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DreamMaker Remodeling Tips

Tuxedo CabinetsMany home design trends for 2017 consist of renovations that became popular during the latter half of 2016. Tuxedo cabinets are one such design that recently rose to prominence. This design incorporates a color combination for cabinets that is in high demand for both contemporary and country-style kitchen remodeling.

What Are Tuxedo Cabinets?

A tuxedo style is a simple cabinet refacing design. In it the lower cabinets are painted black or another dark color, while the upper cabinets receive a white hue. In any case, the main idea is having dark lower cabinets and light-colored upper cabinets.

Tuxedo cabinets are pretty straightforward, though you should feel free to play around with the concept and color options. You may opt for the traditional tuxedo concept: black for all lower cabinets, including the kitchen island; the upper cabinets are egg-white. This is a safe option if you feel non-neutral colors are too bold for your taste.

Other homeowners have opted for a tone-on-tone color scheme. This may include something like dark ultramarine blue for the ground-level cabinets and a light Columbia blue for the uppers. For a less distinct contrast, choose shades that are closer together, such as a light gray and dark white combination.

You can even take the concept further and choose matching colored appliances. A black fridge and stove will match nicely with the lower cabinets, while a built-in white microwave complements the contrast of the upper cabinets.

Tuxedo Cabinets for the Bathroom

Although tuxedo cabinets work best in kitchen makeovers, you can also apply the concept in bathrooms. It’s not that common for bathrooms to have both lower and upper cabinets. If yours does, however, then the tuxedo design is just as applicable for bathroom remodeling.

We Do Tuxedo-Style Cabinets

Contact DreamMaker of Walnut Creek to upgrade your kitchen with the latest trends. Tuxedo cabinets are currently the “in” thing, and we can create this popular style for your cabinetry.

Edited by Justin Vorhees

Tuxedo Cabinet Designs and More

We are happy to serve you in the Contra Costa area, including Walnut Creek, Concord, Moraga and Danville. We also serve Lafayette, Orinda, Berkeley, Moraga, Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Benicia, Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood, Livermore, Pleasanton, Dublin, San Ramon, Danville and Alamo.

Granite Countertops for KitchensWhen buying a house, sometimes it’s necessary to settle for certain things with the idea that you can update them later. This often happens with kitchens. Are you’re finally upgrading to the kitchen of your dreams? What are your must-haves and what might you be able to do without? If you haven’t done so already, make sure you add granite countertops to the top of your list. A kitchen makeover would simply be lacking without them! Here are several reasons why installing granite countertops in your kitchen should absolutely be part of your next home remodeling project.

  1. Granite Countertops are Highly Sanitary

Kitchens are where you prepare meals for you and your family, so keeping them clean is often a top priority. One of the main reasons granite makes such a good countertop material for kitchens is that it’s non-porous. This means it’s easy to clean and bacteria can’t hide on its smooth surface. This quality also makes granite an ideal material for bathroom updates.

  1. Granite Counters are Incredibly Attractive

In addition to being highly sanitary, granite countertops are also very pretty to look at. If you’re hoping to impress your friends and family with your shiny new kitchen, they’re sure to be impressed with granite countertops. What’s more, you’ll cerrtainly find a design you love. Ask your contractor for help locating the perfect piece for your space.

  1. Natural Stone is Extremely Sellable

While the fact that you’re planning and creating your dream kitchen is a pretty clear indication that you don’t plan to sell your home anytime soon, it’s never a bad idea to invest in your own property. Who knows, you could decide to upgrade homes soon, too! Granite countertops will not only increase the worth of your home, but they will make a great selling point for your realtor.

Agree That Your Kitchen Needs Granite Countertops?

