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Kitchens Over The Last 100 Years

There was a time when kitchens weren’t the special spot in the house. It didn’t really have a social atmosphere for people to congregate to. They were purely used for servants and women of the house to prep food and that was it. Usually small unless it was the rich and then it was big because of all the servants who needed to prepare meals for everyone. Things have changed dramatically over the last 100 years.  Kitchens are now a place for the whole family to relax, work and socialize as well as cook. Modern kitchens spill out into the living room, garden area or patio to emphasize on entertaining family and friends. Below, we take a glance at how far and how much change has the everyday kitchen evolved into what it is today.

 

Before 1940

This was the era before kitchens were more than just a prepping area. Kitchens mostly consisted of wood. Kitchens started to take a turn in 1920 when the electric dishwasher was built but it wasn’t easy. Magazines would have to encourage husbands that he’d have a happier life if he had a happier wife. Women didn’t have the upper hand in buying things for the household so to free themselves from the curse of dish-washing, advertising companies had to convince the husband that it was a good investment. Some women reported washing 200+ pieces a day back then.

   

 

1940’s-1950’s

This was the era of appliances. Waffles irons, toasters, and percolators were some of the first to take popularity. Kitchens started to become more decorated with built-ins and pops of color especially in appliances like the fridge and stove. It was the age of fancy for the kitchen trend through the 60’s. Minimizing work was very important to the housewife and easy cleaning was a must so metal cabinets, stainless steel counters, and linoleum floors started to become the trend. The washing machine and wringer made its debut during this time and back then laundry rooms were non-existent so it was set up in the kitchen. Refrigerators stepped up their game and offered glass shelves, indoor compartments, crisper drawers, and freezers which made daily grocery shopping a thing of the past. The electric oven also became a household need instead of the original wood, coal or gas stoves. During this time is when kitchens started to become more inviting to friends and family trying to include the cook with the rest of the household. 

   

1960’s-1970’s

This was the decade for colors! This is where the harvest gold and avocado green were born. Kitchens started to become more opened up to include the eating area which created the work triangle and the U-shaped kitchen. It still gave kitchens the feeling of intimacy without completely enclosing the walls but also providing an open feel to it. Creating extra space for cooking and storage as well. Storage was huge in the 60’s and 70’s because of all the gadgets that were being invented so design ideas that helped with storage were a growing factor. Kitchen pegboards were one design that seemed to take off. It added a convenient way to keep pans within arms reach while adding an unexpected decorative element to space. Another boundary-breaking design that hit kitchens in this era was busy prints, especially in wallpaper. A few devices that were popular in the kitchen were microwaves, which changed how cooking was done from here on out. Fridges even stepped up their game and added more features like water and ice dispensers from the door. The phone also became a household item and usually was found in the kitchen. 

 

 

1980’s-1990’s

This is the era we are all running away from now. Oak cabinets, frilly window treatments and color palettes that are now heavy-handed. Bright colors and busy patterns started to fade from kitchen decor and neutrals started to make its way into the kitchen. Pastels and bright hues were still popular but it tended to be more in the accents. Natural light, open shelving, and islands were trendy now that the kitchen started to become a place for socializing. The 80’s brought the home computer and a new fad was eat-in kitchens. After the 90’s, Linoleum floors and Formica counters faded into tile floors and granite counters to make kitchens look more timeless.

   

Modern Day

One style that is sticking around since the 80’s and 90 ’s is natural light, open shelving, and islands. 2000 kitchens differ greatly from 2018 kitchens and will also continue to change by 2030 but the design goal with kitchens of the 21st century is to reach an aesthetically pleasing and functional kitchen that is timeless. Kitchens today are all about the amenities and unique storage options. While modern minimalist designs are popular so is the old-fashioned farmhouse look with a modern touch. Kitchens have become the center of the home bringing families closer together. Appliances have become smarter than the average joe, from remote access to automated encyclopedia by voice activation, the wave of the future has changed the way we do things. With both parents working full-time careers, the kitchen has become less for prepping and more for gathering.

 Kitchen  

Kitchens have definitely changed a lot over the last 100 years and will continue to change in the next 100 years to come. One thing to remember when renovating your kitchen is choosing a contractor to listen to your wants or needs and communicating with you every step of the way. Need a free estimate give us a call and we will make your dream kitchen come to life.

 

Feel free to Contact Us here at Retro Pro Kitchen and Bath and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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The “NEW” Vinyl Flooring

The History of Vinyl Flooring

Although vinyl is the most widespread type of industrial flooring, it has just recently gained popularity in the residential flooring market. The material has been around since 1926, so it has had time to evolve. All of its industrial-grade characteristics (water, scuff, stain, and scratch resistance) are why more and more people choose it over hardwood and laminate flooring. With an increasing number of manufacturers focusing more on the luxury vinyl tiles that imitate the texture and colors of natural materials such as wood and stone, this type of flooring is bound to dominate the residential market soon. Vinyl is durable and practical but does have some flaws. 

