An unfinished basement or attic, disused bedroom, or decades-outdated living room might seem like wasted space to some but to others, these rooms represent a world of possibility. A home remodeling project, from a subtle re-envisioning to a structural overhaul, can breathe life and energy into even the most tired, lackluster spaces, making your home feel as new as the day you moved in. In this guide we'll show you how to use the breadth of the Web to get ideas, plan your rooms, develop a budget, hire the right professionals, and more.
Modern, Colonial, Tudor, Southwestern: there are no one-style-fits-all looks when it comes to remodeling and design styles. This, coupled with the profusion of beautiful products on the market, means it's going to take a bit of time and research before you find a look that's right for you. Rather than picking up dozens of books and magazines on remodeling, why not use the Web for inspiration?
- A tried-and-true method for getting inspiration is to see rooms in photos or in person, and pull together the elements you like into something that's distinctly yours. As you're looking, take note of how the rooms are laid out, how they're furnished, what color palette is used, and how the rooms are lit and accented. All these factors will come into play as you plan and execute your project.
- Although not always fruitful, image searches, such as those from Google Image Search, can yield useful photographs and Web sites. Use different keyword combinations to find examples of styles and layouts for specific rooms. "Colonial living room" or "southwestern bathroom" are some examples.
- If the trade magazines' Web sites are too cutting edge, you might try a few of the consumer ones. In most cases, just type the name of the magazine, then dot com: for example, houseandgarden.com.
- Part of design is finishing up your newly remodeled room with some good decorating. Many remodeling sites have decorating sections, but also browse our findingDulcinea Decorating Web Guide for additional ideas.
For help determining your design style ...
has a fun style quiz that asks how you feel about your home, its furnishings, and general organization. Once you've answered the questions, the results at the end can help you learn a bit more about your design style and how to spruce up your home to suit your preferences.
is the online home of Home & Garden Television. It has another quiz that asks you questions about your style likes and dislikes. At the end of the quiz, you'll find a summary of your style preferences and recommendations for design options that suit you best, such as Tuscan, Cottage, or English Country. If you already know the home style you want, skip the quiz and head straight for your style preference to find pictures and decorating tips.
For general home remodeling advice ...
provides tips about remodeling your home, starting with a handy remodeling checklist and pictures of home remodeling ideas. Browse the rooms in the "Home Improvement Gallery
" for suggestions on sprucing up the various areas of your home. You'll also learn how to develop your remodeling plan, and find a contractor if you need one.
adds a few other rooms to its list of remodeling ideas, including attics, basements, sun rooms, and game rooms. You can also search for contractors at this site.
For trade publications and remodeling magazines ...
is part of the Hanley Wood network of construction-related Web sites and includes material from all of their trade publications. Visit the "Project Gallery" archive to see photos and articles on design projects around the country. Search by location, the magazine in which the article originally appeared, type of building project, or type of remodeling project to be inspired by a variety of styles.
Better Homes & Gardens
includes a gallery of design photos, plenty of budget-friendly ideas, and informative articles. Take a look at the "Remodeling Slide Shows" for ideas that can transform every room of the house.
is loaded with beautiful photos of interior and exterior design projects. If you really want to pinpoint your style and design preferences, search the "HB Image Library
" of more than 500 photos. Refine your search by style (cottage, new traditional, or modern, for example), color, room, or pattern, and be prepared for eye candy galore.
strives "to set a new standard for...inclusive coverage of the built environment." The magazine includes a wonderful "Environment" section with a "Remodeling Naturally" column that features beautiful photographs and good advice for designing with nature in mind.
Kitchen and Bath Business
is the online home of K+BB magazine, a publication that sponsors the annual Kitchen/Bath Industry Show and Conference. The "Designer's Corner" section has photos of completed projects along with a list of products used and the name of the manufacturer with links to the associated Web sites, if available.
For specifics ...
The Old House Web
contains a nice balance of design and decorating articles and photos for "old-house enthusiasts." If you're searching for more design-specific ideas, browse through the headlines on the homepage to see if anything piques your interest. The "feature stories" tab has a great series of articles about restoring old homes and a section on "Architectural Housing Styles" that can help you identify the style of your home.
claims that although ranch homes are the most popular style of home in the United States, they're also the most boring. This article can help you spice up the look of your ranch-style home.
Carlisle Wide Plank Floors
provides examples of different wood floors to match a variety of home styles. Whether you use Carlisle flooring is up to you but the photo illustrations can help you get some good ideas about your flooring preferences.
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