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.

8 Household Uses for Masking Tape

One item that should be in every tool kit or drawer at home is a roll of masking tape. Masking tape comes in many different widths and colors and can be used for a variety of purposes in and around your house. Here are 8 household uses for masking tape that you may have never thought of.

masking tape for painting

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Painting. Masking tape, particularly the blue masking tape, can mark off areas you don't want to get pain on, such as trim around a door, a baseboard or the ceiling. This allows you to get a clean paint line and a professional look. Make sure you apply the tape in a perfectly straight line and seal the edge to prevent any bleeding paint.



masking tape label

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Labeling. Label your tools, wires, foods, containers and more with a piece of masking tape and a marker. Depending on what type of surface you are applying it to, the tape can be temporary or permanent.



masking tape cutting wood

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Cutting wood. To prevent splinters and frayed ends, apply a piece of masking tape around the wood at the line where you are about to cut it. Cut the wood as usual (cutting directly through the tape as well) and then remove the strip. The wood will have a clean cut without splinters or rough ends.



masking tape lint roller

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Picking up lint and debris. To quickly pick up pet hair, lint, excess glitter, sawdust or other materials, wrap some masking tape around your hand and get to work. Most small particles will stick to the tape easily and quickly.



masking tape streamers

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Hanging decorations. Masking tape doesn't leave a sticky residue like clear tape or other adhesives, so it's good for hanging decorations like birthday streamers. Try a clear masking tape so it will be less noticeable.



masking tape projects

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Holding two things together. Masking tape can temporarily hold two parts together while the glue or adhesive sets. It then can be removed once the glue is dry and the two parts are forged together.



masking tape game

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Entertain the kids. Give your kids a roll of masking tape and watch them create something special. Masking tape can be temporarily adhered to the floor (tiles, wood or carpet) to make a hopscotch board, a road for their toy cars, and much more. The possibilities are endless!



masking tape bag

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Seal opened bags. Whether it's a bag of potato chips or the flap on the cereal box, applying a piece of masking tape is an easy way to keep foods sealed so they will stay fresh. The tape easily removes when you want to open the food and then seals right back up for future use. You can also use a heavy duty masking tape to seal packages you will be sending in the mail.

A Guide to Clamps

Clamps are a popular tool used by many hardware experts and novices alike. Their basic function is to hold or secure objects together to prevent movement. Whether you are working on a home repair project involving wood, metal or another material, you may often need to use a clamp. However, choosing the proper clamp is very important. Here is a short guide to clamps for your next hardware project.

bar clamp

Bar clamps. Bar clamps, which are sometimes also known as “F-clamps”,  are usually used in woodworking projects where a permanent attachment is being made. They also are used for metalworking projects  including welding or bolting. They have a wider opening capacity compared to other clamps, which comes in handy for certain projects. The jaw is mounted on a flat bar and the large screw on the bottom lets you tighten and release the clamp to your pleasing.




toggle clamp

Toggle Clamps. Toggle clamps are different than the basic clamps in that they operate with a pivot and a lever, handle or another push/pull mechanism. The handle controls the device and the holding bar grips the work piece. These clamps are very secure since once the toggle clamp is locked on the pivot points, it will not release until  the lever is moved. Toggle clamps are very common in the areas of woodworking, carpentry, construction and even metalworking. They are popular for welding, milling and drilling.




pipe clamp

Pipe Clamps. Pipe clamps are commonly used in piping, cabinet or other woodworking projects. You will often see them used for gluing edges of wood together or assembling boxes or cabinets. They are made from clamp heads that are mounted on a common pipe. One clamp head is fixed (which features the screw for tightening), while the other slides on the opposite end of the pipe. Pipe clamps are similar to the bar clamps mentioned above. They actually are usually less expensive and seem to be a bit more versatile in terms of the length of the pipe.




spring clamp

Spring Clamps. Spring clamps are ideal for small work and light pressure projects. They typically are used to hold two or more objects together, such as corners or oddly-shaped objects. If you are gluing two pieces of wood together, for example, a spring clamp would be the ideal tool to use to apply pressure and hold them in place as they adhere to one another. Spring clamps are often used for woodworking, so if that's what you are planning to use them for, try to find spring clamps that are specifically made for working with wood (you don't want the clamp to crush the wood and ruin your project).

4 Easy & Affordable Bathroom Updates

Remodeling your entire bathroom can be an extensive and costly task. Thankfully, there are many small updates that can be made that will make just as large of an impact on the look and functionality of your room. These small updates require little time, little knowledge of home improvement and won’t burn a hole in your pocket.

