YOUR REMODELER FOR LIFE!

Kid-Friendly Kitchens!

When remodeling your kitchen if you plan on living there for awhile and you have children then plan your remodeling with them in mind. Custom-design a daily hangout that’s tailored to your family’s needs. Children in the past decades were supposed to be seen and not heard. But, today, kids are appreciated as the independent humans they are, and it is very easy to devise rooms that suit all needs. For today’s families, who often consider the kitchen to be the soul of their home, it’s important to help youngsters feel comfortable. The kitchen is not just a place of physical nourishment. It also serves as a daily hangout spot, a homework center, and the family headquarters. Number one priority is keeping it safe for children especially if they are small still. Have in mind opting for rounded furniture, locking mechanisms for lower cabinets, or covering up outlets. A home should also be about fun, functional, and beautiful for both grownups and the kids. Below are a few things to consider to make it kid-friendly.

 

  1. Give them their own stuff and own space. If the kitchen is already a place where the kids tend to congregate then creating a space specifically for them makes sense. A durable quartz countertop is perfect for kids because it’s stain resistant, maintenance-free and usually come with a lifetime warranty if you go with a high-quality company. You can make a special spot in the kitchen for them and even have the countertop at a lower level so it gives them their own workspace. If you don’t have a lot of space then you can create a pullout countertop in a kitchen island.
  2. Build a replaceable home design element that grows not just with your kid’s heights, but with their personalities and tastes also. Choose kitchen cabinets that have handles you can swap out in few years. Install short pendant lamps now and get longer ones when your toddlers aren’t trying to climb on the dining room table. Lighter colors can be painted over easily compared to darker ones so make sure the kitchen area is on the lighter side.
  3. Keep your kitchen looking good. Choose surfaces wisely with children. Make sure they are scratch-resistant and can stand up to amateur etching artists.

Some Tips on Kid-Friendly Kitchens

  • Have a chalkboard on the wall or pantry door.
  • Put kids dishes within arms reach.
  • Provide a step-stool for kids to help out in the kitchen.
  • Have a snack zone in the refrigerator for easy grab n go.
  • Computer corner or built-in desk.
  • Choose cabinets that hide fingerprints.
  • Go with durable slip-resistant flooring.
  • Go with a semi-gloss paint, stains, fingerprints & scribbles wipe off easier.
  • Install a warming drawer to help with cooking.

 

It’s important to take into consideration that when remodeling with your kids in mind is that they grow quickly and creating a space that is interchangeable is ideal. That way you can change the details as they grow out of them. The things like cabinets, countertops, and appliances will be there for a long time so those can be standard and choose what looks best for you with durability in mind. The rest can be customized and changed out as time progresses.

 

Questions to Ask:

  • How many children do you have, and how old?
  • How does each family member use the kitchen?
  • Do children prepare their own snacks and/or meals?
  • What about pets?
  • Who hosts the family gatherings, and how large are these events?
  • Do you cook for family gatherings (or order take-out, rely on a caterer)?
  • How many family members cook in the kitchen at one time?
  • What is each person’s role in the kitchen? (For example, dad cooks on weekends, mom makes everyday meals, children prepare their own breakfast, etc.)
  • Describe a day in the life of your kitchen. What works? What doesn’t?

 

   

 

Utensils to help kids cook in the kitchen

Eating at home is the best way to stay healthy in a society where obesity and diet-related diseases are worldwide which is second to smoking in the US. When we cook at home, we control the fat, cholesterol, sodium and sugar we consume. If we use fresh ingredients as much as possible then we can create a better path for our children to adopt a lifetime of better eating habits. The best way to do this is to get them in the kitchen and start cooking meals with us to teach them the basic tools of healthy eating. Legendary French knife maker Opinel has created Le Petit Chef set, kid-friendly cooking tools that promote proper and safe knife handling. The child-size kitchen knife and vegetable peeler both feature what Opinel has dubbed an “educational ring.” The child’s index finger slips into the ring, properly positioning the hand on the tools, away from the blades. The knife blade has a rounded tip for additional safety. They are not toys. Since 1890, Opinel has made handcrafted wooden handled folding pockets knives; originally sold as working men’s knives, they have become iconic french tools.

