07 August 2014

Your modern kitchen: top design ideas and inspiration


Modern kitchen designs change as frequently as diets and appetites. But, if you’re feeling sour about your current d├ęcor, sweeten the interior with the following kitchen inspirations.

Go Tech

Get high tech, opting for appliances with LED screens, range hoods that pop out when needed, and lighting that suits activities and moods of inhabitants. Stainless cooktops make maintenance easy and one-press oven options keep cooking convenient.

Out-the-Door

Those with kitchens adjacent to patios and outside decks, double or triple the size of the food serving area, purchasing wine cabinets, grills, and seating sets that endure all weather.

There are no limits for those who want to transform an outdoor area into a kitchenette space with mini fridges, outdoor dishwashers, and wet bar.

Up and Away

Finding a place for needs in tight spaces is a problem for apartment owners and city dwellers. Fix a number of shelves in your kitchen, fitting pots, pans, dishes, seasonings, and other needs into small spaces. Make a small kitchen larger through do-it-yourself strategy and rearrangement.

The Little Things

Updating major appliances is expensive but making a change in the handles and cabinet knobs also makes a huge difference in perception. Choose polished metal to transform the face of cabinets and drawers with minimal investment.

Fresh Paint

Change the ‘feel’ of the room with a fresh coat of paint, reading up on the psychology of colours. Blues relax inhabitants while bolder reds liven the room and keep visitors attentive to in-kitchen goodies and conversation.

Window Smart

Be smart about the little things, like changing the colour of drapes and introducing designer blinds. Get deals on popular products at Super Blinds Mart.

Designer Jars

Find eye-catching jars at kitchen suppliers or ask a creative friend to paint the outer surface of a number of store-bought cans. Customise containers that hold sugar, pepper, and other cooking ingredients.

Floor Focus

Focus on the kitchen floor, choosing a number of woods that make cleaning easy and floors beautiful. Alternatively, tile can be produced to look like wood, providing the appearance but costing only a fraction of the price.

Clean Countertops

Choose all-black or pure white countertops to counter other colours in the room. Alternatively, pieces of granite enrich the look of dated counter surface and cabinet faces.

Backsplash

Get inventive with tiles, creating a colourful backsplash. Fix your kitchen with art as well as a fresh design idea. Use tiles to include the names of friends, family members, and pets.

On an Island

Hire a carpenter to build a small island, creating more space for food preparation and storage. Creative providers fix pull-out shelves, extensions, and seating surfaces to serve as a mini kitchen table, especially useful to those trying to save space.

Get Hood

Range hoods have been stealing the show when it comes to modern kitchen refurbishments. With a number of model, placement, and exterior options, a well placed and designed hood becomes the crown jewel of the room.

Musically Inclined

Traditionally, the kitchen is a place for family and friends to come together. Today, Internet, smart phone, and big screen TV options steal away from time together. Make the room more inclined for habitation through buying video and audio components like iPod player/speakers and using iPads as small-screen televisions.

Kobey Hennessy is always renovating, whether it is his home, or one of his friends or relatives houses. An avid writer, too, he loves to share his ideas with others by posting a various blog sites.

Family-friendly kitchens: warm and cozy inspiration for your cooking place


The kitchen is the hub of many homes and there is probably a constant stream of people traffic as people invariably gather around where the food and drink can be found.

Sometimes the layout of a kitchen needs updating to accommodate a growing family or maybe because it is starting to look a little tired. Here is look at how you can transform your kitchen into a warm and inviting family-friendly space, where everyone will feel at home.

Colour scheme

The layout of your kitchen is important and it needs to help you to cook and socialise with ease by making the best use of the space that is available, but to get the look and feel just right you need to make sure that you choose your colour scheme with care.

Yellow can give your kitchen walls an instant uplift, as it has the ability to give even the smallest space a sunnier disposition and it works well when you use the hue to paint the back walls behind shelving. Red and orange are also classic warm colours and all three of these colours certainly have the capacity to make a room feel more inviting and warmer.

