lighting

Top 5 Things Not to Miss While Spring Cleaning

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It’s that time of year where the sun stays out longer and the weather starts to warm. We open our windows and shake out the lingering cobwebs from winter. There are the usual things that we think to clean like floors, floorboards, and vents, but what else? Here are the top 5 things to add to your cleaning list this year!

Windows

Even though you look through your windows every day, they’re easy to miss when cleaning up. The best day to clean your windows is a cloudy one – cleaning on a sunny day can leave streaks when the cleaner evaporates too quickly. Start by dusting your windows so that you’re not just smearing dust around. Next, vacuum your screens using an attachment – there’s nothing worse than cleaning all of your windows only to realize your screens are dirty! Finally, use your cleaner of choice. Pre-moistened wipes, a homemade solution with a microfiber cloth, or a sponge all work well, followed closely by a pass with a squeegee. You’ll love your new clean view!

Lighting

We often don’t think about cleaning our lighting, but you’d be amazed at how much dust gathers in those fixtures! Use a vacuum attachment to clean lamp shades and wipe down the lamp base with a microfiber cloth. Even the light bulb itself may be dusty if you have light bulbs that last a long time. Take a duster to your ceiling fans, chandeliers, and standing lamps as well. Finally, don’t forget to clean your light switches! If you think about it, your switches are touched more often than most anything in your house.

Appliances

From small kitchen appliances to your washing machine, your appliances need a good cleaning every once in a while too. Have a coffee maker? Be sure to clean it inside and out. Does your mixer sit on the countertop? Time to give it a good dusting. For washers and dishwashers, you can find a packet of cleaner in your local store – give those machines a run with a cleaner to prevent mildew and stains. Other appliances, such as your hair dryer, electric toothbrush, and alarm clocks are often neglected in the cleaning process as well. Take a minute to put them through some sanitation.

Cabinets

You’d be surprised how dirty the front of your cabinets can be! Your choice of cleaner will depend on whether your cabinets are wood or painted, but it is definitely worth a thorough wipe down of your kitchen and bathroom cabinets, especially the ones located below sinks. Feeling motivated? Time to wipe down the shelves inside of your cabinets as well, and maybe vacuum out the utensil drawer.

Tools

Your cleaning tools need cleaning too! You’re certainly not sanitizing your home if the mop you’re using is dirty as well. Take a moment to clean the parts of your vacuum, run your mop heads through the washing machine, and replace any sponges or brushes that are worse for wear. Check the dates on your cleaning products as well, and spot test any new cleaning products to ensure that you won’t stain your carpet, flooring, or upholstery.

Feel free to reach out to Bright Star Handyman Service for any larger projects that may arise while you’re spring cleaning. We’re happy to help!

How To Choose Colors for Your New Home Renovation with Bright Star Handyman Service

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How To Pick the Perfect Home Color Scheme 


Your home is not only a place of rest and relaxation, it is also the place where you express yourself, create, and practice hospitality. Colors have a lot of influence on emotions, psychologically, so your home should reflect the feelings you want to have yourself as well as your family and your guests. Choosing the perfect color scheme for your home can be simple with a few easy guidelines. 


Lighting

First, what kind of natural lighting does your home have? This will be dependent on which direction your home faces. North or east facing homes are cooler because there is little direct sunlight. Painting your walls and furnishings with cool colors are likely to make your home feel even chillier. On the other hand, if your home is south or west facing, it is likely that your home is warmer from more direct sunlight. Warm colors can make your home feel oppressive if it is already warmer than typical. For north/east facing homes, we recommend reds, yellows, beiges, or creamy colors. For south/west facing homes, try something in the realm of blues, greens, and grays. Whites are typically neutral, but we would recommend finding some additional colors within the warm/cool palette to supplement. 


The Feel

What type of environment do you want to create inside the home? Are you looking for a clean, modern feel or something more organic and welcoming? Depending on what you discovered with the last step, you can work with your personalized style and still stay true to warm or cool colors. For example, if you are more interested in an earthy vibe, say you have a lot of plants, but own a home that is naturally cooler, you could still decorate with warmer earth tones like lighter beiges and supplement with the greens of the plants themselves. Also consider that cooler colors are calming, as warmer colors are energizing and take note of which rooms you want to feel relaxed or stimulated in.  Bedrooms and living rooms may be a better fit for a warmer environment. Whereas, bathrooms and kitchens may lean towards a cooler and brighter color to support a fresher, clean feeling.


Add Some Complements

Once you have chosen your dominant color, you can then do some research on what colors are complementary to it. “Highlight” colors are a great idea, if used in moderation. Say your living room is blue/gray, a well-placed gold piece of furniture or piece of art will draw the eye and lighten up the feel. Likewise, if your bedroom is more in a brown/beige palette, consider bringing in a light blue bedspread for a balanced aesthetic. If you struggle with conceptualizing what this means, check out this great article with 2019’s top color trends. 


