26 December 2016

Small Things That Add Value to Home


Adding value to your home does not mean you have to invest in high-end renovations or expensive things such as artworks, etc. Small and insignificant things can also add value to your home and liven up the ambiance. So if you are looking forward to add some oomph to your home décor without spending too much, here are some tips you can try out:

Clean the Clutter

This is the first step towards switching up the look of your home interiors. A cluttered and untidy room is not only unhealthy it also leads to flow of negative energy within the room. So clean the clutter first. Mop the floor and dust the tables, chairs, racks, shelves and all other elements that stand within the room. While dusting and cleaning should be everyday affairs, make sure to deep clean and vaccum you home at least once in a week. Remember, a clean room is not only more welcoming, but it also creates a clean canvas for decorations.

Add Flowers, Add Colour to Your Life

Add flowers to your home décor to liven up moods instantly. Fresh and fragrant flowers add colour to a space and make the room smell good. So when you enter the room after a long tiring day, it helps you get rid of all the stress and tension (much like the way aroma therapy helps). So place colourful and fragrant flowers in your living room, bedroom, guest room and even the kitchen and bathroom. You can get fresh flowers delivered at your doorstep with the help of a local florist just as Flowers for Everyone offers flower delivery in Perth.

Small Improvements Add Great Value

Small improvements such as polishing the furniture or repairing a dampened wall can add great value to your home. The carpet might have lost its lustre due to continuous use, cleaning it can bring it back to life and make your room look stylish and gorgeous. Similarly, a sunken sofa can be an eyesore; get it fixed to bring back the comfort factor.

Paint the Walls for Quick Makeover

Painting the walls is the easiest way to uplift the mood of a room. If you can’t afford to paint the entire house; consider retouching paint in places where it has been damaged. If that looks odd, create some wall art with the paint that will cover up the damage and make the room look beautiful.

We often do not pay attention to less significant things within our house; but when used properly they can add great value to the home. So start with the above mentioned tips and increase the value of your home.        

23 December 2016

Why You Shouldn't Neglect Regular AC Maintenance



If you have an AC, you would want it be in great shape to cool your house as best as possible. Neglecting to maintain your AC is a mistake as dirty filters and coils will hinder the proper functioning of your AC. Check out some reasons why you shouldn’t ignore your AC maintenance.

Helps to keep your energy bill low
If your AC is not maintained regularly, it will be less efficient. A unit which runs poorly will increase your energy consumption leading to higher bills. Regularly maintaining your AC, repairing parts if required and tune-ups will keep your electricity bills in control.

Warranty protection
Many warranties require that AC is maintained regularly. Without proof of regular maintenance, the company may void the warranty of your AC. Commercial units need to be well-maintained too, and if you’re looking for commercial air conditioning in Brisbane, you could visit the dealers of commercial AC units and get them to set up your unit, and ask their help to maintain the unit, which would help to keep the warranty valid too.

Keeps bigger problems at bay
If you regularly maintain your AC unit, you may be doing yourself a big favor as it prevents bigger problems which cost much more to repair. The life of your AC is extended too by regular maintenance.

Better air quality
Cleaning the coils of your AC unit and replacing air filters on time will help to protect the air quality of your home and the health of you and your family will not be compromised due to poor air quality.

Gas leaks are prevented
Gas leaks are common in poorly functioning AC units. These leakages are quite harmful to the health of you and your family. Carbon monoxide, one of the gases emitted during gas leakage can be quite dangerous and even lead to serious complications and death, if it goes unnoticed.

Broken connections
Operating ACs with broken electrical connections is quite dangerous as this can lead to fires. This can lead to explosions even which are very dangerous. However, you should not try to repair any electrical faults yourself, but get the help of trained professionals to fix this.

The benefits of regularly maintaining an AC are numerous, ranging from protecting your family’s health to avoiding major mishaps which could put your life in risk, and also of course, keeping your electric bill low.


16 December 2016

This is the best knife sharpener I own


Anybody who knows me or who's spent any time around this website will tell you that I am a passionate cook. An early lesson I learned was the importance of using the proper equipment for the job at hand especially when it comes to knives.

Tools, including kitchen knives look and function the way they do for a reason. A paring knife is for peeling and dicing. A chef's knife is for carving. A santoku is for chopping. Well, you get the gist.

None of those knives can do their job if they're dull. Not only can they not do their jobs, dull knives pose a real danger to someone using it. A dull knife makes someone work harder and to hold that knife in a way it wasn't designed to be held. That's how you get cut.

I've been an obsessive knife sharpener for almost as long as I've been cooking and I've tried just about every type there is. I got my first carbide knife sharpener around five years ago and it was a real game changer.

Well there's a new use for carbide sharpening tech and it's available now in the form of the AnySharp.


The AnySharp takes the excellent performance of carbide sharpening and adds a strong suction cup to the base. So now for the the first time, knife sharpening is a one-handed operation.

My knives have never been sharper with less hassle and in a bonus to end all bonuses, the AnySharp sharpens my serrated knives too.


Honestly, these things are affordable, sturdy and a perfect gift for any cook in your life.

15 December 2016

Five Unique Kitchen Design Ideas

Image: http://cdn.decoist.com

The kitchen is the heart of every modern home. In fact, it has evolved to play a versatile role as a place to not only prepare food, but also bond with family, entertain friends, and even tackle homework with your kids.

Therefore, you should ensure that your kitchen provides the most comfortable and welcoming environment for these activities.  In order to achieve this, you need more than just a classy teak dining room table.

Therefore, we present you five unique kitchen design ideas to give your kitchen that magnificent and welcoming look.

1. Lounge-style banquette

Genius architect Ben Awes came up with a design that takes away the traditional dining room and expands the kitchen. It features a lounge like area that would accommodate large family get together’s. There is also the option for a granite slab around the table.

Then, the back of the seating can form a black quartz island work surface, with cabinets underneath.

2. Industrial Lighting

Just like how you expect the merchant services processing your transactions at work to be transparent and ideal for your business needs, your kitchen should be perfectly lit so as to keep up with your culinary adventures, as well as provide the ideal environment for mingling and conversation during family get together’s. You can achieve this by making use of industrial lighting. While this kind of lighting varies, it encompasses the following common features:

  • Black steel
  • Stainless steel
  • Copper or Brass
  • Wire Caging – In place of sconces
  • Clear glass and Antiquated style light-bulbs
  • Press-studs, among other industrial hardware

3. Versatile Kitchen Islands

Kitchen islands are evolving from simply being a preparation or serving station, to also serve as home and décor furnishings.   As such, you can upgrade your kitchen from a simple cooking station to a sophisticated display case by including a unique kitchen island.

Consider fixing glass or mirror doors on your kitchen island storage units. Likewise, you can transform an old barn table into a unique kitchen island. You just need to add some lower shelving units for storage. Any of these styles will certainly transform your kitchen island from the traditional prep or serving station into a unique display of style.

4. Smart Kitchen

Image: https://i.ytimg.com

Smart technology is revolutionizing the way we do things. It is even finding its way into our homes, including the kitchen, through the invention of smart home appliances.

