Kitchen Renovation Made Easy

A functional and comfortable kitchen is now a growing trend among new houses. Traditionally, the kitchen only serves as the preparation area for food. However, in today's modern homes, it also serves other functions besides from serving. As many homemakers turn to being working moms, the ideal kitchen should also provide space for their other needs. When thinking about a kitchen renovation, here are some few tips to ensure comfort and functionality of your new haven.

Use Quality Materials

Kitchen renovation is quite expensive, making it a seldom occurrence in the home. In order to turn it to your dream kitchen, make sure you invest in high quality materials. Choose materials that will not accumulate dirt through the years. Choose tiles and countertops that are smudge-free. Allot sufficient time for finding the perfect kitchen countertop. You can get kitchen countertop ideas by visiting showrooms and home improvement centers. Always look for quality materials to use for your kitchen. When you use good materials for your tiles, cabinets and drawers, chances are your kitchen will last many years without needing another renovation.

Determine your Design

Before you even start buying all the materials, decide on the theme of your kitchen. Kitchen renovation becomes easier when you have an idea of ​​the kitchen you want to have. Coordinate your kitchen's accessories with the fixtures and the color of the wall. Be it a Contemporary or Mediterranean style; match your kitchen with your personality and the overall theme of your home.

Arrangement

If you want to increase the functionality of the kitchen, make sure you have enough space to work in. Whenever you do kitchen renovation, avoid placing appliances or fixtures in the middle for you to have room for constant movement. Place the bulky things on the side to make the kitchen airy and spacious.

Kitchen renovation may seem to be a difficult task. But as you go along, the task can be enjoyable and rewarding. You can get more ideas for renovation from magazines, books or on the net. Just modify the designs and styles to suit your family's needs and your home's theme. …

Thanksgiving is a Great Family Holiday

Pre-boomers were taught the first Thanksgivings was a day of gratitude expressed by the early settlers nearly 400 years ago in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The Pilgrims thanked God for delivering them to the new world where they could live free of religious persecution, for surviving the first year, and for the harvest to sustain them in the winter months ahead. We also learned that they shared their food with the local Native Americans.

This national holiday has become a secular celebration of parades, football games, and overeating with the next day marking the official start of the Christmas shopping season, overshadowing its true roots. However, most pre-boomers have seen and remember Norman Rockwell's series of Thanksgiving paintings which appeared in "The Saturday Evening Post" during the war years of the 1940s. The warm feelings we get when exposed to those magazine covers remains with us to this day.

The Thanksgivings of my childhood remain viable in my mind. As a young child it was the Gimbel's Parade in downtown Philadelphia. Later the football games took up the morning. Then it was home from college for the long weekend. And later it was the quick train rides from Manhattan to get there in time for the mid-afternoon dinner. Then, many years past before the family got together again. The kids had grown and the first grandchild had arrived before my parents finally moved to the West Coast, after years of prodding. So they were able to enjoy the day each year with all of us and we with them before they passed on a few years back. For this I am most grateful.

I have fond memories of Thanksgivings past and am fortunate to have family close by, so we can enjoy this day together each year. In fact, recently the family took a cruise over the holiday: grandparents, adult children and their spouses as well as the grandkids. It was different and lots of fun, but I missed the "home cooking."

No matter were you or who you're with this Thanksgiving, try to recall those magical days gone by when you woke to the alluring aroma of the turkey roasting in the oven. Be quiet and you can almost here your mom and maybe grandma and your aunts talking as they worked for hours to prepare this family feast. And, even though you were shooed out of the kitchen, you managed to catch a glimpse of the vast array of food to be served and knew this day would be good.

Of course, we ate leftovers for days to come: turkey platters, turkey sandwiches, turkey soup, turkey ala king, turkey hash and turkey croquettes. Nobody ate turkey burgers back then or we would have had them too. Even though we grew tired of a week of turkey, everyone looked forward to having another feast at Christmas. Thankfully this meal was at another family member's home, so we were spared the endless days of leftovers.

This Thanksgiving it's appropriate to reminisce about …

Moving – Packing Tips for Large, Small and Awkward Items

Most movers are so happy to finally arrive in their new home that they are able to overlook chipped dinner plates or a scratch on the dining room table. But there’s no reason your household goods should become casualties of the move. With a little care and planning your household goods will both arrive in mint condition.

