12 Intriguing Kitchen Islands

Adding or modifying  kitchen islands can dramatically change the look and feel of your kitchen..ok, that’s boring. Seriously though, think of some of the difficulties you have when your family’s sitting at the dining room table and you are facing a wall while doing the dishes. I hope you love your back-splash because that’s what you are going to be looking at for the next 20 minutes.

Example #2:  Say you have some friends over and they are laughing and carrying on in the living room. You try to engage in the conversation by leaning back and yelling while at the same time taking your eyes off the tomato you are cutting and consequently cut the tip of your finger off. Now these examples might seem a bit extreme, but you get the picture right?

Enter the kitchen island. Not only does it give you more versatility to move around your kitchen,  it also allows you the ability to engage in conversations throughout your home. Your friends and family can now pull up a chair and converse with you face to face while they lazily watch you do the dishes and clean up their mess! I have compiled a galley with 12 pictures of some intriguing kitchen island ideas for you to ponder over…..



Image compliments of BILL84121

brown l shape

Image compliments of Casaydiseno

c shaped splatter print kitchen islands

Image compliments of hgtv

brown wood kitchen islands

Image compliments of hgtv

SEA LIFE kitchen islands

Image compliments of Sea Life

caramel kitchen islands

Image compliments of Homebunch

red round kitchen islands

Image compliments of Zeointerior

orange kitchen islands

Image compliments of Orange Countertops

FANCY CRIBS kitchen islands

Image compliments of Fancy Cribs

white abstract kitchen islands

Image compliments of Kemblakitchens

blue box out kitchen islands

Image compliments of Inspirationde

c shaped Armony kitchen islands

Armony Cucine (CLICK ON PICTURE)

3 Huge Benefits of Having Wood Floors

3 Health Benefits of Wood Flooring:


Many people may not know that wood flooring can actually increase the type of healthy living environment they strive to achieve inside their home.

  1. In fact, wood flooring is a life saver for those who suffer from allergies.
  2. Unlike synthetic flooring, hard surface flooring does not enable harmful air pollutants such as toxins, dust mites or pesticides which, when continually inhaled, can contribute to frequent illnesses.
  3. A healthy home environment doesn’t have to be costly either. Hardwood floors actually increase your homes value and can last as long as your home does, if maintained properly.

For more information on what type of wood flooring is best for you, CLICK HERE.

Cost vs Value 2015-Top ROI Remodeling Projects

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]There have been enormous changes in the last year regarding which remodeling projects are the most beneficial to your wallet. Looking through the list on Cost vs Value 2015 and comparing it to 2014, it seems that only 3 projects still produce the highest ROI.
Topping that list once again, is a Steel entry door replacement. It takes the lead at a whopping 91.3% return on investment. This is up 3.3% from last year when it topped the list at 88%. Next in line is the Kitchen Remodel coming in at 80.2% ROI. This is a slight incline from 79% in Cost vs Value 2014. Last but not least is the Bathroom Remodel with a 66.3% ROI score up 2.3% from last year.
Wood Deck Additions and Siding Replacements were just shy of hitting the top 3 slots, but are definitely still worth the investment.
Whether you decide to update your kitchen or replace your front door, you can feel good about knowing that you will get the maximum return on your remodeling investment.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Contemporary, Modern and Traditional Style Designs

At a glance, it may look as though some of the features in the Contemporary, Modern and Traditional design categories are similar. In fact, there are many differences between the three, and I’m going to help you differentiate between them.

Modern  design is era specific. Usually any type of design between 1920-1970 is considered modern. Even more specifically the very popular, Mid century Modern design from the 1950’s. This type of design will generally include a great deal of simplistic choices and minimalist furniture. Straight lines, right angles and flat surfaces are all hints of modern style design. Japanese style would also be a typical example of modern design.

Contemporary design could include some of the modern qualities, but merely if it has to suffice with what is in style at this instant. This particular design style could include abstract objects, uniquely formed furniture or an unevenly constructed building. Contemporary design is a lot like being in style or “keeping up with the Jones’ ” so to say.

Traditional design is hard to confuse with any other. Its signature look of elaborate carvings, arch backed chairs and claw feet furniture, allows it to stand out from the rest. Victorian and Queen Anne inspired décor are two examples of traditional designs. This particular category conveys elegance and romance, making it a one of a kind classic.

It’s good to recognize the differences between the modern, contemporary and traditional styled designs, since all three bring something diverse to the table. I trust this has helped in deciphering one design choice from another.


Benefits of Remodeling With An Interior Designer

Interior Designers will no doubt help you save you an immense amount of time, money and headaches. Helping you increase the value of your home is just another benefit as to why designers are an important asset.

So you think a kitchen island would be a great addition to your remodeling project, but where exactly should you put it? Should you put it in the middle by the sink or off to the side of the stove? What size and color should it be? These are the time consuming decisions Designers have a trained eye for. They will create proportion and balance within each room, bringing you an elegant yet symmetrical living space.

Did you know that designers receive discounts on specialty products and services that you couldn’t get on your own? This could save you hundreds of dollars just on materials! Designers also know who the best in the home improvement business is. You could save thousands just by hiring a trustworthy contractor in your home the first time.

