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Design Tips For Your Master Bathroom

When you redecorate your master bedroom, don’t leave the master bath out in the cold! You can add some zing to your bathroom too and create a cohesive theme between the two rooms that will give you a real sweet master suite.

One thing you need to do when redecorating your master bath is to be sure to tie in some of the elements from your bedroom. You don’t have to make it an identical match, but using a common color or theme will really unite the two rooms. If your bedroom has a cottage theme, carry this over into the bathroom by putting out some shells in dishes on the vanity. If your bedroom is more shabby chic with big floral wallpaper, then think about carrying the color of the flowers into the master bath.

One of the big design elements in the bathroom is the hardware. Faucets and spigots, in addition to tubs and toilets are made in a variety of shapes and materials which can be the centerpiece of your design. Open showers are currently popular with the younger upwardly-
mobile crowd, and claw-foot bathtubs are almost always considered to be classic and 
attractive. When selecting hardware and figuring out a floor plan, think about privacy issues and don’t put the toilet and tub too close together.

Another big element in the bathroom is the tiling. The more expensive tiles 
should have durability, aesthetic value, and a non-porous surface. Make sure your tiles can be easily cleaned and sanitized, and that it is easy to install and does not require special adhesives which can become costly. When choosing tile, think out of the box. You don’t have to use only porcelain tile, consider marble, clay and anything else you see in the store that catches your eye.

Once you have the design down and selected the major elements, focus on decoration accessories to bring out personality and individualism. The bathroom doesn’t have to just be functional and putting interesting items on the walls or shelves is a great way to give the room some character. Don’t be afraid to use your own ideas and put what you want into the room when redecorating your master bathroom.

Tips For Removing Linoleum

When it comes time to get new flooring you can save money by removing the old flooring yourself but if you have old linoleum on your floors you might be in for quite a challenge. Depending on how old the linoleum is and the type of adhesive that was used it can be extremely difficult to get up. 

First of all, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to just remove the linoleum and adhesive all at once. The surface under the linoleum and the damage you might cause it needs to be considered – especially if that surface is wood. Concrete floors can take a lot more in the way of rough treatment. The type of scraper you use has a lot to do with your success as well as the damage to the floor underneath. Many people use paint scrapers but those with a razor blade are usually more efficient. Be prepared to break some blades it if the adhesive is hard, and you’re working on concrete.

Try cutting the linoleum into strips or sections instead of removing the whole chunk at once. This will make it easier to get an edge to pry up. Of course, the linoleum probably won’t come up in nice neat sections so be prepared to deal with a lot of left over backing and glue that is still attached to your floor.

One way to deal with those remnants that just won’t come up is to apply some kind of solvent or remover. A popular brand is Krud Kutter, which appears to work very well from the customer feedback comments. Follow directions on the label of whatever product you employ, and wear gloves to protect your hands. Do a small section at a time, and then move to the next one.

Another technique is to use boiling water and pour it directly on the backing and adhesive. Let it soak and then scrape up. If you don’t want to use water, you can try to heat up the glue with a hair dryer or heat gun. Pick a very inconspicuous area, such as behind a door, to try it. Heat the adhesive with the hair dryer and scrape it up with a straight-blade scraper (like a stiff putty knife with a beveled edge). Move the scraper in the direction of the grain of the wood if you are uncovering a hardwood floor. Have a pan or some other container handy to drop the scrapings into – one that is unlikely to either melt or ignite when coming in contact with hot materials. Be very careful if you are using a heat gun as this can easily damage the floor underneath if it is wood.

If worse comes to worse and you are left with some stubborn adhesive on the floors, it might be time to sand. Of course, if your floors are wood and you plan to refinish them you would need to sand anyway, but during this step you must be careful not to damage the particular area by keeping the sander on it for too long.

Once you finally get the linoleum and all traces of adhesive up, you are ready to seal the floor as recommended for the type of flooring and apply the new floor as recommended!

10 Important Things to Consider Before Designing a New Kitchen

Here are 10 important guidelines for your kitchen design project.

1. For efficiency, the work triangle (the space between the sink, refrigerator, and stove) should measure 26′ or less with no single side longer than 9′, or less than 4′.

2. In kitchens smaller than 150 sq. ft., opt for at least 13′ of base cabinets, 12′ of wall cabinets, and 11′ of countertop. In kitchens which are larger, go with at least 16′ of base cabinets, 15 1/2′ of wall cabinets, and 16 1/2′ of countertop.

3. For convenience, plan work aisles to be at least 42″ wide for one cook, and at least 48″ wide in multi-cook kitchens.

4. Specify a minimum of 24″ of counter space on one side of the sink and at least 18″ on the other.

5. To create the most accessible landing for unloading groceries, allow at least 15″ of counter space on the handle side of a standard refrigerator; on both sides if it’s a side-by-side model. Or include a landing area directly across from the refrigerator, but no more than 48″ away.

