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Keep Your Kitchen Clean

You can probably create a very long list of all the reasons why you should always keep your home clean and sanitized, particularly for the kitchen which is essentially the heart of the home. Today we share a few simple tips used to ensure that three of the most important areas of the kitchen are well taken care of.


The Stove: When cleaning the kitchen it is recommended that you begin on the right side of the stove and move around the room clockwise. Typically the stove is the dirtiest part of the kitchen as it tends to be the most used area and the area where most messes occur. Hence when cleaning, ending with the stove keeps dirt and grease from spreading. Ensure that the oven is kept clean by lining the bottom with a nonstick oven liner or aluminum foil in order to catch spills.


The Sink: It is a little known fact that a dirty kitchen sink is more contaminated with bacteria than the average toilet seat. Clean your sink with soap and water before spraying a mist of vinegar followed by hydrogen peroxide, then allow it to air-dry. Keep in mind that the vinegar and hydrogen-peroxide should not be mixed together. If you have a stainless steel sink, adding a few drops of mineral oil on a soft cloth and buffing can provide an added shine.


The Fridge: Firstly, remove all items from the refrigerator and throw away all food items that have no use. Wipe down the entire surface of the refrigerator using a clean sponge or cloth, and a solution of two tablespoons of baking soda and one quart water. After you have scrubbed all the drawers and shelves wipe dry using a clean cloth. When cleaning the freezer combine one cup of water, one teaspoon of dish washing liquid, and one teaspoon white vinegar (in a spray bottle if possible). Shake the solution well and spray the whole freezer. If you don’t have a spray bottle, simply dip a clean cloth or sponge in the mixture and wipe then dry.


Bear in mind that there are various methods and numerous solutions used to clean around the home and more specifically the kitchen. It’s wise to try a few and find the ones that you are comfortable with. If you have any other tips to keep these areas of the kitchen clean feel free to share them below.

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Design Your Dream Home

There is a lot of pressure when it comes to designing and building your dream home. You want to ensure that it is as perfect as possible and that you make as few compromises as possible. In this article, we discuss what needs to be done when designing a home and factors that you need to consider.


Getting Started: All you really need to get started is a simple thought or a dream.  Think about your likes and your dislikes, the design choices that speaks to you, features that you’ve admired in other homes, as well as features that meet your needs and suits your style.  Take note of these to better transition into the next step, finding an expert.


Getting Advice: Before making a final decision, it is wise to run the ideas you come up with past an Architect, or even a Contractor. By doing so you will be well informed on what can and cannot work, as well as the most cost effective design choices and materials allowing you to remain within a specific budget.


Keep the Future in Mind: When planning on designing a home it is best to design with the future in mind, not just your current situation. Where do you see yourself in ten years, 20 years, even 50 years? Do you plan on extending your family? Then you should design in such a way that the home can be extended at ease. Do you plan on spending your retirement in the same home? Then consider building a home that is elder friendly instead of having to make a lot of alterations when old age starts creeping up on you.


Think about the Land: Maximize on the shape and size of the land by designing your home to suit its natural state. You can always alter the land to fit your design, which you may need to do in any case. However the more alterations that needs to be done the more money that will be spent. If the land is already flat, designing a home that works best with a slope is unnecessary.


CLICK HERE for tips on making your home Elder Friendly.


If you need any clarification on this topic, feel free to email us at

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House Planning: Choosing the Right Tile

When designing your home, no detail is too small or insignificant.  With every decision that needs to be made there are factors to be considered and options to choose from.  Today we focus on tiling and discuss three (3) factors that one should consider when choosing the right tile:


