Sunday, May 31, 2009

Create The Illusion of Distance

If you have an area in your yard or garden that you would like to make bigger, but you don't have the room - no worries!

There are two basic ways professional landscape designers create the illusion of a larger area, creating distance so to speak, and both ways are easy and fast to implement.

1. Use Warm To Cool Colors

To increase the apparent length of your flower borders or beds when seen from inside, place the majority of warm and hot-colored plants (yellows, oranges and reds) nearest the house. These plants can be perennials or annuals, it doesn't matter.

Next, concentrate cool colors, especially different blues, which have a tendency to appear more distant, in the second half of the garden. Make the change from warm to cool gradual, so a harsh line isn't created, and along with the blues, include some pink and mauve flowers.

Plants with silver or white foliage can be used to provide a unifying ground color throughout.

This trick can be used anywhere. We are assuming you may be looking out from your house, but your point of view may be from your patio, deck, hot tub, or walkway area. Just use the same trick: warm to cool, and it will make a big difference in making a small area look larger.

2. Use Different Dimensions

The second way to create the illusion of distance is to vary your dimensions of the borders and the paths separating them.

For example: in a border that is 20 feet (6.1 m) long, make the planting area and path narrower the farther away you get from your focal point.

So if you have a border that is 3 feet (1 m) wide and 20 feet (6.1 m) long, the dimensions would go from 3 feet (1 m) and narrow down to 1.5 to 2 feet (.46 to .61 m) wide at the end.

Do the exact same with the path that is close to the border, start it out wide and then narrow it down the farther way you get.

So do what the professional designers do, use dimensions creatively and it works out to your advantage every time!

Friday, May 29, 2009

7 landscaping tips

These ideas offer some of the best returns for your renovation dollar. Plus, the payoff increases over time.

If prospective buyers looked at your house today, what would they see outside? A giant evergreen that looks as if it might swallow the station wagon, perhaps, scraggly old foundation plants or maybe a kitchen-table view of the neighbors' kids' trampoline?

If so, you have a truly inexpensive opportunity to boost your home's curb appeal.

By spending $500 to $3,000 on plants and materials and a few hours of time, you can achieve a well-landscaped look without shelling out for professional help.

Besides the personal enjoyment you'll get from a prettier yard, landscaping adds more value than almost any other home renovation.

A recent Michigan State University study found that depending on where the house is located, high-quality landscaping adds 5 percent to 11 percent to its price.

If you have no immediate plans to move, all the better: Landscaping is the one home improvement that actually appreciates over time.

So how do you decide which projects to tackle? That depends on how long you think you'll be around to enjoy the results.

If you're selling in a year or less
Edge the beds Cutting fresh edges where grass meets mulch makes the lawn look well kept. A move as simple as curving the edge of your flower beds could increase the value of your home by 1 percent, says horticulture professor Bridget Behe, the lead researcher on the MSU study.

Also, if your foundation plants are overgrown, widening the beds by two feet will make the shrubs seem smaller.

Nourish the grass For truly lush turf, ideally you should start regular fertilizer treatments a year before listing the house. But you can green up the lawn with just a single application.

Spend $45 on a broadcast spreader, which quickly distributes fertilizer over a lawn, enabling you to nourish a quarter-acre lot in about 10 minutes.

For a yard that size, expect each monthly application to cost about $20 (for straight fertilizer) to $30 (with weed killer).

Scatter color throughout For about $1 a plant, you can blanket your yard with petunias, impatiens and other small annuals that will flower throughout the current growing season.

Also invest a few hundred dollars in some larger perennials and in shrubs that stand at least four feet high.

"A few good-size plants have more sex appeal than 20 little ones," says Chicago landscape architect Douglas Hoerr.

If you're improving for the long-term
Cut back the jungle Many everyday yard plants, such as azaleas, forsythia, hollies and rhododendrons, will fill out with new growth after a season or so even if you hack them down to stumps, says Christopher Valenti, a landscape contractor in Lewes, Del.

Be careful, though, of yews and junipers, which won't grow new leaves on old wood and may need to be removed altogether if they're severely overgrown.

Add drama with foliage A distinctive yard will make your home more appealing to buyers, says Los Angeles realtor Dana Frank. So replace plants that don't flower, or provide interesting foliage with eye-catching alternatives, like a patch of blackeyed Susans, a flowering crabapple or a cutleaf Japanese maple.

If you're planning to stay put, you don't need to spend hundreds of dollars for big plants. You'll save 50 percent or more by buying small ones and waiting a few seasons to get the full visual impact (when planting, make sure to space them based on the mature size listed on the label, not how they look now).

Consider new angles Most yards have almost all the plants along the foundation and the property lines. But if you place yours throughout different parts of the property, you'll create a depth of field that makes your home look farther away from the road, says architect Hoerr.

Try putting some near the house's corners to accentuate its shape, others near the street to define the yard, and some in between, where they can block unfortunate views and be admired from indoors. Many nurseries offer free design help to buyers.

Cover your rear It's nice to wave hello to your neighbors out front, but the backyard should be a private space. If yours feels overexposed, fencing can offer a quick fix.

For each eight-foot section, you'll pay about $100 (for a plain cedar stockade fence) to $300 (for an elaborate Victorian model), plus another $50 to $150 a section for installation.

You can also achieve the same effect at a much lower cost by planting small evergreen shrubs, although you'll have to wait a few seasons for full coverage.

Or, rather than pruning those hulking foundation plants, hire a landscaper to transplant them along the property line. As long as they're healthy and evergreen, it's a great way to maximize the value of the plants you already own.

Take your home outside: An open-air "room" adds inexpensive living space that may come in handy at resale. And it needn't have a price tag as big as the great outdoors.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Top Ten Budget Renovations - Adding Value To Your Home

Many of us are staying in our homes longer and plan on some level of renovation this year. I have listed my top ten fixes to add value to your home on a budget.

1- Paint, Paint, Paint! - I cannot stress enough the changes you can make in your home with a can of paint. It is the easiest and most cost efficient way to refresh old and worn surfaces on a budget. Paint your interior as well as your exterior for a new and updated look. Interior painting can include your cabinetry, walls, trim, furniture, etc. Exterior painting can include your trim, siding, stucco, brick, shutters, foundation, etc. Start painting!

2- Change Your Doors! - Changing your front and back doors can do wonders for the overall style and look for your home. You can find closeout doors at home centers, salvage yards, antique stores, flea markets, etc. Find a door that matches your home style and discard old and worn doors that date your exterior.

3- Lighting Matters! - Updating light fixtures inside and out can change the overall appearance to your home. You can find lower priced fixtures at home centers, lighting stores (they have clearances each year), Craigslist and don't forget stores like Ikea. There are also a lot of stores online with closeout lighting (Smart Bargains, etc.). Just look around and you can find a light fixture that fits your needs at a great price.

