We wanted to share this great Infographic about Kitchen Design Trends for 2015. Of particular interest is the lighting. Lighting is one of the most important design elements especially in kitchens and is too often not paid proper attention in the overall design plan.
No, I am not talking about green beer on St. Patrick’s Day, or green eggs and ham, but green in terms of selection of eco-friendly materials to complete your home remodel. Below is a guest post that describes some good ideas about how you can ‘think green’.
Making your home remodel as green as possible
When remodelling a home you have to make environmental concerns a priority now, not just because of government regulations and stipulations, but also because we have a duty to build buildings and homes that use as few resources as possible, will operate without depleting natural resources on an ongoing basis, and will stand the test of time and be durable and liveable for many years to come. This might sound like a challenge if you’re remodelling a home, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. It doesn’t mean your remodelled home has to be a complete off-the-grid tepee without electricity or running water, it just means that you should use approved green products and appliances when doing your constructions. Information about green solutions is readily available; just browse design and construction firms like Unique Design. Green design doesn’t have to affect the appearance of your remodel either, just the mechanics of it. Here are some pictures of green remodelled homes:
It is now very easy to power your kitchen or bathroom by using solar energy, so if you are doing works on your plumbing or light fittings you should think about this. Solar energy will also attract generous rebates from the government, meaning that your energy bill will dramatically decrease.
Plumbing fixtures are good place to focus your attention as well, as faulty or inadequate fixtures are responsible for huge amounts of leaking and water wastage. A good thing to do when in the midst of a remodel is to get an energy audit, which will show you exactly how and where your energy consumption is going. It might be a revelation to find out exactly how energy is used in your home, and then you’ll know what the big consumers are and how you can save on energy expenses. Most people find that energy is used for a few hours in the evening, across two rooms, the kitchen and the bathroom. As a general rule, good quality products are better for the environment because they use energy more efficiently and last longer, meaning that they stay out of our landfill for longer.
I was intrigued. I had not thought of using Pine as a wood species for kitchen cabinets before this request for a guest post crossed my desk. Because Pine is a softer wood, specific care needs to be taken to preserve it’s intended look. Pine is a less expensive wood and in the right setting can be a great option to consider for your kitchen cabinetry. Summer cabin up in Flagstaff, AZ need a face lift in the kitchen? Consider Pine wood.
I’ve Got Pine Kitchen Cabinets. Anything I Should Know?
Pine cabinets can be a stunning addition to any home decor, and this is especially true when you are going for a rustic home design. Log cabin furniture and cabinets that are made from pine give the home a more authentic log cabin feel. Pine cabinets require different care than other wood cabinets though.
Image Courtesy of http://www.woodworkersshoppe.com
Each piece of pine has unique irregularities that give pine its character. This gives pine a unique and beautiful texture as well. The beauty of pine is in its quality, and each piece is different from any other. Those knots and burls of wood make treatment and care of pine cabinets and log cabin furniture different from other wood pieces.
Pine wood is naturally soft and susceptible to climate changes. Temperature and the elements will affect the wood which will cause it to expand and contract. Water and humidity will cause the wood to expand. Heat and direct sunlight will cause the wood to shrink causing cracking. Pine wood cabinets will expand if subjected to water in any form not just humidity. This makes them especially delicate in the kitchen where water would need to be cleaned off the cabinets immediately, or damage could occur. Spills, spatters and the effects of daily use need to be cleaned off pine cabinets instantly.
Hot or cold items shouldn’t be placed directly on pine since they can mar the surface of the wood. Most cabinets will be covered with a counter top, but for those pieces that are stand-alone be especially conscious of using a place mat or potholder under hot plates.
Image Courtesy of refacingkitchencabinetscost.org
Care and Cleaning
Pine cabinets cannot be cleaned with detergents or soap. General everyday cleaning requires a duster to keep the cabinets free of dust or dirt. For more in-depth cleaning, a damp cloth may be used, but any moisture needs to be wiped away with a dry cloth immediately. The finish on pine cabinets is normally glossy and will not react well to harsh cleaners and polishes. Any polishing products should be made especially for pine wood. Aerosol sprays and polishes are not optimal for the care and treatment of pine, and silicon should be avoided at all costs.
The softness of pine and the effects of shrinking and expanding could make the hardware loose. Tighten the screws flush with the cabinets. Do not over-tighten them because it could split the wood, make it loose and eventually strip the screw holes. This need for tightening may happen periodically. It’s normal for pine and shouldn’t be a concern.
Pine will need to be re-treated every few months to maintain the surface of the wood. This can be done with a block wax that is not filled with heavy perfumes. Apply the wax to the entire surface both front and back as well as inside the cabinets. Pay particular attention to the surfaces that will see daily use. Those are the parts where the sheen will wear out faster.
