Create Outdoor Living Spaces on a Budget

With summer comes the outdoor entertaining season and the need for a beautiful space. Outdoor living spaces have become more detailed and extravagant recently with everything from fountains to ceiling fans. However, you don’t need to pour your life’s savings into your backyard to create the perfect space for outdoor entertaining.


Creating the Space

No matter what plan you have for your budget friendly outdoor living space, you need a beautiful finished area as a foundation. These are typically either a deck or a patio. While refinishing or building a completely new structure may sound like an expensive project, there are plenty of design options that can fit into any budget. If you have an existing structure, you can update them without breaking the bank. Simple repairing any broken or rotting boards can make your deck look brand new. If there are no extra repairs to be done, you can update the aesthetic of your deck or patio. A new stain can bring out natural tones of your wood and bring new life to the wood grain. Depending on the opacity of your stain, it will bring out different natural tones in your wood. They range from transparent which allows the natural beauty of the wood in its entirety to shine through all the way to solid which acts more like a paint. If you want a custom color or a unique pattern on your deck or patio, paint is a great option. You will have to be sure to sand the wood down to ensure that the color permeates the grain. Building a new deck or patio may sound like an expensive project. However, there are plenty of budget friendly plans and materials available to create your new outdoor living space. If you want a classic all wood design, reclaimed wood is a great option. You can refinish the wood to fit into a clean and classic deck design or leave it in its natural state for a more rustic look to your backyard. All of these ideas also apply to a deck or patio extensions. Adding a few more feet to your surface can add an unlimited number of possibilities. Simple updates to the design can give your outdoor living space new life. If you have a raised deck, consider pouring a simple concrete patio underneath. Under deck patios are perfect for maximizing your outdoor living space. By building one structure, you now have two different areas to entertain in your backyard. Your deck and patio structures aren’t limited to all wood designs. Stamped concrete is becoming an increasingly popular option for patios. Stamped concrete is when the contractor or homeowner pours the concrete and lays a stencil over it while it’s still wet. This usually leaves the shape of individual stones, normally bricks, on the surface of the patio. Their popularity comes from their durability and low cost compared to individually laying bricks. If you want to use individual pavers, but want a cheaper design, consider using gravel as filler between the flagstones.

Furnishing Your Outdoor Living Space

Backyard home design has come a long way from picnic tables and lawn chairs. Outdoor living space ideas aren’t limited to a simple grill and old table. One of the latest trends in backyard home design is bringing the indoors outside. These spaces take inspiration from different rooms in your home to create a unique place for your outdoor entertaining needs without breaking the bank.
outdoor living rooms
Photo by: Mom Favorites
Outdoor Living Rooms One of the most popular ways to decorate your newly finished space is to create an outdoor living room. This allows you to extend the warmth of your home to your outdoor space and make the most of outdoor entertaining. When it comes to your outdoor spaces design styles, you can choose to use a similar style to your home’s interior or design a completely different space. This can help to create the feeling of a getaway in your own backyard. One unique thing about an outdoor living room, as opposed to other spaces is the idea of bringing traditional indoor elements outside. While some homeowners choose to employ a traditional wicker furniture set, others use a more modern design style with metal frame furniture. These range from couches to armchairs. No matter what style you choose, you need to have comfortable cushions. These are an easy and budget friendly DIY project. Canvas is cost effective and perfect for outdoor applications. It’s durable and can be painted to fit into any design style or color story. Fire pits are the perfect focal point for any outdoor living space. One of the major benefits to a fire pit over other wow factor pieces is the fact that you can use it throughout the year. Unlike a water feature, a fire pit is the perfect centerpiece for a summer campfire or a cool night in early fall. They also add a sense of coziness to your outdoor living room, much like an indoor fireplace. Design accents can help finish out your outdoor living room design. Outdoor rugs are another indoor element that is making their way outdoors. Some may think they’re durable fabrics make the designs bulky and unattractive. However, there is a wide range of designs available to fit your space. If you can’t find your dream rug in your budget, you can always paint one! Just like creating your own textile for the cushions, you can paint a plain outdoor rug to fit into your space. Lighting is also an integral part to enjoying your outdoor living space. Because you want to be able to use your space no matter what time of day, you need effective lighting that won’t be out of budget. One of the best outdoor lighting solutions are rope lights. These string lights are encased in a durable clear plastic tube making them perfect for any outdoor application. The tube is flexible and can be wrapped around a deck railing or the vertical supports of a pergola. No matter what structural design you choose, rope lights will fit into your space.
outdoor dining area
Photo by: DIY Network
Outdoor Kitchens & Dining Areas One of the most popular backyard activities is to grill and enjoy the weather while you’re eating. Outdoor dinner parties have been a staple in summer entertaining for as long as people have lived in the suburbs. It’s the perfect way to take advantage of warm weather and spend time with family and friends. While you don’t need to have both an outdoor kitchen and dining area, they usually go hand in hand. Outdoor kitchen designs range in price and extravagance. If you want to keep it simple and within a lower budget, you can easily add extra counter space. A popular backyard DIY project is to create a built in piece around your grill. You can achieve the look of a custom outdoor kitchen on your back deck or patio without the high price. The frames are easily made with lumber that you can get from any home improvement store. By building your own frame, you can add as much counter space and cabinets as you need. If you have a larger budget, you can install a mini fridge for the ultimate kitchen feel. Outdoor dining areas are one of the most simple backyard designs for an outdoor living space. When homeowners install a deck or patio, their first thought is to get a table and chairs for their space. Not only is it traditional, but it’s also one of the most budget friendly options. Depending upon the design you choose, there is a wide range of prices. Many homeowners choose to purchase an outdoor dining set that includes a table and matching chairs. You can easily find a wicker set that fits into a traditional deck design and has a range of sizes and shapes. There are also plenty of more modern metal frame tables and chairs. The tables are usually finished with a stone table top and the chairs have cushions that provide a pop of color. For a more eclectic and personality driven space, mismatched furniture that coordinates is a great choice. Thrifted pieces are perfect for budget friendly deck designs. You can refinish the pieces with the right spray paint to create a completely custom piece. For a DIY dining table, use reclaimed wood to build a farm table. If you have enough of the wood, you can build matching benches. These are perfect for large gatherings that require a lot of seating. If you can’t find reclaimed wood, you can use new lumber from a home improvement store. There are wood aging processes that can give your new table the rustic look that you’re looking for. Lighting is a very important part of any outdoor kitchen. You’ll want bright lights that allow for clear visibility at night. This is important for safety reasons around a hot grill and potentially sharp knives. If you decide to separate your kitchen and dining area with a multi level deck design, as many homeowners do, you can have more aesthetically pleasing lights in other areas. Café lights are a very popular design option for dining areas. Café lights are a mix of trendy Edison bulbs and string lights. They are a little dimmer than the bright task lights of the kitchen area, but still fill the space with mood lighting. It adds a finishing touch to your outdoor dining area.
outdoor living space landscaping
Photo by: Create Blog
Landscaping While it may be forgotten sometimes, landscaping and your plant choices are just as important as your furnishings! With the right landscaping, you can create a brand new space that’s unrecognizable. It’s like changing your interior floor from carpet to hardwood, it redefines your backyard. Designing and planting a new garden can be expensive, but there are plenty of flower options that can help to fill your space. Perennials, or plants that will bloom year after year, are a great budget friendly landscaping option. Not only are the full of color, but they have one up front cost for the plant. The color stories for your garden can range from monochromatic to a colorful arrangement of different shapes and colors. If you want to add some polish to your deck design, use large plants to cover deck supports. This gives your deck a more expensive look by hiding vertical beams and can add color to your backyard! Don’t be afraid to incorporate potted plants into a finished space. Different sizes and shapes of planters in your space create a dynamic design and can add color to your outdoor living space. You can use them as accents just like you would in an indoor space. Backyards have started to become an addition living room! While many of these designs can be extravagant, you don’t have to break the bank to have a beautiful outdoor living space. These budget friendly design ideas can help you to create your ideal backyard. No matter what design style you decide to incorporate, you can easily create a unique outdoor living space that you and your friends and family can enjoy.

8 Room Designs for Basement Renovations

You can add extra living space to your home in two ways: building an addition or renovating the space you already have. Finished basements have become very popular in new construction. You aren’t adding to the house’s footprint at all, but you’re still adding a substantial amount of living space. Attics may seem more appealing at the beginning because of their access to natural light, but basements are actually much easier to renovate. Basements already have the existing infrastructure for a larger living space. Use these basement renovation ideas to give your previously unused dark space some new life!

Table of Contents Basement Apartment Basement Home Office Basement Laundry Room Basement Home Theater Basement Play Room Basement Sports Bar Basement Home Gym Basement Wine Cellar

Photo by: Cig Cell

Basement Apartment

Renovating your basement to create a full apartment is becoming more common. Many homeowners choose to renovate their basement when an elderly family member moves into their home and create an in-law’s suite. However, many children are beginning to move home after college. This may make things a little crowded in your home. Not only does a basement apartment solve a bedroom shortage, but it also allows them to have their own space while still being close by. If your home has a walkout basement with its own entrance, you can also rent out your space. This is a great way to generate extra income and add to the overall value of your home. Walls The existing structure of your basement makes it easy to create an apartment renovation! The exterior walls are in place and depending on your floorplan, you may not even need to add interior walls. A studio apartment will call for one additional room to be built for the bathroom. If you want to have the bedroom separated from the general living space, you will need to build another set of interior walls. You may need to finish your exterior walls with some insulation and dry wall. This is a simple weekend project for an experienced DIY-er. Be sure to use good insulation that will hold up over time. This may seem like a large cost upfront, but it’ll save you lots on your home’s heating and cooling bills. After you’re done with the drywall, you’ll want to carefully choose your paint color depending upon your desired aesthetic. Whether you plan to keep the space as a family apartment or rent it out, light neutrals are best. Basements can feel much smaller than they actually are because of the lack of natural light. Make the space feel larger by using light colors, such as tans and off whites. If you want to keep consistency throughout your entire house, you can continue the color story that you’ve used in the rest of your home. You can keep the neutrality of the walls while still keeping them interesting. Use wood panels to create a texture on your wall. Paint them to match your walls to add a subtle focal point. Floors Unfinished basements commonly have a plain poured concrete floor. Nothing about this hard grey surface says cozy apartment. Basement renovations almost always include a new floor. To create the homey environment of an apartment, you can use either carpeting, engineered hardwood, or laminate flooring. Before you add any additional flooring to your basement, it’s important to take the necessary measures to make sure your flooring will last in the basement. Because basements are below ground level, they are susceptible to extra moisture, mold, and mildew. If you want wall to wall carpets in your basement apartment, carpet padding that has built in anti-microbial materials is a must. This won’t eliminate all risk of mold and mildew, but it’ll help. If you want the traditional look of wood flooring, you can use either engineered wood flooring or laminate flooring. Engineered wood flooring has a plywood subfloor layer that keeps any underlying moisture from reaching the thin hardwood layer on the surface. Laminate flooring has the look of traditional wood, but the benefits of a plastic coated waterproof material. This is probably the best option for basements that have high moisture levels. Furnishings The furnishings of your apartment will all depending on who’s living there. If you want to furnish the space yourself, there are a few different approaches. If you plan to keep the space as a studio apartment, multifunctional furniture pieces go a long way. These furnishings can take one room and give it two or three different functions. Sectional sofas are perfect for a multifunctioning space. You can move around different pieces of the couch to accommodate seating needs or even create a bed when needed. Furniture that doubles as storage pieces are also a major asset in basement apartments. Because the basement is usually a storage space, when you renovate it, you need a new way to store things! Using storage ottomans or coffee tables gives the apartment functional furniture and extra storage. Open back bookshelves can also double as room dividers. They provide shelving and a visual separation, but the open back doesn’t close off the space. A solid room divider would make the space feel much smaller than it actually is. If you live in an older home and plan to convert your basement into an apartment, consider different basement stair options. Many old homes have open and unsafe staircases leading down to the basement. This can be dangerous for heavy foot traffic and will most likely not meet code for a rental space. You can replace the old stair with a new traditional staircase, but this will take up a large portion of your basement. A spiral staircase can help you maximize your basement square footage and provide a safe way to move from your main living space to your basement. If you simply want to add a secondary stair for extra functionality in your basement. If you’re concerned about moving furniture up and down you spiral stair, a walk out basement can provide a second entry point. Wow Factor In any living space, lighting is one of the most important aspects of interior design. It can alter the entire mood of the space and those in the apartment. Because basements are below ground level, they rarely have ample amounts of natural light. Overhead lighting is a great option for basement apartment. They can be strategically placed and light the entire space easily. Low hanging pendant lights should be avoided as they can make the space feel smaller. Recessed lighting is the ideal choice. You can supplement your overhead lighting with table and floor lamps for a softer light source. Back to the top
Photo by: Schumacher Homes

Basement Home Office

Your productivity in your home office has a lot to do with where it is in your home. You want a space that is away from distractions and extra noise, but easily accessible. While your basement may seem like an unlikely choice, with the right design choices, you can make an inspiring and productive work environment. Walls The most important part of designing your home office is to create a space that inspires you. There are some colors that are standard for offices, such as neutrals and light colors. These are standard for any space because of their “blank canvas” effect. They don’t overpower your sense or your thoughts. However, you can expand your color choices to include blue tones as well. Muted blue tones promote both calmness and productivity making them ideal for an office space. If you prefer to have a more creative work space, consider adding chalkboard walls. These unique walls create new work surfaces and allows your ideations to quite literally explode around your space. If you want a less permanent creative wall treatment, large corkboards are the ultimate organization tool. If you have a large basement and don’t want to dedicate the entire space to your home office, there are several ways to separate your space. If you want a closed off room for the maximum amount of privacy, you can add additional interior walls. If you want the option of full privacy, but don’t want to constantly be closed off from the space, use large double doors that meet at the corner. By putting their meeting point at the corner, you make the space feel larger than simply opening a wall. Floors When it comes to flooring in your home office, you want something that is polished and comfortable. Obviously, you will have to take the same considerations for your home office flooring that you would with any other basement flooring option. Hardwood floors can give your home office a traditional look. The engineered wood or laminate flooring can give you a classic design with extra durability. If you want the comfort of carpet, but don’t want the risk of mildew or mold, area rugs over hardwood or laminate flooring is the perfect solution. Furnishings The most important piece of furniture in any home office is the desk. Just like choosing your wall colors, you want to choose a desk that will inspire you. If you want a blank canvas that will support any creativity, a clean white design is the perfect design for your home office. It can support any color story you decide to use in your office. For a minimalist home office, a clear acrylic desk is the right design. It allows the pass through of light keeping the room feeling open and brighter. For a classic office design, choose a large traditional wood desk. If you want a truly grand design, combine this desk with a built in cabinet system. After you’ve chosen your desk, you’ll need to choose a comfortable chair. Whether this chair has wheels or is a standard design, you want to be comfortable while you’re working. That’s a major perk of working from home and you don’t want to give it up because of a chair. Wow Factor Lots of light can help you to feel more productive and refreshed in your work space. Natural light is always best, but that may not be an option in your home’s basement. If this is the case, use soft white lights to brighten your space. While super bright lights definitely brighten the space, they can be too harsh and have the opposite effect that you’re looking for. Overhead lights with dimmers can fill the space without the harshness that you normally find with task lights. For some extra organization, accent your space using peg boards. They provide the flexibility of giving you a large space that you can fill with pegs to support baskets or shelves anywhere on the wall. They come with a variety of hole sizes that cater to different peg. The larger the peg, the more stable the support will be. Back to the top
laundry room
Photo by: Winter Blue Music

