Home Makeover in the Desert logo  
   
  home buttonspacerDream Team buttonspacerRemodeling ideas buttonspacerDirectory buttonspacerJoin button
 
 

Kitchens Bathrooms Flooring Landscaping Go Green Decorative Remodeling

 
spacer spacer
   
 

Kitchens

 
         
   
Kitchens are at the Top of the Remodel List

Is it time to upgrade your house with a kitchen remodel? While professionals all agree that remodeling your kitchen can dramatically increase the sales value of your house, there are other considerations to ponder.

With a well thought out plan for your kitchen remodel project, you can begin the remodeling with the confidence that it will go smoothly. Take time in advance to familiarize yourself with every aspect of your remodeling job and the process will flow in an easy, efficient way.

Kitchen remodeling runs the gamut from small upgrades, to a full-scale luxury remodeling venture. Small upgrades could include changing the hardware on your cabinets, refacing the cabinets, or replacing them. Or perhaps you might want to replace that scuffed floor, or resurface your countertops. Such simple changes can make an enormous difference in your space. However, a full-scale kitchen remodel is going to result in the most satisfying changes for your home.

If your kitchen appliances are out of date or prone to constant break-downs, it is a sign you might want to consider a kitchen remodel. There are so many new energy-efficient models on the market; it makes good sense for your house budget to invest in these appliances. You'll get more pleasure from using them as well.

Draw up a budget. This is when you match your beautiful ideas to what you can afford. You might be surprised how much you can get for your money, or the compromises you can make that will still afford you an elegant, functional design. At this point, you may also want to contract the services of a designer or space planner. They can be enormously helpful with your kitchen remodel, and point out products and design ideas that might not have occurred to you.

One of the most important decisions you will make is hiring a contractor, so take you time and do some research. Visit home improvement stores or local remodelers to get a feel for what kind of kitchen remodeling projects they specialize in. Share your vision with the professionals you are considering. Take the time to check references.

Since the kitchen is one of the highest-traffic areas in the house, remodeling it with durable yet attractive materials simply makes good sense. You'll enjoy the bright new improvements now and reap the benefit of added resale value when you are ready to move.

Remember to write down all your ideas and keep good notes as you ask yourself these questions. When you've pondered all the options for your remodeling job, you can take your plan with you to a local contractor and you'll have a huge head start on your kitchen remodeling project. With a strong plan in place, you'll be cooking in your new kitchen in no time.

 
         
     
Return to top
 
         
         
  Bathrooms      
         
   
Bathrooms Can Become Spa Oases

An atmosphere of personal indulgence, which used to be the domain of day spas, is finding its way into master bathroom remodels. Limited only by imagination and a project's budget, standard master bathrooms are turning into customized retreats. The good news is luxury can be incorporated into any design by using higher end tile designs, fixtures, and bathroom vanities or decorative bathroom furniture vanities.

STYLE
Start scouring those magazines that you see in the waiting rooms ... make sure you check out the local design studios and design tradeshows. Styles change year to year, so if you want to keep up with current trends make sure you do some research.

MATERIALS
No material is too luxurious or too unusual. Whether you install travertine tile from floor to ceiling, or find rare granite countertops, or buy a unique decorative bathroom vanity, the options are endless.

LAYOUT
To create a custom floor plan, consider hiring a certified bathroom designer, who will analyze the size of the space and your family's needs. Some things to discuss with the designer include:

Shower or Bath: Giant tubs, once wildly popular, have fallen out of favor. Instead, people are choosing custom showers including overhead showerheads, wall-mounted showerheads, hand-held showerheads, shower tiles, rain bars, body sprays and steam showers. Oversized tubs and jacuzzi tubs are under-utilized these days. When people are shopping for homes, they are not looking for the high end tubs, but they are demanding more and more out of the shower features.

Choosing a custom shower with a smaller bathtub can have a big impact on the layout of a bathroom. A large bathtub with a great surround takes up a tremendous amount of space. You can do, for example, a nice big custom shower in a lot less space.

Number of Sinks: If it is new development, it is almost expected to have two sinks in the master bathroom. In a remodel of an older home, the running of the second line and installation of a second sink can be cost prohibitive. Think about the return on investment before making a major change like installing a second water line and sink.

