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Grow Your Own Italian Herb Garden!

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italian-herb-garden-modern-kitchen-remodelIf you’re considering stirring up some home cooked meals in your modern kitchen, what better way to do this than by using your own, freshly picked herbs—right from your own Italian herb garden! Italian food has some of the world’s yummiest herbs and some common tasty Italian herbs you may wish to grow include:

  • Garlic
  • Rosemary
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Sage

Garlic being one of the most common herbs added to Italian cooking, it would be only natural to have garlic as a part of your Italian herb garden.  Garlic is very low maintenance and can be planted in just about any garden and then be frozen to use at a later time.  Rosemary is an herb that actually has added benefits to being a part of your herb garden, as it grows into a large shrub that sprouts small blue flowers that attract bees.  Rosemary is sensitive to the colder weather though, so make sure that your garden environment is capable of supporting rosemary.  Basil is another commonly used herb found in many Italian recipes and also has advantages to other vegetables you may grow in your garden, such as peppers or tomatoes, as it can enhance flavors if grown next to each other.  Basil is also known to help keep flies away.

Whatever herbs you decide to add to your Italian Herb Garden, between the enhanced natural flavors of the herbs added to your cooking to the fresh aroma the herbs will add to any room and the overall look and feel of your kitchen, you are certain to fall in love with your garden!

For more information about incorporating an Italian herb garden in your next contemporary kitchen remodel, contact EuroAmerica Design and speak with a consultant to help you not only design your dream kitchen, but the dream garden to go with it!

This post is brought to you by the good folks at EuroAmerica Design.  Contact us today for more information on how we can assist you with your next kitchen, bath or wardrobe remodel.  We would love to connect with you on FacebookHouzz and Pinterest.

Photo Credit: Simon Howden via freedigitalphotos.net

Top 6 Tips for Keeping Your Modern Kitchen Organized

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organization-tips-for-modern-kitchen-berloni-americaOne of the key components that make up modern and contemporary kitchen designs is that it typically involves an organized, clutter-free kitchen space.  Maintaining an organized kitchen not only allows for better functionality while preparing food and hosting guests, but it gives you an incentive and desire to want to show off your kitchen space and have people over to entertain. Thanks to the folks at EuroAmerica Design,  here are some tips for keeping your modern kitchen organized.

Modern Kitchen Organization Tip #1: Maximize Your Cabinet Space.  Your cabinet space is your friend and the more that you can maximize your cabinet space, the better.  This means in your design phase, using all of the vertical space in your kitchen for installing cabinets to hold all of the plates, bowls, cups, serving dishes, cookware, etc.  The more you can tuck away neatly into a cabinet, the more you will keep the clutter out of view from inside your kitchen. This doesn’t mean to just throw everything in a cabinet.  Be strategic about where you place dinnerware, cookware and cups.

Modern Kitchen Organization Tip #2: Purge the Pantry.  As you do an inventory of your pantry to determine what to may need to buy, use that as an opportunity to purge the pantry.  Inventory which foods have an expiration date coming up, determine which foods might be good to donate and find an organization system to your pantry that makes it easier to locate items.  For example, you might keep all of the pastas together, along with all of the pasta sauces and spices together.  You might keep soups together.  You might organize foods on the kind of meal, such as all of the breakfast items, all of the lunch items, all of the dinner items, all of the snacks and all of the miscellaneous pantry items.  Whatever system works best for you, find that system and put into place.  Then, find time each month to organize and purge the pantry to avoid wasting food and to maintain organization and neatness.

Modern Kitchen Organization Tip #3: Let Lazy Susan Do the Work.  Lazy Susans are spinning trays or turntables that not only allow you to use up all of your cabinet and counter space by utilizing precious vertical space that is often times under-utilized and wasted, but it also lets you maximize spaces that you might not otherwise use because it’s too difficult to reach or access—such as the corner space in a cabinet.

