Category Archives: Lifestyle

How to modernise your kitchen by changing the hardware and handles

Transform your cabinets with new modern handles

Your cabinet handles and drawer knobs may be the smallest items in your kitchen, but they have their own aesthetic value, not to mention a functional one. The hardware that keeps all the doors and drawers in place are another important element in a kitchen’s look and feel and go a long way to fulfilling the kitchen makeovers of even the most ardent of interior designers.

When something goes wrong with any of the hardware such as the hinges or handles, you tend to get irritated because the whole door is affected. So even if these items are really small and sometimes not that noticeable, they do matter.

Old Style Handles Make A Kitchen Look Dated. Image credit: Pinterest

Therefore when it comes to upgrading your kitchen hardware, you should consider the importance of the hinge mechanisms, handles and knobs. Changing these could have a considerable positive impact on your kitchen. Obviously if you also decide to paint the doors or replace them with new ones, the new look is going to be even more substantial and evident.

Start by counting how many handles and knobs you need to replace, and buy some extras to make sure that you have spares for the future. It is also a good idea to take the current ones, as well as the hardware with you so as to use them as guidance when you go shopping for the new ones, mostly to ensure the fittings and holes all line up correctly.

You may also wish to take a piece of wood or material from the cupboards with you, or from the countertop, if you really want to match the colour perfectly.

When shopping for new handles and knobs do take into account their usability, how easy it is to grip them, and if they are durable enough. Certain cupboards and drawers in your kitchen are opened several times a day, and so resistance and longevity are important considerations. Also, take into account whether they can be cleaned easily. If they have several intricate carvings, they may not be that suitable for a kitchen cupboard where they will end up amassing grime and dirt easily!

Modern Handles Can Transform an Older Kitchen. Image credit: Fresh Design Pedia

One of the most important considerations when it comes to changing hardware and handles are their sizes and where the holes are. The spacing from one hole to another is also to be noted when you buy the new ones. This may seem as a minor thing but in reality it will save you a lot of problems when you start to attach them to the doors and drawers. A handle jig may come in very handy when you want to speed things up and ensure accuracy.

It is important to mark where each will go, and to attach temporarily at first. This will ensure optimal positioning.

If you have doorknobs with just one screw it is a good idea to apply some thread sealant before you wind on the knobs. This helps to prevent them from unwinding themselves over time, as they have a tendency to do this.

Even though it is best to choose handles that are of the same size and with the same holes as your current ones, you may have your heart set on different ones, which also vary in size and holes. When you replace door handles with new ones that are of a different size you will need to make sure to hide the previous holes. Timber holes thus will need to be filled in carefully with tinted putty that matches the colour of the doors or drawers.

After the putty has dried well, sand and remove excess filler. Finally touch up the filled area, and move on to drill holes to fit the new handles’ or knobs’ screws. Repeat for all the handles and knobs and then enjoy the new look of your kitchen!

How to choose the best running shoes for beginners

What You Need to Know Before Buying Your First Pair of Running Sneakers

Running is a good sport and a great way of keeping fit and losing weight. It is much more intense than jogging as it requires much effort and strength so it is important to have the right kind of shoes that are suited for your running style and body type.

Before getting your first pair of running shoes, ask yourself the following questions:

Distance & Terrain

How far do you want to run, i.e. miles. The distance determines the cushioning of the shoe so as to provide comfort which makes running much easier and enjoyable.

The terrain, i.e. on the road or off road – shoes are designed for trails and tracks and all offer a good grip which keeps your feet secure no matter the running surface.

What type of foot arches do you have? Image credit: Sale Asics

Running Style

What is your pronation which describes how your foot rolls inward as you run? If your foot overpronates which means that it rolls inward so far, then you will need a shoe that helps correct the running while offering support all the way.

The shape of your foot and the type of arch you have. There are high, medium and low arch and this shows what kind of shoe is best for your feet.

Where to Buy

As a beginner, you should consider the following when buying your running shoes:

Go to a shoe store that specializes in running shoes because this is where you will get the specific shoe that is meant for running only. Go to a store that has knowledgeable staff who will guide you in choosing the right shoe.

Type of Shoe

Try out a number of shoes with different features, i.e. from light and flexible ones to heavily cushioned ones and from different brands too. The best shoe that you should pick should be the one that feels comfortable when running not when you are standing still.

