No, I am not talking about green beer on St. Patrick’s Day, or green eggs and ham, but green in terms of selection of eco-friendly materials to complete your home remodel. Below is a guest post that describes some good ideas about how you can ‘think green’.
Making your home remodel as green as possible
When remodelling a home you have to make environmental concerns a priority now, not just because of government regulations and stipulations, but also because we have a duty to build buildings and homes that use as few resources as possible, will operate without depleting natural resources on an ongoing basis, and will stand the test of time and be durable and liveable for many years to come. This might sound like a challenge if you’re remodelling a home, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. It doesn’t mean your remodelled home has to be a complete off-the-grid tepee without electricity or running water, it just means that you should use approved green products and appliances when doing your constructions. Information about green solutions is readily available; just browse design and construction firms like Unique Design. Green design doesn’t have to affect the appearance of your remodel either, just the mechanics of it. Here are some pictures of green remodelled homes:
It is now very easy to power your kitchen or bathroom by using solar energy, so if you are doing works on your plumbing or light fittings you should think about this. Solar energy will also attract generous rebates from the government, meaning that your energy bill will dramatically decrease.
Plumbing fixtures are good place to focus your attention as well, as faulty or inadequate fixtures are responsible for huge amounts of leaking and water wastage. A good thing to do when in the midst of a remodel is to get an energy audit, which will show you exactly how and where your energy consumption is going. It might be a revelation to find out exactly how energy is used in your home, and then you’ll know what the big consumers are and how you can save on energy expenses. Most people find that energy is used for a few hours in the evening, across two rooms, the kitchen and the bathroom. As a general rule, good quality products are better for the environment because they use energy more efficiently and last longer, meaning that they stay out of our landfill for longer.
I was intrigued. I had not thought of using Pine as a wood species for kitchen cabinets before this request for a guest post crossed my desk. Because Pine is a softer wood, specific care needs to be taken to preserve it’s intended look. Pine is a less expensive wood and in the right setting can be a great option to consider for your kitchen cabinetry. Summer cabin up in Flagstaff, AZ need a face lift in the kitchen? Consider Pine wood.
I’ve Got Pine Kitchen Cabinets. Anything I Should Know?
Pine cabinets can be a stunning addition to any home decor, and this is especially true when you are going for a rustic home design. Log cabin furniture and cabinets that are made from pine give the home a more authentic log cabin feel. Pine cabinets require different care than other wood cabinets though.
Each piece of pine has unique irregularities that give pine its character. This gives pine a unique and beautiful texture as well. The beauty of pine is in its quality, and each piece is different from any other. Those knots and burls of wood make treatment and care of pine cabinets and log cabin furniture different from other wood pieces.
Pine wood is naturally soft and susceptible to climate changes. Temperature and the elements will affect the wood which will cause it to expand and contract. Water and humidity will cause the wood to expand. Heat and direct sunlight will cause the wood to shrink causing cracking. Pine wood cabinets will expand if subjected to water in any form not just humidity. This makes them especially delicate in the kitchen where water would need to be cleaned off the cabinets immediately, or damage could occur. Spills, spatters and the effects of daily use need to be cleaned off pine cabinets instantly.
Hot or cold items shouldn’t be placed directly on pine since they can mar the surface of the wood. Most cabinets will be covered with a counter top, but for those pieces that are stand-alone be especially conscious of using a place mat or potholder under hot plates.
Image Courtesy of refacingkitchencabinetscost.org
Care and Cleaning
Pine cabinets cannot be cleaned with detergents or soap. General everyday cleaning requires a duster to keep the cabinets free of dust or dirt. For more in-depth cleaning, a damp cloth may be used, but any moisture needs to be wiped away with a dry cloth immediately. The finish on pine cabinets is normally glossy and will not react well to harsh cleaners and polishes. Any polishing products should be made especially for pine wood. Aerosol sprays and polishes are not optimal for the care and treatment of pine, and silicon should be avoided at all costs.
The softness of pine and the effects of shrinking and expanding could make the hardware loose. Tighten the screws flush with the cabinets. Do not over-tighten them because it could split the wood, make it loose and eventually strip the screw holes. This need for tightening may happen periodically. It’s normal for pine and shouldn’t be a concern.
Pine will need to be re-treated every few months to maintain the surface of the wood. This can be done with a block wax that is not filled with heavy perfumes. Apply the wax to the entire surface both front and back as well as inside the cabinets. Pay particular attention to the surfaces that will see daily use. Those are the parts where the sheen will wear out faster.
With proper care, pine cabinets will last a lifetime and will be continue to be a spectacular showpiece in any rustic interior home design.
About the company:
JHE’s Log Furniture Place is a leading manufacturer and retailer of rustic log furniture. This company has a huge online store offering indoor and outdoor log furniture, as well as rustic décor and accessories. Its furniture is proudly made in the USA and the company has excellent customer service.
The guest post below high-lights the usual options discussed with one that might be a bit of a surprise. A hint it is used in commercial settings, been around for decades, might be found in laundry or mud rooms. When embarking upon a kitchen remodel, choosing the flooring is one of the biggest decisions along with selection of the cabinets and counter tops and of course the appliances. You need to consider the overall look and feel you are hoping to achieve, the maintainance of the material, and of course the cost when making your flooring choice. I would like to add CORK to the list of options to consider as well. Cork is soft underfoot and comfortable to stand on while working in a kitchen, easy to care for and eco-friendly. My personal kitchen has cork flooring and I absolutely love it!
