Kitchen Remodel Tips From Top Interior Designers

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Kitchen remodel tips

Use remodeling tips from interior designers to transform your kitchen. Image: Pickell Architecture

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It’s not hard to see why undertaking a kitchen remodel is one of the most discussed topics in interior design. These projects—while worth it in the end—can get to be a little costly and time-consuming. It goes without saying that, if you’re going to do it, you want to do it the right way.

With that in mind, we decided to take this topic to the experts. We asked interior designers to share their favorite kitchen remodel tips. Read on to see their no-holds-barred answers. With any luck, their experiences can help you redo your kitchen with ease.

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Know your kitchen

Pay close attention to how you use the space without making changes. Image: R.P. Morrison Builders, Inc.

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1. Know How You Use Your Kitchen

“The first step in remodeling is to know what is important to you when cooking. Are high-end appliances a requirement? Do you prefer gas or electric? Do you cook lots of curries or other items that use strong spices and want a hood for ventilation? Would you like your knives to be on your left or right while you cook? Do you bake a lot and need to keep that equipment close to the oven?” – Sara Chiarilli, owner of Artful Conceptions, an interior design firm in Tampa, FL
 Before starting the renovation, make sure you have a solid plan in place to ensure that your new kitchen will meet your needs. As you cook, walk yourself through your routine while asking questions like the ones Sara offered above. Make note of any favorite details or annoyances that you have about your current space and include any necessary changes into your design plan.

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existing layout

Whenever possible, leave the existing layout. Images: Alinda Morris Interior Design LLC

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2. Consider Leaving the Layout As-Is

“Keep the appliances and plumbing where they are. A good rule of thumb is to add $5,000 each time you move a section of plumbing or any appliances. If my clients are on a tight budget, I tell them to work with the current layout whenever they can.” – Justin M. Riordan, LEED AP, the founder of Spade and Archer Design Agency, which has multiple locations in California and Washington

Home improvement show fans can attest to the fact that TV magic makes it seem like changing you kitchen layout is a breeze. In reality, that’s definitely not the case. Out of dozens of submissions for this article, this was the most frequently mentioned tip. Obviously, your budget will dictate how creative you can get with the layout, but if you’re trying to save, do not underestimate this cost. Make sure you meet with multiple designers and get quotes so that you can go into your remodel with a realistic idea of the final cost.

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Contrasting colors

Choose contrasting colors for a huge punch of visual interest. Image: Smith & Smith Kitchens

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3. Incorporate Contrasting Colors

“Using contrasting colors on walls, counters and floors helps with depth perception and provides a clear line of sight when navigating throughout the kitchen, especially in working areas.” – Wanda E. Gozdz, B.S., A.S., founder of Golden Age Living, LLC in Hutchinson Island, FL

Choosing contrasting colors—or at least tones, if you’re not into the monochromatic look—will help you add a huge amount of visual interest to the kitchen. When you’re putting together the color palette, go with either one neutral shade and one bold color or choose a warm and cool shade. Additionally, focus either on the contrast on a single item, such as an island, or allow an element to continue throughout the entire space.

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backsplash focal point

Let your backsplash make a statement. Image: Evelyn Eshun Interior Design

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4. Invest in Your Backsplash

“Take the backsplash tile to the ceiling, especially when they are only 8 feet. This is common in a lot of older homes. Taking the tile up creates visual height and an especially polished look because you don’t have a break where tile meets drywall (particularly around a window). It’s a great look for minimal cost compared to the whole project.” – Brad Little, of Case Design/Remodeling in Charlotte, NC

The second unspoken bonus for this tip? A dramatic backsplash will draw the eye with ease and make an excellent focal point. Consider this one if you’re searing for a way to truly make a dramatic impact.

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fresh accessories

Fresh accessories can give the room a totally different look. Image: MGM Builders

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5. Sometimes Small Changes Matter Most

“Sometimes it’s not about doing a total remodel. I updated my own kitchen last year by simply swapping out bar stools and pendant lights, and replacing a cabinet with open shelving. I was inspired by the BoHo trend, so I gave my contemporary kitchen some organic touches that make it feel warmer and more alive.” – Natasha Jansz, founder of Natasha Jansz Design in Los Angeles, CA

If you’re debating whether you need to go ahead with a full remodel or if you can get away with a quick update, ask yourself this question: Am I concerned with function or aesthetics?

When function is the issue, a kitchen remodel is usually in the cards. However, if it’s just the look that needs a refresher, you can probably get away with swapping out a few design elements with trendier picks. As usual, look for things like accessories, textiles and wall art to revamp your style. These items will have a huge visual impact at a relatively low price point.

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Kitchen remodel tips

Keep these tips in mind when you tackle your remodel. Image: Keith Wing Custom Builders

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Every design aficionado knows the value of a well-done kitchen. The only issue is that it’s often challenging to pull off this project the right way. In an effort to give you all the tools you need to create the kitchen of your dreams, we asked interior designers to share their best kitchen remodel tips. Keep this post close at hand. Whether you’re starting tomorrow or won’t be ready for a couple years, you’ll want the benefit of their experience.

What do you think of these kitchen remodel tips? Do you have any of your own to share? Tell us in the comments below.

Source: 5 Kitchen Remodel Tips That Even Top Interior Designers Love

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2017’s Best Last Minute Halloween Decor

SPOOKTACULAR LAST-MINUTE HALLOWEEN DECOR!

Black motif embossments give this bat doormat a touch of style while preparing your guests for the ghoulish home you’ve prepared. 

BUY NOW: $34, pier1.com

The Frankenstein Light Switch Plate will bring out the mad scientist in you every time you switch the light on.

BUY NOW: Frankenstein Light Switch Plate is available for $9.99

 

 

Don’t forget about your kitchen’s decor, this kitchen sink stopper is sure to be the talk of your Halloween party. Available in various finishes, it adds a special touch to your kitchen sink. A one size fits all design, allows you to gift or keep for yourself.

BUY NOW: Trick or Treat Kitchen Sink Stopper is available for $22.50

 

A stylish lace tablecloth that welcomes in your favorite web crawlers to dinner.

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Nothing really says you love your guests and Halloween like serving up some poison juice! Leave it on your bar cart, or near the party and let your guest help themselves to a drink!

BUY NOW: Pretend Bottle of Poison is available for $18 on amazon.com

 

For when the party makes it’s way outside, keep your guests warm by burning skulls.. skulls made of wood silly!

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What’s The Right Outdoor Fireplace For You? Find out today!

Share more of your favorite Halloween decor items by leaving your comments below!

Indigenous People Day | Kokopelli The Southwest Native Americans Humpbacked Flute Player

indigenous peoples day designer drains kokopelli

Kokopelli

The Southwest Indians’ Humpbacked Flute Player

By Jay W. Sharp

The Southwest Indians’ Humpbacked Flute Player, commonly known by the Hopi word “Kokopelli,” usually appears on stone or ceramics or plaster as part of a galaxy of ancient characters and symbols. On a steep canyon wall above the Little Colorado river north of Springerville, Arizona, however, a Kokopelli pecked into a basaltic boulder appears in absolute isolation.

 
 

Against the black rock surface formed by primal forces, this strange and lonely figure, with its apparent mal-formed back and long flute, seems to drift through the infinite vastness of space, transcending time and place, sending his plaintive music across the universe. There is a sense of omnipresence, of the eternal. The early artist – probably a shaman, or medicine man, seeking an entranceway to the spirit world – may have understood a profound truth, and he may have intentionally used the surface to express the universality of that truth. Of course, he may have simply used the boulder’s surface as a convenient place to peck a Kokopelli figure.

