12 May 2016

Top 5 Kitchen Design Tips to Revamp a Small Kitchen



If you’re not blessed with the virtues of a roomy kitchen, the notion of a renovation or redesign might seem a little redundant to you. You might find it hard to see how spending money on such a limited space could be worthwhile. Yet, the truth is that there are plenty of clever ways to give small kitchens some serious personality and life.

There are some dreams that you may have to give up. If there’s barely enough room to make toast, never mind swing a cat, that sprawling American style Smeg fridge is just not viable. However, most redesign ideas can be easily adapted to fit kitchens with a limited amount of space. It’s all about being smart, flexible, and inventive with design.

1. Start Doubling Up

A favourite trick, used by skilled kitchen designers like Brentwood Kitchens, is to double up on space. So, a stylish breakfast bar can also be used to incorporate storage for pots, pans, and other kitchen accessories. Things like stove tops can be adapted to pull down over hobs and turn into extra preparation space. Integrated appliances are great for this, because they take up less space than standalone devices; they also fit more seamlessly with the kitchen.

2. Stick with Light Colours

If it’s been said before, it’ll be said a hundred times more; light colours give the illusion of space. The minute that you cover the kitchen walls with heavy greys, greens, or blues, it’ll start to feel cramped and restricted. Open up the room that you have with whites, creams, light greys, and pastel tones. Also, mirrors are great for tricking the eye into seeing more space, so think about investing in a mirrored splashback.

3. Take Cabinets Higher

In most kitchens, there’s a really useful band of space that is left wasted, because cupboards stop short below the ceiling. While super tall cupboards might have you standing on a chair to access the cookie cutters, it’s not too much of an inconvenience if you store only items that you use irregularly up high. Cake tins and ‘once every so often’ items like food colouring are ideal for storage in this type of space.

4. Choose Sensible Appliances

If you have a small kitchen, you’re going to need appliances that are on the smaller side too. For families with young children, this can be tricky, because it means extra loads in the washing machine and dishwasher. What you can do to make this easier is invest in eco-friendly, economical appliances. They’ll help you to save on your energy bills, even if you have to keep refilling. When it comes to the fridge, pick an appliance that is thinner, but deeper.

5. Call in the Experts

For homeowners who have a fairly robust budget, hiring an expert design team is an alternative option. They will take over all of the practical considerations, so that you don’t have to worry about finding the right sized fridge or picking the perfect colour palette. Plus, you can have as much or as little direct input as you please; you can either let your designers surprise you with something wonderful or point them in a specific style direction.

How to Create a Kitchen That Makes You Happy

The bottom line is that every kitchen, no matter how small it is, can be helped to shine with the right tweaks and improvements. If you do need some inspiration, head down to a showroom and check out some of the designs on offer. The added benefit of browsing in person is that you can get one on one advice from the experts.




20 April 2016

What Materials are Available when it Comes to Shower Trays? Your Important Guide

 
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So you’ve decided to get a shower tray for your bathroom – we congratulate you on your wise decision. After all, there are many advantages to having a shower tray in your bathroom. Firstly, they ensure that there is no unwanted water in the rest of the bathroom, and this ensures that there are no problems with electricity as well – or mould which can form from water seeping through some unseen cracks. Secondly, you’ll have a much easier time to maintain and clean your bathroom, which is always a great plus. And let’s not forget the time and money you save. However, how do you choose the right shower tray for your needs? What materials are available? Here is a quick guide on which materials are available when it comes to shower trays.

Steel

There are many advantages to steel – advantages which many of us may have forgotten. Steel shower trays are hygienic, resistant to acid, and are very durable. In fact, they can take a punch; they tend not to deform and don’t deteriorate due to scratching or impact. Furthermore, they now come with anti-slip coating and can be fitted with an insulation system as well.

Acrylic

The great thing about acrylic is its insulating property; this means that, together with a hard foam laid out around and underneath, no heat will be lost. It also means that the heat is contained and not transferred to physical energy (such as expansion that may happen with steel), and so it prevents cracks and irregular fitting in the long term.

Solid surface

The solid surface is made of mineral particles – it contains a very high percentage of them – and so the surface feels very smooth indeed. This innovative design also allows it to come in various styles and finishes, which makes it easier for buyers to make a choice which is especially designed for their bathroom. It’s non-porous, which means it’s very hygienic, durable, and easy to clean.