Delicate Matters: While it may seem a bit awkward to talk about the toilet versus the tub, whenever doing a remodel or new bathroom, the recent trend is to separate the tub and toilet by creating a second room. This can add a lot of value to your home.

Universal Design: Another trend in master bathrooms is the use of universal design. This approach, designed to accommodate people of all ages and abilities, includes wider doorways, showers with no raised lip around the bottom, larger shower doors and more room around fixtures. Once thought of as industrial-looking, universal elements such as grab bars now blend seamlessly into even the most luxurious master bathrooms.

THE DETAILS
When it comes to extras in a master bathroom remodel, head toward the luxurious. Hang an extravagant chandelier over a soaking tub; install a high end decorative bathroom furniture vanity; add built-in warming drawers for towels or install a pass-through fireplace for ambience and warmth. You might also consider increasing the master bathroom's convenience by housing your washer and dryer, having adjacent dressing rooms or even a massage table in the space.

Sound systems and televisions have become quite common in master bathrooms, but today's remodels are taking the concept to a new level. Flat screens are becoming more popular and in-mirror models, where the television is visible only when it is on, are another option.

Keep in mind that the master bath should be a calm, quiet retreat. That can be tough to pull off with noise from a television or stereo bouncing off of hard surfaces. The finishing touches will add that extra bit of luxury to an already spa-like master bath remodel.

 
         
     
Return to top
 
         
         
  Flooring      
         
   
Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo flooring has been used for centuries in Asia because of its beauty, hardness, durability and environmental friendliness. No longer limited to a few colors, today’s bamboo floors are brimming with colors and textures.
Recognized as the fastest-growing plant on earth, bamboo offers 25 times the yield of hardwood, yet is much more sustainable and renewable. Bamboo can be harvested without killing the plant and replenished with virtually no impact to the environment. Bamboo is such a hardy plant that it requires no pesticides or fertilizers. Properly harvested, bamboo is harder than red oak and American maple.

There are two primary colors of bamboo flooring to choose from. Natural Blonde, which reflects bamboo’s true color, along with its beautiful grain, growth patterns and joints, or Smoked/Carbonized Bamboo which takes on a darker, amber tone.  The dark, rich color is achieved by a smoking process. When bamboo is carbonized, it takes on a darker, caramel or amber tone throughout.

Bamboo flooring is manufactured in both a horizontal grain, with the characteristic nodes visible, and in a vertical grain, which produces a more even coloring.  The final product is also available in door and window moldings, parquet flooring strips, wall panels and stairway treads.

The Benefits Of Bamboo Flooring Are:

Same design appeal as hardwood flooring
Harder than Oak and Maple
Durable
Environmentally friendly
Installation - same as hardwood floors

Caring For Your Bamboo Floors:

Caring for bamboo floors is easy. Bamboo requires you to run a mop or vacuum over it twice a week and maybe use a little mild detergent or non-abrasive cleaners. To clean up a spill just use a damp cloth, and wipe the surface dry.

 
         
     
Return to top
 
         
         
  Landscaping      
         
   
Desert Landscaping

When a person thinks about landscaping, it may be difficult to think of desert landscaping. It is first important to understand what landscaping is, and then you can appreciate desert landscaping and how to do it correctly.

Landscaping is a science as well as an art and requires a person with good observation and design skills. A talented and qualified landscaper is trained to understand nature and to be able to construct and blend elements to create a beautiful landscape.

What is landscaping? It is the modification of any visible feature of an area of land. This can include all living elements such the flora and fauna. Most people would call this gardening.

Gardening is an art of growing plants with the goal being to create something beautiful within the landscape. Landforms, terrain shape and elevation as well as bodies of water are also part of landscaping. Man made objects as well can be used in landscaping. Taking into consideration the elements and lighting conditions is also a part of landscaping.

With that understood, we can now discuss desert landscaping. Think of all the elements and landforms that you have to work with in the desert. There are cacti, tumbleweeds, and sandy dirt, and you have the wind and the heat to contend with as well. Believe it or not you can create a very tranquil landscape scheme in the desert. The vital key here is to be efficient.

