Weizter Magazine

These articles are written without prejudice by Weizter staff members and other independent writers, the views and opinions expressed here are the views of these writers which do not necessarily reflect or express the views and policies of Weizter.
JUN
10
0

6 Things to do before meeting with your designer

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If you are planning to renovateyour kitchen, we recommend working with a kitchen designer from a recognized comapny such as Weizter. Given the investment that a kitchen If you are planning to renovateyour kitchen, we recommend working with a kitchen designer from a recognized comapny such as Weizter. Given the investment that a kitchen remodeling project involves, it is important to have the expertise of an experienced design professional to address all of the details. A kitchen designer can help you save time and money, and attain satisfying outcomes.

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1.    Develop a Wish ListMost homeowners begin the remodeling process with a “wish list” where they identify what they NEED and WANT in a new kitchen. “Needs” are the items that are essential to meeting your project objectives. “Wants” are items you’d like to include in your kitchen remodel but are optional. 
2.    Set PrioritiesNext, you will want to set priorities for your wish list. Establishing priorities can help you contain costs over the course of the project. To help you set priorities use our free Kitchen Planning Guide. In the guide you will find a handy checklist designed to help you prioritize your wish list items.

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3.    Collect Ideas and PhotosBrowse through magazines and books on kitchen planning and design ideas. Visit online galleries to view kitchen projects. Here are a few great resources:
Houzz's "Kitchen Design Photos"Pinterest's "Kitchen Design Ideas"You can also create an “ideas” book on Houzz or a Pinterest “board” to email to your designer or you can make a scrapbook with photos and design ideas that reflect what you want to include in your project. Bring the scrapbook or a mobile device (tablet or smartphone) with photos you’ve collected to your meeting.
4.    Determine Appliance OptionsWill your kitchen remodel include all new appliances, all the appliances that you currently own, or some combination? It is helpful to identify appliances early in the process because the dimensions installation requirements will be factored into the overall kitchen design. A good designer will address this with you.

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5.    Establish a Budget RangePerhaps the most impotant part of your planning is budget.  An area where people tend to get sheepish about.  Prior to meeting with a kitchen designer, it is helpful to have some idea of the budget you have to work with for your kitchen remodeling project.  A designer is knowledgeable about product lines, vendors and costs. Your designer will make suggestions to help you achieve your desired outcomes and keep within the budget limits you set for the project.  Remember, ferraris dont cost the same as other cars, so be realsitc.
6.    Develop a List of Questions to Ask Your DesignerPrepare a list of questions you would like to ask your kitchen designer at the initial meeting. Here are some suggestions:
How can the efficiency of my kitchen be maximized?Where can appliances be placed?What built-ins can be used in the design?How can pantry storage be factored into the layout?How should cabinets be organized? Discuss the purpose of each unit.Consider stackable shelves, rollouts, cup and plate racks and dividers to meet your needs.

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126 Hits
JUN
03
0

Wall Finishes for your kitchen

There are many different ways to add character to a new kitchen.  Often, wall finishes are overlooked, but, could uplift an already gorgeous kitchen very easily!

Take a look at these great alternatives to paint or tiles.

1.  Wallpaper

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Now that wallpaper is stain and water-proof, it's about time it made its way into the kitchen. With new digital-printing techniques, you can have realistic finishes to your wallpaper. Choose from abstract geometric prints to patterns that replicate wood, stone and concrete

 2.  Marble

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Marble has always been associated with grandeur. Take a cue from the Ancient Greeks and drape this luxe material across not just your walls, but also your floors, countertops and even your sinks to up the opulence quota of your kitchen.

 3.  Concrete

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Another popular choice is exposed concrete. As it goes well with other materials, it easily lends itself to industrial, minimalist and contemporary styles.

 4.  Wood

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A wooden panelled wall is a great way to bring in that rustic, log cabin feel, especially if you choose ones that have pronounced grains and grooves.

5.  Exposed brick

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In this coach house conversion, the designer strips away the plaster to expose the red brick walls of her kitchen. The designer pairs them with industrial lighting, floating shelves and matt white cabinets, further complementing the rustic yet industrial interiors.

6.  Rough stone

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You can achieve that rough stone finish on the wall through masonry work or with tiles. As shown here, it can be the ideal accompaniment to a smooth all-white interior.

7.  Tile

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Metro tiles envelope this kitchen in a way that gives the space a subtle symmetry. In addition, they also offer a smooth transition from one living zone to the next.

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108 Hits
MAY
18
0

Dramatic Black Kitchens - Make a Bold Statement!

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We see sparkling white kitchens everywhere and they do look beautiful, however have you considered a dramatic and chic black kitchen instead that can be just as functional and just as aesthetically pleasing! A space dressed in black is very timeless and sophisticated, not to mention it can create a cozy living environment with a lot of added warmth. This would be ideal for cooking family meals and entertaining guests! Whats even better, is that you do not have design your kitchen in straight out black to make a strong visual impact. Since black is a neutral hue, it can be incorporated in so many ways, from all black to adding accents of white, brass, gold, even pink! 
 
Black can be used in any space from modern to country style. So whether you go with a monochromatic color scheme or infuse another color into your kitchen design, you will be amazed at just how stunning this aesthetic can be.
 
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123 Hits
MAY
18
0

Different Kitchen Island Types

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Moveable Islands

You can barely even classify this as a kitchen island, but we do have to start somewhere. Moveable islands are more like portable prep areas that you keep to the side of the kitchen rather than featuring prominently and permanently alongside your primary counters. The butcher block trolley is a familiar type of rolling "island."

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Pros: Cheaper and easy to move in and out.
Cons: Moveable islands tend to roll. These wheels tend to become unlocked with surprising frequency. When locked, these types of wheels do not provide enough grip on floors, especially when cutting or mixing on them.

