Monday, 30 June 2008

Glass Mosaic Tile For Your Kitchen

Adding glass tile to your kitchen is both aesthetic and valuable. The kitchen is a gathering place for many families. Mosaic tiles are beautiful to look at and make this space even more comfortable for dinners and parties. Glass tile also increases the value of your home even though you can spend as little as $2 per square foot on the tiles.

Many people have glass mosaic tile installed on their backsplash area. This is the space behind the counters between the top and bottom cabinets. You can usually tile this with 30 square feet or less of product, making it an economical project.

The space behind the stove is usually treated with special consideration. This is a larger area so feel free to do something a little more decorative here. If you choose to do a blend of metallic glass and vitreous glass on the backsplash then try just doing a solid metallic glass behind the stove. You can even do an extravagant mosaic picture for this larger space.

The backsplash is the most popular place for glass tile but there are other areas that these little tiles work well. You need to know that the small mosaic tiles will make a space look larger so using these tiles in a small kitchen will dramatically increase the look of the room size. Many glass tiles can be installed on a floor. Check with the supplier to see which ones are suitable. Installed in a small kitchen, mosaic tile will visually enlarge the size of the space.

Another idea would be to install a custom blend of glass tiles on a complete wall in your kitchen. This could be done on a wall that is opposite your counter space or even the part of the wall that touches your backsplash area. If your kitchen has the dining area combination then the glass tiles are a great way to separate the two areas.

Tiling the wall under a bar in the kitchen is a perfect application. When people sit at the bar they tend to kick the wall. This will eventually wear down the wall and keep it scuffed up. Glass tile is very durable and can withstand the daily knocks. Since it is glass, it is very easy to clean by using your everyday household cleaners.

Adding sparkle and elegance to your kitchen can be affordable and fun. Every kitchen is different but all can be tiled from floor to ceiling if the owner desires.

Tammy Wise has been creating mosaic art for over 9 years. She has been published in major glass magazines and has done mosaic commission work for businesses. Tammy currently owns her own mosaic business in Owasso, Oklahoma. Tile Shack Mosaic Supplies ships superior products all over the world. Find plenty of supplies plus more information on mosaics at

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Quick and Easy Kitchen Accessories

The kitchen is the hub of most homes, and I think we would all like to bring a little more charm into this utilitarian space. Here are a few easy ways to add some style to your kitchen while saving some cash.

Paint your walls! For years people believed utilitarian spaces should remain white for cleanliness issues, but we no longer live in the dark ages. (Cleansers work just as well on colored walls!) Use color to add richness and depth to your walls, cabinets, and even your counters and floors. Paint can be used on those surfaces be first prepping with a specialty primer, then sealing with 4-6 coats of Polycrylic or any water based polyurethane product.

Bring in a pretty floral or striped fabric. Nothing screams "freshness" like florals and stripes, and its easy to stitch up a simple curtain, valance, or placemats to add pattern and color to the room.

Decorate with plates. You may already have a collection of pretty plates you'd like to display, or you can visit your local discount store for some great finds. Hang them on the backsplash, group them on tops of cabinets, or use plate hangers and make a wall grouping over a doorway or breakfast area. Pick plates that share your rooms chosen color scheme. Texture, interest, and color, and you might already have them right in your cupboard!

Remove some cabinet doors to break up the space and add interest. You can either paint the inside of the cabinet and use it as a display for pretty service pieces, or you can use an inexpensive tension curtain rod and some of that pretty floral or striped fabric to make a charming cabinet door cover.

Finally, bring in some personality. Set some pretty frames from the dollar shop on the counter with those smiling faces you love, or paint a sign on a weathered piece of wood with an inspirational word. Frame seed packets in dollar shop frames for a lovely spring touch, or use your mothers milk glass pitcher as a utensil holder. Make things in the space you use the most meaningful, memorable, and beautiful to you and yours.

Want free home decorating ideas? Kathy Wilson is an author, home decorating columnist for, and editor of several popular home and garden websites. For hundreds of free do ityourself home and garden ideas, please visit her websites now at and

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Saturday, 28 June 2008

Kitchen Equipment and Appliances

Homemakers have been mistaken to lead an easy life, in fact they have always longed for one. Kitchens are now as big as living rooms and their furnishing is a tiresome job. Homemakers are always in search of kitchen appliances that make their work easier and faster. This search is pro longed as proper planning is not done. Kitchen appliances and equipments should be purchased according to your needs, budget and space available in your kitchen.

If your living alone and do not cook often then there is no need of a well furnished kitchen. If your basic requirement sums up to having a good breakfast, storing food and heating purpose then a basic set of kitchen appliances will serve the purpose. A good toaster, juicer, good refrigerator and a microwave over should be your prime appliances. A coffee maker, rice cooker, stove would also be required. If you are living in a family then a well planned kitchen is a necessity. A right refrigerator is very important as a lot depends on it. The size and fit of the refrigerator should suit the kitchen as well as your needs. You need to sort out your priorities before purchasing a refrigerator. There are various brands available in the market, among them whirlpool refrigerators is a good choice as it they have a varied range to suit all needs and budgets.

A furnace has become a must have for the latest modular kitchens concept. They are a sensible purchase if you cook a lot. The countertop furnaces are the most sought after. The size varies according to the size of the stove. Another prime purchase is an oven. Ovens could be microwave or grill depending upon your usage. If you are health conscious or need a quick heating solution then a microwave oven is the option to choose. If you are into cooking chicken and like grilled stuff then a grill oven is the alternative for you.

Other equipments comprise of mixers, water purifiers, food-peelers, choppers, crockery range, food processor, non-stick cookware, dishwashers etc. Now-a-days you get a multi purpose food processor which also combines a juicer and even works as a grinder. Such logical purchases help in easing your work load while not crowding your kitchen. Most of the appliances work on electricity and thus buying branded and reliable stuff makes more sense. Though they cost more they prevent unnecessary electricity wastage and have a longer shelf life. Care should be taken while buying prime kitchen appliances like refrigerators and microwave oven's. whirlpool refrigerators are known for their energy efficiency and good solid performance. Thus a proper study of the products and knowing your needs well could tremendously reduce your time in the kitchen.

Monty Alexander has established him as a good writer. He has written more than thousand articles on online shopping, mobile store, home shopping, future bazaar and many other topics.

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Cooking Up Solutions For Your Kitchen Clutter

If your family is like most, the kitchen is the heart of the home. This is truly evident in home construction and renovation over the past 10 years which fashion kitchens that open up to eating areas and family rooms. Yet with all of its prominence in the family, it is usually one of the most disorganized rooms of the home. The constant stream of traffic and the home management that takes place here only adds to the chaos. So what can you do?

First start with a plan (this is the underlying theme of all of my articles - so now you know the secret to productive organizing!) When you think about it the kitchen generally has four to five zones: food preparation, cooking, cleaning, food storage and household management. Food preparation takes place on a counter top and/or an island, so that will be the best place to store knives, measuring cups and spoons, mixing bowls and any appliances related to preparing a meal. For cooking you will need utensils, pots and pans, baking dishes, and toaster. This zone should definitely be next to the stove and if you are lucky your microwave will be conveniently housed above. Cleaning of course will be located under the sink and next to the dishwasher. Here you will store all your cleaners and sponges. If you have little ones around the house, a child safety lock on this cabinet is a MUST! And finally food storage, located near the fridge, will need room not only for the food, but the wraps and plastic storage items as well.

The household management zone is probably the one area that seems to take over the entire room, and sometimes even oozes into the dining room. Paper is everywhere, but you can never seem to find the one piece you need when you need it. And if you do it is splattered with spaghetti sauce. The key to this zone is to make sure that the only paper that is kept in the kitchen is "active" paper; things that need to be acted upon. The paper that you need to keep in storage should be removed immediately and given a new home (a home office perhaps). How the active paper is stored is a matter of personal preference, but generally people choose either categorically (pending folders like "bills to be paid", "calls to make", etc) or periodically (tickler folders based on a perpetual calendar). You will also need room for basic office supplies and postage material.

