Learning The Secrets of Windows

10 Top Secret Tricks and Hacks That You Can Learn From Computer Geeks

Learn How to Use the Command Line. You don’t have to be a computer programmer to use the command line. Get savvy with this amazing tool; its functionality is practically limitless and it can do almost anything. Up your skill level by keeping a few command-line tricks up your sleeve. When the time comes, you’ll be able to impress even those who know a thing or two about computers. Being a command-line nerd can save you loads of time during otherwise lengthy tasks.

Use Multiple Computers to Increase Your Productivity. If you’re running a task on your primary computer, you can offload another processor-intensive task to another and you no longer have to stop and wait for anything to finish. Dropbox is a great way to synch files over the local network. Setting up Dropbox as a home folder makes finding files easy as well as accessible from every computer.

Understand When Too Much is Too Much. Computer speed doesn’t lag just because it’s having a bad day or in need of a double shot of espresso. When your computer is running slow or not being responsive, it’s likely that an application is slowing down your system. Determine which app is slowing you down using Rainmeter (for Windows) and MenuMeter (for Mac) and shut it down pronto.

Know the OS’s Hidden Features. Every operating system has functionalities that are either completely hidden or just out of sight that many users don’t even know they exist. Knowing where to look is half the battle, but luckily we have provided you with some system tweakers to help uncover your OS’s hidden features. System tweakers like Ultimate Windows Tweaker, OnyX for Mac, and Ubuntu Tweak are great places to start to find secret features.

Learn How to Crack Passwords. Hackers have developed a whole range of tools to get at your personal data. One of the simplest ways to gain access to your information is through the use of a Brute Force Attack. This is accomplished when a hacker uses a specially written piece of software, such as Ophcrack to attempt to log into a site using your credentials. Ophcrack is a free rainbow-table based cracker for Windows passwords (though the tool itself runs on Linux, Windows, and Mac). I suggest learning the process thieves undergo by trying to crack your own passwords so that you can see how easily it is accomplished, and thus taking proper measures to protect yourself.

Use the Scheduling Tasks. Performing system maintenance on your own is simply for amateurs. Windows’ built-in Task Scheduler will run your system maintenance on a schedule and free up your to do list. Check out Tasks Till Dawn if you’re running on Mac.

Use the Keyboard More. Most people know basic keyboard shortcuts, but if you really want to mirror yourself like a computer geek, don’t settle for basics, take it one step further. You wouldn’t want to hire someone or go into business with someone only for him or her to show you a trick or two. You want to give the impression that you run a tight ship and operate as efficiently as possible. It’s not very impressive to fumble around between your favorite programs, like Gmail, Microsoft Word, basic text boxes, and even Facebook. Where speed is the name of the game, mastering a few dozen-keyboard shortcuts will bring you from chic to geek in no time. Microsoft offers a minimum of 247 keyboard shortcuts for instance; depending on which OS you work on, spend sometime locating reference guides on Google and get practicing! Here is a website that offers a cheat sheet for keyboard shortcuts: http://lifehacker.com/5833446/learn-all-the-microsoft-word-keyboard-shortcuts-with-this-printable-cheatsheet

Discover New Operating Systems. So you fancy yourself a Mac wiz, but what happens when you get together with a potential investor and they open up their laptop and want you to jump on their machine, but you don’t know how to navigate around Windows or Linux? Just like you wouldn’t meet up with a Japanese investor without having researched their culture and picked up a few greetings and salutations. Invest some of your time getting familiar with the language of other operating systems and verse yourself in a few simple commands.

Protect Your Data. Your computer is a tool for collecting, creating, and storing important information of all kinds and if it ends up in the wrong hands, you could be faced with a data disaster! Here are four valuable tips for protecting your data:

  • Hide Your Valuables. In an effort to secure everything, enlist the help of Identity Finder 5.0 ($12.95 direct, 4.5 stars). This awesome tool scans your system for user-specified personal data and also for data its algorithmic analysis suggests might be sensitive, like social security numbers and credit card accounts.
  • Skip the Recycle Bin. A thief could still access important data if it’s not disposed of properly. Don’t leave anything to human error and install a built-in shredder. Among the security suites that offer a built-in shredder are: Bitdefender Total Security 2012, G Data InternetSecurity 2012, Kaspersky PURE Total Security, McAfee Total Protection 2012, and TrustPort Total Protection 2012.
  • Encrypt It. Keeping that encrypted data in external storage is even safer than encrypting it in place. There are many encrypting USB storage solutions with varying capabilities. IronKey Personal S200boasts a super-strong case along with super-strong encryption. Defender F200 + Bio will only unlock for the person whose fingerprints were registered. And LOK-IT Secure Flash Drive, with its onboard PIN-pad, can be connected to any USB-capable device, regardless of operating system.
  • Keep It Offsite. If your laptop gets stolen; a backup copy is the ultimate security for your data. You can protect your most important files using a small capacity subscription service. MozyHome 2.0offers 2GB of storage free; iDrive (2011) and SugarSync kick that free offer up to 5GB.

Tweak Your Hardware. Hardware upgrades will give your PC a definite boost of power. Here are a few upgrades that make the most sense:

  • Upgrading the CPU
  • Upgrading RAM
  • Upgrading the hard drive
  • Upgrading the graphics card
  • Multiple upgrades. Upgrading components in combination will give you the best results. Performing all four of the above upgrades––CPU, RAM, hard drive and graphics card––will have your computer running at optimal performance.

