Bathroom Storage Options

Bathroom Storage OptionsYour bathroom vanity doesn’t have to be merely a functional piece of furniture.  A beautiful bathroom can add extra spice and luxury to your home, and your vanity can be the centerpiece of that remodel.

Most people think of their vanities as a place to hide unsightly plumbing and to stash extra towels and toiletries, but it’s a key piece of furniture.  And, like all pieces of furniture, there are a variety of options and decisions you can make – you might be surprised at the potential variety you can get out of your bathroom vanity!  The experts at Parada Kitchens have some suggestions for you – why not try one of these great ideas?

Sliding Doors

If your bathroom is particularly narrow – to the point where pulling out a drawer or opening a cabinet seriously hampers your space to move – why not try a sliding door?  Not only does that prevent an open door from cramping your space, but they generally also leave more room underneath your basin exposed, allowing to use that space for other things – it’s a great idea for a smaller space.

Offset Drawers

Your vanity probably has under-sink storage, but often, there’s a fake panel directly under the sink.  This fake drawer is there just to hide the basin and plumbing, and doesn’t serve any useful purpose, often leaving you with just one large, empty space to use for storage.

By offsetting drawers to either side, you get more storage space, and often extra counter space.  That extra counter space can be used to store everyday items, or even for decorative purposes

Corner Vanities

While vanities have traditionally been central pieces of furniture, there’s nothing that says you can’t place them in a corner!  By hugging the corner, you’re again maximizing the space you have available, and providing room for extra drawers and shelves at the side of your sink basin without surrendering too much space.

A little creativity goes a long way.  Parada Kitchens can help make your bathroom a room you can be proud of!


Top 3 Kitchen Design Tips to Revamp a Small Kitchen

Top 3 Kitchen Design Tips to Revamp a Small KitchenA small kitchen can sometimes be the most awkward to renovate.  Your dreams of beautiful fixtures and wide open spaces can sometimes be difficult to achieve because of the limited footprint of your kitchen.

There’s no need to worry, however!  Even a small kitchen can have great touches added to make it a more welcoming, comfortable space.  If you’re not able or willing to open your kitchen up, that doesn’t mean renovations aren’t possible!  The experts at Parada Kitchens can help you get the most out of your small space.  When renovating your kitchen, why not try these tips?

Use Light Colors

Small kitchens can often feel cramped and unwelcoming.  Your color choice, however, can add the illusion of extra space.  Whites, creams and pastels can make the room feel much less cramped than darker greens and blues – lighter colors reflect light and make everything feel more airy and spacious.  Similarly, mirrors trick the eye into thinking there’s more space than there actually is, and a well-placed mirrored or shiny surface can add the illusion of extra space, as well.

Pick the Right Appliances

Small kitchens generally have limited counter space, so the appliances you chose have to meet those requirements.  That includes smaller dishwashers and refrigerators, as well as less countertop-cluttering accessories.  Smaller toasters, coffee makers and other common household appliances will keep your kitchen feeling more open.  Also, consider adding dedicated storage for occasional-use accessories like crock pots or grills.

Use Spaces for Multiple Needs

Many spaces can serve multiple needs, if you utilize them properly.  A breakfast bar or island can also include needed storage for pots and pans.  Stove tops can be built to pull down over hobs, rather than taking up counter space all the time.  Appliances can be integrated, taking up less space than their standalone counterparts and offering convenient worksurfaces as well.  In a small kitchen, one-use objects are difficult to justify.  The more multiple uses you can get, the more your kitchen will be able to do for you.


Three Tips for Designing Your Dream Bathroom

Three Tips for Designing Your Dream BathroomThe bathroom of your dreams is only a renovation away.

Don’t put up with faulty plumbing, or piles of clothes.  Don’t feel that you’re saddled with stained, lime-encrusted faucets or moldy ceilings and floors.  A bathroom renovation can turn a disaster area into a cozy and comfy room – everything you’ve always dreamed of!

OK, so maybe you haven’t spent every waking hour dreaming of a new bathroom; it does tend to inspire a little less passion than a kitchen or living space.  That being said, there are some great additions that can turn your bathroom from a blah space to an amazing addition.  Here are three things to consider when designing your perfect bathroom.

