Converting A Little Used Room into a Pantry

Turn an unused or little used room into a pantry isn’t as difficult as you might imagine. Having a custom designed pantry for your needs can even save you money in the long run also because of being able to buy food in bulk. Custom designed cabinets can make sure you have a place for everything, and easy access too. So what makes the “perfect” pantry?

Where it’s located is the most important part of a pantry’s design. So be sure to try to locate the pantry as near as you can to the food preparation area. Four feet away is the ideal distance, but you also have to go with what works in your kitchen. If you’re lucky enough to have enough room for two pantries though, then only one needs to be near the preparation area.

If your pantry is more than 16 inches deep, then having custom cabinets designed with pullout trays, turntables or drawers makes reaching items easier. This way items which are stored behind other ones can be brought to the front easier.

The shelves which are above eye level should be have an open grid, or a coated wire grid so that you can see items from below.

If your pantry is the pull out type, then normal kitchen lighting is sufficient to see what’s on the shelves and in the bins. However; if the pantry is the type which is recessed, then it’s going to need its own lighting source. This could be an overhead light or custom LED light strips which could be placed where they would be the most use. In addition, if open grid shelving is used, then light will reach items easier.

Making an unused or little used room into a pantry can pay for itself.

Designing a Mud Room

Mudrooms are the perfect rooms to make the transition from the outside of your home into the inside. Mudrooms can provide extra custom made storage and keep storage under control also. But a mudroom should be functional and stylish.

So what is a mudroom’s function really? Well, a mudroom is a transition room from the outside to the inside that should offer cabinet space to store winter gear such as boots, winter coats and mittens in the winter. In the summer, it can store pool toys, towels and outside toys as well as pairs of sneakers. The extra storage space can also be used to store pet supplies and extra pet toys. By adding a bench, the kids can sit down to remove snowy boots or muddy sneakers so as not to track dirt through the rest of the house. A bench is additionally great for putting down grocery bags or work items such as a laptop bag. Plus; there can be additional storage under the bench, or if has a raised lid, inside the bench.

Also, hooks can be installed for hanging up coats and hats. In addition, if you can choose to install open shelves for easy access to items; it can make coming and going less chaotic. Or, if you choose to have custom designed cubbies (cubicles), each person in the home can have their own designated one. All items belonging to that person would be in the cubby and ready to grab for school, work or play.

Last but not least, what materials should you use for the design of your mudroom? Well, an easy to clean, long lasting floor is a priority option because of dirt and germs which will be tracked into the mudroom and the wear and tear. Other materials should be chosen also that will complement the design and décor of the rest of your home as much as is practical. In addition, the mudroom should add to the efficiency and organization of your home.

Mudrooms are not only efficient, but useful.

How to Maximize the Design in a Small Guest Bath

When you have a small bathroom in your home, there are ways to make it appear larger than it is without major remodeling. Because custom remodeling by knocking out walls isn’t always something you can do perhaps due to a tight budget or local codes, so you have to think of other options. For instance, using color can make a room appear larger or smaller. So using a color which is soft and pale will give the illusion of space. If bright or strong colors are used as accents such as with towels or shower curtains, this is even better.

In addition, using reflective surfaces and glass will open up the room. For example, instead of a frosted glass door or a shower curtain, a clear glass shower door will give the appearance of more space. Too, by having custom cabinets and shelves installed, you can use reflective surfaces to give it an expansive feeling. By using two mirrors on opposite walls also, their reflections will make it appear that there’s space even though there isn’t.

Additionally, if you install skylights, a large window or even glass block windows; this will provide sunlight and an open airy feeling. If natural light isn’t possible, you can also turn to artificial light. Further, by using recessed lighting you have the brightness without the feeling of something hanging over you.

Another thought is if there’s already a cabinet for storage, then replacing the regular sink with a pedestal sink will make the floor appear larger. You won’t really be able to take advantage of all its uses, but it will make the eye believe that the room is larger than it looks.

Too, if instead of shelves you have custom designed drawers for towels and bathroom toiletries, then the room won’t appear cluttered because everything is neatly tucked away.

A small bathroom can be made to appear bigger if you use some of these tips.

Features of a Custom Special Needs Bathroom

If you or someone who lives with you is disabled, having every part of the home accessible is important. This can include having a bathroom with special features to accommodate the disability. Because for a person who’s disabled, trying to use a standard bathroom can be extremely frustrating, not to mention challenging. Now when custom designing a special needs bathroom it needs to be not only functional, but comfortable and relaxing too. So what kind of special features are needed? Well, below is a list of thoughts for features in a custom designed special needs bathroom.

  • Modern technology is very helpful. So digital facets can be installed which have motion sensors so that stretching and reaching for the water taps and showerheads isn’t necessary. Also, water which is remote controlled as well as the water pressure too is even more handy. There are even remote controls for turning off and on lights and opening and shutting doors.
  • Walk-in showers can be both elegant and functional. There are also walk-in showers at floor level so that a wheelchair can ride into them. Wheelchairs can be made water resistant too so it’s easier entering and exiting showers. Also, having a sliding door installed that’s not as difficult to open and close can be done.
  • Custom toilets can be ordered for more comfortability at specific heights. Now to help with getting onto the seat, find out what the comfort zone is for the person and then get the measurements. It will be customized for the person and can even include safety bars to help with getting up and down.
  • Sinks can be designed so that a wheelchair will fit comfortably under them so that a disabled person can reach the sink to wash face and hands. Brushing teeth is also made easier with a custom designed sink. Additionally, custom build cabinets can be made so that the person can reach towels and other personal need items.

