Monthly Archives: November 2014

39. Why You Should Get A CCTV For Your Premises

These days more and more business and home owners are installing closed circuit television systems (CCTVs) on their premises. This is a great and cost effective way to protect your valuables, and we’re going to tell you why you should add a CCTV system to your security considerations.

One of the biggest pros to having a camera system in place is that it deter burglars. When a potential burglar comes to “scope” your place out, he or she will see your CCTV system and automatically write you off as not worth the risk. Of course, this will not deter every burglar out there, but it is a first line defence that will put most off. Basically, the odds of them robbing you with a CCTV is significantly lower than if you didn’t have one.

Another Pair Of Eyes

The truth is, no matter how vigilant we are, we can’t be in all places at once. This is especially true if you have a larger property. There are going to be times where you just can’t observe a particular area. CCTV systems save you this problem by acting as another pair of eyes on your property. Not only that, but they film what’s going on, so you get a full picture in case someone is where they shouldn’t be.

Supporting Your Peace Of Mind

Being in business comes with many stresses, including security. By having a CCTV system, you are giving yourself much needed peace of mind because you know that you’re covered. Even if an incident occurs, you will at least have videotaped evidence. This alone can take a lot of stress off your shoulders.

Security That Is Cost Effective

You will also save a lot of money by using a CCTV system. Hiring staff to guard your valuables is costly,.  This is compounded when you want round the clock security. We’re not saying fire all of your security guards, but with a CCTV system you’re not only supporting your guards, but also keeping an eye on them as they go about their duties. Insurance companies may offer a discount if you have CCTV facilities.

Remote Monitoring

CCTV systems allow you to have thorough security that you can check on from just about anywhere. Having a series of TVs report on what’s going on lets you get work done at the counter or back in your office. This way you can check the TVs whenever you feel the need to, without having to interrupt your work.

Furthermore, having this close of a watch on your property means that the moment there’s a security breach you can call the police for a quicker response.

Preventing And Resolving Crime

It’s impossible for any one security system to offer you 100% protection, but by installing a CCTV system you are doing the best you can to prevent crime on your property and in the neighborhood.   In the chance that your CCTV system does not prevent a crime from occurring on your premises, you still have the power to resolve the crime quickly and effectively. Overall, such a system is mandatory for the security conscious person.

38. Importance of Property Company Names

There are many property companies in the market, but some of them are unable to get the results that are needed regardless of what they do.  However, there may be a simple solution that will kickstart their business – it’s all in the name!  It is imperative to focus on finding the right name to ensure the long term success of the business.  Here are four of the most important tips to remember when it comes to property company names which will bring in buyers and sellers:

Emphasizing Location

The number one reason to have a quality name has to do with the location in which the company is going to be selling. Buyers and sellers are going to be looking for a ‘local’ solution and that is only possible when the location is present in the name of the company. Most of the best companies pay attention to this detail in their name or at least in how they market the business as a whole.

Standing Out

One of the most important factors about any business has to do with how well they are able to stand out from the rest. Those who are able to stand to out are going to get a lot more business interest than those who don’t. Property company names are all about realizing that standing out is going to help push the company forward more than almost anything else will. Sure, it is not the only factor that is going to come into play, but it is one of the main ones.

Sounding Professional

Property company names matter because it can help differentiate between those who are highly professional and those who are not. There is definitely a requirement to sound as professional as possible because there are so many companies out and about and most of them are looking to approach the same clients. There are many clients who might just look at the name itself and decide to go with the property company that they are looking at. This might not always be the case, but it can be on a number of occasions.

Showing Experience

The chosen business name should demonstrate an understanding of the market and what the business is all about. It might seem obvious but some names don’t reflect what a business does.

These tips should be used to get the results that are needed for a new company looking to create their brand identity in an already crowded market. Property companies that do not understand these requirements are never going to get the type of results that are needed to be successful.  There are many property companies that spend a lot of money trying to get the right name and image only to sadly fail.  The reason for this may be to do with their name alone, which is one of the easiest factors to correct.

