They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, and they would be right!
Kitchens are not just a place to prepare meals anymore. They are great entertainment spaces for family and friends. Kitchens must be extremely functional and yet stylish at the same time. And, it is also the kitchen where you will see the greatest return on your investment down the road should you choose to sell.
Today, islands, farmhouse sinks, temperature controlled wine storage, and stainless steel appliances are common place. Custom cabinetry and exotic countertops are just a couple of components when creating your dream kitchen. There really is something to suit everyones needs and style.
When renovating your kitchen, there are several things to consider. Functionality is critical — after all, the kitchen is still the place where you will be cooking. Careful consideration should be given to where you place your stove, refrigerator, island and cabinets to ensure plenty of space to cook, eat and entertain. The working triangle is important indeed! What about storage? Kitchens contain a lot of utensils, pots, pans and small appliances, so be sure to have enough space to store all your favorites close at hand. And don’t forget to put your own style into your kitchen. Add colourful elements and make it warm and welcoming for your guests and entire family.
At iRenos we are here to help you plan your new kitchen. It can be a daunting task but even the smallest of spaces can have spacious storage and a nice flow. For small spaces, a galley style can be advantageous. Since horizontal space is limited, why not use the vertical spacel; stack counters and shelves high up on the walls, and look for unique storage containers and pieces that serve multiple purposes. If you have a little more square footage to work with, you might want to try an L-shaped or U-shaped kitchen with an island or peninsula. There will be plenty of cabinets and countertop space, and you may be able to add stools if you have incorporated a bar-height counter to the island. Ultimately, think about how you and your family will use the room and then incorporate those features as best as possible.
In order to make your space work, use every square inch of space available: include cabinets in your island, buy spice racks and hanging pot racks, and invest in a cart. You may want to place frequently used bulky items on the countertop, and use that precious storage space for less commonly used items. Organization is key.
Once you’ve established the layout of the kitchen, picking interesting materials is what will really set your kitchen apart from the rest of them. When it comes to countertops, granite, wood and marble are elegant options, while concrete, limestone and stainless steel are a little more trendy. Bring in a little colour with a bright mosaic tile backsplash or choose a beautiful wood floor finish. And don’t be afraid to mix your cabinets up. It’s not uncommon to half different coloured uppers from the lower cabinets. Frosted glass cabinets will add a modern look, while painted cabinets are an easy, inexpensive way to update the look of your kitchen.
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Are you looking at creating a cozy space for you and the family to relax in? What about a spot to watch the game or entertain your friends?
Regardless of its purpose, all good living rooms have a comfortable sofa, maybe some arm chairs, a coffee table and a focal point, such as a fireplace or entertainment centre.
At this point, you should be asking yourself what the purpose of this space will be. Will it be more formal or casual? Perhaps adding an elegant fireplace mantel might be a worthy investment if it’s a formal space, while a built-in TV console would be functional in a more casual setting. You are going to need storage also, so some built-in bookshelves and cabinets are great additions. A small desk can act as an impromptu workspace or homework area for the kids. Again, you’ll need to add some personal touches to warm up the space, such as rugs, artwork, curtains and lighting.
Want your living room to be a little more sophisticated? Buy a bar cart, formal furniture like wingback armchairs and chesterfield sofas, and mahogany wood bookshelves and coffee tables. An elegant fireplace makes a great focal point by utilizing sophisticated materials. However, if it will be your primary living space, you’ll probably be using it more like a TV room, complete with sofa sectional, media console and gaming spot. Think about your needs first as you might not want you small children playing in a formal living room.
The living room serves many purposes so be sure to incorporate plenty of shelves, cabinets and drawers to accommodate all of your things. While more expensive, built-ins are the best way to do this, since they take up less space and are often customized to meet your needs. A built-in entertainment center is great for housing your TV, movies, video games and small electronics, while bookcases keep your books, picture frames and knickknacks in check.
Stick with neutral sofas, armchairs and ottomans and get a little bolder with colourful accessories — that way, when your tastes of fashion changes, you can replace these smaller items at a fraction of the cost. Picture frames, rugs, throw pillows and curtains are all great for adding color, while mirrors, table lamps and ceiling lights can help light flow throughout the space. Hanging colorful artwork on the walls, or painting an accent wall can bring a lot of life to the space.
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Dining rooms today have changed from the once formal spaces to being incorporated into a more open concept design flowing our from the kitchen. Eating and entertaining is what it’s all about in dining rooms, and very rarely will you use this space anything else.
