The Smart Kitchen Trend – What Will Your Dream Look Like?

With the trend in adding a “work” kitchen to the “social” kitchen, let’s look at where kitchen appearance and function is headed. Last February, the Kitchen and Bath Show in Las Vegas showcased a plethora of new views. Many kitchen designers now incorporate fashion-forward features like glass fronts and LED lights on refrigerators. Appliances and cabinetry have chic leather and metal hardware. Back-splashes now feature unusual finishes like shagreen, metal, raw wood and artful murals. Tech is also the buzz and smart kitchens are definitely going digital. Currently Smart-touch faucets turn on and off with just a tap. Refrigerators feature integrated cameras that allow people to check their groceries from both inside and outside the home. Induction cook tops save energy with technology that changes heat settings instantaneously. Now think of dishwashers responding to voice commands and appliances that could communicate with each other to create shopping lists, meal recommendations and cooking instructions. Not only futuristic, these features dovetail with the trend towards Universal Design – the approach that makes living at home easier for everyone at every age. This is why experts believe innovations for the sake of technology alone will be weeded out. They see the market moving towards technology that not only looks sexy, but improves kitchen function and ease of food...

Bathroom Remodeling Ideas

Increase your home’s value and make your bathroom a stylish sanctuary with some easy updates. Bright, open spaces make your bathroom look larger so be sure to add windows for a natural glow. Add LED lighting to cabinets and vanity mirrors for task lighting. Choose white or neutral finishes on walls and cabinets that reflect the light. For a more fashion-forward option, metallic wall tiles or paint also give the illusion of more room thanks to their eye-catching and refractive qualities. The indoor/outdoor bathroom is the bravest trend to open up a bathroom. A large glass wall with privacy glass, the coverage of plants and trees outside or retractable shades can allow you to bathe at one with nature! Boxy angles are out while beautiful curvy shapes are becoming more popular. You don’t have to add curves to the entire bathroom — pick two or three elements for balance. Faucets and fixtures that are more rounded are on trend. Your main vanity can have a curved countertop or be half-moon style. Skip floor-to-ceiling cabinetry and opt for open shelving or a floating vanity to maximize the bathroom space. Integrated (the same material as the bathroom counter) or undermount sinks add minimalist clean lines. A free-standing tub and glass shower doors are both luxurious and contribute to the light, airy concept. Consider bringing your favorite music into your bathroom with waterproof built-in speakers and Bluetooth technology. An Amazon Echo Dot or other SmartSpeaker can allow you to control the music and lighting level with your voice for a true spa experience. Lastly, to keep your renovated bathroom looking great longer,...

How to Add Ambiance (And Safety) to Your Kitchen

Universal Design is an interior design that adapts homes to homeowners, not the other way around. The goal is to make the entire home safe and easy to use. When it comes to kitchens, here’s one design tip that adapts your kitchen to your needs plus transforms it into a dining area with ambiance. You’ll be amazed to see how one small addition to your cabinetry can make such a difference. When it comes to base cabinets, most manufacturers include an indentation to make room for your feet called the toe kick space. Typically 3 inches deep and about 3 1/2 inches high, this space allows people to stand closer to the countertop so they don’t have to lean forward. Standing closer puts less strain on the back, shoulders and arms and minimizes discomfort, posture issues and chronic pain. The addition of light to this space adds both safety and ambiance. Here’s how. First, it clearly defines the break from floor to cabinets.  Especially advantageous at night, you minimize the possibility of bumping into things. This definition also aids early morning and evening meal preparation. Another advantage is that lighting placed within the toe kick can’t cause a glare. One goal of Universal Design is to balance lighting. It doesn’t matter if you have 20/20 vision, wear glasses or have a family member with sight issues; too much light is just as dangerous as too little. Foot level lighting balances overhead lighting and the combination eliminates shadows. Finally, toe kick lighting sets the ambiance of a kitchen. The soft glow creates an atmosphere that makes your meal more relaxed…...

Bathroom Cabinet Trend

Soft-Close Doors And Drawers Remember the days when home offices were considered an addition – yet now they’re standard? Well, get ready for the next ‘upgrade’ to be expected…soft-close doors and drawers. With just a gentle nudge, the soft close mechanism takes over and gently closes the drawer or cabinet the rest of the way. They’ve been around awhile and provide a great way to impress your guests. But once you experience the serenity of soft-close doors and drawers, you’ll wonder how you lived without them. This is especially true for bathrooms located near bedrooms. And the benefits spread throughout the house… More Than One Reason To Have Your Cabinets Close Softly Not only in the bathroom, but in kitchens and home offices – soft-closing drawers and doors are Whether concentrating on home business or just getting away from the noise of civilization, the reduced speed of soft-close cabinetry eliminates those jarring sounds when someone slams a cabinet shut. Sometimes a hard close can break fragile items. At the very least, soft closes keep contents from flying around so everything stays better organized and easy to find. Often energetic kids are the most prone to slamming things shut and getting their fingers caught in the process. Soft-close drawers prevent both kids and adults from getting pinched, especially with full overlay cabinets that butt up to each other and to the underside of counters. When properly installed, they put less stress on hinges, drawer stops and rails. Over time, this lessens the need for maintenance and extends the life of the cabinets. Better Now Than Later Re-modeling is an investment...