Archive for the ‘Kitchen’ Category

The Smart Kitchen of the Future is Here

Technology is pervasive in many areas of our lives and the kitchen is no different. People are looking for convenience in all aspects of their lives and spending hours cooking dinner or cleaning up in the kitchen is something people want to avoid more than ever. After a long day at work, people don’t want to spend a couple of hours in the kitchen preparing food.

It’s no surprise that the global smart kitchen appliances market is expected to be worth $2.7 billion by 2022. We are going to see significant growth in the next 5 years. The smart refrigerator market is seeing particularly strong growth with the market expected to be worth $768.2 million by 2022.

Check out this infographic from Half Price for more information on the rise of smart kitchens and what the future may hold.

The-Smart-Kitchen-of-the-Future-is-Here

What’s That Smell? Simple Solutions to Making Your Kitchen Sink Smell Better

Do you have a kitchen sink that has a bad smell coming out it? If so, we have a few quick fixes to help get that stink out of your sink.

For Sinks with Garbage Disposals

sinks-with-disposals

Sinks with garbage disposals built in are a lot more likely to have food and waste going through them. While this can be convenient cleaning up around the kitchen, it also leads to a smelly sink. Other common causes for undesirable scents can be rotting food in your pipes or grime that builds up. Not only does it cause your sink to stink, left untreated it can also cause clogs down the line. Many of the following tips will leave your kitchen cleaner but can also save you money down the line.

What-is-that-smell

Dish Soap & Hot Water

Start this trick by filling your sink mostly full with soapy hot water, then turn on the garbage disposal, and unplug the sink. The hot water will fill up the garbage disposal, and hopefully flush out anything that may be causing the odor.

If this doesn’t work, then you will want to go on to more astringent methods to both clean and sanitize.

Coarse Salt, Lemon Peels and Ice Cubes

Another way to get rid of bad smells and clean any persistent gunk that maybe stuck to the blades of your disposal is this trick. Drop a handful of ice cubes and a few tablespoons of coarse salt to clean the disposal out, then put a whole lemon peel in after, grinding it up, to remove and smells.

Lemon and Vinegar Ice Cubes

This last method takes a little more effort but works wonders at getting rid of gross odors that won’t go away. Slice a lemon into small 1 inch cubes. Next, place the lemon cubes into an ice trey and cover with white vinegar. Put the lemon and vinegar filled ice tray into the freezer to set over night. The next day pop a few down the drain with the faucet gently running, and turn on the disposal. With a flip of the switch, the unpleasant scents should be gone.

 

For Sinks without Garbage Disposals

Sinks without garbage disposals have no way to clear themselves of buildup, which can lead to gross odors.

Boiling Water

water-sinkDon’t underestimate the cleaning power of hot water. To do this, just boil a pot of water and directly pour it down the drain. The sudden heat can dislodge grease and other buildup that may be causing the smell.

Vinegar & Baking Soda

No, we’re not making a homemade volcano but still, this same recipe is also a quick way to kill any odor causing bacteria living in your drain.

Pour 1 cup of baking soda followed by 2 cups of vinegar into the drain. Let the concoction bubble for a bit, then pour a pot of boiling water in to flush it all down the drain. For some extra strength, try adding coarse salt to the mix to really scour the gunk out of your drain.

Keep The Stink Away All Year Round

One final trick to keep stink away is sprinkle baking soda in to your drain periodically. This kills bacteria, and helps keep grease and other food waste from building up which will result in keeping any bad smells away for longer.

 

Author Bio: Leo stays busy running his plumbing company, Rooters on Time, in sunny Los Angeles, California. He’s been around pipes his whole life and loves to share his experience with others. When he’s not working, he can be found in his garage woodworking or doing other home improvement projects around his own home.

