Interior painting is one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to breath new life into your home. Whether you're looking to sell or just want a change to your living space for personal enjoyment, its important to find the right type of paint and the appropriate colors. Today I'll help you out with the basics...
The vast majority of interior paint these days will either be latex or oil based. For those new to home painting, the differences will probably leave them scratching their head. Luckily, it's very simple. Latex-based paint is very easy to work with on interior walls and dries relatively quickly. Oil-based paint has the advantage of durability, but dries slowly and is a pain to clean up, usually requiring turpentine or paint thinner. Generally, latex-based paint is preferable for most of the walls in your home, while oil-based paint is recommended for your trim and baseboards to give them extra longevity.
All paint comes in a variety of sheens, from a flat matte to high gloss. This may just seem like an aesthetic preference, but there's more to it. High-gloss paint is easiest to clean once it's dried, but makes any imperfections in paint and walls more noticeable. This type of coat is probably best used in a room that sees a lot of mess and dirty hands, such as a kitchen or child's bedroom. Flat or matte paint is much more affordable and is the best way to hide imperfections in your walls, but isn't very easy to clean and picks up a lot of dirt over time. Semi-gloss paints strike a fine middle ground between the two and come in a variety of coats such as eggshell or satin.
Choosing the right color for your walls and trim is wholly dependent on your current home-improvement goals. If you're looking to sell the house soon, a basic color such as white or off-white is appealing to buyers. Its allows them to paint over the walls with a new color easily and isn't a turn off when they first see it, unlike say cobalt blue with hot pink.
If you're painting your walls for your own enjoyment, knock yourself out on the color, but heeding a few pieces of advice will help you get the results you want. If you're attempting to give the room a soothing quality, stick with soft colors and keep the room fairly monochromatic, using different shades of the same color. You can give a room a rich, warm feeling using deep, darker colors accented by neutral colors such as almond or reddish-brown. If you want a room to offer an exciting atmosphere, use strong and vivid colors like yellow and orange and contrast them with dark colors like black or brown.
Choosing what color to paint the ceiling of a room can be important the end results also. A darker ceiling creates the illusion of a smaller room, which is beneficial if warm and cozy is the vibe you are going for. On the other hand, painting the ceilings a lighter color then the walls can give a room a false sense of scale and make a space more impressive. If neither of these are part of your goal, go ahead and paint the ceiling the same shade as the walls.
You may really love the color on that little paint sample card of yours, but remember that its going to look a lot more intense when the entire room is painted the same shade. Whatever color you decide on at the paint store, try to dial it down a shade or two before you make your purchase.
Congratulations on moving in to your new home or space! Now that your furniture is all settled, have you considered how to enhance your landscape and garden? Gardens add value to your home and really help to express personality and creativity. Not to mention, gentle gardening can be fantastic for your overall health and well-being.
So you might be wondering.. Where do I even begin? Starting a garden is easy when you choose plants with the right temperament for your climate. Here are our top 5 easy-to-grow plants on the Space Coast! Find your green thumb!
Aloe Vera – Aloe Vera is one of the most useful and pretty plants that one can grow in a Florida Garden. Aloe’s require minimal watering and are incredibly hearty in the heat. They do well in sandy soil, and can be located in full or partial sun. This is especially helpful in the summer as many plants tend to dry out in the summer heat and require a lot of watering. Another added benefit of Aloe is medicinal and skin nourishing qualities if you cut the lower leaves off and slice through the side of them to access the gel-like center. It is excellent to soothe sunburn from being on the beach, and if you have an upset stomach you can even eat the flesh inside the leaves to soothe it.
Dessert Rose – Desert roses have a long flowering period and are very resistant to Florida weather. They have breathtaking flowers in pink, white, and red that bloom constantly in the spring and the summer. They only need to be watered once or twice a week and are simply splendid. If trimmed and kept for a few years they can get quite tall. An excellent choice for central Florida weather. They flower best when planted from a seed, but it is possible to plant with trimmings. Don't be afraid to trim! It keeps them healthy :)
Buddha Belly – Buddha Belly Plants do best in partial Florida sun and grow really full, nice leaves. They hold a lot of water in the stem so it is okay to miss a few days of watering. They flower interesting orange coral shaped flowers between the large green leaves. The are a really fun addition to any garden!