Pros

  1. Variety of Styles and Colors- Due to the customization-ability of the manufacturing process the design styles and colors are endless. The tiles are made by turning colored PVC chips into solid sheets of different thickness, which allows for a pretty wide variety of colors and patterns that can’t be achieved with other flooring types. There is even now the option of an extra layer of polyurethane, which can be made to resemble texture and feel like stone, wood, and even clay tiles. This technology makes it very hard to tell the printed vinyl tiles from the real floors.
  2. Different Types of Flooring- Tiles tend to be the most popular residential flooring but there are other shapes and types of vinyl. It can be either rolled out in sheets or cut into tiles or planks. Sheets of vinyl are usually 6 or 12 feet wide, kept in rolls and sold by length. Using vinyl sheets makes the surface look consistent and gives it a clean look. Vinyl tiles have a standard size of 12×12 inches, but can be made bigger or smaller to fit your needs. It can also come in the form of planks. This can vary in length but are usually 4 ½ or 6 inches wide. All these different types can significantly minimize the amount of waste that’s left after installing.
  3. Softness- Vinyl floors do have a layer of foam added during the manufacturing process that’s used to cushion the sound more. It makes for a surface that’s much softer than wood or laminate.
  4. Easy Maintenance- Floor maintenance with vinyl floors requires very little effort. They are water and stain resistant so they are perfect for households with kids and pets. When installed properly, vinyl planks are perfectly flat with no cracks or dents, which makes sweeping and vacuuming much easier.
  5. Easy Installation- This is one of the biggest benefits of vinyl plank floors is that they are fast and easy to install. Most are made to click and lock into one another and depending on their backing can be installed without adhesive. When installing, the surface rarely needs to be perfectly flat and allows for minor inconsistencies.
  6. Extreme Durability- A lot of the vinyl flooring manufacturers offer 25-year or lifetime warranty to residential areas. They are produced in a way that makes them water, stain, scratch and scuff resistant, which makes for a very durable floor that takes a lot of time to wear out.

Cons

  1. VOC Emissions-This stands for volatile organic compounds which are organic chemicals that evaporate at room temperature and release dangerous emissions indoors. These compounds aren’t acutely toxic, but a prolonged exposure may lead to health problems such as asthma, eye and skin irritations, etc. Since 2010, many manufacturers reduced the amount of PVC used in the production of vinyl tiles, but low-end products often come with a high concentration of VOC.
  2. Prone to Gouging- Although this is a problem mainly associated with vinyl sheets, vinyl planks can also suffer from this kind of damage. Planks have a much harder surface than sheets of vinyl, but the polyurethane top layer that luxury vinyl tiles have is still easy to dent. Thanks to shock-absorbing ability, a glass is more likely not to break when it hits the vinyl floor but a dropped knife will leave a pretty visible, irreparable cut.
  3. Requires Skill and Experience- The interlocking mechanism found with vinyl planks might make them seem like a dream DIY product, but installing vinyl planks requires a little more experience than beginner’s level. Preparing the surface, applying a flattening mass, cutting and adjusting the shape of the plank are all things for which you might want to hire a qualified contractor to install.
  4. Marginal Effect on Resale Value- Vinyl planks are the least expensive flooring option but can be the biggest expense when renovating because of the prep work that goes into it, especially with the rollout vinyl. So, investing in vinyl plank floor won’t increase the value of the property because most home buyers prefer premium floors such as wood or stone.

 

Types of Vinyl Flooring

Self Adhesive: This type of flooring has an adhesive film on the back that you remove. This is a cheaper version of vinyl flooring but still popular due to their appearance and ease of installation.

Glue-down: Depending on the type of vinyl, those using glue-down methods will typically see more PVC and multiple layers due to there adhesive natural needed. There is a special adhesive that is needed that is waterproof.

Interlocking: This type of vinyl flooring is a locking technique used with a hammer to connect them together. No other extra adhesives are needed, it’s like a large jigsaw puzzle.

Loose Lay: This is a newer technique that creates a barrier to eliminate the possibility of moisture above the flooring. With this installation method, you can clean up any spills you have without worrying about the subfloor becoming wet. Without any adhesive, if there is a spill that has been there awhile then you can pull them up instantly. You don’t need gap expanders, and these tiles won’t contract or expand because of their clippings to the wall.

 

How to Find a High-Quality Vinyl Plank Floor

When you’re looking for vinyl planks on the price spectrum tend to look equally good, and their real-life characteristics can’t be easily distinguishable. There are a few things you should look for in vinyl planks that can help you determine its quality, and avoid buying an overpriced or a substandard product. The most important trait of vinyl planks is their thickness, which also determines their price. So mid to high range planks would be 5-6.5mm thick, while the cheapest is usually 1.5 or 2mm thick.

Another thing to look for in a vinyl plank is a thick wear layer. A thick wear layer means more polyurethane, which is a lot harder than PVC and offers better protection from scratching and gouging.

Luxury vinyl planks are more expensive than the plain variety because they have a texture almost exactly like real wood or stone. The deeper and more detailed the embossing, the better it is. Always try to pick a few random planks and check the quality of the texture with your fingers.

Although the vinyl itself is pretty durable, the entire plank can easily wear and tear if not made properly. The cheapest vinyl planks usually come with the shortest warranty and vice versa. It’s recommended you always choose a product at the top of your budget to ensure the best value for your money.

 

Cleaning and Maintenance

Use a lightweight vacuum or broom to remove fine dirt and debris that builds-up on the flooring. Depending on how much traffic your flooring endures, will determine how often you will need to sweep. Everyday dish soap and warm water work great with a damp mop. If your mop has a scrub brush on it, that is fine to use for harder grime just make sure it is plastic bristles and not wired or super stiff ones, it can damage it if it’s too abrasive. Be sure to rinse with a clean bucket of warm water after cleaning. If you feel like it needs more of a deep cleaning then use white vinegar and warm water or combine dish soap and vinegar.Try to avoid strong abrasive cleaners as it can damage the vinyl over time. Maintenance over time is almost non-existent but you could coat it with polish every year or so to protect against wear and tear and brighten it up a little bit. Most luxury vinyl flooring has a 25-year warranty or longer.

 

       

 

Feel free to Contact Us here at Retro Pro Kitchen and Bath and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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Old Is Back And Now New Is Here To Stay

“Don’t throw the past away. You might need it some rainy day. Dreams can come true again. When everything old is new again.” -Peter Allen, Songwriter/Performer

 

With new technologies coming to the market every day when you see something old coming back it brings a little coziness back into your home. Lots of styles from older generations are making a comeback with a hint of modern appeal but also old objects that use to have a use are coming back with a different use intended. Check out some of the things below to see if you want to add these to your next remodel.

