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The Home Improvement Blog
Friday, 28 November 2008
Kitchen CAbinet Design Tips
Topic: Cabinets
By Albert Lee

A kitchen cabinet design can give your kitchen - bid or small space, with a design that sooths your mood and blends with your kitchen layout over the years. Picking an appropriate design can be done with the assistance of an expert or you can become an expert with the various designs and styles that are available in magazines and do-it-yourself kitchen design guide.

To choose an elegant cabinet design, it maybe helpful to consider space availability as well as utensils and appliances that would need storage space. Cabinets are very significant in tidying up the kitchen, thus careful consideration of drawers. Kitchen cabinets can be designed to blend with the overall make over of the whole kitchen and even the house. For smaller kitchen, color is very significant as to lighten up your smaller space and taller cabinet design can appear to expand the room. A kitchen with a wider space can filled with more cabinets that can be blended glamorously with the color and kitchen lighting.

Colors can perfectly fit your style. To get the satisfaction of designing your cabinets, paint them yourself including the kitchen walls and ceiling. Doing this would allow you to save on your budget.

When it comes to choosing cabinets, it is often neglected and forgotten that it is equally part of the kitchen, which will be very significant part of your house or home. It is of no doubt that with the kitchen being one of the mostly used parts of the house. Having a perfect design - a combination of the cabinet, the colors and materials used, will be judged as the years pass. Sometimes our choices are also tightly under pressure of the budget available. However, it would be wise to become flexible and rid yourself of the budget paranoia. Once under this situation, give yourself ample time but not loosing sight of your period.

Most of the cabinets can also be purchased pre-assembled mostly available online or can be purchased from your favorite shopping malls. Buying pre-assembled cabinets can be tricky thus, the following tips can be helpful as soon as you are ready to purchase cabinetry and plans have been done accordingly.

The first step is to select your favorite door style and finish. If you are doing this online, take time to browse over the various sites offering kitchen designs. Most online sites however do provide link for customer assistance for your inquiries. Make sure that you are able to see the actual picture as well as review some of its material source. Going straight to the warehouse or display/retail areas would be convenient for those who have time. This will allow you to make first hand inquiry as well as physical check on the cabinet material. Second step is to design your kitchen along with your cabinets and storage spaces. There are online sites that help you go through step-by-step on how to carefully consider the design of your kitchen areas as well as listing out your products. Printing out the design and the checklist will be your next step. This shows the style information, quantity and product code for each chosen door and cabinet style that is necessary to satisfy your design. After completing this step, the next would be to find the perfect match of the necessary cabinet and door design needed to set-up your dream kitchen.

All kitchen cabinet design tips can be very helpful for beginners as well as those planning to remodel or do a makeover of their kitchen.

For more tips on kitchen cabinet designs, visit http://www.kitchencabinets101.com/

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Albert_Lee
http://EzineArticles.com/?Kitchen-Cabinet-Design-Tips&id=1645946


Posted by morningstarportal at 8:18 AM EST
Friday, 21 November 2008
Is Solar Power Coming of Age?
Topic: Energy Efficiency
By Peter O'Grady

As we come to terms with the incredible volatility now occurring in the energy markets around the world, the time is right to explore the benefits and viability of solar power as a major US energy source. There is already widespread use of solar cells in products like solar lights and solar powered water fountains. Development of individual home solar energy use is still in its infancy. From an eco friendly, green lifestyle standpoint, the arguments for home solar are extremely powerful.

Over a fifteen year period a solar powered 3 bedroom home will offset:

  • 82,000 lbs of Carbon Dioxide
  • 60 lbs of Nitric Oxide (causes Smog)
  • 15 lbs of particulates (bad for asthma)
  • 15 lbs of Sulphur Dioxide (produces acid rain)

Modern day thin panel solar technology is becoming much more affordable and efficient for the home. The panels are installed on the roof of the home, or any adjacent structure. They are made up of photovoltaic cells which convert sunlight into DC power. The DC power is sent to an inverter where it is converted to AC power for standard household electrical use. The AC power travels from the inverter to the electrical panel or breaker box. This power is then available to service all of the home's electrical needs. The regular utility grid remains in place to supply electricity when more power is needed than that supplied by the solar system. The utility meter continues to measure the electricity used from the utility service, but when the solar panels produce more power than you need, the meter will spin backwards, giving the homeowner credits as the excess power is fed back into the utility grid system.

The historical downside of solar powered systems has been the high upfront cost of installing the equipment. Even though there are significant tax credits available to a purchaser, the net cost has still proved to be a barrier to the development of domestic solar power. However, there are now programs coming into place that may well move solar power up to the next level of affordability and accessibility. One such program is a leasing structure that removes the high upfront cost and replaces it with a monthly lease payment that, combined with the reduced utility bill, results in an overall monthly cost that is less than the prior monthly utility bill.

An example for a typical 3 bedroom house might work as follows:

If the monthly electricity bill is $250, the solar system installed would have a monthly lease payment of $125 and it is estimated that it would reduce the monthly utility bill to around $100 per month. This would result in an actual saving of around $25 per month and increase the use of clean energy from the sun. Not only that, but as utility rates continue to increase, the savings can grow even larger as the lease rate remains constant for the term of the lease.