Because of its simplicity, a dining room can be difficult to decorate and renovate. One of the easiest changes you can make is swapping out your furniture.As you dining set is the focal point of your room, it should also be your biggest investment. The size of the table is very important as you want it to fit the scale of the room. Always, go for quality as a good table can last decades. Once you have a table sorted out, don’t forget to add cabinets for storage. And remember to inject your own personality with colourful touches and decorative pieces.
Knowing how often you entertain and use the dining room may reflect your decision as to the type of table you purchase. A good option if you are unsure if to get a table that you can pop an extension into in a pinch but still have a smaller table for more intimate gatherings. Whatever the size, be sure it fits the space. Measure the table and think about chair movement to ensure that everyone at the table can get in and out without much effort…usually you require at least three feet of space from the table edge.
To save space in your kitchen, try transitioning some of your formal or seasonal dishes to the dining room. A china cabinet is a great way to store and showcase your dishes, or add a buffet table and use the countertop space to display food during a party. For your adult beverages, buy a rolling bar cart for alcohol bottles and barware, or opt for a more permanent solution by installing a fully stocked wet bar.
Dining room furniture is often very simple. As a result, try adding a vibrant coloured feature wall such as red for an elegant look, or go more contemporary with black or gray. Adding a chandelier or unique pendant lamp can server as a conversion piece. Adding art work is always a great touch in the dining room, just make sure it matches you overall theme. Lastly, don't forget about the table. A fun seasonal centerpiece, table runner or table settings can easily liven up the space.
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Although the bathroom is one of the smallest rooms in the house, it should still be high on your list of priorities. A bathroom renovation will be one of the best investments you can make. Adding a new bathtub, walk-in shower and double sinks — will increase the overall value, quality and comfort of your home.
You should think about not only what your family needs most, but also take a look at the current trends in design. If you don’t have a separate storage space for you linens, finding ways to add more bathroom storage will be extremely beneficial. It may be difficult to do this in such a small space, but it is often critical for storing towels and beauty supplies.
If you are entertaining selling your home in the future you may want to thing about buyers preferences also. Having at least one bathtub is important when selling your home but if space is tight and your family doesn’t take many baths there may have to be a trade off. Double sinks are alway nice if space permits. And, if several people will be using the bathroom in the morning, separating the toilet from the shower and sink area will allow multiple people to use the bathroom at the same time.
Space is always essential and purchasing an oversized vanity with good cabinet capacity and drawers is a must. Or, you can always add a medicine cabinet, wall cabinets, or floating shelves to add more storage space. Even a shower caddy can add much needed storage space for those shampoo bottles. Adding trays and dividers for existing drawers may also help organize all of those goodies.
Once you’ve chosen your layout, pick interesting materials and add some colour to liven things up. Tile is a great floor choice as there are numerous options for both color and style. Mosaic tile is always a popular choice can be difficult to keep clean, so stone or granite might be a better option. A colourful backsplash or countertop can brighten things up as well. And let’s not forget the hardware as cabinet pulls, shower heads and faucets will allow you to add more detail and personality.
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Bedrooms are often our escape from the hectic pace we lead during our daily lives. It is a stress free place to relax and take a break. And, it should be full of comforting things like plush pillows and bedding, warm colours, and personal items.
Maybe the only thing you need is to change the paint colour or furniture layout. Once you add dressers, night tables, armoires, and the bed, there is probably not much space left. So, deciding on the perfect layout is essential so you still have room to move around. Choosing the best colour scheme and decorations that reflect your personality is always the best decision for the bedroom. If all of these touches doesn’t quite get your bedroom to where you want it, perhaps a full renovation is necessary to create a master bedroom with ensuite.
The size of the room will almost always dictate where you place your furniture. Although you may need more dressers for more storage, this won’t always be possible. Make sure that you leave plenty of walking space, as there is nothing more frustrating than having to dodge your furniture in order to make it to your bed.
Take note of any windows in the room. Placing your bed under a window even if you have blackout blinds is generally not a good idea.
Color scheme is generally a personal choice however, there are definitely some colours that are more relaxing than others. Choosing relaxing warm tones will help set you up for a restful sleep while brighter colours, although they are great for your mood, may not lead to the calmness you require for relaxation.
Like always, those personal touches are always great but try and keep those photographs out of the room for added romance. And sometimes less is more, so try not to add a bunch of knickknacks as it can provide a little too much stimulation.
Who doesn’t love a gorgeous master suite. Try adding a sitting area, beautiful master bathroom, walk-in closet, and even a fireplace to enhance to mood.
Need a little reading space? How about a nook with a chaise lounge and space for a sofa.
Double sinks, and separate bathtub and shower will go a long way to creating that stunning master bathroom. And no master suite would be complete without an expansive walk-in closet for all those clothes and shoes.
