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If you’re lucky enough to have a laundry room, luxuriate in it, because being able to do laundry at home is pretty amazing. But if your laundry room isn’t quite all you need and desire…don’t worry. You’re not alone, and fortunately, there are tons of options out there for increasing storage space (even in small rooms) and making a laundry room an enjoyable place to work as well as an orderly one.

We took a look at some of the ways creative Hometalkers are keeping their laundry rooms under control, with a close eye on budget, since these are tough times and not all of you want to spend a lot of money on a full DIY remodel.

A view into a laundry room, highlighting new storage.

This laundry room had two strikes against it: it was very small, and the owners couldn’t afford to spend any money on making it more functional. Using a mixture of thrifted, scavenged, and repurposed items, they managed to completely redo their laundry area and add much-needed storage.

Here’s a great example of a budget remodel, because it was done with virtually no money: the goal was to reuse, scavenge, thrift, and cobble together everything needed for a functional laundry room. This small laundry room had been dominated by a huge cabinet, and now it’s light, airy, and open with clear, clean organization.

Continue reading “The Art of Getting More Storage Space in Your Laundry Room” »

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by Katie on Feb 25, 2014

I can’t believe it’s almost Valentine’s Day already, can you?! It seems like I was just cleaning up after Chinese New Year, and now it’s time for another festive holiday — one that fortunately involves a lot of red decor too, because I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t really gotten my decorations up yet. I suspect I’m not the only one, so I rounded up some quick and fun last-minute decor ideas for Valentine’s Day for those of us who are under the gun. By the time Cupid arrives on Friday, he’ll have no idea we pulled everything together at the last minute.

Small hearts made recycled cryons, with swirls of color and sparkles.

Recycled crayons turn into adorable hearts — that still work as crayons — for a great crafting and upcycling project.

Starting with these crayon hearts, from BrightNest. Do you end up with useless stubs of crayon that you don’t know what do do with, but you don’t want to throw out? You’re not the only one. You can melt them down and pour them into molds to make a variety of shapes, including, of course, hearts! Better yet: these work just fine as crayons, so not only are they totally cute, they’re also absolutely practical. Our favorite kind of upcycling. Continue reading “Last Minute Valentine’s Day Decorating Ideas” »

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by Katie on Feb 11, 2014

I’ve got to say, I had a pretty cool bedroom when I was a kid. My bed was up on a high platform with a big window at the foot looking out across a meadow — and there was lots of storage beneath for my books, Breyer horses, and other supplies. A door led right outside so I could carry my play outdoors when the weather was fair, and a low desk gave me room to spread out with pastels, homework, and craft projects. I loved my bedroom so much I kept it that way into college, when my dad moved and I had to take it apart.

What I’m saying is that I thought I had it pretty good, until I checked out some of the kids’ bedrooms on Hometalk, and wow. My dad is so fired.

A detail of a bedroom decorate with a plane theme.

I am a huge lover of planes, and I would have been head over heels in love with this funky vintage plane-themed bedroom.

We spent a lot of time traveling when I was a kid, which created a love of travel that lives on, but also a love of airplanes! This flight-themed room is fantastic and highly adaptable: while it’s designed for a younger children, a few smooth updates can help it transition as the child grows older. That’s what we call smart kids’ room decor, because kids grow up fast, and before you know it, the toddler who demanded a pink and purple room is going to be a teenager sulking because you won’t let her paint the walls black.

Continue reading “Awesome Bedrooms You’ll Wish You Had When You Were a Kid” »

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by Katie on Feb 4, 2014

Now that you’ve swept up all the confetti and found the last lurking champagne cork, is your kitchen getting you down? Feeling cramped? Colors not quite what you want? Disorganized? We’ve got ten tips to make your kitchen feel like a brand new room this year, and here’s the great part: they’re all DIY projects that won’t have you forking over what little remains of your holiday bonus to get them done.

A kitchen done in dark, rich wood tones with subdued lighting.

This custom kitchen is a delight, with casual bar seating, formal dining, butler’s pantry, and more!

Continue reading “10 Instant Kitchen Updates for the New Year!” »

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by Katie on Jan 8, 2014

When you open your linen closet, does a cascade of towels fall out, followed by some old toys that clonk you on the head on the way down? Does your mop suddenly loom out of nowhere to attack you, while those old curtains you’ve been meaning to do something with abruptly swoop out to enfold you in a pile of messy fabric? Or do you see this:

A linen closet with open shelves for towels and linens, and baskets for first aid items.

