Fashion Do’s and Don’ts When House Hunting

Mark Nash author of 1001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home offers homebuyers fashion home runs and strikeouts when shopping for a home. It might not be obvious that what you wear when house hunting can impact what you pay for a home. Years of showing homes and introducing prospective buyers to home sellers, the way buyers project themselves fashion-wise makes a big impression.

First impressions by real estate agents and home sellers are all they have when assessing potential buyers. If you appear well-groomed, under-stated and wear home price-range-appropriate clothes you could pay less than the tattooed, big-hair, over-jeweled and torn-blue jean buyer your in competition with in multiple-offers for the same home. Buying a home is a business transaction, think business wear when shopping for a home.

Women

-Pants are fine, but make sure they’re not low riders.

-Ditch the tee shirts, tank and tube tops. House hunting is not a vacation.

-Skirts are great. Minis send the wrong message.

-Wear comfortable but presentable shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking, climbing up stairs and in and out of transportation.

-Forget high-heels. Spiked heels on shoes can easily dent bamboo and other softer wood floors. Plus if you got into the yard to take a look at the roof you might end up aerating the lawn.

-Leave the animal prints for when you’re out to a nightclub. Busy or fussy fashion looks can be distracting and not on everyone’s top ten fashion list.

-Simple jewelry and limited amounts accent your business perspective. Omit the” bling” otherwise you might end up paying more for a home, because the sellers think you can afford it.

-Simplify make-up, hair and manicure styles to appeal to the majority of people. You’re not going to get a better deal because the sellers love your fabulous acrylic nails.

-No fur coats, ever. It’s a political and extravagant statement that could cost you a home or an additional $10,000.

-No low cut or revealing looks. Very rarely do homebuyers get a discount for sex.

Men

-Verify shoe soles aren’t caked with mud before you enter any open house. Many a homebuyer never made it to the kitchen after walking across freshly cleaned carpet with dirty shoes.

-No jogging, gym-wear, bike shorts or swimsuits. Unless, you’re testing the workout facilities in a condominium building on your second visit.

-Business-casual pants are best, but if you must wear jeans, make sure they’re clean and not ripped.

-Open collar shirts work fine, but realty agents and home sellers don’t need to see your buffed or not so buffed chest or four gold chains.

-Think twice about sporting more than one earring. If we were all the same life would be boring.

-Omit muscle and tee shirts and no underwear elastic waistbands displayed please. You might turn Ms. home seller on, but Mr. home seller might not appreciate it.

-Limit tattoo exposure, they’re the rage, but not for everyone. Ditto the ladies on this one.

-Wear …

Interview With Michael David Ries, MD, Author of "The Joint Kitchen"

Dr. Michael Ries is an orthopedic surgeon and the Arthroplasty Fellowship Director at the Reno Orthopedic Clinic. He received a BS and MS from MIT, and his medical degree from Dartmouth Medical School, and has been in practice for more than 25 years.

Dr. Ries has a practice limited to hip and knee arthroplasty surgery and treatment of arthritic hip and knee conditions. He was on the full time faculty at the University of California, San Francisco from 1997 to 2013 where he was Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Chief of Arthroplasty. During this time he also participated regularly in laboratory and clinical research. Dr. Ries has published 210 peer reviewed journal articles and 52 book chapters on topics related to clinical results and biomaterials used in hip and knee replacement.

What differentiates D. Ries most from his peer group is that he has helped develop a number of hip and knee replacements and is an inventor on 45 US patents for hip and knee replacement devices. He is also a father of three active children, husband to a beautiful Russian wife, avid skier, and household handyman.

Welcome Michael, and thank you for being with us today! Why don't you start by telling our readers a bit about your journey to becoming a published author?

I am an orthopedic surgeon and most of my career has been in academic medicine. That means that I travel and speak at a lot of medical conferences. The topics presented and discussed at these meetings deal with medical issues and new hip and knee replacement inventions are generally not included. Over the past five or six years it seems, I have been asked by some of the younger surgeons attending these meetings how to develop ideas for improvements in hip and knee replacement devices. When I responded to these questions I noticed that some of the non-medical people in the audience seemed very interested in the discussion, and I thought that maybe others would be interested in reading a book about it.

What is The Joint Kitchen about?

This book is a story about where ideas for inventions come from. It describes how wonderfully efficient the normal hip and knee joint really are, and why we can't make hip and knee replacements as perfect as the normal joints we were born with.

