How to Avoid Paint Touch Up Problems

Benjamin Moore Colors

Benjamin Moore Colors

If you are like most people that remodel a home, you understand first hand that after painting and remodeling, you will have to touch up the walls.

One of the major reasons paint touch up can be a nightmare is because of environmental factors on the job site. However, you  can avoid problems with touch ups by paying attention to temperature, surface porosity, time interval between applications and the actual application method used.

Lets take a look at some of these areas that can cause problems with painting touch ups and create painting nightmares.

  • Temperature of the room
  • Surface porosity of the walls
  • Time Intervals between touch-ups
  • Application Methods and techniques

[Read more…]

Simple Tips to Use for Your Garage Door Tune-Up and Repairs

garage doors

photo credit – Delta-Warringah Garage Doors


If you have a private home with a garage door, then you know a little something about wear and tear on this piece of mechanical equipment.

Since the garage door can literally go up and down more than a thousand times each year to provide convenience and security, it is imperative to keep it in excellent working order.

A word of advice, it is always best to leave maintenance on important mechanical items to the experts. In the case of a garage door, it is not hard to find an expert service that can handle garage door repairs.

If you are handy and mechanically inclined, you can tune up your garage door by yourself. Doing this at least once a year is a sure-fire way to keep it operating smoothly and safely.

Try the following simple steps below, which are not time consuming and does not require a special skill-set or expensive tools.

Check The Hardware

First and foremost, you should always check the hardware and the condition of it.

Since the hardware gets a lot of use and loosens as the door moves, checking the garage door hardware components is a must. A good rule of thumb is to start this process by checking the tightness of the bolts and roller brackets.

Work your way into the rollers. Whether they are nylon or steel, damage can be easy to find since rollers tend to crack as they deteriorate. The same goes for the lift cable; damaged strands can be very noticeable, especially in the part near the bottom roller bracket due to moisture exposure.

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Clever Space Saving and Storage Ideas for your home

open shelves

photo credit: Garrison Hullinger Interior Design Inc.


Do you suffer from having too much “stuff” in your home and not enough space to store it all?  Don’t worry, you are not alone.  Most homeowners would give their right arm to have more space for storage.  Since space is often limited, without changing the home’s existing footprint, one has to think outside the box for storage solutions.
If you have the time and the space, the best thing is to design a closet shelving system that can accommodate, all of your things. This is really a no- brainer and is not hard to accomplish, if you are working with a closet designer or interior design professional.  You would take the time to weed out items that you do not need or use first, so that you are not taking up valuable space for items that are not being used or that are simply dust collectors.
On the other hand, if you do not have the time for a complete closet redesign overhaul, you can employ creative space saving techniques that are integrated seamlessly into the design and layout of your home.  Check out some of the creative space saving storage ideas listed below:
Space Saving Storage Idea 1: Open Shelves – Help make the space look more balanced and organized.
Open shelves are not a new concept, since they have been around for years…. However, you can make a kitchen, bathroom, loving room or bedroom look organized and stand out with open wall shelves hanging on the walls instead of a bookcase. It is modern contemporary and a fresh look to add character to a space. You can add artwork, books, or other items that are taking up space on the floor or table.
sliding Panels

photo credit: Steve Hall – Luxe Design

Space Saving Storage Idea 2: Sliding Panel or Sliding Wall with Cork Board
Creating a wall that separates two spaces is one of the best ways to separate space.  When you add a wall that slides with a panel that can serve as a storage space for hanging items or art like a bulletin board concept, you have two great design ideas in one. Look at your space and see if you can integrate a sliding panel that can have a bulletin board to add a flair of modern design to your space.

3 Great Places to Install Retractable Roofs in Your Home

retractable roof
It is no secret that retractable roof systems are extremely useful. While they tend to be a bit costlier than their stationary counterparts, they make up for it with their outstanding versatility. In fact, they can be installed in many living areas in and around your property.

If you are looking into getting retractable roofs, below are 3 of the ideal places to have them installed.


This is an outdoor space that’s often used for dining and other recreational activities. Usually designed to fit the surrounding landscape and vice versa, a patio can be attached to your home or freestanding. And since this area is known for its flexibility, it can take on a variety of shapes and be made from all sorts of materials, which often include concrete, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, and many others. Most patios are built on a base of concrete, pebble or sand.

