Archive for the 'Kitchen' Category
By Deb Villeneuve
The impact can be used to add a contemporary feel to bathrooms, bedrooms, foyers, living and dining rooms that marries well with almost any style.
Use the following ideas as inspiration for creating the ambiance that reflects your unique style.
a Black on Black atmosphere creates a statement
For those who want a total look, maximizing black to create backdrop and to avoid a heavy feeling the use of different textures and finishes plays on reflection of light to create subtle yet interesting effects, enhanced with the most subtle touch of color to keep it interesting!
By Deb Villeneuve
Filed under: 2013 Trends,Accessories,Appliances,Arts and Crafts,Bamboo,Bathroom,Bedroom decor,Carpet,color,colour zoning,Cork flooring,De-Clutter,Decorating,Focal Point,Foyer,Furniture placement,Home,Home staging,Inspiration,Kitchen,Lighting,Living Room,Minimalism,Modern decor,Natural light,Organization,Pinterest,practical tips,Space Planning,Staging,Thrifty ideas
Timelessly elegant, white can be refined, pure and subtle to give a feeling of serenity to your decor.
White enhances the feeling of space while adding a calming touch of freshness to the interior and putting the focus on light, natural and from fixtures.
To some, white is not a color but an intrinsic value while others feel it is the sum of all colors.
No matter what your school of thought, white and its multitude of variations (fawn, beige, biscuit, sand, slate, chamois, etc…) must be treated with the same respect as black and all of its shades of gray when used in decoration.
Here are a few choices which marry well with white
Wood has a warm texture which creates movement and complements a white, sparsely furnished room. Other base notes with which to add interest and depth to a room are tone on tone textiles in varying textures and area rugs in earthen colors to give a vintage feel to the room.
The white living room is a blank canvas on which the rest of the decoration (throws, furniture, carpet, lamps, etc…) combine to create a feeling.
A fireplace always creates a little happiness by bringing warmth and comfort while adding immeasurably to a room.
Add a few accessories in wood, cream or earthen colors to keep the “white chic” theme and the mood is complete!
Neutral shades are all but boring in this winter white kitchen, reminiscent of natural shades of a snowy day. The vintage style of decorating is making a come back and white makes a strong statement with the warmth of wood as an accent to give a spacious and inviting feel to this kitchen.
The feeling of this space relies heavily on the choice of colors for the accessories found throughout the kitchen (decorations, dishes, curtains, towels, etc…)
While accenting with bright colors serves to create an energetic and vibrant ambiance, the use of wood and earthen colors will create a more calming environment when combined with cool colors such as blue, green and purple.
Avoid complications! In the bathroom take advantage of white on white with small touches of color.
An added bonus, white reflects light thus creating brightness and it also makes the space feel larger.
Although a mirror is usually standard in the bathroom, why not experiment by using a variety of mirrors on an empty wall.
Not only will this enhance the feeling of space by making the room look larger because of its reflection it is also a way to create a vintage look.
White on white creates an open and relaxing environment for this master bedroom. A pastel colored chair would be the perfect way to accent a reading corner in the room
By Vivian Martin
Plastic laminate, once the standard surface for postwar home kitchen countertops, still has a big market share due to affordable and maintenance-free options in loads of colors and patterns. Check out the basics and special considerations here to see if a plastic laminate counter might be right for your kitchen.
When building a new home, it is easy to get caught up on high-end finishes. While granite or solid-surface countertops may be on your wish-list, good quality laminate countertops may keep your build budget down and can be replaced as your budget allows. Conversely, things like upgraded insulation in your walls and attic are best done at the time of building. Just something to consider!
By Guest Post
Perusing through home design magazines and recording your favorite home renovation shows can perk up your desire to gut and remodel your own kitchen. While television and magazines have big budgets to make things look lovely, you might not. The way people approach kitchen renovations has changed. Getting your dream kitchen is now more about learning to work with what you can afford instead of breaking the bank. With a little budgeting, some solid planning, and a lot of imagination, your dream kitchen is more than within reach.
Think of Simple Upgrades
There is no need to go with top of the line appliances. Ask yourself if you really need steam over or a burner that specifically boils water. Choosing a standard size refrigerator instead of an extra wide, French door model can save you money. You might be surprised to find that mid-range appliances look and perform a lot better now than they once did.
Focus On Your Needs
It can still be a dream even if you only fix up the things you need instead of investing in only things you want. The emphasis in the kitchen has shifted from what looks good to what works well. If you need more counter space or a better oven, use your budget to replace those items first. Take some time to browse through kitchen dining sets and accessories to get a solid idea of what you need beforehand, saving you plenty of cash in the long run. And with that extra cash you can invest in wall art, new barstools, or a fancy wine rack.
