Interior Painting: Step-By-Step for an Easy Process.

No interior design is complete without a complementary wall color to tie together the design, and create a seamless, personal style for each room.

Design Ideas

A plethora of information is available to inspire design ideas, DIY how-to’s for painting, and other exhilarating ideas for the home. Changing seasons, popular designers, magazines and marketing teams from various companies inspire new, desirable color pallets, patterns, and finishes to match style and practical needs of every individual.

Abundant information and ideas inspire creativity, but can prove overwhelming in the planning process– especially for planning multiple rooms, or an entire home. Here is a guide focused on the painting process of interior design: a guide to step-by-step planning, and how to enjoy the process.

Some considerations: Budget, Time, & Practicality.

Consider your budget: there are endless money-saving opportunities when choosing interior paint designs. Estimate your top budget allowance before looking into the details of expenses. Plan theoretically your ideal finished product on paper, research paint pricing and services, and compare the estimated budget to the ideal expenses. From here, expenses can be altered through frugal or DIY methods.

Time: Consider the time-frame you would like the entire project to be completed by– are you moving into the home at a specific date? Set a realistic ideal time-frame, and estimate room-by-room, or step-by-step, time to fit within the larger frame.

Practicality: This refers to the color and finish of the paint. Families with children often choose paints with a finish for easy-cleaning, or a darker color to hide small imperfections that occur over time. Additionally, this can refer to the over-all design of a specific room: what paint+design would provide the most practical use of space for your lifestyle?

The Color:


^ An excellent page for color choice & design: Here 

After budgeting and creating a time-frame, begin researching paint color pallets and design schemes. Choosing color is truly just a matter of preference: there is no “right” or “wrong” pallet, and most advice centers around what works best for others. Consider each room as it’s own color pallet: wall paint is incorporated into the entirety of the design.

Neutral pallets are a favorite, and offer a timeless appearance that can be “re-edited” through various pops of color in decor. Neutral pallets come in a variety of light and dark colors, suitable to brighten or contrast any room.

Vibrant Colors: Though nowadays is seems as though every color is a neutral color, come pallets stand out from the crowd. Generally, neutral colors do not compete for recognition, and non-neutrals demand the eye’s attention. These colors are complementary to small spaces, accent walls, or bold design.

Patterns, Borders, & More: These can be used for any room for a multitude of purposes: adding texture, opening/contrasting spaces, incorporating color, etc. Patterns work well adding texture on accent walls, and can be extended to furniture for a complete design. Boarders serve to contrast other colors, or highlight vibrant colors and patterns in the room.

The Finish:

Finishes range from matte to gloss, and can be purposed for easy cleaning, single-coat, and

Flat/Matte: This finish is ideal for camouflaging small wall imperfections such as bumps and minor cracks. You may utilize this finish to avoid caulking/repairing these imperfections, so long as you ensure the dings or dents are small enough to hide. Flat finishes do not reflect light, and work well for darker colors to create a comfortable, soft space.

Flat Enamel: A variation of the standard matte, this finish provides the same qualities, but is a bit easier to clean. It will not reflect light, but works well for rooms where consistent cleaning may be necessary, such as bathrooms, kitchens, or mud rooms.

Eggshell: This finish is a low-sheen, easy-clean option, that will subtly reflect light to create a soft, but vibrant glow.

Satin: Arguably the most versatile, the satin finish offers a velvety appearance, is highly durable to clean, and offers a slight gloss with light reflection. This type of finish is often used for trim, doors, and ceilings, but can be used on walls as well.

Semi-gloss: Moving up the “glossy gradient”, the semi-gloss finish is generally used for trim, windows, doors, cabinets, etc; but can be used for walls if desired. Paints with this finish lay down smoothly, and offer a subtle, easy-clean shine.

Glossy: High-gloss paints are the most reflective, but are not often used for interior painting for their resemblance of enamel or plastic. This finish is becoming more popular as an accent for cabinets and trim, but must be applied with care on interior wall surfaces.