If you agree that your dream kitchen just wouldn’t be right without the addition of granite countertops, make installing them a priority. You’ll want the help of a professional contracting company like DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen of Contra Costa. We can assist you in selecting and installing the perfect granite countertops for you kitchen. Remodeling more than just your kitchen? We can help! We offer a variety of quality contracting services, including kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, cabinet refacing, safety and mobility, and general contracting. Visit our website for additional information about our company or call (925) 239-4200 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Granite Countertops for Kitchens in Walnut Creek, CA

Serving customers in Walnut Creek, Concord, Moraga and Danville. We also serve Lafayette, Orinda, Berkeley, Moraga, Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Benicia, Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood, Livermore, Pleasanton, Dublin, San Ramon, Danville and Alamo

update the bathroomPart of being a good homeowner is knowing when it’s time to update the kitchen and bathroom. Unfortunately, there’s no magical “update me” light that appears when it’s time to call a remodeling contractor. There’s no clear guideline for timely home renovations. However, as one of the most frequently used rooms in your home, it’s a good idea to update the bathroom somewhat regularly. When deciding if the time is right for your bathroom makeover, consider these four factors.

  1. How Old Your Bathroom Looks

Bathrooms see a significant amount of traffic, so it’s not uncommon to see minor signs of wear. One good sign that it’s time to call a remodeling contractor is that your bathroom has really started to show its age. If you have flaking paint, a discolored tub, or broken tiles, it’s probably time for an update.

  1. How Your Bathroom Compares to Other Rooms

Have you updated other rooms in your home? If you’ve been busy working in other spaces and unconsciously neglected your bathroom, you might notice a stark difference in style and/or functionality. Speak with a remodeling company to find out how to give your home a cohesive and fluid feeling.

  1. How Your Bathroom Functions

Functionality is imperative, especially for such an important room in your home. If you and your family prefer showers to bathtubs or need a double vanity to make your morning routine easier, consider updating the bathroom. Impaired function is a clear sign it’s time for a remodel.

  1. How Soon You Plan to Sell

Buyers love to see newly renovated bathrooms. In fact, the state of a bathroom can literally make or break an open house tour. If you’re planning to sell your home soon, it’s a good idea to update the bathroom now, so it shows better.

Think It’s Time to Update Your Bathroom?

If you think it might be time to update the bathroom, you’ll need to find a reliable home remodeling contractor to help. Contact DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen at Walnut Creek today to start discussing your project. For more information about DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen, visit our website or call us directly at (925) 239-4200. We make your project our priority and offer a variety of services, including kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, safety and mobility remodeling, and cabinet refacing. Don’t wait to call; we’re standing by to make your dream bathroom a reality!

Edited by Justin Vorhees

Update the Bathroom

Serving Walnut Creek, Concord, Moraga and Danville. We also serve Lafayette, Orinda, Berkeley, Moraga, Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Benicia, Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood, Livermore, Pleasanton, Dublin, San Ramon, Danville and Alamo

In this day and age, building materials, labor and just about everything seems to be raising in cost. Building a new home is nice, but the price seems to be doubling daily to do so. Why not just look at the beauty and character already established and embrace the past? Your style taste can always update the interior, so here are a few reasons to buy or keep a Mid-century home.

1. Sloped roofs add drama and are practical.

Pitched roofs are the roofs that range from a slight to drastic slope. They naturally do not accumulate snow because it slides off. They require smaller structural members and do not retain water at all, keeping the house watertight! From a design viewpoint, the roofline can be built to accentuate the topography pf the area, whether it be pointing skyward or perfectly nestled into the trees.

2. Architecture can be a natural climate control.

Yes, you heard correctly. Architecture can be a natural climate control. Hello, lower utility bills! In the 1950s, it was normal to not have an air conditioner and retaining heat in the winter was key. These houses were structured to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter with very little help. Windows are usually placed on the southern walls with overhangs that create shadows like a brim on a hat. This allows the windows to remain cool in the summer and guide warmth into the home during the winter months. It is also normal for the homes to have doors on opposing walls to create air flow through rooms or the house has whole house fans that help create air flow! This also will lower your carbon footprint, if you live a green lifestyle.

3. Straightforward layouts create interest and understanding.

The layout of these homes is divided into “zones.” Due to this type of layout, it is easy to see and understand the architect’s thought process in building. It essentially guides you in decorating and makes it easy to pick out where everything was meant to be placed. Large open spaces are a norm in this style of home which allows for large spaces to entertain and create continuity. If you have a wall of windows, make sure to use the wall as a focal point.

