Home Decorating: Kitchen on a Budget

Decorating a home can be a trying thing to do with the best of budgets. The fact that you do not happen to have large lots of money lying around however should not prevent you from having a lovely kitchen to call your own.

[wp_ad_camp_2]

The kitchen is after all, the heart of any home and you want this room to be one that invites everyone to come, congregate, and pitch in (one can always dream right?). This is the reason that you want your kitchen to shine above all other rooms in your home though. The kitchen should radiate warmth and home to all who enter.

Truthfully speaking there are many things you can do in your kitchen that will greatly impact the overall look of your kitchen without changing anything structurally within your kitchen. If you have wallpaper, remove it and try paint.

There are all kinds of great things you can do in the kitchen from plaster, which goes amazingly well in a kitchen, to faux finishes and textures, and glazes for added impact. The walls in the kitchen are your canvas and the world is at your disposal. Just remember to try to tie the walls into the floors and cabinets or at the very least to the floors and cabinets you hope to have in your kitchen someday.

In addition to painting the walls in your kitchen you may also want to consider painting, staining, or antiquing your cabinets. I know that some jaws just dropped to the keyboard. How dare I suggest such a thing as painting wooden cabinets?

The answer is simple really. It is much cheaper than replacing them and much simpler than staining them. Really it boils down to a matter of choice. My first choice wouldn’t be painting but then again, there are times when painting is a viable option. It will greatly change the overall appearance of the kitchen if nothing else.

Moving right along. Another great change that isn’t terribly expensive to make in the kitchen is hardware. The simple act of changing the door handles and drawer pulls on your kitchen cabinet can result in an almost instant facelift.

When these changes are combined with painted or stained cabinetry the effects are nothing short of stunning in many cases. It’s the little things that often have the greatest impact so keep this in mind when planning your changes.

The floors of your kitchen are another rather inexpensive change that can be made despite preconceptions. Keep in mind that you do not have to go top of the line in order to enjoy huge changes in the appearance of your floors.

There are laminate floors that are rather inexpensive to install as well as many forms of peel and stick tile that can bring about impressive results for very little effort and without professional skills. Any floors that you are capable of installing yourself will save a lot of money and can make a huge difference in the appearance and your enjoyment of your kitchen.

Perhaps the biggest coup of all when it comes to changing the appearance of your kitchen is the ability to apply stainless steel PVC contact paper to your kitchen appliances in order to give them the instant appearance of stainless steel.

This is a very inexpensive method for updating the overall appearance of your kitchen in a matter of minutes and at a cost less than that of replacing one appliance. For your countertops an inexpensive and terribly disruptive alternative to replacing them all together is to apply peel and stick tile over your existing countertops.

As you can see there are many ways in which you can improve and enhance the warmth and coziness that you want your kitchen to convey without shattering the piggy bank in the process. More importantly, you should keep in mind that taking on one project at a time allows you to make the adjustments in your own time and as finances allow.

[wp_ad_camp_4]

Thinking of Remodeling Your Kitchen?

If you like to cook, or even if you just do it from necessity, having a homely, organized, and modern kitchen is probably important to you. Although, the traditionally kitchens are still out there, there are so many new, modern elements that can add luxury and class and convenience to any home. Kitchens have changed with the way humans have changed in the last few years. We have become more demanding of our time and having less of it to spend cooking.

[wp_ad_camp_2]

Many of us are on the move, always busy, looking for time saving methods. Then, there are those of us who are more interested in having a stylish kitchen, rather then workable. Others, prefer the look and feel of a country kitchen. With so many options out there and so much to consider, it is easy to become frustrated.

Consider your options and your needs when remodeling or even building a kitchen. Your options for kitchen equipment will be the first priority. What do you need and want in your kitchen? Do you want state of the art appliances or will ordinary models do? Do you want two ovens as opposed to the standard one? Dishwasher? What type of refrigerator will you want? Side by side, drawers under the counter? Maybe a larger freezer section?

Also to consider is the amount of work surface you will need. Maybe a center island would provide extra room for preparations? Would you like a breakfast nook? Do you want all of your dining area to be in the kitchen or do you have a dining room? How many people will you plan to serve on a regular day? If you have children, you will want to ensure their safety in regards to appliances and counters.

Yet another thing to consider is space. How much space you have will depict what you have room for. Cabinets and pantry style storage is important as well. Perhaps you like modern style kitchens. An option for space here is to use more of a mobile kitchen. From the entire work surfaces and cooking surfaces to just appliances, many things within the kitchen can be mobile. Manufactures make products that can literally pick up and go at a moments notice.

Once you have your kitchen needs and appliances set, consider the style you are going to decorate it in. Maybe a country kitchen is the look you like. If so, adding some rustic items to your collection would add charm and a relaxed feel. A big farmers table and chairs would be an added touch. Is the space you are working in outdoors? Outdoor kitchens are also a big hit these days. Just about any type of appliance and cookware can be made to work outdoors. Grilling is the most thought of outdoor cooking style, but it is far from the only.

There are many stores that specialize in kitchens as well. Kitchens Etc and KITCHENS are two. These places offer an immense amount of options for whatever style you are looking for. Some carry large appliances as well. Small utensils, cookware, even decorations can be found in just about every make and model. You can shop these store online if you cannot find one near you. They make a great way of adding to or helping to remodel any kitchen. Definitely a place to start when looking for ideas of what you want your new kitchen to look like.

The kitchen: one of the places you love the most in the whole house

Your kitchen has got to be one of the places you love the most in the whole house, ain’t it? Well, it is for me; that’s why I think that remodeling a kitchen is not something to be too carefree with.

All that fuss about the porch and the hallway, all that noise about the bedroom and the Jacuzzi, and you are actually forgetting the most important part of it all – your kitchen. Friend, you may think it is not a big deal, but wait until you get into it, and then you’d wish you had started out a bit better prepared. It’s quite a load of work and you’d better be ready for it.

