How to Capture Real Estate Pictures|Part One

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice, Tips

Real estate is a competitive market. You need to know how to represent your product best if you want potential homebuyers to make an offer on your home. Knowing how to take professional real estate pictures is essential to selling your home. You want to know what to shoot and how to capture it. Here are the general three rules of thumb to capture the perfect pictures for selling your home:

Not Too Many or Not Enough?

When taking pictures of your home, it is important to find balance. You are trying to spark the interest of the buyer. Not enough pictures can make buyers skeptical of the property, whereas too many images can hurt the potential sale as well. Aim for a dozen photos–include some exterior and interior shots. You are trying to showcase the strongest attributes of the home. Take pictures of areas that make your home unique and can help add to the sale. Remember to ask yourself why you are taking each picture.

Staging

Next, it is essential to make sure you stage your pictures correctly. Your landscaping should be impeccable for the photographs as well as your interior setting. Do not upload photos with messes or personal items in them like your car, family members, or pets. Sounds obvious, but you would be surprised. You may even want to remove bulk furniture from the space. This can be temporary for the photo but allows the area to look bigger. You want your home is welcome to look lived in; however, do it with taste. Remove your toiletries from the restrooms and only have essentials for selling points.

Exterior Tips

Not essential, but you can include some unique exterior shots to help your home on the market. If you live in a nice neighborhood, consider having a drone shot of the property, including some of the surrounding homes. If you have the ability to show one seasonal shot, take advantage of this as well. Homes can look different during the winter and summer months. If your environment does not have dramatic influences on the home’s exterior, you do not need to include this. Remember, you do not want to create a massive album. Three to five exterior shots are plenty.

Having pictures can increase the amount of internet traffic and views. Make sure you take the time to get the best photos to help sell your home. For more tips, be sure to check out Part 2. The more tricks and tips you have in your arsenal can give you the advantage you need to sell your home.

Tips and Tricks for Cleaning Grout like an Expert

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Flooring, Tile, Tips

Tile can give any home a very luxurious feel. Immaculate backsplashes, enhancing shower systems, or tantalizing foyers all are rooted with tasteful tile selections. However, nothing can hurt this pristine look quite like dirty grout lines. You invest time and money into finding the perfect tiles and complementary grout yet overtime your grout has browned and looks unkept. To help, here is everything you need to know on why your grout is getting dirty, how to clean it, and how to prevent it from happening down the line. Let’s take a look!

Why Grout Gets Dirty

Grout is a pourable mortar used to close the gaps between floor and wall tiles. It comes in two types: sanded and unsanded. The sealant is composed of water, cement, and sometimes sand; therefore, grout is very porous, allowing it to be very permeable to liquids. If moisture is in the air, it can embed dirt into your grout lines. Likewise, if you spill a colored beverage, your grout is susceptible to soaking it up and staining with the color.

How to Clean Grout

First, you will want to broom or dust the surface of any grime. Using hot water can help break down more difficult soot embedded into the surface of the grout. Create a homogenous mixture of vinegar and water and pour it onto your grout. It may need to soak for several minutes to work its way down into the grout. After it is absorbed, use a toothbrush or scrub brush to remove debris.

Maintenance

Typically, installers will not seal grout the same day of being applied to allow the grout to cure. If you have epoxy grout, it is not porous and will not need to be sealed. However, if not, it would be in your best interest to seal it. This sealant can prevent unwanted discoloring or staining from occurring in the future. Your sealant will help protect against stains and bacteria from forming on your grout lines.

If you have dirty grout, do not leave it unattended for too long. Cleaning your grout is easy and can make your tile look brand new. Remember to seal your grout after to help prevent discoloring down the road. For more tips and tricks on floor maintenance, make sure to subscribe to our blog!

Why Do I Need Backsplash?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Backsplash, Ceramic / Porcelain Tile, Design and Decorating, Hints and Advice, Remodeling, Tile, Tips

When you think of your dream kitchen, it probably has beautiful cabinetry, a gorgeous sink setup, plenty of counter space, and of course, a backsplash.  Backsplashes are the perfect remedy to take your kitchen’s aesthetics to the next level because tile is a timeless home improvement that can make any room feel more luxurious and personalized. Additionally, tile can help tailor the design to your liking. 