Whether you’re looking for a challenge or just now realizing the importance of being computer savvy, these 10 tricks and hacks will certainly keep you busy. If you feel like you are treading uncharted waters, don’t hesitate to enlist the help of a computer pro. Take advantage of free workshops at the Apple store that teach the basics. And if you’re ready to take your skills to the next level, you can sign up for One-to-One training when you buy a Mac.

Originally posted on Blogtrepreneur.com



2017 Home Design Colors & Trends

2017 Home Design Colors & Trends

2017 Home Design Colors & Trends

As the saying goes, it’s time for “out with the old, and in with the new.” With a new year, it might be time to change the look of your home. The bright color you loved in the early 2000s now is a bit out of date. Or maybe the flooring design you’ve had for years is finally too out of date.

However, navigating through trends can be difficult, especially when figuring out what’s right for you. To help, we’ve rounded up our predictions of what home design colors and trends will be the most talked about in 2017.

Are you ready to get started on your paint project to welcome in a new year? Contact a painting pro today for up to four free quotes from pros in your area.

Bold Jewel Tones

Bold Jewel Tones

Lucky for you, painting your home to match current trends is easy to do and one of the less costly upgrades you can make to your home. One of the biggest changes you might see in color trends this year is a jump from warm pastels to bold and bright jewel colors. Think deep purple, green and blue. The Sherwin-Williams ColorMix prediction describes this year’s bold colors as “soulful and spiritual.”

Of course, some homeowners might be fearful of using darker colors in their home. Utilizing these jewel tones is all about maximizing your lighting. Try using in a living room or bedroom to create a cozy atmosphere without losing natural light. If you’re not ready to paint your entire room in a bold color, try using as an accent throughout your room.

Greige Walls


If you’re not yet familiar with greige, make 2017 the year you get well acquainted. Gray has been the must-have neutral paint color the past few years, appearing in many living rooms across America. And, for good reason! It’s extremely versatile and gives your space a clean look. But, as all trends change, gray has now become a bit warmer, with beige. This creates “Greige!” Depending on the hue you choose, it could be a warmer gray or a cooler beige. It’s a great interior paint color for any room of the home.

One of the best parts about using greige is that it makes a great compliment to the jewel tones we discussed above. It gives a clean look and truly is a perfect backdrop for bold accent colors to pop.

Utilize Yellow

A color that many designers once strayed away from is now back! This time, used only as an accent color throughout a room. Yellow of any shade can be used with other hot colors of 2017 like greige or jewel tones.

Don’t be afraid to incorporate yellow in areas you may otherwise think twice about, like your window treatments or rugs. Yellow accessories make a statement in your room and is what the home design trends of 2017 are all about.

Terracotta Tile


Not just for your potted plants anymore. Terracotta will become a design staple in 2017. We’re already seeing accessories pop up in unexpected places, such as soap dishes and decorative bowls. One of the more popular ways you’ll see terracotta used this year is in tile flooring. They work well as a kitchen flooring option, but don’t limit it to just there. It can easily warm up a bedroom or a living room. They are also an affordable alternative to other flooring materials.

Geometric Patterns

Geometric Patterns

If you’d rather mix it up with patterns, rather than change a paint color, you’re in luck this year. Geometric patterns for your home are hot right now and will continue to be through the year. Think mid-century style, with squares and rectangles.

One thing to be aware of when choosing your patterns is the chevron design. Though geometrical, this pattern has become less trendy within the last year. Though, it will always be a great choice for your baby’s nursery.

Repurposed Decor

Repurposed Décor

Make this year the time where you can truly let your creativity shine in your home. DIY repurposed décor is something that is not only trending, but can be completely unique to your style. Try upholstering a chair or using a trunk for living room storage.

Another décor item that will be trendy this year is reclaimed wood. Tables, chairs and even shelving in reclaimed wood will be a unique look for your room. It also blends well with any color scheme you choose.

Minimalist Style

Minimalist Style

Organization is in style this year. Minimalist décor will insist that there’s empty shelves, tables and rooms of unnecessary items and show off the design elements that matter. Minimalist design is all about having a clean, sleek look. Focus on items with straight lines and a unique shape. Color and light are also prominent here. Use the trendy jewel of the year as accent colors as you decorate your space.


As much as keeping up with annual trends is important for homeowners, especially those looking to sell, be sure to incorporate your unique style in when you can. The colors and decorative elements this year are colorful and bold, so have fun with it!


2017 Window Trends

2017 Window Trends

2017 Window Trends

Windows are an essential element in any room. Sure, they are a great utility for natural light, but have you considered how they can easily change the look of a space? With so many shapes and sizes available, you can easily match your style.

With 2017 approaching, now is the time to consider what changes you can make to your windows to give your room a stylish look. Updating your windows could mean a small DIY upgrade or a new installation. To help, here’s a few window trends you’ll be seeing in 2017.

Are you ready to upgrade windows for the new year? Contact a window pro today for up to four free quotes from contractors in your area.

Trendy In 2017

2016 Vs. 2017

Last year, we reported that high and functional windows were hot. Many of these trends will carry over to 2017, such as sustainable windows. This is a trend that will carry on for years to come, as many homeowner see the valuable ROI.

Changing out your curtains and drapes is an easy way to update your look for the new year. Window treatments started to make a comeback last year and we’re seeing bright and bold colors at the forefront, as well as including the small details to make a big impact on your window décor.

Overall, you’ll see that 2016 gave a great foundation for the new trends of 2017 to build on. Get ready to make a statement with your windows this year!

Energy-Saving Windows

Creating a sustainable home has been the movement in home design for the last few years. In 2017, the focus is on upgrading your windows for energy-saving benefits. If you have old windows that easily let air out, consider upgrading this year. According to the EPA, switching to Energy Star certified windows can help save up to 12% in energy bills.

