A Great White Kitchen

Kitchen trends come and go, but a white kitchen stands the test of time. It’s clean, fresh and adds resale value because it’s a blank slate for any new buyer to customize. White kitchens have a grand history. In the 1920s and 30s, white was the only color offered by manufacturers. White was associated with sanitation and health. Since it began keeping records, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers reports that white appliances have consistently outsold all other colors. White also regularly tops the list of the most popular kitchen colors in the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s annual survey. Why white? As the brightest color, it makes even small kitchens seem spacious. It’s a great color to build upon with light fixtures, cabinet hardware, and tile accents. It’s easy to change elements around it whenever the mood strikes. It is applicable to traditional, contemporary, and transitional design styles. Because it’s a standard color for any manufacturer, white cabinets, tile, counters, faucets, sinks, and appliances are usually cheaper. All white kitchens can still have options. Appliances are offered in variations of white. Decorative white overlay panels can even cover existing stainless steel appliances. Countertops are available in a wide selection of white granite, quartz or marble. Some modern designers are even incorporating white concrete into their kitchen visions. Glass shelves or light colored wood can provide a little contrast without sacrificing the monochromatic theme, too. To keep a white kitchen from appearing boring, add interesting details like decorative bowls or baskets, detailed trim, and knick-knacks with character. Perhaps paint the ceiling or the kitchen island with a bold contrast...

Your Farmhouse Sink Faucet

Once you’ve decided a Farmhouse Sink fits your kitchen style, you now have a number of options to customize this critical area.    Previously in our article - “Farmhouse sinks gain popularity”; we discussed the characteristics that differentiate Farmhouse Sinks from modern ones. We included additional features to consider before you purchase. “Different materials customize Farmhouse sinks.” reviews a number of options of materials to choose from – including the pros and cons of each. Now let’s look at the options for placing hardware:  Is there a best location? The three ways to mount hardware are on the sink itself, the surrounding deck, and on the wall. As the name suggests, sink mounted hardware has holes drilled into the sink itself. The type of hardware, either single or double handed, determines the number of holes needed. Single handed faucets with the water temperature and pressure in one assembly only require one hole. Double handed faucets with the water controls separated from the faucet need three. If you add an additional faucet (maybe one for filtered water) it can go up to four. But suppose you fall in love with a collector’s sink that already has holes? Or want to change the faucet style in the future without giving up the sink? If your change requires fewer holes, you can use an escutcheon plate (deck plate at the base) to cover the one(s) you no longer need. Deck-mounted faucets put the hardware in the countertop surrounding the sink - a style well suited to contemporary kitchens. With this option, be careful of how water, dirt, and grime accumulate between the...

Does “Lazy” Susan Do Justice To This Kitchen Accessory?

When it comes to corner-placed cabinetry, the best way to maximize your storage capacity is to install Lazy Susans. Not taking advantage of them will waste precious space and force you to search through the items in front to get what you want which is stored behind.  Lazy Susans make access to foods and kitchen utensils safer by bringing the items you need more often within easy reach. Consider them the smart spin on cabinet storage. You can customize your Lazy Susans by choosing one, two and three shelf configurations. They can also be ordered in various diameters to hold small to large appliances. Even small items like spice bottles are easier to separate and organize. No longer just plastic, the selection of materials varies from wood to polystyrene to wire chrome.  The next consideration is to choose from the configurations that range from full circle and D-shaped to half-moon and kidney shapes. It depends on what fits best for each cabinet configuration. Deciding how much you want to spend and how visible you want them to be will guide your selection also. Obviously Lazy Susans aren’t lazy, but if being able to reach whatever we need easily makes us “lazy” - so be it. Lazy Susans make kitchen tasks safer and allow us to indulge in all the kitchen gadgets we want without the guilt of where to store...

Modern Meets Farmhouse in the Kitchen

A bright white and light gray palette will give your kitchen a clean, modern feeling. Balance it out by channeling a homey vibe with rustic pendants, patterned rugs and a big farmhouse sink with a gooseneck faucet. Mixing the clean lines of modern design with nods to a rustic farmhouse aesthetic will give your kitchen a style that is fresh, comfortable and...

The Impact Cabinetry Has On Bathrooms

No matter how big or small your bathrooms are, your cabinetry is widely considered to have the most impact on the room’s overall appearance. The good news is how many options you have. Trying to get the right cabinetry for both looks and function can be daunting. That’s why the first step is to understand how you use your space. For example, if you like to soak in the tub, a linen tower with a shelf to hold a TV may be in order. If the room is small, you may want to install an over-the-toilet unit to preserve space and still supply the storage you need. Floating cabinetry creates a less cluttered ‘sleek and modern’ look. The clean lines make even a small bathroom appear more spacious. Another advantage is how they provide additional storage space beneath that is typically lost by the toe kicks of traditional cabinets. All of these features are why this type of cabinetry is gaining popularity. Overall, when it comes to bathroom cabinetry, you’re looking at three categories. First is the stand-alone vanity which contains a sink or two and provides countertop space. The next group consists of all the other cabinetry including linen storage and built-in hampers.  The third category is the set of cabinets called ‘suites’ that are typically designed to match your fixtures and other design features. Bathrooms are often more complicated to design than kitchens because almost everything you touch has either water and/or electrical issues. They also tend to be smaller and are where most falls in the home occur. Because even a couple of inches can make...

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...