Monthly Archives: December 2016

Design Tips for a Small Kitchen

Everyone dreams of having a huge kitchen that’s equipped with the latest gadgets and technologies in order to convert their home into a mini restaurant. However, not everyone would have the opportunity to own a home with a large kitchen. Since most of us make do with small kitchens, let’s just take a look at a few small kitchen design tips:

Design tips for your small kitchen

There’s a lot that you could do in order to add life to your small kitchen. Just a little planning and work on your side would give you something really superb:

Paint with bright colours

When you paint your kitchen with bright colours, it helps add life and cheerfulness to your kitchen. This acts as a kind of illusion and helps bring up the cooking mood where you actually feel like spending time in the kitchen.

Ventilation

Usually people use extractor fans in their kitchens. However, if you’ve got the option of windows use them instead. Natural ventilation is always the best – right? Natural light is definitely something that you should try to get a lot of. If needed build new windows so that most of the day your kitchen is naturally lit up.

If at all this isn’t an option you could always install under counter lighting to brighten up the room.

Get rid of any kind of clutter

Another great way to keep your kitchen looking great would be by getting rid of any unnecessary clutter and freeing up some space. When you get rid of unwanted stuff you’re also increasing the amount of space available in your kitchen. Therefore, it’s a great way to ensure a better cooking experience.

Use the walls well

You could easily add more storage space by using the walls to hang racks if at all you don’t have enough space in your kitchen cabinets. This kind of open storage is great for spices, dinnerware, utensils and other things that you need to use often.

Use small kitchen appliances

There are plenty of kitchen appliances that you may need. Manufacturers are coming up with smaller and smaller appliances so that you save space around your home. Therefore, you should try to buy something that’s really compact.

In order to further save space you could even go ahead and buy appliances that perform many functions at the same time. There are plenty of options when it comes to the appliances that you could buy – so choose well.

Kitchen Design

Kitchen Design Tip 1. Before you start designing your new fitted kitchen it makes sense to formulate your idea’s and note them down on to a wish list. It is worth remembering that your new kitchen plan should incorporate the things you do like about your existing kitchen, as well as the things you don’t.

Kitchen Design Tip 2. Again, before starting your new kitchen plan you will find choosing your kitchen appliances (or type of appliances) is worthwhile. Your new fitted kitchen will require designing differently depending on your choice of appliances. (“Built In” Appliances are planned differently to “Built Under”).

Kitchen Design Tip 3. Keeping the new position of the sink relatively close to it’s existing position will simplify your kitchen installation. It is not so much a problem getting hot and cold feeds to your sink – it is the running of the waste from it that can cause problems. (As a rule of thumb “Right Handed” people prefer “Left Handed” draining boards – The “Lefty’s” that lurk amongst us generally don’t care.)

Kitchen Design Tip 4. Work your design out from any corners. Good access into corner cabinets is crucial for utalising storage space. If your measurements allow, try and plan corner cabinets in this order of preference… “L shape” Bi-Fold, “Le-Mans” Cantilever Tray, “Magic Corner”, “Syncromotion Corner Drawers”, Diagonal Cross Corner, and lastly the Blind Corner.

Kitchen Design Tip 5. Using “Hi-Line” base cabinets in place of “Drawer Line”, will generally provide a more ergonomic kitchen. Instead of drawers everywhere (some working, some false) it is more practical, and often less expensive, to position an optimal size nest of drawers (500, or 600mm) where they are required.

Kitchen Design Tip 6. Try to design your kitchen economically. A 300mm wide cabinet may be half the size of a 600mm cabinet – but it is 3/4 of the cost. Try to plan your kitchen layout using large cabinets instead of loads of small ones, this will reduce the kitchen furniture cost dramatically (And, as part of your fitting cost is calculated by the number of cabinets to be installed you will achieve a saving here as well)

Kitchen Design Tip 7. Position your new kitchen hob (or Range Cooker) reasonably adjacent to the new sink position. This will avoid the need to walk any distance to drain pans full of boiling water. (If you are Right Handed consider positioning the sink to the right of the Hob)

Kitchen Design Tip 8. Allow for an uncluttered area of worktop space immediately next to your oven. This will provide a safe area to remove hot trays from the oven and place on too.

