Paint Your Front Door for Easy Curb AppealI am of the opinion that your front door should always be a different color. That means different fro the rest of the house. It obviously tells everyone where you go inside, and so signifies welcome. It's also an opportunity to add a splash of color without being overwhelmed by it. And since it's a small part of the exterior, you can easily change it if you don't like it. I always admire the contrasting doors in my neighborhood, and there are many. A brick house with orange trim has a turquoise door. A white house with black trim has a bright yellow door, and a wreath to match. Several home have bright red doors. My yellow house has a green door.If you decide to take the plunge and paint your front door, you'll find a complete guide to choosing a color at Better Homes & Gardens. They have color recommendations, a guide to picking the paint, and plenty of pictures to give you some inspiration. There's a step-by-step guide to painting your door here.(Image credit: Marco Ober) 
Budget Kitchen Remodels That Are All About ColorMy once-in-a-lifetime kitchen remodeling project starts tomorrow. The cheap cabinetry and counters are honestly falling apart, so I am taking the opportunity to do everything very different. You may get to see the results this fall. Meanwhile, if you don't need a major remodel, but you're just not happy with the way your kitchen looks, Apartment Therapy has a series of kitchen upgrades that people did themselves to make what they have look the way they want it to. The "before" pictures are okay, but the "after" pictures are a cheery splash of color. One project made a too-modern minimalist kitchen look more in tune with the 100-year-old house, with just new cabinet hardware and a coat of paint.Another family took a perfectly fine but drab white kitchen and livened it up with pink and blue for only $800. A sad beige kitchen got the pink and blue treatment inspired by Polly Pocket. Another kitchen goes from an orangish wood to seafoam green for only $96 in paint! There are other, more pricey kitchen renovations you can see by scrolling down from those posts. But what I took from the posts linked here is that 1. if what you have isn't falling apart, you can update your kitchen without having to take out a mortgage, and 2. there's nothing wrong with color. And there's nothing wrong with painting your kitchen cabinets with your favorite colors to make it a bright and happy place to work in. (Image credit: Lyndsey Wardman)
The Horror of Drop CeilingsThe first house I bought was a fixer-upper. I proclaimed that the first thing to go would be those awful drop ceilings and fluorescent lights. Once I moved in, I got a good look at what the suspended ceiling was hiding. Underneath was all the electrical wiring for the home, which was built before electricity was available. That particular project suddenly looked a lot more involved than anything I could do myself, so I worked on other projects. By the time I sold the house many years later, the entire place had been remodeled twice, but the false ceilings were still there. Ceilings that have been lowered from the original can look good, but most not only look cheap, they look very sterile and corporate, like the office they must pay you to go to. Keep in mind that they are always hiding something. Stewart Hicks gives us the complete history and purpose of false ceilings and their pop culture implications. Just another thing you may to avoid when looking for a home, or at least make concrete plans for them before you commit. The last couple of minutes of this video are promotional.-via Digg ​
A Notorious Haunted New Orleans Home is on the MarketIf you've always wanted to own a historic haunted house, we've got your opportunity with a 8-bedroom, 10-bath house in New Orleans. However, you might change your mind after reading the story of property owner and serial killer Madame Delphine LaLaurie. The 1834 fire that exposed her cruel practices and subsequent damage by angry citizens destroyed the house, but four years later it was rebuilt by a new property owner. The mansion has gone through several owners, including Nicolas Cage for a couple of years.
A Home with a Detachable OfficeArchitect Tom Kundig heard a joke about a family that had one member that no one liked, and wouldn't it be great if you could have a detachable bedroom and just eject them, room and all, when the going gets rough? Lou Maxon thought it was a wonderful idea for his home office. So when Kundig designed a home for Lou, Kim, and their three boys, he made the moveable office a reality. The Maxon House is a thoroughly modern home encased in glass, set deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest with no neighbors in sight. The two-story detachable office is set on reclaimed antique rails, and can be rolled away from the house and deeper into the woods when Lou, a train enthusiast, needs the extra solitude for his design work. The control panel and other accessories are also reclaimed railroad antiques. This kind of feature isn't for everyone, but the Maxons love it. -via Digg ​
What, Exactly, is an English Cottage?In the US, we use the word "cottage" mainly for small vacation dwellings. At least that's what the British think. In reality, Americans are more likely to call those "cabins." We only know the word "cottage" from European fairy tales, British real estate ads, and the cheese our grandmothers eat for lunch. The real estate ads aren't at all illuminating about what the word really means. What is an English cottage? The designation of a home as a cottage honestly has nothing to do with its architecture. It's the term for a working class home left over from the feudal system, when workers built or were lodged on land that their overlords owned. In other words, a cottage is a home that's not a palace, castle, stately home, nor manor house. Cottages can be any size or style. In fact, cottages come a range of styles like Cotswold, Thatched, Tudor, and more that you can see and read about at Number One London. -via Strange Company(Image credit: Wayland Smith)