Depending on the size of your family and home, the kitchen may also have to double as homework and craft zone. If that is the case, then be sure to carve out some space for these things as well. A good solution for materials your children may need to access is a small bin or two in the bottom of a cupboard.

The kitchen can easily take an entire day to organize, but if the thought is too overwhelming, then break it into smaller tasks. Perhaps you start with the infamous junk drawer one day and move to cupboards the next. As you sort through the various things in your kitchen, be sure to put them in piles of like items. You will quickly be able to see where you have too many of one item and thus find it easy to begin to part with things (purging - the hardest part of any organizing project!)

Purge items that you no longer need or food that now qualifies as a science experiment. To help you with this effort, make sure that you always have a bin for items to be donated. Sometimes you don't feel so bad getting rid of that kitchen "chatchky" that you never used, but paid good money for, if you know that someone else will. Empty the trash often so that a full can does not become an excuse to keep something that you really don't use or need.

When the dust settles (or better yet is wiped away) and you are ready to put your kitchen in order, be sure to make an investment in storage paraphernalia. Just like a carpenter, the right tools make all the difference. Lazy Susan's (or spin trays) will help you to maximize space in even the deepest corner. Expanding step shelves will ensure that the tomato paste does not get lost in the back of the pantry. Drawer-style pot and lid organizers will make getting down on your knees to find the skillet a thing of the past. And pull-out shelves, under-shelf baskets and hanging storage organizers will allow you to make maximum use of even the smallest space.

So if your kitchen is the heart of your home, do yourself a favor and lower your "clutter" so that you can enjoy a long and healthy life.

Kathy Jenkins is a Professional Organizer based in Mechanicsville, VA. Through her business, Come To Order, she offers residential professional organizing services tailored to meet the specific needs of her clients, and operates a retail site for organizing products, She is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization (NSGCD), Faithful Organizers, and Women Entrepreneurs of Virginia, and serves as marketing director of NAPO Richmond. You may contact her through her website at

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Friday, 27 June 2008

Britannia Sigma - Add Some Color to Your Kitchen

The Britannia Sigma range cookers are manufactured to a very high standard so you can rest at ease in knowing that you have a high quality and reliable appliance in your Britannia Sigma range cooker. Britannia is always striving to make life in the kitchen more pleasurable and you really feel that you are working with the best when you are using a Britannia Sigma cooker.

Made for a truly modern home, the Britannia Sigma selection will not disappoint the 21st century family. All of the Britannia Sigmas are available in a choice of cream, gloss black or stainless steel, and depending on which model you choose, there are other color options available to you as well to make your Britannia Sigma cooker really stand out amongst the crowd. Whether your kitchen has a high gloss finish with smart, straight lines or is a modern shaker kitchen, the Britannia Sigma cooker will be sure to fit in.

But the Britannia Sigma range cooker does not just look good, it is also practical and safe and amongst its many advanced features are its flame failure devices for safety, triple glazed doors, an electronic programmer, and useful storage drawer, which can be used for almost anything. So, it looks good, it is practical and it is safe, but it is also energy efficient so good for the environment and your bank balance with an energy efficiency rating A.

The Britannia Sigma standard range cookers come with grills in all the ovens, whether it is a single or twin oven model, but if you would prefer to have a separate compartment especially dedicated to the grill, you could go for the XG range of Britannia Sigma cookers, which are available in sizes 100cm and 110cm.

The Britannia Sigma is available in a great range of sizes and also available as a single oven or twin oven. The single oven Britannia Sigma range cooker comes in size 90cm. The twin ovens are available in sizes 90cm, 100cm, 120cm and 150cm so you should not have any problem finding the Britannia Sigma in the size that you specifically require.

The 100cm Britannia Sigma range cooker is available in the three colors that the other Britannia Sigmas are available in throughout the range. But if you are looking for something a bit more colorful, the 100cm Britannia Sigma is now available in Britannia Editions, which opens up a whole new selection of bright and original colors for you to choose from to fully customize your kitchen.

Now when you choose the 6 burner dual fuel Britannia Sigma 100cm range cooker, you can truly be original with the style of your kitchen as you now have a choice of three new appealing colors to add that perfect finishing touch.

The three new colors available in the Britannia Sigma 100cm range are Ice Blue, Candy Pink and Velvet Red at a guideline price of around £3,000.

With any of these vibrant colors in the Britannia Sigma Editions range, your new cooker is sure to be a great conversation point at any dinner party.

All Britannia Cookers come with a free 2 years parts and labor warranty for piece of mind, and they have a dedicated team of engineers to cover the whole UK.

Mr Heneffe has worked in the Kitchen Appliances industry for over 10 years. He runs a showroom and website and promotes all major brands.

He specializes in Britannia appliances and Britannia Range Cookers.

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Kitchen Cabinet Knobs - A Great Option For Improving the Look of Your Cabinets

When you walk into your kitchen, the only thing that you can think of is how you wish it had a little more character. Well, there is a great way to spruce up its appearance without spending a ton of money, all you have to do is purchase some new kitchen cabinet knobs for it.

That's right, new kitchen cabinet knobs are a fantastic option for improving the look of your cabinetry. The reason they carry so much decorative weight is because they are crafted out of a wide variety of materials that can be finished in a number of lavish, eye-catching ways, creating selections that are extremely pleasing to the eye.

For example, you can get kitchen cabinet knobs that are crafted from porcelain that can come in many different colors from white to cream even black and blue. They can also have hand painted designs as well, including floral designs and abstract patterned designs. Or, you can get ones that are made out of metal, like bronze that is then polished to create one brilliant looking selection.

The material and finishing choices for kitchen cabinet knobs don't just stop with the ones just mentioned either. Some of the other materials that one can be crafted out of include other metals like steel, aluminum, and stainless steel along with wood, plastic, and glass while some of the other finishing options are brushed or oil rubbed for the metal and different stained and infused colors for the plastic and glass.

Kitchen cabinet knobs also come in many shapes and sizes. You can get ones that have a simple round shape, others that are in the shape of a mushroom, and some that feature very unique shapes like ovals and even squares.

For a stress free way to check out all the kitchen cabinet knobs available, forget about going to your local hardware store. Instead, just turn on that family computer of yours and do some online shopping. Browsing through the different online stores and their products is a synch and when you do come across something that you really like, it generally is listed at a pretty reasonable price.

One thing that you really need to keep in mind when purchasing your kitchen cabinet knobs is to get ones that nicely complement the décor of your space. If you don't, then your space will have a very mismatched look in the end, which will leave the impression that you have no sense of style. So, make sure what you purchase matches. For example, if you have a modern looking kitchen, then go with modern looking knobs. The same rule holds true if your space has an antique appearance and so on.

In the end, if you want to improve the look of your kitchen cabinets, a wonderful way to do it is with new kitchen cabinet knobs. There are many options to choose from, which will all have your cabinets looking awesome and stylish as soon as you install them.

Author Jennifer Akre is an owner of different niche online stores like that offer customers not only products, but information relating to furnishing and decorating indoor and outdoor living spaces. Whether you want to redecorate your living room or create the ultimate outdoor environment perfect for entertaining, there is a lot of helpful advice to take advantage of to make it happen. Today, she shares her insight when investing in luxurious cabinet hardware. It is the thing that makes or breaks the look of your cabinets.

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Thursday, 26 June 2008

Best Countertop Materials

Quartz and Granite are essentially two types of material that are considered the best for countertops. Many homeowners consider these material types for their countertops based on quality and durability. There are a number of factors to consider when choosing between these two types of materials.

Why choose Quartz?

