General Electric recently announced a new twist to the dishwasher.
Photo compliments of GE: Note the interior LED lighting.
Believe it or not, this dishwasher has its own sound track. Designed to enhance the interaction between the user and the appliance, the new Monogram ® dishwasher has its own elegant piano tune. No longer are there harsh buzzers or beepers. Now, when the unit is turned on or off all that will be heard is a melodic tune. If you’re curious what this new dishwasher sounds like, click here. But remember, only a few notes will play each time the machine turns on or off. It’s really a pretty peaceful sound.
With 54 more cleaning jets designed to clean the inside of glasses and sports drink bottles, the new dishwasher raises the standard on several levels. The technology updates don’t stop there, this spiffy new unit features LED interior lighting to make loading and unloading even easier.
Now, if this seems like the perfect unit, be patient, it won’t be available until February of 2014. It sounds (pardon the pun) like it will be well worth the wait.
Cabinet moldings have become simpler as transitional designs* have become the vogue. And I have to say, one that I think is a trend that is here to stay. So I think it is time to take another look at the moldings that trim the top and bottom of cabinets.
Yes, generally molding treatments are cleaner and less ornate than they were a decade ago. But it’s also important to consider the architecture of the home when considering the appropriate moldings to trim cabinetry. If the home is a Victorian with lots of ornamentation, for example, maybe a more elaborate molding for the cabinetry is just the right thing.
This Arts and Crafts inspired family room features simple molding treatments that are appropriate for the architecture of the home and falls within the current trend of simple moldings.
Light rail molding conceals under cabinet light fixtures but also adds a polished look to the bottom of the wall cabinets.
Even the slim 3/4" molding on top and bottom of this dining room built-in gives a finished look.
This two-piece top molding shows the newer version of crown molding. It still has the angled front but without all the traditional routings.
No matter what, cabinetry without top molding just looks unfinished to me. The continuity of line (no matter how simple) seems to cap off the look of cabinetry wherever they are installed in the home.
*Transitional style is a blend of contemporary and traditional materials and design details. This would include using a more contemporary paint color, such as gray, with traditional cherry cabinets or mixing both styles of fabrics in the room. In kitchens, the popularity of stainless steel appliances has made transitional style almost happen naturally. The secret to transitional style is in the blending of various materials in a way that creates an artful design that is a pleasure to behold.
Not every kitchen is designed for a family. Some kitchens are too small and others are full of little things that just don’t work for a household with children. Here are some ideas to make a kitchen work for a family. However, the number one thing to remember that while safety is important in any kitchen; children have a way of growing up…and out. So look for a compromise that will work now as well as later.
What family wouldn't love a chalk board in the kitchen to keep track of schedules, messages and grocery lists?
*Cabinets in wood tones are more forgiving than painted finishes. It’s not that they are more durable, they just don’t show fingerprints, dings and that little smudge of inevitable peanut butter.
*Soft-closing doors and drawers will keep the noise level down. They also are easier on little fingers. I always avoid lazy susans with push-though doors. They are a sure finger-pincher.
*Safety locks on doors and drawers are important for cabinets storing objects that should be out of reach of small children. And most are easily removable when children get older.
*Store dishes in lower drawers so it is easier for the kids to help set the table. These peg dish organizers are at a perfect height for children when they are old enough to handle dishware.
*Consider a charging center especially if there are teens in the house.
*Induction cooktops are making a comeback and since there are no flames and the only thing that gets hot is the actual vessel, they are somewhat safer in homes with children.
*Almost every family kitchen is better with a table and chairs or a counter seating area for the kids to have snacks and do homework.
*Slightly rounded corners on countertops work well for families and makes sense for all kitchens. They do protect little ears but grandma’s hip as well.
And it goes without saying that wall paint needs to washable….it’s all about that inevitable smudge of peanut butter.
Eat-in kitchens are enjoying resurgence. I like the thought of a family having a comfortable place to interact during mealtimes. In the hectic lives most of us lead today, a place for the family to gather for a meal, do a project or homework can be an oasis.
A typical table should have a minimum of 32” from the edge of the table to a wall. If people have to pass behind a seated person, the measurement increases to at least 44”. Doing the math with a 36” round table, the space required would be just over a hundred square feet (l0’ x l0’). Not many kitchens have an extra hundred square feet to spare. So here are some other options.
The primary way to reduce the square footage required is to eliminate the walk around space. Banquette seating is one way to do this. Charming by nature, they can be a challenge for large families. And they can be difficult to get people seated in the inside out for a phone call or other interruption during a meal. A round table makes it easier to move about. Still, banquettes cut down on the amount of floor space needed and that makes them a good option for adding an eat-in feature to a kitchen.
Adding stools to an island is one way to accomplish an eat-in kitchen, but for the best conversational value, align the stools so that people can see each other during mealtime. That means almost any arrangement other than a straight line.
Tucking a table up tight to an island is another way to save space. The required walkway on one end is eliminated. The table can be moved out when needed fit an extra person or two. But once it is moved out, walkway requirements are back in play. For more design information on this kitchen click here.
If there is one place in the kitchen that seems to be the catchall for clutter, it’s the sink cabinet. Much of the space is already taken up by plumbing, shut off valves and the garbage disposer. The rest of the space is in competition by cleaning products, paper towels and dishwasher detergent. This is especially true of single bowl sinks where the cabinet is 24” to 30” wide.
Tilt-outs in sink base cabinets have been a standby in kitchen design. They still offer one more way to squeeze in a little more storage space.
The area under the sink should be checked regularly for leaks. Leaks can be particularly sneaky…showing up when you least expect it. And the sink base can’t be overlooked when it comes to seasonal house cleaning. Bottles of cleaners can leak; because of this I keep mine corralled in a plastic tray…just in case.
Waypoint's Multi Storage Cabinet offers creative solutions for under-cabinet storage.
photo compliments of Kidsafeinc.com
Since so many potentially dangerous chemicals are stored under the sink, safety locks should be installed if there are children in the home. This even includes regularly visiting children like grandkids. You can never be too careful. The one shown at right requires no tools and installs with adhesive, and is a one-hand operation for an adult. This and other safety products can be seen at kidsafeinc.com.
We’ve all heard the expression that good things come in twos. When it comes to design, it often means symmetrical design. That just means that two identical items are placed equidistant from a center point. Imagine a fireplace mantel with a centered painting and two matching vases on either end. Viola symmetry!
This is a perfect example of symmetry with cabinetry. This mud room built-in has a balanced arrangement of tall storage cabinets flanking the bench seat.
Individual vanities can have the added benefit of each user having their own space.
Built-in trash cans come in singles and doubles. I like the double unit because you can use the second container for recyclables.
Several companies offer dual drawer dishwashers. These are great for singles, small families and people who don't cook a great deal.
This double decker divider makes sure there is a place for everything and makes organization simple.
When one of something is good, two can be fabulous!