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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Open wardrobes

Built in cupboards are not always plain and simple in any bedroom, they can add quite a lot of flair to those not seen by everybody areas. The flexibility of an open wardrobe means it can suit any space and what you want to store. You can put together your own combination in your bedroom, hall or even inside a walk-in closet or cupboard. It takes care of your things, gives you a good view of them, and you can add to it as your needs change.

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Open wardrobe combinations offer lots of options for organising your clothes. By mixing and matching different clothing storage — like drawers, shelves and rails — there are wardrobes for rooms of all sizes.

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Fancy creating your own open clothes and shoe storage? There are systems that have different parts that you put together the way you want. You get a personal combination that suits your space and your things, and that you can adapt or re-arrange whenever you feel like it. 

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Your open wardrobe, made easy and elegantUse open storage to put the clothes you love on show.

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With a custom-designed wall unit, it’s easy to see what you have and find outfit inspiration.

 

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APR
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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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APR
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Kitchen Extractor fans mostly used in the modern market

{Weizter} {Kitchens}Kitchen extractor fans is one of the most imported parts when it comes to adding beautiful aesthetics to your kitchen, it can be the same as usual or you can wow it with something different.

Mostly used lately but with it own style is the Glass extractor fan. Elegant but practical.

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Integrated extractor fan. Hidden but usefull.

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Latest trend is ceiling extractor fans, for places like islans were you don't want something in your eye view.

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Or the new technology Downdraft extractor fan, simply a stunning picture when hidden.

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Color match your extractor fan to blend in with the rest.

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Angled wall mount extractor fans are also bocoming fasionable and stylish in the modern kitchen.

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Kitchen inserts that is a must have to make your life easier.

When re-doing or installing a new kitchen always look at making it as comfortable and accessible as possible. There are so many ideas and ways to do this with simple added inserts that are available on the market and doing it without killing your budget, a simple must have....

Lazy Susan. Simple, but makes that  corner so easy to use

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Bin units. Hide it but keep it close to your work area. The latest trends are recycling, put two!

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Magic corner. Don't leave voids or unused spaces utilise them.

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Small inserts for hiding the everday used but sight for sore eyes.

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Pull out larder. Make organising and access simple and easy.

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Storage baskets. Not only built for veggies, you can utilise them in many ways.

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MAR
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When Renovating, new kitchen and bedroom colors you simply have to look at.

Renovating your home always leaves you with the opportunity to go for something newer, more trendier and the latest in the market. With melamine boards there is always new development taking us deeper into new revolutionary colors. Kitchens with a difference from the usual "wood look", defy your bedrooms and studies with "softer feel" tones.

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These stucco colors is something new and out of the ordinary. You simply have to feel them!

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Give your kitchen a different look, something away from the usual.

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How much easier for you to get that "wow!" factor in your kitchen with something new.

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Get away from the mindset the "wood look" persists with kitchen cupboards, do a mix.

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Kitchens that are small but very efficinient in color.

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MAR
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CHOOSING THE CORRECT HANDLE FOR YOUR KITCHEN

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It’s often the most daunting task when faced with the question on which handle you would like in your kitchen.  This could be due to the fact that there are literally thousands of different handles to choose between all with some difference in colour, texture, shape and size yet when looking through samples, these all become distorted as they tend to look as though most of them would work with your design...but they wont.

I like to refer to your handles as the jewellery of your kitchen, little bits of bling that accentuate that beautifully designed kitchen and don’t detract from it but rather add to the overall design.{Weizter} {Kitchens}

Having said this, it is imperative that we take note that when it comes to handles, form should not take preference over function and that these two elements need to work seamlessly together to form a coherent bond between aesthetics and functionality.

It is key, that your handle selection looks good, but it also needs to feel good, comfortable on the grip, after all, this is the actual part of the kitchen that receives the most contact other than your work surfaces.

One could select a handle that emphasizes the length or width of a cabinet door.

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In contemporary kitchens, this is usually the case where longer sleeker handles are used to accentuate certain features.

Concealed handles are also important in this regard because they allow for one to really focus on the linear lines of the kitchen and  don’t detract from the overall design.  Although, these do tend to become dust traps and one often finds that it can be confusing as to which side the door is hinged and you’re not always certain on which side to pull open from.

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In some instances, it is worth considering no handles if you only want to focus on aesthetics.  However, the same problem with hinging presides and its worth mentioning that the push open mechanisms usually cost a pretty penny.