It really pays to do your homework before you launch into the big kitchen remodel. Compare prices on appliances at big box discount stores as well as online. Magazines such as “Consumer Reports” and advice from friends and family members who have recently remodeled their own kitchen can help you make the best decisions about which appliances perform well and which are duds.
Take Baby Steps
Divide the project up into several smaller steps. For example, you might not have the budget to invest in a new stove and a new refrigerator right now, but you can do something small to improve the function of your kitchen. You can replace the knobs on the cabinets or re-paint the walls. If the seating in the breakfast nook is worn, consider purchasing a new barstools or chairs to spruce up the looks of the space.
The average small kitchen remodel costs around $21,000. You can bring that sum down considerably by tackling some of the project yourself. Don’t pay a mover or hauler to take away your old refrigerator or other appliance. You can rent a truck or van and do the task yourself. More adventurous renovators can try taking on some of the actual labor of the project, such as installing new flooring or countertops.
Sometimes, the lower end options look almost as good as the real thing. One example is wood veneer flooring. It doesn’t have the longevity of a hardwood floor, but it costs a lot less up front and has a simpler installation. Feel free to think outside the trendy box when it comes to choosing materials. In most cases, people won’t be able to tell that you’ve gone with quartz over granite or domestic marble over imported.
Create a budget before you start the project and commit to stick to it. Add a bit to your final project amount so that you have some wiggle room if anything goes amiss. A smart renovation means your home’s value can increase. Make sure you are getting the most for your efforts by not spending too much upfront.
By Vivian Martin
How to light an island is a subject of endless speculation and worry, but it needn’t be a subject so fraught with uncertainty. It helps to understand the three main types of home lighting: Ambient lighting, the general illumination you get from ceiling lights and some wall-mounted lights; accent lighting, which draws attention to a feature of a room, and task lighting, like pendants and under-counter lights.
In a working room like a kitchen, task lighting takes on an importance that’s hard to overstate. Pendant lights, especially when suspended over an island, get all the glory and rightly so. Even though every room and lighting goal is different, here are some examples of island pendant lights done well:
By Vivian Martin
You’ve decided to remodel your kitchen. Now what? Not knowing where to start, many homeowners fall into two camps. Some start by looking at appliances. Others start by collecting inspiration photos. Both are steps any homeowner can take without the commitment of hiring a professional, and sometimes a homeowner will find themselves in this stage for a year or longer.
Once you’ve simmered in this phase long enough and you’re ready to green-light a kitchen remodeling project, then what? Here we’ll start with the first 10 steps:
By Vivian Martin
The kitchen is one of the most complicated spaces to design in a house — and figuring out how to design an island can be confusing for homeowners. Houzz’s discussion boards are full of users asking for help on how to decide on a kitchen island size.
Kitchen islands are often the heart of the home, frequently preferred to a more formal dining area and definitely a hub during social gatherings. While there’s no set formula for figuring out how to size an island, some measurement guidelines can help. Think function, appliances, storage, counter height, layout, design resources – all of these are important to creating an effective and enjoyable kitchen island. Follow the slide show below for these six basic considerations you should have when planning your kitchen island…
By Marie-France Roger
Nowhere else in the home does design and functionality need to be more harmonious than in the kitchen. This is the most-used room of the house, one where we spend most of our leisure time, one that gets the most attention from potential buyers and where we invest most of our dollars in renovation budgets.
A kitchen renovation costs an average of $ 20,000 with a potential 73% return on this expenditure at the time of resale. A more major renovation costs an average of $58,000 and provides a recovery potential of approximately 68% of the expense, according to a study conducted in 2010-2011 in the United States.
When you spend so much money on a renovation, you want to choose the improvements that achieve multiple objectives including efficiency, functionality and beauty. Some types of upgrades are more expensive, while others are easy and relatively inexpensive.
These five kitchen renovation elements will greatly improve functionality and beauty, while allowing you to recover your maximum investment upon the resale of your home:
In every kitchen, the counter is an important design element and must provide foolproof functionality. Counters act as work and storage areas, and surfaces on which to present food and beverages while playing a crucial role on the overall look of the kitchen. Replacing old laminate countertops with more upscale options such as granite can improve the appearance and usability of your work surface. Even if you opt to replace the old laminate with the same product, you will improve the overall look of your kitchen.
2. Lighting and ventilation
Effective lighting and ventilation in a kitchen will not only allow you to appreciate more the beauty of the room, they will provide a safer and more comfortable work environment. Under-cabinet lighting, internal cabinet lighting, task lighting and the addition of lights over the lunch counter will improve usability and beauty of your kitchen. Skylights, if operable, can assist in the removal of heat, moisture and odours while providing additional natural light. Accessories like decorative blinds with remote control, allow you to adjust the amount of light that enters your kitchen, while dressing your decor.
