Sunday, July 14, 2019

Best plants for your Kitchen



Summer time !!  What a great time of year and it has me thinking of warm sunshine and fresh flowers and veggies from my garden.  Which lead me to think about what are some of the best plants to have indoors in your Kitchen.

The first one to come to mind was an Aloe Vera plant.  One of the greatest things about the Aloe Vera plant is that it thrives on neglect and is one of the most difficult plants to kill !  In nature, the Aloe Vera plant grows in the dessert so they don't need much watering.  You only need to water them every 3 to 4 weeks.  Be sure the soil is dry at least 1 to 2 inches deep before watering and avoid over watering them or letting them sit in water at the roots.  Over watering can lead to root rot and your plant will die from the bottom up.  Which shouldn't be a problem for me because I'm lucky if I remember to water my plants every couple of weeks.

Keeping an Aloe Vera plant close to the stove will come in handy if you ever burn yourself.  The Aloe Vera plant is filled with vitamins and minerals that are great for your skin.  Just use a serrated knife to cut off a thick green leaf close to the base of the plant.  Hold the cut side down over a dish so some of the gel drips out.  Now carefully cut off the top layer of the leaf skin exposing its healing gel.  Next cut the skin on the two sides of the leaf and finish by cutting the layer of gel away from the bottom of the leaf and drop it in the dish. Use the gel to sooth and cool your burn or even to moisturize your dry hands from washing too many dishes.

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I have also heard that some plants help "purify" the air quality in your house.  So what better place than your kitchen to have some air purifying plants!  Although it would take an enormous amount of plants to actually impact VOC levels in your kitchen, indoor plants can still improve your air quality.  English Ivy and Spider Plants both make great plants to put on shelves, on top of your cabinetry or hang in baskets in the window over your sink.  They also need very little attention and watering only about once a week.  Their leaves help remove odors and other pollutants in the air.

If you have a spot in your kitchen on the floor that you're looking to fill with a plant, a Snake Plant would be ideal.  They also act as air purifiers and can improve your kitchen's air quality.  They thrive in low light areas and like the Aloe Vera plant, can be neglected for weeks and need very little watering,.  Be aware though, the Snake Plant can be toxic to animals.


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And finally, what blog about Kitchen plants would be complete without including Herbs!   Some popular Herbs to plant are Basil, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Chives, Mint, Cilantro and of course whatever herbs you enjoy....after all it is YOUR Herb Garden!  It is helpful to be sure to label your herbs to readily and quickly identify them when you want to use them.  And there are soooooo many creative ways to display your Herb Garden.


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I say take a trip to your local green house or nearby garden center and get planting indoors !!

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Smart Kitchens

Technology is growing at a rapid pace and doesn't show any signs of slowing down.  Most electronics are becoming amazingly advanced - shouldn't your kitchen catch up?

Kitchen appliances like smart refrigerators, dishwashers and ovens are gaining popularity.  Why can't your countertops be smart too?

Now a days, it's nearly impossible to find anyone without a smart phone or tablet (more than likely both!).  Who wants all those unsightly cords and plugs taking up space on your beautiful new countertops?

If you are considering building new or remodeling, you might want to consider incorporating a built-in Induction Charging Station (or two) into your countertop which will allow your smartphone or tablet to receive a charge just by setting your device on top of it.

Inductive charging uses an electromagnetic field to transfer energy between a device and a charging station and can be built-in to any countertop material.  The charger is embedded seamlessly under the countertop.  The magnetic charge can pass through approx. 4mm of solid surface.



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Because the charger transmits through the solid surface, it remains unseen below the countertop!

Do you think we will see this technology becoming popular in the near future?  

Please leave your thoughts and comments below.



Sunday, May 19, 2019

Small Kitchen - No problem

Trying to come up with ways to make your small kitchen look bigger?

Here are a few ideas you might want to consider.

Paint Color:

Choosing the right paint color for kitchen can make a big difference in helping your kitchen appear larger. White is a great choice especially if you have white or light cabinetry and countertops.  White reflects the light making the room seem larger.  By using a low contrast color scheme you are creating a seamless space so your eye doesn't  focus on the harsh contrast between light and dark. Play with a few shades of white or light subtle colors to create a bright fresh bigger looking room.


Light:

Again, light is very important in making a room or kitchen appear larger.  Let as much natural light into your kitchen as possible.  Take down curtains blocking the light coming in your windows and replace them with sheers or blinds that let more light in.  If remodeling, add bigger windows or possibly a skylight or two.


Cabinetry:

Keeping with the light & white theme, consider painting or replacing your old oak cabinets with light colored or white painted cabinets.  Installing cabinets that go all the way up to the ceiling make the ceiling feel taller and the room more spacious.  Crown molding painted in the same cabinet color will also make the ceilings feel higher giving the room a larger feel.  Check out the difference in the remodel below.




Carve Out Storage SpaceReplacing some of your solid cabinet doors with glass doors or open shelving will also make your kitchen appear bigger.  You could even recess shelving into the wall space between the studs to give you some extra storage or display space.  Be sure to keep what is in your glass cabinets or open shelving neat and clutter free also adding to the more open spacious feeling.

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Let us know if this post was helpful in the feedback section and if you have other ideas to share to make a small kitchen appear larger !

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Spring Spruce Up !

Is your kitchen in need of an update but you don't have a big budget for a total kitchen remodel?

It just needs a little updating....a fresh new look?

