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5 Kitchen Renovation Tips

Are you tired of the current state of your kitchen? Is it due for an update but you are not quite sure where to start or the extent of the work that you should do? Remodeling or renovating any room in the home should not be taken lightly. A lot of thought and consideration should go into the process. Today we share 5 tips to keep in mind when renovating your kitchen.

  • If you are considering renovating or remodeling your kitchen and you plan on doing more than simply repainting the walls and cabinets, or replacing the countertops it would be wise not to go at it alone. Consider hiring a professional to create an impactful and elegant design. Depending on the scope of work hiring an architect or an interior designer will essentially save you time and money by keeping you from making costly mistakes.
  • If your kitchen is smaller than you would like use a light color scheme to make the space appear larger than it actually is. Dark colors minimize an already small space and makes it less appealing and welcoming. Using light colors combined with natural light has a greater impact on visually expanding a small room. Including a skylight or simply utilizing your windows to take in as much natural light as possible will aid in making the kitchen appear bigger.
  • If your cabinets are still in good condition consider updating them rather replacing them. Simply having the cabinets cleaned, primed, and repainted with a high-quality semi-gloss paint can save you money while giving the kitchen a new look. If the cabinets are too outdated to be saved by paint but the structure is still good then consider having only the doors replaced.
  • When it comes to flooring it is best to refrain from using hardwood floors in the kitchen. Rather, consider using porcelain tile or a natural stone surface. While hardwood floors have the advantage of being more comfortable they are not as resilient as a tile surface. Also, in an area where food is more than likely to frequently be spilled on the floor hardwood flooring is not the best option.
  • Kitchen backsplashes not only help enhance the beauty of the kitchen by providing various tiling options, but they are also very functional. Having a backsplash will help make cleaning of one of the messiest rooms in the home easy. It protects the walls from the splatter of cooking which at times can be extremely difficult to clean.


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Improve the Energy Efficiency of Your Roof

It is extremely important that we focus not only on how we can strengthen the home’s physical structure but to ensure that it is beneficial in every aspect especially when it comes to making it energy efficient. One way of cutting down energy costs at home is by making the right decisions when it comes to the roof of the home.

Houses in hot climates often require costly measures such as the use of air conditioning and fans to keep it cool. Here are four (4) roofing tips that can help keep your home cool and reduce your spending.

1) The color of the roof makes a significant difference in the amount of heat that enters the home. Darker colors absorb sunlight and heat whereas lighter colors reflect heat. Therefore when building in countries with a warmer climate it is not recommended that colors such as black or grey are used.

2) In addition to color, the material used for the roof will also affect how cool or warm the home will be. Metal roofs, although thought to absorb a lot of heat, actually reflect more heat than other materials such as asphalt shingles.

3) Use a cool roof coating. This is a finishing layer that lightens the roof to help it reflect heat. It is easy to apply and it does not require the replacement of an existing roof. In addition to keeping the home cooler, roof coating can also help prevent water damage and help restore the roof if minimal damage is present.
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Simple Tips to Keep Your Living Room Organized

In Western Architecture, the living room, also referred to as the family room, lounge or sitting room, is a room typically found in a residential home or an apartment for the main purpose of relaxation and socializing. The living room, being central gathering place of the home, is one of the most used rooms in the home as it serves the entire family as well as guests. Because the living room is so frequently used it is important that it is kept as well organized as possible. Here are a few organizational tips that can be used to keep your living room looking attractive and feeling comfortable:

  1. Most people consider a living room to be incomplete without the presence of a coffee table. Coffee tables are low tables designed to be placed in front of the sofa or upholstered chairs around which family members and guests can gather. But what most people fail to realize is its potential to reduce clutter in the room and provide storage. While well suited for beverages and the occasional snack, the coffee table is also good for storing books, magazines, and decorative objects. Simply ensure that this is done in a well presented manner.
  2. Maybe one day all appliances will be wireless, but that day is not today. The television set, sound system, computer and the list goes on can at times be a nuisance when having to deal with detangling their cords and just looking at the visual mess the cords can make. If you want to keep these cords out of sight consider tucking them under an area rug, creatively hiding them behind or underneath furniture, or putting in an outlet directly in the floor.
  3. When it comes to the arrangement of your furniture be sure to use scaled pieces to create balance. The size of the pieces of furniture in the room should be relative to each other and the size of the room. Properties that are scaled similarly are more serene when used together, in addition the right balance of pieces creates a harmonious atmosphere. Also keep in mind that when the furniture in the room is out of scale, it will be noticed and the room will feel disorganized and unwelcoming.

There are many other personal touches you can to your living room to keep it well organized. Keep in mind that one of the main goals should be keeping the room clutter free.

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Make House Paint Last Longer With These Six Tips

It’s that time again; you’ve recently applied a fresh coat of paint to your walls and it is already starting to fade. Having to move furniture and appliances as well as getting photos and paintings off the walls over and over again can be frustrating and not to mention a financial burden. Today we offer you a few tips on making paint last longer.


