Bathroom Accessories – A New Way to Inject Life Into Your Current Bathroom

There is nothing more satisfying than seeing an idea through from conception to implementation and your home is no different, whether you’re planning a new kitchen, bedroom or bathroom you want to ensure than your new room is fresh, sleek and jaw dropping for anyone visiting your home. In the current climate the opportunity to express yourself with a newly furnished room is perhaps diminished but the desire for change still remains true. There are however many ways in which your current bathroom can be injected with something new without the need to change the bath, toilet and washbasin and with it, the added expense, and this is in the form of accessories.

Bathroom Accessories were often seen as necessities in needing a place to house the bar of soap, the toothbrush and the toilet roll and a product you would simply pick up in the shop, fit and never think twice about. With the bathroom now being seen as a fashionable room to inject creativity and styling manufacturers have looked at all elements of the bathroom to attempt to give the consumer exactly what they want, an array of choice and styles to suit every environment. Bathroom Accessories are now as important within the bathroom showroom as the bathroom itself, with many suppliers complimenting their bathroom suites with a matching range of accessories.

Manufacturers have thought of everything with an accessory for every situation, from the humble robe hook on the back of the bathroom door to the toothbrush and tumbler holder right down to the necessities of towel rails and toilet roll holders. These finishing touches to your bathroom speak volumes in being at the forefront of bathroom fashion whilst at the same time offering simple and sleek designs for products that are for every day use. Accessories are now big business through add on sales and also the element of supplier branding. For those who see the manufacturer of their bathroom products as being a key selling point the opportunity to purchase accessories of the same name allows a consistent branded look within the room as well as piece of mind. Branded products are typically purchased as a means of holding confidence in the brand, as with any other product purchased in the home, and whilst you are paying more for an item you are paying for the quality and its longevity.

In the current economic climate the first port of call is now no longer the tape measure to see what size of bath could be fitted but the internet to see what accessories are available and what would best compliment the current bathroom range. Giving your bathroom a little discreet but effective facelift can sometimes be more effective, especially more cost effective, than to start from scratch. You should also remember that these accessories are designed to last therefore when you do choose to install a new bathroom these accessories can follow you as their timeless and stylish looks will suit every environment.

Understanding the Basics When Buying Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets are one of the most predominant features in any kitchen. They are the first thing that you notice once you enter your kitchen, so it’s no wonder that choosing your cabinet materials and style can be nerve-wracking. Acquiring cabinets will have a big impact on your kitchen’s look as well as your budget. There are many other things to look for in a kitchen cabinet besides design. For instance, you’ll try to guarantee value for your money by choosing a cabinet that is durable and stylish at the same time. Choosing the perfect design requires a wide variety of construction techniques using different materials. These cabinets fall into three main categories, namely:

· Semi-custom kitchen cabinets: These are similar to stock cabinets but are usually produced per order, and homeowners can order for basic changes in size or choose from a wide range of molding, trims and finishes.

· Stock kitchen cabinets: These are mass-produced kitchen cabinet models that install easily; however, they can’t be modified to your individual taste unless your either stain or repaint them. These cabinets should therefore not be an option for those who wish to change the look of their kitchen cabinets in the future after installing them. The main advantages of considering these cabinets are that they install easily and are cheap and readily available.

· Custom kitchen cabinets: These are modified to suit your taste and style. They are uniquely designed and can be very expensive, depending on the materials you will use.

To know what you’ll spend on your cabinets, you should understand the differences in cabinet materials and construction and how these elements impact durability and quality. You should also consider the space you have in your kitchen and the type of lifestyle that you’re living before you rush to purchase the cabinets. The current style and décor of your kitchen plays a role in the type of cabinet to choose. This is because the cabinet you choose will greatly influence the style and look of your kitchen. You can choose updated European-style cabinets for contemporary kitchens or period cabinets for classic antique homes. In general, identifying your preferred style helps you narrow your focus on the choices available. Here are some steps to follow when buying a cabinet for your kitchen:

1. Analyze your family’s lifestyle, cooking habits and kitchen layout. You can do this by plotting what you need to display and store as well as the accessories that will organize and simplify your kitchen activities.

2. Acquire professional guidance from an interior designer, architect, kitchen designer or even from the Internet. This will help you narrow down the choices you have available.

3. Choose stock cabinets if you want to control your costs. Mass-produced stock cabinets in standard sizes might leave room in your budget for upgrades. You may find fewer options for individual diversity, but many popular accessories and styles can add appeal to your kitchen design.

Choosing Kitchen Cabinets

Choosing kitchen cabinets doesn’t have to be confusing. With a little research on your part you’ll know what to ask for, what you want and need, and where to find it. All while saving the most money you possibly can.

First – Decide what you need, what you want, and what you can afford.

