Thursday, 31 July 2008

Home Remodeling to Increase the Resale Value

All of us need change from time to time at various levels. These changes bring new energy into our life and they take the boredom out of our lives. One of the areas that all of us love to see some change is our home. Home improvements and remodeling not only will bring in a new look to your house but it will also dramatically increase the resale value of your house. By remodeling a house that you are planning to sell you will not only recover the investment that you made on the home improvement, you can also increase the value of your house from anywhere between 25% and 30%.

One of the things that come first to our mind is kitchen remodeling and this is one of the most popular remodeling areas. So much can be done to improve your kitchen and it depends on the budget and the size of your kitchen. For example, you can think of changing the entire kitchen cabinetry. By approaching a good home remodeling products company you can get a lot of remodeling ideas for your kitchen. By sending the measurements of your kitchen you can get your cabinet design layout at a nominal fee and once you order the remodeling products from them many companies will give a total refund of the design fee. It is important that you express your expectations clearly so that the layout developed can meet those requirements effectively. You can also view the photo gallery of kitchen cabinets online to get some design ideas.

Another area that you can consider for remodeling is your bathroom; you can add glass block showers that will give a facelift to your bathroom. One of the areas the buyers pay attention when they want to invest in a house is the bathroom; people are really fuzzy about this particular area of the house. So by going in for a simple remodeling like glass block showers you can attract buyers.

Mantles and shelves take the monotony of the plain walls from your house. They give the required projection for the walls and an expensive look. You can go for pre-made mantle designs or custom designs to suit your taste and budget.

If you want to give some improvement to your home exteriors, you can go for vinyl shutters. Vinyl shutters are replacing wooden shutters these days because they do not have the danger of warping or rotting so it is long lasting. You also do not have to worry about any further maintenance of your vinyl shutters unlike the wooden shutters that require regular treatments and painting.

So when you are planning for your home improvement or remodeling invest wisely so that you can enjoy giving your house a whole new look and at the same time you can increase the value of your house. Depending on your budget and taste you can remodel your house in phased manner so that you do not have to invest a lot of money at the same time. The investments can be spread across over a period of 3 to 6 months depending on the resources available.

Tommy Smithson is author of this article on mantel shelves

Find more information about kitchen cabinets online here.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Looking For the Perfect Kitchen

More and more people are naming the kitchen as the most important room of the house. Homework is done there, board games are played there, people gather there, business is done there and oh yeah, meals are made there, too! Here are some of the best features for any kitchen.

Cupboard and counter space are at the top of the list. Most kitchens look big until you start putting your stuff away in it. So make sure there is enough room for you to put away all your dishes and kitchen essentials, as well as your food, especially if there is no pantry. As for cupboard space, imagine your counter essentials and pretty things on the counter and decide if there is enough room left for workspace.

Plenty of seating and eating area is very important. If you like big family dinners or entertaining in general, the ideal situation is an L shaped counter in the kitchen with a small kitchen table and a formal dining room. Lots of comfy areas where food can be served and people can be chit chat will make your house a gathering favorite.

Get some cupboard upgrades. In our arsenal of kitchen supplies we have a lot of uniquely shaped and specialty items. Some of the extra deep drawers will hold pots, pans, deep bowls and small appliances. You also need at least one lazy susan cupboard to keep your canned and boxed foods organized and easily accessible.

Put a microwave above the stove for convenient cooking and saving tons of space.

Try for a pantry. A pantry is not just for food. You can also use it to keep other items handy such as a broom, a hand vac, pet food, crayons, and spirits.

Lots of windows and lighting. As much time as we spend there and as many activities take place there, there is an equal amount of work to be done in there. After the cooking, the eating, the family game night, and the arts and crafts are done, it's time to do the cleaning. Moms especially spend a lot of time in the kitchen alone and it will only help maintain energy and good mood if surrounded by lots of sunlight in the process.

In kitchens across America there is not only food being made, but family memories as well. Keep that in mind when buying or designing your new kitchen.

