If you’re like me, these long summer days have you looking at your home and yard in new ways. For some reason, this time of year always makes me want to update, refresh, and spruce up our abode. I guess the warmer (I mean hot, humid) weather and fresh air gives me renewed energy and creativity — the perfect combination to tackle some “projects” around the house! Right now, I’ve been focusing on issues inside our home because in our region, the days have been averaging 95 degrees with a heat index over 100. My poor plants have been struggling no matter how much water I give them, so I am working on making a difference elsewhere. I hope some of you are still enjoying lush gardens and green yards!
Since we all have different tastes, varied home styles, budgets, and a range of DIY skills, I just want to share a few of my favorite go-to sites when I want home inspiration and project ideas both for our home and my clients’ spaces. There are so many project options out there, and we are fortunate to have local and national stores that supply all of us with materials and assistance when we’re ready to get started.
I use each of these websites for specific reasons, and I include them all on a resource page I give buyers and sellers. Most of us don’t automatically have a “vision” for changes to make in a new home (or to update one creatively to sell). We need a different set of eyes to jog our creativity and allow us to see what could be in a house rather than what is there. If you are a homeowner, an investor, flipper, or agent, these sites have excellent information on necessary materials, time required for projects and budgets to consider in order to ensure a return on investment.
So, without further delay, here are a few of my top home sites:
This Old House — You might also be familiar with the associated magazine. Similarly, this site has ample DIY information with how-to guides, videos, budget-friendly project ideas, and inspiration for many home styles. I also appreciate that splits ideas into specific rooms or areas of the home, and it also has a lot of practical repair information. As many of us know from experience, these projects are not always glamorous. There are many safety concerns of which to be aware, and this site does a great job walking you through each step to ensure it’s done properly.
Real Simple — This site has more articles about “fluff” topics such as organizing and decluttering tips, decorating ideas, kid-friendly projects, landscaping advice, and seasonal changes in the home. However, their cleaning advice and product knowledge is the real deal. I have come to think of this site as my “go to” when I need to work on stains in our carpet, shrubs that have beetles, disinfecting our kitchen and bathrooms — you name it. I could spend hours getting lost in great information on this site (and honestly, I have on more than one occasion)!
My Home Ideas — This site makes me want to build a new home with an unlimited budget. It has incredible house plans, storage solutions, remodeling ideas and outdoor space planning. I seek out the budget-friendly updates and entertaining guides. The site has room galleries to peruse for ideas, a healthy home section, and a style assistant tool that is very useful in determining how to put rooms together. I always recommend this site to my buyers because it also really helps them get excited (and motivated) about finding their new home. It is truly an awesome resource!
Southern Living — While I don’t technically live in the South, there is no better guide for cultivating a warm, inviting home than this site — and the magazine. I visit Southern Living‘s website weekly because they always add new articles, and I really look to this site for curb appeal and gardening help. If you have clients who have a lot or land to build on, I would definitely recommend sending them here to look at house plans. There are so many unique, special home styles that fit all size and budget guidelines. I also find amazing room inspiration, recipes (treat your office once in a while!), staging plans, “thank you” gift ideas, and more. Whether you live in Georgia or Minnesota, or even outside the U.S., I am confident you will discover something interesting and useful on this site.
Bob Vila — This site is the most practical of the bunch. It’s not as fun to visit, but goodness it is helpful. My husband and I have referenced articles here to fix clogged drains, leaky faucets, and more. It has detailed maintenance guides, tool information, and the most comprehensive how-to guides I have seen. I really trust the information on this site, and it has also helped us determine when we need to hire a professional versus trying to do something ourselves. Additionally, the site has a lot of outdoor project information and troubleshooting for home projects when things go awry. Bookmark this one! If you are doing any large-scale renovations yourself, this is a great resource to keep on hand.