Category Archives: Home

Helpful Tips for Winterizing Your Home

The summer has folded its wings and you’ve got to buckle down and prepare for the coming winter. This isn’t much of an issue if you live on the West Coast; but even in that region, gray days are ahead, and you want to make sure your plumbing, heating system and any other necessary repairs are taken care off.

The first thing you want to do is make sure that your heating system has undergone regular maintenance. If it hasn’t, now is the time to start looking for reputable HVAC Contractors in your area; they can take a look at your air conditioning unit, furnace and more. Keep their number handy for emergency services, too, when they’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – even on holidays.

Check The Status Of Your Roof

Whether the rain or the snow hits (or both, for that matter), you’ll want your roof to be in tip-top shape this season. Hire a handyman if there’s no one in the house who can safely climb a ladder to inspect the shingles. This past summer has been a hectic one with hurricanes and strong winds in some parts of the country, so you want to make sure damaged or broken sections of the roof are fixed just in case inclement weather hits your region.

 

For flat roofs, all it might take is a rake to get rid of pine needles and fallen leaves, so the water they retain doesn’t cause mold to build up. In fact; mold can be a problem in spaces inside the home you rarely see – behind the vanity in the bathroom. If there’s water damage in your home, RestorationElite is a trusted provider of emergency services, mold remediation and water/fire damage repair; they’re located in multiple places around the nation.

Property Cleaning And Leaf Work

Clean your gutters of leaves and debris. While you’re up there (or the professional handyman you hired is) have some water downspouts placed to allow any run-off from the rain to cleanly pour down them and into the street gutters.

For your front and back yards specifically, mulch the leaves to break them up into smaller parts. This saves you a bit of cleanup when compared to raking; furthermore, the mulching motion allows the soil to reabsorb the leaves and nourish your grass this season. If you have a lawn mower, replace the blade with one appropriate for mulching.

Lastly, don’t overlook the importance of winterizing your lawn mower. Any fuel left inside could cause issues if it gets too cold, and possible damage the exhaust. Even if it does not cause damage, it can make the mower more difficult to get running again in the spring. 

Have Your Sewer Line And Sump Pump Checked

Experts generally recommend you check your sump pump pit once every three months or so by pouring water into it. If the pump activates, then you’re okay; if not, then you need to have it looked at. Problems, when they arise, tend to occur after an extended dry season.

It’s a good idea to check your sump pump when the forecast is calling for a rainy season. If there’s any extended work to be done, you’ll probably require a registered professional engineer equipped with small trench boxes they use to safely excavate the ground. They may need to dig to find the problem and ward off an impending failure.

All-in-all, it’s best to have your house checked for all the things that require maintenance; if they fail during the winter season, they’re more costly to repair or replace.

This is a sponsored guest post that may or may not reflect the views and ideals of Mommy Ramblings.


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5 Tips For Your Home Improvement Project

There are many reasons why you might embark on a home improvement project.  Maybe you are the owner of a new house and want to add your personal touch. Perhaps the house you bought was a fixer-upper, and you are ready to start tackling those renovations. Certainly, some homeowners opt for home improvements to increase  the value of their homes. Whatever the reason, here are a few tips to help you with your next home renovation project.

Start With A Detailed Plan

A home improvement project can be complex, and the best way to make it easier is to have a specific plan about what you want to achieve. What is your budget for this renovation project? According to PlumbingFix, whether you want to buy new plumbing fixtures or renovate your kitchen, your plan needs to include a budget.

Are you planning small improvements you can do on your own or will you hire a professional? What is the time line for your home improvement project? When do you want to start? It seems simple enough, but lack of such a plan may back you into a corner. So, think it out and set your thoughts on paper before you begin.

Your Budget

How are you going to fund your home improvement project? While making home improvements are a great way to change the look and feel of your home, you need to be smart when deciding what areas to focus on based on what you can afford. Taking out a loan to cover home improvement expenses is not a wise move in most cases.

If you’re sure you want to move ahead with your home improvement project, set aside some savings in advance to put towards it. This way, you will not end up straining yourself or having to stop the project halfway through because you are over budget. Even if you have adequate funds for your project, being prepared is critical.   

The DIY Option

The trend in home improvement has been leaning heavily towards do-it-yourself projects. One benefit of this is that it will save you on costs. The flip side, however, is that if you are not a professional, you might end up doing more damage than good. If you have set your mind on doing it yourself, then two things will serve you well.

