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.
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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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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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Lets do Bamboo

Bamboo is a pretty remarkable material and bamboo countertops are just one example of this material's versatility. If you've been trying to find an alternative countertop material that looks unique but still offers good functionality, bamboo might be a good choice.
The key to success with bamboo countertops however is understanding that they're not made from a homogeneous slab of bamboo but rather, an "assembly" of sorts of pieces of bamboo, much like plywood is a fusion of several layers of wood. It's also important to know that bamboo material has different characteristics based on how it's constructed.
There are other points to consider about bamboo like matching the right finish to the intended purpose and making sure it's installed properly.
Bamboo has a lot of great attributes and while it makes for a good countertop choice, it's not just an 'install-and-forget' kind of material.
Take a few moments to become familiar with bamboo and how it's used to make countertops. That will help you make an informed decision about whether it's the right choice in the first place and which type and style suits you best.

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What You Should Know About Bamboo Countertops
To understand whether bamboo is good choice for a countertop material you first need to first understand something about the material itself. It's versatile, strong and beautiful but it also has some unique characteristics that govern how it's "put together" into a countertop surface.
Important Facts About Bamboo's Construction
Bamboo material, particularly in the form that's used for countertops, looks, feels and responds like wood. To be technically correct however, it's not wood but a form of grass.
The key point to understand about most things made from bamboo is that as a building material, bamboo is an "engineered" product. It's an 'assembly' of sorts of many pieces of bamboo that are glued together to form boards and panels, similar to how plywood is made.
The reason for this is because the bamboo plant's "trunk" (actually known as the "culm") is hollow. There's no way to extract wide or thick boards of bamboo like you can with large trees. Instead, the walls of the culm are sliced into strips and then glued together in various configurations to make the boards and panels used for things like countertops, cabinets and flooring.

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Bamboo material, and as a result, bamboo countertops, are made using four different configurations of bamboo construction:
•    Vertical Grain - strips of bamboo are glued together in a vertical orientation.
•    Horizontal ("Flat" or "Face") Grain - the bamboo strips are laid together with their side edges touching each other and the wider "face" on the visible surface.
•    End Grain - the ends of the bamboo strips are cut off and positioned so that the ends are face-up/down much like an end-grain butcherblock.
•    Strand Woven - this construction method uses strands of bamboo (rather than cut strips) combined with adhesive that are pressed together under high pressure.
The significance of grain orientation is that it affects the overall look and hardness of the resultant product. Vertical grain, end grain and strand bamboo are usually the hardest forms. Horizontal grain bamboo shows the "knuckle" or node that is typical of a bamboo stalk. When you shop for bamboo countertops you'll see that they're offered in one of these grain orientations or perhaps a combination.
If you like the look of butcherblock countertops then choosing an end grain bamboo will be your best option. If you prefer the look of wood grain and all the natural but irregular characteristics that come along with it, choose horizontal grain bamboo or strand bamboo.
For the record, strand bamboo looks more like the grain of real wood whereas horizontal (or face/flat) grain bamboo shows off the characteristic linear grain that's periodically interrupted by the nodes.

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Extending the Life of Your Kitchen Counter tops

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Preserve one of your biggest kitchen investments - those luxurious countertops, by following the advice from the pros who put them in. Today’s trendiest choices—granite; quartz, and solid-surface, can do a lot to breathe new life into a dated design and, at the same time, increase your home’s value.

 

{Weizter} {Kitchens}• Granite is 100 percent natural stone, cut in slabs and surface-sealed for a one-of-a-kind countertop.

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• Quartz, also called “engineered stone,” contains finely ground minerals combined with resins to create a lustrous, rock-hard surface.

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• Solid-surface is a synthetic option manufactured of acrylic and polyester resins to create a soft, smooth, matte-like surface.

These sleek options can easily be the most expensive item in a kitchen remodeling project, so you’ll want to do everything you can to keep them looking as good as new, even after years of use. While each type of countertop has its own inherent properties, all three will benefit from some standard good-care practices. Whether you’re safeguarding your new investment or trying to treat your existing ones better.

