Monthly Archives: June 2015

5 Kitchen Remodeling Projects to Tackle this Summer

This guest post is by Stephanie Cernivec in Marketing Communications at WarmlyYours Radiant Heating.

Summer is finally here, and that means entertaining family and friends is in full swing. When you’re hosting a group of people, you want your home to look its best. But what do you do if your house needs some updating? Start with the kitchen.

Family and friends typically gather in the kitchen to eat, drink and share stories. So, if your kitchen needs a little help in reflecting 21st century style, now is the time to get some updates out of the way. We’ve identified five remodeling projects that you can start right now that will completely revolutionize your kitchen. Some projects are simpler than others, but all of them will bring new flair to your kitchen. In the end, your guests will marvel at your new, modern kitchen.

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Photo Credit: WarmlyYours Radiant Heating

  1. Replace the hardware on your kitchen cabinets.

When your kitchen cabinets are equipped with outdated hardware — or no hardware at all — a quick update can make a world of difference. You can purchase new, modern hardware from your local hardware store, or you can even get some unique pieces from furniture stores like Pier 1 Imports, Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware.

  1. Paint the cabinets.

Of course, depending on how outdated your cabinets are, new hardware will only go so far. If your cabinets have seen better days, a fresh coat of paint will go a long way. If your cabinet frames and doors are structurally sound, you can use some strong cleaner, sandpaper and paint to bring new life to them, according to a ThisOldHouse.com article. And this time of year, the weather is perfect for an outdoor painting project. Plus, this renovation can be done for a fraction of what it would cost to replace the cabinets with new ones.

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Photo Credit: WarmlyYours Radiant Heating

Painting the cabinets also offers a great opportunity to liven your kitchen design up with some bright color. According to freshome.com, bold color is one of the top kitchen trends for 2015.

“This year, try painting your cabinets any bold shade (dark or light),” the article states. “These bodacious colors naturally draw the eye in and create a focal point.”

  1. Replace your range hood with a more modern offering.

Another piece that will draw the eye is a modern range hood. In particular, island mount range hoods that feature a curved profile are a modern feature that will bring any kitchen into the 21st century. Adding a stainless steel, contemporary piece to your kitchen will be like mounting a piece of art to your ceiling — but it will be functional too!

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Cavaliere B02CL-30″ Wall Mount Range Hood

  1. Replace your flooring.

If you’ve given the rest of our kitchen a makeover, it only makes sense to update the flooring as well. Your ‘70s or ‘80s tile will look especially out of place with modern cabinets and appliances.

Some of the most popular flooring choices for a kitchen include hardwood, large-format tile, cork, luxury vinyl and concrete, according to experts.

Hardwood is a great option for homes with an open floor plan because you can extend the flooring into other rooms, like the living room. It also never goes out of style, so you can ensure that you’ll get a good return on investment if you ever sell your home, notes John Riha in a HouseLogic.com article. In particular, engineered wood is the best choice for kitchens, he says, because it offers more stability and resistance to temperature changes.

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Photo Credit: WarmlyYours Radiant Heating

Porcelain tile is a good choice if you want tough, low-maintenance flooring, Riha says. It’s also said to be one of the most popular flooring types this year, according to architect Stephen Alton. Cork flooring is an eco-friendly choice that is waterproof and compressible, making it a comfortable surface for kitchen dwellers. Vinyl flooring is one of the easiest floor coverings to maintain, Riha says. It’s also very affordable and soft on feet. Finally, concrete is an up-and-coming flooring type for living areas and kitchens. Many different effects can be used to give it an industrial yet modern look.

  1. Install in-floor heating.

If you’re replacing the flooring in your kitchen, you should also consider installing radiant floor heating. An electric floor heating system can be installed under nearly any flooring surface and brings comforting warmth to one of the most used rooms in the home when the weather takes a turn for the worse. Summer is a great time to get ready for winter so that when the chill hits, you’re already prepared.

