If you’re like most people, finding a unique and heartfelt gift for your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day can cause a little anxiety. So, set aside the flowers, box of candy and don’t make those reservations just yet, because we’ve got some great tips on how to ensure this year’s gift will be remembered for years to come.
Being with the person you love is no different than being in a home you love. And there are few things more exciting to a relationship, or a home, than taking something that’s already good and making it even better. Granite Transformations can take your living space to the next level, creating an ambiance that reignites your passion for your living space, and is guaranteed to make your significant other smile.
Kissing the Cook
Every room in your home gets its fair share of traffic and activity, but none more than the kitchen, which is often the heart of every household. It doesn’t matter if you’re living in an older Victorian-style or a newly-built modern home, changing the layout, or just improving the overall feel of a kitchen, can improve more than the aesthetic.
Inspiration for your home can be found anywhere. Whether it’s a show on TV, a spread in a magazine, or a hotel keep an eye out for ideas to implement into your designs. Here are a few rooms that stood out to us from our favorite hotels across the world.
Harbour Rocks Hotel
This gorgeous hotel in Sydney, Australia is a perfect example of how to blend two styles while creating your own distinct look. With rooms ranging from modern to classic, the two aesthetics blend together in the lobby, creating a comfortable yet minimalist space. Every room here is immaculately designed, but it’s the kitchen that stands out to us.
Painted in warm colors and mixing stone, tile, and granite, this room is surprising to the eye. The white granite countertop offsets the darker colors beautifully, and the shelf space is minimally designed and elegant. If you have a lot of space to work with, consider a modern look like this. Bonus points for big bay windows, letting in lots of natural light.
If you’re thinking about remodeling, the kitchen and bathroom are two major areas that can increase the value of your home. Consider upgrading the following key points during your next renovation project.
In an older home, a great place to start is your lighting. While visiting a local hardware or home improvement store, you may see that you have out-of-date fluorescent boxes or fixtures adorning your kitchen. A contractor can remove the old lighting and replace it with contemporary and subtle recessed lighting, or install pendants over islands, tables and sinks for a bolder, modern feel. There are many budget-friendly options that will make a big difference in your kitchen’s look and the value of your home.
Granite Transformations is a great resource for commercial remodeling with its durable and stylish products
At Granite Transformations, we like to take the hassle out of the remodeling process, especially when it comes to more detail-oriented commercial remodels. We have a lot of experience with accommodating commercial remodeling now that our products are widely used in hotels, airports, hospitals, restaurants, retail stores, spas and other businesses around the world.
Granite Transformations products are perfect for commercial spaces due to their stunning appearances and incredible durability. In addition, our expert design consultants and installation team provide top-notch customer service. Plus, Granite Transformations products are backed with a 5 year commercial warranty.
The commercial remodeling process with Granite Transformations begins with a free consultation to discuss and outline all project needs. We then help select the best products and colors for your project.
Our granite surface is perfect for a restaurant kitchen or counters, lobby area or doctor’s office due to its low maintenance and durability. Granite Transformations’ gorgeous and functional recycled glass surface is the perfect solution for flooring, which can withstand a high amount of foot traffic. Our mosaic tile is perhaps our most versatile product, being able to adapt to just about any decorative space, including wall murals, sculptures, pools and beyond.
This month, our featured remodel comes from News 10, the ABC affiliate in Sacramento. The Sacramento showroom worked with the news station on updating its break room, making the space feel more modern and updated. As you can see by the before and after photography, Granite Transformations changed the space through new countertops, a new backsplash and cabinet refacing.
There are many good reasons to undertake a home remodeling project. Remodeling can replace worn fixtures and inefficient appliances with greener, more aesthetically pleasing versions. Such improvements can raise a home’s resale value, or can make the home feel new again. Less frequently considered is that a home improvement project is an ideal time to schedule a termite inspection, and to take pest control measures.
Basement, foundation, and roof repairs are among the largest and most involved renovation projects. Regular professional inspections of these areas can avoid the frustration of undertaking a repair, only to discover that a larger, more expensive problem must be fixed first. These areas also need special attention for pest control, including an annual termite inspection. To keep insects from entering, make sure that the mortar and weather-stripping are intact along the home’s foundation. Apply caulk to any cracks found along the foundation. Pests enter attics and basements in search of shelter from the weather, and will nest in cardboard boxes. Nesting can be discouraged by storing items in sealed plastic containers and by using a dehumidifier.
Getting a new appliance doesn’t just mean to replace an older model with one that looks better, uses less energy, and has more features; it also means an opportunity for a good cleaning. Large appliances often accumulate debris that attracts pests, especially when appliances leak. Dampness can cause floor damage that requires further repair, and it can attract termites and silverfish. Make sure that appliances are free of leaks, and give them a good cleaning to be sure that there are no spiders or other pests hiding in them. Do the same with the electrical panel.