37. The Best Property Company Names in the Industry

There are many property company names amongst the 5000 fastest growing private companies in the U.S. as recently released by Inc. Magazine.  The list included more than 50 companies which represent the real estate sector in the U.S. indicating some of the wealthiest companies in the country include property management companies. These companies provide a highly valuable service to sellers and buyers.  This article will focus on some of the best property company names on the list.

  • RE/MAX – RE/MAX is the short name for Real Estate Maximums, which has been operating in the U.S. since 1973. This real estate company has one of the most popular property company names in the industry. Within their 40-years of existence they have grown to include more than 100,000 real estate sales agents. The company has spread its wings to more than 85 countries worldwide through their franchise-owned and operated offices worldwide. The company website is one of the busiest in the real estate sector which receives more than 48 million unique visitors per annum. The company sales force was awarded the honor of being the country’s most productive sales force in the real estate sector recently. In fact, RE/MAX is one of the top property company names in the industry right now.
  • Keller Williams Realty Inc. – The company is ranked amongst the top 5 real estate management companies in the U.S. The company counts more than 80,000 sales associates spread around the country on the payroll, achieving 91% profitability in their nationwide offices recently. Keller Williams operates franchises in Vietnam, South Africa and Indonesia currently and is planning to expand to Germany, Turkey, Austria and Switzerland before the end of this year. Keller Williams Realty was regarded as the highest in customer satisfaction via a survey conducted by J.D. Power and Associates. The company received the honor of being placed in the ninth spot among the Top 150 Workplaces in the U.S. and was the only real estate company to be included on this prestigious list.
  • ERA Real Estate – Electronic Realty Associates a.k.a. ERA was established 42 years ago. It is operated by Realogy, the parent company of another popular real estate company Century 21. Growing from its humble beginnings to employ more than 32,000 real estate sales agents around the world. These agents operate through 2,400 independently owned and operated franchises. ERA operates offices within 46 states in the U.S. and more than 36 countries and territories around the world. Their latest expansion was into Turkey in 2012. The company is famous for its promise on delivering effective innovations in the real estate market. The company’s website was adjudged as the best real estate website in the year of 2012 by IAVA (International Academy of the Visual Arts). The company has been able to enhance its social media functionality, extensive community data reporting and the real time broadcasting of property listings in leaps and bounds within recent times.

These companies represent some of the best property company names operating in the U.S. They provide some of the highest quality property management services to their valuable clients.

36. Why Branded Freebies Are Important

Congratulations! You have a space at a major exhibition! The marketing gear is ready and you’re all set to go with your banners, videos and hyped-up staff. There was a thought of handing out some cheap branded USB sticks as freebies, but really who wants those things anyway? They’re really a waste of money and people’s time, aren’t they? Actually, no…not if they’re presented correctly.

See, freebies are excellent marketing tools and can be great for publicity in ways other branded marketing tools can’t. It’s all done to making the freebie stand out in a crowd providing you with the better first impression. The question is: how can a freebie be interesting to consumers?

1. Make it original and practical

When many people think of freebies they imagine branded pens or small notepads, generally unoriginal and boring items. Instead, give your freebie a little originality! Don’t head down the common route and go for something outrageous and different, like a stress ball or set of branded folders. Maybe give away some USB cup warmers or silicon iPhone amplifiers – you can bet these will be popular. In fact, we have collected some of these as freebies AND are still using them! By making the branded freebie different you will be one-of-a-kind and stand out from the crowd. This doesn’t only contribute to a good first impression, but also contributes to making your company name memorable.

2. Know when to stop

Everyone loves a freebie, so it’s understandable that you want to win customers using this technique; however, you need to know when to stop. If you are a small business, giving away too many freebies could make you appear desperate. Furthermore, some individuals may be collecting freebies just because they’re free and not because they are interested in your company at all! Be careful what type of items you are giving away, as well as the amount as this can backfire and cause you more damage than profit.

