Tag: kitchen design

5 Simple Space-Saving Ideas for Small Kitchens

 

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No house or apartment is perfect, and sometimes we have to take a little bad with the good. For example, maybe the living room of your dwelling has plenty of cheerful natural light, but the bedrooms are dark. Or perhaps your home is older, but you have a gorgeous backyard that makes the extra maintenance worth it. Life is about compromise, so we decide what we can live with, what we can’t, and move on.

But if one of the things you’ve had to compromise on is kitchen space, you should know there are plenty of things you can do to make a tiny kitchen feel bigger.

 

Below are 5 simple space-saving ideas to help make your small kitchen more spacious.

 

  1. Mini is Mighty. Take an honest look around your kitchen, and decide which appliances you use, and which ones you rarely touch.

Of the often-used bunch, consider buying smaller, more compact versions of the same machines. Compact appliances are technologically sound, and you don’t have to sacrifice power or quality.

Some questions to ask yourself during downsizing might be:

  • Do I need a full-sized coffee pot, or can I get by with a single cup capacity machine?
  • Could I manage with a more compact refrigerator if it would open up more storage space above?
  • Do I use the blenders, juicers, toasters and appliances sitting out on the counters? And if so, could I buy smaller versions of them?

As for the rarely touched appliances: try putting them away in storage for a week. If you miss them, bring them back, but if not… I think you know what you need to do. (Cue: “Chopin’s Funeral March.”)

 

  1. Goodbye, Conventional. Hello, Convectional. Convectional microwave ovens, that is. New microwaves are available that come with convectional cooking capabilities and can even grill food, rendering that hogging-your-limited-space dinosaur of a conventional oven obsolete.

 

  1. Dish Decisions. Do you wash dishes often, or do they sit sadly in the big, empty dishwasher all week? If you don’t make a lot of dishes, consider replacing your traditional dishwasher with a compact one. Many people with small kitchens completely remove the built-in dishwasher to free up the space for cabinets, using one of the efficient new compact portable counter top dishwashers instead.

 

  1. Wonderful Wet Bars. One easy way to make room for food preparation in the kitchen is to create spaces outside of the kitchen for wines, beers and other drinks. These entertainment areas can feature compact wine and beverage refrigerators, wine racks and even kegerators for beer. If you have an area of your house that would make a great home bar, consider moving beverage-related items out of your cramped kitchen and into a space of their own.

 

  1. High Hanging Helpers. When you find yourself trapped in a small space, sometimes you have nowhere to go but up. So look up, not around. Place a magnetic strip on your wall to get that knife block off your limited counter. Use wire racks above your sinks for extra storage. Install overhead pot racks to hang pots and pans and free up cabinet storage. Get that bowl of fruit up out of the way with a hanging fruit basket. Seeking extra storage? Well, maybe you weren’t blessed with square footage, but nobody’s stopping you from utilizing those walls.

 

With the addition of compact appliances and some of the suggestions on this list, you can turn your small kitchen into a fully functional, efficient and spacious area for your family to enjoy.

Backsplash Brainstorm: Incredible, Inspiring Ideas for a Killer Kitchen

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A lot of messy activities happen in the kitchen, making a backsplash a great idea for any cooking area. In addition to protecting walls where the culinary commotion occurs, a backsplash can also be a great way to add interest, charm and style to the room. No matter what you’re hoping to achieve, there are endless colors, textures and materials you can use to get the look you want.

While there’s nothing wrong with an elegant tile backsplash, there are other innovative options to consider as well. Below are some of the latest and greatest original backsplash ideas, and some cool classic styles to get your creative juices flowing.

 

1. Ceramic Subway Tiles—

Completely on-trend, these white tiles are most commonly combined with white grout for a clean, contemporary look.

With their modern-yet-vintage vibe, subway tiles are a great way to create a neutral or monochromatic feel, or brighten up a darker kitchen.

 

2. Glass Tiles—

Glass tiles have a watery flow and reflect light beautifully, working well with any style of décor to give the room an oceanic, soothing tranquility.

If you’d like to open up a kitchen, the clear luminescence of glass tiles (or one large, solid sheet of painted glass, if you prefer to skip the grout) can make a small room feel bigger, and look beautiful.

 

3. River Rocks or Pebbles—

If you’re a fan of rustic design and like to incorporate nature into your home, using small, smooth rocks as a backsplash can make your kitchen walls reminiscent of a relaxing retreat.

Garden stones in natural colors, brightly-colored rocks, or even seashells can be used, with grout gently smoothed between to make the surface waterproof as well as pretty.

 

4. Tin Tiles—

Formerly spotted adding character to ceilings, decorative tin has become a popular way to lend eccentric charm and vintage appeal to kitchen walls, with the benefit of a reflective surface to brighten shadowy under-cabinet areas.

Tin tiles come in sheets of embellished metal to be cut and placed in large pieces, or individual tiles if preferred, and silver, bronze or classic copper are popular color choices.

Be sure to treat tin backsplashes with a waterproofing coat of polyurethane to prevent rust.

 

5. Brick Wall Tiles—

The same thin tiles made from brick to cover other walls (often used to create an exposed-brick effect) can make great backsplash tiles in a kitchen when used with grout and sealant to eliminate the porous surface.

This backsplash looks exceptional with Tuscan design, adding an old-fashioned, classic feel, but can also complement a rustic modern design with its raw simplicity.

 

6. Chalkboard Backsplash—

Chalkboard paint is a popular option for anyone, but works especially well for those with kids, busy lifestyles, or a penchant for creative expression.