4. Simple materials provide more creative flexibility.

This is so true. In the 1950s, builders used mainly aluminum and wood siding. Building materials have come a long way since then. Opt for cement board, plastic or PVC. All of these are durable and have a painted finish that is easy to maintain. Most likely, you will be giving the siding a fresh coat of paint to go with your sense of style. Make sure the materials beneath it are just as durable for an easy upkeep. 

5. Minimal frills can accentuate details you might want to otherwise hide.

The staircase, usually in the main entryway, is not an easy thing to hide; especially, when they are free-standing. The craftsman made the staircase as a way to show off their craftsmanship and the latest trends in new materials for the time. Embrace this structural piece of art, and you will learn to love it.

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Single-walled kitchens come into play in small homes or apartments and open-plan kitchens. Here are a few tips in making the most of your single-walled kitchen.

Embrace a Sociable Layout: The Single-Wall Kitchen is the epitome of a social layout. There are no added walls, which opens up the space for entertaining. Although a single-wall kitchen allows one person to cook at a time, it still allows others to access it. Make sure to keep this in mind when choosing furniture for the kitchen and accommodating your lifestyle!

Make it Efficient: Space is limited in this type of kitchen so planning out every detail is imperative. In a single-walled kitchen, usually, the fridge is on the far end of the kitchen run. The sink is located next to the fridge with counter space on either side. Beneath the counter, is the dishwasher and more storage space. On the far side of this, the oven and cooktop are located with ample counter space for safe food preparation with more storage beneath. Maybe you want to include tall cabinets to bookend the kitchen. Just makes sure that your layout makes sense to you because you are the one that will be using it daily.

Use a Standard Run of Cabinets: Just like in any other kitchen, you will want to include overhead cabinetry. This will create more space to store anything and everything that you need in your kitchen. Do not worry if this run of cabinets goes the entire length of the wall. This is normal. Be aware that if you wish to include a vent-a-hood, this is where it will be placed.

Mixed Shelving: You may not want a run of cabinets to span the entire length of the wall because design-wise you find it going against your aesthetic taste. Have no fear! There are other alternatives to breaking up this span of cabinets. Consider mixing in some open shelving or have shelving on the wall to the right or the left of the kitchen, making it décor with a purpose.

Bridged Upper Cabinets: Talk about adding storage space and utilizing every little inch of the kitchen. Bridged upper cabinets usually have tall cabinets on either side and cabinets that are placed on top of your other cabinets. If you want, make the upper cabinets stick out a little bit farther than the other run of cabinets to create a layered, sunken effect that adds depth to your kitchen. The cabinets come in an assortment of materials and colors, which makes it easy to find a run of bridge cabinets that will fit with the other cabinets you have.

Make sure to store items that are less used and get a cute foldaway footstool to access the items in those cabinets.

Max Out Storage: With a limited amount of cabinet space available, getting creative with other storage options is a must! Consider making your pantry larger to accommodate more items and maybe even a few countertop appliances. Add an island into the layout of your kitchen and place cabinets underneath. Get creative with your storage because the sky is the limit…or maybe the ceiling in this case.

Choose Appliances Wisely: Selecting appliances for a single-walled kitchen should not be a chore and you should not have to compromise. Lucky for you, appliance companies are designing their appliances for small, compact spaces. There is a plethora of compact dishwashers, compact ovens, microwave ovens and warming drawers. If you are going to have an open-plan arrangement, make sure that your appliances run quietly to reduce objections from those who are watching TV or reading in the spaces that connect to the kitchen area.

Add an Island: An island is a good way to add more storage space, increase your counter space and create more seating if needed. If you plan one well, it will accent the kitchen.

Rolling into 2016 and you want to stay on top of the latest trends? Here you will find simple ideas and ways to keep your house looking sharp no matter what your budget is. Make sure to look at our Pinterest Look books to see these ideas in full swing to help you think of fun ways to incorporate these trends!

1. The “Glamily” Room:

What is a Glamily room you ask? Well it is the newest hybrid of the family room: Glamorous yet still a family room. There is no reason why such a popular room in your house should be drab.

