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Embracing the Independence Season

As we celebrate our independence season we heartily embrace the opportunity to use this time to celebrate our unique creole culture with colourful wear, the Wob Dwiyet or colourful outfits, dishes like Fig and Codfish and events like Market Day with A Difference.


It is also not unusual to dress up our homes or business places in the colourful fabric that is readily available during the independence season.


We not only showcase our culture with the bright and flamboyant colours that we wear during this time but we also bring to light the cheerful characteristics of our local people.


What we also do to celebrate our independence and culture is make changes to the clothing that we wear and our environment.  There is an array of natural items and fabric that are readily available for designing outfits and lighting up our buildings.  I won’t talk about outfits because this is something I believe is well taken care of by our people.  There is however quite a few small changes that we can make to our surroundings that will reflect our culture and make use of local items whether we choose to make them ourselves or purchase them from local vendors.


A simple change that can be made is to place a bowl filled with seasonal fruits like tangerine and oranges on the table in lieu of the vase of flowers.  This not only has to be a decoration but we can take the opportunity to share with a friend or customer.


An easy and cheap way of getting into the independence is to change up the curtains.  Put a bright colour curtain, one made in madras or even a simple white curtain with spots of madras or different colour cloth.  This can be done in just the main area of the building.


A bright coloured or madras coloured throw pillow can also be a cool way to spice up the living room, waiting room or other appropriate areas for the season.  Putting just one or two elements can change the whole feel of a room.


Decorate using items with natural themes.  The independence season is one of the times we tend to be more involved in local activities, enjoy local dishes and utilizing local items.


Let us show off our culture in our attire as well as our buildings.

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5 Easy Ways to Makeover Your Kitchen

Some simple changes can bring your kitchen into the modern era. Here’s how:-


Paint. You have heard it before, but the cheapest way to change a space for the better is a gallon or two of paint. If you stick to neutral colors, you can add accessories, art, or curtains in a striking color as an accent. Neutral colors are better if you are planning to sell.

Cabinets. There are four ways to change your cabinets on a budget:-


  1. Change the look. If your cabinet bases are in reasonably good shape, paint the cabinets.

    2. The dark side. If you would rather not paint, consider staining the cabinets if the wood is in good shape. A dark stain in cherry or dark teak will update the look.
    But remember to clean and sand them before you stain/paint. The time spent preparing them will pay off in the professional look of the result.

  2. Open them up. After you paint the cabinets, take the doors off the top cabinets entirely to give them an open look.
  3. Add new hardware. Adding updated hardware can do wonders for the look of the kitchen. Brushed nickel or pewter knobs is a modern style can take decades off the style of your kitchen.
  4. If the budget allows the ordinary doors can be replaced with glass cabinet doors.


Appliances. If your appliances are in good working order, you can update their look by painting them. If you are afraid to do it yourself, take them to an automobile paint shop and have them done. It is well worth the expense, which will be much less than new appliances.


Countertops. New countertops are available at most home improvement stores in standard sizes. They are precut and ready to install. And they are very cost effective, especially if you chose a color or style that is on sale or clearance.


Floor. The new styles of press and stick vinyl tiles look surprisingly high end. And they can be quickly installed. Try the new styles that look like slate – beautiful!


All of these ideas will cost you much less and will be faster than a standard remodel. And most can be done yourself – reducing the cost of labor. The resulting kitchen will enhance your home – and your bottom line!

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Upgrade Your Stairway with Some Trendy Balusters

For ages, homeowners with interior and exterior staircases have used balusters to guard the area from accidents, provide support to people who find it difficult to climb stairs and to enhance the beauty of the home.


Balusters come in various materials and styles. Traditionally, wooden balusters have been a popular option for interior staircases but they take a lot of time to construct since they involve the craftsmanship of the artist. They are preferred mainly by those who want to give their home the specific appeal and appreciate the craftsmanship of wood. Another drawback is that wooden material is bound to decay in a specific span of time and may get infested with termites, thus the buyer will be forced to get new ones, which is not the case with other materials.


Metal balusters are a result of commercial production where industries conveniently produce a good quantity of them. Thus metal balusters have gained so much acceptance and popularity that wooden balusters have been given a back seat. The level of strength and support that metal balusters can provide is much more than the wooden counterpart’s hence, people like to get them fixed in the house to get more sturdy railings.


There is also the option of combining these two materials to offer more texture and dimension in your design.


One of the more sophisticated types are the glass balusters that provide iron railings with a unique look. These have a metal body and the spaces in between have glass panels that can be coloured or transparent as the homeowner prefers.


Whichever material is used, perfectly designed balusters will enhance the appeal of a home.


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Cracked Walls: A Sign of Major Structural Problems


The cracked walls and foundations, sagging roof lines and uneven or tilting floors can be symptoms of major structural problems.

Two common causes for structural problem are Differential Settlement (when the building foundation settles unequally) and Poor Renovations (when changes are made to the structure of a building without proper support). These can put great stress on the foundation, wall, floors, ceilings and roof of a building.

