Author: Maricela Johnson

7 Smart Storage Pieces That We Rely On Every Day

Anyone who lives in a small-ish space knows that thoughtful storage can upgrade so many aspects of your life at home when it’s done right (and it can be a daily frustration when it’s not done well or at all). No matter how big your rooms are or how many you have, you just want to be able to access things easily & keep them in a smart spot – and downsizing from our 3150 square foot house to this 1400 square foot home last year definitely challenged us to be even more mindful about how we incorporate the most useful storage systems into our home. Suddenly we were living in 6 rooms (down from 14!) and we also no longer have a garage, an attic, a big outdoor shed/workshop, or even a closet in most of the bedrooms (of our 3 bedrooms, only 1 had a closet when we bought this house!).

Continue reading 7 Smart Storage Pieces That We Rely On Every Day at Young House Love.

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Model Home Tour: Design Takeaways

Over the weekend I toured some nearby model homes in a new housing development. I love peeking into model homes to look for creative design ideas. These designers/stagers had some great takeaways which I was going to share on Instagram but instead decided they were worthy of a blog post.

I shot these with a cell phone so the quality is not as good as if I had brought my dSLR camera, but they capture the the spaces and details adequately enough. I’ll share more closeups and video in today’s Instagram stories.

Think bigger: display large scale art instead of a gallery wall of smaller frames.


Turn macramé curtains into a bed canopy.


Say yes to subtle patterned wall to wall carpet.


Classic hue + modern shapes = this opaque blue glass tile mosaic.


Blend different shapes of porcelain tile flooring.


Consider rectangular open cabinets instead of floating shelves for storage.

For drama, stack rectangular natural stone tiles in a shower.


Group smaller tables to create one larger interesting coffee table arrangement.


Tuck an ottoman under nesting tables for texture and/or extra seating.


Hang wall cubbies asymmetrically in kids rooms.


Stained wood slats over dark paint make a dramatic backdrop to bookcases.



Better in threes: group small pendants in corners or above nightstands.


Hang white brick wallpaper on one wall for subtle texture.


Install textured tile in creative stripes inside small showers.


Display opportunity: Shelves in front of windows.



Small spaces are perfect spots for focal point wall treatments.


Group same size mirrors together in an abstract wall display.


Which one is your favorite design element?

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Weekend Reading 9.26.21

I had a lovely birthday weekend! My best girlfriends picked me up on Friday and took me wine tasting then out to dinner, and the rest of the weekend I’ve been relaxing and taking it slow. Practicing the art of slow living leads to such good things. Food tastes better, plants and flowers are more lovely, time with friends and family is savored.

It feels rebellious to slow down in our fast paced world and appreciate things as they are in the moment, but should it? If slowing down makes life more meaningful then I’m starting to believe the ones caught up in a fast pace or the ones wanting more more more might be doing it wrong. 🙂

Feel like renting a cottage in the English countryside? Take your pick.

An oh so lovely, light and bright courtyard transformation.

This pool house is a well done inside to out transition.

Inspiration for decorating your porches and patios for autumn.

Spray paint for the (big) win!

Tips on how to plan and pack for a pandemic trip to Europe.

Why some older couples have great relationships.

How to remember what you read.

Being brave enough to live life creatively.

40 beautiful moments to remember to savor.

Today I toured some model homes near me and I’ll share the design takeaways in tomorrow’s Instagram stories. 🙂

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Hiring a Home Remodeler

When a family is thinking about making improvements to their homes, they may be thinking about hiring a home remodeler to do the work for them. It seems that everyone needs a home to remodel at some point in their lives. For many families, this includes the kitchen. Remodeling the kitchen can be a fun project that will let you add new flooring and wallpaper or new cabinets and appliances.

home remodeler

Before hiring a home remodeler, you should have a preliminary design for the new look of your home. A home remodeler can offer assistance to get you a preliminary design. A preliminary design will give you an idea of the costs involved in the renovation and give you an idea of how much time you have to complete the work. It will also give you an idea of what the costs are likely to be.

In general, remodeling contractors charge depending on the size of the job and the amount of work that needs to be done. A simple remodeling might only cost a few hundred dollars, while a two-story addition could set you back several thousand dollars. Be aware of contractors who ask for upfront payments and do not provide a lot of information. Ask plenty of questions before you allow a home improvement company to start work. Home improvement companies should be happy to provide you with a written estimate on the cost of the work.

One reason for using a home remodeler is so that you don’t have to take on the responsibility of doing the construction yourself. There are contractors who will come in and complete the entire job for you. These are called framers and are very popular in homes because they take a lot of the work out of constructing a new home. A contractor can quote you a price for your services, but it’s still your job to complete the construction on your own. This is usually why most homeowners hire a contractor. However, you should be aware of some potential problems with hiring a contractor:

The first thing to consider when hiring a home remodeler is the skill level that they have. Some contractors are experienced in only one particular aspect of the construction process, such as bricklaying or flooring. However, more specialized services may require additional training and licensing. Always ask the remodeling contractor what type of training they have and complete any educational courses that they may have before you agree to have them perform a specific service. Also, make sure you look at any licensing documents that they have.

Another important thing to consider is the style of the home remodeler. While a large-scale renovation might be better suited for experienced construction workers, smaller renovations can require the skill of a smaller renovation company or even a do-it-yourselfer. As you are working with a contractor, remember that they will have their own vision for what they want to accomplish through the construction process. The design and cost of the overall renovation may change along the way, which will make your original initial budget no longer applicable. Be sure that you agree to the new final quote and keep all documentation pertaining to both the original and final quotes.

One thing that many homeowners do not consider is that the work of the home remodeler is not just about getting the parts together. They have to use their skills in carpentry and electrical work as well. For example, the contractor might have to install a new roof, drywall in a basement, or replace kitchen cabinets and other interior fixtures. It doesn’t make sense to pay for the job when you don’t get to see how the work is being done, so ask for photographs of every step of the renovation process. You also need to request paperwork and written estimates for everything from beginning to end, including any remodeling material costs.

Even though you may have everything planned upfront, sometimes it’s wise to bring in a home remodeler to pull a few unexpected things into the mix. A professional contractor knows how to handle a few surprises like this, which is why they are so often called in for remodeling projects. They can also take care of hiring the raw materials you need, and oftentimes they are the only source for certain items like nails, concrete, plumbing, and ceiling tiles, since some DIY’ers may not have them in stock.