Cleaning Routine

Adopt a Cleaning RoutineCountertops are constantly subjected to splashes and spills, from hastily poured milk to a tipped can of soda. If you spill something, you need to wipe it up promptly. Both granite and solid-surface countertops can stain from certain liquids, such as coffee and wine. Quartz, on the other hand, is less likely to stain, thanks to its very low permeability. No matter what kind of countertop you have, it’s still a good idea to wipe up spills as soon as they occur—ignoring them is simply not sanitary on a surface where food is prepared.Your countertops will also benefit from a daily cleaning using a mild solution of water and a few drops of dish soap in a spray bottle. Just spray the countertop, run a clean, damp cloth over it, then dry with a soft dish towel. Don’t skip that last part: Drying a damp countertop will help prevent the hard water stains that can form if water droplets are left to dry on their own.

Only the Recommended Cleaners

You can’t always believe everything you read on the internet. This is one of the most common mistakes homeowners make. The best cleaner for a countertop is one that’s recommended by the manufacturers. The chemical makeup of a cleaner can’t be left to chance. Skip the countertop hacks you find online and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.  Suggested cleaning products come listed in the informational materials that accompany your new countertop. But if you’ve misplaced them, call the fabricator who installed the countertop, contact the manufacturer, or check the manufacturer’s website—after all, they’ll know best.

No Chemicals on the Countertop

The quartz, granite, and solid-surface countertops are so tough and durable that it’s easy to mistake them for a work surface fit for crafts, science projects, and other household activities. It’s time to break this bad habit, though, because chemicals and solvents—including paint thinner, varnish, and caustic products like oven cleaner—can damage the surface of both quartz and solid-surface countertops. Get into the practice of using a dedicated workbench or other surface for projects, and keep the chemicals off your countertop.

Cutting Boards

 

You can scratch any countertop, especially solid-surface countertops, so use a cutting board when you’re chopping onions and other foods. If you’re course-correcting a bit late, know that solid-surface countertops have renewable surfaces, which means that minor scratches can often be repaired by either sanding the surface down or using a soft-type scrubbing product to smooth down the edges of the scratches. Check the instructions that came with the countertop to ensure that you use the correct method. Granite and quartz are less likely to scratch, but it can happen—and if they do get scratched, there’s no way to repair them.

Towels and Trivets Are Handy

While all three countertops are heat resistant, none of them are completely heatproof. If you take a hot pan off the stove, don’t set it on the countertop. That can lead to thermal shock and even cracks in the countertop. Indeed, a solid-surface material can scorch and crack, while a quartz surface can become permanently discolored. Being natural stone, granite can withstand a hot pot for a short while—a few seconds—but one that’s set out directly on a granite countertop as part of a buffet, for instance, can lead to cracking.The easy solution? Always use trivets, or a mitt or towel to prevent direct contact between a hot plate and the countertop.

Stop Sitting or Standing on It

We’ve all been guilty of using the countertop as a stepping stool to reach the highest cabinet shelves or hoisting ourselves up to sit on the counter while chatting with family—but the stress takes a toll on your ’tops. Quartz and solid-surface countertops are the least likely to crack, but granite, due to the natural fissures that run through the stone, may be weak enough in certain spots to crack under the excess weight. Even when granite is professionally re-seamed, you’ll often be left with a visible repair mark to remind you of your goof. And besides, using a sturdy ladder is an all-around safer practice anyway.

Seal Granite Periodically

Of the three types of countertops, only granite requires a periodic application of sealant to help it resist stains and maintain a uniform sheen. Granite countertops come professionally sealed, but after a year or so, the surface may start to show signs of dulling. Manufacturers will use different types of sealant, and most sealants have a one- to three-year life expectancy. To keep the countertop looking its best, homeowners will need to reapply a granite sealant. Which one and how often depends on the manufacturer. It’s best to apply only the type of sealant suggested by the manufacturer and at the intervals recommended by the manufacturer

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Ways to Make Your Kitchen Look and Feel Bigger

Those who say "good things come in small packages" probably don't have to contend with small-kitchen challenges like crammed cupboards and limited counter space. If your kitchen seems more cramped than convenient these days, it may be time for a shake-up.

Create Space with Light Colors

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Create Space with Light ColorsThe three main design components that determine how spacious a room feels are color, lighting, and the contents of the room. The easiest quick fix, particularly if you're not ready to cut back on your cookware collection or install additional lighting, is repainting. Walls that are dark and bold can make a kitchen feel crowded (or cozy), while, conversely, lighter hues offer an airy feel. Create a sense of openness with antique whites, off-whites, creams, light yellows, or pale shades of gray.