Installing retractable roofing systems around the patio is a popular way to add a contemporary element that’s practical and aesthetically appealing. It will keep the area dry during winter and cool during summer so you can use it as often as you want to.


Primarily made of wood such as pine and cedar and redwood, decks are known for the aesthetic value and warmth they add to your home. Similar to a patio, a deck can be an individual structure or can be attached to your house, whichever suits your fancy.

Oftentimes, it is usually built at a higher level for better view. In similar cases, railings and retractable roofs are usually required.

If you install a retractable roof on your deck, you will be able to enjoy the view without worrying about adverse weather conditions. In addition, it can also help increase your home’s market value.


While this is not a common feature in most homes, many architects across the world are eager to add a courtyard in their designs. A home with a courtyard provides the family with more privacy and a chance to take a break from the hustles and bustles of everyday life. It is also a great place for children to play and for entertaining guests. However, since a courtyard is usually open, it is exposed to harsh weather conditions.

Suffice it to say, installing a retractable roof to provide cover from rain and snow is a wise and practical idea. The aforementioned are just three of the ideal places where retractable roofs can be installed. However, with manufacturers actively marketing retractable roofing systems to homeowners across the world, there’s no doubt this amazing innovation will find its way in other areas of your property.

Now if you’re interested in learning more ways to improve your home or on how you can install a retractable roof in your home, click on the following links below:

visit our Donco Designs blog.

Installing Retractable Roofing systems  – Viva Sunscreens – Parizzi Retractable Roof Systems

Hot Trends for Green Flooring

Bamboo Flooring

photo credit: Teragren flooring – Bamboo Flooring – Green Building Supply

Are you looking for green flooring ideas for your home? Being eco-friendly is top of mind for several homeowners. If you are looking for ways to have a healthy interior environment taking the green approach for your flooring options can be a win/win for the family.

First lets look at what is green flooring. The definition of green flooring is any flooring that is sustainable, eco-friendly, contains recycled content, is recyclable, leaves a small carbon footprint or has low VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compound).  What a mouthful, but it covers all the bases and helps you see that you are helping protect the environment with green flooring.

Converting flooring from carpet is one of the top approaches for homeowners today that are looking for a green eco-friendly floor.  Not that anything is wrong with carpet, but having a simple fresh floor that is easy to keep clean and add value to the look and feel of a home is really a winning approach.

Photo credit - Forbo Marmolum Flooring - Green Building Supply

Photo credit – Forbo Marmolum Flooring – Green Building Supply

Let’s look at some of the hot trends in green flooring for your home. These flooring options help contribute to having cleaner air space in the home. I think that we can all agree that cleaner indoor air quality is a winner on anyone’s home wishlist.

  •  Hardwood Flooring – A hardwood floor is a natural product. It is one of the top choices for green flooring.  Typically, solid or engineered hardwood floors are made with non-toxic adhesives and finishes. There are several sustainable options to choose from such as maple, oak, walnut, cherry, pecan, exotics and more.
  • Bamboo — bamboo flooring is really an eco-friendly classic that is durable and affordable. Bamboo flooring is often comes in solid or engineered formats. The installation is super easy which can be done with a nail, glue, or floating installation.
cork flooring -

photo credit: Green building supply – US Floors – Natural Cork -

  • Cork — cork flooring is super simple and easy to use. A few great attributes include the fact that cork is great for people with allergies because of the wonderful hypo allergenic and has anti-microbial attributes. One of the many qualities of cork flooring is that it has superb thermal and acoustical qualities. It does not hurt that cork flooring has natural beauty and is lightweight and warm to the touch,
  • Marmoleum— marmoleum is a form of linoleum that is bio-based, highly durable, non-toxic, anti-microbial. Marmoleum is super easy to maintain and contains linseed oil. The backing used in this product is made from wood flour combined with jute. The great feature of Marmoleum is that that it is a natural product, with  67% of the content is vegetable and rapid renewable.
  • GreenStone — a product which incorporates recycled glass in its concrete material and has the ability to aesthetically resemble timber flooring.

Click on the following links to read more on green flooring options:


US Floors – Why Natural Cork flooring?