With the amount of money required to really remodel a kitchen, it’s no wonder a lot of wives hesitate before they get into it. Not only do they know that they would be spreading themselves thin financially to make it happen, they also know that the husband isn’t going to like the extra burden on their financial resources. But what’s gotta be done is gotta be done anyway.

‘Nobody ever expects the Spanish inquisition”; I’m pretty sure you’ve heard that lovely line before. Well, it’s a warning that things sometimes ain’t always what you thought they’d be, and sometimes things jump out of the dark and bite you in the behind when you are not prepared for them. Think that way about remodeling your kitchen, and perhaps you’d avoid the unpleasant surprises.

There are a lot of things that can go wrong when you are remodeling your kitchen, many of which you don’t want to be considering at this time. I know of a woman who not only lays down her plans for the procedure, but also lays down a list of the pleasurable things she gets from the process. Sure, I said ‘gets’ because she remodels every four years! Wonder where the money comes from.

For a fact, you cannot be remodeling your kitchen every year; there’s no way you can afford it, even if you make a six figure salary. Unless you are thinking only of repainting the room and changing the gas cooker, there’s no way your bank account can survive that nasty onslaught. Better it is for you to if you plan your remodelings to at least five years in-between.

For a woman serious about her kitchen, a week wouldn’t do to remodel the room – actually, even a whole month – for the whole process. You are probably thinking that to be extravagant in the time department, but that is perhaps because you have a lot of money to spend, or you have hands all around you who do not mind being held up for the money.

Perhaps not all the time, but remodeling your kitchen has been known occasionally to take as much as four months. Really, you will do well to begin to think like that, because it helps to be prepared, and to have everything laid out long before you actually begin. You could save yourself a lot of trouble if you are able to put things in position such that it doesn’t hurt you.

A remodeling job on your kitchen is going to keep you very busy for a while, and I assure you, it’s not a job for the faint of heart. But if I know my ladies, I don’t think any woman will be minding that a lot. The lady will worry more that the funds are available for the process, and she might be on your neck more about that than anything else. But give that to her, and she’ll leave you to yourself for a while, while she brings that kitchen back to life.

Kitchen remodeling is an exercise that I find to be most rewarding

Parts of the kitchen made of maple, cherry, hickory, or pine can always be changed to others of the same material or different. When you remodel a kitchen, it is because you want to let go of the old, and bring in the new. And when something is not what it used to be anymore, it is time to let it go.

Kitchen remodeling is an art, and not just an event. You have got to put your heart into it, otherwise you might not be getting out of it what you wanted in the first place. Look you’re your heart. What do you truly want for the cooking space? A way to bring that vision into reality. That’s how to remodel a kitchen.

People tend to forget that the kitchen is as important a part of the home as any other room in the whole building. And so they allow it to fall to waste and rust. Sometimes you walk into their kitchens and you cannot wait to walk out. That is no way to treat a kitchen – that is no way to treat a home. What you need is to remodel that kitchen; and that in a hurry too.

Kitchen remodeling for you may just be repairs, but for others it could be the lengthy and involving process of redesigning the whole place and converting it into something new. The question really is: what catches your fancy? And, do you have what it takes? Well, do you?

Kitchen remodeling can cost you anything from a few hundred dollars to several thousands of dollars. Really, you ought not be letting anyone dictate to you how you want it done; you should redo your own space in the way that you like it, and spend just as much as you want to, not a cent more.

For some, they remodel their kitchen in little ways almost every couple of months. So if you walked into the place just weeks apart, you’d never notice that anything was different. However, if you had not been there for a whole year, you hardly recognize it. I kind of like the idea too, and I think it is something we can work with; don’t you

When you moved into the house, you did not have much of a choice – you only had so much money, and there was too little time for you to think of much else besides a sleeping space. That is why you want to start with remodeling the space already, and you want to begin by doing your kitchen. That is always a good beginning, at least for the ladies.

The money counts; boy, does the money count! But more important to you in your bid to remodel your kitchen is your heart. You have heard that where there is a will, there is a way, and that is true. Even more so when money is a challenge. I say there are ways that you can carry out the whole process inexpensively, and still be happy with the outcome. All it takes is a bit of heart, a bit of hurt, and a bit of ingenuity.

Moving back into your kitchen

Moving back into your kitchen after the remodeling the space can be quite an emotional experience. There are a number of professionals you ought to see when remodeling your kitchen is at hand. The first is the contractor, the second is the interior decorator, and the third is the architect, all stated in no particular order. These pros are the people who are going to help you bring your dream to reality – you might want to let them see clearly what you have in mind.

There might be a few things you want to move out, and others that you want to move in. you want to have a list of all of these, and follow through to make sure that they are all put in place before, during, or after you start up the remodeling of your kitchen. It would be a shame to begin and get stuck in between all for a little fitting that you could not find.

You want to remember everything that you do in your kitchen, and whatever else you still want to be doing in there when you start planning to remodel the place. Also, you might want to keep in mind the things that you no longer want to be doing in there. These little guidelines are what will determine if you botch or make a success of the remodeling exercise.

With all the effort that is involved in remodeling a kitchen, you cannot afford to make a single mistake so that you do not have to come back and do it all over again. That’s why you need to start up with a clear picture of what you want your end product to look like. That alone will not carry the project to completion, but it should at least guide your steps till you come close.

People do not like to spend money on something that they cannot derive pleasure from; and I’m sure, neither will you. So, I know that if remodeling your kitchen does not really do anything for you, you would not be considering doing it at all. So, what I have to say is, – make the best of it while at it.

It’s not every day that you find a kitchen with entertaining stuff in it. Most folks, men especially just view the kitchen as a place that they walk into to get their food, and walk back into to put the plates away. Had they but known all the effort and time that needed to go into that preparation, they would understand how that you need something – anything – to help with the recreation while the cooking goes on: you need just a little bit of remodeling.