3. Try not to appear obvious

It’s common knowledge that when a company is giving away freebies they are looking for something from you – quid pro quo, quid pro quo. Of course, this doesn’t mean people will not collect freebies but it may stop them from buying a service or product from you, especially if you are very forthright with the freebie. For example, it’s probably not a good idea to tell a consumer they will get a branded pen if they buy something from you. This will provide a bad impression of the company AND undermines the purpose of freebies altogether. Instead, you should encourage consumers to use social networking sites to promote the freebies and give feedback – then leave it at that! Social media is a fantastic method of free advertising, so take advantage of the opportunity to use it.

While the majority of people are moving further away from the idea of branded freebies, we still believe this is a strong marketing tool for any company irrespective of their size. The more original the branded item the greater the edge you will have over competing rivals, especially as more and more businesses are rejecting the idea of branded freebies (or just providing people with free pens or notebooks). Be outrageous, crazy, exciting and unique in your approach and provide people with something that is worth talking about. Furthermore, if you make the item useful the consumer is more likely to keep it, remember your company’s name and have a new sense of respect for the company. After all, isn’t this what handing out branded freebies is all about – being memorable?

35. Creating A Theme For A (Successful) Corporate Calendar

Once again, that time of year has arrived. The one in which it seems the decorations are out way too early, and everyone in the office is singing Christmas carols to get into the spirit. Meanwhile, it’s only October! Not only may you not want to recognize this for personal reasons, but there are some corporate repercussions as well… namely, do you issue corporate gifts this year?

Such corporate gifts are usually sent out at the end of the year from suppliers to customers as a way to thank them for their business during the year.  Of course, it is also a promotional tactic to make sure they remember you for the next year as well. This is why so many places choose to issue corporate calendars – not only is it a handy gift for many people to use, but it also keeps your name in front of your clients during the year.

A good corporate calendar is invaluable. A bad one? Devastating. So how do you go about choosing such themes for your calendar?

Choosing A Theme

This is the hardest part of creating a corporate calendar. Firstly, you must think about the sort of people receiving the calendar. Is this going to your employees as a way to inspire and uplift them throughout the year? Then you may want to choose a theme that highlights the best employees and the best ideas. You may also want to go the more humorous route, and many companies choose the generic “office jokes” to get some chuckles around the room.

Making them for customers and clients is another issue.  The theme you choose must project a strong and successful image of your company. Whilst we know you wouldn’t send out a calendar highlighting dwindling sales or using crude and offensive language, getting the theme right for your customer base is essential and takes some planning.

You also must decide the format of the calendar. Will it be the standard 31 boxes and a photo, or will it feature a different design? You can find some great design ideas online. Also, don’t forget any important dates for your company as well as the general holidays. Put any annual sales on there to increase business around that time for example.

The Photographs

The photos you choose are one of the most important features of your corporate calendar. Even though a calendar is primarily meant to inform you of the date, it also serves the purpose of a decoration. Therefore, it must look nice on desks and walls. You can’t go wrong with a selection of beautiful and professional produced photos. After all, people are pretty visual, and they are more likely to keep your unexpected gift if they think it’s pretty.

Printing Quality

This might not seem important at first, but we guarantee it is. How high the printing quality of your calendar is will say a lot about you and what your company values. If you go the cheap route – with grainy paper and smudging ink – then people are going to think that your company is cheap and doesn’t care about presentation. But if you opt for lamination, high quality paper and solid binding, then you give off a completely different vibe.

If you would like more information on creating beautiful, well-made corporate calendars that will really motivate your employees or sell your business, then feel free to contact us here at Showcase Creative.

34. What to Look Out For When Purchasing Old Furniture

Have you ever considered refinishing furniture for your home? Old and worn dressers and chairs that have seen better times make excellent candidates for a stunning upgrade. Solid high quality furniture was mass produced starting in 1850. By choosing pieces built between this time and 1960, you’ll be able to readily find a perfect candidate for a high quality refurbishment. The high quality, durability over time and relatively low cost when compared to antiques makes furniture from this time period an excellent choice.