Teragren Flooring – Bamboo Flooring Myths vs. Facts

Acme Tile and Brick – Green Speaking – Understanding the History of green living

The Flooring Girl – Green Flooring Trends

Farbo Flooring – Eco Toxicity and Human Health – Environmental Transparency for green flooring

Green Building Supply – Six Myths about building Green

HGTV - Top 10 Eco Friendly Flooring Ideas

How to choose your interior color scheme

Photo credit = Fresh Home Design Magazine

Photo credit = Fresh Home Design Magazine

Have you ever wondered why some spaces make you feel happier than others? There are several factors but one essential reason is the color scheme. It is a known fact that the wrong color can either make your room a success or a mess. That is why choosing the right color palette and color scheme is so critical.

Selecting the right colors can help you set a mood or make a statement in a room.  You can bring energy or calming tranquility to a room using the right mix of colors.  With the right color scheme, you can create a feeling of elegance, warmth or tranquility, or you can convey a youthful feeling in a room. If used correctly, color can be a powerful tool in your design toolbox, if you manage to use the power of color effectively.

When the color’s right, it can:
• Enhance feelings of happiness and feeling healthy.
• Can make a room feel warmer or cooler
• Can transform a space to make it feel cozy and intimate or large and spacious.
• Can highlight a dull and boring corner or area.
• Can bring life and energy to areas that are not inviting. [Read more…]

Why Plantation Shutters Make a Great Investment For Your Home


Horizon plantation shutters

photo credit: Horizon plantation shutters

Are you considering window treatments for your home?  Do you want window treatments that will make your interior setting look amazing?  Consider taking a closer look at Plantation Shutters, which are a timeless type of window treatment.

Plantation shutters can enhance the value of your home and come in a wide variety of slat sizes, lengths and widths.  You can get plantation shutters in a varying sizes including 2 inch, 3 inch, 4 i nch, 5 inch or 6 inch slats.  You can even have them designed into unique shapes and patterns. When you install plantation shutters in your home, you get an immediate ultra custom look in your home that will be timeless for years to come.

One of the best thing about plantation shutters is that they work well with any type of interior or design. Whether you are going for a traditional look, transitional look or modern look and feel, plantation shutters will complement your decor and give your home that added sense of luxury and style.

If you are looking for options with your window treatments, plantation shutters can be your window’s best friend. Shutters designed with a divider rail or in the double hung fashion are a popular choice in bathrooms. They allow for closure of the bottom louvers for privacy while the top louvers can be left opened for a view and light. You can’t get this type of function with other window treatments such as sheers,  drapes or faux or wood blinds.

Ohair plantation shutters

photo credit – Ohair Shutters

French Doors, Sliding glass doors and large windows are not a problem with plantation shutters. You can have shutters made to order to accommodate a large door or window and the shutters can slide open from side to side. This look really does wonders for a room. You can have a combination of sliding and hinged designs that can provide a nice amount of privacy without cluttering your space.


[Read more…]

Simple and Easy Ways to Green Your Home

how-to green your-home

photo credit: make your home energy efficient

Several Homeowners are staying in their current home or choosing to buy an existing home, instead of the headaches of building a new home from the ground up.

The reasons vary, but sometimes a location or the rich history or the architecture of an older home is seductive and enchanting. Homeowners that are environmentally-conscious, choose to purchase an existing homes because they are not using additional land resources to construct the new home. This is a great way to protect the environment, by using existing resources.

There are several ways that a homeowner can make their home more Green and achieve LEED-Home certification. A simple easy ways to make your home more green are listed below:

  1. Insulate your home. Have your insulation in the walls, attic and basement inspected and make adjustments. Many  older homes have insufficient insulation and adequate insulation can have a tremendous impact on your power and heating bills.
  2.  Choose solar. Solar panels can often be installed on your roof and can reduce electric bills drastically while saving
  3.  Install Environmental friendly Flooring. Bamboo flooring is becoming quite popular because the plant grows so quickly it is one of the most sustainable flooring materials in the world.
  4.  Install Energy efficient appliances.  Energy Star-qualified appliances use 10%-50% less energy and water than standard models. According to the Energy Star site, if just one in 10 homes used energy-efficient appliances, it would be equivalent to planting 1.7 million new acres of trees.
  5.  Control the temperature in your home. Almost half a home’s energy consumption is due to heating and cooling. If you turn down the thermostat in cold weather and turn up the thermostat  in warm weather, you will save you energy and money
  6.  Conserve and Save water. You can buy water saving toilets. But, you don’t need a new products to save water — Simple things like using a broom to clean a driveway, instead of water or turning off the water when brushing your teeth can help save gallons of water.
  7.  Use energy-efficient light. LED light bulbs use less energy than a standard incandescent bulb and last up to 10 times longer. Replacing a 100-watt incandescent bulb with an LED bulb can save dollars and energy use over the life of the bulb.
  8.  Use Environmental Friendly paint. Using Low VOC (volatile organic compounds and zero VOC paint, helps with improving indoor air quality problems and other negative health effects that can be caused by traditional paints. According to the EPA, there are unhealthy ingredients are released into the air while you’re painting, while the paint dries, when you use certain traditional paints.

