modern kitchen designs 10 Reasons Why European Kitchens Are More Superior To Ours

We Australians excel at a number of things like sports and primetime television but our kitchens are not exactly one of our strengths. Many of our kitchens may look fine but they are a horrendous waste of space and compared to what our European brothers have they are not even aesthetic this is one reason why Italian kitchen and European kitchen design in general is becoming so popular. Here are a few reasons why they happen to be superior.

European kitchen design is sleek

When most people think of European kitchens the first thing that comes to mind is its sleekness. The best thing about their designs is the handless cabinets that ditch handles and knobs in favor of a flush design giving their kitchen a clean finish. This proves that less can sometimes be better.

A lot more freedom

European kitchens are modular which means that you can take your kitchen with you as is the case in many European cities. Modular kitchens are designed so that things like cabinets are directly connected to a series of rails attached to the wall. When it’s time to shift you just unhook everything from the rails and redo them in your new home.

Drying racks over the sink

Perhaps this is the best thing we like about European kitchens, the drying racks are directly above the sink. Every kitchen needs a dish rack but the water that drips off the rack can be nerve wrecking in our traditional kitchen, but problem solved with a European kitchen design. The other advantage is the fact that it saves some counter space too.

They clean more dishes

Most Australians can save a great deal of time if they tossed their dishes into a good dishwasher, then do the laundry at the same time. This idea happens to be one of the best European kitchen design ideas yet to make it out of the continent. However, because many European kitchens have both a dish washer and a washing machine built into one unit it saves time and space.

They include induction ranges

There are many benefits of having an induction range one of which is its sleek and slender design. The practical benefits include the fact that they heat things quickly, remain cool so you don’t catch fire, are very energy efficient and very easy to clean. The only barrier here in Australia is the price of these things which cost a lot more than their gas counterparts. However, they are a major feature of most kitchens in the EU.

Lots of energy efficiency

The induction range is not the only kitchen appliance that brings energy efficiency to European kitchens the others include using appliances with an energy efficiency rating. LED bulbs, heat pump dryers and mirrors incorporated in the design help illuminate and make a kitchen more functional but without the added burden of a huge power bill.

All ranges have hoods

European kitchens seem incomplete without a range hood or what is known in Europe as an extractor hood. This is a device which efficiently filters out the air when you’re cooking so that your kitchen does not smoke up. Range hoods are really beautiful and functional because they come in an array of sizes, colors and shapes.

All appliances are smaller

In Australia we seem to be obsessed with buying big but in Europe space is at a premium and kitchens need to be stocked so the solution is miniature appliances. Things like dishwashers, cabinets, fridges and sinks are a lot smaller but when this design is migrated over to an Australian kitchen it frees space and makes the kitchen look huge.

Refrigerators are more fun

Many of the latest refrigerators in EU countries like Italy are now funky and stylish. It’s like an arts show in your kitchen. This is why the latest Italian kitchen designs which are gaining popularity in Australia call for these types of fridges.

Stainless and Black are not the limits

Australian kitchens seem to be stuck with stainless steel and black which is fine but does not do our kitchen much good too. European kitchen designs like the ones offered by and other similar designers incorporate colors which include ones like banana yellow, candy red, bright purple and even lots of white. This proves that your kitchen does not have to be a boring place to spend the next few hours. 

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Mark is an expert kitchen designer and interior designer. He specializes in European kitchens and designs. Many of the designs that he uses in Australia have been inspired by European designed kitchens but he adds his own unique Australian touch to the mix to. The result is great looking kitchens right here in Australia. 


Tips For Cleaning Granite Tiles

travertine tile Tips For Cleaning Granite Tiles

Granite is one of the toughest stones that man has ever been able to work with. Granite tiles are known for their durability and beauty. Their biggest selling point is perhaps the fact that you can get them installed in your home and literally never have to worry about them breaking or cracking. That said like everything else granite tiles do get dirty and the wrong type of clean method can ruin their beauty in more ways than one. However, you certainly do not have to spend hundreds of dollars on commercial cleaning products because 90% of the cleaning can be done with cheap household items and solutions. Below we share a few useful tips on cleaning granite tiles.

Regular stains and dirt

All regular stains and dirt can be easily cleaned using a soft cloth, warm water and some patience. In order to prevent water spots you should dry the counter thoroughly. Also try to use distilled water instead of using regular tap water in order to ensure that there isn’t any buildup of chlorine or minerals. You may want to wipe down the surface with a dry cloth at the very end just as an added precaution against buildup of minerals. Ideally, you will want to clean your granite counter tops as well as tiles at the end of each day.

httpen.wikipedia.orgwikifilefjc3a6regranitt3.jpg Tips For Cleaning Granite Tiles

Clean up stains immediately

Your granite tiles should be cleaned as soon as something is spilt on it. A damp cloth, tissue paper or a towel (anything soft and non-abrasive) should be used to absorb what has been dropped on it. You may be tempted to use scrubbers and sponges but these may leave a very faint yet permanent scratch or scratches on the surface, besides food and drink which has been left on there for an extended period of time will end up as a stubborn stain. You should be especially careful of liquid spills like those of red wine, soda, coffee and even greasy foods since all of these can dull the granite surface. Any stains which are not easily removed with just water can be removed using soap and water.

