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Simple Ways to Give Your Kitchen a Boost

  
  
  

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The kitchen is arguably the most important room in a house. Three meals a day, plus maybe a few additional trips for snacks and dessert make the ever-popular kitchen a heavily trafficked area.

You may have been pondering over the idea to update this essential room, but perhaps you don’t have the energy or resources to undergo a complete remodel.

Luckily, there are numerous simple and cost-efficient ways to spruce up your kitchen, without having to put the critical room out of commission for several weeks.

Pick a New Paint Color

You may have loved your current wall color at one point, but recognizing when a change is needed is the first step to a new and improved kitchen. How you want to feel in your kitchen should heavily influence the color you choose. Make sure the color is one that the whole family can agree on. After all, the kitchen is a shared space, so it is important that everyone feels comfortable in the room.

Replace your Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets heavily influence the overall look and feel of the space. Often, it is the first element one sees as they enter a kitchen.  At Builder’s Surplus, we have a wide array of kitchen cabinets in stock in a variety of colors to match the scheme and style of your space. Browse our vast selection here.

Replace your Backsplash

The backsplash is a great area to play with texture, color, and light. If you want to add more drama to your kitchen, or want to add an area to highlight, be sure to reevaluate how your backsplash is helping or hindering the overall feel you wish to accomplish.

Art + Décor

Don’t underestimate the power of art and décor in your kitchen. A unique clock, or an abstract wall piece can add that missing component to your new and improved space. Be on the lookout for distinct pieces that could work in your space as you are out and about.

Add Some Green

A plant or two can add that extra touch to your updated space, and give it that warm and cozy feel. If you are worried about the maintenance involved in adding a few plants, consider succulents. These plants are lower-maintenance, and can often go a few days without water.

When updating your kitchen, it is important to consider what areas need the most attention first. Remember, the extra touches and accents can be added as inspiration flows in. 

Elements of a Contemporary Bathroom

  
  
  

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Modernist home designs are a trending aesthetic look that can be taken to any room in the house. The modern look may look simple and easy to create on the surface, but there is a lot of thought and pre-planning that goes into executing the design properly.

If you’ve been thinking about incorporating the modern design into your bathroom space, the following helpful and handy tips can help you create the modern feel you’re searching for.

Horizontal Lines

Uncomplicated, clean, and horizontal lines are key to modern bathrooms. Square and rectangular shapes are the ideal lines to create when executing the modernist design. Remember this when you search for bathroom cabinets, vanities, shower doors, sinks, mirrors, and bathroom décor.

Simple Hardware

To further tie in the look of a modern bathroom space, incorporate hardware that is basic (yet distinguished), straight, and made with simple geometric shapes. Avoid hardware and sinks that are made with more elaborate details and engravings. Neutral colors, such as white, grey, or tan, tend to work best in this particular design.

Raw Materials

The beauty about the modernist look is that the raw materials used in the space are meant to be untouched and untailored. What exactly does this mean? It means to let your wood cabinets and the flooring materials you choose stand out just as they are –in their own natural element. If you’re looking to paint your wooden cabinets, the modernist look isn’t the design aesthetic to do it in.

Minimal Lighting

Simple lighting in a modern bathroom helps to subtly highlight a clean and uncluttered space. Avoid ornate fixtures or harsh, fluorescent lights.

Remember, when decorating and designing in the modern aesthetic, simple is key. Keep in mind, however, that simple doesn’t have to mean boring. Different and layered textures can be used to make your bathroom space really stand out. 

Things to Keep in Mind When Remodeling Your Kitchen

  
  
  

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We understand how exciting it is to get a new kitchen! The kitchen will be the focal point of the home for your family and guests, and it is one of the main rooms that drives dollars when you sell the house. But renovations can be full of headaches. Here are a couple things that you can do to make the process much easier.

Create a rough kitchen

A rough kitchen is an area where you can make simple things without the oven or stove. Stock up on some cold cuts and bread, and store it in an area that won’t be impacted by dust. Also, get some ready to eat treats for when you need a quick snack during the construction process. Put them in one of the kitchen cabinets that won’t be worked on and tape the edges, just in case dust or debris goes flying. This will also ensure that the workers know that this cabinet will be staying where it is.

Get some to-go menus

Gather up some delivery and to-go menus from local restaurants. Some nights you’ll eat out, but if the kitchen renovation is major (and long), then you’ll want the option to get food to go and eat at home, too.

