13 February 2017

How To Create The Perfect Country Feel Kitchen

If you’re looking to shake things up in your kitchen to make it feel less modern and more country chic, then here are a few simple ideas to get you started.


Go natural
If your kitchen is fairly small, neutral/natural colours can really open up the space. Painting in natural colours also allows you to have an array of kitchen accessories out on surfaces without them clashing. From off whites to subtle greys, you still have a lot of colours to play with and never have the opinion that neutrals are boring!

You can also spruce up your flooring with some paint if you have engineered wood flooring. Interior designer Katie Scott told Elle Décor that she envisions 'bleached out, reclaimed, herringbone wood floors combined with kitchen cabinets painted in Plummet by Farrow & Ball'. The Plummet colour is a gritty, industrial and natural grey paint that will instantly give your kitchen that country chic edge.

Throw in something rustic
Even if you don’t have that much space in your kitchen, find somewhere for a farmhouse sink if you want that classic country feel. Not only do farmhouse sinks look stylish, they’re hard workers and extremely practical, too. Instead of having to keep up with water stains on your current metal sink you will find that the ceramic materials stay cleaner for longer.

Consider your furniture
A kitchen is never going to feel country chic if you’ve got a plastic table and chairs in there. You want something wooden and rustic; benches work really well instead of chairs or you can mix it up with a bench one side and chairs on the other.

Mismatched chairs can also be really effective; you could paint them in different pastel shades to lighten things up. Now, depending on your budget you may want to start thinking about saving for an old fashioned stove instead of an oven and hobs. Aga have really upped their game lately and the colours available are incredible, similarly Smeg and Rangemaster are creating more authentic looking cookers than the black glossy ranges that have previously been on the market. It’s a huge investment though and you’ll probably want to take it with you if you move house!

Accessorise your kitchen 
Without making any drastic changes, a simple but very effective change you can make is upgrading the knobs and handles on your cabinets. Bronzes and coppers can transform a room or there are some lovely alternative rustic hand-painted knobs and hooks available. Similarly with lights, most people will stick to the same ceiling lights in their kitchen for their entire life. Switch things up. Pendant lights are a must have for kitchens and you could even find some copper shades to match your new nobs. It’s less pricey than you might think to call the electrician out to make the changes, especially considering the sense of satisfaction you’ll get when you see how pretty your kitchen can be!

08 February 2017

Tips for Increasing Your Home’s Value

Considering selling your home? Perhaps you’re just looking for ways to build on your investment. Whatever the reason, making a commitment to increasing your home’s value can be daunting. However, with the right strategies and additions, you can drastically improve the look and value of your property in one fell swoop. From kitchen upgrades to landscaping efforts and everything in between, you’ll find it’s easier than you ever imagined to boost your home’s value and make a more comfortable living space for you and any future owner.

A Fresh Coat of Paint
Revamping your home’s interior and exterior walls with a fresh coat of paint can pay dividends when it comes time to sell. Hire a professional painter to give your home the facelift it needs. For just a few hundred dollars, you can fetch thousands more during the sale. Whether you decide to paint yourself or hire a professional, be sure to use paint products that don’t contain VOCs, as these harmful compounds can result in serious medical issues.

Focus on the Kitchen
The kitchen is the heart of the home, and making improvements in this area could greatly contribute to increased home value. You don’t have to completely remodel your cooking space. Enhance the look of the room by refinishing or painting the cabinets, add a new backsplash that serves as a focal point, or purchase a rolling island that provides extra counter space but can be easily stowed away for more room. You may also consider replacing your hardware. Switching out stained and rusted handles and pulls on your cabinets will make a significant impact on the overall look of the space, and adding chrome or stainless steel faucets can give the room an injection of upscale design.

Step Up Your Curb Appeal
Your home’s curb appeal matters. Increasing your home’s value by thousands of dollars could be as simple as adding landscaping features. Landscaping can add up to 20 percent more value to a given property, and one of the most effective ways to do so is adding a tree. The value of a tree in your front yard will continue to increase as the tree grows; not only does it heighten your chances of a better sell, but it can also affect energy efficiency—you’d be surprised how much natural shade can save you when it comes to cooling costs. Browse the available trees at TheTreeCenter.com. Looking for a low cost way to boost your yard’s aesthetic appeal? Create flowerbeds, create a DIY garden box, and use native plants to save water and effort.

Enhance Your Lighting
Buyers want bright spaces, and doing all you can to enhance both the natural and artificial lighting in your home can make a big difference in appearance of space. Simple ways to achieve better lighting? Install dimmers. These can help set the mood, perfect for those eventual walkthroughs with prospective buyers. You may also install lighting that only turns on when motion is detected. When it comes to emphasizing natural light, start small. Change your curtains or window treatments and prune back bushes that may be blocking the sun’s rays. If you’re looking to spend a bit more, consider installing a skylight or adding more windows to your space.

