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What Is The Most Durable Window Treatment?

February 18th, 2012

Of the various types of window treatments, many consumers want to know which one lasts longest and retains its functionality and handsomeness. Of course, personal preference is a factor in selecting the style and material, but there are specific features to consider. Following is a description of the most used window treatments including the benefits and disadvantages of each one.

The most common window treatment is a set of curtains or drapes. Home-sewn or commercially made, curtains serve to provide privacy and block out unwanted sunlight. In addition, they can add to the decor in the room, be it whimsical or elegant. They can be constructed of heavy opaque fabric or sheer fabric or even a combination of the two. Curtains can be pulled back with a tie or hook, gathered up in vertical lines, or tied in a knot to the side. A down side to using curtains is that they gather dust and are not easily cleaned and re-hung. The pulley system on some types of draperies can get jammed, making it difficult to close and open them. Curtains hung with simple rings are more easily maintained.

Another window treatment is roller blinds. Roller blinds consist of a length of heavy fabric or vinyl fastened at the top of the window to a dowel with a spring mechanism inside it so it will roll back up when pulled, but stops at intervals to cover the window as needed. These types of window treatments are good for privacy and blocking light, but are more susceptible to wear and tear because they are handled rather repetitively.

Vertical blinds are similar to curtains in the way they are hung and can be made of various materials from vinyl to faux wood to fabric. Horizontal blinds are similar to roller blinds because they are pulled up and down, but while they are down, they are adjustable, which is a desirable feature for many people. Blinds of both kinds can be used together with curtains if desired. They come in a variety of colours and styles to fit the decor. They can be difficult to clean because of the many areas where dust can collect.

The final type of window treatment we will discuss is interior wooden shutters; a smart option because of their durability and functionality. Traditional shutters have narrow horizontal slats that can be rotated to allow more light in or to block light. They are hinged at the window so that they may be opened completely, allowing access to the entire window. There are several other styles as well.

Comparatively, interior wooden shutters seem to be the most durable type of window treatment. Because they are constructed of wood, they function well for years and can be easily repaired if need be. They are easy to clean and are an attractive and long-lasting solution. They can be used in tandem with curtains or a simple valance to accent them, although by themselves they offer warmth and style to any room.

Find out more about interior wooden shutters.



Ideas For Decorating En-Suite Bathrooms

January 19th, 2012

En-suite bathrooms can add value to the home in terms of buying and selling, but they can also add value to your home’s functionality. Personal en-suite bathrooms are a great personal hygiene facility that doesn’t have to be shared with the rest of the family. This means you don’t ever have to wait for the bathroom, and you can relax in your bath, knowing no one’s bladder’s reaching bursting point due to you occupying the bathroom.

When decorating an en-suite bathroom, you’ll want it to be the perfect place for relaxation with personal touches, so it really feels like your own space. However, space is often limited in en-suites, so you’ll need to ensure your décor creates space and co-ordinates with the adjoining bedroom.

Accent colour When picking an accent colour for your en-suite, you can use your bedroom décor to influence your choice. Take a look at the different colours and shades in your bed linen and choose one of these as an accent colour for your bathroom accessories. The colour scheme in your en-suite is entirely up to you, but remember that lighter, neutral colours create the illusion of more space, and darker colours counteract this.

Flooring Choosing flooring for your en-suite requires some serious consideration. It can be tempting to use the same flooring as the bedroom to create the feeling of continuity and flow within your home, but this, however, may not be practical as the flooring may not be durable enough for bathroom use. Carpets can be plush and comforting, and although they feel great to step on after bathing, they can be incredibly hard to maintain. The constant saturation of the carpet can cause it harbour smells of damp, and it is much harder to clean than tiles or vinyl flooring. If you really want that flow between the two rooms, pick out specific bathroom flooring in the same shade or colour as your bedroom flooring.

Using Light to Create Space Creating the illusion of space within en-suite bathrooms can be the difference between a cramped-feel and a luxurious feel (you’ll obviously want the latter). Mirrors and natural light are the key to creating space, and work rather well in conjunction with each other. White bathroom suites and chrome taps are the key to creating more space in your bathroom. Large bathroom mirrors really help to reflect the light in your bathroom too, as well as being used for vanity purposes.