 

Dutch Doors Dutch doors became popular in the 18th century by Dutch settlers of New York and New Jersey. They have split down the middle horizontally and traditionally used for stables to keep animals on one side and children on the other side while allowing for light and air to filter through. They are still used in barns for horses to look out of their stalls but keep them confined but they are becoming quite popular inside the household for ventilation.

 

Sleeping Porches– These became popular in the 20th century because it was advocated by health professionals that the fresh air helped with the immune systems. They became very popular in the south and west when sleeping outdoors was cooler and more comfortable. This was before air conditioners of course. In Arizona, they are called Arizona-rooms.

 

Transom Windows A panel of windows above doorways to let more light in when there was a lack of electricity or air conditioning became popular. Also, it was a great way to circulate air when doors were closed for privacy. Of course, the beauty of glass is why this has become an old new feature to add to design.

 

Stained Glass– This type of glass has been around for thousands of years and is a timeless feature but traditionally seen in churches or other significant buildings. It was made from flat panels and used as windows, the creation of modern stained glass also include three-dimensional structures and sculptures. It is colored by adding metallic salts during its manufacture. Then it is arranged in small pieces to form patterns or pictures. Nowadays it is referred to as art glass and seeing more of a variety of use than just windows.

 

Laundry Chute– With technology increasing so dramatically. We are wanting things to be easier to get the job done. Washer and dryers now have built-in steam options, specific load options even all in one job for tiny-living. Why not go back to the nearly forgotten feature of having a laundry chute. With 2 story homes or homes with basements, it makes sense to provide a low-tech convenience into one of the never-ending chores.

 

Intercoms/Video– These have not only come back but have capabilities our ancestors wouldn’t even dream of consisting of remote modules in several areas of the house, music options surround sound throughout the house or even video and surveillance systems right at your fingertips. You can even buy a phone system with a built-in intercom functionality if you want to avoid hardwiring in your home.

 

Clawfoot Tubs– These tubs provide a deeper soak than most modern tubs today, plus add a whimsical look to your bathroom. It is popular to even have them outside and bathe under the stars. Whatever suits your fancy. You can find these tubs inexpensively at salvage yards. With some porcelain paint and TLC, you can bring life to the old. Manufacturers are also making them brand new if that is a better route for you.

 

Rumford Fireplace– Henry David Thoreau once counted his Rumford fireplace as a modern convenience that was often overlooked by his contemporaries. Common in the early to mid-1800’s they were tall and not very deep, which allows them to reflect most of the heat generated by the burning wood back into the room. With utility costs increasing, this old design is becoming popular again as a way to save some real money.

 

Pocket Shutters- These were popular in the 18th & 19th century when walls were very thick providing a deep window jamb whose pockets could contain an entire interior shutter. These unique architectural details are coming back because they provide not only privacy but also insulation or shade when the elements really start to become overbearing.

 

Pocket Doors– These type of doors disappear when fully open, into a compartment in the adjacent wall. They were mainly used for an architectural effect or when there is no room for the swing of a hinged door. They travel on rollers suspended from an overhead track and floor track. They were particularly common in Victorian homes to close off such areas as sitting rooms or dens but now they are useful for walk-in closets and bathrooms to help save space

 

Dumbwaiter– These are convenient for carrying items like laundry and food from floor to floor in the 19th century. Today they have become popular again in restaurants and schools but homeowners are catching on to the fad and enhancing their multi-level homes with state of the art models.

 

Mail SlotWith the rise of online bill pay and the decline of USPS, and the increase of stolen identity through the mail; mail slots have become popular among the older neighborhoods that don’t have a community mail area. They are so sleek and secure.

 

Ceiling MedallionsThis was popular among upper-class homes in the 19th century which were designed to add architectural interest and beauty to the room. Usually above a chandelier so it could emphasize the patterns. Then they were usually made from paper mache or heavy materials like iron or marble. Now you can get the same look made from foam, plastic or wood.

 

Picture Railing MouldingThis was used to provide a way to hang artwork on plaster walls that could crumble under the force of a hammer and nail back in the Victorian Era. Nowadays it is a visually appealing design element that lets you hang art in a unique way.

 

             

 

Feel free to Contact Us here at Retro Pro Kitchen and Bath and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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Kitchen Remodeling Tips And Advice

Why Remodel?

Kitchen remodels can be exciting and discouraging at the same time. There are many reasons why you may want to remodel. You may not have enough space and storage to work comfortably in your kitchen, or everything is so outdated that it is needed. Whatever the reason is, focus on your main reason so that your vision will be achieved. Also, take into consideration improving the value of your home and your budget. When it’s all said and done these two things will give you a piece of mind.

 

Questions to ask yourself

  1. What is your objective?
  2. How long do you plan to live in the home?
  3. Do you have children or pets?
  4. Do you have allergies or health issues to consider?
  5. Will you be living in your home during the renovation?
  6. What is your budget?
  7. What have people in similar homes accomplished, and what has been their limitations?
  8. Can you remove that wall to open up the kitchen?
  9. What’s behind those walls?
  10. When do you want to start?

Get A Professional Involved

It is very important to not take on a kitchen remodel without a professional because kitchens are one of the more complicated projects to tackle. It also provides a relief to know it will be taken care of and you won’t have to worry about it every time you have free time that you need to spend it on your remodel.

 

A Few Things To Ask A Contractor:

Are you licensed and insured?

Can you draw up a detailed proposal?

Do you have in-house workers or do you sub-contract jobs out?

Do you have a designer on hand?

How often do we meet to check-in on the renovation?

How is your warranty protocol?