Kitchen Design Tip 9. Avoid the classic error of designing an American Fridge Freezer into a corner as they need a minimum clearance of 300mm each side for the doors to open fully… (check yours before buying)

Kitchen Design Tip 10. When designing in a Kitchen Island make sure there is plenty of walk-around space (preferably 1100mm, but minimum 900mm) to all sides. Avoid the temptation of including an island with less clearance space than this – it will dominate the room, making it look cluttered.

We hope you found these tips useful and provided you with a brief introduction to the world of kitchen planning

Home Lighting Automation Systems

You come home late at night from a hard day at the office. All you want to do is relax and put your feet up on your comfy sofa for just a second. You park your car in the driveway outside, and make your way toward your front door, when you trip HARD over a rock in your path. You tumble for a moment, and luckily catch yourself by grabbing onto your rose bush, thorns and all. You think to yourself, I guess it beats knocking out a few front teeth by falling onto the concrete.

This could have all been prevented if you ONLY had listened to your wife and gotten those home lighting automation systems. You know the kind that automatically come on when you get close to the door, or turn on when you walk into your home. They are not just very convenient, but also can make your life much safer in the long run.

What are home lighting automation systems?

Home lighting automation systems is a way of automating things in your home like the lighting, home security, electronic blinds, climate control, and home theatre systems…all from one control system. So basically all the things you use on a regular basis at home can be controlled at the touch of a button to make your life even better.

Here are 4 tips to making your life safer and easier, all by using home lighting automation systems in your home.

Tip #1: Security System Armed

Wouldn’t it be great if had an emergency situation at home where your security system gets put into the armed mode, and all of a sudden your blinds close, and all the lights turn out. That is pretty high tech, but it also would keep your family safer from any burglars, or other criminal types who may be lurking in the bushes outside looking for an easy way to get into your home.

Tip #2: Welcome Home Automatic Lights

Another amazing way to make your life just a little cozier by using home lighting automation systems is to have the lights come on in a certain way when you walk through the door. You can program your lighting to have a welcoming feel that will always come on in that way when someone enters the room. YOU CAN also program lighting for a special goodbye or goodnight type of lighting as well, that would either go completely off or be very dim n nature.

Tip #3: Is Someone REALLY Home?

What if your family decides to go on a long vacation, but you are worried about home intruders.

A wonderful tip for using your home lighting automaton systems to keep a secure environment in your home is to have the lights come on here and there on a timer so that it APPEARS to be someone at home.

The lights in the living room may be on for a few hours, then the bathroom lights may come on for 10 minutes, then the bedroom lights for a few hours, etc. It is a great little trick to keep all the intruders guessing if someone is really home…or not. They will probably skip your house and go to another, easier target instead.

Tip #4: Monitor The Home ONLINE~

With home lighting automation systems, you can even monitor all the activities in your home while you aren’t even close by. You can automatically set it up to have cameras pointing to your home or even in the various rooms in your home, and then watch these cameras online through the internet. You can be hours away in another town, at work, or even visiting a friend…but you can also make sure your home is in tip-top shape and perfectly safe.

Isn’t technology great? So you never have to wonder how everything is going at home, if it’s on fire, or being burglarized. All you have to do is log onto your account online, and VOILA! There is your home to view in all it’s granite, marble, and hardwood glory.

A smart home should be simple to use, but also…well, smart. This means that each person in the family can use it and really enjoy the process along the way. It can be a fun way to make your life simpler, safer, and enhance your quality of life in a way you never dreamt possible before.

Home Lighting

Home improvement also concerns room lighting. There are many purposes of home lighting. Most homeowners pay attention to their lightning fixtures while other neglects this certain aspect of the home. Aside from aesthetic purposes, home lighting is also for security, practicality and functionality. The right lighting can enhance the appearance of the room making it usable as well. There are lighting techniques that can make the room appear to be larger. While some would make an area look intimate or inviting. If you shop at the home section of a mall, you can find impressive collection of lighting fixtures. This is perfect if you are trying to achieve a certain look to match your decorating style.