Each of these summer kitchen remodeling tips will ensure that your kitchen is the place to be during the summer and long after.

Sources:

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,20209705,00.html

http://freshome.com/2015/02/05/10-top-kitchen-trends-for-2015/

http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/kitchens/smart-options-kitchen-flooring/

http://rangehoodsinc.com/

https://www.warmlyyours.com/en-US/floor-heating

AUTHOR BIO

Stephanie Cernivec handles marketing communications for WarmlyYours Radiant Heating. WarmlyYours is headquartered in Lake Zurich, Ill., and offers a variety of electric radiant heating solutions, including floor heating, towel warmers, radiant panels, countertop heaters, mirror defoggers and outdoor heating solutions. For more information, visit www.warmlyyours.com.

Summer Recipes

Summer’s here, and it’s time to hang out in the yard by the grill. Check out the summer recipes in this blog to get started on those summer eats. Also check out

Cocktail Recipes from Movies & TV Shows for the adults at summer BBQs and Fun Recipes for Kids for kids who are bored during their summer vacation.

The best food to eat on a hot summer day is anything that is cool. Avoid turning on your oven, and don’t eat anything too heavy while hanging out in hot weather.

Beverages

Iced tea: Brew your favorite tea. It’s a much healthier choice than soda. For an individual serving, you can brew a concentrated mug of tea and pour it over a glass of ice. Or, you can make a big pitcher for a group of people.

Agua fresca: Agua fresca is a great way to cool down. Agua frescas are simple; they include water, fruit and sugar. For a watermelon agua fresca, try the recipe pictured below from Whole Foods. All you need is some watermelon, agave nectar and lime juice. Watermelon is mostly water anyway, right?

Watermelon Agua Fresca

Photo Credit: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/watermelon-agua-fresca

If neither of the above options float your boat, try fruit infused water or water with added cucumber and/or lemon.

Sides

Coleslaw: This classic side is theperfect addition to a grilled meal while hanging out in the backyard. It’s also light and mostly made up of veggies, so it’s perfect for those hot summer days. Try this recipe from Six Course Dinner, which includes carrots, golden beets, fennel, red cabbage, vinaigrette, mayo and green onion.

summerslaw copy

Photo Credit: http://www.sixcoursedinner.com/2012/06/summer-slaw.html

Guacamole: It’s not a cookout without some old-fashioned guacamole, right? Give Me Some Oven has a great recipe for a classic guacamole. You don’t have to add the jalapenos if you don’t like spicy food; but if you do love spicy food, be sure to add extra jalapenos. Enjoy guacamole with veggie sticks if you’re watching your carbohydrate intake.

Recipe Credit: http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/italian-guacamole-recipe/

Entrées

BBQ Ribs: We don’t know about you, but we can’t wait for the first meal of ribs this summer. Julie’s Eats & Treats has a great recipe for Smokey Barbecue Ribs. These ribs are baked in the oven and smothered in a delicious sauce of garlic, 7-Up, brown sugar, honey, lemon juice and barbecue sauce.

Recipe Credit: http://www.julieseatsandtreats.com/2014/06/smokey-barbecue-ribs/2/

Hot Dogs: You can’t go wrong with a traditional hot dog at a summer BBQ. However, we recommend dressing up your hot dogs with some fun and unique toppings. Lay out a spread of condiments for your guests to enjoy with their hot dogs.

Ideas for hot dog toppings include:

-Mac and Cheese

-Bacon

-Coleslaw

-Guacamole

-Sauerkraut

-Picked Carrots, Cilantro & Jalapeno

-Chili

-Tater Tots

-Corn Chips

-Kimchi

For more information, check out 25 Hot Dogs that Went Above and Beyond via BuzzFeed.

(Link: http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelysanders/hottt-dogs#.oraJ1L526j)

What are your favorite summer recipes? Have a great summer and enjoy!

 

What Did the Pig Say?

Summer’s here, and it’s hot!

