Should You Replace or Reface Your Cabinets?

If you’re looking to change the appearance of your kitchen or bathroom, one of the easiest ways is to alter your cabinets. Completely replacing your cabinets can be a costly and long process, but provides you with an entirely new look. Refacing your cabinets is a less expensive and easier way to give them a new look, but doesn’t always deliver the results you want. Factors such as your budget, time constraints and décor ideas are important to figure out before choosing an option.

Refacing Cabinets

Refacing your cabinets is the process of changing the doors of the cabinets and leaving the cabinet box as is. Refining the exterior is also commonly associated with the process of refacing. Refacing cabinets includes applying stains, glazes and paints to alter the color, sanding the doors to give the surface a new texture, or replacing the door with a different style (such as shaker style doors or recessed panel doors).

Refacing cabinets is a cheaper alternative since you are only changing the door, usually for aesthetic purposes. It also can be done by yourself, so you save money that you would usually spend on a contractor or carpenter.

Replacing Cabinets

Replacing your cabinets means you take out the old and bring in the new. You can change up the structure, size and type of wood that you are going to use for your cabinet. This allows you to change the overall structure and look of your space, whereas refacing just changes the look of the door fronts. This is a great option for those who want a big change or have cabinets that are in very poor condition.

When choosing to replace your cabinets in their entirely, it’s important to do your research. Shop around for different deals with companies, research the different wood types and pay attention to trends and décor ideas for inspiration. Replacing cabinets can be costly and time-consuming, so you want to make sure you get the best deal you can.

Choosing Oak Cabinets

oak cabinets

Choosing the right type of wood for your cabinets is crucial. The right wood species can change the entire look of your room, so it’s important to read up on the pros and cons of each wood before purchasing. Oak cabinets are a popular choice among homeowners due to their durability and beauty. Here are a few things you should know about oak cabinets before choosing them for your home.

Oak cabinets are very durable. This hardwood will hold up through the slamming of doors, storage of heavy food items, and grease splatters from cooking. Oak cabinets can easily be cleaned with a wipe-down of a wet rag. This makes oak cabinets an investment, since they will stand up to use for years to come.

Oak cabinets can easily be customized to your liking. The neutral wood color can be changed with an application of paint, glaze or stain of your choice (just make sure you sand the wood first to create an even and smooth surface for the substance to adhere to). Oak's natural grain lines add beauty to your room, but can easily be covered if they clash with your decor. So whether you like a natural look or want a more glossy finish, it can be accomplished by choosing oak.

Oak cabinets are also very versatile. As mentioned above, they look great in almost any type of room- including traditional and rustic spaces. They bring a lovely warmth to any space and will stay in style for many years to come.

oak kitchen

oak kitchen cabinets

Make Your Bathroom Appear Larger


One of the smallest areas in most homes is the bathroom. This creates a challenge for home owners and renters alike when it comes to storage, aesthetic and functionality of a bathroom. However, there are a variety of ways to make your bathroom

appear larger without the high renovation costs or lengthy construction time.

Pay attention to colors. It is commonly known that white and lighter colors can make a room appear larger and cleaner. Choose white cabinets, proper lighting fixtures and a calming color palette. You also want your bathroom to be a place of peace and relaxation, and lighter colors tend to create these feeling more than bold or darker ones.

Choose the proper fixtures. The majority of bathrooms feature a shower or a tub- sometimes they are combined in one. Think about which one you really need and if possible remove the other. For example, if you prefer showers and rarely take baths, it makes sense to remove the bathtub to create extra space.

Re-organize everything. If you’re lucky enough to have a built-in closet in your bathroom, re-organize it to get maximum space. If you don’t have a closet, bring in items such as shelves, towel racks and storage units to store all your necessities like towels and bath products. If it’s at all possible, store only what you need in your bathroom- sometimes people end up making their bathroom a medicine cabinet or laundry room as well. Stick to keeping just what you need to shower and get ready for the day in your bathroom. Cleaning out your under-the-sink cabinets that you haven’t touched in months can also free up some unused space.

Keep it simple. Avoid heavily patterned wallpapers or trendy lighting- it will only distract the eye and make your space appear chaotic. Opt for simple colors and décor- with a bathroom, less is more.

Update the Look of Your Bathroom


There comes a time in every home’s life when the bathroom needs a change. Whether it’s due to a leaky sink, cabinets that are falling apart or outdated décor, bathroom remodels are often at the top of homeowner’s to-do lists. While remodeling an entire bathroom can certainly cause a drop in your bank account, there are a few cost-efficient ways you can update your bathroom.

