Using Rugs in Your Home – Creative New Ideas

The kitchen has most definitely become the hub of activity for any home. Even when you have guests over, everyone seems to gather in the kitchen. This busy room has become the central location for not only quick meals, but also homework for the kids, sorting mail, online banking as well as a number of different uses. It is important to make your kitchen as comfortable, beautiful and useful as possible. Now you can update the look of your kitchen quickly through the use of rugs from Abingdonrugoutlet.com.

If you do not have time, energy or the expenses to update your entire kitchen, you can easily get an updated look by using area rugs. Finding a high quality rug does not have to be expensive. Several beautiful examples are sold at outlet or discount stores. You can even find some terrific deals by shopping online. While we wouldn’t recomment Ebay, there are some great savings out there on first-quality rugs. Discounters can now offer their low prices due to the declining cost of operating online. As their overhead goes down, their prices can follow along the same path.

One trick you can use is to choose an area rug with colors that are already in your kitchen. For example, even if you dislike the color on your counters or cupboards, choose an area rug where that same color is found as a leaf or other small pattern. This will unify the color palette in your kitchen and make your counters appear intentional.

Many people like to update their homes as trends change. An easy way to accomplish this without going through the added time and expense of painting and re-decorating, is to purchase updated area rugs. Simply adding a contemporary area rug in your kitchen can become your focal point where everything revolves around. If this centrally located rug is prominent, it can establish the entire theme of the room. Having a trendy area rug will make your entire kitchen appear updated and contemporary. Since this expense is far less than updating your whole kitchen, you can afford to change it out as your interests change.

Update the look and feel of your kitchen through the use of rugs. You want the busiest room in your home to feel comfortable and inviting, while looking fresh and creative. There is no easier way than by utilizing a beautiful new area rug. Design your new kitchen today. You won’t be disappointed at the results.

FAQs You Should Know About Xenon Lighting

Over the past few years the use of xenon light sources has become increasingly popular especially in the home. Xenon light bulbs are being used in under cabinet fixtures, cove lighting, cabinet lighting, desk lamps, backlighting, step lights, showcase lighting, book case lighting, and picture lights. Here are eleven frequently asked questions about xenon lighting – and their answers.

Q) What makes certain light fixtures xenon fixtures? A) Xenon gas has been introduced into the glass envelopes of the light bulbs in these fixtures.

Q) Why add xenon gas to the other gases inside the glass envelope of a light bulb? A) The primary reason is that the addition of xenon gas into the glass envelope increases the rated life of the lamp.

Q) What is the rated life of xenon light bulbs? A) Depending on the lamp the rated life of a xenon lamp is somewhere between 8,000 and 20,000 hours.

Q) What does the term, “rated life”, of a light bulb mean? A) The “rated life” of a lamp signifies the time at which 50% of a large quantity of these lamps will have burned out. This means that 50% of these lamps will burn out before the “rated life” and 50% will burn out after the “rated life. The “rated life” does not mean that every one of the lamps will last at least that long.

Q) Is this definition of “rated life” true for all types of light bulbs or just xenon light bulbs? A) Yes, this is the standard definition for the rated life for all lamps.

Q) Do xenon light bulbs operate cooler than halogen light bulbs? A) Yes, they do. Line voltage (120 volts) xenon lamps operate especially cooler than line voltage halogen lamps, which can become extremely hot.

Q) Are xenon light bulbs dimmable? A) Definitely, and dimming a xenon lamp will, of course, increase its average life even more than the rated life.

Q) What kind of dimmer should be used with xenon light bulbs? A) If the low voltage xenon lamp (12 volts or 24 volts) is powered by an electronic transformer, then the dimmer should be one that is designed to control an electronic low voltage transformer. If the low voltage xenon lamp (12 volts or 24 volts) is powered by a magnetic transformer, then the dimmer should be one that is designed to control a magnetic low voltage transformer. If, however, the xenon lamp is line voltage (120 volts), then the dimmer should simply be a line voltage dimmer.

