‘Home Town’ Reveals One Thing in Your House That You’ll Regret Tossing

home townHGTV

“Home Town” stars Erin and Ben Napier know that there’s a fine line between classic and dated, so they need to be careful when it comes to their latest renovation.

In the episode “Big Apple to Little Catfish,” Erin and Ben meet with Susan and Seth, who have moved from a tiny New York City apartment to a big old house in Laurel, MS. The couple love the classic Cape Cod style of their house, and they want to keep its old-fashioned charm. Still, Erin and Ben know they need to make some important updates with their $140,000 budget.

Read on to find out how Erin and Ben update the house without taking away from its classic style, which might inspire some upgrades around your own abode, too.

Use limewash instead of paint to keep the character of brick

This home has a beautifully classic look, but Seth and Susan don’t like the dark brick.


When Seth and Susan first see this old, brick-covered house, they aren’t impressed. Seth says he never pictured himself living in a brick house, and Susan says it seems a little dark from the outside.

So Erin and Ben decide to limewash the house, which, she explains, is not the same as painting it.

A limewash helps make this home look brighter.


“Limewash is movable for about 48 hours,” Erin says. “So you have the opportunity to distress it, to rub it off. It’s really pliable.”

The team has the opportunity to show some of the brick through the limewash, giving the house back some texture.

When the limewash is finally set, the house looks great. The spots of exposed brick give the house an aged look. Now, Seth and Susan can hide the dark brick without losing its character.

You don’t need to demo a wall to bring in more light

Erin and Ben Napier couldn’t open up a wall to give this staircase more natural light.


Inside, this old house is closed off and dark, so Erin and Ben get to work opening up some walls to let in natural light. However, there’s one dark area that can’t be opened up: the staircase.

So Erin comes up with the idea to fill the space with mirrors. She buys a bunch of old mirrors from an antiques store, knowing the classic gold frames will go with this home’s elegant style.

These mirrors brighten up the space.


When she finally puts the mirrors on the wall, they look great. The mirrors themselves are classically beautiful, and the light they reflect gives the staircase a more open feel.

“I love it because it reflects light, and it makes this darker area feel brighter, almost like you have all these windows,” Erin says.

Don’t toss your wainscoting!

dining room
Erin and Ben were determined to keep this millwork in the dining room.


Erin and Ben are delighted to see some old wainscoting in the dining room, but when they widen the doorway to the kitchen, they realize that this old paneling will need to be removed or shifted.

While simply removing the paneling would have been easier, they definitely don’t want to ditch this old wainscoting. Why? Because it adds character to the room.

So they start the painstaking task of taking each panel off, and moving the pieces over so they’ll fit in the new space.

With some dark paint and new wallpaper, this dining room is back to its former glory.


“We could have taken off that paneling. We could have popped it off, trashed it, and then just painted out however we wished,” Erin explains. “But it was beautiful and it made a lot of sense for that dining room to have the formal little moment of millwork.”

When the panel shifting is finished, Erin chooses some new paint and wallpaper, which highlight the elegant wainscoting. The room is now filled with classic charm, and it’s clear that these panels were worth the trouble.

A kitchen can have both a modern look and classic style

This kitchen was small and dated.


While Erin works hard to keep this home’s classic look, there’s one room that she’s eager to modernize: the kitchen. The original kitchen is small and dark, so Erin and Ben want to give it a 21st-century update. One way they do that is with a new quartz countertop. The countertops Erin chooses have gray veining with just a hint of gold. It’s so beautiful and elegant that Erin decides to use the same material on the backsplash.

This kitchen has all the modern comforts and a classic style.


“The veining is so much more defined,” Erin says of the quartz. “And once it’s on the backsplash, it’s going to look like abstract art.”

Of course abstract art may not go with the style of this old home, but when this modern kitchen is finished, it has a timeless look. The white materials and wood hood vent give this space an old-fashioned look that Seth and Susan love.

