Modern Living

Modern Living

Home and real estate topics discussed in detail

Make the Most of Wood in Your Kitchen

Wood has long been used in kitchen design. It’s great for work surfaces, cabinet doors, flooring, doors and even wall panels. It can create a very warm and homely atmosphere, which contrasts with the stark, minimal, clinical appearance and feel of many steel and plastic contemporary kitchens which are popular today.

Wood is, after all, a truly magical material. It is varied, versatile, durable and importantly – its renewable. Woods come in various colors, various grains, different hardnesses and with a variety of properties. But they all benefit from appropriate care and attention.

If you have chosen to use wood for your kitchen work surfaces there are a number of considerations that need to be borne in mind. Kitchen work surfaces tend to be subject to significant use and abuse. They must contend with hot saucepans, lots of moisture and steam and they should withstand knocks and cuts. For these reasons relatively hardwoods are the best choice for work surfaces. Hardwoods tend to have tight grains which resist the penetration of moisture and the hardness means that the wood can withstand many of the knocks, bumps and cuts that are bound to occur in the kitchen. For a great selection of top quality, profession work surface wood treatment products you must visit who are the experts when it comes to protecting your wood.

If you take a look at wooden bartops in hotels and bars you will see how well these are protected from the ravages of daily use. Most bartops will be finished with a high quality, impact resistant varnish or lacquer. Matt finishes are the most popular as high sheen finishes can be too reflective. It is important to ensure that the worktop wood finish is hard wearing, will not peel or flake, is resistant to moisture and is food safe. Food safety is obviously important for all wood finishes that might be used in a kitchen.

Kitchen cupboards and cabinets are also high-use areas that need appropriate protection. Much like wooden kitchen surfaces, cabinets will need to withstand heat and steam and ideally should withstand constant repeated use, especially in family homes with lots of hungry children. So the same wood finish requirements apply to cabinets.

Wooden kitchen floors have a number of special requirements. Like work surfaces and cabinets wooden kitchen floors need to be treated in order to withstand spills and steam. But most importantly, the wood finish applied to kitchen floors must be non-slip. A slippery floor surface in a kitchen would be very hazardous indeed so it should be ensured that the treatment applied to a wooden kitchen floor should be non-slip. It’s also a good idea to pay attention to any gaps that may exist between floor boards. These are areas where bugs can develop, especially if food is spilled and gets into the gaps. It’s always a good idea to fill any gaps and cracks that may exist in wooden flooring.

Your wooden kitchen doors, window frames and skirting boards will equally be subject to a high level of wear and tear and should therefore be treated with equal consideration. If you ensure that your kitchen woodwork is adequately and appropriately protected it will stay looking great for years to come.

Making Wood Beautiful with Wood Stains

Wood stains provide a very simple way to transform and beautify your tired, old wooden furniture. But application can be tricky and if you don’t do it correctly you can ruin an otherwise great piece of furniture. So what do you need to know?

Firstly, you can’t simply buy some wood stain and slap it onto a piece of furniture any old how. No. Preparation is everything. You will need to strip the surface from the piece. This means removing any old varnish, lacquer, wax or years of polish that may have built up. This stage in the process can take a lot of effort, but there are some great products on the market today that make it a lot easier than it used to be. But nevertheless, some elbow grease is likely to be required to get back to the bare wood.

Once stripped you will want to sand the surface. Not only will this remove any small bumps and irregularities, it will also prepare the surface for the application of your chosen stain. Wood stain needs to penetrate into the wood grain and sanding will open this up to allow the wood stain to penetrate evenly.

You are now almost ready to apply the stain. I say almost because the next stage is vitally important. Find an area of the piece which is not highly visible, like the back of a chair or the underside of a table, and apply just a little of the selected wood stain. Let it dry and then inspect the area. Is the staining even? Are there any signs that the stain couldn’t penetrate? Did it dry evenly? If all is looking good then you are ready to apply your first coat to the whole item.

Clean off any dust with a damp cloth before applying your wood stain and be sure to apply evenly using a brush or soft cloth. Let the first coat dry thoroughly and then apply a second. You may find that you need to apply multiple coats in order to get an even finish and the depth of wood staining that you are after. But if you are using a good quality water based wood stain then no more than one coat may be needed.

You need to remember that applying your wood stain isn’t the final step. You need to finish by applying a protective top coat. This is best achieved with wood varnish or lacquer. This is what will protect your beautiful wood from the ravages of the sun and normal wear and tear. You will normally need to apply at least two coats of varnish to get a suitable finish. And if your wood is in an area that gets damp, such as kitchen work surfaces, then be sure that your varnish is waterproof.

