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Open wardrobes

Built in cupboards are not always plain and simple in any bedroom, they can add quite a lot of flair to those not seen by everybody areas. The flexibility of an open wardrobe means it can suit any space and what you want to store. You can put together your own combination in your bedroom, hall or even inside a walk-in closet or cupboard. It takes care of your things, gives you a good view of them, and you can add to it as your needs change.

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Open wardrobe combinations offer lots of options for organising your clothes. By mixing and matching different clothing storage — like drawers, shelves and rails — there are wardrobes for rooms of all sizes.

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Fancy creating your own open clothes and shoe storage? There are systems that have different parts that you put together the way you want. You get a personal combination that suits your space and your things, and that you can adapt or re-arrange whenever you feel like it. 

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Your open wardrobe, made easy and elegantUse open storage to put the clothes you love on show.

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With a custom-designed wall unit, it’s easy to see what you have and find outfit inspiration.

 

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Kitchen Extractor fans mostly used in the modern market

{Weizter} {Kitchens}Kitchen extractor fans is one of the most imported parts when it comes to adding beautiful aesthetics to your kitchen, it can be the same as usual or you can wow it with something different.

Mostly used lately but with it own style is the Glass extractor fan. Elegant but practical.

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Integrated extractor fan. Hidden but usefull.

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Latest trend is ceiling extractor fans, for places like islans were you don't want something in your eye view.

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Or the new technology Downdraft extractor fan, simply a stunning picture when hidden.

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Color match your extractor fan to blend in with the rest.

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Angled wall mount extractor fans are also bocoming fasionable and stylish in the modern kitchen.

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Kitchen inserts that is a must have to make your life easier.

When re-doing or installing a new kitchen always look at making it as comfortable and accessible as possible. There are so many ideas and ways to do this with simple added inserts that are available on the market and doing it without killing your budget, a simple must have....

Lazy Susan. Simple, but makes that  corner so easy to use

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Bin units. Hide it but keep it close to your work area. The latest trends are recycling, put two!

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Magic corner. Don't leave voids or unused spaces utilise them.

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Small inserts for hiding the everday used but sight for sore eyes.

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Pull out larder. Make organising and access simple and easy.

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Storage baskets. Not only built for veggies, you can utilise them in many ways.

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When Renovating, new kitchen and bedroom colors you simply have to look at.

Renovating your home always leaves you with the opportunity to go for something newer, more trendier and the latest in the market. With melamine boards there is always new development taking us deeper into new revolutionary colors. Kitchens with a difference from the usual "wood look", defy your bedrooms and studies with "softer feel" tones.

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These stucco colors is something new and out of the ordinary. You simply have to feel them!

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Give your kitchen a different look, something away from the usual.

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How much easier for you to get that "wow!" factor in your kitchen with something new.

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Get away from the mindset the "wood look" persists with kitchen cupboards, do a mix.

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Kitchens that are small but very efficinient in color.

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11 Inspiring Kitchens That Defy Their Small Size

Many homeowners dream of a kitchen with loads of workspace, lots of storage, and all the latest gadgets. But what if your kitchen is so small that you're unsure it can accommodate your vision? Fear not. Remodeling a small kitchen can be a big success if you keep a few key concepts in mind. First, minimize clutter and maximize efficiency. Get rid of uni-taskers and anything that doesn’t have a real practical purpose. Find the very best storage for every drawer and cabinet, and if storage elements are out in the open, make sure they add to the overall design of the room. Next, focus your design details. Make the most, visually, of the space that you have. Open up the areas that you can. A counter bar with backless stools will create an open sense of flow, while providing necessary seating, and consider open or glass shelving instead of traditional cabinets. When you use color, make a statement, whether it’s an accent wall of tile, or a bold color choice for cabinets. The 11 inspiring rooms that follow prove one important point: Just because your kitchen is small, does not mean you have to skimp on style when remodeling. With clever color choices, smart storage ideas, and an eye for detail, you can remodel a kitchen of any size into the room of your dreams.

Play with Pattern

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One design benefit of having only a small amount of wall space to work with is that you can mix and match colors and patterns without fear that the look will overpower the room. Here, a tiny patch of wall surrounded by white cabinets becomes a canvas for a cheerful checkerboard of blue and green tiles.

Open Up

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If it's structurally possible in your home, open up one wall of a small kitchen and install a high counter to separate it from the other space, like these homeowners did. Not only does the counter become a place to eat and do homework, it's also a gathering spot that will allow you to converse with guests while you prepare food.

Textural Tiles

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In lieu of paint, gleaming tiles can add an element of fun to a small kitchen. Further punctuate the space with details that catch the eye, like black hardware, colorful canisters, and a sculptural stove hood.

Look Up

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Maximize storage space by choosing cabinets that reach the ceiling. This kitchen's all-white color scheme, which embraces the walls, cabinetry, counters, pendant lights, and seating, helps keeping the space open.

Rustic Charm

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Blond wood cabinets echo this cottage's exposed beams and ceiling slats, while a stainless steel backsplash gives the room a modern edge. Along the windows, a wide sill that matches the countertops provides a casual spot for morning coffee.

Color Confidence

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While it's true that whites and lighter hues can visually expand a small space, a bold use of color creates a welcoming atmosphere as well. Here, apple green cabinetry pairs well with the black and white details of the room. Glass-front doors keep the color from overwhelming the space.

Galley Reimagined

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To create a U-shaped space, this homeowner closed off one end of a walk-through galley kitchen with a glass block wall behind the stove. The floor tiles echo the grid pattern of the glass blocks, emphasizing the graphic, modern feeling of the room.

Personal Style

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Whatever size room you're working with, let it reflect your taste. This cozy kitchen is brimming with country accents, from the butcher-block counters to the sink skirt and fabric-covered stools.

Fun Underfoot

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Never underestimate the power of a floor pattern to enliven a small space. A classic black-and-white checkerboard has timeless appeal and can be made with either tiles or paint. Maximize the floor's decorative punch by choosing a streamlined, all-white scheme for the rest of the room.

Classic Details

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Tucked into a sunny alcove, this charming space capitalizes on the decor that is so popular in kitchen design today: white walls, white cabinets, black granite counters, and warm wood floors. Recessed lighting and bare windows underscore the room's clean-lined look.

Take a Seat

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Much loved for their nostalgic charm, banquettes can be a great seating solution in small kitchens. Here, two benches (one with additional storage built into the back) are positioned in front of a sunny window. Other eye-catching details in the room include colorful collections housed on open shelves and a playful linoleum pattern on the floor.

