10/25/2011

Fire and ice from Home & Architectural Trends

Technological wizardry in the home isn't just about new home automation and entertainment systems. Kitchen appliances are also reflecting ever-increasing technology breakthroughs.
Two of the latest innovations changing the look and functionality of modern kitchens are the result of extensive research and development by leading appliance manufacturer Fisher & Paykel.
The new 36-inch CookSurface, shown on this page, is a frameless black glass gas cooktop with retractable gas burners and pan supports. The CookSurface supports three gas burners, which rise out of the cooking surface when the control knob is activated. When the burners and knobs are recessed, the cooktop presents a smooth, clutter-free surface that is easy to clean.
Laurence Mawhinney, Fisher & Paykel's vice president sales and marketing, says the cooktop's Aero™ burners provide precise temperature control for greatly improved cooking results. Variable-speed fans regulate the air flow, controlling the delicate balance between oxygen and gas levels.
Fisher & Paykel's new 36-inch CoolDrawer, shown above, is a natural extension of the DishDrawer concept. This modular drawer refrigerator allows you to customize your refrigeration, and position it exactly where you need it. Mawhinney says the CoolDrawer provides ergonomic benefits and also helps streamline meal preparation.
"But, most importantly, the refrigeration can be personalized at the simple touch of a button. The drawers can be programmed to freeze or chill food or wine at the desired temperature."
The drawers are available in stainless steel, or they can be fully integrated into your cabinets for a seamless look.

It's refreshing from Bathroom Trends

Master bathrooms today are likely to be designed as private retreats that appeal to all the senses. And with so much thought given to anticipating every need, it makes sense to ensure refreshments are readily accessible.
The new Fisher & Paykel CoolDrawer brings that sense of luxury a step closer, providing cool storage for food and drinks – just like a five-star hotel. This modular drawer refrigerator also allows you to customize your refrigeration to suit your particular requirements. For example, it can be used to chill drinks, freeze food, or provide long-term wine storage. Changing from a fridge to a freezer or a pantry is as simple as pressing a button.
Laurence Mawhinney, Fisher & Paykel vice president sales and marketing, says the new 36-inch CoolDrawer is a natural extension of the Fisher & Paykel DishDrawer dishwasher concept.
"It has similar ergonomic benefits, and can be positioned anywhere in the house. Many homeowners are already enjoying the advantages of having CoolDrawers in the kitchen, and a number of designers are now specifying a CoolDrawer for the master suite. It fits with the increasing trend towards resort-style suites that cater to your every wish."
The drawers feature interior lighting, and are available in stainless steel, or they can be fully integrated into cabinets for a seamless look.

It's personal from Home & Remodeling Trends


For many households, choosing a new refrigerator is a rare occurrence, so most people have little idea of the huge advances in refrigeration technology made in recent times.
Fisher & Paykel's department of research and development has produced two new refrigerators that epitomize the new generation of appliances. The new RX256DT7X1 25.6cu ft brushed stainless steel refrigerator/freezer, shown above, is designed to cater to a busy lifestyle.
Features include an ice-and-water dispenser, humidity-controlled vegetable crispers, a temperature-control drawer and beverage chiller.
Another new release from Fisher & Paykel is the 36-inch CoolDrawer, which is a natural extension of the DishDrawer concept. This modular drawer refrigerator allows you to customize your refrigeration, and position it exactly where you need it.
Laurence Mawhinney, Fisher & Paykel's vice president sales and marketing, says the CoolDrawer provides ergonomic benefits and also helps to streamline meal preparation.
"But, most importantly, the refrigeration can be personalized at the simple touch of a button. The drawers can be programmed to freeze or chill food or wine at the desired temperature."
The drawers are available in stainless steel, or they can be fully integrated into your cabinets for a seamless look.

