We wanted to share this great Infographic about Kitchen Design Trends for 2015. Of particular interest is the lighting. Lighting is one of the most important design elements especially in kitchens and is too often not paid proper attention in the overall design plan.
No, I am not talking about green beer on St. Patrick’s Day, or green eggs and ham, but green in terms of selection of eco-friendly materials to complete your home remodel. Below is a guest post that describes some good ideas about how you can ‘think green’.
Making your home remodel as green as possible
When remodelling a home you have to make environmental concerns a priority now, not just because of government regulations and stipulations, but also because we have a duty to build buildings and homes that use as few resources as possible, will operate without depleting natural resources on an ongoing basis, and will stand the test of time and be durable and liveable for many years to come. This might sound like a challenge if you’re remodelling a home, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. It doesn’t mean your remodelled home has to be a complete off-the-grid tepee without electricity or running water, it just means that you should use approved green products and appliances when doing your constructions. Information about green solutions is readily available; just browse design and construction firms like Unique Design. Green design doesn’t have to affect the appearance of your remodel either, just the mechanics of it. Here are some pictures of green remodelled homes:
It is now very easy to power your kitchen or bathroom by using solar energy, so if you are doing works on your plumbing or light fittings you should think about this. Solar energy will also attract generous rebates from the government, meaning that your energy bill will dramatically decrease.
Plumbing fixtures are good place to focus your attention as well, as faulty or inadequate fixtures are responsible for huge amounts of leaking and water wastage. A good thing to do when in the midst of a remodel is to get an energy audit, which will show you exactly how and where your energy consumption is going. It might be a revelation to find out exactly how energy is used in your home, and then you’ll know what the big consumers are and how you can save on energy expenses. Most people find that energy is used for a few hours in the evening, across two rooms, the kitchen and the bathroom. As a general rule, good quality products are better for the environment because they use energy more efficiently and last longer, meaning that they stay out of our landfill for longer.
I was intrigued. I had not thought of using Pine as a wood species for kitchen cabinets before this request for a guest post crossed my desk. Because Pine is a softer wood, specific care needs to be taken to preserve it’s intended look. Pine is a less expensive wood and in the right setting can be a great option to consider for your kitchen cabinetry. Summer cabin up in Flagstaff, AZ need a face lift in the kitchen? Consider Pine wood.
I’ve Got Pine Kitchen Cabinets. Anything I Should Know?
Pine cabinets can be a stunning addition to any home decor, and this is especially true when you are going for a rustic home design. Log cabin furniture and cabinets that are made from pine give the home a more authentic log cabin feel. Pine cabinets require different care than other wood cabinets though.
Each piece of pine has unique irregularities that give pine its character. This gives pine a unique and beautiful texture as well. The beauty of pine is in its quality, and each piece is different from any other. Those knots and burls of wood make treatment and care of pine cabinets and log cabin furniture different from other wood pieces.
Pine wood is naturally soft and susceptible to climate changes. Temperature and the elements will affect the wood which will cause it to expand and contract. Water and humidity will cause the wood to expand. Heat and direct sunlight will cause the wood to shrink causing cracking. Pine wood cabinets will expand if subjected to water in any form not just humidity. This makes them especially delicate in the kitchen where water would need to be cleaned off the cabinets immediately, or damage could occur. Spills, spatters and the effects of daily use need to be cleaned off pine cabinets instantly.
Hot or cold items shouldn’t be placed directly on pine since they can mar the surface of the wood. Most cabinets will be covered with a counter top, but for those pieces that are stand-alone be especially conscious of using a place mat or potholder under hot plates.
Image Courtesy of refacingkitchencabinetscost.org
Care and Cleaning
Pine cabinets cannot be cleaned with detergents or soap. General everyday cleaning requires a duster to keep the cabinets free of dust or dirt. For more in-depth cleaning, a damp cloth may be used, but any moisture needs to be wiped away with a dry cloth immediately. The finish on pine cabinets is normally glossy and will not react well to harsh cleaners and polishes. Any polishing products should be made especially for pine wood. Aerosol sprays and polishes are not optimal for the care and treatment of pine, and silicon should be avoided at all costs.
The softness of pine and the effects of shrinking and expanding could make the hardware loose. Tighten the screws flush with the cabinets. Do not over-tighten them because it could split the wood, make it loose and eventually strip the screw holes. This need for tightening may happen periodically. It’s normal for pine and shouldn’t be a concern.
Pine will need to be re-treated every few months to maintain the surface of the wood. This can be done with a block wax that is not filled with heavy perfumes. Apply the wax to the entire surface both front and back as well as inside the cabinets. Pay particular attention to the surfaces that will see daily use. Those are the parts where the sheen will wear out faster.
With proper care, pine cabinets will last a lifetime and will be continue to be a spectacular showpiece in any rustic interior home design.
About the company:
JHE’s Log Furniture Place is a leading manufacturer and retailer of rustic log furniture. This company has a huge online store offering indoor and outdoor log furniture, as well as rustic décor and accessories. Its furniture is proudly made in the USA and the company has excellent customer service.
Kitchen design seems to be on a lot of people’s minds right now. Perhaps it was this last holiday season’s cooking and entertaining experience that has put some folks at that point of –that’s it, I need to update and upgrade my kitchen NOW!