There is no way to know with certainty what the artist had in mind, but his work can set your imagination churning.
Kokopelli has stirred imaginations for a long time. Of the lexicon of characters featured in the age-old religions, rituals, folk tales, ceramics, rock art and murals of Southwestern Indians, there are few more enduring than Kokopelli. He is so irresistibly charismatic that he had been reinvented time and again for well over 1000 years by southwestern artists, craftsmen and storytellers. The process continues to this day.
In the modern genre, he usually wears a kilt and sash and a feathered headdress. Back arced forward like a rainbow, he plays his ancient instrument. He dances solemnly. He graces paintings, sculptures, ceramics, jewelry, textiles and books in galleries and festivals in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Colorado and western Texas. He is an icon of the region.

In earlier times, Kokopelli was far more than an icon. There is, in fact, considerable evidence that he was an important deity to Southwestern Indians. His images are among the most widely distributed of any in the prehistoric and historic Indian sites of the Southwest. Kokopelli may have been as important to the Southwestern Indians as Abraham is to Jews or Paul, to Christians.

Ubiquitous as the figure is, the origins of Kokopelli as a deity and the evolution of his role in Southwestern Indian life are difficult if not impossible to reconstruct. It is like trying to assemble an immense and mysterious jigsaw puzzle made up of a jumble of a few distinguishable pieces, many indistinguishable pieces, innumerable missing pieces, and numerous possibly unrelated pieces.

In classic form, a silhouetted and sometimes phallic Kokopelli appears to either suffer a humped back or to carry a bulging pack. He plays his flute like a New Orleans jazz musician plays a clarinet. He may be depicted as walking to some now unknown destination, lying on his back, sitting with crossed legs, dancing to a prehistoric beat, making love to a woman, even perching on the head of another figure

 

He appears in many forms. In Galisteo Basin rock art in New Mexico, for instance, he takes on the guise of a humpbacked rabbit. At Sand Island, Utah, he appears as a flute-playing mountain sheep. In rock art on West Mesa, near Albuquerque, Kokopelli wears a headdress, necklaces and a kilt. On rock art south of Holbrook, Arizona, he wears a kilt and sash. On a prehistoric bowl from the Zuni reservation, he appears as an insect, possibly the locust which led the Pueblo people’s mythological emergence from the underworld onto the surface of the earth. On rock art in the Arizona’s Petrified Forest and Canyon de Chelly and near Moab, Utah, Kokopelli turns up with a bird for a head.

He is also represented in many styles. Unmistakable Kokopelli images in rock art, for example, range from stick figures in Chaco Canyon to spare, abstract stylizations in Colorado’s San Canyon to simple outlines near Arizona’s Hardscrabble Wash to solid figures near Velarde, New Mexico. Elegant Kokopelli images painted on ceramics ten centuries ago by the Hohokam, a southern Arizona Pueblo culture, have become the prototype for modern portrayals.

As indicated by his images, Kokopelli seems to have played a featured role in numerous defining moments of Southwestern Native American life. He leads processions of people, perhaps on migrations. He participates with costumed shaman figures in tribal rituals. He plays his flute for dances in tribal ceremonies. He joins with other figures to illustrate tribal myths. In hunting-magic scenes, he seeks to ensure success for men carrying bows and, sometimes, lances. He impregnates women. He participates in birthing scenes. Among ancient rain and water symbols, he plays his flute to plead for moisture sufficient for his tribe’s corn, beans and squash to grow.

On occasions, multiple Humpbacked Flute Players appear in a single scene, perhaps seeking to redouble chances for fertility and prosperity.

Kokopelli’s guises, styles and roles have mystified scholars for decades. They have prompted divergent lines of research, given rise to diverse theories, and led to some downright silly speculation. Yet another layer of mystery about Kokopelli’s origin and evolution lies in possible forerunners and derivatives.

One possible forerunner could have been simply flute players, lacking hump or phallus, such as those which appear in Canyon de Chelly rock art dating approximately 600 AD.

Another possible related figures includes a humpbacked, phallic figure which is shown carrying a staff rather than playing a flute. One such example was painted on a bowl fashioned by the Mimbres Indians of Southwestern New Mexico some 900 to 1000 years ago.

Yet another possible forerunner includes humpbacked, phallic figures which carry bows rather than play flutes. Such figures are painted on the wall of Fire Temple in Mesa Verde National Park in Southwestern Colorado.

One of the more elaborate figures which could be a Kokopelli-type derivative was pecked by an 18th century Navajo shaman into a canyon wall at a sacred site in Northwestern New Mexico’s Largo drainage system. Surrounded by other symbols chiseled into the rock, this regal figure stands on muscled legs, wears a headdress and decorated kilt, and is depicted holding a staff rather than playing a flute. He bears, not a hump, but rather a rainbow-outlined pack adorned with feathers and filled with seeds.

This site, like other rock art sites in the Largo Canyon complex, is still revered by traditional Navajos. Vandals have defaced it in some areas, an act akin to desecrating a church, a synagogue or a mosque.

The relationships, if any, between Kokopelli and those figures which feature only a hump or just a flute is not clear and may never be clear.

The pieces of the jigsaw puzzle which are available to us have produced endless and sometimes emotional conjecture about Kokopelli’s origin and meaning.

One possibility is that Kokopelli could have been an actual misshapen person who was widely venerated for his power and wisdom. He could have been a young man, burdened with a pack, traveling among pueblos, seeking a wife; he played his flute to announce his mission. He could be a great leader, like Moses, who guided his people in a migration to a new homeland. He could have been a pochteca, a early bearer of gifts from central Mexico.

One of the more exotic theories was mentioned by southwestern Colorado authority Michael Claypool during a discussion several years ago at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. He thinks that origins of the figure could eventually be traced all the way to Peru, where native traders carrying packs have long used flutes to announce their arrival at native villages. An archaeologist friend who has worked in Latin America tells me that Kokopelli-like figures are common icons in prehistoric sites of Southern Mexico and Central America.

While we may never know the origin or the full meaning of Kokopelli, it is clear that he held high importance as a deity in the arid American Southwest. His roles in scenes representing human reproduction, crop growth and water suggest that the Southwestern Indians associated him universally with fertility and prosperity. His roles in hunting scenes, processions, rituals and ceremonies suggest that the Indians connected him universally to their physical and spiritual well being.

It is clear, too that the magic of Kokopelli is enduring. A few summers ago, my wife and I came upon a dancing Kokopelli figure pecked high on the sandstone canyon wall above the Chaco Canyon ruin known as Kin Kletso. A thunderstorm rumbled threateningly overhead. You could almost hear a plaintive and simple melody in the wind as Kokopelli played his flute resolutely to plead for rain from the sky above and to encourage the growth of crops of a long-vanished people in the canyon bottom below.

Delicately crafted Kokopelli silver pendant displays this ancient icon of good luck, prosperity and fertility. Earrings

There are many places to see Kokopelli figures in rock art. Examples include West Mesa, across the Rio Grande from Albuquerque; Canyon del Chelly, in northeastern Arizona; Chaco Canyon, in northwestern New Mexico; and above the Little Colorado River, near the Raven Site Ruin north of Springerville, Arizona. Kokopelli figures appear occasionally on Indian pottery in Southwestern Indian museums.

