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When it comes to choosing personal photographs to display in the home, no two people think exactly alike. Some like to adorn their walls with family photos, creating a living reminder of the important people in their lives. Others prefer to have fewer personal photographs on display. At the end of the day there’s no right or wrong answer, there’s only what’s right for you.

Here are some helpful guidelines to keep in mind when hanging personal photos in your home:

Images

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Regardless of where you stand on the topic of more personal photos versus less, it’s important to display the images that are most meaningful to you. This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people shy away from their favorite photos out of worry for how they’ll be perceived.

This isn’t to suggest that you should put an embarrassing or compromising photo on display for all to see. It simply means that you shouldn’t let fear drive your decision. The whole point is to bring important memories into your daily life, so be sure to display the photographs that do that best.

Materials

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To ensure your photographs not only look great but also age well, it’s important to make sure they are properly printed and framed. This is an area where cutting corners can end up costing you in the long run. There’s a huge variety of printing techniques and papers available, so it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Simply going with inkjet printing on a premium luster paper is your best bet. It’s the most common printing method, and the prints themselves are durable and look terrific. Also be sure to use archival mats that are custom cut for your print. It will not only help to enhance the overall look and feel of your photo, it will help to keep it looking great for a long time to come. And finally, go with a quality moulding for your frame. It’s an important accent piece in your home, and the difference between a ready-made frame and a custom, high quality frame is significant. Feel free to go with either glass or Plexi for the front. Plexi is more durable, but it’s also more costly.

Size

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Today’s digital cameras, even those found on smartphones, are amazingly powerful. In fact, a photo from the current iPhone can be used to make large format prints with no pixelation or blur to speak of. So without this constraint, the focus on size should be on your photographs relationship to its environment. If a framed photo is too large, it will overwhelm the space it’s in. Too small and it will look unnatural.

While the rules aren’t necessarily etched in stone, there are guidelines that will help to ensure your framed photos are in harmony with the rest of your room. The first thing to be aware of is the three-eighths rule. What this means is that the empty space on the wall should be equal to three-eighths the width of the frame. Put another way, simply measure your wall and multiply it by 0.57, and this will be the ideal width for your framed photography. As an example, if your wall is 120 inches wide, the width of your frame should be roughly 68 inches (120 x 0.57). It’s important to note that if, for example, your wall has two windows, and you’re hanging your work in between the two windows, then that’s the distance that you measure (as opposed to the width of the entire wall).

If you’re hanging a frame above a piece of furniture, the three-eighths rule applies, but it’s less rigid. Again, the three-eighths rule would be in relation to the piece of furniture, not the wall itself. And if you’re placing a frame above a fireplace, the width should be roughly equal to the opening of the fireplace (regardless of the width of the mantle).

If you wish to hang multiple pieces as a group, treat all of the framed photographs together as though they were one large piece. Do remember to include the space in between the frames when making your calculation, however. And the space in between the frames should be anywhere from 1-3 inches, with larger pieces spaced slightly further apart.

Height

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The height at which you place your framed photograph is critical. There is a tendency for people to hang their work too high, which creates a disconnect from other furnishings in your room. The frame should be centered at eye level. So, as a rule, the center of the frame should be 58 inches off the ground. (Keep in mind that if the center of the frame is at 58 inches, the hook will be higher.)

When hanging work above furniture, the bottom of the frame should be 6-8 inches above the top of the furniture. This can come into conflict with the 58-inch rule, but it’s important that your art be a natural part of its surroundings. This can be an issue with low, modern furniture. If you run into this, you may want to consider going with a larger frame or a grouping of smaller ones.

While the rules on hanging framed photos in your home aren’t fixed, by following a basic set of guidelines you can go about displaying your framed photography with confidence. This is important because few things contribute to making a house a home like personal photos. They’re a living reminder of the people and experiences that are most important to you.

 Mike Malone is founder of Livestock Framing, an online platform for custom printing and framing digital photos. Follow Livestock Framing on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The days are finally getting longer and warmer weather is just around the corner. Apartment Therapy put together this home refresh plan to help ready your house for the season ahead. (We think the suggestions below are just as useful for agents working on getting a home market-ready.)

1. Clean the kitchen. Get your kitchen ready with a deep clean—counters, floors, appliances, and surfaces. Clear out your pantry and fridge and scrub them down. This way you can be ready for all the fresh fruits and veggies that you’ll be bringing home from the farmer’s market.

2. Lighten up your linens. Take inventory of your warm-weather bedding to see what needs replacing. Also make sure to wash your heavy quilts before you store them away.

3. Buy something colorful. Move away from dreary winter colors and buy something cheerful! It could be anything from one bright patterned pillow to a framed art print—just choose something that makes you smile.

4. Wash the windows. Don’t wait until the sun shines to realize how dirty your windows are from snow and rain. Give them a good wash now to save you some time later.

5. Bring in something alive. Add potted plants or artfully arranged flowers to living areas to help get your mind in springtime mode.

6. Take stock of your closet. Get ready for that first warm day by digging out your spring clothes and taking stock. Take care of any repairs and figure out what new items you will need to buy.