4- Deck or Patio Redo! - Nothing hurts the look of a home worse than a lack luster entertainment area. Restain your deck, use concrete stain for the patio or make a new area from salvaged bricks or stones. Salvage yards have brick and outdoor materials from buildings that have been demolished. Antique bricks are sometimes easy to find here!

5- Remodel Bathrooms! - One of the top renovations for home resales are bathrooms. Keep the colors neutral for long term style and redo what is only in your budget. Change out cabinets for pedestals if you need to make your room look larger. Repaint or stain cabinetry and change out the hardware. New plumbing fixtures can also be found on a budget in closeout centers. Learn to do tile installation yourself with free classes at the home centers. Each change you make will bring you closer to a new bath.

6- Update Kitchen! - This can be an expensive proposition so do what you can toward updating the kitchen. Changing hardware and just cleaning the cabinetry with special products can make the overall appearance more updated. If new cabinetry is not in the budget, then think paint or stain for your old cabinets. Purchase new appliances when possible and keep a look out for dented or slightly used ones at clearance centers. You can save a bundle.

7- Flooring Updates Too! - Update your flooring to hardwood wherever you can and use prefinished for affordability and ease of installation. Engage a friend for help with installation or this may be one place you need to hire a professional. If sticking with carpet, then look for remnants with any carpet company.

8- Improve Systems! - Changes that are aesthetically pleasing or help your home with efficiency are worth the trouble. You can update heating, electrical and plumbing whenever it is within your budget and improve your efficiency rating. This is where you will need help from a professional. They can make changes within a few days.

9- Landscaping! - The overgrown shrubs and trees at the front of your home make it dark and outdated. Most homeowners like a more clean and fresh look with little maintenance. Buy new plants at the end of the season or when they are on sale. You can stay within budget by doing a few at a time and the new look will be amazing.

10- Clean and Cleaner! - The cleaner your home and property looks, the more value it retains. Keep your property and façade clean and fresh and add new flowers in a few pots for color. A well maintained home is a good value!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Kitchen Decor & Home Decor: Home Decorator - Home Furniture

Every home is incomplete without proper decoration. Decoration is the main factor, which changes a house into a home. The Decoration in a house resembles the personality of the people who live in it and Decoration is not just decorating the house on an occasion but home decoration is a way in which you maintain your house. The deals with many things like wallpapers, lighting, artifacts, antique pieces or furniture this list just keeps on going. Almost every part of a house needs decoration the walls, flooring, roofs and even kitchens and bathrooms. So, where to get all these stuff at a price which is suitable to your pocket and guarantees best quality?

The home decorators outlet is may be the place where people who love to decorate the house could enjoy popular decorative items for home decorative, which sometimes may require effective function as well. Most of the house decorative sellers in the nation then try to make themselves to be competitive among its competitors. One of the most important key elements that could bring the success to them is to have many of product showrooms nationwide and they may have to present expertise long experience in this market the home decorator outlet present to customers. Apart from that, offering a vast range of home decorative items and with a wide range of variety in those items. The product catalogues have to be attractive and full of all latest innovative products that you are looking for your home and these pages are increasing day by day. And for those who cannot find time to pay a visit to these retail stores or who cannot find a store near by operates its services through many websites and you can find these website very useful to get initial ideas as because they have millions of product catalogues and thousands of orders daily, so they have to provide beautiful and reliable website available to customers.

Wide range of quality products for every part of your home like wallpapers, rugs, lightings, furniture sinks cabinets or décor are really need to be attractive. All these products can be found at cheap rates and discounts without compromising on the quality of the product. More discounts are also available for mass purchases and during festival season. Shopping through these outlets is very easy and convenient all you need to do is just browsing the internet and find your favorite products and whenever you need to buy just spare some time and you can browse hundreds of products just within minutes. Placing an order is also very easy all you need to do is just use credit card that's it your shopping is over.

As today, many of sellers are providing home delivery service. The product will be couriered to your house by theirs reliable delivery partners who work seven days a week and with 24 hour service. This is a very convenient process and saves your valuable time. Apart from that they may offer guarantees lowest prices and has a 30-45 day period return and exchange offer. Home decoration is the best and cheapest way to hide the negative aspects of the home like cracks or ugly looking external electric pipelines and to showcase the positive aspects of the home. Whether you have bought a new home or you are planning to renovate your old house on a Christmas Eve. The outlets for home decorator are the best place to find everything you need for your dream home.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Kitchen Design Plans, Tips On Small Kitchen Designs

The kitchen is often the focal point of any house, as well as a place for cooking and eating it is often a meeting place where the whole family gather. Therefore it is important to have a kitchen that is both functional and pleasant to be in. If you thought that it was too difficult to design your own kitchen, then think again. There are many different kitchen design plans and with a few tips you can have the kitchen that you have always wanted.

If you have a small room for a kitchen it may at first seem to be very difficult when you want to design your own kitchen to your personal preferences. But remember that a functional kitchen does not rely just on the kitchen floor design, where everything has to fit into tight corners to make the most of the available space.

One simple but effective idea is to put an island in or near the centre of the room. These provide great storage as well a convenient and handy workspace. Kitchen island designs automatically create more space, as they are usually placed in the centre of the kitchen it also gives you easy access all the way around.

With a little thought you could even incorporate something like a breakfast bar as part of your kitchen island design. And don't forget that you are not just limited to a square or rectangle for your kitchen island, it could be round or oval or any shape that will fit into your kitchen floor design.

As well as the actual design there are also many kitchen appliances available these days that come in smaller sizes, especially designed for the smaller kitchen. Things like refrigerators are available that are only twenty four inches deep as apposed to the usual thirty inch deep models. And don't forget things like microwave ovens that will fit easily onto a worktop below overhead cabinets.

Also think about hanging your pots and pans on a rack over your kitchen island. This not only makes them more accessible and easier to get at when needed but will also drastically cut down on the amount of cupboard space that they take up. And its not just pots and pans that can be hung on racks, you can also hang up things like cooking utensils, oven gloves, and anything else that you use often. This way you don't have to go searching through cluttered drawers just to find one item.

Lighting is another important part of the décor to think about when you design your own kitchen. With the proper kind of lighting it can create the illusion of a bigger room. There are lots of different types of lighting available these days, so you no longer have to put up with a fluorescent strip light or glaring 100 watt bulbs. The simple use of dimmer switches can give you a greater flexibility for different lighting moods.

