Condos are the perfect solution when you’re on a budget and don’t need a lot of space. You can still have all the amenities needed for a loving home, without the hassle of yard work and maintenance. The tricky part of a condo is ensuring that there is enough light and space to make it both functional and lively. The kitchen can be an especially hard place to make bright enough that you want to spend a lot of time in it. Here, then, are three ideas to brighten up a condo kitchen.
Lights, camera, action
Need to brighten up a condo kitchen? The easiest way is to invest in proper lighting. Be sure to vary your types of lighting. Track lighting is great for the overall space of the kitchen. Also look for area-specific lighting. Equally as important as the lighting itself are lightbulbs. Purchase lightbulbs that are at least 60 Watts in strength. Try to avoid blue light or stark white colors as this can make the room look to clinical. Warm white lights are nice but can make the area too cozy. Instead, opt for a bright white light. You may have to try a few lightbulbs to find the ones that work best for your condo kitchen.
Sometimes you need proof that your condo kitchen is bright enough. And what better proof than plants? Plants need light to survive. So, if your plants are thriving, then you must have enough light in your kitchen. You can try your hand at a herb garden, but many herbs are actually quite fickle. If you don’t have a naturally green thumb, or don’t think you’ll have the time to invest in them, there are other plants that are perfect for a kitchen.
Common plants include aloe vera and English ivy. They are hearty and can withstand a lot. You can also try fragrant white jasmine or the good looking spider plant. Place the plants in small containers in the brightest spots of your kitchen. Check the watering instructions as they vary by plant.
The only thing you want to consider if you’re getting plants for your condo kitchen is that they could start to clutter an already small space. Avoid just placing them on the counter as chances are you don’t have much counter space to begin with. Instead, look to your walls. Can you place a shelf, or better yet, a plant-specific holder? When you go vertical you can leave a lot more room on your counter for other important gadgets.
The most obvious color to use to brighten up a condo kitchen is white. However, this can become a bit boring. You can definitely use color paint in a condo kitchen, but stick to light colors as dark colors can overwhelm the space. There are many shades of yellow, blue, and green that you can use that will make your condo kitchen shine.
Deciding on a bathroom reno is a big step. You want to make the most out of your money and your space, so hiring the best bathroom reno company is important. Before you start the process, here are some important details to be aware of. Remember, the better the communication with your reno company, the better your expectations will be.
The design process
Sometimes a bathroom reno company will have design experts on their staff. Sometimes they won’t. It’s important that you begin your bathroom reno with a design already in mind. Do your research and think about the big picture of the room along with the little designs. But even if your bathroom reno company are experts in design, they will have seen plenty of renovations. Don’t be afraid to pick their brains and ask what they’ve seen that works well, and more importantly, what really doesn’t work.
If you have a specific fixture in mind for your bathroom reno, you can supply it. In fact, before you agree on a plan with your bathroom reno company, be sure to go over the materials with them. Who will be supplying what? Keep in mind that whenever the company gets to the specific part of the reno, the materials will need to be there. If you’re in charge of on aspect of the material, and it’s not there, the company may have to move on to meet the schedule.
Scheduling a bathroom reno is important. You’ll want it done as soon as possible so as to minimize any disruptions to your life. But keep in mind that your bathroom reno company has other projects they will be working on. Again, communication is key. Talk about when they can start and how long the project will take. Talk about time allowances and what could possibly help speed up the project.
Obviously, the price needs to be discussed with hiring a bathroom reno company. But the payment structure should also be discussed. Most companies will allow for partial payment, or holdbacks. This means that payment is due only when certain parts of the project are completed. This protects the homeowner as it means if only demolition has happened, then you only have to pay for demolition. It also works for the reno company. If they aren’t paid along the way, then they won’t keep working.
Hiring a bathroom reno company is all about trust. You are entrusting not only your money but your home and as such should expect that the job is completely satisfactorily. Be sure to check out online reviews about a company prior to hiring them. You should also be able to see a catalog of completed projects to see the company’s craftsmanship.
When you think about all the bathrooms in your home, which one gets used the most? Most likely it’s the small powder room on the main floor. While it doesn’t have a shower or bath, it’s proximity to living space means its used by both family members and guests. The powder room, however, is often overlooked. It’s small, doesn’t have a lot to offer, and is more function than form. But it can actually be the star of your home.
1. Go bold with the walls
Small spaces tend to have the most neutral of colors, but what if you were to go the opposite way? Try a bold color, like deep raspberry or cobalt blue. Or, alternately, try wallpaper with a funky pattern. The other fixtures, like the toilet and vanity, will be neutral, so they will offset the bold walls.
While many people try to match the powder room with the rest of the main floor’s décor, this doesn’t really have to be. Most often the door remains closed, so the wall colors won’t intrude on the rest of the area.
2. Quality fixtures
With a powder room, you can invest in higher quality fixtures because there are so few of them. The bathroom taps can have a nice, sleek style. Make sure your towel rack and paper holder match. And for all your metal fixtures, stick to one style. Choose either a shiny chrome or a burnished nickel. There’s not enough room to mix and match the finishes.