With proper care, pine cabinets will last a lifetime and will be continue to be a spectacular showpiece in any rustic interior home design.
About the company:
JHE’s Log Furniture Place is a leading manufacturer and retailer of rustic log furniture. This company has a huge online store offering indoor and outdoor log furniture, as well as rustic décor and accessories. Its furniture is proudly made in the USA and the company has excellent customer service.
Kitchen design seems to be on a lot of people’s minds right now. Perhaps it was this last holiday season’s cooking and entertaining experience that has put some folks at that point of –that’s it, I need to update and upgrade my kitchen NOW!
Below is a guest post that addresses some basic kitchen remodeling topics that should be thought through before the project begins in earnest.‘
Thoughts on remodeling designer kitchens
Why do homeowners remodel their kitchen? It’s usually after they get frustrated with the designs of the previous owners. ‘Why is that there?’ and ‘I don’t see any reason for this’ are thoughts that usually set them on the path of new kitchen design. Since it’s this frustration that drives the change, it is very important to know what you want to change right from the start.
Before you even think about getting down to the nitty-gritty of planning designer kitchens – with CAD, blueprints, and designers – there are some basics to get through first. Considering these will save you a huge amount of time and money later.
Arguably, the kitchen is the most important room in the home. These days, it’s not only a room for cooking but doubles up as a family meeting point and an area for social gatherings. It is important to design everything around your preparation, cooking, refrigeration, and dishwashing zones.
Don’t tamper with…
There are some appliances in kitchens that are extremely difficult and costly to move. These include vented range cooker hoods, sinks and dishwashers.
You can move…
Fridges can be moved fairly easily, as can cabinetry, so take these into consideration.
Sensibly placed cabinets…
Remember that putting cabinets in places that are difficult to reach will result in crockery never getting used. You should, therefore, mostly aim to put your kitchen cabinets at eye-level and above your worktops.
Do I need a kitchen island? – I hear your ask. Well, they certainly do add value to a property, and are an absolute must for some homeowners. They are great for the ‘social kitchen’. Many designer kitchens have this feature. But it comes down to space really. After all, it’s just a trend, and you can do without one if necessary.
Don’t scrimp on worktops…
High quality designer kitchens need worktops to last for a long time and must be durable and ensure daily usage. It really is worth paying that bit extra to get a granite or quartz surface. Spend some time thinking about what you want and make absolutely sure you get it right.
Space is key…
This is the real reason you need to hire a designer – since they are experts at proper spacing. Any space problems will be worked around in a way that computer software just can’t manage.
Is it a tomato or tomatoe? A sofa or a couch? Sometimes different words can mean the same thing. This is NOT true for hand made/bespoke kitchens versus a made -to- measure kitchen which is essentially stock items specified in certain dimensions, and finishes . S Interior Design often combines semi-custom kitchen components with bespoke, and therefore unique design elements when we do kitchen remodels for our clients. The guest post shown below (from across ‘The Pond’ for my United States readers who may not recognize some word spelling), describes some key differences between a true Bespoke/Handmade kitchen and other kitchen design options
Defining a bespoke kitchen:
Bespoke design is a term that is bandied about casually by a number of trades, as well as kitchen and furniture fitters. The word has been adopted by many large kitchen companies who offer little more than ‘made-to-measure’. A bespoke kitchen can be best described as ‘handmade kitchens’. Read on find out about handmade kitchens.
Bespoke versus made-to-measure
Between the extremes of ‘bespoke design’, and ‘pre-produced’, sits ‘made-to-measure’. Often made-to-measure means taking pre-existing designs and customising them to suit a certain type of room. In terms of kitchen design, this will often mean giving customers the choice of colour, work surface material, or door handle etc. Bespoke on the other hand, refers to something that is individually cut or designed to meet specific individual requirements.
Defining bespoke kitchens
As a concept, bespoke refers to custom-made products, without any pre-existing sizes and patterns. Many kitchen companies will offer ‘made-to-measure’ and think that it qualifies as bespoke. A true bespoke kitchen designer will be able to design and build unique kitchen furniture, tailored to meet specific requirements. These are not pre-produced, but are made specifically on design request. A better phrase to use would be a ‘hand-made kitchen’, as the value is in the expert design and production process.
The Design and Production Process
Handmade kitchens are defined by their design and production process. Some companies will allow you to customise designs to fit your individual kitchen, but the process is not truly bespoke. When choosing a handmade kitchen, it is the designers job to take a customers vague ideas and concept of a ‘dream kitchen’ and turn them into reality.
