Saturday, 21 March 2009

Sink Choices For Granite Worktops

Finding a new sink to go with your granite worktops can sometimes seem like a minefield and this isn't helped by some kitchen companies giving poor advice possibly because they have a particular product they want to sell you!

The first thing you should consider is how you use your sink. Sounds a daft question but some people put the washing up in the dishwasher so their needs would be different to someone who washes a lot of dishes in the sink. In terms of design/function there are some people who can't see the point in the ½ bowl while others could not live without it plus some people dry everything immediately and others leave it to drain itself.With solid surface kitchen worktops like granite, you have the option of either sit on sinks (inset), under-mounted sinks, butler sinks(Belfast) or even complete work surface sinks (roll tops).

Inset sinks are put into a hole from above the worktop so that they sit just over the edge of the worktop which means the granite's hole edge does not have to be polished making the cut out cheaper to do. The size and number of bowls you can have will depend on the cabinets that you have underneath the worktop. If the sink is going above a 500mm cabinet then you are limited to a largish single bowl. The drainer can go over whatever is next to it e.g the dishwasher. If you have a 600mm base then you have room for a bowl and a half bowl plus drainer providing you have the area on the worktop. If the worktop is particularly shallow front to back and the sink is large it may mean having to have bars/slips in the granite as this is more structurally sound. ( Also if the worktop is longer than the granite company can supply then this can be a good place to hide the join - unlike laminate worktops there is no danger of the granite "blowing")

There are a huge range of sit on sinks available now, something for every budget and taste. They can be a really sensible and practical option but this does not mean that they can't be stylish.

A lot of people who are having granite or solid surface worktop go for an under-mounted sink because it proves that they have got granite because you cannot have an under-mounted sink with a traditional laminate worktop. They do look very neat because there is nothing above the worktop apart from any tap, filter tap or push button. They are set underneath the worktop and the worktop is cut and then polished so that there is a nice smooth edge into the top of the sink. Due to the extra work in polishing the cut out this works out more expensive than having a sit on sink. Other possible extra costs include a set of draining grooves and tap hole. The price will rise with the number of polished cut outs, sets of grooves and tap holes you have. As with sit on sinks the size of sink/s you can have will depend largely on the base unit below. If you want a bowl and a half but with two separate cut outs then you could consider the Blanco Ypsilon 340 - U and the Blanco Jota 160 - U. These two sinks will fit into a 600mm base.

As with many things at the moment people are working to a tight budget so it may be worth looking at a one and a half bowl but all in one. This way you only pay for one cut out. The Blanco Supreme 533- U or Franke equivalent ARX160 or the CDA Cum 16 which is more reasonably priced. Again all of these will go into a 600mm base unit.

Belfast and butler style sinks seem to go in and out of fashion. Some sit under the sink like an under-mounted sink - if this is the case then there will be similar sort of cost as with an under-mounted sink, depending on whether you have one or two sets of grooves. These days there is a lot more choice in ceramic sinks of all types so you should be able to find something to suit the dimensions that you have. If the worktop is shallow or the sink is s double one it may well be that you will have to have a separate slip or bar of granite to the rear of the sink otherwise this piece could break.

If the sink sits so that it overlaps the granite it would mean that the cut out doesn't have to be polished thus making the overall price cheaper. There are also some farmhouse styles sinks which sit completely from front to back of the worktop with no worktop behind them - in this case the granite butts up to the side which means there is no cost for a cut out at all. These sorts of sinks can look a bit too imposing if the kitchen is very small.

Complete worktop sink and roll top sinks went out of fashion for many years but have made a huge comeback in recent years , particularly in contemporary kitchens. They are hugely practical and make a massive statement. A run of steel contrasted with strong coloured units will have a huge impact - although they can be quite costly to buy they do save you in granite cost!

If in any doubt about what would work best for you don't be afraid to talk to your granite/worktop supplier for best advice.