Think of a backsplash as a blank canvas to express your design theme.  From monochromatic tiles to intricate mosaic glass work, your backsplash can be designed in a variety of different ways to make a statement.  That being said, backsplash serves more than just this purpose.  Here is everything you should consider prior to adding your backsplash to your kitchen:

Functionality

Kitchens can get messy, and drywall does not respond well to sticky messes and water.  Backsplashes primarily protect your walls and can make messes easier to clean.  Think of your backsplash as an extension to your countertops that runs up the wall.  They can easily be wiped down and help prevent stains from getting on the walls.  Backsplashes work great for behind the sink, range, or countertop where food prep is done.  You can even include backsplashes in your bathrooms as well to protect your walls.

Aesthetics

Functionality aside, backsplashes are downright beautiful.  Adding a backsplash in your kitchen or bath can help enhance your home’s aesthetics.  There are some many wonderful selections to choose from when picking your tile.  Consider mosaic, painted designs on tiles, ceramic, subway tile, or even creating your own picture frame with pencil tile.  Your walls are blank canvases for you to create your very own masterpiece.  The next step is to find a complementary grout to help enhance the design.  You can go with a close neutral color or even a contrasting color to help make your tiles pop.  A general rule of thumb is to not have your wall tiles be a larger size than tiles on the flooring.

Other Materials

There are more than just ceramic or glass tiles you can use to create your look.  You can invest in granite, stainless steel, laminate, shiplap, or even sheet glass for a flawless look.  Decide what backsplash will enhance your design the most while considering how messy your walls may get and what application works best.  Find the best solution for functionality and then go about the design for your home.

Backsplashes are perfect upgrades to improve your home’s beauty and value.  They say “copying” is the highest form of flattery.  Look online or in person for a style you would like to replicate. If you need help or assistance, one of our knowledgable sales associates would love to assist you in finding the perfect look. 

How to Choose the Perfect Bathroom Tile

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Flooring, Hints and Advice, Kitchen and Bath, Remodeling, Tile, Tips

When deciding to begin a bathroom remodel, we get excited to explore all the different ideas that can be incorporated. We look at countertops, sinks, cabinets, bathtubs, but most importantly, we look for the perfect tile. Tile is a timeless bathroom remedy that can functionally enhance the aesthetics of the atmosphere. We generate a theme from what we have seen before and have liked. Maybe you saw a rustic design at a restaurant, or perhaps your friends’ house has a simply beautiful, all-white design. While we search through a plethora of Pinterest pins and available options in a store, you begin to form an idea of the direction you want your bathroom design to go. To help you guide you during your decision process, here are our top three rules to follow in choosing the perfect bathroom tile.

Design

The first step is that you will need to select a design style that is meaningful to you. Decide if you want dark or light tiles, ceramic or glass, a lot of character or plain, texturized or smooth. Try not to select more than three tile types in your bathroom. Too many styles can feel busy and chaotic. To make your design feel more uniform, you will want to pick a primary tile and secondary tile. Your other tile choices can be used for trim, accent, and added character throughout the room.

Scale

If you are stuck on the size tile, consider the relative scale. If you select a 12×24, you can use it to accentuate the length of a room. You can use a smaller, more symmetrical option like 12×12 tiles too if your bathroom demands more cuts. A smaller tile will mean fewer cuts around plumbing and furniture. If you go with a larger tile, it can make a small room feel larger. Be careful not to go to big in very small spaces, or it can look strange. A general rule of thumb is to never put larger tiles on the walls than the tiles on the floor.

Maintenance

If you are okay with a little more maintenance, natural stone tiles are great for adding character to a room. However, if you do not want to be spending a ton of time cleaning, ceramic and porcelain are your safest options. Glass can make great for accents or walls but is not a good choice for the ground. Look into some mosaic glass designs to add even more character in your showers or bath.

Picking the perfect tile is fun. It is safest to go with your first instinct. All tiles have character, decide how much you are willing to put in a space. Too many high-designed tiles can clash and make the space look busy. Also, do not forget to consider the maintenance and size you want in your home. With these simple guidelines in mind, you are ready to create your dream oasis bathroom.