Quartz is one of the most long lasting, durable materials to use on countertops today. The compressive strength and hardness factors of quartz are unparalleled against most other countertop materials. Diamonds and a select few gems are only harder than quartz. The physical properties of Quartz allow it to withstand extreme temperatures without damage. Another appealing characteristic of Quartz is that the color can be chosen from a wide variety of shades that range from bright white to solid black and everything in between. Quartz can be manufactured to any size or shape to suite any application. Unlike other stone materials used for countertops, Quartz does not require it be sealed before use. Although Quartz may be one of the more costly materials on the market, it is gaining popularity and momentum within homes today.

Why choose Granite?

Granite is another very popular material to use for countertops. In fact, almost everyone knows of somebody that has one within his or her home. A great advantage of granite is that it is a very robust material that can withstand impact from almost any object without damage. Even if the granite suffers damage, it can be treated and resurfaced to look new again unlike other countertop materials. If sealed properly granite can resist stains and wear. Granite is also has high resistance to heat which serves a great purpose within a kitchen or other high temperature applications. Between granite and quartz, granite tens to be less costly but is still a solid investment.

Which to Choose?

Quartz and granite are both solid materials to improve the look, feel, and longevity for any countertop application. Both materials are durable, high heat resistant and great improvements to any home application. Quartz is more durable and stain resistant than granite but tends to be a lot more costly. There is a wider range of colors for quartz but granite can be obtained in many resilient colors as well. All around quartz may be the better material to use for countertops but cost could play a factor when choosing between the two. Whichever material is chosen, both are great assets that will add tremendous value.

Improve Your Health by Improving Your Kitchen

Your kitchen is one of the most important areas of your home to consider for promoting optimal health for you and your family. The kitchen is the center of nourishment in your home - if the energy in this area is not positive, your entire house will make you feel drained. This can lead to poor health for the occupants of your home.

Your kitchen can affect the health and energy of your houseguests, as well. After all, it is often the gathering place when you hold family get togethers and parties with friends.

First, make sure that your kitchen is kept clean and free of clutter. Taking just a few minutes each day to tidy up your kitchen will go a long way toward promoting positive energy. Make sure that appliances and countertops are kept clean at all times, and that spices, utensils, and other commonly used items are kept organized and put away.

Ideally, you should be able to see the entrance to the kitchen when you are standing at your stove cooking. In Feng Shui the stove is considered to be very important. It represents the preparation of food and therefore nourishment, health and well-being of the family. It also represents wealth and abundance. If you find yourself with your back to the entrance when you are standing at your stove, you can place a mirror at the back of the stove so that when you look into it you can see the door behind you. A microwave above the stove (although not technically good from a Feng Shui perspective) can actually help in this case if you can look in the glass door of the microwave and see the entrance to the kitchen behind you.

When it comes to your health, there are some locations which are not considered good for a kitchen:

1. In the center of the house - think of your house as being like your second body, it is part of you. The center of your house represents the center of your body and because the kitchen is associated with the element of fire it symbolizes fire passing through the center of your body - energetically affecting all the organs that you have there (heart, stomach, intestines, etc.) Having a strong element of fire in this area can be too much.

Remedy: hang a round, multi-faceted crystal ball from the ceiling in the middle of the kitchen. Bring in the element of water to help to balance some of the fire (this can be done with a water feature, a picture that has water in it, the color black or a mirror).

2. Kitchen sharing a wall with a bathroom - the functions of these two rooms are totally different. The kitchen is associated with nourishment, preparation of food, the bathroom is associated with cleansing and elimination. There is also a lot of draining energy in the bathroom which can negatively impact the energy of the kitchen.

Remedy: keep the bathroom door closed and the toilet lid down. Hang a mirror on the outside of the bathroom door and also on each side of the shared wall. Hang a round, multi-faceted crystal ball in the bathroom.

Finally, if possible, avoid having ceiling beams in your kitchen. Ceiling beams create a heavy, oppressive energy that can counteract the positive energy you have worked to create. If you do have ceiling beams in your kitchen, paint them the same color as your ceiling, or cover them with a light colored cloth if you are not able to paint them.

Linda Binns shows you how to be more successful in all areas of your life by working with your environment. Get FREE Feng Shui Success Secrets. These powerful and practical secrets can help you transform your life. Go to now.

Linda Binns is author of Feng Shui for Your Relationships: Changing Your Environment to Create Better Relationships. She has been a Feng Shui Practitioner, Author, Speaker and teacher for over 10 years. She has appeared internationally on television and radio and in local publications. Linda is also the founder of The Feng Shui Success Institute - which teaches in-depth Feng Shui training and practitioner certification.

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Wednesday, 25 June 2008

3 Kitchen Organization Tips to Get You Started the Right Way

Kitchens are one of the most difficult areas to organize because they are quite often the central hub of the home. Not only is it where we cook meals but it is also often where mail, backpacks, schoolwork, keys and anything else that we drag in the door with us often ends up. So in addition to organizing everything in the kitchen cupboards, you also have to think about all of the other "stuff" that collects in your kitchen. Where do you start with this whole kitchen organization project? Here are a few kitchen organization tips that can help.

Start small
Since getting the kitchen organized is one of the biggest organizational challenges in your home, start with a small area that is going to have the biggest impact on how you live. This can be a stumbling block for many people so let me explain what I mean by this. If the part of your kitchen that drives you crazy is the table or counter where all of the mail, schoolwork, etc gets dumped, then focus your kitchen organizing efforts on that area first. If this is the area of the kitchen that you are going to organize first, then also make sure that this area of your kitchen stays organized before you move onto something else.

Because it is not just about getting your kitchen organized one time, it is about keeping your kitchen organized. That is where the real challenge lies. So if you just organize the paper that comes into your kitchen one day but by the next day it is already a mess again, you have not really accomplished anything. One of the most helpful kitchen organization tips I can give you is to keep working with organizing one area of your kitchen until it stays organized. Do not move on to another area until the one that you are working with has stayed organized for at least a week.

Too much stuff
As with any other home organization project, getting your kitchen organized means getting rid of the things you no longer use and the things that are unsafe for you to use. So if you can't remember the last time that you used that dust-covered appliance in your cupboard or if you can't even remember what it does, it is time to get rid of it. Look at every pot, pan, dish and utensil in that kitchen and make a note of when you used it last. You need to get rid of it if it is not something that you use frequently. The only exception to this is anything that you use seasonally.

The other important thing that you need to look at as you do your kitchen organization is all of your canned goods, spices and packaged foods. This is an important kitchen organization tip because if it is expired, you need to throw it away. If you do not use it or like it, throw it away or donate it to your local food shelf. This is especially true of spices. We tend to gather and collect spices that we never use.

Counter space is not storage space
When you organize your kitchen, keep stuff off of your counters. It will make your kitchen look and feel cleaner. The kitchen counter in your home is not another cupboard so don't act like it is one. Keep appliances that you do not use on a daily basis off of your counters. This is more of a diet tip than a kitchen organization tip but also keep food, especially snacks, off of your counters. It will help to keep you from snacking. Out of sight, out of mind!

As with all organizing projects, getting your kitchen organized is about making a usable space that makes your life better. Regardless of how you organize your kitchen, make certain that it fits into that end goal. For additional kitchen organization tips to help you with those cramped kitchen spaces, go to

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Bakers Racks - Perfect For Adding Function and Beauty to Your Dining Space

There is this empty wall in your dining room and you are just dumbfounded as to how you are going to fill the space. You tried putting a picture on it, but then you can't really use the space, just look at it. Well, what if there was a way to both add some decorative charm to your space and functionality all at the same time? There is a way and that is with bakers racks. One has both those lovely qualities.

