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Kitchen Design Topics: Countertops

April 19th, 2011

If cabinets are the ‘cake’ of luxury kitchen design, then countertops are most definitely the cherry on top. Long gone are the days of just opting for the most sympathetic granite laminate for fitted kitchens. Today, countertops come in a wealth of quality materials and a spectrum of colours. They can hold a whole kitchen design together or make a bold statement as a stand out feature. And it is worth taking the time to get this right. In much the same way as an artist selects their canvas with care, your countertops should offer you the perfect work surface and be a real pleasure to use.

Your choice in countertops will naturally be affected by the cabinetry and other elements within your fitted kitchen, but do be aware of the multitude of options available to you. For exceptional interior design in London, choose a company which specializes in kitchen design. They will be able to offer the greatest choice in fitted kitchens and will have the experience to guide you.

When you start thinking about countertops decide first what your style is and what look you are trying to achieve with your kitchen design. If you are drawn to sleek, contemporary fitted kitchens, consider corian, or even glass or stainless steel for that extra wow factor. Real wood countertops are another option and also lend themselves to the more traditionally styled fitted kitchen, where you might also expect to see granite and marble worktops. For a more rustic kitchen design, butcher block and tiled countertops can add real charm. It is important however, not to feel fettered by these conventional choices. Interior design in London is fresh and innovative, so do not be afraid to think outside the box.

Consider too how your kitchen will be used. For example, if you breakfast there, a kitchen design which adapts a worktop into a breakfast bar could be a smart option. If you do a lot of cooking, installing hot rods will give a heat proof space for hot pans. If your fitted kitchen will be subject to lots of wear and tear, discuss durable and/or scratch resistant materials with your interior design consultant in London. If you entertain in your fitted kitchen, consider curved corners for a sleek finish and to open up your space.

Countertops have a big impact on the look of a finished kitchen but are far from the whole story. To achieve a high-end luxury finish for your fitted kitchen, you are well advised to appoint a company who not only specialises in interior design in London, but who is committed to finessing your kitchen design — from your countertops right down to the smallest details.

Bathroom Remodeling – Things To Consider

April 18th, 2011

Are you planning to remodel your bathroom? If your answer is yes, then first make sure you ask a qualified person to give you some tips. In comparison to a kitchen where you can install new gadgets and refinish the existing cabinets without changing anything else, bathroom remodeling is a little bit difficult. If you decide to change tiles, you cannot replace just them, but the floor has to be ripped out as well. And before you replace the floor you need to remove the sink and toilet. In older homes it is harder to replace tiles because they typically need replacement, meaning that a new floor and new tiles have to be installed. Many homeowners choose to do the entire job all at once without changing the floor after they have already removed everything else from the bathroom.

It’s less expensive to get a turnkey estimate at the beginning. That’s a start-to-finish job that would include tearing out old fixtures and replacing with new ones. This way, the homeowner is in control of what the whole job will cost. They can choose fixtures – good, better or best – and decide how much they can afford to spend. There are no hidden costs.

The only area to substantially save money during remodeling is in choosing the location and type of fixtures in your new bathroom. Due to building codes, as soon as you move the toilet, your costs will skyrocket. Often it’s best to leave fixtures where they were when remodeling – just upgrade to new fixtures.

Although many homeowners try to save money by doing the work themselves, bathroom remodeling should usually be left to a professional. Bathrooms can often present problems for amateurs that can become costly mistakes. For example, installing a tub faucet or drain can often jar pipes that are concealed behind walls or above ceilings.

In order to stop the water damage resulting from these loose pipes, a contractor must tear down the wall – a task most do-it-yourselfers are not equipped to handle. A professional with the proper tools and training will be able to handle any unforeseen problems and avoid those that can plague do-it-yourselfers.

Many people are under the impression that they will spend a lot of money if they call a professional contractor, but most professionally done jobs actually cost much less than repairing a do-it-yourselfer’s mistakes

The number one reason people remodel their bathrooms is to improve the value of their homes. Other reasons for remodeling include water damage to floors or walls and increasing storage space.

For more tips on how to remodel a bathroom visit our plumbing blog

Increasing the Value of Your Home With Flooring Renovations

April 18th, 2011

There are so many renovations that can be done that will increase the value of a home. Isn’t that what people want when they spend their hard earned money on home renovations? One of the many things that can be done to increase a home’s value is flooring renovations. There are several options in flooring; carpet, ceramic tile, linoleum and wood. As with carpet there are many choices to decide between. All flooring ranges in styles, price, durability and color.

