Spruce Up The Kitchen With Easy Little Fixes

Cooking a meal in a dull, drab kitchen isn’t merely boring; it’s downright unappetizing. Fortunately, it won’t cost a whole lot of money to turn a dingy kitchen into something that even a French chef might enjoy using.

Start by figuring out what kind of floor plan the kitchen has. Most kitchens are based on one of five standard set-ups: the one-wall kitchen used in long, narrow rooms; the galley kitchen, a plan that strings amenities along facing walls; the L-shaped kitchen, which often includes a bar; the Double-L, with a walkway between two bars; and the U-shaped kitchen, often used when kitchens back onto a family room or a great room.

With the exception of the one-wall kitchen (frequently used in apartments or very small homes), all these designs functions according to a work flow plan known as the “kitchen triangle.”

This triangle is made up of three points: the refrigerator where food is stored, the sink and countertop where it’s prepared, and the stove where it’s cooked.

A kitchen with any floor plan other than these may need a major renovation to make it more workable as well as more beautiful. If that’s your situation, the best alternative is to engage a kitchen designer to help create a plan for remodeling.

However, if your kitchen has a workable design, the following upgrades can spruce up its looks for a small investment of time and money that can have a great return on your investment according to TXBuyers.

Color it Appetizing: As with any other room, painting a kitchen is one of the cheapest ways to update. Start with a fresh coat of bright white on the ceiling, which probably has several years of grease accumulation that you’ve been overlooking.

This one step can do wonders for a dull kitchen before the first brush full of paint goes on a wall. Next, choose some new wall color or colors that will complement the cabinetry.

Use an oil-based semi-gloss pain for kitchen painting. The finish resists spills and splatters and is easier to wipe clean.

Install new Cabinet Hardware: Here’s another quick and easy upgrade that works wonders for a relative small price. Replace the kitchen’s old knobs and handles with popular brushed nickel or antique brass.

Count the number of hardware fixtures needed at least twice to make sure you’ll pick up enough. It’s probably a good idea also to do some research in advance on the type of hardware you want, since prices vary widely.

Set a budget beforehand and then divided your budget amount by the number of knobs and handles needed. This will tell you how much you can spend per piece.

Lighten Up: Good cooking needs good light. Without it, cooks can misread recipes, labels, stove thermometers and measuring utensils to disastrous results. The focus these days is less on large overhead fixtures and more on task lighting that shines on certain areas.

So instead of overhead fluorescent lights, consider instead a series of pendant lamps or small chandeliers for general light and install a few under-cabinet lights for closer work.

With a kitchen as fresh and handsome as this, you’ll be a lot less tempted to send out for pizza everyday.

The New Trend – RTA Kitchen Cabinets

How many of us dream of remodeling our kitchens? Most. Because a large amount of time is spent in the kitchen, between eating and entertaining, it is the first room that homeowner would like to remodel.

It is also one of the most costly because it means redoing plumbing work and possibly moving gas lines. New appliances, cabinets, flooring and countertops all add up; no matter how cheaply it is done or how much it improves your home’s value. (You can learn more here)

Being that the kitchen cabinets are one of the main features of the kitchen in regards to its functionality and aesthetics, it is important that they be of good quality and beautiful.

Cabinets are not something that anyone wants to replace for a long time. It means living without a kitchen for a few weeks, washing dishes in the bathroom, hiring someone to install the cabinets and the cost of the cabinets themselves.

It is therefore highly recommended to do much research in regards to which style is preferred and on its quality. With the latest trend of RTA cabinets (ready to assemble) it is now possible to purchase your dream cabinets at virtually half the cost of custom kitchen cabinets.

Many are under the impression that RTA cabinets are not up to the current trend. While there are not as much design and finish options that a custom kitchen manufacturer offers; there is a large variety of styles to choose from.

Shaker door styles for more contemporary kitchens are a popular style for RTA cabinets as well as a raised panel door style for the traditional kitchen. Complementary glazing is often included as well.

A variety of stain finishes are also offered to match different tastes and styles. If too many styles and finishes are offered there is a less of a chance that the manufacturer will be stocking them thereby resulting in longer lead times.

Some reasons to consider RTA cabinets:

Easy Assembly – Many cabinets have camlock hardware making the cabinet assembly easy and straightforward. It should typically take under 10 minutes a cabinet.

Pricing – Pricing is normally ½ the price of a custom kitchen making them much more economical. Shipping is typically less due to the fact that it is shipped in flat boxes.

Lead Time – Because they are available in standard sizes they are typically stocked and available for shipping in less than 4 weeks. Custom kitchens usually take at least double, if not triple, the amount of time to receive.