 

How to Find an Oven and Stove to Perfectly Fit Your Needs

image 3It used to be that only two choices were needed to be made when you’re buying a new oven: whether you want a gas stove with a gas oven, or an electric stove with an electric oven attached. These days, however, are long gone and, with a ton of variety of stoves to choose from, newbie buyers are likely to find themselves confused by a ton of new options and vocabulary to learn. Although modern day stove technology might be overwhelming to catch up on, they truly do mean accessibility, usability and quality, in general. This is why we’ve come up with a buying guide into the world of modern stoves.

The Financial Part

First things first – it all boils down to money. If you have a borderline infinitely deep pocket, your troubles end here. However, most of us are dealing with a limited budget, so you should designate an amount of money that you’re willing to spend at the very beginning. Keep an eye out on sales, which occur particularly during holidays, especially holiday weekends. Here, you should rely on the Internet, by subscribing to updates from many retailers, such as Home Depot, Sears, Lowes and Best Buy. Not only will this keep you updated with the dates of sales or presales, but also give you access to emailed coupons, no matter the way you choose to buy – in-store or online.

Get in Touch with Your Needs

The need for different stoves changes, depending on your type of diet and your general food making needs. If you bake a lot, you should consider getting a double wall oven, for example. There are many more types to choose from and dual range ovens and single ovens do not even begin to describe this variety. This is the part where you narrow down your selection.

The Variety

image 4On the previous note, most manufacturers have multiple oven and stovetop combinations to fit your needs. Dual-fuel ranges, for example, offer the benefits of a gas stove, as well as the temperature precision of electric ovens. Regardless of your choice, bear in mind that it is always safer to opt for professional oven installation, rather than doing it on your own, for the sake of both safety, as well as for avoiding unnecessary financial loss.

Stove types:

  • Electric smoothtop – Also known as glass-ceramic cooktop, these sleek and shiny stoves are made of completely smooth glass-ceramic surfaces, instead of separate coiled burners. The heating units are placed under the surface and a built-in sensor indicates if a burner is still hot. The downside to this cooktop, which include susceptibility to scratching pales in significance in comparison to the safety it provides.
  • Electric coil – These work by converting the electricity running into the coil into heat, by means of conductible metals. These too come equipped with thermostat sensors, to notify you when the burner is on, although not necessarily of whether it’s still hot or not.
  • Induction cooktops – The cooking vessel here becomes the heat source in itself, by means of a magnetic field, placed just below the cooktop surface.

Oven types:

  • Electric – Here, food is cooked through the radiation of heat from a heating element at the top or the bottom of the oven.
  • Gas – Powered by the same gas as stoves, these feature electronic igniters. These are found as parts of a freestanding range, as single wall ovens, or as double wall ovens.

Stoves and ovens have come a long way since their original inception. With a variety of choices to choose from, one should always consider their needs, as well as their budgetary limits. We hope that this guide will help you get the most out of your stove and oven purchase.

 

Cheap and Easy Ways You Can Use To Update Your Kitchen

image 2Upgrading your kitchen can be an expensive investment, and for those who are on a tight budget they will have to think of creative but fun ways to update their kitchen’s look. Luckily, there are a few tricks you can pull off which will give your kitchen a great new look, without having to spend a lot of money on it.

Simple But Effective Handle Upgrades

Most of the handles and pulls in your kitchen might be loosen, or a different colour from the overall design you have. Now is the perfect chance to bring some order and harmony into your kitchen, but, you will have to make sure that you stick to one design if you want to really spruce up your kitchen. Keep in mind that even if you opt for a colourful choice, you can make it happen, but your kitchen must be able to withstand such a drastic change.

Give Your Cabinets a New Coat of Paint

Replacing your cabinets in the kitchen can end up being really pricey, and instead, if there is nothing wrong with them, repaint and breathe new life into them. Moreover, this will be a good opportunity to add a layer of protective coating as well, so that your cabinets will last longer. Though, be careful how you go about it and make sure to avoid some of the more basic mistakes in order to finish everything in one go, without having to redo everything from start.