Chalkboard paint is already a waterproof sealant, so all it needs is a quick wipe-down when messy. And bonus: You can write down your recipe for dinner or grocery list without having to leave the kitchen.

 

7. Mosaic Magic—

If you are artistic, or have an artist in the family willing to help, broken pieces of tile, glass, ceramics, glass beads, and anything else you choose can be glued to the wall in a beautiful design or pattern.

Grout is used to fill in the areas between the works of art, with a sealant applied to protect the masterpiece at the end. Mosaic design is a great way to add character to a flat, boring room, but also works well will eclectic design.

 

8. Stainless Steel Tiles—

Especially if you have a very modern kitchen, stainless steel tiles are a smart and timeless option, with their metallic sheen that matches any wall paint color or countertop.

Like decorative tin, stainless steel tiles can make a room feel brighter and bigger by reflecting light—and be sure to get a polished version of this metal for easy cleaning.

 

9. Marvelously Magnetic—

By using white dry erase board, you can actually make the area behind your kitchen counters into a place to hold magnetic lists, picture frames and anything else magnetic you love.

Hardware stores often sell large dry erase boards, and will cut them into your required shape and size, so measure twice and bring your calculations with you to try this unique DIY backsplash idea.

 

As you can see, tile, metal and magnets are some fun ideas to get you started, but the sky is the limit when it comes to covering the backsplash area of your kitchen. Don’t forget that favorite artworks, photos, maps and wallpapers can also adorn walls to give you any vision you can dream up. Use the ideas above to get your imagination moving, and have fun with it.

Good-Looking Cooking: 7 Eye-Catching Kitchen Design Trends

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Kitchen design trends come and go, and every decade has a defining characteristic that sets it apart from the others, be it a color palette, type of materials used, or even a structural element that makes it clear to the viewer when the last redecorating was done. But there are many kitchen designs that seem to last throughout the different eras with a classic style that endures.

 

Listed below are 7 of the most current kitchen design trends seen lately in the world of home décor. 

 

1. Goodbye, Granite—

For the longest time, granite countertops have been the only player in the kitchen game. While many still adore this lovely hard surface, the days of granite-only are over.

Marble countertops are becoming more popular every year, adding a striking swirled surface to any kitchen that looks amazing with brass kitchen sinks, or polished nickel hardware.

Quartz is another rising star in the countertop category, with a surface visually similar to granite that offers greater durability and stain resistance with easier cleaning.

 

2. Going Green—

Using sustainable materials in the kitchen, such as bamboo flooring, counters, and butcher blocks is becoming more prevalent, as are touch-less faucets that save homeowners money on water bills.

Wood is commonly the focus of this design, with recycled glass and formaldehyde-free products being used more often than ever before.

Exposed wooden beams, repurposed barn wood tables and cabinetry, and energy-saving appliances are also very eco-friendly elements of the green movement, making this rustic design trend a smart development in kitchen style.

 

3. Multiple Metals—

For the longest time, chrome and brushed nickel have been the metals of choice throughout modern kitchen design, perhaps because of the stainless steel appliance frenzy. But this year, we’re seeing assorted types of metal hardware, sinks and lighting coming into the picture.

Copper, brass, iron, aged gold and even black hardware and light fixtures are showing up in kitchens, with striking results. Because they’ve been used for so long, these antique metals have a natural elegance and timelessness associated with them that they add to any room.

 

4. Universal Design—

Universal design been included in kitchen renovations more often over the last decade, possibly because of the poor economy. As homeowners feel less financial stability, they become determined to make their home user-friendly in case they won’t be able to retire elsewhere.

Built-in and easily accessible appliances are a big part of this trend, and lowered storage areas to accommodate those with limited mobility are also included for elderly convenience.

This thoughtful design is also a wonderful way to help older parents who’ve moved in with their children have more mobility and independence in the kitchen.

 

5. Nice and Neutral—

While the ‘70s were all about avocado and gold, and the ‘80s were primary and bright, the last few decades have vacillated between changing color schemes every year or so, giving homeowners more freedom to decorate according to preference.

But recently, monochromatically mellow rooms have become popular, allowing for pops of color in smaller details while the walls, backsplashes and countertops remain neutral.

White cabinets with white subway tile backsplashes, or rooms in shades of pale gray are becoming the new cream and beige, with this palette being echoed in the trendy white and gray marble countertops.

 

6. Clear Glass Cabinet Doors/Open Shelving—

Open shelving is a great way to make a smaller kitchen look more spacious. By opening up the cabinets with glass, the view goes all the way back to the wall rather than stopping at the cabinet fronts.

The drawback to this style, of course, is that now everyone can see your dishware, necessitating organization and color-coordination if you don’t want a messy vibe.

Clear glass cabinets can actually add a very charming element of style to a kitchen when done well; especially when all dishware on the other side of the glass is the same color.

Another very modern version of this involves removing cabinet doors completely, or installing only shelves with no upper cabinets, again, facilitating the need for constant organizational vigilance.

 

7. Layers of Lighting—

Long gone are the days of one large, intense light source for the entire kitchen; with lighting instead specifically placed wherever illumination is needed. In addition to saving energy, this creates a much more pleasant atmosphere.

Chandeliers or metal fixtures now hang over eating and food prep areas, and wall sconces gently direct light upward to brighten the room without being harsh on the eyes.

 

The kitchen is the room where your family gathers for meals, and the hub of any social gathering, making it important to give it style and function. If you’re thinking about renovating your kitchen décor, consider implementing one of the latest kitchen design trends described above to make it feel brand new. Most of the ideas can be done in affordable increments, so get started and make your kitchen the most eye-catching room in the house.