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Tools for Virtual Design

posted by: squirrelheaven on 10.10.2006 at 12:51 pm in Home Decorating Forum

Hi everyone,

A number of people want to exchange info and ideas on using software tools to help them with their designs. So, for those who enjoy this stuff, this is what I use:

ScreenPrint Platinum -- to take snapshots from the screen --30d trial avail -- (can even save the links to the source of your online snapshots). Inexp, maybe around $40.

Microsoft Picture It! -- now called Digital Imaging --'photoshop' type software -- 60d trial avail. Mine came with my Dell PC. Thought this was a couple hundred $$$ when I looked at upgrading, but was mistaken. Not so bad, $50-100 (with the $30 rebate).

Their links:


Virt Design
clipped on: 05.11.2007 at 10:54 pm    last updated on: 05.22.2007 at 12:14 pm

Granite (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: squirrelheaven on 10.27.2006 at 09:06 pm in Home Decorating Forum

Some useful stone shops. Get a load of these design tools for your counters at this first site:


clipped on: 02.09.2007 at 03:52 pm    last updated on: 05.11.2007 at 10:56 pm

Fabrics (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: squirrelheaven on 10.27.2006 at 09:03 pm in Home Decorating Forum

Some nice fabric shops: (UK, exp) special order high-ends


Fabric Shops
clipped on: 02.09.2007 at 03:51 pm    last updated on: 05.11.2007 at 10:55 pm

RE: Stonegirl - we need your wisdom on cleaning granite! (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: stonegirl on 09.27.2006 at 08:52 am in Kitchens Forum

Hi Guys!

Sorry for the silence. We were away on vacation last week and are now paying the price for it. We are absolutely slammed at work.

It is common for slab factories to put some kind of sealer on the slabs before they ship them to the distributors. The quality of the sealer they use can vary quite considerably between companies. Most often it is just some kind of wax that wears off kinda' quick. It makes the stone appear sealed for a while, but routine cleaning during fabrication and install could remove this.

If you have found that the stone absorbs liquids after install, by all means call your fabricator back and have him seal it. You could also purchase your own sealer from stone supply companies like GranQuartz or Braxton-Bragg, but they do not often have smaller quantities available. Reputable stone care specialists like MB Stone and also the TYW Store at the John Bridge forums have some good sealing and stone care products available in home use sizes.

All different stains have different poultices. Acetone for instance is great for removing oil stains, but would not do anything to remove any other organic stains like berry juice or wine. Those kinds of stains require a poultice with Hydrogen Peroxide.

A poultice consists of two things: 1. A stain remover (acetone or Hydrogen Peroxide) and 2. A poultice medium (something that holds the stain remover on the stain and allows it to do its' magic) The poultice medium could be anything from clean white terry cloth, white paper towels, diatomaceous earth or flour to talcum powder. The main thing is that the medium should contain no dyes.

For a wine or juice stain, get some beauty shop grade hydrogen peroxide. The stuff they sell at the pharmacy for wound care is too diluted. Clean the affected area on your stone with acetone or alcohol to remove any sealer residue. The presence of a sealer will prolong the poulticing process. Make your poultice. The easiest way is just to use a wad of white, unprinted paper towels. Wet this with the peroxide and cover with saran wrap. Seal the edges of the wrap with blue tape to prevent premature evaporation of the active ingredient. Leave this to sit for at least over night. Remove the saran wrap and let the poultice dry. Remove the towels once they are totally dry. If the stain is severe, it might require more than one treatment to remove it. Clean the area with acetone or alcohol again once the stain is removed and reseal.

It is important not to use detergents on juice and wine stains. You might end up setting the stain. Remove the bulk of the spill with just straight cold water first.

There are commercialy available poultices and they vary in efficacy. SCI has some and some stone suppliers sell products like UNO and Mangia Macchia. We have used these with varying degrees of success. Be sure to read the instructions and indications to be sure that the poultice is effective for whatever stain you need to remove.


stone care
clipped on: 11.26.2006 at 03:57 pm    last updated on: 11.26.2006 at 03:57 pm

RE: Stonegirl - we need your wisdom on cleaning granite! (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: paulines on 09.27.2006 at 06:40 am in Kitchens Forum

Stonegirl and some of the other industry pros that frequent GW (me included) took alot of hoowey in another thread from a couple members here - I hope she'll be back as I always enjoyed reading her posts and learning from her.