Q) What “kind of light” is given off by xenon light bulbs? A) Xenon lamps have a color temperature that is between ordinary incandescent and halogen. That is, the light from a xenon lamp is cooler in appearance than an incandescent lamp but warmer in appearance than a halogen lamp.

Q) Do I have to be concerned about touching a xenon light bulb with my bare hands? A) Unlike JC halogen lamps, xenon lamps may be handled with bare hands without experiencing premature lamp failure. (Caution: always wait for the xenon lamp to cool down before touching it.)

Q) Can I replace my halogen light bulbs with comparable xenon light bulbs? A) Yes, as long as the xenon lamp has the same wattage rating, the same voltage rating, the same type of base (bipin, wedge, festoon, etc.), and the same shape and size glass envelope as the halogen lamp.

Getting Rid of Runoff Water

Water can be detrimental to your home. Any rain and snow falling on your roof is your home’s enemy, and should be eliminated as efficiently as possible. Accumulated water can easily seep into the structure of your home, whether on the roof or the foundation, and result in serious damage.

Preventing water from damaging your home is the first step towards a happy home. All that is needed for good surface drainage is a properly angled roof, gutters, downspouts, and downspout extensions.

The roof is the first step to eliminating runoff water. It should be appropriately angled according to the environment in which it stands. Higher pitched roofs are common in areas where there is heavier snowfall, as falling snow can easily slide off the roof. In areas where there is a lot of rainfall, it is important that roofs be pitched in a manner that allows rainwater to flow into the gutters. This will prevent water from accumulating on the roof and destroying it. Therefore, most homes in North America are not flat, as it is more difficult to eliminate runoff water.

Your roof angles runoff water into the gutters attached along its perimeter. It is important that with faster and heavier rainfall, gutters be larger to accommodate all runoff water. If gutters are too small, water will splash over the sides and still be able to cause damage to your home.

Gutters should be checked and cleaned on a routine basis. Any leaks should be sealed with caulking, while debris clogging the gutters should be removed. It may be a time consuming task, but it will save you the grief caused by severe damage that could potentially destroy your home.

The vertical piping connected to the gutters are the downspouts. Downspouts forge a path for runoff water to be able to reach the ground. Like your gutters, they should be sized appropriately so that all water can be collected without spillage and be cleaned and checked routinely for leaks. Normally, downspouts are attached at the corners of a house. For surface drainage, a curved connection at the end to angle draining water away from the foundation is common. However, this is not sufficient to prevent water from leaking into your basement and adversely affecting the foundation of your home.

Which is why downspout extensions are required. Downspout extensions simply attach to the bottom of downspouts. Extending a few feet away from your home, they collect runoff water and direct it well away. A good downspout extension will also disperse the pressure of draining water so that it does not hit the ground heavily.

Distressed Kitchen Cabinets – A Fun and Easy Technique That is Impossible For You To Mess Up!

Do you want to create ‘distressed look’ kitchen cabinets and give a whole new look to your kitchen or other areas? In decorative arts, distressing is the art of making pieces look very old and worn. Distressed cabinets are used to give a kitchen a vintage, antique style. There are many methods of aging wooden furniture. Mostly these involve removing layers of paint in uneven patches, leaving remnants of layers that show different colors, or even bare wood beneath. The aim is to have a ‘look’ that is rustic, imperfect and aged. Have you seen those ‘distressed’ pieces in trendy furniture shops where the distressing method has obviously been to press imprints into the timber or wood, with an instrument in places precisely measured to be equidistant from one another? This is not what we are after!

We want to end up with a piece that is very authentic looking and looks as though it has been aged naturally over the decades. You don’t achieve this by whacking at the wood with a sledge-hammer, either! Sandpaper and paint stripper are used to remove old paint and to get back to the bare wood. The finished piece can be refinished with glaze (thinned paint) or varnish, if wanted. Can I distress kitchen cabinets myself? Yes, you can easily do this! This is a good ‘finishing’ technique for beginners and as long as you are accepting of how your piece will turn out, you can have a lot of fun creating a set of antique-looking cabinetry in your kitchen.