Energy-efficient windows come in many different shapes and sizes. When searching for windows, look for the Energy Star Efficiency label right for your climate. The cost to replace windows is between $150 and $2,500 per window, depending on how large of a window there is to replace and any other work that needs to be done.

Tips For Cleaning High Windows

Vinyl Windows

This year, vinyl windows will take center stage as an affordable and convenient option for homeowners. It’s been growing in popularity in previous years, with homeowners turning to vinyl as a sustainable upgrade for windows in their home. With so many colors available, it’s easy to find an option to fit your home. It’s a good choice if you plan on installing a larger window this year as it can help costs and still look great in a room.

Additionally, vinyl windows have plenty of energy-saving benefits that can keep heating and cooling costs down during the year, making it a great long-term investment. The average cost to install vinyl windows is between $150 and $2,000 depending on the style and size.

Vinyl Windows

Focal Point Windows

Having big and bright windows was the window trend in 2016. This will remain true in 2017, except now we’re making them the focal point of the room. Find ways to highlight your window by using window treatments that stand out, or positioning your seating so you and your family can enjoy the natural light.

Mirrors add to the effect of big windows throughout the room by reflecting the light. Try positioning a few mirrors around or across from a big window to help enhance the natural light and style.

Bamboo Blinds

Natural Window Treatments

As sustainability is on trend, this will be true for your window treatments as well. As a less costly upgrade for your windows, try incorporating the latest sustainable window treatments in your home this year. Bamboo and woven blinds are making a comeback this year, as natural and functional window décor. They make for a great backdrop against curtains or leave them alone for a minimalist look. Though it is possible to hang window treatments on your own, a pro can help ensure all measurements are correct and your blinds are a perfect fit. The average cost to install window treatments is $139.

Jewel Tone Curtains

Bold Curtains Styles

One of the biggest home décor trends of 2017 is incorporating bold colors into your fabric window treatments. This year’s hot colors are deep jewel hues like turquoise, emerald and topaz. This is easy to incorporate into your room’s décor and create a style that pops. It’s also an affordable way to update your window based on current trends.

If there’s a fabric you’ve fallen in love with, you can easily DIY your own curtains this year. If you get tired of the look, it’s easy to change! A sewing machine will come in handy for this project. Two Twenty One has a great tutorial on How To Make Curtains.

Jewel Tones And Tassles

Attention To Detail

A little detail goes a long way, especially in 2017. Adding small details to your windows and window treatments will not go unnoticed this year. Tassels on curtains or drapes will add an elegant decorative touch to any room. Consider the hardware you use on and around your windows as well. Stylish curtain rods can completely change your look and are inexpensive to update. You can also DIY these small projects, saving you time and money when it comes to updating your windows.


Let your windows make a statement this year. If you have older windows, 2017 might be the time to update to a sustainable option. If you’re not ready for a window replacement, try one of the stylish decorative upgrades that can add style to your windows and a statement in your room.


2017 Garage Door Trends

2017 Garage Door Trends

2017 Garage Door Trends

Your garage door is a huge factor in curb appeal. The style and color can either add style to your home’s exterior or be a complete eyesore. If you feel like your garage door has become the latter, this may be the year you make the investment and update your garage door.

However, there are many small updates that can improve your garage door without a full replacement. New technologies and innovations have made it easier to move and in and out of your garage. Keep an eye out for these garage door trends in 2017.

Are you ready to update your garage door? Contact a garage pro today for up to four free quotes from contractors in your area.

Garage Door Trends 2017

2016 Vs. 2017

Compared to last year, we’re seeing many trends continue, specifically using bold colors to create a vibrant garage. Given the color trends of 2017 are bold and deep, this will fit right in with your hot home décor this year. Innovation in garage doors has allowed for new trends in smart home technology to reach the garage as well as using your garage door to create a more functional and livable space. If you’re ready to update your garage, 2017 is the year to do it!

Garage Door Prices

An old, outdated garage can speak volumes about the condition of your home. Though often, garage doors are made to last, the styles can change fast. If you’re considering selling your house this year or looking for better curb appeal, investing in a new garage door may be worth it. The average cost to install a garage door is $964, depending on the style you choose.

Glass Garage Door

Glass Garage Doors

This year, contemporary and modern will be a trendy look you’ll want to incorporate in your home’s exterior. If you’re planning to update your look, look no further than a frosted glass garage door. This style is especially beneficial if you tend to work in your garage. Glass garage doors come in a variety of options with other materials like wood and steel. If you’re going for the contemporary look, be sure to find styles with plenty of straight lines in natural finishes.

Wood Garage Doors

Wood garage doors are making a comeback after gaining in popularity the past few years. They are now the hot home exterior item to have. But, in a new way. Many have been integrated with glass options to continue with the modern garage door look that’s trendy this year.

However, the classic wood garage door look is still hot, especially those in the carriage style. The average cost of a wood garage door is between $1,235 and $2,756.

Smartphone Garage Technology

Garage Door Openers

If you love the look of your garage door, but are still looking for a fresh update in the new year, try a new garage door opener. No longer is it your standard remote control. Smart home technology has made its way to your garage.

Contact a pro who can help connect the Wi-Fi and appropriate machinery to your garage door. A small investment could mean never having to worry if you’ve forgotten to shut your garage door, as it’s now only a few clicks away on your smartphone.

Garage Door Insulation

A big trend in 2017 is overall home sustainability. One way to make your garage more sustainable is by installing insulation to your garage door. For the homeowner who works out in their garage, regardless of season, this could be a great option for climate control. I know in my home, it’s a necessity for all the woodworking and home projects my husband does throughout the winter. It’s also important if your garage is connected to your home, this could help lower energy costs. The average cost to insulate a garage door is between $821 and $1,331.

