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Ideas to Design a Dream Kitchen

March 31st, 2012

By Lawrence Reaves

A dream kitchen is one of the most desired items in a house, as it is one of the key focal areas of any home. You need to remember that remodeling a kitchen is actually a pretty straightforward thing. You do not have to worry about too many pipes as with a bathroom. And you will find that cabinets and your appliances are usually pretty square and will fit as they are supposed to. Also know that there is huge mark up in labor and materials for putting in a new kitchen. So you may want to think twice about spending 20,000 dollars for a new kitchen when you can do it yourself.

Of course, people who are not experienced builders shudder at the thought of putting in a kitchen themselves. You really can do it. What you need to do is get some graph paper and a couple pencils. Measure the whole kitchen and lay out the floor plan. You can make a scale map pretty easily if you measure it all accurately.

Now you are going to want to select the appliances you want. The good thing about most of these products is the sizes are fairly standard. You know a stove is going to measure 30 inches across, and you know that a dishwasher is going to be 24 inches. Fridges of course can come in several sizes.
Next, you have to decide about where your water is going to be coming from. It is a good idea to try to keep the water sources about where they are or you are going to be into some serious work. If you are ok where the sink is, you will not have to move any pipes. This is also the case with the dishwasher. If you do want to move the location of one of these, this is what they invented the extension pipe for, so don’t worry. Remember that if you start messing with the water lines, know where the water shut off is both in your house and in the street.

Kitchen cabinets can vary a lot in price so be ready for that. The most pricy part of most cabinets is going to be the front door. You actually can put together cabinets yourself and save a ton of money. You will need to draw in where the cabinets are going to do on your paper. Remember that the hardware is a place where you can save a lot of money. Buy a lot of that stuff online and watch how much you can save.

You should try to not buy granite countertops as you are not going to get your money back, but you can make due with laminate just fine.
If you will follow some of these tips to create your new kitchen, we think that you will really like how it looks. And you should be able to get more for your house when it comes time to make the sale in a few years.

Accent Building Products is a direct distributor of the industry’s top accent home and building products.Click here for more about the cabinets and other home improvement products they offer.

How to Position Your Kitchen Cabinets

March 23rd, 2012

By Lawrence Reaves

If you are redesigning your kitchen, you know that there is a large variety of cabinet designs from which you can choose. Picking the design and colors is one thing, but how to position and arrange your cabinets to maximize their usefulness? This is something that requires some thought, so you get the most out of your investment.

We recommend that when you are thinking about how to position your cabinets, you should attempt to balance your operable workspace, and keep design in mind. Also, remember that you also can add attractive and useful items including wine racks, pantry cabinets that fold out, and drawers that slide out. It is quite easy to blend attractive looks with a high level of functionality.

Some ideas to keep in mind:

Think of a Triangle

While you are thinking about where to put your cabinets, also consider how people in your kitchen will be moving. Think about how far it is between the various appliances and other elements that are used when you are cooking. What you really want when you do your remodeling of your kitchen is to boost function, not just the appearance.

We recommend that you think about a ‘triangle’ that connects your sink, range and fridge. To prevent too much walking and moving about, you want this triangle to be as small as you can, and still be practical. You should make sure that the positioning of your new kitchen cabinets will make this triangle work more effectively.

For instance, you might want to put a lower cabinet besides the open-door side of your fridge. This will make it easier for you to remove food from it and to set them on your counter. If you separate the three aspects of your triangle with lower cabinets, it will let the cook take out hot things from the oven and put them on the counter. It also will give more counter access by the sink for your soiled dishes. We also recommend putting an upper cabinet above your dishwasher, which makes it much more convenient to put away your dishes.

Think About the Size of Standard Cabinets

How large standard cabinets are is a factor when you are thinking about how to place your kitchen cabinets. The typical height of a base cabinet is in the area of 35 inches (usually 34.5). You need to allow for about .5 inches for the countertop thickness. So, your counter height will be around 35 inches. Your lower base cabinets are about 24 inches in depth. When you are placing these cabinets, you should think about the walking space that is front of every cabinet. We think that you need to leave about four feet of space in the front of the doors of your cabinet, as well as the drawers and stove, so you will be able to move around easier. Upper cabinets are about a foot deep, and they can be anywhere from 30 inches in height to as little as 12 inches. You also can get a large corner cabinet unit that may have a rotating shelf system (Lazy Susan) so you do not need to reach into the farthest corners of your cabinets.

Think About Design

Function is very important in your kitchen, but of course you want it to look stylish too. Try to use the appeal of symmetry. You should place your upper cabinets that are the same size on the opposite sides of your sink and cooking range. Try to put your tall, pantry sort of cabinet near the fridge to mask the side that is the closest to the family room. Think about putting in a base cabinet or even an island one that has an eating bar attached on the rear side. This would give you a very pleasant-looking eating area and does not take up much room.