Add a More Rustic Feel to Your Kitchen

Everyone has stuff just lying around the house, collecting dust and having no purpose. But, if you decide to add rustic elements, you can really spice up your kitchen and give it a makeover that will surely feel like you have made a completely new one. Alternatively, this will a good a way to introduce natural elements which are not expensive to get, and which can really brighten up your whole kitchen.

Lights Matter a Lot

The type of lighting you have in your kitchen can make all the difference. Make sure that if you are going to replace your lights that you go for more energy-efficient ones, which will not only save you some money on your energy bills, but it will also give off a more natural light as well. On the flip side, carefully placed lights can help in defining your kitchen space and make it seem bigger as well.

Installing Simple Décor

image 4Installing a bar in your kitchen can really breathe in new life, and it is a simple DIY project you can complete quickly and without a lot of money involved. Moreover, you can put on display some of your favourite liquor specials, wines and even your finest selection of beer. Be sure to get a few stools as well, and you can have a pub at home for your friends to enjoy when they come over for a drink.

Your kitchen is an important part of your home, and even though you might not have as many guests coming in there, yet it is a centrepiece you have to give a good design. On the other hand though, it is a room which will need a bit of investment to make it happen. Nevertheless, most updates you add to your kitchen can be done on your own, and they will mostly require a bit of time to finish. And, if you take good care of your new instalments, you can ensure that your kitchen will look amazing even after a couple of years later.

 

DIY Dos and Don’ts: Beware of the Kitchen

1We all love to do something with our own two hands, especially when it comes to in-home renovations or repairs. And that is praiseworthy. Still, there is only so much an average person can do when tackling such an important room in the house – the kitchen. Not only is the kitchen one of the most used rooms, but it can also conceal many hazards you cannot predict. In this specific room, a lot of actions that can lead to potential disasters are performed, such as cooking with electricity and gas, using various electrical devices, etc. So roll up your sleeves and do what you can – leave the rest to the professionals. Here are some things that you can and others that you must not do by yourself when remodelling the kitchen.

DO: Plan Everything

You really do not need an interior decorator to decide what your kitchen will look like. Still, there are some basic things you should have in mind. Take inventory of what you have and what you intend to keep in the kitchen to avoid clutter from even appearing. There are two tried-out kitchen layout basics designed for efficiency: the work station (separate sections for preparation, cooking, baking and cleaning) and the work triangle (sink, stove and refrigerator are placed in a way that the space in between forms a triangle).

DON’T: Anything that Has to Do with Electricity

Ok, we all know that there are numerous websites telling you how to DIY – install electrical wiring and outlets. Still, as simple as it may look, it is not as easy as connecting the red wire with the matching colour. Safety issues when it comes to electrical projects are no joke. Even if it seems like you have done a great job, once you turn on the power after, many problems can occur (outlets buzzing, odour of burning plastic, or some more serious signs).

DO: Paint the Walls and Cabinets

2Painting is not a complicated task, and the best thing about it is that you can turn it into a fun family activity. Painting the walls can be finished really fast, because you will not have so much space at your disposal (due to the tiles and cabinetry). Before you start with the actual job, you will have to prep the surface (clean the walls, remove old layers of paint from wooden elements, etc.). Use the painter’s tape to protect the areas you do not want to paint. Apply the primer and then roll on paint in a “w” shape.

DON’T: Tile the Floor and Walls

Unless you have some previous experience with tiling and all the right tools, you should steer away from grouting your own tiles unless you want to end up with uneven spaces between them. This may not be a dangerous outcome, but be aware that the mistakes in this case can be really obvious. Poorly done transitions, cuts and other details that seem almost invisible in the moment of tiling will be eye-catching and annoying later.

DO: Hire Remodelling Professionals

For all those things that simply cannot be done (or at least done properly) with your own two hands, a wiser choice is to hire professionals. Finding experts for renovations in Sydney, Melbourne or any other major city should not be difficult. Just make sure you ask for referrals (word of mouth is your best information source) and check their credentials and previous work. Do not settle for the first candidate, but do several interviews. Ask about insurance that will protect you from liability and how much the kitchen remodelling could add to the value of your home.

