Ben Esposito - RE/MAX Real Estate Center



Posted by Ben Esposito on 2/23/2020

Photo by Lauren Fleischmann on Unsplash

Whether you need to hang bath towels in the bathroom or hand towels in the kitchen, a towel rack is an awesome thing to have around. And it is even better if made custom to suit your tastes and elevate the look of your home. For even more brownie points, you can make the towel rack yourself — and all it takes is some old picture frames and a little bit of elbow grease. Ready to start this fun project? Follow these seven easy steps.

1. Gather Your Tools & Materials

To create your custom towel rack, you will need:

  • 7 Old picture frames in various sizes
  • 1/2-inch screws
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Wood filler
  • Plastic wall anchors
  • Paint and brushes
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Old newspaper
  • Hanger
  • 2. Mock Up Your Design

    Working on the ground, mock up the design for your picture frame towel rack. Start with the largest frame in the center, as that will be used to secure the completed towel rack to the wall. You should have the frames overlap enough that you can secure each one together using two screws.

    3. Screw the Frames Together

    After finalizing your custom design, use your drill to create pilot holes for your screws. Then, screw the frames together, one by one, being careful to avoid cracking the wood. Cover the tops of the screws with wood filler, creating a seamless surface.

    4. Sand & Paint the Frames

    With the frames assembled, sand down the exterior surfaces to scuff up the finish. This will help the paint stick to the surface. Then, put down newspaper and place your frames on top. Use your paintbrushes to apply a new coat of paint in your desired color. Allow the initial coat to dry for four hours, then repeat. Allow the second coat to fully dry overnight, though 24 hours is better.

    5. Add a Hanger to the Back

    Unless your central picture frame already has a hanger, you will need to add one to the back to create a solid mounting point. If your towel rack is a bit on the large side, consider using two mounting points to give it enough strength when the extra weight of the towels are added.  

    6. Mount the Rack on the Wall

    Put the towel rack against the wall to find your preferred installation point. Remember to account for the length of the towels when they are folded over the bottom edges of the frames. Then, drill a hole, or two if you have dual hangers, in the wall, big enough for the plastic anchor.

    Use the handle of your screwdriver to tap the plastic anchor into the holes you just made. Then, add a screw to each plastic anchor and secure them almost all the way down with your screwdriver. With those in place, you can then hang the towel rack from the screws in the wall.

    7. Add Towels & Enjoy

    After securing your towel rack to the wall, you just hang your towels to complete this project. You can then go about your business, secure in the knowledge that you always have a towel close at hand when you need one.




    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by Ben Esposito on 2/9/2020

    Image by Mike Gattorna from Pixabay

    The benefits of buying a luxury home that's under new construction include customizing it to fit your life and your family, and choosing your own finishes is a perfect way to achieve this goal. But which finishes will still maintain their beauty under the stress of busy families on the go? Which ones require the least maintenance and will wear well under heavy traffic? Our experts have put together the perfect primer for homebuyers who want to customize their new construction from the ground up, so that the surfaces look great, last long and require minimal upkeep. Here's what we recommend:

    Cast Concrete Countertops

    Concrete tops the list for designing versatile-yet-gorgeous countertops. Completely customizable right down to the color, concrete is an upscale, elegant material for countertops in both kitchen and bath, and it has benefits that make it worth the effort, including:

  • Superior Heat Resistance
  • Extreme Durability
  • Ease of Maintenance
  • Versatility
  • When you choose cast concrete as your choice of countertop, you can customize it to fit any shape and any space. You can even choose to have materials such as decorative river rock embedded. You can have your concrete countertops dyed, stamped or polished to ensure that they're custom to your luxury home and your home only. 

    Eco-Friendly Flooring

    Even if you're drawn to exotic hardwoods such as jatoba (Brazilian cherry), resist the urge to install them in your new luxury home because they contribute to harmful deforestation of the world's rainforests. Opt for eco-friendly, sustainable woods instead. There are plenty from which to choose, including:

  • Bamboo
  • Cork
  • Plantation Teak
  • Reclaimed wood is a viable alternative to non-sustainable wood, as well. Old barn timbers and salvaged pine logs make beautiful, luxurious flooring options that add history and architectural appeal to every home without harming the planet. 

