Buying Appliances Can Be Fun
Homework? That word conjures up old anxiety for many of us. Math assignments, no one to help. All-night cramming for a chemisty test. The homework required for buying appliances is a totally different thing. I’ve broken down selecting and buying appliances into simple steps that will reduce or eliminate the anxiety for you, assuming that you haven’t hired a kitchen designer or a contractor yet. Here’s a list of steps to help you:
- Discuss appliances with your family and decide what appliances are needed and wanted (see information below).
- Find some alternatives on manufacturers’ websites; a complete list of appliance manufacturers and links is on the Wikipedia site.
- Create a “wish list” of appliances. Most sites will show the suggested retail price. This will help you establish a realistic budget.
Your Kitchen Style Must Complement Your Home and You
Whether your home is traditional, transitional, Craftsman, contemporary, or some other style, your kitchen must have architectural integrity with your home. Why? Because your kitchen is the heart of your home, it needs to blend with and complement the surrounding rooms. You may like many different styles, but you chose the style of your home because it represents and fulfills you. With emphasis on ROI, it makes sense to have your kitchen style be consistent with your home, so you can sell it faster and for a higher price. Can you imagine how out of place the kitchen project featured in this tip would be in a traditional home — or as out of place as a cat at the Westminster Dog Show!
Generally speaking, the cabinets, countertops, backsplashes, and flooring determine your kitchen style. Accent lighting can also be a visual cue. Here are some characteristics of different architectural styles, and features that will help your kitchen style blend with your home, with links to show examples: (more…)
Accessible Bathrooms Should Whisper “I’m Here To Help You In Every Way Possible”
The major purpose for creating accessible bathrooms is to help people perform daily health and personal-care needs without minimizing their personal value. What’s the important feature in a great accessible bathroom? Humanity! There are required features, of course, but they don’t have to be a reminder that the person who needs them is in-valid. Quality of life, and personal esteem are too often the lowest-priority features. Other terms used synonomously are barrier-free design, aging-in-place design, and lifetime livability.
Here are features that accessible bathrooms should have:
- 32″ wide, minimum. There are offset hinges to make the net opening of 32″ wide doorways more accessible.
- Pocket doors are good, but have limitations regarding location, and pulls may be hard to grip.
- 36″ wide doorways are better.
- Easy-to-grip lever handles.
- Wheelchairs and walkers:
- 5′ turning radius (without a lot of “back and forth” maneuvering).
- Same level on both sides of a doorway.
- Slip-resistant hard surface that will allow wheelchairs and walkers to glide effortlessly.
- No area rugs. (more…)
Two Master Bathroom Sinks: A High Priority For Most Couples
The most-often requested feature for new and remodeled master bathrooms is two sinks, followed by:
- Large(r) shower
- Separate toilet room
- More storage
Having two sinks is great, but they have to fit in the space available, which means that the side-by-side concept has to be bypassed if the available space for two sinks is less than 66″ wide. Below are two examples of bathrooms that are 5′ x 10′-3″ and 5′ x 11′-2″.
A Remodeling Budget Can Be Hard To Determine
Your remodeling budget will allow you to do everything you want, or it will limit you and require you to make serious tradeoffs. Every remodeling project is different, although there may be similarities. If you’ve never remodeled a home before, you may feel overwhelmed and fearful of making expensive mistakes. Here are some tips to help you get from where you are now to understanding and setting a realistic remodeling budget. (more…)
Do You Want Multiple Microwave Ovens In Your Kitchen?
Most of us have a microwave oven that we use regularly. Why would multiple microwave ovens help the function of our kitchen? If you’re planning to remodel your kitchen, this article may help you think about and plan for an additional microwave.
The History of Microwave Ovens
Microwave ovens have been a popular convenience in residential kitchens since Amana started selling them in 1967. Homeowners liked the ability to quickly thaw frozen food and bring liquids to a boil faster than a tea kettle (more…)
Bathroom Investment in Remodeling: How to Save Money
Bathroom investment in remodeling is more expensive, per square foot, than kitchen remodeling! According to the 2016 Cost vs. Value Report for Portland, Oregon, the range of bathroom investments for remodeling is $18,560 – $58,944, averaging $560/square foot (low = $530/square foot; high = $590/square foot).
The range of investments for kitchen remodeling is $20,808 (minor remodel), $104 /sq.ft. – $122,359 (major upscale remodel), $612/sq ft. What “ups the ante” for your
Remodeled Angular Kitchen Was A Big Challenge!
The remodeled angular kitchen functions and looks great, but the original kitchen looked and felt like an after-thought. The function was impaired by multiple 45- and 90-degree angles. Homeowners wanted their remodeled angular kitchen to work for them daily, and provide a functional area for multiple chefs and servers when they entertained. Their kitchen wish list included the following features: (more…)
A Multiple-User Guest Bathroom For Everyone Is Challenging!
A multiple-user guest bathroom should be easy to maintain, available to anyone at any time. Practice may be a different reality, especially if your guest bathroom is also a bathroom that family members use every day.
If you’re creating a new guest bathroom, or remodeling an existing family bathroom, here are some tips to make it a multiple-user guest bathroom:
- Design the bathroom for function, comfort, and safety
- Choose easy-to-clean wall and floor surfaces (porcelain tile is wonderful, especially large rectangular tiles for walls and wainscot)
- Use minimum-size non-contrasting epoxy grout joints (the grout will never need sealing, and will stay clean)
- Opt for neutral colors (the guest bathroom doesn’t have to be boring!)
LED Lighting $aves Our Environment While $aving You Money!
LED lighting technology was in its infancy ten years ago. My, how we’ve come a long way — and the future looks even brighter!
In 2005, LED lighting was available, but there were limitations:
- Not dimmable
- Color was a cool blue-white