Follow These Steps Before Starting Your Kitchen Remodel

If your kitchen is looking a bit dated, consider a remodel to upgrade its efficiency and looks. Here’s a quick guide to planning your kitchen update:

#1 Plan it out.

Sketch out what you want your finished kitchen to look like. Whether you draw your designs by hand or use software, understanding the finished look of your kitchen is an essential first step.

#2 Measure your space.

It’s important to know how much space you have to work with. Record the dimensions of your entire kitchen and other surrounding areas in your initial sketch. Use your measurements to plan the rest of your project.

#3 Choose storage options.

One of the biggest advantages of remodeling your kitchen is adding more space. Think about your current storage problems and how to solve them. Consider all your storage options, from standalone shelving units to built-in turntables in your new kitchen cabinets.

#4 Pick a color scheme.

Do you want to keep the same color scheme or go with something different? Do you want your kitchen to stand out from the rest of your home or blend in? Now is the time to answer these questions. Your color scheme could impact the appliance- and flooring-related aspects of your remodel.

#5 Compare materials.

Now it’s time for window-shopping. Head to your local home improvement center and begin calculating your remodeling budget. Compare the different costs of different materials. While it’s okay to splurge on some aspects, stray away from a $50,000 kitchen remodel.

#6 Have a set budget.

Once you know how much your project will cost, start saving your money and planning your remodel in earnest. Prices can change over time, so be sure to include some flexibility in your budget. You’ll also need to factor in the cost of permits and contractor labor.

#7 Find a remodeling pro.

Unless you are an expert, you will probably need to hire a remodeler to update your kitchen. Research local contractors, check their references and interview at least three pros before hiring one.

Conclusion.

Remodeling and redesigning your kitchen takes work. If you want to create an updated kitchen, you’ll need to plan, budget and hire a trusted professional.

January 18, 2018   No Comments

Live It Up in a Smaller Space!

If the house or condominium that you can afford seems too small, maybe you’re not thinking about space the right way.

Buying the best location you can afford is what successful real estate ownership is all about. These are the properties that hold value even in down markets and that appreciate steadily and consistently in all markets. Great-location properties are financial stepping stones to your multimillion-dollar dream home.

Since buildings and units in a price range decrease in size in inverse proportion to improvements in location — either at street level or vertically — when you make a smart real estate investment, you may end up with something smaller than your ideal.

Have you analyzed exactly how much space you really need?

Ask families with big houses how many rooms are occupied at once and where the family regularly congregates, and usually they’ll admit to less than half the space really being essential to daily life.

Tiny homes, floating homes, and micro-urban condominiums prove that the less space you have the more cleverly you use it. On top of that, the premium location you’ve selected offers benefits you value — many

of which encourage you to spend more time out of the house — so you’ll love your lifestyle, build wealth, and, therefore, enjoy living in your cozy home.

Prepare to make the most of a small space by getting rid of over-sized furniture and purging rarely or never used items including shoes and clothes that no longer fit in spite of your hopes. Take quality, not quantity, to your new space.

How many of the following interior design and decor ideas for accentuating small spaces are you ready to put in action?

Winning Design Elements

High ceilings, lots of windows, multi-level lighting, light layered monochromatic decor schemes, and sparkling surfaces like crystal, glass, and mirrors add warmth and volume to create inviting living spaces.

Functional Layouts

If you love to cook, a large kitchen matters; if you’re a take-out fan, you may appreciate this extra space elsewhere in the home.

Visually Enticing Verticals

Let decor draw the eye up to visually expand rooms. Use vertical storage and shelving units to open up floor space and reduce clutter. Hang pictures above each other to raise the eye. Install curtain rods just under or on the ceiling to add height to walls. Use paint accents or moldings to visually raise ceilings.

Clever Useable Space

Add shelving, built-ins, and storage everywhere possible, especially in under-utilized areas: under stairs, around windows, across windows, high on walls, over doors, under beds, in corners, in walls, as islands…. Add

elevated platforms for sleep or storage where ceilings are very high. Steal slivers of space from other rooms to expand the closets that matter to your lifestyle.

