TIP OF THE WEEK
The saying, “what’s old is new again” has been around for years, but most recently represents a popular trend in interior design - upcycling old items with a new purpose. Everyone from high-end designers to DIYers are enjoying and incorporating this trend into their everyday life. From five-star restaurants to suburban living rooms, people are seeking out weathered pieces of wood, discarded metal and unlikely antiques to create a unique, down to earth, and comfortable design aesthetic in their living spaces.

An unusual hero of this new design trend is the wooden pallet, which can easily be purchased at any hardware store.

Re-imagine your wall. Today, walls are for paint and pictures, but even if you’ve fallen in love with a certain color for your living room, don’t you think your walls can have more personality? They absolutely can, and one way people are adding new life to their walls is by paneling them with reclaimed wood. To achieve this look, purchase a number of pallets, cut them into various sizes and arrange them on your wall.

Create a fun and functional piece. If you’re someone who is always looking to free up cabinet or counter space, use a wooden pallet to create a rustic mug holder. For this project, all you need to do is add hooks to a few of the wood slats for the mugs to hang from. Get creative with this pallet by painting a design or phrase such as “But First, Coffee” on the top wooden slat.

Update your headboard. If you are looking to give your bedroom a makeover, consider building a headboard for your bed out of pallet wood. The idea here isn’t to make an even, straight-edged piece; rather it’s to embrace a more rustic style. Using different lengths and widths, arrange the boards so they span the width of your bed. Attach a few long pieces across the back to serve as crossbeams that hold it together. The variation in sizes will create a jagged top and make a big statement.
— Brandpoint/Minwax

HOME-SELLING TIP
Updating your bathroom for less
Along with the kitchen, one of the most important areas for potential home buyers is the bathroom. The look and function of a bathroom is important because it can increase the value of your home and is one of the most closely inspected rooms by potential buyers. If you don’t have $12,000 or more for a bathroom re-model, you can give your bathroom and updated look by painting your existing cabinets white or a shade of grey; changing out the light fixtures, towel racks and faucets; adding new drawer and cabinet pulls; replacing an outdated mirror with a picture frame mirror; adding a seamless shower door; re-grout the tub and shower; and clean the grout on tile floors.
— More Content Now

DECORATING TIP
Creating party zones
When you’re entertaining a small group, it’s fairly easy to ensure everyone enjoys the party. However, a larger group or an eclectic crowd with varied interests can make it harder to be an effective hostess. Planning party zones that cater to specific interests is one solution to this dilemma. Designating areas of your home for various interests will let guests choose their own party pleasure and take some of the pressure off of making sure everyone has a good time. Your party theme and the occasion may help determine the zones most appropriate for your event. Some zones you can set up are a game zone (for kids or adults), a conversation zone, a snack and sips zone, or a quiet zone for your guests to recharge.
— Family Features/eLivingToday.com

ENERGY TIP
Checking your insulation
Insulation is like a blanket that your home wears to help keep everyone inside warm and cozy. If your home doesn’t have the right amount or type of insulation for your climate, it can lose heat, energy efficiency and comfort. About 90 percent of existing homes don’t have enough insulation, according to the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association. A quick way to check your insulation is by looking across your attic. If the insulation is level or below that attic floor joists, you might need to add more insulation. If you cannot see the floor joists because the insulation is above them, you don’t need to add more insulation. You can also hire a home every professional to perform a energy audit to make sure your home is properly insulated.
— Brandpoint/Energy Star