How to Showcase Your Travels in Your Design

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Tips

If you love to travel and have been around the world, you recognize how life-changing it can be. When you return home, you just keep dreaming of the places you have traveled until you slowly come back to reality and once again begin your normal life routines. Just because you are home does not mean you cannot contribute to these oases into your living space. Buying memorabilia specific to place you travel and putting it in your home design can express your love for travel. Here are six spots on earth and souvenirs you should try to keep an eye out for when you travel:

Africa

Taking large continents and making a small list of souvenirs will not encapsulate everything these areas have to offer. Keep your eyes open for similar memorabilia and artifacts to bring home with you. Africa is rich in culture and has so much to offer from Egypt down to South Africa. With such a varying landscape, there are so many treasures to find in these lands. Keep an eye out for African-culture wood carvings. These make beautiful, cultured pieces of artwork for your home. You can also find Tanzanite at a favorable exchange rate in South Africa, so keep a lookout for this alluring blue jewelry. Africa is recognized for some incredible wire art pieces as well. Look in rural areas to try to find wire art ranging from small animals to intricate designs.

Australia

Australia is another large area with so much to offer. It is known for their exchange rate on opal and can be purchased at a fair price. For home décor, you can look into buying an authentic boomerang which was an iconic hunting tool to the aboriginal Australians. Australia also has many fine wines to keep on the lookout. These are great to take back home and keep in your winery. If you can find areas that sell Indigenous art, these make excellent display pieces for your home as well.

North America

Each state in the United States has a unique piece of history or characteristic about them. Without deep diving into every state, you can start something as simple as a coin collection or a mug with each state’s name on it that you traveled. This is a fun, creative way to make your own personal travel checklist and express it in your home. Canada has a lot to offer as well. Keep an eye out for Canadian Maple syrup or even dream catchers. These are a fun thing you can put in your home to show your travels. Canada is also the headquarter to TY Stuffed Animals so make sure to check out some while you are up there.

South America

Textiles are highly exported from South America. Keep an eye out for quality, wool tapestry to hang in your home or handmade musical instruments. Every country has a unique design style in their art and should be explored while visiting. Chullo hats are brightly colored hats made from llama, alpaca, or sheep’s wool and are beautiful to wear or put on display when you return home. With textiles being so affordable in South America, you can purchase woven friendship bracelets and colorful backpacks as gifts. South America will tend to have beautiful, bright colored painting you should look for as well. Also, you should look for their dolls and finger puppets which can be displayed on a bookshelf or mantel when you get home.

South East Asia

Asia is also a historically rich culture. Sticking to the country’s roots is a great way to showcase elements in your home. Silk is highly prominent textile in Asia and is considered extremely luxurious. The pottery and jewelry in Asia are also unique and tailored to their beautiful culture. Explore options to add to your kitchen like ceramic teapots or chopsticks as well while you are there. South East Asia has many countries with very elaborate gowns and dresses which can be purchased as well.

Europe

Europe has many countries with exceptional heritage. Italy is celebrated for its leather goods and is a great place to find high-quality wallets and purses. Romania is known for its exceptional wooden spoon craftmanship and would be a great addition to add to your home. Turkey has highly-renowned coffee whereas Norway is known for its knitted wools. The Netherlands has become known for its Delftware which would look great in any China cabinet. Every country has its own claim to fame and should be researched before going. Try to decide what countries you will be visiting and what items to keep an eye out for when you are there.

There are so many wonderful spots in the world; each country and continent has a unique, rich heritage of beautiful artifacts and modern treasures that we can admire. We cannot encapsulate all these treasures in one post but can give you ideas of what to keep on the lookout while you are there. Happy travels, and be sure to revisit this page after your trip to let us know what you bought.

Factors to Consider when Purchasing Shower Tile

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Kitchen and Bath, Tile, Tips

Finding the right tile for your shower stall may sound simple. In fact, most homeowners primary concern when shopping for shower tiles is selecting something that will merely get the job done. However, you should take time to consider color and patterns so that the shower tile you select complements your bathroom decor. Below, we listed factors you should consider when purchasing shower tiles. Let’s take a look!

Smaller Tiles for Curves

Depending on the design of your shower bench, you might have to opt for smaller tiles. If you would consider your shower bench as “curvy,” small tiles are ideal. Why? Installing tiles around the edges can be a challenge when working with larger sized tiles. Also, when working with smaller tiles around curved benches, you will have greater control during installation. It allows you to be precise so that you can create a seamless design, especially if you plan on installing the tiles yourself.

Add a Feature Wall

If you really want to add style and glam to your bathroom, you can create a feature wall by selecting a different tile choice than what was installed on the rest of the walls. In fact, you can create an accent are right in the shower by opting for tiles that feature a bold pattern or different hue.