How can they have both? For starters, the reason bakers racks are so practical is because of their design. You see, one will generally sit between four to five, even six feet of the ground and will feature shelving. Sometimes the shelves will all be the same length and sometimes they won't as they will taper upward or downward depending upon what type you get. These shelves provide you with a great place to organize and set different things down including plants, pots, pans, books, and even family photos or precious collectibles. There are some that even come with drawers and cabinets, offering you even more place to stow things away.

What makes bakers racks appealing to the eye is all the materials they are crafted from and the multiple finishes that they can feature. For instance, you can get one that is crafted out of wrought iron that is filled with elegant, looping scrollwork and is finished in a gold patina color. Or, you can get one that is crafted out of wood, like alder, with a plain, simple design while being finished in a rich cherry color. Some will even be made from a combination of metal and glass with metal frame, like something crafted from steel finish in a powder coated black color, that supports lovely glass shelves.

There are many other material and finishing choices when it comes to bakers racks. Some of the other material options include additional woods like pine, maple, and cedar while other metals out there are stainless steel or aluminum. Other finishing options are a variety of stains for the wood, including espresso or lighter colors, brushed or polished for the metal, and leather can even be thrown into the mix as well.

All the material and finishing selections create bakers racks of all different types. The first example mentioned above would have more of an antique style while the second one would be more on the traditional side. You can also get ones that have a modern feel and some that are more contemporary and others that combine styles.

For a quick and easy way to see all the bakers racks that are available, just go online. You can comparison shop through all the stores in a jiff and when you do decide on something, it will generally be at a pretty reasonable price. Plus, it will be shipped right to your home, so no worries on how you'll get it from here to there.

In the end, if you want to add both function and beauty to your dining space, turn to bakers racks to do it. There are many fine options to choose from that will be sure to please.

Author Jennifer Akre is an owner of a wide variety of online specialty shops such as that offer both items and information on how you can easily furnish and decorate your space. Whether it's your living, bedroom, or even your deck or patio, there are many tips you can use to make those spots both functional and beautiful. Today, she offers advice on how to create a fabulous kitchen area by using classic kitchen tables that have been re-vamped.

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Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Mosaic Kitchen Counter Tiles - Easily Renew Your Kitchen's Design!

While evaluating kitchen tiling ideas attainable today, we can find mosaic kitchen counter tiles as one of the excellent choices to transform your kitchen contemporary and attractive. These natural stone tiles are not only making their way in the flooring, but also are sailing smoothly on the walls and countertops of the kitchen. One of the most important reasons that make them so popular is the fact that they last for many years ahead.

An important advantage provided by these natural stone panels is that they are available in a broad variety of colors, designs, shapes, height and thickness - all depends on your personal taste and requirements. There are countless applications with these mosaic kitchen counter tiles, here are some of the highly favorite examples: wall covering, counters, counter tops, backsplash, floors, floor borders, wall borders and many more.

The fact that they are so versatile and practical enables us to enjoy from the following main advantages: 1) They are cleaned easily 2) Reachable in countless hues and shapes 3) Resist water, oil, other liquids and dirt, thus protecting walls and other surfaces 4) They allow for much creativity in any kitchen's design setting 5) They are durable, clean and last for many years.

Installing these tiles is considered an easy task as you don't need any special or technical ability. In most cases, the installation process can be very fast and can take only a few hours.

Redecorating with mosaic kitchen counter tiles is becoming more than just a boring task as it transforms the installation process fun and effective. The fact that these mosaic tiles are easy to use and are available in variable designs and textures, definitely makes them a preferred decorative tiling choice.

Get creative! - Learn more about how you can easily decorate any surface at home or in the office with Mosaic Kitchen Counter Tiles.

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Choosing the Right Kitchen Island

If there is one kitchen feature that has become vital and popular in the last 15 years or so, it has to be the kitchen island. These little oases in the middle of kitchens are used for a wide variety of purposes. You and your contractor will have to talk about the various types and what you expect from your new kitchen addition in order to make the best decision. While you are weighing your options, here are a few of the features of the kitchen island you should keep in mind. There is more to picking a kitchen island than just function.

The first thing you have to decide about your kitchen island is what you want it to do. You could choose just to have one that is additional cabinet and work preparation space. There are models available with plumbing so they can come equipped with a sink, possibly a garbage disposal, and a dishwasher. If you prefer, your kitchen island could be designed to support a range and oven. It's not uncommon to find or build islands with seating like you would with a bar or breakfast nook.

The next thing on your agenda is to figure out the style you want your kitchen island to have. Naturally, it should fit in with the rest of the décor in the kitchen. If you have a country style kitchen a distressed wood or finished wood island might be the proper choice. A more modern or gourmet kitchen would be the perfect place for a kitchen island with natural stone or metal countertop. Just like with any other kind of home décor, there are no hard and fast rules you have to follow. It's your house; you choose what works for you.

Especially if you are choosing one of the kitchen island options that has built in water appliances or cooking equipment, you should hire a qualified professional for installation. With something this important, you want it to be done right the first time.

This article was written by Gregg Hicks of which provides Internet-based home improvement information and services. Offering homeowners a simple, quick, and free way to access, qualified home improvement remodeling contractors.

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Monday, 23 June 2008

Kitchen Accessories Are Pieces of Magnificent Equipment

Imagine if the food processor had never been invented! Kitchen accessories are pieces of magnificent equipment. These galley-electric assistants can speed up the cooking time on your daily schedule. Think for a moment about how much time you save by using the food processor in place of performing all your food preparation by hand.

What Are Kitchen Accessories?

Kitchen accessories are separated into four groupings. They would be; cookware, bake ware, dinnerware and kitchen tools. All these types of galley fixtures are very central to your food preparation and you need all of them. You cannot only buy whatever electric accessories you require on sale, but you may want to acquire what assistants will be useful in your galley that will be helpful as it pertains to your particular type of eating. Each type of cooking has an electric assistant you may acquire which has its own point, so you are required to buy the obsessions you need. You don't actually want to clog up your galley with a lot of things that you will never utilize but make sure that you have what you absolutely need. Always bear in mind that a cluttered preparation area is difficult to work in, and is even more intricate to clean-up.

The Cookware

Before you start the search for cookware, you need to build a list of the items that you now have in your galley. What is more, these types of kitchen aids come in an assortment of substances from plastics to steel, and you should learn about each type of cookware so that you know you are getting the finest. For example, a non-stick frying skillet is a lot more enhanced than the usual cast iron fry-pan, that will permit the food to stick to its shell.

The Bake Ware

If you love to bake, you should get the exact galley accessory to allow you to zap up a lot of truly delectable goodies for the entire family. Baking will be much easier, if you acquire an up-to-date oven and diverse styles of cook and bake ware including cookie sheets. You shall also require roasters, casserole, and dishware.


You cannot actually do well in the kitchen with out your galley apparatus. When looking for utensils, make certain that you get yourself the correct types of kitchen utensils. To make your kitchen look very attractive, try to get those brightly colored and stylish kitchen utensils.


Your dinnerware will be your crowning glory. This is especially true when you begin to entertain guest or relatives. It will make your dining table appear most attractive. To give your dinner a more stimulating effect serve it on some pleasant dinnerware. The appetizing aroma of food, artfully arranged on nice affluent looking dinnerware will always improve the desire for food among your guests, acquaintances or even a family gathering.

John Bakers continually creates short articles on areas relating with kitchen cabinet themes. From his writings on new kitchen and kitchen cabinet subjects the author improved his capability in the field.

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Countertops and Your Kitchen Remodel

You should not only have a wonderfully designed kitchen, but you should also have a kitchen that looks good and feels good. You need to also have a kitchen that is practical. You will want to consider the kitchen island as a way that you can fill a big space, but also a way that you can prepare foods more quickly and have a casual dinning table. Think about all the fun you can have learning to cook new things, or just when you want to entertain in your kitchen.

You can design the kitchen island with the classic butcher block or you can use a counter top that brings out the drama. You will also find that the kitchen island will allow you to have extra space to work in preparation and a place where you can sit and have a casual dinning experience. You will want to consider the fact that islands can have multiple purposes.

