How to Give Your Home the Fixer Upper Look

Fixer upper homes are extremely popular in 2016. The concept of transforming a house that’s outdated and a bit past its prime into a beautiful home fit for a photoshoot has led to countless blogs, magazines, books, and even television shows documenting the process. With the rise of DIY projects and information available on the internet, getting the fixer upper look is now well within the reach of virtually all homeowners.

While a major renovation project is often highlighted in fixer upper stories, getting a fresh new look in your home doesn’t require extensive technical knowledge, a huge budget, or even drastic changes. Knocking down walls and redoing cabinets, flooring, and countertops is guaranteed to transform the look of your home, but it’s also possible to get the same benefits of a fixer upper project with a significantly smaller investment of time, money, and energy.

Check out Blindster’s tips below for quick and easy tips for creating the fixer-upper look on a minimal budget and without sacrificing your free time:

  • Fill your home with natural light.

Fill you Home with Natural Light

Via Pinterest

 

Fixer upper homes are commonly bathed in natural sunlight, as there’s often a big emphasis on open floor plans and large windows. You don’t have to make any drastic changes to your walls or your windows to take advantage of natural light. In many cases, simply cleaning the inside and outside of your window glass and removing thick, heavy, and light-blocking curtains and window treatments and replacing them with more easily adjusted blinds and shades, such as top down/bottom up sheer shades, will go a long way towards filling any room in your home with beautiful sunlight and transforming its appearance.

  • Focus on light and neutral colors throughout your home.

Focus on Light and Neutral Colors Throughout Your Home

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One thing many fixer upper homes have in common is their color scheme. Light, neutral colors are popular in modern homes for good reason—they open up spaces and complement almost any type or style of furniture and décor. In addition, neutral color schemes allow you to decorate with a few key pieces that feature bold colors, patterns, and designs. The contrast between your primary color scheme and the bright colors in the room (think chairs, pillows, and blankets) will create a truly eye-catching display.

 

  • Update your small decorative pieces for a modern look.

Update Your Small Decorative Pieces For A Modern Look

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Dated furniture has become a trendy option, especially if it’s paired with a few high-quality and modern centerpieces like couches or dining tables. But if you’re looking to save money, or if you’re operating on a tight budget, you can get away with replacing small, inexpensive decorative items with modern pieces. The cost of replacing your décor won’t break the bank, and you’ll be surprised at how effective it is at changing the look and feel of any room in your home.

 

  • Upcycle furniture when possible.

Upcycle Furniture When Possible

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Two of the most common textures seen in fixer upper homes are natural wood grain and metal. Both of these textures are also common in vintage furniture and items that can be upcycled into furniture. There’s no shortage of ideas for upcycling old furniture, whether it’s your own or secondhand furniture you’ve picked up from a thrift store, garage sale, or online marketplace. Many fixer upper homes now seamlessly blend vintage styles with modern décor, and upcycling furniture is a great way to achieve that look without breaking the bank.

 

  • Boost your home’s curb appeal with greenery and flowers.

Boost Your Home's Curb Appeal with Greenery and Flowers

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Even if your home isn’t an architectural masterpiece, you can significantly increase its curb appeal with some simple landscaping that’s well-maintained and thoughtfully designed. Flower boxes under your windows, a lush and green lawn, and a few eye-catching plants centered around your front door or porch can go a long way towards improving the appearance of the outside of your home. For an added punch, you can also bring plants indoors to add a splash of color.

 

  • Hang vintage clocks, mirrors, and maps.

Hang Vintage Clocks, Mirrors, and Maps

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A common trait shared by fixer upper homes is décor that’s tasteful and yet mostly neutral. That’s where items like clocks, mirrors, globes, and maps come into play. These items can vary in their size, shape, color, and overall appearance, but they fit almost all décor styles and rooms. They also serve a practical purpose. Mirrors help make rooms look larger, while clocks make it easier to keep track of time. Finally, if you’re prone to wanderlust, having maps within plain sight makes it easy to stay motivated to plan vacations and keep crossing off bucket list travel destinations.

 

  • Open up your cabinets and shelves.