 

How A Project Is Sectioned Out

  • 29% cabinets and hardware
  • 22% design and installation
  • 16% walls, ceiling, floors, doors, & windows
  • 14% appliances and ventilation
  • 9% electrical and plumbing

 

Ways To Save On Your Cabinets

Choose a manufacturer that offers the door style and finish you want as a standard option, with no up-charge. Don’t pay for factory-built or custom organizers. Aftermarket utensil dividers, rollout trays, and back-of-the-door spice racks are a fraction of the cost. Websites such as organize.com and cabinetparts.com are good ones to check out. Avoid custom configurations. You can often use stock wine organizers, cubby units, and even appliance panels to fill awkward spaces that might otherwise require you to buy a custom cabinet.

 

Think About The Details

  1. Installing multiple outlets along the backsplash or on the island is a detail that most forget. It helps to provide electricity wherever you need it.
  2. Having a cabinet for your garbage and recycle bin is very helpful in clearing space up in your kitchen and keeping the smell to a minimum, some cabinet companies are even designing a board to separate the drawer from the garbage pull-out to keep the smell contained even further.
  3. Newer cabinets are now being designed for organization and so you can find soft closing drawers, inserts for knives, pull out storage for large appliances and spice racks. Think about your lifestyle and how easy you want to make it when working in the kitchen.
  4. Another detail to think about is designing with future cleaning in mind. Find products that will keep cleaning minimal to save you time and energy in the long run. Flush-set or under-mount sinks don’t catch as much dirt and grime. Quartz countertops have way less maintenance than granite countertops.
  5. Designing wide pathways for your kitchen is important for easy traffic flow. The standard paths throughout the kitchen should be at least 36 inches wide and in the cooking-zone area should be about 42 inches wide. When planning makes sure your kitchen island or peninsulas have a good width for you to get around with ease.

 


kitchen remodelkitchen remodel

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Celebrating July Fourth with Retro Pro!

History of Independence Day!

Have you ever wondered why we celebrate the Fourth of July or how the Fourth of July holiday came about? Many people think we celebrate the Fourth of July because it is the day we received our Independence from England. While those people are thinking along the right track that is not the entire reason that we celebrate the Fourth of July, nor is it the reason that the Fourth of July holiday came about.

Way back in the 18th century, the United States was not considered the United States. In fact, what we now call states were actually called colonies. The United States was actually an extension of England. People traveled from England aboard ships to settle in America, but eventually, differences in life, in thought, and in interests began to develop which caused a rift between Britain and America.

When the colonies were first settled they were allowed to pretty much develop freely without hardly any interface from Britain, but things abruptly changed in 1763. Britain suddenly decided that they needed to take more control over the colonies. Britain decided that the colonies needed to return revenue to the mother country and they needed to pay for the colonies defense, which was being provided by Britain. But the colonies did not agree with these new rules at all. They felt that since they were not represented in Parliament that they shouldn’t have to pay any kinds of taxes to the mother country, hence the saying “no taxation without representation.” When Britain continued to tax, the colonies formed the First Continental Congress to persuade the British government to recognize their rights. When this didn’t work a war was declared, which is known as the American Revolution.

After the First Continental Congress failed to persuade Britain to recognize the colonies’ rights, and war was declared, things began to heat up. Many people who were both considered moderates and radicals had decided that enough was enough and that any kind of taxation without representation was considered tyranny. People such as John Adams, Samuel Adams, and Ben Franklin, as well as a group called the Sons of Liberty decided that it was time to unite all of the colonies and to stand together against Britain.

During the course of the American Revolution, a second Continental Congress was formed. It is this group that adopted the final draft of the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence was drafted by John Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert R. Livingston, and Roger Sherman. After the first draft was written by Thomas Jefferson, it was revised by Ben Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson before it was sent to Congress for approval. All thirteen colonies stood behind the Declaration of Independence and adopted it in full on July 4, 1776.

This is where the Fourth of July holiday comes in. The Fourth of July is known as Independence Day because that is the day that the Second Continental Congress adopted the full and formal Declaration of Independence. Even though we had declared that we were independent, the American Revolution was still being fought, which meant that we were still not independent. Regardless of the ongoing war the following year, people in Philadelphia celebrated a muted Fourth of July.

While celebrations on July 4th during the American Revolution were modest, after the war ended in 1783 the Fourth of July became a holiday in many places. The celebrations included speeches, military events, parades, and fireworks. To this day the Fourth of July is the most patriotic holiday celebrated in the United States.

 

Recipes

Star Marshmallow Pops

Ingredients:

  • Kraft Square S’more Marshmallows
  • Star Cookie Cutter (about 2″ wide)
  • Red Sugar Crystals
  • Blue Sugar Crystals
  • Paper Straws-patriotic colors
  • water

Directions:

Start off by laying out some wax paper to avoid a sticky mess. Grab your cookie cutter and press it into as many marshmallows as you think you’ll want for star pops. Push the paper straws into the middle (sticky part) of the marshmallow stars and set them back down on the wax paper. When you ready to start decorating, put another piece of wax paper on the counter. Press the marshmallow into a cup of water-turning it over to coat both sides with water. Then press the “wet with water” sides into the sugar crystals coating the marshmallow with the sugar crystals. Set the coated marshmallow pops onto the wax paper sheet to dry-it will probably take about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Then once they have had a chance to dry place them in a mason jar with rice at the bottom to hold them in place looking like a bouquet. Store in an airtight container if you want to keep them for a couple of days.