What is your favorite plant to grow? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!
Lighting can take up a large portion of your home’s energy costs, 11% on average, but replacing old incandescent bulbs with newer lighting can dramatically reduce that. You’ve probably seen those odd spiral-shaped light-bulbs in appliance stores and other people’s homes. They’re called Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFLs) and they consume a whopping 75% less energy and last up to 10 times longer than traditional bulbs. If you want to take that energy saving to the next level, you can invest in LED bulbs, which in many cases have an incredibly long life of 50,000 hours. That’s nearly 50 times the lifespan of an incandescent bulb!
2. Cook Smart
You may think making a home-cooked meal is a good way to save money, but you probably don’t realize your kitchen appliances use a ton of energy. If you’re looking to be energy efficient, then changing up the way you cook may be in order.
4. A New Water Heater
Large storage water heaters have been the household standard for well over a hundred years, but instantaneous, tankless water heaters have recently become a viable alternative. These models directly heat the water as it travels through an inlaid pipe, delivering hot water to the user without the typical delay of a storage heater. Most importantly, it doesn’t waste energy and have standby costs as the water is heated by demand.
5. Less Laundry is More Savings
You can reduce the amount of water and energy you consume when washing and drying your clothes with these simple tips:
6. Shower Smart
Showering is one of the easiest ways to waste excess water and energy. The average shower in America uses over 17 gallons of the world’s most precious resource! Besides cutting down on your shower time you can also install low-flow, water-efficient showerheads to cut back the speed of water usage. You can test to see if your shower is using water efficiently with a simple trick. Get a empty gallon of jug and cut off the very top. Hold it up to the showerhead and turn on the water. If it takes less than 24 seconds the fill the jug, it’s probably time to buy a new showerhead.
7. Be Cool, but not That Cool
Here in Florida, a massive portion of our energy costs go towards cooling and air. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to mitigate this problem:
9. Don't Let Air Escape
Make sure all your doors and windows are properly sealed. Massive amounts of energy can be lost when conditioned air escapes through these cracks. The door to the garage is most often overlooked and can be an easy fix by purchasing a door sweep.
10. Get an Energy Audit
Get your utility provider to perform an energy audit for you. Most will do this without a fee. An energy auditor will be able to tell you how to save on energy costs in ways specific to you home. They can also find any issues with your appliances and household utilities that could be wasting energy (poorly installed insulation, leaking pipes, etc.)
Author: Kyle McCuller, REALTOR®
Are you getting ready to sell your home and considering how much work you should put into it before it goes on the market? To remodel or not to remodel? To answer this question one must ask "what's important to the prospective buyer"? In my experience there are generally three kinds of buyers:
Of course there are plenty of buyers who want it all and still want to get a bargain, but in today's market they are out of luck.
Now consider the current condition of your home. Try to be objective. It might be best to get the opinion of a friend who will be honest with you. Is your home almost perfect - great condition and up-to-date? Maybe everything is great except your carpets are looking worn. If that's the case, it may make sense to replace those carpets and work toward getting top dollar for your home.
But what if there are lots of things that aren't updated? In this case, it's less likely it will be worth spending the time and money to get top-dollar. (An exception to this is if you have a home in a highly desirable location such as river front. In this case the added value to your home may be significantly higher than the cost to renovate. Ask your REALTOR® to do a market analysis of the price with and without renovations.)
Most of us find ourselves falling into the third category. Our homes aren't completely updated but they also aren't a throwback to 1970! If this describes you, consider the following things that can be done to make your home seem more up-to-date without spending a lot of money:
While curb appeal is important, it is my opinion that if you have a limited budget your money is better spent making the improvements described above then doing any major front yard landscaping. Of course, you want to keep it mowed and trimmed. Even a front yard full of weeds can look somewhat presentable if it is kept all the same height. However, consider your backyard more carefully. ... In Florida outdoor living is important.
The bottom line is you want a prospective buyer to have an overall good impression of the home. It's OK that it isn't perfect, but you don't want them to remember it as the dated house that has to be completely remodeled!
If you live in Brevard County, you can click here to arrange for a free consultation of recommended improvements and staging tips of your home.