How to Improve Your Home's Kitchen for Just a Few Hundred Dollars
If money's tight but you want a great result, here are some tips to make your kitchen look a whole lot smarter - and command a much higher price - without a huge outlay.
You're desperate to replace those tasteless cabinets, lime-green appliances and worn countertops in your kitchen. The trouble is the $50,000 to $100,000 price of a high-end renovation and the thought of living on take-away food for three months during construction makes you feel ill.
With today's market favouring the buyer, you are very unlikely to get a full return on a major kitchen renovation, unfortunately.
As long as your kitchen has a good layout and the units are in good condition you can transform your kitchen for as little as $1000 to $10,000 simply by improving the appearance of what is already there. This gives you a much better chance of seeing a full return on your investment.
With the color scheme it's best to keep to neutral colors such as white, beige or cream. Natural materials are also a good idea as they don't go out of style quickly. Hiring a professional kitchen designer could be a good idea, and they will help you choose materials, products and colors. Then, taking your budget into consideration, you can pick your projects.
If you have a few hundred dollars to spend:
Ceiling Fixtures - Don't put up with an ugly ceiling that's not too easy on the eye. For $25 to $250 you can purchase fixtures that match your cabinet hardware. Hire a qualified electrician to fit these unless you're qualified yourself.
Laminate Flooring - For under $5 per square foot you can easily fit laminate flooring in your kitchen (if your kitchen floor is level with the floors in adjacent rooms). This is a great way to make unsightly chipped tiles or old linoleum disappear.
Cabinets - Spend a few dollars to replace tarnished knobs and pulls with brushed nickel and you will instantly make them look more modern. It's important to make sure that any new hardware matches the existing holes. A new coat of paint will freshen up your cabinets. As long as your cabinets are solid, a new coat of paint will make them appear fresher. You could even get rid of some of your cabinet doors for a more open or free look. Make sure you fill any unwanted holes before painting using a suitable filler.
Appliances - For a few hundred dollars an appliance refinisher (look in your phone book) could re-enamel the surfaces of your appliances and greatly improve upon any dated colors that may be ruining the look of your kitchen.
Hair coloring: how to get professional results at home
Hair coloring, a step by step guide to coloring your hair at home, to achieve natural and professional looking results at a fraction of the cost.
With the advanced home hair color products available today, achieving a result that is natural looking and flattering is easy to do. Follow these simple steps and save yourself time and money without sacrificing great results. Please note: The following directions do not apply to taking your natural hair color from dark to blonde. Coloring your hair blonde, especially if your natural color is brown or black, is best done by a professional because it is a much more complicated procedure than that described below. Coloring Materials First assemble your materials. You will need these items:
Hair color You can use either the kit that is sold in drug and grocery stores, such as Clairol or Loreal brands, or you can make your own hair color kit. I have found that you get longer lasting color by choosing your own components at a beauty supply store. You will need the coloring liquid and creme bleach, which is called developer. Choose a 30 volume white developer for best results. You can save money by purchasing a large bottle of developer and only purchasing the liquid color each time you need to touch up your roots.
Measuring cup Use this to measure the creme developer.
Bowl and brush. While at the beauty supply store, pick up a professional quality plastic bowl and brush for mixing the color. The bowl is deep and has a thumb notch on the side for easy pickup, and a rubber base to keep it from tipping. The brush is flat and has a rat-tail comb end. These two items are usually packaged together.
Towel or cape If desired, you can also get a salon type beauty cape at the beauty supply store. I use an old towel, which works just as well.
Plastic gloves I recommend the less rigid latex over plastic, although the boxed kits contain the plastic ones. The latex gloves give a greater degree of sensitivity and allow you to judge better where the color is by feel. This is helpful especially when working on the back of your head.
Clock All color processes must be precisely timed to avoid mistakes.
You may wish to do a strand test to preview your color. Mix together a drop or two of the liquid color and a drop or two of the developer. Snip a tiny amount of hair from the back and underneath area of your hair where it will not be noticed and tape it together on one end. Dip the un-taped end into the mixture and leave it for 25 minutes. Rinse, dry and compare the results to what you expected.
If the results from the strand test are acceptable, proceed to the coloring steps. Coloring Procedure 1. Mix up the color solution Into the color mixing bowl pour the liquid color and 3 oz. of the creme developer. If you bought a kit, the developer is already measured for you. Using the color brush, mix well. 2. Apply the color mixture If this is the very first time you have colored your hair, or if your hair is completely grown out from the last time you colored and no previously color processed hair remains, apply the mixture to your hair is the same way as you would shampoo. If however you are touching up your roots, following the directions in step 3. 3. Begin with dry hair Starting at the top front of your hair, make a part with the tail of the color brush about an inch long and another part parallel to the first one and about ? inch to the side. Holding the parted section of hair up, brush the color mixture on the root area of the parted section and the adjacent un-parted section. Pull the parted section up so that it stands on its own and out of the way to the side. Make another part ? inch to the side of the un-parted section to whose roots you previously applied the color mixture and hold the section up. Brush the color mixture onto the roots of the held section and the roots of the adjacent section as you just did with the last section. Continue this procedure until you have applied color mixture to the all the roots. Important: Avoid getting the color mixture on the ends. The ends are extremely porous if they were previously colored and will soak up too much of the color mixture, making them darker that the rest of your hair. If you get any color mixture on the ends, wipe it off immediately. After applying color to all your roots, wipe any color from your skin using a towel and warm water. Be sure to remove excess color from your hairline and in back of your ears.
4. Wait the prescribed amount of time in the directions, or 20 minutes. 5. After 20 minutes have elapsed, apply any leftover color to the ends. Use a wide toothed comb to pull the color through the entire hair shaft, from the roots to the ends. 6. Leave color on the ends no more than five minutes. After time is up, add a little water to your hair and lather the color mixture through it like a shampoo. 7. Rinse your hair thoroughly in tepid water until the rinse water runs clear and absolutely no color mixture remains in the hair. 8. If your kit contained a conditioner, apply it now. Leave it on for two minutes and rinse thoroughly in tepid water. You may use a deep conditioning treatment instead of the boxed kit conditioner.
Some women prefer to shampoo their hair after rinsing out the color and before conditioning. I don't recommend this. Waiting at least 24 hours to shampoo allows the color to "set" in your hair and helps to prevent the color from fading.
To help preserve the vibrancy of your color, subsequent shampooing and conditioning should be done using cool water. Hot water will strip color from your hair. This is especially true for reds, which can fade or become brassy in a matter of a week to ten days.
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