Chef-Approved Tips for Organising Your Home Kitchen

Staying healthy and eating proper food is one of the most important things in the world, but it’s also a challenge you need to invest a ton of time and energy into. That’s why lots of people spend hours and hours in the kitchen every single day, trying out new recipes and discovering new ingredients.

In order to do everything right, you need to organise your kitchen first and make sure it’s functional, practical and properly designed. Doing this on your own is quite all right, but listening to someone else’s advice can’t hurt, so here are a few ways to organise your kitchen, recommended by chefs who really know what they’re doing.

The Layout

This is the first step towards putting together a well-organised kitchen you can be proud of. So much depends on the type of the layout you pick, from the way you move around your kitchen to the food you prepare, so making sure the layout works for you is more important than you can imagine. After all, just picture spending your entire life in a kitchen you don’t like at all, not knowing where everything is and wasting time trying to prepare your food – doesn’t sound like fun, does it?

Luckily, there are lots of layouts you can choose from, so spend some time exploring these and figuring out which one is going to fit your kitchen the most. Depending on the amount of free space you have, you can choose between a U-shaped or an L-shaped kitchen, and these are two of the most popular designs out there. Alternatively, you can design a galley kitchen, a one-wall kitchen or a peninsula kitchen, but just be sure to leave enough space for moving around as well.

The Cabinets

Once you’ve decided which layout you’re going to use, it’s time to start furnishing and decorating your kitchen. First, take care of the cabinets because these will determine what kind of cooking experience you’ll have and whether you’ll love spending time in the kitchen in the first place or not. These are crucial, and not all cabinets will do, so give them all the attention they deserve.

No matter how big your kitchen is, utilise every inch of free space you have – this might not seem that important at the moment, but this is ultimately going to make or break your kitchen design. Don’t be afraid to design your own cabinets and tell your contractor what you want them to look like, because that’s the only way to get the cabinets that will actually fit you. Organise them in accordance with your own needs and try to keep the things you use on a daily basis close by while storing those you use rarely on the top shelves.

The Island

This is another feature you can see in all chef-approved kitchens, and it’s really something all cooks need, regardless of their experience and cooking skills. A kitchen island can seem too big at first, especially in tiny kitchens, but you can’t imagine how essential this really is. An island is an additional working area, storage area and, if you add a few bar stools to it, an additional eating area too, so it’s amazing on more levels than one.

What’s even better is that you can spice up your island by adding more features to it. Things like sinks, stoves, convection ovens, and dishwashers can be easily incorporated right in the middle of your kitchen island, not to mention lots and lots of pullout drawers that can fit in more stuff than you can imagine. If you opt for a stove, though, don’t forget to install one of those powerful fire ducts above it as well, as these will come in handy whatever you’re cooking.

The Countertops

In the end, this is another thing all modern kitchens need, so don’t forget to add as much countertop space as you can. Of course, you need to pay attention to the colour and make sure it matches the colour schemes of your walls and your cabinets. Going with the same colour can turn out to be too boring and counterproductive in the end, so either pick an accompanying colour or one that’s completely different.

When it comes to the materials, granite, marble, quartz, and wood are among the most popular choices out there. All of these materials are durable and are going to last you for decades, but check their pros and cons before making the final decision.

In the end, picking your kitchen furniture doesn’t have to be so hard, as long as you know what you’re trying to achieve and what kind of effect you’re going for. Take your time, think everything through, and you’ll surely come up with the best kitchen design in the world.

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2019’s Hottest Home Decor

Comfort is trending for 2019, a consensus of home decorators agree, with more people seeking warm colors, intimate spaces and a casual but sophisticated lifestyle.

Designers looking to pair physical coziness with emotional comfort forecast seven decor trends:

blue living room

Scaled down furnishings – After years of favoring large furniture and open spaces, consumers are aiming for a ‘nesting’ environment and choosing smaller pieces arranged in more intimate settings.

Wall coverings – The return to traditionalism brings with it a return to wallpaper, fabric wall coverings and murals. Expect to see plenty of rich shades of green in fabric and wallpaper patterns.

Color changes – While blues and indigos have been huge in recent years, green is the new blue for 2019 and is likely to be used in everything from upholstery patterns to kitchen furnishings.

Color ‘pops’ – People are ditching beige minimalism in favor of fun colors, especially in family-friendly spaces. Yellow is the hottest color for small accent pieces–from ceramics to lamps to sofa pillows.

Warm woods and traditional styles – Antiques and even second-hand items are having their moment again, with consumers looking for skirted tables, wooden chests and other wood pieces with a sense of history.