Removing stubborn stains

The vast majority of stubborn stains can be removed by using water and baking soda made into a paste. You can cover the stain with the paste and leave it there for 24 hours prior to removing it. Tougher stains though will have to be covered for many days even a week prior to removing it. If the stain is oil based then it should be treated with some water or perhaps rubbing alcohol. If the stain is water based then hydrogen peroxide and acetone can be used. However, you need to be very careful when using hydrogen peroxide since it can be dangerous if it spills on you and secondly because it can lighten darker color granite so it should only be used on light colored granite. Acetone can easily be used on granite which is black or dark color. 

Get your granite tiles polished

If you want the greatest shine then you need to get it polished. There are numerous polishers which can be purchased over the counter in most stores but you need to buy one especially meant for granite, read the label to confirm this because if not then it may not be safe to use. However, you do not necessarily need to buy a commercial product to polish your granite tiles. A natural polish can be made by mixing one quarter cup of baking soda into 3 cups of distilled water. Then apply and wipe properly, later polish using a good chamois. Yet another homemade polish solution comes highly recommended by Artmar, simply mix 1 cup of good rubbing alcohol into 3 cups of distilled water and add a few drops of neutral pH soap. Like any polish first apply and then wipe off, later polish using a soft lint free cloth or a good chamois. Also look closely to determine if your granite tiles require a sealant but this will not be required by black or darker colored granite. After polishing add a sealer on your granite in order to protect it against stains.

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Mark has been in the stone tile business for close to a decade. He has a degree in geology which is what makes him perfectly suited for the job. He truly understands granite tiles and other types of rock tiles which mean that he is always in a better position to advice clients. This is why he runs one of the leading stone tiles business in Australia. 


Why Is Gardening Important? How Do You Implement It?

Alexianer Klosterg%C3%A4rtnerei 2 Why Is Gardening Important? How Do You Implement It?

Gardening is one of the most practiced hobbies across the globe. However, with the recent trends that the world is now prone to, gardening has become more a necessity than a hobby. The ecological balance of earth has been greatly disturbed due to pollution and the increasing damage that is caused to the ecosystem. As grasslands, forests and vegetation are being converted into concrete buildings, the need to balance the environment is very much on the rise. Gardening can be fun and will help you to relieve much of the stresses that you accumulate in your everyday life. By getting children interested in gardening, you will be able to give them some outdoor time and let them understand the importance of preserving nature. To get more information regarding gardening, you can visit the following page, To help you understand gardening better, we will briefly discuss about the importance of gardening and will provide you with ways to implement gardening.

Importance of Gardening

  • Oxygen

Plants, trees and shrubs absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. In a world where pollution is a major concern, increasing oxygen levels is of profound importance. By having plants around your home, you can make the air around your home a lot healthier and better for you and your family.

  • Fresh produce

You can grow vegetables and fruits in your garden, which will give you access to fresh vegetables and fruits for your needs. Homegrown vegetables and fruits are always better in taste when compared to the ones you find in grocery stores.

  • Rain

The average rainfall that the world receives has been reducing every year. Trees and plants are important for rain, and with the number of trees and vegetation decreasing each year, it is no surprise that rainfall has been dwindling over the years.

  • Family bonding

By involving your family in gardening, you will be able to spend more time with you family and this will help in strengthening the family bond. Moreover, you can teach your children the importance of gardening and the need to preserver nature.

  • Implementing Gardening

It is common for people to say that they are interested in gardening, but they do not have the space or time for gardening. Space has always been a constraint for gardening and many people use this as an excuse to shy away from gardening. The simple fact is that different options are available to people who have less space, but are interested in gardening. Roof gardens, using food containers as pots, growing indoor plants, balcony gardens are some of the options that is available to people who have restrictions on space.

It is always possible to spare some time for gardening, no matter how busy you are. All it requires is some planning and commitment towards gardening. Simple options such as using clay pots or ceramic pots instead of plastic containers will help reduce watering that is required for plants. If you are committed towards gardening, you will be able to find some spare time to cater to the needs of plants and shrubs in and around your home.

 If you are new to gardening, you can start with plants that require less care and gradually build up to the plants that require regular care. Let us ensure that we do what we can to promote gardening and save our planet for our children. 

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Author Stella Warner has a keen interest in gardening. She is working as garden furniture consultant and also writes regular blog post about it.


5 Mistakes To Avoid When Hiring An Electrician 5 Mistakes To Avoid When Hiring An Electrician

Hiring an electrician may seem to be a pretty straight forward process i.e. you call up the nearest one you know. However, unless you have used this electrician before there is no guarantee that they will do a good job. There is also no guarantee that they can handle the job that you need them to perform. Almost anyone can change a few light bulb holders and burnt out fuses but few can figure out why the holders burnt out or the fuses keep on giving trouble. This is why hiring an expert is so important. That said there are a number of common mistakes that people make when hiring an electrician, below we look at some of the more common ones.