A bathroom for a disabled person can be functional, elegant and relaxing too.

How to Hide a Mess in a Play Room

Toys have a habit of exploding all over a home and hiding in corners. Sometimes an unsuspecting foot comes down on one, and it can badly hurt a person’s foot (Lego’s are known for this). Now one option to help prevent this kind of scene is to have a custom designed playroom.

So with a playroom that’s organized, everything has a place. Kids can learn to put the toys in custom designed cabinets too in containers and tidy up at the end of playtime. Having a separate play area catchall and playroom is also easier on parents since the majority of the toys are confined to one place and not all over the home. This way custom cabinets, drawers and shelves can be designated for toys, books, puzzles and games. Clean up will be simpler, and the kids will learn responsibility in cleaning up after themselves too; especially if the cabinets are in the playroom. Also, it’s makes it easier for the kids to find the toys that they’re looking for. But what if you don’t have an extra space to make into a playroom?

If you don’t have room for this kind of separate play area, you can keep toys under control too in whatever room or rooms the kids play in because bins and toy boxes are great for hiding messes in a hurry. A closet or empty cabinet would be perfect for storage as well as a custom made window seat with a storage space inside. Baskets are great for a quick pick-up and toss-in additionally.

Now if young children are having trouble remembering what goes where; pictures of general items could be taped to the places where the specific items need to be stored. Let the kids have input also on where they want to place they’re toys to be stored if practical. This will help them to remember where the toys go.

Keeping the area tidy of toys when playtime is over is easier done with organization.

Custom Built Kitchen for Special Dietary Needs

Sometimes a kitchen needs to be custom designed for special dietary needs. Now two types of diets which would need a special kitchen as examples would be would be kosher and gluten-free. This is because in a kosher kitchen, meat and dairy have to be completely kept separate. As far as a gluten-free kitchen, you can’t have any foods which contain gluten in contact with gluten-free utensils, preparation or cooking areas. So below is a description about what each kitchen needs to become either kosher or gluten-free.

For a kosher kitchen

Although having two sinks, two stoves and two different working areas is ideal, it’s really a personal choice. However; custom built cabinets designed to keep two sets of dishes, silverware, pots, bread trays, serving dishes and salt shakers will be needed. Also separate custom drawers will be needed for kitchen utensils and dish towels, etc.

When designing a kosher kitchen, everything must be designed with the thought in mind that meat and dairy can’t touch down to even fragments of the foods, and dishes or utensils cannot be reused; even after being washed, for foods other than that which they were designated for. So there will probably be a need for new countertops, possibly separate sinks and maybe a two-sided refrigerator. So talk to your contractor about the special needs of your kitchen.

For a Gluten-free kitchen

For a gluten-free kitchen, separation of foods that contain gluten from foods that do is a necessity. So having custom made kitchen cabinets to keep foods separate is one way to keep accomplish this. Also, keeping all the utensils for gluten-free preparation in a different drawer just for that purpose is important to avoid cross contamination.

In addition, it’s important to keep have two separate toasters and have separate condiments jars which are labeled gluten-free. Squeeze containers are really an excellent idea too since nothing can be entered into them from the top. Another thing to remember is to prepare gluten-free foods first when preparing meals. Too, thoroughly clean all counters before preparing a gluten-free food so that there is no casual use of an item from that day’s previous food preparation.

Having separate preparation areas for special dietary needs isn’t impossible; it just takes some custom planning.

Special Needs Features in Custom Kitchens

When a person has a physical disability, it doesn’t mean that living independently is impossible. When a home, and especially the kitchen is custom modified, it makes physical restrictions easier to manage. When thinking about remodeling a kitchen with a custom design, the balance has to be between what the requirements need to be for the storage, appliance and counters. Everything has to be within reach and considering those requirements needed to be accounted for. Below are several things to take into account when custom design cabinets, sinks, and counters:

  • Custom kitchen counters: A typical kitchen counter is at a height of 36” for a special needs kitchen the counter should be at a 34” height. Work space needs to be 30” wide and countertops need to be from 28” to 36” in height. Plus, adjustable counters are to be within a range of 28” to 36”. In addition, to allow for knee and toe clearance, be sure the countertop is not closed in with the cabinet base.
  • Kitchen sink: When planning the custom kitchen sink, it needs to have space under it to allow access for a wheelchair or a walker. Clearance for knees at a sink needs to be at least 27 inches high and 8 inches deep. For children, it needs to be 11 inches deep. Also, faucets can be a single level which makes control easier or touch control which will allow the person to turn it off and on with a touch.
  • Appliances: Appliances need to installed at a lower height at about 31 inches from floor. However, raise the dishwasher about 6 to 8 inches off the floor so accessibility can be from either side. By installing a side hinged oven door which opens to the side lets a seated cook get to the opening easier. Too, with the freezer on the bottom of the refrigerator, the freezer is easier to reach.

One last thing is to be sure that the doorway is at least 36 inches for easier passageway.

As you can see, an accessible kitchen is easier than you think.