Yes, your dog will be running around, your husband will be watching football with a cold one and your kids will be eating Doritos while they watch their favorite movies with their friends, but have no fear. Glamour should not be lost and neither will your sanity.

Pair up fabrics that are durable, but still beautiful with unique pieces of furniture and amazing silhouettes to still retain beauty in such a fun, popular room.

2. Monthly Club:

Monthly clubs seem to be all the rage right now. Whether it is samples, wines, or beauty products, it makes getting the mail a little bit more fun because it will not only be bills and advertisements.

The monthly clubs are not just restricted to the above. Recently, there have been clubs created for bouquets, artisan goods from around the world and surprises for your pets!

3. Boutique Showrooms:

Boutique showrooms are wonderful hidden gems within the design world. These local startups are a treasure trove of original one-of-a-kind pieces ranging from furniture to textiles.

Take the time to go and peruse these places even if you are just trying to gain some inspiration as you move forward. You may just see something that you can do yourself for the fraction of the cost or something that you cannot live without.

4. Bed Linens with Pizzazz:

Open up your hope chest and pull put your favorite quilt that was made by your grandmother because they are fully in and white bed sheets are out!

Mix and match fun patterns to make your room more interesting and unique. The sky is the limit on this one.

5. Pretty Pendants:

You have seen these lights hanging in all the trendy new restaurants and residences. They are the trendy, new chandelier for 2016. These fixtures come in all sorts of shapes, colors and sizes. You will find one that suits your taste and will seamlessly fit into your existing décor without breaking the bank.

Make sure to hit up places like World Market, Hobby Lobby and Pinterest to help in your quest to find the perfect pendant.

6. Perky Pedestals:

Add some height into your house by adding a pedestal into the décor. These are perfect for adorning even your tiniest of corners.

They come in a variety of styles and materials and are perfect to house your favorite house plant, vase, sculpture or cat. Keep your eyes open for a unique piece that will add to your pre-existing aesthetic.

7. Return of the Desk:

2016 is kicking everyone off of their "home office" bed and onto a desk.

These new desks are no longer the large bulky oak desks that seem to weigh a million pounds, but more of a piece of high-gloss art. So, run to Ikea and find the perfect desk for you and dress it up with fun lamps and colorful textiles and pillows for your chair. The more unique your new home office is the better.

Remember that this is your space to be productive so, try and tailor your decoration to this idea.

8. Traditional Tableware:

Yes, you read that right, Traditional tableware. Pull out your grandmother’s china, gravy boats, footed bowls and silver from the crates in the garage and shine them up and dust them off.

Create beautiful tablescapes by intermixing the old with the new. The pieces that are found in the traditional tablescape are beautiful and have intriguing patterns that will liven up any meal while bringing back memories of your childhood.

9. Mixed Metals:

Mix and match metals like no other. As long as it has a metal sheen, mix them. Metal sconces, metal wall art, metallic fabrics, use them all. Bringing in and combing multiple types of metals, textures and natural elements in any home will create a sophisticated look that seems effortlessly put together.

Keep your eyes peeled for that show stopping piece that will not break the bank!

10. Fabric Wall Art:

Forget wallpaper, we now have wall fabric and Robert Allen is paper-backing nearly all of its textiles for a flat fee. There is definitely at least one fabric that will catch your eye and when added to a room will easily turn into a conversation starter.

You are not limited to using unique fabrics on walls. Simply re-cover your favorite seats and ottomans for an update that is as simple as pulling out a few staples from a piece of wood. Your house can be changed significantly for a low price.

11. A Delft Touch:

 Have you heard of Delft? Delft pottery is from 17th-century Holland and uses dark blues and whites to create images of charming country life. These pieces can be found online and in antique stores across the nation.

Buy one or two pieces to spruce up your room or find look alikes to get more for your buck. Keep in mind that if you do buy real Delft pottery that it is extremely collectable.

12. Better Sleep:

Sleep is a natural part of any life-cycle and boy, has the technology come far for this art form.

Have you heard about the new mattresses that help cool your body as you sleep? How about the headrest that incorporates airflow technology with a memory foam pillow? Or the pillow that is specially made for the sleepers who move around all night in their dreamland?