  • What style are you looking for? Shaker, Country, Retro, Classic, New England, Cottage?
  • Are you open to suggestions and ideas?
  • Do you want wood, laminate, frame cabinets or frameless (Euro-style)?
  • What type of countertops are you going with? Laminate, solid surface, marble, granite, quartz, concrete, tile, glass?
  • Do you need an entirely new kitchen, just a bath vanity, or only a rollout fixed?
  • Do you need help with the entire process, which means you might need to hire or be your own contractor, or is your project small?
  • What is your budget? If you have $200 you can paint your cabinets for a fresh look or get new handles or knobs. If you have $5,000 or more you will be able to get an entirely new kitchen, depending on size. If you have $10,000 you might even begin thinking about remodeling (changing walls, plumbing, etc.). Kitchens really can run from a few thousand to several tens of thousands depending on where you live and what you want. You’ll pay much more for a kitchen in New England or Oregon than you will in Kentucky or Wisconsin.

Thinking about these questions will help get you going in the right direction.

Second – Decide where you are going to look when choosing kitchen cabinets – don’t limit yourself to factory cabinets only.

After you’ve decided what you want and need and are choosing kitchen cabinets, check around. If you need to purchase new cabinets, don’t fall prey to the idea that all custom kitchen and bath cabinets are out of your pocket-book range. There may be cabinet shops out there that are actually less expensive than many factory cabinets (especially when you figure in all the costs like installation, tac, moldings, etc.). But, do be sure to check out the factory cabinets too. Some semi-custom cabinets (which are factory cabinets with more options) may be just what you’re looking for and what your budget can afford.

Bids should be free – at least once. If you have to pay someone to bid on your project – RUN. But, don’t expect someone to bid on your cabinets more than once for free. If you make changes to your plan, or change your mind as to what you want and it needs to be re-bid, expect to pay a small fee at a custom cabinet shop.

Factory cabinet bids will likely continue to be free no matter how many changes you make. But, remember, the more times you change your mind, the more chances there will be for errors, especially with factory or semi-custom cabinets.

Explore rural and small shops – you may find some bargains. If you are in a metro area, take a look on the internet or phone books from outside your area, under the headings cabinetry or kitchens. Rural cabinet shops have cropped up all over in the past 20 years. They are usually very good and usually less expensive than metro custom shops (although don’t rule them out either!). Again, check around.

Remember to always check any cabinet shop out first, before you put your hard-earned money down. Here are some things that you can do to protect yourself as you compare kitchen cabinet companies:

  • Check with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Go to the local grocery store or coffee shop and ask if anyone has heard of XYZ Cabinet Shop, and what kind of work they do.
  • Ask the cabinet shop for references.
  • Ask to see a kitchen they have completed.
  • Ask to talk to one or more of their previous customers, get phone numbers and call on your own.
  • Ask to tour their shop.

You can get some relative bargains out there, but you can also get taken – keep your eyes wide open while choosing kitchen cabinets!

Keep in mind: Sometimes factory quotes can be sneaky! (i.e. home centers, lumber yards)

When choosing kitchen cabinets, don’t just look at the bottom line price. If you quote factory cabinets (even some custom shops will leave these things out, too) make sure that the following are included in the price, or that you get prices for and consider the following:

  • Is tax included?
  • Is top trim included? What kind?
  • What about toe kick? And if quoted, what kind is it? Just some black thing that won’t go with your kitchen and bath cabinets?
  • Are the handles an extra expense? If they are this could run you $200 on up.
  • What about countertops? Are they anywhere in the price, and what kind were figured?
  • Who is going to install this, or is it included in the price?
  • How much will they deduct if I can install it myself?
  • How much will they deduct if I can stain and finish the kitchen and bath cabinets myself?

Third – Get what you need, what you want, and what you can afford.

While choosing kitchen cabinets, make sure you are given a quote for what kind of kitchen and bath cabinets you want. If any cabinet shop or salesperson is hesitant to quote what you really want (especially if they can’t explain why) be concerned.

They should be helpful and not just push what they want to sell or what they have on hand. If they think something won’t work for you, they should be able to give legitimate reasons as to why, not just that they don’t sell those things. It’s okay if they lead you in the right direction, but after you weigh your options, you should get what you want.

Finally – Don’t forget about countertop options. They really make a bid difference in price.

When choosing kitchen cabinets, ask your supplier what they offer for countertops.

  • Laminate Countertops – what edges do they offer?
  • Wood Edge Countertops – what edges do they offer?
  • Marble Countertops (be cautious, there are different qualities of marble). I’m talking about cultured marble here. Real marble is very spendy, but if it’s in your price range and you like it – go for it.
  • Solid Surface – what companies can they get? Do they install or does a third party? Can they make the seams look seamless? What kind of guarantee comes with the product and how long after the cabinets are installed will the countertop be installed?
  • Quartz Countertops – (Cambria, Silestone, CaesarStone, etc.)
  • Granite Countertops – for granite and quartz, also find out when installation will be. It is usually a week or more after the cabinets are installed (sometimes up to a month).
  • Tile – do they tile, do you tile, or do you hire someone else to tile? Also, who prepares the surface for tiling? Will there be a wood edge around the tiles, will the tiles be bull-nozed, or fully wrap-around?
  • If you want concrete, glass, or stainless steel – can they suggest a good supplier or do you have to find your own? Please note that concrete, glass, and stainless steel are relatively rare and will be expensive – more so than granite or quartz.

Keep the above ideas in mind as you are choosing kitchen cabinets. You will make informed decisions and save yourself some money.

And remember – HAVE A HAPPY KITCHEN!