The Bluetooth –enabled Anova Precision Cooker is a perfect example of smart home appliances. This cooker allows you to connect to your smartphone and then search recipes and incorporate the suggested cooking temperatures and durations for your food to come out perfect.

Likewise, you can incorporate charging points into your kitchen design. In fact, there are countless smart organizing options that you can choose from that will not compromise the overall kitchen décor. You just need to be creative when it comes to choosing technologies that can make your kitchen smarter.

5. Multipurpose Table on Wheels

If you don’t like the idea of having a full-time dining table, which takes up the better part of your floor space, designer Pangaea has a simple but perfect solution for you. She suggests that you have a table on wheels.

This table should be designed in a way that it built to make a breakfast bar that easily slide chairs under it.

Conclusion

Kitchen being the heart of every modern home, everyone wants their kitchen to look fabulous. Even if you don’t want a complete kitchen makeover, you can choose one of these unique kitchen design ideas to give your kitchen a trendy and welcoming look.

Author Bio

Carl Aamodt

Title: Super-Connector at OutreachMama

Carl is a super-connector with OutreachMama and Youth Noise NJ who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking.  He is a professional writer who has been in the business for 5 years. He has hands on experience with cars, tech, and relationship advice, among other things. Because of how quickly he can turn articles around, he is able to take on multiple projects at once. His writing experience spans from SEO articles to technical guides and everything in between.

10 December 2016

How to Build a Green Kitchen on a Budget

Image Credit: Catchlight Painting

Green building and remodeling appeals to many of us, but sometimes environmentally-friendly products and practices seem out of reach because of expense. When you want to make the smallest carbon footprint, but you’re forced to choose unsustainable choices because of expense, it can be frustrating.

But while there are many expensive green options for kitchen building and remodeling, the good news is that there are also several inexpensive ways to get the green kitchen you want. In fact, when you want to go green, the kitchen is the best place to start because it’s the room that uses the most energy in your home. Stay within your budget and keep things environmentally friendly when you remodel your kitchen with these tips.

Plan Smart

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your green kitchen on a budget isn’t going to happen overnight. Before you jump into building or remodeling your kitchen, follow these steps:

  1. Determine what needs to be done, and in what order so you can focus your budget in the right areas.
  2. Why are you building a green kitchen in the first place? Make sure you understand your goals and motivations so you’ll be able to prioritize and justify purchases later on.
  3. What can you do yourself? You’ll help your budget by taking on part of the remodel yourself. Of course, if you’re all thumbs, you may want to keep this list short.
  4. Take the time to find the right products at the right prices. Building with green materials can be less expensive, but it often requires a hunt.
  5. Clearly outline your expectations in a written document -- with as much detail as possible -- and discuss with your contractor. Make sure your contractor understands your definition of “green” so you’re on the same page.

Choose Smart

Fortunately, there are a variety of green building materials available. Many of them are inexpensive as well. Take a look at the best options for each area of your kitchen.

Green Countertops

Laminate countertops made with recycled wood particle boards and non-VOC adhesives give you green certification in the least expensive way possible. And while they’re a few dollars more expensive per square foot than regular laminate countertops, they are often a quarter of the cost of other popular green countertops.

Stainless steel countertops are also a good, inexpensive choice, as they consist of an average of 60% recycled material. Choose a particle board made from recycled material using glue with a non-VOC adhesive.

Flooring

Linoleum is an inexpensive option, and provides an environmentally-friendly choice. It’s made from linseed oil, which is not only hypoallergenic, but is a renewable resource. There are “linoleum-like” flooring options, but these are not made from linseed oil and are not as environmentally friendly.

Cork is sustainable because it doesn’t involve harvesting lumber; rather, the layers of the thick cork oak tree are stripped.

If you go for bamboo, it’s important you choose an experienced manufacturer who uses quality stalks, adhesives, and milling equipment to avoid the poor workmanship that is out there.

Reclaimed wood from barns, warehouses, piers, and other old wooden structures is also a very environmentally-friendly option.

Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets are often the most expensive part of a remodel. If you’re concerned about staying under budget, refacing your cabinets is a worthwhile option. With refacing, you can completely change the look of your kitchen for a fraction of the cost.

Stainless Steel Sink

Stainless steel contains anywhere from 50% to 80% recycled steel. Drop-in stainless steel sinks are inexpensive options, and can be stylish too.

ENERGY STAR Appliances

There’s no way around it -- appliances are expensive. But when you purchase an ENERGY STAR appliance, you will reduce your appliance energy usage anywhere from 10 to 50 percent, saving you money in the long run. ENERGY STAR appliances are better for the environment, and ultimately better for your pocketbook.

Green Is Often Less Expensive in the Long Run

Eco-friendly updates can save you money in the form of less-expensive utilities, and you’ll often find a more quality product in your eco-friendly choices. In addition, green building can increase the value of your home. Make sure you take these things into consideration when judging the immediate cost of an upgrade. While it may be a bit more expensive today, the green upgrade could save you in the long run.

Chuck Winkles is the president of New Life Bath & Kitchen. Chuck was born in Southern California and currently resides in Santa Maria. He's been married to his wife Shelley for thirty-one years and has two sons, Nathan and Noah.

09 December 2016

5 Essential Tips for Choosing the Best Air Mattress for Your Money


The industry of air mattresses has gone a long way in the past few decades – from a floating lilo that you’d see on a beach or on a camper’s backpack, the airbed has moved into our home. The uses range from a temporary bed for guests to a permanent bed for long-term use.


However, if you do decide to get a blow-up bed, you need to know exactly what to look for.  This sentence does sound like a cliché, and it is true for almost any product, but when choosing this particular piece of furniture, it’s twice as important.

The reasons for that will become clearer as we move through this guide.

So, let’s sharpen our proverbial pens and dive right into what we promised – essential tips for choosing right.

Tip 1: Start with the user reviews


It simply makes sense that other people reports are a good way to start.

So, if you are considering a particular model, visit the websites that carry it and have a reliable rating system. Go through the experiences and look for those from people with needs similar to yours.

You’ll discover a wealth of reliable info and first-hand reviews of the best air mattresses out there.

But this part can be tricky and mislead you – here’s what to think about and “red light” to look for if you are relying on user reports.


  1. They can be fake – it’s not uncommon for companies to either have a team that will write praising reviews or simply compensate people to give their products five star ratings.

    The solution to this is making sure that you get your information from websites that have a system in place that makes sure that only “verified purchases” can provide feedback.
  2. The quality of the products has changed – with all the outsourcing and changes in manufacturing protocols, a quality of a once great product can suffer. Yet, it can still hold high ratings because of the long years of positive feedback.

    Solution – don’t just look at the average ratings, sort the reviews and read what the most recent ones are saying. If there is a problem, you’ll see it right away.
  3. Make sure that the sample (number of reviews of the airbed) is large enough. If there are 10 reviews of a product, its ratings are not reliable. The company making the bed could have easily bought ten of their own products or offered them to people for free in exchange for a positive review.