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In more traditional designs, one may consider a combination of two different types of hanldes and dont forget, knobs.

Knobs have evolved somewhat from your grand mothers kitchen and now come in an array of finishes from pewuter, bronze, copper, rose gold, glass and even crystal.  One could match up to three different handle types in one space as is the case in the image below.

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Whatever it is that tickles your fancy, just remember that your Weizter Designer is there to assist you and guide you.  They’ve done this before and have extensive knowledge on what works and what doesn’t work.  Ultimately, the choice is always yours.

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MAR
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11 Inspiring Kitchens That Defy Their Small Size

Many homeowners dream of a kitchen with loads of workspace, lots of storage, and all the latest gadgets. But what if your kitchen is so small that you're unsure it can accommodate your vision? Fear not. Remodeling a small kitchen can be a big success if you keep a few key concepts in mind. First, minimize clutter and maximize efficiency. Get rid of uni-taskers and anything that doesn’t have a real practical purpose. Find the very best storage for every drawer and cabinet, and if storage elements are out in the open, make sure they add to the overall design of the room. Next, focus your design details. Make the most, visually, of the space that you have. Open up the areas that you can. A counter bar with backless stools will create an open sense of flow, while providing necessary seating, and consider open or glass shelving instead of traditional cabinets. When you use color, make a statement, whether it’s an accent wall of tile, or a bold color choice for cabinets. The 11 inspiring rooms that follow prove one important point: Just because your kitchen is small, does not mean you have to skimp on style when remodeling. With clever color choices, smart storage ideas, and an eye for detail, you can remodel a kitchen of any size into the room of your dreams.

Play with Pattern

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One design benefit of having only a small amount of wall space to work with is that you can mix and match colors and patterns without fear that the look will overpower the room. Here, a tiny patch of wall surrounded by white cabinets becomes a canvas for a cheerful checkerboard of blue and green tiles.

Open Up

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If it's structurally possible in your home, open up one wall of a small kitchen and install a high counter to separate it from the other space, like these homeowners did. Not only does the counter become a place to eat and do homework, it's also a gathering spot that will allow you to converse with guests while you prepare food.

Textural Tiles

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In lieu of paint, gleaming tiles can add an element of fun to a small kitchen. Further punctuate the space with details that catch the eye, like black hardware, colorful canisters, and a sculptural stove hood.

Look Up

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Maximize storage space by choosing cabinets that reach the ceiling. This kitchen's all-white color scheme, which embraces the walls, cabinetry, counters, pendant lights, and seating, helps keeping the space open.

Rustic Charm

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Blond wood cabinets echo this cottage's exposed beams and ceiling slats, while a stainless steel backsplash gives the room a modern edge. Along the windows, a wide sill that matches the countertops provides a casual spot for morning coffee.

Color Confidence

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While it's true that whites and lighter hues can visually expand a small space, a bold use of color creates a welcoming atmosphere as well. Here, apple green cabinetry pairs well with the black and white details of the room. Glass-front doors keep the color from overwhelming the space.

Galley Reimagined

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To create a U-shaped space, this homeowner closed off one end of a walk-through galley kitchen with a glass block wall behind the stove. The floor tiles echo the grid pattern of the glass blocks, emphasizing the graphic, modern feeling of the room.

Personal Style

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Whatever size room you're working with, let it reflect your taste. This cozy kitchen is brimming with country accents, from the butcher-block counters to the sink skirt and fabric-covered stools.

Fun Underfoot

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Never underestimate the power of a floor pattern to enliven a small space. A classic black-and-white checkerboard has timeless appeal and can be made with either tiles or paint. Maximize the floor's decorative punch by choosing a streamlined, all-white scheme for the rest of the room.

Classic Details

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Tucked into a sunny alcove, this charming space capitalizes on the decor that is so popular in kitchen design today: white walls, white cabinets, black granite counters, and warm wood floors. Recessed lighting and bare windows underscore the room's clean-lined look.

Take a Seat

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Much loved for their nostalgic charm, banquettes can be a great seating solution in small kitchens. Here, two benches (one with additional storage built into the back) are positioned in front of a sunny window. Other eye-catching details in the room include colorful collections housed on open shelves and a playful linoleum pattern on the floor.