Modern Kitchen Organization Tip #4: Curb Your Container Enthusiasm.  There’s an obsession around collecting plastic containers, whether it’s plastic containers that foods are packaged in or a collection of plastic containers you can get at the grocery store for storing and easily transporting foods.  What often happens is it leaves kitchen drawers cluttered with a vast array of plastic containers and mismatched lids.  Consider investing in a set of higher quality containers that you can also use as serving dishes and that you can easily organize and store by size and shape.  Limit yourself to a dedicated drawer for containers and when you start to notice you’re filling up, recycle old containers and take the time to organize the container drawer.

Modern Kitchen Organization Tip #5: Routinely Clean the Refrigerator.  The refrigerator is probably one of the dirtiest areas of your kitchen.  The refrigerator is not safe from mold, mildew, food spills, and spoiled food.  Make sure that you routinely clean your refrigerator, which not only includes going through its contents to make sure to check the expiration dates of food and the quality of produce, but also to wipe down any spills with an antibacterial wipe, which will help kill bacteria and keep you and your family safe from getting ill due to unintended contamination.

Modern Kitchen Organization Tip #6: Use Islands to Your Advantage.  Last, but not least, space permitting, use an island to take advantage of space that might not otherwise be used for storage and organization.  Kitchen islands can add a significant amount of under-counter storage as well as overhead storage.

These are just a few organization ideas for your modern Italian kitchen.  There are thousands—if not millions—of other organization options.  The next time you’re looking to remodel or upgrade your kitchen, contact EuroAmerica Design, the leading experts in modern kitchen remodeling. 

This post is brought to you by the good folks at EuroAmerica Design.  Contact us today for more information on how we can assist you with your next kitchen, bath or wardrobe remodel.  We would love to connect with you on FacebookHouzz and Pinterest. 

Photo Credit: Berloni America

Kitchen Remodeling Budgeting Tips

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modern-kitchen-remodeling-budget-tips-berloni-americaLooking to remodel your kitchen, but aren’t quite sure where to start with your remodeling budget?  No problem.  According to this article on HGTV.com, here are some tips for planning out your kitchen remodeling budget. Tip #1.  Determine How Much You Want to Spend…and Stick to It! Setting a budget for your kitchen remodel is one thing, but sticking to your budget is much harder than you may think.  When planning how much you want to spend on your kitchen remodel, there are three factors to consider: 1) how much you can afford to spend, 2) how long do you plan to stay in your house, and 3) what kind of neighborhood you are located in.  If you intend to sell your home within five years, your kitchen renovation should be considered a real estate improvement and your budget should be based on what you think you would be able to make back on it. If you plan on living in your home longer than five years, you should budget a kitchen remodel that will make you and your family the most comfortable and fit your family’s needs.

Tip #2.  Know How the Costs Break Down. On average, you can expect the labor costs for remodeling can consume anywhere from 20 to 35% of your total budget.  Understanding how much the other costs will make up the total project will help when setting out your budget.  Here is the average break down for the rest of a kitchen remodel: Cabinets – 35%; Appliances – 20%; Windows – 10%; Fixtures – 5%; Fittings – 3%; Other – 7%.

Tip #3.  Expect the Unexpected. With any remodeling project, you are going to encounter several unexpected costs and repairs.  There can be all kind of surprise lurking behind the walls and under the floor.  From wiring problems, busted plumbing, mold, termites and all kinds of repairs or work that you did not expect, you should have a 20% buffer in your budget to account for the unexpected.  This is especially important if you’re in an older home where the chances of running into these kinds of unexpected, but necessary, repairs are much higher.

Tip #4.  Prioritize Your Remodeling Project. There are a lot of steps involved in a kitchen remodel.  Decide what is most important to you so that if you have any unexpected costs that hit your budget, you can determine which things are most important to you so you can adjust accordingly based on this priority list.  Also, if your budget buffer (as suggested in Tip #3) allows for some extras, you can figure out where you might be able to bump up your budget on the things that mean the most to you, whether it’s cabinets, lighting fixtures, appliances, or whatever fancy luxuries that you may be wanting to add.