Careful planning and execution is what makes kitchen remodeling work. Most of us are often too busy to plan very well these days, which is why so many things go wrong with all of our businesses all the time. Well, planning is one aspect that you cannot afford to be careless about, otherwise, you’re going to be having a truckload of mess to be cleaning up for months!

Coming into your new home, you probably want to do the living space first; that’s perfectly natural. Next you’d perhaps want to do the sleeping space; otherwise you want to do them both simultaneously. Whatever, it’s not going to be very long before you need to get to doing the kitchen. Now that’s where the fun lies. If you have been able to do all the rest without help, don’t expect to get that lucky with this one. It’s going to take a lot more planning and a lot more work. But if you work it out well, you could love it all the way to the end.

[wp_ad_camp_4]

Basement Ideas

Being banished to the basement doesn’t always have to be punishment! Nowadays, owners of homes with a basement consider the space to be prime square footage. Everything from hobby rooms, play rooms, media centers, music rooms, poker parlors, exercise areas, office space and of course, it’s original purpose, storage space, is finding new life in the space “down below.”

[wp_ad_camp_2]

The definition of a basement is an area that is either fully or partially below ground level. This is not to be confused with the crawl space of a house, since another part of the definition is that a person should be able to stand upright in the area.

The amount of square footage in the basement is generally equivalent to that on the ground floor. In most homes, it’s like having another entire level of living space, which can add up to quite a bit! The options for utilizing that amount of space really are limited only by the imagination since the space usually will have electricity and plumbing.

The basement can be partitioned off into different rooms or it can be one huge open space. If this part of your home is “finished” then consider yourself lucky. If not, or if the space is on the remodeling To Do list, there are issues to consider before proceeding with the project. First, it’s important to identify “trouble” spots such as lowered ceilings, enclosed boiler rooms, and ductwork. Second, the space must not leak. Uncontrolled moisture will cause a number of dangerous and damaging problems including the growth of mold.

Once the identification and remediation of basement problem areas is finished, the next step is determining a layout for the space. The task can be overwhelming, and a good way to begin is by determining the activities that’ll likely take place in the space. Looking at pictures or at what others have done always helps jump-start the imagination.

Keep in mind that the basement will have little or no natural light so consider this when planning the layout. Slowly but surely this space will spring to life and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it!
Next time you think it’s no big deal, remember that over time, excessive exposure to UV rays can lead to the onset of eye conditions including retina damage and even cataracts. So do your eyes a favor – eat your carrots and be sure to carry your sunglasses with you at all times!

8 Easy Steps to Creating a Functional Basement

Most basements are dark, gloomy, and simply serve as a storage area for old toys, clothes, seasonal items, and anything else that is not used on a regular basis. Most of us rarely go down into the basement unless it is to unload more clutter that we don’t want or need.

But, why not turn this gloomy storage room into something functional and useful? Remodeling your basement is a cost-effective way to significantly increase your home’s living space. Suddenly you could have a nice, cozy guest room, a playroom for your children, a home office, a game room; the possibilities are endless!

Below are eight simple steps to a brand new basement.

1. Repair any Basement Water Problems First

Even if your basement hardly ever has issues with flooding or dampness, it’s best to take care of the problem completely before beginning any remodeling efforts.
Permanent solutions can take time to put into operation. A smart place to begin is to get in touch with a home inspector who specializes in waterproofing problems.

2. Decide What You Want to Use Your Basement For

This is where you can turn lemons into lemonade. Your Basement has poor lighting? Consider setting up a dark room or a home theater. Is your basement lonely and isolated? The isolation helps provide a nice sound cushion for noisy activities such as a teenager hangout, a game room, or a place for your kids to practice their musical instruments to their hearts content. Use your imagination and come up with something that will benefit your family’s lifestyle.

3. Consider Professional Advice with Your Basement Design

Even though your basement might not be much to look at now, you’ll want to end up with quality living space when the project is finished. An interior designer or architect can help you get the most out of the space. A little forethought and careful planning now can help you design a space that is attractive, comfortable and practical.

4. Consider the Air Circulation

Something important to consider is the air circulation of your basement. When your home was originally built, chances are that there were very few if any registers or vents installed in the basement. When you remodel your basement, you need to think about the need for good air circulation, adding openings where necessary.
To be on the safe side, install a carbon monoxide detector in your basement so that you’ll have an early warning of any problems with the venting of the furnace or any other major appliances.

5. Make the Most of Your Basement’s Natural Light

Depending on what you are using your basement for, you may wish to add more natural lighting. This can be done by enlarging your basement’s windows. Another benefit of larger windows is that they provide additional escape routes in case of fire.

Some may be concerned that by having basement windows that is providing easier access into the home by thieves. One way to lessen that risk is to install glass bricks instead of conventional windows at any location that is high-risk.

Take full advantage of the effect of regular windows by mounting some windows in the interior walls between rooms that open pathways for natural light to reach interior rooms.

Basement Renovation

A finished basement can be a great place where you can entertain your family and friends by putting in a recreation room which includes a pool table, ping pong table, pinball machine, and/or dartboard.

Before a basement renovation you should:

1. Look for basement foundation cracks. Hairline cracks in the basement can be the fault of improper curing where as large cracks are most likely caused by settling. Both can be repaired with hydraulic cement if the crack is not active i.e. whatever caused the crack is no longer an existing problem. If the basement crack is still active then the crack patching may be re-opened later.

2. Look for basement moisture problems. Moisture problems may be tough to fix. Water is persistent and can make its way through the basement walls that are considered permeable. An easy way to test water problems is to tape a piece of aluminum foil to various places on the basement walls and floors. Seal the edges of the foil tightly and leave in place for several days. After several days, if moisture droplets appear beneath the foil then moisture is going through the basement masonry.