Wood flooring renovations are becoming the most popular option in flooring choices today. The decisions about what type of material, what color and which laminate to choose are endless. The biggest decisions will need to be made to determine what will fit the style of your home and budget.

There are three main types of wood flooring available for renovations; solid hardwood, engineered wood flooring and laminated wood flooring. None of the three choices are correct for every household. You will need to look into your specific needs and determine what the best is for you. Yes, some people will say that solid hardwood is the only way to go. However different environmental factors such as your lifestyle will determine the best wood flooring renovation that is right for you.

Solid hardwood is the most expensive of the three flooring options. It is the best quality and the most expensive of all your wood flooring options. Solid hardwood floors can be produced out of almost any type of wood. The more ornate, like teak and mahogany, can prove to be very pricey. Don’t worry though because you can also choose from less expensive options like oak, pin and maple. Solid wood is very durable and can be easily maintained and refinished after years of wear. It also gives a home a very rich feel. If solid hardwood floors are in your budget, splurge. The extra expense will be well worth it. Solid hardwood flooring renovations increase the value of your home more than the out of pocket expense. It is considered a luxury flooring renovation.

Next down the line is engineered flooring. It does not offer the same luxuriousness that solid hardwood does but it is a close alternative. Engineered flooring is made up of several layers. The face is a hardwood lamella and the core is basic softwood with a final layer of hardwood lamella. When installed the top layer only the top layer is visible to the eye. You can think of it like a piece of plywood with the many layers being compressed together. It is less expense than solid hardwood and is also very durable. It is a beautiful replica in replacement of solid hardwood.

Finally the least expensive option in wood flooring is laminate. This is basically a resinous base coated with a paper coating that resembles wood in color and texture. It is easy to maintain but will not withstand the years of abuse that solid wood does while continuing to maintain the look and feel of wood flooring.

When contemplating the installation of any wood flooring it is best to obtain advice from a professional. Flooring professionals will make sure that your investment and installation is performed in the most appropriate manner for the flooring choice. As there are many types of wood flooring options there are also several different installation procedures for the type of wood flooring choice. Hiring a professional will ensure that your investment is installed properly and will last for the lifetime of your flooring choice.

Why Console Tables Make Your Home Look Great

April 18th, 2011

Designs to Choose From

Let’s face it, everyone has a different idea about what looks great. Fortunately, so do the designers of console tables. Because they can appear both elegant in a dining room and functional in a home office area, these tables are highly qualified to blend in with many different rooms.

Rooms Enhanced by a Console Table

For the kitchen area, a console table can be, relative to the area of the kitchen, unobtrusive yet functional. The half-moon design in particular appears to pop out of the wall instead of giving the impression of taking up space. It provides the surface area that is needed for a modest plant or flower arrangement, and also has a lower shelf for additional items.

For the den, there is a distinct style of console table that may look entirely different than the one in the kitchen, and yet the function is similar: to enhance the existing décor. These console tables tend to be more suitable for holding books and similar items, family portraits, and knick-knacks. They present the items on display to the viewer, and can be the perfect place for a conversational piece or a family heirloom.

Living rooms usually have lamps and books that need to have a place. The dark wood of the living room console table, with or without drawers, permits the items placed upon it to shine. For example, if the lamp is particularly beautiful with intricate silver inlays, it can disappear into a busy background. The eye would be distracted by the different and competing patterns. If this same lamp is placed upon the rich laminated wood of the console table, it provides to this same lamp a stunning brilliance.

What about the hallways? They are transitional spaces that take the viewer from one room to the next. There are special hall console tables that are intended to meet this very need. These tables often, but not always, have straight legs and a functional appearance. They serve as plant holders and portrait placements, and often have a discreet drawer with a single or double knob opener. They may have lower shelving, and can help lead the eye to a painting that hangs above it. This is a particularly appealing aesthetic for people who own a prize painting and would like something beneath it so that it does not appear to hang suspended and unsupported.

Unifying Themes in the Home

These console tables actually function as a unifying feature when dispersed throughout the home. Because they are so versatile, each room can express unique characteristics; at the same time, the consistent appearance of these console tables creates an atmosphere of stability.

The rich and deep wood colours reflect, around the home, a peaceful and serene quality. These tables have a unique ability to add to the existing décor by simply being there. In essence, they function as a frame for the qualities that have been invested in the home to be seen through — a lens of elegance, austerity, functionality, and comfort.

