Archive for February, 2011

Kitchen Remodeling On A Budget

The Kitchen is the heart of every home. Often the scene of breakfast chats and late night mingling with cocoa, it is in the kitchen where the family is gathered the most. It is not only the place where the food is prepared that nurtures the body but it is also the place where talks are held that nurtures the soul. If you feel as though your kitchen is overdue for a “facelift”, read on to get some inexpensive tips and remodeling ideas.

DIY, or Do It Yourself, is the first way to minimize costs. While you may not be able to do everything you should try to make as many changes as you can without hiring a professional, you’d be surprised at how much you know. Adding new doors and handles to cabinets will change the feel of the entire room. This is a pretty simple job that doesn’t require much knowledge or skill in carpentry. The biggest thing you will have to make sure of is that you measure the old doors correctly to make sure the replacements fit properly.

Backsplashes adds new depth and texture to the space. Update the old one or add one if none exist. The sky is the creative limit with this. You can use colored tiles or use other materials like steel or aluminum sheets. Repaint and match the tiles or use different tiles to make a fun design. It is always nice to see a backsplash that is not of one solid color which adds interest and a focal point to the space. Patterned tiles are a bit more expensive but they are a lot more interesting, a great option if you don’t have the time or desire to be creative. You will need to choose colors and patterns that will be best displayed by the lighting available in your kitchen. Lighting can play an integral part in the overall appeal of the kitchen. This may be another thing to think about replacing. You can buy new fixtures to accent and highlight the new look or install track lights over the backsplash to show it off better.

Counter tops can be a way for you to add a fresh bold look to your dated kitchen. Granite counter tops can be purchased and installed fairly cheaply. Do your research, compare prices and installation fees. Don’t be afraid to let people know what prices you’ve been getting they might price match or someone might be hiding some “unexpected” fees. The end result is always a beautiful more thoroughly modern looking space. Which brings us to the “triangle”; most kitchens are laid out in a pattern that flows similar to a triangle. There are some features that can only be accommodated by certain kitchen designs. You can ask your sales professional for more ideas based on your knowledge of your kitchen layout. Here are the four types of layouts of the kitchen that will help you talk knowledgably with salespeople:
– The Galley style: Makes use of dual walls to make going from workstation to workstation a lot easier.

Modern kitchen design

Modern kitchen design


– The one wall straight-line: This design generally has the sink in the middle of the station flow. Going from left to right it roughly goes in the order of refrigerator, counter top, stove, and sink counter top.

– The L- shape: Part of an open flow design it tends to blend the kitchen into the other sections of the home.

– The U-shape: By far the most versatile because it has more counter space. It usually wraps itself around as an entire room unto itself and features an island workstation.

Contemporary kitchens

Contemporary kitchens

Making an old kitchen fresh and new without having to totally demolish it can be done and it’s not so bad. Take it slow and do a little bit at a time; it will make it less stressful to you and easier on your bank account just keep on it. You may have to be a little handy with a few tools and you may even need to learn some new ones, but most of the work can be done even by a novice.

This was a guest post written by Rick Valence

Rick Valence has a vast array of writing interests that include fiction, non-fiction and how-to guides. He considers himself a bit of a wine aficionado and enjoys spending his vacations in the beautiful California Wine Country discovering great new wines and food pairings. Rick works Monday through Friday as a digital camera repair specialist at C.R.I.S. Camera Services in Chandler, Arizona. He is also the webmaster of his company’s camera repair blog.

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What Is The Best Wood For Kitchen Cabinets And Why?

We all know that nothing looks better in the kitchen than a fine set of wooden kitchen cabinets. Unfortunately everything that looks good may not be the best, finding the right kitchen cabinets will take knowing a little something about woods and how they perform in this element. Read on to find out what woods work best in the kitchen.

The process of selecting a good kitchen cabinet is not as difficult as some would have you believe. The thing to remember most is that what you want is real 100% solid wood. Even the best Particle board cabinets may look great but their good looks will be short lived because the materials fade fast and these imitations will have to be replaced time and time again.