If the moisture appears on top of the foil, the problem is condensation from basement humidity. Look for other water problems by looking in the underside of the basement’s first subflooring for signs of leaks. Fix any faulty pipes and fixtures. Look for brownish stains on the basement subfloor and sides of the basement joists. This will indicate active or an old leak that has been repaired. If the stain is spongy, an active leak exists.

Basement renovation planning is key to the success of your basement. For instance, if you decide you want a wetbar and/or bathroom, you will need to have the plumbing done first. This would be a top priority because the plumbing usually goes beneath the cement floor. After the plumbing is completed, you need to plan and install the electric which may include hiring a certified electrician.

Your plans should include enough electrical outlets, telephone lines and cable hook-ups. These will be used for your television(s), lamp(s), computer(s), electronic games, and a computer modem. Once installed, you must decide on paneling, dry walling, or painting to cover your cement walls. Although paneling might be cheaper, the refined look of drywall makes it the material of choice for finished spaces.

Paneling can look dated and does not always last long.

The next phase in your plans should be the stairwell. Some professionals suggest you should open up the stairwell and install a banister because a basement typically features stairwells that are enclosed. By opening up the basement stairwell you remove some of the basement like atmosphere. Some designers would like to see the doorways of the basement widened and employ arches and columns to dress them up. Examples include French Doors for privacy or a partial separator using decorative glass to add elegance to the basement room.

When looking at windows, if applicable, add as many as you can. Basements tend to be dark and gloomy but with more natural light it becomes a better and well lit area. If windows are very limited, look into security and use glass block windows. When it comes to artificial lighting, the choices are fluorescent lights, table lights, floor lamps and ceiling lights. If your budget allows, stay away from the fluorescent lighting since it is not the most appealing in design.

When installing the ceiling, stay away from suspended ceilings because they make the basement look like a basement. Consider using tray ceilings. When choosing the color for painting, use a light, bright, or dramatic color scheme. With these colors, you can turn that dark gloomy basement into a room that opens and brightens.

The basement floor is always cold since it is in direct contact with the ground. Look at having a subfloor between the concrete and flooring space. This will make it a warmer and dryer living area and a smooth surface for your carpet or flooring of your choosing. If a subfloor is not in your plans and you are using carpet, get plenty of padding to put under the carpet. Try to have a storage room added, maybe around the sump and furnace area. This would be convenient for all those things that can’t be thrown out. Think about adding shelves to this room to keep it fairly organized.

To control noise, have thick wall to wall carpeting and a high quality pad can absorb much of the sound. You can use sound deadening material below any underlayment or subfloor. This is nice especially if the basement is used for a bedroom or office. An easy way to reduce noise is by installation of thick insulation between ceiling joists.

In below-ground basement renovations, should you want to add a kitchen or bath you can tie into the plumbing system that is in place above. You can buy toilets and lavatories that are specifically designed for below grade applications.

After your basement renovation are complete, start adding the “toys” that will make it an enjoyable area where you get away from it all.

Beautifying Your Basement

Quick Tips for a Successful Basement Remodel

Need a place to entertain the guys and house the pool table? Want to rid the family room of toys from tots and teens? Remodeling your basement is the easiest and most affordable way to add value and additional living space to your home.

Depending on your skill level, you may need to hire a professional contractor to help out with parts of the project. However, with a little preparation and planning, refinishing your basement can be simple.

Plumbing and Patching — If you’re planning to install a bathroom or a wet bar, plumbing needs to be the first priority since pipes may need to be installed beneath the cement floor. Once all plumbing is installed, be sure to patch all cracks in the floor and walls. Use a low-odor, polyurethane sealant, such as PL Concrete and Masonry Sealant (www.stickwithPL.com), which will produce a flexible, long-lasting seal for all cracks in the foundation.

Block in Beauty and Security — If your basement is not already equipped with glass block windows, it may be a good idea to have them installed now. Glass block windows (www.pittsburghcorning.com) not only provide aesthetic appeal and light transmission, but also provide added security from intruders.

Electrical — Once the plumbing system is in place, it is time for the electric. Be sure to install a sufficient number of electrical outlets and telephone lines to accommodate televisions, lamps and computer modems. And don’t forget the cable lines too!

Walls — Drywalling is the easiest way to cover cement walls to create a smooth surface. Be sure to use a low-odor, fast-grabbing adhesive such as PL Premium Polyurethane Construction Adhesive (www.stickwithPL.com) to create a secure bond and to reduce the need for difficult nailing into the cement block. Once the drywall is in place, PL Premium can be used to adhere baseboards and wainscoting over the drywall. These decorative accents will not only add beauty, but also functionality to the walls by protecting the drywall from dents or scratches from flying cue balls or toy car crashes.

Drop the Ceiling — When it comes to ceiling choices, acoustical tiles are a safe bet. Not only are these tiles aesthetically pleasing, but they will also provide easy access to utilities for the rest of the house.

Flooring — Since the floor of the basement is in direct contact with the ground, it is most likely going to be cold! Installing a subfloor between the concrete and flooring surface will provide a warmer, dryer environment for your new basement living area. In addition, it will provide a smooth, secure surface for your carpet or other flooring choice.

How to Finish Your Basement

Finishing your basement can almost double the square foot living space of your home. A finished basement can include new living space such as a recreation room, a game room, a bar and even bedrooms and bathrooms.

Finishing a basement or remodeling a basement is also a relatively inexpensive remodeling job as frequently outside construction is not required. And since it is not a critical living area it can be completed at a leisurely pace. Consequently finishing a basement is a project that do it yourself homeowners can tackle.

Prior to the start of finishing a basement, a do it yourself homeowner should first develop a well thought out finished basement construction plan. To help in formulating a basement construction plan a homeowner should carefully evaluate the condition of their home’s existing basement and what type of living space they want to achieve in the finished basement. Frequently when finishing a basement, the mechanical equipment such as water heaters, furnaces, and water and oil storage tanks will need to be moved. With careful planning some of this movement can be minimized.

