Kitchen Upgrade: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself First

If your kitchen looks a bit tired and outdated, you might want to give it a facelift. Kitchen renovations can be an expensive, tiresome and time consuming affair that you must be prepared for.  So to ensure the transition goes as smoothly and painlessly as possible, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

How much is your budget?

Your budget determines if you have enough cash to transform the space into the kitchen of your dreams. So before you start getting excited about the remodel, establishing your budget is critical to avoid disappointment and stress.  If your budget is too tight, you can opt to replace a few old, outdated items. Also, keep in mind the hidden costs that come with renovations.

Do you have the right contractor or designer?

Hiring the right contractors for your kitchen remodel makes all the difference between a successful project outcome and a flop. If the contractor or designer doesn’t get it right, there can be a whole lot of heartaches and heightened emotions. Hence, it’s important to find the right duo that truly understands yours needs and deliver reliable results. Getting the perfect match is an arduous task but totally worth it.

Is your renovations plan realistic?

Setting unrealistic plans that do not align with your budget, resources or house is a headache that you bring upon yourself. Contractors may also find it difficult to work with you. Conduct a thorough research to ensure your remodel plan is realistically achievable.

Do you know when you should compromise?

Sometimes sacrifice may be inevitable when it comes renovations. But the question is; do you know when to compromise and when to stand your ground? You must be willing to make compromises between what’s possible/viable and what you want. But other times it makes sense not to compromise your kitchen ideas, but rather make new ones.

How are you planning to use the space?

What are you planning to use the space for? Is it cooking, storing, dining, entertaining or food prep? Once you determine how you are going to use the kitchen space, you can come up with a kitchen plan/layout that suits your lifestyle.

Bathroom Design

It is a fact that we all want our houses to look beautiful. We usually choose best designs for our living rooms and bedrooms. What about the bathroom?

Nowadays, it has become a trend to make the bathrooms look equally attractive to other rooms. Bathrooms must be cleaner and attractive in order to enhance the attraction of overall house. The question is how we can make bathrooms look beautiful. There is no need to be upset about that.

Allow us to provide you the best designs and ideas for your bathroom that will make your bathroom fascinating. So, here are a few creative designs for your bathrooms.

Black and Gold Bathroom

This would look a quite breathtaking design for a bathroom. This would look even more beautiful in smaller bathrooms. You can have a sink from Urban Archeology with black and golden colored. Both black and golden are attractive colors. Having a combination of these two would make the bathroom a place to look for. The fittings can be by waterworks. The cabinets in the bathroom must be black with the brass trim. Similarly, the walls should be clad in the Saint Laurent marble. Finally, the flooring should be limestone. This design would be appreciated when implemented smaller bathrooms in particular.

Airy Bathroom

Well, we have designs for both smaller and larger bathrooms. This is something that is unique in larger bathrooms. For the greater bathrooms, this design is an ideal one. The color scheme is completely white. The ceilings would be a little higher. It is made for modern and airy space bathrooms. The customs designs of vanity and chair can be added to the bathroom that would look quite unique. However, it is still a common idea in some larger bathrooms. The tub in the bathroom should be by waterworks. The floor of the bathroom would be titled in the Super Thasos marble.

Artsy Bathroom

This bathroom design idea is a modern one. This can’t be seen anywhere in the world. This modern design of the bathroom is spray painted and is mostly used for a bathroom used by guests. There is no doubt that you would want the best bathroom design for your special guests. This would be filed with the white color scheme. However, a shade of gray would be included in the colors. The tub and sink fittings must be a little closer.

Travertine Bathroom

This bathroom design is also for both the smaller and larger bathrooms. These bathrooms are designed with the master bath. This design would enable the bathrooms to be sheathed in travertine. The shower is tiled with the Cipollino which is a tumbled marble.

Contact Your Local Bathroom Designer

Expert bathroom designers like NuDesign Bathroom Renovations are never short of bathroom design ideas. They have the designs that can be good for your bathroom and whole home. You can contact them for more designs for your bathrooms.

So there you have a number of unique and creative designs that you can use for your bathrooms. But of course for a reliable result without the guess work contact your local professional and they will provide you designs that you will surely appreciate and may include in your bathroom redesign.

Tips for Getting the Right Home Improvement Loan

Our house is our fortress. It’s where we retreat to after a long tiring day. It’s the one place in the whole world where we feel most comfortable. Having said that, it’s just about right that we take good care of it. And the best way to take good care of it is through a home improvement loan.

The thing is, you don’t get a good home improvement loan willy-nilly. It takes time and a lot of thought to get one that would be a perfect match for your lifestyle. Here are some tips to get the home improvement loan that’s right for you.

couple showing plans to bank seeking approval.Know What You Need

Before you do anything else, sit down and ask yourself these three questions: How much of my home do I need to get renovated? How much can I afford to borrow? And are there other financial benefits that I need? These questions will easily narrow down your choices and can prevent you from biting off more than you can chew.

Fixed vs. Variable vs. Split

To put it simply, the amount you have to repay for a variable rate loan can rise and fall depending on economic conditions. A fixed rate loan, on the other hand, will remain unchanged until the duration of the loan is done. A split rate loan, on the other hand, has some elements of a fixed rate loan and variable rate loan combined. It does not depend on the changes in the economy, but at the same time you can also take advantage of the rate fluctuations when the rates drop.

All of these have their pros and cons. To make a more educated decision, take the time to read about them below.