Lawrence Reaves is a writer for Hamilton Beach. Go here to see the full line of Hamilton Beach Ovens, Roaster Ovens and kitchen appliances.

Exterior Door Buying Guide: Shopping Tips

March 13th, 2012

By Keith Pollow

A first impression takes very little time to be made, yet it creates the biggest impact on the owner of a house as well as visitors alike. It is for this reason that shopping for the perfect exterior door is important for a homeowner.

There are certain criteria that should be researched and thought about thoroughly for those wishing to shop for these types of doors. Factors such as door types, materials and accessories, and security should be taken into consideration when looking to invest into an exterior door. Weighing the options needs and necessities that come into play when selecting an exterior door, ensures that the best option will be made when purchasing a new door.

There are several types of door that are available in the market of exterior doors. The purpose that a door will serve, including beautification or an architectural element, should be evaluated. Flush paneled doors can be comparable to the benefits of having a paneled door. There are endless different types of door finishing available that can be chosen for the perfectly selected door. Some options include different types on painted finishes or even stained finishes.

Convenience in the door market is found in the various ways a door can be hung, such as a slab door or a prehung door. Some doors may be chosen to swing inward into a house, as opposed to swinging away from a house. This of course goes back to any chosen preferences and depending on the space of a typical foyer in which the exterior door will eventually lead into. In this day and age of customization, even exterior doors can be installed based on whether an owner is left-handed or right-handed.

Not all exterior doors are created equally. This is especially true for the wear and tear that a particular exterior door may go through, when being continuously exposed to the elements day after day. Both rain and sunshine can take a negative toll on the wrong type of exterior door. This is why the appropriate type of door construction material should be selected when buying the perfect door. Things such as warping may occur when the incorrect material is used for an exterior door in the wrong type of climate.

Doors can also be energy efficient and very effective at keeping the heat of a house indoors, where it should be. Options such as double-layered glass can be chosen and installed in order to reduce the amount of potential heat loss that may occur through the exterior door. Of course this would assume that the option of even having glass in any part of the exterior door would be explored. Insulation can also be added to increase the energy efficiency ratio of a house, in all of the year’s seasons.

A door is not just simply a door panel. This is why options such as hardware and hinges choices as well as the finishes for all of these accessories need to be selected. What may meet one shopper’s need will not always meet another, as the needs of consumers in the market for new or replacement exterior doors vary greatly from one buyer to the other.

Whether you’re looking for Replacement Windows Etobicoke or Windows and Doors Markham, our products all have superior warranties, including a life-time warranty.

Matching Roman Blinds To Your Home Interior

February 15th, 2012

Adding Roman blinds to your home can make your room feel welcoming and complete. Roman blinds are an elegant window treatment that provides colour over your windows. The cascading look of Roman blinds can add a bit of sophistication to any room in your home. Roman blinds are also eco-friendly, allowing you to block light when necessary and let in the light at other times. Roman blinds also help insulate the room. When deciding which Roman blinds to order, coordinating with existing features in your room is key.

Matching Your Patterned Roman Blinds with Your Wall Colour

One way yo match your Roman blinds with the rest of your room is to match the blinds to the wall colour. If you do not plan to paint the room a different colour, matching your Roman blinds with the wall colour allows you to pick a style for your Roman blinds that will continue to be well coordinated to the surroundings. If the blinds are the exact colour as the wall, the Roman blinds will blend in and not be noticeable. However, if you pick a colour for your blinds that is two or three tones lighter or darker than the wall colour, you will have a nice monochromatic look between the wall colour and the colour of the Roman blinds.

Matching Your Roman Blinds with Your Existing Furnishings

If you plan on keeping the existing furnishings in the room for several years, you can use the furnishings to help you pick out the perfect pattern for your Roman blinds. Even if you plan on updating your furniture at some point in the future, you can keep the colours of the Roman blinds in mind when shopping for new furnishings. Matching your Roman blinds with your furnishings can help provide a cohesive design for your room. When various colours and textures are used throughout the room, the eye moves to each location that repeats that colour for a satisfying take on the design. If you have a grey couch, you can add grey Roman blinds to the windows. Unlike matching with the wall colour, the furnishings and the windows are more spread out so the colours will not fade away. Another option is to use patterned Roman blinds. For example, if you have a grey couch and a red rug, you can use red and grey patterned Roman blinds for a pleasing look.

Matching Your Roman Blinds with Your Flooring

Another way to match your Roman blinds to your room’s interior is to match the blinds with the flooring in the room. Since the floors are adjacent to the windows, the colours of the floors and window treatments are noticeable against each other. You can use a matching colour for your blinds if you prefer. For example, if you have cherry wood floors, you may want to opt for a plum, red or purple colour. You can also use Roman blinds that contrast, such as dark blinds if you have oak flooring.

