Graphical Backsplashes To Kick Your White Cabinets Up A Notch!

White cabinets have always been a sound choice for kitchens, they probably always will be. But one issue a lot of homeowners have is that they feel that while white cabinets can add style and elegance it can also leave a bland look behind. If you don’t want to add too much color to your kitchen with things like accent walls or colored appliances, another option to consider are Graphical Backsplashes. The backsplash you choose should go with your white cabinets, but also add style, color and of course patterns are always a good option for this. Below you will see some of the Graphical Backsplashes I picked out for this project.

Hand Painted Talavera Mexican Tiles 4″x4″ Spanish Influence

These are ceramic tiles – not stick ons, and they are 4×4 squares. You get 100 tiles for a pretty good price and they look fantastic with white cabinets. People say that they loved this specific product because they look really good once you have them set up, but also they were a fantastic price and none of the tiles were broken when they got the package. I couldn’t find a specific picture with white cabinets or a kitchen, however, because you can also use these for the backs of the steps and for a table top, I decided to show you a table.

SomerTile FTC8BRCL Bracara Ceramic Floor and Wall Tile, 7.75×7.75-Inches, Black/Grey/White, Pack of 25

Some people are putting this on their floors, but frankly, I think its WAY too busy to put on flooring. Not to mention its PEI 2 which means its only good for walls and LIGHT traffic. This would definitely not be ideal for a kitchen by any means in terms of flooring. But you can definitely use it for your Graphical Backsplashes! This one comes in a pack of 25 tiles. It is ceramic and not a stick on.

Sun Motif Talavera Mexican Tile Collection

These are pretty cool. They all have to do with the sun or the moon. The nice thing about these is that each tile has its own image which means you can put them however you want and don’t have to worry about the seams being attached. These are pretty inexpensive. They come in 4×4 squares and there are 9 to a pack. It ends up being 1 square foot. Each tile is really an individual work of art that will bring lasting beauty and warmth to your home. These are rustic, colonial-style tiles each a little different from others which add to the timeless Old-World charm of these tiles.

100 Mexican Ceramic Tiles Handmade Talavera Tiles

These are also Talavera, but these ones are much different than the ones above. It comes with 100 tiles for under $40 which is actually pretty cost efficient if you think about it. These are handmade so they will vary from box to box but they try to make them all look the same.

Posted in How To Articles, Kitchen Advice | Leave a comment

Are Accent Walls Still In?

Ya know how every year they have those forecasts for trends? All the decorators get together and declare what trends are OUT and what trends are IN? Well, people are saying that finally, now, after how many years, that accent walls are out. I say to that “yea, right.” I’m sorry but accent walls are way too beneficial to just be “out” and done with. And by the way, yes trends are important, but you should decorate your home however you want. I know I do! And I love accent walls. Here are a few reasons why I love them and why you should too.

Adding Color To Your Kitchen

This is one of the easiest, quickest and cheapest ways to add some color to your kitchen. Best of all, you can do it yourself. It doesn’t take some high-end designer or decorator to paint a simple wall. Heck, you can even get your friends to come in and help!

Wallet Friendly

It takes very little money to get a can of paint, some brushes, some tape, a paint canvas for the floor and some rollers. If you consider the other items in your kitchen you can add that are colorful like a red oven, an orange fridge or a backsplash, painting an accent wall is by far and wide the cheapest option.

Change It When You Want

Talking about red ovens, these are nice to add color to your kitchen, but lets be honest, if you buy a red oven, you are stuck with that oven for its lifetime. An oven isn’t just something you can decide you want to change a year from now. On the other hand, an accent wall is. You can change it once a month if you really want to.

Bold Statements

Some bold statements can make the room feel overwhelming or busy. But an accent wall is a great way to add a bold color – maybe even a color you might not normally use, in a moderate way. Adding that bold color to all 4 walls would be a little harsh, but adding it to one? Works great!

Versatile Options

You don’t just have to use a solid color for your accent wall. For that matter, you don’t even have to use just paint; there are other options out there such as wall decals, stick ons, stick on murals, paint murals, tiles, wood, stone or anything else.

Create A Focal Point Easily

A well-placed accent wall is a great way to bring the eyes to a certain focal point when entering the room. Its also a great way to create a solid drop-point for your space. So for example, if you have something in your kitchen such as a big bay window. Its a beautiful window, you can Accentuate the window by painting the wall around the window. Or maybe you have a 100-year-old sink that you have brought back to life, its big, and its beautiful and you somehow managed to bring it into your kitchen and make it a beautiful and functional work of art. Why not do an accent wall behind the sink to create a focal point for it? Focal points can highlight an array of architectural features in your space, items or products you really love, or as a way of focusing people’s attentions to the better parts of your kitchen and keeping their eyes astray from things you don’t like.

