8 Beautiful Home Projects Using Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed wood can be recovered from a wide variety of sources, but it most frequently comes from timber framing and decking used in old barns, factories, and warehouses. Some tell-tale signs of reclaimed wood include nail holes, manufacturer stamps, and markings. Other unique qualities, like variation and depth of color or unusual patterning, can be a result of it being stored in vessels like wine barrels, beer casks, and other containers.

Additionally, reclaimed timber is usually cut from strong, mature trees (unlike the younger, weaker trees used today for lumber), and is less prone to splitting. Because of these aspects, many designers choose to use reclaimed wood rather than virgin timber in their projects.

Here are eight different projects that incorporate reclaimed wood in distinct ways.

Ceiling turned to walls

Salvaged wood from multiple origins come together in this project in Buenos Aires by architects Teresa Sarmiento and Nicolas Tovo. They designed the home for their own family with the intention of celebrating recycled materials-floor boards of repurposed Brazilian pine and wall boards from the ceiling of a tenement in a local Buenos Aires neighborhood. The boards were cut down to size and oriented vertically to bring the eye upward to a clerestory window and small white beams.

Photo by Cristóbal Palma.

Repurposed staircase

A small, efficient home in Seattle designed by SHED Architecture & Design incorporated wood on the exterior and interior of the home, and even used salvaged wood from the residence that had previously stood on the site. Although the 100-year-old bungalow was demolished, the treads of one of its staircases were repurposed in the new home as a modern, open-riser stair that lets in light from the windows beyond.

Photo by SHED Architecture + Design.

Entryway elegance

Even a few pieces of salvaged lumber can have a big impact. This entryway in a Brooklyn townhouse, renovated by Bangia Agostinho Architecture, reused hemlock fir joists from the existing building structure as casework around the main entry door. The trim has a simple, modern profile, ensuring that it makes a contemporary statement. In the entryway is another repurposed piece of wood that was charred in a fire more than 100 years ago. It has since been painted and repainted – creating a unique patina and texture – and transformed into a bench.

Photo by Pia Ulin.

Accent wall and headboard

In a project in Quebec, Canada, a 1924 building was renovated by Bourgeois Lechasseur Architects. The renovation sought to modernize the apartment while preserving the historical elements – in particular, reusing wooden boards that were salvaged during demolition. The unfinished boards act as a rustic, earthy accent wall and headboard, while the surrounding white walls and crisp bed linens keep the room contemporary.

Photo by Adrien Williams.

From flooring to doors

This loft in Brooklyn, New York, used almost all reclaimed, recycled, or diseased wood for everything from the flooring – salvaged from a barn constructed in the 1800s in the Allegheny Mountains in Ohio – to the doors, which were saved from a mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut. Shelving, walls, and ceilings throughout the apartment are covered with wood that came from butternut trees in a blighted forest in Vermont, where worm infestations created intricate, unique patterns in the diseased wood. Although the apartment is located in New York, the different pieces of lumber inside come from all over the country.

Photo by Kevin Cooley.

Structural elements and beyond

Different types of reclaimed wood, each from different sources, steal the show in this residence in the Scottish countryside by Glasgow-based architect Andrew McAvoy of Assembly Architecture. Thick, deep oak beams were reclaimed and reused for structural elements, while the maple flooring was salvaged from an old school in the nearby rural village of Aberdeen. The reclaimed wood was a critical contributor to the goal of sustainability in the home.

Photo by Andrew Meredith.

Posts and beams

As barns become obsolete, they become fruitful sources of salvaged wood, like this house in the Catskills in Bovina, New York. Architect Kimberly Peck designed a home for a Norwegian couple that was looking for the perfect mix of warm, Scandinavian design and mid-century modern. The wood boards on the walls and the posts and beams are all reclaimed, but from different sources. The structural elements were recycled from a barn built in 1840, and the reclaimed planks on the walls were stained with a gray wash to match the other wood.

Photo by Torkil Stavdal.