These are just some of the basic tips for small kitchen designs. When you come to design your own kitchen make sure you think it through properly so you get exactly what you want. Whether you want an old world kitchen design, or if you are after a great island kitchen design, remember that its your kitchen so its worth getting it right, as its you who will be using it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

3 Kitchen Organization Tips to Get You Started the Right Way

3 Kitchen Organization Tips to Get You Started the Right Way

Kitchens are one of the most difficult areas to organize because they are quite often the central hub of the home. Not only is it where we cook meals but it is also often where mail, backpacks, schoolwork, keys and anything else that we drag in the door with us often ends up. So in addition to organizing everything in the kitchen cupboards, you also have to think about all of the other "stuff" that collects in your kitchen. Where do you start with this whole kitchen organization project? Here are a few kitchen organization tips that can help.

Start small
Since getting the kitchen organized is one of the biggest organizational challenges in your home, start with a small area that is going to have the biggest impact on how you live. This can be a stumbling block for many people so let me explain what I mean by this. If the part of your kitchen that drives you crazy is the table or counter where all of the mail, schoolwork, etc gets dumped, then focus your kitchen organizing efforts on that area first. If this is the area of the kitchen that you are going to organize first, then also make sure that this area of your kitchen stays organized before you move onto something else.

Because it is not just about getting your kitchen organized one time, it is about keeping your kitchen organized. That is where the real challenge lies. So if you just organize the paper that comes into your kitchen one day but by the next day it is already a mess again, you have not really accomplished anything. One of the most helpful kitchen organization tips I can give you is to keep working with organizing one area of your kitchen until it stays organized. Do not move on to another area until the one that you are working with has stayed organized for at least a week.

Too much stuff
As with any other home organization project, getting your kitchen organized means getting rid of the things you no longer use and the things that are unsafe for you to use. So if you can't remember the last time that you used that dust-covered appliance in your cupboard or if you can't even remember what it does, it is time to get rid of it. Look at every pot, pan, dish and utensil in that kitchen and make a note of when you used it last. You need to get rid of it if it is not something that you use frequently. The only exception to this is anything that you use seasonally.

The other important thing that you need to look at as you do your kitchen organization is all of your canned goods, spices and packaged foods. This is an important kitchen organization tip because if it is expired, you need to throw it away. If you do not use it or like it, throw it away or donate it to your local food shelf. This is especially true of spices. We tend to gather and collect spices that we never use.

Counter space is not storage space
When you organize your kitchen, keep stuff off of your counters. It will make your kitchen look and feel cleaner. The kitchen counter in your home is not another cupboard so don't act like it is one. Any appliances that you are not using daily should not be on your counter. This is more of a diet tip than a kitchen organization tip but also keep food, especially snacks, off of your counters. It will help to keep you from snacking. Out of sight, out of mind!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ideas for Major Kitchen Remodeling Projects

Ideas for Major Kitchen Remodeling Projects

Are you tired of your outdated kitchen? Frustrated by a poor layout, aging appliances and a lack of modern conveniences? If you are, it may be time to consider some ideas for major kitchen remodeling projects. A kitchen remodel can increase the value of your home, but major kitchen remodeling projects are both expensive and time consuming, so think carefully about ideas for major kitchen remodeling projects before you begin your remodel.

1. Finding Ideas for Major Kitchen Remodeling Projects
Where can you look for ideas for kitchen remodeling? You have a lot of choices, and simply looking around is the best place to start when you are planning kitchen remodeling projects. You may want to visit home improvement centers or kitchen design specialists early on in the planning process. Even if every model kitchen is not right for your space, you may see things you like about each. There are also many publications and websites devoted to kitchen remodeling. You may even find web possibilities that allow you to input specifics and design your dream kitchen online. This can be a good way to work out ideas for kitchen remodeling.

All of these can help you get ideas for kitchen remodeling. You may also have ideas based on your own needs. Perhaps you need more counter space or need to modernize a very outdated kitchen. You might even be changing or altering your home's floor plan to integrate a more open kitchen. You may even want to start a file of ideas for kitchen remodeling when you begin to consider planning a kitchen remodel, with notes of what you like and do not like about each kitchen design possibility. 2. Starting a Kitchen Remodeling Project
How do you begin the process of remodeling your kitchen? First, you need to determine exactly what you want done in your kitchen. Do you need new countertops, floors, appliances or cabinetry? Are you going to change the fundamental layout of your kitchen, or simply improve what is there? You may want to start by dreaming big, then adjusting as your budget allows. Consider prioritizing your goals, so you can choose what is most important to you in your kitchen remodeling plans.

Once you have some idea of what you need to do, after consider your ideas for kitchen remodeling, you will need to assess the available funds. Minor kitchen remodeling projects may be do it yourself options that can be done on a reasonable budget, but you may well need to consider a home improvement loan for a major kitchen remodeling project. You may want to consider consulting a kitchen design studio, home improvement center or contractor for estimates at this point. In many cases, you will find that you may need to downgrade your kitchen improvement plans to meet your budget.

You will have many decisions to make as you begin considering remodeling your kitchen, ranging from flooring and appliances to counters and finishes. Your kitchen should fit in with the style of your home, your lifestyle, and even whether or not you particularly enjoy cooking. Do integrate items that you know you will use into your new kitchen, whether that is a wine cooler or space for the kids to have an afternoon snack.

3. Planning Your Kitchen Remodel
You have several options when planning your kitchen remodeling project. You may want to talk to several contractors and designers before choosing the one that is right for your kitchen design needs. You can use a professional kitchen designer, and some retail outlets even offer free kitchen design services if you purchase your cabinetry and appliances through them. Some contractors, particularly those specializing in kitchen remodeling may also offer kitchen design services. Even if you have a good idea of what you want in your kitchen, a professional may have some helpful design ideas that you had not considered.

If you are planning a smaller kitchen remodeling project, you may plan to do it yourself. In that case, be certain that you have all the necessary skills, and carefully consider what aspects of the project for which you might need professional assistance. Plumbing, electrical and carpentry work may well require professional assistance. On the other hand, if you are fairly handy around the house, refinishing cabinetry, adding a ready to assemble island, or tiling a backsplash can all change a kitchen quite a lot with just a reasonable budget and a few weekends worth of your time. Some small kitchen remodeling projects can be done by your average homeowner, but many cannot, and you should consider this when planning your kitchen remodel or looking at ideas for kitchen remodeling.

4. Total Kitchen Renovation
Many people with older homes may find themselves considering totally remodeling their kitchens. A total kitchen remodeling project will often involve replacing all of the cabinets, appliances, and flooring. In an older home, it might also include modernizing wiring or plumbing. Some people may also want to open the kitchen up to other rooms of the home to modernize the layout. Be certain that you choose a good and reputable contractor if planning this sort of kitchen remodeling project.

