Category — Home Decor & Trends

Chimney Liners: Does Your Home Have One – Do You Even Need One?

You rely on your chimney being safe. Whether you use your fireplace for wood-burning fires, you have a furnace that vents through your chimney, or you utilize a wood stove or gas insert, your chimney needs to be able to handle heat and sparks without allowing damage to your home. Stone or brick chimneys can be made safer with a flue lining that helps to move heat and gases up and out of your home.

Chimney liners are a protective barrier usually made of metal or ceramic. Liners insulate heat moving through the chimney, protecting flammable areas of your home’s structure. They also protect flue masonry from cracks or crumbling mortar due to repeated heating and cooling.

Why worry about your chimney liner?

Cracks or damage can lessen the effectiveness of the liner, which make burning anything in your fireplace or wood stove risky. Plus, if your liner is damaged, you may have a hard time passing a home inspection and selling your house until it’s repaired or replaced.

In the “olden days,” chimneys were completely unlined or only lined with clay tiles, which could crack or break relatively easily. Especially if you have an older home, an excellent first step is to have a masonry or chimney expert examine your chimney and assess its integrity.

Do you burn wood in your fireplace regularly? You should definitely have your chimney liner inspected as part of an overall maintenance plan performed at least once a year. Cleaning is a good idea as well: The products of burning wood, called creosote, can build up in your unlined or improperly lined chimney, and may eventually cause a fire. Cleaning and inspection from a chimney professional, sometimes called a chimney sweep, averages $298 in the US, according to HomeAdvisor’s surveys of homeowners.

How do you know if your liner needs to be repaired or replaced?

Because it’s hard to see into your chimney, you may be uncomfortable determining whether your chimney professional is accurately assessing your needs. There are two options for confirming a diagnosis of damaged chimney liner:

1. See for yourself. From inside the house, open the flue and look up as far as you can. Next, check the chimney from the roof by removing the cap and doing a visual inspection. Any signs of cracks or rough edges can signify an issue and confirm your chimney professional’s assessment.

2. Hire a chimney professional with a camera. Most modern chimney companies run a scope with camera down the length of the chimney as part of their inspection. Upon request, they’ll likely be willing to record the video and share it with you, detailing the issues they see.

What if you don’t have a chimney liner at all?

If your home is older and you’ve determined that your home only has the stone or brick of the outer chimney, you need to decide whether a liner is necessary. First, check your city’s fire code. This may mandate that you install a liner if you’re making any changes to or installing a wood-burning stove or fireplace. If you burn wood in your fireplace or in a wood-burning stove, it’s recommended that you have a stainless-steel liner to prevent overheating your chimney and risking a fire. In some locations, your city’s fire code may mandate that you install such a liner if you’re making any changes to or installing a wood-burning stove or fireplace.

However, if you’re not using your fireplace and your chimney acts solely as a vent for your furnace or water heater, you may not need to have a liner installed. Cracked masonry should be addressed from an energy-savings perspective — a lot of air could be escaping from your home, depending on where the damage to the chimney is located — but it’s not likely to be a fire hazard.

Homeowners with gas or electric inserts most likely do not need a new liner because those types of fuel don’t produce enough heat to damage a masonry chimney.

Do you have questions about your chimney and whether it needs a new liner? A chimney professional can answer your questions and schedule an inspection for your home.

Written By Realty Times Staff

Source: https://realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/homeownersadvice/item/1004335-20170802-chimney-liners-does-your-home-have-one-do-you-even-need-one?rtmpage=

September 19, 2018   No Comments

The 10 Most Popular New Bathrooms

Our Trending Now series features the most-saved photos uploaded to Houzz in the previous three months.

Customization and creativity stood out to Houzz users who saved their favorite bathroom photos over the last three months. Furniture transformed into vanities, colorful mosaic-tiled floors and living walls are all great features that can add a creative, custom touch to a bathroom. See the most popular bathroom photos on Houzz in this top 10 countdown.

 

September 17, 2018   No Comments

8 Pieces of Furniture You’ll Keep Forever

Investing in furniture for your first home, or anywhere you don’t expect to stay forever, can almost seem like a waste. Why spend money on pieces that might not fit in or go with your dream home down the road? Well, there are some pieces worth investing in as early as you can — furniture that will suit your home right now and that will easily find a place in your next house. Here are eight pieces you shouldn’t hesitate to add to even the smallest starter home.

