Building/Design

The Power of Two Dishwashers

Installing two dishwashers in the kitchen has become a popular trend in home design, and it’s not surprising. Having an extra dishwasher makes life more convenient. No longer do you have to put dirty dishes in the sink if the dishes in the washer are clean. Plus, if you’re busy working and running kids here and there, you can live out of the clean dishwasher and fill up the empty one. Who doesn’t need that leeway?

These two dishwashers are right next to each other, but there are other options. If you’re rebuilding your kitchen, consider putting a dishwasher on the right side of the sink and the other on the left side. This way you’re close to the cabinets and sink when you need put things away or rinse off the food from the plates.

If you have an extra sink in your island, maybe you will want the second dishwasher built in here. Double dishwashers are a great addition to your kitchen, and they can make your life easier.

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Simple Stone Path

There are many variations on creating a stone path, and you can create visually appealing stone designs without too much effort.

Thick paving stones require minimal preparation. All you need to do is dig away the grass, weeds and other plant material from the pathway. Then sprinkle sand or granite dust over the area. The last step is placing the stones in the desired areas and tapping them into the ground with a hammer.

If you want to use different types of rocks, create a path with slate stones, fieldstone and gravel. The fieldstone can create a substantial border. Then you can place the slate intermittently throughout the pathway and fill in the empty spaces with a pebble rich in Earth tones. This type of path is more permeable and will allow water to flow through better.

Brick can also compliment slate. If you have any extra brick from building your home, you can use it as a border for your path.

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Magnolia Cottage

There is an actual home called Magnolia Cottage, which was built in 1928 and started out as a 900 square foot home but is now 1,500 feet. One particular room of the cottage, which was featured in Vintage Cottages written by Molly Hyde English, is the living room.

When you think of magnolia trees, white, pink and brown come to mind, which you can tell was the main inspiration for the living room. A dark wood coffee table grounds the room and two white love seats frame it. Although the fireplace and frames on the door and windows are white, there is enough contrast with dark and light to make it work.

For instance, the pink and white flowered pillows, dark wood side table, sea foam green walls and other knickknacks bring color into the room without being too overwhelming. Large starfish and shells decorate the fireplaces and vases of white tulips and roses give the room an earthy yet elegant feel. This room is definitely setup to be a relaxing retreat fit for reading, napping or conversation.

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Heat Up Your Driveway

What would make your driveway special? The materials that are available can make your driveway functional and attractive. Regardless of what material you choose, you can also install a snowmelt system, which consists of installing tubes under your driveway. Heated water is then pumped through the tubes, which in turn heats up the driveway and melts away the snow. How is that for a functional driveway?

Common materials used to build driveways include brick, flagstone, cobblestone, interlocking pavers, concrete, asphalt and stone gravel. Although stone is economical, you will need to control the weeds and add gravel on a yearly basis. Asphalt is another less expensive choice, and it has less maintenance too. A sealer coat needs to be applied to asphalt every two to three years.

Although concrete seems like a plain option, it can be decorated with color and patterns. Interlocking pavers fit together and form a pattern, and some manufacturers offer a warranty. The most expensive materials are brick, flagstone and cobblestone, but they are durable and require occasional maintenance.

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Creative Spaces

When you’re working with existing spaces and don’t want to do more building, you have to work with the current design. Although you might have to adjust your plans, you can achieve some interesting spaces.

Creating a library for less money and hassle is possible if you install bookshelves. The shelves will need to line the walls of a room from floor to ceiling. To avoid staining, painting or varnishing, choose melamine shelves, which are just as sturdy.

If you have a pool table in your basement but no sitting area, create a built-in bench seat into a small alcove in the wall. Although there will not be a window, you can hang a mirror on the wall to mimic one. This is convenient when you have guests over so people who don’t want to play can sit and watch.

When you need to expand the rooms in your home, look to the garage for a solution. New flooring, windows and a touch of paint can convert your garage into an attractive sitting area or the type of room you desire.

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Crafty Corner

Do you enjoy making flower arrangements, rubber stamping, card crafting, framing or scrapbooking? All of these activities involve a lot of small materials, which can easily become disorganized and cluttered. Instead of keeping your craft projects in different areas of your home, turn a corner of your sitting room into a crafty corner.

You will need a sturdy table or desk where you can do all of your cutting, measuring, gluing, etc. Also, comfortable, low-armed chairs make hands on tasks easier (you can find old stools at garage sales). For quality lighting, hang a task light from the ceiling.

Once your work area is in place, then you can start arranging your materials. If you found a desk, take advantage of the drawers. Or you can install shelving directly above it. Here is where you can place woven baskets with your equipment and materials. Make sure to label the baskets or boxes on the outside, so you can quickly find what you’re after.

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Hire an Environmental Consultant

How do you know what you want to change in your home if you don’t know what you need to work on? Instead of guessing what improvements need to be made to create a more eco-friendly home, hire an environmental consultant.

A professional consultant can help you save more money in the process and give you tips on how to alter aspects of your home with the least amount of reconstruction. This individual can provide you with a plan of action that is beneficial and cost-effective.

Creating a greener home can save you money on your electric and water bills, but when you have an idea of how much your carbon footprint can be reduced, you have even more of a reason to build green.

Transitioning your home can be an expensive process, but if you have some guidance, you can get the most important items checked off your list first. You might have to do the building in steps, but an environmental consultant can advise you on the most beneficial order of renovation.

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Drop-down Cabinets

Tired of standing on your tippy toes so you can reach your dishes or cleaning supplies? If you want to update your cabinets, drop-down shelving can make your items in any room more accessible. When renting out a home or selling it, drop-down cabinets can make the home appealing to many different people including those who require a wheelchair accessible residence.

Drop-down shelving brings the shelves to eye level so you can see and better reach the things you need. This particular unit uses a gas spring and a mechanical advantage design, which allows you to easily pull the cabinet down and push it back up. It is 34” wide x 35” high x 10” deep with a powder-coated finish.

Cabinets like these can make life in the kitchen, laundry room, garage and basement easier. You can store anything from breakfast food to cups or cleaning products. Even installing one shelf like this in the kitchen near the dishwasher can make putting dishing away an easy chore.

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Sauna Kits

A relaxing addition that you can incorporate into your existing gym is a sauna. Although it might not seem like it, installing a sauna is moderately difficult, because no plumbing or floor draining is required.

Finlandia Sauna has a precut sauna package, which includes everything you need to build a sauna. You can find these kits online, and the sizes range from 3 x 4 feet to 12 x 12 feet. The less expensive kits often have hemlock, spruce and fir interiors. If you can afford the pricier kits, they have cedar or redwood walls and other amenities such as light fixtures, back rests, towel bars and timing controls.

Saunas use dry heat and need at least 110-volt household current. This is a priceless addition to have during the winter months when it seems like you can’t get warm enough. Plus, instead of owning a membership to the gym, you can create a spa right in your home.

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The Power of Mosaic Tiles

Having fun with mosaic tiles can create an entirely difference atmosphere in many areas of your home. The unique design and colors can form striking works of art, which can brighten almost any room of your home.

An interesting tile pattern can enhance the backsplash in your kitchen and give you and your guests something to admire while you’re whipping up dinner. Also, sea inspired designs in a bathroom can make it feel like a magical place. Selecting specific areas for mosaic tiling is a way to emphasize the space and draw attention to the important parts.

A creative tile project for the outdoors would be lining your birdbath with mosaic tiles. If your current birdbath is plain, you can use your imagination to add color and patterns, which can also attract more birds to your yard. This is an inexpensive project that wouldn’t take up too much of your time.

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