Julia Vakulenko is a licensed broker associate with Realty. She has one of the hardest working Tampa Real Estate team in Florida.

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Monday, 28 July 2008

Buying a Kitchen Spice Rack With Or Without Spices

One thing to think about before buying a kitchen spice rack is whether or not to get a rack that includes spices. Most spice racks that you can purchase at major retailers include the ingredients with them. One issue with this is that you are forced to use whatever spices they give you.

An alternative is to buy a rack that doesn't include the spices. This way you can purchase the ones you really need at any grocery store or specialty shop. This can be a cheaper alternative as store bought spices can run cheaper since they usually come in plastic bags. If you decide to go the route of buying your own, make sure you do a little research. First you need to know how many spice jars you have since this will determine the number of spices that you will need to make the rack look whole. Next think about the spices that you cook with the most. List them out and try to come up with just as many as jars that you have.

Next you will need to come up with the layout of the spices. Ideally you should put your most used spices in the front of the rack with the less used near the rear and the bottom of the rack. To transfer the spices from their bags to the jars in your rack, purchase a cheap small funnel that you can use to get the spices into the jars with little or no waste. Clip a corner of the plastic bag off and dump them into the funnel.

Finally you will need to get labels for your spice containers. If you buy a rack with the spices included, most likely it will include pre printed labels to match the spices in the box. Some racks will come with blank labels that you can write on. A designer idea would be to purchase printer labels. This way you can use a designer looking font to make the labels look professional. Be sure that whichever labels you buy they are small enough to not detract from the look of the overall spice rack.

Kitchen spice racks can make your cooking experience a better one. The rack will keep you from hunting through your cabinets looking for that one ingredient you can't find. When buying one, be sure to make a decision on whether you want to have the spices included or if you want to build your own.

Steve C provides information about included kitchen spices through his website on Kitchen Spice Racks.

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Saturday, 26 July 2008

Update Your Kitchen With Handmade Tiles

Outfitting your kitchen with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and custom cabinets is all the rage nowadays. A significant percent of a home's value can be based on the kitchen and keeping it up to date can mean money in your pocket. But kitchen remodeling trends come and go and we often get into a rut where all kitchens start looking alike. Remember avocado green refrigerators? The key is to balance the trends with your personal style and tastes. Don't go too far in either direction and you should have a kitchen you can enjoy for years to come and when the time comes it should help sell your home. One extra special personal touch you can add relatively easily is pottery tile on your backsplash.

With so many options from stainless steel to glass tiles available off the shelf for backsplashes now why go through the effort to design and create tiles? There are several reasons a unique backsplash makes sense. First, it allows for your creative side to come through and add a truly unique personal touch to your kitchen. There is no better way to make your house a home. It also brings a customized element into your kitchen which has the potential to increase its value if done well. Finally, it presents a conversation piece that is sure to be discussed for years to come as people gather in your kitchen.

To start your creative process you can either purchase pre-made blank tiles from companies such as American Art Clay or for the more ambitious and skilled you can mold and kiln fire the tiles from scratch. Whichever route you chose making custom tiles allows you to express yourself and have a design after your heart's desires. So design something your and your family can relate to. A family memory, a special place, a favorite food are all possible sources of inspiration. Keep in mind that something universal may be more appreciated by future home owners, but do not let that limit you.

It is almost a requirement that multi-million dollar homes have a completely customized kitchen. For those of us outside of the millionaire world customization is still an option with something like a tile backsplash you created. Although it may not make you a millionaire, tiles with bright ceramic colors and a well thought out pattern have the potential to give your kitchen that extra something that may make the next buyer willing to add on that extra zero to the price.

Don't let future value be your motivating factor for taking on a project such as this however. Do it for yourself and for your family so that every time in the kitchen has the ability to spark a conversation or bring up a cherished family memory either represented by the tiles or of when you worked together to make and install them. If your kitchen in not the main gathering space in your home now, it surely will be after you update it.

