Accenting your kitchen with tiles





            As the holiday season rapidly approaches, many of you will probably be looking to renovate kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms. A popular and also pretty affordable renovation that I see a lot, are accent tile backsplashes for kitchens. Accent tiles come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, sizes and materials. Whatever look you are going for, you can most likely achieve with all of the options out there for you.

            Let’s start out with the dimensions of the area you are looking to install the tile on. Making sure you have the right measurements is critical in how the end result will turn out. Next you need to choose which style you would like to go with. There are literally hundreds of textures, materials and patterns you can choose form, depending on what look you are trying to go for. Also, keeping within your budget is always important too.

Tiles usually come in glass, metal, stone, ceramic, porcelain, pebble, marble, granite and also combination materials such as, stone & glass, stone & metal and metal & glass.

            Alot of people tend to stick with a certain color theme for their kitchens and bathrooms, which is why tiles can come in so many differently color combinations and styles.

Shown below (left), is a customer’s installation shots from  their kitchen. As you can see, they decided to stick with a bronze theme and went with the HotGlass- Aventurine Blended 3/4″ Glass Tile in Black Velvet Blend (HAK-34288). has quite the extensive collection of tiles. No matter what you’re looking for, they will most likely have exactly what you want. The site even offers an installation guide for those who are willing to install the tiles themselves. What’s even cooler about these tiles is that, many of them aren’t only meant for kitchens but, can also be used in bathtubs, pools, jacuzzis’, etc. Many of the tiles sold on the site are waterproof, which means you can clean them in order to maintain appearance, without fear of ruining them premarin pills. That is also why glass has become one of the more popular tile choices when choosing a kitchen backsplash. Not only is glass easier to clean, it is also more affordable than some of the other materials out there.   

            When you do come to the final step of installation, you could do one of two things. Either do it yourself, or have a professional come in and install it. Of course we would all like to think we are handy enough to put up a few tiles but, sometimes hiring someone to do the manual labor for you, ends up saving you the frustration and time in the long run.  Remember, there are certain tiles that are easier to install than others. Mosaic tiles come with a mesh backing, making it easier for first time installers. With that being said, good luck and happy decorating! 


Metal & Glass Tiles in customer installation in kitchen. Courtesy of Diamond Tech Glass Tiles – Impact -Staggered Glass and Metal Mosaic Tile in Midnight Metal – ( DT-87157 )
Customer installation shot, courtesy of HotGlass – Aventurine Blended 3/4″ Glass Tile in Black Velvet Blend (HAK-34288)



How To Clean Door Knobs with Different Finishes


It’s that time of year again! The holiday season is now upon us. It is known to many as a joyous time, spent with family and friends. A time for enjoying all that the holiday season has to offer. Unfortunately, it is also now the heart of flu season.  But fear not, we have a comprised a list of various ways to clean and disinfect the most prominent area of the house known for passing on germs; Door Knobs!

Today, doorknobs can come in a wide variety of finishes. Everything from brass to nickel, stainless steel, bronze, chrome, painted aluminum and even crystal. Knowing how to clean each of these surfaces efficiently without ruining their finishes, is the tricky part check this site out. Lucky for you, we have researched the various ways that you can effectively clean your door knobs to bring out that original shine, and also disinfect in time for flu season.



Baldwin© Brass door handle, courtesy of


Brass is quite the popular finish and has been around since ancient times. Made of alloy, zinc and copper, brass has been used for various things over the years. Maintaining its popularity are brass door knobs. Since brass is a durable metal, many people choose that over any other finish. Its acoustic properties prevent rust and corrosion. One of the easiest ways to clean and disinfect brass is to use simple items you can usually find sitting around your house. Lemon juice is great for cleaning. Its acidic properties work very quickly in breaking down any dirt and grime build up. The plus side, it smells great too! Another favorite household item that seems to continuously make its rounds in various cleaning articles, is white vinegar. White vinegar is not only a safer alternative to using harsh chemicals but, it leaves brass with a beautiful shine, making it look the same as it did the day you installed your doorknobs.

  • Fill a large bowl with 2 parts vinegar and 1 part warm water.
  • Let door knob soak for 15 minutes.
  • Gently rub with a soft rag.
  • Rinse off with warm water and buff dry with a clean rag or cloth.
Courtesy of





Baldwin© Nickel Door handles, courtesy of


Nickel tends to have green tarnish that can build up on its surface. WD40 comes in handy when handling nickel. Special metal cleaners are also good to use as well. Remember to test small spots out on the surface first, as to assess any damage should there be any.

