Remodel Ready?

If you turn on HGTV or the DIY network, house flipping, home staging and fixer uppers are inspiring people every day with interior design and great remodeling ideas. However, when it comes to taking on a home renovation project, you need to ask yourself… Am I remodel ready?

Whether you’re buying a fixer upper to make your dream home or you’re remodeling to sell, there are a few things you need to think about that can make all the difference with your project.

We recently had the pleasure of working with Lindsay Benton and Jennifer Helton of Helbent Properties, an up and coming remodeling team, on a home renovation project in South Huntsville. Together, we’ll share some tips that will help to ensure the success of your project and hopefully make the process a little easier.


Whether you’re giving your home a cosmetic face-lift or it’s a complete gut-job like Lindsey and Jennifer took on, you need a plan for the entire scope of the project. Both small and large remodel jobs require lots of decisions like paint colors, flooring, countertops, lighting, and fixtures just to name a few… So, having project plan in place ahead of time will help save time and money in the long run.


When remodeling a home, you need to take into consideration the style and layout of the existing structure. You want to add transitional styles that both compliment and add to the value of the home without taking away from the original design.


Once you have a basic plan, you can begin putting together the budget. Lindsay and Jennifer suggest setting aside at least 20% of the budget for unforeseen expenses. “We learned that the hard way…no matter how much planning you do in advance.”


They also suggest contacting your city or municipality to determine what permits are required and when you’ll need them. “Most projects require a city permit and you can be fined for doing the work without it, even if you’re the homeowner,” says Jennifer.


According to the Helbent Team, “When pricing a service, always get at least three quotes and remember that the cheapest is not always the best. Only use contractors who are licensed, insured, have a good reputation, and who always obtain copies of their license and insurance prior to beginning any work.”


Know what local homebuyers are looking for in a home prior to your remodel, even if you don’t plan to sell in the immediate furniture. Lindsay suggests, “Buying the most expensive and trendy lighting, installing the most expensive floors or adding over-the-top amenities, won’t translate to extra dollars in your pocket down the road. Go for functional spaces, maximize storage and choose quality products that make the most sense.”

And of course, when in doubt, consult a professional. DIY projects are a great way to save money, but you’ll save more money in the long run by hiring someone before you make costly mistakes.

For information about the Helbent Team or questions about this article, contact Haley’s at 256.536.8086.

Kitchen Makeovers with Style!

Is a kitchen makeover in your future? If so, then we’ve got some great options and trends that will help you narrow down the choices whether you’re making just a few changes or remodeling your entire space. The best thing about making over your kitchen is that you can do a lot to just a little and it can transform the whole look of your kitchen. Since the kitchen is the heart of your home, it should reflect you and your family’s personal taste and lifestyle.



From door styles and functionality to colors and designs, trending patterns in cabinetry are taking on a straight lined and simple look. Soft grays and clean whites are gracing the doors, floors and walls. Since trending designs are always changing, it’s important to know your style and remember that a kitchen makeover is something you’ll live with for many years.

What’s your style?

  • Transitional – Where contemporary mixes with traditional, you’ll find the perfect blend of style for your kitchen. Shaker doors in stains or painted colors with or without glazes are popular transitional styles. Hardware designs incorporate simple straight lines and curves with brushed nickel and pewter finishes.
  • Contemporary – If you’re looking for straight lines, less molding and glossier finishes, contemporary is your style. Polished doors in stains or painted colors with or without glazes are popular transitional finishes.
  • Traditional – As trends shift and change, a traditional style kitchen will always be a classic. There are so many options today to choose from – colors, designs, moldings and inlays… not to mention all of the options with hardware. Antique bronze, brushed nickel or pewter finishes go great with just about any traditional door style.

Functionality meets design.

  • In today’s kitchen, there is no compromising design or function. No matter what your style, there are a wide variety of space saving options – pull outs, cutlery trays, dividers, and trash pull outs.


When choosing a countertop, consider style, durability and price. While quartz has grown in popularity, granite still remains a top contender. There are advantages and disadvantages of both so it’s best to weigh your options.

Quartz has a cleaner and more simplified look. It is non-porous, heat resistant and does not need to be sealed, meaning less maintenance. However, quartz is typically more expensive than granite.

Granite, being natural stone, can add warmth and dimension to your kitchen. It is also heat resistant, but recommended to be resealed once a year. When searching for the granite of your choice, be sure to look at the entire slab because the colors can often vary from the sample you’re checking out.

Another great option growing in popularity is butcher block and the fashionable place to use it is on your kitchen island. Mixing different elements of countertop materials combines the warmth of wood with the cool surfaces of stone for the best of both worlds.


Just like cabinet designs, there are many trending patterns to choose from so knowing your style will make your decision a whole lot simpler. If you’re considering the softer grays, then a clean white subway tile is always a good compliment. If you want to spice it up a bit, change it up by adding a patterned tile accent area or using a contrasting grout color.

If warmer tones and natural stones are more your style, then considering a natural stone or complementary tile is your best option.


