Two of Us: Designing a Home for Two

Two of Us: Designing a Home for Two

If you and your significant other are planning on building a new home, or remodeling an existing one, it can be difficult to figure out what features need to go into the design. There is a lot of pressure for couples to have their own space in the house- but how do you balance this with maximizing floor space?

The truth is that designing a home for two people can be tricky. You want enough room so that both partners feel comfortable, but also don’t want to waste any money by overdoing it! In this article we will outline some tips and tricks for designing homes just for two people.

1) Choose the Right Location

One decision you have to make when building new is choosing where exactly the house should be. For couples, this can mean balancing between living in a city or country setting, with easy access to entertainment and jobs versus being able to enjoy rural peace and quiet. If one partner wants more space than another then it may be possible for both to compromise by looking in a specific area.

Another thing to consider is the layout of the house. If you are short on space, it might be better to choose a location with more outdoor space that can be turned into communal areas (like a garden or patio). Alternatively, if you want each person to have their own defined space then look for a house with more windows so that you get plenty of natural light. Remember, if space is limited it might be better to go for multiple small rooms than one big one (this way each partner can have their own private area).

You should also consider where your home will be when under construction. If the location has little infrastructure then this can mean you will have to deal with a lot of disruption. Make sure that the location is suitable for building, and also has access to all utilities (so it doesn’t disrupt construction).

2) Consider Design

Sometimes, the layout of a house is best suited for couples. How you use space depends on your personality type and goals for living in that home. For example, if one person likes to have their own private activities then it might be better to design multiple rooms rather than trying to squeeze everything into only two or three spaces (this way each partner can have their own defined space).

If you and your partner enjoy spending time together, then it might be better to design an open-plan home. This will allow for more interaction and bonding between the two of you (plus it’s great for hosting parties!). Alternatively, if one person likes to work from home or needs some peace and quiet then it might be better to have a home office space that is separate from the main living area.

When designing your home, make sure you think about how you will use the space. If one person likes to cook and the other doesn’t, then maybe consider having an eat-in kitchen or a breakfast bar so that both can share in mealtimes. If one partner likes to relax in the bath and the other doesn’t, then maybe include a Jacuzzi tub.

3) Future Home Planning

One thing to consider when planning a home is how it will grow. If you are building new and don’t have any children, then the design of your home can be adapted later on with ease (maybe add an extra room or two). However, if one partner wants kids in future and the other doesn’t this could become problematic. It is better to have an open dialogue when designing a home so that the couple can agree on how they want it in future.

If you are building a new house, then one thing to consider is having separate entrances or access points into individual rooms. This means each person has their own space which can be easily kept private (for example if they want to work from home).

Unexpected Necessities for Your Loft

Unexpected Necessities for Your Loft

It’s finally time to move into your new loft, but before you do there are some things that you’ll need. Whether it be a futon or an air mattress, these items will make your transition much easier. Here are the top five unexpected necessities for your loft:

Futon/Air Mattress

This is a sleep surface for guests and can even double as a bed in case of emergency. A good rule of thumb is to purchase a queen size if space permits, otherwise get something smaller like twin or full size. When buying an air mattress, ensure it has at least two built-in pumps so the process can be effortless when inflating and deflating.

Dining Table

A dining table is a must for any loft, as it can be used for both eating and working. When choosing one, make sure to pick something that has enough space for all of your guests and is the right height for you.

A lot of people forget about chairs when furnishing their loft, but they are definitely a necessity. The space will be much more functional if there is a place for your guests to sit while you prepare food or do other activities.

Kitchenware

There are several options when it comes to kitchenware, but the most important thing is that they all fit in the cabinets and pantry of your loft! It’s best to go with something simple like a toaster oven, blender, and coffee maker.

You’ll also need to ensure that your appliances (ie: refrigerator) are the right size for your loft’s kitchen space. Also think about getting an outdoor grill if there is room in order to cook al fresco when possible!

Bathroom Accessories

A loft often doesn’t come with a bathroom, so it’s important to stock up on the essentials before you move in. This includes towels, shower curtain and rings, toiletry organizer, and a bathmat.

If your loft has a washer and dryer in it, make sure to get laundry detergent and fabric softener as well.