A fine library

High ceilings and natural light prevent this small library that’s clad in reclaimed wood from feeling overwhelming or oppressive. The wood, a salvaged spotted gum, is a durable wood that’s native to Australia and is often used in structural, exterior, and interior applications. It ranges from a deep, reddish tone to a much lighter, almost yellow-white color. The library was part of a renovation of a family residence by Melbourne-based architects Andrew Maynard and Mark Austin of Andrew Maynard Architects.

Photo by Peter Bennetts.

This article was written by Kate Reggev and originally appeared on Dwell.  Check out more of their content on Dwell.com.



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8 Beautiful Home Projects Using Reclaimed Wood was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

Designer Lookbook: VW Fowlkes’ Simple-Meets-Sensual D.C. Home

In early 2011, VW Fowlkes, principal and founder of Fowlkes Studio in Washington, D.C., was struggling with a conundrum.

His clients, a husband and wife in their mid-forties, didn’t see eye to eye on the new design for their two-story, three-bedroom home in the historic Cleveland Park neighborhood.

The husband, who works in tech, “was a committed modernist who wanted everything white and super clean,” says Fowlkes. And the wife, who runs a public relations firm, “wanted everything organic and sumptuous and sensual with a natural patina. So we weren’t sure how to reconcile the directions we were getting.”

Bold patterns, rich textures

Choosing to tackle the kitchen first, VW chose a Mediterranean-style concrete tile that had a “timeless quality to it,” he says. “The graphic print was so bold, you could do nothing else to the space and it would still feel visually rich.”

The husband saw nothing modern in it, dismissing the rope-tie print as fuddy-duddy, but in the end, the pattern won out, and the solid walnut cabinet came next.

The wife “claimed to be super picky about the kinds of grains and wood species” she liked, Fowlkes says. “She said she wanted something natural, but she didn’t want it to look like a condo.”

After locating a woodworker who collected trees uprooted by Hurricane Irene, Fowlkes visited the property with his client, who walked around and chose the walnut tree of her choice for the cabinet.

The Maryland-based woodworker placed the wood in a drying kiln for four months so it wouldn’t warp, cup, or check while crafting the cabinets. Fowlkes also reinforced the back of the slab with steel rods for additional protection against curling.

“It’s clean and modern, but it’s also very sensual,” Fowlkes says of the cabinets, which feature a live edge on the bottom that reflects the tree’s shape. “We wanted to really express the nature of the material we were using. You can see some marks from the chainsaw at the edge where it was cut.”

The same woodworker provided the materials for the kitchen’s window seat and sliding barn door. The light pendants, made by Sundance Company, were chosen for their transparency, since they wouldn’t block the view of the cabinets from the dining room. “They’re not overly or self-consciously modern,” Fowlkes says, adding that they were hardly expensive.

Spacious room, warm accents

Upstairs, Fowlkes converted the tiny three bedrooms into a single master suite, which features the same walnut millwork and custom bronze hardware as the kitchen. In the closet, a little bronze hook pulls out for hanging up clothes, and the wide-plank pine floors lend warmth to the airy, white space.

Nature meets modern

For the bathroom, Fowlkes sourced a porcelain-style floor from Architectural Ceramics that resembles a concrete material. The bathtub and raised sinks are from Montreal-based company WETSTYLE. As with the kitchen, the plumbing fixtures have a living bronze finish that appealed to the wife’s interest in nature.

“We wanted it to feel like the whole room was a white box, and we brought in the vanity and closets almost like we’d bring in a Steinway or your grandmother’s Chippendale,” Fowlkes says. “They weren’t necessarily things that had always existed in the house – they’re more like furniture.”

Get the look at home

Fowlkes explains how to achieve a streamlined look in your own home.

  • Protect the wood. “The trick with using slabs of solid wood is to keep it from warping or cupping,” he says. “It needs to be very dry. Our slabs were in a kiln for several months.” Another tip: Make sure your hinges are sturdy enough to handle the extra-thick doors.
  • Spend wisely. Of course you want to love your home, but you don’t have to break the bank for every doorknob, drawer pull, or faucet. Noting the Brazilian slate tile in the wall of the shower, Fowlkes says, “You can use simple materials, and you can find things that’ll look great and kind of recede that are inexpensive.”
  • Hide the cable box. This is a common mistake that many homeowners make, Fowlkes says. “We forgot about them, and we had to go back and figure it out after the fact.” Not fun.