Choosing the best flooring option for your new kitchen construction, remodel project or home renovation is not a concern that should be left to chance. The impact that the right flooring has on your interior environment and décor can be considerable; homeowners who choose their options with a bit more care may be rewarded with an end result that is able to suite their individual tastes far more effectively. Finding a tile flooring pattern to match your décor or choosing the hardwood flooring option that will provide just the right addition to your walls and cabinets will ensure that the kitchen of your dreams can be turned into a reality, one that will provide you with a more enjoyable and satisfying interior décor and atmosphere.
Hardwood flooring and other natural materials may allow you to create a cozier and welcoming environment. Different natural and hardwoods may offer you a wide range of color and tone options that may be perfect for creating a more rustic and comfortable atmosphere. Hardwood flooring can offer you a quality flooring solution that will make a wonderful complement for stained walls or cabinetry that features and unfinished appearance. Warmer than tile and more sturdy and substantial than laminate flooring, hardwood may be the material option that you have been searching for to complete the perfect kitchen.
The low-cost and superior durability of vinyl flooring has made it a very popular choice for home and apartment construction. The wide range of patterns, textures and styles that may be found for your floor will ensure that you have plenty of cost-effective options to select from. For home and property owners who are more concerned with an affordable and durable material, vinyl and laminate flooring options would be worth considering. Such materials can provide you with a way to reduce the overall costs of your renovation efforts.
Creating a more elegant and traditional kitchen environment may be possible with the use of tile flooring options. Tile has long been the material of choice for those whose tastes center on more traditional and classical aesthetics. Choosing the right tile for your renovation may provide you with a stunning way to accent your kitchen fixtures and overall design scheme, ensuring that you are able to create a more dramatic space. If vinyl flooring or laminate building materials are unable to provide you with the results you seek, tile flooring may offer you an option that will be far more appealing.
From vinyl flooring that will be able to provide a more affordable and cost-effective option for your building materials to the timeless elegance that the right tile selection may be able to provide, homeowners who are interested in creating the kitchen of their dreams will have plenty of options to choose from. Working with the right materials will ensure that your renovation efforts or new home construction will provide you with a more enjoyable environment and kitchen décor. Material selections that will allow you to more successfully express your taste and personal style will ensure that the time and expense you invest will provide you with a more enjoyable home and kitchen atmosphere.
Do you live in an apartment? An older home? A condominium? If so, you may have a small sized kitchen. Not to worry, small does not mean that your kitchen cannot look great and function well. What it does mean is that a little extra planning and creativity needs to go into your overall design planning process. Professional designers are trained to make the most of a space regardless of the size. Below is a guest post from our neighbors in Canada describing how they optimized the design of their small kitchen.
Bring out charm and efficiency to your small kitchen
Earlier on, I used to reside in Las Vegas with my parents. I used to be extremely proud of my house. We had a three-storied house with large rooms and huge courtyard in the front. It was extremely well-decorated with art and architecture from olden days. However, as the fate would have it, I fell for a professional home re-modeler from Orillia who was considerably less well-off than my family. I started residing in Orillia. The apartment was small, especially with a very small kitchen. The work area was much less than what I was used to working in. Initially, of course, I faced a lot of difficulties in cooking, serving, and cutting vegetables. However, the professional expertise of my husband finally came to the rescue. He suggested me a few handy tips to remodel the kitchen and give a new charm to it.
Here in this article I would like to discuss some of those tips with my readers, so that they can also make their kitchen more warm and cozy.
Add storage unit: Jack (my husband, in case you wonder) suggested me to make the kitchen efficient and functional. To do so, he asked me to incorporate a lot of cabinets while planning kitchen design, he actually suggested me to check rock wood kitchen design, in Orillia. To choose some innovative designs, we went through magazines and visited many showrooms of kitchen cabinets in Orillia.
While the floor space in the kitchen was small, he suggested me to create cabinets on the walls and under the sink. These helped me a lot in storing jars, containers, utensils, cleaning product and many others. He also advised me to install open shelves on the walls to stack plates and mount hooks behind the door to hang frying pans and cups. Being a professional home re-modeler, of course, my husband has amazing taste of colors. While the tiles and other accessories in my apartment were Grey, he suggested me to choose ivory color for the cabinets that added a special charm to my kitchen.
Create efficiency: Earlier my kitchen was quite inconvenient to work in. There was hardly any space to perform the task. Every time I had to go out to the dining area for cutting vegetables and serving food. However, now after incorporating counter tops, my kitchen has become a little more functional and efficient. I incorporated a rectangular shaped counter top as suggested by my husband. The counter top I chose (rather us, my husband and me) was made out from stainless steel, because we thought that stainless steel would really complement our small kitchen and give a modern look to it.
Mirror the kitchen: My husband told me that mirrors work magic in a small kitchen. I listened to him and installed a big framed mirror on a wall. Trust me, the illusion of the mirror made my kitchen look more spacious and large. Besides that, it added a new charm to my kitchen and made it look more appealing.
Bring in more light: It is always necessary to have a free passage of fresh light and air in a kitchen, especially when it is small. So, we decided to give a new treatment to windows. Are you thinking of broadening your windows? No, certainly not! We did not do any such thing. We simply added a new drape and curtain in the window made of lighter material. If you think that this sounds little inane, then try this and see the effect. Our kitchen now looks more bright and fresh than ever before!
Kitchen walls: Special care needs to be taken for kitchen walls, specially the area near the gas burners and oven. These parts are exposed to heat and water, and requires easy cleaning surface. Glazed Tiles are used as covering along with stainless steel wall panels to reinforce it and make it reliable option.
These are some of the handy ways we adopted to make our small kitchen efficient and make it look charming and appealing than before.