot with small spaces. We don’t need to be crazy having this huge amount of space, which  probably in most cases, will be not used. Small spaces are not tiny houses, or tiny spaces either, small spaces are exactly that, “small”.

What do I refer when I say small? Something that is smaller than the traditional concept of living spaces, but big enough to allow you to live comfortable, and have all the amenities that you need to feel at home. I think that the concept of small should be associated with the idea of having all that I need in less space, so in this case, having a house with 3 bedrooms, and four baths  under 1300 sq ft,  sounds like a crazy idea, but is not, is real, and you can have a lot of real construction with just 1300 sq ft of space.

Take a look of the model that I have created; Let say you just need one bedroom in your home but all the other amenities, then, the lower floor should be enough, with some modifications you can have 700 sq ft of construction, and have everything that a regular house has.

I like to do models and challenge my abilities to create functional spaces, take a look at this “Small House”, please if you feel to leave a comment, you can write below, thanks.

 

 

48″, I just need that!

When it comes to looking for space, sometimes we don’t look in the right places. We wish for a whole room, but the question is what to do if we don’t have that room, where are you going to look then?

Well, space is usually there, maybe we can retrieve some of it if we move things around, or maybe changing the size of some pieces of furniture like a big sofa for a more slim model could do leave us some free space. You can also decide to eliminate some furniture in order to make space for something else, but usually, we don’t follow this advice.

Is elemental that we learn to work with a floor plan, looking from above give us a completely different view of the space. Then, also very important to have the right measurement for the items that we have in the space. Let’s say we have a family room and we want to have a space for a work desk or study desk. Knowing the right size of the furniture will allow you to place them in the floor plan to play with them around.

Move the pieces in different directions, see how much can you squeeze them without taking from natural paths, door way, hallway etc. Switch furniture side to side, sometimes grouping pieces in a different way will allow you more space on the other end.

48″ will do the magic for you, think that you will make full use of the 48″ horizontally and also vertical, accommodating shelving system full to the ceiling line where you can put books, some supplies, or anything that you usually have on the desk surface.  Some smart storage under the desk will help to keep the space free of clutter and don’t forget the chair, not a bulky office chair, but something small frame that can be easily pushed in, out of the way.

Make this comparison in your mind, a chair is about 20 inches wide, 2 chairs are about 40″… do you get the idea? Is there in your family room or any other room space to put 2 chairs? if yes, so you have a space to accommodate a new desk area!

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and do not forget about the color, it can change the perception of the space, look at the same space with different color in the next picture

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Small Spaces Needed!

I love the challenge that some projects present, but sometimes it gets really difficult to be able to accomplish what the customer is asking for. My experience in small properties has been extensive in the last few years. I live in a state where a lot of the houses are small, and in most of the urban neighborhoods, houses are small, and some of them are too old, where it becomes impossible to make small renovations without having to touch a major project.

Very often when I meet with customers, I have been asked a repeated request; I want to create an office space. What can you do when you have a house that only has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, living and dining rooms and a kitchen? Of course, it can be challenging, but once you put down a floor plan of the existing space, things definitely can change. Looking from above, we usually are able to see where the extra space needed is, and see also other arrangements that can be done in order to create better functionality for space.

Sometimes, it can be a closet space, plus a segment of the hallway that can be converted into a new space, or a room can be shortened without taken usable space, or an extra powder room, that nobody uses anymore, doesn’t matter what are you going to take away, but what it matter is that you don’t reduce the usable space to accomplish your design, instead, increase the productivity of it.
Here are some samples of really small spaces created from shortened of a room.

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The Magic of the Color

Well, it is true, the color has an element of magic in itself, when you come to realize that the different hues and tones can alter our mood, or you have never seen a beautiful color, that takes your breath away?

We are very lucky that we can actually perceive the color that we know as red, blue, green, plus obviously white and black which are very important for the rest of the color that we can see. Who would imagine that companies today expend a great amount of money and time, doing research on how the color affect our life, how to find better color palettes for every year, and of course how to create a better quality of paint.

Personally, I have done several courses on paint, from how the light change the color, including differences in types of light, as it is the natural light, incandescent , fluorescent , halogen, and led, and of course how the paint can influence the human senses.  An easy way of understanding this is associating the red with foods, blues with rest and serenity, and green with nature. Why? Because it is the main source the point of origin of the color, that’s why.

So taking this basic point of view, I will always recommend trying out colors in your décor, do not be afraid of paint your walls, on the contrary, painting the walls will actually help to dress a room, more than anything.  I like to talk a lot about paint because it is the less expensive décor that you can do in your house, but do not forget to follow a simple rule “coordinate colors”. This means before you start painting walls, plan your palette, go to the store and get some paper samples and put it together as a professional would do for you.

If you can’t pay the service of a professional Interior Decorator to do for you a selection of coordinated color through the house, you can give a try yourself, start with the first floor, most houses have two floors. Pick a room to be the principal and then take from there.