Entertainment Area

This could be anything from a television to a gaming system. Make sure that whatever you choose is the right size for your loft and has enough storage space for all of your cords and games.

Having a comfortable place to relax and unwind is key when living in a small space, so make sure to invest in some good entertainment area furniture as well.

Home Improvement Tools You Should Have on Hand

Home Improvement Tools You Should Have on Hand

Being a home owner just gives you a good feeling. It just has a nice ring to it. But it will not be that easy. Being a home owner means you will have full responsibility for your home. So, if maintenance and repairing is needed, it is your own responsibility now. Sure, it would be just easy to hire a contractor or a handyman. But times like these, you have to wise about your spending. 

It is not that hard to learn about the basics of DIY. For you to do that, you just need to gain some knowledge from YouTube and have the right tools on hand. With these little investments, you will be able to save a lot of money.

1. Hammer

One of the most well-known tools that is a must-have in your home. Whether you will need to hang a frame or fix  a broken arm of your chair or cabinet, a hammer is all you need. There are different kinds that you will see but the most basic and popular one that we always see is the claw hammer. It has a flat hammerhead on the other side that is used for pounding while the other has a V-shaped notch used for extracting nails.

2. Screwdriver

Another well-known tool that is used for many basic household repairs. It is often used for common household tasks like assembling furniture and lamps. It is also useful for tightening doorknobs and as for attaching and removing outlets or light switch. There are many kinds of screwdrivers that are also available in different sizes. The two most basic are the flat-head, the one with single-slot on top, and the Philips, the one that resembles a small cross at the head of the screw. As said before, screwdrivers come in different sizes, and it will be handy to have a variety of them. The smaller sizes are often used for equipments. 

3. Wrench

Not all items in your home are attached by screws. Some of them are with nuts and bolts. A wrench is a tool used for tightening and loosening bolts and nuts. They are especially useful when it comes to plumbing. They are also needed when a car or bicycle needed to be repaired.

4. Drill

The drill is said to be the most used tool, and it is really handy. Whether you need to mount your TV or repair your drywall, a drill is what you need to get the job done quickly and effectively.

5. Air Compressor

Do you need something to power up your power tools? Are you also looking for something that will be useful for your garage? An air compressor is a great machine for that. A handy machine for powering up your tools so your job will be easier, and also for auxiliary tasks like inflating tires. Tires are not just the items it can inflate, it can be also for balls and floats that are for pools and will make your life much easier. Some also use air compressors as dust blowers for hard to reach spots. With this, you will also have a tool that will be able to clean up your garage or yard.

Some Tips for Finishing An Accommodating Loft

Some Tips for Finishing An Accommodating Loft

A finished loft can be a great way to add some extra space to your home. Not only can it be used for storage space, it can even be use to add additional accommodations for guests, children, or even a romantic evening with your loved one.

You need to put a little extra thinking into the design when you’re working with limited space and limited accessibility. Here are some things you should keep in mind if you’re planning to down this route.

Access

The most important thing to consider is how you will access your loft. The most common way is with a basic ladder, as stairs would often either be too steep or take up too much space in the bottom floor. You’ll need to make sure that the ladder is well supported and that it is designed safely. Railings and anti-skid surfaces are an excellent idea in this regard.

You’ll also want to consider who is going to use the loft. Is it someone who is in plenty good shape to hoist themselves up there? If not, you’ll have to take extra care to design it so that everyone can use it without too much stress to their body and certainly without risk of injury.

Accommodations

You’re going to be tight on space, so you’re going to have to choose your furniture appropriately. Much of this will come down to what you plan to use the loft for. Is it a place where you’re going to have romantic dinners with your spouse? If so, maybe its a small table & chair set. Or perhaps it’s a place where you want to have overnight guests? In this case, you may want to look for a small bed or a futon – you should be able to find something that is both comfortable and not too expensive. Futons can really be a great addition to small spaces like this.

You’ll also want to put some thought into lighting. Recessed light fixtures are the method of choice if you can make it work with your home’s electricity and your budget. If not, a simple floor lamp is probably the way to go. You want to avoid any light fixtures hanging down from the ceiling, as this will take up unnecessary headroom.