Power house from Kitchen Trends


Appliance design today is all about the three "e's" – efficiency, economy and ergonomics. Throw in aesthetics and you have the complete recipe for a high-performance kitchen.
Fisher & Paykel's R&D department has long recognized the role new technology can play in the development of its products. The company's latest appliances monitor their own performance to ensure they deliver the best results, says Laurence Mawhinney, Fisher & Paykel's vice president sales and marketing.
"The 36-inch Fisher & Paykel CookSurface, and OB30 oven are indicative of the futuristic technology now coming on stream," he says. "These products reflect changing lifestyles."
The CookSurface is a frameless black glass cooktop that features retractable gas burners and pan supports. When the burners and knobs are recessed, the cooktop presents a smooth, clutter-free surface that is easy to clean.
Mawhinney says the Aero™ burners' precise temperature control provides greatly improved cooking results. Variable-speed fans regulate the air flow, controlling the delicate balance between oxygen and gas levels.
The new Fisher & Paykel OB30 multifunction oven can also monitor its own performance.
"This 30-inch model is not your typical oven," says Mawhinney. "With its accurate and intelligent electronic temperature controls, the oven has a very small temperature fluctuation, delivering a far more consistent cooking result."
The OB30 oven has numerous user-friendly features, nine cooking modes and a high-tech True Convection system for even heat distribution. It also has a large, 4cu ft capacity so you can cook several dishes simultaneously.
Both the oven and CookSurface are designed to be paired with a 36in Fisher & Paykel range hood.
Refrigeration and dishwashing are also catered for in the Fisher & Paykel line-up. The company has expanded on its innovative DishDrawer concept, providing a CoolDrawer refrigerator that can be positioned wherever you need it in the kitchen.
The CoolDrawer has ergonomic benefits and also helps streamline meal preparation. And the refrigeration can be personalized at the simple touch of a button – the drawers can be programmed to freeze or chill food or wine as required.
The Fisher & Paykel DishDrawer has also had an upgrade, with the recent release of the larger DishDrawer Tall dishwasher.
"This DishDrawer has a much larger top drawer and a completely redesigned racking system," says Mawhinney. "It is also energy efficient and Energy Star approved."
Both the CoolDrawer and DishDrawer are available in stainless steel, or they can be fully integrated into kitchen cabinets for a seamless look.

9/28/2011

A Colorful Kitchen: Kitchen Color Decorating Trends

Create a bold and spicy kitchen with colorful accents that make people stand up and take notice of your trendy interior decorating skills.
Kitchens have long been the gathering place for friends and family which makes the kitchen one of the most important rooms in the house. Staying on top of kitchen trends can be difficult, not to mention how expensive it can be. But keeping abreast of color trends in a kitchen is easy to do and can be done inexpensively as well.

Top Kitchen Color Trends
This season the top accent colors in a kitchen are tangerine orange, Curacao blue and lime green. These colors are wonderfully bright and exciting and really spice up a kitchen interior. Oddly enough two of them (blue and green) are not appetite inspiring colors so they may help you stay on track with your diet.

Keep the Counters
Countertops are typically one area that people like to change when they’re doing a remodel or even just giving a kitchen a little refresher but they can be terribly expensive. To make your countertops look like new, try adding colored accessories to their tops. If you’ve got a countertop that is composed of several colors rather than a solid color you can really create an impact by highlighting one of the more subtle colors through accessories. For example, if you have just a little bit of orange in your marble counters, add some bright tangerine orange accents and that color will pop out of the marble and give it a whole new appearance.


Cover It
New appliances are pricey but it’s tempting to get a new, trendy appliance that isn’t that horrible outdated bisque color. Why not cover the color instead. They actually make covers for refrigerators and dishwashers that will cover the bisque and allow you to bring in bold new color trends in dramatic ways.

Faux Wallpaper
Turn solid colored walls into faux wallpaper that is bursting with trendy kitchen colors. Wall clings or wall adhesives don’t just come in cartoon characters and sports memorabilia, they come in much smaller designs and even stripes. In fact, you can request almost anything you want be made into a wall adhesive and then create your own wallpaper that can be rearranged and removed whenever the mood strikes you.

Plate Decor
It’s such a simple solution and it’s so appropriate for the kitchen, mount some plates on the wall. Today plates are much less expensive than they were in the past and they come in incredible colors and patterns. Don’t just use these plates for mealtime, hang them on the walls for added visual interest. Create eye popping excitement by placing them along a soffit, establish vertical interest by lining them up floor to ceiling on the wall, or line them up along a windowsill.


Kitchen Curtains
Kitchen curtains are so often ignored but they can really boost the spirit of a room, not only by bringing color into the space but with the light streaming through them can change the entire tone of a room. Curtains don’t have to be expensive, in fact you can even create no-sew curtains by yourself in a weekend.

If you want to follow the latest kitchen color trends then adding tangerine orange, lime green and/or Curacao blue will put you on the cutting edge. But if you want to add other colors or update the look in the future these inexpensive kitchen interior design tricks will help you do that without breaking your budget.

Kitchen Decorating Basics

Decorating a kitchen is a great way to add color and inspiration to a room that is mostly focused on function.
The kitchen is a place formed for function and focused on the necessities of food preparation. It doesn’t have a lot of room for decorative considerations. However since cooking is a creative form of art, you want a kitchen that will inspire the chef, whose very atmosphere will propel that chef to new acts of culinary creativity. Luckily, there are a variety of decorating techniques that can be used to spruce up your kitchen without detracting from the inherent function of the space.

Kitchen Tools as Decor Items
The first thing you should do is look at the functional accessories themselves. Spoons, bowls, knives, even electronic cooking accessories can all be purchased in matched styles and colors in order to create a concerted effect throughout the space. Choose from rustic wooden accessories, modern stainless steel, or even feature copper and brass products, displaying these prominently while leaving other day to day pieces in cabinets and drawers.