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Designer Lookbook: VW Fowlkes’ Simple-Meets-Sensual D.C. Home was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

Locking Down Wireless Home Security for Renters

home security for renters

People put off installing home security systems for all kinds of reasons. Sure, having a big, barking dog and living in a nice neighborhood may help — but burglars are smarter than you think.

A burglary occurs every 15 seconds in the United States, and homes without security systems are up to three times more likely to be targets of a burglary.

And it turns out that renters are actually the last group of people who should delay securing their homes. “The burglary rate for rental properties was 56 percent higher than the rate for owner-occupied homes,” reveals a 30-year study by the U.S. Department of Justice.

If concerns about the price of a security system are holding you back, you might be surprised to learn that while monthly monitoring can run from $ 15 to $ 100, the average monthly cost is just $ 30. And when you factor in reduced renter’s insurance after your security system is installed, the cost of a safe home is cheaper than you’d think.

Still not convinced? Today’s security systems are more streamlined and easier to use than ever. With home automation a growing trend and apps available for everything in your life, it’s only fitting that your security system is just as tech savvy.

Benefits of a wireless home security system

If you’re debating whether a wired or wireless home security system is better, read on to learn why a wired system can’t compete with a wireless setup.

  • Affordable installation. Setting up traditional wired systems requires drilling through sheetrock to run cables through your walls. Wireless installation is mess-free, and often easy enough to install yourself rather than paying for a professional installation.
  • Clutter-free. With a wireless security system, individual sensors communicate wirelessly to the control panel. This means you won’t need to hide a network of wires within the walls and floors of your home.
  • Easy troubleshooting. Wireless systems make troubleshooting a breeze. Practically any issue can be solved remotely, saving you time and money on the technician visit you’d face with a wired system.
  • Portable. A wireless system is a portable system. You can take your security system with you when you move.
  • Less down time. With a wired system, when there’s a power outage or line cut, chances are your wired security system will go down, too. But wireless systems aren’t vulnerable to the same issues a wired system faces. And with a wireless system’s battery backup, you can rest easy knowing your home will always be secure.

Modern day security musts

With so many wireless home security options, choosing the best option for your family’s needs can be overwhelming. Here are a few of the top choices on the market today.

  • ADT. ADT’s wireless options include wireless motion detectors, door sensors and video cameras — and all enable you to adjust your sensors as needed.
  • Vivint. Vivint is ahead of the wireless security game. With options ranging from a doorbell video to remote door access, Vivint has security options for every renter’s needs.
  • Frontpoint. Frontpoint makes wireless security a breeze. With its touchscreen panel, mobile app, keychain remotes and wireless cameras, Frontpoint has you covered.
  • LiveWatch. LiveWatch’s Plug&Protect system is a touchscreen system you can install yourself. And with the ability to add to your system as your needs change, LiveWatch will adapt with you as your family evolves.
  • Protect America. Protect America prides itself on having the latest wireless alarm technology. With glass break sensors to detect broken windows and garage door sensors to alert you if your garage is opened without your permission, Protect America has some of the most innovative security tech on the market.

Still unsure about which system is best for you? Consider whether you plan to move in the next few years, if you want mobile access, and if you really need security cameras. With endless wireless security options, it’s important to consider your needs versus wants.

DIY security options

With so many wireless home security options, cost should no longer be a worry. And it turns out, installing your own system is much easier than you’d think.

Most DIY systems are wireless; the basic elements of a DIY system are a main panel with keypad, sensors and motion detectors. You can compare DIY systems to choose the one that’s best for you.

There’s no excuse good enough to delay your home security planning. And with such ease in installation, instant alerts, interactive monitoring and lower costs than ever, now’s the perfect time to step up your rented home security game.


Zillow Blog – Real Estate Market Stats, Celebrity Real Estate, and Zillow News » Tips & Advice

Locking Down Wireless Home Security for Renters was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

Designer Lookbook: Summer Thornton’s Mediterranean Home Makeover

Interior designer Summer Thornton turned a newly constructed Mediterranean-style house in sunny Naples, FL into a beautiful vacation home, featuring refined decor and a soothing color palette.