Tip #5.  Factor in the Cost of Eating Out. While your kitchen is being remodeled, you will need to find somewhere else to eat, which means another cost to factor in is the cost of eating out.  You also may decide that it is a better idea for you and your family to stay somewhere else while your kitchen is being remodeled.  That is fine, but similarly, you will need to factor in the cost of lodging, storage fees, moving costs, etc.

Tip #6.  Monitor Your Budget. It is important to monitor your budget and regularly check in on your budget to make sure that you’re sticking with your plan.  Put your estimated budget and your actual costs on a spreadsheet so that you can recognize when you need to make adjustments when necessary.

Tip #7.  Avoid Unplanned Extras Mid-Project. You may be tempted to stray from your budget mid-project and you might even catch yourself saying, “Wouldn’t it be great if we added (insert fabulous kitchen feature) here…”  Beware of this, because this is how budgets get blown!  Go back to your remodeling budget and, if necessary, adjust your priorities.  It’s okay to want some extras, but as with most things in life, you might need to make some adjustments or choose to live without.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at EuroAmerica Design.  Contact us today for more information on how we can assist you with your next kitchen, bath or wardrobe remodel.  We would love to connect with you on Facebook, Houzz and Pinterest.

Photo Credit: Berloni America

Fall Contemporary Kitchen Design Ideas

As you gear up for the fall season, you might be considering a new kitchen remodel to prepare for the festivities that the holiday season brings. Here are some popular contemporary kitchen ideas for the fall.

The Media-Ready KitchenIt’s 2013 and what is more fitting than a kitchen space for entertaining guests and family.  As much as we can encourage loved ones to turn off those electronics and enjoy some quality family time in the kitchen, sometimes you simply cannot change your family’s traditions and culture.  Don’t worry.  It doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with the under-cabinet television in a dingy kitchen though or TV trays in the living room.  Here are a couple of contemporary kitchen designs with the media-loving family in mind!

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The Ambient Kitchen                  Kitchen lighting can make a huge difference for how the room looks and feel.  It can make small rooms seem small and it can turn the kitchen from functionality to relaxation and romance with the flip of a switch—literally.  Here is one modern kitchen design that carefully combines task lighting with ambient lighting.

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The Bold Kitchen Space with Dining Room This kitchen design tied in the bold color of an adjacent dining area in with the kitchen, with a nice contract of dark and bold color. 

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The Dine-In Experience Not all homes are equipped with a separate room specifically for dining.  This doesn’t have to mean that your family has to get stuck eating off TV trays, eating meals in separate rooms or squished on a small breakfast nook-like table in the kitchen.  Here are some neat designs for the contemporary kitchen that brings the dining room into the design as well.

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These are just a few contemporary kitchen ideas for this fall.  You can see how your next kitchen design can be personal to your family’s lifestyle and tastes (no pun intended).  The designers at Berloni America can work with you to help you design your next kitchen with your personality and your family’s lifestyle in mind, along with some of these fall modern kitchen design ideas!

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Berloni America—leaders in modern Italian kitchen remodeling.  The designers at Berloni America can help you design your next kitchen with a combination of its high quality materials, chic designs and your personal touch. Contact us today for more information on how we can assist you with your next kitchen remodel.  We would love to connect with you on Facebook.

Photo Credits: HGTV.com and architectsforlife.com

Labor Day Weekend Recipe: Seven-Layered Bean Dip

italian-contemporary-kitchen-recipes-berloni-americaSummer is officially coming to an end and Labor Day weekend is here, which means that the last final BBQ and get-together with family and friends is here as we gear up for the holiday season.  What better way to celebrate the Labor Day Holiday in your contemporary kitchen with a fun, party favorite recipe! This is one of our staff member's recipes for a layered bean dip, which has been a party favorite for years!

