As a child, I can remember vividly being sequestered to the "KIDS TABLE" at holiday time. After helping Mom and Grandma cook and bake and set a beautiful table for the adults, I was handed my plate (one of the mis-matched every-day melamine ones!) and sent packing down the hall to the Kids Table. There I would sit with my brother and my cousins (all boys!!) where they would talk ad nausium about Cars, Trucks, Legos, and all things BOYS, while I would hear the sounds of laughter and merriment at the adult table, longing for the day when I would get to sit with them.
SPOILER ALERT: It wasn't all that it was cracked up to be. Once I finally got there, I found that their brand of humor was over my head and primarily boring to my young adult ears...but alas...
So I thought I'd start out early and gather some ideas for the kids that will be sequestered at my home this year so that they do not feel left out or unappreciated. I have learned over the years that when the kids are occupied and happy, the adults have a little more time to relax and enjoy their meals...and here are a few ideas I've gathered:
Get a sheet of simple craft paper for the table cloth. (I plan on taping it down so that little legs don't get caught up in it)
the best things about craft paper is that it can go out with the recycling when you're done...but in the meantime it can be host to your kids' works of art.
Here's another idea: Copy and paste if you like! Great for keeping the kiddos busy once they're done playing with their food!
This is a beautiful centerpiece if you think the kids won't knock them over:
So you've decided to redo your kitchen....won't it be nice to have all the things you've been wanting finally installed in your home??
But wait! Before you can get to the "AFTER" photo, you have to endure the "DURING" phase, which no one seems to go over much in the planning of the new design.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you progress through the project:
>As hard as we try, it will, at some point, be necessary to be without the comforts of home (at least in your kitchen). ....and as these necessities are removed from your kitchen, it's good to have a back-up plan:
If possible, try and create a "temporary kitchen" within another location of your home. You may be without running water in the sink, but some things will still be usable, such as a coffee maker, toaster oven and microwave. I also enlisted the help of my steamer, as well as my trusty outdoor grill!!
Knowing that the remodel is coming up, try and plan accordingly. If the cabinets take 6-8 weeks to order, consider making double the volume of your meals so that you can freeze some for later. Be sure to freeze them in microwave-safe containers if that's how you plan to reheat them later...
....and plan for a few nights of take out or simply heading to the restaurant just to save your sanity!
And as much as we prepare the space for work, there still may be some residual dust. There are two things that can help keep the dust to a minimum throughout the rest of the house...First, when the workers will be in your home, try covering the vents to eliminate the circulation of the dust. Also cover the return vents so that the dust doesn't enter the other rooms in your home.
Additionally, there are plastic tarps with zippers available so that crews can access the room without permanently forfeiting the barrier to the rest of the home. Like this:
Remember, too, that as much as your installers want to finish on time, they want to ensure that you are completely happy with the installation for years to come.... Have patience and understanding if the job does not stay on the planned schedule. Everyone wants the job to go quickly and seamlessly, but if things change, it's more impressive to me how quickly they a.) alert you to these changes, b.) present you with a plan of action and c.) carry it out!
In the end, the clients' satisfaction is the goal. ...and hopefully the minor pain of this disruptive process will be a distant memory as you enjoy your new kitchen for years to come!
A new trend I've seen a lot lately is the sliding barn door for interior applications, and I love it. Given you have the wall space for the door to glide upon, this creates a prettier focal point on the wall and eliminates the footprint of the door swing in the room.
...and when it's used in a kitchen I think it can add a lot to the space.
I've seen it used in contemporary installations, such as this:
How cool is that tinted glass that it changes the color of the moldings when it's in front of them!!
...but I've also seen it used in more transitional and traditional applications...
LOVE that pop of yellow with the grey!!
Here the doors conceal the pantry in the kitchen.
And, if you can afford the wall space, barn doors can be used very cleverly to conceal storage. How about this one? they simple created shallow shelves within the studs and used the barn door to hide it! They also placed cornice molding over the hardware for a more traditional look:
Here's another favorite. ..and the paint colors are very current which helps a traditional look feel more transitional.
Another version of the barn door pantry is this one, complete with roll-outs and countertop storage for the microwave:
One of the best things about this trend is that there aren't a lot of parts so it's very reliable...but proper installation is key to ensuring that things are done correctly and you get years of enjoyment out of it.