  1. Style:Knowing where the tile will be placed will help make all the other factors that need to be considered become clearer, especially in regards to the style of tiles to be used.  There are several style options to be considered.  Here are the most commonly used styles:
  • Ceramic tiles are an excellent choice for bathrooms and areas exposed to a lot of moisture because of its waterproof nature. In addition its surface is ideal for paint.
  • Glass tiles are a common choice for bathrooms and kitchens because they are easily recyclable and come in a variety of colors and finishes. They are mostly used for walls and backsplashes.
  • Porcelain tiles are a common flooring choice due to its no-slip grip and incredible strength. Its durability and water-resistant nature makes it ideal for outdoor use.
  • Natural stone tiles are incredibly durable. A smooth stone works well for the kitchen as it clean-ups easily, whereas a textured stone floor will help prevent slipping on a wet bathroom floor.
  1. Size & Shape: Large tiles have a distinguishing look and are much easier to install compared to smaller tiles. Likewise, tiles that are squared and rectangular in shape are easier to install compared to irregular shaped tiles. In addition, when you use a larger tile it limits the pattern effects of grout.


  1. Color: Ultimately you will decide what color tile you prefer based on personal preference, the color of the walls, furnishing, décor, etc. but it is wise to keep these things in mind when making a decision: light colors make a room appear larger than it actually is; dark colors add a feeling of warmth and comfort; and using neutral colors offers the benefit of being able to change your décor.


If you need any clarification on this topic, feel free to email us at

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Baby-Proof Your Home

It should be the desire of all parents to see to it that their children are safe, secured, and protected. In the following article we share 5 tips you should consider implementing in your home to keep your little ones safe.


Preventing fall:

As soon as our little one starts to crawl, precautions need to be put in place in order to keep them safe on the countless occasions they are likely to trip and fall down. Safety gates are a great way to keep babies away from stair cases. For multi-story homes, fit a gate at the top of the stairs and another at least three steps from the bottom. Gates are also useful for blocking the entrance to rooms where babies can easily get hurt.


Windows and Doors:

Ensure that pieces of furniture and other items that your little one may attempt to climb are away from windows. In addition, for areas of the home with large areas of glass, for example glass doors, consider adding stickers at baby level to remind the child that something is there, hence avoiding collision impacts.


Protect little hands:

To prevent your toddler’s hands from squeezing between hinges consider installing hinge protectors throughout the home. Scissors, staplers and other sharp items should always remain within draws that are locked. Ensure that cords are well concealed away from the baby’s reach.


Prevent Drowning:

All it takes is as little as 5cm of water for a child to drown; hence it is of the outmost importance that you remain vigilant when they are near water. Ensure that areas where water is stored from a container or bucket to a pool, is covered whenever you are not around.


Preventing suffocation:

To prevent suffocation ensure that your baby has a safe sleeping space such as a cot or a crib, which is the safest place for your baby to sleep. Ensure that the toddler’s feet are placed touching the bottom of the crib and that light blankets are used to cover him/her. It is never a wise decision to put your baby to sleep on a sofa especially one with large gaps and many cushions. Plastic bags, which are great choking hazards, should be kept out of your child’s reach.


Share with us any other tip that you can think of to create a safe home environment for little ones.

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Barbadine house plan

$2,324.07 with Drawings Only

$3,515.90 with Drawings and Cost Estimate

Floor Area 1,140.50 sqft

Stories 1 (on pillars) | Bedrooms 2 | Bathrooms 2

Exterior Dimensions 42′-6″ x 29′-4″


Ideally designed for a sloping lot and an economical budget.

The entrance of this home is through a wooden framed glass double door which leads to the foyer then into the living room.  The living room has direct access to a rear balcony.  The dining room and kitchen are conveniently located on the left side of the living room.

To the left side of the building are the master and second bedroom separated by their corresponding bathrooms.  The master bedroom is complimented by a private balcony, walk-in closet with section for linen and laundry storage space.  The second bedroom includes a built-in closet and its bathroom is well positioned for convenience to both residents and visitors.

The house is enclosed with some double doors and windows for open views, a spacious feel and plenty of light.


This house plan was designed to suit an economical budget.  The layout can be tweaked to suit your lifestyle.

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Make Your Bedroom Healthier

The health and well-being of you and your family should be one of your top concerns. There are countless ways and methods that can be used to maintain healthy living within the home. Today we take a look at the bedroom and discuss 3 measures that can be taken to make it healthier.


