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April 2018

Simple Kitchen Remodels

Simple Kitchen RemodelsAlong with getting a great return on your investment, making the space work for your needs is important when considering a kitchen remodel. The most beautiful kitchen will only create stress for a homeowner if it isn’t designed properly. Consider these tips for a kitchen remodel that will simplify your daily routines.

Kitchens
Probably the busiest room in the house, a kitchen can serve a multitude of functions these days: cooking, eating, entertaining, and family gathering place.

1. Remodel by the work triangle.
Designers have been using the kitchen work triangle to create efficient kitchens for many decades. The work triangle refers to the arrangement of the three basic work areas: the refrigerator, sink, and stove. You don’t want these to be too far apart or you will spend a good deal of time running back and forth. Click this link to read more about work triangles.

2. Consolidate kitchen contents with a pantry.
Walk-in pantries have become very popular as they allow a homeowner to quickly take in the kitchen’s contents without having to search through the cupboards. If you’re tight on space a pull-out pantry can be installed into areas as small as a few inches wide. A kitchen pantry is a great way to keep the kitchen traffic localized to one area, so that you can cook without interruption.

3. Don’t waste space.
Install cabinets that go all the way up to the ceiling add baskets and shelving inside to maximize storage space. Add a hanging rack for pots and pans to free up some cabinet space.

4. Let appliances do some of the dirty work.
A dishwasher with a third rack can cut down on the number of times you have to load that dishwasher. Self-cleaning ovens are everywhere today. If you are in the market for energy efficient appliances, consider a dishwasher or even a refrigerator with the Energy Star rating. Click this link to read more about Energy Star Appliances.

5. Create areas for your kids.
A couple of stools at the kitchen counter create an easy, informal place for kids to eat. Also, consider keeping your kids’ snacks and beverages on lower shelves where they can easily access them.

Simple Ways to Transform a Room on a Budget

Simple Ways to Transform a Room on a BudgetInterior designers know the quickest and most inexpensive way to dramatically change a room’s style is to attack those boring white walls. Sure, you could try painting the room a bold new shade, but the newest design techniques go a step further with drywall, faux painting, and nontraditional wall coverings.

1. Drywall Textures

Once purely functional, drywall techniques are now a designer’s trick. Using drywall techniques to add new architectural or design touches, or simply re-texturing ceilings and walls, can update the overall appearance of a home with a relatively small investment.

Walls and ceilings can be finished in many different ways. Re-texturing or smoothing walls can freshen and modernize older homes or even return the original character to period homes that may have been carelessly remodeled.

Changing up the old-fashioned styles of texture (such as skip & trowel or brushed) can significantly freshen and update a 30-year-old home.

On the other hand, covering those styles of texture with a new layer of hand-troweled joint compound to resemble plaster could restore the charm to a 1900 Victorian. Custom textures and treatments, such as combining textured walls with totally smooth ceilings, can give a home a unique look.

Try the Orange Peel Finish: Very popular right now, the orange peel finish is created by spraying texture compound onto a smooth wall and then letting it dry. Paint when ready for a brand new look.

2. Faux Painting

One of the most popular ways to create a change in your home today is through faux painting. Faux painting incorporates decorative and special paint finishes, as well as techniques that resemble wallpaper, such as glazing, sponging, ragging, wood graining and even freehand designs.

Although many illusions can be achieved with faux finishing techniques on flat surfaces, textured products can create three-dimensional effects. Products applied in layers to walls, fireplaces and ceilings can look and feel like real stone, crumbling masonry, or peeling paint for a European country look. Other popular finishes resemble linen, grass cloth or denim.

With a little skill, a great idea and a new color scheme your home’s interior can resemble an ancient Tuscan building, a marble wall or even a cloudy day.

Try a suede finish: To warm up a formal room such as a dining room, library or office, consider a suede finish. Textured paints containing solid materials like silica can make walls look—and even feel—like suede.

3. Non-traditional Wall Coverings

Wallpaper has always been a popular alternative to painting a room. But in addition to buying & installing traditional wallpaper, there are many types of wall coverings that will enliven a room. Bright fabrics, grass cloth, even cork are becoming popular as unique ways to dramatically change a room’s appearance.

Some non-traditional wall covering options:

  • Foil (some people refer to it by the brand name “Mylar”) can be difficult to work with because it shows imperfections in the wall surface and because it can get wrinkled easily. But the silver, reflective surface and the patterns on many foil wallpapers can be strikingly contemporary.
  • Cork-faced wall coverings are thicker because they have a surface of cork. They make for a cozy, dark and woodsy effect and can often be seen in family rooms or offices.
  • Paper-backed fabric shows the high-quality look of a fabric wall covering but can be installed with the ease of a vinyl-coated paper. The backing adds a stiffness that both hides defects in the wall and makes it easier to manage the fabric.