    Solution – go with reputable brands and products that stood the test of years. These brands usually have hundreds, if not thousands of reviews.

    A good example of a reliable product is the SoundAsleep Dream Series, which has thousands of reviews and high-ratings – the margin of error with a product like this is minimal.

    Other trusted brands include Aerobed, Intex, Serta, Insta, Coleman and Fox.

    Take your time with this process. We spend a large chunk of our lives sleeping and the rest of it is affected by how good of a night’s sleep we get.


Tip 2: Go with a coil technology for the inner chambers


This is something you won’t be able to learn from the user reviews – the inner construction makes or breaks an airbed.


Most people will blindly go with the inflatable bed that promises it’s made of thicker and superior PVC (like Fox airbeds usually are). But the “soft spot” of these products is not the thickness of the PVC (what punctures the 0.4 mm PVC will most likely puncture the 0.6 mm, too).

The “soft spot” are the seams – and how the inner part of the bed is constructed makes all the difference on how weight is distributed along the sleeping surface and how much stress the seams suffer.

Beam vs. Coil Design


As opposed to outdated beam design, modern coil design is imagined to mimic a steel spring of classical mattress.

A coil design minimizes the risk of air leaks and does wonders regarding comfort because you don’t sink into the middle – the edges are just as firm as the rest of it.

These are the inflatables that are as comfortable as a regular mattress and are often a choice of people with back problems as an everyday bed. This is mainly due to the fact that you can regulate the firmness and thus, choose one that allows you spine to be aligned and eliminates shoulder and hip pressure points.

Tip 3: Think about a never-flat pump


Most of the better airbed models come with an integrated electric pump.

However, only a handful includes a secondary “never-flat” pump.

What is a never flat pump?


This is a small (secondary) pump that’s equipped with a sensor that registers any changes in pressure (firmness of the bed) and quietly adds a bit of air to get the pressure back to your setting.



This way, you’ll never sink to the middle, which is particularly important if two people are sleeping on it.

The two brands with popular models that include a never flat pump are Insta and Serta.

Tip 4: Think about power and placement


If you are looking for a camping air mattress, you’ll want one with a pump that can be battery operated.

Also, think about the power outlet – if you are traveling and taking the air mattress abroad, you’ll need a voltage adapter or even a power adapter (if the difference in power (Watts) between the voltage adapter and the power listed on the pump is too great, you’ll ruin your pump.

Let’s also mention that, if your primary purpose is camping you should look into sleeping pads as an option, the self-inflation open-cell foam ones are especially popular with campers and hikers.

When to go with a headboard?


If you are a restless sleeper and the bed will be in the middle of the room, you’ll end up chasing your pillow through the night and waking up to a sore neck.

So, unless you can place the blow-up bed in a corner or at least with its top side against a wall, you might want to look into models that come with a headboard. They are about the same price and the headboard makes all the difference.

Tip 5: Think about safety


The main thing that changed and introduced the home airbed to the mainstream were the changes in safety standards and manufacturing procedures a few decades ago.

Until then, the industry was still struggling with the tales of health hazards.

Today, the companies have to adhere to the strictest standards and exclude any potential chemicals from the manufacturing process (the main issue were chemicals known as phthalates).

It is still PVC, and most of the products will spread a plasticky smell in the room when unpacked but a few hours of airing it out resolves the issue.

In fact, research shows that air mattress today carries the lowest health risk from fumes than any other mattress type (see the graph below).



Summing up our tips on choosing the best air mattress



Let’s take a step back and remember that we mentioned at the begging of this guide that knowing how to choose right is especially important with airbeds.

We hope you know understand why.

With a regular mattress, you try it out and if it feels right for you and the company is trustworthy, that’s pretty much it.

With an inflatable, you don’t have to worry about the firmness because you set it yourself, but you have to know what to look for in the pump, internal design, power, and your intended use.
It’s our hope that this guide helped or might help at some point in the future.




21 November 2016

A new, portable, induction cooktop from Rosewill


The world is buzzing about the magic and efficiency of induction cooking now and as a long-time promoter of the technology, I'm thrilled to see it catch on with the speed it has.

My first exposure to induction cooking was at a cooking class sponsored by Wolf nearly ten years ago and I fell in love immediately. The more I learned about it the more convinced I became that induction was the direction that everything would be headed eventually.

Despite the glory and wonder of induction cooking, adopting it can still carry a pretty steep price tag. At the same time, like all new home technology, there's a learning curve associated with it.

I've long promoted the idea of easing into induction by using a counter top, single induction burner. That way you can experiment with it without having to spend the thousands of dollars a new, full-size appliance will cost.


Rosewill just made that process a whole lot easier with the addition of the RHAI-16002 to their product offerings. For significantly less than $100 you can get a fully programmable and portable induction burner. You can use it in your kitchen as a "fifth burner" for your existing cook top and with the holidays upon us, these portable induction units are perfect to keep food warm when you set out a holiday buffet.

Ironically, I first learned about induction from a cooking class and now I teach classes of my own. A couple of weeks ago I introduced a room full of novice home chefs to induction through the Rosewill RHAI-16002 and it performed perfectly.

Here are its features at a glance:

  • 5 Pre-Programmed Settings: Warm Milk, Soup, Stir Fry, Fry, Hot Pot
  • 8 Power levels from 300 to 1800 Watts: 300w, 500w, 700w, 1000w, 1200w, 1400w, 1600w, 1800w
  • Polished A-grade Crystal Plate Surface
  • LED Large Screen Display, 4 digits
  • 8 Temperature settings from 150 to 450 degrees F : 150 degrees F, 200 degrees F, 250 degrees F, 300 degrees F, 350 degrees F, 400 degrees F, 425 degrees F, 450 degrees F
  • 24-Hour Timer setting
  • Touch Sensor Control Panel
  • Cookware Suitability Detection
  • Overheating Protection Function
  • 18-8 Stainless Steel Pot included
  • Safety Compliance: ETL/FCC
  • Test Magnet included, to test your cookware work or not with Rosewill Induction Cooktop
This thing is great and they're easy to find. So as you shop for the cook in your life this Christmas, keep this cooking appliance in mind.


This one even comes with a pot!


17 November 2016

Are you ready for a free-standing bathtub?



The bath design world is currently in the thrall of the free standing bathtub and for very good reason. Nothing sets a new bath design apart quite like one. They're the rare centerpiece of a bath that's also a fully-functional, not to mention thoughtful, addition that people will use as much as they love to look at it.

Free-standing tubs take a mundane necessity and turn it into something attention grabbing and they make an impression like few elements can.

What is a free-standing tub?

Free-standing tubs are exactly what they sound like - bathtubs that stand alone. They're finished on all sides and are intended to be set away from the wall. They read as much as a piece of furniture as they do a plumbing fixture. They come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and materials, and allow for an opportunity to express more creativity in a bath's design.

Do free-standing tubs cost more?

No, they don't always but they can. It's important to shop and look for free-standing bathtubs from a wide variety of sources. Free-standing tubs scream luxury product and when they first started their comeback they were certainly priced accordingly. Now that they've become more popular, their prices have begun to fall.


