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5 Steps: Kitchen Remodeling

 1. Imagine your Dream Kitchen
 Finding your perfect kitchen may be harder than you think. Sure you may have an idea of what your perfect kitchen would look like but your kitchen is unique in it’s shape and size and you must factor this into the equation. First look at magazines, look online, look at your friend’s kitchens. Find all the qualities that you want in your kitchen and develop realistic expectations. You are in the beginning stages, its easy to develop a dream but you must dream of something that can actually become a reality.

2.  Make a Budget
 While making a budget is the least fun part of the kitchen remodeling project it is the most important one. You don’t want to go over your budget but you do want to leave some room for unforeseen expenses or upgrades. Do your research and determine the amount of the job you have in mind.

3.  Choose a Theme and Layout
Your kitchen should obviously be aesthetically appealing to you since you will be using it daily and spending a pretty penny on the remodeling job. Make sure that you choose what you like but if you are doing the job for resell purposes choose a theme and layout that would please the masses. Find colors that compliment each other. Choose the wood for the cabinets. Choose the countertop. Choose a backsplash. Find a color for the walls.If you need help, once again, go online or look at magazines. If you wish, you may hire an interior designer to make your dream kitchen come to life.

4. Flooring
Flooring is very important in your kitchen remodeling plan. If your flooring is outdated or damaged, it may be best to replace it with a beautiful new floor. Figure out what you prefer: hardwood, tile, laminate. Make sure that the color of the flooring compliments the color of the countertop and backsplash.

5. Don’t forget the lighting
Most people overlook the lighting aspect when remodeling their kitchen but it is very important. Good lighting is detrimental to the look and functionality of the kitchen. If you don’t have enough light you may not see an area which needs to be cleaned from being in contact with raw foods which could cause sickness. Not only does good lighting help you see but it is nice to see. It finishes the look of your kitchen remodeling job.

 

 

Choosing the Best Kitchen Cabinets for your Home

When you decide that it’s time to update your kitchen you must of course decide upon kitchen cabinets. The kitchen cabinets might very well be the most important aspect of the kitchen transformation. They are where you store all of your essential day-to-day kitchen items. Choosing the right kitchen cabinets for your lifestyle and your budget can sometimes be a bit confusing. If you don’t know where to start, consider the following on your journey to your dream kitchen.

Style
When choosing the right kitchen cabinets you must first look at your space and determine the look that you are trying to achieve. Do you want something sleek, modern, rustic, simple, and futuristic? There are many different door styles, types of wood, colors, and shapes to choose from. Gather up as many pictures of kitchen cabinets that you like and narrow them down to what will look nice in your kitchen, what will be practical, and what will fit your budget.

Budget
Of course after the first thought of your dream kitchen comes deciding upon a budget that won’t break the bank. You must have a budget and leave some extra cushion for any unforeseen expenses or upgrades that you may decide upon in your quest for the perfect kitchen and kitchen cabinets. Look at the price of the wood, style, and finish that you prefer. If you are feeling overwhelmed you can always call a contractor and ask about pricing to get a better idea of the cost of your project.

Details
Once you have determined the look that you are trying to achieve and established your budget you can get into the details. You can decide upon the hardware and finish that would look best on your new custom kitchen cabinets. Nothing looks better than beautifully constructed cabinets with a  shiny finish and beautiful hardware.

Finding a contractor
Unless you have the time, patience, resources, and experience to strip down your own kitchen and construct and install your kitchen cabinets yourself, seek professional help. Finding a quality contractor that stands behind his product may be an arduous task but it is imperative if you want kitchen cabinets that will stand the test of time. Call up local contractors and when you feel comfortable you may move forward and put your plan into action.

Good Luck
Now that you have decided upon the style you prefer and found a quality contractor you are ready to embark upon your custom kitchen cabinet journey. Remember that your new kitchen cabinets will bring you joy and increase the value of your home. Enjoy them but treat them with care to ensure their longevity.

 

6 Kitchen Countertop Options

So you’ve decided to update your kitchen and would like to figure out which Countertop is right for your home. Well here are 6 great kitchen countertop options for you to choose from.