There are some that are L spaced and then you have just regular square or rectangular shaped. You can have them custom made so that you can extra space for storage and extra space in general. Kitchens that are wide open tend to look very dull and boring. If you use the island as an accessory then you will be able to suit all you kitchen needs in practicality and style. You should consider having stools for the island too. You will want to purchase or build the island so that you can have something that really brings all the space and style together. You will find that there are so many ways that you can use the island.

As for the benefits of the island, you will want to consider the fact that you will be able to prepare your food easier. You will also be able to enjoy it as a design when you choose your surface top. You will also want to consider adding storage underneath. It can be a place where your kids eat breakfast. It can be a place that centers the kitchen. You will want to consider some of the options that you have with the island and consider drawing up plans to have one installed into the kitchen. For those who do not have a big kitchen, you will want to consider getting a small kitchen island that is pre-made for your liking.

When you look at the kitchen island as a way that you can incorporate your décor, you will be able to make a huge impact on the way that your kitchen looks and how the kitchen operates. You need to consider the deals that you will get locally and on the Internet. You will also want to think about all the styles that you could incorporate into your kitchen.

Johnathan Bakers's short articles are published on plenty of websites associated with kitchen island designs. His writings on kitchen islands can be encountered on his webpage as well as various other web pages.

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Sunday, 22 June 2008

Tools For Interactive Kitchen Design

There are many tools available to help you get kitchen layouts out of your head to where other people can see them, from paper and pencil, through cardboard cutouts, to desktop and browser-based software. This article looks at mostly free kitchen design software, interactive kitchen design tools which help you create a virtual kitchen design on the computer which you can then print out and discuss. You can also use them just for play - to carry out a virtual kitchen remodel when you can't do one yet in real life. After all, it's fun just to dream!

Many of the free tools for kitchen design online are available from manufacturers'; websites, and in that case they concentrate on products from that manufacturer, plus a range of things like appliances. A quick Google search for "free kitchen design tool" will bring up lots of hits - for instance, Cabinet Liquidators, Merillat and IKEA all have free online planners. If you've already picked your cabinet line, take a look at your manufacturer's or distributor's web site to see if they have a tool specific to your cabinets.

Most of these planner tools are browser-based and fairly slow as they are manipulating graphics information through your internet connection. If you're on a dial-up connection you're not likely to find them usable, and even a high speed connection may be painfully slow to use. The Cabinet Liquidators tool worked faster than most for me. The IKEA kitchen planner downloads to your desktop and runs from there rather than through your browser, so it's faster to start with, but it slows down once you have a kitchen full of cabinets set up in it.

Many of these tools work in a similar way: you choose a basic layout (galley, L-shape etc), customize the room size and door and window locations, then add appliances and cabinets. Some have an "auto-fill" tool for the cabinets which may be worth trying as a starting point, but definitely won't give you an optimum layout.

If you haven't yet picked cabinets, you'd be better served by a tool which covers a wide range. HGTV has a virtual kitchen design tool at their website (which unfortunately works only with Internet Explorer, not Firefox or other Mozilla-based browsers). I found it rather flaky and hard to use, but it does include a huge range of appliance and cabinet products from multiple manufacturers.

Another route to try is the free trials offered by many paid planning tools. Paid tools can be browser-based or desktop software. They include Plan 3D (browser based, you subscribe and pay by the month), Chief Architect, Softplan and Smartdraw (desktop-based tools which are quite high-level and have a price to match).

Finally, there is a variety of lower-priced home design tools available, such as Better Homes and Gardens, Punch, Turbofloorplan, IMSI and Home Plan Pro. These programs are often available at your local computer store or they can be downloaded.

Visit the Kitchen Design Online page at Kitchen Layouts and Floorplans now, for more detailed reviews and links to these interactive kitchen design tools.

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Saturday, 21 June 2008

Necessary Kitchen Remodeling Ideas

Kitchen remodeling these days is an integral part of home remodeling. People these days are looking for kitchen that is more functional and comfortable as well. A simple and an inexpensive kitchen may require a new coat of paint, new flooring and new appliances.

A new coat of paint

The look of a kitchen is often dominated by the cabinet yet a touch of color can add a completely different look. Red and yellow can make your kitchen look warm and comfortable but remember one thing for the weight conscious and hefty people red also increases the appetite, that's the reason why many restaurants are painted red. Blue creates a cool atmosphere of style. However lighter colors on the other hand makes the room appears big .While choosing colors one thing that should be considered is the color coat of the rest of the home. Consider the different color combinations and try the mix of unusual color combinations like orange with yellow. Another aspect of painting would be the ceilings, tall and high paintings can be very well painted with White otherwise a light shaded paints could be used to add a flavor of life to your kitchen.


Another important aspect after the paint would be your kitchen flooring selection of your home remodeling. It is good option to select a flooring option that has beauty and longevity. Hardwood, tile, vinyl can be among your different alternatives. These days hard wood flooring has gained loads of popularity. Vinyl flooring is a durable and an inexpensive material. Tiles are popularly used with their added advantage of the provision of a wide array of variety .They are very much easy to clean also. The new trend that has developed is the bamboo flooring option Bamboo being the fastest growing plant than hardwood .With hardwood becoming costlier, bamboo flooring is extensively being considered as a very good option for a home remodeling flooring.

The choice of appliances acts a major factor for providing a good appearance to your kitchen. A look around a department or an appliance store can provide a wide array of options for the style, functions and color of appliances. A microwave oven can be fitted in such a way that it would be seated on a counter or it could even be hung on a counter

These days many entertaining options are used in the kitchen. While preparing a meal it can be a tempting option for them to have a conversation in the kitchen hence it can be an interesting idea that kitchens directly open to a family room. Another option which could be used would be to maintain a semi attached or attached breakfast room which has turned to be a popular design these days.

Mejo is a Copywriter of Houston remodeling pearland.
He had written various articles in different topics on Remodeling and Improving Homes. For more information visit:Home Remodeling Houston.
Contact him at:

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On the Front Burner - Hot Trends in Kitchens

When it comes to kitchens these days, flashy, glamorous, and high-end luxury features are no longer the amenity buzzwords. Instead, there is growing consumer interest in energy efficiency, environmentally healthy Green construction and materials, and thoughtful, practical Universal design that is so user-friendly, it's going to be very comfortable even when the years have passed and the homeowners have become senior citizens.

In addition to a concern for the environment, the Green trend is a signal that people are interested in saving money over the life of their house. Because a kitchen is one of the most expensive areas of a house to run and maintain (especially in terms of utilities), Green building helps cut down on energy costs. As for stylish Green sustainable materials for countertops and flooring, what's most in demand is concrete, bamboo, cork and various types of recycled materials.

What are some of the most-wanted kitchen features? Space, for one thing-and lots of it. But consumers want the space to be used in a practical and ergonomic manner. And they want it to be connected with and flow into the home's Great Room in a very natural way. As to what people want to put in their kitchen's large space? Things like efficient and generous-size pantry and storage. Energy Star appliances. Recycling centers. Energy-saving LED lighting. On-demand water heaters. Computer work areas so that kids can do their homework and get on the Internet under the watchful eye of a parent.

Recharging areas for cell phones and other electronic devices. And even pet feeding and grooming areas. In addition, those homeowners who do a lot of "big" entertaining frequently want what used to be called a "scullery"-a very utilitarian food prep area that is out of the visual range of the guests who are being entertained. It offers the cook and/or caterer privacy and ease for moving around, while still allowing guests to hang out in the kitchen-as they have for decades.

So, as it has been for years and years, the kitchen remains the heart of the household. And yes, even that tradition now counts as a trend, too!