Red might be a bold choice for some people in the kitchen, especially when you consider that it is the colour associated with stimulating appetite, so for a country kitchen style you should probably consider a lighter shade or colour that is not quite so overwhelming.

If you really want to use warm and cosy colours in your kitchen but would prefer to keep your keeping space a little more neutral, you may want to consider brown shades like chocolate chip or coffee with contrasting neutral colours like creamy white, which may be how your work top or cabinets have been finished.

Open-plan kitchen diner

If you have a kitchen that is large enough to provide a dining area within the kitchen then this is very often the modern solution for many households who have moved away from using a separate dining room to eat on a daily basis.

Plenty of seating is always going to a good idea especially if you have a family that is prone to large gatherings and enjoying mealtimes as a great way of catching up on the day’s events. You find some great seating options at a site like Swivel UK, where you can draw some inspiration and decide which particular style or finish would work well in your kitchen space and colour scheme.

An open-plan area with plenty of seating choices will encourage everyone to hang around after dinner is over and not only does it provide a great family-friendly solution, but the added bonus is that this type of kitchen setup is always very attractive to house buyers.

This means that you are potentially adding value to your home with an attractive open-plan kitchen and with a warm and cosy colour scheme to draw everyone in, no one will be too keen to stray away from the hub of the house.

Josh Burke is passionate about functional and beautiful home spaces. When not working with clients revitalizing kitchens, basements, and bedrooms, he loves blogging about his inspirations and tips he's learned over the years.

06 August 2014

Top 5 Energy Efficient Appliances of 2014



Home appliances account for most of the energy that you use in your home. One of the best ways to reduce your electric bills is by using energy-efficient appliances. These appliances apply advanced technology, allowing you to enjoy better performance. Here are the top 5 green appliances based on information compiled from 3 of the top professional home appliance repair and maintenance providers.

The Whirlpool Gold ® Series Dishwasher with Sensor Cycle

This dishwasher automatically selects appropriate wash and dry settings. The Whirlpool Gold ®Series dishwasher with sensor cycle cleans tough stains 35% better compared to other appliances. It uses adequate amounts of water, time, and energy, allowing you to make significant savings.

It has an efficient wash system that allows you to clean a full load with less energy and water compared to other models.

This dishwasher comes with specialized options that allow you to clean a small number of dishes while still remaining energy efficient. Its Top Rack Wash helps you save energy and time because it can wash dishes placed at the top. This means that you don’t have to load dishes until you have a full load. It will also automatically determine how much water and time is required to wash the dishes on the top rack.

Its AnyWare™ Plus silverware basket allows you to free up additional rack space. The basket easily fits in the door or lower rack, allowing you to wash more dishes in a single load.

Its upper rack is adjustable and you can easily pull it in and out when you want to change its location to suit the size of the items you want to wash.

The Kenmore Elite 4.7 cu. ft. High-efficiency Top-Load Washer

This washer has an Energy Star ® label, making it an ideal choice if you are looking for a green appliance. The Kenmore Elite 4.7 cu. ft. top-load washer offers superior fabric care as one of its signature features. It applies Smart Motion technology that allows you to use 6 washing motions. It also has 14 wash cycle options and 5 temperatures, allowing you to save on energy, water, and time when cleaning your clothes.

This 4.7 cu. ft washer can accommodate large items such as bedding. It comes with an in-built heater that automatically warms water to allow enhanced cleaning. The heater will raise the water temperature quickly. This means that each fabric gets customized cleaning.

Information on the “Whirlpool Gold ® Series Dishwasher with Sensor Cycle” and “Kenmore Elite 4.7 cu. ft. High-efficiency Top-Load Washer” provided by: Accredited Appliance of Phoenix.

