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Edition 04

Remodeling your kitchen on a tight budget

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By Oliver ODHIAMBO

A remodeled kitchen is a home improvement that can increase the value of your home as well as make it more comfortable to live and cook in. However, such a home improvement is also an expensive one, and if you have less disposable income available, you’ll want to know how to remodel a kitchen on a budget.

The short answer for this is that you need to plan carefully. However, there are details that will help you learn how to better remodel a kitchen on a budget. We all know too well that the economy, especially in the East African region has tended to get a little tougher, so the least you will spend on this venture, the better for your pocket.

 Start small

One of the basics in learning how to remodel a kitchen on a budget is to start small.
Little changes can spruce up the look your kitchen or enhance functionality without breaking the bank. For instance, by purchasing a pullout faucet, you not only get new sink fixtures that will give your kitchen a fresh look, but you’ll make your faucet more functional, since now you can pull it out and aim it to better fill pots or rinse out containers.

 Make priority

The key to learning how to remodel a kitchen on a budget is learning to prioritize the changes you’ll make. Since it will be difficult to make all your changes at once, you should take your time and instead list which changes are most important to you. Do you want more cabinet space? Then save up for new cabinetry before purchasing a fridge. Similarly, if you have a stove on its last legs, set aside money to replace that first. Learning how to remodel a kitchen on a budget means learning to identify what’s  most important to change.

 Redecorate

Before you try to figure out how to remodel a kitchen on a budget, try to identify what it is you really want to change. If it’s just the look and colors of your kitchen, spend your money on paint and wallpaper instead of new fixtures and appliances. Sometimes a fresh coat of paint on cabinets will make your kitchen seem like new, or new wallpaper can change the look of your walls.

 Change the lighting

Sometimes, figuring out how to remodel a kitchen on a budget is no more difficult than changing some lighting. If your kitchen has poor illumination in work areas, invest in some new work lighting to make those spots brighter. Instead of having trouble seeing, you’ll find it easier to cook great meals and to clean up afterwards. Remember, when you’re figuring out how to remodel a kitchen on a budget, you must consider the functionality of the space and not just the looks. But as long as you keep a creative mind and don’t take on too much at once, you will quickly figure out a plan for how to remodel a kitchen on a budget.

 Basic fundamentals

For starters, be sure the contractor you hire is professional. Always get references, and get a detailed contract that spells out every detail and step of the remodeling job.

 

The following tips could be very helpful:

1.  Try to keep windows in place. Moving windows gets expensive.

2.  Think paint. Changing the color of a room is one of the most dramatic – and cost-efficient – ways to change your room’s appearance.

3.  Try to stick with your existing appliances. This can save up to Ksh200,000. If you do opt for new appliances, choose ones that are energy-efficient: this will save you money on your utility bills, and will be an asset when it comes time to sell your home.

4.  Keep fixtures, appliances, and utilities in place so you don’t have to change plumbing, gas, and electrical outlets.

5.  Go with neutral colors. Your new fixtures, appliances, and laminates will be less expensive if you go with a white or almond sink and a neutral laminate. Plus, they won’t

come and go as a passing trend.

6.  If possible, use your existing floor. If you need new flooring, vinyl and laminate are

less expensive than wood and tile. Choose a color that ties the kitchen to the adjoining

rooms.

7.  Carefully study your cabinet options, because this will play a big role in the cost. You can delay some options to help reduce the initial costs. If you do decide to wait, make sure the option you want will be available and can be added after your new cabinets are in place.

8.  Consider refacing existing cabinets. This will save money and you won’t need to install a new floor, countertops, and appliances.

9.  Use standard cabinetry instead of custom.

10.  Choose cabinets that are finger-pulled and don’t need additional hardware.

11.  Think about laminate countertops. They are less expensive than tile and granite. You can accent it with wood or tile trim.

 

Choosing less costly products will help bring the total cost down, so compare prices carefully. You’ll also need to find out how much labor is involved in some of the features you are seeking, like tile countertops.

The most important thing you can do to extend your budget is to plan ahead. Go through the design process with a fine-tooth comb and select all your new countertops, flooring, appliances, and fixtures. This will help keep you from making impulsive decisions down the road.

