Sunday, October 24, 2010

Kitchen Bar Stools - Not Just For Breakfast

by: Regina Dewall

The kitchen bar stools in your home may be among the most used seats in the house. It’s not uncommon to see a child sitting there doing their homework while mom or dad is preparing breakfast or dinner. Often, while leaving the "at work" mode and entering the "at home" mode, the kitchen bar stool is a convenient place to sit and sort the mail while having a snack or drink. Good friends will often sit on the bar stools in the kitchen in order to converse with us better as we finish getting a meal ready, and then the children will take over the bar stools as the adults move to the dinning table for the meal.

As homes with larger kitchens have become more and more popular, many homes now have a kitchen/dining area with overhang counters. Thus the kitchen bar stool has become increasingly more popular.

There are many designs to choose from. In fact, there are so many different kinds of kitchen bar stools, that it can become a challenge to decide which style is best for you. How tall should they be? Should they have a back? Should they have arms? Should they swivel? Should your kitchen bar stools be made of wood, metal, wrought iron, or something else? The answers to some of these questions are easy to determine while others are purely choices of preference.

Here are a few tips on selecting the "right" kitchen bar stools:

As mentioned above, most kitchen bar stools get a lot of use, and that means a lot of abuse! So you may want to select stools that are made of materials that can withstand the inevitable. For kitchen use, avoid stools that are made from soft woods, this is especially true if the stools have a back or arms. With the high volume of traffic that many kitchens get, these stools would get scratched very quickly. You might consider wrought iron, stainless steel, aluminum, chrome, or a hard wood.

Generally, it is recommended to allow 12 inches from the top of the stool cushion to the bottom of the counter or table. If you select kitchen bar stools with arms, make sure the top of the arms will slide under the table or counter. The cushions for your stools should be able to handle regular use. If you choose either leather or vinyl for your kitchen bar stool cushions, avoid the temptation to get a thin grade.

When choosing kitchen bar stools, think outside the kitchen. In other words, where else might the stools be used? Might they be used in the TV or game room on occasion? If this is something you expect to happen, select a stool that is light enough to be easily moved. The heavier they are, the more likely they are to be dragged over your floors.

In our fast paced lives, we don’t often sit down at the table to eat. Instead of carrying food to the table, we grab the nearest stool and have a quick bite on our way out in the morning. We often do the same thing when we are coming home in the evening, since we often have to turn around and go back out.

Truly the humble kitchen bar stool isn’t just for breakfast anymore!

About The Author

Regina Dewall writes about tips on selecting kitchen counter and bar stools. To read more tips from Regina, visit the Bar Stool Buying Guide.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

More Russians Arrive in Phuket

The Russians are coming. Although many of them are already here, or have been and gone, the announcement that Aeroflot, the Russian national carrier, will start a three times a week high season service to Phuket is good for tourism and property. In the first quarter of 2010 Russian visitors were first, followed by the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland and China in the top five. Russians are interested in freehold condominium units, according to the Phuket Real Estate Association.

Russians like to purchase large, expensive villas and there are a number of local real estate agents who specialize in this Russian market. Laguna Phuket is a favourite although most of the units are not used or even in rental pools; they are mainly there for investment only. Russians tend to not like other people using their units. There are Russians working on Phuket for tour companies and there is even a Russian language magazine, a Russian version of the established Phuket Magazine.

In addition to Aeroflot, Transaero, a Russian charter airline, flies direct to Phuket and in July this year Pegas Touristik, a Russian tour operator, announced it would increase flights to Bangkok and Phuket from eight Russians cities. In January-June 2010 Russian visitors to Thailand totaled 305,415, a 10.28 percent increase on the previous year, with a large proportion of visitors traveling on to Phuket.

Russian tourists are not everyone’s cup of tea. Some hotel properties in Phuket are reluctant to have them as guests. but there is no denying the Russians’ determination to come here for a holiday, and, maybe, investment. The shortest airline flight from Moscow to Phuket via Vienna, Austria, is 29 hours.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thailands luxury Property Market

With the recent sale of Beyond Villa the world is starting to sit up and take notice of the luxury property market in Thailand. Beyond Villa was sold to an anonymous Russian business man for a rumoured figure of US$24,000,000. The villa sits on Natai Beach just north of Phuket Island with 6,000sqm of constructed area spread over a huge 16,000sqm ocean front plot.

With rental returns on luxury villas in Thailand generating between US$500-5,500 per night (depending on season) they can also turn out to be a great money earner as well as a special place to come and spend your holidays. Here is just a small selection of completed luxury properties available from

Villa Chan Grajan

Location: Surin Beach, Phuket
Rental Returns: US$1,400 - $5,500 per night
Guide Price: US$8,000,000

Villas Yin & Yang

Location: Kamala Beach, Phuket
Rental Returns: US$1,000 - $4,250 per night (Yin) US$950 - $3,495 per night (Yang)
Guide Price: US$7,250,000 (Yin) US$4,250,000 (Yang)

Liberty (as featured in the Asia Property Magazine, Oct. page 92)

Location: Kamala Headland, Phuket
Guide Price: US$7,000,000

Satis House

Location: Natai Beach, Phang Nga
Rental Returns: US$500 - $2,500 per night
Guide Price: US$4,500,000

The Estates Samui (Managed by The Four Seasons Resort Group)

Location: Bang Ma Kham, Koh Samui
Rental Returns: US$3,000 - $4,500 per night
Guide Price: From US$3,000,000

Samui Ridgeway

Location: Tong Krut, Koh Samui
Rental Returns: US$950 - $3,000 per night
Guide Price: POA

If you would like any further details on any of these properties or any other services offered by then please feel free to contact us at any time.