Doorways Magazine http://www.doorwaysmagazine.com Welcome Home Tue, 02 Feb 2016 22:21:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://www.doorwaysmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/cropped-doorways_square_xl-150x150.jpg Doorways Magazine http://www.doorwaysmagazine.com 32 32 Try One of These Kitchen Paint Colors with White Cabinets http://www.doorwaysmagazine.com/kitchen-paint-colors-with-white-cabinets/ Tue, 02 Feb 2016 22:21:57 +0000 http://www.doorwaysmagazine.com/?p=1807 Here you’ll find the best paint colors for kitchens with white cabinets and other great kitchen color schemes. Read these kitchen painting tips before you pick up that brush.

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White kitchen cabinets are the most requested item my clients ask for during their kitchen remodel. But, your cabinets are just half the battle in the kitchen design process.

Below you’ll find out the best paint colors for kitchens with white cabinets and other great kitchen color schemes.

One advantage of choosing kitchen paint colors with white cabinets is that your options are wide open. Unfortunately, the amount of choices can become overwhelming for most homeowners.

The key is to choose a color that will go well with your cabinets, countertops, backsplash and flooring, all while matching your existing decor. Don’t worry it’s easier than it sounds.

Here are my recommendations of wall colors that go great with white cabinets.

It should be no surprise that the most popular colors that go with white cabinets are whites, tans and grays. These neutral colors will keep your kitchen looking fresh, clean and sophisticated for years to come.

Sherwin Williams Pavestone (SW7642)

Painting kitchen cabinets white

White Kitchen Cabinets – Photo

There are many variations of these colors that will go great with almost all white cabinets. But, for your reference I’ve included the wall colors shown in these photos in case you want to make this easy on yourself.

This traditional kitchen features white cabinets with white subway tile and dark granite countertops. If you’ve looked at other kitchen paint colors you’ll notice that white is a popular wall color. I realize that some of you may be looking for warmer palettes.

This kitchen does a great job balancing the white backsplash and cabinets with warm hues on the walls. The paint color on the walls in this kitchen is Sherwin Williams Pavestone (SW7642).

Benjamin Moore Danville Tan

We all know that the kitchen is the central hub for most families today. Why not add some energy to the space with a lighter color on the walls? With white marble countertops, this tan wall color helps brighten up the space, while giving it a warm feel.

The difference between these two photos may seem subtle, but there are a few design lessons to be learned.

For one, your kitchen countertops play a big role in your kitchen color schemes. Dark wall colors blend well with dark countertops and light wall colors compliment light countertop materials very well.

This kitchen features Benjamin Moore Danville Tan paint on the walls.

Chef’s Choice

kitchen paint colors with white cabinets

Photo via CliqStudios

For those of you that are more adventurous, here is a great example of how a bright wall color can completely transform your space. The great thing about painting your kitchen walls is that the color can be changed whenever you feel like it!

Although some may say that painting your kitchen is a time consuming and tedious process, it’s important to point out that paint is only temporary. Feel free to take a risk and go with an energetic color that matches your personality. Have some fun!

What are your favorite kitchen paint colors with white cabinets? Share with our community or leave us a message on our Facebook page. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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Why We Love the Health Benefits of Matcha Green Tea http://www.doorwaysmagazine.com/matcha-green-tea-benefits/ Tue, 02 Feb 2016 20:35:36 +0000 http://www.doorwaysmagazine.com/?p=881 The health benefits of matcha green tea are the same as those found in regular green tea. However, the benefits are much more potent in matcha tea.

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matcha green tea health benefits

For green tea aficionados, Matcha Green tea offers a unique alternative. The name itself means “powdered tea”.

This powdered green tea is popular because it is much more potent than regular green tea, and because it offers a higher does of caffeine while providing a calm and alert mind.

Benefits of Match Green Tea

The benefits of matcha green tea are the same as those found in regular green tea. These benefits, however, are much more potent in matcha tea.

Consider this, when steeping green tea you discard the leaves, while with matcha you are actually drink them.

The powder is so fine that it is easily mixed with near boiling water, providing a potent blend of nutrients, and antioxidants.

The antioxidants found in this tea help free radicals within the body, helping protect you from certain types of cancer, dyslplasia, and Parkinson’s disease. The tea also has a powerful effect on cholesterol.

Drinking matcha green tea daily has been show to lower cholesterol levels over the course of 24 weeks. Bone density has also been shown to increase when you drink 500 mg of matcha green tea over the same duration.

It can also be used as a weight loss supplement and mental alertness stimulant. Matcha green tea increases your energy expenditure and increases your fat oxidation rate. Drinking matcha green tea, or even regular green tea can decrease your waist circumference by 4.5% over the course of 3 months.

The caffeine content is 3 times higher in matcha green tea than regular tea and provides a gradual/stable source of energy unlike the high peak and rapid drop observed with the consumption of coffee.

Nutrients

Matcha green tea contains all of the nutrients seen in green tea but in higher proportions. It contains antioxidants including polyphenols and catechins. Drinking this tea also provides you with vitamins such as Vitamin A, B-complex, C, E, and K.