Dennis Slifer and James Duffield present the best overview of the Humpbacked Flute Player and locations in their book Kokopelli. Polly Schaafsma provides a good review of Southwestern rock art, with various reference to Kokopelli, in her book Indian Rock Art of the Southwest. Stephen W. Hill, author, and Robert B. Montoya, illustrator, give a brief overview combined with excellent Kokopelli-inspired illustrations in the book Kokopelli Ceremonies.

More

The Magic Of The Flute
Desert Music and The Composers

Source : DesertUSA

One of A Kind Mega-Mansion | 1 Bel Air

Currently, the most expensive home for sale in the U.S. is a 38,000-square-foot Bel Air spec spread developed by QVC handbag tycoon Bruce Makowsky. The $250 million, 21-bath, three-kitchen compound comes loaded with a helipad, $30 million worth of cars, and a seven-person staff for two years.

Opus.

Opus.

Photo: Jim Bartsch

Far from an overpriced developer’s pipe dream, however, these types of over-the-top mega-estates typically sell for asking price, says real-estate agent David Parnes. “There is unprecedented action in this market. There’s a lot of money chasing very few products, and the special properties command these premium prices. They sell quickly,” says the Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles star, whose current projects include a 14,000-square-foot Bel Air spec estate poised to hit the market this summer. Designed by South Africa–based SAOTA Architecture, the home will include multiple master suites, a solarium, a cigar bar, a full spa, and a screening room. It will be listed at nearly $50 million.

924 Bel Air Road.

924 Bel Air Road.

Photo: Courtesy of Berlyn Photography

Few developers have ridden the spec-home wave with more success than Nile Niami. A former movie producer, Niami started developing hyper-contemporary, high-gloss homes 16 years ago and has completed 23 homes since. Buyers have included everyone from Sean Combs to the Winklevoss twins. His latest creation is a 20,000-square-foot compound currently on the market for $100 million. Called Opus, it includes a gold Lamborghini Roadster, a gold Rolls-Royce Dawn, three original Damien Hirst artworks, Roberto Cavalli floors, and a Cristal Champagne room worth $250,000.

Opus.

Opus.

Photo: Jim Bartsch

If that sounds extravagant, it turns out it may pale in comparison with Niami’s next project, which is currently under construction. Called the One, the Bel Air home has earned the moniker of “giga-mansion” for its mind-boggling 100,000-square-foot size and features that will include a 5,000-square-foot master suite, a 30-car gallery, a four-lane bowling alley, and a 45-seat IMAX theater that “rivals any commercial theater,” says Niami. And then there’s the jellyfish room. Niami is creating a lounge area where “jellyfish swim around you and surround you.” The home will also feature a moat that “surrounds the entire property so it feels like the mansion is floating on water,” he says.

924 Bel Air Road.

924 Bel Air Road.

Photo: Courtesy of Berlyn Photography

To realize the mega-dream, Niami conscripted architect Paul McClean, with whom he’s worked on almost all of his latest homes. “These projects are designed to bring everything you’d find in a city to the home—restaurant-grade kitchens, salons, theaters. Wellness spas are really big right now—steam rooms, saunas, hammams, salt rooms, which are entire rooms made out of salt—it’s supposed to be beneficial.”

Opus.

Opus.

Photo: Jim Bartsch

The One’s most jaw-dropping feature, however, may be its proposed price tag of $500 million. But will anyone actually pay that much for a home, even if it is located down the street from Jennifer Aniston? “The market size requirement is one buyer,” says Paul Habibi, professor of real estate at UCLA. “This is not a logical thing. There’s a lot of offshore money looking for a safe haven. Putting it in U.S. real estate is a way to park those extra funds.”

924 Bel Air Road.

924 Bel Air Road.

Photo: Courtesy of Berlyn Photography

As for the future of the L.A. spec-home market, many wonder if it’s reaching critical mass. “I don’t know if this is going to go on forever,” says McClean. “There is pushback on these large homes in both neighborhoods and cities,” referring to recently passed building ordinances aimed to limit square footage in places like West Hollywood and Beverly Hills.

JIM BARTSCH

Ironically, that may end up being one of the One’s biggest selling points, according to Niami. “I’ve set a new bar, and this is the only bar that will ever be set because they will never allow a home of this size to be built. They changed the hillside ordinance rules so a home of this size on this much land will not be allowed to be built in L.A. again.”

Source : Architectural Digest

Iconic Homes in Los Angeles : Hugh Hefners Playboy Mansion.

Playboy Mansion. Photo Courtesy: Michael Tran/FilmMagic
Playboy Mansion. Photo Courtesy: Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Hugh Hefner’s Playboy mansion, like most iconic houses in the world—think Elvis Presley’s Graceland or Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, comes with its own set of certifiable facts and urban legends.

In what was touted to be the biggest real estate deal in LA at the time, the Playboy mansion, located on the super posh Holmby Hills in Los Angeles, was sold for a whopping $100 million to Hefner’s neighbour, Daren Metropoulos, who described the house as a “masterpiece in design”.

Hugh Hefner poses for photographs at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, February 26, 2009. Photo by Ann Johansson/Corbis via Getty Images
Hugh Hefner poses for photographs at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, February 26, 2009. Photo by Ann Johansson/Corbis via Getty Images

The Architect Behind the Playboy Mansion

The Gothic Tudor mansion was built in 1927 for department store magnate/real estate mogul Arthur Letts Jr. It was designed by Arthur R. Kelly, an American architect who specialized in designing residences in the Spanish Colonial Revival style and Tudor Revival style.

Playboy Enterprises bought the mansion in 1971 for $1.05 million—which makes it sale in 2016 an almost 100 fold increase—from renowned chess player and space engineer Louis D. Statham.

Architect Ron Dirsmith, a fellow in architecture at the American Academy in Rome and New York’s National Academy of Design, is credited with the redesign of the mansion, including the famous grotto, a witness to some of the most “colourful” poolside parties thrown by Playboy.

A lawn at the Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, California. Photo Courtesy: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images
A lawn at the Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, California. Photo Courtesy: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

Size Does Matter

The 21,987-sqaure-foot mansion sits on 5.3 acres and comprises 29 rooms! A house this big sports all the exclusive, customized rooms that only a millionaire playboy businessman like Hugh could appreciate: catering kitchen with walk-in fridge and freezer, a wine cellar that can be accessed through a secret Prohibition Era door, theater with built-in pipe organ, gym, tennis court, six bedrooms (including a two-level master bedroom), six full bathrooms, two half-bathrooms, a great hall with 22-foot ceilings, and four offices.

Hugh Hefner Mixed Business with Play

The game house is toward the right of the main entrance and features a pool table in the centre. This room has vintage and modern arcade games, pinball machines, player piano, Wurlitzer jukebox with jazz recordings, television, stereo, and couch.

The game house has two wings. Left is a room with a soft cushioned floor, mirrors all around, television. There is a restroom with a shower. The right wing of the game house has a smaller restroom, and entrance to a bedroom. This bedroom is connected to another, which has an exit to the rear backyard of the game house. The game house has a backyard with lounge chairs, and gates on either side.