Friday, 20 June 2008

Mosaic Tile For Kitchen Stones - Learn How it Works

Among the numerous options attainable presently, we can find mosaic tile for kitchen stones as one of the top options to transform your kitchen contemporary and appealing. These natural stone panels are not only making their way in the flooring, but also are sailing smoothly on the walls and countertops of the kitchen. Being highly durable enables these tiles to last for many years, thus become so popular in recent years.

An important advantage provided by these natural stones is that they are available in a wide selection of hues, designs, shapes, height and thickness - all depends on your personal taste and requirements. There are countless applications for using this mosaic tile for kitchen stones in stylish kitchens, here are some of the most popular examples: walls, counters, counter tops, back splashes, floorings, flooring borders, wall borders and much more.

Here are the main advantages provided by using these tiles for decorating a kitchen:

1) They are cleaned easily

2) Attainable in countless colors and shapes

3) Resist water and other liquids, thus protecting walls and other surfaces

4) They allow for much creativity in any kitchen's design setting

5) Their natural durability enables them to last for many years.

Mounting these tiles is quit simple as it doesn't require any outstanding technical skills. In most cases, installation can be very fast and can take only several hours. We can compare this process to installing conventional ceramics. Actually, all you need are several basic tools such as cement, a sponge, a trowel and grout.

Remodeling with mosaic tile for kitchen stones is becoming more than just a technical task as it transforms the installation process fun and effective. The fact that these rocks are easy to use and are available in a variety redesigning and textures definitely makes them a preferred decorative tiling choice.

Get creative! - Learn more about how you can easily decorate any surface at home with Mosaic Tile for Kitchen Stones.

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Complete Guide to Buying Kitchen Flooring

From limestone to linoleum, concrete to cork, there's a host of flooring materials that can enhance the look of your kitchen. But before you set your heart on solid wood or splash out on ceramic, there are some important points to consider.

'The flooring you choose should complement your kitchen, rather than being the focal point,' says Richard Robson of Paris Ceramics. 'It should provide a platform for the rest of the room without demanding too much attention.' The ideal flooring will help to create a feeling of space and light, and if you have an open-plan living area, then consistency is crucial, so be sure to choose a material that can run all the way through. Certain products may work in the kitchen, but won't feel right for the living area, for example, and this could affect your overall decision.

'The key is to find a balance between beauty and durability,' says Tony Nicholas, managing director of Nicholas Anthony Kitchens. 'Always speak to professionals, who will be able to advise you how different floorings will fit in with your lifestyle.

Industrial style flooring


'Concrete adds a contemporary edge to a kitchen,' says Jonathan Reid of concrete surface design company White & Reid. Colours range from charcoal to antique white, and it's ideal for open-plan extensions, where it can be laid both inside and out. Concrete is fairly low maintenance once sealed, and one of its advantages is that it can be poured directly onto the existing floor without there having to be anything underneath to level it. There are also lightweight versions that can be used on upper floors, but ask a structural engineer for advice.

Resin used in residential projects has a soft and flexible finish that's seamless, comfortable to walk on, hygienic and deadens sound, too. 'A silk finish is best for kitchens,' advises John Wilson of Stratum UK resin floors. 'You can opt for gloss, which gives a real wow factor, but it doesn't have the hardness of polished marble or concrete. The gloss finish will eventually mattee down and will need maintenance to bring it back to its former glory.' Remember, resin is a hand-applied system, so there might be minor flaws in the finish.


'Stone comes in such a range of sizes, colours and textures it can complement any style of kitchen,' says Richard Robson of Paris Ceramics. Choose from rich browns to muted tones in greys, greens and yellows. Even the best-quality limestone is porous, but the latest sealants are very effective and, once applied, the floor should be easy to maintain.'For a modern look, opt for matte-finish, extra-large tiles,' says Jo O'Grady at Stone Age. 'Distressed surfaces and random sizes, on the other hand, suit traditional kitchens.'

'Porcelain is so versatile and can be made to look like anything from limestone to concrete, or even modern metallics and weaves,' says Cressida Johnstone at Surface. 'It's maintenance free and practically bomb proof, so good if you have a messy dog or kids.' The newest ranges include a wood effect, which looks indistinguishable from the real thing.

Composite Materials
With around 38 per cent quartz, quartz composite is part stone and part tile, and doesn't require sealing. One of the huge advantages is that you can have a matching work surface in the same material. To add glamour, choose a composite with metallic flecks - fabulous teamed with stainless steel.

Ceramic Tiles
Primarily made from clay and other natural materials, ceramic tiles come in many different shapes, colours and textures. They're less expensive than porcelain, but tend to be manufactured with fewer straight edges and square corners. This means that grout lines need to be thicker, resulting in a more grid-like finish. However, glazed Moroccan or Syrian tiles can still be beautiful.

Kitchen flooring need to know
Underfloor heating can be used with most modern flooring.
Stone and concrete warm up and retain heat well. But some wooden floors, particularly extra-wide boards, certain veneers and some types of adhesive, can be heat sensitive.

Most flooring is best fitted by a professional.
Some needs to be factored in at the start of the kitchen design process, whereas others can be installed afterwards. Ask the manufacturer in advance.

Even if your floor is sealed, you should still wipe up spills as soon as possible. And remember to use products recommended by the manufacturer to ensure you don't strip oils, lacquers or sealants.

Floors and Work Surfaces

Interior designer Clare Pascoe of Molten London gives us her tips for achieving the perfect flooring/work surface combination. But do you want to coordinate or contrast?
To coordinate, go for materials in the same finish (matte or gloss) and match the colours as closely as possible. Either choose a material that can be used for both worktops and floors, or match, say, a walnut floor to a rich brown stone or composite worktop.

Alternatively, contrast the finishes in the same colour, or contrast the colour in the same finish, such as a dark matte flooring with a pale matte composite worktop. You could even contrast both, such as a matte slate floor with a polished white granite worktop.

Bear in mind that kitchens are a long-term installation - make sure you won't tire of the finishes or colours you choose.

Wood, wood style and other natural flooring

Solid Wood
Renewable and recyclable, boards can be a real plus when it comes to selling a house. However, solid wood may move and curl if used in a kitchen, as it's both moisture and heat sensitive. 'Decide how inert you want the floor to be,' says John Davies at Plastik Architects. 'Solid wood will change over time, so if you want your floor to stay the same, choose other materials.' Wooden floors can be finished in polyurethane lacquer, or natural linseed oil, which sets hard, seals and protects the wood. Most sealants will stand up to many years of traffic before they need reapplying. Choose any gloss level, but be aware that high gloss tends to show marks. 'Uniform boards give a modern look,' says Steve Maltby of Junckers. 'Boards with knots are more rustic.'

Engineered Boards
Constructed from multiple layers, engineered wood usually has a softwood or plywood base and a wood or wood-effect top layer. 'Water and wood are never a good combination, but whereas solid wood may gape or warp, engineered boards have a central core that stops the top and bottom layers moving,' explains Bill Worman at Element 7. Although engineered boards can feel less solid, they come in a variety of widths and finishes and are perfect for achieving a natural wood look.

Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring is made up of synthetic materials combined with natural and recycled ingredients. It comes in a number of formats, colours and designs, including wood, stone and tile. And companies such as Pergo have now introduced laminate with antimicrobial and antistatic properties, which are ideal for kitchens. It's super-durable - resistant to staining, wear and fading - making it perfect for high-traffic areas. Prices vary hugely, but you get what you pay for - choosing cheap laminate may result in ill-fitting, bouncy boards and will always be a false economy.

A long way from the curly orange tiles of the Seventies, modern cork flooring is available in a wide range of colours, designs and finishes. Tough and naturally antibacterial, it's great for people with allergies, too. 'There are an amazing 40 million cells of air in every cubic centimetre of cork,' says Paul Heatley from cork flooring company Wicanders, 'which makes it very comfortable underfoot. It also has exceptional acoustic benefits.' Cork is harvested without damaging the tree. In fact, removing the bark means the trees live longer.

