diy – Homeowners Insurance Tips and News Fri, 28 Jun 2013 15:01:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 8 Apps for Decorating Your Stylish Home Mon, 18 Jun 2012 14:30:42 +0000 Decorating your home can be a challenge when you constantly have to measure things, collect paint and fabric swatches, and compare furniture pieces in your head. However, with the right apps aiding your home decor ventures, you can have beautiful design right at your fingertips. Apps make decorating substantially easier, as they can store a great deal of information into a tiny piece of software. With the right apps, not only can you design your ideal room right on your phone, but you can also buy home furnishing products with a single click.

  1. Design Master

    Design Master is specifically formulated for your iPad, as it would be too difficult to navigate on an iPhone, and is extremely helpful if you can’t easily visualize what a piece of furniture might look like in your room. Simply snap a photo of your room using your iPad’s camera or choose a pre-existing photo from your library and then add items on top of the photo, choosing decor and other items from a catalogue within the app. You can resize and change the colors of furniture as you place them in the room as needed. You can also rotate them for different views. After completing your room, you can save it to your library for easy reference or email it to a friend. The app comes in three different versions depending on your designing needs — interior, hospitality, and exterior. The hospitality app works best for designers planning an event, with items like podiums and clothed tables in its inventory. Interior and exterior are self-explanatory, and both can be useful for home furnishing. Each version costs $9.99.

  2. Color Capture

    The Color Capture app by Benjamin Moore allows you to take a photo of anything using your phone or tablet and match it to corresponding paint chips from Benjamin Moore’s extensive library. You can then locate Benjamin Moore retailers in your area from within the app. The app is especially useful if you’re trying to develop a specific color palette in a room. You may get inspiration from a color combination you see in nature, and the app allows you to capture that moment and take it to your walls and furnishings. You can also add notes concerning your findings. The app is free and distributed both for Apple and Android products.

  3. MySurface

    Corian and Zodiaq produce different kinds of surfaces for homes, such as marble, granite, and tile. With the MySurface app, you can browse through the entire catalogue of surfaces from Corian and Zodiaq and save swatches of your favorites for quick reference. This makes it simple when you are discussing surface options with your decorator, or client if you happen to be an interior designer yourself. The photos used for surfaces are high-definition and you can hold them up to a surface to visualize what it might look like with a particular stone or tile. You can also browse through a gallery of furniture with different surface treatments for inspiration. The app is free for the iPhone or iPad.

  4. Remodelista

    If you can’t seem to find that perfect light fixture for your kitchen, browse the Remodelista app for ideas. Remodelista is constantly updated to bring you the newest trends in design products for your home. You can search by the room — kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, you name it — and browse the ever-expanding list of top-of-the-line products. The app also has DIY instructions for projects. Browse through images of furnished rooms and click “steal this look” for broken down pricing and retail information on various items. The app does product roundups on a regular basis. Save your favorite items to customizable folders for individual projects as you see fit. If you fall in love with a product, you can click “Buy Now” to purchase it directly from your phone or tablet. The full Remodelista app costs $2.99, but also comes in a lite version for free.

  5. Photo Measures

    The Photo Measures app by Big Blue Pixel allows you to photograph a room and input different dimensions for furniture, walls, and other objects in your virtual blueprint. You draw straight onto the photo and then add in the numerical values as measured out by hand. Measurements can be saved in imperial or metric units and the app intuitively recognizes angles. A high resolution copy of the photo can be exported to email to print out a hard copy. The app is a must for anyone trying to figure out if a specific piece of furniture will fit in a room before purchasing it. Given that you’ll have your exact measurements at hand on the go, you can claim that IKEA desk without worrying that it’ll be a tight squeeze next to your couch. The app costs $4.99, unless you purchase the free lite version.

  6. iHandy Level

    The iHandy Level from iHandy Inc. is a functioning level that you can use right from your iPhone. Like any level, you place the iPhone on a surface and it determines whether the surface is straight or slanted. However, the app is not only functional, but aesthetically pleasing, with a wood grain background and lighting effects. Plus, it’s absolutely free. The iHandy Level is the perfect solution for aligning artwork on your wall. It calibrates with a variety of surfaces, detecting verticality, angle measurement, incline, and roof pitch calculation.

