The spring and summer season is the perfect time to work on home improvement projects or room renovations. With the cooking trend getting more families spending more time in the kitchen, homemakers can work on expanding their kitchen or remodeling it for a more efficient use of space. Those who would like to give their kitchen a new and upgraded look can take advantage of this season to have a kitchen island installed. These free standing work stations are considered as a trendy element in modern kitchen designs. Homeowners can build these structures on their own or hire a contractor to do it for them.
As with any home furnishing, the basic considerations in choosing a kitchen island are size, features, and style. The size would of course depend on the available space. Kitchen islands are ideally used in open kitchens. Small and enclosed kitchens are poor candidates for an island, as there should be ample space to move around the island without bumping or toppling anything. Check the kitchen parameters and get exact measurements before making any purchase.
image via http://www.digsdigs.com/
When it comes to the features of the island, homeowners would have to evaluate their kitchen needs. If they would simply need additional counter space and storage, then a flat surface with built-in racks, shelves and cabinets at the bottom will suffice. Those who would like their islands to be utilized as prep and serving area may opt to have a secondary sink in their island. Others who have big and open spaces usually opt to have a fully equipped island with sink, cook-top, and sophisticated storage at the bottom. Some would even place a couple of chairs at one side of the island where their guests can sit or eat while they cook.
As far as style is concerned, the choice will depend on the personal preference of the homeowner and the interiors of the kitchen. The popularity of this kitchen feature has resulted to the availability of numerous designs that one can choose from or get inspiration from. It doesn’t matter if it’s a D-I-Y or a custom built one, having a kitchen island in the house can improve your kitchen in looks and functionality.
Many people have discovered a backyard hobby that is fast becoming a favorite – organic tomato gardening. Supermarkets, groceries, and most farmers’ markets sell these for a higher price because it is grown slowly, naturally and without fertilizers and pesticides.
image courtesy of http://jptransition.org/
Below are six tips to get you started with organic tomato gardening:
1. Find a location that is conducive for growing the organic tomatoes. Organic tomatoes thrive on sunlight. At the most, these need around 8 to 12 hours of sunlight each day. Plenty of sun is needed not only to ensure the growth of the tomatoes but also for the soil and roots to keep warm. Now supposing you’re trying to grow your organic tomatoes indoors, it would be a good idea to take these outside during the day since this would allow the plant to soak up sunshine and heat.
2. Even if organic tomatoes like soaking up the sun, you need to remember that the soil needs to have a temperature that is favorable for the plant. The ideal daytime soil temperature for organic tomatoes is at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
If temperature drops or gets cooler at nighttime, you may need to shield your tomatoes overnight with buckets or perhaps sheets that would keep the cool air from seeping through.
During summertime, when temperatures could soar to over 90 degrees, it is imperative that you provide a shade over your organic tomatoes. Direct exposure to the scorching rays of the sun could kill your plant. Therefore, make sure there is enough shade to block off the sun’s rays.
3. Inasmuch as organic tomatoes thrive from the warmth of the sun, these also need regular watering. Failure to water the organic tomatoes regularly can make the fruits grow sporadically. Moreover, irregularly watered tomatoes are more susceptible to rot diseases. You need to water the tomato plants twice a week, making sure that the water soaks the soil around 6 to 8 inches deep. If the temperature is extremely hot, you need to water the plants more.
4. The idea behind organic gardening is to grow crops, fruits, plants, and vegetables using all-natural fertilizers. With this said, use only natural organic fertilizers when growing organic tomatoes as these are free from harmful synthetic ingredients that prove to be toxic for plants. The ideal organic fertilizers for organic tomatoes are manure, fish emulsion, seaweed, and composted grass or weed clippings since these are rich in micronutrients and have high nitrogen content.
5. Because you want to preserve your organic tomatoes and keep them free from toxic chemicals, use of pesticides for pest control is a big no-no. Instead of using chemical-laden pesticides, use animals and insects as “natural pest controllers.” Aphids and caterpillars are known to eat and pester the leaves and fruits of tomatoes. To drive these away, make sure birds, lizards, frogs, and ladybugs are nearby.
If you don’t want to use these natural pest controllers, it is best to stake the plants so that these are kept off the ground.
6. When it comes to mulching, you can use black plastic around the tomato plants to prevent weed growth and to keep the soil warm. This also helps direct the water to the roots.
Indeed, organic tomato gardening can be a great hobby. However, more than that, it can also be a great source of income. Once you have it in your own backyard, there’s no need to pay the high price for the much-coveted fruit.
If you’re building a home or planning to remodel one, you might want to include a breakfast nook in the plan. It’s a smart and multi-functional space-saver that every kitchen should have. Most homes with limited floor space incorporate breakfast nooks, as these not only serve as a cozy eating space but it can also be used as a workstation. A breakfast nook is often positioned near the window, usually in an alcove or bay. The purpose is for the nook to catch the morning light.
cozy and inviting
However, it’s no longer surprising to see a variety of breakfast nooks these days. Some nooks are elaborate while others are very simple. Some are elevated with high chairs or stools and this style is perfect for smaller kitchens. On the other hand, large families prefer L-shaped nooks as it can accommodate many people in one sitting.