“The homeowner wanted it to feel bright, casual, and elegant, so I steered the interior design toward more traditional furnishings and a light color palette with pops of color,” says Thornton of the second home.”It’s on a beautiful lot that backs up to water, so they’ve got amazing, peaceful views from the lanai and pool.”

Thornton was also tasked with seamlessly blending the Mediterranean architecture of the house with classic styling and relaxed, casual furnishings to create an abode that encapsulates “refined Florida elegance.”

Along with furnishing the home, the designer also helped with the interior architecture, choosing finishes throughout. And since it was a second home, Thornton also helped choose all the accessories, from the decorative tchotchkes down to the dishes.

“The homeowner wanted a space where they could have the whole family down for holidays and gatherings,” she says. “They’re grandparents, and wanted their grown kids and grandchildren to feel relaxed and comfortable.”

Hailing from the Midwest, the homeowners visit the home in the winter, and they wanted to keep the decorative elements elegant and not overly tropical.

Since the homeowner was gravitating toward a tranquil color palette of blue and white, Thornton used the color scheme throughout, from indigo fabrics to graphic wallpapers and Chinese ginger jars.

And as a nod to Naples’ gulf setting, Thornton incorporated tropical plants, like a fiddle-leaf fig tree, along with Audubon prints of herons and smaller decorative touches, like coral.

“In total, I think we had more than 200 pieces of coral – about 600 pounds, I believe – and over 50 pieces of blue-and-white pottery interspersed throughout the home,” she says.

Thornton used metallic accents, wood, textured wallpapers, and natural fibers to add warmth and a layered look to the home.

“A few of my favorite features include the flora and fauna hand-painted panels in the foyer, the blue-and-white Granada tile backsplash in the lanai, and the faux-bois wallpaper in one of the guest bedrooms,” she says.

Get the look at home

  • Look to nature for inspiration. “Too often I see homes full of beige and tan because people think it will go with anything,” says Thornton. “But if you look at nature, there’s a variety of tones and colors and shades found throughout. Green and blue are so prominent in nature that the eye actually sees them as a neutral.” Thornton advises mixing and matching colors when choosing furniture, paint, and decorative elements.
  • Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize. “Most homes I see are 80 percent complete,” says Thornton. “They have all the furnishings, all the must-have items, but they’re missing the touches that make a house feel like a home.” Layering and stacking decorative accessories gives a room a finished look. Starting a collection is a good way to amass items that can add personality to your home. “Once you do, your home will feel more personal, unique, and complete,” she says.
  • Mix your metals.“I’m a firm believer that kitchens often feel flat because everything matches too perfectly,” says Thornton. “By simply changing your cabinet hardware, you create a whole new look.” In this home’s kitchen, Thornton mixed three different pull styles, and used both brass and polished nickel.
  • Find pillows that pop.“Most of the upholstery in this home was white, so we made it pop with colorful pillows,” she says. Grab your favorite pillows and textiles, and layer them on your couch or bed to give your home an effortlessly collected look.

See more home design inspiration on Zillow Digs.

Photos by Brantley Photography.


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Designer Lookbook: Summer Thornton’s Mediterranean Home Makeover was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

10 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Tiny Home

Are you ready to go “small”? Tiny homes are popping up across the country as many look to save money, reduce their carbon footprint or see what it’s like to live with less.

But buying or building a tiny home is easier said than done. There’s a lot to consider — from the actual construction to the lifestyle — and it’s not for everyone. See if you could live in less than 500 square feet by asking yourself these questions.


Tiny Home Checklist graphic - UPDATED


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Zillow Blog – Real Estate Market Stats, Celebrity Real Estate, and Zillow News » Tips & Advice

10 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Tiny Home was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

10 Wedding Gift Ideas for the Home

Although June has traditionally been known as the primary month for weddings, August through December see plenty of nuptials, also. September and October are considered second only to June in popularity, while August ranks high because brides find plenty of specials and discounts.


Wedding Present


Gift registries have made shopping for wedding gifts a little easier, but sometimes you want to give something a little different. Maybe a present with a touch of your personality, or even a unique household item they hadn’t thought about putting on their registry.

We’ve shopped around and found 10 gifts for the home you’re going to love giving.