The Quality: 

When considering the final product, price and quality generally go hand-in-hand. Though, understanding your needs, and how this translates to price (paint “features” you are buying) can save you from overspending on brands advertising high-priced “all-in-one” paints.

Here is an excellent guide for what to look for, and how to spot the difference in high and low-quality paints:  Choosing Quality Paint


The Quantity: 

One of the most common questions our company receives concerns the quantity of paint needed for a project. This generally depends on square footage, types of surfaces to be painted, and number of coats.

A general rule-of-thumb is 1 Gallon of paint/ every 350 Sq Ft = Yields 1 coat.

We suggest you measure each room:

  • Measure wall dimensions + window/door dimensions.
  • Subtract window & door dimensions from wall dimensions.

To make life easier, Lowe’s Paint Calculator does all of the work for you after taking general measurements.



Mommy & Me: Patriotic 4th of July Canvas Shoes!








A simple, affordable DIY idea that Mommy will love, too! Painted canvas shoes are a fun craft for families, friends, and kids!   00521


Photo: Etsy                                     Photo: Dream A Little Bigger


Inspiration for this blog is brought to you by Pretty Providence’s Blog, where you can find full instructions on these adorable shoes!

For this project you will need:

  • Canvas shoes:
    • Can be found at Walmart, Target, Hobby Lobby, or online via Amazon/Ebay.
  • Fabric Markers (red & blue)
  • Stars/stripes stickers & stencils. (Can be hand-made or purchased).

Ideas for designs:

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Be creative!

And Happy 4th of July!



DIY American Flag: Bold Decor for the 4th of July!

Wooden American flags are an elegant and versatile solution for patriotic decor this summer.


This bold idea can be made suitable for outdoor weather, from various materials, and in any size & design.

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Tools & Materials:

  • Wood: There are a few options for this, and feel free to be creative, but this tutorial will focus on
    • Wood Boards (dimsensions may be altered for desirable size).
    • Wood Surface: Plywood-type, one piece of wood.
    • Branches/twigs collected from the yard (great for kids, and free!).
  • Wood glue (doesn’t apply to ply-wood).
  • Sandpaper (in varying grits)
  • Paint brushes in various sizes (potentially a roller if working on a large surface).
  • Primer
  • Red, White, & Blue paint (can choose various shades to inspire a rustic, vibrant, or contemporary look, etc.)
  • Water-based polyurethane sealer.
  • Star stencils or stickers in a size appropriate for your flag.
  • Painters tape.


Step One:

  • Sand all wood to a smooth surface, and clean using a mild cleaner.
  • Let dry.
  • Prime wood using a light white, or off-white color.
    • This can be craft paint, or quality primer.. both will work fine.
  • (If you won’t be gluing wood together, move to step 3)

Step Two:

  • Gather your pieces of appropriately sized wood.
    • Dimensions for this can be altered. Standards for this are 4’x6′, 2’x3′, etc. Just ensure the height is shorter than the width, and the length can comfortably accommodate the blue corner square square at 1/3 of the length.
    • I did 3′ L x 2.5′ H.
  • Glue wood together in a striped/horizontal pattern.
    • If you are using fewer, thicker boards,larger boards will be taped into smaller sections for thinner stripes.
    • Allow for 12 stripes: 3 large boards= 4 stripes each, 6 boards=2 stripes each, etc.
    • The blue square should be 7 stripes high.

Step 3:

  • Use painters tape to section off the square, allowing for 7 stripes in height, and about 1/3 of the length.
  • Tape and paint blue. Let dry.
    • If using stickers, stick and paint blue over the top. Remove stickers once paint is completely dry to reveal white underneath.
    • If using stencils, paint blue, let completely dry. With a stencil, paint or spray paint white. Let dry.
    • Picture-13-e1367950582913
    • MG_2764
    • The three above photos are from this link via MyLovetoCreate. Click for another fence-flag tutorial and great photos.
  • Use tape to section red lines, your white lines will be the white paint revealed between the red lines.
  • Paint red, and let dry completely.
  • Apply a water-based polyurethane sealant.