One of the biggest secrets to effective kitchen decorating is using the walls. While all horizontal surfaces such as floor, shelves, and counters need to be used to do the work of the kitchen, the walls are wide open, free for you to work your decorative creativity. Imagine your kitchens walls as being wide open canvases, blank, ready for you to fill them with anything that you can imagine.

However when decorating your kitchens walls, it’s important to be aware of the inherent hazards of the space. This is a place of heat, of spills, of drips and of splashes. Your kitchen can cause all sorts of messes, and if you have fragile or expensive wall decorations they can be ruined over time. Instead you should opt for durable, rugged pieces in the kitchen. Things crafted from wrought iron or protected hardwood can be especially good. Glass protected photographs and picture frames are also an interesting possibility.

The Kitchen as a Family Centre
A lot of kitchen d├ęcor is related to family, and tries to reinforce the idea of the kitchen as the heart of the home. This can include signs with interesting sayings on them, pictures of family members, or cute caricatures of family life. Replicas of Norman Rockwell pictures are very popular in these spaces, as are country rustic decorative items.

One element which has more power than you might expect in a kitchen is color. Certain hues can alter the way we perceive the world, changing how we react emotionally, socially, and personally with the people in a given environment. Generally you should try and stay away from hot colors in a kitchen, as this space will already be rather warm.


Choosing Colors in the Kitchen
Red tones are very interesting in a kitchen setting, because this color can actually make people hungrier. Using data taken from psychological experiments, restaurants have been using this fact for years to entice people to follow their hunger into their establishments. This can also be a powerful way to add a little inspiration to your cooking endeavors. However you have to be careful not to over use red tones, as they can lead to over snacking, over tasting, and over heating in a kitchen environment.

An opposite effect is true of blue colors, as the presence of these tones can actually make a person feel less hungry. This is because there is very little edible blue food in nature, and so when we are exposed to this color our bodies naturally turn off sensations of hunger. Using blue in the kitchen can help an overweight chef with a dieting problem, but if used too heavily can completely steal the inspiration from food preparation.

Middle-of-the-road colors that will work in most kitchens includes greens and browns, as well as a variety of earth tones. These match the colors of foods fairly well and as such help to reinforce the basic nature of the environment. They also provide a sense of warmth and comfort that is often associated with family and friends.

Decorating a kitchen can be a great way to turn a space that is primarily functional, into an amazing and inspiring room where culinary art is created. This can be done through the arrangement of colors and elements, emphasizing the walls as canvases across which you can stretch the creative meanderings of your fondest decorative dreams.

Why Use Kitchen Rugs?

Each person has a favorite room inside his house. For people who love to sleep, it can be the bedroom. For those who love to entertain people, it can be the living room or the porch. For those who love to eat and cook and tinker with recipes, it is definitely the kitchen

Some people may think that a kitchen can look hideous just because it is hidden to the public’s eye. However, the kitchen should be considered as one of the most important rooms in the house since it is the place where food is being prepared. Some families even use the kitchen as a place to bond with other members of the family.

People who live in mansions have very spacious kitchens with breathtaking interior designs. However, even those with not so spacious or moderately-sized kitchens can still have attractive kitchens without spending millions for its interior design.

One of the keys to bringing out the character of a kitchen is through the use of kitchen accessories that unify the theme or color scheme of the kitchen or even of the whole house. Potted herbs can be used as accessories to brighten up the kitchen windows. But that’s jumping the gun because designing room projects should always start from below.

To start with, why not scout for kitchen rugs that match the interiors of the house or of the kitchen? Kitchen rugs can lighten up the kitchen and the owner can choose from a variety of themes and designs that are readily available in the market today.

Those who love the country life can use that as a motif and start scouting for a kitchen rug with brightly colored yellow chrysanthemums or sunflowers. Those who are quite on the artsy side can choose a bold design for the kitchen rug. But before deciding on the kitchen rug design, a person should first decide on the size and the shape of the kitchen rug.

The popularity of kitchen rugs has paved the way for a variety of designs to choose from. Do not worry about the price because these rugs are quite affordable depending of course on the quality of the rugs you will choose. But whatever amount spent on kitchen rugs, rest assured that it is money well spent to make the kitchen look better and more comfortable.

Kitchen rugs are not just for newly built or newly designed kitchen though. These rugs can also be a good solution for old kitchen floors that have become tainted or faded over time. Adding a new rug to an old kitchen floor can give the kitchen a new character and a new personality that will definitely make the occupants more cheerful.

There are shops selling custom-made kitchen rugs. This means that a homeowner can choose a design and then order the exact rug size he wants depending on the size of the kitchen floor which he wants to cover with the rug.