Freestanding Island - non-fitted

These islands differ from the portable, moveable islands, listed above, in that they do not have wheels on the bottom. More importantly, they actually strive to emulate a "real" kitchen island. 
At just under a meter, they are the right height for prepping food. They don't have the annoying tendency of those rolling islands to slide away when you're trying to cut something.

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Pros: If you want something resembling an island, this is the way to go. 
Cons: You may be surprised at the smallness of these islands. 1.2m long tends to be the maximum length. Is that big enough for you? 

Kitchen Tables

It's got four legs and a flat top, so it's a table, yet it's positioned where the island usually is, so it must be an island. It's nothing more than a table that's used as an island for preparing food.

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Pros: Easy to bring in and "install." Easy to remove if you don't like it (it's not attached to the floor). Using a table as an island also gives your kitchen a certain Martha Stewart charm, but in a good way.
Cons: It's just an extra flat surface--no fancy frills, no extra storage, no sink, no backsplash. It's just a table.

Fitted Kitchen Island

An island built out of pre-existing materials: a base cabinet (or two or four) topped with countertop material.
Now this type of built-in island, which is fixed to the floor, is considered to be permanent. Usually, these islands range in size from 1.2m up to as long as the countertop slab size allows(without a join) or as long as your space allows (with joins).  Stone countertop sizes range from 2800m up to 3.2m.
Pros: By far, the easiest built-in kitchen island for a homeowner to build but not the cheapest. 
Cons: The back side, which is ordinarily not seen in cabinet form because it faces the wall, must be covered with a veneer or finished piece.

Fully equipped Kitchen Island

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Alternatively, if your kitchen has space for it, you can marry two base cabinets back to back. Also, you'll need to have countertop material cut "to size."
The fully functional kitchen island does everything that the primary countertops do:  electrical, sink, drainage, and ample countertop space.

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Pros: This isn't just "auxiliary counter space." This is almost an entire second kitchen.
Cons: Your costs have skyrocketed due to the addition of plumbing. The sink's supply and drainage do not conveniently tap into the main sink's lines (in the same way that a dishwasher, located next to the sink, will do).  Your island's lines run into and under the floor, eventually meeting up with main supply and drainage lines.

Dual use Kitchen Islands

Is it a kitchen island for cooking or is it a kitchen island for eating?  It can't quite make up its mind, so it has decided to be both. This island combines the two functions but still delineates them so that cooking is done on a lower level and eating on a higher level or even a lower, dining height level.
Pros: This type of island is ergonomically correct. Optimal counter height for a standing cook is 900mm. Best height for a bar top is 1.1m and seating height of 750mm.

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Cons: By providing dedicated eating space, you reduce your cooking space. There is no way you can prep food on that upper deck, even if you wanted to. With a flat cooking/eating island, you could always impinge on the eating area if you had to.

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184 Hits
MAY
12
0

KNOW THE DIFFERENCE...GRANITE VS QUARTZ

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Many customers face the dilemma of whether to purchase a quartz or granite worktop and often ask what is the difference. Many customers face the dilemma of whether to purchase a quartz or granite worktop and often ask what is the difference. In this article we will explain the main differences between a quartz and a granite worktop.

Granite Worktops
Granite is a natural igneous rock which is formed in the ground over millions of years. This is quarried out of the ground in blocks the size of a mini bus. It is then cut into large slabs approximately 3 meter by 1.9 meters. Finally it is polished using diamond tip polishing wheels and then shipped to South Africa if not locally sourced, ready to manufacture your granite worktops. Granite offers more random veining and uneven colour patterns, specially in the light colours compared to a quartz worktop.

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Granite Advantages
More cost effectiveSecond most durable worktop (after quartz)Natural lookHeat ResistantStrong specially dark colours

Granite Disadvantages
Porous specially light coloursRequires Re-sealing

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Quartz Worktops
Quartz Worktops is a natural crystal which is mined from the ground it is one of the hardest stones in the world. This is then crushed into a fine sand and mixed with 3 to 7% polymer resin and other components. It is then set into slabs which are approximately 3 meters by 1.4meters. These engineered slabs are then polished using diamond tip polishing wheels and then shipped to South Africa ready for fabrication. Quartz is manufactured on patented breton spa machinery by silestone, caesarstone, cimstone, zodiaq and technistone.  In recent years quartz has become more and more popular due to the fact it comes in a vast range of colours. Many quartz manufacturers have started producing quartz that look like marble, but with the exceptional properties of quartz.

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Quartz Advantages
Heat ResistantNon-porousMost durable worktopWide range of colour choiceStain ResistantAntibacterial

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Quartz Disadvantages
ExpensiveRestricted width size compared to granite.In summary quartz and granite are both very durable surfaces, with quartz having the slight edge over granite. Both are very popular choices that will add value to your property and provide years of use.

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173 Hits
APR
27
0

Five Reasons Why You Should Include a Vanity Unit in Your Bathroom

Vanity units are a unique addition to any bathroom, providing additional storage solutions around your basin in a subtle yet refined way. Because of this, we a Weizter believe that vanity units are one of the most essential furniture items that every bathroom should have. Instead of having a basin create wasted space, there are a number of styles and designs of vanity units that will allow for a more effective use of space in the bathroom. If you aren’t yet convinced, here are five reasons why you should include a vanity unit in your bathroom.