A breakfast nook can make mornings better. Imagine yourself rousing from sleep, padding through your kitchen, and settling yourself in your nook with a cup of hot coffee in your hand. As you sit cozily in your nook, you can pore over the morning paper or make a quick scan of your email inbox. It’s a scene typical during the weekends. Yet, if you have a breakfast nook, every morning can give you a warm and cozy weekend feel to it.
The breakfast nook is where a family can gather and comfortably enjoy a home-cooked meal before they start the day. As much as possible, you want the breakfast nook to be just the right size. It shouldn’t be too large; otherwise, you’re bound to lose the intimacy for which breakfast nooks are known to imbue. For a family of four, a good-sized breakfast nook would be around six to eight feet wide and five to seven feet deep. The proportions would give each person ample room for themselves without taking away the cozy feeling.
To make sure that you set the right mood for your breakfast nook, go with hardwood flooring to match the warm hues of your kitchen. Oakwood makes a fine choice as it exudes warmth and comfort. They say that the kitchen is unanimously the most favorite room in the house. You can prove this true by incorporating hardwood floors to go with the warm hues in your kitchen.
Breakfast nooks of old were always built beside windows to let natural light seep through. You can do this with your breakfast nook, too. Make sure you build or place it near big windows to allow for plenty of daylight. Why is this important? Well, natural light coming from the sun will make the room cheery and comfortable. Moreover, it makes the entire kitchen look “livable.” However, more than that, natural light makes any meal you put on the breakfast nook look delicious.
Remember, sharing a meal with the family can strengthen familial bonds. As insignificant as it may seem to some, a breakfast nook can just be the thing to hold a family closer together.
Like any diet, the Dukan 100 foods diet has been debated about by critics and scientists, as well as the public and celebrities. For instance, it has been said that there is no solid scientific basis behind it and that although the Duchess of Cambridge herself successfully followed the diet, her mother found it to be inefficient. Of course, it is always difficult to know whether things like these are rumours or not so I always find it best to investigate for myself.
tuna (best source of protein)
To begin with, I looked into the four Dukan diet phases. After being told your True Weight online, which is calculated with the weight at which you would be most healthy (taking into account age, height, past illnesses, previous weight range and so on) and the weight you would like to be, you are then shown how long you will spend on each phase including when you will reach your True Weight (which is by the end of the second phase).
The first phase is called Attack and it is what it sounds like; a short period of eating high-protein meals combined with rigorous exercise. It can be a shock to the system but at least it is getting the hardest part of the diet out of the way first. The second phase is called Cruise which sees the introduction of vegetables. It is by the end of this phase that you will reach your True Weight which is then consolidated in the aptly named Consolidation phase. This in turn prepares you for the final stage which is called Stabilisation. 95% of people who diet put any weight they lose back on in the following weeks after the diet ends. These final two phases teach you how to avoid this.
It seems to be quite simple learning how to lose weight with Dukan as every step of the journey is guided efficiently and in depth meaning you can successfully track your progress. Of course, it isn’t going to work out for everyone as some people simply aren’t suited to this kind of dieting but if you don’t try you’ll never know.
Interior designers need applications to organize ideas and provide inspiration for client designs. Interior designers need ways to spark creativity and increase productivity. Consider these five apps for interior designers to improve home design.
Houzz allows interior designers around the world to post their portfolios. With this web-based application, designers can create Ideabooks or photo libraries from bookmarks. Designers create Ideabooks for bedrooms, tile installations, and photo walls. Each designer’s works can be organized, searched and retrieved by city. Houzz has often been compared to Pinterest in its operation, and designers get their inspiration from this application.
There are over 70,000 photos and 150,000 ideas featured in this application from other architects, designers and landscapers. Favorite ideas can be retrieved from the application without a WiFi connection. Houzz is free.
get this from https://play.google.com/
Kitchen and bath designers love this application because it aids in the tile selection process. Selecting complementary colors, textures, and counter samples is simplified with MySurface. This application does not contain every surface available, but it does have popular selections from Corian and Zodiaq.
Designers who need to create concept boards will love Moodboard. Designers crop photos and save links to aid in the creation of concept boards. With paint strip, designers can fill the color palette with colors to be used in concept boards. Creations can be emailed, and frames for photos can be created.
4. Room Design for iPad
This floor plan designer is a lifesaver if customized measurements and furniture layouts are needed. According to evaluators, this application is one of the best on the market and has minimal glitches. Though Room Design for iPad does not support three-dimensional images, the application is recommended for basic black and white photographs. The application features customizable elements such as flooring and other architectural elements. There are also 800 different furniture items to select.
Some people find this application somewhat more difficult to navigate, but the functionality is worth the effort of learning the application. Once the application is mastered, it provides maximum flexibility.
StonePedia has a vast array of various stone and marble selections. Designers peruse the application for flooring, fireplace slabs and countertops. StonePedia is advanced enough to sort by color. Designers revel in the bevy of stones and slabs offered. Common surfaces found on this website include granite, marble, Caesarstone and Curava.
Designers Benefit From These Applications
Designers benefit from applications. The creativity of designs created in the home are significantly improved. Consider how these applications can be incorporated into home design. When applications are integrated, creativity and productivity improve and unique designs are created. The applications are affordable and user-friendly.
Cameron is a Designer from Queensland, Australia. He has just finished decorating his new house from Metricon Homes at Maddison Estate and found these five to be very helpful and would recommend them to anyone.