Adulting · DIY · Home

Five DIY Tips for People With Zero DIY Skills!

Despite the fact that we live in rented accomodation, Husband and I like to do as much as we can to make our house feel like a home, and we’re both pretty happy to get stuck in when it comes to DIY. As well as doing our best to keep the house and garden looking nice, our landlady also sometimes looks to us for basic maintenance to the property and it’s generally something we’re happy to do.

There are, however, a few things which are a little beyond our skillset, so with this in mind I thought I’d share some tips on how to improve your home when you don’t want to (or can’t!) do major works:

Stick-On Tiles

Stick and Go TilesTiling is something that takes a fair amount of skill, a whole lot of time and a number of different materials and tools. It’s not an easy job and it’s something that can easily look rubbish if you get it wrong as there’s not a huge margin for error. However, there is such a thing as Stick and Go Wall Tiles, which can be stuck directly over any size tile, or straight onto the wall and require zero cementing or grouting! Perfect for a DIY project!

Vinyl Wrapping

DIY Vinyl WrappingIf you don’t want to replace your whole kitchen, or simply don’t have the budget to upgrade, using vinyl to “wrap” your units can give you a fresh look with little outlay. It’s not the easiest thing to do and does take patience, but the effects can be absolutely brilliant and can massively modernise the look of your space. It’s also WAY less distruptive and less messy than ripping out units to replace with new, and it’s also better for the environment as nothing ends up in landfill!

Adhesive Strips

If your lease prevents you from drilling into your walls, this can mean that you’re unable to put curtains up, no hanging pictures and definitely no shelves, which can be a real drag. Pictures, shelves and soft furnishings can make a major difference in how homely your house feels, so we recommend using adhesive strips like Command strips to put things on the walls instead of nails and screws. There’s a huge variety of different strips for different things and you’d be surprised just how much weight some of them can hold.

DIY Patterned Walls

patterned wallsIf you fancy having patterned walls but really don’t like the thought of wallpapering, there are other ways to create DIY patterned walls. From using a laundry basket to create polka dots to masking tape to make geometric patterns, you can create a completely unique, bespoke design which will look really effective, without spending hours trying to line up sheets of wallpaper.

DIY No-Sew Curtains

No Sew Boho Curtains DIYMaking new curtains for your home might seem like a really daunting task if you aren’t a confident sewer, but it’s actually a lot easier than you think, and you don’t even need to sew a single stitch! There are lots of hardy fabric glues and adhesive strips on the market that allow you to hem fabric and attach curtain tape, as well as an internet FULL of tutorials, showing you how to do it.

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Kitchen Cabinet Trends For 2020

Upgrading Your Kitchen With Modern Options

In some areas, modern kitchen designs aren’t what’s locally chic. Well, we’ll briefly examine a few choices that don’t really care about what year it is, and are trending. For the most part, though, top-tier trends are altering interior décor, and can be worth your consideration. Following, we’ll explore some 2020 kitchen cabinet designs you might want to think about. Furniturebox supplies contemporary furniture for the whole house, check them out if you’re thinking about redecorating.

https://pixabay.com/vectors/cupboard-storage-cabinet-furniture-576195/

The Open Shelving Approach
Open shelving has a lot to recommend it. You can see where everything is easily. Plus, the actual space of the kitchen is expanded substantially, and such organizational motifs allow clutter reduction. However, bump into a shelf with your shoulder accidentally and you might have a mess on your hands. Still, this is a sort of “naked” kitchen design that’s quite stylish.

https://pixabay.com/photos/cabinet-spices-orderly-organize-334128/

Slick, Smooth Slab Doors
There’s nothing old school about smooth slab doors. These are a sleek modern innovation that’s got much recommend it from a lot of different angles. For one thing, they’re frameless in the front, and you can get a glossy finish if that suits you. If you’re unfamiliar with slab design, think “Ikea”. There are plenty of glossily-finished cabinet options available through that group.

Minimalism is that which ultimately produced smooth slab doors. In Sweden, minimalism is, ironically, a big deal. If you’re looking for a simple, sleek way to modernize your kitchen, you might want to look into slab doors. Will they be stylish in a few years or decades? Well, that remains to be seen—but the minimalistic element is very practical, so it’s likely they will be.

Shaker Cabinets And RTA Cabinetry Options
Shaker cabinets are very familiar. Though they’re modern, shaker cabinet options have a more aesthetic design than common square or rectangular cabinets. With shaker cabinets, the door is recessed, but there’s a modern flavor to the simple lines which define their shape.

