Month: April 2018

Most Common Mistakes in Kitchen Design

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One truth of family life that transcends cultural boundaries is that everyone loves to congregate in the kitchen. A redone kitchen adds value to your home and makes all that extra time you and your family spend there more enjoyable.

When designing your new kitchen, avoid some of the most common mistakes people make with this handy guide to what NOT to do.

TO create your dream kitchen, you must begin with the proper surfacing materials. To learn more about what quartz kitchen countertops can do for you, visit Vadara Quartz today.

Not Creating Enough Counter Space

Many people regret not creating enough counter space in their kitchens for all the activities that go on there. To create an estimate of how much counter space you will want, make a list of the activities you will need counter areas for. Then, evaluate how they may overlap when two or more people use the kitchen.

Next, consider your materials. Laminates are rugged and heavy-duty, but stone, concrete, quartz, metallic, and natural wood countertops are all beautiful options to consider.

Not Including Enough Electrical Outlets

When everything from your blender to your espresso machine to your cell phone plugs into the wall, you know you’re going to need more than two outlets. Choosing which appliances you want to place in specific locations and placing your outlets there will help you plan your space better and halt the tendency for them to accumulate on countertops.

Not Establishing Good Flow

“In kitchen design, the kitchen triangle links the three areas of greatest activity: the sink, stove, and refrigerator [source: How Stuff Works].” Narrow aisles and islands that cut off access to these key areas make kitchens less efficient. You should never have two cabinets that cannot be open at the same time, a refrigerator door that opens away from the heart of the kitchen, or a dishwasher that prevents you from standing at the sink. Tip: When you’re designing your new kitchen, imagine opening every single door at the same time – if anything comes into contact, its time to remeasure.

Forgetting About the Trash

Make sure to carefully consider trash placement – it should be close enough to the exterior door, or have a clear path to the door, for easy disposal. In our contemporary, eco-conscious environment, you’ll want separate bins for regular, paper and plastic waste. Hide the waste baskets in your cabinetry and spoil yourself by installing soft-close cabinets.

Too Much Stainless Steel

Many of your appliances – such as the dishwasher, stove, and refrigerator – may have chrome finishes. Keep in mind that adding a stainless microwave, toaster, and set of pans can create an overwhelming metallic shine in your kitchen, making you feel like you live in a commercial warehouse instead of your own home. Some solutions: consider black or colored appliances. Or, put refrigerators and microwaves behind cabinetry paneling.

Not Having Enough Types of Lighting

Technically, your kitchen is supposed to have three types of lighting: general illumination, task lighting, and accent lighting. If you don’t have the latter two, your kitchen will look too fluorescent and sterile.

In most kitchens, the general lighting comes from a combination of overhead lights, natural light from windows, and ambient light contributed by a fixture in an adjacent room. Many people neglect to provide enough task lighting in their kitchens; the prep areas, the sink, and the stove should all have task lighting of their own. Use accent lights to show off your most beautiful design elements.

* Energy Star compliant compact fluorescent bulbs use about 25 percent of the power of a regular incandescent light bulb. This 75 percent savings would add up to about $600 million if every American home upgraded just one light bulb [source: Energy Star].

Following Trends Too Closely

Always remember: Your goal is home improvement with an eye towards selling. This means you need to stick with a style that’s appropriate to the rest of your home and suits the tastes of the people in your area. It also means you should forego updates with prices beyond your neighborhood’s range (for example, a commercial oven in a standard home.) Some kitchen investments will add to the value of your home, but consider the fickle nature of design trends. Most “have a short half-life, and when they’re out, they’re really out.”

Quartz Kitchen Countertops

Vadara Quartz comes in classic colors and styles designed for modern living. Vadara’s quartz kitchen countertops are nonporous and can be used well in your kitchen as countertop or floor tile because it will not absorb food or liquids like granite does. Unlike other premium surfaces, it is virtually maintenance free.

How to Best Light Your Kitchen

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There are many things to think about when designing your kitchen lighting. Consider the natural light in the room, the layout of your kitchen, and your budget size. Also, be sure to check on the electrical wiring in your kitchen to make sure it is up-to-date.

Vadara Quartz solid surface quartz countertops pair beautifully with all types of kitchen lighting, to give your kitchen the depth and contemporary touch you’ve been seeking.

Natural Light

Before you even begin to plan where your kitchen units will be placed and how you will light them, you should think about the natural lighting in your kitchen. Take into consideration the ceiling height as well as where the natural light falls at various times of day. Plan your kitchen so that you have the best light when you use your kitchen most. Vadara Quartz Bianco Perla countertops reflect the natural light beautifully, capturing sun and shadow in a soft and subtle cream color with pronounced veining.

Electrical Fittings

After you decide where your units, appliances, furniture, and fittings will be located, you will be ready to consider artificial lighting. By this stage you should have the best layout to suit the space and natural light. Choose the styles you want to include early, as these will affect your budget; you’ll also need to let the builder and electrician know your plans for wiring the fittings and switches. Try your best to include fixtures, switches, and plugs in your technical drawings.

Your Budget

Updating your light fittings to more energy efficient LEDs is a cost-effective move. These will initially cost more than standard Halogen or Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs,) but the bulbs will last for up to 25 years. They can also offer the benefit of providing different shades of light to suit your needs.

