Archive for the 'Household Tips' Category

Cabinetry Easy Cleaning Dos and Don’ts

Cabinetry Easy Cleaning Dos & Don'ts

Kitchen Views blog header for designer Mary Jane Robillard

So, you have a brand-new white kitchen and you splatter some pasta sauce on your cabinetry. What now? Do you grab a bleach wipe? Do you spray it down with all-purpose cleaner and wipe it off with a kitchen towel?  Do you let it sit on there until you are done cooking and then spray a water-vinegar solution on the cabinets and then wipe with a sponge?

If you do any of these things, you are going to damage your cabinetry finish immediately and the damage will get worse over time. As a seasoned kitchen designer, I am appalled to find that many homeowners are being sold new cabinetry without being properly educated on the care and maintenance of their purchase. I am here to give you some tips on what to do (and not to do!) with regards to cleaning your cabinetry.

Do use a microfiber cloth

Most spills can be cleaned up with a dry or slightly damp microfiber cloth. What could be easier? These versatile cleaning clothes are available everywhere in many colors. You could have some designated for the cabinetry, another color for other kitchen uses, a different color for the bathroom, and still another color for general dusting around the house.

Regularly dust off your cabinetry with a dry microfiber cloth. Most cabinet grime doesn’t appear overnight but is the result of buildup of dust and food particles over time. Removing this dust and debris before it has a chance to settle into the grooves of your cabinets will help prevent staining and mitigate the need for heavy duty cleaning.

Keep your cabinets dry. Almost 70% of new cabinets sold now have a painted finish. Those doors are made up of wood and medium density fiberboard. If water is allowed to sit on the cabinets for a period of time, it will inevitably penetrate the finish into the wood underneath and cause bubbling, cracking, or peeling of the painted finish. This is particularly important to pay attention to on your sink cabinet and your trash cabinet, as those get the most exposure to water and wet items. When you are done washing dishes, make it a habit to just wipe down the front of your cabinet with a clean microfiber cloth to keep that painted finish looking nice as long as possible.

If a deeper cleaning is needed, use only a clean damp microfiber cloth to wipe the cabinets and then dry them off really well with a second microfiber cloth. Kitchen towels and sponges that you use for many things are not good to clean the cabinets with since they typically have soap residue or cooking grease on them. Beware a sponge with textured material intended for scrubbing because it could remove any protective coating your cabinets have on them.

Don't use furniture polish

Don’t use any type of cleaning agent on your cabinets, such as furniture polish, soap, dishwashing liquid, so called cabinet cleaners, bleach or ammonia-based wipes, all-purpose cleaners, beeswax, or anything that has not been specifically approved by the cabinetry manufacturer. Cleaning agents have chemical compounds that can change the color of your cabinets and make them more prone to blistering or peeling.

Don’t leave a spill to linger. If you spill or splatter tomato sauce, wine, coffee, fruit juice, or condiments wipe it up immediately. Acid-based foods in particular can corrode your cabinet finish quickly!

Don’t neglect to use your range hood. When you are cooking, it is very important to turn on your range hood to remove food, spice, and oil particles from the air, so they do not settle on the surrounding cabinets.

Prevention is the absolute best way to keep your cabinetry clean. It’s easy to clean up any spills or splatters when they happen with a handy supply of microfiber cloths. This good habit also saves you time in the long run as it protects your cabinets from damage.

PRO TIP: Ask your designer to order you an extra touch up kit, so you can apply it to any cabinet scratches or dings that occur with normal use and keep that new kitchen looking beautiful for a long time.

Mary Jane Robillard
Kitchen Views, 3356 Post Road, Warwick, RI 02886

Kitchen islands encourage sharing and teaching

Children helping mother make school lunches at kitchen island

As children go back to school, every parent knows it’s time to make school lunches and do homework again. Large kitchen islands have become a favorite gathering place for families to enjoy time together while doing these daily tasks.

Involving children in meal preparation gives them important time together as a family, which not only teaches them about good nutrition, but provides them with emotional connections to each other. In our highly technological society, family time is more valuable than ever.

Young family together at kitchen island, close up

Sharing time together while doing homework is more emotionally rewarding than just learning their school lessons. Especially for young children, being sent to another room to do homework can feel like punishment. Interacting with parents while establishing good study habits can help them develop a lifelong love of learning. As children get older, they may require more solitude while studying, but they’ll be more productive because they learned these early lessons as a family.

Girl at kitchen island with young women, preparing meal in the kitchen

Kitchen islands with seating for casual meals are not just convenient. While it may make meals easier to prepare, eat and cleanup all in one place, this family gathering place is about building happy memories together.

Man teaching boy food prep at kitchen island

Building confidence is an important aspect of life skill lessons and leads to healthy independence. When children are old enough to handle a knife safely, cooking lessons get more technical. As with most learning, hands-on experience is the best way to learn.