Here is what she wrote about a poultice for oil stains:

"Clean the area with denatured alcohol and a white rag. Then take a clean white rag/plain white paper towel folded big enough to cover the stain. If the stain is big, use more than one towel/rag to make a pad (about 1/4" thick is fine) Soak the pad with acetone and cover the pad with kling wrap. Stick the edges of the wrap down with blue painters tape to ensure an air tight seal. Leave this poultice overnight. (If you have a gas range, be sure to extinguish the pilot light. Acetone is highly flamable) In the morning, remove the kling wrap and let the pad dry on its' own. If there is still an oil stain, repeat the poultice procedure. If the stain is really bad, more than one application is normal. This poultice is only good for an oil stain. Other kinds of stains require different poultices. If you are not sure about the cause of a stain, do not try just anything on it. You might end up setting it. Do some investigating as to the origin of the mark before trying to remove it. Get a good quality impregnating sealer and seal the stone. If the stone absorbs other liquids too, it might be a good idea to thoroughly clean your tops and seal the whole shebang. Follow the directions on the sealer bottle. Do not allow the sealer residue to dry on the stone, but buff it off after waiting for the manufacturer's suggested time. (sealer rediue can be a bear to remove if left for too long) Some stones need more than one application of sealer too. Wait for 24 hours between sealer applications for maximum efficacy. You can test for absorption by dripping water on your stone and letting it sit for a while. Blot the spill up. If there are dark marks where the watr lay, the stone needs sealing. If the water beads up, it's OK :)" END OF QUOTE

As to your question regarding 'pre-sealed' stone, my guess is that they are referring to a resined slab. Resin is a compound (although very different than sealer), that is sprayed on or the slabs are dipped into and then heat treated - this occurs before the stone is shipped to the yards. The resin fills tiny voids and strengthens the stone and also acts to discourage staining. Although lighter colored and/or porous stones may still need a couple of applications of sealer upon install, some resined stones need no maintenance for 10 years+.

Although stone is being routinely resined now, you can look for an uneven, amberish colored 'spill-line' that runs around the perimeter of the slab. One heads-up;

If you are doing a profile that's cut into resined stone (ogee, for example), you may note that the edge treatment is somewhat lighter in color than the rest of the counter. In some cases a color enhancer can be used to match them up, but in any event, the color seems to darken up on it's own after a year or two. I personally liked the lighter edge on my Typhoon Green stone as it highlighted the ogee.


stone stains
clipped on: 11.23.2006 at 12:04 am    last updated on: 11.26.2006 at 03:54 pm

RE: cleaners (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: organic_donna on 10.29.2006 at 07:52 am in Kitchens Forum

Just to be sure of my answer I went on the stone advice forum and did a search under "cleaners". They confirmed what I said about windex. It has to do with the PH of the product. Windex is Alkaline and produces acid when put on granite. Over time it will eat away at the sealer and then the stone. They also said not to use plain soap and water on it, again due to the PH balance. They suggested the Stone Care International brand.
I am not trying to start a big debate here, so if you are using windex and are happy, go right ahead. I prefer to use products that are recommended considering the cost of the stone.


clipped on: 11.23.2006 at 12:15 am    last updated on: 11.23.2006 at 12:15 am

REpoultices (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: organic_donna on 11.07.2006 at 07:21 pm in Kitchens Forum

I found the blog. Do a search under "poultices" it's the second one down called "a spreading grease stain on granite". Stonegirl has a poultice to remove oil stains. Let us know how it works.


clipped on: 11.23.2006 at 12:06 am    last updated on: 11.23.2006 at 12:06 am

RE: He4t Shake Rattle and MOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: hbw248 on 06.12.2005 at 09:45 pm in Laundry Room Forum

It's not a matter of all four feet just "touching" the floor but rather all the weight of the washer "evenly" distributed >between all four legs<. This is not something you just eye or guess at. It takes time to tweek the leveling legs and get it right. It's best to have a load that vibrates spinning at the time you adjust the legs. Throw the bubble level away and forget about it once the washer is sitting relatively level and pleasing to the eye. Below is the method I recommend to get the smoothest operation from your machine:

Tweek the leveling legs with a load spinning until you get the smoothest operation. Bubble leveling is not nearly as critical as having the full weight of the machine "evenly" distributed between all four legs. Again, don't use a bubble level during the final leveling procedure. Start by tightening up the back two legs and their lock nuts first and then finish the tweeking process on the front two legs last. You don't want to be moving the machine out to tweek the rear legs so get them adjusted and lock nuts tight "first". Then position the washer in its final resting place before finishing up the adjustments on the front two legs.

Get down on the floor and examine each foot as the load is spinning. I like to lay down on the floor with my eyes level with the legs. Most likely you'll see one leg moving more than the others. Use a bright light to check this. The leveling leg that moves the most is not supporting enough weight. Thread that leg towards the floor or out from the washer a tad bit and make very small adjustments until you get the least movement and smoothest operation.

