Design a Green Kitchen

A new kitchen can be an opportunity for your whole family to adopt a “green” lifestyle. It’s economical as well as socially conscious to create a sustainable kitchen because they are inherently durable and minimize the exploitation of the Earth’s resources. The following tips can make a big difference in your planned kitchen’s long-term sustainability: Re-facing cabinets uses less than a single tree’s worth of wood. Your existing cabinets also get reinforced so that they will have stronger, sturdier cupboards. It’s important to know that there are always safer and healthier choices when it comes to selecting your paints and varnishes for your cabinets, so be sure to ask. Consider recycled timber with nail holes, nicks, and other character marks for kitchen doors, benches, shelving, and cladding. Quartz, concrete, and Corian are produced without the mining resources of granite. Furthermore, they don’t require toxic sealants and have no fissures to trap bacteria. Keep on the lookout for recycled glass tiles made of discarded bottles for your decor. Appliances should have the Energy Star symbol to ensure they exceed current EPA guidelines for energy efficiency. Be sure your plumbing fixtures have the WaterSense label as well. Upgrade your faucet to be touch-free so that you minimize water waste with automatic shut off. Install a picture window, skylight, and reflective surfaces to cut down on the need for power. Dimmer switches can adjust the wattage of your lights and LED bulbs offer an expected lifespan of 10,000 hours above conventional bulbs. Part of sustainability is creating a timeless design so that you do not have to manufacture replacement items or use...

Build a Smart Kitchen

The kitchen is often called the “heart of the home” but it can also be the brains. A smart kitchen features devices that are connected via Internet technology, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. They can be controlled remotely with a mobile app or a voice assistant like Amazon’s Alexa. Smart products make cooking more fun, easy, precise and safe. You don’t need a total renovation to create a smart kitchen. Consider a refrigerator that streams music and video, features a touchscreen, adds to a shopping list with voice commands, and has cameras to see inside. A smart dishwasher can be controlled remotely. A touch faucet can pour specific amounts and warm up water with voice commands.  A smart stove connected by Wi-Fi to a mobile app can send get alerts when burners are left on. You can even remotely operate your stove - preheating the oven before you arrive home or shutting it off when cooking is complete. Cabinets play a major role in smart kitchens. Custom cabinets must be designed to work with tech gadgets for maximum efficiency. Having a lot of electrical outlets and a few USB ports right where you need them can make all the difference so they can be installed directly into cabinetry. A beverage station provides extra storage for water, wine, and juice items while keeping your fridge free for more important tasks. A microwave with a recessed control panel built into the kitchen island can make quick snacks accessible for the whole family. A heavy-duty lift that turns a shelf into extra countertop space can be great for infrequently used smaller smart appliances like...

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...

The Future Of Kitchens – Will They Be Open Or Closed?

We know some things in kitchens never change. Appliances may be sleeker, materials improved and color palettes may be broader. But let’s face it, the kitchen continues to be the heart of the home where most of the hard work takes place. Probably the biggest change we’ve seen over the years is to open the kitchen up to the rest of the house. And for good reason… After all, who wants to be isolated from company or the rest of the family while preparing food? Now the question is whether or not open kitchens are here to stay. According to Sam Cochran of Architectural Digest, “Kitchens will continue to be the gathering spaces, with dining nooks and multipurpose work surfaces where you can both roll your dough or type on your laptop. But it’s no longer a universal truth that a dream kitchen must be an open kitchen. “ In fact, many high-end homeowners are adding a second kitchen to serve as a working kitchen. It’s especially popular with those who entertain a lot. Second kitchens or “backstage workhorse kitchens” allow the “social” kitchen to serve as the gathering space.  This way the kitchen continues to be the place to hang out without getting in the way of food preparation. For those who have the space, two kitchens provide room for unhindered food preparation while maintaining the social kitchen we’ve come to...