  7. Pinterest

    You are probably more than acquainted with Pinterest already, but it can be a great website for getting decorating ideas. The Pinterest app is suitable for your iPhone and works almost identically to the website, in which you browse, favorite, and pin your own items to customizable boards. You can also take photos with your iPhone camera and pin them to Pinterest. If you’re looking for a specific decorating item, you can use the keyword search to narrow down the results. Pinterest also offers some of the best DIY ideas on the web.

  8. Mark On Call

    The Mark On Call app comes in two different versions depending on whether you intend to use it on your iPhone or on your iPad, but both are great resources for anyone taking on the challenge of interior design. Created by interior designer Mark Lewison, the app helps you conceive and carry out any design you please. You can map out a design of an existing room or an imaginary room, add dimensions to furniture using a crosshair cursor, and add “skin” surface textures onto things to see what something would like with a particular surface. You can create shopping lists of various items you’ll need to bring your room to life. You can also see how your interior design measures up by applying Mark’s Ten Commandments of Interior Design to a room. Both the iPhone and the iPad version are sold for $1.99 in the iTunes store.

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50 Do-It-Yourself Blogs: DIY Must-Reads for Home Improvement Projects Fri, 28 May 2010 19:20:01 +0000

You look upon your new (fixer) house, with its peeling paint and sagging floors, and think to yourself “I can do that. Couple weekends, little elbow grease…” Then you read the wisdom of these hardened DIYers, and you’ll either roll up your sleeves and get started (a little smarter) or, you’ll knuckle under and hire a contractor. Either way, there is much to learn, grasshopper. Read on.