Indoor and outdoor fireplaces – The coziness trend favors indoor fireplaces, working or not, with homey hearths as a nice spot to gather. Outdoors, fireplaces are preserving the joy of summertime barbecues.

Crafts and artisanal accents – In a world of increasing mass production, there has been a shift back to artisanal and boutique choices in pillows, wall hangings, quilts and other accent pieces all around the home.

Article written by Barbara Pronin and published with the permission of Paul Gaskins of Keller Williams Realty.

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How to Shop for Used Furniture That Will Last

Purchasing used furniture is a great way to save money, but sometimes it can be difficult to determine if the furniture found in second-hand stores will last. There are a few simple steps buyers can take to ensure each piece of furniture will hold up to everyday use. Consider these four factors when shopping for furniture at second-hand stores.

Understand the Wood Types

examples of used furniture

When shopping for used furniture, it’s important to understand the different types of wood construction used in furniture making. There are typically three types of wood used in furniture: composite wood, veneers, and solid wood.

Composite wood, which is also known as particle board, is the cheapest way to construct wood furniture. Composite wood is made of a combination of resin, plastic, and wood pulp. Since furniture made of composite wood is usually constructed using scraps, it will likely cost less than other wood-constructed furniture. And it typically won’t last long once you get it into your home.

Furniture made of veneers is a step above composite wood furniture. Veneers are constructed with an inexpensive wood base, which is then covered by layers of higher-quality wood. Furniture constructed using veneers are a great option for budget shoppers who are hoping to purchase higher quality wood furniture without the high price tag of solid wood pieces.

Solid wood furniture is often heavier and more well-constructed than furniture made of veneers, but it can also be more expensive. While solid wood furniture is a great option when searching for second-hand pieces, there are a few drawbacks to buying furniture constructed of solid wood. Wood furniture is often more susceptible to damage, like scratches and water rings.

Check Joints and Openings

Higher quality furniture made to last will use higher quality building tactics. The first sign of a higher quality wood piece is furniture constructed using wood joinery, which means the wood is joined at its ends and corners and not glued or nailed. Furniture using wood joinery is sturdier than pieces using glue or nails in their construction. The most popular wood joinery options are dovetail (square teeth that interlock) or mortise-and-tenon (a narrow-ended piece inserted into a hole in another piece).

It’s also important to check all openings, like drawers and cabinet doors, when evaluating a piece of used furniture. Drawers of high-quality pieces will open and close with ease, in addition to pulling out all the way and closing evenly. Additionally, cabinet doors should remain in an open position on their own and should shut evenly when closed.

Upholstered Furniture Construction

sofa and end table

There are a variety of important areas to inspect when evaluating a piece of upholstered furniture. First, take a look at the cushions to determine if their construction will last the test of time. Couches or chairs with removable cushions will allow you to look inside to determine their quality. High-quality cushions are typically made of a block of dense foam wrapped in a layer of cotton. Cushions constructed of only foam are less durable. You should also look inside removable back cushions. High-quality back cushions are usually constructed of wrapped foam or loose fill inside internal compartments to prevent the fill from settling.

In larger pieces of upholstered furniture, like a couch or loveseat, inspecting the support system is essential. Start by looking at the sofa’s frame. A high-quality sofa frame will be made of hardwood and constructed using both dowels and screws for extra stability. Corners should also be reinforced using blocks for additional support.

Continue your inspection by looking at the couch’s seating support. The best support system is the eight-way hand tied springs system, which uses twine to connect each spring together inside the sofa. Sinuous spring construction, in which the springs form an S shape from the front of the seat to the back, is another strong support system.

Make Sure You Transport Your Furniture with Care

car moving a sofa

Purchasing high-quality furniture will do you no good if you don’t safely transport it home. While transporting your new furniture using a trailer or truck is the preferred method, used furniture buyers with cars can safely transport their new purchases with a little planning. Furniture can be safely secured to the top of a car if you don’t plan to travel far with your new purchase. 

Start by covering the roof of your car with blankets to protect the finish. Choose a rough, old blanket to keep the furniture from slipping as it rests on top of the car. Then, secure the furniture using strong rope and ratchet straps to ensure the furniture is bound tightly to the top of your car. To safely use rope to secure your furniture to the top of your car, you will need to tie several knots in the rope and use several ropes along the length of the piece of furniture. Buyers in Olympia also know it’s important to cover the furniture with plastic to protect it from the elements, like rain or snow. Finally, be sure to drive slowly and avoid highway travel, if possible. Choosing and transporting a high-quality piece of furniture may take some time and attention. But the extra effort will be worth it when you have a beautiful new piece of furniture in your home that is sure to last a lifetime.