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Choose from a range of different styles: Vanity units come in an exquisite range of styles and designs, giving you full reign when it comes to building the bathroom of your dreams. Whether your bathroom is elegant, with a modern twist or traditional with a vintage feel, you can be sure to find a vanity unit that suits your style.
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 Available in different sizes: As well as having the option to choose between a freestanding or wall hung unit, you will also have the choice to choose select sizes to suit the needs of your bathroom, or your style preferences. Choose between sliding drawers or cabinet doors, double sink units or even counter top units – you’ll be sure to find the perfect match.
{Weizter} {Kitchens}Complete the look:
With most vanity units, you will find that they belong to a range of furniture too. So, if you are wanting to redecorate your bathroom entirely, you may be more reluctant to buying a vanity unit that comes with matching furniture to complete the overall look and feel of your bathroom.
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Easy to install:
Most of our vanity units are available with fast delivery and come pre-assembled. This makes for simple and efficient installation, allowing you to feel at peace with your bathroom without the hassle of assembling all of your furniture beforehand.
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147 Hits
APR
20
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Monochromatic kitchens

Monochromatic kitchens are a smart choice. First, most people who opt for the monochromatic look also opt for a neutral look, which creates a more timeless canvas with which to work. Secondly, monochromatic kitchens often have a timeless look.Monochromatic kitchens are a smart choice. First, most people who opt for the monochromatic look also opt for a neutral look, which creates a more timeless canvas with which to work. Secondly, monochromatic kitchens often have a timeless look.Timeless designs remain stylish long after other "trendy" kitchens are of date, they're more pleasing to future home buyers, and they allow you to update or change the look of your kitchen using more affordable, temporary accents rather than having to change out expensive finishes.

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One of the reasons we all love jeans is that they can be paired with anything.

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Well, monochromatic kitchens are just like that.Take a look at this kitchen. The owners chose a beautiful, warm cabinet glaze but wanted to keep the smaller kitchen looking open and spacious. So, they chose lighter, neutral shades of cream and beige for countertops and walls. The effect is classy, timeless and - as the stacked cup of coffee mugs on the rear counter attest, their kitchen looks great with just about any accent color they would ever choose.

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We're often asked how to use dark cabinetry without overpowering a kitchen. From now on, we might just send a picture of this gray-on-gray kitchen as our answer.

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This White and Black kitchen is a great example. The patterned tile adds a shimmery stone texture, cabinets have the white gloss covered, and the black glass appliances and no handles look gives that seemless look into the works.

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 Are you interested in designing a monochromatic kitchen that has timeless appeal? Schedule a consultation with a Weizter professional.

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100 Hits
APR
08
0

Gloss or Matt kitchens...Which is best?

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With regards to the title of this articles post most people have already got their favorite. That's an excellent position to be in, but given that you are here reading this post we will assume that you are undecided.  Gloss or Matt Kitchen? What one is the best?  Well, put quite simply, it all boils down to 'Personal Choice'. 


The popularity of matt or gloss changes over the years. Six or seven years ago there was a real move towards a matt finish being the most sought after.  Gloss had a few years 'of fame' in between then and now ... however, in 2018, we can quite confidently say that matt kitchens are by far the most popular. We would predict that the popularity of a matt finish will continue into 2019 and even 2020.

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The key to achieving the right look in both styles is by choosing a quality product and installation. Matt and gloss kitchens can form the basis of a visually stunning design that is timeless in appearance, easy to maintain, and very durable. But if you compromise on quality, then you risk having a kitchen that lets you down in the years ahead.We have now established that a high-quality product is essential for a successful gloss or matt kitchen; however, the problem still remains on how to choose between a gloss or matt kitchen! 

Gloss Kitchens

 

The quality of installation is essential to your kitchen’s appearance, but it is also important to realize that gloss kitchen colours can look slightly different in appearance under different light settings. Eye level units will, in general, reflect more light but you can also reflect other colours. It might be worth considering the installation of LED lights which will alter the visual appearance of the doors. This is something that we have done on many occasion and can work really well in both matt and gloss kitchens but especially well with the reflective properties of a gloss door. The effect of light in the space is an elegant look, but an added bonus is that reflected light also creates the impression of a larger area, particularly within lighter gloss kitchen colours. Ideal for some smaller kitchen spaces. The smoother the surface and lighter the colour, the more light is reflected, and the bigger and brighter a kitchen space will appear. High Gloss white can really help maximize the space.  

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Gloss kitchens are easy to wipe clean making them a stylish and practical choice for families, amateur cooks, or pet owners. Gloss kitchen finishes are widely accessible in a range of materials, colours and prices too. 

  • Can make small spaces appear bigger
  • -Easy to clean- A wide range of colours
  •  Can mark easily

 

Matt Kitchens

 

As with gloss kitchens, the quality of product and skill set is one of the primary requirements for getting the best possible looking kitchen, and the matt kitchen is one of the most stunning possible looks for a kitchen.

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As suggested by its name, it is different from the gloss kitchen because it has a non-reflective surface for a more subtle look.The matt kitchen has a more solid base of colour than a gloss kitchen as it doesn't rely on a light source to maintain its colour. 

The matt kitchen can be described as one of understated class and elegance and convey a feeling of pure luxury. 

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The matt kitchen, like the gloss kitchen, is durable, scratch resistant and also easy to clean, but with the added benefit of fingerprint and smudge marks being less noticeable.  As with gloss kitchens, white doors will give the impression of a bigger space, but to a lesser degree due to the lack of reflection. However, graphite or charcoal grey is proving to be extremely popular... and looks absolutely stunning.

  • A look and feel of luxury and elegance
  •  Easy to clean
  •  A wide range of colours
  •  Finger marks less obvious  

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So is a gloss or matt kitchen best?  Ultimately, it's still about personal preference, so it’s actually not about what is best, it's about what is right for you. At Weizter we have plenty of examples of both, and we would be happy to meet up to show you samples in person so that you can make a proper comparison.  Above all, we suggest that you recognize that high quality is the key; even if it's not the lowest in price, the quality of your kitchen is what will remain when the 'price tag' has long been forgotten!

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129 Hits
MAR
30
0

NO WALL CABINETS...GORGEOUS OR JUST UTTERLY INSANE?

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Why oh why would anyone not want wall cabinets in their kitchen? Why oh why would anyone not want wall cabinets in their kitchen? Something interesting is happening in the world of designer kitchens and we’re excited about it!  No wall cabinets seems to be a trend that’s gaining more and more traction.  What is it about this style that makes these kitchens so damn attractive?  It must be staged for the photo shoot?  Its not practical, where would I keep all my must have cooking items?  

