Monthly Archives: September 2015

Most Popular Kitchen Floor Designs

A full kitchen renovation usually involves uprooting existing flooring and replacing it with something more modern and sophisticated. The type of flooring you choose to install in your kitchen really depends on how well it will compliment your future kitchen design, how it will need to be maintained over the years, and how much of your budget you’re willing to put into new flooring. It is also important to keep in mind how the flooring will blend things like cabinets, the sink and appliances, and wall coloring. There are a variety of options when it comes to kitchen flooring and you’re almost certain to find something in each category that will compliment any kitchen style.  Below, we’ve compiled a list of options for you to consider as you get ready to jump into flooring options!

Hardwood Floors
Hardwood floors are an age-old trend and look great in a variety of kitchen designs, from the rustic cabin kitchen and the traditional kitchen, to the contemporary style of a luxury kitchen.  Hardwood floors can be a bit pricey in comparison with some of the other options available, but they still beat out tile flooring by a long shot, and they are sure to compliment a high variety of kitchen designs. 
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Photo Credit: lakeviewcentercomplex.com

Laminate Floors
Laminate floors are often difficult to tell apart from traditional hardwood floors, because laminate flooring is often structured to mirror a pure wood design. Laminate floors can also be designed to have blended color from dark grays to light blues and can be customized to fit your specific kitchen design. Laminate flooring is often associated with outdated kitchen designs, but are definitely a contemporary convention with darker colors and wood-like patterns.

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Photo Credit: houselogic.com

Vinyl Floors
Vinyl floors are common in traditional kitchens and luxury kitchens. They can be on both the high and low end of pricing depending on the design, pattern, and cut needed for your kitchen’s layout. This picture exemplifies the way that vinyl can be used to replicate the look of a tiled floor at a discounted price.

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Photo Credit: oaktreelife.com

Cork Floors
Cork floors are probably the least known types of flooring available. Even if you’ve seen cork floors before you may not have recognized them as cork if the designer did his job right. There are a variety of ways to lay out a cork floor, and if it’s done right, it can look chic and sophisticated.

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Photo Credit: flooring.about.com

Tile
Finally, tile floors have become a classic trademark of the traditional and modern kitchen design. With so many variations, designs, and layouts to choose from, tile offers a great option renovating kitchen space. While some options, such as cork floors, might somewhat limit where you can go with your kitchen design, tiles have some of the highest selections for colors, size, and layout.

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It can be exciting to experiment with kitchen designs, and flooring is a big part of the choices you make regarding your kitchen. In many ways, flooring sets the groundwork for your entire kitchen and once the floors go down, all other design aspects have to be considered in relation to the flooring in place. Do you have any other flooring suggestions or something innovative and unique that you’ve done with your floors? Let us know in the comments below!

Best Faucets for Kitchen Sinks

Sink faucets are always the last thing on everyone’s mind. They’re generally considered to be a mundane and boringly practical aspect of the kitchen sink. Some faucets may include a special extension hose for ease of use when washing dishes or doing other similar chores, but they are certainly near the bottom of the list when it comes to priority pieces in your kitchen design.

Yet, faucets have become quite a bit more sophisticated than they once were, and you might be surprised to find just what choices are available to you in renovating your kitchen space. If you’re willing to add to your kitchen’s overall sense of luxury with a chic, high-performing faucet, then you might want to check out some of the luscious designs below.

The Design
In some cases, simply alternating from the typical design of kitchen faucets may give your kitchen a more glamorous and luxurious tone. Our brains become accustomed to seeing the kind of sink faucet in almost every household, and this is part of the reason why we don’t see them as something that really adds to the overall impression a certain design may give off. If you simply want a more contemporary design with basic function, many designs exist to meet his purpose.

FaucetPhoto Credit: beacon.com

Technologically Savvy
Do you dream of a kitchen faucet that you can turn on and adjust the temperature with the simple touch of a button? Well, there’s a solution for that. Depending on your tech savvy lifestyle and your desire for the ultimate luxury experience, consider a non-traditional faucet that doesn’t need hot or cold handles, because the off/on and temperature settings are all controlled with touch-sensitive technology atop the faucet itself.