It's also important to remember that aside from the cost of the tub itself, the fees to the plumber to install it will also increase so bear that addition expense in mind when you're planning your bath renovation.

Just remember to tell all of the tradespeople you're working with that your new bath plan includes a free-standing tub so they can provide you with guidance and honest prices ahead of time.

Can free-standing tubs be combined with showers?

Generally no but you can try. However, it'll be difficult to get a shower in there without ruining the effect you're trying to achieve. It's a much better idea to plan for a separate shower from the start if you're going to use a free-standing tub.

Can free-standing tubs be accessible to people with disabilities or mobility issues?

Yes, free-standing tubs can be made to be more accessible, but it's less than ideal.

The keys to bathtub accessibility are rails (which help you to lift yourself in and out of the tub) and transfer benches (which allow you to easily move from a wheelchair to the tub).


Using these tools with a free-standing tub can be a challenge. If your tub is placed too far from the wall (which is often the case), you won't be able to install rails on the wall and will instead have to install them on or near the tub.

On top of that, if you have mobility issues it can be very difficult to get into a free-standing tub (or any tub, for that matter). And it's even harder to get out, since you have to raise yourself even higher while you're soaking wet.


While it's possible to make a free-standing tub accessible, it's not easy and it might lessen the visual effect. You'll probably be better off with a doorless, curbless shower.

So if you're in the process of thinking about a new bath, keep free-standing tubs in mind. They're a wonderful addition to any home.

16 November 2016

Consolidating Time Spent Doing Redundant Tasks

What Is Redundancy?
A redundant task is any that replicates activity already taking place. For example, having someone sweep the same spot on the same floor twice, just because they don't seem to have anything better to do with themselves, is an exercise in redundancy. You're wasting personnel and resources on a task that's already been done, and doesn't need repeated.

The only way to really justify such redundancy is as a form of discipline or punishment vis-a-vis the military; but even there, wasting money on such efforts doesn't make sense.

Consolidating resources is a better option, and so often as a means of punishment, military personnel have trainees do work that actually benefits a given base of operations—like cleaning toilets, or something of that ilk.

Eliminating redundancy in your operation can save time, money, resources, and your reputation. Following are several ways you can cut costs without diminishing value and without relying on managers who are using the latest brain enhancers.

Solar Energy


A solar panel system increases property value and decreases reliance on the grid simultaneously. Additionally, solar energy costs nothing but the expenses involved in purchase and installation. Power is essentially free for ten years under warranty. That means no power outages for a decade, if you install the panels right.

In the Netherlands, they've created a building that runs entirely off solar energy and manages to curtail water costs through the collection of rain. Think about the savings here. If that building spent $3,000 a month on water and energy, they just cut $36,000 from their yearly operational budget.

Curtailing Redundant Departments
Many departments today seem useful, but that is only because managers above them aren't cognizant of recent technological developments. The internet has expanded beyond computers into smartphones and even things like your thermostat and garage door opener, as well as your lightbulbs—if you've decided to pursue the Internet of Things (IoT).

As a result of this expansion, it's now possible to use a program as a means of eliminating the primacy of the payroll department. Basically, the software used clocks employees in or out based on the proximity of their smartphone. They can also clock in or out remotely, curtailing losses from weather days where workers can't make it into the office.

This has the additional advantage of more directly identifying time worked as well, and shaving unnecessary seconds from monthly budgets. A person can be clocked in—should they be on the premises—the second their shift begins. Likewise, they can be automatically clock out when it's over. No more clock milking.

Clockspot points out that “online time clocks make time-sheets and payroll painless.” It's very true, and in modernity, both are kind of redundant. How much do you pay a single employee in your payroll department? $35k a year? Not unless you're really lucky. It's probably closer to $50k/year, when you iron out all the benefits.

If you've got ten employees in payroll at $50k/year, that's $500k you're just flushing down the toilet on an annual basis. If, additionally, your employees (of which there are 1,000) milk the clock for an average of two minutes a day per employee, that's 2,000 minutes you lose on a daily basis.

Over the course of a month, that boils down to 40,000 minutes lost. If your employees are getting paid $15 an hour (including benefits), that means you lose $10,000 a month, or $120,000 a year, through sloppy timekeeping.

You could potentially save $570,000+ every year if you run a 1,000+ employee company that has yet to consolidate its timekeeping to a modern methods. (You're still going to need to keep at least one payroll employee to ensure the software matches up with employee expectations.)

Consolidation Saves


From solar energy to payroll clocks that are automated over the web, there are plenty of costly activities that regularly permeate an office. Cutting them saves time and money, and allows for more profitable expansion.

Author Bio
Kevin Bennett
Title: SEO Marketeer


Kevin is an SEO marketeer with OutreachMama and Youth Noise who designs value-rich content aimed at increasing clientele for expanding businesses. Networking, building partnerships, and providing quality products with shareable value make this possible. He's an author (Amphibian and The Thief and the Sacrifice to his credit) whose professional writing follows business trends in technology, marketing, SEO application, and much more.


Images:
Solar Panels: https://pixabay.com/en/solar-panel-sun-electricity-energy-1393880/
Cash: https://pixabay.com/en/money-dollars-success-business-1428594/


15 November 2016

Increase Your Property's Value

The Beauty Of Remodeling
Any property can be expanded from virtually nothing to a centerpiece of the community through well-done remodeling. And any property can degrade into a ruinous heap through neglect. If you want your property to maintain its peak value, and even increase on that value, you should consider remodeling your property routine maintenance. You're going to need it eventually.

It doesn't matter how well the carpet was made initially, if it's in a room where there's a lot of foot traffic, it will become saturated with dirt particles and fragmented dust from the air. It will become heavier, and it will need replacing. Sure, you can shampoo it every couple months or years, but this is only prolonging the inevitable.

A flooring option that has a lot more versatility and a certain class about it is wood. Switching a carpet to wood can increase property value if done correctly, and that increase could end up ultimately recouping your investment over time.

Beyond wood there is tile, and even stone—though these options can be cold to the feet, so plan accordingly. Following are several other ideas you can play with as you consider what may be the best portion of your property to begin remodeling.

Rooms In The Attic
The attic remodel is often a great way to save money and make it at the same time. Unless you've got some valuable treasure in your attic, there's probably just a conglomeration of old junk that would do better being sold at a garage sale than it does cluttering up the top portions of your property. So have that garage sale, throw away what can't be sold, and if there are valuable components, put them somewhere else in the house.


Then sweep the attic, put in some throw rugs, get some wallpapering, and add some furniture. Viola, you've got either an additional bedroom or study, whichever your real estate agent says will bring your property greater value in your particular market.

Now, you've got to be careful; some attics may have structural instability, and could be a hazard. If your property doesn't already have reinforced flooring in the attic, that may be a necessary expenditure of remodel. The cost of this can get high, so be sure to know your attic before you start such a project.