Basement Laundry Room

Often times, homeowners keep their washer and dryer in the basement. It keeps the laundry away from common living spaces and out of any space that may be used for entertaining. Your basement laundry room doesn’t have to feel dark and dreary. You can brighten and organize the space to maximize efficiency and make it as beautiful as the rest of your home. The use of your washer dryer are inevitable, so make it fun and a reflection of your home décor! Walls The walls of your new laundry room should be bright to keep the space feeling open. Because it’s not an area that will be commonly used or seen by guests, you can use bolder colors like aqua or green. Classic neutrals are always welcome in any room of the house. If you want to incorporate tile into your laundry room walls, subway tiles are a modern option that won’t be too much combined with the bright colors that you used on the walls. Floors A laundry room is one the basement renovation ideas that can keep the concrete floor in place without sacrificing any comfort. Just because you want to keep concrete doesn’t mean you have to have a boring grey slab. There are two finish options that can give your poured concrete floor a fresh new look, paint or stains. Before you apply either product, your floor must be cleaning and stripped of any other sealants or finishes that have been previously applied. To paint your concrete floor, you will need to use an epoxy paint. Epoxy paints dry to create a durable and waterproof finish on your floor. This is an ideal flooring option for a space that you’re going to use as a laundry room. These paints are usually completely opaque and come in a wide range of colors. Concrete stain is a little different as it permeates the concrete itself to create a unique finish. Depending on whether you choose an acid based stain or a water based stain, you will have different color choices. An acid based stain reacts with the concrete to create complete unique finishes in dark earth tones and bluish greens. Water based stains still saturate the concrete, but do not react chemically to create their finishes. They offer a much wider color range. Both stains must be followed by a sealant once they are completely dry. If you want your laundry room to have a classic look, you can always lay tile over your concrete floor. Furnishings The obvious furnishings for a laundry room are your washer and dryer. They may seem like necessary appliances that don’t need much thought from a design perspective, but there is a ton of things that you can do with them! From an aesthetic perspective, you can use decals or coverings that can be applied to your washer and dryer like a sticker. They can be easily removed when you decide to redecorate and can add a little more personality and fun to chores. You can enhance the design of your entire space by creating a cabinet and drawer system around your washer dryer units. One of the most popular additions to laundry rooms are pedestal drawers underneath your appliances. These can be used to store detergents and stain removers. Other common built in pieces in laundry room renovations are sorting baskets and a fold out ironing board. If you have the space, consider adding a large farmhouse sink. The oversized basin and apron front make it the ideal place to prewash items before putting them in the washer. Wow Factor Just like any one room you may include in basement renovations, your new laundry room will require good lighting. When you’re doing laundry, you want bright lights that fill the space. This is important when transferring laundry between machines or to a folding basket, as well as any ironing that may be done. People have also been adding fun typography elements to their laundry rooms. The most common way to incorporate lettering is to label any sorting baskets you may have. This is the perfect addition to the washer dryer platform. Back to the top
home theater
Photo by: Bear Mountain Gazette

Basement Home Theater

Finished basements are typically used as a second family room. Why not take this idea and take it to the next level? A home theater is the perfect place to enjoy a movie night with friends or family. You don’t have to be a movie buff to enjoy this space. This is the perfect place to enjoy game day festivities with friends. Walls When you’re starting to design your home theater, think of the aesthetic of an actual movie theater. The main focus of the room is going to be the screen. There a few reasons to use dark colors for your basement walls. You don’t want anything to distract your eye from the screen at the center of the room. Bright bold colors can overpower the space. You also don’t want any colors to reflect back onto the screen. This would eliminate any lighter neutrals or bright colors that easily reflect light. If you’re not ready to take the plunge and paint your walls a solid black, dark charcoal is a softer option that has the same effect. No matter what paint color you choose, it should be a flat paint that doesn’t have a shiny or reflective finish. For extra sound absorption, you can also use peel and stick carpet tiles on the walls. Floors Floor to floor carpeting is the ideal choice for your basement home theater. You may be apprehensive to install carpeting in your basement because of the moisture levels and risk of housing mold and mildew. There are measures you can take in the carpet installation process that can prevent extra moisture ruining your carpet. After you’ve cleaned your cement floor, lay down a layer of dimpled polyethylene sheet to create a durable barrier between the concrete slab and your standard subflooring. You can then install your plywood, carpet pad, and desired carpet. It may sound easier to install a hard floor, such as hardwood or laminate tiles, but this can muddle any surround sound systems that you install. Furnishings The most important part of any home theater is the screen. There is some debate as to which is better: a large TV or a projection screen. You can have a true movie theater experience in your basement by using a projector and screen, but a TV can be more cost effective depending upon your set up. Televisions are also much more user friendly for the average homeowner. No matter which screen option you choose, you will need comfortable seating in your home theater. For a basic design, large sectional couches are an easy solution. They provide a lot of seating and usually have movable parts to fit different seating needs. For a more extensive home theater design, create tiered seating in your basement with platforms. The seats themselves can be anything from individual recliners to shorter loveseats that seat up to two people at a time. Wow Factor The most obvious way to decorate your home theater is with any movie memorabilia that you have collected throughout the years. From framed movie posters to movie props in shadow boxes, they all add to the unique nature of your own movie theater. When it comes to the lights, overhead lights or wall sconces are commonly used in home theaters because of their dimming abilities. This adds the finishing touch to the movie theater environment you’ve created in your basement. Back to the top
game room
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Basement Play Room

Many homeowners use their basement renovation to create a game room for their families. This fun space has unlimited design possibilities because of its fun and whimsical nature. It’s completely flexible and can be designed to cater to your family’s interests. A game room doesn’t have to be limited to children’s activities. Whether you’re making a giant playhouse or a home arcade, you’re sure to create a room that wows guests. Walls If you choose to use your basement renovation to create a rec room, you’re opening up your space for a large range of design aesthetics than a traditional apartment or living room. There are two approaches to creating walls that fit into the fun aesthetic of a game room. The first to simply use fun and bright colors. The bright colors add energy to a space that was previously dark and damp. For a truly unique approach to your game room walls, use a neutral base color and use decals or paint to create interesting design and murals over it. This featured wall uses Pacman decals to continue the gaming theme to the walls. Other homeowners have covered an accent wall with old board game boxes for a unique and vintage approach. Floors Carpet is a tempting flooring option for your game room. It’s comfortable to walk on and can help to insulate the space. However, there are concerns with the extra moisture that can be in the basement. There are ways around it, such as an extra subfloor layer. If you want a simple floor install, hardwood and laminate flooring may be the better options. For some extra comfort in areas you will be walking barefoot, you can always lay down area rugs. Area rugs can also help create subtle separations between different spaces in the open plan basement. This comes in handy when you have several children with different interests. Furnishings There are so many different pieces that can be incorporated in a play room. If you choose to use an arcade and video game theme, at home arcade games are incredible centerpieces for your basement. If your family leans more toward modern gaming systems, large comfortable seating is key. Whether they’re playing by themselves or with a large group of friends, your kids will appreciate the comfortable couch. You can use craft tables to give your children a place to express their creativity. This keeps any extra mess away from the common living spaces. Wow Factor As to be expected, lights are going to be a large part of your basement renovation design. If you’ve been using a gaming theme, why not apply it to your light fixtures as well? This Tetris inspired lamp has moveable pieces that you can fit together in any design you like. Obviously this won’t be your only light source. Traditional white lights can be used in either recessed ceiling lights or wall sconces. This keeps light fixture up off the floor and maximizes the space. Shelving units are another important design accent to incorporate into your play room. These storage solutions are key when you’re designing a space that will be primarily used by kids. With the wide range of activities that you have in your basement play room, an organization system keeps your space clutter free. Back to the top
sports bar
Photo by: Huffington Post

Basement Sports Bar

When it comes to game day, there’re nothing like enjoying the game at a sports bar that is full of sports memorabilia and other fans. What if you had that experience right in the comfort of your own home? Using your basement renovation to create a sports bar isn’t new, it’s a common man cave idea. This space is great for entertaining and game day parties. By keeping it in your home you have the flexibility to watch whatever sporting event you want. Walls Because a lot of the interest that your extra décor will add, the walls of your home sports bar should be kept simple and clean. You don’t have to be limited to the light neutrals that are common for living spaces. Deep colors, such as a hunter green or warm reds, can add support to any natural wood tones that a lot of homeowners use. If you want to add a rustic aesthetic to your home bar, wood paneling on the walls can add a lot of visual interest to an otherwise plain wall. Floors When looking at flooring options for your home sports bar, you want a floor that is durable and easy to clean. If you want to keep your concrete floor but give it an update concrete paints and stains are the best option. They can be sealed with a waterproof sealant and give a plain concrete floor a unique finish. For a more traditional look, tiles and hardwood are both viable options. You will have to seal your hardwood with an extra layer of varnish to ensure that it can stand up to any unexpected spills that may happen. Furnishings Your furnishings are what will make your basement renovation a sports bar. The most important piece is the bar itself. There are several different designs that range in aesthetic from a rustic all wood bar to a sleek and modern glass top. A traditional sports bar is an all wood design that is stained and sealed to preserve the natural dark tones of the wood and the wood grain patterns. The decoration on the bar itself is minimal and only present in the carvings. These are accented with bar stools that are either all wood or a wood base with leather seats. They typically have a short back to them for some extra support. Behind the bar, you should stock all of the essentials. From your favorite beer to a decent liquor selection, there should always be a range of selections for any guests. More and more homeowners are starting to install kegerators in their home bars for an ice cold beer whenever they want it. Wow Factor One of the most common design accents in a sports bar is a stained glass pendant light that hangs over the bar top. This provides light over the most important part of your basement renovation and adds a decorative element. To continue the sports theme in your home bar, find a light that has your favorite team’s logo and colors incorporated into the design. You can continue the sports theme through your barware as well. There are plenty of options out there when it comes to themed items to place in your bar. From glasses to bar taps, you can always incorporate your favorite team into your home bar. If you have sports memorabilia, display it around your basement in frames and shadow boxes. This ties together the entire space. Back to the top
home gym
Photo by: Tukutopwae

Basement Home Gym

It’s hard to match the luxury of having a gym in your own basement. Many people that decide to renovate their basement use the extra space for a home gym. It gives you the flexibility to work out whenever you have the time. You don’t have to wait for your machines to be free and you can design the space to cater to your fitness goals. Walls Light colors are the most popular option when it comes to designing a home gym. Within this the light colors there are two categories, brights and muted tones. Both options bring their own look and feel to your home gym. If you want a high intensity work out, bright colors can give you the visual boost that you’re looking for. If you lean more towards yoga and meditation in your health and fitness approach, muted tones can help you to relax and add a soothing feeling to the space. Floors The best thing about putting your home gym in a renovated basement is that the existing concrete floor is a good base to support any gym equipment. It can absorb any extra vibrations or impact that may come with dropping weights. However, you’ll want a flooring option that will give you a little more give than a straight concrete slab. Most homeowners install rubber flooring tiles over the concrete floor for a more supportive flooring option. If you want a more aesthetically pleasing flooring option, you can always install carpeting over your rubber flooring. It’s also going to absorb more sound than the rubber flooring alone. If you plan to use the space as more of a yoga studio, hardwood is a good option for stability and aesthetic purposes. Furnishings One of the best parts of having a home gym is the fact that you can tailor the equipment in your space to your own fitness routines and goals. You can decide to purchase free weights, machines, or a combination of both. Other common furnishings in your home gym are large mirrors. These typically take up an entire wall. Be sure to include fans in your room design as well. Air circulation is one of the most important aspects of a home gym, especially one in the basement. These can be ceiling fans or floor fans depending upon your design and budget. Wow Factor You’ll want to be sure to include bright lights in your home gym. Not only will it motivate you more, but it’s also an important safety factor. You cannot work out safely and correctly if you can’t see what you’re doing. Overhead lights fill the space and can have dimmers attached to them for days when you don’t want the light to be quite as harsh. Back to the top
Photo by: Huffington Post

Basement Wine Cellar

For a truly luxurious basement renovation, you can add a wine cellar to your home. This is a unique home design option that you won’t find in every house. A basement wine cellar is the perfect addition for an avid wine collector who wants to properly preserve their collections. Even if you’re not a connoisseur, you can appreciate the beauty and grandeur of having a personal wine cellar in your basement. Walls Your walls will define your space and give your wine cellar its aesthetic. The most common aesthetic for a basement wine cellar is a rustic design with stone walls. These walls are inspired by classic Italian villas and rustic settings. If you want to create a space that is more modern, sleek wood paneling is the answer. These horizontal panels are kept in the wood’s natural warm tones and accent the rich colors of the wine. When combined with the glass panels that secure the wine, this minimalist design let the wine be the true centerpiece of the room. Floors As with any basement renovation, you will want to install a floor that is moisture resistant. One of the most important aspects of a wine cellar is a consistent temperature. This means sealing your existing concrete floor even if you’re adding another flooring material on top of it. Wood is a classic design choice when it comes to basement wine cellars. The engineered hardwood floors help insulated your basement and protect the floor from any excess moisture in the air. This is especially important if you plan on installing any kind of refrigerating system for your wine storage. Furnishings You can’t have a basement wine cellar without built in wine storage. This can come in a few different forms. You can always have your standard shelves, but many people like to display their wine while their storing it. This calls for open shelving unit and glass doors. Any wine storage space in your basement wine cellar must have a sealed door to control the humidity and temperature. This opens up the wine storage to be viewed. If you want to create a small space to enjoy your wine in the basement, a small table and chairs set can fit right next to your wine storage unit. If you want a rustic aesthetic, dark leather armchairs with a wooden table fit the space nicely. For a modern approach, a sleek simple table and chairs set can make the wine the real focus of the space. Wow Factor There are several pieces you can add to your basement wine cellar to put the finishing touches on it. Special considerations must be taken when choosing a light sources because of the temperature control necessary in the wine cellar. LED lights are typically cooler than other sources and still give off a large amount of light. Ceiling lights are the most common application because of the floor to ceiling light storage. They usually have a dimmer switch to change the light level depending on what mood you want to set in the room. Some homeowners also choose to have decorative wrought iron doors over the glass sealed doors. These feature ivy designs and play up a rustic Italian villa aesthetic. For a classic way to reach your wine cellar, a spiral staircase winding down to the basement is the perfect piece. It has a small footprint that is kept to a circle in your floor plan allowing you to have the maximum amount of wine storage space. There are plenty of different design options depending on your desired aesthetic. Back to the top Basements are often forgotten or used as simply storage space. However, these dark rooms hold a lot of potential when it comes to interior design. If you want to create a unique feature in your home, you don’t have to build out and go through the hassle of a full addition. Finishing your basement can cut some of the costs and give you a head start to your dream addition.

5 Ideas to Maximize Your Small Backyard

Many residential areas are looking to build more homes in smaller spaces. This means smaller plots, smaller homes, and smaller backyards. Whether you’re designing for a small home or small backyard, you have the same objective: maximizing space. Most homeowners want to use their space for outdoor entertaining and find it difficult to create the experience they want with limited space.

Table of Contents Small Backyard Decks & Patios Small Backyard Pools Small Backyard Gardens Small Backyard Playsets Small Backyard Water Features

Small Backyard Decks & Patios

Decks and patios are classic designs for backyards of any size. If you plan on doing some outdoor entertaining in the warmer months, these surfaces give you a stable surface for dinner parties and a dry area after a summer storm. While decks and patios will have some differences in design and functionality, their furnishings are very similar. You can utilize either design to make the most of your small backyard. small-backyard-decks Decks Raised decks are a great way to enhance your space and maximize the space in your small backyard. Many homes that have limited space in their backyard are placed on narrow plots where the homes are built vertically. You can apply the same principle to your small backyard ideas. A deck creates space outdoors that you wouldn’t have otherwise. You can have your outdoor entertaining space with a finished deck, but keep your backyard open and full of green space. If you don’t want a full deck installed in your backyard, a smaller balcony may fit your home. Balcony designs range from ornate Victorian styles to a simplistic space. A balcony’s footprint will be smaller than a decks, but the flexibility of the space will be much more limited. It’s the best fit for a home that wants a small raised deck, but wants the backyard to be the main focus. The beauty of a raised deck in a small backyard is that it creates square footage that you wouldn’t have had otherwise. Not only are you creating the outdoor entertaining space on your deck, but you’re also opening up the space below the deck as well. Deck stairs are a major consideration when it comes to installing a deck in a small backyard. By connecting your deck or balcony to the rest of your outdoor space, you’re creating efficiency and a flow of traffic that is ideal for outdoor entertaining. Traditional deck stairs are always an option. However, their frame can quickly become blocky and take up a large amount of space in your backyard. This goes against any small backyard ideas that are trying to maximize your space. A spiral stair lets you safely access both levels of your backyard without the large intrusion of a straight stair. The footprint of a spiral stair is kept to a small circle in your backyard. With the different design options of a Galvanized Exterior spiral stair and an Aluminum Powder Coated spiral stair, you are sure to find the best spiral stair for your home. The Galvanized Exterior spiral stair is a carbon steel staircase that has gone through a hot dip galvanizing process that coats the stair in a maintenance free barrier. The stair has a metallic silver finish that weathers over time to become a battleship grey. The Aluminum Powder Coated spiral stair can complement any home design with the custom color options. The naturally rust prohibitive aluminum staircase is given an extra weather proof finish through a powder coating process. Your stair can be kept a classic black or white color, or you can make it a show stopping centerpiece and choose a custom color.
small backyard ideas
Patios If you want to keep your outdoor structure on the ground level, you can choose to install a backyard patio. The most common patio design is a square or rectangular poured concrete platform. This may seem like a boring design option, but concrete has more possibilities than you think! You can use a concrete stamp to make faux tiles out of the poured concrete. This gives a polished look to your patio without the cost of tiles and individual installation. For a completely unique design, you can use concrete stains to add a marbled finish to your concrete patio. These stains, either acid or water based, react with the concrete to create unique marble patterns on your patio that you won’t find on any other concrete surface. An acid based stain will produce earth tones and aqua colors. Water based stains act more as a paint and have a wide range of available colors. You can also use wood tiles to give your patio a more traditional look. The alternating patterns of the wood grain an interesting visual element to your outdoor space. The key is to stick to one surface material. While there are a ton of amazing small backyard ideas, you don’t want to overwhelm your small space. Keeping consistency in materials helps your space to feel more open and less crowded. There are a few different designs of a patio other than your standard patio. Floating platforms are a popular option for modern homes. These patios will be made from wood panels or the previously mentioned wood tiles and have a luxurious resort look to them. If you want to take the floating platform design to a new level, use cascading platforms. This patio design is for homeowners that don’t mind losing a lot of green space in their backyard. These smaller patios can be decorated and used separately, or used as a large extended outdoor entertaining area. If you have a second floor deck, you can still have a patio. Under deck patios are the perfect solution for homeowners that want different outdoor entertaining spaces. The deck can be uncovered and used during warm weather, while your under deck patio has a ceiling thanks to the deck above. This makes it an ideal space for rainy days. Deck & Patio Furnishings Whether you decide on a deck, patio, or both, the same furnishing principles can be applied to complete your small backyard makeover. When you’re dealing with a small space, simplicity is most important. Just like your surface materials, too many ideas incorporated into your outdoor furnishings can make the space feel cluttered and overwhelming. You also have to prioritize the different functions of your backyard. Because of your limited space, you won’t be able to fit all of your small backyard ideas into one place. One way to open up your space is to continue your interior design aesthetic in your outdoor space. By treating your patio or deck as an extension of your indoor space, you are making it feel larger. When you decide what furnishings you want to include in your backyard, be sure to keep them scaled to your space. For instance, if you want to have outdoor dinner parties but have limited space, don’t get an outdoor dining table that seats 10 guests. Instead consider smaller café tables or a small scale farm table. These options have smaller seating options as well. Instead of large outdoor chairs, you can use decorative folding chairs or benches that fit underneath the farm table. Use your outdoor lighting to add to the décor rather than large items. String lights are the perfect addition to any backyard, big or small. They can be installed essentially anywhere and come in different colors and aesthetics. Smaller pops of color can also had life and bright your space without overwhelming it. Use brightly color cushions for seats or tableware for outdoor dinner parties. These are easy and budget friendly ways to take your small backyard space to the next level. If you want to add a wow factor, create a visual focal point. A pergola is the perfect combination of visual interest and functionality. Not only is it a beautiful centerpiece that can be incorporated on either a deck, patio, or in the backyard, but it also provides some shade and shelter from the rain. Back to the top

