Mark Carmien - Maple and Main Realty, LLC



Posted by Mark Carmien on 1/16/2021

Photo by H Wong on Unsplash?

Your collectibles are important to you, but all too often they tend to be tucked away in a closet attic, or the basement. Why hide all of the things that you spent so much time and care collecting? Instead, find ways to incorporate them into your existing decor so that your house guests can see your amazing hobby, and you can enjoy your collectibles every day. Check out some of the tips below to help you get started.

Display Collectible Posters Like an Art Gallery

Turn the high traffic areas in your home into an art gallery by framing your collectible posters as art and displaying them on the walls. Hallways and stairwells make the perfect place to add in this decor without interfering with the other decoration in your various rooms.

Repurpose Your Collectibles

Does your passion extend to collecting tins, baskets, or maybe a small vintage wagon? These items can easily be given a new life and purpose by adding a potted plant or flowers to them. If your container is larger, you could also use it to hold blankets or other items you wish to keep off the floor and out of the way. 

Give Your Lamps New Height with Your Collectible Books

If you have some great old books that have that vintage look and smell, there is no reason to hide them on a bookshelf. Carefully stack them so that the spines are visible to guests and use them as a stand for a light fixture or other decorative item. Just make sure to avoid anything that might drip water, such as a plant, so you don't destroy the book. 

Use Heavier Collectibles for Bookends

For collectors that have heavier or metal items, you can easily swap out a traditional bookend on your shelf for your collectible piece. This will help keep it out f the way while allowing it to have an additional purpose, keeping your books in line. 

Frame Thinner Collectibles & Hang on Display

If you collect items such as stamps, matchbooks, or even rare albums, you can mount them into a frame and display them on the wall. This will allow you to show your guests your amazing collection while still proving it with protection against dust and dirt. If you have light-sensitive documents, such as old letters, you can find frame glass to help better keep them preserved. 

Don't let your collectibles waste away in a box or tub where no one can enjoy them. Follow the simple tips above to help you incorporate them into your decor, where they can be enjoyed by all. 




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mark Carmien on 6/27/2020

Photo by Jafar Mansuri on Unsplash

To resurface or replace? That's the question. Consider replacing if:

  • They have significant water or humidity damage.
  • They're poorly constructed and/or falling apart.
  • The design frustrates. You could do better starting over.
  • The style can't be easily updated, for example, floral moldings.
  • The cost to refinish is more than new cabinets. It can be.
  • Otherwise, you may want to refinish what you have to make your cabinets.

    How to Replace Cabinets

    Replacing cabinets rarely involves building them yourself. Most kitchen remodeling professionals don't even do that. You can purchase pre-made cabinets. They'll fit in most kitchen. But don't forget to measure.

    Start by evaluating how the cabinets are attached. Most cabinets simply unscrew from the wall for clean removal. You can now hang new ones in their place. But remember, if you need to stain or finish, always do that and let them dry before hanging. It will just be easier when they're on the floor or a work table.

    If it's just the hardware you don't like, consider replacing it instead of the whole cabinet. That's generally a small job that just needs a screwdriver and new handles.

    How to Give Cabinets a New Look

    A coat of paint or stain can work wonders. But know that refinishing actually takes a lot longer than hanging new. Plan for three to eight weekends of work and a semi-functional kitchen during that time. The more cabinets, the longer it will take. Let's get started

  • Choose your resurfacing medium. Polyurethane, varnish, paint, lacquer, shellac, penetrating oil or vinyl are all excellent choices. Purchase this, a stripping agent, clothes and brushes and your local home supply.
  • Ventilate. Open some windows and turn on your stove vent to keep the smells from overpowering you. Safety first.
  • Clean the surfaces. They may have collected years of grease, dust and hand oil.
  • Protect your kitchen by laying down plastic 
  • Remove the hardware and soak it in soapy water. Scrub it, if needed. But a good soak should do most of the work.
  • Strip & refinish the cabinets according to the instructions on the finish you choose. If you're getting creative with alternating colors or finishes, you may want to remove the doors and lay painter tape to create crisp contrasts between shade. 
  • Once dry, replace your glistening hardware. And you're done. 
  • *Pro tip* Some woods soak up oils like a sponge, so you might need multiple coats to achieve the desired look. That's one reason the job takes multiple weekends since each layer must dry.





    Posted by Mark Carmien on 11/23/2019

    Moving into a new home can be an overwhelming time. Youíll be trying to match what you already have with new pieces, meticulously decorating the blank canvas that is your new space. Every task that you complete, you do to make your home your own. 


    One part of decorating your home that youíll definitely want to take your time with is that of choosing artwork for the walls. You donít just want to take any piece of art to fill up the blank spaces. Choosing artwork should take some thought and time. Below, youíll find tips on picking the right artwork for all the rooms of your home. 


    Use What Inspires You


    The artwork in your home should remind you of what you love and jog your creativity and motivation. A picture or piece of art can bring you peace and joy just by viewing it. Thatís why you wouldnít want to put just anything on your walls. Youíll be looking at whatever kinds of pictures and statues that you put up each day, so make sure that itís not something that bores you!


    Art Is More Than A Museum


    When the word ďartĒ is mentioned, itís more than being about paintings or classic versus contemporary. Art can be a photograph that you have taken or a small figurine that you bought while on vacation. These are the things that bring you joy after all! The bottom line is that artwork in your home doesnít need to be fancy, it just has to represent you.