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Photo Credit: trendecoration.com

Simple Luxury
Finally, if you don’t want to invest a lot of time or attention into your new sink faucet system, consider something that is still somewhat basic while still deviating from traditional faucet designs. This faucet is fully operation with just the side knob, and while there are no technological perks or eye-catching design wonders, it does offer a break from the norm in its high spine and flat design as opposed to the pip-like design of the average faucet.

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Photo Credit: faucetsuperdeal.com

These are just a few of the alternative faucet designs available for the contemporary kitchen. Do you know if any other fantastic faucet designs not mentioned here? Leave your feedback and suggestions in the comments below!

Tips for Choosing a Stainless Steel Sink

The stainless steel sink is a classic choice in the average kitchen for good reason. The sleek, clean structure of stainless steel makes it compatible with almost any design, and it’s easy to clean, maintain and polish. So, if you already know that you want to go with a stainless steel sink, but you’re not sure what sink will fit your kitchen space best, here are a few things to consider before taking the plunge with a new stainless steel kitchen sink.

Undermount vs. Overmount
One of the first things you’ll need to consider in choosing your stainless steel kitchen sink is whether you prefer to have the sink to be overmounted or undermounted. Undermount sinks can be very attractive in design and certainly include some advantages against overmount sinks, such as the ability to wipe countertop debris straight into the sink or the recovery of additional counter space.

SinkPhoto Credit: conceptbaths.com

Unfortunately, however, undermount sinks tend to be more expensive than their overmount counterparts. These sinks require weight-bearing countertops and have a greater propensity for mold build-up. As such, overmount sinks have a higher adoption rate for the average kitchen space. Fortunately, however, overmount sinks don’t mean you have to sacrifice that modern, minimalistic design. Dependent upon the gauge of the sink, many overmount sinks can have a thin bridge that takes up minimal counter room and gives your kitchen a refined, sophisticated look.

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Photo Credit: jlkbg.com

Size and Depth
Another important factor to consider in choosing the specific sink for your kitchen is the size and depth of the sink. Also, do you prefer one or two bowls? Some sinks can include an additional cutting board or drying station, others can be divided into a garbage disposal and regular draining system between the two bowls. Single bowl sinks are becoming increasingly popular for their simple, minimalist design.

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Photo Credit: aghanihit.com

However, some contemporary kitchens rock the double sink look, and show us that the double sink in modern life certainly have a place.

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Photo Credit: eledzeppelin.com

 In addition to single or double bowls, you will also want to consider the size and depth of your sink. To an extent, the size and depth of your sink will depend on the size of your kitchen and the amount of counter space you have available. If you’re doing a kitchen remodel, now might be the time to consider your kitchen needs and put in the extra work to have a larger sink if that’s what works best in your kitchen. Large sinks can be advantageous, but they may also take away from counter space, so the real choice comes in determining which is more needed in your specific kitchen.

Choose the Right Gauge
Finally, gauge the metal to fit your needs. The higher the gauge, the more thin and malleable the metal will be. Typically, anything around 16-gauge or lower is a solid piece of metal that should hold up against the normal wear and tear over the years. The gauge level will also determine how other materials resound off of the metal, such as metal pots and pans or stainless steel silverware.

Warranty and Repairs
Finally, it’s important to go with a brand you trust, or at least a brand that stands behind their products. When looking into the right stainless steel sink, consider lifetime manufacturer’s warranty and the cost of repairs or replacement if the need were ever to arise. It is always better to be prepared for the worst and go with a brand that stands behinds its products than to be surprised by a sudden malfunction and find out that the manufacturer is not willing to replace or repair the faulty parts.

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These are just some of the few important aspects to consider in looking for a stainless steel sink to fit your bathroom needs. Have any other suggestions for investigating stainless steel appliances? Leave your feedback in the comments below and let us know how you make decisions in your home improvement endeavors.