Open Lines of Sight

Enlarge doorways, windows, hallways, or shelf depths to improve flow. Remove walls to combine small rooms into wide-open spaces. Open lines of sight by installing glass, french, or louvered doors or by removing doors and trim. Install bay or green-house windows to add an airy, practical touch.

Camouflaged Clutter

Conceal screens, electronics, and associated wires to reduce visual clutter. Use slipcovers to transform distracting mismatched chairs into harmonious seating. Decorative boxes collect hobby paraphernalia and other task tools out of sight, but at your fingertips.

Savored Furnishings

Select multi-purpose furniture with open design, mirrored surfaces, glass tops, and compact-scale to reduce clutter — visual and practical. Space-saving furniture, moved out from walls and artfully arranged in conversation groupings, further adds to flow through the home.

Color Magnifiers

Add colorful, well-chosen, eye-catching focal points — a vibrant accent wall, sophisticated art, unifying accessories, smart cushions… — as creative bold emphasis to monochromatic decor to help minimize the importance of room size. Each paint manufacturer and many decor media have their own “Official 2018 Colors” so check around to uncover tones and shades that work best for you.

On-Trend Accents

Dictate whether and how trends can be beneficial to your home. Not every fashionable idea makes sense in your special small space. Ball-shaped lighting fixtures, circle patterns, golden-brass fixtures, natural materials, and velvet sofas are a few hot 2018 trends, but they won’t automatically add functionality and visual value to your space. Test trends on one or two accessory items or pillows to see what works. Before jumping into a major make-over, seek out small-space professional design input.

Written by

Source: https://realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/homeownersadvice/item/1014040-20180116-live-it-up-in-a-smaller-space?rtmpage=

January 16, 2018   No Comments

Faking It: Faux Materials You Can Use To Bring Real Interest

As the Marvin Gaye song lyric goes, “Ain’t nothing like the real thing, Baby.” And while that might be a good motto to live by, when it comes to home trends and décor, today it’s all about faux. You can have a great-looking place, even if it wasn’t built that way, and without a huge expense. And because many of these items that stand in for the “real stuff” are DIY friendly, they’re even more attractive.

Electric fireplaces

Fireplaces can make a space feel cozy and comfortable, but not everyone was blessed with a built-in version. Thankfully, electric fireplaces are inexpensive, starting at just a couple hundred dollars, and are easy to incorporate into your home.

“If you don’t have a chimney or simply want to avoid the hassle of a wood-burning or gas fireplace, electric fireplaces provide an alternative to traditional systems,” said the Topeka Capital-Journal. They are also super easy to install since all they require is a power outlet and no chimney or venting, although, if you plan on setting it into a wall, you might need to hire outside help.


woodlanddirect.com
Make your fireplace pretty

Once you install that fireplace, you may want to trim it out to make it look pretty. DIYers swear by Airstone veneers, which look like stacked stone but are light, durable, and easy to install.

Faux panels

If you want to redo a large space, small products may not be an answer. These faux panels and sidings “are made of a high-density polyurethane” and are “molded from actual rock, stone, and brick, so they are lightweight, durable, realistic and easy to install,” said FauxPanels.com. “Whether you are a homeowner or builder, you can install the panels yourself for a fraction of the cost and time.” These panels could provide an easy update to the exterior of your home or transform an interior space that is calling for a little character. Their sister company, FauxWoodBeams.com, also has faux beams that can give your ceiling some interest without the high cost of real wood beams.


fauxpanels.com
Peel-and-stick wallpaper

Peel-and-stick wallpaper has grown from being a novelty to being a legit interior design option, and not just for those who can’t do (or can’t stand) “real” wallpaper. For those of us who like to change our décor a lot (guilty!) temporary wallpaper from companies like Walls Need Love are a godsend.


wallsneedlove.com
Other peel-and-stick options

The idea of peel-and-stick is a DIYers dream, and it goes beyond wallpaper. This peel-and-stick option gives you the look of real stone in an easy-to-apply, easy-to-manipulate, and easy-to-remove package that will look great on a backsplash. They are pricy, at about $23 a piece (which covers one square foot), so it’s not exactly a budget answer. But if you want stone without the installation hassle, this could be for you.