Screen For Garage

Garage Screen Door

If you do a lot of work in and out of your garage and find yourself with the door more often open than closed, a garage screen door could be the update you need in 2017. They keep bugs, dirt and other debris out while letting fresh air and light inside the garage. Many have small doors for easy movement, without opening and closing your larger garage door. Your garage can become an instant living space without any remodeling.

Colorful Garage Door

Don’t Forget Color

Your garage door is a very large focal point on your home’s exterior. You’ll be surprised at how choosing the perfect garage door color can completely change the look of your home. Finding the perfect garage door color to match your home can be challenging. Avoid using the same accent colors you have used for the rest of the house, but it is perfectly acceptable to use your house color. If you’re looking to make your garage door color stand out, try a deep red or green. If you’re looking for a neutral, gray is a hot color for 2017 and you’re sure to find a shade that matches your home.


Your garage door stands out, if you like it or not. Make 2017 the year where you fall in love with the exterior of your home, with a little help from a garage door update.


How A Trump Presidency Might Affect The Housing Market

How A Trump Presidency Might Affect The Housing Market

How A Trump Presidency Might Affect The Housing Market

Very few experts could have ever predicted that the man who once directed young Kevin McCallister to a hotel lobby would one day ascend to the highest office of the U.S. Federal Government. Defying the odds, the former host of The Celebrity Apprentice, Donald Trump, was elected President on November 8th.

To find a similar momentous political shake-up, you’d have to go all the way back to…2016. In June, the United Kingdom voted to exit the European Union causing world markets to briefly drop. Trump’s election is the United States’ “Brexit moment,” and will have similar influence on the economy and housing market. Here’s a brief outlook on how the Trump administration could affect U.S. real estate.

Already have a post-election renovation project in mind? Contact a remodeling pro today for up to four free quotes.

Trump Smiling

What Could Be Good For The Housing Market

While on the campaign trail, Trump proposed a trillion-dollar spending bill to repair and update the country’s infrastructure. With the creation of new construction jobs across the nation, the demand for housing should also rise with newly relocated workers. Also, the investment in infrastructure should boost the national economy which should help new construction projects overall.

Trump has also emphasized that he would roll back government regulations to spur economic growth. Being a real estate mogul himself, housing regulations will definitely be loosened over the next four years. Trump claimed that 25% of new housing construction costs are attributed to regulations and he would aim to lower them to 2%. Lower costs overall should help increase the buyer pool nationwide.

Banking regulations are also on Trump’s proposed chopping block. President-elect Trump has suggested he would like to scale back or remove the Dodd-Frank financial regulations. Doing so would alleviate regulatory costs to smaller banks and lenders, so they could afford to provide more mortgages to more potential buyers.

Many of Trump’s proposals would benefit the economy and housing market in the near future. If you were considering selling your home, you might find an opportune moment in the next few years. However, this opportunity might be tied to how your state voted in the election. Consumer confidence ties in with party lines, so red states may see improvements in home sales while blue states could see a slowdown. In the meantime, it never hurts to add equity to your home.

However, the long-term effects such as an increased budget deficit and resulting higher interest rates could slow the growth of the real estate marketing. We’ll look into some other potential negative effects of a Trump presidency next.

Trump Frowning

What Could Be Bad For The Housing Market

One of Donald Trump’s most polarizing stances was his proposal for mass deportations and a stricter national immigration policy. While a massive overhaul to immigration policy wouldn’t appear to affect real estate prices on the surface, it could have some unintended consequences.

A more isolationist and nationalistic approach to immigration might turn away foreign buyers and investors from purchasing American real estate. Between early 2015 and early 2016, foreign investors purchased over $102 billion in residential property. If it were harder to get into the country, that overseas revenue could dry up.

Trump has called to deport as many as 11.6 million undocumented workers living in the United States during his administration. Since the construction labor pool is already strained with nearly 2 million jobs lost since the 2008 housing collapse, potentially removing more laborers from the country could drive up construction costs and slow project growth.

While Trump’s deregulation of Dodd-Frank has some upsides, it could act as a double-edged sword towards the housing market. Cutting regulatory costs should help out smaller banks and lenders who are hit hardest, but it would also allow large banks to revert to the risky lending and financial practices that caused the 2008 sub-prime mortgage collapse. This might be overly pessimistic thinking, but large banks still have a “too big to fail” mindset (e.g. Wells Fargo’s recent false account opening scandal) and expect to be bailed out if they cause another housing bubble. This, however, is dependent on how far Dodd-Frank is rolled back.

Finally, Trump has been critical of government entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for their handling of the 2008 housing collapse. If Trump and a GOP-controlled Congress were to move to these organizations to be owned privately, it might make it harder for more people to be approved for mortgages as these mortgages would now no longer be immune from default—similar to FDIC insured bank accounts. More risk on loans means fewer loans approved and at higher interest rates.

Money House


Regardless your opinion on Trump and his policies, the real estate mogul turned president will have a mixed effect on the housing market over the next four years. Similarly to the long-term effects of Brexit, we’ll have to cross those hypothetical bridges when we get to them. Hopefully, you have a better idea of how a Trump presidency might affect the strength of the U.S. housing market in 2017 and beyond.

Like most presidents, Trump will get too much credit and blame for the good and bad that will happen during his administration. The latter, however, is something he is most likely prepared for.