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MAR
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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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MAR
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How to plan your walk-in closet

If you’re one of those lucky people with the space for a walk-in closet, the planning process can seem slightly daunting. You want this space to be functional and beautiful, and with so much space to work with you might not know where to start. Fortunately, we’ve compiled the best tips from our design professionals to help you plan the perfect layout for your walk-in closet!

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Here are just a few key points to keep in mind:

  1. Use space above the hanging areas for storing purses and folded items.
  2. Designate top shelves as overflow storage to stow seldom-used items such as seasonal apparel and luggage.
  3. Create a focal point by anchoring the space with a built-in dresser or hutch.
  4. Use adjustable hanging rods to double the storage space and keep related items close together.
  5. Locate shelving and hanging rods near the door to the closet to create an open feel while entering.

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By keeping functionality at the forefront of the design process you’ll create the walk-in closet of your dreams that’s both organized and beautiful! 

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MAR
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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

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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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MAR
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Kitchen Lighting Ideas

Pendants, uplights, downlights, LEDs Do you know all the options out there in kitchen lighting when it comes to creating the illumination you need to prep, cook and dine? What lighting types and the main things to consider in planning an effective design.

Why is kitchen lighting so important? 

For most of us, the kitchen is the workplace of the home and a busy spot at night. Good lighting is essential, as it allows you to perform tasks such as prepping food and cleaning up quickly .And it adds character to a space and can quickly take the mood from functional to cozy, perfect for an eat-in kitchen. 

Plan lighting as early as possible.

Moving light fixtures after a kitchen has been installed can be expensive, or not sometimes possible. Rewiring and repainting mean costs can add up quickly. For that reason, it’s best to plan kitchen lighting during the design stage.

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What is a layered lighting design?

Light layering involves creating different shades of light, playing with shadows and using different colors to highlight a room’s best features. In the kitchen, it generally incorporates task lighting for food prep and cooking, ambient lighting for general illumination and character, and accent lighting to highlight specific features such as a gorgeous backsplash or a piece of art.

Consider safety first.

The first priority of kitchen lighting is to provide sufficient illumination for safe and efficient meal prep, cooking and cleaning. This is mostly achieved with task lighting — think LED strip lights under an upper cabinet. These create a even light with no shadows or heat.

This will minimize shadows in your prep zones. The best way to do is this is to install task lighting in front of or above you, rather than behind you.

Add ambient lighting for character.

Soft, ambient lighting will wash your kitchen with light and create a warm, welcoming glow. It could be in the form of a pendant above a counter or dining table, downlights around the perimeter of the room or a central ceiling light.

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Highlight your best features with accent light.

Use accent lighting to draw attention to special features such as a backsplash or a island. Installing strip lighting under cabinets or counters is a great way to achieve this. You could also add accent lighting to glass cabinets or open shelving to highlight your displays.

Choose the right style.

When it comes to choosing kitchen lights, take your cues from your home’s architecture and the lighting styles in the rest of the home. Choosing similar styles (or at least having a unifying theme such as shape or finish) will create a sense of flow among the spaces. This is particularly important in an open-plan kitchen that flows directly into a living or dining area.
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Get the proportions right.

With pendant lights and other decorative styles, size is also important: too large and the fixture will overwhelm a small kitchen; too small and it may get lost in a large space. 

It’s also important to hang the pendant at an appropriate height to reduce the risk of people bumping their heads. Generally speaking, it should be about 32 inches above a table or counter.

Take control.

Lighting control systems allow you to alter the illumination as needed and change the mood of the space. With dimmers, for example, you can go from bright lighting for precision cooking to a warm glow for dining. Having controls on separate switch plates lets you control lights in different areas separately. 

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MAR
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Coffee Stations

If you are a coffee lover, you probably enjoy a good brew at home rather than running to cafés to savor your favorite cup of java. You can create your own unique coffee station right in your own kitchen using your essential coffee making accessories.

By selecting a special space to place all of your coffee making essentials, you will be able to enjoy your favorite cup that much faster and impress your guest as well! You can use your kitchen counter, side tables, carts, a cabinet, or have a coffee bar custom built to suit your style. Here are a few tips to help you organize and stylize your very own coffee station.

HOW TO CREATE THE BEST HOME COFFEE STATION

The Counter Coffee Station You can style your own coffee station right on your own kitchen counter! If your counter is small, use a base, like a tray, to put all your coffee essentials in a group to decrease clutter. You can also add a shelf above your coffee machine to place cups, coffee, and other essentials. If your counter is large, simply arrange your station in a way that expresses your individuality by adding a coffee pot, unique cups, and whatever you like.

