Archive for the ‘guest post’ Category

3 Big Ways to Make a Small Bathroom Luxurious

Pelican Shower/Bath

Pelican Shower/Bath

With so many of us leading busy lives and rushing about from here to there, it can be difficult to set aside time to conceptualize, much less carry out, any home improvements. Between work, school, social engagements and other obligations you may often spend so little time at home that you scarcely have a moment to consider whether you’re happy with your dwellings. That is, until you step into your bathroom or kitchen each morning and have that fleeting thought of, “I really should fix/change/replace/ that”. Our only true sanctuary from the outside world, home is where the heart is, and it can be wonderful to focus a bit of effort on your own space. Having a luxurious bathroom can truly improve your quality of life, so even if you’ve got a small area to work with, it pays to make it as comfortable as possible.

Big Items First

When designing a bathroom, the larger fixtures generally must come first. Items like a bath, shower, and sink must be chosen with care according to the bathroom’s measurements and plumbing locations. However, even smaller spaces can take advantage of luxury fixtures. Experts agree that having a bath of any size will increase your home’s value for future buyers.  The most practical way to implement a bath in a small space is to opt for a shower bath , which allows you to make the most of your floor space. Space-saving toilets can be very attractive as well, so look for styles like back to wall toilets and wall hung models to make the room seem streamlined instead of small. Compact, even minuscule sinks are available in a variety of styles. You’ll be amazed by how nice it feels to rest your eyes on a shiny new sink instead of an old, moldy, cracked or stained one. Replacing this feature will add major luxury appeal.

Make the Space Seem Bigger

It’s difficult to make a cramped space luxurious, but you can use a few tricks to make it seem bigger. First off, make sure to eliminate all clutter by storing it properly (implement proper storage if necessary). A good tip for smaller bathrooms is to use open shelving; it allows the eye to travel to the wall, opening up the space. The same goes for clear glass shower doors instead of a curtain. Check your lighting to make sure it makes your bathroom light and bright- few truly luxurious bathrooms are dark and dank. If possible, leave any windows uncovered to allow for maximum natural illumination. Install mirrors on dull walls, to reflect light and give the appearance of a room that goes on much further.

Luxurious Accessories

What exactly is it that makes a bathroom ‘luxurious’? Aside from having smaller versions of larger luxury features, like a shower bath, many times all a small space needs is the right luxurious accessories. Replace an old plastic shower head with a chrome model, and switch out your basin taps for chrome as well. If you’ve always fancied having marble or stone tiles, a small bath can be a great place to install them, as you’ll need far less material to cover your space. Purchase thick, plush towels, scented candles and quality soap. You can also consider added an extra luxurious heating element, such as a heated towel rack or underfloor heating. Many luxurious bathrooms also incorporate texture, in order to create a sensorial experience. Try adding a plush rug for the floor or have a velvet bathrobe to slip into. By adapting the guidelines for larger bathrooms to fit any space, you too can have a luxurious bathroom.

Sonia Bieber is a home design expert and avid cyclist. She spends her free time in the great outdoors, but appreciates coming home to her cozy home, family and two cats. She is also a freelance writer for Bathroom Heaven, retailers of luxurious bathroom furniture and fixtures.

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.

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 to do a Green Kitchen Remodel

Your kitchen might be the focal point of your home, and what better way to keep it current than making your kitchen remodel a green one? But doing a green kitchen remodel may be easier said than done. Here are a few tips that can point you in the right direction to getting the eco-friendly kitchen you’ve always wanted.

Start off Right

It can be important to get the right start to your green remodel. When you’re tearing things up and ripping things out, consider what could be reused or recycled. Everything from piping and tile to cabinetry and other hardware may be up for reuse or possibly the recycle bin. When it comes to your old appliances, consider handing them down to family or friends or, if they’re in good enough condition, reselling them, possibly on Craigslist or at a garage sale to give them a second life.

A Green Contractor

If you aren’t doing your green remodel yourself, then you’ll likely be searching for a good contractor. When you’re conducting your search, you might want to look for contractors that have experience with environmentally friendly work and let them know your expectations up front. This way they will know what to expect when it comes to the work they’ll be doing and the products and materials they should be purchasing.

Create an Efficient Kitchen

When you’re planning your green kitchen remodel, there may be more to it than just adding some compact fluorescents light bulbs and energy-efficient appliances. Although that might be part of it, it’s important to ensure your remodel remains conducive to your needs. When designing a kitchen to meet your needs, your green considerations might allow you to reduce waste, use less water, motivate you to recycle, allow you a spot to collect garbage for composting, design your kitchen to let in more natural light and reduce lighting needs with energy efficient-windows, and add eco-friendly accessories.

Conclusion

If you find that your kitchen is your kingdom when you’re at home, then it can be important to find a balance between this space being environmentally friendly and still remaining conducive to your cooking needs. While going green may be important to you, ensuring that your kitchen is functional and efficient when you’re in it can be equally critical to the enjoyment of the space.

Steve is president of a home remodeling company in Houston and has been in business for over 25 years. He has experience in all aspects of the industry from custom home building to kitchen remodeling. To see some of his work visit http://www.uniquebuilderstexas.com.

Find out how Your Kitchen can be more than Just a Kitchen

This is a guest post by Amy Chokshi

Amy Chokshi is a home decor and re-modelling enthusiasts. She enjoys creating beautiful home decor pieces for thematic home decor and re-modelling projects. She has been designing indoor water fountains for 3 years from variety of natural material. To learn more about her creations, please visit the tabletop fountain store.