The swimming pool at the Playboy Mansion on in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, California. Photo Courtesy: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images
The swimming pool at the Playboy Mansion on in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, California. Photo Courtesy: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

A Fantasy Outdoors

Imagine having a wishing well on the external courtyard of your house! The Playboy mansion has a beautiful fountain placed right outside the main entrance as well as a wishing well. Landscaping includes a large koi pond with artificial stream, a small citrus orchard and two lush forests for tree ferns and redwoods. There’s an outdoor kitchen and bar, and a bathhouse with changing rooms, sauna, gym, and tanning area.

Playboy Mansion with a Private Zoo

What’s missing in a mansion this lavish and colourful? Nothing, not even a licensed zoo! The Playboy mansion is one of a select few private residences in Los Angeles with a zoo license. Birds such as peacocks, macaws, flamingos, toucans, and ducks roam the grounds and we hear the squirrel monkeys complete the ensemble cast.

In the book “The Bungalow: America’s Arts & Crafts Home” (New York, Penguin Studio, 1995), actor Peter O’Toole, in response to being asked about the Playboy mansion, said: “What God would have done if He’d had the money”. Do we see you nodding your head in agreement?

Take a virtual tour of the Playboy Mansion, courtesy Hugh Hefner’s son Cooper Heffner

Luxury Living At Its Finest : San Juan Del Sur | Hospitality Design

LUXURY LIVING AT ITS BEST, THE MOST INTERESTING INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY IN NICARAGUA

Between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea lies a life of luxury that many only dream of living. Here in Nicaragua, amid the beauty of sand-covered beaches, soaring mountains and breathtaking scenery, lies a place unlike any other. It is upscale luxury at its best. The fishing village of San Juan del Sur isn’t just a small port on a horseshoe shaped blue-water bay. It’s the most visited beach town on Nicaragua’s Pacific coast and it’s easy to see why. Brimming with culture and tradition, it is home to a wide variety of shops, restaurants, bars and cafes along with a population of warm and welcoming people. Tucked away from the congestion of the big city, San Juan del Sur is just over an hour away from Managua, the capital of Nicaragua and it’s international airport. And with a temperate climate that ranges from tropical in the lowlands to cooler in the mountains, the weather is relatively pleasant all year long. 

That’s what draws vacationers, retirees, surfers and investors to this Central American country. What keeps many here is its unspoiled beauty and easy-going lifestyle. For tourists looking to settle in for some fishing, hiking, surfing or exploring, there’s no better place than La Santa Maria, the first Luxury Real Estate Development in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. 

This upscale gated community is a great investment opportunity for people looking for an amazing lifestyle in a safe, nurturing location with spectacular views of the village and ocean. Here you can own a rent-ready, fully-furnished two or three bedroom apartment, with two baths, a fully-equipped kitchen, an oceanfront terrace and even a private pool. If you prefer more exclusivity, you can get on the list to have the opportunity to buy one of eight 4 bedroom villas, or one of only five, 7 bedroom homes. And if that is not enough, there are also six extremely exclusive 5 bedroom Penthouses and limited 3 to 4 bedroom Junior Penthouses.

All residences have spectacular views and come equipped with high-end appliances, a washer and dryer, air conditioning, water heater and even a power generator, all included in the price of ownership.

Outside your new home, you will find 24-hour gated security, a property manager, a club house, gym and a gourmet plaza along with covered parking, a private storage area and a complete rental program that will help you maximize your investment in case you want to get rental income from this investment. 

It will be a full service community that will include the option to have daily cleaning services and if you prefer to go even more upscale, you can arrange for a butler or an in-house cook for an additional fee.

Such luxury accommodations and breathtaking surroundings may make you rethink your entire lifestyle once you get a look at this amazing gated community overlooking the azure waters of San Juan del Sur’s bay. Built on a high summit, La Santa Maria is located where the acclaimed Barlovento Hotel once stood more than 40 years ago. During it’s heyday, the hotel was host to a number of celebrities who visited Nicaragua for fishing tournaments, meetings and celebrations. Today, that same location pays tribute to its luxurious past with the upscale homes at La Santa Maria. 

So, if you’re thinking of retiring to Nicaragua or planning to buy a second home there, La Santa Maria is the place to be. Located within walking distance to town, this more than 200,000 square foot community offers residences with upscale interiors designed with the latest global trends and nature in mind. Its clean, modern and elegant architecture, built with a Mediterranean flair, giving owners everything they could ask for in a Real Luxury Real Estate Development. Find Your Perfect Getaway

As if all that isn’t enough to convince you that it’s time to invest in Nicaragua, La Santa Maria is offering pre-construction sale pricing and developer financing. Act soon because this deal won’t last forever. The first phase of the residences, which range from 2,000 square feet to over 6,000 square feet, are scheduled to be completed and ready to move in on November 2017. The entire development will be ready by 2019.

 

Find out how La Santa Maria is gaining a competitive edge in the hospitality industry. Read More

Branding In the Hospitality Industry

Gain A Competitive Edge In The Hospitality Design Industry

Luxury, as we know, is about selling a dream. That is why the truly successful luxury brands also focus on the story. The narrative, a magical fairy tale, creates the desire. What is your hotel’s story? It may be based on the location or on the founder, for example. But it must be authentic – based in truth – and then built upon to create the dream and aspiration upon which luxury brands are built.

Your brand is more than a logo, tagline, product or service. Branding is about the promise of a distinct memorable experience, what differentiates you in the marketplace. When customers recognize and back your brand, it helps lend a competitive edge to your company. A strong brand identity creates customer loyalty which is an investment that will continue to pay back on itself, for years to come. Of course branding alone cannot replace good quality.

With so much attention to detail placed on the bathroom, the shower drain is the most overlooked item, but one that guests interact with daily. A valuable missed piece of design, the shower drain is no longer an afterthought, but instead now a crucial piece of design that pulls all the décor elements together. We will help achieve this cooperatively by weaving together a bold design with striking detail, influenced by your projects surrounding area or logo. Together we will create a piece of art that will leave a long lasting impact to the guest long after their stay.

Brand Your Next Project | Click Here

Download Hospitality Brand Awareness PDF

Maintaining Your Zen Gardens Water Source

Tips for Maintaining Your Zen Garden’s Water Source

Are you looking to add some water to your zen garden? Why not invest in a
drain for your pond or water fountain? Many people overlook a drain in their
gardens because they see it as an unnecessary cost. However, a drain in any
garden water source can limit the amount of time needed to clean the garden
and help keep it looking consistently beautiful. Here are some do-it- yourself
tips to installing your water feature in a zen garden.

Adding a Drain to A Pond

Adding a pond can invite zen into your garden. However, to maximize the
performance and minimalize the maintenance of your pond, you will want to
install a bottom drain at the deepest and lowest part of the pond. This will
create a slope and ensure all the dirty waste gets sent to the drain. It will
minimize the amount of time it takes to clean the pond, and keep it beautiful
during all times of the year. Also, if you want to put fish in your pond, a drain
will help to clean the water and ultimately keep the fish healthy.
One of the most common mistakes new pond builders make though is to put
rocks or gravel at the bottom of their pond. Although they are aesthetically
pleasing, the rocks and gravel prevent fish waste from getting to the drain. It
will also trap leaves and other debris at the bottom of your pond which will
give the pond a brownish color.