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Let’s understand what it is about this style that draws us in.For starters, it’s easy on the eyes and clutter free, with its clean lines and simple appeal, taking us back to stylish Parisian kitchens which make us think we’re movie stars sipping on an espresso and munching on a pain au chocolat, reading the morning news on the sidewalk of some little café.  But where would I keep my novelty mugs and my collection of pots and pans accumulated over the last 20 years?  Good point?

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Well, the truth is that we usually have more than we need and over many years become numb to the fact that our kitchens and cabinets become overrun with clutter and unnecessary knick-knacks.Think about it!  When you take your family of four away for the weekend to a self catering resort, what do they supply you with?  Do you manage? Are you able to cook and survive on the bare essentials?  Of course you miss your Kitchen Aid mixers and your Le Creuset pots and pans, but what stopping you from decluttering and offloading some of those items that you haven’t used in over 6 months?  That doughnut maker that sits at the back of your not so easy to reach corner unit or the million and one mix match Tupperware containers that nearly always fall out of your cupboards when you need that special one at the bottom of the pile.

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This style is in no way a style for everyone, but would it not be better to come home to a neat, clean de-cluttered space with a sleek low level quartz splashback or a full wall of subway tiles and just stand in awe of the beauty that is simply breath taking?  More is less?


Okay, so not everyone is happy to do away with wall units…enter the open floating shelf.  Dust trap!  Yes, it looks pretty, but is it practical?  Surely your ugly, yet essential, pots and pans wouldn’t be an attractive sight, but ask yourself the same question…how much of this stuff do I actually use frequently.  If you’re honest enough with yourself, I think you will find that you could actually make it work and at the same time offload some of your older items to people that may find better use for them.

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This style offers you that chefs kitchen look with an industrial flair.  You dont have to just do floating shelves, open units could also be a very appealing addition to your kitchen.

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The fact is, this style may not be for everyone, but it could work for everyone if we just gave our cupboards a proper clean out and stuck with the essentials.  Let Weizter show you how!

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138 Hits
MAR
17
0

Celebrity Kitchens, which is your favourite?

Prepare to be seething with jealousy in just a few moments: Your favorite stars have the most stunning kitchens ever. The world’s rich and famous really do seem to have the best taste and have effectively infused their style into their beautiful homes. For us food-obsessed people, these gorgeous kitchens are the epicenter of these glamorous lofts and mansions. Whatever your tastes are, we are absolutely certain that you will be inspired and in awe of every single one of these state-of-the-art celebrity kitchens.

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend

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Kim Kardashian and Kanye West

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Lauren Conrad

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Naomi Watts

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Roberto Cavalli

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Sarah Jessica Parker

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Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen

 

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  170 Hits
170 Hits
MAR
02
0

BEST COLOURS FOR KITCHENS

Choosing paint colors can be a time-consuming and frustrating process when there are so many shades to choose from. The good news is that are certain colors that work best in specific rooms.

When it comes to kitchens, white, grey, blue, red, yellow, and green really shine. Each of these shades can do something different for the room, but they all help create a warm and welcoming space.

Warmer colors such as red are believed to stimulate the appetite and are an excellent option for kitchens. Red is incredibly versatile and there are multiple shades that would really pop in a kitchen, either on the cabinets or the walls.

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Most people start their days in their kitchens, and white can really energize a room. It feels fresh and clean, and an all-white kitchen will really wake you up the minute you step in it. You can also have more fun with your countertops and backsplash in an all-white kitchen and choose brighter colors or designs for those.

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Grey is a neutral that's been taking center stage lately in many homes. It often gets categorized as being too cold, but with the right shade, it can work wonders in a kitchen. Best of all, it pairs beautifully with a wide array of other colors and is the perfect base to build upon in a kitchen. It also works well as a countertop or cabinet color.

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Like a ray of sunshine, yellow can instantly brighten up a room. Also believed to make people hungry, yellow has a soothing quality and will instantly make people feel calm and happy in your kitchen. A good option for small spaces, yellow can make rooms feel bigger and brighter, and it pairs well with white and gray accents.

Blue is another color that works well in kitchens. When lighter shades of blue are used, they can create a crisp, clean look and are recommended for walls, cabinets, or even the ceiling. Blue is an invigorating color and works best when used sparingly; otherwise it can overpower a room. Dark blues also work well in kitchens, but it's important to accent the rest of the room with hints of white, gray or other neutral tones to keep it from feeling too intense and dark.

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Green is also a smart shade to use in the kitchen. There are many different shades to choose from including mint and apple green, which pair nicely with white and wood accents. If you're willing to be more adventurous, try emerald green, Pantone's Color of the Year for 2013. A striking shade, it can add a jolt of energy to the kitchen when used for an accent wall, cabinets, an island or even the floor.

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156 Hits
FEB
27
0

How To find a reputable kitchen company

What makes the perfect kitchen? A kitchen needs to be a perfect fit for your house regarding functionality and design. Its fixtures and fittings need to look good while work as expected. They need to that give your kitchen a classy, traditional or cozy feel – depending on your preference. So how do you ensure this? This is where your kitchen manufacturers come in.

Where Do Kitchens Go Wrong?

When a kitchen is being constructed there are many ways things can go wrong. This commonly occurs when installing major fittings like cupboards and table tops. It’s for this reason that you need to work with experts with experience in the industry, backed up with an impressive portfolio of clients. Here are four characteristics to look out when choosing a reputable kitchen cupboard manufacturer:

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  1. Quality of Products

You need to understand what products they’re using and how durable, sustainable and easy to maintain they are. Good kitchen cupboard manufacturers will stock a range of products. If they manufacture the products themselves, even better. It means they can construct your cupboards to meet your exact needs.

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2. Warranty

This is vital. If the company believes in their products, they’ll offer you a warranty. It’s an assurance to you that you can go back to them if you have any issues, provided it’s still within the stipulated warranty period.

