Tag Archive 'Kitchens'

Jun 29 2012

How to Decorate a Traditional Kitchen: Top Tips for Creating a Timeless Space

Published by under Kitchens

Traditional decorating may seem like a no-brainer, you just choose standard decorating items, right? The truth is that “standard” doesn’t exist. The fun thing about decorating is that today’s definition of traditional comes from a blend of stylistic approaches.

Standard and traditional are not synonymous- nor does the term “normal” or “average” have a place in the world of design. Because creating any style, whether traditional or not, takes an innate understanding of how to blend styles, it actually takes some savvy and innovation to create an effortless entertainment space. The traditional kitchen doesn’t mean that it’s easy to create- in fact creating a timeless space really involves blending the right elements of the past and the present and can take some time as well as an understanding of these tips!

Avoid Pieces that Define the Space 

In order to create a kitchen that can stand the test of time it is best to avoid furniture or decorating items that come from a certain time period or style. Instead, select just a few pieces and stay far away from sleek lines of contemporary or modern furniture or dining sets.

Crown molding can quickly add a traditional flair to any kitchen space, so be sure to add this when applicable. Being eclectic is the key to traditional- and while that may sound counterintuitive, in order create a space that blends well and won’t age too quickly you need a few quirky items that blend in with the more traditional ones.

Traditional Additions to Consider 

Breakfast Nooks

Adding bench seats or a breakfast nook can take any traditional kitchen space from cute to incredible. Having a built-in eating area makes the kitchen seems centered- anchored if you will- and the finality that comes with a custom breakfast nook will never go out of style.  Furthermore, it is always a huge selling point even if traditional may or may not be the preferred style of those who see it.

Knob Choices

Avoid linear hardware, and look for more inventive or one-of-a-kind pieces. Hand whittled, porcelain or antique, or even repurposed items can take a boring kitchen space into the realm of traditional customization. Even though stainless steel is in right now, consider using pops of color, bronze or white in a more traditional space.

Choose Appropriate Faucet and Hardware Finishes 

Farm sinks are no longer just for the farmhouse, and in fact, the sink in your kitchen can be the first tell-tale sign that you have either stayed in line with your traditional vein, or you have strayed too far outside of the box. Look for brushed nickel, bronze or dark espresso finishes when it comes to your sink hardware and faucet and stay away from over customized faucet that lean towards a particular style, i.e., trough faucets, modern restaurant style faucets, or something too elegant. Boxier faucets and simple knobs are going to give you much more room to blend eclectic elements than trying far too hard to make a statement.

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Mar 05 2012

Spruce Up Your Kitchen With 1940’s Vintage Appeal

Published by under Kitchens

Nothing is quite as inviting and comfortable as a 1940’s style retro kitchen.  The look is quite easy to achieve, and the blend of all things vintage and modern makes for an appearance that is original and appealing.  The warmth such a room exudes makes for a kitchen and dining area that is comfortable, relaxing, and beautiful; the perfect blend of modern and old-time charm.

Choosing the right colors is essential

The colors from the 1940’s style kitchen are what make it so recognizable today in magazines, books and other media.  Crimson red, white, yellow and “jadeite” or a gray-toned blue are the colors that were most often used in these homey kitchen of the past.

Be aware that not just any shade of blue will work with the 1940’s look; there are dozens of colors today that would be called “blue”, but what you are looking for here is a Slate or Midnight blue, a shade that is a bit more muted than some of the colors you will find today.

Furnishings for the retro kitchen

For the dining table, a vintage style dinette or wooden style table complete with enamel top are perfect.  Cabinetry may be wood that is painted white, off-white or cream; glass knobs add further to the retro appeal.

Other furnishings you may want to consider for the dining room are a square, an oval or rectangular retro diner table; many of these have chrome-plated deco legs, much like you find at many old-time diners even today.

If you cannot afford a vintage style dinette set, cover the table you currently have with a vintage table cloth.

Add color with accents and gadgets

Since the basic colors of 1940’s vintage style decorating revolve around white or off-white, count on accessories, rugs and other gadgets to add a splash of color.