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Ways to Make Your Kitchen Look and Feel Bigger

Those who say "good things come in small packages" probably don't have to contend with small-kitchen challenges like crammed cupboards and limited counter space. If your kitchen seems more cramped than convenient these days, it may be time for a shake-up.

Create Space with Light Colors

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Create Space with Light ColorsThe three main design components that determine how spacious a room feels are color, lighting, and the contents of the room. The easiest quick fix, particularly if you're not ready to cut back on your cookware collection or install additional lighting, is repainting. Walls that are dark and bold can make a kitchen feel crowded (or cozy), while, conversely, lighter hues offer an airy feel. Create a sense of openness with antique whites, off-whites, creams, light yellows, or pale shades of gray.

Avoid Strong Visual Contrast

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Once you pick a light color, commit to it. To liven things up, some homeowners make the mistake of incorporating an accent floor—one strong, bold-hued wall in an otherwise light-toned kitchen. In a large kitchen, that can work but in a small kitchen, strong visual contrast creates a feeling of segmentation and restriction. A better way to add a little optical oomph into an otherwise monotone kitchen is to play with the extras. Keep all the walls light and bright.

Accent Lighting

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The human eye is naturally drawn to the highest contrasting point in a room and in a kitchen, that’s usually the top of the cabinets. When shadows create a strong visual line between the cabinets and the ceiling, the kitchen can feel as cramped as it would with a high-contrast accent wall. You can erase or soften those shadows by installing up lighting above the cabinets. It casts a gentle illumination that eases the visual contrast created by shadows and as a result makes the whole room feel more open. Lighting installed beneath upper cabinets and directed onto the countertop works in a similar way.

Find a Place for Everything

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When they're left out on the countertop, cookbooks, spices, and small appliances eat up valuable work space and draw attention to a kitchen's insufficient size. Aside from taller upper cabinets, options like concealed storage racks and pull-out or swing-out shelves maximize storage space behind tidily closed doors. Remember: The less cluttered the kitchen, the larger it will feel.

Reflective Materials

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Shiny surfaces can bounce light and ultimately make any kitchen feel larger. It has a lot to do with the way shiny surfaces pick up and reflect the hues of the walls and cabinets. For example, if you have antique white cabinets, the sheen of stainless steel appliances will reflect some of this off-white hue and amplify the space-enhancing effects of your choice in cabinet color.

Natural Light

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The view from a kitchen window should make the outdoors—be it a deck where you entertain or a large, lush backyard—seem like an extension of the kitchen. Swap out heavy draperies and blinds for sheer curtains or simply a valance, and leave the rest of the window uncovered. The additional natural light will not only visually expand the space, but will also help instill that coveted airiness.

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Ways to Get More Kitchen Counter Space

Counter space. No matter how big the kitchen, you hardly ever hear anyone complaining that there's too much of it. Especially in a compact kitchen, clear counters are a precious commodity. Luckily, there are lots of smart storage ideas that can clear up that problem.

Roll Me Away

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Roll Me AwayIf you're striving to save space, a rolling cart with a butcher block does a double duty. Use the top for prep when you need it, and give dishes or other supplies a good home on the shelves underneath.

Hang Time

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kitchen utensils have a notch on the handle, perfect for perching up high. This way, you can save your drawer space for something else.

Sink It

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When you're chopping, you can't be washing, so why not wash up sink as a prep area? Any cutting board slightly wider than your sink will do the trick.

Beyond the Block

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Let's face it, traditional knife blocks are counter hogs. A simple solution is to store knives on the wall with a magnetic holder, but make sure you dry your knives thoroughly before storing and place them carefully on the strip.

Top-Shelf Idea

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Open shelving—where ever you can, mounted on a painted wall, or even free-hanging from the ceiling—can greatly increase your kitchen storage capabilities. Although you'll want to choose eye-pleasing items to house there, the net result will be an increase in space down below.

Another Way to Look At It

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Having a limited amount of kitchen real estate can inspire creative, and at times beautiful, solutions. Installing a few shelves inside a window not only gains surface area for storage, but also captures a stunning backdrop for anything placed there.

Island Idea

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Use your kitchen island to work a bit harder for you by adding shelves for books, or bars for hanging towels or utensils.

Hole in the Wall

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Even if your kitchen's footprint is small, you may uncover a treasure trove of storage possibilities. In many cases, reclaiming this hidden wall space requires remodeling only this one area instead of the whole kitchen.

Corner Pocket

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Freestanding shelves like these from house hold suppliers can give you a clever, efficient way to use that often-neglected corner space.

Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

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Use a cake stand to hold high-use items like salt, pepper, and olive oil. If you need more room, you can easily transfer the stand to another spot in the kitchen.

Jar Ingenuity

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Ah, the storage jar. What a great idea: Affix the metal lids to the underside of a cabinet, and screw the jars on and off as you need them.

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Maintaining your kitchen herb garden

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1. Using the right growing soil.

Indoor herbs have a better shot at healthy growth if you plant them in a sterile growing soil. Choose a “potting mix” or “growing mix” that has the word “sterile” on the label. This type of growing medium contains a germ-free mixture of lightweight ingredients, such as peat moss, vermiculite, and shredded pine bark, which resist compaction so roots can develop easily. Avoid using soil from your garden that can become dense and compact, and also contains bacteria and/or tiny insects that could kill your kitchen herbs.

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2. Startig seeds can go further.

If you purchase young plants from a garden center, you’ll be harvesting in no time—but once those plants “go to seed” they’ll quit producing herbs. So for kitchen herb gardens that last, buy seed packets, from which you can grow multiple plants. A single young plant runs R40 to R60 while a packet of seeds can provide you with 20 plants, or more, for about R20. Most herbs will be ready to harvest in two to three months from the time the seeds sprout.

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3. Keep soil moist until sprouts appear.

Kitchen herb seeds are quick to develop but they require a consistent level of moisture until they sprout. Fill your pot with damp growing medium. Place two to five seeds on top of the medium, and then lightly sprinkle dry soil on top—just a dusting will do. Cover the entire pot with plastic wrap and put it in a dark location until the seeds sprout. Then, remove the plastic and set the pot on the windowsill.

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4. Start new seeds often.

The average herb plant will reach maturity and go to seed in about four months, after which it will no longer produce fresh herbs. By about every two months, the new plants will be producing vigorous growth by the time the existing ones are declining, and you’ll always have a fresh supply of herbs.

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5. Don't use too much fertilizer.

You can feed your kitchen herbs with a vegetable fertilizer every two or three months, but dilute the solution to one-third the recommended strength. Indoor herbs do well with a small amount of fertilizer, while too much can cause rapid growth that reduces the flavor of the herbs.

