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Blog - Home Renovation

Creating a Farmhouse Kitchen

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22 June 2021 Home Renovation,

It seems everyone wants a spacious farmhouse-style kitchen that has the perfect mix of modern and rustic elements. These kitchens often star in home renovation shows and appear on magazine covers. If you getting ready to renovate or remodel your kitchen, here are a few tips to help you achieve the farmhouse look.

What is a farmhouse kitchen?

As you might guess, the farmhouse kitchen draws inspiration from the large and inviting kitchen you would find on a farm. There are a few basic elements that are almost indispensable in any farmhouse kitchen but as with all decor rules, it’s all about knowing when to break them. 

The farmhouse-style kitchen is warm and inviting, yet quite simple. It’s meant to make your guests feel at home and is often a gathering place for the family. In direct contrast to many modern kitchens with sleek stainless steel appliances and cold marble countertops, the farmhouse kitchen features warm woods and natural materials. You’ll hardly find any metallic elements in a farmhouse kitchen, except for maybe some wrought iron fixtures. 

While you can add some farmhouse elements to a small kitchen, the typical farmhouse-style kitchen tends to be spacious. They’re often large enough to incorporate an island and an overly large dining table. This decor style is quite flexible so don’t think you have to add every element listed here. Pick and choose what works for your space, even if you don’t have the ideal cooking range or apron front sink.

 

  • Light colors

 

The color palette for a farmhouse kitchen tends to be light and airy. Consider colors like yellow, jade green, light blue, or neutrals like ivory or beige for the walls. You’ll use a lot of warm woods throughout, so consider the best tones to offset it. 

 

  • Sinks

 

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A farmhouse kitchen is incomplete without a sink to match. Also called apron front sinks, they are large, made of porcelain, and feature a single bowl. These sinks are typically white and hang over the top of your cabinets. If your kitchen cannot hold a farmhouse sink, then try getting a smaller one in a similar style. Most farmhouse layouts will position the sink near a window but it may not work for all homes. 

 

  • Hardwood floors

 

You’ll seldom find tile or marble in a farmhouse kitchen. It’s all about the hardwood floors here. They look cozy and feel great under your feet and it’s the perfect excuse to extend your gorgeous floors throughout the house.

 

  • Wood countertops or an island

 

Wood countertops or butcher-block style counters are a great option. They are easy to maintain and can withstand heavy use. If you don’t want wooden countertops throughout, you can use an island with a wooden top instead. Or you can mix and match with butcher block style on one side and other materials elsewhere.

 

  • Large dining table

 

Most farmhouse kitchens are large enough for both an island and a dining table. These tables tend to be large (seating 8) and made out of solid wood. Some homeowners even get tables that use wooden planks to resemble the classic farm table. If your kitchen isn’t big enough, try to use a large island that can also double as a place to eat for everyone.

 

  • Exposed wood beams

 

If your kitchen has exposed wood beams and a sloping roof, then you don’t need anything else to make it feel rustic. These beams add interest and will mirror the hardwood floors to great effect.

 

  • Light/white cabinets

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Opt for white shaker-style cabinets to pair with your wooden countertops to evoke warmth. Other pale neutrals like ivory also work well. These colors are inviting and open up the room, especially when you use so many wooden accents throughout.

 

  • Open or glass front shelving

 

If you’re looking to add smaller farmhouse elements to an existing kitchen, open shelves are your best bet. Use them to display white dishes, antique cookware, or even mason jars filled with pantry staples. If open shelving is not an option, try glass-fronted cabinets to replicate the see-through effect. 

 

  • Colorful appliances

 

Stainless steel appliances can work in a modern farmhouse kitchen but try to use other colors instead. Manufacturers now offer small and big appliances in eye-popping colors like candy red and electric blue. You can even add a farmhouse-style cooking range if your budget allows for it!

 

  • Oil rubbed bronze or black fittings

 

Generally, the few metallic accents you see in a farmhouse kitchen are the cabinet pulls and the faucet. Opt for fittings in oil-rubbed bronze or black finishes that will fit in with the rest of your kitchen. You can also try less common finishes like copper or rose gold instead of satin nickel.

Summer Home Decor Trends

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Home Renovation,

Summer is almost upon us and with spring cleaning done, what better time to redecorate your home for the warmer days ahead? You don’t have to switch up your decor for every season but a few simple changes can bring summer vibes indoors.

