To lead a comfortable life in your house or apartment, you need to plan some things in advance — sometimes even at the renovation stage. This can solve many of your problems, like a lack of storage space for your clothes, a clogged sink, or always-hot radiators.
Enlighten editorial did a little research and found out what items you should have to make life in your home feel like a fairy tale. And as a bonus, we added something for dog and cat owners at the end of the article.
1. A central vacuum cleaner
WordRidden / flickrRsnaghibi / wikimedia
This vacuum cleaner makes the cleaning process easier and faster, and some models can even clean the air. It’s especially favorable for people suffering from allergies because this vacuum cleaner permanently removes dust and dirt particles from your living space.
Unfortunately, the installation of this device is quite complicated, so you have to take care of the installation at the renovation stage. This device is good for both houses and apartments.
2. A walk-in closet
Sean MacEntee / flickrAnguilla House / flickr
Walk-in closets are very common in the United States, while Europeans prefer to have a regular wardrobe closet. If there is no special room for a walk-in closet in your home, you can do it yourself. However, you’ll have to reduce your living area for that.
If necessary, such a room can always be converted into a nursery or an office. You won’t be able to do that with a wardrobe closet though.
3. A thermostatic mixer shower
Marco Verch Professional Photographer / flickrLars Plougmann / flickr
We’re used to adjusting the water temperature on a shower faucet with 1 or 2 handles. But in some homes, it’s not that easy — if someone flushes the toilet or turns on the faucet in the kitchen, the water in the shower can suddenly become piping hot or ice cold.
A thermostatic mixer shower helps to cope with this inconvenience. It automatically adjusts to the changes in water pressure. For example, if cold water starts flowing slowly, the device will immediately react and reduce the amount of hot water so you won’t get burned.
4. Microwave ovens and vice versa
Jules Perry / flickr
A microwave oven is an irreplaceable appliance in a small kitchen. The device is widely used in Japan where there’s just not enough space for a large oven for grilling and baking.
If you have enough space for an oven but no space for a microwave, you can use another device — a built-in oven with a microwave function.
5. A sink net strainer
A lot of Japanese homes are not equipped with garbage disposals in their sinks. This is where a sink net strainer comes in handy. They’re disposable nets that get placed in the metal strainer in the sink. The strainer catches food waste, which you can then easily throw out and replace, leaving your pipes clog-free.
6. Effective kitchen lighting solutions
Brian Lawson / flickrAtlanta Scott / flickr
One of the most common mistakes in the realm of kitchen lighting is having 1 or 2 bulbs on the ceiling. The problem with this is that the light gets scattered, and a significant part of it hits the surface of kitchen cabinets where it’s not needed at all.
Ideally, ceiling lights should be slightly lower, matching the tops of your kitchen cabinets (or the cabinets should be installed right up to the ceiling). This way, all the light will fall on the working surface. But there’s a trick: If the lights are located in the center of the ceiling, you’ll block all the light when standing at the counter. That’s why you should place the lights closer to the cabinets. This way, you won’t block the light and they’ll do their job perfectly.
Guy Sie / flickr
In addition to ceiling lights, you can install recessed cans under the cabinets. This way, you’ll be able to lighten the areas you need at the right moment.
7. Floor heating instead of radiators
There is one big disadvantage to using radiant floor heating: You have to remove your current flooring to install it. Additionally, it’s quite costly. However, it’s worth the expense for a couple of reasons.
- It has even heat distribution, unlike radiators that heat only the area near the wall, so it’s more energy efficient.
- Your feet will always feel warm, which is something that you can never get with radiators.
Radiant heat flooring has several considerations and restrictions when it comes to what type of flooring material you can install over it. Non-insulating, manmade materials, like tile and laminate, will give you the best, most consistent heat. Carpeting won’t work well. Because carpeting has insulating properties, you’ll have to increase the temperature to make the floor warm.
It’s also worth noting that radiant floor heating is thought of as a “high-end” or luxury feature in a home and may increase its resale value.
8. Tile flooring
Nowadays, tile is one of the most popular types of flooring. It has many advantages:
- It’s easy to wash.
- It comes in a wide range of colors, textures, and designs.
- It requires less maintenance.
You can have tile flooring throughout your entire house, not only in the kitchen and bathroom. Its only problem is that it’s cold so you’ll have to wear socks or home shoes. But this problem can be easily solved if you add insulation and heating to the subfloor.
Also, remember that tiles can get slippery when wet. You must bear this in mind when selecting tiles for wet areas. Because of this, always choose non-slip tiles for places like mudrooms, entryways, and bathrooms.
9. A hot water dispenser instead of an electric kettle
<-33">Reuben Strayer / flickr
A hot water dispenser is more convenient than a regular electric kettle because if you have to boil a large amount of water, you’ll have to use the electric kettle repeatedly, while a dispenser has a larger capacity. It’s also so much nicer to have boiling water immediately without having to wait.
The majority of dispensers have a feature that allows you to heat the water to a certain temperature. It’s really useful if you don’t want your water to reach a boiling point.
Bonus for pet owners
<-36">baconsquarefarm / etsyamazon
Some pet owners build pet bowls right into the kitchen furniture. Usually, it’s a standing cabinet with a lower shelf that has bowls filled with water and food. Cabinets can also have different sections for food, toys, leashes, medicine, and other accessories. This solution looks tidier than freestanding bowls on the floor.
A cat litter box can also be arranged in the same way. There is a wide range of litter box covers that look like pieces of furniture. You can even make this type of cat toilet yourself.
Which of these solutions would you choose for your home? Tell us in the comments below.