It is important to do your homework before you begin work however. Terry Masachi, who wrote Foolproof Wood Finishing: For Those Who Love to Build & Hate to Finish, recommends consulting an expert when you are unsure of the age of the piece you are considering. Any furniture built before 1850 should be conserved rather than restored. This helps to protect old family heirlooms by stabilizing and preserving the piece in their original state.

Before you start thinking that you know it all, keep in mind that there are exceptions to the rule when it comes to furniture built after 1850. The furniture created by prominent makers of the Art Deco or Crafts movements should be left alone unless you really know what you are doing. Take your time looking your piece over before you start working on refurbishment. If there are unusual or distinctive attributes, by all means take the time to have an expert appraise it. It’s possible that you have a very high value piece of old furniture on your hands.

When it comes to older furniture, there are plenty of exceptions to the rules. However, knowing the general guidelines about what to look for will help you to be more accurate as you assess the quality and age of your pieces. It is better, when it comes to refinishing, to keep caution as your guide.

Are There Dovetail Joints?

Dovetail joints are a sign that a piece of furniture was well made. Finding them will help you to determine the age as well as the overall quality of the piece. In general, these joints are very strong and require a great deal of skill to fashion. While speciality furniture companies as well as hobbyists still make dovetails, finding them within your piece often indicates that it was built before the 1890’s. Masachi tells us that dovetail joints in furniture were rarely done in factories after that date.

The signs of a hand-made dovetail joint includes irregularities throughout the piece in the joints as well as tapered, thin pins. Factory fashioned dovetail joints are wider than hand-crafted ones and have uniform shapes throughout the piece of furniture. If no dovetail joints are found within a piece, it is unlikely that the furniture is very old but it may still be well-designed and sturdy enough to refurbish for your home.

Is there Solid Wood or Plywood Backing That Can Withstand Refurbishment?

In order to make both an age and quality assessment, take the time to look at the back of the furniture piece that you are considering. The insides and backs of drawers provide critical information. When composed of solid wood backing, the piece was most likely built prior to the 1880s. Plywood didn’t become popular until the turn of the 20th century while particle board, synonymous with cutting corners, became prevalent after the 1960s.

Can You Find A Manufacturer’s Inscription Or Stamp

Makers have historically placed markings on their products. If you find one, its a great way to trace the origin of your piece. Handcrafted items often have an inscription made by the individual furniture maker. The marking may be engraved, carved or even just a pencil signature if the piece is very old. An appraiser can help you to trace these messages down.

By the 20th century, most furniture makers had switched to either paper labels or to brass plaques. In dressers, these ‘signatures’ are often found within drawers. By the 1950s and 1960s, most furniture manufacturers had made the switch to a more affordable spray-on stencil that included relevant information.

Is There A Sticky Label?

After the 20th century, the majority of furniture was mass produced. In the factory, labels were often attached. For example, the Larkin Soap Co. or the Cadillac Cabinet Company marked their pieces unobstrusively. These labels are historical clues. A bit of research about the company will help you to decide if the piece is worth refinishing or not.

What About Original Hardware And Other Standout Details?

Not every piece of furniture makes it through time intact. However, you should check out all the existing hardware. The method of manufacture and the style of these additions to your furniture will give you clues about the era within which it was made.

Additional Items To Look For:

Marble topped dressers with matching beds with gigantic headboards and footrests are likely from the Victorian era. These items are typically quite ornate. If you are comfortable with the detailing, they can be safely refurnished by you without the need of an expert.

Casters and wheels appeared in furniture made prior to 1930.

Dressers with harp-attached mirrors were commonly built at the turn of the 20th century. Sets with a separate mirror hung on the wall behind the dresser were not built until 1940 or later.

Even if the furniture that you plan to refurbish is not an antique, you’ll get better results when you do some research before you begin work. Find out which finishes are appropriate for your piece and take the time to check out the various types of hardware used in the time period. Your project will go much smoother and you’ll wind up with a distinctive result.

