How to Plan Your New Kitchen Remodeling Project

CSH RTA Ready To Assemble Cabinets

If your household is like many others, your kitchen is a lot more than just a single-cook, utilitarian space. It may serve as a room where multiple cooks work together at once, where you entertain guests, or where spend a lot of time with your family. It might even be a combination of a dining space and a cooking area, making it even more of a central component of your home. Because of this, you want your kitchen to look attractive and inviting–a place where both your family and your guests will feel at home. Here are some steps to make sure you plan the kitchen that is the right fit for your needs, especially if you’re replacing the cabinets and and redesigning the kitchen layout. Continue reading “How to Plan Your New Kitchen Remodeling Project”

Should You Use RTA Cabinets for Your Kitchen Renovation?

Bristol Birch cabinet

The prospect of replacing your kitchen cabinets can be daunting, but there are many good reasons to do it. You might be concerned about the sturdiness or age of your current cabinets, or maybe the layout doesn’t work for your specific needs. Whatever the reason, there’s a very good chance that buying ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets is a great option for your cabinet replacement project.

Continue reading “Should You Use RTA Cabinets for Your Kitchen Renovation?”

The Kitchen Work Triangle

kitchen work triangle(source)

The kitchen is one of the most frequently-used rooms in any home. Therefore, it's important that your kitchen is set up for maximum efficiency and ease of use. Having the right furniture, kitchen cabinets and accessories– and placing them in close proximity to each other- can change the entire workflow of your kitchen. This is commonly referred to as the “kitchen work triangle”.

The concept of the kitchen work triangle was established in the 1940s and is still used in many houses today. It focuses on the three main tasks performed in the kitchen (cooking, preparing and storage) and the appliances that help us get them done (the stove, sink and refrigerator). If these three items are in close proximity to one another, and form a triangle shape when connected with imaginary lines, it is easier to be more efficient in your kitchen.

There are a few others rules that the kitchen work triangle should have. These include each leg of the triangle being between 4 and 9 feet, no obstructions (including kitchen cabinets and islands) coming between a leg of the work triangle and that household foot traffic shouldn't interfere between the triangle. However, these don't need to be strictly enforced to have a successful kitchen working space.

Today's kitchens are fairly larger and more complex than those in the 1940s. Microwaves, coffee makers, dishwashers and other appliances all perform specific duties that take place in the kitchen. There are now spots in the kitchen for socializing, working on homework, watching TV and more. If you connected all of these new “areas”, you'd have more of a star shape than a triangle. Still, the main 3 functions listed earlier are crucial to a functioning kitchen, so the triangle concept still holds up to serve as a guideline. With all of your leftover space, you can focus more on decorations and extra appliances without everything being too crowded.

In larger kitchens, it's usually best to keep the work triangle to one section of the kitchen. From there on, you can use the rest of the space for seating or entertaining. This separates the kitchen into “work” and “play” sections, allowing everyone to make the most of the space.

If you're planning on remodeling your kitchen or starting from scratch, it is the

perfect time to try to incorporate the kitchen work triangle into your space. The extra planning and money you spend will save you time and energy in the long run. Placing your appliances too close together can make your kitchen feel cramped, while spacing them too far apart makes preparing food a hassle. Keeping the kitchen work triangle in mind when remodeling will make a large difference.

If you have a small kitchen, like a 1-wall kitchen in an apartment for example, the kitchen work triangle may not be feasible. In this case, it's best to do everything else you can to make your kitchen work for you. Keep important appliances and frequently-used accessories and utensils close to one another for easy reach and use. Make the most of your cabinets by maximizing their storage space with pull-outs or door racks.

Create the Perfect Guest Bathroom

If you have the extra space in your home and entertain visitors frequently, it might be a good idea to create a guest bathroom. Or if you already have one, there are many ways to spruce it up and make it welcoming. Simple additions, a good cleaning and updated fixtures are just a few of the quick and affordable things you can do to create the perfect guest bathroom.