Though we believe that everyone’s two hands are capable of some DIY remodelling missions, there are some tasks better left to professionals. It is not diminishing your handiness, but appreciating the people doing what they are trained for.

Silestone Countertops: What is Silestone?

countertopWhile most kitchen and bathroom countertops are commonly made of granite or marble, silestone is another lesser known option.  Silestone is a compound made up of 94% natural quartz, one of the hardest materials in nature.  Because of this, silestone countertops are extraordinarily resilient and durable.  It is a gorgeous material which makes it a desirable piece for countertops throughout the home, indoor or outdoor.  Because of the way silestone is created, it’s easy to find many different colors, patterns and textures which can fit perfectly within your idea of style and beauty.

Just as with all countertops, silestone countertops require a unique form of cleaning and maintenance.  Because of the way it is created, silestone does not even need polishing. Silestone is made of non-porous materials and, often times, contains an anti-microbial agent, ensuring microorganisms do not flourish on the countertops.  In most cases soap and warm water may do the trick but for certain stains, you can clean counters with these options:

  • For grease stains, apply a small amount of 409, Windex or a common household cleaner and rub with a scouring pad. Rinse immediately with water.
  • For marks left by glasses, use hydrochloric acid on the surface and let sit for one minute. Rinse immediately with water.
  • For silicon stains, use a knife and a solvent. Rinse immediately with water.

Due to its resilience, silestone countertops are highly resistant to acids, oils, coffee, wine and soft drinks.  However, there are many products you should avoid cleaning with, including:

  • Hydrofluoric acid, Dichloromethane, NaOH – caustic soda, and Paint Strippers. Do not use under any circumstance!
  • Bleach or Degreasing Agents – Do not use for maintenance. If you do, immediately rinse with water.
  • Alkaline products – When this product remains on the surface for more than 12 hours, it may cause the countertop to lose its sheen.
  • Trichloroethylene, Acetone and Paint Thinner – These may be used to remove a specific stain but if so, after scrubbing, wipe off the product with water.
  • Water Repellants – Do not use water repellants or sealants to bring out the luster.

With these simple cleaning tips, you will be able to enjoy your silestone countertop for many years to come!  For more information on silestone countertops, contact the professionals at Stone Tech Marble.

 

What’s Left in Kitchen Design? Three Innovations to Look Forward to

Whats Left in Kitchen Design Three Innovations to Look Forward toThree of many exciting kitchen innovations that you can really look forward to if you are considering renovating include the increased use of beautiful wood as well as unique rustic or contemporary improvements.

It is possible to employ the expertise of a kitchen designer who would help you explain and choose exactly what you have in mind in order to make your dream come true and within your budget. That expert would analyze the space involved, recommend the best layout and appropriate appliance sizes, order the cabinetry to precise measurements, review architectural constraints, and coordinate the professional installation that is guaranteed with free touch-ups and adjustments during the first year. Here are a few of the innovations and trends in kitchen design you can expect to soon put in your own home with the help of experts such as those at Kitchen Remodeling in Westchester..

More Use of Wood

Plain white kitchens are boring, and the trend of using wood accents can add to their richness and warmth. Imagine wrapping stainless appliances in elegant wood in a choice of colors. For a food prep surface, consider Wenge, which is naturally dark and has no stain. Using the strong wood, teak, for the base cabinets, shelving and island gives the kitchen richness and a timeless feel. Matching wood cabinet panels could disguise storage hidden in the back splash area or triangular corners and thus create additional storage area. Dark wood floors add a simple and yet elegant backdrop.

Rustic Suggestions

Picturing a French country farmhouse in your mind could include using the natural stone granite rather than stucco. Stone walls are quite traditional and make a wonderful background for cabinets and appliances. Re-purposed wood can be used in a variety of ways to give a days-gone-by appeal. Wood beams from an old barn or the boarding on an old inn’s ceiling can add distinctive touches. A set of wall cabinets can be added with opaque glass to hide more storage for pots, pans, small appliances, etc.