The modern and expensive kitchen remodeling options available today are sure to increase your home value and make your kitchen a beautiful room. But consider personal touches such as pottery tile like those that can be bought through the website of American Art Clay Company (AMACO). A unique pattern and beautiful ceramic colors can go a long way to brighten and refresh the dullest most out-of-date kitchen around. Express yourself starting with your kitchen.

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Friday, 25 July 2008

Choose the Right Kitchen Spice Rack

Kitchen Spice racks come in many varieties and sizes. Not every spice rack for sale will benefit you as a cook. Before spending money on one, make sure you have considered all the options.

The most important question to ask yourself is where are you going to put your kitchen spice rack? If it is going to sit on your counter, then look for counter top spice rack models, or commonly referred to as a free standing. Many people with a lack of counter top space can choose between a wall mountable kitchen spice rack or a hanging model. A wall mountable rack can be hung on a wall, in the pantry, or even on the back of a cabinet door to preserve space. If you cook regularly you will want your ingredients within easy reach so having it in an easy accessible area is a must. Hanging spice racks usually attach underneath the wall cabinets and hang down below, still leaving you area underneath it to store other items.

Another thing to think about when selecting a model is what type of material you want your rack to be made from. Spice racks are made from many different materials such as wood, plastic, different types of metal, and even composite materials. Most frames are very durable, so select your fame style based on looks rather than construction. Spice rack frames require very little maintenance to keep the clean and long lasting. Lastly, you should think about how many ingredients you think you will want in your spice rack. Many racks come packaged with the spices. If you cook frequently and know exactly what ingredients you will need, it is best to get a model without the spices. You can go to any grocery store and buy fresh herbs to add to your spice rack. Going this route keeps you from having spices in your rack that you will never use. It also allows you to customize your rack specifically for your cooking style. If you decide to buy a rack with the spices included, arrange it to put the least used spices in the rear of the rack to make the heaviest used ones easy accessible.

Finding the right kitchen spice rack can take some time due to the different types available. Make sure to put in the time required to get a model that is functional and pleasing to the eye for your kitchen.

Steve C provides information about wall mountable kitchen spice racks through his website on Kitchen Spice Racks.

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Thursday, 24 July 2008

Kitchen Wall Clock - Tick Tock, Tick Tock

The kitchen wall clock has been around for decades. It is an excellent device for function as well as decorative purposes. Its main function has been to keep meal preparation on time, but it also helps create an inviting relaxing atmosphere.

You can find these clocks in many shapes, finishes, styles, sizes and themes. Some shapes that are offered are rectangular, round, square and novelty shapes. There are also a variety of finishes available. Some examples of these are light and dark wood, ceramic, silver, chrome, brass, plastic, glass and aluminum. Companies offer these clocks with either digital or analog displays and they feature standard, Arabic, Roman numerals or no numbers at all. Some faces on these clocks are large and some have smaller display areas in the center of a larger artful outer area.

You should consider your personality and your kitchen's style or theme before purchasing one of these clocks. In the market place, you have at your disposal modern, contemporary and traditional styles. You will be able to keep track of time while adding an artful touch to the room. It will give you many years of visual pleasure and can be the focal point of your kitchen.

Some kitchen wall clocks feature common themes. Through my own searches I have located clocks for the kitchen that are designed as roosters, food and drink, floral or classic. I have discovered that the most popular clock for the kitchen is battery operated. It comes with quartz movement so the time keeping is very accurate.

You can become as creative as you like especially with the many choices that are just waiting for you. When I lived in Arizona I had two kitchens. I had a lot of fun picking out my clocks. The choices I made were of a sun dial and a colorful display of hot Chile peppers. My neighbors always had a great reaction and comment when they stepped into those rooms. I also lived in San Diego for several years. What I missed the most was the hundreds of humming birds that flew by my feeder on a daily basis. This led me to my most recent clock purchase for my kitchen in the home I live in today. It is a large colorful clock with several humming birds all around it. I can actually feel my mood lighten as I'm gazing at it.

