Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 24th 2013 Contents quick fixes
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DIY Home Improvement Series (part 3 of 3) November/December 2013 11
Home remodeling can focus on just one area of the house. If you want to give
your living room a new look, there are certain cost-effective tactics you can use.
Rearranging the furniture, opting for some new shades and repainting are just
some of them. Furniture often defines your living room, along with the colours
that surround it. If all you want is a change of scenery, some of the steps dis-
cussed here may provide you with some help. Read on and start rearranging.
You don't always have to call in a professional to get things fixed around your home.
In fact, here are a few Do-it-Yourself (DIY) household repairs that are quick and easy.
1. Measure the space. Be-
fore you purchase new furni-
ture or have old ones replaced
or even rearrange the contents
of the living room, measure the
whole space. Pay attention also
to the doors, hallways and
stairs leading to the living room
or the ones nearest to it. This
will help you determine the size
of furniture that you can buy
and whether they would fit
into the door and right there in
the living room.
2. Decide on the mood. If
you want your living room to
be a serene place, go for furni-
ture with similar heights and
shapes. You can use mostly
squares or go for rounded
pieces or curved ones, depend-
ing on your personal prefer-
ence. The more uniform the
look, the more relaxing the
whole place will seem to be.
However, if you prefer to have
a more adventurous look, mix it
up using differently shaped
3. Keep a balance. If you like
a quiet, harmonious look,
choose furniture pieces that
are of scale with one another
and with the room in general.
This means that if you have a
narrow, long living room,
choose seats that are also long
and narrow. For a square-
shaped room, square-shaped
furniture pieces would fit bet-
ter. You can also achieve har-
mony by sticking with a
particular shade. If you like pas-
tel colours, stick with pastel
colours, with some lighter than
others, while some may be
darker, but everything sharing
the same colour origin. For ex-
ample, everything may be
green, but some may be a
darker green or a lighter green,
with maybe a striped green
4. Pair up. You can also opt
for a paired up type of design.
This means that everything
comes in twos, like a pair of
similar-looking armchairs or
two side tables at each end of
a sofa looking exactly the
same. This symmetrical type of
design provides a feeling of
restfulness. On the other hand,
if you want to make the room
look more mobile and exciting,
go for an asymmetrical look,
like two similar tables, but one
would be slightly smaller than
5. Choose a centre piece.
The aim is to select an area
and a piece of furniture that
will be the center of the whole
tableau, with the rest of the
pieces chosen and arranged
around it based on how they
complement the center piece. It
can be a painting at the center
of the wall, a table or a sofa.
You pick out the center piece
first then choose the rest
based on whether they would
look good with the center
piece. You can be as creative as
you want with your home re-
modeling project to make it
• INSTALL A NEW DOOR
SEAL ON YOUR FRIDGE
Step 1: Remove old seal
Most seals fit into a retaining
strip or liner held in place with
screws. Lift the edges of the seal
to locate the screws, loosen
them, release the lip of the seal,
and carefully remove.
Step 2: Install new seal
Make sure the new seal is the
right type and fit. If it is crimped,
soak it in hot water for a few min-
utes. Then, starting at a top corner,
carefully press the lip under the rim
of the liner. Continue all the way
around the perimeter.
Step 3: Tighten and finish
Smooth the seal around the
door, making sure it's not too
tight or too loose. Tighten the
middle screws on each side, then
tighten the remaining screws just
enough to hold the seal in place.
Finish by firmly tightening all the
• REGROUTING TILES
Step 1: Remove old grout
Use a grit-edge cutting blade to
remove loose grout. Vacuum out
the dust then wash the surface
with a solution of water and vinegar.
Step 2: Regrout the tiles
Mix the new grout to the con-
sistency of toothpaste. Sweep a
rubber float diagonally across the
tiles to push into the gaps. Leave
it to set for 30 minutes then use
a damp sponge and clean water
to wipe away the excess.
Step 3: Seal the grout
Leave the grout to cure for two
days. Apply a sealer with a small
paintbrush, using a rag to wipe
edges of the tiles clean as you go.
Tip: The sealer prevents water,
dirt and mould from penetrating
and staining the grout.
• LEAKING FAUCET
Step 1: Shut off water supply and
remove faucet handle held to main
body of faucet by unscrewing tiny
screw on top or at back of handle.
Step 2: Remove handle, and
look at faucet assembly. Remove
packing nut with large pair of pli-
ers or adjustable wrench. Twist
out stern or spindle by turning it in
the same direction you would to
turn on faucet.
Step 3: Remove screw that
holds washer. Use penetrating oil,
if necessary, to loosen screw. Ex-
amine screw and stem, replacing
Step 4: Replace old washer
with an exact replacement.
Washers that almost fit will al-
most stop the drip.
Step 5: Fasten new washer to
the stem, and reinstall assembly
in faucet. Turn stem clockwise.
With stem in place, put packing
nut back on.
Step 6: Reinstall handle and re-
place button or disc. Turn water
supply back on, check for leaks.
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