It’s important to consider how you want your family to interact daily when planning a kitchen remodel. As a major family gathering space, the importance of a kitchen should not be underestimated. The best kitchen design is much more than the style and color of cabinetry and whether to include an island. An experienced kitchen designer will listen and learn about what works for your family. That allows them to design a living space that works well for you. Your designer will expertly handle the storage issues, appliance placement, and space layout so that you’ll simply enjoy using your kitchen for years to come.

When you’re ready to get started with the planning stage of a kitchen design, or remodel, start your research in the “Getting Started” section of our website. Then contact a Kitchen Views showroom near you to get the personalized attention you deserve.

Our designers work hard to exceed your expectations.

Contact Kitchen Views at 508-DESIGNS [337-4467] or visit our website for more information.

Aging In Place Modifications: Practical & Stylish

Portrait of happy senior woman cutting vegetables in kitchen

A 2015 Houzz report showed that over 50% of homeowners age 60+ are planning to age in place. As the baby boomer generation begins to enter the golden years, home construction and renovation contractors are seeing an increase in accessibility modifications being made. With more spending power than the younger millennial generation, the boomers are also a large player in the interior design industry; frequently updating their home to incorporate the latest design trends. Combining the need for accessibility with the desire to keep the attractive appearance of the home, these modifications are not only practical but stylish as well.  Read below for some simple yet important modifications to make to your home accessible for any generation.

Continue reading ‘Aging In Place Modifications: Practical & Stylish’

Minimize the Kitchen Footprint with Single-Wall Design

3D rendering of modern kitchen in a loft.

Kitchens are most commonly laid out in one of three floor plans, L-shaped, U-shaped, and galley. A less popular, but still functional design is the single-wall kitchen. Single-wall kitchens are designed with the elements of the typical work triangle along one wall. Typically seen in apartments or other small homes where maximizing space and efficiency is at the forefront of design, this style of kitchen is gaining popularity in larger homes with open concept floor plans.

Kitchen interior sketches hand drawing front view. Contour vector illustration kitchen furniture and equipment. Cupboard shelves dishes table lamp clock crane dishwasher fridge microwave.

These kitchens work well because they keep all appliances and cooking tools within reach. This design often has the sink set in between the range and the refrigerator, offering easy clean up and usually has counter space on either side of the range.  With the kitchen viewed as a social hub within the home, the small kitchen footprint creates a feeling of openness and flows seamlessly with other rooms.

3d illustration of interior design loft style kitchen and livingroom. The concept of commercial interiors "My room" for gatherings with friends and Leisure. You can watch football and play computer games

A common challenge in single-wall kitchens is the lack of work space with the range, sink, and refrigerator taking up valuable counter space.  A solution to this in apartments or small homes is purchasing a counter height dining table that doubles as work space or a rollaway island.  In larger homes, a permanent kitchen island is a popular addition to provide supplementary storage and work space while maintaining the open floor plan.

Kitchen interior in modern flat with stove dining table picture on wall. Concept of cooking at home. 3d rendering. Mock up

Maximizing storage space is one of the most desirable features in any kitchen. With the compact design of the single wall kitchen, it becomes even more important. Tall upper cabinets, bridge cabinets, and creative use of built in shelving will help to maximize storage. Additionally, the use of an island (both permanent and rollaway) will help to increase the amount of available storage.

an image of Modern Kitchen drawers and Granite Countertop

No kitchen is too small for the talented designers at Kitchen Views. Visit one of the six Kitchen Views showrooms to meet with one of the designers and begin designing the perfect kitchen for your space.

What We Can Learn From Tiny Homes

tiny-home_090216_09-800x533

Photo via Contemporist

Tiny homes have been growing in popularity lately for a variety of reasons. One of the main reasons has been financial constraints as the cost of living has been rising in many areas. Another primary reason for tiny homes surging popularity is a growing desire to have more freedom to travel. There are many lifestyle changes that go with wanting a tiny home, and it’s not for everyone. But there are ways to incorporate the elegant solutions used in tiny home design into your home.

Tiny Homes Are Based on Thoughtful Design

What makes tiny homes work is that they must make the most use of every square inch. Any truly unnecessary elements are eliminated in their design. It’s boiled down to only essential elements. Of course, as you apply this to your own home, the space will be customized for the individual(s) living in it.

Many tiny homes are as small as 200 square feet. But because you keep only the bare essentials, you can make a lot out of the space. If you have ever been to IKEA, you may have seen the tiny home vignettes. From examples like this, you can see how all of the comforts you need in a home can fit in an extremely small space using quality cabinetry that will better stand the test of time.

Tiny Homes Can Be Elegant

When many people think of the word “elegant,” they think of it as meaning luxurious. But it means so much more. The definition of elegant is “pleasingly graceful and stylish in appearance or manner.” In this way, tiny homes offer elegant solutions that are pleasingly ingenious and simple.

One of the biggest benefits that a tiny house offers is reducing the stress that comes from what many have called the modern “rat race.” Tiny homes are a great way of reconnecting to a cleaner, simpler way of life that has become lost in our consumer culture. No matter how big or small your existing home may be, it’s always possible to streamline things.