Following are packing tips to consider when packing large items, packing small items and packing awkward items.

Packing Large Items:

  • Tie bed frames together with tape or rope then label the pieces so they are easy to reassemble.
  • Fill drawers with clothes or fragile, well-wrapped items. Cover them with a blanket or with furniture pads and rope securely.
  • Remove table legs, pad and tie together. Put nuts and bolts in a bag and tape them underneath the tabletop.
  • Empty, defrost and drain the refrigerator, freezer and dishwasher. Clean the interiors and put accessories in bags. Stuff towels between washer sides to prevent rotating and tape down any moveable parts. Cover with blankets and tie.
  • Use the original packaging for computers, televisions and electronics, or buy electronic-specific boxes.

Packing Small Items:

  • Put your microwave, VCR and other small appliances into boxes and cushion with wadded paper.
  • Pack books flat in small cartons, alternating bindings. Try to keep each box under 30 lbs.
  • Pack hanging items, such as clothing and drapes, in wardrobe boxes. Leave small items in drawers.
  • Wrap fragile collectibles in bubble wrap and tape them securely.
  • Pack CD’s upright and cushion with them newspaper.
  • Stack pots and pans and cushion with them paper.
  • Place any kitchen items you will need immediately in a separate box and label appropriately so you know which one to unpack first.
  • Wrap dishes individually in bubble wrap and never stack them flat. Pack plates on saucers on edges and place cups and bowls around them.

Packing Awkward Items:

  • Wrap chair arms and legs with bubble wrap. Place slipcovers on chairs or buy chair bags for protection.
  • Loosen the handlebars from bicycles and turn them sideways. Cover chains and pedals to keep grease off other items.
  • Wrap small items, such as mirrors and artwork, in newsprint and pack in mirror boxes. Cover larger pieces with cardboard, tape them securely and stand them along the sides of the truck or inside wardrobe boxes.
  • Disassemble heavy lawn furniture. Put nuts and bolts in a bag and tie together.
  • Roll up rugs and secure with rope or tape.
  • Place plants in plastic bags with air holes then in boxes. Water them before you leave.
  • Wrap sharp edges of tools and use plenty of cushioning to prevent injury. Tape long-handled tools together and place smaller ones in boxes.
  • Empty gasoline from all tanks of lawnmowers and edgers and check for oil leaks.
  • Use medium-sized boxes for garage and attic items, such as spray paints, brushes and car waxes. Throw away oily rags or anything combustible.
  • Keep pets in a pet carrier up front with you. Ask your vet for suggestions on how

Do You Know What Interior Design Work Is?

Interior design begins with a style and a color palette. From there, furniture, flooring, window furnishings, rugs, architectural detailing and other features are added to improve functionality and build upon theme. Often a commercial professional in this field will be employed pre-construction to ensure that windows, stairwells, escalators, walkways and rooms are located in optimal places. To become an interior designer, one must obtain a Bachelor's Degree and participate in several years of apprenticeship work.

When a professional interior designer gets started, he or she begins by assessing the client's wishes and needs. They study budgets, look at lifestyle, scrutinize the home for wasted space, seek color or style preferences and identify pros and cons of the current interior space.

Next, the designer will estimate the costs and create a design image with computer-aided interior design software. After introducing the proposal, the client will either approve or deny the sketches. Then it is either time to implement the project or "go back to the old drawing board," as they say.

There are several different realms for professionals in this field to focus their sights. For instance, some designers work at furniture, home or garden stores selling merchandise and recommending color and theme options. Other times, interior designers may run their own businesses as consultants, with administrative assistants onboard to order samples, liaise with contractors and draw up documents.

Some designers focus on office interior design or commercial interior design, while others specialize in custom designs for individuals or realtors trying to stage homes for sale. Special certification may be purchased for kitchen or bathroom design. Other designers may be masters of acoustics and soundproofing, security, home theaters, home spas or gardens.