Wallpaper can look modern in the right color

This wallpaper was too dated to keep.


Upstairs in the master bedroom, Erin and Ben want to continue with the classic theme, so while they remove the original wallpaper, they replace it with a similar look.

“Seth and Susan have bought a house that’s pretty formal, but also it’s very dated,” Erin explains. “I’m paying homage to some of the things that were original to the house, like trim and wallpaper, but not the colorful and crazy wallpaper that was there. It’s a more modern take.”

The new wallpaper is a little simpler and a little darker. It still has that classic look, but in a more modern style. To finish the room, Ben helps build an elegant wooden bed that fits the era of this home.

Erin and Ben decide to put this wallpaper on only one wall for a more modern look.


The post ‘Home Town’ Reveals One Thing in Your House That You’ll Regret Tossing appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Source: realtor.com

6 Ways to Summer-Proof Your Home

Not only are we living through a global pandemic, but we’re also living through what is one of the hottest summers in many states. Here’s how you can protect your home from the summer heat and other woes you may face this season.

The post 6 Ways to Summer-Proof Your Home appeared first on Homes.com.

Source: homes.com

What to do with Your Basement

Is your basement currently the deep, dark abyss where holiday decorations and outdated furniture get lost? It doesn’t have to be! Just because it is the bottom level of the house doesn’t mean you can’t make it a top priority on your home improvement to-do list. If you’re looking for a little inspiration on what to do with it, we have a few ideas.

For the Sports Lover
Transform your cold, dark digs into a space all sports fan could only dream of. Essentials you’ll need for the ultimate basement transformation may include big screen TV’s, a pool table, comfortable recliners, sports memorabilia and your own personal mini fridge. Your space will turn into a game day oasis for friends and family.

For the Athlete
Two words: personal gym. Save yourself time and money on those pesky gym memberships and build your very own dream fitness center. No longer will you have dart for the only open treadmill during primetime hours or worry if the person before you cleaned the machines. By purchasing your favorite pieces of equipment that will last, you can save yourself almost $2,000 each year on fees.

For the Entertainer
Do you find your family constantly hosting for holidays or celebrations? Wow them with an at-home bar, built by you. Stock the shelves with your favorite beverages, snag some awesome bar stools and let the fun begin! It’s the perfect place to direct everyone for an after dinner cocktail and some conversation. Just remember the rule of thumb, if you’re opting to build your own bar the average bar height is 42 inches to ensure that adults of all sizes can sit comfortably.

For the Artist
Always dreamed of having your own space to freely create masterpieces? Now is the time! Turn up the heat of your once cold and isolated basement with the warm hues of paints, pencils, and clays. Pick up some easels, fill the walls with things that inspire you and voila! Just keep in mind that because you’ll be in the basement with little light, choose a bulb with a CRI of 80 to 100 to reveal vibrant, natural hues.

For the Bookworm
You typically only see it on TV, but some homes do have beautiful built-in libraries. Build out shelving all around your basement, fill it with your favorite stories and cozy up on your favorite vintage chair to unwind from life with a good book. Are you making your own shelves? Cherry wood has a rich and warm red color that deepens over time, making it a perfect selection for shelving meant to be seen. Fellow book lovers might envy what you’ve done with your basement, and may even want to come browse your selections!

Don’t let your basement go unnoticed. Say goodbye to those stored away boxes and bags and hello to your new favorite place in the house. Have another idea? Share it in the comments below for other readers to get inspired by!

The post What to do with Your Basement first appeared on Century 21®.

Source: century21.com

How To Grow Microgreens at Home for Fresh Sprouts All Winter Long

how to grow microgreensViktoriia Hnatiuk / Getty Images

That verdant, tangled nest atop your avocado toast looks adorable and tastes like springtime itself. But if you think the only way to satisfy your yummy microgreen fix is to hit up the local hipster cafe or via delivery, guess again.

