The kitchen is the heart and soul of the home. When this multi-functional, highly visible space needs a renovation, the lighting scheme plan will be vital to the overall finish of the space.
Add impact and visual interest with downlights or pendants. Use light only where is required. Adding a row of pendants to your kitchen island will help you to divide the different areas between the dining and kitchen areas
Consider natural light
The orientation of your kitchen and the amount of natural light that it receives will have an impact on your lighting scheme. The ideal aspect tends to be north or north east, if the kitchen faces the wrong way it can be dark and you’ll need to have lights on more often.
Include more than one light
Including different layers of lighting. Using different lighting sources will give you a more ‘three-dimensional’ feel and will help with creating the mood you want. Each source should be controlled individually.
Be Mindful of Colour
Think about the colour of the kitchen. As white reflects light, if you have a lot of white in your kitchen you may be able to lower the wattage of bulbs. But those with darker kitchen lighting may need more wattage.
Choose the right light temperature
Go for warm lights. While you may want your LEDs to give off cool white light above worktops, warm white is much more relaxing for dining or living areas.
Control the space
If your kitchen is small, you can increase the sense of space by using directional spotlights highlighting your cupboards and walls.
Nowadays lime washing floors it seen as a stylish and highly appealing option for an understated palette.
Lime washing, or white washing is a technique that has been used for years, initially to protect wood and more recently to make wood look weathered and bleached. Is a simple, easy and effective way, to give your floorboards a makeover.
So, how does lime washing actually work?
Lime washing was initially created as a combination of calcium hydroxide and chalk however these days a diluted paint paint solution is applied. This technique is perfect when a lime wash is applied to solid wood flooring it creates an open textured look to the grain and brightens the wood dramatically.
Lime washing your floor on a DIY basis
Recommended for existing wood floors.
This process can be completed in 5 steps:
The pros of choosing lime wash
This option can actually be a reasonably effective way of concealing the dirt and grime on your flooring. White always looks clean and fresh. The pros? Timing as 3-4 coats need to be applied the process can be lengthy but worth it!
Are you considering a bathroom update? There are many things to consider such as tiles, colours, vanity, mirrors, lighting, layout, functionality, the list goes on and we understand this can be overwhelming. In all these decisions we recommend you take time to consider your shower head.
Showering should be an uplifting start to the day or a relaxing experience at the end of the day. Sadly, even the best showers don’t always give you the drenching of your dreams. The best shower head isn't always the one that looks the most beautiful but rather the one that gives you the most refreshing and rejuvenating showering experience. The good news is that you don’t always need to replace the whole shower; you can often revitalise it by switching its head.
How to choose the ideal shower head
What types of shower head are there?
There are two basic types of shower heads fixed and handheld. Fixed shower means that this heads are attached permanently to the wall or ceiling and the second type the handheld head which are more common nowadays and many of our clients choose both options.
What are the most important factors in a shower head?
There is two factors that you must consider, those are coverage and pressure.
Coverage is how much area the shower head covers with its spray and pressure how strong the flow feels on your skin.
Most of the time the more you increase one of these factors the more you decrease the other that is why is important that you have an idea of which one you prefer and what is the perfect balance.
What are the heads made of?
There are some shower heads that are made of plastic, we don’t recommend this option as plastic cracks, leaks and has even been shown to collect more bacteria inside of the shower head. The best options are Stainless Steel, Brass or Porcelain, all durable and rust proof.
What other features should I look out for?
In addition to the basics, modern shower heads may offer extra features like a built-in Bluetooth speaker or LED lighting. However these aren’t always practical for a handheld shower, though, and they are no substitute for an effective spray pattern.
Some luxury features are worth the extra dollars, a fancy finish can be worth paying for if you’re trying to keep your bathroom looking sleek, whilst anything that helps you keep your shower head clean and free of limescale is also a good idea.
Check out Reece as they have a comprehensive range to suit all budgets.
ABII Interiors for some stylish finishes https://www.abiinteriors.com.au/product-category/tapware/shower_heads/
Kitchen benchtop materials
Kitchens are not only the room of the house where meals are made, but also where much of the action happens - from household admin to homework and family meals, these are the reasons to make sure that the kitchen materials are both practical and attractive.
One of the most important decisions that you will have to make in a kitchen renovation project is the type of benchtop you will use. Durability is a big factor in this surface that is why you should choose your material wisely.
To find the perfect benchtop material we will give you this advice to assist with your decision.
Natural Stone benchtops
Marble is attractive with passionate cooks as it is the perfect surface for baking. Marble is also a luxurious material, as a natural stone no two slabs are alike. However, spices, curry sauce, coffee, beetroot and red wine will all leave marks and stain your natural surface, so you need to think wisely about your kitchen habits and weigh up how important the look and cost is in relation to how much use your kitchen gets.