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Carts and Side Tables Using a side table or cart is great. They allow you to contain your coffee stand to a particular area creating a coffee station nook in your kitchen. Moreover, a large or medium sized kitchen can easily handle a rolling coffee bar created from a kitchen island on wheels. This can be fantastic if you are entertaining guests and want to display all the coffee making gadgets you use to make a great cup of coffee.

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Customize It! You can customize your coffee station by creating a special cabinet to place all your coffee necessities. A customized coffee station is a great idea. You can close the station when it is not in use; thereby, making your kitchen appear less cluttered. There are many ways to customize a coffee space, built in cabinets and shelves with swing doors or a type of opaque roller blinds work too. You can have lights fitted at the top of your nook or use a lamp.

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ADDITIONAL THINGS TO INCLUDE IN YOUR COFFEE BAR:

-Bowls for coffee and sugar (glass jars with coffee beans adds a distinctive touch) -A carrying tray -Napkins -If you have a detached coffee station, a unique piece of artwork in the area would look chic -Special lighting if required -A special vase for flowers or a succulent plant

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TIP: It is not “a rule of thumb” that your coffee station has to be in your kitchen. You can just as well place a coffee bar in your dining room, entertainment room, or home office! Even living rooms can look great with a customized coffee bar designed to be hidden behind closed doors.

 

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Maintaining 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.

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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.

 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. 

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Old Kitchen Trends You Might Regret

A big kitchen renovation is one of the Most expensive improvements you can make to your home. Perhaps you've heard the expression "kitchens sell houses." If it's true that a beautiful and functional kitchen will help you sell your home. A big kitchen renovation is one of the most expensive improvements you can make to your home. Perhaps you've heard the expression "kitchens sell houses." If it's true that a beautiful and functional kitchen will help you sell your home.

Over-the-Range Microwave

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Saving space by installing the microwave over the range has been standard kitchen protocol for years. But that practice is on its way out. As home buyers begin to favor universal design principles, keeping necessities accessible for the entire family becomes ever more important. Consider moving the micro to under-the-counter nooks and drawers instead.

Pot Racks

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Pot racks certainly had their moment in kitchen design. Placing a large pot rack over a central kitchen island, however, is no longer your best bet. Pots are now stashed neatly in drawers as opposed to living out in the open. Opting for a redesign that's sleek and minimalist will remain a safe choice for years to come.

Farmstyle Sinks

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It once seemed that homeowners would never tire of the throwback charm of the farm style sink, yet you'll rarely see one installed in a kitchen renovation today. Stick with stainless steel, which will always be practical and in style.

Appliance Garage

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It is nice to keep your appliances off the countertop. But at the expense of the space an appliance garage requires? The trend of large cabinet drawers is here to stay, and there is plenty of room in there for your small appliances.

Tiny Backsplash

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Minimal backsplashes are out, and for good practical reasons. Spills and splatters don’t necessarily have good aim. A tile or glass backsplash that goes all the way from counter to cabinets is much easier to keep clean and looking nice.

Skipping Window Treatments

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Keeping windows open and unfettered by shades or curtains has been a trend for several years - mimicking the urban style of loft living. But the trade off for this chic style is a complete no privacy and contending daily with the constant glare of unfiltered sun. Luckily, this is a trend that’s easy to reverse. There are lots of simple, minimalist window treatments that will keep your windows uncluttered while serving their important practical purpose. Not taking care of these will lead to replacing kitchen windows which can be a costly exercise.

Tiled Countertops

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Tiled countertops were big in the 70’s and 80’s and made a comeback recently in more minimalist designs. It is cheaper thn granite other solid natural countertop surfaces. But regardless of tile size and design, it is a maintenance headache. It’s hard enough to clean grout on a vertical surface in a shower. Bright AppliancesThere’s been a recent bright pop up in colour appliances to break up the sea of stainless that’s reigned supreme for years. Just beware that a trend is a trend, and will eventually (sometimes sooner than later) fade.

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The 5 Best Kitchen Flooring Options for Your Renovation

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The kitchen has become the hub of the modern home, not just a cook space but a gathering place for family and friends and a focal point for activity. With all that goes on in today’s kitchen, it’s crucial that the floor can withstand high foot traffic as well as the all the inevitable spills and spatters. It also has to suit your personal style and fit your budget.