There are many ways to interpret your space, so be sure to tap into your own personal style. The home is the best place for self-expression and with a little help, can represent you as a whole. Whether you base your decision off of your favorite season, a choice piece of art or furniture, or from a Pinterest board, take it step by step and watch as your perfect environment creates itself.  If you have any questions, reach out to Bright Star Handyman Service for professional help for your home renovation!

Bored With Your Kitchen? 5 Kitchen Upgrades Without a Full Renovation!

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5 Ways to Upgrade Your Kitchen

Want to upgrade your kitchen without going full-blown demo? Even minor changes can make a huge difference! We’ve put together some kitchen remodel ideas, from small to large, to help you bring new life to one of the most popular rooms in your house.

Change Up Your Cabinets

Upgrading your cabinets will make your kitchen feel like it’s brand new, and you don’t even have to swap them out! For example, adding a fresh coat of paint (such as Annie Sloan chalk paint) really brightens up the room. 

Not ready for the time commitment associated with painting? Other small changes can make a world of difference. Removing the doors for an open look, installing roll-out shelving, or installing crown molding are just a few options.

Fantastic New Floors

There are so many choices in flooring these days, the possibilities are endless. When it comes to durability and a polished look, tile floors are the most popular choice. With glazed and unglazed versions, you can choose between sleek and modern or vintage and earthy. In addition, tile can withstand drops and spills without a problem. 

Have an open floor plan? You may want to try hardwood or engineered wood so you can maintain the same floor type throughout. Hardwood is comfortable underfoot but less resistant to spills. Engineered wood, on the other hand, is just as durable as tile with the same hardwood look.

Get Creative with Paint

When was the last time you painted the walls in your kitchen? We’re guessing that it’s been a while. Try painting your kitchen walls a different color and see what a difference it makes! 

Other items in your kitchen can be painted as well – in addition to your cabinets, you can paint your dining room set, your floor, even your Formica countertops (there’s a special paint for that now).

Upgrade the Appliances

It’s amazing what a new set of appliances can do to change the look of your kitchen, especially if the appliances you already own don’t match. Black, white, or stainless steel, the appliances these days are sharp, efficient, and practically designer.

Even small appliances can brighten up the room. A Kitchenmaid mixer and a tea kettle that matches another color in your kitchen, such as your newly painted walls, can tie the whole look together!

Find a Fun Light Fixture

We often don’t think about our lights unless they’re not working. However, a unique light fixture can be the center of attention and change your kitchen’s whole look. A mini chandelier, drop lights, the options are endless. 

Another option for lighting is to add light panels above or underneath your cabinets. It makes the whole room glow.

As you can see, you don’t need to demo your kitchen to make a big difference in how it looks. Call Bright Star Handyman today – we’d love to help!

10 Home Repair Services for Less Than $500

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Are you tired of the same-old, same-old in your home?  There are lots of ways to update a home, but sometimes our wallets won’t allow us to build our perfect home at this very second.  We have some suggestions for home repairs that may get you a few steps closer to living in your perfect space without breaking the bank.  Here are 10 home repair services for less than $500:

Seal the Deal in the Bathroom

Does your bathroom look dirty regardless of how many times you’ve scrubbed the tub & tiles?  One cost-effective way to give your bathroom a new, fresh feel is to replace the grout between the tiles.  Over time, tile grout can start to discolor and chip away regardless of how clean you keep it.  It’s normal wear and tear for a bathroom, but it can make your bathroom feel older than it is.  Sometimes, deteriorating grout can even make the surrounding tiles come loose if water gets behind them.  The caulking around your bathroom fixtures may also need a little help.  Caulk is the sealing around your sink, bathtub, toilet, and bathroom hardware that prevents water leaking into your walls and flooring.  Both grout and caulk can wear down over time and allow leaks, which will cost you more to replace in the long run.  

Upgrade Your Porcelain Throne

If your toilet is constantly breaking the chain or isn’t doing it’s job with water pressure, it may be time to upgrade!  Newer appliances, like toilets, are more energy and resource efficient than ever before.  While making an upgrade like an energy efficient toilet or low-pressure shower head will cost you money up front, you may benefit from lower bills on the backend.  You can be more water-conscious and have a shiny new toilet that can shift the look of the whole room!

Revamp Your Interior Walls

If you’re bored with your plainly painted living room or kitchen walls, you have some options without breaking the bank!  There is one big way to completely change the dimensions of your walls: wainscoting.  While this might sound like an old English term, wainscoting is a wall covering that has become increasingly popular in the last few years.  More specifically, it is vertical, painted wood panels that cover the bottom half of a wall, typically horizontally lined with a wood molding at the top to separate the panels from the drywall.  This is a great way to diversify the look of your walls and potentially cover any minor damage the lower half of your walls may have sustained from your kids or pets!  Price will depend on the size of the room but can be an affordable DIY project or reach out to us for our home repair services!

