Kitchen Lifestyles is a blog dedicated to bringing you, our readers, fresh and unique ideas.

Redo Your Landscape Without The Help Of A Professional

Don’t be fooled by those who try to tell you that landscaping is too hard to do yourself. There are many things that the average home owner can do with the right guidance. This article will try to guide you through the things that you can do, this very weekend.

To help pay for your project, you should divide it into different stages. You will only have to pay for one stage at a time. If landscaping is a hobby for you, taking your time is important since creating the landscape is often more fun than maintaining it on a regular basis.

Create a plan. Before you pick up a shovel, map everything out on paper. Your plan can range in complexity from a quick sketch to a highly detailed proposal. Be sure to include the features in your garden that you want to keep, and then make several copies of the plan. Use these copies to design a number of different options for your garden, including various types of beds and hard scape.

Whenever you are designing your own landscape, be sure and make use of stones and pebbles in your design. Decorative stones and pebbles add a nice contrast to the greenery supplied by your plants and can really enhance the look of your entire landscape. Just make sure to pick stones that compliment your landscape.

Learn how to properly layer your beds. You should have a first row with your tallest plants and keep your shortest plants for your last row. The tallest plants should be facing North to protect the smaller ones from cold winds. Make sure all your beds are organized in the same fashion.

Use annuals to bring color to your project. Perennial flowers are wonderful but they have a short lifetime, usually only a few month. Fill your beds with annuals and they will stay colorful throughout the year. Use perennials to complement the color scheme you have already established with the annual flowers.

Remember, your landscape project does not have to be completed all at once. It’s perfectly reasonable to divide your project into smaller steps, or to have seasonal goals. You make it easier to get things down right and you budget your money wisely. Create the steps you wish to take and prioritize them according to your desires.

Before you begin any landscaping project, it is important to check for any county codes or rules you may need to follow. For example, there are certain plants and heavy objects that will not be allowed on top of a septic drain field. A simple check with the county can locate the drain field and help you avoid disaster!

If your landscape includes a waterfall or pond, it is important you surround these areas with decorative stones and flowers that will not cover up the design of your structure. Make sure that any water items you have are complimented nicely so that it doesn’t take away from their natural appeal.

Take into account a plant’s size at maturity. Always take into consideration exactly how big a plant will become when it is fully mature. Don’t plant a large tree too close to your property, as the root system could eventually cause a lot of damage, and turn into a very costly mistake in the long run.

Use an edger on your beds if you want your lawn to look well taken care of. An added bonus is that edging could raise the value of your residence as well; studies have shown that just by curving the edges on your flower beds, your property value could go up by one percent.

A great way to add continuity to your landscape design is to use evergreens. These plants are green year round and will leave your landscape looking seamless and beautiful throughout the entire year. They will also offset the blandness of any plants that are not in season at any given time.

Use walls and fences in your design. Select a nice fence that will go well with your design and paint it with a harmonious color. You can use walls to suspend plants or even to paint scenes of your creation. Your design will look more finished if you use your walls and fences.

If you are trying to hide an unsightly fence in your yard, consider adding some climbing plants. Climbing plants will naturally cover the fence, making it more attractive to the eye. This is much less expensive than replacing the fence, and it gives you an extra sense of privacy too.

Use a diversity of evergreen plants to enhance a feel of privacy and add depth to a yard. Evergreens grow quickly and their foliage can cover a large area in a relatively short period of time. They make a natural privacy fence if incorporated into the yard in a well-planned and implemented landscaping approach.

Although neighborly camaraderie is nice, having your own space can be soothing and relaxing. Fencing, trees or tall shrubs can help to keep prying eyes out of your yard. There are a number of ways to set your property from your neighbors, including shrubs, hedges and vines.

Before you begin landscaping visit fence companies Knoxville TN, you need to figure out where your property lines are. This is vital if you don’t have a fence. Naturally, you would prefer to avoid an argument with your neighbor over planting on their property. Visit the county courthouse or view a plat book to determine your property lines.

Make a plan. While it is good to vary your plants and their spacing, planting at random will result in an uneven garden at best, and at worst, a dead garden. A single yard can have many different micro-climates. You might have an area near a fence that is shady all day long, and another that is always in the sun. Take this into account as you plan your garden, making plant selections based on both appearance and sunlight requirements.

Having a home has lots of joys and proud moments. If you take the time to make the exterior of your home look well-decorated, clean and maintained, through landscaping, then you will get to experience one of those moments of pride, as you stand back and look at your own handy work.

