Learn More About Hooked on Bedroom Remodels

Peter Pan and his adventures battling Captain Hook are equal to our wildest, most enjoyable dreams. Is it any wonder, then, that all of Peter Pan’s escapades started in a bedroom? If you’re looking for a way to turn your boring bedroom into a place where dreams come true, then maybe it’s time that you give your bedroom a facelift, or more, with a bedroom remodel.

Finding Your Happy Thought

You might think that a professional designer has all the answers when it comes to creating the perfect bedroom design for you and your home, but much as Robin William’s middle-aged Pan couldn’t fly until he discovered his happy thought in the 1991 Peter Pan movie “Hook,” interior designer Corinne Matthews, owner of Dream Room Designs in Atlanta, GA, says that each homeowner has to figure out for themselves what it’s going to take to turn the bedroom they have now into the bedroom of their dreams. “Ask yourself, how do you want to use the bedroom? How do you want it to feel?” she suggests. “If I come in and just tell you (what to do),” says Matthews, “then it’s my bedroom, not what you’re looking for.” Instead, she encourages homeowners to do their homework, and think carefully about what they’re trying to achieve. If aiming for the brightest star in the sky and then veering a little to the left isn’t helping you get on course, here are a few more of Matthews’ proven suggestions to help you find your bearings.

  • Magazines—It’s unlikely that Peter Pan or any of the Lost Boys ever read a book cover-to-cover, but we doubt they would have objected to picking up a comic book now and again. For homeowners looking to create a perfect Neverland of their own, Matthews says that looking through design and home magazines is “a great place to start and get ideas.”
  • Websites—Websites can be equally helpful. “There are sites now that have galleries of finished bedrooms for you to look at,” Matthews points out. That allows you to see for yourself how different design ideas might translate into a finished product.
  • Think Tinkerbell—In other words, take note of even the smallest details. “Even if you see a single bed or chair that you like, it can help generate ideas to go on,” says Matthews.
  • Keep Your Radar Up—Peter Pan never let his guard down, and you shouldn’t, either. Matthews recommends that homeowners keep their eyes open when they go on vacation, visit hotels, and visit the homes of friends and family, as all of these can end up being sources of inspiration for your upcoming remodel.
  • Note What You Don’t Like—Peter Pan knows what he doesn’t like, including pirates, bedtimes, and gravity. Understanding what turns you off can be a valuable tool in bedroom design as well. “What you don’t like is just as helpful as what you do like,” says Matthews, “especially in working with a designer.”

Still Looking For Some Pixie Dust?

Despite following all of Peter Pan’s advice, and no matter how hard Lady Wendy tried, she still couldn’t fly on her own. It ended up taking a little sprinkle of Tinkerbell’s pixie dust to finally get her up and off the ground. If you’re still having a hard time getting started, here’s some pixie dust of the bedroom design variety to help you fill your sails and get your head up into the clouds, where it belongs:

  • Think Cozy—”Most homeowners are interested in creating a fairly warm space,” says Matthews, who recommends that homeowners “focus on things that make it feel intimate, romantic, and warm and cozy.” That means choosing soft, warm colors, carpet instead of tile, flowing window treatments, and comfortable bedding.
  • Don’t Overdo It—You’ll never hear those 3 words uttered in Neverland, but in bedroom design land, they’re words to live by. Designbiz.com stresses the importance of not overcrowding, noting that “the bedroom is your personal space, and should be open and not claustrophobic.” That means getting rid of the computer desk, the dressing table you never use, and replacing unnecessary furniture with less obtrusive storage solutions, like getting rid of your bedside table and installing out-of-the-way shelving instead.
  • Dream Big—If you like dreaming about your future bedroom as much as you like dreaming, period, then designing your new bedroom is a good time to let your imagination run free. After all, nobody ever accused Peter Pan of thinking rationally and keeping his feet firmly anchored on the ground. “A lot of people are looking for a master bedroom suite,” says Matthews, “including things like a built in spa, and an adjoining master bathroom.” Bedroom remodels are one place where luxury is often the rule, rather than the exception.

Trundle Bed Models

Originally, trundle beds were small—the top bed was a twin, the bottom was slightly smaller. For this reason, they tended to take the place of a twin set in a small room for a pair of brothers or sisters. These trundle beds, like a Murphy bed or bunk beds, offered more of the room for dressers, desks and play room. Today, though, trundle beds come in many sizes. And while they once never had box springs—thereby relegating them to day beds?they can come with them today. There are king and queen-sized trundle beds, and trundle beds shaped to work as a deep couch, and others that roll three beds out of two. And if the history of the servant use bothers you, or perhaps you would like to use it for guests but think it odd to have one person sleeping closer to the ground, there are models that pop up. The lower bed is on springs and elevates when you pull it out, making it the same height as the bed it just came out of.

Know How Much Treasure is in Your Pirate Chest

On a final note, Peter Pan would much rather crow like a rooster than act in a sensible manner. Unfortunately, homeowners often adopt the same mindset when it comes to splurging on bedroom remodels. Despite the fact that the bedroom is a great place to cut loose when it comes to pampering yourself, Matthews is quick to encourage people to stay within their means as they transform their dreams into reality. “High end isn’t as popular as it used to be,” observes Matthews. “There are a lot of people, particularly now, that are making changes on a more modest budget.” That’s an insight worth paying attention to, especially if you’ve been counting pennies instead of sheep. Just keep reminding yourself that the goal is getting more sleep, not losing it, and you’ll be well on your way to making all of your bedroom remodeling dreams come true!