Small changes, big impact

Not everyone can or even wants to do a big remodel for the summer. But if you’re looking for a change, then think on a smaller scale. You don’t necessarily have to buy new furniture or change the paint color on the walls. Instead, think about small changes that can have a big visual impact. 

For instance, changing the cushion covers on your couch to lighter fabrics or colors can make a huge difference. Now that summer is here, you can try your hand at growing some easy-care indoor plants. Or you can even just swap some accessories between different rooms for a whole new look.

You’ll be amazed at what you can with stuff you already have! Curtain fabrics, sheet sets, cushion covers, and pillows alone can make any room feel new. So if you’re looking for ideas on getting your home ready for summer, keep reading!

 

  • Lighter spaces

 

The key to summer decor is light and breezy. Think light colors, light fabrics, and even light woods. Instead of heavy furniture in dark woods, try lighter tones such as bamboo or rattan. Pair these pieces with covers or pillows in ivory, beige, and other neutral or pastel colors. 

This simple change will make small rooms feel bigger and you can do this whether you own or rent your home. While you don’t have to embrace the minimalist style, eliminating visual clutter will always make the room feel light and bright.

 

  • Make a statement with color

 

Sun, surf, and sand are the symbols of summer everywhere. So why not be inspired by summer colors like the golden sand and bright blue skies? Blues and yellows in all their glorious shades will look right at home in your living room or bedroom for that summer look.

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Pair deep blue accent pieces with pastel yellow furniture covers. Or go the other way round by using light cerulean blues with burnished gold or yellow tones. You can use these colors anywhere, don’t limit yourself to just the big furniture items like couches and chairs. 

Framed artwork, coffee table accessories, pillows, and throw rugs offer plenty of opportunities to showcase summer colors.

 

  • Incorporate natural elements

 

Natural materials and fabrics are ideally suited for the summer months. Materials like rattan, wicker, and jute are light and airy. Switch your pillow covers to cotton and linen materials for that summer vibe. Few people want to buy two sets of furniture for their house, one for winter and another for summer. But having covers, sheets, and curtains in different fabrics can easily help you achieve a summer/winter look. Not only is it easy to do but your wallet will thank you as well!

 

  • Showcase your green thumb

 

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What better way to welcome summer than by growing some plants? You can use potted plants in creative ways to section some space in a large room. Large potted plants act as quite effective barriers if you have a study/living room or bedroom/office situation. 

Don’t just stick to the standard pots and plants. For instance, try growing some vines on a nearby sculpture or a free-standing shelf. You can hang pots with cascading plants from the ceiling or put them on top of tall bookcases to great effect. Get a decorative ladder and put vines or cascading plants on the top shelf and knick-knacks on the other shelves. 

 

  • Bring the sun indoors

 

Summer means sunshine and what better way to celebrate than by bringing it inside? If you have small windows, try keeping them open to let the light in. Use sheer curtains as they will instantly make the room feel like summer. 

If you have large windows, accentuate their effect by framing them effectively. Use curtains in lighter fabrics that just touch the floor. Also, try to hang curtains as high as you can to make the room feel bigger. 

 

  • Decorate the porch

 

Nothing says summer like a great outdoor area. Whether you have a small balcony or a large patio, get it ready for summer. Hang a string of garden lights on the trees or a railing to spend a cozy evening outside. Bust out the outdoor chairs and set out a few candles. 

You can also use the tiny fairy lights on your porch. Fill up a mason jar or two with them or twist them around the candles. You can even hang them up on a wall in a nice pattern. Place a few flowering plants around and viola, your home is set to welcome summer in all its glory!

Key Elements for a Modern Space

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3 June 2021 Home Renovation,

Modern spaces are fashionable again and you might be wondering where to start in your home. The term ‘modern design’ can be confusing to many people especially when designers contrast it with contemporary design. So what exactly is modern design?

Modern vs Contemporary design

Modern design began life around the turn of the twentieth century, embracing principles from Japanese and Scandinavian interiors. The modern design celebrates unfussy lines and a lack of unnecessary embellishments. It uses neutral color palettes and natural materials. Modern rooms tend to emphasize monochromatic colors and focus on creating a mood with the color palette. 