When finishing a basement a homeowner should also consider any water or moisture problems that do exist or could exist in the basement. Perimeter drains may be required. In addition the exterior and interior concrete walls of the basement may need to be sealed.

If a bathroom or wet bar is to be installed, then plumbing will need to be carefully considered, particularly if the home is on a private septic system. A pump up waste water system may be required and if so a portion of the existing concrete floor may need to be removed to allow room for the drain lines and pump-up system.

Lighting is another important aspect of finishing a basement. If natural light can be installed, via the installation of windows, then I highly recommend it. Besides letting light in, windows also add character to the finished basement. In addition, ceiling lights should also be included in the finished basement plans, and the more the better. Finally, workspace lighting should be added where necessary and each set of workspace lighting should be controlled separately.

Ceiling height is another major concern when finishing basements. Frequently homeowners elect to go with dropped ceilings; however dropped ceilings can significantly reduce ceiling height if not carefully planned. A drywalled ceiling can preserve more ceiling height and give a better finished look to the basement, however careful planning needs to be made for access points to valves and to kitchen and bathroom plumbing traps.

Frequently finished basements include home theater systems. Particular attention should be given to electrical wiring for basement home theater systems. Besides electrical wiring, there is speaker wire, cable wire, and Cat-5 wiring that is typically required for a quality home theater system.

With a well thought out basement remodeling plan a finished basement can be major plus to your home, both in personal utilization and resale value. Addressing up front key items such as basement water and moisture issues, as well as lighting and ceiling heights concerns, can help to ensure you get the finished basement you have been dreaming about.

For more help on finishing your basement, see HomeAdditionPlus.com’s Basement Remodeling Bid sheet. The Basement Remodeling Bid Sheet will help ensure that your bathroom remodeling project goes smoothly and you get the finished basement you are looking for. In addition it will help to ensure that finishing your basement will be accomplished on time and on budget.

[wp_ad_camp_4]

Small Bathroom? Great Remodeling Ideas to Try

Idea 1 Go with a Small Vanity and Sink It can be difficult to work around a large vanity and sink in your small bathroom, so you’ll want to avoid them. Go with a small vanity that won’t take up too much space, since the space in your bathroom is going to be very limited. Often one of the best choices is going to be a vanity that fits in the corner, or you may even want to go with a freestanding pedestal sink for the bathroom. The right sink can really open up your bathroom, so don’t go with one and a vanity that takes up too much space within your small bathroom.

[wp_ad_camp_2]

Idea 2 Go with a Circle Shower or a Corner Shower If you have a small bathroom, you’ll want to save space, even when it comes to installing the shower. You’ll find that many of the standing showers out there can take up a great deal of room. So, you may want to go with either a circle shower or a corner shower in the bathroom to help save on space. When you decide on a corner shower, you should avoid going with one that is opaque. Instead, go with one that is made of a clear material. This will give the bathroom an illusion of being bigger than it really is.

Idea 3 Choose the Right Styles and Colors Of course the colors and styles that you pick for a small bathroom are going to be very important as well. The colors that you choose should be light, although dark colors are great for accents throughout the bathroom. Any fixtures or bathroom furniture that you need to have should be streamlined and modern looking. Too many frills can clutter up the bathroom and make it look smaller, so you’ll want to avoid them. Be sure to add some mirrors as well, since they can give a room more depth and appear to have more space in them. So, use the styles, colors, and decorations wisely.

Yes, it can be hard to remodel a smaller bathroom, but with these ideas, it becomes much easier. Put these ideas into practice and you’ll love the way your new bathroom looks when you get done with it.

Bathroom Vanities for Small Bathroom

Any bathroom is incomplete without proper bathroom vanities. They give the bathroom a beautiful look apart from providing storage space. You can find four different types of bathroom vanity varieties. The first one is wall mounted, like a medicine cabinet. The second is the open shelf kind with either corner shelving or a surface mounted one. If you are looking for extra space then you can have the over the toilet type of vanity. Lastly, there are the closet type of vanities that can be used like a linen closet, the freestanding ones which stand next to the sink reach up to the ceiling, the built in ones and the tower type with baskets.

Small bathrooms are usually found in apartments, in homes that have what are known as half baths, and in situations where a bathroom is needed, but not much space is available. Vanities for the bathroom come in many different styles, but many of them are meant for bathrooms that are regular sized.

With a small bathroom, it often seems like not much more can fit inside the bathroom other than a toilet, sink, and mirror. What do you do if you want to remodel a small bathroom to include a bathroom vanity? Corner bathroom vanities are the answer for this type of design dilemma. The best place to find a large variety of these types of vanities is on the internet at various sites that specialize in bathroom vanities.

There are two different styles that come in vanities. The first kind is the vanity cabinets which are traditional to look at and give a formal look to your bathroom. The other style is the frameless vanity cabinet also called European style. To achieve a more contemporary look you can go for these styles suitable for modern type of bathrooms. The hinges on these vanities are completely hidden from view.

Websites that specialize in bathroom vanities will offer vanities in antique, traditional, and contemporary designs. When you order a bathroom vanity online you will be able to choose from a larger selection of styles than if you were to go to a retail store. Even better is that often times vanities are offered to you at marked down factory-direct prices on the internet.

Efficiently Organizing your Small Bathroom Makes Big Sense

Small, cramped bathrooms with little space and lots of stuff can present big problems for a busy family. With items strewn across the bathroom countertop with no designated space make it difficult to find that favorite pot of lip gloss, box of dental floss or can of hair mousse when morning routine time is at a minimum. You can conquer this problem with an honest assessment of your bathroom’s contents and some creativity.