Building A Deck
A deck is like an outdoor room of the house, and adds an exceptional amount of utility. Whether you go the patio route, or attach a full on deck to your property that extends from a second or third floor, you're going to want to utilize decking contractors who understand the process backwards and forwards, and are willing to be completely transparent with you.

According to deckremodelers.com decking contractors in NJ offer: “award winning deck designs... incorporate your homes existing elements while using custom details, shapes and patterns.”


Each deck will have different idiosyncrasies which will make it more or less expensive than another. What kind of property you have, how big you'd like the deck to be, which floor it will be coming from—these things can change the price substantially, and you'll want a decking agency that is willing to give you the good news and the bad news without downplaying it or over-emphasizing it. Or, you could just build it yourself; though if you don't have architectural acumen, that could be a very bad idea.

The Kitchen
This one can really be a mixed bag because depending on what you want, costs very easily multiply on themselves. The key here is upgrading utility and functionality. If you get too stylistic with it, prepare to spend more money. That said, you will very likely bring your property value in the process; but the value brought may not be equal to the costs involved in attaining it.


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Author’s Bio

Wendy Dessler

Title: Super-Connector at OutreachMama

Wendy is a super-connector with OutreachMama and Youth Noise NJ who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition. You can contact her on Twitter.


14 October 2016

Garages: The Untapped Space


What do you do in your garage?  What do you have in it?  Most peoples’ answers to those two questions would be: 1) park the car and 2) lots of stuff.  Garages are for cars and storage right?  But what if they don’t have to be just used for storage?  Garages are usually pretty big spaces and chances are that with a little reorganizing you could free up a lot of space in yours.  This is space that can be used for almost anything.

Whatever you decide to do with your garage, make sure to look at your garage doors, does it suit the new use of the space?  Will it allow in enough light and air?  Maybe you simply need screen doors that are specially made for garages.  These allow for beautiful wall-to-wall natural light exposure, airflow, as well as easy entry and exit.


Below are just a few ideas of new ways to re-imagine your garage’s purpose.

Man Cave
A classic garage space use.  Man cave can mean almost anything your, or his heart desires.  You could decide to make it a cozy nook with a leather couch and TV.  Maybe add a rug to cover cement flooring.   The point of using your garage space for a “man cave” is to create a space where you or your partner can go for some “me” time.  So anything they like to do can be put in the area.

Art Cave
If you are crafty, a painter, or almost any other type of artist, you can turn your garage space into an art room quite easily.  Garages are great areas for these kinds of uses because you probably don’t have to worry too much about splattering paint accidentally on carpets or walls.

Workshop
If you are handy you might want to think about using your garage as your woodworking and DIY area.  Garages are a perfect area for this because you don’t have to worry about breaking any furniture or cleaning up wood shavings immediately after.

Gym
A gym is another way you can utilize your garage.  Instead of sweating at a gym where you need to pay a membership fee, or out in the cold air, you can convert your garage with equipment tailored to your workout.  Then you don’t need to worry about cardio equipment time limits and can enjoy blasting your own music!

In short, your garage can be an important part of your home design if you are looking for a little extra space!


05 October 2016

Here's How You Can Enjoy Utmost Privacy at Home


When most people are at home, they expect a certain level of privacy. You don't want your neighbors to see what is going on inside your home. If you are sitting outside in your yard, you don't want your neighbors, pedestrians, or the cars passing by to see what is going on in your yard. If you want to enjoy the privacy of your home, there are a few ways to make your home more private while improving its appearance at the same time.

Install a Fence

One of the best ways to make your home more private is to install a fence. It will provide privacy in both the yard and the home. There are several types of fencing materials available, and each provides a different level of privacy. For example, wooden fencing and certain styles of PVC fencing are great options. If you are working on a budget, you can install a chain link fence with privacy slats. A fence will block the view of your yard and your home from the neighbors and the people on the street.

Window Coverings

In order to keep people from seeing inside your home, you should choose the right window cover to fit in with your individual style. Some people prefer window blinds, some prefer shutters, while others prefer shades. Window treatments will provide privacy and they will also keep the sun from coming in the home early in the morning. If you choose blinds or indoor shutters, you can control how much sunlight you want to come into the room. If you install shades, you can pull them down halfway, but you don't have much control.

Hang Drapes

If you want to add some privacy to your home, you should consider hanging drapes. You can close them when you need your privacy, and you can keep them open when you want the sun to shine into the home. The best part about drapes is that they can dress up the inside of your home. You can find drapes in many different colors and styles. The options available are endless. You will likely have no problem finding the right drapes to fit in with the individual style of your home.

Tint Your Windows

Many people tint their car windows to give them additional privacy and to make their car look sharp. Today, more and more people are using residential window tinting to add more privacy to their home. When the windows are tinted, it will keep people from being able to see inside, but you will be able to see outside. Another benefit of home window tinting is that it will keep the sun from shining too brightly in the home. This can help you save on your cooling costs during the summer. It is a relatively inexpensive solution to your privacy problem and unlike drapes and window coverings, you won't need to replace them regularly.

Install Replacement Windows

If you want privacy from people outside hearing what is going on inside, you should consider installing replacement windows. Older windows will not muffle noise the way that replacement windows do. Not only will your neighbors not be able to hear what is going on in your home, the windows will also keep you from hearing the noise that is going on outside.

If privacy is important to you, there are a few ways that you can increase your level of privacy when you are at home. Most of the options are relatively inexpensive and are very effective when it comes to making your home your own private sanctuary.

04 October 2016

Select Quality Lights For Your Makeup Mirror


You have an essential occasion at your office and you have ensured that everything is organized appropriately. In the wake of drying your hair you are good to go for your cosmetics. Before long – everything looks picture great.

You get into your car and choose to have another fast look. All things considered, it's vital to cross check and check whether your cosmetics is in its perfect spot.

In any case, sadly, you see that your establishment is uneven. Your eye shadow isn't the right shading, similar to you anticipated that it would be. In this situation, in the same way as other ladies, you are a casualty of poor cosmetics lights or awful wellsprings of lighting around your mirror.

We should investigate to how you can handle this kind of circumstance and dependably go ahead top! 

8 stages to enhance your make up lighting

1. At whatever point conceivable – use characteristic light: 

For your cosmetics application, common light is the least expensive and most effortless approach to get the best lighting.

To give your face an even, unadulterated wash of enlightenment – have a go at setting your vanity stand or reflect near a window that will permit a lot of regular light. Along these lines, you will at any rate know precisely what you're attempting to take away from or improve.

"For cosmetics application, you require diffused, encompassing light so that there are no shadows highlighted on the face," says Katie Anderson, Principal at Katie Anderson Interior Design Consultants.

Draw near to a window and look straight into the light. Your face should be all around lit up and don't give the light a chance to hit stand out edge of your face. On the off chance that essential utilize a handheld mirror.

2. Post for lighting that has a high CRI – Color Rendering Index: 

With regards to cosmetics, how you see distinctive hues is to a great degree urgent. Under a specific light, an establishment shading may seem as though it coordinates your skin tone.