The main principle of modern design is that form follows function. If a piece of furniture, decor, or detail does not have a purpose you should think about removing it. In other words, every single piece you bring into the room should have a purpose, a reason for it to be there.

Contemporary design, on the other hand, does not refer to a specific decor style. It evolves with time and derives inspiration from multiple design trends. In twenty years, contemporary design would refer to something completely different than today. It generally refers to what’s in style at the moment.

Living room

So what does a modern living room look like? The beauty of the modern design style is that you can incorporate elements from everywhere. Your living room can be modern minimalist, modern maximalist, modern industrial, or even modern farmhouse! 

If you have a beautiful architectural element like a fireplace, you can design a modern farmhouse look to highlight it. White walls paired with bright pops of color can emphasize the clean lines and simple furniture. If you have a room with a view, then a minimalist color palette that focuses on the outside can look stunning.

Pay good attention to the color palette in your living room. Instead of tans and creams, opt for grays, muted navy, or black and white as a backdrop. Use colors to set the mood and don’t be afraid to experiment with unusual combinations like blues and grays with more earthy tones like terracotta.

Kitchen 

A modern kitchen features simple cabinets with straight lines and handles. There’s not much room for curves in a modern kitchen. Kitchen counters should be uncluttered and free of visual debris. Stainless steel appliances fit right in but you can also add one or two small appliances in bright jewel tones. 

Stick to fewer colors in the kitchen but unusual palettes can work here as well. White walls with deep green cabinets or a backsplash can work wonders, especially if you have a light-filled room.

You may want to eliminate drawer pulls and handles altogether in a modern kitchen. Flush drawer fronts and flat doors combine to give a clean look. A couple of open shelves or glass-fronted cabinets can show off your eclectic collection of jars or ceramics but don’t go overboard. Most of your stuff should be behind closed doors and drawers.

Bathroom

A modern bathroom usually has a couple of features like a freestanding tub or floor-to-ceiling tiles. Use the tiles to create a pattern or design to break it up. Or use multiple shades of the same color to decorate the walls. If you have a walk-in shower, tile walls will look even better there. 

You can mix and match different materials for a modern bathroom but options like marble are always a good idea. Coordinating accessories in the same finish will round out the look. Large mirrors and windows can create an airy/light-filled space for you to enjoy at the end of a tiring day.

Bedroom 

If you want to decorate your bedroom in a modern style, emphasize natural materials like wood. Wood is naturally warm and pairs wonderfully with a range of colors. A wooden bed frame or large headboard can serve as the centerpiece. 

Keeping things simple in the bedroom pays off as well. You don’t really need defined areas in a modern bedroom, so focus on fewer pieces but with luxurious textures. Stick to a simple color palette of 2 – 3 colors at most. Decorate throughout the room with multiple shades of those colors to bring everything together.

Finally, lighting plays an important role throughout your home so don’t ignore it. Scones, metal chandeliers, or integrated lamps can help you create a cozy, romantic, or bright mood perfect for any occasion. If you’re not a fan of minimalism, you can break up the straight lines of modern design with greenery and artwork on the walls. Remember to keep things simple, stick to the basics and eliminate anything that does not have a purpose. Pretty soon you will have a beautiful modern home with a warm and welcoming vibe!

Buying Guide for a Hot Water Dispenser

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26 May 2021 Home Renovation,

Have you ever turned on the kitchen faucet and waited several minutes for the water to run hot? Kitchen and bathroom faucets are not designed to give you hot water in an instant. Most faucets are hooked into the water supply and heater, so you need to wait for at least 3 – 5 minutes to get hot water. Even then you’d almost never get boiling water. 

Now while that’s perfectly fine for most everyday tasks, it is inconvenient in the kitchen. There are times when you need 1 or 2 cups of hot water for tea, soups, or because you’re cooking large meals for the family. What can you do other than start boiling water on the stove?

Instant hot water dispensers could be the solution you’re looking for. Now there are 2 ways to get instant hot water in the kitchen: 

  1. Built-in hot water dispensers
  2. Countertop kettles 

The latter is a good option if you need hot water rarely, say maybe once or twice a week. But they take up precious counter space and don’t offer much beyond the basics. Built-in dispensers come with an under-sink tank and a faucet which is where you would get the hot water from. They are convenient, durable, easy to install, and the higher-end models also have temperature controls and safety shut-off features. 