Avoid Strong Visual Contrast

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Once you pick a light color, commit to it. To liven things up, some homeowners make the mistake of incorporating an accent floor—one strong, bold-hued wall in an otherwise light-toned kitchen. In a large kitchen, that can work but in a small kitchen, strong visual contrast creates a feeling of segmentation and restriction. A better way to add a little optical oomph into an otherwise monotone kitchen is to play with the extras. Keep all the walls light and bright.

Accent Lighting

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The human eye is naturally drawn to the highest contrasting point in a room and in a kitchen, that’s usually the top of the cabinets. When shadows create a strong visual line between the cabinets and the ceiling, the kitchen can feel as cramped as it would with a high-contrast accent wall. You can erase or soften those shadows by installing up lighting above the cabinets. It casts a gentle illumination that eases the visual contrast created by shadows and as a result makes the whole room feel more open. Lighting installed beneath upper cabinets and directed onto the countertop works in a similar way.

Find a Place for Everything

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When they're left out on the countertop, cookbooks, spices, and small appliances eat up valuable work space and draw attention to a kitchen's insufficient size. Aside from taller upper cabinets, options like concealed storage racks and pull-out or swing-out shelves maximize storage space behind tidily closed doors. Remember: The less cluttered the kitchen, the larger it will feel.

Reflective Materials

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Shiny surfaces can bounce light and ultimately make any kitchen feel larger. It has a lot to do with the way shiny surfaces pick up and reflect the hues of the walls and cabinets. For example, if you have antique white cabinets, the sheen of stainless steel appliances will reflect some of this off-white hue and amplify the space-enhancing effects of your choice in cabinet color.

Natural Light

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The view from a kitchen window should make the outdoors—be it a deck where you entertain or a large, lush backyard—seem like an extension of the kitchen. Swap out heavy draperies and blinds for sheer curtains or simply a valance, and leave the rest of the window uncovered. The additional natural light will not only visually expand the space, but will also help instill that coveted airiness.

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Kitchen Trends To Stay With In 2018

Cooking space remodeling and upgrades are the projects homeowners most hope to take on in the coming year. With this they have to stay with the trend.

Get Smart

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A kitchen can’t be too techy these days! Hands-free faucets, fridges that remind you when to make a grocery run, and appliances you operate with a handheld device will become commonplace in ’18. Next up? Taps that deliver boiling water or even coffee!

Clever Storage

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With upper cabinets disappearing and nobody is really ready to give up tools and space, designers are devising hidden solutions to simplify and make cagey use of available space. These include deeper drawers, corner drawers, pull-out pantries, fridge enclosures, and roll-out trays and caddies, often with a particular item in mind (linens, cutlery, pots and pans—there’s a new slot for whatever you’ve got!)

Islands in change

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The island that changed from prep area to bining will continue to grow—literally—into the multi-purpose focal point of the kitchen and even the hub of the home, which is compatible with the increase in open-plan living. Islands in ’18 will be longer and larger, accommodate more storage and seating, and house more appliances.

Sinks with difference

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The porcelain and stainless steel sinks that ruled for years will make way for alternative materials like stone, copper, and concrete. Perhaps the newsiest idea is the composite sink, made of the same compound as counter tops (such as composite quartz or granite), which creates a seamless look and simplifies cleaning and maintenance.

Color Code

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While rainbow colors are still around, painted cabinets are moving toward subtler, darker hues like navy and plum. For appliances, dark gray tones with a brushed metal finish are supplanting stainless steel. One benefit to going to the dark side: These shades don’t show dirt or wear-and-tear as easily as bright, white, and shiny surfaces.

Flat Out

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One of the easiest ways to attain 2018’s new minimalism is with flat-paneled cabinet doors, as opposed to the raised panels of country kitchens. Flat panels can be super simple, with no visible knobs, or gain impact from a high gloss finish or clean-lined hardware. Sleek!

Rustic Recipe

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On the opposite end of the spectrum from glossy and glitz comes a rugged natural or industrial vibe. Think open shelving made from rough cut wood or pipes, bleached wood cabinet doors, exposed beams and finishes for flooring.

