Ta daaaaa! Another beautiful kitchen is complete, and yes it’s white with Shaker doors. Surprise! Not. There were two main challenges about working in this home. First of all the architecture is very unique and is an integral part of the space. It’s comprised of posts and beams, angles and open lofts which remind me of a ship. The second challenge was a lack of unity with way too much going on visually. The existing kitchen had three different types of counter tops, two different types of cabinets and more stuff than space. In addition, hinges and drawer slides were failing and paint was chipping.
The homeowners came equipped with the most valuable of traits, an open mind. They were willing to see their kitchen and laundry area in a new way. Every step of the design process we would ask ourselves “does this unify and simplify”? Think “nautical zen”!
First off I decided to make peace with the posts and beams. The layout remained the same and we didn’t even change the door style or color! What we did was improve the fit and function. Using all white counters unified the space and allowed the blue granite back splash to be the star of the show. Here are some “before” pix and “after” solutions which will pave the way for smooth sailing in this new kitchen.
You’ve heard of Snakes on a Plane. Well yesterday we had snakes in a Kitchen Design Studio. Ok I exaggerate. It was one snake, a juvenile black snake (according to Trevor’s iphone Googling). I think he slithered in to tell me it’s high time I write a blog post so here I am with a topic that is especially near and dear to our hearts nowadays, saving money.
If you don’t have thousands of dollars to invest in a new kitchen, there are some small tricks that can make a big difference. Whether you just seek to make your tired dysfunctional kitchen great looking and user friendly, or you want to up the appeal for a potential buyer, these smaller upgrades fit the bill.
Consumer Reports’ latest tests offers the home owner a variety of low investment ideas to freshen up the kitchen. Here’s my twist on what they had to say.
“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.”- Henry Ward Beecher (Love the quote and was going to find a way to work it in here no matter what) SO, how about painting your nature in your kitchen? Paint is the most inexpesive low-risk investment you can undertake to make a dramatic difference. Most of us can even tackle the walls ourselves. You can be bold as there typically isn’t a whole lot of wall exposed in a kitchen (except this one!). Don’t forget to consider adjoining rooms and how colors will work together. I prefer a satin or even a semi-gloss finish that is easy to wipe clean in the kitchen. If you’re more ambitious and want to paint your cabinets, do it right. Remove the doors, drawers and hardware, clean all surfaces, sand or de-gloss, use a primer and take your time!
Make it work! (As Tim would say)
You know what I’m talking about. Are you tired of falling spice containers? Do you yearn for a convenient trash receptacle? If you’ve lived in your kitchen for a while you will probably have a few functional pet peeves. Many of them can be addressed without breaking the budget. There are all kinds of ways to store those unruly spices. Check out my previous post Spaces for Spices. If you have a 15” to 21” wide cabinet to spare you can install a pull out trash container. I’d say this is the number one accessory for a kitchen and every kitchen needs one! How about roll out trays? You can also purchase these and install them yourself if you’re handy.
One of the most visible elements in your kitchen is the counter top and a new one can make a world of difference. Unless you’re going with a laminate, and there are some really nice selections out there, you’re going to spend more than $1,000. If that’s the case make sure your cabinets are worthy. Check for damage, especially for water damage in and around the sink cabinet. If the integrity of your cabinetry is compromised you certainly don’t want to set a butt load of money on top! Did you know that once granite or quartz are installed no one will guarantee it can be removed without breakage?
Create a splash
The back splash is another visible element with a lot of impact. Here you can get even more creative than with the counter top because it’s purely decorative! Other than being cleaner- friendly it doesn’t have to do anything but look pretty. Tile, tin panels, or even wine bottle corks can make a unique statement on your back splash.
It looks great, it’s pet proof, kid proof and water proof. It’s really easy to install. I know, my hubs installed it for us and it still looks great after five years!
No excuses. I find that even the smallest project completed yields such a sense of accomplishment. These are even things you can do to tide you over until you have saved enough for the full Monty! (At which time you will call me) In the meantime, send me pix. I want to see what you can do.
In my last post we began to look at the challenge of creating an organized kitchen to cut down on stress and save time. Now that we have the pot /pots organized let’s look at some creative ways to store your spices. I love to experiment with cooking Indian food (lots of spices) and there is nothing more frustrating than digging in the back of a cabinet for the garam masala!
SPICES should be stored away from heat and moisture, so right over your cooking surface may not be the best option. A spice rack behind the door of an a cabinet close to your food prep area or stove is a good choice.
I like the ones with adjustable shelves. If you are adding one to an existing kitchen make sure that the shelves inside the cabinet are not going to get in the way when you shut the door. Hopefully, if your shelves are adjustable, you can work your way around that. Incidentally I also love to use these types of spice racks for storing over-the-counter and prescription medicines in the kitchen or bathroom.
Another way to utilize the back of a cabinet or pantry door for spice storage is to use a simple shoe rack!
My absolute FAVORITE way to store spices is the magnetic spice rack preferably on the back of a door as well. Containers are not very deep so they shouldn’t interfere with cabinet shelves. You can see everything clearly and you can even make one yourself! Click here to find out how to make one. Is this cool or what?!
Next up, sorting out the tupperware nightmare, making your utensils behave and your chance to win a “kitchen enhancing” accessory!