 

 

 

Red, White, and Blue Frozen Bananas

Ingredients:

  • Bananas
  • Ghirardelli Chocolate melting wafers or chocolate chips: red, white, blue
  • Lollipop Sticks
  • Red, white, & Blue sprinkles

Directions:

Peel the bananas and then cut them in half. Place each banana piece on a lollipop stick. Freeze the bananas for at least two hours. Melt the Ghirardelli chocolates in the microwave and then use a spoon to cover the frozen banana with the melted chocolate. If you are going to decorate your red, white and blue frozen bananas with sprinkles, add the sprinkles before the chocolate hardens. If you want to drizzle on the candy melts, place the chocolate covered frozen bananas back in the freezer until the chocolate is completely hardened. For the candy drizzle, place 15 Wilton blue, red and white candy melts in a Ziploc bags. Place the plastic bags in the microwave.  We started at 40 seconds increments until the candy melts were fully melted. Once the candy melts are melted, cut the tip off the bag and drizzle the candy over the frozen bananas. Place the decorated red, white and blue frozen bananas back in the freezer until you are ready to serve them.

 

DIY Projects

4th of July Fireworks Decor

Supplies:

  • Variety of sticks
  • Flat spray paint Red, white & blue
  • 3 Mason jars
  • A ribbon that is red, white & blue or themed for Independence day

 

Directions:

Spread out a bundle of sticks in pile of three. Spray each pile with red, white, and blue paint. Let dry and reapply if you see any missed sections. Take the mason jars and wrap the themed ribbon around the top. Place the sticks in the jar and display as a centerpiece or mantel decoration.

 

 

Firecracker Poppers

Supplies:

  • A stapler
  • Scissors
  • Craft or needlework needle
  • Fun craft punches for making your own confetti
  • Hole Puncher
  • Toilet paper (to make the rocket shape)
  • Colored construction paper
  • Red and Blue tissue paper
  • String
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Beads (these will not show so it doesn’t matter what they look like)
  • Ribbon for the streamers (red, white, & blue)

Directions:

Cut a small square of tissue paper that will be big enough to cover the bottom of your cardboard tube (about 3” across). Cut a small disc out of a sheet of construction paper that will fit just within the radius of the cardboard tube. With some glue attach this disc to the center of the tissue paper. Let it dry a few minutes. Thread about an arm’s length of string onto your craft needle and tie a bead to the end for a knot. With this, puncture the center of your disc that is attached to the tissue paper. This will be the trap door.

Next, you will need to glue this tissue paper trap door to your cardboard tube with a small line of glue around the bottom of the tube. Make sure you attach it with the bead side inside the tube and the string side hanging outside of your tube. You can add a pull tab to your long dangling fuse or just let it hang. We added stars to some of ours. Let dry. Cover the toilet paper with decorative paper so you don’t know that it is toilet paper. The length is roughly 6.5×4.25. Attaching the ribbons to the bottom inside of the decorative covering will keep it looking more professional. Roll your paper around the tube and staple the top for strength. You can’t staple the bottom because your tissue paper trap door keeps the stapler from getting inside but I found that a couple of pieces of tape did the trick. Now you can fill your tube with confetti. We just put in a few handfuls but feel free to load this sucker up. Just think about how much confetti you want to clean up later. Attaching the cone to the top of your rocket can be a bit tedious. It’s purely aesthetic so if you opt out of this part that’s fine.

Cut a circle about 3.25 inches wide across, then cut one snip all the way to the center of the disc like you see above. Take the edges of your cut and pull them together, probably about a half an inch or more. When your cone has reached a desirable height, staple it at the base. Attaching the cone to your rocket can be a little tricky. The important thing is creating a strong holder that you can use to hang your rocket from. Since these rockets will be tugged upon, you don’t want it to fall apart before it explodes. Putting a weight-bearing string through two holes punched in the top of the rocket body works best.  

Then string the two sides of the string through the center bead and up through the center of the cone so that it comes out of the point at the top of the cone. The cone itself can’t really hold the rocket together so taping it wouldn’t work. An easy way to string the cone is to open up the stapled cut from the inside of your cone and pull your string through the gap.

 

       

Here’s a Scientific Diagram 

I found that I needed to “prime” some of the rockets to ensure maximum explosiveness. You can do this by simply poking some small holes (or cutting with a sharp blade) around the bottom of the trap door. Just make sure you don’t cut it completely out because the ripping sound of that trap door being yanked out is probably the biggest part of the fun.

 

Feel free to Contact Us here at Retro Pro Kitchen and Bath and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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5 Common Myths About Remodeling Your Kitchen Or Bathroom

Remodeling is not something one does every day. In fact, most people do not understand the ins and outs of home renovations or remodeling. Many homeowners are apprehensive about tackling the projects themselves or hiring a professional for fear of being ripped off. Are you thinking about remodeling your kitchen or bath? You’ll find lots of misconceptions that can confuse your decision-making process. Below we have listed the top 5 myths behind remodeling to help you make a better decision.

 

Doing a renovation yourself, hiring a relative or your local handyman to the job will save you more money.

It’s not an easy project doing a home renovation whether it’s one room or the whole house. If you just wanted one specific thing done like flooring or installing appliances then that might be a good option but if it’s an extensive project then hiring a professional contractor will provide you with the experience and a written contract with all your expectations on paper to give you a piece of mind. Do your homework and make sure you interview at least 3 different companies. Three things you should look for in these companies is time management, price, and quality of work. Pick two that mean the most to you and go with the contractor that meets those two. A professional contractor should provide you with a written estimate of the project, a calendar of events, and will proactively communicate with you throughout the process.

Most projects run longer and end up costing more in the end.

This can be true if you decide to add more to the budget or change products to pricer ones. Another thing that can sometimes happen is things occurring that were not accounted for in the budget like plumbing or electrical problems, this is especially true if it is an older home. If you properly plan and set up a budget this is less likely to occur and if it does then change products around so that you don’t go over budget. Depending on the age of the home, you may want to have a contingency fund available for unexpected issues. Even the best contractors can’t determine these issues ahead of time until they start to dig into the project.

Doing a home renovation will trash the whole house and yard.

It really depends on your contractor that you choose for the job. Make sure to ask about the after-cleaning and site maintenance. Most of the time when your remodeling your home you plan on living in the home while it is being renovated. A reputable contractor will clean up each day and maintain a living space for you. Always check with the contractor and calendar on days when power and water might be turn off for construction so there are no surprises.