Ideas for kitchen remodeling projects of this scope are often easy to find. You may well be able to create your dream kitchen. You should also consider what aspects, if any, of your current kitchen you may want to keep. Beautiful cabinetry should be kept and preserved, or original floors refinished in an older home. While no one wants that dark and dated 1970's kitchen, if you live in a much older home, consider trying to retain the character of your home and kitchen while planning your kitchen remodeling projects.

Expect a total kitchen remodeling project to take quite some time, often as much as several months. It will be costly, and in many cases quite inconvenient. You may even want to spend some time away from home while the work is being done to reduce the stress of the remodeling project.

5. A Major Kitchen Remodel
Major kitchen remodeling projects are not so different than a total remodel. You may well be replacing cabinets, flooring and appliances; however, you may not be changing the basic structure of your kitchen in a fundamental way. As with a total kitchen remodeling project you will need a good contractor, and may need the services of a kitchen designer.

Ideas for kitchen remodeling of this scope include replacing cabinetry, adding a custom island, bringing in new appliances or flooring or having your kitchen cabinets refaced. Refacing your kitchen cabinets is one great way to change the look of your kitchen and keep your budget intact. If you have a well laid out kitchen and good quality cabinetry, consider investigating this option when planning your kitchen remodeling projects. Opting to reface rather than replace your cabinets may allow you to upgrade other appliances or countertops.

While a major kitchen remodeling project will not render your kitchen unusable for as long as a total kitchen renovation, you should still be prepared to use a microwave and crockpot, and eat quite a lot of takeout for the time that the kitchen is undergoing remodeling.

6. Smaller Kitchen Remodeling Projects
A variety of smaller kitchen remodeling projects can change your kitchen in big ways. These smaller projects are often quite affordable and can be done by many homeowners on their own. What are some ideas for kitchen remodeling projects you can do yourself?

Paint can dramatically change your kitchen, and is a very doable and affordable change. Whether you paint just the walls or opt to prime and paint your cabinets, this option is one of the best ways to remodel your kitchen on a tight budget. Many types of flooring, including some laminate possibilities and tiles of various sorts can be done by a handy homeowner. If your flooring is dated and worn, this can be another kitchen remodeling project you may want to consider. Tiled backsplashes are also a popular choice when you want to add color and style to your kitchen without a big investment.

Countertops, while not a major remodeling project, may well require the assistance of a professional installation service. Many stores offer installation if you purchase appliances from them, so a new stove or dishwasher may be a remodeling project that is easier than you might expect.

7. Tips and Tricks to Survive Remodeling Your Kitchen
Remodeling your kitchen can be stressful. While there are many magazines offering ideas for kitchen remodeling, often no one tells you how to survive the remodeling process. First, expect that one member of the family will need to be in close, regular contact with your contractor about how the work is progressing and what remains to be done. This will help your kitchen remodeling project stay on task and on budget.

Daily life will also be substantially impacted by your kitchen remodeling project. Obviously, during much of the process, your kitchen will be unavailable for daily use. You may need to designate an area as a substitute kitchen. A buffet in the dining room may work well, if equipped with a microwave, toaster, coffee pot and other necessities. You may find that it is easier to use paper plates and cups to avoid having to wash dishes in the bathroom. In some cases, you may even want to move into a suite-type hotel for a few weeks, during the worst of the kitchen remodeling to avoid living with dust and risking the children getting underfoot.

8. How to Choose a Contractor for Your Kitchen Remodel
Choosing a contractor for your kitchen remodeling project can be one of the most challenging aspects of this whole process. Needless to say, it is critical that you hire a reputable contractor. Be clear with the contractor about your budget, timeline and needs.

If you know friends who have recently remodeled their kitchens, talk with them about who they used. If you know skilled trades people, such as home builders, they may have suggestions as well. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to locate reputable business people.

You might also consider using the installations services available through your local home improvement center for your new cabinetry, flooring and appliances; however, this may require you take an active role in organizing your kitchen remodeling project. Kitchen design centers can also offer recommendations for good contractors in your area. Keep the specifics of your kitchen remodeling project in mind when choosing a contractor for the project. If you are changing the structural layout of your home, an expert in that may be best, whereas custom cabinetry requires different skills.

9. The Benefits of Remodeling Your Kitchen
Remodeling your kitchen can improve the overall value of your home. While many home improvement projects will net you a minimal change in the value of your home, modern kitchens are critical to most home buyers today. An investment in a kitchen remodeling project is generally a smart one. If you do expect to sell your home, choose neutral colors and high quality materials when planning your kitchen remodeling project.

A remodeled kitchen, particularly if you make smart choices during the design process, is a center of your home. It is a lovely space in which to live with your family or entertain guests. A well designed kitchen includes ample storage and workspace, and may even integrate space for a home computer, television and other needs. Remodeling your kitchen may also allow you to choose and install more energy efficient appliances, thus saving you money in utility costs over time.

As you look at ideas for kitchen remodeling, think carefully about how you use your kitchen, and your long term plans for your home, whether you expect to stay in this home or move in a few years. Design a kitchen that appeals to you and a possible future buyer for the best return on your kitchen remodeling investment. While remodeling your kitchen is certainly challenging and stressful, this is one of the most rewarding of all remodeling projects, both in terms of daily use and home value.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ideas for Minor Kitchen Remodeling (part 2 )

5. Space Saving Tips for Minor Kitchen Remodeling
Another area that you might want to consider for your ideas for minor kitchen remodeling is space saving. Many people embark on minor kitchen remodeling because they need more room, especially in small kitchens. Many kitchens were built simply to cook food, and many people want to use their kitchens for much more. Often, you cannot expand your kitchen but you can do things in it to save space.

Installing a bar type seating area is often a great space saving minor kitchen remodeling project. You can sit up to eat at the bar, instead of having a big and bulky kitchen table. Another great space saving project is putting a kitchen island in, which doubles as a work space and an eating area. This can eliminate the need for a table and give you more space to work with at the same time. Therefore, it is a very popular kitchen remodeling project.

Another space saving minor kitchen remodeling project might include installing a pot-and-pan storage device to hang from your ceiling. This can be a great way to save on space, and also to create a unique look for your kitchen. It can also help you open up more storage.

6. Creating Storage With Minor Kitchen Remodeling
Storage is a major problem in many kitchens, which is why creating storage is often the goal of minor kitchen remodeling projects. Creating storage can be quite difficult, but it can be done. Projects that you can do to create storage include installing deeper cabinets, which will hold more, or installing more cabinets. A great kitchen remodeling project that creates storage is to install floor to ceiling cabinets along one wall of your kitchen. You can give these cabinets a fresh and unique look, and use them to store just about everything that you need to store in your kitchen.

