Month: March 2016

Kitchen Design Trends for 2016 Fusion of Beauty and Functionality

The kitchen is an important part of home improvement projects and also one of the best investments. Being the most crucial part of your house, making it appealing and fully functional can be imperative. It has undergone extreme alterations and now become more than just an area to cook food. In today’s world, it is a room used for family gatherings where families and friends enjoy meals together. Therefore, it is the dream of every homeowner to have a well planned and smooth running kitchen regardless of its type and size.

Due to ever-growing changes and technological advancements, incorporating a variety of significant factors for keeping up with the latest trend seems to be a wonderful idea. Below are some design trends for 2016 to help homeowners find their way to a beautiful yet functional kitchen:

1. Smart Storage: Making the most out of cabinets, drawers and pantry not only goes with the latest trend but help enjoy plenty of storage. They provide enough space for everyday serveware, pots, pans, and other items. Some of the items include built-in knife slots, roll-out shelves, pullout baskets, walk-in pantries, wall-mounted racks, corner spins, open-weave baskets, and more.

2. Soft Colors: Sometimes introducing a new shade can change the whole appearance of a kitchen and soft colors are going to be a big hit this season. The light color palettes like pale green, pale blue, pale yellows, gray, and white goes well with lighter wood tones. Light color cabinets with richly stained wood give a trendy look.

3. Integrated Spaces: Due to the lifestyle of a family today, an integrated or open kitchen is becoming increasingly popular. As the footprints of homes are getting smaller, open floor plans make sense. An open kitchen serves multiple purposes such as cooking, socializing, entertaining, reading, and more. They also incorporate more features like dining tables, televisions, chandeliers, and even work desks.

4. Under-mounted Sinks: Most homeowners like the clean look and under-mounted sinks offer a smooth space. They are functional and beautiful as no sink rim shows above the countertop and it does not catch dirt. They are easy to install and clean and offer plenty of room to work. The most popular materials for under-mounted sinks are cast iron and stainless steel.

5. Commercial Quality Appliances: Stainless steel has long been the standard as it is rugged and offers resistance to corrosion and stains. The latest trend is taking stainless to an entirely new level through high-end appliances. Some of the most popular commercial quality appliances include built-in refrigerators, high-end dishwashers, convection microwave ovens, warming drawers and more


The Elections Are Coming The Elections Are Coming

The presidential elections are here again and we have to make some tough decisions regarding who will restore our country to its former prominence and glory and speed-up our slow recovery, or end our steady decline, (depending on whom you speak with). Hillary is leading one side and Donald the other. What a choice! Nevertheless, some believe that choosing the new leader of the free world is simple compared with selecting a good contractor. But choosing the right people for a remodeling project is not as hard as choosing a president. All you have to do is follow a few fundamental rules.

Prior to calling prospective contractors, ask people who have done similar work for referrals. Check with professional organizations, (like the National Kitchen and Bath Association), for members in your area. Call the local department of consumer affairs to find out what type of license is required for the work that you’re considering and make sure that the company you hire is properly licensed. Also, check to see that they have liability insurance and that their workers are covered by both Worker’s Compensation and disability insurance. Many small firms and one-man operations can legally waive this insurance, but if they get hurt on your property it becomes your financial responsibility if they are not covered.

When you have compiled a “short-list” of possible contractors, leave yourself enough time so that you don’t have to rush into a decision. Since you can’t watch them debate on national television, set up a meeting with them to get estimates and, more importantly, see if you feel comfortable with them. Let common sense, one of your most valuable senses, be your guide. The relationship between you and your contractor is the key to a successful job. If you start with someone who doesn’t return calls, shows up late and has no patience for your questions before you hire them, don’t expect much more after you’ve given them a deposit.

When you’ve narrowed it down to a couple of choices, its time to check references. Ask the contractor to supply you with the names of people that they have worked for. Of course, just getting the names won’t help you much if you don’t call them.

Lastly, beware of the low bidders. Every time I’ve succumbed to the “best price” for a job at my house I’ve regretted it. As attractive as low bids are, they can be a warning sign that the contractor may be in financial difficulty. He may be desperate to get your deposit in order to pay off bills from a job he has already started. If this is the case he will no doubt run into the same difficulty when he does your job and may have to abandon it due to lack of funds.

Once you have selected a firm, insist on a written contract that specifies exactly what’s going to be done at your home. If you have any doubts… put it in writing. The more explicit the contract and work orders are, the less chance of misunderstandings after the work commences. Reputable firms also use “Change Orders” for any deviations to the original contract which require both you and the contractor to sign. Don’t be afraid of the paperwork, its purpose is to protect both you and the legitimate contractor. Keep in mind that once you sign a contract you have three business days to change your mind. This law was passed so that you don’t fall prey to high-pressure salespeople. You must notify the contractor in writing, within the three days that you wish to cancel, and have proof that you have done so.