Affordable Granite Ltd are based in Surrey but they install granite worktops all over the UK with a bespoke templating service

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Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Kitchen Remodeling - Improve the Countertops and Sinks

Every kitchen should be built with convenience and ease-of-use. If you did not have the good fortune of building your own home then you may have a kitchen that is less than desirable to spend time in. This article will help you spruce it up and add some things that will make spending time in the kitchen a lot more enjoyable.

The two biggest things that you can do to help improve on any kitchen remodeling project are the counter space and the sinks and faucets. Of course nice appliances are always a great addition as well. However, this article will focus more on the countertops and sink.

Go for the Gusto

If you have a flexible budget, you really should consider some sort of a granite type countertop, because they're very durable and easy to keep clean. Not only will this add great benefits, but the value you and class that it adds to any kitchen are amazing.

Visit a Local Show Room

Then to complement your wonderful new countertops, you want to go to a show room and look at the many wonderful designs and deep sinks that are available. You'll spend much of your time washing off dishes cleaning utensils and washing your hands.

Once you've picked out your sink then you want to find a complementary faucet. One of my favorite types of faucets has the spray nozzle that serves two purposes. The first purpose is to act as a regular faucet, but it also conveniently detaches for spraying off your dishes and then retracts back in as the faucet again.

Find more helpful remodeling tips by visiting where you will find helpful remodeling tips, advice and resources to include Kitchen Remodeling

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Monday, 16 March 2009

Kitchen Carts Are a Space Saver

To have a kitchen cart is to have additional working space and storage options. They are eye catching and will add functionality and organization to your lifestyle. And as a bonus they are available in all styles, shapes and features. Some come with a stainless steel top, some with foldaway breakfast bar or adjustable breakfast bar, adjustable shelves and drawers. Their tops can also be made of wood and be found in many colors. Don't need a rolling one? You can find stationary option as well. With a set of kitchen carts or kitchen islands the feel of the kitchen is emphasized.

The maximum expression of kitchen carts must be given to its worktop since the light that crosses the glass from outside stands out the volume of the kitchen. If the finishing of the top is marble, the material permits to obtain resistant and light colors. The structure of it can be carried out on aluminum and it is articulated. The framework of the doors can also be made of aluminum and glued to the material that characterizes the door. The worktops can be completed with electrical appliances and even sinks.

Kitchen carts must integrate the structural part of the furniture with the visual volumes of the architecture to obtain a domestic habitat object. Obtaining one must be inspiring and must adapt to the behaviors and customs of each one of the users. Some recall the culture of the classical decorations with the stable play of contrast between tradition and modernity. Another manufacturer's propose a contemporary style with unique details to integrate the kitchen with the adjacent room or living room as one more element.

If what is wanted is to take advantage of all the kitchen corners, kitchen carts must permit the access to the interior of the furniture through an aerodynamic and smooth movement. In this way, the user can comfortably reach all that remains deep in the cabinet and can view everything that there is inside it.

Some kitchen carts fuse in the model of the cosmopolitan luxury and the modern design of elegant and unique form. They explore the paths of the classical style, beyond the old codes, with models that represent the universality, the harmony and the elegance of the style. Thus the tradition and contemporary unite in one model.

When purchasing kitchen carts, one must find inspiration in the pleasure of the details which must represent one's stylistic tendencies, something that shows the Joy of Living. This furniture must leave the doors open to infinite possibilities to create our own personal space and to give life to the kitchen. Who knows, we can make the elements in the it appear and disappear as the antique artisans did with their working benches. And if the one you buy has a double face, it can become a separator between the living room and the kitchen so it will show the kitchen elements on the kitchen side and electronic appliances on the living room side.

Author Jennifer Akre is an owner of a wide variety of online specialty shops including that offer both items and information on how you can easily furnish and decorate your space. Whether it is dining room furniture for your dining room or hardware for you newly remodeled home, there are many tips you can use to make any spot both functional and beautiful. Click today and indulge your senses.

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Friday, 13 March 2009

Kitchen Layout Design - Options Explored

Home is where the hearth is. This popular adage reinforces the colossal significance of the kitchen in every home. These workspaces are no longer just another neglected part of the house. In addition to providing an efficient place for the creation of sumptuous meals, modern-day kitchens have emerged as the new hubs for innovation.