Halogen down-lighters are the best way to get strong artificial light, and you should only need a few if your en-suite is rather small. Some halogen down-lighters can be fitted with an extractor fan too which is convenient for ventilation purposes as moisture can ruin the appearance of the bathroom.

When decorating your en-suite bathroom, consider how the room can add value to both your home and lifestyle. Co-ordinate it with the bedroom, but ensure that it has individuality and works as a stand-alone room.

Written by Daniel Travis – Brown on behalf of Bathshop321 bathroom suites and Untrained Housewife who are the original source of Ideas for Decorating En-Suite Bathrooms



Creating A Homey Family Kitchen

January 17th, 2012

Having your family spend quality time talking and eating together is a fantastic way to communicate with each other and maintain a healthy relationship as a family. Creating a suitable and well- structured kitchen can provide you with the perfect family bat cave; a place where everyone comes together to eat breakfast and dinner and discuss work and education. Planning a kitchen renovation can be a wonderful way of creating this place, but there are things to consider before any remodeling starts.

You must consider factors such as the layout of the kitchen, the space available to you, suitable features and fixtures and an appropriate color and design. Doing this correctly can have a wonderful effect on both the design and presentation of your home, and the how practical your kitchen is for your family’s needs. Here are a few simple ideas to consider when creating your dream family kitchen!

Have a Suitable Kitchen Layout

Planning ahead and thinking about where you want to position features such as the family dining table (if you decide to place this in the kitchen) can help you get a good idea of how much space you will have left over. Having a suitable amount of space left in your kitchen is quite important if any family members make home cooked meals on a regular basis; squeezing through a crammed kitchen whilst preparing an family dinner is not practical and can potentially be fairly dangerous.

If you choose to purchase a matching set of kitchen appliances then strategically space them out around your kitchen, this is an effective way of bringing a matching color scheme together. Coordinate this with the color and tone of curtains and blinds, tea, coffee and sugar pots and other small features around the kitchen.

Kitchen Family Features

Ensure the fixtures and features of your new kitchen provide for all of your family’s needs. If the working members are usually in a rush first thing in the morning then an coffee maker that has a timed feature may be hugely useful to them, as might a high powered toaster. Modern fridges are available with built in water and ice dispensers, this can prove to be a great way of encouraging the young ones to drink more water. The simple function of pressing a button to get water and having ice available next to it is somehow much more appealing to kids than water from kitchen taps! Including modern, hi-tech features is a great way to interest the kids and encourage them to get involved. Adding a smoothie maker or a juicer can encourage healthy living and help them to get their recommended five fruit and vegetables a day.

So there we are; some simple kitchen design ideas that can help you to create a kitchen that looks great, serves the family well and can bring the whole house together.



Remodeling Your Kitchen On A Budget

January 16th, 2012

Your kitchen is one of the busiest centers in your home, where practicality and movement are on an equal level to the overall visual effect you’re trying to create, and how you feel when you’re in that space.

So, a kitchen remodeling project is a common ambition. But, in these times where money is tight, how do you get the results you need when your budget is limited? Writer and remodeling enthusiast Stephanie Staszko is here with a few pointers on where to start …

Kitchen remodelling is incredibly popular at this time of year, but with the expense of Christmas on the horizon it can seem ludicrous to start thinking about a new kitchen. Using thorough research techniques and subtle changes however, you can create high impact changes that will transform your kitchen without the high price tag.

Make subtle changes using lighting, fixtures, kitchen cabinet accessories

Certain subtle changes to your kitchen design and décor can completely transform the appearance of the room. If you currently have dim lighting in your kitchen then switching to halogen bulbs can help to brighten things up. The additional light won’t only enhance your visibility, it’ll also make your appliances and fittings appear shinier, which is essential if you’re aiming for a contemporary look.

Chrome is currently an incredibly popular finish for kitchen taps , cupboard handles and hinges and displayed crockery. Chrome fixtures complement black appliances such as refrigerators and toasters incredibly well which is why black is currently the height of kitchen fashion. If you’re due to upgrade kitchen appliances opt for black, energy efficient models. Energy efficiency is essential if you want to keep energy bills to a minimum so think of it as a long term investment.