The powder is mixed with almost boiling water and then whisked to create a frothy dark green tea with a very vegetal, grassy taste.

Though the caffeine content of matcha green tea is less than that found it coffee, pregnant and nursing women may need to limit their consumption of this drink. Likewise, it is not recommended for children.

Another health warning is the lead content of the tea. While the tea leaves are growing, they naturally absorb lead from the soil and environment. When you drink regular green tea, you steep the leaves and remove them, and 90% of the lead remains in the leaves which are then thrown out. In matcha, the leaves are ground and you consume them leading to a higher consumption of lead.

Some studies have shown that a cup of match can contain 30 times more lead than a cup cup of green tea. As such, limit matcha tea to one cup a day and do not serve it to children.

Origin

The green tea leaves from which matcha is made originally originated in China. Today its leaves are harvested all throughout Asia. It comes from the Camellia saneness plant. Unlike green tea however, the leaves cultivated for matcha are covered with shade clothes prior to harvest. This helps grow leaves of better texture and taste.

They are then hand selected, steamed, dried, and aged. Then the leaves are ground into a fine powder for your enjoyment. There are a couple varieties on them market but these differences are based on location and cultivation method rather than the plant itself.

Where to Buy

The phrase you get what you pay for certainly applies to matcha green tea. The better the quality the higher the price. Ten ounces of organic Matcha will cost around $25 while cheaper brands average around $10 per 8 oz.

Most grocery stores carry this type of green tea either in store or on their online. For high quality matcha tea, you will find a wider selection of companies and prices online.

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Kitchen Craft Cabinets: Too Good to Be True? http://www.doorwaysmagazine.com/kitchen-craft-cabinets/ Tue, 02 Feb 2016 20:31:07 +0000 http://www.doorwaysmagazine.com/?p=580 Kitchen Kraft has a very high reputation, affordable pricing, and wonderful selection of kitchen cabinets. Read our complete review to find out more.

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kitchen craft cabinet styles

A wide variety of styles available – Photo via KitchenCraft.com

Kitchen Craft offers its customers European style, fashion-forward modern cabinets tailored to their specific needs and tastes. These cabinets are designed with both quality and versatility in mind.

The company offers the following styles:

  • Casual
  • Contemporary
  • Rustic
  • Traditional

Their cabinets can only be purchased from authorized dealers. This ensures that the measurements and design assistance are professional and the level of attentiveness is individualized to your specific needs. Their website has a Where To Buy search where you can locate the dealer nearest to you.

Company Background

Kitchen Craft has been providing its innovative designs for over 40 years. The company was founded in Winnipeg, Manitoba and has since been selling in both the Canadian and American market. In 2002 Kitchen Craft became a subsidiary of MasterBrand Cabinets.

Within Kitchen Craft there are two lines of cabinetry called Integra and Aurora. The products are manufactured in Canada and feature recycled materials and hardwoods from certified sustainable foresters.

Construction Quality

Kitchen Craft cabinets are much cheaper than brands such as KraftMaid. The company offers every type of construction. One of these types is known as Frameless Construction. This style uses a thicker box construction, full overlay doors, and adjustable shelves.

Kitchen Craft uses several types of materials in their construction. These include; particle board, plywood, veneer, and Therma-Foil. The Thermafoil compound is only used on cabinet doors.

On feature that sets Kitchen Craft apart from other cabinet builders is the fully customizable cabinet interiors. So if you love bulk shopping or love roll trays for organization, Kitchen Craft provides you with customized storage solutions.

The standard cabinet features 6-way adjustable hinges, 5/8” thick furniture board cabinet sides, and melamine interiors. The standard cabinet features a thick horizontal crosspiece brace for stabilization. The shelves are fully adjustable. Customers can also choose to upgrade to a plywood construction for increased durability.

Cabinet drawers come in melamine, metal, or wood options. The hardwood drawers use solid hardwood, dovetailed joints, and soft-closing drawer guides. The metal drawers also feature the soft close feature.

Cabinet interiors can be customized to white, natural wood grain, or even a combination. If you prefer, the interior can be stained to match the exterior.

The doors of their cabinets use furniture-grade solid wood and veneers. The company also offers Thermofoil, Mullion, and specialty doors. As you can see, their selection is quite extensive.

Common Complaints

Kitchen Kraft has a very high reputation, affordable pricing, and wonderful selection of products.

Some customers find that it is very difficult to contact the company directly regarding product problems or concerns. They are always redirected to their local dealers who do not always have the solution.

When it comes down to the bottom line, the quality of the cabinets will depend on the construction style, quality of the installation, and usage.

Be prepared for some delays in shipping and give yourself a buffer in case you need to return a damaged product.

Conclusion

If you are hoping to upgrade your kitchen with functional, affordable, and beautiful cabinets, Kitchen Craft provides a large variety from which to choose. Their customizable cabinet interiors make it easy to create a layout that fits your needs precisely.