Barn doors can also create a transition from one room to another. ..and when closed off, opening them to the next room adds a sense of what's to come, and a little drama, too:
Whatever your style, Barn doors can add a break from the color of the cabinetry in the kitchen and add a touch of interest while providing the flexibility of concealing what's behind them!
There is no other room in the house with more decisions and selections to be made than the kitchen....and with each item needed there is a plethora of items from which to choose.....and the sink is just one of those item! Undermount? Drop in? Apron Front? Single Bowl? Double Bowl? Equal size double bowls? (and we haven't even asked about color/style preferences yet!!)
Yes, it's a bit overwhelming. ...and each project is different, but here are a few opinions about kitchen sinks.
The hot new trend now is for a stainless steel apron front sink, which I think can be really appealing.
This one is great looking, but it may feel a little too slick for your taste...
Here's a stainless steel unit in a more traditional style kitchen, and I think it fits right in...the only thing I don't care for in this installation is the fact that it was not placed below the height of the countertop, and here's why: I like to clean my kitchen counters and swipe the crumbs directly into the sink...that's the beauty of all undermount installations! ...but here I would need to scoop the dirties into my hand (yuck) and then toss them into the sink (that is if they don't fall on the floor as I scoop them up!) ...and this one is not only exposed it's above the height of the countertop!
Here's a large sink that has a lot going on:
The sink has a ledge near the top. Accessories are available to rest upon this ledge to make it more useful, such as a cutting board and colander. ....and having such a wide sink like this makes it almost a necessity to have to faucets as shown here, especially if there are two cooks in the kitchen!
...often clients say that they want a double-bowl undermount...
My only concern for clients is to think about what tasks will be done in each. The ideology is that the smaller bowl will be for prep; the larger for clean-up. ...so make sure that if this is the case, the larger bowl is on the same side as the dishwasher; the smaller bowl is closer to the cooktop. ...now where to put the disposal! Often designers place the unit in the smaller bowl as they scraps of prepped food are in there....but what happens when someone brings their dirty plate to the sink and places it in the larger bowl and their leftovers fall off? Someone will have to pick them up and move them to the smaller bowl to dispose of them! (again, Yuck!)
IF at all possible, I try to encourage clients to consider two disposals. If not, I'm really more inclined to place a colander in the small bowl to catch the scraps and put the disposal on the big bowl side. ....but no matter which way you do it; there's no wrong answer; just be sure to consider the ramifications of your choice.
(me? I prefer ONE BIG BOWL. Large enough to soak my largest pan, and undermount so make for easy clean up.
...then there are interesting and unique applications for sinks:
How about this in the corner:
...or this in your island:
Despite the fact that it has cost you any real usable space on your island, it sure is fun!
Here's a cool one:
Talk about a multi-tasker!! This one's got it all!! Knive block, soap dispenser, faucet, only thing I don't care for is that I can't mount it under the countertop.
....and if you really want the sink that's got it all, check out this sink/island from KWC:
this is the end-all be-all in kitchen sinks! The faucet and swivel 360 degrees to use from any side; the cutting boards and colanders can glide along the top rim of the unit, and the waste bins and storage are all below!
Like I said, it's overwhelming how many choices there are today...but that's the importance of working with a designer that can sort through all the options and help you find what works best for you!
For a while there it seemed that the sign of quality in a new home was a beautiful Cherry Kitchen. Every contractor and builder seemed to believe that Cherry wood in a rich stain was the sign of an rich design with expensive products. ....but one of the things they overlooked when installing the gorgeous wood was to balance the dark tones with some other form of light. I love the warmth of a rich Cherry or Walnut wood in a dark stained finish, but there's got to be a sense of balance in the space or it can consume the room.
Here are a few ways to lighten up an otherwise dark room:
1. Windows. Despite the time of day that this image was taken, the room appears more spacious because of the windows. Not only are they ample, which will provide a tremendous amount of sunlight during the day, they are also framed out in larger than usual casings, painted in a bright semi-gloss paint. The white color of these larger moldings obviously increases the "light factor" but so does the finish: Semi-gloss paint reflects the light in the room adding even more light.