Luxury

Last, but certainly not least, you want to take into account what final touches you can add to make your loft a truly wonderful place to be. Our biggest recommendation – a view. Whether it’s the woods, the mountains, a city scape, or the sea, if you have it you should make use of it! Large windows are the best way to achieve this, and the feeling of being up high and looking out over a gorgeous view will really bring your whole loft experience together.

In lieu of a view, there are still plenty of options at your disposal. Perhaps you could make use of a wall-mounted flat screen television, if that suits the overall theme of your loft. Or perhaps a nicely placed painting could help bring the room together? Whatever you choose in the end, just make sure it fits with the ambience and decor that you set out with when putting it all together. In the end you’ll have a wonderful addition to your home. There’s nothing quite like making the most of your unused space!

Fireplaces and Their Alternatives

Fireplaces and Their Alternatives

There’s no question that adding a fireplace to your home makes it more desirable. It provides a central place in your home for your family and your guests to gather and enjoy an evening. They look great and they add a little bit of extra warmth to your home when you need it.

Traditional fireplaces are obviously a bit tricky to install if you don’t have a chimney. While you can certainly take on the project of installing a full chimney, it’s no small feat. Luckily these days there are some alternative options you can consider if you want to bring the benefits of a fireplace to your home.

In this article we’ll take a look at traditional fireplaces and their alternatives so you can have a better idea of which option is best for your home improvement project.

Is The Real Thing For You?

If what you really want is a no-frills, real-deal fireplace, then you don’t have many options. You’re going to need a full brick chimney properly equipped with everything you need to safely burn a fire in your home. If you already have a chimney then you’re in good shape, you’ll probably just need to make sure it’s up to par and fully operational before you use it. It can be a good idea to call in a chimney sweeper to give it a clean and a look over.

If you don’t have a chimney already, then you’re going to have to install one. This isn’t the end of the world, people do it all the time. It’s going to be a bit of an expense though, and it’s certainly going to take up a bit of a footprint in your home. If you’re not willing to compromise when it comes to having a real fire in your home, then you have no way other way to go. However, if you are willing to compromise you might want to consider one of the alternative options.

Electric Fireplaces – The Best Option For Convenience

If your main concern is that you have something that is aesthetically pleasing as a centerpiece for your room, then an electric fireplace may just be the way to go. They aren’t the most realistic alternative you’re going to come across, but they are still quite realistic and will certainly do the trick in many cases.

The great thing about electric models is that you don’t need any chimney or really any ventilation at all. They can be installed just about anywhere, and you have a range of styles to choose from. Better yet, they work at the click of a button and you don’t even need to set them to put out any heat at all if you don’t want to. They are a modern, stylistic, and convenient fireplace alternative. Just don’t expect truly real flames if you go this route.

Gas Fireplaces – A Nice Compromise

If the idea of an electric fireplace just doesn’t quite seem authentic enough, but you’re all on board with avoiding a chimney then a gas fireplace is probably a good compromise for your situation. You’ll still need a way to adequately vent the heat and fumes that are generated by it’s operation, but with simple ducting this can be much easier to install.

One thing to keep in mind if you want to go this route is how the gas is going to be supplied. If you already have a natural gas connection in your house then it can likely be tapped into to supply the fireplace as well. If you don’t then you’ll probably need a propane tank to hold the fuel. Otherwise, gas fireplaces are a great option. While they don’t look 100% real, they still have real flames and can be quite pleasant.

Hopefully by now you’re on your way to choosing the perfect fireplace for your home. Any questions please go ahead and ask!

Building a Practical Home Music Studio

Building a Practical Home Music Studio

Not everything you build in your house has to be an essential. Sometimes you can spare some space and resources for the things that we truly love in life. The things that make use keep pushing forward, and the things that help us wake up in the morning.

Personally, I love music. I am a guitar player at heart but I love to dive into music in many ways whenever I have a spare moment. As part of renovating my house my wife and I agree to dedicate a small area to my music addiction. It’s not much, but it gives me a place to keep all of my guitar gear. There’s also just enough room so that I can comfortably isolate myself from the rest of the house and get in the zone to make music.

It wasn’t an easy task to fit so much stuff (I have a lot of guitars) in such a small space, but with a bit of though, planning, and creativity I was able to pull something off that worked really well for me. Here are some things I learned along the way that you can apply to building your home music studio, should you ever start heading down that path.

