Monday, December 31, 2012

The Evolution of your Child's Bedroom

The Evolution of your Child’s Bedroom

As your kids grow, it’s important to let their room grow with them. Here we outline the five phases of your child’s bedroom with more articles to come that highlight helpful tips at each stage, current trends for your kid’s room, and ideas for how to make the space reflect your little bundle of joy as they get older and, when the nest empties, how the space can reflect you!

Whether it’s your first child or fifth, there are essential design ideas for nurseries that will suit your newborn baby as well as you as parents. Are you a new grandparent? A new baby in the family can cause changes to be made in your home as well. Watch for more on how to create a space for baby. 

Kid’s Room
There is a lot more to updating a kid’s room from a nursery than taking out the crib and adding a big kid bed. With a talking, walking, running, jumping child, the room has to accommodate active play and, of course, more toys! Colors can change and the room can shift its design to reflect a child’s developing interests and activities. 

Teenage Bedroom
As your kid matures, you’ll want to let the things of childhood filter out as they develop new interests. Creating a space for your teen to hangout, do homework, and reflect their personalities is an important part of the evolution of the bedroom.

College Years
When your young adult leaves for college, the room takes on a different feel. Find ways to use the vacant space, and still make sure it welcomes your academic back home for breaks.

Empty Nest
When your little baby leaves for the next phase of life, don’t let the room sit empty. Turn it into a guest room for when they come to visit or use the space for new hobbies and interests of your own. Convert the space to suit the needs of you!

Make memories for your child by designing a room that suits them and changes when they do, so they’ll always think of your house as home.

Check back as we post helpful hints and design ideas for each stage!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Home Projects for the HOLIDAYS

Make the most of holiday celebrations this season by focusing on what changes will make the house more welcoming for guests and family. David Juarez of D.J.’s Painting and Remodeling says, “Inside is where you will spend most of your time this winter and with the holiday parties on the way, there are small changes that can be made to your house to create the perfect atmosphere for making those holiday memories with both family and guests.” There are numerous options for a small project that can be completed in a short amount of time. Choose what suits the needs of the home.

Paint. Painting only one room of a house has a dramatic impact and a major benefit of choosing to paint for the holidays is that the homeowner can choose the size of the project to accommodate the season’s hectic schedule. Paint one room, paint two rooms, or add an accent wall. Focus on the rooms which will receive the most holiday traffic and act accordingly. David Juarez asserts, “Look at the entryway, the living room, and the kitchen. A fresh coat of paint or a new color can make a great difference and enhance the spaces that will be used for gatherings.”

Organize. Escape from the clutter of the rest of the year by installing shelving and storage that is specifically suited to the type of clutter that needs to elude the sight of guests this season. Enhance storage options by having a custom organizer designed for the closet or have built-in bookshelves installed to hold keepsakes for guests to admire. Add a medicine cabinet in the bathroom to store toiletries or extra shelving in the kitchen pantry to accommodate and organize the extra ingredients for cooking and baking. Organizing can help keep a home tidy for when guests begin to arrive.

Remodel. Now is not the time to start a major remodel, but little remodel projects make a big difference in a home. Traffic through the kitchen increases significantly during this time and new cabinets, a new sink, a better appliance, or an updated counter top can enhance the aesthetics and also the efficiency of the room. If the family has plans to gather around the tree on Christmas morning, replace the carpet or refinish the hardwood floors in the living room to give the presents and the people a welcoming place to reside.

Detail. Trim out more than the tree this year. Pay attention to details throughout the home and guests will notice. Small features such as new knobs and pulls for a cabinet or new trim around the edge of a room insert an updated look. Other, more conspicuous trimmings like window treatments and new upholstery for the furniture make a noticeable difference in a room. If the goal is to draw attention to the features in the room that are already present, consider a change in lighting. Updating the light fixtures or installing additional lighting will illuminate the attributes of the space.

Plan. The holidays are the perfect time to pay attention to the issues that arise during the celebration. Note the flow of traffic and use of space in the gathering rooms, the efficiency of the kitchen, and the possible need to make a little more room in your home with an additional bath or guest room. According to David Juarez of D.J.’s Painting and Remodeling, “Now is the time to complete smaller projects for the holidays, but if you are looking to get started on a full remodel, starting the process now with an estimate can prepare you for making a big change in the New Year.” Focus on small projects now or start the New Year by initiating the home project that could make a long term difference to enhance the holiday experience for both family and friends for years to come.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Making your Fireplace COZY!

With the holidays and Bloomington -Normal IL winter in full swing, where better to relax after a long day than by a nice, warm crackling fire? You can snuggle up with your pet, a good book, a glass of wine, perhaps a few friends or family.

