Browsing Category: "Home Improvement"

Designing a Desirable Outdoor Kitchen

Summer is fast approaching which means that it will soon be time to take the entertainment outdoors. If you want to impress your friends and family with the standard of your barbeques, brunches and garden parties, the one thing that you should consider doing is building your own outdoor kitchen.

For a lot of people, an outdoor kitchen is the height of luxury and the perfect way to entertain when the weather is good. I mean, imagine sipping a cocktail on the deck while the birds sing, the flowers bloom, and your dinner cooks over an open fire. Bliss, right?

If you decide that an outdoor kitchen is for you, there are a number of things that you will need to consider to ensure you get it right, but if you pay attention and think carefully about your wants and needs, you’ll be able to build the perfect outdoor kitchen in no time at all.

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An Extension of Your Living Space

First and foremost, you should think of an outdoor kitchen as an extension of your living space. A well-built outdoor kitchen will add value to your home if it is able to offer shelter, shade and comfort. This means that you will need to locate it in an area that is near trees, or where you can easily erect an awning to keep the area cool when you’re cooking in the hot summer months, and you’ll probably want to install an outdoor heater for the cooler months., This might be starting to sound expensive already, but you can get a loan quickly, and if you do the job right, the value of your property should increase as a result.

Think About the Surroundings

As I mentioned above, your outdoor kitchen should be an extension of your indoor space, but it also needs to fit in with its outdoor surroundings. Ideally, you should locate your kitchen as close to the house, on a patio or decking, as possible, so that there is a seamless flow from indoors to outside, and you should try to incorporate as many of the same colors and materials in your outdoor kitchen as you would find outside.

Additionally, you should take a look at the colors and textures present in your garden and try to incorporate some of them into your design too. For example, if you have lots of plants and trees in your garden, using bamboo or other natural-looking woods would be a good idea, and if you have lots of bold, bright flowers, incorporating pinks, oranges and yellows into your kitchen and awning will help everything mesh together in spectacular style.

Planning the Layout

You probably spent a lot of time planning the layout of your indoor kitchen, and you should do the same with your outdoor space. Of course, there are some further considerations to make when you’re planning the layout of an outdoor kitchen. After all, there are no walls, windows or doors to work around. Most of the best outdoor kitchens tend to be designed a simple ‘L’ shape, which leaves adequate room for all of the necessary appliances, with plenty of space left over for dining.

When it comes to outdoor kitchen appliances, you should always try to plan your layout so that hot appliances like fire pits and grills are separate from cold appliances, such as the refrigerator.

Finally, you will want to create your design so that there is ample space for you to chop, peel and prep with ease.

Which Appliances Do You Need?

Of course, in order to adequately design your outdoor kitchen, you will need to decide on which appliances you want to have in your new kitchen area. There are a mind-boggling number of appliances you can use outdoors from a basic gas grill to a wood-fired pizza oven and from a standard refrigerator to a kegerator made specifically for keeping beer cool. Take some time to explore your options and pick out the items that will best enable you to cook, relax and entertain your guests in style.

Choosing Materials

We know that, when we build an indoor kitchen, we must choose materials which are hardworking and able to stand up to a lot of wear and tear, and this is even more important when designing an outdoor kitchen. After all, your new kitchen will not just be contending with your messy cooking style – it’ll need to hold its own against the elements too! That means that you need to choose tough materials that will hold up well and which are easy to clean and maintain. Stainless steel is a good option because as well as being very strong, it will reflect the colors of the garden back, for an attractive look. Another great material to use in an outdoor kitchen is tile. You can buy tiles in a vast range of colors and styles, so you can easily choose something to match your current style, and you can wipe them clean.

Sweat the Small Stuff

Once you’ve planned the location, layout and materials you’re going to use to create the ideal outdoor kitchen; it’s time to start thinking about all those little extras which make a space feel prettier and more personalised.

One of my favorite ways to decorate outdoor space is with simple solar powered lanterns or fairy lights. They will add a bit of sparkle to evening parties and ensure that you can see what you’re doing when you’re cooking.