The shoe width and length matters, and they vary from brand to brand so aim to get a shoe that fits comfortably from the heel to midfoot without squeezing the forefoot excessively. A shoe is narrow if the big toe pushes inward into the second toe or you can’t wiggle the toe up and down or spread it. Your foot should be able to move from side to side in the forefront of the shoe without crossing to the insole edge.

The flex of the shoe is important too because it should flex at the same point your foot flexes. To test this, hold the heel of the shoe and press the tip on the floor and the shoe will show where it creases and bends. Lack of flexibility leads to calf strain or Achilles’ tendon while improperly aligned flex leads to plantar fasciitis or arch pain.

Brooks GTS 17 Running Shoe. Image credit: Sofaderech.com

The shoe type matters and it refers to how much the shoe will control or correct your feet. Stability shoes are best for people with a normal arch and help correct feet with mild pronation. A motion control shoe is best for runners with moderate to severe pronation and helps limit the amount the foot rolls. The cushioned or neutral shoes are best for people who don’t roll much and they are light.

Get a shoe that meets all the features of your preferred shoe and this will ensure that you aren’t uncomfortable as you run and will not wear out faster. It is worth to invest in a good pair of shoe that is long lasting and comfortable and will serve you for several miles before replacing it.

The heel of the shoe should fit well but not tightly and you should be able to slide your feet out when the laces are not tied. The shoe that you chose should have a half an inch space between the longest toe and shoe so that it accommodates the feet when they swell and lengthen.

Choose to start your running career in a mid-range running shoe that gives good flexibility and you are able to feel the ground. A good example would be Brooks running shoes which are very well priced, extremely popular with runners and are very comfortable and durable.

Test jog while wearing the shoes to make sure the shoes fit well and are working for you. A good shoe should not try to alter your stride, but should support and complement you when you are wearing the shoe.

Common Pitfalls

Some of the common things that you should avoid while buying shoes include:

Don’t buy shoes in the morning rather late in the evening because the feet will be swollen. Don’t ever assume your size or even use your current shoe size to buy a new shoe. Different shoe brands have different fittings, so have your feet measured and fit each shoe that you intend to buy.

Don’t go for looks or what is in fashion, but choose a shoe that fits and is comfortable.

Don’t buy shoes that are too small or tightly fit as they will cause blisters and black toenails.

How to build a console table with MDF boards

Take your creative skills to the next level with a DIY MDF project

Console tables are a popular piece of furniture as they make good use of wall space, while also looking aesthetically pleasing in their simplicity. Console tables are great to place decorative items and picture frames, as well as to store things on the lower shelves.

A console table is relatively simple to build. It can in fact be your next DIY project. Besides, if you have some basic woodworking skills it will be even simpler. Having said that, you can try this project out even if you have never built anything before because you can go for a simple design. You can build a console table by using MDF boards cut to size. It is surely the most affordable way to have a piece of furniture to fill up that empty wall space that has been nagging you for some time. Let us outline how to go about it.

MDF Console Table Template. Image credit: Addicted to Decorating
MDF Console Table Template. Image credit: Addicted to Decorating

First off, you will need to decide on the size of your console table. This will depend on the wall space that you have. Based on this, decide on the most suitable dimensions to apply, and mark them on a plan or a sketch of your table.

You can then start by cutting the different parts of the table. Cut the top of the table, the legs, and the shelves that you may wish to include in the lower part. Since MDF is not that thick, make sure to pick the thickest 18mm variety or better, and you may still wish to consider gluing two boards together. The finished panel will need to have a runner attached to its bottom part. In that way with a cleat at the back you will be better able to get a solid result.

Firstly, cut the legs using a band saw or a jigsaw with a light-toothed blade. Make sure to consider the length of the legs. Console tables do not have to be neither too low nor too high up, and you need to choose a suitable height. Mortises in the legs can be made using a router table. Then, make the tenons for the mortises.

Sanding is a very important part of such a project. Make sure to use a light sandpaper to sand well, especially the parts that were cut.

The legs can then be glued to the base. Gluing a triangular support block at the top of each leg will help to strengthen the leg as well as enabling a more flush result when fixing them to the top. Then, the top can be more sturdily attached using fasteners. Put the table top upside down so as to be better able to set the base into the proper position. Once the base is lined up screw it to the top through the fasteners. Make sure to use screws that are of the right length so as to avoid having them show on the upper part of the top.

