The microwave, trust me as a kitchen design professional for many years, is an appliance that is very tricky to place in the kitchen. One of the pros of the microwave as opposed to other appliances is that there are quite a wide range of sizes available to either build it into cabinetry or, in the case of the countertop model, simply put it on a shelf. You also want to try to place it near the refrigerator since you commonly take something out of the refrigerator and pop it into the microwave.
The cons begin with microwaves needing extra depth to install, making it difficult to position it above countertop height where it is most easily accessible. Some microwaves have trim kits that allow them to be built into cabinetry and many do not. It takes SO much space to just place it on a countertop and is not the best look.
The over-the-range microwave serves a purpose, yes, but the cons overwhelm the single pro of it being off the countertop. Ineffective venting and awkward and dangerous access (imagine foods cooking in pots below) make this installation a worst case scenario, sorry to say.
But, there's another solution!
[Sometimes a microwave on a shelf just works. It can be designed to hide in plain sight!]
Sometimes a microwave on a shelf just works. It can be designed to hide in plain sight!
It's the shelf. Sometimes, simply putting a microwave on a shelf just works. You have to first check the depth of both the shelf and the microwave to verify it will fit. In the case of the image above, the shelves are 14" in depth and the microwave is 12" deep. The outlet is recessed into the wall so that the microwave fits.
Hang it from underneath a wall cabinet or place it on a shelf between standard wall cabinets and it will be close in depth to surrounding cabinetry. That's the beauty of this appliance. It even has a turntable and all the most important functions a microwave needs. I just love this stylish, functional, convenient microwave. It works!
Adrian Betker at 4:11 PM
5 Great back splash ideas that are easy to clean
Friday, September 1, 2017
It can often be overwhelming, when considering a new back splash for your kitchen. There is such a wide variety of styles, colors, textures and materials available, that making a decision could be difficult.
Aside from the aesthetics, one of the most important factors to keep in mind when choosing your back splash, is how easy it is to keep clean. Is the material porous and will easily absorb grease splatter or spaghetti sauce stains?
Many stone and brick back splashes will become quickly discolored. Other options that can be wiped without any permanent staining tend to work better in areas near the stove.
Below is a list of some of easy to clean back splashes that are not only stylish, but functional as well:
1. Stainless Steel Back Splash
A stainless steel back splash will add a touch of class to any kitchen and can be easily cleaned to keep it looking brand new. This type of back splash is available in large panels, as well as various sized tiles, ranging from large to small.
Patterned stainless steel is also available, which can create a beautiful texture in your kitchen.
Wipe away any water droplets or other splatters immediately to prevent spotting.
2. Glass Back Splash
Large or small glass tiles used as a back splash are very simple to clean. This material can be cleaned with a general window cleaner in minutes.
You can find glass back splash sheets in a wide variety of colors to suit any style.
3. Stone Back Splash
Large, glossy finish stone slabs are an extraordinary way to add a back splash behind your stove and counter tops.
You can find Quartz, Granite, Marble and other stones that will compliment your kitchen and make it a breeze to wipe clean.
4. Laminate Back Splash
If you are on a budget, you may want to consider a laminate back splash. This type of back splash is more cost effective, yet is available in many colors and styles.
You will be pleasantly surprised to find that there are numerous types of laminate on the market, some of which look identical to genuine stone back splashes, which are much more costly.
5. Ceramic Tile Back Splash
Ceramic tile is often used as a back splash because it is very slick and can be easily wiped clean. When using this tile, be sure to seal the grout to prevent any staining. Larger sheets will also decrease the amount of grout that is visible.
Now that you are informed about the various types of back splashes, you can feel more confident about the options that are available from Absolute Custom Woodworks, to make the right choice for your needs.
Of course, no matter which type of back splash you choose, routine cleaning will keep it looking newer for a longer period of time.
Consult with the professionals @ Absolute, who can assist you in the best option for your home. They will take your flooring, cabinetry and counter tops into consideration, to ensure that all elements coordinate and create the kitchen of your dreams
Remodeling your kitchen is exciting, but does require advance planning to do the job right. The last thing you want to do is is make a decision you will later regret.
Often, people are anxious to complete their kitchen make-over. They fail to do the necessary research to ensure that their space will be the most efficient, cost effective and attractive.
The investment of time and money is valuable and your kitchen should reflect your efforts.
Let’s take a look at several key points to keep in mind when remodeling, to avoid any mistakes:
Limited Kitchen Counter Space
Ample counter space is crucial to a well functioning kitchen. The ability to have more than one cook in the kitchen at the same time is ideal.
It’s also nice to leave some small appliances on the counter, such as toaster ovens and mixers. With limited counter space, that isn’t possible.