Plumbing repairs raise a home’s resale value, and renovation projects make a good excuse to replace aged plumbing fixtures and pipes. Even if the plumbing is in good shape, it won’t always be, so it makes sense to replace it while the rest of the house is already torn up. In the process, leaks that attract insects will be repaired, and cracks that allow insects entry will be sealed.
Air conditioning and heating units rarely get close inspection from homeowners, which is why they make ideal places for insects to hide. They also can leak, which can attract insects that cause damage far in excess of what it costs to inspect and maintain the units. Keep those units repaired now to avoid termite treatment later.
Replacement of doors, windows, and baseboards can reinvigorate a room, and can improve energy efficiency. These are also places that are prone to develop gaps and cracks that give pests access to the house. Make sure that all door and window seals are airtight, and that no moisture can get in. Weather-stripping can be inexpensive and easy to apply, and not only keeps bugs out, but also reduces energy costs and noise.
Laminate countertops can retain moisture as they get old. That’s why every homeowner needs to evaluate the condition of their countertop and determine if investing in granite countertops would be beneficial. Along with preventing moisture, drains must be cleaned and disinfected regularly, or they will draw ants and drain flies.
Attention to these details will pay off in savings on repair costs and in improved resale value. Be sure to conduct routine professional inspections, because serious damage can be easily caused by termites that have been devouring your home for an extended period of time.
Author Bio: Rose McMillan is an experienced pest control professional, turned freelance writer. She has worked with several reputable pest control companies in the past, but now seeks to share her knowledge with others in the blogging world. Sources: Terminix Pest Library.
Architects and designers have always faced the challenge of presenting a design to clients who are unable to visualize at all. There have been 3D visualization aids available for many years, but for most projects without a substantial design development budget these options were cost prohibitive.
Technological advancements in the 3D modeling industry have now made 3D architectural rendering a viable option for any project. This offers a great advantage to businesses offering design work as part of their sales process. A skilled 3D designer can use the specific finishes that their customer desires and allow their customer to see, for example, how well the finishes in a proposed renovation will coordinate with finishes in their existing home.
A typical project drawing can leave a lot to the imagination:
When combined with a 3D rendering, everyone knows what to expect:
A complete 3D rendering will feature the customers chosen finishes on every surface, e.g., wallpaper, flooring, paint colors, various wood species and colors, and granite countertops, etc. Various lighting options can have a big impact on the overall look of the project. Rendering the project in 3D allows the client to see what impact different kinds of lighting can have on the project, and the impact of the natural lighting of the proposed project.
This trend is reflected in the software being used in the design industry. Most of the design programs have begun to make 3D visualization a key part of their software packages. There are several programs now that allow a homeowner to visualize their proposed project without the help of a design professional, such as the iGRANITE iPad app by Granite Transformations. This app allows users to upload a picture of their own home or office and experiment with different finishes on the countertops walls and floors in realtime.
3D architectural visualization allows the construction process to go more smoothly for everyone, as the contractor can clearly establish the client’s expectations and avoid the typical “I didn’t think it would look like that” situation. This helps the contractor to avoid project delays, and the owner to prevent costly change orders. As more and more consumers come to expect to see their project before they build it, 3D presentations are becoming the standard in the design industry.
Wheelchairs and accessible homes are rarely associated with style. I suspect much of the thinking is that if you are in wheelchair then you have more pressing issues. This type of thinking is unfortunate given that it is perfectly possible to build a stylish and accessible housing.
Style and accessibility can be combined with a bit of forethought and research. There are a large range of people and shops out there offering a range of accessibility supplies that avoid the clinical utilitarianism that poorly thought out accessible housing can suffer from.
Steps and Stairs: Stairs and steps are near universally present and unless you are planning to move into a bungalow then a stairlift will be the cheapest option for dealing with the stairs. These come in a wide variety and can be upholstered to fit in with the rest of your décor. If you would like something less obtrusive you can also get wheelchair lifts fitted, which are safer and easier to hide but far more expensive.
Steps are somewhat easier to deal with as you should be able to replace them with a ramp. While temporary and portable ramps are good options a permanent ramp can easily be adapted to fit in with your house. For example a wood ramp combined with a wooden exterior will provide an easy transition, both physically and aesthetically.
Hallways: The basic physical requirement for hallways is that they need to be well lit and a minimum of 36 inches wide so as to allow devices such as Zimmer frames and wheelchairs to change direction. Rugs and other tripping hazards should be avoided or taped down to minimize the risk. Laminated wood flooring with an anti-slip coating is a good options. A better option is to get a well fitted wall to wall carpet, just avoid the shag pile as it can easily catch in wheels and is hard to move walkers over.