Installing a Water Fountain

An easier way to add water to your garden is through a water fountain. You
can install a water fountain that comes with a drain plug, or add one to the
fountain yourself. This will allow you to easily drain the water for cleaning
purposes and allow you to easily change the water in the fountain.
To add a drain to a water fountain, you will want to create a drain hole if the
fountain doesn’t already have one. Then place a drain plug inside the hole
and seal with silicone sealant or putty. When you want to empty or change the
water in your fountain, you can unplug the drain plug and siphon the water
with tubing to where you want.
Water is highly important in life as well as in your zen garden. These drain
ideas will help you add water to your garden in a way that will keep your
garden beautiful and easy to maintain.

By : Sally

Plumbers Share Ten Important Plumbing Tips « CBS Los Angeles

By Michelle Guilbeau

At some point in life, there is usually a need to call the plumber and frankly, plumbers take on tasks that many of us would never consider doing. A plumber can save the day and for that, we are thankful. However, there are tips that plumbers share which can help alleviate some of those plumbing problems and issues. Here are 10 plumbing tips to consider from the experts themselves.

1. Do Not Commit Garbage Disposal Abuse

The garbage disposal may seem like a garbage can, however the disposal is not as forgiving. Not all food items can go down a garbage disposal—for example, egg shells and grease are a big no no. Abusing a garbage disposal by overloading it is one of the quickest ways to break it. So be mindful of the items that are going down the disposal and also run cool water on high down the disposal as you are operating it.

2. Not Everyone Is An Expert In Soldering

Think anyone can solder pipes? Think again…soldering takes experience and skill. One of the quickest ways to cause water damage is by improperly soldering pipes. A water leak can easily happen if the pipes are not soldered to perfection. If you are not experienced in soldering, do not attempt this on your own. The best bet is to call a professional plumber who is skilled in soldering and can get it done correctly the first time around.

3. Know The Location Of The Main Water Valve

Knowing where your main water valve is located in your home is essential. In a time of crisis such as a pipe burst, it is important to know where to go in your home quickly so that you can turn off all the water and keep water damage to as minimal as possible. It is also a good idea to place a visible label near the valve, in case some one else is at your home and you are not available.

4. Use A Bathroom Drain Hair Stopper

One of the quickest ways a bathtub drain gets clogged up is with hair, but it is one of the easiest plumbing issues to fix for a homeowner. A bathroom drain hair stopper can be purchased at any big box retailer or home improvement store, and they are very low cost. Simply placing a drain hair stopper at the base of the drain will help to prevent hair from going down the pipes and causing a clog. The drain hair stopper can be easily lifted off the drain, cleaned out and placed back on the drain.

5. Do Not Flush Female Hygiene Products In Septic System

Female hygiene products do not degrade in a septic system, so these items should never be flushed. Instead, throw these items in the garbage. Tampons can be flushed down a regular toilet, but as most individuals know, never flush pads down the toilet.

6. Do Not Flush Dead Fish in Septic System

Many of us have dealt with a child’s fish dying and conducting an official burial by toilet. Flushing Goldie the goldfish down the regular toilet is okay, but do not flush Goldie into a septic system, as the bacteria from the fish can contaminate your system.

7. Regularly Check Water Hoses

A consistent schedule for checking water hoses and connections on the washing machine and water dispenser on the refrigerator is always a smart preventative measure. Those particular hoses are not in plain sight, so a leak left unchecked behind the washing machine and refrigerator could cause great damage.

8. Know Where The Toilet Water Valve Is Located

One of the best ways to stop a toilet from overflowing after plunging it is by turning off the water to the toilet. Shutting the water valve off on the toilet is a quick and easy way to help prevent the toilet from making a mess all over the bathroom floor and possibly causing serious water damage.

9. Maintain Your Water Heater

Maintenance procedures should be done on a regular basis to help prevent issues and extend the life of your water heater, however many homeowners forget about the importance of taking care of the water heater.  he owner’s guide should offer simple maintenance instructions in which a homeowner can perform. Preventative maintenance can save a lot of money in the long run.

10. Chemicals Are Not Always The Best Solution For Clogged Drains

Chemicals tend to be the choice method to unclog a drain, however these chemicals are usually rough and can be damaging to your plumbing. Instead, consider a zip it or snake, which costs only a couple dollars at the store and are very simple to use. The plastic tool slips down the drain and, with a bit of wiggling and maneuvering, will unclog most issues.

Source: Ten Important Plumbing Tips Plumbers Want To Share « CBS Los Angeles

 

Important Questions to Ask Before Beginning a Bathroom Renovation

Designer Drains Bathroom Fixtures Shower

Photo: istockphoto.com

While updating a bathroom ranks at the top of many a homeowner’s wish list, complete renovations can be pricey—to the tune of $18,000 or more, depending on the bathroom size and choice of fixtures.

“The bathroom may be the smallest room in the house, but remodeling can be as expensive as remodeling a kitchen,” says Joe Maykut, Product Manager for Sears Home Services. “Consumers can go over budget if they’re not careful.”

To get the most for your remodeling dollar, analyze your needs and wants first to make informed decisions. These five key questions can help homeowners ward off renovation regret—or, worse, do-overs. Want to get it right the first time around? Keep reading to find out what you should consider before leaping into your bathroom project.

What’s the best flooring for my bathroom?
Above all else, take safety into account when selecting a new floor for your bathroom. Sometimes, safety means ignoring the inspirational images shared in high-end home magazines, which often showcase impractical marble floors. “Stepping out of a tub with wet feet onto a polished marble floor is a recipe for disaster,” Maykut says.

His suggestion? Slip-resistant ceramic tile. Look for ones that showcase a coefficient of friction (COF) rating right on the box, which indicates that the tile is safer to walk on when it’s wet than other types of tile. Homeowners often don’t factor traction differences between tiles into their renovation plans, but support from Sears Home Services means that this important detail will never be overlooked. In a bathroom design process with Sears, their knowledgeable professionals help narrow down design choices to the most appropriate possibilities.

And, if you’re thinking about carpeting your bathroom, don’t. “Carpet is completely unsuitable for the bathroom,” Maykut says. “It soaks up water, develops bad odors, and increases the risk of mold and mildew growth.”

Likewise, real wood and laminate flooring are unsuitable for the bathroom because they can eventually warp or delaminate from exposure to water.

“If consumers don’t want ceramic tile, they still have plenty of designs to choose from in vinyl flooring,” Maykut offers. Today’s vinyl flooring has come a long way, and it can closely mimic the look of real wood, brick, slate, or stone, but it’s much more affordable.

Designer Drains Shower Bathroom Shelf

Photo: istockphoto.com

How can I create enough storage?
Most bathrooms have less square footage than other rooms in the house, yet they have to store plenty of essentials, from shampoo to toilet cleaner, and from mouthwash to guest towels. While there may not be enough space in a bathroom to accommodate a full linen closet, you can increase storage by thinking creatively. Opt for an enclosed vanity instead of a pedestal sink to provide under-sink storage for less-than-pretty cleaners and scrub brushes. Plan to install plenty of towel bars or hooks, and use stackable bins in cabinets. An upper cabinet above the toilet is also a great way to put unused space to work.

Before you build in a bunch of storage solutions, think about what to put where—and prioritize making everyday-use items like bathing products accessible where you need them most.

Maykut suggests choosing showers that are outfitted with little niches “to keep from having to put shampoo and conditioner bottles in a caddy on the shower floor, where they’re hard to reach and pose a tripping hazard.” The same goes for bathtubs: A wide, flat rim around the tub that can securely hold body wash, soap, or washcloths will go a long way toward creating a better bathing experience.