 6. Harvest often.

Harvesting leaves from the tops of herb stems will encourage the plant to grow more. Just be sure to snip carefully. Remove no more than 1/3 of a stem when you’re ready to add the herb to your food. Cutting too much can damage the plant and cause it to stop growing.

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7. Water spray your herbs.

Spraying your herbs once a week is usually sufficient. Most herbs prefer slightly damp, but not soggy, conditions. Give plants enough water so that a little excess runs into the drainage saucer below. An hour after watering, dump out the saucer to ensure that the roots aren’t sitting in water. If the soil dries out very quickly, which can happen if the herb is growing rapidly and its roots are absorbing more moisture than normal, water every three to five days. 

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Old Kitchen Trends You Might Regret

A big kitchen renovation is one of the Most expensive improvements you can make to your home. Perhaps you've heard the expression "kitchens sell houses." If it's true that a beautiful and functional kitchen will help you sell your home. A big kitchen renovation is one of the most expensive improvements you can make to your home. Perhaps you've heard the expression "kitchens sell houses." If it's true that a beautiful and functional kitchen will help you sell your home.

Over-the-Range Microwave

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Saving space by installing the microwave over the range has been standard kitchen protocol for years. But that practice is on its way out. As home buyers begin to favor universal design principles, keeping necessities accessible for the entire family becomes ever more important. Consider moving the micro to under-the-counter nooks and drawers instead.

Pot Racks

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Pot racks certainly had their moment in kitchen design. Placing a large pot rack over a central kitchen island, however, is no longer your best bet. Pots are now stashed neatly in drawers as opposed to living out in the open. Opting for a redesign that's sleek and minimalist will remain a safe choice for years to come.

Farmstyle Sinks

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It once seemed that homeowners would never tire of the throwback charm of the farm style sink, yet you'll rarely see one installed in a kitchen renovation today. Stick with stainless steel, which will always be practical and in style.

Appliance Garage

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It is nice to keep your appliances off the countertop. But at the expense of the space an appliance garage requires? The trend of large cabinet drawers is here to stay, and there is plenty of room in there for your small appliances.

Tiny Backsplash

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Minimal backsplashes are out, and for good practical reasons. Spills and splatters don’t necessarily have good aim. A tile or glass backsplash that goes all the way from counter to cabinets is much easier to keep clean and looking nice.

Skipping Window Treatments

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Keeping windows open and unfettered by shades or curtains has been a trend for several years - mimicking the urban style of loft living. But the trade off for this chic style is a complete no privacy and contending daily with the constant glare of unfiltered sun. Luckily, this is a trend that’s easy to reverse. There are lots of simple, minimalist window treatments that will keep your windows uncluttered while serving their important practical purpose. Not taking care of these will lead to replacing kitchen windows which can be a costly exercise.

Tiled Countertops

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Tiled countertops were big in the 70’s and 80’s and made a comeback recently in more minimalist designs. It is cheaper thn granite other solid natural countertop surfaces. But regardless of tile size and design, it is a maintenance headache. It’s hard enough to clean grout on a vertical surface in a shower. Bright AppliancesThere’s been a recent bright pop up in colour appliances to break up the sea of stainless that’s reigned supreme for years. Just beware that a trend is a trend, and will eventually (sometimes sooner than later) fade.

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The 5 Best Kitchen Flooring Options for Your Renovation

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The kitchen has become the hub of the modern home, not just a cook space but a gathering place for family and friends and a focal point for activity. With all that goes on in today’s kitchen, it’s crucial that the floor can withstand high foot traffic as well as the all the inevitable spills and spatters. It also has to suit your personal style and fit your budget.

FOUR KITCHEN FLOOR MUSTS

Keep the following in mind when floor shopping:

Durability: To withstand frequent spills without staining, and to survive dropped skillets without damage, choose flooring that’s tough enough to survive your lifestyle.

Water-resistance: Your kitchen is a “semi-wet” room, so the flooring you choose should not be damaged by the occasional spilled glass of juice.

Scrub able: Messes always seem to end up underfoot, so the best kitchen flooring is one that’s easy to keep clean.

Design-friendly: When all is said and done, you want your kitchen to look just as good as the rest of your home. With today’s flooring options, you can have an attractive kitchen floor that’s resilient to boot.

Flooring manufacturers offer a wide assortment of materials that are functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. The following five flooring choices top the most-desirable list for contemporary kitchens. Start here when planning your kitchen redo, and you’re sure to find one that meets your needs.

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  • 1.SHEET VINYL

Pros: Water-resistant, scrub able, comfortable underfoot, and budget friendly
Cons: Heavy appliances can leave depressions (avoidable with coasters under appliance legs)

Sheet vinyl has been around for decades and has only gotten better. The fact that it comes in a large sheet, as opposed to small, stick-down tiles, means there are no seams where water can seep down to the subflooring. Sheet vinyl offers wall-to-wall waterproof floor protection, which is always welcome in busy kitchens that see a lot of spills.

Vinyl flooring doesn’t get cold in the winter (as, say, ceramic tile can), so it’s comfortable underfoot all year round. It is easy to clean too; regular sweeping and occasional mopping with an all-purpose vinyl floor cleaner is sufficient.

Sheet vinyl is available in a wide variety of patterns and colours. The thicker the vinyl, the more durable and the more expensive. Expect to pay R300 to R1000 per square meter depending on quality. Professional installation will add another R100 to R300 per square meter. Pro installation is recommended because the vinyl sheet must be perfectly cut to fit the exact dimensions of the room and then carefully glued and rolled with a heavy press to prevent air bubbles.

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  1. PORCELAIN TILE

Pros: Extremely durable, waterproof, stain resistant, and good for high-traffic areas
Cons: Grout requires periodic sealing to prevent stains

For the ultimate in durability, it’s hard to beat porcelain tile. Though similar to ceramic, porcelain is fired at higher temperatures, which makes it stronger and more resistant to damage. It comes in a variety of sizes and shapes, from 300mm squares to 1800mm planks that mimic hardwood. Like other hard flooring surfaces, porcelain can be slippery when wet, and it’s extremely hard—glasses and plates that fall on the floor will likely shatter.

Porcelain tile is heavy and will add substantial weight, so it’s not usually recommended for a second-story floor. If you have questions about whether your floor system is adequate for installing the tile, contact an engineer or a reputable tile setter. Depending on brand and quality, you’ll pay R250 to R800 per square meter for porcelain tile and an additional R350 to R1000 for professional installation. Unless you’re familiar with laying tile, it’s best to leave this to a professional. Installing porcelain requires the use of a special type of underlayment and thin set mortar.

Though porcelain tile is easy to clean with an all-purpose floor cleaner and a wet mop, the grout between the tiles should be sealed every three to four years with a grout sealer to reduce the risk of stains.