  1. No list of DIY blogs would be complete without a mention of Houseblogs, a community of bloggers who can’t seem to stop working on their houses. So…much…to…learn…
  2. Retro Renovation is another must-read, especially for anyone into mid-century modern.
  3. The Old House Web blog offers savvy advice on a wide range of projects for the IDY homeowner.
  4. House in Progress, written with a wry wit, chronicles the adventures of a Chicago bungalow and its owners during the home improvement process.
  5. The Home Improvement Ninja will sneak up behind you with his sharp, lethally accurate sense of humor and make you laugh, and you won’t even see it coming because he is so stealthy.
  6. The 1902 Victorian blog has been on the DIY home scene for a long time and is a treasure trove of stories and information.
  7. Likewise, Young House Love is an iconic home renovation blog by two enthusiastic DIYers.
  8. Greg at the Petch House is restoring lovely 1895 Victorian to its true glory, a project not for the faint of heart. Go Greg!
  9. Read This Old Crack House to see Gary Leitzell take the concept of urban renewal to a whole new level.
  10. Casa Decrepit no longer lives up to its name, thanks to the heroic efforts of its owners.
  11. Anyone who appreciates history—not only architectural history but also the histories of individual people—will enjoy Foxcroft; the blog does a nice job documenting the stories of previous owners.
  12. If you’ve ever wanted a craftsman or bungalow with some lovely woodwork, you’re sure to enjoy the Tiny Oak Park Bungalow.
  13. Beacon Hill Bungalow documents a renovation in Beacon Hill (Seattle, not Boston) with good humor and useful details.
  14. Dawn & Jeremy Peterson’s Bungalowcious is a yummy smorgasbord of renovation strategies and stories about a bungalow in Portland, Oregon.
  15. Bungalow Insanity: Insane? Or…brilliant? Perhaps a bit of both. You decide.
  16. There must be something about bungalow style that brings out the DIY instinct. (They’re architecturally interesting and historic, yet seem relatively small and manageable…at first…) Bungalow 23 is a thorough and thoughtful look a renovating a Twin Cities bungalow.
  17. Home Sweet Split Level brings you the 1950’s in all their shiny glory.
  18. Mid Century Modern House on the Prairie brings you home renovation goodness from Calgary.
  19. Life in the Prairie Box takes you on a journey through an American Foursquare renovation, with meditations on sustainability along the way.
  20. Project Ranchalow brings you 1940’s style and DIY tips with wit and verve.
  21. Save the Pink Bathrooms will help you appreciate that 1950’s tile in your powder room. Besides, it would be a pain to replace, right?
  22. Nick and Trissa’s Pigeon Point Project in Seattle is a great compendium of stories and advice.
  23. Chicago 2-Flat: Now that they’ve renovated, it’s on to décor with thrifty vintage finds aplenty. Check the archives for great DIY info.
  24. If you feel that you might need to be talked out of this whole renovation thing, check out the Devil Queen. It will make you think twice, and if you choose to go ahead…well, at least you know what you might be getting into.
  25. Step right up and get your Stucco House restoration tips from this friendly Twin Cities blogger.
  26. How do Andrew and Meredith at Our Castle get all that work done with a baby around? Secrets, please? Do you two sleep?
  27. Just a Girl With a Hammer tackles it all, with energy and heart.
  28. Go on—see what’s behind Door Sixteen. (A lovely Victorian rowhouse, but don’t take our word for it—go check it out yourself.)
  29. Kathy at Pineapples and Parquet has a good eye for design—take a peek!
  30. 416FixerUpper shows you what’s possible with a dream and a lot of sweat equity.
  31. Meryl at The Picardy Project documents a multitude of DIY projects and also shows you how to make a stellar lemonade (assuming that you, too, have access to a bountiful Meyer lemon tree.)
  32. House flipping might not be quite the trend it was a few years ago, but the Flipping Couple stays in style.
  33. The Quarry Orchard keeps it real. Who can’t relate to “Project ADD?”
  34. We Could Make That is a stunningly appropriate motto for a DIY blog, and Chris and Amy truly capture the risk and reward of doing it yourself.
  35. Shane and Casey are the epitome of can-do spirit, from flipping stairs to stripping wood.
  36. Notes From the Heartland is a delight to read— and worth it for this wallpaper removal tip alone.
  37. Hip House Girl is slowly renovating her 1926 brick bungalow and we get to follow the process. Yay!
  38. Discover life at the Chateau Whitman with Kristi and Rob as they renovate, decorate, and relate their adventures in fixing up their house.
  39. Kelly likes to spend time Tearing Up Houses (and putting them back together) and she’s gotten pretty good at it over the years.
  40. Kim and Scott’s Yellow Brick Home showcases their Chicago style beautifully.
  41. Sara at Russet Street Reno has a great slogan: “DIY or die trying.” An honest and humorous look at the joys of DIY.
  42. Sunny’s Life in Rehab shows just how hard it can be to kick the DIY habit…but really, would you want to?
  43. Kevin and Layla over at The Lettered Cottage are a “little bit country and a little bit rock n’roll” and their home is lovely.
  44. Micah and Casey have opened their Yellow Front Door to readers who can now witness them tackle everything from unexpected mold to dog-related rug issues, all with good cheer
  45. Ann Marie at White House Black Shutters shares her adventures in DIY, along with the occasional mouthwatering recipe and cute photos of her little girl.
  46. The DIY Showoff is a treasure trove of useful ideas with great before/after inspiration…and the place to go if you want to boast about your DIY successes!
  47. Aren’t we all just One Project Closer? Then how come it never seems to end? Fred, Kim, Ethan, and Jocie can sympathize (and offer up some A+ blogging while they’re at it.)
  48. Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog shows how she budgets her DIY projects, and learning from her insights is WAY better than waiting for Great-Aunt Esme or the Tooth Fairy to leave you some cash.
  49. 3 Acres and 3000 Square Feet highlights life in a 1973 fixer-upper from one very busy couple…check out their list. After you stop feeling bad because you haven’t done nearly as much with your house, be sure to check out posts on going geothermal.
  50. Last but most certainly not least, the DIY Diva definitely knows her way around the power tools.

These DIY homeowners show that full-scale renovations require dreaming and determination in equal measures. Many thanks to them for sharing their insights, missteps, goals, and victories with the rest of us. After…it’s not really home if you don’t work on it, right?

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