Do I need a shower or just a tub?
“If a homeowner has the luxury of having more than one bathroom in the house, it’s a good idea to install a walk-in shower in at least one of them,” Maykut advises. Already have a shower elsewhere in the house? Then just a tub is probably fine in the current renovation. Otherwise, you should include a walk-in shower, if only as an investment in the future.

“Accidents can happen that make it challenging getting in and out of a tub.” With either age or reduced mobility, stepping in and out over the wall of a slick, wet tub becomes a safety issue; shower stalls provide less opportunity to slip and fall and can offer space for a bench, if necessary.

How important is ventilation?
Bathrooms are notoriously humid. Just as long, hot showers leave mirrors steamed up, that same moisture also coats the walls and woodwork—even if you don’t see it. The damp environment can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew, unless you take measures to dry out the space.

Most local building codes require a ventilation fan in any bathroom without a window that opens to the outside, but Maykut recommends installing a ventilation fan, period: “No one wants to get out of the shower and open the window when it’s freezing outside.”

A good fan effectively removes steam from the bathroom and vents it outside of the house. Better yet, today’s bathroom vent fans work much more quietly than their predecessors, scarcely making more than a faint hum. Whether you opt for a plain vent fan, fan/light combo, or a model with a built-in heater (perfect for warming the bathroom during chilly winter months), consider this installation a must-do.

Designer Drains Bathroom Shower Remodel

Photo: istockphoto.com

What should I look for in new bathroom fixtures?
Homeowners have a wealth of options to choose from when redesigning the bathroom, including fixtures that offer a combination of great design, comfort, and high efficiency. However, fixture costs add up quickly, with fancy amenities like heated toilet seats and high-end showers equipped with multiple shower heads.

Putting the biggest emphasis on efficient features can help you recoup costs in your monthly utility bills while also benefiting the planet.

“Everyone in the country should be concerned about conserving water—not wasting it,” Maykut says. He suggests installing WaterSense-labeled toilets that use less than two gallons of water per flush. Additionally, high-efficiency shower heads can also provide “the feel of having 100 gallons of water spraying on you while it’s really much less, and you’ll never notice the difference.”

Next, consider comfort. Comfort-height toilets are the new kids on the block, and for many consumers they’re a welcome change from standard toilets with low 15-inch-high rims. The higher, 17-inch to 19-inch-high rims make getting on and off the toilet more comfortable for most adults, especially the elderly and the disabled.

Even after narrowing your search to fixtures with features that meet your biggest needs, you won’t feel limited on style. Sears Home Services makes it easy for homeowners to plan an entire renovation from the comfort of their own home.

“It’s like bringing a bathroom showroom right to your door,” Maykut says. Once the design and fixtures are selected, Sears Home Services handles everything from ordering fixtures to scheduling reputable contractors. “It’s the best way to guarantee that customers get a bathroom they’ll be happy with for a long time,” he says.

This post has been brought to you by Sears Home Services. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.

 

Source: 5 Questions to Ask Before Beginning a Bathroom Renovation – Bob Vila

CEO of Accor Hotels On Competing in the Hospitality Industry

Bazin, AccorHotels CEO Discusses What It Takes to Succeed in the Competitive Hospitality Industry

Sébastien detailed his thoughts about the importance of being able to anticipate change in an increasingly competitive hospitality industry

TopHotel News

During the second day of the SAHIC South America event Thursday in Buenos Aires, AccorHotels CEO Sébastien Bazin detailed his thoughts about the importance of being able to anticipate change in an increasingly competitive hospitality industry and about what he sees for the future of the business.

Bazin, one of the most prominent figures in global hospitality, has headed Accor since 2013, guiding a company with more than 4,000 properties in nearly 100 countries spread throughout the planet. Under his leadership, Accor is one of the largest hotel operators on the planet. In a wide-spanning conversation rich with ideas and valuable insights, Bazin shared his thoughts with Stephanie Ricca, editor-in-chief of HotelNewsNow.

“In today’s world, either you change or you will be change,” Bazin said.

Throughout his years as leader of Accor, Bazin has placed a heavy focus creating a company that stands out and is first to move on new ideas, thinking with an eye towards being successful in the future. He described this as key to thriving in the hotel industry, which has been growing at a steady 4 to 5 percent clip in recent decades, which is great but also challenging because it draws so much competition to the space.

A major challenge facing large-scale hotel brands such as Accor in the modern industry is upstart concepts like AirBnB, a sharing economy web platform with a vast and increasingly number of listings across the globe. Bazin emphasized that AirBnB is not the enemy, but rather a company that provides valuable insight because they have understood something about consumers that traditional hospitality stakeholders have not.

Bazin said that the hotel industry needs to learn from AirBnB as well as from the customers themselves. The modern hotel guest does not want to be seen as a number, they want to be a unique individual and their hotel experiences should reflect this desire. On the whole, price is a less important element than it once was, with customers that are now willing to pay more if it means being transformed by experiences they want to remember, learn from and share with others.

When asked about what he sees as the future of the business, Bazin said that the hotel industry must prepare for the advent of artificial intelligence, describing a scenario in which computers make organic suggestions to would-be guests. He also said evolving online payment methods is something for brands to monitor.

In terms of Accor’s immediate future, Bazin said the company has about 100 hotels in its project pipelines, 99 percent of which are not in the United States and 85 percent of which are not in Europe. Accor’s focus is instead on developing markets such as India, APAC and LATAM.

“Anybody that is driven by size makes a mistake,” Bazin said. “I prefer to be driven by local market share.”

In terms of Argentina, the host country for this event, Bazin praised it as a hospitality destination for having a rich history and wonderful cities, but said the macroeconomy is a problem because land and labor are expensive while the price per room remains low. Another challenge facing the country in terms of attracting tourists is that it has a need for more visiting flights and airlines.

Overall, his advice for people who aspire to join the hospitality industry is change and learn, not staying with the same company for 20 years as people were once likely to do.

The following projects by AccorHotels are currently underway in Latin America:

Sofitel So La Habana

The hotel will be located on the corner of the Malecón and Paseo del Prado [READ MORE…]

Fairmont Costa Canuva

The new Fairmont Costa Canuva will reside within the new master-planned seaside community, ‘COSTA CANUVA’, on the Riviera Nayarit [READ MORE…]

Mercure Itajaí

The Mercure hotel is part of the “Absolute Hotel & Business” development in Itajai [READ MORE…]

More information about AccorHotels can be found onTOPHOTELPROJECTS, the specialized service provider in the exchange of cutting-edge information of hotel construction in the international hospitality industry.

Contact
Jule Grass
Marketing Manager
Phone: +49 4261 4140 309
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New Home Owners Outspend Existing Non-Moving Owners

New Home Buyers Invest in Home Projects

WASHINGTON, DC — A new consumer spending

Analysis has revealed that, in their first year of ownership, new home buyers spend an average of more than $10,000 on new appliances, furnishings and home improvement projects – 2.6 times as much in a typical year as homeowners who do not move. The analysis, released last month by the National
Association of Home Builders, is based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “Consumer Expenditure Survey,” which helped quantify the money spent to make improvements as new owners personalize their homes. The findings are significant in that they reinforce the commonly held belief that first-year new- and existing-home buyers represent a key client cohort – and prospect base – for residential remodelers, including kitchen and bath designers. Of equal significance is the impact that home buying has on renovation, as well as on the overall U.S. economy (see related graphic, below). “While construction jobs are the most obvious impact

of new homes on the economy, it’s important to realize that it doesn’t stop there,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald. “It’s the architects, heating technicians, lumber suppliers and the mom-and-pop owners at the local furniture or appliance store who are helping these buyers make their house a home.” According to the Washington, DC-based NAHB, during the first two years after closing, a typical buyer of a newly built single-family home tends to spend on average $4,500 more than a similar non-moving homeowner. Likewise, a buyer of an existing single-family detached home tends to spend over $4,000 more than a similar non-moving home

owner, including close to $3,700 during the first year. Buyers of existing homes spend $4,085 on property alterations and repairs, compared to $3,729 spent by new-home buyers and $2,232 spent by non-moving owners, the NAHB said. They also outspend new-home buyers on kitchen and bathroom additions or renovations, and purchasing and installing items such as HVAC, plumbing, electrical and security systems, paneling, flooring, siding, windows and doors, the association added.