If you have observed any of these symptoms, you can save yourself problems and money by calling in professionals that can help you. We suggest you start by contacting a structural engineer to conduct a building inspection.

A building inspection on your home or commercial property is a visual examination of the physical structure and system, from the roof to the foundation, which is designed to identify observed defects within specific components.

Also, if you are planning to renovate, we advise you to get professional help before you start hacking into the structure of your building.

Timely Actions Very Often Prevent Great Losses!

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Are you in the living room or the drawing room?

Many are not sure or do not know which it is. “Living room” and “drawing room” are two terms in the world of the home interiors that are often used synonymously. Most of the people tend to assume that living room and drawing room are two words with same meaning and can be used to address any common place used for gathering and socializing. However, this is not so. In true terms, living room and drawing room are two unique terms used to address different types of seating area.

A living room is relatively a new term in the home industry. This room is commonly addressed as the sitting room or lounge and is generally used by the house owner and his family members for relaxation, entertainment and recreation. The living room is a versatile room and is also used for other activities such as watching television, reading books, gossiping with family members, spending time with children, drinking, eating and many more casual activities.

On the other hand, a drawing room is an eighteenth century term that was earlier used by the British people. The room is mainly used for the entertainment of the visitors. This is the place where guests are made to sit down for a short period. The room is also used for seating the guests after they are through with the dinner. Therefore, conclusively it can be said that the main function of the living room is to provide the family members with a common place where members can flock together and have a fun and engaging time, whereas the function of a drawing room is to provide a room where guests can be entertained.

The drawing room is generally located near the entry door or the front door so that the guests are led directly into it. On the other hand, the living room is generally located in the inside portions of the house, mostly near the kitchen so that members can get snacks and drinks while they indulge in casual activities.

A typical living room is generally furnished with comfortable chairs, sofas, recliners, tables, lamps, fireplace, bookshelves, rugs, media devices such as television, music player, and home theatre and other decorative items such as piano, art work, etc. On the other hand, drawing room is mainly furnished with formal seating furniture such as chairs and sofas. The decoration is kept minimal and items having a functional use are introduced.

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Live Different – Imagine the Comfort and Charisma of such Eating Spaces

Kitchens, family rooms, and dedicated dining rooms all offer opportunities for comfortable, attractive eating spaces. Consider these options for creating practical eating areas in your home.

Dining area: For a more formal dining experience, opt for a dedicated dining space separate from the kitchen. A dining area might also be part of a family room, giving the eating area the potential to act either as a formal or casual dining setting, and giving it multi-use possibilities.

Eat-in kitchen: A table and chairs arranged conveniently in an eat-in kitchen saves steps. In addition to a casual eating space, it provides a place to talk, do homework, or socialize with the cook.

Breakfast nook: Placed just off the kitchen, an eating nook is a great option for informal meals away from the messy work core.

Island/peninsula seating: Extend an island or peninsula countertop to create an overhang that invites a row of stools.

Table-height counter: Integrate a table on one end of an island or peninsula for casual seating at table height rather than bar level.

Banquette: One of the best ways to squeeze additional seating into a tight space is to build a banquette along a wall. A banquette can be designed for the kitchen, the dining room, or an adjoining nook.

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Tips on Designing a Multi-functional Family Room

Does your family disagree on how to design the family room? Some members might enjoy a quiet, peaceful space while others like to play music and movies in here. Turn your family room into a place where both kids and adults are welcome. After all, it’s called the “family” room for a reason. Try these tips for designing a multi-functional family room for your home.

Divide the space into sections
Do you have several things going on in this room at once? Rather than making the family room into one big space, divide it into smaller sections. For example, create a seating area around the television or fireplace and keep the play area in its own section. This doesn’t mean you have to put up walls in the family room; create invisible walls by creating lines with furniture, area rugs, paint and so on.

Choose a cohesive theme or style
Even though you might have several zones in this one space, it is all part of one room. While you may separate the sections with different wall colors, everything should work together cohesively. Choose one theme or style for the room and then visually split up the space with separate sections.

Search for multi-functional furniture
When you are designing a multi-functional family room, you might find yourself a little short on space. Choosing furniture that can provide multiple purposes is the perfect solution to this problem. For example, a futon or sofa that folds out into a bed provides extra sleeping space for guests. Benches with inside storage help keep toys organize while giving children a place to sit down.

Consider the flow of traffic
You also need to make sure your traffic flow is not interrupted in a multi-functional space, as in any other room of the house. One section of the room should not inhibit family members from comfortably moving into the other section; this means there should be a clear walking path that doesn’t zigzag around the room.

Layer with different types of lighting
In a room that is used for multiple purposes, you might find use for different types of lighting. Some activities require plenty of bright light, while others require hardly any. Consider the way you use the room and plan your lighting accordingly. Make sure you have several different brightness options.

