For most homes, there’s one room that serves as the hub of all activity. From preparing mouthwatering meals to entertaining a house full of guests to grabbing a few minutes to relax with a mug of steaming coffee, the kitchen is the place where it all happens. That’s why such careful planning is necessary when you set out to redesign this essential living space.
Mix Up Something Eclectic
On-trend design ideas for your kitchen renovation
(Family Features) For most homes, there’s one room that serves as the hub of all activity. From preparing mouthwatering meals to entertaining a house full of guests to grabbing a few minutes to relax with a mug of steaming coffee, the kitchen is the place where it all happens. That’s why such careful planning is necessary when you set out to redesign this essential living space.
Arguably the most important decision is the overall layout of the kitchen, defining which appliances will go where and what architectural details – such as windows and doors – need to be integrated into the plans. Determining how many and what kind of cabinets you need can be even more complex, and contemporary design can help open up plenty of options.
In the past, cabinetry was fairly straightforward. Lower cabinets were topped with a counter, then a backsplash and a matching set of cabinets above. These days, design is far less predictable, and introducing variety through the cabinetry is a savvy designer’s trick to grab attention. The comprehensive product lines from Wellborn Cabinet, Inc. make it easy to mix diverse finishes, door styles and wood species to blend different design techniques while achieving an eclectic but cohesive feel.
For example, you could pair complementary styles and colors for the upper and lower cabinets, or create some contrast between the perimeter and island to capture an on-trend, eye-catching look that is anything but boring. You can also rely on varying heights and sizes to create more visual variety.
A more eclectic kitchen style brings plenty of character on its own, so a color palette that lets the architectural and structural details really shine is more appropriate than bold splashes of vibrant color. That said, there’s still plenty of room to create visual interest and integrate multiple hues to give the room extra depth and charm.
Subtle shades of gray may be just the ticket. Gray cabinetry has grown in popularity in recent years. In fact, more than two-thirds of designers believe gray is the fastest growing color trend in cabinetry, according to data from RICKI Research. The Nature Collection from Wellborn Cabinet is one way to achieve this look. The line of gray paints and stains is available in one stain option and two paint options, allowing for nearly endless possibilities, especially when you consider integrating a standout color to make a feature like an island countertop really pop.
While the exterior of the cabinets is what you (and your guests) will appreciate when they first enter the room, it’s what lies hidden behind doors that makes a good kitchen truly great. After spending so much time creating the perfect look, your kitchen demands the right tools and enhancements to make it functional. The trick is to look for unexpected ways to add practical performance.
For example, a shallow drawer is an ideal location for kitchen knives so you can free up counter space from a bulky butcher block. A slotted wood knife drawer is the perfect solution to securely hold each of your knives and help prevent dull blades and cut fingers.
If you’re stuck with an awkward space, look for creative ways to make it work for you. For example, a narrow gap could be closed with a unique pull-out cabinet, such as Wellborn Cabinet’s Base Canister Organizer Pullout Cabinet, which holds three small, one medium and three large containers. The quart containers are included with this canister organizer when ordered direct from the company.
Keeping what’s inside your cabinets organized only adds to a newly redesigned kitchen’s enhanced function. One often-overlooked solution is using drawers for pots and pans. The ability to store each pot with its corresponding lid eliminates the jumbled stacks and hard-to-reach pieces common in many kitchens. Extra-deep drawers, paired with drawer storage options provide sectioned, adjustable options depending upon size of pots and pans. Another option: an adjustable wood board peg system that lets you customize the peg locations to fit your pots and pans just right.
Find more inspiration and planning tools to create the contemporary kitchen of your dreams at wellborn.com.
Gray may be neutral, but today’s designers know that the subtle hue is anything but dull. Follow these tips to help make the most of this versatile shade.
Wellborn Cabinet, Inc.
Take this year’s outdoor enjoyment to a new level with items designed to keep you and your fellow revelers safe and ready for food and fun.
Fun in the Sun
Backyard essentials for a summer outdoors
(Family Features) From a leisurely afternoon watching the kids play in the sprinkler to an evening cookout with friends under the stars, it’s the perfect time of year to bask in the comfort and beauty of your own backyard. Take this year’s outdoor enjoyment to a new level with items designed to keep you and your fellow revelers safe and ready for food and fun.
Savor the Flavors of Summertime
Help Your Skin Recover After Too Much Sun
Be Prepared for Burns, Bites and Scrapes
Keep Hot Summer Parties on Ice
Grill Up Some Goodness
Serveware with a Purpose
Photo courtesy of Getty Images(three photos: people at party, cooler, and grill)
By incorporating the right design principles, an outdoor kitchen can be the place where you and your guests enjoy delicious meals for years to come. Big or small, you can get started on your outdoor kitchen design by understanding these basics.
Smart, Stylish Designs for Outdoor Kitchens
(Family Features) Kitchens are moving outside. And they’re doing it in a big way. According to a recent study from the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), outdoor kitchens are expected to be a top design trend in 2016.
“An outdoor kitchen can drastically improve the value of a home,” said Alana Busse, designer and NKBA Central Coast and Valleys chapter president. “They also bring people together. Whether, it’s simply your neighbors coming over for a weekend barbecue or a big family gathering, everyone loves being outside.”
Big or small, the basic principles of outdoor kitchen design remain the same. Get started by understanding these basics:
Get the right heat
More homeowners are also expanding their cooking capabilities with specialized products offering different types of heat. Smokers, pizza ovens and charcoal or wood-fired grills, such as Kalamazoo’s Gaucho Grill, are options to keep in mind as they can enhance the outdoor cooking experience.
Assess the space
If they are relatively close together, an outdoor kitchen can utilize the indoor kitchen’s capabilities, such as prep space and storage. Conversely, a fully independent outdoor kitchen with refrigeration, warming cabinets and cabinetry is more self-reliant, but will require more space and connections for gas, water and electricity.