1. Lodge 11” Enameled Cast Iron Skillet

Used for braising or sautéing, the Lodge 11” Enameled Cast Iron Skillet can be put in an oven under 500 degrees and or in the refrigerator. Works on all cooking surfaces.

Lodge Cast Iron Skillet

2. Zojirushi Electric Rice Cooker

The Zojirushi Electric Rice Cooker uses technology that allows the cooker to adjust the time and temperature automatically for perfect rice every time. Can also be used to steam meats, vegetables and even bake moist cakes.

Zojirushi Rice Cooker

3. Shun Classic Offset Bread Knife

The scalloped blade on the Shun Classic Offset Bread Knife easily cuts through bread, including hard crusts. The offset handle gives you leverage when cutting.

Shun Bread Knife

4. Wusthof Classic Studio Knife Block Set

The Wusthof Classic Studio Knife Block Set includes a wooden block that contains three knives and a pair of kitchen shears. Handcrafted in Germany of high carbon, stain-resistant stainless steel.


Wusthof Knife Set



5. Wind & Weather Personalized Door Mat

The Wind & Weather Personalized Door Mat has a natural cocoa bristle mat that lets guests wipe dirt off their feet before entering the new couple’s home. The small mat accommodates eight letters of a last name, while the large mat accepts nine letters.


Personalized Door Mat


6. Faribault Woolen Mill Co. Wool Blanket

The Faribault Woolen Mill Co. Pure & Simple Wool Blankets are 100% virgin wool, but still washable and dryable. This warm covering comes in a variety of vivid colors and can be used as an extra layer on the bed during cooler weather.


Pure and Simple Wool Blanket



7. Bamboo Collection Cloud 6 Piece Towel Set

The Bamboo Collection Cloud 6 Piece Towel Set are very absorbent Turkish towels made of 40% rayon and 60% combed Egyptian cotton. Comes in 12 colors.

Bamboo Towel Set

8. Old Dutch Hammered Water Pitcher

Design goes well with any modern kitchen and the Old Dutch Hammered Water Pitcher can also double as a flower vase. Care only requires washing with warm, soapy water between uses. $ 32.58

Hammered Water Pitcher

9. Agate Coasters

Handcrafted by artist Anna Rabinowicz, this set of four coasters brings bright splashes of color to any table. Each one measures 4 inches in diameter.


Agate Coasters

10. Brookstone Towel Warmer

Give the newlyweds the luxury of wrapping themselves in a warm towel after a shower with the Brookstone Towel Warmer. The warmer also accommodates robes, blankets, mittens, gloves and hat.


Brookstone Towel Warmer



Do you need help with a home improvement project? Use our instant estimate tool to get a price in seconds and find certified professionals in your area. Get a price. Get a pro. Get it done.

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The post 10 Wedding Gift Ideas for the Home appeared first on Pro.com Blog.

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10 Wedding Gift Ideas for the Home was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

15 Tips for Safeguarding Your Home While on Vacation

Summer months, when people typically take trips out of town, spawn the most burglaries and household property crimes according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Nobody wants to come home after an enjoyable escape to find their home ransacked and valuables missing. By taking some precautions, you can avoid becoming a victim of intruders or thieves and return home to the same comfortable living conditions you left.


Home Burglary


Here are some tips on how to deter break-ins:

1. Put Your Lights on Timers

When different lamps and overhead lights come on at different times, criminals tend to think someone is home.

Well Lit Home

2. Install an Alarm System

If you don’t already have one, now is the time to secure your home with an alarm. The Insurance Information Institute says you’ll probably get a discount on your homeowners insurance if you do.

Home Alarm System

3. Invest in Deadbolt Locks

Can’t invest in an alarm right now? Then, at least place deadbolts on your doors and windows, making it more difficult for criminals to get inside your home. Or double your protection and use both an alarm and deadbolts.


4. Set Up a Webcam

Surveillance cameras can be costly, but you can use your webcam for the same purpose at a fraction of the cost. Follow guidance provided by TechHive.

Web Cam

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5. Stop Your Mail

Nothing shouts you’re “not home” like bills, ads and other envelopes piling up in your mailbox. Make sure and stop delivery arrangements online with the U.S. Post Office. Or have a friend or neighbor pick up your mail everyday.