One is to do your research on how to go about it. The second is to make sure you have the proper tools before you start. With the right information in your hands and the professional equipment needed to complete your home improvements, you can do it! However, always start with smaller improvement projects and keep things simple.

Why Hiring A Professional Matters

The type of home improvement contractor you select can either make or break your home improvement project. There are endless cases of people getting scammed by contractors who end up doing a horrible job. To avoid this, spend some time looking for the right contractor. They should be licensed, insured and experienced in doing the type of improvements you want.

Just like you would choose pest control Morristown NJ based experts to eradicate pests, you need a contractor with proven expertise in offering home improvement services to homeowners in your area. A professional ensures a thorough job, offers you great ideas and does the best job based on your budget.

Get Inspiration

Finding inspiration for your home improvement is easy. Look online or go to open houses and see what other homes look like. The bottom line is, with a picture of what you want your home to look like, it’s easier to go ahead with your home improvement project with a little help.

This is a sponsored post, it does not necessarily represent the views and ideals of Mommy Ramblings.

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Is Your Home A Target For Thieves?

The way you keep your home could be making it a target for thieves. While security systems can help, there are a few other ways you can make sure your home is secure against the threat of a burglary.  

Thieves like to window-shop

Can your valuables be seen by people walking by if they look in your windows? Placing expensive collectibles on the windowsill or hanging a flat screen TV opposite a window can make your living room a lucrative target.

You could rearrange these items, or you could find a way to obscure the view into your windows. You may want to consider home window tinting to stop thieves from being able to see in. Alternatively, you could install window treatments like curtains or blinds and make sure you close them at night.  Thin sheers or drapes can be used to stop people from peering in your windows during the day, while still letting in natural light.

Thieves like to work in the dark

If you are lacking exterior lighting around your home, it will be easier for thieves to try to break in at night undetected. Security lighting that is constantly on can consume a lot of electricity as well as, being a nuisance to your neighbors. Instead, choose motion sensitive lighting fixtures that only turn on when someone approaches them.

Tall front hedges also help to hide thieves in the act

Do you have tall hedges or large bushes in front of your home that act like a wall? While they work well to  prevent thieves from peering in your windows, they can also help conceal them when they are in the act of breaking in your home. Beyond that, they will prevent your neighbors from being able to spot a robbery in progress. Consider trimming your hedges and bushes to make it harder for intruders to go undetected. 

Open windows and unlocked doors are a thieve’s best friend

This is an obvious one – leaving windows open or doors unlocked when you go out, will make it easy for thieves to rob your home. Loose hinges on doors or windows are another thing thieves look for, because they provide easy access for them to break-in. Make sure that any damaged windows and doors are fixed. You may even consider adding additional locks to windows and doors for extra security. 

Thieves will check to see if your home is empty

Leaving noticeable signs that your house is empty makes it a tempting target for thieves. Some intruders are so sly that they may monitor your home for a while to get an idea of your weekly routine. By observing your home they can gather important information including how many people live in your house and when everyone leaves to go to work/school. Throw the thieves off by occasionally leaving a TV or radio on or keeping a light on at night. Thieves don’t like noisy or ferocious dogs. Even if you don’t own a dog, hanging a ‘Beware of the Dog’ sign outside can be an effective deterrent.

When you go on vacation, consider having someone house-sit or simply come by every other day to inspect the property. Try not to advertise the fact you’re on vacation by posting it across social media, as this is how many modern thieves find their targets. Posting ‘Off to sunny spain for 2 weeks’ is the worst thing you can do because it tells thieves exactly where you are and how long your house will be empty.

This is a sponsored guest post and does not necessarily reflect the views or ideals of Mommy Ramblings.

 


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25 Ways To Personalize Your Family Home

Moving into a new home, or even just wanting to spruce up your current residence, can be a challenge. It takes time to make a house into a home, adding those essentials family touches help to transform it from a dull space into one with soul.

There are many different things you can do to personalise your home and make it your own, from adding a new coat of paint to hanging your family pictures on the walls. You can be as creative as you like and it doesn’t need to cost a small fortune. Here are 25 ideas you can use to add your personal touch to your home.