Another option to natural stone is granite benchtops, these are more stain- and scratch-resistant, and they come in a wide, selection of colours however you'll need to pay for this choice.
Always ensure your builder or stonemason seal your stone bench-tops following installation, this will help protect the surface from stains. Leading suppliers of natural stone in Melbourne are Signorino and CDK Stone.
Timber adds warmth to kitchens and is a lovely natural material that never dates. The extensive variety of available species means that you can play with the tones of the yellowish colours of ash to the darkest tones of walnut. The con of this material is the level of care and maintenance it requires is probably just too much for some people. Water can be a threat if you are not careful.
Engineered stone benchtops
This is one if the leading materials in kitchen renovation projects and certainly a favourite of our clients. The durability factor plays a key part in choosing engineered stone. It also is very easy to clean and comes in a wide range of colours, from bright whites to dark greys. Check out the leaders in this field, Caesarstone, Silestone, Essa-Stone, Quantum Quartz.
Laminate is always a safe option when you have a tight budget. Laminate benchtops are cost-effective with countless colours and finishes to choose. Laminate is resistant to staining and easy to clean, it is also easy to install. Laminate is also a great long term option, if you choose wisely it will still look great in a decade. The drawbacks with laminate is that it can burn and blister, there are visible joins and it is prone to swelling and scratching. Leading laminate suppliers are Laminex, Lamicolor Duropal and Polytec.
Sintered Porcelain Slabs
This product is relatively new in the market with brands such as Neolith and Dekton. These are scratch, stain and scorch resistant surfaces and are relatively low maintenance. The material is manufactured in large slab sizes which can be cut to fit into any kitchen. This material can also be applied as cladding and cupboards due to its thin manufacturing ability. This surface appeals is a favourite with designers and architects.
• Dekton currently has 52 different finish options.
• Neolith currently has 30 different finish options
Polished concrete benchtops
This material can give you an urban and modern look in your kitchen. this style of benchtop are precast elsewhere by hand to your specification which make them an expensive option however, because of this you get a lot more choice with your colour and edge design. If you re thinking in use this bench you may require additional sub-floor structural work to support.
Five Best Materials For Kitchen Cabinets
Thinking in a kitchen upgrade? Cabinetry can transform the space. And there are heaps of options to meet your needs.
The cabinetry material can have a massive impact in the appearance of your new kitchen but also on your budget. You’ll find variety across the board—including laminate, black marine plywood, pre-finished veneers, solid timber, vinyl wrap, two pack and cupboards constructed using eco-friendly materials.
To figure out what suits your kitchen best, let us offer some information to think about.
Is made of three resin-saturated layers: a base layer of paper, a printed and coloured layer (which may look like wood), and a protective transparent layer. Heat and pressure fuse a laminate to a substrate.
This material provide a resistant surface and also a vast colour range that can pair with nearly any decorating style. It is a cost effective option for a kitchen renovation project.
Black marine plywood
Plywood suits inner-city chic, industrial or ultra-modern kitchen designs.
This material is a sheet material manufactured from thin layers or “plies” of wood veneer that are glued together with adjacent layers.
The plywood is flexible, durable and strong making it a favourable option for your cabinetry and is still generally more affordable than solid wood.
This is one of the most popular interior materials. Wood veneer is a very thin slice of wood which is obtained from a tree log. Timber veneer can be more easily shaped than solid timber, and is available in a variety of species and used to improve the aesthetics of the kitchen cabinets. This product is less expensive than solid timber
Wood cabinets are a classic feature making them a popular choice for homeowners. There are a range of wood cabinets in colour and style depending on the material the options include oak, maple, hickory, cherry, birch, ash, and pine.
However before you choose wood as your main material for the cabinetry know that they can warp easily as the moisture content changes.
This is one of the most versatile materials for kitchen cabinetry. The Vinyl Wrap doors are made up of an MDF panel that has been cut and covered with a vinyl form that is pressed to the door using heat and vacuum. It can be designed in a number of profiles, from simple flat doors through to doors with delicate finished. It comes in a wide range of colours making this material suitable to any style kitchen.
Two pack, Two Pac, Two Pak, 2pac
Is a painting mixture solution incorporating a tin of paint and a tin of hardener to form a two-part solution. Two pack cabinetry means that the faces and edges of the kitchen doors, drawer fronts and panels are painted with this very hard two-pack paint.
This material definitely lasts longer, it’s also very flexible in uses. The most value valuable aspect of using Two pack is that you’re able to do an exact colour match with your walls in the home, it also comes in a range of finishes, Satin, Matt or Gloss. Its a luxurious option this will stand the test of time and this is our preferred option for kitchen cabinets.
Another Elwood Trade Services Bathroom featured as Inspiration
This bathroom celebrates the elegance of a clean design with a neutral colour palette and rose gold accents delivering a timeless and versatile look. Call us today to discuss your bathroom project
Bathroom Renovation Inspiration with Elwood Trade Services
Our latest bathroom was featured in the REECE Blog, good tips and tricks. Read it here....