Hardly a surprise that kitchen layout designs scale new heights in functional excellence and finesse with such effortless ease.

Efficiency Redefined

With lifestyles in blue-chip metros acquiring rampaging dimensions with each passing day, highly-integrated and efficient, yet trendy kitchen layouts have become more than just a style statement. So we have sleek counters, cabinets and drawers customized to fit the needs and aspirations of homeowners.

The three core work centers of the space - the sink, the refrigerator and the range must complement each other. Arrange them in a systematic manner without any obstructions in their path - decorative objects, cabinets and furniture. Above all, their arrangement must not hinder their use in anyway.

Here are a few layouts that one can explore:

  • Parallel kitchen: It's ideal for those grappling with the constraints of space. In this design, the counters and cabinets are organized on the opposite walls of the kitchen space.
  • L-shaped kitchen: It's a design that does not sacrifice easy accessibility and movement for storage options.
  • U-shaped kitchen: It's a dream design with plenty of space for storage and experimenting with your culinary skills.
  • I-shaped kitchens: A slightly-condensed version of a parallel kitchen, this one has all appliances stacked against a single wall.
  • Island kitchen: An extremely popular design, here the kitchen island takes center stage, and is used for an assortment of purposes, ranging from the preparation of meals to giving finishing touches to school homework.

The choice is endless, but the common thread that runs through them is promoting efficiency and judicious utilization of space.

The super easy way to generate 100's of *positively* fabulous Kitchen Backsplash Design Ideas ... f--a--s--t ! It's a lot easier than you think. See

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Thursday, 12 March 2009

Wall Pot Racks - The Kitchen You Always Desired

What can most of us say and recall about our first apartments? Some of our great memories revolve around them. If you think back, you were learning and experimenting as each day went by. You had finally reached adulthood and were out on your own. You wanted to make this place a wonderful haven to come home to. A place that was warm and inviting but organized and uncluttered.

The room that seemed to be at the heart of your home was the kitchen. This room held sweet aromas and was also the gathering place for those who would drop by. For my situation it happened to be the smallest of spaces for the many tasks at hand that took place in this room. It seemed I had many more pots and pans and gadgets than this kitchen could hold. Hearing from others, even if you are lucky to have a good size kitchen, it seemed that you could never have enough space.

Along with the necessary organization that is needed, you also want this area to be as attractive as possible. This does not have to be a difficult task. With a few creative ideas this can be accomplished.

My first kitchen had four small cabinets, two drawers and a small amount of counter space. It seemed that every time I opened a cabinet something else broke or chipped. If I didn't do something soon I would have nothing left. My cabinets were overflowing.

I still desired that open look and feel of this room and did not want to give that up. What was needed was to free up some space and update my kitchen at the same time. What I needed was a functional eye catching feature that enhanced the atmosphere of the room.

After searching through home decorating magazines, the internet and stores, I finally came upon a great discovery. My discovery was the wall pot rack. Pot racks serve three main purposes at the same time. They are decorative, add much needed space and keep your pots and pans at arms reach. These little details help make the difference between a boring and non-personalized kitchen as compared to an organized and comfortable looking kitchen.

One of my pot racks hung between my two cabinets and the other pot rack I placed over the kitchen island. Choosing a highly contrasting finish to my other decor made a more stunning effect and these became the focal point of the room.

One of the pot racks came with lights aiming downward. This helped illuminate and added an ambiance to my working space. The other wall pot rack had shelves that I kept my cook books, utensils, herbs and oils and decorative nick knacks. Both pot racks had grids that allowed me to adjust the hooks for hanging my pans in the formation that was most convenient. These pot racks were capable of folding up, as well, if not in use.

The most rewarding attributes that the wall pot racks presented upon me was that I became less frustrated. Preparing meals became fun and not time consuming. A great benefit that goes along with serving their function, I noticed that I loved looking over at my pot racks and realizing how beautiful my cookware looked on display.

My wall pot racks prevented the wear and tear pot and pans get from stacking them inside of each other in lower kitchen cabinets. This will add years to the life of my cookware.