There are different types of home lighting. The general lighting is used to provide brightness to a room. Living rooms usually have light fixtures like chandeliers so illumination of the area can be achieved without a problem. There are basic features that can be attractive and can match the whole theme of a particular room of the house. In case ceiling feature is not available, lamps are perfect alternative. They are perfect if you want to add style and personality. Be sure to go for fixtures that are easy on the eyes and complement the design of the area where it would be situated. If the room is bigger, track lighting is very practical to use.

Task lighting is meant for a specific purpose. Kitchen task lights should aid the preparation of the food. For the living area, it is good to have desk lamp for reading purposes. These kinds of lights should be strategically placed so it will not create shadows that can be distracting. Make sure that it is not bright enough because it could be a cause of eye strain.

Lighting book shelves and kitchen cabinets can be helpful as well. Accent lighting is perfect for painting or if you want to highlight a specific area. There are cabinets that can highlight its content. For those with bar area, there are suspended and pendant lighting which is perfect. It can also add to the appeal of the place.

For most homeowners the question now is the brightness of the light. The answer is dependent on where you it will be situated and its purpose. It is a good idea to have options when it comes to lighting a particular room. Living room or den would require dimmer lighting since it is a place where people can relax. There should also be task lighting since there are activities that could be done in the area like reading or playing board games. You can hire an electrician to install a switch where you can adjust the brightness of the lighting. Kitchen and bathroom would require brighter lights. This is also true for rooms that receive guest. This can surely affect the atmosphere of the area

If you pay attention to the purpose of the room, you will know what kind of lighting is needed. There are thousands of options when it comes to lighting but the most important thing is function and aesthetic. In terms of function, the home lighting should provide sufficient luminosity. It terms of aesthetic, this could create the mood of the area through colour and intensity.

If you will be lighting the living room, you need to situate the lamp at the back of the reader’s shoulder. Use halogen track lighting if you want to highlight framed piece of art. It is also good to accent book shelves. It is a good idea if you can have a dim switch in the particular area of the house. For the kitchen area, it is best if you choose bright general lighting. Make sure that you have individual lighting on the sink and range area. For those with bars and counter, it is a good idea to have pendant lights. Under cabinet lighting is actually good for kitchen.

Chandeliers are perfect lighting for dining area. If you have a long table, you can install pendant light but make sure that it is bright enough so people can see their food well. Perhaps the perfect lighting for bedroom is side lamps. This is a perfect place to have a dim switch. It is a good idea to have reading area in your bedroom. For children’s room, it is a good idea to have night light. In lighting the bathroom, there are shadow free-fluorescent light that are perfect for mirror area. It is a good idea to provide adequate lighting for makeup area.

Garden Services and Garden Soil

Every spring it is the same old story: make the garden look like something and get that green thumb look. Garden services from a local company may not be as expensive as you think to accomplish this, and it may just lead to a fair amount of relief from anxiety to those who are a little more video game thumbed than green thumbed. With the right garden services company, and the right garden soil, you can look like a master gardener in no time. I personally have used Global Earth bag soil, and would highly recommend it but you may find other options in your local area.

Your lawn and garden are perhaps the most vital parts of your home; they are where you play, where you grow, and where you lie about in the sun on a warm summer’s day. If you step outside hoping for that oasis of solitude under a tree, or togetherness with family and friends, and instead find a patchy green and brown mess with dead tomato plants, chances are good you will not feel all that comfortable with your surroundings. This can all be caused by poor soil quality, inferior grass and plant seeds, improper watering, and poor seed choice in relation to sunlight quantities. A quick way to solve this in your garden is by buying some nutrient rich black garden soil. Not only did it do wonders for my lawn and garden, but they also offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee, with free delivery in the areas they service. They make it as easy as possible for you to have a great lawn and garden.

