Where are the Upper Cabinets?

If you’re an avid reader of modern design blogs and magazines, you’ll notice that most modern kitchens are devoid of upper kitchen cabinetry. As bizarre as this sounds what is the driving force behind this trend? Was it the admiration of European design? Or perhaps it’s the clean lines and lack of clutter that makes this option so appealing? Whatever the reason may be if you’re interested in remodeling your kitchen space, it’s time to determine whether you might benefit from getting rid of your upper kitchen cabinets.

 If you’re a home chef, the idea of an open kitchen space sounds great because it can provide the functionality of a commercial kitchen. This allows you space for preparing and cooking while maintaining a clear view into the dining or living areas. It also enables you to easily obtain utensils and spices while you’re crafting meals. An additional benefit of kitchens without cabinetry is that allows homeowners to use their favorite dishware as a decorative accessory. Yes, your sophisticated silverware and plates can be showcased for all your guests to see.

While prevalent, is this modern minimalistic style here to stay? There are some trends that are popular at the moment, but on the other hand, there are trends that become staples. Nevertheless, if you’re interested in obtaining the clean lines of a kitchen without upper cabinets but still desire a functional kitchen here are some practical tips you can follow.

You can maximize function by installing deep lower drawers that can store pots, dishes, and additional utensils. Multi-purpose storage drawers can create that clean appearance that you desire while offering functionality.

You also have the option of dedicating one wall of cabinets that are installed from floor to ceiling and leaving the other surrounding walls free from the cabinetry. You’ll have sufficient storage space while maintaining the minimalist look.

Another option is to incorporate long cabinets that are equipped with drawers all the way around.

Alternating to a kitchen without cabinetry calls for an adjustment. You’ll have to think of all the items you use daily and what you need to store for occasional use. By working along with a professional designer, you can come up with creative storage solutions that allow for the clean lines of no kitchen cabinetry.

Imagine the design possibilities of having an open wall space. You can incorporate an uninterrupted backsplash or a tiled canvas.

Let us know in the comments below what you think about the minimalist open kitchen trend.

 

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Bringing the “City of Love” To Your Home: Paris-Themed Decorating

Using a theme to decorate a room in your house can be more exciting than any of the design concepts you currently have in mind.  Taking inspiration from somewhere you have traveled to or wish to travel can bring focus to your decoration project.  Sticking with a theme will also prevent you from having to fill in the design gaps when you are out of creative ideas.  You can simply refer back to the culture of the geographical place you are emulating. 

One example of a popular theme is Paris.  It is a city with worldwide recognition and a unique look that attracts thousands of visitors every day.  Guests will be able to easily recognize the inspiration in your home that comes from this place through your use of the colors and architecture most associated with it.  Read on for suggestions about how to incorporate a Parisian theme in any room of your home.

 

Color Palette for Paris:  These are the colors that make people think of Paris: choose wisely.  The main goal is to use this theme in your designated space while preventing the room from appearing too disjointed from the rest of your home.  Concentrate on using the colors that flatter your home’s overall style. 

 

  • Creme
  • Dove Gray
  • Scarlet Red
  • Black + White
  • Royal Blue
  • Tiffany Blue
  • Ballet Pink
  • Olive Green
  • Saffron Yellow
  • Café au Lait

 

Popular Design Materials:  These materials are the best foundation for designing your Parisian-style room.

 

  • Wrought Iron
  • Hardwood Flooring
  • Brick
  • Chevron or Herringbone patterned tile
  • Stone
  • Stucco 

 

Lighting, Furniture & Accessories:  Once you have taken care of the basic outer design of the room, focus your attention on giving each lighting element, furniture, and accessory the Paris touch.  Again, you do not have to use all of these items.  Simply use the pieces that will flatter your home the most. 

  • Color-Washed Wood
  • Chandeliers
  • Track Lighting
  • Heavy Drapery
  • Porcelain Jars
  • Upholstered Chairs
  • Multi-paned windows and cabinetry
  • Patterns & Stripes
  • Bookshelves
  • Indoor Plants
  • Toile
  • Patterned Rugs
  • Ornate Clocks
  • Wrought Iron (Headboard, Side Table and Chairs, Towel Racks etc.)

 

 

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Hosting Overnight Visitors Without a Guest Room

When space is limited and guests need overnight accommodations, it’s easy to get a little stressed out. With some creativity and thoughtfulness, you’ll be able to open up your home to them with confidence. Use some of these tips to make the available space you have into a makeshift guest room.

