Bring Your Home Back to Life

Month: April 2022

Kitchen Remodel

Great Kitchen Renovation on a Tight Budget

The very first component that most homeowners think about when planning for a kitchen renovation is the kitchen countertop. This is the heart of the kitchen. Without a great looking countertop, no kitchen is complete. I would suggest you take a look at concrete countertops. This is a new and emerging style of countertop. It is made of designer colored concrete and only second to granite in terms of toughness. It will give your kitchen a very unique and stylish theme.
The next most important thing is the kitchen cabinets. Make sure that the color and theme of your kitchen cabinets and your concrete counter top has a single theme. I would suggest buying prefabricated kitchen cabinets then hire a carpenter to alter it to match your kitchen theme because building a kitchen cabinet set from scratch is very costly and time consuming. This will only require us to spend for paint, cabinet handles and miscellaneous materials to match the cabinet with our theme.
Lastly, we need to select matching tiles to complete our great looking kitchen. For this purpose, it is better to use large sixty by sixty ceramic tiles for the floor and smaller ceramic tiles around the kitchen sink and countertop. This way, it would be easier to clean the larger tiles for any spills and stains in the future. Use small tiles sparingly and only in tight spaces around the countertop corners because they will be harder to clean than large tiles.
For the walls, I would suggest using a wallpaper instead of paint because oil evaporating from our cooking will stick to the walls and it will be next to impossible to remove them without damaging the wall surface. With a wall paper, you can just rip it off your wall and replace it anytime it becomes dirty.…

General Article

Arabic Bathroom Design

Arabic Bathroom Design

The Moroccan approach to bathing takes the idea of bathroom design to another level. Communal bathing in neighbourhood hammams turned the concept of the bathroom into something much more than a utility space, but into an important social arena where business, gossip and relationships were formed and sustained. Hammams remain an important part of life even today and traditional Arabic bathroom design incorporates rich references to both cultural and social influences from the Arabic and Islamic worlds.


A traditional take on plastering – Tadelakt is a lime based mortar/plaster, coloured with natural powder dyes, finished with a coat of black Marseilles soap and stone polished, rendering it waterproof. In Morocco this finish is the norm for bathing and bathroom areas, the material is easily malleable and can be sculpted to create soft, tactile curves that incorporate solid baths or shower areas.


Famous for intricate tiles, the Islamic geometric designs incorporated in Moroccan architecture offer much more than simple decoration, but more a representation of both religious and cultural references to the interconnectivity of life. The patterns are so complex that mathematicians throughout the ages have battled to decipher the codes. Mosaic or hand painted bathroom tiles are a perfect complement for Tadelakt bathrooms, infusing traditional Arabic design into the heart of the space.


Rather than porcelain units, palatial Moroccan bathrooms cater for a more refined taste, where a hand hammered copper bathroom sink and bath are polished and sunken into mosaic tiled stands.A�


Water takes a unique place at the heart of Islamic culture, religion and design – as life-giving, sustaining and purifying it is recognised as the origin of all life on earth and as such is ascribed status within the culture. At famous Moorish settlements in Southern Spain, such as the Alhambra, the presence of water runs through the entire heart of the structure. In respect to the humble bathroom the same prevalence is given in creating a space in which to contemplate, purify and rejuvenate.


Morocco is renowned for its traditional crafts, including blacksmithing and metal work that create beautiful, intricate patterns in everything from window shutters, lamps, jewellery and frame work. Incorporating either beaten metal or patterned framed mirrors into the bathroom is a great way to infuse interior design with a signature look.

Creating an arabic bathroom is an easy method to have that unique wow factor in your home.…

General Article

Stone Garden Water Features Add Elegance and Beauty to Your Garden

Stone Garden Water Features Add Elegance and Beauty to Your Garden

Stone garden water features for many people are a place for relaxation and contemplation. They are aesthetically pleasing and soon become a home’s outdoor focal point. Stone is found everywhere in nature and can be shaped and fitted into any garden setting.

A cascade water feature is easily adapted to any setting. The feature can be a single rock that has water flowing across the top or a series of rocks that form a waterfall or elevated brook. This is to achieve the sounds of running and splashing water. Individuals can also incorporate stone statues specifically designed for garden ponds. However, the most naturally looking and sounding water features use what nature has already provided.

There is elegance and beauty in naturally formed stone, and it can be used to develop a specific theme. Stone that has natural depressions can be used to plant grasses and other plants typically found around water. Simply fill the depression with an adequate amount of growing soil and begin planting. Individuals can add lighting so the cascade water feature can be enjoyed at night, as well. Ground cover can used around the feature to give the impression the rock formations occurred naturally. Ensure any plants or shrubs planted will not eventually block any views. Owners can also encourage the growth of mosses. The moss will be provided plenty of moisture from the mist created by the splashing water. Soon it will look like nature provided the theme and the stone garden water feature will be the home’s destination spot.