Mistake no. 1: Hiring a cheap electrician

Cheap in the field of electronics and electricians often means low quality and inexperienced. If you really want quality you’ll want to pay for it. Experienced electricians are often more expensive because they have years of experience and because of that can handle some of the toughest and most complicated jobs. When you have a blown fuse they can look beyond that to tell you exactly what is causing fuses to blow and recommend a fix which frees you from the problem for life. This in the long term will help you save money and time.

Mistake no. 2: Not hiring a qualified electrician

This is yet another common mistake made by most people looking to hire an electrician. Even though it may not always be possible to check the qualifications of an electrician, most professionals will have their diploma or qualification clearly displayed and will not be shy to show it to you. The biggest benefit of hiring qualified electricians is that they can handle complex jobs in a way that they are safer and are done according to the guidelines laid out by the safety department of your city. They will also know exactly what types of wires, connectors and fuses need to be used and how to adequately manage increasing load which is the leading cause of fires and sparks in electrical lines. Hiring a non-qualified electrician would be a big mistake despite them being slightly cheaper.

electricians 5 Mistakes To Avoid When Hiring An Electrician

Mistake no. 3: Just calling up anyone from the yellow pages

If you’re going to hire an electrician you should at least know how good they are. Just calling up anyone from the yellow pages is like playing the lotto, you never know what you’ll end up with. If it’s a big job taking a risk like that will end up costing you a lot both in the short and the long term. The best way would be to search online for qualified electricians in your area. Then give the electrician a call and discuss the problem you’re having or the job you need them for. Speak to more than one electrician so that you get an idea of as to which one of them is more professional and looks to know about what they are talking about.

Mistake no. 4: Not getting quotes

When you speak to multiple electricians and explain your job to them they should be able to provide you with a quote. The quote will obviously be based on what you tell them and the final price you end up paying could be slightly higher or lower but getting a quote ensures that you know if the electrician is cheap or expensive. Ask the company to also provide you with a breakdown of everything they will do and the stuff they will use along with a dollar figure associated with each. This will make it easier for you to compare quotes.

Mistake no. 5: Not asking for a warranty

An electrician who is confident in what he does should be able to back his work with a good warranty. The warranty period should at least cover the next few months within which if something goes wrong he will fix it for free. Qualified electrician services like the ones offered by back all their jobs with an iron clad warranty. This warranty covers any damage which may be as a result of bad or incomplete work. This gives you the peace of mind that the job will be well done. 

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Mark has been an electrician for over twenty years. He is a certified electrician with a degree in engineering too. His services mostly include troubleshooting issues with large machines used in the manufacturing industry. In his opinion the best electricians are those that help people save money in the long term. 


The Top Three Roofing Choices For Homeowners

Outside of the shingles or other materials that you use for your roof, you probably do not give much thought to what you put on the top of your home.  Roofing is rarely seen by homeowners, and so it is never top of mind, that is until something goes wrong and you need to make costly repairs.  There are some roofing upgrades that are actually very important for your home, and can not only prevent some of the major repair issues that you might face, but can also increase the safety level of your home.  These are some of the top upgrades that homeowners across America have been installing.

Snow Guards

Snow on the ground is pretty and something that your kids want to play in, but snow on the roof is a serious hazard to your family’s safety.  The snow will accumulate over time, growing into very large sheets of packed snow and ice, until the point that gravity finally pulls it to the ground.  The only way to prevent hazardous buildups is through the use of snow guards.  A snow guard is a triangular block that you put on your roof that breaks up the big sheets of snow and keeps them from falling in a gigantic sheet.  This helps to reduce the size and weight of the snow, so it does not cause as much damage or bodily harm when it falls.  Companies like Sno Shield make the best guards on the market, and they are so easy to install that you can do it on your own.


4526778962 2ea4ee2043 z The Top Three Roofing Choices For HomeownersWhen you think about gutters the first thing that comes to mind is having to clean them.  The gutter system is one of the most important parts of the roof, as it keeps water away from vulnerable eaves and directs water away from the base of your home.  If the system is working correctly, you should not even really notice it, and so it can be easy to miss gutters that are not doing their jobs.  If you have not inspected your gutters recently or you have a home where the gutters always seem backed up, it is a good idea to have someone come in and check the system.  There might be a single weak link in the gutters, or there could be a problem with the entire system, but the only way that you will find out is if you have a professional come and take a look.

Algae Resistant Materials

Finally, you just might find that it is time to do a full replacement of your roof and you need to make some decisions about the kinds of materials that you want to use.  One of the best long term decisions that you can make is to use algae resistant materials instead of cheap shingles.  Yes, this will increase the cost of your roof installation, but instead of having a roof that gets discolored in a couple of years, you will have the kind of roof that you can be proud of for a long time, and one that will actually add value to your home.  The cost is not going to be that much higher than more traditional materials, and it is better to spend the money now than to look back later and regret trying to save a few dollars.

Roofing should be a priority for your home, and these upgrades add safety and value to the roof.  Contact a contractor today and find out what other options you may have and what it would take to get your roof upgraded.

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I am Connor Fleming and I have been in roofing for eight years.  I wrote this article to let homeowners know about the upgrades that are available for residential roofs.  Knowing all the options help people make better decisions.