 

Posted in How To Articles, Kitchen Advice | Leave a comment

Kitchen Designer Sites Online And Software

If you are doing a kitchen remodel and you plan on buying new cabinets, you are probably wondering what the exact cost is going to be. To be honest, its varying. You have to consider who you will be buying them from, how big they will be (how many), what material, what type and even where you are located! However, I have found quite a few useful sites over the years that really help you figure out a budget so you sort of know what to expect when you go to buy cabinets or have them made. This gives you the ability to not be so shocked when the manufacturer or company says a specific amount. One Kitchen Designer I have always liked is http://homedecoratorscabinetry.homedepot.com/kitchenestimator They have a thing right on their website that lets you choose the shape, measurements, cabinets and then they give you a real time quote. Its pretty useful. For example, if you go to http://homedecoratorscabinetry.homedepot.com/kitchenestimator and you select:

Reddish Brown Cabinetry
Monaco – Cherry
U-Shape
38 Inch High Wall Cabinets
12 Inch Deep Wall Cabinets
Linear Footage: 36

Kitchen Estimates

Simple $5,600.00

Enhanced $5,975.87

Deluxe $7,280.67

They also show you WHY the price went up

Simple Kitchen Designer – Just cabinets, handles, doors, etc the usual

Enhanced Kitchen Designer – Drawer base cabinetry and/or E-Z Reach corner base (if applicable), Top frame molding, under frame molding, single waste basket pullout

Deluxe Kitchen Designer – Roll out trays in bases, Light rail molding, Crown molding, double waste basket pullout.

But there are plenty of Kitchen Designer websites out there that give you auto-estimations

On the other hand, if you aren’t looking for estimations right now and you simply want to “design” your kitchen online so you can get a better handle on what you like, what looks good, what works for your specific kitchen, you can also find style software, design websites and more. A few that I can personally recommend are:

http://homehardware.en.2020.net/planner/UI/Pages/VPUI.htm

This one is very versatile and easy to use. You can either choose to start from scratch or you can use their templates. You can add literally every single detail of your kitchen from actual objects to flooring materials, islands and materials, wall color and more. Its very involved, but one thing I really like is when you choose things like cabinet, flooring and wall options it actually has some texture to it. A lot of the other websites let you choose “wood” flooring, but its just a color, it doesn’t actually show planks or grain textures.

http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_CA/rooms_ideas/kitchen_howto/NA/plan_your_kitchen_in_3d.html#

For the Ikea one, you can and should expect a lot of options and some very good tech in choosing different materials, textures, colors and of course objects. I like this one too because while you can work on your plan in the main screen there is a 3d rendering box in the corner and you can move the thing in the main square to make certain things show up in the 3d rendering box. The camera becomes super useful when you want to build your room, but you want to also visually see a 3d rendering as you are working. Also unlike some other websites out there, ALL options are available – none are locked. Plus, you don’t even have to sing up to preview or set the room up. You do have to sing up to save it though so that’s something to remember.

https://roomstyler.com/3dplanner

This is another one I really like, its much like the Ikea option – every single item, object, style, flooring, etc option you can think of and its all free to use however you want. For example, wood flooring – there are something like 140 options available. Dark wood, light wood, parquet, chevron, plank style and then different wood materials, different stains. Surely this would be useful to you in picking out not only cabinets but the whole entire kitchen.

Just because you use these designers does not mean you have to buy their stuff though. You can just as easily go to another site that offers better prices or quality and purchase it there. The whole point to these sites above is to just have a nice visualization for your designs.

Software is another option.  This will need to be purchased, but it will have even more options than the designers above and you can make as many designs as you want.  if you plan on doing more than just your kitchen, or you have various kitchen designs you want to try, buying software might be the better option for you to be honest.  These are some of the better pieces of software out there right now for designing your kitchen.

Home Designer Essentials 2018 – PC Download [Download]: Home Designer Essentials is fun & easy home design software for DIY home enthusiasts. Created by Chief Architect, so you can enjoy the same type of tools that the professionals use for home design, interior design, and outdoor living. Home Designer Essentials offers intuitive design and smart building tools for your home projects. Home Designer Essentials makes it easy to design and visualize your ideas with smart building and powerful design tools. The tools have commonly accepted defaults for most building practices to assist you in your home design projects. Home Designer automatically creates a 3D model as you draw the walls. And, in 3D you can continue design work – adding cabinets, placing furniture, painting walls or just visualizing your project. An extensive 3D Library of over 5,000 architectural objects make it easy so that styles, finishes and other design details can be accurately visualized. Get started quickly with easy how-to videos that offer step-by-step instructions; and free technical support. All Home Designer products include a 30-day money back guarantee.