Quartz countertops

Quartz is the single hottest countertop product on the market today, having surpassed granite. One of the reasons today’s homeowners are choosing to go this direction: the ability to get the look of upscale, high-maintenance marble at a lower cost and without the abject fear of a stain or scratch that could ruin your expensive counters.


thespruce.com
Marble backsplash

If you want to run marble up your walls, creating a rich backsplash look, you could be talking about thousands of dollars. These peel-and-stick vinyl tiles are intended for floors, but at about a buck apiece, they are an affordable option for kitchen (and bathroom) walls too.

Stencils

These stencils make it easy to create the look of Moroccan tile or shiplap, customized furniture and even handmade-looking pillows. Create the impression of custom tile in your kitchen or on your floor (or both!) without the expense or hassle of remodeling.

These also come in a variety of sizes (this particular Santa Ana Tile Stencil is available in 6×6, 8×8, or 12×12). You also may want to check out the furniture stencils that can transform an ugly old piece into something fantastic. This Indian Inlay Furniture Stencil piece looks…like it would take a ton of time, if we’re being honest, because of the intricate pattern. But it’s so amazing we might be willing to give it a try.


cuttingedgestencils.com

 
Written by Jaymi Naciri
Source: Realty Times

January 15, 2018   No Comments

Time on the Market Drops to New Low in 2017

Time on the Market Drops to New Low in 2017

 

According to recently released data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median amount of time a home spent on the market hit an all-time low of only three weeks in 2017.

Strong buyer demand, a good economy, and a low inventory of new and existing homes for sale created the perfect storm to accelerate the time between listing and signing a contract. The time needed to sell a home has dropped substantially since its highest mark of 11 weeks in 2012.

The chart below shows the median weeks on the market from 1987 to today.

Time on the Market Drops to New Low in 2017 | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

If you are a homeowner who is debating whether or not to list your home for sale, know that national market conditions are primed for a quick turnaround! Meet with a local real estate agent who can explain to you exactly what’s going on in your area, today!

Source: https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2018/01/04/time-on-the-market-drops-to-new-low-in-2017/

 

January 10, 2018   No Comments

Kitchen Trends With Staying Power

Kitchen Trends With Staying Power Parkes Interiors

As a designer, I pay attention to trends that come and go in kitchen design. And there are a lot of new options to consider. But I tell my clients that the key is always to consider whether what’s trending will actually function for your kitchen. So let’s take a look at some of the current trends that I would argue are among the best options to incorporate into your kitchen remodel. Which ones would you love to have?

1. Fewer upper cabinets. The trend toward less wall cabinetry in the kitchen will continue. It’s not that clients have less stuff to store, but rather that they desire less visual clutter and that feeling of openness that a lack of wall cabinets inspires. This means that clever storage solutions for both base and tall cabinets are even more important.

Glassware is commonly stored in the wall cabinet closest to the sink. With less upper cabinetry, the dilemma of where to put the glasses arises. Consider using a drawer or rollout shelf, as seen here. Drawers are overlooked when it comes to glass storage. To make it work, just line the bottom of each drawer or rollout with a nonslip rubber liner.

 

Pantry pullouts are also a great source of storage when wall cabinetry is scarce. This tall, narrow pullout holds dishes, cups and glassware galore, as well as half a dozen stainless steel bowls.

 

2. Comfortable seating areas. For years, islands have been considered the ideal gathering spot in the kitchen. But now there’s a trend toward more comfort, and seating areas in kitchens are evolving accordingly. Clients want a place to kick off their shoes and relax with a glass of wine while waiting for their dinner to cook. Expect to see more soft seating in the kitchen, like the light blue couch in this photo.

 

3. Steam convection ovens. My favorite kitchen appliance slowly gaining a foothold is the steam convection oven. Cooking with steam locks in nutrients and keeps foods moist. Unlike microwaves, steam ovens reheat leftovers without drying them out. As a bonus, there’s a convection mode that bakes and roasts.