Find out more about console tables.

Choosing a Kitchen Designer? Making the Right Choice

April 17th, 2011

It is no small task to refurbish your kitchen and choosing the right kitchen designer will make the difference between getting the kitchen you want and settling for less.

When it comes to high end kitchens, the stakes are even greater. The finished result can and should look fabulous, but high end kitchens represent a bigger investment in terms of budget and time. You want perfection and your kitchen designer holds the key, so it is crucial to get this choice right.

Some common sense to start with: if you dislike modern contemporary styles, steer clear of interior design companies who specialize in this. And if modern is what you are after, rule out kitchen designers who specialize in more traditional and rustic styles. Make their experience work for you.

Be sure to check out their portfolios. They may dazzle you with rhetoric but at the end of the day, the proof is in the pudding. Ask them to show you the high end kitchens they have designed. Often, more established interior design companies have showrooms with examples of high end kitchens. These are great too for getting those ideas flowing!

Your kitchen designer will breathe life into your ideas, so it is vital that they take the time to listen to you and to understand your brief. They should visit you in your home very early on and be keen to grasp what you need and want from your new high end kitchen. Remember, the most stunning luxury designs are worthless if they are impractical for your home and lifestyle.

Although the kitchen designer is the leading creative force in kitchen refurbishments, the success of their designs wholly depends on the team working with them. After all, stunning designs can be thwarted by poor craftsmanship, budgets and schedules can overrun without good project management and houses can descend into chaos without a competent site manager! The interior design team behind your kitchen designer, therefore, is just as important to the end result.

When considering kitchen designers then, be sure to look at the bigger picture. What services does their interior design company provide? High end kitchens are labours of love and involve a good many professionals. Companies which have all the skilled personnel you need in-house, or are partnered with trusted contractors, are your best bet. They will all be on the same page and it will save you the headache of trying to outsource and co-ordinate different trades people.

Also ask about aftercare. Less professional interior design companies are happy to take your money and run, but a company which takes pride in its work and cares about you should be happy to offer you product support and quality guarantees, after installation.

How Do You Prepare Your Garden For A New Shed?

April 16th, 2011

Adding a new shed to your garden can be a great way to make use of space, along with adding functionality with style. There are many options to choose from, ranging from a variety of pre-built models, kits and sheds that can be built to unique specifications. Preparing your garden for the new shed is essential, and having a solid plan in place will help make the process easier as well.

First, you’re going to need to determine the size of the shed you want. Depending upon the total area of a particular garden, along with what you plan on storing inside, the shed must be adequate enough to meet your requirements. Small gardens will likely necessitate a smaller shed, while larger open spaces can handle much bigger facilities. Once you’ve decided where to place the shed, you’ll have to stake out that area. Prefabricated sheds are easier to plan for, but building one from scratch isn’t very difficult either. Be sure to remove all plants and debris that are currently on top of the building site. This will allow you to start planning the flooring.

Some people choose to leave a regular dirt floor, while others prefer concrete. Using cement is a great option, since it allows the wood and other material to rest on a solid material, that won’t prematurely degrade the shed itself. It also helps keep tools and other items inside free of dirt and moisture. Dig a hole that is the size of the total shed and a little more (possibly 2-4 inches more on each side). Some people like to have the entrance area 1-2 feet before the shed opening cement as well. Depending upon the frost level your area experiences in the winter, you’ll want the depth to be at least 1 foot. Next, you’ll need to determine how your shed will be supported.

Pre-built models often don’t need to be secured directly to the cement, though some do. Building a shed from scratch will require post holders to be placed in the ground. It is important that you line these up with the exact dimensions of your building before pouring the concrete. Once they have been cemented in, it is extremely difficult to correct placement errors. After your flooring is taken care of, it’s time to bring in the shed parts. If other plants or ornaments are in the area, it is a good idea to remove them or protect them if at all possible. Heavy materials can crush fragile plants that you’ve taken years to care for.

Preparing your garden for a new shed is rather simple. Be sure to protect surrounding plants and ornaments, and completely clear the area the shed will be placed upon. Larger sheds may require you hire a cement truck to pour the floor, while smaller ones can usually be done by hand. Depending upon the material the shed is made from, you may have to do some painting as well.

Find out more about sheds.