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JUL
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Ways to Get More Kitchen Counter Space

Counter space. No matter how big the kitchen, you hardly ever hear anyone complaining that there's too much of it. Especially in a compact kitchen, clear counters are a precious commodity. Luckily, there are lots of smart storage ideas that can clear up that problem.

Roll Me Away

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Roll Me AwayIf you're striving to save space, a rolling cart with a butcher block does a double duty. Use the top for prep when you need it, and give dishes or other supplies a good home on the shelves underneath.

Hang Time

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kitchen utensils have a notch on the handle, perfect for perching up high. This way, you can save your drawer space for something else.

Sink It

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When you're chopping, you can't be washing, so why not wash up sink as a prep area? Any cutting board slightly wider than your sink will do the trick.

Beyond the Block

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Let's face it, traditional knife blocks are counter hogs. A simple solution is to store knives on the wall with a magnetic holder, but make sure you dry your knives thoroughly before storing and place them carefully on the strip.

Top-Shelf Idea

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Open shelving—where ever you can, mounted on a painted wall, or even free-hanging from the ceiling—can greatly increase your kitchen storage capabilities. Although you'll want to choose eye-pleasing items to house there, the net result will be an increase in space down below.

Another Way to Look At It

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Having a limited amount of kitchen real estate can inspire creative, and at times beautiful, solutions. Installing a few shelves inside a window not only gains surface area for storage, but also captures a stunning backdrop for anything placed there.

Island Idea

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Use your kitchen island to work a bit harder for you by adding shelves for books, or bars for hanging towels or utensils.

Hole in the Wall

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Even if your kitchen's footprint is small, you may uncover a treasure trove of storage possibilities. In many cases, reclaiming this hidden wall space requires remodeling only this one area instead of the whole kitchen.

Corner Pocket

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Freestanding shelves like these from house hold suppliers can give you a clever, efficient way to use that often-neglected corner space.

Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

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Use a cake stand to hold high-use items like salt, pepper, and olive oil. If you need more room, you can easily transfer the stand to another spot in the kitchen.

Jar Ingenuity

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

Ah, the storage jar. What a great idea: Affix the metal lids to the underside of a cabinet, and screw the jars on and off as you need them.

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JUL
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Cluttered Kitchen Counter Tops

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We've all seen them — those neat, tidy kitchens without a jar or spatula in sight. How do they do it? What sort of magic keeps those kitchens in tip-top shape? And can it wave its magic wand over our kitchens too, please?

Here are 10 rules all clutter-free kitchen you can live by. It's no magic, just smart habits that anyone in any kind of kitchen can adopt.

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  1. Keep the countertops clear.

Clutter starts at the countertop, which is why clutter-free kitchens, you'll notice, always have clean and clear counters. Resist the urge to use the countertop as a drop-off place for mail, keys, magazines, dirty dishes, and all of life's various items.

Relocate small appliances and get rid of any non-essential countertop decor. Make sure that whatever you do keep on the countertop is functional and essential to your time for cooking only.

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  1. Keep things in cabinets.

For all you open-shelving dislikers, this is for you: Kitchens look neater when belongings are kept behind closed cabinet doors rather than stored out in the open. There! I said it. It doesn't mean I don't like open shelving, but I'm aware of its downsides, and so called fashion time.

If you're aiming for a clutter-free kitchen, you're better off sticking to cabinets so you can at least hide the clutter you do have. If you love open shelving, get comfortable with a minimalist style, have a minimum display of  more related than pretty things. Containers  and cans are a big no no!

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  1. Follow the "one in, one out" rule.

Every clutter-free kitchen has a plan in place to keep it that way, and it usually involves some form of the "one in, one out" rule, which means that for everything new you bring into the space, something else has to get taken out. This way you maintain a healthy balance, and the "stuff" doesn't begin to take over.

  1. Follow the "don't put it down, put it away" rule.

This is an essential habit for a clutter-free kitchen, too. Think of the mantra "Don't put it down, put it away!" every time you're about to put something down randomly in the kitchen. Is it dirty? Put it in the dishwasher. Is it clean or new? Put it in the cupboard, refrigerator, or pantry. Is it not supposed to be in the kitchen at all? Take it out of the kitchen and put it in its proper place.

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  1. Don't use the refrigerator as an art gallery.