Going Green
The push towards sustainability and eco-friendly features has forever transformed the landscape of real estate. Buyers are looking for green features, and energy efficient upgrades can definitely work in your favor when it comes to fetching a higher price at resale. From solar panels to energy efficient appliances, added insulation to eco-friendly irrigation systems, there’s no limit to the ways you can make your home greener. While upgrades like solar water heaters and new windows can be costly, investments like these are now affordable through organizations like Renovate America. This company offers a Los Angeles PACE program—one that can be found in many other California communities, as well—that helps homeowners finance energy efficient projects, meaning you can make those vital upgrades to your home. These investments can help you save on your current living expenses, and allow you to demand a higher price when you put your home on the market.

Boosting the value of your property doesn’t need to break the bank. With simple fixes and strategic additions, you can improve your own comfort and expect a much better selling price in the future.

01 February 2017

5 bathroom accessories which you need to enhance its décor


Bathroom accessories are a perfect way to set the theme and highlight the ambiance of the bathroom. Stick to the conventional accessories that are different to add fun, pizzas to the look and a classic appeal. Your choice of the accessories determines the look and appeal of the bathroom. When you shop for the accessories, you will come across stylish, trendy and funky accessories. If you think it is time to remodel the bathroom and give it a fresh look, it is important to know the latest trends. Top 5 accessories can really enhance the décor and make your bathroom a focal point.

  1. Bathroom sets to create a lavish bathroom
    Looking to adorn your bathroom in a perfect manner? Do consider a bath set which comprises a soap dish, cotton jar, toothbrush holder and a soap dispenser. All the mentioned items of the bath set are of immense value and have great utility. Tissue box reflects healthy bathroom habit where your guests might feel fresh when they use fresh tissue to wipe their hands and faces. Your bathroom is sure to appear organized, neat and appealing with the proper bathroom set.
  2. The need for mirror
    Looking to add elegance, class and style to your personal zone? Exclusively designed mirror can help attain a perfect look. A mirror is worth considering in the bathroom as it can add the sense of completeness and luxury to the private zone. If you place the mirror strategically, it can foster a sense of expansiveness in your private chamber. While buying the mirror, look for designer mirrors only.
  3. Placing the towels
    Towels have more utilitarian value when compared to other accessories. So, there is no need to waste more paper in the form of napkins when there are towels. You may replace the towels every now and then to change the look of the bathroom and to add more color. Bathroom decoration is just like decorating the home and enhancing its interior. Thus, you need to be careful about your choice. 
  4. Complementing the theme with shower curtains
    Wall decal and shower curtains are the perfect way to compliment the theme of the bathroom. If you have an ocean themed bathroom, do go for decals carrying the shape of shell or fish along the bathroom wall base. You can further couple this up with ocean-styled curtains attain the right kind of look.
  5. Contemporary cubicles and bathtubs
    A beautiful and decorative bathtub can fabulously enhance the appeal of the bathroom. Bathtubs and cubicles are available in various models and makes. You may choose among colourful ones, round and oval ones. Cubicles in stained glass are also a popular option. 

When you choose any bathroom accessory, try to be different. There is no dearth of innovative ideas as the internet is flooded with the list of bathroom accessories to enhance its décor. You can buy a stylish range of bathroom accessories from Tradewindsimports.com, which is a one-stop solution for any and every kind of bathroom vanities that can transform your simple and plain bathroom into a place, where you will love to recline at times and spend some time on your own.

25 January 2017

Kitchen storage solutions

Kitchens are, as we know, the heart of most homes and consequently there is a lot of footfall through kitchens. There is also a lot of mess created and lots of cleaning up to be done. There are gadgets galore and food stuffs and plates and cutlery and all of this needs to be stored. We can’t fill a box and throw it in the loft as we may need it somewhere down the line. There is no point putting your old frying pan in the attic if Uncle Frank uses it when he comes at Christmas or you use it occasionally when you fry eggs.  Kitchens need storage, they need a lot of storage and they need clever storage. We have been helping people with kitchen storage for some years now and their storage requirements is one of the main factors we discuss when we are helping them design their kitchens. The needs and wishes of the client are obviously paramount but they do tend to focus on the look of the kitchen and they sometimes need a little help in describing the functionality of their kitchen or what is happening behind the cabinetry. This article is made to point out some of the options available to people designing their kitchen. They appear in no particular order apart from the order that they came into my head:

  • Don’t have a load of standard sized drawers: Instead vary the size of your drawers and have some large pan drawers but not just that have some tall, some thin, some wide, some thin drawers so they can be used for specific items such as spice jars, trays, tinned goods, storage jars and cereal boxes.
  • There are some things that you normally want to leave out on the counter top such as tea and coffee canisters; ensure these are beautiful items in their own right so you don’t need to hide them away and you can keep them right next to you kettle.
  • Use the full height of the kitchen. If you use standard units you are likely to have gaps either in the middle of your wall or at the top. Bespoke kitchen units can negate this fault and offer floor to ceiling storage so you can out lesser used items at the top for when they are needed.
  • Drawer dividers: every drawer you have should utilise dividers this has the dual advantage of making a defined space for everything which can be made to fit the items you want to store exactly so space is maximised. It also looks better and makes things easy to find.