Over-the-Sink Window Treatment

An age-old fashion, over-the-sink windows can make your kitchen seem bigger, while adding some style and class to your existing kitchen design.  You may even enjoy the view while washing dishes at the sink, or simply respect the fact that you can utilize the sun’s natural rays during the day instead of cranking up the electric bill from the need for light throughout the day.

If you do have a window over your kitchen sink, or you plan to install one during your upcoming home renovation, here are a few tips and tricks to make the most out of the view and add to your overall kitchen design by dressing up your over-the-sink windows.

Material
The first major decision you’ll face in choosing the appropriate window dressing for your kitchen is to decide whether you need a window covering. Is your kitchen window right in the path of the sun as it rises and sets each day, or does it overlook the street or a somewhat public area where people walking by may be able to look in through the window? If so, you may need some sort of window covering in order to maintain your privacy or to avoid blinding rays in the mornings and evenings.

Window coverings come in a variety of different choices such as blinds, curtains, and shades, and the decision ultimately rests on personal opinion, kitchen aesthetic, and optimal functionality. If the sun is really a problem at times, or you simply feel more secure with blinds, they are definitely an option.

BlindsPhoto Credit: factorydirectblinds.com

On the other hand, curtains can also be a great choice, and often give your kitchen a more sophisticated and refined appearance. A curtain wrack can be easy to install if you have cabinets or appliances that enclose your kitchen sink, and they can be switched out or thrown in the washing machine for quick and easy cleaning.

CurtainsPhoto Credit: creatingthislife.com

Finally, if you don’t feel that privacy or brightness is an issue, and you simply want to add a bit of decorative frill to your kitchen, consider a window valance that sits atop the window and contributes to the design and color scheme of your kitchen. Valances are a great way to hide any other unsightly window hardware left from blinds or curtains.

 ValancePhoto Credit: pahalzan.com

Color
Obvious as it may seem, it’s important to choose window dressings that are consistent with the existing color scheme in your kitchen. Ideally, take a color that is less dominant amongst your overall kitchen design, and match your window dressing with a color that you’d really like to stand out in your kitchen. The orange window dressing in the picture below really stands out against the predominantly white kitchen and creates an attractive focal point above the sink.

 ColorPhoto Credit: bystephanielynn

Pattern
Finally, pattern can be an important component to choosing an over-the-sink window treatment for your kitchen. For some kitchens, the pattern or design of your kitchen may not be entirely relevant, however kitchen with marble, linear tiles, or other specific patterns. For example, anything other than a solid pattern may be too much of a contrast against the already busy pattern of the tiled floor.

PatternPhoto Credit: telimtex.com

Window dressings can be a great way to spice up your kitchen and make the window space over your sink a little more vibrant and lively. Do you have any unique experiences with window dressings? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, we’d love to get your thoughts and feedback!

Kitchen Lighting Ideas

If you’re considering a kitchen renovation, one of the last things you probably want to think about is the kitchen lighting. With the fridge, range hood, appliances, counters, flooring, etc. to consider, the lighting probably seems like a miniscule aspect of your remodeling process. However, proper lighting in your kitchen can save you a lot of pain and hassle later down the road. If you have a kitchen with windows, you may want to optimize the room’s ability for natural lighting and save on your electricity bill in the future. Conversely, you may want to install colored lighting or dimmers so that you’ll be able to create a certain ambiance within your kitchen whenever the occasion arises. Fortunately, the choices for lighting in kitchens are extensive.

The first thing to consider in trying to decide what type of lighting you want in your renovated kitchen space is to determine the style and setting of your kitchen, and what type of lighting would be most effective for that specific design. Do you want to make a statement with your kitchen lighting, or do you prefer to have your lights working anonymously in the background so that you almost forget their presence? Lighting can serve a variety of purposes, and it’s all about choosing the perfect option for your specific kitchen needs.

