Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Updating kitchen cabinets

English: Kitchen cabinets are sold as integrat...Image via Wikipedia

The top three biggest expenses in kitchen renovations are cabinets, appliances, and counter tops. If your home hasn't been updated in the last ten years you may find yourself in for a great deal of money to bring your home up to speed. How can you make improvements with out going broke? Well there are alternatives to updating your cabinets if you are willing to open up your mind, and abandon a few preconceived notions.

Cabinets can always be painted or refaced- Some may be under the impression that wood should never be painted however, this depends on several factors. Inexpensive and builder grade woods can and should be painted if they are in bad shape, dark, dingy or dated. The key is to make sure you do the job right. If you can't then have someone professionally paint your cabinets with the right tools needed for lasting beauty, research the best paint products to use for your cabinets, whether they are real wood, laminate, etc. Using the right paint product with the right material of cabinet will give you the best results.

Now, for some of us that just can't bear painting our wood, consider re-staining your wood. If you have, for instance old Oak cabinets or a light finished wood cabinet that just doesn't work for you, restain them a darker color. There are several products on the market, Lowe's offers Minwax Stain and Finish In One, and it states that it can easily go over existing stained cabinetry. Lowe's also offers Minwax Gel Stain that is made to go over wood veneers, etc. Tip: Be sure to read the reviews before you make your decision. Try out the stain on an inconspicuous area beforehand.

Refacing -
Refacing cabinets can also be an alternative. Ideally real wood cabinets are the easiest to reface. They can be covered in bead board and framed out with a nice trim. There are also companies that you can order replacement cabinet doors from that will allow you to instantly improve your kitchen. Maple Craft USA has not only kitchen door replacement options but also sells cabinet veneers to reface your existing cabinets with, as well as cabinet drawers etc. See the link at the bottom of this article.

New pulls-
New cabinet pulls will definitely help your kitchen look it's best and in some cases this may be the only thing you need to do. Ebay offers a huge selection of knobs and pulls for updating your cabinets. Prices and shipping costs are competitive, just make sure you check the stats on the seller, and do comparisons. Check measurements on your existing cabinets before placing your order. Tip: Don't overlook hinges. Now that the world is abandoning polished brass finishes in the home, you may want to update your old hinges to brushed Nickle, Oil Rubbed Bronze, etc which can also be found on Ebay. Check around for the best buy and make sure you get the right size for your needs. If you can't find them, spray paint them to match.

Want more interior decorating solutions and inspiration? Check out
Dawn's Interior Decorating Solutions.

*Lowes Minwax Stain and Finish All In One
*Lowes Minwax Gel Stain

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Timeless home design, the key to not becoming a trend

Better Homes and Gardens (magazine)Image via Wikipedia3D interior design of a kitchenImage via WikipediaA small, modern kitchen with popular stainless...Image via WikipediaInterior designImage via Wikipedia
The interior design industry, media, all tell us what we are supposed to have in our homes. Not only do they dictate what we have, but also what color it should be, and how much it should cost. This could very well be the best definition of a trend. Gone are the days when consumers had some flexibility in their homes décor. If it's too colorful, too personal, it's a design no no. Don't deviate or you could ends up losing money. Question, should we always follow the trends? Answer, no. If you live in South Carolina and are on a quest to find unique décor that is timeless, see the link on South Carolina antique mall directories at the bottom of this article.

There are many factors to consider when we ask ourselves what trends we should follow. First and foremost, good design is good design in any color. If you aren't planning on selling your home the big question isn't whether it meets mainstream's spoon fed ideas, but whether it works for your lifestyle and budget. Current trends aren't necessarily what keeps your homes value as history demonstrates. Which is why you aren't seeing Avocado green appliances in Lowes, it was after all a trend at one time. In fact if you hold onto a trend long enough it will actually hurt your home's value.

Thumbing through home magazines and you will undoubtedly see homes that have gone off of the beaten path in their design aesthetic. Why? Consider this, if every issue of Better Homes and Gardens featured a kitchen with Cherry cabinets, stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops, would we be very interested? Not really. Why not? Well most home owners that have updated their home in the past ten years have “been there done that.” Cherry cabinets, granite, and stainless steel are all the current trend to a degree and are readily seen in new home construction as a standard. Home builders, and home buyers got on the bandwagon, because the mainstream media said “do it or lose value in your home.” Using words like, “dated,” and “undesirable” and “too personal” made everyone scurry to stores and get what everyone else was getting. The end result, a beautiful kitchen, and very popular and very common. This isn't a bad thing mind you, an updated kitchen is a must have. It's abandoning the individuality that is sad. So how do we merge updates, with our own style and come out winning?

Consider what gets noticed. Look in home design magazines. What you are likely to see featured are designs where home owners went their own way using good design, and a determination to avoid what the trend is. The results are beautiful, personal, and unique. The idea is to create a home that has timeless style. Timeless style has little to do with trends, in fact it is very hard to track down the overall scheme to a particular decade. Timeless design is not the easy way to a great look, in fact, it takes research, patience, and definitely a good creative eye. It is a design aesthetic that reaches back in the past, and far into the future with its visual appeal and practicality still intact throughout the ages. It's good quality, and outlives trends, and ultimately holds the best value long term. Take time to get to know the designer in you. You may have a specific taste your aren't even aware of. Check out the link at the bottom of this article and take the HGTV style finder quiz.

HGTV Style Finder
South Carolina Antique Mall Directory
Want to read more on interior decorating? See Dawn's Interior Decorating Solutions and get everyday practical advise on home décor, staging, etc. with budget friendly solutions for your home.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

HGTV 2012 Dream Home Review

HGTV logo premiered on March 1, 2010
Image via Wikipedia

This years newest home up for grabs offers a lot of design for the lucky winner this year. One look through the photographs of this home and you will easily be able to envision yourself in it. Why? Well the design is one that merges contemporary and traditional, along with wonderful touches of rustic flavor in décor. If you live in South Carolina and want to turn your current home into a dream home see the link below for a local contractor.
Here's a look at a few key rooms that this beautiful home has to offer.

The Dining room
The dining room in the home is not over sized, but kept in scale and adjacent to the kitchen making it a functional eating space that will no doubt be used frequently. A rustic trestle table, flanked by white Windsor chairs, and blue and white upholstered seating make this a warm and comfy place to entertain. Windows lend themselves to the back yard view and keep the space connected to the land.
Products used in the décor of this dream home's dining room can be purchased at the link supplied at the bottom of this article. For photos of this year's dream home dining room see the link at the bottom of this article:

The Kitchen
HGTV's 2012 Dream kitchen is a bright open space open to the dining room and privy to the dynamic views of the back yard space. With a unexpected color pallet that has blues, creams and gray, it easily keeps the room light and bright. High end stainless steel appliances, great lighting that highlight a great prep area make this room feel like a real home. Wonderful touches are found everywhere, and you can have them in your own home. To see specific products and where you can buy your own that were used in the design of this dream home see the link below.

The Family Room
The family room is definitely a comfy space for enjoying your family. Warm colors, comfy furniture for all and soft lighting make this room a gathering place that may even trump the kitchen. Although the designer may have been aiming for a jazzy energetic space, visually it looks comfy, and casual. A great place for family game night, movies and sitting with a good book to read. Part of the reason it may have that cozy feeling is that the room is not over sized. Roomy enough for the family and friends yet visually it is a quaint space. See for yourself by checking out the virtual tour of this room yourself below.

The Great Room
For a truly inspired entertaining space this year's dream home great room is top notch and where it is at! There is very little not to like in this room and if the other rooms weren't spacious enough for you this room has the wow factor you may be after with high ceilings, stone walls and a fireplace that will definitely be the star attraction this is where the dream home comes to life. See the virtual tour link below and be blown away. The color pallet is virtually the same as in the kitchen so everything works throughout the space with each other. If you see something you'd love to buy in this designer great room be sure to check out the product list link below.

The Master Bedroom and bath
Everything about the master bedroom of this home says comfort, and elegance all rolled up into one. High ceilings, romantic touches of soft fabrics, warm colors and lighting make this room the true master suite we all want. The color pallet was borrowed from the view outside of the master suite's windows and they work so well in the space. It truly is about the outdoors and at the same time, so lovely with luxurious touches. Complete with its own sitting room, you will find yourself struggling to leave. See the virtual tour below.

Master Bath
This dream home's master bath has unique touches like opposing sinks so each person get's their own sink area , lots of tiled wall space and a truly spa like experience that has a very natural look as well. The real eye catcher is the shower area which on first glance looks like a glass encased walk in closet, a large on. Complete with a bench, and the best shower system imaginable, you will certainly get clean and at the same time the windows allow for extra light and a view. If you want to soak, the dream master bath also boasts a deep soaking tub. Gorgeous and great for soaking, you may find it hard to get out of once you're in it. Find the link to the virtual tour below.
These are just a few key rooms for you to dream about in this year's 2012 HGTV Dream Home, be sure to enter twice daily at this link: HGTV launches 2012 Dream Home Giveaway , and good luck!

For help making your current home a dream home,visit here:

HGTV 2012 Dream Home links:

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Kitchen laminate restoration

As the new year rolls in we start taking stock of a lot of things going on in our lives, and for some of us, the new year means making big changes in our homes. However this time of year makes it difficult when taxes are due and etc. There are budget friendly ideas that can improve your home at fraction of the cost and one of those rooms should be your kitchen. If you live in South Carolina be sure to visit your local Lowe's for this product and other great DIY help.
Counter tops are a key improvement in most kitchens and it can be the one of the most costly improvements to make. However, a savvy homeowner knows there are work arounds to costly improvements and it isn't always necessary to go high end. If you live in an area where most homes are sporting a laminate counter top in their kitchen, investment wise going and buying granite will possibly not guarantee a return on your investment.
Have you thought of using a laminate restoration kit? For a fraction of what new laminate or solid surface counters cost, you can have a fresh new look. Of course there is a little elbow grease involved but not anything that can't be accomplished on a weekend. The results can be quite stunning and you will love knowing you saved thousands, while still making an improvement that adds some value. There are various products on the market. Check out these links and do your research.

Reviews of Modern Masters Inc.

Want to learn more ways to improve your home? See: Dawn's Interior Decorating  Solutions.
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