 

Eliminate clutter. Clear off the sink and counter by getting rid of personal hygiene products and other items that take up space. Only the very basics (like soap) should be featured on the counter. This gives your guest plenty of room to store their own toiletries and practice their own grooming. The same goes for the shower or bathtub- provide only the basics and clear the

area of any other items. Make sure there are hooks or a hamper for wet towels to be dried or placed after each use. Overall, you want to keep the design simple for the guest.

 

Provide basic toiletries. Although each guest will most likely bring items of their own, you should still always supply the basic items. Provide enough towels and washcloths for the duration of their stay. Storing these in neat baskets or shelves in a practical and attractive technique. Make sure there is extra toilet paper, tissues and air freshener and that it isn”t hidden below in a drawer or cabinet. You should provide basic hand soap, whether it”s in a bottle or a bar, for the guests to wash their hands with. Display your favorite lotions, shampoos and soaps on a tray on the vanity counter so your guest knows they are for their use. Otherwise, make sure each shower is outfitted with basic hair and bath products your guest would use. Placing these items in the shower itself or on a nice tray makes them visible and appears welcoming.

 

Add fresh flowers. Fresh flowers are a lovely way to welcome a guest. If he or she is allergic, try using fake flowers or another nice centerpiece on the counter.

 

Feature adequate lighting. An effective bathroom will have both ambient and task lighting. Wall sconces at eye level are ideal for grooming and should be placed right next to the mirror (this is task lighting.) An overhead light is good for showering and other basic activities (ambient lighting). Make sure all lights have working bulbs before guests arrive and replace any old ones.

 

Give the bathroom a good cleaning. First, wipe down the mirrors so there are no streaks or dust. Sweep or vacuum the floors so there is no hair or other debris laying around. Use a household toilet cleaner to clean the inside of the bowl. Clean the shower walls and make sure the shower curtain isn”t moldy or old. Open the windows (if applicable) and run the fan to air out the space. A nice touch after a thorough cleaning is a deodorizer, candle, potpourri or another scented item.

 

Double-check for privacy. Make sure the door locks properly and that all window coverings or blinds work. You want your guest to enjoy their stay and not worry about their privacy.

*all images are from Houzz

Update the Look of Your Fireplace

Whether you're installing one for the first time or simply remodeling a room in your home, updating the look of your fireplace can change your entire living space. Fireplaces are often one of the focal points of homes and are usually located in the living room. Since they are seen and used by homeowners and guests quite often- especially in the cooler months- it's essential to make sure your fireplace is working properly and looking its best. Here are a few simple ways to update the look of your fireplace.

plinth block

Plinth blocks. Plinth blocks are square pieces of wood that serve as the base of columns, mouldings or pilasters. They add a nice transition from the moulding to the baseboard and add a decorative touch to your fireplace. They are available in a variety of sizes and styles to fit best in your home. It's important to make sure that the moulding is not wider or thicker than the plinth. Some people prefer to create their own plinth blocks, but they are available at most hardware stores and wood retailers.

fireplace mantel

Fireplace mantels. Another way to update the look of your fireplace is to install or change your mantel. These mantels are decorative pieces of framework that are placed above and around the fireplace. They are available in a wide range of materials, including fine woods, granite, stone, brick, marble and more. Wood mantels can be sculpted and carved with intricate patterns and details, setting your fireplace apart from the rest. You can also choose the color of your fireplace mantel- wood mantels can be painted, glazed or distressed for different colors and finishes. White mantels convey a clean look, while a bolder color will certainly make your fireplace the center of attention.

Fireplace accessories. An easy way to update the look of your fireplace is with accessories. Display your favorite photos, antique items and beautiful flowers on your mantel to add a personal touch to your room. Your favorite piece of artwork or a decorative mirror will also add interest to the space. Some people even choose to display their television above their fireplace mantel! Keep any fireplace accessories nearby in a clean and attractive manner, like a handsome log carrier or fireplace tool holder.

Clean. Cleaning your actual fireplace and the surrounding areas will instantly update the look of it. Sometimes a little cleaning and a fresh coat of paint is all a fireplace mantel really needs. Make sure you use the appropriate products and are careful of the debris. If it's best, hire a professional to clean your fireplace and the mantel.