Mail Delivery

6. Suspend Newspaper Delivery

You don’t want old newspapers scattered on your front porch either, so call the newspaper and arrange to put delivery on hold for the length of your vacation.

Newspaper Delivery

7. Keep Quiet on Social Media

Don’t share any details on how long you’ll be gone or where you’re going on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media site. You never know who might have access to your vacation plan posts.

Posting on Facebook

8. Unplug Electronics

This way burglars can’t get a hold of your personal financial information on your computer.This will also save on your electric bill. If you’re using a webcam, you’ll need to keep that computer on.

Unplug Electronics

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9. Turn off Automatic Garage Doors

Intruders have been known to use a universal remote to gain entry into homes through the garage, so shut it down before you leave.

Automatic Garage Doors

10. Remove Portable GPS from Your Vehicle

If you’re flying to your destination and leaving your car at the airport or in nearby airport parking, thieves can steal your car and head right to your home.

Portable GPS

11. Make Your Home Look Lived In

Do what you normally do while at home. If you have the blinds open during the day, don’t close them while on vacation. Have your lawn mowed if you’re going to be gone for a significant amount of time. Also, park a car in your driveway so it looks as if someone is home.

Open Blinds

12. Get Rid of the Hidden House Key

Intruders know all the usual hiding places for extra keys, so unless you have a brilliant no one has ever thought of, don’t bother to conceal one outside at all.

Key Under Rock

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13. Assess Your Yard

Walk around your front and back yards to see if someone could easily be concealed in your shrubbery or bushes. If so, cut them back.

Trim Bush

14. Turn Off Alarm Clocks

You don’t want someone to hear the endless beeping of your alarm, making them realize nobody is inside to turn it off.

Alarm Clock

15. Lock Up

Before you drive away, be sure you’ve checked all the locks and armed your alarm.

Arm Security Alarm


Do you need help with a home improvement project? Use our instant estimate tool to get a price in seconds and find certified professionals in your area. Get a price. Get a pro. Get it done.

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The post 15 Tips for Safeguarding Your Home While on Vacation appeared first on Pro.com Blog.

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15 Tips for Safeguarding Your Home While on Vacation was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

5 Steps to a More Organized Home for Back to School

As if summer isn’t crazy enough, the transition to school can make home life even busier and messier. Schedules are a mix of school activities and the last-hurrah-of-summer, and the house is strewn with important school papers and wet beach towels. Here are a few tips to help you organize the chaos this year before school starts.

Clean the fridge out (and off) and restockshutterstock_266450780

Clearing the front of the fridge of summer camp art projects and already-happened wedding invitations will signal a new season and leave room for important phone numbers and all those A+ papers your young scholars bring home.

Then, clean out the refrigerator, tossing all those picnic leftovers, and get it ready for quick breakfasts, packed lunches and after-school snacks. Anything grab-and-go is sure to be appreciated, especially during the first few weeks of school while your family is still getting used to the new schedule. A basket of fresh fruit by the door is also handy.

Take stock of closets and clothes

Courtesy of California Closets.

Courtesy of California Closets.

A new first-day-of-school outfit is a childhood ritual. But before you add to your child’s wardrobe, take stock of what they’ve outgrown during the summer months. And don’t forget the weather will probably be changing soon. See if your kids will be needing any new warmer clothes for the coming season.

A clean and organized closet and dresser will make getting out the door in the morning easier for everyone.

Similarly, catching up with laundry and creating a laundry system if you don’t already have one will keep your life running more smoothly.

Create a scheduling center

This is Mission Control for the family, so it should be in a central place in your home, such as the kitchen or entryway. You’ll want to keep a calendar, filing system, address book, notepads for taking phone messages, and plenty of pens, since they always seem to go missing.

This is also where paperwork should go to be sorted and put away, or signed and sent back to school. Create a system for paperwork and scheduling the family so Dad isn’t slated to tee off with his co-workers at the same time he’s supposed to chaperone a field trip.

Make mealtime easy

Meal-planning will save you time and money — not to mention protect your sanity when you’re running home from work and PTA meetings.

