Space-Saving Cabinet Design in Smaller Kitchens

For many people, the idea of a dream kitchen conjures up images of a vast space, bright and airy, and with enough storage space to ensure there is never any clutter. While this may be the fantasy, the reality is that, for most of us, the kitchen will often be smaller than we would prefer.

That doesn’t mean that it can’t still be an inviting, clutter-free space that we still want to cook and socialize in as often as we can. To help achieve this, bespoke cabinet design performs two roles.

By adding real beauty that perfectly suits the style of your home and incorporating innovative storage concepts that help maximize space, custom cabinet design has already helped countless homeowners to stop wishing for a larger kitchen.

By taking advantage of smartly designed cabinets and utilizing other space-saving tips, even the smallest kitchens can be made to look and feel more spacious than they really are.

The space race

Incorporating innovations such as diagonally sliding corner drawers or pullout shelves means bespoke cabinet design can already maximize the kitchen space available. However, to really make the most of what you have, it’s a good idea to occasionally see if you really need it all.

By going through your utensils and appliances with a critical eye and removing what you haven’t used for a long time or are unlikely to use again, the space saved can be put to far better use by items that are currently cluttering your countertops.

However full your cabinets may be, they will never make your kitchen feel small. Visible clutter will. Ensuring no space is wasted in your cabinetry will help to keep your smaller kitchen more orderly, which in turn helps with the feeling of space.

Countering clutter

While bespoke cabinet design can help to boost storage space, and only storing what you need helps to maximize it further, it may still be impossible to fit everything in there. For clutter still left on the countertop of a smaller kitchen, other space-saving methods may be necessary.

Bare walls can certainly help to create a feeling of space in a kitchen when everything else is in order, but sometimes they are better utilized as an extra storage option.

Pot racks can be wall mounted to help keep countertops uncluttered while similar solutions can be found for utensils and other items. Metallic strips for knives are unobtrusive and safe while small wooden shelves can be used for spice jars.

Finding alternative storage spaces for as many items as possible will keep your smaller kitchen looking as spacious as it can, helping to accentuate the bespoke cabinet design even further.

Cabinetry that conceals

Whether bespoke cabinet design or not, the primary use of any cabinetry is to conceal and keep your kitchen tidy. For most people, this means appliances and utensils. However, with uniquely imagined features bringing more versatility to modern kitchen designs, it’s now possible to add larger pieces of furniture to smaller kitchens.

Alcoves built into a counter can turn it into a part-time breakfast bar, with the stools concealed when not in use. Cabinet design is also seeing more roll-out cabinets or tables that can be put back in their own recess when not in use. Wall-mounted drop-down tables are another great space-saving idea that can be incorporated in the bespoke cabinets of a smaller kitchen.

While many people’s vast, bright and airy dream kitchen may not yet be a reality for them, there’s no reason why a smaller space has to be any more cluttered. With the innovation brought by bespoke cabinet design and the implementation of a few further space-saving tips, even the smallest kitchens can be made into places you’ll want to cook and socialize in as much as possible.

Electrical Safety Tips – Being a Responsible Home Owner

Ensuring that your home is electrically safe is vital for keeping your loved ones and property away from dangers such as electrical house fires, electrocution and other such accidents.

Electricity is dangerous and can be lethal when not treated with the due care and respect. If you aren’t familiar with the way domestic electrical systems and appliances work, it is absolutely crucial to use the services of a qualified electrician, and not do any of the check-ups, maintenance and repairs on your own as this may result in serious injury and extensive property damage caused by fires and explosions.

Some of the tell-tale signs of faults and issues in the average house electrical system are:

  • Flickering light fixtures

If you see a light that’s flickering, dimming and then brightening up, or otherwise behaving strangely, then you definitely have a problem to look into.

  • Hot switches

If you come across a light switch that’s heating up, then you have a wiring problem which can lead to shorts and cause bigger issues – don’t ignore the problem.

