Bright Ideas! for your Home

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Home Improvement

Judith Sutton ABR CRS IDS PMN ASP IAHSP SRES GREEN   908 803-0472




Invited Guest Contributor: Michelle Brunner


If you want your house to make a great first impression, paint the front door a fun, glossy hue. Red is a lucky color in many cultures. A red door meant "welcome" to weary travelers in early America, and in churches, it represents a safe haven.

What Does a Red Front Door Mean? | Sherman Oaks, CA Patch

Two other hues gained favor: orange and yellow.  Both colors are associated with joy and warmth. One thing that should go: is an outdated screen door. Get rid of it or replace it with a storm door with full-length glass that you can switch out for a screened panel.

Paint Wall Colors Light and Neutral

Walls painted in a neutral tone.

Stick to colors like beige or gray, especially on the first floor, where flow is important.  Neutral walls give you the greatest decorating flexibility, allowing you to easily switch up your accessories. And if you have two small rooms next to each other, painting them the same neutral color helps them feel larger.

 Let The Sun Shine In Your Kitchen

Light and bright colors like white and yellow, reflective paint, and plenty of overhead lighting. Be generous with your choices! Loving that butter yellow!

Image result for images of yellow kitchens

Hang at Least One Mirror in Every Room

Mirror hung above fireplace.

Mirrors can make a space feel brighter because they bounce the light around the room. But placing one in the wrong spot can be almost as bad as not having one at all. Put mirrors on walls perpendicular to windows, not directly across from them. Hanging a mirror directly opposite a window can actually bounce the light right back out the window.

Scale Artwork to Your Wall

Bedroom with large painting about fireplace.

Avoid hanging little art pieces too high on the wall The middle of a picture should hang at eye level. If one person is short and the other tall, average their heights. Also, take scale into account; for a large wall, go big with one oversize piece or group smaller pieces gallery-style. For the latter, don't space the pictures too far apart; 2 to 4 inches between items usually looks best.

Layer Your Lighting

Kitchen with three kinds of lighting.

Every room should have three kinds of lighting: ambient, which provides overall illumination and often comes from ceiling fixtures; task, which is often found over a kitchen island or a reading nook; and accent, which is more decorative, highlighting, say, artwork. For a living room, you should have at least 3 watts (42 lumens) per square foot. One visual trick is using uplights. Placing a canister uplight or a torchiere in the corner will cast a glow on the ceiling, making a room seem bigger

 Anchor Your Rugs Under Furniture Feet

Living room interior with furniture on are rug.

Follow these basic rules for an area rug: In a living room, all four legs of the sofa and chairs in a furniture grouping should fit on it; the rug should define the seating area. At the very least, the front two legs of the sofa and chairs should rest on it.

 Use Visual Tricks to Raise The Ceiling

Raised curtains in bedroom.

If your ceilings are on the low side, paint them white to make the room feel less claustrophobic. Hang curtains higher than the windows, to trick your eye into thinking the room is taller. Most standard curtain panels measure 84 or 96 inches, allowing you to go about 3 inches above the window casing before the length gets too short. Leaning a large mirror against a wall can also make a room seem taller. (see a good example of this on my website home page).

Give Old Finishes an Updated Look

Got dated fixtures? Reinvent them with spray paint and inexpensive refinishing kits. A 1980s brass chandelier can get a new lease on life with a quick coat of hammered-bronze or satin-nickel spray paint. There are many options to choose from

Even outdated kitchen cabinets benefit from a few coats of white paint and new hardware. And if you thought there was no hope for Formica countertops, think again. Try Rust-Oleum Countertop Transformations, a DIY counter-coating product that mimics stone, making even the ugliest 1970s counter look fresh! Thought there was no hope?

Which update intrigues you the most?  Need help deciding?  Call me. I can help you decide which updates are best for your home!  

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