Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Kitchen Styles

It is believed by many that the kitchen is the most utilized room in the home. It is a place where families and friends gather around to feast on home made food and hold conversation. If you are thinking about updating your kitchen, consider what will be the most cost effective and add the most value to your space. Here are a few ideas to help you with your kitchen design.

Planning a kitchen remodel should not be a rushed process. If your kitchen is a small space, look at ways to expand. If the dining room is separate from the kitchen, you may want to knock down a wall to expand the space. Many buyers on the market today prefer an open floor plan. If you are planning to demolish a wall in your kitchen remodel, consult an electrician first: there could be loose wiring in your wall that, if not taken care of properly, could result in extra costs along the way.

After planning your remodel, it is time to update your kitchen appliances. One of the most popular styles in kitchen appliances available on the market today is stainless steel appliances that are Energy Star compliant. Savvy homeowners prefer the modern finish of stainless steel. Purchase matching appliances to achieve a more cohesive look in the space. Appliances that are Energy Star compliant will also add value to your space. As America continues to go green, this small detail will both add value to your kitchen and save you money in the long run.

Once you have decided on what style you wish to achieve in your kitchen you may decide to update your cabinetry. If your cabinets are in good condition but you still want an updated look, invest in new cabinet hardware. Whether you decide to design a rustic Old World finish or a streamlined modern design, there is kitchen cabinet hardware available to complete the look you are after. Cabinet pulls are available in an array of finishes including satin nickel, oil rubbed bronze, stainless steel and antique black, to name a few.

You can even purchase a kitchen faucet to match the finish of your cabinet hardware. Kohler has revolutionized kitchen faucets and their accessories over the years, combining high quality function with impeccable design. A beautifully crafted kitchen faucet can provide an added touch of structural design to your kitchen that will be appreciated for years to come.

As you plan your kitchen design, it is important not to forget some of the smaller details such as the trash can. A cheap trash can could be an eyesore and break up the flow of the design. You have a few options when it comes to incorporating this necessity into your design: hide it or flaunt it. If space provides, you can install a hidden trash can inside a cabinet. If this option is not sufficient, purchase a free standing trashcan that matches the décor of your space. To lower the risk of spreading germs in the space, invest in a touch-free trash can. This will allow you and your family to discard trash without touching any contaminated surfaces.

For a complete kitchen remodel, install new flooring and countertops. There are many options available to meet your needs. Whether you are looking to go green while accommodating a large family or update to a swanky modern design with high end finishes, there are options to fulfill your needs.

After planning out your kitchen design and configuring your budget, it is now time to get started. Remember to invest in quality appliances to add value to your space. You could easily double the value of your kitchen and get back a high return by planning out your kitchen remodel carefully and thoughtfully.

Amanda works for Your Home Supply (YHS) the definitive website for home improvement tools, and gardening supplies. Your Home Supply offers a wide range of products to help customers with common household repairs, as well as decorative accessories for the home. Visit them now at

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Sunday, 26 October 2008

Save on Kitchen Renovations

We have often seen that simply renovating the kitchen and other busy areas of the house can give a major facelift to the entire household. However, major financial constraints often dampen such plans as the fixtures and appliances to be used in a kitchen often come very expensive. Even, simple remodeling such as change the slab on the shelf can prove very costly is some cases. However, there are simple and practical solutions available that will help you realize your dream of having a new, remodeled kitchen, at the same time not burning a big hole in your pocket.

Analyze and Plan

Foremost, it is important that you analyze the set-up of your kitchen, its uses and the current condition of the appliances. If you think, that all what is needed is a paint touch-up, go in for the latest variety in paints, the kinds which are water resistant, look smart and are not very inexpensive.

On the other hand, if you think that a new look to the shelves can add to the overall appearance of your kitchen, search for some good quality marbles and other stones or wood for the purpose. However, if you think that your kitchen is being dogged by infrastructural problems, such as a leaking pipe, fix it first. Otherwise, whatever painting or touching up you might do, the effect is bound to get spoiled with the leaking pipes. In addition, even if you are working on a small budget, ensure that all the repairs which were planned have been effectively carried out. Make several rounds for supervision when the work is under progress and also once it has been completed.