According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the average annual income for interior design professionals is around $ 42,260. The middle 50% earned between $ 31,830 and $ 57,230, with the lowest 10% earning $ 24,270 and the highest percentile over $ 78,760. Architectural and engineering designers earned the highest salaries, with specialized interior design services right behind. Furniture stores and building supply dealers garnered most of the lower salies. The income a professional interior designer makes large depends upon the years of experience, specialization, reputation and employer. …

How to Find the Perfect Tuscan Kitchen Curtains

Fostering a sense of warmth and comfort, that is the raison d'être of Tuscan kitchen curtains. Of course, they do take immunity pride in their traditional proclivity of adding to the glam quotient of the room that they grace. And privacy? Sure, they do not disappoint in that regard too. Is not it remarkable how few yards of fabric can transform the stolid environs completely? It's almost as if the stoic calm of the kitchen has been banished into oblivion.

Greet These Choice With Glee

There's quite a dizzying array of choices that greets you during your relentless search for curtains for Tuscan kitchens. But there's a common thread that runs through all of them- that of adding dolphs of sunshine to a lackluster personal space. A sprinkle of Italian magic can do wonders to your otherwise insipid outing at the dining table. Created with passion, the concoction of rich textures, soul-stirring Mediterranean colors and very unique shapes and designs leaves onlookers in raptures.

While floral prints like roses and sunflowers have an ageless appeal, red cherries and apple orchard prints are the stuff that pastoral dreams are made of. Sheer print curtains etched with Tuscan hills promise absolute bucolic bliss.

For those that dare to be different, anything that's run-of-the-mill will not do. For them, the magnificence of bold stripes and checks in a plethora of vibrant colors seems too good to be true.

But for creating that quintessential Tuscan feel, the gingham and grapevine print is your best bet. It's sure to set the grapevine buzzing. Exceptionally attractive tier curtains with matching valances are another show-stopper. They certainly match your addiction for eye candy.

Create Your Own Style

If thinking creatively is an innate part of your DNA, then weaving magic at home with very banal items like fabric, paint, tape measure, brushes, scissors and a sewing machine does not sound preposterous. Just get hold of these items and give a free rein to your imagination.

Just like the Tuscan style, its sure be an ethereal work of art. …

Kitchen Tea

Although the kitchen with tea has gained popularity in recent years, driven by the antioxidant properties and sensory richness that the infusion has, the gastronomic uses of the camellia sinensis (the tea plant) date from time immemorial. In the middle of the thirteenth century, the Mongol empire annually demanded millions of kilos of tea from China, which were exchanged for horses; In addition to assessing their digestive qualities, the Mongols consumed Pu-erh’s infused strands as a day-to-day vegetable. Yes, sautéing tender vegetables seasoned with the moist sprouts of a traditional white tea, for example, is a pleasure reserved for true connoisseurs of the subject.

“What can be cooked?” Literally everything from white teas, green, black and pure mid-range oolongs, to perfumed blends of European cut. Take note! Marinades for meats, stuffings for roasted and sautéed birds of fresh or dehydrated fruits can be enriched with buds and leaves infused with camellia; in dry, the strands are able to print aroma and flavor to doughs, confectionery pastries and salty bakery. The next time you decide to bake homemade cookies, add a pinch of the Earl Gray of your choice to the dough; the result, you will see, is fascinating.

During the process of kneading and softening, chocolate can also be mixed with dried camellia strands to adopt all kinds of sensorial profiles: fruit, spicy, smoked, vegetable, earthy… In the same way as the flower of salt, a pinch of strands of camellia helps to enhance the taste of chocolate bars, chocolates and truffles.

Let’s now point to matcha, the most frequent example in contemporary culinary creation. Made from shoots and leaves for the production of high quality green teas, such as gyokuro or some varieties of sencha, ground to a fine powder, very bright and bitter, the matcha has become an indispensable of sweet creations around the planet. Thanks to its powdery texture, this pure green tea is perfect to dissolve in doughs, sauces, sweet creams and all kinds of desserts.

Ojo, we have already said that not all matcha are the same. Before adding the tea to a preparation, it is important to verify that it is a variety of culinary grade; unlike specimens intended for ceremonial use, culinary matcha are designed to express particular aromas and flavors when subjected to a cooking method.