First of all, look around your bathroom. If you have products in your bathroom that you didn’t like after the first use, or that someone who previously visited left there and your family doesn’t use, get rid of them. This can be a tough pill to swallow if you focus on the money that you spent on buying it, but if it’s taking up valuable space in your cramped bathroom quarters, it’s costing you more in headaches and stress than it’s worth. You’ll probably be amazed at how much space you can free up by clearing out these unused, unwanted items.

After you’ve cleared these items out, assess what’s left. If there’s a drawer for makeup, but nothing in it is sorted, consider some small boxes or baskets to place them in. Place lipsticks and glosses in one bin, another for makeup compacts, and another for makeup applicators such as brushes and sponges. If there are a lot of hair products, consider using a larger basket to place them in and stored under the sink which can be easily removed and put away each morning.

If you’re in the habit of stocking up on those products you seem to go through quickly such as toilet paper, lotion, or toothpaste, consider storing those in a pantry or linen closet instead of in the bathroom itself. Make sure all family members know where to look for a replacement or refill should they run out.

Most importantly, get your family to agree on using and maintaining the organization system that’s been developed. It’ll do no good to organize only to find things disheveled and unorganized the following week. Ask for input when devising a system, and make sure it’s one that everyone involved can live with.

[wp_ad_camp_4]

Home Design Tips

Home design is not only a big business; it can be very enjoyable for you the homeowner. When you’re building your home, or just giving your present home a makeover, taking the lead role in your home design can be a very rewarding experience.

[wp_ad_camp_2]

Doing your own home design allows you to express yourself in a way that no one else can do for you. Choices not only become easier when you do your own home design, but you’ll find that you have more of them than if you’d hired a professional to do it for you.

One of the first things you should consider in your home design project is the function of the room you’re working on. Function is a key home design factor. It will dictate the majority of what items will go into the room.

Two major points in function to consider is the intended use of the room and who will be using it. Naturally, a room which will receive high traffic would need more resilient flooring and furniture than a room which would not get as much traffic. Knowing what the room is going to be used for and by whom is the first step in home design.

Style is another key factor in home design. After the function of the room is determined, you’ll need to decide the style of décor you’ll be incorporating in your home design. Certainly a family game room would have a more modern style with clean lines, while a country kitchen may have more of a cottage style or rustic home design.

Fabrics like furniture, drapes, throws and pillows would play a major role in the feel of the room. Colors used properly in home design can alter a person’s mood upon entering the room. Earthy tones and light blues have a calming effect, while bright reds and contrasting colors can create a sense of excitement. Style when used properly can make any room a success story.

The placement of items and objects in a room will always alter the flow of movement to both the body and the eye. Flow is yet another key factor in home design. The flow of the room is crucial, as you don’t want the room to be awkward to navigate.

This not only applies to the person moving across the room, but also the eye of the person moving from one part of the room to another. Of course the physical flow in home design is achieved by the placement of furniture such as sofas, chairs and tables.

The eye flow of the room can be controlled by the decorative items placed in the room, as well as how the room is painted. Colors which flow easily into each other create a nice even sense of movement to the eye from one area to another.

Home design should never be a daunting challenge, but rather an enjoyable experience to those who wish to do their own home design. By following the three major factors of function, style and flow, every home design project you complete will be a successful one.

[wp_ad_camp_4]

How to Plan Outdoor Holiday Decorating for Your Home and Stay Within Your Budget

When I was a little girl, I remember my dad taking us for drives at night throughout our neighborhood to see the houses decorated for Christmas. There were some that had a simple wreath on the front door and some that looked like Santa’s Workshop on the front lawn.

[wp_ad_camp_2]

I was always amazed at the beautiful lights, glistening snow, and holiday music. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized those beautiful displays took a lot more organizing, planning and money than I thought.

Whether you live in a cold or warm climate, you don’t have to break the bank in order to create a cozy and beautiful outdoor holiday display for your home. Here’s how.

Create a plan. You need to decide how much money you can comfortably spend. Many people wind up over-spending during the holidays, use credit cards and find they take on more debt than they should.

August or September is a good time to start planning and it won’t take long. Many retail stores are beginning to announce pre-Christmas sales and this is the time to find bargains.
If you live in a closed community, check for rules and restrictions. This will save you any headaches later on if there are certain things not permitted.

Here are some things to think about when creating your plan.

To Theme or Not to Theme: Once you have determined your spending limit, next is to decide how creative to get. Do you want to create a theme on your front lawn such as Disney or Santa’s workshop or would you rather stay traditional with just some lights and perhaps just a reindeer.

Lights – How many front windows do you have and do you want lights on all of them? If you live in a 2-story house, don’t forget the second floor. Measure your windows, so you know how many strings or yardage of lights you will need. Equally important is to check for an outside electrical receptacle where you will be plugging them in.

Window candles – These are the electric or battery-operated lights that look like a glowing stick candle sitting in the window and create a nice, cozy effect. If you choose electric, make sure you have enough receptacles by each window to plug them in. If you choose battery-operated, you will need to have extra batteries on hand.

Front Door – Decorating your front door can be as elaborate as a gift box or as simple as hanging either a real or artificial wreath.

Lawn Ornaments – These can be anything from simple signs that say, “Santa, Stop Here” or “North Pole” to an entire village of animated characters re-creating Santa’s Workshop.

Roof – I am reminded of an episode from the TV show “Home Improvement”, where Tim literally fell through his roof when trying to re-create Santa’s sleigh and reindeer on his roof. Safety is always the first consideration. If you want to put holiday displays on your roof, you may be better off hiring a professional.

Once you have gone through this list and created your plan, start scouting the newspapers for sales at retail stores. Home improvement stores or discount stores will usually have an entire department established just for outdoor holiday decorations.

If you live in a cold-weather climate, putting up the lights and roof ornaments is best done before the snow and chilling temperatures arrive.

Plan early to stay within budget and you will have a great time decorating the outside of your home for the holidays.