  • Improve Air Quality:

Fresh air provides numerous benefits to our overall well-being. Fresh air is good for digestion. Clean air improves individual’s blood pressure and heart rate, as well strengthens our immune system. Not only does it provide physical benefits, breathing in clean air makes us happier in general. Ensure that your bedroom is well ventilated; keep windows open as frequently as possible to allow the constant circulation of air throughout the bedroom.  Also, consider including plants in the bedroom. Plants take in Carbon dioxide and release Oxygen which we need.


  • Keep it Clean:

In order to maintain a healthy environment in your bedroom cleanliness is important. Change your sheets and pillow cases regularly to fight against germs and help your bedding last longer. In addition it is wise to rotate your mattress regularly (about every 3 months), to ensure even wear and tear. Regular maintenance is extremely important because the amount of dead skin, grime, and dust mites that gather on bedding can cause problems from asthma to acne. In regards to the entire bedroom in general, ensure that it is regularly dusted and clutter free.


  • Keep out Toxins:

To keep your bedroom healthy it is recommended that all finishings, materials and coatings should be natural and non-toxic. While you wouldn’t want to use toxins anywhere in your home the bedroom should be the number one priority. It is fundamentally important that nothing is releasing toxic chemicals into your bedroom while you sleep. When choosing furnishings for the bedroom make your selections based on health. Purchase furniture constructed out of solid wood or very low emissions plywoods, and try to avoid using synthetic fabrics and foams.


If you need any clarification on this topic, feel free to email us at

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Naturally Ventilate Your Home

Proper interior ventilation is essential to your family’s health, comfort and overall well-being. It helps your home rid itself of moisture, smoke, cooking odors, and indoor pollutants. When it comes to keeping our homes well-ventilated there are many options we can implement. Today we share with you 6 natural methods that you can use to ensure that your home is properly ventilated.


  • Ground Cover: Not only does ground cover improve the physical appeal of a property, it also aids in reducing heat levels. By using ground cover options such as having a well-manicured lawn or by using any low heat absorbing materials the heat retained in the ground is very minimal. This greatly helps guiding cool air inside the home.


  • Water: When we think of cooling off the first thought that may come to mind is having a cool glass of water or enjoying a refreshing bathe. Just as water can be used to cool our bodies it can cool our homes as well. Having a water fountain or swimming pools can act as transition spaces where air is naturally cooled before entering the home.


  • Windows: When installing windows ensure that they are at least 3.6 feet high. This helps with the circulation of air within the home and reduces the heat levels on the ceiling. Keep them opened as frequent as possible to take advantage of fresh air filling the home.


  • Clerestories: A clerestory is a high section of wall that contains windows above eye level. Not only do they provide natural lighting, but they also improve air circulation. When hot air rises a clerestory acts as a vent and space for the hot air to accumulate and exit.


  • Outdoor Space: Incorporating outdoor living spaces such as porches, balconies that connect with the indoors significantly improves the air flow into the home.


Do you know of any other methods that can be used to naturally ventilate your home? Share with us below.

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Ceiling Styles

An extraordinary ceiling style has the potential to transform an ordinary space into an elegant and extraordinary setting. The design of a ceiling is a very integral part of the overall design of a home, thus it should not be overlooked. Here are four magnificent ceiling styles and designs that will give your home a unique feel, setting it apart from your neighbor’s.


Exposed Beams Ceilings:

Exposed ceiling beams offers warmth to any décor and gives the home a more rustic feel compared to other ceiling options. This design can also provide an open feel to a room, as well as a touch of unique character. With high ceilings this design can be beneficial in bringing eyes down to furniture level.


Tray Ceiling Styles:

A tray ceiling has a recess in a ceiling that resembles an inverted tray. This design comprises of two or more levels with the center ceiling being at least one to two feet above where the primary ceiling begins. The tray ceiling design gives any room a dramatic feel. Homeowners have also chosen to paint the inner part a different color to intensify the drama. The design is often rectangular in shape, however it can take other shapes.