Consider open cabinets, so that you can display old dishes or other colorful collectibles.  If you collect jadeite dishes, put them on display.

Red kitchenware gadgets are perfect for adding vibrant color.  Vintage linens add texture and color; consider a fruit theme if you need more color.  Place a fruit bowl in the center of the table, and consider metal wall hangings embellished with fruit designs.

The curtains you choose for the windows can have a further impact on the finished look of the kitchen.  If you cannot find vintage curtains, make them yourself using dish towels or even a table cloth that blends with the colors you have chosen.

Old-fashioned canisters, bread boxes, toasters – most of the old appliances which you need to bring the look together can be found at antique malls.  Check garage sales and flea markets as well – you never know when you will find a treasure that is perfect for your vintage kitchen!

While you may think that your appliances will clash because of their modern look, this actually makes the whole combination even more appealing.  If you have the budget and simply want to re-do the entire room including appliances, look for those that have a retro look or chrome finish.

In today’s modern and busy world, it’s often comforting to come home after a hard day to a home that takes you back in time.  Get started on your 1940’s vintage style kitchen today!

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Oct 05 2010

Avoid These Mistakes When Updating Your Kitchen Decor

Published by under Kitchens

Updating the design of your kitchen can give it an appealing, fresh new look which is important, especially if you are considering selling your home.  If not well thought out a redesign can also create problems and cost you a bundle.  This article offers tips for renovating your kitchen the right way, without overspending or creating obstacles for yourself.

Realize that if you have a small budget, you shouldn’t visualize your kitchen with new appliances, cabinets and counter tops.  Making all of these changes can cost a fortune, so if you don’t have the budget, keep your ideas simple.  Small, affordable changes can make a huge difference in the appearance and appeal of your kitchen!

Don’t be impulsive

If you haven’t yet decided on the theme you want, don’t buy the first thing that jumps out at you.  Take a notebook along, and make notes about various accessories, kitchen ware and other gadgets you like.  If you are planning on purchasing a new faucet, new appliances or other items that are on the expensive side, comparison shop for the best price before you buy.

Choose a style that “fits” with the rest of your home

Another thing you want to avoid when renovating or refreshing your kitchen is choosing a decor that is completely at odds with the rest of your home.  While it is okay to blend styles, such as western and country, having a cottage chic kitchen and ultra-modern living room looks a little strange.

If your living room and kitchen are open to each other, it’s best to use similar colors and styles so that the rooms blend seamlessly.

Remember – all those little extras add up

For those on a tight budget, it can be easy to overspend before they realize it.  All those kitchen gadgets and decorative accessories can really add up, especially when purchased separately.  Buy one or two at a time and the cost seems reasonable, but when you add up the total you may be shocked at what you have spent!

Even if you can afford new cabinets or other high-dollar items, prepare before updating your kitchen.  Decide on the color scheme you will use, and make notes as you shop around first.  Consider your storage needs, so that there are no surprises when you have those new cabinets installed.  Also, if you have decided on a new tile floor or beautiful new counter tops, don’t forget to account for the installation fees!

Put these tips and ideas to work for you, and update your kitchen with less stress and more money left in your bank account.  Creating a plan of attack will not only ensure that you don’t spend more than you intend to, it will also result in a more beautiful and carefully coordinated look when completed.  The kitchen is one of the most used rooms of your home, so use care in making it a room that is not only beautiful, but warm and welcoming as well.

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Sep 27 2010

Designing a Contemporary Kitchen

Published by under Kitchens

If you are someone who loves modern, clean lines that are sleek with a minimum of fuss, a contemporary kitchen is for you.  Black and white is often used in this style of decorating, and some choose to use bolder colors such as red.  It’s all about simple furnishings and clutter-free counter tops, combined with bold splashes of color to liven up the room.  This article offers ideas for decorating your kitchen with a modernistic approach.

Light colored walls are essential for a spacious, open look.  Even if your kitchen is smaller, you can incorporate contemporary design by keeping the floors and walls light colored.

Appliances

 

In a contemporary kitchen, appliances are often white or stainless steel.  You may even choose to use black appliances if you are going for the black and white appeal.  If you can afford new appliances, go for those with a sleek, modern design.