If you are in the market for some new bedding, make sure to see what has come out recently to help you sleep better at night and to wake fully rested in the morning.

13. Guatemalan Fabrics:

Aztec patterns are out and Guatemalan hand-made fabrics are in. These brightly colored weavings all are the rage and nothing is better than getting handcrafted pieces of art to decorate your house with.

They will add a bohemian feel to any room. Find them in pillows, throws, wall hangings or even coasters.

14. Consignment Now:

Trying to find a unique piece that no one has? Go the consignment or thrift shop route. Not only can you buy from some of these places, but you can also sell pieces there. If you happen to have a piece that you no longer want, call up your local consignment store and see if they can help you find a new home for your old furniture so you can clear space for new!

Always remember that upcycling is in. If you find a piece at a garage sale or thrift store and it needs a new paint coat or you want to switch out the drawer pulls, look no further than your local home improvement store!

transitional-kitchen-remodel

The National Kitchen & Bath Association announced at its annual conference last week that transitional kitchens are currently the top kitchen design. Trends that the NKBA expects to see in kitchens in 2016 include:

  • Transitional style

  • Gray, white and off-white cabinets

  • Pull-outs, tilt-outs and tilt-ins for storage space

  • Wood flooring

  • Quartz and granite countertops

  • Outdoor kitchens

  • Built-in coffee stations and wet bars

  • Pocket doors

  • Special pet spaces

  • Docking and charging stations

Along with the three most popular kitchen styles -- transitional, traditional and contemporary -- industrial and farmhouse kitchens are becoming favorable. The kitchen designs hold a different charm, but have all proved to be functional.

The NKBA discovered neutral colors are still preferred in kitchens, but using two or more colors has increased since 2015. This includes using multiple colored cabinets or choosing a separate material for the countertop rather than matching the surrounding counter space. By following this trend, people are adding multiple textures and colors that attract attention in the kitchen.

Outdoor kitchens continue to be a growing trend, specifically in the Southeast United States. The outdoor entertainment areas have caught on with those seeking to integrate nature and cooking together.

Not only are homeowners spoiling themselves with their kitchens, but pets are benefitting as well. Special storage space for pet food and toys, feeding stations or under-counter crate areas are often preferred in the pet lovers’ home.

As trends change over time, we are seeing one thing in particular: homeowners are being met with more options to make their kitchens efficient and attractive at the same time. We look forward to seeing the kitchen designs of 2016.

Learn more about Transitional Kitchen styles

Bringing Downton Abbey Home

Downton Abbey started its sixth season recently, and its American viewers are decorating “Downton” style more than ever. Downton Abbey, Season 5” by Masterpiece™

The popular BBC television show, Downton Abbey, recently began its sixth season. It first aired in 2010 and after the phenomenon swept across the Atlantic Ocean, Americans soon began to decorate their homes in “Downton fashion.” In this period drama, the audience becomes a voyeur into the life of the Crawley family during the early 1900s.

The setting is a large Jacobethan country home that sits on a 5,000-acre estate. Filmed at Highclere Castle in Hampshire, England, the furnishings reflect a period of grandeur full of sweeping staircases, rich pigment paints, grand dining rooms, ornate furnishings and heritage paintings.

Rather than breaking the bank to achieve the Edwardian style of the aristocracy, here are a few ways to bring Downton (a.k.a. Highclere Castle) home.

Brocade, Jacquard & Damask:

Rugs, ceiling medallions and brocade, and damask wallpaper and fabric patterns relect the "Downton Abbey" style.

Rugs, ceiling medallions and brocade, and damask wallpaper and fabric patterns relect the “Downton Abbey” style.

The brocade, jacquard and damask patterns can be found on wallpapers and fabrics. When using these ornate fabrics, you can make curtains, reupholster furniture or just apply them to home décor accessories such as: table lamps or wall art. They come in numerous patterns, mainly flowers, fruit and other designs, and many different colors. There should be one that works with your color scheme or style.

