Paint Like a Pro: Handling Tricky Situations

paint like a pro

Some people build bridges, other put up walls. Whatever your personal approach to people and life in general may be, we all know that shabby walls do not make a home, which is why professionals in the painting business recommend applying a fresh paint coat to the walls and ceilings at least once in a few years.

Unfortunately, not all surfaces in our homes are pitch-perfect and easy to handle: there may sometimes be peculiar nooks, awkward angles and uneven textures that need to be tackled properly and with more care if you want the brand new paint number to truly show and make a difference.  Here are some tips on how to avoid common painting pitfalls and handle tricky surfaces like an experienced professional.

Edges at Odd Angles

Homes with modern designer looks often have edges sticking out at odd angles, a decorative technique which contributes to greater visual interest – but it also adds hassle to otherwise straightforward painting tasks. You can apply a single color to the entire surface to avoid dramatic effects, or you can highlight the awkward interplay of angular oddities by painting the prominent aspects in bright/dark accent tones – this will create an attention-grabbing contrast across the room.

Immaculate Niches

Another challenging aspect of your home that may leave you clueless, niches can be tackled in two ways. Depending on the look you wish to achieve, you can either paint the back wall only or you can paint the entire surface. Most people paint only the back wall as this is easier and makes for a nice decorative contrast, but painting the entire niche will render a more elegant, consistent feel to the room.

Tray Ceilings at Their Finest

ceilingTray ceilings are an excellent architectural touch for spacious indoor areas, but they are nevertheless rather complex when it comes to DIY painting projects. In a recent chat with the people behind Apcoatings, it was brought to my attention that tray ceilings can serve as an eye-catching room focal point if painted in a combination of light and metallic tones, while darker shades interlaid with soft natural tones will fare better in case you want to achieve the visual impression of added height.

Painting in the Bull-nose Corner

Bull-nose corners add a gentle, fluid feel to the indoor area but can be problematic come painting time. You can either use the same paint tone for the entire wall surface (rounded corners included) or you can paint the walls in one color and add graduated accents to mark the transition at the curved angles. If you want to stay on the safe side, opt for neutral or muted tones, but if you want to be creative and experiment a bit, bold shades can prove an engaging décor transition.

Moldings for a dose of chic

Just like tray ceilings, moldings can add sophistication to your workplace or living area, but they require more attention in wall painting. For a well put-together impression, paint the moldingstrims in slightly lighter or darker tones than the rest of the wall – or go artistic with bolder contrasts, complementary colors or glossy paint. Just remember: high contrasts and daring accents in moldings may visually diminish the room, so avoid them if your home is not overly generous in terms of size.

You need not be a new Michelangelo to refresh your home with a dash of fresh paint. Yes, there are options to consider and decisions to make, but at least now you know some basic hacks on how to make the most of the unique features your home already has and use them to the overall décor’s advantage. Pick a feel and look you want to create in your office, studio or apartment and work out a color scheme that fits the desired ambiance best. Life can be simple, painting included, for as long as you know what you want to achieve and are able to keep your eyes on the target.



5 Easy Updates to Making Renters Swoon

As Americans attempt to regain control of their budgets after the 2008 economic downturn, more families are opting out of buying and embracing the idea of renting a home. With that said, property owners are more at odds to attract the best tenants and a few updates to your property can do the trick to turn their heads. Here are 5 easy updates that can increase the time your tenant stays and your bottom line:

gray wall


1. Paint

Seems like a no brainer but it’s a job that doesn’t take a lot of time, doesn’t cost a ton of money and makes renters feel like they’re making a fresh start. Before they ever walk through the door, make a good impression with a fresh coat of bright white paint on the front door. Depending on the color of the home, you can even use colors like red, navy blue and, in some instances, black. When painting the walls, stick with one color for the entire house in updated neutral colors. Where beige became the new white…now it’s gray tones. The colors of your renters belongings pop off the walls and create a chic feel that even the man of the house will love. Don’t forget kitchens and bathrooms! New paint on cabinets can resurrect your dark, outdated kitchen.

2. Home Warranty

If you’ve ever rented a home where a dishwasher or refrigerator breaks, you realize the value of a home warranty.  The common appliances that most companies cover include refrigerators, lighting, dishwashers, washers, dryers, air conditioners and heaters. Many companies also provide garage door servicing and water sprinkler repair.