  • Hot/wobbly power outlets

Power outlets can get hot when there is either too much current running through them, or when they are wobbly – thus they aren’t fitted and fastened properly to the wall. This can cause electrocution or a fire so take measures timely.

  • Hot extension cords

Extension cords are for temporary use only and have different power rating thus they are meant to handle a certain amount of current or wattage running through them. A hot extension cord may be overloaded or damaged so replace it.

Note: A warm dimmer switch is not a problem, unless it is actually too hot to touch. Dimmer switches usually make use of a resistor material which is meant to reduce current thus turning it into heat energy which warms up the face plate of the dimmer switch.

NB: If you don’t seem to visually locate a specific electrical problem with your wiring, switches or power points, but your circuit breakers are still tripping, then you should stop resetting the system immediately i.e. stop lifting up the breaker, but cut off power and call in for qualified assistance.

All of the typical issues listed above, including the continuously tripping circuit breaker can be taken care of by a reasonably knowledgeable handyman i.e. yourself. No matter what you intend to do in terms of repairs, fixes and replacements, you must switch off power to the entire house before tweaking about with the electrical system.

Advice for households with young children:

Young children and electricity don’t really go well together. Children do not have the common sense and knowledge to protect themselves from electricity, but they have all the curiosity and mischief to get themselves in real trouble.

  • First and foremost – block up unused power points using a power point cap. A cap will prevent a child from sticking their fingers and other household items in the power outlet.
  • Hide all extension cords and install control panels such as light switch boards, dimmers, AC control panels etc. beyond the reach of young children.
  • Teach children about electricity and make them understand that it can be lethal when mistreated. Ask your child to report to you if they see something wrong with parts of the electrical system around the house like a wobbly power point, a flickering light etc. but instruct them first not to touch anything.
  • It is absolutely vital to forbid children from bringing and using any type of appliance in the bathroom and toilet, even when the power system of the house and the appliance itself are working properly.

Storms and protection from lightning electricity:

  • In the case of severe storms, children should stay inside the house at all times in order to protect them from being struck by lightning.
  • Children should not touch or use house appliances during a storm, especially if the house doesn’t have the best lightning protection.
  • If the house does not have proper lightning protection, you are risking a house fire – do not leave children alone inside the house under these circumstances.

Five Things to Think About When Shopping for Granite Countertops

Though they used to be associated only with very expensive houses, granite countertops have become a popular option for many homes. They are a sure sign that the homeowner is a style-conscious individual. To shop responsibly, you need to be granite-conscious because not all counters are created equal.

Machine Fabrication vs. Hand Fabrication

Stone can be worked by hand or by machine. A handcrafted finish provides a better quality product with a more expensive price tag. Machine fabrication is the faster option, but the machines fail to polish the edges as well as a trained professional. Some companies will compensate for rougher edges by waxing them, but the wax will eventually wear off. These rules may vary depending on the credibility of the company.

Though wax wears off over time, a waxed edge will cost you less money. Also, many companies that machine fabricate their stone will have an employee hand-polish it after it is cut to ensure a high-quality product. As a customer, you should be informed about how the material is processed.

Ask About Installation

Some of the larger warehouse-style suppliers do not fabricate their own stones nor do they install the finished products. They are simply suppliers for other stores, contractors, or wholesale buyers. If you are looking for a company that installs their granite countertops, you should ask before you shop.

Seams

Seams are the lines where one piece of stone meets another. Granite countertops can be fabricated individually, then assembled or vice versa. The edges will look better if it is assembled first, but this is more difficult for the craftsperson, which means it will be more expensive. It is important to ask if your craftsperson uses a suction-automated machine to install seams. It levels the seams better by holding the granite in place during fabrication.

Thickness

Typically, counters are around two or three centimeters thick. For a kitchen application, you should insist on three-centimeter granite. Two-centimeter thick stone is 70% more likely to break. Bathroom applications, on the other hand, tend to be smaller, so the thinner, less expensive stone should be fine.