Of course, you will probably want to install some more powerful lights, so that you can still see what you’re doing when it’s really dark. You could buy battery powered wall mounted lights if you need to save money, but if you have the budget to spare, wiring up some outdoor lights on the wall closest to your outdoor kitchen would probably be a good idea.

Potted plants and flowers make a great addition to any outdoor kitchen space, helping it to blend in with the rest of the garden, and adding little points of color and interest too.

Furniture

Of course, furniture is the most important part of any outdoor kitchen (apart from cooking apparatus). After all, there is little point cooking up a storm on your gas grill if you have nowhere to enjoy it afterwards. In an ideal situation, you should choose outdoor furniture which is moisture resistant and which can stand up well to the sun. Rattan furniture with waterproof cushions is always a good choice, as it’s hardwearing and attractive, but visit your local garden center and see what catches your eye.

No matter what furniture you choose, you will want to install an awning or gazebo over your seating area, so that if it does start to rain, your food won’t be ruined and you won’t be drenched by the downpour.

Citronella

If you want to be able to enjoy your spare ribs and a cool beer without having to swat away all manner of bugs, you will need to invest in some citronella candles and incense. These smell perfectly pleasant to the average person, but insects really do not like their scent and will give any area where they are burning a wide berth.

Party Time

Once the hard work is over, and your perfect outdoor kitchen has been designed and built, it’s time to enjoy yourself. Invite a few of your best friends over and celebrate the new addition to your home by cooking a backyard banquet that blows last year’s barbeque straight out of the water. After all, an outdoor kitchen should be enjoyed!

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Shopping Online For Interior Next Shutters

Next shutters are amazing, and will ensure that the interior of your home stands out as these shutters are top quality. You may have been considering window dressings for some time, but were unsure of the style to choose. Curtains and blinds are good, but they do not make a statement like shutters have the ability of doing in your home.

Shutters are a fantastic addition to every home, and you will soon discover that there is a vast array of possibilities with the shutters. This can cause a headache, and create confusion which you need to try and avoid. Shopping online is the best way to shop for shutters, and will ensure that you feel no pressure when making the decision.

There are many different companies offering shutters for your home, however, Next Shutters are considered to be some of the best on the market. They are made from high quality wood, and will ensure that your home is enhanced. The wood that is used will also guarantees that durability is never an issue, as these shutters are built to last.

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Using wood for the shutters provides the ultimate opportunity for different finishes, depending on your style and budget. Real wood can be easily stained or painted, creating the perfect decor for your home. If you are unsure of the finish that you want, you can browse online, and search for the different styles.

Interior shutters have become incredibly trendy, and you will be surprised how versatile they can be in your home. Maintaining these shutters is not difficult, and you simply need to keep them clean, and treated when required. You will need to consider your home, and the budget that you have for the shutters, as top quality styles are not cheap.

As with everything paying more will provide top quality shutters that will last for many years, cheap shutters are likely to break, and need far more maintenance than quality materials. Spending more on the Next Shutters is the way forward, and shopping online is likely to save you time and money. There are often deals, offers and promotions to take advantage of online, which can help you to save money on the shutters.

There are many different manufacturers to choose online, but taking the time and effort to select the perfect one will ensure that you receive quality shutters and excellent customer service. Many suppliers will offer free delivery, and installation which is beneficial if you are unsure how to fit the shutters.

You will also be able to check the warranty that is available for the shutters and ask the supplier any questions that you may have regarding the installation. All shutters will look amazing when in place, and can be a far cheaper option when deciding to redecorate. You can choose shutters for visual affect, or to retain the heat in winter. Regardless of the purpose of the shutter, you will love the way that they look.

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Be The Prettiest House On The Street and Improve Your Curb Appeal!

Your home is one of the biggest purchases you will ever make, and when you come home each day, you should feel proud of your investment. So if your property is looking a little tired and dilapidated, it’s time to make a change! A few changes can transform your home and add curb appeal- who wouldn’t want to own the prettiest house on the street?!