How to use it? Start by infusing the tea by gently beating it in hot water at 70-75 ° C to eliminate its lumps; matcha is very delicate, so a liquid medium at a higher temperature could seriously damage it. Once ready, the infusion can be incorporated into the recipe freely. Remember that, due to its concentration of aromas and flavors, this pure green tea should always be used in small proportions.

Your task, dear reader, is to incorporate strands of tea into your holiday kitchen. Do not forget to tell us how it went.…

How to Clean Your Kitchen Appliances

Kitchen appliances should be thoroughly cleaned inside and out at least twice a year to keep dirt and bacteria under control. Below are some of my suggestions, but always consult your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommended way to clean your appliances, inside and out.

Refrigerator

Remove all of the food from the refrigerator and sort through it. Throw out any expired foods and almost empty food containers.

Now that the refrigerator is empty, remove the drawers and shelves. Be careful when handling glass shelves, especially with wet hands. Wash the shelves and drawers with a mixture of mild soap, lukewarm water and a small amount of baking soda. (The baking soda helps to dissolve grease and dirt and removes odors.)

Wipe down the inside of the refrigerator and freezer before you put the shelves, drawers and food back using the same solution you used to clean the shelves.

Dishwasher

Place a coffee cup filled with vinegar in the dishwashing rack and run it through a complete cycle, using the hottest water setting available. If your dishwasher still doesn’t smell right, try this: sprinkle a cup of baking soda around the bottom of the tub and again run it through a complete cycle using the hottest water. If your dishwasher has a filter in the bottom, pull it out, rinse it and clean it thoroughly.

Finally, wipe down the outside of the dishwasher using a mild detergent. And, don’t forget to clean the top, bottom and side edges of the door.

Microwave

Remove the glass tray from the microwave and wash it by hand or in the dishwasher. Wipe down the inside of the microwave using a mild dishwashing liquid, general all-purpose cleaner or a mild baking soda solution.

If there is built-up dirt and you’re having a hard time removing, try placing a microwave safe bowl containing 1 cup of water and ¼ cup of vinegar in the microwave and boil it for 2-3 minutes. Turn off the microwave and leave the bowl there for 15 minutes with the door closed. Remove the bowl from the microwave and again wipe down the inside. The built-up dirt should be easy to remove now.

Stove

Cleaning the stovetop is probably the toughest job in the kitchen.

Start by removing the knobs, grates and burner covers and cleaning them. Wipe the stovetop down to remove any lose dirt. Then wash the whole surface with hot, soapy water using a good dish detergent. If things are really grimy, you might want to try a commercial degreasing product. Just make sure to follow the package directions.

Avoid using abrasives on your stovetop because they can scratch or damage the surface. And, if you have a gas stove, be careful around the gas ports because you can wipe dirt, grease and cleaning solution into the port and the port can get clogged. If this happens, use a toothpick to carefully clean the opening before using the burner.

Finally, wash the walls and the cabinets behind …

Home Improvement Tips: Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home

Reasons for A Redo

Home improvement projects often begin with someone saying, “Wouldn’t it be nice if… ?” usually followed by a wish for a remodelled kitchen or a room addition for space to accommodate every family member’s needs. More often than not, reality and dreams don’t coincide, due to limited funds for realizing the dream, or limits on the available space. The trick: turning your dreams into reality. Begin with a realistic evaluation of your needs. Homeowners usually consider home improvements for one of the following reasons.

You may feel the need to update something that is out-of-date. If your kitchen colour scheme was perfect a few decades ago but no longer works, now may a good time to update it.

Some home improvement projects grow out of an immediate need to replace broken or inefficient fixtures. If a sink, tub, or toilet needs to be replaced, consider taking advantage of the opportunity to do a makeover on the entire bathroom.

If you’re preparing to sell your home, you’ll want to be sure to get top dollar from the sale. That’s great motivation for some home improvement projects.

You have decided that staying put and improving your home is a better option than moving.

Your family has grown and you need more space.

Improving to Move? or Improving to Stay?

Evaluate your plans carefully if you’re improving your home to list it for sale. Cutting corners may hurt your prospects rather than helping them. But don’t go overboard either. Potential buyers may prefer not to pay for some of the extras, such as a hot tub or pool. You’re better off keeping the changes simple.

