Jul
20

Tricks to Dress Up Your Kitchen Cabinets

Tricks to Dress Up Your Kitchen CabinetsCabinets are a bit of a utilitarian addition to your home – they’re storage, just giving you a place to put all of your stuff.  Whether they’re in your kitchen storing dishes or in your bedroom hold knick-knacks, they’re there to serve a purpose.  That being said, there’s no reason they have to just sit there – they can be part of your room’s décor and style!  Here are a few tips for how to turn your kitchen cabinets from bland to amazing:

Variety is the Spice of Life

While it’s customary for kitchen cabinets to be more or less identical, there’s no reason they have to be.  Different heights and color schemes can bring more visual attention and create more interesting sight lines – consider bookending your cabinets with longer or taller ones to create a more dramatic sweeping effect.

Color!

Kitchen cabinets are a great place to add a splash of color to an otherwise monochrome room.  A splash of a bright, primary color can turn a kitchen from drab to exciting in no time flat.  Obviously, you’d want to match the color of your cabinets to the color of your walls and other furniture, but they can serve either as additional sources of main color or splashes of accent color throughout your kitchen.

Add Lighting

Lighting can be one of the most difficult things to add to a kitchen – and your cabinets are a great place to do it!  A little undercabinet lighting will bathe your countertops in bright white light, which will make everything much easier!  If you use a dimmer switch, it also can create mood lighting effects, as well.  It’s a brilliant idea – literally!

For more great ideas for your kitchen cabinets, contact the experts at Parada Kitchens.  Our expert designers can help you design the kitchen of your dreams!

Jul
20

Picking the Perfect Sink

Picking the Perfect SinkWe’ve seen kitchens without cabinets, or without ovens, or without major appliances like refrigerators.  When was the last time you saw a kitchen without a sink?

Sinks and taps are two of the most essential parts of any kitchen – and yet, they’re two of the least-considered pieces when designing a kitchen.   With modern kitchen design, you now have a wide variety of sinks and taps to choose from, with a wide variety of materials and designs.  Not every design will match every kitchen, of course, but your selection has never been wider.

Here are a couple decisions you can make when picking your sink – areas you can customize to make sure your sink is perfect for your needs.

Number of Basins

You can stick with a large, single sink – that makes it convenient to soak or wash big pans and dishes and to prep very large quantities of food.  Of course, it means you can only really use your sink for one thing at a time; soaking a dish and rinsing vegetables at the same time is pretty much right out.  That’s where multiple basins come into play – but then you have to decide if you want the more aesthetically pleasing symmetrical design of having two basins of equal sizes, or if you want a 60/40 split, making each basin better at specific tasks.   You could also go whole-hog and get three basins, though that starts eating significantly into your counter space.

Sink Shape

Rather than just having a square sink level with your countertops, you have a wide range of options.  Farmhouse sinks, with their distinctive apron fronts, gives your home a vintage look and feel.  Rounded sides, as opposed to a pure rectangle, can be easier to clean, without those stubborn corners for dirt and grime to build up.  Drainboards can be built in to the sink, at the cost of counter space.  There’s a whole variety to choose from!

Material

Stainless steel is durable and easy to clean, though it can also be scratched and stained by hard water.  Porcelain is traditional, adds vintage style to your design, and can come in a wide variety of colors, though it can also chip and scuff.  Granite is highly scratch and stain-resistant, though they require special maintenance.  Natural stone can blend in with your countertop materials, but can chip and requires the same care as a granite sink.

The choices are nearly endless!  An expert kitchen designer, like the ones at Parada Kitchens, can help make sure you’re making the best choices.  Call us today for a free consultation!

Jun
12

Kitchen Storage Solutions

Kitchen Storage SolutionsKitchens need storage.  They need lots of storage.  They need clever storage.  With so many pots, pans, appliances and general clutter, finding ways to maximize storage in your kitchen is a must for most kitchen renovations.  The experts at Parada Kitchens can help ensure your new kitchen is filled to the brim with hidden storage.  Here are a few of our general suggestions:

Varied Drawer Size

Kitchen equipment is not one size fits all!  If you fill your kitchen with only standard-sized drawers, you’ll find a great number of things that don’t quite have a fit.  By having drawers of different sizes, you can have specialized uses for them – think a small, thin drawer for spices, or a taller drawer for cereal boxes.

Kitchen Islands

Kitchen islands are a great way to add extra storage to a crowded kitchen.  It’s not just an added surface; most of the interior can be used to add those extra cabinets or drawers you’ve been looking for.  It’s a great way to use that extra space in the middle of a kitchen that runs along the walls; L-shaped kitchens are perfect opportunities for kitchen islands.

Use Corners Wisely

Corners can be tricky, but they can also be a great opportunity.  Rather than using standard cabinets in a corner, which ends up with blocked or wasted space, specialized units like carousels or pull-out mechanisms can help you maximize the amount of storage you get out of that 90-degree angle.

