Archive | October 2012

Choosing the Perfect Appliances for your Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the most used spaces in the house, whether it is preparing food, entertaining friends or relaxing with a good book.

This week, our Hubbies are telling you about five kitchen appliances out there to make home living more enjoyable.

Modern Ventilation Hoods

A serious cooktop demands a ventilation system that will usher exhaust out of the kitchen without the loud noise. If you hear the sound of suction (and not the motor running), this is a good thing. If noise bothers you completely, consider units that can be installed with exterior motors.

But, as you may know, there’s more to the hood than blowing out hot air, even if that’s the key function. Sometimes a hood is a focal point in the kitchen. Ask your local Hubby about assisting you in choosing and installing the perfect ventilation hood for your kitchen.

Convenient Fridges and Freezers

Refrigerators come in three main body configurations: side-by-side, top-mounted freezer, and bottom-mounted freezer, depending on the lifestyle of the family. Whether you live on your own, with roommates or a large family there is a fridge perfect for you.

Want to hide the refrigerator and freezer? Ask Hire a Hubby to come over and look into panelling that blends in with the rest of your kitchen’s cabinetry.

Space Saving Cupboards

Corners of kitchens can become wasted space, so why not make use of that space with some of these clever corner cupboard ideas.

Aside from a lazy Susan solution like the one above, there are some other ways to utilize this area. These drawers keep kitchen supplies easily accessible.

Same goes with the placement of this stove. Plus, a shelf built into the usually-bare backsplash can hold cooking items that might otherwise take up room on shelves or counters.

Functional and Ambient Lighting

Layering light has often been used in dining rooms or living rooms, but is recently more and more popular in kitchens. With kitchens the hub of many homes, layering light is best for preparing food as well as striking the right balance between function and mood.

Practical and Stylish Bench tops

There are many types of benchtops home owners can choose from including granite, laminates, engineered stones, concrete, stainless steel, solid surfaces and ceramic tiles.

Again, the choices depend on your lifestyle.

Laminates are designed with today’s busy, demanding and style conscious home-owners in mind. They are specifically developed for use as decorative surfaces for a wide range of applications including bench tops, wall panelling, furniture and joinery.

In addition, laminates are durable with high wear properties and scratch and moisture resistance making them the perfect interior surface for use in living areas, kitchens, bathrooms, laundries and even the home office.

The non-porous nature of laminates also means that bacteria cannot easily collect, making it a hygienic choice for kitchen bench tops.

If you’re looking to cook up a renovation storm, bounce your ideas off your local Hire A Hubby. Simply pick up the phone and hit 1800 803 339 or visit the website www.hireahubby.com.au.

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Dream makeovers: when money is no issue

Realistically, home owners tend to stick to budgets when renovating, and never actually transform their house into the home they dream of.

But if money isn’t an issue for you and you’re thinking of renovating to create your dream home, here are some before and after extreme makeovers that have transformed outdated and plain decks, gardens, bathrooms and kitchens into incredible modern spaces.

These ideas from our Hubbies might just get your minds thinking as we approach into the summer season or, as we like to say, the renovating season.

Decks:

This ordinary deck created usable space, but no style. The homeowners added a sweeping perimeter curve and metal accents to create a backyard haven. Talk to your local Hire a Hubby about how you can best utilise the space in your backyard.

 

Before                                                                                         After

Landscaping:

This house had a small patio that baked in the hot afternoon sun and reflected heat right off the white walls. See it transformed into a living and entertainment area with less yard to look after. Not only did it make the back area more usable, but it also added resale value to the home.

 

Before                                                                                         After

Bathrooms

This 1980’s attic bathroom was boring, had cheap cabinetry, an oversized mirror, and navy blue sinks and toilet. A smart remodel including beaded-board panelling, built-in shelves, separate furniture-style vanities, old-fashioned medicine cabinets, and vintage-style faucets and fixtures gave the bathroom a clean, cottage look. Have a chat with your local Hire a Hubby about turning your bathroom into a haven.

 

Before                                                                                           After

Kitchens

Dreary kitchen getting you down? Take matters into your own hands and give your cooking space a transformation with inspiration from the kitchen makeover below. This modern kitchen remodel features black cabinetry, sleek surfaces, hardwood and tiled floors, recessed lighting and a custom stone wall that gives the space a wine cellar feel.

