Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Four Reasons You Need A Luxury Outdoor Kitchen And How To Accomplish This Goal!

This post is provided by Katherine Smith.


As the warm weather continues, you may want to find a way to make the most of it. Of course, if you like being outside, you should consider cooking outdoors. One of the most effective ways to make this happen is by having an outdoor kitchen. There are lots of reasons you need this luxury in your life, here are just a few.

Reason #1: Cooking outside

If you live in a climate that can get a bit on the hot side during the summer months, you may actually prefer not turning the oven in your kitchen on at all. This can allow your home to remain fresh and avoid you having to pay a ton of money for your electric costs to keep it cool.

When you look at luxury outdoor kitchens, you can picture yourself cooking most anything you want outside. Being an in-home chef has become a very common hobby these days so taking your culinary creations outdoors in warm weather has become more and more popular with home design. 

Of course, you may prefer to keep things simple and have a burger cooked on the grill or a few hot dogs on the side. Adding some vegetables lets you get the most nutrition possible out of your meals and still cook them all outside.

The key to making this happen will depend on choosing the perfect grill and other design accessories that are a necessity. You may want to consider creating a fire pit that enhances the atmosphere and makes your space more fun in the process.

Reason #2: Entertaining your guests

It is nice to have folks over that can share in your good fortune and enjoy your lovely backyard. You could add some ambient lighting and nice music to allow this to make for a relaxing evening at home. Who does not love gazing at the stars and enjoying some laid-back music from time-to-time? Add a wine refrigerator to your outdoor kitchen, or maybe even a beer tap and you have an impromptu party ready to happen. These can make any evening one that is much more special.

Reason #3: Increase home appeal

Many prospective buyers will love the added perk of having a luxury outdoor space. While it may not add to the value, it can make it sell quicker. 

Studies indicate the average cost of building an outside kitchen is $8,627. This is a small price to pay for such a great addition to your home.

Reason #4: Fewer smells inside

You may love cooking but simply despise how it causes your home to smell like grilled food for hours. Have you ever put bacon and sausage on the griddle? If so, you know this smell linger for a long time in your kitchen.

However, when you have an outside place to cook, you would not have to worry about this, and you may enjoy moving the smells outdoors for a change. This will allow your home to smell better and can allow you not to have to be exposed to the fumes that accumulate using a grill in the house.

The benefits of working to make your life as enjoyable as possible will mean a higher-quality of life for you and your family. One of the things you can do to make this a reality is an outside luxurious kitchen that offers you a world of potential when it comes to both eating and entertaining your guests. Not to mention, making the most out of your property is always a great idea!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Get To Know Your Chandeliers!

A chandelier always adds that extra bit of drama and elegance to your drawing room or the hallway, but they can be a costly affair nonetheless. Therefore, before you start buying these hanging electric candleholders, it is imperative that you at least get to know them first.

Tiered Chandeliers

Just as the name suggests, these are the ones that are made up of multiple tiers. The size of the chandelier itself depends on the number of tiers it has and that in turn should depend on the size of the room or the entryway where you plan to hang it. A three-tier chandelier is the standard size in most cases. If you are worried about whether or not it would fit the style of your interior decoration, rest assured that they come in all kinds of style and the very make of these chandeliers are such that they can be customized to fit in with most styles.

Contemporary (Modern) Chandeliers

If you have designed your home in a modern style and you think that chandeliers would not fit in with the look, you are wrong. In addition to a wide range of other types of chandeliers, Sputnik Chandeliers also have an excellent collection of modern chandeliers that range from being conservative-modern to downright futuristic. Some of the models look nothing like the candleholders which we are used to seeing. It is more about the shapes and designs here than the detailing.


Chandeliers can be designed to resemble various shapes that remind us of the old country days and sit in perfectly if you have a rustic or country styled home. Common design choices for rustic chandeliers include antlers, horns and tree branches.

Crystal Chandeliers

One of the more expensive options, a chandelier made out of real crystals can be glorious when combined with the right lighting. As it reflects all light in the room, this is the chandelier you want if you are going for the romantic and enchanting look.

Traditional Chandeliers

Chandeliers can be tiered but they do not always have to be. Traditionally styled chandeliers can be identified by the typical scrolling or filigree detailing which they sport. Perfect for a home office or even the drawing room, if you do not mind the formal look.

Mini Chandeliers

If you ever thought about putting a chandelier in your bathroom or bedroom, these should be on the top of your list. In particularly big houses with massive rooms, mini chandeliers can also serve to augment the giant crystal piece that is hanging from the middle of your roof. Although there are other variations, most of them consist primarily of beautiful reflective glass.