Clean and Tidy

Having a general clean and tidy around the front of the home can make all the difference. Sweep up litter and leaves, move shoes and bicycles. Wash the windows and clean paths and the driveway using a jet washer. Moving bins either to around the back of the property or investing in wooden ‘bin sheds’ to neatly store them away can make the front of your home look far nicer too.

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Tidy the Front Garden

Plants and shrubbery can dramatically improve the look of your front garden, but it’s easy for things to grow out of control. Now we’re into the spring season, expect a huge spurt of growth. Make sure everything is trimmed back and looks neat and tidy. If your lawn has seen better days due to the winter flooding, repair any bald patches with a box of grass seed and give it a few weeks to establish before mowing. If you have any daffodil and tulip bulbs planted in the front they’ll be in full bloom right now, but in a couple of weeks you’ll need to go around and deadhead everything.

Re-Paint

Fences, garage doors, gutterings and the house itself all might need painting. Over time it can become worn and faded in the sun, or look grubby and dirty which can bring down the overall appearance of the home. Using professional painters will give the best result, but if you’re patient and good with a paintbrush, you could do this yourself if you don’t mind heights and ladders.

Add Lighting

Lighting is necessary not only from a curb appeal perspective but for practical reasons too. Motion detection flood lighting deters burglars, but it’s also handy for whenever you come home, and it’s dark. No more fumbling around in pitch black looking for your keys! Alternatively, you could add some fancy looking lantern lights either side of the door. Smart lighting is popular and accessible these days, so it’s easy to put them on a timer or control them remotely using your mobile phone.

Add Plants and Flowers

All of the other steps will make the property look tidy and smart, but to really make it look great add some flowers! You could do this by adding hanging baskets or pots (or both) each side of the door. Any garden center will have beautiful plants to choose from, they’re likely to need replacing a couple of times a year where flowers only bloom for a number of months before dying back. Finish the look with a door mat, you can find loads of cute designs on sites like eBay.

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Illuminate Your Life!: Roof Designs That Encourage More Natural Light

Have you been feeling a little down in the dumps lately? Perhaps you are getting plenty of sleep, but you are still tired. Did you know that if we aren’t getting enough natural light, then we can become sick and depressed! This isn’t good news to anyone who works from home or in an office all day. So while we can’t do much about your office set up, we can give you some great ideas for increasing your natural light at home!

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A cool way to bring more light into the home is using solar tubes or tunnels.  These are tubes installed through the roof and directed into the darker rooms of your home. Such as bathrooms with no exterior wall. They are as efficient as windows, and in some cases even better and are perfect when natural light only comes in through an open door. It is possible that some of these tubes may need to be bent during installation which can reduce some of the light that is reflected in. However, it is still a better solution than using electric lighting. When the solar tube is short and straight the power of the natural light is intensified.  Solar lights don’t let you see outside, though, which might make them the last choice you want if you are trying to install better lighting. They are cheap though and more efficient than electric light.

Chatting to your local roofing specialist might help to understand how a solar tube works and there are lots of great companies out there who can help you get to grips with it, CLM Roofing could be a good source of information.

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The obvious way to bring more light in is to add more windows, and you have a variety of options to choose from. Installing new windows can be a very expensive move forward. However, a roof light is probably the cheapest way of achieving what you want.   You can easily install roof lights to improve the natural light within a dark space. Even on a dull, gray, damp day, the area is flooded with light, and your rooms will seem larger and happier. Of course, if you want to get dramatic then you could consider a glass roof, this is especially useful in the center of a home, although you will need to talk to a skilled architect to understand if it is possible. Sash windows are a great option, and you could even replace rear doors or part of a wall with patio doors. Bringing lots of natural light into your room and, when you need it, a good dose of fresh air!

Bringing more light into the home is imperative and you cannot underestimate how much of an impact light has on your health. If you really can’t find ways of bringing in the natural light then use a light lamp in your bedroom. You may find you feel better and sleep better too.

Let the light shine in!

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