Kitchen Renovation Tips

November 26th, 2011 | Comments »

If you’re thinking about renovating your kitchen and have done any research at all, you probably know that choosing kitchen cabinets is not the easiest on you or your bank account. Kitchen cabinets cost a lot, and the choices can be limitless, depending on what you’re looking for. However don’t be too overwhelmed as the right cabinets will make your kitchen a warm & comfortable space. The kitchen is often known as the place where everyone gathers and creating your own look and feel is half the fun. You just need to be aware of your options before heading for the home improvement store or custom cabinetmaker.

Renovating your kitchen can add ease to your lifestyle and value to your home. Here are some of the most important things to consider when you’re updating your kitchen.

1 Use quality materials.
-quality drawer slides and hinges mean cabinet doors will stay closed and drawers won’t stick. Stay away from drawers that are made of particleboard. For cabinet interiors, wood veneer is more durable than melamine, laminate, MDF or particleboard. 2 Determine cabinet heights. 
If you have eight-foot ceilings, choose cabinets that go to the ceiling. They offer more storage, enabling you to use extra wall space for artwork or open shelves. If your ceilings are higher than eight feet, leave 15 to 18 inches above the cabinets.

3 Decide whether to paint or stain. 
Though stained-wood cabinetry is forgiving, most finishes date quickly and aren’t easily altered. Brush-painted cabinets can lend a unique personality. 

4 Select an elegant countertop. 
White Carrara marble and stained wood add elegance and warmth. Slate, soapstone and  limestone are also great choices that can offer a sophisticated look.

5 Install an island that works. 
Beware of placing a bulky cube in the middle of the room. Islands that have an open, airy look are ideal, and should be unencumbered by appliances, but if you want it to house a dishwasher-sink combo or a cooktop, try to maintain alight look.

6 Don’t overdo the details. 
Design accents such as pediments over stoves and plaster mouldings on cabinet fronts can represent decorative excess. Remember that the style of your kitchen should be compatible with the rest of your home. 

7 Avoid maintenance nightmares.
Natural surfaces with inherent texture — slate, terra-cotta, brick and tumbled marble — are more difficult to clean but camouflage the odd crumb. Smooth surfaces in light colours, such as white laminate counters or ceramic floors, are easy to clean but show everything. And as much as we love stainless steel, it’s not easy to keep smudge-free.

8 Stick to basic appliances. 
Instead of lots of appliances and gadgets, consider selecting a few reliable basics. For example, a commercial-quality stainless-steel range makes an interesting focal point and takes up less space than separate wall ovens and a cooktop.

9 Add interest. 
Your kitchen should reflect you, not look like a showroom. Before designing the space, search for a piece of unique furniture and use it in your design.

Holiday Gift Wrapping

November 18th, 2011 | Comments »

Honestly I sat down to write this weeks blog and was a little confused on where to start.  With all the trends I’m seeing this holiday season there’s just so much to choose from; Vintage classic colours, bold & bright, whites & metals.

Anyway I thought I’d just review some holiday wrapping ideas that you can use no matter what colour trend you’re drawn to.

The first idea I love because it’s simple and fun… all you need are a variety of white boxes.  You can use different sizes of the same shape or get a few different shapes.  The only other thing you require is coloured masking tape.  Try different colours and different widths to change up the look.

Next we’re talking reduce, reuse, recycle.  Save some of the Saturday & Sunday comics for a couple months and you’ll have a great selection of some options to choose from. Add some coloured ribbon to make the comics come to life and you’re ready to go.

FUN FUN FUN!  That’s what’s comes to mind when I look at the next idea…. again we’re using simple white boxes.  However this time includes a little arts and crafts. All you need is some construction paper your choice. (Obviously it needs to be long enough or wide enough, though you can always attach some pieces together.)  Next take a hole punch and make a pattern, what every you feel like.  The other option is folding the paper in half and cutting a pattern like we did when we made snow flakes when we were younger.

Last but not least… my favourite.  Haven’t seen this before but LOVE the idea. Again white boxes would be great, however any solid colour box or bag would work for this.   All you’ll need is string, a hole punch and colour paint chips of your choice.  Adding a punch of colour through paint chips is something fun and different, and gives you the opportunity to write a little message.  With all the great colour names out there these days, you can also use some of the names as clues to the presented or as a play on words.

What ever you choose, remember to have fun!  As we said the colours this season is anything goes… so if you’re in the mood for traditional, bold, metalics or even something modern you’ll have your pick.

Home Decorating 101 (Part III)

November 11th, 2011 | Comments »


In Part III of our Home Decorating series we’re going to look handy measurements for home decorating. When decorating your home many measurements will be required.  You’ll need to know whether furniture will fit where you want it, how wide and long you’ll need need your window coverings and how much paint you’ll need to make the change you’ve been looking for.   So with that in mind here are a few tips to help you figure out what you need to measure and how to calculate quantities:

  • To find a room’s overall square footage you will multiply the room’s length by it’s width and then squaring it. (this is the area)  By calculating your square footage it will help in figuring out if a piece of furniture will fit into you space.  (Not to mention that it will assist with estimating quantities & prices.)
  • To figure out how many gallons of paint you’ll need you want to add the areas of the ceiling and the walls. Next you’ll divide this number by the spreading rate (located on the can); if you’re going from like to dark double the amount for a second coat.  If the surface is porous you may need 25% more paint.
    • Another easy thing to remember is that a gallon of paint covers approx 450 sq ft. (It will depend on the colour and if you’re covering a dark or light colour.)
  • Determine how many gallons of paint you need in order to paint a ceiling by measuring your floor’s length and width, multiplying them and then squaring the numbers. Divide this number by the spreading rate, which once again you’ll find on the can.
  • Average ceiling are approximately 8 feet high. Tall ceilings range from 10-12 ft or more. Low ceilings are anything under 8 feet.  Use decorating techniques such as colour, texture and or pattern to make the most of the space.
  • To establish the amount of tile you need you’ll want to divide the width of the floor by the width of the tile and the length of the floor by the height of the tile.  A good tip… be sure to buy 10 % more tiles than need to allow for breakage and error.
  • Be sure to add walk-around and breathing space between pieces of furniture to avoid clutter.  Between chairs and sofas in seating groups you’ll want to allow anywhere from 2-5 feet. When it comes to the bedroom you’ll want to leave approximately a foot around your bed for sheet changing and walking room.  For overall traffic flow in a space you’ll want to leave 4-5 feet of clear walking space.
  • When determining wall space you want to measure from floor to ceiling.

This concludes our 3 part series on Home Decorating 101… hopefully you’ve found some easy tips and tricks to get you through the decorating basics. From colour, texture & patterns to measurements we’ve give you a little something in many areas you’ll need to get started or get you through.  Good luck and remember you should be having fun when you’re making these changes.