25 February 2016

What you need to know about pest control in the kitchen

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No room of your home is immune to pest infestation. You may not like the idea, but your kitchen could be especially popular with pests because there is a potential food supply close at hand. If you discover a pest problem in your kitchen, or any other room of your home, you may need to carry out certain actions before the pest control experts arrive.

If you hire a Wheaton exterminator to deal with your pest problem you should ask for advice about what you will need to do in preparation for the extermination taking place. In the meantime, we are going to take you through some information that you may find interesting to know.

Making sure your kitchen is prepared for the extermination process

If you are having extermination work carried out in your kitchen you will normally be required to empty your kitchen cupboards. You should always make sure that the contents of the cupboards are stored in another area of your home, under a covering. Once you have emptied the cupboards you should clean them out.

Doing this removes any traces of food which may serve as a distraction to pests and reduce the effect of any baits that are put in place. It’s also worth remembering that you will not be able to clean any of the cupboards directly after the extermination process as to do so could adversely affect the treatments used.

It’s worth noting that for certain treatments, such as that for an infestation of spiders, the process you need to follow may be different as any webs will normally need to be left intact.

Action to take in the rest of your home

It’s often not just your kitchen that requires treatment during the extermination process. In any area of your home that is being treated you need to make sure that the exterminator has full and unrestricted access. You should always make sure that the floor space is clear. There is a particular process that you need to follow if you have an aquarium in your home which is too heavy to be moved.
You should ensure that the aquarium is completely sealed and that you have switched the pump off. Obviously, the fish cannot be without a pump for very long so if the extermination is going to take a long time you need to find a way of filtering air in from outside of your home.

These are probably not the only preparations you will need to make, prior to the arrival of the exterminator. You should always ask the pest control expert you have hired about what they need you to do. Once you have confirmed what preparations are necessary you should always make sure you have enough time to complete them. You do not want to end up rushing so always start early clearing your kitchen and any other rooms that are being treated.

23 February 2016

Six kitchen counter ideas

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Choosing the right kitchen counter is extremely important. After all, you use it on a daily basis, and if you don’t pick one that’s durable enough for your needs or that matches the look and feel of your home, you’ll regret it for a long time. Thankfully, there are many different kitchen countertop options for you to choose from, and the following detail them for your so that you can make a better, more informed choice.

Laminate
Laminate is a traditional countertop. Many people are trying to get rid of laminate, though, because it does look a bit dated. However, many upgrades have been made that give laminate a classier look.

Check out my post on laminate sinks from 2011. You can get this in a variety of styles and colors, and you can even find some that will give you the look of a stone without the price tag.

Stone
Stone is a popular countertop choice. Many homeowners are opting for granite countertops, marble, or soapstone because it gives a seamless and classy look to the house. Plus, these come in many different styles, so you can easily find one that fits your specific needs and tastes. There are differences between the different types of stone counters, so you should always connect with a specialist to ensure you’re making the right choice.

Butcher Block
Butcher block is  a timeless option for countertops. Pair this with a Hahn farmhouse sink, and you’ll have a truly unique look that you’ll love for years to come. Butcher block is extremely durable, so you can do all your cooking and baking on this material without worrying about long-term effects. Plus, it’s extremely easy to maintain, and it will last you for a very long time.

Stainless Steel
Most people don’t think of stainless steel as a countertop option, but it’s a great choice. This can create a rustic and classic look in a kitchen. However, it’s important to note that stainless will show dents and dings, so if you’re a perfectionist, this may not be the right countertop choice for you.

Concrete
Concrete is another popular countertop choice. It’s extremely durable and very cheap to install. Plus you can count on it to last you a long time. It can be left untreated for a rustic look, or you can have it stained or polished to give you a specific look and feel. You could even have it stamped if you want to create a different illusion.

Tile
If you want something cost-effective, tile is a great option. You can pick any type of tile you want to make it match your home’s style and d├ęcor, and tile is durable and waterproof, which is great for  a kitchen environment. However, just remember that tile requires mortar, and this can be hard to clean.

Choosing the right countertop is something you need to think about. Make sure you look at all your options and think of your needs in order to make the best choice.

20 February 2016

Unconventional Ways to Find Interior Design Inspiration

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You want the rooms of your home or office to speak to your tastes. But what are those, exactly? In an effort to get inspired we often jump the gun and start with things like favorite color or a style we’re vaguely familiar with. Soon our best intentions turn into mismanaged approaches and the result is a less-than-ideal look to your interior space. We’ve all been there before.

