Category Archives: window coverings

Home Upgrades That Won’t Break the Bank

living roomWe’ll never forget our recent conversation with a woman who informed us that it took 37 years to get her home just the way she wanted, and now she was done. We were dumfounded, but she’s right; unless you take on a full home renovation down to the studs, customizing your home to your needs and taste happens slowly, home improvement project by home improvement project. Even with a full renovation, there are always upgrades that need to be done to update your home over the life of your home.

If you’re like most people, you’re also updating your home on a budget and continually looking for home upgrades that won’t break the bank. Or your need for home upgrades is based on a pet, kids or, well, life.

  1. tile flooringTile flooring. Tile flooring, such as porcelain, ceramic or slate, is a DIY project or low-cost home project if you want to hire the pros. It’s also incredibly durable, water-resistant and can be installed over radiant flooring (which is incredibly nice during our cold Wisconsin winters). Because it is water, odor and mildew resistant, porcelain tile flooring is ideal for laundry rooms, bathrooms and kitchens. It also comes in a variety of colors and updated looks, giving you a beautiful, updated look—among other benefits of tile flooring that we’ve written about.
  2. Refinishing floors. Give those old, hardwood floors a whole new life without having to pay for new, hardwood floors. We’ve written about the advantages of wood floors in your home before: wood floors are durable, long-lasting, easy to clean and capable of being refinished many times over the life of your floor. They’re also stunning, and can be refinished in any color you choose.
  3. Carpet cleaning. If you’re giving your wood floors a new lease on life, why not grace your carpets with the same? Carpet cleaners can get out the biggest of stains and remove allergens. To be clear: we’re not talking about those rent-a-cleaners. Contact a professional carpet cleaner. Professional carpet cleaners can give you a better bang for your buck just by giving your carpets a deep (with an emphasis on deep) clean that makes them look new again.
  4. backsplash tilesKitchen backsplash. A kitchen backsplash can make your kitchen look finished without having to remortgage your home. The other advantage of a kitchen backsplash is huge amount of options: subway tiles, mosaics, combinations of metal and tile, glass backsplash tiles—the list of backsplash tile options can go on and on.
  5. New countertops. There are so many options for updated, budget-friendly countertops on the market today. Everyone’s idea of the definition of “budget-friendly” is different, but a little bit of research can go a long way. High-definition laminate countertops give your kitchen the look of stone without the price—and with less maintenance and solid durability. Stone options, such as granite, that fit within your budget and give you a high-end look. Wood countertops that give your kitchen a rich or rustic look, and a unique appearance that you don’t see everywhere.
  6. carpet remnantsCarpet remnants. If you look in the Y’s Way Flooring dictionary (okay, we’re making this book up), a carpet remnant is defined as, “a section of carpet leftover and available for sale at a discounted price, perfect for smaller rooms such as hallways, offices, bedrooms and basements.” That definition says it all, and makes sense for a small room that needs new flooring. Ask about the carpet remnants at a Y’s Way Flooring, and know that the supply is limited—carpet remnants are sections that are left over so what you see is what you get, but the supply is changing regularly.
  7. Curtains and window coverings. Outdated curtains and window coverings are one of the easiest home improvement projects that can give your room a whole new look. Even renters can update curtains and window coverings since they are home project that won’t endanger their security deposit. In addition to aesthetics, curtains and window coverings also have other advantages and require far more thought and measuring than the average homeowner gives them. If you need assistance with choosing curtains and window coverings for your home, consult the professionals for their recommendations.
  8. Light fixtures. For us, it was the ugly glass ball light fixture over our kitchen sink. That outdated fixture had to go. And once it was, our kitchen took on a whole new, updated look. Light fixtures are a home upgrade that won’t break the bank, especially if you do your homework and look for deals.

Don’t feel you need to upgrade your home alone. Stop in at a Y’s Way Flooring in Watertown, Oconomowoc or Lake Mills to look at carpet remnants, tile options and to ask their professionals questions. Or schedule a carpet cleaning appointment or ask questions about your next home project via Facebook or email. Whatever your home upgrade is, we’re here to help as long as you’re working on your home—even if it’s for 37 years like the woman we talked with.

Choosing the Right Window Treatments & Blinds for Your Home

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Y’s Way can assist you with window covering recommendations and installations. Call 920-945-0522 for info.

Window treatments are important, but selecting the right window treatments is not earth-shattering. Don’t be one of those homeowners paralyzed by indecision, with naked windows and light shining in when you’re trying to sleep. Instead, use these general guidelines to find the perfect coverings—curtains or blinds, or both—for your window. Start with function, the basis of your window treatment selection:

Function. Do you need window treatments that darken the room?  Or are your curtains or blinds just for decor? Are the window treatments for a window that you need to see out often? Start your selection by determining what kind of window covering functions best for your use. If you work third shift, or need a dark room for sleeping, consider a blackout 10408756_10152820770539378_8478996269662088156_ncurtain. Looking for privacy? Order blinds that come up from the bottom of the window, allowing light to shine through and privacy. Need a window covering for a window that you use often? Look for sheer curtains that won’t block the view. For a kid’s room, choose shades and darkening curtains to make sure the sun doesn’t interrupt nap or bed time.

Length. To determine the ideal length, use function and the aesthetic impact you want to settle on a length. If you want to make a ceiling seem taller, choose floor length window treatments—regardless of window height. If you have a window that has a table or counter under it, choose blinds or shades that are the length of the window but don’t touch the surface underneath.  In general, use this window covering rule: when choosing curtain height to cover the window, purchase a curtain an inch or two longer than the window trim.

Neutral or pattern. To determine whether to purchase neutral or patterned window treatments, look around the room. If the furniture items, flooring and rugs are neutral, you can purchase a bold window treatment with a pattern. However, if your room is filled with bold patterns and colors, blend the curtains into the walls to make the rest of the room pop.  

Don’t be afraid to consult the professionals for your window treatment decision. They can make recommendations based on what they’ve seen work at other local Wisconsin homes. Professionals can also handle measurements and installation, so you can enjoy the benefits of the perfect window treatments—without the hassles.