Alternatively, create a chevron flag:


Using this tutorial from thevintagestorehouse.


Happy 4th of July!

Summer Days for the Kids: D-I-Y Treehouse Ideas

My mind nostalgically remembers Summer days spent in the neighborhood treehouse: the perfect place for time with friends, siblings, and parents on hot days, and cool nights. However, there was only one neighborhood treehouse. It belonged to a friend with family carpentry skills; and, a father who spent many hours perfecting this triumph.

Here’s the good news: building a treehouse, or playhouse, can be easy, affordable, and adaptable to any age. Here are a few designs with kids (and safety) in mind:

Small & Simple:

madewithHAPPY-treehouse (1)


This stunning platform treehouse is perfect for toddlers and young children. With an open design, it is a customizable option to adapt to needs and budget.

This photo and design is from Alli with Check out her blog and instructions for this project.

Playground in the Trees: 


This open-air, multi-level design incorporates playground elements for the ultimate Summer hangout spot. Instructions. 

Brought to you by by





Katie from WellnessMama brings us this unique design, which combines fun and activity. Her article addresses affordability, safety, and instructions.

Never doubt the power of playtime to cultivate the minds of children, and who doesn’t love a rock wall?


The “Tree Pod” 


Part hang-out hub, part conversation piece, this innovative design is sure to impress and delight. Though this design requires more steps, this floating treehouse can be achieved at any skill level with DIYNetwork’s simple instructions and material lists. Instructions.

Tree Fort: 


This enclosed, home-like design will inspire imagination. Is it a top secret fort? A home away from home? An artist studio? The possibilities are endless. Here’s how from the DIY Network: Instructions.


Arrrrgg, Welcome Aboard the PirateTreehouse: 



This pirate-themed design will rock the seas of exploration. It is simple enough to build for most skill levels, and can be adapted to any theme. Instructables outlines the materials and instructions.

Simple & Meaningful:



Apartment Therapy brings us this simple, easy, and affordable design to make any summer day relaxing. Instructions. 


Hobbit Holes: 



Prefer to stay on the ground? Hobbit-hole playhouses are also simple to build, and will provide the perfect, cozy hangout for all of the neighborhood hobbits! has these instructions, and other designs here.


Have an idea for a project, or one you have completed?

Email us on our website and submit the idea. We will make a post inspired by you!

Father’s Day Gift Ideas: Half-Priced DeWALT Power Tools on Amazon


“Wow” the handy-dad in your life with fierce savings from a trusted brand, only at



DEWALT DW660 Cut-Out 5 Amp 30,000 RPM Rotary Tool with 1/8-Inch and 1/4-Inch Collets

Half-price on :$52.00





DEWALT Bare-Tool DC390B 6-1/2-Inch 18-Volt Cordless Circular Saw $99



DEWALT DCK425C 18V Compact Cordless 4-Tool Combo Kit $207



DEWALT DWST17808 TSTAK I Long Handle Toolbox Organizer $25




DEWALT DW715 15-Amp 12-Inch Single-Bevel Compound Miter Saw $200



DEWALT DCS331B 20-Volt MAX Li-Ion Jig Saw $150



DEWALT DW745 10-Inch Compact Job-Site Table Saw with 20-Inch Max Rip Capacity $300



DEWALT DWE7491RS 10-Inch Jobsite Table Saw with 32-1/2-Inch Rip Capacity and Rolling Stand $580

Selling Your Home: A Guide To Repairs & Aesthetics.

Selling your home can appear to be a challenging process to navigate. Value-increasing repairs and curb-appeal are often lost in the shuffle, or neglected. When your home is on the market, consider these details to ensure the highest sell-value.

Buyers in your market will evaluate your home from various perspectives of needs, wants, desires, and concerns. After your home’s initial appraisal, determine the demographics of your market to gauge which investments produce highest value.