In contrast, average spending of new-home buyers on most of these items is negligible, suggesting that new-home buyers rarely spend on these items during the first year after moving. However, when it comes to outside additions and alterations, including a new driveway, walk or fence, newhome buyers significantly outspend existing-home buyers and non-moving owners. At the same time, non-moving owners outspend home buyers on most replacements, as well as on repairs of doors, windows and skylights. Other conclusions of the NAHB analysis were that:

• The most expensive appliances in the budget of existing-home
buyers are refrigerators/home freezers,
followed by clothes washers/dryers, televisions,
computer hardware/systems and lawnmowers.
New and existing home buyers spend even more
on furnishings than appliances. During the first
year after buying a home, new home buyers spend
$3,778 on furnishings, outspending old home buyers
by 70% and non-moving owners by 530%.

• Over the two years after a move, the “typical” buyer of an
existing home tends to increase their spending on remodeling,
furnishings and appliances by more than $4,100,
compared to otherwise identical homeowners who do
not move. Remodeling projects account for half of this
extra spending and mostly occur during the first year
after closing on the house. Only the additional spending
on furnishings tends to persist beyond the first year.

• There are significant demographic differences between
home buyers and non-moving owners. Home
buyers tend to be larger households with children
– and on average wealthier, better educated and concentrated
in urban areas. “Any of these factors could
potentially contribute to higher spending on appliances,
furnishings and remodeling,” the NAHB said.

• The purchase of either a new or existing home does
not have a significant effect on spending on entertainment,
apparel, transportation and restaurant meals.

Source : Kitchen & Bath Design News September 2017 Issue

How to Unclog a Drain, Shower or Toilet – Homemade Cleaner Recipe

Unclog Your Drains DIY Repair. Shower Drains & Toilet – Homemade Cleaner Recipe

By 

While it may seem like a small deal, a clogged drain is a household emergency requiring prompt attention. Why? Because if left unchecked, continued use can lead to a flood.

Luckily, there are multiple ways of dealing with clogs before they become a problem, ranging from chemicals you can buy at the store to homemade remedies.

Designer_Drains_Unclog_Drain_Shower_Toilet

Regardless of the method you choose, here’s how to unclog a drain, toilet, shower drain or a sink.

Additionally we will explain in detail how to make your own homemade natural drain cleaner with a simple recipe using ingredients you already have at home.

There are two basic routes when you’re looking for how to unclog a drain: by using chemicals, or by using a homemade drain cleaner.

When used in the right way, chemical drain cleaners are effective in unclogging drains. These cleaners can come in a solid form, or as a liquid form as alkaline or acidic solutions. An alkaline-based chemical drain opener contains sodium or potassium hydroxide. These types of drain openers are useful for unclogging drains blocked with grease or hair. Acidic chemical drain openers contain sulfuric acid and are effective in dissolving blockages in water pipes.

These chemical drain openers react with water to release gasses which may be hazardous to human health. Inhaling such gasses may leave you at the risk of skin burn, visual loss, and respiratory problems. Some people have reported burning sensations after using chemical drain cleaners.

Make sure you read and follow all instructions before using a chemical drain cleaner.

Before you commit to chemicals, however, check out these easier (and safer) ways to remove clogs.

Different Ways Of Unclogging A Drain

Ways To Unclog A Drain

  • Boiling water
  • Plunger
  • Drain Snake
  • Homemade Drain Cleaner

There are different types of clogs — some are worse than others — so what you’re going to want to do is figure out a way that works for you. Generally speaking, you’re looking at four different ways of unclogging a drain: you can boil water, you can use a plunger, you can snake it, or you can make your own drain cleaner. Let’s take a look at each of these.

How To Unclog A Drain Or Sink With Boiling Water

The first option for clearing a drain is by using boiling water to open it. As long as the drain is relatively minor, this method should work. First, when your drain is slow, make sure that there isn’t any water in the pipe. Next, boil a pot of water and (carefully) pour directly into the drain to flush it. It should only take one, maybe two flushes to remove the blockage. Any more than that and the clog might require a different method.

Unclog A Drain With A Plunger

Next up we have a plunger. This useful tool has been clearing clogged drains for years. Nowadays you can buy small cup plungers, which are easy to use and relatively inexpensive. To use it, place the plunger over the clogged drain and plunge as hard as you can.

One thing to note.

Unlike with the technique with the boiling water, this time you DO want there to be water in the drain. The plunger is designed to pressurize the water and force it through the pipe, thereby clearing the clog. If there’s no water, then you’re just pushing air, and the clog will persist.

How To Unclog A Drain With A Drain Snake

Designer_Drains_Unclog_Drain_Shower_Toilet_Snake

When boiling water and plungers don’t work, try using a drain auger (also called a drain snake). You’ll find drain snakes in most hardware stores. Some drain snakes are manual and some are electric.

One advantage of using a drain snake is you get to reach blockages deep within the pipes.

How To Snake A Drain

  • Put the end of the snake into the drain and twist the handle.
  • Push the drain snake and find the blockage.
  • Twist the snake until you the blockage frees.
  • Verify that the blockage is gone by running water.

To use a drain auger/drain snake, start by putting the rear end of the drain snake into the drain hole and twisting the handle. Next, you’ll want to push the drain snake further until you feel the blockage.

Once located, turn the drain snake around until you feel the blockage free. You’ll be able to tell whether or not the drain is clear by running water for several minutes.

If part of the blockage is still in place, the water will continue to drain slowly.

Unclog A Drain With A Homemade Natural Drain Cleaner

Homemade Drain Cleaner Recipe

  • 2 cups or vinegar
  • ½ cup of baking soda.
  • Start by pouring a pot of boiling water into the drain.
  • Pour the baking soda into the drain and let sit.
  • Finish with 2 cups of vinegar and 1 cup hot water.
  • Close/plug the drain and let sit for at least 20 minutes.
  • Flush with another pot of boiling water.

Store-bought cleaners contain dangerous chemicals and if you’d prefer to avoid using a chemical-based based drain opener, consider making your own homemade, natural drain cleaner from baking soda and vinegar.

Start by pouring boiling water down your drain (that might be enough to clear it, but if not, keep reading).

Pour the baking soda into the drain and let it sit for a few minutes, then pour the vinegar in with a cup of hot (not boiling) water.

You’ll want to plug the drain at this point because there’s going to be a chemical reaction that you don’t want overflowing. Let the mixture sit for 15-20 minutes and then flush the drain with another pot of hot to finish the job.

Ta-da! Your drain is clear.