Be mindful of the fact that after a few years the water garden may take on a different look. Various plants and shrubs will have grown up around the feature and they can possibly change the look and ambiance. However, many owners strive for this more natural and slowly changing environment. The stone water garden can be a private setting for relaxing and getting away from it all, or a gathering spot for all members of the family. Individuals can place stone benches or wrought iron tables and chairs near the water features to enjoy afternoon tea or that first cup of coffee in the morning.

There will be some maintenance required to maintain the water features. Leaves and debris should be removed as quickly as possible. Organic matter allowed to decompose in water can encourage algae growth. Typically, water pumps will be used and they must be kept free of debris, as well. Proper aeration will keep the water fresh and clean. Good pond aeration is also vital if individuals plan to raise fish in their pond. A cascade water feature will provide proper aeration by keeping the water moving. To prevent stagnation and algae growth the water must be provided with dissolved oxygen. Waterfalls and running water collect dissolved oxygen from the air and then deposited it into the water.…

General Article

Garage Doors – Installing a New Door Can Be Paid For With Tax Credits and Rebates by the Government

Garage Doors – Installing a New Door Can Be Paid For With Tax Credits and Rebates by the Government

Most home owners either do not have the space or funds to build a separate outbuilding which can serve as a workshop. Because of these limitations most garages either double as or are adapted to be a work area. Whether the garage is used for wood working or an automotive mechanic work, after the first winter season it becomes clear that it can be very chilly and painful on the hands.

Should the winter be especially harsh, as has been experienced in the past few years, any garage time is usually delayed until warmer weather. Before December 31, 2010 is the perfect time to replace the garage door with an insulated door for several reasons. The benefits will do more than just provide a warm interior.

An insulated garage door goes a long way for regulating a comfortable temperature not just during the winter, but the summer months as well. There are large tax incentives for those qualifying energy efficient doors; up to $1500, in fact. Newer construction is superior to the aging doors of 15 years ago. Not every door is created equal, however.

There are commonly three basic styles of construction: steel, composite or genuine wood doors. Vinyl garage doors are available, too, but all of these types of doors have their own advantages ranging from strength to being permanently stained or fading and does not always include insulation automatically. It is true that any door will provide a minuscule amount of protection from extreme hot or cold temperatures, but even the most basic door without insulation will only shield a home owner temporarily; usually for just an hour or two.

An average price for a base steel garage door model and the most inexpensive type can range from about $850 – $1100 installed depending on the region. Base models do not include any insulation. An insulated steel door will usually start at a couple of hundred dollars more, but keep in mind that the increased expense of several hundred dollars in upgrading can easily be made back with tax credits under the government stimulus package that went into effect during 2009. Essentially the home owner will get the extra strength of an insulated garage door increased comfort for free. The garage door company should have all of the information regarding any tax credit available, as it is a good benefit for up selling.

Budget is usually the deciding factor for most home owners. As additional features or styling is added, such as windows commonly referred to as glazing, the cost, of course will increase. Composite garage doors offer the best of steel and wood overall with regards to styling and price. Genuine wood custom garage doors can easily cost more than $5,000, but the greatest variety of styles and the beauty of real wood is unmatched by any other material. It is rare, but on occasion the garage door company may have a cancelled or returned special order which may be available at a reduced price. There may be substantial saving available if this is the case.…

Home Renovation

How Important Is a Home Renovation Guide?

Individuals aiming to embark on home improvement projects should consider the importance of a home renovation guide. Planning is crucial to completing the project successfully within the estimated budget. Here is a guide that can help you manage your renovation more effectively.
• Hire a contractor – Verify the contractor’s license and retain a copy of the license before commencing the project. Ensure that the members of the contractor’s team are reputable and experienced professionals.
• Verify the contractor’s reference – This is an important thing to do as this would enable you to confirm the capability of the contractor. Ask for references. If you can, physically checking previous projects is most ideal.
• Review the agreement – Prior to signing an agreement, read the document carefully. It is important to understand all the clauses well, and any doubts should be cleared first before signing. Since the agreement is binding on all the parties, its importance cannot be overemphasized.
• Make a budget – Providing the contractor with a budget limit is recommended. But, you should consider that the cheapest is not necessarily the best option to take, and trying to complete the project on your own to save costs may prove to be detrimental.
• Check the home equity – Check with your mortgage provider on the home equity that can be drawn on your home. Also check with other lenders for the best deals. Inquiring beforehand gives you an idea of the total amount of money you can spend on the project.
• Making decisions – Many homeowners rely on their contractors, architects and other consultants to make decisions. Although listening to the experts is a good way to go, their preference and ideas may not always suit your taste and needs. Hence, you may ask for ideas from these professionals but you must make the final decision. After all, it is your home.
• Prepare a list of what is needed – Before commencing a renovation project, list down all that is required as well as timetables and deadlines. This enables the contractors to work out the plans accordingly and provide you with an estimate on the cost of renovation more accurately.
• Prioritize the requirements – You may want to undertake several home improvements; however, since you need to work around a budget, you have to execute your plans according to priorities which would involve accomplishing that which you need urgently the most first before the others.
• Research for the best deals – Before finalizing the list of building materials, fixtures and other requirements, research and shop around to find the best deals. Internet resources can be highly beneficial for this purpose. Looking for wholesale retailers within your vicinity can bring substantial savings too. Always get at least 3 quotes before deciding, to avoid being overpriced.
Home improvement is a costly decision for homeowners to make but there can be options. This guide can help and remember to consider these points before deciding to take on a remodeling project no matter how big or small.…