Of course, this is tough to do if you haven’t organized a seating arrangement to your desires. The trick is to engage your fireplace: don’t think of it as an accessory that blends into the wall, but a focal point to incorporate into the layout! Even if your fireplace is in a seemingly awkward spot, you still want to incorporate some type of seating to maximize its inclusion to your home. Here are some suggestions to maximize your “coziness”.

  • Arrange seating around your fireplace so that everyone who sits in the room is able to enjoy it. Think of the fireplace as another seat in the layout: It should be able to engage with all those who surround it.
  • Sneakily add in more seating in a less than obvious fashion by replacing a typical coffee table with an oversized ottoman. It will still carry the same effect as a coffee table — ground the center of the layout — and doubles as extra fireside seating when you have guests.
  • Place your dining table near the fire so that your family or dinner guests are warm and toasty during their meal.
  • If you have the luxury of a chaise lounge amongst your furnishings, pull it up close to the fireplace. You’ll never regret its placement after a long day. Place a few accent pillows and a blanket on the side to encourage some cozy times.

Wherever your fireplace is located, try to incorporate seating nearby. Whether it’s a extra chair or an ottoman, it promotes engaging family time..... and what is better than a night sharing stories with your family during the holidays?!

D.J.'s Painting and Remodeling, Inc wishes you happy snuggling over the holidays :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Perfect Palette

When looking to paint the interior of your home, create a color scheme that reflects your style perfectly.  There are a few easy ways to start designing the perfect palette and many sources of inspiration are available. Consider the following tips:


Copy-Cat:  Maybe you admire a friend’s style or how they have designed the color in their home. Maybe a picture on a blog or website caught your eye. D.J.’s Painting and Remodeling suggests keeping a binder of pictures found in magazines and printed from websites. If you see something that you like, keep it. That way, when you are ready to get started, you’ll already have inspiration on hand.

Start Small, Dream Big: Your favorite color can serve as a base for a full spectrum of color in your home. Start with a color you love and then find the perfect complements. If you aren’t sure what your favorite color is, D.J.’s Painting and Remodeling suggests thinking of a favorite shirt. You may not even realize what your favorite shade is until you take a look at what you’ve been purchasing for your closet.

Thematic Elements: If your house has a feel about it or a distinctive style that you would like to keep, websites are now designed to cater to that. Websites like Design Seeds can give you ideas for themes in your color combinations. Whether it is travel, vintage, nature, or seasonal that is the focus of your style, search palettes to find what will suit the mood in your home.

A Few of Your Favorite Things: A painting from your grandmother, a vase from the flea market, a picture frame from the store, or even a throw pillow are all objects that can serve as inspiration for the start of a color palette. Draw out the different colors that are a part of a single item and you may find a palette before your eyes.

Consult the Experts: You may attempt the suggestions above and still feel that your palette is a little too plain or not what you were hoping to achieve. We at D.J.’s Painting and Remodeling can generate fresh ideas that you may not have considered on your own or serve as a sounding board to get your palette where you want it to be.

The right color scheme will suit your personal style and cause others to marvel at the atmosphere you have created. A fresh look can be inspired by many things and it is possible to find the perfect palette!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What your in-laws notice about your home!

For many, in-laws are the hardest people to please. From the moment you were introduced as the girlfriend or boyfriend, they have always been a little “judgy”. So….what exactly are they judging when they visit your home? Whether a holiday or surprise visit, here are some key items to keep in mind before your in-laws arrive.  

·         Unique displays on your shelves, fireplace mantel, bookcase, etc reflects what is important to you. Take a few minutes to really consider what you have out. Does it tell a person what you most value, or does your home look like it was runner up in a design magazine? Make sure you keep it practical, real and most important- keep it you. One-of-a-kind displays may even jump start a funny story or two, so go ahead and keep that pink penguin on display.

·         Clever storage of game systems, controllers, microphones and headsets can transform a chaotic game room into a nice, organized gathering area. For example the controllers, games and accessories can be stored in a fabric-lined wicker basket next to the TV. You don’t necessarily need to have a cover on this; you don’t want them to think you’re a boring family, just a fun and organized one!

·         Rolling out a new entry rug in the foyer can help give off a warm, welcoming vibe that your in-laws are expecting. During the initial greetings between everybody, your guests take a few moments to take a peek around while you take their coats. You may want to consider repainting the entry walls and putting up some new artwork to gain a fresh and hospitable atmosphere. If they are impressed by the new tones, they won’t notice much else! 

·         Making comfortable sleeping arrangements can be a stressful task, especially if you have more than a few overnight guests.  If your in-laws are staying the night, they have many hours to stew over a bumpy or flat pillow. Make sure you offer a few different pillow choices. Also, make sure you bring out your big, cozy and fresh towels for them to bask in. Nothing worse than drying off with a drab towel in the morning!

