Seasoned With Style: Creating a Gorgeous Kitchen

There’s one thing that home buyers value possibly above all others, and that’s a great kitchen. With it being such a well-used room, a space that’s practical and beautiful is needed to truly become the heart of the home. So if your home has a fantastic kitchen, not only is it something you can enjoy in the here and now but if you come to sell your house later down the line you’ll make an incredible profit too. So if you’re deciding on what area to spruce up next in your home, it should be the kitchen! Here are some of the things to consider when you’re creating your perfect space.

Water flows from the tap to sink

[Photo courtesy of Kaboompics // Karolina/pexels.com]

Clear Out The Old and Rejig Any Walls

Ripping out your old kitchen is sure to be satisfying! Pull out the old worktop and units, rip the tiles off the walls and get everything into a skip. Unless you already have a large space, you might want to remove a wall or move it to a different place to open up the room and give you more space to work with. You could go with a full open concept design or have a stud wall put up in another location.

Talk To a Kitchen Designer

The thing about kitchens is in order to get the best out of your space they actually have to be cleverly designed. One trick is to keep the ‘working triangle’ in mind. This keeps you in the middle of a triangle with the refrigerator, stove and sinks at the three points. This allows you to move around the space in the most efficient way. If you want an island, you need to work out how big you can go with it and the kind of features it will include. Talk to a kitchen designer who will help turn your plans in reality and advise you on what will and won’t work.

Choose Your Units and Appliances

Possibly the most fun part of buying a kitchen- picking the units! While you want your kitchen and home to be personal to you, it’s worth bearing in mind that some styles will be more timeless and age better than others- meaning that if you sell in a few years, the kitchen doesn’t look dates. Avoid anything too trendy which will fall out of style quicker- while high gloss and stainless steel might look cool now once the trends change (which they will) your kitchen will be stuck in a time warp. White or wood units stand the test of time, a wooden or granite worktop will again always look classic. If you choose solid wood as opposed to veneers, they will last for a much longer time and also mean you can paint them in the future if you need to. For appliances, going with integrated pieces will make your kitchen look far more streamlined. Do your research into each piece so you know exactly what you’re getting.

Plumbing and Electrics

Once your space is clear and you know exactly where everything is going to be put, you’ll need to get plumbing and electrics in. If you’re having extra sockets or an island you’ll need an electrician to install these in the correct places. If you’re having things like an American fridge freezer with a plumbed in water and ice machine, you might need some additional plumbing put in. The same applies if you’re completely changing the layout, or adding things like a dishwasher chances are you’ll need new pipes installing, A company like Brentwood plumbing could tackle jobs like this, or you could look at tradesmen in your local area. You should have all of this done before the units, and tiles things go in, to make the job easier and avoid having to remove and redo certain jobs.

Think About Wall and Floor Tiles

Again choosing a plainer design will stand the test of time with style, although if you don’t mind getting your tiles redone in a few years, you could go with something cool and trendy. Plain White is an easy choice, if you want to keep on trend right now, gray is a very popular choice. For flooring, a real tile looks smart and will be long-lasting and easy to clean. Avoid wood and laminates which can warp and rot if they get wet which is a possibility in the kitchen.

Don’t Overlook Lighting

Lighting can be trick in the kitchen, after all, fittings like chandeliers as well as table lamps certainly don’t look right. Go with a sleek light fitting or have some spotlights installed. Another cool way to light the kitchen is to have led strip lighting installed under cupboards and kick boards. A nice modern touch and another way you can light up the kitchen in the evening without lamps.

Find The Right Window Treatments

Curtains rarely look right in kitchens. Go with something more simple and sleek- blinds and shutters make a good choice. You can add privacy without blocking out that all important natural light. If your kitchen feels dark and dingy, you could even consider having your window extended and made bigger. Other alternatives would be replacing any doors with glass doors, or in some kitchens, it might be possible to add a skylight.

Splash Out on Fixtures and Fittings

Finally, your fixtures and fittings really area everything in the kitchen. These will finish off everything and can be the difference between a kitchen which looks ok and one that looks incredible. Spend a little extra on your sink, taps and drawer handles. You could also upgrade your outlets from the white plastic to stainless steel for a more expensive look. All of these little touches all up massively.

Kitchenware

[Photo courtesy of Kaboompics // Karolina/pexels.com]

Decorate

Using light coloured walls and keeping the decor homely and simple will make the most of the space while bringing it to life. A textured house plant, some checked tea towels, a clock and a fun plaque for example would show your personality without adding clutter. Add a couple of key pieces that showcases you.

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Your Energy Savings: Energy Efficiency Lighting Facts

Everybody seems to be trying to save more and more money these days.  Whether it’s trying to stay in for dinner more often, collecting coupons for the grocery store, finding discounts on everyday needs, or generally trying to consume less, saving money is on most households agendas.  One thing that we seem to hear about more often now is saving money on utilities every month.  We’ve all heard that changing your appliances to more efficient and updated units can greatly decrease your utilities bills.  For many however, finding the money to pay for updated appliances can be out of the question because of their initial cost.  There is another, less expensive way to cut your utility bill.  That of course is lighting your home.  Many people are skeptical though, as it can be hard to really know how much you save when changing your light bulbs to more efficient, updated ones.  Here are some of the facts behind changing your lighting to help you get a grasp on how much you actually will save.

Art, Black Background, Bright, Bulb, Dark, Electricity

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What type of bulb is the most energy efficient?

