Heart of the Home


Article by: Carolina Fernandez

It started with my need for a new mixer. OK. Well, maybe not exactly. It probably really started when we bought our home , Bay Window Treatments in Connecticut two years ago. The kitchen , Tips for Hiring Contractors needed a make-over. Not a complete renovation-"”as some do-"”but a make-over, to be sure. Its footprint was fine, as was its size. Windows , Beds, Beds and Beds! The Many Dhoices We Have and doors , Shower Faucets were good, too. But it was dreary. Dark, drab and dreary.

But a re-do-"”no matter the scope-"”was out of our reach at move-in, just as it is now. So I've tried to not think about it too much.

That's tougher than it sounds. What with me being a "visual person"-"”energized by color , Tin Ceilings Have So Many Virtues and proportion and pattern-"”and kitchen , All About Metal Ceiling Tile tours taking up space on every New England town's calendar within the next few weeks, it's almost impossible to not notice renovated kitchens. , Spring Cleaning ='s Reverse Shopping Nor to salivate over their inevitable appeal.

Such was the case this past Friday when a friend and I tromped through six fabulous kitchens , Cleaning Your Washing Machine in an annual , Propane Water Heater - Three Energy Saving Tips little ritual. Carefully calibrated to Mother's Day"”-not to mention the bursting of daffodils, the budding of most trees, , Working Safely with Concrete and the flowering , Discount Kitchen Cabinets of rhododendron-"”it coincided perfectly with spring , Why you need to buy a rug fever.

And so it was that my friend, Nancy, and I enjoyed most of the afternoon together...roaming around gorgeous homes, , How to Prevent Basement Flooding by Installing a Sump Pump indulging in wonderful treats catered by local , Working Safely with Concrete restaurateurs, and commenting on what both appealed-"”and what didn't-"”to our strong aesthetic sensibilities. Nancy is an artist, too. And she just finished her own dream kitchen , Air Conditioners, What Could Be More Important Than A Good Brand Name a few months ago. So she has not only a good grasp of the whole kitchen , Shower Faucets re-do thing; she has a similar eye to mine and is highly motivated by strong visuals.

Interestingly, we were both struck by exactly the same things. An enormous, albeit completely-perfect home, , Bay Window Treatments didn't do it for either one of us as it did for a friend whom I bumped into while there. "Isn't this absolutely incredible?" my friend exclaimed.

Nancy and I looked at each other.

"It's perfect," I dead-panned.

Too perfect. Perfectly painted, perfectly appointed, perfectly accessorized, perfectly clean. Was it possible real people really lived there? Could anyone have ever actually sautéed onions and garlic at its immaculate stainless-steel Viking range?

As we walked to the car, Nancy and I reflected on what truly makes a home, , Air Conditioners Become Energy Efficient anyway. And where does one stop? In this real estate frenzy of the new millennium, where success is measured by capital gains, square footage and location-location-location; how much is enough, after all? Do we really need commercial-grade stainless steel Wolf ranges and double Sub-Zero's? Granite countertops and farmhouse sinks with copper , Complete Guide to Laminate Flooring, Wood Flooring and Hardwood Floors faucets? Islands with pull-outs?

Seems like we do. A Harvard University study found that Americans spent $233 billion on remodeling and repair , Air Conditioners Become Energy Efficient projects in 2003, with kitchen , Hot Tubs: Without A Shadow Of A Doubt Guarantee Relaxation When You Dip Your Feet Into The Water! re-do's topping the list. A stunning 4 million Americans will do a kitchen , Why Hiring a Painting Contractor Makes Good Sense remodeling project of some type in this year alone!

Staggering in scope, it is easily understandable. We have everyone from Home , Safety Equipment You Need for Do It Yourself Improvements Depot to Pottery Barn to Williams-Sonoma to Target to HGTV to thank. Oh, sure. You might not need a kitchen , How To Break Up a Large Family Room transformation. But seriously, do you have enough fortitude to walk out of Williams-Sonoma fiscally unscathed? And have you seen the summer , Easy-To-Make Custom Rugs plastic ware at Target? As if I needed another lime green , What Every Kitchen Needs line item in my home. , Discount Appliances ..it was pure will-power that prevented me from grabbing a dozen of the cutest soda-fountain-style tumblers in my favorite color , Safety Equipment You Need for Do It Yourself Home Improvements on my weekend outing there.

I read recently that most people do a major kitchen , The Well Stocked remodel for one simple reason: their friend did it. Oh great. A brilliant tax break? We get that. Increasing the value of your real estate. Get that, too. But peer pressure?

It's easy to see why. I mean, a wonderful kitchen , Bring Summer Into Your Bedroom is a lovely thing to behold. I totally get it. Want it. But can't yet have it.

So in case you're in the same state (and I have to suppose that many of you are, given the success rate of these kitchen , Anti-Mold Venetian Plaster tours) here are "5 Strategies for Infusing-Your-Kitchen-With-Beauty-If-You-Don't-Have-The-Designer-Kitchen-You'd-Really-Like-To-Have-But-For-Whatever-Reason-Don't:

1) Inject bold bursts of color. , How To Break Up a Large Family Room Be it via woven placemats at the breakfast table, colorful pottery on your countertops, or brightly-painted kitchen , Tips for Hiring Contractors towels hanging from your oven bar: use generous strokes of color , Why Hiring a Painting Contractor Makes Good Sense to put your brain on a heightened state of alert. Your cabinets might be dreadfully tired and your outdated appliances might leave you feeling totally uninspired. But take heart: a few brilliantly colored decorative objects can provide just the punch your sleepy kitchen , Safety Equipment You Need for Do It Yourself Home Improvements needs.

