Tag Archives: kitchen

Mixed Materials for in the Kitchen

When you mix several different materials in your kitchen, not only does it give it a unique appearance, but you can save you money. You may want a to combine different materials between your countertop and your cabinets. Or you might choose to mix in some granite but not for the entire kitchen.

Combining material ideas

One of the places where mixed materials are used most often is on countertops. You can combine butcher block for the area where you cut vegetables but use something else for the other countertops. Butcher block near a kitchen sink isn’t a good idea because it can be damaged by a constant source of water.

Also, on a kitchen island, authentic granite can be used where it can be seen. Then you could use laminated faux granite on what doesn’t show. Many materials which are natural have synthetic counterparts which complement each other. It can save you the expense of real granite throughout your kitchen.

Other ideas

Another option is to have resin surfaces installed. The resin is a blend of polyester or acrylic with fillers made from minerals. It has a smooth almost natural stone like feel to it. It comes in assorted solid colors, as well as patterns which resemble stone. The surface is solid, and it’s easy to maintain and clean. Plus, if you stain it or burn it by accident, these problems can be removed by buffing or by doing other repairs quickly.

The resin is also easier to work with than stone because it can be cut and pieced together. You can use contrasting colors and assorted shapes for a unique touch too. A router can be used on it to give you an elegant edge.

Tiles are made from clay which has been high-fired heated. The surface has been baked, and this lets it resist water, heat, and stains. With proper care, it will last a lifetime. You should clean the grout when it becomes dirty though. It can be on countertops, backsplashes, and floors.

As you can see, you don’t have to stay with one material when remodeling your kitchen.

Functional Ideas for a Small Kitchen

3128778 - compact modern kitchen with the built in home appliancesYour kitchen is tiny, and you’d like to have it redone, but you’re not sure which direction to go. First consider this, why not have open storage in the overhead cabinets instead of kitchen cupboards with doors that shut. Without doors, it will give the kitchen an airier feeling too, and you won’t feel as boxed in. You can also have installed scaled-down appliances where less is more. So an apartment sized refrigerator can be installed instead of full sized one or perhaps a two burner stove and a single kitchen sink. Further, if counter space is an issue, you can purchase a roll away counter topped cart. It will give you extra storage; plus extra counter top, and it can just be concealed in a closet when not being used. So by having smaller installed you can have more appliances.

Another idea is using glass to open up your kitchen and give you a sense of spaciousness. You can have a contractor install patio doors for an outside view or larger windows to expand your space visually. Or install glass doors on your cabinets or reflective glass tile to lighten things up. Adding mirrors tastefully can also give a sense of space.

In addition, think about your lighting. Good lighting makes things look bigger and beautiful. So you can have custom installed lighting under your upper cabinets which will shine on your countertops. If you hang a pendant light over the eating area, it will increase the amount of light over your table or counter too. Also, on the base of your custom cabinetry, you can have lighting that will shine down onto the toe plate. This gives a starlight effect at night.

For an inexpensive choice for the floor, tile or linoleum can be used in an eye-catching color, and then that color be accented throughout the kitchen. Or if you’d like the kitchen to appear taller, using light colors or pastel colors with a mixture of white will do the trick. But also if you like bold colors, it can be very effective in a small kitchen if used correctly.

A small kitchen can be functional and beautiful regardless of the size.

Benefits of a Double Island in Your Kitchen

If your kitchen is large enough, then having a kitchen island installed gives you the advantage of having an extra kitchen working area. Also the islands can be built with cabinets which can match the rest of the kitchen. The cabinets then can be used for the storage of pots and pans and countertop appliances. In addition, you can have the island customized for your individual needs. So maybe you’d like a wine cooler or a small refrigerator for cold drinks worked into the design. Too an island can be used only for meal prep and cooking so that a small prep sink can be installed in it as well as a cutting board.

However; in a smaller kitchen an island may not be practical because of space limitations. It could interfere with walking around the kitchen or opening the refrigerator or kitchen cabinet doors. In this instance, you may consider a rolling island which can be used and then rolled away and stored.

But, what if you have an extremely large kitchen and both you and someone else in your household like to cook at the same time. Then you may want to look into having a double island installed in your kitchen. Also when you have a double island custom installed, it gives you more work space and places for you and your company to sit. Too with two self-styled chefs sharing a kitchen, then having enough storage space is very important. But a double island can give you needed storage space on both sides of the island. Here then definitely having this custom made may be the best solution. You may want a sink at the one end additionally so that there is a handy water source; plus, room along the whole counter for food preperation.

A second island also could also work for just one cook. One island could be used as the prep and cook area, and the other island could be where people sit. Some cooks enjoy having an audience when they cook too, but actually not in the cooking space; this then could work very well.

Having an island in your kitchen; and the type of island, is a matter of space, personal choice and needs.

Creating a Functional Office Space in Your Kitchen

More and more people are working from home while still dealing with immediate family needs. So sometimes an office in your kitchen is the answer where you still have efficiency and also have a smooth flow for dealing with work and family. An office/kitchen is an especially good idea too if you just don’t have house space. Now if you are interested in doing this, the first thing you need to find out is how much space you have to work with and then to figure out how much storage and desk area potential you have. To help in all this, this is how you proceed:

  • Create some type of boundary between your work area and the kitchen work area. Here, visual boundaries work well because it gives a definition of space. So maybe you can put the office area behind a half wall or an alcove or a folding screen which can hide the office when not needed.
  • You may also want to have custom made upper cabinets to hide outlets for your computer, fax machine and cell phone chargers. Another idea is to have a narrow shelf installed above your desk to help keep your desk cleared of these items. Another great tip that will avoid you a stressful call to a place like Don’t Panic IT Solutions is to consider your desk a no spill zone, since water can devastate your computer parts very easily. Speaking from experience, don’t drink at the computer, take small break, stretch your eyes out a little at the same time.
  • Be sure to have proper lighting. You can have a contractor install lights under custom built cabinets to keep your work area well-lit.
  • Think about cabinets with special storage options to help keep paper, supplies, your computer tower as well as the fax and printer out of sight. Also keep in mind that pull out shelves take up less space than opening doors. A pull out shelf can store the bulkier items that you have too such as a printer or fax machine. This will allow you to have more of your workspace clear.
  • A closet is another option to store your printer, computer and fax machine in. You can have outlets installed where needed with everything on shelves; ready to go, to use it when needed, and then you just close the door when you’re done.
  • Another place for storage is an island counter in the kitchen. You can store office supplies products in an empty drawer and keep them out of sight with this.