Simple Ways to Avoid Costly Uh Ohs in Winter

Ahh. It’s summer. Time for cocktails on the deck, laughter around the fire pit, and … pre-winter maintenance? Come on.

You’re a diligent (enough) homeowner, but who wants to spend their fleeting days of sunshine on a ladder when you could be in a hammock?

You do. (We swear. Bear with us.) There’s one very compelling reason: Summer is when preparing for winter can actually be fun — because it’s not all about HVAC filters and insulation.

It can be about beautifying your home, too.

Oh, make that two compelling reasons: Winter is so. Rough. On. Your. Home. So jump at the sunny chance to do these prep projects now for a home that’s gorgeous, warm, and worry-free when winter does come. Vitamin D boost included.

Upgrade Your Deck So It Won’t Get Slippery — or Rot
Your deck hates winter. Like, even more than you do.

Wintry weather soaks it, freezes it, and makes it swell and shrink repeatedly.

It’s a recipe for wood rot — and an ER visit if you step through the decayed part (hello, co-pay). Even if you come out unscathed, it’ll cost you $8 to $20 a square foot to replace with just basic treated wood.

So why not be proactive and do something to protect your deck, and while you’re at it, make it prettier and more enjoyable for the rest of your summer?

Stain it with a gorgeous color to shield against water, mildew, and harsh sun.
Give it new post toppers (solar ones are a nice touch).
Add some planters for all season color.
Maybe even screen your deck and enjoy it bug-free the rest of this summer and fall?
Modern kitchen with wood floors
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How to Shop for a Retro Kitchen — and Not Get Stuck with Junk
Refacing Your Kitchen Cabinets: The Options and Costs
Light Up Your Landscape for Both Beauty and Safety on Dark Nights
You probably barely escaped a lawsuit when your grouchy neighbor (not the fun one) slipped on your dark driveway last January.

Avoid a replay (that could cost you lost work and soaring medical bills) on those how-is-it-dark-already winter evenings.

Some ways to use outdoor lighting:

Along driveways, sidewalks, porch and deck rails
Motion lights above the garage
Rope lights on deck and porch railings
Uplighting for trees and other features
LEDs last a long time and don’t use much energy. But they do require hard-wiring, which could require an electrician.

Solar lights don’t need wiring, but the light can be less bright.

Switch Your Fireplace to Gas for Instant Ambiance (and Lower Bills)
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Gas bill has you paying through the nose …

Science lesson: Most of the warm air from your beloved holiday hearth goes right out the chimney instead of into your room.

But you can reverse that climb in your heating bill by converting it to a gas fireplace insert.

Why fireplace inserts are better than wood:

You can turn them on and off with a remote.
They’ll work even when the power goes out (great during snowstorms, and possibly saving you on hotel bills).
They really do help lower heating bills.
You can even program some of them to turn on when your house reaches a certain temp.
A fireplace insert will totally revolutionize your winter — but it won’t come cheap. An insert is an investment of about $3,000 to $6,500 installed, says Charlie Turner, president of Cricket on the Hearth, Inc., in Rochester, N.Y., “but you’ll save money by using your furnace less and zone heating your living space better.”

Replace an Old Roof With a Colorful One (That’ll Keep Winter Out — Forever)
We know. You do not want to think about your roof right now.

But multiply that dread times snow, ice, and wind chill, and the appeal of a summer fix begins to emerge.

Plus, trying to make an iffy roof stretch through one more winter can mean ice dams, roof leaks, water in your walls, and interior damage. If that happens, goodbye beach getaways for the next several years.

And, yes, a new roof isn’t nearly as fun as buying that art deco dining table you’ve had your eye on. But then, maybe you haven’t seriously seen metal roofs, which come in some pretty cool colors. It could totally transform your home.

Metal roofs:

Never die. Correctly installed, they’ll last as long as your house.
Have great resale value because they last so long.
Weigh less than other roofs (less stress on your home’s structure).
Install faster than shingles because they come in sheets.
Shrug off heavy snow; it simply slides off, never sticking around.
Come in brighter colors than their muted competition.
They do cost more than traditional shingles, but if you live in an area with heavy snowstorms, and you plan to stick around for awhile, the worry-free nature of them is really sweet.

Wash Your Windows to Invite More Warming Sunlight Inside
You’re spoiled now, but think about how you’ll be salivating for sunlight in about six months.

Do yourself a sunny favor and clean your windows inside and out to bring in warm winter sunshine. You’ll save money on heating bills, brighten your house, and lift your mood.

Doing it now gives you a chance to spot potential issues such as cracked windows, a carpenter bee infestation, or warped siding — and still have time to fix them before temps drop.

If in your heart, you know you’re not going to do that (your heart always knows), a low-hassle option is to take the time in summer to book a pro in the fall — before they get swamped and won’t even answer your calls.

DIY Some Window Treatments to Keep It Cozy at Night
Wait, didn’t we just suggest allowing in the sunshine? Yes, so plan to keep your shades open during the day, but once the sun goes down, you’ll want to keep heat inside and freezing air out.

There’s a pretty neat DIY project called a Kume curtain that originated in Chile (how cool, is that?), which solves that problem.

They’re kind of like shades — but with four insulating layers that trap air, keeping your room toasty. And since you’re DIYing them, you can make them as fun and flattering as you like — while enjoying the last of summer’s warmth.