Simple, but so true: Remove excess paper, notes, photos, lists, and magnets from the refrigerator, and just let the refrigerator be, and your kitchen will immediately look neater.

  1. Find alternatives to the pile.

With the exception of pretty bowls, patterned cloth napkins, or white plates, most things in piles don't look great. This is especially true of pans, pot lids, small appliance accessories, and messy space hogs like trash bags and kitchen wrap.

Clutter-free kitchens turn piles into pleasant areas. Anything that can be lined up or spread out is — it's just so much easier to store and see that way!

  1. Do a chore a day, instead of all at once.

To maintain a clutter-free kitchen you have to value tidiness, and place a priority on cleaning. But that doesn't mean you have to be knee-deep in deep cleaning every week; just do a little cleaning every day, so you're both cleaning and maintaining the kitchen at the same time.

  1. Have morning and evening kitchen rituals.

Mindfulness: It's an airy word that gets thrown around a lot, but small, attentive actions in the kitchen really can help keep clutter under control. Morning and evening rituals help us pay more attention to our kitchens, and how we feel and work in them.

  1. Let yourself have one messy drawer.

Okay, so not every clutter-free kitchen is, well, clutter-free. Every good diet needs a cheat day, right? Every clutter-free kitchen needs a cheat spot, a free-for-all place to stash something until you've found a better location or purpose for it. (And putting it in your cheat spot is better than just leaving it out!)

The key is to be very specific and intentional about where that spot is. Choose just one shelf or drawer, and don't let it spill out into the whole cabinet.

  1. Always leave the kitchen better than you found it.

And finally, a rule of living for clutter-free kitchen, you always leave the kitchen better than when they found it. This might mean quickly wiping down the table when they pass through the room, or taking the water glasses out of the sink and loading them in the dishwasher. It means always looking at your kitchen with a discerning eye and asking yourself: "What small thing can I do in this moment to make my kitchen a little bit better?" Small things grow up to be great habits.

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149 Hits
JUN
24
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Risks and facts about Duco (Painted) Kitchens

Price

Painted cabinets aren’t exactly budget-friendly. They can be, but if you’re comparing them with stained cabinets, you’ll find that they often carry a steeper price tag. How much higher? The answer ultimately depends on who’s making the cabinets and where you’re buying them from. That’s thousands of extra rands you’re forking over, depending on the size of your kitchen.

Maintenance and cleaning - Equipment

  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • 3 microfiber cloths

Instructions

  1. Mix up your cleaning solution: Fill a bucket with warm water and squeeze in some dish soap as the water is running. (This will cause the soap to bubble up.) There's no need to be too precise with this: Just add a few inches of water to your bucket and a couple squirts of soap until the mixture is soapy.
  2. Dip a microfiber cloth: Dip part of a microfiber cloth in the soapy solution and wring it out. Be careful not to over saturate your cloth — it should be damp but not soaking.
  3. Scrub your cabinets: Working on one cabinet at a time, rub the damp cloth in a circular motion on the cabinet. Dip the cloth back in the soap mixture and repeat as necessary to remove any grime.
  4. Wet a second cloth: Wet part of your second cloth under the sink in non-soapy water. Wring it out. Again, it should be damp but not soaking.
  5. Wipe the cabinet: With your second cloth, wipe down the cabinet again. Work in a circular motion and make sure there's no soapy residue left behind.
  6. Dry the cabinet: Grab a third microfiber cloth and dry the cabinet in that same circular motion. If you're spot-treating a particular mess, then you're done. If you're cleaning the whole kitchen, move on to the next cabinet.

The cons of painted kitchen cabinets

  • Unfortunately, painted kitchen cabinets tend not to be as durable as the alternatives. They’re more likely to chip than any other doors. Though chips are not easy to repair, and as I’ve said, they happen far more often.
  • Painted cabinets are a luxury option, and inevitably they cost more. The price will vary, depending on the quality doors you use, but it’s always going to be higher than the alternatives.
  • The lead times are a lot longer with painted kitchen cabinets. This makes sense, when you remember that they need several coats of paint, with drying time in between. This means you may have to wait up to 4-6 weeks for painted kitchen cabinets, as against 2-3 weeks for the more affordible alternatives.
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JUN
23
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Taking care of your kitchen herb garden during the winter

1. Herbs need humidity

Kitchen herbs prefer a humidity level of 30 to 45 percent. Unfortunately, during the winter months, the humidity level in heated homes tends to only be 10 to 20 percent. To combat low humidity, frequently mist the herbs. Or turn on a humidifier to increase cut through dry air.