If your kitchen storage space has become over crowded, I strongly suggest considering a wall pot rack. It will make your life easier and the result will be that dream kitchen you have always desired.

Barbara Tobiasz is an expert in interior/exterior decorating. Along with her husband Joe, they own and operate For more information on Wall Pot Racks, go to:

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Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Kitchen Decor - Creating a Kitchen You Will Love

The kitchen is a place where you should go to enjoy cooking meals for your family. By adding some nice décor items to your kitchen, you can spice up the look and make it a happy place to be when you prepare your meals. This article will take a look at a couple of suggestions you might try to add the perfect look to your kitchen.

If you have the luxury of having some extra room in your kitchen, one of the most decorative things you can do as well as add some usefulness to your kitchen is the ad hanging pots and pans from your ceiling. Not only does this add to the décor of your kitchen. It also makes life much more convenient when you cook meals.

The first thing that you want to do is sit down and write out your interest. Do you enjoy the outdoors or do you enjoy animals. Whatever it is that you get the most joy out of that should be what you build your theme around.

Once you have created a good theme for your kitchen décor, and you're ready to go shopping - it's time to save some money. There are so many wonderful buys out there. If you're looking to buy near the end of the year there are so many stores that will have closeouts and bargain bins to choose wonderful items from.

Of course many people always keep the theme of their kitchen in mind and will look for items when they're on vacation or other places. Some of the most popular places to find good kitchen décor items will be at a country farm or if you're visiting the coast.

If you need more helpful Home Decor information try visiting, a website that specializes in providing helpful home decor tips, advice, and resources to include Kitchen Décor.

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Saturday, 7 March 2009

How to Buy Kitchen Lighting

How to choose the right lighting for your kitchen - check out these great tips from the experts -

Your kitchen needs to be practical, sociable and comfortable, so planning the right lighting scheme is essential. We've given you a few tips on lighting different areas and creating different moods.

Recessed into the ceiling or on a track, these are great for ambient and task lighting. Don't just fit them in a grid - plan their layouts so they illuminate certain areas such as hobs or islands.

Cupboard lighting
Glass-fronted cupboards lit within by LEDs or a fluorescent tube create an atmospheric look, while cupboards with solid doors benefit from sensor-activated lights that come on when you open them.

Plinth lights
Concealed lighting along the bottom panel of cupboards will flood the floor with light, making the room seem larger. Some plinths come ready-fitted with lights, or you'll need to fix a length of low-voltage strip.

Over Counter lights
Task lighting should illuminate what you're doing, but worktops can fall into shadow when you stand between them and the ceiling light. Go for lights built into units or buy strip lighting and position where needed.

Kitchen lighting safety
Regarding lighting in the kitchen, Jim Speirs, director general of NICEIC (an independent regulatory body for electrical installation safety) recommends applying care and attention to the design and installation of switches. 'Make sure any switches are fitted at least 300mm away from the sink and taps to stop water coming into contact with electricity,' he says. If you have any safety queries about lighting installation in the kitchen, visit or call 0870 013 0391.

Mood Lighting
Mood lighting is used to create atmosphere and can be achieved in a variety of ways from uplighters on cabinet tops to LEDs set into an island. For greater control over light levels, also consider fitting dimmers.

Task Lighting
To create a safe kitchen environment, work surfaces and food preparation areas need to be effectively lit. Don't rely on general light from in front or behind, as this will cast shadows. Instead, ensure that light is situated so that it shines directly down onto the worktop. You can do this by using low-voltage lights recessed directly into the underside of units or lights fitted centrally over an island.

Feature Lighting
Lighting can be a dramatic focal point in itself, for example, a striking row of pendants over a dining table, or spots that emphasize an object in the kitchen. Glass-fronted cupboards can be internally lit to show off glassware or glass shelves can be lit from above or below to draw attention to decorative items.