Purchasing a handmade kitchen will begin with an initial design consultation whereby the designer will try to establish the following. Is it solely a place for preparing food, or does it have a multi-purpose function as a living and a socialising area? These underlining principles will shape the design of a kitchen.
The designer will also ask the customer if they have any specific aesthetic requirements, including a the type of material used or style of design. One way that kitchen designers can ascertain their customers needs, is by asking them what they liked and disliked about their past kitchens.
After establishing what you are looking for in a kitchen, and choosing a design style and other elements such as the type of cooker, the designer can then produce technical drawings or CAD drawings to bring your ideas to life.
Request for bespoke designers to show you past work to help to give you an idea of what they can produce.
A truly bespoke kitchen company will own a workshop whereby individualised furniture is made. The value of a handmade kitchen is in the specialised design process, and the highly skilled craftsman employed, to the trusted fitting team. The difference between a top kitchen design company and a poor standard product can often be found out by looking at the production process. If you are serious about purchasing a handmade kitchen, I would advise you enquire into the production process or even request to see the workshop.
Article submitted by Richard Davonport, Managing Director at Davonport who offer bespoke kitchens with practical design features which can be tailored exactly to your needs. Founded almost 20 years ago, Davonport combine the latest technology with traditional woodcraft and finishing skills, to create cabinets of the highest quality. Meet our high skilled team of kitchen designers at http://www.davonport.com
At this time of the year we are spending more than the usual amount of time in our kitchens preparing holiday feasts and yummy treats. This can be the trigger point—TIME TO REMODEL THE KITCHEN! Is your kitchen failing you functionally? Are the cabinets dated or in disrepair? Are you just in need of an overall update including new appliances, cabinets, lighting and flooring
As many of you know, kitchen remodels are one of the best investments you can make in your home in terms of payback when you choose to sell the home. More importantly, it is almost always the space your family and friends spend time in and it needs to look and work great. S Interior Design has a detailed process we follow when working with clients on kitchen remodels that examines all the aspects functional and decorative, so when the work begins, the design plan is fully developed. Modern classic design, contemporary and modern, cozy and country …whatever the style we can help you make the dream into a reality
Below is a guest post from ‘Across the Pond’ on the subject of kitchen remodeling.
Choosing a kitchen design that really suits you
Whether you need to make the best of a small or an oddly shaped space, or you have plenty of room but want to make the most of your investment, designing your own kitchen gives you the freedom to match your space precisely to your own needs. Taking a personalized approach lets you factor in a mini office, for example, if you work from home – or install a safe play area for when you need to keep an eye on your toddler while you make meals. But it’s easy to feel rather bamboozled by the array of design “solutions”.
Rather than giving up and compromising with a) a premade kitchen or b) whatever the kitchen showroom sales schedule pushes you towards, take control of the situation with a balance of logic, planning and personal style.
What don’t you need?
In order to achieve ideal bespoke kitchens without spending more than you need to, you’ll need to figure out what you really do need and keep on top of what you don’t. Be honest with yourself here; are you a chef or a socializer? What would you really like to be doing in your kitchen?
This isn’t always cooking, although a well thought out kitchen layout can often make cooking much easier. For example, if you currently have to prepare meals on top of the washing machine, you’re probably less inclined to spend time on complicated recipes. A simple kitchen redesign can transform an awkward space into one where cooking becomes a relaxing pleasure.
And then there’s the eating part of it. Do you have a dining room, or do you need to make space in your kitchen for sit down meals, and possibly homework? You may not eat at the table now, but a kitchen redesign can effect a lifestyle change as well as add value to your house.
How tidy are you really?
The other area where honesty is essential is your own tidiness. Untidiness can be the result of having too much stuff, or at least not having enough storage space to assign homes for everything – but it can also be because you’re too busy or you simply can’t be bothered to put things away. If opening and closing cupboard doors sounds like your (or your family’s) idea of hard work, perhaps you’re better off having shelves instead, where items can be easily found with eyes instead of memory and exploration – and where you can easily stash stuff to keep it off the work surface.
Using online kitchen planners
If you want to play around before you hire a kitchen designer or commit to any particular company, there are plenty of kitchen planners available online. They range from what are essentially interactive photos that let you explore different finishes and effects, to complete tools that let you drag units around the virtual floors pace to see how things fit.
The latter needs more input from you, mostly in the form of measurements. The measurements need to be accurate! If you don’t have time to do this yourself, it’s best to hire a kitchen designer to do it for you, but at least make time to think about your needs first – the best designers will know which questions to ask you in order to find out, but they’re not mind-readers
Color is back! Kohler one of the most widely known names in bath and kitchen fixtures including sinks, tubs, toilets, faucets, showers and more has partnered with renowned designer Jonathan Adler to launch a new line of kitchen and bathroom sinks in an unexpected color palette.