Two-inch (or five-centimeter) pieces are also available though they are less common and quite expensive. They are desired for the ability to build a contoured edge with the increased amount of space.

Another consideration is color. Darker colored stone is typically easier to find in thicker slabs. Due to its mineral composition, this natural material comes in a variety of colors and can be customizable to your design plan.

Overhang

This is the amount of the material that hangs over the edge of the counter’s base. Overhang is popular for uses such as kitchen islands, because it is an easy way to create more space. If you pick a thinner slab of stone, however, you might need to brace underneath the overhang to prevent it from breaking.

Granite countertops have quickly become one of the most popular options for kitchens and bathrooms. Though they might all seem similar, these differences can affect price, appearance, and durability.

Master Electricians Can Help You Turn the Light on a Better Mood

When it comes to their mood, people are often surprised to find that something as simple as the environment in which they are located in can have a huge effect. Scientists have found that the music one listens to, the ambient sounds of a room and even the colours of the wall or lights within a room can have a positive or negative effect on the mood, bringing great joy or seeding the room’s occupant spiralling into a state of melancholy. Lately, as people have been changing the lights both in their homes and in the office, master electricians have been taking note on just how the colours of these lights can affect a person’s mood. In studies conducted by Ohio University and the Salk Institute researchers found that master electricians were not simply cashing in on a consumer trend but that there was a legitimate scientific connection between the colour of light in a room and the mood of the people within.

Blue is Bad

According to the research conducted by the scientists at the above institutions, the human eye is especially sensitive to light of a blue or white hue. Extensive exposure to these colours can lead to depression like symptoms in individuals. As such, many offices are now switching over to newer, non-fluorescent lights, in an attempt to lighten the mood in the workplace and increase productivity.

Red is Righteous

If you were to ask a master electrician the most common colour to be installed in clubs and restaurants, venues that are meant to make people feel happy and relaxed, he or she would probably tell you that this colour is red. In a recent study conducted by the Salk Institute, scientists found that people’s eyes react well to red light, especially come night fall. Out of all of the colours studied by the institute, red was shown to be the least likely to kill a person’s mood. Scientists at the Salk Institute now suggest that nightlight users forgo use of blue or white lights and stick to red, as it is a more psychologically appealing colour.

Those who are looking to improve the mood in their home via lighting but don’t want that newly improved vibe to be brought down by the strain of an empty wallet due to installation costs and a rising electric bill should have a talk with one of the local highly related master electricians.

Advantages of Installing an Above Ground Pool

Above ground pools are equipped with some good features supporting their demand in the market. They have almost all the qualities that an in-ground swimming pool has. And, if you are planning to own the one, you definitely need to know more about it. This article reveals some advantages of installing these swimming pools to help you take the decision properly.

Cost Effective

One of the major advantages of installing an above ground pool is its cost. Simply, if compared to an in-ground pool, it saves you thousands of bucks. The reason is clearly visible. Smaller ones require less maintenance equipment, fewer chemicals and above all less installation fee. Hence, the overall expense on them is low, which is a great advantage.

Easy to Install

Another benefit of installing this pool is its easy installation quality. Where an underground puddle takes months to be installed, this can be fitted in a day only. You do not need to keep your yard torn up for days or for months even. More to this, you can fit this pool using your own skills easily. So, it is just like a to-do-yourself project.

Portability

These pools enjoy the portability feature. There is no need of heavy construction in installing it. So, if you decide to move from one home to another, you can take your pool along with you. Or if you have plans to take a bath in a different view, you can move it easily and enjoy a pool bath in your favorite location.

Advanced Features

Do not judge it by its size. It has got many challenging features. In fact, almost all the characteristics that an underground pool has. You can have diving boards, waterfalls, water fountains and a lot more making your backyard experiences pleasant. Moreover, these pools come in a variety of sizes. Be it small, medium or big you have got the choices.