In any case, if the wellspring of lighting has a low CRI – and once you venture out into the sunlight, you will later acknowledge it doesn't coordinate by any stretch of the imagination.

When you are applying your cosmetics in the restroom, you have to ensure your vanity lighting has a high CRI. Along these lines you will have the capacity to see the genuine nature of your eye shadows, establishments and that's just the beginning.

It is genuinely basic – you have to keep your wellspring of light's CRI above 80. With an impeccable lighting CRI of 100, keeping in mind the end goal to light your vanity you might need to run with radiant knobs.

3. Try not to depend on overhead lighting as it were:

You more likely than not saw that when you are in a fitting room, the cruel overhead lighting will increase each and every defect on your body. Additionally, your experience will be the same when you have a solitary overhead light when you do your cosmetics.

When you depend just on wellspring of lighting, particularly when it is an overhead light – you will cast shadows underneath your eyes and it won't help you amid your cosmetics procedure by any means.

A solitary flush mount apparatus or pendant light won't give you the even brightening or delicate lighting that is imperative for a decent cosmetics.

4. With regards to wattage – don't try too hard:

You have to ensure you pick the right sort of lights for your cosmetics territory. What's more, you have to manage as a primary concern – a high lumen yield and wattage does not suggest that it is quality cosmetics lighting.

Anything that creates a delicate light and isn't horrendously brilliant is viewed as the best lighting for cosmetics. This sort of impact is best reproduced by lights diffused through glass or shades. You may see them on pendant lights or sconces.

5. Make it simple by having various light sources:

It is redundant for a decent cosmetics process – to have yourself encompassed by lights like motion picture stars have them in their changing areas. Your face can in any case get the perfect measure of light from various light sources.

One approach to accomplish all the more even enlightenment is to utilize a restroom vanity installation, with more than one light. Then again, a superior choice would be to utilize light sources on both sides of your face.

All regions of your face will be sufficiently bright and highlighted, when you have two light apparatuses put on either side of your face at eye level.

6. While in restroom – cross brightening is the way to great lighting:

You have to picture a couple of light apparatuses – in a perfect world mounted 18 crawls separated and 36 inches from the centreline of the sink. As indicated by compositional lighting fashioner, Randall Whitehead, it is alluded as side lighting. Be watchful for pendants, mirrors or scones with illuminated segments of iridescent glass.

Mounted at eye level around 5' 6"off the floor ought to be the most brilliant part.

On the off chance that two people are sharing a solitary mirror and there is a distinction in their stature – for this situation, a perfect arrangement is a long vertical configuration. Also, when you incorporate an inside roof piece, it will supplement the vanity lighting.

Whitehead further says that you ought to look out for lights that are settled just over the mirror. This will light up just your temple and you will need to tilt your head too far up keeping in mind the end goal to apply cosmetics with exactness.

7. Buy the right globules: 

For preparing jobs that needs to be done, having warm light at 75 to 100 watts for each side – as a feature of your lavatory installation will give brilliant and even brightening.

"Despite the fact that I'm about vitality effective lighting in 98 percent of my light sources, the one spot I've stayed with radiant light is at the washroom mirror—I cherish that warm brilliant shading," says Whitehead.

A dimmer is a decent expansion as well. You will have alternatives like tweaking the brilliance as indicated by your requirements and changing components, for example, daylight and seasons. Furthermore, when you are not prepping you can make some fine encompassing lighting.

8. The cosmetics you apply can be affected by knob tints: 

An excessively brilliant white can look unflattering and cool fluorescent white can look brutal. Keeping in mind the end goal to compensate for absence of shading all over, both these components can lead you to exaggerate on the redden or bronzer.

Things being what they are, which light is the best alternative for excellence?

As per inside architect Katie Anderson – it is warm white. It works at 3200 Kelvin and by and large, this light is the most lovely on everybody.

You will confront an ashen skin appearance when you have a yellow light in your lavatory. It will make you look drained and sick. For this situation, there is an inclination to apply a lot of powder keeping in mind the end goal to kill it, or there are chances you may go after a tinted preliminary in the wrong shading.

Your composition will look sound and lively with blushing globules. Be that as it may, you may slack a bit with regards to the concealer – on the grounds that your skin will seem energetic in the mirror. However, when you go out in normal sunlight you'll understand that you have missed a spot.

The 4 noteworthy light wrongdoers and why you ought to maintain a strategic distance from them

With regards to applying your cosmetics these four are the host horrendous lighting conditions:

1. Fluorescent Lighting: 

It is not you. Fluorescent lighting is not great to anyone.

The white glaring light is over splendid and absolutely unforgiving. This sort of lighting will totally bamboozle you. It can make you overcompensate your cosmetics like influencing your establishment, bronzer, or become flushed – while you endeavor to make up for the lack of shading all over.

2. Downlighting:

Downlighting tend to sparkle down on wrinkles and pigmentation. They cast shadows under your eyes and will in a split second make you look more seasoned. In specific occurrences you will seem to be tired or depleted, regardless of the possibility that you are most certainly not.

3. Yellow Light:

Do you look drained and wiped out? The yellow light is the guilty party!

In the push to kill your face and shroud dim recognizes, this wellspring of lighting may make you go over the edge on the powder and concealer.

4. Rosy Light: 

Rosy light can be greatly deluding. They will make your composition seem dynamic and solid.

Considering the brilliant appearance in this sort of lighting, ladies have a tendency to run simple with the concealer. Be that as it may, its lone later you will understand that you've passed up a great opportunity for a dim spot or a booming imperfection.

Buy your next makeup in the best lighting 

The lighting at the retail establishment is not exceptionally accommodating. It won't generally give you the most precise results. There will be an occasion, where you thought your establishment was great. In any case, this was at the store.

Presently, when you apply it on at your home, it doesn't coordinate your skin shading consummately – as it did prior at the store. It is the lighting.

All in all, what is a brilliant way to deal with this issue?

When you are wanting to look for cosmetics, go out amid the day. Along these lines, you can exploit the characteristic daylight. Bring a mirror alongside you too. Haul out your mirror and stroll over to the nearest window with normal light coming through. Presently test your new establishment, bronzer, or any sort of cosmetics.

Before you make a buy, this brilliant trap will permit you to look at your cosmetics in the right lighting.


23 September 2016

How to Pick Perfect Sinks and Taps


Sinks and Taps are two essential parts of any kitchen, but unfortunately they are most neglected pieces in the kit. It is almost impossible to imagine a kitchen without them. With the advancement in technology, they are now more advanced and good looking, but it does not mean you can pick any sink and tap for your kitchen. You have to think hard and select those pieces that match your kitchen type.


Sinks
Your sink is the most usable part of the kitchen, especially if you entertain lots of guests regularly. For this purpose, a deep rectangular sink is the perfect choice, as it can manage roasting pans and casseroles. On the other hand, if you own a big kitchen, double bowl sinks would be an ideal option. You can use both side by side and save time. For hand-washing or vegetable preparation, we recommend one-and-a-half-bowl sink. Other options include small circular or square prep sinks and sinks that feature accessories.