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  1.  Portfolio History

This should be displayed on their website or with a visit to their showroom so that you can gauge for yourself their level of expertise and product quality. Look for reviews or testimonials by previous clients as this will help you ascertain how easy it is to work with them. Word of mouth is also a good referral, as is knowing a friend or family member who has a beautifully-designed kitchen after enlisting their services.

  1.  Industry Accreditation

You need to check if they comply with industry standards in terms of their products and service to clients. 

At Weizter, we can meet all the above requirements. In fact, we’ve been doing so for over 25 years and have established ourselves as one of the most sought-after kitchen cupboard manufacturers in South Africa. Designing or renovating your kitchen doesn’t have to be a hassle, as we’ll get it right the first time.

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168 Hits
NOV
18
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Back splashes for a Unique Kitchen

Believe it or not, a kitchen is more than appliances, cabinets and countertops. While those are the elements that serve the greatest function, there are a host of details that bring everything in the room together, like sinks, lighting, and of course, the back needs to stand out with the help of a unique back splash.

Galvanized Metal

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Galvanized MetalMetal backsplashes are typically of the stamped variety, but a flat sheet of galvanized metal makes a clean and modern statement in a country kitchen or mudroom potting area.

Marble Slab

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The gray veins in this white marble provide visual interest in an all-white kitchen, while bringing some warmth and fun to the design. Patterned tile backsplash is a commitment, but one that makes a bold statement in a kitchen.

Wood Backsplash

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Salvaged wood creates rustic texture on the kitchen backsplash and offers eco-conscious renovators a way to reuse an existing material.

Black and White

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Like black tie for the kitchen, white subway tile with black grout never goes out of style. And although it looks sophisticated, the material costs are low, making this stylish look quite affordable. 

Antique Mirror Backsplash

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A little bit of Parisian glamour in the kitchen comes via antique mirror installed as the backsplash. Its patina makes the material more forgiving and permit less meticulous maintenance.

Concrete

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Some perfectionists shy away from concrete on account of maintenance, but if you reseal and wax concrete occasionally, it makes a great backsplash material for an industrial look. 

Exposed Brick

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If you’re lucky enough to have an exposed brick wall in the kitchen, why not keep it visible as a gorgeous backsplash? One word of caution: Brick should be sealed, since it is a porous material.

Kitchen Mosaic

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If you really want to make your kitchen one-of-a-kind, consider a mosaic . The small tiles will add texture and flair, while the pattern... is more or less up to you!

Modern Glass

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This isn't your mother's glass tile. While normal glass backsplashes feature either a whole sheet of glass or glass subway tiles, Everstone is putting out uniquely shaped designs, from pointy shards to circular bubbles. 

Coin Backsplash

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If your change jar is threatening to take over your kitchen, why not let it? This backsplash, made of over 6,000 extraneous coins, knows the true meaning of "remarkable". 

Wood Paneling

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When used as a backsplash, white tongue-and-groove board is the perfect accompaniment in a country kitchen.

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New & Notable: Ideas for the Luxury Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart and soul of the home, where friends and family gather and so many memories are created. When it's time to remodel this vital space, be sure to consider current trends and new innovations; products that will bring efficiency and beauty…The kitchen is the heart and soul of the home, where friends and family gather and so many memories are created. When it's time to remodel this vital space, be sure to consider current trends and new innovations; products that will bring efficiency and beauty…

Wall Ovens

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Wall OvensThe latest line of wall ovens looks beautiful and serves up features that make it easier to whip up a gourmet meal. Are you always on the go? You can wirelessly control the oven's mode, temperature, and timer from your smartphone. They even made cleanup a snap with self-cleaning oven racks and a quick-cleaning Steam Option. Welcome to the future of cooking.

Exotic Wood Countertops

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Sources in the know tell us that kitchen trends this year are all about exotic wood countertops and cabinet veneers. New trends offers a variety of exotic and domestic woods, including zebrawood, African mahogany, lyptus, and teak.

Dishwasher

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Don't be fooled by Bosch's newest 800 series dishwashers—at 38 to 42 dBA, they're simply so quiet that you won't even realize they're on. With Energy Star compliance, a half-load option for small loads, built-in water softener, and a full-color clear text display, these dishwashers are so convenient, you just might look forward to cleaning up after dinner.

Induction Cooktops

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Induction cooktops, offer precise temperature control and heat up more quickly than traditional gas or electric cooktops. A bridge function provides the flexibility of turning two separate cooking zones into one larger zone to accommodate wider cookware such as griddles or poaching pans. This cooktop is so smart, you barely have to lift a finger.

Built-in Refrigerators

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Consider built-in refrigerators designed for those who want serious storage with a customized look. Humidity-controlled vegetable compartments and sealed snack pans maintain freshness, while upfront electronic controls with a digital readout facilitate precise temperature settings for maximum efficiency.

Tiled Backsplash

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A new backsplash is a great example of a stand-alone cosmetic project that can dramatically transform a space. There are materials and innovative manufacturing techniques to produce a range of ceramic, glass, and brick tiles that can breathe new life into your kitchen.

Walk In Pantry

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Although walk-in pantries conjure up idyllic notions of home canning and preserves, today's pantry is more likely to have such modern conveniences as a microwave or wine refrigerator nestled among the canned goods. In planning a pantry, focus on simplicity, organization, and location to ensure that items are efficiently stowed away and accessible.

Eco-Friendly Flooring

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Bamboo flooring's popularity as an eco-friendly alternative to hardwood has grown almost as quickly as bamboo itself. Flooring companies, offers a multitude of prefinished options in traditional and contemporary styles. Available colors range from Super White to Charcoal, in a nod to one of this year's biggest kitchen design trends: mixing light and dark elements.

Pot Fillers

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Anyone who has worked in a restaurant is already familiar with the advantages of a pot filler, but these convenient devices are quickly becoming a mainstay of home kitchens across the nation. The Traditional Pot Filler reduces back strain caused by carrying heavy pots of water, saves time, and adds a professional touch to the kitchen.

