7 Ideas for Decorating Your Kitchen with Love

Romance is in the air as Valentine’s Day approaches. Don’t let Cupid’s arrow land without taking time to incorporate the holiday into your kitchen decor. With just a few simple decorations, you can surprise your special someone.

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in a house; it is where meals are cooked and where families converge and hang out. There are many ways to add decorations to a kitchen and make it inviting and warm. Here are some tips on how to add some love to your living spaces:

1. Update the bling. Surprise your Valentine with updated fixtures or newly refinished kitchen or bath countertops. Refinish First can refinish your countertops and sink quickly and inexpensively. Yes, we can have it finished by Valentine’s Day!

2. Amore with aroma. The aroma of your home can be seductive on any special evening. Create candle groupings, using a single color palette and scent. A arrange on a decorative tray or glass dish. Place on the kitchen countertop, tables, or in the bathroom or bedroom.

3. Dining in decadence. A sure-fire way to warm your Valentine’s heart is through their stomach.  Have fun cooking something creative and fun that you can enjoy eating together.

4. Fun with flowers.  Blooms and blossoms add ambiance and lively decoration to any room. For an easy, romantic centerpiece, fill a glass bowl with water and float blossoms and votive candles.

5. Express feelings with fridge magnets.  A fun way to spruce up your kitchen’s ambiance is to spice up your fridge!  Buy a bunch of magnetic letters and leave your Valentine a loving message.

6. Play around with lighting. String lights on the kitchen backsplash, on top of cabinets and on the table.  Even bare branches from the backyard, wrapped in lights, and placed upright in a vase or a bucket create interesting lighting. Turn off the main overhead lights to create a romantic atmosphere.

7. Declutter.  If you are like many people, you may be guilty of too many details. Take an honest look at your kitchen. Is it too cluttered?  A new kitchen may emerge just from this one step.

Any new decorations should still allow your kitchen to be practical and functional. With just a few dollars and a little extra effort, you can create a romantic interior to surprise your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day.

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Surprise your Valentine with Newly Refinished Master Bathroom

Surprise your Valentine with a newly upgraded bathroom and your sweetheart will fall in love again when he/she she sees how amazing the project looks. They’ll be even more impressed with how much you saved by calling Refinish First.  This is not only a great way to enhance the market value of your home, but also let your spouse know you were listening each time he or she complained about the old sink or countertop in your bathroom.

When it comes time to make a change, master bathrooms are usually at the top of a homeowners’ list of rooms to fix or renovate.  But the latest report from the 2014 Houzz Winter Bathroom Study reveals surprising trends about what people are choosing to include — or exclude, in some cases.

For example, more than half of the 7,500 people surveyed are saying goodbye to privacy when visiting the porcelain throne, choosing instead to leave their new master toilet exposed. However, homeowners 35 and older are more likely to keep their potty privacy.

Speaking of the potty, 91 percent of remodelers are selecting high-efficiency toilets for the remodel. And more than a quarter of young homeowners are eschewing the traditional two-piece model in favor of tankless or wall-mounted options.

Other interesting findings: Double sinks are on the rise so if you have those double sinks from the 70’s, you’ll be back in style in a jiffy with a new finish on them by Refinish First. Also, remodelers want to let in the light: 48 percent of respondents are adding a new window and 12 percent want a skylight. Some people are even spicing up the shower with LED lights in their showerheads.

Why You Should Consider Surface Refinishing

Surface refinishing is a fast and cost effective makeover alternative to replacing a bathtub, countertop or tile that is worn out, damaged, hard to clean, or simply the wrong color. You’ll save thousands of dollars and avoid days or even weeks of demolition mess and costly replacement.

What kind of repairs can you make?

Bathtub repair can be performed on many types of tubs including porcelain, fiberglass, acrylic or marble. We can even repair chips and cracks. Have your countertops been accidentally scorched or chipped by a sharp knife? We can fix that too! Tiles that have been chipped and missing grout can also be repaired before refinishing.