 

Here are some kid-friendly kitchen tools to look into for your kids to have fun in the kitchen and learn the basics of cooking:

Le Petit Chef Set

Popsicles Makers

Flexible Mixing Bowls

Snow Cone Maker

Measuring Cups

Cotton Candy Machine

Silicone Cookware

 

  

 

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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.

 

 

 

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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

 

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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

 

 

                    

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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.

 

 

 

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Dreaming of a Spa Bathroom

To Dream Or Not To Dream

Inspired by dream magazines and 5-star resorts, homeowners are willing to spend the money to make their bathroom look and feel like a luxury, relaxing spa oasis. Bringing the experience to your personal bathroom is no easy task and definitely not cheap but here are 10 spa bathroom ideas you can use that will take you right to your favorite vacation spot.

 

Go Minimalist

One thing that makes resort spas so relaxing is lack of clutter. It gives you a piece of mind and room to relax forgetting about the rest of everyday life. Start with your cabinets and drawers throwing away anything you do not need. Put everything away and out of site.

 

Let in Natural Light

Natural light is the number one to getting the mind to relax. It also triggers the release of happiness-inducing hormones. It can be a large window on one wall or medium sized window next to the bathtub. If your view isn’t very relaxing you can purchase a film to place on the window to add privacy and a soft look.

Use White

Most spas are light and bright. They love to use white so use white as much as possible and accent with a pop of color to bring it all together. The lights should also complement the bathroom decor as well. If you are worried about cleaning more with white use more durable and maintenance free products in your bathroom.

Create Some Privacy

Privacy adds the true spa-like feel when you want to escape from the world and its troubles. A curtain, plants or even a divider will add depth and give it a calming and relaxed feel. It will also keep your privacy in the room if you share it with your spouse.

   

Style up the Artificial Lighting

Stylish lamps in various areas of the bathroom with create a more uniformed lighting than just a fixed overhead light. You can also make use of dimmers to lower the brightness when you want to relax and adds drama. Candles are still relazxing so be sure to place them spratically around the room for when it is time to relax.

Add Some Music

The greatest part about relaxing is involving all of the senses. Our ears are one of the senses we forget when creating a relaxing atmosphere so incorporate sound into your bathroom. Use soft music or nature sounds to create a pleasant auditory experience. There are plenty of different kinds of ways to have this: going full out or just something small and portable.

      

Keep Everything Neat

Disorganization has been proven to create stress. Decluttering your space is very important to have a zen feeling. Don’t leave a towel lying around or clutter of toothbrushes and knick-knacks all over the countertops. If you find it is a challenge, start with the first tip of going minimalists.

Pamper Yourself With Softness

Adding texture and softness to your bathroom adds coziness. Soft fluffy towels, a thick bath mat are a few things to add comfort to the space. The texture on the walls or accents can be a great way to break up the softness but still keep it cozy and spa-like.

 

Add a Piece of Art

Hanging some paintings or one large painting warms up the space and makes it more than just a bathroom. It makes its another space in the home to relax and enjoy. This is where color should play a role if you choose to have a white bathroom. It will be the center of the room, so make it stand out. If you don’t want to have a painting choose a sculpture and place it in a spot where it grabs your attention.

      

Use Plants

Plants, real or fake always warm and brighten up any room. It creates a natural relaxing feel. Some plants that do well in bathrooms are Bamboo, Viper’s Bowstring Hemp (mother’s tongue), Peace Lily, Philodendron, Aloe Plant, and Succulents.

