Ari Koufos
REALTY EXECUTIVES | 617-799-8948 | ari@arikoufos.com


Posted by Ari Koufos on 2/11/2020

Photo by Thijs van der Weide from Pexels

You may be surprised to learn just how much a little DIY storage bench in your entryway can save you in time and money. Storage benches offer children a place to sit while they remove snowy or muddy shoes. That's less time spent mopping your kitchen or steam-cleaning the carpets. 

Save hardwoods from years of damage and wear.

On top of that, a bench can double as storage. Never again will you be racing around your home trying to find your mittens, scarves, rain boots and other outdoor essentials on your way out the door. It's now all in one convenient place. 

You can even store backpacks and lunch bags on the weekend -- whatever makes sense for your family.

You might think that making an entryway storage bench is complicated. But we'll show you the easy way to build your bench in less than a day.

What you'll need

*Pro tip* Borrow tools that you may never use again before buying. If you find you want to take on more new projects, you can buy one then.

  • 18-gauge nail gun
  • Miter saw
  • Framing square
  • Pneumatic framing gun
  • Hammer drill for concrete/brick or regular drill
  • Circular saw
  • 6 3/4" plywood
  • 8 2x4" boards
  • 3" strap hinges
  • 3" concrete screws or regular screws
  • 6 1x4" boards
  • Wood screws
  • How to build a DIY storage bench for your entryway

    Here's your guide.

    Gather materials & supplies

    The amount of material varies by the bench size you choose the make. Be sure to measure twice and cut once so that everything fits perfectly.

    Frame your bench

    Your frame becomes your guide for the project. Cut your 2X4's the desired length of the bench. Then cut more for the height. Find the studs. And use that hammer drill to attach the 2X4s to the back wall. Build out from there.

    Construct the front and sides

    Now build around your frame, using your plywood. Be careful with any tools you use. Just take your time to get it right. 

    Add the hinges

    Measure and drill for your hinges. Then simply screw them in. 

    Place the lid on the ground and drill holes for hinge screws. Then connect the top to the other side of the hinge with screws. You might need a partner hold the lid steady while you to screw in the lid.

    Add your finish of choice

    You can stop with a basic box. But while you're at it, it won't take much more effort to add some trim and paint it. Then place some hooks above for coats and backpacks.

    And now, you have a beautiful DIY storage bench. For more helpful tips on home maintenance and improvement, follow our blog.




    Categories: DIY  


    Posted by Ari Koufos on 10/30/2018

    Making your own candles is a fulfilling endeavor to take. You’ll learn about the art of candle-making, get the chance to make something for your home yourself, and reap the rewards once you get to burn it and diffuse whatever (if any) fragrances you choose to use.

    Many people are surprised to learn that it isn’t all that hard to make a candle. However, to make one that will burn well and smell nice can be tricky.

    In this article, we’re going to walk you through how to make your own candle for your home.

    Chandlery

    In the times when households weren’t yet powered by electricity, candle-making or “chandlery” wasn’t just a fun skill to have--it was downright useful.

    Since the earliest times in recorded history humans have been making candles. First from tallow, or beef fat, and then of beeswax and other animal-produced substances.

    Today, however, the most common candle wax base is paraffin, due to it being the cheapest base. As a petroleum byproduct, many people are concerned with potential health risks of paraffin and have elected to use alternatives. The two most common are beeswax and soybean oil.

    The wax base you choose is up to you, but you’ll likely find that soy is a good middle ground between quality and price.

    Gather your supplies

    Once you’ve decided on a wax, you’ll need to think about a few other ingredients--namely your wick, container, and any oils you’d like to add for fragrance. You’ll also need a way to melt the wax, such as a double boiler.

    When it comes to wicks, it’s easiest to buy them pre-assembled. However, you can buy a roll of braided rope and tabs to make and cut them yourself. When cutting your wick, leave an inch or two extra so that you can cut the wick to the proper size later on.