Update your cabinets. If you have the time and money to get new cabinets altogether, you can go that route. If you have a budget set in mind and want to save time, there are still many ways to update your cabinets. Try installing new cabinet doors instead of the entire cabinet to save money. Repainting or resurfacing cabinets can also give them an entirely new look. Lastly, adding some interesting hardware to your cabinets will give your bathroom an updated look.

Replace old items. Simply updating your faucet, sink tops or showerheads can make your bathroom look like new. After years of use, these items can start to rust, change color, or simply not work as well- so replacing them can make a large difference.

Add new décor. Changing the color scheme of your bathroom is a very simple way to update the look of your home. Ditch the old shower curtains, towels and soap dispenser and opt for a new pattern or fabric- your houseguests will be the first to notice the new change.

Change the lighting. Since the bathroom is where many people get ready in the morning, it’s important to have optimal lighting so you can see what you’re doing.

Switch up your storage. Instead of stashing all your goods on the countertop, opt for under-the-cabinet storage. There are plenty of other storage options as well, including shower caddies that hang from the showerhead, closet organizers, or even reusing an old nightstand or storage bin from another room in your home. Keeping things stored and organized out of sight will give your bathroom a clean and simple appearance.

Maximize Your Space with a Murphy Bed

murphy bed hardware

There are a variety of solutions to maximize space in your home, especially during a remodel. Some common bedroom space solutions include trundle beds, additional shelves and multi-functional furniture items. While all those options provide a small amount of extra room, installing a Murphy bed in your home can save a large amount of space.

Sometimes referred to as a wall bed or fold-down bed, a Murphy bed easily fits inside a closet, nook, cabinet or just against the wall. It pulls out from the wall and provides full floor access when not in use. These beds are commonly seen in small apartments or college dormitories, where space is limited.

Benefits of a Murphy Bed

-They provide extra storage space. When not in use, just put the bed up and you instantly have a few feet of extra space for activities, lounging or whatever you want. Most Murphy beds fold vertically, however there are horizontal versions which allow extra storage above and around the bed.

-They save you money. When compared to purchasing extra floor space or a larger home, a Murphy bed seems like a cheap alternative.

-They can make any room a bedroom. Murphy beds transform any space into a temporary bedroom. This is a great option for small, one-room apartments or for renters/homeowners who often have guests sleep over.

-They are easy to use. Most Murphy beds will either come with a set of instructions or could be installed by your contractor. In addition to the simple set-up, these beds are easy to use. Just simply raise and lower them yourself with their spring-loaded mechanisms.

-They are customizable. Murphy beds feature the same comfort and functionality as a regular bed. While some critics may compare them to a futon or couch, these pull-down beds feature a regular mattress that would be used on any other type of bed. You can choose the size of bed and mattress you would like- from a single all the way to a King.

Common Kitchen Remodeling Mistakes to Avoid

kitchen remodel

Your kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in your home. It's where you cook, eat and congregate as a family. So when deciding to remodel this popular room, it’s important to make the right decisions. With all of these important decisions to be made, there are bound to be mistakes. Luckily, due to trial-and-error of many remodelers before, there are some common mistakes people make and easy ways to prevent or fix them.

Changing your plans halfway through your remodel. It's far more effective to thoroughly plan and take your time when considering what you want your kitchen remodel to look like. Not spending enough time or doing enough research can lead you to want to change your entire vision halfway through. These design changes will increase your stress, budget and timeline, so it's best to be extra prepared and stick with your original vision.

Not enough storage space. Kitchens require tons of storage for utensils, food and cleaning products. Utilizing your cabinets, pantries and other storage spaces is crucial. Look into space-savers such as storage racks and cabinet pull-outs for your remodel. You can never have enough storage space!

-Paying too much attention to trends. The latest trends in kitchen cabinets, islands or tiles may only last for a few months. You should consider if something that's so trendy will still look good a few years from now. It's best to stick to a classic look and layout and then feature small accents that incorporate the trend- that way they can be replaced and changed with something new to suit your taste.

-Ignoring the lighting. Lighting is one of the most important aspects of any room in your home. Lighting is especially important in the kitchen, since you need clear vision for cooking and working effectively. Take into consideration the placement of the lighting, the type of the lighting, and the amount of natural light coming in from windows.