1. Replace your fixtures. The two main fixtures that should be replaced are your faucets and shower heads The faucet is used by essentially everyone who enters the bathroom, so having one that is up-to-date, functional and attractive is a must. Many times, people use the default shower head that came with their home- these are usually older and may be rusted. Updating to a new shower head is inexpensive and easy. They make a variety of water-efficient ones that are great for those who want to “go green”. Lastly, replace any old cabinet knobs, pulls, and towel racks.

2. Make everything match. In many bathrooms, things are mismatched and there isn”t an overall aesthetic going on. Many times, people don’t see the decor of bathrooms to be as important as a living room or kitchen. However, by choosing towels, bath mats and shower curtains that all go together, your bathroom will become more inviting. Replace old hardware and knobs so that they all match. For example, make everything stainless steel or brushed nickel so it is cohesive. Adding a few paintings

or simple decor items will also help make your bathroom a more inviting space.

3. Switch up the lighting. The bathroom Her finner du over 450 casino spill, som inkluderer storheter innen spilleautomater, bordspill, poker, roulette og blackjack, som kan nytes i var nedlastbare casino programvare eller i vart flash casino. is a room where good lighting is a must. You need proper lighting to see while showering and bathing, as

well as when applying make-up, cleaning your face or brushing your teeth in the sink. Choose high-quality and ample lighting fixtures to replace old ones. Always replace burned-out bulbs with new ones so the lighting is as bright as possible. For more ambient lighting, install a dimmer switch if needed.

4. Update your cabinets. Putting in new cabinets altogether can be time-consuming and pricey, so by updating them just a little, you can see benefits. Your options include painting your cabinets a new color, refinishing them, applying a light glaze or gloss, simply giving them a good clean or replacing the cabinet doors. Adding new hardware also can spruce up the look of your bathroom.



*All images are from Houzz

The Murphy Door

What better way to utilize space and add some character to your home than with an easy-to-install door? The Murphy Door, also referred to as “the amazing bi-fold Hide-A-Door” or the bookshelf closet door, does just that.

The Murphy Door is essentially a set of bookshelves with unique hardware that turns them into a closet door. The outside of the door looks like a regular bookshelf, but with a simple tug on the center columns, it glides open to reveal a hidden room or closet.

The Murphy Door is easily customizable. You can choose from MDF (usually in black or white) or popular wood types (such as oak or maple) so your door will match the style and look of your home. The universal hardware fits 4’, 5’ and 6’ doors, and you can choose the door opening width of your choice.

The door is also very versatile. It adds function and style to any room in your home, including your bedroom, family room, a guest room, your home office or even in your kitchen as a way to hide your pantry. It also can hide unattractive rooms like the laundry room or a cluttered closet. It turns old or boring closet doors into an exciting place to display and store whatever you desire- books, collectibles, home goods or pantry items. The innovative and quality construction of these doors allows them to easily hold over 300 pounds. When the doors open, nothing will fall off of the shelves due to the unique hardware.

The Murphy Door bookshelf kit comes with everything you need to assemble your own hidden door- including the hardware, parts and pieces for the valance. The common tools that are required for the installation are a hammer, finish nails or brad nailer, a hack saw, a drill or screwdriver, a tape measure and a level. For a semi-skilled carpenter, the process will take about 1 ½ to 2 hours, while for a novice it may take around 3. Instructions with 3D drawings make this door easy to install.

 

How to Boost Your Home’s Security

Improving certain areas of your home can help it look more attractive or functional, but it also is a great way to increase the level of security in and outside of your home. One of the most common threats to your home is burglary, and since you can’t always be there to watch out for it, it’s important to take the proper precautions. Here are some easy and affordable options to help keep burglars out of your home.

Lock your windows. You would be surprised at how many people lock their doors but not their windows. Windows are another easy way for intruders to get into your home, so make sure to protect them with the proper locks. Closing blinds or curtains can also help prevent burglars from seeing any of your valuable items, such as purses or wallets, that are left in plain sight in your home.

Lock your doors. It is estimated that 81% of burglary offenses occur through the first floor of homes. This means that it’s more important than ever to make sure your primary and back doors are securely locked with the proper bolts, latches and guards. To instantly strengthen any door from being kicked in, add a deadbolt lock and a reinforced metal box strike. Don’t forget about your patio doors if you have them- some sliding doors can be lifted off their tracks, so an anti-lift device can help prevent this from happening.

Protect your indoor items. Even with all of the safety precautions in place on your windows and doors, your valuables inside your home are still at risk. Your home and office include drawers, cabinets, doors and mailboxes that contain private or personal information and belongings. Protect these items with drawer, cabinet and mailbox locks. Safes also are a great option for storing your valuables and keeping them protected from intruders or unfamiliar house guests.