How To Select Outdoor Furniture

outdoor_furnitureAre you in the market for the best outdoor furniture for your deck or patio? Given the sheer number of materials and styles to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which furniture to get for your outdoor living space. When doing your shopping, it pays to keep in mind that the furniture you choose should add both comfort and functionality. You must learn how to look beyond aesthetics if you want to bring the most out of your outdoor space. Keep reading for some useful tips on how to select outdoor furniture.

Your first order of business is to decide the purpose of your outdoor space. Do you plan to eat your meals on your deck? Perhaps you want to light a fire on your patio? Are you thinking about inviting large groups of visitors or limiting your guests to a small number of people? By answering these questions, you can narrow down your list and be able to better select the kind of furniture to purchase.

When it comes to material, you must not only consider how it looks. Perhaps more importantly, you should consider how easy it is to care for the material. For example, natural wood is a timeless classic that fits different kinds of themes. However, it is known for requiring regular and expensive upkeep for UV and weather protection. Rattan and wicker are natural materials that prove to be fantastic alternatives for your deck furniture. But they also require weatherproofing every couple of years.

Another popular choice for material is steel. This material is known for being very sturdy. This comes at a price, however, as you would need to add cushions for comfort. Steel must also be treated to keep its finish and prevent rust. If you are looking for something lightweight and inexpensive, then aluminum, plastic and PVC are your best bets. The only downside is that they must be secured in place to prevent being blown away by high winds and storms.

You must also avoid committing the mistake of looking at price when gauging the quality of the furniture. Instead, you must take a look at the finish consistency of the furniture. Make sure that natural wood is smoothly sanded all throughout. When it comes to metal welds, be sure that all the joints are tight and well fitted. It also pays to check the return and exchange policy of the retailer. Through this, you can have the product replaced in case it arrives damaged or poorly finished.

Accessories are also worth looking into as they add comfort and functionality to your deck or patio. The most popular additions include cushions and throw pillows. It is recommended to select accessories made from materials designed specifically for outdoor use. These materials are usually resistant to moisture, staining and mildew.

It’s always a good idea to invest in high-quality outdoor furniture. While it requires time to sift through the different materials and designs on the market, you won’t regret doing thorough comparison shopping once you find exactly the kind of furniture for your outdoor living space.

Kitchen Islands and its Different Styles

Kitchen islands are very popular fixtures that are made in many homes. There are different designs and styles that a homeowner can opt for and it depends on the personalkitchen island table preferences and needs of a homeowner. The choices of these include permanent fixture styles, countertops and cart. The price and the benefits of these islands depend on the style which you select for your kitchen. Adding a kitchen island can add value to your home along with changing the look of your kitchen for better.

These island designs make your kitchen more efficient and for making it you need ample space around the island so that you can move more freely. A kitchen island may require more space but it also provides you with more storage space and counter space. You can create two different triangles or you can also reduce the size of your existing triangle so that the efficiency of the island design is increased. This provides an arrangement of all appliances to be wisely placed so that the space is utilized to the maximum. You can also enhance the design of your kitchen island by adding other additional options like adding a second sink or dishwasher in your second kitchen island which allows the benefit of cooking two dishes simultaneously without disturbing anyone. It will also help you to prepare your food easily without any clutter or stacks of utensils and bowls. Another popular option which you can add in your kitchen design is adding eating space for a family gathering. You can also create a two tiered island which maximizes your space along with separating the food preparation surface from the eating surface and this raised surface is best for large families. The eating area adds usefulness to your island and defines your kitchen space.

There are different styles of Kitchen Islands

Cart style

The portable kitchen islands is the least expensive and simple but is very functional. It has two or three shelves beneath the cutting board top. This top is mostly made with wood or stainless steel. These islands are fully mobile and can be placed at any corner of the room. The top surface of these islands can hold electrical appliances and microwaves and many homeowners use these as an additional workstation.

Countertop Style

Countertop kitchen islands are more expensive then the cart style islands but offers benefits similar to the cart style islands. These islands can be stationary or mobile and the island top can be made with granite, stainless steel, ceramic tile or butler block. You can also have extra storage space in this island that is covered by sliding doors or swinging doors.


A customized kitchen island is the most expensive island which is a permanent fixture and can also be utilized as a breakfast bar. These islands can be made in a variety of shapes including L-shaped, rectangular, oval, round and square. This design is the best for your kitchen as it has features like pot racks and built in wine racks that will help you to organize your kitchen in a better way.

Kitchen Islands and Butcher Block Tables

This is another useful video, especially if you are considering buying a kitchen island or butcher block table. It’s an introduction to kitchen islands and butcher block tables presents criteria for choosing an island or table and popular features. Islands with seating and with butcher block tops are discussed, plus butcher block tables of all sizes and styles.