Many homes today have become major hubs for entertainment. This is why large rooms are desired in many cases. Even if your rooms are larger, keeping simple design in mind will make the maintenance of that space easier. But in a smaller home that only has a few people living in it, you can make the space seem larger with proper planning for storage of your cherished items. Remember, less is more. Less clutter = more time to relax. Many of us talk about not having enough time to enjoy being with the people we love and/or participating in activities we enjoy. Taking a “tiny home” approach to design can teach you a lot about what is really necessary.

 

tiny-home_090216_12-800x1200

Photo via Contemporist

 

How Can We Learn From Tiny Home Design?

When you’re dealing with a smaller space, you may be asking yourself the question: “Where is all my stuff going to go?” It’s possible that insufficient space for things is a major problem in your own house right now. One thing we can take away from tiny home design is to prioritize needs and minimize wants. Even in a tiny space, though, there can be more than enough storage for what you need. Maximizing function is what it’s all about. If cabinetry can make your home more functional, an experienced designer can be an enormous help in planning and selecting the cabinetry that will work best for you, within your budget.

Small kitchens and bathrooms are a fact that cannot be changed in some homes. To make them work, choose to keep only what you actually need for everyday life. Have just enough cabinets for your cooking essentials and pantry necessities. Only get the size of appliances that you actually need on a day-to-day basis. Just because other people have huge appliances, doesn’t mean it’s right for your needs. It can be easy to want too much out of a single space. By using tiny home designs as a reference for re-designing rooms in your own home, you can save yourself lots of clutter and maintenance work in the long run. If a special event comes along that you cannot accommodate, find another place to have the event. Your everyday living space doesn’t need to be made to accommodate all the “what ifs” in life.

Good design leads to better living. Don’t shortchange yourself in the long run to save a little money now. Invest in your life, by investing in your home.

Visit our website and/or showrooms for inspiration, then make an appointment with a Kitchen Views designer to begin your design journey to a happier life.

Kitchen Views
www.kitchenviews.com

 

Making the Case For A Tiny Kitchen

With the growing popularity of “tiny houses” with their own television shows, many people are thinking about how downsizing can free them for enjoying activities other than cleaning a regular size home. Whether you have a small condo that needs better space planning to make the best use of every inch, or find that your regular size kitchen is in chaos, careful planning can improve your everyday life.

One of our favorite contributors to the Kitchen Views blog recently retired, but her wisdom regarding good kitchen design is timeless. So we are sharing again her perspective on making the most of limited space.

“Making the Case for a Tiny Kitchen” by Pam Kuliesis
Originally published on November 26, 2013

Tiny kitchen 2020 layout by Pam Kuliesis

Tiny kitchen 2020 layout by Pam Kuliesis

After turning a corner in life, I find myself living with a teeny, tiny kitchen. It’s a U-shape space. The working triangle is about 9 feet total, no more than 3 feet between the sink and the range to the left and the sink and the refrigerator to the right and just about 3 feet between the range and refrigerator across from each other. I can stand in the center of the room and reach all three without moving my feet. I pretty much don’t even have to lean. Very tight.

At first I couldn’t imagine being able to create anything in this “Easy Bake” kitchen that would be worth serving. But, a girl’s gotta eat, and take-out gets old pretty quick.

Once I started putting stuff away I was amazed at just how much storage this little kitchen had. And then I started cooking. Everything I needed was within arm’s length. Prep time was so much faster, not having to schlep across the room for the pepper mill that, in my old kitchen, I would leave way over by the sink. Also, I’m much neater. I don’t have the luxury of moving around the kitchen leaving a messy trail behind me. I clean as I go, making the final clean up a breeze!

There are so many great kitchen storage options available from all of the quality cabinetry brands we sell. Stacked wall cabinets maximize every vertical inch. Carefully planned base cabinet configurations and storage accessories make the best use of every nook and cranny.

Kitchen Views designers have the knowledge and the tools to create great kitchens in any space, big and small. Our designers are pros and the views are yours

Kitchen Views at National Lumber
71 Maple St, Mansfield, MA 02048
(508) 339-8020
www.kitchenviews.com

Fighting Germs With Decorative Hardware From Häfele

Who doesn’t want to have a healthier home and/or work environment? Parents of young children are familiar with those long stretches of time when a cold or other virus sweeps through the whole family. Office workers try to keep their hands washed to avoid catching whatever is going around the office. Now Häfele declares they have decorative hardware that can help fight the ongoing battle against germs.

Where health and hygiene are important considerations, pulls & handles with antimicrobial finish are now available in a choice of six distinctive pulls and handles.

Häfele Antimicrobial Collection of decorative hardware

Häfele Antimicrobial Collection

Häfele’s Antimicrobial Collection starts with exceptional craftsmanship and contemporary style. Then a durable, powder-coated antimicrobial finish is applied that reduces the possibility of developing “superbugs” or other strains of bacteria. With today’s health and hygiene concerns, this collection offers new possibilities for residential, commercial and institutional applications.

Whatever your decorative hardware priorities, Kitchen Views offers a wide selection of brands to complement your cabinetry, your style and your budget.

 www.kitchenviews.com


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