Small Backyard Pools

When a homeowner has a small backyard, most think that a backyard pool is out of the question. However, a personal pool isn’t limited to full size large backyards. You don’t need to have a huge swimming pool to get the benefits. Just like your furnishings, you can scale your pool to fit your backyard. With different designs and layouts, you can easily find the right pool for your home. You can use your existing patio as your pool deck, or have the pool as the focal point of your small backyard makeover. Rectangular and square pools are the natural choice as they fit into the corners of your backyard. However, with the right materials, a circular pool can fit into your small backyard as well. Depending upon the size of pool you’re looking to install, it will probably fall into two categories: plunge pools and lap pools. Plunge pools are the smallest option and are built with the purpose of relaxing and cooling off. Lap pools are a little bigger and are meant to be used for actual swimming and exercising. No matter which size you go with, it will either be an above ground pool or an in ground pool. Above Ground Pools Above ground pools are a great option for small backyards as they don’t require any additional landscaping or construction. Because you don’t have ample space in your backyard, you want to avoid having to dig up your entire space. If you want the convenience of an above ground pool, but like the look of an in ground pool, you can build your patio around the deck. This gives you a pool deck that you normally won’t find with an above ground pool. This also has the design aesthetic of a pool that’s built into your patio. Modern and minimal home design have begun to feature glass walls in their pools. If you want to leave your pool as a stand-alone structure, or leave a wall exposed, this is a great way to add visual interest. For an industrial look, concrete tanks have begun to make their way into backyard home designs. These pools are meant to be a statement piece and can also fit into any minimalist home designs. In Ground Pools In ground pools are the more traditional pool design. If you don’t mind some extra construction, your pool will last long term. Even if you decide on an in ground pool, you can still build your patio around it. The only difference is that your patio will be a true ground level rather than a raised porch. If you want a chic and modern backyard, rectangular shapes are best. These long skinny pools can easily be tucked against a fence line. Some ambitious homeowners decide to take on their in ground pool as a DIY project. This may seem like a complicated project, but it’s definitely doable. By using shipping containers that are already welded to have a watertight seal, there are a few alterations that have to be made to make them pool ready. You can buy shipping containers in a number of different sizes that fit plenty of different backyards. You can maximize space in your small backyard by creating a cement walkway that connects your porch to the other side of your pool. These small pillars give your pool placement flexibility. For a completely different design aesthetic, create a small backyard oasis by using natural elements around your pool. Line your pool with large lake rocks and tall grasses to hide any edges of the pool frame. Back to the top

Small Backyard Gardens

For those that want a tranquil place to enjoy nature, a small backyard garden is just the thing you need. You can always have a garden bed incorporated into your standard small backyard design, but a full garden design is unique. You can use bright and beautiful flowers as the pop color in your small backyard design. There are a few different small backyard garden designs that you can utilize. Vegetable Gardens A vegetable garden is a great addition to any home that is looking to increase their self-sustainability. The garden gives function to an area that is typically about aesthetics. With recent eco friendly trends taking the world by storm, this garden application has grown immensely in popularity. Many people enjoy knowing where their food comes from and love a farm to table style of cooking and dining. The vegetables and herbs that will thrive in your backyard vegetable garden will vary depending on your climate and the time of year.   Vertical Gardens As you can see, vertical growth is a common theme in small backyard ideas. The same theory can be applied to your gardens as well. By growing your gardens on a vertical axis, you are able to maximize the space that you currently have in your backyard. Vertical gardens come in several different categories. You can tier your planters to create a stair step garden which still has a footprint on the ground, but saves space. If you want to have a completely vertical garden, you can use a living wall. These panels have the soil and plants built into their interior framework. This means that there is no virtually no footprint. They are a great accent for patios that are looking for a unique style. If you want to add a little more privacy to your backyard, use a plant privacy screen. These pieces are the meeting place of function and beauty. By using climbing plants on a lattice panel, you can add some extra privacy to your space.
backyard oasis
Photo by: Houzz
Backyard Oasis If you want to create an outdoor space that will wow your guests, use a combination of trees and plants to turn your small backyard into a backyard oasis. This secret garden design makes your garden the focal point of the home. Create a contrast in your backyard by using different combinations of plants. From large billowing bushes to smaller flowers, you can strategically place your plants around the garden, just like you would your furniture indoors. Don’t keep your garden at ground level. Incorporate living fences to add height and to enclose your space. Trellises paired with climbing plants can also add height, but they also have a whimsical nature to them. Different climbing plants can give your small backyard oasis a completely different aesthetic. Ivy is a traditional choice as it is known for being low maintenance and growing quickly. Roses are the ideal flower choice for anyone looking to create a classic English garden in their backyard. They come in a variety of colors and are easily recognizable to any guests. If you want to create an experience with your flowers, consider using honeysuckle or jasmine. While they both have very different scents, they fill the space with their floral notes. Transport your guests to and Italian villa by growing grape vines around your trellis. This plant will take a little longer than others to flower, but it will definitely add a wow factor to your backyard. When you’re looking for furnishings in your backyard oasis, keep them small. Large clunky furniture can look out of place in the delicate garden that you’ve created. After you’ve put all of the work into your oasis, you don’t want to distract from it with over the top furniture. Small round café tables fit well into your garden and can easily be tucked into a corner. Most of these designs only seat up to 2 people at a time, keeping the space from being over crowded. Café tables can either come in an ornate wrought iron design with decorative legs or in a simple pallet design. Whichever material you choose, you can find matching chairs. Rustic white wrought iron furniture that has been slightly distressed is the perfect balance of femininity and durability. For standalone seating option, small wrought iron benches can be placed throughout your garden for a private place to enjoy your surroundings. Accent Gardens If all of these designs seem a little overwhelming, you can still incorporate a garden into your backyard on a smaller scale. By keeping them small, you’re not losing any of the beauty. You’re just making room for other things you want to feature in your backyard. Remember, a key to a successful small backyard makeover is prioritizing your design ideas. If you have a second floor deck and are looking for a way to hide the vertical supports, you can use strategically placed plants. Use tall grass and large bushes to hide the large wooden posts. This can soften the harsh lines that your deck pulls into your backyard. If you have a one level patio, repurpose an old birdbath to create a unique planter. This makes your small accent garden mobile and low maintenance. Back to the top

Small Backyard Playsets

If you have kids, you want them to be able to enjoy their backyard. If you have a small backyard, green space is at a premium. If you want to create a play area for the kids, but also keep outdoor entertaining space, it can be difficult to find that balance. A playset that has several different activities built into it seems like a great option. It keeps everything in one place and one footprint. However, many of the designs on the market for a backyard playset are huge. They take up lots of space in your already small backyard. Some companies offer a custom design playset that you can design to fit into your space. These can be expensive, despite their small size. Another solution is to build your own playset to fit into your small backyard. A custom DIY playset isn’t nearly as complicated as you think. You can build the structure to fit your space and customize the features to fit your child’s interests. A DIY playset also means you can customize your material without any extra costs from a contractor. Wood is the traditional material used and is can take on any design aesthetic you choose through the use of stains and paints. It will need to be sealed and refinished every year to stand up to heavy foot traffic. Composite materials are limited in color but it’s the most durable material available. There is little to no maintenance involved when using composite materials. No matter which material you decide to use, there are three main categories of backyard playsets that you can choose from.
classic playset
Photo by: Pinterest
Classic Playset Designs If you have a traditional home design, you may want to feature a classic playset design in the backyard. This ties your entire home design, both front and back, together and provides a consistent design story throughout your space. These playsets are an all in one design with a large variety of activities in one structure. These are the most common designs for prefabricated structures on the market, and can easily be recreated as a DIY project. It’s a standard frame with a raised structure that can be access by a ladder and has a slide to exit. A swing set is a staple in these traditional playsets and vary in their design. You can have a traditional swing set or feature a tire swing at the center of the frame. For extra fun, you can add climbing features as well. Small rock walls or climbing nets add another means of access to your raised structure. No matter which features you design to include, these playsets are compact and keep everything close together. This makes them ideal for small backyards with limited space. If you want this compact design, but want to add a little more fun to your backyard, change the frame around! Designs can vary between a traditional frame with an awning to playhouses, castles, and even pirate ships.
small backyard treehouse
Photo by: Alaska Homes 4 You
Treehouse Playsets Vertical builds are making another appearance in your small backyard ideas. Treehouses are a classic backyard structure and can appeal to children and adults of all ages. If you have limited backyard space, why not apply the same logic of a deck to your playset? By elevating your playset and making it a treehouse, you’re opening up your backyard for more activities. Obviously to make it a true treehouse, you’ll have to have a sturdy and pre-existing tree in your backyard. If you don’t have a large tree in place, you can create the same effect by putting your playhouse on supports and raising it above ground level. Take a tip from the garden section and hide the supports with large billowing plants for a floating house effect. This whimsical design adds some fun and adventure to your backyard and plays into a child’s imagination. Your options of additional are truly endless and can be customized to your child’s interests. From pirate themes to small reading nooks, all of them can be included in a unique treehouse design. Different treehouse stairs options can not only provide a safe means of access, but also add the finishing touches to your small backyard design.
under deck playsets
Photo by: Pinterest
Under Deck Playsets If you’ve already built vertically in your backyard and included a deck, use the unused space underneath to create a unique play area for your kids. Under deck play areas are an easy DIY project because of the pre-existing frame. The vertical supports outline the space for you and gives your kids a defined play area. Maximizing space is a huge part of making the most of your small backyard and utilizing the previously unused space underneath your deck is an ideal application. The deck above the space can give the kids shelter on a rainy day, but also provide shade on a particularly hot day. This gives your kids a safe place to play that is close by. Add gates to the railings lining the play area for an extra safety feature. There’s plenty of room to add a table and chairs set for parents to sit and watch the kids while they also relax. This particular under deck playset design combines both a playhouse and an open play area. The slide that comes down from the deck adds a fun feature to the rest of your small backyard design. This hybrid design has plenty of different options for different kids. Back to the top

Small Backyard Water Features

When you’re looking to create a focal point in your small backyard, nothing adds more of a wow factor than a water feature. Water features come in a wide variety of styles and aesthetics, making it easy to find the perfect addition to your backyard. They also have the flexibility to be placed almost anywhere in your backyard. Based on where you decide to put your water feature, it will be completely unique to your backyard. Whether you decide to incorporate an in ground piece or use a standalone design, you can benefit from the relaxing characteristics of having water as a part of your backyard. Water features also act as a mirror in your outdoor space and reflect the nature around it to make your backyard look larger. If you can’t find the right water feature for your backyard, there are surprisingly easy DIY projects to create your own custom designs. Ponds small-backyard-pond Natural bodies of water have a sense of wonder attached to them that would be welcome in any small backyard. Just because your space is small doesn’t mean that you can’t have grand designs in your backyard. If your property wasn’t blessed with natural water features, you can easily make your own. Man made ponds are very common in backyards that are looking to add dynamic natural beauty that goes beyond a garden. One popular way to create a small pond in your backyard is to use an old tire. You just need to dig the hole, line the tire, and fill it with water. The true beauty comes in when you start to add the vegetation and natural elements around the pond. Lining the edge of the pond with different sized and shaped lake rocks gives it a rustic look that makes the pond feel like it’s a natural feature of the landscape. There are a few different plants that you can use around your pond depending upon the aesthetic you want. They range from flowers that do well around the edges of the pond bed to plants that float on the water’s surface. Use plants that will not only look beautiful, but also function in the space. For instance, stagnant water, like that of a pond, tends to attract mosquitoes. You can use lemongrass, a large grass bush that naturally repels the insects. If you want to create your own small eco system in your backyard, you can add fish to your pond. The two most common fish types for backyard ponds are koi fish and goldfish. It may seem like a goldfish is an underwhelming choice, but they actually grow to fit the size of their environment. If you live in an area with particularly cold winters, make sure your pond is at least 18 inches deep to support any wildlife living in the pond. You can use your pond as a separation in your yard as well. By making two different spaces, you’re creating the illusion of a bigger space. Dig your pond in the middle of the yard and incorporate a small bridge to move from space to space.
Photo by: Houzz
Reflecting Pools While they may seem similar, reflecting pools are very different from ponds. Ponds are meant to tie in nature and have a rustic and natural look. Reflecting pools have sleek and smooth designs that are modern. They are shallow bodies of water that are usually either square or rectangular in shape. These natural focal points don’t need a lot of room to make an impact. With no interruptions from fountains or people, the surface is completely smooth and has a solid base from the shallow pool. This makes it a living mirror that will clearly reflect its surroundings. Reflecting pools are commonly featured in gardens, park, and memorial spaces as a place for people to relax and take in the natural beauty of their surroundings. The frames are usually made from metal, concrete, or a combination of the two.  
garden fountain
Photo by: Sunset
Fountains The sound of running water is known to be relaxing and promote tranquility. This makes a backyard fountain a natural fit for a backyard that is designed to be a peaceful hideaway. Garden fountains come in a number of shapes and sizes. The larger fountains can be found at the center of public gardens and parks. These feature the iconic basin with a center column and water feature. These designs are probably too big for your small backyard, but there are plenty of scaled designs that can fit your space. Small garden fountains have tons of different designs that range from cherubs to simple bowls. A lot of them are a multilevel design which can add height to your backyard garden. You can choose from a few different materials based on your desired design aesthetic. Stone fountains can be simple and classic in design or feature a rustic natural look. The classic stone fountain has a basin and a small multilevel feature. The natural stone fountains look like stacked rocks with a small waterfall running through them. This is a great design to incorporate around a pond. The other common material found in garden fountains is metal. Metal fountains range in design styles for a rustic pail to an ornate Victorian design. These fountains are meant to be conversation pieces, whether they are the focal point or a small feature on the side. They almost always feature a multilevel design that uses the weight of the water to progress the water flow. Back to the top Don’t view your small backyard as a limiting piece of your home design. Instead, a small backyard means the opportunity for creative design. You can use new and innovative ideas to maximize the space in your yard. Create a backyard that fits into your lifestyle and  your home.Whether you plan to use it for outdoor entertaining or as a relaxing get away right in your backyard, there are plenty of design options.