If you do your homework, and select a reputable contractor, your project will be a successful one. However, even with a great contractor, don’t expect that any job will go without some glitches. Anyone who promises a major renovation with no problems at all is not being entirely honest, there are just too many variables. But, when you’re dealing with a legitimate contractor any problems that do arise will be dealt with quickly and efficiently, and in the end you will be thankful that you put a little extra effort in selecting them

9 Decor Ideas for Envious Kitchens

9 Decor Ideas for Envious KitchensIt’s a normal; we envy those who have beautiful homes and kitchens. We assume that they are rich. We wish to have the same beautiful looking kitchens but don’t know how to get it in the budget. This post will help you with some smart ideas of envious kitchens.

1. Some vintage cook wares and serve wares:

Do you have some copper or bronze cook wares and serve wares? May it be kettles, works, casseroles or even glasses? Maybe you don’t admire them and prefer not to use it. A simple trick is to put it to use or display. Even if not in use, clean it up and leave it on the table or kitchen top for classy looks.

2. Add a little light:

Add a small lamp on the kitchen top. This will serve many purposes. While it will save stumbling if someone walks down the kitchen for water at night, if you add cheerful light then it will give cozier looks to the kitchen. Even if you are having a dim light late night movie time, then you don’t have to turn on lights to move around looking for quick snacks.

3. Some must have kitchen cloths:

If you have a cute looking apron, then don’t shy to display it. Hook it on the cabinet or kitchen door to flaunt it. Having a table cloths and you remove it every time after use? Leave it there. As long as it is clean it will give a fresh look. Similarly, pick up a dish towel you are proud of. Display it and replace it with you old ones.

4. Cookbooks:

Having some space in the cabinets? You can even custom-made an island to add some cookbooks you love. You can even use your refrigerator top for the purpose. These will help you with some handy recipes if you are looking to try something new while adding luxurious looks to your kitchen.

5. Fresh flowers:

Add a vase of fresh flowers on the kitchen top. This will add fresh looks to your kitchen. You can even add a small basket of fresh fruits to have the same effect. If your kitchen window or island has enough space for sunlight, add some fresh pots with growing kitchen herbs. While you are replenished with fresh herbs for your recipes these will give fresh looks to your kitchen.

6. Plate art:

Stacked with leftover single pieces of plates from the complete set and not sure what to do with them? Hang them on the wall as a decorative piece. First, mix and match them for the right composition on the ground so that you don’t end up making extra holes on the wall.

7. Kitchen chairs:

Bored with the old looks of the kitchen chairs? It’s amazing what cleaning and a coat of fresh paint can do. You can even swap them with dining chairs, dressing table chairs or from anywhere to keep the fun alive.

8. Window dressing:

You can dress your windows with classy and matching window blinds. Choose the fabric that is easy to clean because the kitchen is a place where they can be loaded with oil, grease and other stains. Prefer roller blinds for the smooth finish. If you have glowing sun or a beautiful view outside you can go for energy-efficient blinds or if the view is not so tempting then go for some other style to block the sun and its harmful UV rays.

9. Explore with chalkboard paint:

This is a new style introduced of lately. Add chalkboard paint anywhere you wish, a refrigerator, cabinet or even a small board. Use if for the menu, grocery, quotation, to-do list, reminder or any way you wish to. It is not necessary that you need to have a big budget to decorate your kitchen. It’s just the creativity and the use of existing stuff is needed. Now as you are all set with loads of ideas to start with, it’s time to style your kitchen with unique way


What You Need To Know About Joinery

Before you start screening candidates for joinery works, you may want to conduct some research so that you will be knowledgeable when you interview them and be better equipped to make an informed decision. Of course, in case you ever come across a shady company, what you learn from your research will prevent you from being taken in by their scamming. Most homeowners are usually curious about timber so that they can be better versed when it comes to the suitability of the wood suggestions of the different joinery companies they’re considering.

Oftentimes, hardwoods like Oak, Sapele, Iroko and Idigbo are the best kinds to use. They have distinct qualities, of course, and these will help you or your joinery contractor to determine the right kind for your project. For instance, Oak is best used in cooler and humid climates. Idigbo, on the other hand, is a great wood for staining. If you’re not a fan of hardwood and would prefer a softwood such as Douglas Fir, make sure that you opt for a reliable timber. You need to take steps as well to provide it at least with basic protection, such as a VAC treatment. Many joinery projects involve windows, so you may want to ask what window styles you can select from.

There are basically three styles that joinery companies frequently use: traditional, storm-proof, and sliding sash windows. Traditional windows are common among older buildings. These have sashes that are flush with the frame. Storm-proof windows, on the other hand, have sashes that wrap around the frame. These not only provide better protection against bad weather, but lend a modern appeal as well.

Finally, sliding sash windows are usually found on period structures. They’re fitted with ornamental details on the frame. Of course, if you’re looking for a joinery company, you should ask, before anything else, what you should look for in one. All the companies you’ll encounter will claim to have great qualities, so the best way to sift through them is to find ones that are happy to answer your questions and show you their portfolio.

You may also want to inquire how diligent they are in updating their clients. This is very important so you will know the latest in home improvement projects. With a little basic knowledge, you can make sure that your joinery requirements are delivered with good quality and you can ensure a smart investment. It is really best to know more about joinery first before deciding for any home improvement project