To keep the grownups fueled, set up a coffee station in your kitchen where they can grab a to-go mug easily.

Create a menu, and make a master shopping list to prep for the week. That way, you’ll know exactly what to make when everyone’s hungry, and you won’t waste ingredients.


Keep a list on your fridge to remind you of the week’s menu. And when inquiring minds ask what’s for dinner, you can direct them to the menu.

Prepping a few extra meals to throw in the freezer now will ease the busy first few weeks of school, too.

Tackle the mudroom and entryway

School brings with it a lot of paraphernalia: backpacks, lunch bags, gym bags, artwork, and library books. The mudroom or entryway will be the drop-off point and can quickly become a disaster without a system.

Courtesy of California Closets.

Courtesy of California Closets.

Are shoes taken off here? If so, make sure everyone has a designated spot for their shoes. Same with coats and backpacks.

Lunch bags should go in a specific place, or back to the kitchen to be cleaned out for the next day.

Establishing these routines at the beginning of the school year will help them become engrained so by the time winter, with its extra layers, and spring, with its muddy boots, come along, you won’t be pulling your hair out.

While the transition will take some getting used to, having solid systems in place in your home can help you ease the stress, and focus on the enjoyment of an exciting new school year.

Get more home design ideas to keep you inspired.


Zillow Blog – Real Estate Market Stats, Celebrity Real Estate, and Zillow News » Tips & Advice

Featured East Metro Atlanta Homes

5 Steps to a More Organized Home for Back to School was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

Beach Decor for Every Home

With summer now in full swing, it’s hard to imagine going home at the end of the day to a place that doesn’t feel like a beach vacation. Coastal style doesn’t have to mean a jar of sea shells on your counter or a palm tree in your backyard. It can start with a fresh color palette and end with cocktails on your beach-style veranda.

With a new perspective on seaside decor and a few modern details, you can create your own Nantucket-themed home in no time.

Add some texture

The summer months always inspire adventure, especially when it comes to revamping your space. Incorporate woven features like sisal rugs and seagrass furnishings to liven up the room. Take it a step further by implementing texture vertically with wood blinds to recreate the perfect beach chalet.

Source: Zillow Digs

Source: Zillow Digs

Go blue

The best way to really accomplish a true Hamptons home is with the use of a blue color palette. Mix up tones, shades and patterns of blue, even including pale hues and blue-green tints to create a straight-out-of-the-ocean feel. Splash the colors across accent pillows and wall colors — even drapery panels.

Source: Zillow Digs

Source: Zillow Digs

Bring in the light

No beach sunset? No problem! Re-create a seaside spark by using glass lamps and interesting light fixtures for dining, living and bath areas. Create lighting effects throughout the home with hurricane lanterns for added ambiance.


Source: Zillow Digs

Celebrate the scenery

Sometimes less is more, especially if you have a front row seat to a naturally beautiful view. Frame out a window view with simple trim or molding, and add textiles that complement the outdoor environment.


Source: Zillow Digs

Play with pattern

What’s more East Coast beach than fun patterns? Mix and match whimsical motifs and detailed stripes with monochromatic texture on wall-coverings and fabrics. Sprinkle anchor designs and shell illustrations across the walls or on throw pillows to truly make your home a beach bungalow.


Source: changoandco

Catch a breeze

We can’t forget about the great outdoors. Make use of that old porch swing by adding throw pillows with beach-themed designs like anchors or ships to liven up your front patio. Add even more of a seaside feel with fabrics and rugs inspired by a coastal vacation — try pale coral, sea foam green or sandy beige.


Source: Zillow Digs

While you may not live on a private island, you’re sure to feel at ease in your newly renovated beach style abode. With a home as beautifully curated as a vacation resort, you might not need that tropical getaway after all.

See more home design inspiration.


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Beach Decor for Every Home was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

How to Buy a Shipping Container (for Your Next Home)

You’ve decided to join the shipping container revolution. Your plans are drawn up, your site is prepared and your welding torch is ready to transform a discarded steel box into the durable, stylish and sustainable home of your dreams. Now what?

To help you get started, we asked architects, DIY home builders and shipping container experts from around the world for their insider tips on bringing home the best possible container for your building needs.

