John Colby
Colby Realty | 978-249-5871 | [email protected]


Posted by John Colby on 9/13/2020

Photo by Melinda Nagy via Shutterstock

Buying your first home is exciting, and your dream-book is full of magazine cutouts and interior design sketches. But many entry-level or starter homes do not come with the built-in shelving of your designer-inspired visions. What do you do on a budget? Use your imagination, a little ingenuity and flat-pack furnishings.

What Are Flat Packs?

Furniture from in-store and online retailers sell shelving and cabinet units that arrive in flat boxes. They have all the parts, and often the tools, so you can put together the pieces. The main advantage of ready-to-assemble, flat-pack furniture is its affordability. If you’re even a little bit handy, they are simple to set up and offer a lot of sizes to fit most spaces.

The challenge is that it can look sterile and universal. Your stark-white, four-cube by three-cube shelf looks just like everyone else’s.

Hacking to the Rescue

No, not computer hacking — furniture hacking!

Personalize your furniture with some creativity, elbow-grease and experimentation. The Internet abounds with ways to hack your flat-pack furniture. Some websites devote their entire content to ways of updating low-cost furnishings to fit your style. Options range from changing hardware to painting laminate and all ideas in between. Here are some top contenders for getting a built-in look with your flat packs.

  • Add trim. Often, basic, ready-to-assemble shelving has simple square corners and flat faces. You can change the face of your cubes or bookshelves with wood, MDF (medium-density fiberboard) or PVC trim. All you need is a sharp handsaw, miter box and some strong glue. The glue you use depends on the composition of the trim. Add a twisted rope design to the face of your shelves for a vintage look or give them some class with crown molding along the top. Choose to merely cover the front with straight cuts, or trim around the sides using your miter box to get beautiful, fitted corners.
  • Attach it to the walls. Most ready-to-assemble furniture comes with wall brackets to keep it from tipping over. Use these to attach it to the wall. Then, add half-round (outside) or curved (inside) corner molding at the seam with the wall. Glue the molding to the furniture but nail it into the wall with finishing nails.
  • Add feet. If your furniture would benefit from molding along the floor to match your wall’s baseboard, add feet cut from a 2-by-4. Cover the feet with baseboard and paint it to match your walls.

A Word About Paint

Unfinished wood, MDF and primed PVC materials readily accept paint. Laminate and foil veneer over fiberboard (also called thermofoil) are different. Before you start, make certain you know the composition of the furniture. Trust your paint dealer to direct you to the perfect product. But remember, you cannot sand foil veneers easily. Doing so will tear the finish and damage the furniture. Instead, consider using chalk paint.

For more ideas about making flat-packs appear built-in, talk to your local DIY store professionals. When preparing your home to sell, some built-ins may increase the value, so run it by your real estate professional.




Tags: home decor   Budget Decor  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by John Colby on 9/22/2019

Painting your entire home can be an appealing idea if you've grown tired of its current color scheme. Paint colors can do much to change the look and feel of a room, but if you aren't ready for the long term process and commitment, there's a much easier alternative. Adding new pops of color can transform your space into a fresh new atmosphere. Here are five ways you can include new colors that will make your space pop!

  • Window treatments make a huge difference in adding additional texture and color to your home. If your walls are neutral, add bold color curtains to brighten up your room. You can also choose vibrant designs that include flowers or patterns. If your walls are already bright and bold, add white or neutral colored curtains to add contrast to your current look.
  • Decorative pillows are sure to refresh any bedroom without much effort. When choosing pillows for your bedroom, incorporate two or three colors that favor the existing look you have. Step out of your comfort-zone and choose pillows of unique shapes, sizes, and patterns that are sure to draw attention to your bed.
  • Updating your current wall art is a sure way to grab the attention of guests, so it's best to apply this update to your living room. There are endless options when it comes to making a statement with your walls. You can choose from a large piece that is sure to stand out or pick a variety of framed art to display. The options here are endless when it comes to wall decor.
  • A new centerpiece on your dining room table will surely be an eye catcher for your dinner guests. For this piece, gather items that can stand tall without taking up too much room on your table. Choose from a tall vase, clear glass containers with candles, or a long wooden box. Add greenery and bright colored flowers to any of these combinations to spruce up your dining space. You can ideally mix and match any of these items and incorporate them into a beautiful centerpiece.
  • Wallpaper comes in many different colors and patterns and can make a difference when it comes to decorating. You don't have to apply it to the entire room for it to work its magic. Apply wallpaper to the back side of shelves, the solid side of a dresser, or even the smooth surface of a door. It may sound like a scary commitment, but rest assured that wallpapers aren’t all permanent. There are a variety of peel and stick options that come off easily if you decide to go a different direction. 