Kitchen and bath remodeling is too expensive.

Once you set a budget for your remodeling needs you can begin your research to determine what works for your kitchen or bath remodel. No matter the budget for updating your kitchen or bath it will increase the value of your home automatically. Just don’t go overboard on upgrading unless you plan on living in the home for another 10+ years. Kitchen and bath remodeling is the best investments when adding upgrades to your home, just keep that in mind.

Hiring a reputable professional contractor is too expensive.

A professional contractor is the most experienced person to remodel your home and wouldn’t you rather save time, stress and money in the long run if you choose the right person for the job. Do your homework and interview at least 3 different companies to make sure you have the right fit for you and your project.

 

 

 

Feel free to Contact Us here at Retro Pro Kitchen and Bath and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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Make The Most Of Your Small Bathroom

A small bathroom remodel is a very challenging project for any contractor because your space is limited and you want to make sure to plan carefully. Functionality comes first when planning for the renovation of a small bathroom. Then plan for storage and then decorating the space comes last. Don’t plan on a full-sized home spa if you have a tiny space because it won’t look right and you might run into clearance issues when it is finished. For example, choose a round-front toilet which is 2” shorter to save space and choose a shower design with no swinging door to keep more clearance are some space saving ideas.

 

To open up the space, brightening up the room will be the best way without changing what you have. Light colors is an easy way to achieve this. It alters our perception of the space and is more inviting when it’s light. If you still want to make the room pop just buy some towels or accessories with a bold color. Another way to brighten up the space is adding natural light whether it be a skylight or making the existing window larger.

 

Some things to consider when remodeling a small bathroom

  • Choose a bypass glass door
  • Keep your colors light
  • Use over-sized mirrors to create dimension
  • Create a pattern as an accent
  • Have minimal decor
  • Use colorful artwork on the wall instead of furniture
  • Add a corner vanity or a rounded vanity to make the space a little bigger
  • Keep it simple
  • Choose lighting with a design element like pendants, sconces, or wall-mounts.
  • Consider wall-mounted toilets to help save space
  • Use pocket doors
  • Use wall space for built-in storage
  • Get rid of the tub/shower combo and have a large walk-in shower
  • Have a wall vanity to give more floor space in the room
  • Install niches in the shower for convenience and organization
  • If you choose a white bathroom, think about painting the ceiling a dark bold color. This will draw your eye up and make it appear bigger.

 

 

What not to do:

  • Don’t rush the project-Poor planning is the leading cause of cost overruns.
  • Don’t skimp on skilled labor-A good tile setter can make the low-cost material look expensive.
  • Don’t cut corners on key materials-Cheaper materials that don’t have warranties will cause a problem quicker than you expect.
  • Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow-Ensure you plan for your future lifestyle with a remodel, at least 15-20 years.
  • Don’t forget to factor in water use-Bathroom fixtures have become more water-efficient if you add more showerheads to your shower make sure your drain supports the amount of water being used.
  • Don’t forget about storage-Lack of storage nowadays is bad for resale value. Think of creative ways to include storage.
  • Don’t buy products online, see them in person first-Researching online is great for ideas and designs but products don’t always look the same on the computer screen vs. in reality. In a store, you can always see if they will match the online price too.

 

 

Where to place your accessories:

  • Towel bar about 48″ from the ground
  • Toilet role about 6″ in front of the toilet
  • Medicine cabinet about 60-66″ from the ground
  • Robe hook about 66-72″ from the ground or on a door about 6″ from the top
  • Light fixtures about 66″ high

 

bathroom before and after bathroom remodel bathroom remodel

 

Feel free to Contact Us here at Retro Pro Kitchen and Bath and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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Modern Farmhouse VS. Country Farmhouse Styles

Do you like a modern farmhouse style or a country/rustic farmhouse style? The styles vary slightly but the look changes everything. 

Long before Fixer Upper on HGTV became a hit, the farmhouse style always had something about its character and rustic beauty. Nowadays, you can mix that farmhouse style with clean and modern lines that create a whole new style in our modern day.

Modern Farmhouse Style

 It’s not often that the term modern and farmhouse are heard together but the combination of design styles has become quite popular amongst homeowners. A contemporary farmhouse evokes feelings of warmth and comfort but stays classic and timeless. Not too cluttered with old stuff but more of a mix of new adding a touch of rustic woods and rusted metals. It’s a balance between comfortable furniture and decor with a hint of salvaged materials like reclaimed wood or old antiques. Everything is tactile and tangible.

 

Country Farmhouse Style

Country Farmhouse style is more casual with less sophistication. It lies heavily on accessories of old stuff than a minimal standpoint. This type of style feels more original and carries true elements of vintage throughout. The furniture and appliances are true to the style but sometimes a laminate is laid over the top of new appliances to match the cabinets. It creates more of a homey feel than a clean feel like the modern farmhouse style. Antiques and old decor flourish in this style. Everything is eclectic and comfortable. 

 

For your bathroom you could add these:

  • Refurbished old dresser for a vanity
  • Brushed metal handles (bronze or black)
  • Antique touches or knick knacks
  • Natural textures
  • Distressed wooden framed mirror
  • An old footed tub or copper colored tub
  • Barn wood accent walls

 

For Your Kitchen you could add these:

  • Farmhouse Sink
  • White cabinets
  • Beadboard
  • Shiplack
  • Rustic Table
  • Mason jars or large glass jars as accents
  • Rustic touches
  • Plank wood floors
  • Barn wood accents or door
  • Half door
  • Open shelving
  • Plate racks
  • Old photos framed
  • Old windows used as wall hangings
  • Mixing wood and metals together with furniture
  • White subway tile as a backsplash

 

 

                    

Feel free to contact us here at Retro Pro Kitchen and Bath and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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What To Do With A Galley Kitchen

What is a galley kitchen? A galley kitchen is a narrow usually small kitchen with one long aisle lined with countertops, cabinets, & appliances on either side. Below gives you a general idea of a galley kitchen layout.