Well there are many little things you can do for a quick Spring Spruce Up !

First - try replacing your cabinetry's hardware.  Just swapping out outdated pulls will give your Kitchen a fresh new looking without spending a lot of money !  Change the color, style & finish and see what a difference it makes.

Have a little extra $$ still in your budget?   A fresh coat of paint in a new bright Spring color will also give your Kitchen a brand new look for not a lot of money.  Break away from boring tans and beige and go for a bright Yellow or Blue.

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Speaking of painting...... While your painting your kitchen walls, how about painting your outdated worn cabinets too !!  Giving them new life in a complimentary color to totally revitalize and modernize the look of your kitchen.

Still want to splurge and give your Kitchen a beautiful new look?   How about replacing your countertop?  Updating your countertop will not only add beauty but functionality as well.  Granite or Quartz countertops are scratch and heat resistant (but you should still use a pot holder or trivet when putting anything extremely hot on them)!  Maintenance free and will last for years.

A recent customer transformed her kitchen from dull and dingy to bright and gorgeous by painting her old oak cabinets in a Champagne Color, walls in Light Gray, and installed a Sapphire Blue Granite Counter top.....What do you think.....Fabulous transformation?  Ready for Spring?

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Sunday, March 17, 2019

Farmhouse sink or regular under-mount sink?

Farmhouse (or Apron-Front) sinks are becoming very popular. So what is better - Farmhouse sink or regular under-mount sink?

Well that's really a matter of personal preference and cost.

A regular under-mount sink will accentuate and compliment your cabinets and countertop, while a Farmhouse sink will become a focal point in your kitchen.


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Like regular under-mount sinks, Farmhouse sinks come in a variety of materials, styles and sizes.  Farmhouse sinks can be made out of fireclay or porcelain, copper, stainless steel, enameled cast iron, marble and more.  They are often deeper and wider than traditional under-mount sinks.  They rarely have a divider (but some do) making it easier to wash large items and you don't have to worry about water splashing all over !

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If you are thinking of putting a Farmhouse sink in your kitchen some advanced planning is needed.  A Farmhouse sink can be very large and very heavy.  You may need to do some carpentry and plumbing work if you are planning on keeping your current cabinets or you may need to purchase a special size cabinet if buying new to accommodate your Farmhouse sink. Your countertop will need to be replaced - at least around your sink area due to the install.  Also, if you plan on having a garbage disposal, you will need to purchase an extended flange because most Farmhouse sinks are extra thick adding a little extra cost to your project.

Whichever style sink you choose, I'm sure it will be a beautiful part of your new kitchen !






Saturday, February 9, 2019

Red - Hot or Not?

RED

Red is an intense color that brings out strong emotions in people.  It can create feelings of excitement, intense passion, love, strong desire, longing but it can also create feelings of anger, rage and be a sign of danger !

When I think of the color Red, it makes me feel strong, energized, excited & confident.  Wearing Red like a "power suit" with a bold Red tie or a sexy Red dress makes a statement of someone who exudes confidence and power.

You can find Red used in common phrases and sayings like:

"Paint the Town Red" - meaning have fun, celebrate & party !

"Red Carpet Treatment" - being pampered and made to feel special like a VIP.

"Seeing Red" - to be come angry with heated emotions

"Red Flag" - a warning signal, danger proceed with caution

Red is used to symbolize LOVE from Red Hearts to Cupid.....that little Devil !

One thing for sure, Red is never boring and a little Red can go a long way in your home.

A couple of big Red Chairs or Red wall art in your living room can make a bold statement.

Using Red accessories like Red Canisters, Vases, Towels, can add a little fire to your Kitchen.

Red curtains in your Bathroom can set the mood for romance....even if you are alone.  When the light comes through the window creating a soft Red glow, light some candles and take a relaxing bath with a glass of Red Wine and your favorite romance novel and feel the passion grow.

Experiment with the color Red this Valentines Day and see what feelings Red brings out in you!  Maybe surprise your loved one with a beautiful Red Ruby?

Thursday, January 10, 2019

A "Hygge" Kitchen - Creating a Cozy Kitchen


A customer told me about the word "Hygge" - meaning cozy.

How can you incorporate a hygge-like feeling in your kitchen you ask?

The true spirit of hygge is about creating a space that feels cozy and inviting, so whether you're cooking, socializing or simply going about your every day life, you feel comfy and cozy in your kitchen.

Think soft.....like soft lighting.  Dim the lights and light some candles!





Think about alternate lighting to bring warmth into your kitchen.  Add some natural lighting by adding a sky light (if possible) or pulling back curtains and adding sheers to your windows to let natural light flow into your cozy space.

Also, introduce a soft color pallet into your kitchen.  It doesn't have to mean repainting or a total remodel.  By adding a few accessories like vases, plants, place mats and napkins you can create a warm inviting place to spend time with your family and friends.  Throw a blanket over one of your kitchen chairs so it will be handy to snuggle up in while enjoying a cup of coffee or tea. Be sure to keep things simple though, the idea of creating a hygge kitchen is minimal and simplistic finishing touches.

You may want to add "natural" elements and bring nature inside!  Use a branch or natural wood to hang your dish towels or hang your pots and pans.  Using natural stone or bricks for a backsplash will introduce different textures and neutral colors into your kitchen while adding beauty and a feeling of peace and tranquility.




"The kitchen is the heart of the home".  Create a calm, serene atmosphere not only for cooking, but for entertaining and spending time together with your family and friends.