·         Decorate your home with an open mind. Your in-laws have been around longer than you have, so they have seen just about all the traditional decorations out there. Although it’s comforting to find those same decorations in another’s home, showing off some creativity and originality can be quite refreshing! Search though online magazines and photos to spark your imagination. For example, try wrapping your cabinet doors in ribbons as if they were a present or making your own garland or wreath. 

This holiday season, adjust those things that can help get-togethers with the in-laws go just a little smoother, giving you time to discuss the important issues... like your parenting... or cooking skills. 

Happy hosting! 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Make the Most of Your Patio

Are you facing bare patio syndrome? Does your pergola need a little extra? Here are a few quick tips to get the most out of your patio or pergola just in time for summer!
  1. Make it your own: You can easily improve the appearance of your patio by incorporating a color or theme. You can do this by adding colored furniture, flowers, and planters. Try adding unique antique touches to your patio such as an old wagon wheel, mail box, or bird bath. Put the finishing touch on your seating area with small, colorful pillows, a lap blanket to drape over your chairs, and a decorative lantern of lighting fixture on one of the table.
  2. Outdoor lighting: A quick fix to a patio that isn’t used often is adding a touch of light! Don’t have an outlet nearby? Don’t worry! Most lanterns and string lights now come with solar or battery options that provide great lighting. Want something a little more natural? An outdoor fireplace in the middle of your patio not only brings light, but also adds a center attraction to your patio, and not to mention a little warmth for those cool summer nights.
  3. Add comfortable seating! Even the best patio will go unused if the seating is uncomfortable. Look for furniture with a bit of flex to it such as wicker, or heavier seating with thick, lush cushions. If your patio is small and won’t be holding a crowd, invest in one luxurious chair and make it a retreat for one. If you patio is larger, provide a good sized outdoor dining table and comfortable chairs. Don’t forget to place small end table next to your chairs for a place to rest a cool beverage or a plate of food!
  4. Add some life to your pergola! Your pergola is the perfect place to add some style with some showy vines, creating a thick, natural canopy. Vines that work well include Jade, Morning Glory, Cypress, and many varieties of climbing roses. It’s also a great place to grow vegetables such as peas or Scarlet Runner Beans! You can also add flower hanging baskets with pops of bright-colored foliage to add depth and texture at the viewers’ eye level.
  5. Pergola looking a little drab? It may be time to re-stain your pergola after it has been exposed to the weather for a while. Pergolas usually need to be re-stained once a year, or once every two years. Be sure to clean the pergola before applying stain, and look out for drips when applying the stain! If you don’t want to do the staining yourself, a local contractor, such as D.J.’s Painting and Remodeling, would love to help out with the job!
This article can also be viewed in the April 2012 issue of Pastelle Magazine or online at

Fireplaces: Adding Warmth and Beauty to Your Home

With the heat and humidity of the summer fading, it is time to consider how to stay warm year around. A fireplace is an excellent way to make sure your family makes it through the winter in comfort and warmth. Whether you decide to add a new fireplace or embellish an existing one, a fireplace can be the centerpiece where family and friends can gather when the weather turns cold.

A Fireplace as a Focal Point
A fireplace can be a major feature in a home. Making a fireplace a true centerpiece of the house can be done by creating a beautiful space that family members and house guests will appreciate. It can provide an alternative to gathering in front of the television and somewhere to resign to once the workday has ended and dinner is done. “Like all remodel projects, tailoring the fireplace to suit the tastes and needs of the homeowner is what makes the end result of a project worthwhile,” said David Juarez, owner of D.J.’s Painting and Remodeling. “We specifically strive to ensure the customer is getting exactly what they want, whether it is a fireplace or any other project.”

Adding a Fireplace

Starting from scratch can be a large project, but the reward is sensational when a once blank wall is transformed into a beautiful hearth. “This is where the help of a general contractor can be the greatest benefit. When a homeowner is taking on a remodel project like adding a fireplace, having a contractor that will listen to what you want, pay attention to the details, and make sure the final product is perfect can make a big project a great experience,” said David Juarez. The dream of having a fireplace in your home can quickly become a reality.

Sprucing up an Existing Fireplace

Small changes can make a great difference when a homeowner is seeking to enhance an existing fireplace. Adding trim, brick, or a beautiful mantel can change not just the look of the fireplace, but change the feel of a room. If the brick or trim is in need of touchups, re-staining the wood or resurfacing brick could be the touch that is required to update a fireplace inherited from a different era or a worn out hearth.

The Comfort of a Fireplace

A fireplace is more than a heat source. It adds beauty to a house, but can also create a warm gathering space within the home. As the weather grows colder and the winds start to blow, a fireplace is a feature of a home that can be added or altered to make it the space you always craved in the midst of frightful winter weather.

This article can also be viewed in the November 2012 issue of Pastelle Magazine or online at