Oct
24

5 Elements of a Family-Friendly Kitchen

5 Elements of a Family-Friendly KitchenFor most of us, the kitchen is the most popular room in the house. It’s not only where meals are prepared, but it’s where we gather with our loved ones to share quality family time together. Not every kitchen is made with this idea in mind, though. In fact, some kitchens make this type of family togetherness nearly impossible.

So with that said, here are five elements of a family-friendly kitchen.

Open Floor Plan

The kitchen may be the most popular room in the house, but the living room is a close second. Why not join the two together with an open floor plan that creates a flow between the two spaces? This encourages interaction and allows each member of the family to pursue their own activity while still participating in the group conversation. 

Computer Corner

Wireless internet technology allows for laptops to be used in any part of the house. And for a lot of families, that means the kids stay locked in their rooms. So why not create a permanent computer area near the kitchen. This way, the kids can still do their homework or enjoy other online activities while dinner is being made. Even if the conversation is limited, it’s always nice to have everyone together.

Accessible Pantry

A conveniently located pantry keeps the conversation going while you search for the items you need. And by including drawers that fully extend, you can cut down on time you spend searching for things. Another great option to consider is to have a lower-level drawer designated for the kids. Fill this with parent-approved options to encourage self-sufficiency and healthy eating.

Easy-to-Clean Surfaces

We all know spills are bound to happen – especially if the kiddos are helping. So when it comes time to install a new countertop, be sure to choose a material that is easy to clean. Some natural stones, like marble or granite, are porous and can sometimes stain. Other synthetic materials, though, such as laminate or quartz, are more resistant to stains while still offering a great look that will hold up over time. At the end of the day, you just want to wipe up the mess and forget about it, right?

Kid-safe Corners on Countertops

While we’re on the subject of countertops, be sure that your corners are safe for kids. Many times, kitchen counters have sharp edges that can be hazardous for young chefs. Instead, make the corners of your counter rounded and smooth. A fun evening of baking with your kids can come to a screeching stop if they bump their head on a sharp corner. Avoid the tears by rounding out the edges. They might still hit their head, but it will hurt much less.

Sep
18

5 Ways To Find Inspiration For Your Kitchen Remodel

5 ways to find inspiration for your kitchen remodelYou’re tired of your kitchen. It just doesn’t work for you anymore. You’ve saved some money and now it’s time to make a change. But how do you know where to start? IT can be pretty overwhelming, so finding inspiration for your kitchen remodel is the first step to realizing your dream.

Ask questions

Make a list of questions about your kitchen remodel and then spend some time answering them. What is your budget? How long of a construction period are you willing to go through? What part of your kitchen do you dislike the most? What is one element you’ve always wanted to have?

Then, start answering these questions. This will help organize your thoughts and clarify the direction you want to go in.

Magazines

Head to your local library and check out all their home magazines. There is so much inspiration to be found. While a lot of kitchens used in professional magazines are a lot larger than yours is, there is still a lot to consider. Even something as simple as a new color palette, or a special accent can lead to a new direction for your kitchen remodel.

Visit open houses

It may seem a bit unconventional but taking a tour of houses on the market can give you some real inspiration for your kitchen remodel. This is because homeowners want to make their homes look as nice as possible to guarantee a fast sale. Kitchen updates are generally done, and this can lead to new ideas.

If you can find a few open houses in your general neighborhood, all the better. Most homes when in development follow just a few different layouts. So, if you can find a home with your original layout, you can better see how someone was able to change your kitchen or update it.

Ask a friend

Do you have a friend that seems to have an eye for decorating? Someone whose taste you’ve always admired? Ask them over and get their input. Better yet, have a little dinner party where everyone is encouraged to give their honest, yet polite, thoughts. Different perspectives can really lead to new inspiration for your kitchen remodel.

Ask a professional

When in doubt, ask a professional. Many kitchen remodeling companies will offer a free consultation. They have years of experience and can give you so many more ideas than you ever thought possible. Professionals also know how much things cost. So, depending on your budget, a professional can explain just what options are available to you. Remember: it’s easy to become carried away with a kitchen remodel. Know ahead of time what you’re willing to spend, and how much time you’re able to commit. These constraints are important.

Sep
18

4 Best Lighting Trends of 2019

4 best lighting trends of 2019Need to illuminate your kitchen and add a bit of modernity to it? Lighting is a simple and often cost-effective way of changing your décor. But where to start? If you’ve visited any lighting store, you will see just how overwhelming the choices are. To help you find the right décor for your kitchen, we’ve put together the best lighting trends of 2019.

Edison lights

What’s old is new again. And with lighting, this is quite literal. Edison may have invented the lightbulb, but probably had no idea his design would still be used in 2019. Edison lightbulbs have clear glass and old-style filaments. You can see exactly where the light source is coming from.

Edison lights now come in many styles, but one of the best lighting trends of 2019 uses multiple Edison lights in a small bulb size. You can often see them hanging from a kitchen strip. Alternately, you can line up the bulbs and have them upright, although this isn’t as practical in a kitchen setting.

While Edison lights were once only found in specialty stores, they are now quite widespread. You can find them in many home improvement stores, and with multiple online retailers.

Task lighting

Gone are the days when you only had one large ceiling light in your kitchen. Now, the kitchen has been changed into zones with each zone appropriately lighted. The result is crisp light that illuminates your space. So, whether you’re chopping vegetables or letting your roast rest, you can have your entire area properly lit.