For craftsmen kitchen cabinet makers the most popular choice of wood has to be Oak. Oak is the easiest wood to get today since a lot of the hard woods are either extinct or so close to extinction that they are no longer being cut. Thankfully, Oaks are still covering the globe in abundance and it is this that makes it a favorite for kitchen cabinets. Oak takes to staining very well. Oak is also a very durable wood, which has a wonderful raw beauty that is unsurpassed by imitators. They look best if left natural or with a light honey colored stain.

Pine is another very popular good sturdy wood for cabinet making. Ponderosa Pine, White pine and Yellow pine are the most common and favorites varieties of cabinetmakers. The White and the Yellow are easier to work with than the Ponderosa so if you are a do it yourself type of person it would be best to choose the white or yellow. They are easier to stain and to manipulate if you have something specific you are trying to match. If you must have the beautiful look of the Ponderosa Pine it is highly recommended that you buy them already stained.

Cherry Wood is probably the industry favorite for longevity because this wood gets better with the passage of time. The older the piece of stained Cherry Wood gets the richer and the more vibrant the color of the wood gets. What happens is that it becomes redder and more beautiful with exposure to sunlight. Antique cherry wood furniture always sells very well as high-end items that can be bought or found at auction. One great thing about buying them as newly minted cabinets is that you can watch as time works its magic.

When purchasing a kitchen cabinet you have to make certain you inspect them for consistency in glaze or stain application. Depending on the aesthetics of your home, it is also possible to mix the woods for a totally unique kitchen décor.

This was a guest post written by Rick Valence

Rick Valence loves to read and write short stories, books and especially blogs. He has a vast array of writing interests that include fiction, non-fiction and how-to guides. He considers himself a bit of a wine aficionado and enjoys spending his vacations in the beautiful California Wine Country discovering great new wines and food pairings. Rick works Monday through Friday as a digital camera repair specialist at C.R.I.S. Camera Services in Chandler, Arizona. He is also the webmaster of his company’s camera repair blog.

How a Pond Adds Life To Your Garden

This is a guest post by Andrew Parker – http://www.electrostoreonline.com

Andrew is copywriter for Electrostore Online who specialize in electrical garden products including blanket weed controllers andsoil meters.

Landscaping is a renowned method of helping blend a building naturally into the surroundings, seemingly causing a ‘natural’ flow from the home into the landscape that subtly suggests that the home almost grew out of the ground rather than being “plonked onto land”.

A fantastic method of achieving this is by adding a pond with a balanced eco-system (with a variety of pond plants, rocks, stones and fish) – which adds a calming and peaceful area of natural beauty to your garden. A pond will bring wildlife into a landscaped area, which captures the essential “natural beauty vibe” that is desired by both landscape gardeners and their client and creates a tranquil area that adds beauty and value to a home.

However, a pond is not something that should be included “at a whim” as they do require effort and lots of care to maintain, especially if the pond contains fish that need feeding every day. Other maintenance that you perhaps wouldn’t have counted on is removing fallen leaves from the pond in Autumn, blanket weed/algae (which can be easily controlled once a blanket weed controller is installed), or protecting your fish from local predators like cats or even foxes.

Of course, now you have decided that you have the time to invest in a pond then you need to decide on the style of pond that will best work in your garden. Old houses will not benefit from having a brand new 2011 pond “clashing” with the house in the garden, while a Mediterranean-style pond with bold pink and purple bougainvillaea and red geraniums planted in bright terracotta pots might look out of place in a drab council estate in Milton Keynes. Special pond features (like waterfalls etc), surrounding plant life and layout should therefore mirror the existing styles on your property. Garden landscapers have plenty of experience in which styles suit different properties, so do ask for guidance and put in some research online.

If you follow the correct landscaping procedures when incorporating a pond, then you might even cause your garden to be a summertime venue hotspot.