Features 

Most instant hot water dispensers have the same components. The units are compact so they can fit below the sink. The interior tank holds water and a heating element. The size of the tank and the element dictates how much hot water you can get instantly. Stainless steel tanks are more durable than alternative materials. The water stays hot longer as well.

Apart from that, you may have a control dial to adjust the temperature and even turn the unit off. So when you go on vacation, you can switch the knob off. The other main component will be the thermostat. It tells the heating element to turn off when the water reaches the desired temperature. Some models also have auto shut-off features to ensure the element does not turn on when the tank holds no water.

Do you need an instant hot water dispenser?

These instant dispensers are not a necessity so most people don’t think of adding the unit when building or buying a house. However, there are incredibly convenient and after installing one, you might wonder how you managed without it!

Built-in hot water dispensers are easy to install. Many models offer tool-less installation, so you can do it yourself. The unit allows you to set the temperature and you can get near-boiling water immediately. It might not seem like much but when you need 1 cup of boiling water for a particular recipe or to sterilize bottles, they can be invaluable.

However, these units can be expensive especially if you want one with a bigger tank, more power, and better features. If your current sink does not have a free hole for the faucet, you might need to change the sink itself or drill an extra hole. Hiring a plumber for the task will cost extra and you may not have room in your budget.

What to look for?

When buying a built-in unit look for specific features that are important to you. For instance, how hot should the water get? Can you turn it off? Since these units are always on – so to speak – you should consider energy efficiency as well. The best units don’t cost more than a few cents per day.

The next thing to note is the tank capacity. Also called draw-off, it’s how much hot water you can get before the tank needs to refill. You should get between 40 – 60 cups of water per hour for most models. You also want to note the build quality and materials used. Insulated tanks keep the water hot for longer while stainless steel ones will be more durable. 

Style and finishes

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Not all dispensers come with the faucet, you might have to buy it separately. It’s much easier to get a model that has the faucet, saving you another trip to the store and worrying about compatibility. Consider a model like an InVite H-HOT100™ Instant Hot Water Dispenser which comes with a choice of faucet finishes in either chrome or satin nickel. An option like this allows you to match the hot water faucet with your existing sink setup. Also consider a tank and filtration system, like the InSinkErator – Hot Water Tank & Filtration System.

Other popular finishes include black, white, brass, and even copper/gold options. You can get low-slung models that are easy to reach or high neck models which are great as pot fillers. Whatever the existing finish and style of your kitchen sink, you can find a matching hot water dispenser so that everything looks coherent. So, go ahead and add hot water on demand to your kitchen sink!

How to create a bohemian dreamland

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27 April 2021 Home Renovation,

The minimalist design may be trendy now but not everyone likes the stark lines or a strictly neutral color palette. Some of us prefer more inviting home decor ideas for rooms that look inviting and lived-in. If you’re looking for a design style that is warm, comfortable, relaxed, and colorful, then boho might be the answer. 

Bohemian design is all about embracing different patterns, textures, and colors. It’s the opposite of the less is more philosophy and you can keep adding layers when decorating any space. You can embrace the maximalist approach and go all in or start with a classic white/neutral base and add a few Bohemian touches. 

There are 2 basic rules to achieving the Bohemian look: 

 

  • Avoid matching sets

 

Instead, focus on individual pieces that have a history or tell a story. Don’t worry too much about coordinating with existing furniture. If you love a piece, you can make it work in a Bohemian room

 

  • Don’t overuse any single color

 

Bohemian style is eclectic so avoid using the same colors everywhere. This is especially true for black. A couple of black pieces are fine but no more. Colorful and patterned tiles are a great way to incorporate this trend.

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Creating a Bohemian dreamland is not hard, just follow these tips and you’re on your way. 

 

  • Textures

 

With Bohemian style, you can go crazy with textures. Definitely don’t limit yourself to one or two. Layer different materials and textures together. Start with a couch, then add a bright patterned throw and add a few plain pillows. Or layer rugs of different sizes on top of each other. Play with contrasts throughout to create a warm and inviting space.

 

  • Plants

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Plants are an easy way to break up an empty wall or even a room into different areas. They won’t clash with existing decor and are a treat to look at. Hang some ferns from the ceiling or let a few vines drape gently down the sides of your bookshelf. You can put small potted plants on floating wall shelves and larger ones on the floor. Go wild!