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10 Ingredients for a Cutting-Edge Kitchen

For the latest in smart tech and push-button convenience, look no further than today's kitchens. Truly modern kitchen amenities are not only technologically savvy, but also offer exceptional energy efficiency, durability, and ease of use. Here are 10 innovative ideas.

Smart Cooktops

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Forget cleaning around plate tops. The Thermador Masterpiece Series Freedom Induction Cooktop breaks free of traditional limitations to offer the largest fully usable cooking space on the market. This sleek cooktop is equipped with a full-color touchscreen interface and state-of-the-art technology that enables it to recognize the shape of your pots and pans, heating only the surfaces you need. 

Steam Ovens

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Steam ovens cook food with heat generated by boiling water in a built-in reservoir. These appliances are available from many manufacturers, and most today also function as convection ovens. But the steam oven's real claims to fame are its easy to clean interior, faster cook times, and the moist, flavorful foods it produces.

Custom Refrigeration

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How would you like a combination fridge, freezer, and wine cooler that fits seamlessly into your kitchen? Miele's just that. It's not just their customizable widths and cabinet-depth installations that make them special. With separate compressors for each fridge and freezer section, their design eliminates flavor transfer, so your ice cubes will never taste like your leftovers.

High-Efficiency Dishwashers

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The Bosch Benchmark dishwashers go beyond the water-saving, energy-efficient models that have been ob the market. They're virtually silent and feature touchpad controls and flexible loading—and they even project the remaining cycle time onto the floor in large, easy-to-read numbers.

One-Touch Faucets

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Messy hands in the kitchen usually make for drippy, germy faucet handles—but not with a one-touch or touchless faucet, available these days from many manufacturers, including Kohler and Moen. Cutting raw chicken or rolling out dough? No problem. The high-tech sensors in these fixtures allow you to wash up without gunking up your faucet.

Cabinet Built-Ins

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In today's cutting-edge kitchen, cumbersome cabinets need not apply. The future of cabinetry is replete with rollout shelves, built-in compost collectors, and blind corner accessories that leave no space wasted. And now that more new cabinets are made from recycled materials, you can feel doubly good about your next renovation. The cabinets shown here, made from reclaimed vintage oak veneer panels, make an environmentally friendly statement in the kitchen.

LED Lighting

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Because LEDs take up so little space, they can be stylishly incorporated into undercabinet lighting, drawers, and cabinet interiors. Energy-efficient LED lighting is available in a wide array of colors and lumens—and, perhaps most important, they generate less heat than incandescent or halogen globes, so they help keep the cook cool.

Engineered Work Surfaces

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Cambria's engineered stone countertops combine the vibrant colors and patterns of natural quartz with tough, nonporous resins, resulting in countertops that are unmatched in their durability and resistance to scratches, stains, and germs.

Coffee from the Tap

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There are no shortage of innovative appliances to make your next cup of coffee. But if money is no object, consider the smartphone-controlled TopBrewer. It may look like a simple, graceful faucet, but it’s actually the world's smallest milk foamer and the fastest countertop barista. With one of these on deck, you're never more than 30 seconds away from a perfect espresso—or cappuccino, or macchiato, or even hot water for tea.

Tea Time

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Wake up to boiling water with this WI-Fi enabled teakettle. Controlled by your smartphone and synchronized with your alarm clock, the iKettle will heat water and keep it warm for up to 30 minutes.

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Questions and answers on Bamboo Counter tops in your Kitchen

Bamboo Countertops 

The Sustainable OptionBamboo countertops can be a great choice for anyone who is interested in replacing their current counters with a new, eco friendly option.  There are lots of great reasons to consider bamboo, just see these questions and answers.

How Are Bamboo Countertops Made?

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There are actually a few ways to make bamboo countertops. Which you ultimately decide on will depend mostly on your personal preference.The first type of bamboo countertops are actually a form of laminate. One of the most popular makers of this type of countertop is All Totally Bamboo. To create their eco friendly product, they start by making cross-brand laminates that they call multilam.Small strips of bamboo were glued together to create the planks. Once the planks are complete, they are put together with an adhesive that is non-toxic and formaldehyde-free.These countertops are typically delivered with no finish – which means that they’ll need to have a sealer applied once they have been installed. To keep a project green, it’s important to apply an eco-friendly, low-VOC sealer.


What is End Grain Bamboo Countertops?

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Another type of bamboo countertops are typically called end-grain bamboo. Just like the planks, they are glued together. However, instead of creating long planks, the companies that make counters out of end-grain do so by taking rectangular pieces of the end-grain. They’re glued together and a sealer is added.

Are bamboo countertops durable?

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Bamboo surfaces have anti-bacterial properties that make this material an apt choice for kitchen counters. ... Bamboo countertops are unique and classy.Bamboo surfaces are strong and durable. They can provide long-lasting services by bearing daily wear and tear of busy kitchens


Can you stain a bamboo countertop?

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One can get “light” & “dark” oils that'll “stain your bamboo top in the process. Polyurethane & varnishes require a base coat primer – you can use an oil such as tung oil or linseed oil. ... You can also mix the stain into your sealer (remember to mix thoroughly). This will ensure a uniform finish.


What color is natural bamboo?

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Bamboo has 2 colors, Natural and Carbonized. Natural color: The natural color of bamboo is light yellow. It is the original color of bamboo strips. When bamboo is heated, different colors are produced.


How do I care for my Bamboo Countertops?

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Cleaning these green counters is quite simple. You can keep them clean with warm water and a mild soap. Because they have a finish applied, it’s important not to place hot items directly on your bamboo counte tops.Even though bamboo is a strong material, it’s also important not to cut directly on the counter. Both the counter and the finish can be damaged with a knife.


What sizes can you get them in?