  • Grab some WD40 and fine steel wool.
  • Spray a small amount of the WD40 onto the area you want cleaned and apply the wool to the surface, making small circular motions.

If you have thin nickel plating, or are simply afraid of taking the chance using fine steel wool, you can always use our good friend, white vinegar.

Courtesy of
  • Fill a large bowl with 2 parts vinegar and 1 part warm water.
  • Dip a cotton rag into the solution and apply to the knob.
  • Use circular motions as with fine steel wool until surface appears cleaner.
  • Repeat until desired look is achieved.

If neither of these options work for you, you can always clean your nickel door knobs/handles, with pure ammonia.

  • You must use pure ammonia, not the diluted kind.
  • Make sure the area in which you are cleaning in, is properly ventilated.
  • Pour the Ammonia into a large bowl and submerge the knobs in the solution.
  • Leave the knobs in the ammonia the several hours or, overnight depending on preference and type of nickel.
  • Upon pulling the knobs out, wipe the dirt and tarnish with a soft cloth under clean, warm water.




Baldwin© Stainless Steel knob, courtesy of

Stainless-steel, although beautiful in appearance can be quite a pain in the neck to maintain. Most people don’t realize how often you really should be cleaning stainless-steel household items and appliances.

Cleaning stainless-steel knobs will help protect them and also maintain their appearance.  If you have stainless-steel door knobs in your home or office, follow these directions below.

Courtesy of
Courtesy of
  • Fill a bucket or bowl with warm water.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of detergent to the water until suds begin to form.
    • Dip a soft rag into the soapy water and squeeze out the excess liquid.
    • Wipe knobs with soapy rag until dirt appears to come off.
  • Once desired look is achieved, rinse off with warm water and buff dry.

(If you have stains on the steel door knobs, you can use a mild abrasive cleanser on them. )




Baldwin© Chrome door handle, courtesy of
Baldwin© Chrome door handle, courtesy of

Chrome is one of those finishes that is really eye-catching. It’s also very easy to get dirty. Because of its smooth surface, chrome tends to show every single smudge,fingerprint and scratch. That’s why it’s important to really maintain it regularly. Luckily, there are many chrome cleaners out right now. A popular favorite is, Mother’s which is actually meant for chrome rims but, it will work just as well for your door knob.

Another way to get rid of stubborn stains and dirt on Chrome, is to use baking soda.

Courtesy of
Courtesy of
  • Take 1 tablespoon of baking soda and pour into a bowl.
  • Add water to the baking soda and mix until it forms a paste-like solution.
  • Next, take either a rag or a soft-bristled tooth brush and gently rub the surface of the chrome.
  • Gently rinse off the baking soda with clean, warm water.
  • Wipe dry with a micro-fiber cloth.

If you’re looking to clean and sanitize your chrome knob remember, you can wipe down the knob with vinegar and water as a finishing product.



Black Matte Coated

Black Matte Coated
Black Matte Coated, courtesy of

Black Matte Coated door knobs are typically comprised of either a zinc alloy metal or solid brass as a base, which is then plated with the black matte finish. A protective lacquer is then applied in order to preserve the black matte finish.

Because of its delicate composition, only mild soap and water can be used on these door knobs.

  • Mix two parts of mild detergent with warm water (You can use antibacterial soap if you wish to disinfect, as well).
  • Take a soft cloth or rag and submerge into the detergent solution. Make sure to ring out any excess liquid, as to not saturate the knob.
  • When finished removing dirt and disinfecting the knob, take a clean, damp cloth and wipe clean.
  • Dry with a soft, clean cloth or rag.




Baldwin® crystal door knob, courtesy of
Baldwin® crystal door knob, courtesy of

Crystal door knobs are very popular, and very beautiful if you can afford them. Like anything else, with beauty comes a price. Crystal is a magnet for dust but, what makes crystal tricky, are the translucent properties which make it difficult to really ascertain the level of dirtiness. Crystal is also very delicate. Much like the black matte coated knob previously discussed, crystal needs to be cleaned with a mild detergent or white vinegar. You can combine both solutions together in a bowl, in order to get that shine you desire. Since crystal mimics glass, vinegar is the better choice for cleaning/sanitizing the knob. White vinegar eliminates streaking and water spots which is why it is also a great solution for cleaning mirrors and glass tables.

