by Sue Tughan
Pets are members of our families. They no longer require just a doggie door, plain old dog bed or outside dog house. Over 73 million U.S. households have a dog as a pet, and 90 million have cats, so why shouldn’t your pets be considered when making home improvements? If you are looking for some creative ideas, here are a few ideas that can easily be incorporated into your remodeling project.
What was once “wasted” space under the stairs, housing seasonal storage, outdoor gear, etc. consider an out of the way cozy dog house, that will certainly give you style points from both your four legged friend and guests alike!
You might consider a room with a view. Floor-to-ceiling windows will not only let more natural light into the house, but they can also provide your pet with a way to see or maybe catch a breeze. As an added touch, you can install bird feeders near the window for extra visual interest.
Where to hide the litter box or dog bed? Many people settle for the laundry room, but the box is still there and in plan sight. This is an easy project. Just remove the door or cut a cat size hole in the door of your cabinet for your kitty to get in and out. That’s it. An out of the way litter box that is easy to access and change.
No matter what you decide, keep your furry loved-ones happy by giving them a home they’ll love!
by Sarah Steurer
|Is your master bath functional for your needs and has storage for all your “stuff” and maybe a great shower or soaking tub for a little self-indulgence? If not, it’s probably time to consider a remodel. Once you have made the decision to make your bath your personal retreat, consider some of these tips.
Be a Little Selfish
If you Plan to Sell
Tile is the number one surface used in bathrooms today. This is a semi- permanent choice for homeowners because of the durability. Because of this, it is important to make tile selections that would appeal to all types of potential buyers. This doesn’t mean you have to settle for a bland, beige colored bathroom. You can add personal style and color with your vanity, towels, rugs, window treatments, wall art and paint. Whether you choose a relaxing, jetted tub or an over-sized shower with multiple shower heads, make it your own tranquil retreat.
by Sarah Steurer
Winter in the northwest can mean high power bills for most of us. Here are a few easy tips to help avoid getting sticker shock when the heating bill arrives!
Close the damper on your fireplace, when you are not burning
Even if the doors are closed, the damper being open can suck warm air up and out of the chimney
Seal windows with painter’s plastic
If you have older windows in the home, some find it helpful to cover them tightly with painter’s plastic to prevent leaks and drafts. If you don’t want to block your view out of the main windows, even covering windows in the basement could help do the trick
Change furnace filters
Putting fresh filters in your furnace will ensure the heat can flow thoroughly throughout your home. Furnace filters should be changed once every 1-2 months, especially in the winter
Adjust the temperature
When you are away at work most of the day and while sleeping, it is a smart idea to drop the temp in the house. Most thermostats are digital these days and will allow for temp changes at different times of the day. Cutting your heat back by 10 degrees while you are not home can save up to 10% a year on that power bill
Close the vents
By closing the door and vents in that guest room or other rooms not being used could easily cut 100 – 200 square feet off of your energy footprint
by Sarah Steurer Design Consultant So, now that you have remodeled the house, what are you going to do with the old things you replaced? Perhaps, you changed out your 20 year old French Doors with some that don’t leak and let cold air in the house? Well, here are some ideas to reuse the old and create awesome new and functional art pieces for the house.
Old French Door = New picture frame and coat rack
A fresh coat of paint and a little sanding can help create this look on an old French door. First sand down the existing paint, which is probably chipped anyway, and simply re-paint with a color of your choice. Next, attach pictures into the glass window panes from the back. If you would like to make a coat rack, like the picture above, cabinet knobs from your local hardware store make perfect hooks at a low price. Overall, this is pretty simple way to recycle the old and show off your DIY skills.
Pallet left over from a remodel delivery = Herb garden
Don’t have much to do here with this left over pallet. Just find a flat spot in the yard or patio and fill it with dirt. The existing gaps in the pallet create perfect rows for planting herbs or vegies. For this great sample and more ideas go to www.themicrogardener.com Another great use for that wood pallet is to create a hidden and clean space for your garbage cans. Place one or two Pallets on the ground to keep cans out of the dirt and mud. Then attach another pallet with a couple of strong screws to create the “wall” which blocks the view of the cans.