You can also personalize or custom design your kitchen wall clock. It also makes for a great gift. My best friend had just bought her first home. I wanted to get her something special. I designed a colorful melamine face in a shape of a plate. I chose a knife and fork for the hands and for the finishing touch I had her name engraved. It read Mel's Kitchen.

Melanie was delighted and is always telling me it has become the main conversational piece when visitors drop by. You can also use a photo of yourself, child or pet in a clock's design. As you can see there are endless options when it comes to designing the type of face your kitchen wall clock could possibly end up with. You just have to allow your imagination to run wild.

Remember this is a pleasant and for the most part inexpensive accent for your kitchen decor. So get busy and start searching, for the time is ticking away...

Author Bio: Barbara Tobiasz resides with her husband (Joe Tobiasz, Owner/Webmaster: in the Chicago area, studied at the Art Institute and taught for the Chicago Public Schools. She has volunteered her services for many organizations with her creative expressions in the interior design field. Her hobbies include reading, taking long walks with her dog and working her magic turning ordinary rooms into creative works of art.

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Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Good Tips For Economic Kitchen Renovations

Kitchen renovations can be one of the most expensive home improvement projects a homeowner will ever undertake. But, updating this space not only makes the room more enjoyable for cooking eating and socializing. It also adds to the resale value of the property.

To get the most for your money, there are many creative ideas for remodeling a kitchen without spending more than your budget can handle. Here are some methods for bringing a new look to your kitchen for less cash than you might have thought possible.

Paint: A Budget-Conscious Way to Achieve a New Look

Paint is a very economical method for giving a room a quick facelift and can be done in just a couple days, perhaps just one day. Whether you choose to pain the walls or opt to refinish a cabinet, pain allows you to add back color and charm to an otherwise boring room.

When it comes to kitchen remodeling on a budget, paint turns into the magic wand of home improvement. However, before painting your kitchen cabinets, first make sure they are in good condition by inspecting them for any separation between the walls and cabinets and for any drawers and doors that do not work properly. Cabinets that are in good condition qualify as candidates for the effort and time you will spend painting them.

Do Not Start Big, Think Small

Oftentimes, the smallest and least expensive changes to your home result in the greatest impact to the home's overall look. If you are considering kitchen remodeling on a budget, start with your lighting and fixtures. For instance, adding lighting above or below your cabinetry will give the kitchen an entirely new feel and look and provide you with a new area to display your favorite collectibles. Or, maybe changing the handles or knobs on your cabinets will be a simple, cheap change that will be just enough to change the room's appearance. There are many choices available for pulls and knobs that come in a variety of décor and prices for any kitchen remodeling plan and budget.

Hit the Floor Without Falling

If you need to replace your kitchen flooring which is sometimes necessary, do not despair at the thought of how much it will cost you. Sometimes, you can replace your flooring on a budget with DIY options using flooring designs that are now discontinued and, typically, offered at a discounted price. There are many options in tile or linoleum, for instance, that can be purchased at a great price and installed yourself. But, before you travel to the local home improvement or flooring store, take a quick look at what lies beneath your current flooring. Many homeowners have found a wood floor underneath that may be worth the effort and money refinishing it to its once inimitable hardwood finish. Oftentimes, the best kitchen remodeling is to use what you already have. With times the best method of kitchen remodeling on a budget is to use the assets that you already have. As you see, remodeling your kitchen does not always require an expandable budget. With planning and creativity, you can do a kitchen remodel project on a budget and finally have the kitchen of your dreams.

The author John Bakers is really passionate about subjects similar to remodeling kitchen and kitchen cabinet parts. From his detailed writings like, the columnist established his depth of understanding on information corresponding to how to change kitchen cabinets and kitchen cabinet parts.

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Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Tips For Country Kitchen Decor

The kind of décor you do in your kitchen as well as the whole house, depends upon where your house is basically located. This is especially true for houses that are situated in a rural setting. Except in cases where the entire house has been essentially done up in urban styles, it becomes important that you set up the kitchen with the same country look, right from the shelves, to the color of the paint and the tapestry used.