FOUR KITCHEN FLOOR MUSTS

Keep the following in mind when floor shopping:

Durability: To withstand frequent spills without staining, and to survive dropped skillets without damage, choose flooring that’s tough enough to survive your lifestyle.

Water-resistance: Your kitchen is a “semi-wet” room, so the flooring you choose should not be damaged by the occasional spilled glass of juice.

Scrub able: Messes always seem to end up underfoot, so the best kitchen flooring is one that’s easy to keep clean.

Design-friendly: When all is said and done, you want your kitchen to look just as good as the rest of your home. With today’s flooring options, you can have an attractive kitchen floor that’s resilient to boot.

Flooring manufacturers offer a wide assortment of materials that are functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. The following five flooring choices top the most-desirable list for contemporary kitchens. Start here when planning your kitchen redo, and you’re sure to find one that meets your needs.

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  • 1.SHEET VINYL

Pros: Water-resistant, scrub able, comfortable underfoot, and budget friendly
Cons: Heavy appliances can leave depressions (avoidable with coasters under appliance legs)

Sheet vinyl has been around for decades and has only gotten better. The fact that it comes in a large sheet, as opposed to small, stick-down tiles, means there are no seams where water can seep down to the subflooring. Sheet vinyl offers wall-to-wall waterproof floor protection, which is always welcome in busy kitchens that see a lot of spills.

Vinyl flooring doesn’t get cold in the winter (as, say, ceramic tile can), so it’s comfortable underfoot all year round. It is easy to clean too; regular sweeping and occasional mopping with an all-purpose vinyl floor cleaner is sufficient.

Sheet vinyl is available in a wide variety of patterns and colours. The thicker the vinyl, the more durable and the more expensive. Expect to pay R300 to R1000 per square meter depending on quality. Professional installation will add another R100 to R300 per square meter. Pro installation is recommended because the vinyl sheet must be perfectly cut to fit the exact dimensions of the room and then carefully glued and rolled with a heavy press to prevent air bubbles.

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  1. PORCELAIN TILE

Pros: Extremely durable, waterproof, stain resistant, and good for high-traffic areas
Cons: Grout requires periodic sealing to prevent stains

For the ultimate in durability, it’s hard to beat porcelain tile. Though similar to ceramic, porcelain is fired at higher temperatures, which makes it stronger and more resistant to damage. It comes in a variety of sizes and shapes, from 300mm squares to 1800mm planks that mimic hardwood. Like other hard flooring surfaces, porcelain can be slippery when wet, and it’s extremely hard—glasses and plates that fall on the floor will likely shatter.

Porcelain tile is heavy and will add substantial weight, so it’s not usually recommended for a second-story floor. If you have questions about whether your floor system is adequate for installing the tile, contact an engineer or a reputable tile setter. Depending on brand and quality, you’ll pay R250 to R800 per square meter for porcelain tile and an additional R350 to R1000 for professional installation. Unless you’re familiar with laying tile, it’s best to leave this to a professional. Installing porcelain requires the use of a special type of underlayment and thin set mortar.

Though porcelain tile is easy to clean with an all-purpose floor cleaner and a wet mop, the grout between the tiles should be sealed every three to four years with a grout sealer to reduce the risk of stains.

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  1. ENGINEERED VINYL PLANK (EVP)

Pros: Waterproof, DIY-friendly, closely resembles real hardwood flooring
Cons: Heavy appliances may leave depressions

One of the newer flooring products on the market, engineered vinyl planks (EVP) are getting a lot of attention. The planks, which resemble hardwood, are completely waterproof. On the surface of the plank is a layer of luxury vinyl, bonded to a waterproof core that’s slightly cushioned to give the floor a soft feel underfoot.

Like other engineered flooring (laminate flooring or floating flooring), EVP planks do not attach directly to the subfloor. Instead, the planks snap together, which makes installation DIY-friendly. The flooring runs R500 to R700 per square meter and includes installation instructions. If you choose to have it professionally installed, expect to pay another R300 to R600 per square meter. Unlike a lot of flooring choices, such as sheet vinyl or tile, EVP can be installed directly over existing tile, concrete, or linoleum.

In terms of downsides, EVP is not as resilient as porcelain—and moving a heavy fridge could leave a scratch, so care should be taken when moving heavy appliances. It’s a breeze to clean, however, with just a mop dampened with soapy water.