    In terms of a container you have several options, some of which might be laying around in your house at this very moment. You could reuse an old candle container, use mason jars or coffee cups, and most other heat- and flame-resistant containers. If you plan on making several, buying a pack of candle tins of mason jars online is an economical way to go.

    Finally, you’ll need to choose some fragrances if you want your candle to smell like anything. There are hundreds of essential oils to choose from. However, they don’t all go nicely together. It’s best to do a bit of research and find out which oils make good pairs. Some examples: Cedarwood and bergamot, lavender and rosemary, orange and lemongrass.

    Making your candle

    Put water in the bottom of your double boiler and add roughly ½ lb wax to the top pan. Heat slowly until the wax melts, stirring and chopping up the larger chunks throughout the process.

    Once the wax is melted, take your wick and dip the tab into the wax, then carefully press the tab into the bottom of your container. Use a pen or other tool to do this to avoid burning yourself on the wax.

    Next, add your essential oils to the double boiler. A pound of wax typically requires only an ounce of oil. Then, stir it for a minute or so to distribute the oil throughout the wax.

    Then, pour the wax into your container with one hand. With your other hand, keep the wick held in the center of the container.

    Finally, you’ll need to keep the wick in the center of the candle until the wax dries. You can do this by tying or taping the wick to a pen or pencil and resting the pencil on top of the container so that the wick stays in the center.




    Tags: diy   candles   fragrance  
    Categories: DIY   candles   fragrance  


    Posted by Ari Koufos on 7/17/2018

    There's a lot to love about a builder grade home, for example, the fact that it is newly built and doesn't come with the host of issues of an older home. However, these homes can lack in the personality department since the focus when being built was on the budget and not magazine worthy style. Keep reading to discover how you can add stylistic flair to your home without draining your bank account. Light fixtures. Changing light fixtures by either replacing them completely or painting them can make a huge difference in a room. Picking up a few cans of rubbed bronze or satin nickel spray paint will give a modern touch without breaking the bank. Doors. Replace or reface generic hollow core doors. You can reface flat doors by adding molding or get creative with a can of paint and a roll of painter’s tape and make the illusion that you have a raised panel door. Beadboard paired with molding is another great combination that adds personality to your doors without the major price tag. Stairs. Strip carpeting to expose treads and risers. Here’s where you can let your imagination go wild. Pick up some cans of paint and add a unique touch to your staircase by painting railings and  risers to add a pop of color. Avoid painting your stairs all one color to avoid a bland look. You can even paint a faux runner to really add a unique touch. Cabinets.  Replacing cabinets is always an option albeit a pricey one. If you’re happy with your cabinet layout you have a few diy options available. Variation can be the spice of life. Try removing some cabinet doors to keep things open or installing some glass paneled doors. Paint is always an option whether professionally sprayed or done by yourself. Another easy way to add some personality to builder grade cabinets is by updating hardware. Look for knobs and handles at antique shops to add a unique touch on a budget. Millwork. Molding, wainscoting, and beadboard. Oh, my. With this trio on your side, the possibilities for customization are endless. Frame a plain bathroom mirror, add chair rails or extend baseboards. With a little creativity, you can even recreate the look of coffered ceiling or paneled doors. If you are unsure of where to start, try looking through some home magazines for inspiration. Wallpaper. Wallpaper gives you endless options for adding flair to the walls of your home. Add a pop of color with bright, bold patterns or texture with paintable varieties. If you don’t want to make a commitment to wallpaper or the idea of scrapping it if you change your mind fills you with dread there are now a plethora of temporary wallpaper options. Tile. Hexagon and subway tiles are both guaranteed to add a modern feel to your home. However, your options today are endless no matter your budget. Explore the selections at your local home improvement store and don’t rule out materials fabricated to recreate a stone or wood finish. After all, there’s no need to empty your wall out just to get the look you want. Just because you’ve fallen in love with a builder grade home doesn’t mean it needs to stay quite so basic. If you want to add a touch of modern style to your home a little creativity and paint can go a long way. Don’t forget to sit back and enjoy all your hard work when you’re finished!




    Categories: interior design   Home Design   DIY