Planning For A New Room Addition

April 16th, 2011

Are you thinking of expanding the space in your house? Do you think you need more extra space to improve the flow of your house? Moving elsewhere is not the most practical thing to do with the ongoing recession.

Think of a definite plan.To encourage smooth flow of room addition and home remodeling process, you need to come up with a clear and concise plan based on your goals and desires. Be it another bedroom, music room or expanding the size of your kitchen or living room, whatever it is, planning ahead is still a must.

To target your desired output, a plan must be made so to keep track on the progress of the project. Also, if future problems may arise, it will be easy solving them as you already have anticipated those, based on the plan. Otherwise, you may pay higher costs as room addition projects without a constructed plan may lead to a longer period of work and there will be a lot of unforeseeable crisis along with it. This guideline will assist you in the completion of your project successfully.


In planning for the project, you must first consider your budget, either you will use your savings or you will borrow from the banks or other financial institutions which provide loans for home improvement projects. Fortunately, interest rates are very low nowadays. List all the possible expenses that will be incurred for the room addition project so you have better idea as to the amount of money to be prepared.

Building Codes

Visit your local zoning and planning office and find out the necessary requirements in obtaining a building permit. It is important to know if they allowed for any home addition project in lieu with the building codes and restrictions in your area before proceeding to the actual start of the construction. Many home owners were left surprised and disappointed as they have not asked for any permission to build or for any room addition project beforehand.

Drawing Proposals

Make a rough draft of your planned project. It is better to draw your own idea first so it will be easy once a professional designer or architect will draw your final plan and put it on a blueprint.

Choosing and Hiring Contractors

Choosing the right contractor for the project is the most important task you need to undertake. Choosing the perfect one means a definite success of the project. It may be daunting as you need to do a thorough research background for every prospective contractor, but, it will be all worthwhile once you find the right match for your project.

It is exciting to be involved in your own room addition project. Adding your own flare of design and effort will make you prouder as a home owner. The most rewarding part in this process is the fact that you add value to your house and made the whole family more comfortable in the long run.

Only an expert Tampa remodeling contractor can give you the results you have been dreaming of. If you are in need of more space inside your home, instead of moving to a bigger home you should consider a home addition service.

How Can You Improve Your Home With A New Shed?

April 16th, 2011

A new garden shed is a smart and creative way to improve the value of your home, as well as create extra living or storage space. Even though these small buildings do not take up much space, they provide a wealth of benefits. They can be used for everything from basic tool and equipment storage, to a garden centre, or even as an art studio. The possibilities really are endless. Garden sheds have come a long way from the simple, miniature red barn that many people had in the past. Today, these single-story buildings range from very simple and basic, to extremely detailed and extravagant. Some larger buildings provide the option of interior subdivision, thus creating two or more rooms. There are so many options when it comes to size and style that the hardest decision is which one to choose.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with having a no-frills garden shed simply to provide extra storage for things like yard tools and equipment, gasoline for the lawnmower and pesticides used to maintain the yard. This will also result in more storage space inside the house. However, many people opt to take things further and use the garden shed to create an outdoor room dedicated to a specific purpose. Many look like tiny houses, with multiple windows, shingled roofs and porches. Doors, which can be either single or double, come in various forms including the barn door, French door, carriage door or chevron door. Flower boxes, window shutters, paved sidewalks and a few lawn chairs add additional character and create a delightful ambiance.

As for the inside of the garden shed, it can be left in an unfinished state with some basic features like a work bench, tool rack and storage shelves, or it can be greatly enhanced to include fittings like a ceiling fan, electrical outlets, bead board walls and wide plank flooring. Furthermore, the walls and floors can be painted and the countertops can be topped with tile, granite or soapstone. Many people add comfortable chairs to provide a place to sit and throw rugs or carpeting for extra cushioning under the feet.

The garden shed can be transformed into a playhouse for children, a painting or crafting room, or simply a quiet oasis away from the busy household. Homeowners with a swimming pool or hot tub may choose to utilize the garden shed as a changing room. Those families lucky enough to live by the lake may put the shed on the dock to serve as a boat house and a place to keep life jackets, oars, paddles, fishing poles and other assorted items.

Not only will a new garden shed add to the liveable square footage of a home, but it will also enhance the quality of life. Extra space to indulge in creative endeavours is just good for the spirit. In addition, the enchanting facade of a garden shed will captivate visitors. Everyone will be begging for an invitation to explore the inside.