Invest in an alarm system. This is a crucial step if you live in a high-crime neighborhood. Most alarm systems can be installed fairly quickly and are paid monthly. They help to increase the fear of being caught and will deter burglars from trying to enter your home. Alarm decals on your windows and signs on your lawn or outside of your home will increase this fear.

Befriend your neighbors. Your neighbors are a second set of eyes to watch your home when you aren’t there. After you’ve built trust and a friendship with them, establish some sort of system where they will watch your home for you while you are gone. On vacations or trips, have them pick up your mail, water your plants, etc. to show burglars that someone is watching the home.

 

The Best iPhone Apps for Remodeling Your Home

There are a variety of resources you will use when remodeling your home. Some common examples include magazines, brochures and websites. With the increasing popularity of smartphones, there is a now a new resource helping homeowners everywhere- apps. Here are a few apps that will help you stay organized and give you inspiration during your remodel.

Remodelista ($2.99)- This app includes a mobile-friendly version of the popular website, design inspiration images, products and much more. You can save all your inspiration into separate folders for complete organization on-the-go.

Home 3D ($6.99)- While the price on this one may seem steep compared to the free versions out there, it is worth every penny. This app allows you to create the blueprint of your home in a 3-D model. You can easily change the look anytime you want and there are so many options to choose from. You can choose the overall structure, the interior styling and even virtually walk through the rooms you create. This app is great for architects, interior designers and homeowners alike.

The Home Depot (free)- At some point in the remodeling process, you will need to make a trip to Home Depot. This app will enhance your experience both inside and outside the store. You can easily find and browse products, scan barcodes to get more information or buy the products and read product reviews.

HGTV To Go (free)- Every homeowner’s favorite channel can now be streamed on your iPhone. Watch full episodes and browse photos for inspiration and DIY instructions with this free app.

iHandy Carpenter ($1.99)- This app has every tool you need right at your fingertips. It includes a surface level, a bubble bar, protractor and ruler all in one.

ColorSnap by Sherwin Williams (free)- Choosing the perfect color- or finding a shade that matches an existing piece- can be very tricky. Luckily, this app by Sherwin Williams makes things a little bit easier. This app allows you to capture real-world colors and then find the paint shade to match. From there on you can choose coordinating colors or let the app do it for you! The app also has many sharing options so you can show your family, friends and interior decorators your colors.

Home Sizer ($2.99)- This app lets you estimate the size and functions of your home and helps to calculate the square footage. The cool calculator option allows you to estimate the value or construction cost of your home, as well as your monthly payment with the integrated mortgage feature.

Maximize Your Space with a Murphy Bed

murphy bed hardware

There are a variety of solutions to maximize space in your home, especially during a remodel. Some common bedroom space solutions include trundle beds, additional shelves and multi-functional furniture items. While all those options provide a small amount of extra room, installing a Murphy bed in your home can save a large amount of space.

Sometimes referred to as a wall bed or fold-down bed, a Murphy bed easily fits inside a closet, nook, cabinet or just against the wall. It pulls out from the wall and provides full floor access when not in use. These beds are commonly seen in small apartments or college dormitories, where space is limited.

Benefits of a Murphy Bed

-They provide extra storage space. When not in use, just put the bed up and you instantly have a few feet of extra space for activities, lounging or whatever you want. Most Murphy beds fold vertically, however there are horizontal versions which allow extra storage above and around the bed.

-They save you money. When compared to purchasing extra floor space or a larger home, a Murphy bed seems like a cheap alternative.

-They can make any room a bedroom. Murphy beds transform any space into a temporary bedroom. This is a great option for small, one-room apartments or for renters/homeowners who often have guests sleep over.

-They are easy to use. Most Murphy beds will either come with a set of instructions or could be installed by your contractor. In addition to the simple set-up, these beds are easy to use. Just simply raise and lower them yourself with their spring-loaded mechanisms.

-They are customizable. Murphy beds feature the same comfort and functionality as a regular bed. While some critics may compare them to a futon or couch, these pull-down beds feature a regular mattress that would be used on any other type of bed. You can choose the size of bed and mattress you would like- from a single all the way to a King.

Common Kitchen Remodeling Mistakes to Avoid

kitchen remodel

Your kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in your home. It's where you cook, eat and congregate as a family. So when deciding to remodel this popular room, it’s important to make the right decisions. With all of these important decisions to be made, there are bound to be mistakes. Luckily, due to trial-and-error of many remodelers before, there are some common mistakes people make and easy ways to prevent or fix them.