Photo by Chris Cooper

The first step, they agree, is to find a reputable distributor. “Shipping companies don’t want people calling them for one or 10 containers. They prefer to sell to dealers,” says Barry Naef, director of the ISBU Association (ISBU stands for intermodal steel building units, the term for containers used specifically for construction).

He recommends checking the extensive international list of dealers on the Eco Green Sources website. And don’t despair if you live far from the ocean. Thanks to a network of inland distribution hubs, says Naef, “there are as many [containers] in the mid-U.S. and Canada as there are at the ports, at nearly the same prices.” A dealer can help arrange for overland transport of your container via 18-wheeler truck.

Other sourcing options exist, too. In Zambia, a local NGO supplied Tokyo-based architect Mikiko Endo with old containers it had used to transport donations (she transformed them into maternity clinic housing). In Israel, architect Galit Golany purchased a refurbished container from a prefab construction company, then fixed up the turnkey unit with timber cladding, roofing, a deck and stone base.

Photo by Drew Kelly

Stephen Shoup, founder of Oakland’s building Lab, agrees that looking for a distributor that will do some basic modifications prior to sale is a good idea.

“It’s tons of fun to be standing there with a plasma cutter and a welder and be hacking into these things and pasting them back together, but if you’re encountering engineering issues, then you’re going to need licensed welders. That cost is much more controllable when done at the fabrication shop or shipyard,” says Shoup.

Another option is to purchase a container manufactured specifically for building, like the ones from Toronto-based MEKA or Silhouette Spice in Tokyo. These can be cheaply transported using existing global shipping networks, but are tailor-made to meet building codes (Japan’s are especially strict).

Images (in order) by: Benjamin Garcia Saxe, Teddy Yunantha, Ecocontainerhome.com, Crosson, Clarke, Carnachan Architects, Abiboo Architects,  Jack Thompson, and Paul McCredie.

If you do decide to purchase a genuine seafaring container, you’ll need to keep a number of factors in mind. First is size. Although dimensions are generally standardized, your safest bet for projects that join multiple units is to purchase a single brand (perhaps one whose logo you fancy). Houston-based architect Christopher Robertson, who has designed both upscale residential and disaster-relief housing using containers, recommends choosing “high cubes” (HQ), which are about a foot taller than standard, because the smaller size can feel claustrophobic after installing insulation. Lengths vary from 8 to 53 feet, with 20 feet and 40 feet being the most common.

Whichever you choose, Robertson cautions that the costs of transportation and modification quickly add up. “There’s a real misconception that building with containers is absurdly inexpensive. Unfortunately, that’s not true at all,” he says.

Photo by Ike Edeani

Assuming you’re still hooked on the many other benefits of container construction, you’ll need to think about age and condition. Options range from virtually unscathed “one-trippers” to eight-to-10-year-old retired containers, with varying degrees of rust, dents and warping. Your choice depends on your design goals.

For Brook van der Linde, an artist who built a DIY container home with her husband in Asheville, cost and sustainability were more important than perfect condition. “Our goal was to use materials that were headed for the landfill. Our containers were constructed in 2005 so they had a good long life going to China and back,” she says.

Robertson, on the other hand, sought out one-trippers for his residential project. “They’re a little more expensive but they look a lot better,” he explains. “If they start having a lot of dings and rusts, you lose the aesthetic pleasure.”

Photo by Sergio Pucci

Although a container’s history is trackable via its serial number, the best way to assess its condition is through a visual once-over prior to purchase. Arrive at the lot armed with a level to check for excessive warping and a checklist of potential problems, such as holes, dents, damaged door seals, and corrosion (a little rust is par for the course). Don’t forget to use your nose, as well. The wood flooring of most containers is treated with toxic pesticides, which you’ll need to seal or remove, and others may have been used to transport unpleasantly odiferous contents.

Finally, once you’ve made your choice, take a deep breath. The toughest – and most enjoyable – phase of building your container home is still to come.

Top photo by Drew Kelly.

This article was written by Winifred Bird and originally appeared on Dwell.  Check out more of their content on Dwell.com.


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How to Buy a Shipping Container (for Your Next Home) was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home