The most important aspect here is the coordination of the pieces and accenting required. It is just not enough to get pieces and other items of the kitchen bearing a rural or country look. It is crucial that you ensure that the pieces match each other properly and fit well into the entire look. For instance, if the whole of your kitchen has a country look, but bears a greenish tone, it will look odd to add in replicas and decoration items in the brown or wood color, beyond a certain extent.

Tips and Ideas

There are a lot of useful ideas for completing the country look to your kitchen. Though granite countertops may not fit, You can begin by looking at the walls and the decoration pieces you have used. You can add in items like chickens and roosters and a few ceramic pieces that will give your kitchen a nice and coordinated look. In addition, putting up a couple of your own or family photographs, along with a few wildlife pictures can add a pleasant ambiance.

In addition, you can also use the appliquéd towels that go well with the throw rugs. These items make for wonderful decoration pieces, at the same time giving your kitchen that required country look.

The Other Requirements

Apart from the above, you can also accentuate the look of your table, chairs and other pieces of furniture. If you have a large wooden table in your kitchen, use minimal amount of decorative items on the table. On the other hand, if you have a normal and small dining table, you can use a huge country-style tablecloth that will also effectively cover any damaged area. Pay careful attention to the color you use in the entire process as these can greatly influence the look your kitchen carries.

To top it all, choose the curtains you use carefully. These should look well coordinated with the rest of the kitchen, in color as well as the fabric you use. Whatever look you might want to give to your kitchen, it is always helpful to place a bunch of fresh seasonal flowers in the dining area to add an overall pleasant look.

The writer Johnathan Bakers is especially interested in news related to how to mount a granite countertop and how to install granite countertop. You can discover his comments on granite countertops at and other sources for granite countertops information.

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Monday, 21 July 2008

Kitchen Spice Racks For Fun and Organization

The origins of kitchen spice racks dates back for many thousands of years. It is believed that they were first used by the ancient Arabian people. Their use spread slowly, but steadily throughout Europe over the course of many centuries. They are beloved by those who enjoy cooking because they offer both the gourmet cook and the average cook alike a beautiful way to enhance the cooking space within their home.

During the first millennium A.D. kitchen spice racks were designed for the exact herbs and spices which they would be containing. This often included turmeric, ginger, Indian pepper, and cinnamon. Although these were quite different from the spice racks we are used to seeing today, they did play a very large part in the safe and efficient transport of the rare spices throughout the European trading circuits.

Today we use kitchen spice racks for adding the combination of both utility and beauty. Perfect for organizational purposes, some cooks even alphabetize their spices! Organization simply lends itself to a much more enjoyable experience for the cook.

Some kitchen spice racks will actually be designed to show off your spice collection. These may include wall mounted spice racks, and soho spice racks. Just because a spice rack does not show off your spices such as in the case of a cabinet style or door mount spice rack, it does not mean they are of no use. Some kitchen areas just do not offer enough room, and when space is an issue you may need something which is completely out of the way. These are ultimately very handy as well as offer you the ability to maximize the available space within your cooking area.

However kitchen spice racks offer more than just a convenient way to store and organize your spices, most offer a way to accentuate your kitchen décor. Beautiful wooden spice racks for example can both blend in and add to the overall look of your wood kitchen design. Many kitchens have hard wood floors and beautiful wood cabinets.

Many modern kitchens have stainless steel appliances that have a very clean and sanitary look about them. These have the wonderful ability to blend in with nearly any color scheme. Stainless steel spice racks are the perfect choice in this situation because they can keep the ultra clean look flowing throughout the whole atmosphere. The fact that those appliances and the utilitarian items such as utensils which are found within most cooking areas can be coordinated together is an appealing option which lets you cater to the exact look you have in mind when making decorating decisions.

