Go Green With Your Next Bathroom Interior Design Project

Posted By: admin  //  Category: Remodeling

There is simply nothing chic about having formaldehyde in your bathroom. A bathroom should be a clean place where a person stores medicine, toothbrushes, combs, and everything else that comes in close contact with his or her body. Unfortunately, the materials used in typical bathroom interior design products contain various quantities of formaldehyde, which is used in a variety of common products like automobile parts and embalming fluid. A green bathroom design, however, minimizes the existence of these and other harmful substances within the walls of your home.

Oddly enough, formaldehyde and other noxious compounds are common elements found in furnishings and décor used in an average bathroom design. Natural materials, on the other hand, are far less harmful. Understandably, several European countries recently banned formaldehyde from certain products because tests showed that it was a carcinogen. At the least, large amounts of formaldehyde can cause nose bleeds and upper respiratory illnesses. After knowing that, who would want an average bathroom interior design? Perhaps, green bathroom design is a better, healthier option, after all.

Accommodating the latest trends in bathroom design, natural materials are increasingly used to showcase a homeowner’s style and concern for the environment. Natural wood, marble, and stone are a few natural products that homeowners progressively incorporate in their bathroom interior design projects. These same homeowners have found that no design plans denote classicism and modernity better than ideas that integrate finely-crafted wooden cabinetry, the sleek, environmentally-friendly fixtures, and natural stone flooring for bathrooms.

Today, major companies are offering more options for those who want to bring the benefits of nature back inside their homes. A person can easily search the Internet to find great advice about bathroom design, natural materials used in the best projects, and other options. Orato, TLC Home, HGTV.com, and greenhomeguide.com are just a few sites that offer great insights for your next bathroom project. In addition, Kohler sells green bathroom fixtures that meet the most stringent environmental standards.

Overall, green bathroom design is the best option for displaying a sense of elegance, modernism, and environmentalism within the home. Using natural materials within the bathroom is an essential part of displaying those aspects. These products are far healthier than other options, and they are better for the environment. Above all, they convey one’s sense of style much better than the less chic options of particle board and other synthetic materials.

Summer Remodeling Tips

Posted By: admin  //  Category: Remodeling

Summer Remodeling Tips

With spring cleaning out of the way, it’s time for summer remodeling. Summer is the biggest time of the year for moving and home repair. While many of us dream of upgrading our homes, our budgets may already be tapped. Here are some simple do-it-yourself ideas to spruce up your home, specifically the kitchen and bath, without breaking your budget.

Jazz Up Cabinets

One of the first places you can begin your home remodel is with the kitchen. There are plenty of kitchen remodeling ideas but one of the simplest ways to add oomph to the kitchen is to install new cabinet hardware. At your local hardware store you’ll find a huge variety of drawer pull designs – from painted ceramic and metal knobs, to whimsical designs shaped like knives and forks. Simply unscrew your existing cupboard hardware, replace with the new, and voila! You’ve got a new look for a few bucks.

Upgrade Faucet Hardware

A beautifully designed faucet can change the look of your sink area, and way you feel about your drinking water in a flash. Faucets with simple design lines make a clean and modern addition to the kitchen or bathroom sink and some faucet models can even improve the taste of the water coming from the tap.

Keep the Kids Amused

Mustard, red crayon, scuff marks, mud . . . all these things can just be wiped clean from some of the new high-performance paint finishes available today. Some interior paints now have a scrub-ability rating, established through standardized testing, making them the perfect solution for those marked up areas. It is a wonderfully easy way remodeling project. This rating may not be posted on paint cans, but paint retailers should have the information available.

Got Clutter?

Is a small-sized kitchen or bath causing space problems? Sometime’s a home remodel consists of keeping the clutter out of eyesight. Try adding drawer organizers to increase your storage space. You can find a nice range of inexpensive racks and slide-in baskets at discount and hardware stores. Whether you store cleaning utensils, old pots and pans, or your favorite bubble bath, you can create new niches for all of your stuff, and get the clutter out of the way.

New Floors

Flooring makes a huge difference in the appearance of a kitchen or bath. Try the newest in vinyl or laminated wood, which can easily be placed right over your old flooring in some cases. Many of the flooring options available today give the appearance of ceramic tile or natural wood – for a lot less money.