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  1. ENGINEERED VINYL PLANK (EVP)

Pros: Waterproof, DIY-friendly, closely resembles real hardwood flooring
Cons: Heavy appliances may leave depressions

One of the newer flooring products on the market, engineered vinyl planks (EVP) are getting a lot of attention. The planks, which resemble hardwood, are completely waterproof. On the surface of the plank is a layer of luxury vinyl, bonded to a waterproof core that’s slightly cushioned to give the floor a soft feel underfoot.

Like other engineered flooring (laminate flooring or floating flooring), EVP planks do not attach directly to the subfloor. Instead, the planks snap together, which makes installation DIY-friendly. The flooring runs R500 to R700 per square meter and includes installation instructions. If you choose to have it professionally installed, expect to pay another R300 to R600 per square meter. Unlike a lot of flooring choices, such as sheet vinyl or tile, EVP can be installed directly over existing tile, concrete, or linoleum.

In terms of downsides, EVP is not as resilient as porcelain—and moving a heavy fridge could leave a scratch, so care should be taken when moving heavy appliances. It’s a breeze to clean, however, with just a mop dampened with soapy water.

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  1. STONE TILE

Pros: Adds a natural, one-of-a-kind ambiance (no two tiles are identical), non-slip surface
Cons: Expensive and can stain without regular sealing

If you want natural flooring at any price, check out stone tile. You’ll pay R240 to R600 per square meter, depending on the type of stone, and factor in an additional R250 to R550 per square meter for professional installation. Hiring a professional tile setter is highly recommended because of the special underlayment and thin set mortar required. Even slight discrepancies in the thickness of the mortar or failure to use the correct product could result in stone tiles popping off.

Natural stone tile adds beauty to any kitchen and, unlike manufactured tiles, it’s by and large non-slip due to its semi-porous surface. Choose from a handful of natural tan, gray, red, and brown earth tones, depending on the type of stone you choose. The following types of stone are commonly available in flooring tiles:

  • Travertineis smooth underfoot, non-slip, and available in light-to-medium soft earth tones.
  • Marbleis very hard and can be polished to a high sheen. Unfortunately, it can also be slippery when wet. Marble is available in a wide variety of colours, including green, brown, gray, and near-black with pink, red, gold, and burgundy veining.
  • Slateis one of the best kitchen flooring choices for many reasons, but namely, because it’s slip-resistant and very durable. It comes available in blue, gray, red, and orange tones, with attractive veining in the same colours.
  • Granitetile is very hard, making it a good choice for high traffic areas. It comes in deep gray’s, blacks, tans, and mottled white tones. Granite resists scratching and can be polished to high shine, although the higher the sheen, the greater the slip factor.

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5. Cork

Pros: Budget-friendly, DIY-friendly, warm and cushioned feel underfoot
Cons: Can be scratched by heavy objects

A relatively new addition to the flooring market, cork is quickly becoming a preferred choice for those who want a warm soft floor at an affordable price. Expect to pay R300 to R800 per square meter for cork tiles in square or plank shapes. Cork tiles can be installed by an enthusiastic homeowner—they’re available in peel-and-stick, glue down, or snap together assembly. Professional installation, if desired, can run an additional R250 to R400 per square meter.

Composed of ground-up cork combined with resins and then compressed into firm tiles, this flooring is available in a variety of gray, tan, and brown shades. While cork flooring can depress under the legs of heavy appliances, given time, the depressions will return to their original state. Cork flooring is soft underfoot and slightly springy. It reduces sound transfer, so it’s a good choice for homes that have a living area beneath the kitchen. Cork flooring resists stains but it is not stain-proof. Spilled wine that’s not promptly wiped up may leave a stain, but one of the cool things about cork is that it can be refinished by sanding down the surface and then applying stain and a sealer.

Cork can fade if exposed to direct sunlight, so protect your floor by using curtains or blinds. Clean-up is simple; wipe up spills promptly and mop with soapy water when necessary. Follow up by wiping the floor with a clean, dry microfiber mop to remove excess water.

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Ways you are accidentally damaging your kitchen counter tops

The most important work surface in the home, the kitchen countertop is built to accommodate food preparation, regular cleaning, pesky stains, and more. But despite their durability, countertops can suffer from costly damage whether they're made of laminate, marble, granite, or any other material. Here are ways people unintentionally damage their countertops, with tips on how to keep yours in tip-top shape for years to come.

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1. Many hard surfaces crack under pressure. Placing heavy objects near unsupported edges or joints can cause cracks, ruptures, and fractures. You had better think twice before purchasing that extra-heavy microwave or standing on the countertop to reach a high shelf!

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2. Heavy duty cleaning products containing bleach or ammonia can cause stone and granite countertops to lose their luster. To prevent them from fading, stick with soap and hot water for daily cleanups.

3. Check the manufacturer's recommendations before you put toaster ovens, slow cookers, and other heat-generating appliances on your countertop, because temperature changes can cause some materials to crack. Rather place a trivet or cutting board between the appliance and the counter.

4. Because marble countertops are made of calcium carbonate, which is chemically a base, they're especially sensitive to anything acidic. One simple splash of vinegar, wine, lemon juice, or tomato sauce will cause dull spots, known as etches, on the surface. If you spill anything acidic on your marble countertop, clean it up right away with water, then neutralize the stain by sprinkling baking soda onto it.

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5. Pools of water, especially hard tap water, can cause stains and white crusty buildup if left on the kitchen counter. After wiping up the spilled water, be sure to completely dry the countertop with a towel to prevent future problems.

6. Chopping, slicing, and dicing directly on the kitchen countertop is not good. Fine scratches can disrupt the waterproof sealant on most countertops, making them more susceptible to damage down the road.

7. Splitting or peeling edges are common problems on laminate countertops. Reduce the stress on your counters by never leaning on the edges.

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8. Placing a hot pot directly on a countertop can cause discoloration or cracking. Use trivets or pot holders as a barrier, or risk creating a burn mark you’ll forever regret.

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9. Everyone wants a sunny kitchen, but direct sunlight can cause laminate countertops to fade. Sunlight can also fade some sealants used on granite and wood countertops. Pull down a shade during peak daylight hours to minimize long-term damage.

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10. Do not always prepare food in the same spot. Over time, that section of the counter will suffer from scratches, etches, and other signs of wear and tear. Try migrating to different parts of the counter regularly.

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FEB
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Kitchen herb gardens

If you enjoy cooking, you know how a garden of fresh herbs is a wonderful way to add a bright zest to your creations. A handful of Italian basil, some tomatoes, olive oil and mozzarella can make a delicious and fast summertime meal, so why not create your own kitchen herb garden so that fresh ideas and herbs are at the ready all year-round? Harvesting herbs from your own garden will enhance your home and all your meals.