We have all grown up and are familiar with the incandescent light bulb.  The energy sucking bulb is now obsolete and even the government is taking steps to eliminate the bulb from American households.  We are more commonly hearing about CFL bulbs and LED lights.  Which ones better?  Energy star rated light bulbs are compared based on how much light a bulb emits based on how much energy it uses.  LED lights are the most energy efficient light bulb emitting 90 to 120 lumens per 1 watt of electricity.  Compare that to the CFL’s 40-70 lumens per one watt and it is obvious that the LED is the more efficient bulb.

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Is the Price worth it?

Although LED’s are more efficient, they are also more expensive than CFL’s and many claim that the light LED’s emit is not as comfortable as CFL’s.  If this is the case, than CFL’s will work just fine and will still save you an average of $5000-$8,000 in a ten year span.  CFL’s have a lifespan of roughly ten years so you should plan on replacing them after that span of time.  LED’s are going to be about double the price of a CFL bulb.  They are a better investment with time however, given that LED’s have a lifespan of 40 to 50 years.  And given the efficiency of an LED, in ten years you should expect to save $10,000-$15,000 in ten years, and after that ten years you won’t have to worry about changing your LED light bulbs.

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DIY Home Improvement Tips: Good Habits In Your Habitat!

Everyone you know is doing their best to be friendlier to the environment, which is great. It’s about time that we started initiatives to make this planet a lot better. The great thing about promoting ways to improve our planet is that it starts from us, at home. Not only does that place the onus back on us to make the environment better instead of relying on councils, but it also helps to make our bills cheaper, which is an excellent by-product of looking after your home. In fact, there are some really simple things you can do to benefit the environment that doesn’t involve going to the recycling plant every few days, let alone get out of your bed! Okay, that’s not necessarily true, but you don’t need to leave the house!

Electricity is a big one that we all need to cut back on. The amount of energy that we waste in leaving appliances on is a big cause of our collective carbon footprint, not to mention wasted money. We use lights every day, so instead of the normal light bulbs, use a Compact Fluorescent one. It can save you up to 66% on your energy bills. Another few hints to cut back on your electricity bill includes not looking in the fridge! It sounds crazy, but by looking around the fridge to decide on your meal for the evening can cost you between $12 and $24 a year, and if you use colder water in your washing machine or set it to a lower temperature, this will save 40% less energy on your output. Also, it’s very simple, just unplug your appliances at night, and although you need to charge your phone, put it on airplane mode.

Scenic View of Landscape Against Cloudy Sky

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Going around the home itself, there are many home comforts that we can either cut corners on or just make little tweaks to improve our environment overall. For example, by adding more houseplants, we are increasing the amount of oxygen around the home, and by getting into the habit of planting in your garden, this is a good way to increase oxygen everywhere. Another one to get on board with is adding solar panels to your roof. There are many homes that have gone for this in a bid to cut back on unnecessary expenditure, and by going solar, you are placing less reliance on fossil fuels for energy and utilizing one of the greatest sources of energy in the universe, the sun! In fact, you can save 10% on your heating bill just by opening the blinds to let the sunlight in!

Chemicals are another source of problems for our environment, and they turn up everywhere, from our cleaning products to our hand creams! Instead of buying expensive cleaning sprays that can give you allergies, buy some bicarbonate of soda and vinegar or apple cider vinegar to apply to mold and dirt walls and surfaces. The acidity of the vinegar will clean it right up and the soda will give you a shiny finish on taps and silverware!  

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Home Improvement: Bringing Comfort Into Your Life

Comfort is one of the most underrated aspects to life. We don’t take enough time out of our hectic family or work schedules to settle down and enjoy the small things. We don’t often even look for comfort, do we?

The thing is – we shouldn’t have to. Some much of our lives are spent at a desk or at work and this means that our homes should be automatically comfy. It doesn’t just take a good couch or amazing bed sheets – it’s a state of mind for our homes. It’s not just about putting down a potted plant and saying job done.

Home, Life, Sofa, Couch, Comfortable, Relaxation, Male

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It’s not amazingly easy to add comfort to your life, but it is a simple path. To start off, keep a tidy home with regimented cleaning sessions. This could be daily sweeping and polishing followed by a deeper weekly clean and dusting. The state of your house will reflect on your state of mind and dust, dirt and hair will build up to frustrate you. Keep the house clean in the first instance to feel at home in your home!

Windows and natural light is a good way to feel comfortable in the home. Adding double glazed windows to protect your bubble from external sounds like traffic and road works. Your home shouldn’t be easily infiltrated by external noise. Windows also serve an obvious purpose to let big light into your rooms which makes them seem a lot less dull. If there are issues, natural light could be one of the answers.

[Photo courtesy of Victor Grigas/wikipedia.org]

Natural light is great, but it’s only around for a portion of the day. This means that we have to provide our own methods of lighting for later sections of each day. Move away from fluorescent lighting and opt for bulbs with warm glows that work to soothe instead of cause headaches.

To be comfortable, you’ve also got to think about the temperature. Central heating is great for the winter, but fans and open windows work best in the summer if you can’t get your hands on air conditioning. Think about the floors as well. Hardwood floors are cozy, but they aren’t comfy – and when it gets cold they will bite at your naked feet! Get some nice rugs to ensure that there are patches of floor based warmth in your home.

Of course, you also need the right seating to be super comfortable and what better than an armchair to take away your blues? Of course there are plenty of other options like foam bags from SackDaddy.com! Simply go with the flow and grab the items that make you feel comfortable.

A final thought on comfort – add yourself to your home. It is yours, after all. Allow your style to reflect yourself through DIY projects and personalization. Put up photos, painting and pictures and allow your talents to shine through. Your home is your space, so let it be just that with a bit of a personal touch. Or you could just add a plant!

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