Mix Glass Tiles to Create Stunning Effects in Your Kitchen

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When deciding how to finish your newly decorated kitchen with a mix of glass tiles, it is vital you plan ahead and visualize the effect you want to create. Techniques such as mood boards and scrapbooks containing cuttings and ideas are also a great idea. E-scrapbooks are increasingly popular – where you can cut and paste links from across the internet into an e-book online.

Whichever way you seek inspiration it is essential you have a clear idea in mind. And remember, that's the really fun part. Your walls are a blank canvas after all – so why think really creatively and seek ideas which are going to create stunning effects?

There are lots and lots of ideas to choose. The internet is chock-full of inspiration – from using glass mosaic tiles and different shapes and styles. Glass tiles can be used to create a sleek, stylish and modern look. But it is really up to you to thinking through what you want to achieve and how to go about it.

You might create a solid deck of color with kitchen wall tiles and add detail and depth with mosaic tiles. You can be really creative with this technique, using the array of colors and texture which tiles are sold in and complementing with the range of mosaics on the market – which now come if 3D-effect, Aztec patterns and marbled-swirl effects. There really is so much to choose from!

Or you may decide to take tiling to new heights and create a complete wall of mosaic kitchen tiles – which can have stunning visual impact when you enter the room, filling it with color and texture. The creative options for your kitchen are endless.

And we all appreciate that creating the kitchen of your dreams can be difficult. It demands focus and creativity to get the results you want. Plus as one of the most used rooms and the heart of the home, you want your kitchen to have that impact yet be modern with a practical touch … And quite a bit of wow factor!

But the sheer amazing range of kitchen wall tiles and mosaic wall tiles are able to add that style and warmth to your kitchen. And with some of the newer effects such as 3D glass mosaics capable to give that touch of the contemporary, there really styles, shapes, colors and choices for everyone.

So take inspiration from the seasons, your environment and all you see around you, and go create.

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Source by Benjamin K Richards

What Does a Concrete Contractor Do?

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A concrete contractor is a specifically trained and experienced individual or team that is able to manage concrete in its various stages from an unmixed combination to the hard finished product that is produced. A qualified Concrete Contractor can design intricate plans with expert industry knowledge and experience, allowing homeowners to create their own perfect custom products for renovations in their own homes today.

The contractor will oversee delivery and ensure the concrete is distributed correctly. The product will then need to be worked with by an expert to produce a leased and smooth surface that will be able to cure properly. Ensuring this process is completed accurately is one of the key procedures that need to be handled carefully and diligently by the professional involved.

All great contractors can custom design features for their clients using their knowledge, skill and different techniques to ensure the best possible results with excellent customer satisfaction. Uniquely designed plans will be functional and structurally sound with patterns or color added to suit a customer's project idea.

An experienced contractor like many of the large companies in the industry will be able to give a customer a helpful insight into their job progress and what to expect in the outcome of the finished project through their many years' experience and the quality of previous work completed . They know how to stain and add creative textures and colors to enhance each project for every customer.

Concrete specialists can complete any task quickly and efficiently using their expertise and attention to detail. Using specialist tools to fill the entire area requested whether it is a large business complex or small residential home, while continuing to deliver the highest quality service and application to the client.

Homeowners can enjoy planning and creating their own ideas for driveways, patios, decorative items, buildings and many other constructional projects around the home that a contractor will help ensure the most ideal plan for both parties. Customers will be quoted a reasonable pricing frame with minimal production time which will all be organized for the most efficient and effective method available.

Hiring a professional to take care of all structural additions to any home or commercial building is vital to achieving good results. The complexity of the project and the understanding of the many techniques involved are important to ensure problems and safety issues do not arise. With all the specialist equipment available to handle all small and large jobs; specialists with years of valuable experience can be located in every area of ​​the country.

Delivering the best options, quality and pricing to suit everyone's needs; a professionally trained Concrete Contractor will be able to provide the highest quality completed projects with top structural standards and ongoing customer support during and after the work is finished. A concrete contractor will ensure the expectations of a client are met at all times through the process of any construction with the most effective, reliable and reputable service available in the market today.

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Source by Miranda Hewitt

Barriers to Honest Communication in the Workplace

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There are a number of barriers to effective communication in the workplace. It is important as a manager to identify factors which prevent honest and open discourse. When employees do not feel that they can share their thoughts and opinions freely with upper management, it indicates that there is a lack of trust within the organization. It is a manager's responsibility to develop this trust by listening to what is being said and keeping an open mind to criticism and new suggestions for improvements in the company. Incorrect beliefs can be barriers to effective and assertive communication:

  • If I assert myself, others will get mad at me.
  • If I assert myself and people do become angry with me, it will be awful.
  • I want others to be honest with me, but I'm afraid that if I am honest with others and say no, I will hurt them.
  • If my assertion hurts others, I am responsible for their feelings.
  • It is wrong and selfish to turn down legitimate requests. Other people will think I am terrible and will not like me.
  • At all costs, I must avoid saying things and asking questions that might make me look stupid.
  • Assertive people are cold and hard. If I'm assertive, I'll be so unpleased that people will not like me.