  • Fill a bowl with warm water and a few drops of detergent.
  • Add 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar.
  • Use a lint-free cloth and submerge into the solution (you can also use a baby’s bottle brush).
  • Rinse clean with warm water and pat dry with a clean, lint-free cloth.


Well, now you know how to disinfect and remove dirt, safely from each finish.


–Happy Cleaning!

Transforming Your Child's Bedroom on a Budget




nautical_room1Courtesy of Courtesy of
Courtesy of


We have all seen those extravagant bedrooms for children, whether it be on Pinterest or other home-decor blog sites. They are literally what dreams are made of. Pictured above, is a pirate-themed bedroom. As you can see from the pictures, the creator of this fabulous bedroom utilized faux brick, for the sides underneath the draw-bridge. The pirate ship itself is made of stained wood, as is the draw-bridge. The ceiling was painted in mural-like fashion, while the walls have sea-life decals.

For us common folk, this bedroom seems impossible to create, right? Well, what if I told you that you could achieve a more affordable, under-water themed bedroom? Even though a pirate ship is seemingly impossible to incorporate into your child’s bedroom, it doesn’t mean you can’t try to get as close to an underwater fantasy world as possible.

Let’s start off with the basics. The first step you would need to take is painting over the bedroom walls. The blue pictured above is a nice color to go with or, you could go with a different hue, based off of what you think would best fits your child’s bedroom.

Next, we have the wall decals. After doing a little research of my own, I came across a handful of websites that carry a multitude of wall decals. First on my list, is They carry quite a few marine decals, specifically geared towards children’s bedrooms. I’ve used them in the past for many things therefore, I’m a big fan. All orders come in a timely fashion and are packaged nicely as well. The only downside is that, their marine decals are a little more flat with a cartoon look and feel. If your child is out of that Sponge-Bob phase, I would suggest venturing onto the next site on my list. has many wall decals to choose from. Sticking with our subject, they have really great marine life decals, all highly-detailed. Depending on what you are specifically looking for, this site has a good variety of die-cut adhesive decals. I would also like to warn you that, get a little pricey. I’m not sure if I would necessarily pay $40.00-$100.00 for a dolphin’s face, unless of course it sang me the Flipper theme song.

Which brings me to my third site on the list., is one of the better sources for this specific theme. The wall decals on this site are a pretty close match to those pictured above in the pirate room. The best part is the price of the decals featured With each order you receive 4 sheets of 10×18 inch decals. Not only that but, shipping is free for those in the U.S.


Courtesy of

So now we have our wall colors down and our decals to really bring the pirate/nautical theme to life. What’s next? Well, since we can’t build a pirate ship, we are going to have to improvise here. Rather than throwing out your child’s perfectly good furniture, why not accent it? has a variety of knobs and handles for doors, dressers, knight stands, etc. You name it- they supply it. What I like about their website, is how they give the consumer the option to choose a category by theme. This cut the time down for me and enabled me to find what I was looking for rather quickly. I will say, I am actually a bit surprised that most of the other websites that manufacture specialty home hardware/decor items, lack this feature on their websites. Anyway, getting back to accenting our furniture– I found a wide variety of specialty cabinet hardware to accent the room. There’s a nautical category which carries knobs that range from pewter to antique brass, brushed chrome and many other finishes. The price range can vary, usually from $3.00- $15.00 per knob.

Next comes the switch plates. Opting for a more decorative switch plate is honestly, a great way to spruce up a room and add a nice accent to your theme. I’m going to go ahead and group switch plates and lamps into the same category. has some really cute switch plates to match the nautical theme. They’re relatively cheap, ranging anywhere from $3.00-$5.00 on their site.

So now we venture on to lighting. The complexity of what you are looking for will certainly impact the pricing range. Unfortunately, lighting in general isn’t cheap. Whether we are talking about floor lamps, desk lamps or chandeliers, they are all going to cost you a decent amount of money but, that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank in order to achieve your end goal. I stumbled upon a site called They have really beautiful lighting fixtures. Relating to our theme, they do have some pretty cool coral lamps, comprised of resin material. The website’s price has it listed at $127.46, which is actually on sale right now for the upcoming holiday.