Molding and Ceiling Medallions:

Don’t leave out your ceilings! A lot can be done to them for a low price. Molding comes in many different styles. They range from simple molding with corner curves to deep, boxy, angular ceilings with rosettes and other carved motifs. To get this same look for a budget, use embossed wallpaper on ceilings installed within an inset formed by a small molding applied to the ceiling 12- 18” from the perimeter walls. Paint the textured wallpaper in a semi-gloss or gloss paint, giving it the effect of formed plaster. Add ceiling medallions to your chandeliers and other surface mount fixtures to create a beautiful effect to an otherwise plain ceiling. By adding creative and artistic patterns to your ceilings, it creates depth and acts as a “rug” for the ceiling. We will get to floor rugs in a bit.

Petite Chandeliers:

Chandeliers come in many different shapes and sizes and will add a grand aesthetic with very little effort. A small one is economical when it comes to creating an Edwardian style within a budget. These miniature chandeliers are perfect for entry ways, on tables and in bathrooms; adding a little sparkle wherever they are placed. They can be found for a decent price in thrift stores, antique malls and other home improvement stores. If your budget allows, go for the big chandeliers. They are breathtaking.

Gold (or any other metallic) Acrylic Paint:

This stuff works miracles when dealing with a budget. Go for an antiqued gold rather than a bright gold because most of the furnishings in Downton are antiques and gilded with gold. Add this to wall sconces, lamp bases, ornate frames and just about anything else to add a little luxury into the décor for pennies on the dollar.

Richly Pigmented Paint:

Choosing colors from the color scheme of Downton is now easier than ever because Kelly Moore has created a line of paint that specifically resembles the colors of Highclere Castle. They range from jewel tones to pastels. If you choose not to buy from that line, choose a paint with a rich pigmented color. Pigment rich color’s characteristics are highly concentrated, bright and rich.

Tassels:

Tassels are an easy way to give a sense of luxury to a room. Use them to wrap up your new brocade, jacquard or damask curtains and hold them back to allow light into your home. They can also be added to pillows, blankets and lamps. Tassels come in a range of sizes and colors that can easily be incorporated into your Edwardian facelift.

Antiques:

When searching for antiques to fit the “Downton” style, go for either French or English ones. Look for paintings that show hunting scenes or a pair of ornately carved, mirrored sconces. Keep an eye out for large mirrors in gilded or dark-stained frames. There are many different pieces that are unique to the Edwardian time period and can be found in antique malls across the nation and world. Who knows what great deals you may stumble upon with a little searching.

Oriental & Persian Rugs:

Oriental and Persian Rugs add wonderful texture and color to any room. They come in a plethora of colors and patterns with patterns of flora and fauna. The rugs come in a multitude of sizes ranging from pillow to very large. The price range varies, and there are lots of places that offer them for a discount. Pick up a runner or average-shaped rugs and place them in a hall or in the living room. The options are limitless.

If you really get in a bind or need creative inspiration, the creators of Downton Abbey just launched their home furnishing line. The prices are reasonable and are perfect to incorporate into your rooms.

Then when you settle in to watch the latest season of Downton Abbey, you can do so in Downton luxury.

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Paperless-Kitchens-iloyal-newsletterDo you find yourself constantly adding “paper towels” to your grocery list? Didn’t you just buy a 12-pack at your local warehouse retail store? Growing up, it would drive my mother insane when we kids would use paper towels. When drying our hands, we’d tear off two or three paper towels from the roll. A spill on the floor? You don’t want to know! She thought buying the smaller cut paper towels would incline us to use fewer; they didn’t. With little hands and big messes, paper towels and napkins are always the first things to go.

Maybe it’s time to ditch the paper products in the kitchen all together! Here are four reasons to go paperless in the kitchen:

  1. Less Cost – Look at your receipts and see just how much you’re spending on paper towels every time you run to the store.
  2. Less Waste – no more using half a roll to clean up a kitchen spill, especially when cloths can be rinsed and reused on the same mess.
  3. Space Saver – stop cramming all those rolls into pantry and cabinet spaces.
  4. Be Green – make yourself, and your family feel better about cutting back on paper products. When cloths get crummy, they make great car wash/outdoor/cleaning rags.