Research reputable kitchen remodelers

If your kitchen is desperately falling into a state of disrepair then there are methods in which you can have a new and improved fitted kitchen on a budget without compromising quality. To get a bargain you’ll have to dedicate time to research and obtain recommendations from reliable sources. If you have any friends or acquaintances who’ve just had a fitted kitchen enquire; who fitted it, what their standard of work was like and most importantly, if they’re happy with the finished project.

Gather details of several different recommended and reputable kitchen remodelers who are willing to provide you with a quote. Now comes the interesting bit – you’ll need to haggle and bargain if you want a high quality kitchen for a reasonable price. Often kitchen remodelers can be swayed on their price or may throw a few extras in for the amount you pay. Never accept the first price (unless it’s very reasonable). Obviously you’ll want the installer who boasted the best recommendation, so work on bargaining with them to reach a price that suits you both.

Gather ideas for your dream kitchen to help you visualize what you want

If you’re unsure about what aspect of your kitchen needs transforming in order for you to feel satisfied, then starting a scrap book can help you to gather some ideas. Collect snippets of kitchens which you love from home magazines and interior design websites, then identify any recurring themes. Perhaps it’s a kitchen island that you desire? Or maybe you find those marble worktops simply irresistible?

If you call in a professional to do renovation work it can help them to understand exactly what you want if you show them pictures. Many people are unhappy with the result of their kitchen transformation due to misunderstandings between homeowner and kitchen fitter on exactly what the homeowner wants. Be very clear and describe how you visualise the finished project to the best of your ability to avoid confusion and disappointment – having the work redone can be incredibly costly.

Home improvement television shows can help to spark some ideas that you may never have thought of. They often advise you of how much each particular renovation project typically costs, so pay attention to find some hidden gems and note them down in your trusty scrapbook.

Kitchen remodeling doesn’t have to break the bank, you can get the kitchen you so badly desire if you use common sense and creativity. Also, getting your hands dirty with a spot of DIY can save you money for small projects. So get those overalls on!



Remodelling for 2012

January 6th, 2012

As the New Year is approaching, it occurs to thousands of people to throw out the old and bring in the new. Whether your new year’s resolution to hit the treadmill a little more, cut out bad habits or take a well-deserved holiday, redecorating and remodelling your home could be a welcome resolution to any homeowner. Starting a New Year in a home with a fresh and modern design is a sure fire way to start the year on a high. Let’s look at how you can apply some tasteful ideas and styles in your home to ensure you are at the height modern design.

Bedroom

Bedrooms are one of the few rooms in our homes in which we get to unwind, and relax and rest at the end of a hard day. Decorating your bedroom with soft, light and neutral colours is a good way to calm yourself upon entering your bedroom; bright, vibrant colours are far more likely to strain your eyes on a bright day and become very regrettable very quickly. If you are looking to purchase a new bed then choose a frame that matches your chosen theme and colour scheme; the bed can prove to work well as a great centrepiece for a well-coordinated bedroom. Accessorise with lamps, bedside tables and pictures, all of which come in matching colours, tones and designs.

Bathroom

Bathrooms can certainly be as impressive as they are practical; if filled with modern fixtures and well-chosen accessories. You have so many great products to choose from when creating a modern and luxurious bathroom, from massaging whirlpool baths to backlit or heated mirrors. As with all rooms, the colours you apply in the bathroom can be just as effective to friends and visitors. Consider adding dark granite floor and wall tiles, this is a modern style that looks fantastic and is easy to accessorise with. Chrome and polished steel work well with shades of dark granite so shower enclosures, taps, towel rails and any wall mounted features will look fantastic when combined with this.

Living Room

Many living rooms which incorporate modern styles contain fresh designs in wallpaper, new models of sofas and furniture and well contrasted accessories to continue the colour scheme throughout the room. Choose no more than 2 relaxing primary colours for your living room, then highlight areas with 1 more slightly more vibrant colour. Add a matching beanbag or rug to add a little character and express your personality with a few well-placed paintings or pictures.