You may have to do this again in several months as the machine settles into the flooring material. Also try to thread the leveling legs in as close as possible to the chassis to start with.. only allowing enough space to fit an open end wrench to tighten up the lock nuts. The farther out the leveling legs are threaded, the more chance of vibration. Make sure the lock nuts are tight up against the chassis when finished. Remember, if the leveling legs are threaded out to far and the lock nuts left loose, more vibration will occur.

I'm willing to bet that if owners would follow this simple procedure there would be alot less vibration complaints. A little patience goes a long way so take your time and do it right!



how to adjust washers
clipped on: 11.22.2006 at 10:31 pm    last updated on: 11.22.2006 at 10:31 pm

RE: Evil Polyshades to the rescue???? (Follow-Up #31)

posted by: celticmoon on 06.29.2006 at 01:16 am in Woodworking Forum

Redmond, just wandered back here and see your post now. The General Finishes Expresso stain is water based and is a gel - even though the can doesn't say gel. The Java is also a gel, but poly.

FYI, my cabinets have been done a while and I couldn't be happier. Holding up fine. Glossy silky finish, strong deep color, graining shows through mostly as texture. Perfect.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

If you want more info, or a step by step, you can email me.


clipped on: 09.20.2006 at 12:28 pm    last updated on: 09.20.2006 at 12:29 pm

RE: Cabinets...If you had to do it again........ (Follow-Up #56)

posted by: brunosonio on 08.03.2006 at 04:32 pm in Kitchens Forum

We're about 3 weeks out from finally finishing our total house remodel that's been going on since December. The kitchen is almost done, the last cabinets went in, templating is next week for the countertops. We've been using the appliances and cabinets that are in for the last 2 weeks.

I would go with our brand again...Pacific Crest, available mostly on the west coast and made here in Seattle. Great line, quality, and great price. Natural cherry, full-extension Blum with Blumotion in every drawer. All lower drawers, double oven and cab depth frige cabinets, corner lazy susan, and island. They've been very easy to deal with, great service, and quick to replace mistakes. We had them do all the bathroom vanities also.

The only thing I would do differently is wait to measure until the re-framing was complete. We had to reorder several cabinets because we lost 2 inches along one wall when we had to beef up a supporting wall. Things you don't see until you open the house up. I was able to use the cabinets too large cabinets in the laundry room, so nothing was lost by my mistake.

And we kept our kitchen simple...not too many extra features, do-dads, swirly decorative trims, etc, etc...I'd probably go the same route again in the future. And the lower cabinets drawers are the best!


clipped on: 09.12.2006 at 01:50 pm    last updated on: 09.12.2006 at 01:50 pm

RE: Dovetail vs. glue and nail (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: snidelywhiplash on 11.20.2005 at 11:52 am in Woodworking Forum

Just a thought - there are companies out there that offer pre-cut dovetailed drawer boxes. Several of them. Two good ones are located at and

They can ship the drawers to you ready to be assembled and finished, and their prices are amazingly reasonable, especially in light of the time it can take to build drawer boxes yourself. Lots and lots of professional cabinetmakers take this route, as it's far more cost-effective.

I know that when I build my new house (we start digging in July/Aug 06), I'll likely be buying my drawer boxes, and just building the cabinet carcasses/frames/drawers.



clipped on: 09.12.2006 at 12:28 pm    last updated on: 09.12.2006 at 12:28 pm

Quick ship hardware online sources needed...

posted by: staryeyes on 08.16.2006 at 06:05 pm in Kitchens Forum

DH, the builder and now the builder's dad breathing down my neck for kitchen hardware! I am totally paralyzed with choices! ARGH!

I AM IN DESPERATE need of online sources for Quality, FAST shipping for satin nickel type pulls. Any suggestions GREATLY appreciated! Thanks in advance!

Panic stricken homeowner!


clipped on: 09.11.2006 at 11:19 pm    last updated on: 09.11.2006 at 11:19 pm

Is it really OK to mail order sinks and faucets?

posted by: chloe06 on 08.25.2006 at 04:25 pm in Kitchens Forum

I am getting close to ordering a Blanco kitchen sink, Grohe k4 faucet, Kohler toilet and pedestal sink from a local plumbing company. The prices are much better online at Ira Woods, but I'm nervous! Has anyone used them recently, and what was your experience? Other online sites have been mentioned before; can you share your thoughts? Was there much hassle, delays, or would you say it's definitely worth it? Thanks for any responses!


clipped on: 09.11.2006 at 11:15 pm    last updated on: 09.11.2006 at 11:15 pm

RE: drawers - metal or wood (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: brunosonio on 09.11.2006 at 04:15 pm in Kitchens Forum

I've got the Blum tandembox drawers in all my drawers, with Blum full extension. They are fantastic, and you can really load up the drawers with heavy dishes and pots...up to 100 pounds. Smooth as silk.