Upgrading your cabinets can be an expensive prospect, but well worth the investment because they serve as not only a major design element in the kitchen, but are essential to the effectiveness of cooking and convenience of all occupants. There are several options to renovate your cabinets, from total replacement with custom cabinets to simply repainting or resurfacing existing cabinets.
4. Equipment and accessories
The cabinet hardware and faucets are the jewels of your kitchen. Replacement of worn or dated materials – including knobs, handles and hinges – is a fast, easy and cost-effective way change the look of the entire room. In addition, you can improve the functionality by choosing larger pulls that are easier to use and replace the old hinges with modern varieties that close quietly and smoothly, or are completely concealed behind the cabinet door . Replacing the kitchen faucet is an easy way to freshen up the kitchen at low cost.
Your car could not function without an engine and tires… Likewise a kitchen cannot accomplish its mission without proper appliances. If your appliances are more than 10 years old, chances are they getting tired and outdated. There is also a good chance they are less efficient than newer models. Kitchen appliances represent nearly 20% of the energy consumed by the average home, according Energystar.gov.
By Deb Villeneuve
Knowledge is power and a basic knowledge of how kitchen cupboards are built will allow you to differentiate between the various types and help you to decide on which option best suits your needs. This blog is intended to give you the pertinent information in order to choose the cabinets that fit not only your lifestyle but also your budget.
The two major categories are framed and unframed. The advantage to framed cabinets is that they can be built of less expensive wood because it is only the frame that shows. The doors are installed on the exterior and the hinges are visible, giving a more traditional look. The frame should be made of 1″ wide hardwood and the balance is usually made of 3/8 ” to 1/2 ” plywood.
Frameless cabinets are finished with surface strip that covers the exposed wood around the edge. The doors are installed from the inside of the box and the hidden hinges not only give the cabinets a more contemporary look but allow for a bit of additional space since there is no frame.
Stock cabinets, most of which are frameless, are those that can be purchased off the shelf of many retailers and home renovation centers. They are available in widths from 9 ” to 48 ” in 3 ” increments. Because of their low cost, the options are extra and must be added to the price. Cabinets made of presswood must be between 5/8” and 3/4” thick and have a vinyl or melamine coating to protect from water damage. If your kitchen sees a lot of traffic, durability might be an issue and if you are thinking about a granite or cement countertop these cabinets will not support the weight. If, however, your kitchen is not subject to extreme use or you are thinking of a short term installation, stock cabinets have their advantages and are the quickest to procure as the lead time can vary from a couple of days to a week.
Semi-custom cabinets provide the best of both worlds as they are build to order from stock dimensions. They offer more choice in styles, accessories and materials than stock cabinets and are often found in dedicated show rooms. They may be a better choice for the consumer who wants a higher quality product or when special features such as a vent hood cover or baskets instead of drawers are required. They are a better choice when a durable product is required to stand up to use by a family. Since they are made once ordered, you must usually allow a three to eight week lead time.
Custom cabinets may be the best choice if you plan to add many options as the price will quickly increase with the extras chosen. Considering the quality of the product and the almost unlimited choice in materials and options, especially for those who spend a lot of time in the kitchen and need special storage space, a custom made kitchen may be your best choice. It’s a good idea to shop around as prices can vary widely and you will have to allow six to twelve weeks for delivery.
Cupboard doors must have a protective finish that will help them endure years of use. Presswood doors should be laminated with plastic, much like the counter top. This finish is durable and washable and is not to be confused with melamine which is a thin coat that can chip easily.
Drawers should be made of solid wood or plywood with dovetail or dowel construction. If you see staples and uneven lines of glue, better to avoid this model. The drawer slides should operate smoothly without binding or making noise and should have little side to side play. Steel is better than plastic, which can crack and cause binding that may even render the drawer useless. A 75lb load rating is fine for utensils and spices but should be 100lbs. for drawers in which cookware and dishes will be stored.
With all of the available options to maximize the space in your kitchen, all that’s left is to choose what best suits your particular requirements.
By Vivian Martin
Large or small, a kitchen has to function well for you to get the most out of it, whether that means great meals, great entertaining or both. Accessibility is the main ingredient. And one element that is globally useful, whether you’re a top chef or an ace sandwich maker, are storage features that pull out or pull up.
Designing a high-performance kitchen requires an in-depth knowledge of your household’s unique needs and habits. In a large kitchen, you don’t want to have to run from one end to the other while trying to prepare a meal. In a small kitchen, unpiling and unstacking is cumbersome and irritating when you’re trying to get things done. Pull-up or pullout components have the power to increase your kitchen’s usability tremendously.
Read the full article for some clever kitchen storage options…