1. Paint The Front Door

The first thing anyone will see as they approach your home is the front door. It might not seem like the first place you would want to change, but painting your front door immediately adds character to your home. It gives any visitors a small insight into who lives inside.

2. Hanging Baskets

Once your door is looking brand new and shiny, you can decorate your entrance further by adding some plants. If you have the space either side of your front door, placing hanging baskets full of beautiful flowers is the best way to make your home feel inviting and well-looked after.

3. The Front Garden

If you only have a driveway, there’s no need to worry about this. If you take pride in what you home looks like to the outside world, tending to your front garden is an excellent way to make your home feel tidy and bright. Adding hardy plants such as Rhododendrons or Buddleia will make your garden spring to life without having to worry too much about the upkeep.

4. The Back Garden

There isn’t much which is more relaxing than coming home on a summer’s evening and sitting in the garden with your family enjoying a glass of wine. Having an inviting and open garden, no matter how small, is a great way to utilize extra space around your home. You can even include a swing set and trampoline for the kids!

5. Paint The Walls

If you are short on cash and want an easy way to add your own flair to a room: paint the walls. You can mix your own paint color or choose one from the store, either way; you’ll be adding your personality to the room.

6. Add Soft Furnishings

Throws and cushions are the easiest way to feel like an interior designer, adding new dimensions to your home. Picking up some boldly patterned cushions and placing them over a pastel sofa instantly creates an element of style in your living space.

7. Grab A Bargain

Gumtree is the perfect place to find local people who have secondhand furniture they want to sell. You could score a real bargain on a new table or chairs, and even have them delivered to your home. It’s a much cheaper way to spruce up your home than visiting traditional  retailers.

8. Seasonal Touches

Aside from the obvious festive decorations, you could also make your home more seasonal by adding some simple touches. Christmas bedding sets will transform your room into a winter wonderland, cute festive cushions and a new tartan throw will add that element of winter to your home.

9. Lighting

Spotlights, LED lights and fairy lights are excellent additions to your home, making it feel cozier and adding ambience to your home effortlessly.

10. Make It Cozy

On cold winter nights, the most satisfying feeling is to snuggle up on the sofa with your family. You can take this a step further by lighting scented candles around the house, turning on some soft fairy lights and cuddling up under a thick throw.

11. Buy New Mugs

A cute way to put your stamp on the kitchen, is to buy new mugs for you and your family. Let your children each choose their favourite mug, and store them on a shelf in the kitchen. You and your family will automatically have a cute personal item to use every day.

12. Replace Your Faucets

Old, rusty faucets can make even the most beautiful room look dull. You can buy really beautiful chrome or brushed nickel faucets online and instantly make your kitchen and bathroom feel clean and new.

13. A New Mattress

New mattresses will help you sleep, relax your muscles and allow you to wake up in the morning feeling ready to tackle the day ahead. No matter what your budget, you will be able to find the right mattress for you and your family. There are details at mattress-guides.net for how to choose the right one for you.

14. Chalkboard Paint

To stop your children from drawing all over the walls, why not try painting some chalkboard paint on the inside of your cupboard doors? Give your kids some chalk, and they can doodle all they like without it being on display, and without it becoming a permanent feature in your house.

15. Wall Art

If you want to vamp up a blank wall, the easiest thing to do is hang some art. You could hang up your children’s drawings, a pretty watercolour or even an inspiring quote. Whatever you choose, it will liven up the space and give it some life.

16. Family Photos

The ultimate way to put your stamp on the home is the hang personal photographs. You could opt for a professionally taken family portrait, or a collage of candid shots from your family vacation.

17. Add Some Houseplants

Do you ever feel like there’s  a small space which needs to be filled in your home? Well, the perfect solution is to add a few plants. Plants not only add colour and vibrancy to your home but also produce oxygen and are proven to relieve stress.

18. Install An Herb Garden

If you love to cook, then adding a herb garden to your home is an excellent idea. You will have constant access to fresh flavours and never have to repurchase a dried sachet.

19. Make The Most Of Natural Light

Natural light is the most fundamental tool in decorating your home. It can make the smallest space seem huge and adds a beautiful ray of light to every nook and cranny in your home. Open up the windows by ditching the large curtains and opting for blinds instead. You’ll gain space and light instantly.