Many times, ideas for minor kitchen remodeling projects might revolve around rearranging the areas that you have in order to create more storage. You might replace your kitchen table with a kitchen island, which has storage compartments all along the bottom. You might also install storage where there was none before - such as under counters or above the sink.

Storage projects can also help the overall look of your kitchen. For instance, if you install brand new cupboards that are deeper, you can also get lighter colored cupboards that will brighten up your entire kitchen. The same technique can be used with a kitchen island, because it will often be brightly colored.

7. Lighting and Minor Kitchen Remodeling
The lighting that you have in your kitchen is often one of the biggest things to think about when you are getting ideas for minor kitchen remodeling. Many people update their lighting during minor kitchen remodeling projects, because this is the best way for them to lighten and brighten their kitchens.

If you are looking to do so with your own project, a good thing to consider is a brand new light fixture, or new sconces that you can put on your walls. Remember that it is important to get lighting that is both brightening to your space, but also warm for the kitchen. You want your kitchen to be a well lit and bright place, but also one that is warm so that your family will like to spend time there. There are many fixtures that you can get that will help you do both of these things at once.

8. Flooring and Minor Kitchen Remodeling
Many people choose to do minor kitchen remodeling projects that revolve around flooring. If your floor is dingy and dark, replacing it with something brighter or softer is often the way to go. Also, some older homes have carpet in the kitchen, and replacing the carpet with tile or wood is one of many ideas for minor kitchen remodeling projects. However, these types of projects can often turn out to be more than you bargained for.

Replacing flooring is often something that people think will be a minor project, but it turns into a major one. Therefore, before you begin your flooring project, you should be ready to complete it, even if it turns into a much larger project. You should also be sure that you know how to install your new flooring, and that you won't end up needing more help.

9. Decorating and Minor Kitchen Remodeling
Sometimes, a minor kitchen remodeling project can be a simple as decorating your kitchen in a different way. It might be that all of your appliances are in good working order and look fine, and that your cupboards and drawers are exactly what you want them to be. However, it might be that your kitchen simply does not look as you would like it to, and that some updating is in order.

There are many decorating projects that you can do when this is the case. Many people like to change the color of the walls in the kitchen. If your kitchen walls are white but you feel that your kitchen looks too sterile, try doing your walls in a grey or tan color instead. This will add more depth to your kitchen and also make it look updated. You might also want to add trim or paint your cabinets. These are all ways to use paint when you get ideas for minor kitchen remodeling projects.

You might also consider simply installing new blinds, or adding rugs and other fixtures in order to import a brand new color scheme for your kitchen. Often, this can be the best way that you have to do kitchen remodeling, especially if you live in a rental home and can't do a full remodeling project. Even something as simple as rearranging the way that your kitchen is set up can be a great small remodeling project that can change the entire look of your kitchen and make it feel brand new and updated. If you feel that you need a new kitchen, but don't have the time or money for a full remodeling project, think about smaller things that you can do to make the kitchen seem like a brand new place.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Ideas for Minor Kitchen Remodeling (part 1 )

There are many different things that you might do to your home to spruce it up or to brighten up the atmosphere. Minor kitchen remodeling projects are projects that you can do quickly and easily, and that will help you create the kitchen of your dreams. Many of these projects can be done in a couple of days, or even over a weekend. A lot of them can also be done without much training. Many minor kitchen remodeling projects are also projects that you have been putting off because you think that they will take more time than they actually will. Therefore, if you have ideas for minor kitchen remodeling projects in mind, it is always a good idea to see if you can get them accomplished. You might be surprised at how much better it can make your kitchen look and feel.

1. Minor Kitchen Remodeling Projects
There are many projects that are considered to be minor kitchen remodeling projects. Most of the time, these projects include replacing or repairing something that just isn't working for you any more. It might not be that you want to create a brand new kitchen - you might simply want to replace the flooring or the lighting, or even replace the window.

Many ideas for minor kitchen remodeling projects include installing a dishwasher or a new set of cupboards to make your life easier or to brighten up the kitchen. A minor remodeling project might also include painting the walls, or hanging a new kitchen light. In short, minor kitchen remodeling projects are projects that take just a couple parts of your kitchen and change them. These projects are usually something that you can handle on your own, in a small amount of time. However, you must be careful because often doing a minor kitchen remodeling project can lead you to more projects that you feel need to be done. Therefore, it is often a good idea to make a list of what needs to be done, and make sure that you stop when you are finished!

2. Do It Yourself Minor Kitchen Remodeling
Do it yourself kitchen remodeling has been around for many years. There are hundreds of books, DVD sets, or television shows that you can check out in order to learn how to do these projects. Do it yourself kitchen remodeling is something that you can also explore by visiting a hardware store or a home supply store. The people who work at these stores are well versed in how to do these projects, and part of their job is to tell customers how to do them as well.

If you are considering do it yourself kitchen remodeling, the best way to go about it is to do research before you start. You need to check out books or look on the Internet to figure out the exact steps you should take to finish the project that you would like to finish. Looking up information and doing research is a very important part of do it yourself kitchen remodeling. Many people believe that they do not need to do research first because the project appears to be so simple. However, if they do not do research, they often end up with parts that are broken, faucets they don't know how to work, and a major mess on their hands. Many times, do it yourself kitchen remodeling projects turn into nightmares because the person has not done their research first and, therefore, does not know what to do. Do your research first, and then you can buy the supplies and have a good idea of the steps that you can take for your project.

3. Minor Kitchen Remodeling Requiring Outside Help
There are some projects that you will need outside help with, no matter how simple they seem. Unless you are an electrician, you are going to want to get outside help if you are doing rewiring projects. Doing rewiring without any electrical knowledge is very dangerous, for yourself and for your home. If you put up a lamp or change the way the outlets work in your home without help, and you do something wrong, you can be at risk for electric shock, or for fire. Both of these things would lead to far more work and money. Therefore, it is always a good idea to seek professional help if you are dealing with lighting.

The other area that you might want to seek professional help in is going to be plumbing. Often, hooking up water and other pipes can get very confusing. One simple mistake with a pipe can cost you thousands of dollars in repairs or damages. It can also lead to many hours of work for you or a professional plumber, and to other problems in your home, which you will then have to deal with. Therefore, plumbing is an area where you might want to seek professional help.

4. Brighten Up Your Kitchen With Small Projects
A kitchen should be a room in your home that is very bright and welcoming. However, many times a kitchen is built onto a home in the darkest or dingiest corner. You have probably seen many tiny kitchens, and you might even have a small kitchen yourself. However, no matter how small your kitchen is, there are always ways to brighten it up.