Decide What’s Most Important

What’s most important to you as a musician that you need this music studio to provide for you? Is it a place to actually sit down and record songs, like it was for me? Or on the other hand, maybe you just need a place to store all of your guitars until you want to take them out to play with them? If you’re an avid collector and you just need a place to put your guitars you really won’t need that much space. A bit more on that later.

Once you know what’s important to you in your music studio, it’s very easy to prioritize around that so that you can make sure you’re getting everything you need out of your efforts.

Organizing Your Electric Guitar and Gear

One way to really maximize space when you’re dealing with constraints is to make use of organization tactics. I found guitar stands online that you can actually mount right on the wall to save floor space. I only needed one, but I imagine even if you have several guitars you could store them this way just fine.

I was a little worried about their integrity since my guitar is one of the best electric guitars out there and I really didn’t want it to fall and get damaged. I was quite happy to see that the quality was actually very good, and once mounted properly in a stud it was quite sturdy.

Another huge space saver for me was to make hooks from which I could hang coils of cables. Not only does this keep them from becoming a knotted mess, it also makes it really easy to find exactly the cable I need in matter of minutes.

Lastly, I make a console in the room where I could put my computer, audio interface, and studio monitors. I made them nice racks so that everything was neat, orderly, and contained. I took a lot of inspiration from the idea of racks, but instead I made it out of nice, beautiful wood so it would match the rest of my house.

Ultimately you have a bit of flexibility when you build your studio out from scratch. I find that I have accumulated so much gear over the years that it’s extremely helpful to have everything accessible within an arm’s reach.

Do you have pictures or stories of your home music studio? Please share, I’d love to hear them.

Design and Maintain Your Own Stone Driveway

Design and Maintain Your Own Stone Driveway

Curb appeal is characterized by building an attractive exterior of a residential or commercial site. During the housing boom in the United States, prospective buyers sought curb appeal in properties as one of their top priorities. Aesthetics have long been associated with dream homes, regardless of economic crises. The front entrance of your home is the focal point of appeal, which entails a beautiful, well designed and maintained driveway. Many homeowners aspire towards having a front lawn that features a gravel driveway because of its beauty, durability and low maintenance. If you happen to be one of these homeowners, you might be interested in learning these great tips for installing and maintaining a beautiful stone driveway.

Before anything, it is important to know that a gravel driveway installation requires some foresight before the project is undertaken. The maintenance process, albeit, less hectic and takes smaller efforts than of other driveways, should not be underestimated. Stones can shift, loosen and be displaced from its fixed positions with time, which can result in ruts and potholes forming. If the gravel is not constructed and planned carefully, it can be a devastating experience.

Stone Driveway Installation

1. When you choose your driveway location, ensure there are no drainage issues in that area. If you position your driveway allowing water to run off the sides, you can prevent the water from pooling inside your gravel.

2. You can landscape your driveway either using boundaries of timber or brick. Mark off the area according to the width you want. If your driveway is curvy, a width of 14 feet will be feasible. Make sure the measurement takes in extra space for unforeseen conditions.

3. Lay down two to three layers of gravel (bear in mind each layer will be 4 to 6 inches thick). To improve stability, experts recommend using three separate layers that consist of different sizes of stone.

4. Order your gravel once you’ve explored rates with several companies. Choose the color, type, shape and size. You will also order/rent tools and machinery like shovel, metal rake, gardening gloves, wheelbarrow, and a mechanical compactor (this is used to compress the rocks and mud together).

5. Remove grass and topsoil from the area marked off. Dig out 4 to 6 inches of soil for each layer (you can use a tiller to loosen the soil to pull it out easily). Prepare the ground by leveling the surface in order to avoid leaving uneven ground spaces that can trap water.

6. Compact the soft ground using a mechanical compactor and lay down the weed barrier underneath the rocks.

7. Start layering and spreading the rocks by following precise instructions. You can have the center of your driveway slightly elevated so that the water slides down.

Stone Driveway Maintenance

1. Schedule routine debris removal tasks. The more frequently you clean up the driveway, including removing leaves, sticks etc the less difficult it will be to get everything out of the way. We recommend finding the most powerful pressure washer you can get your hands on to help make quick work of the weeds and make the stones shine.