6. For cleanup ease, install the dishwasher within 36″ of one edge of the sink and allow for at least 21″ of standing room next to it.

7. For microwaves and ovens, provide at least 15 ” of counter space nearby, at least 16″ deep.

8. For optimum clearance, no entry, appliance, or cabinet doors should interfere with another. 

9. For comfort and to help avoid repetitive-motion injury, plan for work counters of different heights; between 28 and 36″ off the floor (easier for chopping and seated-use access), and between 36 and 46″ for general tasks (higher counters accommodate taller cooks).

10. To install a cabinet unit above the cook top, make sure the clearance is at least 24″ for a fireproof surface, 30″ for an unprotected surface.

Designing a kitchen is as much a science as it is an art. Knowing the recommended measurements to use when planning the project can make all the difference in the final outcome.

Controlling Dust Mites in Your Home

My guess is that you don’t know much about dust mites except they are small, unseen creatures that disgust you. Perhaps someone in your household is allergic to them. Here is some background information on dust mites and how you can work to control them in your house.

Dust mites don’t live in your air ducts, although most people tend to focus there when attempting to remove them. They live in soft places, prefer higher humidity and release a protein which causes an allergic reaction for many people. If you don’t have any reactions to dust mite proteins then reducing your exposure may not be a priority for you but these basic treatment steps should still be taken to reduce their presence in your home and affect on your life. If you need motivation to do some of these steps you can see pictures of dust mites by doing this google image search. They’re gross enough to scare anyone into a rapid cleaning spree. 

1. Dust and vacuum your house on a regular basis. The more dirt you have, the more dust mites you have.

2. Use a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity levels in your home as they prefer high humid environments (anything over 70%)

3. Wash your family’s bedding in hot water at least twice monthly, preferably weekly.

4. Get machine washable plush toys if you have children, the fabric harbors dust mites. 

If you have someone allergic to dust mites these are more intense combat steps to take:

1. Do your best to eliminate all cloth surfaces as they tend to harbor these creatures

2. Replace your carpets with wood or laminate flooring

3. Remove fabric covered furniture and switch to wood or plastic pieces

4. Wrap your mattress, pillows and box springs in zippered covers that area dust proof and allergen proof. 

You probably won’t completely eliminate dust mites, but you can go a long way toward reducing their numbers by maintaining a clean healthy living environment. Your family will thank you for it.

Make Your Kitchen Cabinets Look Great for Less

Kitchen cabinets are one of the most prominent features in your kitchen. If your cabinets are looking worn or drab, it affects the whole look and feel of your kitchen. 

The good news is there are several options available to you that can easily update your kitchen with a modern look. Some options are expensive and others are more economical.

If you like the cabinet layout and the cabinets are in good condition, refacing or resurfacing your kitchen cabinets may be a good choice for you.

Refacing or resurfacing consists of replacing the cabinet doors and drawer fronts with new ones and then treating the cabinet frame with a matching veneer. There are many types of woods and plastics available for this, so your options are virtually unlimited. 

To get the best results, it’s always best to hire a professional to do this work. It can be quite expensive, though, ranging anywhere from $3500 to over $10,000. The work usually takes 2-4 days, depending on how many cabinets and drawers are involved.

If your cabinets are weak or damaged or you just want to change their design, replacing them entirely is another option. Replacement cabinets may not cost much more than refacing/resurfacing them, either. Brand new cabinets can add more usefulness to your kitchen and increase the value of your home, as well

If resurfacing or replacement of your kitchen cabinets doesn’t fit your budget, there are much less expensive alternatives. 

My first choice for renewing the look of kitchen cabinets is paint. What a difference a coat or paint can make!

For a retro look you can use splashy colors such as pink, turquoise or orange. Be brave and paint designs on the cabinets or use stencils or a faux finish. Add some matching hardware and you’ve got new cabinets for less than $300!

Another idea is to permanently remove all the cabinet doors. This wouldn’t be appropriate or even functional for every style of kitchen. It might work well for a cottage kitchen design or even an antique Victorian design. You could line the shelves with lace or doilies that flap over the edge to add to the look. 

An alternative to completely removing the cabinet doors is to replace them with old windows that are the right size. You could also create new doors from different types of materials such as bamboo or fabric.

Another idea for resurfacing kitchen cabinets is to wallpaper them or apply contact paper. A plain pattern is best and, of course, make sure it is washable. You don’t necessarily need to cover the whole surface. You could cut out different shapes or patterns and apply them to the cabinet surface. This would be a good short-term solution to freshening up your kitchen.

So there you have it. There are many ways to make your kitchen cabinets look great without breaking the bank!