Mood Lighting

Use LED strips facing upwards on top of plinths and cabinets to create a floating sensation, up-light tall ceilings and architectural features. Capture the mood with countertops from Vadara Quarts Illumina Collection. These moody and romantic quartz tops are translucent, and shine when backlit.

Lighting that Works for You

Another, less often thought of option, is to have internal lighting in cabinets on motion sensors so that the lights come on when you open the door. This can be especially useful in lower cabinets which don’t get as much light from the ceiling lights or windows.

Zoned Lighting

If the kitchen is part of an open floor plan, the best way to maximize all areas is to install task lighting in the kitchen and mood lighting in the social areas to define the different zones.
You can install task lighting under top cabinets which sit over a countertop, like circular LED spot or strip lighting, which give off soft illumination. Pair your task lighting with Vadara Quartz Absolute Blanc countertops for a clean and fresh finish.

Islands

LED dimmable ceiling spotlights or pendants work best over a kitchen island (just make sure to light the right part of the space so that you are not standing in your own shadow when preparing food or eating.) Vadara Quartz Denali looks great on an island countertop – its speckled white/gray color blends well with your kitchen, camouflages spills, and reflects the spotlight or pendant lighting for a cool finish.

Top 5 Kitchen Lighting Tips

1. Don’t put lights too close to cabinetry because the glare from the lights could discolor the veneer.
2. If you have low ceilings, be careful not to overpower your kitchen with too many lights.
3. Kitchen lighting should be placed directly over walkways, prep areas, sinks and cook tops. This way no matter what you’re doing you won’t have any dark corners.
4. Use spotlights on dimmer switches so you can easily control light levels.
5. Think carefully about where the switches are positioned (don’t overlook the details.)

Solid Surface Quartz Countertops

Vadara Quartz offers solid surface quartz countertops with the most natural color palette available, combining beauty, function, innovation, and value. Vadara Quartz is part of a Family of Brands which includes additional surfaces, sinks, and faucets. Their New 2018 Collection is now available!

Enforcing Overnight Security

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When you think about overnight security, a few common images come to mind. These probably include motion sensor lights, CCTVs, and security guards. But these longtime standbys have become outdated and inefficient.
Remote Guarding is the future of overnight security, and the future has arrived. Commercial property owners are using combinations of cutting edge technology, ‘digital guards,’ highly trained security agents, and local law enforcement if and when necessary to minimize the potential of criminal activity.

Remote Guarding Scenario

Remote Guarding is the top-of-the-line in guarding solutions precisely because it is targeted to each property’s unique needs. An example of a Remote Guarding scenario might look like this:

  1. Consultants and their team visit the client’s property to evaluate their security needs, including the site’s unique vulnerabilities and where to best place monitoring devices.
  2. Cameras with highly advanced motion detection software can detect a person or vehicle, are installed strategically.
  3. Remotely located, highly trained agents are placed in conjunction with these smart cameras.
  4. The agents are alerted immediately to possible trespassers or suspicious activity within the designated perimeter of the property.
  5. Once alerted, the agents enter the property in real-time and alert the intruders via speakers that they are being watched.
  6. If the intruders do not leave the property, local law enforcement is called to the scene.

Benefits of Remote Guarding

Reduced Costs

Remote Guarding clients can see their costs cut buy as much as half compared to traditional security systems. This is due to
● Reduced need for security staff
● Less inventory or property loss
● Saving money on insurance premiums and deductibles

Fewer False Alarms

With Remote Guarding, the risks and costs associated with false alarms are reduced because professional security agents can assess threats before law enforcement is called.
Active Shooter Incidents
By tracking intruders in real-time, remote agents can provide information to security and police teams en-route or on premises. Agent activities include opening, closing, locking, unlocking doors, as well as communicating to staff, students and even the suspect themselves if appropriate. Because of this, situational awareness is accelerated – this saves lives, accelerates apprehension, and helps ensure collection and preservation of evidence.

Q&A

Why aren’t my cameras and burglary alarm enough?

Burglary Alarms have a high false alarm rate, and this makes them a low priority for law enforcement. Even if your cameras are working properly, they are only good for looking back at crime once it has already happened.

If I switch to Remote Guarding, can I still use my Analog or IP cameras?

Yes. Oftentimes your existing CCTV/ surveillance system can be incorporated into your new Remote Guarding system.

Who Can View My Camera Feed and How?

You can have access to live video from all connected cameras from any internet connected device. With your permission the police can view the feed live as well. You also receive daily activity reports by email. Captured images from critical events are sent to you, along with the police with your permission.

Should I Keep the Guards I Already Have on My Property?

It depends. Oftentimes you can save a lot of money by replacing your guards completely. Remote Guarding is meant to be a “Force Multiplier” system which increases the effectiveness of your security guards. In those cases where onsite security guards are needed, monitoring and security services include serving as the overall security coordinator for the client facility.

For more information on Remote Guarding to protect your property overnight,
Contact Elite Interactive Solutions, the leader in Remote Guarding and Monitoring Solutions. Elite is the only Remote Guarding firm endorsed by FBI-LEEDA, a premier executive law enforcement educator. Countless Fortune 500 Companies have enlisted Elite for their security needs- Read our Client Testimonials!

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