Bathroom Remodel

Small Bathroom Designs To Make Yours Look Larger

Whether your goal for your small bathroom design is cute, country-style, luxurious or kid friendly, it can be accomplished despite its size.

The following are some things you can do when designing your bathroom that will increase the appearance of its size.

Keep it clean and tidy. A messy, dirty bathroom looks bad anyways, but the dirt and misplaced items especially stand out in a small bathroom. If you walk in the small room when its messy, your eyes are immediately drawn to the dirt, dust, and clothes all over the floor. Not only that, but it will look even smaller. Keeping your bathroom as clean as possible, will help with create both a visually appealling and a larger appearance.

Eliminate clutter. Stacks of books and papers, too many toiletries, such as deodorants, razors, toothpaste, soaps and perfumes strung out on each countertop creates a chaotic and cramped space. Try to keep these things in a cabinet, drawer, closet or other hidden area. Have a small bar or dispenser of soap or a candle out on display.

Paint, Tile, or Wallpaper: When choosing paint, tile and wallpaper, its best to choose smaller patterns if you decide not to go with a solid color. Whether choosing a pattern or texture or a solid color, lighter colors are always better when you want to make the room look bigger. To create the illusion of a taller ceiling, paint it a lighter color than the walls.

Lighting and light fixtures: Choose smaller lighting fixtures because bulky ones add well, bulk. Recessed lighting fixtures are even better! Another tip is to add more smaller sized, but bright lights in several areas of the bathroom. This will really open up the room because there will be less shadows.

Storage: Corner cabinets or towel racks or standing shelves make great use of a small area. Store your items that you don’t want on display.

Flooring: Like the walls, choose lighter colors and patterns.

Decor: Mirrors on the wall are an excellent way to visually enlarge your bathroom.

Bathroom fixtures, such as cabinets and vanities: It is best to keep cabinets, vanities, and shelves on the smaller side. Less is more when it comes to small bathrooms. One to two on-the-wall shelves are plenty, for both decor items and for displaying your fancy soaps. A small, standalone sink will also create more space.

Doing all or most of these things will add both real and imagined space to your bathroom!…

General Article

Bathroom Fixtures: Energy-Efficient Fixtures

Bathroom Fixtures: Energy-Efficient Fixtures

Technology has also permeated into the creation of bathroom fixtures with the main intention of making energy efficient appliances and equipment. There are several fixtures, appliances, and equipment that are combined with electronic devices to provide efficient, ‘no-hands’ system. These systems help to enhance water use efficiency and at the same time ensure proper sanitation. Some of the water- and energy-efficient bathroom fixtures are discussed here.

Water Efficient Fixtures

The greatest benefit of water efficient bathroom fixtures is the savings it provides in both water and sewer bills. Further, such fixtures reduce the need for high-cost water supply equipment, waste water treatment systems, and thereby help in the maintenance of aquatic and riparian ecosystems. These fixtures also reduce the need for pumping, heating, or treating water. It also leads to water efficiency in product life cycles thereby preventing pollution.

High-efficiency Toilets and Urinals

These bathroom fixtures have been introduced by the plumbing industry with clear intentions of water conservation and energy efficiency. High-efficiency toilets use 1.3 gallons per flush as compared to the mandatory 1.6 gallons. The high-efficiency urinals that were created in co-operation with the water authority have a flush average of less than the mandatory 1.0 gallons.

High-efficiency washing machines

These bathroom appliances are believed to use technological advances to ensure water and energy efficiency in the process of washing clothes. Most of these high-efficient models use 35% to 50% less water as compared to the traditional models. This transfers to water conservation and savings in energy for heating lesser water.

Pre-Rinse Spray Valves

Pre-rinse spray valves are bathroom fixtures that are used in restaurants to clean the food particles from dishes before placing them in the dishwasher. The dishwashing process accounts for two-thirds of water consumption in such establishments. By installing high-efficient spray valves, you will consume only 1.6 gallons or lesser water per minute as compared to the conventional 3.0 gallons per minute.…