You’ll need sandpaper of differing grades of coarseness, brushes and some light colored paints. All available from your local hardware store. These techniques can be applied to many surfaces such as wood, glass, metal, stone, concrete, plaster and paint. The Shabby-Chic style has made antiquing techniques very popular. And, these cabinets look great in a kitchen along with the ‘right’ accessories.

Techniques: Deliberately sand, dent, scrape and gauge out little dents and holes in the cabinet faces and tops. To distress the wood, you can use a chain to throw against the wood, a screwdriver to gauge, a medium sized hammer to implement dents. Keep sanding in between these activities. Now you can use the and stain or varnish you’ve chosen to darken the wood. You’ll find that a light colored varnish, such as a marine varnish, will look wonderful as it will bring out all the beauty of the grain of the wood as well as having the added bonus of being waterproof. This is really very necessary for kitchen cabinetry as things are always getting damp, if not wet.

You can buy antiquing paints and varnishes to apply on the top in layers or patches, one layer above the last. To add to the aging look, water down the colors with thinners or water. This will look like a color wash. As the paint dries, keep sanding little areas to give a worn finish. If you like, you can add a crackle varnish as the last layer – this will give an antique appearance. Take some off again with a light sand in a few places to show how the cabinet has been worn.

Add some lovely knobs or handles in wrought iron to finish the cabinets.

So, you see, totally fool-proof! By following these techniques, you’ll have beautiful distressed kitchen cabinets for your vintage style kitchen. Every piece is of unique interest and once you add some accessories such as open shelving displays of china, you’ll be very pleased with the look you have achieved! This technique is especially good for country style and rustic kitchens.

A Few Kitchen Remodel Tips Could Save You Lots of Time and Money!

Thinking about the financial aspects of your kitchen remodeling project before you start spending money is not only wise, but necessary! You do not want to get half way into it and discover you may have to get a loan or stop all together.

Understanding the rate of return on your investment (ROI) while keeping in mind how it can pay off is possibly the best of the kitchen remodel tips. In most cases, a remodel will pay for itself (and maybe more) when you sell your home. But you have to be diligent. Remodeling projects have a way of getting out of hand, if we’re not careful.

Generally, kitchen remodels are the highest pay-back projects you can do. But, they’re the also the most expensive sometimes. Average major remodels can pay you back by about 91% and minor remodels will pay back at close to 99% of your investment. These are averages, so its good to realize that the numbers (91% and 99%) are the average return, meaning that just as many people got back more than that as less than.

So, first: Decide on a budget! Not just pulling figures out of the air because, as the numbers above show, many people actually loose money on their kitchen remodels. The smart ones MAKE money. The most important of the kitchen remodel tips is to create a workable plan, including a budget, at the very beginning. This means finding out what’s out there, deciding on what will work best for your family and ferreting out the best deals. Your goal should be to have a dynamite kitchen for the cost of a firecracker!

Block out some time to go to the big box retailers, plumbing stores and design stores (lighting, tile, flooring, etc.). Talk to anyone who you think can offer insight or help. Be open to ideas. Scrimping in one area may allow you to splurge in anotherwhich could make a tremendous difference to the finished project! If you’ll be doing the work yourself (and you should nowadays) you’ll need to actually draw what you have in mind. Nothing professional (or even artistic) but something you can show to members of your family, the people at the home improvement stores and other places to get your ideas across. Get a pad of blue-line graph paper (8-1/2X11) and use a pencil. No ruler or straight-edge, just pad and pencil.

Consider opening up a wall to allow the kitchen to have visual access to other areas (dining room, living room) which creates the illusion of more space for both areas. Define the kitchen space by adding a soffit, sloping a ceiling or building an island or peninsula where the wall was. If you entertain, this is especially important as it will allow those in the kitchen to stay connected to others outside the kitchen. Also, look into laminate flooring. Its inexpensive, warm, comes in lots of styles and is very easy to clean.

Kitchen lighting has come a long way, baby! Thoughtfully consider combining direct lighting with indirect lighting. And, forget those huge fluorescent ceiling fixtures. They’re harsh and bad for the environment. Today, small eco-frendly lighting comes in hundreds of iterations and you can find these in beautiful direct and indirect lighting systems. Under cabinet, ceiling mount, recessed, spot, flood and in-cabinet are some of the designs you have to work with. NOTE: In most states you’ll need to work with an electrician for major installations.