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For most people, the home office is used for a wide variety of things. If you are working from home, this is your primary office space. For other members of the family, it can be a place to check emails and surf the web, or work on those precious family photos that are stored on the computer. Or, it can be a homework spot, a gaming centre, or even a small library.
Storage will be of the utmost importance since the office is generally full of papers so be sure to have plenty of shelves and cabinets. If this is your primary office space then careful consideration should be given the desk itself as a functional workspace. Also, since you’ll be logging plenty of hours in here, think about spending a little more money for a comfortable chair.
Generally, the office is place where all the paperwork gets thrown. Bank statements, bills, and mail all tend to pile up here. Having a system of filing cabinets will go a long way to keeping you organized and being able to find things when you need them. Having some shelves and cabinets to store your books, and drawers with trays to keep you stationary in check will be welcome as well.
A traditional office is more formal and tends to have that classic woodwork look. However, in today’s modern spaces offices are blending cutting edge design with functionality. Having a globe, maps, and clock are classic decor items that always look at home in an office. Bring in your personal touches such as family photographs and a few trinkets. You may even want to add a white board or cork board to make some notes or put reminders on.
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Outdoor spaces tend to get thrown onto the back burner over other interior renovation jobs. However, keep in mind that curb appeal is often the first thing someone sees when they approach your home. And what about that backyard? A great deck with a BBQ, outdoor dinning set, and maybe a fire pit will ensure great memories are made during those warm summer evenings. Outdoor renovations can be expensive so make sure you research what it is you want out of this space and stay true to your budget, especially if you are pondering adding costly items like a pool.
Depending on where you are located in the world, your landscaping options will vary. For those in dry desert climates, avoid water-thirsty grass and opt for succulents, which require very little water yet still add beauty to your yard. And don’t forget about maintenance. Once you have completely landscaped your property, you will still need to spend time maintaining it. As much as you may want that vegetable garden it may not be the best thing for your busy lifestyle. Maybe something with a little more stone and low maintenance plants is what you need. A nice plush lawn is always great for the kids to run around on as well. Thing of your yard as an extension of your home, plan on how you’ll use it and landscape accordingly.
When the sun is shining your outdoor space will be a great area for entertaining so think about installing a nice patio, deck, or porch. If you really want to take your outdoor entertaining to the next level then build an outdoor kitchen/prep area to go along with that BBQ. And how about a mini fridge to keep all those drinks cold. Since summer doesn’t last forever, you’ll want a great fire pit area or even a fireplace. Outdoor spaces are really becoming an extension of your interior spaces so many people opt for a great lounge area with comfortable furniture.
Probably one of the key factors that will likely dictate whether or not you install a pool, is the weather and your budget. If you have both of these on your side then a pool can be a great investment. Consider how often you and your family go to the neighborhood pool — your current frequency of use is a good way to determine how often you would use your own. A pool will also eat up some significant real estate so consider the size of your yard and whether or not you family more green space or pool space. Again, maintenance can be an issue and there is always a cost associated from both a time and money standpoint.
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Usually, closets are an afterthought until you need them. We always seem to to need more storage space, so it’s important to give careful consideration to closets and storage areas. Walk-in closets today are ever improving and often have beautiful finishes that can be on par with kitchens. There are spinning shoe racks, lighted cases, pull-out drawers, and even lounge chairs.
Built-ins are always a great choice although they tend to cost more but will provide you with a custom solution to your storage problems. Something that is a little more cost effective would be baskets, dividers, hooks, and racks, and these will surely help keep everything in it’s place. And remember to think about those speciality items like a tie rack or makeup vanity.
How you organize all of your items is critical. Things can get messy pretty quickly if you storage is not well though out. Custom sized built-ins will most likely do the best job of utilizing what space you have, and ensuring that every precious inch is well utilized. From shoe racks, to tie racks, purse display cases or pull out drawers for socks and shirts, all items will have a home. It just might be worth the investment to custom built-in storage designed for you.
If custom built-ins are just no in the cards for you, there are still hundreds of storage options available for less cost. From hooks to bins to drawer partitions, make sure to evaluate your space for you requirements. Baskets and bins are excellent for storing many different types of items and are also very cost effective.
If you have enough space and you’re willing to stretch the budget, maybe a small sitting area with an ottoman would be a nice touch. It’s kind of nice to have a place to sit while you putting on your shoes or socks. Perhaps a full length mirror and vanity will serve you well. Or maybe you can add some pull out drawers for your jewellery. Another nice touch is an island that can hold specialty items or perhaps your purses.