Growing your own tiny shoots at home doesn’t require a green thumb at all. In fact, this gardening project is as fast and easy as it gets. Microgreens need very little space and maintenance, and can be harvested in less than two weeks.

And if you’re trying to start off 2021 on the right foot with a healthier eating plan, microgreens are a nutritional powerhouse.

“Many of these plants are four to six times higher in vitamins and antioxidants than the same fully grown plants,” says Susan Brandt, master gardener and president of Blooming Secrets.

Read on for more about how to grow microgreens, including the tools to gather and kits to make it easy Here’s to fresh sprouts all year long!

What are microgreens?

Photo by Urban Farming Concepts 

Microgreens are tiny edible seedlings produced from vegetables and herbs. Basically they’re what happens if you let a sprouted seed grow a little bit but not completely mature, says Brandt.

“These young greens reach about 1 to 3 inches in height and are classified as baby plants, which means they’re bigger than a sprout but smaller than a baby green,” adds Oscar Ortega, maintenance care manager at FormLA Landscaping.

As for which types you can try at home, the menu is vast and depends only on the flavors you prefer. For starters, consider radish, broccoli, arugula, Swiss chard, spinach, amaranth, sunflower, and various lettuces like endive, mizuna, mustard greens, and chicory.

There’s no end in ways to incorporate these tiny sprouts into your meals. Juice fans can toss microgreens into daily shakes, while egg lovers can fold them into omelets and breakfast tacos. Microgreens are also delicious sprinkled on salads, pizza, stir-fries, and burgers, and tucked into sandwiches in place of plain ol’ lettuce.

What you’ll need to grow microgreens

Photo by Urban Farming Concepts

If you love to reuse and repurpose, check your recycling bin for containers to plant a microgreen garden. The pros suggest egg cartons, old takeout or berry boxes, foil muffin tins, small paper or wax cups, or the bottoms of milk containers.

“Look for relatively shallow containers of about 2 inches, and create drainage holes in the bottom,” says Ortega. Line up your containers on a large baking sheet or tray so they’re easier to move.

As for the seeds you’ll need, the experts favor organic or non-GMO versions such as the ones from the Hudson Valley Seed Company or Sustainable Seed Company. Mainstream companies like Burpee also offer options.

You’ll also need potting or starting soil (some companies make special microgreen soil mixes), a spray bottle to water, scissors for clipping, a salad spinner, and markers so you can note the planting date and the variety, says Brandt.

Want to make it even easier? Check out these all-in-one microgreen kits, which include seeds and growing trays—you just add sun and water.

Best kit for first-time growers

Harvest these greens in just seven days.


Not sure you’re the DIY gardening type? Consider this low-cost microgreen broccoli kit, which comes with two seed packets and two trays ($13, Lowe’s).

Best kit if you already have seeds

Soil mix is included in this starter kit.

The Home Depot

This option comes with a bag of vermiculite, which is a growing medium, as well as two cute containers with protective tops. You can pair any microgreen seeds with this kit, though beet, arugula, kale, and radish are suggested ($26, Home Depot).

Best kit if you’re fancy and fearless

A dozen seed choices means you’ll be swimming in microgreens.


If you’ve sown seeds before and are ready to take your DIY gardening to the next level, check out this kit with 12 seed types (mung, lentil, adzuki, etc.) and stackable trays ($123, Amazon).

Sowing microgreens

Photo by Urban Farming Concepts 

To plant seeds, cover the bottom of your container with an inch or two of potting mix or soil, and scatter a layer of seeds on top. Press seeds gently into the dirt, cover with a thin layer of soil and then spray your work with the bottle to moisten. Place a plastic lid or wrap over the top, and remove it once the seeds have started to sprout.

“You can grow microgreens on a sunny windowsill, chair, or bench in your kitchen; in a mini greenhouse; or outside on a balcony or covered porch if your weather is temperate,” says Brandt.