Home Designer Pro 2014 [Download]: Chief Architect Home Designer Pro 2014: Home Designer Pro is professional quality home design software. Enjoy the same tools that the professionals use for home design, remodeling, interior design, decks, landscaping and cost estimation. Home Designer Pro offers advanced design, building, and tools with the ability to create framing plans, roof plans, to produce construction documents. Home Design and Remodeling. Home Designer Pro has all the same great features as our other Home Designer Products plus additional advanced design tools that allow you to design like a professional. Use the automated building tools to assist you in the design process or use the advanced manual tools to create highly customized designs. Interior Design: Give your home the exact look and feel you desire-visualize new styles, colors, wall coverings, flooring, and other materials. Plan your space with 3D models, virtual tours, and advanced design tools. Kitchen & Bath Design: Design the kitchen or bath of your dreams! Create virtually any cabinet style with the Cabinet Designer tools.

Chief Architect Home Designer Pro 2016: Home Designer Professional, by Chief Architect, is professional home design software for the serious DIY home enthusiast. Enjoy the same type of tools that the professionals use for home design, remodeling, interior design, outdoor living, and cost estimation. Home Designer Pro offers advanced design and smart building tools to produce detailed construction drawings. Home Designer Pro makes it easy to design and visualize your ideas with smart building and advanced design tools. The tools have commonly accepted defaults for most building practices to assist you in your home design projects. There are automatic and manual building tools for framing, foundations, roofs and stairs. Create accurately scaled floor plans that automatically generate 3D models in minutes. Whether you are creating a single room or an entire house, Home Designer automatically creates a 3D model once you draw your walls.

Kitchens & Baths

– Choose from over 1,000 cabinet combinations – easily change door, drawer, and hardware styles.

– Create custom cabinets in minutes by choosing your own colors, counter tops, door styles, backsplash, counter edge, crown molding, base molding and hardware.

– Plan the new layout of your bathroom with custom cabinets, sinks, showers and tubs.

– Choose from a Library of fixtures and appliances and place inside or adjacent to cabinets.

– Smart cabinet objects know how to bump, merge counter tops, and create automatic cabinet fillers.

– Create custom shaped counter tops.

– Choose from thousands of appliances, sinks, fixtures and pre-designed kitchen islands.

– Elevation camera tools for details and technical views.

– Choose from a variety of latest interior items—including cabinets, chairs, tables, sofas, fabrics, and accessories. Resize, change colors and materials.

– Import your own symbols from 3D file types including SKP, DXF, OBJ and 3DS.

– Material Painter allows you to customize the color and material of any object in your design – cabinets, counter tops, walls, and flooring.

– Choose one of many name-brand colors, including Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore or Behr, and apply as a stain or solid color.

Home Designer Suite 2015: Home Designer Suite is 3D home design software for DIY home enthusiasts. Created by Chief Architect, so you can enjoy the same type of tools that the professionals use for home design, interior design, and outdoor living. Home Designer Suite offers intuitive design and smart building tools for your home projects. Create Your Dream Home Today.

Kitchens & Baths

Create thousands of cabinet combinations, change your counter top material, add appliances and fixtures, create custom colors and materials, and more.

Choose from over 1,000 cabinet combinations

Plan the new layout of your bathroom with custom cabinets, sinks, showers and garden tubs

Choose from a wide variety of appliance styles for your kitchen

Choose from several floor types such as hardwood, stone, tile or carpeting

Import your own favorite objects, materials, colors or textures from a photo or website

Use the Color Blending tool to stain a translucent color or apply a solid colors

The most important thing when you pick a software is to make sure that it works for your specific laptop, that it has good reviews and a high rating, but also that you make sure it has the designs you need for the rooms you need.  All of the software products above do kitchen things, but the two I listed with the kitchen description are my 2 favorites because they have a ton of options available.  I mean being able to use Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore or Behr in your design is great because chances are you will be using one of these 3 brands for paint or stains because they ARE established in the remodeling and design business as being 3 of the top companies for homes.