 

Before                                                                                           After

Hopefully this has provided you with inspiring ideas to take that next step towards your dream home. For advice or a free quote on any home maintenance or renovation project, call your local Hire a Hubby on 1800 803 339 or visit the website www.hireahubby.com.au.

Makeover Series Part 5: Top 10 things people wish they had added to their makeover and missed

Renovation and home makeovers are great low risk ways to add value to your home or investment property. There are thousands of concepts out there to help you make over your home exactly how you want it. However, many people miss out on important and sometimes tiny details that could have enhanced their makeover.

This week, our Hubbies are sharing a list of 10 things people wish they had added to their makeover.

1.  Lighting up, naturally
Good light in a house makes a huge impression, lifting the spirits of everyone who steps inside. Adding skylights to dark internal rooms or opening up areas with bi-fold doors or larger windows is always rewarded by a higher sale price and an improved state of mind for the owner while they are living there.

2.  Storage

Incorporating plenty of storage into your renovation is not only practical for day to day living but will also allow the house to appear immaculate and organised indicating a clean, well maintained property

3.  Offer a warm welcome

Revamp the entrance to your home by painting the front door in a strong colour, such as red or blue, updating doorway furniture and the entrance mat. This shows your home is up-to-date and well maintained.

4.  Insulation

People will often make the mistake of not going green with their home project for two reasons: (A) They don’t know how to, and (B) they think it costs more money. If you’re doing your renovation “green and clean”, you’re ahead of the market and it’s probably a smart investment.

5.  Roof

When considering house renovations, many people leave out the roof. Your house should always have a solid roof and the perfect time to get it done is when planning house renovations. Have a ‘Hubby’ come in to have an extensive look and advise on the other things that can be done in a cost effective way.

6.  Tap Ware

It’s easy to dismiss tap ware as a minor detail, but the sink is one of the first places to which the eye is drawn when entering a kitchen. Replacing dated tap ware with new design, matching taps, or taps that link aesthetically, you’re bringing a sense of cohesion to the house. Good taps also suggest good plumbing.

7.  Choosing the right timber flooring

People don’t realize the variety in timber homeowners can choose from for their flooring and tend not to spend too much time selecting what is right.

In broad timber terms there are two different categories of woods – softwood and hardwood. Softwoods are considered inferior to hardwoods for many purposes, but they do have their place in the woodworking world for specific jobs. In building, they are commonly used for the framework of houses and areas such as lining boards and cladding. Hardwoods by comparison are heavy, strong and stable. They are used predominantly for piers, flooring, decking and in most timber furniture.

8.  Using the wrong paint

There is paint for just about every surface and choosing the wrong type for a particular project is more common than you may think. Flat paint is basically for your ceilings and sometimes for your walls, whereas semi-gloss paint is suitable for trim in a bathroom or in a dining room. The glossy will give it a more upscale look.

9.  Forgetting to update the electrical system

Walk through your home with an electrician before you start to talk about outlets, where they are and where you’d like new outlets. Ask your local Hire A Hubby for a good local electrician.

10.  Make the most of the space in the backyard

Aussies love their backyards, and with that comes a spacious deck to have family and friends over for a barbeque. Make sure not to underestimate the amount of space you need for this entertainment space when renovating.

If you’re looking for somewhere to start with your grand makeover plan, call Hire A Hubby on 1800 803 339 to talk through your ideas and to get an obligation free quote.

Makeover Series Part 4: Makeover your house on a budget

This week we’re continuing our home makeover theme with some ideas on how you can ensure you’re focusing on the areas of the home that make the biggest difference.

A dream makeover is often too expensive to think about, so we’ve come up with some simple makeover ideas that should be at the top of your list if you’re after a new look without the hefty price tag.

Painting to change a room:

Try a new colour scheme or ideas like feature walls. A fresh coat of paint will brighten a room and picking a colour scheme can completely change the space without replacing all of your furnishings. Consider adding colour to walls if you have simple furnishings or whites to brighten the room, make it appear larger and put the focus on coloured furnishings. Using colours, or lack of, you can easily change the entire aesthetic and mood of a room.

