October 2011

In the Middle of the Kitchen

Kitchen islands are stylish, practical and perfect for the kitchen. Here are some tips for finding the perfect kitchen island.

The kitchen island is one of the greatest pieces of furniture for the kitchen. It gives you more counter space without increasing the square footage of your kitchen. Islands are also available with ranges, ovens, stove tops, sinks and more. Islands also add an aesthetic appeal to the kitchen and have the ability to really bring together the overall design and interior decorating scheme.

When it comes to kitchen islands, there are plenty of options to choose from. Whether you are building a new home, re-doing the kitchen or just looking for a new addition to a smaller kitchen, it will be important you search through all the kitchen island options in order to choose the best one for your needs. Here are some different types of kitchen islands available:

Island and Bar: Islands which are shaped like a rectangle can often double as a bar area perfect for homework, breakfast and more. A stylish option is a table height island with a bar height seating area.

Choosing Flooring in a New Home or Remodel

Traffic, room, and use considerations.

Flooring is a critical choice when you are designing or remodeling your home.  Factors you should consider include the type of traffic an area receives, the kind of traffic (kids, mudroom, pets), and how you plan to use that room.

Traffic Considerations
In a high traffic area such as entryway, kitchen or hallway, you want something that will hold up under the stress while remaining clean and looking good.  Entryways and kitchens can often be subject to water as well, so linoleum, vinyl and tile are all good choices for those areas.  Carpet and woods can be damaged easily in areas with water, unless you lay ample rugs to collect the spills and tracks.

The Perfect Living Room

The living room is one of the first places a house guest will visit. Make an impression with quality design.

The living room is one of the best places in your home to really add interior decorating and design. In most cases, the living room isn’t a particularly high traffic room, most of the child’s play is left to the family room, and the living room is usually saved for guests and reading. This makes the living room one of the ideal places to really let your inner interior decorator come out and produce a room that is stunning.

There are many different styles which your living room can revolve around.

Contemporary: Contemporary, or modern, usually means minimalistic furniture, just a few colors and a couple pieces which are bold and eye catching. Unusual structures, abstract art and more are appropriate in a contemporary living room.

Country Charm: Like grandma’s house out on the farm, vintage furniture, pastel colors blended with white and floral prints will create a charming cottage of country style. Smaller furniture plumped with puffy pillows, throws and lots of sunlight makes for the perfect cottage or country style living room.

Eclectic: If you can’t seem to settle on just one decorating style than eclectic is the option for you. This doesn’t mean throwing every keepsake into one room but rather tastefully combining different elements into one clean and interesting living room.

Romantic: A romantic living room will make you want to don a gown and dance around. Light colors, lots of wall lighting and lamps as well as distressed vintage furniture and a few frilly elements will create a romantic living room. Candles, ottomans, and wispy drapes are the perfect place to start.

How to Hang Pictures

Pictures make a house a home but they can be tricky to hang without a plan.

Pictures, paintings and more bring life, memories and art to the walls of all homes. From family photos to modern abstract paintings, hanging a picture can be tricky. Having multiple pictures on a wall makes a big impact. It gives the feeling of a modern museum or a professional art studio within your own home. You can 

hire someone to professionally hang your pictures but that will cost a pretty penny. Alternatively, free up an afternoon, get some tools and with a little time and care you will be able to hang your photos as well as anyone.

Prepare: The first step is preparing you pictures. This means framing and matting everything to match that will be sharing a wall. Framing accurately can be difficult and many people choose to hire the services of a framing shop for this part of the job.

Tools: Once your pictures are ready to hang it is time to assemble the tools you will need. This includes hanging wire, hangers, nails, a hammer or screw driver, a level and a laser beam device which will help hang multiple photos straight. A tape measurer and pencil will also come in handy.  

Plan: Sketching out where you will hang your photos is one of the best ways to ensure a successful photo hanging. Take accurate measurement of your wall and draw a picture to scale with the photos you want hung. Begin in the middle of the wall with photos at eye height and work out from there.

Mark: Using the measurements from the plan, mark where you will nail in your hangers. Remember that the picture wires will determine how high or low a photo is so you will need to measure and cut wires accurately for uniform hanging.

Nail, Hang and Level: After you have nailed in your hangers, hang up the photos and level them.

Now the only thing left is to stand back and enjoy your work. 

Keep the Carpet Clean

Carpet has a whole host of advantages inside of a home, however sometimes they get so dirty it is hard to remember its good side.

Carpet is one of the most popular forms of flooring in a home. It is perfect for kids to run and play, soft under foot and easy to vacuum. Plus your cat and dog will prefer carpet over hardwood because it offers good traction for playing. Carpet also is less noisy than hardwood which is why it is so popular in bedrooms. The downside of carpet is that it can be difficult to clean. Regular vacuuming does the trick most weeks, however a spill or stain can cause some serious permanent damage if you don’t know how to handle these messy situations up front.

The Color of the Bathroom

Expert tips and advice on choosing the best color for one of the most important rooms in the house – the bathroom.

For most new home owners the first step to personalization is painting the walls. Most of us start with the living room, kitchen and bedroom, and then maybe the guest room or the office. In most cases, by the time you can’t imagine painting another swipe of your brush the only thing left is the bathroom. Of course there is nothing wrong with leaving your bathroom the stark white or mild ivory that comes standard with most homes, but the truth is the bathroom deserves a little paint, love and care as much as the rest of the house.

Color has often been touted as having many psychological factors. Blues and greens are calming while red and yellow invigorating. Most interior decorators recommend staying away from dark colors in the bathroom. It is one room where you don’t want to find yourself fumbling around in the dark. In most situations, lighter colors appear cleaner (unless completely soiled) and the word “clean” is definitely a good adjective when it comes to describing a bathroom. Light yellows, greens and blue capture the colors of nature which is good considering bathrooms don’t usually sport over-sized windows because of privacy concerns.

Another way to determine the best color for your bathroom is to take into consideration the style of your bathtub, toilet and sink. If it is modern, be sure to pick a more modern color while an old fashioned claw foot bathtub would fit in better with Victorian age hues. Finding the perfect color may take time but it is worth the effort. You will be sure to appreciate being greeted by a beautiful color every morning when you go to the bathroom.