5 Eco-friendly Kitchen Ideas

modern white farmhouse kitchen sink without cabinets

We celebrate Earth Day everyday by creating awareness about our environment, protecting our planet and embracing more environmentally friendly choices and lifestyles.

Kitchen ideas were nowhere to be found during a time where leaded gas and air and land polluting factories and power plants were some of the biggest challenges people protested against here in the U.S. It was this first Earth Day that led to historical changes in the way our country looked at the environment, paving the way for the Environmental Protection Agency to be formed and the eventual introductions of the Clean Water, Clean Air and Endangered Species Acts.

These days, we are all looking for ways every day to live in a more environmentally friendly way. To help you find that in the kitchen, here are 5 environmentally friendly kitchen ideas for you to consider:

1. Open Shelving – one of today’s most popular kitchen design trends is the movement towards open shelving. It requires less materials and in some cases, reclaimed wood is used to give the kitchen a very unique and distinctive feel.

2. Recycling Center Cabinets – paper, plastic, metal, glass…you should be recycling it! Whether you have room for 2 bins or 4, a pull out trash storage and recycling center cabinet allows you to easily separate recyclables and insure they don’t go somewhere to sit in a landfill for the next 50 years.

3. Hands Free Faucets – hands free faucets help you to use less water and do so in a more hygienic way. But not having to touch anything when preparing food you have less chance of passing on germs and the faucets sensors quickly respond when hands or other items have been removed.

4. Wood Cutting Boards – replace plastic cutting boards with wood ones, particular regenerating species such as bamboo. Not only are the better for the environment, but studies have shown that wood cutting boards are less likely to contaminate food when used.

5. Indoor Herb Garden – who doesn’t love fresh herbs year round? An indoor herb garden provides instant access to a natural food source, saves money, helps keep your indoor air quality healthier and can even provide subtle touches of aromatherapy and be a therapeutic resource as well as a food one.

Even changes to the smallest of behaviors can help in the fight for a better environment. Don’t stop at a few kitchen ideas. Celebrate Earth Day every day! Look for little (and big) things you can do today and every day to help the environment and make every day a little better, brighter and greener.

IKEA Kitchen Cost will Surprise You

ikea kitchen cost ten by ten in columbus ohio

How Much Will an IKEA Kitchen Cost? I can guarantee you this IKEA kitchen costs more than $13,419.85 USD in the real world.

What’s the first thing a homeowner wants to know about remodeling their kitchen?

How much it’s going to cost!

IKEA kitchen customers are no different. If you’re like most of our customers, IKEA kitchens appeal to you because of their price. You’ve done enough shopping around to know IKEA offers the right blend of affordability and quality for your kitchen.

But do you know how much an IKEA kitchen will really cost for your home?

Contact SemBro Designs for a Free in home consultation and Free estimate.

 

 

Don’t be fooled by IKEA’s 10×10 price

ikea kitchen cost estimate ballpark price

You’ve probably seen IKEA’s 10×10 kitchen price in their catalogs and on their website. Here’s a beautiful kitchen, and it will only cost this much!

Don’t trust that 10×10 kitchen price from IKEA for even a minute. Here’s why.

The 10×10 price means the price for a kitchen that is 10 feet by 10 feet. It’s something of an industry standard to talk about that kitchen footprint when discussing cost.

The problem is that there is no such thing as a standard kitchen. Every kitchen is unique. So the 10×10 price is actually irrelevant!

If you want to get a quick and approximate idea of what your IKEA kitchen cabinets will cost, then you will need real-life linear foot pricing to calculate an estimate.

How can you find out the real linear foot pricing for your IKEA kitchen?

How can you be sure SemBro Designs really knows how much an IKEA kitchen really costs?

Because unlike IKEA’s 10×10 price, our estimates are based on real-world examples. We selected a random sample from the IKEA kitchen designs we created for our customers, and ran the numbers.

Whether you’re looking at creating an IKEA kitchen with BODBYN, GRIMSLÖV, RINGHULT doors or others, our Professional Designers can help you get a quick and good estimate of what it will cost you.


From kitchen upgrades to total home remodeling, SemBro Designs and Remodeling knows how to do it right and we love to build the confidence of every Columbus client, year after year.

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Expensive kitchen renovations worth the price

Kitchen design with white cabinetry

If you’re ready to put your home on the market or if you’re staying put and want an updated look, one great place to focus on is the kitchen renovation.

Updating your kitchen can be a big project that comes with an even bigger price tag, but believe it or not, it’s worth the cost. Upgrades to the kitchen often come with a great increase in the value of your home with a return on investment as high as 75 to 100 per cent.