Transitional Chandeliers

When you are not yet ready to make that jump onto ultra-modern designs yet, transitional chandeliers are probably what you are looking for. They retain most of the design language found in traditional chandeliers, but also add a few dashes of modern design ideas. The best thing about them is that they go with more or less all kinds of home.

The Drum Chandeliers

Bordered by lampshades, the chandelier resembles a drum. However, if all the individual lights have lampshades of their own instead of just one large lampshade that covers the entire chandelier, it looks like multiple drum lights are hanging from your roof. It is quite similar to pendant lighting in many ways, but not quite the same.

A piece of advice would be to go chandelier shopping with a neutral mindset. You may never know what style will suit your interior décor until you actually lay your eyes upon the right chandelier.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Top 5 Housewarming Gifts To Give When Decorations Would Not Do!

This post is provided by Katherine Smith.

Housewarmings and housewarming gifts have been around since houses were first built and people moved into them. However, if you think about it, some gifts just end up sitting in the closet or being stuffed in the attic because the person had other ideas for their home and your decorations just did not fit into their decorating plans. Luckily, there are other uncommon gifts out there for housewarming gifts that do not involve decorations. With that in mind, read on below for a few of the top housewarming gifts to give when decorations just would not do.

Give The Gift Of Food
A housewarming gift should say congratulations and welcome to your new home. Giving the gift of food in the form of housewarming gift baskets could be just what your friends are looking for. Think about it, no one has time to cook when they are moving and unpacking. The forks may be in the bedroom and the plates somehow ended up in the attic. If you know your friend’s taste, then giving them a food gift basket could be the perfect thing for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and maybe even a few snacks along the way. Everyone loves food and they can reuse the gorgeous basket later on down the line.
Coffee Table Book
While it could be considered a decoration, most people would love to have a coffee table book and they are truly coming back into style. If you know a lot about your friends, then this will be an easy one for you. Some examples of great coffee table books are cookbooks, a book filled with memories of themselves and their children, or even a travel guide to the places they want to go or have been.
Fresh Flowers Galore
There is nothing like fresh flowers to make a new home feel welcoming. A vase of fresh flowers in the middle of the dining room table will complement the food gift basket you gave them quite nicely. Choose your friend's favorite colors, add a bottle of wine to the mix, and your housewarming gift is complete!
Make An Offer To Help
Sometimes offering to help out can be the best housewarming gift there is. Offer to come over and cook one night or to help your friends unpack their possessions. Even put in an offer to take the kids for the night, so your friends can finish unpacking and have a night to themselves. You might be surprised at how quickly they take you up on your offer.
Kitchen Needs
Anyone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen will appreciate anything to do with small appliances or even spice racks. Find out what your friends like and give them something they can use for the kitchen. It is not a decoration and can be used whenever they feel foodie.
These are just a few of the best housewarming gifts for friends that are moving into a new home. Remember, decorating is in the eye of the beholder and what you think would be perfect in your friend’s home might not seem perfect to them. From offering your time to housewarming gift baskets, these things will make the top of anyone’s housewarming gift list.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

How does vinyl cladding compare with other siding materials?

This post is provided by Jesse Hughes.

Vinyl is one of the most popular materials for external cladding on homes, for a variety of reasons. If you are considering doing some renovations on your house with vinyl siding, you will want to take a few things into account before making your final choice. 


Here is where most people find vinyl to be the best choice. It is one of the most inexpensive options for exterior cladding.

At only a few dollars per square foot (compared to maybe $10 sq. ft. you would pay for brick), this type of cladding can work with just about anyone's renovation budget. Because it is easy to install, you can also save a lot on the overall project if you do it yourself. We will get to installation issues in a moment.


Compared to most other cladding options, this is where vinyl comes in last. It is insect-proof, which makes it better than wood, but it does not stand up well over time, especially if you have kids who are likely to knock toys or tools against the house. It does not take much to dent, scratch or even split a piece of vinyl. While, not too difficult to repair, not everyone wants to take on extra chores this way. 

Impact damage aside, it also fades significantly in the sun and will become more brittle when exposed to temperature changes (such as in areas with very cold winters and hot summers).

Even though this can be a serious concern, many people tend to balance this out with the low cost. After a few year and possible damage, it is not unreasonable to simply re-side the house for a fresh new look. 

Ease Of Installation

Again, consider this a checkmark in the positive column. Vinyl siding is lightweight and easy to manage for installation. You can cut pieces without special tools, and the required supplies are easy to buy at any home improvement store. For a handy homeowner, you may even be able to reside your home as a summer DIY project. 

