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Island Dreams... In The Kitchen

The kitchen island. It’s like a magical puzzle piece that brings your entire kitchen design together with its dreamy counter top space and heavenly storage options. A good kitchen island is a delight to both seasoned cooks and those not so blessed with culinary skills. 

Possibilities abound when considering an island for your kitchen. Here’s a short but sweet list of some things to consider when you are dreaming up your perfect island design:

Size and Shape

round-kitchen-island

Is your kitchen wide and square, narrow and rectangular, or more open and freestyle? Islands can be crafted with custom dimensions to fit just right. From an L-Shape to a curvy creation, the only thing holding you back is how much space you want around the island. Some prefer to have counter space over walking around space, while some want a balance of both. The beautiful thing is that it’s up to you!

 

Functional Features

islands69

This is where function meets design in the best way. How does your kitchen flow now? Do you bump elbows cooking and doing the dishes? Islands can be home to sinks, ovens, microwaves, and even a mini fridge or freezer drawer, giving you the space you need so more than one of you can dance while you cook up your tasty creations!

 

Storage Solutions

island storage

We just can’t say enough about the added storage that islands give you. Drawers and cabinets are super handy for kitchen islands, and deeper cabinets bring extra space for bulkier dishes and cookware. Not to be forgotten are built-in side shelves for your cookbooks and other artsy things you’d like to show off!

 

Countertop Space

This really is what it’s all about, isn’t it? Extra counter space. Gone will be the days when you are the only person allowed in the kitchen when it’s time to cook. Gone will be the days when you have to prepare only one item at a time because there’s just no room. You’ll welcome the chance to act like a real prep cook or master chef, with your ingredients sprawled out over this awesome surface. Even the non-cooks in the family may want to join in on the fun!

And let’s not forget about the overhang that now gives you added space to bring in bar stools for casual eating, homework time, or just plain hanging out with coffee or wine.

The right kitchen island doesn’t have to be a dream, and it may just be the best addition to your house yet!

Make Better Use of a Small Bathroom

As a family grows, the bathroom seems to shrink. A small bathroom can easily become cluttered and untidy, and finding a home to store toiletries, towels and other accessories can become a challenge. When space is limited, some creative thinking is needed to make a bathroom both aesthetically pleasing and functional. It is possible to make the bath area seem much bigger by making simple changes in design and storage options.

Visual Appeal

Making the bathroom look bigger is easier than building onto it, especially in an older home. Try the following ideas to create the illusion of more space:

  • Survey the bath, and remove objects that can be used in other places or are just creating clutter.
  • Paint all of the walls, doors, and cabinets in similar shades, the lighter the better.
  • Add mirrors, or mirrored tiles, in several places to reflect opposite walls.
  • Add extra light sources in shadowy corners.
  • Install metallic tiles running horizontally around the room so that the eye is almost following an arrow.
  • Inset tiles in a diamond pattern to make the ceiling seem higher.
  • Consider a slender pedestal sink or a hanging vanity.
  • Think about installing lighting strips under the toe-kick areas of the cabinets in the bathroom to serve as a night light and to give the illusion of more room.

Storage Surprises

Even if a complete bath renovation is not possible in the next few years, space in the bathroom needs to be used as efficiently as possible. Creative storage solutions can make a real difference in the usability of a bath, and the following are all excellent ideas:

  • Use the spaces between the wall studs to make recessed shelving to store bath linens or toiletries. Recessed medicine cabinets will not take usable area from the rest of the room.
  • Consider tossing the clothes hamper and building a laundry chute into the wall.
  • Either hang the bathroom door so that it opens into the hallway or bedroom or use a pocket door instead.
  • Add several hooks on the back side of the bathroom door and on the wall behind the door.
  • Roll towels and wash cloths so that they fit into a smaller storage area.
  • Build storage units in any useful corner or stack baskets for storage.
  • Use the space above the toilet by adding shelving or a floor to ceiling storage unit.
  • Install wire shelving in convenient places near the tub or shower to hold razors, shampoo, and cleansers.
  • Insert drawer dividers to keep hair clips, cotton swabs, or cosmetics neat and orderly.
  • Replace a standard tub with the corner variety to gain additional space.
  • Make a wall of towel bars and display all of the prettiest designs as a form of artwork.

Some of these ideas are quick and easy to implement; others may require a professional. All of them will improve the cosmetic appeal and usability of a tiny bathroom. Because it is one of the most frequented rooms in the home, changes made in the bathroom is will be appreciated by the entire family.

KLD-small-bathrooms

This bathroom was constrained by bedrooms on either side, so it wasn't possible to increase square footage. To make the space feel roomier, white marble tile and several mirrored surfaces wrap the room. Floor-to-ceiling cabinets add height, while a glass shower wall eliminates the visual barrier of a shower curtain or doors. Rich wood tones add warmth and create balance.