Vaulted Ceiling Styles:

A vault is an architectural term for an arched form that provides space with a ceiling or roof.  Vaulted ceilings which are also known as cathedral ceilings can create a light and airy space, hence making a room seem larger than it really is. Because of its design, vaulted ceilings can create an escape route for rising hot air thus making the room well ventilated.


Coffered Ceiling Styles:

A coffered ceiling has a series of sunken panels in a variety of shapes (rectangle, square, octagon, etc.). In modern times this particular design can mainly be found in restaurants, hotels, and other commercial infrastructure due to its elegance; however it can make a wonderful addition to a residential design.


Whatever design option you decide to choose, ensure that it complements the overall design of the home.


If you need any clarification on this topic, feel free to email us at

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Making Use of the Walls

Homeowners generally tend to design rooms without making use of the walls. If walls are left bare it gives off an incomplete feel to a room. If you do not have an eye for design, figuring where to start in regards to wall décor may be difficult. For all intents and purposes you can chose to follow your instincts, but we have included a few ideas that you can use in this article.


Similar to furniture, wall décor can be arranged to change the mood of a room, and reflect an individual’s personality.  Here are a few tips that can help you use wall décor to make your home design more interesting:


  • Art can have a significant impact on the mood and ambiance of the room in which it will be placed. The right color or subject of a piece can bring life and energy into a room. Art in itself can take on many forms. If you are interested in an option besides having the average painting or drawing consider using large canvases painted with interior latex paint.


  • Family photos or photographs that are highly sentimental tend to remind us of loved ones and happy times and transfers that feeling in the room.  Search your photo albums and electronic devices for the best shots that you can find and have them framed.


  • Mirrors are essentially the wonder child of design therefore it is wise to learn how to incorporate them in your home design. They reflect light and make a room feel brighter and appear larger, while adding visual dimension and depth.


  • Fabric can also be used as artwork. A piece of fabric with a color scheme or pattern that speaks to your personal taste that meshes with the style of your room can be easily framed and hung on a wall as piece of art.


  • Be as creative and imaginative as possible. In truth many items that you probably would not consider can make wonderful wall décor if hung in an appealing manner. For example, plates in unexpected colors can form a beautiful wall arrangement.    Artistic pieces created with materials such as ceramic, glass, wood, feathers, metal, plastic etc. make great wall décor.  Even the frame used for hanging artwork and photographs can be considered a work of art in itself. Use your decorating sense when choosing a frame so that you can reap the most benefit from the purchase.


If your walls are naked, complete your home’s design by dressing them up!

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Benefits of Having a Kitchen Pantry

The pantry is essentially a special closet that serves as a storage area for foodstuffs and, or kitchen appliances. Pantries usually feature a combination of shelving as well as open space for the storage of larger containers; the exact configuration of the interior space will depend on the type of food storage that is intended for the space. Originally, a pantry was simply a cool and dark place where perishable foods such as freshly baked bread could be stored. As a matter of fact, the word pantry is believed to have originated from the French word “pan” which means bread. The concept of the pantry has now expanded from a simple bread room to an area where essentials could be stored in bulk, thus, providing many benefits to the modern kitchen.


The most obvious benefit of adding a kitchen pantry is additional storage space. Not only do cluttered kitchens look messy and dirty, they also make it easy to misplace cooking tools. Including this home storage option in your kitchen is a great way to make better use of available space.


Having a well-organized kitchen pantry will make cooking at home easier and more convenient.  Have you ever settled for eating out because you were not sufficiently stocked with the necessary food items to prepare a meal?  Or, have you come across certain food items after thinking you had none at home because it was not being stored in an easily accessible place? Having a pantry solves both of these problems.  You have everything you need, in one place.  In addition, who wouldn’t want the money saving and health benefits of cooking at home.  You know what you are eating when you cook your own meals, and you save the money you would spend when eating out.


Having an updated kitchen with pantry adds considerable appeal to the room, and increases selling chances. The kitchen is considered by many to be the heart of the home, thus making it a critical component when considering buying a home.


If you are currently planning on building your home, remodeling, or expanding, consider taking advantage of these benefits by adding a pantry to your home design.