A Contemporary Selection

If you prefer a contemporary kitchen that gives easy access as well as a lot of preparation and clean-up space for the family chefs and helpers, the larger than life look and feel of engineered concrete counter tops is simple and functional for those purposes. Add stainless-steel accents and a glass-tile back splash to reinforce the design. Cabinet doors can be eliminated and replaced with quick-access well-lit shelving.

 

Domestic Kitchens: Ready for Professional Fridge-Freezers?

fridgeIt’s a well known saying that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where families spend a lot of their time together, and where friends usually congregate. The economic downturn over the past few years has seen more people entertaining at home rather than going out, and this, combined with an increasing number of chefs becoming celebrities in their own right through inspirational cooking programs, has triggered a nation of chef ‘wannabes’; people wanting to raise their skills to create culinary masterpieces akin to the likes of Gordon Ramsay and Tom Kerridge.

It’s no wonder therefore that there’s a demand for appliances to up their game. The high-end functionality found in professional appliances used by chefs in commercial kitchens is now being incorporated into domestic appliances, so that storing, preparing and cooking techniques can be emulated at home.

Arguably, the fridge-freezer is one major appliance which should be the first on the list when it comes to considering professional appliances. Your skills may rival a Michelin star chef’s, but it’s no good if the ingredients you’re using are not at their best.

Professional fridge-freezers, such as those manufactured by SubZero, provide a myriad of functions designed to store different foods at their optimum temperature and climate. For example, some of the functions in professional fridge-freezers include:

  • Antimicrobial air purification systems  – a filter which removes odours, bacteria and ethylene gases (which cause over-ripening), to increase the lifespan of fresh produce
  • Zonal refrigeration – different foods require different climates for ultimate freshness. In some professional fridges there are separate climate zones which are kept at a different humidity and temperature in order to keep salads and vegetables fresher for longer
  • Electronic system monitoring – the life of certain components, such as the water cartridge, is monitored automatically so that if they need replacing you are alerted
  • Temperature control, which ensures that it does not vary more than one degree from the thermostat temperature.

Despite their typically large size, thanks to technological developments, professional fridge-freezers are also extremely energy efficient, with some large American-style models using less energy than a 100 Watt light-bulb. This means that investing in an appliance such as this will pay dividends in the long run, not only by reducing food wastage, but helping save money on energy bills.

Professional fridge-freezers are designed with the high functionality deemed a ‘must-have’ by chefs in order to keep produce fresh and flavorsome for as long as possible. So, bring out the pasta machine and the pestle and mortar; you can be safe in the knowledge that your dishes will pack a flavorsome punch.

Article submitted by Juliette Raine, Marketing Manager at Westye – the European home of Sub-Zero & Wolf. To find out more about Sub-Zero refrigerators and the Wolf Dual Fuel range visit www.subzero-wolf.co.uk.

Making Your Small Kitchen a Bigger One

kitchen floorThe kitchen is not only the place of cooking and eating. It is the true heart of the home. It is the place to entertain family and friends. For small kitchens every inch is important to make out most of the kitchen.  If you want your small kitchen to sparkle with both style and efficiency you need to take care of following things.

Create open shelving:

Open shelving will give sense of airiness in tight space. Place items with the same shape and size in one group to show order.

Streamlined your kitchen:

Get rid of extra items no longer in use. Simply tossing the things you don’t use will help your kitchen look bigger.

Create a useful island:

Replace the kitchen table with island. This will increase the storage capacity too. Use base cabinets of table height or normal counter height and top them with countertop material. Leave space for chairs.

Use compact appliances:

You will find many compact space-saving appliances in the market. Buy them for your small kitchen.

De clutter the cooking and dining areas:

Use specially-made narrow trays in the drawers near the sink and range. Place all the necessary items such as knives, folks, spoons, and napkins in a caddy in the dining area.