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

The use of fresh herbs can mean the difference between decent food and truly vibrant, delicious cuisine. But purchasing such herbs at the shop can get pricey, especially if you only need a sprig or two. Plus, it’s a lot more convenient to have the likes of fresh basil, parsley, rosemary, and so much more right at your disposal, whenever you get the urge to whip something up.

{Weizter} {Kitchens}
A good kitchen garden starts with a sunny – and convenient – spot in the kitchen; say, near a window and acess to water points. If cutting herbs means a long traipse to the backyard garden, you’ll not be as likely to use herbs from there as opposed to from one that is located inside.

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Supplemental lighting can let you nurture a kitchen herb garden even if you don’t have an adequately sunny spot. Grow  kits are available from garden centers or online retailers for between R800 to R1500, depending on size. And if you’re DIY-handy, you can build lighting using dimensional lumber to construct a frame and standard fluorescent bulbs and fixtures. Whatever you rig up, remember: You’ll need to position your plants within a few inches of the fluorescent bulbs for the best results.

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Back splashes for a Unique Kitchen

Believe it or not, a kitchen is more than appliances, cabinets and countertops. While those are the elements that serve the greatest function, there are a host of details that bring everything in the room together, like sinks, lighting, and of course, the back needs to stand out with the help of a unique back splash.

Galvanized Metal

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Galvanized MetalMetal backsplashes are typically of the stamped variety, but a flat sheet of galvanized metal makes a clean and modern statement in a country kitchen or mudroom potting area.

Marble Slab

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The gray veins in this white marble provide visual interest in an all-white kitchen, while bringing some warmth and fun to the design. Patterned tile backsplash is a commitment, but one that makes a bold statement in a kitchen.

Wood Backsplash

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Salvaged wood creates rustic texture on the kitchen backsplash and offers eco-conscious renovators a way to reuse an existing material.

Black and White

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Like black tie for the kitchen, white subway tile with black grout never goes out of style. And although it looks sophisticated, the material costs are low, making this stylish look quite affordable. 

Antique Mirror Backsplash

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A little bit of Parisian glamour in the kitchen comes via antique mirror installed as the backsplash. Its patina makes the material more forgiving and permit less meticulous maintenance.

Concrete

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Some perfectionists shy away from concrete on account of maintenance, but if you reseal and wax concrete occasionally, it makes a great backsplash material for an industrial look. 

Exposed Brick

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If you’re lucky enough to have an exposed brick wall in the kitchen, why not keep it visible as a gorgeous backsplash? One word of caution: Brick should be sealed, since it is a porous material.

Kitchen Mosaic

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If you really want to make your kitchen one-of-a-kind, consider a mosaic . The small tiles will add texture and flair, while the pattern... is more or less up to you!

Modern Glass

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This isn't your mother's glass tile. While normal glass backsplashes feature either a whole sheet of glass or glass subway tiles, Everstone is putting out uniquely shaped designs, from pointy shards to circular bubbles. 

Coin Backsplash

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If your change jar is threatening to take over your kitchen, why not let it? This backsplash, made of over 6,000 extraneous coins, knows the true meaning of "remarkable". 

Wood Paneling

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When used as a backsplash, white tongue-and-groove board is the perfect accompaniment in a country kitchen.

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OCT
27
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New & Notable: Ideas for the Luxury Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart and soul of the home, where friends and family gather and so many memories are created. When it's time to remodel this vital space, be sure to consider current trends and new innovations; products that will bring efficiency and beauty…The kitchen is the heart and soul of the home, where friends and family gather and so many memories are created. When it's time to remodel this vital space, be sure to consider current trends and new innovations; products that will bring efficiency and beauty…

Wall Ovens

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Wall OvensThe latest line of wall ovens looks beautiful and serves up features that make it easier to whip up a gourmet meal. Are you always on the go? You can wirelessly control the oven's mode, temperature, and timer from your smartphone. They even made cleanup a snap with self-cleaning oven racks and a quick-cleaning Steam Option. Welcome to the future of cooking.

Exotic Wood Countertops

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Sources in the know tell us that kitchen trends this year are all about exotic wood countertops and cabinet veneers. New trends offers a variety of exotic and domestic woods, including zebrawood, African mahogany, lyptus, and teak.

Dishwasher

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Don't be fooled by Bosch's newest 800 series dishwashers—at 38 to 42 dBA, they're simply so quiet that you won't even realize they're on. With Energy Star compliance, a half-load option for small loads, built-in water softener, and a full-color clear text display, these dishwashers are so convenient, you just might look forward to cleaning up after dinner.

Induction Cooktops

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Induction cooktops, offer precise temperature control and heat up more quickly than traditional gas or electric cooktops. A bridge function provides the flexibility of turning two separate cooking zones into one larger zone to accommodate wider cookware such as griddles or poaching pans. This cooktop is so smart, you barely have to lift a finger.

Built-in Refrigerators

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Consider built-in refrigerators designed for those who want serious storage with a customized look. Humidity-controlled vegetable compartments and sealed snack pans maintain freshness, while upfront electronic controls with a digital readout facilitate precise temperature settings for maximum efficiency.

Tiled Backsplash

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A new backsplash is a great example of a stand-alone cosmetic project that can dramatically transform a space. There are materials and innovative manufacturing techniques to produce a range of ceramic, glass, and brick tiles that can breathe new life into your kitchen.

Walk In Pantry

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Although walk-in pantries conjure up idyllic notions of home canning and preserves, today's pantry is more likely to have such modern conveniences as a microwave or wine refrigerator nestled among the canned goods. In planning a pantry, focus on simplicity, organization, and location to ensure that items are efficiently stowed away and accessible.

Eco-Friendly Flooring

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Bamboo flooring's popularity as an eco-friendly alternative to hardwood has grown almost as quickly as bamboo itself. Flooring companies, offers a multitude of prefinished options in traditional and contemporary styles. Available colors range from Super White to Charcoal, in a nod to one of this year's biggest kitchen design trends: mixing light and dark elements.

Pot Fillers

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Anyone who has worked in a restaurant is already familiar with the advantages of a pot filler, but these convenient devices are quickly becoming a mainstay of home kitchens across the nation. The Traditional Pot Filler reduces back strain caused by carrying heavy pots of water, saves time, and adds a professional touch to the kitchen.

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10 Ingredients for a Cutting-Edge Kitchen

For the latest in smart tech and push-button convenience, look no further than today's kitchens. Truly modern kitchen amenities are not only technologically savvy, but also offer exceptional energy efficiency, durability, and ease of use. Here are 10 innovative ideas.