In my cabinet maker's configuration, I've got the low metal sides, with the metal bar. The bottom is 5/8" solid maple plywood. It looks really terrific and finished.

FYI...I chose it over the standard wood drawer offered by the company. It was an upgrade, about $20 more per drawer.


clipped on: 09.11.2006 at 11:13 pm    last updated on: 09.11.2006 at 11:13 pm

RE: drawers - metal or wood (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: mindstorm on 09.11.2006 at 03:51 pm in Kitchens Forum

I agree with Sweeby and enjoue on this one. It does depend on what you mean by "metal drawers" though. The only ones I can think of are those like the ones I have in my cabinets; many of the upmarket European cabinet brands sell cabinets with the same "metal" drawers. They are smooth, roll well, store lots (undermounted glides, no thick wood front and back to eat into the cavity space) and are very very sturdy and perfectly good looking (imo).

These ones are not going to rust - inox stainless or powder coated aluminum. These, and probably even Sweeby's Woodmode ones, are made by Blum, a well-respected, high-end cabinet component manufacturer - the Blum Tandembox for example - and are neither cheap nor clunky. Matter of fact, I believe that these tandembox metal ones are an upcharge in some of the cabinetry lines that I've seen at Expo (I think it is their St. James' line for instance). Anyhow, if you go to Poggenpohl, Arclinea, Bulthaup websites or showrooms, you would see these same sort of drawers (although I do believe they also offer wood interiors for American markets).

Here's a picture of one of my metal blum tandemobox drawers.

Now, if it is something else ... I don't know. You may want to find out about these metal drawers - who is the supplier, what are the components made of etc.


clipped on: 09.11.2006 at 11:10 pm    last updated on: 09.11.2006 at 11:10 pm

Tired of playing the cabinet pricing game? Round 2

posted by: californiagirl on 09.10.2006 at 12:16 am in Kitchens Forum

Don't have anything useful to post, but we hit the limit on heather's original thread and it doesn't like we're done, so I'm starting the follow-up thread. Please look at the first thread:

and start firing away.

As an added bonus for those who don't feel they have heard enough and who want more peeks behind the KD curtain, there is also this thread:

Here is a link that might be useful: How to get the best price? by eggafooz


clipped on: 09.11.2006 at 10:43 pm    last updated on: 09.11.2006 at 10:44 pm

garbage disposals!!!!!!

posted by: joyko on 07.26.2006 at 04:30 pm in Kitchens Forum

So many of you have offered great advice on picking out granite, faucets, etc....and NOW ---- I need help with garbage disposals!

I have ALWAYS had INSINKERATOR, so I am fairly sure I am going with that brand. Is there a HUGE difference between 1/2 HP, 3/4 HP and 1 H/P???? My plumber says he was going to put in a 1/2 hp, but I told him I'd rather shop in online, and get a credit from him.

So.....INFO PLEASE! Also ---- any good spots online to buy these things from???

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


clipped on: 09.11.2006 at 10:42 pm    last updated on: 09.11.2006 at 10:42 pm

Garbage Disposal: Air Switch vs Regular Switch

posted by: ycmom on 06.17.2006 at 01:57 pm in Kitchens Forum

I am in a quandry. I have never had an airswitch for the garbage disposal. My new sink will be on an island. Do I go with an airswitch, or a regular switch underneath the sink cabinet. What is everyones favorite?


clipped on: 09.11.2006 at 10:41 pm    last updated on: 09.11.2006 at 10:41 pm

Please pass on $$$ savings tips.

posted by: mommajean on 08.17.2006 at 08:36 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hello all! Lets play a little game in the SAVING $$$$ dept. I would LOVE to hear all of your success stories on 1. most importantly helpful tips in ordering those cabinets and comparing prices from various suppliers. I am getting quotes from Lowes and Home Depot and plan on trying upon your advice but still need to shave off money from the budget somehow.

2. Any tips on savings on the general new build kitchen budget.
In general just any big cost savings you have found and could pass on now that you have just remodeled or newly built your kitchens. Thank you in advance!!!!


clipped on: 09.11.2006 at 09:22 pm    last updated on: 09.11.2006 at 09:36 pm

RE: Please pass on $$$ savings tips. (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: caroleoh on 08.17.2006 at 08:45 pm in Kitchens Forum

Order your door hardware online. I haven't found a box store that can beat any of the online guys.