    Sustainable Cabinetry

    Wood is, far and away, the most popular choice for luxury kitchen cabinetry. And it's not just the type of wood used, but the style and design of the cabinets, as well. For upscale, luxurious wooden cabinets in your kitchen, pantry or bath, consider American hardwoods such as cherry, maple, alder or ash. The growth and harvesting of these trees are monitored by the American Hardwood Export Council and strict best management practices ensure that no species is stressed or over-harvested. Additionally, they're exceptionally hard to withstand all the dings and scratches that come with family use. Lastly, they look exquisite when installed in your kitchen as paneled ends on upper cabinetry, decorative legs on islands, and as the frames for elegant, glass-paned doors. 

    Your new luxury home is only made better by customization. Talk with your builder today about which finishes you'd like to see incorporated, and you'll love the end result even more. 





    Posted by Ben Esposito on 2/17/2019

    Anyone whoís ever been in an outdated house or hotel room can tell you that the way we decorate can have an effect on our mood. Certain colors, lack of lighting, and cluttered rooms are all things that, whether we realize it or not, can have a negative effect on our mood and productivity.

    These concepts arenít recent realizations. In ancient China and India, concepts of architecture and decorating have been teaching proper design techniques for thousands of years. Today, these schools of thought are often lumped into the field of environmental psychology.

    In todayís post, Iím going to talk about a few design techniques that will help you and your houseguests feel more welcome in your home and create a tone that matches your desires, whether thatís relaxed or energized.

    The effects of color

    With a quick Google search, youíll find hundreds of articles discussing the psychological effects of colors. What many fail to mention is the way these effects are based on things like the culture and time period we grow up in.

    However, you may find that guests to your home will feel more comfortable in light, neutral- colored rooms than they will in a room thatís painted bold colors.

    On a room-by-room basis, there tend to be certain colors that Americans associate with the ďrightĒ colors for the occasion.

    However, this is often influenced by the architectural style of the house more than an internalized idea about specific colors.

    How much is too much?

    Itís easy to accumulate home decor and find your walls and surface becoming a little too cluttered. However, bare walls and sparsely decorated rooms can feel a bit too sterile and unlivable. Is there a balance between the two?

    Oftentimes the best solution is to follow one simple decorating principle:

    Rather than using several small items to decorate a room, choose just a few larger items. This will prevent the room from appearing cluttered but still give it a sense of character.

    Taking advantage of the full area of a room

    So far, weíve been talking about how colors and decor can make a room feel more spacious and welcoming. But, even if you have a small room, you can still often achieve this effect.

    One solution is to add brighter lighting to the room. Increasing the light makes to room feel more open. And, if possible, natural lighting is the best option, as it can reduce any feelings of claustrophobia.

    If better lighting or windows arenít an option, many homeowners turn to mirrors to make a room feel larger. Larger, wall-hanging mirrors are an excellent way to give the illusion of spaciousness in a small room.


    Using the psychology behind these three decorating principles, youíll be able to make you and your houseguests feel more at ease within your home.





    Posted by Ben Esposito on 10/7/2018

    Home is, first and foremost, a place of rest and relaxation. Itís where we come home to after a stressful day to be with our family, our pets, or our favorite books and television shows.

    But sometimes, the home also has to double as a place of work. Whether you have a job that allows you to work from home, or you just need a quiet place to sit down to pay bills or do taxes, at some point your home will need to be a place where you can focus. Thatís where the home office comes in.

    Designing and decorating a home office is different than the rest of your home. Youíll have to create a balance between being comfortable and but also uncluttered. You want to give it your personal touch, but at the same time avoid filling it up with distractions. Finally, youíll have to think about your personal requirements for a home office. Will it be used often enough to merit a dedicated room in your house? Or can your office items fit right into your bedroom, opening up space for things like childrenís play rooms and spare bedrooms.