There are a number of other factors that can lead someone to avoid communicating their ideas:

  • Fear of rejection
  • Low self-confidence
  • Inability to approach someone new and start a conversation
  • Belief that someone in a position of authority already knows what is going on
  • Nervousness
  • A belief that supervisors are not interested in the ideas of subordinates
  • Inability to handle criticism
  • Lack of strong communication skills necessary to share thoughts and ideas
  • Fear of making a mistake
  • Cultural differences in how assertive communication is viewed
  • Concern that others will think that expressing ideas is arrogant
  • Keeping the peace by keeping quiet
  • Leaving assertive communication to someone else
  • Giving up because of the time and effort required

Assertive people are able to:

  • Share themselves clearly, directly, and without guilt
  • Speak freely without fear of reprisal
  • Respond to questions with ease
  • Stick together to present a cohesive group
  • Demonstrate that they are informed
  • Keep records and present objective information
  • Communicate clearly
  • Demonstrate self-confidence
  • Identify objective goals and are goal-driven
  • Collaborate with others
  • Demonstrate self-reliance and independence
  • Persevere in spite of setbacks
  • Organize to bring about change
  • Demonstrate a positive attitude
  • Bring a sense of pride to their work
  • Hold themselves and those around them accountable

If you find that you are uncomfortable around employees who are assertive, determine the reason for this feeling. Many new managers feel that their authority is being challenged and they are new enough to their position that they are disturbed by this. Experienced managers may have gotten used to the status quo and do not want to listen to new ideas. Anyone who operates in a supervisory capacity needs to be willing to examine their own behavior and how it improves or undermines the growth of their employees.

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Source by Susan K. Ross

Improving Motivation

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A key part of every manager and leaders role is to get results through others. Achieving results through others requires is often a challenge. So how can you improve motivation?

Provide challenging work

While everyone needs to become comfortable in their role and build confidence, just about everyone enjoys a new challenge. It is all too easy to fall into the trap of believing that because someone is good at what they do, that is enough. Those that are good at their job generally want to grow and develop. Providing challenging work like assimilation in a new project is an excellent way of improving motivation.

Learn to listen

One of the common frustrations that employees have is that they feel that they do not have a voice in the work place. People start out initially with enthusiasm but if what they are offering in terms of suggestions for improvements is not given proper consideration, they will always give up or leave. Making the time to sit down, listen and explore ideas can have a huge impact on how people feel about their work.

Set meaningful goals

Objective setting or goal setting sessions carried out as part of staff appraisals are ideal opportunities to set meaningful goals. Yet often they can become sessions where the manager or leader sincerely tells the other person what they will be doing in the coming year. By engaging in dialogue about what the employee needs and the employer needs, more meaningful and motivating goals can be set.

Recognize achievements

In the busy work place, it is all too easy to fall into the trap of ticking things off the list and doing. People are probably working hard and actually achieving a lot but but how often do you make the time to recognize the contributions that people make. Virtually every study or report that is produced around employee satisfaction highlights the importance of recognizing achievements orraising good work. It takes little or no time and costs nothing.

Support balanced risk taking

If you are asking someone to do something new to them or to the organization, you are asking them to take some risk. Organizations can not be reckless, but achieving new levels of performance requires some degree of risk. Supporting and empowering people to take balanced risk can be extremely liberating and stimulating. Remember that nothing of significance is achieved without some degree of risk.

Motivated people make a huge difference to organizational success. Making some simple changes in the way in which you operate as a manager and leader can greatly improve your ability to get results through others and improve motivation.

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Source by Duncan Brodie

What is the Difference Between Highly Engaged Employees and Moderately Engaged Employees?

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I suspect everyone can define a disengaged employee so we will focus on disapproval (the symptoms and costs) in a separate article. How do you define a highly engaged employee and how is this different from a moderately engaged employee? Is the difference the results you achieve? Possibly or is it related to the right behaviors and attitudes! Certainly hard work is one contributing factor to high engagement but not the only factor. Let's take a closer look at the difference.

Highly engaged employees:

  • Provide increased efficiencies in accomplishing their tasks and responsibilities and continuously try to improve.
  • Provide daily interaction with colleges and strive to support, help and improve their college of performance and results.
  • May get frustrated and upset at times but avoid blaming others and maintain a positive attitude and enthusiasm towards their job and colleagues when things do not go as planned.
  • Often take the additional steps necessary to ensure products are top quality and without defects.
  • Exhibit high energy and initiative to carry out their responsibilities and all extra tasks required.
  • Regularly offer suggestions on improvements, cost cutting ideas to bring new efficiencies to the workplace.
  • Contribute to the bigger picture seeking win / win solutions for everyone involved.
  • Achieve and surpass company goals despite obstacles.
  • Understand the critical importance of pleasing customers and it is this willingness and "effort to please" that builds strong and profitable customer relationships.
  • Constantly act as company advocates; in social situations, in the community, clubs and associations etc. This advocacy helps attract new talent and introduce new clients to the company.
  • Understand the need for change to compete effectively in the marketplace and more easily adapt to and support change.
  • They much more more to replace when they leave and have much less potential for resigning to pursue new careers!