You will definitely save money on the expense of counter tops if you have less to purchase, but it may not be the best solution. Consider a lower grade granite or other stone to offset the costs, so you can still have plenty of space to cook and entertain.
Extreme Kitchen Trends
Even though it is currently “your kitchen”, keep in mind that one day, you may decide to sell your home.
If your kitchen is off the charts with extreme, trendy features, you may have a difficult time finding someone with the same taste. You don’t want to have to invest more money in the future to remodel your kitchen again.
Don’t be afraid to show your own personality, but going overboard may not be the best decision.
Lack Of Functionality
For a kitchen to have the best functionality, it should be arranged in the “work triangle” layout. Doing so, will ensure that you can efficiently prepare meals.
The sink, stove and refrigerator should placed in a triangular position. Avoid putting one of these elements off by itself outside of the triangle.
You also want to keep placement of utensils, pots, pans and other cooking items within close range for maximum efficiency.
Not enough light in a room can lower moods and make the space feel closed in. If your room lacks natural light from windows, adding extra light fixtures will help brighten up the space.
Incorporating extra lighting is also a benefit to kitchens with windows. Strategically placed can lights and LED accent lights under the upper cabinets, will make your kitchen glow at night and give off just the right amount of added light.
Range Hood Ventilation
Ventilation from a typical range hood does little to clear odors and grease particles from the air. It also does nothing to reduce the heat from cooking. Investing in a quality ventilation system is a bit costly, but is well worth the expense.
An effective ventilation system takes the stale cooking air through duct work and out of vents which are mounted on the roof or a side wall of the home.
If you are thinking about remodeling your kitchen, set aside some time to look at ideas online of the different elements you want to change. Carefully plan your budget and prioritize your wants and needs.
The points mentioned above should be kept in mind. Then speak to the professionals from Absolute Custom Woodworks. They will help you choose the best features available for your kitchen’s shape and size. Next you will be cooking and entertaining in your brand new kitchen!!! :-)
Installing a new backsplash is a great way to improve and update the look of a kitchen, bar or bathroom area. Tile backsplashes come in a myriad of materials and styles that can be a bit overwhelming. Here’s a roundup of some of the most commonly seen backsplash design styles, and some tips for the best locations for each.
Some Backsplash Design Styles:
Subway tiles are rectangular shaped tiles that are half as narrow as they are wide. The subway tile is a classic backsplash design element in traditional English and country style homes. Its simple white or cream glazed coloration works well in traditional and casual homes, but can also be used in more modern homes because of its clean, monochromatic look.
Glass tiles come in any color imaginable, with a wide selection of finishes. They can be clear or opaque, glazed with a metallic sheen or honed to look like sea glass. Glass tiles can come in 1" squares for a creative mosaic look, or in larger tiles for a smooth, clean look. Glass tiles are fresh and colorful backsplash design options, and they work in contemporary homes as well as casual spaces such as beach homes.
Marble tiles have been around for eons in castles and public spaces. Modern technology has brought marble tile into mass production and is available for more modest installations than the castles of days gone by. A very popular use of marble is the tumbled marble tile backsplash design, which adds a warm, earthy detail to the space.
Metal tiles come in many configurations, from classic pressed tin tiles to sleekly contemporary stainless or aluminum finishes. Metal tiles can also be used as small details mixed into a larger ground of tile. For instance, a beautiful marble mosaic tile backsplash design can be accented with a few well-placed metallic details. One often sees these installed on the backsplash behind a cooktop, making it a real focal point of a kitchen.
A beautiful tile backsplash design will spice up any kitchen or bath and there is a style and material that is right for any project. Whether you prefer modern design for its clean lines or a brilliant splash of color and pattern, a beautiful backsplash is sure to be a show-stopper.
So come by our design studio @ 72 St. Leger Street, Kitchener. And check out all the new backsplash samples we now have on display!!!!!!
Embarking on a renovation can be daunting. So many things to work out, so many decisions to make. Renovating a new kitchen is something most people do only a few times in their lifetime. It's such an exciting time, starting from fresh. In order to make it an enjoyable experience, here are some things that need to be considered early on.
Consulting with a professional early on gives you a clear advantage. So many times have I seen clients come in at the tail end of the process, the point of no return; Their decisions have been made, their layout is determined with rough-ins for plumbing and appliance electrical positions already done, their appliances purchased, all of which gives little option to correct challenges that reveal themselves when the actual design is drawn up (and the benefit of having a kitchen design professional is too late). Give yourself the time deserved to consider the world of options available to you, in terms of finishes or layout adjustments, in order to produce the very best possible outcome.
The world of appliances changes every year. New models are designed annually and technologies are advancing at a steady pace. Appliances are no longer standard and the designer needs to be consulted before making any final decisions because the specifications of the appliances can limit your kitchen design options. For example, the refrigerator may not fit into your desired layout due to its depth. Do shop around for appliances. Find one or two that suit you best and narrow down model numbers. It is ideal, however, to wait to purchase appliances until the design is done, to ensure it is feasible in the desired layout.