The Kenmore Elite 29.2 cu. ft. Side-by-Side Refrigerator with Genius Cool™

This is an Energy Star compliant stainless steel refrigerator that is designed to offer better performance. The GeniusCool™ relies on two evaporators that cool the freezer and refrigerator separately. This means that your vegetables will remain crisp while your frozen items are protected from freezer burn.

It comes with the CrisperKeeper™ drawers that absorb the natural gas emitted by vegetables and fruits when they are ripening. This helps to keep your produce fresh for a longer period.

This refrigerator offers you more storage space but it still remains in the standard 25 cu. ft. footprint. It also features the CleanFlow™ Air Filter that is used to circulate air. It is more effective at reducing food odors compared to using baking soda.

The refrigerator door can store about 8 gallons of milk. This is remarkable when it is compared to other side-by-side refrigerator models.

It also comes with SmartSense™ Temperature Management that is designed to detect temperature changes in the appliance. This feature automatically adjusts cooling to ensure foods are stored at the most appropriate temperatures. Your foods will stay fresher for longer periods in this appliance.

The refrigerator also comes with the Kenmore® dispense system, allowing you to get filtered water. You can customize the system to get preset water amounts based on your preferences.

The Thermador 36” Masterpiece Series Electric Cooktop with Touch Control and Bridge Element

This cooktop comes in an elegant design and offers precise control and excellent performance. The Touch Control feature offers 17 power settings, allowing you to save energy when cooking or warming food. It has a panel lock, timer, and 9 cooking settings, fast preheat setting, and keep warm setting.

It has the Triple Element feature that is designed to heat various types of cookware efficiently. The size of the cookware will determine how much energy is used to heat it, allowing you to gain significant energy savings.

This is one of the few cooktop models that come with a bridge element. A dual-zone element is integrated, making it easy for the appliance to heat cookware that have unique diameters. If you have oblong cookware, this appliance will come in handy when you are cooking or warming food considering its one of only a few that can do it with ease.

Information on the “Kenmore Elite 29.2 cu. ft. Side-by-Side Refrigerator with Genius Cool” and “Thermador 36” Masterpiece Series Electric Cooktop” provided by Appliance Repair Specialist of Tampa.

The Sharp R930CS 1-1/2 cu. ft. 900-Watt Convection Microwave

This is a stainless convection microwave oven that is usually used as a countertop unit but you can also have it built in. The Sharp R-930 uses 900-watt to function. It comes with more than 10 power settings. This oven has an interactive display with smart and easy sensor settings.

It has a turntable that allows food to heat evenly, reducing the amount of energy used. This appliance can also crisp, brown, bake, and broil different types of food. It’s definitely the best appliance to use when you are making popcorn.

This convection microwave oven can accommodate a 13” cake pan and standard roasting pan. It comes with additional racks that allow you to bake two different dishes at the same time.

You can use this microwave oven to cook meats such as chicken, sausages, and steak. It comes with the Sensor Cook feature that allows efficient cooking. This feature is designed for cooking hot dogs, frozen entrees, and vegetables. All you have to do is place the items on a plate and select the Sensor Cook option for the particular food item and the appliance will do the rest for you. The sensor settings offered by this appliance allow you to realize significant energy savings when used regularly.

And there are no protruding parts on this appliance, making it easy for you to clean it up with some paper towels or damp cloth.

Information on the “The Sharp R930CS 1-1/2 cu. ft. 900-Watt Convection Microwave” provided by AAA Appliance Service Center.

23 June 2014

Can different types of kitchen tiles have different hygienic qualities?


Kitchen tiles come in a wide range of assorted colors and designs. They even vary a great deal in their sizes, ranging from exceptionally small mosaic tiles to larger ceramic tiles that measure one square foot each. In addition, kitchen tiles are used in a variety of different locations.

They can be used on the walls, on splash backs, the floors and, as always, the counters. However, there is one thing that they should all have in common. They should all be designed with hygiene in mind, and as such it should be easy to clean them and keep them free of bacteria.