For the best flexibility, choose chairs in a neutral or subdued color such as navy or gray in a size that can work at the end of the dining table (30 inches wide or under), with low arms or no arms so you can tuck them under a table or desk you may have down the road.

You may not know it now, but your dream home is already shaping up, one piece at a time.

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Source: https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/110022217/list/8-pieces-of-furniture-youll-keep-forever

August 7, 2018   No Comments

5 Things You Didn’t Know Your Bedroom Needed

Sanctuary from the world? Definitely. Decorated to please only you? Of course. Comfortable? Naturally. But what else does the perfect bedroom require? Take inspiration from these bedroom designs and introduce the extras that will help transform your space from fine to sublime.

5. Pillow and throw stash space. Extra pillows and throws are the daytime layers that dress up a bed, but discarding them sideways at bedtime isn’t a good or relaxing look.

A storage ottoman or blanket box isn’t a novel idea, but dedicating it to the pieces used for styling might be. The end of the bed can be a convenient position, or use the space under the window instead.

Written By Sarah Warwick
Source: https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/108926199/list/5-things-you-didnt-know-your-bedroom-needed

July 25, 2018   No Comments

Budget Decorator: 10 Tips for a Stylish and Personal Home Office

Home offices can be neglected when it comes to decorating, but it doesn’t take much to freshen an outdated workspace, and the rewards of doing so are plenty. One of the joys of working from home, whether you do it occasionally or full time, is the freedom to steer away from “officey” furniture and decorate with what you love and feel comfortable with.

Working in a clean, orderly, comfortable space can help you complete tasks more efficiently, and bringing the style you love into play will make it all the more pleasant. Let’s look at ways to pull together a neat, chic home office on a real-world budget.

10. Keep room in the budget for flowers and plants. Every room feels richer and more interesting with a plant or two, and they help clean the air, so be sure to leave a little room in the budget for a trip to the nursery. If you pick up the occasional market bouquet, remember to trim a few blooms and place them in a bud vase on your desk.
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Source: https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/7178368/list/budget-decorator-10-tips-for-a-stylish-and-personal-home-office

July 20, 2018   No Comments

Five Solutions For Creating An Eat-In Kitchen

Five Solutions For Creating An Eat-In Kitchen Pixabay.com

Eat-in kitchens are one of today’s most popular design elements, but we don’t all have room for a giant island with bar seating. You can still create an ideal dining space, even if your kitchen is on the small size – and without massive renovation. Here’s how.

Commandeer a corner

If you have an unused a corner in your kitchen, you potentially have the perfect spot for a banquette. Relocate the dog bowls and buy a bench and a small table, and you have a charming eat-in area perfect for family meals.

Take advantage of a blank wall

“Sometimes you can fit a banquette into your kitchen by adding it to an unused wall,” said HGTV. A “small, floating banquette adds extra seating and creates an additional spot for kids to do their homework or enjoy an afternoon snack.” You can also give this a built-in look by using the same finish as your cabinetry and framing it in cabinet panels.

Go to IKEA

Building your own banquette is easier than you think. Start with a bank of lower cabinets from IKEA and customize with the cushioned top and pillows of your choosing. Check out this tutorial for inspiration. You can get a similar effect from a couple of entry benches butted up against each other; You can find many at Target, and some might already be cushioned. Just make sure the height is right so your knees don’t hit the table or you feel like you’re in a ditch when you’re eating.

Add to your island

If you have enough space for an eat-in area at the edge of your island but don’t have a countertop overhang for chairs, you can still create an eating space. One option is to see if you can add to your countertop. If you have a material like quartz, a good installer should be able to add a piece and make it look seamless. Or, simply move your table directly up to the edge of the counter. Numerous options for counter-height tables are available, with the added benefit that being up higher means dogs have less opportunity to table surf.

Remove a cabinet (or two)

If you can spare a cabinet, you can create a place to pull up a couple of chairs for a casual eating space. This easy job is also super inexpensive since the countertop is already in place. This can also be a great answer for those who have a peninsula but no countertop overhang because you can create eating space on either side—and at the corner, if need be.

Written by Jaymi Naciri

Source: https://realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/homeownersadvice/item/1018428-20180709-five-solutions-for-creating-an-eat-in-kitchen?rtmpage=

July 12, 2018   No Comments

Turn to the Wall for Space-Saving Storage

Storage: You can’t live without it. But storage furniture that sits on the floor, such as chests and bookcases, has a space-stealing footprint that lessens its effectiveness. With these clever wall-focused solutions to common dilemmas, however, you can have your storage and floor space too.
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Source: https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/109902092/list/turn-to-the-wall-for-space-saving-storage

June 13, 2018   No Comments

There’s A ‘Color Of The Year’ For Everyone

Color experts such as The Pantone Color Institute, provide a number of services to companies all over the world to help them learn more about color and how to use it in their businesses. One of the most famous examples of color trending is Pantone’s Color of the Year, which “provides strategic direction for the world of trend and design.”