So now your wood should be looking great and protected enough to last for many years with minimal maintenance.

Pest Free Life

I used to live in a house that had termites in it. I was still a child back then, but I remember how my parents called pest control to get rid of them. I am not sure what the outcome of it was, because all I can recall right now is that we moved out from the house a few years later. The problem was solved I guess thanks to companies such as and I am very glad that this was the case.

Now, when I am an adult and have my own house, I know that I am responsible for the well being of my dwelling. If i don’t take care of all the problems in my house, nobody else will. It is OK to know that because this gives me a sense of responsibility. I don’t think there are any termites or any other pests in my home at the moment, but if there ever were, I would know whom to call for help. I am glad that there are some people out there willing to offer me a helpful hand when I need it. After all, I might not have the right tools to get rid of pests in my home no matter how hard I try.

Carpet Cleaning and Other Ways to Fix Common Carpet Gripes

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Carpeting has remained at the top of the list when it comes to preferred flooring choices among homeowners. There are so many things carpet has to offer, including comfort, warmth and aesthetic appeal, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t occasionally come without some problems too. Fortunately, professional carpet cleanings and proper maintenance can help prevent or overcome many issues that are commonly encountered so that carpet can be fully enjoyed as it was intended to be. Carpets have a much better chance of keeping their original appearance intact if the following tips are used should any of these concerns arise.

Poor Installation

Poor carpet installation is actually a frequent complaint heard from purchasers. This can usually be avoided by making sure a reputable installer is chosen to complete the job. Getting references and checking out reviews is always recommended. The quality of the installation job will ultimately make a huge impact on how a carpet performs in the future and how long it will last. Inspect the job before the installer leaves and point out any areas that look skeptical.

Soil, Spots and Odor

Soil, spots and odor are sure to come with any carpet purchase at some time or another. The key is to keep it from becoming permanently damaged from these elements by consistently vacuuming and investing in a professional carpet cleaning once a year. Vacuuming helps to remove dirt and other contaminants from the surface of carpets before they have a chance to settle down into the fibers. A deep cleaning will extract all the pollutants and odors that have become embedded in fibers, help to remove spots and leave a refreshing smell behind.


Permanent staining occurs when a spot can’t be removed, either by a homemade remedy or a professional carpet cleaner. To reduce the likelihood of this happening, look into buying a stain-resistant carpet or having a carpet protector treatment applied. If stains do appear, carpet dyeing or replacing the stained area with new carpet are viable options.


Any area of a carpet that sits in direct sunlight is subject to fading eventually. Minimize the chances of color loss by keeping shades drawn during peak sunlight hours and adjusting furniture in a position that will help to block light shining through the windows. Carpet discoloration can also happen as a result of using the wrong kind of products to clean it or when other chemicals, like pesticides, come into contact with the fibers.


Impressions can be left in a carpet and eventually become permanent when heavy furniture is left sitting in one spot for too long. To relieve the carpet of absorbing all the weight, use glides or cups under furniture legs and rearrange the position of furnishings every now and then.

Wrinkling, Buckling and Rippling

Wrinkling, buckling or rippling carpet can happen for a variety of reasons. First, it can be caused by an installer’s failure to power stretch the carpet, which may require them coming back out to do so. Second, selecting the wrong kind of padding (usually too thick) to install underneath the carpet can lead to these issues. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when choosing padding. Finally, excessive moisture or humidity, often because there wasn’t a thorough drying job done after a carpet cleaning, can create these problems.

Knowing ahead of time the common gripes that other homeowners have had with carpets should help to avoid or understand why the same thing is happening to your floor and if you need a professional carpet cleaning, stain remover, power stretcher or something else to fix it.











Carpet Cleaning and Other Chores Required For the Germiest Places in Your Home

Unless you live alone in a sterilized bubble, there’s no avoiding the germs and contaminants that thrive in our environment. The best we can do is stick to a cleaning regimen that prevents bacteria, viruses and other harmful organisms from lingering around our home long enough to cause health problems. The key to this is knowing where the germiest places in your household actually are so you can pay extra attention when addressing those areas.


Many homeowners mistakenly believe their bathrooms harbor the most germs and concentrate most of their cleaning efforts there. In reality, there are several other chores, such as carpet cleaning and wiping down counters, that are just as critical on the list of priorities.


Kitchen Sink/Sponge/Countertop/Cutting Board

As far as germy rooms go, the kitchen takes the cake. The sink alone is known to contain a much larger amount of bacteria than the average toilet does due to the raw foods that are rinsed in it and all the leftovers that make their way down the drain. Your kitchen sink should be cleaned thoroughly at least once or twice a week with a disinfecting solution and monthly with a bleach-based cleaner.