But rugs are not only used as decorative accessories for the kitchen. Kitchen rugs actually serve a more functional purpose and that is to keep people from slipping on wet kitchen floors. Among the areas in the kitchen where rugs is often used include the sink, the refrigerator and the oven or stove.

When choosing a kitchen rug, make sure to purchase a matching rug pad to prevent slippage and prolongs the life of the kitchen rug. It also keeps the rugs clean for a longer period of time.

Make sure that kitchen rugs are regularly washed to keep the kitchen sanitized. Rugs often serve as the cook’s defense mechanism against oil, water and other liquid that are commonly spilled in the kitchen floor. Thus, kitchen rugs are vulnerable to bacteria and dirt.

Make sure that the kitchen rugs can be washed by a washing machine using a mild soap. Be careful when washing colored rugs as the colors might fade and stain other fabrics. Most rugs are very fragile and can be easily damaged when machine dried so it is best to just dry them by hanging.

A person who wants to have a new kitchen without spending much can try new accessories for the kitchen like rugs. Kitchen rugs are affordable and they can easily change the overall design and make up of an otherwise drab kitchen.

Choosing Granite Counters

Granite countertops look great in the kitchen, but if you are choosing granite for your kitchen remake beware that not all granite is created equal.

Granite is a blend of micah feldspar and quartz and is found all over the world. It’s not as porous as marble but by nature includes fizzures and tiny pits which will need regular sealing. Some grainte pieces have more pits and are more porous than others - something to keep in mind when choosing a slab for your counters.

Granite comes in a wide variety of colors. You can get your basic black or a tan-ish color and even a variety that has gorgeous blue crystals embedded into it. Along with the colors, there is an array of patterns some granite is flecked, some fairly solid and color and some swirly.

While granite is a rather expensive countertop material, it’s very easy to work with, easy to keep clean and maintains its beautiful appearance for many years. There are different grades or qualities of granite and therefore are different prices can be paid for your granite countertop. If you want a basic color you’ll pay less than if you get something more exotic and rare. In addition, the thicker you countertop the more you will pay and also if you’re getting curvy edges that will add to the cost.

When choosing granite countertops you want to consider the source you’re buying it from. Are they experts in the installing granite countertops? You don’t want someone doing a substandard job with your expensive counters. Also you must beware of the quality of the Granite. Some less scrupulous suppliers have been known to die and oil the granite so that it appears darker. The problem is that this dark color will wear over time and leave you with dull looking counters. Always test your granite by rubbing it with a clean rag that has a little bit of nail polish remover on it - if color comes off, the granite is probably died and it’s best to avoid it. You also want to test your Granite to see how porous It is. You can do this by dropping a few drops of lemon juice on it and seeing how long it takes to soak in and if it leaves a stain.

Installing granite countertops is certainly a decision you will not regret if the granite is chosen carefully. Just remember to be sure to get instructions from the supplier as to how to maintain the beauty of your granite. These countertops are virtually indestructible and add beauty to almost any room. Granite is timeless and not likely to go out of style so you won’t have to worry that you’ll want to change out your counters in five years because the granite makes it look dated. Just be sure to get a color that is somewhat neutral so that It will always look good no matter what style of kitchen decor you might choose to redo your kitchen in.

How Kitchen Counter Tops Can Improve The Look Of Your Kitchen

Your kitchen counter tops are a major element of your kitchen and just making the simple change of replacing your counter tops can make a huge difference in the way you kitchen looks.

Take a good look at you kitchen one of the major things that pop out at you? The cabinets - the appliances - and the counter tops. Making changes to all three will certainly change the look of the kitchen, but even changing as the counters can make a big difference.

Kitchen counter tops can be made out of a variety of materials. On the lower end is Formica and up on the higher-end is granite. Somewhere in between is Crain, concrete, stainless steel, tile, and even marble. These days with counters your imagination is the only limit and I recently even saw counters made out of the beautiful on ex-that will let from underneath it was sensational!

If you like the look of granite (and who doesn’t?), but you lack the funds you might try Corian which is a man-made material that mimics the look of granite but is a lot less expensive. You can get Corian counter tops in a variety of different colors and patterns and some even come with the anti-microbial coating to make them resistant to bacteria.

Tile can make for interesting kitchen counter especially if you have a southwestern kitchen design. you can get a lot of interesting colors and designs in the tile but beware that cleaning grout can be a real pain. In particular, make sure you do not use white grout as this will stain easily and you’ll find yourself constantly scrubbing it to keep it clean looking.

If you want to keep your kitchen counter tops as germ-free is possible that you might want to try stainless steel. These are pretty easy to keep clean but you may have to watch out for scratching.

For an elegant look you might want to try marble but be careful that you have it sealed properly as marble does stain.

Granite is a timelesss option for kitchen counters and gives your kitchen a really upscale look. You don’t ever have to worry about Granite going out of style and it’s pretty easy to take care of two. You do want to make sure that it’s sealed correctly as it Is porous and can stain.

