Friday June 14, 2013
The place where two sets of base or wall cabinets meet at a 90 degree angle is called a blind cabinet corner.
Kitchen designers hate blind corners. That's because kitchen designers are trained to use every available square inch of space, but to do it in an elegant fashion.
Problem: there is no perfect solution to blind corners. But there are some semi-elegant ways to help:
- Classic Lazy Susan - Not the best solution, these totally round lazy susans don't fit in a square space.
- Better Lazy Susan - A round susan with a "bite" taken out of it, to make it fit better.
- Even Better-er Lazy Susan - This susan both pulls out and turns. Cool!
- Diagonal Corner Cabinets - It's a classic solution: a wall or base cabinet set at a diagonal.
- Base Cabinet Swing Out - Boxy cabinets that slide and then swing out.
- Drawer Pull-Out - Pictured here. It utilizes that corner space where the two counters meet.
- Curved Cabinets - Very expensive. Gets rid of corners entirely.
Image: (c) Sabine Schoenberg; Courtesy Sabine Schoenberg - Kitchen Magic
Tuesday June 11, 2013
For years, it has been difficult to obtain do-it-yourself replacement windows because: a.) few people had the gumption to DIY their own windows; b.) few window companies believed there was enough of a market for this.
But it's like the ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinet industry: it only recently sprang up in such force. Now, there is no shortage of RTA companies out there.
Is there a replacement window equivalent?
Not really, not yet.
I spoke at length with Derek Baker of Window E-Store, one of the few companies out there that supplies replacements on the consumer side (not just to contractors). He has made the process easy with a super-simple online form. Windows come at competitive rates. Using one of mine as a sample product, I priced it out at $339.26--not too bad.
Another way to go is through the big box home improvement stores. It will take some arm wrestling to convince them, but they should sell you replacements minus the installation.
Image (c) Window E-Store
Thursday June 6, 2013
How can you get a designer kitchen when you can't afford a kitchen designer?
No, this isn't some Greek riddle...
A: Getting ideas from a designer doesn't mean paying hundreds of dollars per hour. Sometimes, they write books that convey insider ideas, for far less than an in-person consultation.
Sabine Schoenberg, in Kitchen Magic, provides tons of sumptuous pictures of oh-so-fancy designer kitchens. As a designer, she charges top-dollar for her advice. As a reader, you can translate ideas from these costly kitchens to your own kitchen, to wit:
- Should you ever place a wall oven next to a fridge?
- Where is a certain "secret" spot to hide the microwave?
- Cabinets perpendicular to a wall: yes or no?
- How can you get the look of thick slab counters...for cheap?
- What's the hottest kitchen flooring trend? (OK, I'll give the answer for that one: ceramic tile that looks like wood)
And as they say, much much more.
Image: (c) Sabine Schoenberg
Friday May 31, 2013
An electric brad nailer looks like a gun. It's got a "muzzle," a magazine, and "bullets" (brads). It gives off a satisfying th-whapp! It doesn't just push in the brads--it fires them. You can maim yourself, even kill yourself if you tried hard enough.
Brad Nailer Does Not Equal Gun
Since it's so much like a gun, you already know how to use it? Not so.
Yes, they are fairly intuitive. They aren't obtuse tools like floor surface laser levelers or even more familiar tools like wet tile saws or paint sprayers.
Nailer + brads + force = brad in wood. It's a simple equation.
What's Less Than Simple:
- Knowing you've bought the right nailer for the right purpose.
- Orienting your nailer to the correct position on your work piece so that your brad lands in the right spot.
- Adjusting depth of the brad.
The third one is the biggie. Depth adjustment takes a lot of fiddling with dials, combined with test-firing into test materials that are the same--not just similar, but the same--as your eventual work piece.
The second one is just a matter of test-firing into lots of scraps until you burn it into your head that the brad fires in a different place than the nailer's contact point.
The first one just means that the world of tools is filled with nailers for different purposes. The one we're discussing fires 18 gauge brads up to 2 inches long and is cordless or corded; in any case, it's electric. It's mainly for interior trim work.
Do You Need One?
Does every household need an electric brad gun? No way.
Every household where more than just a couple windows or doors worth of trimwork is going on? Yes, probably so.
Image © Lee Wallender; licensed to About.com