As far back as many people can remember, next to the homemade ice cream machine and the hand bottle opener, the feel of home that comes from a kitchen of this quality will certainly play a part in the role of how enjoyable it is to cook in there. When a cooking area is organized for handy projects, the end results may just be extra delicious. Some people find kitchen spice racks to be fun and convenient as the end result.

Find lots of new and vintage Kitchen Spice Racks Save space with Wall Mounted Spice Racks

Kim Sevine enjoys sharing helpful information about the various fun stuff that exists in our daily lives. As a freelance writer she reaches hundreds of readers every day.

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Wednesday, 16 July 2008

An Easier Way to Kitchen Decor Roosters and Hens

So what do you think is the kitchen décor style that is ruling the roost in the contemporary interior design firmament? Tuscan, Mexican, Southwestern or French country, most abstruse thinking footling amateurs like me would assume, rather fallaciously, I must add. But the fact of the matter is that there's one style that has made unimaginable leaps to the front line and has redefined sheer bucolic bliss.

Just in case you are delirious with anticipation to know more, it's the chic and charismatic homespun country charm of kitchen décor roosters and hens that walks away with the top honors. That means your inveterate tendency of cocking a snook at this décor is in mortal jeopardy.

A Kitchen That Preens Like A Peacock

Abundant sunshine, fresh fruits and invigoratingly aromatic flowers form an inalienable part of the blissfully idyllic and delightful verdant vistas in the country. But it would be rather churlish to omit animals- cows, pigs, geese, roosters and hens that complete this awe-inspiring picture. The kitchen décor peopled with images of roosters and hens is the stuff that pastoral dreams are made of.

Truly Overwhelming!

That's what most people remark after sailing bravely into this relatively uncharted territory. But here's an easier way to creating that timeless appeal in your kitchen:

Ceramics clearly are the toast of this style. So rooster kitchen baskets, cookie jars, sun catchers, salt and pepper shakers, teapot table sets and oil cruet sets, among other charming collectibles ensure that there's plenty to crow about.

Canisters, plates, utensils, dinnerware, bread boxes and pitchers give you impeccable style and sophistication on a platter.

Skillfully crafted spice racks, pot holders, towel stands and napkin holders are sure to hold onlookers in rapt attention.

A handpainted rooster sink will ensure this décor's inexorable rise to the top.

Let you inanimate walls come alive with wall hook plagues, clocks and welcome signs

Figurines of roosters and hens in an eclectic set of materials- porcelain, metal and terracotta help the kitchen acquire a stronger cachet.

So jettison that ambivalence towards this truly refreshing style, and wake up every day to a completely new experience

Interested in 9 scintillating Mexican Kitchen Decoration tips you may be glad to read? See

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Monday, 14 July 2008

Local Kitchen Remodeling Help

The first way to make a good impression is by having a good looking floor. Even if you have dishes in the sink and junk on the strove, with a good flooring, you'll have your guests divert their eyes from the mess and praise your kitchen. For those who are looking for linoleum, you will be able to have a cheap renovation, however, if you go all out for the hardwood flooring or even clay tiling, you will be able to create a wonderful look for the kitchen.

Keep in mind that when you place a new floor down, you may not be able to just stop and cover up the old floor. It is only acceptable that you place new vinyl, clay, and so on, on top of a sub-floor. The sub-floor will not only make the new floor look smoother than ever, but it will also hide the imperfections of the first floors. You will need to consider this when it comes to remodeling. It's hard to get away with out the added costs when it comes to something like this.

If you would like to make the job go more quickly you will want to remove everything that isn't glued down or nailed to the floor. You will be able to place the sub-floor down very quickly and then the new floor down with ease when you aren't wasting your time moving things. Keep this in mind when you are paying someone to come to your home and install any type of flooring.

