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Janet Hicks

Pop up outlets are attractive, but extraordinarily expensive. They are guaranteed to blow up a budget, especially if multiples are needed.

Code matters. Ours requires a receptacle every so many feet. Let's see - I could have 4 pop up outlets which make the countertop look sleek (while diminishing the useable counter space) or I can upgrade to the beautiful, oversized sink I really want. Maybe I should skimp on cabinet quality & get the pop ups. That's not happening in my kitchen!

Camouflage is far more cost effective. Pretending you don't have outlets in your kitchen is like pretending you don't have a roll of TP in the bathroom.

We don't have a tile splash back, but it is possible to buy switch plates to match or coordinate with many tile patterns. There are plates designed to be covered with wallpaper. Paintable and/or decorative metal covers are available, too.

One thing to remember - when you change out switch plates and outlet covers you may also need to replace the actual switches and the receptacles (outlets.) It's an added expense, but if you don't, that 'hated' color will still be visible. The most common colors for these items are beige or white. Having a white outlet with a beige switch plate, or the reverse, shouts inattention to details.

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Pearl Remodeling

Tip #8 Make cabinets glow, is really great way to improve any kitchen. Not only does it look great but also is very helpful to the homeowners.

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I just finished a whole-house, gut remodel. It's a smaller condo than my last one and every inch of storage needs to be efficient. What I failed to think about was the deep sink I chose (without thinking about it and reading all the specs thoroughly; I went for a look). It is so deep I could bathe a toddler in it. As a result, the space under the sink is compromised. Now, I can only have a small trash can that has to be emptied often, and I had to carefully and strategically plan (on the back end) the pull-outs and things that are installed on the door, like my paper-towel holder. If I could do it again, I'd go for a much shallower sink.

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