Less Maintenance Cost

Without any doubt, it is easy to install a pool, but it is difficult to spend on its maintenance. However, installing these smaller ones ask for low maintenance cost. The smaller the size, lesser will be the expense. Hence, depending on the size of your pool you will need to spend on its equipment like chemicals, filters, pumps, etc. And, overall expense is far less than the maintenance cost of an in-ground pool.

Don’t Overlook Laminate Countertops for Value and Beauty

Laminate is made from multiple layers of kraft paper soaked in resin to form a solid core. This is topped with a printed pattern sheet and finished with a durable melamine resin layer to protect everything below it. Heat and pressure then bond the materials together to form the finished product. The result is a 1/16 inch laminate sheet used for countertops or a 1/32 inch vertical grain sheet used for cabinet drawer faces, doors, and backsplashes.

When affixed to flat sheets of plywood or particleboard or used to create a post-formed counter, a one piece backsplash and counter, the product is easy to install in creative configurations that fit any space. Your fabricator can add an undermount sink with a special sealer that will protect the particleboard core and eliminate brown edge lines that develop on some laminates.

The Pros and Cons of Laminate Countertops

Laminate counters remain popular because they are attractive, durable, and easy to clean. On average, the installed cost is about $21.75 per square foot, with a range of $16.13 to $27.13 – a fraction of the cost of granite or other materials.

Good quality laminate has clarity of patterns and depth of color due to new printing technologies, and even comes in finishes that replicate wood or stone. Many patterns of laminate popular in the 1950s have been reissued, which makes the product an excellent choice for mid-century homes and other installations that want to capture a retro look with all the advantages of modern laminate technology.

The disadvantage of laminate is that it can burn from a hot pan, and cutting directly on the surface can leave scratch marks. The best way to coexist with and enjoy laminate countertops is to protect the surface before cutting or placing hot pans on it.

When you watch home shows on TV or read home remodeling blogs, you may pick up another disadvantage of laminate countertops, namely that they do not stand out when you are trying to sell your house. It is true that many people love to see natural stone countertops in a property they are considering, but that is an upgrade they can make later. As long as your laminate countertops are attractive and in good condition, they may not add the value that granite does, but they do not detract from the value either. The fact is that laminate countertops offer great appearance and durability as long as you treat them with care.

Install Laminate Countertops With Pride

If you are planning a kitchen remodel, don’t overlook the beauty, durability, and value of laminate countertops. Call an expert for installation on a wide range of natural stone, engineered, and laminate countertops.

How To Decorate Your Home With Polished Concrete

Polished concrete is becoming increasingly popular in homes and for good reason. The end result of this type is nothing short of luxurious. There are several ways in which polished concrete can be used to elevate the aesthetics of your house.

Read on to find out how you can incorporate polished concrete into your house to make it look more elegant and stylish.

Concrete Flooring

Polishing is a great way to improve the overall look of your house. One of the most popular methods of this flooring is diamond grinding. Polishing machines with diamond abrasives and a resin matrix are used to polish it when the floor is used by the diamond grinding method.

When they have been polished with the diamond grinding technique, you are left with a surface that is smooth and shiny. Polishing is being opted for increasingly because it is a very cost efficient way of mimicking the look of natural stone like marble and granite.

Coloring concrete flooring with stains is also a great way to make it look appealing. With acid staining, people will never have to deal with boring and dull solid-colored cement floors again! The possibilities with staining are almost endless. When stained concrete is polished, the floor not only becomes more attractive but also looks more personalized.

Concrete Countertops

Installing countertops is one of the most common ways in which people incorporate polished concrete into their homes. Counters are becoming popular among homes for a number of reasons. Countertops, like flooring, can be stained to exhibit designs and patterns of your liking. Being the most prominent part of a kitchen, people love different counters because of their ability to be personalized and designed in almost any way.

As in the case of concrete flooring, when concrete countertops are polished, they too have seamlessly shiny surfaces which not only look luxurious, but add to the appeal and aesthetics of kitchens.