Home investments, like repairs and maintenance, fall on a gradient spectrum:


Significant: Refers to necessary repairs or maintenance that must be done for the home to sell. For example, a leaking roof, structural abnormalities, or rotting wood each require replacement or repair.

Check-list for significant repairs:

  • Roofing
  • Siding
  • Wood rot
  • Structural deficiencies
  • Pronounced masonry damages
  • Fire Safety Updates
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • HVAC
  • Rodent/insect infestations.

Standard: These include touch-up painting, deck staining, bathroom caulking, etc. If obvious, these concerns are typically addressed by the buyer. Investing in these improvements will ensure an aesthetically appealing home, alleviated buyer-concerns, and highest sell value.

Check-List for Standard Repairs:

  • Exterior:
    • Siding: painting & touch-ups
    • Woodwork: touch-up staining or painting.
      • Wood repairs or replacement.
    • Screen porch repair/secure.
    • Fencing repairs or touch-ups.
    • Gutter & downspout cleaning & repairs.
  • Around-the-house basics:
    • Window & door repairs or touch-ups.
    • Walls: drywall & molding repairs, touch-up painting.
    • Floors: carpet/hardwood repairs, replacing or polishing.
    • Electrical: light fixtures and switches.
    • Appliance repairs.

Selling-points: This characterizes curb-appeal and other improvements that put the finishing touch on your home. These can include landscaping, new appliances, and added square footage; or, the simplicity of pressure washing walkways, professional cleaning, spacious shelving, or neutral painting.

Selling points and updates are dependent on your market, and should be weighted against the current and predicted value of the home after investments. Here are some simple, budget-friendly, and effective updates:

  • Yard: Tidy your yard, and invest in some general landscaping. Either do this yourself, or hire a professional. No need for a fancy design, just clear, tidy, and section to create a spacious yard.
  • Cleaning: Do this yourself, or hire a service to deep-clean the home. Or, offer this as a free add-on for the purchaser.
  • Make space: Invest in space-saving storage solutions, move or remove furniture, clear cabinets, and make the home appear as spacious as possible.
  • Paint neutral: Painting each room a light, neutral color opens the space and depersonalizes the room to allow the buyer to imagine potential.


Sum-it-up:  Consider your market and budget, and follow this check-list to optimize your highest sell-value. Check out our blogs about “Creating a spacious look when selling your home”, and “increasing curb appeal” for more information on affordable, simple ways to update your home.




8 Essential Power Tools for the D-I-Y-ER

Expand your D-I-Y horizons and produce professional results with these essential power tools.

A variety of saws will pay for themselves when cutting and shaping wood:

#1) Circular Saw: For basic wood cutting and large pieces, a circular saw will ensure a professional finish– a must-have.

#2) Miter Saw: Practical for angled and detailed cutting, this saw goes beyond the basics. Use for crown molding, door frames, window casings, and more.

#3) Jigsaw: Add intricacy and design to projects with a jigsaw. This saw focuses on the details, and provides ability to control fine work.

#4) Power Drill/Driver: From hanging shelves and fixtures, to building and assembling furniture, a proper power drill/driver will save both time and effort in every D-I-Y endeavor.

#5) Air Compressor & Nail Gun: Another great save on time and effort. Provides a professional, consistent result.

#6) Rotary Orbital Sander: This sander covers a variety of uses, and is an ideal first-purchase before buying other types of sanders. With the right settings, can provide a thorough sanding job, and be used in place of a finishing sander.

#7) Dremel Multi-Max: This, and other multi-tools provide a variety of features. With interchangeable parts, this tool is ideal for sanding, cutting, scraping, grinding, and more.

#8) Paint Sprayer: This one saves time, and provides an even coat for a professional finish.


Tools for the D-I-Y-ER: A Beginner’s Guide.

Every artist needs a paintbrush; or, in this case, every craftsman (or woman) needs a set of tools. Tools can get pricey, and buying over time is the affordable option for many. Let’s start with the basics:

The Bare-Basic-Toolbox:

#1) Screwdrivers: Flat-heads and Phillips in various sizes. There are a wide selection of comfort grips, ratchet-rotation screwdrivers, etc. Often you can find screwdriver sets including many types and sizes.

