2013 ideas

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Planning the Perfect Designer Kitchen

DESIGNER KITCHENS ARE NOT ONLY FOR EXPERT COOKS. They are for anyone who sees the true value of the kitchen as the heart of every home.

Whether you’re Jamie Oliver or Joe Blow, planning and creating a beatiful and efficient designer kitchen is not as difficult as you think.

The first step toward creating your dream designer kitchen is to take stock of what you do have. What do you love about your current kitchen? What do you absolutely hate? Are you leaning towards function or fashion? Substance or style?

Following are a few categories to keep in mind:

Storage: What type of food would you like to store, and how much? If always being prepared to entertain is your first priority, make sure to load up on storage space, and make sure it’s easily accessible. Cabinets, shelving, the pantry as well as the fridge and freezer should always have enough space to store your favorite ingredients. You never know when a dinner party might occur.

Preparation: Do you cook alone? Is cooking a team sport for you? Depending on your answer, you should consider designing ample space into your kitchen. No one wants to bump elbows while chopping the garlic. Even if you intend to work alone, multiple work stations would still allow you to prepare different ingredients at the same time. And don’t forget about cleanup: You definitely don’t want to be left wishing you had a dishwasher when the party’s over.

Cooking: Are you the type that reheats everything? Do you fashion yourself a gourmet cook with a six-burner stove and a matching number of aprons? Your cooking habits should determine how much you should invest in your cooking appliances. While top of the line toaster ovens and microwaves may be more appropriate to busy working families, those with more time to dedicate to their craft may choose to do away with such time-saving fare and focus their time (and money) on a commercial stove.

Dining: Anyone who’s ever hosted a dinner party and had friends show up before the food is served knows that it doesn’t matter if there’s a separate dining room, people love to congregate in the kitchen. Keep the dining room ready for formal gatherings but make sure to leave ample space when you’re designing your kitchen for more informal gatherings. Kitchen islands are great for conversation over hors d’oeuvres but there’s nothing wrong with including a dining table or pub table in your kitchen plans.

Blackout roller blinds


IF YOU’VE EVER HAD A SATURDAY MORNING slumber interrupted by a five-year old who always wakes up at the crack of dawn, then it’s high time you invested in some blackout roller blinds.
Although you could always opt for traditional curtains, blackout roller blinds are a great alternative if you’re looking to completely block light from the outside.  Whether you’re trying to get a couple of extra hours of sleep on a weekend morning or trying to block out the annoying neighbor’s patio light, ready made roller blinds are the ideal choice.

Not only are blackout roller blinds great for keeping light out, they are also great for controlling temperature.  Keeping light out in the hot daytime hours can help control the temperature within the house, keeping you comfortable in those hot summer months while also saving you money on expensive cooling bills.

Another perk is privacy.  Curtains are great but have you looked at your neighbors curtained windows when it’s dark out and their home is brightly lit?  It’s like watching shadow puppetry being projected on the outside of their homes.  If you paid attention long enough (I don’t recommend it), you’d probably get a good idea of who was in the house and what their daily habits were.

Finally, one big advantage of blackout roller blinds over standard curtains — in addition to their great, minimalist look — is that they, unlike curtains, are not dust magnets.  If you have children with allergies, indoor air quality is likely a very important issue for you, and avoiding allergens is probably at the top of the list of concerns.  With substantially less surface area, blackout roller blinds do not attract dust and pet hair the way curtains might, thereby greatly improving the air quality in your home.

Turn a small bedroom into a sanctuary


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A small bedroom can easily become cramped and untidy, making it impossible to relax. Ideally, your bedroom should be a calm, personal space to escape to, so we’ve put together some of our top tips for bringing it back to life, giving you somewhere to unwind and enjoy!

Reclaim floor space. Decide what the largest things in your room are – for most of us, the wardrobe and the bed take up the most space. Combine these two with a storage bed, which can hold your clothes and linen underneath, and ditch the bulky wardrobe to open the room out more. If you have the budget, consider investing in a memory-foam mattress – they’re incredibly comfortable and will ensure you get a good night’s sleep. Replace bedside cabinets with wall-mounted shelving, and keep other items on high-up shelves so that you still have room to move around.

Decorate. Brighter colours will instantly make your room appear airier and more inviting. You can contrast this with deeply coloured fabrics for curtains and bedding, to create a touch of luxury and an element of texture to the room. If the room is particularly plain, take a look at some wall decals - these give you the opportunity to personalise without sticking pins into the wall or making any permanent changes. For a real sanctuary-like feel, add some fairy lights to make the room seem warm and cosy in the evening.

Get comfy. Make your room more cosy and pleasant to spend time in by loading up on soft, comfortable bedding and furnishings. Throws and fleece blankets will make your bed nicer to relax on for reading and watching TV, while if you have the floor space a dedicated reading nook can be thrown together in no time with just a soft chair, a lamp and a small area to keep a pile of books!

New ideas for 2013.. Fresh modern, and stylish

AG Home Goods