Here are four kitchen renovations that add major value to your home:

Spend money on fixtures
It’s the little things that count when it comes to adding value to your home. Improvements such as faucets, light fixtures, and cabinet hardware can instantly improve the look and feel of an otherwise outdated kitchen.

Don’t scrimp when it comes to your kitchen fixtures. You can shop for a variety of styles, materials, and price ranges at home improvement stores such as The Home Depot. Prices can range from as low as $4 to as high as $30 per cabinet fixture and kitchen faucets can range from $90 to over $400 per fixture. Remember, you get what you pay for when it comes to increasing the value of your home.

Updated cabinets can sell a home
You don’t need to tear out absolutely everything to have a modern look. Refacing your kitchen cabinets is a cost-effective way to improve the look of your kitchen. Refacing means you keep the cabinet boxes, and either paint them or put a new material on top of them, plus add a new door. However, if you find the cabinets or cabinet layout isn’t functional, then consider replacing them altogether.

Invest in a stand-out countertop
Countertops and backsplashes are eye catching aesthetics that can add value as well as durability to your kitchen. When choosing countertop materials remember that you want to pick something that looks nice but will also sustain everyday wear and tear such as heat from pots and pans and spills from drinks or other liquids.

Spending money now will help save money later because high quality materials will last for years to come. Homeowners can choose from a variety of countertop materials such as soapstone, granite, and quartz, just to name a few.

Install an Island
Kitchen islands are a fantastic addition to many kitchens because they add functionality, more countertop space, and more storage to the room. According to ConsumerReports.org, “76 percent of potential homebuyers considered a central island either desirable or essential to a kitchen.”

If you spend wisely for a mid-range kitchen upgrade that focuses on quality, appealing materials, you should be in good shape to either re-sell or just enjoy your home. Make sure you look at popular kitchen upgrades in your own area, and check in with your real estate agent about which upgrades are most often requested.




From kitchen upgrades to total home remodeling, SemBro Designs and Remodeling knows how to do it right and we love to build the confidence of every Columbus client, year after year.

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Home Maintenance and Safety Checklist for July

With summer in full swing and vacation just around the corner, this month’s to-do list focuses on Home Maintenance and Safety Checklist. A few simple preventative measures can save you from property loss and make your getaway the stress-free break you intended. Care for your house inside and out, and enjoy the good times of summer.

Parades and fireworks and clambakes. With summer in full swing, the month of July can seem to zip by. Make the most of your month with these 14 to-dos, covering everything from weekend guests to flag etiquette.

Things to Check Off Your List in an Hour or Less

1. Clean porch lights. If you have glass light fixtures that are easily removed, bring them inside and wash in a dishpan of warm water with gentle soap. If the fixtures must stay in place, turn the power off and carefully wipe the exteriors with a damp microfiber cloth; dry with a soft cloth. When finished, change lightbulbs as needed.

2. Unfurl a flag for the Fourth. Get in the Independence Day spirit by putting up an American flag on your porch in time to celebrate the Fourth of July. Don’t have room for a full-size flag? Try lining your walkway with mini flags, or hang a pleated fan above the door instead. Whether you hang your flag vertically (as shown here) or horizontally, be sure you keep the union (the part with the stars) in the upper left corner.

3. Clean windows inside and out. Keep that summer sunshine streaming in by giving windows a quick rinse with glass cleaner or a vinegar solution, then squeegee them dry or wipe with a clean microfiber cloth. If you want to avoid using a ladder outside, reach exterior windows with a window-washing hose attachment or telescoping window washer, or hire a window-washing service to get the job done.

4. Check window screens for holes. It’s summer, and the mosquitoes are out in full force. If you’ve been getting bitten inside the house, check your window screens and screen doors for small holes and tears. Use a screen patching kit from the hardware store to repair any damage, and keep those pesky bugs outdoors where they belong.

5. Check safety devices. Carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors should be tested monthly; replace batteries as needed, and replace the entire device if it is more than 10 years old. Interconnected smoke detectors (when one alarm goes off, they all sound) are the safest because it is more likely that everyone in the house will hear the alarm. Also, take a moment to check the expiration date on any fire extinguishers in the house and replace them if needed.

6. Prepare for summer guests. Before guests arrive, be sure to clear out your own personal items, make up the beds with fresh sheets and set out a stack of fresh towels. Small extras such as bottles of water, a basket of travel-size toiletries and a card with the house Wi-Fi password will be much appreciated. If you host frequent overnight guests, consider adding a trundle bed or bunk to make the most of the space, especially if you know you’ll be having kids visiting.

