Aug
23

A Guide to Lighting Your Kitchen

A Guide to Lighting Your KitchenWhen it comes to the kitchen, people say it is the heart of the home. That can be very true for most people, and it means they want to spend a lot of time there and really enjoy it. But without the right type of lighting, that can be difficult. Kitchens that aren’t well lit can seem dark and dingy, and can also be less cheerful to be in. That is especially true during the winter months, or at times when the weather is overcast or dreary. Fortunately, there is plenty that can be done about a dark kitchen. The main change to consider is the lighting, and there are so many choices on the market today to consider.

Different Types of Lighting Options

The main choices in lighting are ceiling lights of different types, under the counter lighting, and pendant lights. These are all good options, depending on how and where they are going to be used. The best thing a person can do for their kitchen is light it up the right way. A professional consult can help, because shadows and other issues may not be thought about by a homeowner until it is too late and lights are already installed. Fortunately, there are some ways to avoid those kinds of problems, or make additions and adjustments to help provide more light during a kitchen remodel.

Light Up the Under the Counter Space

With under the counter choices, it is possible to create plenty of light on the counter tops, or to provide a nightlight effect, depending on how much lighting is actually used. There are stick-on, battery operated choices and hard-wired options, both of which can be good for specific applications. Some under counter lights are much brighter than others, and there are fluorescent and LED choices to explore in order to get what is really needed. 

Pendant Lights Work Well Over Bars and Islands

Pendant lights work well over a bar or an island, as they add not only light but a pop of color and something different. They’re a pretty popular feature for today’s home buyer, as well. While some people use the over-island space for a pot and pan rack, adding more light to a kitchen is rarely a bad thing. It is much easier to have more lighting and not need all of it, than it is to be working in a dark kitchen where light really is needed but not enough is available. With pendant lights, it is also possible to have a cozy meal or snack at the island or bar area without all of the kitchen lights being on. That can be a great choice for quieter moments.

Take Stock of Ceiling Space and Light Placement

Ceiling lights are the most popular choices for any kitchen, and come in a number of different types. Standard fixtures with common bulbs are often used over the sink, for example, and fluorescent lighting may be used in the main kitchen area. >Can lights are also a popular choice, because they are more recessed and keep the kitchen ceiling looking higher. They may also add more light to the space, and their placement can be adjusted during the installation so they avoid throwing shadows onto counter tops or in other areas where a lot of light is needed.

Take Time to Make the Right Lighting Choices

No matter which lighting choice is made, a combination of several styles often works best. Large kitchens may have a ceiling light over the sink, can lights throughout the kitchen area, under the counter lighting to help illuminate the counter tops, and pendant lights over a bar or island. With all the great lighting options that are available today, there is no reason to live with a dark, dreary kitchen ever again.

Aug
21

Adding Style to a Small Kitchen or Bath

Adding Style to a Small Kitchen or BathSure, we’d all love to live in a mansion, where every room was twice as big as we’d ever possibly need them to be.  However, we live in the real world, and in the real world, we often have to make do with smaller kitchens and baths than we’d ideally like.  The goal, then, is to get the most out of our space!

A small kitchen or bath doesn’t have to be cramped and claustrophobic.  When you renovate your room with Parada, you have the opportunity to turn a smaller room into a stylish place to be.  Here are some of our top tips on how to cope with a smaller than ideal kitchen or bath.

Light Up The Room

One way to combat the cramped feeling of a small room is with plentiful natural light.  Light, airy rooms feel more spacious, even when they have smaller dimensions.  In the kitchen, this is relatively easy to create – remove curtains, and instead use easily concealed blinds or shutters instead.  A bathroom, with its need for privacy, is a little more difficult, but glazed windows can still let in plenty of light – and strategically placed mirrors can bounce that light around the room, with the side benefit of creating the illusion of even more space.

Guide the Eye

One way to make a room feel larger is to create a sense of movement with your design choices.  This can happen in a number of ways – tall, vertical lines gives a false impression of height, while sweeping, horizontal lines make a room look wider than it actually is.  You want to pick a single style that keeps the eye moving and feeling open.  Don’t forget the floor, either – pattered laminate or parquet floors can create a more interesting visual pattern that will help guide the eye and create the illusion of space.

Less is More

If you have less space to work with, you have to be more careful in your selection of furniture and appliances.  You need a sense of proportion – you can’t just overload your countertops with twenty appliances and a massive sink and then wonder where all the space has gone.  As a rule of thumb, if you have to cram a piece of furniture or appliance right up against a wall in order to make it fit, it’s too big for the room.

The experts at Parada Kitchens can help with your exact situation, coming up with a kitchen design plan that will help get the most out of your space.  Contact us today!

Aug
21

Fall 2017’s Hot Kitchen Design Ideas

Fall 2017's Hot Kitchen Design IdeasThe kitchen is the most frequently remodeled room in any home – with it being such an important functional and central piece to the home, most people want to keep it up to date.  That means there are a constant stream of new innovations and styles coming through the kitchen, as designers and renovators strive to give everyone something new and amazing for their home.  Here are some of the current big design ideas people are going crazy about!

Big, Spacious Sinks

People are tired of trying to cram a dozen dirty dishes into too-small of a sink basin.  Modern sinks are getting bigger and bolder, and often contain a variety of advanced features – built-in splashes and soap holders, powerful garbage disposal units, and as many as three basins, allowing you to soak, clean and prep all at the same time.

Quartz In, Granite Out

Granite has long been one of the go-to countertop surface for kitchens and bathrooms, but it’s been falling out of style recently.  Granite is very high-maintenance, and the current trend is for something a little easier to handle, creating a more functional space.  Engineered quartz offers many of the same aesthetic benefits granite has while also being non-porous and low-maintenance.  It’s not quite a set it and forget it material, but it’s a lot easier to work with, and generally less expensive, to boot.

Integrated Appliances

In an effort to win the battle against countertop clutter, integrated appliances are a big thing at the moment.  With custom-built cabinets and panels for each appliances, you create a seamless, unified look to your kitchen (as opposed to the more slapdash and random look from a variety of different appliances from different makers) and keeps your appliances out of sight and out of mind when they’re not actively being used.

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!