As stated by Adler in the Kohler Idea book : ” Your home should be happy. You should feel like you’re walking into your favorite song on the radio. Color sets the mood; it’s the first thing you notice when you walk into a room.”
S Interior Design is looking forward to designing a kitchen or bath with beautiful white quartz counter tops and one of these colorful sinks .
In addition to the 4 Jonathan Adler special edition colors, Kohler has 29 other color options to choose from.
When it comes to kitchen size, is bigger always better? If you have optimized your kitchen design and storage space, you many be just fine with a smaller sized kitchen. The article below is a guest post on the subject of how to make the most of your kitchen space. At the end of the day if you determine you do indeed need a larger kitchen space, please make sure to develop a detailed design plan BEFORE embarking upon a remodel. Good planning and hiring professionals to assist you in the design and implementation phase will save you time and money and a lot of head aches. S Interior Design adds their ‘2 cents’ shown in blue color font.
How to Make the Most of a Small Kitchen Space
It seems like there’s never enough room in the kitchen. Between accumulating extra kitchen tools and to learning how to make extravagant recipes, you likely need extra space. It’s no wonder that this is one of the most commonly remodeled room in the home, and homeowners are constantly looking for new kitchen layout ideas. Transforming your entire kitchen takes time if you want to do it right. In the meantime, there are simple steps you can take to make the most out of your small kitchen.
Photo Credit: http://www.sxc.hu
Get Rid of the Clutter
Nothing makes cooking more difficult than a cluttered kitchen. Store unused appliances into cabinets to free up counter space so you can cook properly. Having a set system in place can make using and storing small appliances easy so you aren’t left scrambling to make room at the last minute.
Go Up–It can strain your back to lift heavier appliances down from higher cabinets or up from low cabinets. There are products that you can retrofit existing cabinets with to address this issue. Check out Rev-A-Shelf for ideas.
Some home cooks face a dilemma if they need to use multiple appliances in a small kitchen. If you lack cabinet space, one solution is to temporarily store your appliances on top of the cabinets. This way you can take them down and use the tools when needed, but still have counter space.
Knock Out Useless Storage
Cabinets can be your best friend when it comes to storing your kitchen goods, but when left unused, they can actually take up space. Knock out any cabinets you aren’t using. You can either leave them open as storage shelves, or take out the whole unit for extra counter space.
Photo Credit: trendir.com
Create Extra Storage
On the other hand, a lack of storage may be your problem. If fine dishes and other less commonly used items are taking up space, move them out of the kitchen. Use a china cabinet or wall storage in an adjoining room instead. For other less commonly used kitchen tools, such as Christmas tableware, consider moving it into storage until the season comes.
Remove Excess Furniture
Islands, stools and chairs can be useful in the kitchen. If you don’t use them often, however, it may be time to downsize to open up more space in the room. Consider replacing the furniture with smaller versions, or taking them out altogether.
Knock Out a Wall–Please do not knock down any walls before you know the structural implications!
If your kitchen is starting to become a little too claustrophobic for your liking, you can solve this problem by taking out an extra wall. The most common wall to take out is the one that separates the sink area to the dining area or family room. Not only will you create a sense of openness, but you can also add additional counter space on the other side of the room.
Use a Fresh Color—Make sure to use a washable paint finish in the kitchen regardless of the color chosen. If you do choose to have a lighter paint on the kitchen walls, you can still add color with the back splash tiles, window treatments, kitchen accessories and on the floor.
In some cases, a kitchen might feel small, but the size is actually quite decent. If you are looking for a way to instantly make your kitchen look bigger, consider painting it a light color. Light pastels, beige and white are all good candidates. Before buying white appliances to match, know that your modern stainless steel dishwasher, oven and refrigerator can match any paint color.
Sara Fletcher is a professional blogger who writes on a variety of topics, ranging from home improvement, décor, and design. She loves to learn about sprucing up her home, and is always looking for the next writing opportunity.
A kitchen back splash is a perfect example of how design elements can be both FUNCTIONAL and LOOK GREAT. Having a back splash will protect your walls from stove top splatter from food and oil and water. Often people will simply add a 4-6 inch back splash in the same material as the counter top. We encourage you to take it beyond that and extend up higher, preferably to just under the wall mounted cabinets and even higher at the cook top wall. Similar principles apply in bathroom design.