Below is a guest post that addresses some basic kitchen remodeling topics that should be thought through before the project begins in earnest.‘
Thoughts on remodeling designer kitchens
Why do homeowners remodel their kitchen? It’s usually after they get frustrated with the designs of the previous owners. ‘Why is that there?’ and ‘I don’t see any reason for this’ are thoughts that usually set them on the path of new kitchen design. Since it’s this frustration that drives the change, it is very important to know what you want to change right from the start.
Before you even think about getting down to the nitty-gritty of planning designer kitchens – with CAD, blueprints, and designers – there are some basics to get through first. Considering these will save you a huge amount of time and money later.
Arguably, the kitchen is the most important room in the home. These days, it’s not only a room for cooking but doubles up as a family meeting point and an area for social gatherings. It is important to design everything around your preparation, cooking, refrigeration, and dishwashing zones.
Don’t tamper with…
There are some appliances in kitchens that are extremely difficult and costly to move. These include vented range cooker hoods, sinks and dishwashers.
You can move…
Fridges can be moved fairly easily, as can cabinetry, so take these into consideration.
Sensibly placed cabinets…
Remember that putting cabinets in places that are difficult to reach will result in crockery never getting used. You should, therefore, mostly aim to put your kitchen cabinets at eye-level and above your worktops.
Do I need a kitchen island? – I hear your ask. Well, they certainly do add value to a property, and are an absolute must for some homeowners. They are great for the ‘social kitchen’. Many designer kitchens have this feature. But it comes down to space really. After all, it’s just a trend, and you can do without one if necessary.
Don’t scrimp on worktops…
High quality designer kitchens need worktops to last for a long time and must be durable and ensure daily usage. It really is worth paying that bit extra to get a granite or quartz surface. Spend some time thinking about what you want and make absolutely sure you get it right.
Space is key…
This is the real reason you need to hire a designer – since they are experts at proper spacing. Any space problems will be worked around in a way that computer software just can’t manage.
Is it a tomato or tomatoe? A sofa or a couch? Sometimes different words can mean the same thing. This is NOT true for hand made/bespoke kitchens versus a made -to- measure kitchen which is essentially stock items specified in certain dimensions, and finishes . S Interior Design often combines semi-custom kitchen components with bespoke, and therefore unique design elements when we do kitchen remodels for our clients. The guest post shown below (from across ‘The Pond’ for my United States readers who may not recognize some word spelling), describes some key differences between a true Bespoke/Handmade kitchen and other kitchen design options
Defining a bespoke kitchen:
Bespoke design is a term that is bandied about casually by a number of trades, as well as kitchen and furniture fitters. The word has been adopted by many large kitchen companies who offer little more than ‘made-to-measure’. A bespoke kitchen can be best described as ‘handmade kitchens’. Read on find out about handmade kitchens.
Bespoke versus made-to-measure
Between the extremes of ‘bespoke design’, and ‘pre-produced’, sits ‘made-to-measure’. Often made-to-measure means taking pre-existing designs and customising them to suit a certain type of room. In terms of kitchen design, this will often mean giving customers the choice of colour, work surface material, or door handle etc. Bespoke on the other hand, refers to something that is individually cut or designed to meet specific individual requirements.
Defining bespoke kitchens
As a concept, bespoke refers to custom-made products, without any pre-existing sizes and patterns. Many kitchen companies will offer ‘made-to-measure’ and think that it qualifies as bespoke. A true bespoke kitchen designer will be able to design and build unique kitchen furniture, tailored to meet specific requirements. These are not pre-produced, but are made specifically on design request. A better phrase to use would be a ‘hand-made kitchen’, as the value is in the expert design and production process.
The Design and Production Process
Handmade kitchens are defined by their design and production process. Some companies will allow you to customise designs to fit your individual kitchen, but the process is not truly bespoke. When choosing a handmade kitchen, it is the designers job to take a customers vague ideas and concept of a ‘dream kitchen’ and turn them into reality.
Purchasing a handmade kitchen will begin with an initial design consultation whereby the designer will try to establish the following. Is it solely a place for preparing food, or does it have a multi-purpose function as a living and a socialising area? These underlining principles will shape the design of a kitchen.
The designer will also ask the customer if they have any specific aesthetic requirements, including a the type of material used or style of design. One way that kitchen designers can ascertain their customers needs, is by asking them what they liked and disliked about their past kitchens.
After establishing what you are looking for in a kitchen, and choosing a design style and other elements such as the type of cooker, the designer can then produce technical drawings or CAD drawings to bring your ideas to life.
Request for bespoke designers to show you past work to help to give you an idea of what they can produce.
A truly bespoke kitchen company will own a workshop whereby individualised furniture is made. The value of a handmade kitchen is in the specialised design process, and the highly skilled craftsman employed, to the trusted fitting team. The difference between a top kitchen design company and a poor standard product can often be found out by looking at the production process. If you are serious about purchasing a handmade kitchen, I would advise you enquire into the production process or even request to see the workshop.
Article submitted by Richard Davonport, Managing Director at Davonport who offer bespoke kitchens with practical design features which can be tailored exactly to your needs. Founded almost 20 years ago, Davonport combine the latest technology with traditional woodcraft and finishing skills, to create cabinets of the highest quality. Meet our high skilled team of kitchen designers at www.davonport.com