And, always keep safety in mind. If you have small children, factor in cabinet door locks, oven locks, non slip flooring, childproof outlet covers and never leave knives lying around. In fact, your kitchen will be much safer if you simply remember that accidents (slips, cuts, shocks and burns) happen in a flash. Design to eliminate or reduce these possibilities. For more information and tips, go to RemodelQuickTips.com and click on KITCHEN TIPS in the left hand navigation list.

Upgrading Your Home With Your Tax Return

Take your tax refund and put it to good use. Invest it in your house. Even with housing prices falling over the past two years, the experts agree that making improvements and upgrades on your home is a safe and economically wise way to invest your money. More importantly, there are few features of your house more important than a kitchen and bathroom. These are the two most popular areas of the house. Many house hunters will tell you that curb appeal is essential, but once you get past that, the kitchen stands out as the most important feature of any house. This simply leads to what makes a kitchen stand out and it is the furniture of the kitchen or by a better name; the kitchen cabinets.

The average tax refund is right around $2500.00 this is actually the perfect amount for a kitchen. I know what youre thinking. Where am I going to buy quality kitchen cabinets for $2500 (twenty five hundred dollars)? Well if you were going to go the traditional route and buy assembled cabinets, then you are going to pay around triple that cost or in other words about $8,000. (Eight thousand dollars). Instead you are going to do the smart thing with your money and your going to buy the newest and best way to save money on a kitchen renovation: RTA Kitchen Cabinets! Yes RTA kitchen cabinets are fast becoming the best method of saving money and producing a quality kitchen. You can have a first class, solid wood faced kitchen and a third of the cost of a regular kitchen cabinet, if you go with RTA style kitchen cabinets.

RTA is not a brand, rather a style of cabinetry. You are more than likely familiar with some form of RTA products. Every big box retail store sells them, but beware, none of the big box retailers carry quality RTA kitchen cabinets. Why you ask? Because all super stores are not in the business of selling quality, these stores are only trying to get you the best price and the best looking product. No argument there, these mega stores have some nice looking products at a great price, but as for RTA kitchen cabinets, stay away and buy from an online retailer.

Yes buying RTA kitchen cabinets is simply the best way to purchase cabinets. If your lucky enough to have a direct importer of kitchen cabinets nearby you, then you dont need to buy online, but if not, shop online and see the difference in quality and price. The best RTA kitchen cabinet (and RTA Bathroom Vanity) websites will be at the top of any RTA kitchen cabinet search. These stores will offer solid wood faced cabinets and paneled wood sides. No particle board will be used in the better RTA kitchen Cabinets.

Finally in review, go online to save gas money and time by shopping on the internet. Even if youre totally against recycling or saving the environment, you will still be doing your own part to help — by shopping online. You will be creating less pollution (you will not be driving) and you will be supporting businesses that have found a new a better way to sell products thus saving building materials, energy, and land use. So not only will you be saving thousands of dollars on your kitchen cabinets, but you will be doing your part to help the environment.

Does The Bathroom Show You As A Person

Bathrooms are made for people that want to implement their own ideas and a put their name on their own bathroom suites. People would normally sit down with their partner and glance through a couple of glossy magazines before approaching any retail shops that sells bathroom suites. In a bathroom suite you have to consider the whole of the items that you get with a bathroom set.

So items such as a mirror, basin sink, the basin pedestal, the toilet cistern, the actual toilet and toilet seat, and then theres the bath and the shower cubicle and shower enclosure. These are just some of the individual things that you need to choose for the bathroom suites. You then have to put that into perspective where just with in the first category such as mirrors for example where you have so many varieties to choose from within the mirror section.

Within the mirror sections you need to concentrate on four to five categories, the first being that youve got your standard mirror but within this you have so many shapes to choose from. Shapes such as an standard square mirror, then you have an rectangle shape, as well as an oval shape. Although there are several mirror shapes each mirror would have different several different fashion designs on the actual face side of the product. Then you have mirrors that are illuminated from the back of the face where it transforms the bathroom complete when its dark in the room.