There is another useful tip that comes handy especially if you want your kitchen remodeling to be done within a moderate budget. You can try to replace the small knobs, handles and other such minor items in the kitchen. Though, these are small in appearance, yet the look and shine of new knobs and handles can give a fresh look to the whole kitchen.

Most importantly, if you are the types who are careful of how much they spend, especially on their renovations, watch out for good clearance sales and discount offers. Even if you are not planning remodeling of your kitchen in the near future, it is always helpful to stock up on these for the upcoming project. This will save lots of money and will also help you plan your remodeling project with confidence.

Jerry Blackburn frequently creates detailed articles on ideas corresponding to themes for new kitchens. You can come across his articles on kitchen appliances at other sources for kitchen appliances knowledge.

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Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Dollhouse Kitchen Sets: A Comprehensive Review

The kitchen is perhaps the most enjoyable room to add furniture to in your dollhouse. Not only are there lots of options to consider, but once you are done, there are a lot of accessories you can add! As you are choosing furniture for your kitchen, here are a few questions to consider:

1. How much room do I have? Some dollhouses have areas for a very big kitchen; other dollhouses will not have very much space. If you have plenty of room, you may want to fill it with counters, islands, and maybe even a breakfast nook. If your kitchen is tiny, just stick to the essentials (a sink, a set of cupboards, and perhaps a refrigerator).

2. What “look” am I going for in the kitchen? Your kitchen can have a modern, classic, polished, homey, or rustic look, just for example. Some kitchens come with marble countertops. Other kitchen sets have beautiful, bright hand-painted décor. You may want your kitchen to look “lived in”, or you may want something more sophisticated. Explore several different types of kitchen sets; you may be surprised at what you like best!

3. What furniture items do I want in my kitchen? You will probably want either some cabinets or a kitchen hutch (or both!), along with a sink area. You might want to have a kitchen island, a built in area for certain appliances. You may want to have a kitchen table and some chairs or benches, especially if you do not have a separate dining room in the dollhouse. If you are buying a kitchen set, keep in mind that some sets have individual pieces that can be places wherever you want or need them; others include a few attached pieces with less options for rearrangement.

4. What appliances do I want in my kitchen? Options include a refrigerator or an icebox, an oven, a microwave, a toaster, or a dishwasher. If there is no separate laundry room in your dollhouse, you might be interested in having a washer and dryer in a corner of your kitchen. This question is highly dependent on what era your dollhouse is representing; a 1930s kitchen would look very different than a 1990s kitchen. (And, if your interested in a completely different time period, you may be looking for butter churners and brick-oven stoves!)

5. What kind of colors and materials do I want? Some kitchen sets are made all out of one kind of material (for example, everything is made out of wood, or all the pieces are plastic); others have a mixture (for example, wooden cabinets with a plastic refrigerator). The most common type of material in a kitchen set is wood, either painted white or stained a certain color (oak, maple, walnut, pine, cherry). There are many types of hand-painted kitchen sets, either plain (all painted blue or black, for example), or decorated. You can purchase kitchen sets that are very simple in terms of style and materials, or very polished (you can buy furniture with marble countertops, stylized cabinets, or padded chairs). Just keep your desired style and your budget in mind as you shop around.

6. How will I want to accessorize the kitchen? Keep in mind as you are choosing your furniture what you will want to add to it: will you want to cabinets full of food? Are you planning to purchase a set of dollhouse china? Pots and pans? As you think about what you will want to add as accessories, make sure there will be places to display these items in your kitchen.

By: dolly c

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Friday, 17 October 2008

The Skill of Knife Sharpening

Years ago, knife sharpening involved putting a knife on a traditional bench stone. Although bench stones are still available and used by many, there are also a variety of tools made specifically for the sharpening of knives, scissors or any cutting device. The type of knife sharpener you use will depend on the cutting device you have and the desired result.