20 Unique Barndominium Designs

Many people have begun to renovate these buildings to create barn style homes or add living quarters to their functional barns. While the term “barndominium” typically refers to a steel frame building with sheet metal siding, it has recently expanded to include those traditional wooden frames as well. No matter what kind of barn you decide to renovate, it will include unique features that you won’t find in a traditional home.
barndominium exterior
Photo by: Magnolia Market
The first barndominium is a renovated prairie barn design. It takes the traditional barn design and brings it into a sleek modern design with different design accents. The angled roofline of a prairie barn is iconic in American architecture and makes the building’s original structure recognizable. The white exterior gives the entire building a clean minimalist look. The matching white wagon doors blend seamlessly into the home, but add visual interest with the different textures. The black metal accents of the door track and light fixtures give small pops of contrast. The window frames are simple and rectangular keeping the focus on the structure’s shape.  
barndominium living room
Photo by: Magnolia Market
This living room can be found in the barndominium that’s pictured above. The clean white aesthetic is continued within the home to create a balance of minimalism and rustic charm that comes with a renovated barn. The basic materials and design choices are classic features in a barn style home. The slat walls are a common choice but are updated with the crisp white color that contrasts the dark wood floors. Another traditional choice are the barn doors that lead into the living room. These are the rustic answer to classic French doors. They can be opened for maximum light and air flow without taking up any extra space. The homeowner also choice to pull in the simplistic black metal elements that were seen outside. It brings shape to the otherwise all white room without overwhelming the space.
barndominium living room
Photo by: Magnolia Market
While this isn’t from the same barn shown above, it does have a lot of the same design characteristics. Taking a country classic barn and taking it into modern design has become a trend in renovation. The white shiplap walls paired with white curtains keeps the open and bright design aesthetic that is a departure from the warm cozy tones that are normally found in renovated barns. The furniture is a mixture of both organic materials and industrial metal frames. The wire frame shelving unit underneath the TV is reminiscent of wire baskets that you typically find in farmhouse décor and the silver baskets are similar to repurposed galvanized buckets. The large clock is still simple in design and is a great focal point for a room that you want to keep open and life is added with small green touches.
barndominium family room
Photo by: Heritage Barns
While many of these designs are custom barndominiums, this home really utilized the existing structure and interior architecture to create an incredible space. The vaulted ceilings help keep the all wood interior from feeling dark and cramped. Barn lofts are another focal point for any barndominium conversion. This homeowner kept it in a rustic design aesthetic and used metal railing with the wood design. The loft opens up the space underneath it as well for the kitchen. This barndominium design takes advantage of the open spaces that are common in traditional barns.
barndominium kitchen
Photo by: Heritage Barns
A major part in any barndominium design is a large kitchen. This custom barndominium features a long kitchen island with butcher block counters. The bar stools are a pop of color and promote the idea of the kitchen being a communal space. The counters pull in the rich wood tones that can be found in the exposed support beams throughout the home. If you look to the back of the kitchen you can see a barn loft that takes advantage of the vaulted ceiling and looks over the kitchen.
barndominium open floor plan
Photo by: Home Bunch
This family room has a little more of the classic country charm than the previous images. This open floor plan flows from the family room into the kitchen. These two major communal areas are commonly linked in barndominiums. Barns naturally have an open floor and homeowners take advantage of it by zoning their space. Rather than keeping the entire frame in a natural wood tone, the homeowner chose to use white wooden boards for the ceiling and exposed support beams. The bright ceiling mixed with the large amount of windows helps the space to feel more open. The family room features light muted pastels that have an ease to them. These greens and blues are what people typically associate with a country home design aesthetic. There is also a repurposed trunk and a wire basket that are being used as storage. Both of these pieces are staples in a rustic home.
barndominium bedroom
Photo by: Home Bunch
Just because you’re living in a barndominium doesn’t mean you have to have wood panel walls. These solid color walls are painted a tranquil teal color to support feelings of relaxation and serenity in the bedroom. These aren’t the vaulted ceilings that we’re used to seeing thus far in barndominiums, but they do have exposed support beams. Because the beams hang lower than the ceiling, it’s easy for the room to feel cramped. The homeowner avoided this all together by painting the ceiling and beams white to make it feel brighter. The bright ceiling paired with the wall of windows allows the reflection of natural light all throughout the room. The décor accents are kept minimal and a fireplace is the focal point on the far wall.
barndominium kitchen
Photo by: Donald Lococo Architects
As you can see, the family room-kitchen open floor plan is common in large barn conversions. This room features lighter colors almost exclusively, from the ceiling down to the furniture. This makes the room feel twice the size it actually is. Open shelving and glass front cabinets are a common feature of country kitchens. By putting the cabinets in front of windows the space is extended and the maximum amount of natural light can fill the room. The light neutrals of the upholstered furniture are accented by rich warm reds in the bar stools and throw blanket.
rustic barndominium designs
Photo by: Yankee Barn Homes
This barndominium utilizes a lodge design aesthetic to create a cozy home. There are different wood tones throughout the space to create depth and keep the barn a dynamic space. Barndominium designs that are heavy on wood can quickly become overwhelming and be one note. The floors, railings, cabinets, and ceiling are all made out of wood. However, because the homeowner either used different wood species or stained them all differently, it doesn’t feel like its overrun by wood in the design. The traditional barn loft acts as a home office/living room and overlooks the main communal area of the kitchen and family room. The dark kitchen island is a great contrast to the lighter finish of the floor.
barndominium exterior
Photo by: Protracted Garden
This custom barndominium design features a double exterior wall. The homeowners wanted to keep the large defining double barn doors at the entrance, but realized that they were obviously not suitable for common use. They decided to keep the double stack doors as a frame for their real front door. You don’t have to get rid of grand barn features to make the space livable! They accent the grey washed all wood exterior with other rustic pieces, such as repurposed barrels and rustic wreaths. The lights are similar to the first image; a simple design that gets the job done.
barndominium bathrooms
Photo by: Metal Building Homes
This barndominium design decided to keep the open flow of air and light as a common theme throughout the entire house. There’s an archway that leads from the bedroom to the bathroom with an open glass fireplace suspended in the wall between the two. The stone wall is a rustic touch to the bathroom that already features quite a bit of wood. Many people believe that you cannot have a hardwood floor in the bathroom, but it’s very doable! The key is to add extra layers of varnish to seal the floor and have a very absorbent bathmat. Standing water is what will damage your wood floors the most, so be sure to clean up any access water sitting on your floors.
barndominium exteriors
Photo by: Lester Buildings
As you can see, double front doors are common when it comes to barndominium designs. These barn doors meet in the middle to form a sunburst pattern and are made from rustic aged wood. The olive green paneling fits well with the weathered wood that is used for both the barn doors and the pergola on the side patio. The rusted red color pays homage to a classic red barn. The unique thing about this barndominium compared to other is the lack of windows on the front of the house. The glass front doors and long vertical windows let enough light in to fill the open floor plan with additional windows on the back end of the structure.
barndominium open floor plan
Photo by: Home Adore
This custom barndominium design can be found in Massachusetts and features a New England country home décor. The soft neutrals of her furniture pair well with aged and weathered wood pieces. The all wood floor is a muted wood tone with a grey tinge, rather than the orange or red tones that you would usually find. The vaulted ceilings are highlighted with cathedral style support beams and simple pendant lights that mirror the long lines of the house. If you look all the way to the back of the room, you can see the kitchen than can be closed off by sliding barn doors. The wall of windows also helps the space to feel more open and fresh.
barndominium kitchen
Photo by: Home Bunch
This barndominium kitchen takes country décor and elevates it to a new elegant level. Instead of a traditional kitchen island, the homeowner used a large table. The table legs are a simple carved design and keeps the bottom open. However, the homeowner didn’t lose any storage space! The open bottom is filled with wire baskets and copper pots that are functional and decorative. The wood paneled fridge fits into the neutral color scheme and matches the armoire in the far corner. The open shelving on either side of the oven is a staple in country kitchens. This kitchen uses it as open storage for serving dishes and a decorative plants. The pendant lights pull in a rustic element with their metal frames.
barndominium exterior
Photo by: Michelle S
If you look back up to the traditional definition of a barndominium in the first section, you’ll see sheet metal and steel frames are two of the defining characteristics. This barndominium design features a sheet metal roof that can stand up to the elements. The walls are dark wood vertical siding that are accented by white frame windows. The peak of the roof line is supported by a small semicircle window at the very top of the face of the house. The wrap around porch has lattice skirting to give the home a traditional design.
barndominium bedroom
Photo by: Boston Design Guide
Another New England barndominium design uses a similar design aesthetic of light colors. However, this homeowner chose to dark support beams to create a contrast in the home’s structure. The hardwood floors are also a richer color with more red tones. The bedroom is separated from the rest of the home but still has an open space above it and can be closed off with a barn door that is painted to match the white paneled walls. The pendant lights continue the symmetry that is created by the support beams and adds a rustic touch to the home with their metal frames.
indutrial barndominiums
Photo by: Houzz
This barndominium design is much more industrial than others on this list. This particular renovation was done on the basis of a sustainable and eco friendly home. There is the traditional barn feature of a loft that has industrial steel cable railing. The stair itself is a Classic Steel frame that has been custom design to go from a spiral to a straight stair to fit the customer’s space. The industrial aesthetic is even pulled into the walls. The room separator is made from reclaimed steel roofing panels that have rusted over time.
barndominium exterior
Photo by: Metal Building Homes

This metal and wood paneled building is a custom barndominium design. You don’t always have to renovate an old barn to get the cozy home that you’re looking for. The red tone in the wood paired with the stone foundation gives the house a rustic aesthetic. The aluminum panel roof is durable and maintenance free. The stone foundation is another feature of barn style homes. While the home uses basic materials, the design is what elevates it. Different elements pull in the home aspect of this barndominium. The wrap around porch and dormer windows are classic country home designs. The sunburst patterns at the peaks of the gables add another visual element to the home’s exterior.

barndominium kitchen
Photo by: Boston Design Guide
This custom barndominium kitchen may not be what you expect from a barn. Wood is a supporting material here, rather than the main focus. The checkerboard floors are the visual interest in this kitchen, with the rest of the décor being all white. The homeowner used subway tile as the backsplash above the stove to add texture, but not business to the room. The fridge is paneled and mirrors the built in shelving unit across the island. The industrial barstools are the perfect complement to this room. They are simple in design and are the perfect height for the wooden island. Pops of colors are pulled into this kitchen through bright flowers in small doses.
barndominium exteriors
Photo by: Landmark Services
You can’t possible have a list of barndominium images without including at least one classic red barn. This traditional barn design has brick red walls and an aluminum roof that can hold up to harsh weather conditions. There is a double front door, as is common with barndominiums, but the sliding barn door is a single door that slides all the way across. The smaller windows above the front door allow natural light fill the space from the top down to maximize the light coming in.   All of these different barndominium designs show that there’s a wide range of styles when it comes to these unique living spaces. Whether you decide on using a classic red barn or want to go more modern with a white washed structure, you’re sure to have a one of a kind home. If you don’t plan on moving any time soon, you can incorporate some of these design characteristics into your standard home!

How to Design a Barn with Living Quarters

opening image
Photo by: Houzz
When designing a barn with living quarters, you want to highlight the unique features that are already present in the barn. Your design should highlight and support the existing structure. There’s a balance between updated home design and rustic barn features that you have to find. This post will take you through your barn apartment room by room.
Photo by: HGTV

Barn Kitchens

A barn is known for the communal and warm feeling it gives off. If you’re designing a barn with living quarters, your kitchen is the perfect way to incorporate this communal feeling. Just like any other home, your kitchen is the gathering point for friends and family. Don’t think your welcoming kitchen needs to be limited by a smaller apartment. These design ideas can help you create the communal kitchen of your barndominium dreams. Basic Designs All wood interiors are a classic characteristic of barns. Keep this aesthetic in your kitchen with wood paneled walls. To bring this wall treatment into different aesthetics you can use different finishes on the panels. For the classic rustic feel, use a stain that brings out the natural warmth in wood tones. If you want a more modern take, white washing wood brightens the room. Backsplashes are a common feature in kitchens. Keep it simple with subway tiles for a clean look. They are available in a range of colors and can complement your wood panels, rather than distract from them. Furnishings A lot of your barn kitchen furnishings will depend on the size of your space. Counters and cabinetry help to define your space and give it a solid design direction. If you have the space for a full size kitchen, warp around counters provide plenty of surface space. When paired with cabinets or under counter appliances, you can maximize the efficiency of your space. If space is limited, or you want an alternative to a classic farm table, a central island is a good choice. It creates a central gathering point in your kitchen and highlights the communal nature of the room. Your countertop can bring a new edge to your kitchen’s aesthetics. Like farmhouse kitchens, butcher block and soapstone are the most common materials for barn apartment countertops. They both offer low maintenance solutions that have a range of colors and styles. Farmhouse sinks are another major way to add the classic country charm to your kitchen. The apron front is a traditional design for a rustic kitchen. Décor Accents Different décor accents can add a unique touch to your barn living quarters. Simple changes to pieces in your space can add major design. If you have a pantry or kitchen closet, consider replacing the door with a sliding barn door. Not only does it pull the classic barn aesthetic into your renovated space, but it can also save space. You won’t have to make space accommodations for a door to swing out, but rather just a clear path along the door’s track. Chalkboard surfaces have become very trendy recently, particularly in rustic spaces. If you won’t want to commit to a full chalkboard wall panel, you can use chalkboard paint and create your own DIY sign. The ability to have handwritten art on your kitchen surfaces adds a homemade charm to the room that you can’t find with premade stock pieces. Continue the rustic DIY theme with your light fixtures! Use mason jars to create a hanging pendant light fixture. It pulls in the rustic country charm into your barn’s living quarters.
Photo by: Houzz

Barn Living Rooms

Barns with living quarters often take advantage of an open floor plan to maximize the space of the second floor. By connecting the living room and kitchen and eliminating extra walls, the space feels larger and has better airflow. The design of the living room should fit into the rustic design aesthetic that you created with your classic kitchen design. Basic Designs Barns have unique architecture that makes them beautiful living spaces. Barns with apartments often take advantage of the vaulted ceilings and large walls by making them the focus point of the space. If your barn already has exposed support beams in the ceilings, leave them uncovered and let them add character to the space. If there are no exposed supports, use reclaimed barn wood to create them and add them into the frame of your ceiling. This draws the eye upward and makes the space feel larger. This is perfect for barn apartments that may be tight on space. The large walls should be treated subtly. Because of their height and massive length, a busy wall treatment can quickly feel stifling and overwhelming. A good way to accentuate the walls without overdesigning them is to continue the wood paneling that you began in the kitchen. This keeps the space’s originality intact while also adding a finished edge to them. Furnishings When you’re furnishing your barn living room, keep your colors limited to neutrals that will compliment your rustic décor. Dark colors can make the room feel heavy if used in excess. If you want the rich tones of a dark brown leather, use it in only one piece of furniture. This could be an overstuffed couch, armchair, or quilted ottoman. Sectional sofas are a popular option for open spaces. Not only do they provide a lot of seating, but the L shape helps to close off the space without using an actual barrier. Compliment your couches with reclaimed wood furniture. Popular all wood furniture items include coffee tables and entertainment centers. These large pieces are central focuses that are simple in design but interesting because of the materials used. Décor Accents One of the most important things that you can add to your barn with living quarters is a ceiling fan. Hot air rises and with a barn, your second floor can get hot fast, particularly during the summer. Air conditioning units are always a good idea, but ceiling fans can cut back on costs while also adding the room’s décor. One unique ceiling fan design that fits into a rustic décor perfectly is a repurposed windmill. The metal frame is a great accent to the natural wood walls and ceiling. If you want to add some storage into your living room, storage trunks are a popular option. These old pieces are a natural fit into a rustic and homey décor, but can also provide storage for extra blankets. If the top is flat enough, you can use them as a side table as well.
Photo by: Digs Digs

Barn Bedrooms

A cozy bedroom fits well into the rustic décor of a barn with living quarters. Whether you like your bedroom to be full of light and airy or you like rich colors with deep tones that make you want to curl up in bed, a barn bedroom is for you. Depending upon what materials you use, you can create your ideal space. Basic Designs You can use different materials in the basic design of your room to achieve different aesthetics. The common thread between both is the wood paneling that has been common throughout the barn apartment thus far. If you like a light and open space, white wood panels can be added to your walls for a ship’s lap effect. The white will reflect any light coming into the space making it feel bigger and brighter. White wash wood is also a great option for your floor. The grey tone adds depth to the room, but it’s still light enough to keep it open. Vaulted ceilings open up the space further. If you’re the type of person that wants a dark and cozy room that is full of warm tones, keep the same natural wood paneling that you used in the kitchen or living rom. Your wood floor can be finished and stained a darker color. The key to a comfortable room is to use rich tones that have depth. Furnishings If you’re goal is to create a bright open space, focus on using lighter colors in your furnishings. Off whites and pastel blues are popular options for textiles used in this space. The key is to use muted tones that aren’t going to overpower any serenity that you’ve created with your light color walls and floors. You can incorporate visual interest by using smaller patterns that feature tone on tone colors. Darker rooms that exude comfort feature dark charcoals and darker taupe tones. These colors don’t overwhelm the space, but add a layer of comfort that you may not find in lighter color families. Thick knit blankets can add texture to your bed. No matter which design aesthetic you choose, your bedframe will probably be one of three options: all wood, metal, or an upholstered piece. All wood headboards can be made from pallets as a DIY project or simply attached different wood panels together to create the headboard. You can finish the wood to match the rest of your décor. If you want to add an industrial touch to your rustic home design, you can use a metal bed frame. Usually made from repurposed pipes, you can get them in either a metallic silver or a black color. The silver pipes are perfect for your bright bedroom and the black frame caters to the darker colors used for the other design. For a luxurious feeling, a quilted upholstered headboard can fit into any home design. You can change the fabric based on what look you’re wanting to achieve. Décor Accents Lighting is one of the key features of any room. In your bedroom, you want to create a relaxing ambiance with your light. If you want a softer lighting option than a standard lamp or ceiling light fixture, string lights are the perfect solution. They create a glow rather than a beam of light. They also have the flexibility to be strung anywhere in the room. If you want your room to feel bigger, a large mirror is an easy way to extend the space. The reflection helps the room to feel longer.
Photo by: Interior Therapy