2. If potholes appear in your gravel, get extra gravel to fill that part up without just shoveling some over from the other area. This becomes problematic and affects the entire driveway sooner than later.

3. Add a fresh layer of gravel to the surface every 1 or 2 years.

4. Maintain the borders of your gravel well, since foot traffic can kick away gravel frequently. Use an edging material for the borders to keep gravel in place.

5. Regularly apply a weed killer to the surface layer of the gravel.

6. Driving moderately on your driveway, a high speed can dislodge the gravel and eventually lead to thinning of the driveway areas.

Choosing Your Home’s Siding Can Be Much Easier

Choosing Your Home’s Siding Can Be Much Easier

Choosing your home’s siding can be a lot easier if you have made some simple choices, and you will find out that you can pick something that will work with the house if you have planned out what you want to do. You just have to be sure that you have found out what you will do to be sure that you can get something that actually looks good on the house and gives you hope that you can work something out. You will pick the color that you want, or you can pick something that is very easy to paint.

There are many people who will be very interested in the ways that they can make these changes, and they will find out that they can make some changes that would be easier to complete. You can make sure that you are going to make the house look much better, and then you will figure out what you can do that will be the best thing for you and the people in it. You can make the house change character completely, and you can make the house look so different that you never want to leave.

You also have to see what you will do to be sure that you have chosen the things that will stand up to the weather in your area. That means that you can get a few things to hang up on the house that you will notice always work, and you start feeling like you can make a change that will be easier for you to use. If you have some choices that you like, you can turn the house into something that will be much more exciting. You can actually get the house to look perfect, and you can match up with the trim and other things that you already have.

The best part of this is that you can be sure that you have a few things that are easier to handle. You can get something that is going to work out for you with no problem, and you also have to be sure that you will ask the people who sell it to you how they can install it. If you have never actually thought this out before, you can make some really easy choices that you will be proud of. You can look through the catalog, and you can work out what will make more sense.

There are a lot of people who have had major problems with these things in the past, and they have to see what might be done to get the house to look great because you can choose any color of material for your siding.
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Kitchen Remodeling Ideas

Kitchen Remodeling Ideas

Perhaps, it is the time of the year that you’re planning to remodel your kitchen. But, you have no idea as to how things should be done. There are many ways for you to be inspired if you are looking for a design and style for your future kitchen set up. You can also seek a designer’s consultation to make sure that you get the thing correctly just the way you wanted it.

Another fun the fact that you can be inspired by a design and style for a kitchen is to visit kitchen showrooms and list down all the necessary items that you need. This is an excellent way to you know the type of design that you’d like to have in your home. Everything may look perfect, but you need to keep in mind that you have a budget to maintain. To make sure that you get the right design, space and style, here are the following tips and ideas for kitchen remodeling.

1. Get a professional advice- as mentioned; you need an expert opinion on that matter. You don’t have to approach things in a rush which is why before you’re going to visit a showroom make sure that you have talked to a PRO kitchen designer.

2. It is worth the splurge- whether you’re on a tight budget or not you need to think about what items you should be spending and what materials for kitchen remodeling should you be looking for. Does it suit your taste or would you instead downgrade it to a more cost-effective type of materials? There are so many things that you need to consider and the fact that knowing whats worth the splurge is often difficult to decide.

3. Designer’s recommendation- even if you’re remodeling, creating a comfortable and a good looking kitchen is important. Consider installation tips for countertops, lighting, and cabinets. The most convenient way to accumulate money is to keep your present layout of the kitchen and take down walls if necessary, ensure the plumbing connections and electrical wiring as well. Make sure that everything still fits within your budget range.

4. Saving your cabinets- if the materials of your cabinets are still in good shape, there are ways for it to be recycled. All you need is to have experts that can rebuild cabinets and make it unique again.

5. Utilize every corner of the kitchen especially when it comes to cabinets- this is why designers come in handy regarding upgrading kitchen spaces. Through their expertise, you will be able to utilize the functionality of a new kitchen.

6. Double sliding and pulling out shelves- take advantage of anything that can be slid or pulled out shelves. You will see so much space can be occupied without worrying how to organize your kitchen tools and utensils.

Now that you have an idea regarding upgrading your kitchen, it is best that you take down the necessary items that you need to remain and decide which ones should you take out.