A Mediterranean-style patio evokes sunny days in the Old World, with a warm color palate and traditional furniture and accessories. This look complements any Mediterranean- or Spanish-style house, as well as traditional homes. Outdoor Mediterranean furniture is traditional and sometimes rustic, made of sturdy materials like pine or iron. Most traditional furniture in wicker, teak or aluminum work as a base for the Mediterranean style, Voyles says. Cushions and pillows cement the look. "Base your color palate on warm apricot, rust, cream, and ivory, and accent with greens," Bartron advises.
A permanent outdoor fireplace can add a real hint of luxury to your backyard or deck. Built-in or permanent outdoor fireplaces tend to require more extensive construction and are therefore generally more expensive than freestanding outdoor fireplaces. Common materials for freestanding or built-in outdoor fireplaces are stone, stucco, tile and brick. You`ll have plenty of designs to choose from, and matching your backyard or deck`s overall design shouldn`t be a problem. Outdoor fireplaces should always be located away from any potentially flammable items like trees or shrubs, and you should always use a spark guard and flame-resistant fire mat when your fireplace is in use. Also, be sure to check with your local fire department regarding their outdoor fire codes before installing your outdoor fireplace.
Because more and more of us are staying in our homes and making improvements rather than moving, you can afford to put your personal stamp on your home. For that reason, be brave and embrace colour. Everything from bright pink to cool blues will work in a kitchen, you can even go for an all-white, glossy kitchen if you want that modern, minimal look. Be bold and you’ll be thrilled by the results.
A ten-dollar quart of paint can transform a kitchen by adding color to a backsplash or accent wall. Really beautiful linen kitchen towels make a statement. It`s the little things that warm a space most, not the appliances or the layout or the material of the countertops.
A good vibe goes a long way. Music, flowers, wine: these are all things that contribute to the design of your space, especially if your kitchen design project doesn`t involve knocking down walls. If you`re designing from scratch, don`t lose sight of the smaller, personal touches. Having fresh flowers on the counter each week and listening to music that gets your hips swinging are as much a part of the beauty of your kitchen as anything.
Cooker hoods have become one item in the kitchen that you can really make a statement with. Top-of-the range statement hoods can cost well over £1000 so be careful when buying something that looks similar but costs a lot less – they’re usually badly made. As a rule try to stick to one of the better known brands – if there is one item in the kitchen that is prone to breaking down it’s the hood. As a designer I’m not particularly excited about having an “out-there’’ cooker hood as they tend to date pretty quickly and it’s an expensive item to change once the trends move on. So, often I think it’s best to go for a concealed/integrated or canopy hood – telescopic hoods are really smart as they only project into the room when in use and are otherwise inconspicuous.
Moving a boiler is normally a pretty expensive job and whenever a boiler is in the kitchen it’s certainly a design hurdle. Concealing the boiler within a wall unit is a neat solution but you should always discuss the ventilation issue with the manufacturer of the boiler if you intend to box it inside a cupboard - as it needs airflow to run safely. Also, bear in mind that standard wall units are not normally big enough to house it so you’ll either need an oversized unit or your kitchen fitter would need to create one for you on site.
Be very careful of the quality when it comes to magic corners as some can be a bit flimsy and whatever you do don’t overload them with heavy items like mixers or blenders. An easy mistake to make with corner units is to forget the corner post that comes with them – this is very important as it prevents the door handles from bashing into each other – so when ordering your base units make sure whoever you are purchasing it from knows that you need a corner unit as opposed to a standard base unit and ask for a corner post! You also need to allow for the width of this corner post when working out the best combination of base units.
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