Open Up Your Cabinets and Shelves

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Fixer upper homes often utilize open-air storage spaces. That means cabinets with no doors and prominently displayed shelves. These concepts are particularly common in kitchens and bathrooms. Getting this look is easy and is often as simple as removing the doors from your cabinets and getting creative with paint or wood stains. However, to truly pull off this look, it’s vital that you keep your dishes, drinkware, cutlery, and other items that are normally hidden from view perfectly organized and arranged at all times. Otherwise, the decorative appeal quickly devolves into disorganized chaos and clutter.

 

  • Use old hardcover books and glass jars as accent pieces.

Use Old Hardcover Books and Glass Jars as Accent Pieces

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If you’re struggling to find items to use as accent pieces and décor throughout your home, you can’t go wrong with a handful of old hardcover books and some glass jars. These items are staples of fixer-upper homes due to their versatility and universal appeal, and they look great on shelves, mantles, and tables.

How to Make Your Home a Cozier Place

Your home is your sanctuary—your refuge from the stresses of everyday life. While simply having a place to call your own where you can kick back and relax after a long day is great for the mind, body, and soul, it can’t hurt to make sure that your home is as comfortable and inviting as possible.

Most people have either lived in or visited apartments and homes that had a decidedly cozy feel to them, but they may find it difficult to put their finger on what, exactly, created that feeling. Cozy living spaces can vary in size, layout, and décor, but they often share a few common aspects that contribute to a feeling of peacefulness and tranquility.

If you’re looking to transform a single room or your entire home into a cozier place, check out Blindster’s tips below:

  • Choose comfort.

When shopping for new furniture or bedding, it’s common for homeowners to fall in love with the appearance and aesthetics of one style but greatly prefer the comfort level of another. While it’s great to have a couch that perfectly complements your living room décor, you may find yourself feeling out of place or even avoiding the room altogether if it’s not comfortable. On the other hand, a couch, blanket, or comforter that may not be the most cutting edge, but is undeniably comfortable, will quickly grow on you and enhance your enjoyment of your living room or bedroom.

  • Choose warm colors when painting and decorating.

While cool colors are “in” for many home décor experts, it’s important to remember that colors can have a strong impact on mood and ambiance. If you’re looking for comfort and coziness, you can’t go wrong with bold colors and warm neutral accents. In addition to being energizing, variations of colors like red and orange can also make rooms feel warmer, which is a subtle but noticeable effect—particularly in drafty rooms or large rooms that are difficult to heat evenly during the fall and winter.

  • Create a reading, breakfast, or relaxation nook.

There are two times when most people want to feel relaxed: right before work and right after work. Creating a peaceful place to get ready to face the day, as well as a place to unwind and relax after a full day at work, can go a long way towards making your home a cozier place. Window seats are ideal for creating nooks, but they aren’t necessary. A comfortable seating area anywhere in your home that’s designed specifically for times of relaxation is effective at helping you prepare for an important meeting or interview, and it can also be a great place to catch up on your summer reading and to shed the stresses of your day.

 

  • Decorate to impress yourself, not others.

What good are decorations if they don’t appeal to you on a personal level? It’s easy to fall into a trap of decorating your home solely based on the items you see in magazines, blogs, and in-store arrangements, but doing so can rob your home of its character and its charm—not to mention make it feel uncomfortable. When decorating, always choose items that make you happy, whether they’re sentimental, quirky, or just plain fun to have on display.

  • Buy rugs to create comfortable spaces on hardwood, tile, and concrete floors.

Many newer homes and apartments are trending away from carpet in order to create spaces that are easier to clean, less allergenic, and less prone to damage from leaks and spills. However, the tradeoff for the removal of carpet are floors that can be uncomfortable, cold, and less child-friendly. The good news is that a few well-placed rugs are a great replacement for wall-to-wall carpeting that can easily be cleaned and even replaced if necessary. Plush rugs in bedrooms and living rooms create a more comfortable environment, while also reducing the sounds of footsteps—which can be a welcome relief for homeowners with upstairs bedrooms.

  • Control your home’s natural lighting with the right window treatments.

