Kitchen and Bath Renovation

Tuesday Oct 11th, 2016


Kitchens and bathrooms are the focal points of any home renovations/upgrades

From the cabinets to the appliances, find out how to ensure a successful renovation.

Renovating your kitchen will add ease to your lifestyle and value to your home when you decide to sell. Here are some important things to consider when you're updating your kitchen.

1 Use quality materials.
Better quality drawer slides and hinges mean cabinet doors will stay closed and drawers won't stick.  

2 Determine cabinet heights. 
If you have eight-foot ceilings, choose cabinets that go to the ceiling. They offer more storage and make the room look bigger and more stylish. If your ceilings are higher than eight feet, you might want to leave 15 to 18 inches above the cabinets. Full ceiling height cabinets may not work unless one uses a step ladder to use the upper shelves!

3 Decide whether to paint or stain. 
Though stained-wood cabinetry is forgiving, most finishes date quickly and aren't easily altered. Brush-painted cabinets can lend a unique personality. You can now get a Rustoleum refinishing product that enables you to re-do the cabinets at a fraction of the cost, without having to change, or reface, the cabinets.

4 Select an elegant countertop. 
Granite, quartz, corian and other types of stone counter tops are more in style, and desirable, nowadays. They're also more durable. Know the differences between the different types before deciding on what to use. As an example, Corian is man-made and requires no periodic sealing. Granite is natural and requires periodic sealing. It does not scratch, but can crack, while corian can scratch.

5 Install an island that works. 
Beware of placing a bulky cube in the middle of the room. Islands that have an open, airy, look are nice. Ideally, an island should be unencumbered by appliances, but if you want it to house a dishwasher-sink combo or a cooktop, try to maintain the light look of a leggy harvest table. Note, that if a kitchen is small, an island will make it look smaller.

6 Don't overdo the details. 
Design accents such as pediments over stoves and plaster mouldings on cabinet fronts can represent decorative excess. Remember that the style of your kitchen should be compatible with the rest of your home.  

7 Avoid maintenance nightmares. 
Natural surfaces with inherent texture -- slate, terra-cotta, brick and tumbled marble -- are more difficult to clean but camouflage the odd crumb. Smooth surfaces in light colours, such as white laminate counters or ceramic floors, are easy to clean but show everything. And as much as we love stainless steel, it's not easy to keep smudge-free unless you specifically buy smudge free appliances. At the moment, only Fridgidaire makes a smudge free fridge, as an example.

8 If possible, incorporate an adjacent dining area. 
A clever design, plus the appropriate lighting and furniture, will let you adapt the room's atmosphere to suit any occasion. Consider a banquette design combined with slipcovered chairs for an efficient use of space.

9 Add interest. 
Your kitchen should reflect you, not look like a showroom. Before designing the space, search for a piece of unique furniture and use it in your design -- a room full of floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall kitchen cabinets, while adding good storage space, may look boring and uninspired.

Now, consider some important points before updating your bathrooms

An effective bathroom design should address all your needs. Here are the most important tips to consider when considering bathroom renovations.

1 Choose elegant fixtures.
A pedestal sink with graceful lines is more attractive than a blocky cabinet vanity. A classic claw-foot tub is like bathroom sculpture. Even enclosed in a deck, the simple lines of the lip have an inherent beauty that surpasses most acrylic versions. However, vanities add storage space. Decide on your preference.

2 Sit in a bathtub before buying it.
Bigger isn't always better. A 60-inch tub is fine for most people. It offers enough room to stretch out and provides a secure foothold, so you don't float into oblivion when the tub is full. Assess the angled back and lip for comfort and neck support –- a tub for two people slants at either end and has taps in the middle. If you only have enough space for a small tub, buy an extra-deep one. If you have 2 bathrooms on the upper level, consider one with a soaker tub and one with a stand-up shower stall.

3 Select durable flooring. 
Ceramic, marble and stone tiles are all excellent durable and water-resistant choices for a bathroom.  

4 Hang a stylish mirror.
One beautifully framed mirror over a sink is more attractive than many surfaces covered with mirror. Supplement it with a wall-mounted adjustable makeup mirror, and consider installing a lighted, mirrored shaving niche in your shower stall.

5 Use found space.
Take advantage of space between wall studs by recessing a tall storage cabinet into the wall to maximize vertical storage while saving floor space. The cabinet should have an interior depth of at least three inches and a door flush with the wall.

6 Build a shower area. 
In addition to well-designed drainage, a ceiling-mounted rain showerhead and/or a high wall-mounted showerhead that splashes less water will keep the area outside the shower drier.

7 Design lighting that works.                                                                                                                                  Good lighting is imperative. Combine halogen pot lights with wall sconces beside or over the mirror for lighting with no shadows. Always install dimmers. Also, if yours is an older home where the bathroom was built under the old building code which did not require an exhaust as long as there was a window, you may want to have an exhaust installed during the renovation.

8 Buy an efficient toilet.

When buying a toilet, it's not necessary for you to spend big bucks, but you don't want to scrimp too much, either. It is advisable to choose water efficient tanks. They're more economical and good to conserve our resources.

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