When choosing new kitchen countertops be sure you match them to the overall style of your kitchen. If your kitchen is very casual, that marble may not be a good choice. if your kitchen has an industrial look than stainless steel might be perfect.

Always remember that your countertops and the functional purpose and you want to consider ease of use and cleaning when choosing a material for them.

7/27/2011

To Stainless Steel or Not To?


Stainless steel is one of the most widely used metals in the world today. The Chrysler Building in New York City is capped with a layer of stainless steel, as is the St. Louis Arch - and neither of these monumental landmarks have corroded or required any other maintenance aside from cleaning since they were made many years ago. But stainless steel is not just used in major construction projects; it has made its way into the homes and appliances of many modern Americans. Why? Because of its tough durability, rust-resistant trait, and aesthetic appeal. So, what's the catch? Price, of course. New stainless steel appliances can run you a pretty penny and if you're looking to refurbish your home's appliances, you need to know when stainless steel is worth it and where you can get it the cheapest.

Stainless Steel: Why All the Fuss?
Before you start eyeballing parts of your home for stainless steel replacement, it's a good idea to know what exactly we're dealing with here. Stainless steel is an alloy made of iron, carbon, and chromium that started becoming widely used in the early 1900s. The chromium content is what makes stainless steel "stainless" because chromium automatically creates a protective film of chromium oxide whenever it comes into contact with oxygen. This protective film encases the steel and forms a barrier against corrosion. If the layer of chromium oxide is ever breached, it will fix itself and create a new layer of film as soon as oxygen hits the exposed chromium of the steel. This makes stainless steel essentially rust-free. However, responsible cleaning will of course give your stainless steel appliances a longer life. Abrasive cleaning materials or brushes will probably not hurt your appliances in the short run, but soft cloths and chloride-free soaps are recommended to lengthen the life of stainless steel in the long run.

Where to Sink Your Money
A wide variety of household items are made from stainless steel today. Everything from cabinets to refrigerators, sinks and dishwashers, as well as garage tools and hardware are made from this durable metal. So, when you're thinking about upgrading to stainless steel, don't drive yourself crazy with an unaffordable or tremendously expensive overhaul of your home's appliances. Start with the areas you use the most. We recommend your kitchen sink. Everybody has to eat everyday and if you're an average American who only eats out on special occasions, you're probably eating breakfast and dinner at home and preparing homemade lunches to take with you to work or school. This means your sink is getting a lot of action, possibly the most in your kitchen. So, if you're thinking of replacing it, you will want to purchase a high quality sink that can withstand harsh daily use for many years and still look great.

Finding the Best Deal
Start out by looking in your local home improvement stores to get an idea of how much stainless steel costs in your area. If you decide to purchase your new sink from a store, make sure to ask if the sink comes with free installation. If not, you should do some research to see if you can install the new sink yourself or if you will need to budget to hire a professional to do it for you. This will be especially important if you buy online, but this is where you might find some of the best deals. Stainless steel sinks can cost upwards of $1000 if you go for the super high end products. However, you can find perfectly good and practical stainless steel sinks for under $350 if you know where to look. We recommend checking out the selection on NexTag.com . There you will find an Advance Tabco stainless steel undermount sink bowl measuring 10" x 14" x 10" for only $181 or a much deeper 20" x 16" x 12" sink for $344.


How to Clean Stainless Steel
Normal household use should never damage stainless steel sinks irreparably. Rather, you'll simply need to clean them easily and regularly to keep your kitchen looking shiny and new. And the best part is that you don't even have to buy a new cleaning product because you probably already own a good one: Try rubbing alcohol! Simply fill an empty spray bottle with rubbing alcohol and give your sink a little shpritz each night before going to bed. Wipe it down with a paper towel and watch your water spots and fingerprints disappear! Rubbing alcohol serves as a disinfectant to keep your kitchen sink healthy, clean beautifully shiny.


After choosing, installing and using your new stainless steel kitchen sink, you will get a feel for how much stainless steel you want in your home. Later on, you might choose to add stainless steel countertops, shelving, refrigerator and other appliances. But we recommend starting out with your sink first and then seeing where your budget takes you.

7 Stylish Utility Sinks

1.Laundry rooms are not generally considered sexy, beautiful spaces in the home but that doesn’t mean they can’t be attractive as well as functional. Naturally, their most important feature is function and if you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated laundry room, then one feature you will surely wish to install is the utility sink. In the days of the basement laundry room, it was common to have a large utility sink for hand washing, pre-soaking, or spot cleaning. These big sinks were not used for food prep or personal hygiene but for basic household talks such as cleaning clothes and cleaning larger buckets, mops, etc. However utilitarian they are, there are many sinks that look good as well. And, as long as you’re doing the dirty work, why not do it in a pleasant space.