Many of the ideas for minor kitchen remodeling projects are projects that you can do to brighten up your home. They are projects such as replacing the smaller window over your sink with a much larger one that will help let in light and make the kitchen area seem bigger. They also might be projects such as replacing an old lighting system with a newer and brighter one, or installing different countertops to brighten up your kitchen. Using brighter colors, newer materials, and new appliances can all be ways to make your kitchen more welcoming and brighter.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Choosing Kitchen Cabinets

When remodeling your kitchen, nothing makes a difference like your kitchen cabinets. Not only should cabinets set the tone for your new kitchen, but they should offer the utmost efficiency and convenience.

There are so many things to consider in a kitchen remodeling job, but nothing makes a difference like your kitchen cabinets. Not only will your kitchen cabinets set the tone for the over-all effect your kitchen will convey, you also want to maximize the space you have for efficiency and convenience. On the average, about 70% of your new kitchen remodeling budget will involve your cabinets alone. So obviously this is a very important decision to make.

How to Begin Choosing the Right Kitchen Cabinets for Your Home
Once you begin your search for the right cabinets, you’ll soon discover a vast array of cabinet choices. There will be different door styles, wood, finishes, sizes and hardware options. Though it may seem a bit overwhelming in the beginning, you can make a wise choice if you consider a few suggestions to help you get started on the right path:

Lifestyle Let’s face it, families have very different needs when it comes to kitchens. To design the kitchen that will work best for you and your family, consider your lifestyle and needs in the kitchen. You want to choose kitchen cabinets that fit into your new design, but you also want to utilize your space and create convenience within your kitchen for all family members.

Expert Advice If you need help in making the decision, don’t hesitate to find an architect or kitchen designer to ask for the advice you need. This is an important aspect of your home remodeling, so take the time to make sure you’re getting the most for your money.

How to Save Money on Kitchen Cabinets
If your budget is limited, there are alternatives that will still provide a good looking end result. You can purchase mass-produced kitchen cabinets rather than custom units that can be finished or painted to achieve the look you want. Measure your spaces carefully to see if standard size stock cabinets will work in your areas. Saving money on your kitchen cabinets may give you the flexibility to upgrade on other great kitchen products, such as new appliances or fixtures.

Five Tips for Finding Great Kitchen Cabinets
Find the kitchen cabinets that will not only provide a great focal point for your kitchen, but also give you the space and convenience that will make spending time in your kitchen more pleasurable.

1. Unique Kitchen Space – Kitchen cabinets that look out of place won’t improve the appearance of your kitchen. So if your kitchen has various unique areas of space that won?t work for the standard stock sizes, consider spending the extra money it takes for custom units so your cabinets will fit precisely into the available space.

2. A Variety of Quality Finishes – If you want beautiful wood kitchen cabinets, you can select maple, oak, cherry and other wood types. These are all great options and will certainly bring an air of sophistication to your new kitchen like nothing else.

3. Important Durability and Warranty Features – If you need to choose less expensive kitchen cabinets, consider thermofoil or laminate kitchen cabinets for a nice looking easy to clean surface. Check out the warranty when buying thermofoil or laminate kitchen cabinets since these are not expected to have the same lasting durability of wood cabinets.

4. Exterior Appearance and Endurance – Your kitchen cabinets must withstand a lot of use including the pounding of heavy cookware and dishes as well as countless openings and closings of the doors. Though style and appearance are very important factors in your decision, be sure your cabinets will deliver the functionality you need.

5. Dimensions and Cabinet Construction Methods – The method of construction affects the durability over time. Drawers with dovetailed joints are sturdier than stapled ones. Doors with fitted mortised corners are stronger than non-interlocking butt joints. Make sure kitchen drawers extend completely and are equipped with self-closing glides rated to hold 75 pounds. The best cabinet doors should have 3/4-inch thick face frames and 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick sides. Shelves should be 3/4-inch thick and made of veneer-covered plywood, which is less likely to warp than solid wood.

What To Do If You Can’t Afford New Kitchen Cabinets
If your budget just won’t allow everything you would love to have in your remodeling project, such as new kitchen cabinets, a great option for an eye-catching new look for old cabinets is refinishing. Or you might consider refacing just the door and drawer fronts. Another alternative to new kitchen cabinets is to buy a less expensive wood and stain it to resemble your favorite wood color. If you don’t have the budget for cherry wood, buy pine and use a cherry finish to create the look you want.

Regardless of your circumstances, you can have beautiful kitchen cabinets that will fit well into your new kitchen design. Just remember that your cabinets make a bold statement in your design, so don’t settle for less than you have to consider these two helpful hints.

Choose the best looking cabinets you can since the kitchen cabinets really are the focal point of your kitchen. Be sure you will get the necessary functionality out of the cabinets you choose. Your storage space is very important.

Taking these points into account can help your find just the right kitchen cabinets for your new kitchen design and help make your kitchen a favorite gathering place in your home for your friends and family!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Choosing Bathroom Toilet

It is a known fact that we make many trips to the bathroom each day. Therefore, it is important to many people to have their bathrooms safe, comfortable and attractive; which plays into the reason behind many bathroom remodels each year.

It is a known fact that we make many trips to the bathroom each day. Therefore, it is important to many people to have their bathrooms safe, comfortable and attractive; which plays into the reason behind many bathroom remodels each year.

When it comes to remodeling their bathrooms, many homeowners also consider replacing their toilet as part of the project. There are several factors to consider when shopping for a new toilet. The other remodeling that needs to be done in your bathroom is one of the factors when choosing your toilet. When remodeling your bathroom, be sure that you choose a toilet that will compliment the rest of the remodeled room s decor. One of the ways to create an attractive bathroom is to have everything matching; from the tiles to the toilet and walls.

The majority of bathrooms in homes usually consist of a standard aka traditional style toilet that is usually white in color and comes in two pieces. Standard bathroom toilets are also the most affordable style of toilet and can be found in most home improvement stores. However, if you are in the market for something different for your bathroom, you may want to do a little more research. Some toilet choices include a one or two piece toilet, a standard or comfort height, a gravity, power/pressure flush or flush valve, a round front and an elongated bowl.

One piece toilets are more expensive than their two piece counterparts and has a lower profile of 22 to 27 inches in height.

Two piece toilets are more affordable and are 27 to 30 inches in height.

Comfort height toilets, aka ADA compliant toilets, provide for easier sitting because it is the same height as a standard chair. Even though the tank is the same height as a standard height toilet, the bowl of a comfort height toilet is 1 1/2 to 2 inches taller than the standard height toilet.

A gravity flush system is a system that uses nothing more than water weight to generate flushing pressure. It is not only simple and quiet, it also requires less maintenance than more complex flushing systems.

