First Home Ideas

Your FIRST HOME is a true milestone in your life and it brings fantastic new experiences and quite a variety of challenges. You may never have used tools to fix things around a home before, let alone learned to paint a room, install TP holders, sew a drapery or stain a deck. This popular topic has helpful hints for just about everything having to do with your first home, be it an apartment, condo, manufactured home or house.

Sew a Reversible Valance for Twice the Look

Sew A Reversible Valance - MattandShari.com

This reversible valance is a simple way to dress up plain purchased sheers or draperies. In fact, this valance is simple enough to whip up quickly for the holidays or for something as unique as a special treatment to display on a birthday or anniversary. Materials List: Two coordinating fabrics Matching sewing thread Trims or…

Tie-Up Valance Can Be No-Sew

No Sew Tie Up Valence

My initial plan with this simple valance was to get Matt involved, and while he sewed, I would relax!  Well, after much deliberation with the sewing machine, Matt got an idea of his own…iron on adhesive tape!  And he was right, this is just one of many window topper treatments you can create without the…

Customize Store Bought Flat Panel Draperies

Customize Store Bought Draperies 2 - MattandShari.com

When it comes to window treatments, the sky is the limit. However, sometimes our time is limited!  So, embellishing store bought flat panels is a great way to add a personal touch to your window treatments without starting from scratch!  Read along…this is one window treatment you’ll definitely want to try. Materials List: Store bought…

5 Ways to Update a Room

5 Ways to Update a Room

You can accomplish any one or more of these methods to update  a room in a single weekend if you really put your mind to it. Budget is no excuse – some cost very little or nothing! Skill is no excuse – anyone can paint. And don’t even mention time…if you want it badly enough,…

Tips to Make Moving Less Stressful

Use Rollers When Moving

You’ve packed your Moving Day box, right? Well if not, you need to read these moving day tips! Moving tips need to start at the current house and then “move” to the new house, so here goes… Packing the boxes! * Don’t over pack boxes.  It’s better for your health to take more trips and…

5 Ways to Brighten a Room with Little Natural Light

Brighten a Room with Color

If you are living in a home with little natural light, you are probably looking for ways to brighten a room or two, short of putting in bigger windows. Well, we have 5 ideas that can help you to maximize the natural lighting you do have to brighten a room, or all your rooms! 1….

The Color Green is an Ideal Wall Color

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One of the most prevalent colors on our planet, green offers a wide variety of hues, making it ideal for walls. It is a secondary color, meaning it is created through the blending of two of the primaries; in this case blue and yellow. So, greens with more yellow are going to be the olives,…

The Color Orange Works Best in Small Amounts

The Color Orange 1

If you want to use the color orange in your home, you need to understand all of its nuances. Orange can range from a subtle off-white to apricot, bittersweet to brown. It is a secondary color in the spectrum being created through the mixture of red and yellow. What this means is that whether it…

5 Must Have Tools for Your Shop

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Okay, you finally bought all the hammers, screwdrivers and other essential elements that make up your first toolbox. Now there isn’t a drain you can’t fix, a picture you can’t hang, or a piece of wood you can’t cut. You feel it’s time to graduated from the “puttering around the house” to the “I’m ready…

Read These Tips Before Buying a Couch

Tight Back Sofas Always Look Neat

A couch (or sofa as I’ve  come to call it) is a big purchase and these tips will help you make a smart decision on both style and quality. Let’s talk about style first since that decision is made while you are still at home.  The quality portion happens while you are standing in the…

How to Use Color Trends in Your Home

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Color trends are just one thing to think about when you are decorating, just like knowing what is on sale at the grocery We don’t track trends too closely because we want people to decorate to make themselves happy, not follow the trends. However, knowledge is power! So, even though we often have to work with…

Start Here for an Introduction to the World of Color

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Just imagine a world without color. It surrounds us, affects us, can change our mood, it may even be healing. Read on to find out! Matt’s biggest dream is that one of these days I’ll be perfectly satisfied with the first color I choose, and after one simple sample board, his work is complete!  Well,…