Easy Kitchen Updates To Complete In An Afternoon

Easy Kitchen Updates To Complete In An Afternoon

Easy Kitchen Updates To Complete In An Afternoon

Kitchens are a place where you can get creative and your décor should fuel that inspiration. Whether cooking for the family or baking a birthday cake for a party, you should love to be in your kitchen, big or small.

If you aren’t as in love with your kitchen as you should be, a few kitchen updates can help. It’s amazing how a small change can make a big difference. If you have an afternoon to spare, try a few of these easy kitchen updates to change your look.

Are you ready to completely change the look of your kitchen? Contact a kitchen remodeling pro today for up to four free quotes from local contractors in your area.

Clean Kitchen

Deep Clean Your Kitchen

A great way to update your kitchen doesn’t have to involve hefty tools or paint brushes. Sometimes, all a kitchen may need is a thorough deep clean to be refreshed and look new. Think beyond the dirty dishes. Are there areas of your kitchen that you tend to neglect? It’s a good idea to give your kitchen a deep clean at least twice a year. Here are some areas you may want to consider:

  • Inside the oven
  • Stovetop
  • Sink Drain
  • Garbage Disposal
  • Inside the Stove Hood
  • Refrigerator Trays
  • Dishwasher
  • Cabinets
  • Stainless Steel Appliances

Paint Your Kitchen

Fresh Coat Of Paint

The color of your kitchen can entice you to get in there and cook or, order out as much as possible. However, you can change your kitchen color without painting the entire room a new color. Consider including a colorful or patterned accent wall in your kitchen. This is an easy paint project that will take a shorter time to complete, as opposed to painting the entire room. It’s also a good way to test a color you love and see if it works in the space.

If you’re considering painting your kitchen, create your budget and get to work. The average cost to paint a home interior is $1,655, depending on the size. You can significantly cut costs by making this a DIY project.

Refresh Your Cabinets

Update Kitchen Cabinets

Similarly, you can update your kitchen by changing the color of your cabinets. You don’t need a complete remodel to update the look. You can paint your cabinets and make them look like new again! While you can likely complete the painting in an afternoon, it may take a day or two to dry completely. Remember this as you’re planning your paint project. See our tutorial on the Best Way To Paint Kitchen Cabinets.

Another way to update your cabinets is by styling the inside. You can add a bit of color to the room every time you open to grab a dish. It’s a great place to add a bright color if you’re not ready to take the risk on your walls. This is also an ideal technique if you have open shelving.

Change Your Faucet

Change Out Your Faucet

If you’ve had the same sink hardware for years, it may be out-of-date. There are many new innovations in kitchen plumbing technology that not only look great, but add to the overall sustainability of your home. The average cost to install a faucet is $230 but this can vary based on the type of faucet you choose to install and if you plan to DIY this project.

Hanging Pots And Pans

Hang Your Pots & Pans

Looking to add style to your kitchen while saving space? Hanging your pots and pans from an unused space like a bare wall, a cabinet or even from the ceiling. You’ll need a suitable hanging system. If you plan on using a wall, a rod and s-hooks should be enough to securely hold your cookware. In my home, we use a painted pegboard and hooks to keep our pans flat against the wall until we’re ready to use.

If you’re looking to utilize your ceiling, you’ll need to search for a hanging pot rack that fits your space. These use S-hooks, similarly to wall systems. Whatever you choose, the hard work comes in when it’s time to install. Make sure you have the materials necessary for your product to safely install.

Line Your Drawers

Decorate Your Drawers

Your drawers don’t have to be drab! Similarly, to the inside of your cabinets, you can decorate your drawers as well. Adding drawer liner is simple and will give them a unique look every time you reach for silverware. Of course, there are drawer liners sold in stores that are easy to apply, but those don’t often include a decorative element. If you’re looking to style your drawers with a unique pattern, try using fabric. Using fabric will also last longer than paper or other liner options. See Handmade Charlotte’s full tutorial on lining your drawers with fabric.


You don’t always need a complete kitchen remodel to change the look of your kitchen. In just a few hours, you can create a new look you love.


2017 Lighting Trends

2017 Lighting Trends

2017 Lighting Trends

If you’ve turned on the light recently and noticed your fixture looking a little less than fabulous, now may be the time for an update. The start of a new year is a great time to take an old, outdated light fixture from drab to fab.

Lighting trends change from year to year, so it’s important to know the latest styles and innovations so you can have the latest in your home. To help, we’ve rounded up some of the top lighting trends of 2017.

Are you ready to install your new light fixture? Contact an electrical pro today and receive up to four free quotes from contractors in your area.

Cost To Install A Light Fixture

Cost To Install A Light Fixture

Changing a light fixture in a room could make all the difference in your home décor. Some fixtures you can easily DIY, while others you’ll need the help of a pro to safely connect any new wiring. The average cost to install a new light fixture is $454.

Statement Floor Lighting

Statement Light Fixtures

Let the lighting in your room become the décor focal point. This new year, statement light fixtures are hot. Chandeliers with a modern and sleek design are taking center stage this year, utilizing non-traditional materials such as wood and black metal. The good news as that these contemporary chandeliers come in all shapes and sizes. This is the perfect addition to a dining room where you could use a décor upgrade. Contact a pro to help you install a chandelier.

Additionally, the contemporary floor lamp is making a comeback not only as a light fixture but as an important décor element. Arched floor lamps make the perfect addition to any living room or reading nook. While tripod floor lamps are giving any room in the home a mid-century modern feel. Look for lamps that don’t just provide light, but also style.

Industrial Lighting Design

Industrial Lighting Design

One of the hottest trends this year is industrial lighting design. Think rugged and raw materials that are unfinished and sometimes exposed. This style is extremely versatile and can fit into a variety of décor themes, such as farmhouse or contemporary. Exposed Edison bulbs and pendant light shades will help give you the look, regardless of what type of light fixture you’re looking for.