Floors and Cabinets

 

Choosing the right floors and cabinets are essential in creating a modern look.  Floors are often stone or tile, and colored in hues such as white mixed with a light blue-gray or black.  Cabinets should be sleek as well, with no intricate carvings or small details.  Some people choose not to use handles or drawer pulls, to continue the straight lines throughout the room.  A high-gloss white painted cabinet looks modern and clean, and the shine adds to the style of the room.

Counter Tops

 

Uncluttered, clean lines are what contemporary style is all about.  Counter tops can be made of granite, marble or stained wood.  White, light shades of blue-gray, stone colors and black are best for this type of decorating.  Natural elements work well in contemporary decorating.

Your furnishings should be sleek as well, and free from intricate details.  Rectangular shapes work extremely well, and simple is key.  Wood, metal and glass are good materials for the kitchen table.  You can use mismatched chairs, as long as they are all painted in the same color.

Accessories should be kept to a minimum, and you want plenty of storage space in cabinets and drawers to store away items that aren’t used often.  Keep counter tops free of clutter, as too much sitting on top tends to look cluttered and messy.  Create a focal point for the room, such as a boldly colored vase filled with a flowering branch placed at a bold angle.  A tapestry or wall mural with bold geometric or abstract shapes creates interest for the walls.

You may also consider modern lighting to further enhance the look.  Install a sky light if possible, or use contemporary light fixtures that are made of stainless steel and are curved or edgy in shape; the more light you can bring in to the room, the better.  A contemporary kitchen is clean, ultra modern and spacious.  Use the ideas in this article, and think outside the box to come up with a few original ideas of your own!  You can incorporate any items you may already have, just paint them with a coordinating shade in high-gloss for totally modern appeal.

 

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Sep 15 2010

Country Style Kitchens Never Lose Their Charm and Appeal!

Published by under Kitchens

There is nothing quite like a big country kitchen to welcome family at the end of the day. It is a great space for entertaining when inviting friends and other guests who stop by for a visit as well.  A country themed kitchen is warm, relaxed and inviting – and packed full of charm.  Families can spend their evenings gathered around the table for a big meal, or discussing the events of the day.  This article offers tips and ideas for transforming your kitchen into your favorite room of your home.

You don’t have to have a great big kitchen for the country theme to work!  Any space can be given old fashioned charm with a few simple changes.

Color is Key

 

In a country style kitchen you want colors that are basically natural and on the light side.  Sand, cream, golden brown and terracotta are great colors to use as the base for your decorating.  Cream colored walls are beautiful when trimmed in golden brown baseboards.  This sets off the room and creates a depth that is noticeable.  A countertop in terracotta or sand adds a bit more color and makes the room look rich.

The More Wood the Better

 

With the country theme of decorating, lots of wood is in order!  Your table can be round or oblong, even square – but make sure it is made of wood.  Chairs should be made of wood as well, although they don’t have to match.  Odd chairs look great in this style of décor as long as they are all made of wood.

Wood cabinets in an oak or maple finish are beautiful for the kitchen, as are wood floors.  Of course, if you cannot afford wood floors you can simply throw a few accent rugs here and there that are decorated with a country theme.

Pots and Pans can be Decorative

 

A simple touch can add so much to the appearance of your kitchen.  Consider hanging your pots and pans from a wrought iron rack hanging from the ceiling.  This gives you additional cabinet space as well, so that you can put all of those small appliances and other things that crowd your counter tops out of sight.  Hanging your pots and pans really adds old fashioned charm.

Accessories

 

Accessories are what complete the look, so make sure you don’t leave out this step.  Plants in terracotta pots are essential, and they add warmth to the room.  For the walls, you might consider hand-made hangings that are cross-stitched to add a personal touch.  Mason jars filled with heavenly-scented candles are a good addition, and make the room smell wonderful.

Of course, you will also want to consider your own favorite country theme.  Some like to use an abundance of roosters or other farm animals, while others prefer a sunflower theme to brighten up the room.  Use your own creative ideas, and get to work on your own charming country kitchen!  Your family will love it, and all guests who enter will never want to leave.