Divide and Conquer!

One of the biggest issues people have with their bathrooms is that they’re often a one-person-at-a-time sort of room.  When it’s in use, it’s usually off-limits to the rest of the household.  This is why a divider is a great idea – they’re an extremely practical solution, keeping the bathroom available in even the busiest households.  No longer is everything off limits just because someone’s taking a shower – whether it’s a simple, freestanding divider or a more complicated built-in project, a divider makes your bathroom more functional while also providing the illusion of extra space.

Pick a Style

Some of us prefer a dramatic, natural look to our spaces, and that can be reflected in the bathroom, as well.  Deep mahogany or beech wood cabinets and worktops can make your bathroom feel like the great outdoors – a romantic look, even if you’re in the middle of a bustling city.  Others prefer a more workmanlike, practical alternative – clean, white cabinets and functional work surfaces first and foremost.  It’s your bathroom; feel free to experiment a little in the design phase to find out what works best for you.

Flooring Concepts

A cold bathroom floor is one of the worst things about getting up in the morning.  However, carpet in the bathroom is a no-go; not only does it simply feel off, but it’s also a magnet for mold and rot, as it will hold in water from the shower and sinks.   No, you’ll want to go with a hard floor, and we find porcelain or ceramic tile to be your best bet; it’s waterproof and inexpensive, so you get great functionality, but it also can create a rick, textured, solid feeling, unlike laminate.  As for those cold mornings, you can either install radiant or heated tile – or just invest in some high-quality bath mats where you’ll be resting  your feet.


Factors to Consider Before Renovating Your Kitchen

Factors to Consider Before Renovating Your KitchenStarting a full renovation of your kitchen can be a very exciting time.  It’s an opportunity to get a fresh start and build the kitchen of your dreams; the perfect kitchen that will give you years of satisfaction.  Before jumping in with both feet, however, it’s important to take the time to make appropriate plans to ensure everything goes a smoothly as possible.  Here are five important key factors to take into account before beginning your remodeling your kitchen.

Define Your Goals

The very first step of any major renovation project, in the kitchen or elsewhere, is to decide just what it was about your old kitchen that you’re attempting to improve, specifically.  Did it lack functionality—a lack of counter space, hard-to-access storage or poor workflow can all be valid reasons to redo your kitchen.  Does it not fit your current lifestyle—perhaps you want a breakfast bar, or lower cabinets and storage spaces.  Are you looking to improve its aesthetics—does it look outdated and kitschy?  By clearly defining the goals for your project ahead of time, you can ensure that your design and remodel will achieve what you’re looking to get out of the process.

Pick Something Timeless

Close your eyes for a minute, and imagine a kitchen from the 1970s.  The bizarre wallpaper, the tacky linoleum, the excessive wood paneling on everything… definitely an artifact from that era.  Remember, though, that all of that was considered modern, trendy and exciting when it was originally installed.  The lesson to learn there is that you want to be hesitant about adopting the latest trends and styles.  You want your kitchen to last a long time, and the last thing you’d want is for your kitchen to seem tacky and dated in just a few years.  Picking timeless design elements helps ensure that your kitchen looks fantastic for years to come.

Be Prepared for Delays

It’s said that “no plan survives contact with the enemy”, and this is doubly true when it comes to home renovation.  A full kitchen renovation is a big job, and despite the best efforts of everyone involved, sometimes delays are unavoidable.  A faucet design you have your heart set on arrives late, pushing back the installation of plumbing, affecting the timetable of cabinet installation, and so on.  While everyone strives to keep delays and disruptions to a minimum, being prepared for contingencies can make the entire process less stressful.

Choose Your Appliances Wisely

More than any other room in your house, your kitchen’s design is impacted by your appliances.  Your refrigerator, oven, stovetop, dishwasher, microwave—all are likely to have prominent places in your new kitchen.  It’s easy, however, to forget about this, and pick lovely surfaces and materials for your countertops and cabinets, only to realize your appliances stand out like a sore thumb.  Choose your plan with your appliances in mind, or make sure to set part of your budget aside for buying new appliances that match your chosen décor.