      

Some other ideas to create a spa-like bathroom:

  • Use earthy paint colors
  • Install dimmers
  • Add faux wood tiles
  • Add a fluffy rug
  • Add a tub tray to your tub
  • Install a massage shower head
  • Add a steam shower with aromatherapy
  • Heat your towels
  • Add oil diffusers and candles

 

 

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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Feng Shui For Your Bathroom

When the ancient Chinese system of Feng Shui was developed there was no indoor plumbing so there really is no good placement for a bathroom when it comes to true Feng Shui. Your Feng Shui bathroom should be a peaceful, beautiful space. Displaying symbols of beauty and abundance always helps us manifest these things in our life. Creating a spa-like effect in your bathroom will bring you lots of happiness and tranquility.

 

Here are some basic principles to follow:

  • If practical, keep the bathroom door closed in order to contain the qi/chi energy in the bathroom and not lose it to the rest of the home. This also keeps the germs and negative chi in the bathroom and not circulating in the rest of the home.  
  • Keep the toilet seat down at all times when not in use. The toilet is the largest drain in the house and each time it is flushed it drains the bad chi as well as the good chi. Close the lid when you flush the toilet so the germs don’t spray around the room. This will also stop good chi from being flushed away.   
  • A toilet that is partitioned is best, but it may not be practical for most homes. The partition can be done with a curtain or beads. But this works best in large bathrooms. If you’re having a home built, consider having a toilet closet built to house the toilet and include a window if possible.  
  • If the toilet is not working properly, it’s best to get it fixed since anything broken could have a lower vibration to it.
  • If you have a window in the bathroom, keep it open as much as possible in order to clear out the bad chi, keeping the air clean and pure. If there is no window, then have an air purifier in the room. Fresh plants can help to keep the air clean.
  • Keep the mirrors and any windows clean in order to avoid distortion.
  • Keep all drains closed when not in use. If need be, you can purchase a rubber drain cover in many department stores to cover the sink and shower/tub drains. This will keep the good chi from going down the drain.
  • Keep your feng shui bathroom clean and uncluttered at all times.
  • It’s best to not have a wastebasket in the bathroom. Take your trash out of the bathroom with you as you leave. Do not let it accumulate in a wastebasket.
  • Keep the bathroom appealing to the eye.
  • Natural sunlight is best for the bathroom if you’re lucky enough to have a window in your bathroom. Fluorescent lighting is bad for the nervous system, so please avoid this in your feng shui Bathroom.
  • Burn sage in your bathroom to remove stagnant qi/chi energy.
  • Never have the toilet reflecting in a mirror as this will double the effects of the toilet drain. Place something in front of the mirror so the toilet doesn’t reflect in the mirror. This could be a plant, vase, statue or whatever works for you.
  • Starting with your towels, be sure they are thick, rich, beautiful and in great condition. 
  • Essential oils in your bathroom will clean and improve the quality of air. The oils will also bring tranquility and make you feel pampered and wealthy.
  • Since the bathroom is for cleansing, display quality soaps along with some candles. Be sure to use the soaps and don’t just display them. Indulge in yourself so the Universe knows that you think you are worth it. It will know your heart and will bring you what you expect.
  • Hang soothing artwork is important too. Go online to take a look at what is usually found in a spa as far as decoration and begin to duplicate the look. Better yet, visit a spa and get a great treatment for yourself and bring away with you the image that you would like to have in your spa-like bathroom.
  • Consider having a dimmer switch put in the bathroom so you can have soft lighting when it’s appropriate like when you are bathing.
  • Stalks of bamboo bring good luck, abundance and wealth. Bunches of eight are best. Place it in front of the mirror to double the effect.
  • If your bathroom is in the center of the home, know that energy from the center of the home spreads out to the entire home, so keep the bathroom clean and sanitized and the door shut at all times.

 

Special Attention Needed

If your home is multi-levels, you want to direct chi downstairs. You can achieve this with rugs on the floor of the room above the bathroom. Other things that will help direct chi are listed below:

  • A ceiling light fixture
  • A crystal chandelier
  • A faceted crystal hung from the center of the ceiling
  • Tall lamps that kept turn on
  • A tall mirror
  • Wallpaper with a vertical pattern is positive chi
  • Placing earth objects in the corners of the downstairs room
  • An image of a bird flying up
  • A tall tree to lift the chi
  • Plants that grow straight up like bamboo and mothers-in-law tongue which happens to be a plant which thrives with minimal care.
  • Use your imagination and bring in an element that goes up, like a tall vase or stature.