On the paint store, you will find samples of paints indicating different color with a variation on the hue, this means from dark to light or vice versa, the strips have at least 4 or 5 different tones, or the brochures, with coordinated colors for different types of rooms.  You can absolutely do the same, follow the ideas and check on the colors, and once you have decided what color you like, you can darker or lighter.

For most people, going neutral on the paint for bathrooms is the best, this means that you will pick a color from the neutral palette; in general,  these colors are “whites”, but different types of white. You can go on the warm side, this means that the white has more yellow in it, or you can pick a colder white, with more blue in it. Whites are perfectly fine for other rooms too, but be careful, too much of the same white, will show as absent of paint at all.

I’m going to share with you same basic example of what color does to a room.

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Existing Bar area, nothing will be change, except the color!
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Same place, different angle.
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The difference is big, the space is now complete and without adding any other element.

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Now take a look to this other picture, is the same place.

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I know, not everyone like dark colors, but I just wanted to show you that you can do some changes in your decor just adding “new paint”

The next few pictures are from a small deck, you can use the same principle outdoor, add color, new coat of paint will refresh any space.

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Dressing up a “Wall”: Pictures Frames

Dressing up a wall can be sometimes a little challenging if you want to create a wow effect. From the first idea to the point of finishing the project, you could encounter some discouraging situations. Let walk together through a series of possibilities of wall décor.

The old fashion one picture frame, close to ceiling heights belongs to the past. On the other hand, you have to be careful to not overdue it, with too many, or frames too big on the wall.

As with most things, there’s a right and a wrong way to hang pictures frames. The most common problems include hanging the picture securely so it doesn’t fall, pinpointing the nail location so the picture hangs exactly where you want it, and hanging it perfectly level.

One of the best ways to do this task is to do first a template. Using either paper or cardboard pieces, you can make sure that the result will be what you have envisioned for space. You can use some brown paper, the same that is used for wrapping, or some other, depending on the size of the wall space that you will be covering. Once you have determined the size of the paper that you will need, pick the floor as your surface to work.

 

 

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If you have already an idea, lay down your frames over the paper, and start playing around to see how they look before you start making marks on the paper and creating the template that later you will position on the wall. Later trace the frames over the paper in the position that you want the frames. Take the measurement from the top to the frame to where the nail will go, then make the mark on the paper, as shown above.

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Before to start making the template, gather all the tools that you may need like pencil, measuring tape, paper, removable tape, tacks or pins, and of course a hammer, and proper nails or hooks.

Any room can be a good place to display your photographs or art of your preference. The common areas like living room or family room are the spaces more used to display memories, but today you can use many other areas of your house to make a great display. Entrances, halls, stairways are all excellent spaces to display a collection of memories.

 

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Entrances or Halls are a perfect place to set a gallery, pick a theme along with a color that suits the rest of the decor.
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In between large windows is another place that can be used to display a gallery of pictures.
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Don’t be afraid to display pictures in an office space, just look for the right way of displaying, and don’t go too large, keep it on the medium size display.
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Stairways are most boring places, but with some creativity you can transform this space into a something very nice. A place to display pictures of your family trips, school pictures, etc.

Do not forget before to start taking hands on your project, to do measurements of the space and get the appropriate amount of pictures frames. Decide on pictures that will be on display,, and make sure that you know what type of nail or hook you will need for the frames.

Based on the type of room you have decide to do this gallery, you can explore the possibilities for the frames. You may like a display very abstract and colorful that will be in harmony with the décor, perhaps in the family room, or something more contemporary and monochromatic for the living room.

You can bring life to a space, look for ideas, there are endless ideas available for you on the internet, just one advice, be consistent with the décor that you already have, but remember that you can be creative too.

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Great way to display a gallery is using different sizes and color for the frames.
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Work with stencils and decals is another great idea that you can explore.

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How to change a room

Many times in this field, we find the same question, How can I change this room? Well in my time of practice, I have spent a lot of time just to visualize little changes, that will give to the room a great look.

From my point of view, not always, the average customer has enough money just to embellish a room with expensive decor, that’s why I like so much the idea to create a 3d rendering of the room, to really see how this room would look, before spending a lot of money and most important, see how it would look.

The art of creating 3D renderings for a room is very appreciated when you don’t have an eye for visualizing changes, the fact of not be able to see something that is not there is very common, so here is where I come in, to offer a visual aid, CGI (Computer-generated imagery) which will allow the customer to see what I’m proposing for the space in question.

An smart idea is always look for the ways to put together samples of what do you envision for the space, take pictures, select images from the internet, or magazines. Work on the colors, then furniture selection, and last but not least, decor that will unify the ambient.

Take a look at the following image

original before design

This is a regular room, it looks like the Living room, normal walls, oversize furniture, poor window treatment, and lack of personality. Ok, so my customer wants to invest a little money in this room, she wants a nicer look, fresh, perhaps more contemporary.

My proposal will be based on build- ins, color and textures. Take a look to the following picture

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The built-ins will replace the oversize sofa, and she will be able to display a lot of decor in it, from family pictures, little knick-knacks, and memorabilia. Removing the carpeting from the room is a must, and adding a proper window treatment is an important part in the change. the new flooring in the room will bring to the room, texture, that combined with  color of the wall will set the tone for this room. Still, the customer will be able to add a living room set in this room, but the room will not concentrate just in the seating pieces or the bright color of the walls.