20. Keep It Simple

Although you may be tempted to go all out and make everything in your home a feature, try and refrain from doing too much. It can be confusing to the eye and doesn’t look as put together as a simple design. All you need is 2-3 colours for a room, one bold, one pastel, and black or white. If you stick to this rule you will see a huge difference in the overall feel of your living space.

21. Disguise Old Furniture

If you would rather avoid having to invest in a brand new sofa, you can disguise it instead. Adding soft furnishings such as cushions and throws will immediately give a dull piece of furniture a new lease of life. Find some great ideas on revamping old furniture, HERE.

22. Get The Kids Involved

If you have children, let them have some input on your decisions. You could let them design their own bedrooms, pick out paints, wallpaper and soft furnishings to make them feel part of the process. Although children might have some crazy ideas, it might be fun to let them have free rein on their own space in the house. It could mean that you end up with a Disney princess palace in your home, but to see the look on your child’s face when it’s ready; it’s all worth the effort.

23. Match Your Appliances

When you decorate the kitchen, you will usually get new cabinets, countertops, backsplash and new tile for the floor. Once you’ve implemented all of these changes, why not finish it all off by matching your small appliances to the theme of the room? Buying a kettle and toaster to match the decor of your kitchen is a simple and effective way to tie the room together.

24. Add Accent Walls

Accent walls can be a great design feature. Painting one wall a bold color, or hanging some wallpaper on one wall of a room can bring it to life and draw the eye to that area, making the room feel and look a little bigger than it really is.

25. A Book Nook

If you or your children love to read, why not transform a small corner of the room into a cute little reading nook? Add lots of cushions, a beanbag and storage for your favourite novels, and you’ve instantly created a personalized space for you and your family to enjoy quiet time.

This is a sponsored guest post that may or may not represent the views or ideals of Mommy Ramblings.


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Part 2 of our Kitchen Transformation

If you have not seen Part 1 of our Kitchen Transformation click HERE.  You can also see our video constructions updates for a more in-depth, up close and personal look at everything, including the lessons we learned along the way.

So, the was the first piece of quartz installed. Sorry for the poor lighting, they still had not installed all the lights at this point. Also, outside the kitchen window is a temporary storage shed that will be moved, once we can move our stuff back in.

There will be a false drawer front that matches the cabinets surrounding the farmhouse sink. It is still being made in the factory, but we will show you what a difference it makes when installed. Again, the shed in the back is just temporary.

That is my plumber checking out the island top. I noticed after they left it was not even so they had to come back and redo that and the sink. Fun times.

The opening for the cooktop is cut on site. They bring in a fan that sucks out the dust and through an attached large tunnel tube it is blown outside. They also have a vacuum running.

Once the sinks had set, the faucets were installed along with the dishwasher and cooktop. We also installed the 3 pendant lights over the island and the one over the sink.  Then, the rest of the cabinets could be installed.

We need to get the crown molding installed on top of the cabinets and most of the interior cabinet lighting as well as the under cabinet and upper cabinet lighting. The cabinets still need to be aligned and the hardware installed. My biggest problem is, I cannot find a backsplash tile I like. Hope to do that this weekend. We have some more work to do but we have come a long way.


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How to Choose a Bathroom Faucet

We are almost ready for our bathroom renovation reveals. When renovating and remodeling, there are so many decisions that need to be made, we talked about choosing the toilet, WASHLET and vanity for the bathroom, but I did not mention the faucet yet. When choosing a faucet there are several things you need to consider.

Faucet Type

First off, if you are updating and keeping the same vanity top and vanity, you are limited to what you can choose. You cannot install a single handle faucet if you have widespread faucet. Well, you can but it will have to have a plate that covers the other holes so you won’t have the same look. If you are starting from scratch, you have all the options you want. I chose a single handle faucet because I like the sleek look and find them easier to clean.

Sink Type

The type of sink you have is also a factor, if you have a vessel sink, make sure you choose a faucet that will work with it. The type of mount and gallons per minute are other things to keep in mind when choosing your faucet.

 

Finish

The next choice is the finish. Again, if you are not starting from scratch, you need to consider the colors of the other fixtures in the bathroom. We had a clean slate to work with so I went with the brushed nickel.

Style

Next, the hardest part. What style faucet do you want? There are so many styles to choose from! We could not believe all the choices we had in front of us when we were checking out TOTO USA’s website for a bathroom faucet. With so many great styles to choose from, it was hard to decide. In the end, we went with something traditional and elegant. We choose the Guinevere faucet and just had it installed. It is absolutely beautiful.

