The kitchen is the center of your day-to-day life and the focal point for family gatherings. You likely start your day with a hot cup of coffee or a healthy breakfast to get things off to a great start. You prepare countless meals there and probably eat some of them there too. When you entertain guests, they always seem to wind up in the kitchen where they can enjoy the food and drink while talking and sharing each other’s company. It’s where you cook, eat, socialize, and bond with loved ones. In many ways, it is the heart of your home.
Years ago, homes were very different. Kitchens were treated as a utility space where meals were cooked in seclusion from the dining room and other areas of the house. The design was intended to hide the mess that comes along with preparing a meal. In the process, it also hid the person making the meal, and confined the socializing to the dining area and living room.
Today though, kitchens are often included as part of an open floorplan and are equipped with family-focused features such as seating areas and computer nooks. Now parents can cook dinner while the kids have an after-school snack at the counter or finish their homework on the laptop. It’s where the little ones receive their first lesson in cooking and healthy eating. And it’s where they get their first taste of chores by cleaning the dirty dishes.
But convenient parenting isn’t the only benefit. Kitchens are also where children learn social skills and polite manners that will aid them in their journey into adulthood. Studies show that children who eat frequent home-cooked meals earn higher grades in school and are less likely to abuse alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes.
Holiday meals are now prepared and shared together. Even those who are doing more nibbling than cooking can hang out in the kitchen and be a part of the family time with everybody. No one is isolated alone in the kitchen while the others laugh and play elsewhere in the house. These days, everyone can join in the special day together.
With so much activity in this room, your kitchen must provide you with a functional, supportive, and aesthetically pleasing environment. Take the time to ensure that your kitchen is adequately equipped to decrease your effort so you can increase your focus on family and friends. If your current set up isn’t meeting your needs, maybe it’s time to consider an update or remodel. Just remember, by investing in your kitchen, you are investing in your family.
A small bathroom is a fact of life for many of us. It can feel like we’re crammed in a damp, dark closet with barely enough room to move our arms. And most of the time, expanding the walls to gain a little extra square footage just isn’t a possibility. So, what can we do to fix this situation? Here are five ways you can make your bathroom feel bigger.
Brighten Up the Room
When it comes to small spaces, light is your best friend. By providing multiple light sources, you’ll eliminate shadows and add a significant amount of perceived space. Natural light is always the top choice. But if that’s not an option, use recessed ceiling lights and an edge-lighted mirror. If you go with wall sconces, be sure to select a style that has a low profile and doesn’t project too far off the wall.
Remove the Vanity Cabinet
Vanity cabinets are great for storing the necessary items for a bathroom, but they require crucial floor space in a tight area. Instead, opt for a pedestal or a floating sink. Even if you don’t place anything underneath (and you probably shouldn’t), simply having that open space will make the room feel larger. This is an elegant option that will help expand the visual appearance of your bathroom.
Reflect the Space with a Large Mirror
The effects of a large mirror can’t be understated. By installing a wall-to-wall custom piece, you can double the appearance of your space. This can sometimes be an expensive investment, but it is well worth the price tag. If you’re looking to add a special touch to your mirror, splurge on a great frame that showcases your style.
We all know how dark walls can sometimes create a claustrophobic feel in small rooms, and it’s best to stick with light colors. Well, the same rule applies for floors. Light-colored flooring will open up the room and make it feel much larger than it is.
Remove the Clutter
Keep your space as clean and tidy as you can. A well-kept bathroom always feels more spacious than one that’s cluttered and dirty. Decide which items are essential and keep only those few things visible. Everything else should be put away and out of sight. Spending a little time on your organization can go a long way to making your bathroom feel bigger. And even better, it’s free!
Glass Panel for the Shower
Shower curtains are great when you have the space for one. But they can sometimes have the effect of becoming a visual wall. So, if your bathroom feels tight, you might consider adding a glass door for your shower. It allows the light to pass through and add some much-needed square footage to the room. After installation, you’ll feel an immediate difference.
For 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.
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.
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.
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.
You’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.
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.
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.
Need 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.