The Modern Splashback
By Deb Cadzow Elwood Trade Services
The modern splashback has come a long way in recent years. Gone are the days of a row of tiles protecting the paint, today the splashback is a statement piece in the modern kitchen. You can still opt for traditional tiles, glass, stainless steel, stone or pressed metal which are all making an impact in a beautiful way.
A Tiled splashback can still make a big impact especially in statement colours and bold patterns.
One of the most versatile types of wall tile is a ceramic tile. Ceramic tiles are durable and resistance to moisture, making them a great splashback material. Ceramic tiles are also durable, you can use an all purpose cleaner and give them a good scrubbing.
While picking out a beautifully printed tile, you will be wiping these every day so be aware that stains to the grout will happen. Speak with your kitchen designer or building company and ask their recommendation when it comes to grout solutions that will keep your design looking fresh.
Glass remains a popular splashback choice, you may want to consider a printed glass panel. Glass is ideal as it is fully customisable, neutral colours always work and we are seeing more black in our kitchen designs. If you are considering a big statement with your splashback it is incredibly important that all other elements in the kitchen will work in perfect harmony. This design element can be risky so seek some advice from your designer to ensure the balance is perfect.
Those with small kitchens, this is the perfect option. Mirrored splashbacks compliment most kitchen styles, they enhance the space and refect light. The mirror is versatile and beauitful with a variety of tints to suit all tastes.
One of my favourites. The rise of the modern industrial kitchen has seen tin and metal splashbacks truly take off. Modern style kitchens benefit from repetative patterns. If you want a real "wow" factor take the pressed metal splashback to the ceiling. Metal splashbacks are low maintenance and practical. Once these are powdercoated, the panels are easy to clean and the powdercoating protects the metal from absorbtion.
Marble and Stone
Especially beautiful are intricate mosaic tiles in marble we are are seeing a lot of, these work so well in a herringbone pattern. Stone splashbacks also set a style that cannot be beaten. Stone is prone to chipping and staining, so a low maintenance option this is not. Caesarstone is a great alternative as it is resistent to scratches and chips and available in a large variety of colours and shades, well worth a look if you like the look of stone without the upkeep.
The window that is perfectly positioned has made a comeback and this option can be breathtaking. Nothing more to say.
Create an amazing bathroom on a budget
By Deb Cadzow Elwood Trade ServicesFirstly, you can design a luxurious bathroom on a budget, it will just take some planning and research. Know what you want and map out the bathroom so you know the design before meeting with the builder. Know your budget and discuss ways of reducing costs in the initial onsite meeting stage with the builder. A reputable builder will always provide effective ways of achieving your desired finish to suit your budget. Decide what your bathroom needs to fulfill, your lifestyle and functions you want from your bathroom, create a mood board with decor, colour schemes and designs that appeal.
Secondly, find a suitable designer and builder, discuss your budget and requirements, always be open with your budget as this will enable your builder to communicate as to what can and cannot be done. An average bathroom will cost approximately $23,000 depending on your fixtures and fittings. There are ways to reduce these costs, contact us to discuss your requirements 9531 7001.
Once you have a budget and chosen your builder have a designer do a render or 3D sketch of the new design. This will help your builder and bring your vision to life.
Ensure you have the contact persons details who will be managing your site as questions will arise during the building process and communication with your onsite contact will be vital.
Go shopping! Source your products, fixtures and fittings. A little bit of savvy shopping could save you thousands. Ensure that all of your fixtures and fittings are onsite in the first week of your renovation, this will avoid any delays and extra costs.
Mistakes to avoid when designing your bathroom
By Deb Cadzow Elwood Trade Services
1. Purchase the best quality tapware, fixtures and fittings you can afford. Good quality tapware, baths, toilets and vanities will stand the test of time and save you spending money to replace these in the future.
2. Your bathroom is an extension of the living space, it needs to be functional, inspirational, a space to relax and escape. It should be designed to encourage people to spend time in it. Ensure the bathroom you create has lots of natural light and privacy.
3. Try to integrate the exhaust fan into the ceiling rather than have a surface mounted fan if possible.
4. Don't overlook good heating and ventiliation in your bathroom. Openable windows if possible, and underfloor heating if you can afford.
By Deb Cadzow Elwood Trade Services
Some of the kitchen trends at the moment include sleek surfaces such as granite and marble benchtops, and modern, clean lines for cabinetry and panelling. Large islands or breakfast bars/benches for extra working and storage space are also common, usually these are accompanied by seating for additonal dining space.
Bold colours and unique, quirky designs are coming through more regularly and we see our clients breaking the mould of a typical Melbourne kitchen design.