Let There Be Light

For an easy and inexpensive way to brighten up a kitchen, install under-the-counter lighting. Head to the hardware store for help and to completely change the way the light hits the surfaces of a room. You can also save energy dollars by choosing the right lighting. Switch from incandescent light bulbs to highly efficient compact fluorescents, and you’ll use about one-quarter to one-third less energy to produce the same amount of light. Another tip: move natural light further into rooms by bouncing it off the ceiling. A window located close to the ceiling works for this, as do louvers or operable blinds that can help direct light. Kitchen remodeling through the use of lights is the perfect way to brighten the house.

Adding Space

Even a bathroom the size of an address book can look larger with a little thought: Try using lighter, cooler colors: they feel airy and can add new dimension. Wallpaper with a smaller pattern also helps expand the space. Try some on the ceiling, or emphasize horizontal lines with a coordinating border. Or try installing bath tile that contains a subtle pattern and then repeat it onto the floor. If your bath is too small, try using a trim pedestal lavatory or wall hung fixtures -both free-up valuable floor space. Also, remember to go heavy on the lighting and choose reflective surfaces, such as a shiny marble vanity.

By adding even one of these ideas to your summer home remodel, you should feel better about the look and feel of your home. So, let the sunshine in and get busy!

Bathroom Remodeling

Posted By: admin  //  Category: Remodeling

How to Find a Bathroom Designer

When considering a bathroom remodel, it is a good idea to browse designs in magazines, catalogs and books to understand what bathroom designs appeal to you. Find these ideas and clip them out to start a project folder. Complete remodeling projects will require more information such as plumbing structures, so become familiar with what you already have. Top remodeling designs can also be found on designer websites and the designer that you work with will also offer you a multitude of ideas.

Be Ready With Questions

* Ask to see the interior designer’s portfolio, and focus on the top bathroom remodeling projects they have designed.
* Ask what size remodeling projects the interior designer has worked on, where, and what was the budget range.
* Ask how the established remodeling budget will be handled, and find out the kind of payment schedules the designer requires.
* Ask about the types of services the designer can provide for the project.
* Ask for a list of references.

Be Ready With Answers

* What is your time frame for completing your bathroom remodel plan?
* What is your project budget?
* What is the scale of the bathroom renovation project?
* Who in the family will be using the bathroom? Will it be private or for guest use?
* What colors, style and effects do you like?
* What is the approximate square footage to be designed?
* How old is the bathroom and when was the last work done?

Use a Database to Find Someone Who Matches Your Needs

The best way to find a designer for your bathroom remodeling project is by using an interior design database. A professional will understand the finer points of design and privacy as well as have knowledge about the plumbing in your bathroom. A remodeling project done by a professional will save you time and money in the end, while offering your family top designs that will add to the value of your home.

Why Remodel Your Bathroom

More people are remodeling their homes today than any other time in history. If you live in a house that you generally love – in a neighborhood you also love – it makes sense. Bathroom and kitchen remodeling projects are the top rooms remodeled in homes. A remodeled bathroom can add incredible market value to your property. Experts agree, the best way to maximize your investment is to get the job done right. Bathroom remodeling projects should blend well with the home’s existing architecture and style. And whether it be a new marble counter, replacement fixtures or a ceramic tile floor, choosing high-quality products will give you the look you want and the performance you expect in years to come.

Kitchen Remodeling

Posted By: elyanna  //  Category: Remodeling

Why Remodel Your Kitchen

If you are considering a remodeling project ask yourself what you want. Is it more light, room, openness, upgraded appliances? What is your cost limit? Will you get a return on your investment if you sell the house, or are you overpricing yourself? What look and feel or style are you trying to achieve?

Redesign Process
Before you start construction, plan and research. Get kitchen remodeling ideas by reading through magazines and image galleries.

Get multiple bids from builders, as well as references — and go see their work. Make sure the builder will stay within your cost, does quality work and is timely; don’t ignore your “gut feel” in choosing a builder.

Once the builder is chosen, select your materials, finalize the budget (and plan for contingencies) and decide what work, if any, you will do yourself (painting, trim, stain, etc.).

During construction, communicate with your spouse, your builder and your suppliers. Be ready to make quick decisions on your kitchen renovation. Accept change and be flexible. Be ready to live with temporary inconveniences and hold yourself and your contractor(s) to budget and timeline.

How to Hire a Kitchen Designer
Unless you’re a designer yourself, you’ll need to hire one. Kitchens are far and away the most complicated room in any house; a good guide is worth more than money.