The obvious first step is to try and think like an interior designer. However, DIY interior design doesn’t need to be all dense theory and academic absorption. Inspiration can and ought to arrive in all sorts of ways. The following are just an example of some of the many unconventional methods to achieving desired interior design:

  • Look through homes for sale in other parts of the world. For example, San Diego real estate listings are sure to offer a glimpse into one-of-a-kind forms of architecture and interior design. Color combinations, use of space, and application of light are all things that can be seen in photos meant to try and sell a home. While your budget may call for a scaled down version, looking through the swankier listings will showcase the most original interior design styles to draw inspiration from.
  • Pay attention to art direction in movies and on television. Film and television studios pay good money to make sure the sets and scenery look perfect. Sometimes this means making sure the underbelly of a viaduct has just the right color scheme of spray paint, but most of the time it means making sure an interior space is in harmony with the production’s color palette. This typically leads to immaculately executed interior design styles, especially if the filmmakers are particularly known for striking visuals. Take notes when you like the look of a room in your favorite TV show - a lot of work went into making it look good and you can base your own approach on the design.
  • Go beyond the basics. Let yourself be inspired by animals, paintings, cars, or even music - it doesn’t simply have to be space, wall color, and furniture found elsewhere. The aforementioned array of graffiti along the walls of concrete canals can even serve as a launching pad for the mind. It may sound hippy dippy, but such an approach is how many successful interior designers choose to work.
  • Dreams: write them down. Some people have vivid dreams in terms of locale. This is particularly the case if interior design is weighing heavily on your mind during your waking hours. Keep a sketchpad and 120-count box of crayons by the bed and draw out (the best you can) any memorable looking spaces in your dreams. While you might end up passing on the octopus tentacle ceiling fan blades and the shag carpeted walls, you might find just the look you were wanting all along.


We all want to pull off professional-grade interior design when attempting to 'do it ourselves.' However, it’s easier to end up with a pedestrian look to a room than something spectacular when we opt to go at it alone. Too much energy is forced on trying to make inspiration happen, rather than letting it happen. Go out and take in the world to find interior design which suits your taste and budget.

19 February 2016

Top Home Design Trends to Look for in 2016

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With a solid economic recovery underway and renewed consumer confidence, the housing market is predicted to continue strong in 2016. Among the real estate trends we’ll see in 2016 is a growing interest among home buyers in building a new home versus purchasing a resale home. By choosing a new construction home, buyers have the chance to customize and create a home that is the perfect match for their family and lifestyle. So what design choices will be popular in 2016? Check out the list below to see the top trends in new home design.

Style

Many new home buyers are looking for a contemporary or modern design in their 2016 home. Although these styles have unique elements, both favor simple and uncluttered spaces, the use of simple, neutral colors, clean lines, and decorating that adds a pop of color and artistic flair.

Another overall style trend is the importance of personalization and customization in 2016 new homes. Home builders are showing off their craftsmanship with stunning staircases, custom built-in shelves and other fine details. Homeowners are also personalizing their homes by taking risks with bold paint colors, wallpaper, and patterns.

Layout

In 2016, home builders will continue to see the open concept floor plan the most desired layout among home buyers. This layout opens up the main living space so the kitchen, dining, living and entertainment areas all flow together. This layout is perfect for entertaining and bringing families together.

Overall, the layout of 2016 new homes is set up to have 100 percent usable space throughout the entire home. This means clean design, fewer hallways, a single staircase, and no tiny, wasted rooms.

Kitchen

In 2015, the biggest kitchen trend was white everything, including white cabinets, walls, and countertops. While white will still be a top choice in 2016 new homes, the latest kitchen color trend is now gray, which can be used in everything from cabinets to backsplashes. Combining white and gray will also be very popular in 2016.

With the open concept floor plan, the kitchen will be the center of entertaining, cooking, and dining. This will lead to a high demand for larger islands that provide more space. In fact, those who have enough room are choosing double islands, either back to back or side by side. This allows you to have one designated area for prepping and cooking, and a separate space for dining and socializing.

Bathroom

Although many new homes will have more than one bathroom, the bathroom that is getting all the attention in 2016 homes is the master bathroom. In addition to a beautiful retreat-like bedroom, homeowners want their own personal bathroom to enjoy after a long day.

In the bathroom, we are seeing a transition away from bath-shower combinations into single units. Some homeowners are choosing large walk-in showers decorated with beautiful tiling, others are choosing stand-alone spa-like tubs, and those who have room are adding both for convenience and ‘wow’ factor.

Other Rooms

Beyond the other typical rooms of the home like kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms, home builders are noticing an increasing number of requests for bonus rooms. This includes:

  • Wine rooms and bars where the homeowner can nurture their love of wine and spirits with professional amenities.
  • Home offices, which reflects the fact that many people now work from home or telecommute on some days.
  • “Get away” rooms, which offer a place for relaxation, recreation and family time. Get away rooms can take many forms including entertainment or media rooms, libraries, formal living rooms and more.