Sometimes a kitchen is the jumping off point for an expansive renovation throughout the main floor. Flooring choices are key to a successful open concept plan, and can become a real stumbling block to moving forward. Often, the challenge is facing whether or not to continue wood flooring from the living or great room and dining areas into the kitchen. Your designer will help you achieve the best flooring transitions between your kitchen and the adjacent space. If a wood floor is decided upon, the tone and type of wood floor will influence your decision for cabinetry colours in the kitchen and this needs to be decided upon early in the process. Having this information going into the planning stages for the kitchen is key to making confident choices in colour and, for example, deciding upon painted or stained wood cabinets.
Remember, time is your friend. Make your wish list and start investigating your options early. Your designer has experience in this process. They will give you insight into making thoughtful, time-saving, and well informed decisions. This will eliminate potential frustration, and make your renovation experience much more enjoyable. Start early and you will end up with a new space that is thoughtfully planned and suits your needs/lifestyle well, giving you the dream kitchen you have always wanted.
For a look that’s as refined as it is relaxing, consider the simple appeal of the all-white room.
Purity. Innocence. Cleanliness. Peace. Western culture has a long tradition of positive associations with the color white. The symbolic opposite of black, white signifies good, honesty, and new beginnings. From a chromatic standpoint, white is a mixture of all the frequencies of the light in the visible spectrum and it’s one of the most common colors in nature, which perhaps explains we find ourselves so at home in white interiors. “White has an almost automatic calming effect,” says interior designer Ramsin Khachi of the Oakville, Ontario-based Khachi Design Group. “It’s very easy to live with, and of course ultra-versatile from a design perspective.” But, he warns, decorating with white isn’t as simple as many people think. To avoid creating a space that feels cold and stark, like a hospital or a laboratory, you have to choose just the right whites, and then add layers of interest with texture and natural materials. Here’s how to do white right.
DECIDE ON A STYLE
“You might think that white is white and that’s it, but there’s a virtually unlimited number of shades to choose from,” says interior designer Evelyn Eshun of Evelyn Eshun Design in Toronto. As you look at white paint or surfacing samples or fabric swatches, you’ll start to notice the undertones in the white—creamy whites have yellow undertones; chalky whites have gray undertones; peachy whites have pink undertones; and so on. Which type of white you choose depends on a number of factors, but a good place to start is with the effect you’re trying to create. “If you want a modern look, pick a cool, gray-based white; for a more traditional or romantic effect, go with a white that has warm, yellow undertones,” says interior designer Lisa Mende of Lisa Mende Design in Charlotte, NC. Some whites are so well balanced they’ll work in any setting. “Cambria Quartz's Torquay looks crisp and fresh against warm whites and warm and classic in a cool, modern room,” says Eshun. But all-white doesn’t have to mean stark white. “Cambria’s Kirkstead can warm up cooler tones,” she says.
White rooms come to life when you attend to the details:
think layered texture, rich carving, and contrasting trim.
Keep in mind that the quality of light in your room can change the appearance of the white you choose. “For example, a north-facing room will look more blue, so to balance that you should choose a white with yellow or peachy undertones—otherwise the white can look dull or gray,” says Eshun. South-facing rooms will receive a more golden light, which can turn white yellow. If you don’t want that effect, pick a more neutral or cool-toned white. And consider the views from the windows. “I recently did a white room and kept wondering why the walls looked green instead of white,” says Mende. “Then I realized it was because the room had huge windows and all the green trees and grass outside were reflecting onto the walls. We ended up changing the paint color.”
LAYER ON INTEREST
“A plain white room can be very boring,” says Khachi. “To make it inviting, you need to add textural variety. Just remember, that everything stands out in a white space—just like in an art gal-lery—so you have to choose each element very carefully.” Start with the floor, says Mende, choosing a natural material like wood or stone. Dark finishes and materials will create a more formal high-contrast effect; medium or light finishes and materials will look more organic and relaxed. Next, pick a rug with rich texture, like a deep shag, or a nubby woven style. “For upholstery, go with soft, delicious fabrics like herringbone chenille or leather,” she says. “Choose a range of finishes, like eggshell on the walls and satin on the baseboards, or a glossy lac-quer on certain furniture pieces,” says Khachi. And don’t forget elements from nature, he advises: Plants, flowers, and driftwood add texture and liveliness to a white room. As you make your choices, remember that white shows dirt eas-ily, so fabrics and materials should be durable and easy to clean. This is especially important in hard-working spaces like kitchens and bathrooms. “I wouldn’t do a white kitchen or bath without using Cambria,” says Khachi. “Not only is it classic in design and low maintenance as a countertop, it’s really great as a shower sur-round, with minimal grout lines. Choose the right materials and white won’t mean more work—just clean good looks.