[wp_ad_camp_4]

Being Comfortable With Your Kitchen Renovation

Being realistic with your budget is the first rule of renovation. In renovation, budget is key. It will hopefully keep you from making lots of wrong decision and choices before you are well into your renovation. Do research before setting a budget so you will have an idea what contractors, appliances and materials you will need for your kitchen renovation.

[wp_ad_camp_2]

Once you have all your information for every aspect of the design, then you will be able to work out a workable budget. It is wise too to have a little bit of a cushion for the unexpected. Even the best-planned budgets can get thrown off track if something unexpected pops in during the installation or final renovation stages of your kitchen.

It is always good to source at least three quotes from contractors to make sure you’re not paying too much. Never automatically go for the lowest bid because it certainly worth your money to spend a little extra to get quality work.

In reference to your appliances for your kitchen, it’s best to shop around and not buy the first thing you see. Price ranges vary from store to store so take your time. It is definitely worth the time to wait on a sale. Also you can use as a bargaining tool too by buying all the kitchen appliances from one store. Anyway you can safe money is the name of the game in kitchen renovations.

Keeping your kitchen renovation on a budget is to be disciplined. When the urge comes “I just have to have that” syndrome, you will have to exercise discipline. Buying things that you had not planned on will send your budget through the roof.

When it comes to kitchen remodeling, there are several things you need to think about even before acquiring the services of a professional contractor, or making appliance selections. More than any other room of the house, the kitchen is the most versatile. It is used to prepare meals, feed the family, store foods, and clean and store service ware and other household items.

The kitchen is also the family gathering place. Everyone undoubtedly migrates to the kitchen because it is the main focus of the home. Therefore, it is important that every kitchen remodeling idea be taken into consideration. Search through home decorating magazines and catch some great ideas on TV.

Whether you decide to design the kitchen yourself, work with a kitchen remodeling contractor or home center, formulating a plan will be the first step. In other words, write the vision and make it clear.

The first kitchen remodeling tip is to consider the three basic kitchen functions: storage, food preparation, and clean-up. A well thought out kitchen design will accommodate each of these three functions. The layout of the kitchen design should be defined with convenient layout and ease of movement.

The classic “work triangle” should be the basis of the floor plan. The kitchen sink, refrigerator and stove, as the three kitchen features used most often, should be arranged in a triangular pattern. This work triangle saves unnecessary steps when cooking and has proven to be the most convenient layout.

The work triangle concept saves unnecessary steps when preparing foods, and proves the most convenient layout design.

[wp_ad_camp_4]

Restoring a Home? There Are Lots Of Design And Materials Decisions To Make

When building a new home or renovating an old one, there are innumerable choices in commercially produced building and finishing materials; but when you want to restore an old home, particularly one built before standardized building materials were widely available, you may need help from a custom millworks. Stairways in old houses are narrow and steep, rooms are off square, and dimensions vary tremendously from home to home.

[wp_ad_camp_2]

How do you incorporate a modern, functional kitchen, for instance, into the design of a home restored to its original 1850s design?

You may have the expertise or the research capability to make the design decisions yourself; otherwise, hiring an architect who specializes in the restoration of antique buildings is a must. Many antique buildings, particularly in New England, were built and renovated over a period of centuries, with additions in different styles (sometimes compatible, sometimes not) tacked on to the original building.

You probably don’t want to remove the additions, particularly if they’re a substantial part of the building; but do you restore them to their original state, or do you impose the style of the original building onto the addition? If embellishments were added to the original structure, do you keep them or get rid of them? If your house is a hodge-podge of different styles from different eras, can your architect incorporate a new design which will blend the warring styles together? And do you want him or her to do that, or are you enough of a restoration purist not to want to add modern elements to the design?

Antique buildings were most often created using materials locally available at the time of its construction; but some materials may have been imported from far away; by the nineteenth century, New England ruled the seas, importing goods, including exotic woods, from places as scattered as Ireland and Southeast Asia. Whether originating locally or abroad, these antique materials may or may not be readily available from local sources now.

Maple, oak, walnut, cherry, ash, hickory, mahogany – all may be found in an antique home, and all may need to be specially purchased. You or your architect will probably need to communicate with manufacturers of custom building materials; so be sure to choose a millworks company which has experts on staff who can provide design and specification assistance. These millworks companies should be able to provide custom milled wide plank flooring, individually designed stairs, historically accurate reproduction moldings, and special lengths and widths of lumber.

Antique homes offer a fascinating look into the history of a region and the lives of people who lived through various eras. The story of a particular house may span centuries of building, rebuilding, and renovations, making each home a unique connection to the past. Restoring one of these gems to its original beauty can not only extend its life to another generation of residents, it can contribute to the legacy of a region.

[wp_ad_camp_4]

How to Plan for a Kitchen Remodeling or Renovation Project

Deciding to remodel your kitchen is one of the best investments you can make. The kitchen is where people spend most of their waking hours while at home. It is where they cook, eat, and gather with the family. It is also where they talk and share ideas about the latest trends and fashions.

[wp_ad_camp_2]

Consequently, it is not surprising that the kitchen would be on the top of the list of home improvement projects. Having an up to date, modern kitchen, allows people not only to function better with new cabinets and appliances, but also enables them to feel that they are indeed living in modern society.

Kitchen remodeling however can be a very messy and disruptive home improvement project. And the length of the disruption can take as long as a month or more, even when well planned out.

To mitigate the disruption of a kitchen renovation project, planning is absolutely essential. The first item to consider is whether you will do it yourself, or hire a general contractor. Regardless of what route, a homeowner needs to first sketch out some kitchen remodeling ideas to ensure the kitchen design and costs will meet their targeted functional requirements and budget. If a general contractor is to be hired these initial sketches will be helpful in communicating your kitchen remodeling plans and ideas.

During the planning phase, the homeowner should identify the main objectives of the future kitchen. They should research the latest products on the market including: cabinets, countertops, appliances, and flooring. If the kitchen is more than 5 years old, there are a lot of new products to choose from. For example, Silestone is quickly surpassing Granite and Corian, as the premier countertop surface as it is extremely hard, elegant in appearance, and comes in many colors.