The idea of shaker cabinets isn’t to be a focal point, but to represent a useful, perfectly-conformed piece of furniture in your kitchen. They come in multiple colors, though white shaker cabinets seem to be some of the most popular. As a matter of fact, you can find some especially cost-effective options among this particular type of cabinet.

Are you familiar with RTA cabinets? RTA stands for “Ready To Assemble”, and essentially refers to a sort of cabinet that you can specify in terms of dimensions online, then have shipped to your premises for assembly.

If you’re not quite sure which sort of RTA option makes the most sense for your property, you might peruse some of these RTA cabinet reviews. On that note, check out this Ice White Shaker (Forevermark) Review: stable, clean, impressive RTA Cabinet options like these are especially recommendable for remodel in 2020.

Blue, White, Gray, And Two-Toned Coloration
Different colors tend to define a generation. Oftentimes the automobile industry sets the stage, and what’s popular cascades from there. For example, look at the avocado green and neon orange color motifs of the seventies. Many cars had similar color schemes. Today, in 2020, several very popular colors include blue, white, gray, and two-toned mixes.

White and gray are some of the safest colors to go with if you’re looking for a long-term solution. These colors go with practically any décor, so when future shifts alter the furniture coloration that’s popular, you won’t have to worry about any clash.

https://pixabay.com/photos/old-fashioned-cafe-coffee-shop-2641936/

The Natural Wood Approach
Natural wood cabinets of the type seen in mountain cabins will always be stylish, no matter the era. However, if you’ve got a home full of natural wood furniture, it’s likely you’re not paying too much attention to future trends anyway. This is what may be referred to as “evergreen” style. As in: regardless of the era, there’s always a place for it.

Choosing The Best Cabinetry For Your Kitchen in 2020
Ultimately, what best suits your property is up to you. While staying stylish can keep you contemporary, some styles stand the test of time better than others. Presently, 2020 color schemes include blue, gray, and white options. Shaker cabinets and RTA options are also very stylish today, as are smooth slab cabinets and open shelving arrangements.

If you’re into “legacy” designs, natural wood options may also be recommendable. Before making any decisions, it may be wise for you to sit down and explore what’s available. There are quite a few different styles from which to choose. 

 

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Storage Ideas For Small Kitchen

Source: Pixabay.com

No kitchen is too big to run out of storage space or be overwhelmed with clutter. But this problem is far more likely to affect tiny kitchens than large ones. If you have a small kitchen, you’ll inevitably find yourself struggling to find space to keep even the most essential items.

Yet, having a small kitchen doesn’t have to mean you have to live with chaos. There’s actually plenty of space in your kitchen that is unused or underutilized. Here are some practical ideas on maximizing your small kitchen’s storage space.

1.    Harness the Space Between the Refrigerator and the Wall
The kitchen refrigerator won’t always fit snugly into its assigned space. That’s sometimes because refrigerators may be replaced and the space originally intended for it when the kitchen was built may end up being much larger than the fridge.

There’s no need to let this space go to waste, especially in a small kitchen. You could for instance slide a folding step stool between the fridge and the wall. Or if the gap is big enough, you could explore the possibility of fitting a free standing shelf that will form or extend your pantry.

2.    Use the Sides of Cabinets
Like refrigerator space, chances are that not all your cabinets (or at least not all sides of your cabinets) are butted against a wall or another cabinet. Whether your kitchen cabinets are shaker style (see https://www.bestonlinecabinets.com/rta-kitchen-cabinets-shaker-style) or any other design, this is bonus square feet of storage space you can make use of. Add shelves, hang a pot rail and do more.

3.    Use the Space Above Your Stove
This is one of the more overlooked spaces, perhaps because of a legitimate concern about placing anything above the place where you cook your meals. You certainly wouldn’t want anything up there that could ignite easily.

However, it’s space that you can use if your kitchen doesn’t have a hood. You can exploit this space via a pot rail or shelf. This will create room for fire-resistant cooking utensils as well as larger cookware.

4.    Add Shelves All Over

Source: Pixabay.com

Speaking of free standing shelves, shelves in general are in fact the dirty little secret of extending storage space in small kitchens. Unlike storage cabinets, you can actually fit shelves in all kinds of places in the room without making the small space feel cramped.

Fit shelves on walls and above your kitchen counter. Fit shelf risers in your kitchen cabinets to further increase the space you have.