Clean the counters:

Don’t place any big items on the counters. Install an under-the-counter microwave, toaster and sandwich maker. Hang up your pots and pans. This will provide extra storage and also add charm to your small kitchen design.

The galley kitchen:

Use the galley kitchen design, a design that lines up the appliances and cabinets on either side of corridor. This will serve well in very small kitchen.

Choose light colors for kitchen:

White is perfect for every kind of kitchen. Light colors will give a warm cozy look and also brightness.

Create illusion with lightening:

Proper lightening will add a spacious look to your kitchen. Lights under cabinets and counters will give an amazing effect. Hang some pendants over dining area to discriminate it from cooking area. Pendant lightening will glorify the kitchen. But always use pure white lights.

Keep your kitchen simple:

You must keep your kitchen as simple as possible. Simple natural-fiber accents and pale windows will give the feeling of openness.

Choose some art work:

Art work will describe your personality. Select some beautiful art like vintage signs or paintings and add beauty by hanging this custom canvas print on the walls of your kitchen.

Utilize wall space:

Attach metal shelves to the walls and place mugs, recipes, bottles, tea and spices all on one easy to reach place.

Add comfort:

Place a rug at dining area to give comfort underfoot while having your dinners or breakfasts.

Allow the sun shine in:

Use a big grand window for the kitchen so that sun light comes in and illuminate the whole kitchen.

You don’t need to follow all of these tips. Incorporating only one or two will give magical effect. Have fun and make your kitchen a real heart of your home.

Kitchen Remodeling Energy Benefits

Denver ContractorsAs the center of a home, kitchens are a fundamental room that homeowners take pride in as a place of establishment that is meant for gathering and entertaining.  Kitchens allow us to cook gourmet meals, host parties, be creative and entertain guests. Lighting, refrigeration and cooking are responsible for over 41% of a home’s energy consumption. You want your kitchen to be spectacular and energy efficient, something that a remodel can provide you with.

Kitchen remodeling projects yield a 76% return on investment depending on the size of the kitchen and of the remodel. Remodeling your kitchen will provide you with a design that you desire to make your kitchen beautiful and functional while being energy efficient.

Creating an energy efficient kitchen doesn’t need to be expensive or time consuming. Your old appliances are one of the main reasons your energy bill runs higher than you would like, they use more energy than necessary, so the older an appliance is, the more energy it uses. Appliances use about 13% of the energy of a home, and by choosing smart appliances you can save up to one-third of your energy bill.

Companies that have provide Energy Star labels on their appliances tend to producer higher quality, energy efficient kitchen appliances. Companies such as Kohler, Bosch, GE, Kenmore, and KitchenAid are some of the appliances that have the Energy Star labels on them. These tend to be roughly 30% more efficient than standard appliances that don’t have the label.

Making your kitchen energy efficient doesn’t require spending your life savings. Most green and energy efficient materials are cost-competitive with traditional ones. They focus on being low-maintenance and long lasting, therefore you will pay less for repairs and replacements over the life of the appliance. You’ll also be saving money on your energy bill with these energy efficient appliances, making it a better price in the long run.

Appliances aren’t the only way that you can give your kitchen an economically friendly atmosphere, your cabinets and counter tops can be eco-friendly as well. Materials made without toxic substances or that are made locally don’t contain formaldehyde and are sustainable for multiple generations.

Efficient lighting can also reduce your energy bill. By installing Energy Star light fixtures, it’s possible to reduce your energy bill by $70 annually. Using compact fluorescent lights saves up to 75% off your lighting costs.

Remodeling your kitchen to be energy efficient will save money and make your home look more aesthetically pleasing. By having Energy Star appliances and light fixtures, economically friendly cabinets and countertops, your home will produce a more cost efficient energy bill than before.

About the Author:

Denver contractors Division One is happy to bring you this article kitchen remodeling energy benefits. If you are interested in kitchen remodeling in Denver, be sure to check out their website today.

 

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