2) Treat yourself , Time to Build that Deck You've Always Wanted? to one new kitchen , Why Hiring a Painting Contractor Makes Good Sense accoutrement. Seen Le Creuset's latest red Dutch ovens? Or Kitchen , Biomass: Heating Your Home With Corn Aid's new apple green , Propane Water Heater - Three Energy Saving Tips mixer? How about a shiny chrome coffee grinder? If a total kitchen , Dont Get Tangled With An Unlicensed Electrical Contractor overhaul is out of your reach, perhaps one modest indulgence will give your room , Discount Kitchen Cabinets that little kick-in-the-pants that it needs.

3) Change , Propane Water Heater - Three Energy Saving Tips the lighting. My Country French rooster chandelier ala my latest birthday, elevates my eyes upwards...out of the direction of my drive-me-crazy-cabinets and onto something much more beautiful , How To Choose The Best Swimming Pool Filter and intriguing. Considering its relatively minor expense, it proved a clever way of adding serious visual interest to a space which otherwise drags me down visually. Shop around. While not as cheap as a new box of candles, a new lighting fixture is often a great way to go.

4) Change , Why you need to buy a rug things in stages. Perhaps by giving your cabinets a new paint , Discount Kitchen Cabinets job, you can change , Why Hiring a Painting Contractor Makes Good Sense the look of the whole room. , Beds, Beds and Beds! The Many Dhoices We Have My girlfriend, Leslie, contracted with a house , What Every Kitchen Needs painter as well as with a decorative painter to dramatically lift her entire kitchen , Easy-To-Make Custom Rugs into a veritable work of art. The decorative painter glazed and then hand-painted different floral designs , Tin Ceilings Have So Many Virtues on each cabinet panel, elevating the room , Hot Tubs: Without A Shadow Of A Doubt Guarantee Relaxation When You Dip Your Feet Into The Water! into one of lightness and pure beauty. The end result is stunning! Maybe by simply replacing a worn-out dishwasher you can inject a dash of modernity to an otherwise out-dated room. , Air Conditioners, What Could Be More Important Than A Good Brand Name Or perhaps the relatively easy job of changing your countertops will give you more of the look and function that you desire.

5) Enjoy your collections. Not only did my recent trip to Paris cement my affection for le coq; it heightened my awareness of any and all fabulous renditions seen since my return. I can hardly pass by a rooster without checking its craftsmanship, size and price tag. Infuse your environment , Don't Use That Kitchen Knife Until You Know How To Care For It with the things that you love. Be they pictures of friends and family magnetized to your fridge...or cows or pigs or roosters (we really are a silly bunch, aren't we?) don't be afraid to show off your collections to their fullest. When your day is looking particularly gloomy or your hormones are raging; the little things that bring you joy will help to blow both those black clouds away from your precious little head as well as more evenly distribute those swirling shivers of estrogen.

Finally, reflect on the relativity of materialism. Nancy and I"”walking back from "house perfect" on the kitchen , How To Break Up a Large Family Room tour, talked about how it's all relative anyway. For what seems like extravagant indulgence (or a vulgar display of wealth, depending on your perspective) is just that: it's a perspective. It's all relative. What seems ridiculously unnecessary to me might seem perfectly legitimate to you. And remember that most of what we possess is viewed by some 90% of the world as pure luxury. Keep perspective. If your kitchen , Beds, Beds and Beds! The Many Dhoices We Have drives you nuts, try to maintain some level of thanksgiving for what you do have, rather than some level of misery for what you don't.

The kitchen , Tin Ceilings Have So Many Virtues isn't called the heart of the home , Sanitair Vacuum Cleaners Bringing Commercial Cleaners for nothing. It's where we put love into what we put into our body. Where we infuse our food , Tips For Choosing Basic Home Appliances with energy. , Spring Cleaning ='s Reverse Shopping Where we sift and dice and shake and bake. Where we laugh and learn and read and relax. Do your part to make it the heart of your home. , The Well Stocked Kitchen ..whether you like the way it looks or not.

I wound up getting a new mixer for Mother's Day. As bizarre a request as it was-"”coming from someone whose least favorite word in the English language is "practical"-"”I got the desire to actually mix something up in there. (Bake a cake...or something along those lines, anyway.) And I have a funny feeling it will actually send me into my kitchen , Complete Guide to Laminate Flooring, Wood Flooring and Hardwood Floors more often...whether I like it or not.

Carolina Fernandez earned an M.B.A. and worked at IBM and as a stockbroker at Merrill Lynch before coming home , Time to Build that Deck You've Always Wanted? to work as a wife and mother of four. She totally re-invented herself along the way. Strong convictions were born about the role of the arts in child development; homeschooling for ten years provided fertile soil , Why you need to buy a rug for devising creative parenting strategies. These are played out in ROCKET MOM! 7 Strategies To Blast You Into Brilliance. It is available on Amazon.com, in bookstores everywhere, or by calling 888-476-2493. She writes extensively for a variety of parenting resources and teaches other moms via parenting classes and radio and TV interviews.

Please visit http://www.rocketmom.com to subscribe to her free ezine and get a weekly shot of inspiration.

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