 

  • Different light sources

 

Don’t limit yourself to just ceiling or floor lamps. Mix and match different light sources such as scones, candles, task lights, and even fairy/string lights on a wall. For example, you can create a wall of memories by hanging pictures on a string of fairy lights on the wall. Scones create a warm atmosphere and are great for summer evenings.

 

  • Mix patterns

 

Play with patterns to your heart’s content in a Bohemian room. Geometric patterns, florals, paisleys, you name it, you can use it. Layer different patterns for an eclectic look or frame a patterned throw or artwork on the wall as a focus piece. Just make sure to have a few plain items so your eyes can rest. 

 

  • Embrace imperfections

 

Don’t worry if a thrift store find is dented or slightly scuffed. Embrace those imperfections as they tell a story about your furniture. Vintage pieces, handmade items, and decor you picked up during your travels are great additions here. Travel and world cultures are always a source of inspiration for Bohemian style, so a vintage globe or a framed map on the wall are good ideas.

 

  • Natural materials

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When you can, avoid manmade materials like glass or concrete. Focus on natural fibers and materials like wicker, linen, cotton, wood, and even leather. Metal frames or mirrors go well with light wood furniture pieces. Think cotton and linen fabrics for pillows or couch cushions. Wicker or jute side tables and ottomans work well too. Avoid darker woods as they tend to overwhelm the space.

 

  • Relaxed seating

 

Opt for low seating that is comfortable and cozy. Think low-backed sofas, chaise lounges, poufs, and ottomans. Don’t use heavy couches with straight lines or formal silhouettes. The idea is for you and your family to relax and spend some time in the room. 

 

  • Go big and bold with colors

 

You can use neutral or pastel shades in a Bohemian home but where’s the fun in that? Try using warm and earthy tones like terracotta, burnt orange, or vivid reds for the walls or big furniture pieces. Then add bold or bright pops of colors like aqua or mint green with throws and pillows.

 

  • Surround yourself with culture

 

The people who inspired the Bohemian style probably owned more books than clothes or furniture. Surround yourself with your hobbies or interests and use them as decor. If you’re a bibliophile, cover an entire wall with bookshelves. Love music? Frame album covers for a gallery wall. If you’re artistic or love collecting art, then showcase your collection in the dining room or above the couch. 

A Bohemian-inspired room or home is a place for conversations, music, playing games, and evenings spent with family and friends. So make it yours and don’t be afraid to experiment!

 

Tips for a spring refresh in your home

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22 April 2021 Home Renovation,

No matter where you live, it’s time to get ready for spring. Say goodbye to winter blues and hello to sunshine! Spring is a great time to refresh your home a little. Put aside the major renovation projects, a few small updates throughout the house can make it feel new again. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Spring cleaning

The best way to get started is to do some spring cleaning. As the days get longer, the sun will shine a spotlight on all the things you missed during the cold winter days. Leaf-filled gutters, dirty window panes, dusty baseboards, the works. Now you don’t have to tackle them all at once or it will become overwhelming. Make up a daily schedule for smaller cleaning projects like:

  • Deep clean the carpet
  • Clean window panes
  • Refresh the flowerbeds or vegetable garden
  • Clean out the gutters
  • Air out closets and closed cabinets

Depending on how big or small your home is, spring cleaning may take a couple of weekends or so. Then you are ready to move onto the fun part: decorating!

Re-arrange furniture

Once everything is clean, it’s time to move the furniture. Here’s how you can refresh any room without spending a dime: simply move furniture around. Change the position of artwork or relocate a chair that’s not quite working in the usual spot. Push the couch away from the wall or move it to a different room entirely. 

Another idea to change the colors in a room. Painting can take a few hours but you may like the existing color scheme. In that case, try some peel and stick wallpapers with fresh and bright florals or greenery to bring spring inside. You can also repaint metal or wood furniture to better fit the new vibes!

 

Refresh the bedroom

Thanks to the current pandemic, every room in the house is pulling double duty. Yours may also be a home office or meditation space. You may not always be able to change the furniture here but smaller changes can also work wonders.