2.One of the sweetest laundry rooms I’ve seen was in the HGTV 2010 Green Home in Plymouth, MA. I visited the house in June 2010, just before it was given away and was charmed by the multi-purpose mud/laundry room just inside the home from the garage. The snappy red appliances were set off against the cool gray/blue woodwork. The utility sink was a simple under mount integrated into a granite counter top. While not large (the room was quite small as well), the sink offered service to both laundry and gardening needs. A very charming workspace indeed!

Here is a roundup of several attractive, and functional, utility sinks for your laundry area.


3.The 3-bowl Scullery Sink recalls days gone by of grand English country estates and scullery maids scurrying about washing dishes and laundry. While most of us are doing our own “scullery” work, this sink will make that job much easier. The sink is 42” high to reduce back strain and the three bowls makes hand washing clothing an easier task for simultaneous hot wash, cold wash and/or bleach washing-whatever is needed to get the job done.



4.The All Purpose china sink works well in country and classic settings and can be wall or counter mounted. The high gloss china is stain and bacteria resistant. The classic white porcelain look is always a winner.



5.The Bayview wall mount small sink by Kohler is a great choice for smaller laundry rooms. Though small, the depth is deep for great functionality. The cast iron sink comes as a wall mount with an optional sink stand. The finishes range from Almond to Ice Gray.



6.This classically styled Farmhouse sink is sure to make a bold statement in this snappy blue finish. There’s no reason why even a modest utility sink can’t be stylish!


7.This sleek stainless steel utility sink from Julien offers the modern appeal of stainless steel construction and comes in several styles and configurations to fit any job. From wall mount sinks, to counter drop-ins or undermounts to stand-alones, these sinks are a great choice for smaller spaces and those seeking a modern, industrial edge in their designs.

Ikea, the go-to source for low priced modern design, offers a stand alone utility sink that offers a double stainless steel bowl and two-door cabinet. Add a crane neck faucet to make this a stylish, utilitarian piece.

Make your custom kitchen sink

1. Add or subtract a bowl

Two-bowl kitchen sinks have become fairly standard, allowing separation of clean and dirty dishes. However, some users want the simplicity and volume of a single basin. Single-bowl sinks are typically large enough for soaking big pots, defrost turkeys or maybe bathe a baby.

Other manufacturers are going the other direction — adding a third small bowl. These may be between the bowls or on one side. They are often connected to the disposal, but consider connecting one of the larger bowls to the disposal instead. This will allow you to scrape large bowls or pans directly into the disposal drain. Also be aware that a three-bowl sink may not be a simple switch. Many three-bowl sinks require an extra 12 inches of counter space.

2. Under-mount the sink

Under-mount sinks are a new trend, replacing the standard drop-in sink with a lip over the counter all the way around the basins. Under-mount sinks attach to the bottom of stone or solid-surface counters, creating a uniform, flush countertop surface and a more simple, attractive look. Users also say under-mount sinks are easier to clean. They make it easier to clen countertops, as you can just squeegee all the water and debris on the counter into the sink without a lip in the way. Another option is the tile-in sink. This sink’s rim is flush with the tile countertop surface, and sealed in with grout.

3. Customize the shape

Perhaps the easiest sink to clean is a solid-surface acrylic or stone sink. These integral sinks can be directly molded into the countertop. They are quiet, durable and can be customized in any shape, but they are also among the most expensive sinks.

4. Get custom accessories

Some sinks come with colanders and cutting boards that fit perfectly over one of the bowls. No more juggling a colander and a boiling pot to strain pasta.

5. Bend the faucet

Gooseneck faucets create more space between the spout and the bottom of the basin. They make it easier to fill tall pitchers and vases, and to wash large pots. However, water may splash and create a mess if the faucet is too tall for the sink.

6. Get a deeper basin

Another way to add space is with a deeper bowl. The standard basin is six to eight inches deep, but newer models are inching deeper. A 12-inch-deep basin may be more convenient, but they will also be less comfortable for taller users.

7. Replace the handle

Try out the many types of kitchen sink handles, including levers, twist knobs and cross handles. Some prefer the ease of a single lever while others would rather have two separate controls. Both options now come with wrist blades, which are a great option for hands-free manipulation, particularly if you struggle with finger and hand pain.

8. Add a pull-out sprayer

Many sinks have an extra hole in the back right corner, providing space for one of three optional accessories — sprayers, hot-water dispensers and filter faucets. Sprayers help make it easier to clean vegetables and dishes. If you don’t have the extra hole available for a separate sprayer head, consider a detachable sprayer in the main faucet head.

9. Add a hot water dispenser

Hot water dispensers deliver 190-degree water on demand through a separate faucet mounted on the sink. They use a heater mounted under the counter, requiring an electric receptacle, but not a separate water line.