Then a doctor who found himself just cleaning the kitchen, preparing food, opening a wine bottle, unscrewing a jar top, riding a chairlift, fishing, skiing, or watching snowflakes fall drew similar images on a paper that turned into patents for new hip and knee replacements. The story suggests that when our mind is in a peaceful state of tranquility the creative and problem solving parts of our brain can magically connect and create a new idea.

What inspired you to write the Joint Kitchen ?

I've helped develop a number of hip and knee replacement devices over the years. I really didn't know why the ideas for these inventions sort of popped …

Creating Kitchen Designs That Are Family Friendly

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the entire house – it's where nightly meals are prepared, and where the family gathers to share the goings on of the day. Because of this focus on family, the design of the space should mirror this by being completely functional and able to meet the needs of a number of generations. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways that you can come up with a kitchen design that is family friendly; some of them are outlined below.

The first aspect that you should take into account for your kitchen design is the positioning of the refrigerator, the oven and the sink. With busy family life, getting meals prepared as quickly and easily as possible is the top priority. Mornings are often hectic, trying to eat breakfast and get the kid's lunches prepared for school. The same can be said of nights, when all you want to do is get the kids fed and into bed so that you can relax. By positioning the oven, sink and refrigerator in a 'work triangle', your family can be fed much faster.

It is also of the utmost importance that you carefully consider the floor plan before finalizing your kitchen design. Think about how your kitchen is commonly used – is the space just for preparing meals or do you eat in there too; are adults the only people who use the space, or do the kids like to sit at the bench with you? The answers to these questions will help you decide on a floor plan that keeps everyone happy.

These days, the ultimate in family friendly kitchen designs is having the space attached to a living area of ​​the home. In most cases, this is the dining room but it could also be the lounge room or a combination of both. This ensures that the family can still be together whilst mum or dad is preparing dinner. The kids can watch television or do their homework knowing that their parents are nearby and can help if they need it.

The final aspect of your kitchen design that must be taken into account is the way that storage space is arranged. If you have high cabinets, make sure that you use it to store your fine china and other breakables that you don't want the kids to get their hands on. Use lower cabinets for storing crockery and cutlery that you need on a regular basis and that the kids are able to use. Whilst planning out your storage, think about how things are placed in your pantry and refrigerator – keep things that the kids can't have out of reach.

Source Article

Home Decor for a Claustrophobic

The main contributing factor in that cramped feeling one gets in small spaces is clutter. Newspapers, magazines, or books lying haphazardly around the living room adds to that "closed in" feeling. Just the simple act of stacking the magazines or arranging them neatly on a table will add space to a room. The kitchen or dining room table is another culprit when it is stacked high with mail, keys or other things that one tends to drop there because its faster and easier than putting them away. The author had an aunt who lived in a very tiny house (so small that people called it a doll house) that was always neat and tidy and never made one feel cramped. Aunt Leta's motto was "everything has a place and everything is in its place". Above all, keep the floors clean and free of clutter.

Light colored or neutral walls and floors add a feeling of space to the environment. Leave windows uncovered and decorated with blinds that can be opened during the daylight hours and closed at night for privacy and / or consider curtains that frame the windows rather than cover them. Too many pictures on the walls can close a room in. Too much furniture can shrink your space and make it feel crowded. The furniture pieces should not only be small in number they should be light or neutral in color with maybe one or two colorful accent tables. Light gray furniture comes to mind accented with splashes of blue and orange pillows.

Lets move on into the dreaded kitchen, a place that seems to be especially susceptible to that closed in feeling. If one can afford it, a skylight is extremely helpful in providing light and airiness. White cabinets and light neutral counter tops with just a few often used items strategically placed can add a lot of space to the room.

Children's rooms can be helped by offering convenient places to store unused toys and games. A desk and a bookcase in an older child's room will provide space for storage of those items that often contribute to clutter such as books, CDs,
etc.

If you happen to be in the market for a new home look for one with high or vaulted ceilings. It's uncanny how high ceilings can open up a small house. Large windows will open up the house and make it seem larger. Wood floors are less confining than wall to wall carpeting. Picture the wood floors with a few area rugs strategically placed.