 

 

If you live in an apartment or high rise building, find out where the bathroom is above you and below you and be sure to apply the proper cure.

   

 

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Remodeling A Bathroom For The Aging

Whether you need to remodel for yourself or for your elderly parent moving in with you, you might have to take into account some additional items that would benefit the space. Accessibility is the number one factor for people with disabilities or restricted movements. A home remodeling project when you are at retirement age requires a little more planning than just picking out what looks best in your mind. Your future needs and finances are changing and you need to keep a closer look at what you will need and what will benefit your lifestyle as a senior. Bathrooms are the number one accident-prone rooms for seniors which can put you in a nursing home if you don’t plan for your age. Nowadays they have come up with better designs to make the decor match the accessories that you wouldn’t think would be appealing like grab bars and tubs for seniors. Take a look at some of these safety features to help make a decision on what is best for you.

Additional Safety Features:

  • Bathroom Grab Bars- One of the most highly requested items in accessibility are bathroom safety grab bars. Seniors need more support in the bathroom to avoid slips and falls especially on wet surfaces. Grab bars are helpful in public restrooms and we are starting to use them in the home now. They are also starting to come in more decorative styles as their popularity increases. In the shower or by the toilet are more popular for the assistance needed.  
  • Raised Toilet Seat- Family members with accessibility needs will be grateful for a raised toilet seat. They run a little bit taller than the standard toilet and typically are between 17”-19” tall and take pressure off the joints and lower back when using it. They can be extremely cost-effective.
  • Walk-In Tub- If it is important to have a tub considering a walk-in bathtub would be great for an elderly person. Instead of climbing over a bathtub wall, these tubs have a door that keeps water in but lets you step in easily. The only thing it might hinder resale value if you were to sell the home, as the younger buyers may not care for it.
  • No Barrier Shower- This type of shower has a curbless barrier which means no lip or threshold which makes them ADA compliant and easier accessibility for those who have wheelchairs or physical disabilities.These showers provide a seamless transition from the bathroom floor into the shower. The floors have a slightly angled floor to keep water from running out, and this is done by recessing the floor to create the angle.
  • Seated Shower Bench- This will add a secure space for someone to sit down in the shower. Adding a special handheld showerhead would be another thing that would be a benefit when sitting.
  • Non-slip Flooring- Avoid natural stone, ceramic, or porcelain tile because it is the most slippery when wet. The best reasonably priced material is luxury vinyl planks. They are very durable and can be cleaned with anything.
  • Widen Doorways- If your planning to remodel the whole bathroom to improve the accessibility, widening your doorways can surely help tremendously. This will allow for wheelchairs and walkers to enter without hindrance. You will likely need to replace the door as well and a pocket door is a space-saving and safe choice. Pocket doors roll into the wall, so there’s no obstacle in or out of the bathroom.
  • Incorporating Home Automation- Some home automation systems are designed to increase lighting when needed and turn off when the bathroom is no longer in use. Digital bathroom shower control is something that is becoming popular. This new gadget can get the shower temperature to a perfect setting without having to bend over and turn multiple handles.
  • Install Lever-Style Door Knobs-levers are usually easier to grip than round doorknobs, and they don’t require a twisting motion. That can be especially helpful for people who have arthritis or other conditions that limit motion. You can find lever-style knobs at home improvement stores starting around $20 each. Changing doorknobs can be a do-it-yourself task, or you might hire a handyman.

 

 

   

Mistakes To Avoid When Remodeling

  1. Remodeling and then moving
  2. Forgetting to plan for future needs
  3. Going into deep debt to remodel
  4. Depleting retirement money to remodel

 

 

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