About Our Faucet

Guinevere as we call her, is more than beautiful, she has a durable brass construction with a ceramic disc cartridge. She has a WaterSense Approved Low-Flow of 1.5 gpm. Guinevere comes in three fabulous finishes: polished chrome, polished nickel and brushed nickel. A metal pop up drain is included.

Our plumber told me that he was very impressed with the faucet. I laughed and told him to handle her carefully and that her name was Guinevere. We both had a good laugh on that, but we still call her by her name. The faucet and pop up drain were easy for him to install without any issues. Guinevere works flawlessly. I will show you how well in a video as soon as we do the reveal.

If you are looking for a new faucet check out TOTO USA. You can also follow them on Social media on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube to see more of their products and here the latest news.

Stay tuned, and subscribe to our newsletter and social media channels so you don’t miss the reveals. Let me know what you think of our choice.


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It is Christmas in June at the Home Depot

I am the last person that wants to rush the summer but if you need a new Christmas tree, you must check out the overstock sale at the Home Depot. Right now they have plenty of stock on these trees and you can order online. Check out these deals:

6.5 ft. Pre-lit Jackson Spruce Artificial Christmas Tree with Clear Lights and Pinecones only $29.75

If you have high ceilings and want something larger, this gorgeous 9 ft. Pre-Lit Natural Noble Fir Artificial Christmas Tree with Super-Tech Warm White Lights might be just the tree for your home. The price is more than right at only $162.25 because this tree is normally $649!

They have more trees and other decor on sale for up to 75% off right now. You can get holiday accents like this  22.75 in. LED Lighted Red Jumbo Gift Box for only $12.50! It is hand painted and would look great near an entrance or by a staircase.

The Martha Stewart Living Winter Tidings Glass Ornament Set (50-Count) is only $24.75. That is a huge savings off the regular price of $99. These glass ornaments can be used on your tree or as decorations and even in crafts.

 There are so many more great buys on holiday LED statues, outdoor lighting, interior decorations, trees, inflatables and more. Check it all out HERE. Your wallet will thank you. Hurry, at these prices, things are sure


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We Put The Shark Rocket Complete with DuoClean Vacuum To The Test!

As many of my readers know, we have been out of our house for the entire winter and into spring due to a leak that caused extensive damage. We are coming to the home stretch though, the mold remediation team finished today. The basement level passed the hygienist’s tests, so if levels 1 and 2 are cleared, then construction can begin to put our house back together again.

Right before we had to move out of the house, I was sent a Shark Rocket Complete with DuoClean Vacuum to review. I made the review video a few weeks later at our other house but with everything going on never posted it or posted my review. So here it is, better late than never.

We really love this vacuum, it has a lot of suction but it is easy to push, it actually just glides along the carpet with ease. It has a nice long 30 ft. cord so you can vacuum large rooms without having to unplug and plug in somewhere else. It comes with many attachments:

  • TruePet mini-motorized brush
  • Under-appliance wand
  • Upholstery tool
  • Duster crevice tool
  • Dusting brush
  • On-board accessory storage clip
  • Wall-mount storage hook
  • Accessory bag

The vacuum is very lightweight and you can easily pick it up and carry it with hardly any effort. The triple particle cleaning works on large particles, small particles and stuck on particles. Learn more about DuoClean Technology HERE.

I really like that it comes with the extendable under appliance wand, it makes cleaning under your refrigerator and other tight areas so simple! The TruePet mini motorized brush is great for stairs, upholstery and so much more. My husband loves how easy it is to empty the dirt cup. Powerful lights on the vacuum head let you see clearly even in low light.  Vacuum weights 9.4 lbs and comes with a 5-year limited warranty.

You can watch our video unboxing and demonstration below:

So what do you think?
Thank you to SharkNinja for sending us this unit to review. As always my words and views are 100% my own.

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New Kitchen Update

Happy New Year everyone! Hope everyone’s year is off to a great start. I have some updates on our new kitchen. While the demo and everything in the house is going to take another 8 weeks at least, we are making headway with our kitchen decisions.

I believe, I shared our choice of Wood-Mode Custom Cabinetry for our kitchen. We are going with their Brookhaven line and our door style is Winter Haven Raised.