Concrete Furniture

Whether furniture is needed for the bathroom, or for kitchens, this kind of furniture can be used anywhere. Technology has allowed concrete furniture to become not only more light weight, but also an extremely durable addition to the interior of homes. Owing to years of research, it is now even possible to customize and personalize concrete furniture in a way that it does not look too rigid or uncomfortable. When the furniture is polished, the final result is really spectacular! I hope this new information will helped you be more knowledgeable to make practical decisions for your liking.

Finding The Best Selection Of Pools, Layouts And Designs

Backyard pools can make a fantastic addition to many households and properties. In addition to the opportunities to enjoy outdoor fun, relaxation and a variety of activities pools can have a tremendous impact on the market value of a home. Designers and installation services that offer a wider range of options to choose from can provide homeowners with an easier way to improve or upgrade their property.

Even smaller pools, hot tubs and modest installations often require considerable expense. Investing in pools that have been poorly designed, fail to compliment their surroundings or lack the style and features that may be available can be a serious misstep. For property owners seeking the best results, it pays to do business with a designer that has more to offer.

While many homeowners may be perfectly happy to choose from among a range of existing designs and layouts, custom made pools can often be a better choice. Determining the exact size, layout and dimensions of an installation can provide a number of important benefits. For homeowners who may be less than pleased with existing layouts, custom made pools and installation options can often provide the best solution.

Quality installation services are not a concern that homeowners can afford to take lightly. Shoddy workmanship, poorly made designed and issues with the installation process can lead to no end of future headaches and additional expenses. The best installation services can provide homeowners with the peace of mind that only superior results are able to offer.

With plenty of designers, equipment options and installation services available, finding the right options can seem like a real challenge. Possessing greater insight regarding the features, level of service and quality of results that only the best designers can offer can make quite a difference. Knowing enough to choose the right installation option can be an essential concern.

Finding the right layout or having pools designed to custom specifications can be very beneficial when it comes to creating a more attractive exterior or outdoor environment. Home improvement efforts and upgrade projects that are limited in scope are rarely able to provide the level of value and satisfaction that property owners may be seeking. Doing business with the right service options can make a world of difference.

Online research can allow homeowners to more quickly and easily compare their options and educate themselves regarding various installation choices. Possessing greater insight into various designs, styles and features can be very helpful. Spending even a little time to perform basic research can ensure homeowners are able to make more educated decisions.

Finding a wider range of swimming pool design options ensures that homeowners are able to select one better suited to their specific needs. Styles that better compliment their surroundings can allow for a more attractive exterior environment to be created or ensure that the market value of a home is better protected. Choosing the best designs and installation services can be an essential concern when it comes to investing in outdoor pools, hot tubs or other backyard installations.

The Best Products That You Need for Your Kitchen

If you love spending time in your kitchen, you are bound to want the best of products to give you company through your cooking spells. It is not the easiest things to do, mind you – it requires a lot of planning and deciding on the best of things that you need for your daily needs. What better way than to look up the best products of each of the items you need and then go ahead with a purchase. So, based on your work in the kitchen – you need to think about the products you need.

1. Microwave oven: The best and most used item in your kitchen would be your microwave oven. There are so many times you use this on a daily basis, right from heating water to getting your food ready. If you have the knack for it, get ready to have the entire cook book prepared. Right from leftovers to nutmeg cookies, you can go the complete nine yards. There are different kinds of foods you can make and for each time, you can have a distinct style to it also. The entire convenience factor that comes in when you are using a microwave oven is tremendous – to not use your stove for every tiny heating requirement is a huge advantage that can save you tonnes of time and bring down that gas bill too.

2. Compact refrigerators: This probably the most important electronic item that you need in your home. You have to constantly run to it repeatedly if you have your refrigerator anywhere other than your kitchen. It has to be small enough to get cooling done quickly because you are bound to keep opening your fridge through the day, and the day you plan to make a dessert, it could really make you wait. The added advantage is that they take lesser energy giving you lower bills.