While the majority of customers have positive experiences and are pleased with their purchases, there are several who have had problems with the finish or installation.

Be sure that the measurements are done correctly and that you are speaking to a true professional before ordering the cabinets.

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3 Paint Color Ideas for Kitchens with Oak Cabinets http://www.doorwaysmagazine.com/kitchen-paint-colors-with-oak-cabinets/ Tue, 02 Feb 2016 20:09:22 +0000 http://www.doorwaysmagazine.com/?p=1796 What are the best kitchen paint colors with oak cabinets? Before you go anywhere else be sure to read my tips on kitchen color schemes and painting tips.

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Benjamin Moore Hancock Green

Wall Color: Benjamin Moore Hancock Green HC-117 Photo

What are the best kitchen paint colors with oak cabinets?

If you’re just starting your kitchen remodeling journey – congrats! This is going to be a fun adventure and I’m glad you’ve made it this far.

But, you’re probably realizing how complicated kitchen design can get.

There are hundreds of color choices and thousands of opinions about the best kitchen colors. Once you reach a certain point, you just want to break through the noise and get real answers.

That’s why I’m here – to help you get your dream kitchen without the hassle.

Let’s be honest, finding great kitchen colors that work with Oak cabinets is difficult. And, if you stumble on a photo of your dream kitchen, how will you know what colors the used?

To make painting your kitchen as easy as possible, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite kitchen paint colors that go great with Oak cabinets.

Glidden Whispering Wheat GLN28

Glidden Whispering Wheat

Wall Color: Glidden Whispering Wheat – Photo

This traditional kitchen is a great example of how to use color to compliment your Oak cabinets. As you can see the dark granite countertops bring all of the colors together, yet gives you the opportunity to use a wide range of colors.

Glidden Whispering Wheat is a great choice for kitchens with traditional Oak cabinets and dark granite countertops. If you have a light colored tile or linoleum floor, this color is a great match.

Benjamin Moore Hancock Green HC-117

Benjamin Moore Hancock Green

Wall Color: Benjamin Moore Hancock Green HC-117 Photo

Another great kitchen wall color is Benjamin Moore Hancock Green. This kitchen features a bolder Oak stain and dark granite kitchen countertops. The green hue on the walls helps bring all elements of the room together.

This kitchen is a great example of how important the backsplash is in your kitchen design. The backsplash helps pull in the green and browns and tie the room together. You may also notice that this kitchen has wood flooring as well.

Sherwin Williams Darkroom SW 7083

Sherwin Williams Darkroom

Wall Color: Sherwin Williams Darkroom – Photo

In this kitchen you’ll notice the color palette is considerably different from the previous examples. First, the Oak cabinets have a light stain and the countertops are white granite. In addition, this room has wood flooring which is a lighter stain than the cabinets.

This style of Oak cabinetry lends itself to contrasting, rather than complementary colors. The walls feature a color similar to Sherwin Williams Darkroom.

I should also point out how well the backsplash and wall colors balance out the color palette.

As you can see there are many ways to paint your kitchen walls with Oak cabinets. The examples included a range of cabinet styles as well as countertop, backsplash and flooring variations.

What kitchen paint colors did you love the most? Was there a color I missed that you would like to see included? Let me know!

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Splash of Color: We Reviewed the Top LED Shower Heads http://www.doorwaysmagazine.com/color-changing-led-shower-head-reviews/ Tue, 02 Feb 2016 19:54:20 +0000 http://www.doorwaysmagazine.com/?p=147 What are the best LED shower heads? Read my reviews of the top brands. See if temperature controlled color changing models worth it the cost plus more.

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ana bath dual led showerheadLED Showerheads are a wonderful bathroom accessory that not only are able to give you a refreshing shower, they are also a great way to brighten up any day.

These special light-emitting diode showerheads transform the color appearance of the water so that you can enjoy beautiful cascading streams of color even on the gloomiest day.

LED showerheads come in options that include single or multi-color light choices so it is easy to find a color to suit your individual preferences.

Besides transforming the appearance of the water color, this type of showerhead also offers a wealth of water flow patterns to choose from as well. A high number of these showerheads also have the added benefit of being energy efficient without compromising water pressure.

dreamspa color changing led showerhead dreamspa extra large rainfall led showerhead dreamspa dual led showerhead ouku rainfall led showerhead
DreamSpa Water Temperature LED Showerhead Dreamspa® Extra-large Rainfall LED Showerhead DreamSpa® LED Dual Showerhead Ouku Rainfall LED Showerhead
elecs led showerhead temperature controlled color_changing led handheld showerhead ana bath dual led showerhead vdomus rainfall led showerhead
Elecs Single Color LED Shower Head Temperature Controlled Color Changing LED Handheld Showerhead Ana Bath LSS5430CCP LED Dual Showerhead VDOMUS LED Rainfall Showerhead

One of the special features of these showerheads is that they don’t require batteries to operate! How cool is that?