5.    Add Toekick Drawers
The toekick is the space between your cabinet and the floor that provides a recess for your feet when you are doing something on the kitchen countertop. It certainly provides comfort but it’s a luxury you can easily do without if you have a small kitchen.

Instead, you should consider installing toekick drawers in this space. It’s a great way to transform a rarely or never used space into somewhere that can hold your linens, pans, cutlery or pantry items.

6.    Use the Inside of All Doors
That plain interior of your pantry or cabinet door is really not living up to its storage potential. The kitchen is teeming with plenty of items that could find a home here. Hang your cutlery, small appliances, measuring cups and bulletin boards. And if there’s sufficient space for it especially in your pantry, you could even fit shelves on the inside of the door.

7.    Use the Undersides of the Cabinets

Source: Pixabay.com

This is probably not one of those places that will immediately come to mind when you are thinking about extending storage space but if you have a tiny kitchen, every available opportunity will make a difference.

Just when you thought your cabinets can’t take any more stuff, the underside of them will surprise you. Add hooks to the cabinet bottoms that will hold your small tools and mugs. A magnetic strip could convert the underside into a floating spice rack.

8.    Magnetic Knife Rack
A magnetic knife rack is a handy tool you can use to squeeze out more storage space from thin spaces on your kitchen walls. And it doesn’t have to be horizontal as per assumed convention. A knife rack can run vertically as well proving that no wall space is off limits when it comes to where you can place it.

Maximizing small kitchen storage comes down to a shift in your mindset. You have to stop planning your storage around conventional, big kitchen thinking and start to explore the creative ways you can make the most of the space you have.

DIY · Home

How a Dishwasher Changed My Life

Photo by Scott Umstattd on Unsplash
Photo by Scott Umstattd on Unsplash

When we moved here, to our little house in the countryside, I had to accept a few things in order to get the lifestyle we wanted. Firstly, I would have to do a fair bit of driving to get the girls to school. Nights out would either need to be very sober or cost a lot more if we factored in taxis. We’d have to accept that our internet went about the same speed as dial-up, circa 1997. And, perhaps most horrifyingly of all, I would have to accept that there wasn’t space in our kitchen for a dishwasher.

I’d never had a dishwasher until we lived in the house before this one, and getting one at the last house felt like all of my dreams had come true at once. You see, I’m not naturally domesticated, and the washing up was my BIGGEST nemesis. I absolutely hate washing up. And so does everyone else who lives here, so it would often go undone for days at a time, which as you can imagine, is a less than ideal situation.

I won’t lie, I had a bit of a meltdown at Husband and told him that something needed to change, so he put his thinking cap in action (as well as chucking a bit of cash at the situation!) and worked out that we could have a dishwasher if we did a bit of shuffling around in the kitchen.

We’re seriously lucky that we have some super handy and practical people in our family, so after a call to Husband’s aunty (although you could just hire a plumber) we worked out that we could put the dishwasher where our washing machine currently stood and do a bit of a retrofit with the pipes to move the washing machine along a different wall altogether.

We have a galley kitchen, so it wasn’t immediately obvious that we’d be able to do this, but sometimes it takes a new pair of eyes, and someone with a bit more expertise than yourself, to come up with this sort of solution.

Husband’s aunt and uncle ordered all of the parts they’d need and came round one evening a few months ago to get it all done. It only took them two or three hours, and by the time they finished, we had a shiny new dishwasher, ready to go, and a washing machine that actually worked MUCH better in its new position because the floor was more level and it was closer to the dryer, too.

It sounds dramatic when I say it’s changed my life, but I cannot understate this fact enough. Instead of permanently living in limbo between “don’t use the kitchen, I’ve just spent hours cleaning it” and “we’ve got no clean plates, we’ll have to have a takeaway”, the kitchen is permanently clean and tidy and we ALWAYS have things to eat and drink with.

This has also had other knock-on effects too – we eat far fewer takeaways, so we’re saving money and being healthier, both of which are really positive. It also means that the rest of the house is tidier, because there’s a place for all of the dirty plates, cups and cutlery to go. I also enjoy cooking SO much more now. Before, I’d cook a roast or bake a cake and then be faced with the reality that I had to hand wash every single item I’d used in the process. Now, it all goes straight in the dishwasher, nothing is untidy, and I can just enjoy the whole experience of being creative in the kitchen.

If you don’t think you have space for a dishwasher in your kitchen, it could be well worth getting a plumber or kitchen designer to have a look and give you a professional opinion as to whether there might be a way, and if you’re as undomesticated as me, it could genuinely change your life!