Drew and Jonathan Scott of “Property Brothers” know that nearly all of us could use more space (particularly as the pandemic drags on and on). Now that the new year’s first episode of “Celebrity IOU” has arrived, they’ve broken out their top tricks for opening up a small house without breaking the bank.
In the Season 2 episode, “Rainn Wilson’s Surprise,” the Scotts meet the actor Rainn Wilson, of “The Office,” who wants to give his beloved nanny, Leslie, a living-room makeover.
Leslie’s Los Angeles home could definitely use it, given that the space is seriously dated and undeniably cramped. With her kids (and nieces and nephews) often running around the house, Wilson knows that this living space needs to be more kid-friendly, too.
Read on to find out how Drew and Jonathan open up this small living space, which might inspire some upgrades around your own home, too.
Remove kitchen cabinets to open up more space
When Wilson brings Drew and Jonathan to Leslie’s home, one of the first things the brothers notice is the kitchenâs cabinets.
The row of cabinets blocks sightlines to the living space and makes the kitchen feel separated from the rest of the house. Jonathan explains that the style is typical of the era the home was built in, but says itâs not a great feature for those who are making the meals.
âWhoeverâs in there, all of a sudden, it feels like a cave,â Jonathan says.
So, the brothers remove some cabinets and, to make up for the missing cabinet space,Â add smarter storage to the rest of the kitchen (like adding lots of drawers to the island).
In the end, the kitchen is beautiful, functional, and flows with the rest of the living space. Leslie will never miss those cabinets!
Create more storage with built-in benches and hutches
Wilson knows that Leslie and her children could always use more storage.
âOne thing is, thereâs a lot of kids bouncinâ around in here,” Wilson tells the Scott brothers when they first tour the house.
Luckily, the brothers have a solution to help this family organize its stuff: stylish built-ins.
Drew and Jonathan add some built-in benches under the living room window, providing plenty of storage space under the seats. Then, they expand on the built-in dining room hutch, making it twice as big, for holding twice as much.
These two built-in storage solutions are perfect, because they donât take up space, as a bulky piece of furniture would, and they leave the whole room open as a kids’ play space. Itâs a great workaround for this familyâs storage issue.
Brighten beams to make a room seem taller
Jonathan and Drew like the wood beams in Leslie’s living room, but they worry that the dark color makes the room feel more closed in.
âFrom the moment we walked in, we noticed the dark beams and that high, recessed, rough-ridged ceiling. It was sucking the light out of the space,â Drew says.
But the color isn’t the only problem. The brothers notice that this room doesn’t have any ceiling lights, which makes this room even darker.
So Jonathan and Drew paint the beams white and add white shiplap-style ceiling panels.
âNot only do they add brightness,â Jonathan says of the panels, âbut theyâre also going to be dropped down to accommodate new recessed lighting.â
In the end, not only does the new color make the space feel brighter, but the added lights literally light up the room.
Large doors make a small house feel bigger
While Leslieâs living room is laid out well, the space is relatively small. Although the brothers canât add to the square footage of the house, Jonathan has the idea to expand the living space by improving the flow into the back patio.
âWe could do something really cool with these sliders,â Jonathan says of the existing doors. âWe could swap them out for, like, collapsible glass panels. They could flow in and out. It would be great.â
The brothers open up the walls and install large, collapsible window doors from two sides, making both the family room and dining space open onto the backyard.
To complete the effect, they update the patio by adding new flooring and new furniture. In the end, the living space feels twice as big!
Don’t go overboard with too much white
While the Scotts know that itâs important to brighten up a space, they also know that with the walls, ceiling, and kitchen all in white, the space could use some contrast. So they redo the white fireplace with a unique brown finish.
âThis is just made out of marble powder, lime, and sand,â Jonathan says, as he applies a clay mixture to the fireplace face.
Some techniques, he says, come from Italy, and from different regions of Europe, but this one, from Morocco, is called tadelakt.
The light-brown color looks perfect in the space. The finish adds dimension without darkening the area, and the modern fireplace shape is much better suited to children, because thereâs no mantel to climb on or base to trip over.
Best of all, this modern fireplace looks clean and elegant.
âI love that it looks like a five-star hotel,â Drew says of the new finish. âThatâs the kind of feature you want to have.â
When Wilson finally brings Leslie and her family back to the house, she’s amazed by how spacious and elegant her living room looks. Let this serve as a reminder that just a few small changes can make even small spaces feel huge.
