The Easiest Way to Update Your Kitchen

Overall you’re happy with your kitchen - but it’s needs… something. Your designer tells you all it needs is a change of cabinet hardware and you like that idea. After all, it’s a difference without the hassle and time of a major remodel.   But be careful. If it sounds too easy, it usually is. That’s not to say it can’t be done.  It’s just that one of the trickiest parts of kitchen design is to coordinate the hardware with the rest of the room. Jump in without a plan and you could end up with a mess.  Here’s what to consider before you take anything apart. Old knobs and cup pulls are easily replaced with new ones. However C and D-shaped hardware, favored by Universal Design, comes in different widths; and this is one time when bigger is better. Unfortunately, you can’t replace a five-inch handle with a seven-inch without leaving a hole. Or suppose you find a handle shape you really love and want to use it throughout the kitchen. It may take two to three coordinating styles to address the different sizes and shapes of your cabinetry. Placing knobs or cup pulls on cabinets and drawers near the sink can be counterproductive. This is where your hands are most likely to be wet or dirty. If your handles are small, require grasping or have a squeeze mechanism, it takes more effort to get them open. If this type of hardware is already in place, take the opportunity to change the drawer and door fronts to install hardware that’s larger and easier to use. Finally, in order to...

Bathroom Design Inspiration

“I don’t want my bathroom to look like everyone else’s.”  Find inspiration for a unique interior in unexpected ways. Possibly one of the reasons that you chose your home was its location. Consider integrating your surroundings into your bathroom.  It will make your space feel more expansive and will connect you with the outside world. If you live in an urban environment, choose metallic industrial tile or leave brick exposed on the walls. If you live near a beach, consider cabinetry painted in water tones and a custom wavy counter-top. If you love your backyard, a large glass wall with privacy glass, the coverage of plants and trees outside, or retractable shades can allow you to bathe at one with nature. You can also look inward instead by reflecting your family’s heritage in your bathroom. For example, Asian design features clean lines and simple architecture. Color schemes used in this type of space include black, beige, pale green, white, gray and red. A Scandinavian bathroom would appear minimalist with white and neutral colors. Focus on geometrical shapes and keep the wood cabinets natural. You can find design inspiration in piece of art that holds personal meaning for you and build your bathroom concept around it too. Just be aware that tubs and showers produce a lot of moisture and steam, which is a dangerous environment for matted pieces. It is better to opt for a decoration that doesn’t need to be framed like sculpture, painted canvas or plaster intaglios. Parisian bathroom style is particularly popular with a claw foot tub, a pedestal sink and colors that complement impressionist art...