7 Creative and Quick Dining Room Updates

With so many dining rooms being converted into part of the living room or kitchen these days, dining room design has kind of fallen by the wayside. But if you’re one of the lucky homeowners to have hung on to a formal dining space, you’ve got an opportunity to make some amazing modern updates. Here are 7 affordable ways to breathe new life into an old dining room:

#1 Perk things up with paint.
Are your dining room walls still the same color they were when you moved into your house 10 years ago? If so, there’s a good chance the color’s a little past its prime. In fact, it may also be doing an injustice to your furniture and the updates you’ve made in adjoining rooms as well. Refresh the walls with a paint shade that makes you feel comfortable and cozy. The room will reflect that feeling.

#2 Modernize the lighting.
Are outdated chandeliers and lamps gathering dust in your dining room? Consider sending them packing and installing some recessed lighting and pendants in their place. Pendant lights, in particular, come in a wide variety of styles and colors sure to add some new pizzazz to your space.

#3 Repurpose another room.
If your dining room is located in an undesirable space — a cramped corner of the house away from the kitchen, for example — pick a new place for your table and chairs. Put them in the kitchen, if you have the the space. Or, place the dining table somewhere right in your living room, where there’s easy access to the TV and stereo. You should always feel comfortable during a meal, and being confined to an area you don’t enjoy doesn’t contribute to that feeling.

#4 Add some visual appeal.
Visual appeal doesn’t stop at paint and lighting. It’s also important to consider how wall decor may increase the interest and comfort of the room. Blank walls may make it easy to zone out and focus on your meals, but your guests will surely enjoy looking at something a little more interesting. Depending on your budget and the size of your dining room, consider hanging potted plants and colorful pieces of art. Just be sure to balance wall decor with other elements in the room so your space doesn’t feel like it’s cluttered with stuff.

#5 Throw in a rug.
One of the worst sounds to hear is a chair scratching against the floor as you go to get up from the dining table. So fix the issue. Add a rug underneath the table and chairs to make things soft and cozy. Choose a rug that isn’t too thick with fibers. Otherwise, your chairs can get stuck and twisted. Of course, you’ll also want to make sure that the style and color of your rug complement the rest of the room.

#6 Use dividers.
Many newer homes combine kitchen and dining spaces. If you want to create a dedicated dining space, think about incorporating a room divider. It’s much cheaper than installing a wall — and you can add shelves, plants or a sliding door to further divide the two spaces. Plus, the flexibility of the divider allows to revert back to the bigger space any time you like.

#7 Build in.
How’s your dining room designed? Do you have a table that sits in the middle with four chairs around it? If you want to make the room more functional — and create more storage in the process — think about ditching the clunky furniture and opting instead for built-ins like bench seating, china cabinets and buffets. A professional can create custom built-ins to suit any style.

The post 7 Creative and Quick Dining Room Updates first appeared on Century 21®.

Source: century21.com

The Property Brothers Reveal the Best Post-COVID-19 Upgrades

Property Brothers Gabe Ginsberg / Contributor / Getty Images

After almost a year of quarantine, it seems like everyone’s itching for a house party—which may explain the “Property Brothers” stars’ latest renovation on their show “Celebrity IOU.”

In the episode “Allison Janney’s Showstopper,” Drew and Jonathan Scott help the actress renovate the house of her assistant of 20 years, Ilana. The “West Wing” star says that Ilana loves throwing parties—especially in Janney’s honor! So it’s important that Ilana have a great space to entertain.

These upgrades for a party house will get you looking forward to a more social 2021. Read on to find out what you’ll need to get ready to host friends and family in the not-too-distant future.

Double up on your sinks in the kitchen

dining room
The Scott brothers knew this dining room would be better suited as a kitchen.

HGTV

The brothers start off by switching the kitchen and dining room spaces, creating a new, beautiful kitchen with a large island that will be a perfect place for guests to gather. But to make it even better, Drew and Jonathan decide to give the kitchen two sinks—one on the island and one by the window.

Allison Janney
Allison Janney shows up to demo day dressed to the nines!

HGTV

“We know Ilana likes to entertain, so this could be her sink for entertaining on this side, and then that sink over there is dirty dishes,” Drew says.

The extra sink makes for an elegant addition. It gives the house the feel of a cool wet bar area but keeps the entertaining space compact.

kitchen
With two sinks, this kitchen is ready for a party!

HGTV

Choose durable materials that will stand up to kids and company

Allison Janney
Jonathan Scott and Janney pick out materials.

HGTV

Jonathan and Drew want to make sure Janney is involved with the design for Ilana’s house because, after 20 years of working together, she knows her assistant’s tastes well.

She helps to pick out some gorgeous styles for the kitchen, but explains that the most important thing for Ilana is durability. Ilana loves entertaining, plus she has two kids, so she’s got to have a kitchen that will stand up to anything.