Going Paperless:

First thing first, get the whole house on board. Stop buying paper towels and paper napkins, take the paper towel holder off the counter and make sure the family knows what’s going on. Realistically, you should keep a few rolls of paper towels around for emergencies, but don’t store them in the kitchen. Using cloth napkins with the kids is a simple way to teach dinner etiquette by placing napkins in their laps, instead of crumpling a paper towel on the table. Additionally, add “fold kitchen cloths” to the chore chart.

Gathering Cloths:

  • Cloth napkins – Now you don’t need to break out the five-star restaurant napkins when it’s sloppy joe night. However, cloth napkins come in a variety of sizes and materials for everyday use. Plenty of stores have them on sale, or clearance, especially after a major holiday or in between season. Collect different colors and patterns, mix and match for different color schemes to go with events or your kitchen color pallet. Get creative!
  • Make your own reusable paper towels – Diaper cloth, or Birdseye cloth, can be purchased at any fabric store, and at a reasonable price! Cut the cloth into equal sized pieces, and store in a basket by the kitchen sink to use as hand-drying towels. If you have a seamstress in the family, serge the edges with colorful thread.
  • Separate towels for dish-drying and hand-drying purposes.

Storing Your Cloths:

  • In plain sight – Store clean towels in a decorative kitchen jar: a glass cookie jar, a flour canister Roll them pretty. Not only will they be decorative, but they will spark interest and conversation about your paperless movement.
  • Designate a cloth drawer to store all your cloths. For seasonal decorations, use a plastic storage bin to keep cloths sealed off from dust (and to save space).
  • Used cloth bin – keep a hamper or basket in your pantry or under the sink for used cloths. This will be easy to transport it to the laundry room, and it will be in convenient location.

Speaking of laundry, the idea of doing additional loads may deter you from going paperless. Consider washing all your used cloths together, in one load once a week, or even every two? Developing a process with help with the laundry as well.

Going paperless doesn’t happen overnight, but taking small steps will help the transition. Once you’ve created a system that works for you and your family, it will be a convenient and cost-efficient change that you (and your wallet) will appreciate. And while you may not go completely paperless, every little bit helps!

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Four bedrooms, attached garage, home office…. the list goes on. When creating the perfect home, we begin the list of “must haves.” A staple with many homeowners is the ‘open concept’ kitchen. Open layouts seamlessly connect the kitchen with living and dining areas. They create the illusion of a bigger space, and are practical for families and frequent entertainers alike. The open concept serves as a central activity location, as the kitchen expands into other areas of the home. What’s more, the expansion continues.

couple outsideJust when you thought the open concept couldn’t be any more open, the kitchen has embraced yet another aspect of the home: the backyard. No longer confined to the four walls of the home, “inside-outside” kitchens have created a new opportunity to change the open illusion to an open reality.

Whether your home opens to a field, farm, forest, or fenced-in yard, indoor-outdoor kitchens are functional anywhere. With the use of windows, doors and patios, the kitchen has been redesigned with nature in mind.

Windows and doors are powerful metaphors about access to new opportunities. The opportunity to experience the exterior beauty of your home is even more impressive. Filling walls with glass windows and doors provide a panoramic view of the outdoors, city and country alike. These windows and doors come in many shapes and sizes. Large bay windows optically and physically expand living spaces to the surround yard. When opened, they welcome the beautiful weather and when closed, they provide a picturesque experience to the falling rain or snow. For more interactive kitchens, wall-length accordion glass doors allow customizable exposure to the yard. Doors can be opened, partially or completely, to let sun rays in and let family members come and go as they please.

family outside

When weather conditions are good, but not great, patios are more equipped to accommodate guests. With coverings, outdoor heat lamps, ceiling fans and water misters, outdoor kitchens are proving more useful in months other than May. In some homes, kitchen counters extend from the interior to the exterior without a change in style or countertop. These extended countertops project onto the patio and provide seating and serving space for gatherings and camaraderie.

The open plan layout is accessible, hospitable and practical for many. As homeowners look to remodel older homes into more communal living spaces, keep in mind the additional access that an inside-outside kitchen can provide.

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