Natural Stone

If you are interested in natural stones, granite, soapstone, are the most popular types.
Granite used to only be found in expensive kitchens but now it has become the most popular natural stone is has become more available to the public. Granite countertops come in all ranges of colors from midnight black, to bright blue, to deep red, to white. It isn’t the cheapest but it is a beautiful option.
Soapstone and slate come in fewer colors than granite. Soapstone usually comes in a dark greenish-black color and sometimes a bit lighter in a green-gray color. Soapstone is porous and needs to be sealed with mineral oil to reduce staining.
Slate is a dense natural stone and comes in 5 colors: green, red, gray, purple, and black. Slate is nonporous and is basically maintenance free.

Solid Surfaces

Solid surface materials, such as Corian, Wilsonart’s Gibraitar and Avonite, are 100% acrylic, 100% polyester, or a combination of acrylic and polyester. These countertops are highly resistant to stains and scratches and come in hundreds of colors and patterns. Solid surface counters have been around for about 40 years and perform very well in the kitchen. The attractive feature of solid surfaces it that the design capabilities are endless.

Plastic Laminate

Plastic laminate is durable, hard wearing, and may survive many years in kitchens that see a lot of wear and tear. Plastic laminate is made up mostly of kraft paper and resins and is available in hundreds of colors, dozens of patterns and various textures.

Ceramic Tile

Fewer and fewer kitchen countertops nowadays are made of ceramic tile. You may use tile you backsplashes and for secondary work like an island, eat-at counter, peninsula, wet bar, or butler pantry. Always use tiles made especially for floors and countertops. Never use wall tiles for your countertops because they tend to crack easily.

Wood

Wood can be used as a kitchen countertop surface but is losing its popularity to granite and solid surfaces. Some people think that wood can harbor germs and bacteria but that’s just not the case. There was a study done in 1993 at the University of Wisconsin where microbiologists contaminated wooden, intentionally, and 99.9% of the bacteria introduced to the wood died within 3 minutes of exposure onto the wood’s surface. The study proved that wood is safer, bacteria wise, than plastic. Wood countertops are usually made of rock maple, walnut, cherry, and oak.

Concrete

Concrete kitchen countertops seem to be gaining popularity. The slabs are made in a workshop and are fully cured and finished before going to the job site. Poured concrete requires a few weeks of curing time before it can be sealed and this seems to create an inconvenience for homeowners. Many colors can be achieved by adding pigments while the mixing is occurring. To stop concrete from cracking, fabricators usually use wire mesh, metal rebar or fiberglass fibers in the mix. 

 

Should You Restore Your Antique Furniture?

The question that comes to mind for those who own antique furniture that needs to be repaired is “should I repair it, or toss it?” This is of course a detrimental question. Many times, an item, which could have easily been restored by a skilled craftsman, is thrown out with yesterday’s trash. It’s very sad to see these amazing pieces of time deteriorate and eventually end up in the dumpster. There are of course times when it is not a wise financial investment to restore an antique because it simply has no more life left in it.

The first thing you need to assess when restoring your antique furniture is if it will be a wise investment. Depending on how big your furniture is and how much existing damage there is, the cost can be a make or break decision. First you should look at the antique furniture item in question. Look at the damage and imagine what it would look like restored. Figure out if the item will be used in your home or if you will just have it in storage or if you just plan on selling it. Look at the uniqueness of the item and determine if all of the positives out weigh the negatives. Once you have determined that you would indeed like to get your antique furniture restored you are one step closer to making the item thrive with new life.

Find a craftsman who knows how to restore antique furniture and has a keen eye for detail. Ask as many questions as you need to. Ultimately, it is your item and you need to be comfortable with the investment you are making as well as keeping the integrity of the piece alive. Antique furniture is beautiful and timeless. The older an antique, especially one in great condition and with unique features, the more it will be worth. Take good care of your antique furniture and treat the furniture not only as it’s intended use but as a piece of history, a piece of art, as an investment, and as something that has a past and will have a future.

 

© Avi Binur 2010