Use Your Height

If you’re struggling for storage, cabinets can be extended to reach the ceiling.  While items on the very top aren’t practical for everyday use, it’s a great place to store those items you use only occasionally – special baking tins or other specialized equipment, rarely used appliances, and things of that nature.  Your kitchen exists in three dimensions, use all of it!

Jun
12

Granite Countertops: The Pros and Cons

Granite Countertops The Pros and ConsThe choice of material for your countertop is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when renovating your kitchen.  From solid surface to marble, the choices out there are nearly endless, each bringing with it its own particular pros and cons.

Granite is one of the most popular surfaces available at the moment, delivering gorgeous aesthetics.  Like any other surface, however, it has its positive sides and its negative sides.  Here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons of granite countertops.

Pros

Granite is simply one of the most beautiful countertop materials available.  It’s a natural look that many synthetic countertops can’t really match, and they’re unique to your kitchen – they’re cut from solid rock formations, so no two granite countertops are exactly alike.  They’ve also been popular for decades now, so there’s little chance they’ll end up looking dated or otherwise out of touch.

Granite doesn’t scratch – or, at least, you have to put real effort in to scratch it.  It will dull your knives before you harm your surface.  It also resists heat, making it a great choice near your cooktop.  When properly sealed, it’s also highly stain resistant – it won’t absorb liquids, preventing stains and bacteria from seeping into your countertop.

Cons

“When sealed” is a key phrase in that last paragraph.  Granite countertops need to be sealed because the rock is naturally porous.  If not sealed – or improperly sealed – it will absorb stains, making them nearly impossible to remove.  It’s also a health hazard, with bacteria seeping into your countertop and potentially contaminating anything else you place on it.  Yearly sealing is recommended.

Granite doesn’t scratch, but it can chip with enough force.  Drop a heavy object onto the corner, and you may well find a piece chipping off.  If it does chip or stain, it’s going to be expensive – as a natural stone, granite is a much more expensive option than manmade materials.

Final Verdict

Are you good at keeping up with home maintenance?  If so, granite might well be the choice for you – its timeless beauty and strength make it a wonderful choice when taken care of.  If, however, you have a busier lifestyle and don’t want to worry about maintaining your countertops, a solid surface, laminate or quartz countertop may be more to your liking.  It all depends on exactly what you use your countertop for and how much work you want to put in.  The experts at Parada Kitchens can help you make your final decision.

May
19

4 Kitchen Countertop Ideas

4 Kitchen Countertop IdeasKitchen countertops come in all different sorts of materials – and making sure you pick the right material for your kitchen is very important.  It’s one part of your kitchen you are almost guaranteed to use on a daily basis, so if you pick one that isn’t durable enough for your needs, you’ll end up regretting it.

The experts at Parada Kitchens can help you pick the perfect countertop to meet your specific needs, taking into account how you use your kitchen, the style and design you’re aiming for, and your budget restrictions.  Here are four of the best surfaces for your new kitchen countertops.

Quartz

Quartz countertops are made of engineered stone.  That makes them a low-maintenance, highly durable surface with a large variety of color choices to match your kitchen design.  It mimics the look of true stone, like granite or marble, but doesn’t require the same sealing or aftercare.  It also stands up well to heat, cuts and abrasions.  It can chip, however, and edges and corners are particularly vulnerable to damage.

Granite

Granite still reigns supreme as one of the most popular and elegant choices for your kitchen countertop.  It’s a beautiful, strong, natural surface.  The unique grain in each block of granite ensures that your countertop will be unique, as opposed to man-made surfaces which will look identical from home to home.  However, it’s important to remember that granite is a porous surface.  That means you’ll have to seal it regularly to avoid bacteria and mildew from permeating its surface – you have to factor in regular upkeep for a granite counter.

Laminate

If you’re on a tight budget, it’s tough to beat laminate.  It’s inexpensive, easy to install and looks a lot better nowadays than it did in your grandmother’s kitchen!  Old laminate looks dated and out of fashion, but modern construction and printing technology help make it look fresh and modern, while still preserving the advantages that made laminate the go-to option for years.  It still doesn’t stand up well to cuts and isn’t repairable, though, so cutting boards are a must to protect your laminate countertops from damage.

Solid Surface

Solid surface countertops, including Corian and Wilsonart, are an acrylic and polyester blend that makes a great countertop.  It’s a non-porous surface, meaning there’s almost no regular maintenance required.  Any scratches and burns can easily be sanded out, keeping your surface looking good even under heavy use.  There’s a wide variety of color and pattern options, including options you simply won’t find in nature.  Unlike engineered stone, solid surface countertops look artificial and man-made; they’re not a good replacement for granite or marble if you’re looking for a natural look.  It also is more vulnerable to heat damage than other surfaces.