Archive for July, 2010

Cooking Up a New Kitchen

Cooking Up a New Kitchen Reaching the decision to carry out a little reorganisation, redecoration or remodelling of the kitchen can often seem like you are cooking up a storm of problems. If you’ve ever felt too weighed down to try a redesign of the kitchen, this approach to the task could help.

As an alternative to thinking of the kitchen as one massive challenge, break it down into small, achievable and practical mini-projects. Wanting to do everything at the same time is a surefire way to get you hot under the collar without being anywhere close to an oven.

To start with, have a plan. Concentrate on what you want to do with particular aspects of the kitchen by answering some basic questions.

What would you like to improve?

It’s not always the case that every part of the kitchen needs improvement. You’ll have ideas of what you’d like done but sometimes budget constraints won’t allow it so be honest and sensible about what should change. A simple reorganisation of your kitchen will usually help you recognise what’s missing or what needs adding to.

Have you got adequate storage?

Most people will answer ‘no’ to this question since we generally all desire additional places to put items. However, despite an entire redesign you might find space is tight (particularly in smaller galley kitchens) so consider what extra type of storage space you need – more space for appliances? Extra storage for food? Extra wine storage? Spice racks?

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Making the Most of Outdoor Life

Outdoor Life Whether you’ve a large garden or small backyard, the summer months are probably the only opportunity to really make the most of your outdoor space. Plenty of sunshine (hopefully) and long summer twilights give us all the chance to get out of the house and relax with friends and family. But wouldn’t it be an added bonus to create an outdoor living area that you can be proud of? Well, just a few simple design ideas and products can help you achieve a fabulous look.

How does your garden grow?

Your garden or back yard may already look good in which case you might just want to change the décor or you may be staring at a complete mess and need a total overhaul. Whatever the situation, decide on a plan and a budget.

Try to include shady areas in your outdoor space so you can get away from the sun. Most gardens and yards will have natural shade at certain times of the day but if yours doesn’t use plants such as Ivy that will thrive in the sunshine and provide cover. If you don’t want to plant anything, make sure you’ve got a parasol.

Choose your style

Do you prefer a contemporary look or a more traditional feel to your garden? Your choice may depend on existing garden furniture but take a look at the styles of outdoor décor that are available as you could be surprised by what you actually like. You may find one piece that you fall in love with in which case you can design your outdoor space around it.

Think about the existing colours of your parasol or chair cushions as this can help you decide on a palette. If you’re setting out to buy everything new, the colours you choose should be complemented in other parts of the outdoor space such a fencing. Speaking of which, if your fences are a boring wood colour, give them a lick of outdoor paint to brighten things up.

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Give Your Hallway the Wow! Factor

thumbnail_jmenest-shoerack-wa_1-500 When it comes to decorating, the hallway can be the forgotten part of the home because it’s usually seen as a space to be passed through in order to get to connecting rooms. Being a ‘transient space’ has its downsides because homeowners prefer to spend time, money and effort on decorating ‘living spaces’. That’s a real shame because it’s the first part of your home that visitors are greeted by and who doesn’t want to create a good first impression? With some forward planning, the right wall coverings, lighting and storage, your hallway can have the wow! factor.

Colours and coverings

Choosing the right colours can help make the entrance to your home as light and appealing as possible. Dark hallways are a bad idea in smaller homes so heavy and bold colours on the wall should be avoided. However, if you live in a period home that has more space, then traditional colours that are in keeping with the overall décor (such as reds and greens) can enhance the look. For narrow spaces, opt for neutral colours on the wall.

Changing the colour on the walls will make a significant impact to the feeling of space. Some people like to continue the colour scheme used in connecting rooms while others go for a colour that complements and gives a different look. Wallpaper has gone through a huge design revolution recently and wall coverings with neutral colours and embossed patterns look great. If you prefer to paint but want a funky feel, wall stickers can add some interest to the walls.

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