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2. Move them into sunny spots

From summer to winter, the angle of the sun changes, so you need to move your herbs near a different window for the season. You can also wash the window glass, inside and out, to help let in more light. Don’t forget to rotate the herbs every so often to make sure they receive light evenly on all sides.

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3. Do not give too much water

Considering their growth rate is significantly slower during the winter, herbs do not require as much water. Check the soil by putting your finger about one inch into the soil. If it feels dry, the plant needs a good soaking. Be sure to use lukewarm water!

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4. No food needed

Due to very little growth, giving or changing fertilizer is not needed during the winter months. It’s best to withhold food until next spring, when the days are much longer and the sun is stronger. Resume weekly feedings closer to spring to give your plants a boost.

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5.  Check the temperature

During the daytime, most herb gardens prefer a temperature between 20 to 25 degrees Celsius, and at night time about 10 to 15 degrees cooler. Dramatic fluctuations in temperature can be damaging, so it’s best to keep your herbs away from cold windows, or sources of heat, such as stoves, fireplaces, and radiators.

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There are a lot of aspects around your kitchens herb garden, new trends are popping up every day, one of them is by usining your freshly grown herbs as decor points in your kitchen to give it a bit of that natural flair that has gone missing over the years.

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550 Hits
JUN
17
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Taking care of your kitchen herb garden

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1. Using the right growing soil.

Indoor herbs have a better shot at healthy growth if you plant them in a sterile growing soil. Choose a “potting mix” or “growing mix” that has the word “sterile” on the label. This type of growing medium contains a germ-free mixture of lightweight ingredients, such as peat moss, vermiculite, and shredded pine bark, which resist compaction so roots can develop easily. Avoid using soil from your garden that can become dense and compact, and also contains bacteria and/or tiny insects that could kill your kitchen herbs.

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2. Startig seeds can go further.

If you purchase young plants from a garden center, you’ll be harvesting in no time—but once those plants “go to seed” they’ll quit producing herbs. So for kitchen herb gardens that last, buy seed packets, from which you can grow multiple plants. A single young plant runs R40 to R60 while a packet of seeds can provide you with 20 plants, or more, for about R20. Most herbs will be ready to harvest in two to three months from the time the seeds sprout.

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3. Keep soil moist until sprouts appear.

Kitchen herb seeds are quick to develop but they require a consistent level of moisture until they sprout. Fill your pot with damp growing medium. Place two to five seeds on top of the medium, and then lightly sprinkle dry soil on top—just a dusting will do. Cover the entire pot with plastic wrap and put it in a dark location until the seeds sprout. Then, remove the plastic and set the pot on the windowsill.

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

 

4. Start new seeds often.

The average herb plant will reach maturity and go to seed in about four months, after which it will no longer produce fresh herbs. By about every two months, the new plants will be producing vigorous growth by the time the existing ones are declining, and you’ll always have a fresh supply of herbs.

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5. Don't use too much fertilizer.

You can feed your kitchen herbs with a vegetable fertilizer every two or three months, but dilute the solution to one-third the recommended strength. Indoor herbs do well with a small amount of fertilizer, while too much can cause rapid growth that reduces the flavor of the herbs.

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 6. Harvest often.

Harvesting leaves from the tops of herb stems will encourage the plant to grow more. Just be sure to snip carefully. Remove no more than 1/3 of a stem when you’re ready to add the herb to your food. Cutting too much can damage the plant and cause it to stop growing.

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7. Water spray your herbs.

Spraying your herbs once a week is usually sufficient. Most herbs prefer slightly damp, but not soggy, conditions. Give plants enough water so that a little excess runs into the drainage saucer below. An hour after watering, dump out the saucer to ensure that the roots aren’t sitting in water. If the soil dries out very quickly, which can happen if the herb is growing rapidly and its roots are absorbing more moisture than normal, water every three to five days. 

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

Please visit again next week for some more pointers on your kitchen herb garden.