33. Things to Look for When Buying Old Furniture

A rickety heirloom chair or a worn old dresser are ideal for good refinishing projects. In fact, older mass produced pieces which originated between 1850 to 1960 are ideal candidates for such refinishing. Even though they do not have such a high value as antiques, they are solidly made and could last for many good years to come.

Teri Masaschi, the author of Foolproof Wood Finishing says to consult an expert if you have questions about how old your furniture piece is. The rule of thumb is, if the piece was made before 1850  you would be advised to do some homework as to whether it should be conserved than restored. This means to preserve the piece as it is now. If the piece has been in your family for a while, it may be better to find out before you do any damage.

Items from the Arts & Crafts period and Art Deco which are able to command high prices shouldn’t be touched and left to a professional to renovate.

We’ve listed some general guidelines to assess the quality and age of your furniture piece but you should assess each piece on their own merit and always err on the side of caution if you have any doubts.

Dovetail Joints

This detail of construction is your first key to assessing the quality of the craftsmanship & age of your piece of furniture. Dovetail joints are quite strong which required skill to produce. This is a sign of a well-made piece. Hand cut dovetails could date back to the pre 1890 period of an American piece. Hobbyists and speciality makers are still using them today. Hand dovetailing was never done in factories after that particular date. These joints will look slightly irregular while the pins are quite thin and tapered. Machine cut, wider dovetails are extremely common in factory-made pieces of the 1890’s to the present day. If a piece has no dovetails, it could still be a candidate for refinishing if it is well designed and sturdy in construction but it is unlikely to have any antique value at all.

Look for Plywood or Solid Wood Backing

Take a look at the back side of your piece of furniture such as the back of the drawers etc. If it has solid wood backing it is likely to be pre-1890 since plywood came into vogue during the 20th century. Particle boards mean that the piece was probably made in the 1960’s or later when mass produced furniture became fashionable.

Look For Any Inscriptions or Manufacturer’s Stamps

If you are lucky, you may find a piece which has markings indicating its origin. Earlier furniture pieces that were handcrafted by manufacturers will have an inscription from the individual furniture maker. This is a clue that indicates its value and should be examined by a professional appraiser. If these pieces are really old, it could bear a pencil signature inside the drawer. By the 20th Century manufacturers were using paper labels which later turned into brass plaques, tacked inside the drawer. During the 1950’s and 60’s manufacturers were using spray on stencils for this purpose. You need to keep in mind that sometimes suites of furniture would have only one piece marked so if this piece was separated from the rest, you will have nothing to go by.

Sticky Labels

At the turn of the 20th century, mass produced furniture pieces would often bear a label from the manufacturer. For example, Cadillac Cabinet Company, Larkin Soap Co. etc. This will tell you how common the furniture piece is. You will be able to decide for yourself whether you should refinish these items or involve a specialist restorer. Mass produced pieces from the 1950’s and 60’s are best suited for refinishing. This is when flimsier construction techniques and cheaper particle board techniques became popular.

Look for Original Hardware and Other Important Details

Does your piece have original hardware? What is its style? Wooden pulls or solid cast brass mean the piece is likely to be old. You can use a collectibles reference guide to determine their age and style or use the internet for your research. Some of the most common styles include Hepplewhite, Sheraton, Chippendale, Victorian, Depression Era, Federal and Queen Anne.

Marble top dressers and battleship beds with giant footrests and headboards are exclusively from the Victorian era of the late 1800’s. These pieces are fine to refinish by yourself.

Any piece on casters is pre 1930’s. If you are in possession of a dresser with a mirror attached to a harp, it was most certainly manufactured around the turn of the 20th century. If there is a separate mirror which hangs on the wall above the dresser, it will date back to the 1940’s or later.

These clues to determine the age and history of a piece of furniture could really help you to research appropriate finishes and hardware before you decide whether to refinish the piece by yourself and will help you to determine their antique value too.

