Home Help: Add vintage touches to your kitchen

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

How to: Mix the old with the new in your kitchen

Vintage or period motifs have become one of the hottest trends in home kitchen design. Here are some tips on mixing style and function, and the old with the new.

- Products such as the pot filler faucet (a faucet mounted near the stove to bring water right to the stovetop) and various pull-down or pull-out faucets evoke the grandeur of an earlier age with antique copper or oil-rubbed bronze finishes

- Coordinate metal finishes on faucets, lighting, cabinet knobs and other trim and hardware elements for the kitchen.

- A farmhouse-style sink with a wall-mounted kitchen faucet in a traditional style is a great way to capture a more rustic look of days gone by.

- Try a new backsplash tile that features an aged finish (such as copper glaze) or a distressed texture to expand your look with an eye-catching display.

- Consider a wood countertop for your center island. Apart from offering a more traditional look, it will provide a food-safe and heat-resistant work surface.

-- ARA Content

Decorating Tip: Secrets for under $100

It may be difficult to fund your grand dreams given the current economy. But you can still make some decorating changes that will have a big impact - for less than $100 a project.

- Give the front door a fresh coat of paint. Consider painting it red. Not only is it eye-catching and cheerful, red on a door is considered good luck in the ancient Chinese tradition of feng shui.

- Add solar lights along flower beds or the walk leading up to your front door. Solar lights are not only eco-friendly, they create a gentle, welcoming glow at night.

- In the kitchen, give cabinets a good scrub. You may not realize how dingy accumulated grime can make wood cabinets appear. After you clean them, switch out old hardware with new, chic handles and pulls.

- Artwork is a great way to dress up any room. Create a meaningful, personalized gallery in your own kitchen by buying several frames in varying sizes and shapes at your local dollar, home goods or crafts store. Paint them all the same color and fill them with hand-written recipes collected from family members.

-- ARA Content

Did You Know …

White vinegar, a weak acid, will remove hard-water deposits from glass, rust stains from sinks, and tarnish from brass and copper.

Home Improvements: Making the bathroom safe for seniors

Accessibility and safety are key issues for baby boomers looking forward to staying in their homes as they age. Increasingly, today's consumers are addressing these issues in the bathroom.

Many boomers and seniors are opting to convert their tubs into showers for improved accessibility. A typical tub requires seniors to raise their legs at least 16 inches to step over the tub wall. Showers require only a 6- or 7-inch step-over.

Elsewhere in the bathroom, other basic upgrades can greatly improve safety. Install grip bars near the toilet. Use nonslip flooring materials or skid-resistant bath mats. Avoid all-white baths, as the lack of color contrast can make it harder for aging eyes to see safely.

-- ARA Content

Garden Guide

Now’s the perfect time to buy a Christmas cactus, a plant that looks plain at first but blooms at Christmas time if cared for properly.

During the fall months, the cactus should be placed in an indoor spot where it receives indirect, bright light during the daylight hours but total darkness at night (absolutely no artificial light). Begin the dark treatments (12 or more hours) in about mid-October to have plants in full bloom by the holidays.

Care must be taken not to underwater it, as a Christmas cactus is in origin a tropical plant, not a true cactus. Do not soak the soil after a dry period; only moisten the top few inches, since buds, flowers and even leaves can fall off if the roots are suddenly saturated.

Christmas cactus is a sensitive but beautiful plant that can bloom year after year; you will want to keep it even after the holidays pass. You can even pass it down through generations.


Backyard Buddies

Many of birds' favorite foods are actually more abundant in the fall. Summer weeds ripen with seeds by October. Many berries only begin to emerge in late summer or early winter, and insects are plentiful.

You may think there's no need to feed your feathered friends during the fall, but if you want them to find your home in the winter, start feeding them in autumn.

The birds that visit feeders in the fall are scouting, becoming familiar with feed stations and making decisions about which back yards they'll visit this winter. The feed you put out in the fall will let birds know they'll be welcomed and fed in your back yard when serious cold weather arrives - and they no longer have the luxury of exploring for food.

-- ARA Content

GateHouse News Service