In the zone
The cold zone should be next to the wet zone. This will simplify moving food from the cold zone refrigerator to the wet zone sink to wash and get ready for grilling in the hot zone.
Also plan for uninterrupted counter space, or landing areas, for placing platters and utensils while cooking. Grills should have at least 24 inches to one side and 12 inches to the other. Sinks should have 18 inches on both sides for room to wash food or place dirty dishes.
Be sure to dedicate enough space for each zone and think about the relationships among them for cooking and serving activities.
When considering refrigeration for an outdoor kitchen, Faulk stresses food-safe rated options. With these products, meats won’t go bad and drinks will stay cold, even when it’s above 95 degrees outside.
Cabinetry should be equipped to handle rain and protect the items inside. Weather-tight cabinets have seamless rain gutters around the door and drawer openings to help divert water.
By incorporating the right design principles, an outdoor kitchen can be the place where you and your guests enjoy delicious meals for years to come. For more design tips, visit kalamazoogourmet.com.
Photos courtesy of Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet:
Spring and summer present endless opportunities to celebrate, from events like graduations and birthday parties to barbecues and gatherings with friends. Impress guests and add an element of fun and whimsy to your party with easy DIY balloon projects, such as Floral Balloon Tails and DIY Glitter-Dipped Balloons.
Celebrate Summer with DIY Party Decor
(Family Features) Spring and summer present endless opportunities to celebrate, from events like graduations and birthday parties to barbecues and gatherings with friends. Impress guests and add an element of fun and whimsy to your party with these easy DIY balloon projects.
Party planning experts Seri Kertzner and Michelle Bachman of Little Miss Party recommend making a bold statement by using fresh flowers to create floral tails on your balloons. It’s an unexpected detail that adds a colorful element to your tablescape. You can tailor the flowers to your party’s color scheme or the guest of honor’s favorites. Put any leftover flowers in vases or use them for a table runner to pull the theme through.
DIY glitter balloons from Kelly Mindell of Studio DIY are another fun project that can lift the look of any occasion. Simply coat clear balloons with spray adhesive and roll them in glitter to add sparkle to your gift table, centerpiece or dessert area.
With Balloon Time’s portable helium tank on hand, you can inflate balloons for creative uses anywhere you want to celebrate.
Floral Balloon Tails
Purchase light, fresh greenery that has a flexible stem. A florist or local farm stand can help identify the greenery best suited for this project.
Buy jumbo confetti balloon. To make the balloon instead, pick up a clear jumbo balloon at a local party store. Cut tissue paper into small pieces and add cut tissue into the balloon before inflating.
Inflate confetti balloon with helium tank and tie with string or ribbon.
Take strand of green leaves and wrap greenery around string, starting at the balloon stem.
Notes: Be aware that popcorn ceilings and hot ceiling lights can pop balloons. If high ceilings are a concern, tie balloons to a jar of decorative rocks or candy in the party’s color scheme.
DIY Glitter-Dipped Balloons
Inflate balloons using helium tank and tie with ribbon.
Pour glitter onto paper plate.
Spray adhesive on bottom third of the balloon and roll sticky part in glitter until it is completely covered.
Tap balloon to remove excess glitter.
(BPT) - Take a deep breath of fresh air. Feel the warm sunshine on your skin. Kick back and listen to the peaceful sounds of nature. There's a reason people are investing in spaces that allow them to spend more time relaxing, dining and entertaining outside.
In addition to expanding livable space, outdoor enhancements also offer a strong return on investment at the time of sale. Convinced this is the year you're going to jump on the outdoor living bandwagon? To refresh your space and start enjoying the outdoors from the comforts of home, consider the top outdoor living trends of 2016.
Homeowners are embracing the same eclectic trends that they love indoors and bringing this same design approach to their outdoor spaces. Mixing materials is at the heart of this trend. From all-weather wicker and teak to concrete and aluminum, using different materials means creating durable spaces with one-of-a-kind looks. Beyond the hardscape, using a variety of patterns, textures and shapes adds visual appeal.
Upholstered soft seating
This year, homeowners are revamping patios and decks by bringing the comforts of indoors outside. The perfect example of this movement is the use of upholstered furniture for the outdoors. Arhaus Furniture offers a variety of upholstered sofas, sectionals and chairs that look just like the classics used indoors, but are specifically designed to withstand the elements outside.
Summer entertaining is enhanced when meals are cooked outdoors. Home chefs are thinking beyond the grill to incorporate other useful mediums for al fresco cooking. For example, hearths and stone ovens offer undeniable outdoor ambiance while providing a unique way to cook pizzas, bread and other baked goods. The finishing touch: add an herb garden for quick access to the fresh flavors of the season.
Customizing helps create outdoor spaces that are a reflection of the homeowners' personalities. More than just personalized decor, the customization trend is evident in outdoor furniture. Expert stylists at www.Arhaus.com offer complementary design services including space design, product selection and customization with a wide variety of outdoor fabrics so they can get the exact look they desire.
Outdoor entertainment shouldn't be restricted by daylight, so homeowners are making thoughtful additions to ensure when dusk arrives the party can go on. Strategic deck lighting on posts and stairways illuminates gathering spaces. Torches, pathway lighting and string lights are great for landscaped areas. Finally, propane and citronella gel fueled fire pits are the ideal gathering place and bugs will stay far away.
Reconstructed stone is in demand for tabletops on dining, coffee and accent tables. When researching options, it's important to remember not all reconstructed stone is created equal. For example, Arhaus makes reconstructed stone out of composite concrete so it's lighter, less brittle and withstands weather well. Even when left outside year-round at the company headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, there was no cracking, color fading or changes to material.
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