The first time I went into the kitchen design center and started working with Regina, our kitchen designer, I was sure I was going with Antique White. Yesterday, when my husband and I were there together making final decisions, I changed my color choice. I am going with Vintage Lace.

Wood-Mode’s Vintage Opaque is a distinctive glaze applied over the base color which in our case is Lace and adds a brushed appearance to the surface while highlighting the details of the door style and architectural elements.

It is funny because the first time I was there, I was sure I did not want that look and yet, the second time, I was sold on it. I feel that is why it is so important to meet with your kitchen designer multiple times in the planning stages of your project. So far, we have been to the kitchen showroom 2 times and Regina has been out to our house once to take measurements.

Now, that we are getting closer to putting the order in, she will come out again to make sure everything is correct. It is so nice to work with a kitchen designer who has experience and guides you along through the process. Yesterday, I remember clearly  saying to myself, “Wow, I am so glad she thought of that!”

The other thing is, they can give you great advice that can save you money and headaches. For instance, since my cooktop is mounted against an outside wall, she advised me not to go with a pot filler. I was not sold on one either, you may remember my earlier post.

The reason is, living in upstate New York, there is a danger of the pipes freezing which would cause extensive damage to our kitchen. Dealing with the damage from a leak is something we are familiar with and do not wish to deal with again if we can help it.

I know you can mount them on deck but I don’t want that sticking out of the counter top. Truthfully, the more I read about them, the more I am glad to have that reason for not putting one in. You still need to carry the water back to your sink. We decided to add an island prep sink which is behind the stove area. This will allow us to fill pots even if someone is at the kitchen sink.  I am good with that.

I am really excited about how I was able to utilize a lot of what I considered dead space in my old kitchen. My kitchen did have a lot of bells and whistles but there were some things  I wanted to change. We have so many baking trays, cookie sheets, cutting boards, cooling racks etc. In my old kitchen, I did have a tray cabinet but it was not large enough for everything we had.

It is not a matter of getting rid of some of it because we cook and bake all the time and use it all. So we added more slotted storage to our kitchen. The cabinet above the refrigerator is one that we hardly used. It contained some light bulbs and a container of glue. We  added tray storage up there and I think it is going to be great.

We also have a bottom tray cabinet next to the stove as we did before and over the ovens we put more slotted storage. We have an oven drawer under the double ovens as we did before to handle frequently used pans and sheets.

Something else I am super excited about, are the great pull out cabinets we put on the other side of our cooktop. If you think our tray situation was excessive, our collection of spatulas, ladles, cooking spoons and other cooking tools rivals it. Currently, we had two large utensil drawers and 2 large crocks on the counter. I wanted to find a more useful and out-of-sight way to store what we needed.

Browsing Pinterest, I found these great pull out cabinets with crocks built-in. I showed them to my kitchen designer who incorporated them into the design. Next to that we have another pull out cabinet that can handle our cooking oils, sprays etc. In an upper cabinet to the right of the cook top we have a swing out spice cabinet.

Being tall, I hate having to stoop down to see all the way to the back of lower cabinets. In my current kitchen, there are only three cabinets I had to do that. The rest all had roll outs or were drawer units. In this kitchen we made sure that there are no cabinets that would cause me to lay on the floor or crawl into to see what is in the back.

I eliminated the desk area and glass door cabinet that was above it from my current kitchen. We did not use the desk and it was a catch-all for everything as were the glass door cabinets. In its place we added some more pull out pantry storage which I am crazy about.

The new refrigerator is being set into cabinets to give it a built-in look. On the side of my fridge in my other kitchen, I had decorative raised panels that matched the cabinets. In our new kitchen design we added some useful storage.  We are putting in a functioning cabinet that will have lower storage for our broom, dust pan etc and upper storage for cleaning supplies, garbage bags etc. Something similar to this design I saw on Pinterest.

In the new kitchen we have extended all our upper cabinets to 42″. This extra cabinet space will give us the room we need to store appliances that we don’t use every day. We are removing the extended sofits to make room for the taller cabinets. On top of the cabinets we will add a very nice crown molding.

We are in the process of picking out our new quartz counters. In my old kitchen I had quartz counters and I love them. However, I want a little more movement in the new ones. I think I have found my countertop but not 100% sure.