3. Ceiling Fans

Consider this purchase a money saver that creates less wear and tear on your air conditioner. Installing ceiling fans in living room and bedrooms automatically mean dollars saved in the eyes of renters. Consider mentioning how much a renter can save per month in your sales pitch in order to close the deal and get that contract signed.

4. Landscaping

Who doesn’t love a little curb appeal or a nice place to have a backyard bar-b-que? The key with rental landscaping is to keep it simple and low maintenance. Depending on your area of the country, planting hydrangeas provides flowers in the spring and summer and a nice shrub in the winter. Also consider the Firelight Spiraea which blooms hints of rents color in a sea of luscious green leaves. For the backyard you can keep your landscaping even more simple. Just give people a place for family and friends to gather and shrubs may not even be necessary.

5. Kitchen & Bathroom

bathroomsEveryone knows that kitchens and bathrooms SELL homes, but they also get them rented. Updating these spaces, however, doesn’t have to break your bank and leave you at a loss on the books. Update backsplashes with pressed tin and bathrooms with fresh fixtures. Your renters will notice the difference and you won’t have spent your entire profit margin.

Big box stores and even stores like Habitat for Humanity carry loads of great deals to cut your costs on cabinets, fixtures and hardware. Just make sure to keep a sample and/or write down your paint color to make switching from one renter to another faster and easier. Renting a home can be a lot of work but with a huge payout. Make sure your easy updates increase your bottom line and anchor renters to your property for years to come.

3 Easy Ways To Warm Up Your Bedroom

As the weather cools down, people are preparing for cozy nights indoors. Perhaps nowhere is the desire for warm, comfortable living spaces more important than the bedroom. Fortunately, it only takes a few simple tricks to warm up any bedroom in just one weekend.

Step 1: Switch to down and feather bedding

cozy bedroomDown and feather users reported warmth as the main reason for purchasing down products, tied at 55 percent with softness and fluffiness, according to a 2013 nationwide Harris survey conducted on behalf of the American Down and Feather Council (ADFC).

“Down is a natural insulator that creates warmth without the added weight that many synthetic fill materials have; and the lightness creates a fluffier bedding experience,” says Stephen Palmer, ADFC president.

That warmth even allows homeowners to turn down the thermostat and save some money on heating costs. In fact, 80 percent of users said down and feather products can help save money on home heating bills, the survey found.

Step 2: Opt for a warm color palette

bedroomDon’t underestimate the psychology of color. Warmer colors, such as shades of red, orange and yellow, can heat up a room. Choose rich tones to create an inviting feel. Popular interior paint colors this year include cayenne shades of red, deep oranges, and bright, botanical-inspired yellows.

Accent walls or warm, richly-colored accessories are excellent options for those not ready to commit to such a bold color in the entire bedroom. Throw pillows and blankets, rugs or art can be easily changed with holidays or seasons.

Step 3: Select warm, effective lighting

Warm up your bedroom and create an inviting living space with strategically placed lighting. When selecting artificial light, avoid bulbs that cast blue tones and select bulbs with yellow hues that light the space with a soft glow. Keep in mind that sometimes overheard lighting can be harsh, especially in a bedroom. Place table lamps on bedside tables or add a standing lamp near a comfortable chair.

Candles are a simple and inexpensive way to add a warm glow. If desired, pick an inviting scent that complements the season – apple cinnamon for fall or evergreen for winter. And don’t forget to take advantage of natural light by selecting window treatments that let in sunlight, such as transparent curtains.

Just these few simple changes can warm up the bedroom during the cold days ahead. Not only will you keep toasty warm at night, but you’ll enjoy the inviting space during the day as well.

Ready to warm up your bedroom with a new rich paint color?  Contact us for a free in home estimate!

house painting tips

Transform Your Home With Expert House Painting Tips

Designer tips to create inspired interior and exterior spaces with color

house painting tips

Ready to transform your home this year? The key to creating your dream interior space could be as simple as updating with color.

Seven-in-10 homeowners plan a home improvement project in the next six months, according to the Sherwin-Williams National Home Design and Color Survey. Of those homeowners planning home remodeling, painting tops the list with 42 percent wanting to liven up their space with color, followed by landscaping (39 percent) and redecorating (30 percent).

Adding color with paint makes sense to internationally celebrated interior designer Jeff Andrews, who has decorated the homes of celebrities from Ryan Seacrest, to Michael C. Hall to the Kardashian family.