Dimensions available

:• Strand Woven Board 2440mm x 600mm x 30mm

• Strand Woven Board 2440mm x 1220mm x 20mm

• Horizontal Carbonated 2440mm x 600mm x 30mm

• Horizontal Carbonated 2440mm x 1220mm x 20mm

• Horizontal Carbonated 2440mm x 1220mm x 15mm

• Bamboo Woven Veneer 2440mm x 1220mm x 5mm

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Get fresh with your own kitchen herb garden

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If you enjoy cooking, you know how a garden of fresh herbs is a wonderful way to add a bright zest to your creations. A handful of Italian basil, some tomatoes, olive oil and mozzarella can make a delicious and fast summertime meal, so why not create your own kitchen herb garden so that fresh ideas and herbs are at the ready all year-round? Harvesting herbs from your own kitchen garden will enhance your home and all your meals.

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The use of fresh herbs can mean the difference between decent food and truly vibrant, delicious cuisine. But purchasing such herbs at the shop can get pricey, especially if you only need a sprig or two. Plus, it’s a lot more convenient to have the likes of fresh basil, parsley, rosemary, and so much more right at your disposal, whenever you get the urge to whip something up.

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A good kitchen garden starts with a sunny – and convenient – spot in the kitchen; say, near a window and acess to water points. If cutting herbs means a long traipse to the backyard garden, you’ll not be as likely to use herbs from there as opposed to from one that is located inside.

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Supplemental lighting can let you nurture a kitchen herb garden even if you don’t have an adequately sunny spot. Grow  kits are available from garden centers or online retailers for between R800 to R1500, depending on size. And if you’re DIY-handy, you can build lighting using dimensional lumber to construct a frame and standard fluorescent bulbs and fixtures. Whatever you rig up, remember: You’ll need to position your plants within a few inches of the fluorescent bulbs for the best results.

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New Things Always to Keep Near Your Kitchen Sink

If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then the sink is the heart of the kitchen. From meal prep to clean up, you spend a good amount of time near your kitchen sink. Maximize the most high-traffic spot in your kitchen by adding a few extras that will amp up the sink usage.

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Dishwasher On the Counter

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The concept behind countertop dishwashers was always a good one. But for years, even the top-dollar models failed to deliver anything close to the spic-and-span results of a traditional unit. But that was then. Now, options are available and finally equal their full-size peers in performance—even while providing the extra flexibility and convenience of a portable design. Setup is simply a matter of plugging in the dishwasher and hooking its hose up to the kitchen faucet. Perhaps the most amazing part: Despite being compact enough to rest comfortably on a counter, the Danby appliance boasts enough capacity and cleaning power to handle up to six place settings in each cycle.

Mighty Magnet

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Adjacent to your sink, above the counter where you typically do prep work at meal times, consider mounting a magnetic utensil holder. At a generous length of 30cm offers enough real estate and, thanks to a powerful neodymium magnet, more than enough grip to organize and store a variety of kitchen tools, everything from dish scrubbers to spatulas to serrated knives. Style-neutral and at home in any kitchen, the Stainless steel magnetic knife bar even comes packaged with its own mounting hardware, making it an all-in-one, easy-install method of making sure your most frequently used utensils remain within easy arm's reach at all times.

Sudsy Sponge

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Constantly squirting extra dish soap into the sink during dish duty? While you might feel like you're always short on soap, the truth is that you're probably using too much. A generous squeeze of soap often gets washed away before you get full use out of it—a problem that the uniquely designed Soapy spnge sets out to solve. Just fill the capsule with your favorite dish soap, and start scrubbing. The three-layer scouring sponge slowly releases the right amount of soap exactly as you need it, so each dish gets the same amount of suds. No more reaching for the bottle mid-wash—and, ultimately, less soap wasted overall.

Hang It Up

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Avoid dripping across the kitchen floor every time you wash up by keeping your towels right where you need them. While storing them in drawers or over handles works well enough to get by, cloths still inevitably slip from their ad hoc perch. Not so with the cheery over the door hooks: They keep towels draped conveniently in place and are sure to brighten any builder-grade cabinet, to boot!

 Surface Swipe

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Accidents happen—especially in the kitchen. Most homeowners reach for the nearest roll of paper towels, but they aren't environmentally friendly nor are they the most effective option for picking up small crumbs. Instead, consider keeping the Surface swipe next to your sink. The swipe is a two-sided cleaning tool with a squeegee for wet spills and nylon bristles for dry spills. Homeowners can hang the stain-resistant and functional tool on the countertop, where it’s easily accessible for sweeping any mess into the sink. 

Extra Sink Storage

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Oftentimes the counter surrounding your sink gets cluttered with kitchen necessities, like sponges, dish soap, and hand towels. Keep everything in one place with the over the sink shelve . Made with a steel frame and wood top, the shelf increases your counter space without getting in the way. The attractive piece also serves as kitchen decor, especially when topped with potted herbs and other details.

Odor Eliminator

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Regular soap doesn't cut it when you're trying to get the stinky smells from garlic and onions off your hands. And while stainless steel is known as an effective odor remover, you probably aren't looking to wipe your hands all over your fridge. In comes this stainless steel soap Rub your hands between the soap-shaped bar under cold water, and the foul smells will be gone. Because it's not actually soap, the bar will never run out, and it requires zero cleaning. Now you can cook, chop and peel anything without worrying about the smells lingering.

Super Soft Dish Towels

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Every kitchen needs dish towels. For one, they’re more economically and environmentally friendly than paper towels. They also serve multiple purposes: cleaning up spills, protecting the counter from hot surfaces, and of course drying dishes. Shaggies go beyond what’s expected from a towel. Made out of cotton chenille, these dish towels absorb almost 10 times their weight in water. The soft material is also great for dusting and cleaning in other rooms of the house. 