Use Small, Colored Glass

We all love the look of glass tiles, especially in the shower stall. Working with glass can sometimes be difficult; therefore, you should try using small, colored glass. Since moisture can often get trap behind glass, design experts recommend using small, colored glass to create a flawless look that does not feature any fog from steam.

Play with Texture

Believe it or not, texture matters. While smooth tiles are great for the seats and walls, textured tiles can be applied to the floors for safety purposes. The texture can help the foot grip the surface more securely and offers homeowners will peace of mind.

Consider the Maintenance Process

Finally, you need to consider the maintenance process of the tile surface that you are thinking about installing on your shower stall. Experts recommend opting for larger slabs if you are looking for a quick and easy cleaning experience.

Five Ways to Tidy up Your Bedroom

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Bedroom Design, Hints and Advice, Tips

A clean, tidy bedroom makes for a happy homeowner. Along with making your bed each morning, we have created five simple ways you can tidy up your bedroom. Let’s take a look!

Double-Duty

Let your nightstand do some work in your bedroom by using a small dresser as a stand. The dresser creates a brilliant solution for keeping your room tidy and neat. You can store all of your necessities right next to your bed, and you will have easy access. Be sure to purchase a small dresser that will work well as a nightstand. You want to still be able to reach your alarm clock and cell phone on the dresser’s surface. Also, if you are looking for a consistent look, you will want to buy identical dressers for each side of your bed. This will help tie the look together and gives you extra storage.

The Purge

The best way to “tidy up” a space is by going through everything you own. Now, this process may take a couple of days or even weeks. But once you have gone through everything, you will want to sort it into different piles. The general rule of thumb is that if you have not used it in a year, you do not need it. Try and keep this in mind while going through your items that you need to purge. Odds are that you will find a bunch of things that you do not remember owning. Once you have sorted through everything, be sure to donate your gently-used items.

Clear off Countertops

Countertops can be one of the leading causes of clutter. To eliminate clutter and tidy up, remove everything from your countertops. Try and limit yourself to three items per countertop. For example, your television stand may have a television, a remote, and a DVD player. Your nightstand dresser may have a vase of flowers, your alarm clock, and a picture. By limiting yourself, you will feel begin to feel less cluttered.

The Great Divide

Drawer dividers can be an excellent solution for organizing your space. Try adding them inside of your dressers for extra organization and less clutter.

Stick to a Schedule

After you have organized your room, you will want to stick to a cleaning schedule. This will set you and your spouse up for success. Be sure to make your bed each morning so that you come home to a clean room each day. Also, you will want to make a weekly cleaning and laundry schedule to help you stay tidy!

End your cleaning on a fresh note by adding a couple drops of your favorite essential oil into a diffuser. The refreshing scents will help promote a healthy and happy lifestyle and mood.

 

Budget-Friendly Decor Ideas for a Small Space

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tips

If you are living in a small space, decorating can be tricky and even sometimes expensive.  Finding items that do not overcrowd the area or cost a fortune can be difficult.  But with a general direction, you can transform and personalize your space to express yourself without breaking the bank.  Here are three great budget-friendly ideas for decorating your small space:

Artwork

Not all artwork will cost you an arm and a leg.  Different wall paintings or posters can be highly expressive in developing the atmosphere.  Most artwork will quickly become focal points of the room.  They are great to use to enhance or guide your room’s decorating theme.  Try to find the perfect art piece tailored to your style.  With so many options available today, you are sure to discover the perfect piece for your home.  You can even use your own pictures and have them printed out and framed.  Whatever your style demands, it can easily be done.

Throw Pillows

A natural themed room can seem bland and lifeless.  Spruce things up by adding vibrant, expressive throw pillows.  You can find great accent pillows to enhance your living room or bedroom’s design.  Be sure to buy a couple complimentary throw pillows to help transform your space.  This can be a tad challenging at first, but with a little time spent and imagination, you can find the perfect throw pillows for your space.

Area Rug

Adding an area rug to your space is a great way to add style and comfort.  While most hard surface flooring has strong character, they do not necessarily add comfort or color.  By investing in an area rug, you can preserve your current floors while also adding a ton of comfort to your space.  A cozy rug can make a room feel more welcoming and inviting.  This is great to add to a living room or den to enhance the warmth to the atmosphere.