For someone that is running on a tight schedule and does not want to compromise on quality, RTA cabinets are the way to go.

Quality – There are many RTA cabinet manufacturers that produce beautiful cabinets constructed of solid wood and plywood without any trace of particleboard which ruins easily due to exposure to moisture.

High-end feature are also available from select manufacturers. Some include dovetail constructed drawers, undermount drawer glides and plywood sides and drawer boxes.

Kitchen Cabinets – Aesthetics & Functionality

The kitchen is probably the most used space in any home. Cooking, entertaining and serving meals all take place there. Dining rooms are either reserved for special occasions or are completely eliminated to allow for a larger kitchen. It is therefore no wonder that when homeowners want to spruce up their homes the room they are likely to start with is the kitchen.

Remodeling a kitchen is big business, water pipes, gas lines and structural frames all need to be taken into account as well as what style would like to be achieved. An overall budget needs to be figured before any cabinetry, appliances, flooring and lighting are chosen.

Due to the large size and volume of kitchen cabinets, they will typically play the most important role in the kitchen. Besides for its functionality, it sets the tone of the new kitchen and plays a major role in transforming the space.

Be it traditional, transitional, rustic or minimalistic it all starts with the cabinets.

With that being said it is important to do much research before choosing your cabinetry. The two most important characteristics that need to be researched are its functionality and aesthetics.

Although it may be possible to find aesthetically pleasing cabinets that are very inexpensive, it is important to find out the construction of the cabinet first.

Frequently the low cost is due to its poor construction.

Particleboard and MDF (medium density fiberboard) are popular engineered woods used that lack durability due to their lack of ability to withstand moisture.

Undoubtedly, solid wood and plywood are durable and long lasting.

In addition to the construction of the cabinet itself there are many extra features to research. One vital point to consider is the drawer box. Dovetail construction, under-mount glides vs. side-mount glides and soft-closing drawers are valid points to reflect on.

In addition, it is important to see what storage solutions are available to match the cabinet style of your choice.

Plate racks, glass doors, knick-knack shelves are all ideas to consider. A wine rack is always a good option for the wine connoisseur as is a wine glass holder. Lazy susan cabinets, angled wall cabinets and drawer base cabinets are all good choices for those that need organized storage. And let’s face it, who doesn’t?!

And when it comes o kitchen cabinet uppers, don’t forget about any wiring that may need to be hidden too. Champion Fiberglass offers a few ideas on hiding conduit behind cabinets.

Once the quality has been established the finish, color and style need to be chosen. For a more contemporary kitchen, slab doors or shaker doors are usually used. Those that favor a rustic atmosphere may opt for warm colored wood on a craftsman-style door. For the traditional folks, raised paneled doors and drawers are available in various colors and styles.

For those that favor a more ornate appearance raised panel doors with a contrasting glazing are available. Various sizes of crown moldings can be used to embellish the cabinets.

There is also its maintenance to think about. Those that are exceptionally clean by nature and dislike dust build-ups may opt to purchase a shaker door which requires minimal cleaning.

They may also decide to have the wall cabinets straight to the ceiling so there is no dust on top to cleaning. Those that have sticky little fingers around may prefer a dark stained wood to hide dirt easily where as a family without young children may perhaps feel comfortable going with delicate painted cabinets.

As with most things, proper research is required. Making proper inquiries and doing research before purchasing cabinets will save regrets and frustration later down the line.

5 Questions to Consider before Purchasing Cabinets:

What is the overall budget for the kitchen?

What material is the cabinet constructed of?

What style is to be depicted in the kitchen?

Are there storage solutions available to suit my needs?

What kinds of moldings are offered to match the finish and style?

Asking The Right Questions Helps Build A Dream Kitchen

The kitchen has been the heart of the home for centuries. Not only is it a place where food is prepared and meals enjoyed, it is also a gathering place where people build and renew relationships around the family hearth.

Kitchen plans for redecorating or remodeling are a time to take a good look at how the kitchen is used by everyone in the household. While residents may seem to have many things in common for kitchen use (especially eating!), some members of the household may have special considerations such as food preparation and storage.

Many of today’s TV home makeover programs have emphasized turning a kitchen into a living space, rather than merely the place where meals are made. Such a transformation involves a lot of space, thought and planning to make happen, and lots of kitchens aren’t designed for that purpose.

In virtually all cases, the function of a kitchen will continue to focus on food preparation and cooking.

Following is a list of question to help homeowners think about the design of their kitchen projects. The best way to use this list is to print out this page. Then have everyone in the household start answering the questions, and write their answers down.

Soon it will become apparent that some compromises are going to have to be made, whether to match available space, to avoid unnecessary duplication or to stay within a budget (especially the last).