You will also want to make sure that everything is measured twice before you make the cut. This is one of the reasons why it is always better to get a professional to do to the flooring. Flooring costs so much that it doesn't leave room for screw ups. You will want to consider the fact that if you purchase more than you need by ten percent (especially with tiles) you will be able to have a little bit of insurance with the cutting and measuring, however, you need to make sure that everything lines up just perfect. Keep in mind that there are some machines that you may need to rent in order to do your cutting. Materials like clay tiles and so on demand certain tools that will allow you to make the cuts without cracking. You will need to consider this when you are remodeling.

Finally, you will need to allow the floor to settle before you use it. This means at least a full day should go by before you begin to step on the new floor or before you begin to move furniture back onto the floor. It is very important that you allow the flooring to settle, even if it is glued down. You need to allow the floor to adhere before you go ahead and use your new kitchen.

The columnist Kurt Schefken is very interested in subjects associated to kitchens cabinets and kitchen cabinets things. You can find his writings on new kitchens over at and different sources for new kitchens news.

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Friday, 11 July 2008

Tips on Kitchen Design - Online Tools to Make the Task Easier

Think you're great at multitasking? I certainly think I can give just about anybody a run for his money in this department. No surprises then that I experienced pure, unadulterated glee when I got the enviable opportunity to add another feather to my cap- that of a diligent designer all set to demolish every prosaic rule in the interior design books. Thanks to the sustained efforts of a spate of tools, 'kitchen design online' does not really seem like rocket science anymore.

My Link To Sanity

My kitchen, like a majority of homemakers, means the world to me. It's sometimes an oasis of calm, and sometimes becomes the supreme inspiration for the most delightfully aromatic creations. If you too belong to this bandwidth, then a few clicks of your mouse are all that it takes to create a personal space that bears your signature stamp.

These extremely easy and interactive tools can help you exercise complete control over all facets of the layout of the space, without requiring knowledge of the vague rubrics of designing. Selection of architectural styles, lighting, materials for flooring, cabinets and countertops and other accessories like fittings, faucets, fixtures and practically everything else that has a persistent place in your imagination can come alive on your desktop with generous doses of help from these avant-garde tools.

And the icing on the cake is the fact that all your myriad dreams can come alive in 3D. Just submit this to your designer and your custom-made layout could be ready sooner than you imagined.

Recipe For Success

Online design tools and copious amounts of your prodigious talent is a match made in design heaven. Here's what you can do to ensure eternal bliss:

Pull-out all stops when it comes to selecting the right colors, textures and finishes. Durability, low maintenance and breathtaking looks are key factors.

Efficient kitchen design gives due importance to storage. The pantry, corner cabinets and other options must utilize the available space judiciously.

Harbor no doubts about the location of the cooktop, dishwasher, refrigerator and sink.

The kitchen island must be central to your layout plans.

You are in the danger of sacrificing a lot more if safety considerations, whether glass doors or sharp edges on countertops, are excluded from the design.

A cozy breakfast nook or an informal corner adds dollops of sunshine to the place's dark, stolid appearance.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

7 New Ways to Get a Tuscan Style Kitchen

There's no better way to spice up things in your dull and dreary kitchen than by letting a theme take over the space completely. But the need of the hour is something that is interesting and creates the right ambiance at home. A Tuscan style kitchen is all this and much, much more. It's an all-time favorite style that is synonymous with elegance and class. But contrary to the parochial view, incorporating this style does not leave your bank account severely drained.

Seven Sensational Secrets

Adding a touch of old world rustic charm may sound far-fetched, but here are some simply superb ways to go about this seemingly onerous task:

Colors in the kitchen: Choose shades that reflect warmth and earthy charm. Rich colors like gold, olive, black, red, terracotta and ochre never hit a false note.

Lights: Avoid illuminating the space with lights that have a brand new glossy finish. Let antique wrought iron lights, pendant lights and chandeliers envelope the place in a surreal glow.

Furniture: Invest in a large wood table and a few chairs to make family dinner table conversations more animated. A distressed wooden cupboard not only addresses all your storage problems, but also rekindles that rustic appeal.

Walls: Roughly plastered and intricately layered walls look absolutely splendid in this quixotic setting.