Statement Light Fixture

Modern Lighting Décor

Geometric shapes and smooth finishes give modern lighting décor it’s sleek look. Much of the design is incredibly minimalistic, in line with the home décor trends of 2017. Black, chrome, and white finished light fixtures will illuminate the room, without taking away from the modern design elements. Modern table lamps are an easy way to incorporate this trend without splurging for a completely new light fixture.

Wall Sconce Lighting

Wall sconce lighting has made a comeback in recent years largely due to the availability of different styles. Wall sconces can be easily changed to match the latest trends. If you have an empty bare wall, especially in a hallway or stairwell, a wall sconce can be a functional way to add wall décor. Look for modern or industrial wall sconce style to stay on trend for 2017.

Kitchen Lighting Trends

Kitchen Lighting Trends

If there’s anywhere in the home where you should be considering a lighting upgrade, it’s the kitchen. After all, more light is needed here than anywhere else to properly measure ingredients and cook meals for your family. Here’s a few new lighting trends to consider adding to your kitchen this year:

Undercabinet Lighting

If you haven’t seen the light yet, undercabinet fixtures can be extremely helpful in the kitchen. There are many options available that are easily installed yourself. While some function as traditional switch lights, there are options now available to push and easily turn on. It’s also a lighting project that can help you increase your kitchen’s value.

Energy-Saving Recessed Lighting

Recessed lighting is a trend that will never go out of style, especially in the kitchen. Now, you can incorporate energy-saving options into your recessed lighting with LED bulbs. Not only do these save energy, but they can last up to 10 times longer than fluorescent light bulbs. The average cost of recessed lighting per light is between $20 and $150, depending on the materials you choose.

Bathroom Lighting Trends

Bathroom Lighting Trends

The bathroom is another area where lighting is important. The right lighting can help you prepare for your day or unwind into a relaxing evening. If you’re planning a bathroom remodel this year, consider a trendy bathroom lighting upgrade.

Mirror Lighting

If you’re getting ready for the day, mirror lighting is essential. This helps reduce shadows and create even illumination. This is a must for any bathroom remodeling project.

Dimmer Switch

Heading to the bathroom in the middle of the night is typically met with a bright light that’s unavoidable until now. A dimmer switch for your bathroom is a necessity this year. Adjust the light to your preference any time of day or night. This also helps to save energy and cut costs in your home. The average cost to install a dimmer switch is between $13.50 and $40.50 per switch.


Your lighting should make a statement in 2017. You’ll be surprised at how a small lighting update can truly change the look of an entire room. Stick with modern or industrial fixtures that are trendy and don’t forget to save energy where you can.


2017 Kitchen & Bathroom Trends You Should Know

2017 Kitchen & Bathroom Trends You Should Know

2017 Kitchen & Bathroom Trends You Should Know

Your kitchen and bathroom are two rooms in the home that get used most often. Guests and family alike will frequent these areas, so it’s important you have them looking their best, regardless of their size.

Whether your old bathroom or kitchen needs a quick update to refresh the look, or you’re planning a complete remodel, you’ll want to see what’s trending in 2017 before you begin.

Are you ready to start your kitchen or bathroom remodel? Contact a remodeling pro for up to four free quotes from contractors in your area.

Kitchen Trends 2017

Kitchen Trends

As the heart of the home, a kitchen is an area that should be welcoming and functional. If you have an outdated kitchen, you may be considering a kitchen remodel this year. While it has larger costs upfront, it can have a great impact on the ROI for your home. The average cost to remodel a kitchen is $18,727, with most homeowners spending between $12,986 and $21,306. Materials tend to be the costliest items when it comes to a kitchen remodel.

However, if you’re just looking to make a few changes, there are plenty of DIY options to update your kitchen quickly. Whatever you decide, be sure your kitchen incorporates a few 2017 kitchen trends.

Black And White Kitchen Trends 2017

Black & White

If you’re looking for a kitchen color trend that will stick around, black and white is your answer. This clean and timeless style is impacting kitchens this year in a big way. White walls and cabinetry with black hardware are perfect ways to get this look. The best news about this trend is its versatility. As kitchen décor trends change, you can easily incorporate the look.


Tech Savvy

If there’s one room in the house where innovation has changed the way we use it, it’s the kitchen. From connected cooking to smart appliances, there seems to be a gadget for everything in the kitchen. Incorporate some of the new kitchen technologies this year and create a more connected home. Here are a few you may find useful:

  • Genican is a garbage can that scans barcodes as you throw them away, adding those items to your digital grocery list.
  • The Smart Crock Pot is connected to WeMo home automation so you can control temperature and cook time from your smart phone.
  • Various oven brands now have features allowing you to control settings from your smartphone.
  • Whirlpool now offers a dishwasher model that connects to Amazon Dash that will order detergent refills when needed.

Colorful Sink Trend

Colorful Sinks

This year’s home décor colors are bold and you can incorporate them in your kitchen. If you’re planning to update your kitchen sink this year, think colorful. Kitchen sinks in bright colors are hot this year and it’s a perfect way to add a bit of color to the room.

Think Minimal

Think Minimal

If your New Year’s resolution is to finally clean the clutter from your home, this year’s minimalistic trend may motivate you to stick to it! Get rid of old accessories and hide appliances you don’t use every day. Choose your countertop décor wisely and keep these elements small and sleek. Organize your kitchen this year for functionality to keep clutter away.