Jonathan shows Janney counter samples made of neolith, a durable material that he knows Ilana will love.

“Anytime I have somebody who entertains a lot, or who has kids in the house, you’ve got to have something that’s going to stand up to family life,” he says.

Janney selects a white neolith style with elegant veining—and Jonathan gets to work installing it. In the end, these counters look like marble but they’re extra durable, perfect for both big parties and messy evenings cooking with kids at home.

Give the fireplace an easy refresh

fireplace
This fireplace needed only a quick refresh.

HGTV

When Janney shows the brother’s Ilana’s house, they agree that the old fireplace needs an update. This two-sided fireplace is covered with beige stone, making it blend into the background when it should be a standout feature. Luckily, the brothers know how to fix it. First, they take off the old stone, exposing the brick underneath. Now, they’re free to give the fireplace a new look.

Jonathan suggests matching the fireplace with the same beautiful and durable material they chose for the kitchen counter. Then, they use sintered stone for the fireplace surround, finishing the style with a clean, white look.

fireplace
Now this fireplace looks modern.

HGTV

When the fireplace is finished, Janney and Ilana are impressed. The new, lighter color brings a fresh feel to the living room, and the matching material helps smooth the transition between the living room and kitchen.

“It’s so awesome that you don’t have to completely rip out an original feature,” Drew says of the fireplace update. “Just clean it up a little bit, make it look new.”

A wine fridge can be a real showstopper

empty wall
This empty wall was taking up space.

HGTV

When the brothers first see this home, they find a wall that closes off the space between what will be the dining room and the rest of the house. They decide to open up the wall and replace it with a refrigerated wine room.

While it may seem like this wine room is just taking up the space where the wall used to stand, closing the place up again, the modern glass design allows for sightlines through the wine room, making the home feel more open.

“There’s nothing bulky—it’s all open, it’s all glass, and it’s beautiful,” Jonathan says.

wine room
This wine room will certainly come in handy.

HGTV

When the wine room is finished, it looks amazing.

“It’s stylish, functional, and it’s going to be the centerpiece of every party at this house,” Drew says.

Solar tubes are cheaper than skylights

kitchen
This kitchen was too small for a large family home.

HGTV

When Drew and Jonathan switch the kitchen and the dining spaces, they realize that the new dining space is cramped and dark. They have to close up the one window, so they worry that the space will feel like a dungeon.

So the brothers use solar tubes, or holes in the ceiling designed to bring in sunlight.

“They are a great way to bring natural light into any room without the hassle and expense of a traditional skylight,” Jonathan says of the tubes.

While this natural light doesn’t replace electrical lighting, it does help a lot. At least during the day, this dining space looks bright and beautiful!

dining room
The brothers removed the window, but this room still has plenty of light.

HGTV

When the renovation is finished, Janney is impressed, and so is Ilana! Now, this house is ready for some great parties and some wonderful new memories.

Allison Janney
Janney’s assistant Ilana loves her newly renovated house.

HGTV

The post The Property Brothers Reveal the Best Post-COVID-19 Upgrades appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Source: realtor.com

The ABCs of Multifamily Cash Flow

You hear the term all the time. After all, it’s an essential concept for apartment investors because it not only reflects the viability of your investment but also its value. 

But what really is cash flow? How do you compute it, and more importantly, how can you increase the cash flow of your multifamily property?

Cash flow is simply the money that moves in and out of your business. For apartments, the cash coming in is in the form of rent, and the cash flowing out is in the form of expenditures like property taxes and utilities. 

Cash flow – or lack of it — is one of the primary reasons businesses, or real estate investments,  fail. Without sufficient cash flow, you’ll run out of money. That’s why it’s essential that you have sufficient capital to not only purchase an apartment property but also sustain it in the event that cash flow fails to be what you projected – for example, if units turn over more often than you expect or rents decline. 

Here are some ways you can improve the cash flow of your apartment investment:

  • Increase rents. This is perhaps the fastest and easiest way to improve cash flow. Consider repositioning the property – investing some capital to improve the units and then bumping rents.
  • Reduce utility costs. Fix leaky shower heads and faucets, which waste water. Install energy-efficient appliances and lighting fixtures. 
  • Decrease expenses. Renegotiate your property management contract, or put it out to bid at the end of the term. Use free rental property listing sites rather than paying a broker to rent apartments.
  • Encourage residents to stay. Moveouts are expensive, so when tenants renew their leases you’ll save time and money on prepping the unit.
  • Add additional streams of revenue, such as pet deposits and rent, garage rentals, vending machines or valet trash. 

The post The ABCs of Multifamily Cash Flow first appeared on Century 21®.

Source: century21.com