Love Italian food? You will probably love to draw inspiration from Italy, for your kitchen renovation project! Italy has a unique cooking style, that’s left many loving their cuisine. It isn’t any different with their sense of style either, one reason why Italian kitchen designs are gaining popularity. Italian Kitchens are known for their striking features, array of modern appliances for cooking exquisite Italian cuisine, intricate art work and what not!

Appliances: We all know we need an exclusive range of appliances while cooking Italian food. Right from deep crust pizza pan, to espresso maker to lasagna trio pan or cheese grater, there are many appliances to choose from.

Shelves: Did you Italian recipes need a lot of exclusive items, dishes and appliances? However, cooks here don’t keep things messy or piled up. Instead the kitchens are organized, easy to find things and cook with ease.  So when planning to bring home Italian Kitchens, organizing and leaving room for arranging everything is important. Shelves right above the stove for easy access to sauces and other spices, or a nice spacious appliances deck are a must.

Walls: Though Italian kitchens are simple? Think again! Their walls have bright patterns and intricate work of art. Kitchen is considered as the heart of any home in Italy. Thus, they give lot of importance to this room and it’s evident in their artwork.

Wood: Wooden cabinets, wooden tables or even wooden countertops are part and parcel of Italian Kitchens. Wood plays a prominent role in their kitchens and there’s no way you miss on it, should you draw inspiration from Italy.

Interior: Italian Kitchens are modular, compact and stylish. There’s no rush to fill all the empty spaces, instead, more emphasis is laid on making the kitchen compact, accessible and trendy! To ensure the kitchen looks compact, most appliances are set-in to save space. Above all, two tone interiors are very popular in Italy. So, wood with steel, or wood with glass, or similar combinations can be a hit.

Steel: Surfaces can be stainless steel, to give kitchen contemporary looks. This simplicity can be balanced by adding pep to other features!

Setting up Italian kitchen isn’t any difficult, since their designs are sleek, modern and compact. All their designs aim at making cooking a delightful experience, much like how their dishes are done. If you love cooking, you will be glad that you opted for an Italian kitchen.

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All about Wall Papers

by Tim on August 11, 2012

Wall papers are one way to spruce up your home interiors, without spending a fortune! Unlike earlier, where wall papers were boring, dull and monotonous, they have made a reincarnation in bold and modern avatars. Wall papers can now be trendy, feature borders and artwork. Unlike earlier, wall papers are now affordable, yet trendy and can add depth and personality to any room. It is easier to add wall papers to your walls and remove them, without much ado. 3D work is also made available in wall papers and has become a hot choice with interior designers.

Removing wall papers are easy, with many types of wall papers coming up like the ones you can peel off, to the ones you can wash away! The type of wall paper varies with the type of wall as well. Most buy the ones that can be peeled right off, though it is important to note the outer layer is stripped, while the backing remains intact. This is best removed with a water sprayer, while steam can come in handy for tougher ones.

There are different types of wall papers, though you should always ensure you buy a high quality one. A good quality vinyl wall paper will last for about two decades, while cheap versions may cost you a lot more what you would have spent on painting! You might have heard removing wall papers brought down the dry wall of a house plunging, or about how tiresome removing wall papers were for your friend. When buying wall papers, check on the quality, design and removal procedures, if you don’t want to encounter horror stories you heard about removing wall papers.

When using wall papers, the key is to maintain them. If there is any damage, like a small peel off, or other scratches and chirps, it is important to fix them immediately. If ignored, the patch might become larger and you will end up changing the entire wall paper! Many think wall papers can be painted over, in case you want a revamp of your home. However, that’s not the case! If you use wall papers for decorating your walls, it is important to remove them fully and the paint the walls. Though you will be tempted to skip the cumbersome wall paper removal part, you should never do that. However, if the house is an old one and removal process might be too much for the walls to withstand, you can just proceed with painting.

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Home Improvement Projects – Best & Worst

by Tim on August 11, 2012

Home Improvement Projects are taken up from time to time, though many don’t look at what’s really best from improving their home value point of view. Here are the best and worst home improvement projects, as against value for money.

Best Home Improvement Projects

Adding New Front Door: Adding a new front door will give better appeal to the house, besides boosting the home value. Depending on the material chosen, the ROI can vary greatly.

Adding Gutter Roofs: Gutter roofs are protection covers for your gutter. These keep dirt and debris off gutters, reducing the maintenance cost and efforts to keep your gutter clean. Besides, this roof will increase your home value and ROI by folds.

Add a Work Place: If you are considering telecommuting, having a home office can be ideal. Work place should be better organized and free from clutters, leave alone distraction, for creating the perfect work environment. This, only a separate home office can do. However, the ROI would be lesser, as compared to the expense. Unless it is for personal use, I advise against this!

Painting the House and Working on Interiors: When the house is fairly old, painting the rooms and changing worn out interiors, or replacing them for modern ones, give the house a nice look. It enhances your experience at home, besides improving your home value and ROI.

Attic Conversion: With most becoming aware of space utilization, converting attics into useful spaces are nice. The attic can be remodeled to double up as a bedroom, or as a store room, or just as an additional utility space. Besides, it also improves the home value and ROI.