Adding an extra pop of color into your home can be simple without the long term commitment. Refresh your space with these simple upgrades and enjoy your new look with loved ones.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by John Colby on 3/4/2018

Whether you’ve just bought a home or you’re hoping to spruce up your current house, redecorating can be a great way to make a home feel new and exciting. However, when it comes to the actual decorating and design, many homeowners are at a loss.

Sure, you could hire an interior decorator to help you out, but oftentimes that expense doesn’t fit into the average homeowner’s budget, especially if you just spend thousands closing on a new home.

Fortunately, there are many free sources of inspiration available that will help you identify the right style for your home at the right price for your budget.

In today’s article, we’re going to give you some tips on where to find interior decor inspiration so you can get started on restyling your home.

Grab an app or two

Searching for redecorating tips doesn’t have to be a full-time job. You can browse ideas when you’re on the train to work, relaxing in bed at night, or waiting for an appointment at the doctor’s office just by downloading a few select apps on your phone.

Two of the most common apps for home decorating are Pinterest and Instagram. However, you’ll need to give those apps some information to make sure you’re getting the right images in your feed.

On Pinterest, add “home decor” “interior design” and “home decor ideas” to your interests so that you’ll see those images and articles first in your feed.

For Instagram, you’ll have to follow accounts that post what you’re looking for, then Instagram will recommend similar accounts.

Here are a few common interior design accounts to get started with:

Take an online course

There’s more to interior decorating than just finding some furniture you like, making sure it will fit in your living room, and buying it. Design principles of color, texture, and form all work together to create the full experience of a home’s interior.

While people study for years to develop techniques of design, you can learn the basics relatively quickly. If you’re interested in learning something new and updating the design of your home, you could take an online course in interior design.

Howcast has a great series of free videos called Interior Design Basics that will provide you with a good overview. Then, if you want to continue learning, check out one of SkillShare’s many interior design courses.

Take a trip to the library

When it comes to seeing the best examples of interior decoration or finding detailed information on design techniques, nothing can beat your local library. Most libraries also have subscriptions to common magazines like Better Homes and Gardens, Elle Decor, and HGTV Magazine.

If your library doesn’t have many options, you can often request items for free through their interlibrary loans system. They’ll send you books and magazines from surrounding towns and give you a notification when they’ve arrived.





Posted by John Colby on 1/8/2017

There’s things that you’re doing right in your home to keep everything flowing. There’s probably also things that you’re doing wrong that could deter from how much you actually love your home. The bedroom is a tricky space. There’s a delicate balance that exists. You really shouldn’t be doing much in the bedroom except for sleeping, according to experts. This helps to keep our sleep/wake cycles in balance. If you regularly walk into your bedroom and seem to find that something is missing or off slightly, you may want to heed some of the tips below. Also if you’re having trouble sleeping, you should double check the design of your bedroom. Your bedroom can be the place of peace that you deserve! Keep Away From Bright Colors Loud prints and loud colors don’t help to make your sleeping apparatus an oasis. Stick with basic colors that can work well with anything. Adding decorative throw pillows is a great way to add color to your bed without the noise. Fill the Walls With Character Don’t leave the walls of your bedroom bare. Be sure to choose cool artwork. Your bedroom is a reflection of who you are. Find art and decorative pieces for the walls that you love. Not only will this help you to express yourself, it will bring you happiness every time you enter your bedroom. Clean the Clutter It’s easy to let clutter pile up, especially in the bedroom. Make sure you’re cleaning everything up regularly. This will save you from long hours of cleaning at a later date. It will also save you from stress. Clutter can cause us to feel anxious. You definitely don’t want those feelings of chaos when you’re in the room you’ll be sleeping in. Keep Lots Of Lighting Options Available Lighting in your bedroom should be multi-faceted. There should be lights accessible from wherever you are. Whether it be a bedside table lamp, a reading light, or a bright overhead light, you need more than one option for lighting when you’re in the bedroom. Window Treatments Don’t skimp on the windows of your bedroom. Hang some curtains for a more complete feeling in the room. Also, make sure the blinds or shades that have been installed block out the light well. Not taking care of windows in the proper way could cause you to sacrifice both sleep and privacy in your bedroom. More Tips When it comes to sleeping, you want to get the best rest possible. That’s why you should keep electronics out of the bedroom. While we live in a technology obsessed world, you’ll sleep much better if your phone is away from you during the night. If your phone is your alarm, consider keeping it far away from the bed in another part of the bedroom.




Tags: windows   bedroom   home decor  
Categories: Uncategorized  




Tags