10. Add a water filter

Finally, you can treat the water flowing into the sink with a filter on the water line. The most common models use replaceable carbon filters that eliminate many contaminants and odors. Other filters use reverse osmosis or boiling and distillation. Filters can also be attached to a separate faucet mounted in the hole that is often used for sprayers or hot-water dispensers.

Tosca 5-Minute Faucet Review


To win a Tosca 5-Minute Faucet, click here: Tell us your worst plumbing stories and win a Tosca 5-Minute Faucet and a $50 Lowes gift card!

The Tosca 5-Minute Faucet truly can be installed in about 300 seconds, but Tosca isn't making promises about removing the old kitchen faucet. Only after struggling to take out the old unit will you appreciate the value of a 5-minute kitchen faucet installation job with no extra tools

Detaching a kitchen faucet can be messy and difficult. After shutting off the water and unscrewing your water lines, move the supplies and other debris from under the sink. Then slide on your back under the kitchen sink and enjoy the lip of the cabinet digging into your back. The only way to remove most faucets is to loosen a pair of small nuts in a tight spot between water lines and sink basins. It may also require a specialized $15 basin wrench, which is otherwise of limited use.

Even the right tools may fail. I tried to remove my kitchen faucet and gave up after about an hour of fighting corroded threads with vise grips, hammers and WD40. I then took the Tosca unit to the in-laws' house and earned some brownie points by replacing their faucet. After climbing back above the sink and pulling out the faucet and water lines, you'll see why top-mounted installation is advantageous. Install the Tosca 5-Minute Faucet with just the two supplied Allen wrenches and an adjustable pipe wrench, all while standing on your feet. It truly installs in less than five minutes if you organize your parts, follow directions and work quickly.

First, twist the base onto the countertop. You need to simultaneously hold the base straight, keep the anchor in place and turn the larger Allen wrench. The next step is pushing the water lines through the base without twisting them. The faucet body attaches to the base with a small hex screw that tightens with the smaller Allen wrench.

You only need to reach under the sink in the final minute to attach the water lines and turn on the shutoff valves. Before starting, make sure the water lines are long enough to reach the shutoff valves. The lines are designed to be just long enough for average length pipes, but were a few inches short of the shutoff valves for my project. Finally, attach the counterweight to the spray head line.

The Tosca 5-Minute Faucet is sturdy and easy to operate. The sprayer head fits well and pulls in and out smoothly. The sprayer button on top of the head is convenient and easy, but sometimes has trouble staying locked in the spray position. It pays to keep your instructions to remember how to repair or remove the faucet using the small hex screw.

You can install the new Italian Tosca kitchen faucet in five minutes with fewer tools and less hassle than standard kitchen faucets. It also gets top marks for quality and ease of use.

Do you have chosen the right kitchen faucet?


Choosing a kitchen faucet is mostly about looks and performance, but there are a few other considerations to take into account before you buy. Faucets range from $50 to over $1,000, depending on the style, finish, faucet type and features. The best advice for faucet shopping is to choose the most durable faucet type in a style you like with a finish that works in your kitchen or in your kitchen plans. If you are building new or doing a complete remodel, your choices are limited only to budget. If you're replacing your current faucet you'll be limited to the hole-configuration of your sink and may have to add adapters to the water lines. Faucets in all but the lowest of price points are available in different styles. No matter what style you choose, take the following elements into consideration while shopping.

Mechanics
While to the average buyer mechanics might not be the most interesting part of faucet shopping, it is quite important. The mechanics will affect the durability and the maintenance of the faucet. Kitchen faucets generally come in three types: ball, cartridge and ceramic disc. All three of these types of faucets are washerless, meaning there is no rubber seal that will wear out and cause a leak.

A ball faucet is common in the kitchen. It has a single handle and the component that controls the water flow and temperature is a metal or plastic ball with slots that align with the hot and cold water. It has the most parts of all the washerless faucets and is most susceptible to leaks.

Cartridge and ceramic disc faucets rarely leak or need maintenance. Both faucet types come in single or double handles. All the parts that are subject to wear in the cartridge faucet are contained in a replaceable cartridge, though they rarely need attention. Ceramic disc faucets are the latest technology and most dependable. They often have a lifetime warranty. Two ceramic discs control both the temperature of the water and the flow.

Mount
As mentioned above, you will have to be sure that a new faucet matches up with the hole configuration in the sink or the counter. Base plates can be installed to cover holes in sinks and counters that are no longer needed, though you may not like the look. It isn't recommended to drill new holes into existing sinks and counters. If you are remodeling or building new, you might decide to get a wall-mounted faucet for a fresh look.