32. 10 Helpful Business Networking Tips

If you want to be more successful at business networking, you have come to the right place. Here are 10 top tips for boosting your business networking.

  • In order to be successful with business networking, you need to build strong, trustworthy links with individuals who will help to get your name known. These should be people you can trust your name with as they will become unofficial brand ambassadors for your company.
  • Networking involves being real with others. You need to be genuine and help others out the way they help you.  If you present a fake persona people will soon see through it and stop networking with you.
  • Choose your groups wisely. Before becoming involved in any group, figure out what your goals are with them and what you wish to bring to the group and get out of being a member. Some groups are for developing strong business bonds, others are a means of becoming better educated, another may be for making new contacts or volunteering in the wider community.
  • Don’t limit your search to the first group you find. In fact, it is wise to visit with many of them before making your choice(s). Observe the overall feeling of the groups, as well as their attitude. Do you get the impression that everyone is there to support each other? Are the leaders competent? Usually a group will let you sit in on two sessions prior to joining them.
  • Be sure you volunteer when the opportunity arises. Doing so not only gets you known, but also allows you to assist others who have helped you.
  • When it comes to networking conversations, don’t be afraid to ask open-ended questions. Instead of questions that require a yes or no response, ask those that involve “how”, “who”, “what”, “where”, “when” and “why”. These types of questions lead to interesting discussions and lets your listeners know you have an interest in what they are saying.
  • Develop a reputation of being resourceful. When you are known as this kind of person, others will come to you with ideas, tips, and opportunities for you.
  • It’s important to make sure you know what it is that you are doing, whom you are doing it for, and why you are doing it. You also need to know how you are different from others – what is your USP?  You need to understand these things so you can explain to others – practice your elevator speech until it becomes second nature. This is what will get you referrals.
  • Make sure you can explain to others what you need so that they can introduce you to the right people in their network.  Your needs may change throughout the time you are in the group and you mustn’t be afraid to let others know what assistance you need.
  • When provided with a referral you must ensure that you follow it up in a timely fashion.  How quick you are with referrals also determines the reputation of the person who gave it to you. If people become aware that they are passing on referrals and you are failing to follow them up then they may cease recommending you.
  • Get in contact with those who can benefit from your services and vice versa. Let them know it was a pleasure to meet them and come up with time and place for another meeting.  Be pro-active.

31. What Are Fire Blankets? What Do They Do?

One of the essentials that every home should have is a fire blanket. However, most homes don’t have them. A fire blanket should be in every kitchen and any other room where there is an open flame. This can make the difference between losing an entire home to a fire and saving the home and yourself. Small and inexpensive, they are a must for every home and workplace to have on hand.

How Fire Blankets Work

A highly flame resistant blanket is used to put out a small fire. It can also be wrapped around someone who is on fire. Made from a sturdy material that has 2 layers made of interwoven glass fiber surrounded by a thick inner layer that is comprised of a flame proof film. They put out the fire and cut the oxygen supply and help to smother the fire.

How Are They Used?

It is very important to know how to use a fire blanket. If a small fire starts it can rapidly spread and create a much larger fire. This fabric can well save your life and the lives of your family. Following these 7 steps can save your life and teach you how to use a fire blanket.

For Small Fires

If you are able, ensure that the gas or electricity are off. Remove the fire blanket from the container. Hold it by the fabric straps. Wrap the top portion or edge of the blanket around your hands to protect them. Roll your sleeves up to prevent them catching fire. Very carefully use the blanket to cover the flames. Ensure that you have covered the entire flame area. This will cut the oxygen off and starve the fire. Ensure that it is completely out. Do not touch the blanket or anything under it for at least an hour afterward to ensure that it is completely out and cooled down.

If your fire is larger than the blanket don’t try to put it out but get out of the house and call the emergency services right away.

For A Person

Just as with a small fire, remove the blanket and hold it carefully by the straps. Protect your arms and your hands by rolling your sleeves up.

Tell the person to stop, drop and roll. This helps to smother some of the flames and makes it easier to help the person.