  • Ensure that your home is properly ventilated. Moisture enters the home in liquid form and exits as vapor, thus lifting the paint on the outside walls. Allow constant fresh air to both enter and leave your home by having windows and door opened as much as possible, and ensure that the home is well designed to accommodate maximum ventilation.
  • Clean the walls before applying paint. Paint is able to stick over dirt, cobwebs, and other contaminants on the wall. Before painting use water and bleach if necessary to remove them. If bleach or any other chemical substance is used gently and thoroughly rinse to remove residue which can loosen the paint.
  • Apply the right thickness of paint. If the coat of paint is too thin the paint will be weak and easily fade, and if it is too thick it will crack. The right thickness of paint is approximately 0.004 – 0.005 inches, or the thickness of a single sheet of copy paper.
  • Ensure that you do not apply paint in direct sunlight or while experiencing high winds. The sun and wind makes the water and petroleum solvents in the paint evaporate too quickly. It also slows down the paint from flowing and leveling out the way it should, as well as weakening the bond between the particles.
  • If there are a lot of plants (trees, shrubs, flowers) near the walls of your home you either need to constantly trim them or cut them off completely. Plants create moisture which will cause the paint to fade quicker than it should.
  • Use the right type of paint. Natural paint which has no harmful chemicals is capable of lasting up to 50 years if 3 coats are added. While oil paint is more resistant against dirt and has a level of hardness.
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6 Hurricane Preparation Tips

We are back this year to remind you to be vigilant as the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season has officially begun. While you should have already begun preparations to safeguard you and your family, we thought we’d share this article with you to ensure that you are Hurricane Ready. Hurricanes are strong, life-threatening storms which can cause serious property damage. Being prepared for a hurricane before it is near is the best form of protection.


  • Ensure that there is a well-stocked supply of all the necessities. This includes flashlights, batteries, money, first aid supplies. Have enough non-perishable food items (crackers, cereal, ramen noodles, rice & beans, etc.) to last for a few days in case of flooding or blocked roads. If you are running low on medication, ensure that you have them refilled beforehand.
  • Ensure that you are adequately insured. Your home should be insured at its current value. Sometimes home renovations/improvements are done but the insurance value is not revised to reflect the increase in value.  Further, consider getting contents insurance for your furniture, appliances etc. If you do, be sure to keep an inventory of these contents.
  • Keep copies of personal documents containing important information in a safe but easy to get to location (critical medical information, certificate of titles, passports, birth & death certificates, insurance policies, credit cards, etc.).
  • Hurricane force winds can cause branches to break off trees, and even throw down entire trees as well. Therefore it is wise to trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you, your family and your property safe from preventable damage. Storm shutters offer windows the best protection. If this cannot be done, another option is to board up windows with exterior grade plywood, cut to fit and ready to install.
  • Turn your refrigerator/freezer to its coldest setting and only open when absolutely necessary. If power is lost, this will help food last longer before going bad. Unplug all small appliances that do not need to be plugged in. Ensure that your vehicle’s tank has enough fuel in case of emergencies.
  • Stay updated with what is going on by paying attention to your television/radio often to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions. Remain alerted for news regarding extended rainfall and consequential flooding even after the storm has ended.
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Drought Survival Tips

Many of you may be aware of the drought warning issued for several Caribbean countries, including Dominica.  Some of you may be clueless on how to respond to this news. We think it is useful to provide these tips for taking proactive action to allow you and your families to weather the expected dry season.

Before Drought

  • Having a cistern installed in your home before things take a drastic turn for the worse is one of the best options to safeguard you and your family during a drought. It works by collecting rain water into large water tanks that can then be used when pipe borne water is no longer in abundance.
  • In the event that pipe borne water is not available, water can be stored in large containers, barrels, buckets, pails, etc. within the home as well as outside which can last a very long time. If water is stored outside the home keep the containers away from direct sunlight, as they will deteriorate quicker.
  • Ensure that your plumbing is well maintained and that there are no leaks. If a pipe, faucet, or toilet leaks water, correct this as soon as possible. Gallons of water can be wasted if you leave it as is.
  • Plant trees and hedges with deep roots that are able to strive well in low moisture soil. Trees with deep root systems help contain the moisture level within the soil. Plants also provide shade to the home, and other plants that may suffer greatly from the heat.

During Drought

The main thing to practice during a drought is water conservation.

  • In regards to dishes, fruits or vegetables fill a large bowl or the sink with water and wash rather than running water over them.
  • Safeguard yourself from running short of water by collecting your laundry and washing less frequently. However, do not go overboard to the point that you’re stuck with large piles of clothing.
  • Cut down on your time spent in the shower to save 3-5 gallons of water per minute. If you prefer baths fill the bathtub halfway to save 10-15 gallons of water.
  • Try as much as possible to flush toilets as few times as possible and refrain from flushing trash items such as tissue paper.
  • When washing your face or brushing your teeth leave the tap close. Faucets use about 2-3 gallons of water per minute.
  • Never send water down the drain when it can be used for something else. Use excess water to feed your plants and water the soil.
  • Before drinking water, remember to always boil, add purification tablets or use any other means to ensure that it is safe for consumption.