Set a renovation schedule

Get a clear understanding of when the work will start and end. While that kitchen renovation schedule may not be adhered to by the letter, it will provide a framework and expectations. That way if your contractor doesn’t meet the schedule you can hold them accountable. 

Confirm that the appliances will match

When you’re selecting the cabinets you need to start the process of choosing which appliances you’ll get. The colors, location, and whether you’ll get new, used or use the same ones all need to be decided once the final plans for your kitchen are discussed with the contractor.

Have fun

Assuming that you’ve done your homework in selecting a quality contractor, they will want to do the job as quickly as they can. You want your kitchen back in working order quickly, too. You both have the same goals. While there may be some hiccups in the renovation process, it’s most likely not on purpose. If you try to relax and it will go by much quicker. 

One key thing that will make the process go smoother is to simply follow these tips for remodeling your kitchen. If you’ve renovated your kitchen or bathroom recently what did you do to make the process go smoother?

Ways to Brighten A Dark Kitchen

  
  
  

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If your kitchen is located in an area in your home where natural lighting and windows are scarce, you may want to consider how your design aesthetic can brighten the space.

Following these handy tips can help to create the illusion of a brighter kitchen that everyone can appreciate and enjoy.

Choose a Lighter Cabinet Color

Dark cabinets tend to overemphasize the darkness of a room, so be sure to choose a cabinet scheme that is lighter and brighter. Lighter cabinets will help to diminish dark shadows, and create a more luminous feel to the room.

At Builder’s Surplus, we carry a wide range of kitchen cabinets in a variety of lighter color schemes that are perfectly suitable for dark kitchens. To view our collection, click here.  We also carry a wide range of kitchen countertops that work well in darker kitchens.  To view our countertop selection, click here

Paint with a Bright Color

A brighter paint color doesn’t necessarily have to be a light paint color, but it should be a color that reflects light, not a color that absorbs it. If you are unsure of where to start, keep in mind that yellow tones, green tones, and red tones are the trending kitchen colors for 2014.

Testing paint colors side by side in the darkest areas of your kitchen can also help you decide which paint color will brighten your kitchen the most.

Lighten Up Dark Floors

It’s no surprise that dark flooring can darken an already dim kitchen. Choosing lighter flooring can help draw the eyes upward, and create an airy feel.

There are numerous flooring options on the market today. From hardwood, tile, vinyl, bamboo, and so more, choosing the best light flooring within your budget has never been easier.

Choose Light Décor

Choosing the right kitchen décor can add those extra touches that invite more light and shine into your space.

A lighter clock, bright and colorful tea towels, white kitchen jars, and even lighter plates, cups, and dishes can bring more illumination to your kitchen space.

Of course, it is important to note that your artificial lighting may need to be replaced and/or updated to add more light into your kitchen, but artificial lighting in combination with the tips above can aide you on your journey to a lighter and brighter kitchen.

Be sure to browse our selection of kitchen products and begin bighting your kitchen today. 

Kitchen and Bathroom Remodels Are Increasing

  
  
  

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Recently a study came out that surveyed 107,000 home owners and about their thoughts on the housing market. The results were fascinating! A large percentage of those surveyed (28%) are planning to remodel their kitchen or bathroom; and an even larger percentage (48%) are going to do larger tasks like build an addition or a custom home.

That is a large percentage of people thinking about doing something to their kitchen or bathroom. There are a couple reasons for the large interest in kitchen and bathroom remodeling right now.

Ride the wave

It’s a seller’s market, but people who have their house on the market still need to compete with other homes. 54% of those who said they were remodeling listed the fact that they were selling their house as the main reason for renovating their kitchen or bathroom. 83% of them said that they were looking for remodeling ideas to improve the look of their house for their own use.   

Inventory

In some areas, there is a lack of homes. This is leading to more people renovating what they have, regardless of whether they’re selling or not. In other areas, the rate of new single-family home construction is at a four year high, according to the Commerce Department.

Thinking creatively

10% of the respondents said that they were going to build a custom house within the next 2 years. These are the people choosing to build and design their own dream kitchens and bathrooms.       

Action

Another interesting fact that came out in this study is that confidence in the fact that now is a great time to renovate is the highest in the west. And only 11% of those who were planning to renovate needed to take out a line of credit to do so. 89% of them were going to pay cash and move quickly on their renovations.

Do those numbers surprise you? Or are you one of the people who is planning a kitchen or bathroom remodel? We’re here to help if you have any questions about the process.