Switch out the heavy winter bedding for fresh linens in bright tones. Use more lightweight materials like cotton and swap out pillows. You can also change the curtains – opt for bright patterns or lively florals. Switch to sheer fabrics to let in the spring sunshine and instantly brighten up the room.

Don’t forget scents as well. Why use candles when fresh flowers work so much better? You don’t have to buy them from the store either. Use green stems and branches to add life without worrying about keeping flowers alive.

 

Upgrade the kitchen

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Spring is a good time to take stock and get rid of old, outdated, or broken appliances. Donate or throw old appliances or chipped dishes. Treat yourself to some new cookware or utensils. Manufacturers are launching small appliances if eye-popping colors, so go a little crazy!

Another area you want to focus on is the sink. Consider replacing an old sink or even just the faucet for a quick facelift. The bulk of your kitchen consists of cabinets and countertops. While changing those is not easy, you can always make smaller changes. 

For instance, swap out drawer pulls for an instant upgrade. Invest in some backsplash with easy peel and stick options. Put away those white dishes and get a new set in bold colors. And voila, you have an instant spring upgrade for the kitchen!

 

Bathroom updates

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It’s easy to forget about bathrooms but we spend quite a bit of time in there. Want to spruce up the bathroom for spring? Consider changing the accessories. If your current bathroom accessories (towel bar, hooks, toilet paper holder, etc.) are mismatched or simply dated, try investing in a new finish. Switch out the mirror or the lights to make the room feel more spacious. 

The bathroom counter or vanity is often cluttered with all sorts of bath accessories – from cotton balls to lotion. Keep a few small baskets or transparent boxes to corral everything in one place. Not only does this look nice, but it also makes cleanup a lot easier.

Rest of the house

You can apply similar principles to the rest of your home too. Change the artwork on the walls or create a gallery wall behind the couch. Spruce up the entryway with a table, flowers, and some candles. Add a few hooks or shelves to hold your shoes and minimize clutter. 

You can also update the patio space with a new chair or some hanging pots to welcome spring. If your living room couch has a slipcover, change it. Get a new area rug or remove the existing one and show off those bare floors for a change. A spring refresh is not always about adding things, it can be worthwhile to get rid of excess clutter as well.

Making the Most of Small Spaces

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23 March 2021 Home Renovation,

Small spaces – whether it’s a room or the entire house – are tricky to decorate. It’s easy to fill up a tiny space with too much furniture and all of a sudden, it feels cluttered. On the other hand, small spaces let you get creative with furniture, decor, and storage. Sometimes you want a small room to look bigger or you just want a functional space that doesn’t look cramped.

Regardless of your goals, the key to decorating a small space is careful consideration of materials and furniture pieces, the available space, and the purpose of the room itself. For instance, a kitchen needs to be more functional than a small corner next to your desk. So, here are a few tips on making the most of small spaces:

Layout and furniture

If you’re starting a room from scratch, decide on a layout and the bigger pieces first. Does the space need different zones like studying and relaxing? Can the room accommodate all the areas you need? Even a bedroom can have multiple zones – for sleeping, reading, getting dressed in the morning, etc. 

Once you’ve decided on the layout, choose the biggest furniture pieces first like the bed or dining table. Opt for lighter colors, lightweight materials, and a minimalist/sleek design. A loveseat with narrow legs suits a small space more than a heavy skirted couch. Fewer but high-quality pieces will also make the room look bigger than it is. 

Keep in mind that each piece of furniture also needs room around it for you to move. So one larger couch is a better idea than 2 small loveseats.

Maximize light

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Any space will look bigger when there’s plenty of light, preferably from natural sources. Use mirrors to reflect light coming in from the windows. Light shades of any color will give a more spacious look as well. Make sure the window treatments are as close to the ceiling as possible to give the impression of height. 

One common mistake is to make curtains too short or narrow. Curtains should just about touch the floor and also extend for at least 6 inches beyond the window on both sides. Too short or narrow and it starts to feel restrictive.

Double duty furniture

Use furniture that can do more than one thing. Storage is key in any room as you’ll have some things that need to be put away when you’re not using them. You also want to display the stuff you like. So consider an ottoman with hidden storage instead of a coffee table. A side table can also double up as a stool for extra seating or use nested tables to save space. 

Convertible sofas and pull-out beds are also ideal for smaller spaces. This way you can put them away when you’re not using them. A desk that folds up against the wall or a cart that you can wheel out of a closet when needed is also a good idea.