Regina had me bring home my door sample and a large sample of the counter to look at it in the kitchen to make it easier for me to decide.

We are putting in a Farmhouse sink from Nantucket sinks and it has a really nice drain that we also chose from their website that never lets your hands touch the mess in the drain. Really cool and that is not all!

The sink has two front sides so you can choose what design you want. The smooth front of the Hyannis or the decorative side of the Chatham. I still have to pick the faucet. Oh, all the decisions!

We love the built-in butcher block we have in our old kitchen and so we went with one in this design also. It will be built into the side of the island to the right of the prep sink. We placed the pull out waste and recycling underneath so you can peel and chop and then just shove scraps right into the trash. To the side of the cutting board we put a large knife storage drawer and next to that, we put our utensil storage.

Another big change we are making is using one of the large island drawers to hold our dishes with a peg drawer insert. This will make it easier to set the table and for the kids to get dishes themselves without having to climb up to reach them in upper cabinets. We added about 9 inches to the length of our island and this allowed us to put a 12 inch cabinet on the end with doors to store serving pieces, dishes and glasses.

Over the cooktop we have an English Country Elliptical Range Hood that matches the cabinets. I am not certain we are going with this style but I am leaning toward it.

The microwave will be hung over the counter next to the double ovens.

All of the cabinet doors and drawers are soft close and the doors are the full overlay style. We picked out our hardware too and I really like the way it looks and feels. The drawer pulls are nice and large and can accommodate hands of all sizes.

We have a large storage pantry in the same spot we did before but instead of having those wooden racks that pull and slide out to hold cans, we have added slide out shelf pull outs that our designer tells me I will find much more useful.

We are using commercial style appliances and I will update you on those in another post. For the flooring we are going to do a wood look porcelain tile. It is someone like the one I have but darker which I think will make the cabinets pop!

I think this is a long enough update for now. We have some exciting things to share regarding lighting with you soon. Let me know what you think of what we have picked out so far.

 


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Things To Consider When Choosing A Toilet

I cannot tell you how long my husband has been suggesting we get a TOTO toilet. Truth be told, he has gone beyond suggesting and was well into the nagging phase when we began talking about the renovation of our powder room.

I have seen TOTO toilets in many of the upscale resorts we stayed in this summer like the Mirror Lake Inn. Seeing them used like this was another indication they must be superior quality. So I decided to look further into them.

Their website is very easy to navigate and you will find so many styles and designs to browse. They have a special tool called My TOTO that allows you to view, save, compare, and share products for multiple design projects. You can learn about a product’s features and specifications, save it to a folder for future reference, compare its features and price and even share your favorites with friends and family through social media.

The first thing you need to figure out is whether you want a one-piece or two-piece toilet. A two-piece toilet is generally lighter than a one piece toilet since the tank is separate.  This can help if you have to carry it up to the second or higher level in your home.

One piece toilets can usually fit in tighter spaces and they are easier to clean than two-piece toilets. They also tend to have less issues than two-piece toilets. One-piece toilets generally have a higher price point than two-piece toilets.

TOTO also has a third choice, wall-hung, which opens up bathroom space but you need to have an in-wall tank system.

Your style will be the next choice you will need to make. For residential use, you can choose from modern, transitional or classic styles. Other choices you will need to make are whether you want an elongated or round bowl shape, flush rate, flushing system and color.

I knew, I wanted was a skirted toilet. If you are not sure what that is, it means that the trapway is covered, is so much easier to clean and has a smoother appearance. I also wanted a classic design, elongated bowl and powerful flushing system.

I was able to find exactly what I wanted in the Eco Guinevere. This is a uniquely sculpted one-piece toilet with a 1.28 GPF and elongated bowl. It also features  TOTO’s highly efficient Tornado flushing system, which uses a powerful combination of gravity and centrifugal force and CeFiONtect, an extraordinarily smooth, ion-barrier surface to help the bowl stay cleaner longer. I also chose the brushed nickel trip lever.

Eco Guinevere® One-Piece Toilet

Let me know what you think of our choice and I will be posting something else we picked for our toilet. Something that is pretty special! However, you will just have to wait to hear all about it. Feel free to take some guesses and leave them in the comments.

Special thanks to TOTO for all their help and for providing us with this exceptional toilet for our project. As always all my words and opinions are 100% my own.

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Filed under Curb Appeal, Home, Home Improvement