Thinking About a New Kitchen? Nov21

Thinking About a New Kitchen?...

When you start to realize that the old kitchen just has to go, where do you start? The first thing when you consider kitchen remodeling is to determine what really needs to change and what does not. There is something truly exciting about taking a kitchen with no redeeming qualities and gutting it. That way you can start from raw walls and do everything new. Find a design contractor in your area who can help you with the layout and feasibility of each aspect. In the event that not everything has to go you can work your way around the things that stay. How much is in your budget is also an influence. Let’s say you are tired of your cabinets, but they are solid and intact. Refinishing them can save a lot of money, but require some real work. Take the doors off, sand and stain with a new color or paint them rather than buying new doors. The same goes for the cabinets themselves. You can even get creative with interesting glass built into the doors, and maybe some lighting inside and new hardware changes everything. Since you have them open and empty, painting the insides and applying new shelf paper will make them seem like brand new. Add some inexpensive racks and separate compartments that you can get from just about any store and you have optimized the space. Counter and sink replacement is a big part of the remodeling process and there are many options to choose from. Visit your local do-it-yourself store for some great ideas for various materials. For instance, granite is popular and durable, but also one of the more expensive options (http://www.cicounters.com/products/countertops-company/granite-countertops). Formica is very inexpensive and has the most variety of colors and patterns, but...

Aquariums keep garden dreams alive all winter Nov21

Aquariums keep garden dreams alive all winter...

From stevenspointjournal.com: The calming sounds of nature fill our yards and gardens during the growing season. Bird song fills the air and, for many, the sound of water in motion. Bring these beautiful sights and sounds indoors this winter by exploring some of this week’s ideas for ways to garden indoors. This is part three of my five-part series. You can find previous articles in this series online at www.postcrescent.com/yardmd. Aquarium gardens Aquariums aren’t just for fish, and a new trend toward indoor gardening underwater is catching on. Visit a pet supply store to pick up a selection of aquarium gardening plants. You’ll be able to find basic aquarium plants quite easily. From there, expand your selection by ordering from specific garden retailers and online sources. • More from Yard MD: Brewster Village garden dedicated There are many types of plants available for aquarium gardens, including aquatic mosses, aquatic ferns, marginal plants, floating plants and others. Explore shapes and styles of aquariums, including spheres, built-in models, tables, shelves and more. Start simple with a basic aquarium available just about anywhere. Even a small goldfish bowl is a simple, practical way to begin. Garden soaps and more Turn the fruits of your labor into fragrant and soothing garden soaps, candles, bath salts and more by following simple recipes available online or in garden books. All parts of the plants may be used to create fragrant soaps and other bath treats, including flowers, paddles, seeds and more. If you don’t have your own, you can pick up dried plant seeds, as well as oils, at area hobby and craft stores. Read the full article...

Home Improvements: DIY or Hire a Pro? Nov21

Home Improvements: DIY or Hire a Pro?...

FoxBusiness.com recently weighed in on the dilemma: Home improvement shows and magazines make repairs look easy, but sometimes taking the do-it-yourself approach can end up costing more money than hiring a professional. Unless you are handy or have experience in the home improvement business, experts recommend doing extensive research before going at a project alone. “DIY projects are rarely as easy as they seem, and all too often it ends up costing you,” says Angie Hicks, founder of online referral service Angie’s List www.angieslist.com. “Thousands of people, for example, end up in the emergency room every year because of ladder falls, power tools that got away from them, situations like that. Even if you’re not injured, you could end up paying twice for the project – once for your attempt and then again when you’re in over your head and have to call a pro to fix the mess.” Home improvement experts recommend evaluating your strengths and ability to get a job done before launching a project After all, you don’t want to start something only to let it languish for months or even years, which according to Hicks, is often the case. She suggests evaluating whether you have the time and tools to properly complete a project. The cost of your time should also be considered when contemplating a project. “Too often, people forget to put a price on their time when they’re deciding whether to DIY or hire,” says Hicks. “They add up the cost of the supplies and think they’re going to be saving themselves a bundle. They forget that they are likely going to spend more time on the work than a professional would, even if it goes well.” Read the full story...

Furnishing Your Bay Window Nov06

Furnishing Your Bay Window...

Floor-to-ceiling bow or bay windows http://www.thompsoncreek.com/windows/bay-windows let in a lot of light, creating a naturally-lit calm ambiance for the room. Yet you want the windows to continue to add space and light to the room, so don’t obstruct them with over-the-top pieces.

Which is Better — An Open Kitchen or a Closed Kitchen? Nov06

Which is Better — An Open Kitchen or a Closed Kitchen?...

Lately we’ve noticed chatter on some of our favorite idea sites, including Pinterest and Houzz, debating whether it’s better to have a kitchen that’s walled off from the rest of the house, or one that opens up to adjacent family rooms and dining areas.