7. Clean your ceiling fans. Clean off the blades of your ceiling fans so that a layer of dust doesn’t fly off when you go to turn them on.

8. Consider your curtains. Switch out your thick, heavy curtains and replace them with some light and airy ones that will bring the sunshine indoors.

Photo: Apartment Therapy

Here’s your weekend dose of do-it-yourself inspiration! 10 wall art projects that will freshen up any room.

Photos: Apartment Therapy

1. Stand out from the crowd, loud and proud, it’s time to bust a real estate rhyme. (dc.curbed.com)

2. A mini revolution—one in 10 new homes in the city of Portland are considered “tiny.” (treehugger.com)

3. Street style blogs are seriously going to the dogs. And we love it! This is hound style. (wlf-hnd.com)

4. Beatrice Gallilee appointed to a newly created role as curator of architecture and design at the Met. (dezeen.com)

5. A gorgeous Soho dream loft where everything is for sale. (remodelista.com)

6. Has John Travolta been naming IKEA furniture all along? (elledecor.com)

7. In honor of International Women’s Day, Architectural Review put together this comprehensive compendium of women in design. (architectural-review.com)

8. It’s almost the weekend! Time to rock out and head home. (youtube.com)

Is it O.K. to allow pets and their stuff to be seen during showings? According to The New York Times, the answer is no.

Stefania Cardinali, an associate real estate broker, explains that not everyone is familiar with dogs and cats. Plus, there’s always a chance that Fluffy won’t like having new people in the home and might bite, claw, or jump on the potential buyer. Fur and dander can also be a problem for prospective buyers with allergies.

When it comes to pet toys and accessories, the fewer the better says Joan Dineen, an architect and dog owner. Dineen’s advice is to leave only the accessories that work with your décor, which means hiding the giant cat trees. (Unless if you have a cute cat pod, like this one from Hepper.) Another recommendation? “De-fur” all the surfaces.

Source: NY Times

Photo: John Burcham for The New York Times

Sellers are often surprised to hear that it isn’t always big changes that get a potential buyer’s attention. Rather than admiring that expensive new bathroom, buyers are more likely to notice that the kitchen drawers don’t open properly or that the floor is scuffed. Before you spend thousands of dollars on major renovations, check out Houzz‘s checklist of inexpensive upgrades that may help sell your house:

Quick-clean the exterior and landscape. Make sure your home’s curb appeal is top notch by checking that your garage doors are working properly and gutters are clean. For your yard, cut the lawn, trim the bushes, and wipe down any lawn furniture.

Make the door and doorbell stand out. Give your doorway a fresh coat of paint and make sure that the doorbell actually rings. Even if many homeowners don’t use the front door, it is the first area prospective buyers will see up close.

Evaluate every entrance. Think about the entrances to every room and update hinges or knobs if needed.

Look down. Most people will come inside a home and wipe their feet; when they do, they’ll be noticing the flooring, so make sure your carpets are clean and your floors are polished.

Select the right scent. A musty scent is the last thing prospective buyers want to smell when they walk into a home. Find a scent that you love and use it throughout the house—a scented candle goes a long way.

Spot treat any blemishes. Fix scuff marks, fill nail holes, and paint cracks so that your walls and moldings look as good as new.

Have a place for everything. Tuck away or neatly organize things to eliminate clutter. You can always add extra storage if needed.

Check the tracks. Make sure all drawers open smoothly. Buying new tracks and tightening handles are much cheaper fixes than replacing cabinetry.

Give the appliances some elbow grease. Clean your oven, refrigerator, sink, and any other appliance that will be included in the home.

Finish with finishes. Replacing faucets, showerheads, and towel racks are low-cost updates that can brighten up a bathroom.

This article can be found in its original form on Houzz.

Photos: Houses for sale via Househappy.org

The Millennial generation (those born between 1980 and 2000) is currently the second largest segment of homebuyers behind Generation X. As this group is only expected to grow, it is important to understand the different wants and expectations of younger buyers.

Here are 6 home “must-haves” of homebuyers under 35:

1. Updated kitchen and bath. The majority of Millennials are looking for updated kitchen and bathrooms because they simply cannot afford remodeling. “Most of their savings will go toward the down payment and furnishings,” explains Jack Curtis, a real estate professional in Dublin, Ohio.

2. Big kitchen, open floorplan. The kitchen is the center of the home and seen as a hang out place for many young buyers. In addition, Curtis says that “today’s young buyers are also more attracted to an open floor plan, rather than a layout that compartmentalizes the home”.

3. Home office. Due to advances in technology, many Millennials now have the option of working from home making home offices more appealing.

4. Location. Younger buyers tend to see location differently from their parents, says Chicago real estate broker Allison Nichols; “My younger buyers look for properties that are in proximity to public transportation and that have a good walking score.”

5. Low maintenance. According to broker Lou Cardillo, “Younger homebuyers prefer low upkeep features in their homes such as hardwood floors and granite countertops because they are attractive and hassle-free.”

6. Online photos. Younger buyers tend to start their searches online, which makes good quality photos more important than ever. According to the National Association of Realtors, 90% of buyers use the internet to search for homes.

The article can be found in its original form on ABC News.

Photo: Homedit