 

 

Small kitchens aren’t necessarily a bad thing. If the space is designed correctly you will find a galley kitchen is functional. If your kitchen is an outdated galley kitchen then yes it was probably badly designed and creates a hectic workspace. Fear not remodeling your galley kitchen can help make the space more efficient and give you just as much storage as a large kitchen. It truly is an effective space and makes the most for a true chef as long as you have the right designer in place to give you what you are looking for. With the long aisle and parallel counters, this is designed exactly how the professional kitchens are in restaurants. The only thing you may not get in a galley kitchen that you do with a large kitchen is the open concept. When you entertain an open kitchen gives you a chance to mingle with your guests while still working in the kitchen, this is less likely to occur with a galley kitchen but isn’t impossible if it’s designed right.

Look at the positive side of a galley kitchen. If you love to cook this is an ideal way to control traffic flow in and out of the kitchen. It’s ideal for one person in the kitchen so it’s a great asset if there tends to be too many cooks in the kitchen. Tidying up a galley kitchen is usually easier because the design is minimal. It keeps the cook organized and utilizes the space around them. It also follows the design technique of the “kitchen triangle” which is an invisible line that is drawn between the sink, stove, and refrigerator creating optimal efficiency.

Getting ready for your galley kitchen remodel. The vertical cabinet is a great way to utilize space. Getting bins and baskets to store extra cooking tools and various accessories like cookbooks can be stored up higher while the necessities can be stored at arm’s length. Get rid of countertop appliances that you don’t use much and invest in multi-use appliances. Pot racks are another good addition to save on cabinet space and can add some style to the kitchen.

Choosing a style. Choosing the right style for a galley kitchen can be tricky, first of all, remember that galley kitchens can be dark and dungeon-like because of the space confinement. It is best to go light and bright when designing your galley kitchen. This will help make the kitchen feel open and spacious. Making sure to have a lot of natural light is important so, make a larger window or add skylights will help open up the kitchen. Choosing lighter paint colors will reflect the light in the space also. White is the trend for kitchens now so this will also add a timeless look if you are trying to sell. To add depth pick out colorful accents to make the space inviting. Under cabinet lighting is another nice feature especially for cooking.

Dining in a galley kitchen. It might be hard to dine in a galley kitchen but you can possibly create a breakfast bar or nook that will give you somewhat interaction with your guests. This is popular in large kitchens also but usually, it is an island in the middle of the kitchen.

 

 

 

Feel free to contact us here at Retro Pro Kitchen and Bath and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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Happy Cinco De Mayo From Retro Pro!

HISTORY

For many Americans, Cinco de Mayo means enjoying Mexican food and probably a few margaritas. But Cinco de Mayo, which means May 5 in Spanish, is probably one of the most misunderstood Mexican holidays.

Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s independence day. Mexican independence is celebrated Sept.16.

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over the French forces of Napoleon III on May 5, 1862, at the Battle of Puebla.

Mexico had trouble paying back war debts to European countries, and France had come to Mexico to collect that debt.

Today, Cinco de Mayo has become more of an American holiday than a Mexican one. But most non-Mexican Americans have “no idea” about the day’s history. If you went to any bar tonight and said ‘What’s this day about?’, they would be clueless, and you can’t blame the alcohol consumption either. Cinco de Mayo is a reminder of how many times Mexico has been invaded by other countries.

Recipes

Mexican Street Corn Salad with Avocado

Ingredients:

  • 4 ears fresh corn (about 3c.) husked and kernels cut from the cob
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 jalapeno stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 c. cilantro leaves chopped
  • 1/3 c. diced red onion
  • 2.5 oz. cotija cheese crumbled
  • 1 avocado peeled, cored and diced
  • 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

Dressing:

  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1/2 Tsp. cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn and let it cook, stirring occasionally until charred about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. In a small bowl whisk together the mayo, garlic, lime juice, cayenne, salt, and pepper. In a large bowl add diced avocado, 1/2 tbsp. of lime juice. Mix with a spoon so juice is soaked onto avocado to keep it from browning. Then add charred corn and the remaining of the salad ingredients. Pour dressing and gently toss to combine. Top with extra Cotija cheese and serve either warm or cold.

 

Homemade Churros

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 Tsp. + 1/8 Tsp. salt
  • 1/2 Tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • vegetable oil, for frying

Cinnamon Sugar Coating:

  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 Tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions:

Heat 1 1/2 inches of oil in a heavy bottom pot over medium heat to about 360 degrees. In a medium saucepan combine milk, water, butter, 2 tsp. sugar and salt and bring mixture to a boil. Once it boils, remove it from heat and immediately stir in vanilla and flour. Mix it well so that the dough is nice and smooth. Transfer the dough to a piping fitted with a large open star tip unless you don’t have one. Carefully pipe about 1 to 1 1/2 inches of dough out over oil. Using clean scissors or the edge of the pan cut the dough into small pieces and let drop into the hot oil. Only add a few in the pan at a time so they don’t stick together. Allow churros to fry until golden brown. You may need to stir them occasionally to prevent them from sticking together. When golden brown, remove them from the oil and place them on some paper towels to drain any excess oil. In a plastic bag mix the sugar and cinnamon. Toss the warm, drained churros into sugar mixture to evenly coat. For best taste, serve warm.