Worst Home Improvement Projects

Adding a Swimming Pool: If you are considering a swimming pool for your personal use, give it a second thought. While having a swimming pool in your front yard or backyard is nice, it needs huge space, loads of water, cumbersome maintenance and lots more! Besides the pains you have to undergo for getting approval, you need to install water recycling equipment, heating equipment in case your place is always cold and also take care of safety measures. Besides, maintaining the pool isn’t any easy! If all this is already considered, remember, if you are planning on flipping it later, the ROI would be on the negative side, leave alone warding off potential buyers, who are scared of the costs pool maintenance will attract.

Solar Panels: Yes, being Eco-friendly is good. But when considering installing these panels, the type you choose is the key. If you are planning on installing them under free equipment schemes, or choose bulky panels, chances are that it will obstruct potential living space, or hinder expansion, leave alone reducing the home appeal. Also, if you are planning to resell it, solar panels that come with a catch, might ward off potential buyers.

Besides, adding a garage, or a bathroom, or a sun room all render less ROI and not suitable when you are planning selling your home.

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Home Improvements are one way to make your home a better place. When your home is old and needs work done or when you plan to sell your home, home improvements are the way to go. Many do not realize the best home improvements they can do, not only for their own benefit, but also to increase the homes value. Let’s take a look at the best home improvements you can do for your home.

Plumbing Work: According to experts, updating your plumbing fixtures is one of the best improvements you can do. It is a fairly quick and easy way of modernizing your home as well as improving your home’s value.

Electrical Work: Much like plumbing, updating or changing the electrical system of your home can do wonders. Especially when your home is old this can make your home safe, besides increasing it’s value.

Bathroom Remodeling: A bathroom is considered one of the most important rooms in any home. If you’re limited in the home improvements that you can do, why not consider remodeling the bathroom.  You might be able to install that shower you have always wanted or a great new slimline toilet.  A trendy bathroom with better amenities can improve your homes value.

Painting: A new coat of paint will improve the overall look of your home and make it feel brand new. If you are planning to sell your home why not get the paint brush out and give the place a freshen up.  With a top coat, your home will be a better place to stay or look great on auction day.

Kitchen Remodeling: The kitchen has in recent times become the other most important room in a home. Now, most people understand the importance of a comfortable and usable kitchen. A functional kitchen doesn’t have to be Gourmet! However with the latest appliances installed you could improve the resale value of your home, or just make it a whole lot more fun to cook!

Replacing Defective Windows and Doors: Windows and doors that are defective will influence the safety and security of your home. Besides, it will offer less protection against harsh winds or climatic conditions. Repairing or replacing them as needed, will not only make your home a safer place, but will improve the overall appearance of your home.

Other home improvements that could increase its value include adding gutter protection, eco-friendly amenities like a solar heater, or additional rooms such as a guest bedroom/ student rooms and you can even make some extra cash.  You might also consider putting in a swimming pool, though it is not always thought to give a great return it will improve the overall appeal of your home and the kids will love it!

When considering home improvements it is important to research the many options available so you can select the best for your home.

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Trendy Showers For a Modern Bathroom!

by Tim on August 8, 2012

Bathrooms are very important rooms in every house. When considering reselling, the type of bathroom and amenities offered can increase the overall home value. Earlier, there weren’t many options for faucets, or showers, or bathroom cabinets. Now, things are way different and with the availability of trendy accessories, your bathroom can be modern and cozy. Let’s take a look at the different types of showers available for residential use.

Steam Showers: Steam baths are very common, though it is deployed for relaxation or beauty treatment currently. Steam aids with relaxation of muscles, improves blood circulation and also, open skin pores.  For these therapeutic benefits, people head to spas and pay hefty charges. Why do that, when you can install steam showers and get it done at home? You can also choose advanced steam showers that come equipped with music capabilities, steam-free mirrors, lighting to suit or enhance one’s mood and remote control for heat and other features.

Electric Showers: Electric Showers are popular with most homes having working spouses and they hardly have any time to heat water, shower and ensure everything is switched off before leaving. There are times when we forget things and the last thing we want is a hefty bill for forgetting to switch off the immersion heater, or some disaster with kids touching hot water, etc. Electric showers come with an inbuilt temperature monitoring unit, to ensure the water is not overheated. Also, choosing models with phased shutdown option is ideal, so the heated water is flushed out, before being turned off fully. These showers just heat water that’s required and saves power, besides offering a safer environment.

Sauna Showers: Sauna showers come with steam room and ideal for sauna lovers. Sauna has its own health benefits and can be a perfect add-on to your bathroom. It is suitable for kids, adults and elders alike, with simple temperature adjustments as needed. Unlike steam showers, these are dry heat, while the former is wet heat. These showers come with safety precautions and are a luxurious option, for a healthy home.

Combi- Showers: These are the latest add-on and come with different functionality, varying with the model chosen. Typically, they combine two or more features.

There are several other types of showers including mixer, gravity-fed, high pressure, thermostatic, concealed or exposed showers, etc. Showers that come with multi-jets, massage head, or even those that offer waterfall effects, or colored water, aren’t surprising! There is another range for healthy conscious individuals with hydrotherapy options. For handicapped individuals, accessible showers are a plenty too. What more can we ask for? It really does come down to you deciding what are key features and safety measures that best suits your budget and needs.

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