Old barn wood is the newest trend for DIY home renovators.
That’s one of many tips from Kortney and Dave Wilson, mainstage presenters at Winnipeg’s Home + Garden Show last Saturday.
Known as HGTV’s “Masters of Flip,” the Nashville-based, ex-pat Canadians transitioned from a country and western singing duo into knowledgeable house flippers featured on TV in Canada and the United States.
Here are more of their tips for DIYers:
1. Landscaping is essential as it represents the first impression of your home. It does not need to be expensive; a few flower beds and a neat yard will go a long way toward magnifying curb appeal.
2. The outside of a house should be a neutral colour; highlights can be added to trim and shutters. Don’t be afraid to paint bricks because it is difficult and expensive to match old ones.
3. The main entrance door is a good spot for a splash of colour because it can be repainted for a few dollars if you decide the tone is irritating. Apply Vaseline to the door’s hardware with a small brush to prevent paint from adhering; wipe off the Vaseline when the paint is dry. Doors with coded locks that can be programmed for every family member are a desirable investment.
4. An interior feature wall covered with old barn wood is very popular in new and renovated houses. However, as authentic weathered wood is expensive, there is a peel and stick wallpaper option available at half the cost. The vinyl material is pre-glued so it is easy to apply and to remove if the weathered look becomes stale. Stairway risers can be covered with peel and stick wallpaper to create a new look.
5. Gallery walls including family photos and kids’ artwork look best when the frames are all the same design and colour. For those who wish to express their artistic natures, gallery walls can function as colour pallets as long as some of the tones are picked up by furniture and light fixtures in the room. Kourtney said she keeps her home gallery fresh by replacing pictures and her kids’ artwork every two or three weeks.
6. Lighting is one of the most important yet least understood design elements in a home. A large overhead light should be placed over a dining table, not hung in the middle of the room. Every room should have multiple lights and every fixture should have a dimmer switch to create ambience. Multiply a room’s height by its width in inches to calculate the diameter of an overhead fixture in inches. Inexpensive candelabras purchased at big box stores can be spray painted different colours to add colour to drab rooms.
7. It’s easy to add value to a home by researching and installing the latest materials for insulating, shingling and wiring, as well as high R-value windows, doors and outside sheathing. Many basements are now insulated with 4-inch foam board applied directly to the walls with concrete anchors or construction adhesive.
8. Garage and storage solutions are simple but effective ways to make your home more appealing. Place gardening rakes, shovels etc. neatly along garage walls and hang woodworking or other tools neatly on pegboard shadow boards. Closets should be arranged with organizers available at big box stores.
9. Kitchens can be adequately renovated without paying a fortune for materials. Kourtney suggested using less expensive floor tiles and searching out alternatives to granite or composite stone countertops. Neutral colours are best for cabinets, though trim colours are optional. Open kitchen cabinets with glass doors or no doors are “in.”
10. A well balanced interior paint job can make a big difference to the way outsiders view your house. A colourful feature wall in a living room should be balanced by a similar colour in fabrics and furniture on the opposite side of the room. The overall colour should be neutral. “Dark baseboards and crown moldings are very attractive,” said Kourtney.
11. Furniture arrangement is critical to create a room that really “pops.” Sofas should be floated in the middle of the room, not pushed up against walls. Do not attempt to arrange furniture in too orderly a manner because it will give a room a stiff, unrelaxed feel. Splashes of colour can be added by draping inexpensive fabrics over sofas, chairs etc.