Find out more about improving your home with Tiger Sheds.

Appropriate Curtain Treatment – Keeping Your Curtains Looking Their Finest

April 15th, 2011

Most people wish to conceal their house windows using curtains to help keep out the natural light and make the space appear better matching the general design of the space. When you do get window curtains, make certain that you take proper care of them correctly else they can lose color, get dusty, and make the space look a whole lot worse. There are things that you ought to be doing on a normal schedule to keep your curtains at their best.

What can be done to appropriately care for your curtains?

Start off by safeguarding your curtains with window blinds. This is a great way of avoiding fading which is caused by sun damage. Window shades will filter direct sunlight so that it isn’t continuously on the window curtains but nevertheless give you the choice of allowing in sunshine when you need it. This extends the life span your decorative window curtains.

About once per week you need to do some basic cleaning for your curtains. Dust and other debris can get on them throughout the week. Get a vacuum cleaner extension and clean them up. This shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes for each window curtain but can keep them more clean and looking a great deal nicer.

If you haven’t given your curtains a proper cleaning up in some time, you should get this carried out right away. You have a few choices here. You could possibly get the task professionally done at a cleaner. This is a good option when the window curtains are much too large for you to clean at home in your automatic washer or are manufactured out of components that cannot fit into a automatic washer.

You can also have them cleaned in your house. Some fit into the washing machine and will have directions you need to follow very carefully so that you will not mess them up. Several individuals even clean them in a bath tub with light soaps to get them laundered.

Whenever you dry your curtains, line drying is the ideal. If you can’t do this, use a drying machine however ensure that you take them out before completely dry otherwise they will crease or even shrink which may ruin them. Don’t let them get totally dry. Take them out while somewhat moist still. Iron the window curtains after you dry them to get them to appear their best.

Continue your weekly cleaning of your window curtains in order that they will continue to appear their finest. It is a very small five minute task for every window curtain you have in your home that should not actually take that long once the vacuum is going.

Should you adhere to these measures carefully, you will end up with window curtains that look their best and wind up lasting much longer than you might have originally anticipated.

Justin C is an author, business investor, and internet marketer. In addition to running TryBPO, a company in the Philippines primarily focused on back-end SEO and Operational support to medium sized businesses, he also creates niche sites about diverse subjects like Eclipse curtains and Hello Kitty curtains

Why Choose Cedar Blinds

April 14th, 2011

Window coverings and shutters Brisbane are used mainly for the purpose of privacy and light control. Most home owners have now also started paying attention to some of the other factors associated with window coverings. The type of shutters used will add to the style and attractiveness of the room and improve the aesthetics by complementing the other interior design elements introduced. For a more elegant and sophisticated appearance, cedar blinds are a preferred choice for many people. These can be used in homes as well as offices and are available in a range of colors and styles.

Generally Western Red Cedar venetian blinds are used in porches and patios but these can also be applied in other areas of the house as they have a number of benefits: –

=> Cedar is a lightweight material and this quality makes it a better choice for venetian blinds.

=> Western Red Cedar is highly durable and has always been used for fencing posts as it is able to withstand extreme weather conditions.

=> It also has a natural resistance against pests, termites and diseases. It is actually a natural insect repellent.

=> Cedar has its own oil and therefore, does not require chemical treatments. This property of cedar is also useful in reducing the glare from the sun.

=> Western Red Cedar is an environment-friendly material and s opted for the more conscious people who want to protect the environment.

=> Western Red Cedar venetian blinds are multi-purpose and can be installed in sauna, bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, living room, porches and patios.

=> These are available in a variety of colors to match the interior design requirements of any room. –

Considering all the factors listed above, Western Red Cedar is a highly sought after choice for venetian blinds. When making a choice about the right company to manufacture and install Western Red Cedar venetian blinds, make sure the company manufactures hand-made blinds customized to your requirements and offer easy installation solutions. Also, there should be a reliable tile control mechanism to ensure privacy and protection from sunlight.

Western Red Cedar venetian blinds are opted by customers who are looking for style, affordability, durability and environment-friendly solution to their window coverings. Western Red Cedar is able to withstand extreme heat, cold and frost. It is excellent value for money option and is able to add warmth and beautiful decor to any room.

Image Blinds Direct http://www.imageblinds.com.au/ offers
a range of options for window blinds Brisbane especially designed and crafted
according the customer requirements. Place you order for shutters Brisbane

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