Ingredients:

  • 24oz refried beans
  • 16oz thick n’ chunky salsa
  • 16oz sour cream
  • 16oz block of Colby Jack cheese
  • 4 avocados
  • 2 packs of guacamole mix
  • Sliced olives
  • 2 Roma tomatoes
  • 2 stalks of green onions
  • Sliced jalapenos (optional)
  • Tortilla chips, celery sticks, pita bread or Italian baguette slices

Directions: 

  • Warm up a 24oz can of refried beans. You can make them homemade if you have time, but to save time you can use canned refried beans.
  • Slice open and gut 4 avocados and place in a large bowl.  Throw in 2 packs of guacamole seasoning mix and stir in until seasoning is thoroughly blended in and avocados are blended evenly. Again, this is something you can make from scratch if desired and time permitting.
  • Using a grader, take a block of Colby Jack cheese and shred cheese on medium thickness.  You can purchase packet of pre-shredded cheese, however the shredded cheese gives a different texture and flavor to the dip.
  • Spread refried beans evenly at the bottom of a either an aluminum pan or casserole dish with a spoon or spatula.
  • Spread guacamole mix evenly over refried beans.
  • Take jar of salsa (the thicker the salsa, the better as watery salsas can make your dip watery) and spread evenly over the guacamole.  You can get mild, medium or hot salsa depending on the flavor you’re going for.  With all of the mixed ingredients in this dip, you can opt for a hot or medium salsa without it being too overwhelming for most guests.  You can also split the recipe and opt for a milder option for one.
  • Using a spoon, mix a 16oz container of sour cream and then spread sour cream evenly over the salsa.
  • Sprinkle a thick layer of shredded cheese over sour cream.
  • Chop up 2 Roma tomatoes and sprinkle over shredded cheese.
  • Chop up 2 stalks of green onions and sprinkle over top.
  • Open up small can of sliced olives and sprinkle over top.
  • For added flavor, you can sprinkle sliced (pickled) jalapenos.  Again, if you’d like to make one spicy dip option and another mild option, this might be advisable if you’re unsure of the preferences of your guests.
  • Other toppings or ingredients that can be added or used: cilantro, black beans instead of refried beans, corn, tortilla strips, queso cheese, chopped lettuce.

Grab some tortilla, celery, pita bread or Italian baguette bread slices and enjoy this wonderful party favorite in your contemporary kitchen!

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Berloni America—leaders in modern Italian kitchen remodeling.  The designers at Berloni America can help you design your next kitchen with storage and organization in mind. Contact us today for more information on how we can assist you with your next kitchen remodel.  We would love to connect with you on Facebook.

Photo Credit: Kristina Schneider

Top 5 Kitchen Cleaning Do’s & Don’ts for Your Contemporary Kitchen

contemporary-kitchen-designs-2013-berloni-america-mediterraneaNow that you’ve upgraded your kitchen either with a makeover or an entire remodel, there are always general maintenance and upkeep that everyone should do to keep that kitchen as appealing as possible to you and your guests, especially given that the kitchen can be one of the dirtiest rooms in your home. Thanks to the folks at Berloni America, here are the Top 5 Cleaning “Do’s” and “Don’ts” for your contemporary kitchen.

TOP 5 KITCHEN CLEANING DO’S

  1. DO a thorough cleaning at least once every week. Beyond just general maintenance that you can and should do after using your kitchen, this is a thorough cleaning which involves cleaning up the floor, stovetop, oven, refrigerator doors, countertops, sinks, etc.
  2. DO invest in antibacterial wipes. Antibacterial wipes are a far better option for general maintenance and cleaning up and provide additional cleaning power over just water. And since they’re disposable, you can help guarantee no additional re-contamination.
  3. DO use protective gloves while cleaning and doing the dishes.  Some people don’t like wearing gloves, but gloves serve 2 purposes.  First, they protect your hands and skin from cleaning products.  Second, they allow you to get the water hot enough to help ward off any bacteria.  Just make sure to replace your protective gloves regularly.
  4. DO regularly throw away that sponge.  Sponges are bacteria magnets and should be replaced at a minimum of once every week (to every other week).  You can retain the life of your sponges by boiling them in hot water, but ultimately replacing with a brand new one is your safest bet.
  5. DO look at the labels on your cleaning agents.  Some cleaning products are intended for the kitchen, around surfaces and other areas that may come into contact with food and other items for consumption.  Make sure that you’re not using cleaning products that are too harsh or harmful for your kitchen.