Even if you do not do the work yourself, the speed at which vinyl can be installed will make it a short job for the contractor. That means the mess of construction does not last very long, and you pay less in time for the project. 

Color Options

Due to the widespread demand for vinyl cladding, manufacturers have created a huge palette of colors. Depending on the brand you choose, you may have an entire rainbow of color choices. Granted, the material color can not be changed once the siding is up, you can technically paint over vinyl if you want to update the shade. The right kind of paint is not as easy to find as typical exterior paint but the option is there. 

Overall, vinyl does come in strongly on most points, which is why it is so popular among homeowners. If it does not suit you, there is always a number of other options like stone, brick, wood or manufactured siding boards that may fit the bill better.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Going Green Has Never Looked So Good!

This post is provided by Katherine Smith.

Going green is not just a way to be environmentally responsible. It has become a really big trend over the last few years, especially when it comes to home décor and making your home elegant, yet cozy. It seems that green materials are making their way into every aspect of a nice home, from sleek solar panels to eco-friendly rugs and more, green is the way to go! If you have not quite made up your mind to go green in your home, read on below for a few of the ways that going green has never looked so good!

Premium Solar Panels
One of the biggest trends in going green this year is premium solar panels. They not only help to save on your electric bill and help reduce your carbon foot print on the earth, they make your home look sleek and elegant at the same time. At Ion Solar, the premium solar panels they offer are not the ones that have been used in the past. The older panels were bulky and looked like something that came from an alien spacecraft. Ion’s solar panels are sleek, elegant and even pretty.
Eco-Friendly Rugs
When you think about going green, most people do not think of rugs as being eco-friendly. However, in recent years, it is come to light that your indoor air quality can be as bad for your health as the quality of the air outdoors can be. On top of that, eco-friendly rugs not only help to prevent the allergens in the air, they look gorgeous spread out through your home as well.
Energy Efficient Appliances
Everyone knows that you can reduce your carbon footprint on the earth by updating your appliances to energy efficient appliances instead. Whether it is a smart refrigerator or a touch friendly washer and dryer, there are tons of energy efficient appliances out there in today’s modern world to help you be green and save you money at the same time. These appliances will also give your kitchen a minimalist sleek look, as clunky appliances are a thing of the past.
Utilize that Natural Light
If you are designing your interior space and want to go green at the same time, the best way to do that is by utilizing the light that nature provides. Create open airy spaces with plenty of windows so the light can shine into your home. More natural light means less using lights indoors and that will have a great impact on helping save the earth one light bulb at a time. For the times when you do need more than natural light, buy energy efficient light bulbs. They may be a little more expensive, but the benefits far outweigh the costs.
These are just a few of the ways that being green can help to improve the look and feel of your home. From sleek solar panels to letting in the light nature provided, going green has never been easier and your home will look elegant, yet cozy when you are done. What are you waiting for? Start going green today! The planet will thank you!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Why You Should Get Freestanding Shower Enclosure!

This article is provided by Edwin Jackson.

Whether you are building or renovating your home, there is nothing like having a good bath which means having the best freestanding shower enclosure in your home. Having the best shower stall will definitely save you time and money.

Freestanding shower enclosure differs by size, material, construction and configuration. You can choose between having a custom shower which is built in and surfaced with tiles or any other waterproof material or you can get the prefabricated shower which is installed as a unit. If you are doing a remodel on your house and are on a tight budget it is advisable to get the prefabricated model of a shower. However, if you are on a generous budget and are building a new home you have a variety to choose from beginning with a custom shower.

Over the years freestanding shower enclosure have been improved to meet the aesthetical design needs and functions of the users. There are plenty of shower enclosures in the market for you to choose from. It can be a bit overwhelming and confusing when it comes to making a pick. We shall look at a few pointers that can help you make the best selection on shower enclosures.

Defining Shower Enclosures

Shower enclosures are made using acrylic or fiberglass. It is an assembled shower cubicle that can be easily installed into your home. There are basically two types of freestanding shower enclosure: the multiple pieces shower stall and the one piece shower stall. One piece freestanding shower enclosure are generally used for room extensions or new homes. The multi-piece on the other hand is mostly used on houses that are being renovated or remodeled. It would be difficult to get the one piece shower stall into an already built home.

The shower stall comes with all that you would need for your shower from the floor to side panels and at times a bathtub or shower doors. Some shower kits however are sold as three pieces; having the front frame, shower base and the wall set. To install the kit, the given instructions should be followed. Freestanding shower enclosure are generally installed using screws, adhesive glue, bathroom sealant caulk and clips.