Click here for more information about patterned roman blinds

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!

How To Decorate A Gothic Bedroom

January 16th, 2012

Gothic architecture originally appeared in the late medieval era and was a reaction against classical style. Nowadays, the meaning of “gothic” ranges from music and fashion sense to interior design. Many people decorate their homes in a gothic style, with bedrooms being a popular choice for the mysterious, medieval design. The beauty of a gothic bedroom is that it will never outdate and can create an elegant, romantic ambience.

Gothic Colour Schemes

Many people believe gothic bedrooms must be dominated by black walls, flooring and accessories. In actual fact there are many shades of colour that can be used in a gothic bedroom without compromising the appearance.

Colours to bear in mind when decorating in a medieval style:

Purples – Deep purples including damsons, magentas and plum shades are a popular choice for bed linens in gothic bedrooms. Purple walls accompanied with black stencil designs can give wall coverings an edgy feel.

Reds – Along with darker shades of red; crimson and stinging scarlet shades are great for cushions, rugs and other small soft furnishings as red symbolises romance and wealth.

Black – Not required in copious amounts but the inclusion of black is required. Black can be a great colour for your designer radiators, Anthracite finishes can create a gothic look.

Gold – Dull gold and brasses are a necessity for establishing a medieval bedroom. Choosing a dull gold candelabra ceiling fixture, accompanied with brass oil lamps on bedside tables can provide the perfect finishing touch.

Mahoganies and cherry red finishes can be used for any wooden furniture in the bedroom. These deep furniture colours really suit brass door handles.

Accessories for Decorating a Gothic Room

In order for the bedroom to look elegant, clutter should be kept to a minimum. Most accessories should be antiques but the bedroom should not have so many accessories that it resembles an antique shop. Buying a few, large accessories is more effective than hording many items that cause clutter. Accessories worth considering include:

Grandfather clock – This is a great antique and can be the focal point of a gothic bedroom.

Red roses – Having a fresh vase of red roses on your antique dressing table contributes to the romantic side of the gothic movement.

Medieval weapons – These can be hung on large walls so they don’t overpower the room. Weapons such as battle axes or swords are the pinnacle of medieval weaponry and can make powerful ornamental features. Only one piece of weaponry should be used to avoid clutter.

Red velvet curtains – pantomime-like curtains covered in black lace can finish off the room and have a very elegant aura.

Gothic bedrooms can be extremely luxurious if decorated appropriately. There are many ways to decorate gothic rooms to achieve different effects. Whilst bedrooms may focus on being romantic other rooms can symbolise power and wealth.

Choosing Garage Doors To Suit Your Home

July 29th, 2011

We are the kings and queens of our homes and so we should be making our castles as beautiful and comfortable as we possibly can. That means that every opening and every nook and cranny should be addressed thoroughly, a well-chosen, well maintained, and so on. Choosing garage doors to suit your home is a very important part of this and below you’ll find tips on how to do so properly.

The first thing one has to do is look at the budget they have to deal with. Like this, certain models, designs and materials may be chosen. Next, the homeowner has to consider the style of the structure. Doors and windows play a very important role in keeping with the architectural style of the structure. For instance, a period home requires certain materials and certain styles to ensure that the final result is both appealing and appropriate.

On the other hand, a very modern architectural style will require a more modern solution, otherwise the two will end up clashing, providing unfavorable results and reducing the value of a property. Of course, size has to be considered, but these are usually quite standard. If there is a very large opening that calls for a double door, this option can be chosen, or to help of a division, two smaller ones can be installed instead.

Color is the next thing that one has to consider. Although most homeowners will often choose the same color as their entry door, it isn’t the correct way to go about it. The best way to choose color depends on the design of the home. For instance, if the garage protrudes, it may be best to tone it down rather than show it up.

For example, if the brick work or exterior finish of the home is a dark color, then a bright white garage door will be in your face. Instead, a darker door that will match the exterior finish would be a better solution, making it somewhat disappear. The focus should be on the entrance which is where you want your guests to be led to.

When it comes to color, white is the most popular and is the quoted price by all manufacturers. That means that if another color is chosen, there will be a higher cost involved, which is one reason why white is the most popular.

However, even if it is the most economical color, if it isn’t the right on suitable to the property, it will only backfire on the overall look and even on the property’s value. Of course, a homeowner can paint these themselves, but it will need maintenance because such paint will chip as opposed to the techniques used by manufacturers.

Aside from these, the consumer will also have to consider the materials. There are many to choose from, each coming with its own set of pros and cons. One thing the homeowner will have to consider is the maintenance involved in the upkeep of such a material. Aluminum, PVC and vinyl are long-lived and require no maintenance. Wood is beautiful, costly and requires a lot of upkeep.