Knowing which projects have the highest return on investment is detrimental to increasing your home’s value. Designers will already know this due to their relationship with the best home improvement specialists.

As you can see, it is definitely an asset to include an Interior Designer with your remodeling project. I highly suggest spending a little extra money and splurging on a professional who can save you so much time and money in the long run.

Remodeling Tips

If this is your year to finally get that master bath remodeled, then congratulations! Let me just suggest a couple of remodeling tips before you give the go ahead to the professionals.
Always calculate paying around 10-15% more than the original estimate. Also, assume the project will take about 1 week longer than the agreed upon closing date. Trust me! This will save you a very large headache in the long run.
More than once I have had companies send me the wrong materials for a project, had trucks delayed due to bad weather in other states, more than one employee call in sick, and numerous other things that have caused untimely delays in a project.
As far as the price cushion goes, there may be plumbing, electrical issues, leaks, mold, or just plain bad wiring… all hidden behind the walls that are unseen until the project begins.
I hope these remodeling tips help with your experience. If you do have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Happy New Year to all,
Mike McCurdy

Steel Entry Doors : 2014 Highest ROI

It is hard to believe that replacing a single item in a home could have such an enormous effect on our pocketbooks. After a little research, I found that installing steel entry doors have a vast array of benefits ranging from increased home security to doubled insulation to durability.

According to Cost vs. Value in 2014,  steel entry doors generated a 96.6% return on investment. That’s an 11% increase from 2013. Although these types of doors are not cheap (average around $1100), they are one of the only home upgraded that provide almost the entire return on investment.

SECURITY:    Steel entry doors are extremely hard to penetrate. Therefore, the amount of security they provide against home intrusions are priceless.

INSULATION:   Upon installation, steel doors are coupled with a polyurethane foam core which provides twice the insulation as a regular wood door. This polyurethane guarantees to keep all of the homes cooling or warming inside instead of seeping through the unprotected seems between the door frames. This means savings on electricity bills and a smile on many faces.

DURABILITY:   Because these types of doors do not rot, warp, shrink or sag, there is very little maintenance or need for replacement. This makes the life of  steel entry doors long lasting and well worth the money.

Due to it’s many advantages,  steel entry doors continue to contribute to the most important requirements in a home improvement project: security, savings and durability.

Window Insulation Idea

Bubble wrap for window insulation? YUP! Just wet one side of the material and stick it to the window. The bubbles trap any cold air from coming into your home during the winter months, and vise versa in the summer. The only downside is that the view from the window tens to be a little fuzzy. If this is an issue, I would suggest opting for a pair of flannel curtains instead.

Photo: Bubble wrap for window insulation? YUP! Just wet one side of the material and stick it to the window. The bubbles trap any cold air from coming into your home during the winter months, and vise versa in the summer. The only downside is that the view from the window tens to be a little fuzzy. If this is an issue, I would suggest opting for a pair of flannel curtains instead.

There’s a Fungus Among Us! Harmful Molds

So monsoon season has continued to hit us quite massively this year.  Apparently ‘micro bursts’ have made  appearances a few times in my neck of the woods causing quite a bit of damage.   As most things, the monsoons bring the good, bad and the ugly.

The heavy amounts of rain bring relief to us Arizonians whom have suffered through the sometimes unbearable heat waves. But the aftermath of the damage can range from a tiny leak in the roof, to ceilings or structural beams bowing from the water pressure.  Maybe it’s a problem that does not require immediate attention; but if left too long  these situations could cause some severe health problems due to the harmful molds that are left behind.

Lets discuss mold. Some are harmless while some are harmful molds that need immediate attention.

1. Cladosporium –                                          

Pepper like, Non toxic. Sometimes found in the ring of the toilet.

2. Penicillium

Green fuzz on old food, can cause gastric intestinal issues if consumed.

3. Aspergillus

Can appear after severe water damage. Produces a deadly carcinogen called Aflatoxin, PROCEED WITH CAUTION!  Can cause severe respiratory issues.


4. Alternaria

Long haired mold, settles in carpet, pipes and certain plumbing leaks, called the ‘Asthma causing mold’. Scrub with bleach and water careful to not inhale fumes. 

All of these are airborne molds and can cause respiratory issues. Be aware of the places that harmful molds can come  from and take precautions.

Ceramic Tile vs Carpet

In the summer months, many of us are looking for ways to save on cooling costs for our homes. I myself am not in the mood to clean if I am sweating and can only get cool by lounging in my office chair underneath the ceiling fan.  Here are a few benefits and downsides when it comes to ceramic tile vs carpet flooring.

Unit 171 tile

Having ceramic tile flooring could lower your air conditioning bill because it tends to keep the house cooler than carpet does. And, when I feel cooler in the summer I tend to want to clean more.

Carpet can feel good underneath foot, but it can also carry allergens, trap dust mites and stain easily. For health reasons, ceramic tile is usually a better choice.

Generally, a home with ceramic tile has a greater resale value due to its low maintenance and fire and scratch resistance qualities. Carpet can fade and has a tendency to show the most high traffic areas.

So all in all, when comparing ceramic tile vs carpet, the ceramic tile will win in every category.