Visualize Your Décor

What sort of furniture are you going to have in your new space?  What colors and textures will be prevalent?  How much space will everything need?  Creating a “mood board”—an arrangement of images or materials that will help evoke the style you’re looking for in your redesign—isn’t just a good idea to get inspiration; it serves as a guideline to ensure that you’re keeping everything thematically on track.   You want your final kitchen to be both practical and aesthetically unified, and that includes the things you’ll be putting into it.

Keep these five key factors in mind when planning your next kitchen renovation, and you’ll be well on your way to getting the kitchen of your dreams.  A little extra planning at the beginning can prevent tons of headaches down the line.


How to Install a Tile Kitchen Backsplash

How to Install a Tile Kitchen BacksplashA tile kitchen backsplash is an involved project that, nonetheless, can add life and interest to your kitchen.  There are some ways to have an easy, quick installation – mosaics on mesh backing or peel-and-stick tile being two of them – but if you want a long-lasting backsplash, the best way to install one is to use tile adhesive to install it directly on top of your drywall.

The easiest way to do this, of course, is to contact an expert like Parada Kitchens.  If you’re determined to do it yourself, though, here’s a quick how-to.

Tools and Materials

You’ll want to have tiles and tile adhesive, of course, as well as grout and flexible caulk to fill in the gaps between them.  As far as tools, you’ll want to have most of the following:

  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Tile cutter
  • Tile saw
  • Notched trowel
  • Rubber grout float
  • Goggles
  • Latex gloves
  • Sponge
  • Tile spacers

Most of these items can be found at your local home improvement store at very reasonable prices, though some tools obviously will get more regular use than others.

Preparing the Walls

The first thing you’ll want to do is cut the power to your kitchen – you’ll want to tile right up to outlets and switches, and current there could cause quite an unpleasant shock.  Tape off outlets and cabinets, to reduce risk of any spillage or other extraneous material causing issues.

You’ll want to attach a ledgerboard – essentially, just a straight piece of wood that’s used for support, screwed into the wall studs where the bottom edged of your backsplash will be.  This will be removed once the adhesive cures, but it insures that you’ll get a nice, straight edge.

Make sure you clean your walls thoroughly before beginning – we recommend a combination of trisodium phosphate and water – and sand and degloss any glossy surfaces.  If there are any dents or ripples in your wall, you’ll want to fill them in with joint compound in order to have a nice, flat surface.

Plan your Layout

A good plan can make everything go much smoother, compared to just slapping tile on the wall and playing things by ear.  Find the center point of your planned backsplash, and mark a vertical line – that’s the center you’ll build your pattern around.   We recommend dry-laying your tiles horizontally on your countertop, to make sure that you have the perfect width, before applying any tiles to the wall itself.  Use your tile spaces to check the ends.  Also, try to ensure that cut tiles will be hidden under cabinets – it will create a more pleasing look when all is said and done.  If your countertop isn’t level, you may have to cut from the bottom to get a level finish.

Attach the Tile

Your chosen tile adhesive will have instructions on how to mix it.  After doing so, spread a small section of wall, using your drywall trowel.  You’ll want to work in small sections, because your adhesive will dry quickly.

Place your first piece of tile into the wall, with a little twist to ensure that it sticks.  Press against it with the rubber float to seat it in the adhesive.  Remember to leave about an eighth of an inch gap at the countertop, to allow for expansion!  You’ll want to repeat this process – small section by small section, until you’ve tiled the entire area.  Then, let the adhesive dry for 24 hours, and you’re ready to grout.

Apply grout diagonally across tiles using a rubber float to press it into the joints. Wait 10 minutes, then wipe away excess with a sponge using a diagonal motion.  Make sure you don’t wipe the grout away from the joints themselves!  Once the grout is dry, you can then apply grout sealer to seal the grout.  Finally, any expansion gaps can be filled with caulk or silicone sealant.


And, as always, if you’d prefer to have the professional touch – or simply want to ensure a knowledgeable expert makes sure every step is done properly – contact the experts at Parada Kitchens!