Learn the Lingo – Hygge


It was big in 2016, and it looks like it will be here to stay for 2017, it’s Hygge!


…What is “Hygge”?

The Danes used the word “hygge” to describe a feeling or mood that comes from taking pleasure in everyday moments. Hygge can be described as creating an intimate, cozy, and relaxed environment where you can take time to savor the smallest special moments.

In terms of design, the concept of hygge has translated into fireplaces, warm thick blankets, soft lighting and varying shades of white.


Oh, and one last thing in case you were wondering – it’s pronounced “

Learn the Lingo – Cerused Wood

Cerused Wood

There is a design trend showing up in those “Top 10 Trends for 2017” posts – Cerused Wood. Today we’re talking about what it is and it’s history.

A variety of colored waxes are available to consumers today.

Cerused wood isn’t a type of wood, it is a treatment applied to wood. Starting with the french in the 1500’s, the ceruse finishing technique was originally implemented to prevent wooden beams from rotting. Wood would be treated with a paste derived from lead; this paste would be used to fill in the grain in wooden beams and paneling, protecting the wood and contrasting the wood grain against the rest of the surface of the wood.

The ceruse finish is often applied to oak because characteristically oak has an open grain. Other hardwoods, such as ash, can make good options when looking for lumber to be treated.
Today lead based paint is no longer used to achieve cerused wood’s distinct appearance. Instead consumers can choose from nontoxic waxes that come in a variety of colors. If you love the look of cerused wood, but don’t want to use wood, large format tiles are available that will capture the the appearance you are looking for – a great option for bathrooms.

Learn the Lingo : Internet of Things

Internet of things

Do you know what the internet of things (IoT) is, or what it has to do with your house? Today we are giving you a very brief overview of the IoT and the impact of it on homeowners.


The Internet of Things (IoT) consists of of devices that connect to the internet and to each other. Everything from smart appliances, wearable devices, smartphones, headphones, smart plugs and more can be considered parts of the IoT.


What is great about some of the new automation technology coming to market, is that they don’t require you to dump your old “dumb” appliance. There are products available that will allow you to retrofit the hardware you already have available.


For example, look at the Roost Smart Battery for smoke detectors. This wifi enabled battery will allow you to get updates from your alarm while you’re away, monitor battery life and snooze those false alarms- great if you are prone to forgetting things in the oven. Other products like smart plugs allow you to control whatever is plugged into it from your phone.


While this is a very exciting time for home automation technology, it is also a time where we are still trying to figure out how this technology will effect our daily lives. Many have asked “how secure are these devices?”, they are after all, linked up to the internet. How might others use these convenience devices to disrupt your life?
One this is pretty clear, home automation technology is here to stay. Whether or not you choose to jump on the bandwagon right away is up to you. Look to see more news regarding IoT devices, security and legal issues that arise due to their usage in 2017.

Learn the Lingo – Porch vs. Deck

A simple porch

Let’s start this installment of “Learn the Lingo” off by diving right into the primary difference between a porch and a deck.

 A porch is found at the entrance of a building, allowing people to be sheltered while waiting to gain access home or building. A deck on the other is a floored structure that adjoins to the house, decks may have a sheltered or enclosed area depending on whatever your preferences might be

In addition to location, height is another characteristic that differs between porches and decks. A porch is typically only a few feet above street level, whereas a deck can be up to a story tall and can consist of multiple levels.


A wraparound porch
A wraparound porch

A porch serves the utilitarian function of providing a covered space for people to wait for access to the home. Porches however do not have to be strictly utilitarian, for example the wraparound porch not only gives guests a place to wait outside your home, it can be used for entertaining or for leisurely purposes.   



Both porches and decks can be enclosed for further protection from the elements, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor space even when the weather isn’t so great.

A deck with partial enclosure
A deck with partial enclosure

Learn the Lingo- Plumb vs. Level

Level and Plumb bob
A plumb bob in action
A plumb bob in action

The terms “plumb” and “level” sometimes get switched around, but the two words are not interchangeable.

Not to be confused with the fruit, “plumb” refers to a line that is exactly vertical or perpendicular to a horizontal plane. To check if a wall is plumb you can use a tool called a “plumb bob”, which is a weight that has a string attached to it.

Plumb refers to something, a wall in most cases, is straight up and down. The term “level” refers to something being straight from side to side- like a floor, if your floor is not level you may have some problems. You can use a level to check if a surface is even by using a spirit level (sometimes called a bubble level, or just level).

Checking the spirit level

A spirit level is a horizontal plane that has a vial of liquid with an air bubble encased within it. When the level is placed on a surface the bubble of air will indicate whether or not the surface is parallel to the horizontal plane.

Learn the Lingo – Wainscoting

We’re talking about Wainscoting today. You’ve probably seen it at some point, but never knew that it had a name. It’s  been trendy for a few years now but did you know that it has actually been around since at least the 18th century?

So what is it?
Wainscoting is a paneling that is applied to the lower half of a wall and is often topped by a chair railing. The top portion of the wall is left uncovered by paneling, often you will find the area above the paneling is painted or wallpapered.

Why would I use it?

If you like the look of wainscoting then go for it. This architectural detail is so versatile that, it can be used in any room of your house. Many say that wainscoting is easy to care for and clean, making it perfect for your mudroom.

What else should I know?

Wainscoting is pretty versatile, there are many styles available today that will suit whatever style you’re aiming to emulate in your home.

Living room interior with hardwood floor. 3D illustration
A modern take on Wainscoting
Simple Traditional Wainscoting


If you are interested in more wainscoting applications take a look at this photo gallery by This Old House