2. Open Spaces. The other thing that's helpful in this kitchen is also the abundance of open or glass-door cabinets. In the island, by simply placing a few white ceramic platters it draws the eye to the space and accentuates the presence of space there. ....Left and right of the rangehood the cabinets fixed with glass doors highlight the homeowners' stemware and china collection while increasing the light values on that wall.
3. Wall Color. ...so you're not ready to start major demolition to exterior walls for the sake of additional windows, how about rethinking your paint choices? This image shows the impact of a can of paint. ....and while I'm not sure it's my favorite color for this room, it definitely brightens the space and attempts to balance out the weight of the left side of the room.
I think if I was going to inject that seafoam color into my dark kitchen, I might do it this way. 4. Reflective Backsplash Here the color is in the form of a glass tile backsplash. The color visually separates the dark base cabinets from the dark uppers and the reflective quality of the glass also contributes to the brightness of the space.
This design feels light and open because of their choice of a lighter countertop, but also because the countertop material is void of design. Its simplicity keeps the kitchen serene as well as light. ...and carrying the countertop up the walls a few inches adds to the visual height of this contrasting color, breaking it up further. Lastly, the height of the uppers also facilitates the brightness as by stopping short of the ceiling they were able to add just a little more light (via paint on the walls) before reaching the ceiling. (and once again the designer added glass (this time frosted) to the uppers to contribute to the light of the space as well)
...and of course there's the easiest way to lighten a kitchen: 6. LIGHTING:
I've lost count of how many lights are in this kitchen!! 3 pendants over the island, (note the shine of the countertop reflects some of that light back up again) 6 recessed cans overhead (that I can see!) for a well illuminated walkway...
Under cabinetry lighting beneath the uppers, and halogen pucks in the hood.
The stainless further reflects the light, as does the cabinetry which is finished in a high-gloss or lacquer finish.
What could have been a dungeon of darkness is a beacon of light!!
The funnest part about my job is seeing all of the newest, latest and greatest materials coming into fashion for kitchens and baths. Going to the trade shows is invigorating and inspiring. I often see materials and try to catalogue their information so that I can call upon them when I have a job that fits in with their styling.
Here are some of the cool things I've seen recently:
How cool is this?? These are coconut shells netted together in a herringbone pattern. Very cool. There are many different versions to this, but all create a very unique and interesting look.
Metal mosaic backsplash. I love this look. These "tiles" are actually bowed, creating a little more depth, which, while beautiful, makes me a little worried about cleaning the splatter behind the cooktop!
One of my favorites! Mini Glass subway tiles. The iridescence of each tile reflects the light and adds to its beauty.
Very linear by design, this backsplash stretches the eye visually across the length of the run making the space feel wider, but the color pattern is so subtle that it's almost imperceptibly doing so.
This is a very 'current' color palette. Beautiful warm grey tones. The backsplash is again, subtle and collaborative with the rest of the design.
A classic for many years, the standard white subway tile seems to have lasting power, while maintaining a bright airy, and clean feeling.
Fun, shiny bright tiles reflect the light and adds to the drama of the space, yet the absence of a bright or contrasting color keeps the feeling less jarring....although I don't think I would have picked that light fixture (or that table for that matter) I would have gone for a sleeker look with maybe a glass top-table and polished nickel light fixture.
Here's your classic subway tile, but with a twist! The installation of these tiles create a more dramatic herringbone pattern, but again, the absence of color makes the impact more subtle.
Some folks still like to create a center piece behind the range. This is a picturesque design created over several tiles and framed with ceramic molding.
This is a beautiful look. I love the natural look of the stacked river rocks....but again I fear how I would keep it clean with all of those crevices.
Okay, I'm not sure what happened here. Was this intentional??? Or did they just run out of tile?
this, I believe, is stamped tin. it's very pretty. I've seen this material before and it adds a lot of interest (and light by way of reflection) to the space. Adding the reflective quality to the backsplash can go a long way in an otherwise dark kitchen...
Here, the pencil-thin horizontal tiles in a neutral palette add to the softness of the room, yet increase the visual width of the space.
I love the look of this. Very clean. Using solid sheets of glass means no grout joints to clean and simple glass cleaner to maintain.
Here's another with a pattern:
...and just for fun, here's one you may not have thought of: LEGOS!! ; )