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  1. STONE TILE

Pros: Adds a natural, one-of-a-kind ambiance (no two tiles are identical), non-slip surface
Cons: Expensive and can stain without regular sealing

If you want natural flooring at any price, check out stone tile. You’ll pay R240 to R600 per square meter, depending on the type of stone, and factor in an additional R250 to R550 per square meter for professional installation. Hiring a professional tile setter is highly recommended because of the special underlayment and thin set mortar required. Even slight discrepancies in the thickness of the mortar or failure to use the correct product could result in stone tiles popping off.

Natural stone tile adds beauty to any kitchen and, unlike manufactured tiles, it’s by and large non-slip due to its semi-porous surface. Choose from a handful of natural tan, gray, red, and brown earth tones, depending on the type of stone you choose. The following types of stone are commonly available in flooring tiles:

  • Travertineis smooth underfoot, non-slip, and available in light-to-medium soft earth tones.
  • Marbleis very hard and can be polished to a high sheen. Unfortunately, it can also be slippery when wet. Marble is available in a wide variety of colours, including green, brown, gray, and near-black with pink, red, gold, and burgundy veining.
  • Slateis one of the best kitchen flooring choices for many reasons, but namely, because it’s slip-resistant and very durable. It comes available in blue, gray, red, and orange tones, with attractive veining in the same colours.
  • Granitetile is very hard, making it a good choice for high traffic areas. It comes in deep gray’s, blacks, tans, and mottled white tones. Granite resists scratching and can be polished to high shine, although the higher the sheen, the greater the slip factor.

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5. Cork

Pros: Budget-friendly, DIY-friendly, warm and cushioned feel underfoot
Cons: Can be scratched by heavy objects

A relatively new addition to the flooring market, cork is quickly becoming a preferred choice for those who want a warm soft floor at an affordable price. Expect to pay R300 to R800 per square meter for cork tiles in square or plank shapes. Cork tiles can be installed by an enthusiastic homeowner—they’re available in peel-and-stick, glue down, or snap together assembly. Professional installation, if desired, can run an additional R250 to R400 per square meter.

Composed of ground-up cork combined with resins and then compressed into firm tiles, this flooring is available in a variety of gray, tan, and brown shades. While cork flooring can depress under the legs of heavy appliances, given time, the depressions will return to their original state. Cork flooring is soft underfoot and slightly springy. It reduces sound transfer, so it’s a good choice for homes that have a living area beneath the kitchen. Cork flooring resists stains but it is not stain-proof. Spilled wine that’s not promptly wiped up may leave a stain, but one of the cool things about cork is that it can be refinished by sanding down the surface and then applying stain and a sealer.

Cork can fade if exposed to direct sunlight, so protect your floor by using curtains or blinds. Clean-up is simple; wipe up spills promptly and mop with soapy water when necessary. Follow up by wiping the floor with a clean, dry microfiber mop to remove excess water.

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Vanity Units

White vanities will be on trend whether its 2019 or 2039. White is so flexible, and it goes with pretty much every bathroom style and color you can imagine. Redecorating isn’t a problem if you go for white, and you don’t have to worry about it going out of style.White vanities will be on trend whether its 2019 or 2039. White is so flexible, and it goes with pretty much every bathroom style and color you can imagine. Redecorating isn’t a problem if you go for white, and you don’t have to worry about it going out of style. Whether you’re looking at modern bathroom vanities or more rustic bathroom vanities, if you want something that is going to stand the test of time, then white is the right choice for you.{Weizter} {Kitchens}

We all know how on-trend grey is right now and that is no exception when it comes to bathroom vanities 2019. Traditional and rustic bathroom vanities look great in grey; giving something more old-school, with a bit of a modern twist. Grey has longevity as a color, meaning it looks great for a long time and will go with plenty of bathroom colors – whether you prefer a light bathroom or something with a darker tone.

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If you want to add some drama to your bathroom design, then a dark vanity is the way to go. Contrast the dark color against white tiles or go for something moodier and pair it with a grey tone.
A dark vanity is super stylish and forever on trend, but be aware that this trend might be tiring quick, so this might not be the best option if you are planning to invest in custom bathroom vanities, as you don’t want to be replacing it in the near future.