Flooring trends fall right in line with cabinet trends ushering in the grays and neutrals. While hardwood still seems to be an all-time favorite, we’re seeing more and more ceramic wood-look tile in barn wood and rustic patterns. Mixing rustic designs with modern elements creates a comfortable and more relaxed feeling environment. Tile is also more durable and easy to clean. Another upcoming fashion hitting the floor is Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) giving consumers a durable, low maintenance, water-proof and warmer floor to live on.

With so many options available, you’re bound to find the look you want with the budget you have in mind. Take the time to search the internet for designs and styles that fir your lifestyle and taste. If you’re interested or have any questions about the information in this article, give us a call at 256.536.8086.



Plaster of Paris Homemade Chalk Paint

Brand name chalk paints come with an expensive price tag, in the range of, $30 – $40 a quart.  To save on cost, we’ve decided to find a recipe which would bring us the results of a brand name chalk paint but for much less.

There are several ways to make your own chalk paint; some methods use Baking Soda, Un-sanded Grout, Plaster of Paris and Calcium Carbonate.  In our project, we chose to use Plaster of Paris to reclaim this side of the road find, into a usable furniture piece.  Recipe and instructions are below:


Chalk Paint Recipe:

  •  2 cups latex paint
  • 4 tbl Plaster of Paris (under $10 for a large box, which will last awhile)
  • 2 tbl water

Mix well and paint.  Distress areas you’d like the original finish to come through by sanding.  The application is smooth like a brand name chalk paint.  -Enjoy!


DIY: Tile Coasters

We love the art of re-purpose around the showroom; waste made to use with a new functional purpose.  Here’s a couple of DIY ideas using left-over tiles from a customer project.  Perfect for a unique gift idea for that special someone.

Photo Coasters


Painted Coasters


Directions for the Picture Coaster Tiles:

1.  Clean off tiles with a damp towel

2.  While drying, cut images to fit tiles. (NOTE: For best results, use a paper cutter and make your image slightly smaller than the tile)

3.  When tiles are dry, cover tiles with Modge Podge and place images onto tile. Wait a few minutes, cover tile and image with Modge Podge. NOTE: (Use a sponge brush to make the tile smooth and a bristled brush if you want texture.)

Modge Podge Tile

4.  Once completely dry, paint 2-3 coats of a natural stone sealer and finisher over the top and sides of the tile. Make sure to let each coat dry 30-45 mins before adding another coat.

Modge Podge Image

5.  Put small felt pads on the bottom of the coasters to protect furniture and your project is done!

Felt Pads

Directions for the Painted Coaster Tiles:

1.  Clean of tiles with a damp towel.

2.  Paint tile using Acrylic Paint and a stencil. For a low cost option, print off the image, expose the image with an exact knife…which is what you see below.


3.  Let paint dry for at least 30 mins before brushing on the sealer and finisher. This will prevent smearing when the sealer is put on. Apply 2-3 coats of sealer waiting 30-45 minutes between coats.


4.  Once completely dry add felt pads to the bottom of coasters and your project is done!

Felt Pads

Create a memorable Father’s or Mother’s Day, Grandparents, Teacher’s or Staff gift at a low cost.  TilesFB

Ask one of our flooring representatives for the availability of natural stone tiles in our showroom. Tiles can be purchased at a low cost and in small quantities.TilePics3-550

Pallet-to-Purpose Nursery Accent Wall – a DIY Feature

When expectant couples plan to have a baby, one of the most exciting parts of the process is decorating the nursery.   Decisions of picking out furniture, bedding, paint colors, clothes, etc. is fun and enjoyable.  When challenges arise and the pressure is ON to be done before the baby comes, a new found determination often comes to get the project done.  This is exactly what happened in the Leininger’s story.

Inspired by Just a Girl, the Leininger’s had a drive and passion to see this project through.  Daddy deployed at the beginning of the pregnancy and back before the baby’s due date; the Leiningers were challenged with 1 week to see this project through.  Project starts and mom goes into labor mid-project!  Nothing stopped this determined couple from accomplishing their goal, needless to say, the wall went up!

The homeowner is allowing us to share the process; a scope of how this accent wall vision became a reality.


These Pallets were found at home decorating stores, other businesses and on the side of the road.

TIP: Look for pallets which have been ‘Heat treated’ to avoid pesticides; a HT will be located on the pallet’s side.

Removing Boards

The pallets were broken apart to form individual boards using a Reciprocating Saw to cut through nails.

 Organizing Boards

The boards were organized according to size then sanded to remove the dirt and rough edges.


The accent wall was painted a dark color to hide gaps in the adjacent boards placed on the wall.

In an effort  to preserve the value of their home, 2 x 4’s were nailed to the wall studs; protecting it’s integrity.

nails used

A Brad nail-er was used, with a compressor, to mount the boards.

Pallets going up

To receive the ‘rich wood tone’ , a Polyurethane stain blend was used; 1 quart for a 10 x 12 wall.

Tip:  Stain boards outside and let them sit for a few days to avoid strong fumes in the house.

Installing Pallets

Outlet Extenders were added due to the additional space created by the 2 x 4 protective layer on the wall.

