Last Post: January 21, 2014

2014 Kitchen Trend: Open Shelving, Glass-Front Cabinets
January 21, 2014

Kitchen cabinets used to be a place to tuck away dishes and hide boxes behind solid doors. But this year, the latest kitchen trend is open shelving, according to the Zillow Digs Home Design Trend Report for 2014. If you don’t want to be left out, here are some tips from Kerrie Kelly, the principal designer and owner of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab in Sacramento.

Match your kitchen style

The glass-front cabinets aren’t just for modern spaces; they work well in any kitchen style. According to Kelly, you should focus on using only one or two materials and be creative in your installation with whatever materials you choose. Painted cabinets with glass fronts and statement knobs would look great in traditional or country-style kitchen, while sleek, flat-front cabinets will make a contemporary space stand out.

Display kitchen items

Aside from picking cabinets to match your kitchen, choose accessories and kitchenware that will go with the overall look. Since glass-front cabinets will showcase your items, Kelly suggests you curate statement pieces and let your collection grow with you and your space. Try spices, olive oil, cookbooks, and glass jars filled with oatmeal or dried fruits.

Try experimenting with DIY shelving

Updating your cabinets to match these trends could be an easy do-it-yourself project that can be done over the weekend and provides great versatility. Kelly recommends removing doors on one of your cabinets, and painting or adding wallpaper inside the open-shelf walls to create a unique touch.

Add the look elsewhere

Open shelving is not exclusive for the kitchen; you can have this throughout the entire home especially in the bathroom vanities. Kelly reminds homeowners to get creative with shelving units and try incorporating vintage pieces with sleek colors for a chic storage solution in any living space.

 

Would you try this out in your own kitchen? We’d love to know!


Image credit:  DetailsADesignFirm

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home
January 7, 2014

Here are some resolutions to welcome a brand new year:

  • Cut down energy use. Start by sealing and insulating your HVAC ductwork and make sure you maintain the system and change furnace filters regularly.

  • Conserve water. Reducing water consumption can also add to your energy savings. Get a low-flow showerhead and toilet so you won’t have to flush away a huge amount of money on water costs.

  • This is also the perfect time to get organized and stash some of your old stuff. Clean your shelves and utilize under-space storage.

  • If you have a spare time, use your DIY skills to do routine maintenance and repairs such as caulking windows and doors, cleaning gutters, or mowing the lawn. Learn something new and invest in a hobby, like gardening and get your kids involved as well. You can teach them how to plant. This will allow you to spend more time with them while doing home improvement projects.

  • If your resolutions include having a beautiful kitchen this year, consider remodeling to improve the value of your home. Come up with a plan and think of the areas to be remodeled. Take a look around your kitchen: Do you need to update your appliances, replace your countertop or worn-out cabinets and flooring? Once you have listed the things to add in your remodeling project, check your budget and hire a professional to do the job.

We hope you have a beautiful, efficient, and clean home this year. What are your home improvement resolutions and how will you achieve them? Share it with us!

Get Your Kitchen Ready for Christmas
December 17, 2013

Christmas is coming soon! This is the time of the year when life gets a lot busier. You may be thinking of potlucks and dinner parties and start to feel the giddy anticipation of hosting a festive-get together. Despite our high expectations, holiday stress often comes uninvited. But keep in mind there is a better way to make Christmas enjoyable and less stressful. The secret: plan ahead.


 

Your guests will be spending more time in the kitchen so it’s important to get organized and clean every nook. Here are some of the ways you can make your kitchen ready to take on guests while preventing major cleanup later.


 

Remove clutter from countertops. Get rid of mail, bills, and recipe books lying around. Keep paperwork off your kitchen and make sure all surfaces are sparkling clean.


 

Clean the microwave. Some of your guests might offer to help you warm up food. we’re pretty sure you don’t want them to see a food-splattered microwave.

Check your refrigerator. Your fridge will be opened and closed continuously and will soon be filled with heavy dishes. The door handles and gaskets should be tight, cold air vents must be clean, and lights should be working properly.

Stock your kitchen properly. If some of your guests have allergies or are vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free, take these into consideration and prepare dishes accordingly. Aside from alcoholic drinks, make sure to offer other beverages as well.


 

Create a cooking schedule. Prepping ahead of time will help you keep things organized during the holiday celebration. You can chop some of the veggies and store them properly. Potato dishes and casseroles can also be put in a baking pan ahead of time.


 

Disinfect trash cans. Clean them before your expected holiday party. Wash them with a garden hose and dish soap and disinfect with a cleaning spray. Keep extra trash bags, too.


 

Check your dishwasher. Aside from your fridge, the dishwasher will also be used a lot after the dinner party. Make sure it’s running efficiently and the drain is free of any residue. Check if there are broken glasses or lost utensils at the bottom. Remove any gunk by wiping off the rim of the door.


 

Get your serveware ready. Take an inventory of supplies you need - cookware, serveware, cooking oils, canned goods, and other pantry necessities. Have your knives sharpened for the honey-baked ham so you can serve it to your guests in an instant. Get your plates, utensils, and cloth napkins ready.


 

Take precautionary measures. Make sure everything is childproof. The kids may hang around and play. Plugs should be covered, lamps and other fragile items must be put off the table edges. Double check your smoke detector and CO2 detector batteries, and replace them if necessary. Have a fire extinguisher ready, too. Complete your first aid kit so you're always ready to respond to minor medical emergencies.


 

Did we miss anything in the list? Share your best holiday tips in the comments below.


 

From everyone at Milan Stoneworks, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year. We hope you're all having a fantastic holiday!


 

Image credit: Old World Charm