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Have Fun with an Outdoor Kitchen

An outdoor kitchen boosts a home’s value. The outdoor kitchen is quickly becoming a growing trend for homeowners that want to maximize their outdoor space while making an investment in their home that would increase their home’s resale value. So consider moving your activities outdoors by creating a space that is perfect for entertaining and cooking.

  • Having an outdoor kitchen offers homeowners the opportunity to prepare meals while being comfortably surrounded by family members and friends while still enjoying the outdoors. It is a great method for socializing and allows the person inside preparing the meals to not feel left-out while others are outside enjoying each other’s company.
  • Preparing meals outdoors provides several benefits. It keeps the level of heat within the home at a minimum and makes cleaning up easier. An outdoor kitchen also decreases the traffic within the home during outdoor activities where meals are served.
  • Most of all, outdoor kitchens are fun. It is enjoyable to be outdoors, to relax in a lounge chair, perhaps to watch somebody else do the cooking.


When designing an outdoor kitchen there a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Choose low-maintenance materials that are designed to withstand the conditions of the outdoors. Keep in mind that high-quality stainless steel provides a sanitary surface that is both easy to clean and resistant to corrosion. Counters and other materials used for building should be highly resistant to grease stains and able to withstand high temperatures.
  • The location of your outdoor kitchen is very important and depends on several factors. The kitchen will need to be oriented in such a way that wind does not blow smoke into the home. However, it would also need to be close enough to the inside kitchen so that you will not need to travel long distances to retrieve items that you need.
  • When it comes to outdoor activities the weather can be a big issue. Having a pergola or any other form of covering will allow you to enjoy cooking outdoors, whether rain or shine.

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Bedroom makeover for your child’s success!

This new school year make some design changes to your child’s bedroom that will complement their enthusiasm and help keep them focused.

A dose of colour

The effects of color on learning are well documented.  Studies have shown that light blues and purples have a calming effect on learners and are a good choice for a learning environment.  Warm tones like taupe and peach provide a relaxing atmosphere that allows learners to focus on their studies rather than be distracted by their environment. Avoid bold colors, such as red, since they can provide a huge distraction, especially with younger learners. Black and brown are associated with fear and anxiety in young children and can bring about an undercurrent of anxiety. Yellow is the hardest color for the eye to break down and causes stress when the eye comes across it.

Get your child involved

Find out what your child is interested in and decorate his or her room accordingly. For instance, if your child has shown an interest in astronomy, decorate the room with posters of the planets, telescopes, and stars. Get the child fully involved in selecting these items.

Affirmation Signs

Place positive reinforcement signs around the bedroom that can remind your child’s subconscious mind of his or her potential to learn. You and your child can make these signs together.  Make the signs attractive with a lot of colour. Some examples of affirmation signs include:-


Display their accomplishments

Whether it is an A plus paper or artwork, make a point to display your child’s work in their room and throughout the house.  Children need encouragement and support in their achievements.

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Things to consider When Expanding your Home

Renovations and additions can improve the comfort and functionality of your home as well as increase its value.  Renovation may be very simple in the sense that the only activity it involves is replacing existing materials like windows, doors, cupboards etc.  Larger renovation projects may need a great deal of consideration and planning especially if it’s an addition to an existing building.


If you are planning to expand your home please ponder on these:


Purpose – The reason for the renovation is a good place to start planning.  Your decision to add to your home may stem from reasons like family growth, increase in disposable income, the need for a more comfortable living space etc.  These reasons will affect things like material choice, style and size.


Location – Just as location is important for new buildings, it is important when adding to an existing building especially as utilities are already well placed.  Choose the location that’s most convenient for the purpose.  Enhance the environmental quality of the building by taking advantage of and considering a beautiful view, use of yard space, the flow between the current sections of the house to the addition as well as making use of natural ventilation and lighting.  These aspects are a few that could contribute to your decision.  The extent of the renovation may warrant involvement by the local planning authority.


Size – The larger the square footage of the addition the higher the cost of construction.  The reason for the addition and the amount of money available helps determine size.  The purpose also helps determine type of materials to be used.  E.g. a large increase in disposable income could encourage a luxurious finish.


Appeal – No one wants their addition to look like a misplaced ornament.  Although additions don’t allow expression of creativity and personal taste as designing a new home would, it could be seen as a pattern to follow.  So if your house has frosted white windows and oversized doors for example you would want to match that.  If it is difficult to obtain those items for any reason then you could simply match the colour and the interior layout. If budget permits, change all windows and doors to create a more cohesive look.  Try as much as possible to maintain one general look on the exterior.


Plan and budget – Develop a general idea of the amount of money you want to and can spend on this project.  Once you know how much money is available compare it to your plan.  Comparing renovation plans to budgeted funds allows you to weed out any part of the renovation that is not compulsory or necessary at this time or increase the scope of the project.


A lot of components come into play when adding to your home and you may want to avoid costly or dangerous mistakes.  If you intend to renovate or remodel in the New Year now would be a good time to start planning.  If the remodel or renovation is planned for the Christmas, consult a professional before jumping in!