With a higher fibre rating than any hardwood, bamboo is incredibly durable and is less likely to gape than other solid woods. Usually pretreated by the manufacturer, it can be stained or left its natural colour, then sealed with a gloss or matte lacquer. Bamboo releases 35 per cent more oxygen into the atmosphere than trees, and is a fast-growing grass, so it can be harvested every 3-5 years, making it a very eco-friendly product.

Flexible Flooring

Silky, warm and tactile, rubber flooring comes in a huge range of colours and textures. Architects say they use rubber as its so resilient, yet it feels soft underfoot. It really is as tough as old boots, says Julie Mellor at Dalsouple. If it doesn't wear out in an airport, then it wont in your kitchen. Choose a smooth surface or low-profile studs in a kitchen as they are easier to clean. Use products and polishes recommended by the manufacturer to maintain rubber flooring, especially initially, as its softer when new.

Similar in feel to rubber, linoleum's ingredients, the key one being linseed oil, are all natural and sustainable. 'Natural products like this have inherent benefits,' says Therese Magill at Forbo Flooring. 'They're really tough, but at the same time tactile and warm to the touch, making them comfy underfoot.' Linoleum is also hygienic: bacteria can't live on it and it doesn't harbour dust mites, making it ideal for people with allergies.

Modern, high-quality vinyl is a world away from old-fashioned vinyl sheeting. Exceptionally hard wearing, designs replicate the look and feel of anything from natural materials, such as wood, limestone, slate and marble, to more contemporary finishes, including zinc and glass. It can also be warmer and quieter underfoot than the real McCoy. 'Vinyl flooring such as Amtico is a good option if you have no time to maintain a delicate surface, but still want the look of a natural material,' advises Tony Nicholas of Nicholas Anthony Kitchens

You can find more information on interior design and interior design ideas at house to home, helping you create a look you'll love

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Thursday, 19 June 2008

Low Cost Kitchen Makeovers

The Kitchen is the room in a home most frequently used by family members, and therefore should be an inviting space. Kitchens are also the most expensive room to remodel and update. Do not be discouraged by the high cost of a Kitchen renovation as there are many inexpensive updates that you can do to freshen your Kitchen on a budget.

Paint the Cabinets: If your cabinets look dated and old, yet new cabinets are not in your budget, paint them for brand new look. You can use a color to match your trim color in your home, such as white, or venture out with a bold color such as a green or yellow.

Take Off Cabinet Doors: If your cabinet doors are so bad that even a new paint color will not help, you might want to take them off entirely. This will create an open and airy look in the Kitchen. If you consider this idea, keep in mind that you will need to constantly keep your dishes neatly organized in order to have this open look be a good one.

New Cabinet Hardware: Changing the knobs on your cabinets updates the overall look of a Kitchen. New hardware typically costs a few dollars each at a home improvement store and entire sets of hardware can often be found at flea markets, garage sales, or even posted on eBay.

New Faucet: Plumbing fixtures in a Kitchen are like jewelry on an outfit. Most women understand that one well chosen piece of jewelry can make an outfit. The same is true for a faucet; a sparkling clean, new and modernized faucet can instantly improve a Kitchen. Those of us skilled at home improvement projects will find installing a Kitchen faucet a relatively simple task and can save the cost of hiring a plumber.

Flip Appliances Panels: Did you know that a large number of dishwashers and other appliances installed in a Kitchen have removable panels on their face? Most of these panels are one color on the face, such as white, and another on the back, such as black. Check out your appliances to see if any have panels that can be flipped to change the color without spending a dime.

Install Vinyl Floor: If your Kitchen floor is in need of some help, you can install adhesive vinyl floor tiles yourself. The project can be completed in a weekend with the cost of the individual tiles as low as a dollar each. For a little work, and very little cost, you can have a new Kitchen floor.

Paint the Walls: This most basic of all budget decorating fixes can not be overlooked in the Kitchen. A new wall color will instantly change the look of the Kitchen. Consider using a paint color inspired by food such as a chili pepper red or eggplant purple.

Remember, there are lots of ways to improve your Kitchen without breaking the bank. Often, small decorating changes can result in a transformed a room. Your much used Kitchen can become your much loved Kitchen with some budget friendly improvements.

Michelle Davidson
Interior Design Service Online
The affordable way to get the look your want without the high cost.

Kitchen Design - 3 Big Ideas

If you've got a huge space to fill with your kitchen design and need some big ideas to help make sure it doesn't become a cold, empty room, then here are three.

For starters, get the lighting right. No kitchen design however big or small can be successful without the right level of light. You need natural light from windows, surrounding rooms and even skylights during the day and artificial light from bulbs, spotlights and LEDs when it gets dark. Light makes small spaces seem a lot bigger, but what it can do for already large spaces is add warmth and make the room a pleasant environment to inhabit 24 hours a day.

The second tip is to experiment with your layout. Many people are overwhelmed when they've got a significant amount of space to work with for their kitchen design. However, you should really see it as a chance to get creative and come up with a truly imaginative and bespoke design. Think about creating different areas on your kitchen, for example you could have a working area, a socialising area and an eating area. Make modern furniture choices like kitchen islands, bar stools and really have some fun.

Finally, make notes on everything. With large kitchen designs its so easy to buy lots of different pieces of furniture as well as various appliances and if nothing goes together then you end up with a disjointed kitchen. The best way to overcome this is to make notes on everything and if you've got a camera phone take pictures of everything so you've always got a visual image to compare things when shopping.

A large kitchen design doesn't have to be a difficult proposition as long as you know what you're doing. Use these tips and plan every stage of your design carefully and you really won't go too far wrong.

There's more information kitchen design at the Kitchen Design Site.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Ten Quartz Countertop Benefits

The list of benefits from using a natural stone like quartz over manufactured countertops like formica and corian is outstanding. Quartz counters will even service your kitchen needs better than granite counters.

Quartz surfaces combine the best qualities of laminate counters and natural stone surfaces into one cutting edge product. Quartz surfaces began appearing on home remodeling jobs in just the last few years but its popularity is boiling over. The market share of natural and engineered quartz has risen so quickly that granite quarries are petrified. Granite has been the interior designers and architects countertop of choice for decades.

A small minority of quartz countertops are made of natural quartz cut from monolithic blocks of stone harvested from quarries. The majority of quartz countertop sold today are manufactured from about 95% crushed quartz and 5% polymers. The infused materials result in countertops that are nearly scratch proof, almost maintenance free, and the process allows the counters to be available in designer colors that range from translucent whites to sandy browns or monolithic blacks.

The color choices are what excite most homeowners. With the open floor plans of many kitchens spreading out into dining and living areas it is important for designers to coordinate countertop color choices with the rest of the house. Renovating kitchens with natural flow into the rest of the home becomes a piece of cake.

Easy list of quartz countertops designer benefits:

  • Quartz is the most durable countertop stone or manufactured countertop you can buy
  • You can install quartz tiles or monolithic slabs on shower walls
  • Designer color choices are available
  • Custom edges can be created
  • Quartz countertops dont need to be sealed like granite surfaces
  • Ability to install an undermount sink
  • Faucets can be installed directly on the counter
  • Hot pots and pans can be placed on the working surface of the counter
  • Quartz countertops pay for themselves by adding value to your home
  • Bacteria have a harder time taking hold in quartz counters than any other countertop

The best features of quartz countertops are not visible from the surface. The inside of the counter is where the most benefits crystallize.Quartz countertops are the nearly indestructible counters you can install. Most manufacturers offer a warranty if your counter is installed by a licensed home improvement contractor. Try getting that with a granite countertop.

Final Tip: Don't pelt quartz counters with large diamonds as the countertop might chip. Diamonds are one of the few natural minerals that are harder than quartz.