The best part of all of these tactics is that they will increase the comfort and value of your home while you go Green!

Click on the following to read more:

The 10 easiest ways to green your home – MSN

How Low-VOC Paint Works – How Stuff Works

How Green is your home – Make Your Home Energy Efficient -

The Seven Principles of Universal Design and Why They Matter

photo credit: Delta

photo credit: Delta

Universal Design has been around since the late 1990’s. Thanks to the prolific nationally renowned Architect, Ronald L. Mace and several other forward thinking architects, engineers, and designers, we have what is known as the Several Principles of Universal Design.

This is a topic that is very interesting and has a lot of discussions in the design community.  If you are remodeling your home or are responsible for the remodel of a home, you may want to take a look at how to incorporate these principles into your design.

One of the leading resources in this area is the Ronald L. Mace Universal Design Institute, based in North Carolina. The Ronald L. Mace Universal Design Institute is  dedicated to promoting the concept and practice of accessible and universal design.

One of the fundamental guiding principles of the Ronald L. Mace Universal Design Institute is that all new environments and products, should and can be usable by everyone regardless of age, ability, or circumstance.

1. Equitable use: The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities.

  • Provide the same means of use for all users.
  • Provisions for privacy, security, and safety should be equally available to all users.
  • Make the design appealing to all users.

2. Flexibility in use: The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.

  • Provide choice in methods of use.
  • Facilitate the user’s accuracy and precision.
  • Provide adaptability to the user’s pace.

3. Simple and intuitive: Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user’s experience, knowledge, language
skills, or current concentration level.

  • Eliminate unnecessary complexity.
  • Be consistent with user expectations.
  • Accommodate a wide range of literacy and language skills.

4. Perceptible Information: The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of
ambient conditions or the user’s sensory abilities.

  • Use different modes (pictorial, oral, tactile) for redundant presentation of essential information.
  • Provide adequate contrast be­tween essential information and its surroundings.
  • Differentiate elements in ways that can be described.

5. Tolerance for error: The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.

  • Arrange elements to minimize hazards and errors: most-used elements, most accessible; hazardous elements eliminated or shielded.
  • Provide warnings of hazards/errors.
  • Provide fail-safe features.

6. Low physical effort: The design can be used efficiently and comfortably and with a minimum of fatigue.

  • Allow user to maintain a neutral body position.
  • Use reasonable operating forces.
  • Minimize sustained physical effort.

7. Size and space for approach and use: Appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and
use regardless of user’s body size, posture, or mobility.

  • Provide a clear line of sight to important elements for any seated or standing user.
  • Make reach to all components comfortable for any seated or standing user.
  • Provide adequate space for the use of assistive devices or personal assistance.

Click  on the following Links to read more on the Seven Principles of Universal Design:


7 Tenets of Universal Design From the R.L. Mace Universal Design Institute - Remodeling – HW.Net

RL Mace Universal Design Institute -

Aging In Place At Home -


Color Options for Granite Countertops

Granite countertop colors

Granite Countertop colors

Selecting Your Granite Countertop: Are you considering granite for your kitchen countertop or bathroom vanity?  If so, you have a lot of choices to choose from.

The Natural Beauty of Granite Colors: Since granite is a natural beauty, all granite slabs will have some variation from another granite slab. This helps make your selected granite countertop unique. It is wonderful helping a client go to a granite slab yard for making a selection for a kitchen countertop.

Elements that Make Up the Color In Granite: It is important to realize that granite is comprised of several elements that give it the illustrious color: quartz, feldspar and Mica. The color of granite depends on the kind and coloring of feldspars which are usually grey (from light – to dark grey) with different tints, pink, orange, red, blue-grey, sometimes blue-green.

[Read more…]