3. Coffee and tea maker: There is nothing as convenient as having a coffee and tea maker in the kitchen to give you a happy cup of piping hot beverage. It is the winning combination for every argument as you would always find peace with a cup of coffee. Add this to a busy weekday morning and you are sure to want a drink that would charge you up to keep you through the day. Be it a quick coffee that has to come to your rescue or even if you need coffee through the day, you would have it in an instant. Not just that, you would have various kinds of coffee that you can make and all the possible flavours and tastes can be added on. Never go to a coffee shop again!

4. Chimney Exhaust: If you really like your food fried or with a lot of spice, it would be a great addition to have a chimney exhaust installed above your cooking range. It would make working in the kitchen so easy and the fact that you can get the kitchen smoke free would be a delight for sure.

5. Hand blender: With the right hand blender all your work would be done in a jiffy. Right from working on the quickest tasks in the kitchen to having your purees made, you would have the ease of getting them all done by just using a hand blender. Forget about having to use anything else to chop all your vegetables or even get your refreshing juice prepared! A hand blender would make all the work for you in a flash.

6. Mixer grinder: We all need a mixer grinder in an Indian kitchen. We need this in the most basic needs of food preparation and it would be a huge advantage if you are keen on getting grinding or shredding anything vegetable, nuts, coconut kernels and so on. When you are choosing a grinder at home you need one that would be able to give you the best services and thus give you all the different kind of ingredients for your meal. With the new kind of grinders, you can knead dough and even make the best of purees. It would be a complete package for your kitchen.

There is no doubt that you need a fixed set of appliances for your kitchen especially if you are keen on setting up one for commercial use. With the help of new products of these sorts, you are today able to get superior products like never before for your kitchen. So, when are you renovating your kitchen?

Taking Advantage Of Polished Concrete For Added Beauty Of Your Home

As you may know, concrete is among the most popular building materials that you can find today. Most commercial establishments and residential properties use concrete because of its many advantages. Most property owners opt for this because of the following reasons:

  • Ease of access to it as compared to natural stones
  • High degree of durability
  • Can be molded in various shapes
  • Requires minimal maintenance
  • Does not deteriorate fast
  • Can withstand high temperature, wind and water
  • Fire-safe material

However, similar to any kind of building materials, concrete also has several drawbacks. These include the plain concrete that can look very boring. Good thing there is an excellent way of overcoming such disadvantage. Opting for decorative concrete and polished concrete is a smart move to add more life to this plain material.

Polished concrete uses various chemicals on current concrete to transform its texture and colour in a non-destructive, safe, eco-friendly manner and smooth finish. It is considered a versatile solution that has a couple of application. It can be used on existing and new concrete and on internal flooring. Generally, it is used in horizontal situations similar to those in the garage, patio, pathway, and indoors. Also, it may be used for vertical applications like in feature walls. In commercial properties, polished concrete is usually found in showrooms, schools, retail stores, hospitals, entrances, and even on some streetscapes.

Bear in mind that polished concrete, like ordinary concrete, is hard-wearing and durable. But if you choose to extend its like, you might want to consider using a concrete sealer, most especially on surfaces where grime, chemicals or dust accumulate especially indoors but these will include paths, driveways and other outdoor surfaces. Pollutants may get into concrete pores without these sealers; hence, undermining the decorative concrete’s appearance.

In other words, this sealer serves as a coat that will act as a barrier between the environment and the concrete. You can also make use of sealers on existing concrete surfaces to improve its appearance. Oftentimes, existing concrete are being resurfaced with polished one. Experts highly emphasized that concrete resurfacing is also a great way of transforming concrete surfaces. This can be your best option for surfaces that have a sound condition. This further means that when there are cracks or defects, repairing it first is a must prior to resurfacing it with polished concrete. This will not only ensure a longer lasting result but also a safer one.