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It’s obvious that the exterior of your home is what will give you the curb appeal. So, make sure you are keeping up your exterior appearance and you will be the envy of the neighbourhood. The exterior reflects the overall style of the house so be sure to replace those weathered shingles or deteriorating siding. There are many options here, so whether you go with stone, wood, brick, or steel siding, be sure that the overall appearance reflects both the architecture of the house and your own personal style.
If you are starting from the ground floor the first decision you will need to make is what the overall style should be. Popular options include: Victorian, Mediterranean, Craftsman, Mid- Century Modern, Contemporary and so on. Once you have determined that the chosen style will work, you are going to want to consider the materials and colours. Generally, your overall style will determine this but you will also want to consider your personal taste and resale potential down the road.
The materials that you end of using should be linked closely to the overall style of the house. Choosing a traditional house might mean using more brick and wood shingles, while a more contemporary home might use more metal and stone. There is of course some leeway here, and you renovation expect can you help you out. If don’t need an entire remodel then adding some new paint and changing the trim change often provide a dramatic new look. Picking neutral colours like beige, brown, or grey is often the smart choice unless you are living in an area with brightly coloured homes.
You generally want to avoid unnecessary clutter on the exterior but adding some detailed house numbers is a nice touch that provides a finished look. Or perhaps a colourful front door or something with a unique detail can help give your home that personal look. Some beautiful outdoor lighting can provide excellent mood and make your house more welcoming. How about a nice door mat or mailbox to complete the front entrance.
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Why is it that basement tend to be a catch-all room in the house? It’s probably because of the general open and expansive nature. However, depending on your families needs, it can be another great living space, game room, media room, bar or any combination of these. A finished basement can be a large investment, so as always, be sure to carefully consider you needs here. If you do decide to go ahead and finish your basement it can result in substantial resale value.
Each family is a little different, so determine how you are going to be spending your time in the space. If you find yourself hosting parties, the basement can be a great area to do this. Installing a bar, wine cellar or combination of the two will get you off on the right foot for that great events. The basement can also be a great area for the kids to play, and turning this into a games centre will add years of entertainment to this area. If it’s the man cave you are looking for, the basement is the go-to spot. A fantastic media room with big screen tv will be great for those sporting events or block buster movies. And if you want to get is shape or stay fit, a home gym would fit in the nicely here.
Since the basement is usually such an expansive area, it also makes a great location for extra storage and built-in cabinets. For the ultimate video game/movie hub, install a custom entertainment center, complete with bookshelves and cabinets for storing small electronic accessories, movies and books. The options are endless, but as always, custom cabinetry will give you the best options for storage in your home.
For the most part, bigger furniture is generally better. Since there is so much open space the scale of larger furniture will look right at home here. Sectionals can be a great way to avoid an empty looking room, and they provide great seating options for your guests. Finish the room off by adding a coffee table, some armchairs, side tables and lamps, and maybe a pool table and dart board.
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Although we look at them, walk on them, walk through them every day, floors, windows, and doors are often taken for granted. However, these three key elements play a huge role in any home. From a functional standpoint, choosing quality windows can save you money in both the summer and winter. A good front door can bring added security to your home and make a bit of statement for anyone who approaches.
What kind of a door are you buying? Is it a front, back, or interior door? There are some obvious choices depending on where in the house your door is located. Sliding doors make great entry and exit points for for back deck or patio, while pocket doors can be used inside for an office. There are numerous styles of doors and many of these crossover for their uses.
When you are thinking about flooring its important to look at the spaces in your own. Some things are obvious, such as never putting carpet in a kitchen. The last thing you want is to spill your tuna sandwich on shag carpeting
Do you like blinds or curtains? Do you want valances or not? The choices when it comes to window coverings is numerous. The best way to approach this is to marry up the style with your overall home style. Putting stainless steel blinds on a Victorian home would probably not be the best decision.
With floors, windows, and doors, these are areas in which you can really take some chances and put your own style on things. Perhaps the standard hardwood look is getting tired. How about installing bamboo or cork floors. What about an iron or stainless steel door? If you have a modern style you may go with more floor to ceiling windows to take advantage of the minimalist look. There are some great, and unique products out there so do your homework and look for something different.
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The options for lighting these days is immense and more complicated than you may think. You not only have to decide the style of light, but the position and type of light. Do you want a pendant, chandelier, track light, wall sconce, recessed, or cabinet lighting? Are you going to pony up for those expensive LED lights or just stick to the incandescent lighting? You will also need to choose the right illumination for the space. If you don’t have enough light in the kitchen you may find it difficult to see what you are cooking. Conversely, too much light will lead to a washed out space. Choose wisely, great lighting can transform spaces and really turn your home from a dimly lit drab space to a spectacular place that is the envy of all your friends.