Key Features

  • The system is installed free.
  • It comes with a free repair service that responds if the system is ever in need of repair.
  • Solar panels typically last for 30 years or even longer, and there are few, if any, moving parts.
  • Once installed, the system requires little ongoing maintenance.
  • The system can be monitored remotely.
  • The homeowner can also monitor the performance of the system on a personal web page. Therefore any reduction in performance can be addressed quickly.
  • At the end of the lease it can be extended, or converted to a new lease with updated technology, or terminated.
  • If the lease is terminated or not renewed the equipment is removed free of charge.

This program is not available countrywide at this stage but is being expanded as financing and equipment allows.

It is still too early to know whether this type of program will be the breakthrough that makes clean, green solar power available to all, but it is certainly a very positive move in the right direction.

Peter O'Grady is the owner of It's Eco Time.com and writes on a variety of subjects involving our impact on the environment and the options available for living a healthy and sustainable green lifestyle. For more information on solar lights and solar leasing visit http://itsecotime.com and share your comments and questions.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Peter_O'Grady
http://EzineArticles.com/?Is-Solar-Power-Coming-of-Age?&id=1699281


Posted by morningstarportal at 1:55 PM EST
Monday, 17 November 2008
Kitchen Flooring - The Choices are Many.
Topic: Flooring
By Jude C Wright

Is it time to decide on kitchen flooring in your home decorating project? It can be a difficult decision when you're not sure of exactly what you need. Kitchen floors need to be tough enough to handle the mistreatment that it receives every single day. It must be easy to clean and maintain. There will be many food spills so carpet is not a good choice for the kitchen. It is not just difficult to clean but it's also not very hygienic. Contaminants can be trapped in the fibers of the carpets. So, what kind of flooring would be appropriate? There are many types to choose from: hardwood, marble, slate, ceramic tile, vinyl, and wood laminates.

If you are drawn to wood floors, your best choice would be laminate. Laminate looks like wood but is very durable. It has the added benefits of being easy to install, repels stains and isn't easily damaged by water. It is also more affordable than slate or tile. True wood floors don't handle water damage and stains well since they absorb any moisture that falls on them. They usually have to be sanded and restained on a regular basis. If they're badly damaged, the floor will have to be ripped out and replaced. Wood floor maintenance is a tricky business because any moisture must be wiped up, and dried off, immediately.

Many people like to use slate or ceramic tiles in the kitchen because of their durability. The range of color choices and styles also makes them a good choice from a decorating point of view. The three forms of tile to look for are porcelain, ceramic, slate and quarry. One reason tile is so popular is that if one tile should break, you can simply replace it with another one without having to redo the entire floor. To prevent accidents when using slate tile, be sure that the slate used in kitchens is of the low-gloss type. High-gloss slate can become very slippery when wet. Both ceramic tiles and slate tiles are very durable. You don't have to worry overly about water damage or stains.

Vinyl flooring is making a come-back. It is not quite as durable as tile, but is still water resistant. You can purchase vinyl either in sheets or in tiles. It's very easy to install and easy on the feet when you have to stand in the kitchen to cook and wash dishes. Vinyl tiles are less water resistant than sheet vinyl. Another drawback is that lighter colored vinyl has a tendency to stain easily. The color choices for vinyl are many; you can find some vinyl that looks just like marble or slate without the expense.

Linoleum has come a long way since its beginning. You can now find a huge choice of styles and patterns. Linoleum is very easy to clean and is also quite resilient.

Your decision for the type of kitchen flooring should take into account your taste as well as durability and maintenance.

Discover Decorating Simple, simple decorating on a budget at DecoratingSimple.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jude_C_Wright
http://EzineArticles.com/?Kitchen-Flooring---The-Choices-Are-Many&id=1681964


Posted by morningstarportal at 8:01 AM EST
Thursday, 13 November 2008
The 2 Most Important Feng Shui Tips For Better Sleep
Topic: Feng Shui

By Siang Kwang Foo

Feng Shui Tips 1:

Sleep is very important for the overall health of a person; so if you have difficulty sleeping, it is always better to follow these feng shui tips for better sleep and health. A very important feng shui tip is to avoid sleeping with the head towards the door. This is because according to feng shui, the best place to position the bed and to sleep is a position where you can see the door, without actually being across from it. This is why you should also avoid sleeping with your feet right in front of the entrance.

Feng shui tips also state that it is not healthy to sleep under a window as this has a bad impact on your chi. It may make you lose some positive energy by dispersing it. In addition to this, by sleeping under a window, any bad chi that enters the room directly affects you. If you have no alternative than sleeping under a window, it is better to hang a curtain on the window to prevent bad chi from entering the room.

Feng Shui Tips 2:

Feng shui tips are indeed effective in inducing effective sleep. Besides the feng shui tips mentioned above, it is also better to ensure that there are no pictures of water in your bedroom. This is because according to feng shui, pictures of water in the bedroom not only causes insomnia, but is also taught to bring bad luck to the people sleeping in the room.So if you find that there is a picture of water in the bedroom, either remove it or at least, ensure that it is as far from the bed as possible. Another feng shui tip to remember for effective sleep is to ensure that there are no poisoning arrows pointing towards your bed.

You can find out if there are any poisoning arrows in your bedroom by looking for edgy elements or corners pointing to the place you sleep. And if you find some elements like this, and find that it is difficult to get rid of it, try to work at neutralizing its bad effect. This can be done by either covering the edge or by placing a plant in front of it.

http://TheFengShuiTips.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Siang_Kwang_Foo
http://EzineArticles.com/?2-Most-Important-Feng-Shui-Tips-For-Better-Sleep&id=1665133


Posted by morningstarportal at 7:08 AM EST

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