For cabinets, the trend appears to be towards lighter colors as they help the appearance of lightening and enlarging a room. In regards to appliances, the Stainless Steel look appears to be in. And for flooring, vinyl or wood is the trend. Tile looks nice, however, it can be unforgiving in a room where things tend to get dropped. In addition, if there is no radiant heating planned for the floor, tile has the tendency to feel cold on the feet.

It is also important to consider any structural changes to the existing kitchen area. Is a new kitchen island desired, or will walls or doorways need to be moved or installed?

When developing your kitchen remodeling plan, it is important to note that professional kitchen designers like to think of a triangle when starting a new kitchen design. The three points of the triangle include the Sink, Refrigerator, and Stove.

Make sure your sketches consider this, as it will ensure a good functional kitchen. Also, consider adequate walking areas and space for an eating area, such as a table or center island, with applicable space included for chairs. I would suggest that the walking areas be wide enough for two people to walk through at the same time.

The sketches should also include dimensions, as these will be needed when meeting with the general contractor or kitchen designer. Finally, consider where the existing outlets and power for the stove are, and assess if additional outlets will be needed or old outlets relocated.

For more help on remodeling your kitchen, see HomeAdditionPlus.com’s Kitchen Remodeling Bid Sheet. The Kitchen Remodeling Bid Sheet will help ensure that your kitchen remodeling project goes smoothly and you get the finished kitchen you are looking for. In addition, it will help to ensure that your remodeled kitchen will be accomplished on time and on budget.

Home Remodeling: A Few Favorite Kitchen Renovation Ideas

Kitchen renovation ideas range all the way from simply replacing hardware on cabinets to a total remodel of this entire cooking and dining area. Here are some thoughts on a few things people dream about making happen in this room, the favorite gathering spot of many.

Installing a multi-purpose island may be at the top of your list of kitchen renovation ideas. Imagine, finally, enough room to slice, dice, cook, and wash utensils – all in the same area! With a custom island kitchen, you’d have all that along with room on the regular counter space to perform other kitchen duties. Kitchen islands have become so popular that people in the building industry estimate more than half of all new homes now have them. If you don’t, why not consider building one now?

Kitchen renovation ideas that include wood-burning fireplaces also make it to the “Boy-I’d-like-one-of-those-someday” list. Although this means major remodeling that includes tearing out a portion of a wall, constructing a chimney or other venting system, and then working with stone or brick, what a cozy, comforting addition to have in one’s kitchen! Just make sure there’s room in your kitchen renovation ideas to include the rocking chairs that would go with it oh-so-well.

Assuming you’re low on bucks but still want to apply some kitchen renovation ideas that have been rumbling around for awhile, why not consider resurfacing your kitchen cabinets? Doing this costs far less than a complete replacement and can take years off the looks of your current cabinets. You can hire a professional to do this, or you can do it yourself in one weekend if you purchase them already stained and finished.

However big or small your budget, energy level, or your imagination, kitchen renovation ideas can keep you alive with interest for years to come. There always seems to be something that could be done to enliven, invigorate, and refresh this room where so many love to hang out. So why not spend some quality time on thinking up your own kitchen renovation ideas? Like they say, there’s no time like the present.

[wp_ad_camp_4]

Small Bathroom Challenges And How To Overcome Them

It is true, a small bathroom poses many challenges. In fact, having a small bathroom and trying to fit a toilet, sink, shower, or bathtub is similar to doing a difficult 2000 piece puzzle. Some of the challenges include building code regulations that have specific requirements for sinks, toilets, and tubs. Then there is also the challenge of where to put bathroom supplies such as toiletries, towels, tissues and so forth.

[wp_ad_camp_2]

Even though a small bathroom does dictate many challenges, most homeowners still believe it is better to have an extra small bathroom when needed. Therefore, if you decide that your home needs an additional bathroom, even a small one, this article will provide you with a few interesting suggestions and tips to help design that perfect little bathroom.

Corner Sink

There are times when even adding a small pedestal sink can cause major space issues in a small bathroom. One alternative is to incorporate a corner sink directly across from the toilet. This configuration works better than having a sink opposite a shower because it is always awkward to get around an open shower door.

Toilet Topper

There is always wasted space above a toilet tank. Therefore, a toilet topper cabinet/shelf is the perfect place to store all of those extra bathroom accessories and necessities. Remember to purchase one that is white or a light color because the color will definitely affect the perception of making the room look larger or smaller.

Shower Curtain/Door

If you decide to install a shower or bathtub into your small bathroom, you have two options to make it work. A tub or shower that has a swing-out door will make it difficult to maneuver whereas a shower curtain or a glass panel that covers one half of a bathtub will make access manageable.

Towel Bar/Ring

A bathroom without a towel bar is a bathroom that is inconvenient to use. Towels need to hang on a bar or ring so as to dry properly when not in use. If the bathroom does not have any wall space for a towel bar or ring, try mounting the towel bar or ring on the shower door or glass panel.

Trough Sink

A narrow, slick styling trough sink is a great space solution. They have a low profile and when they are mounted on the wall they provide additional floor space for foot traffic or storage.

Wall-mounted faucet

A wall-mounted faucet will allow you to use a narrower vanity or sink and this will free up valuable space in a small bathroom. Wall-mounted faucets come in a variety of styles and designs to coordinate with any decor that you may have in mind.

Shower/Tub

If your small bathroom is going to be an additional bathroom then you may want to forgo a shower or a tub. However, if you must have one or the other then choose an enclosed shower because they are traditionally smaller than even a half size bathtub.

The above are just a few of the many ways that you can make a small bathroom work. Of course, you will need to do some serious planning to make sure that everything is to code and fits properly.

[wp_ad_camp_4]