How long does it take?

A standard size bathtub, in reasonable condition, takes only 3 to 5 hours for Refinish First to refinish. The tub will typically be ready to use within 24 hours, or even sooner with our special curing procedures.

How long will the new finish last?

With proper care and maintenance, Refinish First refinishing can extend the useful life of your fixtures for up to 15-20 years or more. These finishes are designed to stand up to daily use and do not require special care.

Will the surface look painted?

The deep gloss of a Refinish First refinished bathtub resembles new porcelain.  A Refinish First refinished countertop resembles new laminate or natural stone depending on which Refinish First finish you select. Most people will have a difficult time telling any difference between a Refinish First refinished countertop and a newly installed laminate or solid surface countertop.

What makes Refinish First’s refinishing process superior?

The combination of diligent preparation, our proprietary MM-4 bonding agent, advanced coatings and final detailing sets Refinish First apart from all other surface refinishers. The original surface is always completely cleaned and surface scratches and chips are filled and repaired. Next the surface is treated with MM-4, a unique proprietary bonding agent, which creates a molecular bond between the cleaned surface and the new coating. No other company uses all these steps and the one-of-a-kind MM-4 bonding agent. We offer superior adhesion, superior finish & feel, superior craftsmanship, superior service, superior reputation and track record, superior materials and superior procedures and techniques. Learn more about the Refinish First refinishing process on our website.

Refinishing is NOT a Do-It-Yourself Project!

While there are products on the market that allow you to “paint” your tub or countertops yourself, be advised that almost 25% of the work we do is to redo work to repair the jobs performed by other refinishers or surfaces “refinished” by do-it-yourselfers.

Painting your own bathtub or countertop may change the color, but the result is not likely to look as good or last as long when compared to a professional refinishing job.  Most remodeling consultants recommend leaving surface refinishing to a professional like Refinish First.  Call our surface refinishing professionals today to discuss your refinishing options at 208-908-6678.

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home

1. Clear the clutter. As a year passes, it’s easy to accumulate a mountain of unused items. The start of a new year is the perfect time to clear your home of unwanted possessions and junk that you no longer need. Not only is it one of the easiest ways to make your home look better, it’s also one of the cheapest. This year, resolve to go room by room and clear out anything you don’t need. If you’ve got kids, ask them to join in by passing along some of their old toys to other children. Find a new home for the stacks of mail and unused small appliances on your countertops. Now that your countertops are no longer in hiding, maybe they could also use an update!

2. Make sure your home is safe and sound. Now that you’ve cleared out the clutter, it’s time to make sure your home is safe as well as beautiful. Have you done radon or carbon monoxide testing? For the relatively low price of testing kits, you can assure your family’s safety. Both deadly gases are odorless and colorless and responsible for thousands of deaths each year—don’t let that happen in your home. Another silent but toxic enemy of your home is mold. It often lurks in poorly vented bathrooms. Cracked or leaking tiles, tubs, and vanities also contribute to the spread of mold, so make sure you take care of those. Refinish First can help!

3. Reduce your energy usage. You don’t have to install solar panels or buy a hybrid car to go green. There are plenty of easy ways to shrink your energy usage—and your bills. Simple things your mother used to tell you are still great advice, like switching off lights when you’re not using them. Here are other ways to reduce your energy usage:

  • In the winter, turn your heater down at night. Many people sleep better in cooler temperatures and it’ll reduce your energy bill dramatically.
  • Open your blinds on sunny days to trap the warmer air and close them during the evening to keep the warm air in.
  • While a long, hot shower is tempting, especially during the winter months, try to reduce your water usage by taking shorter showers and installing a low-flow showerhead.
  • When it’s warmer out, dry your clothes out on the line. This will extend the life of your clothes and reduce your power bill.