These small investments can greatly enhance the overall look of your space.  With a little shopping and investigating, you can find the perfect decor for your room without spending too much.  Thanks for reading!

 

Tips for Displaying Textiles as Artwork

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice, Tips


Are you someone that loves the look and feel of textiles? If so, welcome to the club! We have learned from our many travels that bringing home textile from a favorite place is a perfect way to add to our collection. Textiles require little space for packing, varies in price from inexpensive to expensive, and will last for years and years! Plus, they have an infinite amount of uses for design. To help you gain a little inspiration, we have three must-try ideas for incorporating textiles as wall decor. Let’s take a look!

Framed Art

You can display that beautiful silk scarf you purchased in Madrid, Spain by framing it on your wall. Choose a matching frame with complimentary custom mats or pull the fabric from edge to edge without a mat behind it. Framed textiles are perfect for displaying the texture and beautiful colors of the piece. When guests are visiting, these pieces of art are always an interesting conversation piece. You can also frame them by using an acrylic box frame that shows the dimensionality of the textile. This will help add depth to the textile while safely displaying it on the wall.

Wall Hanging

As flooring professionals, we understand how diverse flooring nowadays can actually be. If you find a rug that you love, simply go to your local hardware store and purchase a finished drapery rod or a raw wooden tomato stake. If you choose the wooden stake, you may want to sand down with an electric sander and stain or paint to match your area rug or the wall color. You can hang it on the wall with hooks or drapery hardware. This is a great way to cover the large space of an otherwise blank wall.

Headboard for Your Bed

We love this idea because you can use almost any textile to make your headboard. The textile does not have to be finished; it can be raw because the edge of the fabric will be stapled to the back of the headboard: purchase pre-cut and measured plywood for the headboard. Your local hardware store will most likely measure and cut the plywood for you for free or a small fee. Afterward, purchase the fiberfill or batting from a fabric store to place on the plywood, so the board looks three dimensional and staple to the back of the board. Voila! You have a stunning, original headboard that showcases your travels.

We hope you enjoyed our article and would love to hear about your travels and treasures. Please share how you chose to display your textiles below in the comment section. Thanks for reading!

Simple Ways to Increase Value in Your Bathroom

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Hints and Advice, Kitchen and Bath, Tips

If you have ever talked to a real estate agent, you understand that the top two selling features of a home are the kitchen and bathroom. By focusing on these rooms, you will be able to increase the overall value of your home and potentially make a return-on-investment. Today we are going to focus on six ways that you increase value in your bathroom. Let us get started!

Simple Ways to Increase Value in Your Bathroom:

1. Get Fixed on Fixtures.

An easy update that you can do without a contractor is replacing your bathroom fixtures. From the sink to the shower, you will want to replace the faucets with new, chic ones to make the bathroom look its best.

2. Lights On.

Take a look at the current light supply in your bathroom. Lighting can be a significant selling feature without homeowners realizing it. You will want to make sure that there is an ample amount of natural light coming into the space as well as light fixtures. Take a look at your bathroom during the daytime and nighttime and see if your lighting needs to be adjusted.

3. Customized.

Everyone’s home is unique, and no two houses will be the same. That is something you can use towards your advantage. Customizing your bathroom specifically to complement its shape and architecture will help make it more appealing to buyers. Things like custom cabinetry with extra shelving can make your bathroom stand out from the rest.

4. Embrace Neutrals.

Unfortunately, we cannot know exactly what a buyer is looking for in a home. Each buyer is unique and has their own preferences. That being said, your best bet is to remain neutral in a color palette. It is the most generally pleasing palette for a bathroom, and it tends not to turn away buyers.

5. Create an Oasis.

You want to create an experience in your bathroom. To add value to your bathroom, you will want to focus on two areas: the shower and the bathtub. These areas are significant to buyers. Try and make sure that they are in excellent condition with new fixtures.

    • Pro-Tip: You can even set the tone with candles surrounding the bathtub, and play relaxing music during a showing.

6. A Good Cleaning.

You may be surprised by the amount of buyers that are turned away from a home because of its grime. Be sure to give your bathroom a good deep cleaning. Even if you are not putting your house on the market, it is a good idea to do a deep cleaning often to reduce the spread of bacteria and germs.

Are your bathroom floors in dire need of an update? We would love to assist you in selecting new, high-quality floors from Century Tile. Stop by one of our beautiful showrooms or call us for more information. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you!