Grinding wheels are often used for sharpening knives. They have abrasive grains that actually chip away at parts of the blade to sharpen the knife. Grinding wheels use different abrasive substances for sharpening. The most common material used in grinding wheels is aluminum oxide. The different varieties of oxide are designated by a number and letter behind their name. Aluminum is the most preferred substance and is used for sharpening bronze, wrought iron, steel and iron. Zirconia alumina is also a very effective substance for the grinding wheel. It's a mixture of aluminum and zirconium oxide that is excellent for many steels and alloys. Next to aluminum oxide, it is the most used for grinding wheels.

One of the newer materials being used in grinding wheels is ceramic aluminum oxide. This strong substance is used when the goal is extreme precision. Ceramic aluminum oxide is usually blended with other abrasive materials. The material that ceramic aluminum oxide is blended with depends on what it will be used to sharpen.

Grinding wheels come in many different shapes, with the straight wheel being the most common. Cylinder wheels are also common. Straight wheels have front facing cutting edges whereas cylinders have their cutting device on the front of the cylinder. Grinding wheels have different grit sizes, which are determined by what type of work you are doing. The lower the number, the coarser the grain wheel will be. A larger number with a finer grainer is going to be more effective for getting a good finish on a knife.

A bench grinder is another method used to sharpen knives. This inexpensive tool is good for sharpening not just knives, but also cutters, drill bits and other hand tools. Bench grinders have wheels that are available in six or ten inch diameters with motors from 1/3 to one horsepower. Bench grinders are most efficient and accurate when they are mounted on the workbench.

If you are an individual that has need for a chain saw, then you will need a sharpener for your chain saw. The most effective and easy way to sharpen a chain saw is with an automatic sharpener. When the wheel is lowered, the chain gets locked in place to avoid injury. Each tooth is individually sharpened, but automatic sharpeners will do a uniform job. Manual sharpeners may be less expensive, but they will do as good of a job as an automatic sharpener.

Jerry Blackburn regularly edits informative papers on areas similar to sharpen drill bits by hand. You can have a look at his articles on how to sharpen a drill bit over at and various other sources for how to sharpen a drill bit news.

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Monday, 13 October 2008

Kitchen Carts – Your Helpers In The Kitchen

Many people love to cook but don’t do it because they don’t love their kitchen. Often times the major problem is counter space. While you would love to be spreading out all the ingredients to prepare a full meal, you just don’t have the space to put everything you need. At least, not until you discover kitchen carts.

While you have seen kitchen carts in restaurants and hotels, they are not just for large, active kitchens. Kitchen carts can also come in extremely handy in a home kitchen. Think of the extra surface space that can be offered on the top of kitchen carts. That is a lot more prep area than you currently have and you will be able to rejoice in the fact that you can actually set all the ingredients and kitchen aids you need out, without the frustration of having to stack them on top of one another.

But kitchen carts offer much more help than just counter space in the kitchen. As the name implies, kitchen carts are carts. That means they generally have castors or wheels on the bottom and can be easily rolled around. Kitchen carts are something like floating countertops that can move around the kitchen with you. Think about having kitchen carts as a moving cutting board. Some of them even have built in cutting boards and knife holders so they are ready to go to work when you are. You can chop the items on the kitchen cart surface in one area, roll the cart over to the boiling pot and pop them in, then roll it back to the sink for clean up. Many kitchen carts even have removable tops so you can quickly spray them off and soap them up in the sink.

When you are not preparing a meal, kitchen carts can also double as serving carts. You can load up the items you want to take to the dining room table and simply roll dinner into the room. The kitchen carts also come in handy at the end of the meal as you can stack all the dirty plates on the cart and roll it back into the kitchen, cleaning the table off in one quick motion. If you are serving up a fresh brew for teatime, once again, you should look for kitchen carts with removable tray tops, so you have a tea tray to serve from.