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A floating vanity is forever chic and is one of our favorite modern bathroom vanities, and for good reason. It is perfect for small bathrooms where you need to open up the space and make it feel bigger than it is – as they don’t go all the way to the floor, they give the appearance of taking up much less space and create the illusion of additional floor space. If you love a clean line or you are motivated by cheap bathroom vanities for 2019, then a minimalist vanity is the way to go. Not only are they way less expensive than your rustic bathroom vanities, but they come at a much lower cost to install. They are perfect if you are on a budget or you have a small bathroom, as they look way less cluttered and have the appearance of taking up much less space than those with intricate designs on the doors and handles.

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Ways you are accidentally damaging your kitchen counter tops

The most important work surface in the home, the kitchen countertop is built to accommodate food preparation, regular cleaning, pesky stains, and more. But despite their durability, countertops can suffer from costly damage whether they're made of laminate, marble, granite, or any other material. Here are ways people unintentionally damage their countertops, with tips on how to keep yours in tip-top shape for years to come.

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1. Many hard surfaces crack under pressure. Placing heavy objects near unsupported edges or joints can cause cracks, ruptures, and fractures. You had better think twice before purchasing that extra-heavy microwave or standing on the countertop to reach a high shelf!

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2. Heavy duty cleaning products containing bleach or ammonia can cause stone and granite countertops to lose their luster. To prevent them from fading, stick with soap and hot water for daily cleanups.

3. Check the manufacturer's recommendations before you put toaster ovens, slow cookers, and other heat-generating appliances on your countertop, because temperature changes can cause some materials to crack. Rather place a trivet or cutting board between the appliance and the counter.

4. Because marble countertops are made of calcium carbonate, which is chemically a base, they're especially sensitive to anything acidic. One simple splash of vinegar, wine, lemon juice, or tomato sauce will cause dull spots, known as etches, on the surface. If you spill anything acidic on your marble countertop, clean it up right away with water, then neutralize the stain by sprinkling baking soda onto it.

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5. Pools of water, especially hard tap water, can cause stains and white crusty buildup if left on the kitchen counter. After wiping up the spilled water, be sure to completely dry the countertop with a towel to prevent future problems.

6. Chopping, slicing, and dicing directly on the kitchen countertop is not good. Fine scratches can disrupt the waterproof sealant on most countertops, making them more susceptible to damage down the road.

7. Splitting or peeling edges are common problems on laminate countertops. Reduce the stress on your counters by never leaning on the edges.

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8. Placing a hot pot directly on a countertop can cause discoloration or cracking. Use trivets or pot holders as a barrier, or risk creating a burn mark you’ll forever regret.

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9. Everyone wants a sunny kitchen, but direct sunlight can cause laminate countertops to fade. Sunlight can also fade some sealants used on granite and wood countertops. Pull down a shade during peak daylight hours to minimize long-term damage.

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10. Do not always prepare food in the same spot. Over time, that section of the counter will suffer from scratches, etches, and other signs of wear and tear. Try migrating to different parts of the counter regularly.

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Kitchen herb gardens

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 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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Open Plan VS Closed Kitchens

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There will always be people that choose one side or another, open plan or closed.  Let's look at the benefits of each.

Open plan kitchens are typically better geared for entertaining or for families where you can have constant interaction with your guests or children, perhaps while you supervise their homework or with friends over a glass of wine.

Open plan kitchens generally allow for better lighting as they are usually situated in close proximity or adjacent to the lounge or dining room, areas which typically have larger windows for more light.  So once existing walls have been removed, this would allow for better illuminosity (natural light).

However, the cost of the removal of walls, tiles, relocating of plumbing and electrical points could prove costly and perhaps not even worth the exercise.  Funds could then perhaps be better utilized on upgrading your new kitchen with soft close doors and drawers or better appliances.

Another downside of open plan kitchens is that regardless of how good your extraction appliance is, there will always be lingering cooking smells in the kitchen which would now permiate the rest of the house as well.  not good if you dont really enjoy the smell of your cooking.

Noise is another factor to consider.  As there are no walls to absorb sound, it does tend to travel more easily.

Something to consider is that your new open plan kitchen would generally need to be kept pretty neat and tidy as it will now be on "display"for guests to see.

Closed kitchens are considered more private and intimate which is great if youve been cooking up a storm and the kitchen is in a bit of a state...simply close the door and worry about the cleaning later.

However;  closed kitchens do tend to isolate the cook from interacting wirh guests, so if entertaining is a high priority, open plan is probably better suited to your lifestyle.

Besides being able to close the door and forget about the mess in the kitchen, the number one complaint regardign closed kitchens is that they tend to "trap"smells and are typically noisey areas.

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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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