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What You Need to Throw a House-Friendly Housewarming Party

balloons

Congratulations on moving into your new home! You are now part of the new 572,000 new homeowners his year, according to the market review of Trading Economics. When all the moving boxes are away and all the handpicked decorations are in place, it’s time to turn your thoughts toward something fun. Specifically, your housewarming party. Just what does one need to throw a proper housewarming party?

A Good Theme

It all starts with the theme. A themed party entices better attendance and opens the doors for themed games and themed food, as found by Odyssey. As the host, having a well-chosen theme to guide you can definitely simplify what you’ll need to do. The theme tends to dictate the attire of everyone in attendance and helps narrow down what sort of furniture or decor you’ll need. For example, a garden-themed party will need furniture and seats that made of the sort of material that won’t mind sun, wind, and even a little dirt on them like wood, metal, and even plastic.

Space and Seating

The concept of a housewarming is something that encompasses different cultures. So when you do throw a housewarming party, it’s important to have space and seating. Popular congregation spaces in a home are the living room, garage, garden, and even the kitchen. You can invest in collapsible tables and chairs so you can pull them out only when necessary. If you don’t have enough space or seating, you can scale back the guest list a bit. To save up on storage space and cut back from having to buy a lot of chairs, you can invest in bench-like seating to accompany your dining table.

Primed Furniture

As a homeowner, it can be quite natural to worry about your furnishings. After all, guests will be using sofas, dining tables, and even coffee tables while they’re there. Something you can do to protect your surfaces and seating is to prime them beforehand. You can use stain-repellant treatments like Scotchgard and spray them over upholstered furnishings so any spills can just bead off and are easier to clean. If your dining table is expensive or an antique, you may want to consider buying something to cover it with.

If you’re worried about your floor, prepare a welcoming mat for guests to use before they enter the home. You can also have easy to clean mats on the floor for high traffic areas. Speaking of mats, you can place coasters and placemats on surfaces to anticipate drinks or plates of food.

No-Guest Areas

Just because you’re opening your home to guests does not mean you’ll have to share it entirely. You can have designated areas where guests aren’t allowed like certain rooms. That’s handy to have so you can keep any fragile decorations stored away and not have to worry about them while you’re entertaining your guests.

With careful planning and suitable safeguards, you can definitely throw a housewarming party that is both memorable and house-friendly. Don’t stress too much about the details and trust the preparations you’ve done are enough. Never forget that the whole point of the party is to welcome your friends or family into your home.

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Practical tricks to optimize your bedroom for better sleep

Few things can beat the feeling of relaxation once you enter the clean sheets after the tiring day. In fact, the average human spends third of his life in the comfort of the bedroom, that said one can only imagine the importance of right and healthy things your bedroom needs to have for a well-rested night of sleep. We all know the stressful feeling of the warm pillow and blanket in the summer nights that wouldn’t let us fall asleep no matter how hard we tried to count all those sheep and pretend that we are actually sleeping. What addition you can make for your bedroom to once and for all never have to experience such a bad feeling?

 

Useful tricks to add to your bedroom to wake up well rested with a smile

You are probably familiar with the constant turning up and down of your pillow or blanket in order to achieve the constant coolness. Cool comforters are specially optimized to regulate a satisfactory temperature of your bed in correlation with your bodies heat.

It is difficult to achieve the wanted not too cold but also and not too hot result. Certain fabrics and styles will keep you cozy but not overheated. Needless to say, this will greatly improve the quality of sleep in the end.

Psychologists suggest that our bedroom should always have a somewhat different scent than the rest of our household. Anything related to Vanilla smell or beautiful Lavender scent can do wonders. This not only makes us feel relaxed once we enter our bedroom but it also improves the time we spend sleeping as our mind feels a lot more relaxed and the feeling of waking up in such aroma can be healthy as it is pleasant.

Estimating the right color and the amount of light can be the greatest addition to your bedroom

All we ask from our beloved bedroom is that it provides us with a well-rested night of sleep. You can increase these chances double fold if you paint your bedroom in bright colors like yellow, orange or silver but psychologists also suggest that green and blue variations can also be just as good. Try to install dimmed lights into your bedroom regardless of its color since our eyes instantly perceive them as an opportunity to fall asleep much quicker.

Adding blinds that will mimic the dimmed light can also be just as good especially if you have a larger window in your bedroom. Note one very important thing that most of the people still don’t take into serious consideration.

The less technology your bedroom has the easier it is for you to have a well rested sleep cycle. This is especially important for all of you who love to watch TV in your bedroom. Let the living room be the place where you will enjoy your favorite show during the day and strip your bedroom from the laptop or smartphone right away.

Other than that adding a few plants that will not only look beautiful but provide you with fresh oxygen is always a smart move.

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