Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Kitchen Elegance

Many consider the kitchen to be the most important room in the house, the family hub where day to day life is spent. When designing a new kitchen it is vital to produce a space that is practical, aesthetically pleasing and comfortable. Part of this design process is to find worktops that are sympathetic to the decoration and provide a feeling of luxury. The sheer variety of worktops out there means that the choice can be extremely complex; hopefully this article will help make this decision easier. The material used for kitchen worktops is the first concern. Popular choices include granite, composite stone, hard and soft woods and the cheaper laminate. Naturally all have pros and cons whilst varying immensely in cost as well as quality. The most expensive of the materials used for worktops is solid granite. The look created however can be considered timeless and ultimately elegant. The main benefits of this material are its strength and beauty although as it is somewhat expensive, many redesigning their kitchen are put off. If price is a large issue but you want a stone look, composites can provide the perfect solution. Modern manufacturing means that all manner of colors and designs are now available in composite, including luxurious black and even worktops that sparkle in the sunlight. Wood should always be considered as the material for worktops for it natural beauty and homely appeal. The types of wood used are wide and diverse including cherry, walnut, beech, iroko and of course, oak. If designing a new kitchen yourself, wood can also be installed without professional services; further reducing the cost of the makeover. Walnut is one of the most sumptuous woods used for worktops. The grain of walnut is so distinctive that many would consider it a design feature in its own right. Along with the warm colouration, walnut should definitely be a major consideration. Cherry is such a dark and richly colored wood that some designers are put off. As an original choice however it is unrivalled, while the deep red may result in a somewhat dark kitchen, as the wood ages its elegance and beauty truly shine through. Oak has been used in kitchen design for centuries for its classical style and strength. Like cherry it will age gracefully and create a kitchen that oozes country charm and warmth. While it may be commonly used, the disparate grain patterns can make oak an original choice for worktops. Iroko is a relatively new material in the world of kitchen design, it is a dark would that offers much. Sometimes labelled the African teak, it is both strong and stylish. Dark woods however are not to everyone 's taste, if a lighter wood is preferable, beech can be considered a great solution. With light grain and an even lighter color, beech can help those who do not like the oppressiveness of dark woods create a kitchen that is light and airy. Laminate worktops, while not as high quality as either the wood or stone variants previously discussed are a far more affordable option. Modern laminates are wonderfully styled with a variety of patterns that can create an original kitchen. Requiring less maintenance than stone or wood, they are also the choice for those who want worktops without the hassles of staining or sanding. The choice of material for your worktops is ultimately your decision. While cost is always a vital constituent of the choice it is vital to remember the importance of the kitchen space in family life at all stages of the decision making process. A happy kitchen means a happy home and the choice of materials can be fundamental in creating a space that is practical and above all comfortable.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Serene Sounds

This unique fountain channels the essence of the old Greek statues to create a stunning fountain. Shown here with an Aged Limestone finish. Crafted from strong cast stone, you can rest assured that this fountain will be sure to last for years to come. Pump and connections are included. It can be found at You can also make your own urn fountain with these instructions: An easy way to create an inexpensive fountain is to convert a garden pot--any size--into a bubbling water feature. Place it on an apartment terrace on in a nook on your patio. Find out how to construct a bubbling urn and make your own small-scale instant water garden. Or, make your own indoor tabletop fountain. At HGTV there is also a link to design your own backyard waterfall,1785,HGTV_3575_1397648,00.html

Relax your mind and enjoy the quiet sounds of nature on the patio or your garden while capturing the serenity of the water in the background.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Personal Touch of Glass

Creating your own personal coffee table and end tables can be endless....begin by looking around your home for a base you may already have, ie...old books stacked and topped with round glass can create an interesting conversational piece as well as display your collectibles. Select the size for your glass, this will depend on the size of your room. Your base should be the same height of your sofa and or chairs in the room. If you collect decorative boxes and they fit with the theme and your colors, this will make another great conversational piece. If you select a large size for the glass top, make sure you place your base stacks equally for balance.

Another idea for table tops is to use a round metal deco piece. Michael's usually carries these as well as Kirkland's. Choose a piece that doesn't have large holes in the deco, imagine placing a glass on the table top, or place a glass holder large enough to cover an area where a glass may be placed.

I was given a statue of an elephant which had a flat top for example, I painted it black and topped it with a small round glass top and placed a plant on top. It wasn't high enough for and end table, however, it makes a great accent piece placed in a foyer.

I always suggest round table tops because you don't want sharp corners which could be hazardous to children or you own legs. Rectangle shapes may be used if you are making a higher table such as a buffet table. Of course you height will take care of the hazard issues. The base for a buffet may be more difficult but still attainable, such as using large decorative statues which may have a flat area to place your glass for balance. These may be found at pottery yards. Good luck on your personal creations, send me pictures of yours and I will publish them to share your creative ideas.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Around the world, there are people who love to collect books, besides reading them. To store these books they usually use some kind of bookcases that are specially made just for this purpose. At the moment, sophisticated and elegantly styled antique bookcases are indeed very popular. People who are fond of collecting the antique pieces mostly prefer this style because it adds glamour to your home as well as keep the books safe and well displayed. You can find bookcases in various attractive styles, sizes and colors. Normally, the woods that are being used are oak, mahogany and walnut. You will find a wide variety of antique bookcases with several attractive styles and designs according to the period. You can choose from revolving bookcases to narrow Georgian styles and from adjustable to inlaid bookcases. Antique bookcases are available in various sizes to suit to your requirements. This type of a bookcase has several shelves to provide enough space to store the books as well as collectibles. It has glass doors and metal handles and may be decorated with metal designs.
The style and functions of bookcases may differ from room to room. Keep in mind that whatever you select, it should suit your home decor and serve both decorative and practical value. A built-in bookcase is comparable to the complex as custom built units with doors or just like shelving fixed to the wall. If you build the bookcase to the ceiling, you will get more storage space. Built-in bookcases represent a long-term investment, as they become a permanent part of the home and add to the resale value. Finally, either free standing or built-in bookcases, will add a lovely focal point to your room.