There are a number of LED showerheads available that not only provide a variety of colorful patterns for water streams, but also have variable spray settings to make a shower feel more luxurious as well.

Listed below are some of the most popular models with the best reviews:

DreamSpa Water Temperature LED Showerhead

dreamspa color changing led showerheadFeatures include an all-chrome showerhead surface that offers five adjustable angle spray pattern choices that include Power Rain, Pulsating Massage, Hydro-mist, Economy Rain and Water, and Saving Pause. This LED model light changes between the colors of red, blue, and green with water temperature variations.

No batteries are necessary as this showerhead powers itself with running water. The rub clean jets make it simple to maintain and no tools are required for assembly.

MagicShowerhead SH1026

elecs led showerheadThis showerhead fits to standard shower pipes and is powered only by water pressure. Made from ABS chrome, the MagicShowerhead conserves water by not exceeding 2.5 GMP at 80psi.

It is a fixed model that is easy to adjust and is able to illuminate the water stream in up to seven different colors that include white, orange, yellow, pink, red, green, and blue.

To install, simply detach the current showerhead and screw the new one back in place.

Temperature Controlled Color Changing LED Handheld Showerhead

temperature controlled color_changing led handheld showerheadFeatures include sensor that automatically changes the color of the water stream between green, blue, and red, depending on the temperature of the water.

Powered by water pressure, this showerhead is efficient and easy to install. Not to mention it is one of the few handheld models that features LED lights as well.

VDOMUS Rainfall Showerhead

vdomus rainfall led showerheadThis battery-free LED showerhead is a popular model that comes with a wealth of features. This showerhead that has an 8-inch square shape that projects a colorful rainfall of water in colors that include blue, pink, and red. Colors change according to the temperature of the water setting.

These color changes, along with the visual temperature display, helps you to accurately adjust the water to prevent burns. This model is easy to install and requires no special tools and gives you the option to either mount it on the wall or on the ceiling.

So, What’s the Best LED Showerhead for You?

Taking a shower can be more enjoyable when you bathe under a stream of water colors.

Color changing shower heads come in a vast assortment of styles that are efficient and easy to install. Upgrade the appearance of your bathroom with an LED showerhead and make your day more colorful and refreshing.

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5 Creative Kitchen Island Design Ideas You’ll Love http://www.doorwaysmagazine.com/creative-kitchen-island-design-ideas/ Tue, 02 Feb 2016 19:39:45 +0000 http://www.doorwaysmagazine.com/?p=1778 Start with these kitchen island design ideas first! See what design experts think are the best kitchen island ideas. Plus kitchen design photos and more!

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kitchen island designs

Kitchen Island Designs – Photo

Why are kitchen islands so desirable? The reason is simple. A well-designed kitchen island can transform an outdated kitchen into a gourmet chef’s dream.

That’s probably why in a recent study by the National Association of Homebuilders, 80 percent of home buyers said they consider a kitchen island desirable or essential in their homes.

Not only does an island provide valuable workspace but it also expands your kitchen design options. For example, moving the range into the center of the island is a great way to interact with guests while cooking and increase your chi.

My Favorite Kitchen Island Ideas

Even though the majority of homebuyers believe a kitchen island is important, many will be left without one. Another study revealed that 50 percent of first-time home buyers want a gourmet kitchen, but only 9 percent end up in a house that has one. What does this mean for you?

While you may not have the kitchen of your dreams, there are many creative ways to remodel your kitchen on a budget. Here are my favorite kitchen island ideas:

Add Multiple Work Areas

kitchen island design ideas

Include multiple work areas – Photo

The primary advantage of a kitchen island is the addition of usable counterspace. A simple and smooth kitchen island may be all you need to transform your kitchen. Oftentimes just a small workspace can make a dramatic difference.

Another important ingredient in island design is the countertop selection. Recently butcher block countertops have become popular in country style kitchens and even in a few contemporary homes.

On the other hand, quartz surfaces are long-lasting and affordable compared to granite or marble. Selecting a durable countertop will be essential to getting the most out of your new workspace.

As you can see there are many options available just in the countertop selections. This is why if you ask a handful of designers or homeowners for suggestions you’re likely to get a wide variety of responses about the perfect island design.

Range Relocation

kitchen island with range

Relocate the range Photo

Relocating your range or cooktop into the island can be a quick way to rejuvenate your kitchen. This adjustment can turn a kitchen into the social gathering place in the house.

Even Top Chefs like Eric Ripert, Le Bernardin’s master chef, believe locating the stovetop in the island to be the perfect kitchen layout. He explains that with this style of design you don’t have to turn your back on guests, instead “you are with them, cooking and entertaining and talking.”

But, just because an island range is perfect for a master chef, doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Many DIY kitchen remodelers have found that this arrangement tends to waste valuable kitchen workspace, rather than improve it. Also in this situation there are potential ventilation issues and design considerations.

Added Seating Areas

kitchen island with seating

Add a few stools – Photo

It’s no secret that the kitchen has become the central gathering space in American homes. Families are busier than ever and are using the kitchen to have meals, schedule appointments and catch up with loved ones.

