Sunday, April 19, 2015

Ooh and Aah Over Granite Countertops.

For years when we've watched House Hunters International, the couple searching for a house ooh and aah over granite countertops. Those days are over says Ben Keough. "EuroCucina 2014, there was a huge variety of granite alternatives on display. From
stainless steel to tempered glass, from ceramic to wood... we’ve seen the future of your kitchen, and it’s not granite."

Now we have:

TEMPERED GLASSThe thick, translucent material is tough and has a pleasant tactility, while still remaining easy to clean. According to company reps, it’s also available in a huge variety of colors.

CERAMICSthe “closest thing you can get to indestructible.” The material is scratch-resistant, easy to clean, and cool but not cold to the touch.

NANOTECH MATERIALSThe most unusual alternative countertop at EuroCucina came from Italian designer Arrital, courtesy of Arpa Industriale. Referred to as a “nanotech matte material,” the Fenix NTM countertop is anti-reflective, anti-fingerprint, self-healing, and soft to the touch without being... well, soft.

WOODSolid wood and wood-finished countertops, often contrasting with or overlaid on a stone or synthetic material. Everything from mahogany and ebony to light pine and bamboo was used, and often paired with matching cabinetry to create a minimalist yet warm look.

STAINLESS STEELplenty of designers at EuroCucina made a virtue out of this particular vice and made stainless countertops look fresh and new again.

TILEAt least one designer at EuroCucina is aiming to bring them back. Minacciolo’s MinĂ  multi-function island employs a beautiful mosaic tile top with subtle hues of red and orange.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

5 Questions to Ask When Organizing Your Kitchen

The kitchen is most likely the most-used and least-loved room in your home. When you're working all day, running around after children, and basically leading a busy life, it's easy to let the kitchen become disorganized and unwelcoming. However, with a little bit of love and elbow grease, you can transform your kitchen back into the heart of your home.

Where Do I Start With Organizing the Kitchen?When faced with the mammoth task of putting your kitchen back into order, it can be overwhelming. Where do you even start? Many recommend first of all going through your cabinets and emptying them, discarding anything that's out of date, broken or never used. You'll instantly have more room and fewer things to organize.

How Do I Make Cooking More Efficient? Now you'll be looking to rearrange what you have left into your existing space. A good tip is store items where you'll need them the most. For example, put cooking utensils in a jar near the stove, and store like items, such as pans, all together in one area for easy access. Less-used items that are kept for holidays can be kept in less-accessible areas, as you won't need them as often.

 Can I Use “Dead” Spaces in My Kitchen? You can and you should. There are myriad ideas online for using every last inch of space in your kitchen, but our favorites involve hanging items wherever you can. Put in hooks on the inside of doors to hold aprons and shopping bags, or underneath your upper cabinets to hold utensils. Empty wall space can be used, too, to hold smaller items such as spices on a spice rack.

 How Do I Make My Cabinet Space Efficient? Once you've emptied your cabinets of all the excess things that clogged them up, it should be easier to keep them organized. A good tip is to use a Lazy Susan in your cabinets, especially for anything that may spill. You can easily access anything you need with them, plus it's easy to clean up messes if they do occur. Also, use see-through storage, such as clear plastic tubs or wire baskets, so you can see everything in there.

Can I Recycle Anything? Of course you can. Nearly everything in your kitchen can be reused to organize something else. Some ideas include using old LEGO bricks for stacking cookie sheets and using empty baking powder containers to store small amounts of things, like salt and flour. Old magazine files can be attached with magnets to your fridge, keeping all your papers tidy. There are endless possibilities for recycling.
    Once you've gone through your kitchen and re-organized it to fit your needs, hopefully it will be much easier to keep it neat, tidy and clutter free. Now your kitchen will be a room fit for living, eating and entertaining. Plus, it will be much easier to find everything. Enjoy your new, stress-free kitchen.

    BIO: James works in construction and blogs in his free time at Homey Improvements. He also enjoys hiking, photography, and buying new gadgets. Follow him on Twitter @DIYfolks.