 

Posted in How To Articles, Kitchen Advice | Leave a comment

Tips When Choosing A Contractor

Hiring a Contractor can be a really exciting and fun experience. But, it can also be a bad experience as well IF you don’t make sure that the builder in question has what you need. Some of the factors that come into play with house plans and whether you will be happy with the end project are not are going to include things like; the spectrum of the builder’s past work, experience (or lack thereof), as well as communication skills. Below, is a more detailed description of these factors and why they are important when choosing a Contractor to build your home for you or a specific room, as well as a few other factors.

Past Work Experience and Referrals

One of the factors you will want to look into when hiring a Contractor is their past work experience. if a Contractor has done a good job and is proud of the end result, they should have no problem giving you referrals of past work done. Simply ask for referrals when you are consulting a builder or look on the website for examples of past work they have done to get a better idea of the quality craftsmanship they offer. Many of the sites like Porter actually have galleries on their website so you can view past jobs that have been fulfilled, as well as testimonials from past clients.

Work Experience

Not to say that a new Contractor is automatically a bad builder. But, a company with experience in this niche is going to have a better handle on how to build the best house possible, how to get the house plans or blueprints together, and how to in turn give you the best results. This is your house after all! If you aren’t happy, then what’s the point? Look for a company that offers an array of services such as design builds, general construction as well as construction drawings ie; house plans. Also, when a company has experience, they are better suited for those times when things CAN go wrong or when things don’t go as planned. They tend to be the ones with cool heads that can think on their feet in some really stressful situations.

Communication

Communication is key when you are doing a big project like this. Make sure that the company you use is upfront about any costs and honest about the entire job from start to finish. You, the soon to be owner, should also feel free to ask the builder whatever questions you want and you should feel comfortable with them.  Chances are this is going to be someone you will be spending a lot of time with, so you really want to make sure its; someone you can speak freely with, someone that actually listens to you, someone that can convey what the house plans are and will allow you to see them.  Don’t ever take no or “silence” for an answer.  This is someone you will be paying, not the other way around.  So by all means, ask as many questions as you can before the project starts!

Licensed

A builder, no matter what they are building, should always be licensed. This is to protect you the owner of the property and soon to be home, from things like accidents and injuries on the job from the builder and their employees. For example, Porter is licensed and certified. This will keep you the owner out of hot water if something were to happen on the job. Certification means that the builder, construction crew or whomever else is working on the job has up to date education and training for the job at hand. Licensing and certification should always be high on your list.

Its very easy to just go on the Internet and pick anyone to work with. But, if you really want to have a good experience, want to be happy with the results, and you want to work with someone you can trust, adding the above-mentioned factors to your checklist in finding a Contractor, is going to find you someone with all the pre-requisites you want.

Posted in How To Articles, Kitchen Advice | Leave a comment

Making A Solid Choice With Natural Oak Hardwood Flooring

When you think of hardwood flooring and prestige, you might not automatically think of natural oak hardwood flooring, but you should! Both white and red oak flooring have been considered 2 of the most prized types of domestic hardwoods through history. If you’ve ever seen natural hardwood and you didn’t like it, give it another chance. One of the reasons people don’t like this type of wood is because of the way it was milled or finished. But even though this flooring is natural by all bounds, it can still look different in terms of color ranges, the grains showing more or less, and the stains make it look different too. Oak is essentially packed with potential – if only you give it a chance!

Red Oak vs White Oak

You might think that red oak and white oak are named because of the color associated with it. But, actually, a non-expert could easily get these two materials mixed up quite easily. What really sets these two apart when it comes to natural oak hardwood flooring is the fact that Red Oak has significantly larger pores, than white oak. Both red and white oak also are extremely open grained. Even when you sand the natural oak hardwood flooring down; they will still feel quite smooth but you will notice indentations in the valleys of the wood.

Cost Differences

White oak tends to be a tad more expensive than its brother red oak. But, they both run around $2.90 to $3 per board foot. On the other hand a French oak, which is significantly more expensive and considered an exotic wood will cost around $10.

Durability and The Janka Scale

The Janka rating has to do with how hard a wood species is and how susceptible it is to dings and dents. When you deal with more exotic woods, you tend to deal with a higher Janka rating, which means these woods are more durable and harder. White oak has a rating of 1360 meanwhile red oak has a rating of 1290. Just for a comparison, Walnut has a rating of 1010.

Both red and white oak are a favorite in terms of natural oak hardwood flooring because they are both a very tough and durable material, but they are also easily accessible and they don’t cost a ton to purchase. They can also both accept wood stains quite easily.

 

 

Posted in Kitchen Advice, Kitchen Flooring | Leave a comment