Edition 04

Make moving a pleasant experience

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By Jeniffer MBOGORI

The thought of moving is enough to bring strain to someone’s mind. Whether one is moving house or office, the process of organizing and facilitating a move is not an easy task and can be a strenuous one.

There are quite a number of things to consider when contemplating a move. Obviously, everyone remembers the important things like paying outstanding bills, redirecting mail and taking the last electricity meter readings, but the nitty-gritty in relocating is what matters.

Are you one of the people who wait until the last minute to look for the nearest lorry and help hands to move your home or office? Do you start worrying about packaging and you do not even know where to begin? Really, are you just totally confused about the whole moving process?

 Pleasant experience

This is where Armstrong Movers & Storage, a company incorporated in 2008, comes in. The company ensures that your move is a pleasant experience as it specializes in the relocation of household and office removals for the middle and upper class in the East African region.

The company is steadily plunging into the international freighting of goods which at the moment rests mostly with international firms.

According to the Managing Director, Mr. Joseph Ndichu, Armstrong Movers & Storage have created a niche service in the market by providing personalized and friendly services that are professional and surpass expectations of clients.

“Relocation should be well-planned,” quips Ndichu, while noting that Armstrong Movers carefully plan and execute your move from them first phone call to the final drop off. Armstrong Movers & Storage are known for their specialized packaging materials that are designed to absorb shock, protect delicate items and offer all round protection for each and every item one is moving from the home or office.

 Cost fundamentals

Prior to making a move, a major concern for every home owner or office occupier is always the costs one will incur when planning and executing the move. Well, there is no cause for worry because at Armstrong Movers & Storage, budgets are negotiable and cost is never a hindrance to the peace of mind when moving.

Before embarking on any task, the friendly staff will take time to enlighten clients on what is involved in the moving process. While walking a client through the process, the staff members will ensure they get acquainted with the locations involved in the moving process. After booking services in advance, time is allocated to the client, a no-cost, no-obligation consultation for your residential moving needs survey is undertaken, and only then is a quote created to match the job description.

A plus for clients moving out or into the country is the large warehouse facility located very close to the airport. Knowing very well the high cost of warehouse facilities at the airport and the limited durations of time for storage, it is a welcoming relief to note that you can store your items for as long as you like at the Armstrong warehouse located just a few metres from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

 Spacious facility

With the long traffic jams we are experiencing in the city, it is easy to miss a flight, so when this occurs (we hope it doesn’t happen), one can store luggage at the spacious facility. International travel can prove a challenge to anyone, thus we provide full-service global mobility management by arranging sea or air transportation, packing, and the preparation of shipping documents for our clients, thus ensuring smooth transition from one location to the other.

Armstrong Movers & Storage delivers total logistics solutions to our clients, combining an efficient fleet service along with supply chain management of all your transportation needs.

Our performance tracking provides ongoing system analysis for our customers, reducing overall costs and enhancing function throughout their enterprise. Armstrong is always on call and available to handle fluctuations in demand as well as emergency shipments, enabling you to operate at peak efficiency while delivering exceptional value and unparalleled service to your customers.

In addition to home and office relocation services, other services offered include international relocation, packing and crating services, moving supplies and equipment and data storage solutions.

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Edition 04

Breathe easy: Hotpoint introduces ultra-modern air con

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Hotpoint Appliances Ltd has newly introduced into the market, the TITAN range of air conditioners under its Room Air Conditioners division.

 The TITAN AC comes with a built-in AVS (Voltage Stabilizer) though that is just one of its numerous advantages, says Rabinder Kanani, one of Hotpoint’s Sales Managers. The TITAN comes with other premium advantages such as virus and allergy filters, powerful three way airflow, quiet operation, greater airflow swing action, modern design, faster cooling achieved by powerful compressor and a function for economical consumption of energy.