Make a Corner Cupboard for Additional Storage

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Turn an empty corner into useful storage and display space with an easy to make corner cupboard. Shari and I have decorated numerous bathrooms, and all of them share one common problem – not enough storage.  Typically, the only places to store items are the medicine cabinet and under the vanity, neither of which were…

Dress Up a Plain Fireplace by Adding a Mantel

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Most fireplaces have mantels, but if yours doesn’t, never fear, with a few tools and a few boards, you can have that mantel you’re dreaming about! A roaring fire can help tame the fiercest winter weather, but not all fireplaces are created equally in a decorating sense. Without a mantel,a fireplace seems somehow incomplete nonetheless, many…

How to Paint a Faux Tile Backsplash

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Tile can be expensive, but paint is easily affordable and using it you can create a fantastic backsplash that most will think is really tile!  Nothing can give your kitchen cabinets more pizzazz than a beautiful tile backsplash.  It adds color, depth and a totally customized look.  However, ceramic and glass tiles can be expensive and quite…

How to Live Large – Even in a Small Space

Live Large in a Small Space

Today I think we have more respect for those who can put together a functional and happy home on a much smaller footprint. Matt and I have had a relationship with Hunter Douglas shades and blinds for a very long time. They were always there for us while we taped room by room and we…

Make a Wall Mounted Upholstered Headboard

Wall Mounted Headboard

This is a great headboard to make for any bedroom.  It takes just a little wood working skill and the use of a staple gun, batting and fabric.  Mix in about 3 hours of your time and you’re done! The headboard is two units (counting the 6 top layer panels).  The back headboard is covered with…

Learn to Make a Marble Look Table Top

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Knowing how to paint a marble look can come in handy for table tops, floor cloths, columns – who knows what else? We asked our friend Elizabeth Cohen to teach us some interesting painting techniques that can not only be used on furniture but can also be used on your walls. The following intructions are…

Learn to Make a Granite Tile Table Top

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A granite tile look can be wonderful on a small side table that you want to stand out as an accent piece and here’s how to paint it! We asked our friend Elizabeth Cohen to teach us some interesting painting techniques that can not only be used on furniture but can also be used on your…

Learn to Make a Custom Stencil Table Top

customstenciltabletop

If you enjoy painting and being creative, you might like to make your own stenciled table top with a design that inspires you! We asked our friend Elizabeth Cohen to teach us some interesting painting techniques that can not only be used on furniture but can also be used on your walls. The following intructions are…

Five Easy Tips On How To Winterize Your Home

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Once cold air moves in, it doesn’t take long for heating costs to skyrocket. With gas prices on the rise and cold weather around the corner, it is time to prepare and winterize your home. It’s never too early to start, especially as the best time to winterize is when the temperature is above 50…

How to Fix Your Wet or Damp Basement

Wet and Damp Basement Issues - MattandShari.com

Like most things, most people don’t do much about a lot of things until it is causing them an up close and personal problem. Like when the car won’t start, or when the roof is leaking, etc. When we see most property disclosure forms filled out by the seller of a home, they typically state…

How to Create a Color Story For Your Home

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It’s important to learn how to create a color “story” for your home because it helps tie all your rooms together making a cohesive design statement. When it comes to pulling your home together and making a color story for it, a good place to start is in your entry.  And, the entry in this…

All You Need to Know About Flooring Options

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Laminate versus ceramic and what is engineered hardwood…well all the answers are right here.  Flooring is one of those decorating items where the more knowledge you have about the products and variety of style the easier it is to make a decision about which type of flooring is best for you home.  Flooring choices can vary…

How to Protect and Care for Your Fine Furniture

Spray the Cloth NOT the Furniture - MattandShari.com

Taking care of your fine furniture is really quite easy; it just takes a little common sense and most importantly a schedule. Like anything furniture needs to have a maintenance program that is followed on a regular basis. So make taking care of your furniture part of your weekly (or at least once a month)…