Ceramic 

If you want a long-term investment, then ceramic is probably your best choice, as it is the most durable of all. They’re also great to look at and fit perfectly into any bathroom. As with all the other choices, they can also be provided with anti-slip coating should that be required.

As you can see, there are many kinds of shower trays out there – from an offset quadrant shower tray to a rectangular one, a square one, and more - and whilst we’re sure there’s the perfect one for you, you’ll need to check carefully and consider the choice an investment. There are, after all, advantages and disadvantages to each one of them. Perhaps the best way to begin is to list down your own priorities and then see which material fits best with your needs. 

18 April 2016

Top 10 Factors to Consider Before Renovating Your Kitchen


Decide what you want to achieve

Before you get out the sledgehammer, it’s important to know exactly what you want to achieve from your renovation. Are you looking to add a purely aesthetic change to your space. Perhaps you want to add functionality? Or maybe you want the space you’re in to better reflect your lifestyle. Whatever your purpose, there are many options for kitchen renovation in Melbourne that will be able to suit your needs, so do your research.

Visualise your decor 

Collect samples of colours, textures and furniture that you want to exhibit in your new and improved space. Keep this mood board handy, so you can stick to a central theme when making every decision about your kitchen. This will ensure you don’t have any colliding aspects, and your kitchen will be both practically and aesthetically coherent.

Choose timeless trends

Another thing to be wary of is choosing timeless trends that won’t age or date. The last thing you want is to spend time and effort on a renovation that is going to be out of date in a few years’ time.

Don’t forget about the details

When renovating your dream kitchen, it can be easy to overlook the fine details, as the tradesmen and contractors you hire won’t pay any attention to these. The true beauty of designing a new space is in the exquisite details, so make sure you consider those smaller styling elements as well.

Choose fitting appliances

A kitchen is usually the room in the house with the most whitegoods and appliances visible. Therefore, it is vital that you choose appliances that go with the rest of your decor and your overall theme. These days, there are a wide range of colours and styles of appliances you can choose from, and more often than not you can choose appliance sets, so they will all be matching.

Timing is key

It’s important to be mindful of the order in which each step of the renovation process is carried out. Of course, sticking to a strict schedule usually doesn’t go specifically to plan. However, it’s a good idea to have a process of when and how you want things to be done.

Be prepared for the long haul

A kitchen renovation can be quite a big job. Don’t be put off by this, but do keep in mind that it’s going to take a quite a considerable amount of work and time to achieve your dream kitchen. You only get out what you put in!

Don’t demolish

Before you hold your own demolition party, bear in mind that many elements of your old kitchen may be able to be reused or recycled. Take care in dismantling your existing kitchen, as it could save you a small fortune.

Small touches are vital

Does your kitchen really need a whole renovation? If not, there are several simple and affordable touches that can add up to create an entirely new look without hurting your wallet. Concentrate on updating just the focal points of your kitchen such as new bench tops and a splashback which could make a huge difference.

Remember, a renovation should be an investment

It might seem enticing to keep costs down by skimping on certain elements of your renovation. However, it is important to remember that a renovation is an investment which adds value to your home and cutting corners could end up costing you more in the long run.

Take heed of these 10 helpful tips when you’re renovating your kitchen, in order to get the most out of your space as possible. Happy renovating!

11 April 2016

The Warning Signs of a Potential Plumbing Disaster


Blocked drains are a common problem for homeowners, but it doesn’t mean that they’re not still pretty stressful. Taking the plug out of the sink and having the water go nowhere is clearly worrying. So too is flushing the toilet and having it come close to overflowing. These problems trigger alarm bells, because they are an unmistakable sign that something is wrong.

Fortunately, there are plenty of reliable plumbing companies that are used to dealing with blocked drains in Melbourne. If you fear that you might have a problem, you need to get in touch with these experts right away. They will come round to your home, diagnose the issue, and get to work on solving it. You’ll have your drains back to normal in no time.

This guide to some of the most common warning signs of a potential plumbing disaster will help you identify the problem quickly.

Sluggish Draining

You probably have a blockage somewhere if you take the plug out of the sink and the water empties very slowly or not at all. This type of damage can also occur in the shower. If left untreated, it will get worse. There is a risk of whatever is blocking the pipe (usually food waste) from rotting and flooding back out of the sink.

Nasty Smells

If a clog is preventing dirt and debris from moving down the pipe, as it usually would, you could start to smell a bit of a nasty whiff coming from the drain. This happens because hair, dirt, and food waste is building up behind the blockage and slowly decomposing. It is a really unpleasant symptom and most homeowners can’t go longer than a week without calling in professional help.