Another way to really improve not only your garden’s growth, but its look, is by getting quality mulch. Type of mulch like Midnight Black and natural mulches meet both of these requirements. The midnight black is a mix of aged hardwood, bark and compost that has a jet black look to it. This is a sure way to add drama and contrast with your bright flowers, really making them pop out. This brand holds its colour longer so you can enjoy this beautiful look for longer than other brands. The natural mulches have a more earthy look to them, and are great for a rustic feeling like an old forest. They give you a well groomed look while still giving your plants those extra benefits associated with mulch.

When looking at the lawn that will surround your gardens you must consider the uses of the lawn before buying seed. Other factors include the type of soil in your yard, local weather conditions, the amount of sunlight the lawn will get each day depending on shade, and your colour choice. No matter how good your seeds there are no substitute for regular hard work. Seeding and over seeding, core aeration, weed and insect control, proper watering, it is an ongoing task. This is where a garden services company can come in handy to routinely tend to your lawn

Involved in Gardening Services

There is always beauty in nature – those fantastic flowers and trees. What is so frustrating sometimes is when you’re far from the beauty of nature. How can gardening services help you?

Bringing nature outside your house does not sound bad.

Having a garden at home is what makes every person’s stay at home refreshing when the situation calls for it. Especially when you only want to stay outside your house and let some time pass by. A garden is also something that is a handful to take; more so if you’re a clean freak who wants everything to be in order.

If you are thinking about gardening as simply watering the plants, you’re missing a big part of the picture because gardening is more than just plants in a pot. This is the reason why getting gardening services will always be a good thing.

Each garden requires lots of care, from irrigation, watering, pest control, landscaping, mulching, lawn restoration, and a lot more, it’s truly one big work load for some. These are important for these reasons:

– Irrigation/watering

Everyone knows that unless the plant is a cactus, water is the most essential requirement of a plant. Without water, the plant will eventually die. So, one of the most important things in gardening is watering/irrigation of the plant. You wouldn’t want to mess around with all the watering through a pail and dipper, right? So, an effective irrigation system will be of big help.

– Weed/pest control

Since it’s unavoidable that at some point, there will be undesired visitors in the garden and those are the pests. It’s important that a control is in place. In the world of gardening, pests might not be welcome, thus you might have to hire a gardening service.

– Landscaping

When it comes to becoming aesthetically amazing, a garden would certainly look its best when landscaped by an expert. Landscaping is there to improve the physical look of a garden.

– Mulching

Everyone is well aware that all plants are planted on soil. It’s also true that the physical appearance is important in gardening; but this process – mulching – is also as much vital as that. This is because, mulching is about ensuring that the soil is healthy and appears clean and tidy.

Gardening may look lovely and an interest that might be a great one. But, this kind of activity requires lots of understanding, time and effort plus a hand from a number of experts who would give one hundred percent of their time making sure that they supply the quality Gardening Services that every garden owner needs. Because again, gardening isn’t just watering those plants in the pots – it is more about ensuring that plants look amazing but are healthy as well.

Gardening Tips For Tomato Growing

Vegetable gardening tips for tomato growing are readily available. Most gardeners are happy to share their tomato growing tips and even non-gardeners who attempt to grow tomatoes every spring will offer advice. The difficulty for the novice tomato grower comes in trying so sort the valuable vegetable gardening tips for tomato growing from the old wives’ tales.

One of the best sources for vegetable gardening help is a local nursery. Buying plants at a supermarket or a chain store with garden center may allow you to purchase plants at a cheaper price, but it is unlikely that the staff in these stores know a great deal about gardening. For reliable vegetable gardening help, visit a local nursery. Many nurseries carry plants that they themselves have grown from seed, and they will be knowledgeable about each variety of plant and can advise on local conditions.

Local Garden Club

Most towns have a local garden club and meeting together with other gardeners is a great way to obtain vegetable gardening help and improve your knowledge. Other gardeners from your locality will have abundant information about the requirements of vegetables in your zone. When you enlist the aid of gardeners that are local to your area, you will get vegetable gardening help that you can use because these gardeners understand the unique needs of your particular zone.

