Custom Kitchen Features Can (Will) Make a Big Difference!
Bespoke and artisanal are fancy buzz-words for “custom,” probably because the latter word has been overused to the point where custom-made anything is no longer special, in the same way that “full service” doesn’t have the same impact it once had. In past years, the only way to get custom kitchen features was to pay for custom cabinets. But things have changed, and many modular and custom-modular cabinet manufacturers offer customizable features for a reasonable investment. Some of the cabinet enhancements include: (more…)
Your Powder Room Can Be Anything You Want It To Be!
Remodeling your powder room can be a lot of fun, but it can be expensive! This is the only room in your home where you can break the rules of “architectural integrity”. You can choose any style that fulfills your desire to be and do something different.
Homeowners fell in love with the custom vessel lavatory. The bathroom was planned around this special feature. The wife commented that she liked it because it reminded her of Mauna Kea. This inspired the Hawaiian theme for the 5′ x 5′ bathroom. Here are some of the features that were included:
- Undulating tempered-glass countertop, like a floating island
Kitchen Islands Are Great, But There Are Other Alternatives, Too
Kitchen islands are the most frequently-requested features, according to statistics. The available space determines whether or not an island is appropriate. But there’s more than just space. Islands do affect the function of a kitchen, and should be carefully planned according to the individual family’s work-flow habits.
To accommodate a kitchen island, there must be at minimum of 42″ between countertop edges (not cabinets), according to the National Kitchen & Bath Association guidelines. 48″ is preferred, especially if more than one person will be using the space simultaneously. How does this translate? To have an island, a kitchen must be at least 13′-6″ wall to wall in one direction:
4′-3″ (opposing cabinets with countertops) + 7′-0″ (42″ aisleways on both sides of the island) + 2′-3″ (narrow island with 1-1/2″ countertop overhangs) = 13′-6″
A standard kitchen sink or a cooking surface should not be placed in such a narrow island, for safety reasons. The narrow island is a good place for a smaller sink, a built-in microwave below the countertop, additional storage and food preparation countertop. (more…)
Why Is Bathroom Safety So Important?
Bathroom (and kitchen) safety cannot be an afterthought in your remodeling project. Statistics verify the need for bathroom safety.
Choose Kitchen Appliances First For Best Function
Why choose kitchen appliances first? It’s human nature to focus on cabinets and countertops, when you’re thinking about remodeling your kitchen, because you’re concerned about how the new kitchen will look, unless a high-priority item is a commercial cooktop or range and large hood as a focal point. This will ultimately lead to frustration, and possible expensive mistakes. You can avoid problems, if you select your appliances first (unless you’re including new doors and windows), then move on to other kitchen features. (more…)
Bathroom Remodeling: Why Select Plumbing First?
Bathroom remodeling involves hundreds of decisions, and at least 100 steps in the process. Everything in your bathroom is placed around the plumbing. Locations of a shower, tub, toilet, and sinks are important to achieving ultimate safety and function — and a beautiful new bathroom. Here are some guidelines to help you: (more…)
Have Remodeling Reality Shows Got You Frustrated Or Angry?
Remodeling reality shows can be fun, inspiring — and frustrating!
Misinformation Is Rampant!
Remodeling reality shows are still popular, despite the bad press they’ve received. I don’t know about how you feel, but it frustrates the heck out of me, because these programs spread misinformation to Homeowners. There’s a glut of home remodeling shows on several channels. Although they are fun to watch, they should be viewed as entertainment and not as serious “How-To” guidelines. There are several categories of misinformation that get my blood boiling:
• The time it takes to do a project
• Overall cost of the project — what consumers would pay for something similar
• Realistic cost of labor and materials — how much the Homeowners actually paid
• You’ll save a lot of money if you do the work yourself!
The Time It Takes To Do A Project
The audience has no way of knowing how much of the actual filmed project ended up on the editing room floor. This can cause serious problems for D-I-Yers and remodeling consumers who think that a bathroom can be remodeled in a week or less. A standard 5×8 bathroom remodeling project can take four to six weeks (or more), from demolition to completion. And the time frame they tell you doesn’t include the time required to make decisions or get permits before construction starts!
D-I-Y Kitchen Remodeling Success: Know What You Can Do and Cannot Do
D-I-Y Kitchen Remodeling required skill and patience.
D-I-Y kitchen remodeling was the last thing that Naomi wanted, but Michael was confident that he could be the general contractor. Like a lot of homeowners, they had been thinking about remodeling ever since they bought the home. Everything about the existing kitchen was dated: white laminate cabinets with continuous oak pulls, white laminate countertops, a dropped ceiling with fluorescent lighting. (more…)
Seeing The Possibilities, A Journey of Discovery
Asakusa Temple, a Haven of Serenity in the middle of Tokyo
Serenity was discovered in the middle of Tokyo, one of the world’s most populous cities. In the middle of busy schedules being met and the noise of everyday life, we found a haven of serenity in the Asakusa Temple. It was an opportunity to go inside and explore a beautiful, peaceful garden during our vacation. The photos we took that day serve as a daily reminder that it is possible to find peace within, even when we’re surrounded by chaos. I look at this picture, then close my eyes and feel the warmth of pure connectedness with the universal spirit. We took hundreds of photos while in Japan, but this particular photo has always been my favorite.
This photo helped me maintain composure when I was taking the two-day National Council for Interior Design Qualification examination. Although I’d studied and practiced, my test anxiety had gotten in the way the first time I attempted to take the test. My new approach was to find inner peace, and acknowledge that I was ready and able to pass the test. In addition to continuing the program of studying and taking practice tests, I also meditated, using this photo as a tool, while listening to Japanese flute music. My husband suggested recording the music, which I was allowed to listen to during the practicum (drafting) section of the test. In preparation for the drafting section, I arranged all my drafting tools, and placed the photo at the upper left-hand corner of the drafting table, and turned on the music. With these tools, I conquered test anxiety, and got a very high score on the practicum section. (more…)
Defining Your Home Improvement Goal Is Like Walking A Tightrope
Your home remodeling goal requires careful step by step progress, like a tightrope walker, until you reach your destination.
Get most of what you want of your home improvement goal. Not everything you want? That’s right. I’m being totally honest with you.
Unless you have a bank account that equals (or surpasses) Bill Gates or Warren Buffett, you’ll have to do research, and make informed decisions about every aspect of your home improvement project, one step at a time. Your decisions will include making tradeoffs, substituting lower-priced products, to stay within a reasonable budget. Below are time-tested, successful strategies to help you. Writing may be difficult for you, but you don’t have to be Ernest Hemingway or J,K. Rowling to write your priorities. You don’t have to do it in one sitting, either! Pour a cup of decaf coffee, or a glass of wine, and pour out your deepest home improvement desires. Doing this will help you to think of the possibilities.
You Don’t Have To Be A Famous Author to Create Your Home Improvement Goal List (more…)