And remember that buyers who view your home may not share your tastes and may not appreciate the care you took to find just the right shade of green paint for the walls.

You’ll find that improving to sell is easier if you can think about it from the prospective buyer’s point of view: What is important to the home buyer? Here are a few remodelling projects buyers are likely to find valuable:

Adding or remodelling a bath

Improving the kitchen

Adding a new room

Landscaping

Adding a bedroom

Adding or enclosing a garage.

If you’re remodelling because you want to stay in your home, you should still avoid over-improving it. You’ll probably want to sell it someday, and even if your house is the best on the block, it may be difficult to convince potential buyers to pay for the things you considered important. And when you consider making improvements, keep in mind the value of other homes in the area. Your home’s value should not be more than 20% above the average, which means that a $10,000 kitchen improvement project well could be a better investment than a $10,000 hot tub, especially if yours will be the only home in the area with a hot tub.

Home Maintenance versus Home Improvements

It’s unfortunate that some home improvement projects are undertaken because something …

New Kitchen Appliances That Every Kitchen Should Have

Everyone loves good food, some of us even love to make good food. For people who enjoy cooking and working in the kitchen, new kitchen appliances have made our jobs fantastic and much easier. Things like blenders have made puree much easier, dishwashers have made clean up a breeze, but what about some other appliances that can help you while you're cooking and preparing? There are several of those as well.

A microplane grater is a great tool. It is based off of an old wood working tool. With a handle and a long slender grater it makes grating cheese a cinch. The way it is formed makes it easy to handle and you can easily grate hard cheese and chocolate, even some spices if you'd like. Erasing the old idea of ​​a grater this microplane grater puts no strain on your hands and wrists like the old fashioned cheese grater.

Are you sick and tired of having stacks and stacks of different measuring cups? Then Adjust-a-Cup measuring cup is just what the chef ordered. Instead of picking out a new measuring cup every time you need to measure something out, you can simply use one kitchen tool. With a simple twist of the bottom you can adjust it to whatever measurement you need, and pushing the bottom up removes any and all left over mess inside so you can use it over and over without having to wash it every 5 seconds.

Dual kitchen timers are amazing. Most microwaves and ovens have built in timers but what if you're not in the kitchen? What if you need a timer for two dishes while you go and take care of preparing for a family get together or a party? A dual timer is perfect for this exact reason. You can take it with you so you will know exactly when each of your dishes are done and you will not have to worry about burning cookies or dinner ever again.

Everyone and anyone that enjoys cooking, baking and preparing meals needs some new kitchen appliances. They can make your jobs in the kitchen easier and faster. There's no need to fuss and fight with old appliances and tools turning your supposedly joyous cooking occasion into a confusing and frustrating nightmare. Look into new and useful kitchen appliances and tools and get too doing what you love to do. Create a masterpiece for you and your family with a little help from some really cool tools. …

Shop Around For Kitchen Decor

Finding the right kitchen décor can be as simple as choosing one item and then building on that theme. If you enjoy a certain food or group of foods then you may be able to develop your kitchen décor around these items and colors. Here are some examples of themes that you can add to your kitchen décor list.

If you enjoy pets and animals you can find many very inexpensive items at your local thrift store. They will often have cookie jars, dispensers, towels and other animal themes related kitchen décor items.

Safari animals are popular choices for kitchen décor that might be a great choice if you want something a bit different for your kitchen. You may be able to find some nice tigers and lions for a ceiling trim wall paper and then add some other cute items to add to your kitchen décor that are along the same theme.

If you are not into animals for your décor theme then you may want to think about some fruits or vegetables for a theme. The main benefit of choose themes types of themes for you r kitchen décor is the availability of décor items to choose from. There are literally hundreds of combinations. With so many choices you can still make your kitchen décor individual and not like a copy of someone else's kitchen.

The most popular colors for your kitchen décor are usually going to be reds and dark greens. These two colors can go a long ways to creating a great atmosphere for your kitchen. You may find that you like a certain item you found in a store and want to build your décor theme around this style.

You can often find many good kitchen décor ideas by visiting some of your larger local home improvement stores. They will often have displays set up to spur your thoughts. You may also be able to find some great ideas by visiting some plumbing supply or cabinet stores. …