    The bare necessities

    There are a few things that nearly all home offices will have in common. Weíre talking desks, organizers, office supplies, etc. However, itís easy to get carried away with file organizers or containers filled with 10 different sizes of multicolored paperclips. One of the benefits of cloud computing and paperless billing is that all of your important paperwork can usually now fit in one small folder.

    So, before you start picking out organizers, go through your important papers and find out what you can shred and what needs to be saved. Tools like Google Drive allow you to scan documents right with your smartphone camera and store them safely and securely in the cloud. That means fewer papers and less money spent on organizers and staplers that will just clutter your desk.

    What kind of worker are you?

    A hard one, Iím sure--but what type of environment helps you be the most productive? Are you better off tucked away in a dark corner surrounded by pillows and blankets, or do you work best in a well-lit room sitting upright at a clear desk.

    Before you start decorating and arranging furniture in your office, take into account your needs. Thereís no use spending money on a large wooden desk if you work better curled up on the couch.

    If you fall asleep and lose focus in the dark, consider arranging your desk next to a window or even purchasing a UV light for rainy days or dark nights. These will help you stay refreshed and alert to tackle whatever tasks you have before you.

    Use space wisely

    If you have a lot of items to store, consider a desk with drawers or a cart that you can push out of the way. This will help you from letting your desk get overcrowded.

    When it comes to furniture, shop modular. Space-saving furniture can make a world of difference in a home office, which tend to be one of the smaller rooms in your home. Cube bookcases that let you choose a size are excellent for home offices because you can buy only as many as you need. You can always add more cubes later on.

    Similarly, desks can also be modular and adjustable. One great option for home offices is a wall-mounted fold up desk. This will allow you to open up the room when youíre not using the desk if your office doubles as a home fitness room.





    Posted by Ben Esposito on 3/19/2017

    Tiny houses are trending. Americans want to live simpler lives. They want to get back to nature and feel more in control of their lives, both at work and at home. Evidence of this is reflected in the rising numbers of Americans who make up the gig economy. It's also reflected in the numbers of people who are downsizing, ridding themselves of household clutter and opting for chic, modern or traditional interior designs that showcase their amazing personalities.

    Get the space you want without moving to a new house

    You don't have to buy or live in a tiny house to want to make a small home appear bigger than it actually is. A new addition to your family, gaining a roommate or the operating a business out of your home are reasons why you might want to expand your living space without moving. These tricks may be just what you're looking for.

    • Buy and install multi-purpose furniture. Instead of a traditional sofa, get a sofa that unfolds into a bed. Also, go with a sofa that has bottom shelves for added storage space.
    • Choose built-in wall bookcases. Four rows of wall bookcases can easily save you several square feet of floor space,especially if you consider how much space four large separate bookcases would take up.
    • Install interior doors that also function as tables and storage shelves. These devices are interchangeable by removing and inserting clamps into levers.
    • Choose transformable furniture. These furniture pieces save money and space. An example of transformable furniture is a table that doubles as a chair. You may have to visit specialty furniture stores to find transforming furniture pieces.
    • Make good use of vertical space. Stack decorative storage bins on top of each other rather than shoving them in closets or placing them in or near the middle of a floor.
    • Keep end tables close to chairs and sofas.
    • Use tables that fold into chairs and rely on stylish ceiling lights for lighting. During the day, rely on natural light.
    • Install removable dividers to turn a single room into a multi-purpose space. Go with dividers that are made with elegant designs.
    • Purchase twin, bunk beds that fold away when not in use.
    • Turn your attic into a master bedroom. Make sure that air flow and insulation in the attic is good, allowing the attic to easily heat and cool.
    • Screen your front or back porch. Place chairs and a sofa on the porch and use the space as an outdoor office or socializing area.
    • Donate furniture and objects that you don't use to charities and community organizations.

    A large house still serves as a sign of success in many communities. Other Americans are focusing on houses that are highly functional, whether that functionality comes through floor plans or solar energy. One thing is certain. Individual living space preferences are helping to reshape the housing market. It is exciting to watch the impact that those preferences are making.




    Categories: Uncategorized