3. Power up your toilet
One of the easiest ways to conserve water is with a low-flow toilet. Purchase one that meets your budget, but that will also help save you on water usage. It’s a great way for family members to become aware of the water that is used for everyday tasks. It’s also a nice reminder for guests that stop by, and might even inspire them to make more environmentally friendly home purchases.
4. Create storage
There’s nothing worse than running out of a towel while in the powder room, or worse, toilet paper. But a bit of well placed storage can help with that. Most powder rooms are small, which limits the amount of space. And, if you have a pedestal sink, then there won’t be any built-in storage. Time to be creative. Narrow baskets that fit between the sink and the wall can slide in and hold a number of items. Shelves on the wall can hold smaller objects, such as soap and hand towels. You don’t have to be limited by what is already in place. Instead, you can get creative and make the space work for you.
There’s a certain thrill when guests come to visit. They’ve made time in their busy schedule to visit you, spent time travelling, and want to create some precious memories. One easy way to give back to them is to prepare the perfect guest bathroom for them.
1. Invest in quality towels
Who doesn’t love being wrapped up in a warm, fuzzy towel after a hot shower? Show your guests that you want them to be cozy, even if it isn’t their own home. While good quality towels can be quite expensive, investing in them for guests is a good idea. If you keep them just for guests, they will be used less frequently, and as such, will have a longer life span. Purchase white or neutral colors, in case you want to change the color scheme along the way.
In addition to large size towels, stock up on hand towels and face cloths. Have a stack readily available in your guest bathroom. If there is no linen closet in there, purchase a shelf or bin to place the towels. Alternately, you can leave out a stack of towels in the guest room. Being prepared for your guests means they don’t have to worry about bothering you for extra towels.
2. Stock up on essentials
Who hasn’t travelled somewhere, only to realize they forgot their toothbrush? Have a few new toothbrushes handy for this eventuality. The same goes for toothpaste and floss. You can choose to buy sample size products, or larger, multi-use items that live in the bathroom. Put a little basket on the counter with a note saying, “Help Yourself!” so that guests know they can use the items. It’s a small gesture that will go a long way in accommodating their needs.
The same goes for other items such as shampoo and conditioner. While you can buy smaller size bottles, for these items, simply place them in the shower or bath area of your guest bathroom. Just be sure to periodically check on their contents and replace as needed.
When packing for a trip, one item that women continually worry about is the hair dryer. While this is usually an essential part of the daily routine, hair dryers can take up a lot of precious space in a suitcase, especially if you’re trying to pack for carry-on luggage only. In your guest bathroom, place a hair dryer in the vanity cupboard. And let your guests know of its existence. This way guests can style their hair without having to weigh down their suitcase.
4. Modern elements
Typically, a guest bathroom will be a smaller space. It also might not be used as often. But try not to forget about it. A few nice touches can go a long way. Whether it’s a quality vanity counter or a chrome faucet, the more luxurious you can make the room feel, the happier your guests will feel. Knowing that they are a part of your home will inspire them to come back and visit often.
We all want a clean kitchen but turning to harsh chemicals isn’t the best way to achieve this. Not only are they bad for the environment, but they are also costly. Instead, you can use natural cleaners for your kitchen. With just a few ingredients from your pantry, you can have every surface of your kitchen shiny, clean, and smelling nice.
Cutting boards should regularly be disinfected, but usually get forgotten about. If you have a spare lemon around, simply cut it in half. Then, rub the lemon around on the cutting board. Be sure to squeeze a bit so that the lemon juice can penetrate any of the deeper cuts in the cutting board. Leave the lemon juice on the board for a few minutes. Then, simply wash with soapy water. The lemon will get rid of any lingering bacteria and you don’t have to worry about harsh chemical residue on your wooden cutting boards.
If you have a garbage disposal in your sink, you can know that it occasionally gets pretty smelly. Take a leftover lemon, cut it into pieces, and then toss them down the disposal. Grind them up for a bit and you can instantly eliminate odors.
Baking soda serves a double whammy as one of the best natural cleaners for your kitchen. It can both disinfect and de-odorize. If you have stinky garbage, be sure to sprinkle some baking soda in the bin to cut down on odors.
For grimy areas, such as tile grout, make a paste of baking soda and water. Spread the paste onto the grout and let it sit for a while. Then, with a cloth or even a toothbrush, start to scrub. The grout will instantly be a lot cleaner.
Chances are you have stainless steel appliances in your kitchen. And chances are those elegant appliances are covered in smudges and finger prints. Simply mix 1 part water with 1 part vinegar in a spray bottle. Apply liberally to your appliances. Then, with a soft cloth, start to wipe away the marks. You can increase the potency of the vinegar to tackle harsher dirt. You can also use a paper towel to mop up any leftover residue.
For the dishwasher, pour a cup of vinegar into the bottom. Run an empty cycle and the vinegar will help loosen hard water deposits. Include this in your monthly cleaning routine and you can increase the lifespan of your dishwasher.
There are many essential oils that you can use to help fight bacteria in your kitchen. Tea tree oil is one of the most versatile. You can add a few drops to any homemade natural cleaners. It will help to kill bacteria and germs, and also smells nice.