The firm’s Commercial Air Conditioners division equally introduced the LG MULTI V III commercial Air conditioner this year. “This inverter unit is your premium solution for all commercial air conditioning needs. MULTI V Inverter system offers one of the world’s largest capacity units, essential for high-rise buildings,” Ms Magon says. “We are proud to say the system will ensure the highest level of customer satisfaction. Multiple indoor units are connected to a single outdoor unit thereby creating an efficient system that offers outstanding energy saving of up to 35 per cent.”

Simple, easy installation, and connection to different types of indoor units, makes it easy to design and set up. With air conditioning, your environment is also assured of optimum conditions regardless of season or space with the ability of a single outdoor unit simultaneously handling heating and cooling via synchronous operation.

Products and solutions

Hotpoint provides a host of products and solutions for its customers. In the business area, there are residential and commercial products, air conditioning and heating products as well as accessories such as solar energy and LED lighting and solutions.

LG’s residential air conditioners have been leading the global industry since the year 2000 in terms of market share, trendsetting and performance. They are unique in that they offer both heating and cooling modes.

The products’ health-conscious features are one of the key distinctive elements. Hotpoint for instance, have the world’s first anti-dengue mosquito technology and the Dual Action Virus Protector, which kills 99.9 percent of H1N1 viruses in 24 hours of constant operation. Features like these are upgrading the firm’s consumers’ lives and helping them stay in healthier environment.

 The commercial horizon

LG air conditioners have been designed to achieve maximum energy savings. By sensing body heat, the Eco Eye sends out the optimized direct or indirect airflow, thereby making big savings in energy consumption. Also, the Inverter technology reduces energy use by up to 60 percent compared with non-inverter units.

The new flagship Multi V III, LG’s new VRF system, enables world’s highest energy efficiency. It is also the most compact-sized air conditioner in its class, occupying up to 30 percent less space than others drawn from competition. The firm’s – and the world’s – first continuous heating system can generate heating without interruption (on a contrary to conventional type with 7 to 8 minute’s interruption per an hour operation) which consequently results in energy efficiency.

 Good conditions

All of their grilles and diffusers are manufactured in our modern Sri Lankan factory and thanks to LG’s 34 years in the air movement sector and competitive pricing structure, the firm may be well placed to offer value and quality.

Hotpoint’s range of products create optimal living and working conditions by enabling their customers to control their environment including temperature, humidity and air quality to make them more comfortable. Their products are safe to operate and easy to manage. Hotpoint provides clients with reliable and cost effective solutions.

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Edition 04

General manager with a difference

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For Ghulam Samdani, the journey to become Ole Sereni Hotel’s general manager has evidently been one long but inspirational path of success.

From a humble background of a restaurant intern in 1994 for six months, Ghulam has kept his pulse in the hospitality industry and has since then served in four continents – Europe, America, Asia and Africa.

His first steps as a hotelier saw him rise through the ranks in Switzerlands four leading city hotels before proceeding to the US where he became an assistant restaurant manager at Wellesley Country Club for almost an year. Boylston Palace tapped him for a restaurant manager’s job and opportunity that gave him yet another step of becoming the director of food and beverage at Holiday Inn in the US.

Holder of a Hotel & Restaurant Managementdegree and masters in Organizational Behaviour at Johnson & Wales University in the US, Ghulam’s nudge to acquire more experience saw him polish and rise through various ranks in the hotel industry. Among them was being the event manager at Eagle Pond Lodge in USA for nearly three years before scooping a more challenging general manager’s job at Sarovar Premiere Hotel in Kerela, India. This awesome responsibility had Ghulam manage the entire food and beverage operations of domestic and international airport of “Trivandrum”, which is leased to the hotel owners.

Humbled, assertive and jovial, Ghulam who been at the helm of Ole Sereni Hotel since August 2010 is affirmative that besides the wonderful aesthetics that hotels should have it is service delivery in hotels that renders the business worthwhile results. He further notes that effective hotel management is the pillar that contributes to the most profitable business to the hotel and the economy as a whole.

In 2005, Ghulam initiated Foreign Internship Program with German based Hospitality Institutes.

His effort to initiate a corporate social responsibilty programme led him initiate a foundation branded SMILES, which offers a helping hand to the mentally and physically challenged persons. Numerous fundraising activities have been conducted since inception of the initiative in 2006.

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