Barn Bathrooms

Just because your bathroom will have more moisture than other rooms in your barn doesn’t mean you have to give up the rustic aesthetic. There are plenty of ways to create a consistent home design in the bathroom without giving up practicality of the materials. Basic Designs The obvious material option for a bathroom is tile. You don’t have to use boring square acrylic tiles that will interrupt your otherwise trendy barn space. Subway tiles are a great way to have waterproof walls without being dated. Most rustic bathrooms feature either all black or white subway tiles. If you to keep tiles floors, you can use hexagon tiles to create an interesting pattern in your floor. If you want to keep wood as a common material throughout the entire barn living quarters, you can use wood paneling on the walls that aren’t up against the shower. You can also have wood floors despite the extra moisture. You will simply need to treat them a little differently with extra varnish. You’ll also have to be careful not to let standing water sit on your wood floors too long. Furnishings Whether you have a shower, tub, or both is the largest factor in your bathroom design. It defines the rest of the space around it. You can redesign your shower stall to fit into a new design aesthetic. Most showers have all glass doors with some sort of fogged glass effect. You can replace your plain glass doors with a more stylized design. You can install a glass door with a window pane frame for a more modern design. If you have a stand alone tub, you can create privacy by installing the bathtub in a small nook. A sliding barn door can close off the space from the rest of the bathroom. Décor Accents If you’re looking for a rustic storage solution that will also add to your décor, floating shelves are your solution. Use dark wood to add depth to white tile. Floating shelves can hold extra hand towels or other knick-knacks that you may keep in the bathroom. If you don’t want to leave items out in the open on the shelves, galvanized buckets are a solid container that fit into the rustic décor, particularly when mixed with all wood shelves.
Photo by: Green Spur

Barn Lofts

One unique part of a barn’s architecture is the loft. Almost every barn has one and it’s a space that holds a lot of potential. Most barns with apartments keep the loft in its all wood form and simply finish the wood to make it into a living space. The most basic design is going to be a storage loft. This is an easy use for the loft that provides you with some storage space that is close by, but out of the way from your common living areas. It acts as a stand in for an attic or basement that you don’t typically find in a barn design. Some original loft designs feature a full wall separating it from the rest of the barn. You can choose to keep this wall and renovate your loft to add an interior wall and connect it with the rest of the space. You can also knock this wall down and install a railing instead to keep the space completely open. Your loft will also be the highest point of your barn, meaning you get the architectural interest of the slanted ceiling, but it will also be the hottest room. Having a functioning window in this room is important for ventilation and the comfort of anyone using the loft. The last key design feature of a barn loft is how you access the space. When the loft was simply used for hay, a ladder was a practical option. However, now that it’s a barn with living quarters and the loft will be used regularly, you’ll probably want a more stable option. Spiral stairs are designed to give you the stability and walking path of a traditional staircase with the small footprint of a ladder. Barn lofts are typically found at the back of the building. A spiral staircase can easily fit into this space without taking up a large amount of space in the living quarters. Keep your rustic aesthetic by choosing a Classic Steel spiral stair and pair it with wood treads that can be finished to match the rest of your space. If you plan to renovate a barn with living quarters, there are so many things to consider. Between keeping the structure’s original design and incorporating new design elements, it can get overwhelming. Take it room by room and you’ll have a brand new living space with all of the rustic charm before you know it. If you want to start your own renovation with a new spiral stair, call one of our consultative designers today at 1-800-368-8280. They can help you design the perfect stair for your space.

5 Steps to Designing a Garage Man Cave

Everyone wants their own space in their home. This takes the form of a bedroom, craft room, or finished basement. Man caves have become their own category when it comes to home interior design. These getaways are no longer limited to folding chairs in a garage with concrete floors and storage on the walls. While many homeowners still use their garages as a rec room, these designs have taken it to a whole new level.
Photo by: Homedit

Man Cave Walls

Garage man caves will require a little more work when it comes to creating a finished room. When garages are built, they are constructed with the intention of car storage. Because of this, the walls aren’t necessarily ready for paint and different wall treatments. The walls will need to go through the same process as if you were converting a garage into an apartment. You will need to add insulation and at least plywood panels to create a base for whatever treatment you plan to add to the walls. Paint The easiest wall treatment for your garage man cave is to paint the walls. This seems like an obvious choice, but sometimes simplicity is best. If you plan to fill the space with interesting furniture and décor, a solid color wall keeps the room from being too busy. Because it’s a separate space, you don’t have to be limited to traditional interior design colors. You can use whatever color you want for this fun space. Wood Paneling If you want to create a rustic log cabin in your garage, wood paneling is the perfect wall treatment for your man cave. You can install the wood boards directly to the original wall supports taking out some of the extra work. You can stain them and seal them to whatever wood finish you’d like. If your garage doesn’t already have them, you can install extra wooden support beams in the ceiling to further your rustic cabin aesthetic. Stone If you want to add an interesting texture to your man cave walls, brick or stone walls are unique and surprisingly easy to install. You can create faux brick walls in a day! You can find brick or stone veneers at most home improvement stores. After you’ve decided on your materials, you can apply them to the wall much like regular tiles. Some faux stone veneers come in a panel form that you can adhere directly to your wall. It wouldn’t hurt to add extra adhesive to the back of your panels to ensure that it will stand up to any extra moisture that may be in the air. Built In Shelving Built in shelves are a unique way to display your accomplishments or sports memorabilia. Most built in units are all wood. You can stain them to match the wood panels that you decided to use for your rustic man cave, or dark wood floating shelves that fit into the industrial look of a brick wall.
Photo by: Home Stratosphere

Man Cave Furnishings

Seating The furnishings in your man cave fall into a few different categories. From seating to extra décor pieces, all of these things work together to create a fully realized space. You have more flexibility when it comes to furnishing your man cave than your standard living room. It’s meant to be a room that is uniquely yours and unlike any other room in the home. Many seating options for your man cave have rustic and thicker fabrics in their upholstery. You don’t want a delicate loveseat in your man cave, but rather a couch that can hold a large group of people on game day. Because man caves are usually the gathering place for sporting events and large get togethers, you want a comfortable seating option that also provides a lot of seating space. This makes sectional sofas a great choice for man caves. A common material for a man cave sectional sofa is dark quilted leather. This gives it an expensive look while also being rustic and comfortable. Stadium seats may fit into your garage man cave décor, but they’re not the most comfortable for a living space. Recreate the stadium seating feel by creating tiers in your floor. Place more comfortable seats, like small couches or recliners, on each tier to create a stadium layout. Sports Memorabilia There are plenty of different pieces you can add to your garage man cave to put the finishing touches on your room. Majority of man cave design feature sports memorabilia in some way. If you have old jerseys or signed sports equipment, your man cave is the perfect place to display them! Shadow boxes may give you a way to display your memorabilia like art. Not only are all of your guests able to see it, but you are also keeping it safe from fingerprints or stains. Movie Memorabilia The same care could be taken for movie memorabilia. Movie posters are the perfect wall art for a man cave. You can use the same tiered floor design to create a movie theater setting. Using wall sconces that have a dimmer can complete movie theater design. Most home theaters feature rich tones, such as reds, maroons, and dark browns. For an over the top design, you can incorporate a small bar at the back of your room complete with a popcorn machine and movie theater candy.
Photo by: Selby

Man Cave Entertainment

TVs & Projectors Whether you plan on using your garage man cave as a game day retreat or a home movie theater, the TV is the most important part of your room. There have been many different debates on whether you should use a TV or a projector and screen. They both have their pros and cons. The traditional TV is easy to set up and has a standard connection to any sound system and cable box you may have. A television screen is also visible no matter what the lighting conditions are. However, your size is limited when it comes to a TV. If you choose to incorporate a projector and projection screen into your man cave, there are several benefits. Obviously, your screen will be much larger with a projector than if you decide on a TV. They truly give you a movie theater experience in your own home when paired with the right sound system. However, a projector does have a few drawbacks. Because of the projector’s location at the back of the room, you will have to do some extensive wiring to connect it to your cable box and sound system. A projector is also limited by the lighting conditions in the room. For optimal use, you should have little to no light in your garage. No matter what screen option you choose, the placement will be the same. A popular trend in home design is to mount the TV above a fireplace or small shelving unit. However, it’s been proving that the best placement and viewing angle for optimal viewing is at eye level. A projection screen will have to be mounted no matter what viewing angle you choose. A TV has some more flexibility when it comes to placement. To have the TV be at a true eye level, you will probably need to use a TV stand or entertainment center to elevate your TV. Sound Systems A true viewing experience isn’t complete without a dynamic sound system that immerses you in the game or movie. Surround sound systems are the standard when it comes to man caves. You can either buy them in a kit form which has a complete surround sound system or you can buy the individual speakers to form your own system. They come in different sizes that include different amount of speakers depending on the size of your room. One drawback to surround sound kits is that they can often become outdated quickly and you can sometimes pay for more speakers than you need. The alternative is to buy all of your speakers individually. This allows you to update individual speakers as needed and create the exact sound experience that you want. The most common speaker categories for a surround sound system are the front speakers, rear speakers, and center speaker. Some speakers require the use of a separate receiver that works on an antenna and cable system. Game Tables The last category of entertainment furnishings for your garage man cave are different game tables. There are several different designs that you can incorporate into your home design. The most commonly used game table in a man cave is a pool table. There are different design that range from a traditional wood table with green felt top and basket weave pockets to a modern all white table with solid frame pockets and blue felt. You can easily find a pool table that fits into your desired aesthetic. Other game tables you can incorporate into your man cave are a ping pong table, air hockey table, and a poker table. If you want the flexibility of having multiple uses for one table, there are multifunctional game table designs that can switch between a few different activities.
Photo by: Brojects

Man Cave Bars

Bar Essentials The bar itself can be a focal point in your man cave. For a traditional bar look, you can use an all wood bar design that has been polished and lacquered to stand up to heavy use over time. If you want a more rustic look, reclaimed wood can easily be put together in a DIY project to form a one of a kind bar. The bar stools also help to complete the look of your home bar. If you want that classic bar look, opt for a bar stool that has either a metal or wood base with a leather cushion seat. All wood stools can either be bought or made as a DIY project to complete your rustic design aesthetic. Something that every bar needs is a fridge. This can be a mini fridge or a full sized appliance. Some homeowners choose to frame their fridge with lumber to fit into an all wood design. For those that are beer drinkers, a kegerator is a popular addition to your home bar. Bar Decor A lot of your bar décor will depend on what aesthetic you’re going for with your man cave bar. A sports bar is always a popular option. You can incorporate stained glass lights and signs that feature your favorite team’s logo. Displaying your glasses can easily be done with open shelving or glass front shelves with great lighting. A traditional bar décor will have a lot of pendant lights that hang from the ceiling. Lower level lights are what is traditionally used in bars.

Man Cave Wow Factor Pieces

2-salter_hosbrook05-edit Lofts As if your man cave wasn’t a wow factor enough to your home, you can incorporate show stopping centerpieces to really give it that incredible design. The best way to incorporate these pieces is to make sure they also have a function in your space. If you’re looking for a place to add some storage out of the way of the common area of your man cave, take the idea of a garage loft. This is the perfect place to store things out of the way of your garage floor. It also can provide a second area in your man cave for a different function.  If you want a stable means of access that won’t take up much space, a spiral stair fits into the corner of your man cave without a large footprint. Depending upon the customizable design options you choose, your spiral stair can fit into any home decor. An all metal stair would fit perfectly with a brick wall for an industrial look or with wood paneling for a rustic cabin design.
Photo by: My New Baby
Auto Accents If you want more seating, but want a large statement piece, consider using large car bench seats as seating! While this would be a particularly difficult DIY project, you can find different designs all over the internet. They come from all different models and have different colors to match your man cave’s design. Another popular use of repurposed auto parts it to create a fold down table out of an old truck’s tailgate. Not only is this a cool way to use old car parts, but you’re also saving space by keeping the working hinge on the wall. The last repurposed car project for your man cave in this post is the bar that’s featured to the left. This DIY project was made from an old Chevy truck tailgate and a reclaimed wood bar top. The beauty of a man cave is that it’s completely customizable to fit your ideal space. There are a ton of different ways to mix and match different elements to create a one of a kind space. If you decide to incorporate a loft into your garage man cave, a spiral stair could be the perfect way to access your space. They can fit any design style you decide to use for your man cave, whether it’s rustic or industrial. Give our consultative designers a call to find the right design for you and get pricing in five minutes or less!

Farmhouse Renovation Ideas by Room

There’s something about renovating an old farmhouse that gives you a sense of accomplishment and wonder about your own home. There’s something to be said about the charm of old architecture that you’re now using for your modern day home. Farmhouses are some of the most commonly renovated buildings, along with barns and warehouses. These farmhouse renovation ideas are broken down by room to help you work your way through your own farmhouse renovation.

Table of Contents Farmhouse Kitchen Renovations Farmhouse Living Room Renovations Farmhouse Bedroom Renovations Farmhouse Bathroom Renovations