The Variable Rate Loan

The best thing about a variable rate loan is the freedom. It offers you the chance to pay earlier than expected, and you don’t have to pay a penalty for it. You can also decide to transfer to a different lender without having to pay loan-break costs. The downside is the cost of your loan is at the mercy of the near-unpredictable economic conditions.

The Fixed Rate Loan

With a fixed rate loan, you are already certain about the amount from the start. The downside is, it’s not as flexible as a Variable Rate Loan. If you decide to pay early or change lenders, you will have to pay loan-break costs.

The Split Rate Loan

The split rate loan only seems like the best of both worlds, but it’s far from perfect. For one thing, you won’t be allowed to make an early repayment. Since it is a combination of a variable rate loan and a fixed rate loan, some elements of it (The Variable Rate Loan) will allow you to lessen the rate of the loan through extra payments, other elements of it (The Fixed Rate Loan) will still charge penalties for early payment.

Now that you’ve read about the types of rate loans, take the time to process it first before deciding. What’s the best loan for you?

Easy Home Improvement Ideas to Give Your Home a Facelift

Woman opening her house door to welcome peopleMaking your home stand out from the rest of the neighborhood shouldn’t be too hard for both you and your wallet. After all, you want to stand out, not stick out. You want your house to exude elegance, not glitz.

To help you out, here a few DIY ideas that are fun and inexpensive to make:

Give your front door a welcoming glow

The front door of your house is probably the first thing your guests will notice when they come for a visit. Of course, they’ll see the whole house first, but the front door is the first part of the house that they will have close and direct contact with.

So make sure that it’s warm and inviting. Place some plants and flowers, such as oak leaf hydrangeas and ferns, or boxwood topiaries. It would also be a good idea to paint your front door with a more welcoming color. Turquoise, powder blue, and mint green are just some examples.

Enhance your cabinets

Even the tiniest details can make the biggest impression. You can change the knobs of your cabinets with ones you bought somewhere else or (even better) made yourself. A good idea is to wrap ribbons around their original knobs. This tip can especially come in handy if you’re from a small town where you may be shopping from the same furniture store as your neighbor.

Construct your own headboard

Your bedroom is your very own personal space and it would be a shame if you don’t personalize it to its full extent. When you make your own headboard, try to make it as personal as possible. You can make collages of childhood photos, or magazine cut outs, or maybe you’d like to use a skateboard, or a quilt, for example, or an old door. Make it a reflection of who you are and what you’re passionate about.

Place plants inside a non-working fireplace

This may seem silly, but if you’re not going to get that fireplace repaired, you might as well use it for something else. Use a plant that’s vibrant and can survive without sunlight. Some examples are Bromeliads and the maidenhair fern.

Group your framed photos and paintings in one wall

Your cherished moments and valuable pieces of art draw more attention when they’re grouped together on one wall. Don’t worry about using the same frames. Having those mismatched and different shows personality and playfulness.

Re-purpose your old chair

If you have an old chair lying around that you don’t want to use anymore, you might want to dust it off and repaint it instead of throwing it out. You can use it as a bedside table for your books and alarm clock. You can also use it to hold paintings and photographs. This would give your bedroom a vintage and homey feel.

Plant a tree

Of course, this is only a good idea if you see yourself living in the house for a long time. I’d suggest a Crabapple, an Eastern Redbud, or your old-fashioned apple tree. Not only will you be one day literally enjoying the fruits of your labor, but you will also have a gorgeous miracle of nature to remind you that this is your house. You have been here even before this tree grew into what it is. It will remind you that you are home.

Fire guarding your home

If you have never been affected by fire either direct or indirectly, I am undoubtedly sure you have watched on TVs and seen how disastrous fire can be. Building a home is a significant achievement but taking precautionary and improvement measures to ensure your home is safe, are super accomplishments.

A fire will bring down to ashes almost everything which it comes into contact with unless some steps have been put in place to curb the severability. Thus, the primary objective should be on how to ensure it is kept away from our homes as far as possible. However, before then let us point out,

The major causes of fire in our homes,

  • Electricity.
  • Arson and evil motive people.
  • Lighting equipment like candles.
  • Long dry spells make your house very vulnerable from external fires.
  • Kids can cause a fire in a flicker of a second.

Major steps to take to ensure your homes are protected from fire.

  • Make sure all the paint used in your house walls and other areas are fire resistant.
  • Never use fireworks around or in the house.
  • Remove all thick bushes around your house and within your compound
  • Avoid planting pine trees near homes as they are highly flammable especially their needles
  • All wood piles should be 30 feet away from the house
  • Any flammable materials should be kept in a separate enclosure outside the house and away from the fireplace.
  • Use insulated concrete forms polystyrene for the walls of your house since they can withstand up to 4 hours of heating.
  • Use metal bars for your roofing rather than wood.
  • Create a fire proof concrete wall around your home compound.
  • Plant fire retardant or resistant plants like California lilac, yellow ice or fresh lavender.
  • Leave enough and clear driveways which can be easily accessed by fire trucks if all goes wrong.
  • Avoid constructing wooden decks around your house.
  • Cut tree branches which are in close contact with power lines.
  • Install ground fault circuit interrupters.
  • Replace all old and poor performing electronic items and devices in your houses.
  • Consult a licensed electrician if you experience regular fuse and breaker blowouts.
  • Install fire alarms in your home.
  • Have working fire extinguishers in place.
  • Have fire ladders in every room of your house to ensure smooth going down the wall through a window.
  • Burn dry leaves and other wastes around your compound in an enclosed area.


Since fire can emanate from either in or outside the house; ensure adequate protection of all the areas around your home. Have emergency numbers in your notebook and always maintain a safe neighborhood.