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Backyard Landscaping Can Increase The Value Of Your Home

July 28th, 2011

The market value of a home is a very important to any homeowner, but so is the comfort and beauty that comes with all the special things we put into them. Very easily, you can increase the value of your home with backyard landscaping regardless of the budget available. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of a little hard work on the part of the homeowner, and other times it’s a matter of calling in an entire crew with tractors and all.

For those who work on a budget and still want the better things in life so that they can enjoy their outdoor spaces, there is much that can be done. One of the most expensive parts of doing any landscaping has to do with demolishing what already exists or digging out ground and such. Therefore, if the homeowner is willing to put in the hard labor to do this either manually or through renting some equipment, the savings can be huge.

Before anything begins however, one has to have a thorough plan. To do this, especially for someone who doesn’t have the experience, it’s necessary to look around at other finished projects to get better ideas of what is suitable and what is not.

After that, drawing up plans is an absolute must. This will give a brighter and clearer picture to the homeowner as to what looks best and still fit the budget. Therefore, the consumer has to be prepared to look around or shop around for the best prices. Although this may be a time-consuming, in the end it will bring the best results to the project so that the home can be enjoyed more and will increase in value.

Many people prefer the do-it-yourself jobs, but they aren’t always the best solution because the inexperienced individual doesn’t have the ability to foresee into the future, the changes that will occur naturally with the growing plants and trees. If that’s the case, perhaps hiring a professional to prepare the plans for you may be a better solution and still be in keeping with the budget at hand.

What makes backyard landscaping incredible and stand apart from the rest is bringing all the elements into a particular space, such as shrubs, flowers, trees, rocks, wood and water. These are all natural things that exists in nature and will beautify the outdoor space, but at the same time they have to be put together in the best way possible.

Research, as mentioned above is necessary for this to happen and can be done through magazines that are dedicated to the subject. Also, people can find exceptional examples that they can copy from online resources. With the right research and planning, the backyard landscaping can not only turn a bland outdoor space into something incredible, but also bring a wonderful return on your investment.

However, homeowners must consider that they should make this investment wisely without overextending the investment beyond the value of the home. In other words, an average home must have an average investment in order to provide the boost in value, and anything over that will end up being a loss.

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Creative Landscaping Ideas For Your Home

July 25th, 2011

As the old saying goes, your home is your castle. Which means what your home looks like on the outside is just as important as what it looks like on the inside. This is true, regardless of the size of the space you have to work with. Fortunately, there is no end to the landscaping possibilities for your home’s exterior.

Obviously, when we think of yards, we think of plants. It is best, when choosing plants to consider the environment in which you live. Just like dressing well, matching the plants to the rest of the total environment is one of the easiest ways to a well-tailored lawn. However, some plants are more universal than others. A weeping willow tree, for instance, can add an enigmatic spice to drier, sparser landscape, just as much as it can add a haunting air to a moister, flourishing landscape.

However, how one fashions their chosen plants can be just as important as the plants one chooses. For those that like the well-manicured lawn look, cleanly trimmed hedges and grasses are key. The best of such looks usually institutes harsher angles and symmetrical curves in order to achieve a tamed, orderly architecture. Though, for some of us, a wilder, chaotic look might be better suited. This, being the easier of the two, utilizes plants like wild flowers and prairie grasses without much trimming.

For the more industrious, stone architecture might be a worthwhile possibility. The simplest constructions are the configurations of bricks and stones. Paths and walkways can be laid with little effort, as well as building small walls. For those that are working with flat land, enclosures made of short, brick walls and filled with rich soil can be made and planted with flowers and bushes to give that varied effect.

For those that like to spend time in the outdoors, constructions like gazebos can be a great add. Make a gazebo a centerpiece in which you tailor the rest of your yard for and make the outside of you home a sanctuary those balmy evenings or bright spring days. Gazebos can, also, make for nice alternatives to indoor kitchens, just add a grill.

If you like art, it is hard to go wrong with the addition of a choice sculpture. Often, angels or animals from nature are chosen for premiere spots. Sculpture that is incorporated into fountains are, also, pretty universal. But, with anything, take care to keep such outdoor accoutrement down to a minimum so as not to leave your yard looking too crowded and busy.

Of course, there are some embellishments that go beyond sculpture. Wind chimes and ornate pottery are nice possibilities. Though, noisy additions, like wind chimes, might be best left to those that own large tracts of land so as not to disturb the neighbors.

Regardless of what you choose, the right landscape will be a welcome sight after a long day at work or a leisurely day at home. Thinking up new ways of using materials to create your favorite scene may, also, in time become a most rewarding hobby. All you have to do is imagine.

Need Toronto landscaping design services, contact your local professional designers. Whether you hae need on garden, pool or backyard landscaping design, we have landscape design Toronto here to meet your needs.

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