Local garden clubs often run workshops or classes on topics ranging from composting, to growing a particular variety of heirloom vegetable, to pest control in the garden. Many often sponsor projects such as community gardens which can provide gardening space to those who live in apartments and have no garden space of their own. and taking part in an altruistic endeavor with your fellow garden club members is a fantastic way to learn all sorts of gardening secrets and tips.

Even if you don’t join a garden club taking part in some workshops will provide you with an opportunity to meet fellow gardeners and form friendships with people with a common interest.

The County Extension Office

Another top resource for vegetable gardening advice is your local county extension office. They specialize in solving the gardening problems unique to your local environment. They can perform soil tests, identify plants and diseases and sometimes supply free seeds or plants

Once you’ve gained some gardening knowledge it’s time to get your hands dirty.

Tomatoes and other vegetables are easy to grow if you start with good soil. Before you plant your garden, till the soil to about a depth of ten inches and dig in some well rotted compost or other organic material. Complete this step several weeks before you want to plant your tomatoes.

For a larger garden, you can rent a tiller, but for a small garden space you can use a gardening fork to dig in the compost.

When risk of frost has passed, drive a ¾ inch stake into your prepared garden bed. Dig a hole a little deeper and wider than the size of the tomato plant’s pot next to the stake, gently place the plant into the hole and firm it in. A trellis or tomato cage can also be used for support in lieu of a stake. These are readily available at nurseries and hardware stores. Use soft twine or tomato ties to tie the plant’s stem loosely to the stake or trellis. As the tomato plant grows, check the ties regularly and loosen them occasionally to prevent stem damage. The tomato seedlings should be planted 18 inches apart to allow the sun to reach the ripening fruit.

Feed Your Tomato Plants

Feed your tomato plants regularly using a potassium-based plant food or you can create your own organic fertilizer mix. Planting basil adjacent to your tomato plants will assist in keeping pests at bay.

Watering is as important as feeding. Water your tomatoes regularly with a hand-held hose. Direct the water at the base of the plant and avoid wetting the leaves which can lead to rot.

Never let your tomatoes dry out to the point that they wilt. Although you can usually save the wilted plant by watering it, the dry period will take its toll on the plant and affect the quality of the fruit. Extended dry spells may cause your tomatoes to crack.

Regularly nip out by hand any side shoots that develop between the leaf and the stem. This will help to channel the plant’s energy into its fruit. When your tomatoes have ripened, pick them by bending back the fruit at the notch on the stem. Ripe tomatoes can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. Continue to water and feed the plant to help the remaining tomatoes to ripen and mature.

Gardening Tips For Your Flower Gardens

These gardening tips are a must for anyone who wants a beautiful and healthy garden. If you are not implementing them now, you many want to. You will no longer wonder why others gardens always seem to look better than yours.

Provide Structure for Beauty

Before you think this gardening tip is too structured, read on. The next time you see a garden that makes you stop and look, ask yourself why it attracts your attention so much. If you look closely, you will likely discover that the garden has well-defined structures, borders and outlines.

How can you do this with your garden if you haven’t already? Are there any paths you can line with small stones? Is there some water you can put a bridge over? Is there some place you can build a small wall?

Think of beautiful gardens not so much as just flowers, but rather structures lined with flowers. I drive by a house everyday that has an old rowboat in their front yard they use to surround with flowers. They also put flowers in the boat. It looks great!

Use Structures That Already Exist

What natural structures already exist in your yard? Are there any trees or fences? How about some huge rocks or stones? Before you create manmade structures, first make sure you decorate the ones you have with flowers.

Has your neighbor put up a fence on the border of your property? Use your side of the fence as a structure to build around. Just make sure that you stay on your side of the fence.

How about the foundation of your house? Have you planted it yet? Before you do, just make sure your gutters are up-to-date. During the next rainfall, pay attention to how the water flows. You don’t want to plant something only to have it washed away.

Don’t Use Chemicals

This gardening tip is not only good for your garden’s health, but for yours as well. Are you dealing with pesky bugs eating all your plants and flowers? If so, you may be tempted to use pesticides. Before you do, see what you can do on your own. Many pest species can be washed away with a garden hose.