Highly engaged employees bring their companies added value, in many cases with the same training or comparable wages as a moderately engaged employees. This can be through higher skills, better alignment, increased focus and effort, etc. With increasing competition, all customers seek added value in the products and services they need! Look at the list above and then you can decide whether your employees fall into the highly engaged or moderately engaged categories.

Highly engaged employees typically account for only 20% of the work. If a company can raise the engagement level of the 60% of moderately engaged employees even a few percent points (such as 10-15%) to develop more skills or focus on company goals it can pay huge dividends to the overall organization. It is incumbent on employers to create the right environment for employees that will allow them to raise their performance levels and be the best that they can be. Successful leaders and companies find ways to encourage, nurture, develop and cultivate the attitudes and behaviors that require that lead to high employee engagement.

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Source by Doug K Brown

The Importance of Good Kitchen Lighting

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With the kitchen being one of the most traveled rooms in many homes, good kitchen lighting is important to its overall design and feeling.

The practice of implementing good lighting design is a popular and cost effective project that many homeowners choose to undertake in order to give their kitchens an extra personal touch and have it stand out from others.

There are several places, many of which some do not ever consider, to add lighting. Did you ever think about kitchen cabinet lighting or kitchen lighting over the sink? These are just two places where extra lighting to go in order to accent your appliances and other kitchen fixtures.

Through the right design decisions, you can improve your kitchen's look and create a positive ambiance that you, your family and guests will greatly appreciate.

In order to do that, however, it's important to know what the different types of kitchen lighting are and how they are typically implemented into the design of a kitchen.

The four types of lighting to consider before beginning a kitchen remodeling project are task lighting, ambient lighting, decorative lighting and accent lighting. Each of these types of lighting serves a different purpose than the others, so getting acquainted with each one would be to your advantage while you're in the planning stages of your project.

Ambient lighting is often the most prevalent type of lighting. Its low intensity creates a soft glow that makes it safe to work in most areas of the kitchen. Many people associate ambient lighting with setting the mood in a room not just in kitchens, but in places like restaurants and bars as well. The right amount of ambient light can make a room welcoming and homely.

Task lighting is a type of kitchen lighting that provides a more high intensity glow. It's because of this task task lighting is often limited to places like the sink and cabinets, where being able to see is important. To get the most use out of this type of lighting, look into putting it not only over your sink, but over type other heavy-use kitchen items like cutting boards and stoves as well.

Accent lighting is designed to show things off. If you have an expensive new refrigerator or another item in your kitchen such as rare dishware that you want people to notice, then this is the type of lighting to use for that. It does not make the working areas of your kitchen more functional places, but its aesthetic value has made it popular with homeowners performing kitchen renovations nonetheless.

Lastly, there is decorative lighting. This type of kitchen lighting allows you to make the space truly your own. Whatever the design of the lights, it's important to remember the old adage of "less is more" with decorative lighting. Overdoing it with decorative lighting can make for a gaudy and flashy appearance whereas a minimalist approach can bring an understated refinement to the room.

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Source by Yanni Giannaros

Driveway and Walkway Projects That Boost Your Home's Curb Appeal

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Have you checked out the curve appealing of your home laTely? Does your home reflect your style? Perhaps it's time to plan some improvements to your driveway and walkways. An upgrade will make your return from work sweeter and impress your neighbors and visitors as well as yourself.

Adding paver stones will have a great impact on your driveway and walkways. Colors, textures and patterns tend to slow down traffic, while uniform surfaces and large paver stones will cause people to pass by without a glance. If you choose a smaller pattern, you may want to add a border or an additional pattern such as a slate seamless texture used in stamped concrete. To get an idea of ​​how a paving pattern might look, visit sites with completed projects and have samples brought in and laid down as though they were already set. This will help you make pattern and color choices.

If you are on a budget, you can add natural stone or pavers in a grid pattern or as borders. Borders can be a contrasting or complementary stone inlay or a solid brick course along the edge of the walkway. Be aware that borders can give the illusion of a smaller area; they work well on driveways but probably should not be used on walkways under four feet in length.

Driveways and walkways do not have to be straight. A long meandering driveway, especially through a wooded area, creates a feeling of privacy. If you want the convenience of driving up to the front door, the Governor style driveway has two entrance / exit points to the street and makes a half-circle in front of the house, creating an elegant and gracious approach to your home.

One way to personalize your walkways and steps is to add artisanal tile mosaics. While mosaics are hearty and durable, they also have a delicate quality that adds beauty and elegance to your walkway. Any mosaic installation must be done together with other stonework. It's best to work with a mosaic designer or artist to create a tile plan.

While it may be tempting to go all out with a driveway and walkway upgrade, you do not want to detract from your beautiful landscaping. Do not add an extravagant driveway or walkway if it will not blend well with your architectural design or landscape.

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Source by Pat Michael