Quick And Easy Ways To Unclog A Toilet

Are you battling with a clogged toilet? Here’s how you can unclog your toilet with ease.

  • Depending on the nature of the substance that caused the toilet block, you can use an enzyme waste dissolver to get rid of the blockage. An enzyme waste dissolver only works on organic waste products. After pouring the stated amount in the toilet bowl, wait for a few hours or overnight so the mixture can take effect.
  • A home remedy for a clogged drain made from baking soda and vinegar can also be used to unclog the toilet. Simply pour the mixture into the bowl and let it sit for a few hours before flushing.
  • Drain snakes can be used to unclog a toilet following the same procedure used in unclogging a  drain. If you do not have access to a drain snake, try using a wire coat hanger.
  • Plungers are the perfect tool for clearing your clogged toilet. Put on protective gloves and coveralls before using a plunger. Opt for a more durable plunger and use it the same way you would when clearing the drain.
  • Only use chemical drain openers as a measure of last resort. Be careful when using this product and do not use a plunger right after to prevent toxic substances from getting in contact with your skin or eyes.
  • wet/dry waterproof vacuum can be placed in the toilet bowl to remove the blockage.

How To Unclog A Shower Drain Or A Bathtub

If you’re looking for a safe and easy way to unclog your shower or tub drain without causing damage to the pipes, try some of these tips:

Homemade or chemical drain cleaners to unclog a shower drain

  • Remove the drain stopper with a screwdriver and check for the cause of the blockage.
  • Use a plastic glove and flashlight to see and remove hair strands or other minimal particles causing the blockage.
  • Screw on the drain stopper and use a plunger to clear the drain one final time.

All these methods are useful in unclogging drains, sinks, shower drains, and toilet drains. Rather than trying to figure out how to unclog a shower drain after the fact, however, it may save you time and effort to take steps to prevent drains from getting clogged in the first place. How?

How To Keep Your Drain Clog-Free

  • Avoid tossing garbage and items like hair, rice, gums, stickers, tampons, condoms, toys and other items into the kitchen or toilet drain.
  • Occasionally lift off drain stoppers and clean debris laying in the shower drain. This will reduce the chance of having a clogged drain in the future.
  • Always dispose all hair in the garbage bin and ensure to comb hair only after a shower. This will reduce the amount of hair that gets trapped in the shower drain.
  • Sink strainers were meant for a reason. Use them. Before tossing that dish into the sink, strain the large bits away.
  • Enzymes should often be used to clear organic waste that might cause a blockage.

Live Clog-Free And Prosper

If you have pipes, sooner or later you’re going to have a clog. Luckily, having a clog doesn’t necessarily mean you have an emergency. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be able to handle whatever comes your way, be it a small clog or a major one. Know someone that struggles with clogs? Use the buttons below to share on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Source : TipsBulletin

Keeping Your Kitchen’s Stainless Steel Spotless

Stainless steel is a beautiful finish, but to keep it looking its best, especially if you have a family of little ones, can be a big job. Here are a few quick cleaning tips to help you keep your stainless steel gleaming.
Source : Houzz

Complete The Look: Accessorizing Your Bathroom With The Smallest Details

How do you want your bathroom to feel? Do you want to be able to go into your bathroom and feel totally relaxed and at peace? Do you want to see things that inspire you to get your day going right? Well, If your answers to those questions were yes, yes and hell YES…keep reading.

People love creating themes for their home. Some have a theme for each room in their home and others have one central theme throughout their entire home. The golden rule of themes is that everything must go along with the theme.  If everything in your home has a classic country sort of feel, having an ocean theme in your bathroom may seem out of place. Second, there’s the concept of the feel you want to create with the bathroom. For kids, you may choose a fun, cartoon theme; for those who are looking for a relaxing atmosphere, a place where it’s possible to fully unwind at the end of a long day, peaceful colors like those in a spa would be ideal.

Similarly, the types of colors that you’re like – along with the overall brightness of your bathroom – can determine whether you look for brightly colored accessories or those that are muted in color. Finally, there’s your personality or the personality of the person who will be using the bathroom the most.

In general, there are four styles that are commonly used when accessorizing the bathroom – classy, muted, bright and fun. But wait, there should be one more here…Inspiring. What about creating a space that will inspire you every morning to go out and tackle the obstacles in your way?

In a classy bathroom, you may find yourself choosing bath accessories in muted colors, perhaps with a subtle floral tone. Toilet seat covers, towels, bath mats as wall as bath accessories for the counter – a soap dish or soap pump, a toothbrush holder and such – can all be coordinated with the shower curtain. You may start with a shower curtain that is a neutral color like beige with a rose colored embellishment and matches the other bath accessories to the rose shade.

If instead, you were trying to create a muted look in your bathroom, you’re likely to choose soft tones as well, but rather than a floral look, you may choose slightly more modern bath accessories like those that you might find at a spa retreat. Muted shades of green or blue, natural colors that resemble stone or clay are all good base colors for your bathroom. Consider a solid color shower curtain or one that is patchwork – squares of complementary colors. Choose a matching bath rug, bath towels, a toilet seat to match and simple chrome plated bath accessories.

Alternately, if bright, modern colors appeal to you, you’ll find that bright, single colored shower curtains, window dressings, bath towels and shower mats can create a crisp, modern look. From using a number of different bright, solid colors in your bathroom to choosing the same pieces that feature bright colors in geometric patters or simple stripes, you’ll find that you are able to bring the look of your bathroom together, to create a bright theme even if the items don’t necessarily match.

Using blocks of color can be fun, but for some it’s just not fun enough. Whether you’re accessorizing the bathroom for kids or just for those who are young at heart, sometimes you just feel playful. You may make the choice to use a bright, aquarium theme for your bathroom – tropical fish on the shower curtain, bright towels with a wave-like geometric pattern, a fish shaped bath mat or even an acrylic toilet seat designed to look like a fish bowl (complete with colorful fish). You might choose dolphins, or even cartoon characters as the central theme for your bathroom.

For example, someone who still carries a fondness for Betty Boop may decide to use the character as a theme for his or her bathroom. A Betty Boop shower curtain and bath accessories set with a toothbrush holder, a trash can and a soap dish could be used with red or black towels and a red or black bath mat and toilet seat.

But wait, there should be one more here…Inspiring. What about creating a space that will inspire you every morning to go out and tackle the obstacles in your way? Accessories that inspire you can be cabinet accessories with your company’s logo, Your favorite sports team, or even an acronym for a saying that you live by. Anything can inspire you!

Of course, these aren’t the only styles for a bathroom; whatever your interests are, whatever inspires you, that’s going to be the foundation for decorating your bathroom. Whether you choose colorful flowers, solid colors, muted tones or something altogether different – a clean, modern look using all white for example – it’s the small details that bring it all together. Choosing bath towels that don’t quite fit in with your chosen color scheme, combining an aquarium theme toilet seat with a bamboo shower curtain: these things simply don’t create a cohesive look.

Fortunately, it’s easy to find bath accessories that will allow you to bring the whole look together – that is, once you decide what kind of look and feel you are looking to create. If you are looking for Beautiful accessories for your bathroom you can check out tons of cool interior design blog online and get a feel of what you might like. If you need help getting the inspiration going, check out some of our products that will be sure to get your imagination pumping. Click Here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

if this blog has helped you or can help someone you know… share it! We’d really appreciate it. Don’t forget to leave a comment on our blog and tell us your experience with living an artful lifestyle.

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