#2) A Hammer: This is self-evident. Hammers give nails a purpose in life, and lend a hand in 99% of DIY projects.

#3) Measuring Tape: Your best friend for making plans and measurements. A large and a small size comes in handy.

#4)  Adjustable Wrench (or various sizes): However, the adjustable wrench offers many wrenches in one.

#5) Pliers: Locking and combination pliers cover the spectrum of tasks. Various sizes are useful, but a standard 5-10W works fine.

#6) Electric Drill: These become an indispensable time-saver when compared to drilling by hand. They don’t need to be pricey, either.

#7) Utility knife: Again, another indispensable friend.. a pocket knife will work, too.

#8) Scraper/Putty Knife and Chisels: Scrape glue, chisel rough surfaces, and more with these items.

#9) Sanding Blocks, and Sandpaper: Another must-have, especially when planning to paint.

#10) Basic Painting Supplies: Aside from sandpaper, basic painting tape, brushes, primers, and sealers should be included in your basic DIY kit. Paint or stain colors can be purchased on an as-needed basis.


Deck Staining: 7 Easy Steps.

Here is a quick guide for painting decks at home.


  • Deck cleaner
  • Deck stain/paint
  • Sander/sandpaper
  • Edging pads
  • Paint roller + Extension
  • Broom
  • Hammer
  • Painter’s tape

#1) Remove furniture and decorations. Sweep away debris with a broom.

 #2) Sand rough spots in the wood, and nail in any loose nails.

#3) Clean the surface with a long-arm brush and deck cleaner solution. Allow this to dry for 48 hours minimum.

Tip: Brushes and cleaners are available at most home-improvement stores, and together should cost no more than $50.

#4) Use painter’s tape to tape off edges of any exposed wood to avoid staining.

#5) Paint between slats with an edging pad. Dip the edging pad into the stain, rub between the boards, and roll over with a paint roller to avoid dripping.

Blanner, Julie. Stain Between The Slats. Digital image. Julie Blanner. Julie Blanner, Feb.-Mar. 2015. Web. Apr.-May 2015. <>.

#6) Stain the nails with a small sponge, or edge of roller to avoid missing them when staining the boards– the method for achieving a smooth finish is often to swift, and can miss nails entirely.

#7) Dip paint roller in stain, and roll across boards. Leave this to dry for at least 48 hours.

20140412_175859    20130424_162329



#1) Do not apply in direct sunlight.

#2) Check forecast prior to application to avoid rain.

#3) Leave pressure washing to professionals– this can do more damage than good.


Happy Staining!

Spring Home Maintenance Check List

The seasons are changing, and spring has arrived! As you enjoy the warming weather and budding flowers, make sure to check off this list of spring-time home maintenance tips:


#1) The roof: Check for missing, loose, or damaged shingles. Hire a professional to make repairs if needed, as roof repairs can be tricky.

Water & Snow                                        Hail Damage                               Cracks & Debris 







If you are planning to do-it-yourself, here’s a good resource for getting started: DIY ROOF REPAIRS.

#2) Examine siding and trim: replace, repair, or simply touch-up with paint when necessary.

Stains (vinyl)                                                                                   Water Damage


#3) Clear gutters and downspouts of debris. Also, Check alignment of these to ensure rainwater collects and drains away from the foundation of the home.


#4) Inspect foundation and masonry for any cracks or damage.

#5) Examine screens on windows, wash and replace as-needed.

#6) Examine exposed wood for insect damage and rot.

Identifying “dry” v.s. “wet” rot:



#7) Replace HVAC filter– a dirty filter forces the system to work harder, using more energy and costing more money.

How-To Guide

#8) Clean grills on air filter ducts, and clean the ducts themselves every 2-3 years.

#9) Test ground fault circuit interrupters.

#10) Check for gaps and cracks around windows and doors– caulk and weather strip when necessary.

#11) Check window and door locks.