Blog Archives

Small kitchen solutions

December 20, 2012

Kitchen/eating área:
Bob and Barbara Murray’s suburban kitchen was small, dark, and cluttered—not exactly an inspiring place to kick off the day. And with five boys (ages 10, 8, 7, 4, and 1), the Murrays did not have home improvements at the top of their to-do list. Space is at a premium in the three-bedroom house, and the 10-by-12-foot kitchen has to serve as the eating área for the children as well as the household command center for the parents. A little clutter-clearing, some white paint, and a few bulletin-board systems make the busiest room in the house a brighter place to start each day.

Design your own kitchen

November 21, 2012

Tradition Maintained

Homeowners wanted to retain the old-world charm of the existing kitchen but also desired up-to-date efficiency.
■ They wanted the kitchen to have a warm and welcoming feeling.

■ A mix of creamy yellow pine with blue interiors plus hand-painted cabinetry preserves the original charm in the new kitchen.
■ Distinct work centers—two pine islands—place seating and the main prep área at the long angled island.
An overhead pot rack, butcher-block top, built-in waste chute, warming drawer and knife slots are at the smaller second island.
■ A professional range with a limestone, wood and tile hearth arching over it is the focal point of the kitchen.
■ Other design features are a hand-painted china hutch located near the dining room, with lined silver drawers and glass-door cabinets to display the owners favorite china pieces, and a custom valance to frame the refrigerator.
■ A planning desk, two pullout pantries, and an open píate rack add efficiency.

Expand the kitchen

November 16, 2012

■ Homeowners are highly social and needed space for their frequent entertaining.
■ The original kitchen had only one small window, which made the room very dark.
■ Owners wish list for the new kitchen included a computer desk, a large bake área, a large informal buffet serving space, room for several cooks and a view of nearby Lake Michigan.
The new kitchen is now open to the dining room. Its large windows allow great views of the lake and it adds space for entertaining.
A large island has a bake área, warming drawer, cooking-wine storage and shelves for a collection of cookbooks on the end, plus a lowered desk área as a computer station.
Architectural columns with centered and raised glass door cabinets hide the activity on the island while providing extra storage and display for glasses and dishes.
An extra oven takes care of the overflow cooking needs.

Kitchen ideas for medium kitchens

November 12, 2012

Travel Influence:

■ Existing kitchen was outdated, cramped and unworkable for two cooks who do extensive traveling in the Pacific Rim región and bring home ideas for entertaining and design.
■ The U-shaped layout had an eating space thar was unused because it was too small to accommodate a table.
■The owners wanted enough room for family and guests to congrégate comfortably in the new kitchen.

■ The U-shape was changed to an L-shaped design incorporating an island with a snack bar and second sink, which increased storage and work space.
■ A desk and built-in TV were located for easy viewing from the kitchen work área and the seating área.
■ A window wall was added to take advantage of natural daylight and the garden view.
■ Pacific Rim design influences include tile motifs suggesting áreas where owners spend time, custom light fixtures with an Asian motif, a shoji screen door on the desk cabinet, a sushi-style snack counter at the island, asymmetrical cabinet doors with wood grain that changes direction, and dark linear accents on the cabinetry.
■ Indigenous building materials such as cedar ceiling beams and clear vertical grade cabinets, lodgepole pine posts for shelving and locally produced ceramic tile were selected.

Outdoor kitchen appliances reviews

November 9, 2012

Bumping Out

■ This two-career family needed more efficiency in their kitchen space for cooking and entertaining.
■ There was no adequate room for dining nearby breakfast nook

■ A bump-out with angled windows and a double sink was added to gain space.
■ The adjacent room became a dining room with a convenient pass-through from the new kitchen.
■ An angled island offers additional prep surface and a place for friends and family to be cióse by but not in the way.
■ The oíd closet-pantry was removed and replaced with sleek, angular, tall cabinets to blend with the rest of the cabinetry and echo the angles in the island and bump-out.

Pepper grinder

October 7, 2012

“Andromeda” is BRM’s pepper grinder made of Vermont rock maple, shockproof glass, solid brass trim and tarnishproof 24-karat gold. With a long-lasting stainless steel mechanism that adjusts from powder-fine to coarse, the grinder is $180.

Spice bottles

October 5, 2012

Nine different 5 ounce spice bottles arranged on two levels stand tall and accessible in a rack that either sits or hangs. Each bottle comes with a removable sifter lid, and the set includes three extra lids, 48 preprinted labels and eight blank ones. From Lillian Vernon, the tube spice rack (complete except for spices) is $24.98.

Six herb jars

October 3, 2012

A Six herb jars with hand-painted labels can be shifted from counter to island in a graceful, hand-forged metal caddy from Casafina. Each jar is 354 inches tall, and $48 buys all six.
The caddy, sold separately, is $36.

Electric Outlets

August 18, 2012

Electric Outlets and Switches Water and electricity can be a deadly mixture, especially in a bathroom. To prevent any potentially serious accidents when young children are using the bathroom, avoid leaving any plug-in appliances connected where youngsters can reach them. This means no radios, CD players or other tempting appliances on the counter or in view.
As children get older, however, they often use hair dryers, curling irons and other grooming appliances in the bathroom, so you want to plan ahead and include a storage cabinet for these. One way to lessen the risk of shock from a faulty appliance or one that is improperly grounded is to install a ground fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI, which immediately cuts off the flow of electricity when it senses any current leakage. Depending upon your needs, you can choose from among a few models. You can move a portable plug-in GFCI from outlet to outlet or have a receptacle wired permanently to individual outlets. The optimum GFCIs, which protect your entire circuit, are breakers that can be wired into your house’s electricity panel box.
Light switches as one enters the bathroom should be at a comfortable height for everyone to use, so consider if little children can reach the switches before you install them. Hip-height light switches usually are conveniently placed for everyone.


July 31, 2012

A further adherence to the universal design guideline of putting storage or organizing items within the universal reach range was the choice of refrigeration with separate pullout freezer and refrigerator drawers, both next to the cooktop area and the sink. The setup of the touch-control cooktop caters to seated users, too. Smooth cooktops mean that pots and pans will slide easily. The knee space allows seated users to reach cooktop controls, while an adjustable mirror above the cooktop permits them to see what’s cooking in the pots, and a switch beneath the cooktop gives them control ef the venting hood.

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