In the desert, it is important to keep in mind that every drop of water that can be provided to your landscape needs to be used to its fullest potential before it evaporates. You must be mindful of the soil.

Desert soil is going to be the toughest challenge that you will face with your landscaping. The soil is tough and very alkaline with toxic levels of salinity. Coupled with the heat of the sun you are facing an uphill battle.

Using mulch and soil additives and shading will help improve your soil. These additives will make drainage as well as retaining water a positive force in your soil. Good soil is important so the landscape that you are planting can anchor itself into the ground. Good anchor will help prevent the landscape from being blown away in the wind.

The wind in the desert can be almost as damaging as the sun. To help protect against the wind, while the plants are beginning to anchor themselves make sure that you use good ground cover, fences and even gravel.

Knowing that we are talking about the desert, we really shouldn't even have to mention the heat factor. This is another reason that using each drop of water to its fullest potential is important in sustaining your landscape. The key component to using water properly is good soil. With a little care and planning you can build a beautifully landscaped area in the desert.

 
         
     
Return to top
 
         
         
  Go Green      
         
   
Green Remodeling

Remodeling seems to be one of the most popular home improvement activities these days.  Homeowners are excited to have their family’s bathroom, kitchen, basement or any other room customized to their likings.  Remodeling projects are also some of the biggest and most expensive jobs you can start on your home.  They usually require complete demolition of an existing room, and the relocation, addition or removal of walls along with new electric wiring and plumbing.

Eco-Friendly Remodeling Options

Once your new general framing and necessities are in place you can start the actual remodeling process, which allows professionals to create the ideal new room you’ve always wanted.  Be sure to go over all of your design ideas with your contractor before you start the project to ensure everything will be done as you wish.

Plan Ahead and Do the Job Right

When you start planning your remodeling project try and incorporate as many “green” friendly ideas as you can.  There are quite a few environmentally healthy options and actions you can take to help do your part with your next major home improvement project.  

The first green remodeling action you can take is to discuss with your contractor how many recycled materials you can use on your new room.  Right away this helps on cutting back on the Earth’s resources.  Recycling is the oldest green concept and can be applied to many aspects and materials in construction.  Next, you should work to make your new room as energy efficient as possible.  This means low energy appliances, programmable thermostats and energy efficient windows.  Not only will this help you reduce the amount of energy you use, but it will also lower your electric bill, saving you money!  

Every remodeling project will require fresh paint.  While this gives your new room a great finished look some paints can contain toxic fumes, which are also harmful to the environmentGo green by using paints, woods and sealants, which are non-toxic.  Ask your green contractor to use as many local materials as possible.  This helps reduce the need for transportation, and will in turn mean less air pollution due to exhaust gasses.  These are just some of the things to keep in mind.  There are many more.  Send in your suggestions and we will post them.

 

 
         
     
Return to top
 
         
         
  Decorative      
         
   
Decorate Your Home Office

Home offices are becoming more and more popular as the “work at home” population continues to increase. With the advent of the internet this is becoming even more prevalent, as more people decide to quit the commute and daily grind of the 9-5, for the comfort of their own homes.

With this new found freedom comes the necessity to create an effective work space at your own home. The viability of your home job will depend upon the quality of your home office. After all, you will need an appropriate space to do your work!

When planning to decorate a room as in a home office, take careful thought. There are many aspects to consider including storage, work space, lighting and textiles.

Color

Try to create a calm atmosphere. Using colors such as neutral and earthy green tones give an indoor/outdoor feel. Blending carpet and wall colors give an overall feeling of space, which can then be extended when choosing the materials for your office furniture and textiles.

Storage

You will be surprised how much storage you can fit into a small room if planned sensibly. Overhead storage, corner storage and shelving create a great office feel and will give that much sought after minimal look. Recessed cupboards built into a room can maximize utilization of space, and can blend seamlessly into a room if they are chosen with the correct materials.