 

Will steam ovens replace microwaves? The answer probably depends on whom you ask. They still can’t reheat beverages or pop popcorn, and for some that’s a deal-breaker.

4. Induction cooktops. Induction cooking has been popular in Europe for many years, unlike here in the United States, where cooking with natural gas is preferred. With induction cooking, the energy is generated by a metal coil beneath the surface of the glass cooktop. When turned on, the coil produces an electromagnetic current only when it comes in contact with magnetic cookware. This current heats the bottom of the magnetic pan and cooks the food it contains. Induction is safe — the cooktop is cool to the touch when the cookware is removed. It’s also fast. Water boils in under two minutes.

 

One way to introduce induction cooking into your kitchen is to add a burner or two. This kitchen has a gas range plus a small induction cooktop in the island.

5. Smart kitchen technology. Our homes are becoming ever more connected with our devices. Whether through voice activation, phone apps or computers, connectivity is here to stay, so it was only a matter of time before the advent of smart appliances.

 

Smart refrigerators. Ever get to the grocery store and discover you’ve forgotten your list? Of course you have! A few of my trailblazing clients have purchased smart refrigerators equipped with an interior camera that takes a photo of the contents when the door is closed. This photo can be accessed while shopping from the corresponding app. Some refrigerators can determine when stocks are running low, make a list and even reorder.

Smart ovens and ranges. Imagine being able to control your oven or range remotely. Car stuck in traffic? Begin preheating your oven from your phone.

 

6. Column refrigerators. Unlike traditional refrigerators with their predetermined refrigerator-freezer spaces, column refrigerators are full-sized single units that are either all refrigerator or all freezer. They’re quickly becoming a client favorite due to the ability to customize chilling spaces based on one’s needs and preferences.

Column refrigerators are available in sizes ranging from 18 to 36 inches wide, and they can be installed separately or combined side by side for a cohesive look. They can be paneled to blend seamlessly with the cabinetry or left stainless, as seen here.

 

7. Servo drive cabinetry. A servo drive electrical system can open any cabinet with either a slight touch or a remote control. Though often found in more modern kitchens designed without hardware, this feature needn’t be reserved for the modern aesthetic. Even traditional kitchens can benefit from a servo drive trash bin. Nudge the cabinet door with your knee and the receptacle magically appears.

8. Lighted interiors. Interior lighting is no longer limited to glass-front cabinets displaying lovely dishes. Pantry and base cabinets are often 24 inches deep with dark crevices, limiting the visibility of their contents — and what isn’t readily visible often doesn’t get used. Consider lighting the interiors of your deeper cabinets not as a luxury but as a necessity, like the light in your bedroom closet.

 

9. Touch faucets. Often found in public bathrooms, touch faucets are gaining popularity in kitchens, and they are very useful. When hands are full, or perhaps contaminated with raw chicken, touch the faucet’s body with an elbow or the back of your hand to turn it on. Touch it again and off it goes. Touch faucets make water more easily accessible for multitasking cooks.

 

10. Working sinks. Many clients are requesting sinks that double as work stations. These working sinks can be as small as 36 inches wide and as large as 80. Fitted with accessories like cutting boards, colanders, bowls and drying racks, they’re designed to improve function in the kitchen.

 

11. Black stainless. Every few years, appliance manufacturers debut a new appliance finish in hopes of starting the next big trend. Stainless steel is currently king. Anyone remember oil-rubbed bronze appliances from a few years back? Nope, neither do I.

The latest entry vying for market share is black stainless. It’s impervious to fingerprints, and that is a big, big selling point. Its main drawback is that when scratched — and it will get scratched — the underlying color is stainless, as in silver.

I’ve specified black stainless appliances twice in the past six months. Will black stainless have staying power? Only time will tell.

Written by Barbra Bright

Source: http://realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/homeownersadvice/item/1008039-20171222-kitchen-trends-with-staying-power?rtmpage=

December 21, 2017   No Comments