Having an office space in your kitchen isn’t impossible with some planning.

In-law Suite’s and Adding a Small Kitchen

inlaw-kitchenWhen considering a multi-general household, there are some important factors to consider. One of the easiest way to make changes is to add an in-law suite on to the house you’re already living in. You can have a professional contractor to help you plan to make a separate living area that will easily accommodate one or two people. When considering the plans for the in-law suite, you may want to consider a separate bathroom, bedroom, a living area and a separate entrance. Where the problem may lie though is if you install a separate full kitchen.

Because in some states, if you install a full kitchen, it may cause a zoning problem issue. Some zoning codes consider an addition with a full kitchen as a rental. If your neighborhood isn’t zoned for rentals and just for single family residence, this could pose a major problem. However, there are ways to get around that particular problem and still be able to have your parent or parents cook.

The idea is to actually install a kitchenette if your area is zoned residential. A kitchenette is everything but a cook top-oven. It would include having a dishwasher, refrigerator, a sink and a microwave. You can have table and chairs and countertops and cabinets for storage. The kitchenette would be very functional except for items needing baked in an oven. For that, you can always have your parent or parents use your oven and then, their microwave for reheating the food item when necessary.

Another option is not to include a kitchenette but to have your parent or parents use your kitchen when needed. However, the convenience of this suffers on both sides. You may want to cook when your parents do or they may want to use the kitchen when you’re using it. Plus, it isn’t convenient for late night snacks or for entertaining if they have guests.

You can make an in-law suite work for both you and your parents, all it takes is some construction and decisions.

Are Custom Cabinets for You?

When choosing new kitchen cabinets, don’t overlook the thought of buying custom cabinets. This is because your cabinets are the focal point of your kitchen and represent your personality and taste. Yes, cabinets from a big box store may be cheaper, but they are just like the ones everyone else has. Custom made cabinets though are made to your tastes and designed especially for your kitchen. So what does this include?

white-kitchenFirst of all, custom cabinets are built to last by a skilled cabinet maker. Since a cabinet maker takes pride in what is built from his or her hands, the cabinets are well made. So; therefore, quality material is used and the construction is built to last with a product that, when completed, is a work of art.

Also, the wood that is used in making your kitchen cabinets can come from a local source if desired. You then still have a large choice of the wood that can be used for the cabinets, but by using domestic or local hardwoods, you know the wood used isn’t coming from an endangered area.

Additionally you get a voice in the design elements wanted and not wanted. So if your kitchen has unusual dimensions, a custom cabinet maker can work around that. Additionally, you can select cabinet and drawer combinations too that fit in with your way of cooking in your kitchen, and not by how someone else thinks this should be done. So you can create a more efficient kitchen that will suit your cooking needs.

Too, a big box store may have all kinds of combinations of cabinets, but you still can only buy what the store has. But a custom cabinet is personalized with your choice of wood, hardware and finish; and done in the style which suits your needs to the last detail. Therefore; everything will match and be made to your specifications.

Lastly, the cabinets are built to fit your actual kitchen. With a stock kitchen, if there is a problem area, a filler cabinet is used. With custom cabinets though, all your space is filled with specially designed, usable cabinets.

So if you’re looking for kitchen cabinets, consider custom made.

Giving a Facelift to Your Kitchen Cabinets

Your kitchen cabinets get opened and shut many times during the day. So before you know it, they’re looking a little dingy and tired. So what’s an easy solution to spruce them up that’s kind to your budget?

1193862_03Well, if your cabinets are stained and the surfaces look worn; you can apply new stain to freshen them up. First of all clean your cabinets with soap and water. When they’re dry, then lightly sand the cabinets using a rag to remove the dust. To stain, use a polyurethane varnish which can be tinted to match your cabinets. Because it’s a varnish-stain combination, one coat will most likely do the job.

However; if you want your cabinets a lighter shade than what they already are, there’s a bit more work involved. You will need to remove as much of the old stain as you can. You can remove it with paint remover, a stripper or even chlorine bleach. If your cabinets have any crevices or designs, you’ll have to use elbow grease here and a scraper to remove the old stain. Now if the cabinet has any dents, scratches or cracks; you can apply wood filler and then sand them. Afterwards, apply the stain of your choice, let it dry thoroughly and then apply a coat of protective wood sealer. You will then need to rub the dry surfaces with 000 steel wool though, and gently clean with a tack cloth.

If your cabinets are painted, they can be restored too. First, take off all the finish you can with a paint stripper. If needed use a sharp scraper to help remove any leftover finish. Then fill in with wood filler any scratches, dents or cracks. When the filler is dry, sand with 100 grit sandpaper first, then 180 grit and finish with 220-grit. Afterwards, paint the cabinets the color of your choice, let them dry and then clean the surface with a tack cloth. Finally apply the sealer and let it dry, then rub with 000 steel wool and remove the dust with tack cloth.

With a little elbow grease, you can have cabinets that look as good as new.