Courtesy of
Courtesy of
Courtesy of


Another accent you can add to your child’s bedroom is a bedspread, throw cover, or a duvet. Of course every child would love to have a race car bed or something resembling a pirate ship, we all were there once. Unfortunately, specialty beds like that can really run up the bill of redecorating a room. What I did for a tropical themed kids room, was research specialty comforters and bedspreads. I ended up finding a retailer that shipped directly from Hawaii. The bedspread was really affordable and was also reversible!, had a really cute duvet cover. It’s a little pricey but, it’s worth it for the amount of money you save in total for renovating your child’s bedroom. I also came across many others, ranging from the hyper-realistic to a more flatter, vector-themed style. When choosing a bedspread it’s all about personal taste, comfort and also, affordability.


Courtesy of, and

Adding all of these accent pieces to your child’s bedroom will really transform the space tremendously. If you find decorations that fit the theme you are going for, then by all means, add it to your room.

Good Luck and Happy Decorating!

Brass Cabinet Hardware: Our Most Popular Items

A kitchen with Lewis Dolin Brass Bar Pulls.
A kitchen with Lewis Dolin Bar Pulls. Photo of Jessie Epley’s home by Cyn Kain Photography.

In recent years brass cabinet hardware has become increasingly popular. We at have seen some of the most popular home decor and lifestyle bloggers picking up pieces to redo everything from dressers to kitchen cabinets. Here are some of our most popular products, although you can find more brass cabinet hardware on our site.

Lewis Dolin Brass Cabinet Hardware Bar Pulls

The pulls from this collection, particularly the brass ones, have been incredibly popular lately. Popular bloggers have featured the homes in their homes lately, making it especially hard to keep these in stock! It’s understandable why these pieces are so well loved though. Sleek, elegant and sturdy, these pulls fit nearly every home’s decor. We especially love how they look against white cabinets, adding a pop of color and interest to your cabinets.

Colonial Bronze Pull 3″ ( 76mm ) Centers

These pulls in matte satin brass are a bit more subtle than the Lewis Dolin pulls but still very striking. These pulls come in a matte satin brass finish and are hand-finished to perfection.

Continue reading “Brass Cabinet Hardware: Our Most Popular Items”

5 DIY Things You Can Do With Old Cabinet Knobs

If you’ve recently replaced your cabinet hardware, you’ve probably got a lot of old cabinet hardware laying around. You don’t have to just throw it out, there are plenty of things you can do with it. If your cabinet knobs are attractive and still work properly, you can use these old knobs for a myriad of different home improvement projects. For the crafty types, here are a five things you can do with your old cabinet knobs rather than throwing them out.

old cabinet knob hooks
Use old cabinet knobs to display jewelry. Photo from Cupcakes and Cashmere

1. Use them as jewelry hangers. Install them in a row on a plank or attach them directly to a wall. To do this, screw a hanger bolt into the cabinet knob. You can then screw that directly into the wall. Hang necklaces, purses or even clothing items from the knobs. This is a quick and easy DIY project that has a lot of impact for a room. If the knobs don’t match your decor, paint them a color that will work for the room.

old cabinet knobs tray feet
Add feet to a tray. Picture from Martha Stewart Living

2. Add knob feet to a simple wooden tray. If you need to, replace the screws in the knobs with longer ones. Then you just have to simply screw the knobs into the bottom of the tray. You can paint over the surface of the tray if you don’t like the look of the exposed bolts. The tray can be used as a serving tray for an elegant breakfast in bed, or it can be placed on a table and hold candles, a flower vase or other decorative items.

3. Use them as towel hangers in the bathroom. If you don’t want a traditional towel bar or towel hooks, using cabinet knobs is a pretty glamorous way to hang up your towels. Place them on the way as you would for the jewelry hangers in step 1.

4. Screw old cabinet knobs into the lids of cleaned out pickle or spaghetti sauce jar lids. You can decorate the jars anyway you see fit and store hair accessories, snacks, pet treats, or anything else that will fit. This is a nice little decorative piece that will look lovely on your counters.

5. Hang wire shelving units from them for more wall storage. To do this you’ll have to attach a #8-32 hanger screw to the knob and screw it into a stud. Likely these shelves will be holding some weight, so don’t just place it anywhere on the wall. This is a great idea for a shower area that doesn’t have any shelves, or for a kitchen to store spices.