How long does the process of installing a kitchen take?
Once all the hard work of design is done, then the building works can commence. We usually inform our clients that this could take anywhere between 4-6 weeks. This timeframe should cover all of the individual trades including our builder, our plumber, electrician, joiner and cabinetry installers and tiler.
What is the most popular kitchen layout?
The most common layouts I have seen recently come down to three major designs. The U shape, the L shape and the gallery corridor-style layout. The U Shape is generally most common as it provides the most amount of benchtop space and storage space. The layout is generally accompanied by an island bench in the center of the kitchen. The L Shape is also quite common and this is formed in an "L" configuration with one side longer than the other side. The gallery style kitchen typically has a sink, benchtop and cabinetry on one side and appliances and additional cabinetry on the other side of the kitchen.
Can I make a cheaper benchtop look expensive?
Yes. When choosing benchtops there are thousands of options from laminate, to wood to stone. Ask our joiner at Elwood Trade Services for options to suit your budget.
What are the key considerations when installing a new kitchen?
Draw up a plan. Storage space is key. Ensure cooktops and powerpoints are away from the water source. Make sure you map out powerpoints and how many you require. Maximise benchtop space by positioning cooktops, sinks and appliances in appropriate positions. To understand the costs involved contact us on 9531 7001 and we will arrange an onsite visit with our Builder to discuss your kitchen requirements. A reasonable budget can range anywhere between $17,000 and $50,000.
Make your home feel brighter and lighter
At a fundamental level, our sense of well-being originates from the space in which we live and how well illuminated it is.
Without adequate space we feel suffocated and cluttered; with space we can spread out and enjoy our possessions (both stored and displayed) and relax with ease.
Light is equally significant, necessary not only for practicality and safety but also for sending subliminal signals of security, welcome and warmth.
So whether your property is large or small, grand or simple, seeking ways to space and light is a priority.
The following decorative approaches are relatively inexpensive and quick.
Choosing Colours Wisely
Choosing Paint Colours
It is easy enough to say pale colours lighten and brighten a room, whilst dark colours make a space feel smaller, that as a general rule is true.
The “all white” option will give you the utmost feeling of space.
In a small room, using one pale colour can prevent it from becoming too busy.
Pearl greys are lightening too, and you can then add pictures for some depth.
Choosing Colours Wisely
For some, however, all white or all one very pal shade can feel sterile or just plain boring.
If you love colour, what do you do? Use darker colours in shelving and recessed areas to create the impression of depth and space.
Interestingly, it is not just the shade of colour we use that affects how light or dark it makes a room, it is also the finish.
Because matte paint absorbs so much more light, it can look softer and paler than the equivalent colour of eggshell or gloss.
If you are going to use an eggshell paint in the bathroom or kitchen, for example, be careful not to choose too dark a colour.
Using mirror, glass, metallic or other reflective surfaces is tried and tested method of bringing light into dark corners and creating the illusion of larger rooms.
Using tall, thin mirrors between windows, adding that the same principle works with mirroring the verticals on built in bookcases.
As with paints, pale fabrics always help to make a room feel lighter and brighter, whilst light-weight fabrics allow more light to pass through them than heavier fabrics.
Window treatments can play a huge role in our perception of light and space.
At night, it is important that they keep in warmth and keep out prying eyes, and during the day they may still be required for privacy, or perhaps filtering sunlight.
If more space is needed, one obvious solution is to streamline as much as possible.
Then consider ways in which to improve storage capacitybespoke pieces are often best, as they can be made to fit into the most awkward of corners, and stretched to the ceiling for maximum capacity.
As for furniture, simple and slender styles, with a consistency of shape, size, colour and texture, will have the least visual bulk.
Pale, transparent or mirrored pieces, or items painted the same colour as the walls, are a good choice whilst anything raised on legs will be the room seem larger as it increases the amount of visible floor area.
It is a myth that small rooms should contain small pieces of furniture, select one large, bold piece instead of several smaller ones.
Contact Elwood Trade Services 9531 7001 for your Commercial and Residential painting needs, our painters service Bayside
Melbourne, ,including Brighton, Elwood, South Yarra, Hampton, St Kilda, Caulfield and Bentleigh
The Cost of Renovating a Bathroom Melbourne
So your bathroom is looking tired and in need of an update? You’re trying to work out costs for a bathroom renovation, below is a guide to make it easy.
According to our calculations and industry standards, coupled with a HIA survey the average cost for a bathroom in 2015 is $17,000.
The best way to estimate the bathroom costs is to work the prime cost items- listed above, cost these, add labour and this should give you a solid estimate.
By Deb Cadzow
All great rooms start from the floor.
For budget friendliness try linoleum, solid timbers for a cosy feel or go wild with ceramic tiles which are available in an endless array of designs, styles and finishes.
If you are after pure glamour, why not go for marble or quartz.
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