When the budget is larger, my ideas can go further, take a look to this image:

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If you don’t have a hallway, or entrance in your home, this will be a great solution, leaving either 6 or 8 feet before you proceed to the living room area. The built-ins and the new ceiling-soffit, plus the built-in banquettes, could add to this room a lot of personality.

The most important thing, designing a room, is to know the purpose of it.

I hope these ideas help you if you ever need to re-do your entrance!!!

Saving at “Gardening”

Saving at Gardening

Every year, spring is the season that we spend more time out, in the garden, cleaning debris from the winter, and making new flower beds, hanging baskets and any other embellishments for the outdoor area, to make it pretty, cozy and welcoming. But, we not only consume time, but money too, and sometimes, a lot more than what you really would like to spend.

I like gardening since many years ago, I started to spend a lot of time in my backyard, and after a few years I started to get a little smarter about how to spend my money in flowers that would come back the following year, so I don’t have to waste all my investment from my previous year, every time.

Most of my money allowances for the garden, go to “perennials”, which will come back the following year and so on, and then the rest of the money go to buy “annuals” which only would last through the summer, most of them. But even with the annuals, I have learned how to save.

I like to buy many of the hanging baskets to hang around the back deck, and flower pots, already mixed with annuals for the steps of the stair, they are always pretty and easy to maintain, and of course a lot of Chrysanthemums for the Fall. When I start preparing the backyard for the winter season, some of my plants go inside, and other will remain outside, but I don’t get rid of the annuals, even though I know they will die, and I kept them until spring.

What I like to do with all those dead plants, and baskets, is to recycle the topsoil and the flower pot. How? Easy, I will show you how, and you will see that in a few steps, you can save money, and if you get really good at it, every year you will save, more and more money.1

Get some tools that you may need, like a pair of scissors, garden tools, a plastic bag and some flowers of your preference.

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Now pick one of the old flower pot, and get ready to empty it out into the plastic bag

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Clean all the topsoil, remove all dead roots, and this is the best time to add food for plants (if you want. Mix it very well, breaking out all pieces or chunks, then fill out the pot again, so you can start planting some of the flowers and greens that you have picked.

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Is important that you prearrange your selection, and consider the size of the flowers and greens, they will keep growing, so you need a little space in between them.

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This is my selection, some petunias, a couple of pink dianthus, and some greenery. Instead paying about $18.99 for a single basket, I spent about $15.00 dollars and I made 2 baskets!

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Flea-Market Finders!

Flea-Market Finders!

Spring is here and with it a whole new list of things to do around the house. Like always I like to share some useful ideas, something that it is easy to do and actually serve a purpose in your décor and of course “Low Budget”.

One of the best way to get a “Low budget Project” moving on, is setting the budget, so whatever this is, stick to it. Once this is set, decided what room of the house will get the benefit of this new décor, and then explore your options around your area. Usually during the spring time a lot of good findings can come from the “Garage Sales” and the “Flea-Markets”.

Ok here we have some of the ideas, what about something for the “Family Room”?

Old French Panel Door 24”x80” – Oversized Picture Frame

Your option of rustic finish or you can applied a fresh coat of paint to match trimming in the room or a different to leave it as an accent in the room.

Go to the hardware store and get a hanging kit, if it comes with eye hooks, use those, they hold more weight than other. You can use screws for the wall or if you are going to use chain from side to side, make sure measure the distances very well, so it’s hangs correctly.

Print pictures accordingly to the size of the lite (s) in the old door. Cut small dots of double side tape to secure the pictures to the glass. Don’t forget to give a good cleaning to the glass previous to glue the pictures.

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Old Picture Frame 30” x 24” – Jewelry Organizer

Keep your eyes open for those old fashion non wood frames, usually heavy on the gold, these are the perfect one to create a very nice way organize your jewelry and ad a piece of décor in a room. Hang it in the bedroom, outside of your closet area, hallways, etc.

Remove all backing and glass, clean it and paint it with the color of your choice. Get in the local hardware some metal mesh, pick the small grid, it will hold better small items and it is easier for cutting it. To install you will need a players to cut it, hot glue, glue gun and some ribbon (fabric). Cut the mesh to size, apply enough of glue all around the frame, position the mesh and then to cover use fabric ribbon, all around the frame (all this from the back of the frame). Let dry and then paint all.

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The Super Easy Headboard!

Ok this is something that will make feel so great, you need a few supplies; Craft paper 12”x12”, craft cork 12”x12” tiles, and white glue. Pick the design of your choice, approximately 9 of them for a large bed, less for a smaller bed, glue each paper design to a cork tile, after you are done, get a brush and some extra white glue and apply a thin coat all over of each designed tile. Let them dry very well, prepare the wall, measure and glue to the wall but please use Scotch® Removable Mounting Squares and you are done!3

See these other ideas and let you crafty inner you start blooming amazing projects to embellish your space, and compliment your décor.

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