Kitchen

The 21st century kitchen can include a range of modern appliances and features; this is the only room in the house where it is advisable to get confident when applying bright, vibrant colours. Choose one strong colour you are happy with, apply this to big pieces of the room but not the walls. New cupboards in red with a black or white work surface are effective and stylish if applied properly and contrasted well. Modern designs in kitchen taps can show knowledge of recent trends and add to the overall impressiveness of your kitchen. Kitchen appliances can be bought as sets; find a set that matches the style and colour of your kitchen and place them strategically around the room to bring the whole design together.



Top 5 Ways To Improve Your Home And Add Value At The Same Time

January 31st, 2011

As the housing market continues to struggle through the so-called ‘recovery’ of the recession, and the endless cycle of taking advantage of the latest remortgage deals to release new equity from rising property values seems to have stuttered, more and more homeowners are opting to add value to their existing property instead of moving home. This way, homeowners can add value to their home and reap the financial benefits as and when the property market improves. Larger home improvements such as extensions and conversions, if done properly and efficiently, can make the home a much more enjoyable space.

1 Refresh the Kitchen space: The kitchen is probably the most used room in the house and the one room that brings a family together more than any other, no wonder Phil Spencer (From Channel 4’s Location, Location, Location) believes the kitchen is ‘the heart of the home’. What might surprise you is the fact that the kitchen is the first room new owners will refurbish when the home is purchased, as it shows off more personal taste and style than any other room. As it’s more difficult and expensive to change than any other room in the house, getting the kitchen right is important for any new owner, so if you’re buying property for a quick flip, it would be worthless to have a new kitchen installed.:1 Refresh the Kitchen space: A kitchen is perhaps the most used room in any household; cooking is a key aspect in the home and therefore the kitchen is considered to be a place where the average busy family comes together. Phil Spencer, presenter of Channel 4’s Location Location Location, highlights how the kitchen is in fact “the heart of the home” and for this reason is a room that represents personal flare and character. Phil highlights that the kitchen is in fact the first room that a prospective property buyer looks to change to show off their own individuality, so it is advised that you make your kitchen somewhat of a blank canvas if you are looking to make a quick sale. Therefore, don’t spend thousands of pounds on a quirky or ‘fashionable’ new kitchen, just in the hope to add value to your home, as you will be unlikely to receive a return on your expenditure.

Rather than fork out on a brand new kitchen, an alternative would be to freshen up the space, adding a fresh layer of paint to the walls (neutral colours are best) and replacing old cupboard doors can really uplift the room. If you feel your kitchen is outdated and grubby looking, then simply relaying some new flooring can make a huge difference. Laminated wooden flooring can be purchased cheaply nowadays and can make a huge difference to the smaller kitchen by making it look much more spacious.

2 Relay the flooring: Damaged, worn and grubby carpets in some of the larger communal areas such as the living room, hallway or dining room can really take away the charm of your property. When a prospective buyer first walks into a home, they wanted to be presented with a clean, fresh, light and open space and worn carpet or damaged flooring can give them an initial negative vibe of the home. Making your home inviting is essential. However, relaying a new carpet can be rather expensive, especially in larger rooms, so a cheaper alternative would be to buy a large rug to cover the floor and add a cosier effect.

A further alternative, as mentioned earlier, is to add laminate flooring. This is a perfect option for rooms or areas that experience a lot of usage, such as porches, hallways or living rooms, as they are so easy to clean. Being a much cheaper alternative to carpets, laminate flooring also stays looking newer for longer, guaranteeing you get the most of your money. It is also available in a multitude of styles, effects and colours so it is a flexible option for any room. Some people argue that laminate flooring can make a room look cold and almost sterile, so to minimize this effect, add a rug, or a runner. This will add a warmer and more inviting feel.

3 Renovate a garage: If your property has a garage that is unused then it is probably advisable to convert it into an added room, say a dining room for example. This is especially applicable if you have a lot of parking space which can easily be used by multiple vehicles at any one time. However, if your parking space is limited, and there is no room to extend it, then an alternative could be to extend your garage into a double garage. This is extremely popular with larger families in more rural areas, where multiple cars are necessary to just to get around. Double garages are also multifunctional as they can also be used as work stations for individuals who enjoy the odd bit of DIY, or even those who work in the creative industries, such as in art and photography.