Desks

Desks do not have to be those big standard wooden style ones! In the marketplace you will find countless stylish chrome, glass, beech wood and tubular steel models for example. Chose a desk that suits your needs, and the overall theme of the room. If you're creating a loft feel for example, chrome and glass will give a spacious look. You want to be comfortable while working and definitely avoid back strain, so ensure your chair gives you proper lower back support.

Lighting

Try to have as much natural light as possible in your workspace. Desk lamps can be practical and ensure they are adjustable. Overhead lighting and spotlights are available in many trendy styles.

Flooring

Wooden or laminate flooring are popular choices for home offices due to their hard wearing properties. They create a clean line look and make the use of your office chair much easier. Avoid carpet if possible as dust will gather and be circulated around the room which could damage your computer.

Finishing touches

Purchase finishing items like office filing, trendy storage boxes, a clock, etc. to achieve your overall look.    A potted plant will look great and give some life to your new home office.

Now that you have made significant changes and improved your work space, enjoy your new surroundings!

 
         
     
Return to top
 
         
         
  Remodeling      
         
   
Before Undertaking a Bathroom Remodeling Job

In times gone by, the bathroom was little more than a closed in area to get into and out of as quickly as possible. Today, however, realtors will tell you that the bathroom, after the kitchen, is what buyers look at the most. You can add thousands to the value of your home if you undertake bathroom remodeling.

Before you jump in with both feet, test the water, so to speak. You must have a budget and stick to it. If you just go shopping, you may end up spending more than you had planned. Also, decide on the space you are working in. Are you going for a full bathroom remodel or just staying with redecorating? Also, keep in mind how much stress this it going to put on your family. If you go from 2 bathrooms to 1 for too long a period, it may be more stress than you realize.

One of the first places people look to when doing complete bathroom remodeling is the shower or tub. If this is the way you are looking to go, do your homework before you begin ripping out fixtures and walls. There is a large assortment of products available from cast iron to porcelain, from glass doors on the shower to a cool curtain? Try to stay with the current plumbing set up you have. If the showerhead is in the same place in the new shower as the old, you won't have to tear out plumbing. This will save you hours and money.

Another thing to consider in bathroom remodeling is whether or not you are going to replace the tiles.  Keep in mind that you want to have the entire room flow together. Also, if you are thinking of a new look for your bathtub or shower, but do not want to go through the trouble and expense of replacing it, there is the option of having acrylic molded over the existing bathtub and that may just give you the best of both worlds.
It is important to do your shopping before you start your the bathroom remodeling project. There is such a wide variety of fixtures and materials on the market today that it may be overwhelming. There are a few things to keep in mind while you shop.

As with any major home improvement project, make sure you get the correct permits and obey any restrictions in your area with you local governmental building department. That is important to do if you are going to do major bathroom remodeling changes including electrical or plumbing work, such as installing heated floors or moving the sink from one wall to another.

If you are thinking of undertaking the electric or plumbing yourself, make sure you know what you are doing and spend time doing your research. In most cases, hiring a contractor will be your best bet. They know what they are doing and have the experience to know what to do when they run into something unexpected. You should find a bathroom remodeling contractor that shares your vision, understands your remodel plan, and is willing to work within your budget. Then let them “do their thing.” Afterwards, if you want some hands on activity you can paint, wallpaper and decorate to your heart's content.

When making your plans for the bathroom remodel making sure the showerhead is comfortable for everybody who uses it. Also, choose easy to clean fixtures. You want to make sure you have tempered glass for the shower door if you are going with glass.

Keep in mind that you want to be able to reach the soaps and shampoos, so keep them in easy to reach areas. Other things to keep within easy reach are the towels and washcloths.

Don't forget that bathrooms are high humidity areas, so be sure to have enough ventilation to keep mold at bay.
It is very important to make sure that all outlets are grounded. This is going to help prevent electric shocks while plugging in appliances such as hair dryers.

To create a stylish yet functional bath room, be sure you pay attention to detail.

 
             
         
Return to top
 
     
   
     
 

HOME MAKEOVER IN THE DESERT
A Kajon Media Production
www.kajonmedia.com

 

Member of:
Desert Valleys Builders Association

Copyright ©2007-2015. Home Makeover in the Desert. All rights reserved.