So one does not have to spend a lot of money to provide an atmosphere of openness. This entire article seems mostly devoted to the importance of good housekeeping, does it? Sorry about that! But it is important. So let's get rid of the clutter, clear off that dining room table and place an inexpensive accent or conversation piece in the center. Then take a seat in your favorite chair look out over the room and maybe …

Avoid These Costly Kitchen Remodeling Mistakes

The kitchen is the heart of every home. It's where all meals are cooked and prepared – where guests and families congregate to swap recipes and stories over dinner or Sunday lunch. It is important to design your kitchen to be as spacious and welcoming as possible, and make sure it is conducive not just for cooking, but will also allow space for all the activity that's going on.

Despite your good intentions, however, not all kitchen improvement projects end up well. Layout planning may be an issue, or the choice of paint color, type of cabinetry, and furniture do not match. Here are some kitchen renovation tips and things you should avoid:

1. A bigger kitchen is not always better

A carefully planned kitchen is often better than a haphazardly designed bigger one.

Almost every kitchen remodeller's dream is to get a bigger kitchen. But bigger does necessarily mean better. If a kitchen renovation experts advises you to improve your home's entire floor to free up space for a bigger kitchen, take their advice with a grain of salt and try getting a second opinion from a different firm. Sometimes, a small but well-designed kitchen with high-quality materials and carefully planned details is enough. Remember to keep in mind the kitchen work triangle to manage the workflow and maximise the efficiency in the kitchen.

2. Skimping on storage and cabinets

Cheaper is definitely never better. Your kitchen storage should be durable enough to last your kitchen's lifetime. Investing in a strong and durable cabinet is a must for any kitchen. You'll be opening and closing those drawers every day so they'll be subjected to a lot of wear and tear. Make sure you get hardwoods with a good finish and strong hinges to get the best value out of your remodeling efforts.

3. Relying too much on the design fad

Green can veer towards trendy and seasonal. Balance it out with neutral colors to make it more timeless. Fads always come and go. Because of this, trendy homes can easily become dated in just a few years. Be careful when allowing current trends to influence the design of your new kitchen. It is still more important for the kitchen to match the rest of the rooms in the house and reflect the personality and activity of the family or individuals living there. Opt instead for good space planning and timeless kitchen designs.

4. Getting distracted and going against the original design plan

Stick to the plan. This will not only makes sure that the process of remodeling is smooth, it also ensures you stay within budget. The key to a successful remodeling project is following a well-organized design plan. If you have already announced a budget, selected a color theme, purchased materials and furnishings according to the said plan, follow it. Avoid getting distracted by "newer and shinier" kitchen gadgets and furnishings as well as kitchen layouts that seem to look more exciting that the one you planned. Stop …

Travertine Tiles – Best Option for Natural Home Decor

Are you thinking of giving your home a natural look? Have you thought about an innovative way of decorating or renovating your house? Travertine tiles may be the thing you have been looking for. Go through this article to learn more about these type of tiles and their usage.

Travertine tiles are a form of limestone that sediment around mineral spring deposits. They are usually porous and rough textured, which gives it a more natural look. When sanded and sealed, they become smooth which makes them appropriate for flooring your shower, kitchen, etc. They are available in different colors and finishes.

They are mostly of warmer shades like cream to brighter ones like red. They can be polished or kept naturally rough textured with the saw-cut finish or a tumbled look and more. These tiles are used for flooring and as pavers for ages because of their natural availability. This gives a dominant energy and prestigious feeling to your surroundings.

Travertine tiles draw attention to your floor or wall with its bright swirl design on a neutral colored surface. Their design is earth formed, which gives your home more of a natural effect and uniqueness. These are available in different shades of tan, white hues and gray and they avoid those dramatic colors from overwhelming your floor and surroundings.

Before sealing and polishing travertines, they offer a high friction surface which is capable of avoiding slips and trips. This feature allows their installation along pavers and pools where slipping is often a problem. But if not sealed, they absorb more debris which penetrates the tiles and causes damage. Also, they may be too rough to bare feet without a small amount of sealant.

Once they are sealed and honed, they are too easy to clean and wipe. They are naturally durable to scratches, wear and tear to an extent. Highly polished and honed tiles are more risky to damages and initial cracks and scratches are often considered an added attraction.

Travertine tiles are strong enough to last for a decade without high damages and blemishes. They are long-lasting if maintained regularly with periodic sealing and polishing with the stone sealing agent. If one of them is broken, it can be replaced easily as they are in the tile form. There won't be a need of removing and replacing the entire floor.