Advantages of Shower Enclosures

Easy installation: It is easy to install compared to building your own tiled shower. Shower enclosures will save you the hassle of having to buy materials and the labor costs that come with building your own shower.

Cost effective: Considering that this is an easy installation shower stall, the costs that you incur are minimized. You can always get a professional to help you with the installation which is way cheaper compared to getting a professional tiler to build your shower from the ground.

Cleaning is easy: A shower stall is very easy to clean because there is no tile grout and there are very few seals.

Quick installation: It is less messy, there is no grout work and you do not have to wait for any tile adhesive to settle and dry and there are no tiles cut which makes it very fast to install.

Ideal for small bathrooms: There are compact designs that work well in small bathroom corners. The shower kit will make efficient use of the available space in your bathroom.

It is light: A shower stall that is light in weight is ideal for houses with weaker joists as well as a 2nd floor bathroom. If you intend on having a hefty tiled shower, be sure to have excellent solid flooring.

You can fix it yourself: Since it is easy and quick to install, you can easily fix the shower stall yourself. A shower stall allows room for mistakes, so no worries. You can always get replacement parts at an affordable price if you mess up with any of the parts.

Minimal chances of cracking: Houses tend to move depending on the degree of reaction of the ground soil and also depending on the strength of your foundation. A fiberglass shower floor allows your shower to be flexible to any movement rather than leaking or cracking. 

Factors to consider when selecting shower enclosures

Bathroom space: It is important to know how much space you have in your bathroom so that you are able to know if what you need are Corner Shower Enclosures, or regular shower enclosures. Take into account the height and room available.

Wall and positioning: Consider the position where the freestanding shower enclosure will be placed. Will it be in an enclosed area, at the centre of the wall or will it be the corner.

Glass type: Always remember that if you select thicker glass you might need extra support due to the weight. Protected glass is also good for safety measures.

Tray: You can either get Shower enclosures that either come with a tray or not.  A shower enclosure that has a tray reduces the possibility of leakage. Remember to consider the tray and door size.

Freestanding shower enclosure are ideal since they will save you money, time and a whole lot of other expenses. They are very convenient and they always make use of whatever space you have available. Corner shower enclosures will work best at that corner space you have no idea what to do with. This is simply a DIY installation but if you prefer you can always get a professional to do the work.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Is Your Electricity Bill Too High? Which Appliances Draw The Most?

This article is provided by Jesse Hughes.

If you are like most people, you do not generally pay too much attention to the itemized list on your monthly electric bill. In fact, most of what is written there probably looks like another language, written in terms of kilowatt-hours instead of the actual appliances you used. This is a common point of confusion for homeowners.

On one hand, it makes sense that your electric company does not know what appliances you are using, but on the other hand only an electrician can decipher what is really going on in your monthly bill.

If this is something you have thought about in the past, this article will help. Read on to find out what appliances draw the most power in the average home, and click this link to discover ways to save on your monthly bill.

Home Appliances Listed By Consumption Rate

Most of your home appliances are lightweight energy consumers. The majority of your average monthly power consumption comes from a handful of devices, such as:

Central Air Conditioning/Heat Pump

At an average of 15,000 watts per hour, this is one of the biggest draws in the average home or commercial property. Central air needs to draw massive amounts of power in order to push air throughout an entire building's ventilation system. If you are using a heat pump system alongside, those costs multiply. Consider installing energy efficient room air conditioners.

Washing Machines And Dryers

Your washing machine is the most likely culprit for high monthly electricity costs. These appliances can use up for 4,000 watts every hour, and often run for multiple hours at a time. To save money on washing and drying clothes, purchase an Energy Star-rated appliance. Furthermore, you can reduce the electricity draw of each load by washing with cold water.


The refrigerator is a major energy load because it is drawing around 1,000 watts of power 24/7. Since you can not exactly turn off your refrigerator for anything other than an extended vacation away from home, you need to work on your temperature settings to ensure that you are not cooling food more than actually necessary. This is particularly true for fridges with an attached freezer, which obviously draws more current.

Light Bulbs 

On their own, light bulbs do not use up all that much power at all- typically between 40 and 60 watts. However, unlike your large appliances, you probably have between 20 and 50 light bulbs in and around your home- that usage quickly adds up. Pay closest attention to light fixtures that use multiple bulbs, such as chandeliers and recessed lighting installations. 

Also, consider low-wattage eco-friendly bulbs. You can draw as little as 12 watts just by spending a little more on the bulb. 

Want To Know More About Saving Money At Home?

How Stuff Works has a thorough introduction to the subject of reducing electricity bills by paying attention the heaviest current-drawing appliances. Take a look and find out exactly how much each one of these appliances costs to use over the course of an average day.