Painting is obviously an important part of this project. More than one coating is recommended – if you can, use a paint sprayer for a smoother and neater finish. It is normal to end up with parts that look a bit rougher, even if you sanded as well as you possibly could. The reason is that surfaces that had been sanded are going to rough up more once they are painted when compared to the original smooth surface of the MDF board. In such cases you can apply the rounding-over cutter along the corners, especially in the case of the table’s legs.

White Console Table. Image credit: Pic Click
White Console Table. Image credit: Pic Click

Adding a shelf, or even more than one in the lower part of the console table, is obviously optional. However there is no doubt that if you can do it, you will be able to benefit from more space where to place decorative items or simply store away things onto it. The main issue with including a shelf, or shelves, to your console table is that you will need to make sure that the table’s legs are not too thin to hold the additional boards in that area. This is because these will need to be attached to them. So, you will need to consider this in advance because if you would like one or more shelves, you will need to make sure that the table’s sides/legs are sturdy enough. When screwing the legs to the underside of the top, you will also need to add glue and pin the shelf into place by putting pins through each of the legs. You will also need to full up the holes with filler before painting. It is recommended that you apply a coating of clear glaze so as to improve the wearing ability of the paint’s surface.

6 Amazing Trends Recommended by the Best Interior Designers

Let’s face it – every homeowner nowadays wants a home that stands out and is tailored to his own choices and personal preferences. Achieving this in the right perspective is very important. However, interior designers are the people that help to make most of your budget in this manner. We all know that not all budgets are the same – and not many people can invest a lot in professional interior design advice for their home or business.

However, today, we are unleashing some of the ideas that are commonly used by interior designers that really work. So, what are the top interior design trends for 2016?

1. Invest in New Elements

Although luxury refurbishments are a great idea, investing in brand new modern and sleek elements makes sure that your house gets the uniform look you want. From fresh paints to amazing furniture ideas, residential architecture is booming currently. The best style to stick to is the contemporary one – as recommended by the best interior designers.

2. Choosing the Right Window Dressings

Windows have always been important, and without a proper decor – they are only square pieces of glass. Curtains are easily the most visible fabric in every room, and their popularity has come back again. So, if you need to refresh your bedroom for example, you can try a mint wall paint and curtains in the same colour.

On the exterior, window shutters are an amazing low cost option that adds character to the property’s kerb appeal and can really help your home “pop” from the street.

3. Tweak the Lighting

Good lighting is a must in every room. LED Lighting is a very popular trend nowadays – as it saves money in terms of energy usage plus it comes with remarkably good quality.

In reality, nothing works better for any room than good lighting, and it can be the single most essential factor that changes the space in a room. Most of the interior designers give priority to lighting and play with the tones of lights and how each of them creates a new kind of appeal.

Warm lights and pendant lamps are among the biggest trends this year.

4. Industrial Design

Industrial design has been a major trend this past winter – and something that was incorporated in many spaces by the best interior designers.

The combination of metal, wood and stone (plus various other natural materials) can work great in any area – whether it’s the luxury kitchen space or the reinvented bathroom.

The secret behind industrial design is that it will never go out of style – so choosing copper and gold alloy mixtures as well as top-quality wood is always a wise investment.

5. Custom Interior Design

The ability to customize your own living room furniture is among the biggest trends chosen by the best interior designers.

A lot of new online companies have established themselves as true authorities in this industry – letting every home or business owner handpick the exact colours, shades and styles they want when it comes to furniture.

The generative algorithms and 3D software makes online previewing and ordering a delightful experience.

6. Retro Technology

The retro technology movement started a few years back, when many famous tech brands started to reinvent their gadgets in an old, yet amazingly appealing style that harked back to the good old days.

This is all in order to combine these gadgets with the retro feel of your home and celebrate the times of the early domestic technology in the 1950s and 1960s.

After all, there are a lot of advancements in technology. From a stylized TV to retro-inspired wireless speakers, the perception of what a flat screen TV or a set of speakers should look like has changed.

Homes and most particularly start-up offices benefit from this style and set a unique perspective on their corporate identity. Interior design contractors try to incorporate all of the various styles to the right spaces.

The Final Say

In the end, we can definitely conclude that as the modern life gets busier and more pressured, people try to find their inner sense of peace inside their homes.

Simplicity, serenity and seamlessness are the ‘3 S’ that are popular in the London interior design world – along with the warm but calming colours ready to make these styles pop out in the best way possible.