Lighting plays a big part in the coziness and comfort of a home. Being woken up at sunrise due to ineffective shades or blinds isn’t a great way to start your day—especially if it’s the weekend and you’re trying to sleep in. But at the same time, relying solely on artificial lighting due to thick blackout shades and curtains can also put a damper on your mood and your home’s comfort level. Having the right kind of shades not only improves the appearance of your windows, but it also gives you more control over the amount of sunlight that enters your home depending on your mood, your required privacy level, and the time of day.

 

  • Get your fireplace in working order.

If your home is equipped with a fireplace, you already have one of the most effective tools for creating a cozy room and living space. Fireplaces can require some work and some initial expense to clean and prepare, especially if they haven’t been used in a long time, but there’s no substitute for spending cold nights in the fall, winter, and early spring watching movies or reading books by the fire. Fireplaces are a delight for the senses—the smell of wood, the sound of embers crackling and sparking, the sight of the flames dancing, and the feeling of warm air that fills the room.

 

  • Fill your home with flowers and plants.

One of the best parts about relaxing outdoors is taking in the sights and smells of flowers and plants. Bringing them indoors is a great way to make your home a more comfortable, inviting, and cozy place. Plants are not only great decorative items that add color and life to rooms, but they also help freshen the air and even help concentration and focus. You don’t have to go overboard to get the positive effects of indoor plants—a handful of well-placed and well-maintained plants can quickly liven up your home. If you have pets, make sure that any plants you bring into your home are non-toxic and safe for cats, dogs, and other small animals.

P.S. All photos used in this blog were sent in by actual Blindster.com customers.

Home Trends and Patterns in 2016

It’s hard to believe, but 2016 is already halfway over. But just because the year has reached its halfway point doesn’t mean it’s too late to hop onboard with some of 2016’s top home trends and patterns.

In fact, there’s never been a better time to update your home’s appearance and décor than right now. Completely reinventing your home’s style doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, either. With the plethora of DIY websites and blogs, there are more inexpensive options than ever for creating any home style you want on almost any budget.

To reinvent your home by following some of 2016’s top interior design trends and patterns, check out Blindster’s tips below:

  • Mix and match kitchen cabinets

Mix and Match Kitchen Cabinets

Photo via Pinterest

 

For years, the prevailing philosophy for kitchen design and décor was to make sure everything matched. However, that philosophy is quickly changing, as new homes with two toned cabinets are becoming more and more common. The contrast created by natural woodgrain cabinets at the top of your kitchen and painted cabinets and drawers at the bottom, for example, can create interest and sufficiently modernize a kitchen without a full renovation. This styling idea can also give you the chance to use bright colors in your kitchen without over doing it.

 

  • Technicolor décor and paint

Technicolor Decor and Paint

Photo via Pinterest

The word technicolor isn’t just a dated reference to color television shows and movies. When it comes to home décor and design, technicolor also describes a rainbow-like pattern of primary and secondary colors—in other words, a color wheel used for decorative purposes. Shelves, curtains, pillows, and blankets with technicolor patterns and color schemes can dramatically brighten and liven a room, and the throwback to the décor philosophies of the 1960s also creates a retro and even nostalgic vibe in your home.

 

  • Modern floral prints and patterns

Modern Floral Prints and Patterns

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Floral design saw a strong resurgence in the late 80s and early 90s, but changing tastes and design philosophies meant that couches, chairs, furniture and bedding with this print were mostly relegated to guest bedrooms and thrift stores by the mid-2000s. However, floral print is making a big comeback in 2016.

 

Whether it’s due to boredom caused by minimalist patterns and neutral colors, or nostalgia and a longing for the past, floral patterns are popping up everywhere in 2016. One key difference between floral prints and patterns of yesterday and today is that modern floral designs are typically larger than life. Instead of a pillow containing dozens of depictions of life-size flowers, it instead only showcases a handful of oversized illustrations.

  • Gold décor and accent pieces

Gold Decor and Accent Pieces

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Technicolor and floral prints aren’t the only blasts from the past that are becoming more popular in 2016. Gold décor is also gaining in popularity in everything from kitchen appliances to wall colors to bedding. Gold-colored mirrors, lamps, shelves, chandeliers and other small decorative items are also a great way to add color and vibrancy to any room in your home. Gold accents and furniture are also beautifully complemented by colors like white and navy.