  • Take some time to educate yourself and refine your tastes.
  • Learn what goes into a kitchen. Get kitchen remodeling ideas by researching magazines, books, television shows and web sites.
  • Learn as much as you can first. The more you know, the easier the kitchen remodel process will be.
  • Let us send you qualified and experienced kitchen renovation designers.
  • Look for designers among the following groups (listed in no special order): kitchen cabinet showrooms, architects, interior designers, kitchen design companies, design/build general contractors and local cabinetmakers.
  • Ask for qualifications – how much experience they have and what references they can provide.
  • Ask to see photographs. You can gather a lot of information just by looking.
  • Hire someone you feel comfortable with. You’ll be spending time together for the next several months (at least), and not all of it will be fun. Like any relationship, it requires mutual respect.
  • Be prepared to pay well for a kitchen redesign, from several hundred dollars (for minimal plans and no follow-through) to several thousands of dollars, depending on the scope of the project. As with anything else, you often get what you pay for.
  • Pay separately for the design. Many designers work in showrooms; if you want to commit to buying the cabinets from them, fine, but if you have a separate contract for design, you can go somewhere else later if you want to.

Educate Yourself

Many local schools offer classes on kitchen building and remodeling. These can be a great introduction to the process of remodeling projects.

When interviewing designers, ask the following: What are the payment arrangements? How many drafts of a plan will they provide? Do they require you to use their own contractors? Do they require you to buy cabinets from them? Will they help pick out appliances, floors, countertops, plumbing fixtures, wallpaper? Will they supply electrical, plumbing and lighting plans?

Resources

The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA)
Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD)

http://www.contractors.com/h/info/tips_articles.html

Storage Cabinets in Kitchen Renovations

Posted By: admin  //  Category: Remodeling

Storage Cabinets in Kitchen Renovations

Amongst home remodeling projects, kitchen renovations are the most popular. It is easy to understand why. Today’s kitchens are the hub for living, the place where family members gather, where guests mix and mingle while their hosts make dinner. A well-designed kitchen can significantly boost the value of a home, while a dated kitchen can take away a home’s value and detract buyers from appreciating other features of the house.

One of the most costly features in a kitchen redesign is cabinetry. In today’s market, there are endless options available. What is right for you? Here are seven tips for selecting kitchen cabinets.

1. Getting the big picture

Do you just want to increase the value of your home? Do you want a modern and hip kitchen? Or do you want a space to entertain your friends and family? Defining a clear goal will help you with planning and setting a budget for your kitchen remodel.

2. Defining your budget

Kitchen cabinets usually account for 50% of any kitchen renovations budget. Having a budget in mind will help keep your project on track.

3. If form follows function, then form can also follow budget

If the current layout meets your needs and if the current kitchen cabinets are in good shape, then you’ve just saved a lot of money. Instead of installing new cabinets, you can just paint your cabinets or reface them.

Painting cabinets is the most economical solution, but can prove to be a labor intensive process. A professional finish requires stripping, sanding, priming, painting, sanding between coats, not to mention installing hardware.

Cabinet refacing is where new cabinet doors and drawer fronts are added to original cabinets. It is one of the simplest solutions for a kitchen renovation. In terms of installation time, cabinet refacing is also ideal. It only takes 3 to 5 days from start to finish, whereas installing new cabinets can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months. Clearly, if you have a tight budget, painting cabinets or cabinet refacing are the way to go.

4. All Storage Cabinets are Not Created Equal

There are three types of kitchen cabinets: custom, semi-custom, and stock.

Custom cabinets are cabinets that are made exact to your measurements and specifications. With custom cabinets, you are only limited by your budget and imagination. In terms of features, the sky’s the limit. You can tailor cabinets to fit odd spaces and take advantage of every square inch of your kitchen to maximize storage. When it comes colors and finishes, there is wide range of options available.

Similar to custom cabinets, semi-custom cabinets are also built to your specifications. However, they are made predetermined increments. This translates to occasional gaps in between storage cabinets that are filled with spacers.

Stock cabinets are completely pre-made. They are the least expensive and have the fewest options. However, the quality can vary. Low end kitchen cabinets are made entirely of particle board. Mid-range stock cabinets are made with particle board cabinets and wood doors. High end cabinets are made entirely of solid wood.