Hold the blanket in front of you and place it around the person on fire. It can be done by hugging the person. Cover the person in the blanket. Wrap the blanket around both of you if the flames are between you and the way out of the building. Keep in mind that this is not a guarantee of 100 percent protection. It can however help to protect from the worst of the flames. You may still suffer from some burns escaping the house, but you will be alive thanks to your fire blanket.

Ensure that everyone in the house knows where the fire blanket is kept. In an emergency you may not have time to tell them where it is located. Ensure via a group discussion that everyone knows how to use the fire blanket.

There are many ways to prevent fires and having a fire blanket available for use is one of the best preventative measures to have on hand in case of a fire. It can quickly stop an accidental fire from spreading and destroying the entire building.

30. Kitchens Through The Decades

Kitchens have long been thought of as the heart of any home. Today’s kitchens often merge with other areas of the house such as a dining area, living room or outdoor patio space. Whist the purpose of a kitchen has remained the same over the years, this significant room has evolved. Here we look at eight decades of kitchen trends.

The 1940’s – A Decade Of Kitchen Austerity

Throughout the 1940’s much of a kitchen in an ordinary home contained the basic appliances used today including a stove, refrigerator, mixer and toaster. In the post World War II years, many manufacturers of flooring and appliances offered catalogs to consumers displaying colorful designs for kitchen furnishings, cabinets and appliances.

The kitchen was still a place to cook basic meals in, but it was also a place where a homemaker could show off her personal style and taste using ruffled materials for the chair coverings and table cloths. The walls were often kept bright, and made to accent the white appliances. Whilst designs were entering into the picture, most kitchens were purpose driven and much more austere than the kitchens we know today.

The 1950’s – The Decade Of Convenience

By the 1950’s, the kitchen and its appliances were upgraded to make things easier for the average homemaker. After all, the homemaker had to cook for a family, clean and tend to all of the housework as well as fit in time at the beauty salon for herself.

Appliances became more feature-rich. Refrigerators came with built-in ice makers. Many stoves were made for use with electricity whereas before gas was the most likely fuel to heat and cook with. Dishwashers started entering into many kitchens as well as a host of helpful gadgets – all powered by electricity, which was now the power supply of choice.

Pastel colors were popular, as was the ubiquitous mint green color of the day used on everything from appliances to walls and linoleum flooring.

The 1960’s – The Emergence Of Comfort

By the time the 1960’s arrived, the kitchen of the era reflected a new trend towards modernization. Refrigerators were more sophisticated and came in colors like blues and browns to coordinate with the room itself. Dishwashers and garbage disposals were everywhere making kitchen work easier.

Trends in entertaining led to the kitchen becoming part of the entertainment area of a house. Breakfast bars emerged. Center islands became part of a kitchen, where often additional burners were placed to make more counter and cooking space available.

The 1970’s – Welcome To Formica

As refrigerators advanced and more features were added to the essentials such as cookers and fridge freezers, a new material, Formica, became part of almost every kitchen. Avocado was the color of choice for the decade’s kitchens.

The 1980’s – Entering the Computer Age

One of the greatest inventions of the technological age emerged during this time and that was the microwave oven. Appliances became available with digital readouts and cabinets started being remodeled with see through glass. Counter tops were now being made with natural stone for a sleek look

1990’s to the 2000’s

This era saw computer technology enter into every aspect of kitchen life from timers to washing machines. Homeowners were being given the opportunity to push a button to choose the type of ice they wanted, push a button to pop popcorn or heat up a meal in the microwave. It was all getting easier and easier.

2010 and Beyond – Technology Meets Tradition

These days kitchen décor and appliances are more streamlined, computerized and aimed at convenience than ever before. The kitchen has continued to be an integral part of any home. More and more people enjoy growing their own vegetables and enjoy preparing them in an old-fashioned at home way but using the latest technology.

Many of these kitchen gadgets still allow for a busy homemaker to keep up with raising a family as well as holding down a full-time job and an active, busy social life.