The post The Property Brothers’ Best Small-Space Renovations for 2021 appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.comÂ®.
David and Stephen St. Russell of the Renovation Husbands on Instagram share their first and second-time homebuying experiences and how they got started transforming fixer-upper homes.
The post Our Fixer-Upper Homebuying Journey with the Renovation Husbands appeared first on Homes.com.
Is your basement currently the deep, dark abyss where holiday decorations and outdated furniture get lost? It doesnât have to be! Just because it is the bottom level of the house doesnât mean you canât make it a top priority on your home improvement to-do list. If youâre looking for a little inspiration on what to do with it, we have a few ideas.
For the Sports Lover
Transform your cold, dark digs into a space all sports fan could only dream of. Essentials youâll need for the ultimate basement transformation may include big screen TVâs, a pool table, comfortable recliners, sports memorabilia and your own personal mini fridge. Your space will turn into a game day oasis for friends and family.
For the Athlete
Two words: personal gym. Save yourself time and money on those pesky gym memberships and build your very own dream fitness center. No longer will you have dart for the only open treadmill during primetime hours or worry if the person before you cleaned the machines. By purchasing your favorite pieces of equipment that will last, you can save yourself almost $2,000 each year on fees.
For the Entertainer
Do you find your family constantly hosting for holidays or celebrations? Wow them with an at-home bar, built by you. Stock the shelves with your favorite beverages, snag some awesome bar stools and let the fun begin! Itâs the perfect place to direct everyone for an after dinner cocktail and some conversation. Just remember the rule of thumb, if youâre opting to build your own bar the average bar height is 42 inches to ensure that adults of all sizes can sit comfortably.
For the Artist
Always dreamed of having your own space to freely create masterpieces? Now is the time! Turn up the heat of your once cold and isolated basement with the warm hues of paints, pencils, and clays. Pick up some easels, fill the walls with things that inspire you and voila! Just keep in mind that because youâll be in the basement with little light, choose a bulb with a CRI of 80 to 100 to reveal vibrant, natural hues.
For the Bookworm
You typically only see it on TV, but some homes do have beautiful built-in libraries. Build out shelving all around your basement, fill it with your favorite stories and cozy up on your favorite vintage chair to unwind from life with a good book. Are you making your own shelves? Cherry wood has a rich and warm red color that deepens over time, making it a perfect selection for shelving meant to be seen. Fellow book lovers might envy what youâve done with your basement, and may even want to come browse your selections!
Donât let your basement go unnoticed. Say goodbye to those stored away boxes and bags and hello to your new favorite place in the house. Have another idea? Share it in the comments below for other readers to get inspired by!
The post What to do with Your Basement first appeared on Century 21Â®.
Ben and Erin Napier of “Home Town” usually renovate single-family homes, but in their latest episode, they’ve turned their keen reno eye toward a good cause.
In “Color Psychology,” Napier’s clients Lisa and Mike Cochran have bought a house in Laurel, MS, for $25,000 in order to turn it into a women’s home. They want this nonprofit to be a welcoming place for women who have run into tough times. It should be comfortable and beautiful, but they also know it needs to function for multiple people (and their kids) at once.
Ben and Erin set out to create the ultimate “roommate house” with a modest all-in budget of $100,000. Read on to find out Erin’s favorite beautiful (but inexpensive) upgrades, and find out if you can use them in your own space.
Use bright colors for a welcoming home
Erin knows that the women who will move into this house have been through a lot, so she wants to create a welcoming, happy ambiance.
One way she does this is by using color to make the common spaces and the exterior give off a joyful energy.
âI did a lot of research in college about color psychology, and certain colors make you feel hungry or happy or sad or sleepy,â Erin explains. âIn a color palette of sky blue, light-coral colors, lemon-meringue yellow, and then lots of neutrals and creams around those colors together give you a feeling of happiness.â
So Erin paints the exterior a beautiful blue, with a playful coral on the front door. Inside, she brightens up the living room with sunny yellow walls set off by creamy white trim.
Watch: Exclusive: HGTV’s Orlando Soria Gives Us a Tour of His Home
When the paint is dry, the house looks like it’s bursting with joy and life. Sometimes, the right colors can make all the difference.
Invest in small updates everyone will appreciate
Just like a fresh coat of paint, new windows are something everyone in the house will enjoy, and a window upgrade doesnât have to cost a lot.