Smart Cooktops

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Forget cleaning around plate tops. The Thermador Masterpiece Series Freedom Induction Cooktop breaks free of traditional limitations to offer the largest fully usable cooking space on the market. This sleek cooktop is equipped with a full-color touchscreen interface and state-of-the-art technology that enables it to recognize the shape of your pots and pans, heating only the surfaces you need. 

Steam Ovens

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Steam ovens cook food with heat generated by boiling water in a built-in reservoir. These appliances are available from many manufacturers, and most today also function as convection ovens. But the steam oven's real claims to fame are its easy to clean interior, faster cook times, and the moist, flavorful foods it produces.

Custom Refrigeration

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How would you like a combination fridge, freezer, and wine cooler that fits seamlessly into your kitchen? Miele's just that. It's not just their customizable widths and cabinet-depth installations that make them special. With separate compressors for each fridge and freezer section, their design eliminates flavor transfer, so your ice cubes will never taste like your leftovers.

High-Efficiency Dishwashers

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The Bosch Benchmark dishwashers go beyond the water-saving, energy-efficient models that have been ob the market. They're virtually silent and feature touchpad controls and flexible loading—and they even project the remaining cycle time onto the floor in large, easy-to-read numbers.

One-Touch Faucets

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Messy hands in the kitchen usually make for drippy, germy faucet handles—but not with a one-touch or touchless faucet, available these days from many manufacturers, including Kohler and Moen. Cutting raw chicken or rolling out dough? No problem. The high-tech sensors in these fixtures allow you to wash up without gunking up your faucet.

Cabinet Built-Ins

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In today's cutting-edge kitchen, cumbersome cabinets need not apply. The future of cabinetry is replete with rollout shelves, built-in compost collectors, and blind corner accessories that leave no space wasted. And now that more new cabinets are made from recycled materials, you can feel doubly good about your next renovation. The cabinets shown here, made from reclaimed vintage oak veneer panels, make an environmentally friendly statement in the kitchen.

LED Lighting

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Because LEDs take up so little space, they can be stylishly incorporated into undercabinet lighting, drawers, and cabinet interiors. Energy-efficient LED lighting is available in a wide array of colors and lumens—and, perhaps most important, they generate less heat than incandescent or halogen globes, so they help keep the cook cool.

Engineered Work Surfaces

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Cambria's engineered stone countertops combine the vibrant colors and patterns of natural quartz with tough, nonporous resins, resulting in countertops that are unmatched in their durability and resistance to scratches, stains, and germs.

Coffee from the Tap

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There are no shortage of innovative appliances to make your next cup of coffee. But if money is no object, consider the smartphone-controlled TopBrewer. It may look like a simple, graceful faucet, but it’s actually the world's smallest milk foamer and the fastest countertop barista. With one of these on deck, you're never more than 30 seconds away from a perfect espresso—or cappuccino, or macchiato, or even hot water for tea.

Tea Time

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Wake up to boiling water with this WI-Fi enabled teakettle. Controlled by your smartphone and synchronized with your alarm clock, the iKettle will heat water and keep it warm for up to 30 minutes.

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Questions and answers on Bamboo Counter tops in your Kitchen

Bamboo Countertops 

The Sustainable OptionBamboo countertops can be a great choice for anyone who is interested in replacing their current counters with a new, eco friendly option.  There are lots of great reasons to consider bamboo, just see these questions and answers.

How Are Bamboo Countertops Made?

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There are actually a few ways to make bamboo countertops. Which you ultimately decide on will depend mostly on your personal preference.The first type of bamboo countertops are actually a form of laminate. One of the most popular makers of this type of countertop is All Totally Bamboo. To create their eco friendly product, they start by making cross-brand laminates that they call multilam.Small strips of bamboo were glued together to create the planks. Once the planks are complete, they are put together with an adhesive that is non-toxic and formaldehyde-free.These countertops are typically delivered with no finish – which means that they’ll need to have a sealer applied once they have been installed. To keep a project green, it’s important to apply an eco-friendly, low-VOC sealer.


What is End Grain Bamboo Countertops?

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Another type of bamboo countertops are typically called end-grain bamboo. Just like the planks, they are glued together. However, instead of creating long planks, the companies that make counters out of end-grain do so by taking rectangular pieces of the end-grain. They’re glued together and a sealer is added.

Are bamboo countertops durable?

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Bamboo surfaces have anti-bacterial properties that make this material an apt choice for kitchen counters. ... Bamboo countertops are unique and classy.Bamboo surfaces are strong and durable. They can provide long-lasting services by bearing daily wear and tear of busy kitchens


Can you stain a bamboo countertop?

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One can get “light” & “dark” oils that'll “stain your bamboo top in the process. Polyurethane & varnishes require a base coat primer – you can use an oil such as tung oil or linseed oil. ... You can also mix the stain into your sealer (remember to mix thoroughly). This will ensure a uniform finish.


What color is natural bamboo?

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Bamboo has 2 colors, Natural and Carbonized. Natural color: The natural color of bamboo is light yellow. It is the original color of bamboo strips. When bamboo is heated, different colors are produced.


How do I care for my Bamboo Countertops?

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Cleaning these green counters is quite simple. You can keep them clean with warm water and a mild soap. Because they have a finish applied, it’s important not to place hot items directly on your bamboo counte tops.Even though bamboo is a strong material, it’s also important not to cut directly on the counter. Both the counter and the finish can be damaged with a knife.


What sizes can you get them in?

Dimensions available

:• Strand Woven Board 2440mm x 600mm x 30mm

• Strand Woven Board 2440mm x 1220mm x 20mm

• Horizontal Carbonated 2440mm x 600mm x 30mm

• Horizontal Carbonated 2440mm x 1220mm x 20mm

• Horizontal Carbonated 2440mm x 1220mm x 15mm

• Bamboo Woven Veneer 2440mm x 1220mm x 5mm

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04
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Get fresh with your own kitchen herb garden

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If you enjoy cooking, you know how a garden of fresh herbs is a wonderful way to add a bright zest to your creations. A handful of Italian basil, some tomatoes, olive oil and mozzarella can make a delicious and fast summertime meal, so why not create your own kitchen herb garden so that fresh ideas and herbs are at the ready all year-round? Harvesting herbs from your own kitchen garden will enhance your home and all your meals.

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

The use of fresh herbs can mean the difference between decent food and truly vibrant, delicious cuisine. But purchasing such herbs at the shop can get pricey, especially if you only need a sprig or two. Plus, it’s a lot more convenient to have the likes of fresh basil, parsley, rosemary, and so much more right at your disposal, whenever you get the urge to whip something up.