Image courtesy of Elan Kitchens

  • Have a specified place for wine bottles. Wine racks or wine fridges can be made to fit any space so you precious wine can be kept neat and tidy but also in the perfect conditions to ensure the wine is enjoyed at its best.
  • Kitchen Islands: kitchen islands are useful to utilise the wasted space in the middle of kitchen floors if your kitchen runs round the side of a room as many do. The perimeter of the island is a great place to store goods. The cupboards will be thin but are ideal for goods like tins that will fit neatly into a thin space and there won’t be any hidden behind so you always know what stocks you have in.
  • Make corner spaces easy to use; As kitchen tend to run along walls and into corners cupboards often have dead space in the corners which can be fully utilised by carousel units or by mechanisms that pull out storage from the corner when you open the door.

Having your kitchen designed correctly with storage in mind will not only maximise your storage but make things much easier to find and help you optimise your time spent while cooking. Use a good kitchen designer and you will benefit immensely from added functionality and look.

24 January 2017

How to Clean and Maintain Glass Tiles


Glass tiles should be an option to consider when designing your home, especially if you’re looking to add shimmer and a distinct design. Just like ceramic and porcelain tiles, glass tiles are now available in a wide array of colours and designs. It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed in tiles stores when looking at all of the gorgeous patterns and shapes available.

Glass tiles offer dramatic shine and a rich quality that’s hard for other tiles to replicate. As well as simply looking great, they also have several positive qualities. These tiles are highly durable, so stains and mildew don’t stand a chance. They’re easy to clean—and you want to make sure you do that regularly to maintain its shine.

So, where can you tie in glass tiles within your home? Just about anywhere, really. They’re most commonly seen in kitchens and bathrooms, but they may also be seen in outdoor spaces now also.  As they’re resistant to heat, fire, frost and UV, they’re ideal for outdoor use.  Swimming pools and hot tubs are just some of the outdoor spaces where people tend to install these tiles.

The Different Methods of Cleaning Glass Tiles

These tiles are one of the top picks for kitchen backsplashes. However, the kitchen is where messes are bound to happen, like food stains and splashes flinging onto the backsplash. But since glass tiles have such a glossy surface, they’re resistant to dirt and stain accumulation. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should avoid cleaning tiles altogether. You should definitely clean them frequently to maintain their overall appearance. Take a look at the different ways you can clean your tiles to preserve its natural beauty:

Water & Vinegar Combination to Remove Soap Scum

These are materials that you’d definitely already have in your house: water and vinegar. This natural solution is simple to make and cost-effective. Start by pouring equal amounts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Mix the solution and then spray the glass tiles. Wipe the surface with a cloth or sponge. After that, rinse the tiles with fresh water and dry them off. You should have clean and gleaming tiles after trying out this method.

Water & Vinegar Solution for Heavy Duty Cleaning

This method is ideal for times where you need to do some heavy cleaning for your shower areas.  As the shower is used frequently, it’s easy for soap and hard water mineral deposits to accumulate overtime. This buildup can diminish the appearance of your glass tiles, and make them appear dirty. To tackle this problem, start by spraying the surface with the water and vinegar solution. Let the solution sit for 10 minutes, then, scrub the surface with a soft bristle brush. Once you’re finished, rinse the surface and wipe the tiles dry. While scrubbing, make sure to not scrub the grout too hard to avoid scratching the surface.

Dishwashing Soap & Water Solution for Kitchen Backsplashes

Got a backsplash with one too many stains and splashes? There’s an easy fix for that by mixing together another simple solution. In a spray bottle, add ½ teaspoon of a gentle dishwashing soap and fill it with hot water. Spray the tiles and wipe them with a sponge. Rinse them with cool water and then dry them.

Bleach & Water Solution to Clean Grout 

Maybe your tiles are sparkling clean, but the grout in between is distracting you from the overall look of the tiles. The build-up of mould and dirt on grout is common, but this shouldn’t happen as long as you maintain this cleaning method. In a spray bottle, combine ¼ cup of bleach and ¾ cup of water. After spraying the grout, use a soft bristled toothbrush to clean the grout. Rinse the grout and tiles with water and dry them when you’re done.

Maintaining glass tiles isn’t that different from taking care of other tiles. They’ll gleam and be in tiptop shape, as long as you remember to clean them regularly. This means to clean up spills as soon as they happen. After cleaning, make sure to wipe the surfaces dry to preserve their shine. And, try not to let sharp objects damage or scratch the tiles. By practicing these tips, you should be able to enjoy your tiles for several years to come.