While you may only have images of the chrome or steel kitchen carts that are used in restaurants and hotels in your head, kitchen carts don’t all look like that. As a matter of fact, the world of kitchen carts is as varied as the rest of the furniture world. No matter what décor you have in your home, you will likely be able to find a series of kitchen carts that go with it. From a delicate looking Victorian model for those formal tea times, to a sleek modern piece, or any of a number of country or rustic wooden kitchen carts to serve up an old-fashioned home cooked meal; kitchen carts are made to fit all home styles.

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Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Simple Kitchen Make-over - Painting Ideas

There may come a time that our kitchen requires a make-over. As our face would look good with makeup, so does our kitchen. In truth, many individuals are now resorting to painting their kitchen instead of renovating it. It's an inexpensive way to give you kitchen a completely new look.

Tools Of The Trade

There are 3 types of painting tools that you will need on this project. You have the paint brush, spray gun, and a roller.

A brush is the most common tool in painting your kitchen walls and cabinets, but can leave marks on larger areas when done incorrectly, and using a brush takes some time in painting the kitchen. A spray gun is fast but expensive to use. You need to take some extra precaution to avoid accidentally spraying on surrounding areas. You may need to cover them with newspapers so you won't leave any stains in its wake.

The best choice in painting your kitchen would be a roller. Then can cover a lot of area in a short period of time. You may have to resort to a paint brush on hard to reach places like the insides of the cabinet and so on.


Before painting your kitchen, you might need to remove appliances and cover up fixtures to avoid accidental paint jobs. Cover the countertops, tables, and chairs to avoid them being dripped on with excess paint.

For a complete and professional paint job, you might want to remove kitchen and cabinet doors so that you can paint all the sides. You might need to mark them well so that you can easily fix them back when you're done.

Rather than painting the entire kitchen with a single color, you can vary them to provide a flexible design. You can paint the cabinets with a different color than that of the walls; but it's best to be sure that their hues are compatible so not to appear slapdash.

Finishing Touches

You can apply finishing touches after giving your kitchen a thorough paint job. You can go for different finishes and experiment with each one on which would look best with the new color and theme of your kitchen. You can even utilize the use of a stencil to give it a dreamy look and elegant taste.

By: Tim Lee

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Saturday, 4 October 2008

Saving Money in the Kitchen

You spend $200 on the week's groceries, pay $100 in electricity bills, and spend another $80 on gas. Over the year, it adds up to thousands of dollars spent on food and food preparation. Surely there must be a way to cut back-but few people know how to go about it. How do you minimize food spending without going hungry or sacrificing meal quality? it's easier than you think-here are some tips to help you get started.

Plan, plan, plan. It may sound clichéd, but planning is the key to a well-run kitchen. Set aside 30 minutes to one hour every week to write a weekly menu and make a shopping list. That way, you can avoid or at least control impulse buys at the grocery. Let your kids take part in the planning so they'll still enjoy the meals.

Cut down on meat. Meat costs more to grow, transport and cook than vegetables. You don't have to go vegan today, but you can try replacing one meat dish a day with a vegetarian one. It won't only save you money, it's also a great way to control your weight and improve your health.

Use those leftovers. If you're throwing out half your dinner every night, you're throwing away hundreds of dollars a year. Use leftover meats and veggies to prepare sandwiches, salads, or side dishes the following day. Better yet, watch everyone's serving portions and avoid wastage by cooking just enough for everyone.

Try crock pot cooking. Crock pots allow you to use cheaper meat cuts, so you can slash down your grocery expenses. They also use up less power-even if they run on electricity, the low, constant temperature makes a minimum impact on your electricity bill. You can use crock pots to make breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert.

Look for sale items. It's common knowledge that most foods on sale are nearing their expiry dates. But that shouldn't be a problem if they're not staying more than two days in the fridge. Look around for still-usable ingredients that you can get on sale-it can save you up to $50 in one trip.

Simon Burke loves to cook delicious and nutritious meals for his family. And luckily for us he also enjoys sharing his cooking experiences and recipes with the rest of us. For more information on budget cooking, click here.

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