Do some research on the predators of the bugs that are giving you trouble. If you can, introduce those predators into your garden. They will eat the bugs.

Use compost you make yourself instead of manmade chemical ones. It will be much better for your garden and much cheaper for you. If you are not composting, start right away. There is no better use for your biodegradable waste.

There are more gardening tips where these came from. In the meantime, first look around your yard and ask yourself what existing borders could use some flowers along them. If there are not any, then create some. Finally, ditch the chemicals and go natural.

Choosing a Professional Landscape Service Provider

Our homes should be the best place for us to get comfort, peace of mind or to de-stress from work worries and just about life’s daily grind. Many home owners realize this and thus they go out of their way to make their house as comfortable and relaxing as possible. One of such ways is to incorporate landscape design in their gardens. Of course not all of us are skilled to make a garden picturesque and inviting. That is why professional landscape service providers come into existence.

A landscape designer is a skilled professional who underwent formal training to equip him to render specialized service in so far as the development and decorative planting of gardens and grounds are concerned. There are many landscaping service providers that are capable of providing excellent landscaping service in accordance with their client’s requirements and needs. But before hiring one, here is a list of the things you may do well to consider:

Experience. The chosen landscape artist must have ample experience. You may ask for their portfolio so you can easily get the names and contact numbers of their previous clients. Since you are entering into a contract, it is not bad to call the previous clients for back checking and ask for feedback on how effective the designer was in getting the job done. You may do an ocular inspection of the landscape artist’s previous work so you can judge for yourself if he is the right one for you. If the landscape designer cannot provide a portfolio or names of former clients, then it may be wise to think twice about hiring him.

Timetable. The duration period for a landscape artist to finish a project is essential before you enter into a contract with him otherwise you will be wasting not only time, but money as well if the timetable is not met. You must include the timetable of his service in the contract so that he will be obliged to finish the job in a timely manner.

Materials to be used. Depending on the plan of the landscape, the client must be hands-on when it comes to choosing the right materials that best suit his needs. Make sure that materials being bought are top-quality and will last a long period of time. Given that a landscape garden will become a major part of your home, the plants and materials to be used there must be resistant to the changes in weather.

Budget. Cost is an important top consideration when entering into a contract with a professional landscape artist. For you to have an idea how landscaping projects normally cost, ask around for suggestions. Better still, ask the provider for a quotation first as well as the list of materials to be used, so you can assess how much the whole project would require from your budget.

Hiring a Professional Landscaping Service

Landscaping is considered as one of the best and easiest ways to increase the value of your property. Aside from this, the landscape of your house can also make you feel more excited as you stay inside it. As you can see, there are a lot of advantages that you can get from a great landscape, but it doesn’t mean that hiring someone to enhance the landscape of your house will always be good. You still need to make sure that you will be hiring a professional in order to be sure that you will be able to get the things that you are expecting from them.

If you are going to search the Internet, finding the best landscaping service in your area is not that hard. In fact, if you have the right knowledge, you will be able to find the best in your area within a few minutes. Aside from the advantages that you can get from landscaping, there are also a lot of advantages that you can get if you are going to hire a professional.

If you want to be successful with a landscaping project, you need to understand the things that should be done based on the location of the house, and the ambiance of the place. Landscaping doesn’t only mean that you’ll be placing plants, flowers, and grass all over the place. If you are going to hire a professional who will be working on the landscaping, you can be assured that you will always get the best service from them. Since they are very familiar with the things that should be done, you can expect that you will always get the best value for your money without spending too much time.

If you were able to find a reputable landscaping service, you will also receive free services from them. This may include occasional inspection of the landscape, and free maintenance checks. This will ensure that you will be able to maintain the proper condition of the landscape in your house. Although these services may seem nothing for you, you will be spending thousands of dollars just to have these services, and a professional landscaping service can do it for you for free.

Finally, you will be able to learn a couple of things from them. Of course, you don’t want to be spending money just to hire a professional in order to ensure that the landscape of your house will be in its perfect condition. You can use the things that you will be learning from the person that you hire to maintain the landscape, which can help you save money in the long run