One way to make the most of these interactions is by adding creative seating onto a kitchen island. While not all islands have enough space for seating, there are a few creative ways to take care of this problem.

A seating area can take advantage of a two-level counter. This can create a visual barrier to the workspace to hide any potential mess during the cooking process. The raise counter area can also act as a convenient spot for serving.

Overhead Storage Ideas

kitchen island storage ideas

Add storage above the island – Photo

The space above an island is ripe for creative storage ideas. Of course the most popular solution is to hang pots and pans. If you have a high-quality set of cookware, this may be a great option. However, if you’re anything like me, you might have a variety of pans that just don’t cut it for display purposes. That’s okay.

Other storage ideas include hanging fruit, vegetables and breads. You could also integrate decorative elements as well as lighting into the storage space. The main consideration is to keep all hanging elements high enough to be above eye-level, but well within arms reach for easy access.

Portable Kitchen Island

portable kitchen island with seating

Portable Kitchen Island with Seating – Photo

In small kitchens where every square foot is valuable, a rolling island can provide functionality and flexibility. A small rolling island can act as a portable cutting board and storage space for all important cooking utensils.

With a little creative planning a portable island can be designed as an extension to your existing countertop to blend in, without getting in the way.

Multiple rolling islands can create separate work areas near the sink or stove top. The small space makes clean-up easy and are able to be moved completely out of the way or into another room when needed.

What Are Your Favorite Kitchen Island Ideas?

I just scratched the surface with these creative kitchen island designs. There are countless other way to make the most of your kitchen island on a budget.

Now I need to hear from you. How have you used your kitchen island to make the most of your kitchen work space on a budget. Have you tried any of the above ideas? Please share in the comments!

The post 5 Creative Kitchen Island Design Ideas You’ll Love appeared first on Doorways Magazine.

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Exterior Paint Colors That Make Your House Look Bigger http://www.doorwaysmagazine.com/exterior-paint-color-ideas/ Tue, 02 Feb 2016 19:17:12 +0000 http://www.doorwaysmagazine.com/?p=1167 What paint colors make small homes look bigger? Click here to find out. Don't pick up that paintbrush until you read these house painting tips!

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best exterior house colors

Exterior Paint Colors Are More Important Than Ever / Photo via Houzz

Just because there are thousands of house colors and paint combinations to choose from doesn’t mean they’re all available to you. In fact, most should be forbidden to any well-meaning homeowner.

Our suburban landscape is littered with regrettable house colors and poor design choices.

So, before we get started I have one small request, actually it’s a demand.

I’m asking you to throw away any and all paint ideas you currently have.

Do it now and don’t look back. You’ll thank me later.

In our current real estate market every design decision matters. Even the most subtle changes to your house colors can improve the perceived value of your home, making it stand out from your neighbors.

However, choosing the wrong paint colors could cost you thousands of dollars in lost equity down the road.

How to Pick the Best Exterior House Colors

traditional exterior paint colors

Light Colors Will Always Make Your House Look Larger / Photo via Houzz

How can choosing paint colors make a home look bigger and improve curb appeal?

The answer is simple.

In our DIY era more homeowners are taking critical design decisions into their own hands and dropping the ball. This is an opportunity to use your neighbors mistakes to your advantage.

Making smart, well-educated house color decisions will help your home stand out from the rest, while still giving you the opportunity to do it yourself and have fun along the way.

It’s no secret that today curb appeal is at a premium.

With an overwhelming number of homes on the market and many of them available at extremely affordable prices, anything you can do to maintain or improve home value is critical.

Even if you don’t plan to sell within the next year or two, planning ahead will save you countless headaches down the road and potentially put thousands of dollars.

For some families the house painting process seems to be a very personal decision. With thousands of paint colors to choose from, it appears that anything is possible.

But it’s not!

Let’s be honest, there are only a few colors that are suited for your home.

My goal is to give you the best return on your home painting investment.

Creating an outcome that you will look back on 10 years down the road and be thankful you didn’t choose that awful aquamarine color. This will be a decision that makes your neighbors wonder if you hired a pro, and will continue to turn heads for years to come.

Step 1: Evaluate Surrounding Elements

traditional exterior house colors

Evaluate Surrounding Elements and Features for Contrast / Photo via Houzz

When choosing the perfect house color it’s important to acknowledge and respect the surrounding environment of your home. Stand outside your house and take a step back to see the larger picture.

How does your home fit into the neighborhood? How is your home influenced by the landscape and other surrounding elements? First take a wide-angle approach on your color selection before focusing on any specific colors.

Homes in a suburban neighborhood, often built close to one another, will need to carefully evaluate their surrounding house colors. If homes around yours are painted in dark or subdued colors, a light or neutral palette will make your house stand out from the rest. Lighter colors also have a more clean and timeless appearance.

This same strategy must be applied to homes on property or those with elaborate landscaping. How can you use color to pull the house out from its surroundings and make it stand out? Typically, white or off-white will provide contrast to the other elements making it look larger than it really is.

