Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wainscoting, Christmas Table Settings, and Hot Interiors that Sell for 2010

December 13, 2009

Interior Design: Wainscoting
Color Me This: A Christmas Table
Real Estate Spotlight: What's Hot for 2010 for Home Trends


Interior Design: Wainscoting

Every room should have a hint of elegance, or at least I think so. One way to easily add elegant style to a room is by putting up wainscoting. It is the decorative wood paneling in rooms and is often topped with crown molding otherwise known as chair rails.

Wainscoting was first used in the homes of the wealthy in the seventeenth century as an additional way to hide what was a common problem in homes: rising damp. Rising damp was when unwanted moisture enabled the growth of various fungi in wood, causing it to rot. It also made the plaster and paint deteriorate and wallpapers loosen. There were also stains caused from the water, salts, and mold that would appear all over the lower parts of walls.

Rising damp is no longer a problem, but wainscoting is still an affordable and beautiful architectural detail to add to your home.

Wainscoting is also fairly easy to install and there are a few different options of the paneling you can choose from:

• Raised paneling – the style most often used in formal settings and was first used in the seventeenth century.
• Beadboard – often used in cottages, hallways and foyers.

Before you begin any project make sure to do two things:

1. Consult a professional how-to guide (read about what you are doing) or licensed contractor. Also, speak to professionals at your local hardwood store such as Lowe’s or Home Depot.
2. Make sure you have all of the tools and have measured everything accurately and make sure everything is level

Tools needed for installing wainscoting:
Wainscoting panels – these come in pre-finished or ready-finished styles and are usually about 45 inches tall when installed with moldings and chair rails
Painter's Caulk
Brad nail-gun or hammer and finishing nails

Starting with the baseboard you will want to work your way around the room always remembering to leave 1/16 of an inch in corners or where places give or take with the shifting of the house. Then do the same with the paneling and finish it off with the chair rail (molding).

Once you are done you will have a beautiful space that reflects just a hint of elegance without overdoing it.


Color Me This: A Christmas Table

Christmas is about 2 weeks away and if you haven't started to think about table settings, it's a great time to start. Here are a few ideas I came across that I would love to use at my table. Don't forget fresh flowers, candles, feathers, ornaments, wrapped boxes, vases, glass beads, fake snow, trees, and reindeer all make great little details for the table.


Real Estate Spotlight: What's Hot for 2010 for Home Trends

2010 is right around the corner, and with it comes the hope. The real estate market is slowly improving and next year will be no exception. So, if you were waiting to sell your home 2010 might be the year for you.

One thing that homebuyer's are looking for is quality. Tight economic times mean stretching dollars, being reasonable, and wanting to get the most for your money. If you did improvements with cheap materials, or covered up walls with faux finishes that look cheap - pull it off. No one wants to reinvest money putting in good materials over sloppy second hand jobs. It also insults homebuyers that you thought they wouldn't notice the quality.

Popular home styles include Victorian, Tudor, Queen Anne, Arts and Crafts Bungalows, Colonial and Greek Revivals (we will call these the old-world charm style houses). Additionally, Cape Code's and Mediterranean style homes are also very popular.

When it comes to kitchens a lot of the style requirements are the same. Buyer's want the new updated black or stainless steel appliaces, 6-burner stove tops, double ovens, islands, open space, spice racks, and lots of storage (with a pantry if possible).

Bathrooms are essential to selling anyhome. Buyer's want lots of glass, stone, and style. They are looking for everything from stand alone vanities and showers with whirlpool tubs to skylights and openness.

As far as flooring, if you have carpet please just go ahead and pull it up. Buyer's want hardwood - and not the laminate, cheap type either. They are looking for at least mid-grade, real hardwoods. The other alternative is eco-friendly flooring like bamboo. And, the more decorative the better.

Homebuyer's are also looking for original touches to the home. If you own a older home, update the door handles, fixtures, front door, etc with items like vintage knobs, lights, and glass that will go with the original style of the home.

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