Kitchen Carts Made of Hardwood, Butcher Block, Stainless Steel

This video reviews kitchen carts made of such materials as hardwood, butcher block and stainless steel, and different styles of carts, including prep and serving carts, microwave carts, wine carts and utility carts. Kitchen carts are one of the most versatile items you can add to a kitchen.

How to Choose Butcher Block Cutting Boards and Maintain Them

Most of the homeowners keep looking for alternatives to stone cutting boards. Stone cutting boards are quite expensive. For people looking for alternatives, butcher blockbutcher block cutting board cutting boards are perfect. They are inexpensive, but still look elegant and beautiful in your kitchen. However, if you want them to look good in your kitchen, you need to maintain them properly. It is important to understand that wood is more vulnerable to dust and damage. Before we give you some tips about cleaning and maintenance of these cutting boards, let us tell you how to choose them for your kitchen.

Choosing Butcher Block Cutting Boards 

There are many misconceptions about these cutting boards. Some people even believe that these cutting boards are just wooden slabs. However, these boards are available in a lot of different options. These cutting boards are manufactured from a wide range of wood including cherry, oak, ash, maple, teak and walnut.

Once you have chosen a kind of wood suitable to your kitchen, you need to find a board with proper finish. A cutting board should match your home decor and design plan. It is also important to consider construction methods. You can choose between planks and end grain construction. You will also have to choose between rounded and refined edges. Luckily, a butcher block cutting board can be easily built as per your preference. It can be as cultured or rough as you want.

Maintaining Butcher Block Cutting Boards 

Once you have chosen a cutting board for your kitchen, you need to understand how to maintain it properly. Since these boards are made of wood, they can be easily damaged from dryness, water, food contamination and other such reasons. With simple precautions, your cutting board will last for a long time.

Oiling – You need to oil cutting boards on a regular basis. You should use mineral oil to maintain the condition of your cutting board. You can apply a coat of mineral oil and let it simply sit on the board for an hour. Once oil has dried, you should wipe your cutting board with a detergent.

Detergent – While cleaning cutting boards, people sometimes use abrasive cleaners. This can be harmful for your cutting board. You should always use a mild detergent. This will protect your cutting board from scratches and roughness.

Lemon Juice – Since these cutting boards are made of food, they tend to absorb all kinds of food odors. Thus, you need to deodorize your cutting board with lemon juice. Let lemon juice sit on your cutting board for 15 minutes before you wipe it off.

With these simple tips, you will be able to extend the life of your butcher block cutting board. With proper care and maintenance, you can enhance the visual appeal of butcher block cutting boards to make your kitchen more beautiful. Clean and shining wooden cutting boards look as elegant as other materials available in the market. It will be better to hire professionals to install these cutting boards in your kitchen. Professionals will be able to install them properly and extend their life.

Wood Cutting Boards, Chopping Blocks

This is a video specific to wood cutting boards. It explains the differences between end grain and edge grain and discusses different types of boards, and covers the most popular features of cutting boards.

Butcher Block Tables, Islands & Carts

This is a super introduction to butcher block. The distributor, Butcher Block Co. discusses every point including the origin of the butcher block while providing an overview of butcher block kitchen furniture, countertops and cutting boards. Butcher Block is versatile. It’s used in standing butcher blocks, as well as butcher block tables, kitchen carts and islands and more.

See more kitchen carts made of hardwood here

An Introduction to Wood Countertops

This video is a great introduction to wood countertops. The company, Butcher Block Co. reviews wood and grain-style options for butcher block countertops and kitchen islands, plus edge and finish options. Wood counters are durable, versatile, and naturally beautiful.

Everything You Need To Decorate Your Home

You should start by reading and learning more about interior design if you are planning on making a few changes to your home. Even if instinct and creativity are very important in this process, you should not ignore what experienced professionals recommend when it comes to the decoration of your home.

When choosing colors for your interior design, avoid going with fads. Olive green walls may have been popular once upon a time, but it can make your home look dated. Go for neutral colors that can withstand the test of time. That way, you would not feel like you have to repaint every year.

Take time to think about the amount of money you have to spend before you initiate a project. It feels awful to get halfway through a project and find out that your funds have dried up. You will feel a lot more comfortable about finishing a project in the future.

When placing your art on the wall, make sure that it stays at eye level. Hanging your art too low or high can really disrupt the look of a room, and can even give the appearance of a smaller room.

If you are designing a new kitchen in your house, it is beneficial to contact a professional contractor. Your ideas might involve electrical and plumbing work that is beyond your scope of expertise. By contacting a professional, they can help you to outline the exact project so it is done right and within budget.