TOP 5 KITCHEN CLEANING DON’TS

  1. DON’T forget to wash your towels.  Towels in the kitchen (including oven mitts and hot pads) are often overlooked when it’s time to do laundry.  Be sure to regularly wash any towels you may keep around the kitchen.
  2. DON’T let the trash bin linger.  If you throw away any kind of food that may spoil easily or smell after being left out for some time, you will want to immediately throw your trash away, even if it’s not full.  You may also wish to invest in either a trash compactor or a trash can that supplies a lid.
  3. DON’T neglect your dishwasher.  If you have a dishwasher, USE IT!  You may be one of those people that prefer to wash your dishes by hand. This is fine, but one of the advantages of using your dishwasher is the ability to give your dishes a hot wash and dry that can help disinfect your dishes before use again.
  4. DON’T overlook cabinet and drawer liners.  Cabinet and drawer liners can help with cleanup, depending on the kind of cabinets and drawers you have.  It can make it easier for cleaning by allowing for an easily cleanable surface or can be easily replaced.
  5. DON’T forget the little things.  There are many things in your kitchen that you may neglect to think needs replacing beside the obvious.  One is your dish drain, which can very easily and quickly build up dust, dirt, bacteria and mildew.  Another is that baking soda box in your refrigerator.  Go through your kitchen and take a look at different tools, accessories and other items that may require your attention—either a cleaning or replacement.

Everyone has their own idea of best practices for cleaning and maintaining their kitchen.  These are some helpful tips about how to maintain its sanitary state and beautiful makeover and/or remodel.  No matter what practices you choose to do, just remember that remodeling your kitchen or updating its look requires ongoing maintenance and cleaning, particularly given that it’s the place you cook, prepare meals you consume and is often a gathering place in your home for people (and their germs!).  You will want to impress and show off your new kitchen to your friends, family and guests—so don’t forget to clean and maintain it!

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Berloni America—leaders in modern Italian kitchen remodeling.  The designers at Berloni America can help you design your next kitchen with storage and organization in mind. Contact us today for more information on how we can assist you with your next kitchen remodel.  We would love to connect with you on Facebook.

Photo Credit: MEDITERRANEA via Berloni America

Conquering Kitchen Clutter

kitchen clutter, kitchen designThe kitchen is typically the most frequently visited room in the house. As a result, it is often also the most cluttered. If this describes your kitchen, don’t despair! Here are a few simple steps from your friends at Berloni America that you can take to organize your kitchen and put everything right where you need it: Sort it or toss it — Chances are, much of your clutter comes from keeping things at hand that aren’t really essential to the day-to-day functioning of your kitchen. Start by cleaning out your cabinets and drawers of gadgets you hardly ever use. (i.e. that hard-boiled egg cooker and hamburger patty former!) Donate the things you don't need, and place rarely used items in storage.

Plan out your storage — Once you've pared your inventory down to the essentials, put them in places that make the most sense. Glassware and cups, for example, should be near the refrigerator or sink; utensils, spices and plates near the cooking area; mugs near the coffeemaker. You’ll not only save space, you’ll also save time.

Free up counter space — Nearly all appliances can be mounted under cabinets these days, thereby freeing up precious counter space. For example, consider installing an under-cabinet coffeemaker, microwave, toaster-oven and can opener, to name a few. There are also drawer-style microwave ovens and special fittings for cabinets that allow heavy stationary mixers to effortlessly swing down and out of the way when not in use.

Conquer your cabinets — Add vertical dividers in cabinetry to stack cookie sheets and cake pans. For lower cabinets, consider a lazy susan that will put everything within reach. Install small, inexpensive shelves to neatly organize the pantry. You can also free up valuable cabinet and drawer space by installing hooks for coffee mugs and utensils under cabinets.