ML-small-bathrooms

This teeny, tiny full bath features a wall-hung toilet; the tank is hidden inside the 2x6 stud wall, allowing for 9 inches of extra space in the center of the room. Clear glass shower doors eliminate visual barriers and a skylight floods the space with natural light.

ST-small-bathrooms

This homeowner wanted a nostalgic style with a contemporary twist. Trumpet-shaped sconces flank an oval mirror that conceals a medicine cabinet. A frameless shower door extends the visual expanse of the space, while allowing unobstructed views of oversized subway and amber glass tilework.

TD-small-bathrooms

A freestanding vanity with elongated fixtures, a custom bamboo mirror, and ladder towel rack create the illusion of vertical space in this small guest bath. A soft color palette, accented with dark woods, balances the space. Artistic relief panels add visual interest without completely walling off light.

 

Lovely Open Kitchen Layouts

Creating or designing an open kitchen space is something we consider when we wanted to make sure we can see the entire floor area in our home. This is usually the case especially when there are kids in the house because most mothers want to make sure that they see their kids every time they are cooking in the kitchen. For yuppies or young professionals who consider this kind of kitchen, it is usually when they have limited space in their apartment or studios to be putting up walls in the kitchen to cover the cooking activities there.

Below are some Lovely Open Kitchen Designs that inspire us when it comes to designing an open kitchen space! Not only does it make your home or your spaces wider, but it also helps when you are a bit claustrophobic and do not want to feel like you are enclosed in a space.

1-Beechwood-Manor

Stunning accordion doors that gives way to beautiful garden of this home. Some designers call this style, indoor-outdoor! Nice concept!

 

2-Villa-Skovly

Bare white walls draw the eye up to the original ceiling details and the contrasting Philippe Stark light.

 

3-Brisbane-Kitchen

Unique and colorful barstools that complement the white kitchen design that we have in this photo. But most of all, we like the frosted glass cabinets.

 

6-Crane-Residence

Three things – open shelving, cabinetry and layout!

 

7-Wine-Storage

Open plan kitchen and living room with custom kitchen island that includes wine storage. Open shelving mounted on steel brackets support dishes and provide for light from above.

 

8-Magnolia-Mid

At first glance you might miss the universal design features of the open kitchen. But look closer and you’ll see how the pedestal table allows for maximum knee space and seating configurations.

 

 

Make Your Home Office Work for You

Shoving the desk in a corner works. Set a chair in front of it, and you’ve got a home office. By the time you set up the computer, keyboard and screen, things start to get crowded. If the printer fits on that small end table and you push things around, you have enough space to sort papers and pay bills. What’s wrong with this picture? It’s functional, but you deserve a workspace that actually works. Custom cabinetry is an attractive and affordable solution to your home office blues.

Picture the Space

You don’t have to work at home full time to appreciate the benefits of a well-organized area. A home office is personal space regardless of how it’s used. This is where you catch up on household paperwork and tend to business in general. There’s nothing better than having everything arranged in an order that makes sense. That’s the advantage of a well-designed home office; the space works for you. Look around your current setup, and picture filing cabinets that are actually attractive. That sunny corner is perfect for a built-in desk with roomy storage overhead. Imagine deep drawers that glide open and shelves designed for more than books. Custom cabinet installation gives you these options and more.

Make It Your Own

When it comes to your desk, size really does count. The extra real estate lets you spread out, and a built-in station allows you to expand your working area with counters on either side. This also gives you the ideal location for filing drawers disguised as attractive cabinets. Without leaving your chair, you have everything within easy reach. You can relax at a spacious desk in front of your favorite window and enjoy plenty of storage too. With a little custom work, bookcases become decorating touches that add visual interest to the room. A well-designed mix of shapes and sizes turns a boring wall into an appealing focal point. Add recessed lighting, and the entire space takes on a new dimension.

Share the Room

Think about how your current home office works. Every member of the family uses it so often that it becomes a busy communal space. With a little remodeling, everyone has an area to call their own. The kids can claim the lower cabinets while you keep important papers safe in overhead units that slide open with a touch. Custom cabinetry allows you to create more than just an office. Folding louvered doors allow you to close up your recessed desk area at the end of the day. A large-screen TV mounted on the wall is cleverly disguised behind lovely paneling, and that work-top counter has plenty of room underneath for hiding a mini fridge and bar. In a matter of minutes, your working space converts into an inviting family room with all the amenities.

Custom cabinets allow you to design a room that actually works for you and a space that fits the entire family. Remodeling always adds to the value of your home. With the right design, your home office adds value to your working day.

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