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Sep 13 2010

Adding a Natural Element to Kitchen Design with Olive and White

Published by under Kitchens

A great kitchen is essential to many home owners, especially since this is one of the most highly trafficked areas of your home.  This is where family and friends gather to eat great meals and catch up on the events of the day.  If you want your kitchen design to include a natural element that is warm and inviting, olive and white are perfect colors for achieving this.  This article will detail how you can transform your kitchen into one with great appeal and a natural feel.

With so many people into green living, this color scheme helps add to the natural and simplistic appeal on top of its other benefits.

Cabinetry Takes on a Whole New Look

 

No one wants the look of avocado green that was so “in” back in the 60’s and 70’s.  Olive green comes in many shades, from deep forest green to pastel shades.  For your cabinets, the best choice is a medium hue much like the lighter shades you find in camouflage materials.   While olive may not be the first color that comes to mind when you think of updating your kitchen, you will be stunned at the appeal that comes when you mix pure white and olive.  Just look online at a few examples and you will see that the look is truly striking.

You can paint your cabinets without much difficulty, and give them an entirely new look.  If your cabinets are already painted, simply paint over the existing color.  If your cabinets are stained and varnished, you may want to lightly sand the finish before painting.  Once you have achieved the medium olive tone you want, simply add white hardware to contrast.

Choose White to Complement

While the cabinets will be the main source of olive green in the room, white accessories will add interest and keep the room from looking drab or dull.  Appliances that you keep on your counter top should be white, and the counter top itself may be solid white or a mixture of olive and white, with white being the predominant color.

You should further dress up the look by adding a white paper towel holder, white drawer pulls, and white lighting fixtures.

Accessories Complete the Look

 

The accessories you choose really tie together the complete look and add visual appeal.  Consider a kitchen floor mat that can be used in front of the sink in an olive and white floral or leaf pattern.  Linoleum or tile will also be beautiful when these two colors are combined.

For the kitchen table, use a solid white tablecloth and accent with an olive colored pot filled with herbs or other natural greenery as a centerpiece.  White walls accented by olive baseboards and large botanical prints add even more visual appeal.

The look is totally fresh and unique when compared with most kitchens you see today.  If your desire is to have a kitchen that looks modern and inviting, olive and white is a spectacular combination that mixes the pure, pristine look of white with hues that are straight out of nature!

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Sep 09 2010

Transform Your Small Kitchen in to One That Appears Spacious and Airy

Published by under Kitchens

If you have a small kitchen, you know what a worry it can be.  Many families spend much of their time in this room enjoying meals, and company often likes to sit at the kitchen table and visit.  If your kitchen is so tiny that you feel you can barely turn around, there are some easy ways to make it appear much larger.  This article offers tips that will help you transform your kitchen from a room that feels constricting, to one that you will really enjoy.

Before you get started, go through your cabinets and cupboards and clear out anything that isn’t absolutely necessary.  No, this doesn’t really have anything to do with making your kitchen appear larger, but it will make you feel better when you open up your cupboards to organization and room instead of clutter.

First of All, Organize

 

A cluttered, junked-up counter top really decreases the space in a kitchen.  While small appliances, plants, canisters and other knick-knacks don’t use floor space, they do make the room look unorganized and smaller.  With your counter tops opened up and free of clutter, you will be on your way to creating an airy, spacious look.

Walls and Floors

 

You probably already know this, but light colors really expand a room.  If your walls are dark or covered with wallpaper, it’s time to make a change.  Strip wallpaper; small prints, flowers and any intricate designs make the room look smaller.  A fresh coat of butter yellow paint or any other very light color will look appealing and visually open the room.

Floors should be kept light as well.  If you have wood floors, natural wood or pine stained in a very light shade looks clean.  Linoleum or ceramic tile should be light colored as well, perhaps in cream or sand shades.