Outdoor Spaces

As we mentioned earlier, home buyers who are building a new home in 2016 want to make every inch of their space functional, and this includes the outdoors. Because of the growing importance of at-home entertaining, new home builders are seeing requests for indoor-outdoor living spaces. For example, the main level may have a two or even three-panel sliding glass door that provides a view of nature. The glass doors may then open to a patio that is perfect for entertaining, and it may include other extras such as outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, or pizza ovens. All of these design choices are made to create a seamless flow of indoor and outdoor spaces and to maximize functionality.

With the trends featured above, it’s easy to see why home buyers entering the market in 2016 are strongly considering building a new home over buying a resale home. By gathering your ideas and contacting your local home builder, you can truly create the home of your dreams.  

03 February 2016

Can you paint your house any color you want?





Making a decision on what color to paint your property is an important task; after all once it’s

done you don’t particularly want to be struck with a change of heart and have to start all over

again. Painting the outside of a property is a big job and starting from scratch would take far too

much time and effort. That’s why it’s important to make a solid decision on a color scheme before

you start painting your home.

One of the questions you may be asking yourself is can you paint your brick home? The answer is yes you can; brick can look great when painted, as long as you follow the right process. Any exterior

surface of your home can benefit from a paint job, but you have to take some points into

consideration when choosing a color.

Are you free to choose whatever color you want?


This is the main theme we want to address here. The question does not just apply to “can” you

choose a certain color, but also to “should” you choose it. There are certain areas and housing

associations which impose restrictions on colors that can be used when painting the exterior of a

property. The first thing that you need to do is check that none of these restrictions apply in your

area. If they do then you are going to be restricted in your color choice.

Even if there are no restrictions, you may want to give some thought to the type of area you live in.


If your home is located in an area of historical significance, where homes stick to certain color

schemes, it may go down too well if you paint your home bright yellow. It may be a bright color that

reflects your personality, but does it really fit with where you live?


What color should you choose?

Once you have discovered that you have complete freedom of choice when it comes to painting

your property, you then have to decide what color to opt for. One of the main deciding factors is

going to be whether your property is a home or an investment. If you want to settle in the property

then you will probably want to put your own stamp on it. If the property is more of an investment

then you want to stick to a clean and neutral color scheme that makes it easier to sell the property

on.


You may also want to take a look around you and see what colors your neighbors have opted for.

Sticking with the same themes or shades is often a good idea. You may be thinking that you want to

stand out and be individual. There is nothing wrong with that, but you may have to be prepared for a

backlash. You also have to decide whether you really want to spend years living in a home that is a

talking point for everyone, or would the novelty start to wear thin after a while.

There is a lot to consider when you decide to paint the exterior of your home. It’s important to do

your research and spend time making a decision in order to save yourself problems and time in the

long run.

Can you paint over a water damaged ceiling?



A water damaged ceiling looks unsightly and the water can cause drywall to become loose. Both of

these problems obviously need to be addressed. The good news is that you can get rid of that ugly

water damage stain on your ceiling; it just takes a little bit of effort and knowledge.


We are going to take a look at what steps to take when painting a water damaged ceiling. This

includes the attention you have to pay to repairs that may necessary as a result of the water

damage. One thing it’s important to note before you start is that you need to ensure the source of

the water damage has been located, and the problem dealt with. You don’t want to do all of this

work only for the water damage to re-appear.


Check for loose drywall


In the case of a more serious leak there is every possibility that the water may have caused the

drywall to become loose from the joists. If this has happened the problem obviously needs to be

resolved before any painting is done. It’s easy to test to see if the drywall is loose; all you have to do

is give a gentle push in the area of the stain. If you can feel that it’s loose you will need to take some

drywall screws and fasten the panel back in place.


Check for any cracks 


It’s also possible that the presence of water may have caused cracks to form. If this is the case you

will need to fill in any cracks with spackle and allow it try dry for the recommended amount of time.

After it has dried you will then need to sand the area down.


Remove any mold


There is a chance that you may find mold on the stain caused by the water damage. If this is the case

you will need to remove the mold with a bleach solution, before letting it dry.


Use primer first


You can’t just paint directly over a water damage stain and expect it to disappear. After you have

made sure the area is repaired if necessary you then need to use an oil-based, quick drying primer.

Using this first means you will then be able to easily paint over the stain.


Painting the stain


Once the primer is dry you are able to paint the area. You should use water-proof paint that matches

the color of the original paintwork. Make sure that you paint using smooth strokes and that you start

dabbing when you reach the edge of the stain; this helps the paint to blend. You should apply two

coats.


If you carry out all of these processes then you should be able to paint over a stain that results from

water damage. It takes a little time and effort but you will soon have a ceiling that looks as good as

new again.
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