Pallet Wall Completed

The finished room…gorgeous!

As baby David grows up, we could only expect him to cherish this room – holding a very special place in his  heart.  We too love this nursery; the homeowners did a wonderful job!

It took the Leininger’s 1 day to take apart the pallets, 1 day to organize and 1 day to stain.  One regret from this couple is that they did not allow the boards to air for several days, therefore, the strong fumes was a result.   Letters were found at hobby lobby and spray painted white.  The total cost of this project — $80

Another option for the wood wall is to use left-over wood from your floors, barn wood, raw pallets or even brick.

Pallet-to-Finish:: Our Top TEN Creative Recycle, Upcycle, Re-use Pallet Projects

How does a wooden Pallet become a functional/ useable Treasure?  Constructional engineering, creativity and time.

We’ve collected our top 10 favorites Pallet-to-Finish projects for reclaimed pallet wood inspiration.  Three of our top 10 are Haley’s Flooring and Interiors creations; used in this year’s Building and Home Remodeling Show, as well as, custom furniture pieces from the show room floor.

Hope these inspirations spark a creative reclaimed project near you!

Pallet-to-Finish Collection:


1 – Kitchen Island – This reclaimed and distressed finished wood kitchen island is custom-made by Haley’s and includes the aqua quartz counter-top! Featured in the 2014 Building Home and Remodeling Home show.


2 – Kitchen Furniture – A custom piece, by Haley’s, featured on the Interior’s side of our showroom.


3 – Bench & Coffee Table – Our very own custom-made cedar bench in a blue with antique white finish… it can be used outdoors or inside! Also, place this reclaimed wood hand-made coffee table in front for a great look! -via Bill Denyer

BreakfastInBedTray4 – Breakfast In Bed Tray – The complete project can be found at:

DeskTop5 – Desk Top – Have an old vintage desk you’d like to place curb-side?  Consider this project to give it new life!  Click the link for the complete project, via Thistle Wood Farms.


6 – Rustic Headboard – The complete project can be found at: Stylizimo Blog (Design Voice).

FlatScreenBackDrop7 – Flat Screen Back Drop – The complete project can be found at:


8 – Office Furniture – The complete project can be found at: Design Boom


9 – Pallet Bench – The complete project can be found at: The Iron Stone Nest


10- Wall Art – The complete project can be found at: Just Laine

Fresh Kitchen Look using Recycled Materials

The  Brown’s hadn’t planned to demolish their old kitchen, but when the opportunity for materials presented itself, inspiration and perseverance prevailed ending in a fresh new kitchen look!

By capitalizing on a neighbor’s demolition effort, tongue & grove was retrieved for the new floor.  Recycled kitchen cabinets, from a family member, was generously donated.  Butcher-block style counter-tops were formed out of the tongue & grove adding to the overall stylish updated look.

Dedicated and determined to see this project through, two weeks later a recycled dream makeover was born for under $200!

The Brown’s were among our top 10 finalist for this year’s Dream Kitchen makeover!  Even though we didn’t have the opportunity to make over their space, we wanted to celebrate their kitchen renovation success!  Congratulations to the Brown Family!

Before&AfterWant to read the full story?  Visit the Brown’s Recycled Home & Garden Blog here –>

Simply Adorable Centerpiece for the Fourth of July

Grab the attention of your guest with this simply adorable centerpiece!  In this DIY project, we use fruit as a decorating opportunity, while leveraging the bouquet assembly of a local super market!  This inexpensive project takes about 30 min of your time & roughly $15 from your budget!

Here’s what’s needed to get started:  1.  Patriotic bouquet, 2. scissors, 3. blueberries (1 carton) and 4. raspberries (1 carton).  Our steps are below… have fun!


 Arrangement Instructions:

1.  Gather blue, white and red carnations.  NOTE:  We found our bouquet at Publix supermarket for $7.99.

2.  Cut your stems, at an angle, for a desired length.

3.  Add more color by layering with fruit.  NOTE:  To preserve the fruit life use a cylinder, inner vase, and insert the stems.  In doing so, the fruit life is extended by not immersing in water.

4.  Add water to desired level and your ready to display!


Gifting Fresh Basil

Are you looking for a special gift for a friend, teacher, co-worker, or perhaps a neighbor?  Consider fresh Basil.  It’s minimal, in price, and  get’s everyone in the mood for spring!

Basil is a tasty herb that’s found in most kitchens.  The culinary benefits places Basil as one of the most favorable of the herb family.  Jazz-up an ordinary salad, bring life to an Italian dish, or create a Basil Pesto for fish and poultry; the depth of flavor and richness makes this herb a ‘go to’ in today’s kitchens. Some, have found, Basil to be an alternate solution for wellness.  Whatever the case, Basil is a great gift option to consider!

Instructions for gifting Fresh Basil:

We used 12″ burlap ribbon.

photo1Wrap the Basil container with the burlap.

photo1-5Secure with hot glue.


Fold one edge to make a neat seam.BasilGiftFinalSecure fridge, of your choice, around the top edge of the container.  Create a fun tag; secure with burlap string and your done!