Junk the junk drawer — Every kitchen has one—a "miscellaneous" catch-all drawer loaded with pencils, paper clips, scissors, super glue, corn cob holders and…well, you get the idea. Find a designated place for every item. And if you absolutely can’t live without the junk drawer, use small dividers to stop pencils, coupons and other gadgets from jumbling together.

Eliminate the paper trail — If your pile of takeout menus, recipes torn out of magazines and other such paper clutter from your kitchen has reached epic proportions, at least try to contain them. Sort them into categories and put them into file folders in a location that makes sense—for example, near your cookbooks.

As you organize your kitchen, think of other ways to eliminate clutter such as grouping items by how frequently you use them or swapping out your existing appliances with “smart appliances” that maximize interior space.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Berloni America. We would love to connect with you on Facebook.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/luvsuncat

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Choosing the Best Backsplash

Choosing the backsplash of your modern Italian kitchen is a great way to infuse your unique tastes.  It is also an opportunity to create a focal point or play with the way the space appears.  For example, vertical backsplashes will make the kitchen appear larger and taller.  Marble, a classic choice, can be used to make your modern kitchen backsplash feel royal – especially with an uncommon counter-to-ceiling wall application. The only limit on your backsplash options is your imagination.  Wallpaper has resumed its popularity in the last few years and a simple coat of paint will never go out of style.  The challenge with both of these options is that they won’t protect the walls from spills and stains over time.

The following options are recommended because they are easy to clean and are perfect for complementing any modern Italian kitchen design:

Tile is the most popular backsplash choice.  It’s also the most overwhelming in terms of options since there are hundreds of styles.  Tile is available in a huge variety of sizes, colors, textures and shapes.  There are also many options within a specific tile size.  For example, there is an abundance of options for   subway tile.

When redesigning my own kitchen, I was overwhelmed with amount of options and photos available of tile backsplashes; all equally exquisite.  I recommend keeping it simple by choosing a tile that mimics the floor you have chosen.  The result will be a sense of uniformity and sleekness in tune with modern Italian kitchen design.

You can create a unique tile design by adding accent tiles made of metal or glass above the sink, stove or focal point of any wall with a backsplash.  A great way to highlight the character of your modern Italian kitchen and create a sense of continuity is to add a border approx. two-thirds the height of the backsplash.

Glass and stone mosaics are currently very popular.   They are perfect for a kitchen backsplash because they are impractical for most other kitchen surfaces.

The use of stone in particular is a great way to soften the edges of an industrial modern kitchen.  As you can see in the photo, the use of natural stone along the walls infuses an element of warmth into the modern kitchen.

Stainless steel is ideal for a very clean, modern look.  Stainless steel backsplashes are perfect for the kitchen because they are easy to keep clean and look especially beautiful in modern settings.  As an added bonus, they are eco-friendly.

The placement of a single sheet of stainless steel can create an element of sleekness and is practical for kitchen use.  There are also miniature stainless steel tiles available which add an industrial edge to the modern kitchen.

This post has been brought to you by the good folks at Berloni America, leaders in modern Italian kitchen cabinets , modern Italian sofas, and modern Italian home design. We’d love for you to connect with us on facebook and twitter for more tips on designing the home of your dreams!

SOFTEN THE EDGES     The look of this industrial modern kitchen is softened by designer Randy Weinstein with an ivory subway-tiled backsplash and contrasting rich wooden cabinetry around it. Four open shelves allow the backsplash more function by providing visible storage space, while adding a decorative quality with eclectic dishware and accessories.

http://www.hgtv.com/kitchens/10-kitchen-backsplashes-that-wow/pictures/index.html

Nothing is more eye-catching than a sparkling mosaic backsplash. Designer Linda Woodrum created this kitchen's focal point by combining reclaimed stained-glass tiles in gray, white and yellow to create a stunning, detailed backsplash against the entire back wall. The colorful glass tiles complement the dark wood cabinetry and the kitchen's overall urban edge, while also integrating a bold dose of color to match the golden-yellow work island.