If you’re hoping to make a bold statement with your kitchen lighting, consider lights that hang relatively low, just above eye level, so that they catch attention and are nearly impossible to miss. For contemporary kitchen designs, a popular trend has been to group hanging bulbs together, as depicted in the picture below. This lighting fixture is attractive because it is unique and innovative.  For a kitchen built for ambiance, you might want to consider light dimmers as an addition to your hanging bulbs. These will allow you to set the tone for the room and become an interesting addition to your décor when not in use.

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Photo Credit: bluetea.com

If you like the idea of hanging bulbs as the perfect lighting solution for your kitchen space, consider a fixture with similar characteristics. This dining table light is made to represent bubbles floating down from the ceiling, and certainly makes for an interesting conversation piece when having guests over for dinner. Furthermore, the mirror at the top of the fixture helps reflect the light throughout the room, which can be a bonus in kitchens where lighting is poor. The reflection of the bubbles in the glass almost makes the them seem like they are falling through the ceiling, which is definitely a unique experience.

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Photo Credit: room-decorating-ideas.com

If you’re going for a more antique and sophisticated kitchen design, you may want to consider an old-style chandelier. Chandeliers can even be customized to fit into your contemporary kitchen design, and often provide a level of elegance and class. This brown chandelier completes this modern kitchen design, and blends in perfectly with the wood floors and dark wooded cabinets.

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Photo Credit: pinterest.com

For a more vintage look, check out something like this small rounded chandelier. We normally think of chandeliers as a singular design, but the styles are as wide spread as just about any other lighting design. Depending on your kitchen’s unique voice, a chandelier might be the perfect addition to your kitchen renovation.

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If your kitchen already has plenty of natural lighting and you don’t feel the need to break the bank on additional high-tech lighting, you may consider an individual light or two above the areas in the kitchen that will be used the most after the sun sets, such as the table and kitchen sink.  This specific design may look best in minimalist kitchens in which the design is kept simple and clean.

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Photo Credit: danthesparkyman.com.au

Conversely, some kitchens make big statements with their lighting. If your kitchen has a specific color pattern or is a neutral tone on which any color might seem more vibrant and lively, consider colored lighting, preferably something that can be dimmed or exchanged for natural lighting colors when the need arises.

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Photo Credit: kitchencabinetkings.com

Whether used simply as a nightlight for midnight snacking or for setting the tone for a romantic evening in, the addition of some color toned lighting in your kitchen can make it seem much more sophisticated and luxurious.

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Photo Credit: superbrightleds.com

Finally, if you would like to be discreet with your lighting, consider installing under-cabinet lighting. This can be another great option for those who already have well-lit kitchens and don’t need a lot of additional lighting in the area. Additionally, if you’re proud of your newly installed cabinets and would like to draw more attention to their beauty, under-cabinet lighting can be a great way of turning the cabinets into a spot-lighted focal point in the kitchen without being obnoxiously obvious.

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Photo Credit: medinaexteriors.com

Under cabinet lighting is normally thought of as residing under wall-mounted cabinets, however, under cabinet lighting can also be installed under the countertop cabinets as an additional lighting source. If you like the idea of blue tinted lights, consider this example of a kitchen with natural colored lighting above the countertops and blue lighting running against the bottom cabinets. If you decide to wire your lighting so that it can be managed on different switches, you’ll have the chance to use both lights in conjunction with each other, or to use one or the other as occasion permits.

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Photo Credit: bestactionheroines.com

Hopefully we’ve given you some ideas for how you might arrange the lighting in your new kitchen, but don’t just take our word for it! There are tons of lighting options and you’re sure to find something special and unique for your specific kitchen design and setup, you just need to do a little research.  Lighting fixtures can be a focal point of your kitchen, having your guests complimenting the unique design every time they step into your home; but if you’d rather attention be directed somewhere else, such as your stainless steel range hood or your custom import marble countertops, there are plenty of discreet lighting options available, as well.

Do you know of any fun or unique lighting designs that we missed? Have one of these designs yourself? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to get your feedback and see what kinds of awesome lighting designs are working for people in their home improvement projects.