Get The Most Out of Your Bathroom Remodel

  
  
  

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Bathroom renovations are popular this year, and they can really pay off for the value of your home. The average mid-range bathroom remodel, according to one survey, would cost $15,000 and return 65% during resale. A high-end bathroom renovation would cost homeowners around $50,000 and return 58%. Of course, you can save some of those costs by doing the work yourself. Here are a few bathroom remodeling ideas that promise big returns.

Let there be light!

There doesn’t have to be a window in your bathroom to let more light in. A new light fixture can disperse more light, even with the same wattage bulbs. The thickness or color of the fixture impacts how much light is emitted. Alternately, as we’ve written about before you can add more mirrors in your bathroom to bring in more light. 

Double sinks

According to a recent survey on Houzz, a majority of homeowners polled (55%) are planning to install double sinks in the master bathroom. While it may take more design time and creative use of space, a double sink is certainly something that you should consider if you’re doing a bathroom remodel. The convenience of having two sinks – and never having to wait while your spouse shaves or brushes their teeth - is priceless in the long run. 

Where’s the bathtub?

One of the biggest trends in bathroom remodeling is full size, elaborate showers. Popular showers this year are the luxury version: They can easily accommodate two people, have seats built in, showcase floor-to-ceiling tiles, and feature shower heads with many different settings.

Low Flow toilets

Replacing your toilet with a low flow version makes perfect sense, depending on the age of your current toilet. If you’re remodeling your bathroom and your toilet uses 3.5 gallons a flush, it’s time to switch to a low flow toilet. Low flow toilets use just 1.6 gallons of water per flush. Their flush strength is the same and from now on, you will only be able to purchase low flow toilets. So, the only choices for you to make will be about style, color and whether you want a half flush toilet.

Faucet colors

The two most popular colors for faucets are still brushed nickel and polished chrome. Some things never seem to change! Especially if you are thinking ahead to resale value, it’s best to stick to one of these two options.

What are your bathroom remodeling plans?  If you have any questions about the process please give us a call at 1-888-632-5081. We can save you money during the process. 

5 Simple Bathroom Upgrades that You Can Do Yourself

  
  
  

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‘Simple’ is a relative term when it comes to home renovations. What we’re considering simple bathroom upgrades are those that do not include the bathtub, flooring or paint. Typically these remodeling ideas can be done in about half a day by the average homeowner. 

Faucet

Installing a bathroom faucet is a simple task, but can be frustrating if the space under your sink is tight. Assuming that you have plenty of space inside your bathroom vanity, the most difficult part of installing the sink will be lining up the plunger. 

Sink and/or countertop

If you’re thinking about a new faucet, there is no better time to install a new sink or countertop. Generally sinks and countertops are heavy, so be careful lifting. A new vanity top is a simple change that can provide a total makeover for your bathroom. It has the added benefit of having the sink in the vanity so all you have to do is put it into place, instead of trying to line the sink up with a hole in the countertop.

Toilet

If you haven’t been toilet shopping in a while, you are in for a surprise.  Of course the low-flow toilets are everywhere, but there are additional water saving options like half flush/full flush, a bidet or other creature comforts. Installing a toilet will require a second person to help you remove the old toilet and switch them out.

Vanity or storage cabinet

If you’re switching out the sink for a new vanity top you might want to consider a vanity storage cabinet.  The most challenging part of this upgrade for homeowners might be measuring the area or picking out which color you want! Having said that, if you have any questions about measuring for your new vanity, just call us and we’ll help you out.

New hardware

Installing new door handles or hinges is a very simple improvement for your bathroom. Your hardware can get dated very quickly and make your whole bathroom look out of style. The most difficult part of installing new bathroom hardware on your vanity is dealing with any screws that might be stripped.

Are you thinking about doing any simple bathroom upgrades or changes?  If so, we’d love to hear any comments or suggestions about what you’re doing.

Is it time to remodel your kitchen?

  
  
  

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Remodeling your kitchen is a serious decision. It will require planning, foresight, time to interview different contractors, downtime for your house and more. But knowing all that, if you’re still asking the question “is it time to remodel the kitchen,” then the answer is probably yes.  Here are 4 key areas that you need to consider.

Efficient appliances

By this we don’t mean the style and trendiness of your kitchen appliances. Are they efficient, do they waste power or not function as well as they should? If the gasket on your refrigerator is loose and causing the door to not remain shut then it may be time to replace it regardless of when it was purchased. Your dishwasher is probably going to be the first to need to be replaced, especially if the wash cycle is sticking or taking longer than it should. 