LEDs (light emitting diodes) are the latest revolution in kitchen lighting, and contain a tiny chip (diode) that directly converts electricity to light. They have a life of between 50,000 and 100,000 hours and produce very little heat, making them much safer than standard bulbs. LEDs can be used to create task, mood and feature lighting. Jane Stewart, design director at Mowlem & Co says, 'We do suggest LED plinth lighting quite often as it can create a beautiful link between the furniture and the floor.'

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, 5 March 2009

Small Kitchen Remodeling Can Be Fun

When it comes to kitchens most people want as much space and convenience as possible. However having a nice large kitchen may not always be an option for many people. If you happen to be in a home with a small kitchen then possibly some remodeling is in order. This article will look at a couple of tips you may want to consider in doing your next project.

If you have never gone around and looked at the Street of dreams or anything, where they have beautiful homes open for people to look through then you really should do this. One of the things you may notice right off is how beautiful and elegant the kitchens are. Although most of these kitchens may be much larger than what you currently have, you can still get a lot of good ideas.

The next time you're out looking around at some open homes or a local Street of dreams you might want to ask yourself this question. What are some of the key characteristics in that kitchen, besides its size, that really made it feel comfortable to you. You may discover that it's just the convenience of how they have some of their appliances or some of the décor. There's no reason why you cannot have some really nice appliances figured in to your small kitchen remodeling plans.

Small kitchen remodeling can still be fun and cost-effective if you do a little bit of shopping around. Be sure to take your time and draw up some good plans so that you know exactly what you want to put into your next project.

Find more helpful remodeling tips by visiting where you will find helpful remodeling tips, advice and resources to include Small Kitchen Remodeling.

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Sunday, 1 March 2009

Restaining Kitchen Cabinets: Step by Step

Have you been thinking that it's time to update your tired old kitchen? Kitchen renovations are among the most popular projects commonly undertaken by homeowners. One of the reasons this is such a popular project is that so much of our time is spent in the kitchen. Kitchen renovations are also one of the best ways to increase the value of your home. Whether you've got a hefty budget or hardly any budget at all, restaining kitchen cabinets can revitalize even the most exhausted kitchen dcor.

First things first; before we can add a fresh coat of stain, finish or paint, we must remove as much of the old finish as possible. Unless the old finish is completely removed the new stain will not be able to penetrate into the grain the way it is supposed to.

To strip kitchen cabinets of their old finish, use a wood stripping solvent. These can be found in any home improvement or hardware store. Simply take a little time to compare the different products. For the most part, wood stripper is wood stripper, but there are some specialty products that may or may not be more effective for the particular type of wood or finish that you're working with.

You'll want to pour the wood stripper stuff into bowl type of container if it doesn't already come that way. Apply the stripping solvent to the kitchen cabinets using a paint brush. You'll soon notice that the solution becomes rather thick and even a bit bubbly. This is the finish dissolving and coming out of the wood.

Here's what makes restaining kitchen cabinets so much fun: Now you must remove the stripping solvent and finish mixture using any means necessary. You'll want to scrape the flat surfaces with something flat and metallic, but you will probably need to use some flexible scouring pads or cloth to get into the crevices and remove all the goop.

You may very well have to apply and scrape off the wood striper more than once. Especially with very old wood whose finish has been touched up countless times over the years, it is possible that some old finish will remain after one stripping session. Of course, the longer you leave the solution on, the more finish it will remove in a session.

It's not a bad idea to rub down the wood with some mineral spirits or even soapy water where the stripping goop remains. Then allow the cabinets to dry thoroughly before even thinking about moving on the staining portion or your project.

When the cabinets have dried completely, begin to apply your stain. Only application and your own eyes can tell you if you'll need more than one coat of stain. If you want the color more vibrant, apply more stain. Unlike finishing materials, you don't have to wait for stain to dry completely before adding more, but it is a good idea to let it soak in all the way before deciding if it needs more stain.

Wipe excess stain from the wood with a clean cloth. Be sure to finish your creation off with a good finish or other wood protecting material to keep your new kitchen cabinets looking great for years to come.

About The Author:
Shemika Harroun is the Editor and Publisher of Article Click. For more FREE articles for your ezine and websites visit -