{Weizter} {Kitchens}
A good kitchen garden starts with a sunny – and convenient – spot in the kitchen; say, near a window and acess to water points. If cutting herbs means a long traipse to the backyard garden, you’ll not be as likely to use herbs from there as opposed to from one that is located inside.

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

Supplemental lighting can let you nurture a kitchen herb garden even if you don’t have an adequately sunny spot. Grow  kits are available from garden centers or online retailers for between R800 to R1500, depending on size. And if you’re DIY-handy, you can build lighting using dimensional lumber to construct a frame and standard fluorescent bulbs and fixtures. Whatever you rig up, remember: You’ll need to position your plants within a few inches of the fluorescent bulbs for the best results.

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New Things Always to Keep Near Your Kitchen Sink

If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then the sink is the heart of the kitchen. From meal prep to clean up, you spend a good amount of time near your kitchen sink. Maximize the most high-traffic spot in your kitchen by adding a few extras that will amp up the sink usage.

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Dishwasher On the Counter

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The concept behind countertop dishwashers was always a good one. But for years, even the top-dollar models failed to deliver anything close to the spic-and-span results of a traditional unit. But that was then. Now, options are available and finally equal their full-size peers in performance—even while providing the extra flexibility and convenience of a portable design. Setup is simply a matter of plugging in the dishwasher and hooking its hose up to the kitchen faucet. Perhaps the most amazing part: Despite being compact enough to rest comfortably on a counter, the Danby appliance boasts enough capacity and cleaning power to handle up to six place settings in each cycle.

Mighty Magnet

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Adjacent to your sink, above the counter where you typically do prep work at meal times, consider mounting a magnetic utensil holder. At a generous length of 30cm offers enough real estate and, thanks to a powerful neodymium magnet, more than enough grip to organize and store a variety of kitchen tools, everything from dish scrubbers to spatulas to serrated knives. Style-neutral and at home in any kitchen, the Stainless steel magnetic knife bar even comes packaged with its own mounting hardware, making it an all-in-one, easy-install method of making sure your most frequently used utensils remain within easy arm's reach at all times.

Sudsy Sponge

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Constantly squirting extra dish soap into the sink during dish duty? While you might feel like you're always short on soap, the truth is that you're probably using too much. A generous squeeze of soap often gets washed away before you get full use out of it—a problem that the uniquely designed Soapy spnge sets out to solve. Just fill the capsule with your favorite dish soap, and start scrubbing. The three-layer scouring sponge slowly releases the right amount of soap exactly as you need it, so each dish gets the same amount of suds. No more reaching for the bottle mid-wash—and, ultimately, less soap wasted overall.

Hang It Up

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Avoid dripping across the kitchen floor every time you wash up by keeping your towels right where you need them. While storing them in drawers or over handles works well enough to get by, cloths still inevitably slip from their ad hoc perch. Not so with the cheery over the door hooks: They keep towels draped conveniently in place and are sure to brighten any builder-grade cabinet, to boot!

 Surface Swipe

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Accidents happen—especially in the kitchen. Most homeowners reach for the nearest roll of paper towels, but they aren't environmentally friendly nor are they the most effective option for picking up small crumbs. Instead, consider keeping the Surface swipe next to your sink. The swipe is a two-sided cleaning tool with a squeegee for wet spills and nylon bristles for dry spills. Homeowners can hang the stain-resistant and functional tool on the countertop, where it’s easily accessible for sweeping any mess into the sink. 

Extra Sink Storage

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Oftentimes the counter surrounding your sink gets cluttered with kitchen necessities, like sponges, dish soap, and hand towels. Keep everything in one place with the over the sink shelve . Made with a steel frame and wood top, the shelf increases your counter space without getting in the way. The attractive piece also serves as kitchen decor, especially when topped with potted herbs and other details.

Odor Eliminator

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Regular soap doesn't cut it when you're trying to get the stinky smells from garlic and onions off your hands. And while stainless steel is known as an effective odor remover, you probably aren't looking to wipe your hands all over your fridge. In comes this stainless steel soap Rub your hands between the soap-shaped bar under cold water, and the foul smells will be gone. Because it's not actually soap, the bar will never run out, and it requires zero cleaning. Now you can cook, chop and peel anything without worrying about the smells lingering.

Super Soft Dish Towels

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Every kitchen needs dish towels. For one, they’re more economically and environmentally friendly than paper towels. They also serve multiple purposes: cleaning up spills, protecting the counter from hot surfaces, and of course drying dishes. Shaggies go beyond what’s expected from a towel. Made out of cotton chenille, these dish towels absorb almost 10 times their weight in water. The soft material is also great for dusting and cleaning in other rooms of the house. 

Sink Caddy

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Everything finds its proper place in this easy sink organiser. The convenient catchall sticks to the edge of your sink with a plastic suction cup placed strategically on the bottom of the unit. Stick it to the sink with a drop of water, then line it with damp sponges, wet brushes, and more—the organizer's two large drainage holes will allow your supplies to dry out in between uses. 

Unroll and Rinse

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If you've ever used a counter top dish rack to air dry your dishes, you know the setup isn't ideal. No matter how carefully you rinse and place your dishes into the rack, there's always a puddle of water that collects on the counter. Never again, when you use an over-the-sink dish drainer like this one. The roll-up contraption opens flat and can be laid over half of a double sink. Set dripping dishes atop the rack and let the water drop into the sink rather than on your clean countertop.

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20
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Planning Guide: Kitchen Remodeling

Take the stress out of kitchen remodeling by becoming more familiar with your design, material, and budget options.

Kitchen makeovers remain popular as homeowners continue to invest to create a warm, stylish, comfortable, and efficient heart of the home. In addition to improved aesthetics and organization, kitchen remodels also hold reasonable resale value.

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According to Remodeling magazine’s 2016-2017 Cost vs. Value Report, midrange minor kitchen remodels—new countertops, appliances, cabinet fronts, and hardware—have an average national cost just shy of R80 000 and get 22% return on investment.

Midrange major remodels, which include new appliances, cabinets, countertops, flooring, and lighting, have a mid-range average of R110 00 and a nearly 36% return.

High-end renovations can easily cost R180 000 and up.

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Though aesthetics are important, the driving remodeling force is functionality. Start by doing some research and tour show houses and kitchen show rooms to see product up close and personal. Next, set a budget that reflects your main priorities for the new space and familiarize yourself with basic elements of design.Planning Your Best KitchenToday’s kitchens average 30 to 40 square meter and are increasingly part of an open-floor plan. Other trends include a move towards simplicity, uncluttered looks, energy efficiency, and natural materials. Look to design books, magazines, and websites for ideas.