 

First and foremost, make sure that any room you choose is clean. The room may not be spacious, but the fact that it is clean will be appreciated. No matter what you do to make the space accommodating, if the area isn’t tidy, your guests will be sure to notice. Next, try to create more surface area for your visitors to work with. If there are miscellaneous items sitting on the floor that you were going to “get to later”, now is the time to clear them away. Any small furniture that can temporarily be moved to another area is also a good way to free up some space as well.  This will give guests room to place their overnight bags and essentials.

 

When it comes to having a place to sleep, there are a couple of options. You may already own a futon that is currently doubling as a couch in the room. If so, great! If not, you might want to invest in a quality air mattress—preferably one that is about two feet from the ground with a non-slip surface so sheets will not slip all over the place while your guests are using it. Make sure to check the label for mention of easy inflation and deflation so you don’t have to spend too much time on setup and cleanup. Make sure the bedding you use has been cleaned and be sure to provide extra pillows and blankets to accommodate your guest’s sleeping preferences.  Do not use couch pillows, as they can be uncomfortable to sleep on. If you do not have a spare set, it is highly recommended that you invest in them. Your visitors will thank you. 

  

Once the sleeping area has been set up, add things to the space that would make it look and feel similar to staying in a guest bedroom. If the space lacks proper lighting, move a small side table and lamp from somewhere else in your home and temporarily place it bedside. Guests will appreciate somewhere to put their glasses, phone and book where they can reach it. 

 

Finally, be sure to have spare toiletries available in case anything may have been forgotten.  Place a small basket in the guest bathroom with shampoo, soap, toothpaste and spare toothbrush. Make sure towels are clean and readily available. A spare hair dryer is also appreciated.

 

Not having a spare bedroom doesn’t mean that you can’t make your overnight guests experience an enjoyable one. Use these tips the next time you need to accommodate friends and family for an extended stay. Your hospitality won’t go unnoticed.

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Buy a Pumpkin from a Patch Not a Store

There are many positive attributes to buying a pumpkin from a patch, rather than a store. Buying from a patch directly leads to positive impacts on the community. Buying from a store simply gives big business more profit. Find out the direct positive impacts of buying from a local church or other pumpkin patch.

Profits made at a patch will help the local farmer see a profit; which creates more jobs and puts more spending money back into the community and locally run businesses.

There is much more variety available at a patch. The different sizes range from tiny to enormous. The price is actually less per pound than you will find in the stores. Usually there are many different colors available. An array of different oranges as well as green and white pumpkins.

Kids and the whole family can make an event out of going to a patch to select the family pumpkin. There is usually games and even some corn mazes at these events. Taking a photo opportunity is easy here and provides for an excellent fall background.

Many churches have pumpkin patch events right on the church lawns. A percentage of the profit usually goes to some type of good use for the church or specific charities. Youth groups that sponsor and work events like this typically help to send them on mission trips, where the youths help a community in need.

Do your research during this time of year. You can find out about local pumpkin patches in your area. Other information can also be found, like where the profits are going and who is being benefited by the pumpkin sales.

The bottom line is that you will pay more in a store for less variety and no experience. Make a trip out of visiting a pumpkin patch with the family. Start making memories and possibly add this activity to your family’s fall traditions.

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“She Shacks” are the New Man Caves for Women

She shacks are a new trend that are becoming wildly popular. This terminology means turning a storage shed into a space in the yard just for the lady of the house. These rooms can become a getaway for any woman to unwind and a place to use as a creative workspace. Men have their man caves, why can’t women have a “she shack”? Create your own getaway that is separate from the rest of your house, where you can get some quiet time to think, read, paint or anything else you can dream up. Find out more about “she shacks” and get ideas to make your own!

These little spaces can be custom built or made by transforming a storage/garden shed into a little one room space. Because of their small nature it does not cost a lot to make one of these for yourself. Add some drywall and run electricity to the shack for a relaxing space to make your own. With a little TLC these small spaces can be transformed into a sanctuary. Make sure to pay particular attention to the floor used in this space.  High quality floor materials such as tile or natural stone will transform your space into a unique getaway. 

Most store bought sheds have adorable little windows that you can make quaint little window treatments for. Throw a rug down on the floor and add a comfortable, upholstered lounge chair with ottoman. Green houses make for a great painting space. They offer plenty of natural light during the day. Add some string lights to transform the space into a night time oasis, where you can sit and have a glass of wine.

 These spaces make a great reading room, where you can actually read a book without getting interrupted by children or husbands.

Add an easel to the corner and install shelving to house paint supplies. The store bought sheds can be purchased in an array of sizes. Choose a space that can offer 40 to 60 or even 100 square feet to call your own. Tiny houses are typically round 200 square feet. There really is no limit to what you can create in your “She Shack”. The sky is the limit!