How to Make Your Exterior Entry Pretty and Welcoming

Pretty Entry Adds Curb Appeal

Even if you think you have a lovely foyer in your home, your entry also extends to the outside of your home.  It all depends on which direction you are going! So it pays to take a look at the front of your home, or at least at the entrance that most people use when…

20 Common Decorating Mistakes to Avoid

Don't Use Toilet Covers - MattandShari.com

No one wants to make a decorating mistake, but decorating is a pretty tough project and mistakes can happen, so start your projects with a little help from your friends, Matt and Shari, then check out the latest decorating faux pas! What I’d like to do is point out 20 of the most common mistakes…

What Style Am I and Is It Important?

Eclectic Style Living Room - MattandShari.com

Everyone thinks they need to have a certain well known style for their homes, and those homes that do really come together beautifully, however, what you really want to figure out is what is YOUR style!  I would have to say one of the most common “basic” questions I get is “What Style am I?” …

What to Look for in Traditional Style

Traditional Style Living Room - MattandShari.com

Traditional style is a good place to start when we are talking about style because it’s easy to understand.  It’s about everything classic, like classic themes, colors and all the classic furniture styles you’ve heard of over the years. This side table is an excellent example of traditional detailing.  It is in the familiar Queen…

What to Look for in Transitional Style

Transitional Style Living Room - MattandShari.com

Transitional is a style that is very popular today because it lies somewhere between traditional and contemporary. That sounds like a tall order, but basically it’s a less detailed traditional and a softer, more detailed contemporary.  However, like contemporary style, it often uses neutrals and textures so the finished look is about comfort and practicality. …

What to Look for in Contemporary Style

Contemporary Style Living Room - MattandShari.com

True contemporary design is all about the lines, whether they are organic or geometric, and more often than not the color is solid. So, in stark contrast to traditional is contemporary style.  Where traditional styles have been around for hundreds of years, contemporary furnishings have only been around since about the 1940’s. Many see the…

Decorating an Apartment When You Can’t Paint

Apartment Decorating Ideas

There are so many rules when you live in an apartment it can be difficult to experss your personality without the help of paint or wallpaper, but fabric can help! Decorating an apartment is possible despite popular belief.  I know that more often than not, you aren’t allowed to do any painting. Often times, putting holes…

Adding Stone to Your Home’s Exterior

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The addition of stone to the exterior of your home will really amp up it’s curb appeal! Many homes today enjoy increased curb appeal and high perceived value because of the addition of stone. As with any type of building material, with stone, you have choices. The main decision to be made is the choice…

Freshen Grout with Coat of Armor Grout Solutions

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That’s right, it’s a Mold, Mildew and Stain Resistant Grout Color and Sealer in One! In the many years that Shari and I have been doing home improvement projects, we have been asked countless times, what can I do about my dull, dirty, stained or discolored grout on my floor tiles. We have tried countless…

How To Pull Wall Colors from Your Furnishings

LIght Green Walls with Floral Duvet - MattandShari.com

See how five different paint colors selected from a printed bedspread make a bedroom look bright, calm, cool, dramatic and warm! Painting a room is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to make a change in the way your home looks.  But, the selection process takes time and patience.  In fact, it’s an art…

One Day Back Splash Tiling Project for Your Kitchen

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It only takes a day to complete but it will add some style to your kitchen as long as you keep it! Looking around my kitchen, I noticed that our backsplash was a little boring; it was just a basic Formica backsplash that matches the countertop.  Well, like most folks, I didn’t have it in…

Follow These Steps to Choose Exterior House Colors

Pretty Exterior Color Palettes

Selecting exterior house colors is a difficult job, but if you follow these important steps I can assure you the process will be much easier.  When it comes time to select exterior house colors, whether you are building and making all of the selections at once or just replacing one of the key features of your…

How Do I Determine My Exterior Style?

Contemporary Style Exterior

We’ve talked about interior style many times, but what about the style of the exterior of your home?  Well, I’m going to walk you through a brief history of home styles and while I’m explaining the different looks and details, see if you can figure out what style home you live in! Well, between the…