 

  • Hanging light fixtures

Hanging Light Fixtures

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This trend has been moving towards the forefront of home design and décor for a few years, but it’s hitting the mainstream in a big way in 2016. Hanging light fixtures are perfect for kitchens and bathrooms, where they create a dramatic lighting display and an interesting visual effect. They can be installed almost anywhere, but are most commonly seen above wet bars, kitchen islands, bath tubs, and vanities.

  • Unfinished and unstained wood

Mark Minchow

 

There’s a distinct beauty in bare wood that has received only essential treatments to prepare it for residential use. More and more homeowners are noticing the inherent beauty in all types of wood grain and buying or building furniture that is as stripped down and natural as possible. Unfinished wood headboards, beds, shelves, tables, and desks can serve as great accent pieces and even conversation starters in your home, and they’re often cheaper than their finished and stained counterparts.

  • Contrasting visuals and design choices

Contrasting Visuals and Design Choices

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A great example for contrasting design choices is a kitchen with standard stainless steel appliances, neutral wall colors, granite countertops, and seating with brightly colored fabric and cloth patterns. One of the most popular home trend and pattern choices in 2016 involves subverting expectations and creating displays that may otherwise clash but in actuality are complementary and enhance a room’s appeal and beauty.

  • Traditional formal dining rooms

Traditional Formal Dining Rooms

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Once a staple of homes and the primary gathering point for families, dining rooms fell into disuse and disinterest in recent decades. With families keeping up more and more demanding schedules, it wasn’t uncommon for dining rooms to transition into study spaces, homework areas, or even home offices. But dining rooms are reclaiming their former places in modern homes, and they’re doing it in style. Modern dining rooms are now prized for their upscale furniture and elegant décor as part of an effort to recreate the formal gathering and entertaining areas of the past. They also give families an excuse to put away cell phones and other distractions to focus on just being together.

 

  • Textured furniture

Textured Furniture

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The comfort level of furniture isn’t dictated just by how soft or firm it is, but also by the quality of the texture in its fabric or upholstery. Texture is a highly overlooked part of home design and décor, but more and more homeowners are picking out couches, chairs, and loveseats that meet a wide variety of criteria, including beauty, comfort, and yes, even texture. Faux fur, overstuffed and even tufted cushions, and loose leather or suede all create drastically different seating experiences and visuals, and mixing, matching, and experimenting with all types of furniture is a great way to create your ideal living space.

  • Organic and natural shapes

Organic and Natural Shapes

Photo via Pinterest

 

Most homeowners are used to seeing furniture and décor crafted into perfect squares, circles, and rectangles, but an increasingly popular trend in 2016 is the use of organic shapes that occur in nature. That means irregularly shaped tables, slightly askew and asymmetrical bookcases, and chairs that appear to be part modern art and part functional furniture. Organic and natural-shaped furniture and décor is still a relatively new trend in homes, but adding a table or chair created in this design philosophy is a great way to create an eye-catching centerpiece for any room in your home.

Cheap Upgrades to Make Your Home Look More Expensive

Everyone wants to maximize the value of their investments, and there is typically no greater investment for the average American than their home. But when it comes to appraising a home, whether it’s time to sell or just time to take stock of your assets, the little things often make a big difference in its value.

While changing the core selling points of a home—the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the square footage, the number of floors—can be extremely expensive and often impractical, changing small details to maximize a home’s value is something that’s within reach of all homeowners.

Subtle changes that make your home look and feel more expensive can not only increase its value on the housing or rental market, they can also increase your sense of pride in being a homeowner. In addition, many of the most effective small changes are easy DIY projects that only require a small investment of money and time.

If you’re looking to make your home’s appearance rival the more expensive houses in your neighborhood, but you don’t want to break the bank, check out Blindester’s top tips below:

  • Focus on curb appeal and landscaping.