Do your appliance shopping online at USAppliance, AJ Madison etc. and then go to your local guy and see if they will match the price. I got all my appliances locally - the initial price from the local guy was several hundred dollars higher on each appliance than the online quote I brought in. They matched the online price. I felt better about buying from a local place in case I had issues etc.

Faucets/sinks online are cheaper too. I got my faucet at and my sink from

I got my cabinets from too, and saved $$, but you need to know what you want and be willing to do alot of the "design" work yourself. I liked doing that, so it wasn't a problem, but they will not design a kitchen for you or tell you what cabinets to put where.

Goodluck saving $$. Every little bit helps and adds up!


clipped on: 09.11.2006 at 05:52 pm    last updated on: 09.11.2006 at 05:52 pm

30' sink base--want a single, undermount,!

posted by: sarahandbray on 07.28.2006 at 01:33 pm in Kitchens Forum

We are downsizing our sink base from 36" to 30" in order to make the cabinet-run more usable on that wall. We originally wanted a doubles stainless sink, but we're OK with the large single (we don't have a DW now and everything is hand-washed...hence the trepidation...).

Any suggestions on a SS single undermount sink that would fit in the 30" cabinet? Also under $500 would be ideal.

Thanks!! You guys are the best!



clipped on: 09.08.2006 at 01:42 pm    last updated on: 09.08.2006 at 01:42 pm

Help! My stainless sink arrived and it looks terrible!

posted by: amandaw33 on 08.10.2006 at 08:02 pm in Kitchens Forum

I bought the "KINDRED Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink - US1925/90RK/E" off eBay. Advertised as new, and the seller has 99.9% positive ratings

Unpacked it today and I'm very disappointed.

It's very hard to explain or take pictures of, but there is one small rust spot in the bowl, and the stainless finish around the rust stain has a halo around it. When I say halo, I mean the stainless is noticeably lighter around this mark in a circular fashion about the size of 2 quarters. It is almost exactly above where a faucet would drop water which to me makes it seem used.

There are 3 spots around the drain that appear to be rust.

The worst part of the whole sink is the finish in about half of the bowl is marred and looks used on about half of the bowl. I am not talking about natural swirls of the stainless, on the one side it appears spotted and stained. The finish is smooth around the stains. The other half of the bowl and the sides look perfectly clean, shiny, and new.

Check out link below for pictures. I wish I could figure out a way to take better pictures... but I wrote the seller.

Am I nuts ? This isn't normal right? The sides of the sink look perfect.. exactly what I'd want for the whole thing!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pictures I tried to take


clipped on: 09.08.2006 at 01:40 pm    last updated on: 09.08.2006 at 01:41 pm

Seeking less expensive version of Thomasville Contessa sofa

posted by: i_love_design on 02.21.2006 at 02:11 am in Furniture Forum

I am very, very interested in the Thomasville Contessa sectional sofa (banquette sofa). It's part of the Bogart collection....very Hollywood. It's currently on sale for $3100, originally $4700 (+ tax). The sale ends next week. It sure puts a large dent in the ol' budget. Maybe you know of something similar through a different vendor?? Thanks a million! Or $3000! :)


clipped on: 08.28.2006 at 11:28 pm    last updated on: 08.28.2006 at 11:28 pm

RE: Instant hot & cold water dispensers: What's their appeal? (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: basketchick on 08.28.2006 at 10:44 am in Kitchens Forum

I used the Everpure system that Marie Louise linked above. I got the EverHot system with the Victorian styled hot/cold faucet. This comes with a starter filtration kit including a tiny 3-month filter. I also got the 54C filter for after the 3 months which is more than adequate for our city water. For a family of 4, it should last about a year. And I got the EverCold water chiller for the cold water. We drink 2+ gallons of water everyday and we like it cold!

There are no local retailers in my area so I used their online distributors (Aquahealth for most of East Coast). Looking around on the internet, I found lower prices. I called the 800 number for Aquahealth with questions about the system, etc., and mentioned lower prices elsewhere. They matched all of them including the $50 filter price which I locked in for the future, too. They said they are trying to get people to keep their business with the authorized regional distributors as illegal internet sales are becoming a problem. They were great and quickly replaced my first faucet which had a small leak at the top.

I love mine! Don't know what I'd do without them now. :o)


Here is a link that might be useful: Aquahealth's Everpure Products


clipped on: 08.28.2006 at 12:34 pm    last updated on: 08.28.2006 at 12:35 pm