farmhouse renovation kitchen
Photo by: Natural Mommie

Farmhouse Kitchen Renovations

Kitchens are often the central hub of any home. They are typically the gathering place of families at the end of every day and where homeowners entertain. This is especially true for farmhouse kitchens. They are typically defined by large sinks and lots of counter space. A farm style kitchen is perfect for the hostess that loves to entertain and bring people together with food! It has plenty of space for guests and is warm and welcoming to anyone in the house. They typically lean towards natural materials, such as lumber. However, the welcoming nature of a farmhouse kitchen doesn’t have to mean rustic and country charm home décor! You can create a modern or minimalist home as well! It all depends on your materials and furniture choices. Kitchen Walls There are a few different choices when look at materials for your farmhouse kitchen walls. A kitchen backsplash is a design focal point in any kitchen. If you want to keep the rustic charm that comes with a farmhouse kitchen, a brick backsplash paired with wood panel walls is the perfect mixture of materials. To achieve this look you don’t have to install a completely new wall. Brick veneer is available at almost all home improvement stores and can give your wall a brick façade without all of the extra construction. The key is to space the brick pieces evenly. This weekend DIY project is exactly like tiling a wall. Each brick is attached to the wall using a heavy construction adhesive one layer at a time. If you need different size bricks, you can cut the tiles with a tile saw. After the bricks are attached to the wall and you’ve let them set for about a day, you can mix the grout and apply it to the wall in between the bricks. If you want a minimalist kitchen design, you can use the same process to install a subway tile backsplash instead. The all white tile gives your wall texture as a focal point, but doesn’t overpower the space. No matter what backsplash you choose to use in your kitchen, the rest of you walls can also make a statement. All wood wall paneling is common in farmhouse renovations. If you want a clean but comfortable setting, all white beadboard is a great walling solution. The white color can fit into either a rustic or minimalist home design, and the grooving adds texture and breaks up the solid white wall. Kitchen Counters Counters are an important part of any kitchen. Farmhouse kitchens typically have lots of counter space that cater to large meals and entertaining in the home. The counter typically wraps around an entire wall and around a small corner. This L shape gives you ample food prep space and more space for countertop appliances. Another key feature to any farmhouse kitchen is a large island at the center of the kitchen. This central piece has two functions. Not only does it give your kitchen a more casual gathering point than a formal table, but it also gives you one large workspace that allows you to spread out. Wrap around counters are great, but they also force you to spread things out linearly. When looking for the right material for your countertop, you want to consider the functional features as well as the aesthetic of each choice. The most traditional farmhouse counter style is butcher block. This wood countertop adds to the warmth that most farmhouse owners are looking for in their kitchen. Within the butcher block category, there are three different styles: edge grain, flat grain, and end grain. Edge grain is the most common design because of its durability and price. It’s the least expensive of the three and is made from long boards that are placed on their sides and joined together to form one large surface. Flat grain is made in the same fashion a hardwood floor is put together. The boards are flat and joined together. This style of butcher block is the most likely to be damaged from knife marks when they’re used directly on the counter. Edge grain is made from small rectangles that are arranged with the growth rings showing. This creates a checkerboard like effect and hides any knife cuts into the wood. It’s the strongest style of butcher block, but also the most expensive. If you want the rustic, but more polished look for your farmhouse kitchen, soapstone countertops are a great option. From a functionality standpoint, soapstone is durable and easy to clean. This makes it an ideal choice for a kitchen that will be heavily used. Soapstone is a softer material than other countertops, so you should avoid chopping or cutting directly on your counter. Aesthetic wise, a soapstone countertop ranges in color from white with some marbling to an almost solid charcoal color. The darker tones are a great contrast for a farmhouse kitchen renovation that uses white cabinets or walls.
farmhouse sink
Photo by: Houzz
Kitchen Furnishings The most important part of any kitchen are the appliances. The most iconic farmhouse kitchen feature is the farmhouse sink that has an apron front. The oversized sink design is durable and has an easy clean front. They come in a variety of materials and finishes to match whatever design style you choose for your kitchen. Most refrigerators fit into any design aesthetic. If you want to add a customized look and feel to your kitchen, you can add wood paneling to the front of your fridge. By having it match the cabinets, you’re creating a built in look. Some design to use vintage style appliances that fit into the traditional style of a farmhouse kitchen. Gas range stovetops and vintage ovens come in a variety of sizes and colors to fit your kitchen needs. Farmhouse renovation ideas often get stuck in a quaint country charm aesthetic. However, you can take the same pieces of furniture that usually fall into this category and make them fit into more design styles. Besides the counters, farmhouse tables are one of the most important part of a kitchen renovation. They give you a place to sit and enjoy the company of your family and friends. Most farm tables are long and made from distressed wood for a rustic look. They’re designed for family style dining and are long enough to accommodate at least six to eight people. If you can find the repurposed wood, this is any easy DIY project. For seating, these tables usually have benches, chairs, or a mixture of both. The benches are also made from repurposed wood and match the table. Some tables have a bench line one side of the table and chairs on the other side. You’re not limited to long rectangular table designs. There are several round farm tables. These tables normally seat four to six people. Obviously circular tables will require chairs, rather than benches. Traditional farmhouse kitchen chairs are all wood designs with added cushions. To add the final touches to your farmhouse kitchen renovation, open glass light fixtures are the perfect solution for bright lights and a combination of rustic and modern design styles. In the kitchen, you want bright lights that will allow you to see what you’re doing no matter what time of day it is. Kitchen Storage There are plenty of kitchen storage ideas that fit perfectly into your farmhouse renovation. Ample cabinet space is a staple of any farmhouse kitchen. Between cabinets that line the entire upper wall and storage underneath the counters, there is a ton of storage space. The kitchen island also gives you extra space to store pots and pans. If you want hidden appliances, you can always create a cabinet with fewer but taller shelves to accommodate larger items. Glass front cabinets are a classic farmhouse kitchen design. It helps the space to feel more open and brighter. If you don’t have as much cabinet space, but like the idea of open storage, open shelves are a great solution. Solid wood floating shelves can create an accent to your white walls and provide a place to display serving bowls and accent pieces in your home. If you want an aesthetically pleasing way to store loose food items, such as sugar or flour, mason jars are a classic and popular option. There are tons of ways to create custom labels and paint the jars for a unique look.


Farmhouse Living Room Renovation

Farmhouses have a natural warmth built into their home design as a whole. They typically feature open floor plans that leave the kitchen and living room open and connected. This means that the communal feeling of the kitchen extends to the living room. They both have their own purposes, but share a common value of togetherness. Many farmhouse renovation ideas focus on a comfortable and homey aesthetic. This starts with the structure of the farmhouse itself and follows through all the way down to the accents and storage solutions. Living Room Walls/Structure If you want to create a warm comforting room, the design starts with your walls. The key is to bring a comfortable color or material into the walls without it feeling overwhelming or stifling. Wood paneling is the most common material used for the walls in a traditional farmhouse renovation. This natural material keeps natural tones incorporated into the structure of the house. If you think an all wood paneled room can become overwhelming, try an accent wall. This creates a focal point in your room and adds a rustic touch without the all wood walls. If you want to use paint on the other walls, use light neutral colors. This will balance out the dark colors of the wood panels. If your farmhouse features the open floor planned mentioned above, your wall treatment will extend from your kitchen to the living room area. If this is the case, keep your wall colors on the lighter side, unless it’s a smaller accent wall. This will keep the room feeling light and open. Large windows can also add to the feeling of a larger space. While it may seem odd that larger spaces feel more comforting than a smaller warm space, it will keep you and your guests from feeling cluttered and cramped. Lots of natural light can fill your space and highlight the original architecture of your farmhouse. For a rustic style living room, use interior shutters as your window treatments. You can easily make these yourself with reclaimed wood and old metal hardware. Another popular structural element of old farmhouses are the original stone fireplaces. Keep these as close to the original as possible to keep your farmhouse aesthetic alive. If you want a way to access your second floor without interrupting your open floor plan, there are a few options. If you want to keep a traditional staircase in your home, it will have a large base that can be bulky and create a wall in the middle of your space. To keep it out of the way, you would have to keep it on the back end of your home or in a corner. This can be difficult with the straight design. The second option for your farmhouse stair is a spiral staircase. This design choice is perfect for an open floor plan with its small footprint and customizable design options. If you decide to keep your spiral stair in the center of your floor plan, its footprint will be kept to a circle around the staircase itself. If you want a more discreet stair option, spiral stairs can easily fit in to the corner of your home, out of the way of the flow of your home. For a rustic spiral stair, you can use a metal stair frame with all wood treads and handrail. This mixture of materials can be seen in other farmhouse renovation ideas and is a staple to the rustic design aesthetic. Living Room Furnishing When you’re looking to furnish your farmhouse living room, the focus should always be on comfort. This isn’t the place for hard furniture that you’d find in an urban apartment. Upholstered furniture with comfortable cushions are ideal. Stick to lighter color fabrics, such as tan or off white. It creates a contrast with the dark floors and other rich colored wood accents in the rest of the room. Large sectionals are best for these spaces as they can be wrapped around a central coffee table and accommodate large groups of people. You can also add overstuffed comfortable armchairs for additional seating. If you want to add a touch of luxury to your upholstered furniture, quilted sofa backs and chairs can help a piece of furniture feel more expensive and create a add a new visual element to your furniture. If you can’t find an ideal seating solution, you can reupholster an old couch or create new pieces from different repurposed materials! Pallet couches have a rustic look and can easily become an afternoon DIY project. Many homeowners choose leather furniture for their farmhouses. The dark rich colors that come with leather couches and armchairs accent the rest of the décor in the home. This furniture choice should be kept to rooms with lighter walls and lots of light to keep the room from feeling heavy. The surfaces in your living room as just as important as those in your kitchen. Coffee tables and end tables give something for people to gather around and frame the space on either end of your couch. One of the biggest trends in farmhouse renovation ideas is to repurpose materials that you would otherwise find on a farm. Old wood is constantly find new life by being refinished and used as a coffee table. If you want a large central table in your living room, think of a paired down farm table design. Keep it lower to the ground a cut the length down to keep the rustic aesthetic in your home. Continue the mixture of materials through to your table by using an old water trough as the base of your table and reclaimed wood as the table top. Not only is this the perfect end table for those that want some extra surface area, but you can also add hinges to create a new storage space. There are several lighting options for your farmhouse living room. Many farmhouse light fixtures are ceiling lights that feature a metal or wire cage. While these are often seen as industrial, they fit perfectly with a rustic décor that also features repurposed wood and warm tones. If you want your light fixture to be a focal point, you can find a rustic chandelier that can hang in the center of your room. These can include everything from old metal frames to hanging mason jars. Living Room Storage The beauty of a rustic décor for your farmhouse is that there are plenty of storage options that are actually accent pieces. You don’t need to find extra storage solutions when old baskets and trunks are common pieces in the rustic décor. Old vintage trunks are the perfect accent to your home décor. They add a personal touch to the room and can also be used as storage for toys, blankets, or extra pillows. These trunks could be old leather pieces or wooden boxes with aged metal hardware. Baskets are another common piece of décor in rustic home design. They are typically either woven baskets or wire frames. The only difference is that woven baskets typically give you a little more coverage when it comes to what you’re storing.

Photo by: Digs Digs

Farmhouse Bedroom Renovation

There are common design rules that should be used in every bedroom, no matter what design aesthetic you’re looking to achieve. You want a room that you feel completely relaxed in with no distracting décor. The room should be cozy and welcoming. Your farmhouse bedroom renovation can feature many of the same design accents that you use in the rest of your house, but can also be tweaked a little bit to create a space that is uniquely yours and different from the communal areas of the home. Bedroom Walls/Structure Unlike your living room, your bedroom can have darker walls be the larger part of your room. A bedroom design is completely about the person sleeping in the room. Comfort is the number one priority and that could mean having dark wood paneling on three or four walls. Darker bedrooms have that rustic coziness that you look for in ski lodges and cabins. Use distressed reclaimed wood to give the wall more texture without losing any warmth from the wood tones. If you want a lighter room, use white washed wood panels. Bead board ceiling panels can extend the light and make your room feel more spacious. If you want to use paint rather than wood panels, the options are endless. Cooler tones that have blue undertones support the other neutrals that you can pull in with your décor. Other structural elements you can incorporate into your farmhouse bedroom design are barn doors for your closet or en suite bathroom. These sliding doors automatically pull in large rustic influences. Bedroom Furniture If you want to keep the rustic design aesthetic that you’ve created in the rest of your house, your bedroom furniture has a few different design style options. Rustic can split into two different styles: country charm and industrial. If you choose to follow the country charm style of rustic design, there is a lot of wood panel furniture and natural elements. The industrial furniture uses more metal elements, such as repurposed pipes and wrought iron frames. The only pieces of furniture that these differentiations will really apply to are your bed frame and any décor accents, such as light fixtures. Your headboard will almost always be a focal point in your bedroom design. Use reclaimed wood panels to create a unique headboard that pulls in the natural elements of the walls and ceilings. Wrought iron bedframes are perfect for those that want an industrial touch. The bedding you choose will also be a central focus of your bedroom design. Just like the furniture in your living room, light soft colors should be embraced here. Neutrals are ideal for a calming bedroom design. Pull in homey touches, such as cable knit throw blankets and soft pattern pillows. Bedroom Storage The storage options for a farmhouse bedroom renovation is very similar to those in the living room. Storage trunks are the perfect place to store extra bedding and create interesting décor accents. Under bed storage should also not be underestimated. While it’s a basic concept, it can be incorporated in to whatever design style you choose. Incorporating drawers into the bottom of your bedframe gives you extra storage in a space that you wouldn’t otherwise use. Storage benches at the foot of the bed are another common storage solution. There are plenty of styles out there to fit into your desired aesthetic. If you can’t find the perfect bench for your bedroom, you can easily create a weekend DIY project out of making your own.

Photo by: It’s A Grandville Life

Farmhouse Bathroom Renovation

One of the most shared farmhouse renovation ideas is farmhouse bathrooms. This is probably because no matter what, most homeowners want to replace and update an old farmhouse’s bathroom fixtures and dating tiling. The key to a successful farmhouse bathroom renovation is to keep the room bright. While it may seem like wood doesn’t mix with the large amount of water that you find in the bathroom, there are plenty of bathroom renovations that utilize a lot of wood. A farmhouse bathroom that pulls in rustic design styles can also have a lot of modern or minimalist design influence as well. Bathroom Walls/Structure Bathrooms should always have lots of natural light. This means large farmhouse windows that have little to no obstruction in the stream of light. To keep the rest of the room light and reflective, white tile is a common design choice. White subway tiles are used as the shower wall for a simple and clean look to your bathroom. Much like the kitchen backsplash, it adds an interesting visual element without taking away from the simplistic design style. For the rest of the walls, you can paint them a neutral color or continue the wood paneling that you can find in the rest of the farmhouse. Your floors can be either the traditional tile or you can use a hardwood floor. Those looking for a more modern and interesting tile patterns than your typical square shape can use hexagon floor tiles for a dynamic look to your bathroom floor. Farmhouse renovation ideas usually feature all white or black hex tiles for the floor. Hardwood floors may seem like an unconventional choice for the bathroom, but it’s perfectly fine with the right precautions. You simply need to add a few more layers of varnish and sealant to your wood floor. You should also avoid letting water sit on the hardwood for an extended period of time. Bathroom Furnishings Obviously, the bathroom furnishings are what define the room. Much like a kitchen, these pieces are what make the room a bathroom. A shower or bathtub is a huge design choice for your home. If you have a bathtub shower hybrid, your curtains can elevate your bathroom’s design above a standard shower curtain. Using a double curtain with a valance for your shower helps to polish the space and add more of a design flair to the room. If you have a shower stall, there are a few different design ideas that can add to your space. If you want a modern farmhouse update, you can use paneled doors that use glass panes to close off the shower. Paired with the subway tile, this design is a simple but beautiful update that fits perfect in a farmhouse renovation. If you prefer a tub or have a tub and shower, claw foot tubs are a classic design choice for farmhouses. They are a traditional design that would’ve been found in the house when it was first built. You have a few different design choices when it comes to your sink as well. You can always use the same apron front design farmhouse sink that is commonly found in the kitchen. These large sinks fit well into a simplistic design style and accent the rustic décor. If you want a double sink, you can either have two separate sinks or simply use a double faucet. The other rustic sink design is to use a galvanized bucket and repurpose it with a drain and piping to create a new bathroom sink. This design is definitely less polished than the farmhouse sink and has more of a quaint country look to it. Bathroom Storage Your bathroom storage is going to be similar to the other rooms in your farmhouse. The key is to use storage solutions that can stand up to the excess moisture that will be in the bathroom. The same galvanized bucket that you can use for a sink is also a great storage solution. It has the country charm of repurposed items and is made to stand up to moisture. Wire baskets are another popular option for bathroom storage. They are a little more designed than a galvanized bucket and are perfect for smaller items, such as toothbrushes. Farmhouses are a lot like barns when it comes to the unique architecture. Use the country charm that comes with the home as the basis of your renovation. You can incorporate it with different design styles, such as minimalism or industrial, to create a one of a kind living space. Farmhouses also typically feature spaces that are difficult to access. If this is the case, a spiral stair may be a great way to reach it. Call one of our consultative designers to get pricing in five minutes or less. They can help you to design a unique spiral staircase for your space and put the finishing touch on your newly renovated farmhouse

6 Steps to Designing A Balcony

Everyone wants a place where they can enjoy the outdoors during nice weather. Some homeowners decide to build a deck where they can have entertain outdoors. However, if you don’t have the space, a balcony is the perfect solution! While it’s a small space, it can hold big designs. There are plenty balcony design ideas for every design choice of your second floor balcony!

Balcony Railing

Your balcony railing is the most important design element of your space. It is obviously necessary for safety reasons, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful. You can achieve several different design aesthetics based on the materials and design details you choose. These choices can define the design style of your balcony. wrought-iron-balcony-railing   Wrought Iron Railing Wrought iron balcony railing is common choice that gives your home traditional elegance that is similar to old buildings in European cities. It has the flexibility of adding ornate details such as stylized spindles, like the ones above. It can also have the simplicity of standard tube banisters to create a classic look. If you’re looking for an even more ornate design, you can add gold embellishments. glass-panel-deck-railing Glass Railing Modern balconies utilize clear glass walls like the one pictures above. These walls give you the security of railing but keep your views uninterrupted. With the emergence of minimalist lifestyles, the sleekness of a clear glass walls is becoming increasingly popular. Cable railings are also commonly used in these balconies. white-post-balcony-railing White Post Railing This last picture features a white post railing that is commonly found on shore houses. This PVC railing is styled in the same way a traditional all wood deck railing would be. It has durability and is punctuated by posts on each corner. If you choose to incorporate a spiral staircase in your balcony design, you can install railing that matches your spiral stair railing. This is perfect for those who want continuity throughout their home design.  


Spiral Stairs

If your home features an outdoor balcony, consider connecting it with the rest of your outdoor space. Because balconies are often small, you don’t want to overpower it with a full traditional stair. A spiral stair is the perfect accent to a small second floor balcony. Your spiral stair’s small footprint is ideal for two different balcony locations. The first is going from a balcony to a patio. Some homeowners who have bedroom balconies want a way to access their pool deck from their bedrooms. A spiral stair not only has a great design aesthetic, but it also keeps the balcony footprint small. The second balcony location is on an upper level and connecting it to a raised deck. This home design calls for a spiral stair because of space constraints. It’s difficult to find a multi level deck that has the space for a traditional stair. A spiral stair fits perfectly in the corner of a deck. There are two spiral stair designs that are made to last outdoors. The first is an Aluminum Powder Coated spiral stair. This stair is the perfect accent to any home design. The rust prohibitive aluminum goes through a finishing process that coats the stair in a maintenance free barrier. You can keep the stair in a classic black or white color for a supporting design piece in your off your balcony, or you can have it finished with a custom color to make it the centerpiece. The second outdoor spiral stair design is a Galvanized Exterior spiral stair. This stair is made up of a carbon steel frame that goes through a hot dip galvanizing process that coats every part of the stair in a weather proof and maintenance free coating. This durable design is great for coastal areas.


