countertops

Kitchen countertops

If you are thinking of renovating your kitchen or simply updating your countertops, you may want to look into some of the pros and cons of the different materials available.

Wood or butcher block

PROS: easy to clean, smooth surface, can be sanded and resealed as needed.

CONS: expensive, price varies depending on the type of wood, maintenance required, can be damaged by water and stains over time, scratches must be oiled or sealed

Wood kitchen countertops

Source: Wm Ohs

Stainless steel

PROS: takes hot pans , easy to clean, will not rust or stain, modern sleek appearance

CONS: more expensive than many other countertops, may dent, a cutting board will be needed as you cannot cut directly and its noisy

Stainless steel kitchen countertops

Source: schnarrcraftsmen.com

Soapstone

PROS: rich deep color, smooth, somewhat stain resistant, easy to clean, scratches can be sanded or oiled away

CONS: requires regular maintenance, may crack and darken over time, more expensive than most granite

Soapstone kitchen countertops

Source: Karr Bick

Corian

PROS: comes in different colors, stain resistant, non porous, mildew, mold and bacteria resistant

CONS: scratches easily, will easily get damaged by hot pots, expensive but less than granite

Corian kitchen countertops

Source: Grand River Wood Products

Granite

PROS: holds up well to heat, lasts a life time, easy to clean

CONS: can crack if stressed or improperly installed, expensive, some stones can stain if not sealed

Granite kitchen countertops

Source: thekitchenroom.net

Engineered stone

PROS: non porous surface, resists scratches, easy to clean and maintain

CONS: expensive but cheaper than medium grade granite, not heat proof

Engineered stone kitchen countertops

Source: kodu design

Ceramic tiles

PROS: durable and easy to clean, takes hot pans well, inexpensive

CONS: can chip or crack, grout lines become stained over time

Ceramic tiles kitchen countertops

Source: Sara Ingrassia Interiors

Laminates

PROS: inexpensive, easy to clean, large selection of colors and styles

CONS: scratches and chips easily, not heat proof

Laminate kitchen countertops

Source: formica.com

Are you happy with your current kitchen countertops? Share with us your pros and cons.

Dining Room Lighting

When choosing a chandelier or pendant light for your dining room, you need to consider whether the decor of your room is casual or formal, as well as the size of your dining space. An oversized chandelier will overwhelm a room, while an undersized chandelier will look out of place.

To choose the right size chandelier or pendant light, measure your dining room and add the length and the width. Converting the sum to inches will give you the approximate diameter for the right size chandelier or pendant.

Example: 10′ + 12′ = 22′. Converted to inches = 22″ diameter

If you are unable to find the exact diameter, it is preferable to choose a size that is slightly larger than smaller.

Your chandelier or pendant should hang 30″ to 34″ above the table top. However, if your ceilings are over 8 feet, add 3″ for each additional foot of ceiling height.

The intensity of your lighting is essential to creating the right ambiance in your dining room. Adding dimmers will allow you to set the right brightness for a more flattering light.

Here are some examples of different style chandelier and pendant lights:

dining room lighting

Source: Marjorie Shushan Studio

dining room chandelier

Source: donaroseneinteriors.com

Dining Room Contenporary Lighting

Source: Houzz

transitional eclectic formal dining room

Source: Jeffrey and Deborah Fisher

dining room lighting

Source: myhomeideas.com

dining room lighting

Source: THE SORROWS OF GIN

dining room lighting

Source: bhg

traditional dining room lighting

Source: Laura Hardin’s Design

dining room lighting

Source: lindafloyd.com

Which chandelier would you choose?

Spring Decorating

Spring, the perfect time to start on your spring cleaning and freshening up your exterior and interior home decor.

Here are some simple and inexpensive ideas to add color to your space by simply using what you may already have.

Lets start with your front entrance. A little splash of color to your front door, a pretty wreath to greet your guests, a few colorful pots on your porch or steps for a fresh and inviting look.