Modern sinks are accessible in a variety of materials. The choice depends largely on the type of kitchen you have, your budget and preference. Stainless steel sinks are one of the best in the market owing to their germ-free properties. There is a variety of designs and price ranges, so you are sure to get the one under your budget. It is suggested to buy a sink with 18% chromium and 10% nickel mix to make certain it’s strong and rust-proof. If you own a classic or country-style kitchen, Belfast or butler sinks are ideal. They boast porcelain-coated fireclay polish, which makes them defiant to heat and stain. For a flawless look, you can go for Corian and quartz composite materials.


Taps
In the last decade, the tap designs advanced tremendously. Nobody ever wondered such an evolution. The new kids in the block are  filter water taps, boiling water taps, sparkling water taps, pull-out sprays and light emitting diodes displaying water temperature. The latest taps even show water saving and flow control measures.

The most important aspect in selecting a tap is making sure it is compatible with the water pressure in your kitchen. It does not matter if you pick a traditional bridge mixer or a modern monobloc with hi-tech features all of them work on the same principle. You must know that a low-pressure tap usually needs 0.3 bar, a high-pressure tap 1.0 bar and special-style taps 1.5 bar.

In the market, you would find chrome, stainless steel or nickel-plated brass taps. Polished chrome and stainless-steel taps are perfect for modern kitchens, but they reveal finger marks. Look for matt brushed or satin finishes to avoid this issue.

Never go for a cheap tap, it will rip you off in the long run. It is recommended to buy a tap boasting the new ceramic disc technology, a stable scheme that competently controls the surge of water, which is excellent for old rubber washers and do not require frequent fixing. Aerated flow is another excellent eco choice.

Taps featuring spouts that rotate will aid you in providing greatest reach near your sink for cleaning and filling pans. Before set out buying the tap, it is wise to examine the size of your biggest pan to make sure your tap spout rests high enough to put in the pan beneath to load it.

A partnership with Harvey Jones, scheming and creating kitchens from their Cambridgeshire workshop for over thirty-five years.

22 September 2016

What is the best compost for growing vegetables?

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Whether you’re growing tomatoes or turnips, carrots or cucumbers, getting your soil right is vital for growing bumper batches of tasty veg. Because vegetables require a lot of nutrients to grow to their best, few gardeners will have the perfect soil already in their garden. However, with the right products and gardening know-how, they can boost their soil and enjoy tasty home grown goodness.

If you’re just starting your vegetable patch or want to improve your crops this year, Compost Direct is here to help. Read on to find out how to choose the best compost for growing vegetables.

What compost is best for growing vegetables?

As we’ve already mentioned, you’ll need compost that’s packed with vital nutrients for your plants. While standard multi-purpose compost does contain some plant food, for the best results, we recommend choosing a specialist compost for growing vegetables. For example, Veggie Gold Compost contains high levels of organic matter, so is suitable for vegetable patches.

However, the type of compost you require depends on the vegetables you plan on growing and the existing condition of the soil. For example, carrots and cucumbers grow well in alkaline soils, while potatoes and parsley are best grown in acidic soils. Before you get started, check what conditions you’ll need to create before you purchase your compost.

Can I use grow bags?

Grow bags are a great option for those looking to grow their own without the need for a vegetable patch. Perfect for smaller gardens, grow bags contain quality compost with lots of nutrients for less. If you do choose this method, look for a thick, large bag, as this will provide lots of room for your plants’ roots to develop.

Will manure help my crops?

Because it is a natural, nutrient-rich material, manure will act as a compost and benefit your crops — but only if it is well-rotted. If it isn’t well-rotted, it may be too rich for your plants, as the nutrients haven’t been broken down into manageable forms the plants can use. Likewise, it could spread disease to your plants and carry an unpleasant odour.

Well-rotted manure, on the other hand, contains plenty of useful nutrients and has a crumbly, soil-like texture. Often, it’s only necessary to use either manure or compost, so choose the one that’s right for your vegetable patch.

How do I apply the compost or manure to my vegetable patch?

To apply your chosen organic matter to your vegetable patch, you should dig over the soil to a depth of around 37.5cm to 45cm. As you dig, incorporate the manure or compost into the soil.

30 August 2016

Home remodeling don'ts

Whether you are working alone or with the help of a general contractor, getting a peek into the contractor’s mind might give you a new perspective about remodeling projects.  What you do is just as important as what you do not do. Sometimes, your instinct can affect your home renovation project negatively. How do you know whether you are hurting or helping the project? Here are some remodeling don’ts:

Do not delay decisions


If you want your remodeling project to go well, you should make your decisions before the work starts. A good contractor will be able to talk you through the number of situations that could come up during the project. Decisions about things like faucets, trims, and paint can cause a delay. As small as these things seem, when your contemporary kitchen faucets are two weeks late, the plumbers will have to reschedule the remodeling.

Do not purchase your own materials

Although this seems like the most cost effective option, you should not buy your own materials. A builder might get a better price than you might for all materials. This means that even if he marks up the price after buying, you might not notice the difference.

Do not work without contingency funds

If the work that you plan to do will cost more money than you can afford, you should reconsider the project. Most people do not usually set up realistic funds for their projects. For this reason, you need to set up a contingency fund in case the project runs out of budget. If you make every decision in advance, you might not even have to use the contingency fund.

Do not keep changing your mind

Even if changing your mind is inevitable, you should know that doing it too much results in a change of order. As minor as the change may seem, it will add to the overall cost of doing the project. The scheduling of your project will also be affected when you change your mind. Every person working on the project needs to be aware of the new schedule, resulting in delays and disruptions.

Do not waste money

Although the contractor might not tell you this, some houses need to be knocked down instead of being remodeled. You might be putting new cabinets in a house with a saggy foundation or wasting money on a high-efficiency furnace in a house that has no insulation. To avoid wasting your money, you should keep an open mind and listen to what the professionals tell you.

Do not ignore what your house wants


When making changes to your house, make sure that they go hand in hand with the type of house that you have. For instance, would an ultramodern kitchen fit into your Victorian brownstone? It can if you hire the right contractor. Of course, a house can evolve with the times, but you have to ensure that you can pull it off. Get to know your house and do some research before hiring a contractor.

Do not live in the home

Many people ignore this because renovation is costly and moving out only increases the cost. If you cannot afford to move during the whole project, make sure that you set up a clean area in the house to stay. This will not only keep you out of the way while the job is being done, but also keep you from coming to a dirty and messy construction site. If you can afford to stay away for the duration of the renovation, that would be great.

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Author’s Bio
Wendy Dessler
Title: Super-Connector at OutreachMama

Wendy is a super-connector with OutreachMama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.

Photo: http://www.outreachmama.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Wendy-Dessler.jpg
Twitter Handle: @outreachmama
Twitter URL: https://twitter.com/outreachmama
Website URL: http://www.outreachmama.com/

19 July 2016

2016 Design Trends


So you’ve been thinking of renovating your kitchen and you’ve decided that 2016 is the year you’re going to do it… but have you thought about making sure your kitchen style will be up-to-date? If you’re going to spend all that money on a kitchen you need to make sure that you’re happy with your choice in style and features. We’ve put together 5 key kitchen design trends so that you can be certain that your kitchen is not instantly behind the times.