Just because your balcony is outdoors doesn’t mean that it has to have a boring floor. Just like the railing, your flooring can define the space before you even add the extra décor.
Ultimate Christoph
Wood If you don’t have the space for a full deck, and want to install a small balcony instead, you can still have the all wood deck look. Create a smaller classic deck on your balcony by using lumber or composite decking. If you choose to use lumber, you will have to go through a deck restoration process every other year or so. However, you will be able to stain the wood to match any traditional home design. Composite will give you less flexibility in color, but will essentially be maintenance free. You can also use interlocking decking tiles, like the ones shown above. These are easily installed as a DIY project and can be combined with other products, such as pea gravel, to create a space that is complete unique to your home. Concrete If you have a concrete balcony and want to add some flair to the drab stone, use a concrete stain. There are two different types of stain: reactive and nonreactive stains. The reactive stains are acid based and will react with the concrete to give you a one of a kind marbled floor on your deck. The colors will be limited to natural earth tones, such as browns and greens. Some of these stains contain metallic salts that will catch sunlight hitting your balcony. Nonreactive stains are water based acrylics and are more like a paint. They have a much wider range of colors and are easier to apply. They won’t be as unique as a reactive stain, but will be just as beautiful.


Your balcony is a blank canvas that can be decorated to fit your wants and needs. Much like any interior space in your home, your balcony’s décor will define its purpose. One of the major differences between a deck and a balcony is its size. Where a deck would feature large spaces for group entertaining, a balcony lends itself to a smaller, more personal setting. Eclectic Design If your home has a more eclectic style, Moroccan themed balconies are popular. Create a space that’s filled with bright colors, such as pinks and greens. Deep jewel tones are also popular for this home design style. Use over-sized cushions as seating and gold accents in the form of baskets and light fixtures to create an exotic getaway on your balcony. Natural wood tones are the perfect background to support the rich colors. Urban Charm If your balcony is the meeting place between quaint charm and industrial style, bistro style seating is the perfect choice. This is the perfect match for a home that has a brick exterior and wrought iron railings. The bistro style table and chairs can either be wrought iron or powder coated steel for custom colors. This creates a space that is a great place to catch up with friends while enjoying the nice weather. Modern Design If you want a modern balcony, keep things simple! The color schemes are usually black and white, with one or two pops of bright color in the outdoor cushions. The furniture is defined by simple shapes and kept to a minimum. The defining characteristic of modern design and minimalism is open space!
Design Rulz


As with any outdoor décor, foliage is a great way to add color and life to your balcony! Depending upon your balcony’s design, your plants can have different purposes. If you have neighbors close by, a balcony may be easily visible to others. Create some extra privacy with a lattice that’s paired with a climbing plant, such as ivy. This will add some green to your balcony while giving you a little more privacy. Depending upon your design aesthetic, different flowers may compliment your space more than others. For eclectic styles, use bright colors that will match the décor. Flower boxes that attach the railings are also commonly found on balconies. It can bring life to an otherwise boring space.


Awnings are a great addition to any balcony where you want some extra shade during the day. They also go a long way to protecting any furniture that you may keep in your outdoor space from bad weather. There are a few ways to give some extra coverage to your balcony. Curtains Some balconies are built with a roof over head. While this may impede a lot of direct sunlight from hitting your space, you get built in shade and rain protection. If you want any extra protection or privacy, you can hang curtains from the upper level and add tie backs for days with nicer weather. You aren’t committed to any design alterations and they are completely customizable. Retractable Awnings If you want a higher end shade solution, retractable awnings are very popular. They are automated and can easily be installed by any contractor. You can bring out your awning with the push of a button to protect from harsh sunlight or rain. The beauty of an automated awning is that you aren’t committed to having one or the other.


One of the final touches you add to any space is the lighting. It really pulls the room together and finalizes small details. The same rules apply to your second floor balcony. Create the best atmosphere with the right lighting! Lanterns Lanterns come in a variety of different designs and materials. If you’re choosing to stick with the Moroccan theme that was mentioned earlier, pull those same colors and accents in with your light fixtures. Colored glass lanterns that are framed in gold hardware are the perfect final touch. Iron lanterns with ornate cut out designs are also popular for an eclectic design aesthetic. Cafe Lights If you want to compliment the urban bistro style seating on your balcony, café lights are a great option. You can find smaller Edison bulbs that have clear glass and exposed wiring in strings and hang them across your balcony. String lights of any kind are always a popular option for balconies as they can be easily strung through the railing. Candles For a casual atmosphere, candles are the perfect lighting solution. You can buy them in bulk at a low price and in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can be utilized in a variety of different frames, such as the previously mentioned lanterns or as tea lights floating in a water feature.   Despite being known for small space, balconies have a lot of design potential. Not only are they the perfect escape right outside your door, but they can also take the place of a deck if your square footage is limited. If you want to take your balcony design to the next level and connect it to the rest of your outdoor space, a spiral stair can help keep that footprint small. Call one of our consultative designers to find the perfect outdoor spiral stair for your balcony design. Be sure to ask about our matching railing for your balcony as well!

22 Boat House Design Ideas

Many boat owners want a safe place to store their boat, especially if they live in an area with unpredictable weather. While many simply dock the boat, constant outdoor exposure can be unsecure and daunting when there is a storm ready to hit the coast. Boathouses are the perfect solution! Not only do they work as a garage for your boat, but they can also double as outdoor entertaining spaces and vacation homes. Whether you plan to build a full house or simply a relaxing vacation spot, the design possibilities are endless.
Photo by: MCM Builders
Take your boat house design to the next level by installing a multi level deck. The multiple decks give you ample space for outdoor entertaining, as well as different views of the lake. This boat house takes full advantage of their space by creating two decks connected by a multi-floor spiral staircase. By using a spiral stair, the homeowner has a small footprint and an open deck on the first level. This particular stair is an Aluminum Powder Coated stair. The powder coating finish gives the already rust prohibitive aluminum frame a maintenance free barrier. This is perfect for an outdoor stair that has continuous exposure to water.
Photo by: The Adventures of Tartanscot
One way to look at your boat house is to see it as another garage. This boat house is essentially a detached garage behind the house. The green color matches the home, creating cohesion. This color also creates a calming environment, something that you always want in your outdoor spaces. When combined with the white garage doors and accents, this boat house design is a very traditional design with some unique accents. The exposed wood paneling at the top ties in the rustic and natural elements of the boat house’s surroundings. The balcony and communal area on the dock gives the homeowners the space to entertain in the space.
Photo by: Our Boat House
Boat house ideas aren’t limited to the exterior! This boat house interior channels a traditional country home. The khaki and white flooring has a classic diamond pattern that compliments the rich colors of the boat. The decorative paneling in the room gives the white walls depth. This room is the perfect example of a boathouse that feels like a home. Don’t be afraid to fully decorate the interior of your boat house with the same considerations you take on the exterior. If you choose to create a decorate pattern on your floor, be sure to use sealants that will protect the wood against the elements.
boat house designs
Photo by: Tumblr
This boat house embraces a rustic design aesthetic. The warm tones from the wood are followed through the floor, ceiling, and furniture. This monochromatic room makes the boats the main focus. There is a small lounge area with armchairs and side tables making the boathouse an extra living space as well. Anyone willing to tackle this design should be prepared for some major sealing and waterproofing!
Photo by: Tumblr
If you’re considering building a boathouse as a vacation home or main residence, it’s easily done. Think of the same house plan as an attached garage and replace the cars with boats. You will need to do some extra planning for the foundation of the home. This house chose to create a deck over their boat garages. The homeowner chose glass deck railings which keeps the view of the lake uninterrupted. The all wood design creates a rustic cottage that fits in perfectly with its surroundings.
boat house designs
Photo by: Daily Catch
This boathouse is a part of a seaside town that embraces its natural surroundings. With a boathouse community comes limited space. Because all of the homes are built on platforms, their space is defined and isn’t very flexible. This particular home made the most of their outdoor areas by creating a rooftop deck and connecting it to a wrap-around deck on the floor below.
boat house designs
Photo by: Ski Pro
This may not be your traditional boat house design, but this dock structure is perfect for those that store their boat in mild climates. The open design helps the natural beauty of its surroundings be the main focus. By adding a deck above the dock, the owners are able to create a multipurpose space. This dock defines the amount of space allowed for the deck and the stair to access it. This makes the spiral stair’s small footprint ideal. There is still plenty of open space left on the dock to walk around and access the boats. This particular stair is an Aluminum Powder Coated spiral stair that has a maintenance free finish on the already rust prohibitive aluminum frame. It has diamond pattern treads to provide a non-skid surface for added safety. The matching deck rail adds cohesion to the design.
boat house designs
Photo by: House & Home
This boathouse is clearly design to maximize their outdoor entertaining space. The upper deck has a small table with an umbrella to shield the guests from intrusive sunrays. The lower deck is set up for sunbathing and relaxing with friends. This doubles as the dock with the boat’s parking spot tucked behind the chairs and with the cover of the upper deck. The communal areas are connected by a traditional straight staircase that bends into an L shape to maximize their space. The building itself features large arch windows that allow large amounts of natural light to fill the space.
Photo by: Remodelista
This simplistic structure is perfect for a relaxing getaway. The contemporary design features a minimalist frame made of metal and wood. The windows open completely to create a seamless transition between the indoors and the surrounding nature. The owners can enjoy a breeze indoors or pop downstairs to take their boat out in nice weather!
boat house designs
Photo by: Discover Boating
This boat house design features classic Americana design characteristics. The classic white railing paired with the stone color siding is similar to a traditional vacation home. This nostalgic design is the perfect place to relax during a breezy summer day. The rooftop deck is attached to the main residence with a bridge. The floor extends out past the railing to create the ceiling for a covered porch for a shady spot.
Photo by: Freshome
This two floor boathouse is on a floating platform and has its space defined for it. Therefore, a spiral stair was the natural choice. Its small footprint meant that it could fit into the allotted space without much modification. This aluminum powder coated stair is rust prohibitive and maintenance free, making it the perfect choice for an outdoor application. The owner took advantage of the flat roof to create a rooftop deck. This is the perfect place to take in the sights around the dock. The staircase has the additional safety feature of the caged in design.
Photo by: Freshome
Not all boat house designs are traditional or rustic. This modern boat house is located on a river in England. The all glass walls create expansive views that one can only get by tucking the small structure into the surround trees. By creating a boathouse, the homeowners are able to enjoy their surroundings no matter what the weather conditions are.
Photo by: Houzz
This contemporary boathouse uses a mix of woods to create its eclectic style. The pagoda top is created with a rich wood that is most likely a rot resistant species that was then treated to lengthen the life of the structure. The rest of the wood is cedar is it is also a rot resistant wood species. This is ideal in outdoor applications that will be exposed to excess moisture, such as a boathouse. The cable railing and floating staircase that connects the upper and lower levels ties together the contemporary design.
Photo by: Houzz
This rustic boathouse is the home of a spa in Minnesota. The cabin like aesthetic is perfect for a cozy getaway in the snowy climate. The all cedar building uses a matching ladder to round out the rustic design style. If you like this design but want a longer lasting solution to the ladder, a spiral stair may be the design choice for you. By installing a spiral stair, you can keep it up against the building with a small footprint like the ladder. However, it will last much longer with our maintenance free and weather proof finishes. The diamond plate treads will create a non-skid for extra safety, even during a snowy Minnesota winter!
Photo by: Jeffree Nelson Custom Homes
These homeowners used traditional home design to inspire their boat house ideas. This building is similar to a normal garage all the way down to the door! The upper floor has been renovated into a garage loft. If you take this approach, you can always convert the top of your boat garage into a storage loft for all of your boating supplies. This keeps everything together and organized without sacrificing any space in your main residence. While this garage has an exterior entrance to the loft, you can also incorporate an interior means of access to move from your boat to the loft with your supplies. A spiral stair would allow to have a full stair without sacrificing any room for your boat. While it would be an interior stair, the Aluminum Powder Coated spiral stair and Galvanized Exterior spiral stair will be your best options to ensure the longevity of the stair because of the excess moisture in the building.
Photo by: Pritchett + Dixon
This boathouse is styled after old European boathouses with its stone exterior. It has an open top floor to give the owners a shaded outdoor entertaining area. The all wood dock is aged and distressed to add to the old world style of the boathouse. The arched doorways complete the look. This grand structure is surely somewhere you’d like to relax and watch the boats come in.
boat house designs
Photo by: Houzz
This living space has taken advantage of all of the space available in the boathouse. The designer created a relaxing space that has a resort like combination of dark wood with white linen furniture. She has included everything you could want for a lazy day by the lake, from a hammock to a bar. The all wood floor is treated with a solid stain and that also works as a sealant to help protect against the decay that comes with lumber.
Photo by: Houzz
If you want a small structure to dock your boat and enjoy the outdoors, consider this rustic design. The all-wood structure is most likely treated with a heavy sealant to keep it structurally sound and rot resistant. This small hut has a wood burning fireplace that compliments the warm tones of the wood used. The top is screened in for shelter in the event of bad weather and the bottom is the perfect place to enjoy a fire and relax by the water!
boat house design
Photo by: Houzz
This boat house design is made for outdoor entertaining. The completely open structure is made up of pressure treated cedar and galvanized steel to create a rust and rot resistant structure that can stand up to the great outdoors. There are several different communal areas across the two floors. The top has a small awning for those that want to avoid the water but want the protection of a roof.
boat house designs
Photo by: Houzz
This boat house design is clearly the most extravagant of the list. This elliptical shaped structure is built into a natural bend in the Colorado River and features its own personal water feature. Not only does the modern structure have several different areas depending upon your interests, but it also has an indoor area to shield against rain and cold nights. The grand curved staircase on the back of the boat house connects the two levels. nighttime-boat-house This boat house design is a simple structure with elegant accents. The exterior roof supports allow it to extend to create a deck to relax on and enjoy the lake. A Galvanized Exterior stair works as a mean of access between the dock and the roof. The small footprint makes a spiral stair the only choice for this design. A traditional stair would’ve extended out to the ground and doubled the width of the walkway. The Galvanized Exterior stair has a maintenance free silver finish making it a great compliment to the minimalist building. The diamond plate treads add a non-skid surface for extra safety. HarveysLake-2085-Edit This boat house owner wanted a way to reach their rooftop deck without having to build a large dock to accommodate their staircase. The small footprint of a spiral stair paired with the durability of galvanized steel was the perfect solution. Salter Spiral Stair’s Galvanized Steel spiral stair has a rust prohibitive and maintenance free finish. It pairs well with the harsh corrosive air that comes with coastal areas. This homeowner never has to worry about rust compromising the structural integrity of their stair and they can maximize their dock space!   If you’re looking to build a boat house or want to update an existing dock, this post can give you plenty of inspiration. If a spiral stair is the right fit for your design, call one of our consultative designers today at 1-800-368-8280.