The sponge you use to clean your dishes and wipe your counters is more than likely the very dirtiest item in your household. Sponges are a breeding ground for all kinds of organisms and should be switched out every couple weeks and sanitized by throwing them in the microwave for a couple of minutes at a time. Countertops and cutting boards are also recognized as germ hotspots and should be scrubbed frequently.



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You might just be shocked to discover all the contaminants that are embedded in your carpet fibers. Soil, dust mites, pet dander, skin cells, allergens, food particles, mold spores, etc. all gravitate to your carpet and get crushed down further and further because of foot traffic. Weekly vacuuming is critical for removing what you can from the surface, but it isn’t possible to eliminate all these pollutants from your home without a professional carpet cleaning, which should take place at least once a year.


Pet Dishes/Toys/Beds

There are any number of things that a pet can get into when they’re let out in the yard, which sticks to their fur and comes right back inside along with them and moves into their bed – not to mention the germs that can be found all over their food and water bowls and toys. Bed covers should be washed or sanitized once a week, bowls could use a daily cleaning and toys should often be scrubbed or tossed in the washing machine if possible.



There are so many different hands that handle the various electronics in a household – remote controls, telephones, computer keyboards – each transferring their own germs and bodily oils for the next person to pick up. These items are used all the time but often go neglected when it comes time to clean and don’t get disinfected as frequently as they should.



You may not think of your purse as a household item, but bringing it into your home makes it one of the most contaminated things in there. The bottom of a purse can hold an abundance of bacteria, and if you think of all the places it’s been, that makes perfect sense. Avoid placing your purse on the floor of any public establishment and even in the shopping cart when possible, and either machine wash it periodically or wipe it down with an alcohol-based cleanser.


Toothbrush Holder

It’s always nicer to have a specific holder to keep your toothbrush in so you don’t have to lay it down on the edge of the sink or on the counter, but you can’t overlook the importance of cleaning it as well. Because they are generally kept close to the toilet and can easily begin to promote mold and bacteria, toothbrush holders should be put in the dishwasher or decontaminated with hot, soapy water a couple times a week.


Becoming familiar with the germiest places in your home will help manage the time you allot for certain chores and remind you to schedule ahead of time for important things like carpet cleaning.

Investing in a new home at Vantage Bay

Introducing the new condo at Vantage Bay, Iskandar Malaysia. Set to tower over JB city and overlooking the Singapore skyline, this condominium is the property that investors have been waiting for. Developed by reputable Singapore mainboard listed developer Rowsley, this development has the backing of a prominent Singapore billionaire as well as the
Royal family of Johor.

Vantage Bay will be a mega development project, consisting of a twin tower condominium, convention and exhibition hall, mega shopping mall, serviced apartments, hotels as well as a medical hub
that will be run by Singapore’s Thomson medical centre.

For the twin tower condominium, this will be the iconic property towering over JB city. It will be iconic and will be the place to look up to by everyone who live, work and passes by this development.

Located just a short distance across the causeway from Singapore, this project is located in prime Johor Baharu, and is just 3 minutes away from the checkpoint by car. Vantage Bay will be
built over 9 hectares of land. In total, about 25,000 people can live and work there once the development is fully completed. Vantage Bay is also very likely to be near the future RTS (rapid Transport System) that connects directly to the Singapore MRT system.

For investors who have been waiting for a great property investment, Vantage Bay is not to be missed!

How Scaffolding Helps

From time to time, when I walk the streets of my neighbourhood, I come across construction sites. Every time it happens, I am really glad that new buildings see the light here where I live. There is simply something very nice about new buildings, something that brings new character to a town or city.

Usually, when I see a construction site, I wonder what it is that is going to stand there. I ask a similar question every time I see that some sort of building in my area gets a complete overhaul with the help of Scaffolding Essex. It is great when a building gets a remake because newer buildings always look better and it feels so much better to have them in the neighborhood.

I used to know a person in the past who worked at various construction sites. I never worried about his safety as he always wore a helmet to work and even though he worked very high, the scaffolding he was on was very stable. As a matter of fact, every time I look at some sort of scaffolding, I rest assured that it is safe and that no accidents are ever going to happen. After all, the role of scaffolding is to ensure the safety of those who work at height. Another role of scaffolding is to ensure that all workers can get to the places where normally others wouldn’t be able to get. To be honest, I am not exactly sure how a construction site would ever manage without scaffolding. It is simply an integral part of every place where something is being constructed and for the right reasons.

If you plan to choose scaffolding for your next project, make sure that you always choose something that you can fully trust. Choose only a scaffolding company that will be able to deliver on their promises. Otherwise, you might get stuck in a rut.