Creating the Perfect Home Office

Home office design by
Home office design by

Most of us dream for a home office, whether it’s to work at home comfortably or just give your kids a place to do homework. A home office can provide a quiet and distraction-free work zone. Most of us, however, aren’t lucky enough to have a full room to dedicate to an office, or don’t have the money to fully furnish the perfect office. You don’t need a massive room or lots of money to create an office space for your family. Here are a few tips on how to set that up.

The first step is to simply find an area to set up your office in. This can be anywhere: in your living room, a nook under the stairs, in a wide hallway, even in the baby’s nursery. Ideally you just want a room with enough wall space in order to set up a desk. This should also be an area that is relatively distraction-free. Any room with a TV or where people spend a lot of time walking in and out probably won’t work. Experts typically discourage setting up an office in a bedroom as well since bedrooms should be reserved for relaxation.

There are a few “must have” items you’ll need for a home office, no matter where it is:

  • A table or desk
  • Good lighting that’s not too hard on the eyes
  • Some sort of organization areas: a desk with drawers,  a bookcase, shelving, etc.
  • Comfortable seating (but not too comfortable — you don’t want to take a nap in your chair!)
  • A filing system

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10 Things You Can Clean in 10 Minutes or Less

10 Things You Can Clean in 10 Minutes or LessCleaning can be a huge drain on your time. Sometimes there are so many things to do it seems like you only make a dent in what needs to be done. Instead of spending your weekend cleaning, try doing one of these fast clean-ups whenever you have some spare time.

1. Clean up mail, magazines and catalogs. Everyone keeps old mail hanging around the house too long. Spend 10 minutes going through the papers on the kitchen counter and seeing what you should hold onto and what can be tossed. If you have to keep something, put it in a safe place rather than on a table or counter.

2. Make the beds. My mom used to tell me, “if you make your bed your room instantly looks 10 times cleaner.” It’s true! Making a bed has a major impact, even if the rest of the room is too messy to tackle at the moment.

3. Vacuum a room. Vacuuming the carpet takes no time at all and instantly makes a room look so much cleaner. You might need to spend a few minutes picking things up off the floor before you start, but if you’re short on time just place them in a pile in a corner until you can clean up more.

Continue reading “10 Things You Can Clean in 10 Minutes or Less”

7 Easy Steps to Clean Your Cabinet Hardware

cabhardwarecleanIt’s easy for cabinet hardware, particularly in the kitchen, to get grimy really fast. With grease splatter from cooking, touching them with dirty hands and spills that happen in the kitchen, it can only take a couple of months before your cabinet hardware needs cleaning. Here are a few tips to help you clean your cabinet hardware.

  1. Remove the hardware from your cabinets and drawers before you begin. Sometimes cleaning solutions can damage the cabinets themselves, so you won’t want to replace them until they’re clean and dry. You should just need a screwdriver for this.
  2. Fill a bowl with hot, soapy water. Dish soap should suffice.
  3. Place cabinet hardware in the water and let it sit for at least half an hour. You want the hardware to be completely submerged in the water, so you may have to do this in batches.
  4. While your hardware is soaking, clean the area on the cabinets that the hardware normally covers. It would be silly to replace the hardware onto a dirty surface. Use an appropriate cleaner and scrub the built-up grime off the cabinets.
  5. Take a clean soft toothbrush and scrub the hardware to remove any gunk. Make sure to scrub the backs as well, as grease can often run down there.
  6. Rinse clean hardware in cool water. Dry with paper towels.
  7. If you are using metal knobs, use a metal polish to finish the job. This will help disguise any scratches on the hardware and prevent tarnish from forming.

9 Ways to Decorate a Girl's Room for Cheap

9 Ways to Decorate a Girl's Room for Cheap --
Image from COD Newsroom

Decorating your child’s room is a fun experience for both parents and children. However, seeing some of the costs of some of the items can be mind-boggling. Thankfully it’s easy to decorate a girl’s room inexpensively and without too much effort.

  1. Use what you already have. Chances are you aren’t going to want to gut the whole room in order to redecorate. There are going to be many elements that you can likely repurpose and reuse. If you have an older child who has items they don’t need anymore, try adapting them into your other child’s room.
  2. Change the bedding. The bed is generally the focal point of a bedroom, so changing out the bedding can make a big splash in terms of turning a room around. Add a bed skirt, change a duvet cover or even just get a couple of new pillow cases.
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