Step 2: Determine Base, Trim and Accent Colors

Classic white house with white trim

Use Base, Trim and Accent Colors to Bring All Elements Together Photo via Houzz

The next step in choosing the best house color is to pay close attention to trim and accent colors. They can make or break the perfect paint scheme. In fact, I believe they are the secret ingredient in the house painting process.

After deciding on a base color the rest of your design decisions will be based on this first choice. The trim must be neutral and complimentary of the base. Although it’s common for naive homeowners to choose a contrasting trim color, this is a decision you must avoid.

A contrasting color will emphasize design elements that are better left unnoticed. Garage doors, poorly placed windows and unattractive rooflines are usually outfitted in trim. A neutral color will help expand the surface area of the home, allowing the base color extend to the edges of the house envelope.

Complementary colors are to be used for accents as well. For example, a well selected accent color for the shutters can help accentuate the architectural features of a home. The accent colors will help draw attention to the well designed features. These are the areas that will be noticed and appreciated by your neighbors.

Step 3: Pick the Correct Sheen

After selecting the appropriate main body, accent and trim colors the next step is to decide on the correct sheen. Sheen is the term used to describe the degree of light reflection paint has. A flat paint will reflect almost no light, whereas a high-gloss paint will have high-reflectivity giving it a shiny appearance.

The decision on which sheen to choose will also be influenced by the condition of the existing surface as well as the desired durability. For example, flat paints are best for use on large areas. Due to the nature of flat paints they are perfect for hiding any surface imperfections that occur on exterior wood or metal surfaces.

Semi-gloss and gloss paints are preferred for accent and trim applications. The higher sheen makes window frames and doors easier to clean. Glossy paints also tend to give trim and accents a professional, finished look.

With all of these elements in mind, the key to choosing the best paint colors is simply not to go overboard.

If you take anything away from this, I hope that you choose a light base color in addition to neutral trim and accent colors. This is the key to using the right colors to make your house look bigger and create lasting home value.

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How Much House Can I Afford? http://www.doorwaysmagazine.com/how-much-house-can-i-afford/ Tue, 02 Feb 2016 18:55:06 +0000 http://www.doorwaysmagazine.com/?p=1766 How much mortgage can you afford? It might be less than you think. See what most home buyers don't know about getting a home mortgage.

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make home affordable

First-time home buyers always want to know “How much house can I afford?” – but the real question they should be asking themselves is “How much mortgage can I afford?”

Why is this such an important distinction and why does it matter?

Well, I’ve seen it happen countless times throughout my career. You have grand visions of your dream home, after all it’s cheaper to buy than rent, right? However, when you sit down at the bank, your loan officer drags you back to reality.

Hopefully this article will help you avoid that embarrassment when you are ready to get approved for a mortgage.

When shopping for a new home, you get to pick the house, but the bank will tell you how much you can spend.

That’s because they use a few basic formulas to determine how much mortgage you can afford.

Banks typically use two Debt-to-income ratios (DTI) to determine how much they are willing to lend you. These formulas are the front-end and back-end ratios.

Front-End DTI Ratio

young family first homeWhen you apply for a loan the bank will require proof of income. This is a key ingredient in their formula.

Most lenders agree that your monthly housing expenses should not exceed 28 percent of your gross monthly income.

According to a new U.S. Census Bureau report, the median household income is around $54,00 – or $4,500 per month.

Based on the suggested front-end ratio of 28 percent, you can spend $1,260 on your monthly housing expenses.

While this may sound like enough to buy a nice home, you also need to include all other housing related payments such as property taxes, homeowners insurance and HOA dues.

These extra payments usually add up to around 15 percent of your monthly housing expenses.

What’s included in your monthly housing payment?

  • Monthly Mortgage Principal and Interest Payments
  • Monthly Real Estate Property Taxes
  • Homeowners Insurance Premiums
  • Homeowners Association Dues

Back-End DTI Ratio

woman shopping credit cardAnother area that your lender will carefully look at is your total monthly debt service. This includes your monthly housing expenses plus all other outstanding monthly debt payments.

These include credit card minimum payments, car loans, installment loans, as well as child support and alimony.

Combined with your monthly housing expenses, your monthly debt obligations should not exceed 36 percent of your gross monthly income.

Continuing with our example above, if your monthly household income is $4,500, your total monthly debts service and housing payments should not be more than $1,620.

If you spend the full 28 percent (or $1,260) of your gross monthly income on housing, that only leaves you $360 to cover your other expenses.

As you can see the numbers start to add up fast!

What’s included in the Back-End Ratio?

  • Housing Payments
  • Credit Cards (Minimum Monthly Payment)
  • Installment Loans
  • Car Loans
  • Personal Debts
  • Child support or alimony

What Type of Mortgage Can I Afford?

After running the numbers above we determined that you can afford to pay $1,260 on your monthly housing payments if you make $4,500 per month.