Use the wall space

Walls are useful for more than simply hanging photos or artwork. When floor space is at a premium, go vertical. You can fill an entire wall with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves to make the most of your space. Or simply attach several shelves at different heights for plants or books.  Use mounted shelves on the side of your bed instead of a nightstand. The options are endless once you start thinking of walls as a blank canvas.

You can also do the same with floor lamps. Instead of multiple lamps taking up precious room, hang scones from the wall or use a ceiling light instead. Closed cabinets are necessary for the kitchen or bathroom but open shelves can go pretty much everywhere. You can even screw in a few pegs and hang your bike or tools on the wall.

Use decor wisely

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Be thoughtful when it comes to decor in a small space. Unlike a large room, you don’t have unlimited space to cram everything you want inside. You need to think about what is necessary and add it with consideration. 

For example, let’s say you have 2 shelves above your work desk for decor. Don’t just put everything you need in random order. Group like items together (similar color, shape, or size) and leave space around each group to make it intentional.

If you can fit 10 things in the space, use only 7 or 8 items. This will make any space look and feel larger than it is. It’s also better to choose fewer but bigger pieces instead of multiple small items. Just like furniture, every decor item needs some space around it. 

As always, don’t hesitate to move things around if you don’t like them. The most important thing to create a space that looks good and works well for you and your family. 

Replacing Your Shower System

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Home Renovation,

Bathroom and kitchen remodel are the most popular home renovation projects and for good reasons. Updating these rooms is important for functionality especially if you have an older home with outdated plumbing/electrical fixtures. The remodel also offers a good return on investment when it comes time to sell your home. 

Unfortunately, bath renovation projects tend to get bigger than you originally expected. You might start out with wanting to replace a leaky faucet and before you know it, you’re retiling the floor or replacing the tub altogether. But what if your bathroom doesn’t need an extensive renovation and you just want a smaller update?

Small bathroom projects

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There are many alternatives to a full-blown bath renovation. For instance, you can replace the decor and small accent pieces if you’re satisfied with the existing functionality. In other words, you just want to update how the room looks. You can also replace fixtures such as the towel rod, faucet, towel hooks, and sink accessories in a coordinating finish. 

Design upgrades are often inexpensive and don’t take up much time. Functional upgrades are typically more expensive, time-consuming, and difficult to plan out. It’s especially true if you want to swap out the tub, replace the tub with a shower, or another more extensive remodeling. 

Replacing the shower system

Luckily, replacing your shower system doesn’t have to be a big project requiring experts. If you’re handy with tools, replacing the shower can be done in a day or even an afternoon. Unless you want to add more valves, handles, or multiple showerheads, you don’t have to re-tile or break anything to replace the shower system. 

There are several reasons you may want to replace the shower:

  • The existing shower is leaking or close to breaking down
  • You want to update the shower to match the rest of the bath fixtures (faucet, towel rack, etc.)
  • You want to add functionality like a hand shower, spa shower system, etc.
  • You’re interested in water-saving or eco-friendly features like low flow showerheads, digital controls, or similar tech upgrades

You don’t need an expert to replace the showerhead, just basic tools and some time. If you’re used to DIY projects around the house, you can complete this one in less than a day.

Selecting a shower system

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There are many types of shower systems available in the market today. You can buy all-in-one packages that include all the parts you need or assemble your own bespoke system. A new shower system can cost anywhere from $100 to $5000 and above. It depends on the manufacturer, functionality, and the finish you want. In most cases, it’s not worth the time and effort to build your own system from parts. Most all-in-one systems are easy to assemble and work well regardless of your budget. 

Budget

Naturally, price is a limiting factor whenever you shop for something. If you are replacing the shower as part of a blogger remodel, make sure to leave room in the budget for the purchase. No matter the constraints, you’ll be able to find a system that suits your needs. 

Features 

From water-saving showers to complete spa-like experiences, your shower can be as simple or complex as you need. A master bath may benefit from a rain shower head (where the water sprays down from the ceiling) while a guest bath doesn’t have such a complex system. Modern shower panels may even come with digital controls, speakers to play music, and other technology features.

Some showers feature multiple heads such as a fixed showerhead and a more flexible handheld one. Spa systems combine multiple nozzles or heads that are flush against the wall to provide a relaxing bath experience. 