Location of kitchen

Where your kitchen is in your house will most likely stay the same. However, drastic things can be done by simply moving around the smaller appliances. As you are remodeling your kitchen, think about changing the placement of the stove, sink and refrigerator. 

Number of people

Has the number of people in your house changed? Children are the most obvious answer, but aging parents moving back into the house, or even more visitors could all impact whether the size of your kitchen works for you. Retirees may need a smaller kitchen, but should still think about the size of that room in regards to resale value.

Traffic flow

Similar to number of people is traffic flow. How do you use the kitchen and how do people flow in and out of the room? At parties people always congregate in the kitchen and daily life is no different. If it’s a pass through for children and you need to move furniture or add an island, now is the time. Also keep in mind where the door is. Some kitchens have access to a back door and tweaking the people flow could make the room more functional.

If you’re only doing a partial kitchen remodel bring in elements that have the same style and color as the existing design. Try to match your existing cabinets with any woodwork, and don’t forget about some of the kitchen cabinet accessories that can really make your new kitchen pop!  A lazy susan, trashcan pullout or pull out spice drawer can make you new kitchen work for you for years to come. 

How to Choose the Right Bathroom Vanity

  
  
  

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There are few things more exciting (or nerve wrecking!) than remodeling a bathroom. If you’re thinking about remodeling a bathroom in the near future, here are some things to consider before you drill the first hole or pull out the tape measure.

The vanity in your bathroom is more than just a place to hide the extra toilet paper, hair dryer or toothpaste. The vanity is part of the bathroom and you need to decide how wide it should be and where you’d like it placed in the bathroom.

Our IN STOCK VANITIES come in 18 different sizes and over 40 different styles. There are lots of questions that you will need to answer. Do you want a more modern style or something traditional? Likewise the hardware will vary with each style vanity that you choose and that hardware will have a distinct color.

In our earlier post, we mentioned the best ways to brighten up a small bathroom. If your bathroom doesn’t have too much space you won’t be able to explore bigger options; but you can get more expressive legs on it or get the one with molding all the way around. 

If your bathroom is big enough, you could consider putting another sink in. Another option is to only get one sink, but get a bigger vanity so that two people can share the mirror space.

The benefit to getting a larger vanity is that it has the storage space for your use and for resale value. The downside to a larger bathroom vanity is that it might take up too much space in your bathroom. 

Regardless of what size and style vanity you get you’ll need to keep in mind that a mirror will be purchased separately. Try to get the vanity in a wood color that will match your desired mirror. If your vanity is modern, keep the mirror in the same design family.

We’re here to help you with your bathroom remodeling ideas.  If you have any questions about what bathroom vanity is right for you just come in and see us.

How can you brighten up a small bathroom?

  
  
  

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To guests, your bathroom is quant and charming. However to you it feels too small. There are some simple things that you can do in the bathroom to make it feel bigger without breaking down a wall or thinking too hard about remodeling ideas. 

Layers of light

How many lights are in your bathroom? Having just an overhead light will make it feel like you have a small bathroom. Add a side light on the wall near the bathroom mirror or over by the toilet. A couple of different lights will add light and variety to the bathroom.

More mirrors

Certainly you have one mirror in your bathroom. What if you added a couple of smaller mirrors, increased the size of the biggest mirror or did a combination of both? Hollywood uses mirrors all the time to make things appear larger than they really are.  Even if you added some small, different shaped mirrors you’ll notice that the room appears larger.

A new light fixture

If you can only have one light in the bathroom why not look at getting a new light fixture? If you’re looking at a new fixture and you have a small bathroom think about getting one that has jewelry or reflective surfaces surrounding the light bulb. Depending on the color of your bathroom, this could really add more light and thus the appearance of more space.

What color are your walls?

In some small bathrooms a dark color may work. If you have enough light or are near a window then you might be able to pull off a dark red or blue, which can look very pretty. However, if your walls are dark and you don’t have the light to compensate for that then simply paint the walls a lighter color. 

The floors fall into the same category. The dark marble may have seemed like a great idea at the time, but now you realize that it just makes the bathroom seem small. 

Contrast

When decorating your small bathroom, be sure to keep it simple and place a couple of color contrasts in the room. If you have molding, paint that just a shade lighter than the walls. Put up a picture or two that have colors that contrast the main color on the walls. If there is clutter in your bathroom, then get it out.  Clutter and knick knacks don’t really add to the room and in some cases can actually take away.

One option to get rid of clutter is to add a bathroom corner cabinet. That way you can still have the toilet cleaning supplies, extra toilet paper and such in the bathroom without having it on display.

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