Fron Door Wreath and Flowers

Source: Coastal Living

house entrance front door decoration ideas

Source: Lushome

red door

Source: styleonashoestring.com

colorful flower pots

Source: southernliving.com

Abramo_372_100603_1835

Source: Boxwoods

Now that we have covered the exterior, lets go inside. Color can be added all through your home simply by adding a few throw pillows for a pop of color to your sofa, creating vignettes on consoles, tables, fireplace mantel and bedside dressers.

entry console with spring flowers

Source: Home Bunch

living room with pop of color

Source: Houzz

fireplace mantel with spring vignette

Source: creativeblossoming.com

bedroom vignette

Source: nelsonbarnum.com

In your kitchen you can create a kitchen vignette with items you just purchased at the grocery store. Using lemons, oranges, vegetables, fresh flowers in a pitcher or vase can instantly add color to your kitchen table or counter.

mediterranean kitchen with vignette

Source: Mueller Nicholls Cabinets and Construction

spring decor ideas kitchen

Source: Beautiful Homes of England

kitchen vignette

Source: Amoroso Design

Spring Decor

Source: Dreamy Whites

To complete the spring decorating, lets continue into the backyard.

spring backyard idea

Source: bhg.com

spring backyard ideas

Source: Polhemus Savery Dasilva

spring backyard ideas

Source: bhg.com

After the long winter we had, I am definitely inspired to start on my spring decor. Are you?

Love to hear from you.

 

Painting your kitchen cabinets

If your kitchen wood cabinets are in good condition but simply need a makeover, painting  them is an inexpensive and effective option. You can hand paint them, spray paint them yourself or have it professionally done. Having them professionally spray painted is still a much cheaper option than replacing them with low end cabinets. Semi-gloss paint is recommended as it is durable and easy to clean. For a stylish and updated look, you might want  to consider replacing any cabinet hinges that show as well as the hardware.

Once you have decided to go ahead with this project, you may want to take the opportunity to reorganize your kitchen cupboards. Wendi, author of  Classic Chic Home, has a wonderful and helpful post called Organization Series: My Kitchen Cupboards.

Here are some ideas of painted cabinets:

In this country kitchen, a beautiful turquoise color was added to the original kitchen cabinets.

turquoise painted cabinets traditional kitchen

Source: Tobi Fairley Interior Design

In this traditional kitchen, a soft white (White Dove, Benjamin Moore) contrasts nicely with the existing dark flooring.

painted cabinets traditional kitchen

Source: Stonewood, LLC

In this bright and sunny kitchen, a buttery yellow enamel paint was used to bring life to plain white builder’s cabinets.

painted kitchen cabinets yellow

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

An inexpensive makeover, the cabinets were freshened up with a crisp white color and the existing hardware was simply polished.

painted kitchen cabinets white 3

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Original oak cabinets were simply painted with Sherwin Williams paint, color Snowbound.

repainted cabinets traditional kitchen

Source: Jennifer Latimer & Gilded Mint

The existing cabinets were simply spray painted in a light warm grey tone, which contrasts nicely with the dark kitchen furniture and counters.

painted kitchen grey

Source: realestateyak.com

For a different approach , you might want to go with a two tone look  using a lighter color on the upper cabinets and darker color on the lower cabinets.

In this kitchen, a cool color palette was used  for a fresh and airy contemporary look.

gray painted cabinets traditional kitchen

Source: Carla Aston

This is a great way to add a  pop of color to your kitchen. In this beautiful country kitchen, the upper cabinets were painted in a cream color and the lower cabinets were painted in a cranberry finish for contrast.

painted kitchen cabinet two tone

Source: bobvila.com

Feel free to leave any comments or suggestions. If you have recently finished any projects and would like to share your experience, please send us your pictures and we will share them with our readers.

An old dresser turns into a bathroom vanity

If you are looking to add character and a custom made look to your bathroom, refurbishing an old dresser into a bathroom vanity is a great option. Garage sales, auctions, Craig’s List and antique shops are some great ways to find what you are looking for.

Here are some ideas of how these old dressers can be transformed:

Add country charm to your bathroom with an antique vanity. Great patina! A sink and faucet was simply added.

refubished old dresser contemporary bathroom

Source: Patrick Sutton Associates

Dresser purchased at estate sale.

old dresser turned to vanity eclectic bathroom

Source: Lindsay Von Hagel

Mirror taken from old piece of furniture and dresser turned into sink cabinet.

old dresser turned vanity traditional bathroom

Source: Robin Rigby Fisher

Great patina on dresser!

old dresser turned vanity traditional powder room

Source: Garrison Hullinger Interiors

High gloss lacquer treatment on vintage dresser.

old dresser turned vanity eclectic bathroom

Source: Cynthia Mason Interiors

Reproduction vintage faucets, re purposed white dresser, white solid surface counter top.

white dresser as bathroom vanity

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

 Contemporary clean lines, nine drawer dresser style with marble top.

modern dresser as vanity

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Black dresser with vintage brass pulls.

dresser as vanity bathroom

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

A bathroom vanity can be made from almost any piece of furniture, it might be hiding in your garage or attic as we speak. Be creative, any vintage, modern, antique dresser, console or sideboard buffets can simply be turned into your dream vanity.