-------------- PICKING THE RIGHT WHITE --------------
To determine the undertone of the shade you’re con-sidering, hold your sample or swatch against a piece of plain white printer paper. You’ll immediately be able to see whether it’s blue, green, gray, yellow, peach, pink, or brown in comparison to the paper. Before you buy paint for an entire room, brush two-foot-square test patches of several different whites on each wall, then watch how the color changes throughout the day. Need inspiration? Try one of my favorite whites from Benjamin Moore’s palette. Pair with CAMBRIA QUARTZ counter tops!
Pair with SUMMERHILL™
White Opulence is a crisper white. It has a slight
pink undertone but it's still very clean.
Pair with HAMPSHIRE™
Pale Oak has even more pigment than Swiss Coffee.
It's almost a light gray. That tones a room down
so it's more comfortable and not quite as crisp.
Pair with NEW QUAY™
Calm is a few shades cooler than Pale Oak,
and yet it still has a nice warmth to it.
Pair with BRIGHSTONE™
Swiss Coffee has a creamy gray undertone
with hints of both yellow and green.
It's a very soothing white.
The heart of the home. Seldom is a room in any home more lived in. The kitchen is the workhorse of the home. The meeting and gathering place, where families build bonds and enjoy friends’ company.
Over the years, the kitchen has morphed from a secluded room at the back of the house, to a room of central prominence. Gone are the days of 30” uppers and golden oak cabinet doors. The kitchen has, in most cases, evolved into a grandiose space; taking up one of the largest portions of a home’s budget, when renovating or building new. Open concepts have dictated that kitchens must now become more like furniture. They are often the stepping stone to the rest of a home’s design and décor.
Along with today’s technology, web sites like Houzz and Pinterest offer up an enormous amount of ideas and information, making kitchen design one of the most coveted areas of residential design. It can also make it one of the most complicated, as well! Homeowners are now able to research more and assist designers in creating the space of their dreams.
We are now able to produce amazing 3D rendered drawings that can show a client what their prospective kitchen will look like. Long gone are the days of hand drawn pencil line drawings, which often leave room for error and interpretation. Clients can now see what their finished space will actually look like, before completion. Technology is even available where clients can do virtual walk through tours of the space.
Watching a client come in with their hopes and dreams, and helping make them a reality, is a very special and rewarding job. Every space is different, and each has its own challenges and unique character. Often, from a very rough hand drawn sketch, we are required to guide clients to the right products, and design a layout that fulfills their needs, budget, and dreams. Not always an easy feat!
There is such a great sense of accomplishment at the end of a project, to walk a client through and see how excited they are at the end result. Often a kitchen renovation is a huge undertaking for most people: financially and emotionally, but it always comes down to “It was sooooo worth it!” at the end.
Want to design and remodel your kitchen in a clean, modern style? Simple clean lines and sleek cabinet doors are the way to go. Kitchen cabinets can visually occupy up to 75% of the room. Get the cabinets right, and you can consider your modern kitchen design a slam-dunk.
Here are some Top Modern Kitchen Design Trends:
White Cabinetry and dark(er) natural woods like walnut and mahogany. Gone are hyper detailed and fussy looking cabinets, replaced by full overlay slab panel door and drawer fronts.
2. Counter Tops
Light colored Quartz and marble counter tops. We are using less granite these days.
3. Stainless Steel Appliances
Name brands are still the name of the game, Sub-Zero, Viking, Dacor, Miele, and GE Monogram. If you ever needed proof of these brand popularity, look at the real estate section of the newspaper and see how many homes list these brands by name as selling points. They are high quality, function extremely well and add long term value.
4. Social Kitchen
Very large islands and the demise (or at least the very reduced capacity) of the table in the kitchen. Our kitchen designs are incorporating large island(s) that can accommodate cooking, prep work and dining. The area previously reserved for the breakfast table has been replaced with a sitting area in the kitchen. The large over-scaled island provides an area for your kids to spread out their homework and projects and still give mom and dad a place to prepare the meal in a social and spacious manner.
5. Horizontally Oriented Grain
Sometimes all it take is a slight adjustment to a well known material to introduce a fresh new look. Part of the reason this trend is starting to become more popular is the introduction of the open floor plan back into the modern kitchen. The grain extends the space visually and integrates what was previously just a utilitarian space with it’s own personality into the same finish palette as the main living areas.
6. Under Mounted Sinks
A must have in any new kitchen. Laminate counter tops are inexpensive but don't allow you to under mount your sinks. I always recommend spending more of you kitchen renovation budget on stone counters with under mounted sinks.