Month: November 2012

3 Easy Ways To Pretty Up Your Front Door

Make the Most Of Your Home’s First Impression

1. Light the way

One of the nicest ways to welcome people into your home is with pretty lighting that leads them to your door. If the lighting by your front door is old, consider replacing it with something stylish — from sleek steel to vintage craftsman, exterior lighting fixtures have come a long way, as you can see from this gallery on Houzz.

2. There’s always paint

Paint isn’t only an easy and inexpensive way to change the look of the rooms inside your home; painting your front door can make a big impact too. Fire engine red, burgundy, black, evergreen, bright yellow — the palette for front doors is endless. For ideas and inspiration check out these painted doors on Houzz.

3. The devil’s in the details

You’d be surprised the difference some spanking new hardware can make — it may seem like a small thing, but changing the knob, lock, knocker and even the hinges on your door can really change things up. Houzz has more than 25,000 photos tagged “entry door hardware” — check them out for ideas.

5 Tricks To Keep Your Energy Bill From Groaning This Holiday

Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

1. Set the mood

Dimmer switches on your lights not only help keep the mood festive — they help lower your energy consumption and extend the life span of your bulbs. Dimming your lights by just 20% can quadruple a bulb’s life span.

2. If you can’t stand the heat

Take advantage of all that labor “over a hot stove” — if you’re cooking all day with the oven and stove on, you’ll be adding enough heat to your home that chances are no one will notice if you turn your thermostat down a few degrees

3. Stay out of hot water

Check your hot water heater — there’s no reason to keep it above 140 degrees. More than that and you’re just mixing cold water back in to cool it down to a usable temperature.

4. And keep your laundry out of hot water too

Modern detergent and washing machine technology mean that the rules we’re used to regarding different temperatures for different fabrics, colors or stains are outdated now. Cold water is not only just as effective these days, sometimes it can even be better — hot water can set some types of stains and shrink or wrinkle some fabrics. Using cold instead of hot water can reduce the energy required for a load by up to 90%. Real Simple estimates using cold water cycles instead of hot can save most homes about $40 a year.

5. Don’t rinse, scrape

Save water by scraping dishes rather than rinsing them before putting them in the dishwasher — dishwashers are meant to deal with dirty dishes. According to Consumer Reports, rinsing your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher can waste 6,000 gallons of water a year.

No Nails Kitchen Makeover

No Nails Kitchen Makeover

The Power of Paint

Don’t forget the inside

As you can see from these great pictures on LiveLoveDIY — painting the inside of your kitchen cabinets can have a powerful visual impact. Check out her whole story on painting her cabinets and other projects at LiveLoveDIY.


But the outside packs a punch too

On Cottage4C, you can see the magic that can happen when you paint the outside of your cabinets:


 For tips on painting your cabinets and more pictures, check out these resources: