Texas Hill Country Kitchen

Ashley’s home in Texas Hill Country has a natural rustic feel that Ashley and her husband, Bob, wanted to keep. What they needed to change was the lack of storage and modern elements. After researching kitchens that captured a modern barn vibe Ashley was going for she found the perfect mix of style and function. Ashley and Bob decided on these beautiful cabinets, cabinet fronts, cabinet hardware, countertops, oven, cooktop, and hood. It’s a kitchen they’ll surely enjoy for many years to come. Source: Ikea

The Psychology of Color In Your Home

When some people want to lift their spirits, they reach for a bowl of ice cream. There’s a better way to improve your mood, though: color. Color is a powerful design tool that can make the rooms in your home feel more calm, cheerful, comfortable or dramatic.

Color makes a tiny room feel larger, or a spacious one feel more intimate, without the time and expense of actually moving walls.

You can make a den feel cozy by painting the walls with a warm color, or make a narrow space feel wider by using different colors on opposing walls. The paint colors you choose, as well as the color of the furniture and accessories, all create a mood. For instance, when planning to remodel a kitchen, color can play an important part in “setting the stage” for your experience in that room.

“Color is all around us and even in our vocabulary. We say we feel ‘blue’,” says interior designer and color expert Elaine Ryan “It’s part of our core, but for many years color has been excluded from our homes … but now I see a real love for it and people wanting it in their home. It’s all about finding the colors you respond to and that make you feel good.”

Source: HGTV

The Elegant Small-and-Simple Bathroom

When these homeowners decided to remodel their instructions for this bathroom were, “Keep it simple and do it well.” The result was a cherry and limestone bath, replacing a tiny, cluttered space in the guest bath, making it elegant and inviting.

The front vanity is curved to maximize usable space and features two deep drawers on double extension drawer slides.

Source: This Old House

14 Incredible Egg Tricks That Will Change Breakfast Forever

The egg is one of the most widely consumed foods on the planet, so here is a  list of nifty tricks involving eggs!

The list includes:
1. How to balance an egg
2. How to make a sunnyside up egg in the microwave
3. How to make sure your eggs are still good
4. How to make a perfect scrambled egg
5. Make a poached egg in the microwave
6. Soft boiled egg in 5 minutes
7. Scramble an egg in the shell
8. Crack an egg with one hand
9. Remove egg yolk easily
10. Make scrambled eggs in the microwave
11. How to make perfect and easy sunnyside up eggs
12. How to bake your eggs in the oven
13. How to peel eggs easily
14. Poor man’s Sous Vide egg poaching

Source: HouseholdHacker

The Benefits of Sunlight In Your Home

Think Sunlight In Your Kitchen or Bath Remodel

When preparing to remodel your kitchen or bath, incorporating natural lighting into your plans can be very important. According to recent studies, there are many benefits to natural sunlight:

Sunlight suppresses your appetite:

Yes, sunlight suppresses your hunger in two ways:

1. By stimulating melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH) production into the pituitary gland;

2. By stimulating serotonin production and suppressing melatonin production into the pineal gland. It sounds very scientific, but it’s true!

Sunlight improves your circulation:

Sunlight improves blood circulation by dilating the blood vessels in your skin, thus bringing more nutrients and oxygen to your blood cells, red and white. It also keeps the heart healthy by lowering the heart rate and reduces blood pressure.

Sunlight boosts your immune system:

Sunlight encourages the production of white blood cells, which increase with sun exposure, and play a major role in defending the body against infections.

Sunlight helps to balance your body’s hormones:

Sunlight boosts your levels of serotonin – your body’s natural happy hormone! Which is why we feel happier and full of energy when the sun is shining! It’s been shown that exercising outdoors creates more endorphins in the body than exercising indoors – all thanks to the sun!

Steps You Can Take To Increase Natural Light in Your Home

If you’re committed to increasing the natural light in your home there are many actions you can take to start enjoying and benefiting from more natural sunlight, including your kitchen or bath remodeling plans:

  • Open curtains and shades during the day
  • Don’t block windows with furniture
  • Paint your window trim white
  • Use a light colour palette when painting your home
  • Add thermal windows
  • Invest in solar panels for your roof

And, if you’re really serious about getting more sunlight then you should think about using popular tubular skylights.

These skylights can fill you house with healthy natural light as they operate completely on solar energy. There are no complicated remote controls, switches or wiring, just pure, free sunlight. It’s easy: the dome captures sunlight on the roof during the day, and then the sunlight travels through the mirror-like tube until it enters your home. It even works on cloudy days! So get in touch with us today to see how we can get started on making you and your home healthier with natural sunlight.

Source: Solatube

15 Things To Consider Before Your Bathroom Renovation

According to Freshome.com, here are 15 important items to consider before you begin to renovate your bathroom:

1. Budget

If you don’t know already you should work up an idea of how much you want to spend on your bathroom renovation. Setting a budget will help guide you as you make decisions about what to include in the remodel. Once you’ve figured out what you can spend and substracted the amount allocated to labor, you’ll have a clearer sense of what you can spend on tile, fixtures, and extras.

2. Time

Many people assume that if they are remodeling a small bathroom it will only take a few days, or anyway it will take much less time than a larger one. This is not necessarily the case. Depending on how many items you are changing in the bathroom your contractor will have to go through all the same steps as a larger bathroom. However, planning refers not only to defining the duration of the renovation works but also certain intermediate steps such as ordering and purchasing tiles, fixtures, custom-built vanity or cabinets to make sure they can be delivered when your contractor needs them.  Planning time is also crucial for those with only one bathroom in their house as they will have to make arrangements where to take a shower and use the toilet while the bathroom is taken apart.

 3. Work sequence

When it comes to bathroom renovation by completing the job in a specific sequence you can save yourself from a lot of clean up time and mistakes. Whether you are demolishing sheetrock or simply repainting, you always want to start at the top of the room. Remodel your ceiling first, walls second, and floors third so you can prevent damage to your new components.

4. Hidden problems

If you are doing a major upgrade to your bathroom consider doing a “full gut”. When done by a professional with expertise you end up with a zero problems bathroom that will function flawlessly and add tremendous value to your home for many years to come. Depending on the age of your home and how well it was built the biggest hidden problem you may encounter is water damage, so look for structural deficiencies in the floor framing, not properly vented plumbing, old corroded plumbing, non-waterproof tile shower/tub surrounds, etc.

5. Design style and functionality

When first starting out start by thinking about the look you want for your bathroom. There are many factors to consider like paint color, tile choices, vanities, showers, tubs, faucets, etc. It can get overwhelming very quickly so start with some research. You can start to piece together elements that you like into what will become the final design of the bathroom or you may choose a design item you want to feature in the bathroom and then work the rest of the bathroom design around it.

Design should work hand in hand with functionality so consider who will use the bathroom and how, consider an eventual resale of the house and also take a moment to think how the bathroom design will fit in with the rest of the house.

6. Measurements

There are 3 major limitations which really make size matter in bathroom renovation: the overall size of the bathroom (usually the smallest room in the house), the location of existing plumbing pipes and electrical wiring and the typical standard dimensions of bathroom fixtures. Therefore make sure you have the correct measurements and specifications when you go to the store. More frustrating than trying to shop without measurements is to end up purchasing stuff that doesn’t fit.

7. Contractor

Hiring a contract for a conceivably DIY job? Well, yes, that is a smart thing to do given the complexity of the job and difficult operations involved (electrical, tiling, plumbing, etc.). Therefore do not overlook the advantages of hiring a contractor and save yourself a load of misery and time.

8. Plumbing fixtures and features

No renovation is complete without remodeling or repairing fixtures and features, which could very well make a separate checklist themselves: shower, bathtub, toilet, bidet, sink, faucets and shower heads. You should also update or repair your mirrors and shower doors. You can also change the look of your bathroom very easily by changing out door handles, drawer pulls and the hardware for your shower doors. If you have the budget a new set of shower doors can completely change the look of your room.

9. Cabinets, storage and shelving

Planning cabinets, shelving and storing solutions is a tricky problem in most cases. In small, irregular shaped rooms like the bathroom, it is even more so. They need to be functional and accomodate all your stuff while keeping everything easily reachable, they must fit into the available space and make the most of it and on top of it all, they need to look stylish.

10. Walls and flooring

Virtually any material can be used to surface walls and floors in the bathroom as long as it’s waterproof, either naturally or by means of an impervious finish. Depending on your budget and style, ceramic, marble, and granite tiles make handsome and highly durable flooring and wall surfaces for baths. For flooring additional options may include cement (painted or stained), sheet vinyl or vinyl tiles which are inexpensive and look better than used to. Whatever your choice, always mind another key criteria for choosing your bathroom flooring: durability and slip-resistance.

11. Lighting

A bathroom can be rendered impractical or downright dangerous without adequate lighting so plan for design lighting that is functional and also creates atmosphere. Plan for maximizing natural light first, whereas for artificial light it is advisable you should have least 4 watts of incandescent lighting per square foot.

12. Accessories

Although apparently insignificant in the bigger picture of the overall project, no remodel is complete without new accessories. And surprisingly enough, the small stuff like new towels, wash clothes, soap dishes, mirrors, towel racks, bath mats do add up to the final bill. If you are on a budget, new hand towels will be better than nothing.

Even if you personally don’t care about going green one way or the other, the market is trending toward this so it’s something to consider. And there are many budget friendly options for adding a green touch to your bathroom: a low flow toilet that uses less water and saves you money in water bills; low-VOC or no-VOC paints; vanities made from sustainably harvested wood; recycled glass tile surface countertops, etc.

15. Final clean

The final clean should include a thorough cleaning of all cabinetry, inside and out, ductwork, walls, floor, windows, and light fixtures. Although often overlook in the planning phase, in the case of a major renovation you may want to consider contracting a cleaning service which means additional costs that impact your budget. If you feel up to doing it yourself, you may need to add a day or two to your initial timing.

The Importance of Kitchen Lighting

In deciding to create a custom kitchen design or remodeling your existing kitchen, the importance of lighting cannot be overemphasized.

The four types of lighting to consider before beginning a kitchen remodeling project are task lighting, ambient lighting, decorative lighting and accent lighting.

Each of these types of lighting serves a different purpose than the others, so getting acquainted with each one would be to your advantage while you’re in the planning stages of your project. Source: ezinearticles.com