Sink Caddy

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Everything finds its proper place in this easy sink organiser. The convenient catchall sticks to the edge of your sink with a plastic suction cup placed strategically on the bottom of the unit. Stick it to the sink with a drop of water, then line it with damp sponges, wet brushes, and more—the organizer's two large drainage holes will allow your supplies to dry out in between uses. 

Unroll and Rinse

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If you've ever used a counter top dish rack to air dry your dishes, you know the setup isn't ideal. No matter how carefully you rinse and place your dishes into the rack, there's always a puddle of water that collects on the counter. Never again, when you use an over-the-sink dish drainer like this one. The roll-up contraption opens flat and can be laid over half of a double sink. Set dripping dishes atop the rack and let the water drop into the sink rather than on your clean countertop.

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Points To Consider Before Deciding on Bamboo

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•    Bamboo Expands & Contracts
Bamboo, like wood, moves in response to changes in temperature and humidity and can't be restrained too tightly once installed. Some bamboo countertop and plywood manufacturers give detailed instructions for installing bamboo countertops. If you (or your installer) don't pay close attention to them, you might have problems with your countertops down the road.
This characteristic also plays a role when sealing the bamboo. Your bamboo countertop should be sealed in a "balanced" manner meaning that the top AND bottom of the material should be sealed with the same number of sealer/finish coats. Again, pay close attention (or make sure your installer does) to the installation instructions provided by the source of your bamboo countertop.
•    Do Your Homework
Good bamboo (durable and high quality) comes from reputable sources that harvest bamboo at the right time and use quality adhesives and finishes. When you investigate various makers of bamboo material check to see what information they provide about these aspects of bamboo sourcing. Is the bamboo harvested around 5 years of age (give or take a bit)? How much information do they offer about the types of glues and/or sealants they use? Are they safe for food-prep and do they contain any formaldehyde?
The bottom line here is that you don't want to get just any old bamboo from Joe's bamboo shop. Find out how long the maker has been working with bamboo and how well they stand behind their product.

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•    Warranties
Find out what kind of warranty (if any) comes with your bamboo worktop or the plywood you buy to have made into a countertop. What you want to look for here is some form of coverage against delamination and separation since bamboo worktops are a glued-together structure. As with all product warranties, make sure you read the fine print and understand both what is and isn't covered.

•    Sealing & Finishing
Think about how you plan on using a bamboo countertop, whether as a 'standard' countertop or like a cutting board. These decisions will affect the type of bamboo construction (grain orientation) as well as the kind of sealer you choose. Good sources of bamboo countertops and plywood typically provide information on the types of sealers they provide and/or recommend.
Also remember that some sealers, like mineral oil, require more maintenance in terms of repeat applications to maintain and protect the bamboo surface. And don't forget that Tung oil, although a good sealer, is derived from nuts and may cause allergic reactions as mentioned above.

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•    Larger Countertops May Have Seams
Because bamboo material used for countertops comes in finite sheet sizes like plywood there are limitations to how much area can be covered without seams. Seams might not be a big deal to you but just keep in mind that if you have a large kitchen island you want to cover that exceeds standard stock sizes, you may end up having one or more seams in your countertop.

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Planning Guide: Kitchen Remodeling

Take the stress out of kitchen remodeling by becoming more familiar with your design, material, and budget options.

Kitchen makeovers remain popular as homeowners continue to invest to create a warm, stylish, comfortable, and efficient heart of the home. In addition to improved aesthetics and organization, kitchen remodels also hold reasonable resale value.

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According to Remodeling magazine’s 2016-2017 Cost vs. Value Report, midrange minor kitchen remodels—new countertops, appliances, cabinet fronts, and hardware—have an average national cost just shy of R80 000 and get 22% return on investment.

Midrange major remodels, which include new appliances, cabinets, countertops, flooring, and lighting, have a mid-range average of R110 00 and a nearly 36% return.

High-end renovations can easily cost R180 000 and up.

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Though aesthetics are important, the driving remodeling force is functionality. Start by doing some research and tour show houses and kitchen show rooms to see product up close and personal. Next, set a budget that reflects your main priorities for the new space and familiarize yourself with basic elements of design.Planning Your Best KitchenToday’s kitchens average 30 to 40 square meter and are increasingly part of an open-floor plan. Other trends include a move towards simplicity, uncluttered looks, energy efficiency, and natural materials. Look to design books, magazines, and websites for ideas.

Here are some key points to get you started:

How will you use the kitchen? Before you do anything, determine how you like to cook and entertain in your kitchen. Do you cook alone or with someone?

Is your kitchen a multi-purpose room where kids do homework and friends love to gather? Keep track of what currently works well and what doesn’t. For instance, if you’re forever crawling into the back of lower cabinets to retrieve something, jot that issue down.Stop the clutter. Now is your chance to take inventory of everything you need to store, then plan accordingly. Fortunately, cabinet makers realize storage and organization features drive sales, and they’ve responded accordingly.Think about efficiency.

If your kitchen feels more like an obstacle course than an organized work place, consider two tried-and-true kitchen layout basics:

• The Work Triangle. This imaginary triangle features the stove, refrigerator, and sink at the points. The old “5 steps rule” dictates that the perimeter of this triangle should not exceed 9 meters and that each side should be between 3 and 5 meters long. Make sure that the triangle doesn’t intersect an island or peninsula for more than a meter.

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 • The Work Station. Create separate stations for food prep, cooking, baking, and cleaning. Each area is centered around a major appliance and needs at least 30cm of counter space.

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Stick with a Budget. In all likelihood, you’ll need to make some choices on where to save and where to splurge. “Keep your priorities front and center,”  “A R50k range or a R250k one? A R100 sink or one that’s R3,500? A R4 polished brass knob or a R100 crystal model? What’s important to you?”As for budget breakdown, most realtor notes that you can expect cabinetry and hardware to run about 29% of your investment, appliances and ventilation can be 14%, countertops typically run 10%, and installation is about 13% of the total project cost. Set aside 10% or 20% of your budget for contingencies.For more on kitchen planning, consider:

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