Here are some key points to get you started:

How will you use the kitchen? Before you do anything, determine how you like to cook and entertain in your kitchen. Do you cook alone or with someone?

Is your kitchen a multi-purpose room where kids do homework and friends love to gather? Keep track of what currently works well and what doesn’t. For instance, if you’re forever crawling into the back of lower cabinets to retrieve something, jot that issue down.Stop the clutter. Now is your chance to take inventory of everything you need to store, then plan accordingly. Fortunately, cabinet makers realize storage and organization features drive sales, and they’ve responded accordingly.Think about efficiency.

If your kitchen feels more like an obstacle course than an organized work place, consider two tried-and-true kitchen layout basics:

• The Work Triangle. This imaginary triangle features the stove, refrigerator, and sink at the points. The old “5 steps rule” dictates that the perimeter of this triangle should not exceed 9 meters and that each side should be between 3 and 5 meters long. Make sure that the triangle doesn’t intersect an island or peninsula for more than a meter.

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 • The Work Station. Create separate stations for food prep, cooking, baking, and cleaning. Each area is centered around a major appliance and needs at least 30cm of counter space.

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Stick with a Budget. In all likelihood, you’ll need to make some choices on where to save and where to splurge. “Keep your priorities front and center,”  “A R50k range or a R250k one? A R100 sink or one that’s R3,500? A R4 polished brass knob or a R100 crystal model? What’s important to you?”As for budget breakdown, most realtor notes that you can expect cabinetry and hardware to run about 29% of your investment, appliances and ventilation can be 14%, countertops typically run 10%, and installation is about 13% of the total project cost. Set aside 10% or 20% of your budget for contingencies.For more on kitchen planning, consider:

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11
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Extending the Life of Your Kitchen Counter tops

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Preserve one of your biggest kitchen investments - those luxurious countertops, by following the advice from the pros who put them in. Today’s trendiest choices—granite; quartz, and solid-surface, can do a lot to breathe new life into a dated design and, at the same time, increase your home’s value.

 

{Weizter} {Kitchens}• Granite is 100 percent natural stone, cut in slabs and surface-sealed for a one-of-a-kind countertop.

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• Quartz, also called “engineered stone,” contains finely ground minerals combined with resins to create a lustrous, rock-hard surface.

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• Solid-surface is a synthetic option manufactured of acrylic and polyester resins to create a soft, smooth, matte-like surface.

These sleek options can easily be the most expensive item in a kitchen remodeling project, so you’ll want to do everything you can to keep them looking as good as new, even after years of use. While each type of countertop has its own inherent properties, all three will benefit from some standard good-care practices. Whether you’re safeguarding your new investment or trying to treat your existing ones better.

Cleaning Routine

Adopt a Cleaning RoutineCountertops are constantly subjected to splashes and spills, from hastily poured milk to a tipped can of soda. If you spill something, you need to wipe it up promptly. Both granite and solid-surface countertops can stain from certain liquids, such as coffee and wine. Quartz, on the other hand, is less likely to stain, thanks to its very low permeability. No matter what kind of countertop you have, it’s still a good idea to wipe up spills as soon as they occur—ignoring them is simply not sanitary on a surface where food is prepared.Your countertops will also benefit from a daily cleaning using a mild solution of water and a few drops of dish soap in a spray bottle. Just spray the countertop, run a clean, damp cloth over it, then dry with a soft dish towel. Don’t skip that last part: Drying a damp countertop will help prevent the hard water stains that can form if water droplets are left to dry on their own.

Only the Recommended Cleaners

You can’t always believe everything you read on the internet. This is one of the most common mistakes homeowners make. The best cleaner for a countertop is one that’s recommended by the manufacturers. The chemical makeup of a cleaner can’t be left to chance. Skip the countertop hacks you find online and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.  Suggested cleaning products come listed in the informational materials that accompany your new countertop. But if you’ve misplaced them, call the fabricator who installed the countertop, contact the manufacturer, or check the manufacturer’s website—after all, they’ll know best.

No Chemicals on the Countertop

The quartz, granite, and solid-surface countertops are so tough and durable that it’s easy to mistake them for a work surface fit for crafts, science projects, and other household activities. It’s time to break this bad habit, though, because chemicals and solvents—including paint thinner, varnish, and caustic products like oven cleaner—can damage the surface of both quartz and solid-surface countertops. Get into the practice of using a dedicated workbench or other surface for projects, and keep the chemicals off your countertop.

Cutting Boards

 

You can scratch any countertop, especially solid-surface countertops, so use a cutting board when you’re chopping onions and other foods. If you’re course-correcting a bit late, know that solid-surface countertops have renewable surfaces, which means that minor scratches can often be repaired by either sanding the surface down or using a soft-type scrubbing product to smooth down the edges of the scratches. Check the instructions that came with the countertop to ensure that you use the correct method. Granite and quartz are less likely to scratch, but it can happen—and if they do get scratched, there’s no way to repair them.

Towels and Trivets Are Handy

While all three countertops are heat resistant, none of them are completely heatproof. If you take a hot pan off the stove, don’t set it on the countertop. That can lead to thermal shock and even cracks in the countertop. Indeed, a solid-surface material can scorch and crack, while a quartz surface can become permanently discolored. Being natural stone, granite can withstand a hot pot for a short while—a few seconds—but one that’s set out directly on a granite countertop as part of a buffet, for instance, can lead to cracking.The easy solution? Always use trivets, or a mitt or towel to prevent direct contact between a hot plate and the countertop.

Stop Sitting or Standing on It

We’ve all been guilty of using the countertop as a stepping stool to reach the highest cabinet shelves or hoisting ourselves up to sit on the counter while chatting with family—but the stress takes a toll on your ’tops. Quartz and solid-surface countertops are the least likely to crack, but granite, due to the natural fissures that run through the stone, may be weak enough in certain spots to crack under the excess weight. Even when granite is professionally re-seamed, you’ll often be left with a visible repair mark to remind you of your goof. And besides, using a sturdy ladder is an all-around safer practice anyway.

Seal Granite Periodically

Of the three types of countertops, only granite requires a periodic application of sealant to help it resist stains and maintain a uniform sheen. Granite countertops come professionally sealed, but after a year or so, the surface may start to show signs of dulling. Manufacturers will use different types of sealant, and most sealants have a one- to three-year life expectancy. To keep the countertop looking its best, homeowners will need to reapply a granite sealant. Which one and how often depends on the manufacturer. It’s best to apply only the type of sealant suggested by the manufacturer and at the intervals recommended by the manufacturer

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