Watch for quartz countertops to take a large percentage of market share from the granite industry. Visit the authors website for a comparison of the major manufacturers like Silestone, Cambria, and Zodiaq. Also get a side by side comparison to hep you decide between quartz or granite countertops.

This article was written by Scott Jenkins and more quartz tips and maintenance information is available at his website Quartz Counterops.

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Baker's Rack - Getting Back to Old Time Country Cooking

The baker's rack has become a fixture in many kitchens. It is a functional piece of furniture that offers homeowners storage solutions and attractive display options. In fact, the bakers rack is so versatile it can be found in other areas of people's homes, other than the kitchen. Many people chose to put one in the family room for extra storage of CDs, DVDs, or games. Another popular location for them is the bathroom, where people use the display shelves to store towels, soaps, and candles for a spa-like setting. Some have even incorporated the baker's rack into their garden's design -- it can make a handy tool and potting bench.

Professional bakers were the original users of the popular bakers racks. The backless design and vented shelves offered the perfect location for the baker's wares to cool, and quite often these bakers racks would display the goods on the street for any passersby. These original styles of bakers racks were constructed from metal to allow for the heat radiating from the baking being absorbed. The popularity of bakers racks eventually spread into the common population, and in many kitchens they were also used to cool baking and cooked dishes.

Before the age of microwaves and toaster ovens, people cooked and baked in different ways. A loaf of bread was once made at home and left to cool on a bakers rack, not purchased from the supermarket's shelf. A pot of stew was slaved upon until it was the right consistency, the right texture, and the right taste. A baker's rack was integral to all of that - to hold the pot of stew to avoid burning the table.

As the owner of a bakers rack, consider this: Whether you are a seasoned baker or have never measured a cup of flour, try to challenge yourself and decide to try your baker's rack the way it was originally intended. Commit to bake a loaf of bread from scratch - without the use of your bread machine. Imagine you are living in the days when this was a normal, everyday task. After putting your bread recipe to the test and the loaf is finished baking, use your rack as they did in years long ago - to cool the bread off.

Similarly, plan a family stew night and have everyone pitch in and help. If you have camping-style plates and cutlery, why not fish them out and put them to use? When the pot of stew is ready, have everyone dish their meal into their bowl from the bakers racks. It wouldn't hurt if you served your old-time loaf of bread as well!

The popularity of bakers racks has existed for a long time, and unlike some other trends, this one has never died. In today's world, it serves multi-functional purposes in many people's homes. Why not challenge yourself to use your baker's rack for its original purpose?

Author Jennifer Akre is an owner of a wide variety of online specialty shops like that offer both items and information on how you can easily furnish and decorate your space. Whether it's your living, bedroom, or even your deck or patio, there are many tips you can use to make those spots both functional and beautiful. Today, she offers advice on how to create a fabulous living space by using versatile kitchen carts indoors and out.

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Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Counter Space Has Grown, and Kitchen Gadgets Multiply

Gone is the simple kitchen of the past, where limited counter space was always an issue and the only thing on the counter was a toaster and a coffee maker. Today's kitchen has endless space. Rows of cabinets fill each wall from countertop to ceiling. The long countertops are lined up with variable speed gadgets and handheld kits to go along with each machine no cook can live without. What used to be a cozy tiny kitchen where the family gathered to eat and talk is now an automated, high-tech mini-factory that churns out meals in seconds.

The kitchen of today is still the center of the home as it was in by gone years. This is still the place family gravitates to and gathers in at the start of the day and at the end of the day. The last light to be turned off before the last person heads off to bed is that in the kitchen, and the kitchen is usually the second place that comes to life when the morning starts. Coffee makers are turned on and the toaster is set to work on bagels and toast for the children first thing in the morning.

Today's kitchen no longer suffers from cramped conditions caused by limited counter space. It is not unusual to see variable speed blenders and mixers, along side toasters, microwaves, coffee makers and espresso machines on the counters of today's kitchens. Under cabinet vacuum food sealers and dispensers of every sort join the myriad of machines and tools on display in the modern kitchen. Most of these items are no longer exclusive for the professional cook or the food aficionado; they are bought and used by the average cook too.

Even though the modern kitchen looks more like a high-tech center than a cozy room, it still functions as the heart of the house. Families do still gather around the refrigerator and toaster and discuss the happenings of their day. As meals are removed from the oven and dishes are placed in the dishwasher, there is energetic conversation in most kitchens, especially if all members of the family are encouraged to meet at least once a day for a meal prepared and eaten together.

It would be reasonable to expect with the replacement of the tiny kitchen of the past with a modern and machine-filled kitchen of today that the warmth has been removed, but that is not the case. The look and equipment is different, but the expectation of its owners is the same, a place where family members can come together to enjoy not only the food that they prepare, but also one another's company and conversation. Today's kitchen offers the opportunity for families caught up in the rush of modern life, to cook faster meals so they can spend more time at the dinner table discussing the events of their day and the plans for tomorrow. Without the conveniences of a high-tech kitchen, meal preparation would take longer cutting away at the time families have to spend around the table talking and sharing.

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Kitchen Cabinets Go Green, an eco-focused Web site that is devoted to practical news and do-it-yourself ideas on environmental issues, recently featured an article titled "Remodel Your Kitchen the Great Green Way-it's healthy, sustainable and gorgeous!" Therein, the author argued against remodeling a kitchen the "normal way" in favor of using non-standard makeover materials that do not over-consume resources or contain toxic chemicals.

For the homeowner sho is looking to stay green with their kitchen update, the first step in achieving that endeavor is choosing kitchen cabinets that are environmentally friendly. And the precursor to that step is finding a kitchen cabinetry provider that is "skilled in working with sustainable materials and knows how to build in an eco-friendly manner," the article stresses.

What specifically should you be looking for in a kitchen cabinet manufacturer? From sourcing and manufacturing to finishing and shipping, think the three Rs:

1. Reducing environmental impact-"Many of the chemicals used [in today's kitchen cabinets] can be cancer-causing and can offgas into your home for years," Green Options cautions.
2. Reusing as much material as possible-"Use reclaimed wood, or formaldehyde-free pressed fiberboard," the Web site recommends."
3. Recycling materials-"You can also go the 'new but sustainable route' with cabinets." When doing so, look for kitchen cabinetry manufacturers that "offer low- or no-VOC finishes," the article's author suggests.

The whole "go green" movement is bringing out an ever-growing crop of eco-friendly cabinetry providers, but you can entrust the same environmental awareness to a kitchen cabinet provider with a longstanding reputation for excellence ... if you know what to look for. Here are some tips:

An environmentally attentive kitchen cabinet manufacturer will use sophisticated technology and will purchase wood products in optimum dimensions, thereby enabling it to attain the highest yield possible from every raw material board. As Ben Franklin warned, "Waste not, want not."

As Green Options pointed out, eco-aware cabinetry providers use environmentally preferable product (EEP particle board) with a percentage of recycled material, they do not add formaldehyde during their manufacturing process, and they reduce the levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in their building materials.

What goes in must come out ... but what comes out doesn't go straight to the landfill. A reputable green cabinetry provider will recycle, recycle, recyle everything from the returned kitchen cabinets, to the sawdust for use in other products like composite decking, to the finish material, all in a concentrated effort to drastically reduce waste.

Finally, you'll know that a kitchen cabinet manufacturer is serious about protecting the environment when it considers tomorrow's world today. Choose wisely. Opt for a kitchen cabinetry provider that not only assures you a better long-term investment in quality, style and functionality but also demonstrates environmental stewardship.

That means the company strives to do the right thing for not only the environment but also its customers and its employees. An truly eco-conscious kitchen cabinet manufacturer continually improves and advances its processes and products not for its own sake but because it's the right thing to do. After all, isn't that the type of kitchen remodeling project you can feel good about for years to come?

Visit for help and tips on planning your kitchen remodeling project.

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