Open Shelving

For several years now we’ve seen the kitchen design industry leaning towards minimalist design with barely a thought of practicality. Designers have hidden away every personality trait of your kitchen behind imposing glossy cabinets. However, there is now an emerging trend of using open shelving to show off all of your kitchen accessories. This gives you an opportunity to give your kitchen some personality, but also it makes your kitchen more practical; you can now find what you’re looking for much easier. Of course you won’t want everything on display so it’s best to combine shelving and cabinets.



Impactful Wallpaper

Walls are often forgotten and neglected as part of the kitchen design; they are predominately just left as a single color. Incorporating wallpaper into your design is proving to be a big trend this year, but not just any style – we’re talking about the big pattern and multi-color wallpaper. Adding this patterned wallpaper is nothing new; it has been used for feature walls in bedrooms and lounges for years, but it is rarely used in the kitchen. Wallpaper can give you the opportunity to complement the architectural elements throughout your kitchen and add stunning contrast to what would otherwise be a simplistic color palette.



A Mix Of Old And New

In recent years there has been a definite pursuit of the minimalist and modern design with the traditional styles being left behind. Homeowners are now shunning these ultra-sleek designs in favor for the best of both worlds: a combination of the traditional and modern design. These designs bring the clean lines and simplicity you see in a modern kitchen with the character of the traditional design. Plain door fronts are out, and instead people are going for classics such as the Shaker doors; gone are the stainless steel worktops in exchange for marble or wood.

It is a very delicate balancing act between the two designs, but when done right can result in a warm, homely and yet practical kitchen. Those looking to give their traditional style kitchen an update could certainly benefit from this approach.  By simply adding a few modern design elements it is possible to achieve the latest look whilst avoiding the cost of a whole new kitchen.



Furniture-Style Cabinets

Furniture-style cabinets look set to become big in 2016; there have been a few brilliant examples of these cropping up for a few years now, but this year they are really taking off. These are non-imposing cabinets for your kitchen which give your kitchen the same feel as a living room or dining room. They celebrate the different elements that can make up a kitchen, rather than thinking of your kitchen as just a work station. You can also mix and match items; giving your kitchen that personal design touch.




Sleek And Warm Black

Black never really went out of style and probably never will; it has always been used to make a bold statement in design. However, kitchen designers have always been too afraid to use it in any big way. Until now. There is an emerging trend of using black as the main color in the kitchen by making all of the cabinets black or painting some walls black. If done right it can make the kitchen look sleek and modern, yet still warm and homely. It can provide a stunning contrast to colorful walls or patterned wallpaper, really highlighting the wall and making it even more of a feature. If you’re not set on a color or want something a little bit different then black could be the ideal solution.



Injections Of Color

If you love the white kitchen, but are not a fan of how plain and boring it can sometimes look, you need to inject some color. More kitchen designs are taking the minimalist kitchen and throwing some color in the right places. This can be: using a colorful splash back, colorful lights or even just by displaying colorful items around the kitchen. Adding splashes of color allows you to inject some of your personality into your kitchen. Plus, because you’re using the plain white kitchen as your canvas it means you can add the color once the rest of the kitchen has been installed.  Moreover, you can easily update your plain white kitchen without much hassle.



2016 is set to be another exciting year in kitchen design with some incredibly innovative designs being shown off. As always, we’ll see some surprises and some designs that simply don’t take off. In time we will be able to see which have evolved into trends and which become a distant memory.  But in the meantime if you incorporate whichever of the above styles or features that take your fancy, you can rest assured that you will be the proud owner of a trendy kitchen that will look good for years.

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This guest blog was written by Designer Kitchens for Less, the UK based supply of cheap designer kitchens. Get in touch for a quote on your dream designer kitchen. Visit us at: www.designerkitchensforless.co.uk.

08 July 2016

How To Choose The Right Bar Stools For Your Kitchen Counter or Island

A bar stool to a kitchen area is like a fine glass of wine to a Friday night - an addition that can only make things better and inject a vibrant feel to your home. As wonderful and versatile as they are, choosing the right set is only a matter of taste and the style that already prevails your space. The most important factors to consider are material and style.

Material

Wood
Nowadays, most wooden bar stools are made of hard rubber-wood due to its durability, but there are other wood materials that are also appealing. There’s also rattan, wicker and teak wood, although they might not be as sturdy. Fortunately, wooden bar stools are generally quite easy to maintain and clean.


Metal
Stainless steel is by far one of most strong and resistant materials for kitchen bar stools. If you are one of those people that want to buy a  kitchen bar stools set once and have a piece of mind for a long time, this is the material you are looking for. Make sure that the stools you get feature at least 80% of steel as a part of their construction. If you want something lighter than steel, aluminium could seal the deal by offering similar quality, low maintenance and contemporary design. Metal kitchen bar stools easy to disinfect with a quick wipe down.

Upholstery                          
These bar stools are the mightiest tool if you want to match your interior just right because they come in an endless array of covers, be it leather, linen, faux suede or vinyl. They can easily become a part of the seamless blend you are aiming to achieve. People also love these due to the comfort they provide with the convenient padding for the back and as an addition, many of these kitchen bar stools feature a footrest as well. One minor disadvantage is the fact that they are not as easy to clean and you will have to be very careful not to spill something on the upholstered surface.

Plastic
If you’re all about easy maintenance, this material can surely offer that, but with so many amazing choices of material that come with more sturdiness and class, plastic is regarded as probably the last one you should opt for, if you want your interior to speak volumes about your taste, that is.


Recycled materials
If the process of choosing the perfect type of material is to receive an extra pair of wings, that can undoubtedly be achieved with a sustainability factor. If you want to excel at both - helping our planet and decorating your home, this is a great way to do it and you can find all of the aforementioned types in the form of their recycled counterparts, except for upholstered.

Style

Futuristic
Simple, straight, strong, new age – these are the qualities you should look for if you’re after a futuristic feel. The best material choice for this style is by all means steel. Make sure that the chairs you choose are easy to assemble and feature PVC seats. This style simply pours that modern vibe into the area and with minimal effort you'll be able to pull off a very cool futuristic style.

Traditional
If you can imagine yourself sitting on one of your bar stools, hands wrapped around a warm mug, a quiet jazz song playing in the background, then wooden bar stools from top to bottom might be right up your alley. Just make sure that the rest of your décor can respond to this vintage challenge because you wouldn't want it to look as if you've kidnapped the stools from a retro times and now you are desperately trying to adapt them to your modern design.

Middle Earth
Being unable to choose between traditional and modern is actually a pleasant design symptom. It can allow you to have the best of both worlds in a very unique way. Talk about a style that defies classification. This style can be best achieved by opting for a set of bar stools that feature black metal frame and wood. The wooden part will add to the traditional appeal, whilst the black metal frame will speak of futuristic simplicity, easy maintenance and a keen eye for elegance.












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