4 Purchase a conservatory: Tacking on a conservatory makes a surprising amount of difference to the sense of living space in a house. By their nature they are versatile and being light and airy also adds to the attraction of a conservatory, they are usually the centre of a house party especially in the summer. Styles vary quite wildly now, from uber sleek and modern to more traditional and through to a more cosy set up, best of all they are instant value adders to a property.

5 Energy efficient Upgrades: The overwhelming trend in property development at the moment is eco/green living and building practices, so adding improvements along these lines can lead to a value boost. New builds all have loft and cavity insulation and a solar panel installed, not to forget double glazing and under floor heating. While being eco friendly, they have the more desired effect of slashing utility bills, making the house green keeps it up to date, ergo attractive to buyers while also saving on the costs of running a house.

The most important thing to remember if you are hoping to add value to your property is to avoid expressing eccentric personal style throughout the building. Neutral colours on internal walls will always be favoured by potential buyers who are then provided with a blank canvas to express their own personal style. Similarly, when considering an extension, think about how the outside of your home will look, just as much as the inside will. For example, seamless brickwork will be a huge advantage, whereas adding, say, an extension using wood onto a pebble dashed home would not attract as many buyers. For any major home improvements, always check whether you need planning permission and always shop around for quotes from builders, your first quote may not be the best deal available.

So it is clear that money is certainly not everything! Be realistic in your home improvements. If you have limited space, then smaller changes will add just as much value as bigger renovations would in a larger home. Always ensure that, whatever your plans, it will be a worthwhile investment in your property.



Home Improvement – Invaluable Kitchen Design And Style Pointers For The Best Results

January 20th, 2011

Picking out a kitchen design certainly has not got to be very difficult, but usually there are some important factors that you’re going to need to keep under consideration when making your choice here. After all, you don’t want to choose a kitchen design that you are only going to need to alter down the line, so here are some guidelines to help you avoid this.

Colour and Styles

Picking the right colour is an important aspect of your project. Will you be conducting a comprehensive kitchen facelift and intending on decorating the complete room or are you thinking of merely refreshing your old kitchen. Without a doubt a bit more spent on the rooms décor will permit an even greater choice of colours for your new cabinets as they will not have to fit in with the previous décor.

Graphic designers are generally experts in utilizing colours and that means you could use this to your benefit after a little forethought, do a search on line for colour wheels or perhaps even tutorials on a graphic design website because these can sometimes be brimming with practical colour guidelines that anyone can utilize.

When you’re thinking of kitchen cupboards, usually the most suitable strategy is to do them in a natural colour, which includes tan, white, or black, so that if you do want to redo the rest of the room at a later time, you won’t need to do the kitchen units for a second time.

Using Pro’s

In the event you opt the non traditional direction for your kitchen design then obtaining skilled help will often be a priority since you will probably need to ensure that materials you decide to go for will all compliment each other and you won’t run into any unforseen complications during installation.

Kitchen Worksurfaces – What’s Ideal

Kitchen Worktops, what are the options? Some things including you worktop choices, simply boil down to your own needs and wants and you will figure out what budget you are working within but do make sure your choice is fit for purpose as because a gleaming kitchen worktop may look and feel beautiful in a modern kitchen, but if your kitchen is subject to a lot of use you might find that the impact is likely to be short lived or difficult to maintain. Axiom kitchen worktops might be best when you’ve got a tight budget, but they can also be high quality which means that they aren’t going to detract from your kitchen style and design or you might shell out a bit more on the composite Minerelle worktops collection for a touch of class. Or if cash is no restriction then natural stone of some description will be your only preference especially if your kitchen area has numerous curves or unconventional edge shapes.

Choosing Your Flooring Material

The alternatives available will often be driven by the amount of cash you’ll have designated for this element of your project. Generally speaking laminated floor styles are available to accommodate most needs and are a lot cheaper than stone flooring if you are working to a tight budget. Laminate flooring is the best choice

Kitchens projects have the habit of running greatly over budget but the principal root cause of this is merely the lack of advanced planning. Just by planning with plenty of forethought you stand a far better prospect of creating a superb kitchen, delivering it on or under budget and creating a kitchen that will actually endure the test of time whilst still looking nearly new.

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