 

Update your lighting:

Adding a unique light fixture to a room is a simple way to change up the space. Statement pieces like vintage chandeliers or modern light fittings can make simple rooms appear elegant or add character. Modern statement pieces will add style to the room and older metal style lights add rustic, country charm to the room, especially in older or wooden spaces. You can often find great vintage light fixtures online or in secondhand furniture stores. Ask your local Hire A Hubby about best practice installation.

Revamp your outside spaces:

The outside of your home is just as important as the inside but is often left aside during a renovation or makeover. Adding gardens or outside living spaces can not only make the appearance of your home so much more appealing, but a good courtyard is a great place to utilise when hosting friends and family. Our Hubbies can help you whether you want to build the kids a cubby house, plant a garden, build a deck and entertainment area, or even help make a space-saver garden.

 

New flooring:

Installing new carpet, wood or tile flooring is an easy way to make areas look brand new. With the wide range of flooring available on the market, ask your local Hubby about the best fit for your house. Floor work is always best done by a professional as fixing dodgy DIY work can end up costing far more than getting it done professionally in the first place.

Alternatively, if you have existing wooden floors, why not have them sanded back and restained? It will remove all those wear and tear scratches and scuffs and you can make the floors lighter or darker to suit your tastes or desired room aesthetic.

Clean, clean, clean:

A clean, tidy home always looks like new but we mean more than just dusting and vacuuming. Professional high pressure water cleaning removes any dirt, mould or stains on your paths, driveways and outside areas to make them look like new again. Ask your local Hubby if you think there’s an area around your home that needs a good clean.

If you think it’s time you did something about making over your home, call Hire A Hubby on 1800 803 339 to organise an obligation free quote or simply visit the website www.hireahubby.com.au.

Makeover Series Part 3: Bathroom

Last week we covered tips on renovating your kitchen and how important it is to keep the most used area in your home looking top notch.

This week we are looking at possibly the second most used area in the home, your bathroom and they don’t need to be boring, functional areas. Today’s bathrooms are lavish areas where you can express your personal style through creative tile combinations, beautiful baths and stylish tap ware.

Tiles

There is no denying tiles are the best finish for a bathroom. Easy to clean, durable and so many colour options, it’s the perfect way to revamp any old bathroom. If the space is small go for large light tiles and grout-less for a modern sharp appearance. Ceramic tiles are affordable and come in a variety of colours and finishes, but if you are really looking to splash out check out porcelain. Always invest in sealing the grout (if budget allows) for longevity.

Paint

Painting your bathroom can lift it instantly, but don’t be fooled as this small area can be a little more tricky than it seems. High humidity, frequent use and poor ventilation makes the bathroom more susceptible to mould and mildew. You will need to select a wet area friendly paint that will help prevent mould build up over time. Walls will need to be cleaned thoroughly and all fittings removed before the job is started. When it comes to selecting colours, be sure it matches all of your existing colour schemes if you are not updating these as well.

Fittings

With so many options on the market, tap ware and shower heads are no longer an easy item to select. Consider first the style of your bathroom, are you going for a modern sleek look or a classic, embellished style. Tap ware is one area where cheapest is not always best, as high use and often the need for a professional to replace, means investing wisely first time round can save money in the long run. For showerheads the same principles apply, look for something water saving and if you want to make cleaning the shower easy look for a hand shower set that you can remove from the wall.

Shower, Bath and Vanity

Small spaces can be maximised by minimalist styles such as a frameless shower and an under-mounted sink however, luxury usually comes with the appropriate price tag! If frameless isn’t in your budget go for a metal frame that has slimmer lines. If you are looking to make a statement with your vanity, you can find beautiful stone basins and benches. For the budget makeover Laminex looks great and you can opt for a semi-recessed sink. A vanity to ceiling mirror can really make the area seem bigger. If you have a bit more space, then an elegant bath is what you are after. There are so many shapes and styles available to make your bathroom really stand out and have that resort feel.

There are some fantastic options on the market and prices to suit even the leanest of budgets. Upgrading your bathroom can really add value to a home but it is a big job and unless you’re pretty well versed in home renovation it’s an area best not tackled by yourself. Talk to Hire a Hubby about options for helping you when upgrading your bathroom – call the boys on 1800 803 339.