Cabinets

 

Most people cannot afford new cabinets, as they are very expensive.  As with your walls and floors, cabinets need to be of a light shade.  If you have dark cabinets, you can give them a face lift yourself to save money.  Updating your cabinets will transform the look and feel of your kitchen more than you can imagine.  Sand the finish, apply a couple of coats of light colored paint, and add some decorative hardware.  You may want to apply a coat of glossy polyurethane to protect the paint and give it sheen.

Opening up your windows allows light to come in and works great for making the room look more spacious.  If you can, leave the window over your sink completely open with no curtains or other window treatments.  If you must use something, keep it sheer and light colored to continue with the airy appeal.

Keep the floors clear of furniture and other accessories that are not needed.  If you have lots of plants, baskets or other things taking up floor space, move them out.  The cleaner you keep the floors, counter tops and kitchen table, the more spacious your kitchen will appear.  Put a few of these tips to work for you, and soon you will have a kitchen that looks as though it has doubled in size!

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Jul 16 2010

Open Up a Small Kitchen For a Spacious Look

Published by under Kitchens

If your kitchen is on the small side, there have probably been many times you wished it was a bit more spacious.  While it’s impossible to add square footage to the room without building on to your kitchen, you can make it appear much larger!  When a room looks more spacious, it feels that way as well.  This article offers tips and ideas on how to visually open up your kitchen so that it appears spacious and airy.

Clear it Off
Clutter makes any room look smaller.  If your counter tops are filled with gadgets, jars, small appliances, plants, candles and other things, clear them off!  You will be amazed at how one small change such as removing the clutter from your counter tops will change the look of the room.

Let the Sun Shine In!
Another small change you can make that will make a dramatic difference is to let natural light shine in.  If your kitchen and dining room windows are covered with dark wood shutters or heavy fabrics, make a switch to light colored shades or mini blinds.  These allow you to completely open up the window when you choose, and offer privacy after dark.  If you must use a valance or curtain, choose bright, sunny colors.

Expand the Perimeter of the Room with Light Colored Walls
Most people know that dark colors minimize while light colors expand.  For your small kitchen walls, choose colors that are light, such as cream, pale yellow or white.  Dark colors will only make the room look smaller, while light colors add appeal and make the room look much larger than it actually is.

Floors should be light as well.  Natural wood without dark stain is best for making your kitchen appear larger; if you choose stone, linoleum or tile keep the shades light as well.

Cabinetry Makes a Difference
If your cabinets are dark, consider sanding them down and staining or painting a lighter shade.  This is much less expensive than buying new cabinets, and will transform the look of the room!  You may also want to consider clear glass panels in cabinet doors to further open up the room.

When it comes to small kitchens, keep busy patterns to a minimum.  Intricate floral wallpaper or boldly patterned tablecloths, curtains and other accessories tend to make a room look even smaller.  Keep lines simple and basic.  A solid colored tablecloth should be used if you choose to use one at all, or a light colored runner works as well.  Adding interesting bursts of color through a simple centerpiece or wall hangings is enough to liven up the room a bit without making it look smaller.

When it comes to appliances, white or stainless steel is best.  Stainless steel is reflective, which works much like a mirror to make the room look larger.  The secret to opening up any small space is to keep simple, uncluttered lines and use light color!  Put some of these ideas to work in your kitchen, and you will find that it looks and feels like you have twice as much room.

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Jun 21 2010

Create a Warm Country Style Kitchen

Published by under Kitchens

Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to decorating their home, but you would be hard pressed to find many that do not like the cozy, welcoming atmosphere of a country style kitchen.  The kitchen area is often the “heart” of the home.  This is where family congregates to enjoy good food and good conversation!  This article offers tips and ideas on how to incorporate an old time country look and charm in your kitchen.

A country style kitchen often displays a good deal of early American character.  A farmhouse comes to mind in this style of décor; rooster, cows, hens, pigs and other farm animals are often on display.  It is typical for the theme to focus on a particular animal.  It is perfectly fight, though to use a combination of animals and display them in various locations around the room.

The Kitchen Table is Central to the Theme
Many country themed kitchens are one big room.  In other words, the table may actually be in the kitchen itself, as there is often no separate dining room.  In this case, it is essential that your table and chairs are designed in the country style.  High backed wooden chairs may have cushioned or decorated seats.  To add even more to the old time charm, try to find a solid wood table that displays visible knots from the tree that the table was made from.  A hutch or buffet will complete the furnishings for the room.