A power/pressure flush system is a system that uses a pressurized air tank. This tank aids in the toilet’s flushing process. Power pressure flush systems are often noisy and more expensive than the gravity flush system toilet.

Flush valves are located at the center of the tank and is activated by the toilet’s flush handle. This releases the water that is held in the tank. The larger the flush valve is the more water flows through the toilet.

Round front bowls are suitable for smaller bathrooms and are more affordable than the elongated bowls.

Elongated bowls are toilet bowls that are 2 3 inches longer than the round front bowls. Elongated bowls are roomier, more comfortable and are suitable for bathrooms with additional space.

Even though you should be concerned with the appearance of your new toilet, you should also consider the cost of it as well. Bathroom toilets are very heavy and you may need assistance getting in inside your home. Some home improvement places offer free delivery while others charge a small fee. Be sure that you also keep in mind installation when installing the new toilet. You can have a professional install the toilet for a fee or you can install it yourself for less money.

There are many choices then it comes to your bathroom toilet. Not only do you have different styles than shapes, you even have your choice of colors as well. Even though many toilets do not come with a toilet seat, there are also many choices of seats available in every style and color. With a little time and research, you will have the perfect toilet for your bathroom that you can be happy with.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Here are a Few Steps You Can Take to Make Your Bathroom Accident Proof

The bathroom is the room in the house where most accidents occur. If you take the necessary steps to make your bathroom accident proof than you can make it less likely that accidents will occur

Most of the household accidents occur in the bathroom. You should take precautions and by upgrading your bathroom with a few things and make it much safer for everyone that uses it. Making your bathroom safe is easy to do and it may prevent a major accident from happening in it.

Here are a few steps you can take to make your bathroom accident proof.

∗ You can prevent slipping and falling in your bathroom with rugs that have rubber backing. You can also prevent these occurrences by using bathmats with adhesive decals. You should also attach grab handles to your bathroom walls, which can make it easier to get into and out of your bathtub. In case an accident were to occur in your bathroom you should always use glass that is shatterproof for your shower doors.

∗ The bathroom is an area that can have a lot of moisture and because of this you should avoid electrical hazards. Electronic appliances should be used with care in the bathroom. Never operate electrical appliances in the bathroom if your hands are wet and make sure you unplug the appliances right when you are finished using them. It is also a good idea avoid using radios and stereos while you are in the bathroom. These can be dangerous since they are electrical appliances but the moisture in your bathroom can also damage these items.

∗ If you do not already have them in your bathroom you should install grounded outlets. If you have children in your house make sure to have plastic safety plugs in the outlets when they are not in use.

∗ Many bathrooms are locked from the inside but you should have a way to get inside if an accident were to happen.

∗ Keep medication out of children's reach. Do not leave medication for adults in a bathroom that is accessible to children.

∗ Do not keep cleaning supplies in the bathroom. Small children can get into cleaning supplies, which can be dangerous. Keep the cleaning supplies in other areas of the home, such as your garage or the kitchen.

∗ Avoid people getting scalded in the shower by installing a mixing valve that has a both a temperature and pressure regulator. This type of valve will keep scalding hot water from getting on you when a toilet is flushed in your home or there is water being used somewhere else in your house.

∗ If the mirrors in your bathroom have sharp edges you should look into covering them with rubber strips.

TIP: When there are children that will be using the bathroom, whether they are yours or not, you have to be even more careful since bathrooms can be very dangerous for children. Take the necessary precautions to accident proof your bathroom so you can lessen the chance of something bad happening.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Add Value to Your Home through Home Remodeling

Nothing adds value to your home more quickly than updating or remodeling your kitchen or bathroom. These two rooms in your home receive daily use and usually suffer wear and tear sooner than any other rooms. An update of fixtures, appliances, and accessories can make an immediate and dramatic difference in either of these rooms. A complete remodel of your bath or kitchen can increase the value of your home immediately and significantly! Kitchen Remodeling ...

Nothing adds value to your home more quickly than updating or remodeling your kitchen or bathroom. These two rooms in your home receive daily use and usually suffer wear and tear sooner than any other rooms. An update of fixtures, appliances, and accessories can make an immediate and dramatic difference in either of these rooms. A complete remodel of your bath or kitchen can increase the value of your home immediately and significantly!

Kitchen Remodeling
If remodeling your kitchen is your next home remodeling project, replacing the cabinets is a great starting point. Beautiful kitchen cabinets are the focal point of a stunning kitchen design. You can choose a formal, casual or contemporary style. Whatever suits your taste and sense of fashion, you can begin by choosing beautiful new kitchen cabinets; then add eye-catching fixtures, appliances and other accessories that will complement and accentuate your new kitchen design. After kitchen cabinets, other great ways to make a big impact on the total kitchen design are to consider adding:

New Appliances
Stainless Steel Sinks
New Counter Tops
New Tiles or Backsplashes
Hardwood or Laminate Flooring
To complete your kitchen remodeling project in style, you can add new furniture such as breakfast nook tables and chairs, island carts, or barstools.

Bathroom Remodeling
Bathroom remodeling is another great way to update your home, which also increases the value of your home tremendously. We shouldn’t minimize the importance of this room in our homes and in our lives. Important time is spent here as our days begin and end, and making this room a relaxing, enjoyable experience is well worth the time and money. Updating your bathroom will certainly bring pleasure not only to you and your family, but also to your guests.

Principal considerations to make your bathroom more efficient and more beautiful include:

Counter Tops and Vanities
Flooring and Tile
Tubs and Showers
Claim Your Home Remodeling Expenses on Your Taxes If You Sell Your Home
When, or if, you sell your home, you might be charged capital gains taxes. However, according to IRS Publication 523, Selling Your Home, any major improvements or remodeling you do to your home such as kitchen remodeling or bath remodeling can be exempt from these taxes. This can also include items such as:

Additions including bedrooms, bathrooms, decks, garages, porches or patios.

New plumbing or wiring.
Any new heating and/or air conditioning units.
Interior upgrades such as built-in appliances and wall-to-wall carpeting
Exterior upgrades such as paving the driveway
Any tax-acceptable improvements are identified by the IRS as those that add value to your home and prolong your home’s useful life. It is wise to check with your accountant who knows IRS tax law to make sure any home remodeling you do will be covered. Be sure to keep all receipts on any purchases you make for remodeling purposes.

Bathroom and Kitchen Remodeling Products and Services
Some people are fortunate enough to do remodeling projects on their own; others need help in getting the best quality work done. Regardless of the method, there are ways to receive tremendous savings on your products and materials through discount clubs or buying direct from the manufacturer. Research your options to make sure you get the most for your money.