Gurgling Noises

Sometimes, blocked drains can cause fixtures to make a bubbling, gurgling sound. This might be an indication that you have a main sewer drain clog, particularly if you hear it while you shower as well. On the other hand, all drains are different. If you do hear strange noises, watch to see if the water leaves the drain reasonably quickly.

If it does, you should be fine. If it doesn’t, you may need to call in a plumber to fix what could be a blocked drain. Make sure that you give a plumber all of the details about the problem that you can, when you first speak to them on the phone. It will help them identify the issue faster.

Unusual Flushing

A blocked drain or pipe can sometimes manifest itself in the form of abnormal flushing responses. So, when you flush the toilet, the water either rises much higher than normal or there is a lot less water than usual in the bowl.

If you experience either of these things, deal with the problem quickly, because it can lead to toilet water rising up through sinks and shower drains. Once again, get on the phone to the professionals. They will be able to find a solution in no time, so that you can get on with life and keep your home functioning smoothly.

Washing Machine Back Ups

If your washing machine causes the sink in your bathroom to start gurgling and spewing water, you definitely have a clog or blockage somewhere. As the water in the appliance drains, there should be no obvious activity in the bathroom pipes.

It can be difficult to trace the source of blockages without expert help, so don’t delay. The faster that you address the issue, the less risk there is of it turning into a flood hazard. Though rare, this can happen. Address potential blockages quickly and efficiently.





29 March 2016

What is the best coffee machine you can get for under $300?


If your day is only complete when you have had a great espresso, then you need an impressive espresso machine to produce it. There are many espresso machines on the market but not all of them produce the high quality results that you need. The ideal product that you are looking for is one which comes at an affordable cost while producing the delicious espresso that you crave.

We know that choosing an espresso machine can be a difficult task which is why we have taken a look at some of the advice available to help you decide. You can take a look at some of the details of the machines you can purchase for $300 or less. Here is an overview of the information we have found.

What to look for in an espresso machine

If you are looking for a reliable espresso machine for less than $300 then there are a few points you may want to consider when making your decision.

The speed with which you can get an espresso

If you love an espresso then you are probably not going to want to spend ages waiting to produce one. You should think about buying a machine with a large water tank as a well as a dual boiler; opt for a machine that can brew and steam milk at the same time. All of this things mean that you will have a machine that is quicker to produce that espresso you want and quicker to recover afterwards.

Ease of use

How important this is really depends on how often you are going to use your espresso machine. If you are intending to use it regularly then you do not want to have to spend ages setting it up every time. You may want to choose an automatic espresso machine which is probably the best match to your needs.

How easy is the machine to use?

If you do not want to have to spend time learning how to use an espresso machine you should choose one that really just involves using a few buttons. If you do not do this then you are probably going to stop using it pretty quickly which is a complete waste of money.

How good is the espresso?

Of course, one of the most important things about an espresso machine is the quality of the espresso it produces. Getting a great espresso does not have to involve spending a lot of money; many more reasonably priced machines produce excellent results.

Which machines represent great value?

Given the points you should be considering, here are a few espresso machines costing under $300 that you may want to consider.

Breville ESP8XL Café Roma
Type of machine: semi-automatic
Dimensions: 9 x 9 x 12"
Warranty: one year
This espresso machine comes with a warming tray for your mugs. It is easy to clean due to the slide out drip tray and is really simple to use. You can check out the current available deals for this machine.

Capresso EC PRO
Type of machine: semi-automatic
Dimensions: 8 x 11 x 12"
Warranty: one year
This machine can brew at different temperatures. It has a built in cup warmer and excellent frothing ability. If you want to check the latest prices for this machine click here.

DeLonghi EC330-s
Type of machine: Semi-automatic
Dimensions: 11 x 8 x 12"
Warranty: one year
Once this machine is warm it is self-priming. It is also extremely durable and has a deep and easy to clean drip tray. Check out the latest price information for this machine.

DeLonghi EC680 Dedica
Type of machine: automatic
Dimensions: 13 x 6 x 13"
Warranty: one year
This simple to use machine heats up impressively quickly. It also produces barista quality coffee and is easy to clean. If you are interested in buying this machine you can take a look at the latest prices.

All of these machines are capable of producing high quality espresso at an affordable cost.
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