7. Care for furry friends. Summer poses some unique challenges for our pets, but with a little extra care, you can ensure your furry friends are healthy all season long. If you will be traveling this summer without your pet, be sure to plan ahead to set up care. Most pets are more comfortable in their own homes, so consider using a professional pet sitter rather than a kennel, which can be stressful. To keep pets safe in the heat, you should provide access to shade and ample fresh water and never leave pets in a car unattended.

8. Refresh summer whites. Fresh, clean and crisp, nothing says summer quite like white linens. Keep your white textiles looking their best by laundering slipcovers, cushion covers and curtains, or sending them out for dry cleaning if they’re not machine washable. Keep white upholstery and Roman blinds looking fresh by vacuuming them regularly using your vacuum’s upholstery attachment.

9. Check Bathrooms for Leaks around Sinks and Toilets. While it’s okay that your toilets and pipes sweat a bit, you should look for leaks near anything that is puddling or dripping. The last thing you want to come home to is water damage from an unattended gusher.

10. Run Water and Flush Toilets in Unused Spaces. That bathroom no one ever uses? The toilet probably has quite the ring since you last checked it. Make sure everything is still in tip-top shape and give it a flush.

11. Conserve water. Cut down on unnecessary water use by watering your lawn and garden during the cooler, early morning hours. If you water when the sun is high, much of the water will simply evaporate instead of sinking into the soil where the roots can access it — and it can even scorch tender leaves. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends using a WaterSense-labeled timer for your sprinkler system, which acts like a thermostat for your lawn and can reduce water use by up to 15 percent per year. Inside the house, keep an eye out for leaky faucets and have them repaired promptly.

12. Keep landscape fire-safe. If you live in an area with dry summers (such as California), it’s important to remove weeds, fallen leaves, needles and other items that could become fuel in a fire, particularly from the area immediately surrounding your home.

13. Check fences and repair or replace as needed. Inspect fencing and gates around your property. If you find damaged areas (for example, broken boards, sagging areas and soft or rotted wood) schedule repairs or replacement as needed.

14. Upgrade pool safety measures. If you have a pool in your backyard, it is essential to keep it securely fenced with a self-closing, self-latching gate at least 4 feet high, to prevent children from jumping or falling in. Place a safety cover on your pool when not in use, and never allow anyone to swim in your pool alone. The American Red Cross also recommends installing a pool alarm that will go off when anyone enters the pool. And if you have children, it’s important to make sure they all learn to swim well, whether or not you have a pool of your own.

15. Add shade to the yard. Make your backyard more comfortable with an umbrella or shade sail. With ample shady spots to sit, you’ll likely find yourself wanting to spend more time in your outdoor space — and shade is a must for summer backyard parties.

16. Keep your home safe while traveling. Before you leave on a trip, take some time to put safety precautions in place. Let your neighbors know when you will be away and ask a friend to check on your house from time to time. Motion-sensing exterior lighting, timed interior lighting and well-trimmed hedges can make your home a less appealing target for break-ins. If you will be away for a longer period of time, have your mail held for you at the post office and hire a lawn service to keep your yard from getting overgrown while you are away.


From kitchen upgrades to total home remodeling, SemBro Designs and Remodeling knows how to do it right and we love to build the confidence of every Columbus client, year after year.

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Kitchen Cabinets Installation Lowes vs Home Depot

West-point-grey-new-kitchen-design-cabinets-offered-by-SemBro-Designs-Columbus-Ohio

If you do any kind of home remodeling or kitchen cabinets installation – whether something as simple as painting your kitchen, or on up to full-scale remodeling in the capacity of a contractor or homeowner – then Lowe’s and Home Depot are both a fact of life.

Try as you might to religiously pick up mulch and plants at your local nursery, tools at your friendly little Ace Hardware, and wood at your local lumber yard, you eventually have to come to these stores for something.

They may be your best buddies or worst enemies, but they are not going away anytime soon.

Following is feedback I have received over 10 years of writing about home remodeling, incorporated with my own experiences.
1. Customer Service: Experience and Advice

Winner: Tie

Lumber yard/supply houses tend to be staffed by very knowledgeable–and often very grumpy–older men, many of whom were once in the trades. If you want to parse the differences between two types of arcane plumbing pipe, this is the place to go.

Neither Lowe’s nor Home Depot has that type of staff. But the consensus of readers–and my experiences–indicate that Home Depot has a somewhat more experienced staff. Since most of these employees did not come from the trades, this may mean that Home Depot has a higher employee retention rate.
2. Accepting Returns

Winner: Equally good and equally bad

Lowe’s and Home Depot’s CEOs are not aware of this, but the return desk is their single biggest PR opportunity.