Shiplap Installation

Many people who are avid watchers of HGTV have seen and heard about shiplap quite frequently in home redesign.  But why?  Shiplap has been commonly known as siding on the exterior of your home, but has recently gained popularity for interior home remodeling.  Shiplap, as opposed to wainscoting, is horizontal wood paneling that lines the walls, with the top panel laying slightly over the panel beneath, like a roof tile but thicker & longer.  Originally used to support proper rain flow down the side of a house, many have turned it into a feature wall within their home!  It’s a beautiful way to bring unique texture into a room.  Cost varies depending on the size of the room, but some shiplap panels can be found for as little as $1 per foot of board!

Line a Room with Crown Molding

Crown molding is the decorative line that runs around the crease where your wall and ceiling meet.  While older homes typically have crown molding, many newer or renovated homes can come a little more bare.  Molding comes in a number of materials, shapes, and sizes and cost can vary depending on which you choose.  A simple crown molding installation can make your living room, dining room, or bedroom look even more elegant without breaking the bank.  It softens the hard corners of the room while adding a classy, finished look.  They can typically be painted any color and come in a variety of shapes.  Some are more standard, while more expensive options like plaster can offer large, intricately detailed custom molds like an early 1900’s Victorian home.  While some people choose to do this themselves, we recommend our home repair services to give you a hand!

It’s All in the Lighting

One cost effective way to make changes to several rooms at once is to update your lighting.  Replacing old light fixtures can not only bring more light in to your home, it can affect the entire feel of the room.  An older light fixture could be dating your home 20 years without you even realizing it!  Not to mention, changing the fixture and converting to LED light bulbs could help reduce the amount of electricity your home uses on an annual basis.  If your overhead light fixture isn’t bright enough, look into investing in a floor lamp to add more light.  Want to see the difference lighting can make in your home before making the purchase?  Take one of your lamps and move it to another spot in the room, and see how the dynamic in the room changes from just this one step!

Paint the Town Red

Painting your kitchen, living room, bathroom, or bedroom can drastically change the feel of the room.  While it takes a little bit more preparation to move and cover your furniture, sometimes a new coat of paint will have your home looking like a brand new place!  If you don’t want to paint your walls, take a look at your cabinets and baseboards and see if they need a new color or coat of paint.  Typically, it’s best to sand down the old paint to get the new coat to go on smoothly and last longer.  One word of caution, sample your paint before you decide to make touch-ups on your walls or trim.  It can be difficult to match paint colors exactly (usually in older homes with discontinued paint colors), so work with someone to make sure your touch-up paint matches exactly, or get ready to repaint everything!  

Picture Perfect Windows

Blinds and curtains are typically under siege in homes with kids and pets, but can also wear down and break on their own over time.  One way to update the look of your home is to install new blinds and curtains.  While cost depending on how many windows you have and how fancy you want your blinds, it can be a great way to make your home look even nicer!  If blinds are out of the question, take a good look at your curtains.  Curtains are great to reduce the hard lines that windows and their frames can create in a room.  Looking for more light?  Blinds and sheers are a great option.  Wanting to limit light in the bedroom, heavier drapes can help cut out excess light.

Save the Stairs

If you have pets, an older home, or a high-traffic area in your home, your floors may be showing you that it’s time to do something.  Installing a floor runner up your stairs or in a hallway is a great way to hide the wear and tear on your floors.  Carpet prices vary but there are several affordable options.  If you choose a full runner for the stairs, be sure to secure it so it does not slide when you walk on it.  There are also individual carpet pieces that use adhesive to stick to each individual stair.  If you think you need to replace the stairs altogether, reach out to us about our home repair services!

Scrub Away

If you’re not sure you’re ready to replace anything in your home yet, maybe a good thorough cleaning will have you loving your same old space!  Some homeowners that are trying to sell can change their minds about their home after deep cleaning and repairing their home.  If you’ve never cleaned your light fixtures or repolished your wood floors, this might be a good place to start!  It could be more time-intensive on your side, but might just be what you’re looking for in a home repair!

Regardless of what you’re looking for in a home beautification, feel free to reach out to us at Bright Star Handyman Service to learn more about our home repair services.  We’re happy to help to create your dream home!

Lighting Tips for Every Room

Living Rooms / Family Rooms

The concept of layering light is particularly important in the living/family room, an area of the house where people tend to gather for long stretches of time and engage in an array of activities, including conversation, watching TV, reading, playing board games and using a laptop. "In rooms where people spend a lot of time, I like to get away from recessed downlights, and instead use lights that bounce off the ceiling for ambient illumination," says lighting designer Markus Earley, of earleylight, in Providence, R.I. "Bouncing light off the ceiling creates a sense of brightness in the room, and avoids the shadows or downward direction of recessed lights."

Earley also favors bouncing light off the ceiling because it suits the human tendency to visually perceive vertical planes—looking up—versus looking at our feet.

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