Antique Touches Add Charm
Another great thing about a country style kitchen is that you can find many of the accessories you need at flea markets and garage sales.  Old butter churns and iron skillets create a look that reminds everyone who enters of years gone by at grandma’s house.  Hang old cast iron skillets in varying sizes on one wall; display an old butter mold on the counter top.  Any accents or trivets that look as though they were a long time ago are perfect for this type of décor.

Carry Through With a Theme
If you do decide to choose one central theme for the room, carry it throughout.  For example, if roosters are what you decide upon, use them everywhere.  You can find cookie jars, canisters, hot pads, dish towels, clocks and more that are designed in a rooster pattern.

For the windows, you may want to consider using curtains that coordinate with the colors in the room.  The colors often used in the country decorating theme include rustic hues like dark red or rust, golden yellow, blue, dark green and brown.  Use a solid colored curtain or a pattern that complements the rest of the décor.  You may also decide you would rather use wood shutters, which are perfect with this type of decorating.

As for lighting, nothing adds more charm than a wrought iron chandelier.  This look is not too elegant or dressy, as some styles of chandeliers would be for country decorating.  Hung over the table, this will add to the cozy and comfortable atmosphere.  Place a basket filled with fresh fruit or pine cones and other natural foliage in the center of the table, and your charming country kitchen is complete!  Nothing beats country for charm, beauty and the warmth of family gatherings.

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Apr 07 2010

Turning a Tired, Dated Kitchen into a Showplace

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Family, friends, and relatives all love to congregate in a comfortable kitchen-the one area of the home that everyone enjoys. For centuries, kitchens have been the room where everyone gathered, the heart of the home. Here families have come together for great meals, visiting at the table, or playing board games. After all this activity, it’s not surprising that your kitchen may look a little dated. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to give it a fresh, updated appearing, increasing the value of your home at the same time.

Certain Things Give Away the Age
Not surprisingly, there are some dead giveaways when it comes to your kitchen’s age. Are your kitchen appliances still avocado green? If your answer is yes, then this is something you need to get rid of. Or, if that’s not in your budget, then simply give them a facelift. Appliance paint is available that allows you to change the color. Of course, read the label before you buy it, but most paints of this kind can be used on refrigerators, dishwashers, and other appliances.

Perhaps it’s your cabinets that look outdated. If you can afford it, you might buy new ones or even have someone build them for you. Otherwise, you can completely transform the look yourself. All you need is a fresh coat of brightly colored paint and some new hardware! Start by sanding the finish down and then repaint them with a color that will liven things up a bit. By changing the look of your cabinets, you can transform the look of your entire kitchen.

Other Little Changes Create Big Impact
With very little expense, you can do many small things to change the look or style of your kitchen. A simple thing to do is to change the window treatments in the kitchen area. If you’ve always hung curtains there, perhaps this is the time to consider some wooden shutters or modern blinds.

Another easy touch is to handcraft a brightly patterned runner for your dining table. Look online or at a flea market for a used baker’s rack, which makes a great place to display all of your favorite things. If you have a very small kitchen that contains an island, open up the area by removing that island, giving it a more spacious look.

What About the Floors?
Has your worn linoleum turned yellow with age? Fortunately, there are a few things you can do. Many people find that wood flooring is especially warm and charming in the kitchen. Or you may find that tile is a good fit with the room’s style. You can settle on any look and design you want.

For those of you who cannot afford new flooring, don’t worry. You can always refresh the old! One option many don’t realize they have is to paint the linoleum. Start by sanding them down, being sure to remove any dirt and dust particles. Then apply an oil-based primer. Apply two to three layers of your chosen paint. Cover it with a few layers of oil-based polyurethane to seal it and you’ll be good to go!

Updating the look of your kitchen is a great way to increase the value of your home. In fact, the kitchen is the one room in the house that most potential buyers look at most closely. These tips can help you transform your kitchen into a dazzling space that will attract the notice of all your visitors.

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