So, what will $1,260 buy you? That’s a great question!

The answer depends on a number of factors such as your credit score, down payment and aversion to risk.

Mortgages are available from many different sources and in various styles:

  • Jumbo Mortgage
  • Conforming Mortgage
  • VA Home Loan
  • USDA Mortgage
  • FHA Mortgage

There are many types of mortgage financing available depending on your situation:

  • 30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage
  • 15 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage
  • Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)
  • Interest-Only Mortgage
  • Balloon Mortgage

As you can see there is a wide variety of mortgages available. All you need is a little creativity to make one of them work for your specific situation.

Today, lenders have much higher restrictions on mortgages, so not all options may be available to you depending on your credit rating and available down payment.

Try Our Free Mortgage Calculator!

Want to take this to the next level? Check out my free mortgage calculator to find out how much mortgage you can afford.

Using the calculator you can adjust your home purchase price, down payment amount, interest rate, and loan term.

Don’t forget to calculate your front-end and back-end ratios before you get started!

If you know your debt-to-income ratios before you step in the bank there will be no sudden surprises after they run the numbers.

While I tried to help you answer the question: “how much mortgage can I afford?” – we really just scratched the surface. Check back for more home buying tips and daily mortgage interest rate updates.

If you have any home buying or design questions, feel free to leave a comment in our home design and remodeling community on Facebook.

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5 Design Ideas for Kitchen Islands with Seating http://www.doorwaysmagazine.com/design-ideas-kitchen-islands-with-seating/ Sat, 30 Jan 2016 00:31:09 +0000 http://www.doorwaysmagazine.com/?p=1734 These kitchen islands with seating will help transform your kitchen without sacrificing space. Grab my free kitchen island design tips here!

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kitchen islands with seating

Kitchen Islands with Seating – Photo

Have you ever found yourself stuck in a crowded kitchen during a dinner party? Me too.

The kitchen is like a magnet for lingering people and the hub for most social activities in our homes.

How can you make the most of this space and accommodate your guests at the same time?

Maybe it’s time to look at a few kitchen islands with seating.

Before you throw a few bar stools into your kitchen, there are a few design features you need to be aware of.

First, islands need to have cantilevered countertops or an overhang to allow for a comfortable seating area.

Secondly, if you are planning on adding seating to your kitchen island make sure there is plenty of room. At minimum you should have 42 inches of space on each side of the island, preferably 48 inches if space permits.

On islands with a breakfast bar you can use different countertop materials to add texture and depth to the space.

One mistake many homeowners make is falling in love with chairs for their kitchen island only to find out they don’t fit. Before you go shopping for stools, take a few measurements. Seats must have at least 12 inches of clear knee space below the countertop.

What type of chairs are best for your kitchen island?

  • Standard bar stools fit underneath 42 to 46 inch high breakfast bars
  • Counter stools will work with 36 inch high islands
  • Table top height counters of 30 inches will need low stools or dining chairs

How many seats can you fit around an island? That depends on how tall the island is. Here’s a simple guideline on how much countertop space you need to allow for each seated person:

  • 30 inch high countertop: 30 inch wide by 19 inch deep space
  • 36 inch high countertop: 24 inch wide by 15 inch deep space
  • 42 inch high countertop: 24 inch wide by 12 inch deep space

Before you decide to add seating to your kitchen island, take a look at my favorite design ideas. Let me know your favorite layouts after your read the article.

Islands with Seating for 5

Island with Seating for 5 - Photo

Island with Seating for 5 – Photo

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Most kitchen islands only have enough space for two or three guests, but with a little careful planning you can get enough seating for 5.

One advantage of a large island with seating is that it can serve as a casual dining area. Why not entertain your guests while you cook?

Today a gourmet kitchen is more than a place for just cooking. It’s also a great place to entertain or serve dinner for the entire family.

Whether you need seating for 4, 5 or 6 people there are creative ways to add space around your island. A raised breakfast bar is the most common, but there are many other ways to make the most of your island.

Keep reading to see more of my favorite kitchen islands with seating!

Islands with a Breakfast Bar

Breakfast Bar - Photo

Breakfast Bar – Photo

One of the most popular styles of kitchen islands with seating is one with a raised breakfast bar. Not only does the bar help create separate work spaces within a big kitchen, it also adds character to a traditional kitchen layout.

A breakfast bar is versatile because it offers a great place to sit and a comfortable ledge to lean or stand against.

If you have a high-traffic kitchen, a breakfast bar can serve as a great place to stop and chat momentarily or even serve up appetizers during a party.

Modern Island with Breakfast Bar

Modern Island with Seating - Photo

Modern Island with Seating – Photo

Not only do kitchen islands with a breakfast bar work great in traditional homes, but they also work in modern spaces as well.

In this contemporary kitchen the breakfast bar adds depth to the open space. It also provides a front row seat to the cooking action.

Modern kitchens have the advantage of using more creative seating around the island. These bar stools add extra character to the space and can easily switched out for something entirely different if needed.