Finish 

As with all home upgrades, the finish is important. You should select one that complements your design style and the rest of the bathroom. That beautiful oil-rubbed bronze showerhead in the showroom may look completely out of place in a modern, minimalist bathroom. 

Since bath fixtures are generally not very expensive, it’s a good idea to replace all of them at once with items from the same brand/manufacturer. Remember that polished finishes look elegant but need more cleaning to keep them free of fingerprints and smudges. Brushed or matte finishes are more forgiving and easier to clean. 

It’s always a good idea to shop for shower systems from a reputed manufacturer like Grohe. It ensures you get quality fixtures that won’t break down anytime soon. Grohe products are simple to install, making them ideal for smaller bath remodels. 

For example, the Grohe Euphoria system combines a minimalist footprint with maximum performance. It is sleek and almost blends into the wall, so you won’t even notice it’s there. With numerous features like rain spray, adjustable height bar, and flexible rotation, this shower system offers excellent value, regardless of your budget.

Spotlighting Kitchen Sinks For All Needs

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25 February 2021 Home Renovation,

A sink is the workhorse of any kitchen and quite often purchased for utility rather than looks. But why not combine both? Sure you can buy any old steel sink and call it a day but sinks come in a variety of styles and materials. Whether you prefer a cottage-style kitchen or something ultra-modern, there’s a sink out there for you. 

Sinks come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. From large single bowl steel ones to more compact bar sinks, there’s one for every purpose. Sinks can be classified based on specific criteria such as the number of bowls, the size, and the materials it’s made of. 

Types of mounting

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Drop-in sinks

The classic sink is a drop-in style mounting that you see everywhere. It drops into a pre-cut hole on your countertop. It has a rim that rests on the counter, making it easy to install as it needs no additional support. Drop-in sinks are inexpensive and you can replace them without having to disturb existing plumbing or change the countertop.

Due to their ubiquity, they can seem dated or commonplace. Cleaning around the sink is also problematic as food particles tend to get stuck between the sink rim and the counter. But it doesn’t mean you cannot get stylish drop-in sinks like the RUBI Chardonnay. It’s a wonderfully large steel sink if you’re interested in a drop-in or top-mount sink.

Undermount sinks

Undermount sinks are kind of the opposite of drop-in sinks. They are installed under your counter and require additional support. They tend to be more expensive and need professional installation. You also need to plan for them in advance so that your countertop can be cut to the exact size. For this reason, they are more popular in newly constructed homes or when replacing the countertops in a kitchen remodel.

The RUBI Cabernet is a great under-mount sink. It is made of stainless steel, has square corners and is a spacious single-bowl sink.

 

Number of bowls

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While 3 bowl sinks are available, the most common sinks feature a single or double bowl. Single bowl sinks are perfect if you have many large pots and pans. Since it’s a single bowl, it tends to be quite deep and wide enough for most purposes. If you only have 1 cook in the kitchen, a single bowl kitchen is ideal.

A double bowl sink, on the other hand, is good if you have multiple people using the kitchen daily. If you use the sink for both dishwashing and dinner prep, the 2 bowls are more versatile. They do need a bit more space but are often worth it. Double bowl sinks can be 50/50 or even 70/30 depending on your needs. The Blanco Quatrus R15 U2 is a good choice if you’re looking for a 50/50 double bowl sink. It comes in a brushed finish and features drain grooves as well.

Types of materials

The most popular sink material is no doubt stainless steel. It’s easy to clean, durable, and matches almost any kitchen design. While they can be noisy and dent easily, you can choose specific finishes to reduce these effects.

Composite sinks are the next most common material used. They are either granite or quartz composite. More expensive than steel sinks but they easily last longer and are more durable. Other sink materials include fireclay, ceramic, and even copper. These materials are uncommon and require planning but can be a great addition to specific kitchen styles.

 

Secondary sinks

Some homes may need multiple sinks, depending on their size and purpose. For instance, you may want a smaller sink in the kitchen itself specifically for meal prep. It makes cleanup easier and prevents cross-contamination. A bar sink has a smaller footprint, so you can install it on an island or in a corner near the bar. You may also need a laundry sink, which is typically larger and placed in the laundry room for washing pets, tools, or art supplies. 

 

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