Color Your Best Kitchen Ever With Universal Design

As kitchens continue to evolve to more than just the place for food preparation, there’s another way to enhance the social experience. It’s how you use color to set the atmosphere. “Why Universal Design should be incorporated into your kitchen” introduced the advantages of lever-handled faucets and appliance placements. These features make it easier to perform tasks and still interact with others in the room. Ease of use plus colors that resonate with you and your family create that environment that keeps family and friends hanging around. Color makes objects easier to see. Sight-challenged people are defined as those who need glasses or contacts, no matter how young or old they are. Dim lighting challenges even those with perfect vision. Color blocking is a technique that distinguishes one object from another. It doesn’t have to be as drastic as placing red against blue.  It means using colors and their tones to show contour. This increases the ability to easily distinguish floor to walls, walls to cabinets, cabinets to countertops and so on. Color blocking also aids anyone who’s busy preparing food and drinks. Along with safety, color blocking is another tool you can use to reflect your taste and personality. This is where Universal Design really upgrades your kitchen by giving it that customized look that really speaks about you. It sounds easy, but one thing about color is that it’s complicated. Colors have undertones that make them bright or muddy. Ever notice how many shades of white or black are available? Pairing the wrong shades can ruin an entire project. One way to get the best color scheme...

What Distinguishes Modern From Contemporary Kitchens?

When it comes to choosing between a modern and contemporary kitchen, it’s easy to confuse the two. Both feature clean, smooth appearances with minimal detail and adornment. Unlike farmhouse and rustic, both modern and contemporary are defined by sleek lines in predominately white and black. But these kitchens don’t preclude color. Color is used to accessorize or accentuate small or minor features. The difference is how each style incorporates it. Here’s what differentiates the two: Contemporary kitchens embrace the latest in technology, materials and trends to create an “of the moment” look. Modern has more emphasis on form and structure by installing smooth surfaces like concrete and steel. You’ll see strong horizontal lines with lots of open space and a strong architecture.  Key features to look for in contemporary are: Under mount sinks with minimalist faucets Cutting-edge appliances that include smart kitchen technology Flat-panel cabinetry and creative backsplashes Innovative island designs and waterfall counters Dramatic lighting While modern kitchens are similar, here you’ll find: Concrete for flooring, countertop surfaces and even on the walls Glass sheet or stone slab backsplashes that run continuously Recessed and integrated lighting and if using pendant lights, ones with clean lines Frameless cabinets with flat-panel doors Minimalists faucets in polished nickel, chrome and matte black White is a popular choice for both but is used differently. For example, a contemporary kitchen will have crisp white walls with colorful cabinetry or an eye-catching backsplash. Modern may use the same white but is more likely to include subtle neutrals and black. Here brighter colors usually show up in the form of accessories. Both styles emphasize a...

What You Need To Know About Under-Cabinet Lighting

Home owners are “personalizing” and turning to placing lights beneath their cabinets for more atmosphere. If you decide to go that route, here are a few things to keep in mind to get the best effect without creating problems. LEDs are the best option for under-cabinet lighting for a number of reasons. They produce the least amount of heat, provide good lighting for activities and come in a variety of colors. Traditionally more expensive, costs have come down considerably recently. This, along with their long life makes LEDs a good choice for the long term. Fluorescent lights are almost as energy efficient as LEDs but they do produce more heat.  Another option is Xenon lights that emit some heat but they can be dimmed to create an attractive, warm glow. Halogen lights are still possible but the heat they throw off can affect food or drinks stored above them. When selecting lights to go under your cabinets, determine what kind of effect you want but keep in mind what you plan to store in each of those...

How Kitchen Islands Are Shaping The Future Of Kitchens

More than just expanding cabinet storage and countertop surfaces, kitchen islands have evolved into a gathering spot where family and guests hang around. Island design and comfort now draws cooks and visitors together to increase functionality, aesthetics and socialization. Along with food preparation and meals, kitchens are more open. Kids do homework and adults take care of paperwork. Additional activities like these promote family time as meals are prepared. For those whose children have moved away from home, this time goes to enjoying a glass of wine with guests before dinner gets to the table. And dinner is more likely to stay at the island with more comfortable seating. Still used for storage and counter space, islands also accommodate appliances like stoves with downward vents. And don’t forget about sinks where approximately 90% of the time is spent. The convenience of doing multiple tasks in one place shortens steps and work time. The ability to socialize more makes everything feel easier. Universal Design further expands function with varying countertop heights. This enables anyone at any height, especially children, to participate in food preparation and other activities without having to climb stools or reach overhead. Incorporating different materials from the rest of the kitchen adds even more appeal. One way is to use fabrics for surrounding stools and chairs. Fabrics contrast well with hard surfaces to soften the overall look. As a result, islands stand out as design objects and look more like furniture that seamlessly blends into the living room. The future will see more variation in island shapes and heights. Seating room will be expanded and rather than...