Bathroom Trends 2017

Bathroom Trends

Like the kitchen, your bathroom is a place where function takes center stage. However, it can also be a place of luxury and a retreat away from the world. If you have an outdated bathroom, you may not be using this space to its full potential. A remodel can change that. The average cost to remodel a bathroom is $7,920 with most homeowners spending between $6,037 and $9,001.

If you’re ready to fall in love with your bathroom again, here are a few bathroom trends you should incorporate this year.

EcoFriendly Bathrooms 2017

Eco-Friendly Features

If your home is focused on going green, these are updates you need to make. Considering eco-friendly features is one of the first steps you can take in your bathroom. After all, plenty of water is used here. From water-saving toilets to showerheads that limit the amount of water you use, there are new technologies available that will help you save money and resources. Look for features that have the WaterSense label for assurance that the product meets EPA guidelines.

Unique Storage

Unique Storage

While bathroom cabinets are still an important part of the room, some homeowners are turning to unconventional storage options that add to the overall décor of the room. Dressers, wine racks and open shelving double as a spot to hang towels, extra toiletries and more. Surprise your guests by repurposing something old in the bathroom.

Tranquil Colors

Tranquil Colors

For those who plan to refresh the bathroom this year with a coat of paint, think calm and relaxing. This year’s hot bathroom colors are light hues, such as lavender, pastel purple and soft shades of gray. They certainly set the mood for relaxation and tranquility for anyone entering, as well as making it easy to decorate with natural accessories.

Three Dimensional Tile

Three-Dimensional Tile

Tile no longer has to be flat. In 2017, three-dimensional tile will be hot. Three-dimensional tile adds texture and is visually appealing in the bathroom. Consider using this style of tile in your shower or as a backsplash in your bathroom. Stick with neutral colors that can reflect the unique design.

Fall In Love WIth Your Kitchen


Make 2017 the year to create the kitchen and bathroom you’ll want to show off. Utilize a few of these ideas to transform your look for the new year.


8 Kitchen Cabinet Trends To Watch In 2017

8 Kitchen Cabinet Trends To Watch In 2017

8 Kitchen Cabinet Trends To Watch In 2017

Typically, cabinets take up a significant portion of your kitchen. If they’re old and outdated, they’re an instant eyesore and can impact the décor of the entire room. In some cases, they may not be the right kind of storage your family needs in the kitchen.

Take a look around your kitchen. Did either of the above statements describe your current kitchen? If so, 2017 might be the time for an upgrade. Stylish kitchen cabinets are crucial to the overall look and function of the kitchen. To help, we’ve rounded up a few of the hot kitchen cabinet trends to watch in 2017.

Are you ready to give your kitchen a new look with updated cabinets? Contact a kitchen remodeling pro today for up to four free quotes from contractors in your area.

Kitchen Cabinet Costs

1. Cabinet Costs

Installing new kitchen cabinets is a great way to get exactly what you want in both space and style. It’s also important for the overall ROI of the kitchen. If you’re looking to sell in the next year, this is an investment you’ll want to consider. The average cost to install kitchen cabinets is $4,173, with most homeowners spending between $2,420 and $4,549. However, this can vary based on the materials you choose and the size or your cabinet installation.

White Kithen Cabinets

2. White Kitchen Cabinets

The clean and sleek look is hot for kitchen right now. One way to archieve that is with white kitchen cabinets. This is great for cabinetry of any size and helps to reflect light around the room. If you have a small kitchen, this is one way to make the space feel bigger and brighter.

One concern homeowners have when it comes to white is keeping it clean. Considering the likelihood of handprints or food stains, you’ll want to know how to best care for white kitchen cabinets before making the decision to install. Read How To Clean Kitchen Cabinets for a few tips on keeping them looking great.

Metal Kitchen Cabinets

3. Metal Kitchen Cabinets

It’s no secret that the mid-century modern look has made a comeback in recent years. And now, it’s making its way into the kitchen with metal cabinets. Coming in varieties of steel, these kitchen cabinets are easy to clean and maintain. Metal kitchen cabinets never need to be refaced and are easy to install. For a low maintenance kitchen upgrade, it might be time to give metal kitchen cabinets a try.

Gray Kitchen Cabinets

4. Gray Kitchen Cabinets

Gray is this year’s hot neutral. With this trend, almost any shade goes. Use a lighter shade of gray to brighten the space, similarly to using a white. Or, if you want to create a warm and dramatic kitchen environment, opt for a darker gray. Gray cabinets work well with almost any color scheme, so it’s never an issue if you’re simply replacing or refinishing old cabinets.

Chalk Paint Cabinet

5. Chalk Paint Kitchen Cabinets

If you plan on making your cabinet upgrade a DIY project this year, painting them may be the obvious choice. A popular trend in cabinet décor this year is chalk paint. If you’ve never heard of it, chalk paint is a type of paint that creates an aged or distressed appearance. For rustic and farmhouse kitchens, this is the perfect choice.

Glass Kitchen Cabinets

6. Glass Cabinet Doors

Open shelving has been appearing in kitchens across the country. As great as they look, they do have some homeowners wondering how their dishes will stay clean and undamaged. Glass paneling seems to be the answer to that. A clear glass paneled cabinet front can expose beautiful dishware without the dust or debris that could appear with open cabinets.

For a sleek, modern look, try frosted glass. This helps to create openness in your kitchen, without exposing every plate or bowl.

Cabinet Technology

7. Functional Cabinetry

A trend that remains the same from 2016 is functional cabinetry. Though this year, per popular kitchen trends, functional cabinetry means tech-savvy cabinetry. Innovations in cabinet design have allowed homeowners to utilize their cabinetry for the modern era. This can include a built-in charging station for all your handheld electronic devices. Or, for the home cook, an exposed shelf where they can set their tablet or phone to read a recipe. Consider how you can incorporate technology into your cabinet design this year.

Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

8. Stylish Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

In 2017, every homeowner will be focused on the small details. In the kitchen, that means kitchen cabinet hardware. These knobs and pulls often get overlooked, but they can really change the entire style of your cabinetry. If you’re not ready for a complete kitchen cabinet upgrade, try changing out your kitchen cabinet hardware.

Like many of the styles mentioned above, choose kitchen cabinet hardware that has clean lines and shapes. Knobs and pulls in chrome or steel will be a great choice for the year. As styles do change, kitchen cabinet hardware is easy to change and only takes an afternoon to complete.

Don’t forget about the hardware you can’t see. If you’re tired of the loud noises from shutting cabinet doors, now may be the time to install soft-close hinges. This is a small change that can make a big difference in your kitchen.

Modern Kitchen Cabinet Trends


Your kitchen cabinets may be the largest décor statement you can have in the kitchen. If you’re planning a kitchen remodel this year, think about how you can incorporate some of these trends into your design.


5 Hot Home Remodeling Trends In 2017

5 Hot Home Remodeling Trends In 2017

5 Hot Home Remodeling Trends In 2017

There are many reasons a homeowner decides to remodel. An upgrade from outdated décor can help you enjoy your home more. Or, you may be looking to sell your home and a remodel may help. Whatever the reason, any remodel or addition is a big project that should have careful attention.

If you’re planning a remodel this year, look at a few of the popular home projects. By incorporating them into your remodeling plans, you can increase your home’s overall ROI and have a better chance of selling your house quickly this year.

Ready to start your remodeling project? Contact a remodeling pro today for up to four free quotes from contractors in your area.

1. Kitchen Remodeling

One of the best investments you can make in your home, especially if you’re looking to sell, is in the kitchen. The kitchen is considered the heart of the home, a place for family to eat and gather. So, it’s easy to see why so many homeowners consider this a selling point. The average cost to remodel a kitchen is $18,727, with most homeowners spending between $12,986 and $21,306. This price varies based on the kitchen projects you have planned and those material costs.

It’s also possible to simply update certain parts of the kitchen to get them up-to-date, without a complete overhaul. Whether you’re planning a total remodel or looking for a trend to update your kitchen, here are a few trendy ideas:

Breakfast Nook

If you’re remodeling your kitchen this year, a breakfast nook is a welcomed addition to the kitchen you can enjoy every morning. It doesn’t take too much space to create and can be the perfect way to update an older kitchen.

Kitchen Technology

This year is all about incorporating technology in your home, especially in the kitchen. Update old appliances to models that connect to your smartphone. Install a charging station so the whole family can charge their devices. Invest in cabinetry that accommodates new innovations. See where you can incorporate the latest technology in your kitchen.

Home Theater Remodeling

2. Home Theaters

As more families seek areas of the home to retreat together, home theaters will get more popular. This is a great way to make use of an unused basement or finished attic. The largest costs with a home theater typically come with the surround sound. The average cost to install a home theater surround sound system is $992. However, you’ll also want to consider costs of furniture, television and other theater amenities you choose when you’re budgeting.

Bathroom Remodeling Trends 2017

3. Bathroom Remodeling

Another home remodeling project that can impact the overall ROI of the home is the bathroom. If you’re thinking of selling your home this year, evaluate the look of your bathroom, as it can easily make or break the sale of your home. Get rid of outdated tiles and colors and choose neutral tones that are hot right now. The average cost to remodel a bathroom is $8,493 with most homeowners spending between $6,404 and $9,517. Of course, there are changes you can make to update your bathroom without a complete remodel. Here are a few to consider:

Tile Update

Get rid of old, outdated colored tie and replace with a white or gray tile for your shower or walls. These neutral hues are in style this year and can be incorporated into almost any bathroom décor you choose.

Storage Update

The minimalistic look is a hot trend in any room of the home this year. When it comes to the bathroom, that can be a challenge. Towels, bath accessories, and toilet paper are just a few items that need a place in your bathroom. Large or small, these items must have a place in the bathroom. Consider upgrading your bathroom cabinet or vanity for storage purposes.

Outdoor Remodeling Trends 2017

4. Creating An Outdoor Oasis

This year, homeowners took their remodeling projects outside to add more usable square footage to their home. The focus was on creating a place for all to relax and enjoy outside. The American Institute of Architects reported a 69% increase in decking projects among surveyed architecture firms. Many included homeowners looking to expand their current decks. This focus on creating more outdoor space to enjoy is sure to carry in through 2017. The average cost to build a deck is $6,408.

A deck isn’t the only way to create an outdoor oasis. Patios and unique landscaping can make all the difference. Fill with comfortable furniture and a table for outdoor dining.

Home Insulation 2017

5. Home Insulation

One of the hottest home trends this year is creating a sustainable home. Installing or replacing insulation in your home is one way to accomplish that. Attic insulation has a high ROI, according to the Remodeling Cost Vs. Value Report. The study estimates a $116 return for every $100 invested in this project. This is a project that’s beneficial for your home and wallet, as you can also see home energy prices reduce.

If you’re taking on an insulation project in 2017, leave it to the pros as it doesn’t make for an easy DIY. The average cost to install insulation is $1,311 with most homeowners spending between $997 and $1,382.


Make 2017 the year to get more out of your home by updating it to reflect the popular trends of the year. Not only will you see a benefit to your home’s value, but it’s sure to be a space you’ll enjoy for years to come!