Handles
Kitchen faucets are available with one or two handles to control water flow and temperature. The single handle is often part of a unit, but some are mounted separately to the side of the faucet for a custom look. Because a lot of multitasking goes on in the kitchen, single handles are popular. Double handles are available and offer more precise water and temperature control, but they aren't as convenient if your hands are dirty or full.

Spout
When you are choosing a faucet, be sure that the spout reach will cover most of the sink. Many spouts also double as pull-out sprayers, making rinsing food, filling pots and cleaning the sink easy. The neck height of the spout also is important. Gooseneck spouts offer a tall clearance in the sink which is great for washing large pots and pans, but some may not cover the entire area of a sink - particularly if the sink has multiple bowls. Also, if you have a shallow sink, keep in mind that a high neck will create a larger splash.

Finish
Chrome is the standard in faucets. It's the least expensive and most durable. It has, however, fallen out of fashion in the past few years as consumers opt for the softer look of brushed chrome, oiled bronze, copper and satin nickel finishes. An added physical vapor deposition (PVD) finish will make these finishes scratch resistant. Higher-end faucets are available in many enamel colors, but the enamel can chip.


The kitchen faucet adds style and functionality to the room. Choose something you love that is durable so that it lasts a lifetime - or at least until you want to update your kitchen!

5/24/2011

Pretty Kitchen Picture for Sharing



Instant Messaging
If your household schedules need as much organizing as your dry goods, consider turning the pantry into a full-scale message center with pads of paper for lists, a bulletin board, and a daily calendar.

A chalkboard makes it easy to keep notes visible. Simpson Door has a Chalkboard Panel Interior Door (simspondoor.com), or spray paint it with products from manufacturers like Krylon (krylon.com).

1/24/2011

Really Cool Innovative Kitchen Ideas

Italian kitchens are on the forefront of custom kitchen designs, with their sleek shapes, plentiful spaces and modern kitchens look and feel. Italian kitchens are meant for more than just a place to prepare a meal but a place to feel bliss at the end of the day.

When it comes to deciding which style of contemporary kitchens you want to go with, knowing what is out there might help. You can find sleek metals to rustic woods and soft pastels when choosing the final look to your kitchen's exterior. There are tons of kitchens remodel manufactures' available for you, such as 'ALNO' a German Manufacture, 'Pedini Italian Kitchens', 'GeD Cucine-SoHo' and of course best selling manufacturers like 'Scavolini', SCIC Amnienti Cucina and Poliform. There are more available but this is only to refer to a few of the choices you have no matter your location for your Italian kitchen.

Kitchen design sketches can now come in different shapes, if you have a limited width space you might want to use the linear arrangement, which focuses the working area of the kitchen along one wall. You can also go with the 'Railroad or Galley' design where you have two parallel working areas one on each wall, this style can help you fill that wide kitchen even if you don't have a lot of length.

If you like to have an area for snacking or a quick cup of coffee while keeping with the linear style then a 'Peninsula' with an attached island is the choice for you. It can add additional space for food prep while keeping those moving about out from under each other's feet.

Maybe you want an island in the center of the room but also want your cabinets along the walls? Well the 'Corner' arrangement is one definite way to go. The main work of the 'Corner' arrangement is located along the walls of a corner while the center of the room has an island for additional space or even another range.

Another stylish design to Italian kitchens with modern kitchen flair is the 'Horseshoe' which is perfect for those that do not have to worry about the specific width or length of the room. You can be surrounded by the sights and smells of your scrumptious meal with the table in the center of it.

Getting Right Doors for Kitchen Cabinet

The door might be considered to be the most important part of the cabinet, seeing as how without it all of the items stored inside the cabinetry will be left out in the open without any protection. Doors for cabinets are available for a separate purchase, and come in a variety of different styles, colors, designs and materials. Various cabinetry manufacturers tend to release all types of cabinets, and so it is imperative for you to make sure that you've decided to purchase is of high quality and made to last.

When it comes to types of woods, most manufacturers make use of different types of wood, such as maple, oak, and mahogany. Except for natural woods, medium-density fiberboard is also a very popular cabinet construction material, and it is considered to be the perfect replacement for a natural solid wood, seeing as how it shares it's characteristics of being durable, resilient, smooth, elegant, long-lasting, and deprived of grain patterns. Cabinetry made from artificial woods usually have no joints, and respond very well to paint, seldom cracking from it.

If you want to get that natural wood look on your cabinet doors but simply can't afford it, you can always get doors made out of rigid thermo-foil. It looks nearly identical to natural wood, and someone who doesn't know his way around this domain wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Other common materials used in cabinetry construction also include stainless steel, aluminum, plastic, laminate, veneer, chrome, glass, crystal, copper, brass, and many, many more materials.

Once you've chosen your door, then you can begin accessorizing it by painting it, perhaps even with some interesting art, and installing new matching knobs or pulls, which are basically this bar shaped in the form of the letter "c", attached to the door by it's extremities.