For instance, kitchen tiles such as large ceramic tiles that feature deep grout can sometimes be a problem. Therefore, according to Yorkshire Tile, the grout should be finished with an antibacterial coating in order to ensure that bacteria cannot get deep into the grout and cause problems later on. This is important regardless of the location of the tiles, but it takes on a special importance when the tiles are used on the counter or in some location where the bacteria could possibly come in contact with food or food preparation areas.

In addition, it is important for you to choose the right types of kitchen tiles. The website www.tiles.org.uk focuses on the importance of choosing the right type of tile for the job that it needs to do. The website also directly ties this information in with following proper hygienic practices in the kitchen.

For example, ceramic tile is relatively easy to clean and it is easy to keep disinfected. Again, the problem usually occurs when the grout is porous and is not finished with antibacterial coating. This can easily be corrected by using the proper techniques for the grout. Furthermore, tiles that offer a mosaic appearance that are sold in sheets are easy to maintain and keep clean because they only offer the appearance of grout while the actual surface is completely smooth. These are easy to install and also easy to keep disinfected.

Choosing the right kitchen tile is vitally important, both for aesthetic purposes and to ensure that food preparation areas are kept as sterile as possible, and that the tile itself is not causing a problem related to hygiene in the kitchen.

A great first step towards finding the right tile is to know how you can protect it and keep it clean before you even use it. According to www.countrycustomtile.com, the sealant that protects against fungal and bacterial cultures is an impregnating seal, which works by seeping deep into the grout and tile and bonds with the molecules within. Remember that sealer need only to be applied on water-based grouts; epoxy-based grouts are already protected.

Clean the area carefully before laying the sealer down, and once it has set, make sure that it is dry before using it. One last precaution is to let your grout sit for a full two weeks before applying the sealer. And finally, if you are using a top coat sealer, it is not recommended for glazed tiles, as it will not stick well.

20 June 2014

Blending in — creating a pleasant but practical kitchen

Julia Child's kitchen

It’s said that the heart of the home is in the kitchen, and that’s certainly true. The focal point of many family gatherings, the kitchen is often just a buzz of activity. Especially if you've got to cater for a large family, making sure your kitchen is well-planned out can prove a real time saver when it comes to maintaining a clean and hygienic atmosphere. Even if you’re just cooking for one, you really can’t underestimate the relaxation a few enjoyable hours in a neat kitchen can provide.

Kitchens should be designed, keeping not only aesthetics in mind, but also efficiency. Ensure that appliances are sensibly located – especially the main essentials like electric cookers, refrigerators, etc. — and workflow will be so much smoother. In fact, this is probably the most important factor while designing a kitchen.

Aesthetics are important, too. Taking the time to reflect on how you’d like your kitchen decorated is certainly worthwhile. Your kitchen has to be somewhere you enjoy spending time, and if you've got kids, making sure it’s attractive for them, too, is a neat little trick to encourage them to help with the washing up! The counter tops, the colors of the appliances, the color of the backsplash — coordinate them all to make your kitchen a pleasant room to spend time in.

Making sure the kitchen is easy to clean will help hugely, too. Alright, that carpet might look great in the shop, but when it comes to mopping up spilled sauces and wine, you’ll definitely be thankful for easy-wipe surfaces! Tiles come in such a variety of designs and colors that the hardest part of your job will be choosing what you want. Tiled floors, once laid correctly, can last a lifetime, so it’s really essential to think carefully about how you want your kitchen to look today.

The appliances in the kitchen should also be coordinated with each other. If space is at a premium, buying an electric cooker with an oven makes sense. Preferably, choose appliances of the same brand, since it makes servicing them easier and you can often get good discounts when you buy more from one company.

Keep enough space to move around the room. Try to make a small eating space in the kitchen by putting an island with stools or a small table. Put up some colorful accessories such as pictures and plants to enliven the atmosphere.

These are but a few of the many ways in which you can make your kitchen the happiest place in your home. Apply them and you’ll feel less like you’re slaving away at a stove, and more like you’re improving your quality of life.

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