First, the basics. Both Lowe’s and Home Depot are relaxed about accepting returns. Return with receipt, get cash back; return without receipt, get store credit. If you used a credit card, you do not need to show a receipt, as your credit card is recognized when you swipe for the return.

But returns go beyond this.

It is the first counter that serious DIYers visit upon entering the store (because there is always something to return). Yet it is always understaffed and overflowing with carts of items that need to be restocked. And the more time that customers wait in line at returns, the less time they have to shop.
3. Solving Your Customer Service Problems

Winner: Home Depot

At some point, there must have been a memo passed from Home Depot CEO Menear to every employee, saying, “Fix the customer’s problem, however you have to do it.”

I have multiple stories that illustrate Home Depot employees fixing things for me (and far fewer Lowe’s stories). Two of my favorite:

I cannot find the $49 Ryobi hammer-drill that I wanted and tell the person I am with that I am unhappy about having to spend $79 for the Makita hammer-drill. A Home Depot employee overhears me and says that she will give me the Makita for the Ryobi price–no hassle, no questions asked. She even walks me to the register to smooth over the process for me.
The Cadet baseboard heater that I essentially bought for one penny.

4. Prioritizing Selling Products to Customers Over Restocking Shelves

Winner: Home Depot

Products move off of shelves; shelves need to be restocked.

This is understood.

At both stores, restocking happens while customers are shopping. Yet at Lowe’s, employees are laser-focused on this activity. Customers must shop around the employees. At Lowe’s, I am continually thwarted from buying items simply because employees have blocked off the area for long periods.

One morning at Lowe’s, I witnessed three contractors (who generally are decisive buyers because they need to get to job-sites) barred from an entire tile aisle because the employees had netted it shut. While this is an event at either Lowe’s or Home Depot for safety reasons, it happens more often and for longer periods at Lowe’s. The contractors patiently waited several minutes and then left without purchasing anything.
5. Lower Prices

Winner: Tie

This is a pointless battle to engage in, as prices readjust all the time.

On an ongoing basis, with all prices averaged out, Home Depot and Lowe’s have basically the same prices.

Lowe’s and Home Depot stores engage in competitive pricing. For example, today at Home Depot, 1/2″ 4′ x 8′ drywall is $10.76 per panel. At Lowe’s, it is $10.76 per panel. This is no coincidence.

At Home Depot, 100 ft. of 1/2″ PEX pipe is $28.52. At Lowe’s, it is $27.95.

That is not to say you cannot find spot deals that are particular to a certain moment in time. On one weekend, Lowe’s might be offering a common item such as a cedar fence privacy panel for $30.85, while Home Depot is offering them for $36.25. So, it does pay to be aware of each store’s weekend sales.
6. Better Online Store

Winner: Tie

There was a time–not too long ago–when Lowe’s online site felt like it was designed by two college kids on spring break. Home Depot’s site was easy to navigate, light-weight, with smartly-designed filters.

Lowe’s has followed Home Depot’s lead, and now its site is comparable to Home Depot’s. This is a very recent development.

Not only that, Lowe’s will deliver heavy items–fence panels, masonry, landscape rock, and the like–that many Home Depots will not deliver.
7. Wider Brand Opportunities

Winner: Both equally fail

We all know about store brands and exclusive brands.

Lowe’s has Kobalt and Task Force branded tools, both decent but not amazing. It also carries Utilitech lighting. Lowe’s is also the store that carries Pella new-construction windows, which I find inferior to its nearest competitor, Andersen.

Home Depot has Behr and Glidden paints. And it carries Ryobi tools, extensively covered in our tool guides. It also carries RIDGID, typically the cheapest way to purchase some tools such as wet tile saws.

Yet both fail in their obsession with locking in these exclusive brands. Consumers want choices; they do not want to buy a Toro lawnmower simply because Home Depot offers 37 Toro lawnmowers (and one Ryobi cordless mower).
8. More Pleasant Store Atmosphere

Winner: Home Depot

By atmosphere, we’re talking about lighting, ​the width of aisles, cleanliness, keeping areas stocked and organized, etc.

Both stores tend to be close in terms of atmosphere, but I feel that Home Depot’s stores have surpassed Lowe’s.


From kitchen upgrades to total home remodeling, SemBro Designs and Remodeling knows how to do it right and we love to build the confidence of every Columbus client, year after year.

Leave your Comments below!

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