Bathroom: The greatest risk in the bathroom is falling. This makes anti slip flooring such as textured surfaces like tiling or vinyl vital. Tiling offers a great range of colours and sizes so it is easier to provide a stylish non slip surface that fits your bathroom. Grab bars are another essential feature of an accessible bathroom. Not only do they mean that if someone does slip they can break their fall but they also make it easier to move around the bathroom if you have problems with your legs. While typical option, coated in white plastic has a very clinical look, you can also find a range of more stylish steel and chrome options.
Kitchen: The main issues with kitchens are height and safety. For example wheelchair users and people who find it hard to stand in one place for long lengths of time may find that the standard height of work surfaces is dangerously high. The main problem is that having hot objects such as kettles, pots and pans at head height or above the user increases risk of spills. This means that low work surfaces with enough space to fit a chair underneath are a huge help. Most standard surfaces can be lowered to make them more accessible, though it can involve a lot of work. Similarly drawers and cabinets should come with pull out options to allow users to simply pull them out and reach down, rather than needing to lean over to get more access. Fortunately these changes can be made to most standard kitchens, meaning that there is no need to sacrifice style for accessibility.
For those considering remodeling a home or those considering building a home, there are a wide variety of flooring options. Regardless of the material, color or style that you are looking for, there may be an eco-friendly option that will suit your needs. Eco-friendly flooring is good because it helps reduce indoor pollutant levels. Carpeting in particular can introduce toxic chemicals into the home. In addition, carpeting also holds a variety of allergens that can cause long-term health concerns.
In addition to the health benefits that eco-friendly flooring offers, there are many environmental concerns that they address. Eco friendly floors are also generally being made without the use of harsh chemicals, the flooring is created from materials that are easily sustainable and provide long-lasting beauty to all homes.
Types of flooring available
Many people believe that eco-friendly flooring limits their options. However, this is not the case. Eco-friendly flooring options include hardwood, bamboo, cork, tiles and even carpeting. For those who have smaller budgets, there is also an option that is similar to linoleum.
For those who love the look of linoleum, they may want to consider Marmoleum for their kitchen or bathroom. Marmoleum is the eco-friendly option. Marmoleum contains no toxic volatile organic compounds, commonly called VOCs. Marmoleum is available in a wide variety of colors that are suitable for any home. This option is also easy to clean and is highly durable.
Eco-friendly tiling may be created from either glass or ceramic. These are great options for both kitchens and bathrooms. These tiles are made from recycled materials and offer years of long-lasting beauty. They are also available in a wide range of colors guaranteed to suit any home. These tiles resist scratching and are durable and easy to clean. Tiling can be used in playrooms, or any other room in the home.
Typically when we think of new carpeting, we think of the “new carpet smell” that nearly all of us have experienced at one time or another. This new carpet smell is the result of harsh chemicals that the carpeting has been treated with. These chemicals provide stain resistant coatings but also add to the toxicity of the carpeting. In addition to the chemicals in the carpeting, glues and padding also contain toxic chemicals.
Fortunately, there are some carpeting blends that are made from post-consumer recycled products. Some carpeting is also made of wool or jute and have fewer toxic chemicals and also provide long-lasting beauty. These eco-friendly options provide all the luxury of carpeting without the harmful chemicals. Eco-friendly padding and glues for installation are also available.
Wood floor options
Many of us love the look of hardwood floors. When you want the beauty of hardwood flooring but want to get this look with the ability to continue to protect the environment, there are options. Reclaimed wood flooring is created by using flooring that is discarded from homes that were destroyed or renovated. In fact, wine barrels and siding have also been used to create reclaimed wood floors. This wood is carefully processed to remove metal from nails, chemicals and other toxins and is remanufactured into suitable flooring.
FSC-Certified wood is available in oak, maple and cherry and has undergone testing by the Forest Stewardship Council. Suppliers are required to guarantee they are following strict guidelines in preserving the environment. These hardwood floors are not only beautiful, but the material to create them is guaranteed to be replaced through replanting.
Bamboo and cork flooring are also available for those who want the beauty of a hardwood floor without contributing to damaging the environment. Because bamboo grows quickly, it replaces itself very quickly, unlike hardwoods that may require as many as 150 years. In addition, bamboo is extremely durable. Cork flooring offers consumers several colors and textures and can be purchased as either planks or tiles. Cork is stripped from the lower part of plants and therefore does not completely remove them from their natural environment. Some of the best things about cork flooring is it provides an insulating factor in the home, deadens sounds and may help reduce heating costs.
Eco-friendly flooring can add beauty to your home without the addition of harmful chemicals. In addition, these floorings are processed without harming the environment. The options are broad enough that regardless of what type of floor you are interested in, there is an eco-friendly flooring solution that will meet your needs. As we learn more about our ecosystem, each of us has a responsibility to ensure that we are doing everything we can to contribute to keeping our ecosystem strong. Electing eco-friendly flooring may not only help improve the health of our families by keeping harsh chemicals out of our homes but also helps make sure that we are not depleting natural resources.