Try to think about how the household needs the kitchen to function, and build a project plan from that perspective.

1. As the kitchen now exists, what characteristics should be kept and what should be removed or renovated?

2. How many people in the household will use the kitchen? What activities will they perform?

3. Does eating as well as food preparation occur in the kitchen?

4. When you entertain, do you and your guests end up in the kitchen?

5. Do you feed your pets in the kitchen?

6. Will the kitchen be part of a building extension?

7. Is there any structural work needed, such as fixing roof leaks, replacing windows etc?

8. Will a boiler remain in the kitchen or be removed?

9. Check off which of the following major activities happen in the kitchen. (Remember, each additional activity requires more space and organization).
Cooking
Laundry
Homework / Office work
Entertaining
Eating
Other (List)

10. What decorating style should the new kitchen be? Will it coordinate or contrast with the decorating style of the rest of the home?

11. What type of flooring and wall coverings (paint, tiles, wallpaper) do you want in the kitchen?

12. How much storage do you need for food, utensils and equipment? Do you prefer open shelving or closed cupboards?

13. Will you use gas or electric for cooking?

14. How many electrical appliances will you have in the kitchen? Do you have enough room and enough electrical connections for them?

15. Do you want a dishwasher?

Thinking about questions such as these often sparks even more questions in the minds of homeowners.

Write down everything you think over, and then start making comparisons and figuring budgets for your new dream kitchen.

Scarlet is definitely an expert household designer who’s written extensively about kitchen plans. Her content articles contain valuable help and advice about hundreds of different kitchen projects in catering Houston.

Fixing a Two-Handle Washer Faucet

leaking faucetMost older two-handle faucets have a rubber washer that is compressed against a valve seat to stop the water flow.

After a while, the washer wears out and allows water to pass between it and the valve seat.

Fixing such a leak is easy. Turn the water off from below the fixture or at the main shut-off valve.

1. Remove screw cover and handle screw: There is usually a decorative cover in the center of the handle which hides the handle screw. Use a screwdriver to pry off this cover. Then remove the screw and handle.

2. Remove packing nut and stem: Use an adjustable wrench or a channel-lock pliers to remove the large packing nut (turn it counterclockwise) at the top of the faucet body.

Then twist out (counterclockwise) the valve stem. If it is stuck, put the handle back on to give you a better grip on the stem.

3. Replace washer: Look at the end of the stem that fits into the faucet. You should see a brass screw holding the old washer in place. (If there is no screw, just a rubber washer, then you probably have a diaphragm-type faucet.)

Remove the screw and the old washer.

The washer is either flat or beveled but sometimes this is difficult to determine.

Both types are squashed out of shape as they wear out, so the washers can be difficult to identify. If you can’t tell what type of washer you need, look into the top of the faucet – the first opening you see is the valve seat.

If its lip is angled, you need a beveled washer; otherwise purchase a flat-type washer.

Take the stem and old washer to your hardware store or home center and buy replacement washers.

They are sold in kits that contain a variety of sizes and extra stem screws.

Replace the washer and brass stem screw, then rub some petroleum jelly or light grease on the stem threads and thread the stem into the faucet body. Replace the packing nut and handle.

Turn on the water and test. If the water still leaks, the valve seat needs to be refaced.

This is not difficult but you need a special tool, so consult a plumbing manual, check this website or seek professional help.

Replacing a Light Fixture

Replacing existing kitchen island lighting is part of many kitchen makeover projects. A new lamp can often aesthetically fit better with the new kitchen decor than the old lamp and provides a cleaner, updated look. Installing a new lamp is as easy as any home improvement project. But as with all electrical projects, safety is paramount, so please exercise caution when hanging new kitchen island lighting.

replace kitchen light

Instructions

1. Turn off the circuit breaker that feeds the lamp power at the electrical breaker box. Go to the kitchen and test the circuit power switch on and off. An easy way to be sure you have the correct breaker switch is to have someone stay in the kitchen with the light on, and as you test breakers have them yell to you when the light goes out.

2. Unscrew the cover and lower it slowly from the ceiling. The cover is the plate that covers the wiring in the ceiling.

3. Unscrew the plastic plug connectors that connect the wiring.

4. Try again and be sure that the circuit has indeed been cut by touching the bare lamp wires with the a voltage meter. If you get a reading, go back to the main breaker box and turn off the correct breaker. Then test the wires again.

5. Before disconnecting the wires, have someone come and help you hold the lamp as you free it from the ceiling. The last thing you want to do is have it come crashing down and make a mess. Besides, you can always use it for a different project or sell it on eBay or a garage sale.

6. Add the new lamp by wiring the wires back up the way you took them off from the old lamp. And that is it! Easy, right?