Most mirrors would tend to have a cabinet behind it, as this is very useful for putting any items in the bathroom away from small children so these mirror cabinets are extremely handy for putting it in the bathroom and as part of the bath suite. The same goes for bathroom taps where you have literally several hundreds to choose from. Small basin taps, to large freestanding bath taps, it does have to match the bath that you buying. Theres no point in installing big bathroom taps when the bath you have is a very small bath.

When people look at buying taps for the bathroom suite, then they have a first choice to make which is generally that the taps can be bought as individual taps or that can be bought as a set collection. Within the set collection there is everything single tap that is required in the bathroom suite from the basin, to the bath, to the bath shower, the bidet and the freestanding tap.

So all the designs of the items are the same, the colour is the same and the quality is also the same throughout the bathroom. Sometimes when you do buy an individual item it might not have the same quality and standard as the ones that you might all ready have in the bathroom suite. So its all always best practice and routine that when buying an individual items its always best to buy the full set so you know that the quality of the products are the same.

The Basics of Drywall

In the recent past, many American homes contained walls that were made of gypsum plaster – a combination of powder and water applied over a wire mesh. This process was rather lengthy and in an effort to meet the demands of a growing population and need for faster building, drywall was invented.

Also known as plasterboard, drywall is made of pre-dried plaster panels: plaster or wood pulp or other materials. Used primarily to form the interior walls of houses, your contractor may erect drywall as part of building a home addition, garage, or even as part of refinishing your basement.

While you’re patiently waiting for your contractor to build your private masterpiece, you’ll appreciate how well things start to come together and look almost complete once drywall is erected.

Drywall Is Fast!

Drywall comes as sheets of plasterboard of various sizes. Depending upon the use of a room, your contractor may choose thicker plasterboard especially in a room for young children and bouncing toys. Thinner plasterboard is appropriate for areas of the house used less frequently. Using these panels, your contractor will essentially line them up against the studs of the wall’s structure and hammer the sides of them into the wood. The process is repeated when applying drywall to the ceiling as well.

Although measurements and secure nailing is important, the artistry of drywall begins during the taping stage. Taping is the process of concealing the joints between drywall panels. It isn’t hard to imagine that placing drywall panels next to each other creates unsightly lines or gaps. These gaps are called joints and taping conceals them. But this isn’t ordinary tape that we’re talking about.

Signs Of A Good Drywall Job

Contractors tape drywall by first covering its joints with cement, then with a paper strip, and then with more cement. After using a few smoothing techniques, it’s hard to distinguish where a drywall panel starts and ends. In a good drywall job, it’s also almost impossible to find where the panels were nailed into the studs behind them.

And a good dry Waller knows how to patch holes as well. In the past, we were told that repairing a hole by stuffing it with newspaper and patching it with material like Spackle is just fine. Professional contractors will tell you however, that although this method works, it leaves weak spots and there’s a better method that requires the expertise of a professional dry Waller.

Two Signs of A Good Drywall Contractor

Good drywall contractors follow up their initial nailing with a set of second long nails or screws. The second set of nails acts as reinforcement – ensuring that your walls won’t fall down during an important family event or while sleeping! They’re also careful to mix up a batch of cement that doesn’t form air bubbles in the wall’s seams upon drying.

These are just a couple of strategies that your drywall contractor will use to create a surrounding just as secure as the foundation that it sits on.

A Modern Tap Requires Modern Appliances

When we have put a new kitchen in our homes we all want to make sure that it reflects our personality and we want to complete something that we can show off to our friends and family, its only human. And we will all shop for hours till end until we find the right finishing touches for any room but very much so for the kitchen.

When shopping for your kitchen appliances you need to make sure you look in the following items:

– Dishwashers – Microwave – Fridge – Gas Cooker – Kitchen Mixer

One common thing that people will take into account when shopping is to make sure that all the appliances coordinate with each other. Because it is fine to put brown kitchen worktop with white tiles. But you then need to shop to buy the same coloured appliances. You may either choose from black shiny, black matt, chrome or white finished appliances colour. Any other colour and you may find it hard to shop for all the appliances with the same colour. Some colours that are hard to find are green, red or blue. Although you can have each appliance coloured by a specialist you will find that it is very expensive.