I realize that S Interior Design is a big fan of the glass tile back splash as evidenced by the last 3 kitchen remodels we have completed for clients. Here are a few pictures that show 3 options we have used. This illustrates that even within only the category of glass tiles, the choices are many. One of our favorite options is from Oceanside Glasstile as they strive to eco-friendly in their manufacturing processes.
Below is a guest post courtesy of Erin Devine on the subject of kitchen back splashes.
Selecting the Perfect Kitchen Backsplash
Selecting the right colors and textures for your kitchen back splash can be a tricky task when you consider all of the options out there. There are as many kitchen and design choices as there are back splashes to choose from. Fortunately, knowing a few “do’s” and “don’t’s” can make the process much easier.
Keep in mind that busy patterns detract from the rest of the kitchen’s décor. If any busy pattern is to be used, it should contain colors from the kitchen to tie everything in and not create too much of a focal point. Further, the area of back splashes should not be large in comparison to the rest of the wall space.
Glass tile is one of the prettiest types of tile. Glass doesn’t attract mildew or mold, cleans easily, and offers numerous color choices. The reflective property of glass tile makes it one of the most favored of tiles because it offers an unparalleled shine and rich color.
Choose a backsplash to enrich the overall look of the kitchen rather than the space it occupies. For instance, choosing backsplashes one or two shades darker than the cupboards is wise. You can also choose a color similar to the floor in the case where the rest of the interior is of a light color. With that said, choosing colors that do not mesh create an eyesore. Glass tile backsplashes create somewhat of a focal point, however, they should not contrast so much from the rest of the interior that they’re all the eyes focus on.
Backsplashes belong under cabinets and neatly contained between other fixtures. Moreover, back splashes look best when placed underneath the cabinets. On the other hand, if pulled out onto a joining wall without a cabinet to frame them, the look is awkward. Keep back splashes underneath or butting cabinets or choose one in a color one to two shades within the shade of the wall so that it blends in. However, where cupboards frame the back splash, it is safe to go with a darker color.
Avoid drastic colored tiles where the rest of the décor is neutrally toned and colored. Whatever colors are present in back splashes should tie in well with the rest of the kitchen. In the instance of a multicolored kitchen, choose small tiles with each color to create a mosaic or opt for a simple design with a dramatic border.
The idea of back splashes is to accentuate the beauty within the kitchen—to pull everything together. The idea is to add to, rather than detract from, the overall appearance of the kitchen. When things don’t “look right,” people know it. Whether a person has an eye for interior design, colors or creativity, they quickly notice if things are off. Not to mention that home is a place for self-expression, rather than being overly concerned with how others perceive their choice of décor. For this reason, establishing individual preferences is key for any interior project. Back splashes are beautiful and functional and are meant to be enjoyed, so make sure that you choose a back splash that reflects your taste and accentuates the design of the rest of your kitchen.
Erin Devine is a guest writer for Floor & Décor Outlets, a flooring and tile retailer with a do-it-yourself attitude and an eye for style. She loves writing and maintaining her own interior design blog, DIY Home & Floor.
I had the opportunity to attend a Lunch and Learn seminar at the Scottsdale Arizona Miele showroom this past week. I can summarize by saying ‘German engineering is in the house!’ Miele’s company motto is :
‘ Immer Biesser’ translated as ‘Forever Better’
How inspiring in and of itself. I also learned that Miele builds their products and THEN prices them, versus the more standard development and manufacturing model of pricing the product and THEN building it.
The housing trend is to stay in our existing homes and upgrade them functionally and aesthetically. If you are contemplating a kitchen remodel big or small, and new appliances are a part of it , my vote as a professional designer who has worked on many kitchen remodel projects is to invest in quality and state of the art technology wherever possible.
Can you get excited about a dishwasher? Let me share some details about Miele dishwashers and see if your pulse doesn’t rise just a bit.
- At least 2x the life of an average dishwasher 20 year life design minimum
- Up-datable machines programming of the existing dishwasher keeps it updated, no need to replace to take advantage of the latest and greatest tech. options.
- Auto Sensor to measure the clarity of the water-the unit will adapt water consumption, program duration and wash duration based on level of soiling—All environmentally friendly features!
- Drying system that uses ambient air, sensor dry or what they call drying plus that automatically open the door a bit to release moisture at the end of a drying cycle
- Built in water softener
- Peaceful cohabitation in open floor plan homes with one, or two, Miele dishwashers running smoothly in the background.
Options based on your individual lifestyle needs:
- Separate cutlery tray
- Vase/bottle holder
- Multiple basket configurations to concurrently wash lots of different hts.
AND SO MUCH MORE!
No, I am not getting paid by Miele to write about their products, I am simply genuinely impressed and wanted to share.