Aim for about four to six hours of sunlight a day, but if your area isn’t that bright, consider an LED grow light to shine more rays.

Watering and harvesting microgreens

Photo by Urban Cultivator 

Check your seeds daily, lifting the cover and misting the seeds lightly with the spray bottle.

“After about three days, you’ll see some seeds germinating, and this is when you can remove the plastic top,” says Brandt.

Keep the soil moist until you see germination, and then water when you notice that the soil has dried out, says Ortega.

“The best time to pick your sprouting veggies is when the first leaves appear, which is usually 10 to 14 days after planting,” says Brandt. Snip just above the soil level with your scissors.

“Depending on the type of microgreen you’re growing, some varieties will regrow after you harvest them,” says JT Wilkensen, maintenance care manager at FormLA Landscaping.

Once you’ve picked your bounty, give them a whirl in the salad spinner to clean and store in the fridge, where they’ll stay fresh for about five days.

Check the temperature and light

Photo by Amy Renea 

Don’t let your delicate seeds get too cold!

“Most seeds do best at 70 degrees Fahrenheit, so if your space is cooler, think about using a heat mat for a few days while the seeds germinate,” says Brandt. Most greens can grow at a colder temp, but the process slows below 50 degrees.

Have spotty growth in your seed cups?

“If you see the microgreens coming up in an irregular pattern, rotate the tray every couple of days so all of the sides get equal access to the light,” suggests Brandt.

The post How To Grow Microgreens at Home for Fresh Sprouts All Winter Long appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Source: realtor.com

How to Install Crown Molding Like a Pro

Looking for a DIY home refresh? Crown molding may be just what you need! In this video tutorial, our experts walk you through how to install crown molding like a pro.

The post How to Install Crown Molding Like a Pro appeared first on Homes.com.

Source: homes.com

8 Fire Safety Tips 8 Nights of Hanukkah

If you and your family celebrate Hanukkah, this week will involve lighting the menorah. But in all the holiday fun, it’s easy to forget that having an open flame in your home is always cause for greater safety measures. Here are some tips for a safer holiday.

  1. Place your menorah on a sturdy, non-flammable surface: Your menorah, especially when lit, should rest on a stable fixture in your home. You and your family’s guests may accidentally bump into a wobbly table and knock it over. Non-flammable surfaces like glass, metal, or marble work best.
  2. Keep the menorah and matches out of children’s reach: Make sure that your menorah is positioned in a place where your children can enjoy it, but is out of their reach so they don’t hurt themselves. Be sure to store all matches and lighters safely after each candle lighting; kids may find them if left out.
  3. Never leave a lit menorah unattended: All the excitement of the holidays can sometimes lead to carelessness. When burning, the menorah should always be under some sort of supervision.
  4. Place menorah out of reach of pets: Furry friends are eager to join in on the holiday festivities. They could be drawn to the new object in your home and want to investigate, so keep it at a height where they can’t get their paws on it.
  5. Use only non-flammable menorahs: This may seem like an obvious tip, but it’s worth reiterating. Any ornamental menorahs made by your kids in arts and crafts should be admired, but not used in your Hanukkah ceremony.
  6. Don’t walk around with lit candles: Choose the area of your home where your menorah will be lit, then keep it there. Don’t carry your menorah from room to room to avoid potentially dropping it.
  7. Decorate with care: The area surrounding your menorah often receives extra decorations. That is absolutely fine, as long the adornments are non-flammable and not likely to tip over and displace the menorah.
  8. Place your menorah in a secluded area of your home: You’re already going to put your menorah out of reach of children and pets, but it’s equally important to keep the menorah out of your home’s general flow of traffic to avoid accidentally knocking it over.


Following these helpful fire safety tips will ensure that you and your family have a pleasant and safe Hanukkah celebration.

The post 8 Fire Safety Tips 8 Nights of Hanukkah first appeared on Century 21®.

Source: century21.com