5. Design is in the Cabinet Hardware and Doors

When selecting cabinet doors, take into account that they have the biggest design impact in a kitchen renovation. Take into account how your cabinet doors will work with the architectural details in the room. If the look you’re going for is a European kitchen, consider a cabinet door with a dark finish and paneled detail. If it’s simplicity you’re after, a plain cabinet door with glazed panels will open up the room and communicate clean lines and modernity.

Cabinet doors are only the first layer of design. Hardware such as cabinet knobs, drawer pulls, and handles will add character and flourish to the design. When selecting cabinet hardware, coordinate it to the period of the house and the style of the cabinets. Bear in mind that function and comfort are also critical. For example, if a drawer is deep, it will require a larger cabinet knob or pull.

Cabinet knobs are no longer limited to being round. They can be “T-shaped” or even bun-shaped. They can be flat or round like a ball.

When installing cabinet hardware, be sure to position them carefully so that they blend into the cabinet. Poorly placed cabinet knobs will look off balance and can be an eyesore.

6. Organization Tools for Your Storage Cabinets

You don’t need to be content with just a box. There are now organizational inserts that will make your storage cabinets more efficient. Consider your storage needs and how you use your kitchen. You can insert Lazy-Susans to access tight corners. Slide-out drawers will prevent you from bending to retrieve your pots and pans. Built-in components can help you organize knives, spices, bakeware, and appliances.

7. Finding a Cabinet Makers

Now that you are armed with the basics for selecting kitchen cabinetry, you are ready to work with a design professional with your kitchen renovation. Below are some recommended cabinet makers/manufacturers.

Liven Up the Family Room

Posted By: admin  //  Category: Remodeling

Decorating Tips to Liven Up Your Living Room

Whether it is watching a movie as a family, playing a board game or sitting quietly reading on your own, one of the most frequented rooms in the home is the family room.

This room, more commonly referred to as the great room, is one of the rooms in the home that guests initially see and it can form a lasting impression. With this is mind the area should be decorated to mirror the homeowner’s lifestyle. It should also project a homey, comfortable and livable image. After all, this is the room where everyone spends so much of their time day in and day out. So, why not make it the best room of the house?

With a combination of imagination, good taste, great furnishings and accessories any family room can be transformed into one that exudes style and warmth. Here are some tips on how to decorate this room to create an inviting place and a welcoming impression on guests.

Reorganize the Furniture

Lifestyle or taste should determine the focal point of the great room area. If there is a warm, cozy fireplace, why not try rearranging furniture around it so everyone can enjoy? Or if there’s a large media center and this is the focal point of the room, furniture could be set around it. Nothing like viewing the latest in DVD entertainment on a large screen TV while nestled in a plush sofa.

When rearranging furniture, also consider the traffic of family members and guests going back and forth. Does the arrangement of the furniture allow free movement and flow? Does it give an uncluttered appearance?

It is always better to arrange furniture in off-square angles. This makes the room warmer and more casual. And instead of placing large sofas directly against the wall, why not place it a foot or so away from the wall and add a neat accessory such as a lamp?

Color Matters

Colors have psychological impact on people and their moods. When applied in the great room area, remember colors can intimidate, invite or irritate. Decorating with colors is also an inexpensive way of enhancing a room because it only involves painting or wallpapering walls and placing a few coordinated accessories.

The room should be warm and pleasing, and one of the warmest and most relaxing colors is blue. Blue offers several hues and it’s one of the most flexible colors around. Try and coordinate carpets and walls to match.

Mirror, Mirror

Create space and depth by adding a mirror on any wall. The mirror should reflect something pleasing to the eyes. If there is a lot of wall space, try adding a small painting on either side of the mirror.

Add Smaller Furniture

To create a “lived-in” look, position small furniture in the room. This can be a small bench, or a low sofa table. Add magazines, journals and newspapers under the table. Placing flower vases, baskets and small plants on a table also creates beauty and helps to liven up the room.

Lighting

Lamps can also accentuate the area. Second to color, light is a primary tool for creating a mood and setting the tone. Have fun and add unique lamps and other lighting to serve as conversation pieces.

Homeowners need only combine creativity and their own good taste to create a space for intimate and inviting family gatherings. By incorporating accessories and comfortable, yet stylish furniture, one can create a living area that is inviting, relaxing, and elegant ‘- all at the same time!