Forgetting about kitchen smells. It's inevitable that your kitchen will sometimes smell from the previous day's meal, but there are certain decisions that can be made to help with the bad odors. The first is proper ventilation. A good

ventilation system will help to improve the quality of the air, keep your kitchen cleaner and provide a more pleasant smell by venting the odors. The second decision dealing with smell is where to conceal the trash in your kitchen. You want to make sure there is enough room for a sizable garbage bin (unless you want to be dumping the garbage three times a day with a smaller bin). You also want to take into consideration recycling options and make sure the bin concealed to prevent odors.

Using Pinterest for Your Home Remodel


When searching for inspiration for an upcoming home remodel, many people turn to their favorite magazines or television shows. However, one social network seems to be taking over these old standbys. Pinterest is a social media website where users can create virtual “pinboards” of images that inspire them. A user sees an image that entices them, “repins” it to their board, and can then click on the image to see further information (such as a tutorial on how to do the project or where to buy the product). Here are a few tips for using Pinterest for your home remodel.

Follow the right people. Go to your favorite home remodeling websites and check to see if they have a Pinterest button on their homepage. If so, you can browse their pins as well as the people they follow to get ideas of other accounts to follow. Some popular magazine accounts you should follow include Better Homes and Gardens and This Old House. You can also follow your favorite interior decorators, contractors, television networks (HGTV), and bloggers (Remodelaholic).

Use the search bar. If you’re looking for photos of a specific item, look or a DIY project, searching for it will produce the most popular results.  You can search based on a pin’s keyword, a user’s name or by a board name. There are tons of “kitchen remodel” boards, for example, each with their own individual pins.

Use the categories function. Pinterest covers a wide range of topics ranging from food to beauty. Popular categories you may want to look into for inspiration are “Home Décor”, “Architecture”, “DIY & Crafts” “Products” and “Design”.

Create your own boards. The main purpose of Pinterest is to pin images you find inspiring. It’s important to categorize your boards so images that are similar are placed together. For example, dedicating a board to each room in your home, each color scheme or by each project is helpful. It will be a lot easier when showing your contractor, friends or referring back to use the image yourself if your images are organized correctly.

And finally, show these ideas to your contractor or designer. Many of the photos pinned to Pinterest are high-quality and lead to the original website where the link comes from. This usually includes instructions on the project or information on where to buy the product, all of which will be helpful to implement the ideas into your home projects.

Safety Products for Your Home Remodel

When remodeling your home, you are exposed to many dangerous irritants that could seriously impact your health and safety. If you are doing any kind of work that will expose you to airborne particles, you should be wearing these following safety items.

dust mask

Dust masks: In dusty and dirty work environments, safety is crucial. One of the easiest ways to keep your lungs healthy and safe when remodeling is by using a dust mask. A dust mask is made to easily fit over your nose and mouth to allow air to be pulled in through, while dust stays on the outside of the mask- away from your mouth. These masks are especially useful for deep cleaning of your house or when working in a yard filled of pollen. It’s important to make sure that your dust mask fits properly to prevent leaks. The same goes for a slightly ripped or damaged mask.

ear plugs

Ear plugs: Exposure to loud sounds over time can cause a drastic loss in hearing. A simple way to help curb this hearing loss is by using ear plugs. The earplugs of today are designed to not only protect you against unsafe noise levels, but also for comfort. They are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, come with or without strings, and some can even be reused. It’s important to note that ear plugs should be worn when using or being exposed to any machine that is louder than a lawn mower.

 respirator mask

Respirators: A respirator is a type of mask that is made to protect your lungs against irritants such as chemicals, fumes and dust. They come in handy especially when painting, cutting or sanding wood or ripping down walls. There are a variety of types to choose from, including disposable and air purifying respirators. The disposable respirators look very similar to dust masks, but include a few extra features (like double straps and a nose clip) for a more secure fit to the face. Reusable respirators are not only effective, but also user-friendly, lightweight and durable- so there is no excuse to not be safe during your remodel.

safety glasses

Safety glasses: Most of the eye injuries that happen when remodeling a home are from flying items, including particles of glass, dirt, wood or metal. If these items penetrate the eye, they will cause serious eye injury and even a permanent loss of sight. A simple way to protect your eyes from these hazards is with a pair of safety glasses. Most of these glasses types are transparent and made of plastic, but there are a variety of styles for you to choose from. These options include ultra-light designs and different magnifications, colors and tints.