To remain relevant, manufacturers have to come out with new things. For the home, that could mean that companies use Pantone’s colors in future products, from rug designs to upholstery to paint colors. Color trends also show up in bedding, accessories, and cookware.

The idea is to stimulate change and perhaps get comfortable with a color you might not normally try in your home. In other words, the Color of the Year is a stimulus to spend money. You might not buy the purple couch, but you’ll be tempted to go bolder on something. You’ll try a new set of towels for the bath or buy a set of glasses in some bold shade to set off the dinner table.

There are other colors of the year that are getting plenty of notice.

Sherwin Williams put its 2018 money on “Oceanside,” a bold, sexy teal blue that’s not just for the coasts. You don’t have to live on the water to appreciate its mysterious depths.

Another aggressive choice is Pittsburgh Paints’ “Black Flame,” a smokey hue that connotes drama and sophistication. It’s a good excuse to wean homeowners away from the neutral and safe light greys and whites of the past few years.

Too strong? Then try Pratt & Lambert’s soothing blue “Heron,” or Behr’s blue-tinged green “In the Moment.” These are still a far cry from white, beige or grey.

The only paint company not to go in the direction of blues, greens or greys is Benjamin Moore. Its Color of the Year is a spicy hot red called “Caliente.”

Does the color of the year mean you should run out and buy a purple couch or paint your baby’s room black? No, the color is an inspiration for the year, and may be completely different from the color of the year from the year before and the year to follow. It’s only this year’s inspiration to give you ideas to think about, sort of like runway fashion introduces new silhouettes.

Most products for the home are designed to have a longer use than a year. But, you may see the color and be tempted to try it in a small way or in a more muted tone. A fresh new color looks modern and takes you away from colors that may date your home, like ashes of roses from the 50s, avocado green from the 70s, or Tuscan gold from the 90s.

If there’s one takeaway from the colors of the year, it’s that they give you permission to go bolder. You can still stick to the safety of white, grey or beige, but you might use an eye-catching color on an accent wall or in a throw pillow or in a piece of art. And if you want it in a mixer or crockpot, you can have it.

Think of color as an expression of your personality and the mood you wish to convey — both great places to start when designing and decorating your home.

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Source: https://realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/homeownersadvice/item/1017325-20180517-theres-a-color-of-the-year-for-everyone?rtmpage=

May 24, 2018   No Comments

8 Ways to Dress Up a Drab Hallway

The hallways that connect living spaces to sleeping spaces to the exterior of a home are just as important as bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens. Whether you’re working with a short hallway, a hallway with a sharp turn, a spacious hallway or one that’s a tight squeeze, you can make it feel just as special as the rest of your home. Make your hallways come alive with built-ins, lighting, colorful rugs and more.
8. Framed mirrors. For those who love the gallery look but don’t know what to put in their frames, a hall of mirrors can be the perfect solution. An installation like this can highlight a great collection of frames, or simply bring additional light and visual space into a small and dark hallway.
Written By Shane Inman
Source: https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/17221695/list/8-ways-to-dress-up-a-drab-hallway

April 25, 2018   No Comments

New This Week: 5 Gorgeous Kitchens That Expertly Mix Finishes

Other special features. Painted cabinets with Shaker fronts. Calacatta marble mosaic tile backsplash. Quartz countertops.

“Uh-oh” moment. “Originally the space was much more subdivided,” designer Terese Messina says. “We opened up the whole interior of the house. Right in the middle was a large brick fireplace that we fought hard to keep. However, it was causing all sorts of issues for the layout of the spaces and, most especially, some construction issues. It was cost-prohibitive to move it. I think making the decision to abandon it was a hard decision but in the end makes a more flexible space. Living in Arizona, we have much different fireplace usage than other parts of the country.”

Quartz countertops in Fresh Concrete: Caesarstone; light fixtures: vintage; Repose Gray wall paint: Sherwin-Williams

Written By Mitchell Parker
Source: https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/108038367/list/new-this-week-5-gorgeous-kitchens-that-expertly-mix-finishes

April 24, 2018   No Comments