Floors and counters: Use natural materials like sandstone, limestone, granite, marble and terracotta for floors and countertops. They look extraordinary, in a very ordinary sort of a way.

Backsplash: This small but significant space comes into its element with colored tiles or mosaics.

Accessories: Rustic style pottery, large metal urns, ceramic bowls, platters, decorative glass jars and large copper food canisters all coalesce to form a delectable work space.

Are you ready to alter the mood of your kitchen and your family for good?

7 Other Secrets of Beautiful Tuscan Kitchens, paint for Tuscan kitchens and a lot more stuff at

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Wednesday, 2 July 2008

A Kitchen Rooster Brings You Luck

Throughout different cultures the rooster has been a symbol of many things one of the most predominant is luck. Having some form of Rooster in your kitchen is said to bring you luck and could just make you feel good. Here is a little more information about Roosters and Rooster folklore.

First a little bit about real Roosters. They do not lay eggs and are not needed for egg production, but are required if you want baby chicks. They are protective of the flock and will defend the family from predators. They can be tamed, and become devoted pets if handled and worked with often.

They can crow at anytime including night time. Crowing marks territory, so the fewer roosters the less crowing. One rooster per flock is all that's needed. In fact a hen house with more than one rooster is just asking for trouble. You can keep a rooster subordinate if he is smaller than the biggest hen. Which, means she runs the show.

On my favorite island of Oahu, wild roosters have reigned for over a thousand years. I did find it a bit strange when I was at an outdoor BBQ eating chicken and a rooster walked up and was standing by my table. But wild Roosters and chickens have been roaming free on this beautiful island for centuries. In fact on Oahu if you ask "Why did the chicken cross the road?" the answer would likely be "to get to the beach".

In Portugal there is the Galo de Barcelos, the national symbol of Portugal. Which is a Rooster symbolizing honesty, integrity, trust and honor. The town of Barcelos is well know for its earthenware and the most popular symbol is the Rooster. There are tons of stories and folklore from different cultures about Roosters. The Rooster symbolizes many different things.

I remember watching a story on the news last year about a wild Rooster living in Manhattan. He was wreaking havoc on the nearby neighbors sleeping habits. A farm rescue group from upstate swooped in and tried to catch the rooster. First attempting to lure him with food, a female rooster, and even a red blanket. The crafty rooster didn't fall for any of these tricks.

Finally a resourceful rescuer was able to capture him with a net. Now instead of disturbing urban sleepers the crafty rooster gets to retire upstate. With lot's of girlfriends, fresh air and unlimited snacks. Not bad considering, whatever fate he must have escaped from, to be roaming the streets and neighborhoods of Manhattan.

In Chinese astrology people who are born in certain years have a rooster sign. These people are practical quick thinkers who don't like to take unnecessary risks. They enjoy a keen sense of detail and always seem to know what's going on. Rooster's are straight forward and love honesty. The rooster has a trusting behavior and yet is not easily fooled.

Roosters can be perfectionists and expect to be in control, especially when it comes to their looks. They have high standards of dress, conduct, and neatness, and expect the same of others. Roosters need a partner that understands their conservative nature but is not too laid back. The rooster should probably focus on valuing heart and soul above good looks. Appealing to the Roosters logic of live and let live may be a good method for dealing with the roosters overly controlling ideals.

The rooster is a symbol of many things to many cultures. What I like best about the rooster symbol is having one in the kitchen is supposed to be a symbol of luck, health, and prosperity. Whether it's a rooster clock, cookie jar, wall paper, dish towels, trivet, or just a ceramic rooster sitting on the back of the stove watching over the kitchen. Seeing a kitchen rooster not only makes me feel at home it makes the entire kitchen warm and comfortable and inviting. I think I like it best because it gives me that feeling of nostalgia, like when I was young, eating cookies in my grandmother's kitchen.

Kitchen Decor Roosters and Hens, Rooster And Chicken Collectibles, and Rooster Weather Vanes

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