urban: Green Countertops - 07/25/08 10:28 AM
There are many eco-friendly countertops on the market today that hold up well under heavy use.  They combine natural and man-made materials in composite slabs, and usually integrate recycled materials as well, while remaining very attractive and utilitarian alternatives to mainstream countertops. 
IceStone countertops (www.icestone.biz) are made of cement and glass, 75% of it recycled.  Thousands of pieces of polished glass (which used to be beer bottles, windshields, or traffic lights) are set in a base of concrete, and these surfaces are available in almost any color.  Vetrazzo (www.vetrazzo.com) is similar product, using 80% recycled glass.  Vetrazzo is more highly customized … (4 comments)

urban: Kitchen Remodeling Budget and Design - 07/23/08 08:35 AM
Kitchen remodeling is one of the most popular home improvement projects and is an excellent investment.  However, before diving into a large kitchen remodel, carefully consider both budget and design. 
When planning your initial kitchen remodel budget, it is useful to allocate 40-50% of your budget for cabinets, 20-30% for appliances, 20-25% for countertops, 10-15% for flooring, and 5-15% for lighting.  The primary material costs include cabinets, counters, appliances and floors, with lighting, paint, and accents topping it off.  Keep in mind that designers usually charge $50-$150+ per hour, so plan your budget accordingly if you plan to hire professional design … (0 comments)

urban: It's Just Lunch: A Dating Service for Busy Professionals - 07/21/08 08:51 AM
It's Just Lunch (IJL) is a specialized dating service for busy single professionals in D.C.  A Chicago woman founded It's Just Lunch more than 15 years ago after her engagement was suddenly called off.  Only 5 months after founding IJL, she attended her first IJL wedding, and has been working to create couples ever since.
Their "first date experts" hope to minimize stress and maximize efficiency by coordinating fun lunch dates for busy single professionals in the Washington D.C. area. They tell you about your match, coordinate your schedules, and make the reservations at a D.C. restaurant convenient for both parties.  … (0 comments)

urban: Moving in a Wired World - 07/18/08 07:43 AM
It's wise to consider your technology needs carefully when moving to a new home.  Be sure to research a new neighborhood's technology choices and problems by talking with service providers and other residents to ensure that high-speed internet access is available, or that a local monument doesn't block satellite service.  In some cases, you may end up with more options than you had before, like cable, DSL, and FiOS (fiber-optics), or you may end up needing dial-up or satellite access.  To supplement your live research, visit sites like www.broadbandreports.com to avoid post-move technology regrets.  And remember, internet isn't the only concern.  … (0 comments)

urban: 10 Steps to a Well-Designed Room - 07/17/08 08:32 AM
1.  Find a purpose.
First, determine exactly how you want to use the room in question.  Do you want a great room that combines dining, television, and family space?  Or do you have extra rooms and want one casual family room and one formal living room?  A room's purpose should be one of the strongest considerations when choosing a decorating scheme.
2.  Consider others.
Who will use this space?  Guests, family, children, pets, or any combination of the above?   Always consider a room's occupants when selecting finishes and fabrics.  For example flat finish paints and silk slipcovers might be … (2 comments)

urban: How to Replace a Doorknob in 5 Easy Steps - 07/17/08 08:29 AM
Doorknobs are small details that can have a large impact on a space, while remaining within a budget.  Doorknobs come in many shapes and sizes, but be careful not to go overboard when shopping for new doorknobs; they should complement the room, but not be the focal point.  
To replace your doorknobs, follow these simple steps:
Remove the screws holding the old doorknob in place and unscrew the striker and pull it out.  After you remove the screws, the doorknob can be pulled apart and removed. Install the new doorknob by reversing the removal procedure.  The holes for the new doorknob … (0 comments)

urban: Urban Vertical Farming - The Future of Our City? - 07/02/08 07:18 AM
In many areas of the world people use step-farming, or vertical farming, to efficiently utilize awkward terrain or limited flat spaces in order to grow food.  Now a new eco-friendly urban garden concept is on the horizon that may begin to change the face of urban food production and proximity to nature.  New urban vertical farming projects like those featured on Treehugger.com show that urbanites can farm even within the landscape limitations of major cities.  These designs better utilize our natural resources and bring city people closer to food sources, benefiting both people and the earth.
When New York magazine asked … (3 comments)


B. Robert

Urban Discoveries Living

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