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764 Hits
JUN
02
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The new trend - matt finishes

What do you need to consider when choosing kitchen finish for a new kitchen? Colour, size, style and handle types, right? But what about cabinet how it feels when touched. It is also about surface textures and finishes. No doubt, your kitchen designer will ask you whether you prefer matt or gloss, but don’t be half-hearted in your reply. Gloss kitchens is now past it's prime in popularity and the latest trend are matt finishes. The cabinet finish you choose can create a dramatically different look regardless of the material the cabinets are made from. Your designer will help you choose the right finish for your kitchen cabinets will explain what’s available, the advantages and disadvantages of each, as well as some tips to ensure that the look of each finish will work best in your new kitchen. But you need to be careful choosing a finsih which is fading in popularity and you will be stuck with it for at least a decade.

Finish Materials
Whether you have chosen MDF or particle board for your kitchen cabinets, there are a variety of finishes that you can use to achieve the look and functionality you want. Manufactured boards, such as MDF and particle board from any of the big brands are coated in polyurethane or with a layer of melamine, depending on the look you’re going for. But no matter what material or coating you decide on, you still have a choice of whether to go with a gloss or matt for the end product. There are some advantages and disadvantages for each option.

What is a matt finish?
Matt-finish cabinets don’t reflect any light at all and look more flat than a gloss finish does. Matt finish is the perfect choice for more modern or traditional-style. A matt finish also looks just as good on contemporary-style flat cabinet fronts as it does on more traditional-style fronts, and appears to be growing in popularity. In fact, in Europe, matt-finish cabinet fronts are now more popular than gloss. Weizter have an exciting range of the latest matt materials for your new project - CONTACT US!

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1565 Hits
JUN
02
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Lighting in the modern kitchen

Lighting can make or break how a new kitchen looks, feels and fuctions.

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Good Lighting makes a new kitchen more enjoyable, and bad lighting does just the opposite. It is equally as important as cabinets, countertops, appliances and other fixtures. Effective lighting illuminates a space in layers using different components and strategies to paint the final picture. A similar analogy holds true for lighting.Simply placing flush-mounted fixtures in the ceiling of the center of the kitchen can provide functional light, but recessed ceiling lighting may do littel to beautify the space, create a mood or evoke a favorable emotional response. Layers of light contribute not only to the functionality of the kitchen but also to its desgin and beauty. The different types of lighting that are used to layer light are: Ambient, Task and Accent.

Ambient lighting is the main source of illumination for most rooms is a home. The goal of ambient lighting is to provide soft, general illumination without necessarily drawing attention to the light source. Ambient light provides enough light for safe navigation,cooking and washing dishes and helps to define the space. Depending on the locationof the kitchen and the number of the windows and doors, ambient lighting can be sourced organically, from sunlight. Other potential sources of ambient lighting can be chandeliers, pendant lights, recessed lighting and flush mounted lighting.

Task lighting is employed to illuminate the activities that take place in the kitchen and provides light to prep, cook, bake, read recipes, easily find ingredients and spices, watch television or do homework. Recent technological advances enable designers to integrate task lighting into drawers and cabinets by installing LED strip lighting or puck light. We often employ  LED strip lights under cabinets to illuminate countertops.

Accent lighting is used to help keep the kitchen from looking ordinary or bland by highlighting opening shelving, artwork, architectural details or other objects. A details or work of art that draws the attention of the eye is referred to as a focal point. Light fixtures to provide light and shadows can make the space more inviting and comfortable.These may include track light, recessed adjustable fixture, and spotlights. Accent lighting is subtle. A focused beam of light directed at a plant or highlighting a work of art, or a spotlight placed behind a plant and pointed upward through the leaves creates shadows on the wall that can make a kitchen more attractive.

Different light layers may be activated depending on purpose or time of day.For example, during the day, dendants over the island may not be needed at all, ut when you start to prepare dinner in the evening all the layers providing ambient, task and accent lighting become necessary.

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1548 Hits
FEB
01
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Weizter launches new website

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Weizter launched it's new modern website today! Things change rapidly in this digital age and it is important that Weizter keep pace with the latest trends and technology. The new website reflects the latest design trends, new programming developments and a whole bunch more viewer interaction. The new website is one of the very best there is to see in South Africa and we at Weizter are proud to lead the way.

The new website bears very little resemblence to the previous website neither have we copied over all the previously written magazine articles. Instead, we will write new and fresh content for this magazine section.

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