A breath of fresh air in this linen closet, which is cleanly and crisply organized to draw the eye to what you need…and encourage you to put things back where they belong.

If your answer is “yes,” stop reading, because you’re clearly better than the rest of us. If your answer is a sheepish “no,” well…luckily for you, we have some linen closet cleaning and organizing tricks to help you bring in the New Year. Resolve to be clutter-free in 2014, starting small and working your way through your home. (Consider adopting your own version of the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge from last year!)

Continue reading “Keeping Your Linen Closet Organized and Clutter-Free” »

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by Katie on Jan 1, 2014

As someone who travels a lot, I’m always appreciative of the lovely guest rooms my friends and loved ones maintain for roaming individuals like myself — and I also spend a lot of time scoping out their guest rooms to see if they’re using them for maximum efficiency. While a room set aside just for guests is nice, leaving a bedroom empty for a large portion of the time can be a big waste of space, especially in a home that’s crunched for room; the need for a home office,  a new member of the family, or other life changes can necessitate the need for more space, making a guest room seem like a luxury. But it doesn’t have to be, because guest rooms make fantastic candidates for double duty spaces that serve two functions: a nice place for guests to sleep when they’re there, and a space for something else entirely the rest of the time. I took a look through the archives to see what the masters of DIY at Hometalk are doing with their guest spaces, and I have to say, I’m impressed; users are utilizing their guest rooms as home offices, craft rooms, retreat spaces, and more!

A wood plank table with art hanging above it.

Sarah for 20 State uses her guest room as a home office, and has maintained a rustic, homey feel.

Sarah notes that it can be hard to get motivated to spend money on a guest room, since the space may not feel like a “real” part of the home. That’s an indicator that you need to be using it more effectively, though, as she did when she converted her guest room to a combination space, making a guest room/office for herself. Once she started using it as a workspace, she had an incentive to make it pleasant to be in, and she’s created a warm, rustic environment that’s pleasant for people when they come to stay, and comfortable for her when she’s working at home.

A guest room/home office with curtains drawn to reveal a bench seat and basket storage.

Thrifty and Chic has divided her guest room into zones, allowing her to tuck the home office away when she has visitors.

Another gorgeous guest room/home office combo from Thrifty and Chic, who has a really ingenious method of separating the spaces within the room without making them feel cloistered: she uses airy drapes to conceal workspaces and messes when guests come to visit. This trick can also be effective for guest room/craft rooms, allowing people to put their crafts away with a whisk of a curtain when guests arrive, rather than having to tidy up mid-project.

A comfortable low couch and director's chair, with a chandelier above. The room is done in bright, vibrant colors.

Live Pretty on a Penny made herself a nice space to retreat to during the day within her guest room.

Live Pretty on a Penny calls this her “woman cave,” a retreat for her to use when no one’s visiting her home in Georgia. She has spaces for crafts, beauty, and other activities in this bold, brightly-decorated guestroom that manages to feel very welcoming while also being quite practical. With lots of practical organizing tools, she’s also keeping the space firmly in line so it doesn’t get out of control before guests arrive.

A desk with open laptop on it, and various work items scattered around.

Tina’s guest room doubles as a studio space.

Tina converted a bedroom into a guest room and home studio space, creating a warm and welcoming environment for guests as well as carving out a place to get work done around the house. Note her beautifully organized and very rustic desk, where she’s put a variety of tricks to use to keep things under control, like using an upcycled old spring mattress support as a hanging board for various items, and keeping small office supplies in jars so they don’t wander around.

A comfortable bed covered in pillows next to a shelf with books.

Marianne Songbird’s guestroom in The Netherlands is already gorgeous…but it does double duty as a reading niche when no one’s visiting!

Here’s another great use of a guest room, which turns into a reading room when no visitors are present. Marianne Songbird came up with an innovative use for this IKEA Billy Bookcase, which hosts books of various sizes, plants, and more. To turn the room into a guest room, she reorganizes her impressive pillow collection and makes up the bed, and it’s a cinch to break it back down again after her visitors leave. Hopefully some of these images get you inspired to think about making a double duty guest room of your own. It’s easy, and many of our users do it on a budget, too! Start by evaluating the existing space and thinking about your needs: have you been longing for a home office? A better place to do crafts? A homework space for the kids? Use some of the tricks here like separating spaces with curtains (bookshelves can also make great dividers), maintaining a logical organizing scheme to keep the room in order so you don’t have to clean for guests, and getting creative with thrifted and crafted items as decor so you don’t spend a fortune on making your guest room cozy.