    Take The Time To Shop


    You may be tired of shopping after looking for the perfect sofa or bedroom set for your new home, but the shopping should continue. Itís best to take your time and not make impulse buys when it comes to buying artwork. Consider where a picture will go before you purchase it to place in your home.    


    Know The Focal Points In Your Home


    Itís much easier to choose artwork if you know where the focal points are in each room of the house. A room with a fireplace, for example, should have the fireplace as the center of attention. Any art that is placed in the room is complementary to that main piece.     


    Go With Your Theme


    If you have a theme going throughout your home, youíll want to find art to match. A western sunset might not match too well with your mid-century modern styled dining room.


    The key to finding artwork and decor for your home is to know what you like. Knowing the scheme and makeup in each room is a great start to decorating right.   

      




    Tags: decorating  
    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by Mark Carmien on 3/25/2017

    Once you move into a new home, you are probably worried about furniture and pots and pans. You should, however, be concerned about what is going to go on your walls. Artwork and photographs are among some of the most important things that you will have in your home. They are what gives your home character. 


    The problem with art, and decorating in general is that thereís so many different mistakes that you can make in your home that have an impact, but youíd never even realize it. Here, weíll explain some of the most common art and art decor mistakes that are made in homes and how to avoid them. 


    Placing Your Art At The Wrong Height


    If you hang a framed piece either too high or too low on a wall, itís going to look awkward. The art should be a sensible distance from other things on the wall. You can use your fireplace, sofa, or bed as a frame of reference to see if the picture is displayed strangely. The same rule goes when it comes to other pieces that are placed on shelving. Be sure that shelves or display tables come at an appropriate height for the room.


    Art Thatís Not The Right Size For The Room


    Hanging a giant piece of art in a small room will leave you wondering whatís off with the space. The same goes for hanging a really tiny piece of art in a larger room. Your art should be to scale of wherever you decide to hang it. Donít buy an extra large statue if you know you donít have a room that can house it without looking out of sorts. You can break this rule a bit from time to time. Sometimes, a large painting will look wonderful in a room, no matter how big it is. Use your judgement when it comes to artwork and its proportions within your home.      


    Same Old Same


    If you donít have enough variety in your home, itís like going to a museum where every room has a theme. This type of decorating can make your home feel stuffy. When everything matches, like your overly beach-themed bathroom, it gets boring. Colors should blend, but they donít have to match. Think of how to integrate a few types of decor when it comes to adding personal touches to your home, especially when using artwork, sculptures, and photos.


    Every Wall Is Full


    You donít need to stuff every wall of your home full of pictures. Art doesnít actually belong on each and every wall of your home. Some walls deserve to be blank or sparse, depending on the contents of the room. Also, hanging too much art gives you the illusion of chaos in the home, and you donít want that feeling to come across and cause undue stress.





    Posted by Mark Carmien on 3/11/2017

    Home is, first and foremost, a place of rest and relaxation. Itís where we come home to after a stressful day to be with our family, our pets, or our favorite books and television shows.

    But sometimes, the home also has to double as a place of work. Whether you have a job that allows you to work from home, or you just need a quiet place to sit down to pay bills or do taxes, at some point your home will need to be a place where you can focus. Thatís where the home office comes in.

    Designing and decorating a home office is different than the rest of your home. Youíll have to create a balance between being comfortable and but also uncluttered. You want to give it your personal touch, but at the same time avoid filling it up with distractions. Finally, youíll have to think about your personal requirements for a home office. Will it be used often enough to merit a dedicated room in your house? Or can your office items fit right into your bedroom, opening up space for things like childrenís play rooms and spare bedrooms.

    The bare necessities

    There are a few things that nearly all home offices will have in common. Weíre talking desks, organizers, office supplies, etc. However, itís easy to get carried away with file organizers or containers filled with 10 different sizes of multicolored paperclips. One of the benefits of cloud computing and paperless billing is that all of your important paperwork can usually now fit in one small folder.

    So, before you start picking out organizers, go through your important papers and find out what you can shred and what needs to be saved. Tools like Google Drive allow you to scan documents right with your smartphone camera and store them safely and securely in the cloud. That means fewer papers and less money spent on organizers and staplers that will just clutter your desk.

    What kind of worker are you?

    A hard one, Iím sure--but what type of environment helps you be the most productive? Are you better off tucked away in a dark corner surrounded by pillows and blankets, or do you work best in a well-lit room sitting upright at a clear desk.

    Before you start decorating and arranging furniture in your office, take into account your needs. Thereís no use spending money on a large wooden desk if you work better curled up on the couch.

    If you fall asleep and lose focus in the dark, consider arranging your desk next to a window or even purchasing a UV light for rainy days or dark nights. These will help you stay refreshed and alert to tackle whatever tasks you have before you.

    Use space wisely

    If you have a lot of items to store, consider a desk with drawers or a cart that you can push out of the way. This will help you from letting your desk get overcrowded.

    When it comes to furniture, shop modular. Space-saving furniture can make a world of difference in a home office, which tend to be one of the smaller rooms in your home. Cube bookcases that let you choose a size are excellent for home offices because you can buy only as many as you need. You can always add more cubes later on.

    Similarly, desks can also be modular and adjustable. One great option for home offices is a wall-mounted fold up desk. This will allow you to open up the room when youíre not using the desk if your office doubles as a home fitness room.