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Choosing Color for Your Home

If your are thinking about completely redoing the colors in your home and starting from scratch, or if you are just moving into a new place and looking to make it your own, trying to pin down exactly what you want your entire house to look like can feel like a daunting task. You might have so many ideas you don’t know what to do with them. Or perhaps you draw a blank when you even begin to think of where to start. Luckily there are a few different methods that can help get you started on the path to your new home.

 

If you know exactly what color you want to begin with and you want to go bold, keep in mind that your entire house runs the risk of looking like a caricature if you use too many bold colors in rooms side by side without carefully thinking it through. Oftentimes it works better to choose the room you’d like the boldest color to adorn and then surrounding rooms should have a more subtle color to balance out the bold color.

 

Another great way to start is to find a color that you really love and use varying shades of it around the home. This allows you to play with lighter and darker shades depending on the space. Because of the varying shades, you will be able to differentiate each room from one another with different accent colors and textures.

 

Finally, a great rule of thumb is to find a natural landscape that you find beautiful. Generally, colors found together in nature go naturally together. Perhaps you enjoy hiking and being amongst the trees and mountains. You will find that browns, tans, greens and blues will go blend beautifully together. You can even add to the look with natural materials such as a bamboo accent wall.

 

These are just a few places you can use a jumping off points to help you decide what direction you want your house to go when you are choosing what color palette to use in your home. Don’t forget to experiment with swatches in every room before deciding so you can see how each color reacts to different lighting. 

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Gorgeous Wood Floors

Wood floors in this space work beautifully with the rest of the room. The floors add warmth and comfort to this eclectic minimalist design style. Minimalist design styles are difficult to successfully achieve. These floors make this design work perfectly.

The stairs are also made of wood. The stains are similar for both the floors and the stairs. These two elements working together are very important to the achievement of this room. A warm stain color adds a contrast to the dominant white colors in the color scheme. The stain color adds the right amount of warmth that this space requires. Treads of the stairs and the sides of the stairs are two different stain colors. Those same colors can be seen amongst others in the wood planks. Having various colors in wood floors can be a helpful way to tie together other woods within a space. Other wood furniture fits in perfectly because there is so much variation of color in the floors.

Natural elements in this minimalist space are further enhanced by adding greenery. Making the space feel full of life; despite the fact that there is not a lot going on here, is how to successfully create a minimalist space.

Wood floors are carried throughout here. It makes the space flow seamlessly and gives the floors a chance to be showcased. The entire scene looks warm and inviting; which is exactly what wood floors do best! If warmth and comfort are desired, wood floors help achieve that instantly.

Two area rugs are strategically placed, to further enhance the warm and inviting feel throughout this area. It is nice to add area rugs in various places, when using wood floors, especially if they are carried throughout the space.

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Happy Mother’s Day!

May this be a very special Mother’s day for all of the special women in our lives!

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Grow a Salad Garden

Summer time is the season for salads. There is nothing better than eating a cool refreshing salad on a hot day. Why not have fresh ingredients on hand to make a salad whenever you please? With summer right around the corner, spring is the time to start growing your very own salad garden.

Plant all of the veggies needed for yummy salads. Plant the leafy vegetables that you enjoy. Options are a great thing and so we recommend a couple different types of leafy greens. Romaine lettuce and red lettuce are a healthier alternative for iceberg lettuce. Spinach is also a wonderfully healthy green that tastes excellent in salads. Make sure to read the directions when planting each leafy green. Plant the greens with ample room to grow. Look for specific instructions for your seeds on the back of the seed packet.

Tomato plants are a staple for summer salads and they have the benefit of producing ample amounts of fruit and being easy to maintain. Tomato plants need water, sun and a stake to assist the plant in growing upwards. Roma tomatoes are a favorite for refreshing summer salads.

Cucumbers are another plant that is easy to tend and yields ample produce. Start the seedlings inside and then move them outside once there is no risk of frost occurring. Yellow squash is a plant that is great in salad as well as delicious when sautéed. This is a versatile veggie worth planting in your salad garden.

Plant fresh herbs that you favor. The herbs can add a great amount of flavor to any salad. Basil is cool and refreshing. Dill is an herb that can be added to salads or prepared in meals for added flavor.

Berries such as strawberries and raspberries add an excellent flavor to a summer salad with a deliciously simple olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. Having access to berries will add versatility when making different types of salads. It is also nice to plant watermelon in the salad garden. This fruit taste great on a simple salad with a nice goat or blue cheese. It also tastes great with balsamic dressing.

Have you ever planted a salad garden?  Let us know in the comments!

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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