Islands With Stools

Island with Stools - Photo

Island with Stools – Photo

Unlike kitchen islands with a breakfast bar, sometimes you just need a temporary place to sit in the kitchen. Kitchen islands with stools offer a casual sitting area with plenty of flexibility.

Stools can be small enough to be pushed under the counters to free up space when they’re not in use. I love islands with stools because they offer a simple way to transform your kitchen into a social space without wasting precious countertop real estate.

A few stools can let your guests join in on the cooking action without getting in the way. The question is, how many stools can you fit around your kitchen island?

When shopping for stools remember to keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Standard bar stools fit underneath 42 to 46 inch high breakfast bars
  • Counter stools will work with 36 inch high islands

For Small Kitchens

Island with Seating in Small Kitchen - Photo

Island with Seating in Small Kitchen – Photo

Kitchen islands with seating are normally found in large homes with lots of space. But what about small kitchens? Is it possible to add seating even in a small space?

In this example there is limited space for an island, but a creative use of the layout allow for seating against the kitchen wall. How can you incorporate seating into your small kitchen?

Another simple solution is by adding a few bar stools to sit next to an island or workspace. While you may not have room for leg space under your island in a small kitchen, adding a few temporary seats could help.

Conclusion

As you can see I barely scratched the surface on kitchen island ideas with seating.

In fact, there were hundreds of photos I wanted to include but had to narrow it down to only five. I hope these examples will help inspire you to design your own kitchen.

If you want more kitchen design ideas sign up to get my best material sent directly to your inbox each week!

The post 5 Design Ideas for Kitchen Islands with Seating appeared first on Doorways Magazine.

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5 Kitchen Layout Ideas for Non Designers http://www.doorwaysmagazine.com/kitchen-layout-design-ideas/ Sat, 30 Jan 2016 00:14:59 +0000 http://www.doorwaysmagazine.com/?p=1728 Use these kitchen layout ideas to WOW your friends and take all the credit. Exclusive tips from expert designers to create your dream kitchen floor plans.

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white kitchen cabinets black marble countertops

Before you jump into a remodeling project it’s essential to start with a few simple kitchen layouts and guidelines. The worlds greatest architects and interior designers use these ideas to create stunning kitchens.

Let’s be clear: you don’t need to reinvent the wheel when designing your new kitchen.

If fact, you can use these kitchen layout ideas to WOW your friends and take all the credit. No one needs to know that you used tips from expert designers to build your dream kitchen (unless you want to share!).

My Favorite Kitchen Floor Plans

Can you identify your current kitchen layout below? What parts do you love and what do you hate? Make a note of these and we’ll come back this later.

Popular Kitchen Layouts:

  • Galley
  • L-Shape
  • G-Shape
  • U-Shape
  • One Wall

Galley

The galley style kitchen layout is typically found in small homes and apartments. Although it’s not the most popular kitchen design, it is one of the most efficient in terms of space. A galley style kitchen is designed along one wall with all appliances and working areas in a single assembly line format.

In certain situations the kitchen layout can be divided between two walls creating a hallway style design. Since galley style kitchens have limited space it is essential to leave enough space to walk through the kitchen even when all of the appliances are open. For some homeowners working with limited space this may not be possible but it is recommended.

L-Shape

This kitchen design is also famously known as the corner kitchen. While this style of layout is great for small homes it does limit the amount of available counter space. One of the easiest ways to increase work space is with a freestanding central island or seating area.

The empty area created by the L-shape can provide many opportunities for the creative designer.

U-Shape

Another popular kitchen design that is used in both small and large homes is the U-shape layout. This combines the advantages of a galley style kitchen with the additional space created by the end wall. The benefits include additional workspace, cabinets and a more efficient use of space.

In this configuration the kitchen does not have to deal with traffic problems that are present in galley and L-shaped designs. One drawback is that design of the kitchen can limit the amount of space for multiple people to work and entertain.

Open Plan

As kitchens have become the center of most homes today, they’re now being designed to meet multiple needs and functions. This had led to the open plan design.

An open plan usually features a large standalone island that can be used for additional workspace and seating. Because these types of kitchens are larger than most, the work flow is also different. Keep this in mind if thinking about expanding your kitchen beyond its current layout. When dealing with an open plan the “Chef Samba” workflow must be extended to meet these needs. For example, you may need to consider having two work areas instead of just one.

The Simple Way to Design Your Dream Kitchen

If you’re like most of my clients, you are excited to design and build your dream kitchen. The process is both fun and rewarding. But, you might be starting to realize that there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to kitchen remodeling.

From layouts and floor plans to materials and contractors. Frankly, there’s a lot to learn if you’re trying to design your kitchen on your own.

That’s why I’ve taken everything I know about kitchen remodeling and packaged it into a 6 week course on DIY kitchen design. It’s called Dream Kitchen Academy.

The only problem is that our growing community is missing your voice. Click here to join now.

Do you have a friend that wants to remodel their kitchen? Share this article about kitchen layouts with them so they don’t make a costly design mistake.

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