If you have a small home, buy furniture that can serve multiple purposes. For instance, a storage ottoman can serve as a place to rest your legs as well as a place to stash magazines and knick-knacks. A futon can serve as seating and a bed for guests. Getting furniture that is versatile can keep your home looking uncluttered if you have a small space.

Don’t be afraid of color! So many people keep white walls in their home simply because they are unsure what colors would work for them. You don’t have to go crazy with color–even painting one wall a vibrant color will change the feel of a room. If you are afraid to paint, start with throw pillows in bright colors and see what you think.

Avoid catering to any design trends that are currently popular. These trends are often expensive, and they’ll be out of style fairly quickly. Go with something timeless that you think looks good. Don’t let what current trends say are good influence how you want your place to look. Follow your heart, not a trendy magazine.

If you’re feeling uninspired, pick a single piece you love and build your room around that. Do you have a family heirloom lamp you’re excited to display? A beautifully framed picture of your loved ones? When you use a piece, you love as a starting point, it’ll be easy to put together an entire room that feels special.

Be sure to design your space how you want it to look. While you may have one style in mind that suits your guests, keep in mind that it is you who has to live there all the time. If you want to put things in your room to reflect your personal taste, by all means, do it. While you may change your mind at a later date, everything that you do can be changed.

Making a small space appear larger is a design goal of many interior decorating projects. Try painting these ares with light colors. Dark colors will make a small room appear smaller than it normally is.

Try an accent wall. If your white walls are driving you crazy, but you’re overwhelmed by color choices and are afraid you’ll make a mistake, an accent wall could be the answer. By painting just one wall, you’ll add a pop of color to your space without the risk of it being overpowering. Try this on the wall behind a bed, under a breakfast bar, or even the ceiling!


An easy way to redesign your kitchen is to reface your cabinets and change out the hardware. This is an inexpensive project that most individuals can do themselves. There are a variety of hardware pieces sold in hardware stores, and this makes it easy to find pieces that fit your individual style.

New cabinet doors can give your kitchen a quick and inexpensive lift. Consider doors that are made of glass, to give an open feeling to the kitchen and lighten the atmosphere. Put some accent pieces in your cabinets to give the eye something pleasing to look at.

When redecorating a small kitchen, keep your color pallet pale. A pale color pallet will brighten the space and make it appear larger. It is also best to focus on one or two colors to keep the space from appearing busy. Light blue, sea green, white and ivory are all wonderful choice for a small kitchen space.

Use many levels of lighting. By utilizing lighting in your design you can accomplish multiple looks in one room. An overhead light is typically necessary, but try installing a dimmer switch so you can vary the level and create ambiance in the evening. Install accent lighting to bring focus to art pieces. Task lighting is also important for reading nooks or kitchen prep areas. Multi-level lighting will allow you to create many vibes with one design.

Always use light colors when you need the illusion of space and light in a small room! Not only should you chose light tones, but neutrals are really the best way to go, like eggshell or ivory. Dark colors will make the room appear smaller.

For a quick kitchen refresh, try changing out your cabinet hardware. Outdated drawer pulls and cabinet hardware can make a kitchen look old. If your cabinets are still in good shape, you can update their look by simply adding more modern hardware. It is inexpensive, only takes an afternoon, and you will be amazed at what a difference this change can make.

One stumbling block you might run across when you change up your kitchen’s decor is your appliances. You may have durable, reliable appliances that clash with your new design concept. You don’t have to replace them to get the look you want! Appliance repair professionals are also capable of refinishing old appliances. They can upgrade your old avocado-colored fridge into a gleaming stainless steel model if that’s what your remodeling job calls for.

Use a few small potted plants in your kitchen and bathroom. Potted plants can add some much-needed color and decoration to a room. They will also make it feel fresher. Even fake potted plants can be better than not using them at all. Try putting a few in strategic places.

You do not have to spend a fortune on curtain rods. You can use old golf clubs in the den. Broom sticks can be used in the kitchen and copper piping can be used in any room of the house. Look around the house to find things that could work, and you could be quite pleased with the look when you have your curtains on them.

To upgrade your kitchen without spending a fortune, add new hardware to the cabinets. Hardware is like jewelry for your kitchen. Updating it can change the look of the room and make everything feel new again. This project can be completed in an afternoon and it only takes a screwdriver to get the job done.

As you can see, interior design can be fun, interesting and allow you to create the kind of home in which you will feel comfortable. Keep these tips in mind, do more research and look at interior design magazines to get a few ideas for your own interior design project.

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