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by Katie on Dec 17, 2013

Whether moving into their very first home or simply the latest of many, new homeowners always appreciate thoughtful housewarming gifts from their friends and neighbors. Coming up with the perfect combination of practical, attractive, and pleasing to the aesthetic of the homeowner is sometimes a challenge, but thankfully the holiday season provides an ideal opportunity for seasonally-appropriate gifts. Spread some holiday cheer as you welcome people to a new home with these delightful giving ideas; and remember to bring a piece of seasonal holiday decor with you to the party so they have something to add to the tree!

A fireplace mantel decorated with greens, a wreath, lanterns, and lights.

Debbie’s Christmas Mantel gets us in the spirit.

Continue reading “Holiday Housewarming Gifts for the New Homeowner” »

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by Katie on Dec 6, 2013

You want your home to look its very best for the holidays, whether your guests are being ushered into your warm holiday living room or they’re settling in to the freshly refurbished guestroom. And one of the central points of the Christmas tradition is, of course, the tree, which you’re probably picking up in the very near future now that November is almost over (eek!). As you get ready to set up your holiday decor, what do you have in mind?

Sure, all those fancy home decor magazines have beautiful trees on display and usually tell you all about the swag adorning them, including hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars worth of ornaments, lights, heirloom tree toppers, embroidered and hand-tatted tree skirts, and more. That’s nice, but what about the rest of us? We’re taking a look at some of the beautiful budget home craft ideas Hometalk users have come up with for making Christmas gorgeous, without having to take out a loan.

A Christmas tree made from torn-out book pages.

Organized Clutter took inspiration from Anthropologie and other high-end retailers to make her own book page Christmas tree.

Although it pains my book-loving heart to admit it, this project from Organized Clutter is beautiful, clever, and fantastic. She saw the book page Christmas trees decorating retailer windows and high-end catalogs and decided to make her own, for a very low-cost project that looks great. Whether you want an off-beat Christmas tree or some additional holiday decor, this is definitely a project to consider! Continue reading “Budget, Creative Christmas Tree Decorating” »

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by Katie on Nov 27, 2013

You walk on them all day long, so why shouldn’t your floors be an important part of your home? DIY flooring ideas run quite a gamut from easy-peasy to advanced players only, which means there’s something for you somewhere in there if you want to refresh, renew, and restore the look of your house. Whether you’re working on a larger renovation project or you just want to change out the floor, you might want to consider our current source of inspiration: painted flooring.

When it comes to painting projects, you might not have put floors high on your list, but there’s a whole lot you can do with a can (or two) of paint and your flooring. Intrigued? Read on!

A plywood subfloor painted in a gray and cream floral pattern, sealed so it's slightly shiny.

Continue reading “Inspiration: Painting Floors” »

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by Katie on Nov 22, 2013

What’s your favorite fall décor? Create a Hometalk Autumn Pinspiration board on Pinterest and you could win a $250 Visa gift card and goodie-filled Hometalk tote. The winner will also be invited to become an honorary pinner on the Hometalk Fall Inspiration board!

Contest Rules:
1. Follow Hometalk on Pinterest.
2. Create a Pinterest board called Hometalk Autumn Inspiration.
3. Pin at least 15 of your favorite fall décor pictures from Hometalk.com.
4. Email a link to your board to team@hometalk.com.

What should you pin?

Pin fall décor from Hometalk that inspires you. You can stick to a theme or pick random projects you love. Pumpkins, mantels, porch ideas, tablescapes… whatever your heart desires!

Visit the Seasonal Décor topic on Hometalk to start pinning.

Autumn Inspiration contest1709b

 

Time Frame:
The contest starts on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 2 p.m. ET, and it ends on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 12 p.m. ET.

Judging:

The Hometalk Team will review all applicable boards and decide on a winner. Boards will be judged by general esthetic, theme, creativity, and originality.

Questions? Email us at team@hometalk.com!

We can’t wait to see your board!

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by Miriam on Sep 18, 2013