A well-done renovation project will increase the value of your home and, just as important, it will increase the pleasure of the time you, your family, and friends spend there. If you’ve been thinking of updating your kitchen or bathroom, now is the time to explore your options to complete a great home improvement project.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Candle Tips

Candles will fade if left in the light for an extended period of time.Never put candles in a window or directly expose to bright outdoor light or indoor spotlights.

Keep lit candles out of drafts, drafts create large flames, shortening the burning time.

Wicks should be trimmed to a 1/4" from wax for longer burning time.

Votive candles must be in a container. They are made of a low melt wax. The tighter the fit the longer the candle will burn.

Votive burning is fun, however the clean up of the container is frustrating and time consuming. Eliminate this aggravation. Simply place 1/8" of tap water in the base of the votive holder prior to lighting. Once the votive candle is extinguished, allow the wax to solidify. Once solid, gently push on the wax and the contents should pop loose. If that doesn't do it , put container in the icebox for about 15 minutes.

Take out and press on wax a little, it should pop out.

Floating candles can provide both a formal and informal setting for either a dinner party or a back yard picnic. Floating candles in a clear bowl creates an extra special lighting effect. Using distilled water eliminates mineral buildup on the side of crystal or glass, preserving its unique presentation of floating candles.

Let spilled wax solidify so when it hardens it can be removed in pieces by covering with paper towel and or a brown paper grocery bag and gently press out with a warm iron - the wax will melt and be absorbed into the paper.

A candle will burn more slowly and evenly if it's refrigerated before using. Wrap the candle in plastic or foil before refrigerating to prevent wicks from absorbing moisture.

Each time you light a pillar candle, burn it long enough to create a pool of wax across most of the diameter of the candle. The candle will last longer and burn more evenly.

Before a dinner or party, light and then extinguish the candles as they will light more quickly and easily when you are ready to use them.

Extinguish candles when they get within 2 inches of their holders or decorations.
To extinguish a candle, dip the wick into the liquid wax, using a nonflammable instrument. This little known technique eliminates smoking of an extinguished wick.
After extinguishing candles, re-center wick.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Guide to Remodeling a Kitchen

A kitchen remodel can be an exciting and creative activity for a homeowner; as with every remodel it is advisable to start with a budget in mind and work according to a plan. There is a lot you can do with a kitchen remodel; kitchen cabinets, sinks, exhaust fans, sinks, kitchen islands, curtains, lighting, countertops, backsplash, faucets, furniture, tiles, etc can be replaced or repaired to give a whole new look to your kitchen. You should get an idea of the costs involved in a remodel and then plan the remodel to fit your budget.

Before starting a remodeling project, it is important to obtain a building permit well in advance because municipalities may take time to process the permit application.
Kitchen roofs can be kept a little higher so as to give the kitchen a different feel from the rest of the house and the kitchen can be moved adjacent to the dining area so that service from the kitchen is made easy.

In kitchens, where space is a constraint a remodel offers the opportunity to remove items and accessories that are rarely used and create some space. The kitchen space can be made more appealing visually by varying the height of the countertops and using cabinets of different sizes with different styles of doors. Contrasts can be achieved by using light wood stains for the islands and darker ones for the cabinets. A remodel is also the time to hide unsightly appliances by installing panels that can cover or disguise ovens or refrigerators. Another way to make appliances blend with the surroundings is to install stainless steel appliances; this is because stainless steel reflects the colors of its surroundings and is therefore not very noticeable.
The space to be allocated for counters can be a tricky decision; ideally you should allocate sufficient space for the counters and the counters should have enough width and depth to provide working space as well as space for appliances. The cabinets should be so placed that the contents of the cabinets are accessible from the place in the kitchen where they are likely to be used most often.

Traditional kitchen cabinets come with raised panels and in a range of finishes and wood choices. Contemporary kitchen cabinets offer an uncluttered look with well-defined lines; the building materials include wood, glass, plastic, and other materials. Kitchen sinks are mostly made of stainless steel which is a resilient and inexpensive alternative. Enamel covered cast iron sinks provide a traditional look. Quartz composite and granite-based sinks offer a high shine and are durable.

Kitchen islands can be added to spacious as well as not-so-spacious kitchens; with smaller kitchens, an island provides added countertop space for placing cooking pots and cutlery. Kitchen islands also offer space for a small family to gather, a kitchen island on wheels enables one to move the island around and alter the space settings. While remodeling, one can try to alter the lighting if required so that it illuminates the stove, countertops, cabinets, sink and other work areas.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Lighting Up Your Space

One aspect of decorating that many people may not think about is lighting design. We might add in our table lamps and call it a day, but lighting design is much more than a couple of decorative table lamps. So, before you run out and buy the first lamp or fixture you like, think about how it will function in your space.

Lighting design incorporates 3 types of lighting to create a welcoming and functional space with dramatic style and interest.

The 3 Basic Types of Lighting Are:

Ambient or General Lighting: General lighting is the all-purpose typeof lighting that creates a comfortable, safe environment.

Task Lighting: When you think of task lighting, think of the type of lighting that focuses on a certain spot that makes working much easier, like under-cabinet lights in your kitchen. This type of lighting is essential for kitchens, home offices, reading and even bathrooms.

Accent Lighting: Accent lighting is used to highlight certain features or aspects of your home to include artwork, niches, built in bookshelves or simply to create a sense of drama. Accent lighting is not designed for room illumination so it should be used in conjunction with both General and Task lighting for balance. There are several forms of accent lighting that can be used to create mood and style.

Kinetic Lighting: Lighting that evokes movement such as the soft flicker of candles or the romance of a lit fireplace. Kinetic Lighting can also be lighting that comes from lava lamps or mirrored balls for example.

Indirect or Up Lighting: This type of lighting is similar to general lighting and uses fixtures to throw the light onto ceilings or upper portions of the walls. This is a great way to reduce glare in your home office or living room.

Wall Washing: This type of lighting design highlights a vertical surface. Think of the recessed lights that throw a single beam of light downward to highlight a piece of artwork or flank a fireplace. The light can be placed on the floor directed upward as well.

Once you understand the types of lighting, it's time to take a look at your space and determine your needs. If you're designing a lighting scheme for your kitchen, you know you will need to incorporate task lighting with your general lighting. Think about where you do your food preparations and the light you need over your cooktop. A great example of task lighting in the kitchen would be using recessed ceiling fixtures directly above an island area. The same type of lighting design should be used in a bathroom. Your task area will be your vanity space.

Another important aspect of lighting design is understanding that the fabrics, colors and surfaces in a room all contribute to the feel of a room and often reflect light differently. It is important to consider all aspects of a room from the materials used to the lighting source in order to create a comfortable room that comes together in both function and style.