Travertine tiles are porous which makes them absorbent to liquids and stains, which makes them difficult to clean at certain times. This can be avoided by using the best penetrating sealant while installing these tiles. Their natural availability does not make them less expensive and their installation also costs more than the average amount.

Installation of these tiles need an extra effort, as they are heavy, and the floor structure should be capable of holding this load. They may feel uncomfortably cold on chilly mornings too. They are mostly used in bathrooms and for wall decors, but their rough texture makes them suitable for outdoors as well.

Source

Custom Kitchen Cabinets

If your budget is not a consideration, then consider custom-made kitchen cabinets as a viable option to remodel your kitchen and give it a new lease on life. This is not to say that custom-made cabinets are unaffordable, it just means that if you decide to opt for custom cabinets, the sky is the limit.

Before deciding on the cabinetry, you should have clear-cut idea of ​​what you are looking for. This means you need to decide upon the style and color of the cabinets. Study the market and you'll find that cabinetmakers will be able to match any color of your choice or an existing cupboard in your kitchen if you so desire. Then you need to check out your preferences in term of wood or steel.

Also, depending upon whether your home is a modern apartment or a centuries old house, you can think in terms of traditional design or a contemporary look. Traditional designs will involve add on frills and moldings. Contemporary designs, on the other hand, focus on an uncluttered, simple, ready-to-use look.

Another important factor that should call for your attention is the amount of time you'll spend in the kitchen. This factor will determine how much of space you wish to allocate to you custom kitchen cabinets.

You can use kitchen cabinets to create more counter space, store food products, hide appliances, and display silverware. Depending on the space you allocate for the cabinets, you can decide on cabinets with overtop storage space for dishes or pull out drawers underneath the stove for pots and pans.

Traditionally, kitchen cabinets were made of solid wood varying from the sturdy oak to the wine red cherry or the elegant maple. Trends have changed in kitchen cabinetry and now you have newer and trendier options including freestanding or mobile cabinets made from glass or durable plastics.

There are a wide array of knobs and latches to add aesthetic value to the cabinets. Again, you can pick between the contemporary or vintage designs. Also, if you have kids or grand kids in the house, you can consider knobs with monkey faces or rocking horse designs. Knobs designed as teddy bears continue to hold the fascination of children.

You can also consider add-on accessories such as lights. Again, the designs vary from the spotlight halogen lamps to the fluorescent connections.

So, if you can loosen your purse stings, let your imagination go wild and choose custom made kitchen cabinetry giving you the dream finished coupled with practical utility.

Source Article

Staging an Open House

Houses for sale will receive more offers when an open house is staged correctly. The reason that this works so well is that clearing out the homeowners personal things potential buyers can see their things in the houses for sale easier. To stage a correct open house and receive more offers for the home, there are steps that you must take.

Step one

Look at your home with a buyer's eye and see what turns you off about the home that can be fixed for a small amount of money and little time. One thing that is an easy fix it change unattractive paint colors. It is best if you choose neutral colors or some shade of white. This makes it easier for a potential buyer to picture the walls done in their favorite colors.

Step two

Once you have any paint issues taken care of look at any fixes that need to be dome to the outdated or dated areas of your home. For example, in the kitchen the cabinets can be updated by just changing the hardware. If they have been painted and the paint is peeling, you should scrape the paint off and either paint them again or varnish them. Although it could be expensive and time consuming if the floor is tile or linoleum and it is stained or cracking you should replace it. No potential buyer wants to walk into a room and see stained, cracked flooring. This goes for the bathroom also. In the bathroom, make sure that if there is tiling around the tub or the shower you need to make sure it is clean, mildew, and mold free. You also need to make sure that the carpet is clean and odor and stain free.

Step three

Many houses for sale have small repairs that will need to be repaired before hosting an open house. Take time to check out every room for any repairs such as loose floorboards, a missing railing on the staircases, cracks in the walls, electrical sockets that do not work, or burnt out lights.

Step four

Rent storage unit and move personal accessories and unneeded furniture to the unit. This can include small or large pieces of furniture that does not need to be in the home, personal collections, and family photos. You can make the rooms look more spacious if you keep the furnishings down to the basics. Make sure that every room serves a purpose like a family room, bedroom, etc. You can add accent pieces but not more than is necessary. These pieces can include plants, artwork, and pottery. Make sure that the lawn is mowed.

