Buoyed by years of low interest rates and, more recently, rising home value, many homeowners are opting to extract equity from their homes rather than refinance at a lower rate. A report by CNBC shows American homeowners cashing in on home equity at pre-recession rates. Citing analysis conducted by Black Knight Financial Services, HELOC originations were again up 10 percent year over year for 2016. While low interest rates combined with rising home values might typically lead to a frothy housing market, reports suggest stocks of existing homes for sale are low in several parts of the country. As such, many homeowners are choosing to stay put and reinvest in this once again appreciating asset.
In our last blog, we noted the increase in home remodeling projects and paid particular attention to kitchen upgrades. Clearly, traditional home improvement activity is ticking up and wood surfaces are increasingly finding a place in home improvement projects. But what other creative uses are folks coming up with to make their homes more habitable?
Perusing websites aimed at design and project ideas yields many intriguing uses for ‘high end project wood’ as we’ll call it here. In that context, and with an eye on wood surfaces, this time we take a quick look at other home projects DIYers are undertaking that might not fit neatly into what we think of when we think ‘home improvement.’
Among interior design (project) ideas that turn up consistently in furniture and decor forums, two notable projects appear repeatedly: 1) wood tabletops situated on a variety of leg and pedestal options (with many prefab metal options available), and 2) barn doors.
An internet search of “wood top with metal table legs” yields over four million hits listing styles ranging from modern to traditional and rustic. Aimed at those seeking something a bit different in their design, a community of ideas has formed around the use of metal piping to support wood tops for a more industrial look. Similarly, searching “interior barn doors” returns over three million hits with seemingly endless designs integrating wood.
These two ideas capture our attention and our imagination in particular due to the relative simplicity of each project. A solid butcher block slab can be easily fabricated into either a barn door or tabletop given the myriad table leg and door hardware selections available on line or at your favorite home center. Both are room-transforming interior design projects that can be completed in a weekend with a bit of skill and a few tools. Why not try something a little different with this beautiful and versatile material? You might end up with a conversation piece.