http://www.hgtv.com/kitchens/10-kitchen-backsplashes-that-wow/pictures/index.html

Focus In    The first thing you notice upon entering HGTV Dream Home 2010's kitchen is the dramatic floor-to-ceiling backsplash in soothing hues of aqua and turquoise. Designer Linda Woodrum wanted to ensure that the backsplash was the star of the kitchen by keeping the cabinetry low and by using soft, subtle neutrals in the surrounding decor. Inlaid in recycled aluminum, the sleek glass tiles coordinate well with the contemporary stainless steel furnishings, while also lending a colorful and artistic element to the space.

http://www.hgtv.com/kitchens/10-kitchen-backsplashes-that-wow/pictures/index.html

http://www.hgtv.com/kitchens/10-kitchen-backsplashes-that-wow/pictures/index.html

WARM IT UP To add visual warmth to this urban kitchen, designer Tina Muller used tumbled natural stone along the walls for the backsplash. When paired with stainless steel appliances, white fusion granite countertops and dark-chocolate maple cabinetry, the backsplash instantly appears clean and contemporary.

http://www.hgtv.com/kitchens/10-kitchen-backsplashes-that-wow/pictures/index.html

UNIFY YOUR DESIGN    In this contemporary kitchen, designer Erinn Valencich takes the glossy blue-gray backsplash all around the room to create a unified design with elegant and romantic appeal. The mosaic glass border, with hues of brown and blue, provides a sufficient dose of color and pulls in the scheme from the adjacent dining room for a consistent look that appears subtle yet captivating.

http://www.hgtv.com/kitchens/10-kitchen-backsplashes-that-wow/pictures/index.html

Make it pop  This stunning gray backsplash makes a colorful statement against crisp white-lacquer cabinets and countertops. "The backsplash is so highly reflective that it looks wet and reflects so much light around the room," says designer Samantha Pynn. To further play up the backsplash, she coordinated the gray tiles with gray living room decor, such as the sofa and other accessories, for an open and cohesive look.

 

To Renovate or Not to Renovate?

Spring is often the best time of year for a home renovation due to pleasant weather.  If you are trying to decide whether or not to begin a home renovation project, consider the ROI (return on investment) for the room(s) you are considering renovating. For example, remodeling a kitchen tends to yield the greatest return without having to add square footage to your home.  The average ROI on a kitchen remodel is 80-100% so it’s an ideal room to renovate as you and your family can enjoy it in the short-term and you’ll realize the ROI in the long-term when you are ready to sell your home.

According to HGTV.com, the number one home update is a minor bathroom remodel. By updating a few, key elements such as the tub, tile areas, floor, vanity and fixtures, you will earn an average of 102% on your investment.   This is based on an average cost of $10,500 to replace the tub, tile surround, floor, toilet, sink, vanity and fixtures.

The primary reason that kitchens and bathrooms have higher rates of return than other areas of the home is because of the time and expense required to renovate them.  When prospective buyers tour an open house and see an outdated kitchen or bathroom, all they see is red: the money they’ll need to bring those rooms up to their standards.  When they walk through a home and love the kitchen and bathrooms, it’s easier for them to picture themselves living and enjoying those rooms with their families.  There is a compelling emotion to buy based on the perceived comfort and the fact that they won’t have to invest additional expenses beyond the costs of buying a new home and moving.

Many people assume that the replacement of a roof, siding or windows will garner great returns, however home buyers expect that all of them will be in decent shape without any need for repair or replacement.  The average ROI for these projects range from 40-50%.

If your overall goal is to increase the value of your home, consider a renovation of your kitchen and bathroom first, if needed, and then evaluate whether or not other rooms truly need to be remodeled.  If you decide that a kitchen renovation is necessary, consider exquisite cabinetry from Berloni America.   Their U.S. Customer Service and Distribution Center make the buying of Italian kitchens and furniture more affordable and accessible through a network of quality dealers around the country.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Berloni America. We would love to connect with you on Facebook.