Furniture Ideas for Your Industrial Loft

industrial loft furniture coffee table
Photo by: FineSelects

1. Industrial Chic Coffee Table

Not only does this coffee table have the industrial elements of repurposed wood and a metal frame, but it also has the added benefit of storage! The crates are the perfect place to hold remotes to keep them from getting lost. The distressed wood gives you the vintage repurposed look and the metal frame gives you a clean, but rustic edge. The wheels give the coffee table a cart feel. This helps it to feel like a repurposed piece overall.
industrial loft furniture wall divider
Photo by: Breuhaus

2. Vintage Industrial Wall Divider

If you have a studio loft and want some added privacy, consider utilizing a large shelving unit. This piece of multifunctioning furniture helps you to save space by combining your storage and giving you privacy. This shelving unit pulls in industrial design elements by using repurposed gas pipes as the frame and dried pine as the organic element. The minimalist design keeps the wood and metal combination from feeling bulky. It is perfect for holding a book collection, small light fixtures, or plants to add life to your loft. The open sections of this shelving unit allows light to pass through from one area to the next. This helps the loft to feel more open. The last thing you want is for your loft to feel closed off and smaller than it really is. The solid sections still provide the privacy that you want for your bedroom area.
industrial loft furniture desk
Photo by: IndustrialDesignsByB

3. Multifunctional 20th Century Desk

If you live in a loft, you know small apartment organization is important! This desk has the added advantage of vertical storage. The shelves above the desk uses space that wouldn’t be utilized normally. The frame is made up of repurposed industrial piping. The wood of the desk and shelves are reclaimed wood. The unique feature of this desk is the built in light fixture. Edison bulbs are popular accents to industrial home design. This particular light is paired with a vintage bulb cage. The wires are hidden in the pipe. This is the perfect work space for those who are also looking for extra storage that fits into their industrial loft.
industrial loft furniture side table
Photo by: Catkins Creations

4. Eclectic Side Table

It can be said that this table is the definition of an industrial piece. The table is made up of several different parts, making it completely unique and one of a kind. The feet of the table were taken off of an old hall storage unit and feature lions’ heads in the design. This gives it a unique Victorian flare. The table base of the top is made from a repurposed farm wheel and vintage “C” clamps provide a platform for the glass. The rest of the table is made up of different repurposed metal pieces. This mixture of materials fits well into an industrial design aesthetic. The glass top keeps the table from feeling too heavy. A round table fits well into many different spaces and can work as either a side table in your living room or as an entry table next to your front door.
industrial loft furniture bar cart
Photo by: Refresh Chicago

5. Rustic Bar Cart

A popular trend in home décor is the mobile bar cart! This set of shelves on wheels is a trendy and convenient way to entertain when you don’t have the space for a built in bar. By keeping it on wheels you can move it out of the way when needed. This particular design fits seamlessly into an industrial style loft by using a combination of rich warm toned mahogany and steel pipes as the frame. The wheels lock to keep it from rolling away in the middle of use and the middle glass shelf is perfect for displaying your glasses. The top detaches to become a serving tray if needed. This versatile piece isn’t just limited to being a mobile bar. It can be used for all of your entertaining needs, from other beverages to plates and silverware. This is the perfect accent to any event you may be having.  
industrial loft furniture display cabinet
Photo by: Hammer and Hand Imports

6. Vintage Rustic Display Cabinet

Extra shelving is always welcome in any home, whether it be a loft or house. The key is to find shelving that looks like it belongs in your space. While most industrial loft furniture features repurposed pipes, reclaimed wood is just as popular. This cabinet uses an antique cabinet that has kept its vintage style with the distressed paint. With all of the dark elements that are coming in industrial lofts, you want to keep cabinets and shelving short to avoid completely closing off your space. This particular shelving unit is under 4’ and has a glass front keeping it open. The glass panels at the front of the cabinet makes it the perfect choice for a media cabinet. However, this design would fit perfectly into a bedroom or bathroom as a stand-alone linen closet, or in your dining room as a china cabinet.
industrial loft furniture dining table
Photo by: Lee Cowen

7. Minimalist Dining Table

If you have the room, an industrial dining table is the perfect centerpiece for your loft. It gives you a large space to feature reclaimed wood. With a simple metal frame, the uniqueness of your wood and its distress patterns can truly be showcased. This design also includes matching benches. Benches are common in industrial spaces, rather than individual chairs.
industrial loft furniture steel pipe bedframe
Photo by: Urban Grain Interiors

8. Galvanized Steel Pipe Bed Frame

To create a cohesive home design, bring the industrial style into your bedroom design as well. If you want to keep your home from feeling monotonous, pull in different industrial design characteristics in your bedroom. Repurposed pipes are always popular details, but take a break from the usual black finish. The steel pipes on this bedframe are galvanized and have a metallic silver finish. This breaks up the dark décor that usually comes with an industrial loft. Keeping light colors in the bedroom helps you to feel refreshed in the morning and makes the space feel larger. This simplistic bedframe appeals to the minimalist in everyone.
industrial loft furniture garment rack
Photo by: Dimos Design

9. Reclaimed Wood Garment Rack

This simple but functional design can fit into any minimalist or industrial design loft. The garment rack is perfect for a small apartment that doesn’t have closet space. The wheels mean that it can be moved around a small space as needed. This galvanized steel pipe frame matches the bed frame mentioned above and can be used for the same reasons. The silver finish lightens the piece and surrounding area. This particular design features reclaimed boxcar planks, each with its own unique history. Each is completely unique with a different mix of wood and different distress patterns. This can also be a trendy alternative to a coat rack in your entryway.
industrial loft furniture coffee table legs
Photo by: Csonkas Custom Rustics

10. Scrap Metal Coffee Table Legs

Industrial furniture pieces can be expensive as they are usually custom made and unique. If you’ve found a piece of reclaimed wood that you love, but don’t know how to incorporate it into your industrial style loft, consider doing a little by of DIY. This salvaged and reclaimed metal leg brackets can turn any piece of wood into a piece of industrial loft furniture in an afternoon! By using these brackets, you are able to treat, stain, or distress the wood any way you choose to create a completely custom table. At only 20 cents each, these are a completely affordable way to enhance your industrial décor. One idea for these table legs is to create matching side tables. Often times, it’s hard to find matching pieces of industrial furniture due to their unique nature. However, with these table legs, you can use one piece of reclaimed wood to create a symmetrical layout in your home.
industrial loft furniture factory door
Photo by: The White Shanty

11. Industrial Factory Sliding Door

This piece of industrial décor is the one that will probably define your space the most. Similar to a barn door, a factory door is a heavy door that slides on a track horizontally. This is perfect for those who want to capture the industrial style of a repurposed warehouse. This particular door is made from distressed wood and exposed metal hardware. This gives the door an added industrial touch.        

Popular Décor Ideas for Small Homes

When you’re decorating your home, you want to create a space that you feel comfortable and relaxed in. Often times, people see small spaces as cramped and crowded. However, not all small home decorating is a puzzle-like aesthetic that fits all of your belongings into a limited space. You want to maximize your space when you’re in a small home. This means designing every part of your home no matter what your design aesthetic may be.


The base of any home design is your walls. They create the backdrop for any other design choices you make. You want them to be complimentary, rather than overbearing. If you want to create a simplistic home design, lighter color palettes are a great background. They create add light to a small space making it feel bigger. Softer hues, such as lavenders and off whites, can keep your space from feeling like a basic white box. If you prefer a more luxe home design, dramatic accent walls are the way to go. Small spaces don’t have to mean simple choices. By adding a dramatic color, you can add luxury a small house.
High curtains
Photo by: Goodwill Glam
If a wall has windows or glass doors, the drapery is a great way to make your space feel larger. Vertical stripes, either on the wall or curtains, make the space feel longer. If you want a solid color, matching the curtains to your wall color can create a seamless transition. Depending upon the color, this can make your home feel like it has longer rooms. Not only does the fabric design matter, but so does your curtain height. When you hang your curtains at the top of the window or door, you are cutting off your wall. By hanging the curtains above the window, you are lengthening your space. This creates long lines that give the illusion of a bigger room. You can maximize your small house decorating by utilizing the walls to their fullest potential. Hanging décor is a great way to make the most of your small space. You are freeing up floor space, while not losing any of your design. For instance, by using wall sconces or a hanging light fixture, you are creating more room either on your table or floor. There are plenty of different designs and materials used for these light fixtures than can fit into your home design. Art is another way to enhance a small space. Strategic placement and grouping of art can create the look you want for your small house.

Storage Solutions

door rack
Photo by: Decor Pad
It can be hard to find the proper storage for your small home. You want a calm feeling in your house, not the uneasiness that comes with a cluttered home. Small apartment organization tips can be applied just as easily to small homes! One way to create storage without closing off parts of your home is to use shelves over cabinets. This open storage design is gaining popularity in kitchens, but it can be applied to any room in your home. A clean display of your items is the perfect way to secretly store things as well. It may seem like a trendy design choice, but it’s all for a practical purpose. It helps to keep your small space light and open. If you have a second floor, consider using the space under your stairs. This is a great place for storage and is often overlooked. If you don’t want a standard closet under the stairs, think about different cabinets or shelves in the wall. It’s also the perfect place to fit a small desk for an at home office when space is tight. If your space is particularly tight, it’s time to use creative storage solutions. The first is to think vertically. Many people forget about the open space between the top of a cabinet and the ceiling. This is a great place to store things. It’s probably not best for commonly used items, as it is not the easiest to access. However, it can hold hat boxes filled with photos or extra kitchen settings and serving pieces. The backs of doors is another space saving storage solution. These spaces are perfect for racks of cleaning supplies or coats. This keeps them out of sight for the most part, but they are still easily accessible.


acrylic coffee table
Photo by: Sarah Sarna
Your furniture is the most defining feature of any home design. When you’re in the middle of small home decorating, you have to be more strategic than if you had ample square footage. Built in pieces are perfect for small spaces because they create room. By creating pieces that are a part of your home’s architecture, you’re not using the same square footage that you by having a standalone piece. Built in furniture is commonly found in the forms of a bench or shelving. If you want to keep your space light and open, consider lighter pieces, such as acrylic coffee tables. Because the table is clear, it allows the pass through of light. It doesn’t create a barrier in the middle of your room. Round furniture, particularly end tables, are another design choice that can make the most of your small home. Round tables fill a space without having the definitive corners and ends that square or rectangular tables do. They fit more easily into small spaces and can be easily fit into a corner without feeling bulky. A popular approach to furniture in small spaces is to use bigger pieces, but have fewer of them. The large pieces fill the space. By using fewer pieces, you keep the space from feeling overcrowded. The most recent trend in small home decorating is multifunctioning furniture. By utilizing dual purpose pieces, you can make the most of your space. This could be a sofa that transforms into several seating options or a table with built in storage underneath.

Design Aesthetics

Photo by: The Suite Life Designs
Once you have all of your walls painted and your furniture chosen, you have to fit it into your space. The final touches are want make your small space a home. Have centerpieces to your home to create a fuller design. For instance, if you have a second floor, a spiral staircase is a beautiful and functional piece that is the perfect addition to any home. Not only does a spiral stair have a much smaller footprint than a traditional stair, but it is completely customizable to fit your design needs. It has a sculptural quality that can be difficult to find in a straight staircase or a ladder, which is also commonly used in small homes. For smaller accents, add touches of elegance through fabrics and upholstery throughout your home. Small accent pillows are a great way to pull in color and patterns. Mirrors and metallic accents are commonly used in small homes as they make a room look bigger. A mirror’s image extends the room, making them common centerpieces above fireplaces. Oversized mirrors are also a trendy home design piece. If you want to keep the reflection to a minimum, consider small metallic pieces. When used in moderation, they can make a room feel more expensive. They also reflect light and create brighter spaces. If you want to add life to a small home, plants are the perfect way to do it. The green color is refreshing in the small space and they give a fresh look to any home. If you have a very small space, multipurpose rooms may be the way to go. By giving a room multiple uses, you’re able to keep an open floorplan without overcrowding the space. Much like the multipurpose furniture, you are creating a space that fits your needs. When placing your furniture in the room, leaving a few inches of space between the back of your furniture and the wall. This may not seem like much, but by adding the extra cushion, your room will feel much bigger. It gives the illusion that you have enough ample room to not fill it with furniture. An area rug can also make the space feel bigger if you choose the correct size. It shouldn’t fill the space completely, but rather overlap the furniture just enough to create a centered space. They key to creating a comfortable small space is to edit your design. Don’t feel as though you need to have all of your belongings on display at all times. By take a somewhat minimalist approach to your small home decorating, you’re allowing the space to feel more open. Small homes are often overwhelmed with lots of belongings or bare to avoid the clutter. If you find the right balance of decor, storage, and open space, you can create well planned space that is equally as beautiful. We’ve outlined some of the most popular ways to make the most of your small home design, but there are so many more out there!

Unique Ways to Transform Your Backyard

Fire Pit
Warming Trends Inc.

Fire Pits

Fire pits are natural centerpieces that anyone would like to gather around.  By adding comfortable seating, you’re creating an outdoor living room. Some homeowners opt for built in benches for a custom deck design. If you want to have more flexibility, casual outdoor lounge chairs can easily be moved around your backyard to fit your seating needs. Your fire pit can act as an outdoor fireplace! A built in fire pit is completely custom and can be an eye catching addition to your communal area. They are usually square or circular depending upon your desired design aesthetic. A circular fire pit is a more classic design, while a square is a modern take. You don’t have to sacrifice space to have a fire pit! If you have a small backyard, you can still have a fire pit! Tabletop fire pits are a great option for those who want a mobile option that doesn’t take up too much space. They come in virtually any shape, from small bowls to square platforms. They come in lots of different materials, such as precast concrete or even hand carved stone. This makes it easy to find the right tabletop fire pit for your backyard. Whether your space calls for a built in fire pit or a smaller design, stone and metal are the common materials used. Common metals used for fire pit designs are cast iron, steel, and copper. Cast iron is the most economical choice. However, the color of the frame will fade from weathering and will need to be restored with heat-resistant paint. Stainless steel is a popular option as it weighs less than cast iron and has plenty of different finishes to fit your design. Copper is usually the most expensive metal choice. However, the upkeep will be easier as it’s very durable and resists corrosions well. Stone fire pits are typically more permanent, such as s built in fire pits. By using stone, it is usually a more seamless transition between the deck and the fire pit itself. The stone options include concrete, brick, or even natural stone. The final decision that goes into your fire pit is your fuel source. Gas and wood burning fire pits both have their own pros and cons. Gas fire pits have the convenience of the twist of a knob starting your fire and an easy clean up. However, if there is any moisture on the fire pit, it will produce massive amounts of steam. It also not the best source of radiant heat. Wood fire pits have a classic and nostalgic feel to them and are a great heat producer. However, the ashes and smoke can get quite messy.


Tree Houses

Tree houses are showstoppers in any backyard design! Not only are they childhood classics, but their designs have recently started to grow to appeal to adults as well. While it may be considered something for the kids or as a small project, your tree house deserves all of the design considerations that your actual house gets! When people think of three houses, they probably envision an old ladder leading up to a wooden platform with some railing. However, you can modernize it without losing that nostalgic charm! Modern tree houses are becoming more popular in recent times. Many people are using them as their full time homes. They usually feature multiple floors and modern home amenities, such as electricity and running water. Another popular design category for tree houses is fantasy. These fully embrace the whimsical nature of a house in a tree and are usually brightly colored and take inspiration from fairytales. All of these different designs call for a different use! From children’s playhouses to man-caves, everyone can benefit from a treehouse All of these designs can be taken to the next level by incorporating interesting aspects to their exterior design. Spiral stairs are the perfect way to reach your tree house without intruding on the surrounding nature! Tree house spiral stairs have become a popular option for those who want a more stable option than a ladder, but don’t want to use the space necessary for a full traditional stair. Our aluminum powder coated spiral stair can be powder coated a custom color to blend seamlessly with the surrounding nature, while a galvanized exterior spiral stair has a metallic finish that accents a modern home design.  

Backyard Entertainment

If you plan to do some outdoor entertaining during the summer months, there are a few unique backyard ideas that can make your house the entertainment hub of the neighborhood! Oversized games are the perfect entertainment for summertime family parties. They are relatively easy to put together and can be put away when not in use to save space. Giant Jenga is a popular option for parties that have a wide age range. DIY versions can easily be made with little more than saw-cut wood from your local lumber store. If you want to add a personal touch, you can always paint the wood to make it your own! You can make an oversized chess or checkers board from a stand-alone wooden platform or paint it directly on your deck. Checkers are a relatively easy game pieces to make yourself. However, you should probably leave the giant chess pieces to a professional. There are a plenty of different sets you can buy. For smaller children, lawn tic-tac-toe is a great option! It’s a simple frame and you can sub out the X’s and O’s for fun seasonal pieces, such as flowers or hand painted stones. If you have a bigger backyard and want to really wow your guests, an outdoor movie theatre is an incredible main event to an evening summer party. There are several different inflatable screens available that are made for outdoor use. If you prefer a DIY approach, a flat sheet or screen fabric attached to wires that are mounted to nearby trees creates a homier feel to your outdoor movie theatre. If you prefer to have a screen free yard, you can always project the film on a completely flat exterior wall of your house. A projector can be rented for one time use. You can also buy one if you decide to have Film Fridays in your backyard.
beach pool

Bring the Beach to Your Backyard

Why not enjoy the fun of the beach without leaving your backyard? This may sound like a crazy idea, but it’s easier than you think. The simplest way to incorporate the coast into your backyard is to create a large sand pit! Because of the simplicity of this idea, it can have multiple functions. You can play beach volleyball with a crowd or make sandcastles with the kids during a quiet day at home. A sandy area is a great place to install your fire pit! If the sand pit is large enough, you can use beach chairs and tables where parents can relax while they watch the kids play. A backyard pool can be turned into a vacation-like getaway by trading in your pool steps and ladders for a sloping entry much like a beach front. While this isn’t a DIY project, you can make it your own after installation. This slope can easily become a deck for lounge seats and sun bathing creating your own paradise.  If you want to truly give a resort feel to your backyard, use a cabana to create a lounging area away from the splashing in the pool! You can create a beautiful outdoor space using these unique backyard ideas! Not only do they create a backyard that is an entertainment center for family and friends, but it can also increase your home’s value. If you decide that a dynamic multi level backyard is the best design for your space, call our consultative designers to create a unique spiral stair design that will take your backyard to the next level.