“Paint can incorporate distinctive touches that will liven any living space. Everyone has the potential to live in his or her dream space, and a touch of color can easily make it a reality,” Andrews says.

Andrews offers the following tips on how to create the ultimate dream space:

* Upgrade living areas with creative color choices: Changing the color of your walls can transform a room from ordinary to extraordinary. For stunning color for years to come, Sherwin-Williams Emerald Interior paint offers paint and primer in one, with advanced stain-blocking technology, ensuring a statement color that’s easy to maintain and perfect for any room in your home.

* Highlight accent pieces with vivid color to bring a room alive: A distinctive color adds a layer of visual elegance to any room. Painting an accent wall, trim, crown moldings or a ceiling in a color that complements the walls can give a room a customized look.

* Channel your inner designer: From stripes to geometric designs, infuse vibrant energy to a room with an on-trend painted pattern.

* Create curb appeal with a bold use of color: To help your home make its best first impression, paint the exterior of your home with a bold color. Among homeowners surveyed, almost two-thirds (64 percent) are confident handling outdoor painting projects. Consider coordinating your palettes from the inside out by painting your front door a few shades darker than the entryway.

* Transform the ordinary: A fresh coat of paint can elevate a simple piece of furniture and provide a distinctive look. According to the survey, nearly two-in-three homeowners (64 percent) want to add more color into their home. Pick a favorite desk or nightstand and use color to create a signature focal point in a room.

Bruzzese Home Improvements has been painting homes and providing superior customer service to our clients in Westchester, NY since 1957! Contact us today for a free estimate!

chalkboard paint

New Year, New Home: Easy Home Improvement Tasks

Fans of 1990’s TV will fondly remember Home Improvement. The sitcom showed us the exploits of Tim “the Tool Man” Tailor, who hosted a local cable show about home improvement, while still managing to make a mess of projects around his own home, such as a super-powered radio controlled lawnmower. While most of us probably wouldn’t think to build a radio controlled lawnmower, we still want to build and fix things around the home. There’s a real sense of achievement to stand there and look at something knowing that you’ve made it yourself; whether it’s a birdhouse or building a brand new garage. Now that a new year is upon us, it’s time to think about all those tasks you might have been neglecting. So what are some great home improvement projects you can get started on in 2014?

A Fresh Coat

The easiest and most simple way to give your home a brand new look is to give everything a fresh coat of paint. Painting a home is actually quite a lot of work, but it’s not that difficult. Since you can’t take time off work just to paint, you might want to do it room by room over the course of several months- and this gives you more time to decide on the best color. For kids’ rooms, chalkboard paint is a fantastic idea. It allows kids to draw their own artwork on the wall and then you can just wipe it clean.

chalkboard paint

Pull It Up, Pull It Down

Depending on your home, it might not have undergone any major renovations for a couple of decades and your carpets and drapes might be seriously dated. If you’re lucky enough, your old carpets might be masking some beautiful hardwood floors, so carefully pull up a corner and have a look; and it’s best to do this in a closet- just to be safe. New carpets can be expensive, so it would be perfect to have a gorgeous floor right underneath that old surface- it will probably need a buff and polish though. Your drapes might be looking a little tired too, so pull them down and choose some new fabrics to highlight the room. If you’re good with a needle and thread, you might even be able to make them yourself.

whats under your carpet

What’s In the Room?

Some of us might crave a big screen TV, a convertible in the driveway or a swimming pool in the backyard, but new furniture is always something that figures pretty highly on our wish lists. It’s not the cheapest option, but replacing your furniture sure breathes new life into a home. You might be able to find some sensational vintage furniture online or at a flea market and you can mix and match it with some great ready to assemble furniture to give you a look that’s both contemporary and classical.

vintage furniture

It’s a very good idea to know your limits when it comes to home improvement projects- you don’t want to get in over your head, and so if you’ve never picked up a hammer before, you probably shouldn’t attempt to build a brand new bedroom onto the back of your house. You should also take your time and remember that a new project can take a while to get things just how you want them. It’s sure worth the effort, even if it’s just a birdhouse… or a super-powered radio controlled lawn mower.

Bio: This is an article by Lizzie Wale, a freelance writer and part-time blogger. In daytime she also writes for Higher Click and one of their clients is Macy’s. She loves everything connected to home improvement and design, working on DIY projects and spending time with her family & friends.