Changing your plans halfway through your remodel. It's far more effective to thoroughly plan and take your time when considering what you want your kitchen remodel to look like. Not spending enough time or doing enough research can lead you to want to change your entire vision halfway through. These design changes will increase your stress, budget and timeline, so it's best to be extra prepared and stick with your original vision.

Not enough storage space. Kitchens require tons of storage for utensils, food and cleaning products. Utilizing your cabinets, pantries and other storage spaces is crucial. Look into space-savers such as storage racks and cabinet pull-outs for your remodel. You can never have enough storage space!

-Paying too much attention to trends. The latest trends in kitchen cabinets, islands or tiles may only last for a few months. You should consider if something that's so trendy will still look good a few years from now. It's best to stick to a classic look and layout and then feature small accents that incorporate the trend- that way they can be replaced and changed with something new to suit your taste.

-Ignoring the lighting. Lighting is one of the most important aspects of any room in your home. Lighting is especially important in the kitchen, since you need clear vision for cooking and working effectively. Take into consideration the placement of the lighting, the type of the lighting, and the amount of natural light coming in from windows.

Forgetting about kitchen smells. It's inevitable that your kitchen will sometimes smell from the previous day's meal, but there are certain decisions that can be made to help with the bad odors. The first is proper ventilation. A good

ventilation system will help to improve the quality of the air, keep your kitchen cleaner and provide a more pleasant smell by venting the odors. The second decision dealing with smell is where to conceal the trash in your kitchen. You want to make sure there is enough room for a sizable garbage bin (unless you want to be dumping the garbage three times a day with a smaller bin). You also want to take into consideration recycling options and make sure the bin concealed to prevent odors.

Choosing the Right Type of Cabinetry

RTA Cabinets

When deciding to remodel your kitchen or bathroom, one of the most important aspects is the cabinets.  Since the cabinets are such a large part of your home renovation project, it’s important to choose an option that fits within your budget, time frame and existing home décor.

There are four main types of cabinetry to choose from- custom, semi-custom, stock and ready-to-assemble (RTA).

 

Custom

In an ideal world, every customer would be able to have custom cabinets in their home. They allow for the upmost customization, are made with precise attention to detail and are expected to last for a long time. The end result is a room that can be admired by guests and appreciated for years to come.

A benefit of choosing custom cabinetry is that they can be made to match any color, style or fit- allowing you to get as close to your dream home as possible. A disadvantage to custom cabinetry is the expensive price tag and the slower delivery time.

 

Semi-custom

The process of semi-custom cabinetry differs from the others in that construction begins once the details of the order have been finalized. The cabinetmakers take pre-built pieces and then finish them to suit the customer’s taste in size, shape and style.

Semi-custom cabinets are the perfect balance between stock and custom- allowing you a lot more flexibility in your choices of features and a shorter delivery time as well. Semi-custom cabinets are ideal for those who have a small kitchen or bathroom and don’t want to waste space on fillers. A disadvantage to semi-custom cabinets is that the level of quality can differ greatly among companies- so make sure to do your research beforehand. There also is a bit of a wait (usually around 4 weeks) for your cabinets to be completed depending on the amount of customizations.

 

Stock

Stock cabinets are made in bulk by manufacturers and are then readily available for immediate purchase or delivery. They are constructed to last a life time- however with the changes in home styles or your own personal taste in décor, you may not want to keep the same cabinets your entire life.

A benefit is the reasonable price and the quick delivery time or in-stock availability. Since many of the customization and ordering options are limited, stock cabinets are an easy way to get the job done fast. A disadvantage to stock cabinetry is that there are a limited number of colors, sizes, styles and finishes (since they are constructed before the customer places their order).  If the color or size doesn’t match exactly to your desire, you would need to re-paint or use filler strips to get the look and fit you want.

 

Ready-to-assemble (RTA)

RTA cabinets are a simple way to increase the value and look of your home without putting in a ton of money. Due to improvements in manufacturing, a decline in the economy and a new type of “DIY” culture, many cabinet manufacturers and homeowners alike are looking for cheaper alternatives when remodeling their home. There are now more companies producing and selling these RTA cabinets than ever before.

These ready-to-assemble cabinets are sold with all the hardware and assembly accessories needed for a consumer to easily assemble themselves. Usually the company will provide an instruction manual on their website, or you can find video instructions online at various home improvement websites or DIY blogs. If you would prefer to have a professional assemble them, or simply don’t have the time to do so yourself, that can be done as well.