That’s why Ben and Erin decide to upgrade this house by replacing a window upstairs. While this only brings extra light to the attic, it also gives the exterior a more elegant look.
âThat window is beautiful,â Erin says when she sees the new window installed. âThat small change is like changing the world for this house.â This new window proves that sometimes the smallest update can have a huge impact.
Create a designated workspace for everyone
Erin knows that a home should be beautiful as well as functional, which is why she decides to add two custom desks to the living space.
With kids living in the home, she wants to make sure they have space to do their homeworkâbut these convenient desks could also work in a house with roommates.
âWe can make it even more multipurpose,” Erin says when looking at the dual kitchen and dining room. “Weâre going to have kids. I want to think about how we have a really communal sort of dining space where thereâs also maybe desks.â
Ben and Erin find space in the corners of the dining room where one desk could be tucked in on either side of the room, away from the dining table and out of the way of foot traffic.
The desks look lovely and prove that, while there might not be room for a dedicated office in a shared house, there can still be workspaces for everyone.
Use inexpensive and easily-cleaned materials
Ben and Erin next move onto the kitchen, choosing a backsplash that is beautiful, inexpensive, and easy to clean. They use vinyl wallpaper as a clever substitute for tile, giving the room a pop of color that doesnât cost a lot. To protect the wallpaper from messes, Erin covers it with plexiglass so it can be quickly cleaned.
âWe went with this because itâs affordable but itâs really pretty, because we want this to be a lovely, soft first landing for these women and their kids,â Erin says.
Best of all, Erinâs wallpaper is peel-and-stick, so itâs easy to put up and easy to take down. This makes it an especially great choice for any roommates who want to be able to change up the look of their kitchen without spending too much money.
Don’t go too pricey with kitchen features
With a great roommate-friendly backsplash, Erin wants to continue the theme of inexpensive, sharable space with style. So she uses laminate countertops in the kitchen, knowing that this durable material will look greatâand cost just $300. And that frees up funds for the nonprofit to use somewhere else.
âPeople want to be down on laminate,â Erin says, acknowledging how laminate might not be the popular choice. âBut it wouldnât make sense if we had put $2,000 worth of countertops in this house that was all about the budget.â
And the laminate counters look just like marble, giving the new tenants a beautiful kitchen that isnât breaking the bank.
When the house is finally finished, Erin and Ben get to present their clients with a happy home that will be enjoyed by many deserving women for years to come.
The post ‘Home Town’: Ben and Erin Napier’s Top Upgrade To Give a Home Happy Vibes appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.comÂ®.
Looking to turn your house into a healthy haven to protect your family from COVID-19? Try these six products to transform your space.
*Cover image sourced from Home Depot.
The post 6 Products You Need to Keep Your Home Germ-free and Sanitized in 2020 appeared first on Homes.com.
You hear the term all the time. After all, itâs an essential concept for apartment investors because it not only reflects the viability of your investment but also its value.
But what really is cash flow? How do you compute it, and more importantly, how can you increase the cash flow of your multifamily property?
Cash flow is simply the money that moves in and out of your business. For apartments, the cash coming in is in the form of rent, and the cash flowing out is in the form of expenditures like property taxes and utilities.
Cash flow â or lack of it — is one of the primary reasons businesses, or real estate investments, fail. Without sufficient cash flow, youâll run out of money. Thatâs why itâs essential that you have sufficient capital to not only purchase an apartment property but also sustain it in the event that cash flow fails to be what you projected â for example, if units turn over more often than you expect or rents decline.
Here are some ways you can improve the cash flow of your apartment investment:
- Increase rents. This is perhaps the fastest and easiest way to improve cash flow. Consider repositioning the property â investing some capital to improve the units and then bumping rents.
- Reduce utility costs. Fix leaky shower heads and faucets, which waste water. Install energy-efficient appliances and lighting fixtures.
- Decrease expenses. Renegotiate your property management contract, or put it out to bid at the end of the term. Use free rental property listing sites rather than paying a broker to rent apartments.
- Encourage residents to stay. Moveouts are expensive, so when tenants renew their leases youâll save time and money on prepping the unit.
- Add additional streams of revenue, such as pet deposits and rent, garage rentals, vending machines or valet trash.
The post The ABCs of Multifamily Cash Flow first appeared on Century 21Â®.