Following these tips for a successful open house will get more offers on houses for sale.

Source Article

Casual Kitchen Classics

Gray

Gray is a timeless color that has been seen throughout time. In the era of the seventies, this color was paired with red and white as a casual accent color. Now, gray is seen in casual kitchens in the form of gray shaker cabinets, an accent color or in countertops. This versatile color remains a homeowner's favorite color for a backslash too. Incorporate this timeless color into a casual kitchen for a relaxed feel and a polished look.

Shaker Cabinets

The Shaker movement was known for its simple designs. Shaker cabinets have been around since the 1800's, and they stay a favorite. The humble appearance adds functionality with just a touch of style to a modest kitchen. This simple style often consists of just a few simple lines on the doors. Shaker cabinets are available in different styles and colors, making this kitchen classic ideal for complementing any color scheme.

Marble Countertops

Marble countertops have outlasted every kitchen fad that has come, and this timeless look will continue to be a favorite long after the next kitchen has gone. Marble countertops offer a pristine look to an otherwise drab kitchen. This functional kitchen accessory is easy to clean and remains well-known for being highly durable. Once you use marble for your countertops, you will never have to worry about your kitchen looking outdated again.

Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors give a classic look that will never go out of style. These floors will complement any kitchen style, from a modern look to a casual kitchen that instantly makes you want to sit down and relax while enjoying relaxing cup of hot tea. The polished look cordinates well with any color scheme, and various types of wood flooring are available to coordinate with every kitchen, from a light wood that will look nice next to lighter colored walls to a dark wood that will make brighter colored accents pop. These floors are not just timeless, they are easier to clean when compared to rugs and carpet, giving families one more benefit.

White

White is another color that will coordinate perfectly with any style, just like gray. Pictures over the past 100 years have shown kitchens that have white in them, and white will continue to be a timeless color due to its versatile nature. White can look elegant, classic or modern depending on how you decorate the rest of your kitchen. Home owners will no longer have to repaint in order to redecorate, and white finished wood offers a simple look that looks exceptional in a classic kitchen.

As studies show that the clean cut lines of a modern look make families less likely to open up at the dinner table, more people are transitioning back to traditional and casual kitchen styles that give a feeling of warmth and togetherness. If you're looking for versatile kitchen ideas that will add a touch of a classic look or versatile kitchen ideas that have stood the test of time, blend of few of …

7 Most Popular Kitchen Knives

Chef's Knives:

The chef knife is one of the most versatile knives in the kitchen today. It can be used to accomplish many different tasks such as slicing, dicing and mincing. This knife comes in many different sizes and material to compliment specific culinary needs.

Paring Knives:

This knife is indispensable for smaller kitchen tasks such as pealing, trimming and slicing fruits and vegetables and its short blade is great for detailed work that a busy cook or chef needs to get the job done. The most popular lengths for the paring knife is 3 ½ inches and 4 ½ inches.

Bread Knives:

The long-serrated blade on this knife is the most recognized sign of a bread knife. The knife is popular for cutting all kinds of breads without smashing or tearing. Besides cutting bread and great use is cutting tomatoes and citrus fruits. The scalloped edge in the knife blade produce exceptionally smooth cuts. The blade always retains its sharpness because it never touches the cutting board.

Santoku Knives:

This is one knife gaining a lot of popularity. It combines the features of a clever and chef knife. Being a multipurpose knife, it does everything from slicing to dicing. The extra width and weight of this blade give it the strength to power through a whole chicken or a hard block of cheese. This knife is also great for cutting, scooping and chopping from a cutting board.

Carving Knives:

This knife is used for slicing cooked meats poultry and fish. It has a long thin blade that enables it to cut meat into thick or thin slices. Many features developed into the blade of this knife is its reduced friction and non stick surface.

Utility Kitchen Knives:

This is a knife that no kitchen should be without. It is smaller than a chef knife but longer than a paring knife. This knife excels in common everyday tasks from cutting meat to sandwiches. The most popular sizes being between 5 inches and 7 inches. To compliment this knife even more some come with a serrated edge.

Boning Knives:

The narrow inward curve on this knife gives precision control when removing meat and poultry from the bone thus giving its name. The boning knife does what it says it will do. You can find this knife at any Butcher in America.

As you can see different types of knives have unique advantages for various situations. With so many knives available, choosing the right one for your culinary situations can improve improve your efficiency in the kitchen.

Source Article