A lot of task lighting is pre-wired which allows for the cords to be hidden. However, if you are adding task lighting after a kitchen remodel, there are many stick-on, battery-powered lights you can purchase. These can be placed on the underside of a kitchen cabinet, providing modern lighting.

Statement pieces

What’s hanging over your dining table? As more and more homes have gone away with both a kitchen table and a dining room table, there has become a need to really accent the multi-purpose space. While there have always been kitchen pendants, one of the latest trends of 2019 is a bold statement piece. Something large like a lantern, or ornate with mirrored pieces. Really, the choices are endless. Just choose something that fits both your personality and décor.

Brass

While chrome and silver accents were all the rage just a few years ago, gold and brass have now replaced them. These warmer tones bring a bit of softness and comfort to the room. Burnished brass is especially popular as it’s not as shiny as the gold accents from the 1990s. Many home improvement stores will offer brass choices on taps, faucets, and hardware.

Aug
18

4 Ideas To Improve Your Kitchen Flow

4 ideas to improve your kitchen flowLove looking at your kitchen but not actually being in your kitchen? Have you invented a new kitchen dance anytime you need to share your space? Then it’s definitely time to improve your kitchen flow.

Designated areas

If you’re a coffee lover, it just makes sense to have all your coffee supplies in one location. Keep your coffee maker on the counter under the cupboard of coffee mugs. You can even store your coffee grinds nearby. Make it as easy as possible to wake up in the morning.

Likewise, if you are an avid home cook. Keep your knives freshly sharpened and hanging on a magnetic wall strip next to the cutting board. Keep your spices nearby to help season your food. The more set up you are in a station, the happier you will be cooking.

Optimize drawers

One of the most efficient ways to stay organized and improve your kitchen flow is to optimize your drawers. Keep all your cloths together in easy reach of your sink. So often smaller objects take up too much space in a cupboard. Instead, place these small objects in a drawer. You can put all your spices in a drawer, and if this drawer is near the stove, all the better.

Keep it seasonal

Yes, it’s great that you have a collection of Christmas dishes, but do they really need to take up prime real estate in your kitchen? The answer is most definitely no. After each season or holiday, give your special dishes or mugs a good clean. Place them all in an air-tight container. Then, store them elsewhere, such as the attic or garage. You can take them out again next year and they will be ready to go.

Once you get rid of unneeded items, your kitchen flow will naturally become better. You can put all your everyday kitchen dishes at arm height for easy reach. Even the appearance of space can naturally calm your nerves and allow you to appreciate your kitchen even more.

Switch it up

Tired of always having to traverse your kitchen to put clean glasses away? Maybe it’s time to move the glasses closer to the dishwasher. Let’s face it. You probably use your dishwasher on a daily basis. So, make it easier to unload that appliance. Store your plates in a cabinet that can be accessed while having the dishwasher door open. Put on a trial run of emptying to see what makes the most sense. All of your day to day dishware should be in close proximity.

If you’re not sure about moving things around, it’s best to just go all-in. Take everything out of your kitchen for a fresh perspective. It might take a few days to determine the best, new location for everything, but the end result will be well worth it.

Aug
18

The 3 Best Ways To Invest In Your Kitchen

the 3 best ways to invest in your kitchenYou’re ready for a change in your kitchen. You’ve saved up and are ready to start spending. But where do you start? Before you start signing cheques, take a minute to understand what are the best ways to invest in your kitchen.

Countertops

Your countertops will be the focal point of your kitchen. Waist-high, they are front and center when you enter the room. Even if you have a beautiful floor and walls, your countertops should bring them together and bridge the divide, so to speak.

Invest in your countertops. This does not mean blow your whole budget on them. In fact, we would caution you greatly on this. The trick to creating this amazing focal point is to find something timeless and durable.

You could go the way of design fads, but they might just leave you cringing in a few years, way short of their actual lifespan. Instead, opt for something simple, classic, and that will adapt to any future décor changes.

Appliances

You need appliances in your kitchen. The fridge, the stove, the dishwasher: all are needed to not only create nourishing food but to perform to their best ability.

The problem with appliances is that they are expensive. What’s more, is their unexpected break down is rarely budgeted for, leaving you with a race to find something that fits a meager budget and is available for delivery right away.

If you have set aside money for a kitchen remodel, look at the best options for appliances. Many places will offer package deals, which is a great option. Another way to save a bit of money is to buy different brands. If you don’t care about the brand name, and instead just want to have the same finish, you could pick up separate pieces that are on sale.

Finally, for bulk orders, be sure to take advantage of price matching. If you can find all your appliances at one store, you could potentially save on delivery. So if your dishwasher is on sale at one store, and your stove at another, bring in the flyer to just one place and ask for a price match.

Kitchen cabinets

Your cabinets are large and therefore should look as good as possible. There are many options for your kitchen cabinets as a way to invest in your kitchen. If possible, keep the current layout. Custom cabinets look great but cost way more than other options.

If you like the storage part of the cabinets, try to replace the doors, instead. You could paint them or reface them.

It’s amazing, but even just changing out the hardware on the doors can make a huge difference. Invest in your kitchen cabinets but keep everything in budget. Don’t worry – you can still make your kitchen shine.