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What to Do (and Not Do) with Wallpaper

Categories: Blog | Posted: February 28, 2019

Some things are better left in the ’70s, like vinyl jumpsuits and shag carpeting. But patterned wallpaper should not be added to that list. When picturing your dream house, consider adding wallpaper to mix in new design elements and style.

Wallpaper isn’t the lifetime commitment you may think. In fact, you can purchase sticker-like removable wallpaper. Wallpaper comes in all forms – bold and subtle patterns, loud and neutral colors, and even in textures like faux fur or crocodile skin.

But there are some things to consider about bringing wallpaper into your home. Here are some basic Do’s and Don’ts for planning and installing wallpaper.

Do Be Careful About Patterns

This cannot be stressed enough: Go easy on bold or loud patterns. While this type of wallpaper would be great as an accent wall or backing shelves, it will quickly overwhelm a room. Either choose a subtle, neutral color wallpaper for the entire room or plan on only papering a small area with something bold or bright.

And please, don’t mix designs. Too many patterns in a room will look cluttered and make the space seem smaller than it is.

Don’t Blindly Buy

You would never paint the walls in your house without testing out the color first (right?). Think of wallpaper in the same way. You may fall in love with a floral pattern in the store, but at home, it might look like your grandma’s kitchen. Unless that’s the style you’re going for, definitely bring home samples to test out. Make sure you look at the sample in natural lighting against your room’s furniture and flooring.

Do Avoid Just Jumping In

We get it. You find the perfect wallpaper for your dining room or kitchen accent wall. You’re so excited to see it on your walls you can’t wait to start putting it up.

But you better pump the brakes unless you want crooked or wrinkled walls for the next decade. Don’t rush in unless you’re a professional. It’s better to wait for an expert to help you install that wallpaper. You’ll thank yourself later.

Don’t Worry About the Commitment

One of the arguments against putting up wallpaper is that it can’t easily be replaced if you get sick of a pattern or get new furniture that clashes. For people afraid of commitment (no shame in that), there’s a perfect solution.

You can buy removable wallpaper in a variety of colors and patterns. Think of it as a giant wall sticker. If you ever get sick of a pattern or want to try switching things up each season, this works great. Removable wallpaper is a great way to add a temporary pop of color or style to any room.

Do Plan for the Future

Right now, foxes hiding behind trees may look cute in your breakfast nook. But five years from now, are you still going to love the look? Choose a style that will grow with you and your home. Trendy designs are best kept to wallpaper decals or artwork.

This tip applies both to the design and quality of your wallpaper. Be sure to pick a high-quality wallpaper that will last for as long as you want it on your walls. Unless you love the arduous task of wallpapering a room, you want a wallpaper that looks good for years to come.

The biggest DO of adding wallpaper to a room is not to be overwhelmed. Like picking out furniture or choosing which artwork to hang where, wallpaper is an exciting way to make a space reflect your style. It’s a great way to add color or texture to a room, and your options there are endless.

Should I Build a Single-Story Home?

Categories: Blog | Posted: February 11, 2019

Building a home presents an incredible amount of challenges. But you’ll need to answer this question before doing almost anything else: should you build a one-story or two-story house? There are many advantages and disadvantages of each. Of course, in the end, it will come down to your personal preference. What works better for your family? How long are you going to live here?

Here are a few advantages to building a single-story home.

Lower Heating and Cooling Costs

A single-story home is an excellent return on investment when it comes to heat and air conditioning. Since heat rises and cold air falls, people with two-story homes end up paying nearly double in costs just to keep their upstairs and downstairs at a comfortable temperature.

With just one floor to heat or cool, single-story homes are more cost and energy efficient. That’s a double win.

Maintenance is So Much Easier

Do you know what’s not fun? Carrying a vacuum cleaner up and down a set of stairs every week. Everything is on the same level in a single-story home, so there’s no need to run up and down floors carrying laundry or cleaning supplies. It may not seem like this would be a big deal, but all that work adds up and makes chores even more unappealing.

This is true for outside your home too. Washing your windows, cleaning your gutter, or painting is all easier when there’s only one floor to deal with.

Planning for Your Safety and Future

Another point to consider is whether you’re planning to live out your later years in this home. If you plan to retire and continue living in this home for the rest of your life, a one-story home may be better. After all, stairs can be cumbersome or dangerous for people with limited mobility. That’s why most senior living communities feature single-level homes.

But this consideration isn’t just for older folks. Familiar with small children may want to avoid adding stairs too. Falling down stairs is a real danger for crawling or barely walking kids.

For either of these reasons, or if you just don’t want to run up and down stairs every day, then a single-story home is the way to go.

In Case of Fire…

Nobody likes to think about the worst case scenario. But in the event of a fire or another disaster, it’s easier to get out of a one-story home. Evacuating from a ground floor window is undoubtedly better than jumping out a window higher up.

It may be unpleasant, but it’s necessary to consider this in your planning.

So, what are you sacrificing by building a single-story home?

One of the most significant downsides of a single-story home is a lack of privacy. When your bedroom is on the ground floor, you’re potentially open to people walking down the street or cars driving by. Additionally, there’s no separation between your home’s “public” and “private” spaces. This becomes especially important during the holidays or if you’re hosting a party with guests.

If you’re designing the floor plan, you can avoid some of this exposure. But even so, a multi-story home would offer additional privacy and protection.

Consider too that building is going to be expensive. First, because your home has a larger footprint and therefore requires more land. Second, you’ll need more materials for the foundation, roof, and windows.

It All Comes Down to Personal Preference

Are you looking for an easier layout design? More prefab options? Go for the single-story home.

There are many benefits of single-story homes, from inexpensive heating to easier maintenance. And there are certainly cons, like a lack of privacy or higher building costs. But ultimately, it comes down to your personal preference.

Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of different home styles will help you make a more informed decision about what type of home to build.

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