4. Develop a system for keeping your home clean. During hectic days, it’s easy to let things like cleaning the bathroom or kitchen slide. However, once you develop a system for keeping things organized, it’ll become second nature. A little while back, we gave you tips for cleaning your bathroom in five minutes a day. You can also apply this concept to other rooms in your house. Spend a few minutes each day putting things back where they belong.

5. Entertain more. Don’t hold off on entertaining simply because you’re worried about having to overhaul your house. All it takes to spruce up your house is some simple updating and rearranging. No need to go all out on a full home remodel. Think about where your guests will spend the most time—the dining area and the kitchen. New countertops are an easy way to give your kitchen a new look without the cost of a kitchen remodel. Another simple way to freshen up your home is by adding plants. They’re an easy way to decorate on a budget and they help clean the air. Other easy ways to decorate include painting an accent wall with a vibrant color, adding a new rug, or rearranging the furniture to promote better flow of conversation.

Slip-Resistant Surfaces: A Better Alternative to Bathtub Liners

Many tubs come from the factory with some kind of rough bottom to act as a slip resistant surface. Unfortunately, over time the roughness wears off and does little to prevent slips. Aftermarket options are to use a bathtub liner, stick-on appliqués, or professionally install a slip resistant surface. Bathtub liners are simply sheets of PVC plastic or acrylic that are molded to the shape of a tub, placed over an existing tub, and then glued down to cover it up.  But, do you really want to trade the deep gloss of refinished porcelain tub for the look and feel of plastic?

By refinishing your bathtub you can avoid the various pitfalls associated with a meager bathtub liner. A bathtub liner is an inferior solution because cracks or leaks are likely to develop over time. This can cause serious problems such as mold damage, damaged plumbing, or a ”squishy” texture in the entire tub. While certainly unpleasant, these consequences can also lead to serious health problems for you and your family. Choosing Refinish First to handle your bathtub refinishing project is both affordable in the short-term as well as more beneficial for the long term.

There are several benefits of having your bathtub or shower pan refinished with the slip resistant surface offered by Refinish First:

  • A slip resistant surface applied by Refinish First is chemically bonded to the shower or bathtub and this reduces the chances of them cracking/peeling.
  • A slip resistant surface applied by Refinish First is economical and requires less time to install (approximately 1 day) due to their simplistic nature.
  • Older retirement communities, long term nursing care facilities, and home care providers can benefit from Refinish First’s installation of slip resistant surfaces because they also include the installation of hand held shower nozzles, grab bars and curved shower rods so as to increase the safety of the users.

Contact Refinish First to learn more about these great bath safety options.

Home Design Trends for 2014: Goodbye to Granite

During the housing boom, high-end kitchen remodels complete with granite countertops and custom cabinets were sure to boost the home’s value. Homeowners could count on recovering up to 80% of the cost of the update when the home was sold. However, with so many quality options available, including Refinish First’s lower-cost refinishing services, full remodels just aren’t recouping homeowners back their costs. Realtors are sensing a downshift in the market, which means that the cost you’ll spend on those expensive granite countertops may not be recouped. In 2014, design experts say that durable, light-colored materials that are kid-friendly will take the center stage in kitchens. The truth is that granite is expensive and unpredictable.

Marc Thee, a designer with prestigious Florida-based interior design firm Marc-Michaels Interior Design, recounted a situation where the first slabs of granite were what his client wanted, but the next one had an undesirable pink line running through the slab. He noted that the lack of control when working with natural materials is a huge problem. The common assumption that because granite is a stone it’s impervious to damage is simply not true. It actually chips quite easily and is susceptible to damage from common kitchen mishaps. As a result, it’s becoming a less popular choice for homeowners with children. Mr. Thee also notes that more homeowners are choosing synthetic, durable surfaces. Refinish First’s countertops are the perfect choice for homeowners who want to brighten up their kitchen as well as extend the life of their countertops. So, if you’ve been on the fence about whether to go granite or choose a smarter, more economical option in 2014, hop off the fence and give Refinish First a call.