Making A Splash In The Kitchen: Suggestions For Spicing Up Your Backsplash

If it’s true that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, then it should come as no surprise that women want a beautiful yet practical kitchen with all the comforts and amenities the queen of the castle deserves. Let’s face it, trendy, healthy meals take time and space, and part of creating beautiful meals means creating a beautiful environment to prepare them in. Here are just a few suggestions for spicing up your backsplash.

1. Start by evaluating your personality and the look of your home, especially your kitchen and work within the theme or one you’d like to accomplish.

2. Set a realistic budget and stay within your means, even if it means getting ingenious and creative about accomplishing your look.

3. Use a variety of material to define specific work areas, such as stainless steel behind the sinks and cook-top and tile in surrounding areas.

4. The latest trend calls for using counter top material and following the “theme” all the way up the wall as a backsplash. According to experts, this helps assure continuity of design and helps keep the number of material choices to a minimum.

5. Make the backsplash (often forgotten) a renovating and redesign essential. Remember, it’s at eye level and WILL be noticed.

6. If you have budget restrictions, then you might want to think about generating a focal point by using more expensive material over the cooking are or sink and using a paint technique, such as Venetia Plaster for surrounding areas.

7. Give yourself plenty of pleasing options before making a decision. Look at everything including laminates, glass, ceramics, metal, and solid surfaces, and weigh out the pros and cons of each.

8. While neutral is most “appealing” you may want to consider a hint of color here and there.

Advantages of Kitchen Granite Countertops

kitchen-cabinet-refacingKitchen granite countertops are created by nature and fashioned by man are a beautiful, durable and cost effective choice for kitchens and baths. The term granite comes from the Latin root word granum, which means “grain.”

Granite is often imported from Europe, Africa, Brazil and other regions of the world rich in natural stone. Granite is an attractive natural stone that will add color and warmth to your kitchen. Granite is an extremely hard material that will not blister, scratch or crack.
The hardness of granite is rivaled only be the hardness of diamonds. In fact diamonds are used to cut and polish granite.

Over the last 10 years kitchen granite countertops have become popular with homeowners, after first being popular with designers for decades. Granite is available in hundreds of colors, from various shades of white to browns, reds, greens, blues, and black. The most popular tones are brown and beige.

As well as being hard kitchen granite countertops can take hot items, like pots and pans, and is very stain resistant to hot grease and oil if it is sealed with a silicone-based impregnator. It can easily be cleaned and cut for a basin. Granite has a cool polished surface that makes it an excellent surface for rolling out pastry dough. The polished finish of granite will not wear off.

Kitchen granite countertops are unique because no two pieces of granite are exactly the same, therefore granite provides an interesting design element and adds certain richness and texture to your kitchen not found in other surfaces. Kitchen granite countertops can create a brilliance and elegance that is only found in nature. Granite adds a personality and character to kitchen countertops that is unsurpassed. Kitchen granite countertops have a natural beauty that is capable of complementing any tone of wood or style of cabinets.

It doesn’t matter if you are planning a new home or remodeling an existing kitchen, with granite kitchen countertops you can be sure that you will add to value of your home.

Kitchen remodelers and home builders have experienced a boom in the demand for kitchen granite countertops. Although it can be more expensive to put in granite countertops, they remain the odds on favorite choice for more upscale homes, since they keep their value better than most home improvements

The investment you make in kitchen granite countertops should pay you back at least three times what you invested. If you are selling your home you will find that home buyers wanting kitchen granite countertops will be willing to pay more for your home than if you have ceramic tile or plastic laminate.

Planning out your kitchen granite countertop first involves selecting the right granite color. You should concentrate on the most popular colors. Even though granite tones are usually neutral, you may find that a certain color goes well for your kitchen design.

If you are replacing the old countertop material in your kitchen with granite, carefully diagram all the measurements for the granite installer. If installing new wholesale kitchen cabinets is part of your kitchen remodel ask the granite fabricator what they recommend for cabinetry.

Since you are using such a superior product as granite, you should think about the right type of sink to go with your new kitchen granite countertop. You should definitely consider going with an undermount stainless steel sink, as opposed to an overmount sink that would be difficult to clean around.

In addition to getting the right kind of sink installed, it is also important to select the just the right faucet to go with the sink. A stainless steel faucet would go well with the looks of a rich kitchen granite countertop.

The next important area is upgrading your cabinet hardware. The handles and knobs should also be of high quality in order to provide good accent to the overall look of the kitchen. Even if you are not replacing the cabinetry having high quality hardware with make those cabinets and the whole kitchen
stand out.

So in planning your kitchen remodeling, just remember that kitchen granite countertops will make a provide a world-class addition and increase the re-sale value of your home.

Home Improvements That Pay Off

There are two main reasons people take on home improvement projects: for their own pleasure and in hopes of increasing the resale value of their homes. As long as you spend time and money for the first reason, you’ll be okay. It’s when you start thinking more about the second reason that you may be in for a disappointment. Even if improvements add value to your home, few recoup the money they cost. For example, a swimming pool, which costs tens of thousands of dollars to install, adds little to no resale value to a home. People are turned off by the maintenance aspect, and parents with small children will worry about safety issues.

So, what improvements do add enough value that you’ll come close to making back what you spend? It’s the highly visible improvements that will help most. Unfortunately, the less visible ones don’t impress. Replacing the roof or furnace, while they may need doing, won’t convince a home buyer to pay more. Likewise, new energy-efficient doors and windows are not likely to recoup the cost of installation (However, if you are going to continue living in your home for the next few years, $1,000 spent on insulation and caulking existing windows and doors can help you save on your energy bills).

The biggest home improvement you can do to impress homebuyers (and make them want to pay more) is one of the cheapest. Paint. As long as you pick colors that will appeal to a wide audience–and you do it right before you list (before it has time to get mucked up)–you’ll increase appeal. Likewise crown molding is relatively inexpensive to install but adds the wow factor to otherwise regular rooms.

So, what else is worth doing? You may have heard that kitchens and bathrooms are what sell a house, and this is true, but don’t think you have to spend tens of thousands on a whole-room remodel. Getting rid of outdated wallpaper or paint will help tremendously. Also sand and paint/stain old cabinet doors to make them look new. Switch out the dated cabinet hardware for something stylish and modern.

Any time you can take dead space (i.e. an attic or basement) and turn it into functional space (i.e. bedroom, office, media room), you stand a good chance of recouping much of the money you invest in the project (85% of the cost returned at resale is the national average).

If your house only has one bathroom, you can recoup about 90% of the cost by adding a second. (Adding a third gets you back less).

Landscaping can also improve curb appeal and salability of a home, but don’t spend thousands on hiring a professional (it won’t increase the value anywhere near that much). Tackle landscaping projects you can do yourself instead.

Keep this advice in mind before you open your pocketbook to hire contracts and buy materials for massive remodeling projects. If you’re going to spend a lot, make sure it’s–first and foremost–for you and your family, with resale of the house a distant second consideration.

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