Try eating these foods to stay cool:

-Watermelon

-Cucumber

-Light salads with lots of leafy veggies

Stay away from spicy foods or dehydrating foods, and remember to turn the oven and the stove on as little as possible while it’s really hot and turn the range hood on while cooking. Stay cool!

Pig Bacon Range Hoods Inc

Additional Tips for Small Kitchens

There are many pros to living in small homes; small homes generally require less upkeep and maintenance. However, when it comes to storage and clutter, many of us struggle with day-to-day life in small spaces. Using some ingenuity and know-how, you can help make your small kitchen feel larger. Manipulate design elements, add more storage and dive into some DIY projects to make using your small kitchen more pleasant and easier.

For additional advice for life in a small kitchen, check out our previous blog posts here: Small Kitchen Ideas and Tips for Organizing a Small Kitchen.

DESIGN ELEMENTS: Use some design tips to make your kitchen feel bigger, even though it’s exactly the same dimensions it’s always been.

Mirrors: Place mirrors throughout the room to make the space feel larger. Surfaces and objects are reflected back in the mirror, which creates the illusion of a bigger space to the viewers.

Wallpaper: Use a fun, bold wallpaper to add texture to the room. Also, putting wallpaper on one accent wall in a dark or a bold color will help make the room feel wider.

Glass: Glass makes spaces feel bigger because you can see through it to other rooms and areas. Great glass options for small kitchens include glass walls, glass doors that lead to other rooms or the yard, glass tile, glass cabinets and glass counters.

In Mark Egerstrom's 1,200-square-foot West Hollywood home, the wood floors of the kitchen extend out to a coordinated deck through glass shower doors, creating the illusion of a much bigger space. The walnut cabinetry was designed by Egerstrom: "It's my take on old farmhouse kitchens, updated to the 21st century." It was fabricated by Gary Ferguson of Case and Grain with Glacier White Corian counters and custom inset handles.<br /><br /><br /><br />

Photo Credit: http://www.housebeautiful.com/room-decorating/kitchens/g394/small-kitchens/?slide=4

Pot Rack: Replace a kitchen cabinet with a pot rack to make the space feel open and airy.

Lighting: A small space with no light feels much duller and smaller than a space with great task lighting. Remember to install task lighting and pendant lighting in your kitchen.

Colors: Don’t be afraid to let your style shine by using daring colors. Colors make the space more interesting and draw attention away from the dimensions of the room.

Photo Credit: http://www.hgtv.com/design/rooms/kitchens/small-kitchens-8-design-ideas-to-try-pictures

DIY PROJECTS & STORAGE: Use your creativity and DIY skills to create more storage in your kitchen. These projects will help cut down on clutter in small kitchen.

Magnetic Spice Bottles: Free up space by creating a magnetic spice rack that will keep your spices off of the kitchen counter. The magnetic spice bottles pictured below come from the blog Amy Bites. In this project, the bottles attach to a wall-mounted, metal base. However, you can also use magnets to attach the bottles to the side of your fridge.

Photo Credit: http://www.amybites.com/?p=2775

Rolling Shelves under the Sink: Make the most you can out of the existing storage space in the kitchen. This DIY project allows you to pull out shelves in the cabinets. This way you can fit more items in the same space and they’re easier to reach.

Curtain Rod: Place an extendable curtain rod in the kitchen cabinet to hold the lids to your cooking pots. Now they won’t scatter all over the place.

File Holder: Store your baking sheets and cutting boards in a file holder. This keeps things neat and easy to find.

DIY Murphy Desk by Shanty2Chic

Photo Credit: http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/2014/08/diy-murphy-desk.html

Murphy Table: Don’t have space for a dining room? Try your hand at creating a Murphy table in your small kitchen. Now you can sit down to enjoy breakfast and put the table back up when it’s not in use. The example below comes from the blog Shanty 2 Chic.

We hope these tips and tricks help you become more comfortable in your small kitchen. If you have more ideas for small kitchens, feel free to share them with us.