In the 60’s, the kitchen was a room in your house with a single purpose. Nowadays, all that has changed and, let us face it, people do not use their kitchens just to cook food anymore. If you take a look at modern home designs, you will notice that the kitchen is not separated from the rest of your home with walls anymore. You can blame it on the development of technology or on the growing interest of home accommodations, but most of the modern kitchen designs you will see in any new built house look more like a barely separated booth.

These days food is so easy to order that it makes cooking no longer a part of the daily routine. Surely you can prepare some amazing dishes in the modern kitchen, however because of your working schedule and the variety of menus you can order, people do not see cooking as mandatory. For the modern people cooking is more of a sign to show your appreciation for somebody. Moreover, due to the colors and lines of the furniture, the modern kitchen is seen as a place where you can relax or chat with a friend while having a coffee or a cup of tea.

As stated previously you can still cook whatever you like in the modern kitchen because they come equipped with all the necessary equipment. That is because the design of the modern kitchen addresses both the people that do not have time or do not want to cook and the people that really enjoy preparing meals. The way the modern kitchen is built is to make all the food preparing process easier and more enjoyable.

The modern kitchens allow people to include all cooking gadgets in there and maximize their living space. You can choose all sorts of colors for the furniture that you are going to place in your modern kitchen and, according to the space you have, you can either choose a standard design from a home renovation expert or create the design yourself. Unless you are really good at it, do not start renovating the kitchen yourself. Instead, hire a contractor, especially if the new design you want for your kitchen is not a common one and there is a large number of major changes you have in mind.

Amy C. invites you to browse beautiful collection of indoor fountains to add a touch of contemporary appeal to your kitchen decor.

Green Bathroom Tips

It might seem surprising, but the bathroom can be a great place to go green. There are plenty of eco-friendly tips that can be put to use inside a bathroom. From going organic to conserving water and energy, here are a few areas in which your bathroom can serve as launching point for an environmentally conscious home.

Going Organic

By searching for organic material to outfit your bathroom, you could be going green in a quite comfortable way. Items such as towels, washcloths, bathmats, even your bathrobe are now often available in eco-friendly or sustainable materials such as organic cotton or bamboo.

Ditch the Disposable Dispensers

While those soap dispensers you buy at the store on a regular basis might be handy, they may not be eco-friendly. Consider using environmentally friendly hand soap bars, or if you prefer a dispenser, you might try a refillable one as opposed to the disposables. And if you find that you just can’t live without disposables and don’t want to refill them, at least consider recycling the containers when they’re empty.

Water Consumption

The bathroom can be a great spot for reducing water consumption. From the toilet to the sink and shower heads, low flow options abound. You can even use a water displacer in your toilet tank to reduce the amount of water per flush if you don’t want to replace the entire toilet.

Bulbs Galore

When you stop and look around your bathroom for a moment, you might be surprised at the number of light bulbs in use. From ceiling lights to vanity bulbs, there could be a variety of spots in which bulbs are in place, but not necessarily needed. If you have a multitude of bulbs around your vanity or other bathroom space, consider removing a few and seeing if you even notice the difference. You might be surprised. Consider replacing other bulbs with energy efficient compact fluorescents bulbs.

Conclusion

Whether or not you choose to follow these exact tips, the important thing is that you are interested in finding ways to go green. Maybe these helpful ideas can assist you to breed green ideas to help turn your bathroom into an eco-friendly space of your own creation.

Pablo is a licensed plumber in Houston that offers services to both residential and commercial customers. He has over 10 years of experience in the plumbing field and enjoys providing tips on anything and everything in the plumbing world. Read more about his company at http://www.texaspowerplumbing.com.

Home Remodeling – Are You Prepared?

This is a guest post by Amy Chokshi

Amy Chokshi is a home decor and re-modeling enthusiasts. She enjoys creating beautiful home decor pieces for thematic home decor and re-modelling projects. She has been designing indoor water fountains for 3 years from variety of natural material. To learn more about her creations, please visit the tabletop fountain store.

Every few years most of us feel they need a change in their life and the easiest thing to change is the environment around you. Usually people choose to remodel only one room in their house due to financial reasons. Nevertheless, if you have the money you should not settle just for one room and start thinking of the benefits of remodeling your entire house. One of the reasons you should redo your whole home is that whenever you start renovating just one room, you tend to start observing the faults and things that need an improvement in the rest of your house instead of enjoying what you just remodeled.

If you decided that you would remodel the house, the next step is to take your time and think about what changes you want in every room of your home. This should not be a hasty decision and you should consult with all the members of your family about what rooms to expand, what changes they need in their rooms, what to do with the space you have and how will the change affect each of them. You should also keep in mind that the needs of your family change over time, therefore think about the changes that can happen in the next few years with you or your family in order to make a decision that will benefit all of you.
If you came to a conclusion and everyone is happy with it, the next step will be to take a close look at your budget and see how much of everyone’s wishes can come true. Thus, if you see that your finance does not allow you to make all the changes you want, then maybe you find an alternative for the change.
At this stage it is also a good idea to talk to a couple of home remodeling experts because they can offer you a clue or two about how to handle a renovation or remodeling that you cannot afford. If you find that you like the idea of one of the experts, learn more about him and then hire his team to work for your project. Also, do not forget that it is important to negotiate a contract with the home renovation expert you choose in order to avoid future problems. Make sure that if you decide to make structural changes you get a permit from your local authorities.

Amy C. invites you to browse beautiful collection of indoor fountains for your home decor.