 

Mexican Fruit Cups

Ingredients:

  • 3 mangos
  • 1 cantaloupe
  • 1 small seedless watermelon
  • 1 pineapple
  • 4 limes, divided
  • Chili powder
  • 8 plastic cups

Directions:

Cut mango, cantaloupe, watermelon, and pineapple into thick strips. Arrange an even mixture of various fruits strips into each cup. Cut the limes into quarters and squeeze 1 lime wedge over each cup of fruit. Use the remaining 8 lime wedges for garnish and sprinkle chili powder over each cup to taste.

Sombrero Pinata Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 pouch Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 cup of butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • Gel food color (red, blue, yellow, & green)
  • Cookie icing white
  • Decorating Decors nonpareils
  • Decors pearl cupcake gems
  • 1/2c. small candies

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a whoopie pie pan and a brownie pop mold pan with baking spray. Then mix cookie mix with flour, butter, and egg. Divide dough into four equal parts. Color one part red, one yellow, one blue and one green. Divide each colored dough into 8 equal pieces, about a tablespoon each. Roll into balls. Press half of the dough balls into the cavities in the whoopie pie pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown around the edges. Allow to cool. Increase temperature to 350 degrees. Press remaining dough balls into individual cavities in brownie pop silicone molds, making 4 hat crowns of each color. Use your finger to create a well in the center of each dough ball. Press the dough up the sides of the mold, up to the fill line, about 1/4 inch from the top of the mold. Freeze molds for 10 minutes, then bake for 14 minutes.

 

Remove from oven and use the handle of a wooden spoon to reshape the well in the cookies. Return to the oven for 4-8 minutes until cookies are baked through. Reshape if needed. Allow to cool completely and then remove from the mold. Pipe a line of cookie icing around the base of each cookie crown. Sprinkle on some nonpareils. Allow to dry. Turn cookie crowns upside down, fill with candies, pipe some icing around the top edge, and press a round cookie brim onto the cookie crown to create the sombrero. Turn cookies right side up to decorate. Use icing and sugar pearls to decorate the edges of the hat brims.

 

 

 

 

DIY projects

Wood Accent Wall

  • Barn wood pieces (enough for the length/width of your wall)
  • Hammer and nails

Address Plate for your Home

Supplies needed:

  • A piece of wood cut to size (about 2 ft.x 10in.)
  • 20-30 paint sticks
  • Hammer and small Nails
  • Key Hole Saw
  • Stain
  • Water Seal Spray
  • 5-inch address numbers
  • Clear Silicon (picture)
  • Compact Drill/Driver (picture)
  • Heavy Duty Picture Hangers

Instructions:

Layout paint sticks out and begin cutting them to size with the keyhole saw. It’s best to lay them out randomly on the block of wood so that none of the seams line up. Leave some space between each stick to create some depth. Stain the individual pieces and the block of wood before nailing the pieces in place. Wipe the excess stain off and let dry overnight. The next day seal it with two coats and let dry again overnight. Next, attach the paint sticks with the nails and then drill the picture hanger at the exact location you plan to have the anchors on your outside wall. Lastly, attach the numbers to the front of the wood and hang it out on your home.

 

    

 

Kid Friendly Cinco De Mayo Craft

Pinata

Supplies:

  • Newspaper
  • One punching balloon
  • box cutter
  • A variety of colored tissue paper
  • Scissors
  • Two bowls
  • Flour
  • Rope
  • Glue
  • Spoon
  • Candy or toys for filler
  • Masking tape

Instructions:

Inflate the punching balloon and tie a knot to close. Make an “X” with masking tape over the top of the balloon to flatten the pointed end. Cut a bunch of two-inch strips of newspaper. Lay down newspaper on your work surface to keep things from getting messy. Fill one bowl with flour, add water then stir to create a paste. Keep adding more water until you get the consistency of pancake batter. Use the second bowl to hold the balloon while you paper mache it. Dip on paper strip into the bowl of flour paste and use your fingers to spread along the back of the newspaper. Start by making an “X” with the paste-covered newspaper strips over the top of the balloon. Continue covering the balloon pulling the strips tight. You can also add the balloon paste mix on top of the newspaper to secure it even further. Cover the entire balloon three times over to make a sturdy pinata. Let the balloon dry overnight, flipping it every few hours to make sure it doesn’t adhere to the bowl.

   

Use the box cutter to cut a small hole on the top right side of the dried pinata. Make a second small hole on the top left side. (See finished photo at top of this section for string placement) Cut a softball-sized hole in the top part of the pinata. Don’t throw the cut-out section away. You still need it for later! Pop the balloon inside and pull it out. Stick the rope into the small hole on the top right side. Using the large hole in the middle, guide the rope out the small upper-left hole and use this rope to hang it. Reinforce the small holes with masking tape. These holes will bear a lot of weight when the pinata is hanging, so you want it to be sturdy. Fill the pinata with all the goodies. Tape the softball-sized cut-out section back onto the pinata.

    

Now you can start decorating. Cut three-inch strips of tissue paper and accordion fold the paper strips to create a square. Start 1/2 inch down, cut a half-circle shape ending the same distance you started to cut. This leaves you with strips of petal-shaped scallops. Glue the tissue paper on the pinata by making a small spiral of glue on the top. Tear off a few of the petals from the strip and place four petals in a circle on the glue to start your spiral. Add some more petals towards the top, pinching the bottom to make them stand up. Add more glue to each layer. Make sure they are firmly attached. For the next strip of tissue paper, fold the top down 1/4 inch. Add small dots of glue along this folded line. Lifting up the bottom layer of tissue petals, wrap the scalloped strip of tissue paper along the base of the existing petals. Place a single tissue petal in any gaps that need to be filled. Workaround the holes where the rope is located. Repeat these steps with the new color. Again, add glue to the back of scalloped tissue paper strip. Glue the top of this strip below the base of the last row glued down. Continue adding strips until you’re ready to change colors again. Repeat until you’ve completely covered the pinata in tissue paper.

   

 

Feel free to contact us here at Retro Pro Kitchen and Bath and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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