Focus on curb appeal and land scaping

Even if your home’s size and architecture aren’t its strong points, you can still make a big impression on guests and potential buyers/renters by creating and maintaining impeccable curb appeal. At a bare minimum, keep your front lawn trimmed and raked, and do your best to fill in bare patches where grass has died or turned brown. In addition, it’s also important to keep your driveway, steps, and walkways swept and clear of debris.

 

For more intensive curb appeal improvements, consider investing in a professional landscaping service to create a beautiful design and arrangement in your lawn. In addition, washing away years of dirt and mildew accumulation from your home’s exterior can enhance its appearance and value, as can a fresh coat of paint.

 

Lighting is another overlooked aspect of the exterior of many homes. A lighted pathway and tasteful lighting around entryways not only serves as a security feature and crime deterrent, it also makes your home look more elegant while drawing attention to its beauty.

  • For interior upgrades, put your money in the kitchen.

Put Your Money in the Kitchen

The appearance of virtually every room in your home can be dramatically improved with nothing more than a fresh coat of paint, some new window treatments, and a cohesive decorating plan. But it’s difficult to make a home look more expensive when it has an outdated kitchen.

 

If you’re looking to make upgrades and renovations inside your home, put as much money as you can towards the kitchen. It’s easy to look past outdated features and designs in homes that have modern kitchens complete with up-to-date appliances, flooring, countertops, and cabinets.

 

However, complete kitchen overhauls aren’t always necessary to improve your home’s perceived value. Depending on your budget, smaller upgrades like painting the walls and cabinets, replacing the handles of your drawers and cabinets, and replacing the lighting can go a long way towards minimizing the drawbacks of an outdated kitchen.

  • Remove dated and worn out furniture and décor.

• Remove dated and worn out furniture and décor

Nothing makes a home look older and more worn out than furniture and décor that’s, well, old and worn out. Décor trends for modern homes are trending towards a “less is more” philosophy, and that’s certainly true for homeowners who want to maximize the value of their properties—especially when it gives them an excuse to donate or sell their frayed couches and chipped coffee tables.

 

A small, classy arrangement of well-maintained furniture and decorative pieces can give a room the same elegant appearance and ambiance as one outfitted with brand new furniture and décor, but at a fraction of the price.

  • Choose neutral colors throughout your home and accent with bold colors.

Suzanne Gallagher

Whether you’re painting, purchasing new furniture, or adding décor, choose neutral colors for your home’s base color scheme. Living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms all look great when dominated by browns, beiges, and whites, and these colors are also predominately found in more expensive homes. If the idea of neutral colors bores you, choose accent pieces and decorative items that are awash in bold colors to create a visually striking contrast to your wall colors and furniture choices.

 

  • Add crown molding to your walls and ceiling.

Add Crown Molding to Your Walls and Ceiling

Crown molding—or ceiling trim—is a staple in many high-end homes, but installing it in your home can be an inexpensive weekend DIY project. With a few basic tools and a few online guides, you can radically transform the appearance of your home’s walls and ceiling in the span of a single weekend. If your home is on the smaller side, choose low-profile molding that won’t take up too much space on your walls. Large molding may make your home feel smaller and more cramped due to the shortening effect it can have on ceilings—especially low ceilings.

 

  • Upgrade your home’s window treatments.

Update Your Home's Window Treatments

If your windows are bare or are equipped with broken, outdated, or ineffective window treatments, getting new blinds and shades is an easy and inexpensive way to make your home look more valuable. At Blindster, we offer a wide variety of window treatments that will fit any budget while blocking out light, making your windows look bigger, and enhancing the appearance of any room in your home. For inexpensive window treatments that are both elegant and effective at controlling light, check out our 2 ½” Deluxe Faux Wood Blinds.

  • Enhance your lighting.

Enhance Your Lighting

Photo via A Designer at Home

 

Lighting plays a major role in how people perceive their environments, and the same principle holds true inside homes. When indoor lighting is mostly composed of overhead fixtures and incandescent bulbs, it’s easy for guests, potential buyers/renters, and even the homeowners themselves to feel bored and uninspired. Creating more dramatic lighting displays with different types of bulbs, lamps, and even small chandeliers is a highly effective way of transforming a room or even your entire home into a more elegant space.