When buying a dish washer make sure you buy one that will be able to handle all the families dirty dishes in one load. It is very time taking to be loading two dishwasher loads when you have finished your daily kitchen chores.

You want a microwave that you can clean inside and out safely and quickly. You dont really want to buy a small microwave that is so small that you cant put a dinner plate into warm your food into.

Shopping for your fridge can be a daunting task if you have children. The reason being is that you may want to buy an American styled fridge where you can dispense water out without having to turn the tap on. These kind of fridges are like a playground to children because they can dispense water by poking into the back of the fridge, this can be a night mare for any parent let me tell you.

With a gas cooker you need to make sure that it is big enough to prepare you and your families meal on. Why a gas cooker you may say? Well with a gas cooker you can bake as they have a far better oven in terms of it can be heated to a higher degree.

When it comes to buying your kitchen mixer you really are spoilt for choice than all the other appliances. Because you can either choose to buy a kitchen mixer tap or pull out kitchen tap. Although the trend is the kitchen pull out tap because of its new feature like spraying water out and not simply just pouring water out people think that this modern style of tap will show how they as a person are. So be sure to buy and install a tap that you think will be able to show off to your family and friends when you host the grand opening of your new home or your kitchen.

Kitchen Cabinet Designs Tips

Kitchen cabinet doors can add to the beauty of your kitchen. The appearance of your kitchen cabinets rests on the quality of your cabinets. You can therefore completely change the look of your kitchen simply by changing the doors of your kitchen cabinets. Good kitchen cabinet design is also important if you want to get the most storage use possible out of your available storage space, and this should also be the goal in the design of any kitchen.

To choose an elegant cabinet design, it maybe helpful to consider space availability as well as utensils and appliances that would need storage space. Cabinets are very significant in tidying up the kitchen, thus careful consideration of drawers. Kitchen cabinets can be designed to blend with the overall make over of the whole kitchen and even the house. For smaller kitchen, color is very significant as to lighten up your smaller space and taller cabinet design can appear to expand the room.

When you have all the ideas you can handle, you can now use the online kitchen cabinet design to find the resources to get your planning underway. You can find some web sites that will let you play with design plans, allowing you to see how your ideas will look once they are implemented. You will be able to get sample designs and details you will need like the layout of your new cabinets and the type of materials you want your cabinets and countertops made from.

Generally speaking, stock cabinets come in three grades. First one is the standard, which is made from particleboard. It also consists of 4-sided drawer box that is glued and stapled. Second one is the midrange stock cabinet. The drawer boxes of these cabinets are much better than the standard one. Last but not the least is the higher-grade stock cabinet that features concealed hinges and plywood sides.

Knobs on kitchen cabinets also add to the style of the room. They can be found in solid brass material, aluminum that gives the kitchen a futuristic feel, and old world bronze. If you are going for the vintage feel in your kitchen, old world bronze may be a great option for you. The knobs are made to look and feel centuries old. The knob selection does not end just with those options.

Solid hardwood kitchen cabinets are available, but they’re going to have a hefty price tag. The first choice amongst cabinet-buyers is usually those built using a combination of solid wood and plywood. In most cases, plywood is both thicker and more durable than particleboard; however, particleboard will have less expansion.

An additional point of consideration is that many kitchen are tall enough to allow for upper and lower cabinets. You should go for these, even though they might seem more costly at first, simply because in the long run, when you’ve accumulated enough things in your room and you start to feel the need for more space, you will be happy to have additional space in your upper cabinets for things you don’t need every day.

If you happen to catch a glimpse of the kitchens in the neighborhood, you’ll find that one thing is common in almost all the kitchens. Well, it is none other than the kitchen cabinet. The cabinet occupies most of the space of the kitchen, thus enabling you to make maximum usage of the available space. When cabinet is such an important piece of furniture in the kitchen, it becomes necessary to give due consideration to the kitchen cabinet design.